Thursday, 31 May 2012

Review: Freebies + Nail Varnish!

Today I did have a bit of a splurge seeing as Glamour have collaborated with Benefit again and in their June issue have 3 Benefit minis available. I managed to find the Bad Gal Lash mascara, and the POREfessional primer but none of the 'That Gal' glowy primer, boo! Anyway, as I couldn't find the third thing to complete my trio of Benefit freebies I looked to other magazines only to find that Marie Claire currently feature three different shades of the Ciate nail paint pots. The shade 'purple sherbert' caught my eye with it's pastelle lilac tones and tada, I bought.

So as you can see this shade is a perfect spring/summer colour. The final finish is really glossy and lovely. I've only been wearing it a couple of hours so I don't know how chip resistant it is, but I may update after a day and let you know. Although I love this colour I'm not entirely sure it suits me, I can't put my finger on why because I've had plenty of purple nail varnishes before! Maybe my skin tone is odd? I don't know! My only problem with this nail varnish was the application, first coat is a disappointment with it coming out quite transparent and you definitely need a second coat to build the colour up. I have three coats on purely because I love painting my nails and like the finish that three coats have! 

Despite an initial disappointment on application, the end result is nice so I'd definitely recommend - especially when they're a fraction of the price of what they usually sell for (which is £9) If i had spent £9 on this maybe I'd be more disappointed. But as Marie Claire is only £3.70 in the UK I'm considering going back to get the other two colours (A cute bubblegum pink shade and a pastel off-white shade) Plus, the packaging is extremely cute with the bow, and the bottle is slightly curved which is unusual. I am a sucker for pretty packaging so if the other shades aren't great at least they'll look cute on my shelf!

(Ps - 'Red' magazine also has some Jemma Kidd makeup featuring in their issues for next month. The eyeliner and mascara are available separately depending on which copy you buy and they're supposedly worth £29 together, so at the cost of one magazine thats another definite bargain. I don't know what's with all the brilliant freebies this month, but I love it!)

Emma xx

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Este Lauder spree!

On a quick trip to boots I recently purchased the Estèe Lauder Double Wear foundation (Review to come!) The girl on the counter used her sales girl techniques and won me over by offering a free gift bag (worth over £50) if I bought another product. Happily I chose the Peach Glow blush and recieved my goody bag, here's everything I got!

And a little peek of it all inside the lovely blue Estèe Lauder makeup bag!

As you can see there are quite a few things in the bag, I may do a proper review later on sometime but at the minute I can tell you I am loving the facial cleanser, it literally takes everything off your face and leaves it so fresh and clean! The lipstick is also a lovely colour and quite nourishing on the lips and I'm pleasantly surprised with the mascara! 
Estèe Lauder could well be becoming my favourite makeup brand, what's your favourite brand? Have you tried any of these products? Let me know!

Emma xx

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Disappointing Products!

As a bit of a foundation obssessive I've been on the same search as many girls out there for 'The One,' the 'Holy Grail' or whatever else you want to call it. I think I may have found it in Estèe Lauder Double Wear, but I thought I would quickly mention a few that I have been extremely disappointed with...

Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse
Drying. Flaky. Thick. Doesn't last - to put it simply!
 I tried this foundation a fair few years ago when I was 14 and I used to wear it all the time - at the time I thought it was great and repurchased frequently. I revisited it recently to try and remember why I liked it so much and honestly, I can't see why I wore it so often!
I think it was my go-to foundation because of the price and the shade range. It retails for about £5 - £7 usually (so cheap!) and comes in 15 shades which I think is quite reasonable. It was the foundation all the girls had at school and I guess it was just a case of having what they had? (Sounds very stupid now!)
The foundation isn't long lasting, it goes patchy after a while and feels so cakey when it's on your skin. As it's a mousse I find it doesn't sink into the skin well which I guess is how it works in making your skin look so 'matte' and 'airbrushed' Do not use this foundation if you have dry skin or even normal skin, stay clear because it clings to dry patches for dear life! (If you have oily skin you may be better off)
Overall the lack of moisture in this product really dehydrates your skin, there's nothing for your skin to drink and part of a good foundation is it's ability to keep your skin looking hydrated and healthy. Dream matte mousse doesn't last very long at all throughout the day and if you get dry patches - uh oh! I also think the size of the pot isn't very big and because you have to scoop it out, it doesn't have a very long life as sometimes being a bit over generous with scoops of foundation is something I'm guilty of (I prefer a pump!)

