Thursday, 30 October 2014

Monthly Favourites: October 2014

Here we are again with a fresh bunch of monthly favoruites! Similarly to last month I've had lots of favourite things in October with a mix of beauty products, skincare and a hair product too. I've had lots of fun experimenting with autumnal makeup looks, using new and not so new items.

MAC Coppering / MAC Brick O La.
A makeup look that I never thought I would be brave enough to pull off but absolutely loved wearing throughout October was a burnt orange eye with a bold lip. I picked up Mac's Coppering eyeshadow back in the summer, I've written a full post on it here but this month I've really had an experiment around with it for a very autumnal look using my Nars Laguna bronzer in the crease to warm the look up and a combination of a couple of shades from the Naked 3 palette which created a really gorgeous effect. Then on my lips instead of playing safe with a nude or muted down colour I've loved Brick O La from Mac which is like a gorgeous red/brown shade which actually really complimented the burnt orange eyes. If you're interested to see how it looked I instagramed a couple of pics my username is graceyblossom. I would say that this is more of an evening look but if you're brave enough to pull it off it really does look lovely and autumnal, its especially flattering for blue eyes too.

Soap & Glory Supercat Eyeliner.
You may see a theme occur in this month's favourites as a couple of these purchases have been enabled from my friend after our holiday where we were sharing makeup. On our holiday I borrowed Supercat eyeliner and I definitely knew I would be purchasing one for myself once I got home! Now I've long since accepted that I'm never going to be a pro at eyeliner, however Supercat has got to be one of the easiest I've used for a neat fuss-free application and I've definitely had a few 'good eyeliner' days since buying this - or at least good on my terms.

Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade.
After a long, exhausting journey I finally think that I have found the eyebrow product for me and gosh does it feel rewarding! I won't say too much as I'm in the process of writing a full review but let's just say that this has been the first brow product that seems to have ticked off every single box for me so far. Amazing product!

Redken Extreme Anti-Snap.
If you read my recent Disappointing Products post you may already know that a certain hair product really messed my hair up over the summer. After a period of bleaching my hair, choosing the wrong products and general misuse of my locks they were in a pretty bad way. Then on my holiday my friend let me try some of her Redken Extreme Anti Snap leave in conditioner and I could see and feel a noticeable difference pretty much right away. Applied to towel dried hair this makes combing your hair after a shower a doddle and the condition of the ends feels so much healthier even after just a few uses. I would definitely recommend this product to anyone who's hair is in need of rescuing as its been a godsend!

Origins Drink Up Instensive Over Night Mask.
Mouthful of a name of what? Basically this litle skincare item has been another savour this month for replenshing my skin with some much needed moisture. I use this a couple of times a week - usuaully Sundays and Wednesdays and in the morning after my skin is plumper and it helps cure those nasty dry patches that you get as the weather gets colder. The smell of this is absolutely gorgeous too, its peachy and fresh so it feels like quite a treat to use.

Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avacado.
This skincare product pops up everywhere on the beauty scene and I can now understand exactly why it does. I've never used an eye cream before but I knew that in the winter I'm prone to getting much drier skin and often nasty dark circles. I guessed that it was time to start looking after this part of my face as it is one of the more delicate parts and will also likely start to show signs of aging if I neglect it. This eyecream has been amazing, the skin around my eyes has never looked so healthy. I don't know if its coincidence or what but the dark circles are far less prominent, makeup applies so much easier under the eyes now and that area just generally seems to look and feel far better at the moment.

Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy in Up the Ante.
An EssieButton inspired purchase and the colour that has basically lived on my nails throughout October was Revlon's Up The Ante. I can't express how much I love this nail polish, its absolutely gorgeous - I've written a full post here if you want to hear my express my love for it some more.
QOTD: What have you loved in October?

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Nars Audacious Lipstick | Liv


Can you tell that Nars is fast becoming my favourite beauty brand? So it should come as no surprise that the knowledge of their new line of Audacious Lipsticks sent me into a bit of a frenzy and had me clutching at any excuses to get to my nearest Nars counter as soon as I possibly could.  With 30 brand new colours (and an extra 10 Selfridges exclusives I believe) the claim of the new Nars Audacious lipstick is that one stroke is enough to give you full coverage and a creamy wear. You can tell just when you are swatching these babies at the counter how incredibly pigmented these are - these remind me of MAC's amplified finishes but more intense and with a glossier look to them.

