Sunday, 30 December 2012

december favourites

So here we are at the last post of 2012 and wow time seems to have gone fast. It seems like yesterday that I was typing up my May Favourites and now 6 months later I'm doing the same thing, I'm so glad I have the opportunity to and I guess I'd just like to thank you for reading and supporting me for the short time I've been in this blogging community, I can't tell you how much it means to me that there's actually someone out there reading me rambling on about beauty.
I hope you all have a wonderful year ahead of you and keep an eye out on this blog, I have a few giveaways planned for next year!
I mentioned the Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse BB Cream in my recent haul, and have been using it every day since. The BB Cream comes in only one shade and blends in seamlessly with my very fair skin however it may look ashen on darker skin tones. 
The formula is hydrating and thick but it manages not to feel at all greasy due to it being oil-free and as with almost all BB Creams the coverage is light and the finish is dewy, but the main reason I've been reaching for this over my foundations is that it doesn't cling to dry patches which in these cold winter months is essential although I think that this may get a lot of use in the summer as well due to the sheer coverage.
Do you remember what I said in my November Favourites, about the Rimmel Kate Matte Lipstick in 107 being my favourite winter lipstick? Well, I've changed my mind. That award now goes to the MUA Lipstick in Shade 1, which I team with my E.L.F Studio Lip Liner in Wine (which conveniently comes with a good quality lip brush on the other end) to create a bold dark red lip, pictured above.

As you can see from the swatch, the concealer doesn't match my skin tone at all but as it was a mini that came in a set I wanted to somehow try it out. I've been using Benefit Erase Paste in Medium as a corrector for my dark under-eye circles then using a concealer in my skin tone over it which works brilliantly since the Erase Paste is incredibly pigmented and you only need the tiniest bit as it's so thick. I'm interested to see if the lighter shade will match my skin tone because if it does I may have found my holy grail concealer.

To match my vampy red lips I've been going for winged eyeliner and as it's almost impossible for me to do it with pencil or liquid eyeliner I turned to the only black gel eyeliner I have, the 17 Falsifeye Gel Eyeliner which was a limited edition eyeliner that came free as part of a promotion Boots were doing. I'm prepared to admit that it's not the best, it's not incredibly pigmented or long-lasting but I'm adding this into my favourites to represent my love of winged eyeliner as of late.

For some reason I've started caring about my brows this month and have been using the Dainty Doll Eyeliner Pencil in Goody Two Shoes to fill them in. This pencil has never been of much use to me as an eyeliner but since I've discovered that it's the perfect shade for my brows it's now incorporated into my daily routine. The pencil also isn't extremely pigmented which actually works out in my favour as it gives a more natural look.

Are you doing anything to ring in the New Year?

Thursday, 27 December 2012

december beauty boxes

December is the month where I go all out on beauty boxes. As the beauty box companies all base their themes on Christmas, it stands to reason that this month's boxes will be superior to other months and I'm not ashamed to admit that I exploit this by subscribing to quite a's what was in them!
In my SheSaidBeauty box was a Jamela 24k Gold Under Eye Mask, a Technic nail polish in Tawny Port, MesmerEyez Coloured Contacts in Diamond Blue, an Amie Spring Clean Cooling Clay Mask, two Jing Whole Leaf teabags, one is jasmine tea and the other is green tea and finally two sachets of Dr Duve skincare, one is an eye cream and the other a face cream.

It's always nice to see a nail polish in a beauty box and despite the brand being rather a cheap one, the colour is lovely and I'll get some use out of it.
I'm on the fence on how I feel about being sent coloured contacts, I wore them to a party and they enhanced my already blue eyes but they expire a day after opening so they're single use.
The Amie clay mask was in a previous box, which I'm rather disappointed with as I'd rather try something new but I did enjoy it before so I can't really complain.
I'm also not to keen on the tiny sachet samples of the Dr Duve skincare, although I can see why they're so small considering the price for the full size - over £100 for skincare? Sheesh.
The value of this box is approximately £25.37 if each of the Dr Duve samples is 2ml (they have no weight on them).
Unfortunately this is SheSaidBeauty's last box, I'm quite sad to see them go as they were my favourite beauty box!
You can find me on SheSaidBeauty here.
In my Glossybox was a vial of Lemon by Mary Greenwell Eau De Parfum, a Rituals body cream, a Sebamed Hydrating Body Lotion, a Seche nail polish in Precious, a Glossybox blush in Glossy Rosewood and a Sleek lipstick in Amped.

