Thursday, 3 December 2015

November Favourites 2015

Originally, this post started out as a rather belated birthday beauty haul but as time went on and my love for each gift grew stronger it seemed a little more appropriate to turn this post into my November Favourites instead. So, what was once a very late birthday post has now turned into a perfectly timed monthly favourites. How convenient! My makeup dreams basically came true on my 22nd birthday and it's safe to say that all of my friends and family seem to know that I'm a complete beauty addict now. I'm still overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of my nearest and dearest and I'm not ashamed to admit that I actually still squeal every time I reach for my Chanel (yes - Chanel!) Lipstick and Hourglass Blush.  To be honest, throughout November I really do feel like I've been living in a Beauty Blogger's heaven. 

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Christmas | Last Minute Advent Calendars

beauty advent calendars 2015 
I feel like there are 2 kinds of people when it comes to Christmas. The super organised type who've probably finished their Christmas shopping before December even begins and people like me who tend to leave everything until the last minute and thank the lucky stars for Amazon Prime. If you're like myself then it'll probably come as quite a shock when I tell you that we're only11 days away from the start of December! Uh oh...

If you haven't picked up an advent calendar yet then I've carefully selected the best of the beauty calendars (and a couple of miscellaneous ones) you can still get your hands on. It feels like everybody has released a calendar this year so thankfully there are still plenty to choose from. Starting with the most expensive, my beauty over £60 picks are as follows:

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Lush | Love Lettuce Face Mask

Fresh Face Mask 

I've went from being completely new to world of Lush Fresh Face Masks to being utterly smitten with them in the time it takes to use up of one tub of Love Lettuce. After spending a good ten minutes or so 'umming' and 'ahhing' in the Newcastle store a little while ago I finally settled on Love Lettuce as my first face mask and I couldn't be happier with my choice. Seeking something that could calm down my oily skin and give me a brighter complexion Love Lettuce seemed to be the perfect fit. Targeted as an 'effective, exfoliating face mask' for normal to oily skin this mask promises to balance skin and provide a radiant glow with the help of ingredients such as Lavender Oil and Fullers Earth and I have to admit, it does do an amazing job.

The Lavender Oil in Love Lettuce targets oil in the skin and aims to reduce sebum production whilst calming the appearance of any redness. Sometimes I apply a very light layer of this mask to quickly balance out my skin if I'm having a particularly oily day and it's the perfect pick me up! Love Lettuce also contains Kaolin Clay and Fullers Earth to absorb oil and deeply cleanse and I adore the way the two types of clay dry on the skin and have a tightening effect. It definitely makes you feel like some serious cleansing is happening. To prevent the skin from drying out the clever people at Lush also added Honey, one of my favourite natural ingredients, and Almond Oil to Love Lettuce so even after all that exfoliating (thanks to the Ground Almond Shells) my skin still remains hydrated.
Fresh Face Mask 
Okay, so maybe Love Lettuce isn't the most attractive face mask out there! 
No other beauty product makes me feel as pampered as a face mask and after wearing Love Lettuce for 10 minutes (or maybe 20 if I'm taking a relaxing bath!) I honestly feel like I have brand new skin. I apply this onto freshly cleansed skin and remove with warm water, scrubbing in circular motions to fully feel the exfoliating effect of the ground almond shells. Love Lettuce does, however, provide a rather intense exfoliation as the almond shells are quite hard so if you have sensitive skin I'd be careful when you're scrubbing! My T-Zone feels balanced and my entire face feels ridiculously soft and my skin certainly looks much more radiant for days afterward.

Due to the fresh ingredients in Lush's Fresh Face Masks you do need to keep them in the fridge and they apparently expire after approximately 3-4 weeks. Honestly though, I was using mine after my recommended expiration date (found on the back of the tub) and I had no issues. These dates are just estimations after all. As long as it looks and smells the same and there's no pesky mold to be found (gross - I know) I usually continue to use it until I've finished the pot. I managed to get 10 face masks out of Love Lettuce - some masks were applied rather thickly and others thinly -  so when you do the math it's pretty good value for money. For 75g each Lush Fresh Face Mask costs £6.75 and when you break it down 68p per application really isn't bad at all!

I adore Love Lettuce. I really think I might have picked the perfect Lush Face Mask for my skin first time around but of course I'm addicted now and I can't wait to try more. I'm thinking about picking up another pot Love Lettuce because I can't imagine life without it now as well as a mask without exfoliating properties so I can alternate between the two. I have my eye on Cranberry (simply because it's nearly Christmas!) and Ayesha - a mask with honey, asparagus and kiwi!

