Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Kevyn Aucoin 'the sculpting powder' in medium

I've been using the kevyn aucoin 'the sculpting powder' for a while now and i must say i don't know how i lived without it for contouring. The sculpting powder comes in one shade, medium, and i have to say i do think this is a truly universal shade. I've seen really pale people use it, along with people my skin tone and slightly darker. If you have very dark skin then this wont be for you, but i'd recommend using a foundation a few shades darker than your skin tone for contouring anyway as its the safest bet! Anyway, back to the powder, the powder itself is an ashy brown colour and it's very finely milled which makes it look very natural on the skin, very much like a shadow. This product is great for heavy contouring as it never looks too much, but where it really shines is when you use it subtly on natural makeup days. I love contouring, but day to day i never used to do it as it always ended up looking to much or too orange against the rest of my simple makeup. Now that i have this product, i don't have to worry about that at all! It's so natural looking that when applied lightly it just looks like a slight shadow under your cheekbones rather than actual product. The tale tale sign of contouring is when you look at your profile, but with this, its pretty undetectable as being a powder even side on. In the pictures above I've built it up and used bronzer lightly with it so you can see its full effect, and even though this is a daytime look i think it suits it perfectly fine. it also lasts a great deal of time on the skin and doesn't turn patchy throughout the day which is brilliant, i would say it lasts about 8 hours on the skin. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who struggles with contour powders being too dark or too orange, as this is the perfect product to use.

Have you ever tried this product?

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Squeaky Clean

Cleanser is a step that i pretty much just get on with. I never put too much thought into which cleanser i use, or so i thought. I somehow seem to have developed a collection of cleansers for my different needs and skin requirements. I'm sure my collection will magically continue to grow, but for now, here are the ones i'm loving. 

make-up removers: Makeup removing is solely done with bioderma. its just so quick and simple to use and removes almost everything, and since i hardly ever wear waterproof mascara or heavy smokey eyes, i don't have to worry about it not being strong enough. If i am wearing more eye makeup, then the clarins instant eye makeup remover is used. This is a great product, its a bi-phase solution which literally removes everything. It doesn't work in one swipe like everyone says, but holding it on for a few seconds and wiping gently a few times does the trick. It can make my eyes a bit cloudy but it does not irritate them or the surrounding area.

foaming cleansers: I love using foaming cleansers in summer because they're so refreshing, but i can find some to be quite drying. The origins a perfect world antioxidant cleanser is by far my favourite despite only having it a few weeks. It cleanses the skin without stripping it, and i especially love it as it helps to deeply detoxify skin and to remove free radicals. i really think it's helped to keep my skin clearer too! The only downside is that it can sting my eyes. Another foaming cleanser i often use is the wei chinese rose foaming cleanser. This one is slightly more drying but not too much for my dehydrated skin. This really cleanses my skin and helps to remove toxins. My skin feels so fresh when i use this, and it has a lovely floral scent. Some budget foaming cleansers i use are the simple moisturising facial wash and the garnier fresh essentials refreshing gel wash. Now the simple wash isn't really moisturising, but for a cheap cleanser it really does cleanse my skin, and it doesn't make it feel tight at all. I've been using this for years and it was great even when i had oily skin. The garnier is really refreshing and cleanses very well, but it is definitely better suited to normal/combination skin as this is too drying for me in the winter months.

balm cleansers: Not really a balm cleanser, but a very similar texture is the clarins pure melt cleansing gel. Its described as a gel, but it is quite thick and oily, and you massage it into dry skin like you would a balm. I love how this feels very luxurious to use, but once rinsed off my skin feels incredibly fresh and clean like it would when using a foaming cleanser, whilst still feeling moisturised. If you feel like balm cleansers can be to heavy for your skin, then try this out. I also love that its in a tube not a bottle, so much easier to use. I wrote a full review here if you'd like to read more. Another love which is a cult product now is the emma hardie natural lift and sculpt moringa cleansing balm. The texture of this is so heavenly to use, and its makeup removing ability is quite amazing. It really dissolves all traces of makeup, so if i'm not wearing too much then i'll just use this and it works perfectly. My skin is left feeling cleansed but very moisturised. This isn't really the most refreshing, so it's not one i use in the morning but its a great experience in the evening. A more refreshing balm cleanser is the elemis pro collagen cleansing balm. This is one i sneakily pinch from my mums dresser, but its such a lovely balm. Its quite thick and oily, but still manages to feel light somehow which means its slightly more refreshing to use. This one is aimed at older skin, so i do find it to be the most moisturising of the bunch, which is great for my dehydrated skin. I'd recommend this for drier or more mature skins.

There we have it, my current favourite cleansers. There's a few on my wishlist so stay tuned for reviews!

Whats your favourite cleanser?  


Monday, 29 July 2013

The weekly reflect #4, 5 & 6...

