Wednesday, 31 July 2013

july favourites

Let me introduce you to my new favourite mascara. I wasn't expecting great things when I first tried the Essence Multi Action Mascara out, but it was great things I got. With two coats this does things to my lashes that I didn't know could be done - not only does it lengthen and curl them, but the volume it gives is astonishing. It's like I've put on a pair of falsies. I'll have a full review of this with comparison photos to my old favourite, the Covergirl Lashblast 24HR mascara within the next month.
And no, it's not available in the UK. Sorry.
The Dainty Doll Eyeliner Pencil in Goody Two Shoes has been my go-to eyebrow pencil for a good while now, but recently I've been employing it for its intended purpose (who would've thought it?) and lining my eyes with the pencil. I apply it right inbetween my eyelashes so it gives the effect of full lashes, but isn't at all visible and still looks natural.
I've been stepping away from my everyday blush, theBalm's FratBoy and trying something new, in the shape of this Blink + Go Brights palette. I don't use the eyeshadows (if you're wondering what happened to the purple shade, it smashed on account of encountering a sink at a rather high speed) but have been using the blushers daily, and they're surprisingly good. There's a light dolly pink and a darker coral colour, both of which are highly pigmented. Love 'em.
Foundation has taken a back seat now that we're in summer, and for days when concealer just isn't enough the Dr Jart+ Water Fuse BB Cream comes in handy. It's got a fair amount of coverage and SPF 25 as well as only being one or two shades darker than my skin tone so it blends in seamlessly. Also, it actually looks better when applied with fingers rather than a brush so there's no faffing around when all I want to do is pop on a pair of sunglasses, a lipstick and go outside. 
Which lipstick is that, I don't hear you ask? None other than MAC's Insanely It, a beautiful hot pink. It has been getting so much use solely because it's practically the only one in my collection that's hydrating enough to not have to sandwich inbetween layers of lip balm. There's a lip swatch in this post, cause y'know I'm far too lazy to take another one.
Last of all is the Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream. I've made efforts use this daily before, but when I don't get instant results I just let things fall by the wayside and forget about them. What I really look for in an eye cream is for it to make my dark circles vanish, which is never going to happen but I've found another use for this eye cream. If I apply this in the morning after moisturiser and let it sink in, my under-eye concealer blends so perfectly you'd think that I haven't even applied concealer. Before, any concealer that I would blend in under my eyes would cling to non-existent dry patches, not blend into my foundation and overall look a bit crappy. I thought that it was the concealer I was using, but this eye cream has solved everything. Wooo.

What have been your favourites for July?

Saturday, 27 July 2013

little london haul

I've just come back after a few days away (guess where, the clue totally isn't in the title), and er... a bit o' shopping happened.
I just had to see what was in the Zara sale and oh my, was I not let down. I easily could've bought half the shop but restrained myself and only got one item; a grey scarf with tiger faces and distressed edges. It doesn't look like anything special when it's all scrunched up like in the photo, but when worn it hangs so beautifully and the colour will be perfect for autumn. The only other clothing item I picked up was a white tshirt with neon pink and yellow specks from Forever 21. Trust me, I went into the changing rooms there armed with the maximum amount of items allowed but nothing seemed to suit me apart from the tshirt as it's a) not entirely see-through and b) not unflattering and clingy around the belly area which is pretty rare for such a light coloured top. The scarf was £8 and the tshirt was around £12.
The Muji pen pot was an impulse purchase as I needed another pot to house my makeup brushes (they've been living in another pen pot with my cotton buds for too long), and at around £2 I wasn't going to say no, was I? You can see how I organise my makeup here, although I'm no longer using the Sigma brush set so just replace that in your mind with the RT brushes.
You may have noticed the Selfridges bag, yes? I did go into Selfridges - purely for the air conditioning, it was far too hawt outside - but then I stopped by the Origins counter, drawn in by the free samples (I got the GinZing Eye Cream) and ended up walking away with a mini of the Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask. I'd wanted to try this mask ever since I'd heard how amazing it was for dry patches, but the price had always put me off. The mini was a much more affordable £11, and seeing as I'd never even knew that Origins did these baby versions of their products, I caved and bought it. Right after I remembered the huge amount of face masks sitting at home. No matter, I'll get through them all... eventually.
I stumbled across a pharmacy that sold Bioderma products (it was on Baker Street, I think it was called NVS Pharmacy or something like that), so I eagerly popped in to stock up on the famous micellaire water. I got the mini size (£4.50) as I was only taking hand luggage on the flight back home, and I'm also trying out the red Sensibio version for the first time. Hopefully it'll be just as good as the green Sebium one I usually get; the lovely cashier popped in a sample of a sunscreen too.
Technically this isn't part of the London haul, but I thought I'd share what was waiting for me in the mail when I came back home - the Latest In Beauty Ultimate Summer Nails box. It's seriously the best box Latest In Beauty have done, and it's no wonder that it sold out so quickly as it was only £15 for ALL OF THIS NAIL-RELATED GOODNESS.

