28 December 2013

It's a New Fave

If there's one thing I never thought I'd say, it would be that a new favourite in 2013 would be a mascara out of all things. Dead set on the Maybelline Hyper Curl Cat Eyes Volum' mascara (granted I need to get mine from Japan), I hardly ever bothered with trying new ones. So imagine my surprise at the curl-holding, fanning-out, volumising qualities of the Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes Waterproof Mascara.

For me, curl-holding is the most important quality. While I have decent length lashes, they are one of the few things that are more stubborn than myself - so in addition to needing a good curl from my trusty MAC Eyelash Curler, I pretty much need liquid cement to keep those reaching sky-high. The amazing thing about the Hypnose Doll Eyes Waterproof is that despite being able to do that, your lashes stay soft and unlike, well, cement.

The wand's shape is also great for reaching the corners, and I love the little tapered bit that is really good for getting to the roots and the lower lashes. In the past, all my favourites mascaras have had plastic wands, so I was pleasantly surprised that I was falling in love with a traditional brush!

In retrospect, the Maybelline mascara took me this far and that was enough for me - give me my curl-holding and I'll do a little jig. But Hypnose Doll Eyes goes a step further and fans out the lashes while giving it some decent volume, and I suppose that's where the drama truly lies.

Maybelline didn't pick up on many of the little lashes and it also didn't do too much to add volume to individual hairs either - at just under a tenner with the exchange rate though, I couldn't complain and it's one of a kind. But the Hypnose truly delivers that extra £10.

Eep! I still can't help but feel a little bit blasphemous.

You can purchase the Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes Mascara for £21 at Boots.

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18 December 2013

Myleene Klass Bronzed & Beautiful Compact

With all the celebrities releasing their own perfumes and make-up lines, it's easy to just glance over them as if they were all the same. To be honest, most of them don't tend to wow me. However, there's always an exception - one of them, is this Myleene Klass Bronzed and Beautiful Compact.

Firstly, I fell in love the aesthetics of this palette. It's a great size - slightly bigger than your hand, and a nice width. The lid also clicks shut and it comes with a mahoosive mirror that is super easy to work with. The pattern on the packaging is also stunning (her name could be more subtle, but I suppose branding isn't optional.. to be fair, how cool would it be if it was your name :P), and the print on the powder itself is also very pretty. In addition, it comes in a very pretty box (no cheap-looking windows etc.,) which makes the whole thing look very professional and giftable. Overall, a 5/5 on the presentation front!

How gorgeous are the colours? You've got a highlighter at a top, a big block of bronzer and four eyeshadows. To be honest, you can use the bronzer and highlighter on your eyes, easy!

The colour choice in this palette is excellent. Especially because they're not your standard bronze shades. You've got your mandatory gold, of course, but you also have a rose-gold, a burnt charcoal brown (okay, that one might be slightly standard) and a rusty copper. This really sets it apart from most bronze palettes which usually have that darker bronze and maybe a matte light brown for good measure. I'd guess most people won't have a palette with these specific colours in one place! It's quite a unique palette to have. The shades are just generally perfect for a night-out bronzed party look, as well as for a day to day look if you use the rose-gold, bronzer and highlighter! You can see the swatches below.

Usually when a palette is worth less than £10, I expect at least one shade to be 'off' - but these all have great colour pay-off. Initially, the gold and rose gold eyeshadows appear crumbly and unpigmented in swatches, but actually when you apply it on your eyes, they're nothing like it. Something else I noticed was that the colour in the pan is very true to the colour that it applies. When I used the rose-gold eyeshadow, I expected it to lean gold as those shades tend to on me, but it was a true rose gold as you see in the pan - very impressed!

I was also very impressed with the lasting power - with primer, these lasted 6 hours and even then it didn't crease, but rather, faded. This is slightly more desirable than the shiny mess you can sometimes get with creased eyeshadow!

As much as I love all the shades, I have to say I am in love with the highlighter. It has a great peach/skintone undertone, and applies a nice, subtle sheen to your cheekbones - no sign of a glitter for miles! This is something even high end brands sometimes fail to do so I'm very impressed at the subtle glow this product gives. I also quite like the bronzer, but find it's more for the pale-skinned gals! It has a slight sheen on it, so it's very natural for both bronzing and contouring. The gleam on the eyeshadows are also impressive - they give a solid, bold, metallic look that really makes the colours pop!

Overall, I am super impressed by this palette! I can sometimes be a bit of a make-up snob, but this is one of those products that gives results which exceed expectations from the price. The shades, finish and formula of all the powders are fantastic. Usually, I'd say save the celebrity goods for the younger audience, but this palette I can recommend to anyone who enjoy wearing eyeshadows and cheek products! Definitely a good choice for Christmas gifts if you're still doing your Christmas shopping (like me!).

You can get this palette from the Littlewoods for £10 here :)

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13 December 2013

Wax In The City London

When I find myself scrolling through lists of spas and beauty shops for treatments and such, it becomes obvious that Kensington is a popular place for such luxuries in life - I suppose it comes as no surprise. Joining the array of salons in this lovely area of London is an innovative wax treatment chain from Germany, called Wax In The City.

Why innovative, you ask? There are a few elements.

