Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Lush Christmas Picks

It's that time of year again. The Christmas Lush products are back for a few glorious months. I have showers instead of baths, so can't use many of the products, but there's still some real gems I'm going to stock up on.

As soon as I found out there was going to be a Snow Fairy Body Conditioner, I knew I would love it. The Ro's Argan Body Conditioner is one of my favourite products from Lush, so to have it in a sweet candyfloss scent is great. Generally, I prefer fruity scents over others (can you imagine a mango body conditioner?!), but I'm still a fan of the Snow Fairy range. Plus, this is pink, sparkly, and cheaper than Ro's Argan (£13.95), so I'm definitely going to be buying a couple more pots.

I'd yet to buy a Lush lip scrub because, let's face it, they're overpriced (£5.75 for this one), glorified pots of sugar. Buttt, I was in the mood to shop, and Sugar Plum Fairy Lip Scrub smells incredible, so I caved. It smells similar to The Comforter because of the sweet blackcurrant scent. I won't be buying another, but I'm enjoying using it nonetheless.

What Christmas products from Lush have you picked up? I wait until the sale to buy Snow Fairy shower gel, and have only just gotten around to using a big bottle from last year, so I've refrained from purchasing that. I may just have to buy a chunk of Baked Alaska and Reindeer Rock, though, despite having a handle of Lush soaps already wrapped up in my basket!

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

New Shades of Old Faves

Don't you love it when you find new shades of a product you love? That's happened on two occasions recently. Both of the products above were featured in my 2015 favourites, and I may even like these new shades of them more.

The first is the Topshop Glow Cream Highlighter. I've had Polish, which is a pearlescent cream shade with a pink iridescence, for a while, and it's one of my favourite highlighters. I've wanted the warmer, golden shade, Gleam, for many months, but it's been absent from my local store every time I've gone in there. I was in luck this week, though, and it's more beautiful than I thought. It's not as dark as other swatches look, so it's well suited to my pale complexion, especially once blended out.

The other is Rimmel's The Only One Lipstick. Naughty Nude has been a staple of mine, despite it being more of a pink than a nude. The wear and staying power of this line is great. Then, the other day, I spotted Mauve-Ment, a lighter, nuder version of Naughty Nude. I've been wearing this every day since I bought it, with Rimmel's Exaggerate Lip Liner in Addiction underneath. They're the perfect pair.

Left to right: Topshop Glow Cream Highlighter in Polish, Topshop Glow Cream Highlighter in Gleam, Rimmel The Only One Lipstick in Naughty Nude, and Rimmel The Only One Lipstick in Mauve-Ment.

If you have either of these, let me know your thoughts. I'd also be interested to hear what products you have multiple shades of because the formulas are just so good.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

The Product Saving My Sore, Dry Lips

I had never suffered with overly dry lips before last month. Then things started to change, and I thought it was because I'd been using lip liners nearly every day for the last few months, despite always using a lip balm before bed and applying any lip colour. I started increasing the amount I was using my trusty Blistex Intensive Moisturiser, but even that wasn't doing much. The skin around my lips also started to become sore and dry, and I tried multiple products, but they only helped a little. I even tried the cream version of the product below, but the texture isn't suitable for lips, and it's not as long lasting. So, about a week ago, I began applying Epaderm ointment to them at night, and once or twice during the day, and they're back to normal.

Epaderm ointment is an emollient for eczema, psoriasis, and other dry skin conditions. It's fragrance, colour, and SLS free, and can be applied anywhere to the body. The smallest tub is 125g/£6.89, so if you're only applying it to small areas, it's going to last a long, long time. I've scooped some out and put it in a little pot to make it more convenient to use/travel with.

If you suffer from dry, chapped lips, I'd recommend giving this a try. And if you've suffered with these symptoms in the past, I'd love to know what you've used to help them.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Changing The Colour and Finish Of My Foundation

My two main concerns when buying a foundation have always been the colour and finish it provides. How it would wear, and for how long, would come after. However, that's changed in recent months. As long as the formula of the foundation is good, I don't mind if it's a shade too dark, or not as luminous as I'd like. This is because I now have products to help with these.

NYX has just brought out these Pro Foundation Mixers (£7.50), and they actually have less expensive dupes of the next two products, but these weren't available when I was in need of them. The Pro Foundation Mixer I have is in Luminous, which is a pale champagne shade with teeny tiny gold shimmer particles. Once mixed in with your foundation and blended out, you're left with, as the name suggests, a luminous finish.

I've been using the Soap & Glory Hocus Focus Illuminator (£11) in my foundation for a couple months now, and it's very similar to the Opal shade of the NYX Pro Foundation Mixer. It has that pearly finish, which gives you a more natural glow.

I've raved and raved about The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Lightening Drops (£10), and because there wasn't anything like them on the cheaper end of the market, I bought an extra bottle. I didn't need to because NYX now has its own version with double the amount of product in, but it doesn't take away from what this product does. Not only do I use this to lighten any foundations that are slightly too dark for me, but I'll add a drop when concealing around my eyes, just to brighten the area.

