Tuesday 31 January 2012

ASOS Vera Pointed Flatforms

ASOS Vera Pointed Flatforms

Ever since Lily posted about her now sold out flatform shoes I've noticed that a lot of people (myself included!) have been looking for a similar pair. Last week I was browsing ASOS when I came across these beauties. I was undecided at first but kept coming back to that page & lusting after them. I waited until there was an discount code available as I thought £40 was a bit too much money. It paid off because they've just added a 20% discount with TREND20 bringing them down to £32 with free delivery.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect as I've never ordered shoes from ASOS before and most the clothes I've ordered on there were disappointing and got returned immediately. However they arrived this morning and I'm already completely in love with them. I've just taken them for a test walk outside and I find them to be really comfortable. It feels a little bit odd when you first put them on but it soon becomes just like walking in regular flats. I'm dreadful at walking in heels so these are the perfect alternative. The heel is only about 2 inches high so as I'm 5'4" its just the right height to stop me from feeling like a complete short-arse. They also come in yellow & green but I went for black just because they'll go with more stuff. The floral ones that Charlotte has are rather lovely too! I highly recommend these because its so difficult to find a good pair of shoes with a heel that don't hurt your feet.

Saturday 28 January 2012

Hanging On The Telephone

Dress - American Apparel / Jumper - H&M / Necklace - Me & Zena / Rings - Urban Outfitters

I've gone a bit jumper mad lately. For years I didn't own a single one, favouring cardigans instead. Now I own at least five, all bought in the last couple of months. H&M and Primark are my two favourite shops for knitwear because they both make some great stuff thats also super cheap. I've had this American Apparel shirt dress for years but I don't really wear it that much because it is so short. It is a cool dress though because its one of those pieces that looks totally different depending on how you tie the ribbon on it. I got this necklace when Me & Zena had 50% off all their jewellery at Halloween. I love that you can take the receiver off, Chloe has lots of fun pretending to chat away on it haha.

I wore this today when Chloe & I went to watch the Chinese New Year celebrations in Huddersfield town centre. We got there a bit late so we were only able to see the Tai Chi demonstration as well as one of the worst magicians ever. I only wanted to go because they said there was gonna be proper Chinese food there. I was hoping for some Dim Sum & bubble tea but all they had available was fortune cookies & pocky, epic fail. So instead I had a Whopper meal in Burger King followed by a maple pecan plait which left my dress feeling a lot tighter than it did this morning!

Monday 23 January 2012

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

For the past few months I have been wearing Illamasqua's Skin Base Foundation every single day. One of my favourite things about that foundation is that it doesn't contain SPF, meaning that your face won't suddenly become two shades lighter under flash photography. Considering I'm already as white as a ghost that wasn't something I particularly liked; it left me looking washed out and rather ill compared to all the healthy looking girls around me. Since trying Skin Base I've become increasingly interested in other foundations that don't contain SPF. As I heard it was a favourite of Kim Kardashian, the one I decided to try out next was Giorgio Armani's Luminous Silk Foundation.

Armani describe this foundation as 'an oil-free hydrating fluid with exclusive Micro-fil™ technology. Its lightweight and silky texture glides on seamlessly for an all-day, buildable coverage'. At £34 this foundation certainly doesn't come cheap but in my opinion its well worth the hefty price tag. I bought this from Harvey Nicks in Leeds where I was matched to shade 2. I do struggle to find a light enough colour match with most foundations but this is good enough. I can imagine it being a great choice for Summer. The colour range is fairly extensive (I believe there are about 15 shades) but there might not be a dark enough choice for some skintones. As you can see from the swatch on my hand the formula is very sheer which is a stark contrast to the thicker, creamier formula of Skin Base. I also really like that it has a pump applicator as any other mechanism often leaves you with too much product.

