Tuesday, 17 October 2017

BEAUTY: MY CURRENT HAIR WASHING ROUTINE


When it comes to my hair and the products I use, I'm really fickle. My high-end splurge of choice is the iconic Aveda Shampure but for more regular washing, I shop at Superdrug - scouting whatever is on offer. I will try whatever and I'm always looking for something that revolutionises the condition of my hair, beats frizz or helps prolong the time between washes.

My hairbrush of choice is a bristle brush as it tends to be the most gentle on my hair, this one is from Denman. I'd love a Mason Pearson, but for now, it's just that little bit too treaty. The bristles don't drag my tresses, they simply glide through whilst adding a little shine.



I am currently coveting a few new products that are working a treat for my hair. Think manageable, frizz free hair that's soft and shiny without feeling weighed down or heavy. The first is a product I've mentioned before in this post coveting summer hair care. It's the iconic Phillip Kingsley Elasticizer in the 'Coconut Breeze' variant. I use the pre-shampoo once a week to deep condition my hair and help prevent further damage via snapping. 


For shampoo, I am using the OGX 'Kuku Oil' variant and take my word for it, it smells ah-mazing. It's on the pricier end of the scale for £6 but it makes for one of the nicest hair washing experiences ever. The scent of it is like holiday's, coconutty and sweet. Created to help resist humidity and defrizz, I haven't noticed any particularly groundbreaking results on that front, but it is softer, stays less greasy for longer and leaves my hair smelling gorgeous.

My conditioner of choice is the 'Brilliant Brunette' - Visibility Deeper conditioner from John Freida. I love the Brilliant Brunette range as again, it smells gorgeous and leaves my hair feeling super soft. In terms of the deeper notes, my hair does look richer - but could that be because it's been washed? The packaging states that 'for deeper tones use the accompanying masque so I'm not sure if this does actually work but it does feel lush.

What are your favourite hair care products?

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Friday, 13 October 2017

BEAUTY: MAKE-UP REVOLUTION 'BROW REVOLUTION IN DARK BRUNETTE'



Ah eyebrows! It's only in recent times that I am able to say that I am fully cool with mine. From a horrendous waxing job in America nearly 10 years ago, I've been trying to grow them back ever since. There's a few pics of how simply awful they were in this post - and if you want to see how I care for my brows now, check out the post featuring my LVL lash experience.

Now that I have some started to maintain some shape and definition to my eyebrows, their grooming and upkeep takes barely anytime at all - even less so thanks to a new product i've been using from Makeup Revolution.

'Brow Revolution' in Dark Brunette...


The long lasting fibre gel retails at £6 and is available in 5 shades ranging from light, to super dark. The budge proof, waterproof and transfer proof formula achieves brow perfection in just a few seconds. I must admit, the application takes a little practise, but once you master it - your brows never looked so good!

Here are mine. Ignore the fact that I am growing them out therefore there are a few stray hairs hanging around, but do take into consideration how natural and full they look. The gel formula is applied using a super thin, pointed applicator and you gently apply soft strokes across your brow to fill in any gaps before brushing through with the spooly supplied. 

The gel formula is quite wet in consistency and can make-up your brows look a little 'felt tip-esque' if you don't work with it quickly and lightly. It takes a little practice but once you master it, you can achieve any look you desire.


What do you use on your eyebrows?

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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

BEAUTY: I HEART MAKE-UP 'GOLDEN BAR' PALETTE REVIEW + SWATCHES


If there's one area of make-up that is an easy sell for me, it's eyeshadow palettes. My local Superdrug had a little revamp and have now included more brand focused 'islands' around the store. One that particularly attracted my attention was the 'Tam Beauty' stand that was filled with Makeup Revolution / I Heart Makeup products. I must say, naughty dupey behaviour aside, the packaging and branding for the Tam products is seriously on point. 

Intrigued by the I Heart Makeup 'chocolate bar' palettes I began a fully committed swatch session in the middle of the store. I believe that there are 11 palettes in the range and each of them retail at £9 for 16 shadows (14 small size pans and two double size pans.) The Tam beauty site also states that these palettes are certified vegan, cruelty free and gluten free.I love the packaging for the palettes, very sturdy and interesting to look at - the large, clear mirror inside them is pretty awesome too. 

