The Birthday Scent: Chanel Coco Mademoiselle

12 November 2014

L'amour Josie Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Perfume Review
First things first, happy birthday to me! Today I've reached the grand old age of 24, so I decided to treat myself to a bottle of perfume to mark the occasion. Almost two years ago I mentioned this fragrance as one of my top three in this post, so what better choice than a bottle of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau De Parfum.

There is something about Chanel products that screams luxury, and this bottle is no exception. The packaging is exquisite: from the frosted glass lid to the gold accents, Coco Mademoiselle has an iconic, instantly recognisable shape and design. Coco Mademoiselle has been a permanent fixture in the Chanel fragrance lineup since the early noughties, when it was introduced to appeal to a younger audience than some of the brands other signature scents.

The majority of notes in this fragrance are a combination of fruity and floral (orange, mandarin, iris etc along with my all time favourite, bergamot), however there is enough of an undertone of musk and vanilla that Coco Mademoiselle doesn't smell too 'young'. This perfume is a truly intricate blend of notes which work together to create the perfect scent, which lasts all day long. Many a time I've woken up still able to smell this perfume on my skin.

Although Coco Mademoiselle is pricey, it's my all time favourite perfume and perfect for Autumn/Winter. The lasting power combined with the strength of the fragrance means that a little goes a long way, and I can see myself repurchasing Coco Mademoiselle for years to come.

Another Sephora Haul

9 November 2014

L'amour Josie Sephora Haul
After discovering how easy it was to ship Sephora goodies to the UK, a second order was bound to happen. I'm now on a spending ban (*cries*) as I'm saving for my Florida trip next year, but before I put the ban in place I couldn't resist one last treat. Here's the rundown of what I purchased this time round.

The product that started it all off was the BlenderCleanser. Yes, I know it's available over here, but if I can accumulate Beauty Insider points for the purchase then why not? I'm really looking forward to using this as I've fallen head over heels for my BeautyBlender. Speaking of products available over here, I repurchased my beloved Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Foundation. I now have three tubes of this just in case, as QVC don't carry my shade. If you're looking for a flawless finish, I couldn't recommend this base enough.

Once I'd committed to placing an order, I started browsing Sephora's holiday gift section. The set that stood out for me was Too Faced's Melted Kisses quartet. I'd wanted to try their Melted lipsticks for so long, and every colour in this set was one that I'd mentally added to my shopping basket. I'm going to hold off posting about these until Blogmas (yes, it's happening again), but let me tell you, the pigmentation of these is unreal. While we're on the subject of lips, another product that I've wanted to try for a while is an OCC Lip Tar. I went for the shade Hush (a nude, who'd have thought it), I'll report back on this once I've given it a fair trial.

The last full size product which I added to my order was a last minute buy, but I'm so excited to try this. The Marc Jacobs O!Mega Bronzer in Tantric has been on my radar ever since Essie Button raved about it, and I just love the size and packaging. There is a ginormous mirror inside, and the shade looks to be the perfect not too warm, not too grey bronze. Finally, I used a promotion code to receive a miniature Kat Von D Tattoo Liner. This is yet another product that I've really been wanting to try, so having a mini version is a great way to test it out before I commit to a full sized product.

Once again, I was really impressed with the speed and ease of shipping my order to the UK. If you want the rundown on taxes/timescales then check out my previous post here, but for now you'll catch me browsing the Sephora website and mentally adding items to my Florida basket.

MAC Diva Lipstick

5 November 2014

MAC Diva Lipstick Review L'amour Josie
It's got to have been at least a month since I last raved about a seasonally appropriate lip colour, so here's the latest addition to the autumn/winter lineup. If there was one thing that I probably didn't need in my collection, it would have to be another vampy red lipstick. However, I've had my eye on MAC Diva Lipstick for the longest time, so when I accumulated enough empty packaging to trade in for a new lipstick as part of the Back to MAC scheme, Diva ended up coming home with me.

Diva is a matte, burgundy red lipstick, which actually doesn't appear to be too cool toned, a bonus if you're not in to that kind of thing. If you're looking for a dramatic dark lipstick, Diva is the one to go for. Because of the depth of the colour, Diva is a very in-your-face shade which I wouldn't normally be brave enough to pull off. However, come Autumn I'm wearing this lipstick throughout the day, or on a rare night out. If you're looking for something more wearable than a full on vampy lip, there's always the option to sheer this shade out with your fingertip. 

In terms of texture, Diva is another of MAC's matte lipsticks, meaning that it's really long lasting. I can get around five hours wear out of this lipstick before it needs reapplying, however I do have one issue slight issue. I find that this isn't the creamiest of formulas (even in comparison to other MAC matte lipsticks that I own), so I always make sure to apply a layer of lip balm underneath.

If you're looking to transition to a darker lip for winter, I'd definitely recommend this shade. For now I promise to hold off with the vampy lip ravings…

Do I Need an Allure Subscription?

2 November 2014

Allure Subscription Magazine UK L'amour Josie
One magazine that I've seen popping up more on British beauty blogs recently is Allure. Allure is an American magazine entirely dedicated to beauty, jam packed with the latest hair, skin care and make up news. There's a little bit of a gap in the market for this kind of publication in the UK, so I've got the lowdown if you're considering taking out a subscription.

An international 12 month Allure subscription retails for $40/£25. This includes delivery, and works out at just over £2 an issue, which I feel is a great price, considering that most British magazines cost more than that to purchase in your local newsagent. It regularly features innovative beauty products, and I find a lot of their makeup recommendations to be really helpful. Most issues feature a tips page, and so far Allure has helped me to master eyeliner, a bronzed glow and surfer girl hair (seriously).