The week in instagram @xodjo: Making pancakes // mm maoams // homemade chicken dippers // fox's cookies are the best // outfit of the day with my orange topshop bag // amazing lunch at starbucks // zara shopping // after gym smoothie // after gym avocado & egg on toast // my new clothing rail area // not very clean but pretty river // dont even want to use it // my finished pancakes with blueberry compote // h&m maxi dress love

Okay so today is monday not sunday and i haven't done a weekly reflect post for 3 weeks but here it is in one! I haven't been posting all that much on instagram, i'm never very inspired  I loveee my new dior bronzer/blush duo, but i cannot bring myself to use it yet. too. pretty. I'm getting into cooking more which i love, my parents aren't very experimental so i love having a go at making new dishes myself. I've also been loving fashion a lot more lately, so to house all my new clothes, i decided to install a new clothing rail. I'm loving it at the moment, everything is so much more organised. I've decided to do a video every day during august, as i'm going to college in september so will be uploading slightly less so i want to get loads of video ideas in before then! My boyfriends going to stay at his dads for 10 days on thursday so i'll have tons of time to film and put things on ebay, it'll be great to just get things done. I hope you're liking my frequent posts, what would you like to see more of?

This weeks (and the past two weeks before that...)posts: Yves Saint Laurent le teint touche eclat foundation review // Clarins lip perfector review // The origins ginzing duo // bumble and bumble creme de coco range // dark circles be gone! // eyeshadow made easy // all about the eyebrows // mac lipstick collection // La roche posay suncream // exfoliating with acids // texture, volume, hold // wishlist #1 // bobbi brown tinted eye brightener // all white outfit // stila convertible colors // mad for orange // whats on my face #1 // dancing with butterflies ootd // topshop jewellery haul

This weeks videos: OOTD // highlight & contour tutorial // mac lipstick collection // summer edit part 1 | makeup, nails & hair // summer edit part 2 | summer skincare essentials

Added to the wishlist: I was in the middle of making a wishlist post when my computer crashed and i really do not want to attempt it again, but there's so many things i'm lusting over! Still want the same things as my last wishlist but i'm also dying to get a burberry blush, keihls overnight biological peel and some things from jouer or RMS beauty. i feel a cult beauty haul coming along! 

Dannii xx

Topshop jewellery haul

Hello everyone! A beauty haul and fashion haul will be up on my youtube channel soon, and although jewellery will be included there, i wanted to bring your attention to these topshop finds! It cost me just over 15 pounds for all 4 of these things which i think is amazing, especially for topshop. Two of the bracelets were in the sale, but the arrow bracelet and the necklace weren't although the price was very low.

Stud bracelet - sale £2.50 // Rope bracelet - sale £3.50 // Arrow bracelet - £5

Starting with the bracelets, I wanted to build up my collection as its one thing i'm lacking and never seem to wear. I used to love chunky bracelets or friendship type bracelets, but since my tastes have changed and those have been long forgotten, some purchases were needed. The jewellery sale section in my topshop is minimal now and most things were unappealing to me, but two caught my eye. This stud bracelet isn't something i'd normally go for, but i love how it looks paired with other bracelets. It's slightly larger than the others which i like as it makes them stand out more. I won't be wearing this one alone but for £2.50 i cant argue. The second bracelet caught my eye as it's a more sophisticated take on a 'friendship' style bracelet. It's monochrome and gold which are my two favourite things, so i had to have it. I love how its slightly more casual than the others but the gold plate means it'll be great for evening looks too. The last bracelet wasn't in the sale but is super affordable at just £5. It's so dainty And i love the simple arrow design, it's a bit different to other bracelets I've seen and it's got a very whimsical look to it in my eyes. Definitely my favourite of the bunch. 

I cannot remember how much this necklace was, but i believe it was £6.50. I desperately needed a long necklace in my collection as some things just don't look right with my short chunky necklaces.  I love this one as the arrow head on the end of very simple and elegant, bringing something extra to the outfit without standing out too much. This is great to throw on as it goes with almost anything.

I cannot find any of these online but definitely head down to your local topshop and check out the jewellery section, i was surprised to see some really affordable things among the rest and will be going back soon for some more necklaces and rings!

Whats your favourite piece? where do you like to buy jewellery?

Sunday, 28 July 2013


 primark butterfly kimono £15 // topshop white body £12 // zara trousers sale £12.99 // topshop necklace £6.50 // sally hansen fiery island nail polish £6.99
I'm still working on my setup for outfit posts and videos, i just cant seem to get it quite right. I'm thinking i'm going to need to enlist the help of my boyfriend to take pictures for me! I hope these are okay and you can get the gist of my outfit. Yesterday i got woken up at 9am which was torturous, but it was the builder coming to fit my hanging rail and shelves which are now done and i'm a happy happy bunny. You can kind of see it to the left of me in a couple of pictures. It's so handy, i just hang all my new purchases and favourite pieces on it for easy access and so there's more room in my main rail. It's made me way more creative with my outfits already so expect loads more outfit posts. Are there any particular 'how i style' posts or videos you'd like to see? 

