Monday, 31 August 2015

French Skincare Staples: Bioderma Créaline H2O Solution

Bioderma Créaline H20 Solution - Link

When in Paris there are many tourist attractions you have to visit, the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Élysées, the Louvre and City Pharma. Yes I think any beauty blogger can agree that the City Pharma is high on your Paris tourist list as they not only stock many amazing skincare brands but the prices are ridiculously cheap. And naturally top of my list to buy was the highly coveted Bioderma Créaline H20 Solution. With so many makeup artists and beauty bloggers raving about this product I knew that I needed to stock up with the double pack.

Bioderma Créaline H20 Solution is described as a soothing non-rinse cleanser and makeup remover. The micelles contained in its formula effectively micro-emulsify impurities while maintaining the skins balance, perfectly cleansing and removing makeup from the face and eyes. Designed for those with sensitive skin this formula is alcohol-free and smooths and cools the skin whilst is cleanses. 

You know what I love most about this micellar water? It's the fact that it provide a hassle free way of removing makeup, all you need is a cotton pad or two and a couple of minutes of your time and before you know it your makeup is gone. No faffing around with a Cleanse and Polish if it's late at night, and you honestly just can't be bothered to spend time cleansing your face when you could be spending the same amount of time lounging around in bed. 

What I really like about this is how it feels like water on the skin, yet removes my makeup with ease, even waterproof formulas. In comparison to my trusty Garnier I feel that one cotton wool pad with Bioderma will remove all my makeup whereas I can sometimes be going through three or four pads with the Garnier. This cleanser feels so gentle on the skin, and I feel like my skin hasn't been stripped of anything nor is it left feeling oily despite removing oils, makeup and daily grime. With continued use I have found that it has helped with the overall condition of my skin and my breakouts are less frequent and heal quicker. 

I can see why this now gets so many positive reviews, and why it blows any other micellar product out of the water. I'm glad that this is more ready available with UK outlets such as Boots and Feel Unique, meaning you don't need to hop abroad to get a top up. 

I'd love to know what your French skincare staples are!
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Sunday, 30 August 2015

Wedding Guest Wishlist: Vintage Tea Party

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Since coming back from Paris wedding fever has definitely hit, and not just because of my own nuptials but in a little over 3 weeks time I'll be attending James' aunts wedding and I wanted to share with you a little wishlist post for what I'd like to wear. The theme of the wedding is vintage tea party which I'm so excited about as I do love a good afternoon tea session and the chance to dress up. 

First up is the Michael Kors Chronograph Watch, now I already own the exact same watch in rose gold, but since getting engaged I'm having a big silver jewellery moment as I can't be sporting different colours. I love the size of this as the face is not too big nor is it too small, and would be a welcome addition to my watch collection.

Next up is another Michael Kors item, the Michael Kors Lana Clutch - not only do I love the envelope style but the colour is just so gorgeous. For me clutch bags can be very marmite, one minute I'm loving them the next I'm thinking where have I put the bloody thing so I love the fact that this comes with a chain strap which means I won't run the risk of forgetting where I have put it. It actually looks quite big also which means I can pop all my essentials in without running out of space.

I am really loving Oasis dresses at the moment, especially this Midnight Pencil Dress, the pattern is just so gorgeous and definitely fits the vintage tea party theme. I actually wore a dress similar to this for my graduation and can safely say this style of dress is so comfortable to wear and a very flattering fit. I love the floral pattern also and I think it just gives the dress quite a youthful feel as I sometimes shy away from pencil styles as I feel that they can be a little ageing or look too much like workwear.  

This one technically doesn't count as I already own it but I would love to team this look with the Tiffany & Co Heart Tag Pendant. I just find that this pendant is so easy to wear and works for casual or smart wear, really perking an outfit up. I actually went for the medium sized pendant and it looks good when worn as it's the perfect size. 

Last but not least are the New Look Chunky Ankle Strap Heels, I am obsessed with the colour and style of these heels. I tend to find that any chunky heel and platform shoe will be more comfortable than your average heel, as I wore a similar style for my graduation. On a plus side these are also a wide fit which means added comfort and I won't have to worry about squeezing my feet into strappy shoes that cut my circulation off - I hate styles that feel too tight!

I'd love to know if you're attending any weddings soon!

