Friday, 31 March 2017

The Essie Spring 2017 Collection

I make no secret of the fact Essie is my favourite nail polish brand. I love everything from their pretty colours, their impressive formulations and their incredible staying power. I would say that 75% of my nail polish collection is made up of Essie polishes and they are always the brand I turn to when I fancy a nail polish treat. So I was absolutely delighted when I had the chance to try the brand new Essie Spring 2017 Collection, let’s dive into the details. 

I think the real reason I’m head over heels with this collection, is the whole inspiration behind the colours. The Essie Spring 2017 collection is all about getting in the car and driving, inspired by the long California road trips and the spectacular sights you can see. Later this year we’re taking three weeks to drive down the west coast of America, so this collection has me feeling all giddy with excitement.

The collection offers six stunning, saturated crème polishes, which have been designed in collaboration with designer Rebecca Minkoff. She helped to inspire the landscape of colours which have landed themselves in the collection. I have four of the pretty shades that I wanted to share with you today. First up we have Backseat Besties* which is a pretty candy pink, which Essie describe as a “delicate pink plumeria”. Next we have Excuse Me Sur* which is a pretty peachy, coral hue. Then we have my favourite, Designated DJ* which is practically my signature colour. This one is a deep purple hue, which Essie describe as a “plum sangria crème” – it’s an absolutely stunning, shiny shade. Finally we have On The Roadie* which is bang on trend this season. If you’re looking to rock something close to the trendy Pantone hue, this one is for you – I’m personally a bit too wimp for green nails.

There are also two other shades I don’t have here, which I’m absolutely desperate to get my hands on. There’s B’aha Moment* which is pop of fuchsia pink and there’s also All The Wave* which is a splash of ocean blue. I’ve swatched the ones I do have for you below, from left to right we have Designated DJ, Backseat Besties, On The Roadie and Excuse Me Sur. The whole Essie Spring 2017 is available now and you’ll be able to get your hands on it until May. Don’t miss out, this collection is utterly beautiful!


Thursday, 30 March 2017

The stunning new Strobe Spectrum Palettes from Zoeva

Let’s be honest for a moment - I need very little encouragement to add a new highlighter to my collection. However, when I spotted the Zoeva Strobe Spectrum Palettes it was instant love. The three new additions to Zoeva’s growing Spectrum collection are going to set hearts beating all over the country. 

The new Strobe Spectrum collection has been inspired by Zoeva’s love for nature’s colours. Offering three new palettes, which have each been inspired by a different season. Together the palettes offer a versatile range of colours, which suit all skin types and will inspire a whole range of makeup looks. I have two of the beautiful new palettes, which I’m going to share with you today! 

The new palettes arrive in Zoeva’s signature packaging, the matte black cardboard palette, arrives in a matching matte black box. The attention to detail on the Zoeva packaging always makes me feel warm and fuzzy. This time, the signature Zoeva line runs down the front of the palette and all the lettering on the front, is finished in a metallic colouring. The colouring corresponds to the ‘season’ that has inspired the colours inside, which I think is a lovely touch.

Flip open the lid and you’ll find highlighters – in each of the palette you’ll find four beautiful shades. The Winter Strobe Spectrum Palette* is said to be inspired by water turning to ice and glistening snow crystals. The shades offer everything you need to create an iridescent, cool finish on the skin, with each of the shades offering a translucent, frosted finish. Inside this palette you have everything from glacial nacre, pale rose and icy lilac to polar blue, which each have Zoeva’s pearl formulation. They all have the pigmentation we know and love from Zoeva and the shades are incredibly soft. I’ve swatched these shades for you below and you can see that they offer a beautiful spectrum of colour.

I’ll be the first to admit that the Spring Strobe Spectrum Palette* doesn’t look like anything special in the pan. In fact, I was convinced that I was going to be a little bit ‘meh’ about all the shades. However, as soon as I swatched this beauty, it jumped straight up the ranks. As you would expect, the Spring Strobe Spectrum Palette has been inspired by the sunlight and dewdrops of a spring day. The colours that seem uninspiring and dull, quickly burst into a vivid array of sparkling colors. The formula of these shades is described as a ‘duo chrome’ which just means they are utterly mesmorising. The shades in this palette include fresh green, bright blue, vigorous pink and sunny yellow – you can see in the swatches that they are just utterly impressive. 

I honestly think it’s hard to not love these new palettes from Zoeva – I’m simply completely and utterly obsessed with them. When you consider that for £20 you get four stunning colours, that are all highly pigmented and boast a lovely velvety texture, I think it’s an absolute bargain. All of the shades are enriched with vitamin E and they are 100% free of parabens, mineral oils, perfume and phthalates. The new palettes are available right now from Cult Beauty, you won’t want to miss adding one of these to your collection! 

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

The cult classic haircare from Mane ‘n Tail

When I was invited down to London to learn a little bit about Mane ‘n Tail, it was a brand I’d never heard of! Little did I know that they are a cult classic brand, first born a whopping forty-five years ago. The Katzev family created the products for their much-loved horses in New Jersey, with the aim to help the hair on their show horses’. The award-winning protein rich formulation gained fans throughout the equestrian society, but not just for the work the products were doing on their horses’ hair. People noticed that the formula was doing wonders on their hands and they quickly realised that it would work wonders on humans too!

