Monday, 30 June 2014

June Beauty Favourites!

With the weather getting a little warmer i've been keeping things simple when it comes to make. Less definitely being more. Skincare i've been keeping simple, however i've added two new product, one of which is an old favourite i'm glad to be using again.
Although it's been warmer my skin has still been looking a little pale. As always i've been reaching for the Garnier Summer Body Moisturising Lotion. I use the light version all over to give a natural looking tan/glow to the skin, the best thing is it doesn't smell bad and moisturises the skin. To add some texture to my hair i've been using the Vo5 Plump It Up Dry Backcomb Spray, this doesn't add as much texture as some sprays but adds a subtle amount of volume without your feeling like it has a lot of product in it. 
So the new addition to my skincare routine has been the Caudalie Vinosource SOS Thirst Quenching Serum. I love how light this feels on the skin yet packs in some hydration. I use this in the morning as I find makeup applies really well over the top. The old favourite is the Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturiser. My skin has been breaking out a little at the end of the month and I thought I would go back to this as it always helps with oil control and keeping spots at bay.
I took a few different base products with me to Stockholm but ended up wearing the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser most days. When it's warm I want something light with some decent coverage as well as some SPF. This definitely does all of that whilst looking very natural. I haven't bought too many new products recently but something I did pick up is the Maybelline Dream Sun Terra Sun Bronzer in Golden Tropic, this comes with a light bronzer, perfect for pale skin and a lovely peachy pink blush. Perfect for Summer, the two look really nice together and it's all i've really been wearing recently.
As i've mentioned i've been keeping my makeup pretty simple recently. I've been lining to tight line with the Rimmel Scandaleyes Gel Eyeliner in Brown. I find brown looks a lot softer on my eyes and with this one being waterproof it doesn't move around during the day. My allergies have been pretty bad this month so i've been leaning towards a waterproof mascara. The one i've been loving is the Max Factor False Lash Effect in Black/Brown. I got this in a free gift set a few months ago and I really like it. It looks fairly natural on the lashes and doesn't flake. The best thing is that it is really a pain to remove like some waterproof formulas. 
On my nails for most of the month I had the Rimmel Salon Pro polish in Summer Orange. This is one of my favourite shades to wear in Summer, it is the perfect red with a hint of orange. I find this formula doesn't chip too fast either. For lips i've been loving the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet's again this time in the shade Peach Club. I love this long wearing formula as it really doesn't budge, this shade is also the perfect peach shade.

So those are this months favourites, a good amount of old favourites as i've been trying not to spend as much recently. Sometimes it is good to shop your own stash and since what you used to love. What products have you been loving this month?

Saturday, 28 June 2014

June Empties!

Since I was away at the beginning of this month I haven't used up as many products as normal. However in my bid to use up some of my skincare stash I am happy to see some decent empties this month.
To start with I have two haircare products, the first something that seems to be in all my empites, Batiste Tropical Dry Shampoo, as normal I am already onto my next can of this stuff. The next product is the Vo5 Ultimate Hold Hairspray, i've had this can so long that this is the old packaging! For some reason this just lasted ages. It does the job without making your hair feel crunchy. I've already repurchased.
Onto bath products, i've used up the Dove Purely Pampering Shea Butter and Warm Vanilla Cream Bath, oh my was this stuff so lovely. It smells great and left my skin feeling so soft, the best thing is that it's so cheap. A definite repurchase. Something else I always seem to repurchase, the Sainsbury's Sensitive Ladies Shave Gel, this is pretty basic but does the job without irritating the skin, and again it's very affordable.
Onto the skincare and another product that has taken me ages to use up, the Organic Surge Daily Care Face Wash. I really liked this as a basic cleanser to use in the morning. It leaves the skin feeling clean and refreshing without drying it out. I would get this again but i'm using some different cleanser at the moment. Next the Garnier Express 2 in 1 Eye Makeup Remover, I feel a bit on the fence about this one. It's gentle on the eyes and removes most eye makeup but I don't think it's as good as the L'oreal equivalent so I don't think I will be repurchasing. Lastly I used up a sample of the Avene Micellar Lotion, I was surprised how much I enjoyed this, it was really gentle on the skin and removed most face makeup really well. I would definitely consider buying the full size of this.
Another two skincare products to finish things off with. The first being the Nivea Daily Essentials Oil Free Day Cream, this was a really nice moisturiser to use in the morning. It helped to keep my skin matte without stripping it. I would definitely get this again if I was looking for a cheap day cream. Finally i've finished the Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil, now this was a seriously nice product that i'm sad to see empty, however it has lasted me around 6 months. I've become a big fan of rosehip oils as they nourish the skin without being heavy and help to improve the appearance of pigmentation and scarring. I definitely will consider picking this up again.

