Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Lifestyle @ Telford

So after a short hiatus I'm back, and I've got a fun post to welcome myself back into my blogging routine. Part of my work means I get to attend some fun events and the Lifestyle @ Telford Shopping Centre is just one of them! Showcasing the latest AW16 trends for his and her fashions I couldn't wait to see the styles on offer!

I love how this year Telford decided to go for something a little different, instead of opting for one main catwalk the centre chose to showcase three style show catwalks dotted around the mall, with various shows throughout the day. As many of you will know Autumn is my favourite season so I couldn't wait to see the styles on offer during the three day event. 

Hosted by the great the Fashion Show Company, I love how the shows weren't just about models walking down the run way, instead the style shows included slick dance routines that just added a hint of fun, and definitely a head turner for those wandering past doing their shopping. 

From Zara to Marks and Spencer to Primark there were a great range of high street featured in each show and left me wanting to splash away the payday cash and update my wardrobe. Some of the key trends for the season included velvet, tartan and silk, and I must admit the more I see velvet on the catwalk the more I want to fill my wardrobe with this must-have fabric! Zara and Dorothy Perkins really stood out for me, their featured pieces were just gorgeous and I love how wearable their pieces were. I definitely had my eye on the Zara print skirt towards the end of the afternoon!

Each of the models were sporting The Body Shop makeup and as you know I'm partial to a lippie or three so had to go in search of the makeup used for each look. The Body Shop introduced me to their new matte liquid lipsticks and the colour range is so gorgeous, from your pretty pinks to mauve nudes there's definitely a colour to suit all. I had a little swatch in store and I love the formula, it feels very creamy to apply and dries semi-matte, so there's still a subtle sheen to the lips.

Overall I really enjoyed the looks that were showcased throughout the day, it definitely gave me that inspiration that was needed to update my wardrobe ready for the colder months ahead!

What are your favourite AW16 trends?


Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Five flawless bases

Five flawless bases, MAC Waterproof Foundation, Benefit Hello Flawless Foundation, Nars Sheer Glow Foundation

We all love a flawless base, let's face it - it's the key to great makeup - but finding the right coverage and finish can be rather tricky. I find that my tastes often change, in the summer I like to go for something more lightweight and during the autumn and winter seasons I opt for a foundation with medium to full coverage. Despite my preferences changing, I still expect a lot from a foundation, as someone with imperfections including redness and blemishes I want a foundation that not only conceals these but creates a natural complexion. With that in mind I have few favourites that I come to use daily, and have rounded up in my five flawless bases. 

Benefit Hellow Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation is my go to every base for work, this oil free formula provides a light to medium coverage which sets to leave a natural and dewy finish to the skin, without ever looking too shiny. I wasn't too sure how I would get on with this foundation to begin with as I have oily/combination skin, however I can easily wear this for 6 hours with minimal shine, and easily up to 8 during the colder months. This is such a lightweight and comfortable base, which can be built up to help conceal redness and imperfections. If you're looking for the perfect radiant base this is the one for you.

MAC Pro Longwear Foundation is my go to base when I'm looking for something a little more matte, but not to the point where my base looks dull. I know MAC tend to get a bad rap for their bases, with many complaints being that their foundations appear too cakey or cause breakouts, however I've not yet experienced this. This is a medium coverage foundation which provides a flawless base, perfect for when my skin is having a moment, and despite the coverage this looks really lightweight on the skin. The Pro Longwear Foundation packs some serious staying power and if I have a long day ahead then it's guaranteed I'll be wearing this.

MAC Pro Longwear Waterproof Foundation has been my holy grail foundation throughout the summer, despite being a fuller coverage base this does in fact feel rather lightweight on the skin to the point where you don't feel like you are wearing foundation, and your skins natural glow shines through. Just be careful not to overdo it with this foundation as I will stress that a little definitely goes a long way, and blemishes and redness are concealed with a single buff into the skin. I can't comment on how waterproof this foundation is as I can't say I've been in shower nor have been swimming - well let's just say I've had no contact with water - but this is incredibly long lasting to the point where you don't have to worry about it melting off the skin, and you're guaranteed a flawless looking base all day. 

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation is anything but sheer in my opinion, but rather a medium coverage base which can easily be built up if you prefer something a little more fuller. This buffs into the skin with such ease and you're guaranteed a flawless base within a matter of minutes with no hint of cake in sight. This foundation provides a semi-matte base, providing a natural glow without ever looking shiny, but I would recommend getting the pump for this foundation as a little goes a long way and that way you won't run the risk of wasting any!

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation is a firm favourite of mine when I'm looking for a natural base that conceals any bad skin days. The formula of this foundation is very lightweight on the skin, and looks and feels invisible on the skin, creating an airbrushed finish when applied with a buffing brush or sponge, blurring any imperfections and pores. Once set this foundation provides a natural, satin finish to the skin that doesn't appear too matte nor dewy, which is perfect for those with combination skin. The foundation is incredibly long lasting, wearing for around 6 - 8 hours and during which still remains flawless on the skin, with only minimal shine on my t-zone. 

What are you favourite flawless bases?


