Monday 31 July 2017

Prune Finger's Guide to Effective Brush Cleaning

There aren't many tasks that are as monotonous as cleaning your make up brush collection. Being stooped over a sink, swirling your brushes around in a foundation coloured puddle is back breaking work. That being said, we all know how important it is to keep our brushes clean not only so they stay in top condition, but to prevent spreading bacteria onto our skin that may cause nasty blemishes.

Up until recently I used a cheap bar of soap to wash my brushes as it removed tough foundation and pigmented shadows so easily it was oddly satisfying. Then I happened to stumble across Morphe's Bristle Shampoo and I thought, Rachael, maybe you are missing out.


Benefit Foolproof Brow Powder

Benefit know brows. Between their brow bars and extensive product collection you're sure to find something to create your preferred eyebrow style.

Now they've created something new to throw into the brow mix, in the form of Foolproof Brow Powder. If you love Brow Zings, the wax and powder duo, you're sure to love this new addition. Encased in the trademark silver box are two shades of brow filling powder. The idea is to create a soft, almost ombre brow that has a darker tail but fades to a natural tone at the front.

Shade 3
This would be a perfect product for someone who finds a pencil too harsh, but wants something to softly define brows without looking too artificial. Plus, the two shades of powder make it so easy to create a brow that looks fantastically full, using the sponge and spoolie applicator included. Using a lighter shade on the first section of the brow ensures you don't end up with a block filled, harsh looking brow. The darker shade to end the brow creates fullness and definition that can be easily blended to meet the lighter powder.

I really love this idea and although I'm a dedicated fan of Benefit's KaBrow gel formula, I do love the effect this has when applied to my brows. The genius idea of having two contrasting shades of powder would also be ideal for anyone who likes a light brow for daytime, but a darker shade for nights out. So many options from one beautiful brow box!

Foolproof Brow Powder will be available to buy from the end of August.



To celebrate the launch of my blog, I've decided to do a giveaway to say thank you to all you lovely people who have been such a great support.

Here are all the fab things you could win...

There's a gorgeous Sleek Solstice highlighting palette, and a selection of lashes and nails from Kiss Products. The lashes are on another level of beautiful, as they are super fluffy and easy to apply. You can read all about the Kiss Summer Party I attended here.

All you have to do is click on the Facebook icon at the top of my blog homepage which will take you straight to my page. Then:

1. Like and share the competition post.
2. Tag a friend who you think would also love to win.
3. Make sure you are following my Facebook page.

It's that easy! You can also enter as many times as you fancy, and tag as many friends as you like! The giveaway will end on 20th August, so get sharing before then.
If you aren't in you can't win!

Smashbox Photo Finish Iconic Primer Stick

Smashbox's Photo Finish Primer has to be one of those cult beauty products everyone has heard of. It's won awards for its ability to perfect skin and extend the wear of make up, and with so many varying options of primer to choose from, you're sure to find one that works well with your skin. I have tried the original, the light version, and the pore minimising formula, and I have been impressed by all three.

Now there's a new addition to the Photo Finish family in the form of a stick. You simply draw it onto the areas you find are the most oily or have the most open pores, and it claims to smooth, mattify and ensure make up lasts longer.

I've been testing this for a couple of weeks and I have to say I do agree with its claims to an extent. I have a particularly oily nose and chin and although this doesn't completely stop it, it does help to reduce the shine so I stay matte for longer.

The first time I painted this onto my face, its invisibility made me feel I hadn't actually primed my face properly, but you can definitely see a more matte appearance to the skin and a smoother complexion. I had no problems with the blending of my foundation either, and it stayed looking fresh throughout the day. As for the 12 hour wear claim, I don't wear my make up for that long too often, but on the days where I did, it stayed on although I was still quite oily.  However, on a normal day of about 10 hours wear I only had to powder once, and that's pretty good going.

I also love the idea of the primer being in a stick as it means you can use as much or as little as you like, and none is going to waste. It's also probably going to last me a very long time which is great as it wasn't the cheapest primer I've purchased.

If you don't like the heavy feeling of primer or are simply looking for something quick to apply that controls shine and maintains a fresh face, this could be for you. It mattifies in an instant and helps maintain a flawless looking base throughout the day, and the sleek, black packaging also gets a thumbs up from me.

Available here!
Oh, and you also always get free UK shipping on the Smashbox site and a free sample with every purchase, which is usually a tube of the original Photo Finish. What more could a girl want?


Thursday 27 July 2017

Full Face On A Budget

Not everyone can afford to spend £30 on a bottle of foundation, or regularly update their make up collection with a high end lipstick. I use a mixture of cheap and slightly more expensive products, but I've found many of the cheaper brands perform just as well as those from luxury cosmetic brands. For this reason, I've put together a post consisting of products to create a full make up look but they are all on the lower end of the price spectrum, and most are available in Boots or Superdrug!


