Friday, 31 January 2014

Shopping My Stash #4

Wow, it's been such a long time since I did a "Shopping My Stash" post. I've very much been stuck in a rut with the products that I've been using lately so thought that it was about time I had a good rummage through the products that have been left a little unloved. I didn't really know what I was looking for but here are the items that I've brought back to the surface of my storage and intend to use throughout the next week...

The first product is Urban Decay's Disney's Oz Great and Powerful Theodora palette. When I first got this I used it non-stop! Then I bought other palettes and slowly this became a little bit redundant. I really wish that I had continued using this as the quality of the shadows are the best that I've tried and the colours complement each other so well.

Another eye product is the Rimmel Scandaleyes Shadow Stick in Bulletproof Beige. This is the perfect lazy day product as a simple swipe over the lids and you have such a lovely wash of colour. It really brightens my eyes and goes really well with the palette mentioned above.

For the lips I have chosen Gosh Light and Shine Lip Glaze in 03. Not the most imaginative of shade names, but beautiful nonetheless. I have two shades of these glosses and neither of them disappoint. This particular shade is a rosy pink that is packed to the bring with iridescent sparkles. It's absolutely stunning on it's own or layered over another lipstick.

The next product that I've chosen is a little bit hit and miss for me but I'm trying to make it work and that is the Garnier Under Eye Roll On. I've had this for so long but just can't seem to get it to work for me but I'm willing to give it another go. It's a really thin concealer and it doesn't do much for me so far but maybe I will get on with it this week.

Finally, for my base I have picked MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation. I really need full coverage at the moment after having a few breakouts. This week I have had the mother of all blemishes and it's still a little inflamed, so this is the only thing that is likely to cover it. It's not great for my oily skin but with a little powder it will be all good. 

So there we have my picks for this week. Hopefully I will get round to using them all and they will become regulars in my makeup routine again.
What are you reaching for this week?

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Valentines Day with Fragrance Direct

Hands up who loves a good fragrance? Hands up who always sprays the tester bottles on offer? My hand was placed firmly up in the air for both of those. I really enjoy discovering a new fragrances and repurchasing old favourites. So I was extremely delighted when I was contacted by Fragrance Direct to see if I would put together some of my favourite scents for Valentines Day. Here are those scents that I chose to share with you and I'm pretty sure that you won't be disappointed!

First up is the ultra girly Vera Wang Pink Princess*. How could anyone deny that this is the perfect valentines fragrance. Just look at that bottle, it's pink, covered in sequins and heart shaped. If that doesn't scream valentines then I don't know what does. Oh and the little crown on top. Never forget the crown! The scent is pretty typical of the bottle, with a sweet and floral fragrance that is quite common amongst perfume. However, the thing that makes this stand out from the rest is the beautiful inclusion of citrus. I find that this lifts the perfume a bit, making it lighter making it a great all year round scent. Whenever I smell this, I can always picture pink grapefruits and marshmallows. I'm sure this will be one that put a smile on your dates face.

Next is Lady Gagas Fame*. This is not your typical girly looking bottle like the previous scent, but that's one of the main reasons I chose it. not every girl out there loves pink and sparkles, but does favour a sweet and fruity fragrance. The bottle is really interesting with a structured gold lid and black liquid. It certainly is one that will draw your dates attention when you get this out of your bag. Onto the actual scent, it is certainly beautiful and very feminine. I would describe this as fruity, floral and dark. I know that dark seems a bit vague but aside from the colour of the liquid, I can imagine really deep purple flowers been included in this.

Finally, we have one for the men! Joop Homme Wild* is a relatively new fragrance on the market, but boy is it beautiful! It has quite a woody and earthy tone to it which I really like as it smells so manly! It reminds me of the smell of hot rum from my holidays in Mexico with my Fiancé, which is one of the reasons I think me and him love it so much. I was surprised at first, as I thought that it smelt quite feminine and had to look up what the top notes were as I just couldn't put my finger on it. I found out that it does have a top note of pink pepper and white tobacco, which then develops into the woody notes. I would definitely buy this for the man in your life or treat yourself to this, because we all know that there is nothing better than a man who smells good!