Mane ‘n Tail expanded and built on their legendary heritage, to create the brand that is known and loved today. The range not only includes multiple shampoos and conditioners, but it also includes leave-in treatments, styling products and a hand and nail treatment. The brand was brought to the UK as it was renowned for its quality and performance. People loved the way that you could choose the products depending on your hair texture – creating an experience that is completely unique to you!

The range of shampoo and conditioners is huge – there really is something for everyone!  I’ve been testing the Mane ‘n Tail Colour Protect Shampoo* and Conditoner* (£6.99 each here), which as the name suggests, has been created for people with colour treated hair. The original shampoo and condition is beautiful, but it’s not recommended for coloured hair, so it’s worth bearing this in mind before you hit the shops. I love that shampoo and conditioner arrive in huge bottles, which I know are going to last me ages! The texture of the shampoo and conditioner are both quite light, leaving the hair feeling soft and smooth. You know sometimes when you use a shampoo, your hair feels clean, but it doesn’t feel soft? The Mane ‘n Tail line leave your hair soft straight away and it’s blessed with a lovely fruity/floral scent, which lingers on the hair for hours.

If you don’t have coloured hair, you have four other shampoo/conditioner combinations to choose from. There’s the Original Mane ‘n Tail Shampoo and Conditioner, which is great for dry, damaged or neglected hair. There’s the Mane ‘n Tail Gentle Clarifying Shampoo and Replenishing Conditioner, which is gentle enough for colour and chemically treated hair, once or week or every day. Next there’s the Mane ‘n Tail Deep Moisturising Shampoo and Conditioner, which is ideal for taming curly hair or reducing frizzy hair. Finally there is the Mane ‘n Tail Essentials Shampoo and Conditioner, which is safe for relaxed and permed hair, ideal for ethnic, Asian and Latin roots.

On top of the shampoo and conditioner combinations, there is also the Mane ‘n Tail Hair Strengthener* (£12 here), which is perfect for chemically and heat damaged hair. You simply spritz this into damp hair and it uses a combination of proteins and natural oils to nourish and condition the hair. The leave-in treatment can be used every day, or it can be used once a week, to increase the strength of your hair.

The final thing I’ve been testing is the Mane ‘n Tail Hoofmaker* (£8 here). I actually tested this at the event and I was amazed at the way it performed! It’s a cult classic which keeps your “hooves, hands and everything in between” soft and supple. You simply apply to this to the hands and the protein enriched cream soaks in and conditions the skin. It’s become a staple in my bedtime routine!

When the Mane ‘n Tail first came to the UK they used to be quite hard to get your hands on! Nowadays the brand is stocked at Boots, Fenwick, Harvey Nichols, Liberty and Urban Outfitters. Prices start at £5.99 and I really recommend checking out the brand, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Your Nude Obsession | The New Lipstick From Green People

If you’re new to the Green People brand, you have a lot of catching up to do! They are pride themselves in being “sensitive skin experts” and have been pioneering organic beauty products since 1997. Their aim is to makeup pure beauty products for all the family, catering for babies to grandparents and everyone in between. Their products are designed for people with even the most sensitive skin, but also offer anti-ageing products, products designed for blemish prone skin and products suitable for individuals prone to eczema and skin allergies. All-in-all they are the brand that tries to be inclusive, whilst believing that nature and science go hand in hand. 

If you haven’t already done the math, this year Green People are celebrating their 20th year in the business. To celebrate they are releasing to special collections: the exciting launch of two new special edition collections, Damask Rose and Orange Blossom. Today I’m here to show you the exciting new Damask Rose Lipstick* - the new Velvet Matte lipstick! 

Being spring, it goes without saying that the catwalks are buzzing with neutral lips and this new lipstick fits the trend perfectly. Damask Rose is a universally flatting nude-rose shade, which has been designed to be lightweight, long-wearing and comfortable. The formula has been created with a blend of beeswax and organic Carnauba wax, which are both great ingredients for keeping the lips nourished. Vitamin E has been added to soothe/soften the lips and it’s completely free from artificial colours or beetle-derived carmine.

It has a matte finish and it has a light level of pigmentation. It’s the perfect lipstick for applying when you’re on-the-go as it’s simple and easy to get right. Rose is so versatile and it can be worn in so many ways, for me it’s the perfect ‘your lips but better’ shade. The Velvet Matte Lipstick in Damask Rose is available for preorder now, priced at just £15. If you want a real bargain, enter NUDEOBSESSION at the checkout and save 15%. The code will be valid until April 31st 2017

Monday, 27 March 2017

The new all.about.face set from beautyblender | Giveaway

There’s no denying that beautyblender founder Rea Ann Silva changed the makeup world, when she invented the pink, egg-shaped beautyblender in her trailer. The already successful makeup artist had a desire to create something that would create an airbrushed effect on the skin. Legend has it, Rea used a pair of scissors to create the beautyblender and in 2003 the legend was born. Since 2003 the beautyblender has gone from strength to strength and I think you’d be hard pushed to find a blogger without one in their collection. Their latest create is the new all.about.face set* and I’m here to give you the full low down!

