Friday, 30 January 2015

The New Additions

I know Christmas wasn't that long ago, but I've been doing quite a bit of shopping and picking up some bits that have been on my wish list for some time. January is such a depressing month for many of us - It waves good bye to Christmas ( my favourite time of year) and welcomes cold gloomy days with nothing to look forward to till spring. So I thought what better time to treat myself and escape the January blues with a few new beauty purchases?!

Tom Ford Sable Smoke - Tom ford lipsticks are the height of luxury and this shade has easily become one of my all time favourite nudes. The packaging and formula are everything you expect from a high end brand making this lipstick one of the most creamiest, pigmented and comfortable ones I own. You can read my review with swatches here.

Hermes Des Merveilles - not some much a new addition but a repurchase. This is my all time favourite perfume. If I had a signature scent, this would be it. It's peppery and warm but with a freshness that makes it a really unique fragrance to have. Every time I wear this someone always compliments me, and since I first got it 6 years ago it has remained one of my all time favourites scents.

Armani Eyes to Kill Silk Eye shadow- I don't know why I bought these but I had some vouchers to use up and the name stuck in my head as something I needed in my life. I haven't tried anything from the Armani beauty line and the shades looked absolutely stunning and unlike anything I own. I got the shades 27 - a silver pewter with flecks of red. And shade 2 which is a black with red flecks encased in it.
They're a pressed pigment which look beautifully and interesting in the pot, and having only played around with them a few times I'm sitting on the fence at whether or not they're worth the money. I'll keep you posted.

Shu Uemura Eye Lash Curlers - I've heard all the hype around these saying they're the best eye lash curlers on the market, and since having my eyelash extensions removed I noticed how straight my lashes have become, so decided to see if these really live up to the name.
I don't know what makes them different from cheaper brands but they really are! They curl the lashes with ease, and what makes them even better is they hold the curl - something I found budget brands don't do!

Lorac Pro Palette. I've been wanting to get my hands on this for ages, but unfortunately it's not ready available here in the UK so I got mine from Roses Beauty Store. I had to pay more than I would of if bought from the states, but in my mind it was worth it just to finally have it in my possession. The shadows are buttery soft and deliver fantastic pigmentation which blends out seamlessly with little fall out. The colour selection in the palette is everything a neutral lover would want, and with the added bonus of a few coloured shades to play around with. Since getting this I haven't touched my MAC palette and now fear I need the Lorac 2 in my life! *sobs at my dwindling bank account*
Have you tried any of these out? What beauty buys are on your shopping list?

Wednesday, 28 January 2015


Smooch Cosmetics review

Affordable make up can sometimes be hard to find, and compromising on price can sometimes effect the quality, meaning the products lack pigmentation and longevity. This isn't always the case of course and when buying make up the trick is knowing where to spend your cash and where you save it.
Smooch cosmetics are an incredibly affordable brand that offer a wide range of products at prices we can all afford. I've been trying a few bits out to see if the budget brand lives up to its more expensive competitors.
The packaging is all too familiar, it has a Nars vibe to it with the rubberised black casing. Obviously if you have some Nars products in your stash you will know these are a bugger to keep cleans and the same applies to these.

The eye shadows feel buttery soft in the pan and initially deliver fantastic pigmentation, all off to a good start! I found when applying them with a flat shader brush and packed the colour onto the lid the pigmentation stayed. When blending out they did so with ease but (especially) with the darker shades the colour pay off faded, and the colour blend away to almost nothing. This isn't a major flaw, it just means that you need to build the intensity up. Apart from that I was rather impressed, and for the price think they're well worth it!