So that's this months empties, once again a good amount of skincare products. Even though i've used so many up recently my bathroom cabinet is still full! Have you used up any of your favourite products this month?

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Budget Friendly Eyeshadows Worth Trying

When it comes to eyeshadows I often find myself reaching for some high end option however there are definitely some great drugstore ones worth trying. Instead of focusing on palettes I thought I would mention some quads that are perfect for fitting in a makeup bag.
Budget Friendly Eyeshadows Worth Trying
Collection Work The Colour Eye Palette in Nude
Collection Work The Colour Eye Palette in Nude (review) - £3.99.
Now this one isn't actually a quad but whilst mentioning budget friendly eyeshadows I had to mention this one. The packaging is the best but it does the job. The palette has an amazing range of neutral, lots of light shades and some darker colours. These shades are nicely pigmented and if you're just starting out in makeup or want to try some new looks on a budget this one is definitely worth trying. 
Soap & Glory Lid Stuff in What's Nude
Soap & Glory Lid Stuff in What's Nude (review) - £10.00.
An old favourite (as you might be able to tell) but a good one. I always find myself going back to this quad. The packaging is sturdy, the shades work so well together and are creamy, pigmented and blend really nicely. The three matte shades are some of the best drugstore matte shadows i've found. You can get this quad in 2 other shades but this one is definitely the stand out.
NYC Quarto Eyeshadow Best Of Broadway
NYC Quarto Eyeshadow Best Of Broadway - £2.99. 
This one was a bit of a surprise, I heard a few good things about it so I tracked it down and it is definitely a hidden gem. If you prefer taupe/purple tones in your eye makeup this one is definitely a must try. Again each shade is nicely pigmented, the second lightest shade is lovely applied all over the lid and the purple shade in the crease. For this price, the quality is definitely there.
Rimmel London HD 5 Pan Eyeshadow Brixton Brown
Rimmel London HD 5 Pan Eyeshadow Brixton Brown - £6.99.
This was another palette that got a lot of attention recently. Pigmentation wise it isn't the best, the light brown shade takes a few application to show up nicely. Although saying that the shades do work well together, you can get a few different looks from it. My favourite thing is the addition of the cranberry shade in the middle, in the colder months to add some warmth and colour to a simple brown eye look.

So those are some eyeshadows I would definitely recommend giving a go if you're looking to save a few pennies. The stand out for me is definitely the Collection one as it is such good value for money. What are some of your favourite affordable eyeshadows?

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The Current Face Mask Rotation

I always seem to have a few masks on rotation, each to do different jobs in improving my skin. Some clay based to draw out impurities others to add radiance to the skin. When looking through my bathroom cabinet I noticed there was four masks that stood out that I had been using a lot recently.
The Current Face Mask Rotation
The Current Face Mask Rotation
Super Facialist By Una Brennan Pore Purifying Clay Mask - £8.99.
I feel like i've talked about this one a lot but it's seriously amazing. It does what it says on the bottle. It deeply cleans the skin without feeling drying. It doesn't smell weird or sting when applied. I'm nearly at the end of this tube and I definitely will be picking up a new one soon.
REN Glycolatic Radiance Renewal Mask (review) - £30.00.
Going from something that is budget friendly to one that isn't. However it is worth it in my eyes. No other radiance mask makes my skin look as glowing as this one does. Overall it helps to improve the appearance of the skin and make it look brighter. It smells lovely and again doesn't feel tight or drying when applied.
Good Things Manuka Honey Radiance Face Mask (review) - £5.99.
I recently reviewed this as it is a new love of mine. In a way this one combines what the other two masks do in one. It's not as intense as the REN one but it does help to deep clean the skin and add a little brightness. It smells like honey and is a quick fix when your skin is looking a little lack luster. 
Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Radiance Peel - £40.00. 
This is the mask that I have many a sample of but can't bring myself to buy the full size due to the hefty price tag. I love everything about this mask, it adds some serious radiance to the skin. It also has gentle grains in it which help to exfoliate the skin, you only need to leave this on for 5 minutes and it makes the skin feel so smooth and look fresh. In some ways it is worth the price tag due to the great results in no time yet for no i'll stick to getting samples of it. 

