Wednesday, 30 March 2016

March Loves

March is up and it's that end-of-the-month round up blog post time. There have been lots of new bits that I've been trying this month but I only wanted to feature the bits that I've used nearly every day. They're mostly on the beauty side of things, and without further ado, here they are:

1. First up in the beauty department is skincare. I've been trying the Superdrug Naturally Radiant range and I have fallen in love with the Glycolic Overnight Facial Peel. I've written a full review on the range here, but to sum this product up - it brightens and clears my skin to give it the most radiant appearance the morning after I use this product. Lovely.

2. I've been all about the Freedom Pro Highlight Palette. It's full of so many highlight shades for all skin tones, with both creamy and powder formulas. I've loved dusting a little on my cheekbones and using the creams as eyeshadow bases for that extra glow when the sun has been shining. Again, a full review and swatch post is right here for those of you interested. 

3. The NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Himalia has been my go to Spring shadow for an intense champagne sparkle. It can be used wet or dry, is so perfectly smooth in formula and pigmentation, and just looks beautiful. I usually just blend a little of this all over my lid and sometimes follow up with a darker brown in the crease - with just a little mascara, I'm all set on the eye front. 

4. To go with the Freedom palette, this highlight brush was a budget beaut find which I absolutely adore. Let's get the price in bold: 99p. I could not believe my eyes when I saw it - so much so that I've used it every day this month, and written an entire blog post dedicated to its magical powers. Enjoy.

5. Clothing wise, you might have seen this Breton Striped Top from New Look. I bought this at the start of March and I've been donning it non-stop. The simplicity of it is what drew me in - paired with my Topshop Lucas Boyfriend Jeans and some ballet flats, it looks so effortless and Spring appropriate!

6. I wanted to add (even though it's not photographed), that I've been watching Brooklyn Nine Nine and I'm absolutely hooked. The first two seasons are on Netflix if you haven't seen it, its well worth a watch if you're into the comedy cop style genre that I love so very much. Be warned though - it's the kind of show you binge watch because each episode is only twenty minutes long!

What have been your favourites this month?

Monday, 28 March 2016

A Budget Friendly Brush Dupe

Brushes can be super expensive. Although I agree that investing in good tools is the key to perfect makeup (along with a good skincare regime), finding brushes which work well for a fraction of the price can be wonderful for your wallet too. I've recently discovered an excellent dupe for the NARS Yachiyo Kabuki Brush (£43), and although I can't compare it to the real deal, I can vouch for the fact that it does an amazing job

The description on the NARS website describes the Yachiyo brush to be a multi functional artist favourite for defining cheekbones, highlighting, blending and diffusing colour on the cheeks. I have tried using this dupe for exactly these purposes to see how well it works, and honestly, it works a treat. The bristles are soft, and nicely packed into a very gorgeous looking handle. My dupe brush cost 99p. I promise I'm not joking. Here is where I found it

Again, I have to emphasize that I haven't tried the NARS version, so I can't promise the same quality. But I can say appearance wise it's a match, and in terms of how well the brush works, it's a very decent brush - particularly for the price. 

Have you tried this dupe? 
What are your favourite budget brushes?


Friday, 25 March 2016

Five Tips for Better Makeup Application

There are lots of beauty tips and tricks out there to help keep makeup looking fresh all day, but I've picked out some of the most essential bits which I live by when using makeup. Without further ado, here they are...

1. Drink a tall glass of water every morning.
Actually, don't just stop after one glass in the morning - keep sipping at water throughout the day. It sounds cliche but it's so important to stay hydrated, and makes such a difference in you energy levels as well as your skin. If you don't like drinking plain water, try adding a slice of lemon (which also detoxifies) or drink sparkling water if you like a little fizz. Either way, water = beautiful. 

2. Prep your skin before applying any makeup.
Primers and primer waters are a great step for prepping your skin, but I'm talking go waayyy back. Make sure your skin is cleansed and well moisturized before you start with any makeup products. Trust me - it sits far better on your skin that way. It's all about the base (excuse the slight Meghan Trainor ring there, that was unintentional I promise).

