Eyes: Makeup Forever Aqua Cream #13

31 May 2012

So as you can probably tell from the top photograph, this Aqua Cream is a much loved and much used item in my make up bag. If I'm honest, I can never be bothered with eye makeup (unless I'm going out, and then I'll wear a smokey eye). I wear glasses 90% of the time, so people don't tend to notice intricate eye makeup, so I don't see the point! Also, anything I do bother to put on usually creases off within the space of an hour anyway.
Makeup Forever Aqua Creams are multipurpose creams designed for a combination of lips, eyes and cheeks. I think this shade is designed for lips and cheeks, but I actually only put it on my eyes. This product is really heavily packed in and comes out as quite a heavy cream, rather than having the mousse like consistency I'd initially expected. I have a feeling this would make a great base to then put shadows over, but I love this just on its own across my lids. This is a gorgeous neutral colour, with a really nice shimmery (although not greasy) finish. I'd recommend this if like me you need something super stubborn which won't crease off. As the name hints at, these are fairly waterproof!
I stupidly swatched this before going to work, and had to really scrub at my hand to get this off, so it definitely has good staying power. Left is straight from the pot, right is heavily blended (how I wear it on my eyes).

For those living in the UK like me, these aqua creams - and all other Makeup Forever products - are available from Makeup Guru Emporium, priced £17.50.

Scent: Zara Fragrances

30 May 2012

I'm very very picky about fragrances. I religiously only wear Chanel, Chloe or Marc Jacobs. However, my sister has been waxing lyrical about how great Zara's fragrance range is, so when shopping a couple of days a go I tried them out, and ended up buying these two.
Fruity is a gorgeous scent, especially for the sun we've had lately. I'm rubbish at describing fragrances, but this just is really fruity, it reminds me of a cocktail. I can definitely smell some citrus scents mixed in to this, and its a lovely every day summer fragrance. This is such a bargain too - under a tenner for 100ml!
(This looks empty but its actually just full with clear liquid). White is much more of an 'evening' scent. Its definitely muskier than fruity, but I love it just as much. I'd actually decided to buy Fruity before I tried this, but I couldn't resist this as well. You get a lot less of this product - only 30ml - but for £7, I can't really complain!

For some reason I can't find a link on the Zara site to any of their fragrances, but my local store carries a line of about fifteen different eau de toilette's. I would definitely recommend you give them a try, they're so reasonably priced - they must be the cheapest things in the whole store! These two are now my go to everyday perfumes and I've kept my high end favourites for special occasions, so these are saving me some money whilst still smelling delicious. They have such a wide selection that I'm sure there'll be something for everyone :)

Five of the Best: Glitter Polishes

29 May 2012

I am a massive fan of glitter nails. I know they're a pain to get off and they damage your nails, but I don't really care, they're just so fun! I thought I'd do a quick rundown of my current five favourite glitter polishes:
Each polish goes left to right one coat, two coats, three coats!
Out of the five, this is the one I usually wear the least as its so thick and I prefer to use my glitters as a top coat. But this is really nice on my toes when I'm feeling particularly girly (rarely happens).
I love this polish - I hate it layered up, but one coat really makes plain lilac nails looks so gorgeous at night time. This is one from last Christmas' muppets collection but its still available online, and I'd definitely recommend a purchase if you can track it down!
Sooo happy because I've just realised that ASOS have the rest of this collection still online, and in the sale too! Very tempted by did it on 'em. So I already posted a review of this polish (here) but I just really wanted to include it because I think one coat of this is gorgeous. The third nail is how this applied first time I used it, hence why I was a bit put off. I don't actually own loads of OPI polishes, I just love their glitters.
Technic Carnival - £2.05
Think I paid about a fiver for this a couple of months ago so I'm gutted I've found it cheaper! But I'd have to say this is my favourite glitter polish. I love how bright the colours are, I'm just a bit of a magpie really.
Pretty sure everyone knows all about this polish as its been (deservedly) hyped over the last few weeks, but this is my favourite glitter when built up to me a 'statement' nail with a few coats. This does take quite a while to dry but I'll forgive it for being so beautiful.

