Wednesday, 31 October 2012

September empties: Avon, Sanctuary, Lush, Botanics, L'Oreal, Dove, Moroccanoil

Hey loves :-)

I hope you're having a great day - and Hallowe'en!

As we're nearing the end of the month, I figured it's about time I do my September empties. Haha! Here's what I used up last month...

  • Superdrug 100% Cotton Double Faced Pads - I use these on a daily basis, from removing my nail polish to applying cleanser/toner. I have to use the double faced ones as the others are too thin and just fall apart! 
  • Avon Clearskin Blackhead Clearing Daily Astrigent - This is a really strong, alcoholic toner that removes all the dirt and grime from your skin. It does skin a little, but it's just so effective - I've already ordered another bottle!
  • Avon Clearskin Professional Clarifying Toner Pads - Another Avon favourite, these are so handy for toning your skin after you've washed it. They're very mild, so the astrigent (above) is better for problem skin.
  • Freederm Gel - This is the best spot cream on the market, hands down! It stings when you apply it, but to me that's a sign that it's working. I've already got another tube ready for any breakouts! 
  • Sanctuary Spa Fresh Faced Purifying Wash - I got this as part of a gift set in the January sales a couple of years back, but I've only got around to using it. It's nice and mild, and smells lovely, so it's perfect for giving your face a good clean in the morning!
  • Superdrug Skin Rescue Illuminating Raspberry Face Mask - I used this face mask after I'd run my 10k and my skin needed a little pick me up. It looked amazing afterwards and it was so easy to use.
  • Lush Mask of Magnaminty Face and Back Pack - I picked this up in my Lush skincare haul and I was pretty impressed with it actually. It contains tiny beads that are ideal for gentle exfoliation, and it can be used on your body too. I didn't like the mint smell, though :-( 
  • Botanics All Bright Soothing Eye Make Up Remover - I've raved about this product before, even going so far as to call it 'The Eye Makeup Remover of all Eye Makeup Removers', but sadly the new product formulation just doesn't cut it. It's really greasy and just doesn't remove all my eye makeup like it used to. I'm gutted, because it used to be my HG eye makeup remover :-(

  • Johnson's Baby Skincare Wipes - As featured in my Top 10 September beauty favourites, these baby wipes are just bloody amazing and it's no wonder I've run out!
  • Sanex 0% Shower Gel - A lovely, sensitive shower gel that I would re-purchase again and again!
  • Sure Sensitive Maximum Protection Deodorant - I saw this deo doing the rounds on a couple of blogs recently, and I have to say I'm a total convert! It works brilliantly - you pop it on in the morning and it literally lasts all day. 

  • L'Oreal Elnett Very Volume Supreme Hold Hairspray - I've probably said it on my blog hundreds of times, but this really is my HG mascara! I spray a tiny amount in my hair and it leaves it looking shiny and volumised - and it holds my hair in place all night. I've used it for years and I've always been so impressed with it, I've even got a mini one in my handbag!
  • Dove Intensive Repair Express Treatment Conditioner - I included the Colour Radiance version of this in my August empties post, and now I've used up another bottle! I just find these express conditioners so bloomin' handy, you only need to leave them on for a couple of minutes - after you've applied shampoo and conditioner - and it leaves your hair feeling so soft and silky. Would definitely recommend!
  • Leo Bancroft Ultimately Intense Deep Moisture Mask - Another amazing intensive conditioner, this one from Leo Bancroft smells lovely and you only need to leave it on for a couple of minutes as well. You can check out my full review of the range here.
  • Dove Colour Radiance Conditioner - I tested the Dove Colour Radiance range for work, and I was honestly really impressed with the whole range. Dove have really outdone themselves with their haircare range this year!
  • Moroccanoil Luminous Hold Hairspray - I received this mini hairspray as part of a bigger giftset for Christmas last year, and I've only just finished it this month! It's perfect for popping in your handbag to spritz on your hair throughout the day. It left my hair looking lovely and glistening. 