3. Blend. Blend. Blend. 
And I don't just mean your eyeshadow (although that's also very important). There's nothing quite like a nasty tide line where your foundation hasn't quite been buffed in enough to match your neck with your jawline. This can happen with contouring too. The best way to avoid this is to do your makeup routine in natural daylight so you can see any harsh lines and blend them away. Another good tip is to find the right buffing brush - you want it to be dense enough to buff out any lines but soft enough not to move your makeup around with it. I recommend the Real Techniques buffing brush (it's affordable and does the job perfectly). 

4. Keep a facial spritz at hand.
I've only recently discovered how useful this tip is in keeping your makeup fresh throughout the day. There are lots of makeup setting sprays around and its great to use these throughout your makeup routine to set each step. However, I've found that keeping a travel sized bottle at hand is a great way to maintain that fresh faced look for longer. Just like keeping hydrated on the inside is incredibly important, a facial spritz is a splash of hydration for the outside.

5. Cleanse before bed.
This one is probably one of the  most important ones. Cleansing your face before bed removes any dirt from the day so your pores don't clog at night and lead to skin problems. It also makes makeup application the next day much smoother because your skin has had a chance to breathe overnight. Applying a rich moisturizer or night time face mask can also help in keeping your skin hydrated and healthy. 

What are your favourite ways to apply makeup?

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Makeup Musings #1

I thought it would be interesting to start a little series where I write a monthly post dedicated to the new beauty bits I have been playing around with. Sort of like mini first impressions/review on different products each month, both old favourites and new launches, from drugstore and luxury. It's still a new born idea but I think it would be a good way of sharing my overall thoughts on several different products as well as encouraging me to switch up my makeup routine each month and keep things fresh (we all get stuck in a rut sometimes, am I right?). So here's to March's makeup medley:

Ok, so we all know how much I've been raving about the Smashbox Primer Water. It's my new makeup obsession and I've been using it every time I apply makeup without fail. I actually have an in-depth review where I go into much more detail about how I use it and what it does. I've finally got my hands on a budget alternative - this Freedom one is the one I picked up and it looks perfect! Let me know if you'd like a comparison of the two...

Concealer wise, the Maybelline Instant Anti Age Eraser has been working its magic on my under eye circles. I've been struggling with sleep and this little gem has rescued me on countless occasions. I find the sponge tip applicator a little weird though - quite unhygienic if I'm perfectly honest - but it does the trick and I've had no problems thus far. 

The NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Himalia has been on my eyes all month. It's so richly pigmented and sparkly. You can amp it up with a wet brush or use it dry for serious shimmer action all day long. It's very rich and gold with bronze undertones - one of my all time favourite shadows EVER. I need more from this line. I wish they weren't £21 a piece (sigh).

I wrote a whole review on the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner and Smudgestick in Stingray. Both are perfect for am intense black line. I've really been enjoying using the fine nib to come very close to the lash line just to accentuate it and give my eyes more definition. It works a treat. The retractable pencil liner is great for the waterline, budge proof and dark black. I like smudging a little half way in, so as not to make my eyes smaller but rather more almond shaped in appearance. 

Lashes are something close to my heart. I love the lots of lash look and have done for a while, so any product which gives me this goes straight on my hit list. Benefit's Roller Lash is no exception. It lengthens and separates giving definition and a doll eyed effect to my lashes. I love love love this mascara. I do have an in depth comparison between Roller Lash and They're Real which I posted a few weeks ago - check that out if you're interested in hearing my thoughts on both.

On my cheeks I've been trying out the Kiko Milano Rebel Bouncy Blushes I purchased earlier this month. The shade I've been using the most has been 03 Treasure Rose because it's more berry toned and works well with the NARS eyeshadow I mentioned earlier. Although these blushes do appear creamy and 'bouncy' in the pan, I feel like they are actually quite stiff. Maybe it's just the one I got - but I find I have to blend really quickly and press quite hard for even application. They're also quite intense, be careful if you're pale skinned - use a light hand and blend well if you want to avoid the rag doll look!

