Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Heat Proof Make up

One thing I hate about summer in the UK is the humidity that seems to go along with the sunny days we eventually have. I don't know about you, but when I spend time getting ready in the mornings I still want my make up to be on when I get home at night, and unfortunately heat and make up don't work nicely together.
Even though there's no fool proof way of keeping our make up on, bar sitting in a air conditioned room all day, there are a few things you can do to guarantee it lasts a little longer, at least past lunchtime!
  • Keep it simple. Don't overload your face with thick heavy foundations. Instead opt for a lighter consistency foundation and just spot correct any blemishes you may have with a concealer. The most important part is to make sure you set the make up in place. Vichy Dermablend setting powder is translucent and does a great job at mattifying the skin. The finely milled powder sets all the make up perfectly and makes it last. I tend to use this right at the end after applying all my make up, setting foundation, concealer, bronzer and blush to insure they all stay put throughout the day.
  • Take a setting powder or blot powder with you to matte down any shine that occurs throughout the day.
  • If you want to keep your skin feeling really light, mineral make up is a great product to wear this time of year. They tend to deliver a semi matte finish, and the fine mineral make up won't clog pores or cause any unwanted blemishes in the heat.
  • Finish with a setting spray. This will also help to lock the make up in place and also get rid of any cakyness.
  • Again, like the base make up you want to try and keep it semi natural and avoid thick black eye make up, unless you want to look like an ageing rock star that is! (remember KISS anyone?) Cream eye shadow's can be particularly long wearing and can be worn alone or act as a base for powder eye shadows. Water proof eyeliners and mascara will also help keep the panda eyes at bay and keep you eye make up looking its best for longer.
  • Cream and liquid blush do tend to last a little longer on the skin, but try and avoid really creamy textures if you are prone to oily skin as these can be counterproductive and actually fade quicker than powder blushes. Try cream to powder blushes or opt for a blush stain like Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blushes . These last ages on the skin and if set with a translucent powder as I mentioned before, can last all day no problem.
  • Using a long wearing eyebrow product will insure your brows look perfect all day long. Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade  is a gel/mousse formula which, once set lasts all day without smudging or fading. A must have product for brow lovers out there to avoid eyebrow melt down this summer!
What are your top tips to for heat/sweat proof make up?

Monday, 28 July 2014

Products that leave me Sitting on the Fence!

We all buy products with a certain expectation and when they don't live up to it we feel disappointed. A couple of products I've bought have left me sitting on the fence and I cant quite decide if I love them or hate them...

Mac 'Fling' Eyebrow pencil. This is the perfect colour for me, not too warm and not too cool, its 'MY' eyebrow colour you could say. Even though I love the colour I don't find myself reaching for it all that often. The pencil is really fine and I can get a really natural effect when using it but there's one thing that irritates me... I get really annoyed at how quickly the pencil wears down and I have to keep twisting it up every few strokes, or I'm left with a flat nib and no colour can be transferred. I know it's not a major factor to whine about but I have to keep stopping and starting when I'm filling in my brows, meaning it takes me a lot longer to do, which is never great in the mornings lets face it!

Soleil Tan De Chanel. I think most people tend to have a love hate relationship with this product. I want to love it, it cost me enough in the first place, but its a product that normally ends up gathering dust in the bottom of my make up stash. As far as crème bronzers go it's good. It's easy to apply and blends out well, feeling smooth on the skin and delivering a satin finish, so all good points there. But its the colour I struggle with. One minute it's fine the next I think its too orange and fake looking, and then other times I don't think it shows up enough at all! A lot of this is because I fake tan. When I'm pale it looks far too orange and when I'm tanned it doesn't really show up, and there's only been a few occasions when the colour has been perfect. For a "universal" bronzer I think only a few skin tones can really pull it off and I'm always leaving it out of my make up routine for fear of it not working for me that day!
Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette. I love the look of this palette. The shades are well pigmented, easy to blend and buttery soft. So why am I on the fence? Unfortunately only a few of the colours suit me. 'Chopper' and 'Half Baked' are beautiful rich coppers and golds and 'Bootycall' is a great highlighter,  but the rest of the shades seem to be more cool toned and don't suit me as well. It's such a shame because I've really tried to make them work but I can't seem to, and this leaves the palette unloved and unused. :(

Benefit 'Gimme-brow'. This product I have mentioned a few times on the blog. At first I hated it, it made  my brow look really unnatural and clumpy. Since it's dried up a bit I have been using it more and the results have looked more natural and what I imagined them to be. But sometimes my brows do tend to look a little over done with this and still to this day I'm unsure if I love it or hate it!