Not only am I now able to get the exact shade and finish I want, it makes my foundations go further. If there's any illuminators you swear by, let me know. I've just bought the Gleam shade by NYX, but I'm looking for some other warm/golden ones!

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Finishing Products and Hitting Pan

(This little blog turned seven this week! *celebratory dance*)

I try to not include products I've finished before in these types of posts, but it gets harder the more you find things you absolutely love and don't wish to change. Still, I've managed to do it this time... I think.

I've spoken about the Garnier Ultimate Blends Strength Restorer shampoo and conditioner before, which I really like, but I think I may prefer the Sleek Restorer ones. Like the name suggests, they leave your hair sleek and super soft, and unlike the Tresemme Platinum Strength ones, I can continually use these without my hair becoming weighed down.

I think this may be the first foundation I've fully finished. It's the L'Oreal Infallible 24H Foundation in Porcelain. I haven't used this on a regular basis for a while actually, but I remember liking it. It was full coverage, didn't look cakey or cling to places it shouldn't, and the biggest plus was how pale it was. I use The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Lightening Drops to alter the shades of my foundations now, so the colour isn't too important, but back when I didn't have them, this was my go-to shade.

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Hand Food is one of the best hand creams I've used, along with the L'Occitane ones. It just seems to have a lasting effect, whereas others, although I still like them, are quickly forgotten by my skin. The Sugar Crush scent is my favourite as well, and I'm so glad you can now buy it individually.

I don't know how I didn't wear lip liner up until a few months ago. It makes such a difference. The Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner in Addiction is the first one I've finished, and have already bought another because it's a staple. It's a nude pink, leaning more towards nude, and it's the kind of colour I've been wearing a lot recently. It's creamy, pigmented, lasts all day, doesn't need sharpening, and is just £3.99.

I can't believe I've finished a serum, but I have. The Garnier Ultimate Blends Strength Restorer Serum was a joy to use. It smelt good, and it made my hair more sleek and soft, without ever looking greasy.

I didn't need any more shower gel, but how could I resist the I Love... Mango Cheesecake one? Mango cheesecake! It smelt delicious, and was only £2.99 for 500ml.

I haven't finished these next products, but hitting pan is a big accomplishment. I actually took the photo above a couple weeks ago, so the NYX HD Blush in Taupe is on its last legs, and I have another waiting to go. It's a great contour shade for pale skinned girls, and I prefer the new formula.

I bought Illamasqua's Cream Blusher in Zygomatic during one of their sales for £5-6 instead of £22, and oh man, it's my favourite blush. It's a nude pink, and one you can't go wrong with. I think I even love it more than NYX's Cream Blush in Natural, which was my favourite for years.

I have far too many eyebrow products, but I've only been using Freedom's Pro Brow Pomade in Soft Brown for the last couple of months. It's practically the same as the Anastasia Beverly Hills one, but £5 instead of £15.

Let me know if you've tried any of these products. I'm interested to know your thoughts on them!

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

I Need To Stop Buying Lip Products

Honestly. You know those storage holders which fit 24 lipsticks in? I have three of those just for the shades I can't bear to put away, and I've just had to order a fourth. Three said 'wow, you have a lot of lip products', whereas four says 'you may have a problem'. Butttt, there’s so many shades, so many finishes, so many formulas. I never used to wear nudes or lip liners, so the last few months have seen me exploring those areas, opening up so many more buying opportunities. The ones in this post kind of reflect that.

I wouldn’t have bought the Rimmel lipsticks if there wasn’t a stand where I work. They were simply impulse purchases on my lunch break. We have the shade Retro Red 53 from the new Kate Moss Red vs Nude collection, which is celebrating 15 years of collaboration. This is a deep, berry red. Then there’s another Kate Moss Lasting Finish lipstick in the shade Rossetto 03. It’s a nude which isn’t too pink, or too orange.

I travelled up to Exeter with my parents last week because my dad was getting a new tattoo. While he was doing so, my mum and I went shopping. When we popped into Boots and I saw the NYX stand, I let out a little sound of surprise and excitement. We spent a good amount of time swatching the products, but because I’ve already bought a lot from the brand in the last couple of months, and I knew I really should calm down on the lip product front, I left with just one Soft Matte Lip Cream. I used to love the shade Milan, and the Collection Cream Puffs, which are a similar product, but haven’t used them in so long. I picked up the shade Cannes 19, which is a terracotta colour. I don’t really have anything like this in my collection actually. The other shades I have in this colour family are brighter and more peachy.

