Monday, 11 December 2017

Black Friday Haul

I love shopping around for bargains & rarely buy things online without a discount code. Even though we don't celebrate Thanksgiving I'm glad that us Brits have fully embraced the tradition of Black Friday. It's the best time to get all your Christmas shopping done & as you're saving a bit of money you can afford to treat yourself at the same time! There were a few items that I needed to repurchase & some things that I've had my eye on for ages. First I got a new bottle of the L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil & Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray. I ordered them from FeelUnique as they had a 20% discount code. The shower oil is my favourite thing to shave with & the extra moisture is much needed at this time of year. I tend to flit between using the Urban Decay & NYX setting sprays as they both work exactly the same. I just went for the Urban Decay one this time as you get a bigger bottle & I enjoy it's unique scent so it's a good one to buy when you can find a discount code.

These days most of my skincare comes from The Ordinary but I still love Bravura London products. They had a whopping 25% discount for Black Friday so it was the perfect time to stock up. I got a new bottle of their First Cleanse Oil which is what I always use to remove my makeup. I absolutely love the Azulene Moisturiser! I use it twice a day as it works really well with the rest of my skincare routine. It's a light moisturiser packed with calming botanical ingredients that help to soothe & heal the skin. It's brilliant for those with oily, combination or acne-prone skin types as it hydrates the skin without clogging pores. I also decided to pick up the Collagen Moisturising Cream. I normally stick with the Azulene Moisturiser but this one is better for dry skin so it helps my skin to cope with the cold weather.

Bumble & Bumble's Hairdresser's Invisible Oil is one of my favourite hair products of all time. I'm always amazed by how much softer & shinier it makes my hair. It can be a real struggle to make damaged, bleached hair look healthy but this stuff works miracles. I rarely have to repurchase it because a bottle lasts such a long time & I'm sure glad it does because it costs £35! I spotted this Bumble & Bumble Sp(oil)ed Silly Gift Set on FeelUnique for £38 which means that for a mere £3 more you get a sample of the Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Primer (which is also incredible!) & a rose gold Tangle Teezer thrown in. With FeelUnique's 20% discount I got it for just £30. What a bloody bargain!

The Stila Eye For Elegance Liquid Eyeshadow Set was at the very top of my Black Friday wishlist. I'm utterly obsessed with the Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadows. They make using glitter so much easier & completely mess-free. I currently own four of them but they are pretty expensive so even at full price this set is fantastic value. I knew I could get it cheaper on Black Friday though & Stila had 20% off on their website bringing it down to £36. In this set you get three Glitter & Glow eyeshadows and three Shimmer & Glow eyeshadows. Unfortunately I already own Smoldering Satin but at least I can use the one in the set as a stocking filler for someone else. I'm so excited about this gift set, all the colours look beautiful & I cannot wait to try out the new shades!

Beauty Bay had up to 30% off everything on their website so I ordered a few items that I've been wanting for a long time. I already own 25 Jeffree Star Liquid Lipsticks so I decided that I wouldn't order any more colours. I've wanted to try his Velour Lip Scrubs for ages as the flavours sound amazing but I didn't want to pay £12 for a single scrub. I ordered Strawberry Gum & Root Beer in the sale. I mainly got the strawberry one for Chloe as both of us get dry lips at this time of year. Root Beer is just for me though! It's one of my favourite ever drinks & a small part of me died inside when McDonald's took it off their menu back in the 90s. The scrub tastes just like the drink & has the added bonus of being edible. It does a great job of removing dead skin cells, leaving my lips feeling super soft & smooth.

I've tried loads of different beauty sponges but in my opinion nothing comes close to the original Beautyblender. My one was getting a bit tatty looking so I needed to buy a new one. I went for the Beautyblender Swirl as it has a pretty pink & white marble design. It works exactly the same as the pink Beautyblender but just looks a bit cooler.

Jouer Cosmetics have been all over YouTube this year & I love the look of their lip products. I have so many matte liquid lipsticks so I wanted something a bit different & decided to go for their Long-Wear Lip Topper in Skinny Dip. Lip Topper is just a glorified name for a lip gloss but I do really like this product. Skinny Dip is a metallic golden nude gloss with flecks of gold & pink shimmer. It looks gorgeous whether worn alone or on top of a liquid lipstick. The luminous finish makes my lips look fuller & plumper whilst adding a hint of golden iridescence. The consistency is kinda thick for a gloss but it isn't sticky at all. It feels more like a lip balm as it's quite nourishing on the lips due to the inclusion of jojoba seed oil & coconut oil. This Lip Topper looks truly stunning & the sweet, cakey scent is divine!

