Sunday, 27 October 2013

L'Oréal Elvive Extraordinary Oil

The weather is getting colder, and the nights are getting darker, equalling disastrous results for our hair. If like me, you dread the dreary weather for reasons none other that it wreaks havoc on your hair, take a look at what I thought of this hair oil. 
After everyone went wild for the amazing but pricey Morrocan Oil, the clever clogs at L'Oréal released this hair rescue oil a good few months ago. 
Not being one for hair serums or sprays as I feel they make my hair greasy, I decided to try this out a few weeks ago when my hair started feeling really dry. 
L'Oréal says it leaves hair 'sumptuously soft and with a luxurious shine', and it certainly lives up to the claims. 
After using it for a while, I love it so much that I wouldn't like to wash and dry my hair without it! It has a weightless touch, and doesn't leave my hair feeling lank or greasy, which is what I usually find with 'shine enhancing' products for hair. 
I only need a few drops for my long hair, so I reckon this 100 ml bottle will last me a while!
It's currently £6.66 for 100 ml at Boots, but it's normally £9.99. The latter is reasonable anyway, considering it is so similar to Morrocan Oil which for a tiny 50 ml bottle is around £15! 
One more thing I love about this is the sleek and sophisticated packaging. The glass bottle has a very 'up-market salon' feel, and the pump-action top makes sure it doesn't slop everywhere.
Does anyone have any other amazing hair oils that I should know about? 


Saturday, 5 October 2013

Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation in Soft Beige

       Despite amassing around ten different foundations of all textures, colours and brands, this £4.99 Rimmel bargain is fast becoming a one of my firm favourites. I was a little bit sceptical before purchasing, as my skin and I never really got on very well with the now infamous Maybelline mousse foundation.
        I tend to have that annoying combination skin that can't decide whether or not it wants to stay greasy and shiny, or dry and flaky. However, much like the majority of beauty products, I'm slightly obsessed with buying new foundations, so picked this one up at Asda a few weeks ago. (As you can see it has been rattling around in my much too grubby makeup bag for a while, hence the dirty looking packaging!) 
        I love the creamy consistency of this foundation,  and while it does exactly what it says on the tin by keeping the skin matte, it's not too drying which can make products look tacky. When used with my primer it stays put all day, and other products like blusher and highlighter glide on fine. The shade 'Soft Beige' is quite a good match for my skin tone, however I'd say the limited number of shades is the one downside to this product..yet who can complain for a fiver?


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

September Saviours

      Sitting down to write this post, I've just had the realisation that Christmas Eve is only 3 months away! Or to make it sound even more daunting...a mere 12 weeks, if like me, the idea of Christmas shopping at this time of year makes you break out in a cold sweat, check out some of my September favourites to get some no-brainer gift ideas for the females in your life. 

      First up is a money-saving miracle in the form of Nad's Brazillian Wax. If the very thought of shelling out for waxing every month makes you want to hibernate and revert to the likes of a cave woman, then consider snapping up this little life-saver hair-remover. 

      It's a snip at only £9.49 at Boots, and lasts for around two to three waxes. It's extremely easy to use, as it's the Brazillian hot wax version, meaning it doesn't require those long fiddly strips. Plus, anyone who's had the hot wax before, will be well aware of the advantages of using hot instead of strip, (so much less pain-inducing!)

      Next is a little something I bought when I was studying in Memphis, in a very well-known store (to Americans!) called Dollar Tree. I've raved about Dollar Tree in some previous posts that I wrote throughout my time in Memphis. Being on a student budget, the store which is the American equivalent of our beloved Poundland became the go-to shop for my penny-pinching, or rather cent-pinching European friends and I. What's more, it stocked a ton of makeup and beauty products.
      Amongst a lot of other things, I picked up this New York Color Blushable Creme Stick in the shade 'Urban Spice'. I hardly used this whilst in America and now I'm not really sure why! It's the perfect consistency and colour to rub under the cheekbones to create a subtle but long-lasting contour. I haven't yet seen this product in England, so will be on the hunt for a decent dupe, however I can't quite see me finding one as cheap as one dollar! 