  • Oral B Pulsar 40 Toothbrush - I swear by these toothbrushes, which are a hybrid of an electric and manual toothbrush, for brushing my gnashers! I always try and pick them up when they're on offer as they're quite expensive at £6 a pop - but worth every penny in my opinion.
  • Colgate Plax Whitening Antibacterial Mouthwash - I love the taste of this! It's got a really mild, minty taste (I don't like the taste of mint lol)
  • Pearl Drops Daily Whitening Mouthwash - A new addition on the market, I noticed my teeth looked whiter after using this. Love!
So there's the products I used up last month, let me know if you have any questions by dropping me a line over on Twitter :-)

What did you use up this month?




Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Top 10 September beauty favourites

Hey ladies!
I hope you've all had a great day :-)
Today I will be writing my first 'favourites' post, so here's what I was loving in September...
(In no particular order)

1) OPI Original Nail Envy

I blogged about this product when I bought it last year, and I haven't stopped using it since. I use it as a base coat, simply applying a thin layer to my nails before I paint them. It dries so quickly and is so effective at making nail colours last. I must've re-purchased this about five times!

2) MAC Fix+

I'm absolutely ADDICTED to this! I've used it for about 18 months since I bought it in a haul at Westfield and I have a travel sized version which I keep in my handbag and a full sized version which I keep at home. I know some bloggers have a love/hate relationship with Fix+, and I admit I was a bit sceptical at first, but I use it every time I apply make-up now and I couldn't be without it. I spritz it on my face to moisten my skin before I put my make-up on, I use it to set my make-up, I use it to refresh my skin, I spray a little on an old mascara wand and use it to tame my eyebrows - sometimes I even use it on my hair!

3) Johnson's Baby Skincare Wipes

These are an absolute essential for me. They're not wet enough to remove make-up sadly but they're fab for a quick refresh. I get mine from Poundland and they're just something I will always re-puchase and have used loads this month.

4) E.L.F. Studio Stipple Brush

I bought this in my first ELF haul a couple of years ago, but I've recently found a new use for it. After I've applied foundation with my fingers - normally Bourjois 10 Hour Sleep Effect, below - I spritz a little Fix+ on this brush and use it to blend my foundation in, and I find it leaves my skin with a really dewy, refreshed look. It's such a bargain for just a couple of quid as well.

5) NARS Blush & Bronzer Trio in Orgasm, Laguna and Albatross

I've had this for a couple of months, after my other half treated me to it from Selfridges, and again it's something I've used pretty much every day without fail since then. It's just so bloomin' handy - it's got three best-selling, flattering shades in one handy palette, and a mirror! I start by brushing Laguna (right) on my cheekbones with an ELF Studio Complexion Brush, then add a little Orgasm (left) to the apples of my cheeks with Cosmopolitan's Blush brush, before adding Albatross (center) to my nose, upper cheek and brow bone. It's worth every penny in my opinion.

6) L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream

You might remember that I posted about this on my Instagram account last month, after I got it free with Marie Claire. Well it's not the first time I've used this and trust me when I tell you it won't be the last! It smells delicious, absorbs quickly and leaves my hands feeling soft and silky. I can definitely say it lives up to the hype - and the travel size version is perfect for keeping by your desk at work.

7) Avon Planet Spa Dead Sea Minerals Facial Mud Mask

I've long been a loyal Avon fan and this face mask from its Planet Spa range is something I've turned to a lot this month. My skin reacts really well to mud masks as they absorb the excess oil, and I find this one in particular leaves my face feeling like all the rubbish has been drawn out from my skin and it leaves it feeling really lovely, like it's had a proper cleanse. I would recommend this to those with oily skin, without a doubt.

8) HD Brows Palette in Vamp

I recently got my brows done at the HD Brow Bar in Harley Street, and I've been using this kit to maintain them. Now one thing I would say is that the shade I have, Vamp, is slightly too dark for my complexion. But, even saying that, I've been using this a lot this month. I use a MAC 188 angled brush to apply the product (usually bottom left as bottom right is too reddy) and outline my brows and then fill them in. I set them with a little Fix+ sprayed onto an old mascara wand and I use them as eyeshadows too. They're just some of the best quality I have ever come across, they're so pigmented you only need a tiny bit and the colour lasts all day. The palette is quite expensive but it's worth it in my opinion.

9) Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie

I reviewed this recently on my blog, and I've been using it a lot since then. It's perfect for a glossy, on-trend plum lip, that's also really soft and moisturising. I like to wear it when I want a pop of colour, and do you know the best bit? You don't need a mirror! It lasts a good couple of hours before you need to re-apply as well. I would definitely recommend buying one of these for autumn :-)

10) Bourjois 10 Hour Sleep Effect Foundation in 52 Rose Clair

Finally, I've been using this foundation almost every day in September. I apply it with my fingers and blend it with Fix+ sprayed onto an ELF Stipple Brush, and it just leaves my skin with a fresh, dewy finish which I love. It's a medium coverage foundation that still needs a little concealer for blemishes, but I'm really happy with it and it's never left me with dodgy looking skin since I bought it a few years ago.
Let me know what you think of my first ever favourites post, and link me to your favourites posts as I love reading them!

What's been your favourite beauty product this month?



Sunday, 21 October 2012

Benefit They're Real Mascara review, pics and FOTD: Is it worth buying?

Hey lovelies :-)

I hope you're having a great Thursday, nearly the weekend - yay!

Recently, I bought Benefit's They're Real mascara on Buyapowa. I don't know about you guys, but I'm always checking Buyapowa for potential beauty bargains and a couple of months ago spotted this mascara on offer. Being the UK's best selling mascara and all, I simply had to find out what all the fuss was about ;-)
They're Real claims to lengthen, curl, volumise, lift and separate lashes. Who doesn't like the sound of that?! The brush is specially designed with bristles at the end so that you can get right into the corner of your lashes.

The brush is really simple to use and thinner im width than Benefit's Bad Gal mascara, which I also own - and love!

I simply applied 2 coats of They're Real, with no other eye make-up, and look what a difference it made to my lashes...

Before applying Benefit They're Real Mascara:
After applying Benefit They're Real Mascara:
As you can see, They're Real made a HUGE difference to my lashes! They are practically non-existent in the 'before' picture, and afterwards they look really long, curled and defined. It doesn't make them look as volumised as I'd have hoped, but then that's more what Bad Gal is designed for - which is currently on offer on Buyapowa.

They're Real doesn't leave you with flaky bits of mascara under your eye and it comes off easily with make up wipes. I've used it pretty much every day for 1-2 months and I can definitely say it lives up to the hype!

It's available for £18.50 on the Benefit website, but definitely check out websites such as Buyapowa and you may get it cheaper, like I did :)

FOTD featuring They're Real mascara:
FACE: MAC Fix+, Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat #1, MAC Studio Finish Concealer, Stila Oil-Free Tinted Moisturiser (applied with Cosmopolitan Blend Perfection Sponge), MAC Blush in Harmony, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Center of the Universe (both applied with MAC 129 Brush).

EYES: MAC Painterly Paint Pot, Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid Eyeliner in Brown, No7 Exceptional Eyes Eyeliner in Brown, Benefit They're Real Mascara.

EYEBROWS: MAC Eyebrow Pencil in Dirty Blonde.

LIPS: MAC Cremesheen Glass in Meteoric.

Have you tried They're Real? Is it your new HG mascara?




Sunday, 14 October 2012

Weekend OOTN, FOTN and NOTN: Celeb inspired River Island disco pants and plum lips

Hey loves!
I hope you're having a lovely, chilled out Sunday :-)

This weekend, I went out with a few friends and I sported my new River Island Disco Pants, inspired by the following celebs...
TOWIE's Jess Wright, Corrie's Michelle Keegan, Demi Lovato and Perrie Edwards (Little Mix) style their Disco Pants

I imagine these celebs are wearing the famous American Apparel Disco Pants, but at £80 a pop, they're slightly out of my price range! So I opted for a high-street pair instead. Here's how I styled them...


I went for a classic, all-black look, styling my disco pants with a mesh body and on-trend cross necklace. I completed the outfit with a pair of ubiquitous black heels and a burgundy clutch, to complement my make-up.

