Sunday 30 November 2014

MeMeMe Long Wear Satin Lip Cream In China Rose

MeMeMe Long Wear Satin Lip Cream in China Rose* - £8.50

Something I can never say no to is yet another pink lipstick. I dread to even think how many I've bought over the years but soft neutral pinks just suit me so well. I'm not one for the high maintenance that comes with most bright lipsticks on an everyday basis so a pretty pink has always been my go-to shade. One of the most recent additions to my makeup bag is this gorgeous Satin Lip Cream from MeMeMe. I can't say that I look through their stand regularly as I normally stick to Boots but this lipstick is completely worth a quick sojourn to Superdrug. The shade China Rose is such a beautiful nude pink colour. It's a fairly natural looking pink so this is exactly the kind of lipstick that I like to wear during the day. I wouldn't say it lives up to it's claim of being long-lasting, it's about average for a satin finish lipstick. However it is very creamy, comfortable to wear and easy to reapply. It's clear to see why China Rose has seldom strayed from my lips lately.

The thing that really sets this product apart from many other drugstore lipsticks is the formula. The quality is just phenomenal. This lip cream is enriched with shea butter & vitamin E so it really helps to soften & nourish your lips. It applies so smoothly and has a wonderful glossy finish. It just feels like silk on your lips. Everything about it; the texture, the scent, the pigmentation all remind me of a MAC lipstick. I would liken it to their Creamsheen finish lipsticks in particular. If you just swapped the packaging for that classic MAC bullet you wouldn't even be able to tell the difference. Carrying on with the MAC comparisons I would even go as far as to say that this is an exact dupe for MAC Creme Cup which is one of my favourite lipsticks of all time. The main difference is that the MeMeMe Satin Lip Cream is almost half the price of Creme Cup. I've fallen head over heels for this formula, who knew there were such good MAC lipstick dupes in Superdrug?! If China Rose is anything to go by then I definitely need to try out some more colours in this range. Have you tried the MeMeMe Long Wear Satin Lip Creams before?

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Monday 24 November 2014

JewelCandle Sweet Cupcake + Giveaway

JewelCandle Sweet Cupcake Classic Edition Candle - £24.95

Candles & jewellery are two of my very favourite things. Imagine my delight when I discovered that JewelCandle combine both of them together to create a range of luxury handmade candles with a jewellery surprise hidden inside. It's such a fun concept! They're kinda like a Kinder egg for adults, only instead of a toy you get a beautiful piece of jewellery. Here I have the Sweet Cupcake classic edition candle which comes in this large glass jar with a cute ribbon on top. This candle has a burn time of up to 120 hours although the fragrance is so sweet that it takes no time at all to fill a room. Honestly it smells incredible! The scent is exactly like freshly baked vanilla cupcakes. It's a mouthwatering creamy vanilla with notes of yummy caramel. This fantastic candle brings a very warm & welcoming ambience to my home which I love. It really does smell good enough to eat!

Every JewelCandle comes with the choice of a ring or a pair of earrings in sterling silver. As I have stretched earlobes I decided to go for the ring. The interesting part here is that you have no idea what kind of design you're going to get & your new piece of jewellery could be worth anything from £10 up to a whopping £250! You can see a bit of foil inserted into the back of the candle. It is placed quite far up the candle so that you don't have to wait long to get your surprise, I'd say about 15 hours maximum. This special foil contains your jewellery & is heat-resistant so it won't get damaged at all by the flame. Inside the foil there is also a plastic zip locked bag to further protect your jewellery from coming into direct contact with the liquid wax.

When the candle has burned down a bit you can start to see the foil peaking out from the top of the wax. After a few nights of burning the candle I could finally reach my piece of jewellery. While the wax was still warm I scooped out the package with a spoon and eagerly unwrapped my surprise. Inside was a gorgeous blue heart shaped gemstone ring. The ring is made from 925 sterling silver and features a double row of white gemstones along the top of the band. I have no idea how much it is actually worth but it looks absolutely stunning nonetheless. I love the sapphire blue shade & it sparkles wonderfully. You don't get to choose the ring size but it fits my middle finger exactly which is about a UK size M. It is a bit of a gamble as to whether you'll like the ring or not but I couldn't be more pleased with the one that I received.

JewelCandle have kindly given me a 10% discount code for their website so this is the perfect opportunity to try out some of their candles. Simply enter sparklyvodka10 at the checkout. These candles would make superb Christmas gifts and I'll definitely be buying a few more for my friends. As well as their usual lineup, they currently have some lovely seasonal scents available such as Gingerbread, Santa Claus & Merry Christmas which will fit in nicely with the rest of your Christmas decorations.