Whether it's the old school nature of some aspects of British culture, or the preparation that goes into many beauty treatments, in many salons you are required to book in advance - sometimes, weeks in advance. In reality, this can be an absolute ball-ache, especially when you're talking about something like a wax. If it's gotta be done, it's gotta be done kinda, like, now.

What Wax In the City have done is to scrap all that - it's a walk-in salon, where you can get an appointment on the spot. That being said - Kensington isn't really a place you can just 'pop-in' for. Personally, it's a bit of a trek to get there. But hey - at least you know it's there! At the end of the day, you want a wax to be quick - more so than any other beauty process, I'm sure! I got my underarms done, and without the chit chat and blogger nosey-ness I would've been in and out in under.. 20 minutes? Great for the busy bee!

The second aspect is the wax itself and the technique the beauticians use. Not only are they all sent to Berlin for a two week intensive training course (so no fears of getting the "good" beautician in the shop!), the wax is a secret formula that is much thicker than normal wax, and without the harsh adhesives in cheap waxes. So instead of putting a thin layer of wax, putting a paper on top and ripping it off (inevitably ripping some of your skin off too!), the beautician will apply a thick layer of wax - about a centimetre in thickness - and peel that off. This is much more gentle and pain-free! I was genuinely shocked that despite it being my first wax, it didn't hurt one bit and I walked out of there as if nothing had ever happened (obviously besides having no hair on my underarms..).

The third aspect is that the salon places a big emphasis on hygiene. So you won't see any towels around, all the tools used for you are disposable and opened just for you and the pot of wax that your beautician brings in is again, was poured just for you and will be disposed of immediately afterwards.

Thanks to Wax in the City, I enjoyed 2.5 weeks of razor-free goodness for my underarms. I can definitely see the benefits of waxing, as you aren't physically running a sharp blade over your skin everyday, and especially with WITC's method, you are being very gentle to your skin. If you are a waxing novice, or a busy bee with very little time, I'd especially recommend Wax in the City, but I think it's a great salon for anyone! I was genuinely surprised at how little pain I felt, both during and after the process! The price is also reasonable at an underarm wax coming in at a mere £15.

You can read more about Wax In The City and their treatments here, and visit them at 370 King's Road in London :)

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8 December 2013

Super Facialist Purify & Refresh Facial Scrub

A few weeks ago, I mentioned visiting the Chelsea Day Spa Boutique and being blown away by the scrub they used. I'd slacked a bit on my skincare until then, and was desperate to maintain the goodness the facial had given me and get back into the additional bits and bobs of skincare - like exfoliating.

I considered repurchasing the LUSH Ocean Salt, but I thought I'd want something less harsh. My budget wasn't massive so I found myself strolling in Boots and laid eyes on this Super Facialist by Una Brennan Purify & Refresh Facial Scrub. As much as I considered other options, I couldn't imagine who better to buy a skincare product from than a renowned facialist.

Honestly - who better. I've been blown away by this scrub from the first time I used it. Despite the scrub being very gentle, as it's a cream base with small particles to scrub away, the effects are by no means subtle.

My skin always feels so soft, nourished and smooth after using this, and pores look significantly clearer. It has helped so much in how my serum and moisturisers sink in, and in how my make up sits. The difference exfoliators make has always been apparent to me, but this scrub just never seems to diminish in the effects it gives.

I use it every other day and have never found my skin to be irritated. The packaging is super easy to use, and while the smell is slightly less "natural" then I thought it would be, the effects far outweigh any niggles I might have (it doesn't come in a box so you can try and have a sniff before you purchase).

Overall, super impressed and definitely considering purchasing other products from the range. I've seen quite a lot of glowing reviews about products from both this Tea Flower range and the Rose range, for more hydrating effects!

The Super Facialist Purify & Refresh Facial Scrub is available from Boots for £8.99.

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4 December 2013

Life Through pic.twitter #1

Last month I left the world of Android for the economically drowning and flailing Blackberry world. Why? Because I liked the mixture of touchscreen and keyboard, I'm not a massive fan of the iPhone interface and to be honest - I haven't looked back. But one thing I do miss, is Instagram. I still have it on my iPad but hey - it's not the same!

Because I haven't done Instagrundays in so long, I thought I'd catch you guys up on the photos I've been putting up through Twitter and the things I've been up to. My life COULD be a bit more adventurous considering most of my waking hours are spent in the library, but when I do get out - these are the things I've been doing..

1. Shopping spree at KIKO - oh yes. I've been discovering this brand this past week or so, and I am violently in love with their Ultra Glossy Stylo Lipstick in Nude 802 (massive thanks to Tijan for telling me how good it is!). So much so.. it might be replacing the Rimmel Nude Delight. I know. What is going ON.

2. I also had a change to check out the Clear Start line from dermalogica at Snog. Yes! This was my first snog - and it was awesome. You can read more about the Clear Start line here - the spot treatment is the first ever spot treatment to work on me - it's amazing!

3. I couldn't resist this mini Zara City Bag. I loved the burgundy colour, and I loved the size. I've been using it to keep my key things in like wallet, phone, glasses while I carry my books in a tote bag. It's definitely much easier to find things!

