Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Clarins Haulin'

This month I had a makeup wish list that I was all set and ready to indulge in. But then my skin got bad, and I'm talking real bad. I got the buzz about skincare and the quest for as-perfect-as-physically-possible skin is not one I ever pause on. I had never tried anything from Clarins apart from the exfoliating toner which I love, and being the number 1 brand in the world for skincare and used by the Queen herself I didn't think I could go wrong. I knew that Clarins were on gift in Boots, firstly they had a £10 worth of points offer with any two purchases. The second week the same deal also incorporated a gift with purchase which was a choice of three products to try. Before you all raise your eyebrows at me, I did not purchase this all at once. Tactical buying meant £20 worth of points and some nice freebies which I was of course very happy about. Expect reviews appearing on the blog in the near future, once I've felt I've really settled in to having the new products in my regimen.

On to the products. My first purchase was a repurchase of the Gentle Exfoliating Brightening Toner, I cannot live without this stuff. A review will be on it's way later on in the week because I've given this a good few months to work it's magic and it's love. I also bought along with that the Gentle Peeling Smooth Away Cream. I've used this once and so far so good, softer smoother skin is always my goal and I was after the perfect mask-type product to help me get that.

On my next trip I bought the Pure Melt Cleansing Gel - I'd been given a sample of this on my first trip, I'd been wanting to try it and I don't think I'll be looking back. It's the perfect first step in my double cleanse regimen and I looooove it. With that many o's, yes. To get the points I said I wasn't really happy with any moisturisers I've tried, I was recommended the Daily Energizer Cream which is actually more like a cream/gel consistency. Probably running a common theme here but I'm also very happy with that so far. My freebies of choice were; the Beauty Flash Balm - always wanted to try this, the Water Purify One Step Cleanser - need to read up a bit about this, and the One Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser - my colleague said this broke her out so I'm a Wary Wendy about trying this!

The lovely Clarins staff very kindly sent me away with tonnes of samples to try too. They literally have millions of mini's hidden in their counter drawers so if you are genuinely interested in trying something from them, ask about it and how the product works and more than likely they'll have a sample size they will let you try. Don't just say 'You got any free stuff or samples I can have' though, it's kind of rude and consultants hate that (trust me!) 

All in all a good little skincare haul. I don't want to think about the cost, you can do the googling yourself but I do think it's money well spent in the long run as I won't be running out of anything for a while. I will keep you posted on how I get on with these things!

-Emma xx

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Bobbi Brown Sheer Lip Color

On a recent shopping trip I picked up my first ever Bobbi Brown lipstick (first ever? I know right) And it's safe to say I absolutely fell in love with it/all of them. The shade I originally wanted was called Hibiscus, and I also liked the look of Soft Coral but for a nice every day sheer wash of colour, Peachy was my pick. The shade is pretty much self explanatory, it's a warm soft pink with a very peachy hue to it. I would say in the stick it looks darker than it is on the lips. It also has the tiniest bit of shimmer running through it - not enough to be old lady lips though - it just adds to the glossy effect. 

The formula is nice, it could be creamier for my personal liking but it does give a nice light sheer application of colour. It doesn't feel thick or tacky, the shape of the lipstick helps you apply it on the go as it's rounded off much like the YSL Rouge Veloupte Shine lipsticks. You don't need a mirror to wack this on so it's an easy handbag favourite. The packaging is classically Bobbi, chic and black which is what I like from my packaging - fuss and gimmick free. There are many varieties of lipstick and many shades that the brand offers so I will definitely be going back and trying more. 

I love this sheer kind of colour when I want a minimal makeup look or when I want a tiny bit of colour if I'm gong heavier on the eyes. Sheer lipsticks are a favourite sort of formula for me as I don't often like to look 'too done up' and this shade is perfect for enhancing my natural lip colour, making it that bit Peachier, as the name would suggest. I find the Bobbi Brown range to be nourishing and fairly pigmented for a sheer kind of lipstick, they aren't as glossy as a Revlon Lip Butter but last a lot longer, I'd say that the lip butters feel stickier to wear. Lipsticks that are similar in formula that get a thumbs up from me are the Lancome L'Absolue Nu range, the YSL Sheer range and the Sheer and Stickgloss ranges from Laura Mercier. 

