August Beauty Favourites!

It’s been a LOOONG time since I posted a monthly favourites, mainly due to the fact that I haven’t really been trying out any new products. But this month I thought I’d get back to it since I’ve been using a few products that have really impressed me!

The first 3 are all from The Body Shop:

Body Shop Oils Of Life Sleeping Cream

This Oils of Life sleeping cream isn’t actually new to me, in fact it probably featured in a past favourites post. I bought it last winter, but since my skin has been so temperamental of late, I thought I’d give it a go during the summer too, and I LOVE it again. I have an oily t-zone which obviously gets oiler during the summer months when it’s warmer. I never liked the idea of adding more oil to my face, but I know that when you have oily skin it’s because you’re hydrated and it’s trying to compensate SOOO I tried it. I popped a thin layer of this on my face before bed, and in the morning my skin felt balanced and soft. AND it smells great too! I don’t use this every night because I’m still figuring out how to balance my t-zone, but so far so good!

Body Shop Skin Defence

Next is The Body Shop’s Skin Defence cream. I asked for this for my birthday and was very happy to receive it. This cream has spf 50++++ and is a lightweight cream to water finish protector for your face. You can apply it alone or under makeup and I’m definitely taking this to Florida next month, because I hate the greasy feeling of sunscreen on my face.

Body Shop Instamatte

Lastly for The Body Shop items, is this Instamatte. I managed to buy this for £2 as I had two £5 gifts on their loyalty card. This is a little lipgloss sized tube of primer type gel. It’s designed to be mixed into foundation or on top of lipsticks to transform into matte finish. I haven’t yet used it for the latter, but I have kept it in my bag at work and when my t-zone starts to look gross I tap a little of the gel onto the areas I need it, and I’m instantly matte. I only wear tinted moisturiser and it taps on top fine, but I don’t know how well it would work tapped on top of higher coverage foundation. I have a feeling it might break it up a little, but for the way I use it and for me, it’s a little lifesaver!

Lipsticks

Speaking of lipsticks, I’ve been loving these two again. I don’t usually like to wear a lot of lipstick in the summer, instead I reach for products with a more sheer finish, but since we were having a rather rubbish and autumnal feeling summer spell, I picked these two out.

The one on the left, in the picture above, is Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani ‘Ex-Girlfriend’ and on the right is Charlotte Tilbury’s ‘Stoned Rose’.

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Both are cream finish, and look nice and autumnal. Ex-Girlfriend doesn’t last too long on its own, but lasts much longer if you use the matching lipliner underneath, which I do. I love this Charlotte Tilbury lipstick too and think I’m going to find myself in the market for another one this autumn!

Skin Laundry Face wash

And lastly, I’ve been adoring this foaming facial wash by Skin Laundry. I got a sample size of this in my Liberty London advent calendar last Christmas, and I was totally shocked by how clean this made my skin feel and look. So when I eventually ran out I went and bought the full-size. It’s not the cheapest but you get a massive bottle and it lasts ages. I’m so glad I found it!

And that’s it for my August beauty favourites. Have you tried any of these? I’d love to know what you thought!

Primers for Combination Skin in the Summer: E.L.F Vs Too Faced review

What with the weather picking up the way it has been, I’ve been on the lookout for a makeup primer that will keep my base looking fresh all day.

My base of choice is more often than not a tinted moisturiser. As someone with combination skin this might be an odd choice, but I prefer light, natural coverage with a dewy finish. I hate the look of a matte, dry foundation. I wear Balm Shelter by The Balm which is a lovely light and medium coverage tinted moisturiser that also contains spf. I’ve been wearing it every day for a couple of years now, and it lasts all day and I’ve only had to repurchase once.

That being said, I also need to maintain my t-zone because as soon as the summer starts, I get more oily than usual. I’ve also noticed my skin changing as I get older, and I’ll be honest, I’ve also somewhat temporarily ruined my skin by using a face wash that’s dried it out so much (Garnier Micellar Cleansing Gel wash for sensitive skin – don’t buy it) I am having to totally overhaul my skincare routine until its back to normal.

I’d found a fantastic primer that appeared to really control my t-zone but I’d got it online from America, so when it ran out and I didn’t have anything else to buy from this brand, I decided to do some research and invest in a primer which was easier to get hold of. So here’s what I’m talking about:

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I actually received the e.l.f. Tone Adjusting Face Primer as part of a free gift with purchase when I made an order about a year ago (their website being the only place you used to be able to buy e.l.f.) If you’ve never bought on their site, I’d recommend it because they are always doing awesome free gifts with purchase, usually have a free delivery offer on, THEY cover customs charges AND it’s usually here from the US within a week or so. Anyway, I decided to try this primer when the one I’d been using ran out.

