Saturday, 31 May 2014

May Empties

It's empties time again! First up we've got No7 Beautifully Matte in Calico, I LOVE this foundation. I wear this every day for work. I really wish I had picked up another in time for me to finish this one but I've been hanging on until I had a voucher from Boots. Also empty is Maxfactor Wild Mega Volume Mascara which if you read my review, you'll know I'm not a fan of this. It's not empty.. I'm just throwing it away in. Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eye Pen is something I've had for a little longer than I want to admit. I'm rubbish at doing cat flicks and thought this may help, I love using this and it does make it a lot easier because it's a pen plus it leaves an intense, black eye line. MAC Studio Fix lash is also empty. Sad face. I've really liked using this, I was unsure at first as they aren't known for their mascaras, they also don't have the best reviews but I loved how this separated each lash without clumping or smudging. Lastly a battered pot of Rosy Lips Vaseline, big Vaseline fan over here!
Ahh.. Skin and hair care. I'm not going to babble on about each product because let's face it.. it'll be a very long post if I do that. I've reviewed Monu Brightening Boost and Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish already the last few months so make sure you have a read of those. Garnier Intensive 7 days and Decleor Aroma Solutions Gel is what I've been using to moisturise the last month or so. The Garnier one left my skin feeling so soft but smelt pretty gross. I had the Cocoa one which I thought would smell amazing, where as the Decleor Gel smelt really fresh but left my skin feeling a bit sticky. L'oreal Micellar Solution was a big disappointment. I think I only managed to use half of it as the other half ended up all over the floor. L'oreal.. Fix your packaging asap.. no one needs a dispensing hole that big. The last few bits are, John Frieda Everlasting Blonde, one of my favourite shampoos, Batiste Dry Shampoo in Blush, Garnier Ultra Lift day and night cream, Soap & Glory Puffy Eye Attack, Dove Go Fresh and Dove Natural Touch. 


Monday, 26 May 2014

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette

Oh look at my latest little pretty! A friend of my sister's, Stephi was selling this recently, brand new just minus the mascara for £20! £20! I do love a bargain. I have lusted after this for months so when Julie from reviewed hers more recently the decision was made and I had to have it so Stephi wanting to sell hers was perfect timing. 

The palette contains 14 eye shadows, 7 matte and 7 shimmer and comes in a black, soft to touch, case with magnets to open and close. It is the sort of packaging that gets dirty really quickly which is a shame. Inside is a good sized mirror and double ended brush which is good quality, but I find the 'matte' end a little scratchy on my eyelids and tend to use my Real Techniques brush set instead. It also comes with a Eye Shape Chart which I've found really helpful, something all palettes should come with in my opinion.

The shades don't have any names and are just listed as S1-7 and M1-7 which I think is a bit boring as I do like a good shade name in palettes. The Matte shadows are creamy and really easy to blend. I love matte shadows and have tried my fair few in the past. I've been using these the last week or so for work, and have loved the finish they give, there is barely any fall out and they last for the majority of the day even without my trusty primer potion. I've been using M3 and M5 on my lid and in the crease, then using M7 along the lash line. 

Now.. I don't like glitter and I'm not usually a shimmer fan either but I just wanted this palette so much I didn't care that half of this was exactly what I disliked. I don't think the shimmer shades are all that special, there isn't much colour pay off and it's essentially just putting a bit of glitter on your eyelids much like you would at eight years old with some cheap shadow. There is an upside..the fall out is nearly non existent which is always a plus! The only shade out of all 7 which I've really enjoyed using is S4, I've used this every day with the above matte shades. 

I'm not sure whether it's just because I don't really like shimmers that I dislike these ones or it's because they are actually not that good,  The mattes however are gorgeous and really make this palette, my Naked 3 has taken a backseat while this has been my go to palette. In the near future I will do a post on the eye looks I've been creating with Full Exposure. 

