30 May 2015

Topshop Lip Polish in Harness

Another fairly new addition to my growing lipstick collection, and this one is actually from someone i didn't think i'd ever buy make up from. If it wasn't for the lovely Hannah Maggs, on Youtube, i never would have known about this little beauty. I saw her wearing this on her vlogs, and then again on her blog, and after going to Wantfeed - the new app her husband Stef has been working on - i decided it needed to be mine.

I've never tried any Topshop make up before now, but i have swatched other lipsticks before and just not loved them. However, when i swatched this i loved the sort-of gel like texture and the sheer application. With colours like this Topshop Lip Polish in Harness, i quite like it when they're more sheer as they're just a little less intimidating. It can be built up, so if you want an almost opaque finish it can be worked up to that. In the bullet, this does look almost bright red but when applied it becomes this beautiful raspberry pink shade, which i really love. I'm not really a red lips kinda gal, so this is perfect for me as it's a pop of colour but not quite as bright as a red.

Because of it's glossy finish, it doesn't last forever but i'm happy to touch up and i love that it's not at all drying. Once it's settled into the lips, it keeps some of it's gloss but it works really well and becomes a bit of a stain. I haven't tried any other shades from the Lip Polish line but i can highly recommend this one, and at only £8 i might have to try a few more.


27 May 2015

NUXE Reve De Miel Lipbalm

A few weeks ago i told you about my dry lip fighting duo but something i forgot to mention is this little beauty. The other two products that i spoke about are what i use over night as more of a lip mask, but this is what i use during the day.

I have read about the Nuxe Rev de Miel lipbalm on so many blogs for the last couple of years, but the original came in a pot and for something i want to use day to day i'm just not really a pot lipbalm kinda gal. So when i saw that it came in stick form, i was all over it. This is what i keep in my bag to keep my lips soft, day-to-day. There's something about it that's kind of oily, but weirdly not in a bad way. The product sort of melts onto the lips rather than coating them and initially it makes them feel very glossy, but that soon works it's way into the skin.

It just feels really nourishing and keeps my lips from becoming sore and dry at work, thanks to the air conditioning/heating/no-air-moving situation i've got going on at work. I have read that people found this waxy and that it just sat on the lips, but i've had the complete opposite experience with this product so i think you'd just have to try it for yourself to find out if it's for you.


23 May 2015

Ren Evercalm Gentle Cleaning Gel

This little beauty is what i have now decided on as my favourite cleanser of late, and this is what i use alongside my Clarisonic, which i told you my experience with in last week's post. Formally known as the Hydra-Calm Cleansing Gel, this is formulated for sensitive skin. It's gentle but leaves skin feeling thoroughly clean, "cleansed, refreshed and soothed without irritation, tightness or discomfort" and that is exactly why i love it.

"REN is free from synthetic fragrance, mineral oil, petrolatum, sulcate detergents, synthetic colours, animal ingredients and parabens."

The Gentle Cleansing Gel is really light and is exactly that, a gel that kind of feels like aloe vera gel. As soon as it's applied it feels soothing and calming, and you don't need very much to cover your whole face. I use a pump for my cheeks and chin, and then half a pump for my forehead. As i've explained i use this with my Clarisonic, so work it well into my skin in circular motions for about 90 seconds. Afterwards, i use a warm, damp flannel to remove any excess product and after removed my skin feels squeaky clean but not at all tight, which is something i struggled to find with other products. My skin feels silky smooth, clean and not at all irritated. Not only does it really clean, it helps keep excess sebum at bay and also calms down any breakouts or under-the-skin spots that are plaguing my skin.

Something that i really love about this product is it's packaging; it has a pump but a pump that doesn't release too much product. It gives just enough, as i said before i only need a pump and a half to two pumps to cover my entire face. Another thing i love is that the packaging inside the acrylic tube moves up, almost pushing the product out - this is very hard to explain but if you've used any other REN pump products you'll know what i mean. So 'bottom' moves up so you can always see how much product you have left, and you can use every last pump of product.

If you have sensitive, dehydrated skin i'd highly recommend giving this a go. It's an absolute dream to use.