Sunday, 4 September 2016

The best of Benefit Cosmetics

LtoR: Benefit Ka-Brow, Benefit Gimme Brow, Benefit Roller Lash, Benefit Hoola, Benefit Watt's Up, Benefit They're Real! Tinted Primer, Benefit the Porefessional matte rescue gel

Benefit Cosmetics were one of the first high end brands that I tried - with the first product being the Sugarbomb boxed blusher to be exact - I always remember being drawn into the fun and rather quirky packaging that made the brand stand out amongst others. To this day they remain one of my favourite brands, I can often find myself visiting my local counter, spying a new product launch or even getting a monthly brow wax and tint. With that in mind I thought I'd share with you my thoughts on the best of Benefit Cosmetics. 

Starting with base products my first favourite product has to be Benefit the Porefessional matte rescue gel, it was tough to choose between this and the original Porefessional - however I think the gel slightly tops my list. As someone who loves to save time in a morning, this product is great as it can be used as both your moisturiser and primer, and once applied creates a smooth base for your foundation. This feels so lightweight on the skin, and being water based I find that this works better with foundations, helping to add hydration into the skin whilst helping to keep oil at bay. This also helps to blur the appearance of pores, meaning that my foundation applies easier without clinging or drawing attention to my pores. 

Finding a great bronzer and contour product that suits paler skin tones can be a pain, as often enough many products appear too dark or too orange. However the Benefit Hoola bronzing power is a firm favourite, whilst also being a blogger holy grail product. This is such a smooth and buttery bronzing powder that blends easily into the skin helping to give a healthy and natural-looking glow. As this is a cool-toned matte product, this is perfect for contouring and a definite everyday product for me. I find that this appears very flattering against my skin tone, and if you don't already I definitely recommend getting this!

Your contour wouldn't be complete without a little highlight, and Benefit do some of the best! A firm favourite is the Benefit Watt's Up highlighter, this is such a stunning creamy golden highlight that applies and blends on the skin so easily. Once applied this looks really flattering on the skin and gives a warmth of dewy radiance without every looking oily. I love that this also comes with a dabber on the opposite end which helps to blend the product into the skin without ruining your base. If you're after a highlighter that is subtle enough for day wear but can be built up for a glow-getting evening look this is the one for you.

Benefit are known as the brow experts so it will come as to no surprise that I've featured not one but two of their brow products in my best of feature. Benefit Gimme Brow has been a staple in my makeup routine since the product first launched back in 2014! If you aren't blessed with thick brows then you definitely need to add this to your basket, this tinted eyebrow gel helps to create natural thicker looking brows and is the perfect finishing step in your brow routine - helping to fill in any sparse areas and set them in the process. A cult favourite with good reason! 

Benefit Ka-Brow is a recent addition to their brow line but in such a short period of time has climbed its way into my heart becoming one of my favourite Benefit products. This all-in-one eyebrow cream-gel easily fills, sculpts and defined the brow in a matter of minutes. The formula is so easy to work with and once applied stays put all day - so you never have to worry about smudging your brows away. The packaging is so darn cute also, and the lid transforms into a built-in angled brush, which is perfect for travelling! If you're a fan of the Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade but hate how quickly it dries out - give this a whirl. 

Lastly, let's move onto eye products or if I'm being more specific mascaras. Since Benefit introduce d the They're Real mascara I've been impressed by their offerings and two that really stand out for me are Roller Lash and the they're real! tinted primer. Benefit Roller Lash is the perfect mascara if you're looking for longer and lifted lashes. This instantly transforms my lashes after one coat leaving them curled and looking longer, and doesn't cling together which is always a good thing. Compared to the original They're Real formula this is a lot more lightweight and provides length and volume without weight your lashes down. 

When the Benefit they're real! tinted primer first hit the scenes I wasn't too sure that this was something I needed - but boy Benefit proved me wrong! This is a great multi-use product, which can either be worn on its own or as a primer under your favourite mascara. When applied this gives the appearance of longer and more volumised lashed whilst looking very natural. When worn under the they're real! mascara I find that this helps thicken the appearance of lashes whilst reducing the amount of coats needed, which can sometimes create spider lashes - and let's be honest that's never a good look. This is definitely worth adding to your they're real! family.

I'd love to know what your favourite Benefit products are!


Wednesday, 31 August 2016

NYX Lingerie liquid lipsticks the Kylie Cosmetics Lip Kit dupes

NYX Lingerie liquid lipsticks Kylie Cosmetics Lip Kit dupes, NYX Lingerie liquid lipsticks, Kylie Cosmetics Dupes
LtoR: Embellishment, Lace Detail, Ruffle Trim, Push Up, Satin Ribbon, Bedtime Flirt, Baby Doll, Exotic

It seems that NYX have really been upping their beauty game and have taken the UK by storm since the brand launched across the pond a couple of years ago. Their products are not only affordable but the quality is amazing, and I'm yet to come across a bad product, so when I saw the launch of their new Lip Lingerie range the liquid lipstick lover in me had a little flutter and I couldn't help but add a few to my basket - and let's be honest a girl can never have too many nudes!

