e.l.f St Lucia Contour Duo

e.l.f St Lucia Contour Duo

It is such a shame that e.l.f is only available online in the UK (with a pretty large shipping fee, might I add) because a lot of their products are high in quality but very low in price and you know me, I’m a toucher shopper – I have to feel and test the products before I buy. I first saw Tanya Burr talking about this particular product on YouTube and quickly jotted ‘e.l.f. St Lucia Contour Duo’ down on my ‘list of things to buy in America’.  For $3 Target practically paid me to take it away, so a few minutes later I was taking this baby home with me ready to try her out for size, and months later I’m still loving it.

The bronze is a fairly good dupe for Nars’ ‘Laguna’ and is very pigmented. I would not recommend this for fair skin as it may be too orange toned, however, paired with my tan from spending the last two weeks of my American road trip in sunny Florida the product helps to warm up my face and create subtle shadows where appropriate.

(On a quick side note: does anyone else find that when they come back from holiday they have a lovely tanned body but their face has barely changed due to a combination of wearing SPF 15 makeup and face-exfoliator? It’s so frustrating, right!? So yeah, that’s why my face needed warming up!)

Anyway, back onto subject. The blush is a lot subtler and the minute gold flecks embedded in the powder create a healthy glow across the cheeks. I have found that the finish is actually better when this is applied with a firmer brush or even the pad at the base of your thumb, as opposed to the soft Real Techniques Blush Brush, which doesn’t quite pick up enough product.

The compact is the perfect size: small enough to fit in a little makeup bag for touching up throughout the day but large enough for a decent sized mirror in the lid – perfect for doing makeup on the way to wherever I may be jetting off to next!

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Love At First Scent – Burberry ‘Body’

Burberry 'Body'

In my second ever GlossyBox a couple of years ago I received a small sample size of this particular eau de toilette and fell in love. It contained more than your usual amount of product for a sample, and, more notably, did not come presented in a tiny plastic case, but rather a chunky glass bullet – naturally setting the bar very high for future GlossyBox perfume samples and consequently fuelling my pet hate for typically tacky freebee tasters.

The musky, floral scent makes me feel very grown up when sporting it, and it has a quality that I have never before experienced in a perfume before: the scents have layers that become increasingly noticeable throughout the day. I often find with other fragrances that I have to reapply a few sprays every couple of hours in order for the scent to not fade too much and therefore become completely unnoticeable. However, I have found that with each passing hour the scent appears to relax into my skin and begins to smell better as the day goes on! Ideal for a night out, a no-handbag-day and naturally perfect for extending the life of a particularly expensive product.

So after quite a while of the sample sitting on my perfume rack being ‘saved’ yet often thought about, I finally sucked it up and…asked Santa for the full size for Christmas! Santa may not have delivered but the BoyF certainly did and I swear it hasn’t left my wrists since I unboxed it!

 

P.S. I still haven’t used up the sample: I think I may keep it as a memento of my one true love-at-first-scent!

My MAC Palette

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In the last few months I have aquired a fair few of these coveted shadows: the good, the bad and the ugly (I could never say ugly about a MAC shade, maybe disappointing is more appropriate!) and I thought I could share them with you in case you’re looking for advice for a purchase or even just as a quick read with your morning coffee on a Sunday much like today. So enjoy, as I have just as much fun rambling about my little pride and joys!

‘Phloof’ (top left of the palette) – I am obsessed with inner corner eye highlighting and therefore own a silly amount of shimmery white eyeshadows, so naturally when I was browsing the MAC counter I gravitated to the lighter shades on the shadow rainbow rack. ‘Phloof’ caught my eye as a perfect highlighting shade for both the contour areas on the face such as the top of the cheekbones, bridge of the nose and the dip on the cupid’s-bow, and also as an inner-eye-corner brightener. The champagney silver tone is not sparkly but rather it holds a natural looking sheen making it much easier to use as a highlighter – a favourite in my collection!

