Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The Glamour Beauty Power List Box by Latest in Beauty

The second half of September has been a very busy month for me, so much so that I've had to ignore my blog for a little while! I had the best intentions of creating this post immediately after I'd received the new Glamour box by Latest in Beauty but I jetted off to Prague the same day it arrived (sadly I left my cable at home so I can't transfer my holiday photos to my computer!) Since then, I've been busy with moving back to University and readjusting to student life. Hopefully, now I've settled back into life in Leeds, I can get myself back on track and into some form of schedule as there are so many things I've wanted to write about this month but I simply haven't had the time.

When it comes to beauty boxes I know a lot of people  think they're not worth the money. Subscription services like Birchbox vary so much in quality month to month I never stay subscribed to them for very long - I'm not exactly their most loyal customer but I certainly pick up a box if something inside catches my eye. However, I think the Latest in Beauty boxes are very different: no subscription is required and, in my opinion, they offer better deals. To be honest I thought the Glamour Beauty Power List box would have sold out by now but thankfully you can still get your hands on one if you haven't already! I ordered this box at the beginning of September when I first spotted it advertised in the October issue of Glamour Magazine. Even though this post has been rather delayed, it means I can actually review some of the products as I've had a chance to use them properly instead of just writing about my first impressions. So perhaps there's an upside to my laziness and lack of blogging!

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish 
In my last post, Discovering Skincare, I mentioned how much I love this cleanser so how could I say no to another 30ml sample and an extra muslin cloth? I love everything about this cleanser, from the scent to the way it makes my skin feel and the size is perfect for travelling with as well. This size currently retails for £5.50 and you can find it here

Eyeko Mascara Off Eye Makeup Remover Wipes
I haven't had a chance to try these wipes yet but I can imagine they will be perfect for travelling and they contain Olive Oil and Aloe Extract which hopefully will help avoid the dry, sore feeling I sometimes get after rubbing too hard with an ordinary make-up wipe. You receive 10 wipes and they currently retail for £6.00 here. (Which seems a lot of money for 10 wipes?!) 

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer
This primer is my favourite product in the box by far and can you believe that it's the first ever primer that I've used? You receive a 30ml sample which retails for £18.50 which is more expensive than the entire beauty box! I absolutely love this primer, it leaves my skin feeling silky and my pores are reduced in size and it definitely improves the staying power of my make-up. I'm trying to ration this and use it on special occasions or in the evenings as I simply don't want it to run out! 

Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara
The box includes a full size sample of this mascara (12ml) and retails for £9.99. I've just finished my sample of Benefit's They're Real so this mascara had to compete with one of my all time favourites and it has actually impressed me quite a lot! It doesn't clump, it makes my lashes look longer and fuller and it holds a curl nicely. After one coat my lashes look lovely and suitable for daytime and you can easily apply more coats without sacrificing the separating, volumous effect for a more dramatic look. I only have one tiny complaint about this mascara and that is after a full day of wearing it I notice tiny black smudges on my upper eyelids.

Philip Kingsley Daily Damage Defence
Probably my second favourite product in this box is the 60ml sample of Philip Kingsley's Daily Damage Defence spray which retails for £7.50. I've been using it for about two weeks now and my hair feels soft, shiny and, considering how it desperately needs cutting, my split ends don't look that bad anymore. It detangles when I apply it to wet hair and I've also noticed adding a few spritz of this after drying my hair helps tame fuzz. I also really love the smell and apparently it's the every day equivalent to the famous Elasticizer! 

James Read Sleep Mask Tan
I'll admit it, I'm too scared to try this product as I know if it ends in disaster I have to get up and go to lectures with my face looking bright orange. I'm sure that won't happen, I've read so many reviews about this and they're all positive so if you're looking for a subtle tan apparently this product works wonderfully! I'm not familiar with false tanning so I think I'm going to wait until term ends so I can test this out at home with only my parents around to see the results! This sample is 25ml but I was unable to find the price for this size. The full size contains 50ml costs £25. 

Maybelline Stripped Nudes Lipstick
There are 5 shades of the Stripped Nudes lipstick so the only problem with this is that you might not receive a shade that will suit you. The full size lipstick costs £6.99 and I love the little lace pattern on the bottom of the lipstick! For darker complexions, I don't really think any of the shades will be that suitable but for lighter skin tones there are some lovely shades in the range. I received Sultry Sand (710) and to be honest I was rather disappointed at first as it made me look rather washed out and ghostly. The pigmentation was rather wonderful though, I naturally have pigmented lips and it covered them well! This product is the reason I'm quite happy I waited a while to create this post as I've been playing with this lipstick for a while and I've found that it looks amazing on top of other lipsticks! By adding just a little bit of this over my favourite pink shades I've managed to transform them all into my own, perfect nudes. I suppose this doing this is rather similar to adding concealer over lipstick but the Maybelline Stripped Nudes glide on the lips smoothly and add a lovely, subtle shine! I'm definitely going to be buying more shades from the range and even though this wasn't my ideal shade I've managed to make it work!

