29.12.12

MAC Stereo Rose MSF

Stereo Rose MSF £21.50


Is MAC Stereo Rose MSF the most hyped MAC product ever? possibly.

After selling out super fast twice before, this time around its released (again limited edition) as part of the Apres Chic collection.
Admittedly, this was a panic buy. I have so many blushes but one more can't hurt right?

Stereo Rose is a beautiful coral with gold shimmer mineralize skinfinish with a frosty metallic finish. Its highly pigmented and super soft to touch. It would work on most skin tones so I can definitely see why there is so much hype around it.

At time of publishing its still available online here.


28.12.12

New Launch: Urban Decay naked skin bb cream


So I just spotted this sneak peek on the urban decay facebook page. If you're a fan of the naked range, urban decay are launching a bb cream on the 3rd January 2013 in the US. Hopefully the UK wont be far behind, although I cant help thinking that the bb cream fad might have sailed by now. We will see!


Best of 2012: Part 2

So its almost the end of another year and I've put together my favourite products of the 2012. It was quite difficult to choose my most loved items in certain categories so I've decided to pick things based on quality and price. These products are not necessarily newly launched but discoveries I've made this year. I've also not included my holy grail items as I love them regardless. I've split my favourites into two parts to avoid this being too lengthy. You can view part 1 here. Today is make up tools, facial skincare, body, hair and fragrance.

Best Makeup Tools

Winner: Real Techniques stippling brush
Runner up: Real Techniques powder brush

The real techniques stippling brush has to be one of the best brushes ever. Seriously, this brush is amazing!It creates a flawless base and buffs in foundation like a dream.
The real techniques powder brush is one that I use every day for applying my mattifying powder. Its a large size brush so perfect for application. Real techniques are also cruelty free!



Best Facial Skincare

Winner: Superdrug Naturally Radiant Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser
Runner up: Murad Cleansers

The superdrug naturally radiant hot cloth cleanser (reviewed here) is possibly my bargain find of the year. Its a lovely creamy cleanser that leaves sin soft and glowing. A cheap alternative to liz earles hot cloth cleanser.
Thanks to beauty boxes, I got some samples of Murad skincare to try. I love both the AHA exfoliating and time release blemish cleansers. They both leave the skin looking bright and clear. I will definitely be looking into buying the full size versions.



Best Bodycare

Winner: Vichy Body Cream-Milk
Runner up: Soap & Glory Heel Genius

My best bodycare discovery of 2012 has to be Vichy Body cream -milk. This rose scented body moisturiser not only smells amazing but drys quickly to leave skin super soft and moisturised.
I also love Soap & Glory heel genius. A lovely smelling foot cream that moisturises feet and softens hard skin.


Best Haircare

Winner: Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Treatment
Runner up: Redken Extreme Anti-snap

I bought the sexy hair soy renewal treatment after my hairdresser used it on me as a styling treatment (to smooth dry hair). I also use on damp hair before blow drying. As it contains argan oil, it leaves my hair feeling incredibly nourished and soft and shiny. A definite must have.
I also love the Redken Anti-snap which can also be used before applying heat to the hair. It smells amazing and my hair feels much stronger since I stated using it.



Best Fragrance

Winner: Boss Orange
Runner up: Daisy Eau So Fresh

I got Hugo boss orange free with a magazine subscription. I probably wouldn't have considered buying it otherwise as I expected a synthetic orange fragrance. In reality, the scent is a gorgeous subtle floral fruity fragrance. Definitely one I will repurchase again for daytime wear.
I also adore Marc jacobs daisy eau so fresh. I would describe this as a 'deeper' version of the original daisy. Slightly heavier but still a lovely scent.

What products have you loved in 2012?


Daxons VIP Fashion Bloggers Opportunity!



Daxon are looking for the UK's finest fashion bloggers to join their exclusive blogger network.

Daxon offer some lovely fashion and home items and are part of Redcats  - the 3rd largest home shopping organisation in the world, which holds La Redoute and others.

I'm a big fan of home shopping and already shop with la redoute so I think this is a pretty exciting opportunity.
If you like the sound of this and want to join and receive an Amazon or Threadbare voucher then click here for more information. All you need to do is sign up and share the offer with others!

Here are some of my favourite items!





