Beauty: What I Bought In Florida

It used to be when I visited another country I got very excited to go around the malls, but there are so many American brands that have come over to the UK now, that the pull isn’t the same. I can’t say the same, however, for makeup.

There are a whole heap of brands you can’t get in the UK, not to mention Sephora doesn’t sell here any more. So, needless to say I had a list (some of which was added to by my American friend Beckie!) and I got almost all of the things I wanted. The one thing I didn’t get was from the brand Ciate London (ironically I cannot find this brand here, easily, even in London). I wanted one of their Glitter Flip lipsticks, and the colour I wanted wasn’t in the Sephora I went to. Doh! So my search continues….

Anyhow, here’s what I picked up on my travels. This is purely cosmetics, but I did buy other things. They’ll be popping up on my instagram no doubt, over the next couple of months, so keep an eye over there.

Bath & Body Works Beach Range

We made a trip to Bath and Body Works, of course. I bought I couple of gifts for family and some car air fresheners, but aside from those I picked up some lovely skin care products. The At The Beach range does what it says on the tin. The website describes the scent as a refreshing, vacation-ready blend of white frangipani, toasted coconut & bergamot waters essenced with a cool, saltwater breeze. And I’d agree with that. I picked up a mini body cream, shower gel and perfume spray. All perfect travel sizes, and big enough for me to get sick of the scent but have long enough to use it!

lotions and sprays

I also picked up a body cream from their autumn range called A Latte Love, which is marshmallow pumpkin latte scented and made with pure honey. This smells INCREDIBLE and I’ve been using it daily. It’s super moisturising and the scent is so long-lasting. As it warms up on your skin it just smells like Main Street at Disney World and all good things to do with autumn. I’m so glad I bought it!. Then from their Christmas range, which was just launching (I’ve just realised I managed to buy something from their Summer, Autumn and Christmas ranges! Go me!) I bought a body spray called Snowflakes and Cashmere. Last time I was in Florida I bought two body sprays I ended up throwing away, mainly because the liquid was coloured (I hadn’t realised it wasn’t the bottle that was coloured when I bought them) so every time I sprayed them I was worried about staining my clothing. It looks as though they’ve stopped that funny business now, so I was pleased to pick one of their sprays up. This one is a warm blend of cashmere cream, shimmering vanilla & frosted clementine. I’ve worn it every day since I’ve been back and it’s really a lovely wintery but cosy smell. As it warms up throughout the day I just wafts of the lovely smell and it’s perfectly reminiscent of this time of year. I’m in love!

I also made sure I picked up some of the things I use on a regular basis, that I can’t easily get in the UK, to stock up! I bought another of my favourite Coconut Passion body spray (a vanilla coconut musk which isn’t too sweet or heavy) from Victoria’s Secret. VS is so so much cheaper in the states and they always have deals on so I picked this up for half the normal price, which is handy as I’m almost out of the one I currently use!

chapstick and face cream

I also bought 2 of the ELF Daily Hydration Moisturiser. I’m just about finishing the last of the 2 I bought a year ago, so these should sort me through to the end of next year, with any luck! And, weirdly, you can never buy cherry chapstick in the UK. I end up buying a bulk of them on Amazon when I need them, but as they’re aplenty in the states, I bought 2 multi packs. So if you’re from America and you think of sending me a care package, chuck in a couple of these would you please? 😀

Clump Crusher by CoverGirl & E.l.f Primer

I bought a backup of my backup of the CoverGirl Clump Crusher mascara. I already have one in my backup drawer but as I was there, it made sense to get another one. You can’t get this for love nor money in the UK, so there you go! I also intended to buy another of my green primer from ELF but accidentally bought the blemish control primer instead (I was jet lagged and didn’t read the box properly). But I used it anyway and it wasn’t too bad. It says it’s got oil-controlling properties and I’m all for that, so ho hum!

From Physician’s Formula I picked up one of their Butter Blushes in the shade Natural Glow. I already have their plum shade and love it so wanted to try this. I’ve used this once, and it didn’t really show up, so I think I need to try it again. I’m wondering if it works more as a highlight or blush topper on my skin tone. And then I picked up a Wet N Wild bronzer in Reserve Your Cabana. This was recommended to me as a good all over face ‘lit from within’ bronzer. It’s honestly the lightest bronzer I’ve ever seen, and it’s got spf in it which I found really interesting. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m eager to give it a go!

