Friday, 31 August 2012

Magazine Freebies: InStyle & Clinique

Hi dolls,

I've been a really bad blogger this week as my holiday plans have been getting on top with me and it seems that there is still so much to do and time is just running out. Anyways enough of that as I'll do a little holiday post on Sunday and hopefully I will have some Minnie Mouse inspired nails to show you.

So this month InStyle magazine have teamed up with Clinique to offer their readers a choice of four products which according to the magazine is worth £32. I really love a Clinique freebie as I haven't really tried the brand as much as what others may have so I think this is a great way to try the brand.

I think the selection that is available with the magazine is great as you can try out products from both their cosmetic and skincare range. The only thing I think could have been changed is their mascara as this has been featured as a freebie a couple of times so I have a few samples of this hanging around.

With InStyle you can pick up: Clinique Turnaround Night Radiance Moisturiser, Long Last Glosswear, Repairwear Laser Focus and High Impact Mascara. 

I find the skincare sample sizes are really cute and perfect for travel sizes, my mom actually uses both these products and has already nabbed these off me as she wants to take them on holiday. The makeup products I tried out today and instantly fell in love with the gloss, the shade is really cute and will be purchased in full size in duty free or Sephora. The mascara is one I have used before as it was released with Cosmo a few months back and again a really great product, which will be repurchased.

I don't think these sample products add up to the price that the magazine claims - probably more around the £27 mark but still this is a really great saving and a great way to try out the products before spending as Clinique products aren't cheap especially when looking at their skincare range.

The magazine retails at £3.80 but have heard that Tesco have an offer on their InStyle magazine where you can pick it up for £2.50 (bargain). So have you tried these freebies yet? If so what do you think of them?


Sunday, 26 August 2012

Splurge or Save: Duo Fibre Brush

Hi dolls,

Sorry for the lack of posts recently been in holiday mode getting bits and bobs and trying to sort things out as I go on holiday a week today - eep! No matter how much I have already done it still feels like there is so much more to do. 

Anywhoo onto the usual Sunday post, and today's is a little different instead of looking at makeup I've chose to focus on a hyped up brush from Mac - the 187 brush. I have always been a big fan of duo fibre brushes and find they are one of my most used brushes in my everyday makeup routine, and found a little birdie which is very similar to the Mac.

So like I said I have been a big fan of the duo fibre brush and have been through so many trying to find the perfect one. Since coming across Crown brushes last year I was pleasantly surprised to find a great quality one at such an affordable price before splurging on my Mac brush.

The duo fibre brush has many uses ranging from liquid foundations to cream blushers, duo fibre brushes are given their name because of the brush is made up of long and short hairs which is aimed to help with the application of foundation to give an airbrush look. 

As you can see from the first photo the two look very similar in terms of the brushes design, from the black and silver handle all the way to the brush. The only major difference visibly is the size of the handle as the Mac is shorter - but that doesn't matter too much. However saying that I would still find it hard to figure out which was which if you were to hide the names on the brushes. 

In terms of the brush itself the Crown brush's shape goes out diagonally whereas the Mac seems more rounded and shaped. Both are very soft to use on the face, but I do find that if you are a little heavy handed then the Crown brush does get a little hard the more you press down, something the Mac brush doesn't do as it always remains soft no matter how hard you press down.

According to both websites the brushes are made from a blend of goat and synthetic hairs which give the colouring of the brush. The synthetic fibres are the white hairs and the black are the goats hair. 

I find there is not much difference in the end puffiness of both brushes, but do find that the Mac brush is slightly puffier which I find helps with the application of liquid foundation and blend easier because of this. However for overall application both brushes work very well with liquid foundation and often alternate between the two, but as you can see since I washed them last the Crown brush has mainly been used for my cream blushers as this is a great brush to use for them. 

Both brushes have been washed a fair few times and surprisingly enough have found that the Crown brush has retained its shape better than the Mac one and you can see that from the first photo as there are a few bristles out of place in the Mac brush. 

