Wednesday 31 December 2014

Beauty and Blogging Resolutions for 2015

I feel like 2014 was the 'start' of my blog, I started collaborating with brands and had some lovely opportunities, which I am so grateful for! My readership has grown so quickly in the last few months, so thank you to everyone that visits my blog!

To keep myself focused on my blog and my beauty regime, I've decided to give myself some goals and resolutions for 2015.

001. Keep on Blogging
Okay, this sounds a little silly but I sometimes struggle to keep on top of blogging. I work 9-5, Monday to Friday, with an added hour of commuting on either side of my day, by the time I get home it's dark. So I find myself rushing on a Saturday or Sunday to get photos taken and blogs written. I think for me it's organisation that will help me keep to my blogging schedule. It's also not the end of the world if I don't post in twice or three times a week, so I'm going to put less stress on this.

002. Share the Love
I'm aiming to share the love in 2015, I'll be tweeting bloggers and retweeting links so we can all share readers. If I enjoy a post or a blogger's photography, I'm going to give them some praise. It's good to get positive feedback for something you worked hard on.

003. Join More Blogging Chats
I'm going to push myself to join more blogging chats and participate by answering the questions set and tweeting fellow bloggers. I'm hoping to chat to a few new bloggers and make some friends.

004. Work on Photography
I'm currently saving for a DLSR, so I'm going to be brushing up on my photography skills and reading some photography posts to make the most of my blog images. If you have any camera recommendations or posts on photography, please link them in the comments.

005. Look After My Hair and Skin
I love slapping on make-up and I'll happily spend hundreds on new make-up items but my skin and hair get neglected. My hair is so dry and brittle, so in 2015, I'm going to make regular trips to the salon to keep it all in shape. As for skin, I know understand that my oily skin needs moisture too. I'll be alternating between scarring treatments and moisturisers for oily and acne prone skin to keep it in good condition.

006. Use Up What I Have
I have a crazy amount of beauty products, my drawers and Muji storage are full to the brim. I'm determined to use and condense my collection.

What are your resolutions?

Monday 29 December 2014

14 Beauty Favourites for 2014

I rifled through my beauty collection searching for my 2014 favourites. I'd recently created a Holy Grails post, so to keep this post fresh, I've selected only beauty products which I discovered this year, unlike my Holy Grails, which are long term loves and constant repurchases.

Beauty Favourites 2014 Flat Lay

14 Favourites for 2014:

Soap and Glory Archery Brow Pencil in Blondeshell
Soap and Glory's re-vamped pencil is hands down my favourite brow product of the year. I was a fan of the original but found I only used the pencil and not the ink, but this slim lined version is perfection. The retractable pencil has a small, fine point, ideal for drawing hair-like strokes. Luckily Blondeshell is the correct colour match for me, but the shade selection is limited so might not suit all. It's been compared to the Anastasia Brow Whiz so give this one a go before splashing your cash on the higher end version.

NYX Blush in Taupe
An old favourite of many bloggers, NYX's Taupe is a contour colour for me, despite it's blush title. This little beauty is so affordable and is the perfect ashy brown for my skin tone to create killer cheekbones. The orange, shimmery high street offerings cannot compare to this product, you need it.

Bourjois One Seconde Mascara
I've seen this mascara in a number of favourites already, and you should believe the hype. It has a large plastic brush with tiny spikes, which pick up every lash and coat them wonderfully. I find it easy to build up volume, without it clumping so it's quick, easy and hassle-free!

Make-Up Favourites 2014

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Fair
I'm one of those girls no matter how much sleep I get, I just cant seem to shift my grey eye bags. This concealer is strong stuff and thanks to this, my horrible eye bags become invisible and I look human again. I fully recommend it to those with oily skins, it's thick and long lasting, great for creating a flawless finish.

