Review: Kiko Volumeyes+ Active Mascara

24 November 2014

kiko mascara reviewkiko mascara reviewkiko volumeyes mascara review

There are two things about the Regent Street Kiko store that really rattle my cage. The relentless crowds of European teenagers who insist on swatching every single product in the building, and the nightclub lighting. However, a few weeks ago I was feeling particularly steely of mind and squeezed myself into the store as I was passing, ‘just for a look’. As ever, I left with enough makeup to warrant hiding the evidence from Mr TBL.

I tried the Kiko Volumeyes+ Active Mascara for the first time yesterday and I was impressed enough to knuckle down and bash out the review today. Take a look at the photos, it is mesmerising. No, that isn’t a tiny black Christmas tree on a stick, it is the mascara’s cone shaped applicator. I was glad to see it had a proper brush wand and not a plastic one, as I’m convinced they grab the lashes with a bit more wellie. It’s a pretty big wand but the shape is actually genius. The tiny, tiny tip is a boss at getting to tiny, tiny lashes and I was able to do that without making the usual amount of mess. The other end is massive and really helps fan out the outer lashes. And LOOK at those bottom lashes. I’ve got two or three coats on and it didn’t clump too badly at all.

Kiko Volumeyes+ Active Mascara isn’t waterproof but as I type this (10 hours after application), it has managed to hold the curl much better than my other mascaras. My lashes don’t feel as hard and crispy either which is a bonus, and so far, there’s no fall out.

This mascara contains some magic ingredients that are supposed to thicken your lashes after a month (obviously I can’t verify this) but I suspect that’s bumf. Not that is matters, it’s a great mascara and has zoomed into my top three favourites.

Kiko Volumeyes+ Active Mascara is available at Kiko online and instore at £7.90 but I picked mine up for a brain-tickling £3.90 so do check the bargain bin by the till next time you’re in a Kiko store.

P.S. Sincere apologies for the my messy brows – I’m having one of those days.

Motivational Monday #5

17 November 2014

fitspoJudging by the lack of Motivational Monday posts over the past couple of months, you’d be right in thinking I wasn’t feeling particularly motivated. However, with the weather finally getting colder and days getting shorter, I’m back into sorting out my rolls. A lot of people seem to be more active in the summer but I HATE getting hot and sweaty and feel like summer is a bit of a jolly so any serious exercise tends to take a back seat. I love running when it’s cold out (less sweat) and dark (people can’t see me) so I have been ON FIRE the past two weeks (realising you only have a few months before your wedding day and you still have to get through Christmas tends to jolt you into action). It hasn’t been easy but I’ve learnt a few things to keep me on track when I’m on the verge of giving up.

(Quick disclaimer – what I do might not work for everybody. This has just been my experience!)

Meal preparation

This is key. Ironically having a fridge packed full of food makes me super careful about what I shovel down my gullet. Every evening, I’ll assess the contents of the fridge and use My Fitness Pal to plan out the next day’s meals and snacks, and box up everything I need to take to work. Knowing exactly what my food ‘bank’ contains for the day is essential for keeping me on track. That means I can dip into my supplies as and when hunger strikes, safe in the knowledge I’m not going to overeat. If I fail to do this then the chances of me grabbing something carby and calorific on the go skyrockets, and screws up my mindset for the entire day.

Having a goal

Focusing purely on weight loss is only going to end in tears and disaster. Some weeks you’ll feel like your exercise regime has been enough to rival Usain Bolt’s and find you haven’t lost a single gram – I’ve been there and it’s quite frankly, soul destroying. However, I’ve found by shifting my goals from ‘I need to lose 20 pounds” to working on a fitness goal to be much kinder on the brain. I’m currently training for a sub-50 minute 10K by February, and tracking speed and distance progress is a lot more exciting than watching the scales. Don’t get me wrong, I still weigh myself but I’ve prioritised getting more exercise into my life over losing two pounds a week. It’s a much healthier way to live and by genuinely challenging myself, I make sure I don’t miss any runs on my schedule – which makes me feel great. The weight will come off but I try not to obsess over it.

You never regret a workout

This is what I tell myself at 5:45am when I’m snug as a bug in a rug and the last thing I want to do is get out of my pit. The level of regret I feel when I miss a workout is astronomical and I feel guilty about it all day. As much as I feel like I don’t want to get out there, it’s 100% true that you never EVER regret a workout. Just getting out of the damn bed and getting on with it ensures I’m at peace with myself and puts me in a healthy mindset for the rest of the day.