Do you have a favourite Lush Face Mask? 
I'd love to hear your recommendations! 

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Exploring French Skincare with Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré

Embryolisse's Lait-Crème Concentré Review
Apart from dabbling a little with a few La Roche Posay products the realm of French Skincare is still rather strange to me. Of course, we've all heard the rave reviews by now from bloggers and glossy magazines alike about how the French simply cannot be beaten when it comes to skincare products so naturally I've been rather curious to try out more from different brands. But sometimes it's a little difficult to decide where to start. So, when I was offered the opportunity to try out Embryolisse's Lait-Crème Concentré* I excitedly jumped at the chance. I've heard so much about this product and I couldn't wait to see if this little tube lived up to all of that hype for myself. But hey, if it's good enough for Elle Macpherson then it must certainly be doing something right. My jaw dropped when I recently found out she was 51!

A favourite among makeup artists for its versatility, this simple cream has many uses, ranging from a moisturiser, a primer, an after-shave balm and a makeup remover.  Personally, I only tend to use this regularly as a moisturiser but I've been investigating this cream as much as possible and I can vouch that it removes eye make-up really well without causing any irritation. I just prefer to stick to my usual routine (Simple Wipes followed by Garnier's Micellar Water) but if I ever need to pack light for a trip away this cream always comes with me. As for its uses as a primer, I tend to need a little extra help around my T-Zone if I'm going to be wearing makeup all day. If I'm only pottering around and intending on removing my makeup by 6 o'clock then my combination skin seems to be able to keep the oil at bay but I wouldn't ever say that the Lait-Crème Concentré would replace primer in my routine completely. As a primer I think it's a nice alternative to use on a more relaxed makeup day: it hydrates, smooths the skin for an easier makeup application and it does help to control oil to a certain extent without mattifying the skin.

Embryolisse's Lait-Crème Concentré is probably best known as a moisturiser and for my skin it provides just the right amount of hydration for daily use. The cream itself is rather rich but it has quite a thin consistency once applied. When warmed up between the palms a little really does go a long way and I usually only need a pea-sized amount to cover my entire face. It leaves quite a glowing (not greasy!) finish and overall my skin looks much healthier since I've been using this. I've found it to be a truly gentle cream that hasn't caused any irritation and when I was suffering from dry, flaky skin around my nose - thanks to a horrible cold - this was the only cream I found that didn't sting when applied it onto my poor, sore nose. I've even used it on my hands and irritated areas of my legs post-shaving and it has worked wonderfully!

I think the hype around this cream really stems from the simplicity of Lait-Crème Concentré: it's a no fuss cream that gets the job done. It's gentle, has a very mild fragrance and feels lightweight on the skin. I have a feeling that you might not be impressed with this cream if you're on either end of the skin spectrum (with either very dry or very oily skin) but if you're looking for a gentle, hydrating multi-purpose product that doesn't cost a fortune I can't recommend Embryolisse's Lait-Crème Concentré enough! Of course, all skincare is subjective and what works for me might not work for you but for £13 for 30ml it's worth giving it a go just to see if you agree with the hype or not! I certainly do and if you've tried it already I'd love to know your thoughts in the comments below!

You can purchase Embryolisse's Lait-Crème Concentré from Boots or online at Feel Unique and Cult Beauty.
*This post contains a Press Sample sent for review.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

A Belated Birthday Dinner at Rossopomodoro!

I absolutely adore going out for dinner and it's a huge part of my life even though it's something I never document here on my blog.  I can't think of anything better than sitting down for a meal with friends and having a wonderful catch up and this Thursday I did exactly that with the lovely Julie-Ann: one of my best friends and the writer of Our Dreams Of Fashion. We enjoyed some very belated birthday celebrations for my 22nd birthday at the new Italian restaurant in John Lewis called Rossopomodoro and they were actually kind enough to provide Julie-Ann and I with a complimentary 3 course meal for our visit. 

You'll find Rossopomodoro located on the first floor of John Lewis, nicely situated on a balcony overlooking the rest of Eldon Square. It's a lovely way to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy shopping centre without straying too far away from the shops and I have to say it looks particularly beautiful at this time of year with all the twinkling Christmas lights overhead. The restaurant itself is rather modern with quirky little features adorning the walls including cute little phrases like 'Get A Pizza This', pictures on the ceilings and the most amazing glittering gold oven which wouldn't look out of place on Pinterest.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Review | bareMinerals Blemish Remedy Foundation