Illamasqua Glamore Nude Lipstick in Minx
I finally found my ideal lipstick shade, it's on the darker side of nude with a hint of redy-pink, which goes well with my fair skin. The formula of this lipstick is heavenly, it's buttery and so comfortable to wear, it's reasonabily long lasting too. Check out the Glamore Nude range, they have one for each skin tone, so you are sure to find your dream lipstick.

Beauty Blender Sponge
I've only recently reviewed this sponge, I won't be going back to brushes for foundation and concealer. It makes application easy and effortless, as well as creating a flawless finish. I have a full review here.

Makeup Revolution Blush Palette in Hot Spice
You must have been living under a rock if you haven't heard about the Makeup Revolution Blush Palettes. They are excellent for those who are just starting to try make-up, as it's every shade you'd need. I love the high pigmentation levels and the soft feel they have, honestly worth the £6! Go on buy one, you won't regret it!

John Fredia Frizz Ease Extra Strength Hair Serum
I never really read reviews on hair-care, something I am planning to do in 2015 though. I just pick things up when they are on offer and so this discovery was just by chance. My frizzy curly hair has to me tackled every few days into a straightened, presentable style. This serum cuts the drying time and leaves the hair feeling smooth, I do still have to run the straighteners over it but that is expected with my hair type. If you have a similar struggle as mine, you should really give it a go.

Lush D'Fluff Shaving Soap
Shaving is just the biggest hassle isn't it girls?! I picked up this shaving soap after giving up on the cheap shaving foams, which gave me rashes. For a start it smells lovely, just like strawberries, and secondly, it's moisturising after you've rinsed off. I don't think it works miracles and stops hair growing as fast or makes it easier to shave but the moisturising is the selling point for me.

Charles Worthington Salon at Home Texturising Spray
If money grew on trees I'd happy purchase the Oribe Texturising Spray but I'm a girl who looks after her pennies. The Charles Worthington dupe has just the right amount of hold and just the right amount of dry texture. My hair can be dry at times but this spray does not leave me like a birds nest, it's still manageable and touchable after you have used it. I curl my hair in rough sections and then spray and scrunch the ends to give a 'lived in' look.

Beauty Favourites 2014

Lush Dream Cream Body Lotion
This is a best seller from Lush. It's a no frills product with it's dull colouring and not heavily scented formula. In what it lacks in creativity, it makes up for in the way it leaves you legs feeling silky smooth. It's simple staple that does the job, worth the money, no doubt.

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray
Sunday nights I can never get to sleep, anyone else find this?! I spray a little of this product onto my pillow and it just eases me into sleep. You can see my full review here.

YSL Black Opium
I'm a lover of floral fragrances like Chloe and Flowerbomb, but this sexy scent is an unusual favourite of mine. It mixes the floral tones and vanilla with darker, sexier tones of coffee. It's sensual yet refreshing, you need to go and smell it.

Origins Drink Up Mask
I'd of laughed at you if you said my oily skin would love a moisturising mask. Even though my skin is oily, it's often dehydrated. This overnight mask just replenishes the moisture levels, leaving the skin soft and plump. It also smells divine!

I've found some great products in 2014, and no doubt they'll be repurchased and take pride of place in the Holy Grail category soon.

I'm always interested in seeing other bloggers favourites, as it gives me a few things to put on my shopping list to try out, so feel free to leave a link in the comments.

Saturday 27 December 2014

Beauty Blender Sponge Review - Duo Set

For some reason, I’d decided that using sponges to apply make-up was unhygienic or amateur, picturing those wedges that cost 99p from Superdrug. I stuck by my MAC Stippling Brush or the Real Techniques Buffing Brush, and couldn’t be swayed by the hype, which surrounded the Beauty Blender Sponge.

I finally caved after a few weeks of my foundation looking patchy, I bought the duo set thinking I’d save money in the long run and I should probably bin one and open a new one after a month or two, to stop germs spreading.
As you can see, they are relatively small when they are dry but as soon as you add some water and squeeze the excess out, they become larger and ‘spongier’, with a bit more give. Even when the Beauty Blender is damp it still has a firm texture, ideal for ‘pushing’ the foundation into the skin.