I will be sure to pick up more of these on my next trip to a Bobbi Brown counter! It's the sort of lipstick you can't go wrong with and a purchase I do not regret one bit. I'm also interested in doing one of their 10 Steps makeup lessons - anyone ever given one of those a go? 

-Emma xx

Lancome Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover

Bi-Facil is a part water - part sillicone based eye makeup remover that I would happily describe as King of all eye makeup removers. All you have to do is give the product a shake to combine it, pour a little on to a cotton pad, hold over eye makeup, wait a few seconds and swipe off. It's just that simple. This is probably a little dull to have a full blog post dedicated to it, but trust me, it's just that good.

Although I double cleanse, I always take my eye makeup off separately. I have extremely sensitive eyes and even the most gentle cleansers that are said to be safe around the area make me blind and watery and fumbling around the bathroom aimlessly for a towel. Plus it's just a whole lot less messy not to get the eye makeup I've been wearing all day smeared all over my face - the way I see it is that you're making more mess to cleanse off a few minutes later. 

Yes Bioderma is good. Yes the No 7 one is good. Yes the Clarins version is also okay and various removers do the job, but not as quick or effectively as Bi-Facil. It isn't oily or greasy which I like, although it does leave a weird sort of film-y residue which I don't mind as it is easily wiped off or cleansed off.

Happy I am that I've finally found an eye makeup remover that doesn't sting my little peepers. Sad could possibly be the word when it comes to the price - £21. It is worth it and it makes makeup removal 10 x easier before a cleanse. That being said, Lancome often use this as a step up product or it is often included in free gifts and things so it's worth having a look! Would I go and get another bottle once mine is dead? Well I already have a backup ready in waiting so the answer is most definitely yes.

- Emma xx

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer

I first saw this concealer applied to a friend during a makeover at the Laura Mercier counter and although the product wasn't being put on me personally I could instantly see the difference it made. Her skin was more even and genuinely looked flawless yet still like skin. As of that day I was determined to own Laura Mercier's Secret Camouflage Concealer and now that I do, it certainly doesn't disappoint. 

The compact contains two shades that can be used alone or mixed together for a precise colour match. I like the more salmon/pink toned shade alone to cancel out dark circles under my eyes before I apply foundation, both shades are really good at colour correcting the skin and the pink works well to balance out under eye shadows. It can be a little drying for under the eyes if you have an issue with your eye area not being hydrated enough, I haven't had a problem with this but I would recommend the Secret Concealer or Eye Canvas if you wanted a concealer specifically for that area they are both a little more emollient. For the rest of the face I either mix the shades or apply the more yellow toned shade where I need it. The coverage is fantastic, yet it doesn't look heavy and can be used in conjunction with foundation for a flawless base or alone/with a tinted moisturiser for a less done up look that still looks like a perfected version of your skin. It stays put all day, I never need to worry about my concealer disappearing when I'm wearing this! The consistency is waxy and I find that the concealer works equally well on my drier and more oily areas. 

I find that with this concealer (and most that I use that come in pot or compact form) the most effective way to make your makeup look flawless yet still natural as putting it underneath whatever foundation you may be using that day. This way the concealer doesn't change the finish of the foundation which will make your skin look more even. With this one in particular you have to make sure the product is warm-ish as application is a little easier once warmed up on the back of your hand or with fingers. I usually hate using fingers to apply product but it does help make the product look it's most natural. If I'm not using my fingers I like to apply it with an Urban Decay Eyeshadow shader brush - the one that actually came with the original Naked Palette - as I find the synthetic brush hairs strong enough to pick up the amount of product I like and distribute the product evenly.

Overall I'm so happy with this little compact, it's versatile enough for everyday use and for when you want a more flawless evening look. I've even used it on friends and they've also fallen in love with it too! I will definitely be repurchasing this once I've finished it because it's such a reliable product I've come to depend on for everyday use.

