Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer - Restoring my Faith in Concealer

I without a doubt have a strained relationship with concealer. I love it. I need it. But I hate shopping for it, I hate the limited shade selection. I hate how much I need under my eyes. And the list goes on...

But step in Urban Decay's Naked Skin Concealer, and we have a wonderfully large tube restoring my faith in ye olde imperfection erasers.



To get the negative out of the way, the shades are odd. "Fair Neutral" is WHITE, like reverse panda eyes face white... So I picked up "Light Neutral" (I'm pale, but neutral skin-toned) and it was SO dark. Like normal panda eyes dark. Oddly, "Light Warm" is lighter in colour. Don't ask me why, but shopping outside your usual skin tone may help with the colour match due to the variant in shade.

Now, the positive...

Immediately, you see it's size. Its HUGE for a concealer, significantly larger than the ever so popular Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer that comes in a little more expensive. With it's intense pigmentation, a little goes a long way, meaning if you don't use concealer heavily, this should last quite a while.

The doe foot applicator works a charm to any double-dipping, and if you're applying to spots, contamination can be easily avoided by applying to your hand, and pressing over the area with a clean finger. Otherwise the applicator is ideal for applying with precision to small areas around the eyes and nose. While it can be blended out with whatever technique you prefer, I've used both fingers and a blending sponge (and Mac Fix+ setting spray) and found them to disperse the product perfectly, meshing it with the skin and making it almost undetectable.

It's major selling point for me is the creamy consistency, which unlike Laura Mercier's Secret Camouflage (my previous go-to) is easier to disguise on the skin, and much more forgiving to textured or dry skin. Unlike the dry, hard formula of LM Secret Camouflage, you will need a small amount of setting powder to stop any budging or creasing, especially if you're applying over a dewy, or water-based foundation.

This has undoubtedly made my routine easier, abolished all my worries about caking and coverage on my dark under-eye circles, and made me a happy bunny at £17.50 for 5ml. (You can buy on Feelunique, here.)

And with my faith restoring, how do people feel about Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer? Y'know, for experimentation...
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Sunday, 1 May 2016

Tom Ford Fragrance - Velvet Orchid and Noir Pour Femme

I'm forever strolling into Debenhams to "kill some time," only leaving when I smell of approximately 60 different perfumes and I'm a little nauseous and dizzy from the fumes. After throwing on the entire Tom Ford range, I noticed these two standouts, Velvet Orchid and Noir. Only as much as I tell myself through teary eyes that I don't need over ten bottles of perfume, I find myself googling them for days doing sad puppy eyes. So I settled on purchasing one. Then a week later... I settled on the other. (Shopaholics anonymous, anyone?)

Tom Ford Velvet Orchid and Noir Pour Femme Fragrance Review
Every now and then, there comes along a product, one you just need to have. Regardless of how many packs of noodles you'll have to live off, you just need it. So, my latest positively ridiculous indulgence? Not one, but two Tom Ford perfumes.

Both are beautiful, unique scents. Velvet Orchid (£105 for 100ml) is described as an oriental floral, designed as the feminine little sister to Tom Ford's iconic Black Orchid. With notes of citrus, sensual petals, honey and rum, it is undoubtedly an incredible, timeless scent. To me, I could imagine myself as a flapper girl off to a jazz club wearing this scent. But a girl can dream, eh? It's longevity is unrivalled, with me occasionally waking up 24 hours later and still catching a whiff of this feminine, classic dream. 10/10 - Tom Ford. You know how to make a girl feel sexy.

Meanwhile, Noir Pour Femme (£105 for 100ml) could be overpowering for those unprepared. It is a strong, heady scent, increasing it's longevity - but requiring slight of hand when it comes to application. While Velvet Orchid is distinctively feminine, this arguably could be appropriate for men as much as women. This is where it's beauty comes in... It is very unique for this reason. Whereas other perfumes could be seen as similar to another scent on the market, I have never encountered anything like this oriental fragrance. With notes of citrus, spice and vanilla to name just a few, it encompasses the ethic of the Tom Ford woman - powerful assuredness, and vulnerable romanticism. A perfume that encapsulated femininity as power and romanticism? Count me in.
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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Chanel's Reformulated Longwear Le Vernis and Gel Top Coat

Chanel Reformulated Gel finish longwear nail polish
Christmas Day as a child is probably the only comparable degree of excitement that I felt for these arriving in the post. Sure, let's all mock the girl getting passionate about nail polish. But in the wise words of M&S, these aren't just any nail polishes... 

Chanel Reformulated Gel finish longwear nail polish


Despite the wonderfully chic bottle, and incredibly beautiful shades, Chanel nail polishes are a nightmare in one area - longevity. So upon hearing the news that Chanel were reformulating, releasing a capsule collection of pre-existing favourites with some new additions and a gel top coat to boot, I got understandably excited.