I generally use heavy foundations like MAC Studio Fix Fluid, Estee Lauder Double Wear and Revlon Colour Stay, so I wanted to see if the Beauty Blender would improve the feel and look of the foundations.
With Revlon Colour Stay, it was almost impossible to spread the foundation, the brush I used seemed to drag the foundation around because of its heavy formula. The Beauty Blender takes the effort out of applying this foundation. I suppose some of the moisture from the water mixes with the foundation as you stipple or bounce the sponge during application, making a slightly more manageable consistency.
It works well with all the foundations I’ve tried and it eliminates the streaks that brushes can sometimes give. It simply leaves a smooth, even amount of foundation over the skin, I use the domed bottom part to cover large areas in seconds.
I also use the pointy end to blend concealer, it fits perfectly into that crease under the eye. I’d imagine it would be good for cream blush and contour but I haven’t tried it personally.
To judge if my love for the Beauty Blender was true, I went back to a brush for a few days, in the end I would pick the sponge up to blend the smears that the brush had left. So I don’t think I’ll be going back to brushes anytime soon!

Have you tried the Beauty Blender?

Monday 22 December 2014

NV Colour Cosmetics Review and Swatches - Eye Crayon in Cinnamon, Lip Crayon in Mocha and Lipstick in Siren

Lovers of bold lips and bright eyes should check out NV Colour Cosmetics, their products pack a punch. I’ve been trying out three products from their range, the Chunky Lip Crayon in Mocha* (£5) the Chunky Eye Crayon in Cinnamon* (£5), and the Lipstick in Siren* (£6). It’s safe to say these colours are vibrant and well pigmented, ideal for make-up artists.

NV Colour Cosmetics Review

I went for the Chunky Eye Crayon in Cinnamon as I loved the burnt bronze shade, I thought it would be ideal for a smoky eye. It’s incredibly easy to apply, I just scribble over my lid or just in the outer ‘v’ and blend with a MAC 217. Its creamy formula makes it a dream to blend and smoke out. It sets and lasts all day.

NV Colour Cosmetics Chunky Eye Pencil in Cinnamon Review Swatch

The Lip Crayon in Mocha has the same easy application, I would say this is creamier than the eye version but this makes it comfortable on the lips and moisturising. It’s a lovely brown with a pink hue, similar to the ever popular 90s nude lip that everyone is loving. I do have to reapply during the day but it’s expected with a moisturising formula.

NV Colour Cosmetics Chunky Lip Crayon in Mocha Review Swatch

The Siren Lipstick is a show stopper; it’s a vibrant red, reminiscent of the 1950s glamourous red lip that the film stars wore, hence its name. The red hue perks up your complexion, so would be ideal for those days whether you need a pick me up. Again it has lovely moisturising finish but it also has a slight stain, which is noticeable when the lipstick starts to wear off. The best feature of this lipstick is the magnetic closure, I could click it all day. You can just drop the lid onto the tube and it gives a satisfying magnetic click shut. It’s all about packaging as well as product for me and this scores highly.

NV Colour Cosmetics Lipstick in Siren Swatch Review
 Here are some swatches, these are just from one swipe from the bullet.

NV Colour Cosmetics Mocha Cinnamon Siren Swatches and Review

I would recommend the NV Colour Cosmetics range, they are highly pigmented for the price.

You can purchase the items on:
*PR Sample

Friday 19 December 2014

A Sneak-Peek at the Latest Beauty Releases - NARS, Bourjois, LUSH, Revlon and Benefit

New releases suck me right in, I feel like I need them and I begin to covet until I get my hands on the product. With 2015 fast approaching, here are a round of the new beauty releases set to hit the shelves in January and February.

