Sunday, 23 November 2014

Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra-Comfortable Day & Night Creams Review!

So a little while back in this haul I picked up Nuxe's Rieve de Miel Ultra Comfortable day and night creams. Now, after a good few months of using them, I can let you know my thoughts on them! 

I went for these as I have dry and sensitive skin, and these creams are aimed at that skin type, plus I already love their cult Rieve de Miel lip balm so wanted to try more products from the range. Both of the creams come in  pots, the day cream being in a light plastic one and the night cream in a heavier glass one. Although I personally prefer the look and feel of the glass pot, the plastic one is much more practical for travelling and taking away with you, and is great if you are someone who likes to keep their day cream in their handbag! 

The creams look incredibly similar (the day cream being perhaps slightly darker in colour than the night) and smell exactly the same; the mostly natural ingredients comprising of shea butter, honey, sunflower, argan & almond oils and safflower ceramides creates a lovely, lightly floral fragrance which reminds me of a wildflower meadow - lovely! 

As these creams are aimed at dry skin the formula is rich, however I've found that it is very rich and would be suitable for dry/very dry skin types. Oily skin? Stay away!!! These creams have a gorgeous rich, silky texture and are a dream to use, but if your skin does get on the greasy side do not use as they will just be too much. Even though I do have dry skin I don't use them every single day and alternate between different moisturisers, especially during the summer, as daily use seems to overload my skin with oils. I have however found myself reaching for them more during these colder months as my skin seems to be drying out a lot more. Because of their super rich texture I have found that the night cream especially is really lovely to use to give yourself a little facial massage with!

Overall, because these creams (although so lovely) are a bit much for my skin I probably won't be repurchasing but I wholeheartedly recommend them if you do get especially dry skin, and I would imagine more mature skins may like these too. Next on my list to try is their Creme Fraiche de Beaute 24hr Hydrating and Soothing cream - sounds dreamy!

Have you tried any of Nuxe's moisturisers? I'd love to hear what you think of them!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Charlotte Tilbury Haul!

Helloooo, I've been away from blogging for a couple of months for various reasons, and although I really missed it I just couldn't figure out how to get myself going again for a while! BUT, for some reason, today felt like the day to type up a post and get back out there, so here it is - my Charlotte Tilbury makeup hall!

Ooooh look how pretty it all is! I ordered one of Charlotte's Luxury eyeshadow palettes, her Filmstar Bronze & Glow, one of her K.I.S.S.I.N.G. lipsticks, a Lip Lustre lip gloss, a Lip Cheat lip pencil and the Lip Brush. The Luxury Palette comes in a burgundy-brown plastic case (not coming across very well in the photo, I apologise!) with Charlotte's initials on the front, and the handle of the Lip Brush is the same colour - I was drawn to the brush because of it's square shape, it looked as if it would be much easier to be precise than with a curve-edged brush. The rest of the products are encased in rose gold coloured packaging - the Filmstar Bronze & Glow is especially luxurious looking, I think I did actually squeal when I took the cardboard packaging off haha. 

As I was ordering these items from Charlotte's website I did play it quite safe with what I ordered, being that I went for things similar to what I already use that I was sure I would like and get a lot of use out of, i.e. neutral and natural tones that go with everything. The Luxury Palette I decided on is The Sophisticate - an eyeshadow quad of matte, neutral shades. There's an ivory/cream shade, a sand shade, a mid-grey and a warm rich brown. The quad is really lovely inside as the rose gold features again and is embossed with 'Charlotte Tilbury'. 

The Filmstar Bronze & Glow is encased entirely in the rose gold coloured packaging and looks truly stunning! It consists of a bronze/contour shade and a highlight shade, both of which are really, really nice! The bronze isn't too dark for my light skin tone and isn't too orange or muddy looking, and it has a slight amount of shimmer in but it's very subtle. The highlight is a beautiful golden champagne that I should imagine would flatter all skin tones. Both compacts have a small star in the top right hand corner of the mirrors which I think is a really pretty touch. 

The lipstick I picked out is the K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick in Penelope Pink. It's not actually pink at all, I have no idea why that's the name because it's quite misleading - I had hoped/expected that it would be a pink-ish toned natural shade, but in reality it's a peachy-tan. It's a bit warmer toned than what I usually go for, but I think it will go well with a dark smokey eye or something like that. It also smells of vanilla which I really like (: I also got the matching lipgloss to the lipstick which is the Lip Lustre in Seduction. The gloss is the exact same shade as the lipstick, so they should go together nicely (: 

Finally I got the recommended lip liner pencil go with those two, which is the Lip Cheat in Pillowtalk. The liner is a little darker and pinker than the lipstick, but after having a quick go with it I've found that using a light hand means they still work together, but they aren't a total match - I do really like it though, and the shade of the liner is more 'me' than the shade of the lipstick. 