I liked so many of the shades and I definitely want to add the shade Grace to my collection - because who doesn't want a lipstick in their name? However I'm really feeling my intense berry colours at the moment and Liv was just calling my name. Nars describe Liv as a 'deep aubergine' its a very dark plum shade and on me it leans a little red so its a gorgeous burgundy colour on my lips. The pigmentation is incredible, you really get such amazing colour pay off without it feeling at all heavy or icky on the lips. I would say that in terms of application it goes on similarly to an amplified cream lipstick as its very smooth but when you wear it it feels almost like its more a satin finish as it isn't slippery and sits ever so comfortably on the lips.

As you may have noticed the packaging has also had a little revamp, while its still got the classic Nars black casing it doesn't have the usual matte texture the audacious lipsticks have a smooth and slick case with an impressive magnetic lid.  I am beyond in love with this lipstick: its well worth the splurge as the quality is so amazing. I'm excited to add more of these delightful new lipsticks to my collection!

QOTD: Have you tried  any of the new Nars Audacious lipsticks?

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Sunday Catchup #5

Today I really wanted to sit down and take a minute to reflect and write about things that aren't lipstick or lipstick related on my blog. I haven't done a chit-chatty casual post like this since Spring and so I figured I was due an update.

Now that we're in the final few months of the year its getting to that time where festivities are around every corner, Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas and then a brand new year to ring in all over again. I truly love this time of the year because of the celebrations, the beautiful colours on the trees, cosy nights in under blankets watching films, lighting candles and of course all of the decorations - we currently have a pumpkin from our allotment sitting in the front window.

Since I gave up my job earlier this year I've had a lot more time on my hands and while I'm not trying to build up my business I'm really happy with some of the accomplishments I've managed to achieve. Over the last few months I've been trying to make a conscious effort to be a little more present in the kitchen as I've been learning to cook. I don't mean like cakes and baking but rather meals and so on. I guess it kind of linked in with my healthy eating habits earlier this year. To some people this may seem a basic thing but I've come a long way from knowing nothing to pretty much feeling confident in the kitchen with a recipe at hand ready to try out new things.

And while I'm on the subject of food and eating healthy I am still striving to make the right choices with my diet - despite the last month or so being a little off track I'm slowly getting back into the swing of clean eating again. In the autumn and through into winter I always find myself slipping off the rails a little with all the sweet temptations and hunger cravings as the weather cools down, however I'm really trying to keep a balance this year.

I've also taken up crocheting over the summer. With great guidence (not to mention a hell of a lot of patience) from my mum I've gone from helplessly not knowing how to even hold a hook to making blankets and *trying* to read and follow patterns. Crochet has been a welcome outlet for me as I've never had a creative streak in my body and so its extremely rewarding to watch something I'm making go from a ball of yarn turn to something cute and pretty. I can't wait to make some festive decorations over the upcoming weeks!

Have a lovely weekend!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Oldies But Goodies

There's nothing like finding new makeup discoveries but there's also something really satisfying about rediscovering or relishing in old loves.You know the sorts of products that you're forever repurchasing or you've had lying around in your collection for ages - sometimes we don't celebrate them enough so here's a post in their honour.

In the last few weeks I've been using my Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation for the first time in ages. I think this foundation is great for everyday wear on days when my skin needs a bit more coverage than say a tinted moisturiser gives. The Collection Lasting Perfection Concelear is something that I'm always repurchasing - I recently had to get another one to replace the last. Its just so good for covering blemishes or dark circles around the eyes and is such an essential product in my daily makeup routine.

