Thursday, 18 October 2018

Are the Cover FX drops worth it? | Rose Gold & Moonlight

I'm really annoyed because I had this post written up for months, with tonnes of detail, and somehow yesterday I managed to save another post I was working on over this. I don't even know how I did it! So I'm going to try to replicate this as best as I can.

Also, I was considering changing my comments to Disqus as Google ended up closing open ID which made it harder for people to comment (although I've opened the anonymous bit for people who want to comment using their name and email without having to log in). However, when I was looking at Disqus there were quite a few articles about people having trouble signing in and using it, and on an instagram poll I did it was literally split 50/50 for Disqus and Blogger. So I'm going to leave it for now but do let me know if you really prefer one over the other.

Cover FX enhancer drops - Rose Gold & Moonlight
I was longing after the Cover FX enhancer drops for ages because I'm very much one of those who prefers a nice liquid/cream highlighter sheen. I'm afraid that blinding highlights aren't my thing, plus I think cream or liquid formulas just go so much better on my dry skin. I had heard that these gave a really nice, almost wet look sheen, but at £34 a bottle they don't come cheap! I did see that they had a set of 4 minis in the Christmas shop for £20, however I was busy with work and by the time I checked they were all sold out. In comes Depop! I know it's not everyone's cup of tea but I've been addicted to it (you have Charlotte from Charlotte's Picks to blame for this!). I managed to pick them up from there. Rose Gold was the first one I purchased but I felt like trying a more universal shade too, so I got Moonlight later on.

Cover FX enhancer drops - Rose Gold & Moonlight
Rose Gold (the larger bottle at the front in the above picture) is a coppery bronzey pink (which makes no sense, I know). Basically, think of your classic rose gold jewellery and imagine something slightly deeper and with more of a copper undertone. I was afraid that this shade wouldn't suit me as it is targeted towards deeper skintones due to the copper undertone, but I think I can just about get away with it and infact it actually looks much more natural on me compared to Moonlight. I think if you have a medium (with peachy tones) to deep skintone it would work best for you. However, I don't think this would work for fair skin as a highlighter.

Fun story: I didn't want to trek to Selfridges to try out the rose gold shade before I brought it, and I had heard MUR Bronze Gold was a dupe so I went to Superdrug to swatch that instead. I think in terms of a dupe it does work pretty well and I was quite impressed. As per formula, yes it might be slightly shimmery but as I'll explain below so are these to be honest.

Moonlight on the other hand looks like your classic champagne shade in the tube and when swatched, however it is a slightly different story when I apply it as I'll explain. I don't think this is as universally flattering as I expected, so I would say it would work best for light to medium (at a push) skintones. I also find this shade to actually be a bit more shimmery than Rose Gold.

Cover FX enhancer drops - Rose Gold & Moonlight swatches
My first impressions of the Cover FX enhancer drops weren't actually positive. I honestly thought, and going by the swatches I had seen online, that they would leave a natural looking sheen. In actual fact however, I do find them very shimmery and I think the glitter particles can look quite noticeable if you don't try to tone it down. Again, this is from my viewpoint as I prefer a natural looking highlight, so that's not to say someone else wouldn't enjoy them.

I also don't wear foundation on a daily basis so that's not really an everyday option for me in order to tone them down. I did try them out in various ways though to let you know what I thought.

On their own: Rose Gold I can just about get away with on it's own if I apply a light layer and blend the edges with a beauty blender, it can look flattering this way. However, Moonlight comes up as too shimmery and it actually translates with quite a silver tone on my skin which can look a bit jarring.

With moisturiser mixed in: This definitely helps tone them down, and kind of prevents you from going over the top. However, the perils of having dry skin is that my skin will soak up the moisturiser and leave the glitter particles on the top looking noticeable, so this didn't work for me.

With foundation over the top/mixed in: This again helped tone them down to an extent but the foundation almost covered the 'sheen', and again like the moisturiser, made the glitter particles look noticeable.

With concealer on the top: I use a full coverage concealer most days so I sort of patted it over the top of the highlighters. This did give the most natural looking sheen, but it then kind of defeats the whole point of wearing highlighter, strobe cream would basically do that.