In the above photo I'm wearing The Sophisticate Luxury Palette and the Penelope Pink lipstick, so you can get a bit of an idea of what a couple of the products look like on - I shall do in depth reviews of all the products including swatches in the near future, so I hope you look forward to those! (: 

I hope you enjoyed this haul! Have you picked up anything from Charlotte Tilbury's range? What did you get, or what do you have your eye on? 

Thursday, 31 July 2014

L'Oreal Color Riche L'Ombre Pure Eye Shadow in 201 'CAFÉ ST GERMAIN'

My purchase of this eyeshadow was a result of my desperation (bit extreme, but there you go) to own By Terry's Ombre Blackstar cream eyeshadow stick in 'Misty Rock', but at £28 I just couldn't justify it, especially as cream eyeshadow isn't something I actually use very often. Enter L'oreal Paris Color Riche eyeshadow in 'Café St Germain'. To me, the shades of the two eyeshadows look very similar, just in different formulas and, as it was the particular shade that I was after, that didn't matter! Now, as I've never owned or swatched Misty Rock, I can't say that Café St Germain is an outright dupe in terms of shade (and it seems to be nowhere near as glittery), but if you Google swatches of both shades you'll see where I was going with my train of thought (:

As you can see, I've used Café St Germain a fair few times now - it's because one of my everyday shades and I'm really loving it! The only issue with it is that it seems to have taken on a waxy texture over the top of the powder which I'm not entirely sure how to rectify (suggestions welcome!). The formula of the eyeshadow is like a pressed loose powder - sounds odd but I really don't know how else to describe it! It's obviously not a loose powder but it's different and much softer than a pressed powder. Because of this, it has been super easy to pick up the product on a brush and blend it out evenly across the lids, but I can't help but think it's also the reason for the development of the waxiness. It hasn't become unusable or anything, but it is a bit annoying. 

Swatched, Café St Germain pulls a lilac toned neutral with shimmer - it catches the light really beautifully but that doesn't really come across in the above photo. The formula is buttery soft and the pigmentation is really good, so intensity can be built up quickly and easily. The pigmentation has lessened slightly with development of the waxy top layer though, but hopefully I'll find a solution to that soon and will let you know when I do ASAP!

I mostly wear this eyeshadow as an every day shade and pair it with my usual winged liquid liner and mascara. It really has become one of my favourites as it's a bit different to your usual neutral eyeshadow, plus I think the lilac tone it has compliments my eye colour quite well (: I'd really recommend this shade despite the slight formula issue as that hasn't lessened my ability to use the product, plus it's so inexpensive you can't really go wrong! 

Have you tried any of the L'Oreal Color Riche L'Ombre Pure eyeshadows? What did you think of the shades and formulas? 

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Nuxe Haul!

A little while ago now I placed an order with Nuxe; my skin was pretty irritated especially on my forehead following a reaction to a shampoo, and Nuxe was the brand that I turned to for help as I already use their Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm. The lip balm really helped my lips when I had an allergic reaction to a different lip balm, so I thought that their products could help again this time (: 

At the time of ordering Nuxe had a great '3 for 2' offer on (right now they've got a 20% off everything sale) so I picked up quite a few things but only actually had to pay for two of them, bargain or what? Plus, it all arrived in a nice gift box! The two items I paid for were the Rêve de Miel day and night creams. I wanted to stay with the Rêve de Miel range as it's targeted at dry and sensitive skin and that's my skin type to a 't'! Nuxe do lots of other ranges targeted at different skin types and concerns though (: Both pots contain 50ml of product, the day cream comes in a plastic pot which is very practical if you carry your cream about with you, and the night cream is in a lovely frosted glass pot like the lip balm - I'll get photographs of both for their full review post. Also, they smell soooo good, like a wildflower meadow! (: 

The product I chose as my third (and free, yay!) item was the Crème Fraîche de Beauté Mask. It's a calming, hydrating mask for sensitive skin and, as I get a lot of redness and irritation on my face even without an allergic reaction being all over my forehead, I thought it would be a good one to try (: I'll definitely let you know how I get on with this as I'm very excited to try it! Then, because I'd spent over a certain amount, there was an offer at the time to qualify for a free Fondant Shower Gel. It's designed to be suitable for all skin types and is soap-free so hopefully it shouldn't dry my skin out at all - it has really great reviews so I'm looking forward to finally getting around to using it (:

I also filled out a customer feedback survey for Nuxe and got a promotion code for a complimentary Rêve de Miel Hand and Nail Cream, so that was really nice! I've used it a few times now and it smells amazing! Finally, with every order from Nuxe's website you get some free samples - one deluxe size miniature which you get to choose, and three sachets. I chose the Fondant Body Scrub as my deluxe miniature to go with the shower gel, and the sachets I received were of their Crème Fraîche de Beauté 24HR Soothing and Moisturising Cream which I expect will be nice and soothing, their Prodigieux le parfum, and their Nuxellence Jeunesse - a luxurious serum that I've had as a deluxe sample before and it was so, so lovely to use and had a gorgeous, light fragrance (:  

As I said I ordered this a little while ago and have been using the day and night creams for 2 or 3 months now so a full review of them won't be far away, and full reviews of other products mentioned will be posted in due course (:

Have you tried any of these products from Nuxe? What did you think? 