I've been wanting to buy the RCMA No-Colour Powder for so long but it's always out of stock! Beauty Bay managed to get plenty in for their sale so I finally got my hands on this highly coveted setting powder. I use loose powders to bake my concealer but I've noticed that they can sometimes alter the colour, making my base products look slightly weird. This powder has no pigment in it so even though it looks white it won't change the colour of your foundation or concealer & it is suitable for all skin colours. It gives my base a matte flawless finish that lasts all day & it never looks dry or powdery on the skin. Unlike some powders it doesn't cause flashback so you don't have to worry about getting your photo taken. The packaging is a bit rubbish but otherwise this is an excellent setting powder.

The last item I got was the Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack. I mainly bought this to get free next day delivery but I love sheet masks & Benton are one of the few popular Korean beauty brands that I haven't purchased anything from before. The Snail Bee range is very well loved on /r/AsianBeauty so I knew it would be worth trying out. I haven't used the mask yet but if I like it I'm sure you'll hear all about it!

Accessorize had 30% off their Angels kids range so I got Chloe some cute new things. She needed some new Winter accessories & what could be more fitting than their Chloe Cat collection?! I bought her the Chloe Cat chullo hat, Chloe Cat scarf & Chloe Cat capped mittens. They're all so cute & keep her really warm. Her new school has a tuck shop during morning break & when I've given her money to get a snack she always loses it! She loves being able to get a hot chocolate & croissant in the morning so I bought her the Becci Bunny round cross body bag & the Pretty Kitty cat purse to keep her money in. I also spotted this lovely Crown Chakra bracelet in store & decided to treat myself. I have one of the Daisy London chakra bracelets but it was so expensive & this one was only a tenner!

I have become an avid enamel pin collector this year & I'm always on the lookout for cute new pins to buy. Etsy is my favourite place to look for new designs & it was on there that I came across Hand Over Your Fairy Cakes. I didn't manage to get one of her limited Black Friday discount codes but I decided to go ahead & buy a few pins anyway as I fell in love with these designs quite a while ago. I adore the pastel colourwheel, strawberry pocky & CMYK pins but my absolute favourite is the one that says 'I Got Dressed Today'. Sometimes that can be a bit of a struggle for me when I'm feeling down & it's nice to be positive about those small achievements.

What bargains did you pick up on Black Friday?

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Saturday, 9 December 2017

November Favourites

Glossier Boy Brow in Brown
Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow Pomade has been my go-to brow product for the past three years. However I've recently started using two new things that have completely changed the way I do my eyebrows. The first one is Glossier's Boy Brow. These kind of tinted brow gels are nothing new; ABH, Benefit & Essence all do really good ones. There's just something about Glossier's offering that makes it stand out from the rest. The colour is great, it's a deep ashy brown without a hint of red. The hold is really impressive & keeps my brow hairs in place all day long, which is something lacking from other tinted brow gels. The brush is tiny so it coats the individual hairs well & you're less likely to blob product on your skin. It's so quick & easy to use, giving your brows just the right amount of definition. Of course it works best if you already have a good eyebrow shape but overall it's a great product for beefing up your brows without making them look unnatural.

Laneige Eyebrow Cushion-Cara in Two-Tone Grey
The other eyebrow product I've been loving is Laneige's Eyebrow Cushion-Cara. I recently saw people using Iconic London's eyebrow cushion on YouTube & as with most cushion type products I knew that there would be a cheaper Korean alternative. I ordered it off eBay & immediately fell in love with this product. Inside this tiny compact you get two different brow colours contained within a cushion sponge & an eyebrow brush with a spoolie on the other end. I never normally use brushes that come with makeup but this brush is great quality. It picks up the liquid inside the cushion & applies the product with extreme precision. You can easily draw on individual hair strokes with it as well as filling in your entire brow. The liquid is highly pigmented but blends out really well so you can get that beautiful gradient fade at the front of your brows whilst making the tails super sharp & defined. The pigment tends to stick to the skin rather than the eyebrow hairs so that's why I like to use it in conjunction with Boy Brow. I would definitely recommend trying out one of these new eyebrow cushions, they are simply incredible!

