Friday, 21 December 2018

Barry M Shipwrecked Palette

I usually am only enticed by higher end palettes, however when I saw this little delight gracing the Barry M stand in Boots, I knew I had to give it a whirl. The top row of super sparkly shadows really caught my eye, and I thought you can't really go wrong for £12.99...or can you?

My first impression of this palette was that it has so many wearable shades. There are warm browns, a gorgeous orangey shade and my favourite, a deep navy. Upon first use, I saw that the matte shades were really quite powdery and the fall out was quite substantial. This doesn't bother me too much as I tend to always do my eyes first and my foundation second, so it's easy enough to clean up.

I also noticed how it took a bit more effort and building up of the eyeshadow to gain a good colour pay off. Again, this is to be expected with cheaper eyeshadows, and honestly, if you have the time and patience, it's worth the work.

I initially used my fingertip to apply one of the sparkly colours all over my lid, but the colour wasn't transferring as I would have liked, so I sprayed my brush with Mac Fix Plus and it made the world of difference. The shadow became so much more metallic and it looked pretty fabulous! I also used one of the shimmery champagne shades to highlight my brow bone, and it was just enough of a pop.

I am excited to try the deep navy shade although I have a feeling it may require a bit of building to reach my desired colour intensity. Overall, this isn't a bad palette especially for the price. The fallout may prove to be a bit irritating for some, but for the price and the range of shades you get it could well be used every day for a quick smokey eye, or if you want to experiment with more colourful looks, this could be worth a try.

You can buy the Shipwrecked palette in Boots & Superdrug.


Monday, 10 December 2018

Monat Haircare

I was recently sent a huge collection of haircare products by American brand, MONAT. I was contacted by a very kind brand representative on Instagram, who tailored the products to my hair dilemmas. I told her I have uncoloured hair that tends to get quite dry at the ends, and sometimes lacks body and volume.

I was really surprised and extremely grateful for the number of products I received, as I am sure they aren't cheap. The products I received were:

  • Thickening Spray
  • Renew Shampoo
  • Revitalise Conditioner
  • Replenish Masque
  • The Champ Conditioning Dry Shampoo
  • Blow Out Cream
  • Rejuvabeads Split End Mender
  • Rejuveniqe Oil Intensive
  • Refinish Control Hairspray

MONAT products are loaded with essential oils and Capixyl, a peptide associated with hair growth. Both the shampoo and conditioner left my hair silky soft, feeling extremely healthy and full of movement.

One of the standout products for me is the split end mender. You simply apply 2-3 drops to towel dried hair, concentrating on the ends and let it sink in for a couple of minutes. It smoothed my ends, leaving them conditioned and looking like I'd just had a fresh cut.

The dry shampoo is also a hero product, and didn't leave my hair feeling powdery or dry which is something I tend to find with other brands. I really love the thickening spray too, and found it delivered on the promise of body and volume. I spray it on my hair before going in with my hairdryer, and my hair is left looking a lot fuller and voluminous.

By far the most amazing product from those I received is the hair oil. It contains a blend of over 13 natural plant and essential oils. You can smooth it through hair and leave overnight, I did this but concentrated solely on my ends. After washing in the morning, I was left with the silkiest and most hydrated hair I've had in such a long time.

Can we also talk about the Refinish Control Hairspray? Most hairsprays tend to dry my hair out, considering they are packed full of alcohol. This is enriched with their Rejuveniqe oil, it conditions hair while ensuring your style is held throughout the day. It's also easy to brush out and doesn't leave my hair looking lacklustre.

Overall, I am really impressed with the MONAT range. I had never come across the brand until I was contacted via Instagram by the lovely Melanie Diebold. If you are interested in the products or would like some advice on the range and what would suit your hair best, you can contact her via her Instagram right here.

For now, I'll be over here swishing my voluminous, conditioned hair...

Thursday, 6 December 2018

The Best of Beauty: 2018

I know 2018 hasn't quite finished with us yet, but I've discovered so many new beauty favourites this year that I just need to share. Some I've been loving for a few months, whilst others are more recent finds that I know I'm going to keep repurchasing. Brace yourselves, the list may be long...

