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Sunday, 29 November 2015

November Beauty Favourites

I have quite a few favourite make up things this month. I did try to whittle it down but I couldn't miss out any of these since they are genuinely what I've been enjoying this month. Here we go...

Rimmel The Only One lipstick in 'Naughty Nude' is a lovely moisturising feeling yet long lasting lipstick in a darker nude shade. It's more of a 'my lips but better' shade on me rather than a light nude, being slightly darker than my lips and it goes with pretty much any other make up. It's been a handbag staple since I bought it near the end of October. You can read my post about this lippy here.

Clinique nude pop is a lovely nude-pink lipstick shade that is great for my fair skin tone. It's one that I can slap on without a mirror. I picked up a copy of Glamour magazine early in the month and it came with a choice of Clinique freebies. A travel size version of this lippy was my choice and I have been enjoying it so much that I picked up another magazine to get another-it was a bargain even for a mini size at £2 since they are about half the size of a lipstick that costs £16. They have a lovely smooth, moisturising feeling formula and I already had a couple of other shades. Find it via Boots here of other Clinique stockists.

I picked up the Revolution Flawless Palette on a whim after swatching it in Superdrug near the end of October. You get a lot of small eye shadows and a large mirror for the bargain price of £8. The shadows are well pigmented and my most favourite have been the bronzey shades. For the price they are really nice quality and I've been using this palette a lot for day to day wear when I'm going to work etc. I may write a post on this palette because I do feel like it deserves its own review. Find it via Superdrug here (currently you get a free Salvation palette when you spend £8 as well!).

I picked up MAC All That Glitters/ Cork/ Sketch eye shadows this month, two of which were repurchases after completely using them up. I love using All That Glitters over my eyelid, Cork in the crease and Sketch in the outer corner if I want to deepen things up a bit. You can see swatches in my post here.

Blush wise, I have two favourites, one from my stash and one new. Firstly is the Tarte Amazonian Clay blush palette from last year. It was only when I saw a post about this year's palette that I thought to myself that I hadn't actually used mine from last year all that much so I pulled it out and I've really been enjoying it again. You can't get this one any more but you can get this year's version from Sephora or they do the same formula in singles. Secondly is the Too Faced Love Flush blush in the shade 'Love Hangover', which is just beautiful. You can see my full review and a swatch of that one here.

Another repurchase this month was the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish. I have and like other cleansers but my skin just seems to really like this one. I'm not sure why but whenever my skin is feeling a bit spotty or not at its best, going back to this really seems to help sort it out. The handy thing is that they now sell it in my local Boots so I can just pick it up rather than having to order online. The 100ml size currently has 10% off here and so does the 100ml with 2 muslin cloths here.

Maybelline nail polish 'Divine Wine' was definitely my favourite nail polish this month. I have said this a few times but the formula of the Super Stay nail polishes is my favourite, even over and above much more pricey brands. This is the perfect Autumn/ Winter nail shade if you ask me! You can see swatches of it in my post here.

Which beauty products have been your favourites lately?

Em x

Thursday, 26 November 2015

The Only One?

I've been meaning to post a review on this lipstick for a while because I've had it for maybe a couple of months and it has become quite a favourite. Rimmel claim that their new lipstick formula is 'a no compromise all-in-one lipstick. For long-lasting colour, comfort, moisture and wear' and that once you try it, it will be the only formula you'll ever need. As someone who's pretty keen on lipstick, I'm not sure about that last part, but it's pretty good.

Something I like about the packaging is that there is a little band of colour around the tube that matches the colour of the lipstick. It means that if you had a few of these, it would be much easier to find the shades you were looking for.

I swatched a few shades in store and decided to try the shade 'Naughty Nude', which is a darker nude with a slight pink tone to it-on me it is a genuine 'my lips but better' shade because it is just a little darker than my lips. The one downside to the range is that a lot of the shades are pretty bold and there were only a couple of nudes to choose from.