The NYX Lip Lingerie range is described as a weightless liquid lipstick with a plush matte finish and available in a range of 12 colour-kissed nudes - from cinnamon pink and chocolate brown, to warm mahogany red and class nude beige - each shade will coat the curves of your lips with irresistibly creamy colour.

These are probably some of my most favourite liquid lipsticks to date - big statement I know, but the formula of these are amazeballs! Each lipstick is so creamy to apply, and yet dries down to a matte finish that doesn't budge throughout the day without ever feeling drying and instead feels quite comfortable. Once applied these literally won't budge, whether you're drinking or eatings these are incredibly long lasting to the point I can come home from work and my lipstick is still in tact! These won't crumble or flake after a couple of hours wear either, and I've also found that the formula once applied doesn't settle into any fine lines in my lips which is a big plus for me.

In terms of pigmentation, no matter the shade these are so opaque and you only need the thinnest of layers and you're good to go! I love the doe-foot applicator also, at first it was a little weird to get used to, but now I find it just so easy to use as it glides around the curves of my lips perfectly. 

If you're looking for a cheaper alternative to the Kylie Cosmetics Lip Kits, I'd definitely recommend these! Not only do they look very similar packaging wise, but the formula matches that of the lip kits. I'd probably go so far to say that the formula is slightly better as it's less watery, and a few of the shades make the perfect dupes including Beauty Mark, Lace Detail, Bedtime Flirt, Honeymoon and Exotic. Now that Kylie is introducing new shades to her collection, I'm finding they look very similar to the Lingerie range. 

Overall I have fallen for the NYX Lingerie liquid lipstick hype, these are perfect for everyday wear as they won't leave your lips dry at all and are incredibly long lasting! I really love the colour range available, as not only can you pick up your traditional nudes but there are some stunning shades in the collection including Embellishment a purple toned nude and Exotic a totally wearable red. For £6.50 these are an absolute steal, and I'm pretty sure I'll end up owning the whole range!

Are you a fan of the NYX Lingerie range?


Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Autumn fashion wishlist

Autumn fashion wishlist
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

Autumn has to be my favourite season, from the crispy morning air to berry everything! Especially when it comes to autumn fashion, I love to layer chunky knits and scarves teamed with a pair of trusty ankle boots. It's crazy to think that I'm talking about autumn fashion already, as it seems that summer has only just arrived, however with autumn fast approaching - 22nd September to be exact - it's the perfect time to update your wardrobe with new AW staples, and I wanted to share with you some of my fashion favourites.

I love a good chunky scarf to drape around my neck during the colder months, especially this pastel pink scarf from Primark! I saw this a little while ago in my local store, and I've been putting off buying more scarves until the weather drops but I think I need to go back and pick this up before it's too late. The material is so soft and will be perfect to wear or even drape around yourself as the cold nights draw in.

Now for anyone that knows me, will know that I have a massive obsession with Disney, and as I like to say you can never have enough Disney in your life! The Mickey Mouse Icon Silver Key Necklace is absolutely gorgeous, designed as part of the Arribas Jewelled Collection, this reminds me of the Tiffany key styled necklaces - which I've always wanted - so why not combine the two to create the perfect blend!

This season definitely calls for a new autumn/winter coat, especially as I've been sporting my current autumn jacket for the past 5 years plus. I spotted this Navy swing coat from River Island and it was just love at first sight, this looks so cosy and would be perfect for the cold autumn mornings and evenings. I really like that the length isn't too long also, as being 5'3" certain longer styles end up looking really silly on me. The fact that this coat comes in more than one colour means that I can see myself getting either the beige or pink coat also!

You can't have a Disney necklace without matching earrings, so naturally I had to include the Disney Couture Mickey Mouse studs, I've actually wanted to get these for years so I'm not really sure what I haven't, but these are just the absolute cutest and would go with anything!

It seems that swing dresses aren't going anywhere this season, and I'm glad about that as I've really fallen in love with the style, not only are swing dresses so comfortable to wear but the style is also very, very flattering. I love this jacquard texture funnel swing dress from new Look, not only is the pattern the perfect autumnal design, but I can also see myself getting a lot of wear out of this dress, especially when teamed with a trusty pair of ankle boots and a leather jacket. 

Now I will admit I've never really seen the hype surrounding Pandora, just seeing the constant business of their stores is enough to put me off. However I've seen their stacking rings popping up quite a bit and I will be honest I do think they are really cute, especially both the Princess Tiara Ring and the Sparkling Heart stacking ring. These rings look perfect for everyday wear and I just have an obsession with stacking rings so I could see myself getting a lot of wear out of both rings - these may have to be added to a very early birthday list.  

Last but not least, since I scratched the leather - beyond repair - on my favourite leather boots I've been in need of a new pair for the autumn. I really love these ankle boots from House of Fraser, I didn't realise how great of a range they stocked, and will definitely need to pop down to my local store to scope the range. I think ankle boots are just such a staple for the autumn and winter months, and you really can't beat a good pair of flat black ankle boots, as they are so durable and seem to go with everything! The hunt is now on for the perfect pair!

I'd love to know what your fashion staples are for autumn?


