Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Monu Firming Moisturiser

Skin care is something that I've slowly being investing more in. I've never had terrible skin, but I have had troublesome skin with the odd breakout here and there. Oh and trying to keep the oil at bay without looking like a cakey mess has proven difficult. I have made a concious effort to start taking better care of my skin, so that it looks the best it possibly can. My main motivation is my wedding, with the hope that my skin will lovely and glowing right throughout the day!

A few weeks ago, I saw on Twitter that Monu (@monushop) were looking for bloggers to try out some of their products. I was lucky enough to receive this Firming Moisturiser* from their range and give it a whirl. The range of products is pretty amazing over on the Monu Shop, so if you're after some new skincare or other products such as Fake Tan, Makeup, Body Care and Gifts.

The Firming Moisturiser* has quickly become a firm favourite of mine. Let's talk about the scent first as this was the thing that I noticed first. It does have quite a strong scent of lavender, but it doesn't over power to product by any means. It is actually quite a pleasant scent which doesn't linger once applied to the skin. This scent comes from the addition of the lavender and neroli oils, both of which I feel give the moisturiser a luxurious kick. The moisturiser itself is quite thick in texture, with a soft creamy finish to it. I apply this after my morning cleanse, and let me tell you, it applies like a dream. I just apply small dots of this around my face and then blend in circular motions. I can instantly feel my skin getting a little tighter but not uncomfortable, and my makeup sits so nicely on top of this. It also makes my skin feel so much smoother, which is an absolute bonus. This product is understandably targeted at those with dry skin, but my oil skin has had no problems with this, so it could be a one size fits all product.

If you are interested in Monu's products then you can find them on their website here. I have my eye on so much from them, including the Replenishing Skin Peel and the Recovery Balm!

*Post contains PR Samples

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

My Top 5 MAC Brights

MAC Lipsticks are infamous amongst beauty bloggers! There so many different shades, finishes and collections which make them all pretty hard to resist! It's no secret that I am a big fan of MAC lipsticks and their makeup in general, so I thought that I would share with you my top 5 brights from their permanent lipstick collection, all of which I think will be perfect for spring and summer...

First up is Impassioned, which is a bright fuchsia almost red pink which has a touch of coral to it. With an amplified creme finish it glides onto the lips like a dream, and offers a full opaque coverage with just one swipe. 
Another pink, this time in the form of Girl About Town. This was a shade that I just kept overlooking and I'm so annoyed with myself as I wish I had bought it sooner. This is a bright orchid shade with a strong blue undertone which is perfect for making my teeth look shades whiter.
Next up is the most daring of the bunch. but is without a doubt one of my most favourites. Up The Amp is another amplified finish so the intensity is just incredible. On a bright sunny day, this will be one that I pull out as it will look like the perfect cross between pink and purple.
If you want a true tomato red shade then look no further than Lady Danger. A matte shade which makes a huge statement. I like to wear this with very minimal makeup so that my lips really stand out. Despite being a matte shade, it is incredibly creamy and not uncomfortable or drying on the lips!
The final shade I have picked is the infamous Morange. This was the first bright lipstick in my collection and it converted me! Another amplified finish (can you sense a theme?), it is a true orange shade that shouldn't work but does. I like to wear this really lightly for a subtle flush of colour, but some days I will wear it at its full potential and feel fabulous!

So there we have it! My top five brights from MAC. For me, no other brand of lipsticks comes close, and they are the ones that I wear on quite a regular basis.
You can purchase them from any MAC counter or from their website for £15
What is your favourite shade from MAC?

Sunday, 20 April 2014

ELF Tone Correcting Powder in Cool

A while ago, I placed quite a large ELF order and whilst I didn't need anything in particular, curiosity got the better of me with quite a few items and this was certainly one of them. I didn't need a new ace powder by any means, but when do I ever need half the makeup items I buy?