Maybelline Baby Skin Primer
This silicone primer does a great job at smoothing skin and minimising pores. It leaves your face ready for your foundation and having used Smashbox Photo Finish Primer for years, I don't see a massive difference between the two except the price tag. That being said, this doesn't do much in the way of stopping oiliness but it helps foundation blend out easily and gives a smooth, even finish.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation in True Nude (£7.99)
Lasting Finish is one the of most full coverage foundations I've used from Boots/Superdrug. For the price this is great, and lasts on my skin just as well as my favourite Too Faced foundation. The only negative is the shade range which is quite small, but I just mix two shades as they are cheap enough to buy a couple.

NYX HD Studio Photogenic Concealer in Beige (£6.00)
I use this concealer to cover any blemishes or unevenness that my foundation hasn't managed to fully hide. I am nearly sure there is quite an extensive shade range available in these, and I have also seen bloggers on YouTube use this under their eyes to conceal dark circles so it can be used in multiple ways.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Fair (£4.19)
I use the 'Fair' shade in this under my eyes as it conceals any darkness and brings a stroke of light to the area. Anyone and everyone uses this concealer because it's so good for the price and blends and sets without creasing or looking cakey.

Collection Sheer Loose Powder in Translucent (£2.99)
A finely milled, loose powder perfect for setting your face and it doesn't alter the shade of your foundation. It's hard to find a cheap, loose setting powder that isn't chalky, but this does a great job.

NYX HD Finishing Powder in Banana (£9.00)
I use this yellow tinted, pressed powder to set my undereyes as it stops concealer settling into the natural crease under my eyes. It is so fine and blends so easily, plus the yellow tint adds a brightening touch to that area. This could be used anyhere you want to brighten without having to contour the rest of your face.


NYX Lid Lingerie Eyeshadow Palette (£8.00)
This palette is such a bargain as you get six neutral shades, including an all over cream shade, warm browns for the crease, and a dusky purple for the lid. These are great colours for daytime and a great choice if you're looking for an inexpensive but good quality palette.

Liner, Lashes, Lips, & Brows

Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Liner in Black (£8.99)
A smooth gel liner that can be smoked out or left as it is for extra definition of the eyes. Also available in brown if the idea of black scares you. This also comes with a small lining and smudging brush which is always good to have.

Maybelline Big Shot Colossal Mascara (£7.99)
I am head over heels for this mascara, you can read a more detailed post on it here. It's just sooooo good on my lashes, and this version is waterproof so no smudges here.

NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Chocolate (£8.00)
A perfectly sized brow pencil to fill and define, complete with a spoolie on the other end to brush through your brows. Ideal for on the go and makes it so easy to create a nice everyday brow look.

NYX Control Freak Clear Gel (£6.00)
After filling my brows I always run through them with a clear gel to set and diffuse any brow products, this is a cheap option and although it isn't as good at holding brow hair in place as the 'Benefit Ready, Set, Brow', it is still a handy product for everyday.

Barry M Lip Kit in Go To (£6.99)
Barry M's liquid lipsticks are definitely one of my favourites. They don't leave my lips as dry as others do and although available in singles, the lip kits are a fab option as each liquid lipstick comes with a colour matched lip liner, and the liners are such great quality. There are so many pretty shades to choose from too.

Blush, Bronze, Highlight, & Set

Rimmel Lasting Finish Soft Colour Blush in Santa Rose (3.99)
This is a gorgeous nude, pink blusher that gives a hint of buildable colour. There's also a really nice pinky shade called 'Live Pink' that I used to use everyday, and considering the pigment, these are a bargain.

L'Oreal Glam Bronze in Golden Bronze (£7.99)
I've gone through so many compacts of this that I have lost count. I love the colour, blendability and finish of this bronzer as it's not fully matte. It stops skin looking powdery and the tone is perfect for me especially since I tan my body but not my face.

Sleek Highlighting Palette in Cleopatra's Kiss (£9.99)
Sleek's highlighting palettes are soooooo good. This one comes with two powders and two creams. I do admit I rarely use cream highlighter but these two are beautiful worn alone or used as base for the powder highlights. Inexpensive but great colour payoff and packaging.

L.A. Girl Pro Setting Spray (£6.00)
This isn't readily available at either Boots or Superdrug, but it's a good alternative to the much more expensive Urban Decay version. I use the mattifying one to lock my make up in place, and it's also a small enough bottle to take in my bag if I want to refresh my face during the day. Another alternative that might be easier to get your hands on, is the NYX Matte Setting Spray that is only £7.00.

