Friday, 31 January 2014

You Beauty Discovery Box January 2014

If you read my Love Me Beauty Box post a few days ago then you'll know I've decided to try a few new beauty boxes.  After being subscribed to GlossyBox from their second ever box and Birchbox (originally Boudoir Prive) from their first box, it was time for a change.  After months of empty threats I cancelled Birchbox but continued to subscribe to GlossyBox.  I wanted to keep one of them going for the time being and at the time it seemed that GlossyBox was slightly better.

I think the thing with these beauty boxes is that they have you by the short 'n' curlies.  You don't want to cancel and then miss out on the next box if it's amazing. 

After probably around 6 months with just the one box, I finally feel ready to give my love to a new box so for some reason I decided to sign up for two!  (Yeah, when I think about it it makes no sense to me either)


Drumroll for the second of my new subscriptions, You Beauty Discovery.  The biggest difference with this one is the price.  At £6.95 including postage it's just over half the price of some of the other beauty boxes.  

With that in mind I totally expect a lower quality box but I like their more refreshing concept of allowing you to choose two of your products and then they provide some 'beauty extras.'  The Love Me Beauty Box allows you to choose a package of products to receive but obviously this could mean that you're risking getting one product you wont use to get another that the package includes.  

The box is seriously dinky and I even enjoy that it's not the same size as the other boxes.  As it's so small it means the products are packed tightly and gives the feeling of being full to the brim of goodies.

I think although both of my new subscriptions have the element of 'pick what you want' which I love, I may end up favouring this one over Love Me Beauty as I do have the extras that I am not expecting, therefore there is a surprise factor like the original companies offer.

As usual I've made a video of all of the products as well as the other products that I had a choice of, just to give you an idea of the options.  




Thursday, 30 January 2014

Pacifica Hawaiian Ruby Guava Hand and Body Lotion Wipes

You know when you see a product and you're like "BOOOOM, that's an amazing idea!" I got this feeling when I saw the Pacifica Hawaiian Ruby Guava Hand and Body Lotion Wipes in Target a few months ago.  If you're interested in trying out the Pacifica brand there is a selection of their range on Feel Unique (free worldwide shipping) click here.

The idea behind it is that they are literally a wipe that provides moisture to your skin.  The second I saw them I just had to pick them up and try them.  I had visions of them being amazing for travelling, on planes in particular when the air is drying out your skin and you're limited on the amount of liquid you can take on board I think they'd be fab. 

The one thing that I can say for these wipes are that they smell amazing, tropical, fruity, delicious.  I also like the packaging, it looks exactly like they smell.

Now it might just be me but when I opened the pack I expected each wipe to be coated in moisturiser and be pretty wet.  Nope, they just feel like a regular make up wipe.  The first thing I did was rub one on my arm, felt just like a make up wipe on my arm.  I touched my arm a minute or two later to see if it felt any softer... can anyone guess what it felt like?  Yeah it just felt like a make up wipe had just touched my arm.  I really don't feel like these wipes do anything in terms of moisture.

 

The bottom line?  I don't like them.  I don't feel like they're fit for purpose, I wouldn't say they work as they're suppose to.  They smell amazing but that's all.  I will keep these in my car as an emergency to wipe my hands or something but that's about it.  I'm only glad that I actually got this pack half price at $3.50 or I would be even more disgruntled! 

I now challenge other brands to come up with lotion wipes that work.  I think it's an ace idea and people will love it!

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Crayon in Th(ink) Deep Navy

Today's post is on Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Crayon in Th(ink) Deep Navy.  This was one of my many purchases at Sephora last year, along with the Genius Gel Foundation and Lip Gel


As I have said in my earlier reviews, I love the simplicity of the box with the bold writing.  I feel like it makes you instantly know that this is a luxury product. 


All of the eyeliners are colour coded with the corresponding shade which is great if you have a few of them in your collection.


The colour Th(ink) is a beautiful alternative to black which is why I choose it over Blacquer, the black version.  This is a twist up eyeliner so no sharpener required but I'll go into that more in a second.