The early bird catches the worm

This ties in with my previous point. If, like me, your power animal is the sloth, waking up at an unspeakable hour to workout seems like a tall order. But it’s because I love nothing better than getting into my jammies at 6pm and cutting myself off from civilisation that my early morning workouts are vital. I’ve learned the hard way that as much as I promise myself I’ll go to the gym after work, it NEVER happens. A tiring day at the office and a stressful commute home put me in a foul mood and in no state to leave the flat until the next day. By getting my exercise in at 6am, I’m still half asleep when I leave and am much less likely to talk myself out of it. Plus, like I said, a healthy start to the day makes for a continued effort the rest of the day.

So, those are my little nuggets of advice. If anyone else is on a health and fitness journey please leave a comment – I’d love to know what you’re doing to keep yourself on track.

October 2014 Favourites

6 November 2014

october beauty favourites
Thanks to the recent clock change, SAD is well and truly setting in and the constant darkness is wreaking havoc with my blog photo-taking. I apologise in advance for any hideous images but there isn’t much that I can do that doesn’t involve actually being organised with my life.

L’Oreal True Match Foundation, W8 Golden Cappuccino £9.99

I first bought this a few years ago when I knew nothing about foundation. The colour was wrong, the tone was wrong and my face looked unspeakably wrong. However, all this talk about it being the cheap little sister of Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk (which I’ve never tried so can’t confirm) got me a bit hot under the collar so I repurchased it recently in my actual colour. I’m going to be honest – it’s the only drugstore foundation I’ve been reaching for this month. It’s quite a runny little bugger so it blends in quickly and evenly and it gives me nice coverage. I’ve had two whole compliments wearing this – it’s glowy, smooth and doesn’t emphasise my dryness. And bravo, L’Oreal for the wide shade AND tone selection and pump!

Tangle Teezer Compact Styler, £12.49

Not a new favourite as such but I’ve been appreciating teezing my tangles with this little one since getting my weave put in. Weave is notoriously prone to forming rats’ tails but this brush sorts it out in no time. It’s also the only brush that doesn’t cause me severe amounts of pain. I have no idea how they do it and I don’t care – I refuse to be without it. This compact version comes with a handy cover so withstands the manhandling it receives in my handbag.

Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade Dark Brown, £15.00

A heads-up for anyone in London: THERE IS AN ACTUAL SHOP THAT SELLS ANASTASIA PRODUCTS. Blow Ltd in Slingsby Place has a decent selection (as well as other elusive brands). I’d been umm-ing and ahh-ing about this for approximately 137 years as I didn’t know which colour would suit me best. I went for Dark Brown (along with the Anastasia Mini Duo Brush) and have literally worn it every single day. It’s surprisingly easy to use (my naughty brow has now become my good brow thanks to this) and doesn’t budge. The formula is smooth without being slippery so you get a decent amount of control – ESSENTIAL if you want Pinterest perfect brows.

Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay Cologne, £82

I got this last Christmas and definitely feel like it’s a colder-weather fragrance so I’ve been cracking it out over the past week or two. It’s fruity but quite crisp and a bit woody too. I’d say it’s feminine and elegant without being too girly or sweet. I love this but the scent wears off quicker than it takes Katie ‘Pricey’ Price to find a new husband. Being my only Jo Malone perfume, I can’t compare the staying power with other fragrances in the range but I’ve heard on the grapevine that Blackberry & Bay is the main offender.

Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Brighten Skin Renew Cleansing Oil, £10.99

This is another old purchase that I’ve developed a new love for. I usually use this as the first step in a double cleanse to get rid of all my makeup, especially if I’m wearing a lot of eye makeup. You can really massage this into your lashes and it doesn’t cause the colossal pain that makes you want to scoop out your eyeballs with a teaspoon like most cleansers do. I use this with a flannel to give my skin a good scrub and it leaves my skin bright and smooth without the greasiness you might expect from oil.

Mini Maybelline Haul

5 November 2014

maybelline-haul
Here ye, friends.

I was supposed to get my October favourites up for you today but I stupidly forgot to take the damn photographs. I did however make 2kg of chilli last night which will see me through the next five years’ dinners, leaving me more time for blogging and photo-taking. Three cheers for bulk beef!

