Thursday, 30 January 2014

Product Review : Revlon Colour Burst Matte Balm

I'd never really gotten into the crayon style lipstick/balm craze as they were always too sheer and glossy for my liking but when I first saw these on blogs a couple of weeks ago I was hooked without even seeing them in the flesh!  I finally managed to get to Boots to buy some of these about a week after they were released. Luckily there was a 3 for 2 promotion on Revlon aswell!

Shade 235 - Mischevious
I'd describe this as an apricot orange shade.  

Shade 210 - Unapologetic
A coral pinky red.

Shade 220 - Showy
I'd describe this as a soft fuschia, it still has that brightness but without the shocking pink.

Unfortunately my photographs don't do the colours of these balms any justice whatsoever...just imagine them that bit brighter.  Even better go swatch them all on your arm and spend 10 minutes trying to decide which ones to get.  It's not as easy as you'd think!

The formulation of these balms is fantastic for being a matte finish.  They glide on so smoothly and your lips feel moisturised all day but without the feels almost as if there isn't even anything on your lips.  I managed to wear these whilst drinking two bottles of juice and eating the dregs of a cake mix (naughty I know) without it going patchy.  There was slight fading of the inside edges but nothing obvious like you would expect.

Overall I'm head over heels in love with these and if they ever get discontinued I'll feel a pain similar to that when I saw the last Harry Potter movie (I still don't think I'm quite over it).

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Beauty Haul

Thought I'd do a post on all the beauty related purchases I've made over the last month or so...and there's been quite a few!  I've tried out most of these products so I'll give you reviews on them aswell :)

By the way...I've crazily decided to post every day for 1 week (on top of my hectic uni/gym/work schedule eep!).  The first post was yesterdays beauty wishlist so keep checking back for my new things *kisses*

First up is the wonder of Illamasqua. How beautiful is that packaging?!? *le sigh*

I hadn't really been planning on buying anything during the Illamasqua sale until I saw a post (on Instagram I think) stating this nail polish, called Rare, was in the sale...I was on that site so fast I nearly got whiplash!  This has got to be one of my favourite spring/summer shades for nails and I am always seen with either a luminous yellow or pink, or a pretty lilac.  They just look so damn tasty with a tan!
I also plumped for a foundation as I haven't really used any high end foundations apart from MAC Face and Body, and Studio Fix Fluid.  This is a cream foundation which is completely different for me but on swatching on my hand the texture feels quite light and not at all cakey. I got shade CF133 which is classed as neutral.  Looking forward to trying this out in the next couple of days as I only received these on Monday.  Hurry because their sale ends at 2pm today!  Both were total bargains at £5 for the nail polish (normally £14.50) and the foundation was also £5 (normally £23)

Whoever came up with the concept of the Naked palettes at Urban Decay is a god/goddess...I think the Naked 3 palette has been in the hauls of pretty much every single beauty blogger over the last couple of months and with good reason.  Such a beautiful palette on the outside with incredibly pigmented powders of which pretty much every single one is suitable for everyday wear.  I'll be posting some of my favourite Naked 3 looks in the next couple of weeks so keep those peppers peeled!  I also decided to get the All Nighter Fixing Spray.  I've never used a fixing spray before, I used to use hairspray (what?!?) because it was cheap and I already had it but then I realised how stupid it face always felt really sticky and stiff afterwards, not nice at all.  This is such a fantastic product especially with my oily skin.  My makeup stays pretty much perfect - especially in my troublesome t-zone - but it has yet to have the ultimate test...a 12 hour shift on a busy antenatal and postnatal ward.  That shall come soon enough!

Boots is my mecca and ultimate weakness.  It's very rare nowadays that I will go in and not come out with something...even when I swear I won't buy anything.  Firstly I purchased the L'Oreal Paris Studio Line #TXT Volume Supersizing Spray. What.  A.  Mouthful.  This was a slight impulse buy after I saw Zoella rave about it in a video.  It really is pretty awesome.  It's meant to give the same effect as backcombing your hair but without the damaging effects.  I found it worked really well on my thick hair and if it needs a boost you just give your roots a little rub.

