Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Sephora In The UK

It's the moment us beauty lovers have been waiting for - Sephora now ship to the UK! I remember visiting one of their London stores way back in the day but it didn't take long for them to shut up shop and they sadly became exclusive to places like the US, Europe & China. I was lucky enough to travel to New York a couple of years ago & their store on Broadway & Prince Street was a complete revelation. Makeup heaven. So when they recently announced their plans to start shipping their products to the UK I literally squealed with delight. I decided to place a lil' order & everything went off without a hitch so I'd thought I'd share my Sephora purchases with you. I'm sure I'll be doing some full reviews & swatches of all these products very soon.

The first thing I knew I needed to order was some of the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blushes. Tarte have just come to the UK as well via QVC. However they've priced the blushes at £26.50 each & only had a couple of shades available - none of which were on my wishlist. So I ordered them off Sephora and even with the shipping & customs charges it still worked out cheaper overall. The shades I picked are Dollface, Tipsy & Exposed. Dollface is a light candy pink. You can never have too many pink blushes in my opinion! Tipsy is a bright coral colour. I've watched so many of Leesha's tutorials where she's used Tipsy on her cheeks & she always looks beautiful. Exposed is a nude pink shade. It's quite similar to NARS Douceur but a bit more pink toned. It's a lovely natural looking blush that will help to bring out your cheekbones.

Another Tarte product I got was The Sculptor Contouring Face Slenderizer in Park Ave Princess. This is basically a cream contouring product housed in the oh so convenient form of a chubby stick. It'll make contouring a breeze & I think it'll be especially good for slimming down your nose. I've never seen anything like this before but it's such an ingenious idea! I expect to see many brands copying this product very soon.

The last item I ordered was the Alterna Caviar CC Cream. I adore Alterna's Caviar haircare range & have heard so many good things about this hair cream. I think you can actually get this in the UK but it always seems to be out of stock everywhere & it ended up being cheaper ordering it from the US. CC stands for complete correction. It's a styling cream offering ten different features including heat protection, UV protection, moisture & shine. I've only tried it on dry hair but so far, so good!

They also throw in a few samples of your choice with every order. I picked GLAMGLOW SUPERMUD Clearing Treatment, Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel & AmorePacific Future Response Age Defense Creme. I thought GLAMGLOW only had one type of mask but looks like I was wrong, they have several different ones on Sephora including an eye mask! I didn't get on with the GLAMGLOW Youthmud mask but I figured this one might be different. It's always good to keep a spot treatment handy so I wanted to give this Clinique one a go. The full size version of the AmorePacific moisturiser costs a whopping £123 so although I'll never be able to buy it, I thought it would be nice to try.

The shipping restrictions are fairly annoying as I would've loved to have gotten my hands on some nail polishes, NARS or Hourglass products. You also have to spend £75 to get the £10 shipping deal, otherwise you can end up paying crazy expensive postage & customs fees. I would suggest choosing the UK as your international shipping destination before browsing as it automatically converts all the prices to GBP. If you're worried about getting hit by customs charges when your parcel arrives at your door - don't be. Sephora use a company called Borderfree who add on some charges to your order so you're totally covered when your package arrives in the UK.

To break down the prices for you my order came to £80.51, I paid £10 shipping & then £18.09 on top of that to cover taxes and Borderfree's customs charges. In total I paid £108.60 which works out at an average of £21 per product. I placed my order on April 12th & it arrived on the 19th via a DHL courier. I've bought things from the UK that have taken longer than that so I was really pleased with the fast delivery. Overall I'm really happy with my Sephora buying experience. I stupidly didn't sign up as a Beauty Insider before placing my order so I missed out on another freebie. Make sure you register an account beforehand & you can pick a deluxe sample as well as the little sachets. The amount you have to spend to be able to place a UK order means you'll definitely earn enough points for a Beauty Insider reward. I can still claim it with my next order though & I'm sure I'll be buying plenty more things in future!

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Monday, 21 April 2014

Giveaway: Kérastase Cristalliste Luminous Perfecting Masque

Fancy winning yourself a Kérastase hair mask? Of course you do! I've teamed up with Cohorted to offer one lucky reader a luxurious treat for their hair. Cohorted is an exciting new social shopping website. Every week they offer a brilliant range of beauty products as 'Cohorts'. Each item starts off at a discounted price, so you know you're always getting a bargain anyway. The more people that buy the product, the more money you'll save! Upcoming Cohorts include products from NARS, MAC, Estee Lauder, Illamasqua, Urban Decay & HealGel so it's well worth signing up for. They currently offer free shipping for all new accounts. After joining a Cohort you're given the option to share the deal on social media so your friends can join in too & help bring the price down even more. You can also earn loyalty points with every purchase which you can use to get a further discount on anything else you buy from Cohorted. For every pound you spend, you gain 1p towards your loyalty pot. These loyalty discounts can be redeemed at any time to help make your purchase even cheaper. What's not to love?

