Tuesday, 13 February 2018

ColourPop Super Shock Eyeshadows (+ Highlighter)

It's been a while since I posted my ColourPop Haul (see here). Unfortunately, because of travelling around and the dreaded effects of winter (namely dry skin and lips), I didn't get as much use from most of these products over the last few months, especially the liquid lipsticks (which you probably saw me mention in my previous post). However, and this was quite unexpected for me too, I have gotten quite a bit of use from the ColourPop Super Shock eyeshadows, and I can safely say they are some of my favourites!

The shades I ordered were; Cornelius, Kathleenlights, Sequin, and I got Party of Five thrown in as one of the anniversary items.

I was kindly helped with recommendations by Sal from UmmBabyBeauty and Sultana from SultanaSays .

They both recommended Cornelius as an everyday lid shade, and boy were they right! It's perfect, it's very similar in colour to the natural shade of my lids (an almost medium beige) but makes them look slightly brighter and wider (which is good because I don't actually have much lid space, I'm literally all big eyes and very small lids, slightly hooded). That's one of the reasons that I'm giving up eyeliner (which would have been my signature look if you asked me 2 years ago!). That, and also I simply can't be bothered, so I find myself foraying more into single eyeshadows instead. Cornelius has a matte finish, and I don't think most people would be able to tell you had eyeshadow on, it's almost indiscernible. As it blends in with my skin, sometimes I like blending other colours on top of it slightly, like Sequin, just to give it that bit more of a glow and pink tint.

The next shade that I was looking forwards to was KathleenLights because it's always good to have a strong gold in your collection. First of all, I was blown away by the pigmentation of this! The pigmentation of Cornelius is decent in terms of a matte finish, but the pigmentation of KathleenLights has to be in one of the top eyeshadows I've ever tried. It's a bold, coppery gold with a shimmer finish, which you can simply tap into for full liquid gold (yep it's that intense!). I like applying this around the centre of the eye lid, and it looks just as intense hours later as it did when I first applied it.

I'll admit that when the rose gold trend first came out I wasn't too interested, and thought it would die out soon, but honestly I'm like a magpie nowadays; anything gold, rose gold, shimmery, glittery and I'm away with the fairies! (I even brought another glittery midi skirt today - a bargain for £12 I must say). Getting back to the point, I had to get Sequin just for those rose gold vibes. Sequin is a rose gold, albeit with a slightly more pink tone, with fine gold glitter flecks running through it. Whilst it's a shimmer eyeshadow, I would say it has a bit of a metallic look too. The pigmentation is again amazing, although not quite as shocking as KathleenLights, but still one of the nicer formulas around. I actually find Sequin quite wearable for a daily basis too, it can came across more pinish if not build up (it reminds me of the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Pink Gold), but the rose gold definitely comes through when it's layered up.

Lastly, I received Party of Five as one of the anniversary free items, I think the 5th anniversary items all had a purple theme. The container does differ from the other items with a white casing, as it has a burgundy one instead. With Party of Five the shade is actually really reminiscent of Sequin, the obvious differences for me is that it stands out a bit more as it has a vivid purple-pink tint, compared to Sequin where the pink tint is slightly more subdued. Otherwise, they are very similar in terms of pigmentation, the gold glitter flecks running through them, and the shimmery (slightly metallic) finish. I don't think party of five really matches up to the purple theme (it's more pink than anything), but I'm not complaining as it still makes a really pretty shade, like Sequin.

Finally, one of the other free gifts I got was the SuperShock cheek highlighter in High Five. It did arrive cracked, but I'm not hugely fussed as I don't reach for powder highlights that often and I left it too late to do anything anyway. The texture of this is just as buttery as the eyeshadows, and it goes on so smoothly. The shade is a bit baby pink, which I didn't think I could pull off as it's probably best suited for cooler skintones. I also prefer highlighters that give the impression of a sheen, but this one does have noticeable shimmer particles. However, when I came to wear it, I just couldn't do it. It's glitter overload! The highlight shade doesn't show up well, so I ended up adding more and more, and all you could see was the glitter. I like applying my highlighter down from my eyebrows in a c shape, and it just looked like I'd been playing around with eyeshadows. On that note, it does actually make a nice eyeshadow because the pink shade comes through when you pack it on, so hey looks like I got 3 pink eyeshadows to play with. But as a highlighter, no.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
What are your favourite eyeshadows?

