Thursday, 21 November 2013

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Lipstick In 01 Nude Beige

As winter rolls in, a good lipstick that can withstand the bitter wind is hard to come by. Not only do you want the colour, but you want something that's long-lasting, hydrating and won't dry up from the chill. 

I was recommended by a friend to try the YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick due to their creamy textures, softening your lips as well as promising strong pigment. This particular range comes in 30 different shades, meaning that if you like the formula there will definitely be a shade for you. As always, whenever I try out a new lipstick range I tend to start of with something that's well within my comfort zone - a gorgeous pastel pink (Yes, I am aware the bullet looks bright red in the light, but the swatch gives it justice! You don't need me to tell you how amazing the actual case looks .. it's gorgeous! 

- No flash! - 
- With flash! -

Apologies for the mugshot, i'm not much of a smiler in photos! As you can see the pigment is stronger than it looks when applied directly to the lip, and is the perfect winter colour. Effortlessly cool and super girly, it glides effortlessly onto the lip and feels soft all day. As the day went on, I found the product lost some of its intensity, but yet it was still apparent I was wearing lipstick.  Obviously at £24.50, this isn't a product for everyone, but it's definitely something I would splurge on come payday! It also has SPF15 in it, which is great in the summer .. although the changes of catches a sunburn in November is pretty slim in Britain. Overall, a luxurious product that delivers incredible results - if only it didn't cost a bomb!

You can purchase a Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Lipstick for £24.50 here or at your nearest YSL counter.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Life Update

(I never quite know what to use for life update pictures.. so here's me ready for my first day at work!)

Hi everyone,

Hope you're well and are excited as I am for Halloween tomorrow! 

I've been a bit MIA recently, and thought I owed it to you all to explain why. As you may or may not already know, i've begun my final year at University so have spent a while settling in and basically finding my bearings. I've got a lovely house that I feel really comfortable in with two of my best friends - I couldn't have asked for a better housing situation for this important year. 

For personal reasons I spent the past two years darting back to my hometown every weekend to work a part-time job, meaning that I missed out on half the fun of being away from home. I missed all the parties, the nights out and the lazy Sundays nursing a wicked hangover with your girlfriends. So this year I decided to leave my job in Southampton and apply for a part-time job where I will be in the same city as my University but still be able to fund myself. I can now say that I am a part-time Beauty Artist at Benefit Cosmetics, and i'm loving every minute of it! It's terrifying but very fulfilling. 

I also passed my driving test today - yaaaaay! So trying to sort of the absolute hell of insurance (which isn't looking promising!). I'm going to be doing a lot of work that will involve travelling around the South for my University project (If you're interested in finding out more about it then feel free to follow the official twitter page -@ParentAbuseUK) so i'm just trying to juggle a lot of things. I'll blog when I can as I still love it dearly, but obviously I am needed to prioritise and just don't have the time to blog every other day like I used to.

I appreciate every single person that reads this blog - It really is part of who I am (As soppy as that sounds!) and I will continue to blog, whether it be fortnightly or more frequently. Bare with me, there will be posts to follow! :) 

Thursday, 17 October 2013

L'Oreal Nude Magique Eau De Teint in 100 Porcelain

The idea behind makeup is that it's supposed to be like a second skin. To blend in so well that it enhances what you already have, not mask it. That's why when I saw an advertisement for a foundation that claims to be lighter than water, I couldn't wait to test out its 'Zero make up feel".

The airy texture comes from the addition of volatile oils that evaporate as you apply to the skin - to be honest, I don't quite know what that means or achieves, but it sure sounds fancy!
Along with a new formula comes a new application process. Not only does it look like a bottle of a perfume with its frosted glass packaging, but it's supposed to apply like one too.

Like my lovely green carpet?

As it is made with water, its advised to shake rigorously then tip onto the finger to apply. 
I quite like this new application process as it allows you to apply just enough which minimises wastage. I found that it applies just as while with your fingers than it does with a stippling brush, and provides a gorgeously even coverage.

