Saturday, 27 July 2013

Bedtime Skin Care Routine

As I'm now officially 25 (eek!) I have started to invest a lot more in my skin care to ensure I keep mature skin at bay. Long gone are the days I would give my face a quick wipe over with a face wipe and sometimes forget to moisturise. Now it's a military operation every single evening. Here are the products I use below and I'll tell you about them in the order I use them.

Bioderma Sensibio H2O - Surely if you read beauty blog you will have heard of this stuff. It is micellar solution which works wonders on removing makeup, even waterproof mascara. I splash some of this on a cotton wool pad and gentle stroke over my face, holding into onto my eyes for a few second to remove mascara. This stuff is incredibly fast at removing makeup. It also feels so refreshing and doesn't sting my eyes at all.

Elemis Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser - My dear god, I am in love with this stuff! It ain't cheap but it works so well for me. I apply using cotton wool pads, smooth all over my face and rinse away. Afterwards my skin is literally glowing. I have normal skin - not dry, not oily, not even combination... it's just completely and utterly normal which means it can look a little dull. This baby really helps to perk it up a little.

Simple Kind To Skin Soothing Toner - I really do like Simple products. They're alcohol free and have no perfume in them. I can definitely feel my pores tightening and it is so, so refreshing on the face. At only £2.99 the price is also very attractive.

Nivea Q10 plus Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream - I've been noticing more and more fine lines on my forehead so time to bring this bad boy out. I've only been using it for less than a week at the time of writing so as of yet I can't really comments on the anti-wrinkling effects, but I'll let you know in a few weeks time.

No7 Protect & Perfect Eye Cream - Again, I'm petrified of aging skin so I've been using with wrinkle prevention eye cream. With wrinkle prevention creams it's obviously pretty hard to know if they really are making a difference, but I can say that my makeup goes on lovely on top of this in the morning.

Lip Balm - This is a pretty useless product to list here as I have no idea what brand it is! I actually received it as a favour at a wedding but it's actually a really lovely lip balm. The label on the back says it is organic and fair trade and the only ingredients listed are Beeswax, Sweet Almond Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter and Essential Oil. The best thing is that is smells like After Eights. I've been meaning to ask the bride where she bought them from.

So there we have it, my plethora of bedtime skin care products. What products are your bedtime essentials?

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Benefit Ooh La Lift

On my constant search for product which brighten my deep set and dark circle-ridden eyes I was recommended the Benefit Ooh La Lift Instant Under-Eye Brightening Boost by the lovely, commission-driven lady at the Benefit counter in Brown's. This product claims that the raspberry extracts and light-reflecting pigments instantly perk up tired eyes and recommends applying three dots either on top of makeup or on its own.

Swatched it looks like a shimmery highlighter with a pink tone to it. It blends into my hand nicely leaving a soft glow.

I hate to be on a Benefit bashing roll, but I am so disappointed with this product. Under the eye is does pretty much nothing to me, a complaint you will see on many a review for this product. Below are before and after pictures of the product on my makeup-free face. As you can see the product has had very little effect on my under eye area except for a little highlighting on the inner corner.

What I will continue to use this product for until it runs out is a highlighter. I'm going to use this along my cheekbone, brow and bridge of my nose to see if it generally brightens my face. In terms of brightening to immediate undereye area this does not do a lot.

Have you tried to Ooh La Lift? What do you think of it?

Friday, 19 July 2013

UBU Smoke Screen Smokey Eye Brush Kit

On a recent shopping trip to Tesco I had a little rummage through the sale items in the beauty section and came across a little gem for only £2.00 (reduced from £6.50). This 3 set of UBU (Urban Beauty United) brushes were to become a lovely little addition to my eye brush collection. I have to admit, I had never heard of UBU so I was a little sceptical before buying. UBU do a whole range of makeup brushes, the bristles of which are colour-coded for their different role (purple is for the eyes, yellow for base and pink for powder). You can view the whole range on their website. These brushes are available to purchase at Tesco or Asda.