Monday, 30 June 2014

The Una Brennan Face Mask Duo: Tea Flower Deep Clean & Rose Hyrdate

I haven't posted for a few weeks, and I apologise for that! I've just been feeling a bit down in the dumps and I guess just kind of flat since finishing university as now I don't really know what to do with myself... but never mind that, I'm back now with a new review! Hope you enjoy (: 

I love a good face mask, and I love them even more when they're super affordable, great value for money and actually work! I'm sure we've all tried those cheapy little masks you get in packets, all manner of bright colours, and your skin gained what you paid for them - basically nothing. These two Superfacialist by Una Brennan face masks are a whole lot different! They actually do work to improve my skin and they're so reasonably priced I just had to write a post about them.

First up is the Tea Flower Deep Clean Pore Purifying Clay Mask (phew, that's a mouthful!) - and it does exactly what it says it's for! The mask itself is a light grey colour and feels quite tingly when applied to the skin, but this does go away. For this reason I'd say it may be unsuitable for those of you who have really sensitive skin, however my skin is pretty sensitive and I was expecting to see signs of irritation once I'd removed the mask, but skin looked and felt perfectly fine. You leave the mask on for about 10 minutes or for however long it takes to dry down - it'll turn a lighter minty-grey colour as it does. Once the mask has dried I remove it with warm water and a flannel; first I soak the flannel in the water and wring it out, then place it over my face for a few seconds to allow the steam to soften the mask a little before wiping it off, so it's a) easier to remove and b) gentler than scrubbing it off my face. 

Straight away I can always see that my pores are noticeably clearer, any spots have been calmed down a bit and my skin feels thoroughly cleansed and fresh, but not stripped at all - I'm so impressed by the Tea Flower Mask every time I use it! It is a bit drying on my skin, not very considering I have dry skin anyway but my skin does feel a bit tight afterwards, so I always follow it up with the Rose Hydrate Intense Moisture Mask

The Rose Hyrdate Mask is, as you'd expect, rose scented but not overly so - just a light, pleasant floral fragrance. It looks like a slightly off-white coloured cream and feels lovely and cool on the skin when applied, and the excess can be rubbed into your hands! The instructions say to leave this mask on for 10 minutes and then wash off, but I found this to be too short a time for it to have any effect on my dry skin, however this may be ample for oilier skin types. Instead, I tend to leave it on for anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour. The mask does dry down a bit in that time but does not fully absorb into the skin, and then I again remove the mask with a flannel and warm water. 

My skin always looks and feels plumped and smooth after using the Rose Hydrate Mask - sometimes I don't even need to use my usual heavier night cream afterwards (I usually do my face masks in the evening, although I sometimes use this before a night out if I'm going to wear heavy makeup and my skin is bothersome as it really helps to create a much better base for foundation), just a serum or a light moisturiser and I'm done! It really calms my skin too which is fantastic as I have a moderate amount of redness due to having sensitive skin, so it's lovely to have my bare face looking a normal colour for once haha. 

And the best bit? Both masks are available from Boots for just £8.99 each and contain a generous 125ml of product - so affordable, lovely to use and such great quality! 

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Barry M 'Lychee' Jelly Nail Paint & Topshop Nails 'Pluto'

I seriously LOVE this nail polish combo! When I decided to paint my nails like this I thought it would be quite pretty, but didn't expect to be as obsessed with this look as much as I am haha - in fact I've only been doing my nails differently since purely because I've got a load of other polishes that I've been meaning to get round to trying for aaaages. 

Barry M Jelly Nail Paint in Lychee is a nude beige polish that is great for a simple chic nail on it's own, and has a beautiful glossy finish. It's also a really good dupe for Essie's Sand Tropez!

Topshop Nails in Pluto is really pretty purple glitter topcoat, consisting of fairly large uniform sized pieces. From a distance, I think it makes the nails look like they have an irregular polka dot pattern on, and up close the glitter is apparent and looks so so lovely (in my opinion anyway!) - it could even be described as a more 'grown-up' glitter topcoat. I think if you usually don't go for glitter polishes because you think they don't look particularly sophisticated, this one could well be worth a look!

As well as creating super pretty nails, I found these polishes lasted about a week on my nails before chipping, which is really good! I do find though that unless a polish has very poor lasting power, nail polishes do tend to last on my nails on average about seven days - don't know why, they just always do! I keep my nails quite short so that could have something to do with it, but I have no idea really. In any case, I think these should still last well on anyone (: 

What do you guys think about glitter topcoats? Do you think they're pretty or are you not a fan? 

