Wednesday, 31 August 2016

TANTOUR Sculpting Duo by James Read

James Read is the guy that I like to thank for my (occasional) glowing complexion thanks to the Sleep Mask Tan and he's just gone and released another fabulous product you're all bound to love, the Tantour Sculpting Duo for Face & Body*. Tantour is a contouring kit which comes in a snap down palette designed in Jame Read's signature white and gold. The palette contains two powders, a bronze and a glow, a brush and a full sized mirror plus it is seriously huge, not can't store in your makeup bag huge but you're getting your monies worth huge. 

The palette is the ultimate tool to create a more contoured look by creating killer cheekbones, a slimline jaw or adding extra definition to your legs or cleavage. The powder works by creating a 3D sculptured look that lasts all day without having to reapply. All I have to do is dab on a little powder down my t-zone while my contour stays in place for a refresh. 

Each of the powders are soft, easily blendable and the bronze doesn't have a dirt like pay off like some. The golden highlight helps capture the light and give a radiant effect to skin. If you're completely new to contouring this would be a really great palette to start with because it has everything you need plus a how to guide for face and body so you'll be a contouring pro before you know it! Tantour Sculpting Duo is available online now for £35.

Have you used any products from James Read before? What are your favourites?

*Press sample.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Mega Matte by Seventeen

(Nude News, Looking Buff, Rioja Your World)

Boots budget brand Seventeen have just released the newest lip product for any matte addicts out there. You all know matte is my favourite formula so the Mega Mattes collection was practically made for me and I cannot get enough of the shades, plus they're a steal at £4.49. All the lipsticks come in slimline tubes, in black casing with a chevron design making them a bit cooler than previous releases. 

The range comprises of 12 long-lasting, hi impact shades from your nudest of nudes right through to a deep berry, ideal for the fast approaching Autumn months. Each lipstick applies smoothly with no tugging leaving you with a perfectly, matte pout. I've been trying out three of the shades available from the new range and I'm pretty impressed. Nude News* is a muted pink, Looking Buff* a warm, brown and Rioja Your World* a rich berry. 

Being a matte lover, I've tried many a lip colour from the ever so drying Ruby Woo to the surprisingly creamy So Chaud and have to say these are really fab for the price. The colour is just as described and the formula is as matte as you'd expect but without the dryness. They don't last as long as the promised 13 hour wear time but for just over £4, I don't mind a quick touch up after eating. 

To get the perfect pout start of with a lip scrub like Lush Cosmetic's Mint Julip, a touch of balm then apply. Once your lipstick is perfect quickly dab your lips with some tissue then dust with some translucent powder to fix. Get yourself to Boots quick to try for yourself because these are bound to fly off the shelves!

Have you already tried the Mega Matte range? What shade takes your fancy?

*Press samples.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

My Go To Setting Sprays

Not using a setting spray is like not using a base coat on your nails and there are three sprays I reach for the most. Makeup Setting Sprays help make your makeup last longer and are used once all the magic is in place. There are sprays for all skin types with varied price tags now the highstreet are upping their game. Once all your makeup is applied just hold your chosen spray at arms length and press the pump down a couple of times then allow to dry. Here are the three I use...

I received the Slay All Day in Peach inside the Beauty Bay Miami box and it comes in a variety of fragrances. Aimed to keep your makeup intact and flawless all day, Slay All Day is formulated to help control oil, mattify skin and give a natural finish. The peach one has a fruity scent which can seem strong and may put some people off so just bear that in mind when purchasing. 

Chill is the spray to have during the Summer thanks to its time release temperature control technology, it helps keep makeup in place for up to 12 hours and it's one I love for going out for cocktails with the girls or dinner with the fiancé. I also really like the All Nighter setting spray also available from Urban Decay and keep a mini one to hand for travelling. 

This is the first makeup setting spray I tried, I bought it because of the hype and never got on with it very well until this year. Fix+ is an aqua spritz of vitamins and minerals, it's infused with multiple ingredients such as green tea and chamomile to help calm skin and add hydration. Once sprayed onto skin to fix makeup, skin just drinks it up leaving you looking with a natural, glow. 

What setting sprays do you use? I'd love some more recommendations! 


Saturday, 27 August 2016

Pretty Pastel Nails by Trust Fund Beauty

I first discovered Trust Fund Beauty after Vivi guest posted on Annie Writes Beauty and wrote What Does Cruelty Free Mean?, I then found out that AudreyStyle stocked their nail shades and we've been getting along in naily matrimony ever since. I shared my thoughts on Resting Bitch Face not too long ago and as I've fallen head over heels for this pair of pastel babes, I had to share my latest editions.