The Tone Correcting Powder is designed to give a healthy, balanced and radiant complexion as a result of the different tones within the powder. ELF claim that the powder evens out skin tone, at the same time as giving a matte and brightened complexion. If you wanted to, you could use the colours individually to counteract different needs on the skin, for example green on and redness and yellow on dark circles. However, I find it is best to use them all together and swirl my brush around the pan. I have noticed that it does brighten my skin and reduces the appearance of my pores. My favourite thing though is that this is amazing at setting my under eye concealer! It is worth it just for that!

Having oily skin, a powder is a must for me and finding one that can keep the oil at bay is a never ending quest. I have found that whilst this does reduce the excess oil, I do need to ensure that this is in my handbag as I will need a top up after around 4-5 hours. I apply this in circular motions all over my face with my trusty Real Techniques Powder Brush, paying a little more attention to my T-Zone. When swatched, this powder can look a little grey and ashen, so I was worried that this would translate onto my face, but it actually blends out to be invisible and is less detectable than some so call 'translucent' powders.

Overall, I have enjoyed using this powder and would be tempted to buy the Warm and Shimmer versions to see how they compare. For £3.95, you really can't go wrong? You can purchase this from the ELF Website - link
Have you tried this powder? 

Saturday, 19 April 2014

My Night Out Makeup

Nights out are few and far between for me. Whilst I was at Uni I would be out most nights and all I would have to show for it would be a raging hangover and a deep hole in my bank account! Now though, I find myself going out and actually enjoying making some memories, with meals out and some drinks with friends. Last night, Olly and I went out with some friends for a delicious meal and a catch up. I had been looking forward to it all week and had such a lovely night. I also really enjoyed getting ready, as I always do, but I just felt really relaxed and used some new products. So, I thought that it would be nice to share with you Face of the Evening and the makeup bits and bobs that I used.

Monu Firming Moisturiser (review coming soon!)
Bourjois CC Eye Cream
MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation NW20
MAC Studio Finish Concealer NW20
ELF All Over Cover Stick Apricot Beige

Maybelline Fit Me Powder 125 Nude Beige
ELF Bronzer Cool (review coming soon!)
MAC Fleur Power Blusher
ELF Shimmering Facial Whip Lilac Petal
Benefit Browzings

Urban Decay Primer Potion Original
Stila In The Light Palette
Rimmel Glam Eyes Liquid Liner
Soap and Glory Thick and Fast Mascara

MAC Lipstick Creme Cup
MAC Dazzleglass Baby Sparks

L'oreal Elvive Triple Resist Enforcing Shampoo and Conditioner
Moroccan Oil
Left to air dry 
Styled with GHD Irons
Aussie High Shine Hairspray

Wow, that was a lot of products! I really liked this makeup look and think that I'll probably wear it more often. I wanted something with a classic look so thought a soft neutral eye with a bit of depth would go well with a soft pink lip. 

What is your night out makeup?

Friday, 18 April 2014

ELF Shimmering Facial Whip in Lilac Petal

Another day, another post based around highlighters! I know that I posted about my favourite highlighters, like 2 minutes ago, but this product is too pretty not to mention. I placed an ELF order a few weeks ago and then another at the beginning of this week, oopsie. In my first order was this little beauty, and I've been loving it so far.

ELF Shimmering Facial Whip in Lilac Petal is described as multi use, whipped colourant. As far as descriptions go, it's definitely not the most creative, however it is spot on. When I first saw this, I was surprised at how tiny it was, but for £1.95 could I really complain? However, I literally need the teeniest amount for this to pack a punch. The packaging is a small, plastic tube which is pliable so that you can squeeze the product out. It has a thin, precise nozzle tip which makes application easy and also ensures that there is no wastage. Basic but practical.

