Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Winter Makeup Haul

Financially, this month isn't the best! But does that stop me from spending? Of course not! I got so excited by some of the offers I've found that I've ended up buying them all! I thought it would be a good idea to do my first 'haul' blog as I've never done one before and I want to make sure I post about all of these beauties! Enjoy!

Rimmel: Kate Moss Lipstick & Matte Lipstick

Left: Lasting Finish '16'
Right: Lasting Finish Matte '110'

Most cheap lipsticks I've tried in the past have lived up to my low expectations of wearing off before you've left the house or drying out your lips, so I never really tend to bother. I see lipsticks are more of an investment and tend to agree that the more you spend, the better quality product you get. 

However, my opinion soon changed when I found these little beauties on a 3 for 2 offer at Boots. I always buy Rimmel Stay Matte Powder because it's cheap and it does the trick. But when I caught the eye of these lipsticks I just had to try them out. The coral/red lipstick is matte and glides on really smoothly. The pictures don't do it much justice as it is quite a shocking coral/red colour rather than deep pink. It has quite a distinct watermelon scent which is actually really appealing seeing as most lipsticks just have that 'cosmetic' smell! It's not as matte as I would like but after it had been on for a few minutes the shine settled down a bit and it looked really classy. I found that it stays and looks better if you put a thin layer of foundation on your lips first - the lipstick is surprisingly quite conditioning so don't worry about drying your lips out with the foundation!

Top: Lasting Finish 16
Bottom: Lasting Finish Matte 110

There's a little swatch picture of both the lipsticks and despite the bad quality of the photo, you can still see the difference in the two textures - the standard Lasting Finish lipstick is quite shiny and a really lovely natural shade of pink. Just like the Matte, it glides on beautifully and also smells of watermelon! Yum! I've had the number 16 on for about 2 hours now and it hasn't faded and doesn't feel as though it's setting into my lips like most cheaper lipsticks do. I haven't had a drink or anything to eat but I reckon these lipsticks will be pretty much invincible on a night out! (Providing you use a straw - no lipstick is perfect!)

At a stunning price of £5.49 each these lipsticks are an amazing all rounder! There's quite a few different shades to choose from in the Lasting Finish lipsticks but the Matte choices are quite limited which is a shame. It would be really nice to see a light pink matte lipstick that's just as good as this one - any suggestions?

Lord & Berry: 20100 Shining Lipsticks

These super shiny lipsticks are a little guilty pleasure of mine! They come in the form of a big chunky crayon and glide on so easily with minimal amounts needed to get a really shocking colour. I was sent the scarlet and fuchsia crayons to try out and my god do I love them!

Left: Scarlet
Right: Fuchsia

I feel like a little kid again using these crayons - trying not to go outside the lines because they apply so easily! The colours are very striking and quite relevant to this festive season with lots of emphasis on red / bright lips. I've tried the fuchsia crayon so far and even when it feels that it's rubbed off because you can no longer feel it, one look in the mirror tells you it's not gone anywhere! They almost act like a stain on your lips because despite how many relatives you need to kiss on the cheek over Christmas, these bad boys aren't going anywhere!

The swatch picture doesn't show you the shine at all because I couldn't get a good enough picture from my phone but they are so shiny and silky smooth - a real must for anyone who loves bright and glamorous lips. The fuchsia crayon stays in my makeup bag as a permanent member and scarlet stays in my makeup drawer for special occasions. I think they are around the £8 mark for each crayon and there's a few colours to choose from as well as some more natural options.

Revlon: Photo Ready Perfecting Primer & 24 hour Colorstay Foundation 

Again, apologies for the crappy picture! Those of you who have been following my blog for a while will know that I am a one-foundation-woman - I swear by my Max Factor Lasting Finish foundation (read the blog here!) However, when I saw that Revlon was on 3 for 2 at Boots, I literally couldn't control myself. I've been looking for a primer that wouldn't set me back a small fortune and also figured I may as well try a new foundation seeing as I have heard some really good reviews about Revlon but never really tried them out.

I've not long been wearing primer underneath my foundation because I didn't really see it as an essential. I thought that wearing foundation was bad enough for my oily skin let alone another layer underneath and that breakthroughs of shine throughout the day was standard and unavoidable - oh, how wrong I was.

The primer is beautifully matte and reminds me of Clarins Pore Refining cream with it's thick texture and silky smooth appearance. It made my skin look instantly more even and less dull - if I had a better complexion I could justify wearing it on it's own. 

Top: Photo Ready Perfecting Primer
Bottom: 24 Hour Colorstay Foundation

The Colorstay foundation wasn't as much as a hit for me straight away, with it's 'pouring' action rather than a pump or squeezy tube I found it quite hard to get the right amount of foundation out and there is always a risk of spilling it as it is quite runny. However, just like my ultimate favourite foundation, it's thick and creamy and has such good buildable coverage that I didn't need any concealer. It has a really nice smell to it which is unusual for a foundation and the primer makes it so easy to apply. 