My only gripe with Allure is the volume of advertisements. I'd say a good 30% of the content is one advert or another, which is a little bit of a pain when you're trying to read the articles. It also makes me feel like I'm gutting less value for money; I'd love it if Allure would cut the advertisements and increase the readable content. On the plus side though, you'll always know what the latest beauty releases will be, because they're advertised on the other side of the pond first.

All in all, Allure is a nice monthly treat to arrive at my door. I'm uncertain whether I'll renew my subscription because a lot of the articles can be found online and I do find the amount of advertisements frustrating. However, if you're looking for a magazine filled with great visuals and interesting beauty related articles, then give it a go.

Currently Loving 06

29 October 2014

I haven't posted about any of the products that I've been loving since July, so I figured that it was about time I shared another roundup of recent favourites. As I spent the best part of September in bed poorly and then recovering from surgery, the autumnal beauty loves are a little thin on the ground, but here are the products that I've been enjoying using.

Makeup wise, there have been a couple of standouts. On days when I haven't used my BeautyBlender, the Sephora Pro Flawless Airbrush #56 has been a great substitute for giving me a flawless base. This brush reminds me of the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush in shape, but the Sephora offering isn't as densely packed, meaning that it's easier to blend foundation in to a softer finish. My second Sephora love is the Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Cava. Cava is a lilac toned nude which initially I felt was a little too cool toned, but the colour has really grown on me. It's a very creamy, easy to wear shade, which doesn't wash me out as I first feared.

Now on to the non makeup loves. The Pureology Hydrate conditioner is a total dream to use. This conditioner has a lovely minty scent and makes my hair feel immediately softer, more so if I leave it on for a couple of minutes. It feels incredibly gentle on my scalp, and I'll definitely be repurchasing this over and over again. I can't recommend this enough if you have dry or damaged hair. The final item that deserves a mention is my Kindle. There's something lovely about curling up in bed with a candle lit and a good book in autumn, and I've really been enjoying getting back in to reading. I love books, and being able to have as many as I fancy in my handbag at any one time makes it easier for me to enjoy that hobby. Roll on early winter nights, I'm ready for you.

Shopping My Stash 01: October

26 October 2014

L'amour Josie Shopping My Stash
Last pay day I was surfing away online, looking for new products that I could treat myself to. After filling up my basket, it dawned on me that I already own versions of every product that I was looking to purchase. As much as I love buying something new, I decided it was about time that I started getting use out of the neglected products in my collection. After a quick root around my drawers, this is what I came up with.

There are three products pictured above which I have loved in the past, but haven't used for a while. Now that autumn is well and truly here, it's time to start enjoying candles again. I find it really relaxing to have yummy smelling candles burning in my room, and I have plenty to choose from. Pictured here is the Bath & Body Works Mini Candle in Frosted Cupcake. I'm a big fan of the Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Naked 2, but I'd been dismissing it in favour of lighter nude lipsticks. Naked 2 is a true beige nude, which is a shade that's all the rage now. I'll definitely be using this more often. The last old love is the NARS One Night Stand palette. For a good six months, this palette was in heavy use, but lately I've been selecting other products. One Night Stand is packed with excellent quality blushers which are perfect for this time of year.

Finally, there are the two products which I've yet to use. The Elizabeth and James Nirvana White rollerball was purchased in Las Vegas in May, along with the Josie Maran Argan Oil Light. I was really excited by these products at the time, but never got round to using them. There's a lot of hype around the Elizabeth and James perfume at the moment, and I'm hoping that the argan oil will help keep my skin hydrated through the colder months. I'm looking forward to introducing these new products in to my routine, along with the old re-introductions.

BeautyBlender

22 October 2014

BeautyBlender Review L'amour Josie Beauty Blender
It's time to talk about yet another product that's been raved about in the beauty community for years, that I didn't take the plunge with until recently: The Original BeautyBlender. I'd tried several of the BeautyBlender dupes in the past, but none of them really did anything for me. On a whim last month I decided to give the original a go, and now I finally understand the hype that surrounds this little sponge.

My main concerns (which I'm sure a few people share with me) prior to purchasing this sponge were the cost, and hygiene. Firstly, the BeautyBlender retails in the UK for £15. Having used my sponge, I actually think that this price is very reasonable, and is much lower than the cost of some foundation brushes which give comparable results. I've been using my BeautyBlender almost every day for over a month now and haven't seen a drop in the quality, so I'm hoping to get a good six months use out of this sponge (if not longer). For hygiene purposes I have been storing my BeautyBlender in the plastic tub that it arrived in, and have ordered the BlenderCleanser. I've given my sponge a quick clean with my Dr. Bronner , and although I've not quite managed to restore it to its pre-use glory, it's looking pretty good. The pink dye did bleed a little during washing, but hopefully it'll be okay in the future.

When my BeautyBlender first arrived, I was surprised by how small it is. However, when soaked in water the sponge doubles to around twice the size, making it perfect for speedily covering my face. Because the BeautyBlender is full of water, foundation doesn't absorb in to the sponge, meaning that you're not wasting any product. The round bottom of the sponge is the ideal shape and size for stippling foundation on with to give a really airbrushed finish. My base has never looked as natural as it does when applied with my BeautyBlender. I like to use the pointed top of the sponge for smaller, harder to reach areas which require a little more precision, i.e. around the nose and under the eyes.

I've tried using my BeautyBlender with several foundations, but I definitely prefer the results given when used with fuller coverage bases such as my Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation. It manages to make this base look lighter and more natural than when applied with a brush, whilst still giving me decent coverage. I couldn't be happier with my BeautyBlender, and 100% understand why this is such a well loved tool. If you're looking for a flawless base without having to layer on too much product, give this sponge a go.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light

19 October 2014

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Dim Light Review L'amour Josie
You've probably read a million reviews of this product already, but I have a slightly different opinion to share. After their launch, their was a serious amount of blogger hype surrounding the Ambient Lighting Powders from Hourglass. I managed to refrain from making a purchase until I was in the States earlier this year, as it was the first time that I had the opportunity to swatch all of the different shades. Eventually I settled for Dim Light, which is described as a neutral soft beige.

