Thursday, 29 December 2011

Christmas and Giveaway Pressies!

Merry Christmas to all!

 Everyone is doing a little Christmas haul and good for you! I don't think it's braggy at all, Christmas is the one time you get spoiled by your parents and friends, and it's always nice to be given pressies :D so show them off to the world!

Here's what I got

I got lots of cash from daddy (not pictured obv) because he's been really sick all year from a serious illness so he hasn't been able to get out to the shops. But hey, I'm not complaining, I love money! :D I got boots from Mum, a leather handbag from my big brother Louis, a cupcake recipe book from my little brother Leon, some jewellery and a Nepalese bag from my Aunt, some Nars make up from my boyfriend Jeremy, some Arcancil make up from my Mum and then some cute little nail polishes from ME :D I like to treat myself at Christmas too :D haha

I won  Char's Christmas Giveaway and I couldn't be more excited about it! She sent me an MUA palette, a Rimmel blush, a Barry M gold foil nail polish and an NYC lipstick AND she sent a Rimmel lipgloss as well - which wasn't part of the original giveaway! AND chocolates and candycanes and lollipops and a Christmas card! :D Char you absolute legend, thank you so much! It's an amazing Giveaway, I love your blog and read it religiously! You girls should DEFINITELY be following her! She always has such interesting and versatile posts about all things beauty. And she's such a lovely person. I left England last week to go back to my parents house in Brussels, so she sent the package to Brussels instead, just so I could have it before Christmas! YAY! And because my parents saw that the package was from the UK, they thought it was a present from my boyfriend so they wrapped it and put it under the tree haha! So it was an extra Christmas present :D

This is the Nars make up that Jeremy bought me when we went to London for our Anniversary. The trip was really our anniversary present and the make up was my Christmas pressie. 
Nars Foundation in Santa Fe.
Nars Blush in Orgasm.

This is us at Winter Wonderland last week :D

Here's the make up my Mum got for me - it's all Arcancil which is one of my favourite "drugstore" brands (but it's French so I've only ever seen it in Belgium and France).
From top: Star liner Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil. I SWEAR by this pencil. It's the BEST eyeliner I have ever had!
Ideal Sourcil Eyebrow Pencil in Dark Blonde. ("Sourcil" is French for Eyebrow)
Trio Cabaret Eyeshadows Pierres Precieuses  (French for Precious Stones)

You should definitely check out the Arcancil Website Here as their make up is so cheap and yet so good! The name is so cool as well - The french term "Arc en Ciel" means "rainbow", but "cil" means "eyelid" so it's a play on words :) ohh the French and their sense of humour ha ha.

These are some lovely nail goodies that I picked up in Oxford Street last week. Ever since joining the blog community, I've found it's just as important to have pretty nails as it is to have a pretty face! 
From Left: Topshop Nail Varnish in Blitz
Barry M in Navy
Barry M in Silver Cascade
Barry M in Lavender
Topshop Nail Art Pen in Barbarella
I haven't used the nail art pen yet but I'm really excited to :D I hope they bring out more shades because at the moment they only have white black and pink.

These are my Christmassy nails! I was going to wear red but I thought that would be too predictable! So I'm wearing my Navy and Silver Cascade nail varnishes from Barry M :) it does look quite christmassy because the glitter actually has bits of red and green in it :D very festive!

So that's my haul! hope you enjoyed it. To all of those who are nervous to show their pressies - don't be! We're all friends and we're all nosy :D I want to know what you all got!

Merry Christmas everyone! 

:) X

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Products I Regret Buying

There are millions of wonderful, beautiful, hyped-up products out there, but that doesn't mean that they're right for everyone. I spend the bulk of my money on new make up and beauty products (after paying my bills and buying food of course!) and I get really angry when I spend money on products that disappoint me. I feel like I'm entitled to a refund of some kind! Alas, nothing can be done. I have to accept the fact that I've spent money on something that's not right for me, but I can't seem to throw it out immediately because I feel guilty for wasting it!

Thus I present to you girls, a list of my top regrets over the past few months. Let me know if you think differently about them!