On my first trial run at work, I walked to the bathroom, bag in hand, expecting to need to apply some powder around my t-zone after a good 4-5 hours of wear. This is no word of a lie, I didn't need ANY powder! My face was still beautifully matte as if I'd just freshly applied it - in fact, it actually looked better than it had done in the morning, as though giving it time to set makes it appear more flawless rather than melting & in serious need of a touch up!

The primer will set you back a not-so-offensive £11.95 and the foundation quite a reasonable £12.95. This is more than double what I would usually spend on my foundation products but with the addition of the primer and the fact that I need next to no touch ups throughout the day, I think it's pretty safe to say I am impressed and will be spending the money again!

Revlon: Colorstay Eyeliner (+ free gold glitter nail polish)

Like most, I'm a big fan of black eyeliner despite all of the experts telling me that I should be wearing brown eyeliner on a daily basis because I have blue eyes. I think black eyeliner looks amazing on all eye colours when it's applied correctly and doesn't just have to be for smokey eyes on special occasions!

With this being the cheaper of the 3 Revlon products I purchased at a purse-pleasing £6.29, I got it as my free item in the 3 for 2 offer. They are also throwing in this extremely festive gold glitter polish that I haven't tried and gave to a friend at work as I'm not really a fan of glitter, but she loved it and it looks great on her nails (although, as with most glitter polishes, she needed around 4-6 coats to get it to look as glittery as she wanted it!)

As mentioned previously in a couple of my blogs, I don't normally buy pricey eyeliner after I discovered the Collection 2000 Intense Colour Supersoft Kohl eyeliner pencil for £1.99 - most reviews tell you it fades but if you apply it properly then it lasts all day, that's coming from an eyeliner addict! When I started using the Revlon eyeliner, it made me realise just how much I missed that extra quality. It applies so smoothly without the need to go over the line more than once. Normally a few attempts are needed to get a good solid line across your water line but this just made it so easy and I was done in half the time. 

As you can see from the swatch above, it's an intense matte colour that requires very little time and effort. It blends easily with the right brush and goes over eyeshadow with the same little effort as on a bare eyelid. The only downside to the product is the twisting mechanism to 'sharpen' the eyeliner - rather than using a sharpener you just twist the top to reveal more eyeliner. This sounds like a great idea but actually it means the eyeliner runs down quicker than normal because there's less product involved and you can never get that sharp nib required to create the perfect flick. For day wear this eyeliner is great but if you're a fan of the flick then stick to your liquids or gels!

Benefit: 'That Gal' Brightening Face Primer

I was given this tester pot of primer to try out but it didn't really contain enough product to get a good representation of what I think of it. It was only enough for a couple of days wear and I normally like to try a product for at least a week before I can give a true reflection on how it worked with my skin etc.

Being a Benefit product, I knew straight away that I was going to love it. With their funky packaging and catchy names, it's hard not to love their makeup range. I applied the primer along my t-zone and a little on my cheeks and eyelids. It gave a pinkish look to my skin (as the product is light pink!) but smelt and felt fantastic! I felt like I'd cleansed my face and it made me feel really fresh and clean - which is quite unsual for a primer! 

This is what the product looks like and appears more like a lipgloss than a primer. It worked well with my foundation and gave a really smooth surface to apply on to. It didn't have the same mattifying effect as the Revlon primer but for those of you who tend to wear minimal amounts of foundation but want something to help the overall appearance of your skins complexion and for that sought after 'glowy' effect, this is perfect for you. 

It is quite pricey at £21.50 for 11ml but it does contain a lot of skin-loving ingredients like chamomile and almond extract which make it worth those extra pennies!

So that's my first haul blog, I hope you all enjoyed it! I might have time for another quick blog before Christmas but if not then I'll see you beauties after the festive season with lots more gorgeous products to review. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Next: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

Seeing as it's that time of year and Christmas is creeping ever closer, I've decided to do a Secret Santa collage using some gorgeous gift ideas from Next. Everybody's Secret Santa price range varies but the vast majority tend to be £5-£10 so here's some really pretty ideas to suit your budget!

All of these gifts can be found on the Next website - there's so many more great little gifts on there but I just went through and picked the ones that I would love to receive. It just goes to show you really don't need to spend a fortune in order to give someone something special!

Links to all the gifts are below:

Beauty boutique hand and nail:
Beauty boutique manicure:

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Natural Homemade Cosmetics

If you're feeling the financial strain of Christmas already or if you just fancy pampering yourself after a long day at work, why not try some of these home made cosmetic ideas that are a really cute and thoughtful alternative to anything you can buy in the shops. They're cheap, easy and they really work!