If you caught my most recent review you may already know that I'm not that happy with my current brow product from Hourglass, so when I was digging through my makeup draw the other day and spotted my Elf Eyebrow Kit that I've had for absolutely ages I thought I'd give it another go. It made a nice change to pick up an angled brush and apply powder through my brows instead of a pencil. Another oldie but goodie is my trusty MAC All That Glitters, this was my first shadow from Mac and I literally use this all the time, I'm surprised it hasn't hit pan yet! This is the perfect everyday shade: its a champagne gold colour with a hit of shimmer that makes the eyes pop, it works well on its own or with virtually any other colour I've put it with.

Vaseline Rosy Lips. Ah Vaseline tins, these must be the ultimate oldie - surely everyone reverts back to a trusty tin of Vaseline from time to time especially in the colder months when our lips need that extra bit of TLC. Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter will always be one of my top body butters, extremely moisturising with a delicious scent that works for whatever time of year it is - you can be sure that there will always be a Righteous Butter hiding about in my house. Lastly what used to be my favourite perfume and will always hold a soft spot in my heart is Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb. Flowery, girly yet rich and sexy at the same time - a lovely scent for this time of year that I've been enjoying of late.
QOTD: What oldies but goodies do you love?

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Nars Douceur Blush

Nars Douceur is described as a soft-pink brown, and its the sort of item that your eyes would probably skim past on initial impressions. If I'm honest this wouldn't have ever been the sort of blush that I would have so much as given the time of day to. However seeing so many other beauty bloggers post reviews and pictures of Douceur was totally enough to sway me - its a pretty popular one at this time of year for the dusky pink hue it leaves on the cheeks that never fails to look stunning.  
This applies to the skin so beautifully and gives a true flush of natural colour to your cheeks. As autumn has crept around and all my favourite coloured lipsticks are in full swing I'm really getting into the whole concept of keeping your blush and lipstick running in the same sort of colour families. Douceur looks particularly well matched with the likes of all the browns / browny pink nude lipsticks that are on trend at the moment - think Douceur worn with Twig and you're onto a winning combination. On saying that this is still a pretty fail safe colour that would probably go well with a lot of different makeup looks.
QOTD: What do you think of Douceur?

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Holiday Haul

So todays post is the second and concluding part of my holiday hauls, the first part was my duty free shopping haul which you can find here. This haul is everything that I picked up while I was actually in Majorca on my holiday. As you can see there is a right mish mash of things so we'll start off with beauty.
Where we stayed in Alcudia it was literally like heaven for me and my friend, it was ridiculously packed with gorgeous makeup and perfume shops, add the fact that a couple of days we had pretty dodgy weather equals lots of shopping. We also found that everything seemed a lot cheaper in the shops abroad than it is back at home so we definitely made the most of things while we were there. For example I purchased some skincare from Clarins - a toner and a cleanser that were about ten euros each which works out about £8 and in England these retail for twice that price. I also purchased the Clarins Daily Energiser Cream. 

I was so excited to spot Victor & Rolf BonBon which I've been eyeing up for so long but haven't seen it available in England anywhere yet. For a gift for my mum I got her L'Eau De Chloe fragrance as I knew she likes Chloe and this one smells lovely. I got one piece of makeup while in Majorca and that was a stunning Estee Lauder lipstick which surprise surprise is another red, whoops. But its seriously stunning - full review to come! Then in the local Spar shop I spotted a Palmolive Soap that I don't think we get in the UK, or at least I've never seen them in the supermarkets here aha.
Moving on to jewellery / accessories I picked up a really cute Pandora bracelet which I'm so happy with - I've been wanting to get a casual one like this for ages. My most favourite purchase I got on the last day of my holiday - I actually saw it on the first day and it was on my mind ever since. I thought about it all week and finally caved in to a rose gold Guess watch on the Saturday before we flew home. I absolutely love it and haven't stopped wearing it since. Lastly and very randomly I returned home with some Milka chocolate - there were so many different chocolate/sweets in the shops in Majorca that I found so fascinating to look at. My favourite was the Milka with strawberry filling mmm yum!

QOTD: What have you purchased recently?

