Monday, 24 August 2015

Charlotte Tilbury X Norman Parkinson Collection: My Picks


Charlotte Tilbury's collaboration with Norman Parkinson on the packaging of her latest products has got to be one of the most luxurious beauty collections of the Summer! The collection features photographs taken by Norman Parkinson that have never before been allowed to be used in this way; that Charlotte Tilbury's vintage-inspired makekup collection has been approved for this makes it very special indeed. 

The collection is split into two main looks, Miss 1975 and Miss Kensington, which you can purchase as complete sets, or pick out a few individual items that catch your eye. Both of the items I bought were from the Miss Kensington part of the collection, said to be 'inspired by the haughty but naughty girls of the swinging sixties'! The look draws inspiration Norman Parkinson's muses Audrey Hepburn, Twiggy, and his wife, Wenda, whose image is used on the Colour of Youth cream blush compact (not pictured). 

I picked up the Miss Kensington Matte Revolution Lipstick and the Dreamy Glow highlighter for myself - it was so hard to choose, though! But I decided to just get a couple of things that I would get a lot of use out of. 



The lipstick is encased in Charlotte Tilbury's signature rose gold-coloured packaging, and looks so lovely! Miss Kensington is a very wearable pink-toned nude/natural  shade that I find very easy to wear as it goes with everything! It's a matte finish but is surprisingly hardly drying on the lips at all - Charlotte does promise that it has a hydrating formula, but I must admit that I was quite skeptical until I tried it myself, very impressed! Although matte, it has a satin-like sheen to it in some lights when on the lips, ensuring that they don't look flat. 



The Dreamy Glow highlighter is a soft, peach-champagne shade - quite different from the golden tone of the Filmstar Bronze and Glow light/medium (not pictured, but a post on it is in the pipeline!). It adds a lovely, soft-focus sheen to the skin and I find it is subtle enough for everyday. The compact it is encased in is again rose gold, and the lid also features one of Norman Parkinson's photographs: an image of Carmen dell'Orefice. The photograph was taken in the Bahamas and shot by Parkinson for the July 1959 issue of Vogue - the image is beautiful and she looks incredible, and she still does today! This compact is definitely something I'll keep hold of, long after the highlighter itself is gone.


Above swatches L-R: Miss Kensington Matte Revolution Lipstick, Dreamy Glow Highlighter 2 layers, Dreamy Glow Highlighter one layer. 

Below: Miss Kensington Matte Revolution Lipstick on my lips.


I love this collection from Charlotte Tilbury and Norman Parkinson! What do you think? 

Friday, 24 April 2015

Going Cruelty Free


So recently I've been thinking a lot about how many beauty products I buy and how much I spend on them, and whether I'm really thinking about my purchases when I make them. As a total animal lover the thought of animals being cruelly harmed really upsets me, but (and this may sound really stupid) although I obviously knew that animal testing exists, I'd never really given much thought about it until pretty recently. 

Recent events in the news to do with trophy hunting led me down a path where I began reading more and more into animal cruelty, reading up on things on the PETA and Go Cruelty Free 'Leaping Bunny' websites. I've now decided that, for me personally, I cannot justify buying beauty products which are not cruelty free. Beauty products are not necessary, we do not need them, and therefore I feel that animals do not need to be harmed for the sake of people putting some pretty mixtures on their faces. 

I'm not writing this to preach to others and tell them what to do, or to berate others for whatever products they use; I am writing this for others like me who may have simply never really thought about it before, and may like to look into the options for cruelty free beauty in a bit more depth.

After a bit of investigation, I've found that most of the beauty brands I use that I like the most are already cruelty free, but a handful of them aren't (Bobbi Brown, Benefit, and Clarins namely). I'm still going to continue to use the products I own because frankly I can't afford to replace them in my collection, but when they've run out/gone out of date I will just not repurchase them. I feel a bit sad because they are products I love, but I really don't feel like I can justify buying them any more.  

The brands that I do use that are (as far as I understand) cruelty free are Palmer's, Lush, The Body Shop (parent company L'Oreal is not though), Charlotte Tilbury, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Real Techniques, Urban Decay (same situation as The Body Shop), Soap and Glory, Burt's Bees, and Liz Earle. I've found all my info on these brands' cruelty free status' from either PETA or Leaping Bunny logo lists, or statements made on their own websites. Some also say that Nars, Bare Minerals, and Antipodes are cruelty free and others say they are not, so I need to do a bit more digging in those areas! If any of you have looked into them, please share. 

For me, making this change has been really important as the more I looked into it all, the more I felt like a total hypocrite for saying I was against animal cruelty when I was happy to use any beauty brand willy-nilly! 

