Monday, 31 August 2015

August Favourites

I cannot believe that August has been and gone already! The year is passing at a scarily fast pace, before we know it we’ll be in the depths of autumn and hopelessly wishing for sun. With that in mind, I’ve been making the most of my favourite summertime products, before it’s too late! Here are my August favourites…

This month I had a bit of a tidy up in my foundation drawer and shared a ‘Foundation Collection’ post with you all. Whilst tidying I rediscovered the Maybelline Fit Me Foundation which is an old favourite of mine. It’s quite a light texture, which means it buffs into the skin with ease. It gives really good coverage and covers imperfections effortless. The best bit it that it does not feel like a full coverage foundation and it doesn’t feel tacky on the skin. 

I recently repurchased the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer. Which is not only my first ever concealer repurchase; it’s actually my first ever high-end repurchase. So that should be an indication of how much I love it. The concealer has a large doe foot applicator, which holds a lot of product. One dip in the tube gives me more than enough concealer for my whole face. The best part is that this works for everything; it's amazing for covering dark circles but it covers redness and blemishes too. 

Another old favourite of mine, which has been recently unearthed in my collection. This colour is such a gorgeous shade, the pop of colour screams summer and makes me feel happy every time I look at my nails. It’s a flirty pink shade, which is so bright it’s almost neon!

I keep discovering amazing hair products after YEARS of struggling to find amazing products for curly hair. This new love is another product from the Redken Curvaceous range. This time it’s a lotion and it leaves NO TRACE in your hair when you use it. This is almost unheard of! Perfect curls without leaving your hair crispy or tacky? I’m in!

I’ve recently fallen back in love with my blusher from Charlotte Tilbury. I’ve been craving something with a bit more pigmentation and this is what I pulled out of my drawers. I have the shade 'Love Is The Drug' which is a pretty pink combination. Charlotte describes this as a '2-step application ritual'. You run your brush around the outer ring and use the shade to contour your cheekbones and then apply the middle shade to the apples of your cheeks for a pop of colour. The colours are really creamy and they give a nice glow to the cheeks, which I love!

What were your favourite products in August?

Sunday, 30 August 2015

NOTD: Pear Purple

It still amazes me that a couple of years ago I wouldn't have touched Models Own with a bargepole, I just found their formulas sloppy and awful. Fast forward two years and I cannot get enough of this high street brand. Their formulas have vastly improved and I keep adding more and more polishes to my collection. 

The Diamond Luxe collection launched almost a year ago now! The collection featuring ten brand new polishes that aimed to bring luxury to the Models Own brand. The ten polishes were unlike anything Models Own had made before, because each polish contains real Diamond Dust. Each polish was packed in a special limited edition bottle, featuring gold lettering and a gold cap. 

The Diamond Dust adds something really unique to your nails, as it makes the polish look very shimmery. The subtle Diamond Dust adds some sparkle to the polish and it really catches the light which I love. All the gimmicks aside, the Diamond Luxe collection performs well. The polish is smooth and it applies really well to the nails. It tries quickly too, which means a fast manicure is not out of the question! 

Pictured is the shade 'Pear Purple' which is lovely lilac shade, which is really brought to life by the sparkle. It just adds a little extra dimension to your standard pastel nail polish! You can pick up Pear Purple and the other Diamond Luxe polishes from the Models Own website here, for just £4.99. 

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Dr. PawPaw

When it comes to lip balms, I'm not someone who is quick to try new things. I know what I like and I don't tend to give much airtime to other products. The Dr. PAWPAW Original Balm* is something I've seen scattered around blogs for a long time. It gets some pretty rave reviews on the bloggersphere, so I thought it was time to see what the fuss is all about.

The Dr. PAWPAW Original Balm is made from a whole host of natural ingredients. The list includes PawPaw itself (the fruit from the Carica Papaya plant), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe Vera for you and me) and Olive Fruit Oil. This all sounds great, however the other ingredient is 'Petrolatum Sorbate' which is a string of Petrolatum Jelly. It's one of my biggest pet peeves, because although Petrolatum is great at creating a barrier, it's not the best ingredient for healing skin. The Dr. PAWPAW Original Balm is fragrance free, so good for those with sensitive noses, plus it's 100% made in Britain

What's great about Dr. PAWPAW Original Balm is that it's a multi-purpose product. Dr. PAWPAW say you can use it as; moisturiser, nappy cream, lip finisher, for sun burn, skin irritation, cuticles and even hair finishing. So it's a good product to throw in your suitcase if you're travelling. It's only a small tube but you know you have something for whatever life chooses to throw at you.

I know some people love Vaseline and other Petrolatum products (my sister-in-law included), but it's just not a feeling or texture that I particularly like. However, the Dr. PAWPAW Original Balm does feel quite comfortable on the lips and I like that it's a multi-use product that doesn't break the bank. You can pick up Dr. PAWPAW products from ASOS and Look Fantastic (here).  

Friday, 28 August 2015

From My Sample Drawer: Diptyque's Solid Perfume

I thought I'd start a new series on Hope, Freedom, Love featuring reviews of products from my sample stash! So once a week, I'll be sharing a cute miniature fresh from my sample drawer. Today I'm talking about this unusual product from Diptyque Paris!

