Saturday, 28 February 2015

Benefit They're Real! Mascara

My make up never feels complete without lashings and lashings of mascara; I just love big fluttery lashes, it really completes my look and draws so much attention to my eyes. I've always been a big fan of Benefit mascaras, the brands BADgal Lash was the first high end mascara I ever tried and I always remember being so amazed at the difference it made to my lashes. The beauty blogging world  seems to be obsessed with the brands new release at the moment - Roller Lash, and I was tempted to give it a go too but I've wanted to try They're Real (£19.50) for the longest time, so I went with my instincts and picked this one up instead. 

It's easy to see why this mascara has been the number one selling mascara in the UK for the last two years, it's pretty impressive! It's incredibly easy to use, the bristles on the specially designed brush lengthen, curl, separate and pump up the the lashes resulting in a wide eyed look - it really does do it all. The brush grabs every lash, even the tricky ones at the corners of the eye, making lash building quick and effortless. I like to apply quite a few coats of this to create the look I want, taking my time to apply the mascara in a zig zag motion. The long wearing formula doesn't smudge or flake, and I can apply as many coats as I wish to make my lashes look more bold without any clumping. 

This mascara is truly amazing, I couldn't believe the difference it made to my lashes, they look so much longer and fuller and stay curled all day. There's not a clump in sight and gives my lashes this incredible 'doll eyed' effect which I just adore. They look so pretty and fluttery, it's given my lashes such a boost! Most days mascara is the only make up I use on my eyes , and this one really defines them, making them look so much bigger and more awake.

Have you tried this mascara?

Saturday, 21 February 2015

A Cult Beauty Haul

One of my favourite places to shop for beauty products and discover new ones is Cult Beauty - if you haven't heard of it, it's a website that stocks high end beauty brands where the products have been tested and recommended by industry experts. I've never been disappointed by anything I've purchased from this site and I've found products that have simply amazed me. I had to make an order after a  couple of my trusty products started to run low, it ended up being quite a small but pricey order!

The first thing I added to my basket was the Odacite Clogged Pores Booster Serum (£22), a product I've had my eye on for a while. Don't be put off by the expensive price tag for this teeny tiny bottle, you don't need much and oils last forever! It basically works by binding to sebum blockages and embedded skin impurities to help minimise blackheads and blemishes, while flushing out all those skin toxins. I've been using this at night along with my night cream, and a few times a week as a more intensive treatment by massaging it directly into my skin. It smells beautiful and contains natural ingredients such as lavender, which has anti-bacterial properties to help combat the nasties that contribute towards skin imperfections, and jojoba oil which help to balance the skin and prevents excess oil production. My skin has been looking so much clearer since I introduced this into my evening skin care routine, it's one to check out if you have far from perfect skin.

The next product I added was the Jouer Matte Moisture Tint (£30), which is hands down my favourite ever base. This is my third tube of this lovely stuff and I can't get enough of it! The oil free formula contains antioxidants that allow congested skin to breathe, and it blends seamlessly into the skin to even out imperfections giving a dewy, matte finish that let’s my actual skin show through. This is seriously dream skin in a tube, the finish is just beautiful and gives me the complexion I've always dreamed of. I have a combination/oily skin type so my make up does tend to slide off after a few hours and my skin can feel quite greasy too, but this keeps my skin feeling fresh and comfortable all day, while keeping my complexion looking matte and shine free.

Lastly, another repurchase was the Anastasia Berverly Hills Brow Powder Duo (£17) as I finished my first one last week and I honestly can't live without it! Powder is definitely my preferred method of eyebrow application, I find it looks much more natural and is really easy to work with. I get so many compliments on my brows and it's all thanks to this duo -my natural brows aren't my best feature, but this transforms them into beautifully natural looking defined brows. I apply the powder using an angled brush to fill in any gaps and enhance my natural shape to make them look fuller and more defined. There are eleven colour ways available, I use the shade Ebony and the two complimentary colours blended together create the perfect match for me. 

What do you think of my latest purchases? Have you tried any of these?

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

The Mid Week Pick Me Up's

I normally save my pamper sessions for a Sunday night, but lately I've been so busy and feeling pretty run down because of it, so a mid week session has been very beneficial for me. Sometimes a weekly pamper session just isn't enough, and treating myself to one mid week makes all the difference and makes me feel much more relaxed. 

