Monthly Archives: November 2015

Empties #6

25 November 2015

beauty empties

My hoard of empties seems to get larger and larger each time…but that’s probably less to do with using more products and more to do with not being able to muster up the energy to write up this particular post! But the longer I leave it the more the monster will grow so let’s get started – it’s a long one.

Soap & Glory Foam Call Shower & Bath Body Wash, £6.50
At any given time, there is a Soap & Glory shower gel in my bathroom. This one smelled good and was definitely foamier than some of the other S&G shower gels. I didn’t use it in the bath so I can’t comment on that regard. I might pick it up again at some point but for now I’ve gone back to Sugar Crush which is actually less foamy but smells amazing in the morning.

Repurchase? Maybe

Johnson’s Daily Essentials Gentle Eye Make-up Removal Pads, £3.19
I completely forgot I ever had these which probably implies they didn’t leave a lasting impression. I do remember them being very gentle and soft and slightly on the drier side – definitely not like the oily versions you normally get. I just don’t know if I can be bothered removing eye makeup separately to the rest of my face.

Repurchase? Maybe

Veet Face Wax Strips, £6.29
Yes, that is two packs of 20 strips you see there. My ‘tache can be an unruly beast and these wax strips sort it out in no time. They’ve got a good amount of grip and don’t irritate my skin. I won’t go as far as saying they don’t hurt (they do) but it’s not unbearable.

Repurchase? Already have

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré, £13
Apparently loved by makeup artists the world over, this is a pretty rich moisturiser. I wouldn’t use this every day (I don’t think it has any SPF) but I love this under a heavy base of makeup. Because I’ve got dry skin, most primers don’t really work for me so I use this instead. It creates the perfect base but it might be a bit rich for oily skin.

Repurchase? Already have

Biore Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strips, £7.99
These never stop being grossly intriguing, and they get the job done. I like to indulge in these pore strips once every few weeks to smooth out the surface of my nose. I’ve tried cheaper brands but always come back to these.

Repurchase? Yes

Indeed Labs Hydraluron Facial Serum, £24.99
I had high hopes for Hydraluron after the beauty world went a bit mad over it. I didn’t feel like it added anything to my skin, and definitely not any extra moisture. I used it daily until it ran out and couldn’t detect any improvements in my skin, which was extra disappointing considering the £25 price tag.

Repurchase? No

Korres Wild Rose Brightening & Line Smoothing Serum, £30
This was my first foray into face serums. It was fine, and I did feel like it added a bit of moisture to my skin. I’m not sure if my fine lines were reduced but I did notice a little bit more radiance. I just didn’t feel wowed by it so the search for the perfect serum continues.

Repurchase? No

L’Oreal Elnett Precious Oils Hairspray, £3.99
Not too much to say on this one, I’ve been buying Elnett in its various varieties for over a decade and don’t see myself stopping. The precious oils one adds a bit of shine, but to be honest I couldn’t tell much difference between this and the other regular versions. I have bought it again in the large size as I get through these cans pretty quickly.

Repurchase? Already have

Dove Beauty Finish Anti-Perspirant, £2.99
Does the job, smells good. Not a lot more to say on this one.

Repurchase? Already have

Sure Cotton Anti-Perispirant, £2.10
Ditto. I’m not particularly loyal to any deodorant but I do like these compressed cans.

Repurchase? Probably

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Make-up Removing Micelle Solution, £10.20
I have a LOT of bottles of these to get through after picking them up in Paris earlier in the year. I’ve been using Bioderma every day and it does a nice job of removing most of my makeup without irritation. I will say that after I’ve gotten through my stash, I will probably go back to the Garnier version.

Repurchase? No

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, £4.99
I think this was one of the first micellar waters on the market after Bioderma sent everyone into a frenzy. To be honest, I think the Garnier version is just as good as Bioderma, and you can’t argue with that price.

Repurchase? Yes

Champneys Super Rich Cleansing Balm, £15.00
I really liked this but I have a feeling it’s being phased out (it’s not in Boots anymore). It feels truly luxurious and is a gorgeous second-cleanse product. It’s one of those that starts off as a solid and melts into an oil on the skin. Leaves the skin clean, soft, nourished and moisturised. Also smells more expensive than it really is. Review here.