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Saturday, 29 August 2015

Skincare Wishlist with Pure Beauty

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Skincare is something that I have tried to take more seriously over the past couple of years, creating a routine that would help take better care of my skin. However recently I've found that my skin has been acting up a little more than usual which has left me lusting after some new skincare items, and wanted to share with you my Pure Beauty and Dermalogica wishlist. 

Demalogica Special Cleansing Gel is described as a foaming gel which is designed to thoroughly remove impurities without disturbing the skin's natural moisture balance. With the state of my skin right now I'm definitely lusting after this gel, as I'm a little worried that I have been cleansing my skin too hard with harsh products designed to remove oil, which in turn has left my skin over producing oil. I love that it keeps the skin's natural moisture balance which should help hydrate my skin. 

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant is a unique, rice-based enzyme powder that micro-exfoliates dulling debris and instantly leaves the skin noticeably smoother and brighter. So remember how I just mentioned how my skin has been super oily as of late, well it is also dry around my nose and chin so I need something that will gentle exfoliate the skin daily without over exfoliating. Being a powder this is definitely intriguing and something I can't wait to try out! 

Dermalogica Active Moist is a lightweight, oil-free moisturiser that absorbs into the skin without a trace and creates an invisible barrier preventing moisture loss, and is ideal for normal to oily skin. I'm on the hunt for a new moisturiser and this sounds perfect for my skin currently, I've heard a little goes a long way and I like that it prevents moisture loss as I'm just convinced craving matte skin is just causing more oil to seep through my skin, and the fact that this is designed for oily skin is just an added bonus.

Dermalogica All Over Toner is actually aimed for teenage skin with acne or breakout prone skin and is a refreshing and purifying spritzing toner. I love incorporating a toner mist into my skincare routine and since my Lush toner is running out I'm on the hunt for a new one. I like that this is designed for breakout prone skin as it seems that as soon as my skin gets clear it's likes to misbehave and once again I'm left trying to get rid of pesky spots. 

I'd love to know what's on your skincare wishlist!

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Thursday, 27 August 2015

Lookfantastic August Beauty Box #LFBeautyBox

Look Fantastic Beauty Box £15* - Link

Beauty boxes for me can be very hit and miss, and for that reason I haven't subscribed to a beauty box in a good while. However saying that when you do come across a good box they tend to be really good and definitely worth the money. I love getting that Christmas morning feeling when opening a box to see what goodies await, and I have to say I wasn't left disappointed.

The first item in the box is a full sized Rimmel Wake Me Up Mascara (£7.99), which is designed to uplift lashes. Now I will admit the Wake Me Up range left me a little disappointed when I first tried the foundation, however I am liking this so far. The scent is amazing, never have I owned a mascara that smells so good and my eyes instantly look more awake which is always good when you've had a late night. 

Next up is the Bellapierre Cosmetics Shimmer Powder (£12.99) in the shade Snowflake Shimmer. Using 100% pure Mica powder, this beautiful shimmer powder will provide long lasting colour whilst being used as an illuminator. I'll start off my saying this is such a pretty colour, and I love applying this over my finished eye look to just add a bit of shimmer or in the corner of my eyes.

The third item in the box is the Eve Lom Cleanser and Muslin Cloth (£16.50) and I have to admit this was the one item I was most excited by. The cleanser removes daily dirt and impurities while decongesting, exfoliating and tonight the skin, suitable for all skin types. This cleanser melts into the skin and removes my makeup so easily even stubborn waterproof mascara. Once finished my skin feels so fresh and clean, you know the feeling when you can't stop touching your face because it feels so healthy? Yeah that one, and the muslin cloth is just an added bonus!

Moving on, the next item in the box is the Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist (45p) which was actually formulated for Queen Elizabeth of Hungary in the 14th Century (gotta love a history fact). This facial mist refreshes the skin and lifts the spirits, and to be honest I wasn't so sure about this. This is great to freshen up during the day but to me it just came across as an average facial mist. 

Next up is the Alterna Caviar CC Cream (£8.42) which I have to admit when I first spotted this I thought this was for the skin not your hair. This is described as a leave in complete correction cream that leaves hair perfectly polished. When trying this the first thing I noticed is that it seemed a little on the thicker side but when used this gives your hair a slight hold which is perfect for styling and volume, and I've noticed that I can do a quick curl job on my hair and this helps it last all day. 

