Month: May 2013

I’ve Got My Eye On You…

I’ve been really pleased with high street cosmetic brands lately, I really love some of the products on offer, especially as Boots and Superdrug often have 3 for 2 offers across the cosmetics they carry.

Seen as we’re coming up to some hopefully warmer months and jet setting holidays, I’ve been looking for nice, light, summery products.

The below products are all currently on my radar…

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That would literally be all I need to take away in my make up bag, which seems perfectly reasonable to me now…however nearer the time I know I’ll start to add things in a panic, that once on holiday, will probably not make it out of my suitcase…what can I say, I like to be prepared!

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New Handbag Love….Topshop

I’m so fussy with bags, I love something I can live in and out of basically, but I struggle to find nice pretty, big bags that I like and that aren’t too bulky.

I saw this one in Topshop and as my birthday is coming up in just over two weeks The Boy bought it for me as an early gift, as my current one was literally on its last handle.

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I love the size, it’s just right. It has good sturdy handles, which I need for all the stuff I lug around with me. It can be held like a tote or it can be converted to a shoulder or a cross-body bag, with the removable, adjustable strap…

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The outside is a dark tan leather effect material, which looks like it’s been woven. The embellishments are a nice contrasting gold colour, which I find always works well with tan.

The inside is black and has a lovely suede feel to it. There’s a middle zip compartment which comes in handy for keeping personal or valuable bits and pieces in it. The bag has no real fastening to it, no clip or zip to keep the top together, however it didn’t really put me off too much.

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There are also four small buds on the bottom to keep the bag structure and upright when on the floor.

The bag is in Topshop stores and online at the moment as is currently £36.00.

I’m planning on using it day to day, as well as for hand luggage for my hollyjollydays!

Summer Style Curls: Umberto Giannini Natural Curls Styling Spray

Curly hair is my go to summer style, unfortunately when you have unruly fuzzy hair like mine, getting that nice casual/messy look can be harder than it seems.

In my quest to achieve the impossible I found this curl spray.

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It’s £4.75 in Boots for a generous 200ml bottle, however you can also get a travel size 50ml for £1.99, if you want to test it out first.

This spray tames the frizz in my naturally curly, it also helps to retain the curls and make them that bit more manageable.

For a quick casual look: spray through wet hair, then blow dry using a flat ended diffuser (to keep the frizz and flyways in check) and your fingers. Stop when hair is still slightly damp and spray again. Finish drying then depending on your hair type/finish give it another quick spritz and scrunch as you go.

For a polished/smart look: spray through hair then dry as usual. Once dry use a waving or curling wand/tong to curl you hair (I like the Babyliss waving wand, find my review here). Once it’s curled, spray some into your hands and scrunch through your hair.

I definitely think this product is worth every single penny. I love this stuff for holidays, it’s sooooooo so good for using if your hair is partial to fluffing up in humidity!

Nivea In Shower Body Moisturiser

I love a gimmick, I’m sure I’ve said that before. When I saw the advert for the new Nivea in shower body moisturiser I knew I had to try it.

I’m rubbish at applying moisturiser after having a shower, I usually forget or I’m in a rush so it goes by the way side sometimes. The idea that I could incorporate moisturising into my shower routine seemed like a blessing to me.

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I picked up the 250ml bottle for dry skin. I don’t particularly have dry skin, however I’d read a few reviews and people had said that they didn’t notice the difference with the ‘normal skin’ option.

The idea is that you get into the shower, and scrub/wash as you normally would with your normal body wash/exfoliator. Then you rinse off and apply this Nivea product all over your body, giving it a bit of a rub in (in circular motions). Now, I have an oddly spacious shower I was able to step out from under the water stream and apply this, then step back under again. However, if you have a small shower I would suggest turning off the water while you apply it. Once applied, all you have to do is rinse it off, get out the shower and gently pat yourself dry.

I noticed a definite difference in the texture and softness of my skin. It wasn’t as soft as I thought it was going to be, however the next morning my skin still felt moisturised and had a softness to it that usually fades after a few hours of wearing a normal moisturiser.

The scent is typical of Nivea, it smells fresh and it does linger for a while, but it’s not overpowering. The texture of the product itself is quite thick, exactly like a body cream in fact.

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I only paid £2.00 for the 250ml bottle, as it was on special offer, the RRP is £3.55 . I don’t think I would necessarily repurchase in a hurry, I’d probably pick one up if it was on special offer though. It would however have a firm place in my wash bag for holidays, as I always like a bit of extra skin care when I’m in the sun.

Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse Foundation

I’m not a lover of Maybelline foundations…I’ve tried, and failed miserably to like them, the formula of their liquid foundations especially just seem to disagree with my skin. Apart from one, the Dream Matte Mousse is their saving grace!