I began applying it with just one pump of the foundation. While it didn't cover up my blemishes, it got rid of any redness & discolouration right away whilst still showing my skin underneath. This is a great foundation to use if you're after for a naturally flawless look. I found that I needed 3 pumps worth to get the coverage I desired. I would say that the coverage is comparable to Chanel's Vitalumiere Aqua. Because the formula is so sheer & silky, it layers up like a dream with absolutely no streakiness. I am completely in love with how smooth it makes my face look! This is probably also partly due to Philosophy's The Present & my lovely new Real Techniques brushes but my face has never looked so smooth before & my pores are practically invisible. You can still clearly see my freckles on my cheeks and under my eyes because this is not a full coverage foundation but it does cover the majority of skin imperfections when layered up. It also makes my skin properly glow without looking oily which I adore!

Along with the price the only other real downside to this foundation is the staying power. I did use a primer beforehand & a powder to set it but I think thats standard practice with most foundations I've used. Its not oxidised on me at all so thats a bonus. It still looks pretty good on my normal/combination type skin after about 10 hours of wear but it is a little bit patchy around my forehead. I think on someone with oilier skin it might not last as long and could end up looking a bit too shiny but its pretty much fine on me. You would probably need to top it up if you were wearing it on a night out after a whole day of wear. However I do really like it and am very happy to have two SPF-free foundations in my collection, one thick & one thin in formula to adjust to my daily needs.

Sunday 22 January 2012

Estee Lauder Elizabeth Hurley Pink Ribbon Collection

In 1993 the late Evelyn Lauder, Senior Corporate Vice President of Estee Lauder, founded the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, co-creating the now famous pink ribbon symbol. Estee Lauder have been champions of breast cancer awareness for 19 years and in that time have donated more than $8.5 million to the cause. These days many companies sell pink coloured products in support of breast cancer awareness but it was Evelyn Lauder who came up with the idea of creating a special range of pink cosmetics.

A couple of months ago my mum went to Selfridges in London as Liz Hurley, one of the Estee Lauder ambassadors, was there signing any purchases made from their Pink Ribbon collection. I don't know why she particularly wanted to meet Liz Hurley but hey, my mums a bit weird haha. Luckily for me this meant that I was gifted with this cute little makeup bag containing a beautiful pink lipstick and a bejewelled breast cancer ribbon pin (the blue crystal represents male breast cancer). 20% of the proceeds from the Pink Ribbon collection goes towards the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. I think that this is such an important cause that we should all support because the chances are that all of us will know someone who is affected by this disease at some point in our lives.

The Pure Colour Crystal Lipstick in Lavish Pink from Liz's set is a really wonderful colour. Its unlike pretty much every other pink lipstick I've tried. The colour is incredibly vibrant yet at the same time its toned down enough to be a great every day lipstick. Its not too cool & its not too warm. Theres a slight shimmer to it which I think most of the Crystal lipsticks have but its not too frosty. The formula is really moisturising yet lasts for about 4 hours on me. I adore the packaging of the lipstick, I think its right up there with the gorgeous YSL Rouge Volupte & Tom Ford ones. The scent is very different to that familiar vanilla smell of MAC lipsticks, its a lot fruiter (apparently its supposed to be fig scented) which might not be to everyones taste. I think it works really well with my skintone and I was so happy when my mum surprised me with this. Estee Lauder also have many permanent Pure Colour Crystal shades, I've got my eyes on Crystal Baby. The Pink Ribbon sets are a wonderful idea that give you a beautiful product as well as the satisfaction that you've helped to support such an important cause. Sadly I think all the sets have sold out now but keep an eye out for this year's collection.

Saturday 21 January 2012

Incense & Peppermints

Cardigan - Primark / Blouse - Topshop / Dress - Topshop / Necklace - Topshop

I managed to swap that £85 coat last weekend and here are some of the things I got instead. It was a bit of a struggle trying to decide what to get as my local Topshop is one of the worst I've ever been to. I decided to get one of those basic skater dresses as it'll go with anything, especially one in black. I got this cute navy blouse too which seemed ridiculously overpriced at £36. It reminded me of something Alexa Chung had worn & I needed to bump up the price of my basket so I went for it. Its a bit of a strange shape as the bottom is true to size and everything above that is oversized. I got this cardigan from Primark for £12, I love the slightly scalloped edges and its kept me nice and warm in today's mental weather.

