July 2014 Favourites

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I’m a little bit late on favourites this month, so apologies for that, and without further ado, here’s what I have been loving through this lovely warm July we’ve had in England!

Midi rings – I know I’m really late to the party with this one, but I spotted these adorable little midi rings in Dorothy Perkins the other day and I decided to take the plunge. I’m not sure why, but I think they are a super cute edition to a Summer outfit and I love how delicate and feminine they look.

Revlon Highlighting Palette in Rose Gold – I didn’t think anything could drag me away from my beloved L’Oreal True Match blush in True Rose, but I’ve been reaching for this more and more recently. I intend to write a full post on it shortly. It adds a beautiful shimmer to your cheek bones, and it has a little pop of rosy colour which gives a beautiful healthy glow to the cheeks. I find it works perfectly well by itself and I don’t need to use blusher with it.

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream – Since the weather has been warmer, I’ve been using this lots instead of foundation. It gives a really light, healthy, natural look.

Mac All Fired Up lipstick – I’ve pretty much fallen in love with this lipstick. It is one of the best quality lipsticks I’ve ever had; I can eat and drink and still barely need to reapply. It doesn’t smudge or bleed, even though it’s a dark, vibrant colour. It doesn’t need a lipliner and is super easy to apply so its perfect for Summer wear.

Essie Cute as a Button nail polish – I bought my first Essie polishes the other day and I’ve been really enjoying them. Cute as a Button (adorable name) is my favourite so far. It’s the perfect Summer coral colour. It’s really good quality and long lasting.

Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Liner Pencils

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As my regular readers will have gathered by now, I’m a bit of an eyeliner junkie. I bought two of the Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Liner Pencils, Jet Black and Sable Brown, on a bit of a whim in Boots the other day, because I’m constantly on the hunt for a pencil liner which is as easy to apply as a liquid pen. These liners promised a very easy to apply formulation so they seemed worth a try.

I was quite impressed by these liners. They glide on really easily with a very soft touch, and it isn’t hard to apply the colour.  The pencils are also nice and blendable for creating a smokey eye look.

I wasn’t hugely impressed by the staying power of these pencils; they seem to smudge a bit so you need to reapply once or twice during the day. They also aren’t really designed for neat clean lines, probably because of how blendable and soft they are.

However, if you are looking for a good alternative to the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On eye pencils, these will do the job nicely, particularly if you don’t have the budget for the Urban Decay pencils.

 

Mac Retro Matte Lipstick – All Fired Up

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This is a very exciting blog post for me, because I am writing about my very first Mac lipstick! Yes, I finally lost my Mac lipstick virginity. Here it is:

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Isn’t it beautiful! I arrived in town a bit early the other day, so I decided to pop into Mac for a look round. I was looking at the lipsticks and totally fell in love with this colour. All Fired Up is a gorgeous hybrid between red and pink. I’d describe it as a cherry colour. I asked the sales assistant if she thought it would suit my complexion and she said “yes, yes, a million times yes”. After that, I thought I’d better try it, and it was so perfect I decided to splash out and buy it.

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The formula of this lipstick really surprised me when I initially put it on. It is really dry, not smooth and creamy at all, so it can be difficult to apply and can look awful on dry or chapped lips. Mac recommend using a lipstick primer underneath it, but does anyone actually own one of those? I just make sure I’ve been using lip balm regularly so my lips aren’t dry.

So if that is the downside, what are the best things about this lipstick? Well the colour is super pigmented and looks totally amazing! It is also really long lasting which is fantastic as it doesn’t need re-applying very often. Also, because of the dry, matte formula, the lipstick doesn’t bleed and there’s hardly any transfer.

So I’m now a Mac lipstick convert. What others should I try?

 

 

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream

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As you will know if you read my Clinique Shopping Spree post, you will know I bought this product on a bit of a whim (an expensive whim). For a while I had been wanting a make-up product which would give me a little coverage at work but would be much lighter than foundation. For some reason, it popped into my head one day that I wanted to give a BB or CC cream a try, but I wasn’t really sure where to start looking or what product to buy.

I somehow found myself at the Clinique counter and asked the assistant for her recommendation. She explained that Clinique has designed their CC cream for drier skin and their BB cream for slightly oilier or combination skin. On that basis, I opted for the Clinique Age Defense BB Cream as I would class my skin as combination.

I asked the assistant to help me choose a colour. She thought shade 2 would be right and so tried a little on the side of my face. It looked invisible in the mirror so I agreed it was spot on. The website describes it as for “very fair to moderately fair complexions with golden undertones”. I have been really pleased with the colour because you really can’t tell it’s on my skin when I blend it in. I just look healthy, and a tiny bit tanned. I was really surprised that shade 2 was right for me, because I am honestly so pale when you look at me.

Clinique describes their BB cream as “a medium buildable coverage cream that reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, helps conceal imperfections and enhances skin’s complexion”. The formula is supposed to calm the skin whilst also protecting against UV and environmental damage.

