Sunday, 31 August 2014

Picking up where I left off...

Picture from WeHeartIt, not owned/taken by me
A bit like most of my diet attempts, I sort of let the regularity of my blogging slip - oops. Being consistent is surprisingly difficult and I had to let college assignments take priority. And then I've been on holiday, enjoying the sun and not feeling particularly motivated. However I'm back and I want to get straight back into it.

I've actually really missed beauty blogging and have tried quite a few new products since I last posted as it was my birthday in August and I was generously gifted some amazing beauty bits and bobs by my friends and family!

For some reason I find it's so much easier to stay motivated when I'm busy. I'm actually kind of looking forward to going back to college as I feel I have more of a sense of purpose than during summer when I tend to waste my time because I have such an abundance of it.

In short - sorry for the hiatus, but I'm back and going to be doing lots of blogging! :)

Thursday, 29 May 2014

May Empties! [The Body Shop, Avéne, Body Shop, etc.]

Has anyone actually ever published one of these monthly posts on time? I'm either way too early or way too late. Anyway, I'm sure you know the drill with this post format - the lovely lot above are the products of mine that have run dry this month.

MOR Body Butter in Cucumber and Casaba
I have no idea how this came into my hands - I think it was a Space NK post-Christmas sale purchase, but according to their website they don't stock MOR cosmetics anymore. Maybe this was the last of the batch. Anyway, MOR don't make this offering themselves anymore either which is a real pity as I adored the scent! The formula was thick (imagine the consistency of a Pritt stick when slathered on paper a little too eagerly) but not suffocating or sticky. The scent lasts all day too which was a lovely surprise as my perfumes never seem to last the morning!
Would I repurchase? Yes! But they've stopped making them so I can't which is a bit of a bummer.

Eau Thermale Avène Thermal Water Spray
Yes, yes, I know, what a bourgeoisie product. But if you ever have a spare £3 burning a hole in your pocket then I'd seriously consider an investment in this! In case you weren't aware, it is literally just French thermal spring water in a purse-friendly spray can. I bought it on a whim but it has been indispensable during the sparse summery days of this month just finished. It's cooling and refreshing but it's remarkably soothing for razor burn, sun burn, dry skin, etc. It's incredibly moisturising too for just water!
Would I repurchase? Yes, and I plan to.

The Body Shop Raspberry Shower Gel 
When the Body Shop had unveiled their new ranges of raspberry and passion fruit products, I jumped on the introductory discount of both this and the other scent. Both are nice, but the scents aren't refreshing enough for me - both are very sweet and flat. If I'm being pretentiously picky, I'd also mention that I prefer my shower gels a tad foamier. No real complaints, just not a favourite.
Would I repurchase? No, just because there are nicer, cheaper ones available.

Garnier Moisture Match Moisturiser for Dull Skin 
I used to like this a lot. But then I discovered La Roche-Posay. Need I elaborate?
Would I repurchase? Probably not unless Vichy, La Roche-Posay and Avene all suddenly went bankrupt.

Lavera All-Round Cream
This is a seriously thick and intense moisturiser and nothing is better for my dry elbows! I'm really impressed with how quickly this sinks in and I can't wait to try this out in winter when my nose decides to go all flakey Rudolph on me.
Would I repurchase? Yes, but not until after summer.

Have you tried any of the above? What did you think?

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Friday, 23 May 2014

Post-Election Day: The Lookbook

Being easily embarrassed, I can only imagine that if I were an MP I'd be mortified at the results of an election if they were not in my favour. Inspired by the sudden empathy stirred inside me, I created a lookbook for the disheartened female politician or political devotee. 

There's something gorgeously vicious about this dress - feminine yet with a biting undertone. Upon further inspection, the crimson floral-from-afar print mimics blood splatters. Sporting this merlot speckled cotton-blend dress would mark the perfect end to a battle embarrassingly lost - surrendering in white whilst showing off the bloody wounds to your ego and your faith in the general populace. 