I would love to know if any of you have this palette and what your thoughts are on it!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

The Little Forest Soap Company

(Lavender £3.95)*
(Peppermint & Lavender £3.95)*

I first heard about The Little Forest Soap Company after seeing  a couple of re-tweets on Twitter. I was in the process of emailing companies at the time about gifting products for our goodie bags for the bloggers meet up in Southampton so I dropped Andrea an email to see if she would be interested. Little Forest Soap is based in the New Forest in Hampshire. Andrea makes all the soap by hand and they come in various types. The bloggers who attended had the choice of LavenderLavender Rose & Clay, and Peppermint & Lavender

"All of our soaps are made using our unique blend of shea butter and natural oils, scented beautifully with pure essential oils. We’ve carefully chosen our ingredients to provide the right balance of cleansing and moisturising oils & butters so your skin can feel healthy and hydrated."
I have loved using my soap, it leaves my skin feeling so soft with a lovely fresh, scent and where I've left them dotted around the house they also subtly scent my home too. I've caught Arran using the Peppermint & Lavender one I've left in the bathroom too. The Little Forest Soap Company make all their soap by a traditional method called Cold Process which has been used since the 1800's. Each bar is handmade, hand cut and trimmed then cured for a minimum of four weeks to guarantee a long lasting bar. All their products are SLS and Paraben free and also Vegan friendly.

If you haven't already checked out The Little Forest Soap Company, make sure you do. I've linked the website at the top of this post. You can also find them on Twitter @forestsoapco. Andrea will be in West Quay, Southampton on Saturday June 7th, she has a pitch for day to showcase the beautiful soap products they make so if you're in the area go and say hello.

(*above products were sent for the #sotonmeetup goodie bags)

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Superdrug Beauty Haul

The Sunday just gone was a beautifully, sunny day here on the south coast and I did not want to stay inside. Arran and I decided to get out in the sun, enjoy a Costa and do a food shop. Oh the joys of adult life. We just happened to stumble into Boots as I needed some cotton pads and before I knew it I was nosing around the counters. I was very, very restrained. I must of been at the Benefit counter for a good ten minutes as there was no one on it so it meant I could have a good play around with different products without being bothered and now have my eye on Watt's Up! and Girl Meets Pearl. 

I decided I was on the hunt for an orange lipstick to try before I caved and treated myself to MAC's Morange and just could not find one in the shade I was looking for. While wondering around I found myself picking up the Retractable Lip Brush from Real Techniques (RRP. £7.99) as I don't own a single lip brush. Next stop was Superdrug, naturally where I bought a new eye liner pencil from Collection 2000. I realise this is now called Collection but in my eyes it will always have the 2000 after it. I have used this eye liner for years, a good ten years now I think, I've tried different brands but I always go back to this one because the colour is so intense and its a bargain at £1.99. I also had a look at the MUA stand and bought a lipstick in Lilac Belle and nail varnish in Bold Blue from their new Spring collection.
When I got home I placed a little online order from The Body Shop too which I will share with you over the next few weeks. Didn't go too overboard now, did I?


Sunday, 18 May 2014

#Sotonmeetup The Bloggers

As you may already know it was the #sotonmeetup yesterday, twenty five bloggers from the south coast descended on Orange Rooms to meet, eat, drink and talk blog. It was a gorgeous, sunny day with clear blue skies and the perfect weather to sample some of the cocktails that Orange Rooms are best known for. 

Saturday, 17 May 2014

#Sotonmeetup Goodie Bags

Today, as this posts 25 bloggers from around Hampshire are in Orange Rooms in Southampton to chat, eat some yummy food and chat all things blogging for the Southampton blogger meet up. I have been organising the #sotonmeetup for a few months now and I cannot thank everyone enough for coming as this was my first blogging event and my very first time organising one.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Lush Sakura Bath Bomb

RRP. £3.25 Lush

I've become quite the 'Lushy' in recent months. After years of not using their products thanks to my silly sensitive skin, I can now use whatever I like now I'm older which means all the bath ballistics in the world! I first saw Sakura in the most recent Lush catalogue I picked up on one of my many 'mini hauls'. It's inspired by the Cherry Blossom in Japan and is so pretty, a pale pink bath ballistic with specks of pink, peach and blue. One end has small green salts that break off and scatter in the bath when dropped into hot water.