I am always dubious about picking a shade online, especially if I have never seen it in person before. However, I don't think that you need worry because all of the shades are pretty subtle and can be used in a variety of ways, so you're bound to find that every shade will work for you. I picked the shade Lilac Petal as it seemed to be the ones that I would get the most wear out of, although I'm now lusting after the rest of them. Lilac Petal is a soft dusky pink with a silver/lilac sheen to it. It can be blended out to create a very subtle and natural glow, or layered to make a bold statement. 

The formula is pretty amazing for the price of them too. They are a little thicker than I expected, although this is definitely a good thing as it means less wastage. A little goes a very long way, so it's best to start with tiny amounts and build up the colour if you feel that you need to. I find it best to apply these to the tops of my cheekbones with a slight patting motion and then blend in circular motions, so that I can achieve the most natural finish. They dry down to a smooth, non-greasy finish and sit nicely on top of other base products without moving the product underneath. 

Overall, I really have enjoyed using this and will definitely be purchasing the other shades. I bought a few more bits from ELF so keep an eye out or reviews of those :)
Have you tried these?
Available from ELF Website, here.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Get A Glow For Spring and Summer

There really is nothing better than the sun making a long overdue appearance, especially when gets to Spring and we can switch up our makeup. I love trying to mimic the effect of a healthy glow, one that suggests that I've been sun-kissed, but we all know that this can be easier said than done. I've picked my favourite products that I like to use in order to add a glow to my face, all year round, but even more so in Spring and Summer. 

First up is a beautiful bronzer from Look Beauty in the shade Ibiza. This is a lot paler on the skin than it looks in the pan. As it is quite shimmery, I don't really use this as a bronzer but as a very soft highlighter. If I use this with my regular bronzer I apply in the high points of my face and quickly get a lovely soft glow.
Next is the bloggers favourite, MAC MSF in Soft and Gentle. For a easy subtle and natural highlight, then this is your bestfriend. Admittedly, I don't find the powder the softest in the world, but it highlights like no other and goes with every other bit of makeup in my collection. It looks fantastic with everything!
The much coveted MUA Undress Your Skin highlighter is one that I quickly sought out soon after its release. A pink highlighter that is almost duo-chrome sounds like it shouldn't work but it does. Used with a light hand, I can achieve a glowing look that is cooler in tone, for those days when I don't wear bronzer.
Bourjois Java Rice Powder set the blogging world alight, and rightly so. This limited edition little pot of wonders is the most natural of all of the products mentioned. A soft, finely milled powder that I use all over the face, rather than just to highlight, as it blurs imperfections and gives a soft focus with naturally glowing skin.
Finally, the only liquid one I have in my collection, and that is Seventeen Skin Wow highlighter. First up this is multi use, which is great value for money. I like to apply this to my high points before apply my foundation or mix a tiny amount with my base for a subtle shimmer.

Using these products makes it so much easier to get an effortless glow, and avoid looking like a disco ball. If you have a favourite highlighting product I would love to know what it is, because I'm always looking for new ones to try :)

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

This Week #5 A Weekend In Amsterdam

I've never been one for last minute trips, I like to have a definite idea of where and what I'm doing and like to sick to a plan. Not very spontaneous, I know, but this past week has been a bit of a whirlwind. I'll cut a long story short, Olly has got a new job which requires him to lead tours for various groups and societies around European cities. Last weekend was his first one and I was thrilled when I was told that I could go with him. The only problem was that I was told on Wednesday and we were leaving on Thursday. Cue mad panic and a rush, but we really did have an amazing time. Here's what we got up to whilst we were away...