Alternatively if you fancy winning one of these amazing treats then you should enter my giveaway! I've teamed up with JewelCandle to offer one lucky reader a Sweet Cupcake ring candle of their very own. To enter just use the Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway will run for two weeks from November 24th to December 8th & is open to UK readers only. The prize is being provided by JewelCandle & will be sent to the winner by them. I will announce the winner via my Twitter so keep an eye out for that. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Saturday 22 November 2014

Getting Cosy For Autumn With Arran Aromatics

Autumn has to be my favourite time of year. It might be cold outside but that means plenty of nights in snuggled up on the sofa with a warm blanket. At the moment I can't say there's anything else I'd rather do in the evening than drink mugfuls of hot chocolate whilst wearing my Primark bunny twosie AKA the best pyjamas ever. As the nights are drawing in I feel like there's more time for a bit of pampering and that is one of my favourite ways to relax. Last month Arran Aromatics sent over this wonderful gift box filled with all sorts of Autumnal treats. I've been using these products as part of my evening pamper routine and there's nothing I look forward to more at the end of a long day.

I normally start off my pamper routine by lighting a few candles. I'm pretty candle obsessed in general but when it starts getting dark at 5pm I always have at least one burning in my house. I love eating fresh figs & think they smell gorgeous so I was excited to see this Ultimate Fig Scented Candle* in the box. This is the travel candle version so I burned through this quite quickly but I liked it's subtle woody notes combined with the scent of honeyed fig & cassis. It has such a light fragrance that I think it is best suited to the bedroom so you can enjoy it's gentle ambience before you go to sleep.

Next I like to run a hot bath so I can have a long relaxing soak. Lavender is one of my favourite scents for bath products because it helps to induce sleep. This Sandalwood & Lavender Bath Oil* is the epitome of indulgence. It smells incredible and the aroma is so calming for both body & mind. It makes my skin feel super soft as it contains coconut & wheat germ oil and the delicate scent lingers on my body for hours. The label says it all really, it leaves me feeling totally relaxed and ready to dive into bed.

These soap bars are some of my favourite products from Arran Aromatics. Here I have the Honey & Oatmeal Vegetable Soap*. This soap has such a strong honey scent which I absolutely love. If you've ever tried the Honey Trap lip balm from Lush, it's exactly like that! This soap is a triple threat as not only will it cleanse your skin, it exfoliates & nourishes at the same time. Unlike most soaps on the market this one won't dry out your skin at all. After a bit of a soak I like to use this to scrub my body & it works wonders on any rough patches. I actually prefer these to Lush body soaps now as they're just such good value for money!

I'm pretty terrible when it comes to moisturising after a bath. I hate waiting around for products to sink in when I could be getting cosy in my fluffy PJs. My skin gets a lot drier at this time of year though & as an eczema sufferer I have to force myself to apply some. This Chamomile & Honey Barrier Cream* makes the moisturising process a lot less tiresome. The lightweight formula sinks in right away and makes my skin feel really protected. It features beeswax, shea butter, vitamin E, chamomile essential oil & pure honey extract to heal & soothe dry, chapped skin. The only thing I'm not too keen on is the smell. I wish it had the same honey scent as the soap because I'd probably like it a whole lot more.

As the weather turns colder my lips inevitably get very dry so I keep a lip balm with me at all times. My handbag is littered with lip products and this Honey & Lemon Lip Balm* is another welcome addition. It has a lovely scent that strongly reminds me of Honey & Lemon Halls Soothers. It feels very smooth on the lips & provides a glossy finish. This lip balm also features UV protection so it'd be a good choice if you're going anywhere snowy. After going through the rest of my skincare routine I finish off my lips with this and reapply it as soon as I've finished drinking copious amounts of hot chocolate & brushed my teeth for the night. By then I'm more than ready for bed & I always look forward to doing it all again the next day!

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Tuesday 18 November 2014

Anastasia Brow Update

Anastasia DipBrow Pomade in Medium Brown / Anastasia #12 Large Synthetic Duo Brow Brush

Earlier this year I purchased & reviewed the Anastasia DipBrow Pomade in Blonde. I absolutely loved the formula of the product but as I'm obvs not a natural blonde, the colour never looked quite right on me. It was far too light & warm for my cool brown brow hairs. I had to top it up with a brow powder to make it look half decent. Then in July Anastasia added a few new shades to the DipBrow lineup including Medium Brown which is exactly the colour I was hoping for. I was tempted to get Taupe but when swatched it still looked very similar to Blonde just slightly more cool toned. Medium Brown is the perfect match for my natural brow colour as it's a little bit darker too. For reference other Anastasia products that suit my colouring are the Tinted Brow Gel in Granite & Brow Wiz in Medium Ash. Now that I finally have this product in the right colour I am completely enamoured with it. It will totally change your brow game & I can't recommend the DipBrow Pomades enough!