4. Obligatory Breakfast Club shot, anyone? I visited a few weeks ago to have brunch with my friend. This dish (don't remember what it was called - something about being American) has the best of both worlds - pancakes and cooked breakfast. Glorious.

5. It's getting cold! And thus, the fur headband is back. This one I bought from the seller amyy-louise at the Asos Marketplace. I'm also wearing my new favourite pair of glasses.. which I'll fill you in on in a bit ;) (Note the mama City Bag!)

6. Mince pies! Mince pies! Mince pies! One of my favourite things about Christmas - I bought a box of 6, I should've gone for 12.

7. My new glasses. They are my new loves! I'm not sure if it's the bigger lenses that just add more weight to the top half of my face - I find my eyes more accentuated, eye make-up more visible and my face looks slimmer (you take everything you get when you've got a ginormous head). These are from Vision Direct, and are the R&L A138s in Turtle. I found the prescription slightly stronger than the glasses I have from Specsavers (despite ordering ones with the same prescription) but as my eyes have gotten worse since my eye test anyway, it actually worked out for the better!

8. Canary Wharf has recently opened a new area in the mall, and guess what - bareMinerals have arrived! I was checking it out the other day and saw this GORGEOUS rose gold brush set called the Brush On Beautiful Set.. *drooooool*. A self Christmas present? Perhaps.

9. Lastly, lastly.. the beautiful display at Tiffany's. The small boxes are just so cute, and the simplicity is stunning. I adore the simple pieces from Tiffany's (who doesn't!), and this new collection was no different. It's so far out my price range, it's pretty much in a different galaxy but oh.. I could stare at it all day! 

So that's about it :) Be sure to follow me on Twitter!

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30 November 2013

bareMinerals All The Faves Gift Set

 Browsing through blogs and stores, you see loads and loads of beauty gift sets, but one that has REALLY impressed me this year is this one from bareMinerals called All The Faves.

All The Faves contains just that - all the beauty lovers' favourites from the brand but in mini sizes (it WILL make you say, "AWWWWW!" multiple times). I think it's an absolute genius idea on bareMinerals' behalf and not only encourages the brands' loyal followers to give this set a go, but for people unfamiliar with the brand to trust the products in there as tried, tested and loved!

I suppose it was only natural then, that I've been impressed with most of the products in the set. Here are the quick thoughts regarding the products..

bareMinerals Mineral Veil
A brand favourite that offers many people that soft-glow effect. Unfortunately, it hasn't completely won me over, but it's a nice translucent powder nonetheless.

bareMinerals Ready Blush in The One
Very impressed with this one - the shade is a universal toned down pink, and the formula is blendable and long-lasting!

bareMinerals Prime Time
You guys know how I feel about this baby. Check it out here.

bareMinerals Prime Time for Eyes
VERY VERY impressed with this one! It's super easy to blend, and works like a dream. I usually use up eyeshadow primers before I buy new ones, and this will definitely be one of the contenders once my current one is finished.

bareMinerals Moxie Lipgloss in Sparkplug
Again - you guys know my thoughts on this. The Moxie lipglosses literally are the best pigmented cream lipgloss out there, which covers your lip evenly, smoothly and it's so unintrusive - i.e. it's not too sticky or light - it's just perfect. Read more here. The shade Sparkplug is also my favourite shade I've seen so far, because it's a slightly pale natural pink.

bareMinerals Lash Domination Mascara
This was a let down for me, BUT - 99% of mascaras are for me because my lashes are just that stubborn. Aside from me, everyone seems to love this so look elsewhere for a more representative review :)

bareMinerals Moxie Lipstick in Get Ready
Again, you can ready about my thoughts on the formula here. The shade is a dark pink which is gorgeous and very universal!

bareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow 2.0 in The Epiphany
I've been dying to try the Ready Eyeshadow 2.0, and I have to say my impressions are good. The pigmentation is fantastic, it's super blendable and it lasts ages but I also find the formula has a bit of fall out.

Overall, this box has an incredible selection of products - all great products in all universally flattering shades. I'm also quite glad to have so many mini products because they'll be super useful for travelling! If you know someone who has never tried bareMinerals, this is a great set because all the colours are all inoffensive and the products are great. It's also great for your own Christmas list for a new brand discovery and mini versions for your on-the-go make up bag :)

The All The Faves Gift Set retails for £36 - it's now 10% off at Debenhams!

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23 November 2013

Launch! dermalogica Clear Start Range

Usually I am one to frown at spot-fighting, oil-controlling products because most of them, in my experience, attempt to strip your skin of literally everything and burn their way down your pores to kill the spot. As such, despite being spotty and combination-skinned, for the past two years, I have only ever used products for dehydrated/dry skin because the hydration it provides ensures that not only do I stay non-oily, but that the spots don't arrive. It works with the right products, but it's hard to find the one with the right balance and enough hydration.


dermalogica has launched a brand new skincare line for people who have concerns about breakouts and oiliness, as well as for blackheads. These three symptoms often come hand in hand, but as a gal who's skin loves to create under-the-skin spots, the former two were key for me. This is their Clear Start range.

This is the whole range here - a face wash, toner, a night treatment/moisturiser, scrub, mask, two day moisturisers and a spot treatment. I have been all over the Foaming Wash and All Over Toner - and get this - the Emergency Spot Fix. I NEVER use spot treatments, but this one - this one is good.