bareMinerals Blemish Remedy Foundation 
If you look inside my everyday makeup bag you'll find what I like to call my 'Holy Trinity' of bases. The three bases cover me for any type of skin day and whether I'm having a terrible breakout or enjoying one of those rare but wonderful clear skin days I know my trio, either individually or combined, can tackle any skin situation. Until fairly recently the members of my Holy Trinity were as follows: bareMinerals Complexion Rescue (reviewed here) for those good skin days, Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation as a heavier base and my 'can-cover-anything' base: bareMinerals Original foundation. I'm telling you all this because something I never thought would happen has happened... the oldest member of my trio (a member for 7 years in fact!) has been replaced by bareMineral's new Blemish Remedy Foundation*. And that's one hell of a big deal! 
bareMinerals Blemish Remedy 
The new Blemish Remedy foundation has in fact replaced my bareMinerals Original foundation, the base I've repurchased more times than any other makeup product I've ever owned. As my skin has slowly been getting more oily over the past few years I've found the lovely glowing finish of the Original foundation has started to border on shiny after 4 to 5 hours wear. And as I'm not the biggest fan of a matte finish I've never made the switch to their Matte foundation. The reason I adore Blemish Remedy so much is that it applies and wears as beautifully as the original but the finish is absolutely perfect for my combination/oily skin. It glows from within, with an almost velvet finish, and it also helps battle any pesky blemishes in the process. And that new packaging... I cannot wait to talk to you about the new design! 

How is it different? 
For me, the new Blemish Remedy foundation gets an A* for application, wear-time and finish. In a similar way to the Original foundation the coverage is build-able, you can apply a light dusting across your face to even out your complexion or apply with a heavier hand to reach full coverage. The thing I adore about bareMinerals's Mineral Foundation line is that you can apply extra coverage to just the problem areas of your skin without your base looking uneven and it never has a cakey finish. Since I've now been gifted with oily skin, I find Blemish Remedy has a longer staying power than the Original for my skin type. One of Blemish Remedy's major selling points is its ability to reduce skin oil and in a survey of 102 women, 100% of them experienced this reduction. By comparing the two BM foundations directly I also witnessed this difference and instead of blotting at the 4 hour stage I felt that I didn't really need to blot at all throughout the working day! My skin had a lovely finish to it too, leaning slightly towards the matte side but with a hint of that glow the Original formula gives you.

Of course I can't talk about the Blemish Remedy foundation without discussing its blemish fighting properties. The added ingredients of Aspen Bark and Tea Tree Oil help tackle any pesky spots and even though this doesn't magically make spots disappear by the end of the day I definitely noticed a reduction in redness and it helps to soothe and calm those angry looking spots. You can certainly smell the Tea Tree Oil in Blemish Remedy (as soon as I opened it up I was hit with the smell which is actually quite refreshing!) but if you're not a fan of scented products don't worry, the smell doesn't linger when applied to the skin.

I've actually been testing this foundation since August and it has performed wonderfully in so many different situations. I've worn this in the heat, during some of my biggest breakouts and when I've had clear skin and I honestly can't find any fault with this. When I initially tried this throughout August I hardly had any blemishes all month and I was worried that the Aspen Bark and Tea Tree Oil would eventually dry my skin out if I wore it on a regular basis. Yet, my skin remained hydrated and healthy and I even noticed a reduction in the pores around my nose. BareMinerals have added Aloe to help soothe the blemishes but this special ingredient also helps keep the skin hydrated so there's no need to worry about dry, flaky skin which I find occurs with so many blemish fighting products!

Shade Range 
Blemish Remedy is available in 10 shades, ranging from 01 Clearly Porcelain (which is the shade I own) to 10 Clearly Almond. The range is significantly smaller than the Original formulation which offers 20 shades so I definitely recommend popping to a bareMinerals counter to get colour matched even if you're already a long time wearer of bareMinerals foundations. Hopefully they'll add more shades soon!

For reference, Clearly Porcelain is slightly lighter than my usual Original shade (I think I could also wear 02 Clearly Pearl but as this was a Press Sample I didn't swatch them side by side) but it suits me perfectly for this time of year. I usually wear Fairly Light in the Original foundation, Vanilla in Complexion Rescue and Light 1 in the Correcting Concealer!

bareMinerals Blemish Remedy 
I cannot express how much I adore the packaging for Blemish Remedy! If you're one on those people who always forgets to twist the sifter back before popping the lid back on the Original foundation then the new design will literally change your life (you don't want to know how many times I've done this and found myself covered in foundation over the years!) And if you're not forgetful like I am... well the new packaging is simply much more of a pleasure to use. The design itself is sleeker and it feels much more luxurious and the new mesh device is really clever! I've found myself using less product because of it and much less foundation tends to escape onto my bathroom floor. The product is only released when you apply pressure to the mesh and you simply press your buffing brush down onto the mesh circle and the product is transferred directly into the brush. Then you just tap off any excess before applying to the skin.
bareMinerals Blemish Remedy
Wearing bareMinerals Blemish Remedy in Clearly Porcelain* with Rimmel's Stay Matte Translucent Powder on top.