I start by running the bath and popping in my favourite Lush Bubble Bar, The Comforter (£4.75). It smells so lovely and makes a bubble bath look even more inviting. While the water is running, I remove my make up using the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm (£22) which is by far my most loved cleansing balm. It melts away every trace of make up and leaves my skin feeling so soft and squeaky clean. I then apply the Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing Masque (£27) which works really well in ten minutes to decongest the skin and leave it feeling purified. I'm really into using clay masks because my skin is quite oily and I'm always battling those pesky blackheads! As the mask gets to work, I take a teaspoon sized blob of the Charles Worthington Moisture Seal Intense Rescue Melting Balm (£10.99) and work it through the ends of my hair for a deep conditioning treat. The formula is made up of a blend of sumptuous butters and exotic oils which get to work quickly, helping the hair soak up all the nourishment it needs. My brittle and over styled hair absolutely loves this stuff.

After my relaxing bath, I slather my whole body with The Body Shop Vitamin E Body Lotion (£8). This has been a favourite of mine for years and I always come back to it time and time again.  This heavenly lotion absorbs into the skin like a dream and leaves it feeling beautifully soft, smooth and hydrated. Plus the bottle is super pretty too! I then warm a few drops of the Balance Me Radiance Face Oil (£30) between my palms and gently massage it into my face and neck. This oil feels lovely and light and absorbs beautifully into the skin, giving my complexion a sheer and healthy glow. Don't be put off using facial oils if your skin is prone to oiliness and congestion, they work to balance the skin and keep it hydrated too. 

Once I've dried my hair and climbed into my favourite pyjamas, I kick back with a cup of tea and some Netflix and paint my nails. I've been wearing the Essie Nail Polish in Fifth Avenue (£7.99) for months now, it's the perfect red shade if you ask me!

Do you treat yourself to a mid week pamper session? 

Monday, 16 February 2015

My Travel Wish List

Travelling and exploring different cultures is one of my biggest passions and I spend so much time day dreaming about where I'll be going on my next adventure. So with that in mind, I decided to compile a list of places that I hope to travel to in the near future.

I've already been lucky enough to visit Japan (twice actually), but both trips have left me wanting to see more and more of this amazing country. I've always been so fascinated by their unique culture, there really is no other country like it! I remember being so in awe of the eye opening fashion, bizarre food, stunning temples and the politeness of the Japanese people. On my previous trips I spent most of my time in Tokyo and Kyoto, but it would be my dream to go back and travel around the country on the bullet train, hopping on and off exploring all the other cities and towns I didn't get a chance to see on my previous trips. I would love to visit Osaka and see the beautiful Himeji Castle in real life, not just in pictures. I also recently found out that there is an island called Tashirojima, which is better known as cat island - yes, you read that right, an ISLAND OF CATS (you can watch several amusing videos on you tube if you don't believe me). If that's not reason enough to go back, what is?! 

New York
I think most people would love the opportunity to visit the city that is often described as being the greatest city in the world, and I'm no exception. Years of watching TV shows like Sex and The City and Friends during my teens are to blame for my obsession with this city. I think if I do get the chance to go I would spend the whole trip walking around in awe and not really believing I'm actually there! I don't think it would be possible to run out of things to do in New York, it just seems like such an exciting and fun place to be. I would love to do all the touristy things like Times Square, Statue of Liberty, Central Park, 5th Avenue, the Natural History Museum...the list is endless. Oh and shopping of course.

If I ever get married this is where I'll be going on my honeymoon, no doubt about it! I can't imagine anything more romantic than waking up in one of those cute overwater huts every morning with the one you love and staring out at the crystal clear sounds like paradise. Fiji just looks so serene and the perfect place to get away from the rest of the world. If I ever get the chance to go I would spend my days exploring the island, snorkelling with all the fishes and sampling all the exotic cocktails. It really does sound like a dream holiday destination, just looking at pictures of this beautiful island make me drool!

I can imagine Canada being similar to Scotland, but even more beautiful and with better weather. I never used to think of Canada as a place I would want to visit until recently; I always remember someone telling me years ago that Canada was a 'rubbish version of America' and it completely put me off. I've changed my mind now though, my boyfriend has been and he absolutely loved it and has so many wonderful stories from his time there. Going to see Niagara falls would be a must, but I would also love to explore Toronto, eat at the top of the CN Tower and go for a bike ride around the Toronto islands.

Like Japan, Iceland is a country with it's own unique culture and looks breathtakingly beautiful! Unlike the other places on my list, this is a bit closer to home so a trip here may be on the cards for me at the end of this year. Winter is the best time to see the Northern Lights which is something I would love to experience, they look so pretty and out of this world. Even though this is one of the main reasons I want to visit Iceland, I would love to spend a few days in Reykjavik as it looks so picturesque with so many cool places to wine and dine, and I would squeeze in a trip to the Blue Lagoon for some much needed relaxation. 

