Sunday, 30 September 2012

Empty Products- the September Edition

As I mentioned before, empties posts are one of my favourites to both write and read. I also secretly really enjoy hoarding my empty products throughout the month so that I can give myself a pat on the back for using something to the end and not getting bored of it halfway through use. #beautybloggerissues

Batiste Dry Shampoo in 'Cherry' - Cherry is my chosen 'flavour' for Batiste, I'm not a fan of the other scents apart from the 'Original- Clean and Classic' one. Since I've gone blonder the slight white residue that this can leave behind at times isn't as much of an issue which is a plus. I would like to try other dry shampoos, such as the new VO5 one, but I don't like to gamble my money on hair products that might not work for me.
Will I buy this again?
Already have!
John Frieda Sheer Blonde Moisturising Conditioner- This was a 50ml miniature that came in a set with it's matching shampoo and and hairspray for about a fiver. This conditioner lasted me about 4-5 hair washes which means it's the perfect travel size for a holiday. It was thick and luxurious but I didn't notice that it brightened my blonde.
Wil I buy this again?
I'd be tempted to buy the travel kit if I saw it again and was going on holiday, but I doubt I'd get this full sized as it didn't do much for brightening my blonde and I've been enjoying using his Full Repair range here.

John Frieda Full Repair Deep Conditioner- As I was sent this to review I used it during every wash so that I could see the full effects. I really like this product, I like it's scent and the way that it does seem to do what it says on the tub- after washing it out my hair feels healthy and soft and best of all there's no residue left behind. See my full review here.
Will I buy this again?
I will definitely buy this, and will probably use it every other wash to make it last longer, as it is an intensive treatment. 

Soap and Glory 'Clean On Me' Shower Gel- For a fiver you get a huge amount of shower gel that has lasted me well. I have always loved the sweet, soapy smell that this has, and love even more that I can smell it on my skin hours after showering. It's creamy, lathers well and feels more expensive than it is to wash with. I wish I hadn't looked on the ingredients list after I'd bought this, I think it's a shame that parabens have been included and while I know that I must use products that contain them everyday, I feel it's unnecessary in a body wash.
Will I buy this again?
If my judgement hadn't been a bit tainted I would have, but sadly I've been put off it a bit.

Mitchum 48 Hour Advanced Control aerosol deodarant in 'Powder Fresh'- This is the first and last time I'll include a deoderant in an empties post or it'll bore you all to death seeing the same one month after month. This is the best deoderant I have ever used and since discovering this a few years ago I've never looked back. It totally works, and isn't particularly harsh on the skin. Would recommend if you're looking to try a new one.
Will I buy this again?
Already have and always will!

Vichy One Step Cleanser- This 200ml bottle lasted me approx 6 weeks and was used twice a day. The milky fluid made a change to the stiff cream of Liz Earle's Cleanse and Polish, and while it was enjoyable to use, you had to work it more to remove makeup and dirt. I liked how gentle this was. Full review here.
Will I buy this again?
I think I will, but for now I've gone back to 'ole reliable Liz.

Estee Lauder 'Advanced Night Repair' serum- This is my second bottle finished, the 30ml lasts me about 3 months. Advanced Night Repair is a night time repair serum that works on mending any damage caused to the DNA within the skin cells to help prevent premature ageing. It's hard to put my finger on what this product is doing for my skin, but it just seems to improve the quality of it; when I meet women who have been using this for years, their mature skin looks plumper and in better condition compared to other women of their age. Ben has suffered with patches of eczema on his face for years- since using this in conjunction with the Advanced Night Repair eye cream he hasn't encountered any bad flair ups. You can see a mini review here.
Will I buy this agin?
Absolutely, my skincare routine feels lost when I don't have this to hand.

Estee Lauder 'DayWear' moisturiser- This is a fresh cucumber scented moisturiser with sun protection factor 15. I found this to be a good moisturiser as I didn't experience any dryness while I was using this, the only downside was that I found it took a while to absorb at times. I would prefer the oil free version next time.
Will I buy this again?
I've got a miniature of this from my Gift With Purchase so will use that up but I'm not sure that I would buy this again as I am developing a big interest in natural skincare at the moment.

