Huge Beauty & Clothing Haul

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I just got back from a very hectic day’s shopping in Cambridge, so as I am settling down to drink a delicious Very Very Berry tea from Whittards, I thought I’d do a little haul post. The things I am showing you today weren’t all from the same day, because I don’t think I have the shopping stamina from that!

First up, some beauty bits I got from Boots!

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I picked up another of the Real Techniques Expert Face brushes, because they are so amazing, and some tights because you can’t have too many pairs of tights.  I got some of the Champneys emery boards because they are just the texture I look for, and my old Body Shop emery boards are rather well worn now.

Makeup wise I went a bit crazy at the Rimmel stand – I got two more of the Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquers (Shooting Star which is a nude and Luna which is a peachy colour). I also bought two of the Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Liner pencils in black and brown because they seemed nice and soft and easy to use (and I am an eyeliner junkie). Finally, I picked up one of the Bourjois Erasable Liners, because who doesn’t want an eyeliner they can erase?!

Moving on to clothes now, and we’ll start with Accessorize where I replaced my old worn out flip flops with two new pairs. I adore the beading on the right hand pair.

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I bought another of the Bravissimo pyjama tops because their hidden support is amazing.

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In Dorothy Perkins I bought the most beautiful dress in the whole world which I CANNOT WAIT to wear, and a sweet butterfly printed t-shirt.

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That picture brings me on nicely to Topshop where I bought my first pair of Jamie high waisted, ankle grazers. Before I have always had Baxter jeans, but I am getting fed up of having to keep pulling them up, so I decided to give the Jamies a go, and I loved the fit.

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This next dress is from Next and I bought it a while ago, but I adore it so much I thought I would include it. It’s a really flattering shape and just the cutest summer print. I also bought a plain grey vest top for the gym, but it’s not very exciting so I haven’t photographed it.

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I got one of the fab H&M lightweight summer hoodies in a lovely burgundy colour.

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Finally, I got some new sports clothes from Sports Direct – Nike three quarter length trousers and La Gear shorts.

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Benefit Happy Beauty Day Box

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I have been wanting to try some Benefit products for a really long time, so when I saw this cute little box of miniature products by the till in Boots, I bought it on impulse. The box was £9 for three mini sample size products: Porefessional primer, Posie Tint lip and cheek tint, and Bad Gal Lash mascara.  It also has a little voucher for a free make-up session at Benefit in Boots.

The products were the perfect size to take in my travel make-up bag to London last week, so I tried them out for a week.

The POREfessional

This is a primer designed to reduce the size and appearance of your pores. It is one of Benefit’s best selling products and the thing I was most excited to try. I don’t have particularly visible pores so I can’t say I saw much of a difference, but oh my goodness I have fallen in love with primer. I haven’t used any before, and I can’t believe how much better my make-up stays on. I even went swimming and it didn’t budge. I have now re-purchased the Porefessional, so I will do a full review soon.

Pose Tint

This is described as a poppy-pink cheek and lip tint. It is hellishly bright when you first apply it but it blends down to a really nice flushed pink on your cheeks. It lasted reasonably well, but not amazingly. I will continue using this till it is finished but I don’t think I will bother re-purchasing it. It was quite nice but it didn’t blow me away.

BADgal Lash

I believe this used to be Benefit’s most popular mascara till They’re Real came along. I really wanted to like it, but I didn’t. The brush is huge and awkward to use. The mascara itself made my eyelashes fall really flat and lose their curl instantly. I also found it really hard to build any colour, even though this is supposedly a black mascara. I definitely wouldn’t re-purchase this.

 

 

Haul: Hollister, Boots and Body Shop

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I had another cheeky trip to the shops at the weekend so I thought I’d share what I bought with you. I know how you all love a good haul.

One of the main reasons I went to the shops was to go to Hollister to buy a new hoody. My old one has decided not to stay zipped up anymore. It sort of slides back down as you walk or move. I had set myself a tricky task it seems because all the summer stuff was out, so I didn’t have a lot of choice. Unfortunately, no one has told the weather that it’s summer, hence why I need a hoody.