The unique thing about these products is what I was kind of getting at earlier - they understand that oiliness often comes from the lack of hydration but also that spots are a type of infection. As such, the products have a mix of hydrating properties to control your skin, but have ingredients that prevent and treat spots. This last element, of course, is what products for dehydration/dry skin cannot provide, so you need that mixture of elements to treat your skin wholistically.

A key example is the Matte Moisturiser, which says it provides a matte finish ONLY because the product contains little oil but lots and LOTS of hydration. Which means it's not making your skin matte because  it's powdering your face, and it's not moisturising your skin with oil (which will make you greasier) - it's giving your skin that hydration that lets your oil glands know that they don't need to produce more oil. Your skin cannot produce water - only oil - so this is key!

Another example is the Pore Control Scrub and the Cooling Masque. The former has a clay base which help to clear away some oil while you exfoliate your skin so that the brand new cells are ready for hydration. The latter, on the other hand, has a gel base, which means not only is it easy to remove, but it doesn't draw out the life and soul of your skin while it does its magic!

The range also provides a way for you to "cut and paste" so to speak. As you can see below, each product is divided into what it combats - blackheads, breakouts or oiliness, and you will see on each product which category they fall into. So you can use all products that combat one thing, or a mixture of what you think your skin needs. This becomes the case especially when you're looking for a daytime moisturiser, when you can choose the Daytime Treatment for breakouts, or the Matte Moisturiser for oiliness.

Lastly, what I REALLY appreciate is that the pricing on these range is much like the Elemis Freshskin range - the audience is young, so the price points are affordable. Here's the price list:

Breakout Clearing Foam Wash - £13
Breakout Clearing All Over Toner - £13
Blackhead Clearing Pore Control Scrub - £13
Breakout Clearing Daytime Treatment - £16
Oil Clearing Matte Moisturiser SPF 15 - £16
Breakout Clearing Emergency Spot Fix - £13
Breakout Clearing Cooling Masque - £16
Breakout Clearing Overnight Treatment - £13
Breakout Clearing Kit - £23.50

..soooo in conclusion, I am SO EXCITED that a brand has started to consider spots more deeply, instead of many others who throw tea tree, salicylic acid and witch hazel in the formula and hope for the best.

You can see the full range on dermalogica's website :)

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22 November 2013

Giveaway! The Festive Essie, L'Oreal and Maybelline Beauty Boxes

So.. Christmas lights are going up, the Coca Cola adverts have started, everyone's trying to sell you something but.. it's still November?! Who can wait that long?!

Thanks to the lovely people at L'Oreal, I'll be easing the wait for various holiday celebrations (gotta stay PC these days) by just a wee bit, by giving away the beauty boxes from Boots that I wrote about HERE (including the Essie one which I've reviewed at the end of the post) to three of you lovely LOVELY readers.

It's not only to give a bit of a early Christmas/holiday season present, but to say thanks for all your support over the past 3 years - yes, *Let's MakeYuUp* is 3! Not only has it presented so many opportunities for me, it's just the most amazing hobby to have! I'm so privileged to have readers who keep me going and want to hear what I have to say, and without you guys I would not enjoy this half as much! So thank you :)

To enter, just follow the rules below and enter via Rafflecopter :)

The Rules:
This giveaway is only open to UK residents - sorry!
You MUST have entered via the Rafflecopter below. Comments/emails/tweets will not be counted.
You MUST be 18 or have parental permission to tell me your address if you win.
You MUST leave an email address AND a username - the former so I can contact you if you win, and the latter so I can check that you've followed. If you haven't done both, I can't select you as a winner.
If you don't claim your gift by the end of the day on the 4th of December, I will choose another winner.

The giveaway is to win one of the three boxes, but I will do my best to give you your first or second choice IF.. you leave me your preferences and a funny Christmas/winter joke in the comments below :)

The Prizes..

L'Oreal The Eye Artistry Kit
Super Liner Blackbuster in Black
Super Liner GelMatic Waterproof in Ultra Black
Super Liner Perfect Slim in Intense Black
Super Liner Brow Artist in 03 Brunette
Color Riche Les Ombres in Smoky Velours Noir

Maybelline Pure Enhancement Box
Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara in Dark Brown
Mega Plush Mascara in Very Black
Dream Touch Blush in Berry
Baby Lips Lip Balm in Hydrate
Color Show Nail Lacquer in Nebline

Essie Festive Fingertips
(See below! :))

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Essie Festive Fingertips Box

Need I say more? This set is AMAZING. It comes with four stunning shades that are as festive as a.. puppy in a santa hat? From left to right:

Beyond Cosy
A decadent silvery gold glitter

Eternal Optimist
A spiced tea rose with a dash of cream

Sole Mate
A creamy and rich deep plum

Fishnet Stockings
A spicy dark creme red

I genuinely could not pick a favourite. These are also so easy to apply (I mean, when do I ever have nailpolish applied so neatly?) because the brushes are the fat, flat kind which fan around the curves of your nails, and glide on a smooth, even layer of polish. It's a euphoric experience, to keep it PG.

