Tuesday, 22 August 2017

MUA Matte Lipstick in Mystic Marsala | Budget Beauty

I couldn't not do a post on this incredible budget offering from MUA. I came across this MUA Matte Lipstick in Mystic Marsala back when I was writing a review on the Wild Berry shade from the same range (here). I don't know how I missed this shade before, but I made sure to pick it up on my next trip. I must have had it for a year now and I LOVE the shade. I normally go for a few products on a daily basis, so mascara, concealer and eyeliner, and I find that my face sometimes just looks a bit dull, but this breathes some colour back into it! The shade is perfect, it perks up my complexion but at the same time it's not very dark at all, it looks quite natural on and so can be worn literally everywhere.

All of the MUA Matte Lipstick comes in a white tube, again with an bit extra at the bottom to give you a better idea of the shade. The packaging is a bit basic, but then again it doesn't get fingerprints marks nor does the lid get loose if you chuck it in your bag. Again, for the small price of £1, the packaging isn't too bad at all.

The formula of Mystic Marsala is pretty good too. It's very creamy so it glides on quite well, and it doesn't really stick to dry patches that much like you would normally associate with some matte lipsticks. It might do if your lips are particularly chapped, but it's actually a nice matte for dry lips. It's not drying in the slightest nor does it ever feel uncomfortable on the lips throughout the day. Infact, I rarely put a lip balm underneath, and might only top it up with The Body Shop Lippy Sticks on the move.

It wears really evenly too. It's not the most long lasting but it can definitely last around 4-6 hours, including eating and drinking. When it wears off it'll just leave a stain, so no tell tale lines. With the formula of Wild Berry shade from the same line, I did point out that one was a bit crumbly, but Mystic Marsala doesn't suffer from the same problem. This one does feel slightly more dry though when your first put it on.

As for the shade, I'm really struggling with how to describe it! So I'm going to go for a warm chestnut pink, with some mauve tones to it. Can you see how much I'm struggling?! Let me know if you're any better at this! I think the shade might also work differently for everyone, so on me (see below), it definitely pulls more of a neutral brownish pink, but that is super flattering on my medium skintone. Also, as you can see from the swatch above it is really pigmented, although it isn't quite as pigmented on the lips, I still prefer to apply a bit to the centre of my lips and blend it out for an everyday look usually.

Overall, I don't know why this shade isn't talked about as much because I can see a lot of people enjoying it, and I think it's a good one to go for too if you struggle with finding a good nude (I nearly always end up looking washed out). Plus, the bargain price of £1 is too good to say no to haha! You can pick it up from Superdrug, or find the rest of the collection on MUA's website here. I can't even think of many cons, as the formula could stand against way more expensive options (it's only slightly dry when you first put it on), and the shade is perfect.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Do you have any lipsticks that you think are overlooked?

Bloglovin| Instagram| Twitter


Friday, 18 August 2017

What Have I Been Reading | 1

Reading has always been one of my biggest hobbies, although I'll admit I have been really slow with it in the last few years. It can be really hard to set aside time for it each day, especially when you've got 101 other things on your mind, but I'm determined to atleast get through some of the unread books on my bookshelf. Here's some that I finished recently!

War and Peace
I love reading classics, and this was one that I had on my list for ages. I normally do read the book before I watch an adaptation, but the BBC War and Peace Series began before I read it (which was amazing encase you were wondering). This is one of the longest classics I've read, its around 1200 pages and the writing was quite small. It did take a bit of time to get into it and become familiar with all the characters (it was easier for me as I watched the BBC adaptation), but it is definitely worth it! It's one of those novels, like the Khalid Hosseini novels, that aren't history or current affairs books, yet you probably learn just as much about the history by following the characters around. I've definitely learnt a lot more about the Napoleonic Wars than I imagined.

Reviews I've read of War and Peace also suggest that it's not a novel, but more of a inner monologue, and I definitely agree in that it's quite philosophical. I also found myself thinking more about why people go to war, how one person's greed can shape so much and how the world would be if those people didn't take those steps.

I really loved the way the characters were portrayed, and getting to learn more about Russian aristocracy at the time. Andrei Bolkonsky was definitely one of my favourite characters as he had this drive to make the world a better place, and actually tried to do so (rather than Pierre who thinks he is, but actually isn't). The fact that he feels quite pained, even though he was born into such an influential position, is also interesting as he wasn't like the others who took their social standing for granted. Overall, I would definitely recommend it for a read if you enjoy classics, it's also one of those books that I feel like a lot of people do want to tick off and say they read it.

The Girl on The Train
This one had been sitting on my bookshelf for ages and there's probably thousands of reviews out there already seeing as it was so hyped up, but I'll throw in my two cents anyway. I was actually quite impressed with it as it is a real page turning thriller. I think the author got the balance just right as with every chapter you learn something new that ensures it's full of suspense, but not too much is given away so it's predictable.

