Monday, 29 July 2013

MAC Pro Palette Project

Hi guys! I got this idea from Leigh who posted ages ago about her new MAC 15 pro palette and how it was super expensive to buy all the eyeshadow refills at one time. I know that feeling all too well, having completed a quad at the beginning of the year (post here) and spending over £50 to do so. Quite mental when you really think about it, huh? However, now that I receive a nice pay check every month I've decided to create a little project for myself in the form of the Pro Palette Project! The only rule is that I must limit myself to buying one or two eyeshadows (at £10 a pop I think this is pretty reasonable) each month until the palette is full. I'm so excited to get on with it! Does that make me sad? Payday luckily rolled around quickly so I popped on over to the MAC website (heaven forbid I actually get a counter near me in my lifetime) and bought a large single pro palette case along with an insert that accommodates for 15 eyeshadows. I have a list as long as my arm when it comes to which eyeshadows I would love to add to my collection but my first two eyeshadows I decided on were Sumptuous Olive and Cranberry.

I chose these two as my first additions to the 15 palette because they're so different from the neutrals I usually go with!

Sumptuous Olive looks a light olive-green in the pan, but when swatched and blended transforms into a beautiful greenish gold colour. It's a veluxe pearl formula so you know it's going to be soft and velvety in texture with a lovely shimmer. I've been really into green recently, and like to wear this shade with Topshop's khaki kohl eyeliner which is super soft and blendable - they honestly work like a dream together! If you like easy-to-wear, no fuss greens then this is definitely the shade for you!

Cranberry isn't one to fool - it applies the same as it looks in the pan with fabulous colour pay off! It's a very pretty rich red plum colour with pink undertones and a frosty finish. I think it's difficult to find a reddish eyeshadow that doesn't make you look sickly or tired but this shade will make the likes of blue eyes pop, as well as add a gorgeous ruby shimmer to people with darker eyes like myself. Another versatile shade to add to my ever-growing collection!

Overall I'm really pleased with my purchases and can't wait until my next payday to continue my little project! 

What do you think of the Pro Palette Project?


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Another Boots Haul: Hair and Skincare Edition

A very pink and girly haul, I think you'll agree! At the beginning of the week I went into town with the intention of buying those amazing (and now pretty infamous) baseball shirts from H&M but of course I couldn't find them anywhere in that mess of a store. So instead I wandered down the street and popped into Boots for a look around, coming away with everything but the kitchen sink.

First up was skincare, and you have to be a real mentalist to go into Boots and not come away with some kind of Soap & Glory product! I took advantage of their 3-for-2 beauty offer and repurchased their Clean on Me™ shower gel, which I have used religiously for a good few years. It smells absolutely gorgeous and lasts surprisingly long for such a thick, luxurious formula with a pump applicator. It also has the bonus of having a built-in body lotion! To accompany this, I wanted to stick with the same scent and went for the Righteous Butter™. I use this creamy body butter after showering and I think that the formula is lovely; sinks into the skin well and leaves you feeling smooth and smelling amazing, thanks to that infamous 'original pink' fragrance (enriched with orange leaf, lemon, strawberries, peach, rose, jasmine, and gardenia blooms). To complete the trio, I splashed out a little and bought Sit Tight™ body firming serum. I'm really looking forward to trying this one out. It looks so unique too, with roller balls that help stimulate circulation in the skin and reduce those problematic areas we all have. They claim it's especially good for people who have an office job, because it can firm while you're sat on your bottom - hence the namesake!

Onto haircare now, and I couldn't resist buying another trio that I've heard brilliant things about! My hair is pretty flat and dry, and isn't helped by my bleaching routine every few months (honestly trying to avoid doing it so often but there's only so much regrowth you can take!) so I bought all of these hair products to try and give my hair a bit of volume and that sought-after "oomph". That's where the VO5 range comes in! I bought the Heat Defence Volume weightless mousse, Dry Texturising spray and the Dry Backcomb spray. I've used all three products a couple of times already and have been pleasantly surprised and glad that they live up to the hype so far.