What products do you find yourself sitting on the fence about?

Friday, 25 July 2014

July Favourites

There's a couple of products I've really been enjoying recently and have found myself reaching for nearly everyday..
Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder. This powder has been a life saver the last couple of week since the weather has heated up. The powder is finely milled and colourless and does a great job at mattifying and setting make up in place. It leaves a velvety soft veil across the skin and helps lock make up in place and makes it last all day, even in the sweaty heat we've been having!
The Body Shop Pomegranate Firming and Refreshing Eye-Roll-On ( wow what a long name) has been my eye treatment of choice. The cooling steal roll-a-ball is refreshing and cooling on the eye area and gives just the right amount of hydration my eyes need. And because it's in a roll-a-ball I find it really quick and easy to use and actually enjoy that part of my skincare routine now as it helps wake me up in the mornings leaving me feeling refreshed and awakened.
Mario Badescu 'Drying Cream' This spot cream is great at drawing out under the surface blemishes and drying them up without drying out the skin. The cream contains Aloe which helps keep the area hydrated so you don't end up with the horrid flaky halo around spot. It can also be used during the day under make up. The flesh coloured cream conceals spots and leaves a productive barrier over them to help disguise and wave goodbye to them more quickly.
FaceB4 Anti-Bacterial Face Wash*. I've only been using this for a couple of weeks but have really loved the light foam cleanser that has really helped clean my skin without drying it out. Since using this I've found my skin as become less blemish prone and any spots I do get tend to disappear a lot quicker! Like I said I've only been using it a short time but so far so good and I'll keep you posted with a full review in the future.
Zoeva 228/Crease Brush. I absolutely love this brush! Its slightly tapered end allows me to define the crease easily, and the super soft bristles blend out the colour effortlessly. I find I use it for every make up look whether I opt for something dramatic or natural this brush allows me to do it with ease and precision.
Becca Mineral Blush in 'Flowerchild'. This is a really subtle peachy coral shade with just a tint of goldie sheen that looks perfect with any make up look, and a nice natural summer blush shade that lifts the face without looking over done.
Nude Lips. I've really been getting into nude lip shades at the moment since I found two that I think really suit my skin tone. DHC Premuim Lipstick in 'Rose Gold'* is a peachy nude in a glossy finish that is so easy to wear and feels so moisturising on the lips. Illamasqua 'Rosepout' is a warm pinky nude in a satin finish which I find isn't too nude or pale for my skin tone and a shade I find works really well.

What products have you been loving recently? Have you tried any of my favourites?

*Pr Samples. All thoughts are of course my own.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Hollywood Glamour with Joan Collins

Meticulous Powder £22.00* Contour Velvet Blush £22.00*Class Act Mascara £20.00* Class Act Lash Treatment £20.00* Nail Lacquer £13.00*

When celebrities bring out perfume and make up lines I tend to steer clear,  thinking that they'll be a bit naff and cheap. Of course not everyone feels this way and there is money to be made in the beauty industry market, so why not? But when someone like Joan Collins begins out make up and skincare you tend to sit back and think.. This is the women who is world known for her beauty and her ageless persona and oozes glitz and glamour wherever she goes. If its good enough for Joan Collins its more than good enough for me!
Her make up line contains everything you need to create a ultra glamorous look, and products range from Lipsticks to Lash Growth treatments. Each piece is elegantly packaged and no expense had been spared in the design. It has a very 50's vibe to it and reminds me of my child hood when I would raid my nan's make up and perfume collection, the chic gold packaging with art deco designs screams elegance and sophistication, and to be honest would we really expect anything else from such an icon?

