Monday, 29 August 2016

We all know I'm a palette addict, especially if it's a sleek black compact of neutral eyeshadows. I don't know about you guys, but I did not even know that Sigma created makeup products? So the Warm Neutrals Palette* is a bit of a welcome surprise to my collection.




The lovely Sigma Beauty Warm Neutrals Palette first launched in 2013, as part of the Enlight Collection released around Christmas time. As you can see it's an impressive black compact which includes 12 different eyeshadows in a variety of different formulations. The palette itself is created from cardboard, but it's pretty robust, it definitely does not feel flimsy and I'd happily throw it in my handbag. The palette is matte black and it's decorated with the words 'Sigma Beauty' in glossy letters. As you flip open the palette you're greeted by a large mirror and the 12 eyeshadows, which are also embossed with the Sigma Beauty lettering.

So what sets this apart from other neutral palettes? Well the 12 shades include all the classic shades you'd expect from a palette like this, but there some different shades thrown in for good measure. In particular I'm referring to 'Optimistic' which is the pink hue on the bottom row and 'Russet' which is the burgundy shade above it. As someone with green eyes, these purple-toned shadows are most welcome. Shades like 'Warm Stone' (the last one on the bottom row) allow you to add some real darkness to your look. It's the perfect palette to carry you from a daytime look to something more sultry in the evening. 

The shadows come in all different formulations, which include; duo-chrome, matte, sheen, frost, dimensional frost, shimmer and glimmer. It gives you real choice when you're planning your look and it means the palette appeals to lots of different tastes. The shades are nicely pigmented and really easy to blend to create a seamless look. There is some fallout in the pan, but this doesn't transfer to the face, which allows you to be really creative.

The Sigma Beauty Warm Neutrals Palette is priced at $39, which really is quite good value for money, pick it up from the Sigma Beauty website. Enter SIGMA2016 at the checkout to save 10% off everything on the site! 




Friday, 26 August 2016

Beauty subscription boxes are no new thing, but there's a new brand on the block hoping to get in on the action. Dollibox is a very familiar concept; a new online subscription service, providing five personalised beauty samples to your door each month. Dollibox encourages you to fill out your beauty profile, in order for them to personalise what arrives in your box every month.

Here we have the August Dollibox* which arrived earlier this week. It comes packaged in a bright pink cardboard postage box, which you unwrap to reveal the contents inside. In the top of the box there are two cards, these cards outline the details of each product hiding inside. This month the box is all about Poolside Glamour, aiming to give you everything you need to look and smell good all summer long. Lets take a closer look at the contents...



Girl Meet Brush Cosmetic Brush
The first item in the box is a foundation brush from Girl Meets Brush, which is a brand I've never heard of. All the brushes by this brand are vegan friendly and they are cruelty free! Each brush is made with soft fibres and they are packaged in a sleek black handle with matching bristles. There are four different brushes in this months box; the Foundation Brush, the Blending Pencil Brush, the Highlighter Brush and the Eyeshadow Blending Brush. 

Skintruth Afterdark Age Defy Moisturiser
Skintruth is another new brand to me, but they say they are loved by beauty experts and therapists nationwide. As the name suggests, this is an intensive night moisturiser which is suitable for all skin types. The formula includes Rose (for it's replenishing and hydrating properties) and Goji Berry (for it's antioxidant and anti-ageing properties). You can get this moisturiser from Sally Express for £13.99

Schwarzkopf Liquid Oil Conditioner
This Liquid Oil Conditioner from Schwarzkopf aims to give your hair instant shine and smoothness, whilst giving bounce and life to your hair. The oil's formula includes Argan Oil, which has amazing detangling properties, without weighing down the hair. The oil is a bi-phase formula so you need to shake the bottle to mix all the ingredients together. You then spritz the oil onto wet hair to reap in all the benefits. 

The Herb Garden Massage Bar
Opening this little box is was so exciting as I had no idea what was inside. Nestled inside the orange tissue paper is a mini travel sized massage bar. The massage bar is created with almond oil and shea butter, which offer hydrating properties for the skin. As you rub the massage bar onto the skin the bar melts so you can benefit from the essential oils. There are lots of different massage bars, so in the box you'll either get ones that focus on refreshing, warming or relaxation.