 Excuse my evil smirk, i'm not much of a smiler in photos!

My skin feels moisturised as opposed to having actual foundation on, which ties in with the 'perfectly invisible, invisibly perfect' description. 
When you hear the words 'water based' your immediate reaction is that it would be runny, greasy and slide off of your face within the first ten minutes. However, that simply wasn't the case. I'll admit it distributed quite watery, but it stiffened slightly whilst blending. As you can see from the photo, you can still see my blemishes slightly, so it isn't something I would recommend for someone who isn't prepared to go basically bare-faced. I found that the lightest shade (100 Porcelain) was a perfect match for my skin tone, but it does only come in 6 shades which isn't ideal for people with darker skin tones.

This is now my go-to foundation when I want that 'no make up' look. It's originally £9.99, which may seem quite steep for 20ml, but its thin consistency means only a few drops are needed. I love the idea behind this, and now feel like i'm hiding my face whenever I apply anything slightly thicker.

You can purchase a bottle of L'Oreal Nude Magique Eau De Teint for £9.99 at your local Boots, Superdrug or drug store.

Monday, 23 September 2013

My Foundation Collection

It's been a while since i've done a collections post, so I thought there is no time like the present to write a post containing one of my favourite beauty staples - foundation. I go through lots of different phases with my skin so i've catagorised them to make it slightly easier to navigate.. enjoy!

 Natural/Low Coverage Foundations

Bourjois Paris BB Bronzing 8 In 1 Cream - Full review here. - £9.99
I've never really jumped on the BB Cream bandwagon, so I bought this through sheer curiosity. As much as it is a terrible bronzer, this has just enough coverage to cover up any unnecessary blemishes - but nothing more. I must admit I don't use this often because my skin has never been great enough to get away with it, but its ideal if you're blessed with perfect skin.

Benefit You Rebel Lite Tinted Moisturiser - £24.50
The packaging looks pretty shabby because this is the foundation I used throughout summer. I always like to switch to a tinted moisturiser in the warmer months so my skin doesn't feel so heavy. Packed with SPF 15, its perfect for those who don't like going completely bare-faced in the sun. I would say the lighter version of the two (This product is designed to adapt to your skin-tone) has a yellow tinge to it, so if you're pale skinned try not to be too liberal with the application.

Revlon Nearly Naked in 180 Shell - £8.99
This is a beautifully designed product that gives an airbrush feel with added SPF20. However, as much as I enjoy using it its not something i'd pick up when I need to be up and out in a hurry. It doesn't come with a pump, almost as if its designed to be put onto the hand and mixed with another shade. It's light in consistency and blends well, but I did find I needed to touch up around areas prone to redness.

Matte Foundations

Rimmel Stay Matte in Ivory - £5.99
This has to be the worst foundation out of the collection. It has a strange perfume smell and it makes me look orange however sparingly I apply it. It has a runny consistency, and I found it didn't provide any coverage unless I built it up, making my face shiny as opposed to matte. The shine control element is practically non-existent, but the inclusion of cotton, chamomile and cucumber did make my skin feel slightly softer.
Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse in Ivory - £7.69
This is the newest addition to my collection, as I was searching for a mattifying foundation that provided great coverage without feeling cakey. Using a mousse makes application a breeze - i'm not usually a fan of applying with my fingers but i've found its the best way with this product. It's inexpensive and I don't need to reapply throughout the day.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid with SPF15 in NC15 - £21.50
As many of you will probably already know,  MAC provide heavy coverage. I use this foundation for nights out because it provides little shine that will come from that dreaded flash photography (Although any foundation with SPF in it will provide shine to a certain extent!) . However, it is quite orange (I have the lightest shade too!) so I need to mix it with my lightest foundation to create a suitable blend.

Brightening Foundations

No 7 Instant Radiance in Calico - £12.50
This inexpensive foundation is great when my skin needs a little pick-me-up. It's still reasonably lightweight so I like to use it when i've had a late night and my skin looks tired in the morning. Overall i'm a massive fan of No7 due to their unique foundation matching service and their wide selection of foundations.

Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Brightening Makeup - £25.50
What first drew me to this foundation was its added SPF25, along with its oil-free formula and hydrating benefits. Although I love the overall look of this foundation (It doesn't really cover blemishes but gives your skin a great glow!), i've found that even the lightest shade makes my skin look bright yellow! I've had to mix it with a bit of my No7 foundation, which sort of defeats the object.

Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Eclat- £29.00
This is my dream foundation. Coming in 16 different shades, it eliminates blemishes and brightens shadowy areas. This is my second bottle of this, but i've chosen to use it more sparingly as it is the priciest product I own. My skin looks flawless when teamed with the YSL Touche Eclat Touch Highlighting Pen. It has a light consistency, allow my skin to breathe and giving just enough coverage to even out your skin tone. Love this!

Aswell as this, i've also started using my tester pot of Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation (£28.50) - which is certainly the most heavy coverage foundation i've used. So far I haven't found it very breathable, but a tiny amount lasts all day so is ideal for a special occasion when there isn't much time to touch-up.

I'm always on the look-out for the 'perfect' foundation, so let me know what your favourite foundation is below! :)

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Mississipi Mud Pie

One of the things I really wanted to do this year was bake. My kitchen last year was a bit of a mess and was used mostly as a dumping ground for empty beer bottles, so you can imagine my excitement when my housemate Beth, who blogs as The Pastel Girl, suggested we make a pie as part of her dedication to The Great British Bake Off.

I'm not a big fan of fruit pies, so when we came across the recipe for a Mississipi Mud Pie which consisted of a mountain of chocolate, sugar and whipped cream.. SOLD!

Beth making the pie crust!

Ready for the oven - I could have just eaten it right there and then!

Tada! It tasted amazing, almost like a soft brownie. Next time i'd like a bit less whipped cream as i'm not the biggest fan, but overall I really enjoyed it and would love to make it again. It was extremely simple and, despite a few mishaps involving a loose bottom pie dish and a broken whisk, a lot of fun. I'm definitely going to start posting a few more cooking posts on here, as I love food almost as much as I love beauty products.

The full recipe can be found on Beth's blog. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

My Go-To Hair Tutorial Videos!

I suck at doing hair. No, seriously - i'm awful. It was well into my teens when I even considered running a brush through it, let alone a pair of straighteners. Some people have the knack for hair styling, some just don't. I've watched countless tutorials where people claim the style is simple, when its obvious they've either spent years perfecting it or they have a Tony & Guy stylist controlling their arms like a puppet.

So instead of filming an awkward tutorial where I claim to know what i'm doing when its clear i'm still a newbie, i've decided to post my favourite simple hair tutorials that I refer back to time and time again.

Llmlrs is a blogger that I have followed for a long time now. I adore her high street style but what i'm really envious of is her trademark bedhead look. I stumbled across this tutorial and was instantly amazed by how simple it was. With fine, flat hair like mine its nice to add a bit of a wave to add a bit of volume, and this is done with a pair of straightners!

This next tutorial features one of the best curling tools I have come across: The Enrapture Totem Styler. I've experimented with creating curls with various straighteners, wands and heated rollers and none of them compare to the simplicity of this styling wand. Here's the tutorial I used the first time I used this amazing product.

I have massive hair-envy for Zoella. Whether its a messy bun or glamorous curls, she manages to look effortless with a hint of glam. As simple as it seems, I picked up many tips on adding volume and how to create the perfect messy ponytail. I'm yet to attempt the fishtail braid, but it's definitely on my to-do list!

I'm pretty simple when it comes to hairstyles (I'm usually brush, dry shampoo and go!), so hopefully these have given you a bit of an introduction on how to be a bit more creative with fine, limp hair. I'm always keen to explore new styles, so post a link to your favourite hair tutorial vids below!