Anyway, this outfit is just something i threw on to try on some of my new pieces and i actually really like it. I've been lusting over this topshop kimono but couldn't bare to part with £55 for it, so when i saw this primark one which has the same white base and floaty feel i thought i'd try it out first. £15 is quite expensive for primark, but kimonos just seem to be really overpriced this year! The white body is such a simple basic and is perfect for high waisted items such as riding pants as it doesn't create a horrible line or bunch up, but i really like it paired with more oversized items like I've styled it here. The zara sale is amazing and i managed to pick up these trousers for £12.99 reduced from around 40 which is a steal. They're a nice heavy material so they hang nicely, but they still manage to feel light and airy. I love that they can be dressed up or down too. I'm not a big jewellery person so i just added a simple long necklace which will be in a haul post tomorrow. Topshop have some great pieces in at the moment so check them out! I didn't show my bag or shoes as i simply forgot about the bag and i was going to be wearing the same shoes as in my last outfit post (i couldn't be bothered to get them from downstairs basically). Let me know if you like outfit posts so i can do more! To see what i'm wearing on my face check out this blog post. 


Saturday, 27 July 2013

What's on my face #1

Due to the size of my makeup collection, my 'daily makeup routine' changes almost every day, with new products being tested and new colours being introduced. I thought it would be interesting to do 'what's on my face' posts once a week or so, to get a better gist of what i'm loving and so on! here's the first, i will also be posting my outfit tomorrow so look out for that!

For my base i experimented with mixing my becca shimmering skin perfector in moonstone with my nars sheer glow foundation. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice it made my skin look, exactly like sheer glow normally looks but with a 'lit from within' vibe. I'll definitely be doing it again. For my brows i'm actually loving using mac brun eyeshadow over my mac spiked brow pencil as it's a lot quicker although not so precise, and it looks a bit less harsh. Nars laguna bronzer recently made its way into my life, and i'm loving how it warms up my face and how it can be used for contouring too. For the eyes i smudged some of the rimmel scandaleyes liner in bronze across my lashline and built it up slightly whist blending to create a subtle smoked out look. I actually really like it to add something extra to a simple daytime look. For my cheeks i used my natural collection blush in peach melba for the first time in yonks and i actually love it. The formula is nice for such a cheap blush, and the colour is subtle but can be built up without turning cakey. A lipstick i love that also gets neglected is the revlon super lustrous lipstick in kiss me coral. It's quite similar to vegas volt by mac but maybe slightly darker, and i think its the perfect orange toned coral shade for my skin tone. The formula is glides on smoothly and lasts quite a long time on the lips. Love it!

There you have it, a simple summer look full of colour and glow. 

products used:
nars sheer glow // becca shimmering skin perfector moonstone // bobbi brown tinted eye brightener // rimmel wake me up concealer // bobbi brown creamy concealer // rimmel stay matte powder // mac brun eyeshadow // mac show-off brow set // rimmel scandal eyes liner bronze // l'oreal volume million lashes mascara // clinique bottom lash mascara // nars laguna bronzer // kevyn aucoin sculpting powder // natural collection peach melba blush // mac soft and gentle mineralize skinfinish // revlon super lustrous lipstick kiss me coral

Mad for orange

When summer comes around, out comes everything orange. Although i don't hesitate to wear a dash of orange in the winter, it just feels a hell of a lot more appropriate in the summer. I feel like you just cant go wrong with a bit of orange, so here are the which will see me through summer.

Firstly, the only product which is not actually orange in colour, but in packaging. Although this doesn't really count, i still love this product and i will definitely be relying on it throughout summer. It's the origins GinZing energy boosting moisturiser. This product has replaced my usual moisturiser love, the clarins daily energizer cream, and i actually think i prefer it! I reviewed it here if you want to check it out, but for a brief overview, its a gel like consistency with a zesty scent, and it sinks in straight away giving your skin a dose of hydration and glow. perfect light but hydrating moisturiser for summer.

I have two orange cheek favourites, and i feel like they've got it covered. The first is a cream blush in the form of stila convertible color in gladiola. The convertible colors are one of my favourite cream blush types, and this shade is just the perfect orange that can be blended out to a lovely peach wash of colour. They stay glossy which is perfect for a summer glow and they last a really long time on the cheeks. They can also be used on the lips though i must say i never use them that way. The second blush is one that i've loved for a while now, and it was actually my first nars blush. NARS gina is a gorgeous matte peach blush which is perfect for any makeup look. It blends so seamlessly into the skin, really perking up your complexion. Nars blushes are really long lasting, so they're perfect for summer.

Onto lips and i've had to limit myself to only two lip products, but the options are endless. I chose a lipstick and a lip tint product, as this covers most aspects. The chubby stick look alikes that are the bourjois colour boosts really deliver in terms of pigment, longevity and hydration. When applied my lips instantly feel less dry and they continue to feel confortable for a couple of hours. The colour also lasts for a couple of hours which is great considering how moisturising they are. Although sheer, they also have a lot of pigment to them which makes them bold but wearable and easy to apply. The shade i own is orange punch which is a great coral orange colour. The orange lipstick i'm loving at the moment, and have been wanting for months is MAC morange. Morange is a true orange with slight red tones. It's extremely pigmented and matte with a slight sheen which makes it more comfortable to wear, along with helping it be a day and night lipstick. Morange lasts a long time on the lips, and i find that it looks great patted into the lips as well as built up.