Dreamy Handmade Bath & Skincare Bath Bomb
The last item in the box is a bath bomb from Dreamy Handmade Bath & Skincare. It's an all natural, organic and vegan friendly bath bomb which is handmade. It's an all-round natural skincare treat. There are several scents that will appear in the box including Birthday Cake and Unicorn, so if you want to try a different scent you should check them out online here

This month's box is worth £33, which means you're getting a £22 saving on the products inside. For me you don't get the initial wow when you open the Dollibox, for me it comes much later. This is because all the brands are normally ones I've not heard of, so I love reading about all the new brands and learning about their products. The Dollibox is a great way of supporting the smaller, more niche brands on the beauty market. 

If you're interested in trying Dollibox, you have three subscription options at the moment! You can get a monthly subscription which costs £10 per month (plus P&P), a 6 month subscription which costs £54 (plus P&P) or finally a 12 month subscription which costs £102 (plus P&P). The postage and packaging costs are fairly standard too, costing £3.25 per delivery. You can sign up for Dollibox at www.dollibox.co.uk

Thursday, 25 August 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! I'm LOVING all of the Autumn/Winter makeup which is starting pop up! The year is FLYING by! This week we’re talking about a more gorgeous eyeshadow palettes, new blushers from Rimmel and Autumn/Winter collections.




Royal Blush - new cream to powder blusher from Rimmel London
The Royal Blush is Rimmel London's first EVER cream-to-powder blush! They come in compacts that reflect the colour inside and Rimmel say they have a 'cream, non greasy, non drying' formula. They are designed to give you a natural & beautiful flush of colour to your cheeks. I'm really super excited by this particular launch, Rimmel London excel in all areas of makeup creation. However, I personally feel they've always been lacking in the blusher market! Hopefully these live up to expectations! There are three different colours available and you can grab them from Feel Unique here

DIOR 'Skyline' - the autumn collection is now available at Escentual
Normally I don't pay much attention to DIOR, but the Autumn Skyline collection has me feeling weak at the knees! As the name suggests, the collection is inspired by the city of lights and it's all about contouring! There are tons of different products available from an illuminating powder, to an illuminating pen, pretty eyeshadows and deep red polishes. However, the thing that has really caught my eye is the Light & Contour Sculpting Stick.

NYX Ultimate Shadow Palette
I'm still finding my feet with NYX, as they only were added to my Boots store very recently. However, I spotted the Ultimate Shadow Palette's and I'm absolutely obsessed! A lot of NYX's packaging is very bulky and over the top, but these feature 16 different shadows in a very handy, small compact! Each palette features 16 high-performance cool-toned shades in a vivid mix of velvety-rich textures, from mattes and satins to shimmers and metallics. There are a few different palettes to choose from which you can check out here.

Rodial freebie with a £50 spend!
We all love a freebie right? Well until Tuesday 30th August, you can get a FREE 50ml Dragon's Blood Hyaluronic Tonic worth £16.50 with any purchase over £50 on the Rodial website! All you have to do is enter TONICGIFT at the checkout. Click here to shop

New Hand Balms from NEOM
Neom Organics recently announced their brand new wellbeing Hand Balms. They are available right now on the NEOM website and they retail for £15 each. The hand balms are designed to be nourishing and hydrating, whilst giving you some added aromatherapy benefits. NEOM's new Hand Balms are available in four blends to support mind and body. The line-up features: Nourish, Breathe & Sleep Hand Balm; Nourish, Breathe & Calm Hand Balm; Nourish, Breathe & Energise Hand Balm; and Nourish, Breathe & Smile Hand Balm. Shop the new balms here.