Monday, 29 August 2016

CharmedCharlee is moving

Ok I'll admit I told a little porky pie in the title, I'm not completely giving up on my blog, but I have introduced a new channel to CharmedCharlee - CharmedCharlee21. I'm back on YouTube, I've said for the past couple of years that I was going to get into YouTube but it never quite happened. Over the past month or so I've really been toying with the idea of doing videos and I will admit I've always been a bit wary as I've always felt that you're putting more of yourself out there for the world to see as video content is so different to being a writer behind a keypad. But you may have noticed content has been few and far on here for a while and I think that has just been me trying to find myself again as a blogger and within the beauty community, the spark had gone and I'd rather just stop writing than forcing myself, so I'm hoping that the contribution of videos will help to bring back that spark - and it's definitely coming back just a bit of a slow burner at the moment!

Sunday, 14 August 2016

The fuss free gel manicure - Essie gel couture

The fuss free gel manicure - Essie gel couture
LtoR: Stitch by stitch, Touch up, Take me to thread, Signature smile, Model citizen, Sit me in the front row, Nail topcoat gel couture

I've recently found myself getting back into nail polish, and whilst enjoying my original beauty obsession I've been on the search for a formula that doesn't chip or peel after just a few days - please tell me I'm not the only one who can sit there and peel once you see the polish lift a little? So on my search I came across the newly released Essie gel couture range, and as a fan of gel polish I couldn't wait to try them and see how they compare to the real deal!

Now I will admit being a fan of gel nails I was yet to come across a at-home nail polish that really lived up to the real deal, well that was until I tried this range...

The Essie gel couture range is an extravagantly sophisticated collection, complete with 25 brand new colours that promise up to 12 days wear - without the need for a base coat or LED light - applied in an easy 2-step system. Apply two coats to bare nails and then apply the specialised, quick-drying top coat to lock in the couture manicure for a gel-like manicure, without the hassle of curing and the painfully long soak-off removal. 

The application is a dream, all you need is two coats of colour and one of the top coat and you're good to go. The brush makes application so much simpler, the wider, flatter shape helps to create the perfectly curved salon like cuticle line, and three strokes are all that's needed to fill the nail. 

I have to admit I was a little skeptical after hearing the 12 day wear claim, as many on the high street seem to offer this but I can never get more than five days wear out of them, easily making them comparable to just normal nail polish. However I have really put these polishes to the test, with the shades lasting more than the advertised 12 days and easily up to 14 days without chipping or lifting - which is amazing! Especially as they kept the shine throughout without the need for any additional top coats, the only type of wear to the nails was at the tip, just a faint line - if you know what I mean. What's better? The fact that you can just use a regular nail polish remover and you're ready for a fresh mani, making the perfect fuss free gel manicure!

The shade range is absolutely amazing, and after trying several shades I am yet to come across one that doesn't deliver. I don't know about you but as much as I love Essie I have come across a couple of shades that are streaky, chip quickly and to be honest a bit of a let down. However this isn't the case with the gel couture range, the only thing I have come across is a couple of the shades requiring three coats, but all still live up to the 12 days wear. 

I couldn't do this review without talking about the new shaped bottle, which is just so cute! A bugger to store amongst other nail polishes, but I love the twist on the regular bottle, and even the brush wand is twisted, which I find helps keep dripping nail polish at bay. 

Overall Essie have done it again, their range of gel polishes definitely stand out amongst the rest and considering I've tried a fair few these definitely come out on top. These retail for £9.99 but if you're lucky Boots and Superdrug are offering these for buy one get one half price which is the perfect way to try a shape with the top coat for less than you'd pay for a salon gel manicure - but with the same flawless finish that you'd expect!

Have you tried any of the Essie gel couture range? I'd love to know which shades your recommend!


Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Finding the perfect sunglasses with Vision Direct #MyFaceShapeIs

For as long as I can remember I have always loved accessories, probably more than clothes with mountains of shoes, bags and even sunglasses piling up in my bedroom! Whilst I'm always buying countless pairs of sunglasses come spring, I often find myself toying with different shapes and styles to find a shape that suits my face best, because lets be honest there's nothing worse than buying a pair of sunglasses to find that the style is very unflattering. 

When the lovely folks over at Vision Direct got in touch to let me know about their #MyFaceShapeIs campaign I couldn't wait to get involved. As someone who is guilty of sporting a pair of sunglasses come the slightest hint of sunshine, I know how important it is to choose a style that will compliment your face.

Vision Direct have set up an interactive page to help you determine the perfect pair of sunglasses to suit your style and face shape, and once you've been matched to a style there's even a 20% discount code included - so it's definitely worth taking a look whilst we enjoy the last couple of months of summer!

Naturally I had to check to see what style of sunglasses would suit my face shape, and as someone with an oval face I'm apparently quite lucky when it comes to choosing sunglasses because most of the shapes and styles suit - including round, aviator and cat-eye styles. I have to admit I had never really thought about my face shape before, so it was great to see which category it fell into and finding out which shaped sunglasses suit my frame. 

