Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The Price of My Makeup Routine

I was looking back through old blog posts the other night when I stumbled across the how much is your face worth? tag I wrote four years ago. I couldn't believe that it had been over four years, and was sure I'd done one since then. As it turns out, I've written about my various makeup routines since, but have never calculated the cost of them since 2011. I thought it'd be interesting to see just how different my current routine is, and how much it costs. I can already tell you it's going to be a lot more expensive, because I used a £1.99 blush and lip balm in the old post, and the total was a mere £38.95. My makeup varies day to day, and I don't always use a bronzer and highlighter, but this is what I wore yesterday.

Revlon ColourStay Foundation in 110 Ivory | £12.49
NYX Rouge Cream Blush in Natural | £5.50
Bourjois Bronzing Primer | £9.99
Topshop Glow Cream Highlighter in Polished | £9
The Body Shop All in One Face Base in 02 | £14
ELF Studio Eyebrow Kit in Light | £3.95
Maybelline Gel Eyeliner in Black | £7.99
Maybelline Sensational Mascara in Black | £7.99
Revlon ColourBurst Lip Butter in Wild Watermelon | £7.99

Total: £78.90

It's just over double the price of what it was four years ago, but I'm not that surprised! My makeup knowledge and skills have come a long way since then, and I'm now using products and brands I never did in the past. Also, the total is based on the retail prices, but I rarely pay that. I've never paid £14 for The Body Shop All in One Face Base, I recently bought the Revlon Foundation for £9.99, and I remember the Maybelline products being £5.99 each. Then there's discount codes and loyalty points, which I paid for the Bourjois Bronzing Primer with.

I remember this tag doing the rounds back in the day, so would love to see updated versions. I'd also be interested to see the total of your routine if you've never calculated it before. Let me know in the comments!

Monday, 25 May 2015

Bourjois Bronzing Primer

Give your skin a beautifully bronzed glow!
With correcting airbrush action, the bronzing primer smoothes out your skin for an even and mattified make-up result.
Its luxurious velvety texture blends into any skin tone for a ultra natural glow.
Can be worn alone or under foundation to warm up your complexion.

I didn't pay this product much attention in the past because I wasn't big on bronzing, and thought it looked quite orange. I've been concentrating on giving my face some warmth and definition recently, though, so have been bronzing my temples and anywhere else that needs it. The centre of my face is speckled with freckles, so it also helps balance everything out. I'd been wanting a cream bronzer, and when feeling the need to spend the other week, I found myself adding this to the pile of products in my arms.

I apply this after my foundation, just like a normal bronzer, but it works well beforehand as well. The texture is light, like a whipped mousse, so you only need to dab your brush on the surface to pick up product. Although pigmented, it's a dream to blend. More so than any bronzing product I've tried, actually. The shade does lean orange in the pot and when heavily applied, but once blended right out, you're just left with a sun kissed glow. What's more, it's completely matte, making it look even more natural.

I can see this pot lasting me a very, very long time, and there's not many products like it on the market, so don't think the £9.99 price tag is too bad. I actually used my Boots Advantage Card points to pay for it, so it was technically free! I'd love for them to bring out a contour version next.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Discounted Naked Bodycare Products (£1!)

I loved Naked Bodycare as a brand. Their products were sulphate, silicone, and cruelty free. The shampoos sometimes made my hair drier than usual because they were so clarifying, but they were perfect when I wanted to get rid of any product build up. The conditioners were on another level, though. They've featured in many favourites and empties on this blog.

So, when the brand suddenly disappeared last year, I was gutted. However, when I was waiting for my mum to buy some bits in Savers the other day, I spotted a handful Naked products for £1 a piece, so snapped up three Smooth & Silky Conditioners. Then, I discovered were stocking them, and when Jenny (@caramelandcats) informed me of a 5% discount code, I just had to place an order. 95p a bottle instead of £4.39 is just too good to pass up! The above is what I ordered, plus some Toffee Crisp and Jelly Tots (yum!). Most of these have sold out now, but I'm hoping they get some more in stock.