Iconic Bronze Dark Mousse
If you follow me on Instagram you are probably well aware of my obsession with this tan. I became an Iconic Bronze addict way back in May of this year when I was gifted the dark mousse and tan eraser at a Blogger Brunch. Since then, I haven't looked back, and all other tanning brands simply haven't measured up. It's a fab colour, doesn't disappear down the plughole in the shower and is easy enough to scrub off with a mitt. I even mentioned it in my first magazine beauty column.  Their tan eraser is also the best I have tried,  beating the Bondi Sands version hands down.

Bare Minerals Bare Pro Liquid Foundation
This stuff has become my go-to foundation. I am really oily but I don't like being too matte, and whilst this gives amazing coverage, it doesn't cake up or look heavy. I recently suffered with cystic acne and this stuff did such a good job at concealing the hard, red bumps that were appearing on my skin. So much so, that sometimes I didn't even need concealer. It also stayed put throughout a visit to the zoo during the very hot summer we had, and didn't budge nor become greasy under the immense heat. It's just perfect and I know I'm going to keep repurchasing it again and again.

Morphe Jaclyn Hill Vault
This collection of four eyeshadow palettes received so much backlash when it launched. Many people slated the pigment and claimed the shadows were powdery, so I did hesitate before buying it. I usually rush online and buy palettes as soon as they launch, but with this I wasn't so sure. However, one day I took the plunge and honestly, I don't know why so many were giving it a bad review. Each palette contains complementing shades and are so handy and compact especially for travel. You can chuck on in your bag and know you have a crease shade, all over lid, and highlighter colour all in the one palette. They all even have their own mirror. I took one on my trip to New York and it didn't disappoint. On first use I was like why on earth have so many people given Jaclyn Hill such a hard time over these shadows? They are well worth the splurge!

Kiehl's Avocado Eyecream
The thickest, most luxurious eye cream that melts into an oil and leaves your delicate eye area super soft and hydrated. I struggled to find an eye cream that wouldn't irritate my eyes and this doesn't migrate into my eyeballs, which gets a massive thumbs up from me. I am 26 so I am quite conscious of preventing any fine lines that may be starting to appear, and this does a fantastic job at plumping and hydrating. If you're in the market for an effective and affordable eye cream, this is well worth a try.

NYX Micro Brow Pencil
I will let you into a tiny secret, this is a great alternative to the Benefit Precisely My Brow pencil and it's less than half the price. I use the shade chocolate and have repurchased it numerous times. I found the shade 3 in the Benefit pencil was a bit too light and ashy for my colouring, but this chocolate shade is perfect.

Benefit Ready Set Brow
In the past few months I've been favouring a fluffy, textured brow over a neat and perfectly defined one. This clear brow gel is like glue and ensures my brows stay in place all day. I love applying it as the comb catches every single hair and gives a lovely finish every time.

Jo Malone Blackberry and Bay
Last Christmas I received some Jo Malone minis as a present, including a small bottle of this scent. I instantly fell in love as it's so fresh and unique. Peony & Blush Suede is also a favourite!

The Ordinary Buffet Serum
I feel like I've included this in so many different favourites posts, but it just has to be mentioned again. Serums penetrate deeper than a moisturiser, so they are essential for hydrating the deeper layers of your skin. Applying this is like giving your skin a much needed drink as it absorbs so quickly and you feel refreshed. I use it every night before moisturisers and oils, and sometimes in the morning if my skin feels tight or irritated. It also doesn't break the bank compared to other serums.

Tom Ford Blush Nude Lipstick
The most unnecessarily expensive lipstick, in the most gorgeous pinky nude shade. I lusted after this lipstick for so long however I wasn't prepared to pay 35 pounds for it. Luckily, now that I work for Bobbi Brown I receive discount on various brands, and Tom Ford just happens to be one of them. Let's just say, I was able to get this lipstick for an extremely reasonable price, and I am now planning on buying a few more. Now that I have it, I don't know if the formula warrants the ridiculous price tag, but the packaging and the shade really make up for it. The formula is no better than cheaper brands like Rimmel, but I absolutely love the colour.