As for the comfort and moisture claims, they're spot on. The lipstick glides on very smoothly and feels very comfortable to wear. It has quite a bit of 'slip' to it when you rub your lips together at first but settles into a satin finish. It is not at all drying on the lips, making it an easy to wear formula. It really is pretty long lasting in comparison to my other lipsticks of similar texture as well, seeming to turn into a sort of stain after a while. It' a thumbs up from me and I'm already thinking of picking up one or two other shades.

Have you tried the Rimmel 'The Only One' lipstick line?

Em x

Sunday, 22 November 2015

The Cutest Blush!

I have been after one of these Too Faced 'Love Flush' blushes for a while now because they just look so amazingly pretty. The outer packaging is just gorgeous and the actual compact reminds me of a Polly Pocket (anyone remember those?). Then you open it to find the beautiful embossing on the blush's almost too pretty to use! Just look at those little bunnies and flowers, it's a shame to spoil them really!

I chose the shade 'Love Hangover' which is a pretty peachy pink shade with a slight glow to it. It's not matte but it's not full of over the top sparkle either (see swatch below). The finish is flattering on the skin and I think this shade is perfect for everyday wear on my fair skin tone.

The blush is nice to work with-nice and soft and pigmented without being too powdery or overly pigmented. Personally, I like a medium level of pigmentation in blush because too much and you have to be super careful using it, which in the morning rush isn't always ideal.

Too Faced claim that the blush lasts 16 hours which is a pretty tall order if you ask me. Most days when I'm working I need my make up to last around 9-10 hours and it certainly lasts for that long. If I am going somewhere in the evening and not re-doing my make up entirely, I would touch up after work and top up my blush. After around 11-12 hours, the blush is still there but has faded slightly.

The only drawback of these blushes is the cost. The full price is £25 which personally I think is a lot for a blush. I think other than this, the most expensive blushes I own are my Illamasqua ones which come in at £22 full price (although I bought them on sale from ASOS so didn't pay that for them!). I picked up this Too Faced one while it had 20% off on the Debenhams website recently, making it £20, which is still pretty steep. Having said that, you really are getting something that looks beautiful rather than a bog standard blush.

Overall, I am really enjoying this blush and I would say that it's a lovely one if you want to treat yourself or it would make a lovely gift for a makeup junkie (Christmas is on its way!)

You can find it here via Debenhams or here via BeautyBay.

Have you tried the Too Faced Love Flush blushes?

Em x

Saturday, 21 November 2015

MAC Shopping

It's really not very often that I buy anything from MAC and it has been that way for a long time. I went through a phase of thinking I needed a huge collection of MAC eye shadows and it was the brand to beat all brands, but that's really not the case. They have some great products, don't get me wrong, but they are certainly not the be all and end all. However, I recently picked up a few things from the Debenhams website while they had 10% off across beauty. It's rare to get any discount at all on MAC and I had a few things I wanted so I thought I might as well take advantage.

I have been putting off repurchasing 'Cork' and 'All That Glitters' eye shadows for a while after completely finishing them (they will be coming up in m next empties post!). I have some similar shades so have been trying to give those some use instead but they're just not quite right. I find MAC shadows to be quite variable and there are some I've tried that have been very poorly pigmented, but these two are great quality and great everyday shades. I like to wear 'All That Glitters' all over my eyelid and cork in the crease for an easy everyday look.

Thirdly, I picked up 'Sketch' eye shadow, which I haven't owned before but I've had my eye on for a while. It's a deep brown-burgundy type shade, which I think will be lovely for using in the outer corner of my eye to deepen it up (a bit more interesting than a standard dark brown). It would also be nice used with purple shades.

Finally, I picked up a replacement Studio Fix Powder Foundation in shade NC15. I have nearly finished one of these and recently picked up the Too Faced powder foundation for a good deal in TK Maxx to see if it would replace it. However, it doesn't have as much coverage and I do prefer the MAC one for carrying in my bag. I will use the Too Faced for putting over foundation lightly when I want to build the coverage of my foundation so it won't go to waste. I like the MAC one for touching up during the day though because having oily skin, if I have a long day I tend to lose a bit of coverage from my nose and chin. A powder with coverage is the perfect way to top up.