Cover FX enhancer drops - Rose Gold & Moonlight
Overall, I haven't been hugely impressed by them, infact I find that it takes too much time to get them to look like how I want them to appear on the skin that I actually haven't used them since I was trying them out for this (atleast they'll look pretty in my Muji-esque storage haha). Especially since I've been a bit spoilt since I got some Becca minis. Infact, Becca Opal gives more of that wet sheen look than these highlighters even though I have the pressed powder versions.

I personally wouldn't recommend them, infact I still use the Topshop Glow highlighter (reviewed here) quite often when I'm not using the Becca ones, so for the price point it's not something I would say you have to go out and get. Also, if you prefer a natural highlighter look like me, then you might actually like MAC Strobe Cream. I have loved this since I got it, and honestly it's like HG status. If you did want to try these, I would suggest the minis as a little goes a long way (a word of warning as well, I have found that the formula can congeal a bit at the top of the tube - but it doesn't really affect the usage). I also think the MUR dupes are actually a pretty good alternative, especially at the price, so that is always an option.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Have you tried the Cover FX Enhancer Drops or any of the dupes?

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Monday, 28 May 2018

Altruist Sunscreen SPF 50 | Review

Altruist Sunscreen SPF 50

Many of you will now that I'm a big believer in wearing SPF everyday. Yep, even in this mostly dull, wet and grey English weather. My go to for the last year has been the Balance Me Natural Protection Moisturiser SPF 25, which I reviewed here. However, I am well aware that at £26 many people will find it too expensive for an SPF, especially if say you were purchasing one for each member of your family (I do end up purchasing my Mum and Sister's for them because they cannot be trusted left to their own devices!). This is exactly where the Altruist Dermatologist Sunscreen SPF 50* comes in. The founders actually created this SPF because they believe that a good sunscreen should be accessible to everyone, and not everyone has a lot of spare cash to spend on skincare and beauty products (I know I didn't as a student, and I know that there are a lot of people who have much less disposable income).

Before this turns into a speech about poverty and injustice in our society (I could go on!), I wanted to point out that Altruist was created by skin cancer specialist Dr Birnie. For every bottle purchased, Altruist also donates to charities supporting children with albinism. What a nice person, right?! I also feel like these small, ethical companies are exactly the type that we should be supporting. I mean it is nice to be acknowledged by the big brands every now and again, but sometimes you gotta think about the greater good.

Altruist Sunscreen SPF 50

These SPFs retail at £4 for the SPF 30 (200ml), and £3.75 for SPF 50 (100ml). The spray version costs £5 for both the SPF 30 and 50 (200ml). You can find them here on Amazon, although they only seem to be selling them in packs of two at the moment. I know that I said I preferred physical SPFs (for the debate on natural vs chemical sunscreens - see the Balance Me post here), however this one is a mixed one so I can live with that. It also has a 5 star ultra UVA protection, it's water resistant, and it's hypoallergenic and fragrance free; making is suitable for sensitive skin.

I think it's time I moved on to my thoughts on the product now. In terms of formula and consistency, I think it is one of the more lightweight SPFs I've used, it's definitely nowhere near the thickness of say Nivea/Garnier SPFs, and it's much more lightweight then the Balance Me SPF too. Although the Balance Me SPF is a moisturiser too so that one feels more like a base, whereas the Altruist isn't a combination product, however it can still be used as a moisturiser over a serum as it is quite hydrating and it creates a nice barrier between makeup/primers and the skincare underneath so to speak.

Altruist Sunscreen SPF 50

It absorbs well and quite quickly, it also isn't as greasy as many other SPFs I've used. On my body it doesn't leave any shine at all, not does it feel sticky upon the skin, once you've massaged it in you won't really be able to tell you have it on. On my face, there is a bit of a a visible shine on areas where my skin is a bit congested (cheeks, chin), but again it's not that bad that I wouldn't go out with it on alone. It doesn't feel hot or sticky on my face either, and it seems to go well with my beauty products.

During the day it fares well, it doesn't cause my makeup to go haywire, well that's more the sun melting it off. Although, at the end of the day I definitely do feel like I need to cleanse my face properly to remove it and it can start feeling a bit hot, but again that's probably a combination of the heat. I actually don't get along with the heat that well. I think I sometimes do get some symptoms of heat exhaustion, although it's not something I've been to the doctors about, but I do have an adversity to strong heat because of this. It also makes my skin go all hot and irritated, and I get those annoying under the surface breakouts. I have been testing out this Altruist SPF for the last 5-6 weeks, and around that time or even before I think my skin had been breaking out a lot more, and going from dry to congested, and back and forth. Therefore, I have stopped using this for brief periods so that I could isolate whether it's a single product that was causing the breakouts. Although, now my skin has calmed down a lot and I'm still using this without any breakouts. Therefore, I would say it was just my skin adapting to the rollercoaster weather, and not the Altruist.