Have you ever tried a Laura Mercier Concealer? 

-Emma xx

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Wednesday Wishlist

I didn't do one of these last week, not because I forgot but because I was so overwhelmed by things I had bought recently I felt like I would seem a very 'never satisfied' type if I documented that I wanted a million more things. That being said, my beauty wishlist is ever growing and would probably be as long as my leg if I wrote it out on paper. Here's what I'm coveting this week:

1. Jouer Creme Eyesahdow Crayons - £19. Cream eyeshadows are the ultimate lazy girl's makeup dream, just draw on and smudge a little and voila - masterpeice. I love my Clinique and my Topshop picks but the offerings from Jouer are definitely want-worthy! I've read great reviews about them and there isn't a shade that I wouldn't use in the range. At £19 a pop it's a costly investment if you want more than one but I can't help wanting to try them!

2. Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control Cream -£18. I am usually happy with getting my SPF from my makeup, but as Summer is approaching (hopefully) a facial SPF is vital, especially since my upcoming holiday this year is possibly the hottest place on Earth. I'm not going to be opting for the factor 50 as I don't tend to burn in the sun but when that holiday of mine comes I will be wanting extra protection from those UVA and UVB rays and hydration for my face all in one.

3. Clarins Blue Orchid Oil for Dehydrated Skin -£30 Milkteef's post on this sold it to me, I had been considering a facial oil for a while and I think this will be my choice of weapon. Clarins also have their free gift on at the minute so I will be making the most of that with the both the Clarins products listed here.

4. Emma Hardie Amazing Face Cleansing Balm -£34 Consider this bandwagon ready to be jumped on. I've heard amazing things from online people and real life people and people who are a mixture of both and I can't ignore the hype any longer. I've not found 'the one' in terms of cleanser so next payday I will be pressing checkout and awaiting the arrival of Emma. I'm hoping a name-sharer will not let me down!

5. Topshop Miller Stitch Detail Boots -£40 I keep walking past these boots and fantasising about wearing them. They look so perfect for summer as the stitching mimics the folksy trends that are currently taking place. Paired with skinny jeans or even with a cute cream coloured summer dress and leather jacket to grunge it up a bit - I think these are on my 'saved for payday' list.

6. Laura Mercier Creme Smooth Lipsticks - £20 I haven't listed one shade in particular because I want them all. No exaggeration. Arabesque, Mango and Tangerine look like my next picks in the range though. I really can't get over how lovely the formula is - so creamy and comfortable to wear. Unlike a lot of lipsticks these don't irritate me after a while and they just feel so darned good on, I urge you to try one asap!

-Emma xx

Tuesday, 14 May 2013


Today's makeup was a mixture of complete boredom and wanting to do something a little different. I love a smokey eye, but I wanted to hitch it up a notch and go for something more 'Olsen' inspired. Saying that, when my boyfriend came home he did ask me why I looked like Taylor Momsen. I dont know if this means this look epically fails or if his brain has created a permanent link to Taylor whenever eyeshadow is seen. I'm unsure if the look has translated well enough to camera, I basically did my usual base makeup but when it came to the eyeshadow I took it all the way round and made it a lot more intense than I usually do, pulling it down under my eyes to give it a more 'lived in' edge. Like usual I apologise for my inability to pose like a regualr human being, the camera hates me.

On to the makeup; I started with my base which was typically one of my go-to foundations; Nars Sheer Glow in Deauville. I skipped concealer as my skin is looking okay at the minute and went straight on to bronzer (Clarins Bronzing Duo) and added a bit of glow with my Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Nectar - this part wasn't so 'grunge' but true to my personal glowy-cheek preferences. I filled in my brows a little with my Nyx Cake Powder for Brows and then it was onto my eyes. 