Anyway, today I bring you a recent Maybelline haul from when Boots had a 3 for 2 on (which seems suspiciously permanent). Two items were blogger-enabled (can you guess which ones?!) and the other I managed to choose using my own free will which is becoming incredibly rare these days.

Maybelline The Falsies Volum’ Express Black Drama, £7.99

Whatever you think of Tanya Burr, you have to admit her lashes look fabulous. The Falsies from Maybelline is her weapon of choice so I had to try. On first impressions, I’m pleased to see this is a fibre wand rather than plastic which is becoming a rarity in these plastic-y times. The formula seems very wet too which makes me think it won’t be too clumpy – particularly good for the lower lashes.

Maybelline Instant Anti-Age Eraser Eye Concealer Nude, £7.99

My on-going battle with dark circles is driving me mad. After hearing the whole world and his horse rave about this, I had to try it. On first impressions, I like it. It’s not as heavy duty as I expected but it’s pleasant enough to use. People have complained about the applicator being a bit unsavoury but my gross-threshold is fairly high and it doesn’t bother me. I’m finding that the spongy tip is quite comforting and does a good job of blending.

Maybelline Colorsensational Lipstick Tantalizing Taupe, £6.99

‘The Buffs’ lipstick collection as our US friends know it, caught my eye when I was looking for a brown-nude lipstick. I thought this would be a good match but as usual, the colour I was interested in had no tester in Superdrug. I took the risk anyway. Having quickly tried this out, ‘Tantalizing Taupe’ is more ‘Tantalizing NOPE’. I’m going to play around with it some more, but worn alone, it’s way too light for me. Great colour though if you’re paler than me.

NOTD: Barry M Gelly Nail Paint Chilli

22 October 2014

barry m gelly chilliWhen it comes to nails, I don’t give a monkeys about seasonal colours. All this mumbo jumbo about coral only being allowed between May and August or fingers snapping off if you wear black in July – no sir – I’m living my life.

I was swayed, however, by the Barry M AW14 collection. I went into Boots for a nail polish that for the love of God wasn’t red and left with a red nail polish. Seriously. I need another red nail polish like I need a hole in the head. In my defence, Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in ‘Chilli’ is all kinds of hot. Yes it screams autumn but I most definitely won’t be casting this aside come spring.

It’s a sensual mix of red, brown and maroon and looks friggin’ amazing on. So much so, I’ve been wearing it on the daily for a solid ten days. And only one digit has experienced any kind of chipping. Admittedly, I did use Seche Vite on top but I refuse to accept that this alone is the sole reason for the minimal chipping.

Barry, whoever you are, I salute you.

Review: Gosh Forever Eyeshadow Sticks

14 October 2014

gosh forever eyeshadow stick reviewgosh forever eyeshadow stick reviewgosh forever eyeshadow stick reviewgosh shadow sticksI don’t know about you but I was never one of these people who was particularly bothered about using eyeshadow sticks on the ‘mobile lid’. But these Gosh Forever Eyeshadow Sticks hurled themselves into my life and my mobile lids and I haven’t looked back. These sticks of shimmery joy are extremely creamy, extremely pigmented and extremely wearable. And my love for them is extreme.

I picked up the shades ‘Light Copper’ (which is clearly more of a goldy-bronze shade) and the unimaginatively-named ‘Brown’ which is so much more than a bog standard brown. Swatched, they look much more shimmery than they translate on the eyes which is good news if you like to keep it subtle. In the photos, I did blend mine out but if you layer it on you can get a much bolder look.

I do find that as the day goes on, these Gosh Forever shadow sticks don’t crease too badly at all, but the shimmer does wear off. Just try to avoid touching your eyes when you pop these on.

I like to use these as both eyeshadows and eye liners – the lighter colour gives an intense inner corner highlight, and the darker one is fab smudged into the lower lash line. They can also be used as eyeshadow bases but this is something I’m yet to try.

Good news for the more slack-minded – these have a wind-up mechanism so don’t need sharpening. Fine if you plan on using these as eyeshadows but sad if you use them as eyeliners, although a brush could be used. Potentially laborious though.

Gosh Forever Eyeshadow Sticks come in an array of beautiful, wearable colours and I for one, can’t wait to get my paws on them

Available from Superdrug at £5.99 each.