Sakura contains calming mimosa and jasmine oils as well as lemon oil and orange flower. The smell is amazing and so strong that I can still smell hints of it in my bathroom two days after I used it. However strong it is, it's not overpowering which is perfect for me as it meant I could just lay back and relax instead of getting a fragrance induced headache. Once dropped into water it fizzes quite quickly and leaves the water a soft pink colour, nothing overly special but the smell and how soft it made my skin more than makes up for the lack of colour.

This was first released back in 2006 and I'm so glad it has been brought back. I'm going back into Lush in Southampton on Thursday to pick up some more. I'm usually a bubble bar fan but I couldn't resist this one as it's so pretty. Have you picked up anything new from Lush recently? I'd love some more recommendations.


Monday, 12 May 2014

FRANK Coffee Scrub

I'd never heard of Frank Body until my sister rang to tell me it was the new 'in' thing. I didn't know how true this was until I did a little research. Low and behold the younger one was right. EVERYONE is using this stuff right now. I bet you're all dying to know what exactly it is, because I know I was. 
Frank comes in a brown envelope which has a suction clip at the top for extra freshness. It is coffee after all! When you first open the envelope the smell that hits you is unreal. I just wanted a fresh coffee, but after a little while you get hints of Orange Oil breaking through too. It also comes with a little postcard which says - 

"Hey babe
To be frank, I'm a simple coffee scrub. 
And I can't wait to be on you. 
Get naked, get dirty, get rough, and get clean. 
Soak up all those essential oils, minerals, and my special coffee blend.
To be used morning or night at your leisure, I will target cellulite, stretch marks, dry and tired skin."
All you have to do is get yourself into some water, grab two handfuls of coffee scrub, and massage all over. If you have any problem areas such as dry skin or stretch marks make sure you pay close attention to those. It's advised for best results to leave on for 5-10 minutes. Two small handfuls is enough to cover your entire body as once wet, it spreads very easily, just smooth all over and give yourself a good scrub. 

My sister and I, (who is also my trusty hand and arm model in these photos) have been using this for nearly three weeks now and the results have been pretty amazing.  You're probably thinking it's just another scrub but believe me, it's more than that. This smooths, buffs and refreshes the skin and the Orange Oil leaves a subtle fruity scent. I keep pulling my arms out and telling people to smooth me. I'm a total coffee scrub convert... Dare I say I've pushed my all time favourite Scrub of your Life to the back of my bathroom shelf!
You get such good amount of scrub for the price, which I think works out around £8. Frank is made in Melbourne Australia, vegan and isn't tested on animals. There are two different types of scrub, Original, which is what I have and Coconut and Grapeseed. You should also check out the website and blog as it's really entertaining. I just love how it's worded. I think everyone should get their Frank on!  


Friday, 9 May 2014

May Wishlist

May Wishlist

Ever since I found out Polyvore existed I've been making little wishlists so I can keep a check on things I've seen on different blogs. This week I have quite a high end wishlist to show you all. First up we have Guerlain Meteorites Blossom Collection in the shade Clair. I've seen this floating around quite a bit recently and I can't even describe how beautiful I think this is. Most recently I saw it reviewed on Gemma's blog and she has totally sold it to me. Plus it'll look so lovely sat on my dresser.

Estee Lauder's Double Wear is well known in the beauty world. I tried a sample a good year ago now, I was really impressed with it but never purchased it. I was colour matched again last week and have fell in love with the finish and longevity again, it's just amazing. I've been matched to Shell  but I'm going to try a few more counters so I get the right shade. Next we have the much loved and talked about Naked 2. This is the palette I originally wanted for my birthday but with it being over Christmas it was sold out everywhere so I was given the Naked 3 instead. Don't get me wrong, I love the Naked 3 and use it daily but I sort of want to get it's cooler toned sister too.

