Saturday, 29 March 2014

Beauty| Nars Laguna Bronzer

For all the fair-skinned ladies out there, this is a definite 'must-have' which should be an integral part of your Cosmetic collections. The Nars Laguna Bronzer is a light, natural brown shade that looks gorgeous on any skin tone a rarity with most others. The cool brown tone does nothing less then warm up the complexion along with a healthy glow. If you're pale-skinned like myself you may struggle when applying Bronzer as often it can appear cakey and muddy, a look nobody strives for. This is definitely not an issue with Nars Laguna, with its easy, build-able formula and great blending qualities, you can finally perfect that summer kissed look or a flawless contour. It's a finely, milled powder and so does not emphasise lines, thus making it not terribly ageing but instead smooths over these 'imperfections' as well as those pesky pores. The Laguna Bronzer does have a slight shimmer which isn't too obvious in the pan and isn't so apparent in the face, a quality I praise as highlighting attributes can often appear strange when contouring in the hollows of the cheeks. If anything the subtle shimmer helps the skin to appear more radiant, exactly what you need to achieve a Summer Sunshine glow. Like most Nars products the pigmentation is incredible and the formula is so long-lasting that re-applications are kept to a definite minimum. This ensures that a little bit really does go along way making the high price tag of £26 slightly more justifiable. The packaging is simple yet classy with the black, matte exterior that looks the part in the Cosmetic collection, the only downside being that it shows up marks like nothing else! Although, I am willing to live with that. All in all, a lovely Bronzer that I never want to be without.

Let me know what you think in the comments.
What's your favourite bronzer? 

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Beauty| Topshop Glow in Polish

Topshop is not only one of my favourite clothing bands but also one of the best quality, affordable cosmetic brands on the high street. I often find myself debating wether you can call the Topshop cosmetics 'high street' as many of the products finishes and pigmentation doesn't differ in quality when comparing to brands that are more high end eg. Mac, Benefit (the list really can go on). The only downside to the Make Up by Topshop is that the fair prices always ensure that I end up buying products in bulk which end up costing me a small fortune. A positive for my collection but my bank balance definitley disagrees. 

Having magpie-like-tendencies, I'm always drawn too the shiny, shimmery, light-reflecting products which explains why I own so many highlighters. After my love affair with Mac's Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft & Gentle came to an end when I hit pan once and for all (unfortunately right at the beginning of my spending ban) I decided to venture into my stash and try and incorporate one of my pre-owned highlighters into my routine. This is when I fell I'm love with Topshop's Glow in Polish.  

A pretty, pearlescent cream that works wonders on the cheek bones, accentuates the brow bone and also helps to finish off a smokey eye when placed on the tear-duct to brighten up ones eye area. This gives a really subtle glow, with no sparkle and looks lovely for those of you that have pale complexions like myself. The forumla is pigmented, long lasting and the creamy consistency ensures that  the product blends well. A little bit really goes a long way so even though the pot is a little on the small side, it last for ages. The packaging really brings the only negative to light as the small proportions unfortunately make a difficult application for ladies with long nails. Unless you keep your claws short, you can pretty much write-off ever applying this creamy highlighter with your fingers but this really is a minor issue. 

Priced at only £9 for a excellent quality product, I really can see little to no reason for why everyone shouldn't have this in their make up collection. Especially when we are approaching the warmer months where bright, radiant complexion will be in everyone's favour.

Let me know what you think in the comments.
What's your favourite drugstore highlighter?

Friday, 21 March 2014

Beauty| Lancôme Artliner (Picture Heavy Post)

Lining my lash line is a staple in my make up routine and after converting to gel eyeliners, the NYX gel liner especially, I thought there was no going back. Yet, before long I grew tired of how badly gel liners sweat and became fed up of the black transfer under my brows that shared the appearance of nothing more then a Smokey Eye 'gone wrong'. I then set out to find an ultra-black, easy to apply, long-lasting liner to take its place and thank the heavens I have found it! The Lancôme Artliner is a liquid eyeliner with a felt tip application that gives ultimate precision and the perfect winged liner. I have tried felt-tip liners in the past and found myself being less then impressed with them. Some either dried out within a couple of weeks, others were too thick meaning there was minimum precision and others had a much more grey appearance rather then 'ultra-black'. I'm so happy this one has altered the bad reputation I have for felt liners and instead has made it probably my most favourite liner in all of my cosmetic history. 