After reading so many rave reviews I was really excited to give my powder a go, but was instantly disappointed. Layered over the dewy foundation that I was favouring at the time with a large powder brush, Dim Light didn't really do anything for my skin, other than adding a bit of a strange highlight which seemed to almost accentuate pours. I stored it away at the back of my drawers and didn't use it again, until recently when I purchased the Charlotte Tilbury Powder & Sculpt Brush.

It's not often that I change my mind about a product, but I feel like I owe this powder a serious apology. The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders are not designed to be mattifying powders, which is what I originally attempted to use this for. Since I've recently been favouring a more matte base, I've found that applying Dim Light with a very light hand (which the small and precise Powder & Sculpt Brush enables me to do) across the high points of my face in particular, adds the most beautiful, soft light to my face. Dim Light is not a highlighter, but it gives a really natural lit from within look - as much of a cliche as that is - whilst holding my makeup in place, and managing to blur any obvious imperfections. My only slight complaint is the amount of fallout that this powder creates in the pan, but that's nothing that a quick tap of my brush can't solve.

What this powder from Hourglass does best is make my skin look naturally good. It blends in with the rest of my makeup, as the effect when applied is so subtle. Dim Light is perfect for softening and setting your base with a barely noticeable light that looks effortless, which is why it has become a staple in my makeup bag. If you find traditional highlighters a bit too in your face and are looking for something a little softer, give this a go.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Dim Light Review Swatch L'amour Josie

The Wet Brush

15 October 2014

The Wet Brush Review L'amour Josie
If someone had said to me six months ago that I'd soon be replacing my beloved Tangle Teezer, I would've told them that it was never going to happen. However, fast forward to today and that tool is sitting neglected, and I'm finally enjoying brushing my hair again. It's all thanks to The Wet Brush - probably my favourite beauty discovery of the year so far.

As someone with fine, bleached hair, caring for my locks is up at the top of my beauty priorities list. When my hair started snapping excessively at the beginning of September I went in to serious panic mode: booking an emergency cut with the hairdressers, upping the intense conditioning and researching hair growth supplements. As a result of my research I placed an order for my yellow Wet Brush, and I haven't picked up another hairbrush since.

The premise of The Wet Brush is that it's designed using innovative intelliflex technology, meaning that the bristles somehow know when to bend. As bizarre as it sounds, somehow it just works. I'm so impressed by how gentle this brush feels on my hair. After spending many years using tools that constantly get caught on lugs and pull on my hair, the Wet Brush glides through my mane easily. Science aside, this is a really well designed hairbrush. I wasn't expecting it to be that big, but it's actually the perfect size for holding in my hand and getting through a full head of hair. It feels lightweight, plus it's a luxury to use a hairbrush with a proper handle to hold again! I opted for the yellow brush because it's my favourite colour, but it's available in plenty of shades to suit everyone's taste.

I can't praise The Wet Brush enough for the difference that it's made to my hair; I've noticed a serious reduction in the amount of breakage that I've been experiencing. It works well on either wet or dry hair, and so far I haven't had any issues from using it with my hairdryer. If you're someone who struggles with a knotty mane, or you're looking for something that's a little more gentle on your locks, pop one of these in to your Cult Beauty basket - I promise that you'll be impressed.

What's In My Makeup Bag 02

12 October 2014

Back in February, I shared a peak in to the contents of my makeup bag here. Over the last couple of months I've stepped away from the dewier skin that I was favouring, instead opting for a more velvet finish. Here are the current favourites that have been featuring in my makeup bag.

For a flawless base, I've been using my Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation. This is quite a full coverage foundation, but a small amount of product is enough to give you even, smooth skin. I've found that applying this with my Beauty Blender helps me to use just the right amount of product for a natural finish. I can't believe it took me so long to try out this sponge - it really does make applying foundation easy peasy. To conceal, I've been using the Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer. This works brilliantly at covering any pesky blemishes. I'm now applying my MAC Pro Longwear Concealer under my eyes, the shade is so light that it really manages to brighten my under eye area.

I haven't really touched any other blushers/bronzers in my collection since I purchased the Balm Bahama Mama Bronzer and Frat Boy Blush. They're the perfect cheek combination, allowing me to attempt a little contouring whilst adding a natural flush to my skin. To finish off my base, I've been applying a sweep of my MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Powder to set my makeup in place, followed up by a light dusting of my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light to add a subtle highlight. I'm still using MAC Fix+ to blur any heavy handedness. 

For eyes, I've been been keeping it simple, favouring the Make Up Forever Smoky Extravaganza mascara, which adds length and volume to lashes, along with a slick of my Bobbi Brown Gel Liner topped up with the shade Crave from my Urban Decay Naked Basics palette. I'm also using this shade mixed with Faint to fill my brows in, and still holding them in place with my trusty Anastasia Beverley Hills Clear Brow Gel.

Finally, to finish off my face I've embraced autumn with a recent purchase: MAC lipstick in Diva. This is a vampy, burgundy shade with a matte finish which is perfect for this time of year. Applying makeup can sometimes feel like a chore, but this current rotation of products all work so well that I look forward to unzipping my makeup bag every morning.

MAC Creme Cup Lipstick

8 October 2014

Mac Creme Cup Lipstick Review L'amour Josie
When it comes to lipstick, if I'm looking for an impressive shade range full of bold pinks, browns and reds, MAC is my go to brand. Creme Cup is a lipstick that has been on my radar for the last couple of years, but had never caught my attention enough for me to buy it until I recently swatched it in store. It's one of those "my lips but better" shades, which although not an immediate stand out, come autumn is a welcome relief after a few days of berry lips.