I'd love to hear your stances on this issue! Do any of you exclusively shop cruelty free beauty, or is it not something you've really thought about before? Are there any cruelty free brands that I should check out? I've heard of a few others but what I've listed is all I've tried! 

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Lush Easter 2015


It's nearly Easter and, as always, Lush have come up with another tempting Easter collection full of bath bombs, bubble bars, soaps and shower jellies! As I've still got lots of Lush bits and pieces left over from Christmas (and I topped up my collection around Valentines) I only picked up two things, but they were definitely my favourite scents from the bunch!

The big, yellow bath bomb egg is the Immaculate Eggception (which you can also get in pink!) It's so large because it actually has another bath bomb hidden inside - either a little chick or a bunny! Its scent is described as 'zesty' as it contains grapefruit and lemon oil, but it also contains vanilla and for me it's that which really comes through - I think it smells closer to the toffee scent of It's Raining Men shower gel, which I love! Perhaps the citrus will come through more once it's dropped into a bath. 

The other bath bomb I picked up is the cute little pink Fluffy Egg. This bomb shares the same sweet, candy scent as the Snow Fairy shower gel which Lush bring out around Christmas time and is another one of my favourite scents - I don't usually like sweety-type scents but for some reason I adore Lush's version! It's also very similar to Lush's permanent Think Pink bath bomb

I think these not only make a lovely treat for yourself but they could also be a great Easter gift for someone who perhaps isn't so keen on the chocolate kind of egg! What are your favourites from Lush's Easter collection this year? 

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

The Body Shop's Aloe Range


From top: Lip Care, Eye Defence, Protective Serum
As someone with sensitive, reactive skin with a quite a bit of redness, I'm always on the look out for products to help alleviate the symptoms of it and improve my skin's overall appearance - especially on my face! It's for these reasons that The Body Shop's Aloe range appealed to me. I'm already a big an of The Body Shop but have mostly just used their body products, so I also thought it was about time I checked out some of their skincare! 

First up is their Aloe Calming Toner - now I'm just going to come out and say that this is my favourite product out of the ones I picked up and the only one I've since repurchased! For me it really is the best toner I've tried so far; it makes my skin feel cooled and calm, and I feel like it adds a bit of hydration to it too which I haven't found with other toners! After gently sweeping this over my face on a soft cotton pad I find my serum and moisturiser glide on even more smoothly than they do on their own, and my skin is left feeling much softer than if I hadn't used the toner. 

I actually found the Aloe Protective Serum to be a little 'strong' for my skin - when I applied it, it felt kind of tingly and like it slightly irritated any sore patches I had on my face (mainly over my cheek bones) which I wasn't expecting from an aloe product. This might be good if you have general redness in your skin, but maybe not if it's feeling a bit on the 'raw' side, which mine can do. It spread over the skin easily and sank in quickly.

Next up is the Aloe Eye Defence, a very fluid consistency eye cream/gel hybrid. You only need the tiiiiiniest amount as it spreads so far - applying too much isn't the end of the world, it just means that it takes a little while to sink in even after a few gentle pats, and sort of makes your eye area feel a bit like tears have dried on the skin. It feels really cooling and for this reason I think it's especially nice to use in the mornings! For me I found it wasn't moisturising enough but it was still pleasant to use. 

Finally I picked up the Aloe Lip Care as I'd read it was super nourishing for the lips and great if peeling is particular problem. However, for me, I found that it wasn't as good as my usual lip balm and it eventually made the outer edge of my lips sore - I'm really sensitive to lip balms and this is something I've found with a lot of them, so it's nothing wrong with the product, just my personal skin issues! It's quite a thick moisturising gel/balm that you squeeze out with a plastic applicator, so good for on the go and the plastic means it's easy to clean. I also found that the product smelled surprisingly sweet which I wasn't expecting, and didn't really like - my sister however disagrees, but something to bear in mind perhaps! 

So overall my favourite of the bunch is the Aloe Calming Toner by far! All the other products weren't for me unfortunately, but they seem to be very loved by many others judging by their reviews so definitely worth having a look if think they're something you'd be interested in! Have any of you tried these products, or anything else from the Aloe range? Let me know (: 




Thursday, 5 March 2015

Essie 'Splash of Grenadine' Nail Polish


I purchased Essie's Splash of Grenadine nail polish late last year and it's quickly become one of my absolute favourite nail shades! I love Essie's polishes anyway - the shape of the brush and longevity on my nails are a winner for me - and this shade just adds to that; it's a perfect girly-but-not-too-Barbie pink. It's described as a 'playful, magenta pink' and I completely agree with that! It comes across a little brighter on camera that it appears in real life, but I promise that's only a good thing - once you lay your eyes on it you can't help but pick it up! 

Do you you like Splash of Grenadine? Or if it's not your cup of tea, which shades are? I'd love to read your suggestions!