BareMinerals Matte SPF15 foundation in 'fair c10'- At the time I bought this, it did wonders for me. My skin was a post-Christmas mess and I was yet to invest time and money into researching skin care. Every liquid foundation I was using was seperating on my skin after a couple of hours and looked awful, so I trotted over to the BM counter and tried this. It offers a light medium coverage and works with the natural oils of the skin over a few hours to develop into a beautiful, flawless skin finish, it's not often you can say a foundation looks better halfway through the day than when it was first applied. It got ignored for a while, and I used the last dregs of this as a setting powder this month, which also gives a nice finish.
Will I buy this again?
I think I will oneday in the future, but I do think it is pricey for the amount you get, and the fairest shade is still a wee bit off (it's not obvious though).

L'Oreal Lumi Magique 'Touch of Light Illuminating Pen' in 01.- I liked this as it was a good high street offering for those who can't fork out for YSL's Touche Eclat. I enjoyed using this, it offers a natural light coverage and does brighten the under eye area. 
Will I buy this again?
I think I would but it's not a must have for me.

Do you use any of these products? Make sure you link me to your empties posts as they are my favourite to read :-)

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Midweek post: New fragrance love.

Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom and Honey cologne, £38 for 30ml.

I've quite a fragrance collection, I love perfume and a lovely new scent gives me such a warm and happy feeling.
I've got a new favourite to share with you all today, but words will be hard to describe how divine and lovely this is, if only scratch and sniff computer screens were invented eh?

Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom and Honey is a long lasting cologne that holds the perfect balance of sweet and fruity. It is unlike other perfumes I have because it is so simple, elegant and moreish. This is it's bio on the website;

"London's Covent Garden early morning market. Succulent nectarine, peach and cassis and delicate spring flowers melt into the note of acacia honey. A sweet and delightfully playful fragrance."

Since receiving this just a few days ago, all my other scents have been pushed to the side. All of my scents on my 'to buy' list (Elie Saab, Chloe, and Juicy Couture) have also taken a backseat while I enjoy this beauty.

Blackberry and Bay is next on my 'to smell' list, what's your favourite Jo Malone fragrance?

Monday, 24 September 2012

My MUA eyeshadows.

MUA eyeshadows in shades 8, 2, 30 & 9 £1 each for 2g.

8-This shade is a teal colour that becomes a brighter turquoise when blended into an eye look, the reason I picked this up is because it's a colour I wouldn't normally touch but for £1 there wasn't much to lose if it really wasn't for me. I'd noticed this shade had been popular on last seasons catwalks applied on the bottom lash line and paired with a gold eye, I thought it looked like a wearable trend. I've worn it a few times to work to mix up my look, and actually recieved a few compliments when I wore it. Not a favourite for me, though (but perfect pigmentation and very blendable).

2-I was hoping this would be the perfect base or highlight shade I could document for girls on a budget. While it does shine with a reflective, luminous glow, the formulation is a little chalky and hard to work with. As a base colour it doesn't work too well either- it's a little too white, which boarders on looking a bit chavvy rather than the subtle pearl wash I hoped it would be.

30-This is my favourite and most used colour of the four, and one of my most used colours out of all my eyeshadows. My go-to look is a bronze eye as I think it suits my complexion and compliments my green eyes. It's buttery soft and very pigmented, and contains glitter shimmer but not too much that I feel overdone wearing it during the day. I used it once with Illamasqua's Sealing Gel and as soon as it was wet it created this fabulous foil-like finish that lasted all day.

Shade 9 is a strong violet, and I loved this colour last winter for a smokey eye with a difference- a pop of colour! It shimmer an irridescent blue when it catches the light and I feel the overall finish and look of this appears more high end than it actually is. Similarly to the bronze shade, it's so soft and blendable yet not powdery or chalky. For a pound you just can't go wrong! See my purple smokey eye here.