I would say that both brushes are really great and would re-purchase the two of them, but after using both for a while I have found that there is not a lot of difference between the two and if you were after a duo fibre similar to the Mac brush this is the closest I have come to finding a similar brush.

What is best of all the C406 (Crown Brush) retails at only £8.91 whereas the Mac 187 is a whopping £32.50, however if you were going to order the Crown brush I have noticed that you have to spend £15 on the site before being able to ship it - not sure why but that has never been a problem for me as there have always been brushes I want to get. 

I hope you enjoyed this splurge or save as it was slightly different, and the main question of course: splurge or save?


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Witch Anti-Blemish BB Cream

Hi dolls,

If you think back to a year ago the term BB cream was still relatively new to many of us and we were all eager to try them out. A year on they seem to be everywhere we look, with a new one popping up almost weekly from different companies. Witch have now hopped onto the bandwagon and expanded on their makeup range to introduce their Anti-Blemish BB Cream.

I couldn't wait to try this product out, as I have been a big fan of BB creams since getting my hands on the Garnier one. The Witch brand in general has been a favourite of mine from their range of skincare to the addition of a makeup line - may I add their primer is just awesome!

Witch claim that their BB cream is 'designed to cater for all skin tones, boosting your natural beauty and delivering flawless skin. With witch hazel extract, our unique BB cream will offer a skin-clearing formula, as well as delivering a smoothing and picture-perfect, beautiful finish. It creates a naturally flawless look, blurs imperfections and evens skin tone'.

So you may have noticed that there is no indication on the box or bottle about the shade of this BB cream, but don't worry about that because Witch have only released one shade in the cream at the moment. I am glad that this is a shade that matches my skin tone but also a little confused as to why there is just one shade after they claim that the cream caters to all skin tones. 

If I were to describe the shade I wouldn't put it into the category of ivory and lighter shades like that, but I also wouldn't put it down the line of medium shades, it's sort of in the middle with pink/rosy undertones. However saying that I do find it adapts quickly to your skin tones but I put that down to the shade being similar to what I would buy anyways.

Like other BB creams this has an SPF of 15 which is always a bonus for me, and will be perfect as I will be taking this on holiday with me to try out. 

However what makes this product really stand out from the crowd is that this is a Blemish Balm instead of a Beauty Balm which with the help of the witch hazel extract not only help hide blemishes once applied, but it helps with the overall appearance of your skin and will cleanse your skin (The reason behind why I like to use witch hazel as a toner). 

Forumla wise I find this quite similar to the Garnier BB cream, and while the formula is thick I find a little will go a long way and it applies and blends very easily. I really like the look of this, sometimes if I'm using my Garnier one I have to add a bit of powder to stop a shiny face but this actually applies very naturally with little shine. 

When I first applied this I thought it hadn't reduced redness at all, but it wasn't until I looked back in the mirror after getting my mascara that I noticed once it sinks into your skin it begins to reduce redness. Once applied it feels very light to wear which is a good thing despite it's heavier coverage (for a BB cream) and something I would definitely use for everyday use and warmer nights. 

In terms of lasting power I find this lasts around 6-8 hours before I need to apply powder (with combo skin) which is really great for a BB cream. Like I said I will be packing this next week for my hols so I will be able to let you all know how it deals with the warm Florida weather. 

So if you are after something with a bit more kick and want something that is going to help your skin in the long haul this is perfect for you!

This retails at £6.99 but if you are in Superdrug you can get this at a bargain price of £3.49, so grab it while you can!

Have you tried this out yet? What are your thoughts?


Sunday, 19 August 2012

Splurge or Save: Estee Lauder Double Wear Light

Hi dolls,

Hope you've all had a good weekend, I had wanted to do a FOTD last night as I went out for a works do but found that when I looked at the photos on my laptop I looked really bad so didn't want to scare you lovely folks.