As you can see in the photo collage at the top, this box also comes with a pretty cool nail wrap - but because I suck at nail wraps, I haven't used it yet.. someone help me pluck up the courage to do it!


If you want to purchase your own box, follow the links in this blog post :)

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21 November 2013

Launching! Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude Make Up & Correcting and Highlighting Perfector

At the risk of stating the obvious - I KINDA like foundations. As such I get pretty freaking excited when there's a pending launch of a new formula, never mind when I'm invited to test it out before it hits the market, (that being said, this post is more to tell you guys about what's coming up rather than a review) so I felt pretty privileged to be able to bring you this post.

The foundation in question is the Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude Foundation - Elizabeth Arden's first venture into liquid foundations since their relaunch last year. Along with this foundation, the brand are releasing the Flawless Finish Correcting and Highlighting Perfector. Red alert for those who like the sheer and luminous finish - you might not want to miss this.

This foundation's aim was to solve the top three concerns women face when it comes to foundations:

1) Will it have adverse effects on my skin?
2) It feels heavy on my skin
3) There isn't the right shade for me

Skincare Benefits
Elizabeth Arden's new motto, "make-up that does more" speaks for itself. With ingredients like carob seed extract and wild mushroom extract, which help to preserve skin moisture and hydration, vitamins C and E to protect the skin from environmental damages and of course the SPF 15 - this is sure to be one of the better foundations in terms of skincare. 

Shade Range
The product comes in 20 shades - which may not seem a lot at first, but for the brand, it's a massive improvement! In addition, Elizabeth Arden is the first high end skincare line to create an electronic shade matcher like No7 - it's called the Elizabeth Arden Foundation Shade Match Maker, and will be a complimentary service at all counters from February 2014.

The one I have in the photo is Beige 13, which is a pale, pink toned shade.

Did anyone rub their eyes to check they weren't looking at the YSL Touche Eclat? I get that - on first glance, they're incredibly similar. However, the concept is completely different.

The Flawless Finish Correcting and Highlighting Perfector leans much more on the concealer side than the Touche Eclat, and is suitable for blemishes, fine lines and redness as well as for dark circles. The converage is light-to-medium, and the formula is relatively hydrating but not as "wet" as liquid highlighters - thereby confirming that it's also a concealer. I have the shade 2 which is a little bit pale for my NC25 skintone, so I use it as a highlighter and it gives a really nice, natural highlight - not shimmer or sheen, but a nice light tint to bring out the high points of my face.

The concealer also contains the wu zhu yu plant to enhance brightness, moisturisers and emollients and vitamin E for antioxidants.

Overall, I think these are pretty exciting launches that are in line with a lot of women's demands when it comes to foundation - how they address the three concerns, I think, is really very cool. Although I haven't been able to do a full road test yet, I'm very excited to do so in the next few weeks! Oh, and need I mention the GORGEOUS packaging? I wouldn't have associated gorgeous packaging with the pre-relaunched Elizabeth Arden, but these are stunning!

The Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude Make Up and the Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude Make Up will be available for £28/£23 respectively. They will launch exclusively at Debenham's from the 18th of January, and will be available nationwide from the 19th of February.

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15 November 2013

AVON Luxe Collection 2013 & Swatches

AVON may not seem like a "luxe" brand, but this winter they've pulled it out of the bag to bring you their Luxe collection. It consists of a highlighter power, lipsticks, mascara, eyeliner, lipgloss, eyeshadow palette, perfume and foundation.

I absolutely adore the packaging on this line and am very pleased to say that it's not particularly cheap looking or cheap feeling, especially the lip products. The gold isn't too yellow, and they all feel like good quality. It really does give the image of a luxurious line and I quite like that!

Glitz Shimmer Powder in Rose Aura, Couture Creme Lip Gloss in Dazzling Nude, Couture Creme Lip Stick in Stiletto Red

Glitz Shimmer Powder in Rose Aura

The Glitz Shimmer Powder is slowly becoming my go-to highlighter, and that's because the underlying shade is very skintone-like and so the highlight is very very subtle. It creates more of a pearlescent glow, rather than a stark application of colour. Because it has no shimmers, it's very soft-focus and appropriate for everyday. It doesn't have an amazing staying power, but it lasts a good few hours and I think that's not too surprising at £12 a pop. I think the pattern of the product is so pretty, and adds to the loveliness of the product!

 Glitz Shimmer Powder in Rose Aura, Couture Creme Lip Gloss in Dazzling Nude, Couture Creme Lip Stick in Stiletto Red

Couture Creme Lip Stick in Stiletto Red

Probably my favourite in the line is this Couture Creme Lipstick in Stiletto Red. I found the formula really quite unique - it's a medium-pigmented lipstick that can be layered for a full colour (as bove), and it has very small red shimmers which aren't very visible on the lips. It's SUPER slick, and very moisturising so if you've found bright lipsticks to be quite drying this is one to try. It's also very sheeny, so very glossy looking and lovely. Stiletto Red in the tube looks like a toned down, slightly brown-leaning red, but when swatched, it pulls a cooler red but still slightly toned down. If you've found most red lipsticks to be too bright, this may be one to try. For £9.50, this is a great buy!

