30 March 2012

Review: ghd Style Curl Hold Spray

It seems to be the thing to do for a company who is famous for one thing, to start making supporting products. Ghd is another company - incredibly well-known for their straighteners - who have branched out into styling products. I had the opportunity to try one of them, the Curl Hold Spray, so here are my thoughts about it :) Please keep in mind that I have the fattest hair in the world - each strand is thick, and I have LOADS of it - and that I am generally crap at doing anything with my hair.

The thing that drew me to this product was the fact that it was a hairspray, but it's a 2-in-1, and has the ghd Heat Protection System in it. I LOVE that idea, because I bloody hate hair spray, and I bloody hate putting more than one product in my hair (I don't even like putting 1 in, but protection is a must - and yes, I'm talking about hair still :P). So far, my favourite hair product ever has been the Lee Stafford Poker Straight Flat Iron Protection Mist - it's also a 2-in-1 that I find both protects my hair, and keeps the style (curly or straight!) in for forever. So this ghd Curl Hold Spray had a LOT of expectations to meet.

First things first, I love the smell of this. It smells quite musky, and I wouldn't be surprised if there was a perfume like this - maybe Illamasqua Freak? It's absolutely gorgeous - again, such a step up from most generic hairsprays which usually smell like a toxic waste of some sort. The Lee Stafford one also smells like a perfume - Thierry Mugler Angel. However, I do prefer Freak, so ghd wins on this one!

The way it works, is that you apply a spray or two to each section of hair that you are going to curl. As I found the nozzle wasn't the best quality and it spurted and spitted a bit (but it's not aerosol so that's 10 points for the environment!), the best way to apply it was literally by putting it right against the hair and spraying. After that, you comb through, and curl your hair as normal.

The feel of the formula is superb. It's extremely lightweight and non-crispy, and you honestly can't feel the difference in your hair - it still feels like there's no product on it. Even when the formula is wet, it doesn't get sticky in your hands, nor on your hair when its dry.

The Lee Stafford one definitely has a better quality spray, which makes everything go just a bit faster. However, I did find that Lee Stafford was definitely more sticky in the hands, and while I never thought that it was heavy or sticky in my hair, I do find that the ghd one was just that bit less noticeable.

Now the only issue - and this is the big issue - that I had with the ghd product is that it didn't work very well. I don't really want to post pics of the 'after' as I was slightly pissed (slightly may be a bit modest) but when I went out, I had curls like above. When I came home, I had big, natural waves - almost like I'd just curled the bottom a bit. It's not a bad look, but considering it's meant to be its primary function to hold curls.. it just wasn't good enough for me, especially compared to the Lee Stafford.

However, as I said in the beginning, I do have the thickest hair on Earth, so this may work on ladies with finer hair. It's definitely a great formula in terms of it being non-sticky, unnoticeable and having a 2-in-1 of hairspray AND heat protectant, and one I'd recommend to people who find most hairsprays too heavy, crispy or sticky. Personally, it was a no-go, especially at almost double the price of the Lee Stafford one at £11 on FeelUnique.

However, as the Lee Stafford one has been my can-never-live-without hair product for me because of its 2-in-1 properties, I can imagine that this ghd one will be the same for others. Coming from someone who is lazy and hates build-up in my hair, these 2-in-1s are an absolute godsend - you just need to figure out which one works for you! :)

You can get these for £12.95 from the ghd website as well :)

*Received for consideration.
read more

28 March 2012

Review: Apivita Skincare (Cleanser, Serum, Moisturizer, Eye Cream)

A few weeks ago I did a post on the Apivita Hand Cream, and today I'm back with a review on some bits from their core skincare line! I've been using these daily for almost a month now, so I felt it was a good time to let you guys know how they've been working for me :)

This is one of Apivita's cleansers, and this one is specifically for those with oily or combination skin. It comes in a gel consistency, presumably to reduce the hydration that may come from cleansing lotions or creams. The ingredients also have specific uses - propolis as an antiseptic/antioxidant, citrus to tone and refresh, juniper essential oil to rejuvenate and lemon and tea tree oil to regulate oil. The ingredients are 96% natural, with no SLS, parabens, mineral oil, silicones, SELS or propylene glycol.

This - ingredients wise - sounds absolutely fantastic. However, I'm genuinely sad to say that I can't see myself repurchasing this, and I'm really keen on finishing it up.

My first comment is that because it's SLS free, it hardly foams up. This is generally a price I'd be willing to pay for a healthy cocktail of a face wash.

However, this leads on to my second comment, which is that it's so incredibly runny. As soon as I put some product on my hand and lather it as much as I can and lift my hands to my face, the product drips down my arms and soaks my sleeves. I've tried using my face brush with it, but the same thing happens.