This primer is green in colour, so it’s supposed to correct redness and blotches on the skin, and I’ll be honest, I don’t find it does that.

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Don’t be alarmed by the colour, as you can see from the swatch the green blends away, which is probably why it doesn’t really cover much redness. But what I LOVE about this primer is that is silicone-y but not too silicone-y if you know what I mean. It makes my skin feel smooth but still like my skin. I always set my face with loose powder on my t-zone, and have done this with both the primers I’m talking about today. By the middle of my working day I can see this primer really works. If I tap my nose with my finger, a little oil comes off but my skin doesn’t look oily at all. My makeup hasn’t disappeared or started to break down, even on the hottest of days. I was really impressed! Thankfully I can now pick this up in Superdrug, as they have started to stock e.l.f Cosmetics. For £7.50 this is a total bargain and well worth the money.

As I said before, when this ran out and I didn’t have anything else to order from e.l.f, I didn’t want to make an order for just one thing, so I did some research. I wanted to see if there were any more primers, mid-range cost, that I could buy in the UK and were specifically designed for preventing oil. I’d bought the NYX Shine Killer primer before and was so disappointed that it actually made me shinier.

There were two primers that kept coming up as holy grail for oily skin, and one of which I knew I could pick up locally, so I went for that one!

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Too Faced Primed and Poreless Primer was being reviewed as one of the ultimate primers for oil control throughout the day. At £24 it’s not cheap, but it also claimed to smooth skin, hide pores and as it’s slightly tinted suggested that you could wear it on its own for a naturally flawless look.

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So, this is what it looks like when you pump it out. It’s SO smooth on the skin but doesn’t feel like silicone at all. It’s more like feeling silk! The tone of the product isn’t strong enough to allow me to wear just that if I want a flawless finish. And it would need setting if I was going to do that anyhow because it does leave you feeling like you have something on your face. I didn’t notice any change to the appearance of my pores. I will say it did hold up to the oil-control part on warm days, but as soon as the heatwave hit it failed. My nose was oily early on in the day, even with powder and for £24 I’d expect it to perform for longer. I was rather disappointed. You also don’t get a lot of product for the amount you need to put on so I noticed I was going through it rather fast.

In the end, and as soon as my Superdrug started to stock e.l.f. I went back and picked up my old faithful green primer.

If you’re looking for a primer to control your combination skin, I’d say give the green one  from e.l.f a try. Obviously everyone’s skin is different and it might not work for you, but for £7.50 it’s worth a try!

Do you suffer with combination skin that gets more oily in the Summer? I’d love to hear what products you use to keep it in check!

Mid Month Beauty Favourites!

I haven’t posted a beauty favourites in a few months, mainly because I haven’t had anything new to write about, but I thought I’d just let you know about a few items I’ve been loving. These items are all perfect for bringing you from the Spring through to the Summer.

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I’ve mentioned this product before, but I’m so glad the weather has picked up so I can use it again:

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This is the Makeup Revolution Radiance Palette. It contains what I would consider to be two bronzers and one highlighter, though you can use them how you like. What I love about this palette is that when I use it I get such a natural tanned look. It’s not heavy or dirty looking, and doesn’t glitter. I use the far right pan mostly as I have never gotten the hang of highlight! I can only use this bronzer when it’s really warm and sunny because it really makes me glow, but I am still in love with this a year on from buying it. And for £8 you can’t go wrong!

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These two body creams were amongst a few I picked up from Bath and Body Works when I was in the US last October. I saved these for the warmer months, and I’m really enjoying using them. Tahiti Island Dream is a fresh summery and fairly heady scent that reminds me of tropical islands (not that I’ve ever been to one!) It’s summer in a tube. Beautiful Day is fresh and also summery with a little fruityness to it. So lovely.

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This fragrance mist from The Body Shop, I understand has just been discontinued amongst the rest of the range featuring this scent. I picked it up because it really compliments their Pinita Colada range (which I have seen back in stores for Summer – whoop!) It’s a fresh, light and slightly tropical scent with floral notes, but not too floral. I’m glad I still have just under half the bottle left. I’ve been enjoying wearing this on warmer days.

