Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Lush Christmas/Boxing Day Sale Haul

My parents gave my sister and I a certain amount to spend for Christmas. I had already placed an order with Whittard of Chelsea, but still had money left over, so decided to wait until the sales started. I knew I wanted some things from Lush in particular, so made my list and set my alarm early on Boxing Day morning, ready for the online sale to start. The website was a nightmare last year, but this year was different. It was so much worse. It was so bad that they had to take the website down to try and fix it. It was down for a large part of the day, and was still crashing when back up. It was irritating, but I wasn't angry because some bath products really don't matter in the grand scheme of things. I just kept refreshing while watching TV and eating allll the cheese, simply because I'd come too far to give up! I finally managed to order at 11pm, and while the whole experience was less than ideal, delivery was incredibly fast. It was sent with the next day service, even though I only paid for standard, so I'm assuming they were trying to make up for things. I think I may try my local store next year, though!

I didn't get everything I wanted because the website was so limited, but I did get two pots of Christingle, which was at the top of my list. Christingle is a body conditioner, much like Ro's Argan, but smells minty and makes your skin tingle. I'm going to try and save this for the summer because I think it'll be perfect on a hot day. This was £8.25 down from £16.50.

I also added a 500g bottle of Snow Fairy to my basket for £6.38. I'm not as obsessed with it as some people are, but I am a fan, so kind of wish I'd bought another now. I do have two 100g bottles as well, though, so it's not too bad.

I wanted another chunk of Reindeer Rock, but that wasn't available, so settled on Baked Alaska for £1.63. I love Baked Alaska, and actually bought a ton of the stuff a couple years ago.

I'm not a big fan of the scent of the Snow Angel bath melt, and the gold glitter is already everywhere, but it's a good size and should make my skin soft. It was only £1.98 as well, so thought I'd give it a go.

I bought Santa's Belly shower jelly (also £1.98) with my sister in mind because she smelt it in store and didn't mind it, and she doesn't like a lot of things in Lush.

I really wanted a bottle of Rose Jam, but that also wasn't available, so settled on The Winter Garden gift set (£8.48) containing a small one. It also contains Respect Your Elders soap and Love & Light hand cream. The soap is menthol-y and berry like, and reminds me of a throat sweet, but in a good way. The Love & Light hand cream has a similar scent to the Don't Look At Me face mask, which isn't my favourite, but I can deal with it. It's citrus-y, but in a green way, not in a sweet, fruity way. I've read some positive things, though, so I'm looking forward to trying it.

I also chose the Little Snow Fairy gift (£4.25) at the last moment. It contains 100g of Snow Fairy and 100g of the pink Fun, which I've never tried before. I've yet to undo it because I don't want to ruin the beautiful wrapping, but it'll happen soon!

Did you buy anything in the Lush sale? Did you battle the site, or the crowds in-store?

Thursday, 17 December 2015

My Christmas Jumpers

Ahead of Christmas Jumper Day, I thought I'd show you the ones I've bought this year. Up until a couple months ago, I'd never bought a Christmas jumper. I thought they were a waste of money because you can't really wear them all year round. I wanted to join in with festivities this year, though.

The first one is from Primark, and was £14. I bought it in September just in case they sold out quickly, but I think it's still readily available now (possibly at a discounted price too). Fairisle is my go to Christmas/winter pattern, and I love the little reindeer on it.

The second one is from the men's section on Boohoo, and was £18. I was a big fan of Breaking Bad, so when I saw this play on words, I had to have it. I'd prefer a Game of Thrones one more, but have yet to see one I like. One with the words 'Let It Snow' and a picture of Jon would be great.

Do you go down the pretty or tacky route with your Christmas jumpers?

Monday, 14 December 2015

A Christmas Gift To Myself (and other things)

The Origins Glow So Nice Christmas Gift Set was in my post-Christmas sales wishlist, and the one I wanted to get my hands on the most. Its contents is worth £71.75, with the VitaZing alone costing £29. The GinZing eye cream is £20 to buy individually (in pot form), the KissZing lip crayon in Rosemance is usually £16, and the GinZing mascara sample is worth around £6.50. On top of this, you receive a mirror and little cosmetics case to hold it all, so the £40 price tag isn't astronomical. I still wanted to wait until after Christmas, though, seeing as we haven't got long to wait now anyway. However, I was browsing the Boots website the other night and saw that it was a third off, at just £26.66. Then I added it to my basket and my staff discount brought it down to £20.66. It had taken off double the amount of discount that is was supposed to. Seeing as it was nearly half price anyway, I decided to buy it then, because it's not guaranteed to be in stock after Christmas. I'm looking forward to trying all the products because I've heard great things!

The Boots website (and some stores) now stocks NYX, so I added the Concealer Wand in Green (£5.50) to my basket as well. I've had the pot version for a few years now, and after not using it for a long time, I've recently dug it out again. The texture is really thick and drying, though, so I wanted to get the liquid formula. I haven't used it properly yet, but it already seems to be a lot more manageable. 