So those are my current masks in rotation. I love trying face masks as I find out of all skincare products you can really see a difference in your skin after using them. What is your current favourite face mask?

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette - Reviewed!

So I bought another neutrals palette. Do I need another? Probably not, but I was in the mood for treating myself last month after finishing my degree and this beauty somehow ended up in my shopping basket. Plus it smells of chocolate, need I say more.
Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette
Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette
So i'm going to start with my only negative comment. The packaging. Although it looks lovely and comes in a tin similar to the Naked 2 and 3 palettes it's not as sturdy. I traveled with this once and ended up with a dint in the back (gutted doesn't cut it). So I will say this is a leave on your dressing table looking pretty rather that taking on a trip kind of palette.
Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette
Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette
This palette is full of lovely shades of browns but also has a few purples and a navy to break things up a little. There are two larger highlighting shades which I like because these are the types of shades I tend to use with every look. As I mentioned this palette does have a cocoa scent to it, I personally like this, to say it is scented I haven't had any irritations to the eyes from using it.
Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette Swatches
The shadows are creamy and very well pigmented. Even the matte shades show up really nicely. They apply well and blend out easily. There are so many different looks you can create from this palette, the pale shades are perfect for the daytime and the darker shades are great for making things a little more smokey in the evening. They wear nicely and don't crease when worn with a primer underneath.

This palette isn't cheap and the packaging has let me down a little but I do find myself reaching for this palette a lot lately. If you're looking to treat yourself to some great high end shadows I would definitely recommend this one.

Too Face Chocolate Bar Palette retails for £45.00.

What is your favourite Too Faced Palette?

Friday, 20 June 2014

Good Things Manuka Honey Radiance Face Mask - Reviewed!

Recently i've been trying to find some stand out skincare products that don't break the bank. An area that I struggle to find a good drugstore alternative is masks, especially radiance ones. Now this isn't because there are some available it's that most times they don't give the same results as the expensive ones. When I saw this one I had to see if it was any good.
Good Things Manuka Honey Radiance Face Mask
Good Things Manuka Honey Radiance Face Mask
The packaging is nice and simple and it is easy to dispense the right amount of product and the fact that it comes in a tube is more hygienic. The whole Good Things range is free from parabens, mineral oils and sodium laureth sulphate. This mask claims to help with congestion in the skin and dullness and the whole Manuka Honey range claims clear and hydrate problem skin.
Good Things Manuka Honey Radiance Face Mask

Good Things Manuka Honey Radiance Face Mask

This mask itself smells lovely, like milk and honey and applies nicely onto the skin. Unlike some clay masks this doesn't feel tight on the skin. Once removed my skin feels deeply cleansed. I would say it does look a little less dull. It isn't a miracle worker but it definitely does seem to help improve the skin. For the price I think this is one of the best drugstore masks i've tried. This range seems like it could be a good one so I definitely want to try some more products.

Have you tried any products by Good Things? 

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Recipe | Sugar Free Iced Peppermint Mocha

It is safe to say I am a big loving of Starbucks, in Summer there's is nothing better than having one of their iced coffees. The other day it was surprisingly warm and I was craving something cold so I pop a few ingredients in my blender and accidentally discovered this amazing drink which is perfect on hot days and isn't full of sugar!
 You will need:
250-300ml of Almond Milk (or a milk of your choice)
1tsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1tsp of Coffee (if using instant coffee melt in a little warm water first)
1tsp of Stevia
1tsp of Agave Nectar (or pure maple syrup or honey)
1/2 tsp of Peppermint Extract
Pour your milk into a blender, you won't need a fancy one to make this as we are just using it to combine the ingredients. Add in your other ingredients and blend for around 30 seconds until everything is combined and smooth. To serve, got a glass and pop 1 or 2 ice cubes in, you could put the ice cubes in the blender to make it extra cold. Pour into the glass and enjoy! 
It's as simple as that! If you want to make a plain mocha you can just not add the peppermint extract, or swap it out for some vanilla. I've made this a few times now and it taste so good and you feel less guilty drinking it! What is your favourite Summer drink?