Wednesday 26 July 2017

When Rachael Shops The Kiko Sale...

Make up shopping is always exciting, but what makes it more exciting is when there is a make up sale. Kiko Milano isn't exactly pricey, but who doesn't love getting make up treats for an extra bargain price?

Even though it took about 4 years for my Kiko order to come, (Don't ask, it was something to do with stock levels), I was still beyond excited for its arrival. I couldn't actually remember what I had bought so it was like a surprise gift to myself.

Here is a rundown of my Kiko picks:

Gel Effect Top Coat (£3.40)
I needed a new nail polish top coat and thought this was the perfect opportunity to fling one into my online basket. I have never tried Kiko's gel effect range so I am hoping it's good. It's also enriched with Kukui oil which is full of Omega 3 and apparently great for moisturising.

Mini Divas Baked Eyeshadow in Radiant Copper (£2.40)
This is a tiny little pan of baked shadow gives such a great colour payoff and can be used wet or dry. It's actually a good size because I am yet to use up an eyeshadow... It would also be handy for taking on holidays as it's so small and compact.

Eyetech Look Eyeshadow in 105 & 106 (£2.95)
These are a powder shadow in a stick. You twist off the applicator that has already been dipped into the powder and dab it onto eyes. They remind me of a Collection 2000 eyeshadow stick I had many years ago, and although they seem a bit gimicky, these colours are beautiful. The fine tip also makes it easy to create precise lines that you have the option of smoking out.

Smart Colour Eyeshadow in 10 & 04 (£1.75)
I love a warm brown shadow and this shade looked perfect, however on the eyes it does look a bit cooler but its blendability is up there with more expensive brands. I also got a cream shade as I always set me eyeshadow primer with this colour before I apply any other eyeshadow.

Lasting Precision Automatic Eyeliner in Wood (£6.30)
Kiko eyeliners are always really pigmented and blendable so I chose this dark chocolatey brown pencil that smudges really nicely and has such a precise tip for lining the eyes. I usually wear chocolate coloured eyeliners as I sometimes find black looks too harsh on me.

More Colour Lipstick in shade 02 (£3.20)
This is a peach shade that I thought would be nice for summer with a simple eye look and minimal blush. It's more of a shiny finish and looks really fresh. The packaging feels very high end too, as it's quite heavy and has a magnetic lid. It also contains melon extract for added moisture.

How unusual is this packagaing?

Precision Eye Brush 204 (£3.20)
I also bought an angled eye liner brush as I'm yet to find one I really like. This is extremely high quality and is easy to control. I don't have any other Kiko brushes so I didn't quite know what to expect, but it's a definite thumbs up from me.

So there you go, my small Kiko sale order. Kiko is the kind of make up shop you can wander into when you fancy treating yourself and pick up a couple of things that are really cheap but great quality. I have quite a few of their eyeshadows in many different formulas and the quality never ceases to amaze me. Also, because my order took so long to come they issued me with a £5 off voucher, so I'll have to spend that of course!


Monday 24 July 2017

Rachael Recommends: My Favourite Mascara Ever?

I haven't been blessed with the lashes of a Jersey cow, so I am always on the hunt for a mascara that lives up to its promises and give me lashes as long as a cat's whiskers.

Fortunately for you all, I think I have found the answer to my lash conundrum, and it's in the form of an inexpensive gold tube, filled with a magically lengthening and curling potion. It's actually just Maybelline's new Colossal Big Shot Mascara, and it's pretty amazing. I use the waterproof version because after I use my eyelash curler I find waterproof formulas hold the curl longer than an ordinary mascara, plus no smudges.

For the first time in all my straight lash years, I have had people asking me what mascara I am wearing. It's super black and I can layer on as many layers as I fancy and it doesn't go spidery or clumpy. It lengthens, defines and volumises but doesn't feel heavy or weigh lashes down, and it dries quickly which is the secret to holding a curl.

Plus, it's a normal brush, non of these spiky plastic wands that poke you in the eye and leave you temporarily seeing an unknown galaxy. I am so impressed with this lash lengthening, love of my life that I have bought another tube ready for when this one runs out.

So if you are on the hunt for your next mascara investment and you don't have particularly showstopping lashes, give this a try. You can buy it here!

Saturday 22 July 2017

Stila Magnificent Metals + Swatches!

Is there anything better than glitter? No, there isn't.

You would have to have been living under a rock recently not to have heard about or seen photos of the Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadows. Phew, that's a long name. They are a glittery shadow that require no glue or fuss, you simply swipe over the lid using the doe-foot applicator and you've got eyes that glitter to high heaven.

