Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Midweek Post: "Halloween Makeup"

I don't really do dressing up, especially at the moment when I am trying to be as sensible as I can with money, forking out on a Halloween costume is not top of my agenda. However, last night we had tickets for a ghostly walk around St Fagans in Cardiff so I thought I may aswell join in the spirit of Halloween. I chose a purple gradient lip with matching purple nails. Any excuse for me to wear some purple makeup, eh?

I lined my lips with MAC Magenta lipliner and filled it in with Rimmel's Kate Moss lipstick in 04, making sure it was completely opaque at the edges to add depth. I added MAC 'Up The Amp' lipstick and blended it out with a lip brush. To add a bit more depth I dabbed Illamasqua 'Plunge', but only in the centre of the lips. It took me about ten minutes and it was worth the effort- I loved the outcome! I paired this daring lip with a soft, subtle taupe smokey eye and small brown eyeliner flicks. I contoured fairly heavily using MAC's 'Harmony' and used MAC 'Soft and Gentle' Mineralize Skin Finish to highlight my cheekbones with- I missed out blusher completely!
I also popped No.7's 'Blackberry' nail polish on my nails then added some depth with Dior's 'Rock Coat'- this is a topcoat that makes nail varnish look 'smokey'. I love it. Sorry I didn't get a picture, but you can view it's effects here if you want to.

What are your plans for Halloween? Do you embrace it with full on costume or does it pass you by?

Monday, 29 October 2012

Empty Products- the October Edition.

It's that time of the month again, empties time!! I've racked up a total of 13 empty products this month, which is pretty good going for me. They're a mixture of skincare, haircare, nails, makeup and fragrance! Read on to see what I think of each. :-)

Bioderma Crealine h2O Solution Micellaire- I really enjoy using miscellar waters, I think they're great because they remove face/base makeup effectively and are gentle enough for all skin types. Bioderma was the first I purchased and probably remains my favourite of them all. It's unscented and I notice an improvement in my skin when I remove my makeup with it before cleansing my face, rather than just using a cleanser on it's own to remove my makeup as well as clean my skin. Bioderma isn't readily available in the UK (though I heard miniatures are on sale in Harrods now) so I use an eBay seller, I think this 500ml bottle cost me between £12-£15. There is something so simple yet tactile about the bottle too, I just love it.
Will I buy this again?
I've got an Etat Pur one to use now but I'm certain I'll buy this again in the future.

YSL Top Secrets Pro Removers Eye Makeup Remover- This 30ml bottle came free with a selection of YSL products in a makeup bag that I was given last Christmas after spending so much on the counter! I absolutely loved this, it removed eye makeup instantly and gently, without irritating my sensitive eyes.
Will I buy this again?
I've got a full sized eye makeup remover still unopened, but I would buy this full sized.

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish- Another month, another empty Cleanse & Polish! This is my go-to fail safe cleanser of the moment, it cleanses really well and gently removes any excess makeup. I think it's price is so reasonable for the quality, it contains gorgeous natural ingredients such as chamomile, cocoa butter and eucalyptus oil.
Will I buy this again?
Already have.

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Light moisturiser- This claims to offer 48 hour hydration and is targeted towards those with sensitive skin. The consistency of this is quite fluid and it takes quite a long time to absorb. For once, a Vichy product left me quite opinionless.
Will I buy this again?

L'Occitane Ultra Rich Body Cream- This was a sample given to me after my boyfriend spent £22 on a body wash for my birthday. I absolutely adored this, while I only used it once I noticed how quickly it absorbed for such a rich cream that contains 25% Shea Butter. It softened my legs and elbows, and the nourished effects could still be felt in these areas days later, after further showering.
Will I buy this?
I would love to have this full size, it'd be a perfect winter moisturiser.

Kiehls 'Creme De Corps' All Over Body moisturiser- This was a favourite of mine and was featured in my May favourites. Luxurious, soft, and doesn't take too long to absorb, it's ideal if you're looking for an unscented intensive body moisturiser. This is technically Ben's, so he used it up and I thought I'd include it in the post, I only used it sporadically but I always enjoyed it when I did.
Will I buy this again?
I'm sure Ben will ;-)

Lee Stafford Hot Shots 4 Blondes- I used to use these religiously when I had white bleached hair when I was younger. This time around, they don't seem to have done much though girls at work keep commenting that I seem to be blonder and blonder each week so perhaps it has been working more than I know noticed. It's a purple treatment that you lather into shampooed hair, before conditioning. You're meant to leave it on for 2 minutes but I always try and do 5, it eliminates brassy, yellow tones to colour treated hair to create a more pure blonde.
Will I buy this again?
This was a repurchase but this time I'm undecided. I think I will try another purple treatment first.