 Couture Creme Lip Gloss in Dazzling Nude

The Couture Creme Lipgloss isn't one I highly recommend, in the sense that I find it slightly sticky. That being said, it doesn't look gloopy and I quite like the slight shimmers in it. This one has small bright pink shimmers in the peachy beige base, so it works to really even out and warm up your natural lip colour. Perhaps not one for people who aren't usually massive gloss people :) This retails for £8.

 Couture Creme Lip Stick in Stiletto Red, Couture Creme Lip Gloss in Dazzling Nude, Glitz Shimmer Powder in Rose Aura

This collection is available from an Avon representative or online here.
With the currently online sale, the Glitz Shimmer Powder is £10, Couture Creme Lipgloss is £5.50 and Couture Creme Lipstick is £6.50 :)

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13 November 2013

The Chelsea Day Spa Boutique

It's not often I go to the lovely area of London that is Kensington, but the other day I popped over to the Chelsea Day Spa Boutique on Hollywood Road to get the Darphin Kiwi & Pomegranate Hydrator Facial. Yes, it is as luxurious as it sounds.

(Images from the Chelsea Day Spa - this one isn't Hollywood Road)

The Chelsea Day Spa Boutique isn't a day spa in the sense that it's a massive place where you stay a whole day - it's more of a walk-in, multi-service spa and quite casual in comparison. From what I saw, in addition to two treatment rooms, there was a room to get your nails done, a retro pedicure bench and a blow-dry bar as well. Overall, the atmosphere was very pretty, clean and nice but not over the top luxurious. As I went to the Boutique branch, it wasn't as spacious as what you see above, which is why I'd say it's perfect for popping in to get a treatment or two - kind of like a hair salon but you obviously don't get your hair cut ;) It had a simple yet pretty decor, and a down to earth atmosphere.

My treatment room looked something like this, although a little less spacious. Obviously just going in for a facial, this was more than enough - I thought I'd be sitting down, so a little lay-down in a nice duvet was more than welcomed! The facialist was absolutely amazing - she asked me to take my top off, pop myself under the duvet and explained to me what the process would be. Being the nosy little blogger I am, I kept asking her what she was doing:

She instantly assessed my face as combination skinned with congestion on my nose and chin. Then, she cleansed my face with a milk - I don't know if it was because this was the first step but oh my goodness, it felt so good! I felt like my face was starting to get flooby (technical term) and all the tenseness which I didn't even know I had, started melting away. My favourite step was the second step, where she exfoliated my face with the Darphin Age Defying Dermabrasion scrub - not only did it smell amazing, it felt so so good. It was the perfect mix of rough but not painful and my skin loved it! If it wasn't so close to Christmas, I'd totally shell out the £52 for a tub of my own. My facialist's frustration at the fact it's not common knowledge that you have to exfoliate for serums and moisturisers to work really stayed with me!

Afterwards, she applied two different masks on me - one for pore cleansing down my t-zone, and one for hydration on my cheeks. This is JUST what I need, and something I really need to adopt in my daily routine (also because the one-mask thing has stopped sufficiently surprising my boyfriend when I turn around after applying it and going BOO!). Unlike other facials I've gotten, she offered to either give me a hand or head massage while we waited for the mask to set. The head massage was really okay, but I don't think I'm a head massage person.. if there is such a thing. Like I'm definitely not a tummy massage person, that freaks me out (in case you were wondering..)

Then there was the toning, serum and moisturiser, which again were all gorgeously massaged on my face. She kept pressing firmer on my chin which is my biggest problem area, and since then I've started attempting to mimic her myself in hopes of decongesting the area.

Most of the time, the room was silent, there was nice music and the room was dimmed. However, you can hear the toilet flushing, which was slightly distracting but otherwise, all very relaxing!

Afterwards, my skin felt like a baby's bum. It felt so light, hydrated and really just smooth. My skin had been in a right state until then, as I'd been unable to settle into a routine, and this really threw me back in it. I felt like I had a clean slate, and that it was up to me to maintain it! Granted it didn't look too different but a bit brighter, most of it was just how it felt -so smooth, fresh, polished and ready to take in anything you threw at it! Obviously for long-lasting effects, I'd have to keep going back, but for one session, I felt amazing. The description for the treatment says you should be left with a "delectably dewy fresh, radiant complexion". Oh, absolutely. This would be perfect for the drying winter - either as a temporary pick-me-up, or as a longer journey to restore hydration to your skin :)

Overall, I am very impressed. I learned a lot, got to experience really nice products, and the customer service was brilliant. £85 for a 60 minute treatment may sound like a lot but I feel like my face was in good hands, I had no issues later about irritations or anything, and I really did feel brand new afterwards. I highly recommend the Chelsea Day Spas if you're looking for an indulgent treat for your face! :)

The Chelsea Day Spa have also launched a 100% pure soya wax luxury aroma candles with lead-free wicks. They come in Violet Lemonade, Berry Vanilla, Winter Wonderland, Hot Chocochouli and Grapefruit Sorbet. I had a sniff of Winter Wonderland which I loved, but now I'm wishing I got a whiff of the Berry Vanilla.. yummm.

You can find out more information about the Chelsea Day Spas on their website.