While I have found the formulas to be hit and miss (though 3/4 I own have impressed me)- I think it's worth spending a few pounds on trying these as the quality overall is fantastic. Do you own any MUA eyeshadows? What's your favourite shade from the above?

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Midweek post: A rather 'SHOCKING' mascara...

Yves Saint Laurent 'Shocking' mascara, £23. 

I'd been given a generous supply of 'Shocking' mascara samples at Christmas and had managed to get to August before they ran dry, whilst simultaneaously my L'Oreal Telescopic mascara did the same. On a break in Norfolk to see me mam I decided to just treat myself and buy the Shocking mascara full sized, and I thought I'd tell you my favourite points....

The mascara is scented and perfumed which turns the usual unpleasant smell of mascara into quite a nice one, and whats even better is this perfume doesn't irritate my sensitive and prone-to-watering eyes.

The formula is very wet which helps maximise length and makes the product easier to use and apply as you aren't dragging it through your lashes. (Allow time to dry afterwards or you'll be left with charming smudge patches when you blink! Not speaking from experience....)

It seems to pretty much hold my curled (Shu Uemura eyelash curler FYI) eyelashes in place, without flopping down too much or losing grip of the shape.

This builds a bold lash in one application (for some this may make it more of an evening mascara.)

The wand is a medium sized brush that has many different fibres which comb the lashes but they are thick enough to pick up a lot of product which maximises volume.

It's got that satisfying 'click' shut packaging, that only the best of the best have. (Plus you know it's shutting out any unwanted air!)

I rarely pay high prices for mascara's, but the L'Oreal had been getting a bit samey samey and I don't find they grip the curl as well as YSL's offerings. I can't afford to own high end mascaras all of the time as it's a product I find I replace the most often, but as it was my birthday month I deserved a little splurge. I would recommend this product if you like bold black lashes (though granted that isn't the look I want everyday) so if you were curious about YSL mascara's then try this one!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

My collection- highlighters & illuminators.

Complexion is key, if your base isn't right then the colour you add with eyeshadows and lip products won't look their best. For a polished, healthy complexion I rely on highlighters and illuminators, and due to my magpie like tendencies with said product I have managed to work up quite a collection....

MAC MSF in 'Soft & Gentle' doesn't need much of an introduction, and I choose to use it most days. It's a warm highlighter that can be dusted all over or built up in certain areas to create a glow. As it is mineral, it can be used wet or dry and this also creates different finishes, you get a huge dome of product and is a definite summer must have for me, but be careful not to build it up to a strong metallic finish- unless you want to look like the Tin Man from Oz.

YSL 'The White Tuxedo Palette' or Palette Blanc Terriblement; This was Limited Edition in the YSL Christmas Collection in 2011. It is perfect for the winter because it is cool toned and more suited to pale complexions, in the case it looks like freshly fallen snow and was almost too pretty to use. Overall it creates a pretty pink pearlescent highlight, however less is certainly more with this one. See more here.

TopShop Highlighter in 'Sunbeam'; To be honest I don't know what I was thinking when I bought this product, I can't see this suiting anybody because it is just so gold. I find it hard to apply this subtley and the finish is just all off. I've only used this a coule of times, I think it'll be cleaned and go into a future MUA kit for the more 'out there', imaginative looks. Not one for you natural Nancy's out there.

NARS Illuminator in 'Super Orgasm'; This is a pretty golden peach colour that is creamy in consistency. It's pretty applied onto the cheeks but due to it's glittery shimmer it is more suitable for night time. This isn't a product I use very much, but I am going to try and use it more.

Benefit 'Watt's Up!' this is a fairly new release from Benefit and is a creamy stick of a champagne gold colour. It's a verstaile colour as it can be used as an eyeshadow aswell. It gives a similar finish to Soft and Gentle, but is in cream form so is best suited for girls who don't set their foundation with powder, as it blends better then.