This is the Smoke Screens Smokey Eye Brush Kit and I have to say I'm pretty impressed with such bargainous items. The set includes a tapered blending brush, eye defining brush and smudging brush. All 3 brushes feel of great quality and are super soft. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any information anywhere as to what these brushes are made of, though I'm assuming they're synthetic.

The tapered blending brush is great for doing exactly what it says on the tin - blending! The bristles are extremely soft and so in no way irritate the eyes. This has fast become one of my favourite eye brushes. Next up is the eye defining brush, an angled brush that is great for applying eyeshadow close to the lash line but would also be handy for filling in eyebrows. Again, this brush is very soft which can make heavy application (for when you want a dark, dramatic eye) a little more difficult. Last up is the smudging brush which I have not actually used for smudging. The size of this brush make it perfect for applying eyeshadow into the crease. The bristles on this brush are quite short, so a lot stiffer than the other two brushes.

Have you used any of the UBU brushes? What did you think of them?

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Missguided Wishlist

After Kayleigh from Couture Girl tweeted a picture of a gorgeous Missguided dress I was straight on the website browsing all the beautiful things they have to offer. Here is a selection of my favourite dresses that I am absolutely coveting! The best thing is that all of them are under £20!

Caranah Porcelain Print Swing Dress £14.99, Mirabela Value Bardot Skater Dress in Coral £14.99,
Dayla Oversized Swing Dress in Red £14.99, Paulita Rose Print Strappy Swing Dress £19.99

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Well-loved products

What better way to ascertain my most well-loved products than to have a look at how scruffy the packing is, or which products I have hit pan with. Here are a selection of products I have been loving to near destruction.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation - Now I don't wear this foundation all the time, only for special occasions and nights out where I know there will be lots of photos being taken. The reason the bottle is so dirty is mostly down to the fact that the packaging is so useless! There's no pump or applicator with this foundation, it is simply a bottle that you pour the product out of. Nevertheless, this is a favourite of mine I will purchase again and again.

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder - A long-term favourite of mine, I use this product every single day. I don't have oily skin so I don't necessarily need to use a matte powder but I just find this one does a good job of keeping my makeup in place all day. 

MUA Undressed Eye Palette - As we all know, this eye palette is a well-loved dupe of the Urban Decay Naked palette and has been very liberally used by myself on a daily basis. It is plain to see which are my most loved shades. 

MUA Blusher in Shade 2 - An absolute bargain at only £1.00, this blusher is also a daily essential of mine. Okay, so it might not be the most amazing blusher there ever was, but for daily wear it does a pretty damn good job and keeps my bank account happy too.

Barbara Daly Eyebrow Pencil in Dark - As much as I love using this pencil to fill in my eyebrows, the only problem is that for best application the pencil needs to be sharpened before every use. This means that I get through them pretty quickly. Despite this, the Barbara Daly Eyebrow Pencil in Dark is the most perfect shade I have come across for myself and so I shall continue to buy.

What are your most loved beauty products?

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Topshop Tuesday

Once again here are my latest picks from one of our favourite High Street shops. This sunny weather has got me feeling all light and floral. Of course, no Topshop Tuesday of mine would be complete without a printed Kimono...

Monday, 15 July 2013

Benefit Erase Paste

I have owned this product for well over a year and for some reason I have only just got round to reviewing it, despite my strong opinion on this product. The Benefit Erase Paste is a beauty favourite among many bloggers and makeup junkies alike.

However, I hate it. I think it is quite possible the worst concealer ever to be made, and at £19.50 this has certainly been a big waste of money for me.

Okay, so the coverage is pretty decent but I wouldn't say it was anything to write home about on my dark circles. As you can see, the concealer has erased the freckles underneath my eye, but I don't feel that the area is brightened enough for my liking. It all looks very dull.

The consistency of the product is extremely thick and a little bit waxy. I find it quite difficult to apply with a concealer brush for fingers are the preferred method of applying, then finishing with a brush. Two hours after application my under eye area still feels very greasy and waxy and it has settled into my fine lines.