Monday, 16 June 2014

No7 Stay Perfect Shade and Define in Velvet Truffle - Reviewed!

No7 have had some new releases that have caught my eye recently, as always when those infamous vouchers come around I couldn't resist picking something up. I went for one of the new eyeshadow pencil as I had seen them compared to some well loved higher end alternatives. 
No7 Stay Perfect Shade and Define in Velvet Truffle
No7 Stay Perfect Shade and Define in Velvet Truffle
The packaging is simple but sturdy, each shade having a different colour lid which is always helpful for picking out the shade you want if you have more than one. No7 claim these to be creamy and long wearing so therefore can be used as an eyeliner or as an all over lid colour.
No7 Stay Perfect Shade and Define in Velvet Truffle
No7 Stay Perfect Shade and Define in Velvet Truffle
The shade Velvet Truffle is a rich brown shade with a hint of olive too it. I find the precise point makes it easy to get a neat, defined line. I wouldn't say it is the easiest product to blend out all over the lid, I tend to apply the product then blend it out to give a smokey line effect. It is definitely long wearing and stays put all day.

If you are looking for a new long wearing liner which is easy to blend I would definitely recommend giving this a go. There seems to be a good shade range of fairly neutral colours, I think a lighter shade is on my wishlist next.

Have you tried these yet?

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Brand Focus | NARS

It safe to say i'm a drugstore girl when it comes to makeup however NARS is the highend brand that always catches my eye more than the other. I don't know what it is, maybe the simple packaging, but i'm yet to try a NARS product I didn't like. 
So one of the first things I tried from NARS was their blushes. I picked up Deep Throat when I was in America and it has been one of my most used blushes ever since. It is the perfect pink with a hint of peach to it as well as a slight shimmer. Nothing too intense but give a lovely healthy glow to the cheeks. My other blush purchase has been Douceur, this looks pretty boring in the pan but it is the perfect contouring blush for pale skin. I use this a lot in Winter to add definition to my cheeks. Both of them blushes are finely milled, blend nicely and last on the skin really well.
I think Laguna Bronzer might be one of NARS' most known products, it was in fact my first NARS purchase and has been well loved since. Laguna is a mostly matte bronze, it has a subtle golden shimmer running through it. I personally find this to not be too orange, more golden and is great to use to create a bronzed look in Summer. You get lots of product so it should last you a while and it wears on the skin well, I even use it down the neck and on my chest a little. 
So after falling in love with the blushes i had to give the eyeshadows a go. The single eyeshadow in Ondine was my first purchase. Now this is really beautiful, it is a lovely taupe/ purple with hints of brown and silver shimmers. It is the perfect eyeshadow to wear on it's own and it looks like you've spent a while doing your eye makeup yet you've only used one shadow! After loving that I want to try the duo's. After doing some research Kalahari seemed to be the perfect brown, neutral duo. These two shades work so perfectly together, one lighter with a gold tone the other more bronzey. The quality of these shadows is so good, they blend like a dream and stay vibrant on the lids all day. 
When I was looking for the perfect light base a few months ago the Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser and I have to say it is pretty near perfect. It has an SPF 30, feels light yet hydrating on the skin, covers just the right amount (I still use concealer on blemishes and under the eyes) and just makes your skin look really good and like you have hardly anything on. There's a good shade range and it lasts well on my combination skin, even in the warmer weather. 
So there's definitely something about NARS that keeps pulling me in making me want to try more of their products. I definitely want to try some of their lip products next and their cream blushes are definitely on my hit list. What is your favourite NARS product?