 

The eyeliner is creamy and smooth, therefore gliding easily over your skin.  The thing that impressed me the most is the longevity of it.  I swatched it on one of my many trips to the store and for quite a bit of time afterwards I literally couldn't remove it from the back of my hand.

The down side for me is because it's so soft and creamy, combined with the face it doesn't need sharpening, I can't get a thin precise line with it.  I realise I could keep it in the fridge or something but I really feel like I need a proper point on it to use it how I want.  

To be brutally honest, I probably wouldn't repurchase it.  I love it, the shade is gorgeous, it glides on but as I can't really get a precise application it ends up looking like a bit of a mess and within a moment or two it sets like no other so you then can't go back and smudge it.  

I would however say that if you're used to using this type of product, go for it and purchase one in whatever shade.  It's the application for me that lets it down but someone with a lot of experience will absolutely adore the colour selection and amazing staying power.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Love Me Beauty January 2014

Last week, when I uploaded my GlossyBox video I started getting tweets, instagram comments and general stuff on the video itself from other subscribers to the box saying how fed up they were with the boxes and the contents were repetitive. 


It was then that I saw an Instagram photo of beauty box by lovemebeauty.com.  I liked the look of the products so I looked at their website and realised that I could pick the items I received which sounded amazing!  I signed up and then I had a choice of three boxes.  Each box had similar items but with slight changes, in my opinion it's so refreshing to have a little bit of a say over what you're receiving.

 

For some people, they may not enjoy the fact there is no surprise like with Birchbox or GlossyBox but then you have to pick your poison don't you?!

I did make a video talking about each product and explaining the process and the perks, including showing you the options I had to choose from n to give you an idea of the variations.  Click here to watch it.

If you can't watch this video because you're in work (perhaps) but you decided to come and peek at my waffle instead of doing what you're meant to be doing (which I thoroughly appreciate!) then the low down is that there are some perks.  

If you fill out five surveys then you get an extra sample, once you have been subscribed for three months you'll get an extra product in your box and if you get three friends to join using your link then you get a free box.  I don't normally fall for these little schemes but they're fairly straight forward.  If you do decide to subscribe then it would be ace if you could join using my link here.

Let me know what you think of the concept and if you've tried this box out!

Monday, 27 January 2014

Vera Wang Rock Princess Perfume

Today's post is on Vera Wang Rock Princess Perfume.  I am somewhat of a perfume collector/hoarder.  I don't think I ever realised it until I showed a friend my stash of them and realised I had an obsessive amount.  

I wanted to talk particularly about this fragrance today as it's one of my more unusual ones.  What I mean by that is I find a lot of perfumes are quite similar to each other, floral, fruity or sweet.  This perfume is so much more than that.

 

I'm useless at describing scents so I'll 'borrow' the official description which is:

"Vera Wang Rock Princess was introduced in 2009 to carry a disobedient side to the Princess range. Rock Princess has pinnacle notes of peach, raspberry and bergamot; heart notes of heliotrope, rose, jasmine and lily; and bottom notes are cashmere wood, musk, iris, and coconut"

Sadly I have a feeling that this perfume has been discontinued as I can't find it on Boots, Debenhams and a few other retailers sites.  It's still available through other websites and on ebay but you'd have to be quick - and get in the queue behind me!

A while ago I did actually make a Vera Wang Rock Princess Nail Tutorial so here it is....