MAC Cream Colour Base in 'Pearl'- Once upon a time, I love love loved this however it began to feel a bit too greasy on my skin and didn't blend as well. The shade is gorgeous as it suits my skin tone yet adds a warm, subtle glow. This is perfect as an all over highlighter, it's delicate finish means it is perfect stroked down the centre of the nose, above the lips, on the brow bone and of course, on the cheek bone. It's best blended when your foundation is still wet!

TopShop 'Skin Glow'- I've had this one a while and am just using it up. It reminds me of Benefit's Moon Beam which has now been discontinued, but is similar in it's pink, gold pearlescent finish. It's lovely mixed into foundation or as a base before foundation but not a product I would buy again.

MAC Strobe Cream- This perks up the skin and illuminates even through thick foundation. It is a popular product and I can see why, but the smell is pretty dire.

L'Oreal Lumi Magique primer- this is marketed as a primer though doesn't particularly prolong the wear of my makeup. I like to mix this in with foundations that are a bit too dark as it pales it down whilst adding an illuminating glow. 

Benefit 'Girl Meets Pearl'- this is similar to Watt's Up in terms of it's champagne gold colour however it is in liquid form, this is beautiful and very subtle, it adds a warmth but isn't a product I'll purchase full size.

Benefit 'High Brow'; I love this because it instantly lifts the brow bone when gently applied and blended beneath the brow. It works best on fair skin tones as it will look most natural, and can also be applied on the water line to brighten up tired eyes, due to it's pinky tones it's a bit more natural than a stark white eyeliner.

Benefit 'High Beam'; This is an oldie but a goodie. Personally, I think this product is too 'high shine' for use on the cheekbones, so is best used to highlight the brow bone. This is the perfect finishing touch to an evening smokey eye, or used in the day to open up the eye area and add a beautiful sheen. The effects are very obvious so isn't one for those who like a tuned down look, and again this is best suited to fairer skins as it will just look streaky and too white/silver on anyone tanned or with deep skin tones.

I think that powder is my favourite medium to use at the moment so I am looking to expand on my powder highlighter collection- do you have any that you can recommend to me??

Friday, 14 September 2012

Estee Lauder GWP- The Contents.

As I mentioned in a post a couple of days ago it's currently Gift With Purchase time for Estee Lauder (exclusive to Debenhams). This happens twice a year and is an offer of a free makeup bag containing 7 samples when you purchase two items (this time around, one has to be skincare.)

I thought I'd do a post showing you it's contents, with my thoughts on the products they've included. There's always a choice between two makeup bags; the skincare is what differs inside, I chose the bag targeted towards normal/combination skin but the other is targeted towards more mature (there's a firming moisturiser) or dry skin.


Perfectly Clean Splash Away Foaming Cleanser- I'm always dubious to try new cleansers, this one has a floral scent and seems quite thick. I will give it a go when I've run out of my current one but I'm not expecting much. Who knows, I might be proven wrong!

Perfectly Clean Fresh Balancing Lotion- Again, I'm a bit cautious to try this. This is quite heavily scented (fresh and floral) however I think I will give it a go once by Liz Earle Skin Boost toner has run out because I know that this is alcohol free so should be fairly gentle.

Idealist Even Skintone Iluminator- This is a serum that instantly gives a glow and radiance boost to the skin with it's pearly beam finish, it also works on improving any uneven skintone over time with constant use. I always feel that this is a product I should love, so I'm looking forward to trying this. (You get a sample of Advanced Night Repair in the other bag).

Daywear Moisturiser- I've been using this moisturiser full sized throughout the year and have just finished it so this miniature is welcomed. A good cucumber scented moisturiser offering SPF15 but feels a little oily at times as it leaves behind residue, there is an oil free version with SPF 25 avalable for a few pennies more if you did like the sound of this.


'Sumptuous Extreme' Mascara- The brush for this is huge so is clearly a mascara for building bold volume- it's tapered at the end of the wand so it'll be easy to coat those hard-to-reach inner lashes. I've used the regular 'Sumptuous' mascara before and was impressed, as I didn't experience any smudging or 'panda eyes' and the sample lasted me longer than I expected.

