27 February 2015

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Satin

We are set to see an influx of matt finish foundations launching this Spring/Summer. We've already seen the latest offering from Nars in the form of the All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation and now the highstreet are on-board with the L'oreal Infalible Pro-Matte. I'm currently testing out the newest base from Elizabeth Arden and here's how I got on.

The Flawless Finish Perfectly Satin 24 Hour foundation is all about creating that soft matte finish which will withstand external factors such as heat, humidity and moisture. What I find most interesting is that the base has 'time release technology' which means the foundation works to detect the level of sebum in your skin and it helps to control the amount of excess oils produced in your skin throughout the day. Elizabeth Arden say the foundation offers medium to full coverage and will last 24 hours.

I found this to never look cakey or heavy, just flawless. I don't feel the need to set it with a powder as the matte finish is enough and sits well on my skin. Not quite 24 hours, around 10 hours before it started to fade and cling to dry patches on my cheeks. If you suffer from dry skin I wouldn't really recommend this, however oily skin gals this is the one for you! You can see what the foundation looks like on me in this photo here. I've tried a few different ways to apply this and my favourite way is with a buffing brush.

It comes in a beautiful frosted glass bottle with an easy-to-use gold pump that delivers the right amount for full coverage for the whole face. I've been using the second lightest shade - 'Cream Nude 02' which is slightly too dark for me but will be ok in the summer months. There are 10 shades available in the range and I would advise going instore to get colour matched.

If you have oily/combination skin and are on the look out for a matte foundation I would suggest checking this out. Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Satin 24 Hour Foundation* £29.00 30ml available here

26 February 2015

TiGi Root Boost Spray | Review

Because I have quite thick, long hair it can feel weighed down and look flat easily. I need a little extra help to get some added oomph which is why I wanted to try out the TiGi Root Boost Spray.

The product offers lived-in, plumped-up texture. I recommend spraying lightly onto roots and massaging in to create the desired volume. I usually spray onto dry hair but you can also use this before blow drying for some serious body. As well as this, you can use it on braids or top knots to create an undone, effortless look. The lightweight formula doesn't leave hair feeling heavy so would work well on fine hair. I find this great for my dry, coloured hair as it contains conditioning ingredients such as lavender, jasmine and violet which offer nourishment and shine. 

This is a mane must have if you love adding body to your hair. When my hair is rocking that lank second-day look this spray adds life and volume to my 'do. I recommend this for all hair types and lengths.

TiGi Root Boost Spray* £7.48 available from Hairtrade here

24 February 2015

Lush Hair Extensions Quad Weft |Review

lush hair extensions review

I'm quite girly when it comes to my hair and I'm constantly battling the long/short debate. I've always been too scared to try hair extensions for the fear that they'll look un-natural and that people will be able to notice I'm wearing them.

I've always wanted swishy mermaid-esque locks so I jumped at the opportunity when I was offered to try out some extensions from Lush Hair Extensions. The ones I'm wearing are the Quad Weft 20" Deluxe Blonde Highlights #18/613 which are the perfect match for my hair. The colour blends in beautifully with my hair and looks super natural. They are made from 100% human hair so are extremely soft and silky. The quad weft means that you not only achieve instant length but also volume. You have complete freedom to style the extensions however you desire - you are able to dye and use heated tools with ease. The 5 clips attached to the top of the extensions slot in place effortlessly.

If you're after some hair extensions I couldn't recommend Lush Hair Extensions enough.They have a wide variety of colours for you to choose from. 

19 February 2015

Collection Eyes Uncovered Palette | Review

Nude & Bronze. Possibly my two favourite words to describe an eye shadow palette. Collection must be on the same wave length as me as their newest product is the Eyes Uncovered palettes which are a range of affordable nude palettes each with a different twist. The palette I'm reviewing today is called 'Nude Bronze' which consists of 6 creamy golden-bronze shades.

This is probably one of the only eye shadow palettes I've tried where I know i'll use every single shade. Unlike a lot of others, Collection has left out a super dark shadow which is cool with me as the black shade often goes unused. I was pleasantly surprised with the pigmentation of these colours. For a budget-buy this palette really packs a punch. The lightest shade is very pale but all the others have a creamy, intense formula. Each shade has a slight bronze-y shimmer to them and are very wearable, everyday colours. The longevity isn't bad, use a primer to increase the wear. 