The product has a really light, creamy texture and is super easy to apply. I often use my fingers instead of a brush, although both give a nice natural look. Even though the coverage is very light (which is what I wanted) I still feel like I have all my redness and blemishes covered which means I need less concealer than I would normally use. The coverage lasts all day and it doesn’t feel like I’m wearing makeup which is great.

The BB cream also has SPF 30 which is fantastic for a makeup product (a lot seem to be SPF 15 or 20). Wearing SPF every day helps to prevent red marks, according to the assistant at Clinique. It’s also really important in preventing ageing. I am reaching my mid twenties so this is something I am starting to think about.

I have really been enjoying this product so far and I’m glad I gave it a try. The only thing I am not sure about is the price. £26 seems a lot of money for makeup. It’s against my nature to spend that much. Perhaps someone can recommend me another high street BB cream for a more reasonable price?

 

Benefit: The POREfessional

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I honestly never thought I’d be writing this review, because at £24.50 Benefit’s The POREfessional is way out of my usual makeup budget. For the longest time I also didn’t see any point to primers. I couldn’t imagine why I would need to put yet another product on my face.

However, all of that changed when I got my Benefit Happy Beauty Day box. I wasn’t fussed about most of the products but I totally fell in love with The Porefessional and decided I would splurge and buy a full size tube.

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First thing’s first, check out how cute the packaging of this product is. It’s quirky and unusual, and has the unique feel of something you should pay that little bit extra for.

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The primer itself is a light tan colour, but when it’s spread over the face it doesn’t add any colour. To apply it you take a tiny bit in your hands and start at the T-zone, patting lightly to spread the product outwards across your face. It is unbelievably light and just glides over your skin with no effort at all. It makes my skin feel really sort. I then apply my foundation over the top.

So the key selling point of this product is it’s promise to dramatically reduce the appearance of your pores, along with fine lines and wrinkles. I’ve got to be honest here and say I really don’t notice a difference, but perhaps this is because I really don’t have very visible pores in the first place. I keep threatening to make my fiancé try it to see if it really works. I don’t think he’d be impressed by this suggestion…

So why do I love this product if it doesn’t live up to the pore reducing hype? Well it may because I haven’t used a primer before so I didn’t know what a difference they make, or it may be because this one is particularly amazing, but I have been shocked and amazed by how long lasting this makes my makeup. Honestly it looks freshly applied all day, even in my troublesome chin and nose area where I get the most redness. No concealer touch ups needed at all, just a bit of powder on a super hot day.

I also put the primer through the ultimate test: swimming. I had a couple of red marks I was super self concious about, so I put on a little of The Porefessional, followed by a tiny bit of foundation, some concealer and powder to set, and went off swimming. I totally expected it all to be gone when I got out the pool, but to my amazement it was all still there, looking perfect, with no red marks in sight! I did this twice and it worked like a dream. I didn’t rub my face, but I still believe the makeup wouldn’t have stayed without the primer.

Obviously I am not advocating wearing a full face of makeup swimming, but this may be the answer if you are super self concious about a particular spot or blemish and you want to be able to relax and enjoy yourself knowing it’s covered.

So, if you want really long lasting makeup, I highly recommend giving The Porefessional a try!

 

Empties March-May 2014

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First up, apologies for the rubbish quality of the picture, I took it on my phone with bad lighting. As you can see, I have collected a pretty big stack of empties over the last couple of months, so I thought it was about time I talk you through it!

Makeup

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder – This is my go to powder because it’s reasonably priced and keeps me matte for long periods of time, without making my makeup look caked on.

No 7 Stay Perfect Foundation – My absolute favourite foundation. I had repurchased before I ran out because I can’t bear to be without it!

Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau so Fresh – I adore the scent of the this perfume; it’s so sweet and light and floral. I just wish it lasted a little better. Perhaps using it in conjunction with the body cream is the answer.

Skin care

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser – Yes there are in fact two empty tubes of this. I use it every day and sometimes twice a day. That might make it look like it doesn’t last well, but one tube will last me a good two months on average.

Body Shop Soothing Peppermint Foot Scrub – A really nice peppermint foot scrub to make your feet feel smooth and soft for summer. It was noticeable when I stopped using this over the winter how much more dead skin I seemed to have. Warning that this does dry up after a few months.

Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream – I really like the scent of this and it doesn’t break me out at all, but it is quite thick and I generally prefer a lighter moisturiser.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar AI – This is a life saver if you suffer from breakouts. It helps clear up spots more quickly and can sometimes prevent a spot developing if you catch it early. I can’t imagine life without this now.

Hair care

V05 Smoothly Does It Frizz Free Creme – I swear by frizz ease creams for when I blow dry my hair because it gives some heat protection and definitely makes my hair less poofy. I quite liked this one and would consider re-purchasing

Candles

Yankee Candle Christmas Eve – This smelt so unbelievably good and to be honest I just can’t wait till Christmas to buy it again, assuming they bring it back!