I thought I'd include a couple of ways that I like to wear these polishes... Wear Something Spar-Kylie can't really be layered and I've already done a Nicki Minaj NOTD, but here are the other three as a top coat:
L-R Divine Swine is layered over two coats of Lilac Dream, Carnival is layered over two coats of Utopia, and Ibiza Mix is layered over two coats of Hedonist (yes I love Models Own polishes)!

Lips: Yves Saint Laurent Lips

28 May 2012

The recent sun has encouraged me to be a bit brighter with my make up, and so I was lusting after a nice corally lip. I didn't want to be super bright, so I thought I'd be more comfortable with a satin effect, rather than a really matte long lasting shade. I'd never actually bought anything from YSL before but I was intrigued by their lovely packaging.

I'll be honest, I've never ever bought a lip liner before. I tend to only wear lip glosses or very sheer lipsticks, so I've never thought them to be necessary. However, I do also have really thin lips, so the lady on the YSL counter kindly showed me how to use a combination of this and the touche eclat to really make the most out of my pout. I was really impressed with this, and thought the colour was perfect to go with most of my lipsticks. It feels really soft on my lips and definitely makes my colour last longer.
This is the most I've ever paid for a lipstick, but it was my big treat for having my first pay day! The name of this is the perfect description, it really just is a gorgeous pink coral shade, and its a lot lighter on the lips than it looks in these photos. I love the packaging, and this feels luxurious on my lips, although it does have a slightly grannyish scent which I'm not too keen of. This hasn't got a fantastic lasting time but that's because it is quite a 'dewy' (for want of a better word) finish on the lips - its not glossy or sticky at all, it just looks like you've licked your lips over the lipstick. My perfect summer shade.

These are very light swatches but the top is the lipstick and the bottom is the liner :) I love these products, they'll definitely be my new summer lip!

Skin Care: Avene hydrance optimale light + soothing hydrating serum

27 May 2012

First up, apologies that these aren't the best photos in the world - I took them all a couple of weeks ago when I was just starting to get to grips with various cameras etc, and I've since used up a lot of the products!

Up until about four months ago, all I was using on my skin on a daily basis was oilatum moisturiser in the morning, and cheap face wipes in the evening, I know right, my poor skin. I've since become completely enamoured with skin care, and I'm reaping the benefits. I'm experiencing far fewer breakouts, my skin feels less greasy and dry in different areas, and my cheeks aren't as red, which is all great. Whilst I was researching more natural based skin care brands (as I have very sensitive skin and several conditions which means me + harsh chemicals = instant reaction) I came across Avene. Avene are a French company who use thermal water as their main ingredient in every product, and this has been clinically proving to have a soothing effect on trouble skin.

I signed up to their website purely for a skin diagnosis, but if I'm honest forget about the brand as I got swept up in my love for Liz Earle. A couple of weeks later the top box arrived in the post. Having not expected to receive anything it was a lovely surprise, and included the moisturiser and cleanser samples which you see pictured. I'll be honest, I haven't touched the cleanser as I'm really happy with my LE and if it aint broke I won't try and fix it, but the next day I went and picked up the serum and spray (read my thoughts on the spray here).
So as I've said, the only moisturiser I had used before this one was oilatum. I bought it because the pixiwoo sisters were raving about it, and at the time I did have really dry skin. My mum had always used oilatum in the bath when I was little, so I knew I wouldn't have any nasty reactions to it. It was great at first, but after a while my face was just so greasy. I genuinely thought that was how a moisturiser should feel, so at first this felt almost drying on my skin! However after about three weeks of applying this every morning, my skin just feels amazing. This isn't harsh at all, its in the 'light' formula so great if you have combination skin like me, I genuinely just sit stroking my face because it feels so nice haha. My skin feels smooth, refreshed and not greasy at all. I'm definitely purchasing this in full size as soon as Avene get back to me with regards to their SPF - its probably me being silly but I can't find clarification on their website as to whether this protects against UVA, UVB or both, and if its not both then I'll purchase the SPF free bottle and just use a seperate SPF for my face (I'll update once they email me back). Another great thing is that I haven't reacted to the SPF in this, wooo! Update: all of Avene's products with SPF feature UVA and UVB protection :). And it hasn't blocked my pores up at all, I've only had one new (very small) spot in the last three weeks, usually I'd get 2 or 3 a week.
I initially purchased this just because I'd tried it on my hand and it felt so lovely I couldn't refuse! I didn't really know what do with it, but I'm so glad that I bought it now. I use this as my night cream instead of hydrance optimale, as I just don't like the thought of wearing SPF at night, and because this isn't in a 'light' formulation like the hydrance optimale it just allows my skin to drink up that little bit of extra moisture overnight. I use between 1 to 2 pumps for my whole face depending on how dry my skin feels, and this just feels so lovely and dewy. At first I was using this in the mornings too before my moisturiser, but it just felt like a step too much, and it'll last longer this way too!