The last product I was dead set on getting was the Charles Worthington Amplifying Volume Treatment. Part of the salon at home range, this volumizing treatment can be used whenever you feel your hair needs a boost. I used this on my hair tonight and after the first use I can honestly say that I really love it. The consistency is jelly-like and easily massaged into the hair roots, moving down to the ends. Applied in place of my usual conditioner, my hair ended up feeling light, bouncy and healthy once rinsed and blow-dried. It also left my hair smelling absolutely gorgeous! At £14.99, I think you're getting a pretty good deal. I mean, it's a salon product that gives you results and the tube is huge so it's going to last. To complete my haul I decided to buy another beauty blogger favourite - the Tangle Teezer. I'm really looking forward to giving this a good go as I've used the same hairbrush for the longest time. I suffer from damaged hair so I'm very prone to breakages and split ends; the Tangle Teezer is supposed to improve the condition of your hair by way of the unique teeth configuration. It claims to deliver rapid pain-free detangling as well as polishing hair for high shine. I bought it in the ever-girly dynamic hot pink but other colours are available too!

And that's it! What do you think of my purchases? Any favourite products in the haul that have really impressed you personally?

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Origins Super Spot Remover™

Okay, let's face it, we all have those days where our skin just really isn't looking its best. And no matter how much we cleanse and tone sometimes those nasty blemishes still appear and ruin a good day. Enter the Super Spot Remover™by Origins! 

In my experience, this is by far the best spot treatment I've ever tried and definitely one of the best products on the market as far as blemish treatments go. I don't really suffer from crazy breakouts or persistent acne but I do get blemishes here and there occasionally like everyone else. They always tend to happen when I'm busy and stressed, and they're mostly big, red and painful to the touch so I wanted an effective treatment that would alleviate these problems for me. 

Now for the science bit: the Super Spot Remover's main ingredient is salicylic acid, which helps to fight spots when they appear as well as fade acne scarring. The product also contains caffeine and red algae which help visibly relieve irritating redness, and witch hazel and clove oil which help to eradicate breakouts. To use, simply dab a dot of the clear gel on your blemish with clean fingers (the packaging suggests doing so 1-3 times a day) and play the waiting game. The gel dries and tingles on the skin at first but the results are worth that - in a matter of hours my blemishes are less red and painful, and a few days later they're completely gone.

No wonder this product has achieved cult status and won so many beauty awards; it's one of the must-haves in my bathroom cabinet and will forever take pride of place in my skincare routine whenever I find myself with ugly clogged up pores! I now completely understand the hype around this product and will certainly be repurchasing when it's finally all gone.

Onto the price which has actually gone up a quid since I bought mine, but I honestly think it's worth the £14.00 it now retails for. It's such a tiny bottle as well so it can easily be popped into your handbag if you're having a really bad skin day! I know you're probably thinking that the price is a lot for a 10ml bottle, however because it's a treatment gel and targets spots specifically Origins reckon it can last for up to two years! A small price to pay for spot-free skin!

What are your experiences with the Origins Super Spot Remover™?


Thursday, 18 July 2013

Daisy, Daisy...

Dress - Motel Rocks
Mochino Belt - Ebay
Arrow Charm Necklace - ASOS
Pretty Kitty Bracelet - Shop Dixi
Assorted Rings - Accessorize, Ebay, Shop Dixi

Hey guys! So, here it is - my very first outfit post on the blog! I'm kind of nervous as I write this, simply because I follow so many gorgeous fashion bloggers who have way more experience in taking great photographs and being natural in front of the camera. Nevertheless, investing the help of my mum for a few shots and my trusty tripod and self timer for the rest I have finally plucked up the courage to post about this lovely dress!

The popular Motel Topi Tea dress in tomato daisy print (also available in black) retails at £40.00 and is, for me, the ultimate summer dress. I absolutely adore it, and have dressed it down during the day with sandals or dressed it up for the evening with some black court pumps. Being out in the garden today I simply went barefoot (not much of an outfit post regularity) and teamed the dress with my Mochino belt which I picked up for a bargain on Ebay ages ago, and a load of my favourite current pieces of jewellery. Nothing too crazy - I'm obsessed with silver and white gold rings, specifically midi rings and thumb rings, and wear them daily. I know it's bad to mix gold with silver jewellery but I couldn't resist popping on my cute little pretty kitty bracelet and my subtle arrow charm necklace to complete the look. On my nails I'm wearing Essie's Avenue Maintain which is a rich cool blue tone that gives your nails a splash of chic colour, and adds a bit of contrast to the red of the dress!

And there you have it, my first outfit post! Let me know what you think!!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser

Okay, I know what you're thinking - another beauty blogger posting about another skincare product that's been talked about to death already... But hang tight, because I've actually been pleasantly surprised by the idea of this in-shower body moisturiser.

