Sunday, 31 May 2015

Bedtime Beauty Essentials


Ahhh bedtime! My absolute favourite time of day. Sounds dull doesn't it? I've always been a lover of my bed and my sleep, and even more so now I have 2 babies. I've got a list of products that I keep by my bed that I couldn't do without. Firstly, I know it's not a beauty item, but the most important thing I keep by my bed is definitely a glass of water. I wake up through the night most nights needing a little drink so if I don't have fresh water by my side each night I'm lost. My night time skincare routine is usually done a few hours before bed when I've had my bath, and lately I've been loving using the No7 Beautiful Skin Overnight Radiance Boost, a hydrating serum which mildly exfoliates the skin, working overnight to renew the skin and leave it looking healthier and more radiant. After this I usually just go in with my good old faithful Nivea Cream. It's so thick and heavy and I know a lot of people don't like it for that reason, but for my dry skin it's an absolute dream. Once I get to bed, I have my little ritual. I like to apply an overnight mask a few times a week, and at the moment I'm using the Nuxe Creme Fraiche Mask. It's so hydrating and fresh and make my skin feel super soft in the morning. I then like to go in with my all time favourite lip balm; Nuxe Reve De Miel. Hands down the best lip balm I've ever tried, and it's perfect for overnight as I can still feel it on my lips when I wake up the next morning. Lastly, I like to go in with a hand cream, and my current choice is Soap & Glory's Hand Dream Super Cream. Super moisturising with Soap & Glory's classic scent. Yummy!

What are your bedtime beauty essentials?
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Friday, 29 May 2015

Maybelline Color Tattoo 24hr Eyeshadows | Review & Swatches

I'm sure you've all heard of the highstreet's answer to MAC Paint Pots, but if you haven't - where have you been? When I picked up my 4th Maybelline Color Tattoo 24hr Eyeshadow, I realised I'd never done a post on them and thought I'd better rectify the problem pronto! These little pots of prettiness are a busy girl's best friend as they're so quick and easy to apply using just your finger or a brush. Maybelline say; 
"Dare to shine 24/7.Ink technology creates 24HR wear shadow for our most intense, long-lasting color saturation. Cream formula glides on without creasing and keeps color vibrant".
There's currently 12 shades available in the UK, with the US having even more dreamy shades. If you're listening Maybelline... bring us some more shades pleaseee! The 4 shades I currently own are;

35 - On and On Bronze - Metallic, neutral bronze.
40 - Permanent Taupe - Matte, very cool brown.
65 - Pink Gold - Metallic pink with gold shimmer.
70 - Metallic Pomegranate - Metallic reddish plum.


The most wearable shade out of the 4 for me is definitely On and On Bronze. It's so easy it literally takes about 5 seconds to apply and blend, and it looks as if I've made so much more effort than I actually have - great for when I've got a toddler raiding through my makeup bag and a baby crying to be picked up, lol. The pigmentation and creaminess of all 4 of these shades it absolutely spot on. Permanent Taupe is a shade I would never have chosen for my eyes as it's a bit too cool, but I actually use it on my eyebrows and find it works so well. It's been said it's a dupe for the Anastasia Dip Brown Pomade, but I've never actually tried that so couldn't say for definite. I grab my Real Techniques Eyeliner Brush (from the Nic's Picks set), and line my brows, filling in any sparce areas and giving them a really crisp line. It's so creamy and lasts all day without smudging. If you need an ashy brown for your brows, be sure to give this a go. It's really, really ashy (verging on grey) though, so probably only good for those with blonde hair to be honest. It looks REALLY grey in the swatch above actually, but it doesn't apply to the brows that grey I promise. Metallic Pomegranate hasn't had much use yet, but I can see it being a firm favourite in Autumn/Winter. It's a stunning metallic plum with hints of red which will look amazing teamed with a tartan scarf in the cold months. Pink Gold is the newest of my stash and so, so pretty. I'm looking forward to using this through the spring/summer months. I've found it looks gorgeous on it's own, but even more so teamed with some of the pink and gold's from my Naked 3 palette.

