Saturday, 18 April 2015

My Favourite MAC Products


It occurred to me the other day that I've never actually shared my favourite MAC products here on my blog. I've reviewed endless amounts of MAC lipsticks and done the odd MAC haul here and there but have never once talked about my go-to MAC products, the ones I always go back to and the ones I'll always repurchase! With that being said, I thought it was about time to pull my finger out and show you my MAC faves. I think I've tried almost every kind of product MAC has to offer from pigments to blush, foundation and eyeliners and while I've been impressed by most of the products I've tried, the ones in this post are the ones that have really stood out to me, minus 'Smolder' eye shadow as I didn't have one at hand to photograph. I hope you enjoy reading a bit more about them and why they're my favourites!


I don't think anyone favourite MAC products post would be complete without a few lipsticks, would it? MAC are famous for their fabulous range of lipsticks and rightly so too as they're amazing! I love their HUGE colour choice, their range of finishes and the packaging - its just so sleek. I have quite the collection (around 13 - and that's after getting rid of a good few) but my top three favourites would have to be Brave which is the perfect dusky pink day time shade, Girl About Town which is a vibrant berry pink and Lady Danger, a bright orange toned red. As you can probably see from the image above, I've worn these lipsticks a lot and they're my go-to's when choosing a lipstick for day or night. I could have probably included more of MAC's lipsticks in this post as there's so many I love but if you're thinking of buying one, be sure to make it one of these!

Following on with lips, another big favourite of mine is 'Soar' lip liner and although I only bought this a few months ago, I've already worn it so much! I was inspired to buy this after people said this is what Kylie Jenner uses to achieve her famous pout. I'm not too bothered about making my lips look huge like Kylie's but I love that whole nineties inspired lip trend and she works it perfectly so I figured this would be worth a try. I'm so pleased I bought it as its the perfect every day muted pink shade and paired with 'Brave' lipstick it makes the most lovely natural yet glamourous looking lip. I like to wear this both day and night and since trying this I've bought another two of MAC's lip liners which I'll be blogging about very soon.

If I had to pick only one powder to use for the rest of my life, it would be this one. I've never found a powder / setting product that even comes close to this and I really wouldn't be without it. As you can see from the photos, I'm completely out of it but I immediately made a repurchase as soon as I hit pan. This product is a complete miracle worker in my eye - it sets foundation beautifully, gives my skin an almost airbrushed finish and adds some warmth to my skin tone too. I use the shade Medium Plus and its perfect for warming my skin up just a touch without making it look organe or caked in makeup. I actually want to get myself a few more shades of this powder as I hear they're also very good to use as bronzer or under eye setting powders. If you haven't tried this yet and want to create a really flawless base, its a total must have!


I bought this product towards the end of last year after being recommended it so many times on Twitter and I'm so glad I did as its my favourite concealer ever, hands down. I actually bought it years ago but got the wrong colour and ended up giving it to my boyfriends mum as I hated it on me. However, now I have the right colour (NC20 if you're wondering), I'm completely in love with it as an under eye concealer and highlighter. I've never used anything that covers dark circles and redness as well as this and because the shade I have is slightly lighter than my skin tone, it really brightens up my complexion too. Its definitely a full coverage concealer but I don't feel like its too heavy or cake at all - in fact, I can barely feel it on my skin when I'm wearing it. This is a must have for me!

Another highlighting product I love from MAC is their Prep & Prime pen in the shade 'Light Boost' which is a yellow toned liquid. I absolutely love using this over the Pro Longwear concealer to really give me some light under my eyes and its also great to use down the centre of the nose, forehead, cupids bow and I even dab a bit on my chin. Its great for achieving that whole Kim K contoured and highlighted effect and I already know I'll be using this when it runs out as it brightens up my whole face without the need for much effort at all. I simply twist the product up, dab it on where I want it and blend it in - simples!