As well as receiving 7 products the Glamour Beauty Power List box also includes a 12 month digital subscription worth £15.99! Out of all the beauty boxes I've ever seen, this is by far the best value for money and I think I've discovered some new favourite products as well! 

I also received three promo codes which I thought I would share with you all that are valid until the 31st October 2014:

20% off Eyeko with GLAM20

20% off Philip Kingsley with PKGLAMOUR2014 

A Free L'Oreal Paris Infalliable 24H Lip Colour with your next order at www.latestinbeauty.com with GLAMOCT14


Saturday, 13 September 2014

Discovering Skincare

I'll be honest, I've never really been a skincare kind of girl. I use the Body Shop's Vitamin E Day and Night cream religiously but apart from the odd experiment with various kinds of face wash my interest with skincare has always ended there. Until recently, however. Maybe it's because I've entered another decade of my life and the reality of wrinkles and ageing skin is edging ever closer but since I've turned 20 I've became rather curious about the world of skincare. And let me tell you, it's rather baffling.

I finally understand why toners exist in the world and I'm slowly starting to develop a skincare routine (hurrah!) but I still have a lot of things to try before I find my dream combination of products! My favourite way to discover new products without breaking the bank is to use skincare samples and this week I've been trying out three new products: L'Occitane's Amande Hand CreamClinique's Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle Correcting Eye Cream and the ever so famous Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser by Liz Earle. I've fallen in love with two of the products and I can't stop using them. The Liz Earle Cleanser and L'Occitane Amande Hand Cream have been my skincare favourites this week and they were wonderful to use. Together, they've added a little luxury into my life which is a great treat after a stressful day at work!

 L'Occitane's Amande Hand Cream
The scent of this hand cream is so gorgeous and I often find myself wishing I could eat the entire tube! It just smells so delicious and it has a really comforting scent - I'm constantly reaching for it when my hands a feeling a little bit dry. Enriched with Almond Oil and Milk, this hand cream is soothing and really helps to soften the skin. Unlike many of the hand creams I've tried in the past, this feels light and manages to absorb quickly into the skin without sacrificing any of its moisturising qualities. I'm really impressed by L'Occitane and I can't wait to try out more of their products.

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser
Who hasn't heard of this cleanser? I received this sample in my May Birchbox but I was so busy with exams at the time I didn't get round to testing it out. I usually remove my make-up really quickly with Simple Cleansing Wipes so using a liquid cleanser and muslin cloth was a strange experience.  In the morning I use this on my face before moisturiser and at night I prefer to remove my eye-make first then use the cleanser to remove the rest of my make-up. The all-natural ingredients are brilliant for sensitive skin and the hype around this product is truly deserved! My skin was left feeling really clean, smooth and soft and the scent was so relaxing!

Clinique's Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle Correcting Eye Cream
To be honest, I didn't really enjoy using this eye cream and I'm so glad I had a sample of this instead of buying the full sized product. If I applied this in the morning before my make-up it didn't absorb very well and my concealer started creasing and when I applied it at night the effect wasn't as impressive as my beloved Vitamin E Night cream! Maybe older women would benefit more from this eye-cream and its wrinkle correcting effects (I should probably give this back to my mum!) but I personally didn't see or feel a difference when I applied this. It isn't a bad product, it moisturised my eye area a little, but it didn't blow me away either.

If you have any skincare recommendations I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!

(The Cleanser was part of my May Birchbox, the Clinique Eyecream was a gift from my mum and the L'Occitane handcream was free when I used a voucher from L'Occitane)


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

A Day in Edinburgh

I mentioned rather briefly in my previous post that I spent Sunday afternoon in the beautiful city of Edinburgh and, even though I'm terrible when it comes to taking photographs on day trips, I thought I'd write a little post about my day. There's definitely a deep sense of wanderlust inside of me and I don't think it's going to go away any time soon. My boyfriend and I absolutely love to travel (trips to Prague, London and Paris have already been booked for the remainder of 2014) and our spontaneous visit to Edinburgh was a lovely break from work! We even managed to book first class return tickets for £40 each and now I've experienced the luxury of having room to actually stretch out on a train it's going to be painful having to go back to standard seating! 