Friday, 6 September 2013

Life Update

 Hey all!

It's been a while since I wrote about my life, so I thought i'd give a bit of an update.
I'm currently on my summer break from university, and now everyone has received their results its dawned on me that I am now a third year and will (hopefully!) be graduating next year. There's a lot of things that need to be in done in preparation for this important year, but I must admit i've been dragging my heels somewhat, almost like if I pretend that this is just another summer then it isn't real.

 I've been living at home trying to work extra shifts to get out of a bit of a financial rut,  and on my spare times trying to sail through some driving lessons so that it won't end up costing me thousands to finally get my pink license.
I've done a little bit of work experience this summer (My two weeks at Jack FM were amazing and really useful!), but because I spent my entire summer interning at LUXX last year I could afford to take a step back and actually relax. I've spent a lot of time with my friends, went on holiday with my family and watched 9 season's of Grey's Anatomy. PERFECT.

However, I move into my new house tomorrow, and its then the real work begins. This year i'm living with two of my course mates, in a little house with a purple oven and a giant floor-to-ceiling fridge. I'm quite looking forward to having my own space again, and have already invested in some vintage bunting and fairy lights to make my room extra girly this year. 
This year I promise to get my life in order and blog more, as hopefully i'll be in a hard-working mindset instead of slacking as I have done these past few months. Right, that's enough about me.. my next post will be beauty related, I promise! :)

P.s.: As you can see, my hair is now back to brunette! Due to financial issues, I can't keep up with having my hair dyed at a salon and it needed to be done desperately, so with the help of my best friend I am now my natural hair colour!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Olay Essentials Complete Care Sensitive Beauty Fluid

My mum is in her 50's (Let's hope she doesn't read this and slap me for putting that on the internet!) and her skin is amazing. No spots, minimal wrinkles and is always looking hydrated and taken care of. Her secret? Water and Olay. No scrubs, cleansers or toners .. just one product (Or two, if you count eye makeup remover).

Being a beauty blogger testing a number of products is a given, which obviously doesn't do my skin a world of good. I've written countless routine posts, but I fail to mention that i'm also trying out a new blush, powder or facial wash every other day to search for the next best thing - queue the irritation.
With that being said, I knew there was no better time than the present to have a skincare detox.

Olay is a multi-award winning skincare brand dating back to the 1950's, specialising in beauty creams for all ages and skin types.
I chose the Essentials Complete Care Sensitive beauty fluid, due to its light consistency that will provide no irritation to my sensitive skin. Containing delicate aloe vera, it also comes with added SPF15 and skin-softening vitamins B3 & E and Pro-vitamin B5. You simply apply after your morning wash, although i've been using it in the evening as well.

It's been a month since I ditched my cleanser, toner and serum and so far i'm seeing excellent results. My skin feels rejuvinated and my spots are at an all-time minimum. My skin isn't oily in the morning and its reduced redness around my T-zone. It's refreshing to use a single product, which makes it a lot less taxing getting ready for bed when you've had a long day. I understand that ditching a heavy skincare routine isn't for everybody,  so this product is designed to come after a cleanser, but for me it was just a bit too much for my skin at this point to use multiple products.

Olay is simple, straight to the point and delivers excellent results, all at the reasonable price of £3.99. Why bother with overally expensive exotic creams when such a monumental brand gives you everything you need for under £5. Sometimes you need to strip your skincare back to basics to give it a break and Olay helps me do just that - and I have a feeling that's all i'm going to need from now on.

You can purchase Olay Essentials Complete Care beauty fluid for £3.99 at your local Boots counter or online here.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Need help matching a foundation? Try Findation!

Ever wanted to buy a foundation online but didn't want to take the plunge without testing first?
Yeah, me too. As addicted I am to online shopping I don't trust the swatch pictures and I certainly don't trust the airbrush faces modelling the products. But when a sale is on and there's only limited stock left, wouldn't like to be assured that the product will match my skin?

