Sunday, 30 March 2014

When I don't know what to paint on my nails, there are three colour groups I will go for - either nude, mint green, or corals. As I was hunting through my (ridiculously large) stash, I found out that I actually have four corals that are pretty darn similar, some more affordable than others, and so I thought this would be a good post for those who want to get into the reddish-corals.

The first one you see is Ciaté Playdate which is more of a pink toned coral rather than the red-orange. The formula of Ciaté polishes is one of the best that I've tried as they last really well on me considering nail polish generally chips on me in about a day or two *cries*.

For more of an orange-toned take on the corals, we have Revlon Craving Coral, which is one of my favourites for my toes, and  can imagine I will be getting mucho use out of this one when the summer comes along and the sandals make an appearance.

Two that are very similar (almost identical on the nails - I've tried wearing both at the same time and there isn't any difference), are OPI Red Lights Ahead...Where? and GOSH Crispy Coral, which both sort of sit somewhere in the middle between the pink-toned ones and the orange-toned offerings. Fun Fact - the OPI one was actually my first ever OPI Nail Polish!

Something tells me that my nails will be seeing a lot of these shades in the warmer months... What are your favourite summer polishes?


Friday, 28 March 2014

As I have recently been getting more and more into hair care, I thought it'd be a good time as the seasons are changing to show what has been making the cut (excuse the pun) for my locks recently.

The first thing isn't exactly a product, but these hair bands have been reached for quite regularly. I don't know what they are called, but basically they are designed to keep your hair secure in a ponytail, without leaving any kinks or damage once removed. They make having my hair up look a little nicer too, as the tied ends style seems to make my hair look quite cute and sweet.

My hair had a rather dry phase recently so I was itching to get my hands on a hair mask that would add in some moisture again. The Wen Pomegranate Re-Moist Intensive Hair Treatment* is literally the thickest hair mask I have laid eyes on, and it definitely adds some sort of nourishment there.

For days that I need to blow dry my hair, of course I don't want to add to the dryness, so I have been opting for the Toni & Guy Prep Heat Protection Mist in order to keep my hair protected from the heat from the hair dryer. Before drying (whether this is naturally or with a hair dryer too), I like to use the Wen Sweet Almond Mint Replenishing Treatment Mist* from the mid-lengths to the ends of my hair as I really like using this as a de-tangler. My only issue is the extremely minty smell but it goes away after a few minutes.

Finally, I have been really enjoying twisting my hair up to create heatless curls overnight, which Megan explains well here,  and so on the days that I want them looking a little more beachy and wavy, I have been spritzing the L'Oreal TXT Volume Supersizing Spray to the curls and scrunching them a little until I have the desired effect.

The real question is though, will I finally cave for the bloggers' shoulder length cut?


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

When Spring comes around, I gain a little more confidence in the lip product department, and go for things that aren't nudes and neutrals. I don't go full out with the bold brights by any means (they are saved for summer), but the more balmy, hint-of-tint offerings are well used in my stash at this time of year.

The Revlon Lip Butter in Sweet Tart is one of my favourites of the bunch, as not only do I love the stunning medium pink colour, but the texture of this is amazing, its a thick, balmy, nourishing consistency which makes application a dream, and so a purchase of a few more in the range is on the cards.
One that is more of a lipstick than a balmy product is the Rimmel Kate Lipstick in 16 which is a peachy coral colour, with a finish that is nor glossy or matte, which makes it a little more suitable for the season.

The L'Oréal Rouge Caresse Lipstick in Aphrodite Scarlet is another favourite, which is a no-frills pink that finishes off a look in a swipe. Think, the Revlon Lip Butter, but with a slightly less pigmented look on the lips.
Another balm is the NYC Apple-licious Lip Balm in Apple Blueberry Pie, which is slightly more purple than the other bright pinks I go for but I have really been enjoying it recently - and I must add the apple taste and scent makes it even better.

Finally, one that I hated for such a long time but recently got into using is the GOSH Soft n' Shine Lip Balm in Irony, which is a slightly peachy orange. I normally have issues with oranges suiting me, but if I apply this one by tapping it on with fingers (the actual product is rather smooshed anyway), it doesn't look all that bad.

Writing this is making me want to scour the aisles of Boots to find some more brights in preparation for the warmer weather that everyone is hoping we'll be getting this year...