On the same day, I also bought the Essence Long Lasting Lip Liner in Girl Next Door 08 from Wilko. You can only buy these in store, but my local doesn’t have a big enough stand to stock them, so I was very happy to find them up there. The shade I wanted was actually out of stock, and I thought this was far too brown at first, but decided to give it a try for £1.50. I love this product. I have some photos of me wearing it at the bottom of this post. Forgive the fact that they're poor quality and taken from my Twitter. I like wearing it on its own, sandwiched between two layers of lip balm so it’s not too drying. I’ve been using potted lip balm so it doesn’t disturb the colour, like a stick would do.

I love NYX, I love lip liners, and I love nudes, so the NYX Retractable Lip Liner in Nude 10 is a winner. It’s very similar in shade to the NYX Slide On Lip Pencil in Nude Suede Shoes, but I’ve been using this over that one because it doesn’t need sharpening.

Rimmel Kate Lasting Finish Lipstick in Retro Red 53, Rimmel Kate Lasting Finish Lipstick in Rossetto 03, NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Cannes 19, NYX Retractable Lip Liner in Nude 10, and Essence Long Lasting Lip Liner in Girl Next Door 08.

Essence Long Lasting Lip Liner in Girl Next Door 08.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

ASOS Hauling

Since opening a premier account with ASOS, where you pay £9.95 a year for unlimited next day/nominated delivery, I've done a lot of shopping, and my love for the brand has grown. Most of the items are from ASOS' own range, some are from the current sale, and the majority of them are tops. I was in need of tops.

Okay, so the first two items are actually from the Zara sale, but I thought I'd just include them here. The retro, geometric print mini skirt was £9.99 down from £19.99, and I bought this in a size S, which is the perfect fit for my size 8 body (I had no idea what their sizing would be like, so I guessed). It's still available to buy in sizes S and M, and it's now only £7.99, if you're interested. I've already worn this to a meal with black tights and boots, and I love it. You can see a photo of it on at the end of this post.

The bag was £19.99 down from £29.99, and this is still available as well. I only have one other small bag, and it's a lemon yellow satchel, so this was a welcomed addition.

The 'pocket full of sunshine' tee is one of my most recent purchases from ASOS, and was £9.50 down from £14 in the sale. It has a v-neck cut, which isn't usually a style I like on myself, but it actually looks okay.

The cacti pyjama top and shorts are my new favourite things. These were £12 down from £20, and I bought these in a maternity size 6. The top of this in the normal range was cropped and open at the back, whereas this one is a normal fit, which I much prefer.

The grey, oversized t-shirt with the embroidered heart was £14, and I bought this in a petite size 6. I've found their t-shirts to be pretty long, which is fine by me because I tuck the front in anyway. This one is so simple, but the quality is great.

I was going to buy the grey sweatshirt on its own for £16. Then I found the grey and black pair in the sale for £16.50, so bought those instead. Then they went down in price again to just £11, so I returned the ones I had and re-ordered. I bought these in a size 8. They're just standard sweatshirts, so I can't really say much else about them. 

Shirts have never been my thing. They look great on other people, but I never felt comfortable in them myself. I've been wearing things I wouldn't normally wear in recent months, though, so thought I'd give this striped, soft cotton one a go. It was one of the more expensive items, at £22, but I've decided to keep it. This was bought in a size 8.

The light grey skater coat was bought in a petite size 10, and was £45 down from £75. Despite it not having a hood, I love this coat. It just looks chic.

And although you can't see it here, I also bought a khaki skater mac/trench coat for £36, down from £60. This came up really big on me, so I ended up keeping a size 6. There's a photo of me wearing it (over my work uniform) at the end of this post, but it doesn't do it justice.

The charcoal marl polo neck top was £14, and this was bought in a size 8. Again, the quality is great, and I've already worn it.

The ribbed Brave Soul tees with the slightly longer sleeves are the only items which aren't from ASOS' own range. These were £5 each down from £10, and I bought them in a size S for a relaxed fit.

Then, finally, the grey, white, and striped t-shirts are from ASOS 'the ultimate easy t-shirt' range. The grey and white ones were in a pack for £18, and the striped one was £12.

I've also ordered a couple more striped ones because they were in the sale, and I love some stripes.

Phew! Let me know if you picked up anything in either the Zara or ASOS sales, especially if they're still available to buy...

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Coconut Oil | Will It Be Replacing My Favourite Lush Products?

People are obsessed with coconut oil. Obsessed. Before last month, I admired its claims, but never felt like I needed it in my life. I'd tried a perfumed one, which wasn't the real deal, and it was nice enough, but that's it. Then, one night, I decided to buy some raw, virgin, organic coconut oil after trying a sample I'd received with one of my many online orders. I wasn't bothered which brand I bought from, as long as it was pure coconut oil. I decided on Biona simply because it was buy one get one half price at Boots, and I paid with my points.

I soon found that coconut oil really is the king of multi-use products. I keep one jar in the bathroom, and one in the bedroom. There are hundreds of ways to use it (really), but the main ways I use it are as a hair mask, as a moisturiser (both face and body), and as a makeup remover. The last way is my favourite. I've also been using it to shave my legs, so I don't have to moisturise them after.