*Images were provided to me by the Chelsea Day Spa.
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10 November 2013

I'm Microblogging with Dayre

You guys know I love my lengthy reviews and expressing random thoughts in a mere 140 characters, but from next week I'll be turning my hands alongside 29 other bloggers (or "Alpha-Seeders") to what can only be described as an "in between" - Dayre.

Dayre's a microblogging app designed specifically for mobile devices like tablets and phones, and is available for free on Android and iTunes. You can create updates throughout the day and it'll merge it all into one big post at the end of the day. These updates come in the form of photos, narratives and videos, as well as check-ins and stickers! Can I just say - the pig stickers are AWESOME.

As a beauty blogger, I do sometimes hesitate posting anything except make-up and skincare on my blog, so I'm really excited to have a "blog" that's about me - but isn't so full-blown as a proper blog (and more organised and narrative-y than Twitter!). Also, I like how it's an "on-the-go" app, which means it's much more real-time and impromptu! Expect lots of food pictures, cafe check-ins, thoughts on the news and well.. pig stickers.

So I invite you to create your own Dayre (here), and check out and FOLLOW MY PROFILE for the next 6 weeks while I test out the app! The Alpha-Seeder with the highest number of followers after 2-3 months will win an iPhone 5s so, not me - as I just got a new phone, but my boyfriend will very much appreciate your support ;P

Will you be Dayre-ing? If so, be sure to leave me your handle! :)

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8 November 2013

News! Boots' Christmas Beauty Boxes


November 5th has passed.. you know what that means - it's officially acceptable to publicly anticipate Christmas! Woo!

Part of the fun is shopping for gifts right? Unfortunately for us make-up lovers, most beauty gifts are perfumes (which are often quite pricey) or bath stuff.. BUT. Boots have pulled it out of the bag this year to bring three gift boxes from fantastic brands that are make-up and nail polish filled, and very affordable!

All three come with some of each brand's super popular and iconic products - L'Oreal's eyeliners, Maybelline's mascara and Baby Lips and of course, Essie's polishes. It's not only a great way to try these products that have been glaring at you from the shelves of Boots, but to get a taste of other products from the brand too. 

Prices are as follows - click the link to nab one yourself!
L'Oreal - RRP £24.99 ,worth £33.
Maybelline - RRP £19.99, worth £25.
Essie - RRP £24.99, worth £42.

Like many of you, as much as I'm excited about buying gifts and doing all the festive whatnots, sometimes I'm just kinda like, ..none of this is for me. So I think I'm not the only one when I say, there are always a few gifts thrown in my basket, "just in case I miss someone".. ahem, me. Hah! I personally will be going for the Essie set, as there's a significant lack of Essie polishes in my collection.. she says, as she looks at the 4 she owns. 4 definitely constitutes "significant lack", in my world anyway.


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1 November 2013

Lily Lolo Metallics Collection Smoky Rose Eyeshadow Quad

This season, Lily Lolo have released their Metallics Collection, which consists of two eyeshadow quads and two highlighters. Although on the surface they're not your typical A/W collection, I've found that the Smoky Rose Eyeshadow quad actually fits the bill quite well. It's also my first time trying Lily Lolo products so I was quite excited and subsequently, incredibly impressed.

As you may know, Lily Lolo is a mineral make-up line which is cruelty free and avoids parabens, synthetic fillers, fragrances and dyes :) High five!

Although I'm tempted to say packaging isn't Lily Lolo's strengths, when it comes down to it, the white quad is actually quite simple and nice. It is a bit plasticky but the white is unique and I quite like that.

The mirror is a good size, and the applicators are actually not too bad. They're a very fine, rubber texture so they're much better than the dry foamy ones you get sometimes!

These eyeshadows were quite distinctive from other eyeshadows I own, but the first thing I noticed was the smell - it smells like play-doh.. take that for what you will! My first impressions were - "oh dear, is this going to be like children's make-up?" In response to my past self, "No, you moron."

I noticed the powder to be incredibly creamy and extremely finely milled - to the point that when applied, they look almost like cream eyeshadow! There's lots of moisture in there which gives it that creamy feel, and they blend seamlessly together to give an amazingly soft, perfected look. I was SO surprised at how well these blended into each other when I used the same techniques I use with any other eyeshadow, and it reminded me of how something similar happens with the highly coveted NARS eyeshadows.

The pigmentation, initially, when I was swatching the photos below didn't seem too impressive. The white was a bit bitty, and I was struggling to get the charcoal to be very dark. However, they didn't pose a problem at all when I was actually applying them on the eyelids!

Funny story that, because I have the same problem with Chanel quads, in that when I try to swatch them to show you photos, they just seem to stick to my fingers and never let go - BUT because of that, like the Chanel quads, the Lily Lolo eyeshadow lasts yonks on your eyelids. I didn't wear primer with these and they stayed not only un-creased, but completely fresh-looking for the whole day. I was very impressed, and would compare this lasting power only to the likes of Chanel and NARS.

As before, I used exactly the same amount as I would with other eyeshadows, if not less, and they applied beautifully. The taupe and pink is very well pigmented, while the white and charcoal I think is intentionally left slightly sheerer to use as highlighting and deepening shades without being OTT. The white looks great as a highlighter without coming across stark white, and the charcoal really added a nice level of drama when I added a bit to the outer corner, without creating a harsh dark link.