Bravura London First Cleanse Oil
I always double cleanse at night to make sure I get rid of every trace of sunscreen & makeup. Oil cleansers are my preferred method of makeup removal & I've been using Bravura's First Cleanse Oil for about a year now. I rarely repurchase skincare but I picked up a new bottle in their Black Friday sale as I've been so pleased this product. The packaging is beautiful & it comes with a free pump for ease of use. The cleanser is made up from a blend of safflower seed, coconut, avocado, chamomile, lavender & rosemary leaf oils with added Vitamin E. It has a lovely scent & feels really luxurious on the skin. It attracts all the dirt on my face & washes off easily leaving my skin feeling super soft & clean. It even works well on waterproof mascara & doesn't make my eyes sting at all. Some cleansing oils can leave a weird film on my eyes which makes me feel like I'm going blind but this stuff is completely fine to use on the eye area. This cleanser does a wonderful job of cleaning my face & has also helped to improve the condition of my skin. It's especially good when it comes to dealing with the sebaceous filaments on my nose & balancing oil production.

Bleach London Smoky Shampoo
Getting my roots done is the bane of my life. I haven't been bothered to go to the hairdressers since our holiday got cancelled this Summer so I'm currently rocking six months worth of regrowth. Not only are my dark roots massive but the blonde parts have been looking rather brassy too. It's a real mess! I've used Bleach London's shampoos before & they're actually really effective when you need to quickly refresh your colour. I decided to get their new Smoky Shampoo instead of the Silver one I usually buy & I'm so happy with the result. The Silver Shampoo brightens up blonde & grey hair whilst removing yellow tones but this one almost darkens it, giving it a deeper, ashier tone. My brassy yellow barnet has been transformed into a beautiful smoky grey with minimal effort. I love how it looks & no longer feel quite so desperate to get my hair done professionally. There is a hint of purple running through it & this shampoo definitely seems like it would turn your hair properly purple if you were to use it too often or leave it on too long but if you stick to using it every other wash you should be fine. Just like the Silver Shampoo it can also be quite drying so make sure you follow it up with a hefty dose of conditioner!

Morphe x Jaclyn Hill Eyeshadow Palette
As much as I love watching beauty gurus on YouTube, I have never bought any of their merch or collabs with cosmetics companies. Neither have I bought any Morphe eyeshadow palettes before despite my love for their brushes. That all changed when I purchased Morphe's much-anticipated Jaclyn Hill palette. I love Jaclyn, I think she's great at teaching eyeshadow techniques & I've personally learned a lot from watching her videos. She seems really sweet & always looks flawless. Morphe eyeshadows can be very divisive but I saw how hard she worked on this palette, perfecting the colours & formulas over a two year period so I knew it was gonna be well worth the investment. I spent a couple of hours in a queue on Beauty Bay & the palette was mine the very next day! There are a couple of minor things I don't like about this palette, the typography makes me want to cry & I wish it wasn't made out of cardboard but the actual eyeshadows are utterly dreamy. The colours are rich, highly pigmented & look even more beautiful in real life. It's full of warm eyeshadows but there's also some gorgeous jewel tones that really make it stand out from other Morphe palettes. It's really versatile & you can create so many different looks with it. I'm so impressed with the quality of the eyeshadows. The mattes are creamy & almost blend themselves! The shimmers are absolutely stunning, I'm a big fan of the purple at the bottom & the pinks at the top. This palette is easily one of my favourite purchases this year. I honestly can't recommend it enough & if you see it in stock on Beauty Bay, don't hesitate to pick one up!

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Thursday, 30 November 2017

Rimmel Lasting Finish Breathable Foundation & Concealer

Choosing a new foundation can be a complete minefield. I tend to be very fussy when it comes to base products. In the past I've struggled to find something that not only matches my pale yellow skintone but also provides the coverage & finish that I want. More often than not that means paying for high end products & foundation is something that I'm quite happy to spend a lot on because it's such an important part of doing your makeup. Even though drugstore offerings have improved immensely over the past few years I don't buy many of them because the shade ranges aren't very inclusive & my acne-prone skin can react to the cheaper ingredients. No matter how well my skin is behaving I mainly reach for high coverage foundations because I like to have a flawless canvas for the rest of my makeup. So I was really surprised by how much I enjoy using Rimmel's lastest base collection. They recently brought out a new lightweight version of one of their most popular foundations. I've been testing out the Lasting Finish Breathable Foundation & Concealer and I never thought I would say this but I think they might've converted me to wearing natural looking makeup! I either go out in full glam or completely bare faced so it's great to find something in between the two for when I need to look presentable but don't have time to cake on the makeup.