The new all.about.face set has been designed to give you everything you need to create a perfect, flawless base. It’s designed to be the ultimate starter kit, whether you’re a complete makeup pro or someone who is completely new to makeup! Inside the little box you get three sponges and a mini, solid beautyblender – which means whether you’re applying foundation, concealer, contour or blusher – you have all your bases covered.

The first thing in the box is the original beautyblender, the famous, must-have tool! This beautyblender is amazing for applying powder, foundation, bb creams or any other complexion product. Due to it’s bigger size, it’s fantastic at covering wide areas – fast! Next we have the beauty.blusher which does exactly what it says on the tin – applying blush to the apples of the cheeks. Whether it’s powder, liquid or cream, it does it with ease! Next we have the which is the SUPER cute, teeny-tiny mini sponge. I love using this one to dab in concealer or highlighter, but it’s also great for detailed contouring or colour correction. Last but not least, we have the beautyblender solid, the ultimate must have for keeping your sponges clean.

This new set is limited edition, so if you think it’s for you, I wouldn’t hang around for long! It’s such a lovely way to test out the range from beautyblender, from small to large, you can have it all in this must-have set! The set is available right now, it’s priced at £35 and you can pick it up from Cult Beauty!

I was actually lucky enough to receive two of these fabulous sets, so I’m really excited to end this post with a giveaway. To be in with a chance of winning, simply fill out the form below. To win the set you must be following me and beautyblender on Twitter. The full T&C’s are below the widget – good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Terms and conditions! The giveaway prize consists of 1 all.about.face set from beautyblender. The giveaway will be running until 9th April at midnight and you can enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. To be eligible to win you must be following my blog (@hopefreedomlove) and beautyblender on Twitter . There are additional entries if you follow via Twitter and Instagram, or tweet about the competition. Entry is limited to UK residents.The prize was gifted to me by the wonderful Dowal Walker team and I am passing this on to my readers in a giveaway. 

Friday, 24 March 2017

Less Is Better | The Limited Edition Capsule Collection from KIKO

This year, KIKO MILANO is celebrating their 20th anniversary. To celebrate their anniversary they have joined forces with seven international brands, which have been created by young and up-and-coming designers. The first capsule collection is called ‘Less Is Better’ and it’s been created by the three young designers of SuperDuper Handmade Hats (Veronica and Ilaria Cornacchini and Matteo Gioli). 

The goal for this collection was to make a perfectly invisible make-up look. There are seven items in the collection, which includes everything from natural Konjac sponges to eyeshadow – I’m here to walk you through my favourite parts of the collection.

The whole collection is packaged in the most gorgeous packaging, I actually think this is the best KIKO packaging I’ve seen, which is really saying something as I’m a huge KIKO fan! The base of all the boxes is a stunning pastel blue, on top of the blue there are pink paint splodges, which are raised on the surface of the box. The box is finished with simply black lettering, which includes the KIKO logo, the SuperDuper logo and the names of the products. 

The KIKO ‘Less Is Better’ Eyeshadow Palette*
First up we have the eyeshadow palette, which is what first captured my attention. The palette is packaged in a compact, in the same pastel blue and pink packaging. The palette features nine eyeshadows, which are all in nude shades. The colours feature a real range of finishes – there are mattes, satins and metallic hues. I wouldn’t say that any of the shades are packed with pigment, but there is variation in the formula. The most pigmented shades are the metallic finishes, the satin shades are second and the matte hues are very lightly pigmented. 

Of course, this fits the “Less Is Better” theme perfectly but it also makes them really easy to work with! All of the shades are really soft and there is very little fallout in the pan – they just glide on easily and allow you to build the shades up to the desired finish. 

The KIKO ‘Less Is Better’ Cream Blush* 
Next we have the Cream Blush, which arrives in a huge glass jar which feels sophisticated and elegant. Inside the pot we find the water-based cream blusher, it’s incredibly soft to the touch and is really nicely pigmented. The blush has the silkiness of a mousse, the freshness of a light emulsion and has a really fine texture. The water in the formulation makes it feel really fresh on the skin too, which is lovely! The gap in the top of the jar isn’t huge, but it’s big enough to get a small, dense brush in the top to pick up the pigment. You can also apply it with your fingertips – both options are workable as the blush is easy to blend. There are two shades in the collection, I have 01 which is a dusty rose pink.

The KIKO ‘Less Is Better’ Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow*
The Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadows from KIKO are some of my favourite products of all time, so I jumped at the chance to try one of the new shades. Just like all the other Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadows these are soft, creamy and they are packed with pigment! There are three shades to choose from which either have a satin or metallic finish. I have shade 03, which is a stunning metallic coppery, taupe hue. I simply wash this all over the lid and then take a fluffy brush and blend out the edges  - it sets in place and doesn’t budge all day.