Solid perfumes are something that is completely new too me, in fact, I’m sure it’s a new thing to a lot of people. The idea behind it comes from a more traditional method of perfumery, which is a pretty laborious process. The perfume makers have to go through a filtering process of the notes, until they eventually end up with a perfume ‘paste’. The paste is then submerged into a balm to create a solid fragrance. 

If you’ve never seen Diptyque's solid perfumes, you should definitely try and head to a counter. They are packaged in gorgeous black cases, which are engraved with the Diptyque logo. This little sample is not quite as elegant, but it’s not too shabby either. It has a plastic casing and a delicate pattern and some lettering decorating on the top.

There’s something quite special about these solid perfumes! I quite expected the formula to resemble a lip balm texture, but it’s actually very light. You place some on your finger and then dab it all the usual perfume spots; behind your ears, your neck, your collarbone and your wrist. I have the scent ‘Volutes’ which is designed for both men and women. It means it's been made as quite a woody scent, which has notes including; spices, Myrrh, flowers, tobacco and honey. I think if you sprayed this it would be quite heavy, but having it as a light touch makes it very elegant. 

I imagined the whole process behind a solid perfume to be a bit of a faff, but it is in fact very easy. The perfume gently applies to the skin and the scent slowly releases as the day progresses. What I like most is that I can chuck this in my handbag for a perfect on-the-go scent option! I imagine these being a lovely gift to receive too, a perfect little treat for someone you love.  Check out the range of solid perfumes from Diptyque at SpaceNK here

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Thursday Tittle-Tattle #12

'Thursday Tittle Tattle', is a Hope, Freedom, Love blog series dedicated to breaking news of the beauty world. From time-to-time, Thursday’s blog post will be dedicated to news. I'll feature beauty and lifestyle news, events, discounts, and even a bit of fashion news thrown in too! Here are the things that caught my eye this week (including a whole host of new launches):

Charlotte Tilbury set to launch 'Magic Foundation'
This week Charlotte Tilbury announced the up and coming launch of her 'Magic Foundation'. It's a flawless, long-lasting coverage which also has SPF15. Charlotte Tilbury says that the foundation is the 'new generation' of foundation; an anti-ageing, full coverage formula that still feels weightless on the skin. The foundation actually launches on her website today, I'm really looking forward to hearing the reviews! 

Pandora launch new travel collection
My Pandora bracelet is practically bursting at the seems but I love the look of the new collection from Pandora. The new collection is themed around travel, so there are lots of charms themed around countries, as well as the travel essentials! In particular I love the new camera charm and the hanging sunglasses charm, both of them are so cute! 

Tanya Burr relaunches cosmetics collection
Tanya's products have been on the market for a little while now, but she's recently relaunched the collection with a brand new look. The products all have the same formulas, but they feature new packaging and a new colour scheme. The range includes 12 nail polishes, 11 lipglosses, four sets of eyelashes, three new eyeshadow palettes and a brow palette. The range is available from Superdrug and Feel Unique.

The SpaceNK Beauty Bag is about to return
The word on the street is that the SpaceNK Beauty Bag is about to make a return. The Beauty Bag is a bag of freebies that you get if you spend over £160 in store or online. More as the news comes...

Latest In Beauty & Perfume Society collaborate
Latest in Beauty have teamed up with The Perfume Society and created THREE new beauty boxes. They are all fragrance boxes and are all themed with the different scents. There is the Florals and Florientals Box, the Designer Discoveries Box and the Little Treasures box. You can learn more about the boxes on the Latest In Beauty website here

New Tarte Cosmetics products available at QVC
I'm a complete Tarte Cosmetics junkie; I love the brand, the products, the packaging... you name it, I love it! So it's pretty exciting that Tarte Cosmetics have launched a whole host of new and exclusive sets at QVC. View the whole range here, I have my eye on the 'Amazon Escape Volume II' eyeshadow palette, swoooon!  

Laura Mercier set to launch at Feel Unique
If you're a fan of Laura Mercier, you'll be pleased to hear that the cult brand are about to launch at Feel Unique. Which means it will be easier to get hold of and hopefully we'll be able to get it at a discounted price! You can sign up to the mailing list to be notified as soon as the brand launches on the site

Real Techniques launch their first Cleansing Gel
I was super excited to see that Real Techniques are launching their very first brush cleansing product. It's been designed for effective deep cleansing and has been "proven to remove nearly all makeup residue". It's gentle as it contains no alcohol or phthalates and it's safe to use on all of your Real Techniques brushes. Read more about the Cleansing Gel here on the Real Techniques website.

Liz Earle launch brand-new face serum
The Superskin Face Serum is a brand new serum and it been formulated to bring you "truly radiant, youthful-looking skin". Liz Earle say that the serum is luxurious and fast absorbing, designed to be used as part of your morning skincare routine. At £48 a bottle, it's really quite pricey, so I'm definitely waiting for the reviews before I indulge! Learn more about it on the Liz Earle website here

Fabulous Benefit freebies when you shop online
If you're planning to treat yourself to some new makeup, Benefit Cosmetics have just launched a whole host of great offers on their website. When you spend either £40 or £60 you can pick up either two or FOUR deluxe samples! Read more about the deals on their website here, they are live until September 18th.  


