Sunday, 23 February 2014

Disappointing Haircare

I received these products over 2 weeks ago from a Twitter giveaway I won with MySalonLooks which was very generous of them and when they were delivered, I couldn't wait to try them out. Unfortunately when I did try them out, I can honestly say I was bitterly disappointed. First off is the Kerastase Volumifique Shampoo and Conditioner, these are the two I've most disappointed with. The shampoo really lathers up in the hair which I find lovely for cleaning due to applying copious amounts of the Oribe Dry Texturising Spray but in terms of volume? Nada, nil, zilch when it comes to volume. If anything, it makes my hair more flat. The conditioner is the same, it makes hair silky smooth but no volume. Considering how much Kerastase retail their products for, I have yet to find a product that I like and works from them. Next up from Kerastase is a miniature Spray À Porter and again, this really didn't wow me. The directions state to use on towel dried/dry hair and so I did, this just clumped my hair, made it stick together like hairspray typically would and didn't do anything to give those promised beachy, textured waves.
MySalonLooks also included some L'oreal goodies and again, I didn't get on with these either. The first item I picked out of the box and was most intrigued by was the Steampod Replenishing Smoothing Cream, this is supposed to be used in conjunction with their Steampod hair tools which I don't have so I really don't understand why this was included. I've used this as a finishing cream after straightening my hair but it really doesn't do anything. Like I said, this obviously needs to be used with L'oreal's hair tools and seeing as I don't have them. This didn't impress me at all. And finally we have the L'Oreal Tecni Art Hot Style Constructor, this is about the only product from the bunch that I did like, this adds hold as well as adding shine and texture to the hair. My mum is currently using this and for the others, I'm using the shampoo and conditioner but for the Steampod and Kerastase spray, they're neglected in my stash. Give me Oribe anyday.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

High Street Haulin'

There's been some real high end gems that have come out recently meaning I've splashed the cash on those beauties but ignored the high street beauty counters. I stumbled into Superdrug on the hunt for the perfect false eyelashes and found myself sucked into the call of the beauty stands (#BeautyBloggerProblems) and picked up these new favourites of mine which I got on offer too - I do love a bargain.

Firstly is Rimmel, I've not picked up any really new releases but products that I've heard great things about. The Match Perfection Foundation is a popular base for lots of beauty bloggers out there and I was keen to try it. In comparison to my beloved Wake Me Up Foundation, the coverage is more sheer, this is an incredible dewy finish and I find it doesn't have much longevity but for a quick foundation to apply when you're popping to the shop or want that "no make up, make up" look this really does nail it. I also picked up their Apocolips Lip Lacquer in the shade Luna which is a beautiful creamy coral colour, I'm so late on the bandwagon with these but the creamy liquid lipstick looks great on, applies effortlessly with the doe foot applicator and has lasted me well on an alcohol fueled night out. Then finally, the purchase I've been trying to get my hands on for an absolute age. The ScandalEyes Kohl Kajal in Black was unbelievably hard to find, everyone I picked up was either broken or the shop didn't have any in stock but finally, I got my hands on it. I loved the creamy texture and effortless application of my nude eyeliner from the same range so I knew I'd love the black just as much. This lasts all day and doesn't smudge!

Then I moved onto the L'Oreal counter, I'm always a bit dubious to this brand nowadays, I've purchased many products in the past from L'Oreal and been really disappointed - the Nude Magique Eau De Teint Foundation being a prime example but this time I purchased an old love and a new found love. The Lumi Magique Concealer is an old favourite of mine and will probably always be in my stash. This concealer really illuminates the eye area and the coverage is fantastic, it covers my pesky dark circles and lasts all day. The only gripe with it is that it does need setting with a powder but it's still fantastic nonetheless. My new favourite is the Miss Manga Mascara, new to L'Oreal and myself but now well loved in my stash. This mascara gives the perfect amount of volume, length and separates eyelashes for that doll eye effect. I love my trust Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes mascara but it's pricey and this is a great alternative. I've not used another mascara since purchasing this gem from L'Oreal and it's one I'll definitely be repurchasing.