The KIKO ‘Less Is Better’ Fluid Highlighter*
Last but not least we have the Fluid Highlighter, which has been designed to give a delicate, strobing effect on the skin, housed in an ultra-lightweight emulsion formula. You simply take a pump of this and apply it all of the skin – I actually use a brush to do this and a little bit definitely goes a long way. 

The Fluid Highlighter leaves the face looking radiant all over, using a combination of soft focus spheric powders, microbeads and pigments. Together the ingredients smooth the appearance of the skin, working to even out the skintone. There are two shades to choose from, which are both delicate and neutral, I have the shade 01, which is yellow toned shade which leaves a golden glow on the skin.

I actually think that this latest collection is one of my all time favourites from KIKO – which really speaks volumes as I’m huge KIKO fan! The collection is available right now from KIKO stores and the KIKO website – I can’t want to see what the other six capsule collections have in store for the KIKO fans! 

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Thursday Tittle-Tattle #78

Hope, Freedom, Love just wouldn’t feel complete without my 'Thursday Tittle Tattle' series! 'Thursday Tittle Tattle' has to be my longest running blog series and its home to the posts that get the best feedback from my readers. I absolutely love that you guys come back time and time again to read my 'Thursday Tittle Tattle' posts, so it was only right to continue these in 2017. This series is dedicated to breaking news of the beauty world, where most Thursday’s I bring you all the exciting news featuring; beauty and lifestyle news, events, discounts, and even a bit of fashion news thrown in too! This week I have some real some exciting new makeup to show you, let’s dive in…

Juicy Couture release two new fragrances
Juicy Couture have announced the arrival of two brand new fragrances, which are part of their Regal Collection collection. The first is called ‘Royal Rose’ which has notes of: rose de Mai and heliotrope, incense and suede, plus sandalwood, amber and musk in the base. The second is called Majestic Woods, which features top notes of tonka and praline, middle notes of ambrox and amber, plus a base note of patchouli. They are both described as ‘premium oriental scents’ and have been inspired by exotic lands and fairytales. The two fragrances are available right now, priced at £89/100ml. You can pick up Royal Rose here and Majestic Woods here

Urban Decay Naked Skin Highlighting Fluid
Yep, you read that right! If you’re a fan of the Urban Decay Naked Skin range, you will be feeling weak at the knees hearing about the new ‘Highlighting Fluid’. I spotted these online at Sephora and they are described as a ‘creamy highlighting fluid that instantly illuminates’. There are five different shades which cover everything from champagne finishes, to an iridescent light blue. I really hope we don’t have to wait long in the UK for these beauties! 

Nip+Fab announce new makeup collection
If you’re a fan of Nip+Fab or a fan of Rodial, this news is going to stop you in your tracks! Nip+Fab have just announced an exciting new makeup collection, which features everything from highlighters, to matte liquid lipsticks, to contour palettes and eyebrow pencils. Nip+Fab sister brand Rodial, has been making makeup for a while now, so if their quality is anything to go by, this collection is going to fly off the shelves! The thing that immediately caught my eye is the Stroboscopic Highlight Palette (£15.00 here) – it’s a universal highlighting palette which has everything from Rose Gold to Golden to Sunkissed. Nip+Fab say the powders have a texture which is suede and creamy. They say they blend easily, leaving a metallic shimmer to the cheekbones. There’s also a dreamy Sculpted Eyeshadow Palette (£10.95 here) which has everything you need to take your eyes from a subtle sculpt to a smokey eye. Nip+Fab say there are 12 highly-pigmented shades, which you can mix together to suit your mood! 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Revlon Lip Products You Need This Spring | SS17

When it comes to updating your makeup bag for springtime, I know that a lot of people get excited about switching up their lipstick. Of course, being springtime, this season sees the return of the pretty pinks and coral hues. However, it’s not quite time to show your red lip shades the door, as they are bang on trend this year, even for the warmer months. Revlon have a whole host of exciting new lip releases this season and I’m here to show you three ways that you can switch up your lipstick on a budget. 

Revlon Ultra HD Gel Lip Color*
Let’s kick things off with my favourite of the three releases: the Revlon Ultra HD Gel Lip Color. This new products look exciting from the moment they arrive, with their super cool metallic packaging taking center stage. These new lip products have been designed to give you a glossy, vivid colour, without drying out the lips. The formula is packed with pigments and you can see in the swatches below that the colours are glossy and rich. As the name suggests, the base of the Ultra HD Gel Lip Color is gel, which has been infused with hyaluronic acid, for that extra boost of hydration. 

I love how glossy and pretty these new products are and the slim line packaging makes them easy to apply and totally handbag friendly! I have the shades HD Tropical 730* (a pretty pink) and HD Lava 750* (a red/coral hue). These retail for £7.99 each, which I think is a total bargain!

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Color*
The Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Color has been part of the Revlon line up for some time, but the collection has just been given an update for 2017. If you’re looking for something that really packs in some pigment, these new shades are the way to go! These products really pack in some high definition pigmentation in a formula that feels velvety and matte on the lips. The formula of these are created with 100% wax-free gel, which means that every coat of colour provides intense colour and lightweight moisturisation. They are even scented with a light scent of creamy mango and whipped vanilla, which is really lovely. There are 12 new shades and I have Obsession* which is a hot pink. The Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Color retail at £8.99 each and are available now!