 I love a sparkly eye but usually glitters can be quite messy and you end up with a face like a disco ball from the fallout, but you only run the risk of getting serious fallout with these if you blend them too much when they dry. The trick is to not touch them too much when they've set, I find I usually just need to blend the edge every so slightly, and I leave it at that. I do get the odd sparkle that escapes and lands somewhere on my face, but that's to be expected with such a glittery shadow.

L-R: Bronzed Bell, Violet Vixen, Kitten Karma.
These can be used alone, over eyeshadow, or as a liner to add an extremely eye catching glitter glow to eyes. They are so sparkly especially under artificial light, so they'd be fab for nights out. I also don't think there are any other products on the market like them, as most require a bit of glue and a lot of mess.

Top two swatches: Kitten Karma, Middle: Violet Vixen. Bottom two: Bronze Bell.

If you love sparkles and are looking for a no fuss glitter maybe treat yourself to one of these. If you can only buy one, I'd say get Kitten Karma as it's one of the most sparkly. I wouldn't have got more than one except fot the fact I had birthday money left over and thought I'd put it too good use. They are definitely worth the money though, and the tube should last you a long time as you're more than likely not going to show up to work everyday with disco-worthy lids... Actually, when you've used these once you will be addicted.

Buy here!

Thursday 20 July 2017

Top Of The Tans

Who doesn't love a tan? Obviously living in such a sunshine deprived country, I usually have to get my tan from a bottle. As you can imagine, I've tried and tested many different tans and I actually forget what colour I'm supposed to be...

With trying so many different brands and formulas, I have come to know what makes a great tan. So luckily for you, I've picked my absolute favourite and it's not going to cost you all that much.

BBold Tan is a Northern Irish brand that only uses high grade DHA (the chemical that reacts with skin to create that tanned appearance) in their products. Not only do they produce three different fake tan formulas, they also have a leg spray, a body moisturiser, and a newly launched contour kit.

I judge a good tan by not only the colour payoff, and tone, but also how it wears off as there is absolutely nothing worse than patchy, scaley skin. I have two firm favourites within the BBold range, and these are the Smart Mousse, and the tanning liquid. I have tried the lotion too but I didn't find it applied as easily as the mousse or liquid so for that reason I rarely use it.

The liquid tan dries in less than five minutes and you aren't left feeling sticky for the rest of the day. The mousse dries just as quickly, with a slight stickiness but it's not unbearable and it's supposed to be rinsed off after a maximum of three hours any. However, I always wear my tan overnight before rinsing as I find that's how I get the best colour. 

Both the mousse and liquid last for the best part of five days on me and when they do start to wear off, it's more like a fade as oppose to a patchy mess. Another reason I'm dying about this tan is that it is so easy to scrub off. I've tried tans that look great but you have to scrub yourself raw to get them off which as you all know, is extremely unpleasant. BBold comes off with an exfoliating mitt and some Soap & Glory Pulp Friction, no hassle required!

If you're looking for a top quality tan that won't cost you a week's pay, you should really give BBold a try. Not only is it a fab olive tone, it smells amazing, and you'll look like you just rolled out of a hammock in Barbados. 

Buy here! It's £14.95 for the liquid and £12.95 for the mousse, but keep a look out in small pharmacies as they are usually on offer.

Tuesday 18 July 2017

Summer Reads

Now summer is officially here, kind of, hopefully we'll be spending most of our free time out in the (little bit of) sun. Whether you have a holiday planned, or the furthest you'll be going is the Costa del Back Garden, I've some reading recommendations that you might help with your relaxation.

First up is a book I read some time ago, but I haven't forgotten how much I loved it. "It's Not Me, It's You", written by Mhairi McFarlane, it's about an extremely likeable girl named Delia. Basically, after a dodgy marriage proposal and an even more questionable job, she has to decide whether her new life is actually better than the one she's left behind. Of course there's many twists and turns along the way and a much unexpected ending, which is makes it such a great story. I find the way Mhairi writes to be so easy to follow, and that's exactly what you want in a book. If you like witty books with a bit of romance thrown in, this is for you.

Next up is another of Mhairi's novels, "Here's Looking At You". Where do I start? After having a hard time at school and being spectacularly humiliated in front of her peers, Anna is glad that horrible chapter of her life is well and truly closed. Well, so she thought. Now 30 years old and in a job she loves, she ends up running into the ring leader of all the school bullying episodes. This book really had me not wanting to put it down as it's something everyone can relate to, running into someone you went to school with who you'd hoped you'd never see again (haha!). There are so many great, unexpected parts to this story and just when you think it's all over, it's most definitely not. Mhairi is up there in my list of favourite authors at the minute, for her believable and relateable plots.