With its ultra-classic packaging, armed with a pretty, gold font showing off the Lancôme rose, this is definitely a product that looks the part in ones collection. I love the screw on lid as it eliminates all problems of it coming off and damaging the product beneath - one of my all time pet hates in products. The tube is longer then most of its neighbouring felt liners and I like to think this is because it contains much more product meaning it won't be disappearing from your collection any time soon. The ultra fine nib is what gives it, its excellent precision and the directions of use can be altered to create a variety of different looks. If you want to achieve my preferred look, just a thin line to accentuate the lash line, just press lightly whilst applying. If you are after the ever-so-daring thick line to create something more bold and exciting, apply more pressure onto the nib and your wish is its command. 

Priced at £20, to be honest I was expecting a lot worst for a high end product and so was more then happy to kiss goodbye to my dosh in exchange for, if a dare say, a new holy grail in my collection. There really is little bad to say about the Lancôme Artliner. For all you liner-lovers out there this is an absolute 'must' in your cosmetic collection. 

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think in the comments. 
What's your favourite eyeliner?   

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Beauty & Lifestyle| Shop The Stash!

The time of Lent is upon us and like many other hopefuls out there I've set myself a challenge that I have to obey until Easter finally comes as a blessing. Being an avid Cosmetics lover as well as a self-confessed shopaholic I thought it was time to pack in the pounds, put away the card and go on a dreaded spending ban. So far so good, yes I know it's only been a couple of weeks but usually by now I would of racked up a steep bill on FeelUnique or have my eye on a couple of (hundred) things on Cult Beauty, so to be honest I should be given a medal for my incredible willpower. 

As much as this spending ban has left a deep, dark void in my life it has also inspired me to suck it up and 'Shop My Stash'. As some of you may or may not know 'Shop My Stash' is a catchy, prettier if slightly simpler term for rediscovering your Cosmetic items that used to get a lot of love but have recently been pushed out of the limelight and have instead been MIA along with your missing bobby pins. I, for one, am very guilty at buying products that I don't necessarily need meaning a lot of my then current beauty favourite get easily forgotten about. That's why I thought it was time to rifle through my cosmetics drawers and the bottom of my bag, get together all my products and re-incooperate them back into my everyday routine. Then I felt it was an excellent idea to photograph said items and put them in a blog post so I could then inspire you to do the same! So here's my chosen few...

Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation
As many of you are probably aware, Estée Lauder Double Wear is my all time favourite foundation and I've found little competitors that have ever been able to steal the lime light. Yet, being a  shopaholic and cosmetics hoarder, I find it really hard to not to wonder astray and dabble in other neighbouring brands foundations (ahem Chanel) and admittedly, recently this little glass bottle of liquid heaven has undoubtedly been pushed out the picture. This has come to an end though and as I shop my stash I plan to get a hell of a lot more use out of this bottle and re-kindle my love with the almighty Double Wear. 

Benefit Watts Up Highlighter
Probably one of the first highlighters I owned, if not the first and as soon as I welcomed this into my cosmetic stash, it was most definitely love at first. Yet not long after my eyes were graced by the likes of Mac Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle and Watts Up was soon forgotten about. Luckily I have rediscoverd this and upon using this I realised why I loved it in the first place. Being in a stick structure it can be hard to work with but with the help of a buffing brush it applies beautifully and gives me the healthy glow and slightly more prominent cheek bones that I crave. 

Soap & Glory Archery Brow Tint & Precision Shaping Pencil
A quick, easy eyebrow pencil with a sheer brown crayon and handy felt tip end, perfect for tinting your eyebrows a natural brown and filling in the gaps with ultimate precision. I loved the Archery Brow from Soap & Glory but being a lover of powders and pomade's it swiftly got pushed out of the lime light and ended up at the bottom of the pile with my 'two shades too dark' Rimmel eyebrow Pencil. Whilst I've been shopping my stash, I decided to give this another go and instantly fell in love with the clean, brushed up effect it created, a benefit I surely can not live without. 