Swatched above here, from top to bottom we have the Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Color in Obsession, the Revlon Ultra HD Gel Lip Color in HD Lava and the Revlon Ultra HD Gel Lip Color in HD Tropical.

Revlon ColorStay Overtime Lip Color*
The final product I have to show you is the Revlon ColorStay Overtime Lip Color, which is brand new to the Revlon collection. This new product is a double-sided lip product – on one end have an exclusive liquid colour base formula that features Revlon ColorStay technology. On the other side you have the 99% “moisture topcoat” enriched with chamomile and soy extract to keep lips comfortable and shiny. The two together deliver a colour which looks fresh and feels comfortable for up to 12 hours. 

These shades are far from matte, in fact they are a lovely shiny colour which is perfect for this time of year. There are 10 different shades in the collection and I have four to share with you. Swatched below, from top to bottom, we have: Non Stop Cherry (010)*, Constantly Coral (020)*, Everlasting Rum (370)* and Always Sienna (380)*. All 10 shades retail for £8.99 each and are available now!

So there we have it, three exciting new releases from Revlon which should have all your bases covered for spring.  Whether you’re looking for something matte, something glossy or something that lasts all day long – there really is something for everyone!

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

My Latest Drugstore Dash | A Boots Haul

I recently met up with Stephanie (from the fabulous blog Merry Musing) and we did a little bit of shopping. If you’ve never tried hitting up Boots with another beauty blogger, I highly recommend it. We had a lot of fun eyeing up makeup products and searching the little blue stickers marked ‘new’ (I didn’t even know this was a thing – thanks Steph). The only problem with shopping with a beauty blogger, is that you enable each other to buy a lot of pretty products – watch out for your bank balance! I’m not complaining though, as Stephanie showed me lots of products she’s been trying out, which I subsequently added to my collection. So, I thought it was only right to share some of my purchases with you guys today. 

Barry M Coconut Infusion Nail Paint in Oasis & Storm - £4.99 each
First up we have two new shades of the Coconut Infusion Nail Paint! I first fell in love with this range this time last year, when it was a brand new innovative formula. The range has grown a lot in the last twelve months and I can never resist the new shades! The formulation blends Coconut Water and Coconut Oil together, which creates a polish which hydrates and nourishes the nails. Surprisingly, Barry M’s Spring releases feel very autumnal, which suits me fine, as I’m not ready to give up the darker hues just yet. Storm is a deep greige-taupe and Oasis is a stunning deep purple hue. 

Maybelline Brow Precise Fiber - £7.99
As soon as I spotted this in the shop, I knew I had to take it home! Maybelline Brow Precise Fiber aims to shake up your brow game by bringing something completely new to the market. It’s Maybelline’s first fibre-packed formulation, which is designed to cling to your brow hairs, filling in any gaps that you might have! Now, fibre gels have been in the market for a while, but what interested me most was the comb! Maybelline call it a ‘paddle brush’ and it’s the perfect way to describe it, it’s shaped just like the paddle brushes you use on your hair! The paddle brush to combs through every hair, for perfectly preened brows!

Rimmel London Volume Colourist Mascara - £7.99
I’ve seen Rimmel’s Volume Colourist Mascara on a few blogs and I figured it was about time to give it a try. What’s different about this mascara is that it gradually tints your lashes over time. Rimmel say that their semi-permanent lash-tint complex progressively darkens your lashes over two weeks of regular application. The tint has been put inside a volumising formulation, where the brush wraps around every lash, so it’s perfect for people who want a dramatic finish to your lashes.

Rimmel London Magnif’eyes Eyeshadow Palette in Grunge Glamour - £7.99
Frequent readers will know that it’s completely against my nature to resist an eyeshadow palette. So when Stephanie recommended the Magnif’eyes Eyeshadow Palette I knew it would become part of my collection. I opted for the shade ‘Grunge Glamour’ which features 8-shades which you can use to create a variety of looks. Five of the shades are very neutral and three of the shades are a bit darker and daring.  There’s also a good mix of high-shimmer and matte shades, which means you can create any look that suits your mood. There’s even a handy mirror in the palette which makes it a perfect handbag palette! 

Maybelline Leather Effect Color Tattoo in Vintage Plum £4.99
Last but not least we have this little pot of goodness! Now, I’m a huge fan of the Maybelline’s original Color Tattoo eyeshadows and I’ve always avoided the Leather Effect formulation. However, when I sure ‘Vintage Plum’ in the flesh I felt a compelling need to add it to my collection (I have this thing about purple eyeshadow). I’m really excited to play with this alternative matte formulation and see how I get on!

So there you have it, five new drugstore products that I’ve recently added to my makeup stash! I’d love to know what you think of these products if you’ve tried them and I’ll definitely be reporting back with my testing soon!