Creme Cup is the lipstick that I'd turn to if I wanted a polished, natural look; it's the perfect lipstick for day to day wear. It's a natural pink shade with blue undertones, which doesn't look too cool toned on my lips. I've surprised myself with how often I've been using Creme Cup. Although it doesn't look to be anything special in the bullet, I've been favouring this pink shade over my usual go-to nudes.

Creme Cup is formulated in MAC's Cremesheen finish, meaning that it's a lightweight, creamy lipstick which isn't overly pigmented. I like that this isn't a matte finish - it adds to the natural look - but I'm not overly impressed by the lasting power of Creme Cup. I have to reapply this lipstick throughout the day, but luckily given the shade, any fading isn't too obvious.

Creme Cup is a pretty pink lipstick which makes a nice alternative to the harsh nudes and red shades which tend to do the rounds in Autumn. I can see this being a lipstick which I'll wear right through until Spring, and I'm happy that I finally added it to my collection.

The Balm Frat Boy Blush

5 October 2014

The Balm Frat Boy Blush L'amour Josie Review
Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to my new favourite blusher. The Balm's Frat Boy Blush was an impromptu Walgreens purchase, but it has become the blush that I've used constantly for the last four months. I'd read several reviews of Frat Boy before I added it to my collection, and had seen it described as everything from a coral shade, to a peach, to a bold pink. I was intrigued to see how this blusher would work out for me, and drawn in by the packaging.

Housed in sturdy cardboard with a decent sized mirror and the usual vintage design that I've come to know and love from the Balm, Frat Boy is the ideal suits everyone blush. On my skin, it actually looks to be quite a deep pink shade, which adds a really natural flush to my cheeks. Frat Boy is a beautiful colour blusher, and I can't imagine a skin tone which this wouldn't look great on. It has a hint of shimmer in the pan, but this isn't noticeable once applied. I usually stick to peachy pink blushers for Spring/Summer, and have more plum toned cheeks in Autumn/Winter, but this pink is pretty enough to be worn all year round.

After initially being drawn in by the colour of this blush and the quirky packaging, what really impressed me about Frat Boy was the quality of the product. Even after months of use, it still feels buttery soft to swatch. This is a very finely milled, highly pigmented blusher (you really only need to use the smallest amount), which I'd say is easily comparable to my favourite NARS blushers. I'd definitely recommend Frat Boy to everyone, and can't wait to get my hands on a couple more products from the Balm.
The Balm Frat Boy Blush L'amour Josie Swatch Review

My Sephora.com Order

1 October 2014

Sephora Order Haul UK L'amour Josie
When Sephora announced that they would be shipping to the UK back at the end of February, the blogging community went a little bit wild. I managed to resist placing an order until last pay day, when I figured it was finally time for my first Sephora.com order.

First up, a quick note about the logistics of ordering. Sephora have reduced their delivery fee to the UK, so now if you spend over £75 (pre-tax) then delivery will cost £6. Once you get to the payment stage of your order a 20% tax will be added to your costs, in line with UK VAT. This ensures that there are no extra import fees once you receive your order. You can sign up online for Sephora's Beauty Insider service to accumulate points in exchange for miniature products. Lastly, I placed my order on a Sunday evening, and it arrived at my home address the following Friday lunch time via UPS, which I thought was prompt for an international delivery.

Now on to the good stuff: what I ordered. I'm already a big fan of the Sephora Pro Airbrush range, so decided to add their #57 concealer brush (£15.60) to my collection. This is basically a mini buffing brush which is perfect for blemishes or under the eyes. The other tool which I opted for was a Beauty Blender (£12.97). Now I know that these are available over here for a similar price, but it just made sense to get my Beauty Insider points for the purchase. For skin care, I decided to try out a mini tub of GlamGlow (£12.35), which worked out at half the UK price.

My makeup purchases were all ones which aren't readily available in the UK. The Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation has quickly become my favourite base since I bought it in Vegas back in May, so I opted to give the Maracuja Creaseless Concealer (£15.60) a go in the corresponding shade. So far, it's love. Bite Beauty is a brand which is fairly new to me, I invested in their Luminous Creme Lipstick in the shade Cava (£15.60), a beautiful lilac toned nude. For my final purchase I couldn't resist the Sephora travel section, adding a mini of the new Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravaganza (£7.80) mascara to my basket. 

My first Sephora.com order was simple, fast, and I'm happy with all of my purchases. I might have already started adding products to my basket for order number two...

A Blogging Break

18 September 2014

Some of you may have noticed that I've not been blogging as much as I normally do as of late. 2014 has been a pretty big year for me, with the latest hurdle being that on September 1st I was diagnosed with a painful and chronic disease. It's not in any way life threatening and I appreciate that there are a lot of people dealing with far more serious medical issues, but my condition is completely draining and most of the time leaves me in almost constant pain. 

Although this is a life long condition with no cure, my consultant is confident that she can get the pain under control through a combination of medication and surgery, which would be a big step towards me getting back to normal. I've started taking three new types of medication (one of which leaves me feeling sick all the time on top of everything else), so unfortunately blogging has fallen to the bottom of my to do list.

I've taken the last few days off work to give my body chance to rest and adjust to the new medications, and am hoping to have some very minor surgery over the next couple of days.  I love blogging, but I don't have the energy to put posts together right now, so whilst I'm getting this current bout of illness under control I've made the decision to be absent from the posting scene. I'll be back soon though, and will be sure to keep up with everyone's posts for a little light bedtime reading in the mean time.

