Sunday 24 August 2014

Holy Grail Products featuring Estee Lauder, Urban Decay, MAC, Soap and Glory

Beauty products and I have trust issues. Their claims of ’24 hour wear’ and ‘transfer resistant’ build my hopes, only for them to claim at the first hurdle.

In life you gotta kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince, as is the same with beauty products. You have to trial a number of formulas and brands to find the right fit for you and when you do find your Holy Grail items, buy 10 because we all know brands like to discontinue products for the fun of it, or so it feels.

So what products do I feel meet the Holy Grail title?

Holy Grail Blogger Urban Decay Sleek Estee Lauder Burts Bees MUFE Max Factor

Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette

I don’t think anyone in the beauty community dislikes this palette. I do have the other two versions but I can honestly say this is the most loved of the trio. The eyeshadows are super easy to blend and the shades are perfect for creating a smoky eye.

Holy Grail Blogger Soap and Glory Burts Bees Estee Lauder MUFE Max Factor

Estee Lauder Double Wear

Oily skinned gals, this is the prince charming of foundations. It’s a very fluid texture, with a buildable medium coverage. I apply mine with a damp Real Techniques sponge and give it time to ‘set’ before applying powder for a long lasting finish. It doesn’t last 24 hours like some foundations claim but it really does have that added coverage and longevity over its rivals such as Studio Fix and Revlon Colour Stay.

Soap and Glory One Heck of a Blot Powder

This was a recommendation from Essie Button, as she described, this powder is finely milled making it a perfect setting powder and for touch ups. I thought Rimmel’s Stay Matte powder was the one, but boy was I wrong. If I use the Rimmel powder instead of the Soap and Glory version, I find my make-up looks and feel so heavy. The One Heck of a Blot powder is so fine and silky to apply in comparison.

Burt’s Bees Lip Balm

I’ve never been a fan of Vaseline, sticking my finger in the gloop is just not pleasant, so I always opt for a stick lip balm. I’ve tried ones from Nivea, Blistec and Chapstick but Burt’s Bees beats them all hands down. It has a lovely fresh menthol scent and it’s thicker than its cheaper counter parts. It really does nourish your lips and leave them feeling kissably soft.

Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara and Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash Mascara

I couldn't pick just one Holy Grail mascara, I currently have two favourites, one for day and one for night. I use the False Lash Effect in the day as it separates my lashes and it's smudge proof. Then if I want a more dramatic look, I pick up my Smoky Lash mascara, this product is amazing for volume!

Holy Grail Blogger La Roche Posay Sleek 17

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo

Another perfect product for oily skins. This miracle worker helps combat my existing blemishes and prevents any others from flaring up. It’s also a great base for make-up.

17 Wet Look Liquid Eyeliner

The naught people at L'Oreal changed the formula of the Carbon Gloss liner, which used to be my Holy Grail, so I had to find an alternative. I love the glossy effect of the 17 liner, it isn't for everyone but I think it just makes my cat eye flicks look super black.

Sleek Contour Kit in Light

This discovery is thanks to Beauty Crush, she often mentioned this as her go to contour product. It's amazingly pigmented and easy to blend. As you can see I've hit pan, I would recommend this for anyone who wants an affordable way of contouring their face.

Holy Grail Blogger MAC Russian Red Lipstick

MAC Lipsticks

You’ll either love or hate the vanilla scent that all MAC lipsticks carry, I personally like it. You cannot fault MAC when it comes to colour range in their lipstick line. I personally love their Matte, Amplified and Cremesheen formulas. My favourite shades are Russian Red, Please Me and Patisserie.

I asked my followers on Twitter to tweet me their Holy Grail products. I thought I could create a shopping list of new Holy Grail products to try out.


Leave me a comment of your Holy Grail items and I'll add them to my 'to buy' list!


Thursday 14 August 2014

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette to be Launched

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette Christmas Launch

I can honestly say that the news of Hourglass releasing the Ambient Lighting Blush Palette this Christmas made my face light up. Make-up release like this get me over-excited, an excitement that the outside world wouldn’t quite understand, only the blogging community.