Last but not least, lips. I featured this lip colour as an instant favourite in my Kiko haul - it's English Rose from the Smooth Temptation Lipstick line. It's the perfect dusky pink shade for everyday, perfect for Spring and very wearable for most skin shades. It's a matte finish but not drying at all, it lasts very well and gives a great pigmented plump lip look. Another makeup hit.

What are your favourite makeup bits this month?

Monday, 21 March 2016

Naturally Radiant with Superdrug

With Spring just around the corner, I've been on the hunt for a glow enhancing skincare range to try for a while now. I wanted something rich and radiant but not with a hefty price tag - and nothing gets more price friendly than the Superdrug own brand lines. They have several different ranges of products, much like Boots No. 7, but are even more wallet friendly without compromising excellent results. I've tried and loved quite a few different products from Superdrug's own brand, but this range caught my eye. The Naturally Radiant line has been around for a while now and includes several different products including cleansers, serums, masks and moisturizers. The part that drew me in the most was the concept behind the formula of each product. The idea behind Naturally Radiant is to revive the radiance in your skin whilst refining, retexturizing and revealing a youthful glow. 

As you probably know well by now, I have dry skin and need as much moisture and hydration as I can get. All of the products in this range have been infused with Kiwi Fruit and Mulberry extract which help energize the skin as well as create the velvety formula which is carried throughout the line. Saying that, each of these products have different textures, from the very rich night cream to the light and dewy serum. There's something for everyone.  

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Brightening Day Cream

This moisturizer is formulated to brighten any dullness across the complexion and even out an uneven skin tone. It's made with two separate formulas - one is for normal to dry skin and the other for combination to oily skin. You get 75 mls of product in a very cute pistachio coloured pot. I use this every morning after applying my favourite toner and it works a treat in giving my skin the boost of hydration that it needs before applying makeup.

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Renewing Night Cream

The night cream is a very moisture intensive formula and it acts a little bit more like a mask. You need a very small amount which, once applied evenly to the face, works on renewing and refreshing your skin cells for the freshest face in the morning! Again, you get 75 mls of product which will last a while if used once a night. I use this every evening about half an hour before bed. I follow up with the Glycolic Overnight Peel three times a week directly before bed.

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Glycolic Overnight Peel

This tube is a little overnight mask to help revive the skins radiance for clearer, brighter looking skin. I use this about three times a week and apply it directly before going to bed. It applies very thin with one squeeze being enough to cover the face. It's clear, light and dries down very quickly into a peel. I wash this off in the morning and my skin always feels smooth and new. I love facial peels, and this one is no exception.

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Moisturizer and Serum

This one is possibly the most used product of the bunch. I apply this several times a day (when I'm not wearing makeup), to hydrate and refresh my complexion like a drink of cold water for my face. My skin feels plumper, and looks very dewy and healthy - all the things I want for it. There is a pump on the top of this one which makes it the best product for on the go. The day and night cream can get messy as they're in open jars - I much prefer the pump action on this one!

So. These products were definitely a happy find - I'm really enjoying using them so far, and my skin is too. One of the best things about this range is it proves you don't have to splash a lot of cash for quality skincare. I was really happy to read that none of these products are tested on animals, which is great for any vegans looking for an inexpensive but well performing skincare line.  

Have you tried the Naturally Radiant Skincare Line?

Friday, 18 March 2016

A Palette for the Glow Getters

I love me a good highlight. In the colder months, I would often reach for a subtle candlelit glow such as Hourglass Diffused Light gives, and dust that lightly on my cheekbones and down the bridge of my nose. But as Spring approaches, I'm feeling the the highlight game getting stronger. If you read my review of the cult classic Becca Champagne Pop, you'll know that it's very intense, buttery and a dream to apply if you're wanting to up to up the ante. The one drawback however, is that it is £32. And although I'm all for investing in good quality products, it can get a bit spendy. So just imagine my excitement when I found the Freedom Pro Highlight palette for just £6 from Superdrug