Anywhoo, it's Sunday and we all know what that means, the annual splurge or save post, and today I'm looking at Estee Lauder's Double Wear Light Foundation and MyFace MyMix Foundation. Now I don't know about you guys but I have found that my skin gets quite bad during that lovely time of the month, so I've found myself looking towards those heavier foundations and something that would be durable during warmer days and something that is long lasting.

I have been using both of these foundations now for a year and can honestly say I love using both, especially when I am having a bad skin day and these are always my go to foundations if I'm after heavier coverage.

After hearing about celebrity fans including Cheryl Cole I was always intrigued by MyFace and since purchasing their products I have never been disappointed. 

I was a little shocked however when researching the MyFace to find that Boots have stopped the range which is a little disappointing as I was hoping to restock mine soon. Although saying that you can buy these directly from their online site - but that may not be great for everyone if you haven't tried the range before as they have an extensive colour range so I'd recommend looking at swatches online if you were going to.


Packaging wise it's obvious that both are very similar with the plastic slim yet chic packaging, I find the Estee Lauder one comes on top in terms of luxury packaging and looks more expensive in comparison. However I do like the look of both foundations, and they come with nozzle's which means you can dispense enough foundation without wasting any which is always a bonus for me. 

The only downside to this means that when you are getting low you really have to squeeze the bottle to get product out, which sometimes results in dispensing too much product but that's to be expected when getting low. 

I find these two foundations some of the easiest to take with me for travelling purely because of the packaging as they are light and slim, which means I don't have to worry about them breaking as they are plastic and fit quite well in my makeup bag. 


When it comes to both foundations shade wise for me MyFace comes on top purely because of the way their shading is organised. Instead of going for shades such as ivory, light or intensity numbers they divide their shades by: fair, medium and medium/dark and then you can choose between 01-03.

MyFace claim that the fair range are:

"light enough to blend perfectly and naturally with fair skin, but also have enough colour to give your complexion a healthy glow. Colour-correcting formula eliminates redness from fair skin and transforms even spotty, blotchy, uneven skin tones while looking at feeling like you're not wearing any makeup at all".

Their medium range:

"celebrate the golden honey tones while colour-correcting to masque any signs of sallowness. Lightweight texture leaves skin looking and feeling like it's naturally even and flawless".

Their medium/dark range:

"are formulated with a golden-toned base that works with the natural colouring in your skin to create a rich, burnished glow to the skin. The lightweight texture won't make you feel like you're wearing makeup. Your skin looks and feels like it's naturally even and flawless."

The Estee Lauder shade range works on intensity and for me has the least amount of shade range from any of the Estee Lauder foundations. It works from intensity 1.0 - 6.0 meaning there are only six shades to choose from and I find the lightest shade is still a little orange so if you are paler than me this may not be the foundation for you.

Formula and Application

From the photos you can see the formula is a little different, the Estee Lauder I find to be slightly thicker whereas the MyFace is thinner and more runny. This means that because the formula is thicker and depending on the coverage if you want something more medium based rather than heavy the Estee Lauder foundation will go further than the MyFace. 

However when being applied to the face both blend very easily and are probably two of the best foundations I own in terms of application as I don't have to keep going back on myself to blend the foundation especially in the t-zone area (normally my worst area for application).

Neither I feel have to be built up with concealer to hide blemishes or red marks, the foundations really do cover up those little areas without looking cakey. 


Once applied on the face it appears that both foundations give a dewy look to them, however once settled on the face they turn into quite a natural finish which I find perfect for my skin especially in the summer. 

When comparing the two I do find the Estee Lauder one slightly more matte, but saying that when using both neither need the addition of powder which is always a bonus for me. 


Estee Lauder claim that their Double Wear Light foundation will last for around 15 hours which I find it will stay on for around 10 hours with heavy use and from that I mean running up and down stairs at work with a boiling hot stock room and working delivery - so that's always great.

