Sunday, 30 March 2014

NEW IN: TOM FORD LIP COLOUR SHEER 'SWEET SPOT'


Before your eyes is my very first Tom Ford lipstick. I've been meaning to take the plunge and order one for a while now, so when their spring collection of lip colour sheers in their old white packaging came around, i knew i couldn't miss it. Even better my mum bought it for me as a birthday present. Score. I ended up choosing the shade 'sweet spot' which i think is definitely the most 'me' colour. A vibrant yet wearable peach coral which really perks up the face, the perfect spring/summer colour. It has officially taken me just over 2 weeks to pluck up the courage to use it, as its just so so pretty...But now that i've used it, i know it's going to be a staple lipstick for me this summer. It glides on with ease, although i will say you need to be careful you don't have any dry patches as it does pick up on them slightly. The colour is the perfect balance between bold and sheer, making it an easy option for the day time when i want a bold lip without the maintenance. The wear time isn't amazing, i'd say around 4 hours before you need to touch up, but the fact that its sheer and moisturising makes up for that and means its pretty expected. All in all i'd definitely recommend this lipstick if your a fan of corals, but i have heard that the other shades are a little too sheer. Let me know your top ford lipstick favourites, as i'm well and truly addicted now...
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Friday, 28 March 2014

WHATS ON MY FACE #7



I'm pretty sure i say i'm going to start doing more 'whats on my face' posts in every one i post...I guess its just not going to happen! I don't wear makeup every single day, probably only about 4 times a week so i don't always have pictures to post. Anyway, todays makeup was a bit 'slap on and go' as i woke up around an hour before i had to be out the door, so i didn't want to attempt anything fancy. I've been loving the Soap & Glory Make yourself youthful CC cream lately, it's a lightweight base with a peachy undertone to colour correct and brighten. It's much more lightweight than a tinted moisturiser but still has a good amount of coverage. I paired it with the Maybelline The eraser eye and the Nars light reflecting setting powder, and i must say it made my skin look so glowing and flawless. If you have any blemishes you may need some extra concealer, but for me this is my perfect everyday base combo. On the cheeks i went for a wash of colour using the Jouer tint in Poppy, a gorgeous pink toned red. I purchased this late last year but never really used it, but i really do love it for the spring/summer! On the lips i was going to throw on something bold, but as i was heading to the gym before college (yes, i actually joined the gym) i just went for a bit of the Revlon Lacquer balm in ingenue.

Rest of face: Mac brun eyeshadow and Maybelline brow drama in brows, Revlon grow luscious mascara, Mac wood winked eyeshadow, Jouer Highlight in champagne
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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

SOAP AND GLORY FEEL GOOD FACTOR TRANSLUCENT BB CREAM


Another affordable one today, the drugstore seems to be stocked full of great products at the moment, and this one is no exception. Soap and glory are a brand i've never really tried out, but having recently repackaged a load of their products and with boots 3 for 2 going on, i thought what better time to get to know the brand.

The Soap & Glory Feel Good Factor is marketed as a translucent bb cream, basically meaning its a pretty souped up, multi tasking version of your daily moisturiser. The cream is loaded with hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin, Vitamin E to protect against free radicals, Vitamin C to brighten the skin and SPF 25 UVA/UVB protection to protect skin from ageing and sun damage. All this sounds great even just for a moisturiser, but this product also claims to work well as a primer. Does it work? It sure does.

Applied in the morning over my moisturiser as a primer it can feel a little heavy, so instead it completely replaces it. At first i was a little sceptical as i wasn't sure how a budget cream would work on my normal but dehydrated skin, but it works a treat. This cream sinks in quickly, leaving my skin feeling soft, smooth and prepped for makeup. It somehow manages to smooth over dry patches and overall improve the texture of my skin instantly, which is pretty amazing in my eyes. My skin is left feeling moisturised all day long, not tight nor greasy, and any makeup applied over the top glides on with ease and sits much better than on top of my usual daily moisturiser. The fact that it also includes SPF 25 is a real bonus, as it means i don't have to worry about applying a separate sunscreen as well. This product is great for the spring where i don't necessarily need a heavy SPF but still want to protect my skin, and is also going to be the perfect 'in a rush' product when i don't have time to apply all three steps before makeup. All in all i'd definitely recommend picking up this product, and although it's not replaced my daily moisturiser completely, its one i know ill be reaching for an awful lot. It's currently on offer at boots for £8 rather than £12, so save yourself some dosh and pick it up now!