When I ordered the Medium Brown DipBrow Pomade I decided to also get the #12 brush as I've read so many good reviews of it. I was previously using a Laura Mercier angled brow brush and I thought that was amazing at the time but this brush is even better! It only picks up a small amount of product so your brows won't look too heavy or fake. It really helps to sculpt your eyebrows and the spoolie on the other end is excellent quality too. It makes it so easy to feather the start of your brows so there aren't any harsh lines. These two products just work so well together. They're all I've been using to fill in my eyebrows lately & I don't think mine have ever looked better.

Anastasia Brow Scissors

Another Anastasia product that I recently invested in are these adorable brow scissors. Although I would love to go & get HD Brows done someday, I currently always do my own brow maintenance. A pair of tweezers will only get you so far though & sometimes you just need to trim those hairs. I've always had a weird gap in my brows that I could tell was because I was plucking the hairs rather than trimming them. I remember following an eyebrow grooming tutorial a few years ago and I stupidly trimmed them with some kitchen scissors. They looked terrible & took ages to grow back properly! My brow shape had been bugging me lately so I bought these and gave it another go. I no longer have the weird gap as these have properly sorted out my brow arches. They are so sharp & thin that it's easy to cut individual hairs in the exact place you need to. Precision is key when it comes to grooming your own eyebrows so these are must-have if you don't have time to visit a beauty salon.

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Monday 17 November 2014

Age Of Innocence

Shirt - Urban Outfitters / Dress - The Whitepepper / Shoes - Topshop
Necklace - Urban Outfitters / Nail Ring - Choies* / Watch - Michael Kors

A couple of weeks ago I went to my niece's christening and this is what I wore. I never normally go to church so I had no idea what to wear but I figured everyone else would be dressing up. It was the ideal occasion to debut one of my latest purchases from The Whitepepper. I had my eye on this dress for ages and then it went down to £25 in a flash sale so I snapped it up immediately. It's very oversized so I ended up with size XS which fits me perfectly. I really love the frilly armholes & I think it looks great with a white shirt underneath. I feel like a Victorian child in this outfit or like I work at a Japanese maid cafe, if only! I adore this little black cat nail ring I got from Choies too, so cute!

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Saturday 8 November 2014

The Library Of Fragrance: Pistachio Ice Cream

The Library Of Fragrance Pistachio Ice Cream Cologne Spray* - £15

The Library Of Fragrance is an exciting new perfume brand that have just launched in the UK. Known as Demeter in America, the brand started almost twenty years ago with the aim of capturing all the beautiful scents that surround us in the everyday. The result is a truly fantastical collection of single note perfumes with everything from Lavender, Neroli, Vetiver & Sandalwood to Play-Doh, Sushi, Pizza & Snow. If you can imagine a scent then The Library Of Fragrance have pretty much got you covered.

28 of the most popular scents from The Library of Fragrance are now available to buy from 400 Boots stores nationwide and via the Boots website. However there is a total of 101 fragrances available directly from their website & that's where you'll find the amazing scent that I was sent to try, Pistachio Ice Cream. It's one of my favourite ever desserts but is strangely difficult to find in UK supermarkets. I normally have to seek out a traditional ice cream parlour to get my pistachio fix. A few years ago I became obsessed with the Laura Mercier Crème de Pistache range which just so happens to smell exactly like pistachio ice cream. Such expensive bath & body products are a rare treat for me so I've had to make do without that gorgeous scent in my life... until now, that is! This perfume reminds me so much of those Laura Mercier products. The cool sweet scent lingers on my body for hours & I can't get enough of it. I noticed that Laura Mercier actually make a Crème de Pistache perfume but considering The Library Of Fragrance version costs just a third of the price, I know which one I'd rather pay for.

Whenever I decide to buy a new perfume it's always down to whether I instinctively like it. I'm not terrible at detecting different fragrance notes but I'm certainly no Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (watch Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer if you have no idea who I'm on about!). Anyone who has ever reviewed a perfume on their blog will know how tricky it can be to accurately describe a scent other than 'it's fruity/floral/sweet/spicy/musky'. What I really like about this wonderful collection of scents is that each perfume is incredibly simple & smells exactly how it is supposed to. This perfume smells just like real pistachio ice cream, it's not synthetic at all. The scent encapsulates that creamy nutty sweetness that I love so much & gives me one heck of a gelato craving. At just £15 per bottle this line of fragrances is very affordable & I will most definitely be picking up a few more. I had a quick sniff of them in Boots when I was in Halifax last week and they all smell so good! Jasmine is next on my list as it's so refreshing to find a floral perfume with just one note. Of course part of the fun of this product is that you can combine several of the fragrances to create your own signature scent. There's literally something for everyone here. You won't find a greater olfactory treat from any other brand.

