.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Battle of the Beauty Books

Beauty Books

My love of books also extends to beauty books of course, so after collecting a few I'm here with some quick reviews.

Beauty Books

Beauty Books

Beauty Books

My very first beauty book was Teenage Beauty by Bobbi Brown, she was probably the first big makeup artist I knew of. However, by the time I got this book I had been watching a few beauty youtubers so for me I didn't feel like this book added much. It was focused on the basics too much and a lot of the book was basically telling you that teenagers needed nothing more than tinted lipbalm. Now I'm not saying that teenagers need to wear makeup, I didn't start wearing it regularly until I was 18 and I rarely wear more than a few products daily, but I wanted something that would help me learn or experiment for those special occasions where I did give eyeshadow or other products a go and unfortunately this book wasn't it. However, it does follow Bobbi Brown's journey which is an interesting read. It might also be a good gift for younger girls as it's about self acceptance and loving your features rather than focusing on fitting in.

Beauty Books

Beauty Books

Beauty Books

Beauty Books

One of the magazines I always used to buy in my teens, mainly for the beauty section, was Sugar. So when the end of the magazine loomed and they did a 'Beauty Bible' I went out and brought it, and seriously this is one of the best beauty books I ever read! Unlike most magazines that state the obvious or only showcase ridiculously expensive products, this magazine/book provides some really useful information, such as which colours work for different skintones/eye colours which is refreshing to see as sometimes in magazines you often see very similar looking models only. It also showcases products from all price ranges and actually features some good drugstore ranges, such as the Body Shop/Superdrug Vitamin E ranges. The only downfall is that you can't buy this anymore but you can view parts of it here.

Beauty Books

Beauty Books

Beauty Books

The one that I was most excited to get my hands on was Makeup The Ultimate Guide by Rae Morris. This features the most amazing editorial like pictures whilst still remaining somewhat realistic. Yes it features a lot of models but it also features women from all walks of life, it has an over 40s chapter too that provides many helpful tips. This book is probably the bulkiest of them all but it does cover everything, it showcases classic beauty rather than quick trends that will be gone tomorrow! It has chapters on essentials, like what to include in a makeup kit, eyebrow grooming and false lashes, and then a huge chapter on various eye looks to create with step by step pictures and instructions. I really want to get round to recreating a lot of them! Then it follows with chapters on contouring which show three examples rather than the one size fits all that you often see. This is followed by chapters on highlighting, lips and cheeks and finally 4 minute makeovers.

Beauty Books

Beauty Books

Beauty Books

Lastly, my most recent book is Easy on the Eyes by Lisa Potter Dixon* (head makeup artist at Benefit), courtesy of joythestore. Joy the store features a lot of cute homeware and fun books, as well as a huge womenswear section here. I didn't have huge expectations for this book as it seems to be more of a concise and quick read rather than a detailed beauty book, however it's still quite a disappointment to be honest. The first half of the book quickly goes over the very basics such as foundation application and cleansing in the morning and night. The second part gets more interesting as there are step by step eye looks to follow but again most of them are very basic and you'd probably learn a lot more from an online tutorial. I also didn't agree with some of the things, like concealer lips as a quick nude or lip primer! This is the one book that I wouldn't recommend.




However, on a different sort of beauty book I also got this Tropical Wonderland colouring book* from Joy the store. As you can see the patterns and illustrations are so intricate and vivid! This is a lovely treat for yourself when you're having some me time and allows you to swap those makeup brushes for some colouring pencils!

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Do you have any favourite beauty books?

Bloglovin| Instagram| Twitter


Follow

Friday, 19 February 2016

Sleek Eyeshadow Palette Review | Ultra Mattes V2

Sleek eyeshadow palettes

First of all, I'd like to apologise for the lack of posts recently. I've just been so exhausted from work lately and feeling sick some days that I just didn't have the creative juices flowing to sit down and write. Saying that I've suddenly had a hoard of ideas racing around in my head for the last hour, so I'm sitting here at 9pm finally getting some posts written down. 