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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

THE BUDGET BUY: SUPER FACIALIST VITAMIN C+ CLEANSING OIL


Cleansing oils never really appealed to me. I was happy with my routine of removing makeup with a micellar water, then moving on to cleansing with a balm or the likes. The past month or so i've swapped the bioderma for the Super Facialist Vitamin C+ cleansing oil to see if it really made a difference.

Since first use of the stuff i've been hooked. The scent is an uplifting zingy orange scent, and the oil itself is not too thick nor too thin, the perfect consistency to glide over skin and melt off makeup. When massaged into lashes it removes all my mascara with ease, where when using a micellar water i'd still have to remove most of it in my second cleanse. Upon removal with a flannel, my skin is left completely makeup free, and feeling soft and hydrated. The vitamin C really helps to brighten the skin and give you a lit from within glow. It also contains a range of skin boosting oils including rosehip and grapeseed oil to help nourish and revive the skin. All in all i've really been loving using the Super Facialist cleansing oil, and would highly recommend it if you're looking for an alternative to a water but aren't wanting to spend a shed load. After using this i'm intrigued to try a higher end alternative to see if they can be any better, as this one is already really great! My skin has been so much softer and brighter since using this as my first cleanse, i'm totally converted.
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Monday, 24 March 2014

BLOGGING TIPS #1: STAYING MOTIVATED AS A NEWBIE


I was feeling a little cautious about beginning a blogging tips series, as i am by no means a pro blogger or anything of the sort with quite a small following, but over my months of on and off blogging and then sticking to a schedule since january, i've learnt a lot. Especially on how to stay motivated as a new blogger so i thought i'd share some tips to help you out if you're feeling like giving up!

  1. You aren't going to gain thousands of followers overnight. It may seem pointless blogging to only a few people, but blogging should always be fun and not done for free stuff or money. In the long run yes i'm sure everyone would love to have blogging as a career, i know i would, but that shouldn't be your goal from the start. When i started out it took me months and months to gain my first 100, and i still don't have loads now, but if you work hard and stick at it you will be noticed. Around January time,  Adrienne from The Sunday Girl mentioned me in one of her posts, which in turn boosted me up an extra 100 or more followers which was insane, but theres no way she would have mentioned me if i had one or two posts up that i hadn't really worked hard on or enjoyed writing. These bloggers you see with thousands and thousands of followers have all been working at it for years, so give it time and you will succeed.
  2. Don't post a post if you aren't happy with it! If a post doesn't truly reflect your thoughts or style, if you're not happy with the photography or just can't get the wording right, don't post it. I've had posts sitting in my drafts for weeks on end because i just can't get the photo how i want it or i can't quite get my point across well enough. If a post is rushed and you've just posted it because you feel like you have to, it will show across and won't be as enjoyable to read.
  3. Don't take your schedule too seriously, but try to have one. Since i started making blogging schedules and planning my posts, i've enjoyed blogging a hell of a lot more, and my posts are looking a lot more put together. Planning what i'm going to write about means i have time to really try out a product, take a good picture and write what i'm going to say without having to rush to find something to post about. Saying that, don't be disheartened if you don't manage to get a post up on time. I try to post at least 5 days a week but sometimes that just doesn't happen, and thats okay. Blogging shouldn't feel like a chore so if you're busy or just don't feel like posting, then don't! Your readers will understand. You can blog as little or as much as you want to.
  4. Don't be a sheep. This could be a controversial topic and sometimes its difficult to stick to this, but try not to to be like every other blogger out there. Its perfectly fine to look up to certain bloggers and aspire to have a blog like theirs, but don't go and straight up copy their design or completely copy their writing and photography style. I feel like when a blogger really puts their personality and unique style into their blog and posts, it shows a lot more and feels much more personal and less samey. Obviously every blog is going to be different, but when i'm writing a post i try not to look at any other posts on the same topic/product as then i find it can be easy to be swayed with their opinion and style with what you end up writing. 
  5. These bloggers are big for a reason! Linking to a couple of my other posts, don't feel like your blog sucks because it isn't like the top bloggers out there. Many of these bloggers blog as a full time career, which must be damn hard to get to and you've got to remember that they all started from 0, just like you. It takes years to get to a point where your blog is really succeeding, and i know I've got a really long way to go, but i've got to remember that I've only been properly blogging for under three months, so I'm hardly going to have a magazine grade blog with thousands of followers and pr samples being sent out to me left right and centre. Blogging is a gradual process, so your blog isn't going to be amazing and professional from your first post. You learn as you go along, and i know that my blogging style has definitely changed since i started out, and so has my blog design. I've gradually changed aspects of it as time has gone on and although i'm not completely happy with it, i don't know a thing about HTML so theres not much i can do on my own! 
  6. Blog about what you want to blog about. It can be easy to see all of these product launches or amazing fashion bloggers and feel like you have to dress just like them and post about all the same things, but you've got to make your blog unique to you. If everyone is posting about pastels and thats just not your thing, then don't feel like you have to try and fit in, post about whatever the hell you like! If you don't have the budget to purchase the whole of the new Chanel collection to blog about, then don't feel down, blog about some great products you already have in your stash! Theres enough room on the internet for everyone to blog about whatever they please, and theres sure to be someone out there that will enjoy reading it.
As i said before, i'm relatively new to writing my blog so i'm not going to give you loads of tips and pointers when i have no right, but hopefully these tips will help you to stay motivated to keep on blogging as a newbie or otherwise!