New eyeshadow palettes from The Body Shop
It's been a long time coming but The Body Shop have officially launched a whole set of new eyeshadow palettes. There are lots of new quads but I'm obsessing with the Down To Earth Eyeshadow Palette. The new palette has a built in mirror and the whole thing is customisable. Each of shades in all the palettes click in and click out of the casing. Meaning that if you have several palettes from The Body Shop, you can move your shades around. This palette has eight pretty natural shades, which come in three different formulas; mattes, iridescent shimmers and sparkle. You can buy the palette online here.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

I’ve actually not featured Roger & Gallet on my blog for a while but fear not – I still feel like their biggest fan! Roger & Gallet have formed part of my beauty, skincare and perfume routine for a long time now. I’m not alone either; I know that lots of my followers are fans too! Today I’m here to talk about something exciting, as I’ve been testing their latest launch! The new launch happens to be a whole new collection, featuring a brand new Roger & Gallet scent! 



Thé Vert (Green Tea) collection from Roger & Gallet is this summers UK launch. Now when I heard Green Tea, I thought it might be a bit odd, but it’s actually gorgeous. When you delve into the origins of the fragrance, Roger & Gallet say that it’s inspired by Mount Fuji at sunrise. The notes of the fragrance include green tea, citrus and woody notes. Taking inspiration from oriental tradition, the scent is designed to balance body and mind. So it’s a very light and pretty scent, designed to be subtle and fresh.

The fragrance has been brought to life in whole host of different products. The new range will include a Green Tea Fragrant Wellbeing Water, Perfumed Soaps, Nourishing Body Lotion and Relaxing Shower Gel. I had the pleasure of trying two different products from the new collection. 



First up we have the Roger & Gallet Green Tea Fragrant Wellbeing Water, which is available in three different sizes. I’m a big fan of some of the other water fragrances from Roger & Gallet and this one is just as lovely. The Roger & Gallet Green Tea Eau Fraiche Fragrance comes in the pretty glass bottle, which has delicate lettering and gold detailing. The fragrance is an eau de toilette, so it lasts well on the skin but it does need topping up throughout the day. The fragrance is designed to suit all skin types and can be worn in the sun, which makes it a perfect holiday scent. 



The second item I’ve been testing is the Roger & Gallet Green Tea Perfumed Soap. The soaps from Roger & Gallet are the fanciest soap I’ve ever used. They always come packaged in delicate tissue paper, which lets the scent penetrate through. Which makes them great for popping in your drawers to scent your clothes, but I also leave mine in the bathroom to leave everything smelling fresh.  The soaps are created using a very unique process using artisan tradition. This gives the soap their perfect scent, but also makes them very soft and gentle on the skin. 

The Green Tea range is a great addition to Roger & Gallet’s line up. The new products have all the great properties I’ve come to expect from the brand. I’m sure that beauty fans will love adding the new scent to their collection! The whole range is exclusive to House of Fraser and it’s available here. Click here if you’re interested in some of my other Roger & Gallet reviews

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

I'm a huge fan of the Ambient Lighting Powders and the Ambient Lighting Blush from Hourglass. Being a complete highlighter obsessive, it was only a matter of time before the Ambient Strobing Powders were going to join my beauty stash. Lets take a look at this new formulation and see how it compares to other high end highlighters on the market.


The Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders are a collection of illuminating strobing powders, designed to add light and dimension to the skin. They borrow the beautiful formulation from the other Ambient Lighting products, but add some concentrated ultra-fine mico-pearl particles, for good measure! The pearl particles are popped into the powder in lots of different sizes and refraction levels. This means you get all the glow you need for a natural-looking radiance, without the heavy light highlighter finish. Much like it's Ambient Lighting sisters, the powder is designed to capture and diffuse light.

After much deliberation and I mean a lot of deliberation, I opted for Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in 'Euphoric Light'. There are four colours in total which are universally flattering shades are perfect for all different skintones. You simply load up a brush with the Strobe Powder and apply it to all the places you'd usually apply a highlighter. I always use it on the tops of my cheekbones and my brow bone, to give a natural highlight to the skin. You can use these powders either wet or dry, which gives you varied levels of intensity. On a dry brush you get an incredibly natural finish, which I've swatched below and you can see it's very hard to see. On a wet brush you get the chance to create a more dramatic evening strobe highlight. 

