Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Review: Revlon ColorStay Foundation

I can't believe that it's taken me this long to write a review on this product as soon after buying it and using it for the first time, it became my all time favourite foundation, trumping all others, whether they be high end or drugstore! The Revlon Colorstay foundation won me over when I started using it sometime last year, firstly because of how affordable it is at £12.49 which is around half the price of most high end foundations. In foundations, I tend to go for ones with a good shade range, medium-high coverage and that have good staying power. This foundation ticks all of those boxes for me!

I picked this up in 220 Natural Beige which is the slightest bit lighter than my usual Mac NW20, but which actually is ever so slightly a better shade for me everyday. As well as this being the perfect shade for me, I love the fact that this comes in two different formulas depending on what skin type you have, normal/dry or combination/oily. I opted for the combination/oily formula due to having a typically combination skin type and find that this gives off a semi-matte finish and doesn't leave my skin looking oily throughout the day.

I apply this using my Zoeva Silk Finish brush, but have to do so in sections rather than applying all over the face then buffing in as this is a very fast drying foundation. This doesn't really bother me though as it is how I usually apply my foundation anyway. This foundation leaves you with a medium-full coverage which works really well to cover any scarring or acne. One of the other cons of this foundation is the fact that it doesn't have a pump. This means that I tend to make a mess and end up pouring out either too much or too little. This is only a small problem though and of course doesn't effect how good the foundation applies. My favourite thing about this foundation though, is the staying power. I usually apply this at around 7 in the morning before work/college and it is still on by the time I get home at around 5!

I'd really recommend this to anyone looking for a new foundation that gives good coverage and has great lasting power. It comes in two formulas which means it caters to most skin types. Have you tried this foundation? Let me know what you thought of it below!

Monday, 27 April 2015

New In: Mac, Loreal + More

As with every month, I spent way more than I should have of new makeup products, I just can't seem to help myself. One of the down sides of hauls being one of my favourite posts to read, is the impact it has on my bank account! This month, I went especially crazy on the eyeshadow palettes and now have no room to store any more and will have to rethink the way that I organise my makeup collection. Though I did buy quite a few too many eyeshadow type products, they were all actually pretty affordable, even the ones that I bought from Mac as I had two £5 gift cards for Debenhams (which I got when I bought some other makeup products last month that I didn't really need, so maybe it wasn't that much of a saving!) so ended up getting two shadows for the price of one! 

Makeup Revolution 'Iconic 2' Eyeshadow Palette - One of my friends has been trying to convince me to splurge and buy the original Urban Decay Naked palette for a while now, but I've been unsure whether I the shades would suit my skin tone or not so decided to buy a cheaper alternative beforehand. I went into Boots to buy the 'Iconic 1' but ended up picking the wrong one! It didn't bother me too much though as this palette has some very pretty shades too, and is just another excuse for me to pop back in and do a little more shopping, aha!

Sleek 'Oh So Special' Palette - This is a palette that has featured in a lot of my wishlists and have finally gotten my hands on it. I don't know why it took me so long as the shades are so pretty and right up my street. I know that I'll be wearing this non-stop come summer time!

Loreal Lipsticks - These were a bit of an impulse by but a complete and utter bargain! I saw that these were on offer for £3 online at Superbug for one day only, as well as being 3 for 2 so ended up getting 3 lipsticks for £6 although they usually cost £6.99 each! I went with three different shades of pink as a pink lip is definitely my go-to look atm and perfect for spring-summer!

Mac Eyeshadows in 'Quarry' and 'All That Glitters' - I've finally finished my first Mac palette!! I chose the shade 'All That Glitters' to finish off my first quad as i'd seen so many rave reviews about it and thought that it'd go very well with the other shades that I have. I then picked up 'Quarry' to start off my new quad!

W7 Naked Nudes Eyeshadow Palette - I picked this up from B&M for under £2 which was a complete bargain!! It looked like a very lovely palette to add to my collection and one that I'll be reviewing very soon!

