Month: November 2013

Monthly M.A.C Lipstick | Rebel

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I’ve transformed into a bit of a lipstick lover recently. Since I’ve made the brave move over to red and berry shades, I’ve completely fallen in love. It’s taken me a while to convince myself I can wear them out of the house, but now I’m addicted.

I’m going to become one of those bloggers who stores their products in neat acrylic draws and stands soon….ok, so maybe not too much emphasis on neat.

I’ve become quite the MAC lipstick collector over the last month, so I’ve decided to limit myself to one a month….and so my “Monthly MAC Lipstick” post idea was born!!

At the end of each month (around payday) I’ll be buying one MAC lipstick which I will swatch and review for your reading pleasure.

November’s choice is MAC’s Rebel.

I have researched the pants off this shade, I’ve spent hours trawling through Google images, blog posts and reviews trying to work up the courage to buy it. I popped into MAC, on a one woman mission, and the lovely lady at the concession applied it for me, then sent me on my way to wear it in a little. I went shopping, had dinner and got to test it out in a few different lights. I fell in love with it…so I went back and bought it.

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Rebel is a gorgeous dark raspberry shade, it actually looks very plummy in the bullet but once applied you see it in its true beauty.

It goes on really nicely, and is pretty much no fuss for such a dark shade. I would recommend using a lip pencil with it though, just to give it some sharpness.
It’s a satin finish, which means there is some dimension and depth to the colour, it is quite drying though, so if you suffer from chapped lips I’d say make sure you prime with a lip balm first, and maybe add a bit over the top too.

I think this is going to be my winter go to lipstick, it instantly changes your face when you apply it. Night time I’m just going to slap it on and hope for the best, and for day time it can be applied in light bouncing motions using your finger to create a bit of a stain, then a nice slick of clear lip balm to seal it in.

MAC Rebel is £15.00 and us available in most high street department stores, and online at MAC Cosmetics.

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Empties – November 2013

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I’m not good at keeping empties. I haven’t got the room, and I get impatient waiting to gather a collection.

Yesterday I spent my afternoon clearing off my shelves and violently shaking bottles and unscrewing lids, in a ruthless attempt to clear out and put together a post.

This is what I came up with…

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Batiste Oriental Dry Shampoo – this is probably my favourite from the Batiste range. It smells lovely, and it doesn’t leave hair with that white, dusty look.

Wella Resist Foam – this helps to strengthen hair, and I’m sure it’s even helped it to grow a bit. This is my second bottle that I’ve used up. I’ll probably repurchase at some point, but I’d quite like to give the other Wella foam a go first.

Umberto Giannini Natural Curl Spray – a firm favourite of mine. I’ve lost count of the amount of bottles I’ve repurchased. Brilliant for eliminating frizz and giving curly hair a nice hold.

Frizz-Ease Straight Fixation Smoothing Cream – I wasn’t overly impressed with this. I didn’t find that it actually done much in terms of frizz control, or helping to straighten and smooth.

Max Factor Miracle Touch Liquid Illusion Foundation – one of the best drugstore foundations I’ve used. It has brilliant coverage and is easy to apply. It leaves a nice demi-matte finish and the packaging is really compact. This is another regular repurchase for me.

Bourjois Éclat Mineral pressed powder – great range of shades, and leaves a lovely radiant finish to the skin. It’s not cakey, and doesn’t sit in fine lines. It’s best applied with a big fluffy powder brush.

Topshop Brighten pen – my dupe for YSL Touch Éclat! It’s creamy and adds brightness and radiance to skin.

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix face pads – these literally changed my skin. I use one a day, after cleansing to keep my skin nicely exfoliated and blemish free.

Pearl Drops daily whitening toothpaste – I didn’t notice much of a difference with this. I didn’t really feel like it was properly cleaning my teeth either, so I wouldn’t repurchase.

Britney Spears|Radiance perfume – very sweet smelling, and very girly. It has a very distinct smell, so I think it’s definitely a personal choice. I don’t think I’d repurchase this, but I’d still wear it is I was given it as a gift.

Garner Moisture Match|Protect and Illiminate face cream – I really liked this when I started using it, it was moisturising and great for adding a bit of perkiness to the skin, but it just hasn’t agreed with me lately. It’s great for holidays as there is the added SPF for the sun.

Now I’ve done this post I can finally throw this all away…(and refill my shelves with MORE STUFF!)…

Beauty @ Topshop

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(images taken from insideout.topshop.com)
By now I’m sure if you’re a regular Toppers shopper, you will know that they have their own beauty section.

I first sampled their make up when I received a few bits as a subscription gift to a magazine.

I instantly fell in love with the packaging – most of the products have a sturdy matte white plastic covering, with cute polka dots all over it. The quality of the products are brilliant; the lipsticks are pigmented, the nail polishes apply wonderfully and the cream blushes blend out beautifully. The prices vary from around £4 up to around £14, I believe.

I’ll stop gushing on about them now, and show you my favourite pieces…

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Lipstick in Called Up
Nail polish in Rumours & Lies
Cream Blush in Afternoon Tea
Topshop Cosmetic brush set
Kohl eyeliner in Black
Brighten concealer and highlighter pen in Moonlight
Volume Lash mascara in Black
Glow highlighter in Polish
Smokey Eye Palette in Constellation
BB Cream in Medium

I think that their products can make great little stocking fillers, or secret Santa gifts, as most of them come boxed in a nice co starting black box, with white polka dots…I’m all for the cute packaging as you can tell.

If you haven’t already tried the Topshop beauty line then I highly recommend you give them a try, especially the lipsticks!

Winter Beauty & Hair Favourites

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‘Tis getting to the season where our skin and hair needs to look very, very jolly.