Findation is a website that allows you to see what shade of foundation you're matched to by simply inputting your existing foundation shades. By adding all of your current foundations it uses an algorithm (Don't ask me what it is, I have no idea!) to reveal your shade in hundreds of both high-street and designer brands.

You start by searching for the existing brands out of the hundreds listed, followed by selecting the right product and shade - the more products you register the more accurate the search will be.

With the added advantage of thumbnail images it makes the search easier, and even includes some discontinued products if it's been a while since you've updated your foundation.

From there you're presented with a lists of 'recommended matches', which you can filter if there are certain brands you aren't keen on buying. Each product comes with a detailed description of its finish, ingredients and stockist. There's also an option to share your list with friends on Facebook or Twitter, and save your matches to look back on later.

It's incredibly detailed and includes every brand I can possibly think of and more! When testing it with my existing foundations, I found that the majority of the matches were correct - though some made me out to be a darker shade than I know I am (I always need the palest foundation shade in everything!) .. but overall it produced good matches. There are some tips in order to produce the best results - such as not relying on an accurate result for a heavy foundation if you only input BB Cream shades - so be sure to use them to make sure you get the right shade. This is perfect if you want to speed up the process of testing the products in store, or if you just can't be bothered to visit the counter at all!

Findation is an informative catalogue of brands that makes shopping for foundation online so much easier and i'm now definitely more inclined to try out new brands without the added fear of it being too dark on my pastey skin.

Click here to visit Findation and find your matches today!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Benefit's Fine One One

When it starts getting hot, the last thing we want to do is pile on the products knowing that they will simply melt off within the next hour or so. In order to prevent that from happening, you need products that are lightweight and made to last.

Benefit's Fine One One is a stick containing three cream colours, designed for both your cheeks and lips (Did I mention it makes a great multi-use travel product too?). Cream products are better for your skin in the heat as they are much lighter than adding anything powdered that will block your pores. They can also work in your favour by acting as a cooling agent if you pop them in the fridge beforehand!

 The product is pushed up the tube by a wheel, revealing a beautiful coral, sheer watermelon pink and a light pink highlighter. With the combination of the pink and coral it is a product that can be used universally. However, if you have a darker skintone and are opting for a more coral-based look, you can apply over Benefit's Cha Cha Tint or another coral tint for a more dominant shade.

This is such a great multi-use product. It eliminates the need for adding an extra highlighter, and the packaging makes it a great fuss-free travel product. I found that for me, it was a perfect combination of coral and pink, sheer enough to blend nicely with my skin tone but with enough colour to add a pop to my otherwise bare face. In summer I don't like to wear a lot of make-up, especially not cheek colour as my cheeks are naturally rosy in the heat, however this product is complimentary but remains looking natural.

I found that the product was more effective on my cheeks than my lips, as although the colour stayed on well I personally preferred using just one of the shades making the stick uneven when wanting to apply to cheeks. However, overall its a tough product, resisting the summer heat and keeping my cheeks bright with a gorgeous yet subtle glow. At £23.50 its definitely steep, but when it eliminates the need for a highlighter and lip colour, it takes the sting off a little!
To apply, glide the product from the apples of your cheeks to your temple, coral shade at the bottom, adding more highlighter if neccessary. Blend with the fingers in a circular motion outwards and upwards. 

You can purchase Fine One One from your local Benefit counter/shop or online here for £23.50.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Collection 2000 Fast Stroke Liquid Eyeliner

I'm usually one to wear liquid eyeliner, purely because I have the shakiest hands imaginable. I've tried many different techniques and products that ease the application process, and i've only found one eyeliner that seems to do the job for me - Benefit's Magic Ink. But at a whopping £15.50 for a tiny 2.5ml, I had to start looking for lower end alternatives.

The Fast Stroke Eyeliner from Collection 2000 has been named one of this years Beauty Insiders Choice finalists and received positive reviews from bloggers and general beauty enthusiasts alike.
 With a super-stiff brush and a long lasting formula, it boasts all day colour in a single stroke.