Monday, 24 March 2014

Another Spring-based post today, as will be the majority of my upcoming posts over the next few weeks, but today I am focusing on the cheeks, and in particular - blush. When Spring comes along, I like to crack out the brighter shades and add some colour to my makeup.

One that I'm sure you all hate me for banging on about on almost a weekly basis is the Topshop Cream Blush Duo in Up In The Air - a duo of a bright orange and pink with a cream to powder finish. Another heavily mentioned one is the Revlon Photo Ready Cream Blush in Coral Reef, a red coral which blends out to something a little more muted, with the same powder finish.

For a budget offering, the MUA Cream Blush in Bittersweet comes in at £2 a pop, and has a nice range of neutrals and brights. I particularly love this one as it is so bright in the pan and it really translates that candy pink colour onto the cheeks. Another MUA product is the Powder Blush in Shade 1 (which I'm not sure is still available), is a muted, powder version of the pink in the Topshop Duo. 

Last but not least, not only does the H&M Spring Flowers blush get points for the stunning pink-coral colour, it also gets the award for the prettiest packaging of the bunch. It's mostly matte, but that centre pale pink adds a hint of shimmer, but often I just avoid that if I want a matte cheek.

Blushes are quickly becoming my weakness, so we will have to wait and see which will be my purchased next...


Saturday, 22 March 2014

To me, Spring means natural, dewy and fresh-faced makeup looks, and with the first day of Spring having just passed, it was the perfect opportunity to share what I reach for when I am looking for something more natural, perhaps a look for on the weekends.

For a base, of course it would have to be the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum - a cult classic in the blogging world. This offers natural coverage which looks glowy and dewy on the skin, but by no means shiny. I am almost out of this bottle, so I think either a repurchase or a trial of the Happy Light offering is on the cards.
The Rimmel Lasting Finish Blush in Santa Rose is one of those products which you can apply in a sweep, and not have to bother with contour or highlight when you are going natural. It is just the perfect muted colour for daily wear.

On the eyes, the term 'one sweep wonders'; may be something you like to hear. I have 2 bronze, shimmery colours which with a wash over the lid and a slick of mascara are the definition of natural. MAC Woodwinked is the slightly more coppery option out of the two, and for something a little more shimmery, the Rimmel Mono Shadow in Backstage is a good option. The mascara in question is the Soap & Glory Thick and Fast which adds length and volume in seconds. A no-frills step of MUA Clear Mascara over the brows comes next, and just keeps them in place when filling in isn't on the cards.

For lips, as I have been getting into glosses, I have been reaching for the GOSH Volume Lip Shine in 04* which adds a tint of pinky-red to the lips but without any sticky feeling, and is quickly becoming a daily essential for me.

What are your essentials for a Spring-centric face?


Thursday, 20 March 2014

A little less of the pretty products in today's post, and I'm putting a little more focus on the basics - the things we all use and own but don't actually talk about. It's about time to give them some loving.

The first is a compact mirror. Okay, I'll admit, this No7 one actually looks rather nice (and comes with a protective pouch too), but I do have another from Poundland which I use as well. Another thing is Bobby Pins/Hair Grips and hair bands. These are the guys that help you out on a windy day when your hair is in your face, and we really should appreciate them handing around in the bottom of our bags more often.

Nail Wheels. I bought mine in bulk from Amazon, coming in at a couple of pounds for some clear ones and some cream ones. Whether you have bought a new polish and want to test out the consistency and colour when your nails are already painted, or for swatches in blog posts - they really are helpful.

Hand gel is a must, and I love the Cuticura Passion Flower and Mango Gel which smells good and leaves your hands feeling clean. I like to use this once before and after I do my makeup to remove any dirt or excess, or if any of you use public transport, this may be a good one for you.

I went through packets of the Kleenex Blotting Sheets like water in the summer, as I was blotting my face when I was hot, as well as handing them out to friends so that they could blot their faces too. I have a stash of 6 packs of these so I will certainly not be running low anytime soon, but they are hard to find at times so I guess I'm in luck at the desperate times.

Finally, eye drops. A lot of people are scared of using them, as was I, but once I got contact lenses and they totally dried my eyes out, I had no choice but to use eye drops otherwise my lenses would be too drying for me to wear. I use either the Blink ones or the Optrex ones that are suitable for contacts.

What are your unheard of beauty essentials?


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

As much as I don't get along with many face primers, not a day goes by without me using an eye primer. No-one likes a creased eye look, nor a liner wing that's halfway down the lashline.I have 4 in my collection, all of which I find work for different things.