The packaging is extremely annoying, a little round pot with no method of application other than a little plastic spoon-like applicator. I can imagine this being very frustrating when coming to the bottom of the pot.

Safe to say, I don't think I will be repurchasing this item. The coverage is good, but that is outweighed by the awful consistency of this product. For under the eye, this product just isn't brightening enough for me. Perhaps it would be best used on other areas, but I just can't get over the waxy, greasy feeling on my skin.

Do you own the Benefit Erase Paste? What do you think of it?

Holiday Beauty Essentials

Only 8 days until I go on holiday and I sure am excited! As you all know, beauty products need to be rationed on holiday so as not to take up too much room in my bulging suitcase. Here's what I'll be taking with me.

From top left; Piz Buin In Sun Lipstick SPF20, Essie nail varnish in Tart Deco,
Tresemme Platinum Strength Leave in Conditioner, Nivea Intense Moisture Body Milk,
Rimmel 100% Waterproof Mascara, Bioderma H2O Cleansing Solution

My lips tend to get dry all year round, so I need an extra bit of protection when I'm in the sun. I love this Piz Buin In Sun Lipstick as it has SPF20 and keeps my lips smooth. For summer in a bottle I will most certainly be wearing (and taking with me for top up's) Essie nail varnish in Tart Deco. I'm looking forward to showing off this colour against my tan. Of course with the combination of sun, salt and chlorine my hair is going to feeling pretty dry, so I'll be packing my Tresemme Platinum Strength Leave in Conditioner to keep my hair as soft as possible. My legs get very dry all year round so to keep my skin from looking like the Sahara desert I'll be taking along my bottle of Nivea Intense Moisture Body Milk which has Almond Oil to keep my skin soft. I hate not wearing mascara, but any other will either melt off or be washed away in the pool, and panda eyes ain't my kinda thing. So I'll be popping my Rimmel 100% Waterproof mascara with me (this really is 100% waterproof, I've even tested it at a funeral!) Last but certainly not least, I'll be slipping in my travel size version of the Bioderma H2O Cleansing Solution to keep my skin clean and fresh.

What are your holiday beauty essentials?

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Northumbria Graduation 2013

Well, today has been a blimin' long day! I'm finally at home, in my PJs with a cup of tea in hand. Today was my graduation for my PGCE Early Years and Primary Education and I've had such a lovely day. The ceremony was pretty fast, so not too much sitting around and it meant that my boyfriend, family and I could have lunch in my favourite chinese in Newcastle.

I curled my hair the night before with the Babyliss Curling Wand. I put it really tights curls so I knew they would still be in today, but a little more relaxed. On my face I used Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation, Collection concealer and Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer and MUA blush and highlighter. For my eyes I used the MUA Undressed and Undress Me Too palettes, Rimmel Scandaleyes eyeliner and Max Factor False Lash Effect Fusion mascara.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Huge eBay sale

On my quest to make money I'm selling a ton load of my things on eBay, including hair tools, shoes and a hell of a lot of clothes. I'd really love for you to check out my items I have for sale and hopefully there will be something you like. Here's a sneak preview of a few of my items for sale:

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Topshop Tuesday

I can't believe it's that time of week again - Topshop Tuesday. Here are my top picks this week:

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Leo Bancroft Ultimately Intense Deep Moisture Mask

I'll put my hands up and say I'd never heard of Leo Bancroft before. Turns out he's an award-winning hairdresser, regular hairdresser on This Morning and hairdresser to the stars (clients include Gary Barlow, Abbey Clancey and Lily Cole). He has also brought out his own range of hair care products including shampoos, conditioners, styling products and accessories.

So anyway, on my life long search for gorgeous soft hair I picked up a sachet version of the Leo Bancroft Ultimately Intense Deep Moisture Mask, which was on offer at Tesco for only 79p! I was positively wooed by the promise of silky smooth hair (the price may have had something to do with it too).