Monday, 20 March 2017

The 2017 Spring Beauty Edit | Hope Freedom Love

For the last few weeks I’ve been testing, reviewing and trying out a load of products. What’s different to any other month I hear you ask? Well the sole purpose has been to create my official Spring Edit of 2017. I’ve tried a lot of products, some good, some bad, but these products are the ones I give my seal of approval. So if you’re looking to update your makeup bag, you can safely take out your shopping list and get stuck in. 

The perfect spring base 
In the springtime I’m all about achieving a dewy base, which just gives you a little bit of extra coverage! I have a few favourites for this time of year, which have been in my stash for quite some time! The KORRES Wild Rose CC Cream* (£26 here) is the first one I want to talk about, which is all about combining skincare benefits with makeup. The goal of the CC Cream is to give you a naturally radiant complexion, even skin tone and SPF protection – all in one handy step. You apply this to the skin and it corrects, smoothes and brightens the skin – which is just perfect for good skin days. The addition of SPF30 makes it a great option for holidays, as it gives you that extra bit of protection. 

My other favourite spring base is the Stila Aqua Glow Serum Foundation (£34.50 here), which you may remember me becoming obsessed with last year! This is a unique, water-based serum foundation, which makes it incredibly light on the skin. As you'd expect from a water-based foundation, this is incredibly moisturising on the skin. This is enhanced by the addition of Hyaluronic Acid in the formulation, giving a real boost of nourishment to the skin. It glides over both my dry cheeks and my oily t-zone, blending into both areas with ease.

Some of my essential products for keeping your base looking fresh

Helping that pretty dewy base last the distance 
One of my biggest struggles in springtime, is finding a base combination that lasts really well on the skin! To be frank – sweat is my enemy and if I’m not careful, I can quickly turn into pool of melted foundation. Which is why this year I’m trying to experiment with primers – which until now have not been part of my routine – shocking eh? 

This season power umbrella brand DECIEM, have released two new primers from The Ordinary. The first is a the High Spreadability Fluid Primer* (£5.50), which is a really interesting concept. It aims to increase the spreadability of foundations and base makeup, allowing you to achieve an even, natural looking complexion. The serum-like formula allows subsequent makeup products to glide freely over the skin’s newfound smooth surface. The second primer is the High-Adherence Silicone Primer* (£3.90) which has been designed to create an ultimate hold for foundation, creating a flattering blurring effect. The advanced adaptive silicones in the formulation help makeup to adhere to skin for longer, leaving the skin hydrated, but matte. 

Achieving that strobing glow on a budget
Of course it wouldn’t be spring (or any season for that matter) without a splatter of pretty highlighters to get obsessed with. I’m a highlighter obsessive all year round, but this season I’m impressed with the highlighters that are available at the lower end of the budget spectrum. Of course highlighter comes in all tones and shades, but the one that reoccurred the most this season was the pink toned highlighter, which was seen at Asli Polat and many others. 

One of my latest highlighter finds is the GOSH CCC Stick* (£9.99 here), in particular the Golden Highlighter. This is a fantastic pencil highlighter, which houses a cream formulation which you just draw onto your skin. The formulation is so creamy and so pigmented, so I just wash this onto my cheekbones, give it a quick blend and I’m good to go. Another new favourite of mine is the Sleek Strobing Soufflé* (£6.99 here)! I love everything about this product, I love the whipped texture, I love the pigmentation and I love how it just melts into the skin, to leave you with that lovely strobing finish! These are both fantastic value for money, as they both come in at under a tenner and will work wonders! 

Highlighter heaven - some of my current favourites from Stila, KIKO, GOSH and Sleek Makeup

If you want something a little more extravagant, I highly recommend these beautiful new highlighters from Stila. The Heaven’s Hue Highlighters (£28 here) are unlike any highlighter I’d tried in the past. It’s incredibly lightweight which makes it perfect for springtime, leaving a subtle glow on the cheeks! The most interesting part is the unique texture: when you touch it in the pan it feels bouncy, but it’s not heavy, it’s ultra-fine and it’s perfect for adding radiance to your makeup look. 

If you’re more of a fan of liquid highlighters – you may want to check out the KIKO 20th Anniversary collection that launched just last week. The KIKO Fluid Highlighter* (£11.90 here) is a delicate, liquid highlighter, which has a silky texture. It’s made for using all over the face, to create a radiant looking complexion all over. 

Embraced frosted eyes and rock the sparkle eyeshadow
For somebody who is a complete sparkle-holic, I’m so excited that the glitter, frosted eye trend is joining us in spring. I certainly don’t need any excuse to rock a glitter eye, so seeing it on the catwalks (such as Shiatzy Chen) had me very excited! For this trend I had to mention the new Stila magnificent metals glitter & glow liquid eyeshadows, which are my new obsession. This innovative new formulation sees a glitter, suspended in a water base, in a handy tube with a doe foot applicator. You sweep the highly-pigmented formulation on to the eyelids – it then sets and it does not move. I mean, I’ve worked out in this formulation and it’s still been intact after 60 minutes of cardio! I was gifted one of the shades when they launched and I’ve subsequently bought four more shades, I’m obsessed! 