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Saturday, 22 March 2014

A DUPE FOR TARTE EXPOSED...


The Tarte amazonian clay 12 hour clay blush in exposed is one you've probably all heard of. It's been raved about by bloggers for a while now, for being the perfect 'barely there' blush. It's a very unique colour in that its not pink, and its not brown. It's perfect for adding a touch of colour to the cheeks, whilst helping give the face a little shape at the same time by acting as a contour. Its also very finely milled which leaves it looking incredibly natural on the cheeks. Sold! Tarte is almost impossible to get hold of in the uk (yes sephora now ship over here and they are being released on QVC but nowhere in person), so its quite handy that one day when compiling this post, i realised i have an almost exact dupe in my collection. 

Nars blush in Douceur is almost identical to the tarte blusher, although it may be a touch more plum in tone. The difference is unidentifiable when on the cheeks, and the quality is just as good if not better. Nars blushes are some of my favourite in my collection, and this blush definitely does not let them down. Now, this isn't exactly a cheaper alternative with it still costing £21.50, but a more widely available dupe, as you can pick this one up on your next trip to space NK. 

I'd definitely recommend trying out one or the other, as this shade of blush is one which is just so handy to have in your collection.
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Friday, 21 March 2014

A spring themed boots haul...


I don't normally do mini hauls like this, but theres something about them which just appeals to me. Most likely the fact that it means i don't have to gather everything i've bought over the month in one place and admit how much i've spent.

Boots recently ran their huge 3 for 2 offer on all makeup, skincare and haircare, and although i don't think i actually ended up picking up any skin or hair products for once, i did end up with quite a large amount of beauty products, all with a fresh, spring theme. Now this was my second or third bout of boots shopping, but i can't for the life of me remember what i bought previously. Oops.

First up i ended up purchasing three soap and glory products in prep for a post i have in the works (ooh, teaser). Soap and glory are widely known for their body care, but with so many more products on offer i wanted to give a few more things a whirl. I picked up their cc cream which looks very interesting, their peach party blush/highlight hybrid, and their bright, here bright now balm. I've yet to try them out, but if they're anything like the other products i've tried from the brand they'll be great. I also picked up the eraser concealer from maybelline after hearing rave reviews from amelia and seeing as i seem to be going through my nars concealer quite rapidly, i thought i'd pick up a cheaper alternative for lazy makeup days.

The final makeup bits were a couple of lip products. I actually purchased two more but ended up exchanging them for two of the soap and glory products after realising i am becoming an extreme lip product hoarder...Please tell me i'm not the only one?! The maybelline gloss is in the shade electric orange, and i just couldn't resist picking it up after falling in love with cashmere rose. The liquid lipstick product is one of the l'oreal l'extraordinaire liquid lipsticks which are meant to be dupes for the ysl glossy stains. Now i LOVE the glossy stains so if these match up i'll be seriously impressed. Upon swatching they seem to be a little more like a lacquer and amazingly pigmented. Review coming soon.

I then went a bit mad and bought three essie polishes, before returning to buy one of the new l'oreal polishes. This doesn't seem too bad but considering i'd just purchased a couple of the topshop polishes a day before, things were getting a little extreme. Nail polish is something i often forget to use, so i thought i'd treat myself to a couple new spring shades. I ended up choosing tarte deco, a gorgeous peach shade, mint candy apple, a mint (obviously) and splash of grenadine after seeing essiebutton wear it - such a cute pinky purple shade!