I've decided to start using my Boots Advantage Card points before I get to £100, because I know that once I hit three digits, I'm going to withhold from spending them even more. The first product I bought with them was the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Creme De Rose (£4.99). This is supposed to be a dupe for MAC's Painterly. I don't wear eyeshadow, but thought this would be a beautiful wash of colour to get me into doing so. The lid implies it's a lilac shade, but it's actually a creamy beige.

I'm a fan of the Barry M Satin Super Slick Lip Paints I already have, so wanted to use my points to add 169 Mannequin to my collection. It's the nude that I wanted Nuditude to be. I find that it looks more brown in the bullet than it does when swatched, which suits me perfectly because the brown lip trend hasn't won me over yet. These lipsticks are only £4.49, so I'd definitely recommend checking them out. 

I know I've just posted a haul of sorts, but I can't help it if things catch my eye so soon after! Let me know if you've purchased any Christmas gift sets for yourself this year. They work out to be better value for money than buying the products individually, so they're a great way to sample a brand.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Recent Purchases - Primark, Lush, and More

I go through town on a daily basis to get to work, and will quickly pop in somewhere to get the odd item, but I hadn't been on a leisurely shopping trip in months, so my sister & I decided to do just that yesterday morning. It was nice strolling around without thinking that I need to be somewhere in half an hour. I thought I'd combine yesterday's buys with some other bits I've bought recently, not including the coat and Christmas bits I've acquired over recent weeks. This haul has a little bit of everything; home, clothing, beauty, and food.

I love bedding, as sad as that may sound. I actually went in Primark intending to buy the fairisle Christmas duvet set, but couldn't bring myself to buy it because it was brushed cotton, and the ones they have on display always look worse for wear. I settled on the paisley damask and grey floral bird sets, both of which are shown above. At £11 a set, I didn't need to decide on just one. The grey one is right up my street as I love anything grey and floral. I'd seen the paisley damask one on Primark's Instagram page, and even though it's a little over the top, I really like it.

I rarely buy clothes these days, but did find a couple items yesterday which took my fancy. I used to love the basic v-neck cardigans from H&M, having nearly one of each colour, and didn't like round neck cardigans at all. My tastes have clearly changed because I absolutely loved this black one from Primark (£6) when I tried it on yesterday. It'll be perfect for work.

I've never liked high-necked, thin knit jumpers on myself either. They look great on other people, but I felt like I couldn't pull them off. I liked the neckline and colour of the one above, though, so decided to try it on. Initially, I didn't like it at all. Then, not even 30 seconds later, I started warming to it. I've called it my Parisian Chic jumper. The best part was that it was £4.90 down from £6 - Bargain! I just have to remember to put it on before I do my makeup because it's difficult to get over my head.

Of course I bought some more pj bottoms. These grey ones with little white stars on were £6.

I didn't plan on showing these, but was so pleasantly surprised when they arrived yesterday that I just had to. They're novelty tins filled with biscuits! I needed a Christmas gift for my grandad and someone else who are incredibly difficult to get for. I know they're the easy/boring way out, but you can't go wrong with biscuits, especially when they come in an awesome tin. They're quite big actually, and I'm tempted to keep the radio one for myself. These were £10 each from Debenhams, but there's often some form of discount on them.

I have the Freedom Eyebrow Pomade in Soft Brown, and while it matches my hair perfectly well, it's a little too warm for my natural eyebrow hair, so I picked up Medium Brown in Superdrug for £5. It's cooler, and a touch darker than my Anastasia one, but with a light hand, I have high hopes.

Lush have changed their bath melts to bath oils, so I wanted to try my two favourites, Mmmelting Marshmallow Moment and You've Been Mangoed, in this new formula. They're a lot smaller, but they're also only £2 now. I'll be using a chunk in a foot soak later, so will see how that goes.

If you've been to Primark recently, what's your favourite purchase?

Friday, 4 December 2015

Flamingo Candles The Melt Crowd - December

The final box of 2015 arrived on my doorstep this afternoon, filled with even more wax melts. I'm either going to have to up my melting game, or cancel my subscription for a few months, because I have so many now! I'm not keen on December's selection as a whole, but I knew this would be the case because I'm not a fan of many Christmas scents to begin with.

The two I really don't like are Mistletoe and Christmas Pudding, which both happen to be The Melt Crowd exclusives. Mistletoe smells like a bitter perfume to me, and will be staying in its wrapper. Christmas Pudding has some warm notes, and smells a little like cake, which sounds nice on paper, but they're not scents I particularly like in wax tarts.

The scents which I don't hate, but don't love either, are Cinnamon Sticks, Black Tea & Almond, and Asian Pear & Plum. I like my fruity scents to be light and fresh, but Asian Pear & Plum is quite heavy, and this is down to the floral and musky notes.

My favourite three are Vanilla Milk Bottles, Black Cherry, and Mulled Wine & Berries. Vanilla Milk Bottles and Black Cherry smell just like you'd imagine, which I'm a fan of! I know I said I'm generally not a fan of warm notes, which is why I don't like many Christmas scents, but Mulled Wine & Berries is beautiful. I think it's because the berry notes remain crisp and tart.