‘Espresso’ (top right of the palette) – I first heard about this matte, chocolate shadow from viviannadoesmakeup as she often boasts it’s multiple uses as both an eyeshadow but also brow filler. I agree that it’s a gorgeous shade that is multi-functional, highly pigmented and very flattering on all eye colours – an all round winner!

‘Bronze’ (bottom left of the palette) – I have to admit I was a little disappointed, just a little. I had had my eye on it for a while but tried to find alternatives in the drugstores like the Loreal Infallible Pressed Eyeshadow, the Maybelline Colour Tattoo and the Rimmel liquid shadow dupes, but nothing beats a bit a of luxury in the end does it? So I gave in to the craving and picked one up, however having tried it I have to admit that I actually prefer the drugstore’s alternatives as, unlike other MAC Eyeshadows, I found this one to have a particularly light pigment coverage requiring a good amount of work packing the product on to get a good colour payoff. Once a good amount of pigment is applied the shimmery colour pairs beautifully with the matte ‘Espresso’ and I find it makes blue eyes in particular really pop, but I wouldn’t say this is anything different to the cheaper alternatives.

‘Rule’ (bottom right of the palette) – This shadow is unlike anything else in my collection so it was a bit of a gamble purchasing it, however I used Christmas as a perfect opportunity to go outside my comfort zone and ask for it as a gift! I use this rusty orange colour mainly to warm the edges of an intense black smokey eye or to create interest with a pop of colour on the lower brow bone area when sporting nude shades. But it does also come in handy when while I’m messing around with over-the-top makeup looks that you can check out on my Instagram (there’s a link to the right of the page!). Like ‘Bronze’ it’s not the most pigmented eyeshadow, however I’m willing to let them off on this one as I only use a light hint of colour in the fear of ending up with umpa-lumpa eyes!

‘All That Glitters’ (bottom separate pan) – a favourite for many MAC lovers: a charmingly subtle shimmery pink champagne colour that is perfect to incorporate into a brown smokey eye or even by itself swept across the lid to add a little interest to an otherwise naked eyelid. It was the very first MAC eyeshadow I ever purchased, however it did take much debate. I found that the true quality and colour payoff can only be appreciated fully in real life: on photographs the colour appears a little darker and the tone comes out flatter, so it’s a shade to check out during your next peruse around your nearest MAC counter!

‘Club’ (top separate pan) – I was convinced by the ravings of Lily Pebbles’ love for this particular one, however I have only used it once in the six months I’ve had it in my collection. I find this a very difficult shade to work with – when applied with a brush barely any product is brushed on the skin, when applied with fingers more product is packed on but it is so poorly pigmented that the colour appears more as a dirty brown than a greeny-black. The man who sold me this shadow did show me a trick to make the colour stand out more though: he grabbed a black eyeliner pencil and coloured in a centimeter by centimeter square area of his hand and proceeded to push the shadow on top. The black base ensured that the muddy colour of the eyeshadow alone was not visible and only the interesting colour-changing quality was seen. This is therefore appropriate for a night out or even fancy dress but not wearable during the day in my opinion.

Emma Hardie Amazing Face Body Scrub Treatment

Emma Hardie Amazing Face Body Srcub Treatment

Emma Hardie skincare products – a cult beauty brand must have, a staple in many bathrooms. For some reason I must have missed the boat on that one; I live in a town far from the likes of Space NK and Selfridges and have a strict non-online-beauty-shopping policy as a result of too many disasters at the hands of not being able to swatch, smell or sample. However I found myself popping into a TK Maxx store for a nice leather-bound notepad (as you do) and ended up having a cheeky peak at the beauty section to see if they have any hidden gems, as per usual. On this particular day I saw a large box sitting alone, surrounded by bottles of shampoo and half opened bars of soap, and what a gem it turned out to be! I ran over, picked it up and held it under my arm as I marched over to the counter, not even thinking about my ‘swatch, smell and sample’ rule. The price tag was just a bonus – usually £46 this bargain was an astonishing £10! When the cashier told me I think I actually squealed, much to my own, and my boyfriend’s who was standing with me not understanding my excitement at all, embarrassment. Awkward.