The MyFace foundation is a good runner also as it lasts between 8-10 hours with heavy usage at work or going from uni to work. Both are smudge proof in the heat so you don't have to worry about the foundations melting from your face and will remain lightweight which are always great and you don't have to worry about touching up during the day.


Now if you are a fan of Estee Lauder foundations you will already know that the Double Wear Light foundation comes in at a hefty £27.50 - however every penny is worth it in my opinion as it is a great foundation.

The MyFace is something I was shocked about because when I first got my hands on it, it retailed at £12.99 but that has now increased to £15.99 - however if you do go onto the website and sign up for the newsletter they are giving £5 of your first order which means you could get the foundation for £10.99, which sounds a lot better. 

(Now I know some people may have wondered why I didn't compared the Estee Lauder to Revlon's Colorstay as that is another foundation that has been compared to this, but I personally did not get on with it. I didn't find it buildable, and was generally a foundation I couldn't get on with so felt the MyFace was a better comparison - however slightly more expensive).

Finally the all important question, would you spend or splurge?


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Avon Super Drama Mascara

Hi dolls,

So I've been on the hunt for the perfect day mascara as I don't always want to wear some of my higher end ones for everyday purpose. So I was really happy to get my hands on Avon's latest mascara release to try out as I am already a fan of their mascaras - yes I'm looking at you Super Shock mascara.

Avon Super Drama Mascara*

So according to Avon their latest mascara claims to 'lift, lengthen and volumise lashes in an instant, with a fan brush and formula it makes every lash fuller, longer and more dramatic without clumping'.

Packaging wise it is very Avon - simple yet chic and I do love anything purple so we were onto a winner straight away, and I'm a sucker for the cute girly font. 

Now I was instantly drawn into the mascara because of the wand, it's like no other that I have come across before and the plastic wand reminds me of like a fan shape so I thought it would be really interesting to apply. I do find that with the staggered plastic bristles it helps to apply product on my lashes especially on the lower lashes - something that I do struggle with and it then becomes messy.

Application wise this is a lovely foundation, after one coat it applies very natural yet gives visible length. However for me I do like a bit more volume so popped a few coats and you can see what that looks like in the photo (although for some reason it won't come out as well as I got my moms opinion on this), and have found that it does lift my lashes quite well which is something I really like. 

Length and volume wise it does give great results, although for some reason I can never really capture these on camera. I think probably after a lot of coats (if you like the thicker look) you may experience some clumping or spider lashes as I thought I was getting on the verge of it. But I really like the volume that this mascara gives and helps to open my eyes, and this might sound a bit random but I find after quite a few layers my lashes still feel quite light (if you get what I mean) as I've experienced a few mascaras that feel heavy on my lashes. 

I was surprised at how well the Super Drama mascara helps to separate lashes, I thought the more layers I would apply the more they would cling together but I find the staggered bristles really help to separate the lashes which is a big bonus for me!

When it comes to lasting power I find this great for the price, I applied it at around 2 yesterday and it stayed on all through work last night which was til 9 and even then it had no signs of moving. 

The only one thing I'm not sure about is whether this is waterproof or not as it does have a tendency to smudge a little - nothing too major though.

Currently this mascara is on an introductory offer of £7 instead of £10 so I think it's a great buy and worth the price. 

Have you tried this mascara yet? Are you a fan of Avon mascaras?


Sunday, 12 August 2012

Splurge or Save Sunday: Estee Lauder Crystal Baby Lipstick

Hi dolls,

So it's Sunday and you know what that means my annual Splurge or Save post. I'm sorry if I end up going way off topic while writing this as I'm doing this while watching the closing ceremony of the Olympics - how amazing is it?