The Meticulous Pressed Powder is velvety smooth and appears almost invisible, but still casting a soft air brushed veil across the skin. With the help of Hyaluronic acid it hydrates and fills in fine lines and pores without caking, setting makeup perfectly and controlling oil. The unique powder isn't shimmery or overly matte but sits somewhere neatly in between, and creates the perfect canvas for applying the Contour Velvet Blush. The shade I have is 'Dusky Pink', and is just that. A gorgeous mauve pink with tiny flecks of gold shimmer that add a subtle sheen to the skin. This would be the perfect shade for fair skinned girls to add a wash of colour to the cheeks.
If you're a full lash kinda girl you might want to check out the Class Act Growth Boosting Thickening Mascara. The wand is thick and bushy and even though I do wear eyelash extensions on my top lashes, this made light work of adding volume and extra thickness to them and my bottom set.
If you're not one for false eyelashes, the Class Act Lash Treatment Gel might be just what you need... The treatment claims to make lashes 169% longer and 13% thicker in just 30 days! I don't know about you but I'm very interested to see if this works! I've been coating my bottom lashes with this and have even tried it on my eyebrows to see if it makes a difference there, so if you see me with daisy the cow lashes and Cara Delevingne brows you know that its worked! ( I'll keep you posted).
Last but at no means least is the Nail Lacquer in 'Melanie', a beautiful violet shade which is also housed in the vintage style bottle. The polish is lovely to apply, self levelling and opaque in just one coat (the photos above are with just one coat), which I think is amazing, and ideal for someone like me that hasn't the patients to apply multiple coats of polish and finds nail painting a chore! 

From a price point of view these are by no means a budget buy, the elegant packaging and quality of the products are reflected in the price and makes these more a high end make up line, but what else would we expect from Joan Collins? If you want to add a bit of luxury to your make up collection I can definitely recommend trying these out, the products perform beautifully and my personal favourites are Meticulous Pressed Powder and the Nail Lacquer.
All products are available online and on QVC.

What do you think to the Joan Collins Timeless Beauty Collection? Will you be purchasing something from the line?
*Pr Samples. All thoughts are of course my own.

Monday, 21 July 2014

DHC | Premium Lipstick GE Collection

DHC Premium Lipstick GE collection, review and swatches.
L-R.    RS105 (First Blush), RS107(Rich Raspberry), BE111(Rose Gold)
 L-R.   RS105(First Blush), RS107(Rich Raspberry), BE111(Rose Gold) £13.00* each

Cult Japanese brand DHC are well know for their skincare products and one of which I love is their cleansing oil. They've now added make up to their line and this sees the release of the Premium Lipstick GE Collection. These lipsticks come in 6 shades and are encased with flower embossed gold and silver packaging. They're not only worn for the colour benefits but also contain age-defying ingredients to make lips look and feel their best - Macadamia Nut oil and Olive oil are there to moisturise the lips, while Collagen helps plump up fine lines and make lip look fuller. Vitamin A and Geranium help protect and condition the lips and deliver a glossy moisturising sheen. 
I have three of the shades which annoyingly have numbers and no names on the packaging (names and numbers on their website), but are all exactly what you'd expect them to be considering their ingredients. They're buttery in formula and apply beautifully, gliding over the lips with ease and leaving a moisturising trail of pigmented lipstick behind. As you can see from the pictures above they offer a satin sheen to the lips and in terms of Mac lipsticks they have the pigmentation of a Crème Sheen and the glossy finish of a Lustre.  

RS105(First Blush) is a dusky rose nude shade with hints of pink and caramel that add interest to the lips and a great day time natural colour. This will look great on most skin tones although will come off more nude on darker skin.
RS107( Rich Raspberry) is as the name suggests, a deep purple pinky shade that will be fantastic in Autumn/Winter. This shade will complement most, if not all skin tones and is a more wearable deeper shade.
BE111(Rose Gold) is another natural shade, this time more of a true nude colour with a peachy undertone. I think this will look great teamed up with a smokey eye and a must have shade for all you nude loving lipstick gals out there.