16 May 2015

My Clarisonic Experience

In November time, i was struggling with deciding on anything i wanted for Christmas from my parents. I just couldn't decide on anything; as, now i have a full time job, if there's anything i want i tend to go and buy it myself. However, i racked my brains for ideas and landed, very last minute may i add - amen for John Lewis Click & Collect (nice plug, there!), on a Clarisonic. Now, this is something i would never buy for myself as they're just so darn pricey, but everyone and their cat had one about a year, or two, ago and raved about them. So, seeing as their was a Price Match on at John Lewis, plus the ability to use discount, my lovely mum popped this in her basket and checked out.

So, today i'm here to tell you about my Clarisonic story and my experience using it so far.

So, after looking at all the Clarisonics, reading up on what they do and what features they had, plus keeping an eye on the prices (wowzer!), we decided on the Clarisonic Mia 2. It's cheaper, and smaller, than the original and it still has everything i could need.

"The Clarisonic Mia 2 is a compact cleansing system designer to fit your lifestyle and help you obtain beautiful skin at home or on-the-go. It utilises Sonic technology and Clarisonic's patented micro-massage motion to work with your skin to gently remove impurities and leave your skin feeling softer, smoother and more beautiful."

It features two speeds and a pulsing 't-timer' which pulses when it's time to move on to the next area of your face. It also comes with a travel case, as the main purpose of the Mia 2 is that it's smaller, and is easier to travel with. It has a universal voltage charger, and comes with a sensitive brush head but you can buy other heads to target different skin types - which i'll talk about later - as well as a 1.oz trial size of the Clarisonic cleanser.

The t-timer that is in-built within the Mia 2 pulses first after 20 seconds for you to do your forehead, then after another 20 seconds for your chin, and lastly 10 seconds for each cheek. However, i've found that for my skin it works best if i spend 20 seconds on my forehead and chin, and then 20 seconds on each cheek - so i restart it after it's finished the original 60 seconds - and then while it's restarted i run it over my top lip and around my mouth, as well as up each side of my nose as i know where my problem areas are. That's something i read a lot in the reviews, that lots of people take no notice of the timer and work their skin as you know your own skin.

My Clarisonc routine starts with wetting my face, applying my cleanser of choice all over my face and then working it into the skin using my Clarisonic as i explained before. I've spent the past three months trying different cleansers with the Mia 2, and i've landed on the Ren Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Gel being my favourite, with the Neal's Yard Rose Facial Wash for Normal or Sensitive Skin being a close runner up. I've found that i really dislike foaming cleansers but especially to use with the Clarisonic, and that's something that i've learned from the amazing Caroline Hirons - skincare queen.

I would say that something i was worried about originally was the 'purging period' everyone speaks of; as when you first start using the Clarisonic, i heard that for about a two to three week period your skin would be rife spots as it cleans so deeply, it's bringing all the dirt to the surface. However, although i did get spots, not half as bad as i was expecting. So if you're worried about that, i would just go for it!

Before i started using the Clarisonic i was kind of getting to the end of my tether with my skin; it was constantly spotty, one things after another, and it just felt generally bumpy and sore. Since using it, however, the overall condition of my skin has severely improved. I don't have as many little lumps and bumps, but i would say i also think that you need to find a cleanser that works well for you with the Clarisonic, as i found that some cleansers didn't work as well as others. I still get spots, and i do still find that i get a few of those horrible under-the-skin spots but i've again found that these are limited with the use of the right cleanser. The Clarisonic isn't the answer to everything, the rest of your skincare has to work well for you too but it really is a great base for me. It really helps the overall look and feel of my skin, and that was a huge bugbear for me.

The Mia 2 comes with a sensitive brush head already attached and that's what i decided to go for too; they suggest you change the brush head every three months so that's what i plan to do, and i'm about to change mine for the first time. However, you know your skin best and there are other skin heads to target different skin types, for example there's a delicate head, a deep pore, a normal, one for your face and body as well as some pricier heads including the cashmere cleanse facial, the velvet foam body, and the satin precision contour. You can buy them singularly but also in two packs too, which is what i bought. It works out cheaper in the long run, and i tend to buy them when they're on price match from John Lewis.