Anyways I first got my hands on Estee Lauder's Crystal Baby at the end of last year for my birthday and it has quickly become a staple piece is my makeup collection, it has been a hyped product among beauty bloggers and I have a cheaper alternative of this lovely lipstick in the form of Rimmel's Kate Moss lipstick in Shade 3. 

top on both swatches; Estee Lauder Crystal Baby bottom; Kate Moss for Rimmel in Shade 3

Now both lipsticks I am a fan of and hoped my camera would have picked up how similar the shades are in the swatches above, although saying that I think the picture of the lipsticks applied look a bit better and you can get an idea of how similar they are. 

Both of these are perfect natural colours that can be worn anytime through the year for both day and night looks, I love wearing these teamed up with a clear gloss to really give that shine. 

Packaging wise I do love both, the Rimmel one remains simple yet really cute with the Kate Moss signature whereas the Estee Lauder one is just gorgeous to look at from the gold packaging to the colour block at the bottom of the stick. However I do find the Rimmel one a little easier to pop in my bag and don't have to worry about ruining the packaging where I do with the Estee Lauder (so still have the boxes for them).

When it comes to the formula both are very soft and creamy to apply onto the lips but find there are minor differences between the two - I find the Estee Lauder slightly creamier and a frostier finish whereas the Kate Moss one sometimes comes off a little matte but no dry lips in sight. There also isn't too much difference in lasting power I find I can get a few hours wear from both lipsticks before I need to touch up. 

One thing I will say though in the Rimmel lipstick's favour is I do find that one more pigmented than the Estee Lauder one - though this maybe because the Estee Lauder lipstick does have a lip balm feel about it so it does need a few layers when applies compared to the Rimmel.

Smell for me is an important factor when buying a lipstick as I tend to shy away from those ones with the plastic smell or that are too strong. The Estee Lauder one has a lovely smell which is almost floral and sweet, I could literally smell it for ages - I'd look a bit weird sitting there smelling a lipstick but oh well.

Now onto the important stuff the Estee Lauder lipstick does retail at an expensive £18.50 so it is a splurge (but I have heard that a few CCO's have this in stock so you could get it for around the £14 mark I think) whereas the Rimmel will only cost you £5.49.

I hope you enjoyed and lastly the all important question would you splurge or save?


Thursday, 9 August 2012

Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation Review

Hi dolls,

When you hear of Urban Decay you instantly think the famous brand behind the Naked palettes, and Primer Potions never for foundation (or is that just me). However recently they have released Naked Skin a lightweight foundation that claims to blur perfections and deliver a flawless yet natural finish.

So after being such a fan of the Naked products I knew I had to do a little naughty spending.

Urban Decay claim:

Our completely weightless formula blurs imperfections to deliver a flawless finish that looks professionally retouched and feels invisible. 

I believe this foundation has only been in the UK since the beginning of the month and was quite happy to have seen it in Debenhams on Friday. I was quite lucky as the assistant was happy enough to not only colour match me but also apply it all over (without me asking) which gave me chance to try it out and see how it applied on my face. 

The shade I had was 0.5 which is the lightest foundation available and I find it matches my skin perfectly.

This foundation has really grown on me and I love everything from the formula to the smell to the packaging. The assistant on the counter informed me that the foundation is packed with nourishing ingredients including green tea and is oil-free. 


The shade choice for this foundation in my opinion is impressive as there are 18 shades to choose from. The numbering system means that there is a colour to suit each skin tone, and shades that end in .0 are warmers shades and those that end in .5 are more neutral/cooler shades. I think this is a great system to find your shade as I was able to find my shade in a matter of seconds. 

The shades range from 0.5 - the lightest all the way to 12.0.


What may come as a bit of a surprise with this foundation is that the bottle is actually plastic, upon photos you may not realise this. However this is something I prefer for travelling purposes (as I may be taking this on holiday) it just means there is less chance of it breaking compared to glass. Although for some people this may be a turnoff as you might be a fan of glass bottles as it appears for luxurious and expensive.