Left - Bronzer in 'Smooched'* £2.25.  Right - Blusher in 'Peachy'* £2.45
These two are my favourite from the items I've tried. The bronzer on first inspection seemed a good colour, not too warm or on the orange spectrum and of a semi matte satin finish with a gold shimmer spray over the top where the 'S' is. The shimmer faded after the first couple of uses and it performed just as good as some of my high end bronzers, by warming up the skin without leaving a chalky or powdery residue behind. The colour was perfect for my skin tone, a nice natural sun kissed shade that, when used with a light hand can even be used on the palest of skin.
The blusher is two tone and a nice peachy pink in a matte finish which is ideal for pale - medium skin tones. It gives a lovely flush to the cheeks and the perfect shade to compliment any make up look. I like the fact that you can either use the colours mixed together for use them singularly giving you more colour options to choose from.
Have you tried any products from Smooch Cosmetics? What did you think to them?
*Pr Sample. All thoughts are of course my own.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Diptyque Volutes

Diptyque Volutes Review

Diptyque Volutes £55.00 for 50ml
Diptyque Volutes was luckily enough to be under my tree at Christmas, and my first dip into the perfume range. The candles and bath products which I have tried in the past have left me smitten with the brand. A brand that up until I started blogging had the misfortune of not showing up on my radar.
The fragrances aren't cheap, £55 for 50ml which sounds a lot but when compared to the likes of Jo Malone which to date is £40 for 30ml to actually works out cheaper ml for ml.

"An elegant boat crossing from Marseilles to Saigon. The atmosphere is full of honeyed Egyptian tobacco, spices gleaned from the ports along the way, and a touch of iris. Myrrh, everlasting flower, and styrax complete the sense of exoticism." Diptyque

The scent Volutes resides in the 'woody' section of the fragrance catalogue, containing fresh spices, Everlasting Flower, Blond Tabacco and Honey which leads the initial whiff to gauge on the grown up musky side that normally I would hate. The introduction of honey sweetens the heaviness of the tabacco and transports the scent into a unique aroma that is sexy and sophisticated.
For me this is definitely an evening fragrance as it's a little heavy for day time use, but if you like your perfumes running in this range then of course this would be right up your street.
What are your favourite scents from Diptyque. What ones should I try next?

Friday, 23 January 2015

My first date with Mr Ford...

Tom Ford Sable Smoke Lipstick

I finally did it. I purchased my first Tom Ford product! Lets face it, it was going to happen eventually. The signs were all there and the day came when I took the plunge and had my first encounter with Tom. There were many shades to choose from but I knew I was investing a lot into this relationship and wanted to know that I wouldn't pick something that would be a fighting fancy. I wanted something timeless and someone I could see myself with in the foreseeable future. I didn't want anything too bright for bold so opted to play safe and go for Sable Smoke. A nude that seemed very apt for my first time with Mr Ford.
It goes without saying that's he's handsome. Dressed to impress with his tailored black and gold attire that feels strong, and his muscular heavy duty armor guanteed to see the distance. What was underneath was much to be desired too. He smells good and feels gooood. Moisturising and cushioning the lips with ease. This guy knows exactly what's he's doing! The only problem is his tattooed. The TF initial stamped across his chest made him look desirable but I knew that the tattoo is was semi permanent - there will be a day when it was no longer there, and this makes me sad. :(

As you can see we look great together. The shade is perfect for my colourings, containing just the right about of peach and brown tones to warm up my complexion  and completely eradicating the concern I had for the dreaded concealer lips. I think I definitely made the right choice and have found my perfect match.
There is something to be said about investing what seemed a hefty sum on such a small and unnecessary purchase, but I'm glad I did. I feel special when we're together. Everything about it is worth the price. Us two are made for each other.
Have you been introduced to Mr Ford yet? What are your favourite products? 

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

First Aid Beauty | Radiance Pads

Gone are the days when we just used soap and water to cleanse with, now there are many phases that we are required to perform to achieve radiant glowing skin. A phase that I have welcomed is the acid toning part, a way of exfoliating the skin using fruit acids and glycolic that remove the dead skin cells, which is turn leaves the skin looking refreshed and more youthful.

I have used a number of acid toners in the past. The Pixi Glow Tonic (with is a firm favourite), the Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Brightening Toner ( which I thought was ok but nothing special) and of course my beloved Alpha H Liquid Gold which I use weekly religiously as part of my skin care routine.