I was reflecting on my blog lately and I thought it was very strange that I hadn't reviewed many of my favourite products on here so far, but that's now going to change! Sleek eyeshadow palettes have always been some of the best drugstore offerings in my eyes and whilst I don't own every single one (yet) I own the two: Oh So Special and Ultra Mattes V2. This was initially going to be a post on both of them, but I've since ordered Vintage Romance from Amazon for £4.50 here! So instead I'll be doing a mini series.

P.S. If you haven't already then do check out swatches of Sleek Vintage Romance, I assure you you'll fall in love!

Sleek eyeshadow palettes

Well suited to the brand name most Sleek products come in sleek black cases. They're simple but they do the job well. There's no airs about them, they keep the shadows safe and they're excellent for transporting! I like keeping the outer cardboard cases too because there's just something about exploding eyeshadows that makes me happy.

Ultra Mattes V2


Sleek Eyeshadow Palette Review | Ultra Mattes V2

Sleek Eyeshadow Palette Review | Ultra Mattes V2


Matte eyeshadows, I believe, are much harder to get right as they can often end up being too chalky. Not many drugstore brands do solely matte eyeshadow palettes either and so when I saw this palette from Sleek I was really intrigued even though I wasn't into matte eyeshadows myself until the last few months really. The Ultra Mattes V2 is a successor to the Ultra Mattes V1, which features eye popping bright pinks, peacock greens and sea blues, whereas the Ultra Mattes V2 features deeper, smouldering shades that are perfect for a smokey eye.

Each Sleek palette features 12 eyeshadows, there's also always a near black and white shade, although I did break the white shade in this palette Pillow Talk but I still have it from the other palette. The black shade (noir) also doubles up as a eyeliner for a subtle look.

The formula of these shades is generally quite good, there's a bit of fall out with some of the shades like paper bag, villain and maple. Flesh doesn't show up on my skin but Dune (don't get me started on my obsession for the shoe brand!) also a light shade does turns out quite well. I would say there is a slight bit of chalkiness apparent in some shades and therefore this palette isn't quite on par as the palettes that also feature shimmer shades, but I still enjoy it as I don't own many matte shades so this palette is convenient and still very good for the price. They retail at £7.99 but you can pick them up on offers such as 3 for 2. Although I would have liked to see one or two warmer toned mattes in there that would have made nice crease shades.
Sleek Eyeshadow Palette Review | Ultra Mattes V2

Shades:
  • Orbit - A bright teal, pigment can be built on and the formula is quite smooth.
  • Ink - A deeper bold navy, this is smooth and pigmented to apply too.
  • Highness - A cool toned purple, however the shade isn't pigmented and swatches as a pink instead.
  • Noir - A pigmented deep black, although a bit on the chalky side.
  • Dune - A yellowish neutral shade, buttery formula and applies well. Good for helping to blend out other shades.
  • Thunder - A cool toned grey, again not as pigmented.
  • Maple - A brownish red, slightly chalky.
  • Flesh - Neutral shade. not very pigmented at all.
  • Paper bag - A neutral muddish brown, slightly on the grey side. Could be a bit more pigmented.
  • Villain - A pigmented aubergine purple, a really lovely shade!
  • Fern - A bold emerald green, slightly chalky but the shade is beautiful.

Overall, whilst this palette isn't the best I still enjoy it for the choice of shades. However, at the same time I realise that there are plenty of new brands that have since arrived on the scene, such as Morphe, also releasing matte palettes which may work out as better value in the long term. If you did happen to find yourself at a Sleek counter though this palette is still a good option at the price tag.


Bloglovin| Instagram| Twitter


Follow

Monday, 8 February 2016

Healthy Living and Juicing

#realjuicereboot joe wicks, body coach juicer

I guess it's safe to say that a lot of January resolutions towards a healthy lifestyle will have been made this year, but my health kick actually began sometime last year. I was fed up of feeling so tired and unhealthy a lot of the time. One of the first things I did was to kick fizzy drinks. I did start drinking more juices and water instead, although I did stop the juices too after realising how much sugar some supermarket ones seem to have. But to be honest water all the time can be boring! So I was really glad I got the chance to try making my own healthy juices using the Phillips Juicer and recipes from the body coach, aka Joe Wicks!