This month's box also came with a couple extras. There's a flamingo shaped tree ornament, and because I've been subscribed to The Melt Crowd for six months, they included a melt in the scent of Snow Angel. Snow Angel is a combination of peppermint, spearmint, and buttercream, and I absolutely love it. I'm tempted to buy the mega melt of this, which is £4 for 70g.

Are you a fan of Christmas scents? I know a lot of people are, but I prefer sweet and fruity over warm and spicy.

Monday, 30 November 2015

Christmas Sales Wishlist

I know, it's not even December yet, but it's good to be organised! Some people believe that the sales are full of rubbish you don't really need, and that you should be spending time with your family over the festive period instead. One: the things below are far from rubbish, two: if you make a plan and stick to it, you're only buying things you really want, and three: online shopping! You can get your bargains and stuff your face with the cheese board at the same time. And even if you are one to hit the Boxing Day sales at 6am, if it makes you happy, do it.  

The annual event that is the Lush sale. The Christmas range and products made before October are half price. The website was chaos last year, not working for hours, and then only showing a handful of products. My sister has just passed her driving test, so we're either going to go in early on Boxing Day, or I'm going to order over the phone. I'm not sure how busy the line will be, but I'm guessing it'll be a lot less hassle than the website. I don't know what time the lines will be open, though. If it's 10 and the website is already up, I'll be using the latter!

These next items are from Feel Unique. The Pamplemousse Rose Lip Conditioner & Hand Cream Winter Duo is £8 full price, the Laura Mercier In The Glow Trio is £25, and the Caudalie Mask Trio Gift Set is £22. I don't tend to buy from higher end brands, so think the sets are a good way of trying multiple things. I don't know how much they'll be discounted, if at all, but I'm still going to keep an eye out for them. I hadn't heard anything about the Caudalie masks until yesterday, but a quick search tells me they're highly rated, so I want in on that action.

Boots is the other retailer that people swarm during the sales. There's not much I want from the main Christmas gifts because I bought everything I wanted during staff double discount week, but wouldn't mind getting the Soap & Glory Well I'll Be Glammed Set. It may even be a Star Gift before then, though. I'm not paying £40 for it anyway, especially when I'll be giving the eyeshadow palette and brushes away.

The Origins sets aren't with the bulk of the Christmas range, but in the luxury beauty section. I really want to try more from the brand because I highly rate what I have, so am hoping I can get my hands on at least one of these. The gift set at the top is Glow So Nice £40, the bottom left is Shining Stars (exclusive to Boots) £25, and the bottom right is Let Us Glow £30. The VitaZing in Glow So Nice is £29 alone, and the GinZing moisturiser in the other two is £25, so they're already worth their money.

These gifts are available from Debenhams, with the Rituals sets priced at £28.50, and the Bobbi Brown ones at £39. The Rituals sets are in the Indian Rose & Sweet Almond Oil and Organic Rice Milk & Cherry Blossom scents. I wanted them last year, but didn't manage to get hold of them. I'm hoping this year will be different because I'm a huge fan of foaming shower gels, and really want to try the shower oils.

The Bobbi Brown sets may not be discounted that much, if at all, so I won't be getting both if they're available when I go online. I just wanted to show both sets because I love the look of them. Sunset Pink is on the left, while Pink Dusk is on the right. I've never tried anything from Bobbi Brown, but it's a brand that's talked about a lot, and swatches of these products look beautiful.

I've decided that I'll be getting presents from Whittards for people next Christmas (I've already bought their presents for this year - they've been ready to wrap since late last year/early this year). I just think their products make for beautiful gifts, for both sexes. The items above are what I want for myself. I'll either point my parents in the direction of them, or buy them after Christmas. Top left is the Dotty About Hot Chocolate Gift Set £20, top right is the Christmas Kilner Bundle £24 (how beautiful are they?), bottom left is the English Rose & Glass Mug Bundle £18, and bottom right is the Luxury Hot Chocolate Hamper £15.

Last year, I was expecting larger discounts than there were, so was left disappointed. My expectations are significantly lower this year, and I'm prepared to see the words 'out of stock' many times, so I doubt I'll even buy half of the things above. I hope this has given you some ideas, though, even for Christmas presents. When I get my own place, it'll be homeware over beauty products!

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Rimmel The Only One Lipstick in Naughty Nude

I needed a third product during a 3 for 2 promotion, so added this to my basket last minute. I hadn't heard much about the new range at the time, but Rimmel lipsticks are always pretty good, so chances were I'd like it.

Claiming to be the only lipstick you'll need, this range promises long-lasting colour, comfort, moisture, and wear.

First of all, I don't like the packaging. I know a lot of people do, but the twisted cap isn't my cup of tea. I'd have preferred a simple black case. Saying that, it's not the worst. I do like the shape of the bullet, though. I've read that others would have preferred a pointed tip for precision, but I personally get on better with rounded lipsticks.

I wouldn't call Naughty Nude a true nude because it's more pink than that, but it's still beautiful. It also has a fruity scent, but this doesn't linger once on the lips.