The "Look"..
This was my favourite look that I created with the quad. I used one brush - the MAC 224 for this whole look. First, I applied a wash of the taupe all over my lid, and then blended the edges out with the pink. This added a nice balance of warmth to the otherwise very cool colour (I compared - it makes MAC's Satin Taupe and Urban Decay's Sidecar look BROWN). This warmth adds a really autumnal feel to the look, and I always thought this kind of colour complemented brown eyes. Then I deepened the crease with the charcoal, and used my finger to 'stamp' a bit of white in the inner corners.

The Shades
At first I thought the shades were slightly odd - I felt there were some extremely contrasting shades in there, which sits uncomfortably with my dull taste in eyeshadows. But overall, I really like the look above - it adds an autumnal twist to a typical taupe look, and I never would've thought to pair a pink with a taupe. After trying a few looks however, while I see the merits in the choice of shades, I find the scope for variation quite limited if you're looking for an everyday quad. As in, I still wouldn't apply the pink as an all over lid colour. That being said, it could be handy as a blusher! On the other hand, for more intense looks, this would be a good choice!

As such, this palette in particular wouldn't be my first choice, especially as there is a more 'conventional' quad in the collection called the Molten Bronze Eye Shadow Quad which looks absolutely stunning and more for the faint-hearted such as yours truly. Assuming the formulas are exactly the same, I'll be checking out their Eye Shadow Duos too, which offer a few more choices in shades than the quads for a mere £8.49 - less than half the price of the quads.

I'm super impressed. Superficially, it's not the most attractive palette but what's inside (and what actually matters) is absolutely amazing. I was blown away by the quality of the eyeshadows, and the fact that they're made without the nasties makes things even better. Initially, I thought the price was kinda high at £18.99 considering the packaging and that the duos are £8.49, but when you experience the quad you see where the money goes - PHWOAR. And really, that's where you want it to go at the end of the day! I highly recommend this quad and provided the formula is the same across the brand, Lily Lolo's eyeshadows - they're phenomenal quality for the price, and easily compares to the high end equivalents you'd pay double for!


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31 October 2013

Launch: L'Occitane Grasse Collection Fleur d'Or and Cedre EDT

L'Occitane, earlier this year, launched their fragrance line, La Collection de Grasse. After recently adding their fifth scent, Ambre & Santal, the company is adding two more for the coming winter season today - Fleur d'Or & Acacia and Cedre & Oranger.

La Collection de Grasse is a natural ingredient fragrance line, that combines a scent from Europe to a more exotic scent available elsewhere. The four original fragrances include Vanille & Narcisse, Magnolia & Mure, The Vert & Bigarade and my personal favourite, Jasmine & Bergamot. I personally really like the line because it's exactly what it says on the tin. The fragrances are very simple, yet the two components are chosen so well that despite the 'stripped down' nature of the scents, they come across very sophisticated and classy.

Fleur d'Or & Acacia and Cedre & Oranger

Fleur d'Or & Acacia
This scent combines mimosa (fleur d'or) and acacia, which creates a really fresh top note, with a sweet and floral undertone. You can also smell a hint of honey, which means it has that warmth appropriate for the winter, but the slightly zingy note of the mimosa balances it out to a really nice scent.

The line also comes with a shimmering Shower Gel, Hand Cream, Luminous Oil, Body Milk, Perfumed Soap and a Scented Candle. I've tried the Hand Cream and Luminous Oil, and am very impressed by both. The hand cream is a similar consistency to their best selling Shea Hand Cream, but with a very different scent. It's the right amount of richness for this time of year! The Luminous Oil is also really nice, as it absorbs quickly and leaves your skin incredibly supple. It can also be used in your hair.

A little bit random, but I was REALLY impressed by the spray on the EDT bottles - very evenly dispersed and a fine mist! The Luminous Oil, on the other hand was a wee bit splurty and dangerous.. Also, I love the glass bottles in the EDT and the Oil - the square, I think, looks really crisp and the '&' emboss is classy. I'm not 100% convinced on the aluminum lids but, I do like the gold more than the silver.

Cedre & Oranger
While the Grasse Collection is technically unisex, this particular scent is marketed towards men. As such, I had Ben put it to the test. Much like Fleur d'Or, it mixes a woody cedar with a crisp orange, which again, creates a really unoffensive and balanced scent. It doesn't particularly strike winter, but it's more of an all-year scent which probably appeals to the anti-shopping men out there!

The other products in the line include a Shower Gel, After Shave Balm, and a Scented Soap. Ben really enjoyed the Shower Gel, saying it lathered well and I definitely noticed that the scent lingered nicely on his skin. I personally really liked this scent on Ben, and it might just be by chance that this is the kind of scent he likes but I do think it's a safe bet if you're looking to buy for a guy this Christmas!

As these are both Christmas releases, they come with a limited edition sleeve on the normal boxes which are slightly more festive than the mainline Grasse collection. In addition, some of the non-EDT products are limited edition. However, all the scents in the collection are available in £65 gift sets for the festive season!

The fragrances retail for £49 each for 75ml, and are also available in their Christmas gift sets.
See the whole collection from today on the L'Occitane website.

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