I've been to Amsterdam* before so I kind of knew my way around and what was worth going to see. I'm sure that many people are aware of the culture of Amsterdam, but if it's not your scene there are plenty of other things to do. We travelled by coach, leaving Thursday evening, arrived Friday morning and left on Sunday so we had plenty of time to see and do lots of things. If you do want to do the typical Amsterdam like activities, then you won't be short of things to do. A visit to a coffee shop or two and a wander around the Red Light District and your eyes really will have been opened, but rest assured this is all legal in Amsterdam, and you can go on organised tours of these places if you prefer. If you prefer something a little more traditional and cultural then there are plenty of museums and sights such as the Rijksmuseum which is home to the famous "iamsterdam" sign. Also, a visit to Dam Square, Rembrantsplein and Leidesplein are a must if you want to see street performers, beautiful architecture and infamous surroundings. There are thousands upon thousands of places to eat and drink and somewhere to suit every budget, but my favourite place was Chipsy King, if you go there I would definitely recommend the fries with mayo. They were so good, I'm still craving them now! Finally, for accommodation, again there are plenty of places to suit every budget, but we stayed in The Hans Brinker Hotel, which is cheap, cheerful and in a great location for exploring. Also, the bar in the hotel has the cheapest prices in Amsterdam with the best atmosphere. I would definitely stay there again!

This is just a small selection of pictures from the weekend, and even though technically Olly was working and I was just there to help, it really was the best time ever! I just thought it might be nice to share a few of our snaps of our trip. I was hoping to buy some beauty items out there, but there was nothing that I absolutely couldn't get here at home so I didn't both getting anything which was a little disappointing. I'm also going to post an Outfit Of The Day from what I wore on the day that we really explored Amsterdam.

Have you ever been to Amsterdam? Where is your favourite city break destination?

For more information on City Breaks and Festivals, including the trip in the post then visit Outgoing - Link
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*Complimentary Trip

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Spring Picks: Cheeks

Now that Spring is finally here, it's been time to switch up my makeup products and say goodbye to the dark and deep shades of winter, and hello to the pastels and brights of spring. In the warmer months, I tend to wear more colour on my cheeks, as the shades that I prefer I feel are more suited to this time of year. So, with that in mind, I would show you the products that have found their way into my makeup bag...

I have quite a few favourites that I tend to swap and change on a daily basis. I mainly choose corals, oranges and bronze tones but the odd pink shade will find it's way in there. I like a mixture of brands too, mainly Sleek, MAC, and MUA for blush as they're always so consistent!

My first choice is the newest addition to my collection, and that is Sleek Blush by 3 in Californ.I.A. A trio of coral cream blushes that look unbelievably natural. My favourite shade is The OC which is a bright coral shade, perfect for warming up the face. Another Blush by 3 from Sleek is the Pumpkin version. The scariest looking blushes you will ever lay your eyes on, but actually they work so well. I love to use the red shade with an extremely light hand to the apples of my cheeks for a natural flush. The pink in this palette is also prety damn beautiful!
I couldn't do a post like this and not include MACs Fleur Power blusher. This is without a doubt my most used blush and I absolutely adore it. A soft pink/coral hybrid that really packs a punch. If I wear this blush, I choose not to put on any bronzer or highlighter, as I like this to do all the talking. Oh and it pairs fabulously with a nude lip! My next most worn shade is from MUA and is the shade Lolly. A bright orange soda shade which looks incredible with a tan! I love to lightly apply this to the apples of my cheeks and pair with a soft highlight.
Two bronzers that I stick by are the Bourjois Maxi Delight Bronzer and the Contouring Blush and Bronzer from Elf. Both great for warming up the face and adding a soft sunkissed look. 

So there we have my spring picks for my cheeks. I would love to know what your go to spring/summer blush is?

Monday, 7 April 2014

This Week... #4

Experimented with my hair: I've been stuck Ina hair rut for too long now and it was time for a change. I had 4 inches cut off two weeks ago and had layers put in, so that was a start. For my new job I also have to wear my hair up which I hate doing, so I have been experimenting with new styles.

Finally purchased wishlist items: I've had a lot of items on my wishlist for a long time and this week I finally purchased some of them! I'm enjoying them all so far, so expect to see reviews very soon!

