Thursday, 21 April 2016

Beauty Purchases

I was being organised and took photos for multiple posts a few weeks back, but the error in doing this is that I've since bought more products! I'll just have to put the Zoeva brushes and lip liners in a separate post.

As some of you may know, I tinted my eyebrows not long back (you can find the post here), and while I still have multiple applications left, I wanted to give the Eylure Pro Brow Dybrow Dye Kit in Dark Brown a go. It's £7.49, you get up to 12 applications, and it has high ratings. I bought this from Superdrug because the Boots website only has the single application ones (which are £9.95!). It's not on Eylure's own site either, so I wanted to buy it now while I can still get hold of it.

NYX is one of my favourite brands, which is why I've bought eight products from them recently now that they're available at Boots. I've been loving the Butter Lipstick (£5.50) in Root Beer Float, so went ahead and bought Licorice (now known as Moonlight Night) as well, which is a deep plum shade.

I also bought the Micro Brow Pencil in Brunette (£7) because it's often compared to the Anastasia Beverly Hills one, and has great reviews. I'm still getting used to achieving a natural look with a pencil, though, because I'm used to powders and pomades.

The Intense Butter Gloss in Tres Leches (£5.50) is similar in shade to the Butter Lipstick in Root Beer Float. It's incredibly opaque, and basically a liquid lipstick with a gloss finish. I've since bought one of their lip liners in a similar shade, which pairs nicely with it.

I don't do much with my hair in terms of styling, but I'm obsessed with keeping my hair as soft and conditioned as it can be. The OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Miracle In Shower Oil (£8.35) is another product with high ratings, and can be used in multiple ways, so I thought I'd add it to my collection.

More eyebrow products, I know. It's a little ridiculous. I'd never tried a brow gel/mascara type thing before, though, so was curious. The Soap & Glory Archery Volu-Boost Brow Fibre Gel in Talk Of The Brown (£8) is a new product, and one I bought before I dyed my eyebrows darker. I can still use it, but that's why I then bought the L'Oreal Brow Artist Plumper in Dark Brunette (£5.99). Again, it has great reviews, and it's cheaper than the Soap & Glory one, despite having more product in. I don't know if these types of brow products are for me, to be honest, but I'm going to try and make them work.

I've been using the Lush massage bars in the same way as their solid body butters, by smothering myself in them while stepping away from the shower. My skin feels great, so I wanted to get some more. You can see how far back I took these photos by the date on the wrappers, by the way. Anyway, I bought Pearl (£6.50) and Strawberry Feels Forever (£5.95). I've already reviewed Pearl, which you can find here.

While there, I picked up another Ultrabland because I always like to have a back up at the ready. Seriously, it's amazing.

Let me know if you've tried any of these products, and if you've taken advantage of NYX being readily available to us now.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Lush Pearl Massage Bar

Lush massage bars are bars made up of various butters and oils, and have multiple uses. Massaging being the obvious one, but they're also used in place of your body moisturiser, or you can cut them up and use them as bath melts. I like using mine in a similar way to their in-shower body butters, which involves stepping away from the water to apply, and then continuing with other tasks one does in the shower. They melt on contact with your body temperature, so I'd avoid using them directly under the shower, and you should be careful with slipping, but I've found that this way means I don't have to spend time rubbing them in while freezing my bottom off. I've also read some articles of plants sprouting up in people's showers when they've used the Wiccy Magic Muscles this way, so I'd suggest not doing this with that one, or make sure you retrieve the beans when they fall out!

On the day I bought Pearl, I'd actually gone in with the intention of just buying Strawberry Feels and another Ultrabland, but impulsively picked this one up as well. I'm a big fan of Ro's Argan, with its rose jam scent growing on me over the years, so couldn't resist this bar with the same scent. Along with cocoa and shea butter, it contains organic rose absolute, rose oil, argan oil, extra virgin coconut oil, sicilian lemon oil, and geranium oil (along with a few other things, such as glycerine and perfume). All of these ingredients contribute to the incredibly moisturising effect it has on my skin. The oils take longer to absorb than your average body butter or lotion, and it's something I prefer to use at night because of this, but my skin is left feeling moisturised for days after.

