Monday 25 January 2016

Five things I’m Loving | January 2016

smashbox #shapematters cult 51 night cream rimmel lasting finish primer l'oreal infallible fixing mist eucerin intersive lotion

Some of these are new to me, some I have been using for years but I've been getting a lot of use out of them this month so though I would do a quick roundup!

I actually bought this way back last year and it featured in my first ever post (lol) here! At the time I still had a few other primers to finish up but I can’t resist a Boots offer so in my basket it went. I used to love the Rimmel Lasting Finish foundation but haven’t used it in about six months as I’ve gone off it so wasn’t expecting much from this primer. How wrong I was! This does such a great job at helping my makeup last all day and reduce shine and is a bargain at £6.99! It’s quite a thick white cream but it spreads easily over my face and feels nicely hydrating too! This and the Nivea Shave Balm are my two favourite primers available for under £10!
Towards the end of summer last year I took my first foray into the world of setting sprays and was left disappointed by the much raved about Urban Decay De-Slick! It did nothing for my oily skin and left me having to top up my powder at lunchtime as usual so when I spotted this L’Oreal Fixing Mist for £7.99 on I thought I’d see if it would fare any better and in short, yes it does! Although it comes out as more of a thick spray than a fine mist it dries in quickly and does wonders for my oily skin all while making my makeup last longer! So impressed with this!

This is a more recent discovery for me and one I’ve been so happy to add into my nightly routine! Since turning 25 a few months ago, fine lines and wrinkles are something I’m starting to worry about and I figured prevention is better than cure with the introduction of this into my skincare stash! It’s a thick cream that sinks in quickly to the skin and actually feels like it would be a good day cream/makeup base too. There is a whole scientific explanation for why this stuff works which you can read about here in an interview with the founder Richard Mears as science is not my strong point! In a nutshell, the ingredients in the cream raise ATP levels and increase oxygen exchange in the skin while working with the skins metabolism to make it look great! I’ve noticed my skin looks plumper, fresher and brighter in the morning after I've used this and just better all round. The one downside to this is perhaps the fact it’s billed as “the world’s most expensive anti-aging cream” therefore costs £125 for the full size 50ml pot. So, unless I win the lottery or get a better paying job it won’t be one I’m able to run out to repurchase just yet! Available at Cult 51, Cult Beauty and Look Fantastic

smashbox #shapematters contour powder

Smashbox #SHAPEMATTERS 3 in 1 Contouring Palette
I ended up buying this when Boots had it as their first star gift in the run up to Christmas back in October and I have been using it solidly ever since! I actually did take photos back when I first got it but never got round to posting, then it was sold out so I didn’t bother! Anyway I thought it was about time I gave it some love on the blog and while I love the eyeshadows and brow powders, it’s the contour powder I want to talk about because it’s perfect! It’s just the right amount of pigmentation, so finely milled and the perfect shade of cool toned brown! I choose this probably 9 times out of 10 when I go to contour and was so happy to get it for half price!  
Another old favourite of mine that I don’t think I’ve mentioned before but that I absolutely swear by! About two years ago I started getting random eczema patches on my legs and arms for the first time that would leave me scratching all night. I tried every cream under the sun including doctor prescribed moisturisers and steroids to no avail. I think it was my mum who had a sample of this and it worked so well I've never looked back! It’s quite a runny white cream that doesn’t have the nicest smell in the world but once it dries in there is no scent! It sorted my skin out completely and I hardly ever have to use it anymore apart from the odd time like over Christmas when a few patches cropped up on my legs but a few nights with this and they were away again! As I said, I don’t have severe eczema so I’m not sure how it would work on that but if you get patches regularly and haven’t found anything that’s helped then try this, it’s amazing! And it’s usually on offer as it’s included in the French pharmacy promotions most online stores do! I've linked a few here, here and here!

Have you tried any of the products I’ve mentioned? What did you think of them?

*denotes a PR sample that was sent to me. All opinions are my own.

