Friday, June 29, 2012

Fragrance Friday: Pink Chiffon

I picked up a few miniatures of Bath & Body Works' Pink Chiffon fragrance when I was in New York back in April and have since fallen totally in love with it. I've spoken about it a couple of times on YouTube, but I thought it was about time I did a full blog review on the scent.

It's possibly the sweetest, least mature or sophisticated scent that I own, but I simply adore it.
It's described as a "light-as-air pairing of soft pink petals and vanilla chiffon icing". 

This scent smells so fresh and clean to me. It teeters on the edge of being too sweet, but something about it appeals to me so much. I'm not sure if it's limited edition, or part of their permanent collection, but it's still available now. I stocked up on this scent while in California and now I smell like summertime!

The packaging is a cute mix of pink and baby blue flowers and ribbons.
The Pink Chiffon collection is available from Bath & Body Works online and in US stores. It is not currently available in the UK but you might be able to pick one up on eBay or through a re-seller. Prices start at $5.

Monday, June 25, 2012

So Boho...

I'm loving this new 'Boho Balm' from MeMeMe. I've never really used MeMeMe cosmetics before, they've never really drawn me in when perusing the aisles of Superdrug, but I love the idea of this dual-colour, dual-usage balm.

My favourite one is the Coral/Taupe variety (above). Although it looks a little less appealing than the Pink/Rouge option at first, it's great because the mauvey-nude shade makes for a beautiful blush, and a flattering nude lip balm, while the coral is fun for summer, but flattering enough for daytime wear.

They are a smidgeon on the greasy side when using them as a blush, so I'd definitely set them with a powder product if you have oily skin. However, they'd be fab for dry skin (especially in the summertime!) and equally as lovely on the lips for any skin type. They feel very moisturising on the lips and have a distinct vanilla scent (if you've tried Sleek's Pout Polishes, they smell just like those!)


MeMeMe Boho Balms come in two colour-ways and are available now. Priced at £6.50, available in larger Superdrug stores and online here.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Review: F.A.B Ultra Repair Oatmeal Mask

I've recently become a big fan of First Aid Beauty's line of body care products. I was therefore excited to try the newest addition to their skincare line, the Ultra Repair Instant Oatmeal Mask.

It promises to calm, nourish and smooth distressed skin, without harsh chemicals, parabens and a whole host of other nasties.

It comes in a compact, 2.oz tube that is great for travelling. I'd estimate you get between 10-15 uses out of it, depending on how much you like to apply.

The consistency is thick, as you would expect from a nourishing mask. It has quite large pieces of oatmeal still in it and it applies thickly on to the skin. It has a soft, pleasant scent (unsurprisingly, like oatmeal!)

Although it's thick, it isn't stubborn to remove. It doesn't tingle or irritate my skin in the slightest during the 10 min treatment, and leaves my face feeling refreshed, plumped and baby-soft.

This was everything I had hoped it to be: a gentle, highly moisturising face mask that I can use on a regular basis without overwhelming my skin. I'd thoroughly recommend this to anyone with irritable, dry skin or those seeking an extra boost of hydration. It is the perfect accompanying product to their multi-use Ultra Repair Cream (more on that HERE). It has most certainly found a firm place in my skincare routine.

The First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Oatmeal Mask is available now. $22 from Sephora stores internationally. I'm not sure when it will be available in the UK, but I'm sure it will be soon!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Aucoin Newbie

I've been wanting to try Kevyn Aucoin makeup for a few years now but I've never taken the time to look much further into it other than having a quick browse online. It's been notoriously hard to get your mitts on this side of the pond, until now. It's recently been brought into SpaceNK stores and I was a little overexcited to try my very first product this week.

'The Lipgloss' in Pasiflora is a gorgeous jelly-red with iridescent pink glitter. The packaging is quite shockingly small and square. It looks more like a nail polish at first glance.

The formula is simply wonderful. It's totally un-sticky, and the glitter isn't chunky at all, you can barely feel it on the lips. The doe foot applicator is a lot more foot-like than normal (chubby and chunky!), but it does a great job of applying just the right amount of gloss.