Third, I found that there was always some residue left on my face. Now this may be a personal taste thing - I personally just want my cleanser to cleanse and feel like my skin is clean. But this leaves a film of something - nothing nasty - just a feel to your skin, possibly some residue to retain moisture or the benefits of the ingredients listed above.

Which brings me to my final point - I didn't notice any reduction in oil for me. I find that when it's so hard to use and with so little effect, it's a no rebuy for me sadly!

Radiant skin is a must for me - I can't stand dull skin for the life of me, I go mental! And this was my first ever serum, so I was pretty excited! This contains 96% natural ingredients, with no parabens, silicones, propylene glycol, mineral oil, ethanolamines, phthalates, PCM nor NM - do I know what all those mean? As if, haha, but I know the first few and they are skin-devils!

Now this claims to reduce discoloration, improve skintone and increase radiance by 28% (which is a statistic that is begging to be asked - what does that actually look like?) and reduce dark spots, dull skin, first wrinkles and aging.

Personally - I don't like the smell, as I think it smells like a cleaning product. However, I love the packaging and I love the consistency. It seeps into the skin so well, and you can smooth it out really well. But I also found that in the month that I've been using it, I'm already almost at half-way through the bottle!

In terms of the effects - my cheeks may have been "lit from within" but honestly, not long enough to really make a difference over time. I also felt my scars reducing and redness control were more the result of my exfoliation routine than this serum. It's all a bit too uncertain to be buying another bottle, and I also think there's more fish in the ocean to test. This one, I think, dependent on the person, may be to some people's taste and needs!

This is the best of the bunch for me. This is 98% natural ingredients, with no parabens, silicones, propylene glycol, mineral oil, PEG, nor ethanolomine. This Aqua Vita line replaces water with green tea infusion, which apparently enhances antioxidation. The propolis in the moisturizer helps to regulate oils, and the geranium essential oil revitalizes the skin.

The smell of this is DIVINE. It's a fruity but sweet scent, and very natural-y. I also love the jar - it's a heavy glass jar with a plastic black lid with the white logo of Apivita.

The consistency is also, divine. It's somewhere between a gel and a cream, and it smoothes over your skin so nicely. It moisturizes really well, and is a good mix of sinking in, and protecting and moisturizing the surface. However, this also means I didn't notice an oil-controlling feature. This really quenches the thirst when your skin is dry!

So my only major drawback is the price. For 50mL you shell out €30.50. It's quite a lot for a moisturizer, and the consistency is something I have found in the Boots Botanics Night Shift Cream - granted, that one doesn't have half as good ingredients as the Apivita one. The consistency is to die for, and the moisturizing effects are brilliant -  but I'm not sure those 2 are things you should be paying so much for! There's not much more you could add to the product, because it's a great as it is, but I just wish it was €10 cheaper! It pains me to say that because I really do love what it is!

Like the other products I've introduced, this is also a heavily natural product at 95% natural ingredients. It doesn't have a scent, parabens, silicones, propylene glycol, mineral oil or ethanolamine. It claims to hydrate your eye area and reduce black circles and puffiness.

I felt it did none of those for me - but I've never felt like an eye cream ever fully meets its claims. For this one, I felt like the consistency was too light for my preference - I really like moisture for my eyes! I didn't notice much difference in my black circles, and sometimes I even felt that it stung my eyes. So this was a no go for me. That being said - I thought the packaging is brilliant! Very easy to control and sanitary :)

Sadly, all in all, this range was a no-go for me. I REALLY, REALLY wanted to love this range (haha don't we ALL have this once in a while?!) because I'm seriously trying to make my move into the non-paraben, natural and ethical side of beauty, and Apivita sounds fantastic for it! They have a clear message, an extremely attractive company image, and their products are all so beautifully packaged and designed - it would have been nice to find a full skincare routine that I could repurchase and not worry about the yuckies inside!

But aside from the moisturizer, I can't see myself purchasing any of the products. Maybe if I were filthy rich I would get the moisturizer again some day! ;) But I also do think that a lot of what I said was down to personal preference, especially with the serum and the eye cream. Unfortunately, the consistency of the cleansing gel I think would annoy most people!

So there you have it ;) Not to worry about my despair in the skincare line working for me though - the image of the company has still got me absolutely hooked! Keep an eye out for coming reviews of masks, hair products and body products from the lovely people at Apivita :)

Have you tried Apivita goods before?
Are you into the natural goodness of skincare? :)

*Received for consideration.
read more

22 March 2012

Til Death Do Us Part by JewelRhi

A couple of weeks ago, the lovely Rhi from The Other Side of Cool asked me if I'd like to review a piece of her jewelry from her new store, JewelRhi (genius name). This is the one I picked out..