Lastly, nail varnishes. I don't paint my nails too often, but when i do, more often than not it will be a bright shade, and at the moment i'm loving the oranges. Sally Hansen complete salon manicure in fiery island has lived on my nails for the past couple of weeks and i love it. Its a deep yet bright orange with slight red tones. It dries slightly darker than in the bottle but i actually like that. It's opaque within two coats and barely needed a top coat but i used one anyway, and it took about a week to see any chipping or tip wear which is amazing! It also has a great easy to use brush, not the widest but still wide enough and dried completely within about 10 minutes. The second orange polish i love is very different being a matte neon shade, in the form of Models Own hed kandi nail polish in beach party. This is a bright neon orange with a slight pastel feel to it. its much more of a true bright orange than the other. It's strange that its a matte polish, but sometimes its nice as the neon already stands out enough, and you can always make it shiny with a top coat. This one needs about 3 coats to become opaque, and lasts slightly less time with chips beginning to show at around 5 days, but that's still quite impressive! 

so, there we have it, an overview of my love for orange!

do you love orange as much as i do?

Friday, 26 July 2013

Stila Convertible Color Dual Lip and Cheek Cream

L-R: Gladiola, Petunia, Camellia and Rose

Cream blushes are something i thought i'd never get on with, but now they're a firm favourite in my collection and i own quite a few. My most owned cream blush type has to be the stila convertible colors. The wide colour variety means there's a colour for almost everyone, and i still have a couple on my wishlist, but for now i feel as though i have a good selection. 

Gladiola is a bright true orange, and although scary in the pan, when blended out it turns slightly more peachy and wearable. This colour is perfect for summer, and i love it paired with a bright lip and minimal eye makeup. Petunia is a pink/coral shade which gives you a light flush of the colour in the pan. This shade looks lovely as a wash or built up to be more of an intense colour. I love this colour for simple makeup days or paired with a bright pink lip. Camellia is a peachy brown colour which doesn't look very attractive in the pan, but when applied to the cheekbones gives you a lovely bronzed glow, along with slightly contouring and adding a bit of peachy colour to your cheeks. I don't wear this one enough as i forget how nice it is on, but i love this paired with an intense smokey eye or a bronzed look. Finally is Rose, a colour which I've never actually worn. The reason for this is that its a burgundy kind of rose, so i deem it to be more suited for autumn/winter. When blended out its nowhere near as deep as in the pan, but it leaves a dark rosy flush to the cheeks. This colour would look great with a nude or dark dip. 

The formula of the convertible colors is fantastic. They finish is creamy rather than powder, which means that they keep your cheeks looking glowing and healthy, and it also helps them to look more natural and blended. I love the fact that they can also be used as lip colours and they do work really well that way, but i prefer them on the cheeks. As for wear time, i'd say they last a good 5 hours before needing a touch up, maybe longer the heavier they're applied. The packaging is also great, as the outside casing really reflects the colour on the inside, being almost identical  The slim size and built in mirror also means they're great for travelling or applying on the go. I love to keep one of these on me at all times for lip or cheek touch ups. Costing £16 they aren't the cheapest blush, but they are a two in one product and the great formula definitely makes them worth it for me!

Stila convertible colors are available from cult beauty, feel unique and space NK

Whats your favourite convertible color shade?


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Bobbi brown tinted eye brightener

This little product here, is my dark circle saviour. The Bobbi brown tinted eye brightener is a liquid formula of their creamy corrector, and i actually much prefer it. Along with the correcting properties, the product manages to brighten and slightly conceal your undereye area. The liquid consistency is easy to use, not too runny nor too thick, and it blends out like a dream. this product never creases when worn alone, and also seems to make my concealer last better. Applied alone it brightens the eyes, getting rid of the dark inner corners and covers dark circles enough for minimal makeup days. I also find that when i use this product with concealer, i use much less, only really focusing on the really dark areas. I also use this brightener alone on no makeup days, as it blends in so seamlessly that you can't even tell your wearing it. This means that i simply look more awake and glowing, which is always a benefit. The only thing which may put you off is the £19.50 price tag. If this really concealed and corrected it would be fine, but for some, a product which simply does a little brightening may be deemed unnecessary. For me, someone who doesn't suffer terribly with dark circles, i find this to be a great addition to my makeup bag as its so quick and easy to use and does the job well enough for day to day errands. If you really need some correcting, try the creamy concealer, as this has the same peach or bisque tone and is much higher coverage.

Bobbi brown is available in House of Fraser, John Lewis, Harrods, debenhams and Selfridges

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Texture, Volume, Hold

My hair is curly. Very curly. My hair also used to be very damaged, so to keep it in good condition i need to use heavy conditioners and wash it as little as possible. As i straighten it, i need all the help i can get in prolonging the style, and adding volume and texture back into my locks. I've found a good little routine which helps to minimize the between wash straightening and daily backcombing, along with making my hair look great for the day to come.