I am of opinion that it is very difficult to go wrong with glossy patent-leather heels. I'm smitten with these Gianvito Rossi offerings and am unfortunately lacking in wine hued heels. Every girl needs a black pair, a nude pair and a burgundy pair - and I'm sadly minus the burgundy ones. If only I could afford to drop £425 on shoes. Maybe one day. 

Ah, the Mulberry Bayswater bag. Classic, iconic, etc. The oak version with brass hardware blends seamlessly with any outfit and is an obvious choice for a long-term day bag. 

Tom Ford makes some beautiful sunglasses, the Josephine style being a constant wishlist presence of mine. These will merrily mask the evidence of your late night waiting for the results, violently F5-ing the BBC News election page and swigging liquor neat out of stress while jiggling your leg irritably. A swipe of Touche Éclait might not hurt either. 
And, of course, the big sun hat of dealing with the current circumstances while embarrassed. Don't let them see how you feel. Intimidate them by appearing emotionless despite that you are emotionally mutilated and just want to go home. 

Treat yourself, go out and try to forget that everyone in the country thinks you're wrong. Start with this lopside-necked Roland Mouret crepe dress. For a show-stopping silhouette, this dress will answer your prayers. Sculpt an alluring hourglass shape and remind yourself that you could pull it off far better than

any your rivals (Most of which men... Still totally counts though.) 

I've had an aversion to T-bar shoes for the longest time but I think this new season SS 2014 beneficence has turned me. Ruthless yet dainty, firm but fair. Etc. clichés. 

Black dress, black shoes, we all know what's missing here - gold. After all, you may be upset but you don't want to draw too much attention away from yourself - it's not a funeral, nobody has died except for your self esteem. Team a slender gold plated chevron necklace and matching ring as your battle armour. And a pretty metallic Louboutin suede clutch with signature blood red faille lining, just because every night look needs a matching clutch. 

I can't say I ever hope I will experience crushing political defeat, but at least I know what I'll wear just in case. 

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Thursday, 15 May 2014

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in Blackest Black Review (New Holy Grail mascara?!)

Oh my days, it has been ages since I've blogged. Apologies readers, I've been drowning in college work and it's been sunny and I just haven't bought much makeup recently so I haven't felt motivated to blog about it.
However, Superdrug's 3 for 2 was too much for me to resist and I needed a reward for skipping lunch to do college work for the third time!
Everyone's seen the iconic Maybelline Great Lash mascara and I had been meaning to try it for ages but never quite got round to it - mainly as I'd read some awful reviews online. This really seems to be a Marmite mascara - either you love it or you hate it... I have more clichés if you'd like to hear them :')
Anyway, I'm very picky about my mascaras as I have short, thick, very curly lashes and I need long lasting length. For £4.99, my curiosity got the better of me.

I was pleasantly surprised! This mascara creates lashes that dance somewhere between glamourous and natural - exactly what I like. I find natural look mascaras end up fading or falling down my face throughout the day, and volumising ones make me look overly made up. This is the perfect every day mascara, the best of both worlds and a decent handbag friendly size, too. (I swear mascara tubes are getting bigger and bigger. No? Just me who thinks that? Ok..)

As for the apparent clumping that others have reported, I've seen none of it! I have sparse eyelashes so I'm extremely susceptible to clumping and I'm delighted to note that this caused so such effects.

As you can see, the wand is very short and - more importantly - tightly woven. I developed a taste for tight, short bristle brushes after experiencing the glory that is Mac's Extended Play Gigablack Lash mascara for an upsetting £15. In my experience, they are the best for lengthening lashes as it extends them from the base. While I'd never hesitate to repurchase my Mac favourite (and Holy Grail mascara), it's very expensive and it's always nice to know that there's a cheaper alternative in case of sudden cash flow issues.

This is definitely a new favourite. Maybe not Holy Grail status, but wow, definitely up there. For £4.99 I have no complaints at all!