Til Death Do Us Part

I'm usually not a fan of skulls, I find them slightly depressing (when I see skulls, in my degree, it's usually the aftermath of a genocide.. happy life I lead, I know) and contrary to my loud personality. However, these "5 little dudes" as I like to call them, are different - as you can see, they are grinning the cheekiest big grins, and I can't help but giggle when I see the lot! In my head they are 5 brothers, lol.

I also love the heart fastener thing, which is new in Rhi's collection. I personally like to wear it at the front next to the 5 little dudes, but you can wear it at the back like a normal clasp if you want. Either way, I think it adds a cute little touch to the piece!

I had a few fears about these, and the first one was that it'd be overpowering but if you can see from the picture above, the size is perfect. It's still slightly inconspicuous but cute, unique and slightly hilarious once it really catches your eye.

I also find that despite going in the shower with it or sweating with it on, my neck never turned green and my skin never itched. I am a bit cautious about buying homemade necklaces online, as I've heard in rare occasions, some parts sold on eBay have dangerous ingredients (like lead), but these seem to be high quality pieces as far as I can tell. Rhi has told me that the chains are silver plated, the heart an alloy metal, and the skulls Tibetan silver. I also found that hair never got caught in the chains, and the chains haven't turned a dull silver in the slightest and have maintained the crisp whiteness of silver, which is a definite plus in my books :)

All in all, I absolutely love my 5 little dudes! I've been wearing them almost everyday and have gotten complements on how cute they are, and how high quality they look :) The design and quality is indeed impeccable!

Rhi is from Malta, so you may be worrying about the shipping cost - she's a babe, and it's only £1 to the UK :) This specific necklace is £6, and all her other pieces are equally as affordable and well designed. Remember to check out her site here for her full range! :)

*Received for consideration.
read more

21 March 2012

Express or Not to Express..

I like short cuts. My academic life can be described as one big shortcut, where most of the time I've done as little as possible in the shortest amount of time to get the best results (lol I REALLY sound Japanese/Germanic!). So it makes complete sense that I chose to use the Dove Nourishing Oil Care Express Treatment Conditioner at first, but when I moved on to the normal Dove Nourishing Oil Care Conditioner, things were a bit.. shall we say.. at odds with the trend?

I received these back in the winter from the lovely Siobhan after I won her giveaway, and when I was done with my Tresemme lot, I switched to these. Like I said, I used Express first after being excited about all the hype around it, and I'm now half way through the regular one. And I genuinely think the rave that has gone on about the Express has overshadowed the REAL star of the range, which is for me,  hands-down, no doubt about it, the non-Express.

The first point to note is that the Express is much thicker in consistency and feels like a balm, than the non-Express which is very smooth and thin. However, I found myself using more product with the Express, as didn't find it spread very well because of its thickness.

The second point is that as soon as I washed the products out, I felt that the Express did nothing. My hair was just a bit smoother than it was after I'd shampoo-ed, whereas with the non-Express, my hair was so soft, slipping between my fingers, felt-like-a-tv-advert smooth.

The third point is that when I blow-dried, this smoothness continued, and gotta admit, there was some serious bouncing and pouncing done by my hair. I honestly did not notice any incredible smoothness with the Express.

As many of you may know, I have ridiculously fat hair. I have loads of it, and each strand is very thick. So for those of you who have this same issue, or felt that the Express could do better - try the non-Express. Give up on the short cut ;) I'm still not sure if it beats my all time favourite, the Matrix Biolage Fortetherapie treatment - but it's pretty dang close for a drugstore item! I'd definitely buy this in the future, although I have been enjoying experimenting with haircare! Anyway, I digress!

What are your favourite drugstore conditioners?
Who's a shortcut taker? :P

read more

20 March 2012

The Poor Man's Clarisonic

I love filling in the phrase, "The poor man's (blank)" - BHS is the poor man's M&S, Iyaz is the poor man's Akon, and the MUJI Face Brush is the poor girl's Clarisonic. (I can't help but feel it's a bit offensive this phrase - sorry Iyaz!)

There's nothing to really explain about it besides it's a wooden handle with bristles. I usually dampen it, then place some face wash on it and rub it all over my face. I admit that the first 2 or 3 times I used it, I hardly used it on my cheeks, but as time went on the bristles soften to accommodate for your skin. Also, the bristles are relatively long, so it's somewhere in between a buffing and brushing motion when you use it. Personally, I got it because I have really tough skin between my brows and on my chin that likes to produce cysts, and I wanted to get rid of them, and I wanted to unclog my pores around my nose. At the moment I use it twice a day and thought I'd update you as to my thoughts!