21.12.12

Best of 2012: Part 1


So its almost the end of another year and I've put together my favourite products of the 2012. It was quite difficult to choose my most loved items in certain categories so I've decided to pick things based on quality and price. These products are not necessarily newly launched but discoveries I've made this year. I've also not included my holy grail items as I love them regardless. I've split my favourites into two parts to avoid this being too lengthy. Today is blush, base, highlighter, shadow, lips and nails.




Best Blush

Winner: Bobbi Brown Nude Peach
Runner up: Sleek Rose Gold

I chose bobbi brown nude peach (reviewed here) as its my most used blush. It gives a lovely healthy glow that is flattering and looks natural.
Sleek Rose Gold blush (reviewed here) is total value for money. Sleek blushes are so affordable and really good quality - soft and highly pigmented without being chalky. I like to pair rose gold over MAC stunner.



Best Base Product

Winner: DiorSkin Nude Concealer
Runner up: Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer
Diorskin nude concealer has been my saviour for under eye dark circles. Its light and creamy so it blends really well. I like to mix with MAC strobe cream to brighten my eye area. Although its pricey, it works out to be better value than most under eye concealers as you get 10ml in a tube, say compared to touche eclat which is around 2.5ml for £25.
I also really like the collection 2000 lasting perfection concealer to cover up any blemishes or redness. The consistency is very creamy, so it feels much more expensive than it it. It blends well and lasts all day.



Best Highlighter

Winner: MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish Superb
Runner up: Jemma Kidd Dewy Glow Radiance Creme Iced Gold

If there's one item I've adored this year, its highlighters. My ultimate favourite has been MAC's Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Superb (limited edition) seen here. Superb is a champagne beige metallic highlighter. On the skin, it looks flawless. I sweep a little over my cheeks to enhance luminosity. It truly is beautiful.
My other favourite has been Jemma Kidd's Dewy Glow radiance creme in Iced Gold (reviewed here). A pale gold highlighter that leaves a dewy glow that is non greasy so perfect for us oily girls. I think Jemma Kidd went into administration so it might be difficult to get hold of now. I'm really not sure what is happening with the brand, which is a shame as I really like some of Jemma's products.


Best Shadow

Winner: Benefit Creaseless Cream Skinny Jeans
Runner Up: TheBalm Nude Tude Palette

I didn't expect to get on very well with Benefit Creaseless Creams but honestly I'm floored with how much I loved the shade Skinny Jeans. Skinny Jeans is the perfect base for a smoky eye. Its highly pigmented, doesn't budge or crease.
My favourite palette has been TheBalm Nude Tude Palette (reviewed here). The shades in the palette are pigmented and soft, although some shades perform better than others. I find myself reaching for it quite a lot.



Best Lip Product

Winner: Givenchy Magic Lip and Cheek Balm
Runner up: Revlon Lip Butter

This was probably the toughest category. I've liked a lot of lip products this year but I felt the Givenchy Magic Lip and Cheek Balm was my favourite in terms of moisturising and adding a hint of colour to the lips (reviewed here). Although it does say cheek balm, its far to oily to be used as a blush on my face but I love the natural flush of colour it adds to lips and keeps them well moisturised.
My favourite newly launched product of the year was definitely the Revlon Lip Butters (swatched here and here). Strawberry shortcake is my favourite shade. I love the feel of these on the lips and the good pigmentation. They also really affordable too.



Best Nail Product

Winner: Models Own Nail Polish Utopia
Runner up: 17 Holographic

Models Own really do have the best variety of shades on the high street. I love Utopia (swatched here) its perfect to wear on its own or layered under a top coat. The formula is great - not too runny or gloopy.
The other polish I loved this year was the holographic from Boots 17 (swatched here). Not only is it a beautiful shade and  great consistency but its super cheap to buy too. If its still instore I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a gorgeous shade for the new year party season.


Part 2 coming soon.....

Let me know some of your favourites from 2012


♥

18.12.12

MAC Archies Girls: Betty and Veronica Collection

I love finding information and colour stories on new collections, especially MAC.
Archies girls: The Betty and Veronica collection for 2013 looks super cute. Hopefully early swatches and reviews will be just as good!