Anyway I manged to find a nice tight fitting navy hoody. It has a fluffy lining making it feel super cosy, like a warm cuddle. The only thing I don’t like is the sequins spelling out California. I think i might unpick them. What do you think?

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The other reason I went to the shops was to get some bits from Boots. In particular, a new wash bag because I haven’t brought any to Cambridge and now I find I need one for a trip to London. I bought one large one for general toiletries and a smaller one for makeup. I also bought some of the usual miniatures you need for a trip away.

However, as always I am unable to take a trip to Boots without stopping to get some makeup. I was instantly attracted to the L’Oréal Colour Riche Smokey Eye Quad palettes – all the colours you need in one compact. Gorgeous packaging too. I bought the shade Nude Lingerie. Finally, I was queueing for the till when I spotted the Benefit Happy Beauty Day box of miniatures. It was £9.50 for miniature sample sizes of the Porefessional primer, BADgal mascara and Posie Tint blush. I had wanted to try the Porefessional in particular for ages so I thought, oh what the hell, I’m going to get this set!

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Lastly, I accidentally found myself in Body Shop and went a little bit mad. I bought a bunch of new things to try – Satsuma Body Polish, Vitamin E SPF 15 Moisture Lotion, and Early Harvest Raspberry Eau de Toilette (which smells incredible)  – as well as some new exfoliating gloves. I also bought myself another oil for my oil burner because I am obsessed with it at the moment. I went with Pomegranate and Raspberry which smells so fruity and delicious.

After lunch in Pret a Manger and stocking up on wedding magazines I dragged myself home feeling very successful!  Have you spotted any things you’d like to try?

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Cambridge Shopping Haul

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I don’t think I have mentioned yet that I have moved to Cambridge temporarily for a few months. At the weekend, I took my first venture to the shops. I hit the Grand Arcade and Lion’s Yard shopping centres and the general surrounding area and finished with lunch in Yo Sushi. I thought I’d do a little haul post to show you what I bought!

When I arrived at the shopping centre I made a beeline for Lush (my spiritual home). After sniffing various bath bombs and face masks, I eventually decided to buy a small bottle of It’s Raining Men shower gel because I had a free sample in my last Lush order and it was amazing, and also Cynthia Sylvia Stout Beer Shampoo because it sounded really weird and I thought my boyfriend might like to try it (SURPRISE if you are reading this!)

After Lush I found Clintons. Clintons is my favourite place for all sorts of quirky little things; they are much more than a card shop now.  I bought beautiful floral print notecards because the print really spoke to me, a Yankee Candle in the scent Black Coconut because it smelt reeeeally good, and this adorable ceramic travel mug. I like to have a mug with a lid at work. When you are concentrating on things, coffee goes cold really quickly without you noticing, and the lid really helps to keep my drink warm until I get round to drinking it.

The Grand Arcade has a nice big John Lewis inside, so of course I went there (despite having only gone to John Lewis a week or so ago and stocking up in Liz Earle and Jo Malone). I bought three adorable Mavala nail polishes in the colours 114 Sand Rose, 164 Rose Dust and 312 Poetic Rose. To be honest I could have bought the whole display. I just adore Mavala. I also got some food storage boxes, because who doesn’t need to store things?

After a short stop in Specsavers to buy lens cleaner for my glasses, I ended up in Boots. I picked up another tube of La Roche-Posay Effaclar A I, because it’s awesome, the latest issue of Glamour magazine, Rimmel Stay Matte powder in the shade Transparent, and Sally Hansen Nailgrowth Miracle treatment for my nails.

Finally, I ended my trip by giving some money to the smallest busker in the world. She was perhaps around 6 (I’m terrible at guessing the ages of children) and was playing the harp. She was awesome!

No 7 Match Made Concealer

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When I was in Boots buying the new No 7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation the other day, I spotted this: the No 7 Match Made Concealer. As there was a promotion on, I decided to try it. I asked the assistant which shade I should buy, and he suggested the one which matches my foundation. If you aren’t a regular user of No 7 products, the assistants at the No 7 counter can read your skin with their special gadget to tell you the correct shade for you, just like they do with the foundations.