Monday, 13 October 2014

Manicure Monday: Revlon Up The Ante

Today's manicure monday post brings this beautiful nail polish from Revlon that I am besotted with. If you're a fellow Essiebutton follower you may have already spotted this little lovely pop up - I first noticed this in one of her recent Vlogtober vlogs so if you want to see it in action head over to her vlog channel! I think the Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy line may very well be new to the UK as my local Boots or Superdrug didn't stock these in the shops (I ordered mine online from Boots.)

This is the shade 410 Up The Ante and it is the loveliest plum / purple shade thats rather bold and eyecatching, pictures don't do this any justice. Having never owned a Revlon nail polish before I wasn't sure what to expect but I'm more than pleasantly surprised with this nail varnish. The formula is great - pretty chip-proof as far as I can tell, apparently it has a built in base coat so two coats is all you need for an opaque coverage however I did use my Sally Hansen Double Duty as a top coat to finish the manicure. The brush size is worth a mention too, its got a long brush handle so you can get a really precise and neat application easily. I can't wait to try more from this line.

QOTD: What do you think of Up The Ante? Have you tried any of the Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy line?

Saturday, 11 October 2014

MAC 239 Brush Vs The Body Shop Eyeshadow Brush

When it comes to my makeup brush collection, the vast majority contains Real Techniques brushes. I think Real Techniques are amazing quality and the value for money is unbelievable in comparison to higher end makeup brushes which can often come at a jaw-droppingly expensive cost. The only higher end brush I own to date is my MAC 239 brush, it was a brush that I had wanted for ages and finally picked it up this summer. Prior to MAC 239 I had been using an eyeshadow brush from The Body Shop and today I'm going to be talking about why I think this is the high street alternative to the 239 brush. 

Visually the two brushes are pretty darn similar, both coming with smooth black handles and silver coloured brass towards the ends by the bristles. Although I love the vibrancy of my RT Brushes I do think that these black brushes do have that slightly more sophisticated, smart feel to them.  I have read some reviews that claimed the MAC 239 signature comes off the brush, I'm not entirely sure but on mine it feels like it has been engraved in to the handle - possibly a new feature? So hopefully the MAC sign shouldn't wear off anytime soon whereas the wording on The Body Shop handle is beginning to wear away slightly on mine.
The Body Shop brush is slightly shorter in comparison to the Mac brush (about half an inch) but to be honest I would say that I prefer this about it as I do find it slightly easier to use for this reason. In terms of the bristles I'm not 100% on the individual materials used in the two brushes, however one obvious difference is that TBS brush has dark bristles compared to the lighter bristles in the Mac brush. I think this is something that comes down to personal preference but I do think I prefer the lighter coloured bristles on the Mac brush as you know when its time to give it a good cleaning, whereas you can't really tell when its wash time with darker bristles. Both the brushes have very similar shaped bristles with the tapered edges, however there are some differences as I will discuss below.

The Mac brush, in my opinion is the perfect shape for packing eyeshadow onto the lid quickly and effortlessly thanks to its wide, short bristles - it just fits so well onto the area of your eye. Because the bristles are firm its easy to build up a decent amount of colour, it applies eyeshadow like nothing I've used before and I'm constantly amazed at how this transfers the product onto the eyelid so well. You can also use the tapered edge to blend should you want to, but its best job is in its application of the eyeshadow product.

Moving on to TBS eyeshadow brush you may be able to tell that this is slightly thinner in comparison. The bristles are also that tiny bit longer than the Mac brush and although this is still a decent shape for applying eyeshadow it does mean that it doesn't cover as much area on the eyelid so you have to do a little more work with this brush. On saying that this is still more than efficient in getting a decent colour pay off onto the eyelids, see the swatches below for a comparison.

Swatches taken in natural day light.
The swatches here are both two layers of eyeshadow and as you can see both brushes provide decent colour pay off, although the Mac one does give a slightly more intense colour I would say. From the swatch you can also see how much more eyeshadow you can pack on with the Mac brush, which really enables for that effortless application of product. For a high street item The Body Shop's offering is more than adequate and definitely a good option for a budget buy.

At half the price of the MAC 239 brush (currently retailing £21) The Body Shop's eyeshadow brush (currently retailing £9) is definitely the high street answer and a good duplicate for its higher end Mac equivalent. In terms of preferance I do have to say I prefer the Mac brush because it does just give that slightly better application although I wouldn't say that the difference between the two is too huge - apart from the price perhaps?!
 QOTD: Have you tried either of these eyeshadow brushes?