The most exciting thing I did today was shopping for nappies and bin bags. The weekends are always a bit rubbish for me because Andy works all day Saturday and hes got his bar job tonight so he'll sleep all day tomorrow. I've also put myself on a spending ban as I've gone a bit mad with my money lately. Ended up buying three skirts from H&M last week, two of which were leather! So other than paying for my hair appointment next week, I'm just gonna buy the essentials in an attempt to finish saving up for my new camera. Can't wait to get rid of my horrid roots & I'm really tempted to make my hair pink and curly much like one of Nicki Minaj's wigs in her Stupid Hoe video.

I put all the entries for my Benefit Erase Paste giveaway into a list and used random.org to generate the winner. Congratulations to... Annie! I'm just about to send you an email so as soon as you send me your address a mini pot of concealer will be winging its way to you. To everyone who missed out I'm planning to do a much bigger giveaway with several prizes in the near future so keep an eye out for that!

In other news I've finished putting all the makeup I want to sell onto my blogshop. So feel free to check that out. Theres some real goodies on there such as NARS Laguna bronzer & some MAC products. I'll be adding clothes & shoes as soon as I find the time because believe me, theres a lot of stuff!

Monday 16 January 2012

Five Of The Best Primers & Mini Giveaway

Primers are an often overlooked part of a daily face routine. Some people have never heard of a primer and some people who own them just forget to use them. However most people would probably agree that the state of your skin before you apply makeup is just as important as the foundation you use and the skill with which you apply it. Personally I have found that using a primer after your regular cleanse, tone and moisturise routine is the best way of ensuring that your skin looks flawless and your makeup lasts all day long. A primer is intended to provide a base for your foundation that will improve the lasting power of your makeup as well as smooth your skin and disguise pores & wrinkles. I've tried a few different primers now but I think that I've finally found the one that I'm happiest with. Heres a quick overview of them all.

Smashbox Photo Finish Light Primer

This was the first primer I ever bought. I was in New York so felt the need to buy as many cool things in Sephora as possible. Smashbox do several primers but I got the light one because its oil-free and therefore wouldn't clog up my skin. I love how smooth this made my skin feel and foundation definitely went on a bit easier. Unfortunately that was almost all it did. After about four hours of wear my T-zone would start to look a bit oily again and my pores were still visible from the minute I applied my foundation. Smashbox is now available at Debenhams & online in the UK where I think it retails for about £25. I think thats quite a lot of money to spend on something that doesn't really make much of a difference to your face.

GOSH Foundation Primer Cream

This is the primer I've been using for the last year. I bought it after hearing so many good reviews of the gel one. GOSH do a few primers but I went for the cream because it reminded me of the texture of the Smashbox one. I also thought it seemed less clogging than the gel one. I like this one quite a lot because it did keep my makeup looking fresh for the whole day without any oiliness creeping through. It doesn't hide my pores though and doesn't make my skin feel amazing. I did repurchase this product as it is a pretty decent primer for the price, which is about £14.

MeMeMe Seventh Heaven Moisturising Face Base

I got this in last month's Glossybox and I'm not really a big fan of it. Its both a moisturiser & primer in one so the product is like a thick cream. I really dislike the way it feels on my face. It made my skin feel tacky and wet rather than silky and smooth like most primers. It makes my makeup look smooth and last most of the day but does nothing for my pores. Plus the citrus smell is horrible. A fullsize pot of this costs £15 so its in the same price range as the GOSH one but nowhere near as good.

Benefit The Porefessional

I saw this product in pretty much every '2011 Favourites' post out there so I was really excited to try this one out. When I went to buy this from Boots a couple of weeks ago they had this little gift set including a fullsize tube of The Porefessional for the same price as just the regular tube (£23.50). I'd wanted to try Girl Meets Pearl for ages so snapped it up even though the concealer is too dark for me. This product is really fantastic. Its not like any of the other primers I've tried because the balm is actually flesh coloured. The beige colour really helps to cover up any redness. It's definitely not enough to wear on its own but it does help to even out skintone making my complexion look flawless. I find that it covers my pores really well and makes my skin feel lovely. Really brilliant product.