Eyeshadow Brush - I picked this brush us from Ebay for around a pound, and actually was pretty surprised at the quality. I've used it  few times now and haven't noticed any shedding which is always a great sign for cheap brushes.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Dupes: Urban Decay 'Naked 3'

The Urban Decay 'Naked 3' eyeshadow palette is by far my favourite palette at the moment as the colours are perfect for my colouring, but the price tag isn't so great! At £38 this palette is pretty pricey and for a lot of people, is too pricey for their budget. Don't get me wrong, I love this palette and think it's definitely worth the money but wanted to do a post featuring some less expensive alternatives for those of you not wanting to make that splurge.

The 'Naked 3' is made up of 12 rose-toned shades of three different formulas - matte, satin and shimmer. I find that each shade is very pigmented and can be used both wet or dry. There is a very small amount of fallout from some of the more shimmery shades but nothing that gets too messy. I have been using this most days since I bought it and love the endless combinations that you can create. The brush that comes with this one is pretty good too and one that I use often!

Urban Decay 'Naked 3' 
- £38
- 12 shades, 3 formulas
- Comes double-ended brush
- Rose gold tin packaging, very sturdy though may not be the best for travelling due to the size
- Mirror
- Good pigmentation, the shadows are very creamy and blendable.
- A very small amount of fall out with the more glittery shades so be sure to tap any excess off of your brush before applying

Makeup Revolution 'Iconic 3'
- £4
12 Shades
- Plastic packaging
- Good pigmentation
- Slight fall out with certain shades

Loreal 'La Palette Nude'
- £14.99
- 10 shades
- Plastic packaging, very sleek and compact so is great for travelling
- Mirror
- Lacks pigmentation (I find this is only with the matte shades)
- A lot of fall out, especially with the glitter shades

The Urban Decay 'Naked 3', as expected, is the most expensive of the three at almost £40, however, if can get your hands on them, you can bag yourself a good quality dupe for as little as £4 with the Makeup Revolution 'Iconic 3' palette. I'd definitely recommend picking that one up if your starting out with makeup or just want to try out the shades before giving in and purchasing the 'Naked 3'. 

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Review: Loreal La Palette Nude

Yet another eye shadow palette to add to my collection. Honestly, I really could have done without this one, but I’d heard some really great things about it and the shades just looked so pretty, how could a girl resist? At first glance this looks like a very sleek, good quality palette especially since it’s from the drugstore, although the price tag isn’t as small as I would have thought at around £15. For a drugstore palette this is pretty pricey and because of that, I was expecting good things! Unfortunately though, this didn’t live up to its hype for me. Don’t get me wrong, I like this palette and use it from time to time, but I just don’t love it or reach for it daily. 

The first thing I noticed was the shade range. This palette includes 10 shades in total, 4 being matte and the other 6, shimmers. The shades are quite reminiscent of the Urban Decay ‘Naked 3’ palette which is one of my favourite eyeshadow palettes and like it, has some good matte shades which are great for blending out in the crease. I also love the lightest shade, which also reminds me that none of the shades have names which is a bit annoying when it comes to describing them, as I find that it’s a lovely highlight shade for the inner corner of the eye or even the brow bone. Though the shadows appear lovely, the pigmentation isn’t great, though some are better than others. I find the shimmer shades to be of better quality than the mattes giving off a more pigmented colour and not a lot of fall out. The mattes however, just don’t do a great job which is disappointing as they would make really good crease shades, especially the warm toned brown which I find a lot of palettes are lacking.

I do however, love the sleekness of this palette as it makes it great for travelling. It also has a decent sized mirror which I love in any palette/compact. I'm not sure that I would repurchase this, but I will definitely try to get my use of out this palette now that I have it.

Another thing that I wanted to mention was that I have been thinking a lot about guest blogging lately and would love some of you (if your interested that is!) to feature on my blog. Let me know what you think.