This was one of the first products I ever tried from MAC as I remember watching back to back 'top 5 MAC products' videos on Youtube and this was mentioned in almost all of them. If you want a champagne highlighter with a  beautiful metallic sheen and something that will make your skin glow, this is it. I've never found a highlighter I love more than this one and when dusted across the top of my cheekbones and down the centre of my nose, it makes me skin look so much more radiant than it does without it. I sometimes use it to highlight under my brow bone, the inner corner of my eyes or my collarbone / shins too. You can even use it as an eyeshadow so it really is a great multi-purpose product. I also love how long it lasts - even with daily use, it would take me a good twelve months to hit pan on one of these as you only need the tiniest amount with each use.

What are your favourite MAC products? Is there anything I really need to try?
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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Zoeva Bamboo Vol 2 Brush Set Review

 

As I'm sure you all know by now as I've raved about them more than once, Zoeva are one of my favourite brands for makeup brushes. I've been lucky enough to try two of their sets in the past and have been totally impressed with both the design and quality of their products. I was recently sent their brand new Bamboo Vol 2 brush set* and I just can't wait to share them as they're so beautiful. If you love the Zoeva rose gold brushes, I think you're going to love these ones too!

Firstly I have to talk about the appearance of the brushes. As with all Zoeva products, the packaging and general look of the brushes are simply stunning. The Bamboo set come in a lovely eco luxe reusable tube with gold detailing as well as a gorgeous nude makeup clutch to ensure you can truly travel in style with these brushes. I'm always using the clutch bag when I'm travelling to keep my brushes separate from my makeup - I wouldn't be without it. The brushes themselves have been designed with genuine bamboo handles, beautiful gold ferrules and soft vegan friendly Taklon bristles. They're so pretty to look at and I love that they've been made with with natural and vegan friendly products.


The set includes eight brushes in total - five face brushes and a trio of eye brushes. Here's a brief description of each and what you can use them for:

103 Defined Buffer Brush - This small angled brush with a flat top is ideal for applying liquid foundation precisely. Its a bit smaller than your typical foundation brush but it does the job just as well and because of the small size you can really work the product into tricky areas like around the eyes, nose and mouth. 

105 Highlight Brush - This brush is unlike many others I own as it has tapered bristles to create a dome like shape. This is a great multi-purpose brush and can be used the set under eye concealers or be used with contour products or highlighters. A great multi-tasker and one of my favourites in this set!

109 Face Paint Brush - This brush is great for contouring the face due to its square, thin and flat shape. It can be worked under the cheekbones or down the sides of the face to add some definition. This is a great brush to own if you love to contour but find it quite difficult as it makes the task so much easier!

128 Cream Cheek Brush - This angled brush is one of my favourites as it can be used for contouring, blush or applying highlighter to the top of the cheekbones. It blends products beautifully and is just the right size!


L-R: Wing Liner, Classic Shader, Concealer and Buffer Brush, Soft Definer, Face Paint, Cream Cheek, Highlight and Defined Buffer

142 Concealer and Buffer Brush - I'm a huge fan of concealer brushes as I think they make all the difference when blending concealer seamlessly into the skin and covering dark circles or redness. This one has a round top with dense bristles to really help buff the product into the skin and hard to get to areas. I really love this brush and it might just be my favourite from the whole collection.

227 Soft Definer Brush - Everyone needs a fluffy eye shadow brush in their lives as blending is key when it comes to applying eye shadow. This brush does all the work for you - simply apply eye shadow to the crease and then use this brush in quick circular movements to buff and blend the eye shadow so it looks seamless. This one is a must have!

232 Classic Shader Brush - Much like the fluffy brush, its also so important to have a brush you can apply shadow to the lid with. This shader brush applies shadow effortlessly and makes the job super easy. Use it with the soft definer brush and they're all you need to define your eyes!

317 Wing Liner Brush - I don't really use gel liners so this brush probably won't be used all that much but if you're a gel liner kinda girl, this fine angled brush is perfect for applying it. You could also use it on eyebrows but I find it a bit too fine and flexible for that personally.