Lastly, this is the book I am currently reading. "American Girl" by Rachael (great name!) English, is a book my mum bought me for my birthday last month. It begins in 1968 Boston, with the story of a young girl who finds hereself pregnant much to her parents dismay. Of course in those times, a pregnant, unmarried teenager was seen as bringing shame upon the family, so her parents send her of to Ireland to give birth and give up her baby. I'm sure the events of this story will resonate with some people, and that's what makes it so sad. Fast forward to Dublin 2013, Martha is faced with the end of her marriage and the niggling feeling that she should track down the woman who gave her up more than forty years ago. At first I thought this might be a long winded story, but there's so much going on alongside the main plot that it keeps you turning the pages. There's also a few unexpected revelations and dark family secrets unearthed along the way. I've only a few chapters left, and I already know how much I'll miss reading this when I've finished. Such a fantastic, well written story, and Rachael makes it so easy to conjure up your own image of what the characters look like.


Sunday 16 July 2017

The Ultimate Glow Givers (Plus Swatches!)

One of my favourite cosmetic products would have to be highlighters. With a quick swish of a glowy powder you can brighten up a dull complexion, or create envy inducing cheekbones. I always look for more nude, champagne toned highlights as I find they suit my skintone and blend seamlessly.

Here are a few of my favourites:

Jouer Citrine
This has to be my number one at the minute. It's aaaaaamaaaaazzzing. Plus, if you spray your brush with a facial spray this beams to high heaven. Everytime I open the compact excitement bubbles within me.

Clockwise from top: Jouer Citrine, Topshop Glow, Primark Champagne

Topshop Glow
This is a creamy consistency and I have had this little pot for years so it's probably ready for the bin. It's more of a bronzey shade so may not work if you are really fair, however I am nearly sure they do another shade in this. Again it's fab on its own or great layered with a powder highlight.

Primark Pure Glow Champagne
Not only is this super cheap, it gives more expensive brands a run for their money. The only thing I don't like about this is that it contains two parabens. But it really is amazing for the price and if you didn't know it was Primark, you'd definitely rate it as a high end brand. Apart from the packaging... The lid snapped off, but let's not talk about that.

Clockwise from top: Make Up Geek, Milani, Laura Geller

Makeup Geek Highlighter in Midnight Sun
This looks slightly dull in the pan but on application it gives a more golden highlight. I don't reach for this as much as the others but again it is really blendable and comes in a wide array of shades.

Milani Strobelight in DayGlow
In the pan this also does not look like the gleaming glory that it is. It looks quite subdued, but when swatched it transforms into a really creamy, soft glow. It's also a good sized pan so this will last you a long time.

Laura Geller Gilded Honey
A cult classic, this blends so beautifully it's actually hard to tell that your glow isn't au naturel. The pan looks tiny but it lasts for such a long time especially since it's ultra pigmented.

Becca Champagne Pop
Another cult favourite, this is so fresh on the skin. Champagne Pop is quite expensive, and I do love it but there are cheaper highlighters available that are near enough the same, such as Gilded Honey.

Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in Sunlight
I don't think I need to say much about these. They are mesmerizing to look at because they really do look like liquid metal. I use this on skin just after foundation and sometimes I just leave it at that, but I have been known to go over it with a swish of a powder highlight if I want to look like the tin man.

L-R: Cover Fx, Topshop, Jouer, Primark, Milani, Laura Geller, Makeup Geek, Becca

So there you go! A glimpse into my highlighter collection. If you have any highlighter recommendations don't hesitate to let a gal know in the comments below. After all, you can never have too many highlighters.

Friday 14 July 2017

Violet Voss Holy Grail Palette

Can we all just take a moment to admire the work of art that is the Violet Voss Holy Grail Eyeshadow Palette?

Twenty shades including dark berry mattes, copper shimmers, and metallic chocolate tones. What more could a girl want? I was struggling to find a pigmented transition shade in a warm, terracotta colour, and this palette was the answer to my prayers. These shadows are such high quality and are infused with jojoba oil, I'm not sure why but perhaps it helps them to blend easily.

Have you any palette recommendations? Let me know in the comment section below!

This palette is available to buy here.

Wednesday 12 July 2017

Box o' Benefit

I've been a fan of Benefit ever since I strolled up to their counter in Belfast and purchased the "10" box o' powder bronzer and highlighter duo, which smelt like red sauce and is now long discontinued. I think everyone had a phase where they were obsessed with the "Benebabe" image and the pretty packaging, or maybe it was just me.

I feel like Benefit have really improved their make up game since the launch of the huge brow collection in summer of last year, and I do have some firm favourites that are both new and a little older. I've decided to share these with you in the hope that I'll maybe tempt you into treating yourself... And because I just like chatting about make up, let's me honest.

