Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Wishlist | Beauty #2

This year I've decided to organise myself and my spending habits a little bit more. I've been realising lately that I can buy those products I really want, even if they are a bit pricey, if I save my money instead of buying little things here and there that will probably be forgotten about within a month or two. I could guiltlessly buy myself the Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Balm, for example, if I make my own lunch at home instead of buying a Tesco Meal Deal three days a week when I'm in University over lunch time! No more unsatisfying sandwiches and luxuriously soft lips? That's sounds like a good deal to me!

This year I'm getting serious about skincare. It's always been a bit of an unexplored area of beauty for me and recently my skin has been begging for more attention. At 21 I'm not going to get any younger and *gasp* I think I might see a wrinkle forming on my forehead. It's time to take some serious action and hopefully if I can try out one new product every two months my skin should be wonderful before my 22nd birthday! Currently, I'm lusting over:

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo [+]  - £15.50 (currently £11.62 at Boots)
I've heard wonders about this product and apparently the new, plus version is even better than the original. My friend Fiona, over at Fi's Little Blog, recommended this to me and apparently it does wonders on blemishes and acne marks.

La Roche-Posay Serozinc Spray - £8.50 (currently £7.29 at Escentual)
Both Suzie from HelloOctober and Alix from I Covet Thee included this in their 2014 favourites. I've never tried any form of toner before and the Serozinc Spray is a light mist that tackles excess oiliness and blemishes. It only contains only 3 ingredients: Spring Water, healing Zinc Sulphate and astringent Sodium Chloride and apparently it soothes and calms redness which is something my skin definitely needs right now!

Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm - £9.50
£9.50 is very expensive for a lip balm but my lips always suffer the most, whether it's winter or summer. Honestly, they're just never happy and I've been dealing with dry lips since I was younger. It's a big favourite among the YouTube and Blogging community and it's something I'm willing to splash out on if it can heal my pesky dry lips!

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate - £36.00
I'm sure you've all heard the hype around this product and who doesn't want younger, healthier looking skin in the morning? If this can make my face look radiant after late night library visits then I think I better invest now before dissertation deadlines, essays and exams hit once more. It is super expensive but it should last a long time if only 2-3 drops are required in one use and I love the bottle and the little pipette!

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads - £20.50
I've read a lot of mixed reviews about the Radiance Pads but there are so many bloggers who rave about them so I really want to try them out for myself. They brighten, tone and exfoliate the skin - a little bit like the Effaclar Duo +, so if I do purchase them I probably wouldn't use the two products together!

My hair has been feeling limp, dull and just not silky during the winter months. I really want to bring it back to life and have smooth and silky locks again. So my two haircare picks (and hopefully hair heroes) are:

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer 75ml - £15.00
I've tried and loved Philip Kingsley's Daily Damage Defence Spray and as the Elasticizer is the brands most famous product, claiming to deliver elasticity, bounce and shine to the hair, it seems like a good place to start my quest for healthy hair. I really want to start investing more time and care into my hair routine and there are so many positive reviews about this moisturising treatment I'm curious to see if it lives up to the hype!

Charles Worthington Volume & Bounce Texturising Spray - £6.99
This product is part of Charles Worthington's Salon at Home range which I'm a big fan of. I've already reviewed his Leave-In Conditioner here and I think the range offers high quality products for a reasonable price. This spray has cropped up in Fleur de Force's 2014 favourites and her hair always looks full of life and voluminous - something my hair is definitely missing. I love the result of texturizing products but I hate that so many of them make the hair stick together. Hopefully this won't have that effect!

Of course there are a thousand make-up items I want (I'm thinking of everything Charlotte Tilbury!) but there's nothing I desperately need right now. I've placed skincare as a priority this year, so I've only chosen one make-up product in my wishlist.

Bourjois 123 Perfect Colour CC Cream - £9.99
In Suzie's (Hello October) latest video she reveals that this CC Cream is a dupe for Dior's Diorskin Nude BB Creme, a product I've been lusting over for a while now. I've never tried a CC cream before and I absolutely love Bourjois' face products so for £9.99 I'm willing to give this a go! My current liquid base is a little too dark for me so I'll be definitely getting the lightest shade of this. Also, Boots are currently offering a free Rouge Edition Lipstick when you spend £12 on Bourjois so I might buy this right now!

What's currently on your wishlist? 