The Eye Opening Act Collection is a new limited edition range from NARS Cosmetics, which is solely focused on the eyes. Their latest offering has a selection of textures and dimensions from matte to velvet. NARS collections are always highly coveted and this one will no doubt have positive reviews. The range includes new Matte Velvet Shadow Sticks, a new shade of Illuminating Multiple Stick, Velvet Shadow Sticks and Inoubliable Coup D’Oeil Eyeshadow Palette.

Launch date: 1st Jan 2015
Price: £19-£30

Bourjois has announced the launch of the Silk Edition Powder, which sounds right up my street. The face powder provides a matte finish which claimed to last eight hours. It also claims to have a bare skin effect, a formula that melts and has an undetectable finish. It’s only available in six shade which is a little disappointing.

Launch date: Late Jan 2015
Price: £8.99

LUSH has the best themed collections, they do not disappoint when it comes to Christmas and Valentine’s Day. This February you can buy your partner a number of loved up products including: Cupid’s Love Soap, Heart Throb Bubbletoom, Lonely Heart Bubble Bar, Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar, Floating Flower Bath Bomb, The Kiss Lip Scrub and Gloss, Prince Charming Shower Gel and Love Locket Bath Bomb. You’ll be spoilt for choice and some of the products come in ready-made gift boxes. I think I’ll be romancing myself and buying a few of the products – for me, from me.

Launch date: 9 Jan 2015
Price: £3.25

Revlon have added another product to their already popular PhotoReady line with their Prime and Anti-Shine Balm, which sounds like a strange concept to me, it’s a solid compact with a balm which mattifies oil and hides pores. It will be interesting to see what the consistency and texture are like.

Launch date: Jan 2015
Price: £9.99

You may have seen sneak-peeks of this in some Vlogmas videos, Benefit are launching their Puff Off under eye gel. Benefit love a gimmick, this product has a tiny iron as its applicator. The peptide in the product promises to reduce puffiness. As products get blogger hyped I seem to doubt their claims, we’ll just have to see for ourselves!

Launch date: Feb 2015
Price: £22.50

Which product launch are you looking forward to?

*Images from Diary Directory


Wednesday 17 December 2014

Elemis Pure Rose Indulgence Gift Set Review

Elemis is a brand that oozes luxury, it's an aspirational brand, we'd all love to be surrounded by Elemis products for a spa like skincare experience. I think the Pure Rose Indulgence Gift Set* would make a lovely present for those who need a pamper or for those who dream of an indulgent evening of relaxation.

Elemis Pure Rose Indulgence Gift Set Review

The set contains the Jasmine Rose Bath Milk, Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, Gentle Rose Exfoliator and Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules.

We have to talk about the Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm first, I'm happy I received this set as I'd wanted to try the balm for a long time. It's waxy in texture when you scoop some out of the pot, but as soon as you start to massage this over your face, it becomes a silky balm that feels heavenly. It's a hard working cleanser that removes all your make-up within seconds. It does leave a film of oil on the skin, but it feels like it's working wonders in hydrating and reviving your skin.

The Gentle Rose Exfoliator is a great everyday exfoliator, as the name suggests it isn't too abrasive. The formula is gel like in consistency and contains Vitamin C, which is great for renewing the skin cells, giving you a glow.

Elemis Pure Rose Indulgence Gift Set Review Products

I've never seen a product quite like the Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules, there are two sets of coloured capsules, pink and green. The pink ones are filled with their rose oil which should be applied in the morning and the green capsules contain lavender oil, which should be massaged into the skin at night. Both oils are warming on the skin, which gives a lovely spa like feel to the product. I have oily skin so I tend to alternate the two on different nights as I can't use oils in the daytime. They work quite like the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair in that they work overnight to renew the skin. I wake up and my skin looks clearer and my scars are reduced.

All I can really say about the Jasmine Rose Bath Milk is that it's so luxurious and relaxing, I've caught my mum trying to use some in her bath! That's why I think this set would be great to give mums for Christmas.