Josie xxx

MAC Rebel Lipstick

10 September 2014

MAC Rebel Lipstick Review L'amour Josie
Ahh MAC's Satin Lipstick in Rebel. A lipstick so lovely that I bought it twice (after my sister "borrowed" the first one). Now that we're well over a week in to September - and thus Autumn - Rebel is the perfect, pretty shade for the season.

In the bullet, Rebel looks to be a seriously dark, vampy lipstick. However, in reality it swatches as a lighter, purple toned red. This lipstick is the perfect shade for girls who want to give berry lips a whirl, but are a little intimidated by how dark they can be. I've been loving anything purple on the lips, and Rebel falls nicely in to that category. As much as I wish they did, classic red lipsticks don't work for me. However, Rebel has enough of a pinky-blue undertone for it to flatter my colouring. 

Rebel is formulated in MAC's satin finish, meaning that it's long lasting and looks semi-matte when applied, but isn't as drying on the lips as a matte finish. The colour wears really well; after about four hours of wear you're left with a light berry stain on your lips which is a task to remove. There's a reason that this is one of my favourite lipsticks - it's just good - so I'd recommend Rebel for anyone who's looking to add an Autumnal twist to their makeup.
MAC Rebel Lipstick Review L'amour Josie Swatch

My First Tiffany & Co Purchase

10 August 2014

For as long as I can remember, I've dreamt of owning something from Tiffany's, and these earrings have been on my wish list for the last five years or so. At the end of May this year I flew off on my second trip to Las Vegas with my sister, and after a little bit of peer pressure from her, emerged from the Tiffany's store in the Bellagio  with these beautiful Return to Tiffany Mini Heart Tag Earrings.

There is something about the duck egg blue packaging of Tiffany's jewellery that feels very special, no matter what it is that you're buying. Despite purchasing one of the cheapest items in the store, the sales assistant took care to package them properly, and tie that infamous white ribbon around the little blue box. Since purchasing these earrings I've only dared to wear them once, but I've spent a lot of time admiring the beautiful box and pouch which they're enclosed in.

The Return to Tiffany Earrings are sterling silver, hence the 925 engraved on the hearts, which refers to the quality of the silver used. They're marked with the classic "Please return to Tiffany & Co New York" motif - which I love - and even the butterfly backs are marked T&Co. The heart shape gives these earrings a softer, more feminine edge, as they're quite a plain design in comparison to some of Tiffany's more exquisite items. These earrings are actually much smaller than I first imagined they'd be (around the size of the nail on my little finger), meaning that they sit really nicely and discretely on the ear lobe.

Although I won't be splashing out on any more Tiffany & Co purchases any time soon - it's way too far out of my price range - I'm so happy with these earrings and really glad that I finally invested in them after so long. I'll definitely get my use out of them over the years, and think they'll add the perfect finishing touch to many an outfit.

*Disclaimer: This isn't a showy off post. My Mum and Dad kindly gave me some dollars to treat myself with whilst I was away, and this is what I opted for. I definitely don't make Tiffany & Co purchases every day!* 

#DLPBloggersTrip - Get Involved!

9 August 2014

Aside from makeup/clothes/food, if there's one thing us bloggers seem to love, it's Disney. Disneyland Paris is probably my favourite place in the world, so when the lovely Kayleigh (@blogofshadows) came up with the amazing idea for a bloggers trip to Disneyland Paris, I instantly signed myself up. Along with Kayleigh, Amy from Cocktails in Teacups (@teacupcocktails) and Amy from Paintpotted (@paintpotted) we've started to put together what (I think) could possibly be the greatest blog meet up ever - #DLPBloggersTrip

The Details

So far, we're looking at going via Eurostar and staying in Hotel Cheyenne in the Disneyland Paris Resort for one night. Both myself and Amy have stayed in this hotel before and rate it - it's cheap, but has that Disney magic, and is in walking distance of the park.

We're looking to go on Wednesday 26th November (two weeks after my birthday!), returning on Thursday 27th November. Because of the date, the park will be decorated for Christmas, making it even more magical! It will be a jam packed 48 hours, but so much fun. Basically it's gonna be a giant blogger slumber party in Disneyland - what could be better?

We're still working on prices etc, but so far we're looking at around (most likely under) £200. That might seem like a high price for two days, but it includes Eurostar travel, a nights accommodation in Hotel Cheyenne, breakfast the following day and two days park tickets, so actually you're getting a lot of bang for your buck!

We're hoping to organise a little surprise or two, but need to start getting everything booked, so if anyone is interested in signing up then please let us know as soon as possible. Leave a comment below, drop one of us an email, or tweet us @lamourjosie @blogofshadows @teacupcocktails & @paintpotted. This trip is Kayleigh's baby, but I'm so excited to be involved. I can't wait to be back in Disneyland, and meeting some fellow bloggers who've become really good friends. Our policy is the more the merrier, so hopefully you'll be joining us! 

For now, enjoy a few more photographs from my last trip to Disneyland last December.

Josie xx




NARS 413 BLKR Illuminator

6 August 2014

NARS 413 BLKR Illuminator Review Lamour Josie
The NARS 414 BLKR Illuminator is a boutique/online exclusive product, which I purchased whilst staying in Caesars Palace earlier this year. It's named after the brand's flagship New York City boutique, and was released as part of a collection inspired by the store. The collection is designed to be both bold and timeless, which is a pretty apt description for this highlighter. I already own one NARS illuminator in the infamous shade Orgasm, so I knew I'd get on with the consistency; it's a lightweight liquid, which somehow manages to add a natural light to skin without looking greasy or glittery. However, it was the shade of this product that really impressed me.