I was recently introduced to the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads (£20.50) which contain fruit and chemical acids that are said to "Exfoliate, Tone and Brighten". The 60 some what pads are soaked in the lotion which make them easy and handy to use when in a rush. One pad is easily enough for the whole face, and the gentle formula makes them ideal for everyday use. I used them morning and night which at first I was a little dubious of as I thought it would be too much for my skin, but in fact was absolutely fine and I saw no adverse side effects at all.
The textured pads are great at buffing the skin so you can manually exfoliate the skin a little, and I liked to do this on problem areas where I had blemishes and scarring.

I personally found these to be a little too gentle of me, and didn't really see any improvement in the condition or appearance of my skin. This could be because my skin is used to acids so the benefits weren't as visible. I can see that if you were someone who is new to acid toning this could be a good place to start as they were very gentle, just a little too gentle for me, in my opinion.  
One thing that I wasn't expecting to find a problem with was the smell. They smell bad, really bad, like mould in fact.  I thought it would be something I could get used to but unfortunately I couldn't. :/

Even though I liked the convenience of these, and the fact they are gentle enough for daily use, I do feel I need something a little stronger for my skin. Like I said before if you're new to acid toning or have sensitive skin I can see these being a good starting point.
Have you tried these out? What did you think to them?

Monday, 19 January 2015

A dip into Weleda

I haven't tried any products from Weleda before, but I have heard of them. One of their best selling products 'Skin Food' is believed to be a firm favourite of no other than Victoria Beckham her self. If it's good enough for VB is good enough for me.

The brand itself is very interesting, using only natural raw ingredients sourced from all over the world and combining them together to produce not only skincare but pharmaceutical products as well. The companies philosophy is to not only create award winning products but to also look after their employees and make sure they source the ingredients in an ethical and environmental way.

The two products I have been trying recently come from the Aknedoron range which is specially designed for problematic skin. The cleansing lotion* is ( in my mind ) going back to basics - using a cotton pad and lotion to remove make up and dirt, and this is exactly how it's used.
I'm not going to lie but I did have some trouble getting to grips with this as I'm so used to using balm cleansers and oils to remove make up, so I found it best used in between my 1st and 3rd cleanser, (yes I like to use 3!) My 1st cleanser is an oil to remove makeup and my 3rd is a face wash so I think it fits perfectly in the middle to remove any last trace of makeup and also rid my skin of impurities. The lotion has a very strong astringent aroma which stems from the witch hazel and has I very clinical and sterile vibe to it, which if you have problematic skin you may welcome. I personally didn't mind it as I felt it was really getting down there and cleansing my skin, and if you're a spot suffer you'll understand. It recommends that you firstly do a patch test, which of course I completely disregarded ( like you do) and I now understand why they put that there as I did experience some redness after use. I put this down to the fact that I used it inbetween my cleansing phases and the heat from the water had opened up my pores. When I used this on no make up days as my 1st cleanser I didn't experience the redness like I did when used other times.

The Akendoron Purifing lotion* is very similar to the cleanser that it has the same astringent smell. I use this in my 'toner' step just after acid toning and apply to areas that need it as oppose to all over my face. The lotion dries on impact and due to this does leave a slightly tight feeling behind as if it's drying up blemishes, this soon disappears after moisturising and my skin is left feeling roughly clean and refreshed.

Out of the two products I've tried the one that stands out the most is the Akendoron Purifing lotion. As a balm and oil cleanser gal I don't really feel the need for a cleansing lotion, although I have enjoyed using but it's not something that fits easily into my routine. If you're new to skincare or look for time saving products that do a great job at cleansing the skin then this is definitely something you should look into. For me the Purifying lotion is a welcomed accompaniment into my skincare routine, and one I think anyone suffering from problematic skin should consider trying.