Oh, how I hate this picture! The unruly brows have returned and not enough shadow in the world can sort them out. However, as you can see the liner does the job quite nicely. I've never really been one for winged liner (Although I wish I was!), so this is as about as advanced as it goes for me.

All I can say is that I definitely agree with this product's current credentials. For the bargain price of £2.99 I now have an industrial strength eyeliner that I can apply before a night out with the assurance it will not budge however many times I rub my eyes or cry because i've dropped my drink! The brush is stiff - almost pen like - making it easy to control the line, as i've found with thinner brushes the bristles are a lot softer making it easier for product to flick onto the lid or brow bone. Using my arm as an anchor, I simply gripped the brush like a colouring pen and lined my eyes in seconds.

I'm simply shocked at the value of this product, and it's most definitely replaced Magic Ink as my go-to liner. It's long lasting, easy to apply and the colour is bold making a single line all you need to intensify the eye.

You can purchase Collection 2000's Fast Sroke Liquid Eyeliner for £2.99 at your local Superdrug or online here.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Maxfactor Colour Elixir Giant Pen Stick in 'Subtle Coral'

Let's get serious - we're all partial to taking shortcuts, especially when it comes to make up. With that in mind, the new Colour Elixir Giant Pen Sticks from Maxfactor were naturally on the top of my 'to try' list. Claiming to eliminate the need for a lip liner due to its sculpted lip and strong pigmentation, the chunky pencil has a smooth 'glide on' effect which enables quick application without having to go over the lip repeatedly.

'Subtle Coral' is a gorgeous creamy coral, potentially the most effortless out of the six shades. When I try out new products and formulas, I tend to gravitate to safer shades (A habit I need to break, I know!) making this a perfect shade for me. This product is a little strange at first glance because the product has the same texture as lipstick, but it must be sharpened like an eyeliner pencil .. odd. 

 First of all, i'm sorry for the bad quality of the photo, my camera doesn't take close-up's very well so i'm relying on zooming in which hinders the overall quality. However, you can clearly see that the end result is a lot stronger than first anticipated. It was certainly a lot easier to apply due to its sculpted lip, however I would still prefer to use a lip liner for an even stronger pigmentation (But that's just a personal thing!).
I'm not too big of a fan of the idea of having to sharpen it, I much prefer the mechanical pens that distribute product with a twist or a click, as when I went to sharpen it after first application the nib completely snapped off because of it's soft lipstick-like texture. 

Overall I love the end result, its understated yet perfect for pulling together a natural, every day makeup look. I found my lips needed minimal touch-ups and being able to refine them easily gave the illusion that my lips were a lot bigger than they are - added bonus! I will certainly use this again but with the idea of practicality in mind when creating something that could double as a liner, you would think Maxfactor would also introduce a function that's slightly more advanced and convenient than having to physically sharpen. I'm looking forward to trying stronger, more daring colours - I just need to invest in a decent sharpener and be a bit more careful! 

You can purchase Maxfactor Colour Elixir Giant Pen Stick's for £6.99 at your local Maxfactor counter.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Jelly Pong Pong Fairy Lashes mascara in 'Intense Black'

I don't like to go too in-depth in Glossy Boxes as it ends up being the entire blogging world reviewing the same products .. however I felt it would be a general waste of products to not at least review a couple. I was interested in the Fairy Lashes mascara from Jelly Pong Pong, purely because its their first ever. I've only ever tried products from this small cosmetics company through various Glossy Boxes, and to be honest i've never been too thrilled about them so didn't have very high hopes for this product.

It's described as a mascara 'not for the faint-hearted' and claims to make lashes thicker, curvier whilst maintaining softness. Hmm, we'll see..

Don't you agree that the packaging is just a tad too big for the product? It looks more like perfume packaging?

