Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Look Fantastic April Beauty Box | WHAT'S INCLUDED


This is my very first Beauty Box as a Look Fantastic Ambassador, so I was super excited to see what was included - and I definitely wasn't disappointed! The box was beautifully packaged, in a beautiful peach and white box, with 7 new products to try. If you're a beauty junkie like me, this will definitely fill that beauty sized hole in your heart if you're on a budget, as all this costs less than £15! 
This month, the focus is on Natural Beauty. Now, take one look at my Instagram and you'll know that's not usually me, however, day to day, I like to give my skin a break! Plus, there's plenty of skincare/haircare to get stuck into when I fancy a pamper. Let's take a look at what's included this month...
Makeup
I'm intrigued to try the Laura Gellar Balance & Brighten powder foundation. In all honesty, I'll probably use this as a setting powder over my usual liquid foundation, but the formula looks really nice and finely milled, and the baked finish provides lots of different tones to the powder, which I imagine will stop the face from looking flat and 2-dimensional. 
Skincare
I've never tried Omorovicza before, but the Cleansing Foam looks lovely. The sulphate-free formula promises cleansing without drying out the skin and is good for all skin types. It contains Copper Gluconate which detoxifies and helps to tighten pores, White Lupin, which helps to energise & revitalise (great for AM cleansing!), and Apple Pectin, which provides hydration and improves suppleness. Sounds very luxurious! Can't wait to try this out - I imagine this will be great in the summer/on holiday when SPF can clog up the skin. Next up is the Vitamasques Pomegranate sheet mask. I have to admit, I literally used this within 24 hours of receiving the box and it was lovely! It was easy to apply and didn't feel uncomfortable, and my skin felt super hydrated after use. As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm loving sheet masks at the moment, and for £3.99, this is a lovely treat for a pamper evening. 
Thirdly is the Madara SMART Day Cream. This is aimed towards dry/very skin skin types, promising to minimise fine lines and decrease dryness in the skin so I'm not exactly the target customer but I love minis like this for when I go away and don't want to take my usual huge moisturiser! 
Body/Hair/Misc.
I'm interested to see if the This Works Perfect Legs lives up to the hype. I love stuff like this as we're moving into summer, and as this is just a mini I may try it out on my shoulders/chest for my Instagram to see if it makes much difference! It contains Vitamins C and E which even out skin tone, and Arnica helps to fade out any bruising. 
I'm definitely one of those people who always, always carries anti-bac hand gel, and this super cute one from Merci Handy reminds me of the Bath & Body Works ones as it smells absolutely amazing and is such a handy size to throw in your bag! I find a lot of hand gels can smell very alcohol-y, but this New Wave fragrance is lovely and fresh without being overpowering. 
The final product is the Alterna Caviar CC Cream for hair. You apply this to towel dried hair before styling, and it promises the following 10 benefits: moisture, shine, smoothness, softness, UV protection, manageability, strength, anti-breakage, heat protection and light hold - phew! As someone who has super frizzy, thick hair, this sounds amazing so can't wait to give this a go! It also smells absolutely amazing - very luxurious and feminine. Plus, the 5* reviews are definitely selling it to me.

So there you have it! A great all-rounder box for April and some amazing new brands for me to try out. If you'd like to know how I get on with any of them, leave a comment or tweet me
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Sunday, 23 April 2017