Let me know if you like these mini hauls and i'll be sure to do them in the future!
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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

A blow dry at RUSH hair salon


Last thursday i headed over to RUSH hair salon in southampton for a wash and blow dry, and seeing as it was my first for about 2 years and my first visit to the salon, i thought i'd share my experience with you! Rush were kind enough to offer me the service free of charge, but i am in no way obliged to write rave reviews.

I headed down on which may have been the sunniest day of the year so far after having a spot of lunch in Pret A Manger (the kale chips - amazing). The salon is central to southampton west quay, and would be a great place to head for a girly pamper after a spot of shopping (basically what i did - who can resist with so many about?!)

First up i had my hair washed by Jasmine with the Redken all soft shampoo and conditioner. She was lovely and chatted to me about my day, how i was and gave me a run down of the products she was using. The best thing about getting your hair washed at a salon is definitely the head massage. I tried my best not to nod off. The basin room was lovely and tranquil, like a spa. Unfortunately it was quite dark so i didn't get any good pictures!

Onto the blow dry and i was made to feel really relaxed in my chair, equip with fresh tea and biscuits whenever i desired. The blow dry itself was done by Simon, who was great and again talked me through all the techniques he was using (some of which i'd never seen done before but made such a difference!). He used the Redken smooth lock stay sleek leave in cream to make sure my hair was straight and frizz free, and followed it up with some of the Redken all soft argan-6 oil on the ends to make my hair nice and shiny. He made sure to really listen to the style i wanted - straight and sleek, but still volumised. He used a technique where he blow dried at all straight, then went over it with a brush and cold air to smooth it all down, before going over and straightening the mid lengths and ends, avoiding the roots to keep a lot of volume. The technique really worked, and my hair ended up looking as volumised as it would with a ton of products! If only i could achieve this effect at home, le sigh. I'd really recommend having your hair done by both Jasmine and Simon if you visit the salon.

The salon itself was big, spacious and bright with a real modern theme. Some salons can feel a bit hectic and tight, but this one really made the most of the space whilst keeping a relaxed atmosphere. Downstairs was pretty busy and i didn't think people would appreciate their picture being taken, but i managed to get a good picture of the upstairs which is mainly used for colouring.

The blow dry itself starts at £32 which i do think is a bit steep for what is essentially having your hair washed, but it would be a lovely treat for before a big occasion or if your just feeling like a good pamper as the whole experience really was lovely. The staff were all so helpful, friendly and professional so i'd definitely recommend the salon for any of your hair needs if you're in the area. I think i'll be going back at some point if i decide to have my hair dyed (it needs it, but i'm very stingy when it comes to hair...) but unfortunately its about a half hour train journey there for me so i won't be able to visit for all of my cuts, though i wish i could!


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Tuesday, 18 March 2014

NEW IN: CLINIQUE NEUTRAL TERRITORY 2 PALETTE



First up, sorry for my week long blogging hiatus, it was my birthday and i just got a little distracted. As always. I'm now back with a whole host of posts planned, starting with this beautiful palette by clinique. Would you just look at it? Introducing, the Clinique all about shadow 8-pan palette.

Clinique have added their two cents to the ever expanding world that is neutral eyeshadow palettes with this new palette from their 16 shades of beige collection, and their take is really rather good. The 8-strong lineup is a little different from your average neutrals palette, including some really unique warm shades and a lot more lighter offerings. It's not something i'd usually go for (I'm all for the bronzes), but it's definitely a welcome addition to my collection. Included in the lineup is a pearly white highlight shade (perfect for the inner corner or brow bone), a slightly darker, pearly cream colour (perfect for all over the lid), an interesting warm peachy toned brown (which i love blended into the crease), and then a couple darker shades including a gorgeous shimmery brown burgundy shade (black honey, a shade which a lot of people love - including me), and a shimmery dark brown with a plum tint.

In the look above i have the third shade all over the lid, a mixture of the two bronze-taupes in the crease and outer corner, and then the warm brown colour all over to warm up the whole look a little. This palette is so versatile in that you can create a quick and easy day look, a more smokey day look like this, or you can go full on smoke and create something dark and sultry. This paired with the dinky size (similar to that of an iPhone) and the large mirror makes it the perfect travel palette, or great for someone who is strapped for storage space! Whilst i'm on the theme of packaging, how great is the mirrored case? Yes it does get covered in fingerprints, but its just so darn cool. I found that without any form of eyeshadow base these did crease a little on me by the end of the day, but nothing major and with a sweep of a mac paint pot underneath this problem was solved.

This palette is limited edition i believe so i'd recommend checking it out before it sells out, it seems like the kind of palette which would fit into everyones makeup collection very nicely with a line-up which you'll most likely love and use every single colour from.