3 lipsticks

Also drugstore purchases, I picked up some lip products. For the Halloween party I was attending as Snow White, I knew I wanted red lips so I brought about 5 different lipsticks away with me, but when I arrived I knew I wanted something light and not too bold. It’s too hot in Florida to worry about my lipstick! So I saw NYX had a range called Plump It Up and shade number 5 was this lovely jelly red. It was perfect. It wasn’t long-lasting, but long enough, and gave a cooling tingly feel to the lips.

Next I picked up a Wet N Wild Liquid Catsuit, again recommended to me. I picked up the shade Pink Really Hard, which is actually a little too pink for me, but it was the closest to something I would wear from the selection at the time. I did see, in another store, a better and warmer pink shade, but I’m sure I’ll still get use out of this. It’s quite comfortable and I’m interested to see how long it lasts when I do get around to wearing it.

Last from the drugstore products, I saw Flower Beauty in Walmart (Drew Barrymore’s cosmetic line) and I wanted to try one product from the range. So after browsing for a little bit, I settled on this Hydrasilk Ultimate Lip Butter in Rose Petal. It’s a lovely pink nude shade and I’ve worn it a lot since coming home (and I’ve been harping on about it on instagram too!). It’s incredibly comfortable, long-lasting and pigmented. I’m very impressed!

So now we come to my Sephora purchases. As mentioned, I was only unable to pick up the Ciate item I wanted, and the rest of these were on my list.

I’ll start with the items I picked up from Too Faced’s new peach range.

Too Faced Primed & Peachy Primer

As someone who is constantly battling a shiny oily t-zone, I was excited to pick this cooling matte primer up. Primed & Peachy comes in a tube with a pump, and the product is peach toned. I’ve used this a lot since I bought it and can confirm it’s both cooling and matte. I wouldn’t say it’s skin perfecting. It’s a sticky primer so it definitely works best if you press it onto the face. The times in which I’ve smoothed it over my skin, I’m oily again later in the day, but when I press it on, it adheres my foundation a lot better and I stay relatively matte throughout the whole day. My face also smells like peaches for some time afterwards, which is pleasant.

Too Faced Just Peachy Mattes Palette

As a matte eyeshadow fan, I knew I wanted this Just Peachy palette. I already have the Sweet Peach Too Faced palette, but this one was all mattes. As you’ll already know, these shadows don’t have the same peach scent as it’s earlier counterpart, but they still smell peachy. I’ve used this once, and found the shadows a little hard to blend but I persevered, and they blended enough in the end. I’m excited to use this more as we go through Autumn and Winter, since I don’t really wear eye shadow in the Summer.

Sephora Nude Lipstick Set

My last purchase from Sephora was this Sephora Favorites ‘Give Me Some Nude Lip’ lip kit. I’m going to post a full first impressions on this kit with swatches, so look out for that in the next few posts, but basically it includes 6 nude shades from Sephora brands and one of them is full-sized.

I love the Sephora Favorites boxes because you get to try out brands without paying the full price, and they sometimes come with vouchers inside to exchange for one full-sized product once you’ve tried them (I know the perfume boxes usually do). I’m excited to try these lippies out. The colours look amazing, and there’s a good range of finishes and shades.

Since I bought some bits at Sephora and already had some points on my card, I was able to exchange my points for a sample sized product.

Sunday Riley C.E.O

I chose this sample sized C.E.O moisuriser by Sunday Riley. Everyone harps on about this brand, and even though I have no idea what this does, I decided this was my chance to see what the fuss was about! If you’ve tried this, please let me know what you think!

So those are the beauty products I picked up on my recent trip to Florida. It’s amazing just how inexpensive the drugstore products are, which mean I was able to splurge a little when Sephora came around!

If you’ve tried any of these products I’d love to hear what you think of them, and how you used them!

My Mini Fashionista!

A few weeks back, when the Summer had decided to make a last ditch attempt at actual sunshine and warmth, my Niece Niamh expressed a wish to show me some of the outfits she’d recently bought.

A budding Influence and Fashionista, she was excited when I told her I’d love to create a look-book type post, based on the items she’d picked, since they were very on-fashion.

With a keen eye for trends, I’m sure this isn’t the only time she’ll be featuring on this blog – and as you will see, she’s a natural in front of the camera!

IMG_2178

Cold-shoulder top from Primark, necklace from Claire’s Accessories.

IMG_2183

Her favourite necklace, from Claire’s Accessories. Niamh loves unicorns and wears this necklace every day when she can.

IMG_2186

Shorts from Asda, Top from Primark. Niamh loves the look of the cold-shoulder tops that are in the shops at the moment. Along with the addition of embroidery, another of this year’s hot trends, this top is perfect!