                          
Dark, fruity and floral, this version of the Vera Wang Princess fragrance has rock chic attitude. Rock Princess features opening notes of fruity white peach and raspberry that blend beautifully with a floral heart of jasmine, lily and rose. A base of cashmere, musk and coconut complete this confident, rebellious scent.
Read more at http://www.tesco.com/direct/vera-wang-100ml-rock-princess-eau-de-toilette-spray/406-8741.prd#oM3I3ojKm19W3f1R.99
Dark, fruity and floral, this version of the Vera Wang Princess fragrance has rock chic attitude. Rock Princess features opening notes of fruity white peach and raspberry that blend beautifully with a floral heart of jasmine, lily and rose. A base of cashmere, musk and coconut complete this confident, rebellious scent.
Read more at http://www.tesco.com/direct/vera-wang-100ml-rock-princess-eau-de-toilette-spray/406-8741.prd#oM3I3ojKm19W3f1R.99
Dark, fruity and floral, this version of the Vera Wang Princess fragrance has rock chic attitude. Rock Princess features opening notes of fruity white peach and raspberry that blend beautifully with a floral heart of jasmine, lily and rose. A base of cashmere, musk and coconut complete this confident, rebellious scent.
Read more at http://www.tesco.com/direct/vera-wang-100ml-rock-princess-eau-de-toilette-spray/406-8741.prd#oM3I3ojKm19W3f1R.99
Dark, fruity and floral, this version of the Vera Wang Princess fragrance has rock chic attitude. Rock Princess features opening notes of fruity white peach and raspberry that blend beautifully with a floral heart of jasmine, lily and rose. A base of cashmere, musk and coconut complete this confident, rebellious scent.
Read more at http://www.tesco.com/direct/vera-wang-100ml-rock-princess-eau-de-toilette-spray/406-8741.prd#oM3I3ojKm19W3f1R.99

Sunday, 26 January 2014

My Work: Two Toned Purple & Silver Shellac Over Acrylics

It's a long standing joke with certain people that come to me to get their nails done that I will show them my latest supplies and fun bits and pieces.  This then means that they walk away with something that's nothing like the idea they came in with. 

Rachael came to me before Christmas asking for purple and silver nails.  It was then that I promptly showed her the tiny gold snowflakes that had just arrived and just like that her mind was changed.  There is a photo of those on this blog, to see it just look at the 'my work' label.  She still said that she would definitely have the purple and silver next time so here they are.


 

I used a silver glitter acrylic mix for the ring fingers as a background, then took some silver holographic diamond shapes and pushed them into clear acrylic.  The purple is Shellac Purple Purple with a layer of Hot Chillis on top giving this gorgeous two tone effect.

Rachael loves them and she got the colour combination she was after.  I love the diamond shapes, whenever I get the opportunity to buy them I do in as many colours as I can because they just make things a little different and I love how they catch the lights.

Thanks for reading.

Please come and "like" my Facebook page.  It's a little community that I set up with lots of nail techs and therapists on there sharing ideas.  You can message me directly on there too.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

L'Oréal Paris Colour Appeal Solo Eyeshadow in Metal Plum

Whilst searching one day in Boots, trying to find my final 'thing' to make up my 3 for 2, I came across the L'Oréal Paris Colour Appeal Solo Eyeshadow and decided to buy it in 'Metal Plum.' 

 

I swatched it and the first thing I noticed was the texture, it so creamy and highly pigmented.  As I am naturally a brunette with hazel eyes, purple shades look brilliant with my colouring.  Having said that I do think it's also a shade that everyone can wear.

 

Metal Plum in particular is a beautiful metallic plum/taupe sort of shade.   Typically I will wear it on my lid and then wear Urban Decay Last Call in the crease (review here)

 

I have a few other from the Color Appeal and they're really shimmery and sparkly.  I do want to say that sadly there were a few that I swatched that were a disappointment so definitely test them before you buy.  That aside, I highly recommend this eyeshadow, it really is beautiful!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Bourjois Little Round Pot Intense Eyeshadow

Let's be frank, I need another eyeshadow like a hole in the head but still I continue to buy and try.  


I'm obsessed with eyeshadow so when I saw Bourjois Little Round Pot Intense Eyeshadow in number 03 Rose Sable I just had to purchase it. 

 

To me this eyeshadow looks like a nude with a slight pink or peach and lots of fine shimmer.  I knew that it would be perfect to use with any of my Naked palettes as there isn't something that's incredible similar in them.

 

I swatched it and I quickly adored the fine shimmer, it's just so beautiful.  Recently I wore this shadow in quite a few different ways, dark shadows with this in the inner corner to brighten it up and add sparkle and also as a more light, neutral eye all over the lid.