For £4.99, these beauties are a must-have for any makeup bag, and I'm looking forward to trying more shades in the range. I just wish they'd bring out some matte, skin tone shades similar to MAC's Soft Ochre or Painterly Paint Pots to use as a base as I reckon they'd go down a storm.

Have you tried any of Maybelline's creamy pots of goodness?

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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

MAC Peach Blossom Lipstick


That's right. I'm back with another MAC lippie review, this time in the form of Peach Blossom. A shade that is seriously underrated and one that I hardly ever see mentioned. A cremesheen formula, it's a hard one to pinpoint, but I'd say it's a peachier, slightly warmer toned and even cremier version of Creme Cup (which was my favourite until I found this). They both look very similar side by side, but once on the lips it's a different story. The pigmentation is spot on with this shade, and it's the perfect 'my lips but better' colour - great for everyday and absolutely amazing when teamed with a smokey eye. I'd say this would look fantastic on just about every skintone, but especially on those with a lovely summer glow.

If you haven't had a swatch of Peach Blossom I suggest you run along to your nearest MAC counter and see for yourself just how pretty this is. Thank me later.

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Monday, 25 May 2015

The Fight Against Stretchmarks



It is said that 9/10 women in Britain are affected by stretchmarks, whether it be from growing, pregnancy or weight loss/gain. They can really affect confidence, especially when it comes to the summer months when we all like to have a bit more flesh on show. When I was pregnant with George back in 2012 I managed to escape with just a few stretchmarks which weren't so noticeable so I thought I'd get away with it again the second time around, but I was wrong. I got so many more with Freddie and it's really affected my confidence to the point where I think I'll probably never wear a bikini again. After hearing about my recent birth, the lovely PR team behind Remescar & Pure Potions offered to send me some products to help me in my fight against the dreaded and downright horrible stretchmarks.  The amount of products out there which claim to help 'reduce the appearance' of scars and stretchmarks has gone through the roof so it's hard to find the ones which actually do work. I tried loads of different oils and creams, including Bio Oil back when I was pregnant and it didn't prevent them, but to be honest I think 'prevention' is damn near impossible to do. If you're gonna get them, you will, and then the hard task is reducing the appearance of them once they're there. I have 3 products in different formulas to show you today, depending on which you prefer. I can't really say if any of them really, truly work as of yet, as I haven't been using them for long enough, simply testing the 3 of them out to see which one I like best.

Ooooh I love a good Rosehip Oil. Pure Potions Scar Oil is rich in Vitamin A & C, aswell as essential fatty acids Omega 3 & 6. It aims to reduce the appearance of scars, stretchmarks, dehydrated skin, ageing skin and uneven skin tone. There's also powerful moisturising qualities in the oil, which can help reduce wrinkles, making it great for dry or mature skin.

Remescar Silione Scar Stick* £19.99
My favourite of the 3 formulas, purely because of the ease of application and how there's absolutely no mess. The Silicone Scar Stick from Remescar has been hailed as a revolutionary treatment in the fight against stretchmarks. Housed in a deodorant style twist up stick, it works by covering the scars in an invisible film of silicone. With the areas being protected by the silicone, it gives the skin a chance to heal in it's own 'micro environment', sealing in moisture and stimulating the production of collagen. In clinical trials, users who applied it twice a day said they noticed a 50 per cent reduction in the appearance of their stretch marks in only 28 days. I'm looking forward to giving this a true trial and seeing how I go.

Remescar Silicone Stretch Marks Scar Cream* £24.99
For those who prefer a traditional cream, Remescar also do a 100ml cream version of the scar stick. The most expensive of the 3, it's specifically formulated for the treatment of stretchmarks. Aimed for use on the abdomen, thighs and breasts, this cream works the same as the scar stick, by covering the affected areas in a layer of silicone, whilst the moisturising properties get to work to heal the skin.

LET'S DO THIS!

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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in Lovely Pink






The beauty world went crazy for these little beauties recently, after being dubbed as dupes of the ever so popular (but crazily expensive) Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes. I'd spied these on a few blogs when they were first released and recently got my hands on one of them in the Boots 3 for 2. 