When I first used the product, I thought the wand was broken! I then thought it may be designed that way for convinience .. but as I look at other reviews it seems to be that my mascara may just have a wonky wand? Either way, it didn't help at all. I found the overall quality of brush to be very low and it didn't distribute the product very well. I found it was very difficult to apply the product in the corners and on my bottom lashes. 

First of all I want to apologise for this picture. My eyebrows need to be sorted desperately and I was testing a terrible liquid eyeliner which explains how horrible it looks! However, as you can see, the mascara makes next to no difference - especially against eyeliner. I found my lashes felt spindly and thin, and it made it look like I had less lashes? 

Throughout the day the product began to wear off, and what was left was very difficult to remove. It almost felt like my lashes were going to snap off, so I wouldn't use this product for this reason alone. Its designed to be water resistant, which I could completely believe, but that hasn't widened the appeal in the slightest. For £15, I am shocked that this product even made it into the boxes. There is no intensity, no volume, minimal curl and the removal makes you regret even putting it on in the first place.

You can purchase Jelly Pong Pong's Fairy Lashes mascara from their website here.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Bourjois Paris BB Bronzing Cream

Being a pale person, any products that contain the words 'bronzing' or 'tanning' scare me. The last thing i'd want to be is someone with a brown face and white body or look like i've rubbed a melted bar of milk chocolate onto my face. Yes I know that may sound stupid, but for someone that has little to no colour to them at all even the slightest bit makes a massive difference.

I'd been hoping to try a BB cream for a while, purely because I was curious what all the fuss was about and missed the initial 'hype' surrounding it. However, when I came across the BB Bronzing Cream from Bourjois on one of my regular Boots browses, I was intrigued. Not only did it claim to possess the qualities one would expect from a BB cream, it also incorporated a bronzer that was allegedly a 'universal shade'.

Looking at the swatched product before blending, there would be no way that anyone would believe that they could match my skin tone. As you can see from the blended swatch, there is a slight bronze that looks more like I just decided to swatch a foundation two shades darker than my match.

As you can see, there's next to no colour difference at all. There is an ever-so-slight tinge of colour that is so slight you can't tell the difference on camera. Bronzing aside, as a BB cream it has a lot more promise. It provides natural coverage, tones down the redness on my cheeks and nose, and makes my skin appear brighter. The only negative I will say is that although it does claim to be moisturising, I found it quite hard to apply and create an even coverage without the aid of a primer - it was quite dry. It doesn't quite provide 16-hour moisturisation; I found that throughout the day I needed to reapply as my skin started to dry out.
For £6.99 its pretty good value for what it does, but it's certainly not as versatile as it claims to be.

Overall it's pretty mediocre. It has more promise as a BB cream, but in future I think i'll stick with bronzing powder and some light contouring if I fancy a bit of colour.

You can purchase Bourjois Paris BB Bronzing Cream from your local Boots for £6.99 (RRP: £9.99)

Monday, 6 May 2013

Models Own Artstix Nail Polish Duo in 'Jade Flakes'

First of all, let me apologise for the lack of posts recently. University is starting to wind down so i'm finishing off final assignments and ensuring everything is done for when I eventually move back home for the summer. As well as this, i've suffered from quite bad skin due to stress these past few weeks, so i've refrained from taking photos as i'm just not feeling really comfortable with the way i'm looking right now. But anyway, pity party over!

As a student (And as a girl in general), I love a bargain. What I also love are products that provide combinations, making it a full-proof way of ensuring you get it right every time. The Artstix Nail Polish Duo from Models Own is one of those products! They've jumped on the 'double-ended polish' bandwagon, which sees a base coat paired with either a polish with a nail-art brush or a nail effect top coat.

'Jade Flakes' is just one of eight combinations from Models Own, but with the inclusion of 'Snowflakes' from the Wonderland Collection it quickly became a must-have.

(I am well aware that my nail painting skills are not great!)