Repurchase? Yes

Boots Botanics All Bright Hydrating Day Cream, £4.99
This was quite a thick little cream and was a decent moisturiser, considering the price. I didn’t notice my skin looking any brighter though, and didn’t feel excited to use it in the mornings, if you know what I mean?

Repurchase? No

Sanctuary Spa Radiance Exfoliator, £10.50
My go-to facial exfoliator. Sensitive skins might not like the scrubby bits but this leaves my skin SO smooth, soft and bright. I love that Sanctuary Spa products do what they claim without the high price tags. A truly underrated brand in my opinion. Plus this comes in a tiny travel size – I take it everywhere.

Repurchase? Yes

Sanctuary Spa Fresh-Faced Purifying Wash, £9.00
This is one of the few non-exfoliating face washes that leave my skin smooth and bright. I like to use this with a hot flannel as a second cleanse. Sometimes I try out other face washes but I’ve come back to this several times.

Repurchase? Yes

Una Brennan Superfacialist Vitamin C+ Brighten Cleansing Oil, £10.99
Another product I forgot about! I remember loving the orange scent of this, and it took my makeup off easily. I don’t think it irritated my eyes too much (but I do think the Body Shop’s Camomile cleansing oil feels gentler on the eyes).

Repurchase? Maybe

Yes to Grapefruit Brightening Facial Wipes, £3.99
My skin is by no means sensitive but I found that these stung the hell out of it. I wasn’t sure whether to feel scared or impressed that something was finely able to irritate my skin! I didn’t dare use these near my eyes, and they dried out before I’d finished them, which is a shame given that there’s a proper lid.

Repurchase? No

Nivea Facial Cleansing Wipes Travel Pack, £1.39
These were how face wipes should be! Easy, quick and gentle. I like this travel pack for weekends away and because there are only seven wipes, I got through them quickly, meaning they didn’t have a chance to dry out.

Repurchase? Probably

Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel, £20.50
I really liked using this with a hot cloth and it was ok removing eye makeup too (it did cause a tiny bit of irritation but nothing major). It feels luxurious and leaves skin nourished and soft. Not an essential but nice to have nonetheless.

Repurchase? Probably

COLAB Sheer & Invisible Dry Shampoo Tokyo, £1.99
I don’t really get on too well with most dry shampoos but loved this one. The sheer formula is a godsend for brunettes and gets rid of excess oil really well. It also adds a little bit of volume at the roots which is never a bad thing.

Repurchase? Already have

Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover, £4.99
Still with me?! This pot has ruined me. I’ve never gone back to regular nail polish remover and don’t intend to. This is quick, easy and perfect for the lazy girl.

Repurchase? Already have

BeautyBlender Solid Brush Cleanser, £14.00
Speaking of lazy girls, the BeautyBlender solid cleanser is the only thing I use to clean my makeup brushes. It cleans them SO quickly and you don’t have to faff around with other bits and bobs. You simply wet the brush, swirl into the soap and rinse. Review here.

Repurchase? Already have

Carmex Moisture Plus Ultra Hydrating Lip Balm Pink Tint, £4.49
Great lip balm, looks more like a gloss but without the stickiness. I have brownish lips and this is one of the few tinted lip balms that shows up as the colour it’s supposed to. It’s got the standard Carmex tingly feeling so if you’re into that, this is your guy. Review here.

Repurchase? Already have

Blistex Lip Brilliance Blushing, £2.59
I didn’t find this overly moisturising and wasn’t too keen on the shimmery red colour. Very average!

Repurchase? No

Rimmel Glam’Eyes Liquid Liner Black, £5.29
Another one I’ve been going back to for years. By far the ‘wettest’ eyeliner I’ve come across, meaning it glides on extremely smoothly. It’s great for the outer half of the upper eyelid if you want a very fine, precise flick, anywhere else, you are guaranteed smudging.

Repurchase? Already have

Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara Black, £9.99
Call me controversial but I think Bourjois trump Maybelline mascaras by far. This mascara was one of the few hyped up mascaras that I believe lived up to expectation. Great volume, great length and great staying power.

Repurchase? Already have

Soap & Glory Archery 2-in-1 Brow Filling Pencil & Brush Hot Chocolate, £8.00
This is the closest thing to Anastasia Brow Wiz I’ve ever tried, and I’ve tried more eyebrow products than is deemed healthy. The colour is slightly too chocolatey (only very, very slightly) for my eyebrows but it’s got a similar consistency to the Brow Wiz. When I’ve run out, this is usually my back up.