Bobbi Brown Luxe Liquid Lipsticks
Just when I became fed up of ultra drying liquid lipsticks (apart from the ColourPop formula...) these came along. The range contains both super shiny and gorgeous matte shades, and of course I went straight for the two glossy nude shades. The glosses have an amazing colour payoff and stay put an impressive length of time, even when the shiny finish fades, the colour is still there. I also own a deep shade called Brocade that I became obsessed with around Hallowe'en, and it is still my favourite shade from the matte range. Think dark, plummy purple, with a hint of a pinky tone. Love it!

Inglot Powder Blushers
Cheap, pigmented, and long lasting. These were one of my ultimate favourite discoveries this year. I own two shades and feature one particularly heavily in my beauty look book section. I am quite picky when it comes to blusher shades, as I don't like anything shimmery or too pink, but the Inglot powders have a good range of peachy tones and even a couple of really subtle nude shades that are perfect for when your lips or eyes are doing the talking.

Maybelline Colossal Big Shot Mascara
I don't know how many tubes of this I have gone through, but all I'm saying is you need to try this mascara. I use the waterproof version as it holds a curl better, and it makes my less than impressive lashes look full, long, and extra glorious.

Doll Light Shine Bright Highlighter
This is another really recent favourite, and every time I wear this so many people ask what it is. It's blinding, and is the perfect champagne shade for my skin tone. I am always going to be a fan of highlighter, it just adds a little something to every make up look.

Lime Crime Venus XL Palette
I couldn't not mention this. I bought it back in March and all other palettes in my collection were quickly cast aside. I love every single shade in this and it is such a perfect match for my colouring. There are pinks, golds, and deep plums and they are all extremely pigmented and easy to blend. There is one particular shade that I used basically every day for months and I still haven't hit pan, so you must get plenty for your hard earned cash too. Honestly, just invest.

Bobbi Brown Pink Glow Highlighter
Another highlighter that I most certainly did not need to add to my monstrous collection. It is a marbled effect of a gold pinky tone mixed with a beaming white shade. Mixed together they give such a gorgeous glow that can be built up as much or as little as you fancy. The white alone is also great for  subtle inner corner highlight if you're also that way inclined.

Soap & Glory Bubble in Paradise Call of Fruity Shower Gel
This is a reasonably new addition to the S&G family and it is my favourite of them all. It has a mandarin and mango scent that you can smell for quite some time after your shower. I think I used almost a quarter of the bottle in my first use, it's just that delicious. Don't judge.

Kiehl's Buttermask
If the recent stint of cold weather has your lips squealing for moisture, give this a whirl. I apply it at night and it melts in giving an almost oily texture. You can use it during the day too if your lips are particularly bad. It is quite expensive for a lip balm, but the effects are well worth it, plus you only need to use a tiny bit at a time.

Natasha Denona Lipgloss
I bought this in Sephora in New York after lusting after it for so long. If you haven't heard of Nastasha Denona, you need to check her out on Instagram. She also has ridiculously priced eyeshadow palettes, but the shades she creates make my mouth water. This gloss gives a gorgeous wash of colour and shine, and I am considering buying some more shades online.

Well, that's it. A list of all the beauty products I've discovered this year. The worrying thing is, the year isn't over just yet and I still have another full month to try new things...


Benefit Giveaway

It's giveaway time! I am currently running a Benefit giveaway on both my Instagram & Facebook pages, featuring all my Bene-faves.

You could win:

Mini Gold Rush blusher
Mini Porefessional & High Beam
Full size Pore Pearl
Mini It's Potent Eye Cream & Total Moisture
Full size Roller Lash Mascara
Full size Hoola Lipgloss
Sample size Air Patrol & Porefessional Make Up

To enter, you simply have to make sure you are following me on Instagram or Facebook (or both!), tag a friend in the comments, and share the post. You can share the post on your Instagram stories for an extra entry, and can enter on both Facebook and Instagram. 

All links to my social media pages can be found on my blog page. 
Entry closes on 16.12.18, UK & Ireland only.

Good luck!

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