To celebrate the recent launch of the Cohorted website I'm giving away a tub of the Kérastase Cristalliste Luminous Perfecting Masque. Kérastase are one of my favourite haircare brands so I hope we'll be seeing plenty more of their products on Cohorted very soon. The Cristalliste range is designed for women with long hair, that suffer from greasy roots & dry ends. This mask promises to bring deep nourishment & shine to dry or damaged long hair. The formula is enriched with Kérastase's Liquid Light Complex leaving the lengths looking beautiful & shiny without weighing them down. It balances everything out making your roots feel weightless & the lengths look polished. I always get a Kérastase treatment mask when I go to the hairdressers and they always manage to make my hair look & feel amazing after a marathon bleaching session. When it comes to hair masks, Kérastase are hard to beat.

If you want to win a 200ml tub of the Kérastase Cristalliste Luminous Perfecting Masque, all you need to do is enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway will run from the 21st to the 27th of April & is open to UK readers only. The prize is being provided by Cohorted & will be sent to the winner by them. It's an absolutely cracking prize so get entering quick!

Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

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Sunday, 20 April 2014

Soap & Glory Make Yourself Youthful Sunshield Superfluid SPF 50+

Soap & Glory Make Yourself Youthful Sunshield Superfluid SPF 50+ - £15

A little bit of sun has finally arrived in our fair country and that means it's time to crack out the sun protection products. As a devotee of acids & retinoids, I use SPF products all year round. I'm ridiculously pale so SPF 50 is the one for me. For the past couple of years I've relied on the Alpha-H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF 50. It's a fantastic moisturiser & high SPF in one product. One of the main reasons I loved using the Alpha-H moisturiser is because it lacks many of the pitfalls that you would normally associate with sun protection creams. There was no stickiness, greasiness, bad smell, white cast or breakouts. I recently ran out of it but rather than ordering a new bottle straight away I looked through my skincare collection & realised that I had a hell of a lot of non-SPF day moisturisers laying around. In an attempt to use some of them up, this year I decided to try using a separate SPF 50 product again. Finding a good facial SPF product is a lot harder than you would think. I've tried loads & none of them agreed with my skin type. At long last I have found a good SPF 50 lotion that makes my face happy & doesn't cost the earth. Plus it was on special offer when I bought it so it only cost me a tenner! If you're guilty of leaving sun protection out of your skincare routine then this fabulous new product from Soap & Glory merits a place in your next Boots haul. Say hello to the Make Yourself Youthful Sunshield Superfluid SPF 50+.

This incredibly lightweight fluid is the ideal product to smooth over your regular moisturiser this Summer. It's a broad-spectrum sunscreen offering protection against both UVA & UVB rays. The packaging is cute yet practical & reminds me of the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua bottle. You have to shake up the product in a similar manner too. The consistency of the liquid is very runny & thin. I find that it absorbs into my skin really quickly so I can get on with applying my makeup right away. It has a light yellow tint which doesn't add any extra coverage but it does stop the product from giving your skin a white cast. It feels very comfortable on the skin, not greasy or sticky at all. Most SPF products turn me into an oil slick after a couple of hours & feel really heavy on my face. Using Sunshield Superfluid is like a breath of fresh air, it's completely weightless! This sunscreen features micro oil-absorbing powders which help to mattify the skin. I wouldn't say it gives as matte a finish as the Alpha-H moisturiser does, it's more of a satin sheen. It's exactly the kind of finish you'd want during the Summer - glowy & fresh. My forehead does get a little shiny by the end of the day but it's nothing a quick powdering won't sort out.

The lotion has a very sweet fruity scent which I really like. It probably won't be to everyone's taste but I think it's lovely, much better than the horrible smell sunscreens usually have anyway. My skin hasn't had any issues with the fragrance either. I've had a lot of trouble with sunscreens making me breakout in the past. I double cleanse twice a day so it's not that I wasn't taking them off properly, my skin simply didn't like them. Thankfully I've had no such problem with the Sunshield Superfluid. I've been using it for about a month now & my skin is still behaving itself. I'm incredibly happy with this product. It just ticks every single box. Sunshield Superfluid really is the perfect SPF 50 product if you're looking for something inexpensive & readily available that also feels wonderful on the skin.

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