 

Now for the down side, this shade is such a subtle one that I feel that even though I wear it with a MAC Paint Pot, it doesn't last a very long time.  I adore the colour so much but even with the help of a priming product it just seems to fade quicker than other shades that I use, including my amazing budget buy Natural Collection shades.  

Regardless of this problem I still want to buy more from this range, just to see if it's just this colour being so close to a skin tone and therefore not as highly pigmented like a dark shade would be.  

If you asked me if I would buy it again I'd probably say no - ahhh it kills me to say it as it's so beautiful.  I wouldn't purchase it unless I find a miracle way of keeping this on my lids a decent amount of time, however it's great as a little dab on the inner corner if nothing else.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

GlossyBox January 2014

I have no idea why but it feels like the last time I received a GlossyBox was years ago.  I think it's because I have to remind myself that I'm now only signed up with one company as at one time I had three on the go each month!

I received my box yesterday, kindly from my neighbour who signed for it but was then selfishly out all day so I couldn't get my mitts on it.  I'm kidding.


I haven't had a chance to watch any other videos on this one but judging by the comments on my video, it seems there are a few people that weren't that impressed with the contents.  For me it's just the disappointment of seeing the same brands again, Balance Me is one of them which I get a little bitter over, particularly as one of their products seemed to irritate my skin which never happens either so I get a little uneasy when I see another one to try out from them.

The tweezers kinda saved the day with this one as up until then I thought I was going to rant about the box and that's when I noticed them peeking out.  

I will use them all so that's good news.  Click here to watch my video on it.


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed

I know I'm always banging on about my eyeshadow obsession but seriously, I have an addiction!  With that in mind I purchased the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed in hope that it would be a blush that I could wear with anything. 


I love the packaging on these blushes, they're simple but very sturdy and well made. 


Something that I particularly like is that the colour of the packaging corresponding with the shade inside, this makes things so much easier to choose what I'm after each morning.



Inside is a beautiful Amazon style pattern printed into the blush.  I love this but I hate it too because I always feel sad when the patterns fade away. 

 

The shade 'Exposed' is an absolutely perfect matte neutral shade.  It can be blended out and lasts an exceptionally long time on my skin.  Used with a light hand I truly believe this is the ultimate shade that will suit almost all of your eyeshadow looks. 

 

The bottom line is.. If you have the opportunity to pick this shade, I would simply say that you must.  I think it would suit all age groups and it really is a brilliant colour.  I love particularly that it's matte because you can always add shimmer if you prefer it.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Nivea Daily Essentials Refreshing Toner

Today's post is a short one but this product has became part of my morning routine for quite a long time now.

I bought the Nivea Daily Essentials Refreshing Toner because, to be brutally honest, it was on offer in Tesco for £1 something.  I love the scent of Nivea so I figured I'd try it out.  


This bottle sits happily at my make up area with my beloved Boots Cotton Wool Double Face Oval Pads for when I need refreshing.  I sometimes have days where as I wake up, get washed and dressed but don't put my make up on for an hour or two.  When the time comes around to apply my make up I like to just freshen it up a little so I'll apply a little amount to a cotton pad and sweep it across my face.  

Maybe it's psychological but to someone like me with combination/oily skin, I feel like if oils have started to produce, particularly in the summer I can get rid of them and make my make up last longer.

The long and short of it is I would buy it again.  It's really inexpensive and feels so refreshing on the skin.  The scent it gorgeous although it's really gentle on my skin and I love it!

Monday, 20 January 2014

MUA Extreme Curl Mascara

Today's post is about my budget buy, MUA Extreme Curl Mascara that I purchased from Superdrug for the tiny price of £2.  

 

The packaging is pretty snazzy, well as snazzy a £2 product could possibly be.  The brush is curved which is different to most of the mascaras I've tried.

I bought this in the store so I didn't have the description on the website to go by.  If I had of purchased online, I would have known that oddly their description says nothing about adding length or volume and probably would have smelt a rat.  The reason for this, I gather, it because in my opinion it doesn't add either!