*edit: I posted a sneak peek of some of the products here*




Betty
The Girl-Next-Door Blonde
The Betty Cooper line incorporates shades of pink, coral, peach and plum which reflect Cooper's bubbly and loveable personality.
Eyes: Black Swan (black with gold pearl) eyeliner, the Caramel Sundae eyeshadow palette and the Optimum Black opulash mascara.
Cheeks: Cream Soda Light neutral coral satin powder blush.
Face: Flatter Me Pearlmatte face powder.
Lips: Girl Next Door lipstick (vivid blue pink) and Stay Sweet lipgloss (light lavender pink).

Veronica
The Vivacious, Spoiled, Rich Brunette
The Veronica line is sultrier and features darker make-up. Think plums, navy and black.
Face: Veronica's Blush Pearlmatte face powder.
Lips: Ronnie Red bright red lipstick and Strawberry Malt lipgloss.
Eyes: Petrol Blue pearlglide intense eyeliner, Bad, Bad, Black (saturated with intense black with extra volumisation) opulash mascara and Spoiled Rich eyeshadow palette.




Back to basics: makeup brushes for the face!


If there's one thing I've bought a lot of this year, its make up brushes. Before blogging and reading tonnes of blogs, I never bothered too much with brushes. I had a few cheap and cheerful ones but I would pretty much just slap my makeup on and dash out of the door.
Reading blogs and watching youtube videos on makeup application made me realise it might be worth investing in some good quality brushes and spend more time applying my makeup to make it look natural and flawless.
Real Techniques foundation brush/core collection kit/powder brush

Real techniques brushes need no introduction. Not only are they good quality but they are affordable and super soft. They are also colour coded - gold represents base brushes, pink for finishing your look and purple for eyes.

The core collection comprises four brushes and carry case (not pictured) ;
*contour brush - used for bronzer or blusher.
*detailer brush - I use to apply and blend concealer on small areas
*buffing brush - buffing foundation or powder into the skin
*pointed foundation brush - applying foundation around the nose, eyes and mouth.

The angled foundation brush, I find is too small for applying foundation so I use to apply a contour powder (nyx taupe shadow) and then blend with the contour brush from the core collection.

The powder brush is the perfect size for applying a setting powder over the entire face. It blends powder seamlessly and evenly.

Real techniques blush and stippling brush

Real techniques blush brush is a rounded, slightly tapered brush. Whilst its extremely soft, I do think its slightly on the larger size for applying blush.

The stippling brush is the real gem of the real techniques range. I use this brush to apply my estee lauder double wear light foundation. I buff in my foundation and it literally creates a flawless, airbrushed finish. The best brush I own!!


EcoTools blush/blending brush (part of five piece set)//bronzing brush

The EcoTools blush and blending brushes are from the five piece brush set. I bought mine from Ebay here. I can't be sure if they are 100% genuine as they are so cheap to buy but I am very happy with them. They are super soft and they wash easily without shedding. I also bought the EcoTools Bronzing brush from Ebay here. Again I'm not sure of authenticity but this is a lovely brush for applying highlighter or bronzer. For the price both are worth buying.

Sigma round kabuki/angled kabuki/precision tapered/angled contour

I've been building up my collection of Sigma brushes. I find them to be as good quality as MAC but with a cheaper price tag.
The f82 round kabuki* is a dense brush used to buff foundation or powder into the skin.
The f84 angled kabuki is a brush I use to apply cream blush to my cheeks. The thickness of the brush makes it ideal to buff and blend cream blusher into the skin.
The p86 precision tapered is a brush I use to apply and blend concealer to areas around the nose and mouth. Its a very sturdy brush which makes it ideal for those areas but this is the least soft brush of the sigma ones I own.
The f40 large angled contour can be used for blush and bronzer. This is probably the softest brush I own. I've been using this to apply Illamasqua naked rose blush.

Do you own any of these brushes?