Philosophy The Present

I absolutely love The Porefessional and didn't think I would ever find anything better until I was browsing the Philosophy counter in Manchester last week. Considering I'd only just bought the Benefit one a week before I wasn't looking for another primer but once I get obsessed with something I'll buy more until I find the perfect one. I remembered reading about The Present on Adrienne's blog and she seemed to think that it was better than The Porefessional. So after having a good natter with the sales assistant, who happened to be a MUA and used this primer on all the models at London Fashion Week, she applied it to my face. 'Wow, that's insane' was pretty much all I could say. I felt my face afterwards and it was just so smooth, I couldn't believe it. My pores were invisible and my bare skin actually looked pretty decent. The sales assistant has also pretty much convinced me that I need Philosophy's Microdelivery Peel in my life. I've been using this under my foundation for the past week and it looks like someone has airbrushed my face. My makeup lasts all day long without a single touch up and even with foundation on you can barely see any pores on my face. Another big advantage of this product over The Porefessional is the value. For £1.50 less you get more than double the amount of product. Pretty much the perfect primer. I can't wait to try even more Philosophy products.

Honorary mention goes to the Laura Mercier primer which I used to own many years ago but sadly never repurchased. That product was the perfect partner for the Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser but I never tried it with a regular foundation so can't really comment on it. I still think I prefer the Philosophy one as it makes my skin feel absolutely incredible. Are there any other primers that you like?

Now for the mini giveaway. As you can see in my Porefessionally Pretty set I got a mini pot of Benefit Erase Paste. The only colour included in these sets is Medium 02 which is way too dark for me. Rather than bin it I figured one of you might like to have it instead. I've not opened it so you'll get a brand new pot. Its the perfect size for if you want to just try it out or to put in your bag for quick touchups on the go. If you want to win it just write a comment saying so below and I'll pick one of you at random. I'll announce the winner this Friday. Easy peasy :)

Sunday 15 January 2012

Glossybox & Men's Glossybox December 2011

I've been a subscriber to Glossybox since they started back in May last year. I never posted full reviews about the boxes I received as there are already so many out there that I didn't want to just regurgitate what was already on pretty much every beauty blog I read. I've enjoyed many of the products I got to try out through them so I'm keeping my subscription on for this year. Many samples are also still sitting inside those pretty pink boxes stacked up in my living room but it was inevitable that I wouldn't like everything. Personally I think that Glossybox provide the best service with the most interesting samples so I don't feel the need to sign up for any of the others. This year I'm gonna start doing indepth Glossybox posts but I figured I would start with the most recent one from December because I've had enough time to fully test out all of the products.

Cargo Lipgloss in Serengeti
I'm always up for trying new lip products and I've never tried any of Cargo's products before. The lipgloss I received is a very pretty baby pink colour with a decent amount of shimmer. It doesn't really add much colour to my lips but it does make them really shiny and healthy looking. Its not overly sticky and doesn't have a horrible smell or taste which is always a bonus.

Blink + Go Hi-Definition Mascara
I've been meaning to buy a waterproof mascara for when me & Chloe go swimming but its always something I forget to pick up. Now I don't have to. This mascara makes my lashes look really long and properly black. I'm not sure if all waterproof mascaras are like this but I found it really hard to get off at night and I couldn't pick it off without pulling out loads of my eyelashes with it (which is a disgusting habit of mine but I don't like it if I can't do it!). I'm gonna save this just for when I go swimming as I much prefer my Lancome Doll Eyes for everyday wear.

Deborah Lippman Razzle Dazzle Nail Polish & Stripped To Go Sachet
I think most people would agree that this was the standout product of the December Glossybox. I was really excited to receive this as I don't own any other Deborah Lippman polishes. I've often found myself lusting after Across The Universe & Bad Romance because they are such gorgeous glitter polishes but the price has always put me off. This is a mini bottle but I think this is a great size and I hope I can find some other mini bottles of her polishes. The colour is so lovely & the glitter looks ever so pretty on my nails. I also got a little remover mitt which actually managed to get rid of all the glitter from this polish without too much effort.