It's quite sheer on it's own but leaves a perfectly glossy finish to the lips. It look great layered over lipstick. And the best part? It tastes like fruit punch... I love it!

The one downside is the price. At £22 it's a serious splurge for a lipgloss, but if you're looking for a totally non-sticky, totally beautiful lipgloss then look no further. So far, so good with Kevyn Aucoin! I've got my eyes on the cult-status Sensual Skin Enhancer next.

You can pick up Kevyn Aucoin makeup now from SpaceNK online and instore.

Would love to know if any of you have tried Kevyn Aucoin? What's your favourite product?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Press-On Manicure

I've steered clear of DIY fake nails since a set destroyed my natural nails a few summers ago. As much as I love the way they look, they are just too much hassle to remove, and to be honest, my natural nails are OK anyway so I'm not in desperate need of wearing false ones.

I was a little intrigued by the new Impress press-on manicure line though. They've had quite a lot of attention since their launch, especially since they've got Nicole Scherzinger on board for their advertising campaign.
These nails are much thinner and not necessarily longer than your natural nail (I ended up filing them down slightly to match my natural nail length perfectly). They take just a few minutes to apply and there's no waiting around for them to dry. The main selling-point for me was that there is no nail glue involved, they have adhesive already applied to the back of the nail so you just pop them on.
I was a little sceptical about this method, as I've tried something like this way back when I was about 12 and the first one fell off after just a few hours, but I thought that they must have improved them since then so decided to give them a whirl...
I totally fell in love with this pattern 'Lovestruck', despite being a little uncertain about whether or not it was a little tacky for my taste, I decided to go for it and give them a try!
After application I have to say I quite like them. I'm not 100% sure I would wear them regularly. To me they do look a little too fake, but if you're looking for a cute, fun pattern for summer time, I really like the set I chose.

I'd estimate max wear time for these would be about a week, with a few replacements here and there. I decided to take mine off after 4 1/2 days. Surprisingly, not one fell off of it's own accord. Even if it did, they give you lots of spares so if you lose one you can simply pop another on!

When it came to taking them off (the part I was dreading!) they were actually a dream to remove. I didn't even have to soak them in nail polish for a few seconds as the packet suggested. I simply peeled them off. They didn't appear to leave my natural nails damaged in the slightest (especially when compare to glue-on falsies!)

They aren't cheap at £7.99 for the plain designs and £8.99 for the patterns, but they are certainly fun for a holiday treat, or if you are short on time. I will definitely be trying these again. You can pick them up in Boots, or online here.

What do you think? Have any of you tried these press-on nails?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The £20 Makeup Challenge Giveaway!

In my latest video, I created a makeup look using just £20 worth of beauty products.

This week I'm giving away THREE complete sets of the makeup I used!

This includes:

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation (in a shade of your choice)
Natural Collection Concealer Stick (Light or Medium)
Natural Collection Moisture Shine Lipstick in Rose Bud
MUA Heaven & Earth Palette
MUA Eyeliner in Intense Black
Natural Collection LashBuild Mascara in Black
Elf Eyeshadow Brush
Elf Blending Eye Brush
All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is:

1. Be a subscriber of my YouTube Channel
2. Be a follower of my blog (you can sign in with the same account!)
3. Write a comment on THIS POST telling me what your favourite bargain makeup item is, please leave your email address or youtube username for easy identification.

MORE INFO: The giveaway is open internationally. It closes on Tuesday 3rd July 2012 at midnight GMT. Only ONE entry per day, per account (you can enter every day if you like!). All other entries will not be counted. The winners will be announced on my blog, on 4th July 2012.

Good luck girls!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pens

I have been dying to try out more of Pixi's Endless Silky Eye Pens since they launched their Tinkerbell collection a few months back. I totally fell in love with the 'straight on till morning liner', not only because the golden-khaki colour is totally stunning, but because the formula of the liner is simply amazing. They are smooth and creamy, easily blendable and last all day.