Danielle xx


Monday 18 January 2016

Product Empties #7

product empties reviews haircare bodycare skincare makeup soap and glory nivea loreal

Hi everyone, today I’m back with another empties post and hopefully a shorter one than my usual essays when I do these posts!

bodycare empties reviews nivea soap and glory balance me sai-sei

Body Care
Nivea Creme Care Shower Cream
I picked this up on offer in Boots for £1 a while back and really enjoyed using it and changing it up from my usual choice of Soap and Glory! It featured in this post and is a lovely creamy shower cream that lathered up well and didn’t dry out my skin. Would buy again!

Soap and Glory Butter Yourself Moisture Lotion
First off I hate the packaging of this! The pump is missing from mine as after using about a quarter of the product inside it becomes useless and isn’t able to pump anymore. I think because the cream is so thick it just stops working but I either have to squeeze this into an empty tub or leave it sitting upside down so the product moves closer to the opening! It’s not my favourite Soap and Glory scent but it is a lovely moisturiser when you can get it out! I have a few of these to use up from sets I’ve got but it’s not my first choice when purchasing a moisturiser!

Balance Me Super Toning Body Polish
I hated the smell of this and I didn’t think it was a great exfoliator as it didn’t lather up well. I think I received this in a beauty box last year but I wouldn’t repurchase!

Sai-Sei Mineral Invigorate Body Scrub
I probably shouldn’t even have bothered including this as the sample was so small but I think I got this free with an order! The sample did about one scrub but it smelt lovely and refreshing however I wouldn’t repurchase as the full size is £28 and there are other much cheaper exfoliators I prefer!

skincare empties reviews nivea pixi glow tonic first aid beauty balance me

Pixi Glow Tonic
I love this stuff! It featured in this post but in a nutshell it tones, smoothes and refines my acne prone skin and helps with my scarring!  This bottle has lasted me ages as I only use a tiny bit and I usually only use this either morning or night. I already have a backup of this and can see myself repurchasing it again and again!

Nivea Lotion
This has featured a few times in my empties posts and this post as it is a constant repurchase of mine! I love to use this as my first cleanse as it’s so gentle and really effective at removing a lot of my makeup!

First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser
This wasn’t what I was expecting to begin with and I didn’t like it at first but I didn't mind it once I got used to it! It’s described as an airy cream on the back of the packaging and I would agree with this as its quite creamy and light. I used it as a second cleanse and then wiped off with a muslin cloth and it did a good job at removing the last traces of my makeup but I have other balm cleansers I prefer so won't be repurchasing.

Balance Me Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm
This is a cleanser with oatmeal particles and I found for everyday use, this was a little too much for my skin. I did feel like I got a good exfoliation using this, especially round my nose but again I have other face exfoliators I own that I prefer so I won’t be repurchasing!

haircare empties reviews loreal garnier ultimate blends

Hair Care
L’Oreal Ever Strong Conditioner
I love this! It made my hair so soft, the bottle lasted ages and the scent is really minty and fresh! I will definitely repurchase this soon as I have a full bottle of the shampoo and its one of the best conditioners I've ever ueed!

Garnier Ultimate Blends 1 Minute Treatment
I really liked this, again it made my hair feel soft and I like that it's a quick one minute treatment although I sometimes just used it as a conditioner. I did a full post on the Garnier Ultimate Blends range here and this product along with the serum are definitely my favourites. The smell isn’t too overpowering and it’s on offer a lot so I will probably repurchase at some point in the future!

makeup empties reviews rimmel soap and glory no7 powder maybelline lash sensational mascara

Rimmel Lasting Finish 25Hour Powder Foundation
I seemed to have run out of all my powders at once starting with this one! This was a powder I was impressed with for lasting power although I didn’t test it out for the full 25 hours! The only powder I ever hear raved about from Rimmel is their Stay Matte powder and I did go through a few of these back in the day but I hated it! I can’t even remember why but I would not pick it up again so when I saw this come out I was excited to give it a go! It lasted well and controlled my oil and I will probably repurchase in the future again!  