Overall I'm thrilled with this box, although the inclusion of two body lotions wasn't ideal, nor was the little perfume vial as I'm not too keen on the scent.
As I mentioned before, nail varnishes are right up my alley and Precious is a light pink with a blue duochrome - not the colour I would've chosen (although I've just looked up some swatches and it looks gorgeous) but Seche polishes are rather expensive so I'm expecting the formula to be good!
The stand-out item for me has to be the Sleek lipstick, and the colour I received is Amped, a matte neon pink that doesn't look a world away from MAC's Candy Yum Yum. To be honest it would be nice to have got a festive red colour, but I'm still delighted with this.
I haven't used the blush yet, nor have I tried any of the Glossybox exclusive products but as they're made by Kryolan I'm looking forward to it.
The value of this box is around £21.81, not including the Glossybox blush as a price is not given for it.
You can subscribe to Glossybox here.
 In my LuxBox was a Sheer Cover Smokey Eyes Eyeshadow Palette, a Sheer Cover Base Perfector Primer, a Green People Fruit Scrub Exfoliator, a Mashooq Deep Penetrating Oil and an Ancienne Ambiance Luxury Goddess Gift Soap in Savon Rose.

I genuinely squealed when I opened this box and saw the eyeshadow palette (and more so when I saw the RRP, £20.95, what?!), I've never tried anything from the brand Sheer Cover and the colours look lovely. From left to right are White Ice, Silver Polish, Soft Coal, Royal Blue, Deep Violet and Starry Night and I'm really quite excited to give this a go!
Also from Sheer Cover is a face primer, I never really use face primer although I have a few samples from different brands but as I'm getting more and more into face products no doubt one day it will make its way into my makeup routine.
I'm a bit unsure as to whether I will use the hair oil from Mashooq as my hair gets greasy (I hate that word) quite easily but the included leaflet says that it works with all hair types, I shall have to put that theory to the test though.
I can never have too many exfoliators, so an organic one by Green People is a welcome addition to my rather large exfoliator family and as one of my New Year's resolutions will be to start doing Empties posts I will check back with how it performed once I've used it up.
And as for the soap that became a stocking stuffer for my mum, I'm sure she appreciated it more than I would - I'll always be faithful to my shower gel and liquid hand wash.

The value of this box is about £55.55, and that isn't even a typo.
You can subscribe to LuxBox here.

Did you receive any beauty boxes this month?

Monday, 24 December 2012

notd | ticket to the show

I've completely missed the opportunity to do any Christmas themed nail art this year, my nails have been in such bad condition (fingers crossed that Santa brings some OPI Nail Envy) that I've been trying to lay off the nail varnish as much as possible to give my fingertips a break. 
As you can see from the title, this is a nail of the day so that thought didn't really go as planned. Oh well.
Ticket To The Show is very dark, almost black shade with lots of multicoloured shimmer that although look gorgeous in the bottle fails to show up as much on the nails. The shimmer is very subtle and is only visible when it catches the light.
Front Row Or Backstage? is a golden brown, and is more sparkly than it's counterpart. Both took three coats to be opaque.
Neither of the shades had very good staying power even with a top and base coat but for only a few euros you can't expect too much. You can also create a third colour by layering the two shades on top of each other, I've seen a similar design with these nail polishes by Andrea Fulerton.
Essence Colour³ in 06 Ticket To The Show
As the nail polish is by Essence I'm afraid they aren't available in the UK, but if you're in Europe be sure to give any Essence stands you see a look!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

a rather large collective haul

I haven't done a haul in quite a long time - well, for me anyway - this isn't because I've been good and not spent any money (pshh, I wish) but because I've been acquiring things in dribs and drabs and a bit of a splurge may have occured over the course of November.
So here's my attempt to keep a record of what I've got and try control my overspending!
From top to bottom: Weleda One-Step Cleanser & Toner, Bioderma Sebium H20 Micellaire Solution, Essence Eyeliner Pen, Harajuku Lovers GMUA Lipstick in Shade 1, Jason Lip Balm, Inglot AMC Blush in 55, Topshop Blush in Head Over HeelsMUA Eyebrow Pencil in Blonde, Sigma E10 Small Eyeliner Brush.

A few websites had free delivery for Black Friday and as both Sigma and Topshop usually have rather expensive delivery I took advantage of the offers, plus I really wanted to try some Topshop makeup. I've been using the Sigma brush for winged eyeliner and it works perfectly as it's so small and precise.
At the start of November I went on holiday for a few days, and while there I spotted an Inglot shop and a pharmacy that sold Bioderma - and I had to try something from each as well as picking up something from Essence just to try out since the price point was so low.
I had a sample of the Weleda One-Step Cleanser & Toner in a beauty box way back when and seeing as I'm about to run out of my current cleanser it seems like a perfect opportunity to give this a proper go. I also bought a few MUA products - a lovely dark red lipstick and an eyebrow pencil to ease me into taking care of my brows.
Last in the photo are a Jason lip balm that my mum gave to me when they were buy one get one free and a Harajuku Lovers perfume that was only £5 at TK Maxx which I snapped up as soon as I saw it - the Harajuku Lovers perfumes all have rather  sweet scents and the bottle topper is just adorable!
For my first foray into indie cosmetics I thought I'd try some samples before committing to the full size, so I ordered two trial sized Lip Lustres from Fyrinnae for a really low price and they were kind enough to give me a free sample of their loose eyeshadow in Koala. Visual Kei is a bright pink and Dragon's Blood is a deep red - I've tried Dragon's Blood once and wow it is pigmented. The website also has so many other fun colours, I feel a collection forming.
Bottom: Elemental Herbology Discovery Kit, Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse BB Cream