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Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Dry Lips SOS

I know my new year's resolution was to post regularly, but unfortunately this is actually the first weekend of 2018 I've had to myself. One of my grandparents was quite ill so we've spent every weekend up until now in the hospital, they are doing much better now though and I've got some catching up to do!

Starting with this post that has been in my drafts forever. For some reason, every winter my lips get incredibly dry, like so dry they would literally get quite swollen and the skin underneath starts to shrivel up, and I then have to wait until it peels off for it to fully heel. It is as gross as it sounds (that is one ID pass photo you do not want to see!) Not only have I been missing out on trying out all of my Colourpop liquid lipsticks (or any lip products for that matter), but this year it was particularly bad as I was living out of a suitcase for a few weeks. The only option was to apply Vaseline every 10 minutes to soothe my lips.

I've since brought a few more products so I thought I would just run through them all, and show you when I'd use them.

First of all, Vaseline is pure petroleum jelly, and this is a by product of the oil industry. Therefore, it's available in huge quantities and it's quite cheap, it's also included in a lot of health/beauty products. In my opinion, I really don't think Vaseline is a moisturiser because petroleum jelly basically forms a barrier to trap moisture within it but does not moisturise itself. However, it works really well as a barrier to stop your lips from drying out further, and I find that it helps them heal quicker. Therefore, when my lips are really dry I'll apply an intensive lip cream at night, and then apply this over the top to help it work over the night. I'll also use it during the day sometimes when my lips are so dry that lip balm just disappears every 5 minutes, because I find that it soothes my lips and it helps stop the skin from cracking anymore.

Your best bet is to get a lip balm/cream that really works for you. Personally, I don't use the cheaper lip balms or products like Chapstick anymore because they're a very short term fix and I found that they made things worse for me in the long run. Some lip creams will look like a big investment for a tiny bottle, but honestly these tiny bottles last ages and you will see the difference!

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask £15.60 (here)
One of the new products I purchased was the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask. I've been umming and ahhing about this for years. After I saw it on Hannah's old blog (post here) I put it on my to buy list for definite, but it wasn't until this whole dry lip episode I finally purchased it. It also arrived so quickly (from Hong Kong), which was great because at this point I was loosing all patience. I put it in my suitcase to take with me, and although results were slow (but that was because I left my Lush lip scrub at home, and that would probably have helped with speeding things up), my lips just felt so much better as soon as I applied it. They didn't dry out within 5 minutes of applying it, and slowly they started healing. They weren't as swollen when I woke up in the morning, and after 2 weeks they are almost back to normal. I say almost, because one side has cracked again! I guess that's what happens when you get complacent, so apply it regularly.

The formula of the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask is a world away from what I was expecting. It looks like a pink jelly or slime (however you wish to phrase it) in the tub, and it applies like a thin layer of jelly on the lips. It's hard to describe, it's completely unlike a lip balm but it doesn't feel like a lip cream either, it's almost like a serum but for your lips. Plus, let's just talk about the packaging! One word; AMAZING! It's a huge 20g tub, that will not only last ages, but it looks pretty impressive with the pink stained glass. It also comes with the cutest applicator which is just perfect for applying it with, honestly, how did I live without it?! The lip mask also lasts a reasonable time on the lips if you don't eat or drink. However, it is something most people use at night, and it does seem to work well throughout the night, although my lips could do with another application in the morning.

