Thursday, June 12, 2014

Review: NYX Butter Lipsticks & Balms

After falling totally in love with the NYX Butter Lip Glosses at the end of last year, I was really excited to get my mitts on both the lipstick and lip balm versions of the same range.
I picked up four of each whilst I was in New York a few weeks ago (As of yet, neither of them are available on the NYX UK website, though the glosses are) I thought I'd give you my thoughts on the much-hyped follow up to the widely-adored Butter Glosses...

First up for the lipsticks. On first impression, the packaging is pretty cheap looking, but I do like that the tube is colour coded, not only is the plastic tube the same colour as the lipstick inside, but you can actually see the lipstick, so it's easy to locate the shade you're looking for.
L-R: BLS Shades 18, 22, 14, 19 (Same order below)
The formulation of the lipsticks seem nice, they are creamy to apply and feel nice on the lips. The red shade was really nicely pigmented and I have to say it is my favourite of the colours I chose. The paler shades are a little more sheer and they do settle into the lines in my lips a bit. From the swatches I've seen online this seems to be the case for all of the paler shades vs. brights.

They don't really have a scent, unlike the Butter Glosses, which I was quite disappointed about. The wear and staying power are about average for a moisturising formula. All in all I have to say that I was a little disappointed in these. They were nice, but distinctly average in comparison to the glosses.
Second up for the balms. They are encased in a regular old-fashioned chapstick tube. Basic, but fine. Again, I like the colour-coded packaging. They have a subtle candy-sweet scent that is nice.
L-R: Shades Marshmallow, Biscotti, Macaron & Red Velvet (Same order below)
The shades come up very sheer. I have to say that there really wasn't too much difference between the three lighter shades, these really are very sheer tinted balms and would probably be more popular with those who don't like wearing lipstick or gloss but still want a little colour.

Again, I have to say I was disappointed. I think perhaps NYX wanted to coast on the popularity of the glosses and haven't put so much love into these two new products. They're both OK but they didn't rock my world.

These are available now in the US, for $5.99 and £3.99 respectively. They should be coming the the NYX UK website soon.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

My Father's Day Gift Guide!

Father's Day is just around the corner, and if you're still struggling for ideas when it comes to gifts, here's a little inspiration for you all...

My personal choice for my dad this Father's Day is a new electric razor. He's had his old one for over 10 years now so he's definitely in need of an upgrade! I'm no men's shaving expert, but Mike has been road testing the Braun CoolTec CT2s this week and seems to think this is a good choice as it can be used wet or dry and also has an electrically cooled strip to help calm the skin. Mike likes this because it feels nice, but my Dad's got quite sensitive skin so I think it'll be perfect for minimising post-shave irritation. According to Mike it's also really easy to use and much less messy than wet shaving (which he's used to!) You can pick it up in Boots, or online here.

Braun are also holding a competition online called 'Father's Day Dreams'. Quite a few bloggers and vloggers have been talking about it recently, so you may have seen the #FathersDayDreams hashtag on Twitter already, but basically they are giving four lucky dads the chance to win an experience of a lifetime worth up to £3,000. All you have to do to enter your dad to win is tweet @Braun telling them why you think your dad is a hero and what his ultimate dream would be. Include the hashtags #FathersDayDreams and #Braun, and your dad will be entered! For more info and full terms and conditions, click here!

Another close contender for my dad this year was this personalised leather bracelet. My dad loves bracelets like this, and I think one with a personalised message would be right up his street. I think I'm going to have to make a note of this one ready for Christmas! You can get it from NotOnTheHighStreet here.
Another thing that I've had my eye on for a while that I also think would be a great 'dad gift' is a scratch-off map of the world. Perfect for any keen traveller dads, you scratch off all the places you've visited in your lifetime. I think this would be an awesome addition to the walls of any dad man-cave, office or kitchen! You can get them from a lot of places on the net, but the cheapest I could find was here, for £11.99.
If your dad is in to his cooking, or perhaps looking to get more into cooking, Len Deighton's Action CookBook is a sixties cult classic. Besides having amazing, unique illustrations and classic retro appeal, it may also bring back some memories for older dads out there! You can pick this up from Amazon with free delivery here.

If you're looking for more of a novelty gift, I really love the idea of this top-catching bottle opener! It is undeniably novelty, but lots of fun and affordable too! (And saves on clearing up - Your mum will like it too!) It's under £10 on Amazon, here.

Last but not least, for any golfing dads out there... These golf shoes are something that Mike recently treated himself too. Normally golf shoes are hideous, chunky trainer-like things that I'm always embarrassed to see Mike sporting, but these brogue-style golf shoes from Ecco manage to disguise themselves quite nicely as normal shoes, so can transition easily from the golf course to the pub. The best price online is also on Amazon, here.

Last but not least... This is by far my favourite card that I've found this year for Father's Day. My dad is a total DIY-expert, able-to-fix-anything kind of guy and this card just summed him up for me! It's available from notonthehighstreet for £2.95

*This post is sponsored by Braun. For full terms and conditions of their Fathers Day Dreams competition click here.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Review: Double Wear "All Day Glow" BB Cream

I've always been quite vocal about my dislike of the 'BB trend'. Every brand out there seem to have slapped BB, CC or even DD (?!) all over their packaging for a couple of years now, and most of the time the products in question bear no similarity to the original Asian BB creams, which were designed to help improve the skin (healing scarring etc) while providing high coverage. 'Western' BB creams tend to offer little more benefit than an ordinary tinted moisturiser would, and it's for that reason I tend to pass on them.

One such Western BB however, has slipped through the net. Enter Estee Lauder's latest addition to the Double Wear family: the All Day Glow BB 'Moisture Makeup'.

Quite a lot of my friends swear by the Double Wear Light foundation, and having tried these side by side, I can honestly say that I much prefer this. I also think it gives very similar coverage.

It has SPF 30, leaves my skin feeling nicely primed and moisturised, and provides a medium coverage. It's light, yet creamy enough to apply with your fingers, the balm-like consistency takes a little blending into the skin, but the result is a beautiful satin finish with a definite 'glow' to it (without any noticeable shimmer or glitter particles; definitely a good thing!)

Overall this is a product I have been reaching for on those days where I don't want a full makeup look, but am still running errands, or being seen out in public! I think it would be a great choice for those who normally wear a higher coverage foundation, but are looking to lighten it up for the summer (in which case the SPF 30 is also a great plus point!)
After 9-5 wear with a couple of powder touch-ups!

It's oil free, so also well-suited to most skin-types, and true to the 'Double Wear' name, it has great staying power. I set it with a little powder and perhaps have to touch up with a little more powder now and then throughout the day, but if you don't have time for touch-ups it's pretty impressive even after a good 8 hours wear. It comes in 8 different shades from 1.0-8.0 (My shade is 2.0)

It's £29 for 30ml so it is on the pricey side (it's Estee Lauder after all) but definitely worth it in my opinion! You can find it online here, or at Estee Lauder counters.

Have any of you tried this, or are fans of the other Double Wear products? I'd love to hear your thoughts!