Thursday, 12 October 2017

Fenty Beauty Killawatt Highlighter | REVIEW


I know I'm a good few weeks late on the Fenty Beauty posts, but I really wanted to give my purchase a proper try before I shared my thoughts! I bought the Killawatt Highlighter Duo in the shades Mean Money & Hu$tla Baby - and have also since bought the Gloss Bomb lipgloss. I think the pricing of the range is really reasonable (comparable to MAC I'd say) and this duo is £26 from Harvey Nics (although the shipping is extortionate so I'd recommend splitting shipping with a friend who also wants to try the range!).

Firstly, the packaging is so incredible. It is white with very subtle purple reflects in it (try and see it in person, it's so beautiful!), and the geometric shape is cool and really different to the traditional square and circular packaging. There's also a large mirror included. 

The actual formula is absolutely beautiful - Mean Money is a much more subtle highlight and is something I use for daytime/work on my brow bone and tear duct as it looks more natural than a strong highlight. Hu$tla Baby is much more of my kind of highlighter - super strong and glowy, with a golden undertone. It's a lovely buttery formula, and no glitter in sight! I know everyone's gone crazy for the Trophy Wife highlight, but I feel like this duo is much more wearable for every day. I used Hu$tla Baby for this look and I've been using it literally everyday at the moment!

What do you think of the Fenty Beauty range? Have you picked anything up? Let me know in the comments! 



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Thursday, 21 September 2017

September Glossybox | First Impressions of Glossybox!




So sorry for the slight overload of beauty box content this month - there were a couple of new boxes that I wanted to share before the month was over! Will have more reviews/new content soon. 

I feel like Glossybox was one (if not, the) first beauty subscription box out there. I remember when it was only available in the US and, like everything you want but can't have, I was desperate to try it. It's been in the UK for some time now, and I've not actually got round to trying it until now! The lovely Glossybox UK team got in touch to see if I wanted to try the September box, so I thought I'd share my first impressions of both the concept, and this month's box in particular.

The September Box
This month, there are 6 products included, with a good variety of beauty products (i.e. not just makeup, or skincare for example!). The Taylor's 32 Whitening Toothpaste is an all natural toothpaste, containing silica and sodium bicarbonate to help with whitening. This is already on the go as I received this just as I came to the end of my other toothpaste! Really enjoying it so far, but can't say I've noticed a huge whitening effect so far (5 days in!). The second product I was excited to try was the Pixi Brow Tamer, which is essentially a clear brow gel. After being fairly recently introduced to Pixi, this is another product to add to my collection! You might think it's easy to find a clear brow gel, but in my experience, some can be clumpy/gloopy, run out too quickly or just don't do the job of keeping brow hairs in place, but so far this one seems to be doing the trick! I'm pretty sure it's actually the full size too, which is worth £12 so seems like a good bargain to be included in the box! Also in the makeup category is the Siligel Blender which is one of those silicone makeup blenders that were all over Instagram not long ago. I have tried one of these in the past and wasn't hugely impressed, but I'll see if this one can change my mind! 
Monu is a brand I'm hearing more and more about, and I remember trying their glowy primer from the Feel Unique Advent calendar last year and really liking it. Their Firming Fiji Facial Oil is included in the box (travel size) which contains a blend of essential oils to make the skin firmer and more radiant. This is actually aimed at dry skin, so would probably be too rich for me at the moment, so I might pass this on or try it when the winter air is making my skin drier! 
Talking of winter air, a hand cream is an essential for me over winter as I find my hands can get very dry, and so I'll be saving my SkinFix Hand Repair Cream for then as it's a medicinal hand cream so will help to soothe dry hands. 
And finally, you get a Kinder Bueno as a fab chocolate treat in the box this month! 

Glossybox Impressions
This box definitely lived up to my expectations of Glossybox - it was packaged absolutely beautifully in the iconic pink box, and there was a little card which explained a little bit about each product included. In my experience, it's one of the cheapest beauty boxes out there, so great if you're a beauty addict on a budget or just want to treat yourself to something new each month as you can get plans for as little as £8.50 a month - that's only 2 or 3 Starbucks! For me, the winners of this box are the Pixi Brow Tamer and the Taylor's 32 Toothpaste as not only are they full size products, but I feel like pretty much everyone would use them (and the Kinder Bueno, of course!). I was slightly disappointed at the Monu product as I don't feel like it suits my skin, so maybe a separate options for dry/normal/oily skin could be created, although I guess that would be a bit complicated! If you take a look at the brands they've used for Glossybox's though, you could pretty much guarantee you'll have heard of 90% of them, which is also a bonus for beauty boxes as I've seen so many where most of the box is unheard-of brands. 