The only claim that they give is that it gives a shapes your lashes with a beautiful curl from root to tip, which I think is stretching the imagination a little.

 

I think that in this case, the price determines the type of user.  It's perfect for a teenager who is just getting into wearing a little bit of mascara.  It coats the lashes and therefore makes them slightly darker but that's about it.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer

Today's post is about Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer that I got in a Sephora gift set last year.  At that point I was absolutely obsessed with Nars Laguna and found it hard to stray from it, even for a day (is that sad?!)  Eventually I tried this bronzer and it quickly became the one I use everyday.  It's funny how things go isn't it?

 

I can't really speak for the packaging of this mini version but the full size version is gorgeous.  It's gold with a pattern that reminds me of something from ancient Egypt.  

 

The scent is like cocoa, it's pretty close to a chocolate scent which doesn't bother me when it's on the skin.

 

From the moment that I first dipped my brush in it was obvious that this powder was far more pigmented than my beloved Nars Laguna.  To some people this might be annoying, particularly if you're heavy handed.  To me it means I can apply it lightly and get a subtle shade or build it up.  Another plus is it means that this small size has lasted me such a long time which just means that it is better value for money.

 

Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer (left) Nars Laguna (right)
 
 

The bottom line is... I adore this bronzer!!  It's definitely a favourite for sure!  It really looks like a natural golden brown shade and I love how pigmented it is.  I highly recommend you check this one out!

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel in Voila!

I treated myself to a Marc Jacobs Lip Gel in Sephora.  It's odd to me that it's referred to as a lip gel because it's just a lipstick!  The colour I choose was 'Voila!' which is a stunning magenta shade with a slight blue tone.

The box is classic, luxury and sleek.  I love the simplicity of the black and white with the bold silver writing.  I'm not someone to keep the boxes of beauty products - in my teens I may have - but for some reason I have kept the box to this one!


When you take the lip gel out of the box you are greeted with a sleek, high shine, oblong tube with the same bold silver lettering with a large silver button detail.


The cap pulls up and has a magnet which clicks it back into place again. 

 

The bullet of the lipstick is rounded which a little different to the ever so slight point that most lipsticks have.

 

This lipstick is smooth and very glossy.  On my lips it feels very moisturising and stays put.  I would say it lasts an average amount of time on my lips, nothing more and nothing less.  The colour eventually fades after four or five hours but this is typically due to eating or drinking and to be expected.

 

The bottom line is... let's be frank, this is truly a luxury purchase.  I feel special wearing it and that's what matters.  However, I have similar lipstick by Rimmel (in Funtime Fushscia) that look almost identical, lasts just as long but it just doesn't have the fancy packaging or the designer brand name.  Would I buy it again?  I wouldn't buy this shade but if they came to the UK then I have no doubt I would purchase another because I'm worth it!

Friday, 17 January 2014

Make Believe Little White Lie Tanning Spray

I received Make Believe Little White Lie Tanning Spray as part of a goody bag from the #midsummermeet and have been using it ever since.  Make Believe Beauty is not a brand I'd heard of before so I was really excited to try it out.  

After you prep your skin by exfoliation, you spray an invisible formula onto yourself that develops over a few hours.  It contain Argan Oil which not only moisturises and nourishes your skin but also helps to minimise the risk of getting patches or uneven areas on your skin.  I always ensure that I do not apply false tan to any dry areas as it is just going to stick to it but this spray actually helps with that too!

 

I would say this spray will give you a light, natural tan which is exactly what I'm after.  When I did my spray tan training, I learnt that the darker the tan, the uneven the wear is over time.  

I often use this spray for when I've had a spray tan, my face and hands start to fade quicker than my body because of wearing make up and the constant washing of hands.  I will spray onto my skin before bed and wake up with a completely even, natural looking glow.

The bottom line is... this tanning spray is brilliant for someone after a fuss free tan that can be built up to the desired shade.  