I feel like I've been living under a rock as I hadn't heard of the Body Coach before, yet he was hundreds and thousands of followers on every platform! I'll admit that I don't know much about fitness but his approaches to healthy living, an alternative to dieting, actually sound very interesting!

P.S. I apologise for the terrible pictures, I couldn't get any lighting in my kitchen and I didn't think it was a good idea to use the juicer in my bedroom!
#realjuicereboot joe wicks, body coach juicer

#realjuicereboot joe wicks, body coach juicer

Juicer
First and foremost, the juicer I was sent is the Philips Viva Collection Juicer*. The sleek and functional design of this juicer is miles away from the huge, chunky juicer I remember from my childhood. Not only does it look very aesthetic but they've clearly thought about everything. It has a large feeding tube so you can just go in and pop whole apples and other fruit/vegetables in. The whole pulping process is also built in so there's no bits. You can juice a lot in one go, approximately 2 litres so it's great if you need to squeeze it into a busy lifestyle. They also include a little jug that collects all the juice, but you can also use a glass. Finally, the one thing that used to put me off juicing most often was the cleaning but not anymore! With QuickClean technology the componants are designed to be rinsed in one minute, plus with QuickRinse you can pour water through the juicer (simply by switching it on as normal) and it cleans any residue. Although, I did find doing this make the pulp more sludgy when it came to cleaning it out.

#realjuicereboot joe wicks, body coach juicer

#realjuicereboot joe wicks, body coach recipe

Recipes
The Body Coach has also created recipes for everyday of the week:

  • For Monday we have the Feel Fresh Juice: 2 apples, 2 celery sticks, 1 lemon and 1/2 a cucumber.
  • Thursday's Mr Leanie: 2 carrots, 2 apples and a handful each of coriander and kale.

However, I wanted to share my own which I aptly named Sweet Punch: 2 apples, 1 Clementine and 8 strawberries. I got the most juice from the apples, not so much from the Clementine but the Strawberries added a wonderful bit of colour and sweetness. This was enough to fill a large glass, and the juicer did a great job at taking off the apple skins and any seeds.  Even though it does look frothy there were no bits at all!

When it came to washing it there was a lot of pulp! I think that the idea of wastage can discourage a lot of people off juicing, it can also seem to be quite expensive but I would suggest that instead of going to the supermarkets you can sometimes get really fresh and yummy fruit from local grocers or fruit venders which also works out much cheaper!

Lifestyle
So I'm no expert when it comes to fitness but I do try to implement some small exercises, like walking a bit everyday. One of the most down to earth things I've ever heard is 'why do people pay so much for a gym pass when they get the lift to the 1st/2nd floor!'. You don't need to spend a lot to be active! Even walking to the shops counts. I try to go on the treadmill once a week for half an hour (I'll admit that I do find it so hard to fit in when you're working all week), and then I like to go in with a few youtube fitness videos. My favourites are this 10 minute workout by the Lean Machines and some in this series by XHIT Daily. The best things about these workouts is that you can do them from the privacy of your bedroom and you don't need anything other than youtube.

Overall, I'm really enjoying using this juicer as part of the #RealJuiceReboot as sometimes cooking from scratch isn't possible and with it being Winter I'm also aware that I might not be eating all the nutrients my body needs, but this juicer is helping me on my way because you can really juice anything like spinach, rather than just fruit.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
I'd love to know if you have any fitness routines?



Bloglovin| Instagram| Twitter


Follow

Monday, 1 February 2016

Origins Shining Stars Review


Origins GinZing and masks
My skincare routine has been more than lacking recently so I knew I needed to get round to trying some new products but this addition from Origins was truly a surprise. The reason being was that I wasn't expecting to buy this set at all. It just so happened that I found myself early to work and so I thought I'd pop into Boots to kill some time (looking at lipsticks as you do). I took a quick detour to the Christmas section (although most of the products were sold out) when I found this Origins gift set with a clearance label marked down to £15! I literally brought this faster than you could say 'bargain'!

I have read several Origins reviews lately from fellow bloggers and each time I was like "that sounds like just what I need", so I guess you could say it was fate my bus was early haha!