Last up we have the Beauty Works 10-in-1 Miracle Spray (£2.39), this spray gives hair the ultimate in nourishment and conditioning and apparently a firm favourite of Michelle Keegan's. This is lighter in comparison to the CC Cream which I prefer for that reason, and I like that this has detangling properties as my hair is such a nightmare when I come out of the shower and this does help my tangle teezer glide through. Again this makes a great styling product which gives hold whilst leaving the hair feeling light, because after all there's nothing worse than a heavy feeling product in your hair. 

What I really like about this beauty box is that you are not tied into a subscription plan unlike many others, meaning you can buy one off boxes when you want for just £15. However there are 3,6 and 12 month subscription services should you want to subscribe and the longer the subscription the cheaper the box. 

Overall I'm so impressed by the Lookfantastic August Beauty Box, with a value of just under £50 this is great value for money. Next month Lookfantastic are celebrating their 1st birthday so I cannot wait to see what treats await!

I'd love to know what your favourite beauty boxes are!



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Friday, 21 August 2015

My Top Tips for Nude Lips


Since lightening my locks a few months back I've found myself going back to my old ways and sporting my trusty nude lip. One thing I have noticed despite being a failsafe wearable look, is that creating the perfect nude lip can be a challenge as you never want to create a look that leaves you looking washed out. In light of this I wanted to share with you all my top tips for wearing a nude lip.

Exfoliate your lips

The first tip I've found to perfecting a nude lip is to exfoliate your lips before applying your lipstick of choice. I tend to find that nudes highlight flakes and imperfections more than any other colour, so I always like to exfoliate my lips using Lush's Lip Scrubs to help keep my lips looking soft and my nude lip looking on point.

Line and Define your lips

I always like to add a bit of definition to my nude lip by wearing a lipliner that is either the same shade or a couple of shades darker to the lipstick. This is to help avoid the washed out look that can sometimes happen with a shade a little too pale or one that closely resembles my skintone. I like to define my lip shape with a liner creating the shape I want, and then fill the corners of my lip with my choice of liner to help add some depth to my nude, as I find this just helps created a lifted look against my skintone. 

Gloss

I will admit when it comes to nudes one thing I'm not a fan of is a matte nude, I'll happy take the likes of Velvet Teddy but could never sport Creme Cup let's say in a matte finish as I know it would look completely wrong against my skintone. Instead I always like to opt for either a creamy formula such as a MAC Cremesheen finish or by applying a nude gloss on top to help complete the look to help mimic the finish of your lips. I especially love a gloss that has a sheen or glitter to it as I find it helps create a fuller healthier looking lip.

Bronze and Glow

If I'm feeling a little on the pale side I always like to pop a bit of bronzer on to create a light sun kissed glow which I find when teamed with a nude lip can look amazing. Instead of doing 3 motions across each side of my face I'd take my bronzer where I'd normally use my blush and lightly across my nose to lift my complexion and I find it just lifts my look to leave a flattering nude lip against my complexion.

Choose the right nude for you

The most important tip I'd say when sporting a nude lip is to choose the right colour for you. This will completely depend on your skintone, and I tend to find that pink or peach nudes look great against a pale or fair skintone and taupes, rosy browns or beige nudes look great against medium or darker skintones. 

I really hope these tips came in handy and I'd love to know what are your go to items for a nude lip?


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Sunday, 16 August 2015

My Makeup Fixer Upper: MAC Fix+ Rose

MAC Fix+ Rose Review
MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ in Rose £17.00 - Link

MAC are at it again releasing yet another limited edition collection, however this time in the form of a new MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ range with five gorgeous scents. Despite being a MAC fan I had never ventured into the Prep + Prime range so I figured this would be ample opportunity to try the highly raved Fix+ mist.

MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ is described as a lightweight mineral rich finishing mist that refreshes the skin and finishes makeup to help create an even surface for a smooth makeup application. You can spray this mist onto bare skin to help moisturise and create a wet surface which helps create a smooth surface to blend foundation or on top of makeup to set it and help it last longer and remove any powdery texture.

Because I have oily/combination skin I have to admit that sometimes I am guilty of sporting makeup that is a little on the chalky side or just overall a little dull and flat, and as of late I've been after something that will lift this and leave my skin looking a little more radiant and this is where the MAC Fix+ spray has changed my makeup routine. I will admit at first I was a little worried that this would end up doing the opposite and leaving my skin looking oiler than it was however since the first use this is one of those products that I cannot live without in my makeup routine. 