FOTD: Glowing Skin

13 October 2014

fotd glowing skinfotd glowing skinfotd glowing skinfotd glowing skin

There’s no point fighting it: dismal autumn weather is here. It appears that ‘fall’ as our American friends like to call it isn’t all joyous skipping on crunchy leaves and sitting around draped in faux fur throws drinking chai lattes. Rather, it’s Sunday dread all week long and resorting to using flash on the camera. Usually I pile on plenty of eyeshadow and liner but for today’s FOTD I decided to focus on glowing skin to perk myself up a bit.

I was also going to pan out a bit further and show off my new long weave but I had no bra on, and my chest isn’t the type anyone wants to see unharnessed.

Also, to add even more unprofessionalism to today’s post, I forgot to include the lip products I used in the photo. Apologies!

COMPLEXION
NARS Sheer Glow Foundation Barcelona
Vichy Dermablend Corrective Cream Stick 55 Bronze
Benefit Hoola Bronzer
NARS Highlighter Albatross
Accessorize Merged Baked Blusher Scandal (review here)
Soap & Glory Kick Ass Instant Retouch Pressed Powder

EYES
Makeup Revolution Flawless Palette Angel, Lowlite
Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl Liner Black
Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl Liner Bronze
Gosh Forever Eyeshadow Stick Light Copper
Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers (review here)
Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Mascara Black Drama

EYEBROWS
Topshop Brow Pencil Spike

LIPS
Gosh Velvet Touch Lip Liner Nougat Crisp
Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick Notting Hill Nude

September 2014 Favourites

12 October 2014

september 2014 favouritesBeing a Negative Nelly last month, there wasn’t much stuff I can say I loved. Makeup, masks and skincare fell by the wayside and even taking off my makeup before bed became a rarity. However, this did mean I took a much more simplistic approach to my daily makeup which is reflected in my few favourite products this month.

Maybelline Color Elixir Caramel Infused, £6.99

The thought of gloss usually strikes fear into my heart. But, this nude-pink gloss from the new Maybelline Color Elixir range surprised me. Does anyone remember Blair’s lips in Gossip Girl? I’ve been watching re-runs and literally couldn’t get over how smooth and plump her mouth looked (do I sound creepy yet?). Anyway, this is the only stuff I’ve found that gives the same effect – it fills in all the lines in my lips and makes them look the smoothest they’ve ever been.

Vichy Dermablend Corrective Cream Stick 55 Bronze, £15

Whenever I see a concealer stick, I always assume it’ll be like the ones in the 90s from the likes of Miss Sporty and Collection 2000. Remember the ones with the appearance and texture of a very dry, matte, white lipstick? Well, this isn’t like that. It’s creamy, blendable and the coverage is insane. I use it under my eyes and it’s the only concealer I feel doesn’t need a corrector underneath. It does need a setting powder on top to stop creasing but I am bumming this and refuse to carry on my existence without it.

Garnier Miracle Skin Cream, £12.99

Foundation has been quite frankly, absent from my life lately. I just can’t be bothered. This is all I’ve been using as a base all month and it makes my morning routine so easy. It’s a tiny bit light in colour for me but it’s nothing a bit of bronzer can’t sort out. It’s a moisturiser, it’s an SPF, it’s a skin-tone-even-outer, it’s an anti-ager and it’s all I need. I love that it’s yellow-toned and it makes my skin look even, bright and smooth. I’ve done a review here, if you want to see it in action.

Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser, £14

I reviewed this here. If like me, you hate cleaning your makeup brushes, and need to inject some fun into your dull life at the moment, this will give you a reason to carry on. My single favourite purchase of the summer.

P.S UK readers, don’t forget to enter my lovely jubbly MAC giveaway here.

500 Follower MAC Giveaway

3 October 2014

mac giveaway(Photo credit: www.sleeplessinkl.com)

Having recently hit 500 Bloglovin’ followers (thank you to everyone, I cherish you all) and because it’s almost the freakin’ weekend, I’ve decided to do an impromptu giveaway. One lucky winner will win a MAC lipstick and a MAC eyeshadow of their choice – huzzah!

The giveaway is open to UK readers and closes at midnight on 25th October so get your skates on!

Because I was plagued by a horrible amount of spammy entries last time, actions have been taken. You MUST be following me on Bloglovin’, and I’ll be checking every entry so any fake/suspicious ones will be rejected.