So managing to get my grubby mitts on new shades Organdi*, Mythique* and the Gel Top Coat* and give them a good road test. Organdi is an elegant dusty salmon shade, opaque in 2/3 coats with tendencies to last 3-4 days, with any minor chipping being mostly unnoticeable. (Side note: I find the original range differs largely in formula and longevity. Tapage is opaque in 1 coat on me, and lasts days. Secret can take up to 5 coats and lasts only one day) Mythique, opaque in 2 coats, doesn't offer the same longevity, but the soft burgundy shade is a pleasure to apply, going on smoothly without any streaking.

Both shades lasted an extra day with the Gel Top Coat, which is quite the far cry from the 7 days claimed by Chanel. In my honest opinion, the only way to achieve a gel finish is with gel. It does however make the polish look like an ultra-glossy professional gel nail, offering flexibility and strength to the colour. So if like me, your nails are very much prone to breaking, this extra step is helpful in reinforcing your otherwise weakling nails.

Apparently these shades are more nail-friendly in their ingredients than the previous range. I haven't worn either enough continually to comment on this, so we'll have to take Chanel's word on that one...

I would recommend these to any Chanel fans, and those looking for a slightly longer lasting version than the original formula. If you own some of the cult classics like Ballerina and Pirate but want an extra couple days, of wear fork out a little cash for the reformulated Longwear Le Vernis or Gel Top Coat and you will not be disappointed. For perspective, I'd place the original formulation at 7.5/10 - these being closer to 8.5. These are available in Debenhams now. Retailing at £18 for 13ml.
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Monday, 20 July 2015

Growing Out Hair - NEW Redken Extreme Length Products

I feel like I may possibly revisit the gross comment I made about wanted and unwanted hair a couple weeks back, but I'll censor myself (this time) and instead get into my intended purpose... raving about the wonders of Redkens latest additions to their ever-popular Extreme range.

New products to the Redken Extreme Length Range reviewed. For growing out hair and management of split ends.
New products to the Redken Extreme Length Range reviewed. For growing out hair and management of split ends.

While I've not had these for anything close to long enough to actually establish whether or not these do help your hair to grow, I can establish to a certain extent that I do think these will encourage hair growth. Bearing in mind that neither are applied at the root, they aren't going to stimulate the scalp and encourage growth there, but instead (like the rest of the Extreme range) will work on the ends, which at a certain length will become dry and parched, eventually snapping off. Thus preventing split ends, will in turn help hair grow to a longer length instead of breaking.

Now my hair has reached a length I truly thought it would never see, the need to keep the ends thoroughly hydrated is becoming more and more prominent. Which is why the Extreme Length End Sealer is an absolute winner for me. It comes with a little brush which applies the product directly to the ends of your hair. With an quick amount of massaging it in, and about ten minutes to let it settle and stop looking like product, ends are left looking much more hydrated, and as if your hair has been freshly cut. I get the feeling this will eventually become something I cannot live without. I'm just hoping that Redken makes a smaller, travel size one I can keep in my handbag. (hint, hint.)

The Extreme Length Primer, is something I'm much more on the fence about. I don't understand why they created it, given the range already has a protein based treatment (which I stupidly forgot I already own) but it's still pretty good as far as hydration goes. It's applied after shampoo, but doesn't establish whether it is prior to, or in the place of conditioner. So I've been using alone with shampoo, and my hair hasn't seen any amazing results, but I have only given it four attempts as of right now. Hopefully the proteins and biotin in both of these products are something which you will see long-term results from.

While it feels relevant; I'd been considering for a while creating a post on a much more realistic routine to help grow out your hair? If this is something anyone would be interested in, do let me know and I'll get to work on it!
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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Getting Long Lashes and Brows - LiLash and LiBrow Review

The thing about most women is, we want full hair on our heads, lashes and brows... chance is, we weren't blessed with it and instead probably have it adorned on our legs instead. (How many people did I just scare away in one sentence? My bad. But you know it's true.)

get long eyelashes no mascara lilash librow brow growth review

get long eyelashes no mascara lilash librow brow growth review
LiLash and LiBrow* are hair growth serums designed to encourage hair growth on (you guessed it) lashes and eyebrows. They aren't my first venture into said products, and because of my negative experiences in the past, I was sceptical. Let's get down to business...

The LiLash serum comes with an applicator like that of a liquid eyeliner, allowing precision application to the lash line and brows (if you didn't want to buy both). And so is easy to apply either in the morning or at night. The results which came after about a month were a darker, more voluminous healthy lash, and after 12 weeks, were a much more feathered, lengthened lash with lots of volume. (N.B. I applied the product wrong for a while by applying far too much and had a reaction so my experience was out of the ordinary, but if you were to learn from my mistakes - chill out with the product!)

LiBrow was probably the one I was most excited about. My eyebrows, while pretty full are very fine hairs which can make my eyebrows look more like a shadow than hair (and let's not mention the occasional bald patch). So I was holding up hope for this to thicken and lengthen the hairs to make them look fuller without being uncontrollable. It 100% met my expectations, and as I like such a strong, dark brow the serum worked really well at maintaining the appearance of any dye I put on them to make them *even more* darker!

