Monday, 29 July 2013

Sample session: Murad Pomegranate Exfoliating Mask

You may have noticed that my sample session posts have been lacking. Surprisingly testing samples hasn’t been as much fun as I expected.

I’ve had to stop using Liquid Gold while I’m testing out a new serum and I noticed that my skin wasn’t feeling as smooth as it normally does.

Cue Murad Pomegranate Exfoliating Mask, which works by dissolving dry skin and is meant to keep skin looking fresh, clear and bright. There is no manual exfoliation action here, as you may spot in the ingredients list it is fruit enzymes and alpha-hydroxy acids doing the work.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

My Ultimate Summer Driving Playlist‏

 I don’t usually do lifestyle/personal posts but the latest competition by MoneySupermarket was just too good to pass up.

MoneySupermarket asked bloggers to put together their ultimate summer driving playlist so I spent the best part of an afternoon reminiscing and listening to the old songs I blasted on my stereo driving between university and home and even though the list could go on indefinitely I managed to narrow it down to 16 songs.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Bargain Alert! Nuxe summer sale

This is just a quick post to let you know about a bargain I spotted online recently. As you may know I recently went to a Nuxe event to discover more about the brand and since I have been lusting over the products, filling up my online basket and hovering over the ‘place order’ button.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Quick review: Hydraluron

After trying and hating Nanoblur I was in no hurry to try anything from the Indeed Labs brand again. But after the praise from Beautymouth I knew I wanted to give Hydraluron a try.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Birchbox July 2013

Nothing reminds me how fast the month is passing like the arrival of a Birchbox.

I was excited for this month’s box, I sensed a lot of hype around the it so I avoided any spoilers and waited patiently for it to arrive. But when it arrived I had mixed feelings, but more on that later. 

The theme this month is Jet Set, so each of the products comes from a "far-flung destination” and is also suitable for summer holidays.

So what’s inside the box:

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Alpha-H Anti-Ageing Cleanser

Alpha-H liquid gold anti-ageing cleanser
I have a love-hate relationship with this cleanser. I love how it makes my skin look but I hate how it feels to use.

The Liquid Gold Anti-Ageing Cleanser is the newest cleanser from Alpha-H. The cleanser contains gylcolic acid, lactic acid and shea butter and promises to kick starts the skin’s cell renewal process to help achieve poreless looking skin.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

London Calling by Color Club

London Calling is one of those shades that I would never have picked up out of choice but as I watch myself type I can’t help but stare at the colour and be slightly memorised.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Beauty sponges

There was no way I was going to spend £15 on a sponge unless I thought it was worth it. The Beauty Blender seems to regularly make an appearance in YouTube beauty tutorials and is credited with giving a flawless finish.
I ordered a pack of two beauty blender inspired sponges from eBay to get an idea if the real thing might be worth the fuss. The sponges are shaped so that the tip can be used to get into smaller areas, like around the nose and under the eyes, and the rounded part on the rest of the face.

To use you wet the sponges, at which point they swell up and you squeeze out the excess water so that you are left with a damp sponge. You then apply the makeup to your face and use the sponge in dabbing motions to blend.

Although I've used this for applying both powder and liquid foundation my favourite use is for applying concealer under the eyes.
I have very fine lines under my eyes and concealer can gather in the lines and make them look worse. But I don't have this problem when I apply with the sponge.

In fact it has been so good that some products, which I abandoned because creasing was such a problem, I'm now able to use again.

I haven't developed a preference for either shape sponge and even though I am curious to know how the original beauty blender compares, for now these work perfectly for me.

The only problem with the sponges is that they do look dirty quickly and are a little difficult to clean. The best way I have found is to mix a little fairy liquid with olive oil and massage this into the sponge with a little water. As you massage you can see the makeup lifting out and once finished you can leave it to dry or use it straight away since it is already damp.

I purchased mine from this seller on eBay, with the pair costing about £6.

I'm not much of an expert when it comes to makeup application but this makes it pretty easy. If you have any tips or tricks please share these with me below.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Curl revival - tips from Bumble and Bumble

Girls with curls will know by day two of a wash curls can start to fall and the only way to fix it is to wash and style again.