For £6 this product is ideal for someone looking to explore new shades without breaking the bank, as fullsized bottles of these two polishes alone cost £5 each. However, when using a glitter top coat its easy to end up using a lot of product just trying to get the desired effect seen on the bottle. With its large flakes, I ended up having to use three coats on each nail, resulting in a quarter of the bottle being used in one application. The top coat also has an extremely thick consistency, meaning that because of the layering (And I tried to thin it as much as possible without losing the flakes) it began to chip straight away and created bubbles on the surface of the nail which ruined the overall effect!

Overall it's a gorgeous combination and I had no problems with the application or the coverage of the 'Jade Stone' polish. However, the inclusion of the top coat meant that the polish latest just over 24 hours. I'm open to trying different Artstix as every one is different, however I feel i'm more likely to just use the base coat in the future as the top coat is extremely disappointing.

You can purchase Artstix Nail Polish Duos from your local Boots, or online here for £6.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Wonderstruck By Taylor Swift

I have a confession... I love Taylor Swift. I don't know why i'm saying it like it's a sort of guilty pleasure, her songs are incredible and she has legs the length of my entire body.
Therefore, purchasing her signature perfume was inevitable. I was hesitant at first, as I feared that if I knew she released a perfume that I despised I would be gravely disappointed. However, after playing "Enchanted" on repeat a few hundred times (Where the word 'Wonderstruck' was sung repeatedly), I decided to take the plunge - that, and the fact that Boots had the 30ml bottle on offer for an amazing £13!

The design is exactly the way I imagined it would be. Very bohemian, away-with-the-fairies, and almost mythical -  taking me back to the setting of her  'Love Story' video (Fangirling, sorry!).
 With heart notes of honeysuckle and vanilla whoopie pie, it's definitely one of the sweetest perfumes I own. With added peach, amber and a hint of musk, it's quite indulgent. I think this is quite a child/teen perfume, but I can imagine it would be a hit for anyone who wants to compliment their outfit with a beautifully sweet scent. The perfume is very authentic, with the scents chosen by Taylor that encapsulate her memories and experiences. With the 50ml bottle, the neck is adorned with beautiful Moravian star, birdcage and dove charms that were also chosen by Taylor.

I don't usually like doing perfume reviews as every scent is slightly different on everyone, but i'm just in love with it. It's playful, enticing and sensual enough to wear in the evening. It's also great when you need a little pick-me-up too, nothing puts me in a better mood than smelling like a sweet shop!

You can purchase Wonderstruck from your local perfume shop or online here from £19.50.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Everyday Makeup #1

As a beauty blogger, popping to Boots for a new product is just as common as a dash to the corner shop for a pint of milk. However, as our makeup collections rapidly accumulate, how much of it is actually used on a regular basis? I see so many blog sales consisting of blushers and eyeshadows that have been swatched once, which is why I tend to look to 'everyday makeup' posts to really see what is considered a staple.

So, today i'm going to start a series of everyday makeup posts .. showcasing my favourite looks and go-to products!

Base: Smashbox Photo Finish primer, Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Eclat in 'BR10', Bourjois Paris Healthy Balance unifying powder in '52 Vanilla' (Not photographed)
Eyes: Rimmel Exaggerate eyeshadow primer, 'Virgin' and 'Naked' from the Urban Decay Naked Palette, Benefit's 'They're Real!' mascara, Rimmel Khol & Contour eyeliner
Brows: 'Medium brown' from the Foxy HD Brow Kit, MAC Brow Set in 'Clear'
Lips: Benefit Cha Cha Tint, Loreal Glam Shine Reflexion lip gloss in '174 Sheer Peach'

As you can see, I like to keep things pretty natural looking (which is strange with the amount of products I use!). I'm all about groomed brows, so as long as they are filled in and arched I don't mind what goes on with the rest of my face! This is what I would usually wear to work, or in today's case going out for sushi. I usually go for a lot of highlighting and contouring, but I think 13 products is enough for a 'simple' look. 

On a more personal note, i've finally started my Easter holidays, meaning I have about 5 weeks off from university! Yes, that does sound amazing until I tell you I have 5 assignments to do. Easter break over.