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?

Design by | SweetElectric