Elemis Pure Rose Indulgence Gift Set Review Close Up

This set would be great as a pamper gift or you could even purchase the set yourself to try out the products in sample sizes. You honestly won't be disappointed by the quality!

*PR Sample

Sunday 14 December 2014

Library of Fragrance Gingerbread Spray Review

The fragrance aisles are jam packed with garish celebrity fragrances and expensive scents you can only afford once in a blue moon. Library of Fragrance are a breath of fresh air in the overcrowded market.

They've stripped back all the complicated base and top tones, which us bloggers find amazingly hard to describe without a cheat sheet and gone back to basics with scents like Daisy, Fresh Coconut and Rain. The simple names describe the scents perfectly. Their most popular lines are Baby Powder, Pure Soap and Clean Skin - it's like your favourite fresh scents from Yankee Candle being made into a scent!
I have the Gingerbread fragrance*, which is £15. Cute little side story: every time my Nan took me shopping, she used to buy me a gingerbread from Gerrards Bakery, so this fragrance brings back some memories.

Library of Fragrance describe the Gingerbread scent as 'warm and sexy', and I totally agree. This scent is much more grown up than you would have imagined. It has a warm and deep spicy scent that is juxtaposed against sweet vanilla sugar notes.

As for longevity, the scent does last well for a cologne spray, but as the bottle suggests these are a 'pick-me-up' so you can refresh the scent throughout the day.

They've now added some classic Christmas scents to the range, including Egg Nog, Cranberry, Christmas in New York, and Christmas Bouquet. Their range of scents can be layered so they'd make a great present, you could select three which compliment each other and make your own customised set.

Library of Fragrance scents are stocked on their website and at selected Boots stores/ Boots online.

*PR sample

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Amara Amara Multi-stone Boho Coin Bracelet Review and 12 Days of Christmas Treasure Hunt

Amara Amara Gemstone Rose Quartz Bracelet Review

Jewellery makes an ideal present, we don't often spoil ourselves with rings and bracelets, that's why I think it's so lovely to receive a piece at Christmas.

Amara Amara is well known for their stunning gemstone jewellery. If you believe in holistic well being, these stones can bring clarity, strength and balance to those who wear them.

Amara Amara Rose Quartz Bracelet Jewellery Review

The Amara Amara Multi-stone Boho Coin Bracelet* is a lovely dainty piece of jewellery, it's feminine and chic. What I love about this bracelet is how it's sturdy but still has that delicate feel. It's a mixture of 18ct gold vermeil coins and their signature gemstones.

Amara Amara Jewellery Review and Treasure Hunt

Any woman would be very happy to be treated to this bracelet this Christmas, it's elegant and looks beautiful on. Go on, spoil your mum, sister, aunty or friend, she'll be forever grateful.


Friday 5 December 2014

Beverly Hills Formula's Perfect White Black Toothpaste Review

Charcoal is often used in skincare because of its cleansing properties but Beverly Hills Formula have taken it one step further. They’ve created a BLACK toothpaste, yes I said black, which contains charcoal, called Perfect White Black*.

Activated charcoal is said to be one of the most effective and safest teeth whitener ingredients, great for those who don’t want harsh chemicals in their beauty products. It’s a well-rounded ingredient as it also helps combat pesky plaque and gum disease.

Now you know it contains charcoal, I bet you think this toothpaste is gritty and tastes bad, well it’s the opposite! The flavour is surprisingly refreshing with a touch of mint to banish bad breath.

If you’ve ever tried a toothpaste with bicarbonate of soda, I'd describe it as a similar texture. It’s not super gritty but does have a slight texture, but this isn’t off putting and it makes you feel like you’ve given your toothy pegs a good scrub and clean.

As for whitening, I feel that this is comparable to most whitening pastes, it does have a slight whitening effect but you need continual and long term use to get those pearly whites. It really is worth investing long term into keeping your teeth white and this toothpaste is a good on to start with!

Would you try a black toothpaste?
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