Altruist Sunscreen SPF 50

Overall, I would say the Altruist Sunscreen SPF 50* is incredible value for money. It definitely beats a lot of the drugstore SPF brands that leave your skin feeling like a hot mess. I think the formula would be suitable for a lot of people, especially those that struggle with sensitive skin like me. Again, the price point and the ethical stance behind the brand is just amazing, it's definitely an SPF I will be recommending to people. It's worth bearing in mind most SPFs no longer retain their power after they have been opened for 12 months, and because we have such a short summer here anyway, sometimes it does feel like a waste buying SPFs for your body and not using them much, but atleast with Altruist it's not like you're throwing away a lot of money.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
What is your favourite SPF at the moment?

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Monday, 21 May 2018

Trying to tame my hair with Lush?! | Hair R&B

I'm going to admit something today. My hair isn't straight. I wear it practically straight most days, but in reality I have a lil' poodle thing going on. It wasn't always like this; when I was a kid I had half straight hair from the top and then from the ears downwards it fell in really cute ringlets. I naturally had quite wavy hair for the years after that, but for the last 4-5 years it just comes out somewhere weird between wavy and curly. It's not defined enough to wear curly, and even if it was, you wouldn't be able to see my face beneath it. Even sprays for wavy hair will leave me looking like Hagrid (I know, I make that reference all the time but hey it's one of the few jokes I have!). Honestly though, my hair is too thick for it to fall in one layer if that make sense, so naturally it looks like it's piled together.

The sample sizes (L to R: Lush R&B, Hair Custard)

And this is where the youtube videos sucker me in! A youtuber with a very similar hairtype as me (read: jet black, somewhat thick, and between wavy and curly), used a bit of Lush R&B Hair Moisturiser and her waves look amazing! People keep telling me I need to stop straightening my hair everyday, and so I'm like I'll give that a go! I walked into Lush (am I the only one who dislikes going in there because it's just so packed! I want to be in and out in 5 mins, but that is clearly not going to happen). Anyway, the Lush assistant talks me though their hair products, and suggests that the hair custard might actually work better in my hair. Then she offers me sample tubs for both of them so I can try them at home, and let me tell you, those sample tubs are actually an incredibly generous size. Forget a few uses, I have had the Lush Hair R&B sample since February, it is now May and there's still just under half left! I must have used it atleast a few times each week.

The R&B hair moisturiser has the main ingrediants of organic avocado butter, extra virgin coconut oil, oat milk, pressed jojoba oil and candelilla wax.

Anyway, getting to my story.  So getting ready for work the next day, I washed my hair, conditioned it with a masque, used my fancy oils and my kerastase mask, and then put a small amount of Lush R&B into my hair whilst it was drying. It still looked a bit dishevelled whilst it was almost dry, so I added some more. Anyway, I get up the next morning expecting to have beach waves. Do I? Nope, I still have the poodle thing going on. I apply a few more applications of the R&B, no that doesn't help, 10 hairgrips it is.

The hair custard was also not for me as the consistency is just too thick. It reminds me of those hair jells that would just stick in your hair and make it feel like straw. So I haven't given this a go since the initial application.

However, where the R&B is involved there is more to the story. I was feeling quite disappointed with it not working. I remember it was snowing a few weeks after I had tried it out, and ofcourse I knew my hair would turn crazy as soon as I went out into it. I decided to use the Lush R&B as a kind of hair creme/finishing product, and it actually helped my hair stay straight all day, even with the snow hitting me in the face (the way the wind was blowing made it feel like a blizzard, it was actually painful)!

I also found that it makes your hair look glossy when applied to the ends and mid lengths sparingly. Honestly, you literally need a teeny tiny amount rubbed into your palms and then worked through your hair. Too much will make it look lank, and will make it go greasy much quicker, but when applied in little bits it's amazing at controlling frizz too and making it look more healthy. You also don't want to apply too much because it can make your hair feel scrunchy, however it brushes out fine and most of the time you won't even be able to tell you applied it, it just sort of melts into the hair.