Living proof prime style extender - available here

This is a great little product to prolong style longer. As the name suggests this product is a primer for your hair and works much like a face primer, helping any style created stay put for longer. It is also meant to repel oil and dirt, helping you go longer between washes. i apply this product after my conditioning products and before my styling products and heat protectors. I do find that when i use this my hair can last for about a week without needing a wash, which is great and definitely a time saver. It also helps to keep the majority of my hair straighter, although if i do get rained on or similar, its not going to stop the frizz then! This is only a sample, but i'll definitely be picking up the full size.

Bumble and Bumble texture creme - available here

This is one product which i don't use all the time, but when i do i love the results. This creme has a waxy-gel texture which you rub sparingly into wet hair. It adds a lot of grip and texture to your hair, almost like when you haven't washed your hair for a few days, but without the dirty, greasy feeling. I love using this around my parting and fringe as this is where i need the most volume, and it makes my fringe look so full which i love. It also somewhat helps to hold it in place. The only reason i don't use it as much is because you apply it to wet hair, so i only use this when i dry my hair with a hairdryer or it can make hair a little harder to brush in the morning. This is the travel size which is available here from boots for only £10, which is great if you want to try the product out before getting the full size, or if like me you don't wash your hair much.

Bumble and bumble surf spray - available here

This is probably one of my most used products for creating volume and texture. This can be used on the hair wet or dry, and it works well both ways. I find it works best when used liberally when your hair is wet, then a few sprays when it's dry in certain areas where needed. When i use this i can immediately see more texture in my hair, especially when used in my extensions where it creates really lovely beachy waves. I'd recommend this product especially for long hair or hair without layers for this reason! I can see myself loving this product even more once my layers have grown out. I have the travel size in this too which i got in the surf set available at boots, but you can buy the travel size individually at boots too, here.

Oribe dry texturizing spray - available here

This is probably the most expensive hair product of the bunch, but it really is worth it. This 75ml travel size cost a whopping £18 so its definitely one to be used sparingly, but the fantastic results mean you don't need much anyway. This products works to create roughed-up texture and volume in the hair, whilst also working as a dry shampoo and absorbing oils. It definitely does what it aims to do, instantly making my hair twice as big as before and getting rid of any shine. This product is clear so you also don't have to worry about the white powdery roots look! fab! I use this in my roots and fringe when i want extra volume in my hair, and it eliminates any need for backcombing. great product for anyone with fine or oily hair.

TRESemmé salon finish extra hold hairspray - available here

Hairspray isn't something i use all the time, but if I've curled my hair or it's a particularly windy day, its a must. My favourite is this tresemmé hairspray as it gives just enough hold without making my hair crispy or unable to move. I have this in a travel size as i can carry it in any bag, but even the full size is very affordable.

so there you have it! my favourite hair styling products for texture, volume and hold. I'll be doing a haircare routine video soon, so please feel free to leave any questions for me to answer!

What are some of your favourite hair styling products?

Friday, 19 July 2013

Exfoliating with acids

To me, exfoliating is very important, and now, with all the new 'chemical exfoliants' on the market, its been made even easier and more effective. Having previously only used manual scrubs, the difference between chemical vs manual is apparent and my skin is definitely thanking me for using these products. Having acquired a range of exfoliating products, here are some of my favourites.

REN glycolactic radiance renewal mask - available here
Masks are a great choice if you're only just experimenting with chemical exfoliants, as you really notice a difference straight away.  This one is an obvious choice as it's been talked about by every blogger out there, but there really is a reason for that. With a texture like marmalade and a fruity scent, its really a pleasure to use, and once you take it off, your skin is immediately left brighter, smoother and more radiant. With frequent use congestion can be reduced dramatically, and a difference is definitely apparent after the first use. I have never found this to irritate my skin in the slightest, but if you have sensitive skin you may want to try a sample first. Costing £30 this isn't the cheapest of masks, but its a really nice product to use a couple of times a month. 

NUDE miracle mask - available here
This one is the quickest working masks I've used with you only having to leave it on for 5 minutes, and even in that short time there are great results. It contains AHA's and rice beads to manually and chemically exfoliate, so your skin is instantly left looking brand new and radiant. This mask costs a hefty £38 so i only use it on special occasions or if my skin really needs a pick me up, but it really is a lovely product to buy as a treat. 

Alpha-H liquid gold - available here
This is my favourite product of the bunch! Liquid gold is an overnight treatment which you simply swipe over clean skin with a cotton pad. You can either use moisturiser on top of it or use it alone for a more intense treatment. I always use it alone, as i never find my skin to be tight in the morning when i skip the moisturiser so i'd rather leave it out. I've been using this for a good couple of months, and i began seeing results after only a couple of uses. My skin Is so much smoother and less congested, and back heads are reduced. The morning after using this my skin appears to be glowing, which is an added bonus. The smell is quite strong, it smells similar to weak vodka, but this soon disappears. This is one of the only products of the lot that actually makes my skin tingle slightly, but this also disappears after 5 minutes or so. Liquid gold costs £30 but me and my mum have both been using this for around 3 months and there's only a quarter gone, which shows that this product will last a very long time, justifying the price tag. I'd definitely recommend this product, but if you have sensitive skin this may be too strong for you. 