Basically, I really like it. Here are the things I find that it really helps with:

1) It lathers face washes that usually don't like to lather, and if your face wash does like to lather, you use a lot less. I also quite like that after it lathers, I just rub the foam all around my face with my hands, especially around sensitive areas like my chin and eyes and it feels nice and soft - like rubbing marshmallows in your face! (Not quite sure if that's actually nice or not..)

2) It brightens your skin. I've been trialling 3 products that claim to brighten your skin recently, and this is by far the one that has made the most difference. My skin always looks radiant and it feels smooth, and I can tell it does a really good job of exfoliating because my face is now much paler than my body!

3) It brings under-the-skin spots up to the surface. Under the skin spots are the bane of my life, and this brush helps to bring them up so they can start to heal. It's by no means a quick process, but I find that after 3 or 4 days, your spot slowly appear on the surface. This is especially good for me because if I didn't have this, all my spots would stay under the skin!

4) If you like your face wash, and haven't found a good exfoliator - just pair it with this! :)

Did it get rid of the cysts and clogged pores? The cysts have been subsiding but not to an extremely impressive way (i.e. I'm not really sure if it's this that's helping it), and my pores are really the same as before.

Some other points to consider is that I do feel that as the bristles soften quite quickly, you may have to replace it regularly. It might also not be suitable for sensitive skintypes, but I've also found out that the Body Shop do a synthetic face brush for about £4 (it has more of a stub handle than a long one like this) that I feel may have a bit more give. And the obvious question with brushes is that when you rinse it out - how well are you really rinsing it? Bacteria's bound to live there, so it's important to keep it really clean and sanitize once in a while!

It's no replacement for a Clarisonic, but a Clarisonic is a huge investment especially if you're not sure brushes even work for your skin, or if your skin isn't so bad that you don't feel like investing £120. I'd definitely recommend this brush, as it's affordable and I'm really happy with the results it brings, even if they're not the ones I initially wanted it to solve! And yes, I'll continue to use it and I'd definitely repurchase if it came to it :)

Have you tried this brush before?
Anyone have any other funny "the poor man's.." phrases? :P

read more

17 March 2012

So I Cut My Hair.. Myself.

Hahaha, just the thought that I did that makes me laugh in disbelief. What was I smoking?!

So yes, a couple of weeks ago after uhm-ing and ah-ing over extortionate hair salon prices, I was, by chance, skimming over Style Suzi's YouTube videos when I came across this one - How To Cut Hair Layers. I was inspired.

Necklace from JewelRhi

And this is what I ended up with. Suzi's instructions are really easy to understand, and she adds some logic to what hairstylists do when they cut your hair. With this in mind, I adjusted it to add some big ol' layers. I hardly had any layers from the last time I got it cut, and I was really in the mood for drastic, layered hair that will accentuate what is left of my perm from ages ago. So now, my shortest layer is just around my chin area, to my longest hair which is about armpit length when dry.

It was scary, but I was enamored and almost liberated with the feeling of doing whatever I'd like with it. I always find myself not really knowing how to describe the style I want, or looking at the mirror at a hairsalon thinking, "Wish she'd snip that bit off.. oh that snip was a bit much.." and picking at all these little things that seems so miniscule that I didn't wanna bother the stylist with. You see I've never been blessed with a hairstylist I feel completely comfortable with, so until I do, it felt really nice to think something and be able to do it, and sculpt it into a shape I liked. It obviously isn't a replacement for going to salons, but it's not bad if you're a bit low on dosh or feeling like the stylists you know don't really get you! If this appeals to you, Suzi's tips will make sure you don't go too crazy! (Not gonna lie, a bit scared of the comments I'll get from hairstylists on this post! :P)

Have you ever wanted to cut your own hair?
Has anyone else done it? XD

Now I just need to master highlighting.. somebody stop me before I regret it lol.

read more

15 March 2012

Joliebox Concealer Brush & Lipstick

If I'm not mistaken, I believe the Joliebox lot treat every new subscriber to a Joliebox concealer brush. I got mine a couple of months ago, and to be honest my Sigma P82 and MAC 224 are my go-to concealer tools, so I wasn't quite sure what to do. A few months on, my Joliebox concealer brush has been getting used pretty much everyday..

Not for concealer, but for lipstick! That crater you see there is the remnants of my first tube of Rimmel lipstick in Nude Delight and yes - it's still going strong and avoiding the bin thanks to this brush!