This illuminator is a beautiful, warm shade which adds the perfect amount of glow to skin. It's somewhere between champagne and opal, in that it's a golden, pearlescent shade which looks stunning when applied along the cheekbones. Only the tiniest amount of product is needed - too much and I'd be wary of looking a little bit shiny - to give a seriously natural light to the skin. I like to pat this on top of my foundation, but you could also use it underneath for a more subtle look, or mixed in with your foundation for an all over glow.

The NARS 413 BLKR Illuminator has quickly become my favourite highlighting product, and I would definitely recommend giving any of the NARS illuminator range a go if you're looking to branch in to the world of liquid highlighters.
NARS 413 BLKR Illuminator Review Lamour Josie Swatch

MAC Coppertone Blush

3 August 2014

L'amour Josie MAC Coppertone Blush Review Swatch
On today's agenda is Coppertone, a beautiful matte terracotta blush by MAC. This is a shade that I haven't read too much about, but I decided to give it a go after swatching it in store. Coppertone is the perfect shade for those days when I want to add colour to my cheeks, but I don't have time to add bronzer and blusher, because it somehow manages to act as both.

Coppertone is a colour which I'd describe as somewhere between terracotta and peach. It's a light brown with a lot of warmth, and looks pretty when applied either on the apples of the cheeks, or blended up the cheekbones. Like all MAC blushers that I've tried, Coppertone is long lasting, highly pigmented and finely milled. I'd have to say that this is the most buttery soft MAC blusher that I've tried.

I love the warmth that this blusher adds to my cheeks, without looking ruddy, and how easy it is to work with. If you're on the fairer side like me, and looking to give bronzer a go but not wanting to fully commit, then Coppertone is the perfect shade to start with.
L'amour Josie MAC Coppertone Blush Review Swatch

Tweezerman Pink Perfection Petite Tweeze Set

30 July 2014

lamour josie tweezerman pink perfection sephora tweezer set review
I never imagined that I'd want to write an entire post dedicated to a set of tweezers, but it's happening. For the longest time I've been using the cheapest tweezers that I could find to pluck stray hairs, but finally I decided that I couldn't resist this hot pink duo, and the rest is history.

The star of the Tweezerman Pink Perfection Petite Tweeze Set for me is definitely the slant tweezer. I'm so impressed by how sharp this tweezer is, initially hairs were snapping before I had chance to pull them out (I was used to using more blunt tweezers which require a heavy handed grip). They're wide enough that even with my terrible vision it's a task to miss the target hair, making plucking an easy task.

I've yet to master the point tweezer (mainly due to the aforementioned terrible eyesight), as they offer a much smaller surface area to grab hairs with. I've never really used this shape tweezer before, but when I have occasionally reached for this pair, even the teeny, tiniest hair comes straight out. 

This duo is great because whichever shape tweezer you favour, you're covered. They're pretty, precise, incredibly sharp and make plucking hairs a relatively pain free experience. This Tweezerman set is definitely worth the extra investment if you're looking to invest in some high quality tools which will stand the test of time.

My Bedroom

27 July 2014

Given that my bedroom is probably my favourite place in the world (apart from Disneyland), I thought I'd share a few snaps of it. I love having flowers in my bedroom, and treat myself to a new bunch every week. Normally I go for gypsophila which are my favourites, but at the minute I have these pretty pale pink spray carnations stood in an old jam jar.
My chest of drawers are from the Camille range at Dunelm, and I also have the matching bedside table. They're the perfect size for storing my work clothes and linen, and I love the distressed look of the wood.
I seem to be using jam jars to store everything in at the moment, but they're cheap, we always have plenty lying around and they look really cute. I'm saving these straws to go with cocktails on a nice summer afternoon.
One of my best friends made this bunting out of beautiful vintage fabric. I have a few different sets, and think they look super pretty at the end of my bed. You can just about see Olaf in the background too!
I got this dream catcher when my Dad and I went to visit family in Colorado, although it doesn't seem to be warding bad dreams off all that well at the moment. The lights are from Urban Outfitters, they add a really soft light at night when I'm getting ready for bed.

Illamasqua Hydra Veil

24 July 2014

Illamasqua Hydra Veil Review Swatch L'amour Josie
Illamasqua Hydra Veil Review Swatch L'amour Josie

Illamasqua Hydra Veil has been on my 'to try' list for the longest time now. Initially I grouped it in with a few other primers that I wanted to test out, but I've realised that it's actually something different to that.

The main reason that I initially wanted to try Hydra Veil was the consistency. The only thing that I can liken this to is jelly. Every day I scoop a chunk out, and then the next morning I'm always surprised to see that the product has levelled itself out and looks brand new again. Everything about the texture of this product screams hydration - it's like applying a combination of lots of water with moisturiser on to your skin. Once applied though, skin instantly feels smooth and satin-like (no grease in sight).

In all honesty, Hydra Veil hasn't been stunning at extending my makeup, but the reason that I like this product so much is how beautifully foundation sits on top of it. My pores look blurred - or veiled - my skin feels soft to the touch, these are all components for a great base. Whilst I probably wouldn't turn to Hydra Veil to make my makeup last longer on a sweaty night out, I would use it if I needed to look my best for a job interview or photographs, as it completely smooths out the skin. It feels very gentle and cooling once applied too, which has been very welcome in the recent weather, and I imagine perfect for soothing wind-swept skin in Winter.

MAC x Kelly Osbourne - Dodgy Girl

20 July 2014

MAC Kelly Osbourne Dodgy Girl Lipstick Review Swatch L'amour Josie
Despite the hype around the MAC and Osbourne mother/daughter collaboration, I was initially pretty disinterested. Don't get me wrong, I like the Osbournes, but I've grown ambivalent towards MAC's limited edition collections. They're difficult to get hold of, and tend to just feature the same old products. Fast forward a few weeks from the release and I was having a swatching session at a MAC counter in York when I spotted Dodgy Girl. I've got a little bit of a thing for purple based lipsticks at the minute - plus who could resist that gorgeous packaging? - so of course it came home with me.