The palette comes with eight different shades and two different formulas. You get a whole 15g of product which means each pan is just under 2g. There are six creamy shades and two powder shades. They are all extremely pigmented although some are chunkier than others, particularly in the cream formulas. However, I love how unique some of the colours are - I've never seen a silvery blue or an ice white in a highlight palette before so it's great that you get so much variety. And although these colours may seem scary to use at first, when well blended and paired with the right makeup, they can look absolutely gorgeousNot only are they great for highlighting your cheeks, brow bone and cupids bow, but they are also great as an eyeshadow base. Be sure to pair with a good eye primer, all of these shades would be great to build a very glowy eye look
Here are some swatches of the cream highlight shades:

I found that a couple of the shades were a little chunky, especially the bright white and the corner gold shade. But again, when these shades are worked into the skin and blended well, they look beautiful. They work great on the inner corners of your eyes as well, to open them up and appear larger. Here are the powder highlight shades: 

Super pigmented and very soft (but not too soft that they fall out everywhere). They feel very finely milled for a drugstore product and aren't chunky at all. There's a brighter silvery white and a bronzey rose copper gold (which reminds me of Champagne Pop quite a bit). I love dusting this right on the tops of my cheeks for a sun kissed glow.
The packaging doesn't feel super luxury, but I'm not sure you can expect much for £6. It does come with a very large mirror in the lid which is seriously impressive for such an affordable product - also very useful for on the go!

I'm very impressed, and will definitely be trying out the Freedom Blush Palettes too (I love the look of this coral one) - let me know if you'd be interested in reviews and swatches for that!

Have you tried the Freedom Makeup Palettes?

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

The £3 Primer (that does it all)

Having been on the hunt for the perfect primer for a while, I was absolutely thrilled when I found this one. I had tried everything from Benefit's best selling Porefessional to Maybelline Baby Skin... and nothing had really wowed me into repurchasing. So you can imagine my surprise when this £3 primer from Wilkinson's completely blew my primer searching out of the beauty pond. I actually found this whilst perusing through my mum's makeup draw on a weekend back home. I had forgotten my own Makeup Forever Skin Equalizer (which is pretty good too, but quite up there in price), and I wanted to see if she had I primer I could borrow. That's when I clapped my eyes on the Kiss Light Reflecting Primer. I had never heard of this brand - the packaging reminded me of Soap and Glory meets Benefit Cosmetics, so you can imagine my surprise when I found out it was actually from and how much mum bought it for!

Now for the breakdown of the primer itself (and why it ticks all the boxes for my skin). The tube states that it's a light reflecting formula which brightens up your skin before you apply makeup. This is completely true - it's like a soft focus filter for your skin, diffusing any hyper pigmentation, redness or blemishes and perfectly prepping your skin for foundation. I did a little basic research on the primer's formula itself and it actually contains silica spheres which is what achieves this 'diffused' look and apparently also reduces the appearances of fine lines (I don't know about this because I don't actually have this yet, but my mum stands by this). The primer also has other beneficial components in it's formula, such as Vitamin E (a famous antioxidant), apricot oil and baobab oil to soften and condition your skin. The overall finish is mattifying, so you would think that this would only be suitable for oily skin - but no. As someone who suffers from very dry skin, I can tell you that this works very well for it. The oils really work, and as I apply a moisturizer before starting my makeup routine anyway, its actually a perfect formula to smooth out and mattify my complexion

Seriously, this primer really does it all. It's sold out online at the moment, but sign up for an email so you know when it's back in stock - or pop into your local Wilkinson's and have a look in the makeup isle. You won't regret it.

Let me know if you give this a try!


Monday, 14 March 2016

Ten Pick-Me-Ups For a Bad Day

Sometimes we just need a pick-me-up, whether it's on a Monday morning or mid-week blues, it happens to all of us. I know when I'm having a down day, I fall into the habit of lying down with my laptop by my side binge watching Netflix and eating junk food... and I'm sure, I'm not alone (at least, I hope so). However, even though it's OK to have those binge-watch Netflix days, there are other pick me ups which I've discovered recently which seriously help. So, without further ado, here they are:

1. Tidy up
I find tidying to be one of the most therapeutic tasks and once I've started, I instantly feel a lot more energized by actively watching my progress. Try playing some upbeat songs as you clear your space to keep you moving. What's more, once you're done tidying you're likely to feel a lot more productive because your surroundings will be clean and organised. 

