Friday 29 November 2013

Pre Christmas deals

I have no idea where the time went, because I just woke up and realised that it is less than 30 days until Christmas!

So if you haven't started your Christmas shopping, or are just looking for a few last bits here is a list of some of my favourite places to shop that are offering discounts (for the next few days).

If you are looking for beauty products:
1. Being content( )has a discount of 10% on everything until midnight Monday with a code CONTENT. So if wanted to try something from May Lindstrom, RMS, Ilia, W3ll People we could save quiet a good deal of money.

2. Naturisimo ( )has a discount of 10% until Sunday with a code HAPPY. I would take advantage of this offer to get something from Kjaer Weis.

3. A beautiful world ( ) still has a promotion of 10% off with a code Xmas10. And their gift boxes are still the best value for money that I have seen anywhere, plus they come beautifully packaged. 

4. Cocktail cosmetics ( )has an offer until the end of Saturday for 20% discount with a code BF2013, this is where I get my Z palettes from.

If you are looking for fashion:

1. People tree ( )have a great promotion on and you don't need a code for it. Until Monday you get 30% off, Tuesday and Wednesday 25%, Thursday and Friday 20%. I especially love their dresses and knitwear.

2. If you are feeling generous towards yourself or others Chinti and Parker ( ) have 20% off on most of their items until tuesday morning. They do casual chick like no one else. Super cosy and flattering pieces that are a pleasure to wear.

Now will you be using these discounts to get presents for others or yourself? That is the question.

Friday 8 November 2013

Marble and Milkweed bathing salts

I have to confess that I am not a big fan of cold weather. While I do appreciate an opportunity to wear heavy knits, awesome boots and drink hot tea all day, without people thinking you weird; I am sort of over it after a few weeks. What can I say, if it ain't summer weather it is just bad weather in my books.

To get me through this rather difficult, long period of feeling cold all of the time, I try to trick myself into thinking that this time of year is actually enjoyable. And big part of it are long, relaxing bath times.

To me baths have always been special, it is just a time when you allow yourself not to worry about anything. Enjoying that lovely feeling of bliss and contentment in your body, that warm water brings.

While I don't really like bath oils ( I just always feel so slippery, an accident waiting to happen), salts on the other hand, bring my bathing experience to the next level.

My latest discovery is this wonderful concoction by Marble and Milkweed, a New York brand of  beautiful, hand made products.

Rose and cardamom bathing salts. These salts come packed in a clear glass jar, while there isn't anything extra fancy about it, it does allow the beauty of the product to speak for itself.

I for one appreciate how  pretty these salts look in my bathroom. Himalayan pink salt is the reason for the pretty colour, it is a salt full of minerals and is known for its relaxing properties.

The salt is mixed with a small quantity of nourishing oils (coconut and sesame), and fragranced with essential oils of rose otto and cardamom. The addition of oils left me with slightly softer skin (in comparison to plain salts), but didn't make the bath feel slippery. And I absolutely love the aroma from the essential oils, not too strong but noticeable.

After bathing with these, I get a lasting feeling of warmth ( I have somewhat poor circulation, my hands and feet are always cold), and in turn that means that I get to enjoy a good night's sleep.
I have been fairly scrimpy with this product, and a jar lasts me about 5 baths.

I have noticed that  a beautiful world have a gift box with these salts and a Marble and Milkweed body oil, that would make a wonderful present (or even a treat for yourself). Plus you can get 10% off with a code XMAS10.

Wednesday 6 November 2013

Fall lips

If you read my fall makeup post you will remember that I wanted to break it down a little, so here are the swatches for the lips category.

Osmia lip luster. Just a great product, it is nourishing like a lip salve, has a great glossiness to it and a beautiful hint of colour. You can also layer it a little bit for the colour to be more intense (which is what I tend to do), it is a berry red.

Ilia funnel of love. This is a creamy lipstick in a gorgeous peachy nude. This will work wonderfully with slightly more adventurous eye makeup.

Ilia lip conditioner in Lust for Life. This is a perfect day to night colour for this season. I do find it slightly dryer than the other Ilia lip conditioners that I have, but the colour is simply beautiful. I got a lot of compliments when I wore it for the first time. One word of warning it is best to exfoliate your lips (no need for a special scrub, a little sugar and honey will do the trick), because if you have any dry skin on your lips, it will be very obvious with this deep wine colour.

Organic glam Dark pink. (By The Organic Pharmacy).This shade is pretty much a staple in my autumn/winter makeup bag ( I have been getting it for at least three years now). It is just a perfect classic shade of pink, it has a touch of raspberry to it and is just one of those shades that you can wear anytime, no matter what is fashionable.

So this was my take on autumn lip colours, and the eye shadows and nail colour swatches will be in the next few posts.