I picked up two Maybelline items - the Fit Me Foundation Stick in shade 315 Soft Honey and the Falsies Volume Express Mascara.  I bought the foundation in a darker shade than my skin tone to use for contouring as I've tried powder contouring but couldn't seem to get it quite right.  It works perfectly for this purpose and blends well to stop it being too harsh.  The Falsies Mascara claims to give the flicked out effect of false eyelashes but I found it difficult to achieve this.  It gives great volume and length to my lashes but it doesn't fan my lashes out much if at all.

I also picked up a Benefit mini set that contained Bad Gal Lash, Stay Don't Stray Eyeshadow and Concealer Primer, and High Beam which is the main reason for my purchase(it was only £9 and I like the Bad Gal Mascara already).  I like the High Beam but I feel like it can look a bit too light and obvious on my skin depending on if I have contoured or not.

Last week I picked up Essie's Play Date nail polish purely because it is a more vibrant shade of lilac.  Do I need any other reason? As we all know Essie nail polish are fantastic to apply and generally long lasting so I'm not going to say much more about it.

I finally picked up 3 of the Revlon Colour Burst Matte Balms and I'll be doing a review of these tomorrow with swatches.  I decided to also buy the No7 Brush Cleanser after seeing a review of it on Nouvelle Daily as a method of spot cleaning.  I used to have the Kryolan brush cleaner that I bought during my makeup training which is more of an alcohol based cleaner and would dry my brushes out quite a lot so hopefully this will be a lot gentler.

The above were slight impulse buys during the SpaceNK sale.  I picked up the Aromatherapy Associates Revive Morning Shower and Bath Oil as I've heard so many good things about their range of oils.  I have yet to use this as it's such a tiny bottle but it smells glorious!  That was actually a planned purchase however the Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Sticks were more of an impulse purchase.  I had already heard great things about them on blogs but was torn over whether to try them.  When I saw them for half price on Boxing Day I just had to have them.  They are so easy to use and the shades are gorgeous ranging from a pale gold to a dark khaki and metallic chocolate shade.  They blend out well but you have to work quick to smudge them out if you want that look.  Lastly I plumped for a Tangle Teezer as I always looked at them in Boots and thought I'd better pick one up in SpaceNK since I was already spending a small fortune...girl logic.

I have been using little tester sachets of the Glam Glow Super Mud Mask that I got on their website after hearing such amazing reviews of it on YouTube but I felt it didn't make that much of a difference in my skin and as such decided to try out some drugstore masks for a bit. I picked up the Superdrug Naturally Radiant Brightening Renewal Face Mask and the Una Brennan Superfacialist Rose Hydrate Intensive Moisture Mask after reading Kate's (gh0stparties) post on her current skin detox.  I've only used these masks once so far so I'll post a more detailed review once I have more of an opinion about them.

Hope you've enjoyed this post and remember to keep checking back over the next week to see a new post every day!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Beauty Wishlist

ThisWorks Dream Believers set - currently in the SpaceNK sale for £10

The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-Oil - released 28th January

Topshop Nails in Precocious £5

Topshop Nails in Song and Dance £6

Avon Gel Finish Nailwear - launch April at £7 each (picture from BritishBeautyBlogger)

Origins VitaZing Moisturiser with Mangosteen £28

Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade £15

Muji Acrylic Storage Drawers, 2 drawer £10, 3 drawer £17.95 5 drawer £24.95
I know these two aren't strictly beauty items but I've decided I want to get something to keep my everyday makeup handy but my lipstick collection is also getting out of hand so I need some I get the 2 drawers and use the new space in my storage for my lipsticks or get the five drawer just in case I want bigger storage in the future or go in between with the 3 drawer?

Decisions decisions... 

Friday, 24 January 2014

Fashion Friday : The January Wishlist

This post is VERY picture heavy...luckily for my bank balance I won't be buying the vast majority of these items but hey, a girl can dream right?