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil (Blonde)

Today I'm finally doing a review on the Hourglass Arch Pencil which you may have seen that I picked up well over a month ago as I popped it in a haul. However there were a few reasons that I took my time writing this post as I wanted to make sure I gave it a completely fair and honest trial, and so just as a warning now you may want to grab a cup of tea and get comfortable as this is going to be a long one.

As I'm sure you already know The Hourglass Arch pencil is one of those brow products that always gets compared to as being one of the best on the market, alongside the Anastasia Brow Wiz pencil, but it comes at a price. I put off buying it in hope that I would find a cheaper alternative that I enjoyed and this quest was met with little luck, Mac and Sleek to name just a few that I've reviewed on the blog and I've tried plenty more that I haven't bothered talking about on here for similar reason. Last month an Hourglass counter opened at my local John Lewis department store and I finally gave in to temptation and picked up the arch brow sculpting pencil in blonde.

Spoken about by so many as 'the best' and a 'holy grail' product. I had high hopes to say the least. With its undeniably dreamy packaging that both looks and feels exquisite, at one end comes a lovely firm spoolie brush and a retractable pencil at the other, on the outside it certainly looks like it fits the bill. I couldn't wait to get home and use it, I was barely through the door before I had a bottle of makeup remover in hand ready to take off my existing eyebrow product so I could play with the Hourglass pencil. Yep - this is it, I thought, I've finally found an eyebrow product I'm going to love. It was like the first few days of a new relationship - exciting and full of hope that something special will become.

The colour choice was perfect for me. The texture of the pencil was a dream to work with. The packaging was totally luxurious. I was besotted.

However, on about the third or fourth day after buying this disaster struck. Half way through doing my eyebrows the retractable end completely stopped working. The entire pencil section plopped out of the packaging and thankfully I do my makeup standing over my worktop and so I managed to catch it in time. This was so completely unexpected, like what the heck!? I've never heard of anything like this happening even with a drugstore product let alone a high end brow product. I managed to carefully distribute the fragile looking pencil back in its casing but the retractable bit had completely given up the ghost and wasn't going up and down at all. I was not impressed to say the least and was straight back to my Hourglass counter within the week where they did let me change it for a new one.

This time when I arrived home with my 'new' (and by that I mean the second) Hourglass Arch Brow pencil I didn't get the same excitement that I felt as the first time. The whole experience of having the pencil section fall out the end really put a bit of a damper on the thrill of what is supposed to be such a high quality product. And every time I used the new replaced pencil for the first little while it felt like I was on tender hooks and I was going about it very carefully in case history repeated itself.

A few weeks passed and it seemed as though the disaster of the first pencil was all just a nasty dream. I took the Hourglass Arch Pencil away with me on my holiday without any problems, got home everything was fine then a few days later came September favourites time. I concluced that because generally speaking I really enjoy this as brow product as a whole despite the first little mishap that it would be a monthly favourite.

 On the morning I wrote my September favourites I gathered all my products together took the picutres, put the camera away to one side and went about my normal morning routine, jumped in the shower, dried my hair, went to put my makeup on - go to use the Hourglass pencil and I heard the retractable end make a bit of a funny clicky noise. And to my absolute horror I realised that the pencil part had become loose in the packaging again, and so if you were to tip the pencil all the way downwards it would completely fall out of the packaging again as it did before. Weridly the retractable part still goes up and down unlike the first time where it just seemed to stop working altogether. But it still leaves me with the problem that the pencil part of mine seems to be loose and could fling out at any minute if I'm not careful with it.

I'm completely at a loss with this product and don't really know what I should do about it. I don't think I even have the receipt to take it back for the second time plus I wouldn't even want a replacement now I think I'd rather just have my money back as in my opinion this is utterly unacceptable for a £25+ product to happen not once but twice! Plus I just feel a bit fed up keep having to faff about returning stuff that should have just worked properly in the first place for the price it is.