Overall, the Lush Hair R&B moisturiser could not tame my waves, but if you have problems with your hair not staying straight, being prone to humidity/being frizzy etc, then it's worth a try! I think it's really generous that they do decent samples too because they understand one product might not work on everyone's hair the same, so it's definitely worth going in store and asking rather than ordering online first. I have since brought a big tub of the R&B moisturiser, it retails at £12.25 here, and honestly I wonder if I'll ever finish the tub!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Have you tried any hair products from Lush, or what would you recommend for out of control hair?

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Wednesday, 16 May 2018

What have I been Up to | Part 2

I promised to talk a bit more about my exams and job on here, so here it is (there's also part 1 here which was almost a year ago, yikes)! At the time of writing this, I was trying out quite a few products aswell and so I didn't want to write a bunch of reviews until I was sure I've tried the product enough times (or in the case of the Cover FX drops - enough ways) to make sure I've covered all the bases. I'm almost there now, so expect some more reviews coming your way!

Working Life

First of all, can I just say time does seem to fly past so quickly sometimes. I started my new job at the end of last summer, fresh out on University and very soon I'll be coming onto a year now. Although, this wasn't actually my first 'related to my degree' job, I did a year in industry whilst I was in University. I actually do think it was beneficial for me to have that experience because it teaches you what to expect when you start a new job, and by that I don't mean the technical knowledge or computer skills. I mean the actual adapting to the workplace environment, interacting with people in the kitchen and most of all, getting out of your comfort zone and putting yourself out there (this is still a hard one for me because I'm not an extrovert, but by it I mean thinking about what is going to help you develop in your role and speaking to your manager/supervisor about it).

Moving on to my graduate job. Graduate roles are more different in my opinion, because one they are so competitive nowadays, and secondly, this is it! For most people it will be the start of your career, so naturally you'll want to make the most of it, push yourself and leave a good impression. However, at first my thinking was that I'd start work, and everything would be sorted for me. This often isn't the case. Sometimes you'll still need to push for work, or you'll want to try something a bit different to what you have. In my case, my work is project led (professional services), so if there is a project I'm suitable for I'm put onto it, and if there isn't, then I'm not. And that's where the above comes into play. I felt like I wasn't experiencing much of a variety compared to my friends, so I actually volunteered to help out in another department more. The type of work in that department is more fast paced and deadline driven than my usual (leaving me exhausted most days), however, it's still all experience, and sometimes you have to be open to these things.


This brings me onto my exams. People did tell me these exams were going to be hard, but when you've balanced 7 modules in one term at University (and the numerous pieces of coursework and exams that they entail) you do start to think that come on, these ones can't be that bad compared to that. Well, they were! The main thing that separated my Professional exams from my University ones was that the professional exams actually cover a whole lot more content per module, and you get a whole lot less time to cover it all. I believe it worked out around two weeks to cover three HUGE modules, and the two week college time before that was just exhausting because of the sheer amounts you get through in a day. The good news (as I previously mentioned) was that I passed them, and that means I'm one third of the way there. I have the rest to get through now, but they will be after the Summer.


Me trying to be all artsy haha

I'm not sure many of you will remember, but going a few years back now, we often used to go on city trips for the day. Here's some of the posts if you wanted to have a nosey; Warwick Castle, the Manchester Trafford Centre. The thing about work is that you often feel like you're working your life away, so I'm really keen to get back into it this year, especially with it being all Summery. With the extended bank holiday we did have a walk around in Edgbaston Resovoir, some lovely views, however I wouldn't recommend it as whilst it started off really enjoyable, unfortunately there were a few dodgy people that just ruined it.

I also turned another year older (I know, I haven't updated my side bar for ages!). I went to an adult trampolining centre with my best friend and it was amazing! I'm not the most sporty person but I had SO much fun! We finished it off with dinner at Mowgli (the restaurant with the swings for anyone in the know!). It was great service, and the angry bird dish is delicious! I also took advantage of the extended bank holiday and went shopping, and found the satin dress I've always wanted (it is very similar to what I envisioned!) Oh, and I picked up a backup of the Topshop Lip Liner in Beestung (it's perfect if the usual nude shades aren't for you).