Dandelion Twinkle
This is a reasonably new launch from Benefit, and in the build up to its release I was so excited. So much so, I became quite unbearable. Its launch was much welcomed as up until then, Benefit only had liquid and cream highlighters in their extensive collection. This is a nude pink, baked highlighter and it's actually very different to others in my stash. It gives such a subtle sheen that can be built up to a more noticeable highlight or intensified when applied over the top of a cream highlight. I love it, and it's such a soft, fine powder that it doesn't settle into any fine lines on the face. 

Watts Up
Yes, I do know that three of the products in this list are highlighters, but it's me. This was my first highlight pirchase from Benefit and I just love the colour. It's a cream so it's best applied before any powders go onto your face to avoid looking like a cakey mess. The only cake I like is on a plate. This is a gorgeous champagne highlight that blends so well into my skin that it just looks like a natural glow instead of a big area of artificial highlight. This makes such a good base for powder highlighters too. 
Shy Beam 
With everyone wanting a highlight that beams to high heaven, who would have thought a matte highlighter would be such a good idea? If like me, you don't contour your face with cream products but you want to create light in certain areas, this is for you. It has such a fine brush you can paint it onto wherever you want to draw attention, it looks fab on cheekbones and below eyes to create a glimpse of brightness without the sheen. It took me a long time to try this product but I really enjoy using it and definitely think it makes a diffference to my overall make up look. 

I am OBSESSED with this blusher. I may go as far as saying this is my favourite Benefit product ever. I just love it. The colour, the smell, the packaging, everything. It smells like summer and looks like heaven. It is amazing on tanned skin and although it looks super bright in the box, it translates to a fab peachy pink glow. It goes with every make up look and just gives a summery flush to your face. I have this single one and another untouched full size in my Cheek Parade palette, so I'll not be without this until the year 3045. 

Boi-ing Airbrush Concealer
After repackaging the original Boing concealer, Fake Up, and Erase Paste, Benefit created a new Boing child. This is of a whipped, mousse consistency that dries matte and delivers medium coverage. It's great for applying to areas that need extra help before foundation, or using over foundation to conceal any dodgy bits. It's even perfect for under eyes and around the nose to brighten. Oh, and did I mention it's waterproof? 

3D Browtones
A highlighter for your brows may not top your list of beauty essentials but let me tell you, you need to try this. If your brows ever look flat and dull from the powdery products you've filled them in with, this is your saviour. Not only does it add a subtle sheen to brow hair, it also creates a fuller effect that has to be seen to be believed. Because of the tiny flecks of shimmer, it really does make brows stand out and look so full and thick. I favour this over Gimme Brow, ssssh!

Monday 10 July 2017

Glossybox July Edition

Glossybox is a monthly subscription box filled with five beauty treats for £10 a month (plus £3.95 p&p). I've been receiving the box for quite some time and I definitely look forward to its arrival, who wouldn't love a box full of surprises?

This month is a summer theme, with travel friendly sizes and products that will ensure your make up stays flawless in the heat... If we even get any. So read on to find out my opinion on the products included in this month's box and whether I feel it's worth the money. Let me start by saying the actual box is a gorgeous coral colour, and I'll definitely be keeping it to use as storage because it's far too fancy to be flinging into the recycling bin.

Bellapierre Banana Setting Powder (Full Size. RRP £25)
I'm not into contouring but I do sometimes use a loose powder to bake and having only used a pressed banana powder, I'm excited to try this. I've never heard of this brand and was surprised at the retail price as it's only a 4g pot. I'd imagine this powder would be great for setting under eye concealer and taking the redness down on blemishes. Hopefully I don't like it too much though because it's quite expensive...

Spectrum Collection Small Fan Brush (Full Size. RRP £4.99)
You can never have too many brushes, that is until you're slumped over the sink trying to wash 87 of them. I love highlighter and this brush is the perfect shape and density for a light, even dusting of my favourite glow-giving powder. It would also be good for dusting off the banana powder after baking, and it's such a pretty brush to have just for decorational purposes. That's a thumbs up from me.

Papanga Spiral Hairbands (Full Size. RRP £4.99) 
I only ever use spiral hairbands now as I find they hold my hair in place better than a normal band. These two are also large so there's no squashing my hair into a tiny hole or having the awkwardness of it being too loose but too tight if I try and wrap it round again. The Papanga bands are a welcome addition to my small collection and I'm also pleased with the neutral colours.

MONUspa Soothing Aftersun Sun Lotion (Full size. RRP £19.95)
This is my least favourite product from the box this month. You don't get less exciting than aftersun, do you? I've received a different brand of aftersun in Glossybox before and it ended up in my bottom drawer gathering dust and creating a new ecosystem for dust mites. I suppose this does fit in with the theme of summer and would be handy if you were going on holiday soon, but it's just a boring product. Not to mention, this one is filled with three types of parabens... No thanks. 