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I picked up this ColourPop Ultra Glossy in my last order, and hadn’t dared wear it until the weather picked up. In the tube it’s an intimidating neon orange, but on the lips it’s a subtle orange gloss. I’ve been really loving wearing this, as I prefer juicy lips in the summer, over matte or satin. I love how this wears down to a nice peachy tone and leaves my lips hydrated (almost waxy, but in a nice way and not sticky). I have this in my handbag at all times for those times when my lips need a hit of subtle colour.

And lastly, off the subject of beauty:

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I’ve been really enjoying having the chance to show off the lovely bralettes I to cover up during the Winter. This black jersey tunic has a huge hole in the back, so every time I wear it I get to pick my prettiest bralettes and show them off!

So those are some things I’ve been enjoying using now the weather has picked up. Do you have any products you love to reach for as the summer creeps in?

ColourPop – I Bought More!: Review

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Not too long ago, ColourPop Cosmetics offered free international delivery, and having seen that they had just launched a new range of their Blotted Lips (including liquid ones!) I knew I needed to try them.

I bought direct from the website and had them shipped to the UK so had to pay customs, but I factored that into my budget, and the customs charge still came to less than the postage would have been had I bought any other time.

As well as the blotted lips, I also picked up two of their Supershock eye shadows, which at the time came with a free eyeshadow brush (which isn’t bad!), a gloss, ultra satin lip and a pressed blusher compact.

So here’s what I think of them all!

I picked up three of the original formula blotted lip sticks, in three of the new shades: Sucker, Ice Cube and Bees Knees.

I’ll start with the packaging – they’re tiny plastic lipstick tubes, which means they’re light and easy to carry in your bag. The formula is a little waxy and applies evenly however they sometimes need warming up a little to get the right amount of pigment. The idea is they look like lipstick that’s already worn down, or been blotted (hence the name!) and that is how they look. One sweep and they’re subtle, but two can give a more pigmented look. Some people had said their product had been flying out of the tube when taking the lid off, and I hadn’t had this problem UNTIL taking these photos, and one of them flew off, onto my white Egyptian cotton bed sheets and stained them – so that was fun…. (not).

Let’s look at swatches:

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Sucker is a lovely coral shade, which is lovely for Spring and Summer and looks nice and fresh.

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Bees Knees is a bright pink – the only one I haven’t grabbed for yet, because it’s more of an evening shade for me. But I look forward to wearing this out!

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Ice Cube is more of a plummy shade on me, and streaks a little more than the others. The shade of this is really natural on me though, and it adds a nice pop of colour to my make-up look when I want to focus on my lips.

Here’s what they look like on:

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This is Ice Cube

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And Sucker

As I mentioned, I haven’t worn Bees Knees yet, so I can’t show you a photo with that. But I’m sure you get the idea from the swatch!

Next I also picked up one of the Ultra Blotted Lip liquid lipsticks. I chose the shade Doozy.

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I was really surprised at how much I liked this one. The formula is light and goes on easily, with a really lovely light finish. It dries down matte, like the other Blotted Lips, but not too matte, not drying and wears down really well. In the photo above, I’ve tried to show one swipe and two swipes. The bottom part of the swatch is one swipe and the top is a second swipe over it. I love the colour, and was really happy with how close it looked to the promotional shot ColourPop offered with this colour.

Here’s me wearing it:

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Overall, apart from the packaging mishap, I love these Blotted Lips. They’re very wearable, and I think I got it spot on with the shades I chose. They last a long time on the lips and are very comfortable. They wear down nicely, and are easy to reapply on top (however this will intensify the colour). They DON’T respond well to balms or oils on top, so if you suffer from dry lips like me, after 2-3 hours you might want to remove, rehydrate your lips and then reapply. But overall I’ve been very very happy with them.

I also picked up an Ultra Satin Lip and a Gloss, so let’s look at those.

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Saddle Up is a sheer gloss. It’s sticky but you expect that from a gloss, and as you can see from the swatch above it offers a very sheer orange/coral colour to the lips. I haven’t worn this yet, but I can imagine getting a lot of use from it in the Summer!

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Calypso is a lovely brown terracotta on my lips. It feels comfortable and dries to a semi-matte satin finish. Again I haven’t tried this all day yet, but I can see me using this more in the Autumn/Winter months as it is quite dark. That being said, I might get impatient and wear it in the Spring anyway!

Next I’ll talk about the Supershock eyeshadows. I’ve only had highlights from ColourPop so wanted to try their shadows. I picked up Sailor, which is a holographic shade and Mixed Tape which is a nice mauve satin finish. The idea is to layer the two, but so far I’ve only tried Mixed Tape.

