Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Bicester Village Haul - MAC & Cath Kidston

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I went to Bicester Village. I've mentioned before how much I love shopping there - mainly because of The Cosmetics Company Store! It can be very hit-or-miss though, as it depends what stock they have in at that time. When I was there, they had an amazing selection of products including Bobbi Brown shimmer bricks and creamy concealers, Estee Lauder Doublewear foundation and a huge selection of MAC makeup including pigments, eyeshadows and lipsticks! I still only purchased two makeup items though, as I've had my eye on a few products from some of the upcoming MAC collections.

I was so excited to see the 'Innocense, Beware!' lipstick which was released with the Venomous Villains collection. I missed out on the lipstick when it originally came out, as it sold out so quickly! 'Innocense, Beware!' is actually being re-promoted with the Shop MAC, Cook MAC collection, but I absolutely adore the limited edition packaging with Cruella de Ville! It's such a pretty, pink-toned nude and it's a cremesheen so it's lovely and glossy on the lips. The eye pencil I purchased in 'I Get No Kick' is a pretty, shimmering nude - perfect for highlighting the inner corner and brow bone. I also wanted a new makeup bag as I get bored of them very easily and like to change them up now and again. I purchased the 'English Rose' cosmetic bag from Cath Kidston, which cost £8 instead of £12. It's the perfect size to carry my everyday makeup essentials and it's so pretty!

(Left: 'Innocense, Beware!', Right: 'I Get No Kick')


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

February Glossybox

'The Fashion Week Edition. As any fashion-week veteran can tell you, surviving the early mornings, long days and late nights while looking absolutely fabulous is all about preparation, darling. So whether you're running from show to show, walking runways or doing the school run, this is the box for you! Kick-start a sluggish circulation and wake up tired, aching feet with invigorating washes and lotions. Create hair so glamorous nobody will notice any bags and dark circles and throw our fabulous, multi-tasking products in your statement handbag to touch-up on the go.'
What was in the box

Becca Beach Tint in 'Watermelon' -  A gorgeous, rosey pink lip and cheek stain. I used this today and was really impressed. It's silky, smooth and blends like a dream, giving a gorgeous, natural-looking flush to the cheeks. It also has the most amazing, watermelon scent!

Dr Bronner Lavender Hand Sanitiser - I always carry a hand sanitiser with me. This has a lovely, lavender scent and the spray bottle is the perfect size to carry around in your bag.

Awapuhi by Paul Mitchell Wild Ginger Treatment Oil - I love hair oils and serums so I'm really looking forward to trying this! It promises to tame fly-aways and leave your hair feeling soft, silky and shiny.

BM Beauty Pure Mineral Eyeshadow - I received the shade 'Dusty Road' which is a gorgeous, shimmering gold. I find gold and tan shades suit me the most so I'm really happy I received this shade. I can definitely see myself using this!

Como Shambhala Invigorate Shower Gel - This shower gel contains essential oils of eucalyptus, lavender, geranium and peppermint. It comes in a 50ml bottle which is the perfect size for travelling or overnight stays.
My Thoughts

I think this may well be my favourite Glossybox so far! This box has such a good range of products and I can definitely see myself using everything. I can't even decide what I'm most excited to try! I love the mineral eyeshadow and the hair oil though, I'll definitely be getting lots of use out of these - they're perfect for me! I'm so, so happy with this month's box and the products I received, I can't wait to try everything!

Monday, 20 February 2012

My Collection: Foundations

This is the third part of the My Collection series, showing my foundation collection. I think it's always helpful to see comparison swatches of foundations to use for reference, when buying a new foundation. I always use fake tan so have a range of different shades to use, depending on how tanned I am. I mostly use the MAC foundations as the golden undertones match my tan well. My favourite, most-used foundations are MAC Studio Fix Fluid, MAC Face and Body and Estee Lauder Doublewear.