As not to end on a sour note, I’ll leave you with a photo of Chicken. Good Luck!Chicken
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Empties #3

1 October 2014

beauty empties

There’s something very satisfying about finishing products and discarding the empty carcasses. I’ve been buying less skincare in particular, in an attempt to get through the mountain of hoarded products and I’m sure you’ll agree I’ve certainly given it a ruddy good go.

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme, £27.50 (full size)

I’ve raved enough about this in the past (here and here) so won’t bore you again with it. This travel size version came in a handy set along with a shampoo and conditioner, and lasted me a good three or so washes.

Repurchase? Already bought the full size

Philip Kingsley Re-Moisturizing Conditioner 75ml, £7.45

I got so attached to the Elasticizer that I never actually used this conditioner without it so am unable to offer you a completely fair opinion. However, I LOVED this and the ‘slip’ it offered was unbelievable, something that’s hard to achieve with coarse, dry, thick hair like mine. Expensive but this combo is genuinely nothing like I’ve tried before.

Repurchase? Yes

Bourjois 1 Second Magic Nail Polish Remover, £4.99

If there is one beauty chore I hate (apart from moisturising) it’s taking off nail polish. This pot of joy makes the whole experience quick and fun. Smells great at first too, before the saturation happens then it’s potent enough to burn off your corneas.

Repurchase? Already have

Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara, £19 (full size)

Does anyone miss the old-fashioned fibre-y mascaras, rather than the plastic wands that seem to be everywhere these days? This wand is fat and juicy and because it’s bristles, really grips the lashes. I love it on the bottom lashes, it separates and lengthens but doesn’t clump. Not hugely volumising but I feel it would be good layered underneath something else.

Repurchase? Yes

Benefit They’re Real Mascara, £19.50 (full size)

Possibly the most talked-about mascara of recent times. This wand really get into the tiniest lashes and gives volume and length. I really like this but for some reason go through phases with it. Sometimes it works better than others, does this happen to anyone else?

Repurchase? Probably

Gosh Boombastic Mascara, £8.49

I reviewed this here so won’t go on about it too much. Quite simply, I love this and find it similar to Benefit They’re Real, but a bit better. I use this everyday and feel lost without it. I don’t like spending too much on mascaras so this one is perfect.

Repurchase? Already have

Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips, £7.99

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you will be fully aware of my lifelong battle with blackheads. The situation is 100% better than it used to be and these pore strips deserve credit for helping to clear things up. I’ve tried imitation brands but these are the best and don’t leave that unsavoury residue you get from cheaper brands.

Repurchase? Yes

Cherry Chapstick, £1.29

You don’t even want to know how long I’ve had this but the truth would horrify you. I started using this as a base for matte lipsticks and it did the job pretty well. It’s not super moisturising and won’t give you a slippery surface so lipstick sits nicely on top. To be frank, there’s nothing wrong with a Chapstick and I’ve got more sophisticated tastes now darling.

Repurchase? No

Dove Beauty Finish Deodorant, £3.50

My first spray deodorant in about a decade as I find roll-ons more industrial. However this works just as well and smells really good.  It does last way less than a roll-on but the it’s more refreshing and dry.

Repurchase? Already have

Sanctuary Illuminating Moisture Lotion 15ml, £2.99

I’ve been having a lusty affair with Sanctuary products for a while and this was one of the first things I succumbed to. This stuff is so brightening and is the perfect base for foundation, although I often don’t even bother, it’s that glowy. But if you’re into a matte base then this isn’t for you. And don’t let the mini size fool you, it lasts ages.

The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion, £14

This has quite the bounty of rave reviews on the Body Shop website and I was hankering to try it for a while. I used it after cleansing to exfoliate – it’s made up of really fine gritty bits in some kind of lotion. It kind of feels like scrubbing wet sand into your face, and my face can usually stand up to harsh treatment and is by no means sensitive, however this left my face looking like a baboon’s bum. It did feel extremely cleansing and my face looked super clean afterwards but it’s the only exfoliator I’ve used that left my skin red raw…and not in a good way

Repuchase? No

Una Brennan Super Facialist Vitamin C+ Brighten Skin Defence Daily Moisturiser, £16.99

Pump? Check. SPF? Check. Amazing scent? Check. This moisturiser lasted my about a year with daily use and I’ve really enjoyed it. It brightens and hydrates really well, but isn’t as glowy as the Sanctuary one mentioned above so it’s a good happy medium. I’ve got a million day creams to get through but one day will love to be reunited with this orange-y baby.

Repuchase? Yes

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