Monday, 30 May 2016

Lush Strawberry Feels Forever Massage Bar

The Lush massage bars can not only be used in multiple ways, but are a dream for someone who's lazy when it comes to moisturising. I simply step away from the water when showering, apply one of these over my body, and then I'm left with soft skin for two or three days. No rubbing in, while standing in the cold, is required. You can also cut them up and use them as bath melts, by the way.

Strawberry Feels Forever, if you haven't already guessed, has a creamy strawberry fragrance, very similar to that of Peeping Santa. It's more strawberry milkshake than actual strawberry, but it's pleasant all the same. Just like the other massage bars Lush has to offer, it contains cocoa and shea butter, along with various oils, and leaves my skin feeling incredibly moisturised. I will say that it decreases in size fairly quickly, though, and can be difficult to grip as it gets smaller.

I prefer this one to Pearl (review here), and will probably buy it again in the future, but it hasn't topped Each Peach and Ro's Argan, which are my favourite body conditioning products from Lush.

You can purchase Strawberry Feels Forever (75g) for £5.95, online and in store.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

The Best Nude Pencil For Pale Complexions (And It's Only £1.50)

Nude eyeliners are not only great for applying to your waterline and making your eyes appear bigger and brighter, but they make for great blemish concealers as well. It's best to wipe them after use, or have separate pencils for each task, for sanitary reasons, but it really is worth it. 

I've been using Rimmel's Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner in Nude (second swatch) and Look Beauty's (remember this brand?) Long-Last Liner Eye Brightener (third swatch) for a while now. They look incredibly orange on my incredibly pale arm, but they're really not that bad on my face.

Still, I've found a pencil much better in the last couple of weeks, and it's from the brand Essence. The Essence Long Lasting Eye Pencil in Say Hi Light is just £1.50, and is lighter in shade. This makes my eyes look brighter, and conceals my blemishes more than the other two. It's creamy and pigmented, but what has impressed me the most is how long lasting it really is. It stays on my waterline all day, and when it came to removing the swatches above, it was the last one standing. To top it all off, it's mechanical, so you don't need to sharpen it.

I've already bought another because I know it's going to get a lot of use, and I'm always worried brands will discontinue my favourite products!

Essence products can be found at Wilko, online and in store. If you've yet to check them out, I'd recommend you do so. You never know, you may end up finding an all time favourite, costing you just the loose change in your pocket.

Monday, 23 May 2016

What's in My Bag?

I've had this post sat in my drafts for a couple months now, and it's about time I changed that! So, 'what's in my bag?' posts and videos are classics, but I've yet to do one in the seven years I've been blogging. I've only recently left education (It's nearly been two years; I need to let go), and have only used bags in the past for this purpose, which wouldn't have been interesting to see. However, I now have a bag filled with things for those 'what if' and 'just in case' scenarios, which rarely occur.

The most important thing in my bag is my wallet, clearly. My sister bought me the Kate Spade Cedar Street Lacey Wallet in Cy Blue for my birthday (post here), and I absolutely love it. It's so pretty!

Then you have my Kindle Paperwhite (post here), which is still one of the best things I've bought, a shopper bag, pen, and tissues, which are all practical items to have in one's bag.

The hand gel, hand cream, hair brush, and serum really belong in my cosmetics bag, but they don't fit, so tend to just sit at the bottom of my bag at the moment. I know the serum seems a little much, but since using my new straighteners, my hair has been prone to becoming more static. This OGX Coconut Milk Serum smells incredible, by the way.

This photo doesn't do my tacky mermaid cosmetics bag justice, but inside includes:

Painkillers, tampons, floss, mints, gum, oil blotting sheets, my Travalo, concealer, a lip product or two, and a Tic Tac case containing plasters, a nail file, hair ties, and grips.

Some would say excessive, but I'm going with prepared, and I think that's where we'll leave today's post!

Thursday, 12 May 2016


I don't really know where this post is heading, but I just wanted to talk about eyebrow products because I love them so much. Sad, but true. 

When I first started filling my brows in, I used a NYX Brow Powder Duo in Taupe/Ash. I think I won it in a giveaway, and then proceeded to buy my next one from eBay because NYX was extremely difficult to get hold of back then. Then, for years, I used ELF's Studio Eyebrow Kit (now £4.50). I went through a few in Medium, then found that Light was a better match for me. As you can see from the photo above, it's still very much loved, and I even have a back up in my drawer.

My favourite eyebrow product formulation now, though, has to be the pomade. I bought the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Soft Brown a couple years ago for £15 because there was nothing else like it on the market. By the time it started to dry out, other, more affordable, brands had released their own versions. Freedom Makeup's Eyebrow Pomades are just £5 (and their Duo Eyebrow Powders are only £3), and I have them in Soft Brown and Medium Brown. I also have the Illamasqua Precision Brow Gel in Strike, which was in a set I bought for a bargainous price. I haven't used this as much because it's quite dark, but it'd probably suit my eyebrows now that I've dyed them a darker colour.

