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.

read more

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 :)

read more

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 :)

read more

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.

read more

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!

read more