I opted for the American Freshman Plastic and Metal Combination Sunglasses in black, orange and gunmetal (£27.99). I wore these round London last weekend and they are just so comfortable and stylish, there is something about the retro style that I absolutely love and think really flatters my face shape. 

I'd love to know what face shape you fall under, and don't forget to check out #myfaceshapeis on Instragram!

*Sponsored Post

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Flawless brows with Benefit Cosmetics

LtoR: Benefit Cosmetics Ka-Brow, Benefit Cosmetics Goof Proof brow pencil, Benefit Cosmetics Precisely, my brow eyebrow pencil, Benefit Cosmetics ready, set, BROW! Clear brow gel

I think it's safe to say that over the past couple of years my brow routine has significantly changed, gone are the days of self plucking, and trying to fill them in with no idea what I was doing and now I find myself spending more time filling my brows in then anything else and regularly visiting my trusty Benefit brow bar for regular waxes and tints.  

When it comes to brow products, Benefit Cosmetics have always been one of my go to brands as let's face it they have been focusing on brows for long enough - they first launched in 1976 - and to be honest I've yet to come across a product I didn't like. Since Benefit launched their highly anticipated new 12 piece brow collection, ranging from revamped classics to new brow products to help create the perfect brows - I couldn't wait to explore their new offerings!

Firstly, I'm going to mention the revamped packaging which I absolutely adore! I love the whole magical vibe and the silver packaging definitely does stand out amongst my makeup collection. I've always liked that Benefit are out there with their packaging and it's just so fun - what's not to love?

Benefit Ka-Brow is described as an all-in-one eyebrow cream-gel that easily fills, sculpts and defines the brow. This little pot is amazing for creating a sculpted, dramatic brow within a matter of minutes! The formula applies so seamlessly and effortlessly, and is even waterproof for up to 24 hours, so you can apply your brows in the morning and not worry about them smudging away during the day, which is a big plus as I'm definitely guilty of rubbing my brows throughout the day. The packaging also needs a mention as it's so handy, the pot comes with a hidden in the lid built-in angled brush, which converts to full-size brush for precise control and is perfect for travelling. 

Benefit Goof Proof brow pencil is a super easy filling and shaping eyebrow pencil, featuring a custom, non-sharpen 'goof-proof' tip, soft colour and a glide-on formula for easy and fast brow filling. The triangular shaped tip is perfect for brow novices as this is just so easy to use and foolproof. The flat tip is great for filling in sparse areas of the brow, whist the thinner point helps to draw singular hair strokes. I love that the pencil also comes with a built-in spoolie brush to help blend the product through the brow for a more polished and natural finish.

Benefit Precisely, my brow eyebrow pencil is an ultra-fine eyebrow pencil which draws incredibly natural-looking, hair-like strokes that lasts for 12 hours. As my brows are on the sparser side of the spectrum I love to use a pencil with a sharp nib, and this definitely hits the spot! I love that you can outline your brows perfectly, and finish your brows with sharp and clean ends. Don't be put off either by the thin nib, as this still fills in the brows quickly and naturally, and it really helps you focus on those areas that need a little bit more product to fill your brows out. This also comes with a built-in spoolie brush, which helps to blend the product through the brow for a more polished and natural appearance. 

Benefit ready, set, BROW! Is a 24 hour clear brow gel which shapes and tames the brow whilst locking on makeup so brows don't disappear. The wand is more like a plastic mascara wand, which is easy to apply and gives a more precise application, coating the brows fully and because the wand is thin I don't end up with any gel around my brows like I sometimes do with Gimme Brow. The consistency of the gel is quite thin, which I didn't expect, however I find that this actually works better in comparison to other thicker brow gels, setting quickly without any crunchy-ness. 

Overall I've really been impressed by the new additions to Benefit's brow collection, I love that there is a product for everyone and whilst the colour selection has expanded finding a colour to suit has never been easier. For example I use shade 3, and this means that I will be shade 3 throughout the whole range.

Have you tried any of Benefit's new brow collection?


Saturday, 23 July 2016

Harrods luxury gift with purchase

I love a good gift with purchase, especially when it's beauty related, and it seems that over the past few years many beauty brands have jumped on board launching gift promotions. However I don't think any are impressive as the Harrods luxury gift with purchase!

The gift with purchase set comes with a vast array of luxury beauty products and samples from high end brands! From Diptyque to By Terry to Marc Jacobs to Huda Beauty, there's a range of beauty favourites and much more!

To get the beauty gift you had to spend £250 of more in the Harrods beauty department, and by doing so you got your hands on this fab range of goodies.

The gift includes:
  • Pink tote bag and cosmetics pouch
  • Beauty Blender Blotterazzi
  • By Terry Baume de Rose Protection Intense mini
  • Decleor 1000 Grains Body Exfoliator, 50ml
  • Diptyque Tubereuse, 70g
  • Eve Lom Cleanser, 30ml
  • Givency Rouge Interdit vinyl mini
  • Huda Beauty Samantha Lashes
  • Kiehl's Amino Acid Shampoo, 30ml
  • Marc Jacobs Mascara, 5g
  • Natural Bisse Essential Shock Hand Cream, 5ml
  • ReVive Intense Volumising Serum, 3ml
  • Rodial Pink Diamond Serum, 5ml
  • Sensai Cellular Performance Day Cream, 8ml
  • Shiseido Anti-Spot Serum, 9ml
  • Sisley Ecological Compound, 10ml
  • SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, 30ml
Are you a fan of gift with purchase promotions?


Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Artis dupe alert? Primark PS Pro oval brushes

Artis dupe alert? Primark PS Pro oval brushes, Primark PS Pro Oval Brushes
LtoR: Primark PS Pro Large Blending Brush, PS Pro Medium Blending Brush, PS Pro Small Blending Brush

I've always been a big fan of Primark, and it seems that recently Primark have really upped their game in the beauty and home department. Especially with the release of their new PS PRO range of oval shaped makeup brushes, which appear to be the perfect dupe for high-end Artis oval brushes but at prices more likely to rival that of eBay - I just couldn't resist! 

Oval brushes have proved a big hit since Kylie Jenner shared with the world that this style was her to go to apply moisturiser, and naturally the world went crazy, trying to get their hands on the Artis oval brushes. But let's be honest not everyone can spend £40+ on a single brush, so when I saw these in Primark curiosity got the better of me. 

I've never tried anything from the Primark beauty range before so I wasn't too sure on what to expect, however from first impression I knew I was onto a winner. The synthetic bristles are densely packed together and feel so soft again the skin, working wonders to buff makeup into the skin for a seamless and airbrushed finish. My foundation routine has never been so quick thanks to the large blending brush, a simple couple of pumps onto the brush and you're in buffing heaven. I've never come across a brush that blends liquid products into the skin so quickly, and look so flawless at the same time. 

The oval brush range comes in three sizes: small, medium and large - you've got to love the simplicity of Primark. The small blending brush is perfect for blending eyeshadow, or applying concealer around smaller areas on the face, or those hard to reach areas such as around your nose. The medium blending brush is the perfect all rounder, you can use this for foundation, blush, contour and highlight. Lastly the large blending brush is my favourite for foundation application, and great for applying bronzer across the temples. 

I've only washed the larger brush at the moment, but I've found combined with my trusty Dr Bronner soap, it has definitely retained both its shape and softness. However you do need to make sure you give these a good thorough wash as it does have the tendency to hold product, and make sure you have completely washed the brush clean. 

In terms of the brush design, I will admit the head feels a little weak when buffing product into the skin, so you will need to be a little more careful with the top. I tend to hold the brush at the top for that extra protection, just out of fear of it snapping - as my Primark sold out of these brushes within a couple of hours. But let's be honest if it does snap I'd rather replace a £4 brush than a £40+ brush. 

Overall I've been really impressed with the new range of oval brushes from Primark, and what I love about these is the fact that the quality is so similar to MAC and Artis brushes, which is sometimes a rarity when it comes to dupes as you often find the product looks the same yet fails to match the quality. I love how quick and flawless application is thanks to these brushes, and my trusty Real Technique brushes have been relegated. With prices starting from £2.50 and the largest brush only costing £4, these make a great affordable high street dupe!

Have you picked up these brushes yet? I'd love to know your thoughts!


Monday, 27 June 2016

The summer beauty edit

The summer beauty edit
LtoR: NARS Orgasm, MAC Speed Dial, MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in To Matte with Love, Essie Signature Smile, Benefit Dew the Hoola, MAC Soft & Gentle, MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation, MAC Lady Danger, Benefit Ka-Brow, MAC Oil Control Lotion

Well summer has officially started - apparently! I'm not quite sure given the fact that the weather has been very wet, but then again isn't that a typical British summer? Well despite the wet summer we are experiencing let's just relish in the fact that we have had some nice summery days, which call for a change in makeup - whether it's swapping those wintery mattes for bright summer hues or just opting for a dewy base it's a welcomed change, and with that I wanted to share with you all my top picks for my summer beauty edit. 

I love switching to a shimmery blush when the weather picks up, as I just feel they help perk my complexion, and my blush of choice has to be NARS Orgasm which is a stunning rosy pink shade which applies seamlessly onto the apples of your cheeks and has to be one of the most flattering shades I have ever come across. The speckles of gold infused in the formula really help to instantly lift and perk your complexion giving you a beautiful summery glow. 

An oldie but a goodie is MAC Speed Dial, this is such a stunning blue toned pink that is perfect for everyday wear. When the summer months arrive I do tend to opt for a creamsheen formula when I wear MAC lipsticks purely because they are creamier on the lips and slightly more pigmented than a lustre formula. 

You know me I can't resist a good MAC lipstick and next up is MAC To Matte with Love, which is a gorgeous bright raspberry shade that whilst being on the bright side is very wearable and flattering. I love that this is so long wearing, meaning that I don't have to worry about it melting off my lips at the slightest sip of a drink or bite of food. Whilst being a matte formula I find these more comfortable to wear in the summer as my lips are less prone to drying so I don't have to worry about my lips cracking afterwards. 