Have you tried any products from Weleda?
 *Pr Sample. All thoughts are of course my own

Friday, 16 January 2015

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder review

No Kim K contour would be complete without the under eye highlight. I like to use concealers a shade or two lighter than my foundation to achieve this but sometimes I find once I've set it in place with a powder the initial brightening effect is dulled down.
Step in Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder. Now in the pan this can look quite scary and when I first saw it I was a little dubious to how it would work. The pale powder contains tiny flecks of shimmer particles, that tend to fly everywhere as soon as you dip your brush into the pot. I had the fear that my undereyes would resemble Edward Cullen from Twilight, but they didn't.

Don't ask me how it does it but once you brush it on your skin the shimmer completely disappears ( well that's what I found anyway). The filling milled powder is weightless on the skin and doesn't look cakey or exaggerate fine lines or wrinkles. Strangely enough I find it actually looks quite matte and almost casts an air brushed finish to the skin making it look smooth and velvety. The powder does a fantastic job at brightening the under eye area and also setting my concealer in place.
Since getting it this I haven't used another product and I think it will a long time until I do so too. The only draw back is that in flash photography you can get that white cast as the light reflecting properties do tend to flashback. I don't find this to be a major problem for me as I don't often get "papped" exiting the Ivy at weekends, but if you're partial to some late night photos this may not be for you.

Have you tried this before? What's your favourite under-eye setting powder?

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

You spent how much on a shower gel?

Diptyque Revitalizing Shower Gel 200ml £26.00 from SpaceNk
I don't think there's anything more indulging than splashing the cash on some bath time pamper treats. We all know they're not a necessity (spending a lot of money that is not washing) but there's something about bathing in high end products that makes me feel all the more special.
It's taking the time to really enjoy the products you're using and not just going through the motions like we do on a day to day basis. It's having a bit of "me" time, pampering ourselves and bringing out the big guns when it comes to the products we're using.
Now, there will be some of you reading this that thinks spending £26.00 on a shower gel is way too much. And I hear ya! I have never spent this much on a shower gel, the most I spend is £18.00 on some Molton Brown, but you do get 300ml of product as oppose to 200ml (which this is), and it was a complete impulse purchase as I was "feeling spendy".
So what does a £26.00 shower gel consist of? The Diptyque range is well known for its luxury and gorgeous smelling candles and perfumes and this shower gel is not different. It's rich and sensuous with a spicy masculine aroma, which I personally love but others my not be so keen. It's also fresh and clean feeling with the introduction of Peppermint essence and the richness stems from the Bergamot, Green Mandarins and Neroli. All of these blended together makes a truly indulgent and relaxing experience, but then you would expect so wouldn't you?
As a shower gel goes it cleans the skin and lathers up well (so all good there then). But what makes me go back to it time and time again is the scent and I love how it lingers on the skin after use. It just smells divine and makes me feel very posh when I've used it.
Will I buy it again? I don't know, even though I love it I do find myself wincing every time I pour a bit into my hand. If I could find the same scent cheaper then I would! For now I'm going to enjoy this little bit of luxury in my life and pray someone buys me a back-up!  Any takers?
What's the most you've spent on a shower gel? Have you tried this before?

Monday, 12 January 2015

Herbal Essences Clearly Naked Dry Shampoo

Clearly naked? Clearly NOT a dry shampoo!
I don't tend to do negative reviews that often. Not because I don't like to ( who doesn't like a good moan?), but because I normally do some research when I'm parting with my cash and find out before hand what's good and what's not. This customary routine went out the window when I had run out of dry shampoo and I casually added this to my online basket while shopping for groceries at Tesco.
I've tried many dry shampoo's in the past from your budget friendly Batiste to your more expensive salon ranges, and all have served their purpose well. Some (like Batiste) do leave a white cast but it's not something that bothers me too much and easily rectified with a bit of vigorous brushing.
Herbal Essences Clearly Naked it Paraben and colourant free so no white marks are left in the hair after use, and this is the case. It works, nothing is left in the hair. NOTHING!
I was under the impression that a dry shampoo was meant to absorb excess oil, yes?  Well Herbal Essences clearly didn't get that memo and made an aerosol that squirted compressed air with a fresh fruity fragrance!
I used this on two day hair and even one day hair and it didn't make the slightest bit of difference. It did nothing, nada, zilch, didily squat. Time to run out and get some Batiste me thinks!
Have you tried this? How have you got on with it?