This is just a heads up to keep an eye out in discount stores and online. Fragrance Direct are also selling them for £1.99, if you're unable to find them anywhere else. Some Boots stores still have them on the shelves, but this won't be for much longer. It's sad to see the brand end up in these places, but it's also great to buy the products you love again at a fantastic price. I can't see them being around for much longer, though, so I'd stock up while you can!

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Revlon ColourStay Foundation

Since starting to wear foundation six months ago, I've tried ones from L'Oreal, Max Factor, and No7. Revlon ColourStay has always been tempting, especially because it's raved about by so many, but the one for combination/oily skin in 110 Ivory always looked too dark. 110 Ivory for normal/dry skin, however, looked perfect. I don't know if this is normally the case? Despite having combination/oily skin myself, I decided to just go for the normal/dry skin one. What can I say? I like to live on the edge. I sandwich my foundation between primer and powder anyway.

I like the simplicity of the packaging, but would prefer a pump. I'm just getting used to pouring the right amount out now. Despite this, I've been liking this foundation. More than liking, in fact. It has a gel like texture, which feels different to any other foundation I've tried. In turn, it applies beautifully with a medium coverage, leaves my skin ever so slightly dewy, and makes it feel moisturised throughout the day. Now, the real question is, does it make for an oily nightmare? No! This surprised me. I mean, I do become slightly oily around lunchtime, but I do with my other foundations as well, and this is no more problematic. The other major point is how long lasting it is. My foundation is usually non existent by the end of the day, and very little comes off when I cleanse. This, however, is still going strong when it comes to the evening. Because of my skin type, I thought it'd slide off, but that's not the case. It's left me very impressed.

I think this will be too moisturising for my skin in the summer, but for the rest of the year, it's great. I may try the one for combination/oily skin when it gets warmer - I should have some colour then! I'd love to know your thoughts, if you've tried it.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Revlon Ultra HD Lipsticks

Gladiolus, Iris

Revolutionary wax-free gel technology for true colour clarity in one smooth swipe.

I've been waiting for these to be released in the UK since I first saw them on American soil many, many months ago. Throughout April, I was looking in Boots whenever I walked past, but for some reason, they were no where to be seen. I ended up going to Superdrug where they were 2 for £10 instead of £7.99 each. So, were they worth the wait?

  • These babies are pigmented. One swipe and you have intense colour. I prefer building my lip products up and creating a subtle stain, so don't wear them to the extent of the swatches above, but like having the option to if I wanted. You can always make pigmented products less pigmented, but if there's little pigment to begin with, you're limited to what you can do.
  • They glide on, with no dragging whatsoever. 
  • Following on from this, they feel light.
  • They don't settle in the lines of my lips, which I was expecting because of how pigmented they are.
  • I find them long lasting. I've been wearing them much less intense, and there's still some faint colour after 10 hours.
  • They don't dry my lips out. I've heard others say they're not as forgiving for them, though, so just keep that in mind.

  • If you wear them to their full intensity, they have the tendency to bleed ever so slightly. This is the downside to them being so pigmented and creamy. I'll be wearing a lip liner with them next time I wear them so bright.
  • The packaging could be improved if the bullets retracted all the way down, to save you from catching the product on the lids. Saying that, I haven't found them to be as bad as others were saying. Only a small amount sits above the casing (they're wound up in the photo above - when they're retracted, the smallest part of the slant cannot be seen). I have yet to catch them on the lids and make a mess.
  • There's some slight silver shimmer in Iris, which annoys me because it's such a beautiful colour. Why do brands ruin lip products with shimmer? Obviously, this is more of a personal preference, but I feel like most people prefer a solid cream colour.

Although they're not perfect, they're better than I thought they'd be. I've read a mixed bag of reviews, so wasn't sure what to expect. I'll probably get some more shades in the future, but won't be running out to buy any soon. Saying that, who knows what'll end up in my basket on my next shopping trip? I've been spending some pretty pennies recently!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Using Less Product

I've been trying to reduce the amount of product I use, especially when it comes to shampoo and conditioner. I realised just how much I was using when I tipped my empties bag onto my bed and found that 90% of the products were ones of the hair variety. Moisturiser and primer are others I'm generous with, which results in me applying the extra to my neck and chest. In a way, this is a positive, because they're often places forgotten about, but they don't need as much as I'm layering on!