Although I do like the double wall plastic packaging as it does allow it to appear different to other foundations and reminds me slightly of the MUFE foundation packaging.

The foundation also comes with a pump which is a massive bonus for me as it allows you to pump enough product for your face and avoid wasting product. 

Forumla and Application

This is a liquid based foundation so it is recommended that you shake the bottle before use and I do find the consistency very similar to YSL's Touch Eclat foundation (yes I stole them off my mom and I tried them against each other). This is probably one of the best foundations I have in terms of blending and applying as it applies so easily and apart from when I have dry skin it does look very natural. 

I would say that Naked Skin is a medium to high coverage foundation and can easily be built up. However for me one layer is certainly enough for my liking, I have noticed that it reduces the redness of spots and can easily disguise these so that it is a lovely treat and no need for concealer. 

I will say however if you have dry skin this may not be the best foundation for you to try, I have dry patches on my nose and find that it clings to the skin and looks very unflattering. It's very hard to blend if the skin is dry and no amount of primer or dewy setting spray helps. 


So like I have already mentioned the foundation is a demi-matte finish which helps it to look more natural after application. I can't complain about this because my skin can be oily so this helps combat that.

It doesn't feel heavy when applied or so dewy that it's going to fall of your face during the day, you know that once it's on it's going to have a great lasting power. With the foundation having a demi-matte formula it lives up to it's lightweight claims and you don't feel like you have much on once applied.


Now this product doesn't claim to last forever on your face like similar foundations in this price range, however considering this it still does stay on the skin anywhere from 6 hours to 8 hours without primer and for me 8 to 10 hours with primer so it's a win win situation either way.

Urban Decay however do recommend when using this foundation to use both a primer and setting spray to enhance it's staying powers. When I had this first applied in store it was combined with their primer and De Slick setting spray (which is on my holiday wishlist).

The company have also released a brush which is designed to go hand in hand with the foundation, the Optical Blurring brush is a synthetic brush that has been created to help buff the foundation and give a flawless finish. However at £18.50 it's a brush I'd like to get but will when I go on holiday.


Urban Decay's Naked Skin is retailed at quite an expensive £27 which puts it against the likes of YSL and Estee Lauder in terms of foundation pricing. However I don't mind paying this much for a foundation that I like.

Although I would say if you are a little unsure about this foundation hop on down to your local Urban Decay counter, because when I went to buy mine the Bullring had sold out of my shade so went to my local Debenhams and before I purchased the foundation I told the assistant that I was after shade 0.5 and she asked if I wanted a sample of it - so it may be worth seeing if you can snag yourself a sample of it first.

Hope you enjoyed, have you got your hands on this foundation yet?


Monday, 6 August 2012

Tatler Magazine Freebie

Hi dolls,

I hope you all had a great weekend, I'm back at work tomorrow and after having a week off I need to get myself back in the mood. Anyways the other day I was trailing the shelves of my local WH Smiths and came across a freebie that I thought I should share with all you lovely people.

So this month Tatler magazine are giving away a sample sized version of Lancome's newest Hypnose Star Mascara. Now I had already been intrigued by this product from the advertising which features the much loved Betty Boop to constantly seeing it in my local Debenhams. The only thing that had put me off getting it in the first place was the hefty £21 price tag that accompanies this product.

I thought this was perfect it gave me a way of trying the product before splurging, and I'm quite glad I've had chance to try it out. Yesterday I was full blown in love with the mascara I popped it on at around 11 and it was showing no signs of budging at 7 in the evening - which is always a great sign. However when I popped it on today for the blog post I'm in two minds about it, as I just don't know if I could justify the price as I feel I can get a similar look from high street mascaras.

Though you never know I might treat myself if Sephora have it and depends how much cheaper it works out in the States.

Tatler is a bit steeper on the magazine end at £4.10 but that was money well spent as it gave me the chance to try this mascara out.

Have you got your hands on the magazine yet? If so what do you think of the mascara?

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