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Tuesday, 11 March 2014

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: TOPSHOP MAKEUP


Topshop is extremely well known for its on trend, quite frankly wonderful clothing, but their makeup is perhaps something which may be overlooked. Over the past year or so i've trialled a few bits here and there, but recently i set myself the task of trying out more from the brand, and i'm happy to say i'm extremely impressed. For such a reasonably priced line of makeup, the quality is amazing. The lipsticks are on par with the likes of MAC, and their matte bronzer is perhaps my favourite. Everything i've tried from the lineup has been pretty impressive, and their colour selection is pretty darn amazing. I'd definitely recommend you check them out! The only negatives for me would be the fact that their website doesn't always have all of their products available, and the fact that it may not be the best for darker skin tones. The brights would definitely work, but i find myself struggling more with the nudes as most are far too pale.

MOST LOVED PRODUCTS //
Glow pot in polished - This product is simply healthy, glowing skin in a pot. The formula is incredibly creamy meaning it blends like a dream, and although it gives you a gorgeous glow, the champagne shade highlight has no visible glitter or shimmer in it which makes it look much more natural.

Matte bronzer in mohawk - This bronzer is probably the best matte bronzer i've found for when i want a subtle bronze contoured look. It's matte meaning it's great for sculpting, but its not too dark which means you can't go overboard straight away. It has a warmth to it which also means it perks up the face at the same time, love!

Magic liner - I'm not a huge eyeliner fan, but whenever i do decide to wear a flick, i go for the topshop magic liner. The nib is small meaning you get a precise line with ease, and its not too flimsy making it much easier to work with. The formula is also incredibly black so you dont have to go over it hundreds of times!

Lipstick in beatnik - This lipstick is a great everyday colour for me. It's a real 'your lips but better shade', leaning more pink than nude. The formula is pigmented yet creamy and glossy, meaning i don't have to worry too much about upkeep during the day or my lips drying out. I'm really impressed with these lipsticks considering the price!

NOT TOO KEEN ON PRODUCTS //

Their nail varnishes - It's not that i don't like them, just the couple I've tried needed 3 or so layers to become opaque, and took forever to dry. One took about an hour to dry fully which is crazy! I may try out more in the future as their colour selection is really great, but i definitely prefer the likes of essie.
UPDATE: i've since tried more shades and it's love! Must have just been the shades i tried before that were disappointing!



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Sunday, 9 March 2014

SPRING CLEANING THE BEAUTY STASH


We've all been there. It's so easy to accumulate a ton of products, samples, and general things we want but don't really need, and it just gets to the point where it can all get a little messy and overwhelming! Spring is the perfect time to organise and streamline the stash, and here are a few tips from me which i have been employing over the past few weeks to make things little more organised and manageable.

ORGANISE THOSE SAMPLES // I used to keep my samples in a drawer with all my body care bits, but seeing as i'm not a huge body moisturiser, i barely ever go in the drawer so the samples we're getting forgotten. Since i've ran out of a couple of skincare bits, instead of repurchasing i've decided to make good use of all my lovely high end samples. Storing them in some kind of decorative bowl or diptyque candle jar means they act as decoration, and it reminds me to use them more often.

STREAMLINE THE STASH // As a beauty obsessive, it's easy for me to hear about products and end up buying a ton of things which i don't really need, so that i then end up with a collection of about 10 of the same shade lipstick. I recently did the very boring task of getting everything out of my storage, and putting them into piles of same products in similar colours, and only allowing myself to keep 2/3 of what was in each pile. This really helps me to actually now use what i own as i can see what i have and means i don't just gravitate to my everyday drawers out of ease.

SELL OR DONATE // Friends and family are always grateful of your unwanted beauty goodies, so pass products on to them if you've got some things you know they'd like. If you're strapped for cash then 'depop' is another way to get rid of unwanted stuff and make a bit of bob too.  I've been using it the past couple of months to sell unwanted clothes, makeup and skincare bits and it's a great way to make a bit of extra money,  which makes me feel less guilty about not using such an expensive product as much as i should! There is also a great charity called 'give and makeup' where you can donate your making to woman who may need it more than you, providing its in good quality still. It's a lovely charity as it's sometimes easy to get a bit greedy with makeup, so donating to this kind of charity will definitely make you feel much better! I have yet to do this but i definitely will if i don't end up being able to sell everything.