According to certain beauty websites (here and here), you don't need to use as much as you'd expect. I was surprised when I read the amounts, but have been trialing them, and most of them seem like the right amount. Apparently, you only need the size of a strawberry to shampoo your hair, and two raspberries worth for your conditioner. Fruit, money, and the occasional golf ball seem to be the measurements we're going with here. A blueberry amount of night cream still seems too little to me, but I'm getting there. I'm just using a blueberry-on-steroids amount at the moment!

The point I'm trying to remember is that you can always use more if you need to, but you can't put the product back if you pour too much. Well, technically, you can, but it'd be a hassle. I also find that when it comes to shower gels, a body puff is great at making them go further because it really foams them up.

I want to continue being less generous with the amount of product I use because, at the end of the day, it'll save me money. Let me know if you're one to use more than what's needed, and any tips you have for using less product.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Chocolate & Vanilla Cookies

I hadn't baked in a long time, and I haven't regularly done so in a couple years. Part of this is down to work, but it's also because I was running out of ideas as to what to bake. I don't like doing things more than once - I don't like rewatching films, rereading books, or baking something I've done before. It doesn't excite me, so I always like to add a twist into the mix. This is where these cookies come in, and I'm pleased with how they turned out. 

To make 35, you'll need:

(for the vanilla side)
200g caster sugar
125g butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon of vanilla
200g self raising flour
100g milk chocolate chips

(for the chocolate side)
200g brown sugar
125g butter
1 egg
200g self raising flour
40g cocoa powder
100g white chocolate chips

chocolate buttons and chunks optional

1. Preheat your oven to 180C
2. Line your trays with baking paper
3. Get two mixing bowls and follow the next steps twice (so you have two lots of cookie dough)
4. Cream together the butter and sugar
5. Combine the egg (and vanilla for the vanilla cookie dough)
6. Sift in the flour (and cocoa powder for the chocolate cookie dough)
7. Add in the majority of your chocolate chips
8. Place a teaspoon of each cookie dough on your tray to form a ball of half and half
9. Swirl together the middle, decorate with remaining chocolate chips, and place a chocolate decoration in the centre
10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 until all the cookie dough is used, making sure to leave an inch or two between each one
11. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes
12. Once out of the oven, leave to harden, and then transfer to cooling racks

I know measuring in cups is easier for many, and I do have measuring cups myself, but my brain is used to working in grams. There's online converters which you can use, though. Regardless of the unit you do use, these cookies are delicious.

Let me know if you bake them!

Friday, 8 May 2015

Boots and Superdrug Haul

You know when you're in Boots or Superdrug, and the first one or two products you pick up are thought through, and then, suddenly, the enthusiastic spender comes out in you and you're picking up things you didn't plan, things you didn't need? Well, that happened. Considering I caught the shopping bug, I think I was pretty restrained. I only bought half of what I originally picked up! Boots is my retailer of choice because of the loyalty points (and the fact that I work there), but stock availability and different offers lead me to Superdrug, so this haul is a mixture of both.

I haven't bought a nail polish or painted my nails in over a year now. I wasn't even interested in the new Barry M Sunset range. However, my sister wanted a nude polish, so I took her straight to the Barry M stand and started comparing the shades. Like a Nude attracted my attention because it wasn't too brown like so many others are. I walked away and regretted it, so bought it in another store. I'm not thrilled with the £4.99 price tag, but like I said, I was in the shopping mood. It takes three coats to become opaque, so it's not perfect, but it's a beautiful, classic, work appropriate shade, and you can always wear a white underneath.

I've heard so many positive things about the Revlon Colourstay foundations, so finally bought a bottle. I don't have dry skin, but bought the one for normal/dry skin in 110 Ivory because it was lighter than the combination/oily one in the same shade. I sandwich my foundation with primer and powder anyway. I tried it this morning, and so far, so good. It feels less chalky than my other foundations, not that they're chalky, but this one feels more gel like? I also haven't been any more oily than usual. My skin feels more hydrated, though, like when I moisturise in the morning.