Both products would be ideal for anyone that's suffered with a bad beautician experience (we've all had bad lash extensions and brow waxes!) to promote regrowth and rectify any mistakes left behind.

I wish I had a before and after to share with you guys but unfortunately my phone broke on me and I lost the before pictures - sob! Although I will say that I've been asked an insane amount of times if I was wearing lash extensions. I love both of these products, and will quite happily rush to repurchase them.

Will you be picking up either of these beauties? They're the best brow/lash growth serums on the market - you won't be disappointed.
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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Searching for Olsen makeup - Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise Review

Hands up if you're a member of shopaholics anonymous?! (No, me neither... shopping is good for you.) I was asking myself last week if I actually needed to pick up the new Charlotte Tilbury cream eyeshadows, and given that I've usually found her products quite overrated, I thought these would be different. I'm still on the fence...

charlotte tilbury eyes to mesmerise cream eyeshadow in mona lisa and marie antoinette

charlotte tilbury eyes to mesmerise cream eyeshadow in mona lisa and marie antoinette

The eyes to mesmerise cream eyeshadows are a "cream to sheen formula," designed to create a maximum impact with a minimal amount of effort. Each is inspired by an iconic woman of the past, which Charlotte deems to have mesmerising (duh) eyes...  

I got the shades Mona Lisa and Marie Antoinette, which are a rich chocolate brown and a shimmering gold oyster hue, respectively. Mona Lisa was the biggest disappointment for me, with it packing very little punch in the pigmentation department, and even when layered to have a deeper colour didn't offer much of an increase in the lacking longevity department either. The colour was also very flat, and had none of the warm/red tones as shown on the model on her website. Marie Antoinette, however, while still having the pigmentation and longevity issues looks beautiful as a sheer wash over the lid for a light-catching sheen. These shadows almost have the effect of a glossy lid, but with increased wearability from the lack of stickiness.

While I am loving Marie Antoinette applied with my finger tip with very little other makeup I really feel that these were rushed when they were created. I'll be sticking to Chanel Illusion D'Ombre's in the future, these aren't a win for me.

Not to leave on a sour note, her Classic Powder Pencil in Audrey is an amazing eyeliner for those that don't like regular eyeliner (confusing, no?) well this is much more like an eyeshadow, with the benefits of being in a liner, that can of course be applied at the lash line, and quickly like a liner, but also has the softness and subtlety of an eyeshadow. WIN.

So if you pick up anything from Charlotte Tilbury, make it some of the eye pencils, or her lip liner in Pillow Talk, those won't leave you disappointed...
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Friday, 22 May 2015

The Latest Addiction - Caudalie Instant Detox Mask

I currently have a thing. It's a mask addiction. No, not like Mike Myers or Freddy Krueger... (although that would be cool weird, wouldn't it?) I'm addicted to beauty masks. Mostly for my face and hair, although if someone invents one for another area of the body - count me in! So I'm finding my skin in a weird place, given how temperamental British weather currently is, and I'm enjoying face masks more and more for a relaxing experience, and for an intensive skin treatment.

I've always been mix and match about my face masks, and avoid sticking it all over my face. I use a number of different types, each in different areas of my face to treat my skin, depending on what is needed most in each area. Hydrating patches under my eyes... Detox/cleansing masks for my nose and chin... acidic formulas for sloughing dead skin on my forehead...

Because who wants to be low maintenance anyway?

caudalie new instant detox face masks

caudalie new instant detox face masks

When I caught wind of the new reformulated (and beautifully packaged!) Caudalie face masks, I knew I had to get my mitts on a couple. I've started with the Caudalie Instant Detox Mask* which is a gel-cream, natural clay mask designed to remove impurities and toxins to have the effect of a detox on your skin within a 5 minute period. Cool, huh?! Soon as I saw that this was ideal for calming down stressed skin, I knew I needed it - because we all know I'm very rarely not stressed.

Because of it's thin texture, I find it absolutely perfect for my favourite method of application; a foundation brush. (Yup, a super cheap foundation brush is the best way to apply face masks minus getting gunk everywhere.) I wash off after about 7/8 minutes, during which the mask will feel tight on the skin as the clay drys. After removing with either my fingers or muslin cloth, my skin texture looks much more even, while pores look tighter and much less visible than previously. At the moment I get most benefits from using this once a week, but I'm sure increasing the frequency of application would work for someone with more blackheads/oilier skin types.

Without swaying my opinion for the super cute wooden cap, this Caudalie detox mask is what dreams are made of; quick to apply, smells like heaven and has visible results immediately. As they're range of four different masks are designed to be used in combinations which will make the best possible results depending on your skin issues, I can't wait to pick up some of the others. For now I'll be using this as part of my relaxation rituals, for myself and for my skin. Bonus points to Caudalie.