16.12.12

MAC Strobe Cream

MAC strobe cream 30ml £12.50

At this time of year, my skin starts to look a little dull. Cold weather and indoor heating takes it toll, so I need something in my skincare routine to get my sparkle back.
MAC strobe cream is a product I've not heard too much about. Described as the ultimate quick fix for the skin, strobe cream boosts dull and tired looking skin, adding radiance.
I would describe strobe cream as a highlighting moisturiser. The white cream goes on colourless to give a luminous glow. As my skin is oily, I like to use it sparingly. There are multiple ways in which you can use the cream. I've been mixing it with my revlon colorstay foundation to give my skin a healthy glow. I've also noticed it makes my foundation easier to blend. I also like to use it under my eyes, to brighten dark circles before concealing and in place of highlighter - over my cheeks to give a dewy glow.
Strobe cream has become a staple in my kit due to its non greasy texture and anti-oxidant properties. It really does make a difference to my base, making it look fresh and healthy!

Have you tried strobe cream?
What do you use to make your skin look bright and healthy?



15.12.12

Guest Post: Whats in my bag!

Hello lovelies, instead of the lovely Zoe gracing your screen today I have popped by. I’m Sam and I blog over in my own corner of the web - Samwich Box.  After a quick chat with Zoe here I am, bringing you an old classic, ‘What’s in my Bag?’
My trusty burgundy satchel has been by my side on and off for the last year and I always return to it like a faithful old Labrador. I was perusing the often disappointing New Look sale in town and this little beauty caught my eye, for just £10. I was at the till and out of the shop in record time, beyond chuffed with my little bargain.
Everyone who has known me for more than 5 minutes will tell you about my ridiculous lip balm obsession. They are in my pockets, bags, draws, at friends’ houses…everywhere. In particular I have a penchant for Vaseline, every kind. In my defence, I had no idea that there was this many tins in my bag until I came to take these photographs…
Next up we have the basics. My beloved (yet sadly discontinued) Collection mascara that I now have to buy in Poundland, the fantastic Topshop kohl pencil in ‘Coal’, Miss Sporty So Clear pressed powder for my insanely oily T-Zone and the lifesaving Witch Blemish Stick for the acne that comes as an added joy with my afore mentioned T-Zone. Naturally, I have yet more lip balm (send help) and this little Macleans number; dropping into Pizza Hut, gorging on garlic bread then having to face mankind afterwards often requires some breath freshening.
I couldn’t write this without giving a shout out to my baby Blackberry and her best friends, my earphones. I’m a Twitter fiend and also have to write about 452965 lists just to remember the bare essentials every day so this little thing comes in handy for keeping me organised – even if she does drive me up the wall sometimes. Earphones are a staple for bus journeys to college; I share a bus with a lot of ‘morning people’ and their happy chattering is just not my thing at 8am.
Last but most certainly not least we have my little old purse. I got this in Primark when I was about 13 if not younger (I’m now 17) when it was reduced to £2.50, and despite not being to everyone’s taste it continues to serve me well. Every so often I think of retiring it for a newer model but I just don’t have the heart.
So that was my bag, ladies and gents – minus a mountain of receipts, 4 leaflets and a month’s worth of train tickets. At this point you’re either mind-numbingly bored or pleased that you got to have a nosey (I know I always am!), either way I’d like to thank you all for putting up with me when you probably came here looking for the lovely Zoe, and I hope to see you all again.
What’s in your bag?
Sam
 
*Thank you so much Sam - Make sure you check out Sam's lovely blog here*

11.12.12

Vamping it up with Revlon!



Revlon Vixen nail polish*
Berry smoothie lip butter*
Raspberry pie lip butter*

At this time of year, what I call the vamp look - dark lips and nails is a big trend. Sometimes its quite difficult to pull off. What I like about Revlon's products is that they are extremely wearable.
I've raved about the lip butters before and berry smoothie and raspberry pie are no different. Lip butters are a cross between a balm and lipstick, offering creamy pigmented colour that is comfortable to wear. Berry Smoothie is a sheer berry shade. On many it will be a 'my lips but better shade'. My natural lip colour is very light so berry smoothie offers more than a hint of colour. Although it contains a subtle shimmer, berry smoothie is more wearable for daytime than raspberry pie - a deep red. Both lip butters leave a glossy finish on the lips,which seem to make my lips look plumper. I swatched a few more of the shades in this post.
The nail polish formula on vixen was good. Not watery or too thick though it could have done with another coat in the picture above. These are well worth a look for anyone interested in deeper tones.

*I've included face pictures in the last few posts so you can see the what the lip product looks like on - let me know if this is more helpful or if I should include arm swatches too!*


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