I already own four of the Barry M Loud Mouth Extreme Lip Colours, and while they're good, I've been neglecting them as of late. It's because I have so many lip products. To make matters worse, I then go and buy more. I know, there's no logic in this. However, I really wanted the deep red shade called Diva, and it was only £3.99.

I was regularly checking one of my large local Boots for the Revlon Ultra HD lipsticks throughout April, and with still no luck, I decided to just head to Superdrug. They're currently two for £10, so it worked out for the best. I chose the shades Gladiolus, a bright red, and Iris, a plum. Just from the state of the testers, I know these are going to be difficult to use without catching the product on the lids, so I'm tempted to cut off the small part sticking up at the top and store it in a little jar or something.

The Bourjois Bronzing Primer looks promising. Although it's called a primer, it's basically a light textured, cream bronzer. It can look quite orange at first, but once blended in, skin looks more sunkissed.

Like I said in my wishlist post, I'm always open to trying new primers because I've yet to find my holy grail. The Garnier Perfect Blur has been talked about a lot, so I thought I'd give it a go. It's £12.99 full price, but I paid £8.66 while it was on offer.

I swatched Soap & Glory's Glow All Out Super Luminizing Powder (not pictured) multiple times over the course of a couple years, but never bit the bullet and bought it. Possibly because of the price (£11). I finally bought it the other week, and to be honest, I've been underwhelmed so far. It's a nice, subtle highlight, but because it's raved about by many, I was expecting to be blown away when I applied it to my face. I'll persevere and get back to you on this one.

Another Soap & Glory product I've recently bought is the new Sugar Crush Body Spray, which I've already reviewed here.

I've also already reviewed the Bourjois Rouge Edition Aqua Laques here. The colours are beautiful and they last 5-6 hours on me, but they can settle and collect pigment towards the inner centre of your lips, so my feelings are mixed. I think 04 is worth the little hassle, though, because the deep rose shade is different to other colours I own.

I used and loved the Nivea Daily Essentials Express Hydration Primer a couple years ago, but didn't feel like it did much towards the end of the pot, so never repurchased. However, I felt the same way about the Witch one, but noticed a difference when I didn't wear a primer at all. Since the Witch one has been discontinued and this one was better than half price, at £2.48, I thought I'd buy it again.

I also bought a Micro Pedi last week for £15.99. It was on offer in Lloyd's, and my sister had 20% off. I haven't had a lot of dry skin to test it on, but from where I have used it, I'm impressed. It's so much more gentle than the Ped Egg, which is a lethal cheese grater for your feet.

What have you purchased recently? Any new releases you've been impressed with?

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

You Know You Love a Product When...

you always have a backup. I have backups of most products I use. I like to think it's because I'm organised, but it's probably because I can't resist an offer, so stockpile when there is one. I don't do this as often with makeup, though, because it takes a lot longer to finish, and I change it up more regularly. There are a handful of products I do keep multiples of, though. The ones above are the ones I currently have in my stash.

ELF Studio Eyebrow Kit in Light // I've been using the eyebrow kits from ELF for about 4 years now. I used to use the shade Medium, but switched to Light a couple years ago, which is a much better match for me. As well as being the right shade, both the wax and powder are pigmented, and last all day. The actual kit takes an age to use up, and for less than £4, it's great. The UK site is no more, unfortunately, but hopefully the brand will have a new distributor in the near future. If not, there's always eBay, which is where I bought the one above from.

The Body Shop All in One Face Base in 02 // I feel like this is the most mentioned product on this blog. I've been through so many, and always add one to my order when there's a particularly good discount code. It's soft and leaves you with a velvety matte finish, but what I like most about it is that it provides you with a little coverage. You'd think that it'd look too heavy on top of foundation, but it doesn't. It just looks natural.

Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in Black // This isn't a product that I usually have a backup of because it's only become an everyday staple in the last six months or so, and one pot will last ages, but I bought an extra when there was a great deal on a couple months back. I used to be too lazy to bother with eyeliner, specifically gel, but it makes the world of difference. This one is jet black, creamy, and stays in place all day. The brush it comes with is good, too, and is the one I use daily.

Maybelline Mascaras // I always have at least one Maybelline mascara in my stockpile. I actually have four different ones on the go at the moment, so am keeping the two above sealed until I've used them up. Again, the reason for buying them was because of an irresistible offer. The Rocket is probably my favourite (along with Sensational now) and I bought The Colossal because I haven't used it for a few years.

I switch up the other makeup I use too often for me to get through one product in particular. I am tempted to buy a replacement for my L'Oreal Infallible Foundation in Porcelain, though, because it's the lightest on the highstreet, meaning it's the best match I've found. 

Monday, 4 May 2015

Wishlist #02

I'm feeling the need to shop this morning, so thought I'd channel it into a wishlist post. It's more productive than pretending I have an unlimited bank account and adding anything and everything to my virtual shopping baskets.

Garnier Perfect Blur Primer // I'm always open to trying new primers because I've yet to find the one, and this looks interesting. I've read a fair amount of reviews on it, and the majority like it. It seems about a fifth of people don't, but I'll just have to see whether I get on with it myself.

Revlon Ultra HD Lipsticks // These are apparently in stores now, although I've yet to see them. I know they're online, but would like to see them in person before buying. From online swatches, though, a few shades have caught my eye. I know people aren't a fan of the packaging because the product doesn't twist all the way down, meaning it catches on the lid, so that's something I'll have to keep in mind. Hopefully I'll find these in my local this week!

Bourjois Bronzing Primer // I've been applying bronzer to my temples almost daily, just to give my face some warmth and definition. I think the mousse/cream formula of this will be a nice alternative to powder, and I've read a lot of positive reviews. I'm just hoping it won't be too orange.

L'Oreal Le Lip Liner Magique // Some lipsticks are prone to settling or smudging more than others, so it's best to use them over a lip liner. It's a step I usually skip, though. The beauty of the Le Lip Liner Magique - it's clear, so goes with every shade. It's not a lip liner that's going to make your lips appear fuller, but it's (hopefully) going to prime them for colour. I'm looking forward to giving it a go.

I now have to go through the shopping centre to get to my new place of work, so these products will no doubt be coming home with me by the end of the week. I'd like to know if you've tried any of them?

Friday, 1 May 2015

Bourjois Rouge Edition Aqua Laques

05 Red My Lips, 07 Fuchsia Perche, 04 Viens Si Tu Roses
04 Viens Si Tu Roses

When I heard glossy versions of the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets were being released, I was delighted. I've preferred matte finishes in the past, but have been a fan of glossier formulas recently. Then, from my in store swatches and some photos I'd seen online, they looked a little streaky and patchy, so I didn't bother. Fast forward a few weeks, I swatched them again after seeing some positive reviews, this time blending them out with my finger. They were considerably less streaky, so I bought two, and then another the following day.

The best way to describe these would be to call them glossy stains. They're very pigmented, much more so than the swatches above suggest, and the formula is thin, almost watery. This gives a cooling sensation on the lips, and feels very light. The down side to this, though, is that they settle into the lines on your lips more than a balmier product would. You can see this a little in the photo above. However, it only takes a layer of lip balm to correct this. I also find the colours of these gather towards the inside, especially if a thick layer is applied (which is partly down to how much product is on the applicator). This can usually be avoided with blending and layering. Despite these two flaws, I don't mind them. They're not my favourite, but I'll continue to wear them. Some people have said they don't have any lasting power, but I've found the gloss to last 2-3 hours, and the colour 5-6. My favourite shade is 04 Viens Si Tu Roses. It's darker than the other two, but more muted, making it more wearable. The deep rose shade would suit so many people. My second favourite is 04 Red My Lips, a beautiful summer red. I also like 07 Fuchsia Perche (or I wouldn't have bought it!), but prefer to wear this lightly because of its intensity.

Have you tried the Bourjois Rouge Edition Aqua Laques yet?

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