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This is Mixed Tape and I’m actually wearing it on my eyes in one of the selfies above (the one wear I’m wearing Doozy on my lips). This is easy to apply and nice and subtle. I wore it on its own, but was pleased with the soft powder finish, longevity of the colour over the whole day, and I reckon it would blend well.

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This is Sailor, and I’m really looking forward to wearing this at some point. It’s bronze, champagne and has a light mint pull to the glitter. As I mentioned this is holographic shadow, so it’ll pull different colours and I’m sure it’ll look lovely on by itself but come into its own layered on top of other shadows.

And lastly, I picked up one of ColourPop’s new pressed powder blush/highlight compacts. I think they’re limited edition (I might be wrong) but I saw Kathleen Lights rave about this particular one in one of her recent-ish videos. It’s called Double Play, and features a tan/nude blush and a champagne highlight.

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I was kind of convinced it would be way too orange on me, if I’m honest. I bought a Sleek shadow in the colour Suede after Kathleen Lights recommended it, and it wasn’t for me. This looks so similar I don’t even know why I thought it would work, but I still bought it. lucky for me I LOVED it. I’m actually wearing this blusher shade all the selfies above.

The blush is the shade Getting Handsy and the highlight is Padded Down. I’m not great with highlight so I haven’t tried it yet, but the blush is the ONLY blush I’ve worn since it arrived.

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When I first applied the blush, I used a teeny tap, which was good because it’s really pigmented and I was able to then build if I wanted to. I was so so surprised with the colour it came out on my cheeks.

I’m not sure if you can tell from the swatch above, but on my face I get a very warm ‘blushy’ tone – that’s a dumb thing to say I know since it’s a blush. But there’s less orange and more pink to it when it’s on my face. I’m not explaining myself well, but needless to say I was over the moon.

That highlight looks really metallic in the photo, but when I tried it on my face was nice and subtle. I just need to work out the best way to apply it to my face – but that’s an issue with me and not the product!

This blush lasts ALL working day on my face, which is awesome.

So all in all, I was mighty pleased with the items I bought – and now I don’t need to buy ANY more lip products (how many times have you seen me write that?)

Have you tried any of ColourPop’s new Blotted Lips? What did you think?

Glamour Beauty Festival, London

On the 11th March Sophie Kate and I headed to the Saatchi Gallery on London’s King’s Road for the Glamour Beauty Festival.

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Sophie won tickets on Pixi’s instagram competition and chose to take me along, so I was ecstatic. Not just to go to the event, but to finally get to meet Sophie!

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The weather was fantastic, and promised to be around 17c which made choosing an outfit a lot easier – no need for the bulky coat!

Our slot was in the morning so we arrived and got our wrist bands. The event covered three floors, with treatment stands in every room. In the first room was OGX and GHD. We grabbed some free samples of shampoo and watched people getting their hair braided and curled on both sides of the room.

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There were also a few good selfie opportunities!

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Across the hall was skincare, featuring fresh and Pixi. In here you could get a luxurious facial from any of the brands.

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Then to makeup, one floor up and as well as shopping for makeup you could have your makeup and eyebrows done professionally or get a manicure – all for free.

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The top floor was the theatre for talks and though we didn’t have time to attend one, we still wanted to pick up our goodie bags – worth a whopping £190!

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The event was great and there was a lot on offer, if you were prepared to line up for a while. I could imagine if you turned up hair undone and makeup free you could leave looking ready to attend London Fashion Week! Personally I’m not a fan of treatments, I like to do all those things myself, but you could really get bang for your ticket price if you spent the whole day there.

It was an awesome morning, and I’m really pleased I got to go! Thanks to Pixi Cosmetics for the tickets, and to Sophie for bringing me along! Same time next year?

 

Why I….. Started Reverse Washing My Hair

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I have what I would consider to be unmanageable hair. It’s poker straight, really fine and very flyaway. I can put my hair up in a pony tail and it’s the thinnest pony tail you’ve ever seen.

So, for the longest time I have to work hard to make my hair more coarse, less sleek and try to get some body and volume to it. I use Bumble and Bumble surf spray to add texture, and dry my hair in a twist to add shape.

My hair is colour treated – when it’s not, it’s too fine. I’ve died my hair red for 18 years, and in amongst those years I’ve also bleached it, which is what I do currently. I have a red/brown dye which I then top with blonde highlights so they go different shades of ginger and blonde. I love doing this and it definitely dries my hair out enough to give it some texture.