Pure Colour Lipstick in 'Pink Parfait'; This is a sweet, wearable, light candy pink which carries that signature fig smell of Estee Lauder lipsticks. All their formulations are enriched with minerals which won't dry your lips out while offering good colour pay off and medium shine. This shade has a slight pearlescent finish to it, which puts me off it but will appeal to others!

Pure Colour Lip Gloss Duo in 'Rock Candy' and 'Plum Divine'- I think including a gloss was a good decision as there's something to please everyone, as not everyone likes to wear lipsticks and visa versa. 'Rock Candy' is very me and I'll use this a lot, it's a pretty milky pink colour with shimmer running through it and will perk up 'Pink Parfait' perfectly. 'Plum Divine' is a little brown toned for my taste but would look lovely on Asian or black skintones, or layered over a brighter lipstick such as MAC's 'Up The Amp' or 'Rebel'.

Overall I don't think this set is bad for a freebie, especially if you're a fan of the brand and are looking to repurchase your favourite products anyway. The makeup bag is pretty tasteless in my opinion, however I know that some people love it, packaging is always subjective! It's also a good way to really test out some products if you were new to the brand, as the samples are large enough to try things properly, and those you're not going to try you can give them to friends or family who will!

This offer is on until the 29th September- will you take advantage or are these products not for you?

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Midweek post: What A Blast!

MAC Pro Longwear Lip Liner in 'What A Blast!', £14 for 1.2g.

It's no secret that I love bright lip colours. Whether it be coral, pink or red I feel most comfortable with a pop of colour on my lips, nudes just aren't for me.
I bought this Pro Longwear lip liner in 'What A Blast!' hoping that I could use it as an all over lip colour due to it's unashamedly vivid neon colour.

The Pro Longwear pencil promises to be longwearing, with smooth application and high pigment. The pencil does tick two of these three boxes; the pencil is so creamy and buttery soft in comparison to the regular MAC lip liners, there's no dragging or discomfort. Secondly, the pigmentation is so fantastic that it'll make you wince. This shade is one of the most vivid, bright neon colours I have ever seen or experienced in lip colour and for that reason I don't want to write a totally negative review...
The one issue I have is that it isn't longwearing on me. The texture is so creamy yet when it sets on the lips it does that typical thing that so many 'longwearing' products end up doing, and that is it becomes dry and crumbly. As soon as I take a sip of a drink, let alone eat, the colour is gone and I'm left with a delightful ring around my lips along with flakes and crumbs of orange how attractive does that sound? I find this issue really frustrating as I absolutely hate being paranoid when I'm wearing a makeup product, it takes all the fun out of it when you're constantly checking if it's still in place- and in this case, it never is!
As a lipliner on it's own it is ok, and I find I can pair it with my 17 listick in 'Hot Chilli' fairly well, so unfortunately for me it'll have to remain solely as a lip liner.

Sadly my opinion on What A Blast! is a split one. I adore how vivid the shade is with it's high end edge, yet the dry consistency and it's embarassingly poor lasting power put me off picking it up as often as I'd like. Sad face.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

John Frieda Full Repair x2 Review

John Frieda Full Repair Deep Conditioner, £6.29 for 150ml. 
John Frieda Full Repair Perfect Ends Sheer Mist, £6.99 for 75ml

I have dyed my hair since I was 13, when I had my first set of highlights put in. Since then I have had white/lilac hair, yellow (don't ask), brown hair, black hair, ginger hair, and I've gone back full circle recently and opted for blonde highlights run through with my natural hair colour. We'll see how long this lasts...
10 whole years of hair abuse has seen my locks loose most of it's vitality, it's certainly had a time of it. Sorry hair!

I only started taking a proper interest in hair products when I placed a Bumble&Bumble and Ojon order in the spring. While I got on with the Ojon dry recovery range, I can't help but feel it doesn't quite justify that exortionate price tag and I have an on/off relationship with BB Salt Spray.