Soap and Glory One Heck of a Blot Powder
This used to be one of my favourites but I found towards the start of December it wasn’t working as well for me and I would have to touch up at lunchtime. I think this works best for me when it’s spring and autumn as opposed to winter and summer or the extremes of the seasons if that makes sense! I have already repurchased because it’s a lovely lightweight powder that doesn’t look cakey but will wait a while before using!

No7 Perfect Light Pressed Powder
This is my favourite powder and one I don’t have to touch up at all through the day! I raved about it in this post and in a nutshell, if you have oily skin you need to try this!

Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara
This was probably the most hyped mascara of 2015! I jumped on the bandwagon as Maybelline do some of my favourite mascaras including Colossal and Falsies but this did not knock them off their pedestal! While it did give me length and volume I hated how messy the opening/lid became and it was a little more clumpy than I like! Still a good mascara but I have others I prefer so probably won’t repurchase!

So that’s rounds up another empties! Thanks for reading! I’d love to know if you’ve tried any of the products I’ve mentioned and what you thought!

P.S. Off topic but if I still have your attention and you’re any good at the technical blog stuff maybe you’d be able to help me! Any idea why my LinkWithin widget isn’t working at the bottom of my blog posts for related content? I reinstalled after getting my new blog template in December and its in my layout but doesn't show up anything on my blog! Any input would be much appreciated J

Danielle xx


Monday 11 January 2016

Tarte Holiday Blockbuster Collection

Tarte Holiday Blockbuster collection set review eyeshadow blusher

Hi everyone! So I know I’ve been saying a lot recently that I’m going to be a bit more mindful of my spending and stop buying makeup because I certainly don’t need anymore, buuuut… I got some late Christmas money and a £10 off QVC voucher in the post last week and it would have been rude not to?

Anyway, I ended up getting this set and a blusher from the Illamasqua sale and I’m going to stop now! Hopefully. Tarte has always been high on my radar because it’s always been so hard to get a hold of in the UK but now through QVC it’s a lot easier and after being impressed by a mini blush set I got before Christmas I decided to treat myself to this set!
The Holiday Blockbuster Collection comes with four portable palettes each with four eye shadows and a blush, a Lip Surgence Lip Cream in the shade Ravishing and the Lights, Camera, Action 4-in-1 mascara. There is also a little holder included so you can take whichever palette you want with you on the go and the set cost’s £35.

Tarte Holiday Blockbuster Collection inviting blush
Eye shadows clockwise from top: Sparkling Decor, Feeling Fizzy,Chocolate Fountain, Pop the Cork. Blusher: Inviting 

Tarte Holiday Blockbuster Collection jolly blush
Eye shadows clockwise from top: Tinsel & Tulle, Merry Mocktail, Plum Pudding,Vintage Cuff. Blush: Jolly

Tarte Holiday Blockbuster Collection cozy blush
Eye shadows clockwise from top: Paper Snowflake, Up on the Rooftaupe, Sweater Weather, Light my Fire. Blush: Cozy

Tarte Holiday Blockbuster Collection swanky blush
Eye shadows clockwise from top: Sequin Centerpiece, Suit & Tie, LBD, Platinum Bauble. Blush: Swanky
As with the Tarte blushers I've tried before, the four in this set are super pigmented and long-lasting! I’m usually not a fan of blushers in the same palette or side by side other products but the pans are a really good size so my brush doesn’t get mixed.

Similarly, the eye shadows are all neutrals with a nice mix of shimmer and matte shades and the palettes are all coordinated but obviously you can mix and match to your hearts content!