MAC Proenza Schouler collection has been so anticipated in recent weeks, I didn't get hold of anything when it launched on the Selfridge's website so I'm holding out for the MAC and Debenhams launch. I have my eye on Mangrove which is a coral red in a matte finish on the recommendation of Erin from, as she knows I love a bright, matte lip.
Lastly is a shimmer powder in Champagne Gold from Dior's newest Transat Collection which is based on a nautical theme. If you haven't already seen the posters for this, get on google and hit the search button. They are stunning.

I hate to think what my wishlist adds up too.. spoils the fun a little bit doesn't it?
Check back in June to see if I picked up any of my current wants!


Thursday, 8 May 2014

Monu Brightening Boost

RRP. £22.50* 15ml MONU Skincare

Monu is a professional skincare brand I've become more familiar with this year, I've used their Calming Cream in the past and really liked it so when I received an email about trying another one of their products I said yes straight away. I love finding new skincare and as I didn't know what was actually being sent, Brightening Boost* was a nice surprise. It contains Vitamin C, aims to reduce sun damage & hyper-pigmentation, improve skin tone, boosts collagen, smooths and reduces wrinkle depth.. now that's a lot of statements for one serum.

It dispenses from the top through a small pump as a white serum. I've been using a couple of pumps as part of my morning skin care routine and it leaves my skin feeling quite fresh. It soaks in really well and leaves a non greasy, matte finish. Perfect for me as I get an oily t-zone in the afternoon and I haven't noticed that as much while I've been using this. I've also experienced no irritation while using the Brightening Boost so sensitive skinned ladies should be fine with this too. 
Brightening Skin boost is aimed for mature and sun damaged skin which I like to think I have neither. I still have around a third left so you get a good 8 - 10 weeks use out of this 15ml tube. I'm intrigued to see the final results after using it all up. My skin does feel smoother but I don't think I look more radiant. I'll stick to my highlighter for that. 
Have you tried Monu Professional Skincare before?

*PR Sample sent for review.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

MAC Alluring Aquatic Enchanted One

I bet you're thinking.. Not another MAC lipstick.. trust me, my boyfriend was thinking the same. I've been waiting for their latest collection Alluring Aquatics to hit for a while now. I first shared a few photos of it at the end of March and when it launched online two weeks ago I hot footed it to the website but alas the lipsticks were sold out already. Thankfully we now have a MAC counter in Southampton and the collections always hit the store a week after they go online so Thursday morning off I went to get my hands on their shiny, teal goodness.

I was very well behaved and treated myself to just one lipstick, in Enchanted One. I originally had my eye on Goddess of the Sea but I wasn't too impressed with the colour pay off when tested. Firstly, can we just take a minute to appreciate how gorgeous the packaging is? It's Metallic, teal blue dotted with 3D water droplets in MAC's signature bullet casing. 
Be warned, the droplets do come off if picked or slightly pushed with a nail.  
Enchanted One is in a matte finish and is described as a midtone neutral pink on the website. I didn't like this one when I first saw the photos but as soon as I swatched the brand new tester the counter girl brought out I had to have it. 

I was really surprised at how it transferred onto my lips, I did wonder whether it would wash me out but I really liked it. For a matte finish it glides nicely on to the lips without tugging or making the application patchy. The first evening I had this, I wore it out for dinner with friends and it lasted a good five hours , I only reapplied once after finishing my meal and it didn't dry out my lips at all. If I didn't know any better I'd say this was more a satin finish than matte. I'm glad I bought Enchanted One as I really wasn't impressed with the other shades. I do have my eye on the Pearlglide Intense eye liner in Black Swan and a couple of the Extra Dimension eye shadows in Silver Sun and Sea Worship so if you see me tweeting about choosing make up over food, you know where I've been. 


Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Garnier Micellar Water

Every blogger and their mum has raved about the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water so here I am putting in my little post. I picked this up at the end of March just before the spending ban kicked in and I've been using it every time I take my make up off and to cleanse my skin, morning and night. I'm relatively new to the world of Micellar waters. I've seen the hype surrounding Bioderma and as much as I'd love to experience how good it's meant to be, as long as I can pick up this little gem for £4.99, Garnier is going to be my go to Micellar water.Garnier Micellar Water comes in a clear bottle with a pink lid and you get 400ml of product. Apparently you get 200 uses out of it but I'm pretty sure I don't use 2ml per cotton pad. The one thing I do love about the packaging is how it dispenses. I've used the L'oreal version and wasted so much due to it just spurting out of the larger than needed hole but Garnier have got it spot on, I've barely wasted a drop.
Garnier really have pulled out all the stops with this, it takes my make up off effortlessly while leaving my skin feeling refreshed, clean and without any residue.  To take my eye make up off, I soak a cotton wool pad then hold it over each eye for a few seconds and wipe away, this doesn't sting or irritate my eyes which is something I need to be careful about as my eye area is really sensitive. If you want an added refreshing effect why not pop it in the fridge over night and use it first thing in the morning to wake you up. This is perfume free but it does have that 'Micellar Water' smell, which I can't quite put my finger on. I've already got a bottle in reserve and I won't be touching the L'oreal one any time soon. I do have my eyes set on Bioderma as it's apparently the holy grail of micellar waters, but until I can bring myself to buy it or even pop over to France, I'll have to wait. 

What are your thoughts on micellar waters? Bioderma or Garnier?


Monday, 5 May 2014

Spending Ban Is Over!

Well... April spending ban, weren't you a little difficult! By Easter Monday it was well and truly over, as you can see from the above photo. I went to Superdrug and did a little hauling. I became one of those Bank Holiday shoppers that I hate and went and spent money I didn't have, on things I didn't need. Did it make me feel better? Hell yeah!

The thing I found most difficult about not spending money was that I had put a label on it, actually putting myself on a ban just made me want everything. If it had just been an average month I don't think I would of had a problem. So in the future, if you see me tweeting about thinking about doing another spending ban just tell me no. You'll be doing me a favour. So here's to no more spending bans and just being plain old sensible with my money. Hurrah!


Sunday, 4 May 2014

FOTD - Bridesmaid Make Up

As most of you will know because I've been tweeting like mad about it, it was my best friend's wedding last week. It was a beautiful day that went without a glitch and the sun even shone all day for it, most importantly though the bride looked amazing. 

While I was flapping around and packing the day before I thought seeing as my first FOTD post went down quite well I'd do another, this time being on my bridesmaid make up. On the morning of the wedding I was running around sorting out the last little bits and trying to get rid of my hangover from a few too many wines the night before so I wasn't feeling too confident about doing my make up and thought that today of all days would be a bad make up day. Always the days we need it to go right eh?

Thankfully it was a good make up day and even my eye liner went right for a change! First up I started with Rimmel Stay Matte Primer which isn't pictured, then Illamasqua Concealer to banish my dark circles from the night before. I used two foundations, No.7 Beautifully Matte in Calico first to even out my skin and then I followed that up with MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NW13. 

I don't usually layer on the foundation but I thought it might last a bit longer so was worth a shot thankfully it didn't go weird and patchy. I then used MAC Creme Blush in Something Special on the apples of my cheeks fixing it with a quick dusting of MAC Studio Fix Powder, followed by bronzing the hollows of my cheeks and MAC MSF Stereo Rose to highlight. Lastly I put on some brows with my GOSH Brow Kit in the lightest shade.

Next up the eyes! I started by putting Strange from the Naked 3 palette all over my eye lids, I then used MAC Naked Lunch just below my brow and Factory in the crease, a thin line of Collection Intense along the lash line and then Maxfactor Masterpiece and Clump defy. 

I took the below photo of myself before I put on YSL Rouge Volupte Beige Charnel as I only put it on ten minutes before the wedding ceremony. My make up lasted all day which I was so happy about. The only difference in the first few photos to the last one is how drunk I am, my make up was exactly same thankfully. Hope you like this look, you'll have to excuse Arran in the background as he's in each one I took.
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