Dodgy Girl is the exact shade of lipstick that I would design to encompass Kelly Osbourne's style (and trademark lilac hair). MAC describe it as a light lavender, and whilst on darker skin it does pull more towards the pink side of things, on my fairer skin Dodgy Girl is most definitely a bold lavender. I've been pairing it with simple eye makeup in the day, and actually I've been surprised by quite how wearable it is. Normally brighter lip colours can tend to wash me out, but there is just enough of a cool undertone in Dodgy Girl to avoid this.

Dodgy Girl is a matte finish lipstick, meaning that it has some serious lasting power. I get a good five hours wear (unless I'm doing some extreme eating and drinking) before I feel the need to top up, but unlike other matte lipsticks I haven't found this shade to be at all drying on me. In fact, Dodgy Girl feels creamier when applied than other MAC lipsticks I've tried. If you can track this shade down, then I'd definitely recommend giving a lavender lip a go.

Too Faced Snow Bunny Luminous Bronzer

16 July 2014

Too Faced Snow Bunny Review Swatch L'amour Josie
Too Faced Snow Bunny Review Swatch L'amour Josie
Bronzed, glowing skin is something I'll always want in the summer months. On my last night in Vegas I popped in to Vegas for a final few presents and couldn't resist one of these bronzer/blusher/highlight hybrids from Too Faced. Too Faced isn't a brand that I'm all that familiar with - there are no counters local to me - but I was drawn in by the pretty gold packaging combined with how well this product swatched.

Snow Bunny is billed by Too Faced as a "luminous bronzer". I never purchased this with the intention of using it as a bronzer, the colour is too light for that, but as a highlighter it adds an understated natural light to the skin. My favourite way to use this product is to take a fluffy brush and swirl it in the pan, so that all of the colours blend together to form a golden shade (as shown in the swatch photo above). Snow Bunny is a pretty, subtle powder. 

Texture-wise, this powder is smooth and not at all chalky. However, I would say that with a more matte base, Snow Bunny can tend to accentuate my pores slightly. With a good primer and natural finish foundation combination, swept across the top of the cheeks, Snow Bunny adds a beautiful golden light to the skin.

Currently Loving 05

13 July 2014

L'amour Josie Currently Loving
Ever since I got back from Las Vegas last month, I've been obsessed with the products I bought over there. It's no surprise that all of the products I'm loving right now were purchased in the States, so here's the lowdown.

Whilst in Vegas I managed to soak up a lot of sun, so wanted a cheap bronzer that I could use all over to top up my tan. I opted for this Wet n Wild bronzer in Ticket to Brazil, which cost me under $4. I've never owned a bronzer specifically for 'bronzing' before - I've always used them for contouring - but I love the warmth that this adds to my skin. This bronzer is buildable, pigmented and finely milled, and a bargain for the price! Another complexion enhancer which I've been loving is the NARS 413 BLKR Illuminator. I won't go in to too much detail as this will be featuring in a post soon, but this is the perfect champagne highlighter which blends beautifully, adding a natural glow to the skin.

I'd bought a couple of Anastasia Beverly Hills brow products on my last trip to Vegas and was suitably impressed, so this time I stocked up. I've been using their Brow Wiz lately to fill in my eyebrows and it's love. This pencil is so fine, it's perfect for defining my brows without looking too overly drawn on. If you want shapely brows which aren't too bold, give this pencil a go.

Finally, the absolute star product of all of my Vegas buys is possibly my favourite beauty product ever. Yes, I went there. The Buxom Full-On Lip Cream in White Russian is my perfect gloss. It's neither sticky nor sparkly, but gives a lovely pinky-nude pout with just the right amount of plumping. It's love, now I just need to get my hands on a few back ups.

My Favourite MAC Concealers

2 July 2014

MAC Concealer review l'amour josie
MAC concealers have been a constant in my makeup bag for as long as I can remember. Their colour selection is second to none, as is the variety of different finishes. There are six concealers in the main MAC range, but I've rounded up my top four to share in this post.

MAC Studio Finish Concealer is the first from the range that I tried, and one that I've consistently repurchased over the years. This is a heavy duty concealer that I save for the worst of the worst when it comes to blemishes. This concealer is solid with a creamy texture, and is packaged in a small pot. It can be quite difficult to blend.

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer is a product that earns brownie points for the packaging. It's housed in a clear glass tube with a matte black pump. It's a thin liquid concealer which is perfect for evening out skin tone. I like to wear this either under my eyes, or blended with my moisturiser across my cheeks on lighter makeup days.

MAC Select Cover-Up Concealer is my every day concealer, it's perfect for blending over blemishes to give an airbrushed finish. It's billed as a liquid consistency, but I see it more as a gel. Select Cover-Up comes in a squeezy tube, so it's easy to control how much product you use.

MAC Select Moisturecover is a lightweight liquid concealer which is perfect for covering any redness on dry skin. I use this concealer a lot during winter, because it's moisturising on flakey skin (particularly around my nose!), plus it's great at neutralising redness. It's housed in a tube with a doe foot applicator.

The Balm Bahama Mama Bronzer

22 June 2014

The Balm Bahama Mama Bronzer Review L'amour Josie
The Balm Bahama Mama Bronzer Review L'amour Josie Swatch
I've made no secret of the fact that I love Nars Laguna bronzer. However, when I hit pan recently I opted to try out something new, and ended up coming home from Walgreens with this bronzer by The Balm. I'd read a lot of good reviews of products by the Balm so bought this on a bit of a whim, but I'm really glad that I did.