      One brand we certainly don't associate with the term 'cheap and cheerful' is MAC. In fact, I purposely keep my distance from the counters in a bid to not spot something and then tell myself that I HAVE to buy it. (I'm sure I'm not the only one.) However, when I saw my friend sporting Lady Danger it just looked like the most perfect red lipstick, and to be honest, for me it is. I know that a lot of people love the infamous Ruby Woo and Russian Red by MAC, but they are a lot more bluish-red than coral-red which is what suits my skin tone. 

      Last but by no means least, is a little freebie from Cosmopolitan magazine. Hair products and I don't tend to get on, I prefer to leave it natural and a bit messy, so don't really like anything that professes to make my hair super-glossy and straight. Yet lately I've been trying out a few new products since my hair has been coloured a few shades lighter than usual and so the condition has some what deteriorated. This Argan Oil Hair Transforming Cream from the 'Phil Smith Be Gorgeous' range is a thirst-quencher for dry hair. It contains the now infamous Moroccan Argan oil, and claims that it will 'miraculously transform the texture of your hair into lustrous silky locks.' Bold statement? Not really, as it lives up to the claims. What I like most about it is that it doesn't weigh my hair down or make it greasy, and you only need a pea-sized amount to make your hair feel nourished again. 

Are there any other hair saviours out there that I can add to my small but gradually growing collection? 

Monday, 3 June 2013

No7 is No1 for Fake Tan!

     Being naturally lily white, it will come as no surprise that I am a dedicated fan of one of the beauty world's holiest grails - fake tan.
St. Tropez, Fake Bake, Ambre Solaire - you name it, I've slapped it on in the quest to become slighly less see-through. 

     For a while I'd been using Fake Bake's mousse, and got along with it just fine. That was until I received a £5.00 off voucher for No7. As I was in need of a new bottle of tan, but didn't fancy paying the twenty-odd pounds for Fake Bake, I decided to put my No7 voucher to good use and purchase their 'Perfectly Bronzed - Quick Dry Tinted Lotion'. 
     To sum up how I feel about this tan in four words - I'll never look back.
That might sound like a flippant comment, but this affordable tan is the absolute perfect shade for me, (I bought 'Medium/Dark'.) 
     After a few hours of applying, I was already left looking like I'd had a week in the Bahamas, but in a good way, not in a I'm-so-mahogany-you-can-only-see-my-teeth-way.
      I apply it with a tanning mitt, and in contrast to the likes of the St. Tropez and copycat cheapy St. Moritz, it doesn't fall out on to the mitt in a wet gloop of mousse. 
     It's more like applying moisturiser, but it's tinted, making application ten times easier. 
Another thing I like about this fake tan is the longevity it has on my skin. I'm not sure if it was just me, but I found that St. Tropez only lasted until I had a shower, and I was left with only a very slight bit of colour. Not what you'd expect from 30 quid a bottle...
     Anyway, I can't sing No7's praises enough, it's even on offer at the moment at £9.95...bargain. You can buy it here.

Are there any other fake tans out there that I should know about?

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Aldi's Emerald Beauty

 It's not very often anyone sings German supermarket Aldi's praises, in the makeup sense anyway. 
Aldi is well known for it's funny television adverts featuring grannies and babies, and it's bargain fruit and veg, but not for the little gems that can be scouted out in the tiny cosmetic section of the stores.

...Introducing Aldi's 'Lacura Beauty' eyeliner in the shade 'Emerald'...

This is a very dark green kohl, with a creamy consistency making it easy to apply and wear. Some people are squeamish when it comes to the idea of wearing a coloured eyeliner that isn't black or brown, but dark green can be a very pretty alternative. 