So there we have my Valentines Fragrance picks. I hope that there was something there for everyone and that you were inspired to go out an try these fragrances. All of these are available here - from Fragrance Direct all at bargain prices! I would love to know what your favourite scent is?
Bloglovin - Facebook -Twitter
*PR Samples

Monday, 27 January 2014

KMS California Silk Sheen Serum

I love discovering products that I wouldn't normally think of purchasing or even using. I think it helps me broaden my product horizon and find new favourites. This product is no exception to the favourites rule as I've been using it a lot since getting it, and let me tell you it does not disappoint....

KMS California Silk Sheen Serum

The KMS California Silk Sheen* is a lightweight serum that is suitable for all hair types, although is more suited to dry and dull hair types. I love to apply this through slightly damp hair, if I don't use my Moroccan Oil. If I have used my usual hair oils, then I apply a very tiny amount of this through my hair when completely dry and my blow dry will look extremely smooth and shiny whether I've blow dried straight or added curls. Despite this being a serum, it is a little on the watery side which is a welcome change from most other hair serums. It's texture makes it extremely easy to distribute evenly through the hair without going overboard. Another bonus being that it doesn't weigh the hair down like some other hair products of a similar nature.

Overall, I think this is a lovely addition to any hair care routine. It is certainly one of the best serums that I have tried. I think that this is likely to last a really long time too which is always an added bonus in any product. You can purchase this from Beauty Bay - link at the reduced price of £9.89. Bargain!

What is your favourite hair product?

*Gift From Event

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Battle of the Base: Foundation Edition

Everyone loves a good foundation, but finding the right one for you can be a bit of a nightmare. I'm sure we've all had our fair share of useless foundations, and ones that look perfect under the lighting of the store but are tango orange when you get home. So with this in mind, I thought I would have a rummage through my collection and pick out my favourite foundations and share them with you :)

First up is Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation. This is my summer foundation of choice due to its light texture and good coverage without being cakey on the skin. The light reflecting particles make me look wide awake and give my skin a well needed boost. 
MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation is my love/hate foundation. I can get quite oily skin which means that this particular product is pretty useless. However, when my skin is having a good day, this is just a dream. It does have a thick and heavy texture but provides the fullest coverage a girl could want.
Next us is a relatively new one to me and that it Bourjois Happy Light Foundation. This provides a lovely medium coverage that looks extremely natural on the skin. It has pigments in the formula, which aim to make skin look flawless and natural in any light. I definitely have to agree with that.
This next foundation is definitely my favourite. Mac Studio Fix Fluid has been my absolute go to for a while now. It has a medium coverage which is easily buildable, however it can get a touch cakey of you're not careful. It is slightly more matte than all of the others in this post, but the lasting time of this is nothing short of incredible.
Finally, it's Rimmel Match Perfection. This foundation provides a light to medium coverage that can built up into layers to give as much coverage as required. My only negative thing about this is that it is very liquid, so it can be a little messy, but the overall finish is worth it!

So there we have it. My favourite foundations. I find that these all work for me and my skin type, but obviously they wont work for everyone. I would also love to know what your favourite base is? I'm always on the look out for something new to try.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Dealing with female hair loss.

I've been wanting to write this post for a really long time, but kept finding an excuse not to write it, or put another post up in it's place. Well no more excuses, it's time to write it. I understand that this might not be a post that everyone wants to read, or will even be interested in, but it is something that is important to me and a lot of other females. It might be a slightly taboo subject, but I thought that today I would just go for it.