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Budget Beauty Must Haves

Everybody loves a bargain, right? There is nothing I like more than finding an incredible beauty product that doesn't cost a fortune. So if you're tightening your pursestrings after spending a bit too much on holiday, here are some beauty products you can treat yourself too guilt-free.

The jet black mascara that gives you incredible length
The Lash Accelerator Endless mascara from Rimmel London comes in a range of formulas, the one pictured is the 'Extra Black' option. This mascara has thin little brush, which means you can reach your top AND your bottom lashes with ease. The formula is actually packed with little fibres which extend the length of your natural lashes. The length you get from this is phenomenal and each lash is perfectly defined.
RRP: £7.99

The hairbrush that tackles knots without the pain
The Wet Brush quickly become a staple in my routine after I fell in love with the miniature version. This handy brush effortlessly detangles wet and dry hair, it has a long rubber handle which makes it easy to hold and it comes in a whole host of cute colours. I recently did a full review of this which you can see here. 
RRP: £11.99 

The cream eyeshadow that rivals MAC on quality
The Maybelline Color Tattoos were the first cream eyeshadows I ever tried. They perform well and they fitted my student budget. They apply like a dream and they stay put all day, they are great as a base or on their own for a pop of colour. There is a huge range of colours, many of which are hiding in my drawers (pictured here are On & On Bronze and Eternal Gold). 
RRP: £4.99

The makeup brush that gives you perfect cheekbones
The Real Techniques Sculpting Brush, is the only brush I've found that makes contouring your cheekbones so easy. It's such a clever shape and it slots straight in the gap under your cheekbones. It means you can just load the brush up with your contour product and the brush does all the blending for you. I'm honestly so impressed with it and I don't regret buying it one bit!
RRP: £9.99

The daily foundation that matches my skin perfectly
I couldn't do a budget beauty blog post without mentioning a Rimmel London foundation, they are honestly fabulous. The one I always go back to is the Match Perfection Foundation! As the name suggests it's a perfect match for my skin, it gives a lovely natural finish to the skin and it lasts all day too! 
RRP: £7.99

The nail polishes that give you a high shine finish
I'm really not a fan of matte formulas when it comes to my nails. I love a formula that gives me a glossy high-shine finish that won't chip. The Seche Vite Top coat holds holy grail with me, I've tried a lot of alternatives and nothing compares. There is a reason that this is raved about so much - it's just unbeatable in the nail world! The other nail polish pictured is 'Sugar Plum' from Barry M, one of the Gelly Hi Shine polishesYou can get an opaque manicure in just one coat, the colour is rich and pigmented, plus it dries really quickly.
RRP: £9 & £3.99

The shimmer brick that dupes Bobbi Brown
I've always had a bit of a thing for the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks, they look so beautiful, but man they are expensive. This Highlighting Palette in Bronze Gold from Revlon is a great little dupe. It's actually not overly pigmented which means it's great if you're a bit scared of bronzer. It's also not as glittery as you might expect, it's just a very subtle shade which is lovely to wear. 
RRP: £9.99

I'd love to hear about your bargain beauty picks! What are your favourite products from the high street?

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Garnier Pure Matte Control: A New Era In High Street Skincare

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m an avid user of the Garnier Pure Active Moisturiser. It’s been in my routine for YEARS, so imagine how upset I was when I could no longer find it in stores. Fearing that it had been discontinued, I started the hunt to find something new. That’s when I spotted the Garnier Pure Matte Control sitting on the shelf.

I’d not read anything about this product, so I bought it on a complete whim! Luckily I can report that I’ve not been disappointed! Garnier say that this product is the “new era in shine control for combination to oily skin”. It combines mattifying ingredients and Salicylic Acid in one product to target shine and the appearance to pores.

The consistency of the Garnier Pure Matte Control moisturiser feels like a gel, it’s thicker than the Garnier Pure Active Moisturiser and it feels slightly less wet on the skin. I squeeze a blob (around the size of a two-pence-piece) onto my fingertips and massage it into my face. It’s incredibly cooling on the skin and the moisturiser has a slight unobtrusive scent to it (not that I can put my finger on exactly what the scent is). The moisturiser soaks straight into my skin and it does not feel tacky or sticky, leaving behind a lovely base for my makeup.

The magic really happens throughout the day though, whilst the moisturiser gets to work at keeping oily at bay. There’s been a noticeable difference in my skin; normally around 3pm my skin starts to look quite shiny, but with the Garnier Pure Matte Control moisturiser, this has disappeared. It best bit is that even though this product is battling shine and oil, my skin still feels incredibly hydrated – it seems to do it all! 

All in all, I’m blooming impressed with this moisturiser from Garnier! I can’t believe such a great product is available on the high street for only £6.99

Monday, 24 August 2015

My Bedtime Beauty Routine

Some things come and go, but one thing that rarely changes is my bedtime beauty routine. It’s packed full of lovely products that help me wind down and relax. Sleeping is one of those rare moments when we’re forced to just do nothing and it’s a great time to give your skin (and body) some TLC. Here are the products that help me feel fresh when the sunrises! 