Tuesday 5 November 2013

RMS Beauty Diabolique and Beloved

When I heard that RMS released a limited addition Lip2Cheek colour for autumn I really wanted it. I asked Content if they would be stocking it, and the answer was at the moment it was on RMS website only. So I made my peace with the fact that I won't be getting it....

And last week Content sent out a tweet: For those who were asking, we currently have a limited number of Diabolique in store. But then on the website I saw another new colour, Beloved (this one is not limited addition).

After a ridiculous amount of changing my mind about which Lip2Cheek colour to order, I went for Diabolique and requested a sample of Beloved..

Diabolique. This is a rather brave shade for me. Very intense dark cherry colour. It does, however, look very different depending on how you apply.

On me it looks best applied over a glossy lip balm. This adds a slight see through quality to otherwise a very intense colour.

Personally I think it is more of an evening shade, but you can play around with it to give just a touch of wine stain, that will be more suitable for daytime. This is a colour of the season if there ever was one.

Beloved. Now this is a very exciting bright red (think a field of poppies). If you are one of those people that admires red from a far, you could totally pull this one off.

 The beauty of this product is that it is doesn't have a heavy opaque consistency of a lipstick, therefore with a light application, you can absolutely achieve a beautiful, touch of red pout.

However if you want a full on red lip all you need to do is add another layer of colour. For a more understated look I suggest applying with your fingers, for more colour payoff applying with a lip brush would be best.

This is a great all year round shade, which you can easily take from day to evening. Beloved is a very apt name for it.

As I was playing around with both colours, I wanted to see what happens when I mix them together. And the effect is a truly spectacular deeper red shade.

I was a little worried about Diabolique, RMS products last forever, since you only need to use the tiniest amount, and if I am perfectly honest burgundy is not my go to colour. But now if I get bored with it, I will just mix it with any red colour that I have (well maybe even Beloved, not sure how long I can resist before getting it).

So here is a quick comparison of all the three variations on the lips.

I have to say that I am glad that I got Diabolique as it is a wonderful addition to my makeup bag. The quality of these is just as good as any other Lip 2 Cheek from RMS, but I think these colours are just a little more exciting.

Monday 4 November 2013

U little Beauty foaming cleanser review

When it comes to cleansers I always like to have a heavier oil based cleanser to remove makeup, and a wash off cleanser to make sure there is no residue left. As I have skin that is both on the oily side and sensitive, it can be really tough finding a product for the second category.

So when I had an opportunity to try the U little Beauty foaming cleanser I was very excited.

U little Beauty is an Australian brand, that has a range of products created around a star ingredient Kakadu plum. You might have heard about Kakadu plum, as it's claim to fame is a very high concentration of vitamin C (over 50 times more than the concentration found in oranges). Which is the vitamin you want for brighter, healthier skin.

Packaging is a very functional pump action bottle. The product itself is not a gel that foams mixed with water, it is an actual foam. It is fragrance free and has a very mild scent that doesn't really smell like anything in particular.

According to the bottle, it is suitable for all skin types.

Method of use: apply to wet skin and wash off.

I have been using this face wash for a little over a month once or twice a day. Sometimes I would use it only in the morning, other days I would use it in the evenings as a second cleanse, and sometimes I would do both. You only need one pump, but I occasionally get carried away and use two, because I really like the woosh noise the pump makes (yes I have been told that I am like a child).

After using it, my skin feels very clean but not tight, and I have noticed that the products I apply after, mainly oils and serums, seem to absorb a little better.

I think this is a good choice for anyone with normal/combo/oily skin all year round, and for dryer skin types in the summer.

As well as Kakadu plum, ingredients include calendula extract and aloe vera, both are great for sensitive skin. Towards the bottom of the list there is witch hazel and rosemary extract, very beneficial for occasionally problem skin. This product does contain phenoxyethanol ( I know some people like to avoid it, I just limit the amount of products that contain it).

Ingredients: Aqua; Decyl Glucoside; Calendula officinalis Flower Extract; Aloe barbadensis Leaf Juice; Glycerin; Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate; Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Oil; Kakadu (Terminalia ferdinandiana) Plum Extract; Guar (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba) Gum; Oak (Quercus robur) Bark Extract; Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) Extract; Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) Leaf Extract

I have to say that I really like this face wash, it doesn't make ridiculous promises, and works very well without irritating my skin. And at £11.50 for a bottle, it won't cost you an arm and a leg.

Now they also have a vitamin C serum, which I have my eye on. I am very happy to announce that currently there is a completion going on instagram where you can win the whole range of U little Beauty products. Here are all the details on how to enter.

This was a PR sample, the review is my own honest opinion.