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I started using this when I was about 18, and I loved it, it was cheap and lasted me forever! However as time goes on you tend to get other recommendations and start to experiment more as your budget becomes more flexible, so with this in mind I abandoned it

Then one day a few months ago I was looking for something I could keep in my make up bag that was quick and easy to apply, then I remembered this mousse.

It’s great for day time/work use, it doesn’t require powder over the top, as the name suggests it’s matte, so that’s one less thing to worry about. The coverage is good too, it covers dark circles enough to look like you’ve had a decent amount of sleep.

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I use my Real Techniques face brush to apply to the skin, which gives a lovely smooth and even appearance.

It comes in various shades, so matching to your skin tone should be no problem. I use 010 Ivory which is a near on perfect match.

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The packaging is a bit bulky with the glass pot, but not enough to put me off carrying it around.

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I’m pleased with this foundation and it has once again become a staple in my make up collection.

Products I Wouldn’t Repurchase…

I’m hesitant to do negative posts featuring products I’ve disliked because I think what doesn’t work for one, could be someone else’s holy grail product, so I decided to include I disclaimer in this…

* THESE ARE NOT PRODUCTS I HATE, THEY ARE ONES THAT PERSONALLY DIDN’T WORK FOR ME, MY SKIN OR HAIR TYPE, OR MY MAKE UP NEEDS*

…now that’s said, I’ll get on.

L’Oreal Elvive Smooth & Polish Perfecting Shampoo and Conditioner

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I usually get great results with L’Oreal products, however this duo just didn’t work for me. It specifies it’s for unruly, fine to normal hair….my hair is anything but fine, it’s the complete opposite, but I thought it might be good for keeping greasiness at bay, tame the flyways and keep my waves in check.

I just found there was no moisture there at all, and no scent, in fact my hair kind of had a ‘damp hair’ smell to it. It might definitely work better for those with fine/thin phair though….let me know!!

Andrew Barton – The Frizz Tamer

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I found this weighed my hair down and made it look a bit lank but still quite frizzy on the ends.

Soap & Glory – Sugar Crush Body Wash

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I thought I was going to loveeeeee this as I am obsessed with the scrub from the same range. Initially it smells lovely, however it just doesn’t linger for very long. It made my skin feel a bit tight as well which I found odd as the scrub always left me feeling soft and moisturised.

Garnier Skin Naturals – soft essentials ultra-cleansing wipes for dry skin

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I know face wipes are seen to be evil by some skin care gurus, but I can’t help but think they’re so handy when life catches up with you and you find you have no time. I tried these as they were on special offer, but sadly I’m not a fan.

I just don’t find they’re very moist, and I feel like they drag a bit across my skin. They also don’t remove waterproof make up very well.

They’re super sensitive on the eyes though, which I’m pleased about because that’s where I suffer the most.

ELF HD Powder

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I was initially pretty pleased with this product, until someone showed me a picture of me (taken with a flash!) on a night out…I had a ghost face! My whole face was glowing like a bright white ceramic dinner plate! Since then I’ve tried various way of applying it – powder puff, buffing brush and powder brush and then also using the minimal amount possible, but nothing’s helped though!

This has been sat in the back of my cupboard for ages gathering layers of dust, waiting for me to change my mind and decide that a talcum powdered face is a go!

NYX Above & Beyond Full Coverage concealer

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NYX cosmetics is a much loved brand in my books…I love their lip products the most. Being the concealer whore I am I decided to try one, and I went for full coverage because I have horrible hereditary dark circles. The concealer itself is quite creamy and thick, I find it drags a bit on the delicate under eye skin and doesn’t really have much staying power once on. It also is quite prone to creasing so you really have to blend and work it in quite well.

Rimmel Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Lip Tint

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One word: drying! The product itself is very drying once applied, however the felt pen nib also drys out pretty quickly. The balm end of the pen is a pretty good overcoat to add a bit if shine, but it really doesn’t do much as far as moisture goes.

Revlon Colourstay Ultimate Suede Lipstick

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I loved everything about this lipstick initially: the colour, the texture, the staying power and the fact it didn’t transfer. However I did notice that once the product had worn down it left a really horrible residue on the lips which both felt and looked really weird. The only way I could get it off was to use make up remover. It just wasn’t practice to use for a night out as you couldn’t keep reapplying it really, without it looking a bit built up.

MUA Liquid Eyeliner

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Now I know that MUA are a super budget friendly brand, with most of their products being just £1…but still I don’t think that’s any excuse to have products that are poor quality.

The liquid liner tends to transfer, rub off and flake so easily, and it’s not so pigmented either. The nib of the applicator is also something which I found odd…it’s like a flexible plastic tip which doesn’t quite catch and hold the liquid very well.

….that’s all folks. I’ve been good this month and haven’t had any hauls or binges to show, which has made me feel a bit sad really, I’m sure it won’t last though; I’m not sure I could do another month cold turkey!