Fix+ I think is one of those products that you need to understand how it works and its many uses to fully get the benefits. To begin I love using this prior to my primer to create a smooth base and I've found this helps my foundation blend into the skin seamlessly. Now for its intended use as a finishing spray, this mist is great at taking away the powdery, cakey look for any makeup leaving your makeup looking fresh and I've noticed since doing this my skin looks more refreshed, natural and less made up without ever venturing down the oily route. I will sometimes spray over with a setting spray to keep my base down for longer and I've found this creates a great double act. You do have to be a little careful as you can end up soaking your face so I would only recommend a couple of sprays max. This mist is also a great way to intensify your eyeshadow by spraying it over your eyes or eyeshadow brushes.

The rose scent isn't too overpowering either, and to be honest you don't notice it too much when applying to the skin so I imagine it's not too different from the original. The scent I would say is similar to that of rosewater and very light so it disappears quite quickly and doesn't linger on the skin for too long.

Overall I've found that since using this mist it doesn't make my makeup appear blotchy or disrupt any powder on my face whilst helping my makeup to appear more natural and light. I'm not sure how it's able to do this but I'm not going to complain. I have a feeling that this bottle will last a good while as I'm only using a couple of sprays per use which means I don't mind paying the £17 for a bottle, and you gotta love a long lasting product. I love that this contains glycerin in it also which helps to calm the skin, and a high concentration of chamomile so some lovely ingredients that I know will help the condition of my skin overall. I've found this to be a completely lifesaver and it's hard to imagine how I coped before this and I'm definitely hoping that MAC bring more scents into the regular line. 

Have you ever tried the MAC Fix+, I'd love to know your thoughts!


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Wednesday, 12 August 2015

My Weekend Trip to Paris


So if you follow me on social media you will have seen that this weekend just gone I went to Paris for 3 days to celebrate James and I's 6 year anniversary and honestly was the best holiday I've had in a while for several reasons, so without further ado here's the lowdown on my Paris holiday.

Day 1

So as you do in Paris our first day was spent shopping on the Champ Elysées, and to say I was excited was an understatement as I'd already got a wishlist the length of my arm of bits and pieces I wanted to get. Our taxi driver dropped us off right outside Louis Vuitton so naturally that was our first pit stop which meant most my dollar was spent before the holiday finished! With trips to Sephora, MAC and the French Pharmacy all in all it was a good day.

On the night we had booked to eat in the Eiffel Tower, and I have to be honest it was one of the most amazing experiences ever. We had booked to be seated close to the window but didn't imagine we'd be sitting right next to the window, with the most gorgeous views over Paris. The food and atmosphere was amazing and an experience I'd definitely recommend. 

Day 2

The best day of the holiday, we had pre-planned to go to Disneyland Paris and as an avid lover of Disneyland Orlando I couldn't wait to experience another park. The little kid in me couldn't contain my excitement and ending up buying the most amazing Disney Princess ears to walk around in. After we'd walked around the park James decided to talk me by the Disney Princess Castle, and before I knew it proposed to me! I don't remember the ins and outs too much, as there was mostly crying and laughing, but long story short I said yes, and it was for me the most magical place to ask! We finished the day with a meal in Walt's which I'd definitely recommend, a bit pricey but the food is amazing and if sitting in a window seat you get a good view of the parade on Main Street.

Day 3

As we'd been to Paris before we didn't want to really go exploring museums and such so instead we ventured back Champ Elysées to see what the Arch de Triumph had to offer as we'd never been up there before. I have to admit we did chicken out as we'd left it a bit late in the day and it was not only manic but to cross the road it felt like you'd be taking your life in your own hands. So we had a second day of shopping which included a Tiffany's treat and the infamous Ladurée Macaroons box. 

All in all I'd had an amazing trip and couldn't wait to share this amazing news with you all!

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Friday, 7 August 2015

What's in my Makeup Bag with Emilyloula

Hey lovelies, so by the time you are reading this I will either be on the plane or shopping my way through Paris. So I've asked the lovely Emily from Emilyloula to do a guest post on my blog so without further ado..