Bahama Mama is a flat, matte bronzer. Colour wise it's quite dark, so I'm not necessarily sure if it would work for paler skinned girls (or myself on fake tan free days). Whereas Laguna has tiny particles of shimmer running through it, Bahama Mama is totally matte, so it's great for contouring. I actually prefer to use this product for contouring rather than bronzing my skin, as I find that the shade is very neutral, and lacking in the warmth I would usually expect from something labelled as a bronzer. This is the first product I've found that for me, really helps to create the illusion of bone structure.

Bahama Mama - like all of the products I've tried from the Balm - is incredibly pigmented; it's a finely milled, buttery soft, high quality product. It's a cliche, but you really do need to use the smallest amount of this bronzer. A little goes a long way and I can't see myself running out any time soon. Bahama Mama has quickly become an every day fixture in my makeup bag, and I'd definitely recommend it for any fair to medium toned girls looking to work on their cheekbones. Finally, with packaging like that, what's not to love?

Chanel Lovin'

11 May 2014

Chanel Haul Vitalumiere Aqua Perfection Lumiere Velvet Le Blanc De Chanel Haul L'amour Josie
After a particularly disappointing shopping trip last week, I found myself at the Chanel counter with the urge to make a purchase (conveniently forgetting the dosh I'd just shelled out on an Illamasqua order). I've been rather absent from the blogging world lately, but I couldn't help but notice the hype around a couple of Chanel products. After a quick swatch, three hefty purchases were made...

Firstly, with my much loved bottle of Vitalumiere Aqua foundation standing on its last legs, a repurchase was definitely in order. I've lost count of the amount of bottles of this stuff that I've gone through, but it's my fail-safe foundation for any skin day. Vitalumiere Aqua leaves you with a flawless, glowing complexion - if you're after light to medium coverage and a healthy finish, look no further.

The other two items were both new to me, although I'd read some great reviews of Le Blanc De Chanel. I definitely haven't used this enough times to offer my verdict yet, but so far although I'm not crazy on the consistency, I love the scent of this product and my foundation definitely sits nicer on top of it. Last but not least is the Perfection Lumiere Velvet foundation. This seems to be the easier to wear big sister of Vitalumiere Aqua; the shades all correspond, but I find that PLV offers a slightly more buildable coverage and more matte finish. Although it's not stolen VLA's crown yet, this is a lovely foundation and great for every day wear. Now, it's definitely time to get on that spending ban...

An Illamasqua Haul

6 May 2014

Illamasqua haul
Last week, Illamasqua ran one of their regular 10% off online events. When a good friend mentioned that she had an Illamasqua pro discount card, bumping the discount up to 50%, I couldn't resist adding a few bits on to her order. Previously I'd only tried a lipstick and two nail polishes from this British brand, so I was intrigued to find out what else they had to offer.

I've wanted to try the Skin Base foundation ever since it was first launched, but don't live close enough to a counter to get matched up. After lots of research online I opted for the shade 7.5, which luckily is perfect for me! I've only used this foundation once as yet, but I'm really impressed by the coverage and finish. The other base product which I purchased was Hydra Veil, a gel primer which goes on to the skin like water. I'm really impressed by the consistency of hydra veil, and so far I've loved how it has felt under a couple of different foundations.

Because I definitely needed more lip products, I added two glosses to my basket. The first is their Sheer Lipgloss in Artifice. This is the perfect pinky nude shade, and I'm surprised by how much I've enjoyed using this, as I'm not usually a gloss lover. Artifice isn't sticky and has just enough pigmentation for a pretty pout. The second lip product is the newly launched Matte Lip Liquid in Surrender. Now, I probably didn't need another liquid to matte lip product, but I'm really impressed with Surrender. The peachy shade is perfect for summer, and it sets to matte without feeling drying almost instantly.

The final purchase in my Illamasqua order were the mighty False Eyelashes in Lush. These have got to be the most intense eyelashes I've ever owned, and although they're hardly suitable for every day wear, I love how dramatic they are. I've been really wanting to try out a drag inspired makeup look for a while now, and these lashes will be absolutely perfect for that.

So far, I'm really happy with all of my Illamasqua purchases. Expect to see full reviews of these products soon, but for now I'm pondering what will be next on my Illamasqua wish list...

Currently Loving 04

27 April 2014

L'amour Josie Currently Loving

It's been a while since I rounded up the products that I've been loving lately, but surprise surprise, there's a lot of MAC. I'd fallen out of love with the brand for a long time, but recently I've found some old and new loves. I've lost a little bit of my motivation to experiment with makeup recently - I've been going for an easy, time saving look - and these are the products which have really impressed me, and I've been enjoying  using to speed things up.

Base wise I've been keeping it simple. My new favourite pairing is MAC Studio Fix Fluid which I actually didn't like previously, along with Fix +. I've raved about the latter already here, but it's the perfect product to soften up a foundation as full coverage as Studio Fix - they form a flawless combination. The final MAC product which has been helping me to perfect my base is the MAC 138 Tapered Face Brush. I deliberated over buying this brush for a long time (the price tag is an extortionate £39), but I'm so glad that I did. The 138 is now the only brush that I use for my bronzer, blusher, highlight and powder. Expect a full review soon, but it's definitely a favourite addition to my collection.

Alongside a simple base, I've been really enjoying making the most of my eyes. With an early start at work I don't usually have the time for anything fancy, so a coating of mascara and quick flick of liner are perfect for me. The Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers are another investment which I wish I'd made earlier. My lashes look instantly fuller after use, and my curl holds all day. Finally, I've been finishing my easy peasy face off with my Stila Stay All Day Liner, which I reviewed here. My pen is still going strong and I love how easy it is to use for a polished look.