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Origins Easy Glider Pre-Shave Oil

It's unusual for me to review a product that's typically used by a man but I purchased Origins Easy Glider Pre-Shave Oil for Christmas for my husband and I thought I'd review it based on how he felt about it.

My husband is a low maintenance sort of man.  I'm not ashamed to admit that he uses the supermarket own brand of shave cream and a pretty standard razor.  I bought this oil for him as a sort of treat as he complains a lot about how harsh shaving is to his face and I have to virtually beg him to shave sometimes(!)


At 50ml, this bottle is pretty dinky but as I knew you typically don't use a lot of oil - even to moisturise your whole body - I figured that hopefully it would last a long time.  I was totally right with this and so far he's used it quite a few times and it hasn't even gotten down to the neck of the bottle.

The instructions say you can use it with their shave cream (Origins Blade Runner Energising Cream) or alone which is what my husband does.  He applies two drops before his shave and finds that the hair seems to come away easier.  Overall his skin doesn't hurt as much also.  The scent is similar to aromatherapy, providing a soothing and calming effect to the skin afterwards.

The only downfall I can see is the packaging which is currently a screw top bottle that you pour the oil out of.  I think it would have been better to provide a pump to unsure the correct amount it used and that you do not risk knocking the bottle over whilst it's in your bathroom.  I feel like at £19 this isn't an unreasonable thing to ask.

The bottom line is... my husband loves this pre-shave oil.  He thinks it's going to last over a year so in some respects it's close to the price of a few bottles of shaving gel but I know he will definitely repurchase it.  Also from a travelling point of view, a few drops of this oil can take the place of a huge bottle of shaving cream.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Brightening Primer

I bought Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Brightening Primer whilst over in the States as I saw number of You Tubers rave about it.  At that point I was suffering from a serious obsession with luminous skin and the 'lit from within' look.

Sidenote: I believe the name of this has now changed to Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Translucent Illuminator.





The packaging for this one is a little odd, it's a hard case in a tube shape with a pump on.  I love pumps as it means that you get the same amount out each time.

 

The primer itself is of a thin consistency and the moment I smoothed it into my skin my face is transformed into a more bright, radiant complexion. 

 

I wouldn't say it gives a ridiculous amount of brightness though so it's perfect if you wanted to look good going somewhere with limited or no foundation on at all.  Generally I use this primer and then apply my foundation and it just brightens it up just a little whilst helping my make up last longer.  

The bottom line is.. this is a really good primer or something that you can wear on it's own that looks virtually undetectable, just like it's your own skin.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Bourjois Color Edition 24h eyeshadow

This post was one I was unsure whether to make because I didn't actually even get to the stage of purchasing the item (thankfully!) but I figured I'd still mention it just in case anyone ordered online or something and didn't get the chance to test them first.

Today's post is on the Bourjois Color Edition 24h eyeshadows.  As you may know by yesterday's haul, I've been on a little bit of a new product kick and was in boots on Sunday, seemingly desperate to try something new.  

 Left to right: Bleu Tenebreu, Petale De Glace & Prune Nocturne

These eyeshadows caught my eye, I picked up the silver shimmery one (Petale De Glace) and almost instantly made a decision to purchase it.  I swatched it and it was a little lighter than the pot made it appear but still looked like a perfect inner corner shade.  That's when I picked up the cranberry shade (Prune Nocturne) and nearly fainted with shock when I swatched it and this muddy shade appeared (as photographed above.)  I then swatched the navy (Bleu Tenebreu) which looked amazing in the pot and again, a terrible dirty colour appeared on my hand.  

Bourjois advertise these shadows as an 'intense' colour but as far as I'm concerned you'd be better to stick to the Maybelline EyeStudio Color Tattoos 24hr eyeshadows. 

I hope you've enjoyed reading this post.  I did originally instagram it but I figured that not all of you are following so may have missed it.  If you've tried them, please let me know what you thought!

Monday, 13 January 2014

Haul: January 2014

Today's post is a collective haul from the past few weeks.  I think with the Christmas sales going on, I've been in Boots (or on their website!)  a little more than usual.