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I’ve used Aussie shampoo and conditioner for years. I like the way it makes my hair feel, it doesn’t coat my hair with silicone and it allows me to wash my hair every other day with no problems. Aussie shampoos and conditioners contain sulphates, which some people say is bad for your hair and strips hair colour. But I actually like my bleached bits to fade pretty fast once they’re done, so I can get the different tones to develop as briskly as possible.

When I heard about reverse hair washing, I think it was around the time that Tresemme released their reverse washing system. I don’t really like Tresemme so I didn’t head out and pick up their kit, but I did hop onto Google to see what the fuss was.

Reverse hair washing is simply using conditioner before you shampoo, instead of the other way around. Apparently it doesn’t work effectively with all types of shampoo and conditioner, but I didn’t want to splurge on more when I had a practically full bottle at home. The reverse washing method is supposed to be great for fine hair because conditioner can weigh hair down, so if you don’t end with it, but still condition, it can leave your hair feeling lighter.

After a little light research I discovered a method I liked the sound of. You wet your hair completely, condition well from the mid-length to the ends, leaving the roots (I can get greasy hair if I condition the roots too much) and then massage the hair. Leave it about a minute, if you have time, and then grab the shampoo. You then wash the conditioner out using the shampoo. This way the shampoo doesn’t strip your hair completely, as the conditioner is acting as a kind of barrier.

I washed my hair this way a couple of times, and didn’t really see a difference to start with. During this first week I also dyed and bleached my hair, and I did find the bleach settled in faster using the reverse method. But since I wasn’t seen a difference I went back to washing my hair the traditional way. After leaving it two days I started to wish I’d continued.

It was a subtle difference, but my hair did feel more manageable, healthier and when I combed my wet hair through directly after washing using the reverse method there were much less knots. So I went back to it!

I’ve been washing my hair ‘backwards’ now for over a month, and I’m converted. I really like how my hair feels. Like I said, it’s a really subtle difference, but I enjoy the way my hair feels, the condition of it and it’s less knotty. I even think it’s shinier!

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So, I’m going to carry on washing my hair this way for the forseeable future!

Have you tried this method of hair washing? How did you find it? Are you converted?

 

My New Year Beauty Splurge

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I admit it, I decided at the beginning of the year that I wanted to treat myself, and buy some of the things I’d been lusting over towards the end of the year.

And finally all the items have arrived so I can tell you (brag) about them!

I haven’t tried all of these items yet, since, as I just mentioned, they’ve only just arrived, but I’m going to share them with you anyhow, and if I love them you just know they’ll feature in a future post!

So let’s start with a couple of bits I picked up for my hair. I have been growing my hair out mainly as a kind of experiment just to see how long I could get it to grow. I have a trim every 3 (read 6) months and tell my hairdresser to cut off as little as possible. This is all well and good, but my hair is very fine and not thick so I have to do a lot to it to make it look like it has volume and isn’t limp.

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I found out about Grow Gorgeous through twitter and decided I would take the plunge and try their Hair Growth Serum and End Split Ends serum. I haven’t started using them yet, but the hair growth serum is a 2 month supply if you use it daily (which I probably won’t) so I’ll keep you updated. It’s supposed to add thickness and healthiness to fine and thin hair and promote a longer mane. The split end serum, I’m sure you can guess, is to help with my wispy ends towards the time in which I really should be getting a trim. I’ve just had my hair cut, so I’ll be starting to use these very soon!

The next thing I picked up is a product I’m sure you all know about.

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The Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette was probably the most sought after palette towards the end of 2016. Every beauty blogger and YouTuber was talking about it, and it was always either sold out or just darn hard to find in the UK. I saw it was in stock at Cult Beauty so went for it.

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There were a few reasons people were going nutty over this palette. Firstly, the quality of the shadows. They’re so pigmented that you only need a slight dab with the brush to get an adequate amount of product to apply. Secondly, this palette is mostly mattes with 3 shimmers. And the colours all go together. You can get masses of looks with this palette and there are so many combinations for different looks. Third, it comes with a nice brush and mirror and it’s light. It doesn’t feel like it’ll break in your suitcase. The brush isn’t the best but it’s enough to do the job, so you would do fine if you only had this to work with. I’ll level with you, at £41 this isn’t cheap, but it’s a gorgeous palette and I can see me getting use out this all year around. The shadows blend really nicely and because you barely need to use any it’ll last a long time before you hit pan.