Swatch of 'Emerald'
 I've got quite a few coloured eyeliners from Urban Decay, but they are brighter than this shade from Lacura, making them not as wearable, in my opinion. I usually reserve the more vibrant eyeliners for festivals and suchlike. 

The eyeliner is a steal at £1.49, and even comes with a rubber end to smudge the eyes and a pencil sharpener. Can't get cheaper than that!

Although it isn't quite as pigmented as MAC's 'Undercurrant', I'd say it's a pretty good dupe. Tanya Burr uses 'Undercurrant' in her Haifa Wehbe tutorial below.

 Most of us can't afford to be splashing out on green eyeliners from MAC, so this one is a great alternative for when you're trying to tighten those purse strings. 

I'm wearing 'Emerald' in my waterline in these two pictures. As you can see it's a really subtle dark green.

Has anyone found any beauty bargains at Aldi?

Monday, 1 April 2013

Recent Bargain Wardrobe Purchases

I usually just write about makeup but today I thought I'd share my recent clothing purchases as I think they're nice and summery, despite our English summer seeming very reluctant to appear any time soon!

First up is this lovely tie-dye green print shirt dress from TK Maxx. I'm a bit of a bargain hunter, and have a keen eye for pretty things that come cheap, and this was no exception at £12.99.

It's perfect for the summer, (when it finally arrives) to wear with bare legs, sandals and a denim jacket.

Unfortunately the photographs don't really do it justice as the greens are a bit brighter to the human eye.

Bought it at TK Maxx but designed by 'Band of Gypsies'

Next is a top I loved as soon as I laid eyes on it. I absolutely love elephants and think most things emblazoned with elephant prints are gorgeous. 
Not only do I love the print of this New Look top, I love the boxy, oversized shape of it too. It's quite casual, but could be dressed up slightly with black skinny jeans and a big gold statement necklace. This is another bargain at £12.99, and was actually one of my Easter presents from my Mam.
You can buy this top here!

Yet another bargain buy is this beautiful red satin camisole from Miss Selfridge. Originally £28.00, it's safe to say I did well getting this for only £7.00
I love the double strap detailing and the cut-out detailing at the front, it makes the top look a lot more expensive than it was!
I'm really into cami tops at the minute, they go really nicely with denim shorts and can easily be dressed up or down. 
I always buy them in a size bigger so that they hang a bit lower at the front and at the arms. I don't know why, but I find that cami's look better slightly better bigger than fitted. 

And last but by no means least is this super-summery dress by Izabel London.
I hadn't heard of this brand before until I saw the collection in an outfit store. They have some gorgeous clothes, especially dresses, at really affordable prices.
My eye was caught by the colour and lattice-detail of this dress. I thought it was perfect for summer and could even be worn at festivals with bare legs and wellies. I'm going to Bilbao Live festival in Spain in July and this is definately going to be going in my bag!
The turquoisey colour would look fantastic with a tan and brown accessories such as a fringed leather bag.

Dress £22.00

Does anyone have any bargain summer purchases?

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Purple Eyes

Here are some pictures I took of my friend Natasha after I did her makeup late last year.

I wanted to create a smokey purple look that could be swapped for the standard black or grey.

I think these particular shades suit all eye colours, but are especially striking on green eyes, like Natasha's.

Products used are:

  • Urban Decay  - 'half truth' and 'omen'
  • Nars - soft touch shadow pencil in 'aigle noir'
  • L'oreal liquid eyeliner

Thursday, 21 March 2013

A Little Bit of Self-Promotion

I just want to share my 'professional' blog.

I set up this wordpress site when I was studying in Memphis, it was a small part of our media writing coursework. 

On here you can find out a bit more about me, my qualifications, work experience and you can also read some of my articles, including one I had published in The Daily Helmsman.

The site is a little bit out of date, it states that I live in Memphis still, and there are some Americanised spellings! (I was made to do those.)

In the next few days I'm going to be uploading news packages that my broadcast journalism pals and I have produced, including one with an interview with Barry Hyde - lead singer of The Futureheads.