I know some people think coconut oil is expensive, and it is if you're using it for consumption alone, but it's so much cheaper than other beauty products I use. This 200g jar was just over £4, whereas my beloved Lush Ultrabland Facial Cleanser is now £12.95 for 100g, and Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner is £16.50 for 225g. In terms of performance, the coconut oil is pretty much on par with the Lush products, but it's multi-use and much more affordable, so I'm considering replacing them. I kind of don't want to because they're two of my favourite products, but it makes sense. I may still have a pot of each to use every now and then, but they won't be necessities in my daily routine, so they'll hopefully last longer than they do now.

Has coconut oil become part of your beauty routine?

Sunday, 3 July 2016

eBay Finds | Peter Pan Collars

I've always loved the look of peter pan collars on other people, but felt like a child playing dress up myself. In the last six months, though, I've been wearing things I would have never worn in the past, so thought I'd give this trend another go.

The plain and lace collars are both from the same eBay seller, and were under £4 each. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much, especially from the lace one, but I've been pleasantly surprised. They're made well, and have adjustable straps which go under the arms to keep them in place.

I just need to find some suitable jumpers to go with them. Most of the ones I have are heavy knit ones from the men's section!

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Recent Beauty Purchases

I received a sample of coconut oil with one of my recent online orders, and as I mentioned on Twitter, it removed my makeup twice, moisturised my face, and conditioned my hair. I started to see why people are obsessed with it, so had to buy some myself. I bought the Biona Organic Raw Virgin Coconut Oil (£4.39/200g) because it was buy one get one half price at Boots, and I paid with my points, so it was technically free. 

I'm a big fan of Superdrug's own brand products, and have tried many over the years. The Hydrate & Shine Coconut Water and Coconut Oil Conditioning Hair Masque (£2.65 down from £3.99) and Clearly Youthful Retexturising Glycolic Peel Off Mask (£2.39 down from £4.89) both had good reviews, and were so cheap, that I had to try them. I've only ever tried glycolic products from Nip & Fab, and I love them, so am really looking forward to trying the face mask. You don't see many affordable brands with a product like this. The packaging of this Clearly Youthful range is not bad either.

I was running out of my Soap & Glory One Heck Of A Blot Primer (£10), so needed another, and because it was buy one get one half price, thought I'd browse the rest of the range. I've seen the Hocus Focus Illuminator (£11) talked about a few times, and liked the idea of adding some to my foundation, so opted for a bottle. I've already mixed it with my base makeup a few times, and used it as a highlighter, and really like it. It's glowy, not shimmery. I used to use the Superdrug Vitamin E Radiance Face Cream (£2.99) years back, but I don't know exactly how similar they are because it was so long ago. 

I hadn't ordered from The Body Shop in a while, but was running low on my Shade Adjusting Lightening Drops (£10) and All In One Face Base in 02 (£14), so thought I'd browse the rest of the website while ordering these. I'd heard good things about the Fresh Nude Foundation (£15), so added the shade 010 Chelsea Porcelain to my basket. I've been using it for over a week now, and quite like it. It has a light-medium coverage, with a natural satin finish, which surprised me because I somehow assumed it would be overly dewy. It's not cakey, doesn't cling to any dry areas, and feels fairly moisturising. 

Seeing as it's fast becoming my new favourite thing, I'm curious to know if you use coconut oil?

Monday, 6 June 2016

Another Collection of Essence Purchases

I posted an Essence haul just last month (here), and although I said I may pop back to the stand for a couple more things, I didn't expect to buy enough to warrant another post. But here we are.

I really, really didn't need another mascara, but wanted to try the I Love Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara (£2.80) because of the high ratings. At £2.80, I thought I may as well.

I already own two lipsticks from the nude range, but found the Long Lasting Lipstick in 06 Barely There (£2.30), and had to add it to my collection. The other two I have from Essence are pink and mauve based, whereas this is more brown, so it's completely warranted.

I picked up another Lip Liner (£1), this time in 05 Soft Berry, because I quite liked the Satin Mauve one I bought last time.

I was also a fan of the Liquid Lipsticks (£2.50), even though I wouldn't go as far to say they're liquid lipsticks. Like the Maybelline Colour Elixir Lip Lacquers, they're pigmented, balmy glosses. The shade above is 04 Show Off, which is a bright, summer red.

Finally, I opted for the Long Lasting Eye Pencil in 25 Say Hi Light (£1.50). I absolutely love this pencil, and have already bought another. If you'd like to see my review of it, click here.

This affordable brand has really impressed me, and I like that they regularly bring out new releases to keep up with the trends. They have a range of gel-like nail polishes, and have recently brought out eyebrow pomades as well. It's certainly a brand I'm going to keep an eye on.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Two New Zoeva Brushes

Zoeva is my favourite brand for makeup brushes, and I've recently added some more to my collection. 