My second favourite eyebrow formulation at the moment is gel. Not a solid gel, and not the gel which comes with a wand, but the almost liquid gel that comes in a squeeze tube. I have the Makeup Revolution Ultra Aqua Brow Tint in Light (£3) and NYX Eyebrow Gel in Brunette (£5.50). The NYX one is more intense than the Makeup Revolution one, and you have to work quicker, but with a small amount and the right brush, it's easy to use. I tend to just put a little on the back of my hand or the wipe I'm using to spot clean my brushes.

I'm still getting used to pencils. I'm used to using a brush for a softer finish, so find that pencils can look a little harsh sometimes. I have the Makeup Revolution Arch & Shape in Medium (£3.50) and the NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Brunette (£7). The NYX one has high ratings and so many positive reviews, so if you're looking for a pencil, I'd recommend checking this one out.

I've recently bought two eyebrow mascaras. One is the new Soap & Glory Archery Volu-Boost Brow Fibre Gel in Talk of The Brown (£8), and then I dyed my brows darker a few days later, so bought L'Oreal's Brow Artist Plumper in Medium/Dark (£5.99). Both do a similar job, but you receive more than twice the amount of product in the L'Oreal one, which happens to be cheaper. Brow mascaras are probably my least favourite brow product, just because I prefer ones which do more, but they're good for layering on top to keep the hairs in place. You really need to have hair there in the first place, though.

In the photo above, I'm wearing Freedom's Eyebrow Pomade in Soft Brown, which is my go to product at the moment. Excuse the lack of makeup on the rest of my face!

I'm wearing the same product in the bottom photo of these two, but because they were taken on my phone, the colour is coming up cooler. I just wanted to show you some before and after shots of filling my eyebrows in.

I would love to know what your favourite eyebrow product category is, and if you prefer a natural or defined brow.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Candle Belle Mega Melt Box | May 2016

I like May's Candle Belle Mega Melt Box more than April's, thankfully. There's a couple I'm not a fan of, but the rest are lovely. My three month trial has now ended, so I'm able to cancel if I want to, but I'll discuss this at the end. Again, if you'd like to see how Candle Belle compares to Flamingo Candles, click here.

French Lavender | A lavender lover's dream. Top notes of luscious lavender are complemented by Italian bergamot, eucalyptus leaves, citrus zest, clary sage, nordic pine, cool camphor, and lily of the valley. The smell of lavender makes me urge, so I haven't even opened this one! Off to a great start, aren't we? It gets better!

Raspberry Ripple | A fantastic, creamy scent. Ripe, sweet raspberry top notes combine with strong, true vanilla ice cream middle notes, and subtle hints of coconut and toasted meringue. It's no surprise that I like this one. The vanilla ice cream notes are more prominent than the raspberry, and I'd like it more if the raspberry was stronger, but it admittedly smells like the sweet treat.

Home Sweet Home | Top notes of cinnamon and clove are complemented by delicate hints of rose, ylang ylang and freshly brewed tea. This homely scent is sure to create a welcoming atmosphere in any space. This is the other one I probably won't be burning. I don't really like clove, and tend to stay away from warm, spicy scents.

Red Delicious | This strong and true apple scent is simply amazing. A juicy and sweet fruit fragrance, set against verdant greenery. I prefer the Granny Smith melt for its tartness, but this is also good. It really does smell like an apple, and it's so much better than Flamingo Candles' offering of an apple scent.

Vanilla Chai | Just the right amount of gourmet chair tea leaves and vanilla milk, with hints of perky ginger and sweet cinnamon. A hearty scent, perfect for cosying up with a loved one on a chilly night. So, you know I'm not one for warm scents, but this is actually okay. The ginger is more prominent than the cinnamon.

Loving Spell | A gorgeous parfum based scent. Tantalising and complex, leading with sweet mandarin, bergamot and tangerine, middle notes of fresh peach, strawberry and raspberry, all set against musk. I really, really like this one. It basically smells like tropical juice!

Lemon Meringue | Top notes of natural, true lemon, balanced with comforting bakery tones reminiscent of a perfect pastry crust, and just a hint of toasted meringue. Smells good enough to eat. Of course I was going to love this one! Lemon meringue is one of my favourite desserts. It smells like the real thing, and I'm currently smelling it on an empty stomach, which is torture.

Balmy Beaches | Recreate the ultimate beach experience with this nostalgic floral scent. A balmy breeze of sweet orange flower, lemony citrus, fresh lavender and powder musk. This one is okay, and I'll burn it in small pieces, but it's not my favourite. The floral notes are very heavy.

Baby Powder | Delicate citrus tones unfold to reveal a blend of soft florals in this innocent fragrance. A velvety base of musk and powdery sweetness lingers for a soothing undertone. I've had baby powder scents from a few wax brands, and I don't usually love them because they can be quite heavy, but this surprised me. It's sweeter and more uplifting than baby powder tends to be.

I love having a subscription box delivered each month, and would highly recommend Candle Belle's one, but I've cancelled mine. This is simply because I own far too many now. Before this, I was subscribed to Flamingo Candles for a while, and I also have a few jars filled with Yankee Candle and Marshmallow Blends melts. I have placed one last order with Candle Belle, though, with the scents I've yet to receive and really want to try. You can buy a one off bundle, with nine scents of your choosing, for £12.50. Each melt is 50g, so you're really getting a lot for your money. If you decide to try them, you won't be disappointed.