What do you think of beauty boxes? Have you tried Glossybox - or any others? 
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Thursday, 14 September 2017

Look Fantastic x This Works Beauty Box


Look Fantastic are absolutely killing it with their brand collab beauty boxes at the moment - they did an amazing one with Benefit and a Bare Minerals one, and now it's the turn of This Works. I always think of this works as a super chic, 'gets the job done' kind of brand, and this box definitely gives a nice flavour of their best selling products. So, let's take a peek inside...


First up is the In Transit Skin Defence, which is the full size I believe. This is an SPF30 moisturiser, with amazing ingredients like Vitamin E (keeps the skin youthful, and has great antioxidant properties) and Hyaluronic Acid to retain moisture in the skin. It has both UVA and UVB protection and is to be applied in the morning under makeup. Next is the famous Deep Sleep Pillow Spray (full size 75ml). This is the product I'm most excited about, as I had a Body Shop spray that was similar ages ago and it was lovely. The scent really helps with calming (something a massive over thinker/worrier like me needs!) and it promises to leave me feeling refreshed in the morning. Both these products alone would be £37, making the box worth it just for these two products!

Another cult product from This Works; their Perfect Legs Skin Miracle is included in a travel size (50ml) bottle. I'm so excited to see if this lives up to the hype, as it promises to give skin an 'A-list glow', whilst ingredients like Arnica and Caramel help to repair and protect lacklustre skin - sounds good to me! Next up is their Light Time Cleanse & Glow  (20ml) which is a cleansing mask - massage onto skin, leave for 1-10 minutes, then wash off to be left with glowing, hydrated skin. This sounds like such an unusual product and I can't wait to give it a go! Vitamin C is the key ingredient here - this helps with collagen production, has antioxidant properties and helps to brighten the skin. I imagine this would be a great one to use the morning after a late night! 

The final product is the No Wrinkles Midnight Moisture (15ml), which is a rich cream that speeds up the skin's repair mechanisms whilst you sleep so you wake up with plumped up, glowing skin. The key ingredients here are retinol - a great anti-ageing ingredient as it boosts collagen production and cell renewal - along with my favourite Hyaluronic Acid - I speak about this all the time but it's a fantastic hydrating ingredient which helps the skin with retaining moisture. 

And that's the whole box! You also get a little booklet all about the products, This Works as a brand and the rest of their range. You can join the waitlist now so you're ready for when it launches! 

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Thursday, 7 September 2017

Look Fantastic September Birthday Box!



This month's box from Look Fantastic is extra special, as it is their Birthday Edit! It contains some really wonderful products this month, so I thought I'd do a run down of what's included in case you'd like to pick up the box yourself. I actually did some filming with Look Fantastic for this month's box too (specifically the Decleor and Christophe Robins products) so look out for those!
First up is the makeup (my fave bit!) - you get an eyeshadow quad from Hikari, which contains some easy to wear warm shades (2 mattes and 2 shimmers). Also included is a mini Illamsaqua Contouring Gel Sculpt, which is a sheer gel contour stick. It looks really interesting, and unlike any contouring stick I've seen before, so I'll see how this compares to my fave Benefit Hoola contouring stick! As a special birthday treat, you also get a Look Fantastic eyeshadow brush, which is super Instagrammable with the silver handle and blue/green bristles. 
For skincare, you get a mini pot of the Eve Lom cleanser (+ muslin cloth). I've heard a lot about this, and I'm a big fan of balm cleansers so I'm excited to try this one out! It contains some lovely nourishing oils, along with Cocoa Butter and Egyptian Camomile to soften and smooth the skin (sounds perfect for evening cleansing!). It can be used as a cleanser to take makeup off, or for a second cleanse after micellar water. Secondly, there is also a mini Decleor Hydra Floral Hydrating Light Cream included. I love gel-based moisturisers like this one in the morning as they don't interfere with makeup and feel nice and light on the skin. 
Finally, to make your hair super voluminous and fresh, use the Christophe Robin Cleansing Volumising Paste (travel size). This is a hair mask that not only exfoliates & invigorates the scalp, but also adds plenty of volume into the hair, hopefully making it super easy to get that salon blow dry effect! The clay ingredient helps to deep clean the hair, whilst adding denseness to the hair follicles for lift and thickness. It transforms to a foam when mixed with water and I actually filmed with this product so I can confirm it smells lovely and fresh too - definitely a good one for a weekend pamper sesh.

Of course, as included with all LF beauty boxes, you get a copy of Elle magazine, along with the Beauty Box magazine. As this is a birthday special, you also get a Look Fantastic lollipop this month too! 