What are your favourite MAC products? Is there anything you'd recommend?

Em x

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Review: Masque Bar Luminizing Charcoal Peel Off Mask

I recently picked up a box of Masque Bar's Luminizing Charcoal Peel Off Masks. Interestingly, the box says these are made in Korea, a country that is becoming well known for its skincare products. Inside the box you get three one use sachets. At £9.99 full price, I thought they were a bit on the pricey side (there are other masks around the same price that come in a tube and I can get a lot more uses from) but as they were on offer for £6, I decided to give them a go and I thought I'd let you know how I got on with them.

The first time I used this mask, I must say that I found it a little difficult to get all of the mask out of the little sachet. I opened it and squeezed the mask bit by bit onto a flat foundation brush (I don't use it for foundation but it's great for masks) and painted it onto my skin. It probably would have been less fiddly to put the mask into a bowl or something first but having said that, it would also waste some of the product.

Being a charcoal mask, it is a black goop and it feels kind of messy to apply but once it's on, it starts to dry reasonably quickly. The packet says to leave it on for 20-30 minutes or until completely dry and I would say it took about 30 for every bit of it to dry.

Then came the scary part...peeling it off. Let me say that this is not one of those wimpy peel off masks that comes off really easily. I lifted the top edge and slowly started to peel it downwards like it says on the box. It was definitely a bit uncomfortable! I mean not extreme pain or anything but it was a bit like ripping a plaster off...but obviously more slowly because it's covering your whole face. The fact that it had such a good grip and felt like this to peel off, however, makes me think that it is actually pulling any gunk out of my pores etc. I think it is great for if your skin is feeling a bit congested and I imagine it would also be great for blackheads.

What this also makes me think is that you need to be VERY careful you don't get it in your eyebrows/ hairline. It does mention this on the packet but it's worth noting that they really do mean it-I can imagine that peeling the stuff away would take your eyebrows or hair with it!

Once I had peeled the whole mask off (99% of it came off in one piece) my skin felt super clean and fresh as well as really soft. There were just a couple of little bits around the edge of my face that had been left behind so I rinsed my face then continued with my usual night time skincare routine.

Overall I think this seems like a good mask for congested skin/ deep cleansing but only if you are prepared to put up with the 'pulling the plaster off' type feeling. I'm not sure whether I'd pay the full price of £9.99 because I still think it's slightly pricey for 3 single applications, but I was pretty happy with it for £6 and am thinking of picking up another pack while they're still on offer.

Have you tried this or the other Masque Bar masks?

Em x

Thursday, 12 November 2015

My New Makeup Brush Cleaning Tool

I was recently browsing the ASOS site and decided to order a dress. Just before I was going to check out, I found these in the 'New in accessories section' (out of stock as I am writing this but hopefully they will restock them soon). Now these things are meant for exfoliating your face, but I immediately thought that they look a lot like tools I've seen people use to clean makeup brushes and I thought I'd give them a whirl.

The pink rubbery pads have a little handle on the back that I can put between my fingers with the pad face up in my hand, enabling me to wiggle my brushes backwards and forwards over the little bumps/ bristles. As you can see from the picture of it in my hand, it is pretty small but it's big enough for me to clean my brushes effectively. The bristles are very fine and super soft. I put a little drop of Dr Bronner's liquid soap onto the pad and swirl my brush around and it really does foam up a lot in comparison to just using my hand. I'm glad I picked these up because they help get the makeup out from deep in the brush bristles more quickly.

You do get two in a pack so if you just wanted them to use for brushes, you could share a pack with a make up loving friend!

What do you think?

Em x

Monday, 9 November 2015

My Current Favourite Autumn Nails

I've had this nail polish combination on my nails for a few weeks now (I have re-painted my nails with the same colours of course...come to think of it, it really should have appeared in my October favourites). You know I love nail polish when I use it that much because being a bit of a nail polish hoarder (guilty as charged!) I have quite a number of them to choose from.