Repurchase? Maybe

Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencil Nude Perfection, £4.99
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. This is one of my favourite lip products of all time. The formula is perfect, the colour is perfect and the sharpen-able design is perfect. I would happily spend £20 on this which is why I find the £4.99 price tag mind boggling. Review here.

Repurchase? Already have

Anastasia Brow Wiz Ebony, £15.50
My go-to brow product on the days I don’t use the DipBrow Pomade. A forever repurchase, and completely worth the money. Review here.

Repurchase? Already have

Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner Black, £7.99
And last but not least…another product repurchased for years. The formula is smooth and creamy and stays in place for a decent amount of time. I like that it’s super black and super matte. Review here.

Repurchase? Already have

Phew! And there we have it. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you thought of them.

Review: theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer

19 November 2015

mary lou manizer reviewmary lou manizer reviewfotd9-2

Hello all!

As I write, I am in exercise-induced agony. I’ve been trying to tone/reduce my somewhat generous lady lumps and I’m certainly paying the price today. Nonetheless, my fingers are about the only thing that aren’t causing me grief every time they move so the blog must go on.

Anyway, you’re probably as weary as I am from hearing about theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer but I wanted to write a review before we are bombarded with yet another ‘must-have’ highlighter. In the grand scheme of things, I doubt a highlighter is ever a must-have. Obviously if the flat was on fire, I’d go for the cat, husband, photos and ABH DipBrow before saving any kind of highlighter but it wouldn’t be too far behind!

Mary-Lou-Manizer has probably been the most talked about highlighter of recent times, and with good reason. Finely milled, a universally flattering champagne tone, an ethereal glow without the glitter…it’s easy to see why the beauty world has gone bananas over it. Unhelpfully, the only other higher end highlighters I own are in different colours so it’s difficult to deduce whether Mary-Lou is favourable over something like Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector. I would say that compared to Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder in Candlelight, Mary-Lou Manizer is less finely milled and leans more on the golden side of the the spectrum, but it also packs more of a punch.

I’ve been been opting to use Mary-Lou on the daily for the last few months – on my cheekbones, inner corners and sometimes if I’m feeling especially loose, as an eyeshadow – I generally haven’t looked twice at my Kevyn Aucoin. For a day time look, I sweep a light dusting on my cheek bones with a fan brush, and to ‘dial up the drama’ as they say, for the evening I just pile more on or layer it over a cream highlight. It blends out pretty easily, but because it’s so sheeny, you need to check it is really well blended on the edges.

One word of warning: theBalm suggest using it all over your face as a finishing powder which I wouldn’t necessarily recommend for fear of being mistaken for a disco dancer but if that’s your prerogative then who am I to stop you?

Judging by how little product you need, I’m guessing Mary-Lou will last me approximately until the next ice age, so the £17.50 price tag is extremely reasonable.

Cult Beauty Haul

18 November 2015

cult beauty haul
When I heard last week that Huda Beauty Lashes were finally available on Cult Beauty, I dropped everything and fired up the laptop to place an order. Since Huda Kattan launched her lashes a couple of years ago, I’ve been desperate to try them but the international shipping costs put me off. They are pretty pricey compared to Eylure or Ardell but the Huda lashes are handmade, include human hair and are designed to be used 10-12 times, so I’m hoping they’re worth the money. I also picked up a couple of other things while I was in my lash-fuelled frenzy, when in Rome hey?

Huda Beauty Lashes Samantha #7, £15.50
If you spend as much time as I do on Instagram drooling over the glam makeup looks, you’ll realise that a LOT of them feature the Huda Samantha lashes. They’re stacked into a more natural 3D formation so they look dramatic without looking super fake. Definitely going to pop these on next time I’m going out-out.

Huda Beauty Lashes Giselle #1, £12.50
Apparently these are suitable for daytime wear but the last time I wore false eyelashes during the day, I was a 20-year-old hair-extension-wearing scallywag. However, these lashes are gorgeous and fluttery but less dramatic than the Samantha lashes. I think they’d look fab with a simple gold eye and red lip.

Huda Beauty Lashes Alyssa #2, £14.00
When I can be bothered, I love individual or cluster lashes. Definitely the most natural looking falsie. I’m interested to see how these fare compared to other brands as I’m usually less fussy with individual lashes when it comes to brand or quality.

