Saturday 31 August 2013

august favourites

These Origins masks are a match made in heaven for combination skin. The Clear Improvement charcoal mask is brilliant for flushing all the gunk out of my pores (don't I paint a pretty picture) and dealing with spots, whilst the Drink Up Intensive Overnight mask is working wonders on my dry patches. My nose used to be a no-go area for foundation since around March time because of how bad the dry patches were (attractive) but after using this mask almost every night over the past month my nose has healed up and is well on its way to recovery. I know that they're not the cheapest of masks, but I can say that they're worth every penny - however if you're strapped for cash and really want to give one a go, the Origins website do 50ml travel sizes (like the one I have of the Drink Up Intensive mask) for half the price of the 100ml bottles.
I think I've mentioned the Maybelline SuperStay 24HR concealer on here a while ago, but it fell along the wayside and it's only recently that I've started picking it up and using it again. It provides great coverage for under the eyes, and manages to not budge for a good few hours too. The shade I have (Light) is very yellow toned, and conceals the fact that I haven't had a good night's sleep in donkey's years rather well. And that can only be a good thing.
Despite only having received the LAQA & Co. Lip Pencil in Ring Of Fire halfway through the month in my Birchbox, I've been using it non-stop as I just can't get enough of the pink/red/coral/Ican'tdescribeshadesforthelifeofme colour (it looks red in the swatch but pink on my lips, what's going on). It lasts well, looks good when worn both sheer or opaque and smells like mint, so really what more could you want?
And finally, here's the best eyeliner I've ever used. L'Oreal were kind enough to send me a few of their new eyeliners, and after trying them all out one really stood out to me. The L'Oreal Super Liner Perfect Slim* liquid eyeliner is so pigmented, and due to the fine felt tip nib liquid liner is a doddle. Review to come soon.

Okay so it's autumn now. What.

I haven't even had a chance to wear my sunnies.
*PR Sample.

Wednesday 28 August 2013

notd | aurora borealis

How fitting is the name of this polish? I'm not one for duochromes, but even I did a double take when I saw this little bottle of glory at the Miss Sporty stand. From afar, you would be forgiven for thinking the polish is a strange purple-toned silver shade, however close up the duochrome is more obvious, even more so in daylight. The colour flickers between turquoise, purple and green depending on which angle the light is hitting it, which gives an effect not dissimilar to a petrol spill. It certainly is eye-catching.
Sure, it doesn't have the most opaque formula ever, with it needing four coats to be vaguely wearable but at least the drying time isn't that bad. Besides, you can't expect the world from something with a £1.99 price tag.

Sunday 25 August 2013

chocolate orange cookies

These cookies are so incredibly rich that you'll only need to have one to get your chocolate fix for the day. The dark chocolate gives the biscuits a bittersweet taste, whilst the orange filling gives that little bit of sweetness that all cookies should have. Want to bake them? Course you do, they're brill.

For the biscuits - 225g of broken dark chocolate, 75g of plain four, 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder, two eggs, 100g of sugar, the grated zest of one orange & a pinch of salt
For the filling/icing - 75g of unsalted butter, 100g of sugar & the grated zest and juice of one orange.
Makes approximately seven cookies (after you sandwich them together).

Preheat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 4).
Melt the chocolate using a double boiler. Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. In a different bowl (multiple bowls, betcha didn't see that one coming) whisk the eggs, sugar and orange zest, then stir in the melted chocolate and flour. The mixture should be thicker than cake batter, but not doughy - add a bit more flour if necessary. Spoon the mixture onto an oiled tray (I managed to fit six blobs to a tray) and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Whisk the filling ingredients until fluffy. Spread on the base of a biscuit and sandwich another on top (I had to wait until the biscuits had cooled down before I attempted this step, as if the cookies were warm they would've melted the butter in the filling and it would've been a complete mess). You can also leave out the filling altogether, and you're left with plain chocolate orange cookies -there's twice as many to go around as well!

Friday 23 August 2013

uk magazine freebies - august 2013

There's only two freebies that I've spotted this month, and the first is from Company (£2.50) magazine. You remember that liquid eyeliner that I raved about back in March? It was in a duo that was an exclusive freebie that Company magazine had done ages ago and from the looks of things, they've brought it back for this month's issue. I'm going to be stocking up.

The other free gift comes with Elle (£4), which is offering a free 50ml Bumble & Bumble Thickening Hairspray with the September issue. Apparently it's worth £6.50 too, so get your mitts on a copy of the mag quick if you fancy it!

Any that I've missed?