It's all about glitter on the eyes this springtime, try these beauties from Stila & Sigma

If you’re not one for liquid eyeshadows, this new release from Sigma Beauty might be the one for you! Their range of Loose Glitters and Shimmers* is going to have glitter obsessives feeling weak at the knees! The collection has been designed to be multipurpose, so you can use it on your face, on your eyes or mixed with lip gloss. One things for certain, these beauties will have you glowing all summer long! 

Keep your hands and feet in check
There’s no denying that your hands and feet get a bit neglected in the winter months, they take a real battering from the weather and often need a little bit of TLC. When it comes to getting your feet ready for sandals, I have one recommendation (which I’ve included now three years in a row! The Hand Chemistry Heel Hydration Complex* (£15 here) is unlike any foot cream I've used in the past. Instead of having a super thick, greasy formula, it has a lovely lightweight texture. The cream soaks straight into the skin, meaning you can slip your shoes straight on and walk out the door, but still makes a big impact with moisture.

My pedicure essentials

I’ve kept it really light on the nail polish in this year’s edit, but I wanted to give a quick special mention to MARK.* the new polish brand from AVON. The collection introduces a Gel Shine Nail Enamel, which forms a flexible, breathable film on the nail to lock in colour and shine. There are a whopping 35 different shades to choose from, which are split into four different collections. There is everything from nude hues, bold shades and soft pastels – all of which have the shine and pigment of a gel, but has the ease of a regular polish!

Get a step ahead of the sun with a natural (but fake) tan 
I’m personally always a bit scared of fake tan, but I know that so many of us rely on it to give us colour (and confidence). What I love about fake tan is that it gives us that lovely natural glow, without exposing ourselves to the harmful sun rays. British beauty brand Sunkissed have a whole host of different products to get you ready for summer. From the Body Primer (which primes the skin for tanning), to the Self-Tan Mousse, to Rapid Tan (which gives you colour in an instant), or my personal favourite – Gradual Tan. They literally have every formulation and every type of tan you could dream of! The best part is that it all retails for under £5 – genius! 

If you want something slightly more pricey, you can try the St Moritz Insta-Grad Tanning Mousse* (£7.99 here). This is the perfect product if you a little bit scared of tanning, as it’s a product that builds up over time. It’s created by in-house tanning experts to deliver a salon quality formulation, good ingredients and great results. As it builds up a natural glow, slowly over time – it’s ideal for beginners and those with fair skin. 

Protecting your skin from the sun
It’s important to remember that your skin always needs protection from the sun, whether you’re opting for a natural tan, jetting off on holiday or opting for a staycation. It’s important that you never underestimate the power of the sun, even here in the UK. I’m a huge fan of NIVEA’s range of sun protection, as I find that no matter what the occasion, or what mood I’m in, there’s something for me! They have the NIVEA SUN Protect & Moisture Sun Lotion* for your body, which has highly effective UVA/UVB filters for immediate protection. There’s the NIVEA SUN Protect & Bronze Face Sun Cream*, which is perfect as it is light and it’s not greasy – so it doesn’t block pores, but still offers immediate UVA/UVB protection. There’s even handy rollerballs (made for kids but I love them), lip balms and a whole range of after sun if the worst happens!

NIVEA have a great range of suncare to keep you protected

Switching between the ‘classic spring lip’ and something a little more statement
Of course, there is no denying that spring lips is all about pinks, nudes and corals. Something that is subtle, pretty and (normally) pink toned. However, whilst this trend was all over the catwalk, the red lip was infiltrating camp everywhere! It was seen at Giambatista Valli, Carolina Herrera and Trussardi – to name just a few. It’s really important to give you’re lips a little bit of TLC before applying any lipstick and I think the EOS Lip Balms* (£6.50 here) are perfect for this! They are packed with antioxidant-rich vitamin E, soothing shea butter and jojoba oil – which leave your lips hydrated, soft and smooth! Of course they arrive in the most stunning colours and flavours, which makes them totally Instagram worthy – swoon!

Try lip products from Sleek MakeUP, EOS and Revlon this springtime

The new Revlon Ultra HD Gel Lip Color* is a vibrant, high definition colour, with a stunning glossy finish! It’s by far one of my favourite lip products I’ve tried this season and I’m obsessed with it! The formula delivers everything you need from a lipstick – just with silkier, shinier results. The best bit is that the range of colours covers everything from pretty pinks, to statement red, so you can try both trends! 

If you want something more spring-like, you need to check out the new Matte Me Ultra Smooth Lip Creams* from Sleek Makeup. These have been inspired by spring pastel hues and I’m obsessed with them! The highly pigmented pastel shades are just beautiful – there is ‘Crushed Lavender’ which is a soft pastel lavender shade. The second shade is ‘French Fancy’ which is a classic mid-tone pink. The last shade is ‘Apricot Blooms’ which is just the perfect pastel peach, the perfect coral hue for this time of year! 