For an affordable everyday eyeshadow palette look no further. I'm eager to see the other palettes in the collection when  they hit the shops!

Collection Eyes Uncovered Palette in 'Nude Bronze'* £3.99 out now in Superdrug and Boots. 

17 February 2015

EyeCANDY Gel Wrap System | Review

eyecandy gel wrap system review
Chipped nails are a bit of a pet peeve of mine and something I'm yet to successfully conquer. I was intrigued by EyeCANDY's innovative gel wrap system which claims to work like a gel varnish without the need for a UV light.

The three step system is super easy to follow. Simply paint nails with the base coat, follow with a colour of your choice and finish by sealing in with the top coat. I tested out the product on two occasions because I wanted to get a fair review of it. On the first attempt my nails remained chip free for 5 days. By the 7th day some nails were completely fine whilst a couple had started to chip. On my second go my nail varnish only lasted 3 days without flaking off. Although I was impressed with the professional high shine this duo offers, I'm a little disappointed with the results. For something which claims to extend wear for up to 14 days I was hoping for more.

I love the idea of this but I'm not yet convinced it works that well. I'll use this a few more times to see if my opinion alters.

EyeCANDY Gel Wrap System* £10.99 from Tesco, Boots and Amazon. 

14 February 2015

5 Ways To Wear Red Lips

different ways to wear red lips
Red lipstick is basically Jesus in a tube but many women tend to fear it's magical powers. Red can be powerful, strong, sexy, bold, feminine and iconic. I believe every women can rock red, it's just finding a product/shade which you feel confident enough to wear. Here are just 5 ways you can wear red lips.

Lip Liner
Liner is having a bit of a moment right now. Celebrities adore it - I adore it. If you're not happy with your lip shape or want to achieve a Kylie Jenner-esque pout, it's an essential item. I sometimes like to use it as lipstick and fill my entire lips. A few favourite brands include No7, Rimmel and Max Factor.
Lip Gloss
Scared of red? Try a red gloss instead. The look isn't as bold as wearing a lipstick yet still looks sexy and brightens up your complexion. Keep in your handbag for touch-ups throughout the day. You don't have to spend a lot to get a good gloss, I recommend Bourjois and Maybelliene for non-sticky, creamy formulas.
Lip Balm
Choose from traditional tinted lip balms like Chapstick and Vaseline or good for something with a bit more ompft like the Revlon ColourBurt balms. These crayon style sticks are perfect for lipstick newbies. They're a fail safe option if you're not good at applying lipstick or don't have time to re-apply during the day.
Matte Glosses
Those not a fan of shiny glosses can go for matte finish instead. I don't like the stickiness you can get with some glosses but this isn't the case with these matte options. The silky formulas are super long-lasting and surprisingly hydrating. I love the Bourjois Velvet Rouge Editions and COLLECTION Creme Puffs.

What are your thoughts on red lips? Will you be testing out one of these ways?

13 February 2015

New HUGO Woman Fragrance|Review

hugo boss woman fragrance review
Just in time for Valentine's Day Hugo Boss have launched a new Women's fragrance - HUGO Woman.
"HUGO Woman is a fruity, floral fragrance with an unconventional, boyish twist, combining unexpected naturals and pioneering molecules."

The latest fragrance is inspired by the new,empowered generation who seize life, embracing all it has to offer. I can see myself reaching for this daily come Spring. The wearable scent is daytime-friendly and doesn't appear too overpowering. On first impressions I can clearly pick up notes of mandarin which are offset with fresh bursts of red grass, giving the fragrance a slight masculine edge. The scent is also sprinkled with dark,fruity black plum and black tea. The compelling mixture of heady femininity and masculine intrigue makes this a truly unique perfume unlike anything I've tried before.  It's base notes include a woody concoction of sandalwood and cedar adding a creamy, warm touch. It's the kind of rare fragrance which suits all ages. Although it's the sort of product which is designed with a younger audience in mind, I can see my Mum and even my Nan enjoying this.

Not forgetting that special man in your life, there is also HUGO Man. This has to be one of my top three men's fragrances, it was love at first sniff. A very fresh, clean fragrance which just has that nice man smell. It's core notes are nectarine, wild berries and musk - whilst that doesn't sound particularly masculine the base notes of sandalwood and amber balance out the fruitiness and make this the perfect match for the new HUGO Woman fragrance.