This has to be the most frustrating thing ever because in principal I love the product but at the same time I absolutely hate it because of what has happened with mine (twice I tell you people!) I don't know if there was a bad batch in production or if this has ever happened to anyone else's but it certainly won't be a product I can ever recommend to anyone unless they want to throw away money like I feel I have. Biggest, biggest regret ever buying this product. How did this happen and how have I had such terrible luck with such a loved beauty item? I'm bitterly disappointed.
QOTD: Have you tried the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil? How did you find it?

MAC | Twig Lipstick

Lipsticks like Twig from Mac are super popular amongst the beauty loving world at the moment - and no doubt we have the whole 'Kylie Jenner inspired look' to thank for that. I've mentioned before that I struggle big time to pull off traditional nude lipsticks (think Cremecup / Angel)  they completely wash me out and look really unflattering against my skintone. Twig however has the perfect blend of pink and brown and is much more of a warmer colour that I think suits me. If you're not really one for typical autumnal berry shades, this dusky pink coloured lipstick could be your alternative during the cooler months.

I wore this lipstick for the first time over the weekend after picking it up from my duty free shop and I loved it even more than I expected to. I went for a really understated no-makeup type of look that was perfect for a lazy Sunday in the countryside. I used All That Glitters from MAC for eyes as although its quite a neutral shade the shimmer keeps the look slightly fresh and then for a final autumnal feel I popped on some of my Nars blusher in Sin which I'm in love with at the moment. I can see this being a go-to look over the next few months.
QOTD: What do you think of this lipstick? Is this something you would wear?

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Are We Makeup Addicts?

"You're addicted to makeup."
I was having a conversation when this comment was randomly thrown at me. It wasn't said as a criticism - in fact the same person had just complimented on how they thought my lipstick suited me (I was wearing Mac's Craving in case you were wondering :p) Their comment really made me think about things and I'm sure that others who read my blog from time to time have had similar comments made to them in the past as well.

I do realise that on my social media feed it may look like all I post is pictures of beauty products (although I would disagree as there is a sure balance of food/selfies/pugs) especially to all the IRL people that follow me - and I can see why some bloggers keep the fact they blog a secret as not everyone is understanding about it.

My answer?
Makeup is my interest. Its perfectly natural and healthy to have interests and I'm entitled to share that and be passionate about what I like. I'm sure that 99% of you who are reading this now are reading my blog for exactly the same reason - you are interested in beauty/makeup. Makeup makes me feel better about myself, its become part of a routine to me like cleaning my teeth or putting deodorant on - ok those exapmples are essentials and I'm not saying makeup is but you get the point. Makeup is a way of being fun and creative, its an outlet to express your mood or make a statement. Plus I've practically been collecting things since I could crawl, its part of who I am so naturally when I became interested in makeup it became something I could collect and watch grow.

So what if I'm 'addicted' to makeup? I'm sure we can all think of plenty of addicitons that are unhealthy and not very good for us that are far worse than makeup. What I'm doing isn't hurting anyone or anyone around me (except my purse from time to time but we'll save that story for another day.) I'm not trying to say that everyone needs to go out and buy this lipstick - I know that it isn't eveyone's cup of tea. I'm also not using makeup as a way to accept myself - I go out the house without makeup on frequently and the majority of the time I embrace the way my face looks when I do.

Take football - most, not all but most men love it. Have you ever heard someone say to a man 'cor you're addicted to football' no you have not. But hands up if you're a woman and someones said that you're addicted to makeup or some such comment. The word 'addicted' has negative stigma attached to it. Saying we're addicted to makeup is as if we have some embarrassing problem that we need to address or go to rehab for.

The beauty of the world is that we're all different and we all take interest in different things (thank god!) I just don't see why an interest in something as harmless as a bit of makeup has somehow gotten a bit of a negative label attached to it.

As I said before I like to see makeup as a collection of things that make me happy - and really what's so bad about that? If I'm 'addicted' to something that generally speaking makes me a bit happier, brings me a little bit of pleasure each day without damaging my body or anyone else's for that matter - then so be it. I confess - I'm a makeup addict.