Saturday, 24 January 2015

Getting READY with bareMinerals!
(Bronzer, Touch Up Veil & Luminizer Review)

If you know me in 'real' life then my love for bare Minerals won't come as a surprise to you. I've been wearing their Original SPF15 Foundation for over 5 years now and their foundation is probably my most repurchased make-up product of all time. Due the foundation's holy grail status, bareMinerals has become one of my favourite brands. I've tried out a lot of their loose powdered products, from eye shadows to blushes, and I've even picked up a few of their brushes along the way but I've never really explored their READY range. After declaring my love for the brand in a way that just sounded a lot like a teenage love letter, I suppose you can now imagine my sheer excitement when a lovely lady named Ally from bareMinerals contacted me and sent me the above products to review. As always, my honest and unbiased opinion is given but, after testing the products out for the past week, I have to say that my love for the brand is still unfaltering.

 I suppose you could say you had me at 'Hello' bareMinerals... (sorry - I had to!

As a big fan of Mineral Veil, I was really excited to test out the READY Touch Up Veil. Like Mineral Veil, Touch Up Veil is a finishing powder that helps control shine and leave the face looking flawless by smoothing out lines and diffusing the look of imperfections. It almost has an airbrush effect and when you touch your skin after application it's left feeling soft and silky! I do, however, think there is a misconception with the product and the expectations about it simply being a compressed version of Mineral Veil. I can't speak for the Translucent shade but I think Touch Up Veil does more than Mineral Veil does - as well being a great finishing powder it also provides a little bit of coverage! I think Touch Up Veil would be beautiful to use alone in the summer for a hint of coverage and colour. (bonus - it contains SPF 15!) The formulation is probably one of my favourite things about the product, the powder is so fine it builds up upon the skin easily and never becomes cakey which is something I often find happening when I try to apply powders during the day. I also love the packaging, its sturdy as well as chic and I love the big mirror. I'm a big fan of this product and it's tempting me to test out the READY Foundation too!

The product is currently available in 4 shades - Translucent, Light, Medium and Tan. I wear Fairly Light in bareMinerals foundation so when I received the Medium shade I was slightly worried that it would be too dark for my skin. However, it's a perfect match as the product itself is quite sheer and I'd honestly say Medium would work for a large range of light to medium skin tones. The Light shade is only a tiny bit darker than Translucent so unless you're really fair I'd advise you to swatch them both in store (I may have spent a lot of time there this weekend!)

Quite accurately named The Deep End, this is the darkest shade of the bareMinerals READY bronzer collection and when I first looked at it in the compact myself and my pale skin quivered a little. As a long time wearer of Warmth (an amazing bareMinerals product everyone has to try!),I've learnt to use bronzer sparingly but The Deep End, as daunting as it may be in the compact, isn't as dramatic or pigmented as Warmth and it really compliments my skin tone. When applied with a light hand this bronzer leaves a gorgeous, golden bronzed glow without looking dull or orange and it lasts throughout the entire day! It may be the darkest bronzer in my collection but it's actually the most natural shade - The Deep End avoids the orange tinge and provides a sun kissed tint to the skin whilst adding definition to my face. 

The formulation feels very similar to the Touch Up Veil - smooth, silky and quite sheer in comparison to the colour in the compact (but it's not really light due to it being the darkest shade!). I think it's this sheerness that makes me adore The Deep End, I can use the tiniest amount to achieve a lightly bronzed look during the winter and the product will follow me into the summer months and still cater for my bronzing and contouring needs. If you're not feeling as brave, the READY Bronzer also comes in two lighter shades - The Skinny Dip and The High Dive (how adorable are the names?!)

Right - The Love Affair | Left - The Shining Moment

It's okay to fall head over heels in love with a beauty product? Thanks to the Luminizer Duo my boyfriend now has serious competition over who, or what, owns my heart (I'm kidding Dan - I love you really!) 

The READY Luminizer Duo in The Love Affair and The Shining Moment is so silky it almost feels like a cream product and the soft, finely milled powder applies so beautifully it adds a healthy, glowing from within look to any complexon. I've always been a huge fan of anything that can provide my skin with a youthful, subtle glow and this product is everything I've been looking for. It's a pigmented product without being too overwhelming and it gives my everyday make-up that little something it has been missing. There's no glitter or shimmery chunks to be found here - just a gorgeous illuminating sheen.