Also, one of my best friends has recently started blogging and she's a total babe so give her a follow please? #subtle :') Her blog is called Dandelion Ashes and it's well worth a look!

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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Dupe Tuesday #1: Nars Orgasm Dupes (Except it's Wednesday... Awkward)

I've decided I'll start to run this little series called Dupe Tuesday (and yes, I know I'm publishing this post on a Wednesday!) Every Tuesday, as you might have guessed, I'll do a post about dupes for a high end product. This week, I figured I'd do the legendary Nars Orgasm blush as I know there are many dupes for it and it's a much lusted after product - apart from the bit where it costs £21, that is.

1. Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso | Amazon / Milani | £6.19
Milani is a brand which can be found in drugstores in the US, and sadly not in the UK. However, this pretty little Italian-terracotta-baked blush can be bought on Amazon for the fabulously low price of £6.19! This has been toted by many as Nars Orgasm without the glitter - I didn't know glittery cheeks was a side effect of getting laid? If you're after a more natural flush, I'd give this one a go.

2. Sleek Blush in Rose Gold | Superdrug / Sleek | £4.49
I think everyone has heard of this one by now! This pretty little thing is a total bargain and Sleek are well known for having the most pigmented yet affordable blushes on the high street. While thankfully not a glittery mess, this blush has a very golden undertone which can look strange if applied heavily - approach this one with a light hand (I'm speaking from experience of looking like a goldfish)

3. ELF Studio Blush in Twinkle Pink | ELF | £3.95
Another bargain with this one! I'd say this is the least like Orgasm out of the four, but for the tiny price tag, you can hardly complain! While Sleek's Rose Gold had very gold undertones, (no surprises there considering the name..) Twinkle Pink is a lot more pink than Orgasm. If you're after the cheapest alternative just to give the colour a try, this one is your safest bet.

4. theBalm Hot Mama Blush | Feel Unique / theBalm | £13.50
Ah, the most expensive one out of the lot - but it looks exactly like Orgasm when swatched! Plus, as mentioned in my last post, theBalm's products are free from talc, parabens and cruelty! If you want to save £7.50 and get a healthier peachy glow, then I'd say Hot Mama is the one for you.

Are there any products you'd like to see in the next Dupe Tuesday? Have you tried any of these?

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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

theBalm Wishlist

After noticing theBalm's products being featured on an increasing amount of beauty blogs, I just had to check them out. I'm planning a little haul and this is what I plan to get - if I had unlimited money! I'll probably just go with two of these. But think of this as my shortlist.

FratBoy Blush | theBalm / Feel Unique | £14.50
This peachy blush reminds me a lot of Benefit Coralista! Reviews from Makeup Alley tote FratBoy as Nars Orgasm's non-glittery sister (say that three times fast!) which is a must for me as the glitteriness of Orgasm is really putting me off the £21 price tag!

Sexy Mama Anti-Shine Translucent Powder | theBalm / Feel Unique | £13.50
Ok, so this is a little pricey for a translucent powder - but no talc! (read below about the dangers of talc) I've heard many things about this being good, so I'm tempted. The only thing putting me off is how cheap the alternatives are in comparison - £3.99 for Rimmel Stay Matte vs. £13.50 for this? I'll wait and see how skint I am when I'm doing my haul for this to be properly considered!

INSTAIN Blush in Toile (Strawberry) and Argyle (Petal pink) | theBalm / Feel Unique | £18.50 
These are pretty expensive, to me at least. Again, it's talc free, yay, woo, etc. I'll do some more research on these before I get one, but the colours and packaging are gorgeous - I just hope the formula isn't a let down!

Cindy-Lou Manizer AKA the Con-Tour Artist | theBalm / Feel Unique | £16.00
I'm fairly sure most of the beauty blogosphere has noticed the hype of Cindy's sister, the Mary-Lou Manizer. I was tempted by Cindy as she's a three in one - blush, highlighter, and eyeshadow! The swatch featured on theBalm's website seemed a lot lighter than the one for Mary, so I assumed it would be better for me as I'm very pale. However, swatches I've seen on beauty blogs seem to betray this and Mary is a lot lighter than her peachy sister!