Blemish Remedy contains 6g of foundation and retails for £26.00 (the same price as the Original!) If you haven't guessed already I adore this foundation and if you're a fan of mineral products or suffering from oily skin then I'm sure you'll love this just as much as I do! I'm ridiculously excited for the rest of the range to make its way over from America too, I've already been having a snoop around Sephora! 

How do you feel about Mineral Foundation?
Would you be tempted to try bareMinerals's newest base?
* This post contains a Press Sample but as you probably all know by now all the enthusiasm, swooning and love for bareMinerals is completely my own!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Lush | Intergalactic Bath Bomb Review

Lush Intergalactic Bath Bomb
The first thing I gravitate towards when I step into Lush has always been, and will always continue to be, their bath bombs. In my most recent Lush Haul you might have seen that I managed to have some form of self-control and I only picked up 2 bath bombs: Twilight, an old favourite of mine, and one of Lush's newer releases and the focus of this review - Intergalactic. Retailing at £3.95 per bath bomb Intergalactic promises to transform your bath water into the Milky Way and transport you across the galaxy. The colour of this bomb is what initially caught my eye in the store and the vivd blue, yellow and fluorescent pink elements of Intergalactic create the prettiest swirling patterns as it explodes. And, to the delight of the inner child within me, it also features a serious amount of golden glitter and it even has popping candy! To say I was excited to use this is definitely an understatement. 

Ingredient-wise, Intergalactic's most dominant scent definitely stems from the Peppermint Oil. I'm not the biggest fan of minty scents but I have to admit I enjoyed this much more than I was expecting. The scent of peppermint wasn't as sharp as a lot of mint scented products I've used and I think that has something to do with the added Grapefruit Oil which offers something a little bit more refreshing to the overall scent of Intergalactic. At the same time, the scent of this bath bomb somehow manages to soothe and relax you whilst you're in the tub (thanks to Vetivert Oil & Cedarwood Oil) and it subtly lingers on the skin after you've hopped out of the bath. 
Lush Intergalactic Bath Bomb

Friday, 16 October 2015

What would you do to get Noticed? | #SPGETNOTICED

Getting yourself noticed is becoming increasingly harder. Whether it's in the blogging world or just generally in working life making yourself stand out and resonate in somebody's mind is such a challenging task. I've stumbled across so many amazing blogs in my years who hardly have any followers and I used to always wonder why. But promoting yourself, tweeting like your life depends on it and just being very present at all times really is the key to gaining a bigger audience. 

I was recently contacted by Solopress and asked if I would like to take part in their Get Noticed competition. The prize is really special and the winner will get to design and create their very own billboard and place it in a city of their choice! You can use this billboard to promote yourself in any way, whether it's some kind of visual CV or a way to promote yourself as a blogger and gain more followers. To get me started, Solopress kindly sent me this adorable personalised kit and allowed me to create my very own business cards! I'm so happy with how they turned out and now I won't feel like a numpty when I'm at blogger events and everyone else is exchanging business cards. To carry my business cards they sent me this adorable leather card holder with my initials on it and I also have my own personalised pencils - how cool is that?!

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Beauty Wishlist #3 - The Autumn Edit

I've only discovered one problem with being a blogger and it has to do with the fact that I now want absolutely every single makeup product on the planet. Okay, so that's a little bit of an exaggeration but the 'Beauty Wishlist' note that I keep on my iPhone has reached a completely ridiculous length and in an attempt to control my spending and avoid any impulse buys I thought I would put together another Wishlist Post. Plus, my birthday is in less than a month so at least I have a valid reason to treat myself. Prepare for an overload of Autumn hues - think dusty rose shades, lots of soft but musky lavenders and enough metallic, golden shadows to paint the eyelids of the entire nation! And, of course, there's a few essentials thrown into the mix. So, here's what I'm dying to get my hands on this Autumn and I'd love to know if any of you have tried any of the products above! Make sure you let me know what's on your Wishlist for Autumn too... I'm sure I'll find space to add to mine before the season is over!