I popped into the Pixi store just off Carnaby Street this week to take a look around and totally fell in love with two of the other shades in the collection: True Teal and Deep Plum

If I'm honest, the teal totally steals the show, but because I've got green eyes I was excited to see how the plum liner looked on me, and I love it!
L-R: True Teal, Deep Plum, Straight on till Morning

Lots of brands have come out with these gel-pencil liners over the past few years. My favourites to date have been the Bobbi Brown Long-Lasting and Urban Decay 24/7 Liners but these liners are just as good (if not better, I can't decide!) and you can pick them up for just £9.50 each. Compared to the Bobbi Brown versions at £17.50 and the Urban Decay option at £13, they could save you a few pennies, and let's face it, Pixi's pale green colour scheme will definitely brighten up your makeup bag!

The more products I try from Pixi, the more I love them, they are fast becoming one of my favourite middle-end makeup brands. You can pick these up at larger Boots stores, online here or from the Pixi store!

What do you think? Have your tried any Pixi products?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dr. Jart+ BB Creams: Worth The Hype?

News of the latest BB cream to hit the UK market has been causing quite a stir on Twitter and amongst beauty blogs for the last few days. Dr.Jart+'s selection of BB's have been bestsellers in their home country of Korea since their launch in 2004. I got the chance to give one a thorough road testing today and thought I'd let you all know my thoughts, and if the product actually lives up to all of the online hype.

I am the first to admit that I'm getting a little sick of all the 'BB' hype. Every brand and their dog seems to be bringing out a BB cream and I really think the hype behind this type of product has created a rather misleading concept of what a BB is meant to be, and what properties should be a priority within the formula.

'BB', 'Blemish Balm' or 'Blemish Base' creams were initially created with skincare and makeup in mind in equal measure. They were designed to help improve skin texture and recovery from scarring following surgery. The high SPF factor also links to this, preventing the skin from further sun damage while it recovers, and providing a medium level of coverage to conceal the problem areas.

Overall, they essentially lie somewhere in between a tinted moisturiser and a foundation, with skincare benefits to boot. Most of the western brands that have recently tried to replicate this Asian beauty hero product have ended up plumping for some kind of 'wannabe' BB, a tinted moisturiser with or without SPF and usually with limited skincare benefits - They've basically slapped a big fat 'BB' onto a bottle of tinted moisturiser and given it the hard sell.

So what are 'authentic' BB creams like? They tend to be thicker, and usually have a slight grey tone to them. Because the shades are chosen with Asian skin in mind, finding one in a suitable shade for western skin tones can be hard, however, Dr.Jart+'s choice of shade seems to blend well into the majority of skins, adapting nicely to match a wide variety of tones.
There are currently four different varieties of Dr.Jart+'s BB cream available in the UK:
  • Water Fuse - Focused on moisturising the skin, yet remains oil-free and controls sebum
  • Regenerating - Hydrates sensitive skin and works to conceal redness and blemishes with a slightly higher coverage.
  • Platinum - Helps to counteract the first signs of ageing (targeted at women in their 30's)
  • Premium - Targeted at more mature skin, focused on anti-ageing with a higher SPF than the other varieties

The variant most suitable for my skin is the Water Fuse, so that's the one I chose to put to the test. It's a thick consistency. A little goes a long way when applying this product. It looks a little thick and chalky at first, but when blended into the skin, it adapts to match my skin tone well. It perfects my skin tone exceptionally well, leaving it with a slight dewy, yet close to flawless finish. I still need to apply a little concealer to any 'problem' areas, but as a daytime product, this makes a great change to wearing a full face of foundation.  
Before (No Makeup)
After (Only Dr.Jart+)
Full Makeup using Dr.Jart+ in place of my foundation.
The staying power is great too. I've worn this for 12 hours as I type and if anything, it's my concealer that needs a slight top up, the BB has stayed in place perfectly and my skin still feels, and looks, lovely and moisturised. 

Overall I'm very impressed with this product. I'd even go as far to say that I prefer it to my Chantecaille Just Skin (ouch... that was expensive stuff!). It comes in middle of the range price-wise, ranging from £18-24 depending on the formula you chose (Mine is the cheapest, horaay!)