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Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Double Cleansing for City Girls - Vichy Purete Thermale Range

Bad beauty blogger confession? I'm a bad cleanser. I hate the stuff, mostly because I hate spending money on it, as it's barely the most exciting of skincare products, is it? Then when you can buy things like lipstick or nail polish instead? No, I'll stick to mostly disliking cleansers. 

Vichy's Pureté Thermale range is designed to have something in the range for everybody, and to remove all the pollutants left on your skin from day-to-day life, especially of those living in the city. Pollution can have a really damaging effect on the skin, and can cause premature ageing, excess oil, blackheads, and all the horrible skin conditions you don't want...

Vichy purete themale pollutant cleansing range escentual micellar oil - deep cleanse

Vichy purete themale pollutant cleansing range escentual micellar oil - deep cleanse
Vichy Pureté Thermale Beautifying Cleansing Micellar Oil* - Is a completely new concept, and one that is absolutely not a novelty. We all know of Bioderma, right? The quick and easy cleanser that is gentle on the skin and as perfect as they come? Well, I think Vichy have done one better...

The micellar oil is a very lightweight, non-greasy oil which will remove stubborn waterproof makeup, as easily as it will remove excess oil and sebum from the face. Being infused with camellia oil and vitamin E, it won't strip the skin too much, and will leave skin feeling plump and hydrated without leaving any greasiness or a film on the skin. Much unlike others I've tried this didn't irritate in the slightest, around the eye area, and once washed off left no traces on my eyelashes like i'd found with other heavier oil/butter formulas.

I can't sing this products praises enough. I'm definitely enjoying this cleanser to the extent of having my faith restored and cleansers, and my negative attitude to them has gone out the window - I now love cleansing!

Vichy Pureté Thermale Fresh Cleansing Gel* - Admittedly I didn't get on as well with this one as I did with the wonderful micellar oil. It's a gel to foam formula, which is also designed to remove impurities caused by pollution, and has a host of ingredients designed to not dry out the skin. I'm a sucker for oils, butters, milks and all formulas that feel like silk on my normal skin type, so for me a foaming formula was something out of the ordinary, and had me ever so slightly too much out of my comfort zone. And to not finish on a bad note, this would be amazing for anyone with oilier skins, especially if you wanted a quick cleanse in the morning.

What do you think? Will you be picking up any of these products to remove damage from air-pollutants? I can't recommend the oil enough, and I'll definitely be stockpiling when this runs out...
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Thursday, 14 May 2015

New Era Beach Hair - Bumble and Bumble Surf Infusion Spray

I am a strong supporter of beach and bed hair. I love it. I'd quite happily marry it if it was a person, (weird statement of the day) but it doesn't love me. It's a strong love/hate relationship, being that I want tousled, disheveled waves every day, but most "surf" or salt sprays leave my hair feeling dirty, and nothing short of crispy, and just plain gross. And while the best I have ever tried was the infamous Bumble and Bumble surf spray, it did get left behind more often than not in favour of having soft hair.

So you can imagine my excitement when on their Instagram they started rolling out pictures of a  Bumble Surf Infusion, to join the rest of the salty, beach family. This time it's formulated with oils designed for drier and courser hairs that can't deal with the drying which can come from it's sister products...

bumble and bumble surf infusion new hair spray for beach waves

The product inside is a "bi-phase" formula, and to activate, you shake the bottle to combine the salt and the oil. I'm not too sure if this is a gimmick, but much unlike the previous surf spray, this does look much less like you're wearing product on your hair (although I've not tried it anywhere near my roots). I wouldn't call it hydrating, but nor is it as drying as the original.

I tend to only use surf spray on hair thats already a little dirty, as I can't give up the few days of outrageously soft, freshly washed hair. If my hair doesn't already have a wave to it, I'll encourage one with my GHDs, then apply the spray or put on the surf infusion generously, tie it up in the messiest bun possible, do my makeup, et voilà - a perfectly tousled beachy, bed-head!

bumble and bumble surf infusion new hair spray for beach waves

I would definitely recommend this to those with natural curly hair (although I've not trialled it yet on my natural texture) that tends to run drier, but also love the look of the beachy waves that seem to be taking over Pinterest. While I'll be still using the original for the days when I can do nothing with my greasy hair but make my self look like a viking, the new infusion formula will be perfect for the summer months. Now we just need the sun... (or a beach, that would work too. Volunteers?)

Plus, if you head over to Bumble and Bumble UK to buy this, you'll receive the cute waves bag pictured, with an extra dose of shampoo/conditioner samples. Just use the code "BBSURF" - and you'll also receive their standard free delivery. Pretty cool, huh?!
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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Nude goes permanent - Tom Ford Nude Dip Eyeshadow Review

I was completely slow on the mark last time the Tom Ford Nude Dip eyeshadow quad came out. Mostly because I was scared that starting off buying TF products would be a downhill spiral into an expensive addiction oblivion, but after getting shade and illuminate at Christmas, and it being added to the permanent line... I couldn't resist.
Tom Ford Nude Dip Eyeshadow quad Permanent Line



Tom Ford Nude Dip Eyeshadow quad Permanent Line



Tom Ford Nude Dip Eyeshadow quad Permanent Line

The shadow itself is quite a stiff formula, definitely not what you'd be expecting, but in hindsight, removes possibility of fallout, both from the pan and on your eye. While like all other eyeshadow quads, the applicators that come with it are mostly pointless, and these in particular serve only to look pretty with the TF logo on them (me... superficial? No...) But the packaging is just as slick and beautiful as what you'd expect from such a premium brand. If I wasn't terrified of carrying this around and breaking it, I'd be taking it out every five minutes just to brag.