Anastasia Brow Wiz Ebony, £15.50
This is my third or fourth time repurchasing this so there’s not much to say (also, I did a full review here). Anastasia Brow Wiz in Ebony has become one of my makeup staples and I can see myself buying it until they stop making it (Anastasia: if you ever discontinue it I will hunt. You. Down.)

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner Intense Black, £13.00
I’m forever searching for the perfect eyeliner so I thought I’d try this one out. I’m sure this is one of Estee’s holy grail products but I doubt her eyes get as infuriatingly watery as mine do. I’ve been trying to master the inner corner point and I’m hoping the Stila Stay All Day Eyeliner will be the one to take on the challenge.

Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint Deep Bronzed, Sample
The search continues for the perfect tinted moisturiser, so I was drawn to the fact this one from Jouer claims to be luminizing. I find most tinted moisturisers aren’t all that moisturising on my dry skin so I’m hoping this could be a decent contender.

Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel, Sample
I do love me a chemical peel. I know Caroline Hirons is a fan of these so obviously I had to try them. It’s a two-step process – step one is a refining, alpha based pad and step two is a deeper beta based one that you simple wipe around your face and leave – no rinsing required. Sounds good to me!

Have you picked anything up from Cult Beauty lately? What are your must have products? Also, has anyone tried the Huda lashes before? Thoughts?

5 Affordable Matte Red Lipsticks

17 November 2015

drugstore matte red lipsticksaffordable matte red lipsticksaffordable matte red lipsticks
Who doesn’t love a red lipstick?! It’s the quickest way to look like you’ve made an effort when in fact you’ve done very little. For me, if I’m going bold with my lips, then it’s gotta be matte. I’ve rounded up my top matte red lipsticks that won’t break the bank…including some you might not have tried. (Please keep in mind I took the photos facing a very bright spotlight so the effect of some of these will come off more matte-looking in real life).

Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencils Red Essential, £4.99
Red Essential leans on the slightly darker side without being too vampy. The finish is the least matte of the bunch but it is one of the most pigmented, needing only one layer to be fully opaque. The pencil form means it can be sharpened, making it quick and simple to apply. Easily one of the best matte lip products on the market, regardless of price. Full review here.

Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm Standout, £7.99
Do you remember when everyone went wild for these a couple of years ago? Since their release, there has been a huge influx of budget matte lip products but these were pretty pioneering at the time! Standout is my most worn shade from the range and is a beautiful, darker, blue-toned red, making gnashers look super white. It needs a little more layering for an opaque finish but it’s comfortable to wear. The wind-up mechanism is handy but annoying too once the point wears down into a stub – you’ll need cotton buds to clean up the edges.

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick Hot Pepper, £8.99
One of the few decent drugstore liquid lipsticks we can easily get our mitts on here in the UK. Hot Pepper leans on the orange side and is guaranteed to perk you up if your face is feeling drab. It takes a couple of layers to become opaque, but once set it’s not going anywhere without a fight, and is the second mattest of my picks.

Sephora Cream Lip Stain Always Red, $14
Always Red from Sephora is an international bestseller for a reason. A true, neutral red, this is going to look fabulous whether you’re white, brown, black, yellow, green or purple. Great for winter, and great for summer. Without a doubt my most worn red lipstick, and the one I get complimented on the most. Also the mattest of the lot, the longest lasting, best tasting and the most opaque. Fabulous!

Revlon Super Lustrous Matte Lipstick Really Red, £7.49
I feel like the standard lipsticks from poor old Revlon get overlooked in favour of the vast amount of more novel lip products they do. Really Red is the one if you’re after a classic, matte red lipstick that makes a happy medium between pencil style lip products and liquid lipsticks. What you see is what you get with this one, perfect for keeping it simple.

Dupe Alert: NARS Albatross Highlighter

16 November 2015

nars albatross dupe nars albatross dupealbatross-1

Does anyone else feel a bit overwhelmed by the amount of highlighters on the market these days? Well here’s two more: NARS Albatross highlighting powder and its dupe, Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Golden Lights.

Albatross is a finely milled, white highlighter with a golden iridescence. It might not look like it but it is truly a highlighter for every skin tone. The light colour means it isn’t too overpowering for pale skins, and the golden tone complements darker skins beautifully. Plus, although it’s pigmented, it’s not so intense that it looks over the top. It gives a great golden sheen on the cheekbones without being sparkly.

The Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Golden Lights is the closest dupe I’ve found to NARS Albatross. In terms of colour, tone and iridescence I’d say it’s pretty much identical. The texture and colour pay-off is where I’d say the two differ, hence why the swatch looks more white than the NARS. Where the NARS version is finely milled and smooth, the Makeup Revolution one is MUCH more pigmented but quite a lot less finely milled and definitely more powdery. You definitely need less of the budget version for a similar effect. If anything, if you go in all guns blazing, Golden Lights will end up looking very sparkly, and almost glittery – but you can’t deny that pigmentation.

You can see in the swatches how much more intense Golden Lights is than Albatross. It’s also more metallic so if you’re into a full on highlighter, definitely go for Golden Lights. Albatross is a lot more subtle but can be built up if you want a look that packs more punch – making it a great day-to-night product.

If you’re on the fence, maybe the price difference will be the thing that sways you. NARS Albatross is £23 for 4.5g of product, while Makeup Revolution Golden Lights is £3.00 for 7.5g. It’s a no brainer on that front.

I personally use Albatross more often than Golden Lights, but that’s probably because I want to get my money’s worth! However I’ll definitely be cracking out Golden Lights for the festive season ahead (plus, I have a sneaky feeling it would make a great eyeshadow).

Have you tried either of these? Which do you prefer?

October 2015 Favourites

15 November 2015

imageExcuse the very small favourites selection this month – things have been pretty boring on the beauty front lately. I’ve been in a bit of a makeup rut, probably because I’ve been hitting snooze 20 times per morning, leaving me no time to faff around experimenting with different products. My favourites throughout October have been much the same as last month, with a few extra products that deserved a mention.

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Spice, £26.00
I’ve been slow on the uptake with the Complexion Rescue from bareMinerals, probably because bareMinerals as a brand has never excited me. To be honest, it still doesn’t but I gave into this tinted gel-cream after reading all the positive reviews. I love it, and have used it almost every day since purchase. I love that it’s really moisturising and never goes cakey or dry and gives a natural looking amount of coverage. One of the very few base products that genuinely feels like it’s doing my skin some good.

Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme 30ml, £53.00
This is amazing. Strong, feminine, heady, sexy…I could go on. This is a bit of a cringe way to describe it but it is truly intoxicating…in a good way. A very good way. It’s got an oriental, floral base but is by no means girly. I’d say Noir is an evening fragrance but I’ve been spritzing it on with gay abandon morning, noon and night. If you like YSL Black Opium, you will love this.

Makeup Revolution I Heart Makeup I Heart Chocolate Palette, £7.99
I’m not sure how much I agree with straight-up copycat products but the eyeshadows in this palette are straight-up fantastic. I do have the original Too Faced version (which I STILL haven’t used) but I don’t believe this can be too far off the quality, especially if you take into account the price. A neutral lover’s paradise, this palette has everything you could ever need. The pigmentation is pretty intense, and the texture is soft, buttery and smooth. I’ve loved experimenting with this. You can see it in action in my last Face of the Day here.


9 November 2015

With darker evenings upon us, I feel like I can get away with more stuff on my face which was my general mantra this weekend. I didn’t exactly branch out in terms of colour selection but I did discover a new foundation match made in heaven. My NARS Sheer Glow is slightly too light, and my YSL Le Teinte Touche Eclat is slightly too dark so I mixed them together to concoct the perfect shade. The finish was incredible – soft and flawless and quite a bit more matte than I was expecting. I also played a bit more with the I Heart Chocolate palette which I have fallen in love with this month, it has everything you need and is a real joy to use.

NARS Sheer Glow Barcelona
YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat foundation BD60 (review here)
Laura Mercier Under Eye Perfector Orange/Yellow (review here)
Garnier Anti-Dark Circles Roll On Light
Bourjois Healthy Balance Unifying Powder 53 Light Beige
Benefit Hoola Bronzer
TheBalm Mary Lou Manizer
MAC Powder Blush Ambering Rose

I Heart Makeup I Heart Chocolate Palette
Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner Black (review here)
Gosh Boombastic Mascara (review here)
Beauty UK Festival Palette Orange
TheBalm Mary Lou Manizer

Anastasia DipBrow Pomade Dark Brown (review here)
2True Mascara Clear

MAC Lip Liner Spice
MAC Lipstick Mehr 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...