So, the formula. It's very opaque. Some of my favourite lipsticks range from sheer to opaque, so this isn't a deal breaker for me, but I know a lot people love an opaque lipstick. When you're applying it, it's creamy, and stays like this for up to half an hour. It then dries down to a satin finish, but still feels comfortable to wear, and then it almost seals itself. When you touch your lips, they're soft and dry, like how a stain would feel. It lasts for most of the day after this. I can't say exactly how evenly or long because I have a shade that's not far away from a typical lip colour, but I do know it's pretty decent. It isn't drying either, which can be the case when it comes to long lasting lipsticks.

I can't say it's the only one for me because I like the variety lip products offer, but I'll probably buy other shades from the range. I actually have my eye on Peachy Beachy, which I'll most likely get on my next shopping trip! Oh So Wicked looks like the perfect vampy shade as well. They're only £6.99, so you can try a few without feeling too guilty.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Barry M Satin Super Slick Lip Paint in 171 Berrylicious

Like many others, Barry M's the brand I go to when I want a new nail polish, but I can't say I've delved into their makeup all that much. I've had their Dazzle Dusts and Blink Precision Eyeliner in the past, and own five of the Loud Mouth Liquid Lip Colour shades, but that's about it.

I saw some photos of this new lipstick range last month, and just had to try them. I was confident I'd like the formula just from the name, and the shades were all ones I'd wear. I decided to only buy two, though, just in case. The first was Nuditude, which is very light and more of a pink than a nude. Then there's Berrylicious, which is the shade above.

Berrylicious is different to other berry lipsticks I own. My others lean red and are more vibrant, whereas Berrylicious is more purple and muted. Not as purple as the photos are implying, but definitely more purple. I find it a lot easier to wear because it's not as bold. The first photo shows it dabbed on, which is how I usually wear my lipsticks, and the second photo shows it to its full intensity. They're darker and more vampy in real life, which is why I find dabbing it on to be more than enough for work.

The formula of these is moisturising and comfortable to wear. You'd think the creamy texture would lead to bleeding and a short wear time, but I don't think this is the case. Berrylicious wears down evenly, leaving a stain which lasts throughout the day.

At £4.49 full price, I think this lipstick is well worth the money. I quite like the pewter casing as well. Mannequin is next on my list to buy because it looks like it'd be a better nude than Nuditude, and I also want to get my hands on Peachy Keen. What do you think?

Friday, 20 November 2015

The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Lightening Drops

As soon as I saw these drops on The Body Shop's Instagram page, I was like "yes". The answers to my foundation problems have arrived. It's difficult to find a foundation light enough for my skin, so to be able to lighten the ones I have, and try those with great formulations, is a game changer. 

To use this product, you simply add as many drops as you wish to your chosen foundation. The foundation above on the left is L'Oreal's True Match Foundation in N1 Ivory. It doesn't look as dark on my face because the inside of my arm is super pale, but it could still do with being lighter. I tend to use L'Oreal's Infallible Foundation in Porcelain for this reason, but prefer the neutral tone of the True Match one, so didn't want to give up on it. The second swatch is of L'Oreal's True Match Foundation in N1 Ivory with a few drops of The Body Shop's Shade Adjusting Lightening Drops. I normally add two for my face, but for photo purposes, I added another to really show the difference.

The main thing I was worried about was the drops changing the formulation of the foundation, but they don't, as far as I've noticed. They simply lighten and tone down those orange tones.

I also love that they allow me to brighten the area around my eyes. No concealer has been light enough to achieve this effect, so I've had to settle with using one the same colour as my skin. I'm now able to look more awake!

They're priced at £10 for 15ml, which I think is reasonable. You only need a couple drops each time, so the bottle is going to last a considerable amount of time. I was willing to pay more, if I'm honest!

What do you think? Will you be giving these drops a go? There's also darkening ones, which could prove useful for many things.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Viktor & Rolf Bonbon Eau de Parfum

I'd been wanting a new perfume for a while. Something that was different to the others in my collection. The delicate fruity florals that dominate the top of my chest of drawers are there for a reason, though, and that's because I love them.

I'd never smelt a Viktor & Rolf fragrance before this, despite Flowerbomb being highly popular. I wouldn't have even given this a chance if it weren't for a sample, and part of that is because of the packaging. Hot pink isn't a colour I tend to gravitate towards. I know it sounds ridiculous, but packaging does influence my initial reaction. Saying that, I don't mind the actual bottle. It's different to anything I own, and feels substantial in my hands.

Bonbon is rich and sweet, and because it's heavier than my other fragrances, it'd be the one I'd choose to wear for an evening occasion. I'm in my pjs every evening, let's be honest, but you know what I mean. The prominent note for me is the caramel, which is probably why I like it so much! The other heart notes are orange blossom and jasmine, while the top notes are mandarin, orange, and peach. The base notes are cedarwood, guaiac wood, sandalwood, and amber, which is another note I can detect above the others.

It's expensive, with 30ml priced at £50, 50ml at £69, and 100ml at £96, but it's a designer brand, so it's to be expected. Part of me thinks it's ludicrous to pay so much for a perfume, but then part of me ignores this and buys them anyway. It's the ultimate treat to yourself, isn't it? And to ease the cost, there was 10% off luxury fragrance & beauty and £5 off when you spent £50 at Boots. This was on top of my staff discount, making the 50ml bottle £49.