I'm writing this post from a personal point of view as I have suffered from hair loss for the past 8 months, and now that I've learnt to manage it I thought it would be a good time to help others. Female hair loss is something that I was quite ignorant towards until it happened to me. I think that a lot of people only think of males loosing their hair. I was one of those people and was only one to make jokes about my uncles bald head. Of course I was always aware of Alopecia, and other such causes of hair loss. But I never thought of females actually losing their hair. 
Then in July 2013, on a visit back home to see my mum and dad, I had booked myself in for a hair cut at my old workplace. After having my hair washed when my old boss/hairdresser came to start cutting she noticed two bald spots in the back of my head about the size of a 10p coin. I was pretty devastated, but was reassured the my hair follicle was still visible so it was almost certain that my hair would grow back. I was quite lucky as I have very thick hair, so the patches were easily covered, but I was constantly aware of them. A few months went by and I slowly began to forget about them. In October, the week before I went to Mexico, I went back home to get another hair cut. This time the patches had grown to more than twice their size, and there were a few smaller ones too. I went home and cried.  I felt stupid that I hadn't noticed them, and that I hadn't been to see a doctor about them months ago. I booked an appointment with my GP for the next day but still didn't know what to expect. At my appointment, I burst into tears before I had even told the doctor what was the matter. Once I had told her, and she had examined my scalp, she told that I had Alopecia Areata. I informed her that my Dad had suffered from Alopecia a few years previous, but his hair had grown back. She was so lovely and reassured me that it is more common than people think in females over the age of 18. I was prescribed some medicated shampoo, which was aimed at aimed at clearing up any areas of dry or unhealthy scalp. 
After two weeks of using this every other day, I noticed a real difference in my hair growth. I was starting to get a very thin covering of hair, kind of like a shaven patch of head, with fine white hairs. Having brunette hair, I was worried that I would have white streaks, but in the end I wasn't too bothered as I just wanted the hair back. I noticed that I was loosing less and less hair whilst washing it and brushing. As I was advised to use no heat (something I rarely do anyway) the rest of my hair became stronger. I was also told to use little or no products on my hair, giving the new hair a chance to adapt itself. Regular check ups with my GP meant that I could clearly see the progress and keep it monitored. I have also started to use a caffeine shampoo, which has also help along with healing oils. 

There are some amazing organisations that can help anyone dealing with hair loss. A lot of them have online information which really does help, and the advice of various doctors so you know that you are getting the advice that you need. There are also a lot of products that claim to promote hair growth, although these can be quite pricey so my advice would be to ask your GP for an examination and then query any products with them, before you buy them. I now have only one very small patch with no hair, the rest has started to, or has grown nicely and is getting closer to my natural colour every day :)

I apologise that this has been an extremely long post, but I do hope that it has helped some of you who might be suffering and didn't know what to do. I was going to include some pictures in this post, but I don't have any from the start of my journey and feel it wouldn't show the right results if I showed you pictures from halfway through my treatment. 

If you want to find out more here are some of the organisations that I have found to be extremely useful:

Sunday, 19 January 2014


I'm sure a lot of us beauty bloggers have had their fair share of bad products. There's nothing more annoying than spending money on a product, only for it to be the completely wrong thing for you. So, I'm pretty sure that we could all do with something that was personal to us to help with choosing a product, but personal shoppers are pretty pricey. So I think the next best thing is MyBeautyCompare

MyBeautyCompare is a website in which you fill out "find your beauty match" which includes all of your specifics such as: 
Skin Complexion
Skin Type
Skin Concerns
Eye Colour
Hair Colour
Hair Texture
Daily Water Consumption
Diet Type
and a few others too.

Once all of these have been filled out, you are let with a sort of personal catalogue of products that are recommended for your personal specifics. The find your beauty match is a great way to browse through the 1500 brands that MyBeautyCompare has to offer, without seeing the products that are irrelevant to yourself. 

The thing that I love the most about this site, is the redirection to other sites once you want to buy a product. For exmaple, once you find a product that you like, you are shown the best price including P+P and where from. Once you click buy, you are redirected to that site and the product is already in your basket. I love this feature because it means that you don't have to have 1000 tabs open all at once shopping around for the best price. The only down side is that if you want to buy more than one product, I imagine that it will require you to do more than one transaction, unless I just haven't figured that bit out yet. 

As well as this, MyBeautyCompare also offers useful advice through their blog posts, video tutorials, forums, and meet the experts features. All of these provide the information needed for anyone who has a query or isn't too sure about a particular product. As I mentioned previously, there are also 1500 brands to choose from, ranging from high end to high street, so there is bound to be something for everyone.

I really love this website, and have already created my profile so that I can see the best products for me. If you would like to create a profile you can do so here :)

*Sponsored Post

Friday, 17 January 2014

Phyto 7 Hydrating Day Cream

You would be forgiven for thinking, from the title of this post, that this post is about skincare. Trust me, I was a little baffled too when I first saw this product. It's actually a hair product. I've been using this or a while now, so I thought it was about time that I shared my thoughts with you. 