Monday, 20 April 2015

5 Quotes That I Love

As I've said in a previous post (here), I'm a sucker for a good inspirational quote when I'm feeling a bit down. Here are five that I've found whilst on Pinterest, which by the way, have I mentioned how obsessed I am with?! I've recently used some of these to decorate my room and am thinking of doing some kind of diy post soon. 

Let me know of your favourites quotes/motto below :)

Friday, 17 April 2015

My Perfect 'Everyday Lipstick Look'

With the whole 'Kylie Jenner' lip craze still ongoing, I've seen more and more full, nude lip looks, they seem to be every wear atm, as I'm sure you've all noticed. I've decided to create my own version of the look using a few products that I've had in my collection for such a long time now. I've adapted this to suit my skin tone and lip shape though, and really like the finished look and have been wearing it most days.  As cheesy as it sounds, this is a very 'my lips but better' kind of look. Here goes...

1. First I prepped the lips using a lip balm. I personally like to use the Nivea Lip Butters, as they keep my lips feeling moisturised without giving that sticky, heavy feel that a lot of lip balms give.

2. Line the lips. I don't actually have a nude lip liner so make do with Mac's 'Hip and Happy' which is a pale pink toned liner. I love this liner as it stays put throughout the day and works as a good base for my lipstick when applied all over the lips. I don't actually use this to make the lips appears fuller as my lips are naturally quite plump, so just use it to even them out. As I said, I then apply this all over the lips.

3. The next thing that I do is apply Mac's 'Brave' over the liner. This is my perfect everyday shade, and I suppose my perfect 'nude'. It's quite a brown toned shade but works very well with my colouring. This is a satin finish, which apart from matte, is one of my favourite lipstick finishes from Mac as it is that bit more moisturising.

4. Using my finger I dab Soap and Glory's Sexy Mother Pucker in 'Charm Offensive' over the lipstick. This works to give more of a pink tone to the look and which I find works best for me.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Review: Bourjois Rouge Velvet Edition

I’d seen both Viviannadoesmakeup and Lilypebbles rave about the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets, so of course I had to see what the hype was all about, and honestly, I’m glad that I did! After reading a lot of reviews on these and spending ages searching for swatches, I decided to pick up the shade 07 Nude-ist, a pink toned, ‘your lips but better’ kind of shade. This type of shade is nothing new for me as it’s usually my go-to shade of choice, but you can never have too many right?

As the name would suggest, this gives off a velvet finish which is actually pretty comfortable to wear and not like any other lip products that I own. This comes with your standard doffer applicator making it very easy to apply, however I usually tend to dab this onto the lips then pat it in using my fingers which I find helps to make the product appear evenly applied on the lips. 

One of the biggest pros of this product, and one that everyone seems to have noticed, is the fact that the staying power on these things is insane! They really work to almost ‘stain’ the lips and for me, stay on throughout the day without the need for constant reapplication, even after eating. One of the things though, that a lot of people don’t seem to like about this product is the smell. It has a very chemically, paint like smell which isn’t pleasant but honestly doesn’t put me off too much as I love the finish the product gives.

I would definitely recommend these as they are only £8.99 and have a good colour range from what I can see online. Bourjois have also recently brought out the Aqua Lacque versions of these which I am definitely going to try out soon! Has anyone else tried these?

Monday, 13 April 2015

5 Books That Are Definitely Worth a Read

If you've read any of my posts from the last month or so, you'll have noticed that I've recently gotten back into reading, which I'm so happy about! I also mentioned that I may be writing a book recommendation post of some sort soon, and here it is. I've tried to include a range of books whether they be new or old to me, but wanted to make sure there was something for everyone. I'm always looking for something new to read, so please do let me know of any good ones in the comments!

1. 'The Mortal Instruments' series by Cassandra Clare - This is the books series that i'm currently reading and am actually on the final book. I absolutely love this series and if you've watched the film and haven't read the book then you should definitely give it a go. In my opinion the film wasn't nearly as good as the books and the film actually missed a lot of the best bits out.