Max Factor Creme Puff Blushes (£8.99) are baked with a marble effect finish and come in 6 stunning shades: Lovely Pink 05, Nude Mauve Pink 10, Seductive Pink 15, Lavish Mauve 20, Alluring Rose 25, and Gorgeous Berries 30. I chose the shade Lovely Pink which is the lightest of the 6. As ever, Max Factor certainly don't let us down with the packaging. These little blushes are housed in the cutest little round black and gold pot with a clear lid so you can see the shade inside. The formula is to die for. It feels so velvety soft on the cheeks and not powdery or gritty in the slightest. For a light blush it's still really pigmented and leaves a subtle flush with a lovely glow on my light/medium skintone. Having said that, I'm not super fair so I kind of wish I'd chosen the darker pink as I think it would show up on my skin a bit more. Looks like I'll have to get myself back down to Boots (any excuse). I still get plenty of use out of this though, as I find it lovely on a day to day basis when I don't want to wear much makeup but just want to give my skin a healthy glow.

I think, for the price of £8.99, these blushes are fantastic value and certainly a welcome addition to any makeup bag.

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Sunday, 17 May 2015

Rimmel Lasting Finish 25hr Nude Foundation



When it comes to affordable drugstore foundations, Rimmel are the winners in my eyes, with their Match Perfection foundation being my absolute favourite on the highstreet. They recently rebranded their Lasting Finish 25hr foundation, along with a new 'nude' version of the original. Rimmel say:
"Medium coverage foundation that feels hydrating and moisturising. Lightweight formula blends instantly into the skin creating a nude, pore less effect. Sweat, heat, humidity and transfer proof for unto 25 hours".
Having dry, dehydrated skin, this sounded like the perfect foundation for me. I like a medium coverage that's lightweight and moisturising and it didn't let me down. I chose the shade 100 Ivory because I've been really pale through the winter, but now I've been on holiday and got a bit of colour it's too pale for me. No biggy. Using my Real Techniques Buffing Brush, I really, really like the finish it gives. It's lightweight, blends really nicely and leaves a healthy, dewy glow to the skin. The coverage is certainly medium, and is buildable without being cakey or clinging to any dry patches. I can't say I've tested it for 25hrs (who does that?), but I found after good 6-8hours it still looked relatively decent, only needing a touch up on my chin which always seems to quaff any foundation before any other areas of my face.

Rimmel Lasting Finish 25hr Nude Foundation retails at £7.99 and is available in 6 shades.

Have you tried Rimmel's newest base offering?
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Saturday, 16 May 2015

Seventeen Define & Conquer Contour Kit




Seventeen Define & Conquer Contour Kit. £5.99
Not gonna lie, I have non-existent cheekbones, so when I spy a contour kit on the highstreet in sleek packaging, I'm hardly gonna walk past it am I? Contouring is quite a scary concept to me as I have quite a round face so it's hard to get that definition without it looking like I have two brown stripes on my cheeks. Having said that, I'm not one to give up, and think it's more about the technique than anything else. Seventeen is a brand that's really bringing it at the moment, so I knew I needed to give this a go and see how I got on. I chose the shade fair, as the medium one looked far too scary in the pan. No orange cheeks here please.

Firstly, let's take a moment and appreciate the packaging. It's very NARS, but without the rubber finish that seems to attract every little mark. The mirror inside is the full size of the lid, and has now become my makeup bag's new compact mirror (it's the little things). Inside are 2 powders; a highlight shade and a contour shade. Both powders are amazingly creamy and not chalky in the slightest. They're highly pigmented and so easy to blend, making this perfect for the contour novices like myself. I find I use the contour shade a lot more than the highlight, but that's just because I use my MAC Soft & Gentle as a cheekbone highlight and find that's more than enough. The contour powder is the perfect shade for adding that natural definition without looking over-bronzed and fake. I tend to apply it with my Real Techniques Contour Brush into the 'hollows' of my cheeks when I make that ever so attractive 'sucky fish face' (howl). For £5.99, this is a great product and has really helped me in achieving at least some kind of definition to my face.



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Monday, 4 May 2015

What's In My Holiday/Travel Makeup Bag?