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector Review!

Exams are over, degree is finished, which means I AM BACK! I've seriously missed writing posts and spending hours scrolling though other blogs, so I'm very happy to be bringing you all a little review! As someone whose hands get very dried out by hand washes and often irritated, I find it's very important to use a really nourishing hand cream to keep eczema at bay. Over the past few months I've been having particular problems with it, and my mum was kind enough to pick up The Body Shop's Hemp Hand Protector for me to try out as it's targeted at very dry skin

The Hemp Hand Protector is thicker than other hand creams that I've tried - ones I've had in the past have more of a lotion-y feel whereas this is definitely a rich cream consistency. However, the pale green cream (that I didn't need to use very much of per application) still absorbed into my skin as easily as lighter creams and didn't leave my hands feeling sticky at all, just soft and nourished! Sounds pretty good, I think you'll agree?

The only thing I was a little unsure about at first was the scent - it was unlike anything I've smelled before, I guess it just smells of hemp? It wasn't unpleasant at all, just a bit odd, perhaps slightly 'clinical' - it smelled more like a treatment rather than a generic hand cream to me anyway. However, after using the Hemp Hand Protector a few times I soon got used to it and grew to actually quite like it, now it seemed more of a clean, fresh scent which I really enjoyed having on my hands! 

I've used my Hemp Hand Protector all up now, but I'm definitely going to repurchase it as I found it really helped with my dry skin and kept my hands moisturised enough to stop my eczema from reoccurring (something I wasn't expecting it to manage!), and I'll be getting it in the larger 100ml size (pictured above is the 30ml) as that's the best value - it's super affordable anyway though at just £5 for the smaller tube and £10 for the larger.

Have you tried The Body Shop's Hemp Hand Protector, or any of their other hand creams? What did you think of them? I'd love to know your thoughts and I haven't tried any of their other ones! 

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Lush 'Tender Is The Night' Massage Bar

I've got another Lush review for you this week - the Tender Is The Night massage bar! This bar was originally released for Valentines Day and has been kept on as part of Lush's permanent line. 

Out of the massage bars that I've tried from Lush so far (From Dusk 'Til Dawn and Snow Fairy if you're interested, both very nice), Tender Is The Night is by far my favourite! It has such an amazing scent - vanilla, jasmine and ylang ylang, all of which really come through. Although the smell of this massage bar is fairly strong and heady, no one scent overpowers the others, and they work beautifully together to create a gorgeous sweetly floral scent that I can't get enough of! 

As with all of Lush's massage bars, Tender Is The Night starts to melt and release its oils at the temperature of your skin - this can get a bit messy with some of Lush's creamier bars, but Tender Is The Night is fairly solid. Despite it not being particularly creamy, it still leaves the skin super soft and feeling very pampered in deed! 

Have you tried any of Lush's massage bars? Which one is your favourite? 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

It's Raining Men - Lush Honey Shower Gel

Before I get in to the main post, I just want to quickly say how happy and grateful I am for reaching 100 followers on Bloglovin'! I know it's not that many to some, but to me it's pretty amazing as I never thought that many people would really want to read what I have to say, as I just started this blog as a hobby and a way to take my mind off things. Thank you guys so much, and I have a special little post planned to celebrate, so keep your eyes peeled for that! Anyway, on to today's post... 

I'm not a big fan of showers - I take them, of course, but I much prefer baths however showers are often necessary as they're much quicker (usually... I'm terrible at speedy showers though) and easier first thing in the morning. Because showers really aren't one of my favourite things, I like to use really lovely shower gels to make them more enjoyable; enter Lush's It's Raining Men

It's no secret that I ab-so-LUTE-ly love Lush (as I'm sure everyone does!) but for some reason, until fairly recently, I'd only ever gone for their bath products - as where I live at uni only has a shower, I thought it was about time I branched out a bit and gave their shower gels a try! 

It's Raining Men is a sweet, honey scented gel and which smells just delicious! It's not edible though, as much as it even looks like real honey haha. It's not overly sweet or sickly like some honey scents can be, and manages to be somewhat fresh at the same time - probably due the sweet wild orange and bergamot oils it is infused with, to help 'add brightness and lift the mood'. 

I've found that It's Raining Men lathers up really well, especially when using a shower puff and with one of them a little really does go a long way. The little 100g bottle I owned lasted me nearly three months, which I think is really good. I haven't noticed that the scent really lingers on the skin after the shower, which for me is a shame, but it makes the actual shower a much more pleasant experience nonetheless. 

The only downside to this shower gel is, as with all of Lush's shower gels, the price. I had the smallest sized bottle and it cost £4.50. The 'regular' size of 250g is fairly pricey at £8.95, and the larger sized bottle is even more. For comparison, if you want to have a slightly more indulgent shower gel than your usual high street/drugstore offering, The Body Shop's 250ml shower gels are £4. However, as Lush's shower gels are so lovely, and It's Raining Men smells so amazing, I can definitely see myself purchasing it again despite it being a bit pricey - I adore the scent so much I want it back in my life soon!