Sunday, 27 September 2015

Soufeel Charm Bracelet

Soufeel Charms
I was looking through my jewellery box a couple of months ago and I discovered my old Pandora collection. I used to adore collecting charms when I was younger and stumbling across them made me realise how much I still loved the style and concept. I was desperate to start updating and maturing my collection considering 15 year old me obviously thought the right thing to do was to buy every bloody animal charm imaginable (seriously, I have the tortoise, cat, horse, bear, hedgehog... need I go on?) My only problem? Pandora is so unbelievably expensive these days and to be perfectly honest with you there are other things in life I'd rather spend £40+ on (I'm looking at you Jo Malone!) So I decided to hunt for cheaper alternatives and funnily enough a few weeks later an email appeared in my inbox from Soufeel who kindly offered to send over a bracelet and 5 charms for  me to review. The universe can act is such mysterious, freaky ways sometimes but I'm definitely not complaining!

Soufeel are a company based in Hong Kong but they ship all over the world and provide free shipping over £39 and a 365 day returns policy. They seem to always have a sale on and they have really great discounted items too so I found their prices to be really reasonable. I was quite impressed to learn that their charms are 925 Sterling Silver (exactly like Pandora!) and they used Swarovski crystals in their jewellery too. This being said I was still a bit wary and unsure what to expect when my bracelet arrived. I was, after all, once a huge Pandora snob but in all honesty I was truly surprised and really impressed when my Soufeel jewellery landed on my doorstep. So much so that I'm actually considering putting in another order next month! 
Soufeel Charms
Onto the charms! When I started narrowing down my choices I didn't really have a theme in mind but my finished result has a kind of beachy vibe to it...with a random Eiffel Tower stuck in for good measure! Paris obsessed I couldn't resist the Eiffel Tower charmand it reminds me of the wonderful time I had in the city last Christmas (which I actually blogged about here if you were interested!) The thing I was concerned about when I picked this charm was the colour of the silver itself. I was hoping for a bright, shiny silver and not a darker, dull colour and I was so happy when it was exactly as pictured and what I was imagining it to be. Next up is my little Starfish charm*! I know I was trying to stray away from the whole animal charm theme but I could not resist this cute little guy. The crystals really sparkle in the light and I love the pop of colour it adds to the bracelet. My Equinox Flower Murano Glass Charmis probably my favourite of the 5 and I can't quite capture in a photograph how beautiful this is. As you move your wrist the colours change from purple to an almost red/pink colour then to orange and it's literally like there's a sunset captured inside the glass. The Pearl Pendant Charmis a piece I thought would actually look beautiful in so many situations: on a necklace, with a group or even alone on a bracelet. My final charm, which I can't seem to find on the website anymore, is my Silver Crystal Charm*. To complete the overall look I wanted to add more silver and an extra bit of sparkle is always a bonus.

For the bracelet I opted for the Double Silver Grey Leather charm bracelet which seems to be out of stock at the moment but the Single version can be found here. In retrospect I actually wish I'd picked up the single version as the double one that I picked out is a little bit too big for me. Considering I have tiny wrists (I wear the smallest Pandora size) this was my own fault but as far as quality goes I'm really impressed with this. The colour is lovely and the quality of the leather is identical to my Pandora one and the clasp is really secure. I think it looks wonderful with the 5 charms and I can't fault it or Soufeel as a company in any way really!

Eiffel Tower Charm: £16 |Starfish Charm: £20 |Murano Glass Charm: £20 |Pearl Charm: £20
If I was ordering from Soufeel myself for the first time one thing that would definitely worry me would be shipping/handling and how the items are packaged. I didn't exactly keep track of how quickly my order arrived but I know it was just over the week mark. My items arrived safely and were secured in a box lined with bubblewrap and the items themselves were contained inside a bubblewrap protective envelope (the yellow parcel in the photo above!) Each charm was packaged individually inside a lovely lined Soufeel box with the prettiest blue ribbon and they even included a gift bag just in case! 
Soufeel jewellery
With their 365 day returns policy, cheap prices and lovely packaging I have to say I'm truly impressed with Soufeel as a company. What do you all think of their jewellery and the pieces I picked out? 

If you'd like to shop at Soufeel I also have a coupon code for my readers which entitles you to 5% off any order. Simply enter BLOG5 at the checkout and you're good to go!
* This post contains a PR Sample that was gifted for review however I am not sponsored by Soufeel and no affiliate links have been used! 