Also, a quick tip! I always find Warehouse to be amazing for work dresses (and dresses in general), although I don't think the store is as well known or popular as others. Their dresses are about £40-£60, but you can get them for a fraction of that amount as they always seem to have them on sale online after a few weeks of having them instore. I managed to bag three lovely dresses for just under £60, and they fit perfectly (I normally struggle with small sizes not fitting properly or say the top being too big, but these were almost perfect). They can be worn quite casually too, so it's a good way to build up an inexpensive, versatile wardrobe.

Skincare and Makeup

I thought the warmer weather would relieve some of my dry skin atleast, but unfortunately it seems to be having the opposite effect! My skin is drier than ever, but at the same time I keep getting horrible under the surface breakouts (which aren't that common for me). This is where all the beauty blenders come in! They are literally the one thing stopping me from looking like a cakey mess. I use them for my entire makeup now; concealer, highlighter and powder (and using my fingers to press some shimmer on my eyelids).

Products I'm using up: 
  • Lola Makeup by Perse Lash Extension Mascara: This basically adds nothing but some length and added darkness to my eyelashes. I would have binned this but I'm trying to use up products so I don't feel like I'm wasting them.
  • By Nature Rejuvenating eye creme: This is the coconut version of the one I reviewed here. It's decent, quite hydrating and I already have a backup.
  • Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer in Ginger: At first I was having a love hate relationship with this because it looked a bit dry on, but the beauty blender and a good amount of serum and eye creme really help. This is actually around the same colour as my skintone (well a bit darker), but I find that it actually helps to cover the darkness around the eyes and chin better than concealers that are too light. I don't use foundation on a daily basis, so this has been my go-to and I'm already half way through this (I have been using it daily for 4-5 months now).
New finds:
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter Pressed in Opal: My search for natural looking highlighters has led me to this, and I love it! A detailed review to come!
  • Estee Lauder Pure Colour Lipstick in Rebellious Rose: I've been looking for a good everyday natural lipstick for ages, and I've found the one! You'll know by now that I can't pull nudes off, my natural lip colour is quite rosey, and this is just the most perfect muted rose. On my medium skin it's one of those shades that just makes you look a bit glowy, without being too much.

Phew, well done if you didn't switch off with all that text haha! I hope you enjoyed this post! What has been new in your life, new likes/new dislikes?

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Saturday, 21 April 2018

Soft Focus Powders | An affordable option from Freedom?

Freedom Pro Highlight Powder in Ambient

I'm sure a lot of you will know what a soft focus powder is, or would have heard about the Hourglass ones. However, I was a bit late to the party and if you're also like me, you might be wondering what on earth they are?! To put it simply they're almost like a very subtle highlighter but one which you can use all over your face as a setting powder (well maybe with the t zone left out).

I first heard about this concept when I was reading some reviews on the Freedom Pro Highlight Powder in Ambient. I don't have many powder highlighters (my dry skin prefers cream/liquid formulas), but I wanted one or two just to try out, and this one was on offer for £1.50 so I thought might as well! (In hindsight maybe I should have just gone for one of the MUA ones). Anyway, a lot of the reviews were saying it's a very, very subtle highlight and more of a finishing powder to give a natural glow. I'm all about the glow these days (although to be fair I've never been hugely bothered about contouring, I prefer the dewy high cheekbones look).

I really wanted this product to work for me because who doesn't want their skin to look glowy with minimal effort?! However, the first obstacle was the shade range. With the choice of only two shades and both of them quite cool toned, I went for Ambient as it seemed like the only feasible one for South Asian skin. The other option was Diffused which was much cooler. Although on the Revolution Beauty website it seems like they also do two more shades in Brighten and Glow (but those swatches aren't appealing to me either).

Freedom Pro Highlight Powder in Ambient

When I first got this, I loved trying it out on a daily basis. It was definitely a bit more pink toned but it blended into the skin so it wasn't too apparent, and I loved how smooth the formula felt and how it melted into the skin to give it a very soft reflective sheen. However, the more I used it, the more I started thinking that wait this isn't actually working! I would swirl a massive powder brush into this and go around the perimeter of my face a few times, really getting a lot of product on the brush but it barely showed up. Then when I overloaded it, I realised yes the powder was smooth but it felt too ashy on the skin, then it would layer up to look a bit powdery (with quite a bit of fall out too). Layering up the shade would also give a pinky-grey tinge which is far removed from the glow we want.