Have you tried any of Lush's shower gels? Which one is your favourite? 

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Seventeen Phwoarr Paint Concealer

In recent months, I've found that my skin scars from blemishes and dark marks are visible on my skin for weeks afterwards. I wanted to find a good concealer that would cover them all, but it had to be inexpensive as I knew it would be a product I planned to use rather liberally every day. 

Seventeen isn't a brand I usually go for - in fact, I never look at their products - but after hearing a lot of good things about their Phwoarr Paint Concealer, I thought I would give it a try. 

Seventeen's Phwoarr Paint Concealer has actually been formulated for use under the eyes, but as I wanted to use it on the rest of my face I decided to go a shade darker and get it in shade 'Medium' instead of 'Light'. I think if I had got the lighter shade it would have just highlighted any marks - not what I want! It's pretty heavy-duty stuff for an under-eye concealer, but I can see how it would work as it's nice and creamy, and I haven't found it to be drying.

I've decided to show you what this stuff can do on a mole on the back of my arm, instead of a blemish - I didn't think a great big close-up of a spot on my face would be very nice, haha! As you can see, Seventeen's Phwoarr Paint Concealer does a pretty good job of covering it - the scarring left by my blemishes isn't as dark as that, so you can imagine that it pretty much covers them completely. 

On my arm, the shade 'Medium' doesn't look like a very good match for my skintone - it looks fairly orange - but somehow it blends well on my face and doesn't look wrong. As I mentioned before, the formula of this concealer is creamy despite how thick it is, blends easily over blemishes/other marks, and doesn't accentuate dry patches. It has been likened to Benefit's Boi-ing Concealer and even been called a dupe for it, but as I've never tried the Benefit offering I can't comment on that. 

The only criticism I would have is that is isn't available in many shades - just the two, 'Light' and 'Medium', in fact. Really, I would have preferred a shade that was somewhere between two, as Medium isn't a perfect match and it's going over it with my foundation that really makes it seemless. Also, there's just no option for darker skinned guys and gals. However, overall I do really like this concealer, and the colour match is for me only a minor issue as I always wear it with foundation so completely blending it with my bare skin isn't a problem. It does the job, plus as it's so cheap, you can't really go wrong ;)

Have you tried Seventeen's Phwoarr Paint Concealer? What did you think? What about Seventeen's other products? I'd love to know your thoughts on the brand! 

Monday, 17 March 2014

Night Sky Nails - Essie's 'No More Film' & 'A Stroke Of Brilliance'

Apologies for the quality of this photo... just couldn't get it quite right for some reason, hard as I tried.

Now I've got two pieces of coursework out of the way, as a reward I've allowed myself to write a blog post - woooo! Using my blog as a reward is a really good way to stop myself from using it to procrastinate, too...

Anyway, a little while ago now I picked up these two nail polishes from Essie (quickly becoming my favourite brand for nail polish) - No More Film and A Stroke Of Brilliance

In the above photo you can see that I've layered the two polishes up, and the look of them together reminds me of a clear night sky, where everywhere you look you can see the stars twinkling. I personally think A Stroke Of Brilliance would work best as top coat, like most glitter polishes do, although in the above picture I do only have one coat of it on, so I suppose after 2 or 3 coats it could look quite opaque and is maybe something to try if you want super glittery nails! It has a mix of blue and silver glitter in differently sized pieces, creating and almost 3D sparkle effect - very pretty. The only thing I would say is that I found application ever so slightly tricky, as a few of the glitter pieces wanted to stand upright for some reason, but sweeping the brush over them a couple of times rectifies this - just do it quickly before the polish starts to go tacky! 

Although not pictured without glitter over the top, No More Film is a gorgeous dark blue/violet that looks very chic, sophisticated and glossy on its own. I was immediately attracted to the shade because it seemed to be a bit of an unusual colour for a nail polish, and is perfect for an understated dark nail with a bit of a difference. 

These polishes lasted a good few days on my nails, they only started to chip after about 4 or 5 days of wear, not as long as I've found some polishes to last but pretty good by any means (: 

What do you think of these two polishes? Are you a fan of Essie? 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

See you in May...

... well, you'll probably hear from me before then, now and again, but what I'm saying is that I'm not going to be posting much from now until the end of May.

I'm in my final year of university studying Psychology, and all of my coursework (including my dissertation!) is due in at the end of this month, then after that I have four weeks to revise before my exams which start at the end of April - eek! So, as much as I'd like it not to, uni work has to come first (:

Basically I'm just letting you know that if you like to keep up to date with my posts, don't expect the regular one to two posts a week that I've been managing recently - I've got a few posts lined up but obviously I won't be able to put them up until I've got  bit of spare time, so expect my posts to be a bit sporadic and you probably won't be seeing a new one every single week until after I've finished my university exams.