2. Write.
I keep a journal where I can write out how I feel. It's a great way to let off some steam in a quite and calm way, and cleanse your thoughts. If you're not a fan of writing, perhaps keep a colouring book at hand. It's thought to be very therapeutic and seeing lots of colours on the page can be extremely uplifting.

3. Bake.
Baking (or cooking if you're more a chef than a baker) can be a wonderful way to be creative and pick up your mood. What makes it more fun is trying something completely new, or perhaps baking with friends and family if that floats your boat. There are some amazing recipes all over the internet, and some amazing baking books available on Kindle. One of my favourites is making brownies - this is a recipe I made a few weeks ago!

4. Pin.
Pinterest is the best site for some motivation. Whether it's quotes, plans, tips... you can find everything on there to help organize and redirect your energy on your goals. When you find something which inspires you, set it as your desktop background or print it out and stick it up somewhere you can see it every day to keep you driven. Side note: if you want to follow me on Pinterest, here's my link.

5. Shop.
I love online shopping, namely, ASOS. It can be very dangerous for my wallet but a true mood lifter for when I'm not having the best day. Sometimes, just browsing through the new season trends and not even buying anything can do the trick. Or, if I have time, walking into town and finding even just one wardrobe piece I love can be the best pick-me-up which lasts for the rest of the week.

6. Walk.
Getting fresh air when you're feeling down is one of the best remedies. A change of scenery and escape from your regular surroundings can reinvigorate you, whilst also giving you time to clear your head and press reset. Just a walk to the local cafe to pick up a skinny latte does the trick for me.

7. Hydrate.
Feeling dehydrated can often be the cause of a low mood. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times and sip regularly. You should consume between 2-3 ltrs a day. Or if you have time, try out my green juice recipe for glowing skin. It's a wonderful way to boost your mood and give you lots of energy and it's really quick to make. 

8. Pamper.
A LUSH filled bubble bath, or freshly painted nails can be the perfect way to pick up your mood. It's super relaxing, and a great way to put some me-time into your day. I think a lot of people can feel guilty about taking a whole evening off just for themselves, but it's not selfish at all! Think of it as an evening to recharge your batteries so you feel extra productive for the rest of the week.

9. Lippy.
I love experimenting with new makeup but sometimes the old classics are the ones which save the day. Just putting on  your favourite lipstick and some mascara can be the perfect pick me up and confidence boost you need to get through the rest of the day.

10. Netflix.
Sometimes, Netflix can just save the day. Cosying up on the sofa watching a show you truly love with some Dominos can cure your mood like nothing else. If you're looking for some new shows recommendations, have a look at my Netflix Night In post where I've shared some of my favourite shows available on UK Netflix. If you'd like a similar post with film recommendations, let me know!

 What are your favourite tips for a bad day?

Saturday, 12 March 2016

A Netflix Night In

I know Saturday isn't usually on my blogging schedule, but here's a special one for those of you planning to watch any Netflix this weekend... Enjoy!
I'm pretty sure Netflix is on everyone's list of favourite things in life. It's certainly on mine. I've been watching lots of it lately, as it's usually my go-to way of procrastinating (please tell me I'm not alone here). Of course, it has my classic favourites but I've recently discovered some new shows which have got me totally hooked. SO, it's Friday night - and without further ado, here are five of my UK Netflix show favourites...

1. Gossip Girl
This one is an old classic and a guilty pleasure. I absolutely love Blair Waldorf (I'm not sure I've met someone who doesn't), but one of the best things about this show is the fashion. There's so many different styles which you can see evolving as the characters grow up, and both Blair and Serena's wardrobe is every girls heaven. It's funny, witty and wonderfully written. A six season glimpse into the glamour and glitz of Manhattan's elite.

2. Suits
Another series set in New York (actually I've just realized, I think a lot of these favourites are...). This one is all about high profile lawyers and the drama surrounding Mike Ross, a lawyer without a law degree. It's more serious, yet still witty, with an intense new story line every season. If you're up to date you'll know that there are five seasons at the moment - but three are on  Netflix to get you started if you haven't already!