Number 1: Benefit Porefessional
"The best selling product of the company" the Benefit lady described it as! I couldn't believe the hype over this product. I went ape shit. I just HAD TO HAVE IT. There was no question! There were supposed to be instant results! My pores were supposed to be covered! My foundation was supposed to stick! ... What a load of bollocks! I didn't notice any difference in my make up staying put on my face compared to when I wasn't wearing it, you could still see my pores, and the tube is so small that you run out of it fairly quickly! At first I thought "I'll keep wearing it to see if it eventually does do the job" but alas it didn't.
Mark: 3/10.
Will I repurchase?  There must be a better product out there for a cheaper price! so NO.

Number 2: The Tangle Teezer.
Another massive disappointment. My housemate last year used to lecture me on how stupid I was for not having a tangle teezer. She swore by it. I've read countless reviews saying how good it was and how little hair it pulled out. But I found it more painful to brush my hair with than my usual Babyliss hairbrush. Also, I don't think I've ever molted so much when brushing my hair. Plus, it's such an odd shape and it sits uncomfortably in my hand. It would be much better if it had a handle.
Mark: 4/10
Will I repurchase? Hate it. I'm going back to a regular brush. so NO.

Number 3: Maybelline Volume Express One By One.
Not the best mascara I've ever had, but certainly not the worst. I remember watching the ads for it on the telly and the model had HUNDREDS of individual lashes which made her eyes look incredible. But when I bought the mascara, it didn't deliver. I don't feel like it separated my lashes at all. It didn't give me an amazing amount of volume either. Overall, it wasn't a terrible product, it was just a bog-standard mascara.
Mark: 6/10
Will I repurchase? Perhaps...but there are other mascaras out there in a similar price range which I prefer!

Number 4: Garnier Purifying Toner
I probably should have put the cleanser on here too because I don't like either. The only way that Garnier is capable of "purifying" my skin is by burning my face, apparently. This stank of disinfectant, dried out my skin and left it feeling tight and chapped. I would have to lather the moisturiser on afterwards in an attempt to save my skin from turning bright red and sore. I doubt they used any natural products in either the cleanser or toner which is a major no-no for me.
Mark: 2/10
Will I repurchase? A big fat NO

Number 5:  Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Stain.
Another Maybelline product? Maybe I should stay away from this brand! The main thing that attracted me to this product was the fact that it wouldn't be sticky or glossy. It wouldn't sit on my lips like a lipstick, it would simply give my lips a colour while still looking natural. I love the idea of it more than I love the product. The  price was good and the colour was beautiful! And the SMELL was fantastic! like sweet strawberries :) I loved it! The only problem was that after I applied it, I would have to reapply it 5 minutes later. I wasted so much time constantly putting it on again and again, and because it looks like a marker, I looked a bit "special" drawing on my face with a marker whenever I was in public.
Mark 6/10
Will I repurchase? A nice product, but what's the point if it doesnt show? so NO.

Number 6: EcoTools foundation brush.
To be honest, I bought this because I needed a new foundation brush and it was the cheapest one in Boots. It's not actually a bad brush, it's eco friendly (obviously), not made from animal hair, it's smooth and it's a good shape and easy to hold. The only problem was that it made my foundation look streaky on my face, so I may as well have rubbed it on to my face with my hands. 
Mark: 6/10
Will I repurchase? Now that I use a stippling brush, I don't think I'll ever go back to foundation brushes! so NO.

Number 7: Topshop Loose Powder Blush.
I don't have a lot of negative feedback for this product, it's really only the packaging that lets it down. It comes in some lovely shades, but the powder is in a little pot with a sponge-like applicator on the top. You cant use a blusher brush to apply it, you need to press the sponge against your face (which results in a spherical and concentrated amount of blush on your face which isn't exactly desirable!) If it had a different and more accessible packaging then the blush would be a success in my book.
Mark: 6/10
Will I repurchase? If Topshop created the same shade of blusher in a pressed powder, then YES!

So there you have it! My biggest hates of 2011 haha. When it comes to make up and beauty, I either love a product or hate it, which explains why I was so nasty about some of the products I have just reviewed!

What are your opinions of these products? If you have used them, do you agree?

:) X

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Sequins for Christmas

It's that time of year where you have to start looking for that Very Special Dress for Christmas time.
I've never been a fan sleeved dresses (on the account of my rather large jugs - too much material often makes them look even bigger!) but there are some beautiful sleeved dresses out there, and what better time to splurge on one than at the coldest time of year?