I prefer cream blushes over powder ones, and these require a stippling brush. I've used the Real Techniques Stippling Brush for years, but wanted a smaller option so I'd have more control over where the colour is placed. The Zoeva 122 Petite Stippling Brush is perfect for this, and means I have the space to blend, blend, blend.

I wanted a narrow, rectangular brush so I could define certain areas of my face with more precision. Like my jawline, for example. The Zoeva 109 Face Paint Brush had the size and shape I wanted, but it's made with natural hair. I have a couple of the natural brushes, and don't like them as much as their synthetic counterparts because they shed more and don't hold their shape as well. I then found the vegan version, so opted for this one instead. The 109v is one you have to be careful with because of its density. You need a very light hand and time to blend the hell out of your product of choice. Other than contour, though, it's great for highlight. It's the perfect size and shape for the tops of your cheeks. It's best paired with a more subtle product, though, because of the density I mentioned. If I'm ever ordering from somewhere which stocks Zoeva, I'll probably add another of these to my basket so I have one for each task.

Above, you have the Zoeva 109v Face Paint Vegan, the Zoeva 122 Petite Stippling, and the Real Techniques Stippling Brush for comparison.

You can buy Zoeva from a few online stores, but I've personally bought all of mine from Beauty Bay and Love Makeup. I know that Selfridges now stock them as well. Delivery is £5, but if you're already buying something from there, it's worth having a look.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Lush Strawberry Feels Forever Massage Bar

The Lush massage bars can not only be used in multiple ways, but are a dream for someone who's lazy when it comes to moisturising. I simply step away from the water when showering, apply one of these over my body, and then I'm left with soft skin for two or three days. No rubbing in, while standing in the cold, is required. You can also cut them up and use them as bath melts, by the way.

Strawberry Feels Forever, if you haven't already guessed, has a creamy strawberry fragrance, very similar to that of Peeping Santa. It's more strawberry milkshake than actual strawberry, but it's pleasant all the same. Just like the other massage bars Lush has to offer, it contains cocoa and shea butter, along with various oils, and leaves my skin feeling incredibly moisturised. I will say that it decreases in size fairly quickly, though, and can be difficult to grip as it gets smaller.

I prefer this one to Pearl (review here), and will probably buy it again in the future, but it hasn't topped Each Peach and Ro's Argan, which are my favourite body conditioning products from Lush.

You can purchase Strawberry Feels Forever (75g) for £5.95, online and in store.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

The Best Nude Pencil For Pale Complexions (And It's Only £1.50)

Nude eyeliners are not only great for applying to your waterline and making your eyes appear bigger and brighter, but they make for great blemish concealers as well. It's best to wipe them after use, or have separate pencils for each task, for sanitary reasons, but it really is worth it. 

I've been using Rimmel's Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner in Nude (second swatch) and Look Beauty's (remember this brand?) Long-Last Liner Eye Brightener (third swatch) for a while now. They look incredibly orange on my incredibly pale arm, but they're really not that bad on my face.

Still, I've found a pencil much better in the last couple of weeks, and it's from the brand Essence. The Essence Long Lasting Eye Pencil in Say Hi Light is just £1.50, and is lighter in shade. This makes my eyes look brighter, and conceals my blemishes more than the other two. It's creamy and pigmented, but what has impressed me the most is how long lasting it really is. It stays on my waterline all day, and when it came to removing the swatches above, it was the last one standing. To top it all off, it's mechanical, so you don't need to sharpen it.

I've already bought another because I know it's going to get a lot of use, and I'm always worried brands will discontinue my favourite products!

Essence products can be found at Wilko, online and in store. If you've yet to check them out, I'd recommend you do so. You never know, you may end up finding an all time favourite, costing you just the loose change in your pocket.

Monday, 23 May 2016

What's in My Bag?

I've had this post sat in my drafts for a couple months now, and it's about time I changed that! So, 'what's in my bag?' posts and videos are classics, but I've yet to do one in the seven years I've been blogging. I've only recently left education (It's nearly been two years; I need to let go), and have only used bags in the past for this purpose, which wouldn't have been interesting to see. However, I now have a bag filled with things for those 'what if' and 'just in case' scenarios, which rarely occur.

The most important thing in my bag is my wallet, clearly. My sister bought me the Kate Spade Cedar Street Lacey Wallet in Cy Blue for my birthday (post here), and I absolutely love it. It's so pretty!

Then you have my Kindle Paperwhite (post here), which is still one of the best things I've bought, a shopper bag, pen, and tissues, which are all practical items to have in one's bag.

The hand gel, hand cream, hair brush, and serum really belong in my cosmetics bag, but they don't fit, so tend to just sit at the bottom of my bag at the moment. I know the serum seems a little much, but since using my new straighteners, my hair has been prone to becoming more static. This OGX Coconut Milk Serum smells incredible, by the way.