Hope y'all like.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Gel Manicure Cheat...Sally Hansen - Complete Salon Manicure Nail Polish in 'Fairy Teal' 450

     All of us would love to be able to afford to have gel manicures constantly and not just for special occasions like birthdays or holidays.

     Yet, while the more pampered of princesses amongst us have these little luxuries in life, the rest of us can rest easy with the new range of nail polishes that are giving pricey gel manicures a run for their money.

     Brands like Rimmel and Max Factor have all in recent months released polishes promising to possess as much durability as the gel manicure.

     Despite this, I had yet to try any of them until I came across this lovely turquoisey-teal colour from Poundland of all places!

The colour goes gorgeous with my puau shell bracelet from New Zealand!

      Initially, I wasn't expecting it be like the same consistency as a gel polish, mainly because it was from Poundland and the quality of the beauty products there is somewhat lacking...

     However, even after one coat, it's easy to tell that this polish is not your standard run-of-the-mill watery polish. It's thick without being gloopy or lumpy, and the colour is highly pigmented.

     I especially like the broad brush as it enables me to do my nails quickly and aptly.

    I havent't had this polish off since I bought it a few weeks ago, and I'm kicking myself for not buying a few more in different colours as there's none left now at such a bargain price!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

GOSH Velvet Touch Lipstick in Burgundy

     GOSH isn't a brand that I'm very familiar with. In fact I usually bypass it completely when I'm doing my usual beauty browse in Superdrug. 
     Yesterday however, being the ultimate consumer that I am, was reeled in by big red signage stating that the velvet touch lipsticks were part of a special offer.
     Cue hawk-eyed interest from me. The lipsticks were £4.49 instead of £6.49, granted not a huge discount but still a saving nonetheless. 
     Another reason I told myself it would be totally fine to purchase yet another lipstick was that I hadn't bought or tried a GOSH lipstick before so it would be the perfect excuse to compare it to my usual favourites. 

     The lipstick is a lovely wine colour, perfect for the still snowy months. Factoring in the weather at the moment, the lipstick is very moisturising without being too sheer, which is perfect for when our lips are prone to dryness at this time of year. Everyone knows there's nothing worse than a matte lip with chapped lips!

     I love the sleek black packaging and I think the intricate little GOSH detail on the lipstick makes it seem so much more expensive and classy. 

     The colour lasted on me all night, even with drinking, when a lot of the time I find myself topping up my lipstick if it's from a less expensive collection like GOSH.

     Has anyone got any favourite GOSH products I should know about?
Swatch of 'Burgundy'

Monday, 18 February 2013

Soap & Glory - Skin Saviours Review

    Despite my long suffering battle with my spot prone skin, I've never really been that much into skincare.

    I've always preferred to splash my cash on makeup to make me look better, rather than something that claims to turn my skin into something resembling a baby's bum. 
Having said that, I am loyal fan of Sudocrem for my spots, which ironically is actually meant for babies bums...

    Anyway, enough talk of bums. My mam bought me a huuuge Soap & Glory giftset for Christmas, and oddly enough, I have fallen in love with the Peaches and Clean 4-in-1 Wash Off Deep Cleansing Milk

    Soap & Glory claim that it's "The best cleansing milk on the market!", and I agree.

    With peach extract, quillaja bark (no I don't know how to pronounce that either,) and jojoba oil, the milk smells divine and once applied to the skin, seems to have a cooling effect. 

    Not only does it help to improve the appearance of your skin and pores, but it completely removes all traces of makeup, leaving you feeling really refreshed. I used to be quite lazy with removing my makeup, I have used cleansing wipes for years, but no matter how much you rub, you can never quite budge every little trace of makeup. This is why this cleansing milk is so perfect.

It's an absolute steal too at only £7!

    Now onto my other fail-safe lush skin product - The Fab Pore Facial Peel.