Ahem. *composes self*

I'm not going to go on about exactly how perfect every single detail about this set is as, well, it's out of stock and it really isn't fair on you. So I'll just list the contents instead. Don't say I'm not kind.
In the box are two 4ml mini Nails Inc nail polishes in Notting Hill Gate and the Kensington Caviar Top Coat, The Vintage Cosmetic Company emery board, Essie Sleek Stick nail stickers in 03 So Haute!, a full size 11ml Butter London (I know, I know, that thing is basically worth the price of the whole box) nail polish in Yummy Mummy, the Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover, a 30ml L'Occitane hand cream and a Rituals Nail Varnish Corrector Pen.

I'm still not sure if I like doing haul posts or not, do you enjoy them?

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

ootd | what a life

blouse: La Redoute | jeans: Forever 21 | scarf: Bershka | backpack: Primark 
shoes: ASOS | socks: Topshop | lipstick: MAC Insanely It

The backpack makes another appearance. Completely clashes with the rest of the outfit, but I needed something to tote my SLR about (why is the damn thing so heavy?) so I could pretend to be a photographer for a bit. My dad and I took a bus down the coast to a little village and walked to a restaurant to have lunch there - I say lunch, I had an ice cream sundae. The table next to us hadn't been cleared away and a bird was eating up all the crumbs off the plates. Cheeky bugger.

I treated myself to a new pair of shoes last week - let's face it, I can't wear boots all summer - and I chose these nude brogues (they're still in the sale, go go go), they look adorable combined with frilly socks and cuffed jeans. I don't think I've ever worn the blouse when I've not been on holiday before, it's the only thing I own from La Redoute and it's rather good quality. The exact cut is no longer being sold but the La Redoute website has a surprising amount of very similar styles - this one and this one are the closest I can find. I love the coral accents on this one too. Speaking of bright accents (pro segue there) I wore my pink american flag scarf cause 'MURICA, and I wore my current favourite bright pink lippie, MAC's Insanely It because I can't leave the house without lipstick.

Listening to this. Well, the whole album really.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

july birchbox

theBalm InStain Blush in Swiss Dot | Blanc Cachemire Creme De Jour Protectrice | Laura Geller Inkwell Gel Eyeliner in Purple
Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle | Weleda Skin Food | The Chia Co Shots

And here's the obligatory Birchbox post. My box is a little different from what most people received this month due to me unsubscribing and resubscribing a couple of weeks ago as I was having problems with my debit card, meaning that Birchbox now see me as a new member and gave me some of the popular products from past boxes. I don't mind though, from looking at other people's boxes I don't seem to be missing out on that much.

I had received both the Weleda Skin Food and Beauty Protector leave-in conditioner in previous boxes, and although I don't mind having a backup of the Skin Food as I've almost finished up my old sample, I haven't even started using my first bottle of the leave-in conditioner! The Laura Geller eyeliner also was in a past box, but not one that I had received so I'm rather pleased to see it as I was kicking myself for not signing up to Birchbox sooner when I saw this in other blogger's reviews a few months ago. The purple colour looks gorgeous too.
Also in the box is a moisturiser by Blanc Cachemire, which according to the Birchbox magazine is absolutely wonderful. The sample is a decent size and I'm looking forward to seeing how it fares, but the price for the full size is something wicked so it's really going to have to bowl me over to convince me to even consider buying it. I'm not entirely sure what the the Chia Shot is, my first thought was that it was a sample of coffee but my understanding is that it's some kind of superfood. I think that I'll just chuck it in a smoothie or sprinkle it over a salad and be done with it.
The mini blusher by theBalm is definitely the star of the show here. Mine is in the shade Swiss Dot, which is listed as a peach colour and looks lovely and summery. My go-to everyday blush is theBalm's FratBoy and the quality of it is amazing so I'm expecting great things from Swiss Dot! I'm so chuffed that the Birchbox shop is now selling theBalm products as I've now got almost enough Birchbox points to get something for free. I was saving my points up to get one of the expensive moisturisers in the shop, but I want a goddamn new blusher more than a £50 pot of cream.

If you like what you see, you can sign up to Birchbox here for £10 a month (+£2.95 P&P). Next month's box sees Birchbox teaming up with InStyle magazine, so it looks to be a good 'un!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

notd | neon pop

L'Oreal Banana Pop*, Flashing Lilac*, Wasabi Hint* and Acid Watermelon*
Bubblegum Balloons Neon Pop balloon* woah so many asterixis

First let us address the obvious question - what the hell is a photo of a balloon doing in a post about nail polish? Well, when I received the L'Oreal Neon Pop collection in the mail it came in a rather larger box than I was anticipating, and upon opening it a large confetti-filled helium balloon floated up out of it. This was happening at eight o'clock in the morning, and my bleary-eyed, half awake self was bewildered to say the least when confronted by a gravity-defying sphere. After a few more hours of sleep and finding four nail polishes sellotaped to the lid of the box I'd figured out that there wasn't some sort of celebration that I'd completely 
forgotten about - and then the nail polish fiend in me kicked in and I got swatching.
 ...then completely forgot to take photos or write up a post for... oooh I dunno, a month?! Ermahgerd so pro at blogging.