The left side is 'The Love Affair', a dusty rose gold, which I sometimes use instead of wearing a blush on days when I'm seeking a tiny bit of colour. The right side is 'The Shining Moment', a warm golden shade that is a bit more dramatic and pigmented than The Love Affair. Each illuminating powder can be worn separately or you can blend them together (I sweep my brush across in an 'S' shape) which is my favourite way of wearing the product! The READY Luminizer Duo is such a pretty product to have in your make-up collection; it's candlelight in a compact!

Have you tried any of the READY collection by bareMinerals? Let me know in the comments below!

P.S - If you were wondering what I use to apply the Touch Up Veil on the go I use this cute retractable Precision Face brush* which fits in my travel make-up bag! (it's also reaaaally soft) For Bronzer and Luminizer I use a fan brush which allows me to apply a small amount of product onto my face and slowly build up colour! 


Monday, 19 January 2015

Review | MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in 'Soft and Gentle', £23,  available from MAC and House of Fraser

This ever so famous highlighter has been on my make-up wishlist for (literally) years now. I remember lusting over it whilst watching endless amounts of YouTube videos in 2009 - back when Mac was the brand everyone was obsessed with - so I'm not exactly sure why it has taken me so long to get my hands on it. Thanks to my wonderful best friend, who kindly bought me this for Christmas, I now have it in my collection and, after reaching for it on a daily basis for the past couple of weeks, I think I might have to promote it above The Balm's Mary Lou-Manizer as my go-to highlighter! 

MAC's Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle is a beautiful frosty highlighting powder which adds a natural glow to the skin. At first glance I was a little bit worried about this product being too glittery for everyday use but after applying this to my cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose and even as an eye-shadow (which is one of my favourite uses for this - it's absolutely gorgeous as a inner corner highlight or lid colour) I have to say that the 'glitter' really isn't a problem. In fact, due to the finely milled texture of the powder, this highlighter has much more of a metallic, rather than a glittery, finish which is gorgeous and so luminous. To apply, I swirl a fan brush around the product and lightly tap off any excess. I use a light hand and sweep this across my cheeks and the fan brush helps me to control the amount of product I apply to my face by not depositing it all in one place! The highlighter glides on the skin easily without rubbing away foundation and can be built up to work for both day and night-time looks. There's honestly nothing about the formulation or texture of this product that I can complain about, it looks amazing and it's so easy to apply. 

Soft and Gentle is described by MAC as a 'gilded peach bronze' colour which I certainly agree with but I definitely see a tint of champagne in here as well! I think this colour would suit all skin tones really well, especially fair to medium shades. It's definitely the champagne, peachy element to Soft and Gentle that allows it to take the crown from my Mary Lou-Manizer which is a much lighter, more golden highlighter. I also love Soft and Gentle's multitasking qualities as I absolutely love to use it as an all over the lid eyeshadow colour on days where I'm in a rush and want to add a little bit of colour and light to my eyes. For £23 you get 10g of product, (Mary Lou-Manizer contains 8.5g and costs £16) so it is quite pricey but for the size of product you receive and the small amount that you need I think it's definitely worth it!

Have you tried Soft and Gentle? Let me know what your favourite highlighter is in the comments below!


Friday, 16 January 2015

January Catch Up... (And a little haul!)

Before I begin making a dent in my long list of planned blog posts I wanted to write a little catch up to let you know what I've been doing for the first 16 days of January! I always hate this time of year, the Christmas tree comes down and all the festive cheer disappears and, for me, January means one thing - deadlines and exams. Erugh, even the sight of those words makes me shiver. The silence on my blog was pretty much due to University work but, thankfully, I've made it through. My essays have been handed in and my exam wasn't too terrible so I've been letting my poor hand rest and embracing my new found freedom by going out way too much for lunch and doing a tiny little bit of retail therapy.

One of the most exciting things that's happened to me in 2015 so far is that I've finally bought my first ever iPhone! After saving a bit of my Birthday and Christmas money I'm now the very happy owner of a shiny silver iPhone 5s and I can't believe how much easier my life is with a phone that actually works properly! I'm not ashamed to say that I haven't put it down since I skipped all the way to the Apple shop after my exam. I popped into Cath Kidston and picked up this adorable Little Birds case in the sale, along with a cute little floral make-up bag which I might use to store my phone in so it doesn't' get scratched in my bag. 