Will this be going on your Christmas list?

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Soap & Glory One Heck Of A Blot Primer

I love primers, and I love Soap & Glory, so when I heard about this new release from the brand, I was intrigued. I read a few positive reviews, but decided to wait until double discount week at Boots before buying. For some reason, 45% was taken off of its £10 price tag instead of 25%, making this just £5.50.

It claims to make your pores appear smaller, leave your skin shine-free, and make your makeup last longer. It also claims to help hide imperfections, even out your skin tone, and reduce the appearance of redness. That's a whole lot of claims! I've found that only one of these is significantly true, but that's enough to make me like it.

This primer is really thick. You have to work it into your skin. This set off alarm bells in my head at first because I thought it would make my foundation cling to it in a very bad way. It didn't help that the primer I was using before was the runniest primer I've used to date. It was all fine, though, and my foundation applies like it usually does. 

I haven't really noticed a difference in the size of my pores. I thought it'd be like those blurring primers, but it's not. I also haven't noticed a difference with my imperfections, skin tone, or redness. It does leave my skin shine free, but this doesn't last all that long. I still have to blot half way through the day. I don't mind this, though, because it's not something that causes me a great deal of worry.

So, it's sounding pretty awful so far, isn't it? It's not living up to its claims. However, and this is a big however, it makes my makeup last very well. It's even minimised the amount my gel liner smudges in the inner corners of my eyes. I know people will be thinking you aren't supposed to use it around your eyes, but I have been, and it's worked a treat. I usually get a little smudging on my way to work and have to use my finger to wipe it away, but I haven't needed to when wearing this primer.

It doesn't do everything it claims, granted, but it does the main job of a primer incredibly well, so I'd probably repurchase. I just wish I'd bought more than one tube when it was so cheap!

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Flamingo Candles The Melt Crowd - November

November's subscription box from Flamingo Candles is one of my favourites to date. If you enjoy home fragrance, I'd definitely recommend The Melt Crowd. Eight scent melts are delivered to your door for £10 a month, and some of these scents are exclusives and previews. You also receive a burner with your first box, a 20% off code each month, and little extras every now and then.

Parma Violets | Sweet and floral, Parma Violets is a gorgeous powdery blend of violets and roses. Overflowing with nostalgia, its warm fragrance comforts and relaxes without having to unwrap the sweetie packaging. I love Parma Violets, so of course I was going to love this!

Darjeeling TeaEnergising and earthy, Darjeeling Tea is a fresh, exotic tea fragrance with lush green leaves, bergamot and may chang, resting on a cool base of musk, amber and dry tea leaves. Surprisingly, I really like this one. It's very fresh and uplifting.

Blackcurrant JamSweet and fruity, Blackcurrant Jam is a mouthwatering accord with top notes of blackcurrant preserve and a touch of soft vanilla. An instant winner in my eyes. I can't wait to melt this.

Violet & LimeSweet and floral, Violet & Lime is a delightful mix of green leaf, fruit notes, violet, lily resting on a base note of sandalwood. This one is up there in my top three, along with Parma Violets and Blackcurrant Jam. It's basically a fruity, less powdery version of Parma Violets, and I may even prefer it.

Christmas Tree-O (preview) | This one's not available to buy yet, so there's no description, and I can't pin point the notes! To me, it's slightly fresh, earthy, and has some warmth to it.

Bah! Humbug (preview) | Rich and icy, Bah! Humbug is a mouth-watering peppermint fragrance with notes of vanilla and crisp mint. I was apprehensive about this one. The dark colour suggested it'd be a strong scent, and the name implied a scent that's opposite to anything Christmas-y. I was so glad it turned out to be mint! I'm really looking forward to melting it because it's different to anything I've had before.

Blackberry & Bay LeafFresh and energetic, Blackberry and Bay Leaf is a floral fragrance with blackcurrant, lemon and green leaves leading to a heart of lily of the valley and precious woods. Fresh, floral, and almost soapy. It reminds me of a detergent. It's probably my least favourite from he box, along with Christmas Tree-O, but I still like it, so that shows you how good of a box this month's is.

Warm Vanilla Sugar (exclusive) | You can't go wrong with this, can you? I don't find it mouth-wateringly good, but I can see this one going down well on a cold winter's evening.

So, there we have it. If you're a member of The Melt Crowd, which is your favourite scent from this month's box? And if you're not, which one do you think would be yours?

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

New Releases!

I thought my interest in beauty was beginning to vanish, but it turns out it was down to the releases, because I'm very excited about these.

The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Lightening Drops £10 | Eee! These are probably one of the best releases, ever. I'm a redhead, so am very fair skinned, which makes it difficult when shopping for foundation/concealer. High end brands tend to have better shade ranges, but they're expensive. It also doesn't help that I have freckles, which makes finding a match even more difficult. Do I go for a foundation which matches the centre of my face, but appears too dark around the outer edges and my neck? Or do I go for one which matches the skin where there's not many freckles and have my whole face one pale colour? That pale colour being more than a handful shades lighter than my freckles, and therefore my nose because it's saturated in them! Anyway, these drops should be the answer to my problem. I'm thinking of adding a drop more when blending the foundation down my neck, since that area is paler. This should create a gradual transition and look more natural. I can even buy Bourjois foundations now. Everyone seems to love the formulations, but they're usually too dark and yellow for me.