    This little beauty doesn't look a lot, in fact, when I bought it in desperate need of something to combat my humongous pores, I thought perhaps I was being a little bit robbed of my pennies at £8 for a small-looking tub.

    However, as usual, I was wrong.

    Soap & Glory say that you need to use "a grape sized amount" of the peel, but as I don't slap it over my whole face, (just my t-zone and chin usually,) I use slightly less than that.

    You can leave it on for a quick refresher for 5 minutes, or 15 for a real deep clean. I tend to use it for 15-20 minutes in the evenings when I'm not going to see anyone...(note the scary sun-cream esque photo below.)

    Once reluctantly washed off, my skin feels baby-soft and super refreshed. Appearance wise, my skin is visibly brighter and more 'glowy' and fortunately I can see a decrease in the size of my pores.

Swatches: Left - Cleansing Milk, Right - Pore Peel
    After using these divine products, I'm going to scope out more Soap & Glory products to add to my collection, and at such reasonable prices it would be rude not to!

Does anyone else have a favourite Soap & Glory product?

Thursday, 24 January 2013

My 2012 Favourites

     Despite it nearly being February already, at the end of December I vowed to write a post on my favourite beauty products of 2012, so after much procrastination and general busy-bodying after my return to England, here it is. 

     (I've even tried to be creative with the pictures, causing some numb fingers!)

      Firstly, I wrote about the infamous Nars Laguna bronzer in my very first post, after hearing so much hype about it. I can confirm that, everyone can believe the hype with this one.
It's the perfect pick-me-up bronzer as it makes you appear tanned and glowing, rather than orange, like some bronzers.
You can buy Nars Laguna here.

     The Maybelline 'Fit' foundation was a total impulse purchase and accidental buy if I'm honest. My friend Natasha and I were doing our weekly food shop in Kroger, in Memphis when we came across the reduced section. I found this little beauty for two dollars, when there was nothing wrong with it at all. 
    Luckily it was the perfect shade for me, and I find it to have great coverage with my spot prone skin, without looking too matte.
     You can buy the foundation here. (Unfortunately not as cheap as when I bought it!)

     The Estee Lauder Michael Kors blush/bronzer was actually part of a free gift from Estee Lauder. The gift included a gorgeous Michael Kors makeup bag, complete with the obligatory 'MK' gold key chain. Other items were a lipstick, lip gloss, mascara, eyeliner and nail polish.      Definitely the best free gift I've ever had!
      With this compact, you can either sweep all the colours together to create a warm glow, or simply use one of the colours to achieve a more definitive look.
     At the moment, I'm using the darkest colour on the apples of my cheeks.
     I can imagine this product being very pricey if it were sold alone!

     Once again, I've already written about the Clinique quickliner for eyes but I absolutely love it. It certainly isn't the cheapest eyeliner ever but it's so pigmented which is what I look for in an eyeliner. 
     You can purchase the quickliner here.

Now for the lips!

     Since I bought 'Rebel' by MAC a few months ago, it has become my fail-safe lipstick to carry around in my bag. Despite it being quite dark in the tube, it comes out lighter on the lips and I think you can wear it during the day or for a night out. The berry/plum colour is perfect for the cooler months of the year. I even wrote an article about it, amongst other things, which you can read here!

      The bright red beauty in the gorgeous gold packaging is a lipstick that was part of the Estee Lauder Michael Kors giveaway. It's packed with vitamins so it keeps your lips super soft and nourished. For a red lip, it has great staying power, although it is quite glossy when applied.
     I reserve this lipstick for special occassions only, as I don't want it to run out!

     Last but not least, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable balm stain. I was a bit dubious about these balm stains because I tried one on the lighter coloured ones on the back of my hand a while ago and just thought it looked like very faded lipstick.
     However, this one (Crush 005) is a lovely plum shade, much like 'Rebel' and moisturises my lips a treat.    

Does anyone have any fave products of 2012 that I should be coveting?!