My second foundation that I wouldn't consider again is:
 Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation 
Again this product isn't particularly long lasting, it's attempts at being 'matte' are feeble as I find it just slides off your face! This was definitely another foundation which left patchy areas and although it isn't as bad when it comes to dry areas, it doesn't do well at concealing or hiding any unwanted bits. I'm honestly just not a fan of this product and despite the inexpensive price, I would prefer to push the boat out and buy something more expensive that will give greater coverage and be more longlasting!
Both of the brands I have mentioned have produced other foundations that I love especially Rimmel as I don't think I could cope without my 25 Hour Lasting Foundation. I also know maybelline have a Satin Finish one that is also commendable, one of my friends swears by it!
I apologise for such a negative post but I hope this helps at least one person to not waste their money on disappointing products!

Emma xx

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Urban Decay Ammo

The Urban Decay Ammo palette is one of the less talked about palettes in terms of the sets that have been produced by Urban Decay. It was one of the first palettes I purchased when I was younger and just getting into makeup and it resulted in what I can only call my love affair with Urban Decay. In terms of eyeshadows, I think Urban Decay have got it down to just about perfection! They are famous for their eyeshadow and all palettes have proven popular with so many cosmetic buyers.
The design of the palette itself is so pretty, the use of velvet on the lid gives it texture although after a while it is prone to dust. The pattern on the top slightly gothic but non-the-less pretty, the use of a gun and skull suggests it may be targeted at younger buyers, I bought this when I was 17 and personally loved it though. As the palette is black it is a nightmare to keep clean! There will always be something I get on this whether it's foundation-grubby fingerprints or a spillage of some sort of powder, black packaging just seems to attract dirt with me!
The mirror inside is useful because it's quite large, always a plus. Although I don't think it's a necessity because I don't tend to carry palettes around with me and prefer applying in front of a bigger mirror at home anyway. Urban Decay included an applicator too, which is kind of expected with palettes but I personally don't find these sorts the most useful as I prefer a brush to apply and blend and generally work better with longer brushes.
In terms of the actual eyeshadows I find the palettes better value for money considering that £13 per eyeshadow is the cost of just a single, yet a palette would retail at around £27 so if you do the math you have ten eyeshadows there for the price of two (and a bit) singles!
The colours Urban Decay have chosen are a bit hit and miss in my opinion. Some people may agree, some may disagree but personally I like either dark smokey eyes or more neutral brown colours on the eyes. I find in this palette that they come in pairs that compliment each-other well which is a useful indicator of how to apply! All shades in this range have shimmer pigments in them and in terms of colour really pigment well. There is little or no fallout which is great because lets face it, who wants a dusty eyeshadow face after you've just spent ten minutes doing your foundation routine!
On to the shades...
Smog: A golden brown shade with a green tone which is complimentary on olive skin tones.
Maui Wowie: Smog's partner I guess! These two are my most used in this palette and provide a great neutral smokey eye.
Mildew and Shattered: My most unused pair! I just don't tend to put colour on my eyes but thats a personal preference. I think these colours would look particularly good on red-haired girls.
Oil Slick:A good sparkly black, I've used this before instead of eyeline for a night out because I feel the sparkles add that extra glamourous feeling!
Polyester Bride: Good for highlighting and blending with the other colours, or for putting in the corners of your eyes to make them pop.
Last Call and Grifter: Again not my favourites because they are more pink based, and I like to save the pink for lips and cheeks!
Chopper and Sin: My other favourites as they are more natural, softer colours, perfect for an everyday look. 

I really like this palette despite not using four of the eyeshadows included! If you're a lover of neutral eyes like me then I'd recommend investing in one of the Naked palettes. However if you like a bit of everything, and you want a smaller palette this will be right up your street.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Wednesday Wishlist!

A collection of things I've spotted over the week...