Next, I was totally susceptible to Stila’s tweets advertising their sale and decided to pick up a few of their lip products. I got a nude liquid lipstick set featuring three of their Stay All Day lipsticks. They’re lovely shades, and so lightweight. They dry down very quickly but don’t drag or patch when you’re putting them on. Once they’ve settled they are transfer proof. I’ve only tried the colours so I can’t vouch for how long wearing they are, but I’ll let you know.

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I also picked up one of their glitter glosses. I’d been after a glitter gloss over the Christmas period, but didn’t see one I liked or was worth the cost. This Stila Metallics gloss in Citrine was £4.50 so I guessed even if it wasn’t for me it wouldn’t be a waste of money.

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But I LOVE it. Just look at the sparkles! It offers a lovely subtle glittery finish to bare lips and a metallic sheen as a lipstick topper. It smells lovely (as do the Stay All Day, liquid lipsticks) and when it wears off it leaves your lips all glittery (which I love). It is a sticky gloss, so if you don’t like that then you might not like this. I wore it on a windy evening and my hair stuck right to my face!

Next up, I’d been wanting to try an Urban Decay foundation for a while, and when a friend raved about the Naked Skin foundation for her oily skin I thought I’d give it a try. I was colour matched in store to be shade 1.0 and I was really pleased with the finish and the colour match. I’ve used it a few times now, and here’s what I think.

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This is a medium to buildable foundation. I expected to hate the smell and though it is a little painty to start with it goes away. It offers a matte finish, and I prefer a dewy finish so sometimes I use a hydrating primer underneath and that seems to help. It’s very easy to apply, goes on streak-free and with a brush offers a very natural finish. It doesn’t stay tacky, which I appreciate, but isn’t transfer proof. However each time I’ve used this (and with different primers underneath), around 3-4pm I noticed that my chin, nose and forehead oils had broken the makeup down and there was pretty much nothing left. I always set my t-zone with a powder too, so I don’t know if this was hindering rather than helping performance. It’s a shame. I need to work around this, and find out what’s going on with my skin and also which primer will work best with this. I really like this foundation so I’m willing to make it work! I’m going to try it with a setting spray and see if that changes anything.

Lastly, and mainly to get the free shipping when I ordered my palette, I picked up a Morphe brush to apply my new foundation with.

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It looked like it would be good for foundation and the reviews agreed, so I went for it. This is the Morphe Deluxe Buffer brush (M439) and it’s my first Morphe brush so I have high hopes for it. I’m looking forward to giving it a go!

And that was my splurge! Let me know if you’ve used any of these products because I’d love to know what you think. And if you have any Modern Renaissance palette looks you like, then let me know. I’d love to see how you’ve been using yours.

First Impressions: ColourPop

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When I first started watching YouTube reviews from beauty bloggers, I quickly learned about ColourPop. They’re an online only American cosmetics company, who sell amazingly low-cost products with great quality.

They seem to release new products every week and everything’s bright, attractive and I want it….. but until about a month ago they only shipped to US. The only way for people outside the US to get this stuff was to use a company like ShipTo to ship to a US address and then forward on to the UK. But then ColourPop announced global shipping and everything was wonderful again. Until people checked out and realised it would be an additional $25 to ship…… Okay, not happening.

Luckily, a colleague from Wisconsin was about to go and visit her family and offered her family PO Box up as an alternative shipping option. So I went about my way, filled my basket and within a week my order was at her parent’s. I just had to wait patiently whilst she took her vacation and brought my order back to me!

Once my order was in my grubby little hands I couldn’t wait to try what I’d bought. And I must say I’m so pleased with what I’d picked, even if by the time I received it I’d forgotten what I’d bought!

So here’s what I bought, and what I think:

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I picked up a highlight in Wisp. This is a gorgeous and pigmented gold highlight, which I intend to use as an eyeshadow too. It does have some chunky glitter in there, but it creates a breathtaking shimmer.

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I also took home a creme gel liner in Fast Lane. This teal gel eyeliner pen is really soft and creamy and I chose this colour because I have blue eyes and I think if I tightline with this it’ll make the blue pop. And I have red/gingery tones in my hair so I think it’ll go well. I haven’t tried this on my eyes yet, but on swatching I was really impressed with the softness.

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Sorry about the blurry photo!

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Then I had to purchase a selection of lip products, didn’t I? Firstly I picked up Lumiere Lippie Stix which is from the Kathleen Lights collection. It’s a matte lip stick, and promises to be non drying. I’d seen so many people wearing this, including Kathleen, that I knew it would suit me. And it did!