With its trademark blue bottle, Nivea have created a body moisturiser that saves us time slathering ourselves in lotions and potions after we have our morning (or evening!) shower. The product claims to contain a skin conditioning formula which is applied straight after cleansing in the shower and is rinsed off immediately in order to leave skin feeling soft, silky and nourished. I bought mine for dry skin, for obvious reasons and was quite impressed with the fresh clean scent and the way it quickly sunk into the skin. There's nothing worse than applying moisturiser after a shower and standing there starkers for ages waiting for it to sink in, especially when you're already running late! The formula is enriched with almond oil, known as an emollient and, subsequently, its absorbent qualities. It also improves your complexion, helping your skin to achieve that much sought-after healthy glow, and is said to relieve irritated dry skin as well. So many benefits!

Overall, I'm sure everyone would agree with me when I say that we're all for skincare products that save us time in the mornings, and I love the idea of an in-shower body moisturiser. Even though it has made my skin smooth and nourished over the past few weeks I would still use my regular moisturiser afterwards if my skin was having an off-day. It was cheap too, so taking the time to trial it has not left me disappointed with my bank balance. I think I would purchase this product again.

Have any of you tried Nivea's In-Shower Body Moisturiser? What have been your experiences?


Sunday, 14 July 2013

YSL Rouge Volupté Lipstick in Peach Passion

I bought this YSL lipstick ages ago and I've not really worn it as much as I would've liked! However, now that it's warmer and sunny I feel like it's time that I gave it some more air time.

Peach Passion is a lovely coral peach shade with a matte finish. YSL boasts a light yet rich formula in all of their lipsticks: "the creamy texture becomes fluid on contact with the lips for a smooth and pleasurable application that instantly leaves the lips feeling soft and dresses them with exceptional radiant colour". I must admit that the texture feels more like a lip butter and I cannot fault them on their pigmentation. Although I found that the application was opaque, it didn't seem quite right on me (although that may have been the condition of my lips in the first place) and the staying power wasn't brilliant for such a high end product. I found myself having to reapply throughout the day and felt it was quite drying after a while. Having said that, it feels light and rich for sure and the smell of the lipstick is fantastic - fresh and peachy!

In hindsight I'm not sure if the colour is entirely suited to my paler skin tone but I don't really own many bright coral lipstick shades so there's not much to compare it to in my makeup collection. From my experience, I'm going to go against the grain here to say that I don't think this lipstick is all it's cracked up to be, and I don't think it's worth £24.50 for a product that doesn't last as long as it should. I kind of feel like we're paying that price more so for the gorgeous packaging as opposed to the lipstick itself, which is a shame. Nevertheless I will keep on trying with it until it's all gone but I don't think I would splash out on another YSL lipstick any time soon!

Has anyone had similar experiences with YSL lipsticks? Or is it all peachy for you?

Monday, 8 July 2013

La Roche-Posay Facial Skincare

Hi guys, hope you're all okay and enjoying the gorgeous weather outside! I actually can't quite believe Britain is getting this amazing heatwave right now - it finally feels like summer is here (at least for a little while)! Today I present you with a couple of skincare products that I've been loving recently from the French sensitive skin specialists La Roche-Posay.

I, myself, suffer from dry, sensitive skin which is prone to dehydration and redness so when I came across La Roche-Posay I was pleasantly surprised that they catered especially for my skin type and at pretty affordable prices too! I obviously convinced myself that I needed to incorporate more products into my skincare routine and so went ahead to the Escentual website (they currently have 15% off all La Roche-Posay products) to buy a couple of pre-cleanse bits and bobs. 

First of all I bought their 100ml Thermal Spring Water at £5.95 (RRP: £7.00). Now, before I began getting into beauty and skincare products seriously I think I would've laughed off the thought of buying thermal spring water in a spray can, but I've really felt the benefits in recent weeks. Any skin type can get dehydrated so this product is brilliant for all of us. Its purpose is to soothe and soften the skin by way of micro-droplets penetrating skin layers, but it can also be used in place of your usual toner after cleansing and can be used to set your makeup. Plus, in this sticky weather it's great for rehydrating and cooling down the skin! I would definitely take this on holiday with me if I was going somewhere warm - it feels incredibly refreshing.