Hugo Woman EDP 30ml £34.50* and HUGO Man EDT 40ml £29.50* both available from The Fragrance Shop here

12 February 2015

Joan Collins Valentine's Day Duo

joan collins crystal lipstick review
Why not paint your lips and tips with the colour of love this Valentine's Day? The latest offerings from the Joan Collins Timeless Beauty collection are the matching lipstick and nail duo in a brilliant red shade guaranteed to make you stand out. I adore the elegant gold packaging of this range. The diamond shaped nail lacquer is beautiful and just too good to hide away; this shall be taking pride of place on my dressing table. Also, the equally glamorous lipstick will get top spot in my hand bag.

As with all of the Joan Collins beauty products I've tried they are of optimum quality. The Divine Lips lipstick has a satin finish and applies smoothly. The product doesn't dry lips out as it's enriched with Hyaluronic Acid which keeps your pout soft and kissable.The matching red nail lacquer comes with a long handle making for easy application. The wide brush also makes the varnish glide on with ease. I'd recommend two coats for full opaqueness.

Nail lacquer* £13 and Divine lips* £18 in 'Crystal' available online here, QVC and Urban Retreat. 

I would wear these sultry products in combination with a hot pink dress and loose curls for some on-trend colour clashing this V day. What are your plans this Saturday? 

11 February 2015

The Body Shop Smoky Poppy Range|Review

body shop smoky poppy valentines 2015
Why not say those three little words this Saturday with an intimate couples pampering session? The Body Shop have your back this year with a sensual selection of products to share with a loved one or indulge yourself with. With seven limited edition products from the new Smoky Poppy range you are spoilt for choice. I have a few products from the range to share with you...

Smoky Poppy Bath Bombs £12 LINK
Have a romantic bath for two with seductively aromatic bath bombs. Made from real poppy seeds, these fizzy balls release a warm musky scent which will leave your skin angel-wing soft and feeling silky. This contains 6 bath bombs so you can enjoy a week of satisfying pampering.
Smoky Poppy Shower gel £4 LINK
Alternatively, you can celebrate the day with a special shower. Lather up skin with the addictive, musky fragrant shower gel. The cleanser is black in colour and contains hand-picked poppy extract from Turkey making this the ultimate treat for a saucy shower. The unusual floral scent is unlike anything I've smelt before. I'd describe it as a warm, musky unisex scent which oozes sexiness.
Smoky Poppy Massage Oil £14 LINK
Wind down an indulgent evening with a massage. Laced with the alluring smoky poppy scent this conditioning oil is ideal for aiding a massage and creating ultimate body bliss.

For a touch of Valentine's Day opulence look no further than The Body Shop Smoky Poppy collection. Prices start from £4 and are available online and instore. 

9 February 2015

Valentine's Day: 3 Plans, 3 Looks

valentines day makeup looks

Yeah it's that time of year already. Whether you love or loathe Valentine's Day, I've got your back beauty-wise. I have the perfect look for a casual day-date or if you're going the whole hog and having a fancy night out I have the products you'll want to up your make up game. And no matter what your relationship status is, why not indulge in some serious me-time with an extreme pampering. So whatever your plans are, here's my V-day edit...

First up - the casual date. You're off for a romantic Saturday stroll or maybe you have opted to see 50 shades of grey at the cinema, either way it's all about healthy, glowing skin paired with a kissable glossy pink pout. For the base go for something with a light/medium coverage to keep your complexion youthful. I like the new Glo & Ray Colour-Correction Luminous Foundation* which instantly transforms dull skin leaving a natural, radiant complexion. The velvety finish conceals minor blemishes and I'd recommend using a brightening concealer like the Rimmel Wake Me Up Stick to disguise dark circles. To keep with the glowy look opt for a cream blusher. I currently love the Essence Cream to Powder Blush which adds a subtle hint of colour to cheeks. Once your face is completed move onto those peepers. This look is about having flirty and fun eyes. Apply a brow gel to define your brows, the Maybelline Brow gel is a good budget buy. Next use a soft brown kohl eyeliner along the upper lash line to add definition. Lightly smudge the liner with a cotton bud for an effortless loved-up look. Keep the lower lashes bare and apply as much or as little mascara to upper lashes. I like the Rimmel Day To Night Mascara for layering on a few coats for ultra fluttery eyes. Now apply a light, shimmery shadow to the inner corners of your eyes to make them appear bigger and brighter. Finally, a helping of gloss will plump those lips up and make them look irresistible. I adore the Glo & Ray Wonderland Hydrating Lip Gloss in Pink Pearl*. The sparkly colour glides on easily, doesn't feel sticky and hydrates your lips. It's the perfect finishing touch to your effortlessly sexy makeup look.