The first and most obvious advantage is that you literally get the most of your dosh that you spent on your lippy. Who knew there was an inch of product below what you see when you purchase (lol shows how often I finish lipsticks)? The brush is thin enough to get inside the tube and shell out the last of your lippy :)

The second advantage is the finish. Unlike applying it straight from the tube, using a brush allows you to apply and build thin layers, which means it looks much more natural and less caked. This is especially true for such a soft and pigmented formula like Rimmel's Moisture Renew line.

Thirdly, using a brush makes lipsticks last longer. It really seals in the product and combined with the fact that you're using thinner layers, I've been able to tell a significant difference in lasting power with this specific lipstick.

As for the brush itself - it's the perfect size for a lip brush. I get really annoyed with designated lip brushes because they're often kinda fluffy, flimsy and stupidly tiny! I find that the shape of this brush lets you apply pressure and covers enough area that you aren't sitting there forever to apply lipstick. My only complaint was the washing, and find it incredibly difficult to deep-clean - but I think the nature of the product being lipstick and the brush being synthetic and non-fluffy, this was bound to happen!

So yes, I'm very glad to have found an incredibly practical and useful way to use my Joliebox concealer brush!

How do you use yours? :)


*Received for consideration.
read more

14 March 2012

Review & Lip Swatches: MUA Out There Plumping Lipglosses

Back in the day, I used to adore lipgloss. Now I'm quite whatever in terms of lip products besides my favourite nude lipstick, and don't get too excited by the prospect of lipglosses. However, I was quite surprised when I realised - these ones are pretty darn good!

MUA Out There Plumping Lip Gloss

Sienna & Candy Pink

These are the new lip glosses from MUA that retail for a mere £2. I'm not gonna lie, these are not products I would have picked up myself, mainly because I don't trust cheap lipglosses to be a nice consistency nor very pigmented (I'm quite meh about see through lipglosses, as I often don't bother applying them, so I'm really only ever interested in pigmented ones.) The main reason was the appearance - the product is much much MUCH too long! I found myself wondering if I'll actually miss the target when I was bringing the wand to my lips to apply it! However, that was probably the only fault I could give it.

The formula is somewhere in between sticky and slippery, and is really nice to feel. I actually think it's relatively lipstick-lover-friendly, as I don't think it's so gloopy that most people would feel adverse to it. I also found it didn't wear patchily, and didn't leave odd bits of residue that look disgusting like a lot of cheap lipglosses do. I was quite impressed of the lack of cheap taste/smell as well - we'll see in a few months though ;P (tbf you can't fault it too much for £2!) In terms of the plumping claim - well, I can never tell with these things if it's really plumping or if it's just stinging - of which btw, this product really does sting!

Here are some swatches and comparison photos:

Bobbi Brown Bikini Pink, MUA Candy Pink, MAC Please Me

MAC Vegas Volt, MUA Sienna, MAC VG Cyndi

The colours I have here are Candy Pink and Sienna. As you can tell, the pigmentation is superb for a lipgloss, and I usually wear it on its own - never mind layering it over a lipstick. Here are some swatches on my lips (can you tell I'm into lip swatches atm :P)

My natural lips

Candy Pink


I absolutely adore Sienna. It's not a shade I would've picked myself but I love the juicy finish it gives, and how it's a strange sheer-ish mix of a orange, coral and red. Candy Pink is also not a shade I would pick as it's incredibly blue-toned, but because it's a gloss I feel it's more forgiving than lipsticks and so even warm-toned gals like me can pull it off :)

So all in all, would I have picked these up myself? No. However, I'm really happy that I got to try them out, as I'm genuinely really impressed with the pigmentation! They're really like a glossy lipstick because of the great colour pay-off! If I were more of a lipgloss person, I would 100% go and look for other shades, because the quality is as good, if not better, than some higher end lipglosses. I'd definitely recommend these to people who find glosses from the likes of MAC lovely in pigment but way too gloopy, and undoubtedly to people who like glosses more than lipsticks! If the packaging was shorter and a bit more make-up bag friendly, I think I'd get more use out of them :)

Giveaway time!
So I received these in my goody bag when I went to the MUA event, and the lovely people from MUA had popped in an extra of the Candy Pink lipgloss - so up for a giveaway it goes! :) This is open to anyone in the UK who is a follower of my blog through GFC or Bloglovin'. Just answer this question: What's my favourite nude lipstick? Remember to leave your email address and the name you follow me through, so I can check and contact you if you win - the one winner will be chosen randomly, and this giveaway closes on the 21st of March 3:30PM! Good luck! :)