This year I've noticed a lot of sequins in the high street shops which I think are perfect for Christmas - maybe because the sequins remind me of the twinkly lights :) I've browsed through some of the shop's websites and have found a few to show you girls. I'll also put the links to the websites so you can find the dresses easily if you want to buy them. Simples! :)

There are MILLIONS of dresses but here are some of my favourites:

I'd love a bit of colour this Christmas, so I think my favourites are the red TopShop dress and the blue Lipsy dress.

Do you have any sexy outfits planned for Christmas? 

:) X

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Everyone Loves a Beauty Haul.

Sometimes, a girl really needs to spend some time alone and for me, there is no better way to spend that time than an afternoon shopping in town. Recently I've been expanding my beauty product collection, and replacing some old favourites with new additions.
These are my new products that I've bought/received over the past two weeks

Radox Showergel, Batiste Dry Shampoo in Boho, Girls Aloud Cheryl Cole fake eyelashes by Eylure, Barry M Nail Effects in Silver Foil, RoC 3 in 1 Cleanser Toner and Moisturiser, Benefit Porefessional Pro Balm, Mac 187 Stippling Brush, Sleek Nude Eye Palette, and Vaseline Essential Moisture Moisturiser.

The "every day essentials" like shower gel, moisturiser and dry shampoo are not really things I'm excited about. Everyone needs them and everyone uses them, but I always enjoy trying out new products so they're all new makes for me :) 

The RoC  3 in 1 cleanser toner and moisturiser is something I'm really excited about because my facial cleansing routine is so boring! I feel like it's more of a chore than anything else, and when I don't get quick results I get disheartened. But this new 3 in 1 saves me loads of time and RoC is very gentle on the skin. And for only £6.99 in Boots, it's a bargain! :)

I've been badgering my boyfriend to buy me presents (cos I'm a greedy bitch haha) but I don't think he ever knows what to get me. Unfortunately, subtlety is not my strong point. I talked about Benefit Porefessional NON STOP for about 2 weeks until he finally gave in. I went into Fenwicks to their Benefit counter to find out everything about it and lectured him on the product. I found loads of links to buy it online and casually left them open on two of his computers. Everytime he told me that he loved me, I replied "and I love Porefessional." I can't believe it took him two whole weeks to decide to buy it for me! He could have shut me up a lot sooner if he had bought it the first day I asked for it!
Anyway, I've been using it for about a week now, and I'm liking it! BUT...I'm not loving it. From the way that the Benefit counter lady spoke about it, from all the reviews I read in magazines and online,I was expecting it to be this one-stop miracle cure to fighting nasty pores. While it does pretty much cover up and minimise my pores, they are still visible. It boasts that it's also a make up primer, and yet it says on the box that you're only supposed to put it on your cheeks and forehead? Also - I find that my foundation doesn't actually sit very well on it, and a line appears where you can see my foundation sitting well on half of my face, and either absorbing or drying up on the side of my face where porefessional is.
Don't get me wrong, IT IS  a good product, I just think that it's not the greatest for my combination skin. Maybe people who have less acne prone skin and a more even skin tone would have more luck with it than I have.

The Sleek Nude palette is something that I'm really loving, but I'm actually settling for it, because I decided I didn't want to spend £35 on the Urban Decay Naked Palette. I much prefer spending my money on face make up because I won't necessarily always wear eyeshadows (as I wear a lot of eyeliner and sometimes adding eyeshadow looks a bit OTT). There is a great selection of colours and I find that Nougat and Honeycomb are also great highlighters. My favourite colours in the palette are Honeycomb and Mineral Earth :) Watch this space for some Youtube tutorials on how to make the most of your Sleek Nude Palette!

 Also, I've been using my beloved Hema brushes for eyeshadows but I'm looking to branch out to other brands. Can anyone recommend some good eyeshadow brushes for me? Both application brushes and blending brushes :)

So that's my most recent haul! What have you guys been buying and loving recently?

P.S. Sorry you can see my boobs in the photo of the Sleek palette! ha!

:) X
Thursday, 10 November 2011

Aluminium: Nail Wraps VS Nail Polish

Every morning I wake up in my University flat, to look up at the sex bomb that is Lady Gaga. Not that's she's creepily standing next to my bed as I sleep or anything, I mean her poster is on my wall. In her Fame Monster photo shoot, she has the most incredible aluminium/silver foil nail wraps. I literally drool over them. I'm sure hers are the real deal, like Minx, but for those of us who live on  a student budget, Minx is just a bit too expensive to be splurging on every 2 weeks.