This stuff to me (and many others) holds holy grail status and it's 100% justified! It's packed full of amazing ingredients that solves chapped lips and it solves them quickly. Reve De Miel has the an award winning formula; plant oils, shea butter, grapefruit essence and honey! It smells incredible and it formula isn't greasy in the slightest. I pop this on just before bed and in the morning my lips feel incredible. 

The Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Pads have been part of my bedtime routine for a while, but I’ve recently been using the Glycolic Fix Night Pads, which are a brand new 'extreme' version. These ones are specially formulated for night time use, as they are stronger than the originals. You simply take a pad, run it over your skin and you're good to go – they are fabulous at fixing decongested skin. 

When I’m not using the Nip + Fab pads, I make use of the Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask. It’s a great mask for bedtime, as it’s completely undetectable on the skin, which means you don’t get messy pillows. You apply it to your face and your skin soaks up the moisture. Meaning you wake up with plump, hydrated skin. 

Hand Chemistry Heel Hydration Complex
It’s well and truly sandal season and I've been using the Heel Hydration Complex by Hand Chemistry all year in preparation! It's unlike any foot cream I've used in the past, because it's not a super thick formula. Instead it's a lovely lightweight texture which soaks straight into the skin, but still makes a big impact with moisture. 

This is great when you’re feeling a little restless before bed (or even during plane journeys). It’s a handy aromatherapy spray that you spritz onto your pillow. The spray is infused with essential oils of Lavender, Vetivert and Wild Camomile to soothe the body and mind.

I’d love to know about your favourite products that you use before bedtime! Have you used any of these products?

Sunday, 23 August 2015

The Wet Brush - Effortless Hair Detangling

I’ve had a miniature version of The Wet Brush, since it arrived in a Look Fantastic Beauty Box in March. I completely fell in love with it! I’d been stuck in a hairbrush rut for a while, so I was pleased to find something that blew me away.

Whilst the small version was great, at times it was a little too small and a little hard to use. So I’ve recently swapped my Wet Brush Squirts for a full-size pastel mint alternative. It’s so pretty, I know it’s silly but I love mint! When it’s not on my nails, I’m painting my kitchen walls in the same shade.  So you can imagine how chuffed I am about it! 

The Wet Brush literally effortlessly detangles wet and dry hair effortlessly. It looks like a very traditional brush, it’s round and has a long handle. The handle is coated in rubber, which makes it really easy to hold, and you can get a firm grip. This is pretty important to me, you can't even imagine the amount of times my Tangle Teezer has flown across the room. 

I have permed, curly hair, so as you can imagine it’s pretty knotty at times. Yet, I feel no pain at all as I use The Wet Brush to remove knots from my hair - it doesn't pull at my scalp at all! The bristles are "flexible Intelliflex bristles", which glide through your hair and it does not feel harsh or scratchy on your scalp.

You can pick up the Wet Brush from Look Fantastic here, I cannot believe that I waited so long to pick up the full sized version. 

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Watermelon by Essie

When it comes to my nails, I rarely opt for wearing a bright pink shade. Lilacs, mints and blues tend to be my normal colour of choice. Although when it comes to Watermelon by Essie, I can make a bit of an exception. 

You can tell that Essie have been making nail polish for 30 years, because their expert formulas and colours just shine above so many other brands. When it comes to Watermelon, just something about this colour that pulls at my heartstrings, it makes me feel so flash and summery!  It’s a very creamy colour with a pop of colour, which is almost neon. Essie describe the shade as a red, but for me it’s most definitely a flirty pink shade! The colour is so opaque; you could honestly get away with just one coat! 

Now I’ve unearthed this in my collection, I know that it’s going to be rocking on my nails for the rest of the season. Pick it up for £7.99 from Superdrug here

Friday, 21 August 2015

From My Sample Drawer: Dior Lash Plumping Serum

I thought I'd start a new series on Hope, Freedom, Love featuring reviews of products from my sample stash! So once a week, I'll be sharing a cute miniature fresh from my sample drawer. Today I'm talking about the Lash Plumping Serum from Dior, which comes in this lovely white and silver packaging. I believe the packaging is a replica of the full sized packaging, which is unusual for sample sizes.

The Lash Plumping Serum from Dior, is the latest member of the Diorshow mascara. It is a primer which aims a smooth base that you then apply mascara on top of. Dior described the Lash Plumping Serum as the most innovative of the season, as it's contains a 'unique complex made up of 'hydrolyzed soy'. The hydrolyzed soy helps your lashes grow longer and stronger. 

When you apply the Lash Plumping Serum to your lashes it covers them in the white serum. You can noticeably see the difference in your lashes, as they instantly look longer and more defined. The serum dries really quickly and you can apply your mascara over the top. It's a bit fiddly applying your mascara on top of the serum, as your lashes are already dry and a bit crispy. It's a similar sensation to applying a new coat of mascara, on top of an older coat from earlier in the day.

The first time I used the Lash Plumping Serum I really did not like the product; it was too much faff and my lashes looked awful. I decided that I'd apply my regular mascara straight away, rather than leaving the formula to try. Every time I've done this, I've really liked the effect of the Lash Plumping Serum. It leaves your lashes looking much longer and also really defined. 