Hope you all stick with me and enjoy the posts I do manage to do during this time - see you soon! x

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette - Review, Swatches and Tutorial!

I bought this cute little palette in December, and for some reason I haven't got around to posting about it until now! I know the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette has been around for a little while now, but I love it so much that I wanted to review it anyway (: 

The Naked Basics Palette is half the size of the other three, full-size Naked Palettes, comprising of 6 eyeshadows instead of twelve. However, despite a smaller range of shades, it's still super versatile and can be used to create a range of everyday neutral eye looks to more intense, smokey eyes. 

Out of the six shadows, five of them are matte. The first and lightest shade in the palette, Venus, is the only shimmery shade. It's very pretty and perfect for highlighting the inner corners of the eye and the brow bone. Using a light hand, it also looks lovely all over the lid for a subtle wash of neutral shimmer to add a little extra to an everyday look. (The small chip you can see in the bottom of 'Crave' is from when I knocked the palette off my dressing table, my heart nearly stopped! Haha) 

As you can see, all of the shades have really good colour payoff - something we've all come to expect from Urban Decay's eyeshadows. They all have a lovely soft texture, no fall-out that I've noticed, and are so easy to work with and blend out beautifully. The shades are all slightly cool-toned which is something that particularly attracted me to this palette, as I find overly warm tones around my eyes don't really suit me, and tend to make the rest of my face look a little washed out.

For day-to-day, I usually wear either Foxy or Walk Of Shame all over the lid, with Naked 2 in the outer-V and crease, and Venus in the inner corner. I'll also add a little Faint or even Crave along my lash line if I'm not bothering with my liquid liner. To make my eyes bolder for a night time look, I'll add Naked 2 under the eyes too, Faint in the crease and a little under the eyes at the outer edge, and crave in the outer-V. Faint and Crave are super pigmented and come out really dark so you only need a little of either of them on your brush, and then build up gradually for your desired intensity. From looking at Crave you'd expect this, but not so much with Faint - when I first used Faint I didn't realise this and just went straight in there with a loaded brush! Took some serious blending to rectify that haha. To finish off my eyes for the evening I'll almost always add my liquid liner, but sometimes just put crave along my lashline and load up on mascara instead.

I've added in a little Day-To-Night tutorial that I filmed last month, hope you find it useful! Watching it back now, I can think of sooo many ways I could have filmed it better, but for a first tutorial video I don't think it's too bad (:

If you couldn't already tell, I lovelovelove this little palette! I think Urban Decay Naked Basics has become a real staple in my makeup routine, and is always the palette I turn to when I'm stuck for ideas (:

Do you own the Naked Basics Palette? Do you prefer it to the full-size Naked Palettes? I'd love to know your thoughts! 

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Boots Haul!

A couple of weeks ago I went to my local Boots store on a mission to pick up a few items I'd read a lot of good things about and wanted to try out. I came out with a mixture of things I needed, things I'd wanted to try, and things I decided to purchase kinda spur-of-the-moment - so here's what I got!

Firstly I went to find Una Brennan's Super Facialist Rose Hydrate Intense Moisture Mask. I get pretty dry skin and sometimes feel like I need an extra hydrating boost in addition to my serum and moisturiser, so wanted to give a moisture mask a go but also didn't want to spend a crazy amount of money on one. I already use the Tea Flower Clay Mask and have been really impressed with it, so wanted to stick with the Una Brennan range as it seems to be great quality and super affordable. After a reading a few good reviews of the Rose Hydrate mask, I decided to go for it and so far so good - I have only used it a couple of times though but after continued use I'll do a full review, along with the Tea Flower mask. I also picked up the Garnier Skin Naturals Pure Active Intense Spot Roll-On as I've had a few painful, under-the-skin blemishes recently. This is a product I've used before and I really like it, it has a nice cooling sensation when applied to the skin - great for when your blemishes are angry and irritated. I find it also helps to fade existing blemish scarring and prevent it from occurring. It's a product that gets some mixed reviews, but I find it works for me. 

Next I picked up a few makeup items - something I find hard not to do whenever I'm in Boots! I got a couple of Rimmel products, the first being one of their much raved about Apocalips Lip Lacquers, in the shade 'Celestial'. It's a kind of muted mauve-pink shade that leans slightly nude/natural toned - a pretty standard shade for me to go for, and as I hadn't used a formula like this before I thought it would be best to stick to what I know! Having used this a few times now I can say that I'm seriously impressed - it's a gloss that you apply with a usual wand applicator but it sets into a lipstick-like formulation. It is also super pigmented but can be dabbed onto the lips for a less intense look, and I found that it lasts a pretty long time on my lips too! I've already gone and purchased another couple of shades so a full review of all three can be expected on here soon. The second Rimmel product I got was their Glam Eyes Liquid Eye Liner, as my usual Barry M one is becoming hard to find in stores and was not available in my local Boots or Superdrug - they only seem to have the metallic black one for some reason. I've used this quite a lot and I have to say that I don't love it as much as the Barry M one, but it's still a good liner. It's super black (no 'actually a really dark grey' disappointment here!) and has a really fine brush so is great for being very precise and getting in close to the lash line. Again, full review in due course. 