So far I’ve only tried out one palette of eye shadows and the payoff was brilliant and they lasted as well on me as my Urban Decay and Makeup Geek eye shadows! I've used two of the blushers and they are such gorgeous colours and give such a beautiful flush to my cheeks although I can imagine it could be easy to go overboard with the shade “Inviting” especially!
Tarte Lip Surgence Ravishing lip pencil swatch
I haven’t tried the mascara yet as I have a few I want to finish first but the Lip Surgence pencil is a lovely bright pink colour and has a minty scent. I think at some point I may look into depotting these into a Z palette as the main storage box is quite large if I did want to mix and match!

Tarte Holiday Blockbuster set review

Can you tell eye shadows and blushers are my weakness? Closely followed by lip products! I definitely feel like the blush and palette tag might be done at some stage this year! Have you tried any Tarte products before? What are your favourites?

Danielle xx

Monday 4 January 2016

Beauty Bay Haul #2 Makeup Geek and Z Palette

makeup geek z palette beauty bay haul

Hi everyone! Happy New Year! I have had the loveliest couple of weeks off work and I hope you had too! The week before Christmas I did a sneaky order from Beauty Bay and treated myself to these guys! Like everyone else it seems I jumped on the Makeup Geek bandwagon and bought myself a few shades to see what the fuss is about and boy am I glad I did! I also invested in a mini Z palette to house them in and these are a match made in heaven!

z palette makeup geek pans beauty bay

Being the neutral lover that I am, I went for some brown shades in a mixture of matte and shimmer finishes including Homecoming –a medium brown shimmer with gold, Taupe Notch – a shimmery taupe shade, Barcelona Beach – a medium brown matte shade and Mocha -  a deep matte brown shade. Each pan is £4.95 from Beauty Bay and they fit perfectly into the Z palette with a satisfying magnetic click!

This palette is perfect for travelling with and I loved having it with me a few days ago when I was in Amsterdam! I used the two matte shades for during the day with Barcelona Beach all over the lid and Mocha in the crease then at night I either used Homecoming or Taupe Notch all over the lid with Mocha again in the crease! I also took the Urban Decay Naked Basics 2 palette with me so used that for highlight and liner!

z palette makeup geek pans beauty bay
l-r top row: Homecoming, Taupe Notch, Barcelona Beach, Mocha
All four shades are beautifully pigmented and some of the best payoff I’ve ever got from swatches for blog photos! They blend so easily and it won’t be long before I fill the rest of this palette up with more from the brand! I actually went to order a few more but one that I wanted was out of stock and I know Beauty Bay sold out really quickly when they first started stocking them but they seem to have a good selection back in stock now!

makeup geek eyeshadow swatches homecoming taupe notch barcelona beach mocha pans browns neurtrals
l-r: Homecoming, Taupe Notch, Barcelona Beach, Mocha
The small Z palette which was £8.95 also comes with magnetic stickers for any eye shadow pans that may not stick by themselves! I actually regret not getting a bigger Z palette now as I have a few depotted Benefit eye shadows that I have in a cheap plastic palette from eBay which I glued in so I might get another one at some point and re depot! It doesn’t bother me that it doesn’t have a mirror on the inside as I like to use a big mirror anyway but if there was one thing I would change it, would be that the palette didn’t swing back on its hinge when opened as it sometimes closes by itself when I’m in the middle of applying the eye shadows!  

As I have hooded eyes and am blessed with oily lids I find no eye shadow lasts all day on me however these wore away evenly and didn’t transfer but if you have any eye shadow primer recommendations I’m all ears! I currently switch between Too Faced Shadow Insurance and Benefit Stay All Day and love the consistency of both but they’re not long lasting enough for me! I’m thinking of trying the NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base next but would love to hear your suggestions!

Just a quick word on Beauty Bay too as I see so much negative press on their Twitter page but I order from them all the time and have never had a problem! I ordered this (along with a Zoeva eye brush set) late at night on the 21st and it was here on the 23rd and they also do great samples when you spend over a certain amount! Everything’s always been packaged well and dispatched quickly so I would really recommend them!

Have you tried Makeup Geek shadows before? Any neutral recommendations for me?
Danielle xx
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