Despite what I've already said, I probably won't buy this particular bar again, and that's because of the pink pearls. They take up roughly a quarter of the bar, are quite scratchy, and easily fall out, which is a waste. They may contribute to the scent and massaging ability of the bar, and they clearly look aesthetically pleasing, but I'd rather they weren't there. I'd happily take a boring looking bar, with more product, over this. The balls also run pink, but I haven't noticed any staining on my skin like some people have.

Pearl is priced at £6.50. What's your favourite massage bar from Lush? I think mine has to be Each Peach (And Two's A Pair).

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Empty Products

An empty product is a rare sight when you have a lot of products on rotation. It means it's become part of your routine, which is high praise indeed. I've tried to limit the amount of hair products I show in these types of posts because we'd be here for a long time if I didn't. I've also omitted most of the products I've spoken about far too often. So, what's left?

Aussie Miracle Hair Insurance Leave In Conditioner | I must have spoken about this an incredible amount of times over the years, but I'm including it now because I haven't mentioned it for ages, and my opinion has changed slightly. I've been through bottles of this stuff. It smells beautiful, and used to leave my hair noticeably soft. I don't notice this as much now, though, and use it to wet my hair more than anything. My hair's become accustomed to it, and I've since found products which condition to a greater extent. The mist isn't that fine either. I've found TRESemme's Oleo Radiance Conditioning Mist leaves my hair smoother, and while it doesn't smell as good, it has a really fine mist to it.

Lush Ultrabland Facial Cleanser | This is the other product I'm forever mentioning, but it really is great. It melts away all your makeup without stinging your eyes when you open them to find the face cloth, and leaves your skin seriously moisturised. Other cleansers, even oil ones, feel drying in comparison now. It sounds like it'd be a nightmare for those with oily skin, but that's my t-zone skin type, and I have no problems with it.

Garnier Ultimate Blends Strength Restorer Balm | Smells great and leaves my hair much more conditioned than other intensive conditioners do. I've also finished the shampoo and normal conditioner in this range, as well as the Sleek Restorer ones, and they're all great. The shampoos feel like they're doing more to your hair than just cleaning, and the conditioners noticeably condition, unlike a lot of others which just prevent your hair from feeling too dry.

Original Source Vanilla Milk & Raspberry Shower Gel | Original Source can be overlooked for more expensive, luxurious alternatives, but it's a brand I always return to. I absolutely love this scent, as well as the lime and mango ones, and they're always on offer for £1 somewhere.

L'Occitane Zesty Lime Hand Cream with Shea Butter | This was a magazine freebie, and I so wish I'd stocked up. It smells incredible, and the L'Occitane hand creams are some of the best I've used. I just don't love it enough to pay £8 for 30ml. The hand creams are no strangers to a magazine, so I'm just going to keep my eye out for them.

EOS Sweet Mint Lip Balm | It's always an amazing moment when I finish a lip balm, because it happens so rarely. This one isn't even one of the most moistursing ones I've used. It's pretty average, actually. However, it's smooth and smells lovely, and it was something I ended up applying every night before bed. I have nearly all of the scents, and Sweet Mint is one of the better ones. Honeysuckle isn't as smooth, and Lemon Drop definitely isn't. Strawberry Sorbet is, but I grew accustomed to the scent of Sweet Mint.

Soap & Glory One Heck Of A Blot Primer | One of the best primers I've used. It doesn't interfere with any of my foundations and create a rolling mess, and it makes everything last well. It's more difficult to tell with my face makeup, but when applied around my eyes, my gel eyeliner doesn't smudge as much. I already bought another tube before this one ran out, so that's saying something.

If you have any of these products, let me know your thoughts, and if you know where I can get the L'Occitane hand cream from for a bargainous price, that'd be even better!