Although Avene products are quite pricey I have seen definite results. I'll definitely be incorporating the serum and moisturiser in to my every day routine, and I'm just so happy to have found a moisturiser that does exactly what I need it to. I tend to carry the spray around with me in my handbag and use it as and when I need it, but the serum and moisturiser are my new staples! If you have difficulties with your skin (i.e. oily, dry, acne etc) I would definitely recommend you take a little look at the Avene website and have them diagnose your skin, as I'm really happy with the results I've seen! Avene products are available from Boots.

The Body Shop Products

26 May 2012

I don't reallyyy like the word 'haul' but that's basically what this post is. Long story short, I've been working at a friend of the family's estate agents since I finished my degree, and today I was running the office on my own. A crazy woman who is buying a house from us decided to start threatening me, and in the end the police were called and I shut up the shop a few hours early and ran away haha. I was feeling reallyyy stressed out and I've seen lots of posts about the Body Shop lately because they've had some 40% and 25% off offers, so I nipped in there to treat myself! I don't tend to buy from the Body Shop that often if I'm honest just because I do think they're overpriced, and also I love bubble bath/body lotions etc so people tend to buy it for me quite often as gifts, and I'm stocked up all year round! But I'd ran out of my body scrub and my tan had started to go a bit patchy so I originally intended to replace that and ended up coming out with a bag full.
Shea Body Scrub - £12.50
I absolutely love this scrub. I'd been using the mango one before this and it was amazing but I fancied something new and I just love the smell and texture of this! Other than with perfume I love trying out all different scents and mixing and matching.
Body Brush - £7
I have a couple of skin conditions - hidradenitis suppurativa and keratosis pilaris. I'm currently being referred to a specialist to look at surgical options for the first one, but I only have a very very mild form of the second. It just means I have small red bumps on the tops of my arms, which is quite common. Its so mild its not that noticable, especially when I've got fake tan on which hides the redness a lot, but I'm just really paranoid about it so I bought this to buff my skin with. I've used it on one of my arms today and I can see a massive difference already, the skin feels and looks so much smoother. I just really hope this won't be too harsh for my skin as I'm pleased with the effects so far.
Everyone knows that chocolate (+ diamonds) is a girls best friend, so I purchased this shower cream basically to cheer me up! I usually love fruity scents that remind me of holidays but this smells delicious and I thought it'd be really nice for a long bath, just not mixed with the other fruitier products that I bought today.
This is the product I'm probably most excited about, and it worked out I only paid £2.50 for it as it was on offer if you bought a body scrub too, which I didn't realise until I checked my receipt. It claims to be for hair, face and skin but I'll probably just use it on my arms and legs, as I've already got argan oil for my hair and I'm really careful about what I put on my hair and face. I usually can't stand the smell of coconut so I initially went for the mango scented version but it was really overpowering, and I ended up much preferring this! I can't wait to try it out and I'll probably end up reviewing it in a couple of weeks.
On my way out of the town centre I nipped in to Thorntons to get some sicilian lemon chocolate for my mum and I saw this at the till. I'm being swept up in jubilee fever at the minute and thought it was really cute!

Well thats all of my unnecessary purchases for today, I'm going to go and sit in the garden and finish reading the girl with the dragon tattoo (I know the rest of the world read it a year or two ago but I was a bit scared of reading it haha) and make the most of sun, so I'll leave you with some flowers! Also has anyone tried the beauty oils? What did you think of them?

Hair: Aveda Damage Remedy Intensive Restructuring Treatment

25 May 2012

At the minute I am going through a bit of a hair nightmare. In the last year I've gone from bleached white, to ombre, to dark brown, to highlights, and in two weeks I'm going even lighter. I just don't suit dark hair and I won't rest til its nice! But obviously my hair is suffering as a result...I've had to chop it off to jaw length, and it was just feeling so thin and really really damaged. Recently I've made the move to more natural skin care, and I thought I'd try the same for my hair. Step in Aveda Damage Remedy (more super long words) treatment.