New Skincare Bits | FIRST IMPRESSION/REVIEW


I'm really loving getting into my skincare at the moment. I love learning about what the ingredients really do for the skin and how to tailor your routine to best suit your particular skincare concerns. I'm sharing tons of info over on my Instagram stories if you want to hear more about this! However, on the blog I can go into a bit more detail so keep reading to see whether these products are what you need in your routine...
Today, I've got some mini reviews/first impressions of some new products I've been trying out. First up is the Origins Original Skin mask. This contains Rose Clay (a type of mild kaolin clay) so it helps to absorb excess oil/impurities on the skin. However, as this is a more mild type of clay, it is gentler and less drying on the skin so is great for more sensitive skin types. Using this frequently helps to reduce the appearance of pores and puffiness too. It also contains Willowherb, which is anti-inflammatory so great for rosacea and eczema. Finally, its third key ingredient is Jojoba beads, which provide a gentle exfoliation and are often used to treat acne. These are also biodegradable so no horrible plastic beads here! 
I actually was pleasantly surprised by this mask. Whilst I don't love the exfoliating beads (I find they're a bit hard to wash off and I always find I haven't got them all off by the time I do moisturiser!), the clay aspect of the mask is amazing and my skin really did feel firmer and clearer the next day. I will definitely be incorporating this into my routine every couple of weeks or so! You can get this for £24 on Look Fantastic (this is just a sample size in the photo!).
Secondly, I grabbed one of the new-ish Garnier Moisture Bomb sheet masks. I've been intrigued to try these out as I'm loving sheet masks at the moment - mostly because they are fun to apply and I love the serum you can massage into the skin afterwards! These contain Green Tea Extract which is anti-inflammatory, and also helps to promote the health and quality of collagen, therefore giving you firmer and more elastic skin. Secondly, it contains hyaluronic acid, which helps the skin to retain moisture (great for dry skin, obviously!), along with Glycerin which is an amazing moisturiser. I loved using this mask - it's only £2.99 so a bargain, although it does suggest using one 3 times a week which would definitely add up £££! The hole for the mouth is a bit small in my opinion, but it wasn't uncomfortable and you only have it on for 15 minutes. Afterwards, my skin felt and looked so glowy, and I massaged in the excess serum, topped with my usual moisturiser and my skin felt great. I love glowy skin too, and this definitely helped with that. I have normal-oily skin so can't say how good at moisturising it was, but the ingredients speak for themselves on that one! They do have a more moisturising one for dehydrated skin called the Revitalising Mask, which may be better for super dry skin. You can buy both these masks from Boots for £2.99

Have you tried either of these skincare products? And what are you loving in your skincare routine at the moment? Let me know in the comments! 
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Sunday, 9 April 2017

Best Highlighters for Pale Skin


If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know I'm a fake tan obsessive and am usually various shades of tan in my photos! However, my natural skin tone is super pale, and so I thought I'd help out my fellow fair gals today with my favourite highlighters for pale skin. I often find some highlighters can be too golden for my paler skin, so these four picks are what I'd recommend to anyone with fairer skin who still wants a strong glow! You can see swatches of my picks below:

(L-R: Charlotte Tilbury Bronze & Glow, The Balm Mary Lou-Manizer, Makeup Forever 13 Star Lit Powder, Benefit High Beam)
First up is the Charlotte Tilbury Bronze & Glow highlighter. As you can see from the swatches, this is the most subtle of the bunch, and is great for that soft 'lit from within' look - see this look. The powder is super finely milled and works on all skin types and ages. It is the most expensive at £49 but you do also get a fantastic contour powder, which you can see I've used a lot! 
Secondly is my favourite everyday one from the bunch - The Balm's Mary Lou-Manizer. It's a gorgeous light golden shade that looks gorgeous on every skin tone, but especially paler skin. It has a hint of silver in it which means it still shows up on pale skin and doesn't look too gold - see this look. It's such a bargain at £16 (but you can get it for £13.60 from Look Fantastic!) and I've had mine for years and still have loads left. It's very glowy, but I find it to be gorgeous for everyday as it doesn't look the slightest bit glittery or over the top. 
Next up is my very over the top shade - Makeup Forever's Star Lit powder in 13. This is very metallic and is really a pigment more than a specific highlighter, but I honestly love it to get that very strong highlighted look. I know it's not for everyone but I love it! It's very pigmented, so be careful when applying as a little really does go a long way. Also  because the shade is so light, it works perfectly with pale skin again - you can see it in this look here (notice how it's not as unwearable as you might first think!), and it's also the highlighter I used in my most recent Instagram with the blue lower lashline. You can grab a pot from Debenhams for £13 (although you may have to hunt it down - since Jaclyn Hill mentioned it on her Snapchat it's been pretty hard to get hold of!).
Finally, my liquid highlighter option - Benefit's High Beam. I've had this for years (as you can probably tell by my bottle of it!) and this is a beautiful pearly pink toned highlighter. You can mix it into foundation or apply as a regular highlighter - I personally like to top it off with a powder highlighter but you don't have to! It gives a very natural sheen to the skin, as it's a liquid so is great for drier skin or a more natural makeup look. As it's more pink toned, it works well with paler skin and again you only need the tiniest bit to get a gorgeous glow - I personally don't apply straight from the brush and usually dab some onto my finger so it blends into the skin a little bit easier.