Batiste Dry Shampoo in 'Cherry'- This will probably appear every month. You can read what I think here.
Will I buy this again?
Already have.

17 Miracle Matte pressed powder in 'Ivory Porcelain'- While this was nice n' pale, it was too powdery and heavy on the skin no matter how little I used. The entire product lasted me about two months, but it did shatter when it was near empty and I lost a lot of product when I subsequently opened it!
Will I buy this again?

Nails Inc 'Harley Street' ridge filler- Though this isn't technically empty, it has died a death. The brush no longer reaches the product unless tipped and the product is a gloopy mess. This has served me well as a base coat and I've used it so much over the last year. It smoothes the base of the nail well and doesn't take very long to dry.
Will I buy this again?
I've got another basecoat to use up at the moment, but it doesn't even compare to this one. I will buy this again when I've got a spare tenner.

Hugo Boss 'Orange' EDT-  I've had this for a loong time and for a while it was my favourite but then I felt that it didn't last very long on my skin and stopped wearing it as often. I think my tastes have changed (working next to the perfume department hasn't helped!) so I won't buy this again even though it is a gorgeous scent. I remember an old friend of mine telling me 'if I was a girl, I'd want to smell like that' when I hugged him, and I was wearing this at the time. That sounds quite funny written down, but it was a nice compliment all the same.
Will I buy this again?

Dolce and Gabbana 'Pour Femme' EDP- This was a 2ml sample size of the new fragrance. I've never really liked D&G perfumes and this one was no exception; it's overly sweet, heavy and unoriginal.
Will I buy this?

Marc Jacobs 'Daisy' EDT- Another sample. This is a pretty, feminine and playful scent that I imagine would appeal to a large age range. It's fresh and floral, a lovely day scent or for the summer.
Will I buy this?
No- I don't love the scent enough, and I don't like the bottle!

Do you use any of these products, if so what do you think of them? Please link me to your empties posts too, they're my favourite to read!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Clynol Sealed Ends Fluid Review.

Clynol Repair Caress Sealed Ends Fluid, £8.37 for 75ml here.

After just three uses of this product I was in awe of the difference I could feel on my hair, it's not often you can feel almost instant results with a hair product. I've since been using it daily and my experiences with it so far have been positive, I've been looking forward to sharing it with you all!

I was attracted to Clynol because of it's dedication to creating salon quality hair at an affordable price. The ingredients in this Sealed Ends Fluid excite me; it contains macadamia and olive oil, marula and argan oils along with sweet almond and and apricot kernal. These active ingredients help restore and protect the ends of hair against further damage.

Sealed Ends Fluid is a gooey white serum that you massage into the ends of your hair to help combat dryness and split ends. The packaging states it can be used on wet or dry hair, and while I am normally dubious to put wet products on dry hair it was actually absorbed fairly quickly and was weightless afterwards. The ends of my hair look glossier and they feel nourished. 
Though it is hard to comment on it's long term benefits as I have only been using it for three weeks, I am impressed so far and will continue to use this to see how much the condition of my hair improves.

In times where money is short for many, a product like this could help prolong the time inbetween haircuts as it helps prevents the ends of the hair from looking shabby and uncared for. I do get my hair cut every 2-3 months, so while the ends of my hair aren't in a particularly unkempt condition, they do split quickly due to dryness from long term hair dye and constant straightening.
I would recommend this product for you girls out there who have dry ends from dye or bleach, or overstyled hair which suffers from heat damage. I've been using this product after washing my hair with The Body Shop's banana shampoo and conditioner which are really gentle and soften my hair, and this Clynol fluid seems to work with them well as it helps prolong the softness and works on repair inbetween washes.

Have you tried any products from Clynol? Would you be tempted to try this?

This product was sent for me to review. is one of the UK's leading online retailers of hair extensions, hair care and beauty products. You can order this product by clicking here.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Midweek Post: Essie 'Stylenomics'

Essie Nail Varnish in 'Stylenomics', £7.99 for 13.5ml.