I had my first experience of Aveda at the tender age of fifteen, when I was in London on a school trip to watch Les Miserables. We were given some free time in the morning and I wandered round Covent Garden with some friends, and ended up in MAC, where I purchased my first ever MAC foundation, and got hooked to make up. I then went to an Aveda store (can't remember where exactly) and as my hair was peroxide white at the time, asked for something to help the condition. I remember shelling out about £20 for a product and being so unimpressed, I doubt I even used it up and quickly moved on to lots of other hair care brands.

So, six years later after going through most brands I ended up back at Aveda. I read some incredibly tempting reviews of this product, but for a while I was really torn between this and their moisturising treatment. The main reason I was hesitant of buying this was because it was a protein treatment. I'd used Redken's protein restructuring shampoo, conditioner and CAT treatment a few months ago and it made my hair feel gross, and dried my scalp out so much. Dandruff was not a good look! Anyway, eventually I decided to just risk this, and I ordered it off of Look Fantastic because it was cheaper than on Aveda's website, and had free delivery too. Delivery was speedy, I ordered it on a Saturday evening and it arrived on a Wednesday morning!

From the first use of this I loved it. Its made my hair feel so silky, but also lighter if that makes sense? Like other treatments have weighed my hair down, and this has cleansed it all and made it feel bouncier and a bit thicker. I've been so pleased with my hair whilst using this, I tend to wash my hair every other day and I've used this every time, I leave it on for around twenty minutes and my hair just feels so much better for it. I know you can overload your hair with too much protein so I might buy the moisturising treatment too and alternate them. I'm just so so pleased with this and it has really changed my mind on Aveda! I couldn't recommend it more if you have damaged hair, I know its pricey but its my HG now, I will definitely be repurchasing.

Skin Care: My Summer Hero

24 May 2012

Just another quick post, I know I have been super slack on blogging this week but a combination of having my last ever exam and finishing my degree/starting my new job/this incredible weather has meant I haven't really been able to drag myself to the computer to post anything.

As everyone in the UK will know at the minute, the weather has been absolutely amazing for the last few days, and whilst I love nothing more than lounging about in the sun, the heat has left me a bit hot and bothered, especially in the mornings after walking in to work! I have had this product for a couple of weeks now but had just dumped it in my gym bag and not really used it as I didn't know what to do with it. Yes its moisturising but I have a liquid moisturiser, and yes it feels a bit like a toner but I have a Liz Earle toner! Anyway, today I was a bit sweaty and gross, and I remembered I had this in my bag. Grabbed it, sprayed my face (over make up)/arms/legs et voila, I was cool, calm and relaxed. I leant it to my two sisters to have a go too and now they're both hooked and off to Boots to buy it tonight!

I know that basically it is just water I'm spraying, but its ~French thermal water~ so it just feels a bit luxurious and I'm an Avene addict anyway (going to post a review of some of their products soon). This did work so much better than just covering myself in water too, and I genuinely felt refreshed afterwards. If you're struggling to cope with this heat then nip down to boots and pick up this spray, I paid £3.15 for 50ml but I'm gonna go back and get 150ml for £6.50 now I finally have a use for it! Even better its on 3 for 2 at the minute.

What's In My Handbag #1 | University

22 May 2012

I've had to nip up to Leeds today to sit my last ever university exam, so I scheduled this in as just a quick filler as I didn't really have time for a massive review post that I have to take lots of photographs for. I've got the Zara messenger bag (standard) and at the minute its filled with junk. In no particular order: iphone, ipod classic, kindle, Thorntons diabetic chocolate I bought for my grandma, multivitamins, sexy hair powder play, an apple 'cos I'm on a health kick, little notebook, Colorado pen, Holy Bible because I'm a Theology and Religious Studies student and I'm allowed to take it in to my exam and don't wanna forget it tomorrow, Cath Kidston purse my friend bought me for my 21st, vaseline because my lips/hands are forever dry. I love this bag because it fits all my crap, my ipad and a litre bottle of water in and it doesn't even feel full. Basically I just like carrying my life around with me. Now wish me look for this exam :(!