(Left to Right: DIOR Forever 'Apricot Beige', Vichy Dermablend 'Sand', Estee Lauder Doublewear 'Suede', REVLON Photoready 'Medium Beige', REVLON Colorstay 'Rich Tan', Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid 'Sun Beige')

(Left to Right: NARS Sheer Matte 'Syracuse', NARS Sheer Glow 'Barcelona', MAC Studio Fix Fluid 'NC42', MAC Studio Fix Fluid 'NC40', MAC Studio Sculpt 'NC42', MAC Face and Body 'C4', MAC Face and Body 'C5')

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Review: Babyliss 2285U Curling Wand

'This sassy styler is simply brilliant - it's no wonder that the BaByliss Curling Wand is such a huge hit with hairdressers. There's no clamp to fiddle with; just wrap your hair around the barrel for a few seconds and voila! Beautiful, modern curls will be yours - without any annoying kinks. The BaByliss Curling Wand's secret styling weapon is its nano-gold ceramic conical barrel. It helps to create free-flowing curls with a silky, shiny and sexy finish.'

The Babyliss curling wand has a 13-25mm conical barrel. It also has four different temperature settings, with a maximum of 200˚c.This allows you to select the appropriate heat setting for your hair type. It heats up quickly, in just 30 seconds. There is a heat indicator which flashes while heating up, to let you know when the wand is at the correct temperature and ready for use. I would definitely advise using the heat protectant glove, which the wand comes with, for the first few times of use until you get used to handling it ,as it does get very hot. The black tip at the end of the wand stays cool, which makes handling the wand easier, and there's a heat-rest integrated into the handle which is a nice touch as it stops the barrel from resting on surfaces.
The barrel is tapered so you can use the wider part of the wand for looser curls or the tip of the wand for tighter curls, depending on your preference. This is a conical wand so doesn't have a clamp to hold your hair in place. You simply take a section of your hair, wrap it around the wand and release it after 5-10 seconds. It's extremely easy to use, although may take a bit of getting used to, at first. You do have to be careful not to knock the on/off switch when using this, although this depends on how you hold the wand so may not be a problem for everyone. The wand has a swivel cord so you can easily turn the wand, without it getting caught.
I love this curling wand! It has easy-to-use features,and extra touches like the heat-rest handle and heat-protectant glove make this wand a pleasure to use. It creates soft, beachy waves, and I actually find, with a touch of hairspray, they last really well in my hair. This doesn't give you 'ringlet-type' curls but more of a soft, natural, wavy curl, a la Lauren Conrad.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Review: LUSH Buffy Body Butter

'Ground rice, ground almonds and ground aduki beans make Buffy a triple threat to dead skin and lumpy bumpy bits. They are tough enough to polish away the dead, without being too harsh on your skin. Cocoa butter and shea butter make sure that the skin is left moisturised and dewy soft. Lavender oil is a great oil for soothing the skin and calming the mind.'

Formally known as 'Buffy the Backside Slayer', the formulation of this body butter was inspired by girls in Brazil, who would use the sand from the beach to exfoliate their bottoms and thighs. 'Buffy' can be bought as either a 90g or 200g bar. It has a herbal, earthy scent - not my favourite scent but I don't find it lingers on your skin, so I don't really mind.

LUSH body butters are designed to be used in the shower. I massage 'Buffy' onto my damp skin in circular motions, then rinse it off and pat my skin dry with a towel. It can be used on specific 'problem' areas, such as cellulite or as a general body exfoliator, all over. I tend to mainly use it on my bottom and thighs.

The ground rice, almonds and aduki beans exfoliate the skin well. You can definitely feel 'Buffy' working, which I personally like, however if you have sensitive skin this may feel a bit too harsh for you. I believe the 'Aqua Mirabilis' body butter is a good alternative to 'Buffy' if you want a slightly gentler exfoliator.

'Buffy' also contains shea butter and cocoa butter which moisturize your skin. When initially applied, I do find this leaves my skin feeling greasy, but once soaked in, my skin feels incredibly smooth. Once you've rinsed off the body butter and got out of the shower, make sure you pat yourself dry with the towel, instead of rubbing, as this will allow 'Buffy' to really soak in and hydrate your skin.