Wednesday 21 August 2013

sponsored post: top summer polish shades for your toes

We all have our beauty regime before we go on holiday. The hairdresser gets a phone call, the credit card gets a little more worn when it comes to shopping, there are moisturisers and nail files and buffers on every surface of the bathroom and then it comes to choosing which colour nail varnish you will be sporting for this year’s holiday. Although this may not be as important as remembering your passport, choosing a shade that is both summery and going to match all the outfits you just purchased can be a difficult decision. With this in mind, here are this summer’s hottest colours for your feet.
Orange. It is bright, vibrant and summery. It just isn't summer without seeing an orange nail varnish on fingers or toes and it is actually quite a flattering colour for all skin tones. If you have darker skin then neon orange can be used or if you have a paler complexion a bright, yet not glowing, is also a great colour. Although orange may not be the best choice for all outfits, it will be a great pop of colour on your toes.
Blue is a colour that can be used all year round but why not spice it up a little and rather than a royal or navy blue why not try electric. This will be sure to match most if not all outfits and has a great shocking effect especially on feet. For the best shade, look for a cobalt with a high shine finish. If you want to be even more daring why not try one with a chrome effect which is definitely unexpected and vibrant all at the same time.
Of course, no summer shades list is complete without a hot pink! This colour will add appeal to any sandal and is a great colour for summer. Again this shade will work with all skin types and for holiday going as bright as you can is definitely a must. For a slightly more subtle approach to a pink polish why not try shades that have coral hints.
If you don't want a varnish that is as punchy as a pink then you could just opt for coral. It is a great colour that looks great in sandals and in the sand. Of course coral is a great colour for the beach and even more so if your skin has an olive undertone. If you want to be a little bolder, there are shades of coral that have an orange tint which is great for holidays.
Pastel colours are also great for the summer, especially on toes. They are girly and very pretty without packing to much of a punch. Pastels are great with most outfits so there is no worry about changing your polish. There are some great pastel colours available but why not try a lavender shade for summer.
One of the favourite colours for summer is a nude shade. It is an elegant and clean colour which will complement anything you are wearing. The best shade to choose is one up from your skin tone although you do have to refresh this colour regularly as it can become flat.

If you are a beauty therapist visit Nova Insurance for a salon insurance quote.
*Sponsored post.

Sunday 18 August 2013

august birchbox

Molton Brown Ylang-Ylang Body Wash | Gerda Spillmann Hydro Pearls Makeup Primer | Bluemandarines SkinLife Energetic Cellular Cream | LAQA & Co. Lip Pencil in Ring Of Fire
Birchbox Gel Mask | Montibel.lo Gold Oil Essence | Propercorn Sour Cream & Chive

Birchbox have done something a little bit different for August's box, and have partnered with InStyle to fill this box with some of their favourite products. What this means to you and me is that the box comes with a sleeve (oh how fancy) and contains SEVEN PRODUCTS WHAT.

For once I don't mind that they've chucked in a sample of a moisturiser like they do in every single box as at the moment I'm relying on all these samples of various creams since I've run out of my daily moisturiser and haven't gotten around to buying another. At least this one by Bluemandarines is a decent size, and should keep me going for a few more days before I finally succumb to spending money on a pot of cream.
Needless to say, the popcorn has already been devoured. I've never tried flavoured popcorn before, so that was a nice treat and if I ever order from the Birchbox shop I'll probably add a few bags of Propercorn to my order. Meh items are the Montibel.lo Gold Oil Essence (it's some kind of hair oil, not extremely original but I'm sure I'll use it up) and the Molton Brown Ylang-Ylang Body Wash - I know Molton Brown products smell divine but c'mon guys, it's shower gel. Sure, it's fancy shower gel but body wash doesn't tickle my pickle. Go on, click the link.
I'm interested to see if the cooling eye mask will have any effect, seeing as I've never used one before. You're supposed to pop it in the fridge overnight, so I'm guessing it would be a good wake up call in the morning. The makeup primer should be pretty good too, considering the full size is £30. I'm expecting great things for that price.
The product I'm most looking forward to using is the LAQA & Co. chubby lip pencil - when I saw a preview of what was in the box I was crossing my fingers hoping I would get the bright colour, as nude and light pink lip products are simply lost on me. Luckily the shade Ring Of Fire greeted me when I opened my box, it's a stunning bright coral/red colour and having worn it once I can say that the formula's not half bad either (it smells like mint!). The packaging is a little flimsy, but it's only a mini sample size and I expect that the full size product would have a sturdier casing.

All in all, I'd say this was a pretty decent box with a little bit of everything thrown in. Let's hope Birchbox do a few more collaborations, eh? Birchbox costs £10 per month plus postage, and you can sign up here.