The colours of the shadows themselves are exactly what you'd expect from a neutral palette, but a million times more beautiful courtesy of it's multi-tonal satin shades. The top row holds a frosted, golden champagne colour, and a muted copper/rose (quite similar to the likes of Mac Naked Lunch). The bottom two shades are a medium taupe, and a dark brown both with subtle warm undertones, to link the shades altogether. All the shades are well pigmented, and easy to blend, while lasting a full day (with primer) without any creasing. I can quite easily make a day appropriate smoky eye, and layer a darker shade come evening to "amp up the drama..." don't judge me based on the cliches.

If you're a fan of in your face glittery eyeshadows, and deep intense shades like that of a Mac pigment, you probably wouldn't be the biggest fans of the latest permanent addition. If you're a strong supporter of the glowing, natural look (for both day and night) you will adore this Tom Ford Nude Dip eyeshadow quad - even if it is nearly too pretty to use!
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Thursday, 30 April 2015

The perfect face oil - African Botanics neroli-infused marula oil

I will hold my hands up high and say that I'm a snob when it comes to all kinds of products. I look with my eyes far before I come to a conclusion about the quality of the product itself. This is why I often rely on samples and trial sizes to introduce me to brands and products I wouldn't usually buy for myself. I ran out of my beloved Clarins Blue Orchid face oil much quicker than I expected as the bottle started nearing the end (*drama*) so I relied on a good few face oil samples to help me decide whether to repurchase or try something new. 

After one application of the face oil in question, I noticed the smell... the heavenly, natural scent that almost had me shaking my head around to get another whiff of the neroli. Of course, I'm talking about this incredible neroli infused marula oil by the brand African Botanics, stocked at Space NK...

african Botanics at Space NK natural neroli infused marula oil face oil treatment



The brand, while having previously slipped under my radar, has an incredible ethos of working with botanical essences to produce the best possible organic skincare solutions. This oil has a super light texture, thats filled with vitamins C, E and all the fatty acids we know are incredible for protecting the skin. I use two or three pumps depending on how much hydration I need; I find it tends to have fully soaked in after an hour, after which my face looks glowing, is well hydrated, and any redness around my jawline looks reduced and much calmer.

I've only been using this for a few weeks so far, but I'm thoroughly loving it - and I can't wait to see of the benefits to the skin from using it long-term. And knowing that there's no nasties in the product is just an added bonus!
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Monday, 27 April 2015

The Anti-Discoball Highlighter - Laura Mercier Radiance Primer

I have, without a doubt, the largest love/hate relationship with highlighters. I used to have the biggest hate for them given they all reminded me of the severe Nars Albatross, Kim Kardashian look. Now I'm a touch more obsessed with them, more specifically, the glossy and dewy highlighters that make you look as if you've had 6 more hours sleep than what you've actually had. 

I've had the Laura Mercier Radiance Primer in my arsenal for years now, given its huge size, it's lasted me more than long enough as a primer to help boost the glow of my usual foundation. Now, I've found plenty more uses for this product. My favourite one?... A highlighter! Yup, radiance primers make the best, most natural-looking highlighters.   

laura mercier radiance primer multi-use as highlighter




After a full base application (foundation, concealer and setting powder) I put less than a pea-size amount on the back of my hand, warm it up a little, and (for the lack of a better word) slap it on my cheekbones, exactly where light would naturally hit. It has no visible shimmer, but the orange tones seem to perk up, and mesh with the complexion, rather than looking like the obvious glitter ball offered by most highlighters. When combined with a setting spray, it's lasting power is pretty impressive, and it will get you through the day without needing to worry about reapplication.

Another method for I sometimes use for a more subtle, all-over glow, is to mix it, half and half with your usual foundation...

laura mercier radiance primer multi-use as highlighter
I'm currently feeling a touch mean, as I can't find this in stock anywhere online! I've dropped in a link above, and for those hoping to achieve a supermodel glow, I'm sure a little waiting won't hurt - right?!  
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Monday, 23 February 2015

One for the Contourphobes - Becca Lowlight Sculpting Perfector

Back when I first started using makeup, I made tinted moisturiser, mascara and brow pencil my best friend. I never touched eyeshadow (until the neon pink phase - but let's not go there, hey?) and lipstick was out of the question, because the texture just grossed me out. I didn't think for a second I'd be buying muddy looking creams to emphasise the very small cheekbone situation I have going on. But, here we are...