Friday, 9 January 2015

Gin and Tonic without the hangover!

Library of Fragrance Gin and Tonic.

Library of Fragrance Gin and Tonic

Library of Fragrance Gin and Tonic Eau de Toilette* £15.00 (or 2 for £25.00) from Boots
If you know me at all you will know I'm rather partial to a drinkie poo every now and then, so you can imagine my excitement when I saw that  Library of Fragrance had bought out a perfume in one of my favourite tipples. Gin and Tonic!

I was kindly offered the chance to try one of their new and exciting fragrances, and without even thinking I picked this one out straight away. It didn't even occur to me that there may be a chance of me smelling like a brewery or like I'd been on the razzel the night before, no. But as I waiting for it to arrive I was starting to doubt my initial choice. Maybe I should have gone with something more nose friendly?
I'm glad to say that I think I definitely made the right choice. The fragrance was nothing like I was expecting. It contains every good part of the iconic drink, it's fresh, fruity, zesty with a slight musk that makes it sexy and inviting - I was blown away and instantly fell in love.
The smell also reminds my of my youth and a scent I used to adorn. If you were a fan of the likes of Calvin Klein CK be then this you will love! Like my throw back scent this is slightly masculine (so definitely a unisex fragrance), with the zesty crispness of a newly sliced lemon and the freshness of ice cubes floating in the sparkling tonic water - this is MY kinda scent!
This isn't your thing? Don't worry there are loads of different scents to choose from. Maybe 'Baby Powder' or 'Fireplace', or even 'Grass' and 'Sunshine' might be your scent? I would definitely recommend sniffing them out next time you're in Boots!
*Pr Sample. All thoughts are of course my own.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

What I got for Christmas 2014

Happy New Year to you all! I hope you had a fantastic Christmas and New Year and enjoyed the time off with your family and friends. I've had a little break from blogging over the festive period, but now I'm back and sharing with you some of the beauty treats Santa bought me this Christmas.

I love this scent from Jo Malone and was getting dangerously low with it being my go-to winter fragrance. I was over the moon to get this gift set again which I was luckily enough to receive last Christmas. The set contains the Pomegranate Noir perfume in 30ml, and the matching shower gel and body lotion which, like the fragrance smell absolutely divine.

This my first Diptyque fragrance. I have tried their candles and bath products but never somehow got around to trying their perfumes. I actually asked for this as I thought it was about time I saw what all the fuss was about. The scent I went for was Volutes - a musky spicy blend that on first inspection I love but will keep you updated in a full review in a couple of weeks.

I love these after trying them for the first time early last year. I previously had the travel sizes before and only recently ran out, so these were welcomed with open arms and swiftly popped into my bathroom to be used.

I was very lucky to receive this, and it's my first YSL lipstick! The colour is a deep blackened plum which is absolutely stunning and matches the gorgeous gold packing perfectly *insert heart faced emoji here*.

I love Zoeva brushes, they are easily my favourite and most used brushes as part of my everyday make up routine. I have a few of their brushes in my collection but needed some more eye shadow brushes. The set contains everything you need to create a variety of make up looks and the soft bristles make them a pleasure to use, all enclosed in a cute travel friendly makeup bag.  

I can remember using these when I was younger and up until now never looked into trying them again. I love face masks and this set contained a variety of masks to suit different needs. I was so happy to get this that I used it Christmas night and have been delving into them ever since (hence why the basket looks a little less full. lol)
Along with these fantastic gifts I also received some vouchers and some much needed Muji storage, which isn't photographed as it's now housing my ever expanding makeup collection lol.

What lovely gifts did you receive this Christmas?