Benefit Benetint
A Rose coloured stain perfect for a rosy-red cheek look or a 'your lips but better' tint on the mouth. The first Benefit product to ever have graced my cosmetic stash. I've had this for so many years and as you can quite plainly see from the picture, it's not too far off from being finished. Unfortunately, I was introduced to the delights of the Clarin's Mosaic blushers and pearlescent pink pans from the Accessorize range, therefore this little pot of red had taken second place and has not been used since Christmas...2012 (oops). That is going to change nevertheless and I'm excited to give this another go. Especially with the launch of Benefit's Lollitint,  a candy-coloured pink, perfect for the S\S season has flown onto the shelves and maybe, possibly, could end up in my makeup bag come Summer. 

Zara Woman Perfume
I can throw my hands up and admit I am a snob when it comes too a few things: Foundation, Skincare and of course Fragrance. Give me a decent smelling scent with a pretty bottle and a well known name and it will be mine. Luckily, this quality I possess was broken and I managed to find one of my all time favourite scents for a bargain price of £12 in Zara. Admittedly the first thing that really attracted to me to this perfume was the tiny glitter particles in the liquid, as you have probably guessed I have awfully bad Magpie like tendencies. Yet, the smell is light and sweet and completely unique to any of the other sweet smelling fragrances in my collection! I plan to give this a lot more use these brighter months and hopefully will finish the bottle come fall.

Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Pink Gold 
I have a number of these in my collection and one at a time they've all became a staple in my make up routine. Then entered the Naked 2, then the Naked 3 and finally my Mac pro palette and these drugstore babies soon sank to the back of my Muji drawers. Luckily, I stumbled upon this particular shade again whilst shopping my stash and found it to be a beautiful multi-purpose shadow, either in a wash all over the lid, a base for other pink-hued eyeshadows (ahem Naked 3) or a an ever so slightly subtle crease colour. Although it's pink toned, it's so easily wearable and with the slight shimmer, I'll definitely be sporting this on my lids on slightly more 'au natural' days especially when the sun is shining. 

Hope you enjoyed this post.
Have you Shopped Your Stash recently? 

Monday, 17 March 2014

Beauty| YSL Shocking Mascara

Mascara is one of my all time favourite things to buy and to try as well as apply in my make up routine. Being someone with fairly long, natural lashes, nothing beats a good mascara that accentuates that. I've tried many mascara from the high street to the high end and long to find one that will become that 'must have' staple in my collection. I've heard a lot of hype surrounding the YSL Shocking Mascara on various social networking sights and as much as tried to convince myself that I didn't need it, really I knew at the bottom of my heart, I would most definitely eventually end up buying it. Especially when it has such a gorgeous metallic gold packaging, how could one resist, honestly? 

This mascara promises a 'shocking' amount of volume, a claim that did not disappoint. After one application my lashes were thick, bold and the blackest of black but that came at a price. The formula is extremely wet, clumps easily and all in all is very hard to work with. The brush worked wonders volumising my lashes but completely flumped on the separating front. I found it near enough impossible to achieve the look I was after with this product and often had to call in help from other mascaras to create a finish that was acceptable to leave the house with. I hesitated to do a review on this straight away as I wanted to give the product a good enough chance to perform in the way I wanted it to before I slated it for the world to see. Luckily around three weeks later the formula dried out slightly, meaning the product applied more effectively and there was less clumping and more separation and of course volume. 

All in all, a mediocre mascara that although I'm happy using for the time being I probably wouldn't purchase again in future. I don't fully understand the hype surrounding this product and I truly believe I have trialed drug store mascaras that gave me better results than this. 

Let me know what you think in the comments.
What mascaras did you find that didn't live up to the hype? 

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Beauty| Top 5 Under £10 Items Everyone Needs In Their Make Up Bag

Maybelline Brow Drama Scultpting Mascara (£4.99)
A sheer, tinted brown mascara perfect for giving your brows a basic amount of colour or working
perfectly hand in hand with your soul brow product to create bold, well-groomed eyebrows even Cara Delevinge would be jealous off. With the small brush armed with a rounded ball-tip, this is in the perfect tool for combing colour through your brows without running the risk of the dreaded scouse brow. 
Revlon Highlighting Palette in the shade Rose Glow (£8.99) 
A gorgeous bronze, pretty blusher and shimmery highlighter all wrapped up into one miracle product. This is lovely to use whilst contouring or just applied on the apples of your cheeks to create a gorgeous, sun kissed look - perfect for the up and coming S/S months. This is also a great dupe for the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks which is almost around three times the price. I cannot see a reason as to why you wouldn't want this in your make up bag.

Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer (£4.19) 
Being someone that suffers with awful under eye circles, concealer is a definite must in my make up routine but luckily my favourite go-to concealer doesn't put me too far out of pocket. With amazing lasting power, brilliant coverage and decent colour matches, there really is no reason why someone shouldn't have this product in their make up bag. If you find yourself thinking 'well I don't have it' go out and buy! There's a reason that the packaging is very 'well-loved'. 
Tanya Burr Lip Gloss (£6.99) 
Probably one of the most talked about products of 2014 so far. Tanya Burr, a successful beauty blogger and YouTube sensation, has filled a lot of gaps in many beauty addicts collection with her beautifully pigmented, ultra glossy lip glosses that smell almost good enough to eat. Although these aren't available in store (yet) they can be purchased on websites such as FeelUnique and Superdrug online. I haven't come across one shade as of yet that I have absolutely loved.

Revlon ColourBurst Matte and Lacquer Balm's (£7.99) 
I think judging by the fact that I hauled 5 of these within two shopping trips pretty much proves that these lip products are a 'must have' in anyone's make up bag. With a great range of colours with either matte or lacquer finishes, lovely pigmentation and a fresh minty scent which ensures that they serve as an absolute treat to my cosmetic collection. I can guarantee there will be a shade that will match your complexion perfectly, all you have to do is swatch away. 

Hope you enjoyed this post. 
What cosmetics are your make up 'must haves'?

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Beauty| Chanel Perfection Lumiére Foundation

I'm sure that many of you agree that Chanel just screams luxury with its simple yet elegant packaging and the beautiful, well put together products. After being impressed with the Chanel Beauty Hydra Gel Créme (review here) I bit the bullet and splashed out £36 on the Chanel Perfection Lumiére Foundation, an extreme amount of money I know but it felt like a necessity at the time. I have tryed and tested a copious amount of foundations, more high end then drugstore then I would like to admit as it seems I am a shameless snob when it comes to products for my complexion but I like to think I've built up a good amount of knowledge and extended a long list titled 'Foundations I would buy again'. The ones that gain the glory of having a snug little place at the top of my list are the few that tick the majority, if not all the boxes, for what I look for in a foundation. 

Being someone that suffers with combination skin meaning one day I'll have horrific dry patches and the next a completely unexpected and unappreciated break out, I need a foundation that conceals the blemishes but doesn't cling to the dry areas. A quality I'm pleased to say this foundation possesses. Now the most important thing to be said with this foundation is a little bit really does go a long way and less most definitely is more. I found myself struggling at first with a cakey and an if ever-so-slightly uneven finish which is something I was not expecting with it being a very upmarket product but luckily this was not so much as the foundations fault but simply mine. I found once applying this foundation lightly, buffing it evenly over the skin and then setting it with a baked powder, the finish was completely and utterly flawless, just what the foundation claims. 

Chanel state that 'perfection has never been so simple' when using this foundation with its beautiful matte finish, radiance and colour correction qualities that cancel out even the reddest of areas creating something stunning and flawless, a trait I can really can get on board with. With a light-medium coverage that can be easily adjusted and builded, this product has shown me that I don't necessarily need to hide my face under a heavy coverage foundation layer but instead embrace the natural look, colour and radiance of my very own skin. The only downside to this product being the shade that I own 20 Beige is a shade too dark for me, a personal imperfection I know but something that slightly taints the overall perfection of this product. Luckily the colour seems to calm and adjust to my own skin tone soon after making it perfectly wearable which I would hope so too when I'm paying so much for a bottle that's slightly on the small side.  

Overall a lovely product that I have thoroughly enjoyed wearing and I'm already counting down the days until my spending ban is over so I can splash my cash and treat myself to a few more Chanel products!

Let me know what you think in the comments!
What's your favourite high end foundation? 