I can see why 'Buffy' is a cult product. It leaves your skin wonderfully smooth and soft and I imagine, with regular use, this would help to reduce the appearance of cellulite (although I have yet to test this so can't guarantee!) If you have sensitive skin or prefer gentle exfoliators, I would not recommend this. But if you like to feel your exfoliator working and your skin is in need of a bit of moisturizing, this could be the product for you. I keep mine in one of the LUSH storage tins, which I'd really recommend, as it stops shower heat from melting it and is perfect for travelling. Overall, I'm really impressed with 'Buffy' and can definitely see myself repurchasing.

Buffy costs £5.50 for a 90g bar or £9.95 for a 200g bar

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Superdrug Offer: Batiste Dry Shampoo

Batiste dry shampoo is a life-saver! I'm never without a bottle. I use the 'Medium Brunette' dry shampoo, which is perfect for brunettes as it's tinted, so doesn't leave your hair with a horrible grey tinge. It usually costs £3.99 but at the moment it's on special offer in Superdrug so you can pick up a bottle for just £1.95!

I've stocked up :)

Monday, 13 February 2012

NYX Lipglosses: Whipped & Ballerina Pink

NYX is one of my favourite makeup brands. I think the products are all great quality and such amazing value. It's a shame the brand isn't widely available in the UK, as the products are quite hard to get hold of. I don't know of any shops which stock NYX near me so I usually purchase products from, although I know there's always NYX products available on EBAY too.

I love the Round Lipglosses from NYX. I currently own two shades; 'Whipped' and 'Ballerina Pink.' They're so creamy in consistency, not sticky at all, and have an angled, doe foot applicator which makes application easy. They have great colour pay-off and are semi-opaque on the lips. You don't need to wear a lipstick underneath these, unless you want to, as they give enough colour to the lips, worn alone. 'Whipped' is a peachy nude and 'Ballerina Pink' is a mid-toned pink with shimmer.

The NYX Round Lipglosses cost just £3 from love-makeup!

 (Top: Whipped. Bottom: Ballerina Pink)

 (Left: Ballerina Pink. Right: Whipped)

(Left: Whipped. Right: Ballerina Pink)

Saturday, 11 February 2012

MAC Naturally Haul

I haven't been interested in any of the latest MAC collections but I love the pretty, neutral shades in the 'Naturally' collection. There were a few nude lipsticks which I really liked the look of, but I resisted temptation as I really don't need any more nudes! I was also really excited to see the two mineralize skinfinishes - 'Blonde' and 'Redhead' which are repromotes from the 'Brunette, Blonde, Redhead' collection.

I've been reaching mostly for peach, coral or bronze toned blushes and cheek products at the moment so I decided to purchase the 'Redhead' msf and a mineralize blush in 'Fresh Honey.'

(Left: 'Fresh Honey' mineralize blush. Right: 'Redhead' msf - the 4 individual shades and then mixed all together)

I'm so happy with both my purchases! I've swatched 'Fresh Honey' quite heavily but on the cheeks it's a really pretty, peachy blush, and 'Redhead' looks gorgeous as a highlight, the bronzey-pink shades give the skin a lovely, sun-kissed glow.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Review: Four Reasons Heat Styler

'A lightweight heat protector that when applied on dry hair protects the hair against the use of straighteners or tongs. A must have for anyone that applies extreme heat to their hair.'

Four Reasons is the fastest growing professional hair care range in Scandinavia, stocked by over 3000 salons, and the brand has recently launched in the UK. It was also awarded 'Best Hair Products 2011' by Cosmopolitan readers. I was kindly sent the Four Reasons Heat Styler to try out.

The Four Reasons products have fun and unique packaging. The containers are covered in quirky sayings and quotes to do with hair. The Heat Styler comes in a 250ml plastic bottle, with a spray top and plastic cap.

I use heat on my hair daily, so always try to use a heat protectant when I style my hair to avoid it becoming dry and damaged. I've been using the Heat Styler, before straightening my hair. I section my hair, use just a few sprays of the styler and proceed to use my straightening iron. I've found the Heat Styler not only protects my hair from the heat, but also leaves my hair looking a lot smoother and shinier, after straightening. It seems to help my hair straighten easily and gives a better end result. It also doesn't leave my hair feeling stiff or crisp, like a few others I've tried. It doesn't smell the nicest as it's quite a plain, alcohol-ish scent, but the scent doesn't bother me.