This photo doesn't do my tacky mermaid cosmetics bag justice, but inside includes:

Painkillers, tampons, floss, mints, gum, oil blotting sheets, my Travalo, concealer, a lip product or two, and a Tic Tac case containing plasters, a nail file, hair ties, and grips.

Some would say excessive, but I'm going with prepared, and I think that's where we'll leave today's post!

Thursday, 12 May 2016


I don't really know where this post is heading, but I just wanted to talk about eyebrow products because I love them so much. Sad, but true. 

When I first started filling my brows in, I used a NYX Brow Powder Duo in Taupe/Ash. I think I won it in a giveaway, and then proceeded to buy my next one from eBay because NYX was extremely difficult to get hold of back then. Then, for years, I used ELF's Studio Eyebrow Kit (now £4.50). I went through a few in Medium, then found that Light was a better match for me. As you can see from the photo above, it's still very much loved, and I even have a back up in my drawer.

My favourite eyebrow product formulation now, though, has to be the pomade. I bought the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Soft Brown a couple years ago for £15 because there was nothing else like it on the market. By the time it started to dry out, other, more affordable, brands had released their own versions. Freedom Makeup's Eyebrow Pomades are just £5 (and their Duo Eyebrow Powders are only £3), and I have them in Soft Brown and Medium Brown. I also have the Illamasqua Precision Brow Gel in Strike, which was in a set I bought for a bargainous price. I haven't used this as much because it's quite dark, but it'd probably suit my eyebrows now that I've dyed them a darker colour.

My second favourite eyebrow formulation at the moment is gel. Not a solid gel, and not the gel which comes with a wand, but the almost liquid gel that comes in a squeeze tube. I have the Makeup Revolution Ultra Aqua Brow Tint in Light (£3) and NYX Eyebrow Gel in Brunette (£5.50). The NYX one is more intense than the Makeup Revolution one, and you have to work quicker, but with a small amount and the right brush, it's easy to use. I tend to just put a little on the back of my hand or the wipe I'm using to spot clean my brushes.

I'm still getting used to pencils. I'm used to using a brush for a softer finish, so find that pencils can look a little harsh sometimes. I have the Makeup Revolution Arch & Shape in Medium (£3.50) and the NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Brunette (£7). The NYX one has high ratings and so many positive reviews, so if you're looking for a pencil, I'd recommend checking this one out.

I've recently bought two eyebrow mascaras. One is the new Soap & Glory Archery Volu-Boost Brow Fibre Gel in Talk of The Brown (£8), and then I dyed my brows darker a few days later, so bought L'Oreal's Brow Artist Plumper in Medium/Dark (£5.99). Both do a similar job, but you receive more than twice the amount of product in the L'Oreal one, which happens to be cheaper. Brow mascaras are probably my least favourite brow product, just because I prefer ones which do more, but they're good for layering on top to keep the hairs in place. You really need to have hair there in the first place, though.

In the photo above, I'm wearing Freedom's Eyebrow Pomade in Soft Brown, which is my go to product at the moment. Excuse the lack of makeup on the rest of my face!

I'm wearing the same product in the bottom photo of these two, but because they were taken on my phone, the colour is coming up cooler. I just wanted to show you some before and after shots of filling my eyebrows in.

I would love to know what your favourite eyebrow product category is, and if you prefer a natural or defined brow.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Candle Belle Mega Melt Box | May 2016

I like May's Candle Belle Mega Melt Box more than April's, thankfully. There's a couple I'm not a fan of, but the rest are lovely. My three month trial has now ended, so I'm able to cancel if I want to, but I'll discuss this at the end. Again, if you'd like to see how Candle Belle compares to Flamingo Candles, click here.

French Lavender | A lavender lover's dream. Top notes of luscious lavender are complemented by Italian bergamot, eucalyptus leaves, citrus zest, clary sage, nordic pine, cool camphor, and lily of the valley. The smell of lavender makes me urge, so I haven't even opened this one! Off to a great start, aren't we? It gets better!

Raspberry Ripple | A fantastic, creamy scent. Ripe, sweet raspberry top notes combine with strong, true vanilla ice cream middle notes, and subtle hints of coconut and toasted meringue. It's no surprise that I like this one. The vanilla ice cream notes are more prominent than the raspberry, and I'd like it more if the raspberry was stronger, but it admittedly smells like the sweet treat.

Home Sweet Home | Top notes of cinnamon and clove are complemented by delicate hints of rose, ylang ylang and freshly brewed tea. This homely scent is sure to create a welcoming atmosphere in any space. This is the other one I probably won't be burning. I don't really like clove, and tend to stay away from warm, spicy scents.

Red Delicious | This strong and true apple scent is simply amazing. A juicy and sweet fruit fragrance, set against verdant greenery. I prefer the Granny Smith melt for its tartness, but this is also good. It really does smell like an apple, and it's so much better than Flamingo Candles' offering of an apple scent.