As you can see, you get such a great range of brushes in this set and you could easily apply a full face of makup with them so its a great set to get if you're a beginner and just getting into applying makeup. Or if you're makeup mad like me and can never have too many makeup brushes!

This set is available to buy here from Beauty Bay for £56.95 with free delivery and they're well worth that price as it works out at just over £7.00 per brush! Quite the bargain I'd say!
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Sunday, 12 April 2015

Foreo Luna Mini Review


Over the past year or so, I've really started to get into skincare and a proper regime both morning and night. Okay so I don't always stick to it religiously (lets face it, we all use a face wipe now and then) but I think getting into the routine of cleansing twice a day makes a huge difference - I've noticed the texture and overall appearance of my skin has improved since doing so and I just love that feeling of getting home from work, taking all my makeup off and slathering on some moisturiser. 

With this being said, I was very excited to try a new gadget that can help with the cleansing process, the Foreo Luna Mini* cleansing device. I've tried a cleansing brush in the past and really enjoyed using it so I was looking forward to trying this to see if I loved it just as much. Its worth me pointing out that my skin is on the sensitive side but other than the odd hormonal breakout, I'm quite lucky in the respect my skin is pretty clear. However, sensitivity is a huge issue and if I use products with strong chemical ingredients or anything too abrasive on my face, my skin burns up and goes bright red. It might be worth baring that in mind whilst reading this review.


So, the first thing I have to mention about the Luna Mini is the packaging - unlike cleansing brushes that can be quite bulky and heavy, the Luna Mini is small, compact and as light as a feather. It comes in a range of colours but being the girly girl I am, I obviously chose the pastel pink. Isn't it cute? Another thing I really like about the packaging is that is does't require anything to be changed - with traditional cleansing brushes, they often need replacement heads every few months but because this is designed with silicone, that isn't essential. The silicone also means it's really easy to clean and a lot more hygienic than a brush as silicone is nonporous so its resistant to bacteria buildup and doesn’t absorb dirt and oil. This is a big plus point for me as it saves me a lot of faffing around and encourages me to use it more frequently. It also lasts a really long time without the need to re-charge (it can be used 300 times without the need to charge according to Foreo) which is great for travelling. Overall, I'm highly impressed with the look and design of this product.

So, moving on to the science side of things which I'm not all that great at explaining, here's an explanation of what this product is and what it can do for the skin, from Foreo themselves. "The LUNA™ mini is an innovative facial-cleansing device that directs T-Sonic™ pulsations through an ultra-hygienic silicone brush. T-Sonic™ technology which provides thorough yet gentle cleaning by channeling transdermal sonic pulsations across the skin’s surface, the device will give your skin a smoother and more refined appearance in just three days. It effectively removes makeup, dirt and excess oil, whilst the 1300 non-abrasive touch points are coated in smooth silicone to create the feel of a facial, whilst the three different zones ensure that it's suitable for all skin types. Fully rechargeable and waterproof, it will leave your skin looking brighter, clearer and healthier."

As Foreo have said, the Luna Mini assists in the cleansing process by directing pulsations through a silicone brush and it has two sides with different shape bristles so you can use it depending on what type of cleanse you need. There's thinner touch-points on one side to gently cleanse, thicker touch-points grouped at the top for precision cleansing and broad touch-points on the reverse side for channeling pulsations more directly to cleanse and refresh oilier skin. At first I was a little unsure how this would feel on my skin as the silicone 'bristles' are very soft to the touch and I was concerned they wouldn't have enough force to get into my skin and really cleanse it. However, on first use I was very pleasantly surprised as it's super gentle and very soothing but still cleanses the skin really well.  As Foreo said, it has that lovely relaxing feeling of a facial when I use it. I really like this as although I do like traditional cleansing brushes, I always have to use them on the most sensitive setting and even then, they can be slightly abrasive and a little too harsh for my skin. 