Becca Lowlight Sculpting Perfector Contour Cream Space NK

I picked up the Becca Lowlight Sculpting Perfector on yet another Space NK whim, (they're the best whims, aren't they?) expecting great things as a lover of their super popular Shimmering Skin Perfectors. This contouring cream is dubbed on their site as a "adaptive and blendable, combining the warmth of skin-authentic undertones with the coolness of a natural shadowing effect". Despite its daunting appearance in the pan, it does adapt to your skintone, and with blending will look very natural on even the palest winter skin. 

Becca Lowlight Sculpting Perfector Contour Cream Space NK



While it is called a cream, I've found it to be quite waxy in texture, and can drag a little when applied with certain brushes. I apply this straight after my foundation, using my finger to leave a stripe of colour (just enough time to let panic set in) just under my cheekbone. After doing my brows and eyes I return to the product, which should have meshed with the foundation and after some more blending with my fingers and a clean fluffy brush the look will be akin to your skin, and look completely natural. The colour is absolutely perfect, and for anyone like me, that uses all cream products for a fresh, dewy look, this will become your new best friend.


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Friday, 6 February 2015

My Secret Skincare Weapon - Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Solution Review

While I am blessed with relatively good skin, I do still have my qualms like the next person; "this bit is too dark, that's too light, and UGH... those spots." I do try and keep my skincare routine as simple as it needs to be, and I even winced when the internet informed me of Korean 14 step routines last week. Yikes - FOURTEEN STEPS? This is exactly why I try and pick products that pack a punch...

The Kiehls Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution is something I picked up a while ago, on a complete "I can't resist SpaceNK" whim, not expecting much, but enamoured by the simplicity of the packaging. While it doesn't look like much, this serum brightens the skin, by fading any unsightly dark spots, and evening out the texture to make your skin feel like (for the lack of a better analogy) a baby's bottom. I've tried a good few of the serums that claim to brighten the skin, but none have performed as well as this, and I constantly find myself going back to it eventually. I'd say you've found a winner when it costs £36, but you'll happily throw the money at the sales assistant. (N.B. I do not actually throw money at strangers)

So if you're still in a winter skin slump, or simply looking to spruce up your skincare regime, I can fully vouch for this beauty from Kiehls. (Also, their SPF is amazing whilst you're at it)

Have a good weekend folks!


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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Beating Dull Winter Skin

I couldn't have picked a more relevant time to write this if I tried. The ground outside is covered in a layer of ick (formally known as snow, but I much prefer it's new name) and I've been donning a sheet mask, which made me look like a murderer, thanks for asking. All because of the evil season, Winter. While buying a new coat is usually exciting, nothing else about this freezing cold season is. Everyone cranks the heating up, and your skin dries out until it resembles a flaky desert. So I figured I'd share the couple skincare bits I've been turning to to look less like a horror movie character... 

I always underestimate Clarins as a brand, so it was quite surprising for me to realise just how often I use their products during the winter period. Their Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil is well raved about, and for good reason. It's a lightweight face oil, which hydrates much more than a moisturiser alone, or can be mixed with a moisturiser to make it slightly more hydrating. My favourite method of application is to take about four drops and massage them into my face with my fingers, then with the Body Shop Facial Massager to encourage the products to absorb into the further layers of my skin. The Radiance booster is ideal, as it's a self tan designed to be customisable, of which comes in handy during winter, meaning I can put one drop into my moisturiser, and have my skin appear less sallow, but without looking as if I'm overly tanned.

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre and Avene's Thermal Spring Water are ideal products for day-time use, encouraging your makeup to have a good, well-hydrated base to avoid it clinging to any dry patches. My technique varies with these two, depending on just how dry my skin is, and whilst my techniques may make professional make-up artists cringe, my experimental application tends to work well for my skin. The moisturiser can be used heavily under a base, or can be mixed in as a DIY tinted moisturiser. If the moisturiser doesn't go far enough by itself, I use the thermal water prior to or post base to ensure it is hydrated, which helps to ensure the makeup is even and helps provide that dewy look we all long for.

I won't push drinking water, as I know it's a cliche. But it really does work...



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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

A Venture into Burberry

Upon discovering Boots' latest brand arrival; Burberry, I got super excited. As a brand I'd wanted to try since they first came on the scene, they were pretty inaccessible and where only available in the online stores that cost a near fortune on delivery. Face it, Net-a-Porter, if we're going to spend £5+ it isn't going to be on delivery!

I'm 100% aware that Latasha is going to kill me for this post, as she already wants both of these products, but I just had to share them as they are so beautiful, and incredible quality!

Burberry Feather Pink lipstick and Ash Rose nail Polish
I had a near fortune to spend in advantage card points so I decided to treat myself to their Lip Mist in Feather Pink, and their nail polish in Ash Rose. I'm so glad I did as these two are going to become definite staples in my routine, as such neutral, ladylike shades, appropriate for all times of the year. 