So to sum it up, I love the idea of a soft focus highlighting powder but this isn't the product for it (it might be a coincidence but they've also discontinued it on Superdrug). The formula doesn't really have any glow imparting properties, especially for those of us with dry skin. I can't help but think a base, like a radiance primer or hydrating serum, would be more effective. However, I do have to mention the packaging is really amazing for such a low budget product, what with all the swirls and the sturdy compact (makes you think where all the money goes in high end products!).

Freedom Pro Highlight Powder in Ambient

However, I will not give up in my quest for a soft focus powder! I've scoured the internet and some good options so far seem to be; Wet n Wild Reserve your Cabana (for fair skin), Models Prefer Soft Touch Mineral Powder (for fair - medium skin), Essence Pure Nude Highlighter (for medium skin, this one seems to be a bit more shimmery though), Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder (for fair - tanned skin), or the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders. The Elf illuminating palette was going to make a feature but it seems like they reformulated it for the worse.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be many more options, especially for tanned skin, but I'll try to update this once I hear of any!

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Have you ever tried soft focus powders, and do you have any recommendations?

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Saturday, 7 April 2018

My New Obsession: Lariat Necklaces

Hello, so it's been a while! By the time you read this, I would have completed my first three professional exams yesterday for my job, and good news I found out that I passed them all today (life update post to follow!). Honestly, some of the hardest and most stressful exams I've ever done so far, so a break is very welcome! I can finally focus on getting stuff done, and sorting out my life haha (it's always the way that stuff stops working or goes a bit awry when you have enough on your plate).

Anyway, moving on to the post; Lariat necklaces. I can't remember where I saw them (heck I didn't even know what they were called!). I think it must have been on Instagram, but I knew they would be on my buy list this summer. I initially brought a simple one from Acessorize a few months back now, and I recently received some from Tobi to try out. I think it's the fact that they look quite dainty and elegant that appeals to me. I am over the chunky necklace phase now (honestly I was having a clear out the other day, and my first thought was why did no-one stop me?! There were some necklaces that were atleast an inch wide!).

From the ones I received from Tobi, I have to say the Starry Light Gold Stud Earrings* here are my favourites. For the last few years I actually haven't been much of an earring fan because I find them too chunky or they feel like they pull down on my earlobes too much, and my ears are a bit on the small side, but these are the perfect size and the perfect level of bling-iness for me. I love the way they sort of peek out from under your hair and the detailing is so cute, but at the same time they look quite subtle and understated. The outside of the stars is a a gold shade, whereas the centre has little silver diamantees. These are available for £7.

The two necklaces I received from Tobi also have a gold theme. The Daydreaming Crescent Gold Layered Choker* here is a three layered lariat style necklace, not so much of a choker apart from the flower layer that sits a bit higher. Again, I love the detailing of this one, I love the little moon and the flower detailing. I'm a bit of a daydreamer, so I think the theme of this one is quite relatable! This one is available for £22, which I admit is a bit more pricey compared to their other pieces.

Lastly, I received the Conquer The World Gold Layered Choker Set* here. This one is again made of three layers, where the first two sit as a choker. I like this one too but I wish the third chain layer didn't sit so much below the others as it can look a bit odd. Maybe it would look better with that layer removed? This one is available for £5.

The one I brought from Accessorize has two layers, with one simple chain layer and one more detailed bit. It does look silver, but it actually has a more slight rose gold theme, but it's a pain to photograph! This one is considerately longer than the others, so I think it would look best with a more v shaped neckline or a blouse. Unfortunately, it looks like they no longer stock it, but I think they might still have similar ones. This one cost me £12 which actually isn't that pricey in terms of Accessorize prices I guess.

Here is an awkward collage of me trying them out haha! Honestly, photographing necklaces was more difficult than I imagined so these aren't the best shots but hopefully they're a bit helpful.

I also received a shift dress* from Tobi which is perfect for a simple work dress, see here. Unfortunately, the sizing doesn't work for a UK 6, but then again I have that problem in a lot of high street stores too. Sigh, because the scallop detail is really pretty, if I manage to get it altered I'll show you!

I hope you enjoyed this post!
What style of jewellery do you prefer?

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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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