Even if you don't win or you want another shade, you can pick them up from Superdrug or the MUA website here :)

Have you tried these before?
What are your favourite pigmented lipglosses? :)


*Received for consideration.
read more

12 March 2012

My Perfect Base Combo #1

I am a base freak. I love powders and I love foundations, and I'd say 70% of my wishlist is usually bases! So it seemed apt to keep you guys updated on some of my favourite ways to wear different bases, so here's my first one! :)

1. Bourjois Healthymix Serum foundation in 55 with my No7 Foundation Brush
I wanted to try this foundation, as I fancied something just above a tinted moisturizer - and this is exactly it! It's dewy, and enough coverage to even out your skin tone. I do use concealer, but I like how you can see the skin through it, which makes it good for an everyday, uni foundation. I found that your typical foundation brush was the best to apply this, as it gave more coverage than other methods and really sealed in the product. I also liked applying it with my fingers as it really softened the look of the skin.

2. ELF Complexion Perfection powder with a Real Techniques Powder Brush
The ELF Complexion Perfection powder, aside from lightening your skin a little bit, give you the softest finish you could ask from a powder. It mattes foundation down and really sets it, so the dewyness of the Healthymix Serum is gone. For someone who has incredibly oily skin like me, but wants a sheer finish, the combo is perfect. I've also started using a new powder brush, the Real Techniques Powder Brush, and am incredibly impressed. It's so big and soft, and I was amazed at how evenly it distributes product on your face - an absolute winner, and one that often gets overshadowed by the other brushes in the range!

The final result? A natural coverage, but naturally matte look. Really good for us oily girls who find that the only mattifying foundations are full coverage ones, and want something a bit more naturally looking! :)

Since the weekend I've been trialling a different base so undoubtedly will be writing about it if I find a great way to wear it - but for now, here's my first offering of My Perfect Base :)

What's your favourite way of getting the same result?
How else have you worn these two products?

read more

8 March 2012

Vegas, Baby.

Sadly, no, I am still in London. But a girl can dream right? Recently, the brights have been making a come-back in my life, and coincidentally - two of them have the word 'Vegas' in them! Ok, much less exciting than glamorous casinos and wild nightlife, but it's getting there..

These are Mavala Vegas Pink nail polish from their Art Collection and MAC's Vegas Volt lipstick. These two are pretty friggin' bright, and things that have been dormant over the winter months.

Now I have a love-hate relationship with Vegas Volt - the love part being the sheer mental-ness and lunacy of the colour. It's just so eye-catching, youthful and summery! The hate part is that it's a pain to get it to work, because it has a habit of making the rest of my face ashy. So I often pair this with warmer products like MAC's eyeshadow in Woodwinked and yellow-er toned bronzers. Another slight dislike is that because it's an amplified finish, it has a nightmare of being bright but creamy at the same time - any transfers onto skin or teeth will be seen, no escapes!

But now that I've figured out how to wear this, I imagine it will be making multiple appearances in the coming months :)

Mavala Vegas Pink was one of my most worn nailpolishes over the summer, because it is just girly giggles in nail polish form. It's a mid-tone pink and incredibly bright and fun. Mavala formulas are one of my favourites - it's up there with OPI and Rimmel, as they are incredibly pigmented and relatively fast-drying. Their shade range is decent, and their newest spring collection is absolutely adorable!

So yes. Colour is making its way back into my life, and I'm embracing it with open arms. I've yet to pull out the likes of MAC Girl About Town or Please Me, or Bobbi Brown's Bikini Pink out yet but I'll be sure to make a conscious effort to give them all a go when I develop a nice tan - fake or real :P.

Have you been embracing brights yet?
What are some of your faves?
read more

7 March 2012

Review: Apivita Handcare Intensive Moisturizing Hand Cream

I'm on a roll with hand creams recently - it's been added to my list of dehydration pet peeves alongside thirst, lips and facial skin (body will come soon.. hopefully). Now just after I finished my beloved L'Occitane Shea Hand Cream, I started using this wonder..

Apivita Handcare Intensive Moisturizing Hand Cream

The weather here in London has been a bit unstable but I think there's a general consensus that it's gotten warmer. With that, I've found that this hand cream is much better for the Spring season than the L'Occitane one.

First, the smell is fresher but still sweet. The main ingredients include olive and cocoa butter, which explains the sweet yet refreshing smell. In a furious swirl of wind, cold and sun - this mixture of smells is incredibly apt :)

Second, is the most incredible part about the hand cream: it actually meets the claim of visibly improving the skin's texture. I noticed today (in class lol) that my cuticles were less white and dry-feeling, and that my hands just looked really soft. I also find that it seeps into the skin really quickly but it doesn't disappear - so you're left with really nice and soft hands, without the greasy or creamy residue nor the feeling of needing to apply it 5min after the first round. Since I don't think I've ever actually seen AND felt moisturized hands, it was incredibly impressive and totally won me over!