There we have it, my Clarisonic experience. If you have any more questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments or tweet them to me and i'll do my best to answer.


13 May 2015

True Grace Wild Lime Candle

I can't remember whether i've mentioned this in a blog post already, but i've been using Yankee Candles for as long as i can remember and they've never given me any grief. However, over the past, probably, six months they've been a real pain to burn - they give off black smoke, don't burn evenly and are just all round annoying. So i decided to burn the last of what i had - although actually didn't get to the bottom - and try something new.

So, for my birthday my lovely parents bought me a few new candles to try out, one of them being this True Grace Tin Candle in Wild Lime. Being a John Lewis partner has a lot of positives, including opening my eyes to so many brands i had no idea about. We actually have a pretty large candle selection in my branch, True Grace being one of them. All of the products are made in a workshop in Wiltshire, UK, by Phillipa and Roger Biles a couple who believe that scents are associated with experiences and feelings and can take you back to your childhood. They're created using 100% natural plant wax and organically grown wheat alcohol.

They picked this because i am a sucker for citrus scents, they're probably my favourite. Wild Lime is so zingy and perfect for the Spring & Summer. It smells so fresh and scents my entire room, allowing me to smell it as soon as i enter even if it's not burning. What i love most is that it burned beautifully; it was even, no smoke to be seen and it comes in a beautiful tin that looks lovely when displayed. It actually does come with a lid that i didn't photograph so the wick can be hidden away if you so choose.

If you're looking to try something new, i'd recommend giving these ago. They can be purchased from John Lewis here, and aren't the cheapest candles but i'm willing to pay a little more to get a good scent and burn.


9 May 2015

MAC Lipstick Collection

Over the past year i've become really interested in MAC, and although i know they're a very controversial brand, creating a lot of conflicting opinions, i've actually come to love their products. I've bought everything from pigments to brushes, but today i wanted to share with you my lipstick collection. I've accumulated these over the past year, have tried a variety of their finishes and have actually come on a bit of a lipstick journey - learning what i like, what i don't like and what suits me.

Rebel is described by MAC as a 'mid tonal cream plum', and is one i really had to pluck up the courage to buy. It's one i admired from afar for a long time, deeming it far too dark and vampy for me to try. However, as i've grown and changed in the last six months, i decided to give it a go. I actually love the shade, and the way in which it changes any look. I feel so glam and sassy whenever i wear it as it's just so different for me. Satin isn't a finish i've come to love, but i don't think Rebel would suit anything but. It's so velvety and smooth, making it fairly easy to apply and it doesn't get everywhere. It's pretty opaque from first swipe, and it can also be blotted to leave a lighter stain. I look at Rebel as being a fuchsia based berry shade, and i would usually look at something like this as a Winter- only colour. Actually though, there's something quite bright about this one, so it's easy to wear all year round.

Plumful was actually an Essie Button influenced purchase, i'm sure like many others. I'd seen her wearing it for a long time, and thought of it as an easy every day colour so decided to take the plunge and give it a whirl. I think this was actually one of my first purchases, as i wanted to go for something wearable. MAC's description is a 'blossoming rose-plum', and i would probably go with that. It's like taking baby steps into the berry lipstick pool, with plum undertones but nothing too drastic. This could be one of those 'your-lips-but-better' colours for some but if you're dipping your toe into the world of lipstick it could be a start-out bright. It's a lustre finish, which is actually one of my favourites. It's glossy without slipping around your lips, with a sheer first application that can be built up.

Captive is a fairly new purchase, which i bought about two months ago. MAC describes it as a 'pinkish-plum', but i'd say it's got some deeper, brown undertones. This is quite a different colour for me, but there's something about this that i really love. It's completely out of my comfort zone but i see this as something quite wearable as i don't consider it to be a bright. It's fairly neutral, and you could wear it with a multitude of make up looks. You can wear this with a really neutral eye, but also if you've gone a bit heavier too. Captive is another satin finish, which i do find to be some what drying but i forego that for the colour.