So the time has come! My brother and his lovely fiancé are getting married in Malta on Friday so we're off on a week long holiday today (I'll most probably be in the air as you read this). My first holiday abroad in almost 4 years (our Honeymoon being the last time), and I've been stressing over what to pack for weeks. Going abroad is stressful enough, but this time I've got a toddler and a 9 week old baby to pack for aswell - milk, bottles, sterilising equipment and a MASSIVE amount of nappies means I really have to be tight on what I take for myself. I sat down with a little list on my phone of the essential makeup items I'd need and then went through my stash and picked the most travel friendly items, as well as some special bits that I just couldn't leave behind. Being bridesmaid means my makeup needs to be on point on the day, as well as being able to withstand the heat for a long day without being overly heavy.

Face:
Primer - L'Oreal Lumi Magique
Foundation - No7 Instant Radiance / Rimmel Wake Me Up / Bare Minerals Original Mineral
Concealer - Benefit Fake Up (light) / Collection Lasting Perfection (cool medium)
Powder - Rimmel Stay Matte (transparent)
Bronzer - Seventeen Define & Conquer Contour Kit (fair) / Bare Minerals Warmth
Blush - Max Factor Creme Puff (lovely pink) / Max Factor Creamy Touch (soft pink) / Bourjois Sun Cream Blush 06
Highlight - MAC Soft & Gentle MSF

Eyes:
Primer: Benefit Stay Don't Stray
Eyeshadow: Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette / Kiko Longlasting Eyeshadow Stick (07 Golden Beige)
Eyeliner: Soap & Glory Supercat / Rimmel Scandalayes Waterproof Kohl Kajal (nude)
Brows: Eye of Horus Brow Define (dynasty) / Benefit High Brow (linen pink)
Mascara: Lancome Hypnose Star / Benefit Roller Lash

Lips:
Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Nordic Berry Lip Balm
MAC Creme Cup
MAC Saigon Summer
...& not on the photo: Tanya Burr Lipgloss (champagne toast)

Suddenly realising I haven't really packed light. It's sooo hard!!!
See you all in a week :) xx

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Sunday, 3 May 2015

April 2015 Favourites






So another month has been and gone and we're now into May! May is such a wonderful month as we're slowly heading towards the days where we can leave house without wondering if we need a cardigan, a coat or full on hat, scarf and gloves. Funny old weather we have in England but I wouldn't have it any other way (ok maybe I'd make it a bit warmer in the Summer, ha). Anyhow, here's what I've been reaching for during the month of April...

I'm obsessed with dewy skin and am constantly on the hunt for products that are gonna make me look like the girls on Made in Chelsea (highly doubtful, I know), and I've really been loving the L'Oreal Lumi Magique Primer. I actually prefer to mix a bit of this into my foundation as opposed to applying it all over as a base. It turns any foundation into a luminous one and just gives the skin a lovely glow. Next is a hydrating concealer that's unlike any other I own and I can't get enough of it. Benefit Fake Up is a strange consistency, almost like a balm with a sheer pigment in the centre. It's so hydrating which is great for my dry skin. As it's sheer it's not great for blemishes but it's fantastic under the eyes to cover dark circles and make me look like I've had a good night's sleep and not been up and down to a 9 week old! (See my review here). Next up is an eyebrow pencil to rival all others of this kind: Eye of Horus Brow Define*. It's very rare that I find a brow product in which I love both the formula and the shade. I often find that medium browns are far too warm for me, but not this bad boy (review here). Next up is 2 lovely everyday lip products. MAC's Creme Cup was my first ever MAC lipstick and a huge favourite among beauty bloggers. I've been reaching for this pretty much every day this month as it's a lovely spring shade and so easy to wear. When I've fancied something a little bit more girly and glossy I've been loving the Maybelline Colorsensational Elixir in the shade Blush Essence. It's such a nice non-sticky formula and so easy to apply. I actually won this little beauty in the lovely Beth Dean's Spring Giveaway and it's the first one of these I've tried. Got my eye on the orange one next!! The fragrance I've been reaching for since it dropped through my door is the newest addition to the Britney Spears Fantasy Range - Rocker Femme Fantasy*. The Original Britney Spears Fantasy perfume is one of my favourites of all time and this one is a sweeter, more creamy twist on the original. A perfect fragrance for the season.

What have you been loving this month?
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