If you guys have never heard of Apivita, they're a Greek brand that prides themselves on the amount of natural ingredients they use in their products. Whether they use parabens or SLS or not, however, depends on each individual product - this one does have parabens. On the other hand, it does have 93% natural products (which is actually quite low in comparison to their other goodies).

The packaging is plastic which is the one thing I don't like about it. I find that when their the aluminum kind of tube, you can roll them down and get the last of the product. But hey ho! I can deal :)

For 50mL, you can get this huge, chunky, and gotta be honest, adorable tube for 7.30 Euros. However, the shipping is incredibly pricey at 9 Euros - so keep your eyes out for reviews of other goodies they have sent me, so you can get your money's worth if you feel like buying the products! As for this one? I'd fully recommend it, and I would like to repurchase it for the Autumn time later this year if I find a way to soften the blow of the 9 Euros!

If you're looking for a gift for Mother's Day, I think this would be a great option :) You can purchase this online (once it's back in stock!) here.

Have you tried Apivita goodies before?
What is your favourite hand cream? :)

*Received for consideration.
read more

6 March 2012

FOTD: Done but Undone

Recently I've been sporting this look of bare and matte eyeshadows. I feel it gives a really fresh, clean and pretty look that is simple enough to be both 'done' and 'undone' at the same time.

I start off with my Bourjois Healthymix Serum in 55 with my No7 Foundation brush. This really seals in the product but gives you a bit more coverage than your fingers would. Then I powder with my ELF Complexion Perfection Powder to have a matte but glowy finish.

For my eyes I've used MAC Brule eyeshadow, and a matte brown from my 28 Neutral Palette that is slightly darker than my skintone to contour. Paired with bold black feline eyeliner made with my Clinique Gel Eyeliner, this is the most important part of the look for me! I also keep the brows a bit lighter and softer with my Benefit Instant Brow Pencil in Medium. In this picture I was testing out a new mascara, but I usually go for a bit of an OTT look with my Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers paired with the L'Oreal Telescopic Mascara.

As for cheeks, I rotate between different blushes that I think gives me a fresh glow. In the picture I'm wearing Hard Candy's Fox in a Box in Spicey & Sweet, but I often choose NARS Torrid too.

For my lips I choose a nude - but not too nude. Yep, it's my trusty Rimmel Moisture Renew in Nude Delight ;)

Anyone else loving the done but undone look? Maybe it's the sporadic appearance of sun lately!? :P

read more

5 March 2012

Event & Haul: Pro Beauty Show

On Sunday, I trotted to the ExCel in London to the Pro Beauty Show - I am neither a pro, nor a creative inventor of odd beauty contraptions, but they somehow thought I was worthy of a ticket and so I joined Nic in checking out what it was all about. I'll let the photos do most of the talking ;)

Undoubtedly the busiest stand of the day - this was when the crowd had died down!

Don't they look so yummy? I totally should've gotten that Lo shade! 

Hmm who do I spy on that advert there, Nic?

China Glaze are the go-to for bright shades imo!

ArtDeco was here!

Was so good to finally able to feel and look at the brushes sold on Crown Brushes!

Mavala was probably one of the hardest stands to choose from!

Said strange beauty contraptions..

Christian Brows - this is Nic's auntie that did my brows for me! :)

Youngblood stand - always a pleasure to look at!

It was absolutely manic but such a good day! There wasn't as much make-up to look at, as I imagine there would be in IMATS, but there were loads of nails, fake-tan, false eyelashes and strange beauty contraptions (sorry I just can't stop thinking about how weird they are lol).

So before I left for the event, I told my boyfriend and his flatmate - I haven't saved, so I probably wont get too much. Lol.

L to R: Mavala Fresh Melon, China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy, OPI Kiss on the Chic, OPI I Have A Herring Problem, Essie Nice is Nice.

5 in a day? I know, that's more than I've bought in the last 6 months. With spring and summer in mind, I picked these shades, starting with Fresh Melon from Mavala's spring collection which is pretty much pastel gorgeousness in nail polish form - you can see a picture above. I also got a baby pink after realising I have none, and this resulted in OPI Kiss on the Chic. As for I Have A Herring Problem, this is from the new Dutch collection, and I've been eyeing it up since the press releases, so it was great to finally get my hands on it - at trade price! China Glaze and Essie? Not gonna lie - impulse buys, but no regrets at all, they are both gorgeous! :)

Essie Nice is Nice

L to R: C210 Small Chisel Fluff, (no name), C408 Chisel Shader, C412 DLX Pointed Crease, C160-1/4.