We arrived at Newcastle station in time for our 11 o'clock train only to find we had been delayed an hour. This was rather annoying as everything shuts so early on a Sunday but we entertained ourselves by having an early lunch (Sainsbury's finest meal deal!) and by feeding a poor one-legged pigeon who was hopping around at our feet. To be honest I'm not usually a fan of pigeons (who is?) but this little guy was rather small, cute and fluffy! We arrived in Edinburgh at half past 1 and, as it was my first ever visit to Scotland, we decided to walk up the Royal Mile and take a look at the castle. The buildings were beautiful, the haggis stayed very far away from my mouth (yuck!) and tartan was absolutely everywhere. I made a little mental note that if I was ever in need of a tartan scarf again, Edinburgh was the place to visit! A couple of shops had some lovely tartan blankets that I really wanted for my room at University but I didn't fancy carrying it around for the rest of the day. As the day went on it began to get a little bit chilly so I quickly popped into H&M and bought a jumper to keep me warm as I seem to never bring appropriate clothing with me... But then I get to go shopping, so maybe that's a good thing? 

This wasn't actually the outfit I was wearing that day, to be honest it's what I'm wearing right now but I thought I'd take a quick photo of my jumper so you could all see what I purchased. I didn't actually have time to try it on in the shop and I picked up a Small (which according to H&M is a 10-12) so it's actually a little bit big but I prefer it that way! It's so comfortable and warm and I love cream/white shade, I can see it becoming a staple in my Autumn/Winter wardrobe! 

We didn't stay in the newer part of town for very long, shopping wasn't really on the agenda for the day, and we had booked a tour of Mary King's Close for 3:45 pm. Whilst we waited, my boyfriend and I both had a milky way milkshake from a quirky little place called The City Cafe and it was way too yummy to waste time taking a photo of, sorry guys! Twenty minutes later we headed back to the Royal Mile, feeling a tiny bit sick whoops, and it was time for the tour. Mary King's Close is an underground street in Edinburgh that used to have houses ten storeys high. The top five were demolished to make room for Royal Exchange and the remaining five were used as its foundations. This meant part of the close has survived underground and the tour took place in these abandoned streets. It was actually a really interesting and exciting experience and tales of the plague, murder and ghosts accompanied the tour. If you ever visit Edinburgh you should definitely go down and have a look, it's amazing how there's a street right underneath your feet when you walk along the Royal Mile!

After the tour we headed over to the new part of town and wandered the streets, looking for somewhere to eat before we made our journey home. It was during this time that I spotted Anthropolgie and spent the next hour swooning over everything in the store! If you'd like to see what I really wanted to buy (sadly I'm too busy saving up for Prague to spend any money) you can check out my wishlist here. We decided to eat in a small restaurant over the road from Anthrpologie called Mad dogs and I ordered the steak whilst my boyfriend had the enchiladas. The food was quite nice, not amazing but still rather tasty, and we ordered a cocktail to accompany our meal! I ordered some raspberry lemon-y concoction which was quite sharp but very refreshing! We finished our meal and still had an hour or so left before our 9 o'clock train so, after googling the best bars in Edinburgh, the Guardian's list directed us to an amazing place called The Bon Vivant on Thistle Street which also sells food and I wish we'd eaten here instead! I didn't manage to take any photos as my camera just couldn't handle the dim lighting, but the place was decorated so nicely and I'm determined to copy their candles that they place in empty alcohol bottles and allow the wax to drip down them! If you google the bar you can find a few images of what I'm taking about. The service and drinks were brilliant, if you're ever in Edinburgh you should definitely make a visit! We only had time to order one cocktail before we hopped back on the train at 9 o'clock and I was rather exhausted after walking around for so long. I had a wonderful day in Edinburgh and I've really enjoyed writing a post about travel, hopefully I'll feature more very soon on my blog!

Have you ever been to Edinburgh before? Where are your favourite places to visit there?


Monday, 8 September 2014

Wishlist | The Anthropologie Edit

Yesterday I hopped on the train and made my first ever visit to Scotland and I explored the beautiful city of Edinburgh. After making all the essential tourist stops I headed over to the newer part of town with my boyfriend to find a place to eat. As we were looking, I stumbled across Anthropologie and I actually let out a squeak of excitement, I didn't even realise they had a store outside of London! Dragging my boyfriend away from restaurant hunting we went into the store I actually felt like I was in heaven, if I had to pick a store which represented myself completely it would be Anthropologie. Everything looks and smells beautiful and, surprisingly, it was the home and beauty sections that excited me the most! 