Thursday 15 August 2013

guest post: bourjois colour boost lip crayon review & comparison

Today we've got a guest post from the lovely Phillipa, who's going to share her thoughts on the new Bourjois Colour Boost Lip Crayons and how they compare to the Clinique Chubby Sticks!

Hello! My name is Phillipa; I am a 15 year old makeup lover and author of the blog Nerdy Girly Beauty. Today I am going to be reviewing the Bourjois Colour Boost Lip Crayons, and then I shall be comparing them to the Clinique Chubby Sticks.

I picked up the Bourjois Colour Boost in the shade Red Sunrise a few weeks ago (£7.99 from Boots) after hearing about the product from bloggers and YouTubers. After swatching the colour in store I immediately fell in love with it and bought it that second! The colour is a gorgeous bright red colour with a hint of pink, and it is perfect for a wearable red lip to suit many a skin tone.
The lip crayon applies easily, and immediately feels very moisturising; it is similar to a chapstick with much more pigmentation. It is also very easy to apply it lightly for a sheer bit of colour, or to layer it on for a bolder look, and the pigmentation is very good for a drugstore lippy.
This lipstick claims to last for ten hours and be waterproof: I haven’t exactly put those claims to the test, but I did find it to last a hot afternoon cycling around town, and on that day the SPF 15 was a nice bonus! It has lasted a few hours at a time, only needing to be reapplied after I eat.
Overall I would recommend this product if you want a moisturising, long lasting lipstick at not too bad a price.

One thing I noticed as soon as I saw this product was its similarity to the Clinique Chubby Sticks, which I picked up in the shade Mega Melon – a natural bronze-pink tone – this time last year (£17 from John Lewis).
As I have these two lipsticks in such different colours it would be hard to compare colours from what I own, but what I can compare is the range of colours available. The Chubby Sticks had been around for over a year by the time Colour Boost was launched, so by now the range is more established and there are many more shades – 16 for Clinique compared to 4 for Bourjois. Both brands provide a good variety of colours: Bourjois offers a red, a dark pink, an orange and a peach, while Clinique has variants of these colours as well as some more brown and purple shades. For the range of colours available, Clinique wins it for now, but I expect that in time Bourjois will be selling many colours.
As for the pigmentation, I was surprised to find that the Chubby Sticks tend to be more sheer than the Colour Boost crayons, but the Chubby Sticks do also feel a bit more glossy and moisturising on the lips. Which one you think is better depends on whether you place more importance on the pigmentation or the moisturising aspect.
The packaging of both colours is very similar – you can definitely tell where Bourjois got their inspiration from! They are almost exactly the same size and both have a silver section to twist up the crayon. The Chubby Stick packaging does feel sturdier, and the twisty bit (what do you call that, anyway?) is smoother (the lettering on the Chubby Stick has lasted much longer too, but that’s neither here nor there).

All in all, these two lipsticks are very similar, and I think if you picked up either one you wouldn't be disappointed. I have to say, if I were to buy another I would lean towards the Bourjois Colour Boosts as they are half the price, but for the colour options I would probably be more likely to find what I wanted from Clinique.

Thanks to Phillipa for the great review, I think I'm going to have to nip down to Boots and pick up one (or two!) of the Bourjois Colour Boost Lip Crayons soon. Be sure to check out Phillipa's blog over at Nerdy Girly Beauty.

Monday 12 August 2013

life in colour #4

soho | neon underground | piccadilly by night
top hat | merrily we roll along | rock of ages
traffic | big ben | embankment

regent's park
 coca cola | primrose hill | patches of blue
daisies | sunrays | editing

almost ripe | the view from the sofa | 3 for £8
waverley | fishing village | gulls and sea spray
the wake we leave behind | looking down | lobster pots
table number eight | non-landing

Guess who went to London again.

Saw three musicals in three days too, that's a new record. It was incredibly hot and humid during the day, which resulted in us choosing the restaurants we went into based on whether or not they had air conditioning (we ended up in Wagamama's, so it wasn't all bad). Walking around the centre was certainly an "experience" - I've been to London in the middle of July before, but it never was quite as busy as this and it sure made it difficult to get anywhere (so many PEOPLE), even just stopping to take the obligatory tourist shot of Big Ben was tricky. But little things like the overflow of tourists are completely overshadowed by just how brilliant the city is.
I went for a cruise on the Waverley, which did drag on a bit to be honest - five hours on a boat packed with tourists did get a little tedious towards the end of the trip. There was a stop off in Brodick on the Isle of Arran, which was a far smaller place than I anticipated - two hours was more than enough to explore the place and have lunch (can all chips be served like that please?).