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Instagram Diary No.2

Beauty and the Brunette

It's been just over 2 months since my first Instagram Diary and I couldn't think of a better time to post this other than on a lazy Sunday morning! This summer hasn't been too eventful but a couple of exciting things have occurred between this Instagram post and my last, including the fact that I graduated from University with a BA in English Literature! I'm not exactly too sure what to do with myself right now and I feel like I'm living in limbo with job-hunting slowly taking over my life (seriously, if anybody needs a new Content Marketing Assistant / PR Assistant / Digital or Social Media Anything I volunteer as tribute!) but whatever happens I'm pretty excited for the future and I actually cannot wait for Autumn to finally arrive! I can't decide whether I'm more excited about cosy knitwear, berry lips or thought of a crackling fireplace at night. What's your favourite thing about Autumn?

I'm still a complete and utter failure at sticking to an Instagram theme but I suppose some things will never change! I've picked up so many new products in the past few months and I can't wait to write about them: my favourites so far have to be bareMinerals' new Blemish Remedy foundation and the Balm's Cindy Lou-Manizer highlighter (which I bought so spontaneously after falling instantly in love after seeing it on a random YouTuber's cheeks). Non-beauty wise I've developed a little bit of an addiction to suede and I now own 2 suede skirts - a mini and a midi - and I don't think I'll be taking them off until next March. I also finally picked up my phone case of dreams from Rifle Paper Co. I'd been eyeing the Paris case up for almost half a year now and I finally found it online (and on sale for too!) at the Northlight Homestore and I'm so unbelievably happy with it.

A few other exciting beauty related things include my new found love for coloured eyeliner, specifically emerald green. After picking up Latest In Beauty's Awards box (you can find my post on this here) I fell in love with Daniel Sandler's Green Velvet eyeliner and it's such a fun way to add a pop of colour into a makeup look. And, speaking of Latest In Beauty, I was also one of their Winner's Box Competition winners and I was kindly gifted a Winner's Box which is probably the best beauty box I've ever received! Did any of you buy it?


Friday, 18 September 2015

bareMinerals Pop of Passion Lip Oil-Balms

Pop of Passion
This post has been sitting in my drafts for quite some time now and I've been itching to tell you about the new lip formula I've been absolutely obsessed with for the past few months. Ideally I really wanted to include swatches of these Oil-Balms on my lips but the changing weather has simply wreaked  havoc and my poor lips aren't exactly looking too fabulous right now. It happens every year, my lips are so sensitive (seriously any recommendations on intensive lip care would really appreciated! I've tried Nivea, Nuxe, Blistex... the lot!), so it's really my own silly fault for not swatching them earlier. So you'll simply have to live with some dodgy arm swatches for now, sorry guys!

Anyway, onto the gorgeous Pop of Passion Lip Oil-Balms from bareMinerals which I'm sure you've all heard of by now. I have three shades: Plumberry Pop*, Tangerine Pop* and Peach Passion and it's taken all of my willpower not to buy the entire collection. I was kindly sent the two 'Pop' shades from bareMinerals (alongside one of collection's Blush Balms which I've reviewed here) and I loved the formula so much I just had to pick up a more subtle Passion shade for the days when I was in the mood for a neutral lip. In total there are 8 colours in the collection, 4 Pop shades and 4 Passion shades, and for once I think I love every single colour!

Monday, 7 September 2015

A Little LUSH Haul!

After purchasing the newly formulated Rose Jam Bubbleroon a month ago (which is now rose shaped and bright pink with gorgeous pink glitter *swoon*) I've developed a little bit of a Lush obsession and it seems like the rest of the blogging world has too - Lush is literally all over my Instagram feed lately! I remember back in my pre-University days when Lush bath bombs were my kryptonite and I simply couldn't walk past the shop without picking one up but after moving to University Lush just slipped out of my mind... I couldn't exactly enjoy a relaxing bath in my tiny shower room! Now that I've graduated and moved back home Lush is constantly on my mind and I'm eager to explore their products properly this time instead of just beelining straight towards the bath bombs! I headed to Lush in Newcastle last week and picked up a few products from my wishlist and I'm actually planning on reviewing each product individually so expect lots of Lush reviews in the near future!

Jason and the Argan Oil Shampoo Bar - £5.75 
On the top of my list was one of Lush's Solid Shampoo Bars, a product that baffles me just as much as it excites me... the concept of using anything but a liquid to clean my hair feels a little bit strange but as I'm constantly travelling to and from Tynemouth I thought it would be perfect to travel with. Originally I was planning on picking up Honey I Washed My Hair but after I sniffed Jason and the Argan Oil I immediately knew it had to come home with me. It smells exactly like the Rose Jam Bubbleroon and Ro's Argan Body Conditioner (my all-time favourite Lush scent!) so it was really a no-brainer and I actually let out a little squeak of excitement in the shop when I realised I could finally have Rose Jam scented hair like I'd always dreamed of. Apart from inhaling the scent of this a lot more than I care to admit I haven't actually used Jason and the Argan Oil yet but I'm planning on testing it out tonight. I'm so excited to see how it lathers up and if it lives up to its promise of delivering stronger, shinier and softer hair!