2. 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee - This one is a classic and one that I absolutely love and could read over and over again. I bet this book reminds a lot of you of GCSE English, which is actually where I discovered this, but if you can get past that and give it another read, I'm sure now that you're that little bit older you'll enjoy it a lot more.

3. 'It' by Alexa Chung - I'm sure you've all seen this book before in the background of many blog posts or featured on Pinterest, but aside from it being pretty aesthetically pleasing it is a such a great read. I honestly didn't know what to expect when I read this as I'm not really into reading about celebrities' lives, but I've loved Alexa Chung for such a long time I had to give it a read. I was not disappointed! Alexa takes a different approach to her book, discusses her memories as a teenager and how she got into modelling, and also includes a ton of photographs too!

4. 'The Lovely Bones' by Alice Sebold - You may have seen the film version of this book, and so had I actually before I read this, but I'm very glad that I got around to reading it too! This is a bit of a weird one, but totally worth reading if you like books that make you think.

5. 'One Day' by David Nicholls - It's been a long time since I've read this one, but one that  I remember really enjoying. It's a bit of a 'lovey-dovey' one, which I'm not usually into, but I love the way that it's set out, focussing on the two main characters of the novel and what they get up to on the exact same day each year.

Friday, 10 April 2015

How to Achieve a Perfect Lipstick Look

Lately, I've been wearing more and more bright lipsticks, which before I'd usually stay away from. I think the reason i've been enjoying wearing a brighter shade on the lips is due to the condition of my lips being a lot better. I've recently developed a 'lip-prepping' routine which I like to use before applying a bright lip and which helps the lipstick to sit on much better and last throughout the day. I've included three products that I already had in my collection and that I'd kind of been neglecting before this month.

1. Exfoliate the lips - To start, I like to exfoliate the lips using a lip scrub from Lush. This one is my favourite as it's bubblegum flavour and is just so yummy! I take a tiny amount on my finger and rub it onto the lips. I find that it isn't too harsh on the lips and that if my lips are in need of something slightly harsher, I grab the edge of a towel and use it to but my lips.

2. Apply a lip balm - Once I've exfoliated the lips I tend to apply a lip balm. The one I use is Nivea's 'lip butter' as it moisturises the lips without being too greasy or sticky like some lip balms. Applying a lip balm helps the lipstick to glide on much easier and keep the lips hydrated throughout the day, especially when applying lipsticks that are matte in formula.

3. Apply a lip liner - I find that applying a lip liner, not only to line but over the whole of the lips, helps to make the colour pop and helps it to last throughout the day. It's also great for evening out the lips if needed and I tend to do this around the cupids bow area in particular.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Review: Loreal True Match Foundation

I'm sure you've all read countless reviews about how amazing the Loreal True Match foundation is before, myself included, and heres another for you! I have to admit, I'm a little late on the bandwagon with this one, and honestly at first it didn't live up to my expectations but looking back I think that was due to this being different to the foundations that I'm used to wearing. Now though, it has become one of my most frequently used foundations and is perfect for this time of year. 

This foundation is very affordable at £9.99 and has a good shade range, although from what I can see from looking online there isn't a lot for those with darker skin tones. I picked this up in the shade N3 (creamy beige) which is a good match for my Mac NW20 foundation. I love the glass packaging this comes in and absolutely adore the fact that it comes with a pump as it makes it so easy to apply just the right amount to the back of my hand before going in with my Zoeva Silk Finish brush. 

The consistency is very light and runny, yet this gives a medium/full coverage when built up. The fact that it's so light and runny was a problem for me at first, but after some time testing it out and getting used to it I began to actually really like it. I know that I'll be wearing this a lot come summer time as it doesn't really feel as if you are wearing such a good coverage foundation of the face. 

This gives a matte, yet natural looking finish which is great for those with combination - oily skin. I definitely wouldn't recommend this to those with dry skin as this does tend to cling to dry areas, but this wasn't a huge problem for me as I rarely have the problem of dryness on my face. Another con, is that it sinks into pores but using this with a pore minimising primer this can be resolved slightly and is not as noticeable. 