Burberry Feather Pink lipstick and Ash Rose nail Polish
The Lip Mist formula is similar to that of a gel, and offers a sheer tint of colour, whilst moisturising to keep the lips looking hydrated and healthy. When applied it lasts a couple of hours, similar to what you'd expect from a lip balm, the colour is the cliche' "your lips but better" shade, and so fades away into a nice tint, which can either be topped up, or left to fade away completely.

Burberry Feather Pink lipstick and Ash Rose nail Polish
The polish formula is quite thin, and requires 3 coats, and the bottle size is also smaller than average, so they don't quite live up to the exceptional quality of Dior polishes, but they are still equally amazing. My nails chip like crazy, and this lasted four days without any chips, until I took it off wanting to go for another colour. It took me 24 hours to put this beautiful nude pink shade with tones of grey back on my nails. I'm obsessed!


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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Currently Loving

Without a doubt I've started about 50% of my posts by apologizing for a lack of posting because some form of technology has failed on me. This time? My laptop. I decided that silk bedding and silk leggings was a good idea... It isn't, it's like a slip and slide. Hopefully it will be fixed soon and I can get back to blogging. I miss it.

But in case you hadn't noticed, I'm officially self-hosted! I made the move last week as it was the only thing I could do with my iPad. I'm now lyonnotes.co.uk which will hopefully clear up the is it "Lyon" or "Lyons" confusion. I'm oddly excited, it looks so much more slick without the blogspot.

I managed to get this sneaky one done on my old laptop. It's (incase you hadn't worked out yet) a couple of things I'm absolutely loving recently.




Chanel Les 4 Ombres in #234 La Poesie - If there was ever an eye quad that was my eyeshadow preferences encapsulated, this would be it. It's lovely baked formula gives off an ideal amount of pigment, and as you'd expect from Chanel, there's no glitter in sight, just small flecks of shimmer which look like an incredible satin shade when applied. The shades are a warm tan, ivory, a dark smokey brown/plum and a soft lilac/pink (all are shimmer). This is surprisingly my first Chanel eye quad and I definitely would buy more. Be quick if you want one, these are limited edition.

Diptyque L'Ombre Dans L'Eau EDP - After a nightmare time trying to find a Jo Malone fragrance I liked, I went to the opposite end of the elegant perfume spectrum and went for Diptyque. I had smelled this in store before and refused to admit that I could wear anything other than overly feminine, floral scents. This is much more masculine that what I normally wear, and for that reason I love it. It's an ideal switch up for winter, and it's long-lasting strong scent lingers for just the perfect amount of time. As my first foray into Diptyque I can truly see the beginning of a love affair...

Eve Lom Kiss Mix - I have to give the beautiful Latasha credit for this one. She got it as a free birthday gift in Space NK whilst we were shopping and was enough of a babe to give it to me. Ever since I've been obsessed with the menthol type scent, and lightweight, hydrating texture. Take note; a Tasha recommendation is a GOOD recommendation.

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in #40 La Sensuelle - I caught a glimpse of this online and decided to have a quick nosey in Debenhams at how good it is. I fell in love at first sight. Bit excessive for just a lipstick? No. This matte finish, highly pigmented wine-red shade is ideal for blotting into a stain (my preferred type of application) or layered for a full effect deep winter berry lip. I've had so many compliments when I wear this, and I think I've just become a convert to dark lips and to the Rouge Allure formula - amazing!


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Monday, 3 November 2014

Update

Remember a few months ago when I told you I was writing for Beauty Talk Daily? Well, I posted a little update with the articles I'd already written (here) and I thought I'd share a little update incase you wanted to catchup on the rest of my rambles...

Best of Charlotte Tilbury makeup review


Jo Malone peony and blush suede review
Completely 110% obsessed with Jo Malone fragrances right now. In particular; Peony and Blush Suede. Find out why... 


MAC face and body cult foundation review
Finally gave into the hype and tried MAC Face and Body. But did I love it?

Smashbox full exposure palette review
Another neutrals palette. Because, why not?! I reviewed the Smashbox Full Exposure, here.

Do let me know what you think of these products and reviews. You can subscribe to Beauty Talk Daily on Bloglovin here.

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Sunday, 2 November 2014

Brow 101 with Eylure

Brows are one of those things that when we were growing up, just existed. We plucked them, a lot. And other than that, we just didn't care about them too much. It's only recently that having perfect brows has become one of the things we lust after most. 



Eylure brow styling products
Eylure Brow Stencils* - £4.95

These are the thing I got most excited about when Eylure launched their new brow range, the pack of brow stencils. Despite them not seeming too exciting, I have a serious case of wonky brow, and both look like they belong on different people so I'm constantly trying to get a teeny bit more symmetry. I know "brows are sisters, not twins" but what if they were to be twins, just not of the identical variety? And I can't just simply go to a salon, because truthfully I don't trust anyone around my eyebrows where wax is involved.