What do you think to DHC's newest Collection? The release date is set for 1st August and are available Online, and at selected Selfridges and BeautyMART stores.
*Pr Samples. All thoughts are of course my own.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Highstreet Skincare Favs for Oily/Combination skin

I think its fair to say we all know the benefits of a good skincare regime, but having a good skincare routine doesn't always mean forking out a ton of cash on high-end products. There are loads of high street brands that cater for all skin types and some are just as good if not better than their high end counterparts. The products listed today are some of my favourites and are aimed at oily/combination skin types. They all do a fantastic job at keeping the skin clean, hydrated and tackling them pesky spots that pop up every now and then.
Cleanse and Tone

I like to triple cleanse at night time and use this primarily to take off all my make up. This oil makes light work of removing make up and facial SPF's and is done so by applying it to a dry made up face. I massage the oil in for a good few minutes and the make up starts lifting off so your face resembles some sort of Picasso painting! All this is then wiped away with a flannel or muslin cloth.
Nspa Hot Cloth Cleanser* £7.00 (currently on offer for £5.25)
This is a great dupe for the Liz Earl hot cloth cleanser and works in exactly the same way. The thick and creamy consistency feels hydrating and nourishing on the face and works brilliantly at removing any last traces of make up. This also acts as a gentle exfoliator and buffs away dead skin cells when used with the muslin cloth (supplied). It leaves the skin feeling clean, soft and supple.
This cleanser is fantastic at cleaning and purifying the skin without drying it out. It contains Salicylic Acid which helps clear up blemishes and neutralise bacteria while gently cleansing the skin and absorbing excess sebum (oil). It does so with out drying the skin out and because its soap, alcohol and fragrance free is suitable for all skin types even sensitive. You can read my full review here.
What's a good skincare routine without a toner? This one is great at rebalancing combination skin and controlling oil levels. It removes traces of make up and cleanser and also help unblock pores, while being gentle enough not to over dehydrate the skin. When tackling oily skin its important to not dry it out as this can result in more oil being produced to combat it, thus making the skin a greasy hot mess and increasing the chances of breakouts and blocked pores. This leaves the skin feeling clean and refreshed, but not tight in any way.
Serum, Moisturise, Treatment and Protect.

This roll-on targets fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes while de-puffing the under eye area. The steal roll-a-ball applicator feels cooling and instantly refreshes the eyes making it perfect for morning use to help wake you up. I also find that the roll-a-ball makes it very easy and quick to use, and the product stinks in almost instantly.
This serum has a light gel consistency that absorbs quickly into the skin leaving it feeling hydrated and moisturised but not greasy. It contains collagen boosting peptides to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles while minimising pores and revealing a more even skin tone.
If you've had problems with your skin in the past the chances are you have heard of this or even tried it before. The Effaclar Duo+ is the Oompf'ed up version of the original, which I loved and actually prefer. Both offer some really good results when fighting oily and spot prone skin. The serum ( which I use as a moisturiser) lightly hydrates the skin while un-blocking pores and evening out the texture resulting in a more refined smoother complexion.
When you have oily/combination skin the thought of summer brings back daunting memories of thick greasy sunscreens that attracted sand, hair and even flies - basically anything in its path! Well, thank god those days have past and now sunscreen are light and non greasy, just like this one from Soap and Glory. This sinks in within minutes and leaves no trace of its existence on your skin, it also contains mattifying ingredients to help keep the shine at bay during the day which is great for us oily girls! You can read my full review here.
Breakouts and oily skin go hand in hand, so its essential to keep something in your stash for when problems arise. Dr Spot in very much like the Origins Super Spot remover ( which is a personal fav), contains Salicylic acid which helps dry up the spot in no time. The clear gel also reduces redness and helps cool down the irritated area while protecting it with a clear film. Unlike the Origins Super Spot Remover this don't look flaky or crusty on the skin so can be worn during the day under make up.
Applying a mask once or twice a week will really help clear out blocked pores and give the skin a better more even texture. This one form Una Brennan does exactly that and does it gently without drying it out. It leaves the skin feeling deeply cleansed, soft and also helps shrinks pores and minimise their appearance.

What are your high-street skincare favourites?

*Pr Samples. All thoughts are of course my own.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

When Bad Tanning Happens to Good People!

If you've read my blog for a while you'll know that I love a bit of fake tan. Not a week goes by when I'm not tanned up and even in the winter months I'm still sporting a golden glow.
When summer arrives there are a few sights that are far too common... 
Number 1.
Men, normally late 30-40's who've been on the beer and kebab diet since 1979, shirtless and in shorts as soon the temperature reaches above 15'C.
Number 2.
Socks with sandals (oh the shame)
Number 3.
Girls with orange patchy fake tan wondering around like they've just stepped off the beach in St Tropez when in reality they look like an extra for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!