Making use of my beloved Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for Eyes in Fuller Fudge, I scribbled it all over the lid packing on the colour on my lid and under the eyes too. I then took a Hakuhodo brush and blended the edges making it softer all the way round. For depth I added Smog and then a bit of Darkhorse from my Naked and Naked 2 palettes on the out corners and underneath my eyes. I lined my eyes, waterline and all, with my L'Oreal Superliner Felt Tip and softened that even more with the matte black shade from the Naked 2 palette. I brought the shadow further down under the eyes than I usually would do, this was to attempt to create that 'lived in'  look that the Olsen sisters so often sport, I think this is what gives the look more of an edge than I typically go for as usually I won't even put much mascara on my bottom lashes so eyeshadow there is usually a no-go. Although I forgot to add this in the photograph, I used my Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara for lots of lashes, top and bottom. 

For lips I put on a bit of my L'Oreal Rouge Caresse in 301 which I really like the formula of. If I was sticking true to the Olsen style I would have attempted a nude lip, but on me a nude lip looks more like 2002 J-Lo than Kardashian cool. Sad times. 

For a more simplistic and less heavy version of this I would just stick to using the Chubby stick alone with a matte black shadow to line the eyes with. However with everything else minimal I think this kind of works? What do you think?

-Emma xx

Monday, 13 May 2013

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation

Since I have had this foundation from perhaps January, I decided a review was long overdue! Especially considering that this is my all time favourite foundation, from probably my all time favourite makeup brand - yes that little soft spot I have for Francois Nars' makeup line is growing everyday - I have never come across a bad or disappointing product from them.

Fistly I'll start with the packaging - simplistic yet chic in a glass bottle this is not travel friendly as it's fairly heavy. However I do think that glass packaging is expected of a premium brand, I personally think it looks instantly more expensive and generally better than anything plastic. The lid can get grubby quickly like all Nars packaging (but it's nothing Lancome's Bi-Facil couldn't sort out) When the lid is removed a smaller one is revealed, which is then unscrewed to reveal the product. Sheer Glow comes without a pump but you can buy pumps separately from Nars for £3.00 - which I need to do!

The formula of Nars Sheer Glow is just lovely. It is a water based foundation and so is quite runny in consistency. Before using the product give it a shake just to ensure it isn't separated when you apply it. The foundation has no SPF in it, which I prefer as this means it photographs in and out of flash beautifully and why it is a favourite of mine for evenings out or in flash photography situations (if you're on a night out and going to be a drunken mess, at least ensure you aren't a drunken ghostly mess with 'flashback face') The formula claims to contain powerful anti-oxidants to protect against damaging free radicals. There is also Turmeric extract included which is supposed to even the tone of the skin. As I swap and change foundations regularly I haven't noticed this specifically but that doesn't stop me loving it nonetheless and appreciating the skincare advantages!

Francois Nars himself does suggest the warmth of the fingers helps when applying this foundation and I have tried this and it does give a really nice smooth and perfected base. However for everyday use I don't tend to stray from my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush and find this perfect for working it into the skin and is generally a lot less messy. 

The finish of Nars Sheer Glow isn't overly glowy, so if you are in favour of a matte finish don't rule this out. I find it isn't as glowy as foundations like YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat which gives an all over the face glow, yet when the light hits the high points of the face when you're wearing Sheer Glow it does give an almost high lighted effect which just looks really radiant and lovely rather than too glowy (which can sometimes borderline on greasy) The coverage can vary between light to medium depending on how much you apply, I think the finish is absolutely gorgeous and even if you just apply a little it makes such a difference to the skin. On me this foundation lasts a good 8 hours or so before touch ups are needed. I have the shade Deauville which is Light 4. As there isn't a Nars counter near me it was a complete guess after an hour of looking at Google swatches before I ordered. It was between Gobi and Deauville but luckily it's Deuville absolutely perfect for me as the warm yellow tone to it suits the yellow undertone to my skin really well yet it's still a pale shade.

I have four foundations that I receive compliments on almost every time I wear them, but this is the most common answer when people ask me 'what have you got on your skin?' It is my go-to foundation the majority of the time, and if I'm not wearing this then you'll most probably find me wearing Lancome's Teint Miracle or my Laura Mercier Silk Creme. It's comfortable to wear for a long period of time and I will definitely repurchase this soon, probably before I've even finished the bottle I'm using now knowing me!