Friday, 26 August 2016

The Ocean Rooms // Southampton

I'm a firm believer of taking care of yourself and your skin and for the last couple of years I've been doing just that with monthly facials and a little TLC. Espa Skincare is where I usually head for facials which is situated in John Lewis West Quay but the only thing that lets them down is that the treatment room is smack bang in the middle of the department floor so you can never quite fully relax. 

Thursday, 25 August 2016

LA Splash Velvet Matte in Latte

Being a huge matte lipstick fan it may come as a surprise that this is the first matte liquid lipstick I've tried and I'm practically slapping myself for not trying one sooner. The LA Splash Velvet Matte liquid lipstick in Latte came in my Beauty Bay Miami Box and when I first took it out the box I practically recoiled at the shade but being the committed beauty blogger I am, I swiftly applied it to my lips and fell in love. You'd be hard pressed not to find me sporting Latte at the moment. 

Latte, a pale mocha nude is part of the Velvet Matte collection, a range of liquid lipsticks which are intensely pigmented, apply smoothly and just one application would probably last from now until 2018 if I didn't remove it. The staying power is incredible, it's non drying, doesn't flake and leaves your pout looking perfectly pouty. They're almost too good to be true. You'll need a good makeup remover to get it off just don't scrub too hard. 

The creamy formula gives long lasting hydration thanks to the added Vitamin E but doesn't prevent it from drying down to the perfect matte finish although before it is fully dried it feels very sticky, five minutes later you wouldn't even notice it thankfully. Each of the liquid lipsticks smell really beautiful thanks to the summer inspired scent, I do love a good smelling lip product and the packaging is really cool too with a metallic pink top and frosted glass tube. 

I've got Mistress, Can't Even, Angel Cake and a second Latte on my wishlist! 

Have you tried the LA Splash liquid lipsticks before? What did you think?


Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Join the Fun with Ideal World

It's almost the bank holiday weekend and for many that means grabbing the nearest pub garden, sitting under the sun and making memories with your friends, well that is if the sun shows its face! Ideal World also have something to make your bank holiday go with a bang with their Summer Bank Holiday event. So you can join in the fun with Ideal World too they're offering free postage and packaging on EVERYTHING from Thursday 25th August until 9pm Monday 29th August. There will also be lots of competitions to take part in over the weekend so you can win lots of prizes! 

I thought I'd do a run down of some of my favourite things to do during the bank holiday weekend, especially when the sun has his hat on...

  • Round up my friends and head to the nearest pub garden. We're lucky in Southampton as we have so many awesome bars and restaurants either in the city centre or near the waterfront. 
  • Have a picnic. There is nothing I love more than making some sandwiches, grabbing the cocktail sausages and scotch eggs before heading to Southampton Common or Victoria Country Park with a blanket. 
  • BBQ! The perfect time to eat yourself silly with food, create your own cocktails and laze around in the garden under the stars once the sun has set. 
  • Go for an adventure. Jump on a train and pick a destination, we're really close by train to Bournemouth, Southsea, Brighton and London, so you can make a whole day of it. 
  • Go to the beach with friends, paddle in the shallows or swim further if you're up for braving the cold and finish the evening with fish and chips. 
Make sure you head over to Ideal World this weekend and pick up some bargains, I love the range of beauty products they stock! 

Find them at 
Sky 654 Freeview 22 Virgin 747 or Freesat 812

All products in photos provided by Ideal World.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Clarins AW16 Makeup Collection

As I said in my Clarins Beauty in Bloom post, I haven't tried much in the terms of makeup from Clarins, I've always stuck to their skincare but the Clarins Autumn/Winter '16 collection has had me regretting my makeup choices. I had some pieces from the new collection arrive back in July and I've been trying them out ready to give you guys my thoughts on them. 

Monday, 22 August 2016

I'm on the Shortlist! #BloggersBlogAwards

Well this is bloody exciting isn't it? I was minding by own business and stuffing my face with chocolate buttons when my Twitter blew up and I had an email from the mega babe that is Hayley from Tea Party Beauty to tell me, my little 'ol blog Annie Writes Beauty had been shortlisted for Best Beauty!

Sunday, 21 August 2016

OOTD Newbury Ladies Day

Ladies Day at Newbury Racecourse is one of the fashion dates of the calender and that is where I headed to last weekend for a day of fun, food and prosecco with my best friend. You can read all about our day in my post on Newbury Ladies Day.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Summer Food Festival with West Quay

Some lovely bloggers and I from the South Coast were invited in to dine with West Quay last week as part of their Summer Food Festival which is taking place throughout August. Over the last couple of years West Quay have welcomed a range of new restaurants into their dining terrace and with Watermark West Quay quickly being built we'll have even more new places to choose from soon.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Newbury Ladies Day

Last Saturday, myself and my best friend Ro donned our fanciest outfits and made our way to Newbury Ladies Day. We were invited along for the day to enjoy the races, an afternoon tea picnic and a little flutter on the horses. We travelled up from Southampton and arrived at Newbury Racecourse for midday where we were met by Tanya from Zeal Buzz and shown to our picnic area. 