There seems to have been an influx of high street gel polishes popping up lately and one of my favourites comes in the form of Essie Signature Smile. As part of their Gel Couture range, Essie have released a two-step formula that is said to last up to 14 days of wear, now I won't review this too much as I'm going to do a post on the range. However Signature Smile is a stunning bright rose that is opaque after a couple of coats and dries fairly quickly once the top coat is applied. This is a great summer mani shade, and while it doesn't last 14 days it does come close!

Next up is Benefit Dew the Hoola, a liquid face bronzer designed to give you a stunning summer glow! Let me warn you a little definitely goes a long way and blending is key to keeping this looking natural on the skin. What I love about this is that it dries to a semi matte finish as I tend to opt for a bronzer with less shimmer in the summer as I'm all about highlighter and shimmery blush so I don't want to go all glitter ball on anyone so it's great to keep it subtle. I think this is a great product for when you've got a tan going on also, and you want to keep your makeup looking natural, as I know recently the top of my forehead has caught the sun and this helps keep it all looking natural to give my complexion that bit of extra colour to match. 

A summer staple has to be MAC Soft & Gentle, a stunning peach gold that melts like butter into the skin, leaving your complexion glowing! You only need the smallest amount when applying and I find that a fan brush helps to avoid you going overboard. This is a little warmer in comparison to my other highlighters but none the less looks amazing with a tan to accentuate the high points of your face!

I think I have found my holy grail summer foundation in the form of MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation, where a little goes a long way and blemishes, redness and scars are hidden with the buff of your brush. Now normally I'd opt for a lighter base during the warmer months - and this is definitely not one - however this does feel lightweight on the skin to the point where you wouldn't feel you were wearing anything, and the finish is very natural with a slight hint of dewyness. Now in terms of being waterproof I wouldn't full on have a shower in it but if you do get hot during the day you don't have to worry about this melting off the skin, in fact it's rather long lasting and will keep your base looking on point during the day.

Last lip product, I promise! A summer staple for me is MAC Lady Danger, a vivid bright coral-red that surprisingly sits nicely against my skin tone. This is one of those shades that is bright without being too overpowering, and despite being a matte formula this doesn't feel dry or heavy on the lips and as long as your lips have been scrubbed prior to wear you're good to go!

As much as I love my trusty Anastasia Brow Whiz I do need something a little more waterproof and durable to wear throughout the day. I've recently discovered the Benefit Ka-Brow and I'll let you know now it's all good things! This cream gel colour is definitely impressive, once applied you don't have to worry about it budging or melting off leaving your brows looking less than on fleek. Apparently this lasts for 24 hours and the formula is waterproof, but let's be honest no one is going to be wearing this for 24 hours, but I've found that I can get away with 12 so we're definitely on to a winner!

Last but not least is the MAC Oil Control Lotion, being an oily lady I always despise summer for the fact that I feel my face becoming oiler within a matter of minutes. I tend to apply this before my primer and base products, and I find that this instantly mattifies my skin and helps to keep shine at bay for an extra few hours which in the summer is definitely a great thing! The lotion is very runny so a little goes a long way, and because the texture is so runny this feels very light on your face, and is definitely worth picking up a mini!

So there we have it my summer staples, I'd love to know what you've been switching up for the summer?


Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Must Have US Beauty Picks

Must have US beauty picks
LtoR: Kat Von D Everlasting Lipstick in Double Dare, Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Marvellous Mauve, Colourpop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick in Lumiere 2, Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara, Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop, Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette

As much as I love British beauty, I often find myself lusting after the latest Colourpop release or Sephora exclusive brands. I have to admit I love US beauty, from the feeling of getting your hands on a product that is not ready available in the UK to falling in love with these coveted products. Unless you're going on your jollies or have friends or family going overseas it can sometimes be difficult to get your hands on US releases. However thanks to Sephora's UK shipping and mail forwarding services it has made getting hold of US only products a lot easier, and I wanted to share with you my must have US beauty picks.

I've well and truly fallen head over heels for the liquid lipstick obsession and hands down my favourite shade comes in the form of the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Double Dare. This is the most stunning muted mauve pink with warm undertones, and the colour is so opaque that you don't have to worry about layering too much causing flaky lips. I cannot recommend the formula enough, it dries down to a matte finish within seconds and this stuff does not budge lasting anywhere from 5-7 hours. If you are planning a Sephora order you definitely need to pick a few of these up!

If you're obsessed with a matte lip you need to get your hands on the Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Marvellous Mauve - these lip stains definitely live up to the hype and work out such a bargain! This is probably the creamiest matte formula I have come across, just typing it seems like such a contradiction but these glide on so easily and then dry to a long-lasting matte formula. During wear this settles to the most beautiful stain on your lips that remains on your lips for pretty much the majority of the day. The colour selection of this range is fab also, meaning you can't resist just one!

If there was one brand I'd recommend using a forwarding service for it would definitely be Colourpop, since discovering their products I have fallen head over heels in love. A definite must have from their range is the Colourpop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick in Lumiere 2, a gorgeous dark muted mauve which forms part of the Kathleen Lights collection. The formula whilst being quite watery is so pigmented that a single swipe instantly colours the lips without the need to re-apply and once dry feels so lightweight on to the point where you wouldn't think you were wearing anything.