Yankee Candle Black Coconut – This smelt incredible in the shop when I sniffed it, but when it was actually burning I was disappointed. It didn’t have a very strong or lasting scent so it wasn’t really a worthwhile purchase.

And another red berry candle which I can’t remember the name of. I liked it though.

L’Oréal Super Liner Brow Artist

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I bought the L’Oréal Super Liner Brow Artist on a bit of a whim when browsing in Superdrug. I am really not an eyebrow pencil kind of a gal. I religiously darken with brown eyeshadow, but I don’t really need to fill in or re-shape much. However, this looked quite quirky and fun so I decided to give it a try.

The L’Oréal Super Liner Brow Artist is a new 3 in 1 eyebrow pencil. It has a coloured pencil, obviously, for you to draw in and intensify the colour and shape of your brows. I felt I was a bit between shades, but I went for 03 Brunette because I figured it would be better to use a light coat of a dark colour than have to use loads of a lighter one.

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There is then a small soft brush you can use to comb through your brows and shape and tidy them the way you like.

Finally, there is a clear wax based formula for you to fix the look in place.

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I found I have to be quite gentle with the pencil because as I expected it’s a little dark for me. It’s super easy to apply though and the colour is nice. The brush is a very nice touch, especially if you have quite thick and unruly brows like me! I can’t say that I saw the wax make much of a difference to my brows though. It seemed to wear down really quickly but didn’t seem to actually do anything. Perhaps it does and I just didn’t notice, but I think I would prefer to stick to clear brow gel unless I was pushed for space in my make-up bag.

Overall this product made a nice change from messy eyeshadow and was very easy to use. I’m not sure it’s quite what I want, but if you like pencils, I think you’ll probably love this.

 

May 2014 Favourites

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Body Shop Early-Harvest Raspberry Eau de Toilette – There’s not an awful lot I can say about this product except oh my goodness it smells so unbelievably good! Seriously, I just want to spray it everywhere all the time.

L’Oreal Super Liner Brow Artist – I got this 3-in-1 eyebrow pencil to use as an alternative to brown eyeshadow to darken my brows. I was hoping it will last a bit better in hot weather, which it seems to be so far. It has a brown pencil to darken, a small brush to shape with and tidy, and a wax to set the look. I love the effect it creates and it’s super easy to use.

Rimmel Stay Matte Long Lasting Pressed Powder – It’s been uncharacteristically warm in England recently which is lovely but means shine galore. Thankfully, I have my Rimmel powder on hand to help me out. It instantly mattifys my skin and lasts a pretty long time too. Life saver!

Lycon Spa Ingrown-X-It Solution – I bought this product to try on recommendation by a beauty therapist. It is designed to very mildly exfoliate, minimise the appearance and discomfort of ingrown hairs, and moisturise and smooth skin. You spray it on to dry skin after waxing and shaving and gently massage it in. It’s really helped me out recently so it was worth every penny!

Robinsons Squash’d – When I first saw the new Robinsons Squash’d, I thought what on earth is that and why would I need it in my life? Well it’s a small pot of highly concentrated squash you can keep in your bag and take with you to add a squeeze to some water wherever you are. It comes in a bunch of different flavours and has no added sugar. This is going to be a life saver this summer for me because I don’t like to drink a lot of plain water, but it’s hard to find squash in the usual kinds of places you buy a bottle of water. Now I can buy water and just add a squirt of this, instead of constantly drinking coke and other naughty fizzy drinks.

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.

 

 

L’Oréal Colour Riche Smokey Eye Quad

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I picked up this cute little L’Oréal Colour Riche Quad because I figured it would be perfect for travelling with. This particular set of shades is called Nude Lingerie. The palette is small and compact but still has everything you need. The packaging is really cute too.

It has four different brown shades designed to help you create a perfect smokey eye. There is a light creamy colour for near the brow bone, a taupe shade for all over the lid, a reddy brown for the outer corners and a dark brown with you can put along the lash line like a smokey liner. The back of the palette has a helpful suggestion of where to put each shade for the best effect.

The shadows themselves are very powdery, which helps create a smokey look, but makes it hard to apply them without getting shadow everywhere. They are nicely pigmented though and I like the combination of colours; it’s a nice natural every day look. However, there is a hint of glitter and shimmer in there too which which help take the look from day time to evening if you wanted.

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The shadows also last surprisingly well. I wore these in London during our lovely hot weather without any primer (living dangerously) but I didn’t notice them creasing badly, which is quite an achievement because the other day the heat  made my Urban Decay shadows crease!

This is a nice little palette to have and I will travel with it when I have limited space, but I’m not sure I’m crazy about it – the loose powdery texture just puts me off a little. Have you tried any of the L’Oréal Colour Riche Quads? Let me know what you thought of them in the comments 🙂