No 7 Match Made Concealer is a stick concealer, but it’s not like any I have tried before. I am used to stick concealers being thick and hard, however this one glides on as easily as a liquid concealer and blends into a very smooth, powdery consistency. It’s incredibly easily to blend. I usually dislike liquid concealers because they aren’t great at covering spots and blemishes, but this does the job just fine. In fact, it gives you the best of both worlds: you can use it on your blemishes like a stick concealer, but you can use it to cover dark circles under your eyes like a liquid concealer.

I would really highly recommend this concealer if you use one of the No 7 foundations, or are looking at trying one, because it blends with the foundation of the same shade absolutely perfectly! I can’t imagine using a different combination now!

New No 7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation

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For months my go-to foundation has been the No 7 Stay Perfect Liquid Foundation. I find it lasts incredibly well, it’s easy to apply, and there is the perfect shade for my skin. However, I do feel bad sometimes putting a medium coverage foundation on when my skin is quite clear, so when a secret insider told me that a new lighter weight foundation was being released shortly, I was really excited.  True to form, I bought it the day after the official release, and have been using it regularly since.

The No 7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation is designed to have the long lasting finish of the Stay Perfect foundation, while giving the barely-there feel of a light coverage foundation.

Unlike traditional Stay Perfect, the Superlight foundation comes in a small black plastic squeezy bottle instead of the posh glass pump style bottle.  This doesn’t look so stylish, but it does make it easier and lighter to transport in a make-up bag.

I was really surprised at the consistency of the foundation. I have used light weight foundations before but they’ve never been particularly wet, however this one definitely is. Be careful when you first use it, or it might go everywhere. It’s even wetter than some tinted moisturisers. It’s super easy to apply, which might be a consequence of that consistency. It just glides on really easily. It is also really easy to get a nice consistent, even finish. You’ll look a bit shiny at first, but a dusting of powder soon sorts that out and I haven’t found it to make me look shiny as the day progresses.

So what can you expect from this foundation? Well, the coverage is obviously lighter than the traditional Stay Perfect, so it will be perfect for you if you don’t want high coverage. I find the finished look is incredibly natural; you can’t really tell I’m wearing foundation at all, but it gives me that little bit of extra confidence in my skin. It will no doubt be very popular in the summer as you can’t tell you are wearing foundation.

It also does what it says on the tin. It lasts really well and I don’t even feel the need to top up concealer.

I’m super impressed by this foundation and, apart from particularly bad skin days, I doubt I’ll go back to the traditional Stay Perfect because I prefer the light feeling of this and knowing my skin can breathe a little better.

Have you tried No 7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation yet? Let me know what you think!

No 7 Brush Cleanser

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I must admit to being guilty of washing my make-up brushes with shampoo and hot water. It could be worse; I could not wash them at all. Still, I decided it was time for a change, so on a whim I purchased the No 7 Brush Cleanser.

I didn’t read the bottle properly, so assumed this was something to use with water. I was disappointed to discover when I got home that this is actually designed to be a  quick fix when you don’t have time to soak your brushes. You are supposed to spray a paper towel or tissue with the cleanser before sweeping the dirty brush bristles across it. You can then let the bristles quickly dry before applying your make-up.

I gave it ago and I will admit that it does what it says on the tin. My make-up brushes cleaned up quite nicely and felt fresher to use. I would stress that you should only use a tiny bit. You know when you don’t wash shampoo out of your hair properly, and it sounds and feels bubbly when you touch it? That’s what my brushes felt like the first time. I ended up washing it out with water which sort of defeats the object.

However, I definitely won’t be re-purchasing this product. In my eyes there should be no quick fixes when it comes to washing your make-up brushes. I would rather use clean fingers than a dirty brush, and even after using this cleanser, I still felt like my brushes were dirty and unhygienic. There’s a lot to be said for the psychological effect of using hot water!