As soon as I got home I opened the lid of the box and peered in at the silvery-gold tub. Swatch, smell and sample.

The thick, creamy texture of the product feels more like a mask than a scrubbing lotion and is packed with granules of ‘Himalayan salts and organic red corn’ that buff away any dry skin, chicken-skin or just polishes up any toughened skin on the soles of your feet or on your elbows and knees. An invigorating scent of citrus fruits and floral notes of rose and jasmine flowers (ideal for me right!) both relaxes and refreshes, so it’s ideal for chilling out in an evening with a bath or kick-starting the day in a shower.

A beautiful product well worth its luxury price tag, let alone the steal I got it for. It’s safe to say I forgot about the leather-bound notebook.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid Fiasco

MAC FoundationAfter a little research before a visit to Selfridges, I decided that I just had to get a MAC foundation. So when I had finished my little shopping spree I strutted out of the store with a small, yellow paper bag containing MAC Studio Fix Fluid (SPF 15) in NW13. I tried it once. I tried it twice. But now, it’s safe to say, it is tucked away in the back of my makeup drawer, never to be seen again.

The first thing I noticed was the over-powering stench that I have narrowed down to the odd plastic smell of the shiny material that covers everything at a children’s indoor play area, you know, the ones with the slides and ball pools? Too specific? Ah well. The colour was completely wrong for me, however I suspect this is due to the dim lighting in Selfridges disabling me from seeing the exact match to my face properly, and is obviously not a flaw of the overall product. Also, I am not exactly sure what skin type this foundation is aimed at: I have combination skin and this foundation seems to cling to the areas of my face that is pretty dry, like my around my nose, and the product slides off the more oily areas, like my forehead: because of this, the foundation not long lasting at all.

I know that this has been a very negative review but I am not ruling out all MAC foundations. In fact, I am currently looking more into the Studio Sculpt SPF 15 at the minute, making sure that I do enough research this time to ensure that this whole fiasco doesn’t happen again!

What’s your favourite foundation?

Bring Out the Caviar, Darling!

Caviar

I have been experimenting with a little bit of nail effects for the last few days and I think my favourite has to be the caviar from Claire’s Accessories paired with MUA’s ‘Pistachio Ice Cream’ (yummy name right!?) nail varnish. The fresh minty-blue colour is perfect for summer and it works so well with the striking gold caviar on the middle finger, sealed in on the nail with a bit of Seche Vite top-coat. The quality of these products is surprisingly very good: the nail varnish is very long lasting and the caviar was extremely difficult to remove, which is a good thing in terms of longevity, but a can be bit of a pain if you’re in a hurry!

As a little extra I have also found the chunky gold ring from Primark looks amazing with these nails. Overall this look (the MUA nail varnish, Claire’s Accessories nail caviar and the Primark ring) could not have cost more than £5, which is fantastic since I’m already spending money on stocking up on loads of summer clothes!

Double Whammy!

Double Whammy!

Dosing up a double whammy on the hand-front, I am sporting a delightful polish this summer, namely ‘Totes Pink’ by Nails Inc, and a fabulous hand-cream called Soap and Glory’s ‘Hand Food’. I received the nail varnish free in last month’s Elle magazine, however, unfortunately having checked on the website I have found that this particular polish was exclusive to the magazine. But never fear, eBay is always a good place to check! It is very similar to Essie’s ‘Fiji’ in that they are both very pastel pink, however this a little brighter pink with slight blue undertones.

The famous food-of-the-hands hand cream that has been number one on the internet for several years running now, is one of those products that I received as a gift quite a while ago but failed to crack open until a week or two ago (at least one or two of you out there must know what I’m on about with these types of gifts, right?). It’s all that you would want in a hand cream: nourishing, moisturising, quickly absorbs and smells sooo good and I have to say, since my very first taste, I have become addicted. Thank goodness that it isn’t actually food, because I would be the size of a hippo the amount I use of this!