3. Brooklyn Nine Nine
I had no idea about this show until literally one month ago. And now I'm hooked. Seriously. I watched two twenty-two episode seasons in two weeks. The shows premise is about the 99th Precinct of the NYPD in Brooklyn, New York. It's a crime sit-com which had me laughing every couple of minutes. Lovely light humour for a day when you just need a pick-me-up.

4. Pretty Little Liars
This is a show I've been a fan of ever since it first started. It revolves around four girls tormented by an anonymous bully named A. Although the show starts off a little girly, it gets more serious, more sinister and definitely more dangerous by first half of season six. The trick is to stick with it. On a side note, the fashion in this show is another noteworthy reason to add it to your 'must watch' list.

5. White Collar
Another recent discovery. Again about crime. This one is a lot more high profile as the title would suggest. However, the shows interesting twist is that a criminal is the one helping the FBI solve these crimes. It's funny, yet still intense. Well worth a watch if you're looking for something more mentally stimulating rather than something light. Also, Matt Bomer makes this show. Seriously, he's perfect as the leading role. 

What are your Netflix favourites?

Friday, 11 March 2016

Breton Stripes and Boyfriend Jeans

I love the classic simplicity of this outfit. It mixes a clean print with blue denim and gives that totally-put-together vibe but whilst being so effortlessly chic. This combination is great for this time of year, transitioning into Spring. What makes it even more of a favourite is the price. All three pieces in this outfit are from the high street and are very affordable

The Breton Striped Top never seems to go out of style. There are  so many variants of this kind of print, from thick striped to thin stripes, coloured stripes to monochrome. I love the thin navy horizontal stripes on this piece from New Look - it reminds me very much of Brigitte Bardot's casual chic look hereOn a side note, Bardot's makeup is also worth noting. It works so well with such a simple outfit like this one - a classic dark black winged eyeliner and smoky lashes with a neutral lip. If you're looking for an eyeliner recommendation check out this post.

The Boyfriend Jeans I've paired this top with are the Moto Blue Lucas Boyfriend Jeans from Topshop. I love these because they have a slim leg which is much better suited for a petite frame. I'm only 5'2 so this works well for me - I can still get the slouchy comfortable vibe from over sized jeans but without them swamping my frame. They have rolled up ankles which you can roll up or down depending on your height and preference. They really are the perfect pair of this jean style for me.

I'm really into the whole Pointed Black Pixie Shoe trend. I think it looks incredibly chic and classy - yet it can be hard to find flat pointed shoes which look as good as pointed heels do. I wanted this outfit to be wearable for everyday, and whilst I would LOVE to be able to wear heels every single day, it's just not practical for me. So, when I found these shoes in New Look, I was a very happy person. So happy I purchased two for when the first pair fall apart from wear. Unfortunately, they're out of stock everywhere now but there are some similar ones floating around. The have a gorgeous suedette pointed toe, and a chunky block heel 1.5 inch heel (so they're very easy to walk in). They add a little height but ooze class. Not to mention they finish this outfit off perfectly.
With a simple necklace or some plain stud earrings, this is my go-to outfit for Spring.

What's your favourite outfit this Spring?

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Cheeks, Lips and Tips with Kiko Cosmetics

I have heard so much about Kiko Milano Cosmetics over the past couple of years, and yet I never got round to trying anything from the brand myself. I stumbled across their website a couple of weeks ago and forced myself to place an order (though that bit wasn't hard, everything was so pretty), so I could finally try out a bit of the brand that everyone raves about. It's a very affordable line, with all sorts of products ranging from skincare to makeup and beauty tools. I was most intrigued by a few products which were the ones I thought would be the best segway into the brand: the Rebel Bouncy Blushes, the Smooth Temptation Lipsticks and (of course) the Kiko Nail Lacquers

I have to mention that the way my order was packaged on arrival was beautiful. For such an affordable brand, I was very impressed by how well presented the products were in their separate little boxes. Everything looked sleek and luxurious - bonus points to Kiko for product packaging being on-point. It was all presented in a box but they did pop a little branded bag inside in case any products were gifts.