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Skincare Haul | Caudalie, Triology, Clarins

So before I went on holiday I took advantage of a few bank holiday sales and picked up a few new skincare bits. I've been using up a lot of products so I was ready for some new things. 

Caudalie Vinosource SOS Thirst Quenching Serum - £29.00 for 30 ml.
i've been wanting to try a new hydrating serum for dehydrated skin for a while and this one has been on my wishlist after hearing really good things. It's fairly runny so you don't need a lot to cover the face. So far I think it is doing the job to help my skin feel less dry and tight without feeling heavy on my skin. 
Triology Certified Organic Rosehip Oil - £25.65 for 45 ml.
This is a repurchase. I finished my Pai Rosehip Oil and I thought I would go back to this one, I find my skin can get 'used' to products. I find that this really helps to even out my skintone and help with the acne scarring I have. (full review here).
Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel - £17.60 for 125 ml.
This is another repurchase, this cleanser is really unique in that it is a gel which turns into an oil and then goes milky as you rinse it off. (full review here). It removes makeup nicely and cleansing the skin well, a great option to use instead of cleansing balms in the warmer months. 
So those we're my recent skincare purchases, I also got a sample of the Elemental Herbology Facial Glow because I love this so much but can't bring myself to spend £40 on the full size! What skincare products have you purchased recently?

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Travel | Exploring Stockholm

To soothe my post holiday blues I thought I would share some of the pictures from my recent trip to Stockholm. I'd been wanting to visit Scandinavia for a while and my first stop was definitely Stockholm. I knew a few bits about the city but learnt a lot more, and fell in love with the place whilst I was there. 
We were pretty lucky weather wise. Stockholm is know for it's long Winters however from May to August/September it can be really pleasant. Half of the week it was fairly cloudy however it still felt bright. We did get some nice sunny days near the end when we went on the Under The Bridges Boat Trip, this was 2 hours long but allowed you to see most of Stockholm from the water. Stockholm is made up of several islands so you are surrounded by water most of the time. I would definitely recommend going on boat trips there as it is the best way to see the city and you learn lots of facts about the city at the same time. 
There are a few different places you can go to get a great view of the city. We opted for going up the City Tower next to the City Hall. We visited both of these places, the City Hall is an amazing building where the Nobel Price dinner takes place, it's a very interesting tour and a beautiful building. The City Tower has a lot of stairs (great way to get in a workout!) but when you get to the top it is so worth it for the amazing views. As you get closer to the top of the tower there are these narrow corridors which all look the same making you feel like you've already walked down it already.

Sorry for the picture heavy post, trust me I took way more than this! All photos we're taken with my iphone 4S and edited with Camera+. To end with I thought I would share some tips if you plan on visit Stockholm.
  • Stockholm is expensive. From food to shopping everything seems to cost more in Sweden. Do helps save our Krona (SEK - Swedish currency) we packed snacks in our suitcase to have as 'emergency' in case we got hungry whilst visiting place. For example coffee shops in The Old Town are extra pricey because it is a tourist spot.
  • To go along with this we got a Stockholm Card to use whilst we there. You can order these before the trip and collect in the Tourist Information. Basically this is a card you can use on public transport and will give you entrance to most museums and you can get 1 of 2 boat trips with this. Paying for this beforehand meant all our spending money didn't go on getting into places also we found we visited more places in order to get the full use of the card. 
  • Stockholm is a fairly flat city and therefore is pretty easy to walk. We walked to most places as you felt you got a better feel for the city and saw more. If walking is not your thing you can cycle everywhere. There's designated lanes for bikes as well as bikes you can rent (like in London). This seems to be a common form of transport for the locals. 
  • Visit the tourist information. They are dotted around the city, this is where we collected the Stockholm Card but it is also where we got a lot of information on what is worth seeing the most. If you are going for a couple of days and want to fit a lot in they can help you plan out your days. This is also a place where there are lots of leaflets and free maps of the city. We ended up using about 4 different maps with varying detail. You don't really need to buy one before hand. 
All in all Stockholm has definitely been one of my favourite places to visit. It is a beautiful city with lots of history and most of the locals speak fairly good English (always helpful) and are very polite. I would definitely recommend visiting the City if you get the chance to.