Lately I've really been liking the website What's In My Handbag, it has some amazing "pop-ups" or sets of products from different brands that are only available for a very limited time. The sets have great discounts on them but they sell out quickly so I find myself checking back at the site almost daily - a few weeks ago they had a discount code for free shipping and £10 off a £20 spend so I treated myself to some new skincare.
The Elemental Herbology set had samples of the Facial Glow Radiance Peel, Cell Plumping Facial Hydrator and the Facial Souffle Overnight Repair Cream and considering the price that the full sizes retail for it's amazing that this was only £15. So far they're doing wonders for my dry skin but unfortunately it's sold out on the website.
The Dermalogica kit contains minis of the Special Cleansing Gel, the Daily Microfoliant, the Skin Smoothing Cream and the Multivitamin Power Firm, not too shabby for a tenner. So far I've only tried the Daily Microfoliant and I'm really, really liking it and this kit is still available so if you're eyeing it up get it quick!
On the subject of bargains, I bought the Dr. Jart+ BB Cream when it was half price at Boots, but trust me it's worth every penny of the full price. The BB Cream offers just the right amount of coverage for me and gives a lovely dewy glow which perks up my face and makes me look a bit more lively. Best of all, it doubles up as skincare so I'm not paranoid about it clogging my pores as I am with foundation.
Now for the clothes! The grey baggy jumper with a camera on it was from Camden Market and is incredibly comfortable, I pair it with skinny jeans if it's a casual day or over a shirt with the collar sticking out for a more preppy look.
The scarf and the stripy long sleeved tshirt are from Forever 21 and have both become staples in my winter wardrobe as the tshirt is very flattering (I love the neckline) and great for layering, and the scarf keeps me warm.
These have to be my favourite pair of shoes. Ever. Again, Forever 21 was the bringer of these objects of glory and for £30, they're really comfortable and quite sturdy.

A new handbag has been on the cards for me for a long time, my old one was practically disintegrating so a trip to Primark was in order. This bag is over-the-shoulder and it's pretty small but can fit in all my essentials nicely. I can't remember the exact price, but it was either £6 or £8, either way it's great value for money!
Last but not least is the jewellery as it's almost impossible to leave Forever 21 without getting any. The arrow ring was about £3 and the necklace with a tiny little umbrella on it was on sale for 99p.

Wow this post was rather long, hope I haven't bored you to death!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

i love the tate modern

If you're of the arty type and are in London with a few hours to kill, I can think of no better place to go than the Tate Modern. Granted, not every piece there I would describe as "art", but overall the exhibitions are so interesting.
Admission is free for most exhibits and is a short walk from Southwark tube station (follow the orange lampposts!).

Monday, 17 December 2012

uk magazine freebies - december 2012

First off, if we're in the subject on magazines, I feel the need to chip in on how I feel about this month's Company magazine, a few articles of which caused rather a fiasco on Twitter.
Personally, I think that people overreacted to the article called "Do You Speak Blog?", as the article was written rather sarcastically and was poking fun at the stereotypes of beauty bloggers.
However, I can easily see how it caused offence, especially the letter D which is shown in the photo.
However I am really not too keen on the second feature - "" as the style of writing seems more matter-of-fact and as if the tips they give need to be followed to achieve a good blog. There aren't any specific guidelines on how to blog, nor should there be and although I do agree with some of the points (blurry photos and unreadable fonts aren't the best features of any blog) I don't see why the article had to be written in such an bitchy insensitive manner.
Rant over - onto the freebie!
 I only have one magazine freebie to share with you this month, and the magazine in question is Harper's Bazaar. You get a 50ml body butter by Bliss in either Lemon + Sage or Blood Orange + White Pepper, and owning the latter myself I have to say that it smells delicious and not at all artificial.
Harper's Bazaar retails for £4.20 (don't you think that is a little too expensive?!).

Friday, 14 December 2012

lovely blogs #3

Apologies for this series being neglected for a while, I'd almost forgotten it! But, um,'s some good blogs.
Judy's Beauty Blog
Judy's blog is jam-packed with great reviews and swatches, but what really stand out to me are the photos, they're so crisp and clear and really let you get an idea of what the products are like.

The Dodo Bakes
This one is actually a baking blog, run by Chloe and oh I can't go on this blog too often or I start drooling. The recipes are really straightforward and easy to follow - just take this amazing halloween graveyard cake for example.

Amie's blog is just all-round lovely, she has fantastic photos and thorough reviews and I'm also incredibly jealous of the layout of her blog, it just oozes girliness with little touches like the ditsy print and borders on the photos.