The way I've been using the Luna Mini is to remove my makeup first with my Elemis Cleansing Balm and then go in with a second cleanse using this to ensure I've really worked the product into my pores and removed any excess dirt or oil that might have been left on my face. It can also be used with any kind of cleanser and is fully waterproof so can also be used in the shower if that's where you prefer to wash your face. To turn the device on you simply press the button on the front and it will instantly begin with high intensity vibrations. I find this is still really gentle on my skin despite being the most intense setting but if you want to turn it down for a more gentle cleanse, you simply press the button again and it reduces the intensity which is great if you have really sensitive skin. Another great thing about it is that it will automatically pause after 15 second intervals so you know when its time to move to a different area of the face. I like to do my cheeks first, then my forehead and finally my nose and chin where I like to use it for a little longer as that's where I'm prone to oil and pores. After use, you simply press the middle button again to turn it off, run it under the tap and leave it to dry for your next use - it's as easy as that.
I've found that this product really does help my skin to feel a lot more soft and smooth as well as looking a lot more radiant. I also find my makeup applies much better if I've used this first as it creates a smooth base for my makeup to glide on to. In terms of getting rid of blemishes, I can't really comment as other than the odd hormonal breakout, I'm quite lucky in the respect breakouts aren't something I suffer with. However, it definitely helps with deep cleansing of the skin and removing grime and oil that can sometimes be left behind after cleansing with the hands alone. In this respect, I think it would really help someone with blemish prone skin after continued use.

Overall I think this is a great device and if I had to choose between the Luna Mini and a regular cleansing brush, I'd definitely choose this! It does the same job in the respect that it cleans my skin effectively and makes it smooth and clear but it's also much less abrasive so I feel like its doing my skin more good. Its probably not an essential tool for someone with good skin but if you're someone who really wants to look after your skin, this is a great product to invest it. It costs £99 which I think is pretty reasonable for something you're going to use every day and something that will last for years. It's available to buy in a range of colours from ASOSLook Fantastic and Boots, all of which often have offers and discounts so keep your eyes peeled for those if this is something you're interested in.
Do you like the sound of the Foreo Luna Mini? Is it something you would invest in?
Collaboration with Foreo. All opinions are my own*
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Thursday, 9 April 2015

Elemis 'Skin Radiance Face & Body Collection' Exclusive to QVC


As I'm sure you all know by now as I rave about their products ALL the time, Elemis is my favourite skincare brand, hands down. I've tried a huge range of their products now and haven't been let down by any of them. They do exactly what they say they will, never give my skin any adverse reactions and they always leave me feeling like I've just had a pamper at an expensive spa. I just love love love them! The only thing that isn't so great is their price tags - Elemis products are known to be quite expensive and whilst I think they're completely worth the price tag, I know not everyone can afford to spend a lot of money on their skincare.

With this being said, it's always exciting when QVC launch limited edition collections of Elemis products at heavily discounted prices. Their up and coming TSV which stands for Today's Special Value and lasts for one day only is their Elemis 'Skin Radiance Face & Body Collection' which includes seven of the brands fabulous skin and body care products. Due to launch at midnight on Sunday 12th April, this limited edition kit will be sure to get both your face and body looking radiant in time for the Summer sun.


The set includes four skincare products and three body products so there's a great mixture and having tried every single one of the products myself, I can assure you they're all amazing. There's two of my all time favourite Elemis products included - the Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm and the Pro Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream. The Pro Collagen range is absolutely fantastic and if you know me personally, you'll know I'm forever recommending it. The cleansing balm literally melts away all of my makeup in a matter of minutes and leaves my skin feeling soft, supple and hydrated. The night cream is perfect to use after the cleanser and although it's a highly hydrating and thick cream, it has a lightweight gel like formula that sinks into the skin straight away leaving no sticky residue. My skin always looks so healthy and radiant after using these two products so I can see why they're included them in a skin radiance kit! 