I don't dare count the amount of highlighters in my collection, but what I can say is that i have PLENTY that offer a dramatic finish. Whilst I love the "go hard or go home" approach, sometimes it's not appropriate to wear that heavy metal highlight. What I love about the Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder is that it plugs a gap for when I need something more subtle. It still feels luxurious, it still performs like a high end product, it's just that little bit more sophisticated. 

The Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder is available in four shades, retailing at £34 from SpaceNK here in the UK, or Sephora in the USA. 





Monday, 22 August 2016

Sadly the end of summer is fast approaching and it's definitely nearly time to wave goodbye to the sun. However, there is one advantage of Autumn fast approaching - new makeup! I love when a new season starts approaching and we get a whole new range of makeup to get excited about. If you're a frequent reader of my blog, you'll know that I'm not really a lipstick girl. However, when these brand new Maybelline Color Sensational Mattes* arrived on my doorstop, they were too pretty for even me to ignore. It would be a crime to keep these from my lovely readers right?!





Maybelline have gone all out for Autumn, releasing more makeup than you can shake a stick about. Maybelline's collection is all about taking that glow into Autumn, with pretty highlighters and lots of shimmer across the new range of products. However, if you're a fan of the classic Autumn hues, you will not be disappointed! Maybelline have released a ton of new lipsticks, all in a brand new matte formulation, in lots of pretty Autumn hues. 

The new lipsticks are everything a girl can dream for! They have it all from pretty pinks, to nude hues and deep purple finishes. I have seven shades to share with you today, from left to right they are; Midnight Merlot (885), Berry Boosy (886), Fiery Fuschia (882), Orange Danger (883), Rich Ruby (968), Blushing Pout (942) and Clay Crush (932).




Maybelline's new lipsticks are split across two slightly different formulations. Rich Ruby (968), Blushing Pout (942) and Clay Crush (932) are part of the Creamy Matte collection. These shades offer rich pigmentation, which include precious oils in the formula. The eye-catching shades are really comfortable to wear no matter the occasion. 

The rest of the lipsticks (Midnight Merlot (885), Berry Bossy (886), Fiery Fuschia (882), and Orange Danger (883)) are from Maybelline's Loaded Bold collection. This collection is actually huge, featuring 20 different shades that offer a full-spectrum shades from "deep plums and electric blues to vibrant reds and natural nudes". These lipsticks offer hypercolor pigments, in a creamy clay base. The formula is enriched with honey nectar, which gives them the lovely creamy finish.




All these lipsticks are swatched for you above, from top to bottom you have Midnight Merlot (885), Berry Boosy (886), Fiery Fuschia (882), Orange Danger (883), Rich Ruby (968), Blushing Pout (942) and Clay Crush (932). If you fancy getting in the Autumn mood already, you can buy all these lipsticks right now. Grab the Loaded Bold collection here and grab the Creamy Matte collection here

Friday, 19 August 2016

I’ve been a huge fan of Real Techniques since the moment the brand launched.  Real Techniques mission is to allow the inner expert in all of us, giving us brushes and tutorials to look our best. The whole collection is created with YouTube beauty gurus Sam and Nic Chapman, who really need no introduction. 



I knew that I would fall in love with the brand initially, but I didn’t anticipate that years later the brushes would still form the basis of my whole brush routine. For me Real Techniques tick every box. They are reasonable priced, they are well made, they sit well on my dressing table, they travel well, they clean well and most importantly they apply my makeup beautifully. I love the fact that everything matches through colour-coded system and I love that every brush is made with synthetic bristles. 

Real Techniques are on a bit of roll at the moment with their new releases, in fact it’s been a bit hard to keep up. However most recently the Ultimate Base Set* caught my eye. Real Techniques say that this latest limited-edition set, gives you everything you need for that flawless base. Offering you all the tools needed for seamless foundation and the ultimate concealer application. 



If I had to pick my favourite Real Techniques brush I wouldn’t even need to think about it! It’s the Expert Face Brush* and it’s the only brush that I need three of in my collection. It’s got huge fans all over the world, who praise its ability to apply foundation. Naturally it’s the first brush included in this limited edition set. It’s ultra-firm and broad bristles make it an amazing multi-use brush, making it perfect for buffing cream, liquid or powder foundation. 