I also bought the 200ml Physiological Micellar Solution at £10.20 (RRP: £12.00). To be honest, I was a little bit confused at the name, just because I'm sat here like "whoa, too many words!" but it's essentially a makeup remover and facial cleanser. It is hands down the best makeup remover I've tried - I can't rave enough about it! It's fabulous for lifting impurities and getting rid of stubborn mascara, and I love that it doesn't feel heavy or oily on your skin like some products can. Applied to the face, eyes and lips with a cotton wool pad, skin is left soothed and gently cleansed afterwards. As you can see from the photograph above, I absolutely love this product and I've already gotten through half of the bottle! Needless to say I will definitely be purchasing it again and again.

So my primary experience with La Roche-Posay is overall very positive. Not only are they affordable but they are also super reliable as products! If you have sensitive, dehydrated skin I would absolutely recommend giving them a go and incorporating them into your cleansing routine! Next up I'm looking forward to trying out their Physiological Soothing Toner, Cicaplast Baume B5 Soothing Repairing Balm, and the Rosaliac UV Riche Fortifying Anti-Redness Moisturiser.

Have you tried any skincare products from La Roche-Posay? What are your experiences?

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Getting Fit with Nike

Hey guys! So as you already know I've been continuing to update my workout routine as the months go on. This time last year I was complete lazy bum and the sofa was my safe haven, but here we are in July 2013 and I'm now incorporating the most simple exercise into my routine: running.

The prospect of running has always frightened me a little, just because I'm totally self conscious and used to think that running was inappropriate unless done professionally or as a child. However, at the ripe old age of 21 and 3 stone lighter over the course of 8 months I'm challenging myself to give it a proper go and stick to it. I've decided to try and go for a run three times a week and then casually build up my stamina and fitness to go for longer eventually. I feel like my exercise has stepped up a notch by adding running into my routine, and hopefully when the weather gets better I'll be way more motivated to get outside. Until then, I've been looking for my perfect running shoe as I'm in desperate need of the proper gear. Off I popped to Nike's website and, to my utter delight, found out that certain footwear can be customised for that personal touch! I spent ages browsing to find the running shoes that would be right for me and I've got the style pretty much sussed, but fear I need a little help in picking the right colours!

Black and Volt

Atomic Purple and Volt

Black and Total Crimson

My heart is set on the Nike Free 3.0 iD running shoe, and at £105 they are most definitely an investment buy for me. I figured that if I am committed to buying an expensive pair of running shoes then I can be committed to using them properly! My workout gear is pretty much black and grey so I figured any of these styles would suit without looking ridiculous. It's just the question of whether I should go safe with a black running shoe, or step out and get noticed in bright purple ones instead!

What do you guys think? I'd love to get some opinions before I make the big commitment!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder

If you had asked me a year ago if bronzing powder was a frequent feature in my everyday makeup routine I would've probably laughed right in your face. However, I have grown to love the stuff and now can't bear to part with it!

I bought the Bobbi Brown bronzing powder about six months ago and as you can see I've barely dug into the pan. The reviews on this were what truly sold the product for me - it's been top rated and classed as a must-have, and you know how much I'm swayed by other people's experiences. The bronzing powder is described as a soft matte, silky-smooth bronzer that instantly gives the skin the look of a natural tan. I purchased it in the lightest colour available (Golden Light) for the desired lightly tanned look.

Now, I sometimes find bronzers really tricky to deal with, mainly because I'm quite fair-skinned and I really don't want to come off looking like I've been completely tango-ed. From the swatch above you can see that it is quite an orange powder, but once easily blended it leaves my skin with a lovely golden tan. I used to use this for contouring only (with a Real Techniques contour brush), however with the recent - and somewhat short lived - summer weather I've used it more on the parts of my face which would naturally tan so basically the forehead, tops of the cheeks, nose and chin; ever so lightly applied and really blended into the skin. I love it, you honestly don't need much at all to make a huge impact. The price is the higher end and I think that it's worth every penny. It's an incredibly versatile product that lasts all day without reapplication. Not only this but it doesn't feel cakey on the skin at all.

I think it's safe to say that this product is now an essential in my makeup bag. I cannot wait to try out Chanel's Soleil Tan de Chanel for a chance to compare the powder texture of Bobbi Brown with the newer gel-cream bronzing formula. 

What do you guys think about bronzers? Essential products or unnecessary and simply forgettable? Which are your favourites?
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