Essie 'Stylenomics'- one coat. Sally Hansen Megashine topcoat- one coat.
Similarly to 'Head Mistress' which I reviewed here, 'Stylenomics' is part of the limited edition Autumn collection from Essie which is available in Boots stores in the UK. It's probably no secret by now how much I love Essie- the wide brush, quick drying formulas, amazing colour range and milky consistency. The only negative factor I can think of is that sometimes they chip too quickly. 'Stylenomics' is opaque in one coat, which cuts manicure time in half. This is the only Essie shade I own that is really dark, so I cannot comment for all of them, but the consistency of this felt thicker and more like a gel, which is probably the reason it only needed one coat instead of two or three.
I would describe the colour as a green infused black. In some lights, or to an untrained eye this varnish probably does look black, but it's certainly got a murky, moss green pigment that makes it so stunning and autumnal, and I hope that this comes across in the photos. I couldn't find any 'dupes' for it on any of the other makeup stands in Boots, so you'd probably have to go high end if you wanted a colour like this, which in turn completely takes the point out of a 'dupe' as they'll be no cheaper.

All in all, another Essie colour that I adore. I think this is my new favourite; it's mysterious, chic and powerful.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Silver & Smokey.

Sometimes breaking out of your comfort zone is an absolute disaster, but sometimes it results in a new favourite. I've mentioned before that I flock like a magpie to brown and bronze eyeshadows and really neglect the other colours for fear that I can't pull them off.
I decided to try a silver eyeshadow, and created a smokey silver eye that I wanted to show you all- I think these colours are perfect for this time of year as they are cooler and seasonal, they're not colours I can see myself choosing in hotter weather.

Products used:
Maybelline 24 hr Tattoo in 'On and On Bronze'
Estee Lauder Eyeshadow in 'Cyber Silver' (LE)
MAC 'Coppering' Eyeshadow
Laura Mercier Eyeshadow in 'Rich Sienna'
Laura Mercier Eyeshadow in 'Black Coffee'
Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner in '2 Sepia Ink' 
YSL 'Shocking' Mascara.

I was really pleased with how much I liked silver eyeshadow on me, what colours do you love to use on your eyes? What shades should I experiment with next?

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Mini haul- The Body Shop.

I've not bought from The Body Shop in ages so was well due a visit. I got a 50% off code to use online but it expired before payday which was a huge shame as I had quite a few things in my basket. I decided what I really wanted to try and just went and got them, thankfully I've not been disappointed!

Banana Shampoo £4.50 for 250ml- While this doesn't lather particularly well (only on the second wash) it does cleanse the hair and rinses easily. I love the sweet banana smell but it isn't overpowering or too heavy.

Banana Conditioner £4.50 for 250ml - This creamy product feels good on my hair and keeps it really soft. Unfortunately it doesn't help with my knotty hair (anyone have any tips for knotty hair? The tangle teezer does nowt for me.) It is like banana puree in consistency, I always feel like I should be feeding it to a baby, not putting it on my hair! This is light and gentle enough to put all over the hair should you wish to.

While this shampoo and conditioner duo don't particularly brighten or make my hair glossier, it is the softest I have felt it in a very long time. And I'm talking baby soft, people! The natural ingredients must be nourishing it nicely and both wash out well, there's no heavy feeling to my hair (which I hate!) and no residue left behind, they both seem very gentle and for this reason I give them a thumbs up and would definitely recommend them to people who may suffer with a sensitive scalp.

Beautifying Oil in Coconut £9 for 100ml- Yes, so far so good with this one! I'm not sure it has done much for my hair, but it makes my skin feel smooth and soft and doesn't take too long to soak in so is great to whip on after a morning shower. I absolutely adore the smell this leaves on my skin; it's feminine, warm and tropical so is great used on it's own but it also doesn't react to any perfumes I've applied afterwards. The skin loving ingredient of marula oil also contains anti oxidents which is a bonus! I imagine this would be lovely to take on a summer holiday to top up that 'holiday smell' and keep the skin looking supple. 

Do you use any of these? Are you a fan of The Body Shop?


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Midweek Post: Le Teint Touche Eclat

Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Eclat foundation in 'BR10', £28 for 30ml.

If you've been reading my blog a while you'll know what a big fan of YSL I am. I think they have the edge over the Diors and Chanels when it comes to their cosmetic offerings, so when I heard about this release earlier in the year I knew that it'd be something that would be 'very me' beauty-wise, there's nothing I'd love more than to have a healthy, polished complexion.

It was hard, very hard, to put down the DoubleWear and give this a go. I was so used to the trustworthy staying power of DW that I was dubious to try any other foundations for risk of them falling off my face or going patchy after 4 hours.
YSL's Le Teint Touche Eclat is a very light foundation with inbuilt 'glow'. In consistency it is a thin gel, the coverage is buildable from light to light medium if desired and there is a shade that matches me well (BR 10).