QOTD: Are you a makeup addict?

Disappointing Products #1

Its only natural that from time to time certain beauty items leave us feeling slightly underwhelmed, as you can see I have accumulated a little collection of exactly that so here I am with my first 'Disappointing Products' post.

John Frieda Go Blonder Shampoo.
First up as a disappointing product is this shampoo from John Frieda which is part of the Go Blonder range (quick disclaimer that I have actually used an entire bottle of this and the conditioner up - it will soon be in an empties, they were purchased in a 3 for 2!) At first I was super impressed at how this shampoo seemed to really lighten my blonde locks up in between visits to the hairdressers. I even included this in a favourites post -oops. But the long term impact of using this shampoo and conditioner duo over the summer months has not been so great on my hair. It completely dried the ends up and after each wash it was so tangled it was borderline unmanageable. I think that this could be ok to use occasionally if you wanted to achieve lighter locks but there is no way that this should be used as a regular product as its far too harsh and damaging on your hair.

Maybelline Super Stay Gel Nail Colours.
I've already written a post on my blog about how I was hugely underwhelmed by the Maybelline Super Stay Gel nail colours, but I thought I'd include them here for those who didn't see that. I was definitely sucked in to the hype surrounding these, everyone was claiming that they really did last 7 days bla bla bla... well they certainly didn't for me. I don't even think these gave me 7 hours before they begun to chip so I'm not sure how people were getting them to last 7 days. Sure the colours are pretty but there are plenty of other brands with good colour ranges and better wear time.

Benefit High Brow.
Ehhh this product really didn't work for me. For those of you who don't know what High Brow is its basically a highlighting pencil that is designed for use under the eyebrows to create the illusion of a more arched brow. Sounds good in principal but the colour is all wrong for me. It honestly looks ridiculous whenever I wear it, its a milky pink colour that just does not sit right against my skin tone. When I swatched it on my hand it seemed fine and I even got the girl at the counter to apply it for me, it was just when I got it home that it all went wrong. I think the reason I couldn't get on with it was because I didn't feel like it blended very easily due to the crayon like texture - I tried with a few brushes plus my finger and couldn't get it to blend out nicely and so the highlighted area looked a little too obvious plus the colour wasn't really right for my skin. I guess for someone with a different skin tone and a little more patience with blending this could work, but its not for me.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Sorbet.
Given that I'm a huge lover of TBS particularly the Vitamin E skincare range I was pretty excited about the concept of this sorbet, but in all honesty I just found it to be a moisturiser with an off consistency. It smells pleasant and whenever I rub a bit on the back of my hand it does feel nice and refreshing but when I put it on my face I don't get that same boost of freshness which I find odd. The main reason I disliked this product was that it made my makeup apply all weirdly afterwards which put me right off it. I would apply this, wait for it to sort of dry off and then go in with Benefit's The Porefessional and it would make the primer turn all crumbly and it felt like I had put some sort of weird exfoliator on my skin or something. I may use this as a moisturiser for days round the house when I don't plan on wearing any makeup but otherwise I was pretty underwhelmed by this.
The Body Shop Honey Bronze Oil and Lipbalm.
Over the summer I purchased the Honey Bronze set I really like the idea of the dry oil to give your skin a nice golden bronze iridescence, but one thing was hugely off putting about this for me and that was the smell. I think this is far too scented and its so overpowering that it becomes unpleasant. I can't even bare to look at it as the strong smell has really spoilt it for me, you can't even mask it with a perfume for fear of spoiling your perfume too. I aso wasn't wowed by the corresponding lipbalm as its too glittery and therefore doesn't feel very comfortable on the lips, it doesn't really provide any moisturising benefits so it seems a bit pointless, although the packaging is cute.
Chloé Perfume.
Oh Chloé I really didn't want to include you, I really didn't, however I'd be lying if I left you out. Now back in the Spring I had a little love affair with Chloé and I thought I'd found my signature scent bla bla bla, and while I can't dispute that the smell of this perfume is beautiful and I still love it - look what has happened to my bottle! After raving about how chic and lovely the packaging of the bottle was, the silver bit around the top became all tarnished and disgusting. I'd barely even had it a few months when it went like this which I do not think is very good for a perfume with a price tag like Chloé's - I've since read over bloggers reviews that they had experienced the same problem with the bottle too. I know with a perfume its not about the packaging but I'm a sucker for packaging as I collect perfume and in all honesty this just looks horrible now and has been hidden away in disgust in a draw.
QOTD: Have any products left you disappointed recently? Have you tried any of these products and had a different result? I'd love to know!