If the results in the day are not enough to wow you, you can also use this Lash Plumping Serum at night. Yes, you can use a mascara at night time! You simply apply this before you go to bed and it acts like a treatment; deeply conditioning your lashes whilst you sleep. The Dior Innovation Center has actually tested the Lash Plumping Serum over a period of 8 weeks and found some pretty hefty results. These include a 52% Increase in volume and a 73% Increase in curl. I only have a sample, so I haven't been able to test the claims myself!

The Lash Plumping Serum from Dior has got some very mixed reviews on the bloggersphere, some love it, some hate it! So I highly recommend picking up a sample to try it first if you can (I got mine from Sephora). You can pick up the Lash Plumping Serum from John Lewis (here) for £25. 

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Thursday Tittle-Tattle #11

'Thursday Tittle Tattle', is a Hope, Freedom, Love blog series dedicated to breaking news of the beauty world. From time-to-time, Thursday’s blog post will be dedicated to news. I'll feature beauty and lifestyle news, events, discounts, and even a bit of fashion news thrown in too! Here are the things that caught my eye this week:

Fleur de Force & Eylure collaboration launches 

Last week Fleur announced her collaboration with Eylure. Fast forward a week and the collection has officially launched in Boots and the Eylure website. They have fabulous pastel packaging and there’s something for everyone. Check out the collection here.

New ‘Nailkale’ from Nails Inc for autumn

Nails Inc created the Nailkale polish earlier this year (polish supercharged with kale extract, boosted with Vitamins A, C and K) and they are back with some lovely shades for autumn. My favourite shades are ‘Windsor Mews’ which is a very pretty lilac shade and ‘Palace Gardens’ which Nails Inc describe as a thundery sky blue shade. Check out the full Nailkale collection here.

Save 35% on Magnitone at Beauty Expert

Currently at Beauty Expert you can save 35% on Magnitone brushes, which is one of my holy grail beauty tools. The idea behind Magnitone is simple! You cleanse your skin for 1 minute twice a day. The brush has too functions; deep clean and sensitive clean. If you have particularly sensitive skin you can use the special function to avoid hurting your skin. Since using the brush I have been blown away by the results, not only is my skin clearer and brighter, my uneven skintone has gone! I don't get random red patches or marks anyone! It's also a lot less congested, the blackheads on my nose in particular have completely disappeared.

New Look & Topshop unveil A/W Collection 

Earlier this week New Look released their A/W collection preview and it looks amazing! Think ponchos, A line skirts, fringed hems, biker jackets and autumn tea dresses. Check out the full collection here. Topshop’s collection is much more about cosy knits and comfy jackets. Again they have a lovely biker jackets and a lot of denim in the mix! Check out the Topshop collection here.

NARS Audacious Mascara

The launch of the new Audacious Mascara from NARS is doing the rounds on news and blogs this week. They say there’s a lash-catching brush (with over 220 bristles) and buildable formula to magnify and lengthen lashes. There are a variety of shades and it launches on October 1st.

Christmas from Soap & Glory

Christmas is still a while away but the launches just keep on coming! This week I’ve been eyeing up the goodies from Soap & Glory, in particular the Eyes Box, which includes the mascara, waterproof eyeliner, liquid eyeliner pen and the famous Archery brow tint/pencil (it will retail for £18).

Other great offers include the Look Fantastic birthday sale and the River Island sale.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

My Little Gypset Box

August's My Little Beauty Box has landed and this months theme is 'Gypset'. Defined to be the act of "fusing the ease and carefree lifestyle of a gypsy with the sophistication of the jet set". My Little Box say they will take you on a 'caravan ride'...

So, what's included in the My Little Gypset Box? First of all we have the usual stuff; the cute magazine and a piece of artwork. The artwork this month is pictured with the quote 'Be in love with your life, every minute of it' which I just adore. I desperately need to think of a plan for these cute prints from My Little Box, they are gorgeous.

Next we delve into the bag of beauty bits, where three things are hiding inside. First up is the product from My Little Beauty, which is the 'Bronzing Powder'. I think it's actually one of my favourite My Little Beauty products I've received in the boxes so far. It's in a cute white compact, which is decorated with little umbrellas, so cute! The second item is a product from So Susan, which is a bit disappointing, as it's a brand I've never really liked. The product itself is a 'Colour Hybrid' which is a lip/cheek mousse. The last thing in the beauty bag is the Korres Body Milk, the fresh and fruit scent smells divine! 

There are two lifestyle items in the box this month, the first is a bag made in collaboration with Antik Batik. Mine is dark blue bag with a very pretty pattern, it's a traditional bucket bag, which ties around the top with a long shoulder strap. The second item is a packet of some super cute hairbands, which are so pretty My Little Box say you can wear as bracelets. I love them!

All in all, I have to say that I love this box! It's a great mixture of items, with a lot of things that I can play with and use. My Little Box is a subscription service costing £11 a month, plus £3.95 P&P. Check out the website here:

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

James & Friends Stationery

Obviously being a blogger (and someone who works in the video production industry) I find the online world a very exciting place. It’s incredible what people are able to achieve and the audiences they are able to reach. I have my favourite YouTuber’s that I watch very frequently and every now and then, they release merchandise. I actually have nothing against YouTuber's having merchandise, I think it’s a great way for viewers to support their favourite YouTubers, plus have something to keep as a momento. I do have a bit of a pet peeve though. What I hate is when it's just more of the same thing, something churned out to make a quick sale, which seemingly has no thought attached to it (even though I’m sure it takes a lot of effort to make any merchandise). 