I rocked up to a Bumble and Bumble event having rushed out of the house with wet hair in the morning so my curls were loose, frizzy and had no volume. I wasn’t sure what the stylist could do when he offered to do my hair but lucky for me he taught me how to get my curls back simply and quickly.

He started by spraying my hair with Bumble and Bumble Prep, which does exactly what it sounds like and prepares the hair for the next products and treatment. He then followed this with the Curl Conscious Reactivating Mist, again spraying all over.
The next step was to take a blow drier with a diffuser attached and use it to dry the hair while scrunching it.

I was talking to one of the PR ladies the time when he was doing this so wasn’t really watching what was happening but when he stopped I looked to see bouncy curls and hair with a lot of volume — and the best bit was that my hair still felt natural and not loaded with product.

The stylist then finished off with a little hairdressers invisible oil to tame fly-away hairs, reduce frizz and add shine.
I’ve repeated this styling at home since and it is so easy and quick to achieve. I don’t own the Prep product but I was given the Reactivating Mist and I have been able to use that alone and achieve the same results.

Curly girls what do you do to keep your curls? If you give this a go please come back and let me know how it works for you.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Smashbox Heatwave Palette

Smashbox heatwave packaging
Heatwave Smashbox palette
How perfect is this palette for the weather in the UK right now?

Appropriately named Heat Wave, this is the latest palette by Smashbox for summer 2013 and since the sun has been shining I have been wearing it every day because it adds that extra bit of good to my mood.

The colours are summery but in a subtle way, rather than filling it with bright colours, which I don't feel comfortable wearing on a daily basis, the shades are wearable for both day and night.
Heatwave smashbox swatches

smashbox heatwave swatches
The shadows are all soft and pigmented and there isn’t one shade that is a lesser quality than the rest.

The colours included are a matte peach, a champagne beige, a matte caramel, a golden pink/peach (my favourite), a gold, a pink beige with silver flecks, a grey, a blue, a purple taupe and a deep brown.

A huge plus point about the palette is that the shadows can be used wet or dry. To use wet I dip my brush into water and then use it to pick up the shadow. The result is that the powder becomes more like a cream and the colour that much more vibrant.

My favourite look to date is the combination of the peach and gold shades with the light brown in the crease to add definition — but there isn’t a colour in the palette that I won’t use, which is a first.
Smashbox heatwave look

The wear time of the shadows is good lasting over 10 hours with a primer and over 8 hours without.

It is also worth mentioning that this is the first palette I own that comes with a high quality brush that is actually useful for application.

The Heat Wave palette costs £36 and the summer collection also has some bright lip glosses to compliment.

What do you think of Heat Wave? And what is your favourite summer look?

p.s I was lucky enough to receive this palette after attending a Smashbox event.  

Friday, 5 July 2013

Sweet Bird of Youth and Let’s Go Lashes

A couple of weeks ago I was selected as one of 30 lucky bloggers to watch Sweet Bird of Youth at The Old Vic with Amazing PR and Let’s Go Lashes.

After arriving at the theatre the Lets Go Lashes team applied faux lashes for us and we all got to mingle and chat as we waited for the show to start.
The lashes used were from the Let’s Go Striplash Tease range, number 4, which are half lashes and cost £8.95. 

One of the things I love about these lashes in particular is that they add length and volume to the outside corners of the lashes, looking glamourous yet natural. 

Half-lashes are also that much easier to apply yourself. Lash application for me usually involves a lot of growling and cursing but I have managed to apply the lashes without too much fuss since the night. I was told after removing to peel off the glue and store the lashes to use another time. I have used them three times in total now and I think I still have a few uses left.  
The show itself was amazing and although I understand that it is sold out if you do have the chance to go I would highly recommend it. I didn’t know the story line before attending and made a point of not reading about it to keep it a surprise.

The play is by Tennessee Williams and tells the story of Chance Wayne when he returns to his home town as the accompaniment of movie star, Alexandra Del Lago — played by Kim Cattrall — who he hopes to use to help him break into the movies business and ultimately get back what he had in his youth, his girlfriend.
The play explores the idea of youth and celebrity and even though it was written in the 50s, the themes are relatable today. Apart from the acting and the story, the stage itself was beautiful and the movement between the scenes was done in a very clever way.