Cutebalms Macaroon Tint Balm in Crushed Berry (Full Size. RRP £5.99)
I haven't used a tinted lip balm since I was about eight, but I'm willing to give this a whirl. I suppose this would be ideal for a holiday as it doubles up as a blusher and gives a hint of sheer colour. I'm not too keen on the artificial strawberry scent though, it reminds me of the strawberry body butter from The Body Shop, and Calpol. 

Overall, this month's Glossybox isn't too bad. There are a few products I'm really pleased with, and the rest could be "gifted" to my mum. For the price though I think this box is worth the money, considering the banana powder is worth £25 alone. If you fancy signing up for Glossybox, visit their website where you can create your Glossy profile and start receiving your monthly treat.


Thursday 6 July 2017

Sleek Distorted Dreams Collection

Sleek Cosmetics know how to make a great highlighting palette, and their newest offering is no different. The Distorted Dreams Collection consists of ethereal, unicorn-esque hues, in the form of a cream and powder palette and three unique, metallic matte lipsticks.

Within the Distorted Dreams highlighting palette (£10.99), are two powder shades; one gold, the other white with a dense sprinkling of purple shimmer. There are also three cream shades which happen to be my favourite; theres a green sheen, a colour shifting blue, and a white cream that changes to pink with the light.

These shades are hard to photograph, but in real life the colour shifts are beautiful. These would be fab for festivals or holiday make up, as they extremely eye-catching. I'd also love to use them to add a fun shimmer to collar bones for nights out...Not that I go out.

When I first received this palette I was unsure of how I would get use out of it day to day, but the cream formulas work beautifully to put a fun spin on an inner corner highlight, and the powders make great face highlights or can be used over eyeshadow for an unusual look.

Next up are the three metallic, matte liquid lipsticks (£4.99). I'm not the biggest metallic lip fan, but I can't deny these are extremely unusual. The three shades, Rusted Rose, Roman Copper, and Volcanic all look very different and although they aren't as pigmented as I'd have hoped, they do look nice on the centre of the lips over another shade of lipstick.

Volcanic, Roman Copper, Rusted Rose.
This range is full of endless colour combinations so if you're looking for something to brighten up your look for the summer, definitely check out it out as it is now available at Boots.


Summer Hits

A few summer favourites...

Benefit Galifornia
A super summery, peachy blush that looks amazing on a variety of skin tones, particularly those with a tan. I've been wearing this pretty much everyday for the last couple of months and it really goes with every make up look, not to mention the smell is so fresh and delicious.

Jouer Citrine Highlighter
Looking for a new beaming highlight? Look no further. I love a good sheen to the skin and this does not disappoint. It's not yellow and it's not pink, it's kind of a neutral highlight that creates such an ethereal and fresh glow. This has been my most used highlighter, I even favour it over my beloved Champagne Pop. You could say I'm in love.

Too Faced Peach Palette
I actually wasn't blown away with the shade variety of this palette when I first saw it, but since owning it I have been reaching for it most days. The pigment is fantastic, and it has all the colours you need to create a pretty eye. You have cream shades, warm browns for transitioning, hints of deep purple and of course, summer ready peach. What's not to love?

Too Faced Sweet Tea Bronzer
I can't tell you how much I love this bronzer. It's split into two sections, one is a gorgeous bronze, the other a lighter, highlighting shade. I usually swish my brush and mix the two together so it gives my skin a sunkissed glow along with a healthy sheen. So beautiful.

Urban Decay Unicorn Lipstick
This is a nudey, pinky, peach kind of shade, very unlike any I already have... (ahem). I love it paired with a smokey eye as it looks very feminine and fresh. It also appears to be quite a good seller, so if you ever see it just buy it!

Benefit 3D BrowTones 
A highlighter for your brows... Sounds totally unnecessary, but after trying this once, I was hooked. It comes in a light and dark shade, and on close inspection you can see it has a slight shimmer to it. Paired with your favourite brow filling product, this gives brows a 3 dimensional look that makes them appear full and healthy, and who doesn't want that?


Sunday 2 July 2017

The Ordinary: Top 3 Skincare Products

You would have to have been living under a rock to not be aware of the recent buzz surrounding skincare brand, The Ordinary. You can read a bit more about them on their site, but basically they make high quality skincare for budget friendly prices.

I have quite a few of their serums, oils and moisturisers, but I've chosen my top three that I find myself using daily. Hopefully this will enlighten some of you who have absolutely no idea where to start with their extensive range.