A little something for the cheeks
Springtime always makes me think of pretty pink and coral cheeks – which was all over the catwalk this season. I was a particularly big fan of the peach cheeks that were spotted on the Japser Coran catwalk. Blusher forms a bit important part of my routine all year round, but there is something special about springtime, which makes me reach for the more pinky hues. This season loads of brands are in on the act – there’s the GOSH Lumi Drops*, which have been expanded for springtime. Rose Blush is such a lovely flattering pop of pink! The liquid formulation means it’s perfect for highlighting or adding colour to the cheeks.

Use pretty pinks from KIKO, Paul & Joe and GOSH on the cheeks this springtime

There’s also the KIKO Natural Colour Blush* which arrives with the most stunning embossing across the top of the blusher – it really is picture perfect. The blush itself is made with moringa seed extract and is fragranced with cotton flowers. The blusher is delicately pigmented, creating a gentle wash of colour on the cheeks. Finally we have the Face & Eye Colour CS Collection* from Paul & Joe. Their multi-use palettes are decorated with a cat, surrounded by hearts and they each have three different shades to play with. 

If you prefer a cream blusher, the KIKO Cream Blush* from the 20th Anniversary Collection is for you! It comes in a huge class tub, which feels so sophisticated and the cream inside has an ultra-fine texture, with the silkiness of a mousse, but the freshness of a light emulsion. You really only need a little bit of this but it goes a long way. It’s made partly with water, which means it’s really fresh and comfortable on the skin.

Embrace the big brow
I don’t think anyone is surprised to see the big brow sticking around for yet another season. I’m actually thinking that it will never disappear (hurrah!), this trend was seen on all the catwalks this season, including John Galliano. The good news is that this trend is so easy to create, no matter what budget you’re working with! The new Revlon ColorStay Brow Pencil* is available in four shades and it mimics the teardrop pencil shape we’ve been seeing from all the high end brands. On one end of the pencil you have the spoolie and on the other side you have the angled tipped pencil. I like to top the pencil with a liquid setting product, my current favourite is the Maybelline Brow Precise Fiber. What is different about this one is the  ‘paddle brush’ applicator, which combs through every hair, for perfectly preened brows!

The big brow isn't going anywhere soon

Experience with fragrance and create your own scent
The Layering Lab Body Sprays* let you experiment with your fragrance on a budget! The range of fabulous scents allow you to take a bespoke approach to switching up your summer scent. There are six scents which you can use on their own, or mix several together to create a scent that invokes memories. The six scents include: Oriental (spice, berries, floral), Fresh (citrus, apple, peony), Floral (rose, raspberries, mask), Gourmand (vanilla, cassis, berries), Cacoon (jasmine, vanilla, musk) and Paradise (tangerine, green tea and vanilla). The amazing thing is that these beauties only cost £2.99 each, or you can pick up two for £3.60 until April 4th.  

The Layering Lab have a beautiful collection of scents

Give your skin a little bit of TLC 
If like me you really struggle with keeping your skin hydrated, you’ll have the Beauty Lift Range from DHC. This range from the Japanese brand is especially designed to hydrate, smooth and give skin an instant ‘lifted’ feel and appearance. I have two products from the collection, which are both beautiful! The Beauty Lift Lotion* is a soothing and hydrating toner and the Beauty Lift Essence* is a silky-soft serum. Both products feel lovely on the skin and they are perfect for this time of year! 

When we transition from winter to spring, our skin always needs a little bit of TLC (especially if you’ve been neglecting it a little bit throughout the winter). A great way to get it fighting fit is to treat it to regular face masks, which specifically target your areas of concern. The Caudalie Instant Detox Mask* is designed to purify stressed skin, treating all forms of radical damage. It’s a fantastic gel-cream formula, which is made from 99% natural ingredients – which eliminates accumulated toxins, leaving the refined and rested. You simply use the mask twice a week, leaving it on the skin for just a few minutes. Just let Grape Marc, Pink Clay, Coffee, Papaya Enzymes and a cocktail of essential oils do the hard work. 

All the products you need to give your skin a bit of TLC this springtime

Another lovely treatment is the lovely Fresh Start Mask from Skyn Iceland*. This is a two phase detoxing and brightening mask, which just feels like you have your very own, at-home spa. You start with Phase I, which is a mixture of blue clay and an oxygenating mud from the Ice Age. Phase II is formulated with a highly effective AHA acid gel complex (which includes 5 fruit and sugar acids) which deeply detoxifies and refines skin that’s been neglected! It’s perfect for this time of year as it the clay phase is refreshing and cooling on the skin! All you need to do is put aside 10 minutes every week and you can really reap the benefits of this lovely treatment. 

Another fantastic way to renew the skin is by using acids. I’ve been a long-time user of Glycolic Acid pads and I’m really excited that Superdrug have created an affordable version. The Naturally Radiant Glycolic Acid Daily Cleansing Pads* (£5.99 for 60) are formulated with Glycolic Acid, Alpha Hydroxy (AHA), a Fruit Acid blend and a dose of Aloe Vera Extract. Together, the ingredients help to improve skin’s clarity and the smoothness of the skin’s surface – I love this budget option – well done Superdrug!

I'd love to hear about your favourite Spring products in the comments below, I'm always looking for new things to try!
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