A round of applause to your partner if you have an evening of wining and dining ahead of you. Sounds like you have a keeper. Get ready to woo in this too-hot-too-handle makeup look. An evening like this calls for a bold lip, sultry, smokey eyes and a long-lasting base that will last all night. You want your foundation to be long-lasting but cake-free. I suggest using Revlon ColourStay for a full and flawless coverage. The only cake you'll be seeing this evening if that chocolate fudge cake you've been eyeing up all night. To increase it's longevity set your base with a light dusting of powder. The Glo & Ray Lumincent Setting Pressed Powder* does the job nicely without leaving skin looking dull. To let your eyes do the talking with the COLLECTION Eyes Uncovered Palette in Nude Bronze. The set contains six buttery shades to create an eye look that works for you. I love wearing shimmery taupe shades in the crease and applying a light, creamy colour over the entire lid. Sweep through lashes with a generous helping of mascara. The Bourjois One Second Volume is great for adding curl and volume. As it's a special occasion, why not whip out the falsies? The Eye Candy Strip Lashes in 009 help create long, luscious lashes. These are super light-weight and comfortable to wear so you can fully concentrate on your dates lovely face. Pack a punch (not literally I hope) with a bold red lip. Cliché I know but it has to be done. Make sure you use a lip liner to keep your lipstick from smudging everywhere. I like the Younique Moodstruck Precision Pencil in Primal* as it's soft formula makes for easy application. Swipe on a layer of your favourite red lipstick. May I suggest Glo & Ray La Amo Creamy Matte Lip Colour in Seduce* for a sultry pout.

A night in for uno? Fear not, it's going to be ok. I have a 5-part pamper session for you to indulge in starting with hair. Take time to treat your hair to an intensive treatment mask. My favourite way to use these is to apply to clean damp hair and leave on for an hour or two before rinsing out. I've been reaching for the Scruples Pearl Complete Recovery Treatment Masque* to help bring my locks back to life. This is perfect for my dry, damaged hair which needs a little TLC after the harsh winter months. After just one use my hair appears softer, shinier and easier to manage. Whilst you're waiting for the hair mask to do it's magic apply your favourite body lotion all over. Seeing as it's a special occasion you may as well whip out the good stuff. My luxury treat is the Roger & Gallet Rose Body Lotion. Roses are synonymous with Valentine's Day so why not slather your body in the scent? The rose extract and almond milk combination makes this lotion a joy to use. The formula is non-greasy, melts into skin quickly and leaves a satin soft finish. Now is a good time to swipe on a face mask of your choice before sitting back and putting on your favourite Ryan Gosling film. Once the mask is dried wash off and rinse out the hair mask too. For the finishing touches apply a hydrating hand cream like the Yves Rocher Beaute Des Mains Hand Cream. For a a bit of feet pampering slip on some Dr Organic Lavender Oil Moisturising Gel Socks*. These little beauties leave your tootsies hydrated and incredibly soft. Simply put them on for 20 minutes to reveal beautifully conditioned feet!

Whether you're spending the day with friends, a loved one or your dog I hope this has got you covered beauty-wise. 

8 February 2015

My Thoughts on Natural Cosmetics

inika cosmetics review

Inika cosmetics is all about natural products using the highest quality and safest ingredients. Their mission is to bring natural and organic makeup to women all over the world. I've always been a little dubious to try mineral makeup. The fact that my skin has the tendency to get quite dry put me off trying it and I (wrongly) assumed natural products wouldn't have the same quality. Here's how I got on testing out some bits from Inika...

Mineral Foundation Powder SPF15 8g £27.50
This mineral foundation is seamless to apply. Inika recommend blending in with a kabuki brush which I don't own but a regular powder brush did the job fine. The weightless mineral powder delicately washes the skin with a light coverage which can be gradually built up. You can keep the finish sheer and I like to apply extra around blemishes to reduce redness.The smooth texture helps to even out skin tone and doesn't feel cakey or drying. The result is natural looking, healthy skin. The foundation is free from nasty chemicals and contains SPF 15. I have the shade 'Unity' which is the perfect match for my light skin.
Vegan Mineral Eyeshadow 1.2g £14.50
I was overwhelmed at the impressive pigmentation this offers. The intense, rich colour only requires a small amount and glides on effortlessly. The shade pictured above is 'Burnt Sienna', the colour is between whisky and copper. It has a subtle shimmer and the shade looks dreamy, almost magical on blue eyes. The powder texture is surprisingly creamy making it blend in beautifully.
Mineral Blusher Puff Pot 3g £17.00
This is the ultimate blush colour for me. 'Rosy Glow' has a hint of gold mixed in with the pink rose colour guaranteed to give you a natural, healthy glow. The puff applicator doesn't allow enough coverage for my liking so I've removed it and use it as a loose powder instead. Nonetheless, I absolutely adore this luscious shade which has become an everyday staple for me.
Organic Creme Eyeshadow £18.00
A light, silky creme eyeshadow which offers a subtle wash of colour on lids. Not only does this make a great base for eyeshadow you can also wear it alone to create an illuminated look that highlights your eyes. Because this isn't the cheapest product, I'd opt for a shade you'd really be able to notice such as 'Cappuccino' as the shade I have, 'Champagne' is very pale.

Inika has well and truly converted me to mineral makeup. Despite the natural & organic ingredients, this hasn't affected the product quality. If you are looking to try eco-friendly cosmetics and don't mind paying a little extra I'd highly recommend Inika. You can browse their website here.  

What are your thoughts on mineral makeup?

6 February 2015

Witch Overnight Clearing Serum Review

witch overnight clearing serum review

Not only is sleep important to our skin, it's also good to spend some extra attention on your night time beauty regime before you hit the hay. Overnight our skin cells regenerate and the creams we apply can get to work whilst we rest. As already a fan of the skincare brand Witch, I was delighted when their newest product landed on my doorstep.

The Witch Overnight Clearing Serum is a light, gel-like serum which is designed to be worn alone or under your usual night moisturiser. On days when my skin is particularly dry I layer an oil on top of this for extra hydration. The oil free formula works whilst you sleep to minimise existing blemishes, reduce redness and prevent future breakouts. I was pleasently surprised by its texture. The serum has a silky feel to it good enough to rival its more expensive counterparts. Like with all Witch products it contains witch hazel extract which is renowned for tackling spots. It also contains Vitamin B3, known for it's moisturising benefits and promoting an even skin tone.

I've been using the Overnight Clearing Serum for 3 weeks now and have already noticed a difference in my skin. The redness around existing spots has reduced. My skin tone appears more even and clearer. I've also been using this in the day as it's lightweight formula is a great base for makeup. After just the first use I woke up with soft, smooth skin and it didn't feel oily or greasy. It hasn't stopped me from breaking out yet but my spots do seem to heal quicker then if I wasn't using this.

I've really enjoyed testing this out and will continue to do so in the hope my skin will carry on improving.

The Witch Overnight Clearing Serum* is £5.99 and available from Superdrug and Boots

1 February 2015

Favourite Red Nail Polishes

best red nail polish
St. Valentines Day isn't my favourite holiday as I feel it's too commercialised. Nonetheless, I can still celebrate February 14th in my own special way; naturally that way is going to be beauty related. I've selected the red nail polishes I love most from red hot shades to vampy tones.

Collection Lasting Gel Nail Colour 'Daredevil 17' £2.99
Not your classic red colour as this polish has a hint of brown giving it a 90's vibe. The gel formula gives this a glossy finish but I'd still recommend applying a top coat to increase longevity. 
No7 Gel-Look Shine 'Hotting Up' £7.00
This bright, eye-catching red looks great on all skintones. I love the smooth formula of the No7 gel polishes. All this needs is one coat and you're good to go. 
Revlon Nail Enamel 'Bewitching' £6.99
Bewitching is one of my favourite autumnal nail colours. The purple-y, red shade looks lovely on toes aswell as finger nails. The thin formula requires 2-3 coats for best results. 
The Body Shop Colour Crush 'Relish The Moment' £5
One for those who like to use cruelty-free brands. The 100% vegan polish applies smoothly and dries quickly. These are extremely good quality and great value for money. 
BeautyUK Gel FX Posh Polish 'Crimson Rose' £2.99
A deep, vampy red to help channel your inner dark side. Perfect if you're not particularly keen on red nails, this almost black shade is the ideal accompaniment to a date night. 

What will you be adoring on your nails this Valentine's Day? 
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