Monday, 11 April 2016

For When I Leave The House

Hauls aren't rare on this blog, but clothing ones are. I'm usually in uniform or pyjamas, leaving very little room for other pieces! I have bought a few bits recently, though, so thought I'd gather everything together.

I already own these £24.99 boots from New Look. They're the first chelsea boots I've liked, and have really changed my outfits, so thought I'd get another pair while they're still around. The socks are also from New Look. At £1.99 a pair, or 3 pairs for £4, you can't go wrong, especially when they have pizzas on them.

H&M is probably my favourite place to shop for clothes. The items look more expensive than they are, so I'm always surprised when I look at a label and see that it's cheaper than the likes of New Look. The grey and teal ribbed tops are high necked, slightly cropped, and have sleeves which come an inch or two above the elbow. I'm not crazy on cropped clothing, but these look fine with a vest underneath. Best of all, they were only £6.99 each. The cacti sweater was only £5.99, people!

I want to be more social just so I can wear these £11 printed trousers from Primark.

Primark has some beautiful lingerie in at the moment. I picked up navy and lemon yellow crocheted sets, but the navy bra had to be returned because the balconette fit was so poor. The yellow one fits nicely, though, and it was £8. The thongs were both £3 each.

The bag in the first photo is from Accessorize, and was £16 down from £32. I'm not cool enough to wear it as a rucksack, but it works well when using the strap to create a shoulder bag.

Excuse the Instagram photo, but I bought another high neck jumper, with this one being from Oasis. It was £12 down from £25, with free delivery. I'm impressed with the quality, so will have to make sure I check out Oasis more often.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Candle Belle Mega Melt Box | April 2016

My second Candle Belle box arrived this week, which was a welcomed delivery. Overall, this month's scents aren't my favourite, but I'll get into those individually in just a moment. If you would like to see how the Mega Melt Box compares to Flamingo Candles' offerings, click here.

Spring Tulips | This naturally clean and bright scent perfectly captures the essence of a field of tulips on a dewy spring morning. A simple, strong and true fragrance which is easy to love. It's not that easy for me to love because I'm not a fan of strong floral scents. I think it could be okay in very small doses, though, so I'm not going to pass it on.

Pink Candyfloss | Similar to a popular sugary perfume, this playfully soft fragrance leads with notes of candyfloss, vanilla, musk and light florals. Very popular with the young, and young at heart. I'm a fan of this one. It's clearly sweet, but the light florals keep it from being too sickly.

Red Velvet | Top notes of dark chocolate, strawberry syrup and red currant combine with middle notes of cocoa, buttermilk, sugar cane and true vanilla extract, to recreate the perfect red velvet aroma. To my sister and I, this smells like drumstick lollies. It's the berry notes with the buttermilk and vanilla which make this smell like one of my favourite sweets. 

West Country Cider | A welcoming aroma of hot cider, spiced with sweet cinnamon, warm caramel, cloves and nutmeg. The perfect hug in a mug. This one isn't bad, and I can see many people liking it. I just prefer fresh, fruity, and sweet scents over warm and spicy ones.

Indian Sandalwood | Beautifully true and potent sandalwood with a warm, rich and earthy aroma. This scent has striking wood base notes which soothe and relax the senses. A very popular spa type fragrance. Again, it's warm and has a heavy floral side to it, so it's not my cup of tea.

Orange Dreamsicle | Luscious fresh frozen orange juice, encasing sugary sweet vanilla ice cream. This perfect "joker" will evoke memories of childhood visits to the seaside, with ice cream dripping down your hand. I love the scent of orange, and I love the scent of vanilla, so I was always going to like this. However, I'm not in love with it, and I think it's the two scents combined which remind me of something not so pleasant from my childhood. Maybe I was sick after eating something which smelt similar? I'm not sure.

Caribbean Dream | An exotic blend of coconut and juicy pineapple, complemented by base notes of vanilla ice cream. Close your eyes and be transported to a tropical paradise. Possibly my favourite in the box. It smells exactly as described (like they all do), and I love pineapple.