FACE: Aldi Lacura Shimmering Day Cream as primer (applied with MAC 190 brush), Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat #1 under eyes, Benefit Boi-ing Concealer in 02 Medium on blemishes, Benefit Some Kind-a Gorgeous Foundation Faker in Medium, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light, Benefit Dallas Bronzer, Benefit Coralista Blush, Benefit High Beam as highlight.

EYES: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Original, HD Brows Brow Palette in Vamp - taupe and dark brown shadows on lids (applied with Cosmopolitan Smokey Eyes Base Brush), Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid Eyeliner in Black, Avon Color Trend Kajal Stick in Black, Benefit They're Real Mascara.

EYEBROWS: HD Brows Brow Palette in Vamp - dark brown shadow, set with No7 Clear Brow Gel.

LIPS: LUSH Bubblegum Lip scrub to prime, Blistex MedPlus and Topshop Makeup Lipstick in Beguiled - review to follow!

I matched my make-up to my accessories, wearing my new plum lipstick from Topshop. Plum lips were a massive trend on the AW12 catwalks and have been worn by celebs including Cheryl and Nicole Scherzinger. I'll be doing a full review of the lipstick shortly but for now, I absolutely love it and I think it's really flattering :-)

American Apparel - Port

The geek in me matched my nails to other elements of my outfit, haha. American Apparel do some of the BEST nail polishes. They're always so on-trend with their shades and the formula is really thick and creamy. I would definitely recommend.

How would you style disco pants?




Friday, 5 October 2012

August empties: REN, Avon, ELF, Lush, Garnier, Dove, Creightons, Treacle Moon

Hey ladies,

TGIF! I hope you've got lots of lovely things planned for the weekend :-)

Apologies for this being a little overdue but I figured it's better late than never, right? 
I decided to start doing empties posts not only because I love reading other people's empties lists but also as it allows me to keep a tab on the items I buy, haha.

So here's what I used up in the month of August.

I've written about this shampoo and conditioner in a previous Bargain of the Week post, and my love for them has yet to diminish. They're perfect for maintaining glossy blonde locks, and really enhance golden blonde highlights. Best of all, they're only a quid each! I would re-purchase these again without a doubt. I've also tried the brunette version which I love as well, and which I'll no doubt use as soon as I dye my hair back to its natural brunette shade.

Intu Style Brunette Dry Shampoo - £1 - Poundland
I've also used up this dry shampoo designed for brunettes, which I picked up in Poundland. When I've got dark hair, I prefer to use a specific brunette dry shampoo as normal ones leave a white residue in my hair. This one worked really well at ridding my hair of oiliness and I'd definitely re-purchase.

I reviewed the whole Dove Colour Radiance haircare collection on my work blog and I was really impressed with not just the range, but this product in particular. It's basically an express intensive conditioner for coloured hair and I really loved it. It smells gorgeous, is easy to apply and left my hair feeling soft and silky. I can't wait to try out some more products from the Dove Express Conditioner range as I'm always in a rush in the shower!

I wasn't sure whether to include these rather bland empties, but I figured I'd like to read about it on other people's so I thought I'd add them in here. The mouthwash was nice and mild and the toothpaste made my teeth look whiter. Result!

I was given this for Christmas last year and I have to be honest, it's one of the best body scrubs I have EVER used. For less than 3 quid, it's truly amazing. It's really thick, contains generous sized beads and smells of lush coconut. It really leaves your skin feeling like it's had a good scrub. I would definitely re-purchase!

I used this to wash my face in the mornings and I wasn't very impressed. I didn't notice any difference in my skin in the long term. It made my skin feel clean after I'd used it though. It's just not really worth the money in my opinion - it's nothing special. I am tempted to try the new Fruit Energy face wash though.

I've always been a massive fan of these face wipes, and I bought them in a haul this time last year. They're really soft and wet and are perfect for removing stubborn eye make-up. I'd definitely recommend picking up a packet with the £5 off No7 vouchers that are flying around at the moment, you won't regret it :-) No7 is a brand I'm really fond of in general - great products, great prices, you can't go wrong!