These are the Crown Brushes that I got. I found that a lot of the eyeshadow brushes were incredibly good quality, and would go far as to say that the C412 feels nicer than my MAC 224. However, I did feel that the cheaper face brushes just weren't up to par with the high-end alternatives so I stuck with these 5. These are all brushes I've wanted a similar one of, or feel I'll get a lot of use out of! :)

These two were the 2 things I received from Nic. I'd asked her a massive favour to pick up my first ever Real Techniques brush! I'd needed a new powder brush for ages, as using my MAC 129 for both bronzer and powder was taking its toll on it!

The Christian Eyebrow Kit was a gift from her mom from Izabelle Hammon, who sells these and the Calgel stuff you saw above. I got colour-matched to Charcoal by her lovely auntie, and had a go at it this morning myself. It takes a bit of getting used to, but the fact that you don't need to concentrate so much on shaping your brows, and that it's waterproof is such a relief - I'll be sure to do a review in the near future once I get the hang of it! :)

My Christian eyebrows!

So that was my day! Like I said, absolutely manic, but such good fun. It was partly the shopping, but it was partly the atmosphere that was just so new to me! A part of me loved the colours and the weird things people come up with, but a part of me couldn't help but believe the amount of time and money people put into beauty (I mean we are talking MACHINES resembling anti-aircraft missles here, not nailpolish or eyeshadow)! It was all just one big whirl of professional beauty, and it was a great experience to be part of it! If you wanna see what Nic thought of the day and what she hauled, click here for her post! :)

Sorry for the photo overload, but I was just so excited about being able to photograph the hustle and bustle around the event so I can show you guys! Hope you guys enjoyed that - next year, I think I'll save a bit before I go! ;)

Have you ever been to a beauty show? :)
Were you there yesterday or going today to Pro Beauty?

read more

3 March 2012

Review & Lip Swatches: MUA Lip Balms

Don't they look so juicy? These are the MUA Lip Balms that I talked about after I came back from the event - yes, the ones I wasn't too keen about. And yes, I've acquired an additional one..

I hesitate to call them lip balms because they're somewhere in between a lip balm and a lip gloss. Think Clarins Lip Perfector but solid and in a jar/tin/thing. They're solid until you touch them, at which point they kinda melt and turn into a gloss - but not a sticky, gloopy gloss, but more of a thin, smooth gloss.

The reason why I give in to calling them lip balms (besides the fact that they're called Lip Balms..) is because they do a really good job in moisturizing. They seem to really shield your lips from the cold and prevent any further drying, and because they're gloss-like, they also leave a moisturized but even and non-clumpy residue, even after its started to wear.

The wear is also amazing - not in terms of length, because they'll last as long as any other thin gloss/lip balm, but they wear really evenly. You don't get that bunching up at the corner of your lips, or that kind of sticky, gross residue either. They leave your lips moisturized with even colour.

I guess the pigmentation is what you would expect from a tinted lip balm - not amazing. That being said, some are more pigmented than others, and I also have incredibly pigmented lips. Here's a few attempts at lip swatches to show you what I mean:

Natural lip colour:

Great Lips (nude):

Sweet Kiss (peachy pink):

Hot Kiss (pinky red):

Now to my surprise, I think I'd go so far as to say that the nude one is the most pigmented - who's ever heard of that happening? It's undoubtedly my favourite, and choose it over lipsticks when I want a really natural look. It's also much more pigmented than my Clarins Lip Perfector, so if you were disappointed with the pigmentation of those - definitely try these! My biggest disappointment in terms of pigment was probably Sweet Kiss, which was an impulse addition yesterday. However, it's a perfect one to keep in the bag because it hardly nudes your lip out so it wont be too much even if you had bare eyes, and it wont look funny if you have a heavy eye-look either.

Everyone's probably noticed by now, how similar they are to the Sleek Pout Polishes. I used to have one of those, and I really disliked it so I sold it. Now I do think my tastes have changed, and so I might like them if I try them again now, but in general I just feel like the MUA range has more wearable colours and don't smell as strongly of artificial vanilla. I'm not a fan of the MUA lid (I always think white casings on cosmetics can run the risk of looking tacky) and would prefer Sleeks' matte black, but these are cheaper and they're more universal colours so I'd fully recommend them!

They're available from Superdrug or MUA's website for £2 :)


*Hot Lips & Great Lips received for consideration. Sweet Kiss was purchased with my own money.
read more