DO I ACTUALLY USE IT? // This is a tip for when sorting out your collection. If you haven't used a product for over two months, then put it into a separate section to remind yourself to use it. If you still do not use it, or use it once and then forget about it again, then it really does not need to be kept. Obviously there are some things which are more suited to summer or winter, but if said season passes and you barely use it or don't use it at all, then chances are you never will!

EXPIRY DATES // All makeup has expiry dates, usually ranging from 6 months to 3 years. Mascaras are the first ones to go, and should be thrown out after 6 months maximum. Foundations usually last about 1-2 years, and cream products usually about 6 months to 2 years. Powders are the longest lasting, and provided they are kept clean, can last years before going off. Make sure to check your products every 6 months to see if they're in date. If you can't remember when you bought a product, its probably quite old and needs binning! Also, if something doesn't smell quite like it should, or starts to sting when you use it, then thats also a good indication. Checking my makeup has made me prioritise which foundation or mascara to use up first, and has also made me be more wary about buying more products as it may just mean it'll go off before i get a chance to finish it.

KEEP THINGS CLEAN // Cleaning your makeup frequently is the best way to stop bacteria spreading and helps to keep things good for longer. Cleaning your products with antibacterial wipes, scraping the top layer off lipsticks and spraying products with antibacterial sprays such as this one all help to keep products fresh and stops bacteria spreading to your face, minimising irritation and spots. It's also really important to keep your brushes clean. I usually spot clean mine every 2-3 uses, and deep clean them every few weeks. I don't wear makeup every day so this is fine for me, but if you are a daily makeup wearer then they should be deep cleaned every week or two weeks maximum. Also remember to clean your storage with antibacterial, as theres no point cleaning your brushes and products just to put them back into dirty holders!

A long post, but an important one at that. Hopefully these tips will help you to feel fresh, organised and ready for spring!

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Saturday, 8 March 2014

MY HAIR NEEDS YOU...


So, this may be a little of an overstatement, but these four products are ones i cannot imagine living without. Together they work to make sure my hair is as soft, smooth and straight as can be, with a lot of texture and grit thrown in to boot. Onto the products...

Starting with the conditioning treatment, the Fekkai protein Rx anti breakage treatment mask is hands down my favourite mask to leave my hair feeling soft, hydrated and repaired. My hair used to be insanely damaged and just would not grow, but since starting to use this and stopping with the crazy dying, it's in the best condition its ever been in, and its grown a ton. Unfortunately it's been discontinued and its replacement is £15 more expensive so i really cannot bring myself to buy it, which means this one is being savoured for days when my hair is feeling terribly parched and brittle. Replacement protein treatment suggestions welcome.

Next up are the pre-blow dry products. The Living proof prime style extender is a cream which once applied to the hair aims to prolong your style, keep it from getting as greasy, protect from humidity and save you time when styling. I can definitely say that since using this my hair has been staying straighter for longer, and definitely feels less frizzy after coming into contact with annoying weather conditions. A life/hair saver for definite! The other is an oil, which i now deem an essential in hydrating my ends and keeping my hair sleek and frizz free. The Ojon rare blend oil is my favourite by far as it smooths over the hair, giving it a boost of moisture without being too heavy. Although i do avoid using it on the roots as it is incredibly hydrating and can be a little much!

Finally, the styler. The Oribe dry texturising spray is a blogger favourite, and for good reason. It's what i rely on for a boost of texture and body in first day hair where things can look a little limp and lifeless otherwise. In my hair it also tends to work its magic on second day hair without having to reapply. Just a little fluff and its back to its full bodied self. I do find that because it's so texturising it can dry out my roots a little if i apply too much, but thats just me being a little over zealous.

Do you have any hair products you can't live without?
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Friday, 7 March 2014

NEW IN: HOURGLASS AMBIENT LIGHTING BLUSH IN DIFFUSED HEAT



Just take a moment to stare at the beauty that is one of the new hourglass ambient lighting blushes. As soon as i saw the promo pictures for the launch of these babies, i knew i had to have one. I was having an incredibly hard time choosing which one to go for, when on one trip to space NK i saw the shade 'diffused heat' in the front stand. Now my space NK doesn't stock hourglass, so i took it as a sign that this is the shade i should go for, so off i trotted out of the store with diffused heat in hand. And i couldn't be happier with the shade i chose.