On the beauty front, I decided to cash in my Birchbox points and take advantage of free shipping on Stila this month. I've had my eye on this gorgeous In the Light palette for months now; the blue shade named Night sky is beautiful and I've finally had the chance to try out the famous Kitten (which is as gorgeous as everybody says it is!) I'm going to be writing a review about this soon once I've had a chance to test the palette out properly and I'll be including plenty of swatches but, so far, I'm completely smitten with it. I've also been reunited (finally!) with my beloved bareMinerals foundation and I've definitely been lost without it these past couple of weeks - it's my absolute favourite and perfect when you want flawless foundation in a rush! 

My last purchase of the month was this swing coat from Topshop. I've had my eyes on this for the longest time and when I found it in the sale yesterday I just couldn't resist. I have a very similar coat that I bought years and years ago which I completely adored but it was so worn out that I've  finally thrown it away (we're talking holes and very matted faux fur here!) Even though I really don’t need another coat I've always felt lost without my navy, fur hooded jacket and I'm so happy with my replacement, especially since it has a much nicer hood and it only cost £31 thanks to the sale and student discount!

How's your January been so far? Have you discovered any new beauty products?


Thursday, 1 January 2015

Empties #1

Happy New Year everyone!

2014 is finally over and one of my favourite ways to get prepared for the New Year is to organise the things around me. After rummaging around in my bathroom and in make-up draw the other week I discovered that I had so many products lying around that were three or four uses away from being finished. I have to admit, when I know a product is running out I'm always excited to buy a replacement and I usually get so impatient to try something new I end up leaving so many products almost empty! So, just before Christmas I set myself the task of finishing said products in time for the New Year and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to create my first ever Empties post.

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash - £6.50
I've been a huge fan of the original Soap & Glory scent for years now but after receiving the Sugar Crush exfoliator last Christmas I can't get enough of this zesty scent. This body wash is the perfect pick me up for when you're feeling sluggish and half asleep in the morning (which, let's face it, is every single morning if you're anything like me) and the combination of lime, lemon, kiwi, vanilla and coconut works wonderfully. It's also quite moisturising and after I've used up my current body wash I'll definitely be purchasing this again!

The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream - £11
My holy grail moisturiser! I can't live without this and I'm mentally making a note to pop down to The Body Shop today to pick up another one. My skin loves this stuff and it sinks into the skin so quickly.

Garnier Skin Perfector Oil Free BB Cream - £9.99
I mentioned this BB Cream all the way back in my July Favourites and the tube pictured above is actually my second one! It was the perfect, lightweight coverage for the warmer months and I used this religiously all summer but, as my tan slowly faded, it became too dark for my skin. I'm quite pale and even with a tan I had to use the lightest shade so I won't be purchasing this BB Cream again until next summer.

Bio-Oil 60ml - £8.99
Okay, so there's a tiny bit of Bio-Oil left but you need to use this so sparingly it's actually impossible to finish! I use this on any scarring I have from injuries/operations etc. and I also add a few drops to my bath to moisturise my skin. It also helps to get rid of scars from ingrown hairs so I often put a few drops on my legs after I shower! This product is a real multitasker and I always have a bottle in my cupboard just in case (it's currently being used to help get rid of a burn that I have on my hand from my curlers, ouch!)

Batiste Dry Shampoo Cherry 200ml - £2.99
Who doesn't use Batiste? It's not the nicest of dry shampoos I've ever used but it always gets the job done. I usually pick up the Tropical scent but I thought I'd try the Cherry this time and it actually smells quite nice! The packaging is pretty cute too!

Burt's Bees Rejuvenating Acai Berry Lip Balm - £3.69
I always have a Burt's Bees lip balm in my bag as they provide my lips with enough moisture to battle the harsh winter weather. The Acai Berry was quite a nice scent but I still love the Coconut and Pear one more.

Benefit They're Real (sample from Birchbox) - Full Size £19.50
I was never really impressed with Benefit's Bad Gal mascara so I was reluctant to splash out on They're Real when it was launched. I received this sample (which surprisingly lasted quite a long time) in a Birchbox a few months ago and I have to agree with everyone else: this mascara is amazing! The only problem, for me, is the price tag. It is pretty pricey at £19.50 and I still think the Volume 1 Seconde mascara from Bourgois might be better!

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