Faux Fur Front Dolman Top £32

Navy Boucle Oversized Coat £65

Pink Box Pleat Mini Skirt £25

Gold and Pastel Bangle Pack £25

Pale Blue Gem Stone Statement Necklace £12

Pink Glitter Vanity Case £25


Rose White Base Leopard Print Running Shorts £12

Carmen Ponte Blazer with Sequin Sleeves £30

Faith Animal Print Shift Dress £15

Casey Chain Print Open Back Woven Cami £15

Layla Wool Look Boyfriend Coat £40


Bonitta Origami Mini Dress £24.99

Sakiko Chiffon Slip Dress £19.99

Milene Contrast Stripe Cigarette Trousers £24.99

Laetita Faux Leather Asymmetric Skirt In Dusky Pink £19.99


Whistles Jumper in Magic Mountain Print £125

Three Floor Back to Black Dress £195

ASOS Cropped Blazer with Clean Lapel £45

Kate Spade Metro Pink Watch £195


Crinkled Skirt £24.99

Woven Top £24.99

Claw Ring £2.99

Forever 21

Futuristic Asymmetrical Dolman Top £14.75

Street Chic Cropped Sweatshirt £14.75

Subtle Pattern Mini Skirt £16.75


Crepe Joggers £40

Lilo Oversized Square Sunglasses £16


Mohair Coat £129
I've actually been lusting after this coat since before Christmas and it's driving me insane that I can't afford it :(

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Skin Care Love-In - The Daily Edition

I have a confession...

Until recently (by that i mean the last 6 months) I would always use face wipes to remove my makeup *cringes* and not very well might I add...if at all!  Yeah I don't feel much better after that haha!

Anyhoos, within the last 4-6 months I have become a self confessed skin care junkie! I seriously cannot get enough of the stuff and as you are about to see, I have quite a lot...according to my mum anyway.

I'm going to start by going through my basic morning routine then my evening additions and substitutes.

So in the mornings, I never used to cleanse my face apart from giving it a quick rinse in the shower.  This is what my new routine looks like at the moment (thanks to the goddess that is Caroline Hirons - her blog is here).  Hope you've got a cup of tea ready!

My current cleanser of choice is the Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean 3-in-1 Wash Off Deep Purifying Cleanser available from Boots for just £6.  I had been using a gel cleanser in the morning up until Christmas but that has since been relegated to my gym bag (it's antibacterial and I get a bit sweaty ewww).  I just rub this straight onto my skin for about 30 seconds and remove with a clean flannel soaked in warm water.  This makes my skin feel really clean and refreshed first thing and has a really soft scent that reminds me of fruit yoghurts that wakes me up.

Next up is the REN Clarifying Toning Lotion available from M&S and SpaceNK for £18.  This is an exfoliating toner which is best suited to oily and combination skins, helping to remove dead skin, unclog pores and reduce oiliness.  It's also antibacterial so it aids in preventing breakouts too.  I noticed an amazing difference in my skin after using this for only 2 weeks.  It's still not perfect but we're on the right track now and I no longer hate my skin so we both win :) Apparently it can make your skin feel a bit tingly the first few times you use it but I didn't get any.  I got this bottle at the start of December and I use it twice a day so it's lasted me really well.  

The toner can make your skin feel a little dry afterwards so I like to follow it up with a spritz of La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water which is available in a mini version of 50g for £4 or the full size 150g for £7.50 from Boots. I just let this sink into my skin itself whilst I brush my teeth.

I can get quite a few spots of cystic acne along my jawline nowadays.  My blemishes (which used to spring up anywhere) have reduced hugely since I started using this routine so unfortunately I can't pinpoint exactly what has helped but without these next two products I feel I'd still be back in that dreaded teenage 'pizza face' phase blergh.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I. Targeted Breakout Corrector (£9.50 from Boots) is a beautifully light creamy gel that is pretty self explanatory.  I apply it all along my jawline as well as on individual pimples to prevent any more horrors erupting throughout the day.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (currently £11.62 in Boots) - are you sensing a theme here? - is now one of the products I don't think I'll ever be able to live a normal life without.  As opposed to the targeted corrector mentioned above, the duo seems to be a cult product within the oily skinned afficionados.  I first tried this as a tester and with not using it for about 1 week after it was finished I could notice the texture of my skin slipping back to its terrible ways.  I apply this all over my face and I find it help to smooth out my skin and unclogs my pores.  It has to be noted thought that the whole Effaclar range can be very drying so it isn't recommended for anyone with dry skin.