The second product in the set is the Miracle Complexion Sponge*, which again is a product praised by makeup artists and beauty fans worldwide. Real Technique boast that this is the #1 branded makeup sponge and it’s actually one of the only Real Techniques products I haven’t tried. The sponge includes a rounded side, a precision tip and a flat edge, which end offer something different to the base process. 

The last product in the set is the Deluxe Concealer Brush* which is packed with dense and rounded bristles. It’s a good medium-sized concealer brush, which offers good concealer application especially around the eyes and nose.

As always the three products come in a handy pouch, which includes a mirror. It just makes travelling with the whole set very simple and quick. If it’s not already obviously I’m a huge fan of this limited edition set, I think it’s a great addition to my collection. The set is available now, priced at £20.99 from Superdrug stores at Superdrug online


Thursday, 18 August 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! Can you believe that we're already starting to think about Christmas? The year is FLYING by! This week we’re talking about a stunning palette from Marc Jacobs Beauty and a chocolate themed release from KIKO!




Mega palette release from Marc Jacobs Beauty
Marc Jacobs have given us a peek into what we can look forward this Christmas, with a very early release of a Christmas palette! The limited edition 'About Last Night' palette features 20 different eyeshadows. The eyeshadows are all packaged in a pretty gold palette which opens to reveal the shadows and a big mirror. The best bit is that you can buy the palette RIGHT NOW here for $99. This palette is going to be hard for me to resist! 

SEVENTEEN launch MEGA MATTE Lipsticks
If you are a lipstick fan you'll be excited by this news from SEVENTEEN! They've just released their brand new MEGA MATTE Lipsticks (available in Boots online here and in-store). The MEGA MATTE Lipsticks are available in 12 shades, offering "long-lasting colour with a creamy texture that lasts up to 13-hours". The new lipsticks are available now, priced at £4.49 each.

SOIGNE Summer Sale
Fancy topping up your nail polish collection? You need to check out the Soigne Summer Sale! You can get some of their fabulous nail polishes at a fraction of their normal retail price! Check out the full sale here.

Cocoa Blush Shock from KIKO
I know that beauty fanatics will go crazy for these blushers from KIKO. These chocolate themed sweet blushers are scented with vanilla! The collection includes four different two-tone blushes. They have a baked formula which offers a matte finish on the skin. I personally love baked formulas as they are great for building colour on the skin. KIKO say that the blushers are soft and ultra-fine, with a texture that glides lightly over the skin and is very easily blended. Check out these new products here

NikkieTutorials & Too Faced collaboration 
Global beauty megastar NikkieTutorials and Too Faced have collaborated to create a limited edition collection to celebrate the transformative power of makeup. The exclusive collection features everything you need to create endless looks. The collection includes nine brand new eye shadows, two shades of Love Flush Long-Lasting Blush, highlighter in Champagne Truffle, the bestselling Chocolate Soleil Bronzer, purple Deluxe Better Than Sex Mascara sample,Sketch Marker Liquid Art Liner in Deep Black, Deluxe glittering Glamour Dust in Glitterally and Deluxe Shadow Insurance 24-Hour Eye Primer. AND BREATHE, it's a huge collection! The full set is priced at £50, available from August 2016 at Debenhams and www.toofaced.com.

Clarins Weekend Box
I seem to be getting emails from Clarins with new products all the time. What caught my eye this week is The Clarins Weekend Box. Clarins have gathered the best beauty essentials for the ultimate weekend away. The Clarins Weekend Box contains 3 minis, plus you’ll get an extra bonus product! Your Clarins Weekend Box contains; HydraQuench Cream Normal to dry skin (30ml), One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser all skin types (30ml), Moisture-Rich Body Lotion (30ml) and the Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector 01 rose shimmer (5ml) all in a little pouch. It's limited edition to Clarins, priced at £35 here.
 
© Copyright 2016 - Stephanie Usher - Beauty Blog