A bit of a cheat as Harrods now stock Marc Jacobs beauty, but it's definitely worth getting your hands on a couple of bits as the range is just so beautiful! I am usually such a fussy person when it comes to mascara so was pleasantly surprised by the Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara*! I'm always looking for a mascara that will give both volume and length without venturing down the spidey route, and this definitely delivers on both of those. This gives the false lash appearance after a couple of coats and I cannot believe how defined my lashes look, they are instantly lengthened and volumised whilst remaining separated and no clumps in sight.

Another cheat as you can now get this from Space NK, but another must-have has to be Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop. This is the most gorgeous highlighter and one single swipe leaves you with a stunning golden glow to your complexions high points, whether, this is most definitely all about the pop. What I really like about this is that is never looks too shimmery or glittery but instead leaves your skin glistening and if you have oily skin like me you never have to worry about this making you appear even oilier as this never ventures down that route but rather leaving a healthy faux glow.

Last but not least I couldn't resist sharing another Kat Von D product - honestly if you have not tried her range yet I'd definitely recommend it! The Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette is a must add product to your Sephora wishlist, especially if you are like me and fall into the lighter complexion scale. The shades are quite cool toned and unlike other contour palettes I can find a use for each shade in the kit - as that is the one thing I hate about palettes as you always have one or two shades that will remain untouched cause they don't suit. The formula is so buttery and blends like a dream sculpting out any non-existent cheekbones to leave a chiselled look.

I'd love to know what are your must have US beauty pick!


Sunday, 10 April 2016

The Spring Lip Edit

The Spring Lip Edit
LtoR: MAC Hot Gossip, MAC Sunny Seoul, Clinique Pop Lip Colour and Primer in Cherry Pop, MAC Ellie Goulding Plushglass in Explosion, Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lovesick, MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lip in To Matte with Love

Now that we are fully embracing spring, I like to not only switch my makeup round but I tend to say goodbye to brown nudes and vampy purples and reds that saw me through both Autumn and Winter and instead welcome brighter hues and creamier formulas. So I thought I'd share with you my perfect spring lip picks that I will most definitely be reaching for over the next few months.

When it comes to MAC lipsticks during the warmer months I often have a good swap round, leaving behind my beloved mattes and satins and finding out my cremesheen and lustre lipsticks. A firm favourite for spring has to be MAC Hot Gossip a mid-tone pinky plum with a cremesheen formula. This definitely falls on the cooler side of the spectrum but I love to wear this during spring as I'm not quite ready to say goodbye to some of my plum favourites, so this is a great option to still sport a plummier look without going down the vampy route. 

I couldn't do this post without mentioning one of my favourite corals MAC Sunny Seoul, described as a frosted light warm pink and a cremesheen formula this feels very moisturising once applied and gives a subtle sheen to the lips without the need for a gloss. Being a cremesheen, this lipstick is incredibly creamy and once applied leaves a gorgeous sheen to the lips. The formula is a little on the sheer side but don't let that put you off as it's one that is definitely buildable layering more for a more intense colour. This is a perfect transitional shade for spring that can easily be worn day or night instantly warming the complexion during the warmer months. 

A re-discovery in my collection that I know I'll get a lot of wear from during the warmer months is the Clinique Pop Lip Colour and Primer in Cherry Pop. The formula is just heavenly and offers the best of both worlds, a glossy butter lipstick with a serious pop of colour, gliding on smoothly leaving your lips feeling nourished and moisturised. Cherry Pop is such a gorgeous red and I think no matter the season a red is always a good option to wear, and what I love about this formula is that it not only nourishes and smooths your mouth during wear but this lasts around 4-5 hours which is amazing considering how glossy it is. 

I'm not really the biggest fan of lip gloss but I couldn't resist getting my hands on the MAC Ellie Goulding Plushglass in Explosion. This is the most gorgeous warm golden shimmer, and once applied on the lips gives the most stunning champagne pink finish which is quite sheer with a subtle hint of shimmer. This also contains small speckles of glitter which means that this helps to give the appearance of fuller lips without the formula being too scratchy or sticky. This is definitely one of those products that can either be worn alone or on top of any shade of lipstick, which makes it the perfect addition for on the go.

A recent favourite of mine has to be the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lovesick, I've been sporting this for the past couple of weeks constantly as the colour is just perfect for spring. Lovesick is the most gorgeous mauve nude and a perfect choice for the warmer months without being too pink. The formula is so easy to work with and this lasts for around 5-6 hours so you don't have to worry about re-applying throughout the day. This shade just instantly perks and lightens your complexion and I can see why it is such a popular shade. I have to admit I'm not quite ready to say goodbye to mattes just yet, so the fact that this isn't too drying on the lips in a major bonus!

Another firm favourite for spring will be the MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lip in To Matte with Love, described as a bright raspberry this is the most gorgeous fuchsia shade that is very wearable without being too bright on the lips. This formula is so pigmented that a little goes a long way, and applies very smoothly so you don't have to worry about the matte formula dragging across the lips. This is such a long lasting product also, easily lasting for around 6-8 hours without the need for any touch ups during the day.

I'd love to know what are your go to spring lip products?

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