Had a spring clean: You know the score, every time you buy something it's just adding onto what you already have. Well I had got fed up with shoving clothing into my wardrobe and it never seeing the light of day again. This week I've got rid of many items and sent some to charity shops. I've also been selling some items on my depop page.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Avene Eau Thermale Spring Water

I'm sure that I'm not alone when I say that I often go into Boots and look at the same products every time, only to never purchase them? I'm pretty bad at doing this, but this time was different and I cam out feeling pretty pleased with myself. This particular purchase was a little can of wonder from Avene, in the form of their Eau Thermale Spring Water. I've seen this quite a few times mentioned by the lovely Louise from Sprinkleofglitter  and was always pretty intrigued, but now I'm glad I finally purchased it.

At first, I just couldn't get my head around why anyone would by water in a can. Surely it couldn't have been that great? In reality, it is so much more than that. Sure, it is just water, but the way it works is actually quite incredible. Designed to give instant relief whenever the skin feels tight or uncomfortable, this water spray gives a gentle soothing sensation that we sometimes crave. It soothes sunburn, acne, nappy rash, allergic reactions, razor burn, to set or remove makeup, and cool in the heat. I think you'll agree that it really is a multi use product, although I do disagree that it sets makeup. How can a spray of water set makeup?! I also love the way that it sprays, which I know sounds weird but it sprays a gentle mist that isn't too much a shock when you spray it on your face. 

My favourite way to use this has been to spray it lightly on my face just before I apply my night cream. I spray it and then leave it for 30 seconds, then gently pat to dry. It just hydrates my skin a little bit more which I desperately need. Another way that I've been favouring this is to use after work. In my job, I stand for 8 hours on a hard tiled floor which can get pretty uncomfortable after a while. When I get home, a quick spray of this on my legs and feet and they are instantly sooth and no longer ache. 

For me, this has become a bit of a must have item and I wouldn't be without it now! You can purchase it from Boots for £3.20 for 50ml, 150ml for £6.50 and 300ml for £10.00. Have you tried any Avene products?

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Sleek Blush By 3 Californ.I.A

As spring has well and truly graced us with its beautiful presence, I've been raiding my collection for all the corals and peaches in preparation for more sun. If we actually get some decent sun this year then it will be a miracle! however, we can sill embrace the spring/summer prettiness, and this product from Sleek is no exception.
Back when the new shades of Blush By 3 were released, I was first in the queue, much like I am with most Sleek releases and I was really impressed. The one that I will be showing you today is the Blush By 3 in Californ.I.A.

Sleek blushes are famously pigmented. So much so that I would go as far as saying that these are really the only blushes that you will ever need. Lets face it though, us beauty bloggers will never, ever stick to that, and will continue to buy makeup like it's a matter of life death. ALLTHEMAKEUP! I digress, this particular offering is a trio of beautiful cream blushes, all with a coral/orange base to them. One swipe of these across your cheeks gives a beautiful flush of colour, but then can be worn sheer or built up all depending on your personal preference. Lets get onto the shades shall we?

Newport Peach is a pink/coral hybrid that has a slight shimmer to it and will suit all skin tones. This one reminds me of a cream version of Fleur power from MAC, so if you like that, you will love this!
The Surf is a cross between a frost and lustre finish and was one that I wasn't sure I would like. However, this is a very subtle shade that will be perfect for those "no makeup" makeup days. It would also make a stunning highlighter on those with a darker skin tone.
The final shade, OC is my favourite of the trio. The soft coral shade is perfect to pair with a tan or to add some colour to the face. It has been my go to blush for the past few weeks now, paired with a bit of bronzer and blended out it creates a lovely fresh look.

I've found that these typically wear for around 6-8 hours before any signs of fading occur, which is pretty amazing and it's rare that I wear makeup for much longer than that anyway. If you layer these under a powder blush then you will a vibrant shade that will last even longer! I have been loving this so far, if you hadn't guessed from my rave review, and I'm certain that it will be my go to all summer.

You can purchase this from Boots, Superdrug and Sleek Cosmetics.