I am ever so slightly wary about how I will fare with this long term, as a few of my subscribers reported that it hadn't agreed with their skin. Mine seems fine so far, but time will tell... I'll keep you updated on that one, but for now, it's two big thumbs up from my end! I think it's totally worth the hype!

Three of the Best: Summer Body Scrubs

It's that time of year again! Women everywhere are frantically exfoliated, de-fuzzing and fake tanning as summer approaches. I thought I'd share with you my top three body scrubs, to help you on your way to beautiful skin this summer.

1. Body Beautiful on a Budget

My most highly recommended and all time favourite budget body scrub is Soap & Glory's Flake Away. It smells great, does the job and leaves your skin glowing. It's a salt and sugar based scrub, with Shea butter and sweet almond oil to leave your skin baby soft. Like many scrubs it does have a slight oily residue. Some love this as it nourishes the skin but it's certainly not for everyone. You can pick up a huge 300ml tub for just £7 in Boots.

2. The Luxe Spa Scrub
Neom Organics has skyrocketed in popularity over the last year (apparently Kate Middleton loves their candles, don't you know!) but their products really do deserve the hype. Their Real Luxury Organic Body Scrub is the perfect way to get a spa-like treatment at home. It's packed with essential oils and organic sugar and leaves your skin laced with the delicate scent of jasmine, amber and brazilian rosewood. It's a very thick, paste-like texture and it's the oiliest of the bunch, so if you don't like oil-based scrubs then avoid this like the plague, but for those of you who love oil treatments, this is so nourishing you can even skip your body oil after using it! It comes with the luxury price tag of £32, available online.

3. The Ultimate Toning Treat

My most recent discovery and potential new favourite scrub ever comes in the form of The Organic Pharmacy's Resculpting Body Scrub. This deliciously spicy scrub contains chilli, green coffee, peppermint and bamboo. It claims to help tone and sculpt those stubborn areas of your body. I'm a massive pessimist when it comes to cellulite treatments (let's face it, cellulite is genetic and nothing is going to shed that orange peel for good without being accompanied by a serious amount of time in the gym and copious amounts of water!) That being said... this scrub is simply divine. It's gorgeous, gel-like texture isn't overly abrasive on the skin and it emulsifies with water, becoming a smooth milky texture. It has a slightly ludicrous price tag of £49.96 (not a typo!) for 200ml so it's the ultimate treat when it comes to getting bikini-ready, but if you're looking to splash some cash on a body scrub, this should be the one! I think they could have given it better packaging considering the price, but it's what's on the inside that counts and this product really is fabulous.

What's your favourite summertime body scrub? 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Fragrance Friday Saturday: La Petite Robe Noire

Apparently Guerlain 'invented' perfume. Did you know that? Obviously people were wearing perfume before 1828 when the brand was founded, but apparently Guerlain was the first person to bring perfume to the masses. I didn’t until I attended the launch of their newest fragrance concept La Petite Robe Noire a couple of weeks ago. A pretty impressive claim to be able to make. Of all the perfumers, Guerlain certainly has some of the best credentials and its fragrances are famously ‘traditional’, hence I haven’t fallen in love with one yet. I have a feeling my perfume tastes simply aren’t mature enough for the majority of Guerlain’s creations (I have no shame in admitting it, but I’m the opposite of a perfume snob!)
They branched out last year with a younger take on their classic Shalimar, ‘Shalimar Initial’ and I still didn’t like that. Their latest creation however, may be set to change my feelings. La Petite Robe Noire is a fruiter, sweeter scent that is designed to appeal to the (younger) masses. 

The most distinct note to me is cherry. I had a cold when I first smelt this (hence the delayed review!) and all I could smell was cherry! Now my senses have recovered, I can pick up the more delicate notes of liquorice and an underlying lace of vanilla, iris and patchouli. This is an undeniably sweet scent, but it is laced with something darker and more interesting and slightly spicy. It’s a ‘proper’ scent that changes as you wear it, ageing from a ripe, just-plucked creation to a more mature, sultry concoction.
I have to admit it’s taken me a while to decide how I feel about it. I certainly like the scent, but it’s one of those fragrances I love one day and am not so sure the next. It’s an interesting one, I’d certainly recommend trying it.