Topshop Gingham Shopper Bag:
Only £16, hello bargain! The monochrome style colour scheme will go with practically anything and the leather label/ straps make it look more expensive than it actually is - especially with those gold studs!
Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation:
I have wanted to get some more 'high-end' foundation ever since my Mac Studio Fix ran out a few months a go. I have heard some really good reviews on this foundation and seeing as it is full coverage and long lasting I think it's exactly what I need.
Monki Anke Blouse:
So cute! I definitely love to wear a lot of neutral garments, black white grey and nude just seem to be in my favour at the minute, and I'm a sucker for a subtly patterned shirt! I think the loose fitting aspect of it is so complementary, especially when teamed like above with some super skinny black jeans/ leggings. I'd also wear this with some wet look style leggings or my leather skirt. Worth the £35 if you ask me!
Topshop Nails in Art School:
I've included just the one nail colour but secretly, I do want them all! I've decided now on that each time I go into Topshop, or order online I'm going to buy one (or two if I'm feeling indecisive!)I don't buy clothes as often as I used to so it won't be too often but I definitely want to start building a collection up from here because Topshop seem to have the loveliest colours in! I have four at the minute which I love and has definitely spurred me on to invest in more and at only £5 they are priced sensibly for a good quality polish. This particular one ties in with my current obsession with coral, but there are at least ten other shades I have my eye on so who knows which I'll get!
Topshop Lipstick in Whimsical:
I was quite sceptical when Topshop released their makeup range as I remember doubting the quality of the products-I just couldn't imagine them being very good. How wrong I was! I've fallen in love with the nail varnish and I know the blusher is exceptional and now it's time to try the lipsticks! I haven't worn lipstick as much as I used to (for some strange reason)and now it feels like I'm trying to catch up and there's a million on my list I want to try! I love a good nudey pink on the lips and this one will definitely be in my makeup bag in the near future. At £8 it is reasonable for a high street lipstick, and can I mention the packaging? It's adorable!
Office Sandals:
I've included these sandals on a bit of a whim, I already have my shoes for summer - I don't really need anymore for hot weather BUT I thought these were so pretty! I love the texture of suede (although it can be considered impractical as it isn't waterproof)and I also really like the bead detail, it's unique but also ties in with the on trend summary colours and Aztec patterns that are cropping up everywhere. If you've still not found your perfect holiday sandals then these are definitely worth considering!

Monday, 7 May 2012

My Favourite Perfume...

Drum roll if you please!

My perfume of choice is Black XS by Paco Rabanne. You can get it for various prices depending on which size bottle you're after - I think it comes in 30ml, 50ml or 80ml. This is my go-to everyday perfume and is possibly my favourite smell ever! I bought it the same year as it debuted on the market because I really liked the packaging. It's so different from your more elegant looking perfumes, the mix of black and purpley-pink is bold and statement-making. I'd definitely describe it as one of the sexier packaged perfumes out there!
The scent inside is just divine. With base notes of cranberry, pink peppercorn, tamarind, helleboire noire rose, vanilla, massoia wood and patchouli, it blends together to create a floral but fruity composition which definitely feels sharp and spicy at first sniff! It is instantly attractive, much like the bottle itself. When I wear it personally I pick up on the sweetness of the cranberry fruit and vanilla, but also the earthy spice of the pink peppercorn and floral rose. I love anything that smells sweet and feminine, but not too sickly which makes this perfume perfect for me. You do have to be careful not to spray too much at first, because too much can be overwhelming as with any perfume, but a couple of squirts is just enough to have this scent lingering on you all day. My boyfriend also loves this perfume on me which just shows it's a hit with the men too!
I love Black XS because it is the epitome scent-wise of the 'inner rebel' that we all have lurking somewhere. It's vampy and gorgeous and sweet, and I don't think I could live without it! I do think as I get older I'd like to have this sort of attraction to a more womanly scent as I do feel this is quite young and strong. Not that it lacks in sophistication, but I want to embrace the Chanels' and other scents out there that scream out elegance and beauty. However, I will never not have this on my dressing table, I would miss it too much!

Long time no post!