MeMeMe Seventh Heaven Moisturising Face Bace
I've recently become a bit obsessed with trying out new primers in an attempt to make my skin look its best. I've never tried any of the MeMeMe products either so wasn't sure how good this would be. The first thing I noticed was the strong citrus smell. Although I love citrus scents in shower gels & bath products I'm not a big fan of it being on my face. This is supposed to work as both a moisturiser and a primer so that intrigued me. The texture is more like a moisturiser as its a thick cream as opposed to the silky feel of a primer. It did my makeup look smooth and last most of the day but theres plenty of other primers out there that will do the same thing for less money, don't feel tacky on my skin, completely hide my pores and don't make me smell like a lemon.

Rituals Foaming Shower Gel
I am so in love with the scent of this shower gel. For me the most important thing when it comes to choosing a shower gel is how good it smells and this one is amazing. This is the indian rose & sweet almond oil one. Its a light floral scent that really lingers on your skin & in the bathroom. I like that it foams but the only bad thing is that it squirts absolutely everywhere.

Overall I was really happy with this box. From past experiences I think the boxes are best and keep the most amount of people happy when everyone receives products of a similar type & value. I really liked the red packaging for the Christmas box, definitely made it feel a bit more special.

I was also offered the chance to review the recently launched Glossybox for men. I gave it to my partner Andy as one of his Christmas presents. He's also the reason this review has taken so long because he's always at work... or asleep. The men's boxes are being sent out quarterly & contain seven deluxe samples. I think this amount of stuff and frequency of delivery is appropriate for the audience but perhaps the price might be too high. Including delivery one box would cost you £17.95 which is a lot more than the women's Glossybox and I'm not sure that the price is justified by the size of the samples.

Goldwell StyleSign Lagoom Jam Volume Gel
Andy uses gel in his hair every day as he likes to wear it spiked upwards. He wasn't a big fan of the scent of the product but I thought it smelled really nice, it was probably a bit too sweet for him. He was however really impressed with how much volume it gave his hair. The second he put a tiny amount in his hair it looked huge and it stayed upright all day long. He's now using this as his everyday hair product & will probably repurchase it.

Shaveworks The Cool Fix
This is a gel that is supposed to help cool down your face after shaving, reduce redness & treat ingrown hairs. He said it felt tingly on his skin and was nice & refreshing after a shave. It didn't really get rid of any redness or bumps. He didn't like the smell at all so wouldn't use it again even though it was soothing on his skin.

Murad Clarifying Mask
This is the one product I couldn't get Andy to try out for me. So I used it on myself as it doesn't say that its specifically meant for men. This mask is part of an acne treatment and it contains sulfur which was something I often looked for in products when I used get more spots. It made my face feel really clean afterwards but not tight at all. I really liked this product and might look into some of the other Murad skincare range.

Monu Vitru Conditioning Body Wash
Andy liked the citrus scent of this product which was refreshing but still manly. It left his skin clean and soft. Not bad but probably wouldn't repurchase it.

Monu Vitru Energy Rub
Monu's Energy Rub is a really interesting product. Again it has a nice smell that is manly. Andy works as a retail manager so he's on his feet for about 10 hours every working day. This often leaves him with aching legs so he was happy to try this one out. He said it felt like just rubbing water on his leg but it also felt very cooling and did actually stop his leg muscles from aching.

Goldwell Dualsenses Shampoo
This is a two in one shampoo for hair and body. Andy said this was okay but no better than the stuff he normally uses from Sainsburys.

Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme & La Nuit De L'Homme
I really liked the aftershave samples because I actually bought Andy a bottle of YSL's L'Homme for Christmas a couple of years ago. I remember spending quite a while in Harvey Nicks trying to decide between L'Homme and La Nuit De L'Homme because they both smell so good. Andy says that he definitely prefers the original L'Homme as the other one is a bit overpowering. Both have really good staying power. Andy told me to make sure I include the phrase 'smells nicey picey' in this product review.