The other two skincare products are fairly new additions to the Elemis range but again, they're both fantastic. The Total Glow Bronzing Moisturiser is perfect to use underneath makeup as its lightweight whilst still providing a dose of moisture - its also enriched with skin boosting ingredients like green tea and ginger whilst gradually building a natural looking tan with continued use. Finally, the eye and lip makeup remover has an oil based formula and it removes heavy eye and lip makeup in one simple swipe. This is great if you're like me and you love to wear black eyeliner and bold lips. There's nothing worse than having to scrub at the skin to try and remove makeup so this product makes that task a lot easier.

The body products are just as lovely with the trio being from Elemis's Frangipani Monoi range which smells incredible. You get a shower cream and body cream, both of which are full size products and a sample size body oil. The three of them work beautifully together and leave my skin feeling so soft and smooth. Plus, who doesn't love slathering themselves in yummy scented body products? It always feels like such a treat and great for a pamper night.

 

Here's a little breakdown of what's included in the collection:

Pro Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream, 30ml (special size) - worth £60
Total Glow Moisturiser for face, 50ml full size - with £30.00
White Flowers Eye and Lip Makeup Remover, 28ml - worth £5.00
Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, 30g - worth £14.00
Frangipani Monoi Shower Cream, 200ml full size - worth £24.00
Frangipani Monoi Body Cream, 200ml full size - worth £24.00
Frangapani Monoi Body Oil, 35ml - worth £15.00

Now for the exciting part - the price! This collection is being sold on QVC's Today's Special Value and for one day only, you can get all of these products inside a lovely clear wash bag (I'm already planning to use mine for my holiday) for under £55, despite the contents being worth over £170. Amazing right? If Elemis is a brand you've always wanted to try, now is the time to do so as you won't find their products cheaper than this anywhere else. I also think this would make the perfect gift so if a special lady in your life has a birthday coming up, this would be a lovely option so she can really pamper herself. You could even split the products into two gifts - one being skin care and the other body care. 


To get your hands on this limited edition and amazing value for money collection, make sure you tune in to QVC (sky channel 650 or Freeview channel 16) at 12pm on Sunday 12th April. It will be available to buy from 12am midnight on the 12th for 24 hours or until it sells out! If you miss the 12am launch time, you can tune in for a full hour show at 11am with several more hours during the day. Alternatively, you can buy online at www.qvcuk.com from midnight on the 12th.

What do you think of this collection? Will you be tuning into QVC to get yours?

Collaboration with Elemis & QVC. All opinions are my own*

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Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Monthly Favourites | March


Hey everyone! I hope you all had an amazing Easter weekend. I took a little break from blogging just to chill out and get my head together with it all. I've been totally struggling with bloggers block just recently but those few days off have helped and I'm now back with determination to get some good content up for you all. I always feel guilty for not posting in more than a couple of days - tell me I'm not the only one? Anyway, on a brighter note, I had a lovely Easter with my family and friends and can't quite believe it's now April - this year is passing me by in what feels like the blink of an eye. However, I'm super excited for warmer weather, my holiday next month and reintroducing all of my fave Spring products into my routine. Here's a few beauty bits I've been loving lately ...

As my hair is bleached and super long, I really struggle with tangles but since The Wet Brush came into my life, tangles are a thing of the past. I use this every time I wash my hair and it just makes the job of detangling a lot easier! Apparently this is down to the 'Interlliflex' bristles of the brush and whilst I'm not too sure what they are, I'm going to roll with it.

Monday to Friday I'm pretty lazy with my makeup and the only time I do it 'properly' is when I'm going out for the evening. I'm just one of those people who would rather have an extra ten minutes in bed! With this being said, any products that are super easy to use are very welcomed in my makeup bag. The Benefit High Brow is one of those products as it brightens up my eyes in a matter of minutes without the need for brushes. I simple dab it onto my brow bone and in the inner corners of my eye to make myself look that bit more awake. It's a gorgeous shimmery champagne shade and I tend to just wear this on its own without any other eyeshadow. It's fabulous!