I also wanted to get the Seventeen Pwhoarr Paint Heavy Duty Under Eye Concealer, as I'd read that it was a good dupe for Benefit's Boi-ing. Although meant for under the eyes, I wanted to use this concealer on my face to mask blemishes so I got the shade 'Medium' instead of 'Fair', as the lighter shade would have just highlighted blemishes instead - not what I'm looking for! Used this a fair few times now and I'm pretty impressed, it looks completely the wrong colour for my skin when swatched on my arm (super orange!) but is somehow a really great shade for my face, and a full review will be appearing soon.

Lastly, I purchased the EcoTools Bamboo Airbursh Concealer Brush (couldn't find on the Boots website, but is on Feel Unique here). I was just browsing the beauty accessories section as I usually do, and I don't normally pick up anything from that aisle unless I'm specifically looking for something, but ended up looking at this as I don't particularly like patting in under-eye concealer with my fingers and it looked like it could be gentle enough to use in that area. It's a small, rounded brush and not flat like a typical concealer blush - more like mini round-topped buffer. The bristles are really soft and it's perfect for using under the eyes, much better than fingers in my opinion! It makes it really easy to blend concealer and achieve perfect coverage, as you can get such a small amount of product onto the bristles and then gradually build until you're happy with the finish.

Have you tried any of these? What drugstore/hightreet  beauty products have you bought recently? 

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Soap & Glory 'One Heck of a Blot' Review!

I've been needing a new pressed powder for a little while now, as the one I was using (Rimmel's Stay Matte) wasn't meeting my needs - it didn't actually keep shine away from my skin for more than a couple of hours, was the wrong shade as I bought it in the summer when I had a bit of a tan, and the lid had smashed in my bag at some point. When browsing the aisles in Boots, I remembered a friend had said a couple of months a go that she really rated Soap & Glory's One Heck of a Blot powder, and as I'm already a fan of their bath and body products, I decided  to give it a whirl. 

One Heck of a Blot is a translucent pressed powder, so there's no need to worry about it not matching your skintone - you can see from the above photo that the swatch is barely visible against my skin, and that's with 3 or 4 layers, so it should match pretty much everyone. It comes in Soap & Glory's usual fun and girly, vintage inspired packaging - something I particularly love about the brand. I know the quality and performance of the product is what's important, but it doesn't hurt for it to come in a pretty case, does it? Haha. 

I've had this powder for 3 or 4 weeks now and so have used it a fair few times, and I am very impressed. I don't have super oily skin, my skin is generally dry/very dry all over but a shiny t-zone does gradually develop throughout the day. I also like a good powder to set my foundation as I use moisturising bases that tend to not last as long on the skin in comparison to oil-free/mattifying ones. My Rimmel Stay Matte Powder would only keep the shine away for 2 hours at best, One Heck of a Blot keeps me shine-free for at least 5 hours, often longer. I wore this the other night to set my foundation before a gig - finished doing my makeup at 6pm, got home just before 2am and only had the slightest beginnings of shine on my nose and forehead. For 8 hours that included being outdoors, being inside a hot gig, and a trip to the pub, I think this powder seriously good!

The powder compact comes with a little powder puff which, although I don't like to use for initial application, is handy to have with you for touch-ups throughout the day if you need to - much more convenient than carrying makeup brushes around! Just press on to the skin to be shine-free once more (: 

Although One Heck of a Blot is quite a bit more expensive than the Rimmel offering I was previously purchasing, it is 100% worth it! It just simply works, and is a heck of a lot (see what I did there?) cheaper than high-end brands whose powders claim to do the same thing - I'll definitely be repurchasing this product (:

Have you tried One Heck of a Blot, or any of Soap & Glory's other pressed powders? What did you think of them?

Friday, 14 February 2014

Delicious Chocolate Cake - with NO EGGS!

I thought I'd share with you all one of my favourite cake recipes - it is, of course, a Chocolate cake, and is from Alice Sherwood's Allergy-Free Cookbook. I couldn't find it on Waterstones' website, but it is available from various sellers on Amazon and Ebay. 

I have a few food allergies, namely egg, all tree nuts, peanuts, sesame, and something in mustard although I'm not sure exactly what - perhaps mustard seeds themselves, although this particular allergy is a relatively new discovery for me so I know little about it. All my other allergies I have had since childhood, and therefore I'm used to having them and living with them, I hardly think about them and checking food labels when I'm out shopping is just something I do automatically. I've never really felt like I've been missing out on any food, and me not being able to have dessert in restaurants for example seems to bother other people I'm dining with more than it does myself. 