The first polish is the Maybelline Super Stay 7 days nail polish in the shade 'Divine Wine'. I have mentioned these polishes before because they are AMAZING. As in I'm reluctant to wear any other formula amazing. They really do last well...better than any other nail polish I've tried and that includes much more expensive brands. I get about 5 days out of them (not quite 7) with my usual base and top coat but I am quite hard on my nails and usually I only get 2 days, so that's pretty impressive! They also have a wide, flat brush that makes it easy to apply and all the ones I have look pretty even in one coat. I normally do two for a perfect finish but I can get away with one if I'm in a rush and it still look pretty damn good. Add to that the beautiful berry shade of 'Divine Wine' and I'm totally sold-it's the perfect shade for Autumn/ Winter. You can find it via Superdrug for £4.49/ 3 for 2 here.

I have then been adding an accent nail on my ring finger by topping the Maybelline polish with Nails Inc's'Buckingham Square'-a chunky rose gold glitter. I quite like an accent nail...but my dad apparently doesn't. Me and hubby went out for dinner with my family recently and he asked 'Em...why have you got odd nails?'...but then he probably knows as much about nails as he does about fashion if his constant attempts at fashion advice are anything to go by haha...dads huh? Anyway...the shade came as part of the 'Winter Wonderland' set from last Christmas, which due to buying it in a sale in the middle of Summer, I scored for under £6 instead of the full price of £29. You can still find it online (the cheapest I an find it is £15 via the Nails Inc site here).

What do you think? What is your favourite nail polish shade at the moment?

Em x

Thursday, 5 November 2015

A Day Out In Formby

Me and the hubby had a couple of days off work together last week and we decided to visit a place that I hadn't been since I was a kid-the National Trust site in Formby (near to Southport for anyone wondering). There is a little woodland with, as they call it, a 'squirrel walk' (more on that in a minute) and you can walk through the woodland and onto Formby beach.

We definitely enjoyed the day as it was a lovely place to walk around. It seems very bizarre to be driving down a road full of houses then before you know it you're in the middle of a woodland. We spent a good two and a half hours walking through the woodland and along the beach. Boy did I get my exercise in that day-climbing over the sand dunes seemed near impossible with my short little legs-I just kept sliding backwards with each step lol. Good fun though! A walk along the beach was nice even in the chilly Autumn weather because it was still quite bright.

We came across a couple of interesting carvings on the way, each one made from a single tree trunk and based on the farmland near by...

As for the squirrels...well I was slightly dubious after looking at the reviews on Trip Advisor. They were very mixed and some reviewers said they saw no squirrels at all. It turned out that we saw four, which was a little disappointing considering how many there used to be when I was a kid. I even brought a bag of nuts to try to attract them to no avail. It is pretty rare to see red squirrels these days (although we regularly see lots of the grey variety where we live) so it was nice to see them all the same.

I managed to get a few photos of them, although they could be clearer due to the speed they were moving at (I'm sure it wouldn't be an issue for a pro photographer but I'm not one!). I don't think I've ever seen squirrels move so fast!

It's free to walk around the reserve, although there is a £5.60 parking charge, unless you are a National Trust member, in which case it's free. Overall, we enjoyed the day although it was sad to see the squirrel population in serious decline.

Have you ever visited National Trust Formby or anywhere similar?

Em x

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Beauty Empties and Reviews #15

Once again I have a bag full of empty beauty products so I thought it was time to share my mini reviews and whether I will repurchase them. There are quite a lot of products here because I left it a little longer than usual...the bag was actually beginning to overflow! A lot of my skincare products seemed to run out at the same time for some reason so this post is going to be quite skincare heavy!

I finished up a pack of the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Wipes, which I like as wipes go. They're softer than others I've tried and remove make up quickly. I wouldn't recommend wipes as a cleanser alone (except in emergencies). However, I sometimes like to use them to remove the bulk of my foundation etc before washing my face and I have already repurchased these.

The Garnier Simply Essentials 2 in 1 Makeup Remover is my favourite product for removing eye make up. It takes off even heavy make up easily but isn't too greasy feeling like some eye make up removers can be. I have been through loads of these and am already half way through another as this has been sat there empty for quite a while.