Over the course of a couple of years I've learnt the hard way when it comes to achieving a flawless tan, and believe me there have been some major disasters! Unfortunately some people still haven't got to grips with the whole tanning thing, and at this time of year the problems seem to be getting worse! So I'm going to share my tips and tricks on achieving the perfect tan to stop this riffling epidemic from spreading!!

  • When picking the right tan, always try and make sure they have a olive undertones, these are going to look the most natural and will reduce the chances on the dreaded Oompa Loompa tan!
  • Don't run before you can walk! If you're a fake tan virgin pick a colour that will suit your skin tone. If you're super pale don't run out and get the darkest tan known to man , this will only end in disaster. Try Gradual tans first, these are a great way of building up the tan slowly and just give a hint of summertime glow.
  • Always use a tanning mitt. I know its simple but orange palm are not, I repeat not attractive!
  • Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate. Want a nice even tan without the crocodile skin? Then you need to exfoliate. Its the most important step and will not only make your tan look better but will make it last longer. Try and exfoliate a day or two before you tan and then again when the tan is near to the end of its life, it will allow it to fade more evenly and also start prepping your skin for when you reapply.
  • Mousse, Spray or Cream? This is personally preference, Cream based products tend to be more hydrating and moisturising, and the chances of the tan sticking to dry patches (if you haven't exfoliated) is less likely. Mousse tans are easy to apply and dry quickly allowing you to get dressed and not have to wait around with all your bits on show. Spray's are also quick drying and allow you to reach areas that are more difficult, but be careful when spraying in a confined spaces as the spray can tint tiles and objects in its firing line!
  • Don't forget your ears! White ears and brown face is not a good look! And also don't forget to rubbed the tan into your hairline so there's no harsh lines, it will make the tan look more natural. 
  • Moisturise knees, feet, elbows, hands and any areas that are particularly dry. This will make the tan apply more smoothly and not stick to these areas, preventing streaking and patches. Continue to moisturise after the tan has been washed off to hydrate the skin and allow the tan to wear off evenly.
  • Try and avoid oil based products, these can interfere with the tan and break it down making to more likely to fade quicker and become patchy.
  • Had a tanning disaster? To get rid of unwanted streaks or if the tanning mitt has had a malfunction use whitening toothpaste or a fake tan remover, this will get rid of the marks and allow you to continued your streak free day.
  • Want to tan before going on holiday? Great idea, but be warned. The chlorine in that gorgeous swimming pool will remove that tan before you've had chance to order your first pina colada!
  • Use Vaseline on cuticles and eyebrows to prevent them staining.
  • After you've applied your tan wipe over your palms, knees, ankles and armpits with a face wipe to removed excess product and to weaken the tan slightly so it doesn't cling to any dry areas and make the tan appear patchy. (see face wipes are useful for something! Who knew! lol)
What are you tips and tricks for achieving a flawless fake tan?

Monday, 14 July 2014

Nspa Instant Blur Primer - A Porefessional Dupe?

Nspa Instant Blur Primer £7.00* ( or two Nspa products for £8.00) from Asda
It seems like the beauty market is awash with pore minimising primers. The original being Benefit's Porefessional, is loved by many and a firm favourite of many Beauty bloggers. So it wasn't going to be long until the supermarkets started to jump on the band waggon. Nspa (which is sold at Asda) have bought out their own version, and here's what they have to say about it...

"83% of users agreed it instantly made their skin look smoother. Smoothes and perfects the skin. Instantly improves skin tone. Helps reduce the appearance of fine lines. Creates an even base for make-up." Nspa

Now, before I start the comparison and review I just want to add that I don't rate the Porefessional that much, I know, SHOCKER!!!!! I love the concept and I really want it to work, but it doesn't. I have large open pores which is why I probably expect miracles from it and for it to blur out all the dips in my face and give me that airbrushed appearance. But alas it doesn't.