This is just a quickie to say hi, and to write about what I've been up to because it feels like apart from tonight and a few bursts of posts last month, I havent written on here in ages! I have been a bit lazy with physically writing things for my blog (guilty as charged!) but I have been stuck on the internet like glue looking at other bloggers and truly soaking up the blogger world to see where I want to go with mine. During this time I discovered youtube. Well not so much 'discovered' youtube, if I had I'd probably be a bit richer by now, but I've been on it A LOT spying up on various beauty bloggers or 'vloggers' and I have a few favourites for you which I'm going to list. I've chosen these girls because their channels are full of a different beauty related videos and as well as being honest, critical and enthusiastic beauty/fashion obsessives, they all seem to have lovely personalities that are evident in their videos and genuinely seem like nice, friendly people!
The list:
Zoey/Schoee/Zoella -

Essie/Este -
Louise -
Fleur -
Anna -

I don't really know how 'famous' these girls are in the beauty blog world but I have been enjoying their videos and thought I'd share! I'm sure there are many more, but for now these are my firm favourites. I'll be sure to drop the links in of any others I find that are worth a mention! Maybe there will be room for my face on youtube one day, you never know haha.

Lastly before I go I'll just mention the other things that have been occupying my time! I'll put it simplyt; Art and English Language! I'm finishing my last year at sixth form so this past month has been very hectic! Luckily my English Language Investigation coursework has been finished and handed in (Phew!) and my Art exam, 15 hours we are talking here people, is over with! Do you have any interests like this? I especially love anything art-based and I'm always on the look out for new projects/ideas. If you know of anything or can converse in a arty-farty-nerdy way then feel free to drop a comment :) 

Emma xx

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Oils galore!

So one of my last posts mentioned (or praised the hell out of) Moroccan Oil. I said I'd review and and so here I go!

To sum up, I love it. I think if you can spend £30 every so often on one hair product then this should be it. It lasts quite a while, whether you buy a smaller bottle or a larger one it is definitely not one of those products you use all in one go and think 'damn, what a waste' but neither is it one of those products that you try and completely forget to use again.

I apply it either when my hair is damp before I dry it to give a luscious silky feeling after blow drying, or I apply it on days where I feel my hair needs a little softening and shine.

It has indeed been hyped about in the blogger world- and for good reason!

However, if you are strapped for cash (like I am most of the time - damn being a student!) then I have a pretty good alternative that I sneakily put into the shopping basket when me and my boyfriend were in Boots. It is -think drum roll sound effects- the Lee Stafford Argan Oil pictured below!

This product is an absolute gem and for a fraction of the price is definitely worth a try! (Retailing at around £11) As you can get Lee Stafford products pretty much anywhere where there is a Boots store then it is a lot easier to come across. From my experiences (I dont know if yours will be any different?) I could only find Moroccan Oil in certain Salons and it was definitely not available on the High Street! You can still purchase both easily off the internet but sometimes I think it's nicer to have seen and held the product you're going to buy!
Many people will be a lot more familiar with Lee Stafford products considering the popularity of the brand and Salon chain. It's a funny story actually because I was kind of swayed into using Lee Stafford hair care by my boyfriend! Although they're a bit of a girly product (Hello bright pink packaging) he uses the dry shampoo religiously and the smell of it, like all other Lee Stafford products, was just lovely!
I have been using this Argan Oil for a few weeks now and it's so simple to use, especially with the pump top that means you can squirt the exact amount you need into your palm.
With any oil, after I have a small amount in my fingers (lets say a bit larger than pea size) I them together and just tousle them through the ends of my hair. On days where my hair is a bit lack-luster and even a bit on the frizzy side I put the product a bit higher up, more in the mid length section of my hair and again tousle downwards to the ends. I think because this product is an oil it is important to not put much, if any, at the top of your hair nearer the roots. This can result in a greasy look, especially if you are prone to an odd greasy haired day or you forget to massage it in properly!
The result is silky-smooth stroke-able hair. Honestly, once I'd tried both this and Moroccan Oil for the first time I'd just repeatedly be running my fingers through my hair! Since using Lee Stafford's Argan Oil I have been noticing that my hair is so much healthier and shinier, which of course is expected with anything that has been dubbed 'Miracle Oil'
Lee Stafford have a whole range of Argan Oil products on the shelves now, and my hair has never been so soft since I've also been making use of the conditioner in this range!
If you want luxuriously soft and sleek hair I would definitely recommend Moroccan Oil. If you want the same result for just over a third of the price, then it's Lee Stafford all the way.
What are you waiting for?!

Emma xx