Nuxe Reve de Miel Nouishing Lip Balm £9.50 (here)
Moving on, the Nuxe lip cream was my firm favourite (before Laneige came into my life). I previously wrote about it back in 2016 (here), and it's now more than a year later that I've almost finished it. This was one I swore by, and it's also one I know a lot of people love. However, my problem was that because the consistency of this is very creamy, it didn't really work if my lips were really dried out and covered with dead skin, it kind of just sat on top of them. With the Nuxe lip cream, I really think it works best just after you've already exfoliated or if your lips are in an okay-ish condition, it helps to maintain them. I still think it's one of the best available lip creams on the market though, and definitely worth the price tag because it lasts ages! I've repurchased another tub of this already. The Christmas gift set is still available on the Nuxe website here, although it seems like they upped the price because it was only £12 when I brought it (they do pop in a lot of free samples with your order though!)

Nuxe Lip Moisturising Stick £5.50 (here)
Before my Laneige arrived, I was so bored in my hotel room that I decided to just go and browse the local M&S. I don't really buy stick formats of lip balm, but I figured if it works it would be really handy for on the go, plus I was in one of those treat yourself moods! I actually didn't open it until I got back home, but guess what, it is actually good! It feels very similar to the pot version above, maybe a bit more emollient-y, but it's perfect for wearing underneath lipstick or if you're in a hurry. This will definitely be going in my handbag all year around.

EOS Lip Balm (Summer Fruits - £6.50 here)
I did initially dismiss EOS as being another one of those gimmicky lip balms, but I'm now on my second one. Sure, it's not as moisturising as say the Nuxe Lip balm, but it is still a good choice if you're in a hurry or if you're lips are in pretty decent shape already. I like using it whilst I'm doing my makeup so my lips will be softer when I get around to them. I do think the ingredients in the EOS live up to it's 95% organic claims as well, as I find that my lips stay hydrated if I have it on. However, I think EOS does go off much quicker than other lip balms, my first one got an odd smell and wasn't as moisturising as it was previously after having it opened for a while. Although, I think that could be a design fault as the whole lip balm is effectively exposed when you're using it. I think EOS is best for on the move or in the morning. (A quick update: I haven't had my second one opened for that long and even that one has started to smell a bit off which is annoying).

Lush Lip Scrub (Bubblegum - £5.95 here)
Lastly, we have the Lush Lip Scrub. Just like skincare, you can put all the fancy products on your face, but how effective will they be if you haven't exfoliated to get rid of the dead skin beforehand? Even with lip care, I find that if you carry on piling the lip products on, it just leads to a gunky mess rather than a solution. That's why I already reach for the Lush lip scrub when my lips are especially dry to get rid of any flaky, dead skin, so that when I apply lip products they actually stand more of a chance of working. Although, you don't need a specific lip scrub, you can always make your own solution (honey and sugar), I've heard a toothbrush works well too! I've had this pot for a long time (probably a bit too long), but I'm not even half way through it yet.

There you have it! I hope you enjoyed this post! These are my tips and tricks that have worked for me so far, I'd love to know what works for you?

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Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Beauty and Stationery Finds | Wilkinsons

Happy New Year! I hope you've all had a good start to the new year :) I also hope 2018 is finally the year I get ahead with planning a blog schedule (wish me luck!)

I'll admit, I don't really need any more stationery, but whilst on a job away I had gotten ready quite early so I thought why not just pop down to the shops? One of the perks of having the city centre right outside your hotel! Also, on top of that, Wilkinsons was basically empty so early in the morning, so I had the whole shop to myself!

I did have to pay a quick trip to the Essence counter beforehand, for blog purposes of course. Now, in my hometown, the closest Essence counter to me is always half stocked at the best of time, so the sight of a fully stocked counter meant that I was definitely leaving with some goodies for the first time in ages.

My eyes traced the stands for one product in particular, and lo and behold it was in stock. I've always wanted to give the Essence Matt long lasting lipgloss a go, but the one shade that appealed to me most was always out of stock. Now I had my hands on it; 08 The Big Chill, and let me tell you; I am so glad I finally found it. I love the shade, and surprisingly the formula is just as good as the Colourpop ones (in my opinion). The shade is the perfect dusty rose that I find super flattering on myself, infact I can't believe it isn't talked about as much. For all the hype about the Colourpop ones, this is a really nice alternative and frankly, a very cheap one at that. I'll save the swatches of this, so I can compare it with my Colourpop lips post. It retails at around £2.30, although I can't find this particular shade on the Wilkinsons page.