Also, hilariously Bezzie has gone from a girl who had a handful of make up (literally one mascara, one foundation and possibly a few lipsticks) to someone who walked into Superdrug with me on Saturday saying "I want to check blah blah lipstick" quoting the exact name of the shade like a true make up junkie.  I laughed hysterically as I blame myself for slowly wearing her down and succumbing to this world.  I laughed even harder when I looked into her hand and saw her holding three almost identical shades of lipstick and she was about to purchase all three.

 

In true 'Karen fashion' I've filmed a video to show you each product.  Click here to watch the video.  If, however you're like Bezzie who reads the blog whilst she should be working and can't watch the video, I'll give you the lowdown of what I bought.  

Starting with hair stuff.. I want to try some more shampoos and conditioning hair treatments in a quest for amazing hair.  I just feel like it's important to have good hair if you're a hairdresser, it's your best advertisement.  Along with that I bought Umberto Giannini Glam Hair Backcomb In A Bottle as I want to focus on getting volume without damaging my hair backcombing it.  

I bought a couple of gift sets, one of them isn't in the above photo as it wouldn't fit but it was a Sanctuary Body Butter set which I already know I'm going to love.  The other one was the Nicki Minaj Pink Friday gift set that I told you about in yesterday's blog post.  

I treated myself to the Super Facialist by Una Brennan Vitamin C Skin Renew Cleansing Oil as it's currently on offer and smells absolutely delicious.  The truth is I don't really need any more skincare right now but I have recently gotten through a few bottles so I justified that it was time to find new products!

I got two MAC items, a foundation which is their Matchmaster foundation and their Prep + Prime Finishing Powder which I have had many times before and really enjoy. 

I also picked up a new Gosh Brow Pen which I have used many times before, this time I've gone for a slightly lighter shade to see if I like it any better.  I have a new Rimmel brow pencil to try also along with a Bourjois eyeshadow, Bourjois Bronzer (which GemsMaquillage mentioned as a 2013 favourite) plus four MUA items.  

Now I have to be brutally honest here, I've never ventured into the world of MUA as I just didn't think anything that's £1 could not be good quality.  I was pleasantly surprised when swatching some of their range that it actually seemed pretty decent so I picked up a highlighter, a mascara and two blushes.  

Anyway, that's all for the haul.  Hope you've enjoyed it!  Expect reviews of everything once I test them out.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Bargain Alert! Pink Friday Gift Set

I wanted to make a new type of blog post for 2014 which I'm going to call my 'Bargain Alerts.'  I realise that in some sense it limits my readers as if you're not from the UK then certain items might not be available to you, but the majority of the time I order from websites that do free worldwide delivery.


My first bargain alert is one that if you want it, you're going to have to get as soon as possible.  I was in Boots a few nights ago and I saw the Nicki Minak Pink Friday Gift Set reduced from £24 to £11.50!!  This set includes:
  • 30ml Eau de Parfum
  • 50ml Body Lotion
  • 5ml Rollerball 
The 30ml bottle is £23 on it's own so not only are you getting it half price but you're getting the body lotion and little rollerball to carry around with you!  The perfume itself is a eau de parfum so it's the more expensive, longer lasting version which is great.  

Boots describe the scent as:

"The fragrance mixes complementary playful and sultry notes of juicy fruits, creamy vanilla and sensual musks."

I saw this perfume when it launched in Canada and to be honest the bottle caught my eye as I thought it looked pretty cheap but I loved the fragrance.  In fairness, hats off to the marketing team as the only reason why I picked it up was because of it's appearance! 
Anyway, that's it for my first bargain alert post.  Definitely something to check out and if you like the fragrance or know someone that does, scoop it up!  As I publish this post it's still available on the Boots website but I picked it up in the store on Friday evening.  

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Fructis Volume Extend Instant Bodifier Dry Shampoo

Today's post is on the Fructis Volume Extend Instant Bodifier Dry Shampoo that I bought whilst over in the States in October.  I'd heard a lot about it on You Tube along with the Suave and Dove Dry Shampoos.  