I know that this foundation is one that I'll be wearing more and more as the weather gets warmer as it is very comfortable to wear and is light on the skin. It' every affordable and has  easy to use packaging.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Tips: Revising For A-Level Exams

Exam period is getting closer and closer by the second and now is the perfect time, if you haven't already, to start revising. I prefer to start as soon as I can so that i'm not left to cram at the last minute but I actually know a few people who prefer to do that. That leads me to my first main point, everyone works differently and if you haven't already found the best ways for you to revise then why not start now. You've probably heard that there are different 'learner styles' such as visual learners or auditory learners, etc, and there are so many online tests that you can take to determine which you are. (I find that this one is a great one!) You kind of have to experiment to find what works best for you, like most things, and try out different things until your happy with what you are doing. I know that this post mainly focuses on revision for A-level exams, but really could be adapted for any level, whether your revising for GCSE's or your university exams. Also, I just wanted to mention that this is a pretty text-heavy post so feel free to skip to the tips that are most relevant to you, and hopefully they can help! I'd love to hear some of your favourite tips for revision, so please let me know in the comments, and now onto the tips...

1. Start early - From looking back at past years, I find this is one of the most important things to do. This year I've started my revision a lot earlier than I did last year and find that already, it's benefitting me. Beginning earlier means that there is no need to rush and to find yourself panicking at the last minute because you don't know everything that could potentially come up on an exam. 

2. Create a plan/revision timetable - I know not everyone tends to stick to a revision timetable, so why not just make a plan of all the things that you need to learn and then tick them off as you progress? I personally like the idea of a revision timetable as it means that everything is organised and keeps me on check with my work load. Revision timetables are so easy to create and don't have to be anything fancy looking, but below is a simple one that I quickly made that could be printed out and used! I like to print out a timetable then fill it out, making sure each subject/exam is colour coded, then pop it on my wall so that I can clearly see what needs to be done! 

3. Exam specifications/topic checklists - Before I start my revision I like to make a copy of the exam specifications so that I won't forget to revise any of the topics that could pop up on my exam. These are so easy to find online, or maybe are even given to you by your teacher. I like to print/write out a copy for every one of my exams and pop it at the front of my folder and use it as a checklist for everything that I need to revise.

4. Get organised - This one is very important for me as I love making sure everything is organised and in it's place. I find that it's a good idea to use a different folder for each subject, or even for each exam that you sitting. I also find colour coding things is helpful and I usually go through a load of post-it notes too. This will probably benefit you more if your a visual learner like I am, but it's worth knowing where everything is so that it's ready for you when you come to revise.

5. Adapt your techniques to fit the subject - I learnt this when sitting my GCSE's. All subjects are different and mean that you'll have to adapt your usual techniques to fit them. For example, I'm currently studying both A-level Maths and English Literature, which are on the complete opposite ends of the spectrum of each other. For Maths, I tend to complete past paper after past paper, whereas for English I use flash cards to help me learn quotes.

6. Take regular breaks - Making sure to including regular breaks when revising is important but that doesn't mean that you should take a break every ten minutes or so. I've read that taking a 10-15 minute break every 45 minutes works best. As well as taking regular breaks, don't forget that it is okay to build some things other things, like going out with your friends, into revision into your timetable. It's okay to use your time to do things other than revising as long as you divide your time fairly.

7. Set up a calm and relaxing environment to revise in - I prefer to revise in my room as it is very light and airy as I find that very relaxing and comfortable to work in, but some people may prefer to go to the library to revise. This is another example of how it's important to find what works for you! For some inspiration you could check out this post!

8. Focus on the topics that are your weakest - I tend to start by looking at everything that needs to be learnt for an exam and then starting with the topic that I am worse at. This means that I can spend more time getting better at it before I start revising the things that I can already do.