I want to give a huge thank you to Amazing PR and Let’s Go Lashes for allowing me to attend and to Let’s Go Lashes again for getting me over my fear of lash application!

If you wear false lashes do you prefer the natural or dramatic look? And if you have any play recommendations, pop those in the comments below too.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

GOSH spring/summer nail collection

GOSH aren’t a brand that I would normally consider when it comes to nail polish but after trying out polishes from the Spring/Summer collection my mind has been changed. 

The collection has a total of 6 shades, including two glitters. Only two of the shades stand out as summery to me but they are all very wearable none-the-less and I’ve had trouble picking a favourite. 
The teal shade Venus was the colour I was drawn to first of the collection. It seems very on trend and it is a colour that works in the summer and would suit the autumn/winter seasons too. 

I’m not usually a fan of glitter, mostly because of the difficulty in removing, but Girls on Film has very pretty pale pink glitter in large and small sizes, which I think looks great on its own but would also look lovely layered with other polishes. 
I had high hopes for the nude shade High School Flirt, which looks less of a yellow toned nude in the bottle. I think it is a little pale for my skin tone to work.

Tilted Blue is the least spring/summer shade in the selection. However, it is a beautiful navy and I’m sure I will be favourite when autumn rolls round.
As I said before I'm not usually a fan of glitter polishes but I've had so many complements, even from a man, on the gold glitter polish, Greed, that it has changed my mind. I think the sunshine definitely helped with how striking the gold looks. I would suggest that if you want an even more gold to place the glitter on top of a gold nail polish.

The orange shade, Tropicana, surprised me the most. Again it is the perfect sunshine colour and I have been wearing this on my toes, which is unusual for me since I usually stick with pink.
Each of the polishes apply smoothly and two coats is enough for an opaque finish, but the glitter can be layered as many times as you like depending on the look you are going for. I managed to get 3 days wear before chipping, that was using a top coat, so not great but not awful either. 

The polishes cost £4.99 each and can be found in Superdrug

p.s These were sent to me for review, but the views are my own....with some of my sisters and mums thrown in too.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Spray Clay! Pore Refining White Clay Mask

There aren't many times that I come home from an event and immediately want to tear open the product to try. But that's exactly what happened with Clayspray.

Regular blog readers will know that I love face masks, but I also love anything that is novel. When I received the event invite, the image and name had me picturing myself literally spraying a mask onto my face, which thinking about now isn't the best idea anyway — packaging that includes protective eye wear wouldn’t be very cute.
The properties of this clay and it's delivery is what makes it special. Clayspray is made from a pure clay blend with minerals and is 60-65% clay. After blending it is left for 15 days to mature and all the good properties of the clay are maintained.

The mask is the first clay mask that comes in spray format. The air is separated in the canister from the clay so it cannot react, keeping it fresh.

The range has five types of mask for different skin types and concerns and there is even a hair mask! I was given the The Pore Refining Masque mask to try, which was lovely to use but not one I would recommend for dry skin because it does leave your face feeling tight immediately after use. 

So what’s it like to use?

Clayspray recommends that you use their mineral water spray to dampen your face before applying the mask and then use it to soften the clay at the end to remove it.

In my experience you need quite damp skin before applying the mask because it begins to set immediately and you need the water to be able to spread the clay and get a thin layer. I tend to wash my face, not dry it and then spray the mineral water on top before applying the mask.
As with other masks you then lie back and let it set. This masks sets quickly, in under 5 minutes, although I usually leave it on for about 10. At this point is it solid and after softening the mask with the water spray I wipe it away with a  flannel/muslin cloth. But I found that I had to do this at least twice because the mask left a residual layer. 

I've used the mask once a week for a month and overall I can say that my skin is better for it. The day after using the mask my skin was brighter and any small blemishes were reduced. 

I would definitely consider picking up another tube but of a formulation more suited for dry skin. Realistically I wouldn't pay the £18.50 for the mineral water, as much as I am willing to invest in skin care this step seems unnecessary and I don't think you get any better or worse results by not using it. 

The mask costs £41.71 and can be purchased on the Clayspray website

So, I’d love to know if there was a spray on mask would you try it?
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