There's no other way to decribe the finish of this than as shiny. It is shiny, but not greasy. I would recommend setting this with a powder in areas where you may not like to be too shiny, for me that is on the forehead, nose and chin yet due to it's finish, it glows through the powder and creates the look of inner radiance that, come on admit it- we all want. 
I was nicely surprised at how well this lasts too, aside from a bit of slip in my oiliest areas, it stays in place without a primer for a full day at work (lets say 7-8 hours indoors). I even put it to the test- it endured a day at Ikea and several hours of stressful DIY putting-together of various flatpack furniture and still looked alright at the end of all that. I'm very impressed!

Overall, I give this foundation a big thumbs up. It works well for me as it isn't too thick, it adds a radiance to the skin, it blends easily (I find it works best with fingers) and it matches my skin. This has certainly become my go-to foundation.

Do you use this foundation? What other foundations have you found to be surprisingly long lasting?

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Lychee Luxe Lipglass.

 M.A.C. Tinted Lipglass in 'Lychee Luxe', £13.50 for 4.8g.

You may remember that I surprised myself a couple of months ago at how much I liked my first Lipglass from MAC (you can see a review and swatches of Pink Lemonade here.) Well, I soon gave in and ordered another, with the good-enough-to-eat name 'Lychee Luxe'.

For once, the website seemed to describe the shade of this quite aptly as a 'pinky coral with golden shimmer'  -it's a red infused coral which makes it perfect to wear during this transitional season and throughout autumn because it's got more depth and is quite intense. This makes me happy as it's no secret what a coral girl I am, and I'm not ready to give them up yet! The gold shimmer specks are obvious when you're up close but they're not too chunky, the gold creates a warm sheen when the gloss reflects the light.

As with all lipglasses, the consistency is thick and balmy, and it's because of this that people's opinions of them always seem so split. It is also quite gloopy but it's due to these factors that you get impresive pigmentation and a long lasting finish. Whilst these are nice layered on top of lipsticks, these pack enough punch to be worn on their own and unlike the negative effects MAC lipsticks have on my lips (always dry and worse for wear the next day), this isn't the case with the lipglasses, which is another bonus.

I think I'll purchase a couple more of these over time, I've definitely got my eye on Russian Red and Eclectic Edge. (I wish I'd bought True Babe, why are the best colours always Limited Edition?!)

Do you own this shade? Are you a lover or a hater of The Mac Lipglass?

Friday, 12 October 2012

NOTD: Deep Autumn Red.

Essie Nail Varnish 'Head Mistress, £7.99 for 13.5ml.

Two coats of 'Head Mistress' with Sally Hansen MegaShine topcoat.
 Hello everyone! How are you all this Friday night?

Just a quick post to show you what colour I have been loving on my nails this week. It's an Essie shade called 'Head Mistress' and while I am not a fan of the name, I am a fan of the colour. I love classic red, on nails and lips but I did notice that my collection was missing a shimmer-free deep red. Obviously a necessity, I popped into Boots and soon sorted that situation!
Like many others I gravitate towards deep, rich shades as soon as Autumn hits. This colour deepens with every coat, and so far on the second day it remains chip free (which is pretty good going for Essie) 

I'm now after a British racing green kinda colour if anyone can recommend one

What are you wearing on your nails right now?

(Also- please excuse a couple of bitten nails in the above picture. Sadface.)

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Midweek Post: Goe Oil

Jao 'Goe Oil', £30 for 85g.

Jao are a company committed to producing 100% natural, multipurpose products. When I saw Goe Oil on a stand in London Liberty's with the words 'oil' 'multipurpose' and 'natural' I knew I had to have it. A quick whiff of it's Tahitian Monoi scent (to me this smells like sweet lemon) and it was sold!

The ingredients:

Goe Oil contains 28 different natural plant oils and butters including Jojoba, Avocado, Chamomile, Rose Hip and Mango butter. It's completely free from any naughties such as parabenns, mineral oils/petroleum and artifical perfumes.
It contains a very high concentration of Jojoba Oil which is likened to human sebum. Sebum naturally protects our skin and hair, so by including a natural equivelant this product actually replaces the oils and sebum that we lose through age and environmental stressors, keeping our skin healthy and plump!

The uses:

Jao describe their product as a 'lifesaver'. Here are some of the uses that they believe Goe Oil is perfect for-  softening cuticles and rough skin such as elbows and feet, hair styling, to soften freshly shaved legs, eye makeup remover (this I am yet to try). chapped skin and to make bald heads shiny (again, not one I can comment on.)