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This is an incredibly comfortable lipstick. I have a lot of lines on my lips and this didn’t accentuate them too much, left a lovely even pigment on my lips and had great staying power.

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Next I picked up a satin finish Lippie called Topanga.I’d been looking for something coral but not too cool and I was the most worried about this colour suiting me, but it’s turned out to be my favourite. A lovely hydrating finish, this is the perfect colour if you want something brighter than nude, but not as daring as red.

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Lastly I chose an Ultra Satin Lip liquid lipstick in the colour Littlestitious. This shade on the website looked like not too nude and not too mauve. Unfortunately this has been my least favourite. I’ve had a hard time getting this to look even on my lips, so I’m thinking I might need to put lip liner on first. It’s a very lightweight, almost mousse-like formula. This shade pulls white on my skin tone and I think the only way I’ll be able to wear it is in the winter with heavy eyes and cheeks. Another thing to note is that the stain this leaves on the lip when it wears down, well at least on my skin, is neon pink. I tried this at work when I first got my package and had to wear lipstick all day (which didn’t really work with my outfit) because I’d been left with neon pink stained lips. I’m not sure how this happened, but it’s worth thinking about if you’re going to wear this to a meal or something where the colour will wear down.

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So that’s my first impressions of ColourPop. I really hope they sort out their global shipping costs soon, because I don’t want to double to cost of my order on shipping (plus still have to pay customs costs).

I’m going to Florida next month so I might place another order when I arrive to be shipped to my hotel whilst I’m there, just to save on postage again.

All in all, I’m really pleased with the quality, selection and cost of ColourPop products. Once they work out their shipping costs, I’ll be a customer for life!

 

July Favourites

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July was a super busy month for me. I attended one wedding, one festival and one open air cinema event (blog on this to follow!). The UK had a heatwave, which is still going (yay!) and politically the world is still falling apart. I also placed my first ColourPop order (yay! – more on this when it arrives!) and continued to plan my epic anniversary holiday to Orlando.

July Faves

I also tried and continued to use some amazing beauty products and watched some awesome TV. So here’s what I’ve been loving this month:

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Argan 5+ Nourishing Lip Balm has been saving my lips in this hot weather. I suffer from dry and cracked lips and usually need to apply lip balm all the time. This really prevents me from wearing matte lipsticks or liquid lipsticks because I always feel the need to hydrate my lips throughout the day. I picked this up from Waitrose in the hope that I could use it as a treatment. I’ve been applying it every night, just before I go to sleep and honestly my lips have never felt better. The balm contains argan oil and shea butter and soaks in very slowly but doesn’t feel oily or greasy when it goes on. It’s subtly scented and doesn’t offend my nose. I have noticed I can now go a whole day without reapplying lip balm, and my liquid lipsticks feel a lot comfier.

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This month’s GlossyBox was pretty darn good (check out my Instagram @groggits for a full photo of what I got this month) and I was delighted to find this brush included. I’ve been searching for a brush to use with bronzer for a while now, because none of my existing brushes really do it for me bronzer-wise. This brush is awesome. Not only does it apply bronzer really nicely, but the flat top allows me to contour and buff too.

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I saw Makeup Revolution’s Radiance Palette through one of you guys on Twitter (follow me @Shutterbug_Blog) and it was mentioned that it was a dupe for the Hour Glass Ambient Lighting powders. At just £8 I knew I had to give it a try. I’ve not used the HG powders, but I read that these cheaper powders were more natural and less glittery. I’m guessing the powder texture is a lower quality in this palette, but what I don’t know can’t hurt me! The first time I used these I was underwhelmed. There appear to be little-to-no colour payoff and I couldn’t see it on my skin. But then I tried it again and realised it was making a difference but that it was so natural I hadn’t noticed it.

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The darkest shade on the far right is great for a summertime bronze. Subtle but gives my face a gorgeous bronze which doesn’t look fake, chalky or glittery. The far left shade is good for contouring but I think will be better in the cooler months when I don’t want to look so warm. And the middle shade is a lovely subtle highlight. It’s not a crazy highlight but it’s nice and subtle and suitable for day to day. The palette quality is amazing for £8, with a lovely large mirror in the lid, so it’s great for travelling. Go grab one!