Twilight & Intergalactic Bath Bomb - £3.35 / £3.95 
Intergalactic bath bomb
So it turns out I still can't step into Lush without buying a bath bomb or two but with all the new releases Lush have brought out it was difficult to resist! I walked in with my mind set on buying The Experimenter but sadly I didn't enjoy the scent. Still wanting my bath to look like an explosion of colour I picked up Intergalactic, a ridiculously glittery bath bomb. With a fresh peppermint scent this will be perfect for in the morning and I think I'm going to save this for the weekend so I can truly take my time and enjoy it! I'm so excited to watch this little guy dissolve!

I also picked up Twilight, a long time favourite of mine which I love to use in the evenings to help me unwind and sleep. This is packed with essential oils like lavender and ylang ylang and it leaves me feeling so moisturised and relaxed. I adore this and I've missed using it so much, I can't wait to light some candles and hop in my Twilight bath with a face mask and a good book! 
Love Lettuce
My skin has been feeling really blah lately... there really isn't another word for it. It seems to have lost its glow, it's becoming super oily and I've just been feeling a little miserable about it. To me, face masks are the ultimate form of pampering and if anything can help my skin I knew a fresh, natural face mask would do the job! I wasn't sure which mask I was going to pick up when I visited Lush but after a lot of sniffing and a lovely chat with a super friendly Lush girl (seriously, the Lush staff are so helpful!) I narrowed it down to Cupcake and Love Lettuce. I opted for Love Lettuce due to the exfoliating properties from the crushed almond shells and the soothing lavender oil and honey sounded perfect for my skin! This is actually the only product in my haul I've used so far (2 times to be exact) and so far I'm really impressed. I'll save the rest for another review but my skin and I love this and I'm truly enjoying using it. I can't wait to pick up another without exfoliant in it so I can use the masks more often.

I was also given a huge sample of Cup O' Coffee from one of the loveliest girls at Lush who helped me choose Love Lettuce. You don't have to store Cup O' Coffee in the fridge like the fresh face masks so it has a much longer shelf life and it's also an exfoliating mask like Love Lettuce. I'm intrigued to try this as I've been hearing quite a lot of praise about coffee scrubs around the blogosphere and you can use Cup O' Coffee anywhere, it's not limited to the face! I'm saving this for an early morning when I need a little pick me up as it has a super strong scent and it's guaranteed to wake me up!

Have you picked up anything from Lush lately? 

Monday, 17 August 2015

Alex and Ani Bracelets

If you're from America, or just generally cooler than I am, then I'm sure you've already heard of Alex and Ani. I stumbled across the brand a few months ago on Pinterest and I instantly knew that I had to start a collection of my own. I've had my bracelets since the end of April and I've hardly taken them off my wrist since so I thought it was about time I shared my love for Alex and Ani with you all!

I don't own that much jewellery, especially not costume jewellery, but the majority of my collection is silver (think Tiffany, Pandora, etc) and this Summer I really wanted some pretty gold bangles to wear both during the day and for the evening. Everything I stumbled upon from places like New Look and Forever 21 looked a little bit cheap (they all ended up being that yellow-gold colour I'm not a fan of) and I just wanted well-made pieces that I would treasure but wouldn't empty my bank account at the same time. Each Alex and Ani bracelet is made from recycled materials and the brand pride themselves on being an eco-conscious company. Alex and Ani really promotes the importance of using sustainable materials from America and having a positive, not negative, impact on the world through the production of their product. Each bracelet is nickel free and made from a brass base with either a Rafaelian gold or silver finish or a shiny yellow-gold or silver finish. Both of my bracelets have a Rafaelian gold finish which has an antique, rustic look due to an oxidisation process and all the bracelets have an anti-tarnish coating which protects the finish. Even after wearing my bracelets for almost 4 months straight they still look just as beautiful as they did on the first day that I wore them.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

July Favourites

bareMinerals Blush Balm
Laura Mercier PrimerYSL Rouge Volupte

July was a wonderful month for rediscovering old beauty favourites! I've been doing a lot of digging around in my beauty collection lately and I've realised how many products have been sitting around in my draws, completely unloved. In an attempt to save money and use up some of my makeup I've decided to switch up my everyday makeup routine by adding a new product from my existing beauty stash every singly day and I have to admit it's almost as fun as shopping itself!