Much like the Porefessional, the primer is silicon based and has a very slippery consistency and has the same texture as the Smashbox Photo ready primer, whereas the Porefessional is much more balmy and thick. The Nspa Instant Blur Primer in my mind is very similar to its high end counterpart where it does instantly blur and smooth out the area and give it that soft focused look. But the problem I have with both is that the effect doesn't last! As soon as I put anything over the top my beautifully airbrushed face disappears. It does soften the pores a little, I'd be lying if I said they didn't but I want more! I want the effect that is given when first applied! It's like you give it to me and then take it away! For no make up days where you just want to smooth and even out your skin then this is perfect as it does the job its supposed to!
 The primer benefits are again very similar, they both make my make up last a little longer but nothing ground breaking in my opinion.

So in my mind if you're looking to try the Porefessional I would recommend trying something like the Instant Blur Primer first. It seems with these products you either love 'em or hate 'em so its best to find out with a cheaper brand so you don't waste your money!

Have you found a Pore Minimising primer that really works yet?

*Pr Sample. All thoughts are of course my own.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick in Rosepout

Illamasqua Glamore Nude in Rosepout review and swatches

If you saw the contents of my Latest in Beauty Glamour Box you would have noticed a very special addition to the box - an Illamasqua lipstick. But not just any Illamasqua lipstick, this was one from their latest collection and wasn't due to be launched till the 10th July (yesterday), so in fact I and many other subscribers got to try them a week or so earlier then anyone else! Cool ha?

The Glamore Nude Collection runs alone side their Glamore line and consists of all nude shades,  varying in different tones to suit almost everyone and all in a satin finish. Basically there's a nude here that will be YOUR nude! Trust me!
The Colour I got was 'Rosepout' a natural pink brown. When swatched it looks a lot more brown but when on the lips it does give off more of a pinky vibe and I think this has to do with the natural tone of my lips. On some it may be more brown and on others more pink.
This is like the perfect colour, not too warm, not too cool and I love it. The finish is really nice as well, a semi matte finish that isn't drying and lasts a while on the lips. I think this is gonna end up being dangerous because I really want to try some more shades out now! lol

What do you think to the collection? What's your Illamasqua nude shade gonna be?

Thursday, 10 July 2014

The Balm | Available on the Highstreet!!

This is a quick post to tell of you some very excited news I just found out! The Balm Cosmetics is now available at Superdrug, yes Superdrug!! There is only one store (The  Cardiff Beauty Store) that has the brand in stock but they're all available to buy online from the Superdrug Website, with free delivery over £10 too. Perfect!
I don't know about you but I think this is super exciting and my only worry now is, what products do I get first???

Are you excited that The Balm is now more readily available to us here in the UK? What's your favourite product so I know what to put on my shopping list?

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Schwarzkopf | Blonde Me Keratin Restore Range

Schwarzkopf Blonde Me Keratin Restore Hair Care Range Review.
Being blonde has its disadvantages....we need to get our roots topped up regularly using bleach and high levels of peroxide in tints to lift the natural hair colour, and this can cause loss in elasticity developing dry, damaged, straw like hair - no one sets out to achieve this, but sometimes bad hair can happen to good people! :(

One way of keeping our blonde locks luscious is to care for it using specialised after care products. Schwarzkopf Professional 'Blonde Me' collections consist of two ranges. 'Blonde Me Colour Enhancing' collection is deigned to bring out the caramel or cool tones in your hair,  their's two different options to choose from depending on the look you want to achieve.
Schwarzkopf 'Blonde Me' Keratin Restore range is designed to care and treat the hair from within. All the products in this collection are infused with Hydrolysed Keratin ( keratin - a natural protein found in hair) and formulated with KeraLamination Technology which restores hairs lost keratin and regenerates elasticity helping to strengthen over-processed, and damaged hair.
The Blonde Me Keratin Restore Shampoo* (£9.00) and the Keratin Restore Conditioner* (£12.30), like the whole range smell gorgeous. I know that shouldn't really be an important factor but its a huge selling point to me when I'm looking at hair care products, I want my hair to smell nice,.. who doesn't, right?
The shampoo gently cleanses the hair without stripping it and adds hydration where needed just like the conditioner, which moisturises the hair without weighing it down, making it feel and look healthy and a lot more manageable.