If you haven't tried this yet then you need to, on my normal-ish skin it lasts well and looks nice all day so I can imagine it would work for most skin types as it sits on my drier and oilier parts well. If you're a dry skin have a good exfoliate before you apply this just to be on the safe side and an oilier skin may need a blotting powder. Nars have an extensive shade range of 20 shades so there is something for everyone. Sheer Glow retails at £30.50 but it's worth every penny (if you'd spend that much on a dress you'd wear once, why not on something for your face which you wear everyday?!)

  Overall a beautiful finish that blends flawlessly into the skin leaving smooth, radiant and healthy looking skin. Can you tell I love this foundation? My next purchase will definitely be the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer to go with this, I'm expecting skin miracles!

Have you tried this foundation before?

-Emma xx

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Topshop Eye Crayons

I'm very much enjoying wearing cream shadows at the minute and these TopShop Eye Crayons are no different - they're something I've been enjoying using for a while now. Although I do tend to turn to more high end brands for my makeup picks these days, the Topshop makeup line always seems to be something I wander over to whilst shopping!

The TopShop Eye Crayons apply with a pretty impressive colour pay off - I was pleasantly surprised from a brand that is better known for their clothing rather than cosmetics. I particularly like Marble all over the lid, and I find Rust to be a gorgeous shade for bringing out blue eyes as it's the perfect warm bronze colour for Spring/Summer. I have the gold shade too (God knows why I thought I needed to buy three?) and although I like the gold one, it's my least favourite on me personally as it's quite a bright yellowy gold (It still looks pretty as a base for Urban Decay's Half Baked though for example) With these you can use them as a base for powder eyeshadow to sit on top of (a great way to increase colour intensity and longevity) or you can wear them alone and they do last a good 6 hours or so before they start to disappear.

Unfortunately you have to sharpen these which means any other lazybones out there in the club may know what I mean when you feel like you're scratching your eyes out because you can't be bothered to find a sharpener. Sharpening also obviously means you're missing out on some product which is wasteful and a shame. One thing I do like about Topshop makeup is the packaging, dispite the fact it does tend to get grubby it is quite cute and doesn't look cheap like other inexpensive brands can.

So 'how do they compare to my Clinique Chubby Stick Tint for Eyes' is the killer question here. I will say they put up a good fight - you have good pigmentation, but they aren't as smooth in application as Clinique's. And they do last on the lids, a little less longer than Clinique's. The shade range isn't as extensive and the formula isn't as easy to blend or as creamy but when you're paying a fraction of the price then that makes sense. As you sharpen them you lose product but you also get a pointed nib which some people might find easier to use than Clinique's Chubby Sticks round ended nibs. They do tend to crease a little more but overall if you didn't want to pay the price tag of a Chubby Stick, which I personally prefer, and wanted to try a cream shadow pencil then definitely I'd recommend these.

Next on my cream shadow hitlist are the Bobbi Brown creamy pencils along with the Jouer ones. Both look like something I would enjoy using.

-Emma xx

Face of the (Other) Day

This look is from last week - I had to add this in as I've recently had my hair lightened and didn't want to confuse any real-life friends of mine! I've been slow on the blogging front as the boy and I are currently house hunting which is proving to be quite stressful!

Anyway, this particular morning consisted of a driving lesson, planning an event for my counter at work and a run, an abdominal workout and a dog walk all in one. So you can imagine when it came to showering and getting ready after a particularly sweaty and busy morning that I put a little effort into my makeup. I still went for a minimal look because if I remember correctly the prospects of that particular evening didn't look too exciting. I'm trialling Chanel Vita Lumiere Aqua here and this is probably the second or third time I had worn it since receiving the sample. My skin wasn't fab that week but this foundation evens the tone nicely and gives me a nice glow. I really like this finish of this and it photographs well, it's very natural but flawless but I'm undecided whether to purchase the full size. I concealed my blemishes with my Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer (review coming soon) and applied just a touch of my Clarins Bronzing Duo with my Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Nectar - this is a combination I've been loving so much recently. For the eyes I used Vanilla pigment from Mac with Buck from my Naked Palette as I wanted a fuss free look, I added Lancome Hypnose Macara and filled in the brows which I think look a little too heavy here with my Nyx Cake Powder for brows. On my lips here is a slick of Laura Mercier's Creme Smooth Lipstick in Pink Pout, a lipstick that has truly made me fall in love with the range and itching to buy more shades!