Friday, 6 May 2016

An Essence Haul | First Impressions & Swatches

I'd never taken an interest in Essence before this week. I just thought it was a cheap, childish brand, which is ridiculous because I like other brands with a similar price point. Anyway, since getting into wearing lip liner, I'd seen the Essence ones being spoken about a few times, so thought I'd pop into my local Wilkinson (Wilko) and have a look at the stand.

Everything above was £1-£4, which isn't bad at all. The packaging looks a little cheap, but I've seen far worse. The products also have that cheap smell to them, which doesn't bother me too much, but thought it was worth mentioning.

The reason for going to the stand in the first place was to pick up a lip liner or two. I ended up walking away with 06 Satin Mauve, which is a natural, muted pink shade. It's slightly harder in texture than the Rimmel Exaggerate ones, but this was £1 instead of £3.99. I read that they used to be softer, but Essence wanted to make them act more as a lip liner, which I get. I've used it once so far, and think it does the job perfectly well.

There were a lot of lipsticks, separated into different formulations. I went with two shades from the Long Lasting Nude range, which were £2.30 each. 03 Come Naturally is the cooler of the two, and is a mauvey shade. 05 Cool Nude is a pink toned nude. I like them a lot so far, but I think it's pretty hard to get a lipstick wrong. The formula doesn't feel any different to a normal lipstick, so I don't know where the 'long lasting' part comes into it, but they're creamy and comfortable on the lips.

Do the next lip products look familiar to you? The Liquid Lipsticks are £2.50 each, and are practically the same as the Maybelline Colour Elixir Lip Lacquers. I have 02 Beauty Secret, which is an everyday pink, and 06 Make A Statement, which I'd describe as being a daytime rosy red. Just like the Maybelline ones, they're a pigmented, balmy gloss. I like them, but I don't think they should have been called liquid lipsticks. They're not.

I barely wear eyeshadow, but the All About Nudes Eyeshadow Palette (£4) looked too pretty to pass up, and I thought my mum would appreciate it. I think it's a great little palette so far. The bottom champagne shade has a pearl finish, and the bottom taupe shade is shimmery, but the rest are satin. They're buttery soft and not chalky, and the pigment payoff isn't bad either. It's not mind blowing, but I think that's okay for these types of shades.

I also picked up an eyeshadow in 19 The Grammy Goes Glammy, which is a shimmery champagne, and was just £1. I don't think the shimmer is fine enough to be used as a highlight on the face, which is what I thought I could use it for at first, but they had a couple other similar shades. Like the eyeshadows in the palette, it's buttery soft.

Long Lasting Nude Lipstick in 05 Cool Nude, Long Lasting Nude Lipstick in 03 Come Naturally, Liquid Lipstick in 02 Beauty Secret, Liquid Lipstick in 06 Make A Statement, Lip Liner in 06 Satin Mauve, Eyeshadow in 19 The Grammy Goes Glammy, All About Nudes Eyeshadow Palette.

I don't know if any of these will become all time favourites, but I'm pleased with what I bought. I'm considering going back to the stand and trying a couple more things anyway, which says something!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Lip Lining

If you'd told me a year ago that I'd be wearing lip liners, and nude ones at that, on nearly a daily basis, I wouldn't have believed you. When I've thought of lip liners in the past, I've thought of overdrawn lips and hard, scratchy pencils, but much like lip glosses, they've come a long way.

The Rimmel Exaggerate Automatic Lip Liners are probably the most talked about on the highstreet, with high praise and comparability to more expensive ones. They glide on with ease, aren't patchy, and last most of the day on my lips. One of the best things about them, though, is that they don't need sharpening. I bought Eastend Snob first because everyone raves about this shade. It's an everyday pink, which is very pretty indeed. I then wanted something a little more nude, and while Addiction looked a little too brown in some swatches, I went ahead and bought it anyway. I'm so glad I did because it's much more natural than I thought it'd be. At £3.99 each, these pencils are a steal.

I've bought a lot of NYX products recently, and one of them includes the Slide On Lip Pencil in Nude Suede Shoes, which was £5.50. Like the Rimmel ones, it's very creamy, maybe even a little more so. The only thing I don't like about it is that it needs to be sharpened, which wastes product. NYX offers a mechanical lip liner, which I'll no doubt be buying in a couple shades, but I liked Nude Suede Shoes the most out of the swatches I saw.

I love how a lip liner can make a lipstick last longer, or even be worn on its own, and I love how it allows you to create a fuller lip if you want to. I can really notice a difference when I don't draw an outline now.

The top left photo shows my bare lips, top right with NYX's Nude Suede Shoes, bottom left with Rimmel's Addiction, and bottom right with Rimmel's Eastend Snob. I haven't edited or colour corrected them at all, but I'd say they're probably a little deeper in person. I'm also wearing a lip balm under all of them to prevent any unwelcome dryness (they're still lip liners, after all).

Your lip liner recommendations are most welcome!

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