I can't use this every day because the absorbing process is lengthly, I have to allow around 40 minutes for this to soak in to a point where I can then get on with my day without feeling oily or sticky! It's thicker than other oils I have used, it comes out of the tube a solid butter but melts to oil when it is warmed on the skin. Once it has soaked in, my skin feels unbelievably soft and the beneficial effects can be felt days later. I'm currently using this once a week, and topping my skin up with lighter oils inbetween (at the moment I am using The Body Shop Coconut Beautifying Oil)

So far so good?

So far, so completely good. I love the feeling of applying this product to my skin. I love the smell and it's softening, nourishing effects. I'm going to continue using it and I think I'll do an update post in about three months time to let you know how I am finding it and if my skin has improved.

If you're interested in Jao's story you can read about it here. If you wanted to buy Goe Oil but aren't local to Liberty then I have seen this available on Amazon.

Do you use Goe Oil, or would you be tempted to by this? What are your favourite oils?

Sunday, 7 October 2012

FOTD: Creamy pink lips.

I was initially a little disappointed when I  first tried my Tom Ford lipstick in Blush Nude on. Before you think I'd have the audacity to 'diss' a TF lipstick, I'm not, just the shade wasn't for me. As most of you will know by now, Emily doesn't do nude lips. I just don't feel like me and I like having fun with colour which often results in coloured lips, and I also think flatters my pale skintone better, too. This Tom Ford lipstick is fine luxury- it's so creamy, so smooth, and so opaque on just one swipe on the lips, so I had to find a way to wear it.

By layering a bit of
'Rock Candy' lipgloss from Estee Lauder on top, which was part of a duo lipgloss I got free in their most recent Gift With Purchase (you can see that here), these two products create a soft milky pink that looks ace with a smokey eye. It's about as 'nude' as my lips will ever get, but I love it and know I'll be wearing this look a lot more often from now on.

What do you think? Do you own any Tom Ford lipsticks? I definitely need Wild Ginger in my life, I'm a sucker for an orange red.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Going back to the F80....

I've recently returned to the Sigma F80 buffing brush after neglecting it over the Real Techniques buffing brush which I bought in March.
While the Real Techniques brush is softer with a rounder head, I always feel it absorbs a bit too much of the product I'm trying to apply. At times it disappointed me because I felt it could make foundation streaky on my skin, no matter how much I buffed and circulated the brush. Don't get me wrong, I'd totally recommend this brush; it's cruelty free, it's readily available in Boots stores in the UK and does have that quality you'd expect from an expensive brush at an affordable price... I just don't think it beats my...

Sigma F80! I've owned this for well over a year and while ordering from Sigma is a pain in the a (they're based in America so expect to wait a few weeks for shipping), it was totally worth it for the quality of the brush. The heavy, chunky handle helps application and the fibres don't seem to soak up product like the R.T. buffing brush does. It applies evenly, and personally I think it gives better results with the foundation I use and on my skin. The F80 fibres are both denser and firmer which are two contributing factors as to why I think it is a better brush.

Both of these brushes are well known, and 'hyped', if you like. Both are good brushes, but I do prefer my F80. For now.

What's your favourite brush for foundation application?

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Midweek post: L'Occitane Milk Body Wash

L'Occitane Bonne Mere Gentle Body Wash, £22 for 600ml.

Whenever I walk past the L'occitane shop in Cardiff I always look through longingly. Well, on my birthday this looking caught Ben's attention and he dragged me in there for a birthday treat. Straight away I saw this and knew I had to have it!
It appealed to me with it's 'gentle' and kind-to-the-skin claims, I'd noticed some dry patches cropping up here and there, particularly on my lower legs and the back of my arms, and I like to use body washes that aren't too strongly scented or overpowering. I also thought it would be suitable for Ben to use too, should he want to borrow it (he has sensitive skin).

There was a choice between a milk or honey formulation. I chose the milk because I remember getting a giftset years ago with a milk bubble bath in it and I loved it.
The texture is creamy and feels like a foaming moisturiser. It lathers amazingly well, you're coated in bubbles after just a pump or two and it smells softly of milky-creamy goodness. I've noticed that said dry patches I mentioned above have been restored back to normal and my skin doesn't feel tight or dry after showering.

This is a luxury bathtime treat, and I would really recommend this body wash, particularly if you suffer with sensitive skin or are suffering from any skin ailments, I imagine this would be lovely and soothing on sun burn.

The pretty packaging also can't go unmentioned-simplistic and appealing with a tasteful nod to vintage- like other L'Occitane products. I love the way it adorns our bathroom!

What are your favourite L'Occitane products? Would you pick honey or milk?