My favourite of the bunch is the Avon Eye Shadow Primer in Light Beige which is slightly tinted so it colour corrects the eye and mattifies (without drying whatsoever) the entire lid and preps it for anything you are putting on top - shadow, cream products, or just liner. It's great.

The next offering is the MUA Pro Base Eye Primer, which was actually my very first post on this blog. I raved about it then, and although this is still great and extremely budget based, I feel like the Avon one just beats it for me. But, this one still does the job well and if I didn't have the Avon one in my life I would still be using this daily.

When I am doing a dramatic eye, or anything involving a touch of colour, I reach for the Dainty Doll Frankie Girl Eye Base as it is so pale that it totally blanks out the lid with a creamy coloured layer, which makes any colour stand out more and mattifies so there is no creasing.

Finally, the Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer (mini) has been in my collection for a short while now. I did rave about this originally, but the last time I used this I had a bit of creasing going on. I'm hoping it was a one off because I really liked this one beforehand.

What are your favourite eye primers?


Sunday, 16 March 2014

I'm sure nearly all of us love to pamper ourselves, but a lot of us also don't have time to go for the full whammy on a regular basis. I like to dedicate my Sunday evenings to pampering myself, but it isn't a regime that takes hours away from you.

The first thing I do is paint my nails so they are ready for the week ahead (or the first half of it perhaps), and I do this in the late afternoon early evening so that they are dried before I have a bath/shower - trust me I have made the mistake before and they didn't look too great. I have currently been loving Greenberry from the Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine range.

Having a bath is the next step, but if you want to shower (I often do when I'm washing my hair), use a nice shower gel so you feel like you are still being pampered - Soap & Glory rule for this. But, when you're bathing, Lush offer the best items, from bath bombs to bubble bars. I still have some of my Christmas Eve Bubble Bar left from when I got a bunch of products in the sale, so I'm using that up. For something a little more interesting, I love the FUN Range.

After a bath or shower, using a body butter is the best way to make your skin love you. My current favourite is the Soap & Glory Righteous Butter, but I also like to use the Sugar Crush offering. The Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Cream is also something I enjoy using, as my feet often go unloved (I hate feet, writing this is making me feel a little uncomfortable), but seriously this is a thick balm which massages in like a cream/oil - I love it.

Finally, what is a pamper evening without a face mask. For something cleansing, and the one featured in the image, I reach for the Super Facialist by Una Brennan Tea Flower Deep Clean Mask which really helps my skin and the difference is noticeable for me. Another one not shown is the Origins Drink Up 10 Minute Mask which hydrates my skin so well and allows it to look plump in the morning.

So, once I press 'publish' on this post, I think my evening will be dedicated to having a pamper...


Friday, 14 March 2014

As my spending ban came to a close, I was browsing the aisles like no other. Luckily my ban ended just before the Boots 3 for 2 came to an end so I managed to get in on the deals, which I can't complain about. I definitely enjoyed spending some money on what I love after having such a break.

In the clearance of my local Boots, I spotted the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Timeless Black for £2 and I thought it would be a good choice for a gel liner-esque product. For another small £2 I found the Revlon Colorburst Lip Gloss in Bellini which is a milky peach-nude. The other 2 items on the makeup front were a repurchase of the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder, and a Rimmel Lasting Finish Blush in Santa Rose as a lot of people rave about this guy, and the colour is stunning and natural, perhaps a new everyday favourite?

Onto skincare, I got another Superdrug Naturally Radiant Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser as it was on offer for £2.98 and I love this as my go-to cleanser. To prove my love for it, how about I tell you that this is my third bottle of the stuff. On the radiance path, I got 2 items from the Boots Botanics All Bright range. The first was the Cleansing Toner, as the whole 'chemical exfoliant' thang interested me and I thought I would start at the budget side of things. As well as this I got the Night Cream, and on first impressions this looks to me really hydrating as it is so thick, so I cannot wait to incorporate this into my routine properly.

Finally, I got the L'Oréal Studio Line #TXT Volume Supersizing Spray, as I am practically begging for some texture and volume in my hair, and from the first use I really like this, and for a budget price of £3.79 I don't think I could choose any better way to start getting into these products.

It's typical for me to have only just gotten off my spending ban and have a nice shop/splurge in Boots. Well... there isn't much that can separate a blogger from buying products...

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