However, every now and again I'll see a particularly lovely looking cake in a cafe or smell some yummy pancakes, and I'll wish I could just go and buy some! That's where Alice Sherwood's Allergy-Free Cookbook comes in - it's a fab little cookbook with a great range of allergy-friendly recipes (she caters for egg, nut, gluten and dairy-free diets, each recipe adaptable to suit your requirements) including the desserts I sometimes find myself craving. Even though this is an allergy cookbook, I think it's the perfect starter cookbook for anyone, as the range of recipes it contains is really great (breakfasts, soup, bread making, desserts, and many other meals), and isn't overwhelming like other great big cookbooks can be when you're just starting to venture into cooking from recipes, and don't know where to start with them! I love so many of the recipes inside, but my favourite and most used one is her chocolate cake (:

The reason I love this recipe so much is that it doesn't contain all the weird replacement ingredients which are hard to find that you can often come buy when searching for an egg-free cake recipe - no xanthan gum or strange egg-replacer mixes! All ingredients used are easy to come by in your local supermarket and don't make trying to bake an egg-free cake seem like an ordeal (: 

Another reason I like this recipe so much is that lots of people who have tried it and who are not allergic to egg, have told me that it tastes exactly like a regular cake - and some have even gone as far to say they prefer it to ones containing egg! If that doesn't say it's a great recipe, I don't know what does!

So, onto the cake... you will need:

  • 170g Plain Flour
  • 200g Caster Sugar
  • 4/5 Teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 23g Cocoa Powder
  • 1-2 Pinches of Salt
  • 225ml Milk (you can use any fat content milk, Soya milk or even Water if you prefer - I used Whole)
  • 50ml Corn Oil
  • 3/4 Tablespoon White Wine Vinegar
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
If you want to add butter icing, you will also need one small tub of slightly salted butter, at room temperature, and some icing sugar. Plus any any decorations you want for your cake (:

This is actually half the original recipe, so that's why some of the amounts are a little weird! It's meant to be enough mixture to split between two cake tins, but as I only have one tin I used less. 

The equipment you will need are:

  • Mixing Bowl
  • Cake Tin
  • Scales
  • Jug
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Sieve
  • Teaspoon
  • Tablespoon
  • Fork (optional)
  • Knife or Spatula
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F, Gas Mark 4). Sieve all of the dry ingredients together into the mixing bowl (flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder & salt). Once they are all in, mix together with the wooden spoon. They should go from looking like this...

... to this:

Step 2: Measure out the wet ingredients into the jug (milk, corn oil, white wine vinegar & vanilla extract) and mix together. The Corn Oil will always separate out though so I just give it a little mix each time before adding it to the dry ingredients. It should look like this:

Step 3: A bit at a time, add the wet ingredients mixture to the dry ingredients. Ensure they are completely combined and stir until smooth. The mixture you end up with will be quite wet and runny, but don't worry - it's meant to be like this!

Step 4: Grease your cake tine with either Corn Oil or Butter, or alternatively line with a baking sheet. 

Step 5: Pour the cake mixture into the tin - because it's so runny you should not need to even it out with a spatula. The place in the center of your preheated oven for approximately 40 minutes. If your cake tin has a removable base, place a tray on the shelf below it just in case there are any drips. 

Step 6: Once your cake is baked (see the photo at the top of the page!), take out of the oven and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from the tin and transferring to a plate or wire rack if you have one. 

If you are going to ice your cake, allow it to cool completely before you do, otherwise your icing will just melt off! I didn't measure out my icing, but I just put about 2/3 to 1/2 a small tub of slightly salted Lurpak spreadable butter at room temperature into a mixing bowl. I then sieved over and mixed in icing sugar until I thought it was right (: 

You can use a wooden spoon to combine the butter and icing sugar, but I prefer to use a large fork as you can 'mash' together the two ingredients, which makes making the icing a much quicker process (:

As long as it looks like this and tastes good, it should be fine (:

Step 7: Now's the time to add any food colouring you might want to your icing - I chose pink (: just a couple of drops unless you want seriously intense colour! Now spread it over your completely cooled cake using a knife or spatula. 

Step 8: Add any additional decorations that you may want - I went for Chocolate Hearts and Red Writing Icing.

Yeah I know I'm not the greatest cake decorator... haha.

Step 9: Serve and Enjoy!

As it's Valentines, I went with that theme for decoration (: the heart shape of the cake is just coincidental however - it's the only cake tin I own so every cake I bake is that shape! This is such a lovely cake recipe and it's great for any time of year, I hope you try it out for yourself and enjoy it as much as I do (:

What's your favourite kind of cake? Have you baked anything in particular for Valentines this year?