I need to congratulate you if you got to the end of this post as it was a pretty hefty one! Haha. I hope that this could have helped some of you who are currently in the process of revising for your exams, and would love to here your tips too!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Inspiration: Workplace Ideas

Last week, I posted this post, featuring some home decor inspiration and it seems to have gone done pretty well with you guys, so decided to do another similar post. Today though, I've decided to focus on inspiration for the workplace. I'm obsessed with all things storage and organisation and feel like a well presented desk/work place makes me more likely to get  work done productively. I found these ideas whilst having a little bit of a pinning spree on Pinterest and here are a few of my favourite.

Let me know of your Pinterest user names below, I'd love to check them out!

Friday, 3 April 2015

5 Blushes for Spring

Since Spring time is upon us, it's time to make some simple changes to our makeup routines. A very easy way to do this is to change up your blush for something more pink tone, perhaps with a slight shimmer or even go for a cream based blush. I've picked out five blushes from my makeup collection which I think would be perfect for this time of year. I've had most of these blushes for a while now and they always seem to come out at this time of year. I'm quite fair skinned and cool toned so find these go perfectly with that combination but think that these blushes could suit a wide range of skin shades.

1. Mac Mineralise Blush in 'Dainty' - This was the first blush that I bought from Mac and is still one of my all time favourites. It has a slight shimmer to it, but nothing too harsh, and is my perfect peach toned blush. It is a mineralise blush so the pigmentation isn't as good as Mac's other blushes but thats one of the things that I love about it as it works to give off a very natural, and healthy looking flush to the cheeks.

2. The Body Shop Baked Blush in '02, Coral' - This blush from the Body Shop is a bush-highlighter duo, which when you swirl together gives the perfect glow to the cheeks whilst also giving off a lovely hint of pink. This blush is super pigmented for a baked blush so make sure to go in with a light hand and fluffy brush. I like to use this with my Real Techniques Blush brush.

3. Mua Mosaic Blush in 'English Rose' - Yet another baked blush! I wanted to include this one though, due to it being so affordable at £2.50. I did buy this a while back so am not one hundred percent sure whether it's still available, but if it is, I'm sure this would be great for anyone starting out with makeup.

4. Topshop Cream Blush in 'Primetime' - Next up is this cream blush from Topshop, who actually do some really amazing makeup products if you haven't already tried them! I rarely wear cream blushes, but when I do I love this one. It looks pretty scary in the pan, but when applied to the cheeks and blended in it gives a very pretty pink pop of colour to the cheeks.

5. Sleek Blush in 'Flamingo' - Another crazy looking colour but I promise, when applied with a light hand this looks amazing! And when I say a light hand, I mean an extremely light hand as these blushes are so pigmented, which is great considering they are from the drugstore.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Review: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo +

A recent, and somewhat new addition to my skincare routine is the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo +, which I bought sometime last month after seeing that it was on offer at Boots. I'm such a sucker for a bargain so of course added it to my basket and have been trying it out over the past month. Although I picked this up whilst it was on offer, it still cost me around £12 and usually costs £15.50 so isn't exactly cheap. I know high end skincare products can get very pricey, however I've always been one to stick to drugstore skincare brands such as Nivea or Simple, so this is probably the most expensive skincare product that I've ever bought. Honestly though, if a product is going to work well to live up to it's claims, and a comparable drugstore alternative can't be found then I can justify paying that little bit extra.

This is an anti-blemish cream which claims to target the signs of oily, blemished prone skin, including marks and so fits my skin type perfectly. I was slightly worried at first, that this would really dry out my skin but in fact leaves it feeling silky smooth and isn't at all harsh on the skin. This cream fitted in very nicely to my already, pretty basic skincare routine and I apply it to the blemished areas of my face, rather than all over as the instructions suggest.

A small amount of this cream really goes a long way and so I just squeeze out a small pea sized amount and apply it where needed. The consistancy is is very smooth and easy smooths onto the face.

Honestly, since using this I've seen a slight improvement in my skin but nothing drastic so at this point, probably won't repurchase as it's quite pricey. 

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