Rimmel The Only One Lipstick in Naughty Nude £6.99 | This was actually a last minute purchase because of a 3 for 2 offer. This lipstick range claims to do everything; pack a punch of colour, moisturise, and be long lasting. I chose the nude shade because I've been really getting into this colour family recently, but it's not nude at all. At least, on me it's not. It's more of a muted mauvey pink. I've been wearing it today, and I'm fairly impressed so far. It almost seals itself to create a stain. It feels odd because I've been wearing balmy textures recently, but it's lasted well. I'm not a fan of the packaging, though. I don't like the twisted lid, and would have preferred something much more simple.

Freedom Brow Pomade in Soft Brown £5 and Duo Eyebrow Powder in Soft Brown £4 | I love brow products, and love my Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade, so when I heard that Freedom were releasing dupes, I was incredibly excited. I have the ABH one in Soft Brown, and seeing as the shades look similar and have the same names, I opted for Soft Brown in both formats. As you can see from the photo below, Freedom's version is warmer. I have medium brown eyebrows and auburn hair, so I can go from cool to warm without it looking odd, but if you're a brunette, keep this in mind. I'm considering buying the medium brown shade as well, just so I can have the option of a cooler toned brow. I don't like my brows to match my hair exactly because they don't naturally anyway. The shades in the powder duo match really well, though. The formulas of these are very soft, and I haven't found a fault with them yet.

Will you be buying any of these products? 

Monday, 2 November 2015

Lush Haul

I had five black pots to return to Lush for a free face mask, and thought I would buy some back ups of my favourite products while I was there. I didn't plan on buying any Christmas products. This changed after having a particularly bad day!

Ro's Argan Body Conditioner £16.50 | I used to think this was an insane amount of money to spend a product. Even after buying it with my Mystery Shopper credit and falling in love with it, it was something I was only going to put on my Christmas/birthday lists each year. This was a few pots back, and now I buy it without a grudge. This is because there's nothing else like it (that Nivea one doesn't even compare). It leaves my skin so incredibly moisturised, while smelling delicious. It helps that I only use it once or twice a week so my skin doesn't become too used to it. A pot usually lasts me 2-3 months, which softens the blow of the cost.

Ultrabland Facial Cleanser £11.95 | This is my favourite cleanser. I found it quite heavy at first, but my skin's used to that moisturised feeling now, and it removes my makeup better than any other cleanser I've tried. I've still got two thirds of my current pot left, but there's no harm in stocking up!

Don't Look At Me Fresh Face Mask £6.75 | This is the mask I chose as my free one this time. It's one of their newer ones, and claims to soften, tone, and brighten. It's supposed to exfoliate and moisturise as well. The reviews so far have been very positive, so I'm looking forward to giving this a go. I thought it'd smell amazing because of the citrus ingredients, but I'm not a fan (edit: it smells better on). I'm hoping the results are worth it, though!

Peeping Santa Bubble Bar £3.95 | I didn't need this. I don't even have baths! But it was cute and smelt good. It smells like the Valentine's mushroom bubble bar they had a couple years back. Not very Christmas-y at all, but that's fine with me. It's described as smelling like strawberry, but there's a muskiness to it as well. I'm going to have to have more foot soaks just so I can use this little guy.

Reindeer Rock Soap £3.25/100g | I didn't need this either, but it smells so good! It has that delicious berry scent of Godmother, which is no longer available. I'm tempted to buy a hunk of this during the 50% off Christmas sale.

Have you had a trip to Lush recently?

Monday, 26 October 2015

Empties #13

I've taken out the usual suspects this time. You know, the shampoo and Colour Effects bottles, the Maybelline gel liner, The Body Shop face base. I've become tired of talking about them, so you've probably become tired of reading about them!

Tresemme Platinum Strength Deep Conditioning Treatment | When I first used this, I thought it was good. Then I used more, and was amazed at how soft it left my hair. I stocked up while it was half price, but now I'm back to thinking it's just good, so think my hair needs a break from it. I really love everything in the Platinum Strength range, though. The shampoo can weigh your hair down if you constantly use it for more than a couple weeks, but it's still one I go back to when I want incredibly soft hair.

Tresemme Oleo Radiance Creamy Moisturiser Mask | I have a thing for conditioners, so bougt most of the Oleo Radiance range when it was released. This mask is good, but I think I like the Platinum Strength one slightly more. The Platinum Strength range leaves your hair feeling soft, whereas the Oleo Radiance range leaves your hair feeling smooth. Does that make sense? The Oleo Radiance products can weigh my hair down if I use too much of them.

Lush Snow Fairy Shower Gel | This is the bottle I bought in last year's Christmas sale because I can't bring myself to spend so much on a shower gel, no matter how good it smells. For those of you who haven't smelt it before, it smells like pear drop sweets. It's very sweet, which is right up my street. I'll probably try and get hold of another bottle after Christmas this year.