So, let's start off with the most exciting products: the Rebel Bouncy Blushes. I saw these on the top of box and my heart skipped with joy. They just look so darn pretty! The boxes are purple and embossed with rose gold letters - in fact, the boxes themselves feel very velvety on the surface. It has a very Great Gatsby type feel to it, if you know what I mean. The compact itself is rose gold (eek!) and has a mirror inside along with 5g of product. The blush has a matte satin effect on the cheeks which is perfect for all skin types - not too dry it would flake and not too oily it would slide. I chose two colours from the range - 02 Adorable Pink and 03 Treasure Rose

Adorable Pink is a brighter raspberry pink, perfect for warmer months for a pop of colour. It's the kind of shade that would pair perfectly with a bright pink lip. The texture of this formula is smooth and creamy although its not exactly a cream blush. I would say it's more of a hybrid between a powder and cream. 

Treasure Rose is a deeper berry toned rose, great for transitioning between seasons and a shade that would work beautifully with lots of lash and a nude gloss. It's very soft, but highly pigmented so be careful with your brush when applying. I'd probably reach for this one more because I'm all into that dusky rose colour right now.  

Now onto lips. I have four products to share, three lipsticks and one lipgloss. The gloss I picked was from the Super Gloss line in the colour 124 Rhododendron Pink. From the swatch online, I imagined it to be super pigmented and bright pink but it's actually just a tint and is quite muted. Saying that, I'm not disappointed - it works well as an everyday just-swipe-it-on-and-you're-good-to-go lipgloss. The formula is not sticky at all, it's light and smells like buttercream. So in short, win, win, win.

The three lipsticks I picked up were from the Smooth Temptation range: 03 Cherry, 04 English Rose and 06 Rosewood (you can really tell I'm really into the rose theme right now, can't you? Sigh). The come in long, thin tube so are easy to twist up and apply - the formula is buttery smooth and very pigmented. They have a satin finish and smell like vanilla frosting, much like the famous MAC lipstick scent. These colours are gorgeous - English Rose is my favourite, it's the most wearable and goes with pretty much anything.

Now last but not least, nails. I don't know why but for some reason, I haven't heard much about the Kiko nail line. I was overwhelmed by the choice of colours - they literally have every shade you can think of. I found it hard whittling it down to three: 319 Light Dove, 338 Light Lavender and 535 Metallic British Green. I thought I'd go for the every day neutrals and then one quirky party shade. Again, the pigmentation on these is out of this world. They are incredibly easy to apply, not streaky at all and give amazing colour payoff in just two coats. I love all three colours, but I'm really digging the lavender shade. It's just such a fresh colour for March. These are ridiculously affordable - I highly recommend them already (although I still need to test out wear time).  

I honestly cannot believe I hadn't tried this brand before, I know that I will be ordering more in the very near future. I definitely want to order some more nail shades and try out some of the skincare products Kiko have in their range!

Have you  tried any Kiko products? Which ones do you recommend I should try?

Monday, 7 March 2016

Becca X Jaclyn Hill: Champagne Pop

This highlighter has been all the rage in the highlighting world for the past six months. I mean, honestly, look at it. It's like it sings to you when you open the lid, in all it's rose golden shimmery glory. So today (even thought I'm a little late), I'd share my thoughts on the cult beauty favourite: Becca X Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop (£32 @ Space.NK).

Let's talk packaging: It comes beautifully boxed in a copper box embossed with little bubbles (I'm guessing that's to match the champagne popping idea in the name). Jaclyn Hill has signed it as well which adds a little something special to the usual Becca boxes. There's also a little bit about the highlighter in Jaclyn's own words which I'll pop up (excuse the unintentional pun) for you here:
"I am so excited to present to you my dream shade of the very best highlighter on the market - Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop! This creamy luminizing powder veils the skin in a soft pearlized glow. Light-reflecting pearls beautifully catch the light, allowing your favourite features to pop! Sweep across face or apply to cheekbones, brow bones and bridge of nose."