IMG_2189

Then for evening, parties, general social events (these kids have better social lives than me!) she’d picked this dress at Primark. It’s got mesh detailing at the top with beautiful lace at the top. So pretty and feminine!

IMG_2180

A girl after my own heart, these headphones (also Primark) are covered with turquoise rhinestones and had me totally mesmerised whilst they glistened in the sun! I’m such a magpie!

As you can see, my Niece has an eye for fashion and style. In a few years I’m going to be taking tips from her! Thanks for modelling for me Niamh!

This Week I Have Been Mostly….

this week i have been mostly

Hello! Long time no post, I know.

I got back from Florida, and a few days later got really really sick. It meant I’ve been exhausted and had no time to blog my trip or even upload any of my holiday snaps. Dang!

But I’ve got the posts planned and you’re not going to want to miss them. Not only will I be sharing what we got up to on holiday, but I’m also going to be writing a blog on planning your Walt Disney World trip – how to plan before booking, and then how to plan after you’re booked and in the lead up to your trip. There’s so much to consider and if you’re planning a Disney World trip you definitely want to read them.

Plus I’ll be editing footage from our trip and filming new videos for my YouTube channel. A new video has gone up today, showing you all the fabulous cosmetics I picked up on my trip. Go check it out!

As well as recovering from being ill, I’ve also had to fit in my actual life. So getting back to work, and then we still have loads of things booked into the diary that I have to actually be awake for…. It’s been tricky!

So this week I have had my head focussed in work and getting back to a normal routine. But my Friday night was a little out of the norm as we headed up to Birmingham to the Genting Arena. I’ve always been a classic rock fan and love Free and Bad Company. When we heard Bad Company were touring the UK we knew it was something we didn’t want to miss.

We weren’t disappointed. Paul Rodgers still has the same incredible smooth voice that he did when he was younger and they’re great performers.

img_6621

It was a long evening, but I never give up the chance to go on a road trip and it was such and enjoyable and relaxed evening.

Tomorrow we’re off to London for Harry Potter and The Cursed Child plays. We booked the tickets almost a year ago when they first went on sale and it’s come around so fast. I haven’t read the book, deliberately. But I plan to pick it up once I’ve seen the plays – I know nothing of the plot and I’m glad I don’t. I can’t wait to see what happens!

So keep an eye out for Disney-full blogs soon. Sorry it’s taking me a while, but life happens! And I like to keep you all in suspense 😀

First Impressions: E.L.F Cosmetics

first imps

I’d not heard of E.L.F Cosmetics (stands for Eyes Lips Face) until I started watching some of the US beauty YouTubers. This American brand kept popping up in favourites videos for their quality yet cheap priced products and when I found out they had a UK site, I knew I wanted to place an order.

They seem to have a new offer on a free gift every couple of weeks, so I placed a £25 order and waited patiently for it to arrive. When it did (about 2 weeks later as they ship from US) I saw that my free gift wasn’t there. As it was free I decided not to moan, and carried on with my life. Until a few days later they sent me an email telling me that they knew they’d forgotten to include it and gave me a £25 gift card to apologise. Amazing! So I headed back on to their site and placed another order, for £25 worth of products. (Which this time arrived to me within a week!)

Incidentally, this triggered their free postage offer, and also earned me another free gift. Win win. I will also mention that E.L.F cover customs charges too, so you have no fear of having to pay extra when it’s shipped. (Which is more than I can say for the terms of ColourPop’s new international shipping costs…. But I digress…)

So in the end I have gained a huge haul of E.L.F products all for the measly cost of £25. So let’s have a look:

elf1

I haven’t had the opportunity to fully use all of these products but I have tried them all enough to be able to tell you a bit about them.

First of all, they look really high-end with regards to the packaging. It’s all flimsy plastic when it’s in your hand but it looks nice on the dresser!

Let’s start with some eye and face colour products.

elf2

I picked up the powder blush in Tickled Pink and the cream blush in Rose Royalty. I’ve mentioned this powder blush in a monthly favourites recently, because whenever I wear it I get a compliment. It’s a lovely subtle pink with a teeny bit of shimmer and enough colour payoff that you can start subtly and build it up if you want. The cream blush is also really nice. I’m not great at applying cream blush, but this blends into a powder finish really quickly and give a really natural flush to my cheeks.