Thursday, 18 August 2016

New in from Natural Collection

Natural Collection are one of my favourite brands for cheap makeup, I've used the, for 15+ years and the love is still going strong so I thought today I'd show you some new pieces you'll be able to pick up next time you head into your local Boots.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Summer Beauty Fail Safe Products

August is the last month we can truly say it's Summer, with September right around the corner we'll be jumping around in Autumn leaves before we know it. I find with season transitions I really need to pay attention to my skin so having some much needed me time is essential. Love Me Beauty have just released their latest beauty edit - The Happily Everlasting Edit comprising of some of my all time favourite brands. The edit is all about appreciating the last few summer days with skin and body care plus make up to last the hot summer days and evenings. 

The Happily Everlasting Edit features five top brands and a selection of their products. Eco Tools brushes are some of my favourites and the Six Piece Starter Kit is perfect for anyone looking at upping their makeup game. All their brushes are made from 90% re-purposed plastic and are 100% recyclable and cruelty free. The bamboo handles make them light to use and the eye shading brush is one I reach for daily. 

Vita Liberata take centre stage with their tanning products, helping you keep that summer glow for even longer. I reviewed the Marula oil recently and it's such a fab product. Marula is a dry oil self tan with SPF 50. The gradual build tan creates a beautiful glow while still protecting skin from sun damage. Inside this months edit I also found the two - three week tan mousse from Vita Liberata which I am yet to try. 

Nuxe are leading the way with an added bit of shimmer thanks to the Precious Scented Shower Oil and Multi Purpose Dry Oil being included this month. Both are beautifully scented and aim to leave skin feeling smooth and silky. I used both in prep for Ladies Day at Newbury Races and had a pretty, golden glow on my skin. 

If you're yet to discover Love Me Beauty head over to their website where you can sign up, enter your specific details and find an Aladdin's cave of beauty. You can receive 20%* off your order by using the code alice20 too! 

(*20% off your first order, promotional code valid for new members only. Price usually £10/month, plus £3.95 P&P)

Press samples.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

The Dive In Birchbag

This months Birchbox has been tossed to the side in favour of August's Birchbag, an exclusive scuba bag which screams summer. Each dove grey neoprene bag comes with a cool neon design with four colours available. I have Coral Reef with Blue Fin, Yellow Tail and Pink Pufferfish also available. The theme for August is Dive In and each sample inside is perfect for just that. 

The Marcella eyeliner, available in Mulberry or Expresso is waterproof so it will take you from surfing waves or paddling in the shallows straight to the bar for cocktails and sexy samba. Philip Kingsley also features this month with the One More Day dry shampoo which refreshes your hair in next to no time or helps with giving a bit of oomph to your locks. It also smells light and fresh. 

To keep your skin looking its best, you'll find the Balance Me Radiance Face Mask, designed for all skin types. It's a lightweight clay based mask which cleanses, exfoliates and brightens to reveal luminous skin while the Anatomicals Buff Stuff citrus body scrub will combat the rest of your body. Filled with energising grapefruit, the scrub banishes skin impurities and dead skin cells leaving you feeling incredibly soft and silky. 

If the above isn't enough to get you beach to bar ready there is also an antibacterial hand cleansing gel from Merci Hand. I''m sure we're all aware of how club toilets can become in the early hours and this handy little bottle will keep you clean, fresh and nourished. There is also a little extra from Birchbox in the form of a perfume sample but we all know how I feel about perfume samples in beauty boxes so I'll leave it there! 

Have you received the Dive In scuba bag this month? What did you think?

Press sample.

Monday, 15 August 2016

GHD Southampton

I'm terrible at doing anything with my hair, that is why you'll usually find it down with a natural wave. I really wanted my hair curly for our Engagement party and it just so happened GHD Southampton emailed Sotonbloggers about their new product launch and I was swiftly booked in to have my hair curled the morning of our party. 

I'd booked in for 10am as we had lots to do that day so after a quick coffee, I headed into John Lewis in West Quay to meet Katelin who would be curling my hair for me. Katelin was absolutely lovely, talking me through each of the curling wands and products to get the best results as I needed my hair to hold for the whole day and night. Katelin used the GHD Curve Soft Curl Tong on my hair and she also sent me away with the Curl Hold Spray and Final Fix Hairspray so I'd have everything I needed to keep my curls looking their best. 