So I hope this post was helpful - I always like to see what works on different skin tones so hopefully my experiences with highlighters will help someone else out too! Let me know if you have any of these, or what you fave highlighters are below - I'm definitely a highlighter junkie so always looking for more to try! 
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Sunday, 2 April 2017

Look Fantastic Beauty Egg Collection



Today's post is all about the limited edition Beauty Egg Collection from Look Fantastic. I feel like pretty much every beauty brand leapt on the bandwagon for beauty advent calendars, however this is the first beauty Easter egg I've seen, and I love the concept! The beautifully packaged box contains 7 products - all full size except one - to give a boost to your beauty stash this spring! There's a variety of products covering makeup, skincare, haircare and body care, adding up to £200 if bought separately. However, this fabulous box is only £60 and it's going to sell out fast! So, I thought I'd get this post up super quick so you can get a peek into what's inside:


Makeup
First is the Illamasqua Hydra Veil primer. This is actually my holy grail primer - you can read more about it in my full review here. It's honestly like a glass of water for your skin, and it's hydrating qualities mean it's a great base for makeup, and believe me when I say this ensures makeup stays on all night! The second makeup product is the Laura Gellar highlighter in Gilded Honey. I was so so excited to hear this was in the box as I've always wanted to try it! It's definitely a cult favourite product, providing a gorgeous golden glow to the skin - and if you're a regular reader you'll know I'm already highlighter obsessed! Keep an eye out for this popping up on my Instagram very soon. Thirdly, the Talika Lipocils Ink brow growth and makeup pen is included in the box. Mine is in the shade Brown (I believe this is the only shade included) and claims to stimulate eyebrow growth whilst also enhancing them with makeup. 20 years of research went into making this product, so I'm intrigued to try it, although I'm concerned the brown shade may be too red for my brows, but I will let you know! It comes in a pen form, and promises to be waterproof and sweat proof so may be good for holidays or the gym. However, I do have micro bladed brows so I may not be the best judge!

Skincare
The first skincare product included is the Algenist Ultimate Anti-Aging Cream. Now, at 20, I may not be the best to review it's anti-aging properties, however, it also promises to brighten the skin (I'm always looking for ways to add more glow!). It contains Capric Triglyceride and Hydrogenated Polyisobutene which are essentially oil substitutes, so you get all the benefits of oil (like maintaining elasticity and preventing water loss) without clogging the skin, so great for anyone with oily, sensitive or acne prone skin. It also contains Alguronic Acid, which is essentially a mix of algae extracts which claim to have anti-aging benefits. 
Secondly, you get the Filorga Optim-Eyes eye cream. This also contains Capric Triglyceride, along with hyaluronic acid which helps to retain moisture and therefore smooth and soften wrinkles or fine lines. It also claims to reduce dark circles by promoting the elimination of pigmented residues, and also reducing puffiness by increasing circulation to reduce swelling. Will definitely be interesting to try this one out! 

Body/Haircare
I thought I'd round off with the final two sections. In body care, you get the Molten & Brown body wash in Pink Pepperpod. I love a beautifully scented body wash and this smells so fresh for spring. Plus, as it is travel size, will be great to take away with me on my trips this year. And the final product in the box is the Phillip Kingsley Elasticizer in the limited edition Geranium and Neroli scent. I have always loved this hair mask and have used it for years now. It makes my hair so soft and more manageable. This contains Castor Seed Oil helps to retain moisture and prevent the scalp from drying, as well as preventing hair loss. Alongside this, Propylene Glycol also helps to soften the hair to make it easier to brush through. 

So that's my round up of the amazing Look Fantastic Beauty Egg! The link to buy is here. Are there any products in there that you're eager to try? Let me know what you think in the comments. 
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Sunday, 26 March 2017

Benefit They're Real 2-in-1 Lipliner/Lipstick | WORTH THE HYPE?