Mary-Lou Manizer AKA the Luminizer | theBalm / Feel Unique | £16.00 
As aforementioned, here's the Mary-Lou Manizer. A more purse-friendly alternative to the seriously glitter heavy Mac Soft & Gentle MSF! A winner to everyone, I'm definitely going to be getting this in the near future.

Being an American brand, I had never heard of theBalm before - but when I did, boy, was I intrigued. Sold to the UK via Feel Unique, theBalm is rare in that their products are paraben and cruelty free, and their powder products are talc free - a massive rarity!

In case you didn't know, parabens are dangerous chemicals which are often found in cosmetics and beauty products as a preservative. They can have very harmful side-effects but, despite this, they are a common ingredient in things such as shampoos and conditioners. Click here for more information.

Talc can also have adverse effects. While it is deemed generally safe in cosmetic use, it can clog pores and cause break outs. Non-cosmetic grade talc also contains dangerous fibres which can cause problems if inhaled in great amounts - this is why it's important not to purchase counterfeit cosmetic products from eBay! Again, more information here.

We all know about animal cruelty in cosmetics. There are cruelty free cosmetic companies, but they are often only available in health shops or may not carry a decent range of products/colours - or, like Lush's line of cosmetics, they're very expensive. It's very pleasing to me that theBalm is a brand which is not extortionately expensive, but is also cruelty free!

I'm a massive advocate of cosmetics without harmful ingredients so I'm so happy that theBalm is making products that won't have any negative side-effects!

Have you tried anything from theBalm?

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Monday, 14 April 2014

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

Firstly, I've been and still am on holiday at the mo, so that explains my unexpected hiatus! Apologies for that as I haven't been in the mood for blogging when there's sunshine to enjoy!

Secondly, I've been nominated for a Very Inspiring Blogger award by Lou from Lou Does Beauty, Lisa from the China Doll Diaries and Eilidh from Ellsdoug! Thanks to all three of you lovely ladies!

As mentioned in step number two, here are the rules:
1. Thank and link the person/s who nominated you
2. List the rules and display the award
3. Share 7 facts about yourself
4. Nominate 5 other blogs and comment on their blogs to let them know you have nominated them. Also provide a link to your post.

Have some facts:

1. I was really obsessed with Grey's Anatomy about a month ago. I got through five seasons in two months ish and I mainly just enjoyed the second and third ones. I stopped after season six as most of my favourite characters had left. (For anyone reading this who's seen it, I still can't get over the fact that George died!) 

2. Eyeliner is my makeup staple and I'm constantly looking to try new and better ones. The longer the staying power the better! Unfortunately I can't seem to find a brown one which stays for very long so I'm stuck with the semi-permanent L'Oreal Superliner Black Lacquer.

3. I have really brittle and flakey nails, and I have a suspicion that it's probably because I barely eat any dairy! I hate milk and I don't eat cheese, yoghurt, or ice cream that regularly either even though I like them. 

4. I used to be such a tomboy when I was about 12/13, I always swore I'd never wear dresses and now they're all I wear!

5. I want to be a journalist when I'm older, although I've wanted to be an author ever since I learnt to write! My dream is to publish a book one day.

6. I'm a massive hoarder of bath products. I love bubble baths and I end up buying loads just so I have a nice selection to choose from when I want to relax. If anyone has any recommendations I'd love to hear them!

7. Speaking of bath time, I used to work at Lush! I actually really didn't like the way they managed things there - but the employee discount was great! My favourite of their products would have to be the Phoenix Rising bath bomb. 

Now for the tags, I tag:

Kathryn from Bit of a Freak
Natasa from Simply Me
Aerin from Berrie Blogs
Bella Rae from Bella Rae Beauty Blabber
Erin from Beauty Loon

I'll be uploading more blog posts this week as I'll be back from my holiday! Thanks again for the nominations!

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