So when Jim Chapman had everyone on tenterhooks for his latest announcement, I was in two minds whether it would be something that would be appeal to me. After all, I am a twenty-something working woman, as apposed to his usual target audience.  When Jim announced the launch of 'James & Friends' - a line of stationery - I actually thought it was pretty unique and I was quite interested in the range. 

James & Friends is a stationery range featuring notebooks, pens, ring binders, pencil cases, the list goes on. It all stemmed from a little doodle of a Robot Jim drew over a year ago, which he later decided would look great on stationery. All the items have a blogging/social media theme (as you would expect), which makes it the perfect addition to your blogging routine. I couldn't resist picking up a couple of items to try, so I thought I'd share them with you too!

The first thing I picked up is the A5 notebook; it's blue with a pink stripe finished with James the Robot and the phrase 'pin me, friend me, follow me, like me'. Inside there's lined paper with the James & Friends logo at the bottom of each page. It retails for £7 and is available from ASOS (here), as well as Amazon and Paper Ducks.

Next up is the Mini Jotter which I think is pretty cute. It's a green book with a camera on the front, with the phrase 'Notes To Selfie'. It's a great size to chuck in your bag, you can use it for whatever your heart desires, but I've found it great for shopping lists. This retails for £2 on Paper Ducks or you can buy it in a duo pack from ASOS (here).

The last thing I bought was the Ballpoint Pen, which arrives in a pink box with the phrase 'write on'. The pen itself is a very simple design, it has a red/blue colour scheme with the little robot at the bottom. It makes it very unisex and I think it's a great pen to chuck in your handbag. It's the only item that I found quite pricey, as it retails for £8 (here).

I don't think the design will be everyone's cup of tea, some people have noted that the items are aimed at quite a young audience. Whilst I see where they're coming from, I don't feel like they are too young for me or my demographic. There are some items I wouldn't personally use (such as the pencil cases or the stationery set) but I'm really happy with the things I picked up. If you're interested in the range, you can watch his announcement video here.

Monday, 17 August 2015

NEW Bienfaits Shower Gel by Roger & Gallet

I've made no secret in the past for my love of Roger & Gallet! Since being introduced to the brand, I literally cannot get enough of their products. I feel like it's a brand I really connect with, their products seem to suit me so well. I was recently offered a chance to try the new Bienfaits shower gel, I of course jumped at the chance.

Roger & Gallet’s Bienfaits Shower Gel* is the latest edition to the Bienfaits line, which already includes hand cream, body lotion and a body mist. It holds a gorgeous fruity scent, a blend of citrus scents hit you, including notes of blood orange, mandarin, bergamot and lemon. The Bienfaits range aims to stimulate your senses, alleviating stress. Which is something that I always need help with, especially when I'm trying to wake up in the morning! I have to say I've been really enjoying using it this last week, it's been great at waking me up at 6am!

The best bit is that the shower gel is sulphate-free and soap-free plant. The ingredients include a base created from coconut oil, with aloe vera added in to moisturise the skin. Like all Roger & Gallet products, the formula feels amazing on the skin. The formula oozes luxury and the scent lingers all day. The scent is just perfect for summer and I bet it's great for winter mornings when you need a little lift too!

The Bienfaits Shower Gel retails for £9, but you can currently save 1/3 at Escentual (here). If you're interested in Roger & Gallet products, why not check out my other reviews here.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Inside My Foundation Stash

I recently shared my blusher collection, which everyone seemed to enjoy. So today I wanted to give you sneak peek into my foundation collection. I should say that I've never ever tried a high end foundation (although there is a sneaky Tinted Moisturiser). For me, the high street has so much to offer, that the extra money has never seemed worth it. Before I delve into the contents of my drawers, it's worth noting that I have oily, combination skin, so most of these foundations are aimed at that skin type! 

The Mattifying Infallible Foundation from L’Oreal
I’ve banged on about this foundation a lot in recent times but it truly deserves all the hype. It comes in a sleek tube, with a small nozzle, so you squeeze the foundation out onto your brush or hand. It comes in six different shades, I have 'Porcelain' which is number 10, which is also the lightest shade. As you apply the foundation, you quickly see that a little goes a long way and it blends effortlessly. It leaves behind a flawless coverage, and I mean flawless. The finish is completely matt, but it's not too drying, or flakey, it just looks like skin! 
Retail price: £7.99 

This foundation has been my ‘everyday go-to’ for a long time! There are 10 shades available; I wear the shade ‘100 Ivory’. Rimmel describe this foundation to be "a match so perfect it's undetectable in any light" and I have to say, it really is perfect for my skin tone. The foundation is a really nice texture and the formula is fairly runny. It's not formulated to be dewy or matt, which is what makes it such a good all-rounder. It also has an SPF of 18, which is always a bonus for me! 
Retail price: £6.99