Have you found any high street gems lately?

Monday, 17 February 2014

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella

Say hello to my new lipstick best friend, the Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella. This shade has been on every bloggers lips, except mine, and it's a shade I've been dying to try. This deep red is very different from my trademark nude lips but ever since this popped through my letterbox, I've not been able to take it off. After searching high and low and it's been sold out everywhere, I finally spotted it on ASOS and next thing I knew, it was delivered and my love affair started. I'm so impressed with this lip pencil, the colour is so rich and pigmented and lasts all day. I applied this on a test run on Saturday before an intense and hot cleaning session and 3 hours later, it hadn't budged. When I wear this, I choose a very simple make up look, opting for a light dusting of blush, lashings of mascara and a light base and let the red lip stand out. This shade suits my pale skin tone beautifully and I've certainly got my eye on more of Nars' red lip offerings such as Red Square, and for a peachy pink offering, I've purchased the shade Bolero which is on its way to me. My lipstick days seem to be over for now and the Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencils have a firm place in my make up stash.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette

As soon as a neutral palette comes out, I'm all over it (bar the Naked 3 Palette - I don't do pinks) but generally if an eyeshadow palette has some bronzy goodness in it, I snap it up straight away and the Smashbox Full Exposure Palette was no exception. This is my first Smashbox purchase and my first item from the brand. Smashbox is a counter I always seem to bypass in Boots mainly for the reason that I've not really heard much about them and not really come across any reviews but after seeing the swatches online and all the positive reviews out there, I just couldn't resist buying it. The palette contains two types of eyeshadows, the top row featuring shimmer eyeshadows and the bottom row offering more matte shades, I'm personally a shimmer girl through and through but I'm gonna give the matte shadows a good run and see how they work teamed with the shimmers. The gold shimmer has 'Beth' written all over it and reminds me of Half Baked from the trusty original Naked palette which is my most worn eyeshadow from that palette. I'm yet to give this palette a proper outing but tomorrow I'm going out for a meal so there may be a Face of the Day photo in the pipeline - I know right, shock horror. I also received two mascara samples with this purchase which I'm obsessed with already, who knows - maybe this palette will start a new love affair with Smashbox.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Beverly Hills Formula Black Toothpaste

Black toothpaste? I know what you're thinking and I was thinking the same. How can this possible work? I was skeptical. I had visions of looking like the wicked witch of the west with black teeth and going to work and embarrassing myself but thankfully I've had no such problem. The Beverly Hills Formula Perfect White Black Toothpaste* is new onto the market and used as part of their Perfect White range and like every other consumer, I was so intrigued to see how this would work. I've used this twice a day for over 2 weeks now and can I see an improvement? I definitely can. I unfortunately got to include a before and after photo of my teeth but since using this, I've noticed my teeth are much whiter. This toothpaste contains charcoal which is why the toothpaste is black, it's the active ingredient to help combat bad breath, remove stains and promote better oral hygiene. My teeth are incredibly sensitive and this toothpaste hasn't affected that at all. In terms of anti-aging, I can't really comment on this but I'm sure with continuous use there would be an long term improvement to my oral health. This retails for £4.99 in most Superdrug stores around the UK and Northern Ireland and for such a great product that really does work, it doesn't break the bank. It looks like black toothpaste is a thing of the future.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush

Isn't this a beauty? As soon as these went live on Space NK, I knew I had to order one. I had such a struggle getting hold of my Ambient Lighting Palette so I was adamant I wouldn't have the same problem with this. I picked up the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in the shade Dim Infusion from the Space NK pre order and two days later, it was popped through my letterbox and it's not left my cheeks since. It's a beautiful peach-orange blush with a mix of their Dim Light Ambient Lighting Powder as a base. I use Dim Light from my palette as a all over setting powder and combined with some beautiful peachyness, I knew I'd love this shade. I could swatch this to high heavens but it really doesn't do it any justice, the pigmentation really shows up when it's applied on the skin, I swirl some on my Real Techniques Blush Brush and dust over the cheeks for a perfect flush of colour. I'd say it's very similar to MAC's Style Blush but more subdued. It's the perfect everyday shade and the colour just has me written all over it. Hourglass have pulled it out of the bag again and I don't think I've ever come across a product from them I don't like. Next shade on my list is Diffused Heat or if I'm feeling adventurous, Mood Exposure.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Evening Skincare Routine