Next, I was in the market for a new eye primer. For some reason, every time I buy a new one it leaks all over my makeup bag, emptying it before I've had a chance to use it. I had heard quite a bit about the Essence I Love Stage Eyeshadow Base, and I was hoping the nude colour of the eyeshadow base would help with cancelling out any discolouration too. You can find it here for £2.50.

The next two products are not from Wilkinsons, but I thought I would just include them too. I picked them up from M&S on a bored, evening stroll. The Nuxe lip moisturising stick was a spontaneous buy because my lips were so dry, I thought it would be good for on the go. It's actually quite similar to my much loved Nuxe lip cream, but I'll save that for a dry lips SOS post I have coming up. Next, I wanted to try out the Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser since hearing about it from two of my favourite blogs; UmmBabyBeauty and Danielle's Beauty Blog. The mini size is perfect for me because I wanted to see how my skin reacts to it first, and yep I just realised I left the price tag on!

Moving onto the stationery finds! Wilkinsons do some amazing pieces, at incredibly inexpensive pieces. I am probably going to start my professional exams soon, so I thought might aswell do it in style haha! Their new Decelerate collection is my favourite, it's where most of my buys came from.

Their exercise books always come in handy, and for a pack of three for £2.50 (here), you can't really complain. Especially, once you see how amazing the cover designs are, sleek grey and marble effect, yes please!

I also picked up another notebook set, which was slightly more expensive at £3.50 for two, but I couldn't really resist the gold lined paged. (I can't seem to find this one on the website)

My favourite finds were these little A6 'Today is Great' marble notebooks (here), with a lovely grey hardcover, for the price of £1.50! It would have been rude not to pick up two! These actually look a lot more expensive than they are aswell, I think they'll be popular with a lot of bloggers too because the quote is quite motivating.

Lastly, I picked up this little rose gold diary for around £1. I know the shiny cover won't be to everyone's taste, but to tell the truth, I'm like a magpie with anything rose gold nowadays.

I hope you enjoyed seeing what I picked up recently!
Have you had any good buys lately?

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Friday, 22 December 2017

Essie Gel Couture Holiday Collection

I was really excited when I saw the Essie Gel Couture Holiday Collection*. At this festive time, I normally reach for the deep plums, but this collection had me trying something new. Inspired by jewels (all will become clear once you see the names of the nail varnishes!), this collection is perfect for brightening up this Winter Season and adding some glitz, which we could do with! Surprisingly, there was a lot of snowfall where I live recently, the view outside my window was a sea of white, grey and green. This rarely happens here, and we had a lot of fun running around the park and building snowmen! The point of this mini story, however, is that this collection is a great way to challenge the status quo, and try something new this Winter (and maybe rock those bold colours when you're building a snowman). There were a lot of Frozen references flying around that week haha!

Moving on, this collection features six shades. Two of the shades are a take on the traditional silver and gold (but wait until you see them!), then we have a bright red and a vivid pinky/purple, before the final two shades which include a tinsel green and a deep aubergine/burgundy (which is the only shade in the collection that I would say is more traditional).


Diamond in the Cuff 

Diamond in the Cuff is your classic ivory shade, but this one has a shimmery twist. The glitter particles are incredibly fine however, so it creates a really lovely, luminous effect, rather than a glittery or grainy finish. I did think the shade had a bit of a silver undertone, almost reminiscent of the pale silver tinsel you would find.

This shade does need two coats to be opaque, and I also found this one needed a bit more time to dry otherwise it went a bit sticky. I do think it looked quite nice on, although ivory isn't really my kind of shade as sometimes it can look a bit stark with my skintone, but the silver undertone helps.