I’ve had Maybelline Superstay Better Skin Foundation in my collection for ages. It’s a bit of a special product as it claims to reduce the visible effects of stress, which includes bumps, dullness and redness. From the moment I tried this foundation I loved it, it gives you a really good coverage and it feels so light on the skin. It completely evens out my skintone, covering all my sins whilst giving a radiant finish to the skin. It doesn't settle in my skin either, it glides over both oily and dry areas. There are only 8 shades to choose from and it has SPF20.
Retail price: £8.99

This foundation is one of the newer offerings from Rimmel to the foundation market. It claims to be a full coverage finish that is; sweat, heat, humidity and transfer proof for 25 hours. Although it performs well, it’s definitely not as good as the Mattifying Infallible Foundation from L’Oreal.  The foundation is quite thick in formula, but when it's on the skin it's really hydrating and lightweight. You barely feel like you have anything on your skin, it's not sticky or tacky. It covers my acne scares and brightens my dark circles too! As with all Rimmel foundations, I use the shade 'ivory' and it's the perfect match for my skin! It has SPF20 which makes it a good starting point if you’re using it on holiday. 
Retail price: £7.99 

Avon Ideal Flawless foundation
I would never have considered buying makeup by Avon, it was only when the Pixiwoo sisters mentioned this was great for my skin type that I looked into it. The rubbish thing about shopping with Avon is that have to guess your shade.  There are twelve shades to choose from in the UK, and 21 to choose from in America (why don’t we get all the shades?!) The foundation is a medium coverage, offering more coverage than the Rimmel Match Perfection for me. It’s thick in consistency which makes it feel really moisturising on the skin! It also blends effortlessly and it lasts all day. This foundation also has SPF15.
Retail price: £12

Before trying this product from ESPA I never understood Tinted Moisturiser, as they were always the wrong colour, rubbish coverage and oily formulas. This product literally changed my life! You have to spend a while blending it into your skin, but afterwards it gives you a completely even skintone. It’s buildable, so you can keep adding extra coverage and then I just add a little concealer over blemishes. The best thing is that really leaves your skin GLOWING, it’s beautiful. This is the only ‘high end’ base in my collection, but for me the price point really reflects the quality. It currently comes in three colours and it has SPF15. 
Retail price: £32

For me this foundation is a hybrid between the Maybelline Superstay Better Skin Foundation and the Avon Ideal Flawless foundation. It has all the benefits of the Superstay foundation; it buffs into the skin with ease, it covers imperfections and it doesn’t feel tacky on the skin. However, it brings the coverage of the Ideal Flawless foundation, which makes it good for days when you’re being a bit more demanding on your skin. There are 11 shades to choose from and it has SPF18.
Retail price: £7.99 

What are your favourite foundations? Do you like to invest in your base or shop on the high street?

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Favourite Online Shopping Destinations

When I was a student I was living in Southampton and my University was a stones-throw away from the city center. It meant I had lots of opportunity (and a lot of time) to browse beauty stores and pick up everything I need. These days I'm no longer in Southampton and a trip to the city center is few and far between. This means I spend my time shopping for my beauty goods online, today I thought I'd share with you some of my favourite online shopping destinations. 

Fragrance Direct
If you've never visited the Fragrance Direct website, you're seriously missing out. They sell a whole host of makeup at rock bottom prices. However, the reason I visit Fragrance Direct is for Essie nail polishes. Essie nail polish is by far my favourite brand, but at £7.99 they are quite pricey. Luckily Fragrance Direct stock a whole host of Essie polishes, retailing them at £2.99! Visit the Fragrance Direct website by clicking here.

Escentual gets a lot of airtime on my blog, as I just love their website, their brands and then ever so frequent offers! If they are not celebrating French Pharmacy month, they have 20% off the whole site, or 30% off Roger & Gallet (one of my favourite brands)! I head to Escentual for one of two things; skincare or fragrance. They stock tons of fantastic skincare brands including La Roche-Posay, Vichy and Nuxe, all often cheaper than the RRP. They also stock all of my favourite perfumes, often with lots of free gifts and beating the high street on cost. Visit the Escentual website by clicking here.

Of course Superdrug is present on the highstreet, but I love shopping online as the offer free delivery over £15. Superdrug is often the place where I pick up makeup from high street brands. Superdrug always have offers on their makeup, especially 3 for 2 deals and free gifts. Which makes it far too tempting to top up my makeup collection! Visit the Superdrug website by clicking here.

I rarely shop online with Boots as you have to spend £45 to get free delivery. However, every couple of months I'll place a big order to top up on haircare, body care and other essentials. They always have amazing offers on shampoo and conditioner and I can never resist seeing what's new at Soap & Glory. Visit the Boots website by clicking here

Look Fantastic & The Hut Group
What I love about Look Fantastic and The Hut Group is that you can pick up a whole host of brands under one roof. It makes shopping really simple and easy, as you don't have to go to lots of different sites to stock up on your beauty items. Look Fantastic is the next shop on my list and it's definitely one of my all time favourites. I've placed a lot of orders with this site, including 15 orders in the last 12 months alone. What I tend to pick up from Look Fantastic is all of my Redken styling products and the famous Seche Vite top coat! Visit the Look Fantastic website by clicking here.I'd love to know about your favourite places to shop online, as I know their must be some amazing places that I do not know about! 