At first glance, the product looks very buttery in the pan, like it would melt in the heat. It is very soft and very intensely pigmented - a little bit goes a very long way on this one! The colour looks sort-of orange but comes out very peachy, absolutely stunning for the summer. It's a colour that would truly work on anyone and everyone, from pale to deep skin tones.  The product is very finely milled, not chunky, so you get a gorgeously smooth glow. What's more, it lasts all day - so pair it with a good blush  so you get that seamless rosy glow from morning til night. On a side note, I'm actually convinced that if mixed with a setting spray and a dense eye brush, you could actually use this for a gorgeous eyeshadow as well! 

Swatch: Becca Champagne Pop Highlighter

One thing I would say is be careful when handling the product. The pan isn't super sturdy and the product is soft, so if you drop it, it will shatter. And with a product as shimmer-intense as this, it will make a huge mess. Think Estee Lauder Heatwave intense, not Hourglass Dim Light with it's subtle glow. I can't emphasize enough - this one is very richly pigmented, it is not for the faint hearted!

Have you tried Becca Champagne Pop?

Friday, 4 March 2016

Marc Jacobs: Enamored Nail Lacquers

Don't these look just absolutely gorgeous? I've been a fan of the Marc Beauty line ever since it first launched, but I found it so hard to get hold of! In fact, I used to always stock up whenever I was near a Sephora, which of course meant that I could only purchase abroad. I know that Harrods have started stocking in the UK, so it's now slightly easier to get hold of the line on this side of the pond. Today I thought I'd share my thoughts on the Marc Beauty Nail Lacquer line, with a review on three different shades from the range. 

Firstly, let's start off with the bottle. It's one of the most unique, simple and elegant bottles of nail varnish I've ever seen. The shape is sort of like a pebble, a theme which runs through a lot of the Marc Jacobs Beauty line. It's very sleek and very shiny - you take off the cap and then unscrew the brush (much like many other higher end nail varnishes with fancy bottles). You get 13mls of product which is a decent amount -  it will last a while depending on how often you wear the shade. I've got three different finishes for a more wholesome review (sometimes some finishes are better than others!). Here they are:

1. Gatsby - a champagne pink with metallic finish. This one was the one I was most excited about but least impressed by so let's get this one tackled first. I'm going to be honest - the name is what sold me on this shade. The colour is a classic pale golden pink which reminds me of the 1920s Baz Luhrmann Great Gatsby-esque parties. I needed three coats for an opaque finish, and it did apply quite streaky - but to be fair, many metallic finishes are that way so I should have expected that. Once it was on, I was happy. At least, I was happy for about four hours. It began chipping almost immediately despite applying my favourite top coat. I had to remove it after only a day of wear. I will try wearing it again and give updates if that was a one off fiasco!

2. Le Charm - a copper rose gold with a glitter finish. This one is incredibly pretty. It's a lot more orangey than pink - very unusual and super glittery without being difficult to take off. I love this colour on its own with two coats or on top of a neutral colour as a sparkly topcoat. It wore for around four days with minimal chipping and looked very fresh. It's one of those you-can't-stop-staring-at-your-nails type colours.

3. Petra - a dirty bronze with a fine glitter finish. This one is my favourite of the three. It's another extremely unique shade, almost gritty looking gunmetal with silvery sparkles running through. It's grungy but still very classic at the same time. It wore the longest (six days) with minimal chipping, and was very easy to remove despite the glitter as it's milled so fine. I had opaque coverage within two coats, but keep in mind you do need two coats with this one. The first coat is quite watery just like Gatsby - I'd give it a good shake before applying it to your nails. But colour wise, it's a win.

From left to right on the swatches: Gatsby, Le Charm, Petra.

The nail varnishes were apparently inspired by Marc's highly lacquered coffee table, and designed to give a wet, plasticized look with a chip resistant finish. Each nail varnish is formulated with patented bonding agents which are meant to help achieve this. They each come packaged in a shiny monochrome box embossed with the silver Marc Jacobs logo. You can find them at Harrods or online priced at £15 each. 

Have you tried any of the Marc Jacobs Nail Lacquers?
Blogger Template Created by pipdig