Avocado & Natural Yoghurt face mask

1/2 cup of chopped Avocado
2 slices of cucumber 
1 tbsp of Natural Yoghurt
1 tbsp of Natual Honey (optional but highly recommended - acts as a natural anti inflammatory and can significantly reduce redness on the skin!)

Squash the avocado with a fork until creamy, add in the yoghurt and honey (optional) and mix thoroughly until a thick and creamy mixture is formed. Apply using clean hand in circular motions over your face and neck and apply the cucumber over your eyes. Applying a thin layer is just as effective as a thick layer so why not use sparingly so you can keep it wrapped up in the fridge for another day? Once applied, leave it to set for 15-30 minutes and then rinse off gently with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel. Yep, it really is that easy!

This face mask is so cheap to make and is really popular - Kim Kardashian and Victoria Beckham both LOVE avocado face masks so it just goes to show that even the rich know that sometimes homemade cosmetics are just as good, if not better, than the expensive retail products! Avocado is really good for dry skin and improves the appearance of your complexion by helping to reduce uneven skin tone.

Tip: Add ground almonds, oats or a little bit of milk into some mashed avocado and apply to your face, leave for ten minutes before washing off with warm water. Repeat 3-4 times a week and notice visible results in your skin complexion within a week!

Strawberry Sugar Face & Body Exfoliator

8-10 ripe Strawberries (minus the stalk!)
2 tbsp of Olive Oil
2tbsp sugar - white or brown

Mix the strawberries and olive oil in a blender for about a minute or until liquidized. Pour into a bowl and add 2tbsp of white or brown sugar (whatever you've got to hand - it doesn't really matter!) and stir into a paste. Use in the bath or shower all over your body for lovely smooth and beautifully smelling skin in minutes! 

This is so easy to make - when I made it I used a whole box of strawberries and added the olive oil a tbsp at a time and blended until it was the right texture - just keep adding and blending until you think it's right! Do the same with the sugar - keep adding until you've got a nice thick paste texture and voila! You've got a good supply that will last you a couple of weeks when you keep it in an airtight container - in the fridge if possible!

Tip: Recycle your empty pots of cream / lotions and use them to store your homemade products! Remove the labels and add your own with a "To:" and "From:" space for the perfect little present. 

Homemade Lipbalms

I've not actually attempted making a homemade lipbalm yet but I'm posting a blog about it regardless because I've read some really easy recipe ideas that I'm going to try and give you an update on how it goes - I'm really excited!

The ingredients in the picture above are:
Grated yellow beeswax,
Flavoured cosmetic oils,
Shea butter,
Lip balm pot,
Mango and strawberry just to represent different flavours - you don't actually need real fruit.

All you really need to make your own lip balm is:
6ml or 10ml lip balm pot
1tbsp grated yellow bees wax 
½ tbsp shea butter
6-7 drops your chosen cosmetic flavour oil

All the ingredients are then melted together and the oil is stirred in well - it's then poured into the pot and left to set for a good few hours.

When I was looking around the internet for supplies to make lipbalm, I came across a website called Gracefruits. They sell all of the different ingredients you'll need to make your own at home and you can purchase different quantities too depending how many you want to make. Their list of lip balm flavour oils is so varied from mango, mixed berry and strawberry to chocolate, bubblegum and tiramisu! 

They also sell individual lip balm pots for around 35p each which is an absolute bargain. Or if you're thinking of making a few to give to family and friends you can bulk buy really cheaply too. 

All the recipes I've looked at are different but all seem really simple - the only really strict rule being that once you've left your balm to set, it's important not to touch it for at least 3 hours. Gracefruits also do a Custom Organic Lip Balm Kit for £15.99 which includes enough ingredients to make 20 lip balms! 

The kit includes:
20 6ml lip balm pots
30g Your Choice of Wax
60ml Apricot Kernel Oil
30g Shea Butter
15g Cocoa Butter
1ml Your Choice of Flavour or Essential Oil
Complete, easy and straightforward instructions

Just to make this website more appealing, the staff are really helpful and informed me that the lip balm pots included are clear (not blue as shown in the picture) and can be sent with different coloured lids if you put a note on the order (pink, black or white). 

I'm going to purchase the kit with yellow bees wax which appears to be the most popular product amongst reviews against other commonly used ingredients including white bees wax and almond wax (this is a good idea to buy if you plan on giving one of the balms to a vegan friend!). There's such a wide variety to flavours to choose from - I'm currently stuck between mango, vanilla and pomegranate but I'll let you know which one I decide to go for and do a review blog. To make them into little gifts I'm going to buy some small drawstring gift pouches and make customised gift tags to finish them off - I think these will look really cute and make a nice thoughtful addition to my Christmas presents!