The Rimmel Lasting Finish Breathable Foundation* provides long lasting medium coverage in a lightweight, hydrating formula. It boasts breathable skin technology that moisturises for up to 25 hours & it also features SPF 20. The foundation is very thin & easily spreadable. It does have a slight fragrance to it but it's not too noticeable & thankfully doesn't irritate my skin. Despite my affinity for full coverage foundations I'm actually very happy with this product. It evens out my skintone well, covering up any redness & discolouration without looking like a mask. You can still see skin through it yet it looks smoother & naturally perfected. It almost melts into the skin giving an amazing flawless finish. This foundation is very comfortable to wear as it feels exceptionally light & hydrating on the skin. It doesn't cling to dry patches & never looks cakey. The thin consistency allows you to build up the coverage without compromising the texture of the foundation. I've never tested Rimmel's 25 hour claims but I was still really impressed with the wear time. It lasts all day long & looks just as good at the end of the day as it does in the morning. One of my favourite things about this foundation is the massive applicator wand. It has a soft cushion tip which makes the application process very quick & easy whilst contributing to it's wonderfully smooth finish. I can just smear it all over my face, go over the top with a buffing brush & I'm done in a matter of minutes!

I received this foundation in the shade in Light Porcelain. This is the lightest shade they do & it's definitely pale enough for my skin colour. However the foundation is quite pink toned. The lack of pale yellow shades across most foundation brands does annoy me as the wrong undertone can make it seem like a foundation isn't light enough for you & I know this can be a huge problem for other fair skinned people. It is a shame that there isn't a Light Ivory shade like the concealer as that would've matched my skintone perfectly. I can still make it work for me as Light Porcelain is the shade I wear in every other Rimmel foundation & once you blend it in with the concealer they balance each other out to create a more neutral base.

To go along with the foundation Rimmel also brought out the Lasting Finish Breathable Concealer*. I received the shade Light Ivory which is a perfect match for my skintone. It has a round cushion sponge applicator at the tip. The concealer is dispensed through the hole in the middle & the sponge allows you to blend it out really easily. The coverage & texture of this concealer look absolutely beautiful under the eyes. I have quite bad dark circles but this covers up everything I need it to & it has the same lovely smooth finish as the foundation. It helps to reduce the look of fine lines around the eyes & it doesn't crease at all! I barely need to use any powder to keep it in place. I normally use quite a heavy duty concealer & have to bake my undereye area with loose powder to stop it from creasing or I end up looking like a hot mess. This is a much faster way of concealing my dark circles & looks just as good.

However I don't like it as much for concealing blemishes or scarring. It does add a tiny bit of coverage to those areas but I can still see the redness peeking through. The hydrating formula prevents it from looking cakey over spots & the smooth finish doesn't emphasise texture so it still works fairly well. I just find that I have to build it up quite a lot to achieve the level of coverage I desire. As a result I've gone through the tube rather quickly!

I think the swatches help to show the smooth texture & finish of these products. They really do look beautiful on the skin, giving a naturally flawless finish without looking mask-like. You can also see the huge difference in the undertone of the foundation & concealer. I was a bit freaked out by how pink the foundation looked when I first swatched it but it isn't too obvious when I apply it to my face. The foundation doesn't oxidise on my skin or dry down darker so what you see is what you get with this product & that's always a good thing! I love the feeling of swiping the foundation applicator over my skin. The cushion tip is super soft & spreads out the foundation in no time at all. It really is fab for when you need to get ready in a rush. Can every foundation have this wand please?!

To help complete my look Rimmel also sent me a couple of other products. I received the Rimmel Kate Sculpting Palette in Coral Glow*. This palette contains three different powders for highlighter, contour & blusher. I was pleasantly surprised by this palette. Normally if a highlighter isn't blinding then I don't want to know but this one imparts an almost ethereal soft glow to the skin. It's so pretty & would be a great choice if you just want to add a subtle sheen to the high points of your face. The second powder is supposed to be for contouring but it was far too warm & shimmery for that purpose. Instead I decided to use it as a bronzer & it actually warms up my complexion rather well. Most bronzers are too dark for my skintone but this one blended out nicely. My favourite part of the palette is the blusher. This kind of peachy pink is the exact shade I tend to go for & it looks beautiful on my cheeks. For my lips I used Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Vintage Pink*. I really like the texture of this lipstick. It feels very moisturising on the lips & I love the pink colour.

So here is my finished look using all four products! Overall I'm incredibly pleased with everything I tried. The foundation has fast become my go-to base product for when I'm short on time. I adore how it looks on my skin & I know I can rely on it to still look good hours later. Never before have I used a foundation that feels so light & looks so natural on the skin yet still manages to provide the coverage I need. The concealer is truly brilliant for under the eyes as it really brightens up the area & doesn't crease or settle into fine lines. The sculpting palette gives my face some much needed definition & the lipstick is a gorgeous colour. If you're looking for a new lightweight foundation & concealer duo then you should definitely check out Rimmel's Lasting Finish Breathable range. The natural looking coverage, super smooth finish & long lasting formula are just too good to be missed!

I received these products free from Influenster for testing purposes.

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