Even through i do love the shampoo and conditioner my two favourite products out of the line have to be the Keratin Restore Blonde Mask* (£11.15) and the Shine Enhancing Spray Conditioner* (£9.80). The mask deeply nourishes and repairs the hair from within the hairs fibres, helping to strengthen the hair shaft and repair damage. The thick texture of the mask is light enough not to leave the hair lank or flat but feeling hydrated, silky soft and easier to comb. The shine spray contains tiny fleck of gold shimmer that reflect the light adding shine and vibrancy to the blonde hair. It can be used on wet or dry hair and I like to use it on wet - spraying it through the mid-lengths and ends to lightly condition the hair making it more manageable and smooth. It's also great on second day curly or wavy hair, I like to scrunch the curl back in with it as it adds some definition as well as shine and leaves it smelling great!

Have you tried any products from the Schwarzkopf 'Blonde Me' range?
What are you favourite hair care products for dry/damaged hair?

*PR Samples. All thoughts are my own.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Latest in Beauty Glamour Beauty Box

Its been a while since I last purchased a beauty box, over a year in fact, I explained why I stopped subscribing here.
When I saw the newest release from latest in beauty I knew I just had to have it. The 'Glamour Beauty Box'  is in conjunction with Glamour Magazine's Editor Alessandra Steinherr, and contains some absolutely fabulous products. The box is £16.95 (free P&P) and is worth £86.15, so an absolute bargain if nothing else!

Rimmel Instant Tan BB Skin Perfector
This is a perfect addition to the box, especially now we're in summer. I've tried the original instant tanner from Rimmel and really liked it so I'm pleased to now have this. The colour I have is medium matte which is exactly what I would of picked if I was buying it in a shop. The colour is perfect for me, a nice deep sun kissed shade that lasts 24 hours and can then be washed off easily the next day.
Velvotan Tanning Mitt
If you're an avid fake tanner like myself you can never have enough tanning mitts, they're perfect for applying the tan, whether its one that develops over time or like the one above which is instant. No more orange palms with this baby!
Toni & Guy Volume Plumping Whip
A cream based styling cream that is applied to damp hair/towel dried hair and then styled as normal. The cream creates body and volume to the hair without the crunchy feeling that some other volumiser's leave.

Hawaiian Tropic Satin Protection Sun Lotion SPF30
This is a must have product for summer, no one wants to look like a lobster on the beach do they? SPF30, which smells great and doesn't leave the skin feeling greasy or tacky, what more do you want from a sunscreen?

High Magnifibres Brush on False Lashes
I've seen this crop up in a few beauty boxes over the past year, a mascara that contains fibres to thicken and lengthen the lashes without the need for falses. I wear eyelash extensions so I'm unable to use this but I will definitely pass it on to a friend to use!
Crabtree & Evelyn Nail Lacquer
I know Crabtree and Evelyn are known for their skin care products but I was unaware they also produced nail polishes as well. The colour I have is 'Apple/Rouge Sublime', a gorgeous true red shade with a hint of iridescence to it, perfect for the winter months and a shade I'll definitely be adorning this Christmas time.
Bourjois Cream Blush
These are the perfect cream to powder blushes, the shade I have is no 2, one of which I already own but never the less great for summer and I just love the colour, a peachy coral shade which lifts the skin tone and delivers a healthy flush to the cheeks.
DHC Cleansing Oil
I have actually tried this before in a previous beauty box and I absolutely love it. You apply it to dry skin and massage it in. The oil breaks down all types of make up even water proof mascara and makes light work of removing a full face at the end of the day. I'm so happy to have this back in my life again!
Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick
This is the 'pièce de rèsistance' of the box, an Illamasqua lipstick from their latest collection. The shade I have is 'Rosepout'  the perfect nude colour! I haven't tried any products from them before so when I saw this in the box it was a done deal, I had to have it! 

Have you purchased the Latest in Beauty Glamour Beauty Box, what do you think to it?

Friday, 4 July 2014

W7 Full Time Lip Colour put to the test..