It was quite an easy read as you would finish a chapter before you knew it, and the layout makes it really easy if you're a fast reader (like me). There isn't much for me to say without giving away the plot, but it was worth the hype. The movie on the other hand was such a let down, there was no suspense and the plot all but vanished. They seemed to throw a lot of unnecessary scenes into the mix, and it just let down the essence of the movie (in my opinion).

The Book Thief
I actually haven't read this recently, but I couldn't not mention it, as it was written by Markus Zusak who also wrote The Messenger. The Book Thief is one of my all time favourite books, I honestly recommend it to most people I speak to! It follows Liesel's adventures in Nazi Germany, again it's not a history book but you really learn so much about day to day life during that time. This book honestly has it all, the suspense, the humour, the heart wrenching scenes.

The most interesting part is that it is narrated from the perspective of death, almost like the grim reaper. It does sound a bit strange, but it's quite intriguing too because you sort of see that death isn't the bad guy. He doesn't cause the war to take place, but his job is to pick up the souls that have lost their lives due to it. Again, it does have a slight philosophical twist on it as you see people suffering but you also see them trying to make the most out of a bad situation, and carrying on. I also think this twist is important as there is still so much suffering in the world, and I guess it's our reminder not to close our eyes to it.

The Messenger
This has also just been sitting on my bookshelf, and I thought I might as well give it a go before I move on to another classic that'll take me ages, as it seemed like a relatively quick read. This one is narrated from a first person perspective, and honestly I found it so different to the Book Thief. It follows the adventures of Ed who has to complete tasks, as he is the messenger, and these often have moral dilemmas. I wouldn't say it's as suspenseful as say The Girl On The Train at first, but it still encourages you to read on to see what his next tasks will be. It is a good read, but I also think it's one that I'll easily forget when I move onto the next book. There's nothing that really stands out about it, like the Book Thief, but it's not a bad read. It's still well written and interesting, but I don't think the plot is one that draws you in initially, however after the half way mark I couldn't put it down as I wanted to see what his next message would involve. This is one which you have to slightly preserve with at first, but I would say it's still worth it.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
What have you read recently?

Bloglovin| Instagram| Twitter


Monday, 14 August 2017

How I Keep my Makeup Brushes Looking as NEW

Keep your makeup brushes in perfect condition

By now I'm pretty sure most of us have heard it several times over about how important it is to wash makeup brushes regularly to stop bacteria harbouring on them, and every time I think to myself I really need to wash them this weekend! But then I get carried away with shopping and all the other things weekends were made for(!)

Fortunately this isn't a post about how often I wash my brushes, but it's about how I get them to retain their shape when I do! After all, when you make an investment you want it to last.

Keep your makeup brushes in perfect condition

So first of all, I used to wash my brushes with either the Dove beauty wash, or a mixture of fairy washing up liquid and olive oil. The Dove wash works quite well, gets the makeup off and helps the bristles dry silky soft. The washing up liquid and olive oil mix is quite a popular solution  but I found it can leave the powder brushes slightly greasy if you don't rinse them out 101 times. There's also baby shampoo if you want another quick fix.

Technic solid brush cleaner

Technic solid brush cleaner

However, recently I've been using the Technic brush cleaner*. I've never tried a solid brush cleaner before, but I really liked it. The solid texture is almost transparent, and it's quite hard. You basically wet your brush, and then swirl it over the solid cleaner so it picks up the formula. You then swirl it around in your hand, it actually foamed up really well and quickly, so you only need to do it once for each brush (whereas with the other methods above I would have to go in 2-3 times to get all the pigments off the brush). The solid cleaner does have a cucumber scent, but I didn't find it noticeable on the brushes once dried. I think it is quite a good and quick product, the only con is that sometimes some of the pigment can be left on the brush cleaner but I just wiped it up afterwards with a tissue. I also found that my brushes seemed to dry quicker with this, and the bristles seemed in pretty good condition afterwards. You can get it for £5 here.

Technic solid brush cleaner
Now, I see the next step as quite an important part. Brushes tend to get splayed, and we don't want our favourite contour brush loosing it's shape! Shaping our brushes when they're wet also helps them to keep their shape as they dry. This is where the brush guards come in. They're basically a netting that you put over your brush and it keeps the bristles packed firmly together as they dry. This means in the long term you'll have brushes that are as good as new.

Makeup brush guard

I couldn't find the mesh roll I purchased for around £1 many years ago, but there's a pack of 15 guards here for 99p, or a 40 piece set from Amazon for £2.98 here. They're also great for storage purposes.

Makeup brush guard

Lastly, I sometimes then put them in a jar downwards so that when they dry the water drips into the jar rather than into the glue holding the bristles in place. However, it's best to have them where they're hanging off a desk, so there's less chance of the bristles getting splayed.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Do you have any methods to keep your brushes in great condition?

Bloglovin| Instagram| Twitter


Friday, 11 August 2017

Boots Beauty Must Haves Box Review

Boots Beauty Must Haves
My Sister knows me so well that when there was an offer on at Boots to get a free beauty box with a spend of over £50, she thought 'well that's another present sorted'. The products included are what Boots think make beauty must haves! I actually haven't tried most of these products before, so carry on reading to see what I made of them.