Overall Andy thinks that there was some interesting samples in this box from brands that he probably wouldn't of gone for himself. More often than not he buys whatever toiletries are the cheapest at the time but he does enjoy trying out new things. Personally I'm not entirely sure whether this is something that men themselves would bother to subscribe to. I think if you want to treat your boyfriend or you're short on ideas for their birthday then this would be a great present to get them. The products in the box were good to try out because you don't see all of these brands on the shelves in Boots which is probably as far as most men would go for picking up some new toiletries. And if it helps to make Andy take better care of himself then I'm all for it haha!

Friday 13 January 2012

Riddle Me This

Top - Primark / Shorts - H&M / Coat - H&M / Shoes - Primark / Ring - Miss Selfridge / Bracelet - Rock N Rose

I've spent the last few days sorting through all my clothes & makeup. I'm going to have my blog shop up really soon, hopefully by the end of the weekend. Photographing, editing and uploading all the pictures is taking an absolute age. I've gotten rid of so many clothes that theres actually ample space in my wardrobe for some new things. I got bored yesterday so decided to have a little trip to Manchester, mainly to hit up the massive Primark but also to get my much loved Barburrito & Krispy Kreme treats.

I know I said I wasn't going to buy loads of things in Primark & instead save for something better but I figured if I'm saving for a Canon 600D (or 650D which is coming out next month!) then I can't really afford to save for anything else, including nicer clothes. Its a good job that Primark is overflowing with some lovely tops this month. I bought this one yesterday. I love the colour and I only have one other green top. Polka dots are always a winner with me too. I also bought these brogues yesterday as they were reduced from £14 to £6. Thought they'd go perfectly with the top. My coat is just a simple long boyfriend blazer style but the material is like a thick jersey. Its pretty much exactly what I've been looking for. I got it from H&M about the same time that I bought my other new coat. I think I'm gonna take that one back tomorrow as it really does look far too big on me. Praying that they'll allow me to exchange it if I say it was a Christmas present. That way I can get £85 worth of new Topshop stuff. Wish me luck!

Monday 9 January 2012

MAC Haul

I recently made an online MAC order as my beloved MSF Natural was on its last legs. I use this every day to set my makeup or to even out my skintone if can't be bothered with proper foundation. I got sent the tiny sample of Zoom Lash mascara free with my order. Its an alright mascara but what I like best is how cute the tiny tube is. I keep this in my handbag for quick top-ups. I also decided to cheekily add a couple of other bits that I've been lusting after to my order.

I bought three pro palette refill eyeshadow pans in the colours Club, Brun and Vanilla. Club is a red-brown with green pearl, Brun is a matte muted blackish-brown & Vanilla is a peachy-ivory with a slight shimmer. I've always thought that Club was a nice colour but never really felt compelled to buy it until I saw Amelia Lily wearing it on The X Factor. I think shes bloody gorgeous and her makeup always looks great. I got Brun to wear as a crease colour for a natural eye, to wear smudged under my eyes and I might try it as an eyebrow colour too. I bought Vanilla because I love pale highlighter colours.

I also bought a matte lipstick in the colour Please Me. Its a muted rosy tinted pink. Its surprisingly not too drying for a matte lipstick. I would definitely make sure your lips are properly exfoliated and moisturised before using this colour as it can highlight any dead skin there. My faves for lip preparation are Lush's Bubblegum Lip Scrub and Philosophy's Kiss Me Tonight. It is really pigmented and applies very nicely. I would've taken a picture of it on my lips but I'm being lazy today and can't be bothered to actually put on any makeup, soz!

Top - Vanilla / Malt / Ricepaper / Patina / Brun
Middle - Brule / Naked Lunch / Amber Lights / Woodwinked / Club
Bottom - Shroom / All That Glitters / Expensive Pink / Satin Taupe / Carbon

The addition of those three eyeshadows means that I've finally completed my first (and probably last!) MAC eyeshadow palette. I depotted my Shroom and Carbon eyeshadows to finish it off. I still have 8 loose MAC eyeshadows so I might buy a couple of four pan palettes to give them a home. I daren't buy another 15 palette because it'll only encourage me to buy more!