My hair held up the rest of the day, during the party and a couple of days following which I was so impressed with. By the Monday I had loose, beachy waves and now I need to invest in the GHD Curve and teach myself so I can always have my hair in curls.

What are your favourite curling wands to use?


Sunday, 14 August 2016

That Mango Dress

Little old me helped out a friend with her uni photography project and last week she sent me across some of the final images so being the kinda girl that likes to share, I thought I'd pop some of the photos in a blog post for you to see too.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

ParkLives Southampton

Summer is the perfect time to get outside with friends and family to enjoy the weather and one way I've been doing this, this summer is by attending ParkLives, a programme from Coca Cola Great Britain. ParkLives is in its first year in Southampton in partnership with Southampton Council and Active Nation. Throughout the summer you can participate in fun and free activities in the beautifully kept and well known Southampton Parks. 

Joining Parklives is easy, you just head over to and enter your post code. This will then bring up all the local activities taking place. You can join in with Badminton which is what I've been loving,  Nordic Walking, Tai Chi plus lots of fun for all the family with Dodgeball, Tennis and Buggy Mums. All sessions are run by fully qualified instructors and last between 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. 

Not only do you get to work out but you also get to meet new people while doing so, you come away with a bounce in your step and some new friends! The programme is running until 2nd of September with different free activities daily in eleven parks in Southampton. Parklives is also taking place all over the country so make sure you search for your area too! 

Sponsored post.

Friday, 12 August 2016

My Makeup Storage

If little old me had a Youtube channel then I'd put all this in a video but I don't like my voice on camera so stay tuned for a pretty lengthy blog post. I received the Her Clutter Box* make up storage draws last month and oh my they have changed my life. I always had acrylic storage but it was really small, meaning most of my products were tucked away and didn't get the love they deserved. Now I can just pull out a draw and I have everything my heart could desire, well apart from the two makeup storage units that are still tucked away. I need Alex draws desperately. I have the Crystal Clear four drawer storage which comprises of three standard size drawers, one large drawer and the top lifts up but I keep some of my perfumes on top. 

Top Drawer - 
My top drawer in the storage box is full of the majority of my base products so they're all in one place. My foundations sit at the front with Seventeen's Stay Time still being my most used with the Clarins Skin Detox Fluid being a close second. I also keep my primers, mini bottle of Fix+, W7 Banana Powder, Too Faced face powder and any colour corrector products in this draw.

Second Drawer - 
The second drawer is a little bit random but kept predominately for palettes. You'll find all four of my Urban Decay Naked palettes in here plus the Naked Basics. There's also the Sleek Solstice highlighting palette and Contour Kit and an Estee Lauder eyeshadow palette. I also keep my favourite mascaras in this drawer. I'm using Wet n Wild, Urban Decay, Maxfactor and Clarins at the moment. Lastly there are three stick highlighters, the Clinique Chubby Stick Highlight, Benefit Watt's Up! and Seventeen SkinWow as they don't fit in the next drawer down.

Third Drawer - 
This is my favourite drawer as it's full of my bronzer, blush and highlights. For bronzer I use Cover FX, The Balm, Seventeen and Natural Collection. I have a mixture of powder and cream blushes. Something Special by MAC Cosmetics is a long time favourite and Posietint Cheek Stain from Benefit is such a handy multiuse product. I've just added some Makeup Geek to my bronzer and blush collection too. The last row of dividers is full of highlighters. I'm not sure where my highlight obsession came from but they've increased quite quickly with Mary Lou Manizer, MAC Cosmetics Stereo Rose and the Anastasia Illuminator being my most used. I also keep some of my brow products at the front of this draw. 

Fourth Drawer - 
LIPSTICKS! Alllllll the lipsticks and pencils, crayons, liquid lipsticks and everything else in-between. I've split the drawer into compartments so I have my MAC Cosmetic lipsticks at the front then Sleek Makeup and Wet n Wild behind. Next is where I keep all my Urban Decay lipsticks which include their normal line, Alice Through the Looking Glass and Gwen Stefani collections. The last compartment is for all my random lipsticks from Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Tom Ford, Nudus and Avon. I keep my lip liners, crayons and liquid lipsticks behind. 

So there you have a small insight into what makeup I reach for and what I keep on my dresser. Maybe when I finally invest in the Alex drawers I'll be able to have all my makeup in one place! If you're looking for acrylic storage then make sure you head over to Her Clutter Box to see what they have on offer.  

Press sample.
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