What I am totally in love with however, is the marketing concept for the scent. The Petite Robe Noire girl is a gorgeous illustration, and the ad campaign its full of tongue-in-chic fun, seeing the illustration gallivanting around Paris.
It’s a fun new direction for the classic brand and I think it’s a breath of fresh air.

La Petite Robe Noire is available now, from £42 for 30ml.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Kerastase Crystalliste

I've been a big fan of Kerastase products for around four years now. Ever since I discovered Nectar Thermique at university, I've never looked back. It was the first high end hair care line that I used, and the start of a (very!) slippery slope for my bank account.

They've recently brought out a new line targeted for long hair that claims to leave it in tip-top condition without weighing it down one bit. I've been test driving it for the past few weeks and have been loving the results.

The Cristalliste line consists of two types of shampoo (one for fine hair, one for thick), a conditioner and a 'perfecting essence' which is essentially a serum/oil type of product.

The shampoo is nice but to be honest, not groundbreaking and I don't think I'd shell out and buy it simply to accompany the rest of the line.

The perfecting essence is a lovely product. It's very thin for an oil-type hair treatment so perfect for finer hair. I've got thicker hair so for me personally I think that while I like this and will use it, I probably wouldn't purchase it over my other favourites (Shu Uemura Essence Absolue and Ojon Damage Reverse Treatment, I'm thinking of you!).

It's the conditioner that steals the show in this collection. When I first used it I was disappointed by how thin it was. When it comes to conditioners, I always think the thicker the better. I've got colour-treated hair that probably isn't cut as often as it should be so I like to feel like I'm really treating it when conditioning, but somehow this uber-thin conditioner works absolute wonders.

It leaves my hair feeling soft, looking shiny and nourished, but bouncy and not weighed down one bit, it's fabulous! I find that I need much less styling product to achieve a smooth, polished look and my straighteners have barely got a look in this week. It even makes my hair a little (dare I say it...) shiny! It's almost impossible to get a good shine on blonde hair but this somehow does the trick! I can imagine this would give amazing shine to darker hair.

12 Hours after washing my hair, rough dried with a tiny bit of oil, not brushed! It would usually be frizz/knot-tastic !

I was gutted when I ran out of my gorgeous Gielly Green treatment a few weeks back, but discovering this has certainly softened the blow. My hair looks just as good after using this. While it doesn't feel as luxurious to use, it's half the price at £14.15 so definitely a much more wallet-friendly option (albeit still rather pricey for a conditioner!) I'm not overly taken with the smell but the results are there so I really couldn't care less. This product is wonderful!

The Kerastase Cristalliste collection is out now, available from Kerastase salons and online with free delivery here.

Monday, June 4, 2012

YSL Shocking Mascara

I know this is my second mascara post in the past week but I've just tried YSL's Shocking mascara for the first time and I simply couldn't contain my blogging-self!
This version of the mascara has been out for quite some time now so I'm rather late on the bandwagon but it's quite simply amazing. 
The wand it slightly different to the original, it appears slightly twisted in design, with longer bristles on one side than the other and vice versa towards the end of the wand.
The original Effet Faux Cils is definitely a better choice for the daytime, but I can honestly say I've never used a mascara this dramatic before. It's one of a kind and I'm in love with it. I always thought naming it 'shocking' was a little over the top but having tried it, I think it's really quite appropriate.

What do you think? Has anyone else tried this mascara?

Friday, June 1, 2012

New Shoes Choos

I posted a sneaky peek of a naughty purchase I made yesterday on Instagram and many of you wanted to see what was inside...

Well here you are ladies... my new shoes!

They are the Phyllis wedges in tan leather.

These are a classic style for Jimmo Choo and seem to be redesigned every season with different finishes and colours. I think they are quite possibly my perfect summer shoes.

They are high, but walkable...

I love wearing heels, but hate feeling overdressed, so these are the perfect solution for me. I got them for a steal in the Bicester Village outlet shop too so they weren't (too) heavy on the wallet.
What do you think girls? What are your perfect summer shoes?