Phyto 7 Hydrating Day Cream* is a little tube of hair heaven. It uses 7 natural plant extracts which nourish your hair. The basic idea behind it is that it enhances the natural healthiness of your hair, by giving softer, smoother and shinier hair (alliteration at its best). The plant extract that it uses are Calendula, Sage, Burdock, Willow, Soybean, Rosemary, and Althea. all of these pull together to create hydrating and replenishing properties. It does sound a little bit sciency to me, but so far this blend of ingredients has been working wonders for my hair. 
Phyto 7 Hydrating Day Cream

Before I started using this, I avoided leave-in hair products like the plague, mainly because I was worried that I would be left with a greasy mess of hair. So, it's fair to say that I was more than a little wary about trying this. I really shouldn't have worried at all because it just made my so silky soft. I shampooed and conditioned as normal, and then once my hair was towel dried, I applied a pea sized amount through the mid lengths and ends of my hair followed by my usual styling. I have never had hair as soft. It's simply amazing. It is suggested that this is the ideal product for those with dry hair but I have slightly oily hair and this still worked just fine.

I really would recommend this to anyone who is looking for softer and shinier hair because this really does work. I'm a convert to leave-in hair products now! You can purchase this from FeelUnique for £13.50.
Have you tried Phyto products? What is your hair must have?

*Gift from Event

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Pantone Colour of the Year : Radiant Orchid

Each year, I look forward to hearing what that Pantone Colour of the Year is. I know that it might sound a little geeky, but it excites me to know what is the shade to be seen in for the coming year. This year, I have to say I'm pretty pleased with the choice, because it's so pretty and wearable in so many ways. Radiant Orchid is ultra girly, super fun and not to mention very pretty. I thought that I would put together some of my favourite beauty bits together that I think represent this shade beautifully...

 OCC Liptar in Demure is a beautiful glossy pink shade which really makes a statement against the rest of your makeup. It lasts forever on the lips and a little goes a very long way!
MAC Eyeshadow in Nocturnelle is a brown eyed girls best friend. A really pretty purple shade with a slight pink tone and shimmer finish. It's one of those shades that will suit all and despite it' appearances, is actually really wearable.
NYC Lipstick in Blue Rose this is probably the most fitting to Radiant Orchid. A blue toned, fuchsia lipstick that is just stunning. I do have the old packaging but this is still available to purchase.
MUA Pearl Eyeshadow Shade 24  which is a really stunning shade. It's not quite pink, not quite bronze but somewhere in between. This might not scream Radiant Orchid, but it reminded me of the inside of an Orchid flower.
MAC Lipstick in Girl About Town the reason I chose this was not because of it's beautiful colour, but because of it's pretty sparkle. The sparkle is pretty much spot on for Radiant Orchid and is my main reason for loving this lipstick.
Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipstick in Hot Plum is just so pretty. This is the perfect Orchid shade and it would be silly to not include it. I can't wait for spring to rear its pretty head so I can rock this shade again.

So there we have my picks for the Pantone Colour of the Year. It was harder than I thought picking them because a lot of them were too purple or too pink, but I think that there's a pretty good selection here. 
You can find out more about the Colour of the Year here, and also see what past years were.

What is your Orchid beauty pick?

Friday, 10 January 2014

Bourjois Happy Light Foundation

Have you ever had that situation when your favourite foundations runs out, closely followed by your back up, and then your back ups back up? Well that happened to me a few weeks ago, so I thought what a great time to try something new! After reading rave reviews on hundreds of blogs, I thought that I would make a beeline for Bourjois' newest offering of the Happy Light Foundation and I was not disappointed!

First of all, can we just talk about how this looks more expensive than it's drugstore price tag of £11.99. It's housed in a sleek glass bottle, that despite being quite heavy and a bit of a pain to travel with, it looks so pretty on a dressing table. I also love the fact that it's a pump dispenser, because it means less wastage and easy application. I know that a lot of drugstore foundations have a pump dispenser, but I have noticed that more and more drugstore foundations are without pumps. L'Oreal and Max Factor, I'm looking at you. 

The formula is pretty wonderful too. For the past year or so, I've been more than loyal to good old Healthy Mix from Bourjois, but this one definitely comes out on top. It has the same sort of consistency to a typical tinted moisturiser, but all of the elements of a liquid foundation. It doesn't feel heavy on the ski, nor does it cake up when layered or set with a powder. The overall finish is stunning, and is one that I much prefer to other foundations that I've tried. When applied, it evens skin tone and gives a bright, luminous finish to the skin. I wouldn't call it dewy, nor shiny, but more natural. 