Clarins gentle exfoliator brightening toner - available here
This product is slightly different from the others, being a toner. This product is only meant to be used twice a week, but I use it every other day and its perfectly fine. This product has a similar smell and tingle to the liquid gold, but slightly less strong. The consistency is slightly thick so you don't need to use as much product which is great. The results from this toner take longer to notice, but seeing as it has similar results to the other products, i just find it useful to keep up the results achieved so i don't have to use the others as often. I also find my makeup goes on a lot better when i use this problem, as it provides a smooth canvas. It costs £25 which is quite a lot for a toner, but as it is not used quite so frequently it should last a good amount of time. 

Origins never a dull moment skin brightening face polisher - available here
This product is the only one which is not a 'chemical' exfolaint as such, but i use it in that way. This product contains manually exfoliating ground mango and apricot seeds, but it also contains fruit enzymes which 'chemically' exfoliate the skin. This product is great as the seeds help to loosen dead skin cells, and when left on the fruit enzymes dissolves the lackluster cells. I tend to leave this product on for around 10 minutes to receive the best results, but it works great after just 2 or 3. The product doesn't seem to do much if you wash it off immediately  but when left on this product is great to use in the morning to immediately brighten the skin and remove any dead skin cells lurking about, which in turn makes makeup application smoother. It is rather expensive for an exfoliator costing £25, but seeing as it can be doubled up as a kind of 'mask', i definitely think its worth it. 

If i had to pick one product it would be the Alpha-H liquid gold, but i also love the REN mask and the Origins never a dull moment. I'm intrigued to try more exfoliating products, so i'll report back soon with my new findings. 

Whats your favourite product of the bunch? Have you tried any other chemical exfoliating products you love?

Thursday, 18 July 2013

La Roche-Posay anthelios XL 50+ SPF tinted cream

The sun has finally come out in england, and that means wearing sun protection is ever more important. Whilst browsing for a new SPF,  i came across the La Roche-Posay anthelios XL tinted cream, which as the name suggests, is a tinted suncream. This appealed to me greatly as the dreaded white cast is something i try to avoid at all costs. Containing factor 50+ SPF protection against UVA and UVB rays, this is more than enough protection for england and can certainly suitable to be used abroad. The formula contains La Roche-Posay thermal spa water as an active ingredient, which is a great anti-oxidant with soothing, softening and anti-irritating properties. Although i don't find this product soothing, it does not irritate the skin at all.This cream is great as seeing as it's tinted, i can wear it alone and it helps to smooth over any inperfections and add a bit of coverage to my face. It by no means covers everything, but during summer this is a great benefit as wearing tons of layers is a no no, so i can skip on the base on average days or at least use less. I sometimes even use this product as my moisturiser if i'm in a hurry or its a particularly hot day, and i find it to be enough moisturisation for my normal/dehydrated skin.

It leaves a lovely dewy finish on the skin, but i always make sure to powder when wearing it alone as unfortunately it can feel slightly tacky on the skin. All in all i find this to be a great product for summer as there's no chance of burning or ending up with a ghostly face. Very pale skins may struggle with the shade but anyone with a light/medium to medium skin tone would suit it just fine. Costing only £15 and currently on offer for £11.25 at boots, this a really affordable product with great results. If this product isn't for you, then i still recommend checking out the rest of the anthelios range as I've head nothing but good things and there should be a formula for everyone.

Whats your favourite sun protection for summer?

Video | My mac lipstick collection

Mac lipsticks are something which i own a lot of, but i still continue to find shades which i love...Since this video morange and lustering have been added to the collection, but you'll see them in hauls/reviews so i didnt go back and put them in! Mac lipsticks seem to keep going up in price with them now being a ridiculous £15, but due to the impressive shade range and quality i'm sure i'll continue to purchase them. below are some extra pictures to help you find your favourite shade :)

I hope this was helpful and you find some shades you love!

MAC lipsticks are available at Debenhams, Selfridges and all other mac counters.

Whats your favourite shade of MAC lipstick?

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Taming those 'brows

Eyebrows is the most important step in my makeup routine, and also one of my favourites. I can happily leave the house with just my brows done and feel prepped for the day. I have somehow gathered a selection of products which i use depending on the situation and the look i'm going for, so if like me brows are a key factor in your makeup happiness, then this may help you out.

first up, you've got to brush through your brows to make sure they arent pointing here, there and everywhere. A simple spoolie from ELF seems to do the trick just fine. Next, onto the real business, filling them in:

Mac spiked eyebrow pencil is my go to if i want a quick, hassle free brow. It makes my brows very dark and defined, but due to the small nib and great pigmentation, i can get my brows done in no time with little to no slip ups. It's definitely the easiest of the three to use, and also the most 'unnatural', with my technique anyway. I'm sure you could create a really natural looking brow with this if your brows are a little fuller than mine. Also from mac is their eyeshadow in brun. I've recently been using this more and more to fill in my brows as it creates a much more subtle brow, although still defined. This eyeshadow is very cool toned which makes it look more natural, and it can be applied lightly or built up for a dark, opaque colour. Because of this i think it would suit anyone with light brown to black brows. This does take a little longer to apply, but if i'm not in a rush then i enjoy this method. Lastly is the hourglass arch brow sculpting pencil in dark brunette. When i first got this i found it a little tricky to use since i'd been so used to using such a fine nib, but the angled, almost triangular nib makes application quick and effortless. The pencil is waxy which means it helps to keep brows in place, but i find this can also mean i can go a little off track sometimes, maybe thats just me! This pencil is also cool toned and is the darkest of the three, so i find i have to apply quite lightly as to not make my brows look too slug's a lovely choice, especially if you have full brows and need something to quickly fill in the gaps and help keep them in place. Unfortunately mine snapped so i'm having to send it back, boo!