Saturday 2 November 2013

On trial: vapour

Somehow I have amassed a small collection of Vapour makeup samples. It was an interesting experiment trying this brand out as I haven't chosen any of these colours myself. I had some eye shadows, multi use blush, siren lipstick and a lip gloss.

Eye shadow. Normally a strictly powder girl, I have been swayed towards cream formulations when I discovered RMS. I am so impressed with this formulation. One thing to remember with these is to warm it up on the back of your hand ( or with your finger, if you want to save some product). You need to give some time for oils and butters to melt a little and create a perfect creamy texture, then you can glide it on directly from the tube (otherwise you will be just dragging the skin on your eyelids, causing discomfort and wrinkles).

Amber. This is a sparkly dark brown ( looks like dark chocolate with fine glitter). When applied you can use it just as wash of colour for a hint of smokiness or build it up to be quiet dark and intense.
Now I am a bit funny about brown shadows, on the one hand I have blue eyes and browns offset them marvellously, on the other hand I find them a little boring and some shades can make you look fatigued. This colour does not have red undertones, so it is one of the flattering browns. I try not to have more than two shadows in similar colour, and at the moment I have three browns. So this one is going on the approved list for possible future purchases.

Cinder. Now this one is a hidden gem. It is a sort of shimmery beige, with very slight hint of pink colour. When applied, it instantly brightens up your eyes, transforming them from tired to sparkling with vitality. I would have never have chosen this colour myself (clearly a mistake on my part) thinking it a little safe. After seeing the effect of this eye shadow, I can assure you that my makeup collection has been updated to include some nude shades.

Overall this has become my favourite brand for cream eye shadows. I have already purchased a couple, and have my eye on a few more. They feel very comfortable on my eyes, don't irritate them whatsoever and they only start to crease after about 7-8 hours (and that's without any extra steps of priming beforehand or powder on top).

Aura Multi Use Blush. This is a cream blush that you can use as eye shadow and lip colour. I can tell you that I did not like the feel of it on my lips (it might be because both samples I have are a shimmer formula), but they do feel very comfortable on the eyes.

Starlet. This is a beautiful pink shade with pearly shimmery effect. The colour is stunning, just like slightly flushed cheeks (and if not for the shimmer it would look totally natural). I just can't get over how good it looks. The shimmer has more of a pearl effect rather than sparkle, which I like. I think it would be a good option for a night out or maybe in winter (basically times with not a great amount of sunshine)

Intrigue. This has all the same qualities as Starlet but instead of a pink this is more of a coral. And where I would find Starlet  a little too pink to put on as eye shadow, intrigue looks gorgeous. A gorgeous multi stick for summer.

Overall I really like the formulation of the blushes and I have my eye on the shimmerless version in Courtesan ( I prefer my blush products without sparkle). But I do really like the effect of Intrigue, so I might get it in the summer.

Siren lipstick. These were a pleasant surprise. I wasn't to keen on the way they looked in the pots, or when I swatched them on my arm. Yet on the lips they looked so good. They feel moisturising but still nicely pigmented, and look very flattering.

Tempt. this is a sort of mauve pink. One of those your lips but slightly brighter more vibrant colours. I am just starting to appreciate a toned down lip (but no I am not giving up my red lipstick completely) and this shade is on top of the list for a more neutral look.

Saucy. This is a toned down coral shade. One word, sublime. I am a huge fan of warmer colours and this one ticks all the boxes. It happens to be brightening and understated at the same time. You can probably tell that it will be becoming part of my collection.

Overall I had very low expectations of these lipsticks. It just proves how wrong first impressions can be. They are very long lasting ( I find that I only need to reapply after eating/drinking, but I'm sure if I took smaller bites it could survive it) and have a wonderful finish (almost like you just have colour on and not lipstick). All the colours look really great, and I would love to try them all at some point, but Saucy and Courage are going to be the ones I will get first.

Elixir plumping lip gloss. I very rarely buy lip glosses nowadays. Just sort of fell out of love with them. I did like the way this one looked and felt but it is not a product I would purchase myself. However if it was a gift from someone I would most definitely use it. If you like lip glosses, this one is very good quality.

Pout. This is a nude colour with very fine almost imperceptible shimmer. It looks truly gorgeous when it catches the light. I also found that it was really nicely pigmented. And to top it all off, it wasn't sticky or have any unpleasant smell (yes even natural glosses don't always smell nice), in fact it didn't seem to have any fragrance, and I actually appreciate it in a colour lip product. I do like my lip balms to have a scent but not my lipstick, it just gets too much.

I have been pleasantly surprised by Vapour. I was all set and had my favourites for pretty much every make up category. These samples have been a game changer. Just need to free up some space in my make-up bag (ok I mean bags, most girls have more than one right?)