Sunday, 9 August 2015

The Cream Blush Crush

Cream Blush
bareMinerals Blush Balm Stila Convertible Colour
Cream Blush and I are having a bit of a moment. 

I've always been a powder finish kind of girl but my new found love for dewy natural looking skin has completely changed my relationship with the product. When bareMinerals kindly sent over one of their limited edition Blush Balms from the new Pop of Passion collection (which is fantastic by the way, expect another blog post very, very soon) I thought I might as well give cream blush another chance and I'm so thrilled that I did! My Blush Balm has sparked a cream blush obsession and when I pair it with my favourite lightweight base and liquid highlighter (which, if you were wondering, is Complexion Rescue and Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlight Kit) I can finally achieve that perfect lightweight, healthy glowing base I've been striving for this summer! 
My bareMinerals Blush Balm is, by far, my absolute favourite of the three cream blushes I'm featuring today and in all honesty it's probably my favourite cream blush that I've ever used... yup, ever. That's a pretty bold claim! Unsurprisingly, it's hardly left my cheeks since I was sent this and I instantly knew that it was going to be part of my graduation makeup from the second I tried it. I have Posy Passion*, a beautiful English Rose shade which is slightly lighter and more pink than the colour in my photograph. The reason I adore this blush so much is due its texture as it's much more silky than your average cream blush. It literally glides onto your fingers and across your cheeks and, as the name suggests, it is much more similar to a balm than a thicker cream product. Due to its consistency it adds a gorgeous glow to the cheeks and it even feels moisturising on my skin (something the next blush definitely doesn't do). The product is semi-sheer: one layer provides a lovely natural flush of colour which I find is perfect for everyday wear yet it is so easy to build up the colour. For evenings or special occasions I amp up the intensity and apply 3 thin layers. Despite the extra layers you'll be pleased to know that the glowing, luminous effect doesn't increase to an unnatural finish. It still looks beautiful on the skin and after a few hours wear it still remains intact, with the dewy glow only fading slightly.

I'm beyond devastated that these blushes are limited edition and I know I'm going to have to pick up at least one more shade before they disappear from the shelves. The Pop of Passion Blush Balms retail for £20.00 each and they're available online and in stores in 3 shades (Posy, Papaya and Natural). QVC also sell an additional two shades (Guava and Mauve) that are even more exclusive so if you're a regular QVC shopper you should definitely check them out!

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Michael Kors Beauty

Michael Kors is a brand I've always loved from afar but one I've never been able to afford. I remember constantly popping into the store in Leeds when I was a student to admire their handbags which have a permanent place on my 'when I'm rich' shopping list. Whilst I'm hopeful that one day I'll be the owner of a Michael Kors bag (ideally from their new Dusty Neutrals collection as it's absolutely beautiful) for the time being I have to find my little bit of luxury elsewhere. Designer beauty ranges are usually where I turn to if I want to treat myself or a loved one and when I was kindly introduced to Michael Kors White Fragrance* and the Indulgent Body Crème* the MK beauty range did not disappoint. It is as luxurious and elegant as I had always imagined it to be and the packaging... oh the packaging! I'm completely obsessed with how they look on my dressing table!
The Michael Kors White Eau De Parfum is rather different from any other perfume that I currently own. Best described as a musky white floral it definitely stands out amidst my collection of fresh, fruity fragrances. With top notes of freesia and ylang ylang the first sniff of MK's White brings to mind the freshness of dewy grass just after the rain. It's fresh but strangely comforting at the same time. The white florals make up the middle notes which dominate the perfume and the combination of the top notes with gardenia and peony create a very delicate, floral scent. Tuberose and jasmine closely follow and add a depth to the fragrance. It transforms into a richer, warmer scent that adds an unmistakable element of sophistication, femininity and even a hint of sexiness. The base notes enhance this richness and white musk is definitely the most prominent undertone of the scent. You can detect the musk almost immediately but it develops into a softer, creamier scent after a few hours, bringing out hints of vanilla, amber and cedar. 

Thursday, 30 July 2015

An Evening with Cutler and Gross

At the very beginning of July I headed back down to Leeds to attend the opening of the new Cutler and Gross store in Victoria Quarter. I always have to pinch myself whenever I'm invited to anything through my blog and I'm still not over how lovely and luxurious the evening was! Cutler and Gross create some of the coolest sunglasses I've ever had the pleasure to try on and I think I finally understand the designer sunglasses hype. The quality is just so obvious when you hold a pair and their aviator style frames even put Ray-Ban to shame! I now have a serious desire to get my hands on a pair, or two, or three... need I go on? I'm currently lusting over these frames, I couldn't put them down at the launch!
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