What do you think of this month's box- will you be picking it up?


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Thursday, 31 August 2017

My Top Tips for Glowy Skin

glowing skin, tips, makeup, glowy

The most frequent comments on my makeup pictures/videos on Instagram tend to be about my skin. Glowy skin is '100% my type on paper' and I'm rarely seen without my signature highlight. I definitely look after my skin very well and I wanted to share some of my top skincare and makeup tips to get that coveted glowy skin. I've covered it briefly in my two recent Instagram videos, however I wanted to go into a little more detail here. If you want an intense glow like in these images follow all the tips, but if you want a subtle glow instead, you can select softer highlighters or just follow the skincare tips! 

EXFOLIATING TONERS/LOTIONS

Ever since I started using exfoliating toners, my skin texture has improved massively, especially around my nose. I'm thinking about doing a post all about exfoliating toners very soon now that I've tried a few different ones so I won't say too much today! However, currently in the mornings I am using the Erno Laszlo White Marble Essence Lotion. This isn't really an acid toner, but I do use it before serum/moisturiser so I thought I'd include it here. Essentially, it evens out skin tone, rehydrates and adds luminosity to the skin with amazing ingredients like Glycerin (basically a moisture magnet!) and Daisy Extract. For nighttime, I'm currently using the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads but I change this up all the time so I'll share my other faves in a future post!

SERUMS/MOISTURISERS

It's really important to select serums and moisturisers that are best for your skin type. My skin is generally normal to oily, so I stay away from anything too rich. I've been loving the Vichy Mineral 89 serum in the AM and PM (full review here), and I follow it up with another serum in the evening for extra hydration. In the morning, however, I just stick with the Mineral 89 and add my all time favourite AM moisturiser - the Origins GinZing. I have been on this product ever since it launched and honestly, I've lost count of the number of pots I've gone through! I find it's the absolute perfect base for makeup too as the gel formula sinks in really quickly and feels nice and light on the skin. 

PRIMERS

Getting a glowy makeup application means starting with the right primer. My dream combination which gives me glowy skin AND incredible staying power is the Illamasqua Hydraveil and the Becca Backlight Priming Filter. I've done more in-depth reviews of both of these which I've linked on the product names. If these are a little too pricey for you, I've done a Top 3 Glowy Primers post which features cheaper alternatives - however they don't quite give you the lasting power that this combo gives. 

FOUNDATION

Picking a dewy foundation is obviously essential for glowy skin. However, it definitely doesn't have to be light coverage if you don't want! My holy grail is the NARS Sheer Glow which is a medium coverage, satin finish foundation, and then I can amp up the glow with highlighters later on. Plus, if I have used my illuminating primers, the glow still shows through the foundation, so this is a great option if you have oilier skin and don't want the feel of a really dewy foundation. I even use my Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless foundation sometimes and just adds plenty of highlighter creams/powders to get the glowy look - this way you choose where you want to be glowing too so again, great for oilier skin.

MAKEUP

My other makeup tips for glowy skin would be to use powder sparingly (if you can!). I tend to focus on the undereyes and my T-zone, leaving the rest powder-free. I'd also recommend using creams/liquids - I am obsessed with the Elizabeth Arden Gelato Gel Blush in Coral Daze at the moment as it's a liquid blush that gives a beautiful tint along with a soft glow. For liquid highlight, the Cover FX drops are ideal for an intense glow (it's what I used in the above photos), but for a softer look, try MAC Cream Colour Base in Hush or Benefit High Beam. I always top my liquid highlight with a powder, so select your fave highlighter - for me it's Becca Champagne Pop without a doubt. Honourable mentions also go to The Balm's Mary Lou-manizer and Laura Gellar Gilded Honey. With application, I personally go all-out and do the tops of my cheekbones, nose, cupids bow, brow bone, inner corner of my eye and sometimes just above the brow very lightly for an extra sheen. It's really up to you though - I know some people hate the nose highlight so just leave that out if you don't like it. Finally, if you want to go full-on glow, top the look off with a beautiful glossy lip. I used NYX Fortune Cookie here which is so so good (and cheap!) but I also love the Anastasia Beverly Hills, NARS and Colourpop glosses. 

DON'T FORGET YOUR BODY!

Remember, if you're going out with beautiful glowy, glossy skin, don't forget your body! If you're wearing something that shows off your shoulders or collarbone, sweep some powder highlight over them just to add that extra shine. 

Let me know if you have any tips for glowy skin in the comments. Hopefully this post has been helpful to some of you! 

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Thursday, 24 August 2017

72 Hours in Reykjavik, Iceland


If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen I recently visited Reykjavik in Iceland for a quick trip. We had 3 full days on the island so I thought I'd write up a post of everything that we did! We pretty much did the main sights and really made the most of the time we had. 