Vanilla Chai | Just the right amount of gourmet chair tea leaves and vanilla milk, with hints of perky ginger and sweet cinnamon. A hearty scent, perfect for cosying up with a loved one on a chilly night. So, you know I'm not one for warm scents, but this is actually okay. The ginger is more prominent than the cinnamon.

Loving Spell | A gorgeous parfum based scent. Tantalising and complex, leading with sweet mandarin, bergamot and tangerine, middle notes of fresh peach, strawberry and raspberry, all set against musk. I really, really like this one. It basically smells like tropical juice!

Lemon Meringue | Top notes of natural, true lemon, balanced with comforting bakery tones reminiscent of a perfect pastry crust, and just a hint of toasted meringue. Smells good enough to eat. Of course I was going to love this one! Lemon meringue is one of my favourite desserts. It smells like the real thing, and I'm currently smelling it on an empty stomach, which is torture.

Balmy Beaches | Recreate the ultimate beach experience with this nostalgic floral scent. A balmy breeze of sweet orange flower, lemony citrus, fresh lavender and powder musk. This one is okay, and I'll burn it in small pieces, but it's not my favourite. The floral notes are very heavy.

Baby Powder | Delicate citrus tones unfold to reveal a blend of soft florals in this innocent fragrance. A velvety base of musk and powdery sweetness lingers for a soothing undertone. I've had baby powder scents from a few wax brands, and I don't usually love them because they can be quite heavy, but this surprised me. It's sweeter and more uplifting than baby powder tends to be.

I love having a subscription box delivered each month, and would highly recommend Candle Belle's one, but I've cancelled mine. This is simply because I own far too many now. Before this, I was subscribed to Flamingo Candles for a while, and I also have a few jars filled with Yankee Candle and Marshmallow Blends melts. I have placed one last order with Candle Belle, though, with the scents I've yet to receive and really want to try. You can buy a one off bundle, with nine scents of your choosing, for £12.50. Each melt is 50g, so you're really getting a lot for your money. If you decide to try them, you won't be disappointed.

Friday, 6 May 2016

An Essence Haul | First Impressions & Swatches

I'd never taken an interest in Essence before this week. I just thought it was a cheap, childish brand, which is ridiculous because I like other brands with a similar price point. Anyway, since getting into wearing lip liner, I'd seen the Essence ones being spoken about a few times, so thought I'd pop into my local Wilkinson (Wilko) and have a look at the stand.

Everything above was £1-£4, which isn't bad at all. The packaging looks a little cheap, but I've seen far worse. The products also have that cheap smell to them, which doesn't bother me too much, but thought it was worth mentioning.

The reason for going to the stand in the first place was to pick up a lip liner or two. I ended up walking away with 06 Satin Mauve, which is a natural, muted pink shade. It's slightly harder in texture than the Rimmel Exaggerate ones, but this was £1 instead of £3.99. I read that they used to be softer, but Essence wanted to make them act more as a lip liner, which I get. I've used it once so far, and think it does the job perfectly well.

There were a lot of lipsticks, separated into different formulations. I went with two shades from the Long Lasting Nude range, which were £2.30 each. 03 Come Naturally is the cooler of the two, and is a mauvey shade. 05 Cool Nude is a pink toned nude. I like them a lot so far, but I think it's pretty hard to get a lipstick wrong. The formula doesn't feel any different to a normal lipstick, so I don't know where the 'long lasting' part comes into it, but they're creamy and comfortable on the lips.

Do the next lip products look familiar to you? The Liquid Lipsticks are £2.50 each, and are practically the same as the Maybelline Colour Elixir Lip Lacquers. I have 02 Beauty Secret, which is an everyday pink, and 06 Make A Statement, which I'd describe as being a daytime rosy red. Just like the Maybelline ones, they're a pigmented, balmy gloss. I like them, but I don't think they should have been called liquid lipsticks. They're not.

I barely wear eyeshadow, but the All About Nudes Eyeshadow Palette (£4) looked too pretty to pass up, and I thought my mum would appreciate it. I think it's a great little palette so far. The bottom champagne shade has a pearl finish, and the bottom taupe shade is shimmery, but the rest are satin. They're buttery soft and not chalky, and the pigment payoff isn't bad either. It's not mind blowing, but I think that's okay for these types of shades.

I also picked up an eyeshadow in 19 The Grammy Goes Glammy, which is a shimmery champagne, and was just £1. I don't think the shimmer is fine enough to be used as a highlight on the face, which is what I thought I could use it for at first, but they had a couple other similar shades. Like the eyeshadows in the palette, it's buttery soft.

Long Lasting Nude Lipstick in 05 Cool Nude, Long Lasting Nude Lipstick in 03 Come Naturally, Liquid Lipstick in 02 Beauty Secret, Liquid Lipstick in 06 Make A Statement, Lip Liner in 06 Satin Mauve, Eyeshadow in 19 The Grammy Goes Glammy, All About Nudes Eyeshadow Palette.