A recent holy grail addition to my routine that I had been meaning to try for quite some time is the much lauded Hydraluron by Indeed Labs.  It is a bit of a card melter at £24.99 (I was lucky enough to get it on offer from Boots but they do have a mini sampler set that contains two of their other products more suited for anti-ageing that is a bit cheaper if you want to try it out) but it is AMAZING!  The concept is that it contains ultra-high quality hyaluronic acid which can hold 1000 times it's own weight in water.  You only have to use a tiny amount all over your face before your moisturiser and it soaks up any water that is in your moisturiser and holds it beneath the surface of your skin affectively plumping up your skin and keeping it hydrated for longer.  This has been amazing for me because although I have oily skin it is also dehydrated (not to be confused with dry by the way) and I've noticed a difference in the smoothness and radiance of my skin since I introduced this.

At the moment I'm rotating between two daytime moisturisers.  The first is No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Day Cream.  I'm expecting you've heard of the serum of the same range (unless you're outwith the UK that is) and I bought this as part of a set in the Boots sale - I won't go into the whole details of the set...this post is long enough!  It's basically an anti-wrinkle moisturiser that is aimed at those of us lucky enough to still be in our late 20's.  Anti-ageing creams can be a bit rich for oily skins but this one is really light and leaves my skin feeling refreshed and glowing.

The final item in my daytime routine ('Finally!' I hear you cheer) is my second moisturiser in rotation.  The Rodial Glamtox Day is again an anti-ageing moisturiser that I received in the January edition of my Birchbox.  It contains micro-injected hyaluronic acid spheres and myrrh extract to hydrate and reduce expression fine lines.  This is another lovely feeling cream that is surprisingly light for being anti-ageing and absorbes into my skin amazingly.  Luckily I got this as a sample but I might just keep it in my mind for when my purse is in better shape and I don't need to money to buy important food (available from SpaceNK for £75 for 50ml - wowzers!)

Now onto my evening additions and substitutes...

If I've been wearing makeup - which is most days to be honest - I double cleanse to make sure every scrap of makeup is off of my face.

I'll start off by removing my eye makeup and the bulk of my foundation etc using L'oreal Paris Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution (normally retails around the £4.99 mark but it's often on offer in Boots, Superdrug and supermarkets).  This is a water-like solution that is amazing at removing makeup as you just need to hold it on your eyes for about 5-10 seconds and it swipes off most eye makeup in one go.  The only downsides I think is the bottle is a little awkward and it can sting the eyes a bit if you have too much on the cotton pads.

My second cleanse (single if it's been a makeup free day) is the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm (£21) which I use in place of the Soap and Glory cleanser.  This is a solid balm that looks a little bit like a candle but you only need a small amount and when you massage it onto your face it transforms into a smooth oil.  I think it's amazing at dissolving any mascara that might be left on my eyes since it's hard for me to tell with having naturally black lashes.  I remove with the same flannel I use in the morning (that one is pretty clean anyways) soaked in hand hot water.  After using it my skin feels incredibly clean and smooth.  This is followed by my REN toner, LRP thermal water, and LRP effaclar targeted breakout and Duo that I use in the mornings.  

Before applying my evening serum and moisturiser I have recently started using the No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Eye Cream that was also in the set I bought in the Boots sale.  I like to use this before my moisturiser to make sure it actually manages to get into the skin around my eyes rather than sitting on top of other creams.

That No7 set is getting a lot of use! Next up is the No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Serum.  This is a much richer serum than the Hyraluron that I use in the mornings.  Admittedly I don't have any wrinkles or fine lines bar my smile lines so I probably don't need to be using this many anti-ageing products but it doesn't hurt to start early if your skin agrees with it right?

The final step is - guess what? - No7 Protect and Perfect Instense Night Cream.  I have been thinking about finding a more hydrating moisturiser that is suited to my skin type but I thought I might as well try the whole range out as the set was cheaper than the serum alone.

So that is my ENTIRE skin regime for both morning and evening...well done if you're still here - you can go lie down in a minute.  Maybe this post has given you some ideas of things that might work for your own skin, and if you have any suggestions of products I might like I welcome you with open arms into the world of skin care nutheads *kisses*.
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