What's on your travel wish list?

Saturday, 14 February 2015

New Make up Additions

A few new products have made their way into my make up collection recently, so I thought I would share my latest purchases with you all.

Benefit They're Real! Mascara (£19.50)
I managed to get this for only £10 as I had built up quite a lot of points on my Debenhams Beauty card which I was really chuffed about! Benefit can do no wrong in my eyes and I knew I was going to love this mascara even before I tried it. This mascara creates volume, length and beautiful fluttery eyelashes in an instant, without a clump in sight. I'll be reviewing this mascara in full very soon so keep your eyes peeled.

MAC Eye Shadow in Jest (£13)
This isn't technically new as I bought this eye shadow when I was in Paris a few months ago (you can read about my trip here), but I've only just started using it so I thought I would include it in this post.  I've never been a big fan of eye shadows, I don't really like wearing too much eye make up as I always feel too done up, but this shade is so wearable and pretty! It looks darker in the pan, but once applied it creates the most beautiful and subtle shimmer. It's a shade that I can't imagine not suiting anyone, it's definitely one to add to your make up collection.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (£22)
My favourite purchase out of all my new make up  has to be this concealer; the lightweight formula hides dark circles and other imperfections like a dream, and the creamy texture blends seamlessly into the skin becoming one with the rest of my make up.  The clever formula is very hydrating and also has light diffusing technology, which reflects light and makes my eyes look bright and beautiful. It creates such a gorgeous, flawless finish, I don't have a bad thing to say about it!

Bobbi Brown Blush in Apricot (£19)
This one I'm not too sure about; when I tried it in store I loved it, but when I got home it looked completely different! It's a gorgeous colour and the formula is incredible, but I just don't think it compliments my pale complexion. It's a fairly dark pinky/red so I think it would look more flattering on darker skin tones. I'm going to California over the summer and I know once my tan develops this will look lovely on. 

Have you tried any of these?

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Bumble and bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Primer

I'm slowly working my way through everything Bumble and bumble has to offer at the moment; I absolutely love everything I've tried so far and their products make such a difference to the condition of my hair. I'm always looking for new ways to control my dry, frizzy hair and protect it from heat damage, so the next product on my list to try was the Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Primer (£19).

This does pretty much everything you could ask for, the list is impressive! It detangles, protects against breakage, eliminates frizz, tames flyaways, protects against heat styling and UV damage and makes styling a breeze too. It comes in a fairly big bottle and is really easy to use, I just spritz it through my hair when it's damp and comb through, then blow dry my hair as normal. I love how lightweight this spray is as I never know if I'm using too little or too much when it comes to hair products- I always find it hard to judge as my hair is so long and thick! So even if I over do it, there's no risk of it weighing my hair down or making it feel greasy like many products containing oil can often do.

In the past few weeks that I've been using this, I've used it every day without fail. My coarse, unruly hair is so much more manageable, smoother and soft, not to mention I can style it with minimal effort. It's really given my hair it's life back and it looks so healthy and shiny. I think every girl needs at least one Bumble and bumble styling product in their hair care routine, and this is an excellent one to have.

Have you tried this? Are you a fan of Bumble and bumble?

Sunday, 8 February 2015

The Little Black Dress

I've never owned the perfect little black dress that every girl is told she needs to have in her wardrobe, until I spotted this pretty Sheer Striped Skater Dress (£38) in Topshop last week and purchased it without a second thought. I made a small promise to myself that I would invest in one this year as it's an essential wardrobe staple, and I was looking for a dress that was simple but elegant, so I was thrilled when I came across this one as it ticked all my boxes.

This is surprisingly comfortable for an evening dress; I have several in my wardrobe that I just love, but after a few hours of wear I can't wait to get them off and into my pyjamas! My favourite thing about this dress is the sheer stripe panels, they really stood out to me as I think they add a touch of quirkiness to the simple yet classic style of the dress. In terms of the fit and shape, it's so flattering and I can't imagine it not suiting anyone, it will look beautiful on any girl regardless of her size or body shape. The length is perfect too, it's short but not too short and looks so effortlessly chic. 

I wore this dress for the first time last weekend on a date night with my boyfriend. I teamed it with sheer black tights and leopard print boots (the weather is still so horrible and cold in Scotland) but come spring and summer I'll ditch the tights and wear it with cute heels or flats. I can't imagine this dress ever looking out of style and I know I will get so much wear out of it.

What do you think of this? Do you have a little black dress in your wardrobe?