What do you think of this simple yet still 'done' sort of look, do you ever do anything similar? 

-Emma xx

Friday, 3 May 2013

Laura Mercier Illuminating Eye Colour in Fire Glow

This was part of my little splurge last week in House of Fraser. I saw it and before I'd had any chance to think rationally I'd told the MUA to get me one. Fire Glow is part of the Folk Lore collection that Laura Mercier are cuurently selling - I think the whole collection is really pretty. 

Fire Glow is such a pretty warm copper colour and I think it really makes blue eyes pop just that little bit more! It's absolutely stunning and looks beautiful when other makeup is minimised so it can stand out a little. By that I mean don't over-do anything else on the face, just a little slick of pink gloss on lips and not too much colour on the cheeks but really build up the colour like in my picture - this requires about 3 layers or 3 goes on application. That's how I have been wearing it since I've bought it but I do think when the colour is built up like in my swatch and demonstration it is difficult to wear during the day as it's so bright. However when I use a fluffy brush and don't layer up the colour by just applying the once it just gives a lovely wash and warms up any eye look which a lot easier to wear in the day one wash doesn't come off as orange on the skin as in my picture. 

Fire Glow would suit a variety of skin colours, as it would illuminate a black skin and look lovely when built up to full opacity. On a pale person like myself just a wash of it is all you need for a bit of a glow. It will be lovely for Summer and for when my skin has a little bit more of a tan. This shadow was £18.50 although I was in on a day where there was 10% off (definitely unlike me in terms of 'luck'!) 

The formula is lovely and soft and I don't find any fall out or flakiness upon application. If the warm copper shade isn't for you there is also a beautiful gold and a chocolate brown in the collection too!

-Emma xx

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Wednesday Wishlist

1. Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Makeup -  I've been eyeing up the new Chanel powder ever since I heard about it launching! It can be used as an all over powder to perfect your look and give you a glow or depending on your shade choice you can use it for a bronzer or contour colour. My friend bought this last week and I was super jealous, I just can't decide which shade to go for!

2. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer - These are brand new from Nars but Wayne Goss has already given it HG status. I need a liquid concealer that isn't Double Wear or a drugstore one so I definitely would like to pick one of these up soon.

3. Topshop Chain Fabric Multiow Collar Necklace -  I've not tried out the chunky necklace trend yet, I like them on other people but my choices accessory wise are always pretty safe and because I'm so petite I just always figured they'd weigh me down and look a bit too big. I think they're a nice way to update an outfit though and some girls look so chic and sophisticated in them, it makes me want to give it a try!

4. Mac Neutrals Palette - I'm itching to have a completed double sided Mac palette full of more lovely neutral colours than I'll probably ever need. I'm starting to build mine as soon as I can get to the Mac store in Nottingham! The more videos and posts I see about them, the more I want a completed one!

5. Nars Eyeshadow Duo in Isolde - Another must have product from one of my favourite brands. I must admit there are plenty of shades that are absolutely beautiful and I know when I go to the counter that it'll be hard to pick, but I definitely want to treat myself to at least one of these (I say at least because I shop like things will explode if I don't buy them)

6. Topshop Twistlock Luggage Bag - Soon I'll be moving house and splitting my time between living in Yorkshire with David and living and working at home with my Mum. I'll need a bag to come back and forth with me on my weekly travels and I love this Topshop one, it's no Louis Vuitton or Michael Kors but I still think it's classy yet big enough to fit everything I could possibly need to take with me.