Origins GinZing and masks


This gift set was Christmas edition that retailed for around £25 I think, which is still a pretty good price seeing as the moisturiser retails for £24 alone here.

Origins GinZing and masks

Origins GinZing and masks

In the gift set you get the popular GinZing Energy Boosting Moisturiser 50ml, another cult favourite the Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask 50ml, the Modern Friction Exfoliater 50ml and the GinZing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser 50ml.

Origins GinZing and masks

GinZing Energy Boosting Moisturiser 50ml
A hydrating moisturiser is exactly what I needed so I was really looking forward to trying this out. However, after checking a few more reviews that said this was more for normal/combination skin I was slightly worried it wouldn't be suitable for my skin that's a bit dry. However, this is actually much better, in my opinion, than some creams that are infact targeted for dry skin. The reason being is that in instantly sinks in and really hydrates the skin. It has such a cooling and refreshing effect as soon as you apply it but at the same time it gives a really dewy look.

Origins GinZing and masks

Origins GinZing and masks
Previously I've used creams with vitamin c in them, like the Garnier dark spot corrector, and they gave a very similar feel to this Origins moisturiser. You skin does feel more energised and refreshed, apparently it's down to the Panax Ginseng and Coffee Bean skin boosters included. Also, I think for dry skin pairing this with a facial oil or serum would help give it that extra bit of moisture. I've been so impressed by how this feels on the skin though, lightweight and hydrating, that I'm infact contemplating trying out one of the Origins eye creams even though they're a lot more than I would usually spend on a eye cream.


Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask

Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask 50ml
Another product that I've been wanting to try for months! No matter how much moisturiser I put on at night, by morning my skin is just as dull and dry as if I hadn't bothered. The formula of this is like an lightweight lotion, it just sinks in quickly and doesn't really feel any different to wearing a moisturiser. So did it work? Update: Well I've been using it for atleast a year now, and I can honestly say it is absolutely worth the hype. I do tend to put on a bit more than a light layer, but when I wake up my skin is absolutely hydrated and looks quite soft and plump. It is a life saver during Winter, and I've already repurchased it in anticipation for this year.

Origins Modern Friction Exfoliater

Modern Friction Exfoliater 50ml
For me, the exfoliators were like the extras you get, I wasn't overly fussed but still excited to try them as I haven't heard much about them before. I rarely exfoliate with these grain exfoliators anymore after a few sessions with the Simple scrub left me with some broken capillaries on one of my cheeks (whoops). But at the same time I have really dry skin around my jawline that refuses to budge! The grains on this exfoliator are quite big so I wouldn't say it's as gentle as it claims. However, you can lather your face beforehand so it's not too harsh.

This has a texture than I can only compare to oatmeal. The grains are immersed in this really creamy, thick formula. I decided to just go for it around my jawline and you could really feel it shifting that dead skin, I just slightly brushed it over my cheeks but I concentrated on my jawline and forehand more. Also, I had a lot of dead, flaking skin around my nose from a really bad cold (gross I know) and this literally made light work of it. When I washed my face it was like new life had been breathed into it, it looks much better compared to a few weeks ago. I would recommend this but I would say be careful if you have sensitive skin.

Origins GinZing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser

GinZing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser 50ml
This is more of a toned down exfoliator compared to the above. It has a few much smaller grains in a clear gel like liquid that lathers up slightly when you apply it. It does give you quite a refreshed feeling like the accompanying GinZing moisturiser. However, just because the grains are more gentle on the skin compared to the Modern Friction exfoliator I would still not apply this too often as it does feel a bit abrasive. It is still a good product however I wouldn't say it's necessary if you have the other products.

Origins drink up intensive and exfoliators

Overall, I had a really bad cold for two weeks (hence why I've not been as active on the blogging scene) and my skin was a mess. I was breaking out, my skin was dry and itchy and so trying these products couldn't have come at a better time. Now my skin is much more hydrated, the dry patches are fading and the little breakouts are already disappearing. I would really recommend all of these products even though my budget is more drugstore normally, and I for one cannot wait to see what else Origins has in store!


I hope you enjoyed this post!
Would you recommend any Origins Products?

Bloglovin| Instagram| Twitter


Follow