I love Capricious; i bought this on my most recent trip to London, in the Covent Garden branch, where i was helped by a really lovely assistant. MAC describes this as a 'fanciful rose plum', and as you can tell i tend to go for the same sorts of colours, simply because i know i wear them. This, for me, is my perfect everyday, my-lips-but-better colour. Being another lustre, it's glossy without being shiny and although it's first swipe is fairly sheer i can build it up to be this beautiful mauve, pink shade. This is just so easy to wear, and i can wear it with everything from a smokey eye to my everyday champagne. Lustre finishes are so hydrating, and never dry out my lips. They don't last all day but the lasting power isn't horrendous, and i'm happy to touch up throughout.

Yet another lustre, Syrup is lighter than most of my other MAC lipsticks. It does appear slightly lighter on the lips than it's showing in this picture, but i just love the purple undertones this natural pink holds. MAC says it's a 'cloudy pink' which i think is actually a really good description. It kind of reminds me of pink lemonade, and again is another really easy shade to wear with everything. 

Described by MAC as a 'creamy mid-tone pink brown', Creme in your Coffee is actually quite different for me. For starters it's a cremesheen finish, which i used to be a little afraid of but is now my second favourite to lustre. It's so hydrating, not at all drying and completely opaque. Again, it's easy to wear slightly sheerer or built up and works great both ways. It's also about as 'nude' as i'll go on my lips. For me this is fairly brown, but with it's rosy undertones it makes it wearable for my fair skin. The problem i have with nudes is that i run the risk of having concealer lips, but because this is darker it works perfectly.

Similar to the cremesheen finish, but even more pigmented, the amplified lipsticks are super creamy, easy to apply and very hydrating. MAC describes Brick-o-La as a 'mid-tone berry' but i would say, on the lips at least it leans toward the red family. It's such a simple shade, but it's so effective. Although i don't generally wear this day-to-day, if i've gone for a neutral eye, i love using this as a pop of colour and keeping it subtle at the same time. However, if i'm feeling brave, why not wear it shopping? I actually bought this because the other red lipstick that i own, which you'll meet next, is quite in your face and i just wanted something that was a bit more wearable.

Next meet Cockney, my one and only true red lipstick. MAC says it's a 'sheer yellow red with multidimensional pearl', which is really bang on. Probably about one or two years ago now, i decided that my lipstick collection was missing a classic red. I'd heard of MAC's classic reds like Ruby Woo and Russian Red, but i just didn't know what to go for. So, i actually went ahead and got colour matched for this one. I told the make up artist i was after a red, and she talked me through the difference between warm and cool skintones and she matched me to this one. I actually hadn't heard of this one before, as i said before you always hear of MAC's classics but i was open to trying something new. When i got it home, i was a little apprehensive because when you look at it in the bullet it's packed with gold glitter but when you apply it, it just looks super glossy. It's actually the perfect red for me, it's a lustre so it's fairly sheer but can be built up so i don't feel like it's too scary. I'm glad i got matched because i actually think it suits me perfectly, so don't be put off from the bullet.

Next up is Craving, a 'burst of plum' which is kind of similar to Plumful but creamier and less sheer. The amplified lipsticks are opaque at first swipe, so they take a bit more precision than, say, a lustre but i love the creamy formula and how pigmented they are. Craving is a lovely pink shade for me, as i don't know why but i feel very strange wearing hot pinks. I don't own any, in fact my collection is bursting with berrys, plums and mauves, so this is a really nice lean towards the pink family for me. I feel like it makes my lips look fuller and really compliments my skintone.

Last, but not least, is See Sheer; a 'grapefruit pink' as described by MAC is a really new addition to my collection, and something i bought after watching Ellie from Ellie & Jared wearing a lovely sheer orange shade on her lips, with a an orangey/bronze eye. I have to say, i wouldn't personally describe this as a pink, to me this is a beautiful, sheer orange and i just love how it brightens my face, my skin and the rest of my eye make up. Another lustre, this one is fairly sheer but as you can see it can be built up to a lovely peachy, orange colour. It doesn't dry out my lips, or settle in any dips, it's just an easy shade to use and goes with with so many make up looks.