To keep my brows in place i either opt for the ELF wet gloss lash and brow clear mascara, which is a great cheap brow gel that really works to keep brows in place without making them crispy, or i use my MAC brow set in show off. The mac option is tinted which means its great for no makeup days to add a little definition and colour to the brows whilst also holding them in place, or i use it over my brow powder/pencil as it helps to make the hairs appear more full and it blends in the product better with my natural brows. 

So there we have it, my favourite products for taming my brows. 

What are your favourite brow products?

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Cream shadows: Eyeshadow made easy

Before discovering cream eyeshadows, more often than not i'd opt for a no eyeshadow look, simply because they took so long to apply and i had yet to discover the mac 217 brush. Nowadays i'm not so much of an eyeshadow noob, but due to how quick and effortless they are, you'll often find a cream shadow gracing my lids rather than a powder. Here i thought i'd talk you through some of my favourites.

I'm a bronze eye girl, anything warm and shimmery will immediately catch my attention, so its no surprise that 3/5 of the products mentioned here are of the bronze variety. Maybelline colour tattoo in on and on bronze was my first bronze purchase, and to this day i still love it. It's more cool toned than the others, so find myself reaching for this more when creating a dark smokey eye, but its also great paired with a pink or purple lip, blended out to give a sheer wash of colour to the lids to add some dimension. Mac paint pot in eclair was part of the baking beauties collection so is unfortunately unavailable most places, but if your mac counter does happen to stock it, snap it up! Eclair is the warmest of the three, with a slight redness to it. It also has the most shimmer, but is by no means glittery. This is my go to colour to smudge on the lid when i want an effortless smokey eye which really stands out, as it can be applied sheer to add depth, but when built up it creates dimension all on its own without the need of other shadows, perfect for a lazy girl like me! All mac paint pots as very smooth and apply like a dream, and i'd definitely recommend checking out the pro longwear paint pots as they really do last on the lids. The last bronze product i reach for is the clinique chubby stick for eyes in fuller fudge. Fuller fudge is a kind of middle ground between the other two offerings, it's warm but not as warm as eclair, and the shimmer is apparent when the colour is built up, but not so much so when applied sheer. This option is great for if your in a rush as you simply apply it straight from the stick and smudge it out with your finger or a brush. This one would be great for travelling as its so small and compact. I also love to smudge this along the lashline to add a little something to the eyes without going all out.

The last two products are shadows which i pair with other shadows. The mac paint pot in groundwork is a mid toned neutral brown,which leans slightly warm, and it has no shimmer what so ever. I love using this just to even out my eyelids if i'm not bothering with eyeshadow as it hides veins and gives a light wash of colour. On paler people this could be a great base shadow for a quick smokey eye, but on me the colour does not show up all that well, which i quite like as i can throw it on and not bother too much about blending.The last shadow is the topshop eye crayon in whisper, i'm not even sure this particular shade or type of pencil is available anymore, but i love the shade more than the product itself which is why i mentioned it anyway. It's a great champagne colour which i love to apply to the brow bone and inner corner, but it looks lovely all over the lid to brighten up the eye for a summery makeup look. It's very smooth and buttery but i find it can apply quite sheer so it needs to be built up if applied all over the lid.

I like to blend all of these shadows out with a MAC 217 brush as it makes the whole procedure easy peasy and done in minutes. I will definitely be picking up more cream shadows, so if you have any recommendations, let me know!

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Dark circles be gone!

Dark circles are something which i don't suffer with terribly, but considering i'm tired about 80% of the time, i'm always on the search for products to make my face that little bit brighter and more polished. I have a few different products in rotation depending on what kind of makeup look i'm going for and how bad my eyes are looking, and i feel like i pretty much have it covered.

For minimal makeup days i like to keep it simple, as i find having too much product under my eyes can look a little too 'done' if i'm not really bothering with much else. For this i like to sweep a small amount of Bobbi Brown tinted eye brightener under my eyes and into the inner corners to brighten everything up and make me look more awake. This product will by no means erase everything, but it's so lightweight i can use it even when i'm not wearing any other makeup.

For the average makeup day i use a mixture of products. Under the eyes i tend to take the Bobbi Brown tinted eye brightener, and then go over it with either the Nars radiant creamy concealer or the Bobbi Brown creamy concealer. The latter is slightly thicker and heavier whereas the nars offering is great in coverage but more lightweight, so i decide which one to use depending on how hot it is and how much I've got to cover up. The Bobbi Brown creamy concealer is a great one to travel with as it's wonderful used on blemishes as well as under the eyes.