Everything in the bedroom/bathroom section at Anthropologie is so dainty and delicate but I've completely fallen in love with the Tindari Quilt. I've always been a fan of the blue and white colour scheme and the watercolour effect and paisley-like design adds an additional air of elegance. The bedding reminds me of the little china cups my Grandma used to have in her kitchen and the little frills on the pillows and at the top of the quilt are a wonderful girly touch. £148 for a quilt is ridiculously expensive, but a girl can dream right?

It was my boyfriend who actually made me smell this perfume in the store and he and I are both in agreement that this actually smells so much better than the majority of perfumes on the market. The packaging is adorable and the price isn't too bad either. From what I can find on the internet, this perfume was created by Marypierre Julien of Givaudan and contains pink peppercorns, Darjeeling tea, grapefruit, wisteria, amber wood, cashmere musk and the scent of ancient Alba roses. I don't know how helpful that will be to most people but this perfume smells amazing and it is now at the top of my birthday wishlist!

Scent - Volcano: 'tropical fruits, sugared oranges, lemons and limes, redolent with lightly exotic mountain greens'

If you ever enter an Anthropologie store and wonder what they're using to make the room smell so good, the Volcano candle is apparently the answer! At least that was what the store was burning in Edinburgh and I spent at least ten minutes hunting around the store to find what they were burning! Both my boyfriend and I absolutely loved the smell and it's the perfect mixture of floral and fruity. It took a lot of persuading for my boyfriend to drag me out of the store without this candle (I think he was trying to stop himself from buying one too!) and I'm really regretting leaving this behind! 

I constantly misplace my rings and bracelets after taking them off before the shower or before going to sleep. These trinket dishes are so cute and they would be absolutely perfect to store my jewellery and I think the little dish would look so pretty in my bathroom! You can't tell that well from the pictures on my blog but when you zoom in on the website you can see that they have beautiful, intricate patterns engraved in the stone! 

Are you lusting over anything from Anthrpologie? Let me know in the comments below!


Thursday, 4 September 2014

Current Favourite Lipsticks

(Left to Right: Rimmel Apocalips in Apocalyptic, Mac Up the Amp, Calvin Klein Delicious Luxury Creme Lipstick in Henna)

I have a confession to make... I'm a little bit obsessed with buying lipstick. I can't help myself, whenever I'm near a make-up counter I always gravitate towards the lipstick section. So, the other month I sat down with my collection of lipsticks and I had a huge sort out. It was painful but definitely worth it, you wouldn't believe how many rose coloured lipsticks I had! Anyway, during this process I discovered some hidden gems that had found their way to the back of my collection and now I can't stop reaching for them!

My favourite alternative to a statement red lip is currently Rimmel Apocalips in the hot pink shade Apocalyptic. I've mentioned the Apocalips before in my Festival Beauty Essentials post and I have 4 in total. I remember my excitement back in 2012 before they were released and they're still a favourite of mine today, especially the bold, brighter colours. Apocalypic is a beautiful hot pink with blue undertones and it's insanely pigmented, creamy and opaque. Like the rest of the line, it has a satiny finish which dries matte after a few hours and the staying power is fantastic! I prefer to apply Apocalyptic with a lip brush for a more accurate application!

Probably one of the most daring shades in my collection is Mac's Up the Amp and as Autumn slowly approaches I find myself reaching for this more and more when I want to spice up a simple outfit. It's an Amplified Creme (my favourite finish) and Mac describes the shade as a lavender violet, a purple shade that's not too bold and not too dark. The lipstick applies smoothly, has a creamy texture and a shiny finish and it looks beautiful on bronzed skin.

My final favourite is from Calvin Klein, a brand I didn't even realise made make-up until I stumbled across this lipstick on the Fragrance Direct website for only £1.99! They retail at £13.50 so this was an absolute bargain and I'm definitely going to buy some more! (I also have Rose Rush which is gorgeous!) I have the shade Henna, a pretty nude pink shade and it reminds me a lot of Cream Cup from Mac, although Cream Cup is a bit lighter and has deeper, blue undertones to it. It's quite pigmented and has a matte finish. My only issue with this lipstick is that it's a little bit drying but this isn't anything a lip balm can't fix! The packaging isn't that glamorous either but for the Fragrance Direct price of £1.99 it's easy to overlook.

What lipsticks are you loving right now?

© Beauty and the Brunette. All rights reserved.
BLOGGER TEMPLATE BY pipdig. Edited by Beauty and the Brunette.