First up is the Glycolic Acid Toning Solution. Prior to purchasing this I had gone through two bottles of the iconic Pixi Glow Tonic, and as much as I enjoyed using it I couldn't justify the £18 price tag. So this cheap offering seemed like a great alternative. Not only is it only £6.80, but it also has a strength of 7% as oppose to Pixi's version which is only 5%. For those of you who have no clue what a glycolic solution is, it's a mild acid used as an exfoliant. It's less harsh on the skin than typical scrubs that can cause broken capillaries, and you simply apply it after cleansing. It tingles slightly but other than that it's a breeze to use and leaves skin feeling really fresh. Because of the strength, The Ordinary recommends only using this once a day; I use it in the evening. It's also alcohol, silicone, and oil free. 

Next is the 'Buffet' serum. Packed full of anti-ageing ingredients, this is a super serum that also aids hydration. With my skin being quite oily I did worry about becoming too greasy, but this simply feels like you're giving your skin a well deserved drink. It's also silicone free which is great as there seems to be quite a few serums on the market that leave a silicone film on the skin. I mainly use this in the evening before bed and wake up with lovely, glowy skin. At £12.70 this is slightly more expensive than other serums from the brand, for the simple reason that it contains so many nutritious ingredients. 

And lastly, I really love the Natural Moisturising Factors + HA Moisturiser. It feels quite thick on application but sinks in leaving skin feeling plumped. It's contains hyaluronic acid and amino acids to hydrate skin without any greasiness. I use this occasionally in the morning, and sometimes in the evening if I've packed on the serums. It's only £4.90, so it's also a complete bargain considering the ingredients.

If you're looking to switch up your skincare but don't want to break the bank, The Ordinary's range is a great place to start. There's also a chart on their site to help you with what products work well with each other, and if you're really stuck there's an abundance of videos on YouTube to help you out. 


Saturday 1 July 2017

Bondi Sands Self Tan Eraser: The Lazy Girl's Guide

Anyone who knows me knows how much I enjoy being tanned. I just love looking and feeling bronzed, and clothes definitely look better with a hint of a glow.

Of course with fake tan comes the dreaded wear off stage, and the task of standing in the shower with a scrubbing mitt and a really grainy exfoliator is so monotonous. So when Bondi Sands announced the launch of their new tan removing product I almost hit the roof with excitement. That was until I saw the price, £14.99 for a product that removes tan? Hmm.

I walked past the shelves filled with the white bottles of this magic new potion many times, and delayed in buying not only because of the price, but the fact that after my initial enthusiasm had worn off, it seemed too good to be true. Then after reading so many positive reviews and feeling the hype beginning to bubble, I marched into Boots only to find the shelves empty. Everyone else must have had the same idea. Typical.

Eventually I tracked it down on the Boots website, and impatiently awaited its arrival. Today was the first day I have used it as I noticed my tan beginning to look dry, but still very much on. Bondi Sands recommends you use this on tan that is at least 3 days old, because trying to break down fresh tan is simply a bad idea. My tan was 4 days old today, and so I slathered on the moussey product, applying it like you would a moisturiser. It is a white foam that almost disappears when it dries and because of this I thought this is not going to live up to expectations. I sat for 8 minutes (my Instagram feed was too interesting), then off I trotted to the shower. Now, because of my scepticism and the fact my arms looked no different than they did before I applied the remover, I brought my scrub and exfoliating mitt with me. Just to be safe.

The bottle states you need to use warm water and a cloth to remove the product from your skin, which is what I did and dare I say it, it was magical to watch. It was as if the tan just melted away and disappeared. The real test of course was on stubborn bits like elbows and knuckles, I only had one small patch of tan on my elbow that needed a quick run over with my scrubbing mitt, and to be honest I didn't mind as I would be exfoliating these bits regardless of whether the tan eraser worked or not.

L-R: Before, during, after.
When I got out of the shower I was back to my super white self, and felt squeaky clean. I was really surprised by the effectiveness of this product and pleased that it delivered on its promises, cutting down the time I needed to spend in the shower.

I really think Bondi Sands have not only answered a lot of prayers, but also revolutionised the tanning world. Maybe other tanning brands will begin to create their own, hopefully cheaper, verisons. However, this would be such a convenient product to use if you were in a rush and didn't have time to stand and scrub your old tan off, as it literally takes 5 minutes and about 1 minute to rinse off. Because of the price, I probably wouldn't use this every time I wanted to remove old tan as I feel it's a bit too expensive to be using every week, but I probably will repurchase when I finally use this bottle as it's such a handy product. It's a thumbs up from me!
 Available here!

And here is quick a look at the ingredients list...

Blogger Template Created by pipdig