If i'm looking to highlight the under eye area then i always reach for the Rimmel wake me up concealer. Used in conjunction with the Bobbi Brown tinted eye brightener (which i can never not use) it really brightens the under eye area giving a highlighted effect, whist covering bags and remaining lightweight.

Lastly is the category for i'm staying at my boyfriends and i need to try and not take a whole suitcase with me concealers. For this i like to bring along my Bobbi Brown tinted eye brightener as always in case i'm feeling lazy, and either the Bobbi Brown creamy concealer or the MAC studio finish concealer. Both of these concealers are great for travelling light as they can be doubled up as a product to cover blemishes as well as covering those pesky dark circles.

So there you have it, my current top concealers for hiding bags and covering blemishes. Blended out with a Real techniques deluxe crease brush and set with the Rimmel stay matte powder and i'm good to go.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Bumble & Bumble creme de coco shampoo and conditioner

Bumble & bumble is a brand i'd never really ventured into until a couple of months ago. I don't have a counter nearby, so on a visit to a boots which stocked them, i took the opportunity to purchase some things i'd been interested to try. One of the things i wanted to try was a set of shampoo and conditioner. I picked up the Bumble & Bumble creme de coco tropical-riche shampoo and conditioner as they seemed the most suited to my hair, and generally the safest bet. They're described as containing 'A blend of moisture-rich Coconut and Murumuru Butters to help restore sheen & softness, improve flexibility and minimize frizz.' My hair used to be bleached white blonde so i usually stick to using products directed towards extremely damaged hair, but now my hairs getting better i only seem to need to use them every other wash at most, and that's where this duo comes in. The shampoo cleanses the hair without stripping it of all moisture, and the conditioner gives the hair a rich dose of hydration without being too heavy. Both products have a luxurious coconut smell, with a hint of something quite warm and soothing. The texture is very luxurious too, they are both very smooth and creamy, but not too thick or heavy.

When i use these i find my hair is left very soft, smooth and manageable, they give my hair the perfect dose of hydration without making it feel limp or weighted down. I'd definitely recommend these to all hair types, especially anyone with dry or dull hair, as they really bring it back to life. If you have extremely dry or damaged hair then these may not be enough, but the shampoo paired with a deep conditioner would be a great way to try the range. These are quickly becoming my favourite products to use as my hair just feels great every time i use them. Costing £18.50 and £20, they are quite expensive but i do think they're worth it, and for someone like me who only washes their hair once a week and only uses these every other wash, they'll last ages. So far i've been really impressed with all the bumble and bumble products i've tried, and i'd love to try the masque from the same range.

Bumble & Bumble is available from boots, john lewis, selfridges and space NK.

Have you ever tried anything from Bumble & Bumble?


Thursday, 11 July 2013

The Origins GinZing Duo

Origins is a brand that never fails to disappoint me, no matter what product i try. When the origins GinZing energy-boosting moisturizer came out, i knew i had to have it, so off i trotted down to boots on the day of its release, and I've been loving it ever since.
The purchase of the moisturizer lead me to start using the GinZing refreshing eye cream again, as i'd been neglecting it for a while. These two products work together like a dream, and i have no idea why i stopped using the latter.

The origins GinZing moisturizer has the same texture and scent as the high potency night-a-mins from origins. It's a lightweight, gel like texture with a zesty scent. It absorbs quickly into the skin, leaving your skin feeling soft, hydrated, refreshed and glowing. I have normal/dehydrated skin, and on a normal skin day i find that this alone gives my skin enough hydration, and then when paired with my favourite product hydraluron, it gets rid of any signs of dryness/dehydration i may have. If you have combination/oily skin then i think you'll love this moisturizer, as its so lightweight and sinks in almost immediately, meaning it doesn't even feel like you've got a layer sitting on top. If you have really dry skin this may not be enough for you, but for me this is the perfect summertime moisturizer as it really helps to brighten the skin along with keeping it hydrated enough, without making me oily.

Onto the eye cream, this product is quite different from other eye creams I've tried. It's thick in texture, but it absorbs quickly into the skin. Whats interesting about it is that its a light peach colour with shimmer running through it. At first i didn't like this and only used it occasionally, but now i use it every day as it really wakes up the eyes and helps to disguise dark circles. The peachy colour combined with the shimmer really helps to make me look more alive, which is great, especially when you haven't had much sleep. I tend to get quite dry eyes, but once this is applied my eyes feel comfortable and hydrated throughout the day. It's also very cooling and feels wonderful to use. Unfortunately, the scent isn't all that nice, it smells like a typical cream.

The packaging of the products is great, the bright orange really reflects the energy boosting theme the products have, and although the pots are quite large they aren't too chunky or heavy. With both products costing £23 each they aren't the cheapest, but they are much more affordable than most. You get a lot of product for your money and i can see each product lasting up to 6 months, so i'd say that they're well worth it. These products have become a staple in my skincare routine and i would definitely repurchase.

Origins is available at boots, john lewis, harrods, debenhams, house of fraser and directly from origins.
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