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Tuesday 4 November 2014

October Favourites

Sleek Face Contour Kit
As someone who normally has no interest whatsoever in the Kardashian clan, for some reason I've been coveting Kylie Jenner's mad makeup skillz lately. I've even started overdrawing my lips again with MAC Subculture lip pencil. Of course no Kardashian style makeup look would be complete without some extreme contouring and this Contour Kit from Sleek is something I always come back to. I have it in Light which is still a fairly dark & warm toned shade but with a lot of blending it works really well for me. I've been going to town with this and a MAC 109 brush along my cheekbones & under my jaw. I tend to leave my forehead alone as mine is narrow enough as it is. It helps to slim down my chubby cheeks & hide my many chins whilst adding a touch of warmth to my complexion. The highlighter pan will never take the place of my beloved Mary-Lou Manizer but that contour powder is excellent stuff.

TRESemmé Renewal Hair & Scalp Tonic
Dandruff generally isn't a problem for me but whenever I get my hair bleached my scalp always gets a bit sensitive & flaky. A coconut hair mask normally sorts it out just fine but the idea of this scalp tonic was rather intriguing. Plus it was only £2.50 in Boots! This product is a light clear liquid that you squeeze onto your roots using the nozzle applicator before combing it through the lengths of your hair. It immediately feels very cooling on the scalp as it contains tea tree extract. It also features sunflower seed oil, biotin, vitamin C & vitamin E which together help to prevent breakage and promote healthy hair growth. The tonic feels completely weightless on your hair so you won't even notice it's presence but it'll be working to repair & nourish your scalp on a cellular level. A healthy scalp means healthier hair so I really like the concept of this range. Since trying out the tonic I've invested in the Renewal shampoo & conditioner which I also love. The tonic is definitely the star of the show though. It's a lovely soothing treat before blowdrying that will leave your hair & scalp feeling really refreshed & rebalanced. A bit of extra hair growth is always welcome too!

Claudia Louch Protective Jojoba Day Moisturiser*
The Claudia Louch Natural Skin Clinic products are some of the loveliest I've ever tried. This Jojoba Day Moisturiser is certainly no exception. This product is intended for those with combination to oily skin types. It feels weightless on the skin yet it features an abundance of deeply hydrating & nourishing oils. The key active ingredient here is jojoba oil which acts as an anti-inflammatory & actually helps to dissolve excess sebum. It has definitely helped to reduce the amount of blocked pores & breakouts I get and as a result my complexion looks very clear & even toned. It really pampers your skin, protecting it whilst leaving it feeling silky smooth. It sinks in quickly & makes a wonderful base for makeup. The rich & velvety texture makes this my perfect Autumn moisturiser.

Russell Organics Vitamin C Serum*
I'm really loving luxury natural skincare brands at the minute. I've tried a whole host of products that claim to lighten post-blemish scarring but none have worked quite so quickly or effectively as this Vitamin C Serum from Russell Organics. Vitamin C is an important ingredient to look for when choosing an anti-ageing product as it helps to plump up the skin, reducing fine lines & wrinkles. It's one of the few things that can fade and actually stop the formation of freckles & age spots. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C have been shown to increase the efficacy of sunscreens too. This light serum feels very silky & moisturising on the skin. It makes my whole face look really bright & radiant. If you want younger or healthier looking skin then you really should try adding a vitamin C serum into your skincare routine. The orangey scent is pretty gross but if you can get over that it'll work absolute wonders on your skin.

Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation
I've been extra cautious with sunscreen this year and as a result my skin is currently looking paler than ever. Quite a few of my regular base products just haven't been looking quite right on me especially when compared to my neck & chest. A few weeks ago I went back to using what is quite possibly the palest foundation ever apart from pure white - Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation in 02. The price of this product has gone up quite a lot over the years. It was only £25 when I bought it & now it costs a whopping £32! Not good news if you need to mix a couple of shades. That gorgeous skin-like finish is well worth it though. It photographs beautifully with or without flash so it's great choice for special occasions like weddings. The coverage is great without completely masking your skin. Some people have struggled to get it work for them so if you want to try this foundation I would highly recommend buying a couple of other Illamasqua bits for application perfection. Firstly their Hydra Veil or Matte Veil primers are a must-have. Skin Base can cling to drier areas so good prep is essential. The next thing to bear in mind is that you only need a tiny amount of product so squeeze a little dot onto the back of your hand rather than blobbing it straight onto your face. The Illamasqua Highlighter brush is truly fantastic & is the perfect tool to apply it with. If you go to an Illamasqua counter they do pretty much everything with that brush. It really buffs in the product giving it a seamless finish & it feels incredibly soft. With those products in my arsenal Skin Base has become one of my favourite foundations ever as it just looks totally amazing on my skin.

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