I love to keep my makeup collection on show, on and around my dressing table but the real everyday strong items are stashed away in my drawer. These essentials are kept within this adorable makeup bag from Benefit, so if I ever need to grab some makeup and go, I can always rely on this bag and its contents. Of course, I'll sway from these items and try out new looks now and then, a different concealer there and an alternative blush here, but the majority of the time, these goodies are what get applied to my face the most.
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To start with, the two primers I opt for on the most regular basis are MaxFactor's All Day FaceFinity & KIKO's Mat Base Corrector. I absolutely love both of these, but for really different reasons. FaceFinity is really great for when it's a hotter day, as not only does it contain SPF 20, but it also has added micro correctors which absorb sweat and oil. Alternatively, when I'm wanting to go for a matte look that stays all day, KIKO's primer is the one that'll opt for. It's a little sticky and you'll need to work quickly as this stuff dries super fast, but the outcome is definitely worth it. 

The foundation I use changes on quite a regular basis, as I still haven't found my 'holy grail' just yet, but what I have found is a combination of products that seem to be working really well for me at the moment. Bourjois' CC Cream is one of my more recent discoveries, but one that I'm absolutely smitten with. I'm honestly incredibly impressed with the coverage this gives me, I really wasn't expecting that to come from a CC cream. If it's a foundation kinda day I'll opt for L'Oreal's Infallible 24H Matte, which is as the name suggests gives a lovely matte finish, with a high coverage. While I wouldn't say this is a full coverage foundation, it does really well at covering my blemishes and discolouration, so I'm happy with it. Now, if I'm going to an event, or for a night out and I really want that full coverage, I apply the CC cream first, followed by L'Oreal's foundation and this gives me a really flawless base. 

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In terms of a concealer for my blemishes and scars I've actually found that Vichy's Dermablend Foundation is the best of the bunch. I don't apply this as a foundation as I've found it can go a bit cakey, but when applied in small amounts as a concealer, it's honestly incredible. I usually get a lot of redness around my nose, and I've found that MaxFactor's Colour Corrector in green is perfect to help with this as it cancels out the annoying red tones. For an under eye concealer, my favourite is Rimmel's Wake Me Up, as its said to have an 'anti-fatigue and radiant glow', which brightens the eye area and makes me look much more awake. I've found I get the best results with this if I lightly blend the concealer out by dabbing with my mini beauty blender. If I've opted for a lighter base, such as Bourjois' CC cream or a tinted moisturiser, I really love to apply bareMinerals Original Foundation on top. This adds some more coverage to the look, whilst setting my base and slightly mattifying my skin.
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Now onto the cheeks... My blusher is another product that tends to change on a regular basis as I have quite a substantial collection, but one that I will always go back to is my all time favourite - NARS Orgasm. This is the most gorgeous peachy pink shade with a golden shimmery undertone. It blends out so well, and gives the illusion of beautiful natural flushed cheeks. Orgasm is the only blush I've ever hit pan on, which really says something for me and in my opinion, it definitely has it's cult status for a reason! For my bronzer, the majority of the time I'll use Benefit's Hoola, which is also known to be another cult product, and again,I think it has rightfully earned this status. It's a completely matte bronzer so it's perfect for a bit of light contouring as the shade is really flattering and not orange toned at all. If I want to really add some definition to my cheekbones and attempt to 'sculpt' my face, I'll always use my Clinique Chubby Contour Stick. This is the perfect contour shade for me, and it's so easy to use it's pretty fool proof. You literally draw with the cream based stick where you'd like to contour (if you don't know google contour face map) then blend blend blend, and you're done. I'm a big fan of this!
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For my eyebrows I like to use Illamasqua's Brow Gel in Strike just to give them some definition and a bit more thickness. I've had this pot for over a year now, and I've only just started to make a dent it in. It's the perfect shade for my brows and doesn't budge all day, so it's a real winner for me. To set my eyebrows and keep them in shape I'll apply Maybelline's Brow Drama on top or if I'm having a light makeup day, I'll pop a bit of this onto my brows alone to give them a bit of colour. 