I don't know if any of these will become all time favourites, but I'm pleased with what I bought. I'm considering going back to the stand and trying a couple more things anyway, which says something!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Lip Lining

If you'd told me a year ago that I'd be wearing lip liners, and nude ones at that, on nearly a daily basis, I wouldn't have believed you. When I've thought of lip liners in the past, I've thought of overdrawn lips and hard, scratchy pencils, but much like lip glosses, they've come a long way.

The Rimmel Exaggerate Automatic Lip Liners are probably the most talked about on the highstreet, with high praise and comparability to more expensive ones. They glide on with ease, aren't patchy, and last most of the day on my lips. One of the best things about them, though, is that they don't need sharpening. I bought Eastend Snob first because everyone raves about this shade. It's an everyday pink, which is very pretty indeed. I then wanted something a little more nude, and while Addiction looked a little too brown in some swatches, I went ahead and bought it anyway. I'm so glad I did because it's much more natural than I thought it'd be. At £3.99 each, these pencils are a steal.

I've bought a lot of NYX products recently, and one of them includes the Slide On Lip Pencil in Nude Suede Shoes, which was £5.50. Like the Rimmel ones, it's very creamy, maybe even a little more so. The only thing I don't like about it is that it needs to be sharpened, which wastes product. NYX offers a mechanical lip liner, which I'll no doubt be buying in a couple shades, but I liked Nude Suede Shoes the most out of the swatches I saw.

I love how a lip liner can make a lipstick last longer, or even be worn on its own, and I love how it allows you to create a fuller lip if you want to. I can really notice a difference when I don't draw an outline now.

The top left photo shows my bare lips, top right with NYX's Nude Suede Shoes, bottom left with Rimmel's Addiction, and bottom right with Rimmel's Eastend Snob. I haven't edited or colour corrected them at all, but I'd say they're probably a little deeper in person. I'm also wearing a lip balm under all of them to prevent any unwelcome dryness (they're still lip liners, after all).

Your lip liner recommendations are most welcome!

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Beauty Purchases

I was being organised and took photos for multiple posts a few weeks back, but the error in doing this is that I've since bought more products! I'll just have to put the Zoeva brushes and lip liners in a separate post.

As some of you may know, I tinted my eyebrows not long back (you can find the post here), and while I still have multiple applications left, I wanted to give the Eylure Pro Brow Dybrow Dye Kit in Dark Brown a go. It's £7.49, you get up to 12 applications, and it has high ratings. I bought this from Superdrug because the Boots website only has the single application ones (which are £9.95!). It's not on Eylure's own site either, so I wanted to buy it now while I can still get hold of it.

NYX is one of my favourite brands, which is why I've bought eight products from them recently now that they're available at Boots. I've been loving the Butter Lipstick (£5.50) in Root Beer Float, so went ahead and bought Licorice (now known as Moonlight Night) as well, which is a deep plum shade.

I also bought the Micro Brow Pencil in Brunette (£7) because it's often compared to the Anastasia Beverly Hills one, and has great reviews. I'm still getting used to achieving a natural look with a pencil, though, because I'm used to powders and pomades.

The Intense Butter Gloss in Tres Leches (£5.50) is similar in shade to the Butter Lipstick in Root Beer Float. It's incredibly opaque, and basically a liquid lipstick with a gloss finish. I've since bought one of their lip liners in a similar shade, which pairs nicely with it.

I don't do much with my hair in terms of styling, but I'm obsessed with keeping my hair as soft and conditioned as it can be. The OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Miracle In Shower Oil (£8.35) is another product with high ratings, and can be used in multiple ways, so I thought I'd add it to my collection.

More eyebrow products, I know. It's a little ridiculous. I'd never tried a brow gel/mascara type thing before, though, so was curious. The Soap & Glory Archery Volu-Boost Brow Fibre Gel in Talk Of The Brown (£8) is a new product, and one I bought before I dyed my eyebrows darker. I can still use it, but that's why I then bought the L'Oreal Brow Artist Plumper in Dark Brunette (£5.99). Again, it has great reviews, and it's cheaper than the Soap & Glory one, despite having more product in. I don't know if these types of brow products are for me, to be honest, but I'm going to try and make them work.

I've been using the Lush massage bars in the same way as their solid body butters, by smothering myself in them while stepping away from the shower. My skin feels great, so I wanted to get some more. You can see how far back I took these photos by the date on the wrappers, by the way. Anyway, I bought Pearl (£6.50) and Strawberry Feels Forever (£5.95). I've already reviewed Pearl, which you can find here.

While there, I picked up another Ultrabland because I always like to have a back up at the ready. Seriously, it's amazing.

Let me know if you've tried any of these products, and if you've taken advantage of NYX being readily available to us now.

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