Banana Pop has to be the most opaque yellow nail polish I've ever encountered. I applied three coats to get the colour which is almost unheard of in yellow nail polish terms. To make it even more opaque I'd recommend applying a white base coat before painting on the yellow.
Flashing Lilac is nothing like the name suggests, instead of a lilac it's an orchid purple that looks almost magenta and is opaque in three coats. As you can see from the photos, it has a more matte finish than the others, but if matte isn't your thing that can be easily remedied with a glossy top coat.
Wasabi Hint is a lovely spring green that's opaque in two coats, which my camera doesn't seem to pick up on as the photos don't seem to capture just how bright it is and display it as more of a pastel colour. Under artificial light it looks darker and even brighter.
My favourite from the collection has to be Acid Watermelon, it's a bright - almost neon - barbie pink that will be on my toes all summer (no, literally all summer. I hardly ever paint my toes, once a nail polish is on them, it's there to stay). As luck would have it, this is the least opaque of the four, needing three to four coats to be streak free.
I didn't use top coat on any of the shades as I quite liked the look of the semi-glossy finish, however this does compromise the staying power and after two days all the nail polishes had chipped. With top coat I'd imagine they'd stay chip-free for at least one more day.

I think my next nail post will have to be some kind of nail art using these four polishes, they would look so gorgeous together!
*PR Sample.

Monday, 15 July 2013

uk magazine freebies - july 2013

Another month of great freebies is here, and to start things off the first free gift I picked up was Marie Claire (£3.80), and really I do think this freebie is the best of them all - you get a mini 1.2g Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in Black, apparently worth £8. Maybe I'm biased as I've wanted to try Eyeko's Skinny liners for ages so this freebie has me written all over it. Can't wait to try it out and see if it lives up to the hype.

The next mag that made its way into my shopping basket was Red (£4), which has a free REN clean skincare travel kit. It includes a 15ml Rose Centifolia Cleansing Gel, 3ml Frankincense Revitalising Night Cream and a 10ml Vita-Mineral Day Cream as well as a sachet of the Lancome Advanced Genefique Youth Activating Concentrate and another of the Palmolive Ayurituel shower gel inside. I missed out on getting the REN travel set that was free with Red last year, so I'm looking forward to trying this out!

I also grabbed a copy of Glamour (£2) for the 100ml Balance Me Super Toning Body Wash it came with as it works out cheaper than buying a SLS free shower gel separately. There are three other choices of mini Balance Me products, there's a 50ml Pure Skin Face Wash, 20ml Moisture Rich Face Cream or a 10ml Shine On Tinted Lip Salve. I'm thinking of buying another issue so I can get the moisturiser, has anyone that's tried it tell me if it's any good?
Also, does anyone else think that Balance Me are rather generous with their freebies? I must've tried - what, 6? 7? products from them and haven't ever bought anything!

Other free gifts available are Instyle £(3.90) with a free Rituals Perfection Volume mascaras, worth £8 and Cosmo (£3.60), which have a choice of three different Nip + Fab products - the Dry Leg Fix, Bust Fix or the 365 Body Glow Fix. Harper's Bazaar (£4.20) have a 15ml L'Occitane Precious Cream, worth £15, with the mag.

Have you took advantage of these freebies?

Friday, 12 July 2013

ootd | here comes the sun

dungarees: New Look | striped t-shirt: Forever 21 | backpack: Primark | daisy headband: Primark | boots: Kurt Geiger

Apparently I do outfit of the days now. Complete with song lyrics for the title because, y'know, I'm so deep (still don't get to see my face though, ha). Today I forced myself to go outside since it's so sunny (and I feel guilty staying indoors) and ending up going for a walk in the countryside with a friend. Some Fentimans and my trusty point 'nd shoot camera went in the backpack, and off we strolled to appreciate the gorgeous scenery that 99% of the time is being rained upon. Came across some unicorns horses too, aren't they majestic creatures (but fo' realzies, that white one should be a unicorn).
After pining for a pair of dungarees for such a long time, I finally came across my perfect pair. Maybe the shorts are a little too short but I can live with that, the hugee pocket on the bib more than makes up for it - seriously, I feel like a kangaroo with that thing. I picked up the daisy headband (£1.50) and backpack (£9) on my latest trip to Primark as they were such bargains and I couldn't leave them behind, although combined with my braids and dungarees I may look a little too much like an overgrown toddler.
 Ah well.

Currently playing this on repeat.

So yeah this is a thing now. Want me to keep doing it?