The eyeliner that has it's place inside my makeup bag at the moment is Soap & Glory's Super Cat Liner. It has a long, felt tip like nib which makes precise application a lot easier. I'm a complete novice when it comes to doing the perfect eyeliner flick but this liner has made it a lot easier than any other I've tried. I keep my eyeshadow palettes and individual pans in my makeup storage, so you won't find any of them in my makeup bag, but what you will always find is a Maybelline Color Tattoo in a various shade. At the moment, my favourite is On & On Bronze, which as the name suggests is a gorgeous bronze shade with a shimmery sheen finish. It's such a beautiful shade, that can be quickly applied to the lid and blended out with your finger for a super easy yet effective look. I've got two mascara's that I use regularly in my makeup bag at the moment, and they're both from Benefit - They're Real & Roller Lash. Roller Lash gives my lashes a really lovely curl and keeps them lifted throughout the day. They're Real adds some amazing volume to my lashes, and it's not going anywhere, unless that's with an oil based cleanser. So when you combine these two, they made an incredible duo and my lashes look amazing throughout the day.
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I don't tend to keep any lipsticks in my actual makeup bag, as I have a lot of lipstick storage on my dressing table, so I'll just grab what I fancy wearing that day. However, for the purpose of this post, I picked a few of my most used lip products at the moment, to talk to you about. My favourite lipstick of all time, and one I wear more than any other is KIKO's Velvet Satin Matin in 613 Pink Carnation. This is the most gorgeous muted pink, almost a my lips but better shade but with some extra oommph. The formula is really lovely, and due to it being a creamy matte shade they're incredibly comfortable to wear. I've got five other shades in this line by KIKO as I absolutely love the finish and the formula, but Pink Carnation is my favourite and most worn shade. 

 Another of my favourites at the moment is Makeup Revolution's Lip Hug in Love Can Set You Free. It almost looks like the same shade as the KIKO lipstick in the bullet, but they translate very differently on the lips. The Lip Hug comes out as a much deeper more mauve shade, and has a sheen finish to it. The Lip Hug's are really impressive as the formula is so comfortable and they're nice and hydrating - such great value for only £2.50! Another hydrating product from the bunch is Benefit's Benebalm, which is a tinted lip balm then leaves a subtle yet noticeable red tint to the lips. Sometimes I don't feel like I can pull of a fully red lip, so this beautifully packaged balm from Benefit is my answer. It's nourishing, lightweight and the tinted red sheen it leaves behind is is really stunning. And last, but no means least is Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in Rosewood Shimmer. The lip perfectors have such a lovely consistency, they appear on the lips as a gloss but there's absolutely no stickiness and if anything they feel fairly creamy. These also smell absolutely incredible and are definitely a joy to wear, this shade in particular is a great everyday nude with a pink undertone that I love. 

So, that completes the contents of my everyday makeup bag, I apologise for the super long post, but there was a lot to get through! I hope you found this at least slightly interesting, and maybe picked up some new ideas for your own makeup! 

A big thank you to Charlee for having me here, and if you fancy reading or seeing anymore from me I blog over at emilyloula.com, where you'll find all things beauty, with some lifestyle, tech, decor and blogging posts thrown in along the way. I'd love it if you'd come and say hi! xx
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Monday, 3 August 2015

An Introduction into Natural Skincare: SteamCream Review

SteamCream Bonjour £13.95* - Link

I always find myself intrigued by products that receive cult status and come highly recommended, so naturally I need to try them to see what all the fuss is about. Raved as one of the best face and skin care creams on the market I knew I needed to jump on the bandwagon and see what SteamCream had to offer and share with you my thoughts. 

SteamCream is a multipurpose lightweight cream uniquely formulated using pure, unrefined steam for maximum absorption that can be used on the face, body or hands providing long-lasting hydration. The cream is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive containing jojoba, almond oil and cocoa button to soften the skin and defend against signs of ageing. Available in a range of cute designs, the limited edition Bonjour comes complete with a lucky little ladybird. 

Boasting claims of long-lasting hydration I was a little skeptical at first as I figured many would have been drawn in by the cutesy packaging, however I can say say those claims of mine were quickly shot down. I found that when applying this, whether it be my hands, face or body the formula felt very light on the skin and almost gel like, absorbing rather quickly despite looking thick in the tin. Now I do tend to worry about hydrating formulas as I have oily skin, but found that this never felt greasy on my skin either which is a big bonus. I mostly love how this feels and looks on my skin, for someone with oily skin I never thought I'd be saying this, but it appears to make a difference leaving my face looking healthier and quenched making this the perfect moisturiser for overnight hydration. Each cream comes in a 75ml tin which makes it great for travelling, but my only gripe is if you were to use this frequently on your body I'd say you'd finish this in a couple of months max, so I do tend to stick to my face, legs and hands. 