Diffused heat is described as a vibrant poppy blush combined with their diffused light ambient lighting powder. Now i'd say its more of a coral red on me, which is a lovely pop of colour for the cheeks. The texture of these blushes is exactly like the ambient lighting powders; they're extremely finely milled with a smooth yet slightly firm texture texture which sits on the skin wonderfully, never looking powdery, blotchy or cakey. I find this blush to be on the sheerer side, which i actually much prefer, as it means i can go in with a few light layers to really build up the colour where i want it rather than ending up with one big blob. I don't find this particular shade to leave much of a sheen on my cheeks, so do usually pair with a highlighter, but i haven't in the above image so you can see the full effect. It does leave a lovely natural satin look to the cheeks which is great for a natural makeup look.


The wear time of these blushes is truly amazing - in the photograph above i had been wearing the blush for about 4 hours, and it still looks as perfect as when applied. All in all they last around 9-10 hours before fading on me which is pretty impressive if i do say so myself, as this is usually the longest i wear makeup for anyway! 


At £28 i did have a pretty difficult time handing over my card, but i definitely think they're worth the high price tag, as the quality is outstanding and the colours are all so beautiful and brightening. I have my eye on radiant magenta and dim infusion next...
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Thursday, 6 March 2014

JURLIQUE HERBAL RECOVERY ANTIOXIDANT GEL MASK


Masks are an extra step in my skincare routine i like to fit in weekly, as they really can do so much for the skin. There are an abundance of masks on the market from clarifying to brightening to hydrating, and my latest love falls under all three. 


The Jurlique herbal recovery gel mask is very different from everything else i have in my collection. It aims to revitalise and hydrate the skin, whilst also detoxifying. It contains vitamin E beads which help to address dehydration and dullness, two things i definitely have. There are also a range of botanicals in its ingredients list which further help to exfoliate, brighten and protect against environmental aggressors. Sounds a little confusing and a little gimmicky, but trust me, it works.


Upon first use, i didn't really get it. My skin looked a little brighter in the morning, but all in all i thought it was a bit of a dud. I used it a couple times more, and this is when i really saw it's magic work. You're meant to remove with damp cotton pads so a little of the mask remains to act as a treatment - something i didn't do the first time. When done properly, i wake up in the morning with skin much brighter and glowier than ever before, along with being plumped and hydrated. It feels incredibly 'clean' too, which i guess must be down to its detoxifying properties. All i can liken it to is a day at the spa - incredible. 


Any makeup i apply afterwards goes on so much smoother, and the end result is much less flat and lifeless. All in all it means i end up using about half the product as my skin already looks so darn good to start off with - thumbs up all round!


At £40 a tube its pretty expensive, but it's a great one to have stashed away for when your skin is in need on an instant pick me up (which is pretty often for me, but hey, at least it's not going to waste right?) It's also a little cheaper at £36 over on look fantastic, so i'd grab it there if you can! 
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Wednesday, 5 March 2014

THE UN-POWDERS


Gone are the days where powders simply mattified your skin and added extra coverage, now theres a whole plethora of powders on the market which aim to do different things, from setting your makeup, to adding a glow, to even adding moisture to your skin. Whist i'm not a huge powder fan, i thought i'd give you the low down on the powders which have made the cut in my collection.

First up, my one true love - the Hourglass ambient lighting powder in luminous light. Now as you can see in the photograph, mine completely smashed (i admit, i shed a tear) but that doesn't mean my love for it has stopped. This powder is the one to grab if you're looking for something to set your makup in place all day whilst taking away all visible shine and placing it with a glorious 'lit from within' glow. This shade is great for my skintone as it's not too pale (even though the colour is basically invisible), but on paler skins it may help to add a natural warm, healthy look to the skin in a very subtle manor. A very similar powder which i love but forgot to photograph (doh) is the MAC mineralize skinfinish in lightscapade. I'd compare this to a slightly more sheeny version of the ambient lighting shade diffused light, as it has a slight champagne/yellow tone which counteracts redness and adds a lovely glow. A light hand is best with this but its an amazing dupe!

Next up, the affordable options - Rimmel stay matte powders have been my my side for a number of years, as they're just so darn handy to have around. They set your makeup in place for a good few hours, and take away shine without making you completely matte, so the result is very natural. It also never cakes which is a bonus for a drugstore powder! A newbie i've been trying out is the Bourjois healthy balance powder. I bought this as more if a 'touch up' powder as it has a little bit of coverage, but i've also found myself reaching for it in the mornings to set everything in place. This is a good'un if you want something which is going to give you a slight tint of coverage, whilst making everything matte. It's a little more mattifying than the rimmel option, but still not cakey. As it has a little coverage, it's also great to use heavier towards the end of the day to touch up faded foundation if your in a rush and can't use any concealer. 