So I jumped in the shower this morning and after shampooing my hair with my usual Tresemee I smothered this bad boy all over the lengths and ends of my hair. The instructions say to squeeze excess water from your hair, apply to the length and ends and leave for 15 minutes. The product also recommends that for additional conditioning goodness you should apply, put on a shower cap and gently blast with a hair dryer. Unfortunately I couldn't find my shower cap for the life of me so I had to give this a miss.

After the 15 minutes was up I jumped back in the shower and began to rinse the hair mask away. At this point I was a little concerned as my hair felt a lot heavier and weighed down than usual. However, once blow  dried I realised I had nothing to worry about. My hair doesn't at all feel weighed down. 

The conditioner itself has a lovely texture, a bit like melted marshmallow. It did have a slightly strange smell to it though and it reminded me of Play-Doh! Thankfully my hair didn't smell like this once dried.

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for the offence that my makeup-less face my cause

So the end results... I don't think my hair feels much softer than usual but it does feel pretty nice. However I do think my hair looks very lovely, with a gorgeous natural shine to it. For the bargainous price of 79p I will certainly be picking up a few more of these. I think they'll be really handy to take on holiday to save on suitcase space rather than a big bottle of conditioner.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Topshop Tuesday

I have a lot more time on my hands now and as such I am going to be spending a lot of time browsing clothes on the internet. I've decided to set up a weekly post dedicated to my love of all things Topshop - Topshop Tuesday. The aim is to post a selection of my favourite Topshop items on a weekly basis, so here's the first.

Garnier 5 Second Perfect Blur

After some pretty hefty advertising I was convinced to purchase the well-hyped Garnier 5 Second Perfect Blur primer, which claims to visibly blue wrinkles, imperfections, open pores and shine. This product currently retails at £9.99 so not a bank-breaker. I bought this as I'm coming up to 25 and blinkin' paranoid about the fine lines on my forehead.

It smooths on so lovely and even just putting it on your hand you can really see that it blurs out the natural texture in your skin. It does the same job on your face and really does blur out fine lines and imperfections. It also gives your skin quite a nice dewy glow.

Unfortunately I am not a fan of this product for one very disappointing reason. After a few hours wear my under eye concealer and foundation goes very dry and flaky, which it never usually does. I've read reviews on and others have said similar. For that reason I shan't be using this primer underneath my makeup again. I will, however, take this on holiday with me to wear alone and I'll see how it holds up then.

June Favourites 2013

Well, I can't blimin' believe it's July already! Where has the year gone? I'm really looking forward to July though, I have lots of lovely things coming up such as a weekend away in Center Parcs, holiday in Egypt for 11 nights and my 25th birthday! Actually I don't know whether to laugh or cry about the latter.

Anyway, of course with the turning of every month it is time for a new monthly favourites video. This one includes a couple of MUA products, shower scrub, pillow spray and brightening powder.

Oh, and the winner of my Babyliss Big Hair giveaway is announced in this video - how exciting!

I hope all you lovely people enjoy it.

love & hugs

Goodbye Google Reader

I'll be completely honest - I have no clue what all this shizznee is with Google Reader closing and what have you. However, there seems to be mass hysteria among the blogging world with lots of other bloggers asking their fans to follow them on Bloglovin' so I'm going to be a sheep and ask you lovely people to do the same.

I genuinely do love using Bloglovin' though. They have in iPhone app which is so easy to use. All the new posts from my favourite blog are in my news feed and I can scroll through and open the ones which interest me. The posts open within the Bloglovin' app too, so no waiting around for Safari to decide to do its job!

So yes, I'd be eternally grateful if you could follow me on Bloglovin' guys.

I'm back!

Hello lovely people,

I'm finally back after finishing my course and passing with flying colours! I do apologise for the absence however I can get back to blogging thankfully. My Babyliss Big Hair Giveaway has now CLOSED and the winner will be announced tres shortly! How exciting!

In the meantime why don't you check out my latest video: