Thursday, 27 October 2016

'Thursday Tittle Tattle', is a Hope, Freedom, Love blog series that has quickly become home to some of my popular posts. The series is dedicated to breaking news of the beauty world. From time-to-time, Thursday’s blog post will be dedicated to news featuring; beauty and lifestyle news, events, discounts, and even a bit of fashion news thrown in too! This week I have the Clarins Relax Box, the Barry M Christmas sets and lots more, keep reading! 

The Clarins Relax Box
Every now and then Clarins release these special beauty boxes and there's a new one on the block. The Clarins Relax box is designed help at the end of a long and busy week. Clarins have a created the perfect routine, presented in the Relax box, especially targeted for those always on-the-move. Inside the box you get; Gentle Peeling Smooth away cream (15ml), HydraQuench Cream-Mask (15ml), Skin-Smoothing Eye Mask, Relax Body Treatment oil (30ml), Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil 01 honey (7ml) and the Relax Bath & Shower Concentrate (30ml). You can pick up the Clarins box here for £35

The Stila Highlighting Palette

I'm utterly obsessed with this highlighting palette, I just think it's beautiful. The Star Light Star Bright Palette (£32) is part of their Christmas gifting range and it's packed with powders to give you that 'lit from within' gleam. There are three 'buttery highlighting powders' designed to give you a pretty pearlescent glow. Use the powders on your cheekbones, your brow bones or exposed collarbones, wear all three together or individually on their own. It's packaged in a pretty gold palette which is perfect for Christmas time and all year round. 

New Eyeshadow Palette From Rodial
The brand new Eyeshadow Palette from Rodial (£35) is described as "the ultimate capsule collection of complementary nude shades for the eyes". It's packaged in a classic Rodial palette and it includes six neutral, high pigment shadows to define the lids and line the eyes for the woman on-the-go. The eyeshadows are a selection of matte and pearl shades, so you can really create a range of looks, from the everyday neutral sculpted eye to a more dramatic smokey eye for the evening. 

Sarah Moon for NARS

I feel like most NARS collections are stunning, but there is something about this Christmas collection from NARS which I adore. I think it's just so simple and wearable that everyone can enjoy it! One thing that has caught my eye is the Face Fiction Face Kit (£45), which includes a palette, a mini Chelsea Girls lip gloss and a mini Black Moon mascara. The palette includes two new, limited-edition Dual-Intensity Blushes in Noctum and Vu, plus an iconic Light Reflecting Setting Powder.

Barry M Christmas Sets
For the first year ever, Barry M have created a whole range of Christmas beauty sets. There is a selection of glitters, sparkles and festive bundles! There are a variety of sets which are split between Argos and House Of Fraser. One of my favourite sets is The Deluxe Collection (£28 from House Of Fraser). It's a collection of festive metallics and holiday brights and it's the ultimate nail paint gift set. The set includes the Molten Metal Nail Paints and Hi Shine Gelly Nail Paints in an assortment of festive and fun shades. Another lovely set is the Sculpting Set (£14.99 from Argos), which is a kit designed to help you learn the art of contouring and light up your makeup look. The set includes the Contour Creams, Contour Kit and Iced Bronze Illuminating Strobe Cream. 

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Umberto Giannini is name I suspect most people have heard of, for the last 25 years they've been here in the UK winning awards and becoming one of the top salon groups. It's safe to say they know a thing or two about haircare! The Umberto Giannini brand aims to bring the art of creating glamorous hair and the catwalk trends to the high street. Umberto Giannini believe it’s every woman’s right to be glamorous and that haircare products can be fun and full of personality.

I'm personally used to seeing the Umberto Giannini on the shelves of the drugstore, they were one of the first brands to have a full curly hair range at this price point. Together with the GLAM range, the CURL range has been loved by women all around the UK. The two ranges have plenty of famous products, that many of you will of heard of and used. Including Backcomb in a Bottle and the famous cult classic Curl Jelly. Now they are back and they are adding the to the two additional lines, with two brand new collections (a total of 18 new products). The two new exciting care and styling super ranges are SMOOTH (a styling and care range for a smooth, salon finish) and INDULGE (a care range to prep, protect and repair hair). 

The heroes of the CURL range include the Curl Jelly*, which has been around since 2000 and is Umberto Giannini's "miracle worker". It's designed to battle with frizz and flop, the perfect product for scrunch drying. The brand new Curls In A Bottle* is a spray styling product designed to give exactly the right amount of hold for your curls. You spritz into wet or dry hair to help your curls stay in place all day long. No More Frizz* is my favourite of the three and it's also brand new to the lineup. This is a gorgeous smoothing serum, which you apply to wet hair. It defeats frizz and adds shine, perfect for curls whether they are oily, frizzy, dry or damaged curls.

The brand new INDULGE range includes a nutrient spray, a hair mask and a luxury oil. It also includes the Indulge Wash Nourishing Shampoo* and Indulge Care Nourishing Conditioner*. They are made to work together, mixing luxury with salon quality formulations. Umberto Giannini say that these products are created from the love of making clients feel good about themselves. Created with a gorgeous scent with moisturising properties will leave your hair silky smooth.

If you're looking for products that deliver good quality results, without breaking the bank, you need to check out Umberto Giannini. With 32 products (including 18 brand new formulations) they have everything you need, whatever your hair type. 

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

If you're a regular reader of my blog, DECIEM will need no introduction to you. If you've never heard of them you have some serious catching up to do, click here to see some of my other DECIEM reviews. Long story, short - I love DECIEM and all the genius brands in their enormous beauty umbrella. So when I was given the chance to try some new products from the latest brand on the block, I jumped at the chance.

The Ordinary is honestly everything you want in a beauty brand. They have all the clever innovative products and treatments, offering clinical technologies and results, with real integrity in skincare. The Ordinary feel that the need for development has pushed up the prices of skincare to astronomical levels. They want to celebrate skincare integrity by offering pioneering skincare, at prices that don't break the bank. Hence The Ordinary's simple and easy-to-remember tag line; Clinical formulations with integrity.

Fans will know that DECIEM have a dedicated team who experiment with materials chemistry and biochemistry. They have brought us innovation through their two core brands; Hylamide and NIOD. They now feel that it's time to strip back to basics and really differentiate between technologies that are "groundbreaking" and products that are now the everyday norm. A lot of products on the market were groundbreaking at the time, but they now no longer warrant insensible pricing strategies.

The Ordinary takes pride in providing good quality products, with prices that represent the true price they take to create - without the hike in price describing older technology as breaking news. The new brand has ten new products, with everything from Rose Hip Oil, to Retinol, to Lactic Acid. The two products I have here are Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5* and Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA*

Hyaluronic Acid is not a stranger to those of us who are obsessed with skincare. Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 is a formula made with with ultra-pure, vegan Hyaluronic Acid. The formula combines low-, medium- and high-molecular weight HA, which means that the product is absorbed by different layers of the skin. This product offers the skin hydration, in a oil free formula boosted with Vitamin B5 which also enhances surface hydration. You simply apply the formula to the skin in the morning and nighttime, after cleansing and before creams.

Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA is a serum product that combines Purified Alpha Arbutin
and Hyaluronic Acid.  Alpha Arbutin is a new product to me which I've never heard of, but it reduces the looks of spots and hyper-pigmentation. This product uses a high 2% concentration (the standard on the market is 1%) and is supported by a next generation
form of Hyaluronic Acid, to help it absorb into the layers of the skin. Again you simply have to apply a few drops to face in the morning and evening, however in the morning it's important to remember to use sun protection.

The Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 retails for a TINY £5.90 and Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA retails for £7, you can pick up the products from the DECIEM website

Monday, 24 October 2016

If you want a killer makeup look which won't break the bank, then look no further! I was recently sent ideas for three gorgeous looks from Maybelline and I just had to share them with you guys, as I think they are fabulous! These three looks will have you looking great all night long and they each cost less than £29 to create! Lots of these looks reuse a lot of the same products, so you can actually have a different look for each of your halloween parties.

Look #1 Glam Vamp
This first look pairs a simple smokey eye, with a gorgeous red lip. 
  1. For the smokey eye, Maybelline recommend using the Rock Nudes Palette (£9.99), start by adding black and purple eyeshadows to the outer corner of your eyelid, then take a silver shadow and add it to the inner corner of your eye lid. 
  2. Grab a big fluffy blending brush (I always use the MAC 217) and blend both sides of the eyeshadow together.  
  3. Next you take a bold eyeliner, like the Master Precise Curvy* (£6.99) and use the thick edge to create a bold line above and below the eye. Maybelline's makeup artists recommend starting in the corner of the eyelid and working out towards the edge.
  4. The Colossal 100% Black Mascara (£6.99) is one of my favourites and it's perfect for finishing off the eye, just load plenty of coats on to the lashes for lots of volume.
  5. Finally, finish the look with a perfect red pout! These Color Drama Lip Paints* (£4.99) are brand new and they offer great pigmentation. Red-dy Or Not* is a deep red hue with a semi-matte finish! 

Look #2 Femme Fatale
This look combines a nude pink lip with stunning spider eyelashes.
  1. The eyes in this look are very natural, so you just need to take a light pink eyeshadow and use it to highlight your eyelids.
  2. Take an ultra fine liquid eyeliner, like the Master Precise Liner (£5.99) and draw a very fine line on the upper lid.
  3. Here is where we up the ante, as we take the Colossal Spider Effect Mascara* (£7.99) and apply it to the lashes. This mascara gives you crazy length and volume, offering defined pointy eye lashes. 
  4. Finish the look with a nude colour, the Vivid Matte Liquid lipstick in Nude Thrill (£6.99) is perfect for this! The Vivid Mattes offer strong pigmentation with a matte finish which is still comfortable on the lips!

Look #3 Dark Temptress
This look is dark and sultry, pairing a dark eye with a dark lip.
  1. Just look in look #1 we're going to use a purple shimmer shade on the outer corner of the eye. We're then going to use the pink and silver hues on the inner corner and blend them both together with a fluffy brush. The Rock Nudes Palette is again perfect for this look as it has all the colours you need. 
  2. This time we're also going to take the smokey effect under the lash line, for a really smokey finish to the eyes.
  3. Take your preferred liquid liner and draw a smooth line across the top of the eyelid, finish the eyes with the Colossal 100% Black Mascara for thick voluminous lashes. 
  4. This time finish the look with a dark lipstick! I've featured the Midnight Merlot Lipstick (£6.99) from the Loaded Bolds collection before, it's a rich formula which really packs a punch! 

I'd love to know which of these looks is your favourite, I think Maybelline have done a great job putting these looks together!

Friday, 21 October 2016

It's that time of year where students all around the UK return to University, for another semester of fun and hard work. It's always a time of year that is on my mind, as I actually started my blog when I started University. Back then I really was strapped for cash, I could never have dreamed of buying fancy palettes or expensive highlighters. I was always on the hunt for beauty bargains, or products that were great for multi tasking. Today's blog post is list of some of my best beauty finds, which won't break the bank!

Sleek Eyeshadow Palettes
The Sleek Eyeshadow Palettes are a fantastic buy for someone who really wants a great product for a fraction of the price. These eyeshadow palettes from Sleek were actually the first palette I ever tried and they made me fall in love with eyeshadow. They are packaged in cute black palettes, which are sturdy and travel well (the shadows won't shatter in your handbag or on a train ride home). There is no denying that the eyeshadows are pigmented, easy to blend and really high quality. They are easy to apply and they have no fallout either! Pictured is the Sleek Eyeshadow Palette in Bad Girl*, which is full of rich purples, glitters and pretty navy hues, which means you can create an eyeshadow look which packs a punch. 

Sainsbury's Boutique Eyeshadow in 'Forty Winks'
Gone are the days that you had to head to Boots or Superdrug to pick up affordable makeup. You can now pick up fantastic products whilst you tour the supermarkets looking for your weekly food bargains. The lineup of the Sainsbury’s Boutique collection has everything from smokey eyeshadow palettes to lipsticks. However, the single eyeshadow in‘Forty Winks*’ which is a stunning shimmer taupe, which looks fantastic on the eyes, on the brow bone or as a highlighter. 

Parissa Azulene Oil
This product is from an all-natural waxing brand called Parissa (well known for their innovative products for brows and body). The Parissa Azulene Oil* is a stunning oil, which is naturally cobalt blue in colour. The formula is infused with chamomile and it's designed to prevent ingrowing hairs. However, what's so fantastic about this oil is that it's truly multi-purpose, which makes it perfect for small budgets. You can the oil for taming annoying flyaway hairs, moisturising dry skin and it's fantastic for removing waterproof mascara. 

Barry M Nail Polish
I really don't think Barry M needs much of an introduction, especially within the beauty community. The Barry M stands in my local Boots store are some of my earliest memories of loving makeup. I'd have £5 to spare and I was always drawn to the bright colours and the pretty packaging. I truly think you can't go wrong with Barry M Nail Polishes, they have every colour you could dream of and they are super affordable. It means you can have a colour for each of your evening outfits, without spending all of your student loan! 

NIVEA In-Shower Body Moisturiser 
If you listen to some of the beauty experts, they'll always tell you to look at some of the established brands for a beauty bargain. Brands like NIVEA spend a fortune on researching products so if you're looking for a decent product NIVEA tends to be a good place to start. Who remembers when the In-Shower Body Moisturiser* launched and had the beauty world in awe? You simply wash as normal in the shower and then you follow your shower gel with this innovative body cream. Simply coat your skin and then wash it off, you're left with soft moisturised skin and you don't need to moisturise after your shower either! It's a great two-in-one product and it saves you from applying moisturiser in the cold if you're saving money on your heating bill (we've all been there)! 

Get Your Lipstick On The High Street
Everyone loves a high end lipstick and they are a fantastic thing to treat yourself to. However, with the high street getting better and better, you can honestly save your money and pick something up from Maybelline. Blushing Pout (942)* is part of Maybelline's Creamy Matte collection; they are richly pigmented and they glide onto the lips thanks to the formula which includes precious oils. If you want something that really packs a punch, you should check out their range of Color Drama Lip Paints*, which are fantastic for some truly standout makeup looks. 

I'd love to hear about some of your favourite beauty bargains and multi-purpose products in the comments below.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

'Thursday Tittle Tattle', is a Hope, Freedom, Love blog series that has quickly become home to some of my popular posts. The series is dedicated to breaking news of the beauty world. From time-to-time, Thursday’s blog post will be dedicated to news featuring; beauty and lifestyle news, events, discounts, and even a bit of fashion news thrown in too! This week I have two advent calendars, a pretty collection from MAC and the ESPA Christmas Collection, keep reading! 

Liz Earle Advent Calendar available exclusively at Boots
There are a lot of diehard Liz Earle fans out there and they are going mad for the new Christmas Advent Calendar - The Botanist’s Cabinet. Inside the box you will get; the Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser (150ml), 2 Pure Muslin Cloths, the Instant Boost™ Skin Tonic (50ml), the Deep Cleansing Mask (15ml), 2 Sponges, the Intensive Nourishing Treatment Mask (15ml), the Brightening Treatment Mask (15ml), the Superskin Concentrate for Night (2ml) and the Botanist’s Recipe Guide. The Botanist’s Cabinet is available exclusively at Boots, available here for £35

Mariah Carey for MAC
I'm told that this is the second collection between Mariah Carey and MAC, I must have been under a rock last time! The spoilers have been released and this new collection is right up my street! Thanks to beauty goddess Trendmood, we now know that there are four new lipsticks, a Lipglass called 'Butterfly Bling', Extra Dimension Skin Finish in 'My Mini', an Eyeshadow Palette with four beautiful shades called 'It's Everything', a powder blush in 'You've Got My Feeling', a lip pencil called 'So Dramatique', some eyelashes, a face brush and an eyeshadow brush.

ESPA Christmas Collection 
This year ESPA are trying something different and they've ditched the famous purple boxes! The 2016 Wonder of ESPA Christmas Collection is available now and it features some gorgeous items! New for this year they have a stunning Restorative Ceramic
Diffuser and the spicy-yet-sweet Winter Pine Candle. If you want all the glow, you need the glow-bestowing Body Shimmer Collection, and the Lip Tint Trio is perfect for anyone who is mad about lip colour! While the Sleep Therapy Collection is the perfect kit to leave you in a blissful slumber. Shop the whole ESPA Christmas collection here

One of my favourite skincare brands are celebrating their fourth birthday this week with an amazing free gift. Their free birthday gift with purchase is bigger and better than last year! Inside the gift there is £26 worth of products AND a preview of their new Youth Preservation Moisturiser SPF20 before it is even for sale. Now if you want this gift you need to be quick as it ends TOMORROW, all you have to do is spend £25 on the MERUMAYA website. 

Molton Brown joins the Advent madness
Molton Brown is one of those brands that feels like real luxury to me, one of those that I only treat myself to on special occasions. This year Molton Brown have joined the advent calendar madness, allowing you count down to Christmas with one of the best bath/body brands on the planet. Inside the box you will find; Ylang-Ylang Body Wash (50ml) Nourishing Body Lotion (50ml), Comforting Body Polisher (50g) and Mini Candle (30g). You'll also find the Orange & Bergamot Hand Wash (100ml) Coco & Sandalwood Body Wash (50ml), Black Peppercorn Body Wash (50ml), Indian Cress Purifying Shampoo, (50ml), Mer-Rouge Deep Conditioner (50g), Dewy Lily of the Valley & Star Anise Bath & Shower Gel (50ml), Festive Frankincense & Allspice Fine Liquid Hand Wash (100ml), Tobacco Absolute Bath & Shower Gel (50ml) and the Delicious Rhubarb & Rose Bath & Shower Gel (50ml). From the Gingerlily line you'll find the Body Wash (50ml), Nourishing Body Lotion (50ml), Caressing Body Polisher (50ml) and the Gingerlily Candles (30g). From the Pink Pepperpod line you'll find the Body Wash (50ml), Nourishing Body Lotion (50ml), Pampering Body Polisher (50ml) and the Mini Candle (30g). Finally there is the Alba White Truffle Hand Exfoliator (40ml) and Truffle Hand Treatment (40ml) and a Vintage 2016 with Elderflower Festive Bauble (75ml). You can buy the Molton Brown Calendar here for £150!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Hourglass is one of my favourite brands and like any beauty obsessive, that is one bold claim. I love that everything feels so luxurious and the products just never disappoint. If there is one "must have" palette of the moment, it has to be this one. The Ambient Lighting Edit is a limited edition palette for Christmas 2016 and it's already causing quite a stir. 

The Ambient Lighting Edit is a collection of gorgeous ambient lighting palettes, designed to give you everything you need for a flattering glowing complexion. As with all the ambient lighting products, these powders are designed to emulate the power of "magic hour". Magic hour is well known in the photography world, as it's when the sun is setting and it creates a very soft light, which is beautiful on the complexion and creates beautiful photography. What's fantastic for an Hourglass fan like me, is that every shade in this palette is brand new, so there are no duplicates in my collection. Inside the palette there is bronzer, blusher, highlighter and a pretty setting powder. 

Surreal Light is the large powder on the left side of the palette. It's a sheer nude powder, which is specifically designed to give the glow of magic hour. It's a pigmented powder, but Hannah (one of the Space NK pro artists) told the group that most skintones can make use of the shade. Surreal Bronze Light, is the bottom left shade in the quad, it is a neutral tan shade, perfect for adding warmth to the skin and subtle contouring. Of course every palette needs a highlighter and the Surreal Strobe Light powder is here to fill the gap. It's a stunning peach highlighter and it's beautiful on the cheekbones.

Moving onto blusher shades we have Surreal Glow, which is the top left shade in the quad. Hourglass describe this shade as a "pale peony pink" and it's been mixed with the Surreal Light powder for a subtle glow. The second shade is the Surreal Effect, which sits on the top righthand side of the quad. You can see by the pictures that this is a bright pink shade, with a peach hue running through it. 

Of course, what makes this palette even better, is the fact it's finished in beautiful marble-effect plastic. It's so damn instagrammable and it's utterly beautiful in every picture. When I ordered this palette I was worried that it would be really big and bulky, but it's actually a really nice size. I wouldn't think twice about chucking this in my handbag or in my travel makeup bag. It's a truly gorgeous palette that I know that I'll never want to leave my side. You can buy this palette right now from SpaceNK for £69, don't hang around, this won't be around for long.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

In October every year, the world goes pink to raise money and awareness for an important cause. I think most people are aware, but incase you missed all the memos, October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Companies all over the world flock to release a whole range of products, especially made for Breast Cancer Awareness initiatives. What's really exciting is that beauty companies don't miss out on the action! Companies big and small flock to release special products, where each sale gives a donation to Breast Cancer charities. It's a great way to treat yourself to something new, but to also make a donation to something that really matters! If you're still looking for something to treat yourself to, keep reading to hear about this lovely set from Morgan Taylor. 

Morgan Taylor have been in the UK now for three years, available from lots of retailers, thanks to exclusive distributors Louella Belle. The brand was founded by nail genius' Danny Haile and David Daniel, they named the brand after their two daughters. Morgan Taylor have been featured on Hope, Freedom, Love quite a few times recently. I'm forever impressed with their clever pretty collections and seasonal edits.

Their latest brainwave is especially for Breast Cancer Awareness month and as a nail obsessive, I can't think of a better way to raise awareness of the important cause. The Fight Like A Lady* set is beautifully packaged, with four pretty mini (5ml) polishes. The shades include Adorned In Diamonds (a pink glitter), I’m Charmed (a pale creamy pink), Look At You Pink-Achu! (a bubblegum pink) and All Dolled Up (a hot fuchsia pink).

As with all Morgan Taylor polishes, the colours are extremely pigmented, dry quickly and last well on the nails. The collection is available right now, priced at £16.50.10% of sales will be donated to the Future Dreams Charity which raises money for women and families living with breast cancer.

© Copyright 2016 - Stephanie Usher - Beauty Blog