Each pack provides four stencils, Slim, Medium, High and Full arch, each providing a different arch and thickness. I like to alternate between full and medium to help shape my brows in the way most similar to my natural brow shape. I place the stencils over each brow and shade in heavily with my usual brow powder. When I remove the stencil I'll be left with a terrifyingly uniform slug on my face that means I can get go happy with the tweezers.

These are working so well for me, and I truly recommend them to anyone with fuller brows that's halfway to terrified by the idea of a beautician doing them.

Eylure brow styling products
Eylure Brow Nourishing Oil* - £8.45

Slap me if I'm wrong, but I do believe this is one of the first brow growth products from a high-street, popular brand? Given most brow oils and growth promoters are on the costly side of things, the Eylure one makes a nice purse friendly addition to anyone's routine. Rosemary oil is one of the main ingredients, which will help promote blood circulation, thus helping the hair follicles grow healthily and stronger. I have noticed that my brows seem to be growing better than normal since using this, and I've been having to trim them more often. I'm not sure if after using this nightly for about 4 weeks I should be seeing serious results, but I would say they're definitely healthier and much more manageable. Plus, my skin surrounding the brow seems to be getting less irritated by my hair removal methods since starting using this oil. 

Eylure brow styling products
Eylure Brow Trio in Dark Brown* - £9.95

Brow palettes are one of those things that I cannot get enough of. As much as I love using MAC eyeshadows and my Anastasia Brow Gel, having everything in one place makes everything seem so much easier. This includes a wax, a coloured powder and a highlighting powder, which is completely new to me, as I've never to this date felt the need to highlight under my brow.

I applied this in the same way I would normally (with my usual brushes, instead of the one included) with an angled brush and brushed through with a spoolie to soften any harsh lines. I then went in with the highlighting powder on the angled brush provided and blended out with a fluffy brush. This made a HUGE difference, and it really made my brows look much more defined, and it seemed to cover up any of the fine "baby" type hairs under my brow. To finish off, I slicked some of the wax on lightly to set my brows and brush upwards. After this my brows stayed defined from morning to night and never strayed, because face it, eyebrows sliding to your cheekbones isn't a good look.

Eylure brow styling products
Eylure Permanent Tint for Brows (Single Application)* - £9.95

Ok, confession... I haven't used this. Last time I used an Eylure dye I had a really bad reaction so I decided not to risk it. Bev soon swiped this off my hands and slicked it on her brows, using the teeniest amount of product and finding it went way further than anticipated. So despite the single use claims, if you're careful when squeezing out the product you should get at least 3 applications (but don't hold me to it). I'm usually her brow guru, and she usually goes for a black tint which can look unnatural, so leaving on a dark brown for a minute longer develops into a beautiful deep brown/black which helps to give the appearance of thicker and more defined brows.

And there's just what can only be described as a snippet of my high-maintenance eyebrows, if you're interested in knowing the rest; the tweezing, trimming and shaping, let me know!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! Lots of love.


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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Lighten Hair Minus the Dye - John Frieda Lightening Spray Review

You know one of those things that just crops up every now and then and you become completely obsessed with it and talk about it that much that everyone around you notices and gets reasonably fed up with you? THAT. I'm so obsessed with the John Frieda Go Blonder spray that I've been practically screaming it's praises from the rooftops. Here's why... 


You all know by now that I went from being the darkest brown to a blonde in almost one swoop, right? Well, I've been a blonde for over two years now, and I'm still not sure if blondes do have more fun, but I'm sure of one thing; roots are a pain in the arse. Excuse my French, but they are, right? They look dreadful, and with my hair being a really warm toned blonde my roots always look extra mousy, and just all-round horrible. So upkeep can be quite the pain.

I've spent so many hours scouring the internet to find a product or natural way of lightening my hair, and all of them are either ridiculous or don't sound very sanitary. As I was beginning to give up, I came across John Frieda's Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Controlled Lightening Spray. It has a small amount of peroxide to help send your hair in the right direction when it comes to lightening. It's activated by heat, so the blow-drying and straightening we usually do to look pretty has its benefits where this spray is concerned. 

I apply this in different ways, depending on what parts of my hair need brightening. To blend my roots in; I wash my hair then section off my hair, spray directly to my roots then use a fine-toothed comb to distribute the product further down the hair to avoid any patchy areas. To apply all over, I wash my hair (this product should only be used on wet hair) and brush it carefully, parting where I usually part my hair, and holding about 30cm away before brushing my hair through again.  

You can use this in numerous ways, for root touch up, highlights or all-over lightening, giving you the versatility that you want when it comes to your hair. This would be ideal for people like me, wanting their roots to blend in, or for people wanting to freshen up (or make) an ombre or balayage effect on their hair.

Since using this my hair has been in a much better condition from not constantly applying dyes to upkeep the colour. I've lost counts of how many times I've been complimented, and my family have asked whether I've lightened my hair. I'd say the proof is in the pudding, but I didn't take any before pictures, because I truly didn't think that it would work. I was completely incorrect and for fellow blondes, this is a game-changer.

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