I think it's been quite a while since I was all over a new lipstick launch. These days, the world of makeup is swamped by liquid lipsticks that I barely wear a traditional lipstick these days. However, when this new concept from Benefit came out, I don't think I'd been this excited to place an order in a long time! The They're Real 'Double the Lip' 2-in-1 lipliner/lipstick mash up comes in cute packaging similar to their They're Real mascara, and winds up at the bottom to reveal a thin, slanted lipstick with a darker shade and a lighter shade. The idea is that the darker shade acts as your lipliner, and perfectly blends in the lighter lipstick to get an easy soft ombre lip without the need for extra products!
I got the shade Nude Scandal (obviously!), and you can see the swatch above. As you can see, the difference between the darker shade and lighter shade is barely visible so don't let the idea of having a super dark lip line put you off as that's really not the case. 
What I really love about these lipsticks is they are not super matte (like I'm used to with all the liquid lipsticks!) - they give a soft satin finish. They are nicely pigmented and glide onto the lips pretty easily. The lipliner concept is great for the top lip, as it helps to define the lips and get the shape you want, however, it gets a bit tricky on the bottom lip as I've found myself having to turn the bullet awkwardly to get the lipliner bit to properly line the lips. It is a bit annoying but hasn't put me off using it! You also have to be careful to use both the liner and lipstick evenly, so one side doesn't wear down quicker than the other! The only other thing I'd say is that the colour range isn't fantastic, there are currently only 6 shades, but no doubt Benefit will bring out more in time. I'd say this is a great easy option for those people not wanting to spend money on separate lipliners and lipsticks as I've never found the need to use one with this product! They're also a pretty reasonable £16.50 (for comparison, a MAC lipliner and lipstick would set you back £28) and you can get them from plenty of places - I got mine from ASOS for that extra student discount! 


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Sunday, 19 March 2017

My Top 5 Liquid Lipsticks


As you'll know if you follow my Instagram, I am always wearing liquid lipsticks. Something about the formulas and the colours draws me to them more than regular lipsticks so I have built up quite the collection. So, I thought I would post about my top 5 brands to buy liquid lipsticks from. I don't have specific lip swatches to post, but I will link to makeup looks I have done with the shades as all the shades have been featured on my Instagram at one point or another! 
Number 1 
Brand: Dose of Colors
Shades I own: Bare With Me, Truffle
My absolute favourite liquid lipsticks are the Dose of Colors ones. Bare With Me is honestly my favourite lip shade of all time. It's a soft pink shade that just suits so many skin tones and is a perfect everyday shade. You can get these from Beauty Bay (usually) but for some reason they are not online at the moment, and the Dose of Colors site for around £14/$18! I rarely show Bare With Me on my Insta because I am so scared it will run out and I won't be able to repurchase! I actually last wore it on my Insta back in May 2016, but I would wear it everyday if I could! Truffle is a beautiful brown toned nude that is perfect for that 90s look. I like that it's not too brown as that doesn't really suit my skin tone, and I've never found another liquid lipstick shade quite like it. Here's a swatch of it on my Instagram. The formula is super matte, but is the least drying I've found. It also smells of vanilla which is so delicious. 

Number 2
Brand: Jeffree Star Cosmetics
Shades I own: Androgyny, Mannequin
I know there is often a lot of controversy surrounding this brand, but these liquid lipsticks are honestly incredible. They feel so lightweight on the lips (Mannequin especially just feels like water!), dry really matte and feel very comfortable to wear. You can buy these on Beauty Bay or Beautylish for around £16. Androgyny is a gorgeous deep warm toned purpley shade, although I feel that it looks very different on different skin tones. I actually bought this because it looked so gorgeous on Jaclyn Hill, but I do think it looks very different on me (see this Insta). Mannequin is probably my second favourite lip shade ever after the Dose of Colors one. It's my perfect nude shade. I feel like it suits pretty much every makeup look I do, and is probably my most featured shade on my Instagram - see here, here and here

Number 3
Brand: Jouer 
Shades I own: Melon, Petale de Rose
The Jouer liquid lipsticks have definitely done the rounds on Instagram, and I have to say I was pretty late to the game. I got these two shades in a set for Christmas (from Cult Beauty), and I'm already dying to try new colours! Melon has become my everyday shade - the perfect mixture of pink and nude that works when I'm super pale and when I'm tanned. You can see it on me here. I haven't got round to doing a look with Petale de Rose yet, but it's a beautiful strong deep pink - I'm sure you've all gathered I gravitate more towards nudes by this point! The formula of these is incredible, almost mousse like in texture and dries super matte. I would say it's slightly less long lasting than the first two I've mentioned and it does wear off after eating more noticeably. However, they are super comfortable to wear and all the shades Jouer do are beautiful and look like they'd be flattering on everyone. I have my eye on the Skinny Dip lip topper from them next!