My favourite beauty, skin and hair products for this time of year represent the weather and season in colour, smell, warmthness and general looking after yourself.

Alien by Thierry Mugler is one of my favourite fragrances, and in the winter it just makes me feel that extra bit more snugly.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo is just an extra bit of TLC for skin that needs an oomph be it from the cold weather, or central heating. (Read review here)

The Akane face mask is great for making skin feel a bit more plump and rejuvenated. It’s easy and no fuss to use. (Read review here)

Pantene Pro V Deep Condition Soufflé is perfect for dry hair, to add a bit of moisturise and bounce. This time if year my hair gets battered by not only the weather, but heat from styling. (Read review here)

Bobbi Brown shimmer bricks are brilliant for adding a nice soft highlight to the face. They’ll be great for office parties, Christmas drinks or just a quick perk me up for a ‘nip to the pub’ afternoon. (Read review and see swatches here)

Essie polish in Angora Cardi is such a beautiful deep plummy colour, it looks beautiful with any outfit. Add a gold glitter statement nail to your ring finger to jazz it up a bit.

Revlon Just Bitten balm stain in crush is my new favourite colour. It’s a gorgeous and rich pinky plum shade to suit most skin tones.

Real Techniques stippling brush is great for applying foundation. I especially love it for winter because you can easily add a bit more, and build up your lighter coverage foundations, application is flawless with this brush.

Babyliss Pro Curl Styler |Unboxing & First Impressions

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A while ago, the lovely people over at Sally’s (www.sallyexpress.com) contacted me and asked if I would like to review the Babyliss Pro Perfect Curl*.

I, of course jumped at the opportunity. I’ve been wanting to try this tool for so long now, so I was more than happy to oblige. It arrived in the post yesterday, so I skipped home after work like an excitable child.

I first heard about the Babyliss Pro Perfect Curl on YouTube (YouTube is a beauty addicts goldmine). I watched the video in awe as the models hair was zipped into a rotating barrel, then seconds later it appeared looking perfectly curled. Just like that…magic!

Today’s post is going to be based around unboxing and first impressions of the tool. Then I’ll follow up with a ‘How To’ style post, and tutorial.

Unboxing
Packaged in a sturdy, sleek matte/shiny contrast box it looks every bit the professional tool (picture above). Inside it’s kept well secured by those large, what I can only describe as egg carton looking, cardboard edges. The whole tool is wrapped in plastic, with the plug and cleaning instrument secured separately in more plastic.

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I like the fact that this has a cleaning tool (above) with it. It’s pretty handy and just slots into the barrel of the tool, to clean off product build up and general dirt and dust.

First Impressions
I was really surprised with the sturdiness and weight of the tool, it immediately feels like a good quality product.

It’s easy to hold and the concealed barrel means there’s no immediate fear of burning clumsy fingers, which is double thumbs up for me.

It has a rotating barrel enclosed within the casing, which sucks the hair into it. It then sets the curl with heat, and after a few seconds you release the handle and the hair falls out perfectly curled.

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The settings are incredibly user friendly. Starting from the right hand side of the above picture – to turn the tool on you set the temperature to one of three settings (low, medium, high).

Next you chose your timer setting –
0 = custom no set time, no beeping
3 beeps = 8 seconds (loose waves)
4 beeps = 10 seconds (soft curls)
5 beeps = 12 seconds (defined curls)
Whichever timer setting you pick (except for 0) will be the indicator for when to release the handle.

Lastly you can choose your curl direction. L is for left twist curls, R is for right twist curls, and A is for auto, which is my favourite – it twists the curls alternative ways to stop single curls grouping and sitting together in one big curl. I feel like I’ve said ‘curl’ so many times!!

It heats up really quickly, and has the handy feature of a flashing indicator light turning solid when ready.

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Also included is a simple instruction sheet which I do recommend reading, even though the curler is so simple to use, it’s always better to know these things! And finally also a tool manual, explaining all the important small print that you’re always too busy to read. Again I’d advise giving this a quick once over as it does explain a fair amount of information.

I’ve done a super quick (and I mean chop, chop quick) demo for you.

My hair type is very thick, quite long and pretty curly/wavy/crimpy.

I washed and rough dried my hair last night. Then when I got up this morning I sprayed on a bit of heat protector and got going…

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I used the medium heat setting, and the timer setting switched onto 8. The curls were done using the Auto function to keep them separated. I used medium sized sections of hair, around an inch and 1/2 thick, and started curling from the mid length of each section of hair.

I took this reeeeeally early in the morning so you’re only getting the back of my head, trust me it’s much better looking than the face.

Usually I curl my hair with a wand style curler, and it takes me around 30 minutes to do. Using the Babyliss Pro Perfect Curl took me around 15 minutes, once I’d got the hang of it. The style has lasted brilliantly through the morning do far, without the use if hair spray or setting products.

I’m super impressed with this curler, I mean I did expect great things from it in the first place, what with all the rave reviews of it, but I’m just really surprised with how easy it is to use, and how quick and beautiful the results are.

You can find the Babyliss Pro Perfect Curl at Sally stores and online <a href="http://Babyliss Pro Perfect Curl“>here.

Lee Stafford Dry Shampoo

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Dry shampoo, a good, effective dry shampoo – one that actually works, is something I struggle to find. I’m a huge fan of Batiste dry shampoos, and have never found another brand that comes close to matching it.

I saw the travel size of the Lee Stafford one, so thought I’d give it a go.

First off the scent is that traditional Lee Stafford, salon type smell; it definitely freshens up the hair, and leaves it smelling really good. As for banishing greasy roots, I wouldn’t say it’s as good as the Batiste range, but it does work to allow at least 1 more night of wear from hair, and it’s not as powdery at the Batiste ones can sometimes be.

Lee Stafford hair products are available from Boots, in-store and online.