To be brutally honest, I have mixed feelings of the Garnier Fructis range.  I remember loving this shampoo that they did around ten years back.  It smelt sweet and fruity, leaving my hair silky smooth and gorgeous.  The only thing was I quickly realised that it was definitely coating my hair with something as it started needing to be washed quicker.  Eventually the build up got so bad I stopped using it.  Funnily enough if I mention Fructis to anyone else they have a similar reaction and provide their negative thoughts.  

So anyway, onto the dry shampoo... I applied it as instructed and waited to be thoroughly impressed.  The scent is pleasant, somewhere between clean and fruity I'd say.  However I didn't see much in terms of volume or cleansing my mildly dirty hair.  On a positive note I don't feel like it gave me as much of a white cast as the Bastiste does, apart from that I was left with fairly lank hair and that was a fraction cleaner.  

Needless to say the bottom line is that I wouldn't be repurchasing it, should the UK retailers start stocking it.


Friday, 10 January 2014

Natural Collection Eyeshadows

People that know me know that I'm all about the eyes.  I wear false eyelashes a lot of the time, nothing too 'disco,' more like perfect looking mascara.  In the last few years I've really gotten into eyeshadow in a huge way, I just think that you can have so much fun playing up your eyes or doing something completely natural.
 

I've exhausted most looks out of my MAC palette and the Naked 1 and 2 palettes so every now and again I like to play around with colour.  Don't ask me why but I've been ridiculously keen on wearing pink shadow lately but as I wasn't sure if I'd like it / if I'd use it so I didn't want to pay an awful lot of money for it.

As I adore the Natural Collection blushes (previously reviewed here) I decided to see whether their range would give me the pink shadow fix I craved so when I stumbled over 'Candy Floss' and 'Lilac Shimmer,' I got a little overexcited.  Candy Floss is a beautiful champagne shade with a subtle pink tone.  It's nothing too shocking, looks stunning on the lid, in the inner corner to brighten up your eyes or even doubling up as a highlighter for the top of your cheekbones.  

I bought Lilac Shimmer as well because it was on offer at the time as I adore wearing purple shadows.  I have hazel eyes and I think that they complement them brilliantly.  I also feel like if you're a neutrals girl, it's a really good way of introducing colour without being too shocking.  

My favourite part is that they're £1.79 per solo shadow, that's incredible value! I wouldn't consider myself as a make up snob but you may confuse with price being directly related to quality, this is sometimes the case but not for the Natural Collection products I've tried so far.

 

The bottom line is... I love these shadows, they're pigmented and really easy to work with.  The packaging is really sturdy so they'd be perfect to keep in your make up bag to save you carrying a large palette around.  I definitely highly recommend them!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Listerine Pocketpaks Breath Strips

Today's post is really random and I appreciate that but I felt like it was still a worthy topic, especially for those of you in the hair and beauty industry or anyone who works in a close proximity to others.

There's nothing worse than having someone sat close to you who has committed the ultimate social faux pas by eating garlic/ cheese and onion crisps or drunk a jugful of coffee etc right before their appointment.  To me there's nothing worse anyway so my working week consists of carefully considering my lunches but for the occasions that I'd slipped up then the best thing to do is typically to suck a mint.  

Now I might be alone in this but I don't think it's professional to have something rolling around your mouth during an appointment, not even a mint and DEFINITELY not chewing gum.

 

Here's where my fabulous Listerine Pocketpaks Breath Strips come into it, they are a brilliant!  They're 24 paper thin strips packed into a tiny pocketpak.  Each strip is packed with an amazingly powerful, breath freshening quality that fizzes away the moment it touches your tongue.  The best bit is that your client wont detect them as you're not chewing or rolling anything around your mouth and they're calorie free!  

Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge these are no longer available in the UK, however you can buy them on the UK ebay at a fairly decent price so that's where I shall be ordering my supplies once my US stock runs out.

The funny thing is you may be thinking this is a sponsored post, it wasn't but I just thought I'd mention them if you can't prise yourself away from the pickled onion Monster Munch.