Christmas in July is one of the strange occurrences in the PR world. Around this time of year beauty and fashion brands are gearing up for the festive season, releasing previews of their Christmas ranges.

Diary Directory brought news of the Ambient Lighting Blush Palette via Twitter this morning.

They detailed that the limited edition palette is to feature three shades, Luminous Flush, Mood Exposure and a brand new shade called Incandescent Electra. Luminous Flush is described as a champagne rose, a soft plum hue is the description of Mood Exposure and the latter, and Incandescent Flush is noted as a cool peach.

This launch is undoubtedly influenced by the highly covetable original Ambient Lighting Palette, which featured their illuminating face powders. I’m sure the blush edition of this palette will have just as much hype surrounding it as the original.

Its launch date is October and will be priced at £56. Stockists will be Liberty, Space NK and John Lewis counters.
I know it’s early to start a Christmas list but this is on the top of it already!

Will you be picking this palette up when launched?
*Photo credit - Diary Directory

Tuesday 12 August 2014

Avene Soothing Hydrating Serum (Hydrance Optimale) & How I Use It For Acne Burns

Avene Hydrating Soothing Serum (Hydrance Optimale) Review

(Now called Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Serum)

This review has been on my review list for a while. It was gifted to me by After a few months of trialling this product, I have finalised my review and opinions on the product.

Texture and Application

The Soothing Hydrating Serum has a strange hybrid texture. It's very fluid, thin and gel-like, once applied to the skin it instantly dries, which is a strong plus point. As you may know serums are intended to be applied before a moisturiser to really help the product work it's way in, this instant drying effect cuts time out from your skincare routine.

One thing I will note is the smell, it has a chemical scent, I don't mind it but could be a problem for others.

How I Use It For Acne Burns

I use these as a soothing serum for acne burns. I use a lot of products with salicylic acid, known for it's effectiveness in reducing spots. I often go overboard with these products, I just want that mountain of a spot to be gone, this results in acne burn. I would describe this as extreme dryness and soreness. I apply this serum to the area and then use my Clinique Moisture Surge sample, which came in Cosmo I believe. These two combined really helps soothe the burn and also slightly reduce the scarring as it hydrates and nourishes.
Final Thoughts
Putting the smell aside, I think the product works well. You must use a second moisturising product to really see improvement in skin hydration. It sinks in quickly and leaves the skin ready for moisture. I would recommend this to girls with dehydrated skin, it's not for those with oily skin!
I give it a 3.5/5.

Friday 8 August 2014

Illamasqua Glamore Nude Lipstick Collection ft Rosepout & Minx - Swatches and Review

Last week saw National Lipstick Day, the whole of the beauty blogger community squealed with delight over Debenhams offering £5 off all lipsticks, well I did anyway. Clever marketing ploy from them, and god did it work, my Twitter and Instagram feeds were filled with purchases. I'd been eyeing up the Illamasqua Glamore Nude lipstick collection ever since I saw bloggers, Tattooed Tea Lady and Milkteef , review the shades.

I went for Rosepout as I have a cool tone to my pale skin. I researched the line of lipsticks on beauty blogs and decided I had to add Minx to my basket, I love those type of 90s nude colours.

Illamasqua Glamore Nude Lipsticks - £18.50 for 4g

Illamasqua Glamore Nudes Lipstick Minx Rosepout Swatch


The nude versions of the Glamore lipsticks were created by Illamasqua as way of finding a new shade for each skin tone. The brand is known for its excellent diversity in advertising and foundation range, so a selection of nude lipsticks was next step.

Illamasqua have provided advice online for those who cannot see a make-up consultant in store. Cooler skin tones are advised to pick nude shades with a rosy tone. From their range Rosepout and Stalkers are suggested for cool toned skins.

Coral toned nudes are the medium, they have a balance of warm and cool tones with a kick of colour. Minx and Cherub are the middle ground of the range.