Day 1 - Exploring Reykjavik



On our first day, we landed early in the morning and got a transfer with Reykjavik Excursions into the city. Once there, we got one of the 'Hop on, Hop off' buses so we got to see everything, although the city is quite small so you could easily just walk to see the main sights. I would recommend seeing the Harpa Concert Hall (second photo) which is so beautiful. I also enjoyed walking along the coastline as the view is just stunning and you can see the Sun Voyager sculpture. The City Hall area was really pretty too and has a gorgeous lake. The Hallgrimskirkja is a beautiful church in the centre of the city, and you can get a lift to the top for a 360 degree view of the city (first photo) and it's fairly inexpensive so I'd highly recommend doing that. The main street Laugavegur is just off the Hallgrimskirkja and has plenty of shops and restaurants - one of which I'd recommend is Svarta Kaffik which is an amazing soup restaurant which serves homemade soup in a bowl made of crusty bread - heaven! The menu changes every day with a vegetarian and meat option - I had a cauliflower soup which was so delicious and creamy, and definitely filled me up!

Day 2 - Blue Lagoon

An absolute must-do in Iceland is the Blue Lagoon. It's around a 50 minute coach journey from the city centre (again, we arranged all our travel with Reykjavik Excursions). One of my biggest tips for the Blue Lagoon is to go early (pre-9am) because it was so quiet and we could get plenty of pictures and have a good swim around. After 9am, it got significantly more busy so just something to bare in mind. I'd also recommend getting the Comfort package as you get a free drink, towel and algae mask included. The free drink from the swim up bar was definitely needed as the lagoon is so hot you need to stay hydrated. I'd also recommend to bring your own waterproof phone case if you plan on taking pictures as the ones at the lagoon are around £30! It's so beautiful in the lagoon and we spent a very relaxing 3 hours there. 

Day 3 - Golden Circle Tour


On our final day, we went on the Golden Circle Tour. We chose the 'Express' tour which was 6 hours rather than 8 and went to three key stops rather than four. To be honest, this was more than enough for me as I'm not great with coach journeys and travel sickness so I'd opt for the shorter trip if you're the same. The first stop was the Geysir geothermic area which was so cool to see in real life and every time the water shot up from the active Strokkur Geysir it gave me a shock! There's also loads of hot springs and beautiful views at the site too so I had my camera out pretty much the entire time we were there. Secondly was the Gullfoss Waterfall which was so incredibly breathtaking but unfortunately I didn't get any great pictures of it as it was raining so heavily when we stopped off there. Definitely bring your waterproofs and warm clothes if you're visiting Iceland - even in August! The final stop was Þingvellir National Park which is the photo above. The stop is essentially a viewpoint for plenty of photos, and you also get to see where the two Eurasian and North-American tectonic plates have separated. You can even walk through it but we didn't have quite enough time on this tour to do so. It was a long day but something I think everyone has to see when visiting Iceland as you really don't see anything like these sights anywhere else in the world!

Have you ever visited Iceland/would you like to? Let me know in the comments. 



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Thursday, 17 August 2017

Vichy Mineral 89 | NEW SKINCARE


Vichy has had a growing presence in my skincare collection over the past few months. I've become completely obsessed with the Idealia Peeling toner and Aqualia Thermal serum and so I was very excited to try their new release; Mineral 89. It is essentially a 'Step Zero' in your skincare routine, to be used after cleansing before you apply any other skincare products. It's most comparable to a serum but I've been using a serum on top of this for extra hydration. It is honestly so incredibly lightweight and feels so much like water on the skin so is great for before makeup as it won't make your skin too creamy or greasy. I use one pump for all over my skin and I find that's more than enough - meaning this will last a long time which is great! I'd say maybe if you have drier skin, two pumps would be better but oily/normal skin can definitely get away with one. It is also ideal for sensitive skin as it is fragrance and oil free. I'm so obsessed with the packaging too - so sleek and I'm a big fan of glass packaging even if it's not so great for travelling. 

Key Ingredients: 
The amazing thing about this product is that it only contains 11 ingredients - so amazing considering ingredients lists are usually 100s of items long these days! It is 89% Mineralising Thermal Water from French volcanoes. This helps to decrease inflammation and has antioxidant properties, along with being super hydrating of course. It also contains Hyaluronic Acid which is in most incredibly hydrating skincare products as it is a unique in that it can retain lots of moisture in the skin and also helps to smooth. 

Would you try this product? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! 

Vichy Mineral 89 is available on Look Fantastic for £25 (currently on offer for cheaper!)
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