You may recognise this product from my new skincare routine post that I wrote about recently. I've been using this alongside other Lush facial skincare products including Fresh Farmacy cleanser and Enzymion moisturiser and I find they work really well together. My skin reacts nicely to tea tree as it's soothing and it calms down my spots as well. I might fork out for the bigger bottle next time!

I bought this product in my first ever ELF haul (seems like ages ago now) and I've been using it quite a lot recently as it's been in my handbag. I think it's OK but I would rather fork out for the MAC Fix+ which smells lovely, sprays well and sets my make-up nicely.  

Avon MagiX Illuminator - Avon (but available on eBay)
I wrote about this product on my YSL Touche Eclat dupe post and needless to say I've used it all up! It truly is amazing at banishing dark circles and if the product was still around I'd snap it up immediately. Sadly it's been discontinued but you can still pick it up on eBay!

REN Moisture Recharge Comfort-Plus Day Cream (sample size but available for £27 on the REN website)
I was kindly given this product in a blog sale and I've been using it when I stay over at my boyfriend's house as it's a nice handy travel size. To be honest, I'd never heard of the brand REN when I was given the product but I know loads of beauty bloggers rave about it. Maybe it's because I only use a tiny amount but I haven't notice any difference to my skin at all really. I don't really like the smell either. Each to their own I suppose :-)

What are you loving this month?

Let me know :-)




Monday, 1 October 2012

MAC Heavenly Creatures haul: Center of the Universe MSF and Meteroic Cremesheen Glass

Hey ladies!

I hope you've all had a lovely Monday :-)

Recently, I hauled the latest MAC collection, Heavenly Creatures.

I've never bought anything from a Limited Edition MAC collection before so this was a first for me!

I had my eye on LOADS from the collection but in the end I picked up just two items.

Here's what I hauled...

Cremesheen Glass in Meteoric - RRP £17.00

The first thing I bought was a limited edition lipgloss in the shade Meteoric.
It's my first MAC lipgloss so I wasn't really sure to expect. It features my favoured doe foot applicator - but I noticed there's not as much product in the tube as I was expecting from the size of it.
Meteoric is described as a light coral with gold micro shimmer. It's perfect for me as I'm a huge fan of coral lip products, but I wasn't sure about the gold shimmer.

Lips before and after:

Luckily, the coral micro shimmer wasn't immediately noticeable on the lips, instead it just looks like the coral is glistening in the light.

(left without flash, right with flash)
Middle: MAC Cremesheen Glass in Meteoric
Bottom: Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Gloss

The only other two coral lip gloss products I own are swatched above and I'm quite pleased they're all very different as it justifies my purchase! Haha.

I found Meteoric to have about 3 hours wear before it started to fade, and it has a semi-opaque finish. It has the lovely, vanilla scent (like the lipsticks) - it's just a shame that there's such little product in the tube.

Mineralize Skinfinish in Center of the Universe - RRP £21.50

The next thing I picked up was this limited edition Mineralize Skinfinish in Center of the Universe.
Like the lipgloss, I didn't own a MAC Mineralize Skinfinish before so I had no idea what to expect at all.
From what I've learnt from using this product and from what I've read online, MAC's Mineralize Skinfinishes are supposed to be used as a final highlighting product.

Centre of the Universe is described as coral with gold shimmer. It features different swirls of gold, bronze and orange, that blend together to create a goldy brown shade.

(left without flash, right with flash)

Middle: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Center of the Universe

I compared the Mineralize Skinfinish to what I thought were two similar bronzers in my collection, but I found Center of the Universe to have much more of a shimmer than the other two, which were much more matte. It also looks peachier in colour compared to the others, more like a rose gold.

I found Center of the Universe to look like a glistening gold/orange on the skin, and I like to use it as a bronzer type highlight, brushing it up along my cheekbones and temples to create a sun-kissed glow. It lasted around 5-6 hours before fading and it's VERY pigmented - you only need a very light hand!

FOTD featuring MAC Heavenly Creatures Collection:

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Center of the Universe

Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid Eyeliner
Avon Color Trend Kajal Stick

MAC Cremesheen Glass in Meteoric

What have you hauled from MAC recently?

Let me know!