Cotton and Blossoms | A fresh, breezy scent with top notes of clean cotton, mandarin blossoms, freesia and peonies, complemented by a sweet and subtle blend of jasmine, violet and gardenia. Very fresh and clean. It's perfect for the home, and a scent I like, but I have one like it from every other brand.

Hot Summer Night | A classic, manly cologne fragrance, liable to evoke memories of steamy holiday romances. A seductive blend of amber, citrus, berries, sandalwood and black pepper, set against a base of green leaves and ylang ylang. Now I don't have anything like this in my collection! Not my favourite, but I think I'll like it in very small doses.

The Mega Melt Box is £11 a month with free delivery, and can be found here.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Some Products I've Been Enjoying Recently

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge | I last mentioned this in a First Impressions post back in February (here), and said I liked it, but still had my reservations. My foundation applied better with it, especially when damp, but I wasn't keen on replacing it every 1-3 months. Due to an offer and multiple discount codes, I've since bought two more for around £3 each (usually £5.99). Thankfully, I haven't had to use them yet because my original one is still doing a great job, two months down the line. The finish it gives is natural, and it's great at blending. I also find it to cover those blemishes which have scabbed over well. The sponge is able to mold around every crevice. Sounds gross, I know, but we've all experienced it! I don't really know where to store it when it's still damp, though, so it tends to just sit on my chest of drawers next to my makeup basket. The stains are there for life as well, but I've accepted those!

Revlon Super Length Mascara | This was another product in my First Impressions post, and I didn't have strong feelings for this either! It wasn't clumpy and gave my lashes that fluttery effect, like Maybelline's Mega Plush, but I wasn't blown away because I love my Maybelline ones so much. I've been using it every day since, though, so that must say something, and it doesn't flake either. I'll still go to Maybelline first when I need a new mascara, but I'd be happy to repurchase this one.

NYX Butter Lipstick in Root Beer Float (formerly known as Pops) | I've been loving these nude pink shades recently, and the formula of this one is very creamy and pigmented. It lasts considerably well, too, considering how creamy it is. It looks more brown in the tube than it does on the lips, but once on, it's incredibly natural, and not too dissimilar from my natural lip colour. Since taking the photo above, I've also bought the NYX Intense Butter Gloss in Tres Leches, which is a similar colour. I've been loving this as well, so will have to do a swatch post soon.

Rimmel Exaggerate Automatic Lip Liner in Eastend Snob | I've been wearing this with Root Beer Float, so thought I'd talk about it next. They don't look like they'd go well together, but Root Beer Float is more pink than it looks, and this is less pink than it looks. It seems to be a cult classic, and has been compared to Charlotte Tilbury's Pillow Talk. It gives off a nice amount of pigment, and isn't at all scratchy, which is what I associated most lip liners as being. It lasts all day on my lips, and you don't even have to sharpen it. Plus, it's only £3.99.

NYX HD Blush in Taupe | I owned and loved the colour of the old Taupe, but it had no pigment, so I was happy when I got my hands on this. It's so much more pigmented! I actually have to be really careful when contouring with it. It feels a little chalky when swatched with your fingers, but it doesn't come across like that on the face.

Maybelline Creamy Mattes Colour Tattoo in Creme De Rose | My eyelids have some red discolouration to them, so I usually conceal them. They get quite oily, though, so even with a primer, they can crease a little. I bought Creme De Rose hoping to use it as a wash of colour, and start wearing eyeshadow. It ended up being so close to my skin tone, though, that you couldn't even tell I was wearing it. I started using it in place of my concealer instead, and it works really well. It barely creases, and it keeps the oil at bay much better. I've even been using a little under my eyes, where those fine lines are. It's on the cool, pink side, so I wouldn't use it anywhere else on my face, but it works well around my eyes. It's been compared to MAC's Painterly Paint Pot, so if you have your eye on that, try this first and save yourself some money!

Have you tried any of these products? And if you've tried both the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge and Beauty Blender, is the latter worth the extra money?

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