Friday, 14 August 2015

Contouring with Tarte Cosmetics

The industry might be busy speaking about the strobing trend, but I personally don't think traditional contouring will be disappearing anytime soon. Especially as many of us have only just mastered it (me included)! If you're looking for a contouring palette, I have one to show you - just be aware, you have to go across the pond to get your hands on it! 

This is the Park Ave Princess Contour Palette: Volume II by none other than Tarte Cosmetics. When I spotted it in Ulta in a store in Ohio, I just could not leave it behind! Tarte say that this palette can make you a contouring pro, giving you all of the contouring essentials.

Once you flip the lid, you find a large mirror and three products, all which contain Tarte's iconic Amazonian clay. The most exciting thing in the palette is the cult favourite 'Park Ave Princess' which is a matte, waterproof, bronzer. This stuff is incredibly pigmented, you certainly don't need a lot on your brush to cover all your contouring needs. I've been using the Real Techniques Contour Brush to apply it to the hollows of my cheeks. The colour is a bit darker than what I normally go for, so if you have a really light skintone, you need to blend your way to perfection. When I have gone a bit overboard, I've just been dabbing my foundation brush over the top to dull it down.

On the other half of the palette is the blusher and highlighter duo. The blush is in the shade 'glisten' which is a peachy pink and the highlighter is a champagne shade. Again, both if these shades are really pigmented, just a little dab in the pan gives you all you need. The blusher gives you a nice wash of colour, with a little bit of sparkle! The highlighter for me is the star of the show, it gives you a lovely 'glowing from within' finish to the skin, which I love! 

The palette itself is a lovely bronzed shade and it's a good size, which makes it ideal for travelling or chucking in your handbag. It retails $34 here, I highly recommend giving it a swatch if you're near an Ulta anytime soon! 

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Thursday Tittle-Tattle #10

'Thursday Tittle Tattle', is a Hope, Freedom, Love blog series dedicated to breaking news of the beauty world. From time-to-time, Thursday’s blog post will be dedicated to news. I'll feature beauty and lifestyle news, events, discounts, and even a bit of fashion news thrown in too! Here are the things that caught my eye this week:

New goodies from NARS

NARS has launched a brand new gift set which they are calling the ‘Liquid Gold Face Set’. Inside the set there’s the ‘Hot Sand Illuminator’, a cute mini South Beach Multiple and a mini Gold Digger Larger Than Life Lip Gloss. It’s going to retail for £27 and will be available direct from NARS on their website. 

Christmas Teasers from Hourglass
Sorry, I did just say the C word, but I cannot resist with this news from Hourglass. Launching in November is the Hourglass 'Ambient Lighting Edit' a palette containing six products from the Ambient Lighting range. It's a limited edition piece with blushers, bronzers and powders, swooon! It's going to retail for £65 from SpaceNK, John Lewis and Liberty. Spoiler picture here

Fleur de Force set to launch collaboration with Eylure
Fleur from Fleur de Force announced this week that she's collaborated with Eylure. They've worked together to create a collection of eyelashes set to launch on August 18th.

Clinique Gift With Purchase at Boots

If you’re a Clinique fan, there’s a great GWP running at the moment with Boots (also pictured above). Included is all ‘the skincare and make-up you’ll need to cleanse, moisturise and glow whether you are home or away this summer’. As always the gift is free with two or more Clinique products, one has to be skincare or foundation. The gift is running until Saturday 15th August so be quick if you’re interested

30% off Roger & Gallet at Escentual & 20% off the whole site
As always Escentual are running some fantastic offers on their website. At the moment you can get 20% off the whole site (until August) and you can also save 1/3 on Roger & Gallet products until September. 

Amazing goodie bag when you spend £150 with Urban Retreat
A great offer popped into my inbox yesterday from Urban Retreat. If you spend £150 you'll be sent a fabulous goodie bag and the contents look amazing (it's worth £140)! Click here to read more about it. Of course it's only why stocks last, if they are still in stock, it will appear in your basket at the checkout.

New Products From Rimmel
I love a release from Rimmel and they’ve just launched a whole load of products. There’s a brand new version of the Match Perfection Foundation, which happens to be one of my favourite foundations of all time. There’s also a load of single eyeshadows called the ‘Magnif'Eyes Mono Eyeshadow’ in nine shades and some brand new Glitter Nail Polishes! I’m about to place a Superdrug order for some of the new bits, so I’ll feature some reviews soon! 

The White Company Launches Fig Collection
If like me, you happen to be a Fig Fanatic, I have a collection for you. The White Company has just launched their fig collection and it’s gorgeous! It contains ‘notes of fresh fig, succulent cassis, citrus and tomato-leaf and a touch of sweet lilac’. There are candles, diffusers and even shower gels to try! Shop the collection here

Clinique Pop-Up Shop #CliniquePopStop
I love this idea from Clinique! They’ve opened a ‘Clinique PopStop!’ in the Piccadilly Circus underground station. It gives people the chance to touch up on-the-go, or shop for some goodies. The pop-up will run until 25 September, opening Monday through to Saturday, 8am-8pm. Now to find an excuse to visit Piccadilly Circus…
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