Number 4
Brand: Girlactik
Shades I own: Posh, Bashful, Blossom, Rustik, Sweet
I have had the pleasure of working with Girlactik this year, and I have to say I've completely fallen in love with their liquid lipsticks. They are harder for us UK girls to get their hands on, but if you are in the States, stock up! They also do offer international shipping on their website. I have to say, after lusting over them on Instagram for so long, I was certainly not disappointed. My favourite shades have to be Bashful - the most beautiful neutral nude (not too brown, not too pink), and Sweet - a gorgeous muted pink. You can see my lip swatch video here, and a look wearing Rustik here. The formula is lovely, and smells like cupcakes so it gets a thumbs up from me! 

Number 5
Brand: Lipland
Shades I own: Rezy (from the Amrezy collaboration)
Lipland is a bit less well known than the other brands I've mentioned but I thought I'd give them recognition for their gorgeous liquid lipsticks. I first heard of the brand when Amrezy collaborated with them, and again, they're harder for us UK girls to get hold of, so I struck lucky when I was in the US last year and picked up Rezy. Side note: I got mine from Ricky's NYC, an amazing makeup shop that stocks lots of online/Instagram brands. You can also get international shipping on their site. The shade is a beautiful peachy pink, absolutely perfect for summer. You can see me wearing this here. I would say the formula is slightly thinner and more mousse-like than all the other brands, and not quite as strongly pigmented. However, building up the colour is fine, and once you get the finished look, it has fantastic lasting power. 

So, that is my round up of my favourite liquid lipsticks! Let me know your favourite brands in the comments below - I'm always on the lookout for new brands to try. 
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Sunday, 12 March 2017

ABH x Nicole Glow Kit vs MUFE Star Lit Powder in 13


Highlighters are definitely having a moment in the makeup industry and the moment, and I am all for it. I am obsessed with a glowing complexion so I definitely get sucked into trying any new glow-givers on the market. After I got Champagne Pop at the end of 2015, I never thought I'd need another highlighter again, but here I am! 
After Jaclyn Hill mentioned how incredible the new Makeup Forever Star Lit powder in 13 was as a highlighter, I went on a mission to find it. You can get it in Debenhams online (although it's currently sold out) and at the counters in Manchester and London for £14, and from Sephora online for $21. It's basically a loose pigment and the colour is so glowing and shimmery. I have to admit, it can come across a tiny bit glittery (as it's a pigment, and not a specific highlighter), but not to the extent where I dislike it. I've swatched it on my Instagram in a video, but you can see the swatch below:


As you can see, it is so strongly pigmented (I do find loose powders have stronger pigmentation) and it really does come up that strongly on my skin. You can see it on a makeup look here
Secondly, I also recently got the Anastasia Beverly Hills x Nicole Guerriero Glow Kit. I have been a fan of Nicole for years, and the palette was so so beautiful, I couldn't resist. The kit has 6 shades for £39 from the ABH UK site and $40 from Sephora. I love the variety of shades, and I've found I can use all of them in one way or another! I think my fave shade is Forever Lit (top row, middle shade). You can see swatches of the whole palette below:


As with all ABH palettes, the pigmentation and quality of the highlighters certainly don't disappoint, and I've also been loving spritzing my brush with Fix+ to get stronger pigmentation. I will be posting a look using loads of the shades from the palette on my Instagram this week. I feel like every single shade is wearable for pretty much everyone (either as a highlighter or an eyeshadow) so it's a really great versatile palette.
So which one would I pick? I would personally go for the ABH x Nicole palette. Firstly, you get 6 shades for the price of 2 MUFE powders (although if you just want one highlighter, go for the MUFE one - I just like to have lots of choice!). Secondly, as the MUFE one is a loose pigment, it can get very messy and I do find I'm wasting product because I pour too much out and can't put it back in the container. The MUFE one only contains 1g of product whereas the ABH ones are 4.5g per highlighter so I personally find that to be better value for money. You can also use Fix+ as I mentioned earlier to get a stronger pigmentation with the ABH ones. As a makeup junkie, I love and use both of the options, but I can see why the average person would only want to invest in one! So I hope this has been somewhat helpful. 
Let me know your favourite highlighters - as you can imagine I'm always on the lookout for new ones to try! 
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