W7 Full Time Lip Coloutr in Wicked Full Review and lip swatches
The Brand W7 isn't that well known to me, but when I had the opportunity to try one of their new 'Full Time Lip Colours'* I jumped at the chance. The product claims to last 24 hours, which lets face it is a big statement to make. Was it just a marketing ploy, or will it really live up to the claims? I was prepared to find out! 

The colour I was given is 'Wicked', not a colour I would normally wear, a redy brown, which to me is very old fashioned, but never the less I tried to make it work for me and applied it at 8:30am. 
There are two parts to the lip colour, one end housed the stain (which is matte) and the other, a clear gloss that you apply over the top. On application I noticed how incredibly sticky the "stain" part was. My lips almost stuck together at the start but as the product dried it became less tacky. The gloss on the other hand isn't sticky at all, it applied smoothly and the texture of a lip balm as oppose to a gloss. 
Throughout the day the gloss part faded relatively quickly but the stain part hung around and so did the slight tacky feeling on the lips. If you hate sticky products this may not be for you, but for me personally it didn't really bother me.
If you follow me on Instagram and Twitter you would have seen me post pictures throughout the day wearing the 'Full Time Lip Colour' to document the longevity and my initial thoughts, if you missed them here they are....
Top Right and Bottom are Before and After photo's

As you can see from the photo's (sorry about the quality and change in lighting) the colour held up for most of the day. By 5:30 it had started to a crumple and look a little crusty on the lips, but that was after 9 hours wear so I was prepared to let it slide, especially considering most matte lipsticks end up looking this way, regardless of price! By 7:00pm I had to remove the lipstick as I'd finished work for the day and was removing the rest of my make up. At this point the lipstick didn't look very nice and even though it states 24 hours wear I think by 10 hours the lip colour was well and truly past its sell by date and not looking its best! This being said it was only the last hour or so that the pigmentation and lip colour had broken down and prior to that the colour hadn't faded much at all.

In a nut shell, I don't think the lip colour could last 24 hours on my lips, and to be honest I wasn't really expecting it to, and I wasn't really expecting it to last as long as it did either. It's a great long lasting lip colour from such an affordable brand, so I definitely want to try out some different colours from the range. You can pick up the W7 Full Time Lip Colours for £3.19 from Hot Cosmetics.

Have you tried any products fromW7, what did you think to them?
What's your favourite long lasting lipstick?
*Pr Sample

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Di Palomo | 'Wild Fig and Grape' Dry Oil and Lip Balm

Wild Fig and Grape Dry Oil* £18.00 and Lip Balm* £4.00

Di Palomo are a brand that was conjured up by three friends reminiscing of their time spent in Italy. Each scent captures the essence and sees inspiration from different regions of the country to bring us truly unique and enchanting fragrances for the body and home.
There are four collections, Tuscan Rose, Wild Fig and Grape, Orange Blossom with Wild Honey and Olive, and White Grape with Aloe.

The scent I have is Wild Fig and Grape which has top notes of Grape and Gardenia, middle notes of Ripe fig, Orange blossom and Minosa, and base notes of Sandalwood, Amber and Vanilla. The fragrance is very warming with a sweetness to it which is deepened by the sandalwood and amber. Its a very grown up seductive scent and reminds me of warm summer evenings in the garden. The range consists both of  bath and body products as well as candles and diffusers to capture the scent in your home as well as on your body.

The Wild Fig and Grape Dry Oil* is a unique blend of oils and Vitamin E which are instantly absorbed into the skin. The texture and finish is very much like the dry oil sunscreens that disappear into the skin on contact. It leaves no greasy residue, only the gorgeous scent, which lingers on the skin leaving it feeling hydrated and soft. The dry oil can also be used on the ends of your hair as a perfume, and it actually work really well! Just like when its applied on to the skin, it doesn't leave it greasy or dry it out at all. Something that did surprise me was the fact you can use it on your face! I haven't tried this as I personally don't like that idea of it, and shudder at the thought of putting something this highly perfumed on my face, but ever the less a very interesting product.

The Wild Fig and Grape lip balm* is also very nice. It tastes and smells at lot sweeter than the dry oil, which I prefer and leave the lips feeling smooth and moisturised. The balm isn't waxy or too greasy and tints the lips slightly adding a hint colour and sheen to them.
Have you tried any other scent form the Di Palomo collections?
*Pr Samples