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Beauty| Mac Woodwinked Eyeshadow and Swatches

I was recently given the Mac Woodwinked Eyeshadow as a present from my best friend and fellow blogger Petrina from GreyWalls. I have been lusting over this colour in particular long before I even started this blog and unlike many of my cosmetic cravings, this was one that could not be stunted. The need grew even more once I walked onto the blogging scene and saw the ever-growing hype and I made it my personal mission to make it mine. Luckily Petrina had the same idea and I was ecstatic to find this petite pot in a gift bag on my Birthday.
For starters, I love love LOVE the tiny, circular packaging. The dainty design makes it perfect for travel with an in-built pan that can always be de-potted into another Mac Pro Palette (review here) if one so wishes. I personally would rather not do this as with my clumsy hands I know I'll end up with a crumbled eyeshadows and a very annoyed and disheartened beauty blogger AKA myself. 
The colour of this eyeshadow was almost too pretty for what I was expecting. A beautiful, bronzed gold with a warm orange-like under tone with a slight shimmer to make the perfect base or crease colour for a variety of looks. You know when you get those certain products that apply so beautifully it actually makes you slightly emotional? Just me? Well this was one of them. Once applied to the lid and blended in to the crease, the overall looked appeared intricate and beautiful with a finish that gave the impression that I had spent ages perfecting it which in actual fact took about five minutes. The great thing about this shade is that it pretty much looks great on any skin tone, making it the perfect go-to neutral nude for pretty much anyone and looks extra beautiful on all the brown or green-eye girls like myself, with the deep, bronzed tones complimenting the iris's making them big, beautiful and bold. 
Like all of Mac's eyeshadows the quality is outstanding with excellent pigmentation and long-lasting benefits ensuring your look will appear gorgeous all through-out the day and in to the night. If used with a decent eyelid primer the shade seems stubborn not to crease, a quality most people will appreciate. The formula is still easily blend able once applied making Mac's eyeshadows one of the most favoured eye products to work with. With this product, a little bit can really go a long way making the £12.50 price tag slightly more justified.

Let me know what you think in the comments.
Would you buy this colour? What's your favourite Mac eyeshadow?

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Beauty| My MAC Pro Palette x 4

I was recently gifted a Mac Pro Palette x 4 for my Birthday and could not contain the excitement I had about filling it up with eyeshadow pans personally picked by myself. I find the empty Mac Pro Palettes an excellent idea as it allows you to both expand and personalise your eyeshadow collection making various palettes organised by look or hue with inserts designed to take from two pans to fifteen.  With Mac having one of the most talked about eyeshadow colours, I knew I would easily be able to fill a four and already I'm trying to hold back from buying and filling a lot more! 
I'm really happy with the selections I made and find this to be a really diverse colour selection suitable for all seasons, creates multiple looks and fills the gaps in my ever-growing collection. I find the palettes to be completely worth the money with the empty palette with the four spaced insert costing only £6.50 and each shadow pan costing £10, a price I'm willing to pay for such great quality, super pigmented and long lasting eyeshadows. 
Mythology (top left): A really pretty light Pinky/Orange with a gold shimmer that works beautifully washed over the lid or even applied lightly in the crease with a lighter hue over the base. I bought this on a whim, hearing of little reviews and barely any hype surrounding it which I find to be surprising. It's a really beautiful colour that's completely unique to anything else in my collection.

Naked Lunch (top right): One of Mac's most loved shadows and I knew right from when I saw the empty spaces in my palette, one would be filled by this. A really light, shimmery pearlescent Pink that appears beautiful applied to the lid for a natural daytime look or works lovely as a base when blending with multiple deep-toned colours to create something more suitable for the evening. A gorgeous colour that everyone needs in their collection! 

Charcoal Brown (bottom left): A great diverse colour that looks breath-taking in the crease but also doubles up to be one of the most loved Brow colours with the cool Brown tone and the completely  matte finish. The many uses this pan brings is one of the main reasons why I bought this colour making it completely worth the £10 price tag being multi-purpose. 

Cranberry (bottom right): A gorgeous, sexy deep Red colour with a slight Pink/Purple undertone that appears scary in the pan but can create some of the most bold but beautiful looks. Picture this  with Golds to create a beautiful Sunset Shadow lid or with Dark Browns to create a unique take of a Smokey Eye. So diverse and different, I knew this had to be mine. 
Here are some colour colour swatches of all four shadows in the same order then what they are in the descriptions above. I love the formula of these eyeshadows with their powdered consistency that blends easily, doesn't crease and last beautifully all day. Please let me know in the comments what your favourite Mac Shadows are as I'm already on the hunt for some more to lust over and to give me to excuse to buy another empty Pro Palette to fill.

Thank you for reading!