So, there we have it; my MAC lipstick collection, to date. As you can see, i do tend to sway towards similar shades but i'm really happy with everything i have now. Thank you for stopping by, and let me know your favourite MAC lipsticks ready for my next purchase!


2 May 2015

Chanel Les 4 Ombres Quadra Eyeshadow Review

Since beginning work at John Lewis, it has opened my eyes and allowed me to shop far more beauty brands than i've ever had the opportunity to do so before. Chanel, to me, is such a luxurious brand and for almost my entire life i've dreamed of owning a Chanel Flap Bag but unless i can save myself £3, 000 it ain't gonna happen. So this is about as close as i'm gonna get to the Chanel brand. It's £40 for a quad, so they're really pricey but i'm lucky that i get myself some discount for working at John Lewis. On the left you've got yourself the Les 4 Ombres Quadra Eyeshadow in 37 Variation and on the left is the Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow in 214 Tisse Mademoiselle. Although they have different full titles, one is Multi-Effect, there's really not all that much difference. Although, Variation is a little more glittery than Tisse Mademoiselle but really they're both buttery, amazing to blend and worth every penny.

Top Left, Top Right, Bottom Left, Botom Right

Variation is what i went for first, as i've really been getting into my eye looks i wanted something different that i didn't really have anything like and i fell in love with these purple shades. As i said before, this palette is slightly more glittery than the other and a couple of the shades - mainly the top right and bottom left - actually have chunks of glitter in, so you might want to be slightly more careful than applying. However, i've never got it in my eyes but can see it sitting on my eyelashes when i blink. 

The top left shade is the perfect highlight for this palette, i like to use it in the inner corner as it's a little much for the brow bone for my liking but it does match perfectly with the undertones of the palette. It's buttery and blendable, and a really light, bright pink toned shimmery shade. Next door you have a glittery gold, which if you wash on the lid can actually just be a bit of litter acting as a sort of glitter top coat to whatever you already have on the lids. However, if you pack it on it creates this intense, gold, glitter foil look all over the lid which is amazing for going out but, as i said, watch out for the chunks. Bottom left looks like quite a light purple shade but when you apply it actually comes out fairly dark. I have used it all over the lid, but it's actually a bit much for day-to-day (but i do when i'm feeling daring!). This also has a few chunks throughout, and this is when i see it shimmering on my eyelashes. Bottom right is my crease colour, which i use in conjunction with the previous shade or just a touch in the bottom, outer crease when i use the top left all over, bottom left in the crease and bottom right just to add definition.

Overall, each shade has something different to offer and work beautifully together as well as working well into the rest of my collection.

Top Left, Top Right, Bottom Left, Bottom Right

Now this little beauty has turned into one of my favourite palettes that i own, it's even overtaken my naked palettes. If i don't know what else to wear, i go for Tisse Mademoiselle. This palette, unlike the other, doesn't contain any glitter, it's purely smooth and shimmery, easy to blend and makes your eyes look really made up with not all that much effort.

The top left shade is a really nice in-between colour, i sometimes use it all over the lid but it's more often used in the outer corner and the crease if i want a little definition but nothing too smokey. It's a lovely, wearable shade and i see it as a slightly darker champagne. Top right is a very light gold shade, suitable all over the light for a little something, a little shimmer, wash of colour. It's shimmery without being too much, but still remains buttery soft. Bottom left is my favourite of the bunch; to me it's the perfect champagne. I love this all over the lid, on it's own or with a defined crease. It's the perfect amour of shimmer, almost a satin finish. It's also something i lean towards to work with shades outside the palette, i blend it with eyeshadows such as MAC, Urban Decay and Charlotte Tilbury. Last but not least, bottom right. It's the perfect crease colour, working perfectly with the rest of the palette and it blends beautifully with the last colour. This entire palette is like butter, and i cannot recommend it enough. It's something that can take you from day to night, so if you're looking to buy any Chanel palette then i'd highly recommend you go for this one.

I was wary to purchase Chanel before now because of it's sky-high prices, but now that i've bought once (and twice!), i would definitely buy again.

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