Warmer toned skinned individuals should go for a lipstick shade with a higher percentage of brown hues. Tease, Naked and Buff with their cheeky titles have been recommended for warmer skins.

Illamasqua is recognised by its sleek black packaging and ‘Q and cross’ logo. The Glamore lipsticks are found in the traditional squared off tubes with a click closure. I wouldn’t say the Illamasqua lipsticks are overly glamourous or luxurious, but I believe they have been designed like this to let the product do the talking. I have nothing to fault with the packaging.

Texture and Application
Minx and Rosepout are both incredibly moisturising and have a smooth application. With this type of formula, I do have to reapply throughout the day as it doesn’t have any staining powers. You always have to comprise this when buying glossy, moisturising lip products, so this isn’t a problem.

Illamasqua Glamore Nudes Lipstick Minx Swatch

Final Thoughts

I’ve bought around 6 nude lipsticks from MAC trying to find my ideal nude, they are all pretty but not spot on. Minx is my ideal everyday shade and I’m so happy to find it!

I fully recommend these lipsticks to girls who want a glossy, highly pigmented finish. I give the Glamore Nudes a 5/5.

Have you got any of these nudes?

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Lush Dark Angels Review + How I Use it as a Face Mask

Up until 6 months ago, I was terrified of Lush. Terrified of a shop you cry, well somehow I'd decided that the sickly smell and close customer service was a little too much for me. I'd heard a number of products being raved about by fellow bloggers, so I pinched my nose and ventured in. I picked up Dark Angels Cleanser, along with a few other bits. Keep reading for my in-depth review.

Lush Dark Angels Cleanser, £6.40 for 100g

Lush Dark Angels Review

Lush almost feels like Dexter's Laboratory (anyone remember that?!), in the fact they produce products with the most weird and wonderful textures, they almost seem like a lab experiment. The texture of Dark Angels is a solid, yet crumbly putty while in the tub but as soon as you add water it transforms into a paste. It's gritty but the more you work it between your hands, the smoother the texture becomes.

Lush Dark Angels Review

It's messy! Be prepared to have to wash the sink down after this, and you can't use white towels with the product (my mum wasn't best pleased).
I normally scoop a small amount out, as you need to work quick, Dark Angels has tendency to crumble, making a mess. Then I add a little water and work it between my hands.
Smearing is the only way this product can successfully sit on your skin, attractive I know.
I'm not sure on the idea of having to stick your fingers in and scoop the product out, it gets in your nails. The general application is incredibly messy.

Cleansing Properties
It isn't my favourite cleanser, I prefer something with a simple application like my La Roche Posay Effaclar wash. I normally Dark Angels this in the evenings, I have no time for the messy application in the mornings. I do think it has very good cleansing properties, my skin does feel cleaner and detoxified after use.

As a Mask
On Lush's website, this product is marketed as a cleansing product. I've used it both as a cleanser and a face mask. Charcoal masks are recommended as one of the best methods to combat oily, blemish prone skin, so I thought I'd transform mine into a DIY face mask. The same method of making a paste with water still applies, although I do apply it in thicker layers. When I've covered my face with the Dark Angels paste, I then leave it to dry out like a face mask would. I don't experience any tingling or soreness though doing this, so I'm sure it's perfectly good enough to use for this purpose. It leaves my skin soft, extra clean and refreshed. Toner and moisturiser follow as normal after a face mask. I'd recommend it as a face mask once a week.

Lush Dark Angels Review
You have to pull funny faces on Snapchat while you have a face mask on!

Final Thoughts
Lush products are sold on their gimmicks. I do think that this product works, but truthfully once I use this up, I won't be repurchasing. I've made this decision on the messy application. I'm too impatient to work for this product. Putting the messiness aside, I really like this as a mask and cleanser. Perhaps it's meant for the more patient beauty bloggers and lovers of Lush. I'd give it a 3/5.

Have you ever tried Dark Angels?
Blogger Template Created by pipdig