The Heat Styler isn't just a heat protectant, it's also a styling product. After use, my hair appears shinier and smoother, and I've also found it reduces the overall time it takes me to style my hair in the mornings. I do really like the product and it delivers good results, although I'm not sure I'd repurchase as it's typically more than I'd spend on a heat protectant.

The Four Reasons Heat Styler costs £11.95.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Review: MAC Face and Body foundation

'A water-based, water-resistant foundation that provides natural coverage for face and/or body. Ideal for all skin types. Face and Body Foundation provides sheer, natural looking coverage in an easy to blend formula. Available in a wide range of colours. Contains several emollients to help moisturise and condition the skin. It delivers professional looking results that meet the exacting standards of beauty photography and is ideal for perfecting the face and body.'
Celebrities including Frankie Sandford and Cheryl Cole are rumoured to be fans of the Face and Body foundation, as well as many professional makeup artists. The foundation comes in a 120ml, plastic bottle, which you squeeze to distribute the foundation through the nozzle.

F&B is extremely thin and watery in consistency, which can take a bit of getting used to. When I apply F&B with a brush, I've found it doesn't apply as smoothly and is more difficult to blend, so I like apply it with my fingers. It takes about 10 seconds for the foundation to dry. Once dried, I like to smooth my fingers over my face, just to make sure the foundation is fully blended and there are no streaks.

F&B feels very light on the skin and makes skin appear healthier, more radiant and looks extremely natural. It's very sheer coverage but buildable. I nearly always take mine on holidays with me in the Summer, as it looks so natural on and gives skin a healthy glow, without feeling or looking heavy. I also like to mix mine in with other foundations to give them a more dewy effect.

Something which really impressed me with this foundation, is the lasting power. I'd always assumed lighter, dewy foundations wouldn't last as long on the skin, but F&B proved me wrong and after 7-8 hours of wear, it manages to look almost perfect with just a touch of blot powder applied during the day.

I love Face and Body! I think it would be perfect for anyone who doesn't like heavy foundations as it looks and feels so natural on and gives the skin a gorgeous luminosity. It also photographs well and doesn't give the dreaded 'flashback' so is perfect to use for special occassions, when lots of photos will be taken. The watery consistency does take a bit of getting used to and you need to take care to make sure it's blended properly, but the end results are more than worth it. It's not a foundation I reach for on an everyday-basis but it's my foundation of choice when I want a lighter, dewy look. I've even repurchased another bottle recently as my first bottle was running low!

(Left: MAC Studio Fix Fluid. Right: MAC Face and Body)
MAC Face and Body costs £25.50


Monday, 6 February 2012



Smashbox Photofinish primer
Maybelline 24 hour Superstay concealer
MAC Studio Fix Fluid (NC35 and NC42 mixed)
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural 'Medium Deep' (used as bronzer)
Benefit 'Bella Bamba' blush

MAC Espresso (brows)
MAC 'Naked Lunch' e/s (all over lid)
MAC 'Woodwinked' (in the crease)
MAC 'Smoulder' eyeliner (top lashline and smudged underneath lower lashline)
Maybelline Pulse Perfection mascara

Superdrug 'I love... Strawberries & milkshake' lipbalm

Sunday, 5 February 2012

OOTN 01: Dinner

Top - ASOS
Cardigan - Bank Fashion
Leggings - ZARA
Boots - ASOS
'Alexander Wang' inspired bag - EBAY
Earrings - Tresor
Necklace - Argos
Watch - Marc Jacobs

Friday, 3 February 2012

ASOS Pre-Birthday Haul

It's my birthday next week so when browsing the ASOS website yesterday, I decided to treat myself and placed a small order with a 20% off code.

I love the print and colours of the top, although it is very sheer so I'd definitely need to wear a cami underneath, and I absolutely adore the clutch bag. It's simple, elegant and such a gorgeous, mint green shade! The top was £28 and the clutch was £15 (before the 20% off.)

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