Gold Gliding

I was the most excited for this shade! As soon as I saw it, I thought wow, that's a shade that I definitely don't own. It also looks a bit warm toned in the bottle, and my hands have more of a yellow undertone too, so I imagined it would look good. I was expecting a bronze gold as per the description, although I clearly didn't read it carefully because I missed the 'brushed with carnation pink'. No, if there was ever a rose gold nail polish, this was it! I just love the shade, again the shimmer is very fine so it looks very glitzy without looking like obvious glitter. It is definitely a glamorous shade, infact this is the one I paired with my Christmas party dress (which was a black, velvet knee length dress embellished with pearls if you were wondering - I LOVE it just as much).

Again, with this shade I went in with two coats just to be on the safe side. I did find that this performed really well compared with the rest of the collection, it dried much quicker and there were no signs of chipping and it lasted well. I might have had to go to my Xmas party in trainers because of the snow, but hey atleast my nails looked good!

Rue De La Ruby

Rue De La Ruby is described as a 'fiery red', however I was expecting a ruby red based on the shade name. In actual fact, however, I think this is definitely more of a raspberry red. It's one of those shades that just isn't really a red and isn't really a pink, so raspberry red it is. With one coat it does come up as a brighter red, but two coats deepens it to give it a slight maroon tone.

Looking back at the pictures now I actually think it looks quite nice on, but reds aren't normally my go to. This shade was a bit trickier than the others in terms of application. I felt that it took much longer to dry, and then when I finally did think it was dry, nope it just came clean off. I would give this shade a bit more drying time, but fans of oxblood shades might like this brighter take.

Graced in Garnet

Graced in Garnet is described as an 'aubergine purple' and I think that's a spot on description. I can't really improve on that, but it's slightly brighter than I was expecting. Again, this shade needs two coats to ensure it comes up as opaque. I did really like this shade though, although that might just be typical me, going for any shades that look slightly burgundy! It is a more refreshing option compared to my other Winter shades though, as I feel like it's a bit more eye catching.

Jade to Measure

Jade to Measure is described as a 'brilliant emerald green accented with sapphire blue'. To be honest, I cannot see any sapphire blue coming through, at all. I would simply describe this shade as a tinsel green. I don't mean it in a dismissive way, but if you wanted to see what kind of shade this is, just think about the classic green tinsel that you would spot around this time of the year. The shade applies opaque in nearly one coat really and again I didn't notice any chipping or peeling with this, so the formula is again one of the better ones out of the application. However, the shade just isn't for me, I can't pull it off, I find it much too bright and vivid. I do prefer the ivy green from the Leathers Collection (Back in the Saddle - see here) However, if standout shades are your thing, then Jade to Measure is for you!

Amethyst Noir

Finally, the deepest shade in the collection. Described as a 'vivid jet burgundy', again I would say this is spot on. It is an incredibly deep plum shade that applies near black, therefore one coat might be best for this shade (bonus it applies opaque in one coat too). The formula of this shade was again one of the better ones, it didn't take long to dry and was surprisingly one of the least messy shades! Again, no chipping with this one. However, as much as I like it, I don't think I can get away with a near black shade for everyday wear (it will look black from a distance), I'll get too many questions haha!

Overall, as I've mentioned in the last few Essie posts (see here and here) so I won't go into it too much detail, I love their brushes! They make the application much easier and they're the perfect size. As excited as I was with this collection, I think it has definitely encouraged me to try out some more shades and maybe get out of my Winter comfort zone a bit. Gold Gilding is my favourite shade out of the collection,. Just like most people, I'm a little obsessed with rose gold, it's kind of hard not to be! I wouldn't say there were any duds, but as I mentioned, Rue de la Ruby and Diamond in the Cuff do need a bit more time to dry and they were prone to flaking a bit. However, the other shades were fine in my opinion, and this was without a top coat.

You can pick up these Essie varnishes from Superdrug, Boots or Amazon. Gold Gliding is selling out fast, but it's still available on Superdrug here. (see here for Amazon Diamond in the Cuff, and here for Boots Rue de la Ruby).

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Which of these shades do you fancy?

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