Boots Beauty Advent Calendar Days 21-24

The day has finally come: time for my last advent calendar update. I am going to include my brief thoughts on the calendar as a whole at the end too.

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On the 21st I got a sample of Boots Botanics Heat Protection Shine Serum. I’m interested to try this as I don’t use a lot of hair products at the moment. For once I don’t mind it being a Boots own product as it’s a little out of the ordinary and the Botanics range is quite nice in general.

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Behind door 22 was a sample of Nails Inc polish in the colour Porchester Road. It isn’t something I would pick in a shop but actually it’s really nice and I wore it on Christmas Day with silver glitter over the top and it looked great. My only disappointment is the size – I don’t think a full size bottle would have broken the bank.

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I’m very intrigued by this gift: Umberto Giannini Backcomb in a Bottle. I hadn’t heard of this before but it sounds really cool, it is supposed to give you the volume and effect of back combing without having to wreck your hair by actually doing it. I’m looking forward to trying it!

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And finally, on December 24th I got a 17 (Seventeen) mascara. I was a bit surprised by this as I expected the best gift to be last. I’m sure this is great, but I think there were better gifts in the calendar.

So what were my overall thoughts? The calendar was a bit of a mixed bag. The nail polishes were a high point, as were the two Soap and Glory products. The Vichy samples are probably great for the older lady, but anti-aging is not something I think about yet. The low points were the terrible scrunchy and the perfume samples. I was looking forward to perfume samples but I was expected more than a tiny tube you could be given free in a magazine on any occasion. Overall I am glad I gave it a try, but I don’t think I would repurchase it next year as it didn’t wow me. I might look at getting a Benefit calendar next year instead.

Boots Beauty Advent Calendar Days 16-20

I can’t quite believe how deliciously close we are to Christmas! It is so exciting! My post today is another advent calendar update because you seem to be enjoying them!

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When I first opened door number 16 I was a little disappointed because the gift was just a bog standard nail file. However, it actually turned out to be quite useful when I snapped a nail mere hours later!

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I am thrilled with what was behind door 17 though: a travel size pot of Flake Away scrub from Soap & Glory. I had never tried this before but I am really loving it; it smells divine!

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On the 18th I got yet another disappointing perfume sample. This one was a different fragrance by Ghost. It excited me so little I don’t even remember what it was.

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A lot of people really rate Carmex lip balms so I was excited to try this, however it just made my lips burn! Is it supposed to do that?

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I am so excited to show you this one! Door number 20 revealed a gorgeous Mavala nail polish: Pure Diamond. I can’t wait to wear this, Mavala nail polishes are amazing!

Recent Boots and Superdrug Goodies

I haven’t been on a big shopping spree in a while, but I have picked up some exciting new bits and bobs on several different cheeky shopping trips. I thought it would be fun to combine them all into one post and show you what I’ve been buying!

Trip one was to Superdrug for nail goodies. I have been getting more into nail art recently so I liked the look of the Barry M Nail Art Pens. They don’t have a great range of colours at the moment so I stuck to the staples of black and white. Expect to see some (no doubt terrible) attempts at nail art with these in the coming weeks! I also fell in love with an amazing Jewel Glitter Nail Paint in the shade Pink Sapphire.

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The next trip was to Boots where I picked up a strange assortment of different goods. I stocked up on fun, thick tights for Winter and bought a new Eco Tools Powder Brush. I thought the Veet Easywax Face Precision Wax & Care sounded interesting and I think it might be fun to try waxing my eyebrows instead of plucking. I’ll put a review up when I’ve used it. Finally, I spotted the Champney’s Exfoliating Mitt as I was heading to the till and grabbed it because it looked like a great alternative to Boots.

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My last recent purchase is also from Boots and it’s something I’ve had my eye on for a few weeks now – the Boots Beauty Advent Calendar! If you haven’t seen this already, it has products from a great range of brands including Nails Inc, Mavala and Vichy. I finally caved and ordered it from the Boots website. I can’t wait for 1st December now! I plan to group together 4 or 5 days’ worth of items at a time and then put up a post to show you what I got!

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