I couldn't finish this review without mention the packaging, SteamCream is available in a variety of pretty patterned tins. Bonjour I find to be quite simple yet really cute, and I love that once the cream is finished I can continue to reuse the tin to house little bits of jewellery or bobby pins. 

Overall I think that this is a fabulous multipurpose product that keeps finding its way into my daily routine, and I can see myself stocking up on a couple of tins during the winter when my skin needs maximum moisture. Retailing at £13.95 it is a little on the expensive side when you look at how much product you get, but I put a lot of that down to the use of all natural ingredients and it being handmade. 

Have you tried SteamCream? What's your favourite tin?


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Saturday, 1 August 2015

Are MAC Limited Edition Collections Worth the Hype?

Are MAC Limited Edition Collections Worth the Hype?, MAC Limited Edition Collection
MAC Wonder Woman (2011), MAC Archie's Girls (2013), MAC Cinderella (2015), MAC Wet & Dry (2015), MAC Venomous Villains (2010), MAC Marilyn Monroe (2012)

If you're a regular reader of CharmedCharlee, it will come as no surprise to know that I have a slight MAC addiction and have done for years, especially their limited edition collections. I try not to buy into the hype surrounding certain lines but I cave really easily, which means I'm lining my vanity with more pretty packaging that I know what to with - but I love the sense of excitement that comes with getting your hands on something that is so highly coveted. But it seems of late to get your hands on some of MAC's limited edition collections is becoming more of a fight with collections selling out within minutes online and the same day in store which leaves the question is are these collections really worth it?

I think the main problem over the past few collections is that no one wants to miss out, it seems like MAC only have to release an image of their new collection and a frenzy is created no marketing needed. But this more then ever has created panic buying and buying to sell, I've noticed with previous collections I could stroll into MAC a couple of days after a release and know I should be able to get the shades I want, but now I'm lucky to get them by midday. These limited edition collections create panic buying and buying to sell, as you find yourself one toying over the idea of 'do you really need it' and then 'do you need a backup', as the shade is limited edition and don't know if there will be a re-release or dupe available. 

Packaging; I think limited edition packaging is a big factor to how quickly a range will sell out, look at MAC Cinderellai which sold out almost instantly. Why? Probably most likely down to the colourful packaging, and I have to admit I'm one of those who likes the hint of colour to the packaging, and I'm guessing a lot of you do to going off how quickly collections sell. 

Shades; Now the real catch 22 of limited edition collections are the shades, the real bug bear is that these shades may not be available once you have finished that product. For example Peach Ripe is a gorgeous blush but MAC have not made permanent so you find yourself awaiting each limited edition collection for a re-promote. But then the Giambattista Valli collection is very dupable, the shades are staples but I know that I can easily pop to my local MAC counter and find a good dupe. However if I know MAC release a LE collection where shades are available within the permanent line I'm not too bothered, look at when Rebel was released in their holiday collection last year, I wasn't throwing my trusty lipstick out for a bit of glitter, because at the end of the day the shade was exactly the same in the bullet.

Price; When it comes to MAC LE collections the prices vary depending on the packaging, if there's a new collection such as the MAC is Beauty and the black packaging remains the same MAC don't up their prices. However as soon as MAC change things up a bit the prices do go up, not by much though. Lipsticks normally go to £17, Blushers £20, Lipglasses £16 and so on, so they make limited edition collections still affordable for their customers. Or their holiday collection sets prove to be a good bargain, such as the pigments and lip bags I always find myself picking up one or two. The real problem starts if you search these collections on eBay and Depop, you can find yourself parting with 2x if not 4x the amount you'd have paid to MAC for the same item, and a lot of the time these collections are old, used, swatched, without boxes - not even the same condition as you'd have received from MAC. 

Over the past few months I have bought a lot of MAC limited edition collections, but only the items that I like - I'm not one of those who can buy one of everything, as I'm yet to find a collection that every item appeals to me. There was a point where I would always have to buy collections, but now I'm reigning myself in, and indulging in just some of the collections and will be bypassing all the new collections until the release of the Ellie Goulding collection.

I'd love to know your thoughts on MAC Limited Edition collections? Are they worth the hype? And what are your favourite LE purchases?

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