Boots Youthful Eye Serum and No7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Soft Cherry

Boots Youthful Eye Serum

No7 Youthful Eye Serum
I have heard quite a mix of reviews on the No7 eye creams, and so I was a bit unsure of what to expect. However, the formula is just what I prefer, a light creamy texture that absorbs instantly, and isn't greasy at all. It definitely feels more like a cream, rather than a serum. Infact, its the most lightweight eye cream/serum I've ever tried. Therefore, it might not suit those who are looking for something heavier to put on over night, but I think it's a good option if you're looking for something lighter or if you want something to wear under your concealer. It retails for £19.50 (here), which I think it slightly more on the pricey side, but No7 do always do those money off vouchers and gift sets.

It does have some anti ageing claims, but I don't really have any fine lines yet. It also includes Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C (how many times have I mentioned these two on the blog recently!), and Vitamin A.

No7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Soft Cherry

No7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Soft Cherry swatch

(This is a terrible picture but atleast you can see those dry patches for yourself)

No7 Moisture Drench Lipstick - Soft Cherry
I've never tried anything from No7's lip range, and so I was super excited to give the Moisture Drench lipstick in Soft Cherry a go. These retail for £10 (here). The packaging is actually a lot more luxurious than I was expecting, and the lipstick has SPF 15 in it. In the tube, it does look like quite a bright coral, and so I thought it would be quite flattering. However, it's one of those lipsticks where the shade is quite hard to pinpoint. For example, on the swatch it actually looks like a pinkish red, and when I first applied it on my lips it actually came across as very pink, but when I looked later on it was definitely a coral-y red. It is quite pigmented, whilst it's not a statement lip, it is still quite bright. That's one of the reasons I'm unsure about this, I think it's too bright on me and not the most flattering. However, if you prefer brighter summer shades (and the added SPF), you might get on better with this.

The Moisture Drench range also claims to leave lips feeling moisturised for up to 8 hours. However, I'm not sold on this. First of all, when you apply it, it really doesn't feel moisturising at all. I didn't think it went on smoothly and it clung to every dry patch (I did exfoliate beforehand but didn't apply a lip balm, I didn't think I would need to with a 'moisturising lipstick'). It strangely had a semi matte finish, which I wasn't expecting as moisturising ranges tend to be more on the satin side. After about 10-20 minutes though it does feel a bit more comfortable on the lips, and whilst it's still not moisturising, it's not drying either. However, because of the almost slippery texture, it's not a lipstick that will last very long or after you eat. Overall, I wasn't really blown away by this lipstick, maybe if it was in another shade I would have preferred it.

Soap and Glory hand food

Soap and Glory Hand Food
We always have some hand food lying around at home, and it's one of those well known products that doesn't need much of an introduction. It's a good moisturising hand cream, that smells amazing and is a real lifesaver during the winter. I'm sure it won't be long till the Christmas gift sets are in store, and they're worth checking out to get more for your money. It retails for £5.50 on it's own (here).

Mark Hill Taming Anti Humidity Hair Spray
I knew this was a bit optimistic, thinking that a spray can protect your hair from humidity, but I was hoping it would be true because it would certainly save me from going around with a mullet on my head. If you didn't know, it's practically humid the majority of the time in the UK, as it basically just rains constantly. Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be, I didn't see a difference and my hair did end up going crazy because it rained. I'll try and find different ways to use this, but I think it's a bit of a long shot for thick, unruly hair, maybe if you had finer hair? It is a really lightweight hairspray though, and it didn't leave my hair feeling crunchy or weighed down. It retails for £5.99 (here)

Champney's Barefoot Beauty Restoring Foot Butter
I haven't tried a foot cream for ages, because I'm lazy, but I am starting to get some tough skin on my heels so I probably should. Just like other Champney's products I think the packaging does look quite luxurious (for a foot cream anyway!). I love the gold detailing at the bottom and the font. The foot butter is actually quite a nice treat, it's hydrating but not heavy (like a body butter), so you don't need to sit in the same spot for ages waiting for it to be absorbed in. It has a blend of almond oil, coconut oil and shea butter. It also has a minty aroma which is quite noticeable when you put it on, but I guess it's personal preference about whether you like it or not. Infact, the minty aroma caught me off guard, like that's a weird thing to add? Then I realised that the previous foot cream I tried ages ago had the same minty fragrance, probably because it can have a cooling sensation and leave your feet smelling a bit fresher (I really want to say cheesy feet but that would be rude haha!). It retails for £5.33 (here).

Soltan Once Face Moisturising Suncare Cream - SPF30
I'm sure I tried this before a few years ago but I'm picky with my sun creams and this was resigned to the bodycare drawer (never to appear again) because I found it too thick for me. I tried it again and it didn't feel as thick (and gloopy) like I remember. However, I'm still in love with the Balance Me Natural SPF, so I'll probably leave this one for throwing in my bag or for travelling as it's quite travel friendly. This retails at £10 (here).

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Have you tried any of these products?

Bloglovin| Instagram| Twitter