Aussie Shower Smoothie Body Wash | When I smelt all the Aussie shower gels, this one appealed to me the most. It's basically a bubblegum scent. It's different to Snow Fairy, but if you want something along those sweet lines, for a much cheaper price, give this a go. It's also available all year round!

Nivea Soft Rose Lip Balm | This is a big moment; I've never finished a stick of lip balm before! I'm surprised it's this one actually, since Nivea lip balms aren't the most hydrating and this one was an initial disappointment. I bought it thinking it'd have more of a tint, but it only has a slight pearlescent finish. Still, it ended up being one I'd apply before bed every night because it felt really nice on the lips, and I loved the scent.

Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets | I've spoken about these before, but they're amazing. I get quite oily throughout the day, and rather than layer powder on top of oil over and over again, I use a couple of these at lunch time. For some reason, they were discontinued, but you can now get them on eBay. However, the deals aren't that great anymore. I'll have to find an alternative when I run out of these (I still have a few packs left).

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara | I don't know why I like this more than Rocket or One by One, but I do. It does everything right, like the others, but this is the one I repurchased the other day. Towards the end of the tube, I started seeing specks of metallic paint on my face and hands, and could not figure out why, but then I realised it was from the tube. I'll try and be more gentle with my new one! On another note, I started using Colossal after not using it for years, but I don't like it as much as the others now. The formula, of the tube I have anyway, is slightly flakey. I've already given it to my mum because life is too short to use a mascara you don't truly love. Am I right, or am I right?

Have you tried any of these products?

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Boots Haul

It's currently double discount week (and a half) at Boots, where employees and designated card holders receive 25% off branded products and 45% off Boots own products. I've been taking advantage of this, and thought I'd show you what I bought. Compared to last year's haul (found here), this is tame, especially considering some of it isn't mine!

Both my sister and I already have a large bottle of Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream. I bought my sister it for her birthday, and considering she's not into perfume, she's already half way through her bottle. She decided to buy another for when it runs out, which I have no complaints about because she received 500 Advantage Card points for buying it, and gave them to me! I'm now back up to £80 odd.

She also picked up the OGX Coconut Milk Shampoo and Conditioner because it was already a third off, making these around £3 a bottle. I've used OGX in the past and like it, but don't find it to be above and beyond what I normally use. I also have a drawer full of hair products already, so have put myself on a hair product ban!

The Maybelline Rocket Mascara and Lasting Drama Gel Liner are also hers. I also picked up the Gel Liner and the Sensational Mascara, both of which are repurchases. I have other mascaras to use, but wanted a back up of one I really love.

I bought the Laura Ashley Ceramic Cupcake and Muffin Tray and Rolling Pin with my future kitchen in mind. They're both things which should see me through the years, and they're so pretty! I actually bought two of the trays because I always make at least 12 muffins when baking. They're both originally £16, but the 3 for 2 offer and double discount brought this down to a more acceptable amount.

I ordered through the tills in store so I could have access to the products online. On the website, you can buy a No7 Restore & Renew bundle for just over £31, which is an amazing price when you think that the day and night creams are usually £24 each. The bundle also comes with the eye cream, and I'll be giving all of these to my mum for her birthday. This bundle was exempt from the discount because you're already saving so much.

Soap & Glory! I picked up the Super Exfoliating Scrub Gloves in the hope that they're better than my usual cheap ones. I also bought the Sugar Crush Body Wash, which I haven't used in a while. I still have my fair share of shower gels to get through, but I've resisted quite a few recently, so thought I'd allow myself this one. The One Heck of a Blot Primer and Sugar Crush Hand Gel are both new releases, and for some reason, I received 45% off of them, which I'm very happy about!

Barry M have released a new lipstick range called Satin Super Slick Lip Paints. There's six shades, all of which are beautiful. There's some neutrals, berries, and a peach. I chose Nuditude and Berry-licious. Nuditude is more pink than I thought it'd be, and looks like it'd be chalky, but it's not at all. Berry-licious is more toned down than a lot of berry shades, making it more wearable. Because of the 3 for 2 offer and discount, I got both of these for £3.47. I'm excited to wear them, and can see myself buying a couple more shades!

Have you had a splurge in Boots or Superdrug recently? What new releases have caught your eye? I can't wait to get my hands on the Freedom brow products, as well as The Body Shop's Fresh Nude Foundation and Shade Adjusting Drops.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Mini Succulents

After having a clear out and making space in my room, I've allowed myself to buy some more plants. I've also realised that you don't have to just stick them in simple plant pots time and time again. You can create terrariums and have hanging planters, and just be a little more creative. That's what I'm planning on doing with the little guys above. I bought them from Amazon for just over £12, and that's including delivery. They're absolutely beautiful, with my favourite being the one with the red/purple tips.

Unfortunately, they've just become unavailable, but I've found some other listings, if you're interested. These ones come to just under £20, but you get 15. These and these are just under £15 for 10, and are also beautiful. I think I prefer the second ones a little more out of these two, though.

I love succulents, and think so much can be done with these, so wanted to share them with anyone else interested in this sort of thing. I'll show you how my terrarium turns out, once I've found a nice pot which isn't too expensive!