Thursday, 5 February 2015

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

Say hello to a new favourite of mine, the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (£22). I'm a bit late to the party with this one- mainly because I've been loyal to my Clinique Airbrush concealer for the best part of a year and more than pleased with the results, so I didn't see the need to try this one, even though I wanted to. So when my Clinique concealer ran out a few weeks ago, it gave me the perfect excuse to introduce the NARS concealer to my make up collection. There's been a lot of hype surrounding this in the beauty blogging community and I've read some incredible reviews , so my expectations were pretty high.

This light reflecting, long wearing concealer aims to hide shadows and even out the complexion, resulting in a beautiful flawless finish. It comes with a doe foot applicator which makes application effortless, I just dab on a small amount and the creamy texture blends seamlessly into the skin and doesn't cake or crease one bit. In terms of coverage it's really impressive, I often have to use a colour correcting product along with a concealer to hide my dark circles, but not with this. I was matched to the shade Chantilly which is the lightest shade available, and as well as using it under my eyes, I use it to cover any redness and other imperfections too. The lightweight formula feels hydrating and also has light diffusing technology, which really helps to transform my tired looking eyes, making them look brighter and more awake. Perfect for when you want to look like you've had eight hours sleep! 

This concealer is pretty much perfect in every way, there's nothing I don't love about it and I'm so happy it lived up to my expectations! Have you tried this?

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

New Skincare Favourites

I'm always trying out new products in an attempt to find the perfect skincare routine, and lately I've discovered three new ones that have become daily essentials for me. 

Origins Ginzing Refreshing Eye Cream (£23)
I've mentioned before that Origins are one of my favourite skincare brands- the GinZing Energy Boosting Moisturiser is one of my most loved products, so it was about time I picked up a pot of the eye cream from the same range. I always notice such a big difference when I use this; it brightens up and refreshes my under eye area instantly, making me look like I've had a full nights sleep. It contains ingredients such as caffeine and magnolia extract which combat those pesky dark circles and reduce any puffiness, swelling and signs of fatigue. The cream has a slight shimmer to it too, so it really helps to illuminate and add some radiance to the skin.

REN Clarifying Toning Lotion (£12)
If I had to pick a favourite out of all three products then this would be it; this exfoliating toning lotion works to slough away dead skin cells and unclog dirt and grime from the pores, leaving the complexion looking clearer and smoother. This is the first exfoliating toner I've used and I love how it works wonders on my decongested skin and makes my complexion look more balanced and healthy. It's gentle enough to be used every day, so I've been using it morning and night and I couldn't be more pleased with the results. My skin feels fresher, less oily and my pores have never been clearer thanks to this. 

Avene Cleanence MAT Mattifying Emulsion (£12)
One of the worst things about having oily skin is trying to find a moisturiser that is hydrating and nourishing, but won't feel too heavy or greasy on the skin. This offering from Avene aims to purify and balance the skin, while deep cleansing the pores and regulating oil secretion. I adore this moisturiser as it's so light and absorbs into my skin beautifully, resulting in a healthy looking, shine free complexion. It feels lovely and cooling when applied and feels hydrating enough for the day time, although I do like to mix it with a facial oil at night for a little more nourishment. This also makes an excellent base for my make up and is so affordable!

Have you tried any of these products?

Sunday, 1 February 2015

MAC Lipstick in Heroine

I was really excited when MAC announced they would be collaborating with Lorde to create a limited edition lipstick - Pure Heroine. She is the only artist they have joined forces with in recent years that has made me want to rush out and buy the product. Since it's release though I've not managed to get my hands on one, it seems to be sold out everywhere I look! On my last attempt to find one in my local MAC store I was unlucky again, but ended up picking up the shade Heroine - the best selling shade in which Pure Heroine takes inspiration from. 

Heroine (£15.50) is an eye catching, bright purple with a matte finish. As adventurous as it looks, I think it's really wearable and feminine as it has the slightest hint of pink, but with a little more edge. This is the first matte formula I've tried from the brand, I was so impressed from first use how it glides onto the lips effortlessly without any tugging, or makes my lips look or feel dry and parched. It actually has a surprisingly creamy consistency and leaves my lips feeling wonderfully soft. I love the way this colour brings out my brown eyes and compliments my fair skin, but I think this shade would also look great on a variety of people. 

The thing to remember when wearing a shade as bold as this is to keep the rest of your make up minimal, then you can't go wrong. I also make sure when I wear this that my outfit is quite plain and simple too so that the lipstick is the main focus. This certainly isn't a shade that will appeal to everyone, but if you love a lipstick that makes a statement this is one for you. 

What do you think of Heroine?

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