Friday, 3 October 2014

'Duty Free Made Me Do It' Airport Haul

Duty free makeup shopping - ahhh - every beauty blogger's dream come true. Dozens upon dozens of high end beauty brands at a discounted price, how could you possibly resist? Plus when you're off on your old holibobs its basically permission granted that you're allowed to utterly spoil yourself (like we ever need an excuse to do that.)
You know that it must be holiday time when you're stood swatching Mac lipsticks at 4:30am with a cheesy grin on your face soon to be walking away with three brand new lipsticks in hand. Now I know that to some people three Mac lipsticks will be nothing or to some it will seem like a ridiculous amount, but this isn't something that I would ever usually do. However when you are getting them at three, nearly four pounds cheaper than usual a girls gotta take advantage! I'm pretty much sorted for autumn lip choices now with Cyber, Twig and Brick-O-La added to my collection.
I couldn't go away on holiday without purchasing a new fragrance, I think that its such a lovely way of bringing back memories and then whenever I wear the perfume I can always be reminded of the good times I had. From the moment I sniffed a sample of the new Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt it was love and I knew that I needed it in my life: fresh, energising and so beautiful. Even though I was travelling I had to go for the 100ml bottle as it was such an amazing saving and thankfully I managed to get it to holiday and home safe in one piece and I'm so happy I went for the size I did.
The next few items I actually got whilst I was on the plane, the first one being a Style Tangle Teezer. My old teezer was in a right old state and so I thought it was about time to replace it with this. Not only is the print amazing but it also has a protective back meaning I can throw it in my bag. The actual bristly parts are so much firmer and stronger on this brush than my old teezer that it has made brushing my knotty hair even quicker and easier - I'm so glad I picked this up. Lastly on a bit of a whim I decided to get the Glam Glow Mud Mask as I've heard so many people talking about this - I'm super excited to try this out!
QOTD: What would Duty Free Shopping make you do?

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Philosophy Pumpkin Pie

As autumn rolls around there is definitely something about bathing and showering that just seems so much more appealing. Maybe its a primal instinct to keep ourselves warmer during the colder months, or is it just the indulgence of relaxing in a deep bubble bath surrounded by candles as the nights get darker? Well whatever it is, I'm guilty.

Philosophy is a brand I have been wanting to try out for a while now, but its not exactly got my usual Soap & Glory price tag to its products and so I never bit the bullet. However back in the Spring I was lucky enough to win Becky's 100 follower giveaway and one of the prizes included this deliciously tempting Pumpkin Pie bubble bath by Philosophy. I resisted temptation to use it back in the Spring and saved it in a cupboard to put it to better use and the other day when I arrived home from holiday and I had a bit of the post-holiday blues I really couldn't think of a better time to debut Pumpkin Pie.

I'm so glad I saved this as it really is the perfect addition to those dark October nights, it smells positively festive - it sure lives up to its name as it smells sweet enough to tuck in to. I've only had the pleasure of using it as a shower gel so far but the consistency is so dreamy - its very rich and creamy and lathers into super luxurious foamy bubbles. A little goes a long way so I think that for the price tag this is definitely worth the money and will hopefully last me well over the festive season. It can also be used for bubbles and as shampoo - I doubt I will use this on my hair but I'm excited for my first pumpkin pie bubble bath this weekend.

I'm not really sure if this is limited edition as I can't seem to find it online, but I know that larger Boots stores sell quite a variety of Philosophy bath products so I would 100% recommend picking this up if your after an indulgent new bath product for the autumn months.

QOTD: Have you tried Pumpkin Pie? Do you like to indulge in bath and body products more during the fall?