And so I went out to find a cheaper alternative to these beautiful nails, and as it turns out, you don't have to go far! Nails Inc have created a line of nail wraps, ranging in all colours and patterns. For those who aren't familiar with how nail wraps work, you have to heat the wrap up (eg. with a hair dryer) before carefully placing each wrap on your nail, smoothing out any bumps or bubbles and heating them once again to make sure they're properly set on to your nails. Seems a bit tricky to do on all ten nails, right? Especially if you haven't got the steadiest hand when you're doing the nails on the hand that you write with. But at just under £8 for 24 individual nail wraps, you're not exactly breaking the bank, and if it all goes wrong then you can just chalk it up to experience.

Ideally, this is what I imagined my nails would turn out like:

So I popped along to Boots with my purse ready and my tail wagging, only to come across THIS little beauty instead!

Barry M Instant Nail Effects in Silver Foil for half the price at £3.99! Barry M I could kiss you! Half the money and half the effort, yielding the same effects! Result!

So I bought this and so far I've been loving it! It's just like any other nail polish - simple to apply, except with two coats of it, I've found that it's barely chipped in the five days that I've been wearing it. Barry M are my knight in shining armour when it comes to nail polish - they have every colour imaginable and at affordable prices. I wouldn't say that Barry M in silver foil has the exact effects of nail wraps though. While foil wraps have the effect of the shiny side of aluminium foil, the Barry M nail polish has the effect of the matte side of foil. Still equally as cute, but doesn't have the same wow factor that wraps would have.

These are my Barry M nails compared to the Nails Inc wraps. Apologies for the poor quality photo, I sneakily took it on my camera phone in Boots (can you take photos of products in shops??)

So my verdict is....undecided! I do love the Barry M nail polish, but if I wanted to treat myself to some party nails, I probably would try wraps. Nails Inc and Nail Rock both do affordable wraps (both retail at around £7-8 each). I'm desperate to try Nail Rock's black and white stripe designer nail wraps.

What do you guys think? Have you ever tried wraps?

:) X
Monday, 24 October 2011

My Facial Routine

So I thought I would do a post on my make-up facial routine. As a 21 year old who still suffers from bad acne, I'm constantly looking for the best cover for my face. I'm always worried that I'll cross the line and end up looking like I have too much make up on, in an attempt to have "normal looking skin", but I think that my current routine is pretty solid in making my skin look good.

I've created a tutorial video to show my routine at length, but here's a list of products that I have used:

Foundation: MAC Select SPF15 Foundation in NW15  - which you can buy here
Concealer: MAC Select Cover up in NC20 - which you can buy here
Blush: TopShop Loose Powder Blush in Sunsweep - which you can buy here
Powder: Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in 006 Warm Beige - which you can buy here
Brushes: Eco Tools - which you can buy here and here

MAC foundations and concealers are in my opinion the best products to use as a base on your face if you have bad skin (including acne, blotchiness, oily skin etc). The only problem is that if your make-up budget is on the lower end of the scale then you may not be able to afford a large collection of MAC products, but it's definitely worth investing in one or two. They have an array of different kinds of foundations and concealers based on your skin tones, types, and the amount of coverage that you want, but it's always best to play it safe  and go for medium coverage. With MAC, the darker the shade, the more "orange" the product tends to get so it's always a good idea to test try it first.

MAC concealer is a great new product for me which I am really pleased about. I've never had such a great cover up from a concealer before. I used to use a dry concealer stick from "17" but it tends to dry out my skin so I thought it would be best to switch to a liquid concealer. Best idea I've ever had!

The blush I use is from Topshop which is another new buy for me. The link that I've posted above to buy it is actually for another shade called Walnut but I think that any of the blush colours from Topshop are nice - but only the loose powder ones, I'm not a fan of the pressed powder ones. The method of putting it on is pretty cool I think, as long as you blend it across the apples of your cheeks with a large brush, otherwise the application is too concentrated. The glitter combined in the powder highlights your face at the same time as being used for a blusher so you definitely save time and money there :-)

Finally, the Rimmel pressed powder is a good buy. The best pressed powder that I have ever come across is Bourjois Mineral Radiance Pressed Powder but again if you're strapped for cash then the Rimmel pressed powder does pretty much the same job. It also comes in a variety of different colours so your chances of getting a powder identical to your skin tone are pretty high.

Enjoy! :) X