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this on my blog multiple times now but it's for good reason as it's so bloomin good. Elemis is my favourite skincare brand and their Pro Collagen Marine Cream is one of my favourite products of theirs - it has a super lightweight gel like consistency but hydrates my skin amazingly well. If I apply this before bed I can be rest assured that I'll wake up with soft, plump and glowing skin - it's a bit of a miracle worker really. This is an expensive product and probably not one for anyone younger than 20 but if you're 20+ and want to invest in a moisturiser that really does the job - it's 100% worth the splurge. Elemis recently sent me one of their limited edition jars of this and I cannot wait to dive into it when my little sample tubes runs out!

I recently reviewed the new Bourjois Aqua Lacque lipsticks on my blog here and I've been really enjoying using the shade 'Fuchsia Perchie' in particular. It's a lovely fuchsia pink shade but because of the fairly sheer and glossy consistency of these lipsticks, I find it perfect for day to day wear. It brightens up my complexion and I love how it leaves a stain behind when the gloss wears off. I still prefer the Rouge Edition Velvets but for daytime use, this has been a favourite this month.


Now the sun is coming out (yay!), it means my thick black tights, wooly jumpers ands roll necks will be put away until next A/W. This also means shorts and summer dresses will be making their way into my wardrobe so as much as I hate it, it's time to tan myself up. I do find the whole process of tanning very laborious but this Sienna bronzing mousse makes the task that bit easier as it spreads onto the skin so effortlessly and the colour it leaves is so natural and streak free. It's definitely my go-to false tan!

Another thing I've mentioned in a favourites before are these eyelash curlers from The Vintage Cosmetics company. I've been using them for well over a year now and absolutely love them. I actually lost my old silver pair and hated not having them so I decided I'd treat myself to the rose gold version because you know, rose gold is the best! I can't say much about these other than if you need some good eyelash curlers that don't cost a fortune, these are the ones for you. They curl my lashes perfectly and the curl lasts all day. I can't fault them! 

Nip & Fab Dragons Blood Serum(currently 50% off at boots online)
Nip & Fab is fast becoming one of my favourite skincare brands and I imagine it will be one lots of people will be trying since Kylie Jenner became the face of the brand. I've been trying out the Dragon's Blood range of products and the stand out for me has been this Plumping Serum. I've been using it morning and night and have noticed a huge difference in my skins texture. One of the main ingredients in Hyluaronic acid which is known for being able to hold up to 1000 times its weigh in water, hence the 'plumping' effect you get from this product. I'd highly recommend it!

Bronzer is one of my favourite makeup items and not a day goes by that I don't use it. I always add some definition to my cheekbones with a bronzer and Benefit Hoola has been my go to of late. I love that it's matte so it's great for contouring with and although it does have a slight orange tone, I don't mind it too much as I find it warms up my complexion nicely.

I'm a huge fan of ghd's and have been using their straighteners for years now so I was very excited to try out the newest addition to their hair tools, the ghd curve, a range of curling wands and tongs. I have the 'Soft Curl' tong and I chose this one because I like big loose waves as apposed to tight curls. I must admit  when I first used this I struggled and thought it was a bit of a faff to use. However, after a bit of practise, I've been loving the effect this gives my hair. If I wrap large pieces of hair around the tong I can create that lovely hollywood glamour effect which is what I was hoping for as that isn't easy to achieve with the straighteners. I'll be doing a full review of this with pictures of my hair soon!


So there we have it, my most recent favourite products! I also wanted to quickly mention www.voucherbin.co.uk** which is a great discount website that offers discounts on various well known brands. All you need to do is go to their Shopping Categories and select Health and Beauty to get exclusive discount codes for places like Look Fantastic, Feel Unique and HQ Hair. Well worth checking out if you fancy treating yourself to any of the products I've mentioned in this post.

What have you been loving this month?


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