When I was offered to try two products from the John Frieda Full Recovery range I gladly accepted, I hoped that I'd see positive results so that I'd be able to repurchase in the future as they are reasonably priced and easily accessible. 

The Deep Conditioner is something my hair obviously needed. A scoop of this from the tub and massaged into the ends of my hair and left for a few minutes has made my hair smooth and soft, and also reduces the knots in my hair that I, annoyingly, always have after washing. It's scented with a fruity salon smell and it doesn't create that icky product build up that some conditioners can leave behind (no matter how long you rinse), resulting in an intensive mask that feels lightweight on the hair. I will continue to use this and will definitely buy this one again, I just wish it wasn't packaged in a tub- they're so awkward when you're in the shower and have wet hands!

The Perfect Ends Sheer Mist is an after wash treatment, that sprayed into towel dry hair maintains the smooth feel that the conditioner created and also offers protection against heat treatments. Similarly to the conditioner, there's no residue left behind that products in the same price range do, in my experience. As heat protection sprays go, this is a nice one, it seems to hold the blow dry well- my hair stays straighter for longer after using this.

I've been more than impressed with the Full Repair range and am thankful to have been sent them as they have helped my hair maintain a good condition and are within the price range that I am comfortable with spending on hair products. (I'm running really low on the Deep Conditioner already!)
I'd be really interested to try the Perfect Ends Deep Infusion Serum when I'm next in Boots or Superdrug, as I think it would accompany the Sheer Mist well by optimising protection and perhaps helping condition and smooth out my knots.

What hair repair products do you use? Will you be picking any of these Full Repair products up in the future?

If you want to watch some helpful how-to videos created to promote the John Frieda repair range, see my post here with a link to the videos. They've since added more for you to check out so it is worth subscribing to the channel. I'm off to learn how to do a hair bow now, laters!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Midweek post: Vintage Makeup / Vintage Posters

Max Factor Advertisement 1952.

Max Factor Advertisment 1960
Some of you may know that I recently moved into a house. Whilst I am really excited to be in a house with my fiance, I absolutely DESPISED the inevitable hours packing before we got to enjoy our new home. I just have no motivation for it. However, I knew that I wanted a fresh start with this move so sorted through all of my makeup, it was quite a task! Some of it was to throw away, and some I am going to send to Give and Make Up.

I couldn't help but giggle when I stumbled accross this Pan Stik from Max Factor. I had kept it for it's nostalgic memories of me actually using this on my face in my teen years after the only pale foundation I had found at pharmacy prices had been discontinued and a friend directed me to this.
Whilst the shade is too deep and pink for me, you've got to admire how rich and creamy this stuff is. The consistency and coverage feel like a concealer rather than a foundation to me as it is quite heavy and the way it is contained lends itself to be used as touch-up makeup, still, if you think about how long this product has been on sale for, you've got to admire how revolutionary it would have been.

A bit of history:
The PanStik was released commercially in the 1940's. Athough Max Factor died in 1938, he had pioneered theatrical makeup suitable for the modern progression in film-making by developing new formulas of greasepaint. His brother carried on the legacy and helped make the brand become successful and readily available rather than being restricted as theatrical makeup for the stars of the day.

Many modern foundations have taken the form of the Pan Stik, probably due to it's fuss free packaging, think of the Benefit Playstix, Bobbi Brown's Foundation Stick, and now Makeup Forever's very own Pan Stik, all of which are similar in their creaminess and coverage.

This (re)discovery of the Pan Stik lead me to a little online search which soon reignited my interest in vintage advertising (this may have also been prompted from watching a marathon session of Mad Men the night before).
I have always had an interest in this area and it made sense that I looked into buying a few to decorate the new house with. I found an absolute plethora on eBay for such decent prices! There's loads of choice online and brand images included Avon, Maybelline, Clinique, Mary Quant, Yardley and Coty amongst others so go and check them out if you're interested. If you want me to show you which ones I bought and where I put them just let me know and I'll do a post on that too!

(This was an unusual post, but the Pan Stik was just too hilarious not to share.)