Another great option for touch ups is the luxurious Chanel les beiges. This little compact is great to throw in your bag as its got a large mirror for makeup checking, and the brush it comes with is pretty useful too - not one to throw away this time! The powder itself takes away shine whilst still leaving you with a glow, whilst adds a subtle amount of coverage to make everything look fresh. Definitely my favourite on the go powder! it also has SPF 15 which is a bit of a bonus, as its basically impossible to top up your protection during the day with makeup on! 

Finally, the sole loose powder. The Nars light reflecting setting powder is quite different from all the others in my collection. This one is solely for use at home, as things can get a little messy. The translucent powder does nothing for touching up or adding coverage, and rather is one to use on days where you need your makeup to last, or will be unable to touch up. It does a great job of mattifying the skin, more so than the rest, but it still manages to look natural. It's slightly light reflecting which means although you look matte, it still gives you a fresh, healthy look which is very hard to describe. Like natural skin is my best description! When i use this my makeup lasts all darn day without the need of one touch up throughout - now that's impressive. It also apparently helps to guard against dryness which is a great bonus as my skin can sometimes feel a little dehydrated when i wear powders. Definitely one for oilier skinned gals who still want a natural look to the skin as it really does matte everything down, although i have normal/dehydrated skin and it still works a treat for when i need to be a little less glowy.
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Tuesday, 4 March 2014

The weekly roundup #6+7

Instagram: @xodjo

I'm going to start doing monthly roundup posts, and sporadic 'Sunday posts' when something interesting occurs in my life, as writing these weekly has made me realise - i really do not get up to much at all.


A little haul happened: Sometimes, i cave. I cave and theres no stopping me from buying everything and anything i fancy. Considering it was one of those days, i think i did pretty well considering i only came away with about half of what i was lusting over. These products have already been featured in a haul which you can watch here, and theres even a first impressions video coming your way.


A room rejig: After getting my iMac, i realised my room is far too cluttered. Moving everything off my desk meant things were scattered everywhere, so i re-did my room a little bit. Nothing drastic, but it looks a hell of a lot better and far less cluttered. Room tour anyone?


A weekend away in devon: My boyfriend has recently upped and moved to devon, meaning i will making a fortnightly FOUR HOUR bus journey up to stay. Four hours people, god help me. Luckily it's a lovely little town with cute little coffee shops and a pebble beach. I even found it stocks antipodes, and theres even a couple high end beauty counters so my beauty addiction is attended to. Maybe i need to take up knitting to pass the time...


Post planning: I have a load of great content planned for the blog and youtube this month, which i hope you'll love! Blogging is something i thoroughly enjoy, so finding the time to actually spend on it rather than finding it a chore has been lovely. Stay tuned!


Not much else to report. Told you i'm boring.
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Monday, 3 March 2014

In rotation | March

A new month, a new feature. At the beginning of each month I’ll be bringing you an edit of all the products I see being staples in my everyday muji drawers over the month. Starting with march, ah march. My birthday month, the start of spring, things start to look a little more hopeful and a little less dull. Out come the transitional winter-spring pieces from both our makeup collection and wardrobe, as we prep for the warmer, brighter months ahead.

This month I’ll be bringing out some brighter, warmer hues, but the true brights will be saved for the summer months. Hourglass ambient lighting blush in diffused heat, a gorgeous warm peachy coral and the Max factor creamy blush in soft rose will take the top spots for blush of choice. Bronzer will also be whipped out, and the Topshop bronzer in Mohawk is seriously impressing me lately with its warm yet not orange colour, which is perfect for bronzing and contouring in one. 


Some brighter lippies will be making an appearance too, in the form of peaches – not too bright for the colder days, but still warm weather appropriate. The Revlon colourburst lacquer balm in tease is a lovely throw choice if I’m wanting something with more of a punch as it’s a lovely muted peachy red. If I’m wanting something more suitable for whipping on without too much thought, then the Topshop sheer lipstick in swirl will be brought out, as its creamy peachy colour is subtle enough to throw on without looking, but still gives you a tint to brighten up the face.


Finally, base and eyes. For eyes, I’ll be adorning some bronze shades, with more of a sheer golden twist. Mac amber lights is the perfect option to brighten up the eyes with a sheer wash of warm gold. My base will mostly be made up of the Laura Mercier foundation primer in protect and the Nars pure radiant tinted moisturiser, as both offer SPF 30 broad spectrum protection to protect me from any sun we may experience. (although there is not likely to be much here in England!)


There we have it, a round up of the products I expect to be using over the month. We’ll see in my favourites if I stick to this or find myself using other products…


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