I picked up the silver barrelled Bare Lash Tint mascara, which has a really thin dainty spooly. The idea being I could use it on my bottom lashes. This gives a really natural coating to the lashes, but isn’t thick enough of a formula to hold a curl on my stubbornly straight lashes, even after using a curler. The Studio 3 in 1 mascara was part of my free gift. It has an hourglass shaped spooly, but with one of those spikey balls on the end. And the brush is really really bendy. It actually gives a really nice natural finish to my lashes, but still doesn’t compare to my Lancome Hypnose. It’s a lot cheaper though, so I have been using it on a day to day basis. My main con with this mascara is that it takes a really long time to dry so I find it transfers as I carry on my morning makeup routine.

This eyeshadow palette in Need it Nude was also part of my free gift. It’s obviously trying to dupe the Naked palette by Urban Decay. I have Naked 2 already so don’t really have any intention on using this, but have kept it for one of the shades which is a little more rose gold than anything else I currently own. I have, however, given them a go in conjunction with the Naked palette I own, when I was looking for a natural look for a wedding I recently attended. The formulas don’t really compare. The E.L.F shadows are chalkier, don’t blend as well and they colour payoff isn’t great. I can see it fading off within a few hours of wear, whereas I know I’ll get a full day with Urban Decay. Sorry E.L.F.

I also picked up one of E.L.F’s lip stains. This is a double ended lip wand, with stain one side and gloss the other. I’m not sure what they were trying to achieve here. Maybe something like Lipfinity, but whatever it was, it didn’t work. The colour goes on (nothing like a stain) like a liquid lipstick, but uneven patchy. If you try and go over it you pull the colour you’ve already laid down off. It never seems to dry. And when you think it has, you put the gloss over the top and it just pulls all the colour off and onto the wand. Leaving you with a coloured gloss wand in your clear gloss which looks really manky. Not a fan – glad I only paid £1 for this….

elf3

Next we’ll talk about face products. I picked up a mineral primer, mineral serum foundation and a mineral mist. The mist isn’t a setting spray, and to be honest I’m not sure what it’s designed for but I’ve been using it throughout the day to cool my face. It doesn’t mess up my makeup or make my face wet, but it does make me feel a little fresher. The mineral serum foundation, I picked up in Light. It looks a lot darker on the packaging, but that’s package colouring and not product. The product contained is actually less than you think because it comes from a central tube inside. I liked this foundation. It set down to a non-tacky finish, and blended in well with my fingers. It gave me a medium coverage result, but has more yellow undertones that I usually wear so I haven’t been reaching for it all that much. I did find it wore away on my oily t-zone by the end of the day. I have, however, been reaching for the primer. It’s gives a nice smooth finish to my skin, and even though it does feel silicone-y, I don’t mind that. It doesn’t do anything for my pores, but they’re not a massive problem. It does seem to aid in oil control, at least on my skin, for a good while before I need to powder again.

And speaking of blotting, lets move onto to the on the go blotting papers I picked up. They come in a little plastic case, perfect for my handbag, which has a mirror, a sponge with sticky pads on it and the blotting papers. You’re supposed to remove a sticky pad on the sponge, attach a blotting sheet and then dab onto your face, but I tend to just go with the papers and miss out the sponge. The powder is lovely a light and doesn’t bother my makeup when I use it. My skin is left matte again, but not looking too powdery. It doesn’t add any coverage though, so bare that in mind.

elf4

Lastly let’s talk tools. I got an eyeshadow blending brush in my free gift, and I love it. It’s large, fluffy and does the trick. It’s great in my crease and feels lovely on my skin. I decided to try the mascara and shadow shield as I always get mascara on my eyelids which is a massive pain if I’ve spent ages on my eyeshadow. Unfortunately, this product is a complete dud. I really like the idea, but the paddle on the top is almost the texture of custard-skin. It’s impossible to angle correctly and when you do it just flops about on the handle. I really want to love this, and I’m considering taking it off the handle to see if I can make a better use of it that way.

I also needed to pick up some brush shampoo, and though I was searching for a solid one (I still aim to pick up the Lottie Solid Brush Cleanser) I chose this, since I was getting it for free with my gift card. The reviews said it was amazing, smelled great, and the website said ‘Back In Stock’ after people were moaning it hadn’t been available for ages.

It did do a great job on my brushes, though I couldn’t detect any smell. It’s a basic brush cleanser from what I could tell, but I’m glad I have it because it does what it says on the tin!

So that’s my first impressions of E.L.F Cosmetics. I want to pick up one of their moisturisers and also their Bubble Mask (which is always sold out) when I’m in America, but until then, I’m happy with the hits, and might persevere with some of the misses!

What have you picked up from E.L.F that you’ve loved? Have you tried any of the things I wasn’t keen on and loved them? I’d love to hear your thoughts.