I would definitely recommend this to all, as I think it will be perfect on all types of skin, be it dry, oil or combo. On my wishlist now is the new Happy Light Concealer and Primers as this has blown me away so much. Once again Bourjois have wowed me with their base products, and this is definitely a repurchase for me! Have you tried this foundation?

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Soap and Glory Powder Trip

Like many bloggers, I'm a big fan of Soap and Glory. I started by loving the bath products, then moving onto skincare and finally the makeup. Since I first bought the eyeshadow quad in What's Nude, I have continually been drawn back to the S&G makeup stand in Boots. This Christmas, S&G were right on point with all of their gift sets, and one that I was determined to get my hands on was the Powder Trip set.
Soap and Glory Powder Trip

This palettes includes three of S&G powders, along with a half moon brush all designed to give the perfect finish in just one palette. Before this, I had never tried any powders from S&G as every single time I went to try them in store, there was never a tester or they were sold out. The palette also includes a good size mirror which is perfect for on the go touch ups. The packaging, although cardboard, is very sturdy which bodes extremely well for travelling. I just love the design of this and I'm not normally one for packaging, but it really will look lovely sat on any dressing table.

Soap and Glory Powder Trip

Onto the powders themselves...
First up is Glow All Out. A Luminizing Radiance face powder, a pale peach, shimmery powder which does look very akin to a blush. It may look a little daunting to some, as it does look very shimmery but don't let that fool you. When I swatched this powder, it was like touching silk. I have never come across a powder so soft in my life. Applied to the skin, this doesn't leave any sort of colour, just a brightening effect which is something that I have wanted to achieve for such a long time. The shimmer in this powder doesn't transfer 'glittery' at all, rather it's radiant and glowing. Just perfection!

Next is Love at First Blush. To me this is the most visually appealing of the trio. With three shades, all complimenting each other, these create the perfect 'natural glow'. If you really wanted to, you could try and use these shades individually, but that would require a pretty small brush. Instead, I just like to swirl my blush brush around and apply to the apples of mt cheeks. As you can see from the picture, it does have a large amount of shimmer included, which might put some people off, but it doesn't make you look like a disco ball. Just imagine that rosy glow that comes naturally, and this is what the blush gives. Again, this is a silky soft powder that applies with minimal effort.

Finally, we have Solar Powder. A duo sided bronzer that is pretty much a suit all shade. There is a darker shade that I have used for contouring, which I've found to be very similar to the infamous Nars Laguna. The lighter side is perfect for creating an all over sun kissed look, which is perfect for those with paler skin as it doesn't have an orange tone to it. This does have a pink overspray to it which does disappear after the first use which I was quite glad about because I just see it working with the bronzer. This isn't as soft as the previous two powders, but it still applies beautifully to the face.

Soap and Glory Powder Trip
I just cant get enough of this trio and really recommend each of the powders. This set was released as part of the Christmas Gift sets and was originally priced at £20, but it is still available on the Boots Website for £10, which is less than buying one of the powders individually! So snap it up quick if you get the chance! 
Have you tried any of these powders? Which is your favourite item from Soap and Glory?

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Lush Snowman Bath Ballistic

I'm pretty sure that we're all familiar with the festive treats that Lush release every year, and this time around was no exception! I was in two minds about posting this to be honest, but then I figured that a lot of people would probably have received this in Christmas Gift sets or in the half price sale. So here it is...

This particular bath product is one of the smaller ones from Lush but that doesn't mean that it doesn't pack a punch. It looks quite cute and fits in perfectly with the many aesthetically pleasing products that Lush provide all year round. For me though, it's not one of those that you could cut in half and get more than one bath out of. This is due to it's irregular shape and crumbly texture, but it being quite small in size plays a big part in this. 

At first, I wasn't too sure what to expect from this particular bath bomb as I didn't think that the white appearance would provide much in terms of having an exciting colour changing bath. As it fizzed away, it slowly turned to a beautiful rose pink/pale red colour which was a lovely subtle shade, in comparison to the quite bright bath ballistics that Lush usually make. This also had large chunks of shea butter in it, which melted into the water and made my skin silky smooth. I really underestimated this little beauty.

Unfortunately, this is no longer available, but as I said before, this did make an appearance in quite a few Christmas gift sets so some of you will still get to enjoy it :) 
What is your fave Lush product?