Friday, 16 October 2015

MUA Sweet Sheen Lip Balm in Dusky Rose

I love the MUA Sweet Sheens. They're probably my most used lip products of the year because they're so fuss free. They feel really light and moisturising on the lips, and while they don't last a great amount of time, they fade without going patchy or bitty. The reds actually leave a subtle stain, which is even better.

They've recently added two new shades to the collection. The first is a deep purple, and the second is the one above. Dusky Rose is just that; a dusky rose. It looks natural, and doesn't lean too pink or brown. It's a shade I wouldn't have paid attention to at the start of the year, but one I now love.

I think I'll always choose a tinted lip balm over other formulas, just because I can't be bothered with the upkeep of more pigmented products. The Sweet Sheens are only £2 as well, which makes me love them even more. You can read my post on the other shades here.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Boots, Glorious Boots

I love boots, but it's rare for me to find a pair I like. They usually look great on other people, but I struggle to feel the same when I'm the one wearing them. I feel like many, especially of the ankle variety, make my feet look huge. In the last couple months, though, I've taken on the 'screw it' mentality, and have just bought them. It's not the boots making my feet look huge, it's my feet making my feet look huge, and this isn't going to change, no matter what footwear I wear! I think part of it is paranoia as well, because I don't think this of others who have the same size feet.

Anyway, after buying the boots in this post, I've bought three more pairs from New Look. I actually bought four, but returned one pair. I know it's excessive, but like I said, I rarely find boots I like, so have to take advantage when I do. It's the same with coats. The first pair were £24.99, the second pair were £27.99, and the third pair were £39.99, but I had 20% off these prices. They're all very different, which I like. 

I was unsure about the first pair, but now they're my favourite, and were the ones I instantly liked in store. The second pair look better on, trust me, and remind me of the lace up, tan ones I had from Office a few years ago. I had a pair similar to the third ones when I was in my early teens., and because of this, I'm still not 100% sure on them. They do look nice on, though, and that's the main thing. I think I'm just associating them with a less fashionable time in my life! Not that I'm fashionable now.

Are you a boot lover? Where's your go-to place for a pair?

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Free L'Occitane Hand Cream with Marie Claire November 2015

There's a choice of six L'Occitane hand creams with this month's Marie Claire. It's the one with Claire Danes on the cover, her hair looking both matted and greasy at the same time. The magazine is price at £3.99, so the hand cream isn't technically free, especially if you're only buying it for that, but it's worth £8 and is really rather good.

The scents available include Verbena Cooling, Pivoine Flora, Lavander, Vanilla Bouquet, Rose Heart, and Zesty Lime. I opted for Zesty Lime because lime is one of my favourite scents, and it's difficult to come across in a hand cream. It smells like lime cheesecake; it's incredible. It takes a little longer to absorb than some of my other hand creams, but it's more moisturising.

I can see myself picking up another tube of this, as well as the rose and vanilla ones, but we'll see. The magazines are 2 for £6 in Tesco, if you need any more persuading!

Monday, 5 October 2015

Flamingo Candles The Melt Crowd - October 2015

Another month, another box of wax melts! £2 from this box goes to The Pink Ribbon Foundation, a charity which helps those affected by breast cancer. 

For me, this box is like August's, in the sense that I'm a little disappointed. Half the scents aren't my cup of tea. I'll go through them with you.

Pink Ribbon | This is my favourite. It's described as having a rich, cranberry accord dominated by top notes of sweet cranberry blended with prune juice, complimented by a fruity floral heart of summer strawberry, sun ripened raspberry and citrus orange with sweet honey and rose notes. On dry down the base is woody and powdery with notes of cedarwood and vanilla with a hint of raspberry.

Pomegranate & White Fig | Another favourite. When I was playing the guessing game, I knew I liked it because of its subtle, sweet, and slightly floral scent. I'd say it's in the same family as Rose & Marshmallow because of the delicate notes.

Cranberry, Orange & Cinnamon | I like this one. You can smell the cranberry and orange more than the cinnamon, but that's why I like it.

Bubblegum | I didn't guess this scent, but as soon as I read what it was, it was obvious. I like it, but it's not a scent I've ever truly loved.

Nutmeg & Ginger (The Melt Crowd exclusive) | Warm, slightly fruity. This one won't be at the top of my 'to melt' list, but I don't hate it!

Thunderstorm | I've read that a lot of people are loving this. I'm not sure. It's very masculine. My sister said 'eww, it smells like rain and mud', so at least it smells true to its name?

Golden Woodlands | This one's warm and masculine, with some green notes thrown in. It doesn't repulse me, but like the two above, it's not blowing me away. I may burn it after my current one, though, for a change. It may smell nicer when it fills a room.

Applecurrant Crumble | This one is the big disappointment, and one I'm so surprised about because I love everything about crumble. It has this smell which many artificially warm dessert scents tend to have. I can't describe it, but I don't like it. It smells better when you wave it in front of your nose, so it could smell better when melted, but I can't see my opinion of it changing that much.

Flamingo Candles The Melt Crowd is just £10 a month. Everything you need to know about the subscription can be found here.

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