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If you watch Michelle at ReadySetGlamour’s YouTube channel, you’ll have already heard of the PUR Cosmetics HydraGel Lift eye primer. This little stick is amazing. It’s an under eye primer, which you can actually use on the lid and any area that you suffer with fine lines, and allows you to apply your makeup without it creasing. It won’t banish fine lines, but your makeup just won’t crease when you use it. You can pop it in the fridge before using, or just use it as is, and either way you benefit from cooling effect. The gel sinks into the skin pretty fast and doesn’t ball up when you apply makeup on top. I actually used it one morning when I’d had a heavy night before, all over the lid and under the eyes. I didn’t put any makeup on, because I wasn’t going anywhere, but the gel cooled and hydrated my eye area and made me feel less sleepy. It’s a little magic stick! I bought mine from Beauty Bay for £18 and this was the only place I could find it in the UK.

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My last beauty favourite this month is the NYX Butter Gloss in Crème Brulee. I mentioned this in my NYX First Impressions post, and I wasn’t too sure about it at the time. The colour seemed to go onto my lips unevenly and settle in the lines of my mouth. But I tried it recently as a liquid lipstick topper and then on its own, and I realised I actually really like it. Not only does it smell so yummy, but once I’ve left it on for a few minutes any unevenness melts away and leaves a lovely subtle wash of colour on my lips.

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It’s a winner. I’m looking forward to increasing my NYX collection when our Boots eventually gets their counter (they keep moving the launch date!)

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Now to entertainment – You’ve probably heard the hype over the latest Netflix series Stranger Things. If you like sci-fi, horror or gaming I think you’ll like this. Set in the 80’s this series pulls from John Carpenter, Stephen King and even from Silent Hill, to create an intriguing and totally immersing tv series. The young actors are amazing, and it’s nice for me to watch something with Winona Ryder in and me not hate her! If you don’t like sci-fi, horror or jumps then steer clear, but if you want to watch something that takes influence from so many places but still comes out seeming totally original then check it out!

And lastly this month, I have a drink! Costa have just released some new ‘over ice’ drinks and I recently had the pleasure of trying their new Pineapple Coconut Water. It’s a refreshing virgin Pina Colada in a cup and now it’s the only thing I ever want to drink!

So that’s it for this month. Have you tried any of these? I’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂

How To: Bright Eyeshadow Looks

When Spring was coming to an end I vowed I would start using some of the gorgeous eye shadow palettes that I own, and just don’t reach for. I’m obsessed with the gorgeous colours, but seem to leave my eyelids bare in favour of a colourful lip or cheek. But thankfully this summer I have had reason to use some of the colours, and formulas and now I’m going to share two of these with you!

I promised a post on the eye look I wore to be a bridesmaid a while back, but since I didn’t actually have any photos from that day where you could see my eye look, a post hasn’t materialised. So instead I’m going to show you one look I wore to a family wedding and another I wore to EDC recently.

The first look was to go with a green and navy dress from Karen Millen and used the UDxGwen and UD Electric eyeshadow palettes.

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I primed my lids and went in with Skimp from the UDxGwen palette all over the lid.

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Next I patted Freak from the UD Electric Palette all over my lid.

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I then added Fringe into the crease and to the outer C and blended it into Freak.

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Next I took 1987 from the UDxGwen palette and starting from the inner corner brought the gold colour near to the centre of the lid, blending it in with Freak.

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Once the colours were blended in, I wet my brush and went in with the colours again, patting them in until I got the vibrancy I wanted. And here’s the finished look!

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The next look was for EDC which needed to be neon and crazy. I wanted to use as many of the colours as I could, without looking too mad!

I started by reaching for my eye primer and then applied a white UD 24/7 eyeliner all over my lid. This created a white shimmery base to apply colours from my Electric Palette, which really helps to make the colours pop.

I started the colours by applying a small amount of ghost tape to the corners of my eyes. This helps create a nice line and prevent the ‘I’ve been punched in the face’ look I so often get when I apply shadow too wide.

I went in with Urban first on the crease of my eyelid and bringing it out a little towards the tape.

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Next I added Gonzo to the outer half of my lid, blending it with Urban.

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Next was Freak blended into the other half of my lid.

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Then Thrash on the outer corners. All of these colours were patted carefully for maximum colour impact.

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Next I added savage along the top of the Urban ‘flick’ on the edges of my crease to blend and create another dimension.

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To finish off, I applied a thin veil of Revolt across the whole lid which added a little sparkle and brought the whole look together.

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And here’s what it looked like!

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The day was very warm and humid but I was impressed with how the colour lasted a good 13 hours, with only a little transferring from the bottom lid to the top (which you couldn’t even notice just by looking at me).

So what do you think? I really can’t wait to create some more looks, and hope to use my UD Vice 4 palette more next. What looks have you created recently? I’d love to see them!