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish is one of my favourite cleansers. It just seems to agree with my skin and helps to clear it up when it's a bit spotty. As a result, it's always something I come back to. I'm using a couple of other cleansers at the moment but I need to repurchase this one soon.

Garnier Micellar Water is one of my essentials that I've bought over and over and I'm using another bottle. Similar to the wipes, it's something I like using to remove the bulk of my make up before cleansing properly.

The Superdrug Naturally Radiant Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser is a nice budget alternative to the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish. It's often on offer for around the £3 mark and I've already repurchased. You can read my review and comparison of the two here.

La Roche Posay Serozinc is basically water and zinc in a spray can. It's massively hyped and honestly I don't think it's the miracle product some people claim it is, but the zinc does help with irritation and it's a nice hydrating toner to use before your moisturiser so I have repurchased.

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Cream Wash is a nice morning cleanser for those with spot prone skin. It contains salicylic acid with is good for my skin type but its creamy texture means it doesn't dry my skin out like other face washes for oily/ spot prone skin. This is something I've used for years and continue to do so.

Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Scrub is a nice scrub that I use about once a week. It isn't too harsh but still gives a good exfoliation. I use the Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Pads in between the scrub, every evening after cleansing. They are a nice chemical exfoliator that are quick and easy to use and my skin responds well to them, again repurchased.

I really like Aussie conditioners in general and I picked up the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Colour Deep Treatment for a bargainous £1 in my local £1 shop. I don't have coloured hair but I find that conditioners for coloured hair are just more nourishing and it's fine to use them on non-coloured hair. I enjoyed this one and already have another bottle because I picked up 2.

I have finished 2 cans of Batiste Dry Shampoo, one in the Eden scent (medium size) and one in the Tropical scent (small size). I always have a can of Batiste on the go as it's an essential for me and these two are my favourite scents.

Percy and Reed Finishing Polish is another of my hair essentials and I've just started on another tube. It's a thick cream with a light hold that's a good alternative to hairspray. I scrunch it into my wavy/ curly hair for a bit of hold and frizz control but it's nice on straight hair too.

Aromatherapy Associates Bath and Shower Oils are a lovely relaxing treat. They are super expensive for a bath product but I'd recommend them if you can pick them up on sale like I did. I enjoyed this little set of them and you can see my full review here. I am now using my full size bottle of the 'relax deep' scent, that I picked up in the same sale. 

As a rule, I really like Sanctuary Spa products but this Sanctuary Body Scrub, which was a mini from a gift set, was a bit disappointing, It's more like a shower gel with some scrubby bits rather than a proper scrub. If that's what you're after then you might like this but I prefer my scrubs to me more abrasive so would definitely purchase something else instead of this.

Sure Crystal Invisible Antiperspirant is something I buy a lot because like it says, it doesn't leave any marks on clothing-something that I appreciate!

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder is an essential for me, it keeps my skin matte for a good length of time and doesn't look cakey.

Revlon Colorstay Foundation is something I always go back to because it lasts well on my skin and I can get a brilliant colour match-the shade Buff is pretty much perfect for me at the moment.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance is a great eye shadow primer that stops eye shadows from creasing or fading. I would happily use this again but I have a couple of other eye primers to use so won;t be buying it again straight away.

Collection Lasting Finish Concealer is a great long lasting, high coverage concealer for redness/ spots. I don't use it under my eyes because it feels a bit too dry there but it's something I've repurchased over and over and will continue to.

Max Factor All Day Primer is again something I've been through a few of. It helps my make up last doesn't feel greasy like some primers can and contains SPF20, which is enough if I'm just running errands/ going to work etc and am not spending much time outside.

Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in 'Seductive Pink' is one my favourite blushes ever. It has a slight sheen to it and is a nice everyday shade for fair skin. The formula is so easily blended that it almost blends itself so it's a good option for when you're in a rush-I just sort of slap it on and go! It's rare that I use a whole blush up so the fact that I've finished and repurchased it tells you just how good it is.

Have you tried any of these products?  Which beauty products have you used up recently?

Em x