I love taking my make up off at the end of the day, when you've worn it for over 10 hours, it's really nice to give your skin a thorough cleanse and pamper. To start with, I remove all my make up with the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, this melts make up instantly, it even gets through the heavy mascara and it's removed the heaviest of make up - Note: Make up I wear out, not day to day but this really is a cleansing wonder. I can't stress enough how much I love this, it's a balm when you scoop some out, turns into an oil when massaged into the skin and then emulsifies into a milky consistency when water is added. Ladies after a good cleansing balm, buy this!

Next up is toning, it's a stage that is a bit hit and miss really, I only ever really do this step if I remember but at the moment I am loving the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Tonic, it doesn't strip the skin, it does hydrate and smells like lavender which is so soothing on an evening. I won't repurchase this after it's run out but it's a great toner for anyone new to toners or wanting something soothing and gentle on the skin. I am after a toner with a little more somethin' somethin' and the Clarins Exfoliating Toner is next on my to buy list.

I love applying my eye cream, it's my favourite stage after discovering the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream, it's from the same line as the toner and this really packs some hydration. I can instantly tell when I've accidentally missed an application and it's made the fine dehydration lines around my eyes significantly smoother and it's so soothing for those puffy eyes after staring at a computer screen all day.

And finally, I pack my skin with hydration. At the moment my skin is so dehydrated and tight (yes I know I need to drink more water) but with these two products, I wake up with plump hydrated skin. The Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate is a dry oil which hydrates the skin, I use a couple of pipettes of this, warm up between my hands and pat over my skin. Then I apply a generous layer of the Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask and hit the sack, next morning my skin is glowing without a dry patch in sight!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Monthly Favourites: January

I've been a bit MIA in the blogging world over the past week but I've got myself into gear, got my notebook out and scheduled when I'm gonna blog and when's best for me too, I'm gonna be blogging on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday but let me know if you've got any other suggestions. It can be quite hard juggling work with blogging and coming home at 6pm when it's dark to take photos can be a bit of a nightmare. Anyway, let me know how you think I'm getting on in the near future. I love to hear all your feedback.

Now it's onto January Favourites. I know I say this each month but I really can't believe we're now a month into 2014, for me January was just the longest month and the most depressing and did anyone else feel like payday was months away? I did. Here's to a good Feburary (and a short monthly for all you ladies on monthly pay)!

I know I featured the Nars Gina Blush in last months favourites but I really have grown to love it, I wear this on a daily basis now as I'm currently without a bronzer. I have a stash of blushes (and a new one on the way) so I've dug out the stash and opted for a peachy glow rather than the bronze.

For complexion I've really been loving this MAC combo of their Studio Fix Foundation and Pro Longwear Concealer. My skin has been really good at the moment so I'm surprised to opt for a higher coverage than normal but this is a combo I choose whenever I've got a night out, meal or find myself wanting my skin flawless. This combo lasts all day and the concealer works wonders during a 9-5.30pm working day.

After my Favourite Palettes post, I've been reaching for the Nars And God Created The Woman Palette more and this can create any look, from neutral, to bronzed, to dark. This palette really does deliver all the looks you could possibly need in one palette. The formulation of the Nars shadows are fantastic quality, they last all day and so pigmented. I've also been bitten by the eyeliner bug, a bit of a novice at the moment but I'm hoping over time I can perfect the flick, the Maybelline Gel Eyeliner lasts all day, doesn't smudge over my eyelid and it's so easy to apply. I am on the lookout for an eyeliner brush so send me your recommendations. I never thought I'd be a girl to master eyeliner, I'm not quite there yet but I'm not bad...
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