Immediately, I was drawn to the warm shimmery tones of the 'Golden bar' palette...



The palettes have a seriously chocolatey scent and what I like about 'The Golden Bar' variant is the amount of wearable colours included in the selection. My second favourite palette was the 'chocolate palette' however it contained a frosty pink shade which I knew immediately would be wasted on me.  

My favourite shades from the 'Golden Bar' palette are 'Cocoa', 'Tablet' and 'Golden' - all very wearable colours that can be subtly applied in a light wash for daytime, or amped up with more vigour for night.


The shadows are super creamy, easily blend-able with minimal fallout and hyper pigmented. Yes, they may be shimmery but I can assure you that you won't be looking like a disco ball. The shimmer is well balanced, not too in your face and quite beautiful. Each row of the palette contains a family of shades that compliment each other well - I love the bottom row which is filled with red toned shades, perfect for Autumn.

Perfect for achieving a bold, subtle or sexy eye makeup look, the formula of these shadows is divine - well worth the £9 price tag and for me, the 'Golden bar' palette contains no fail shades. All warm, completely wearable and easy to work with.

Have you tried anything from I Heart Makeup?


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Friday, 6 October 2017

BEAUTY: ROSIE FOR AUTOGRAPH CREAM EYESHADOW IN 'SPARKLE AND MAGIC'


I've been debating whether or not to seriously splurge and buy one of the cult ByTerry Ombre Blackstar cream eyeshadow sticks. At £30 they're certainly a high end purchase however, many drugstore and niche brands are jumping on the bandwagon and producing similar products.

A little while ago, there was a somewhat tense and slightly off interview uploaded toYoutube by the goddess, Sali Hughes featuring Rosie Huntington Whitely. Whilst I felt a little bored and uninspired watching the interview, I made a point to take a look at the Rosie for Autograph cosmetics line next time I was near an M+S. I'd heard a lot of hype about the line, in particular that Rosie's range is certified cruelty free standard.

The range features some decent products, nicely packaged and retailing at a mid-weight price -Think L'Oreal and Max Factor price points. There was one product in particular that I felt compelled to try.

Cream eyeshadow stick in 'Sparkle + Magic'...


Retailing at £12.50, there are 4 shades in the range, typical neutral colours including a brown, a camel nude and a berry shade which are all completely wearable. I love cream shadows as they can be worn alone (especially good when you are in a rush) or when layered under a complimentary shadow - which is the way I like to wear them.

'Sparkle and Magic' is metallic gun metal grey which has tones of silver and green. To me, it is the perfect colour for lighter coloured eyes to really bring the colour out. I have greyish blue eyes and as you can see from the pic below, Sparkle and Magic really enhances the colour.


The cream formula is nice to apply, either straight out of the bullet or with a brush. I do find it takes some layering to achieve an opaque coverage and a light wash can look a little streaky. As I mentioned above, I layer my shadow with a similar colour, my current choice is 'Chamoisee'  from MUA - A beautiful shimmery gold. In terms of longevity with this method, it's pretty good - it certainly lasts a full 8 hours at work. 

I definitely recommend the Rosie for Autograph cream eyeshadow sticks if you are looking for an easily transportable creamy shadow that you can apply on the go, that wears long and is a great dupe for the Ombre Blackstar line.


Have you tried anything from the Rosie for Autograph range?

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Tuesday, 3 October 2017

BEAUTY: LIQUID HIGHLIGHTERS, CONTOUR PALETTES & BRUSHES FROM 'COMPLEXIONS' AT MISS G COUTURE



I'm always glad to see new makeup brands emerging. The business of cosmetics is a difficult space to play in and competition is rife. As a newbie, the possibility of your products being swooned over by consumers, beauty experts and bloggers is the dream however, it's a tough game to break. With this in mind, I make an effort to try as many new and upcoming brands as possible to see how their product offerings fare against the current contents of my makeup bag in terms of quality and price.

Today I am talking about the 'Complexions' range of makeup from the online fashion brand, Miss G Couture. Now, you might just be thinking: "Not another make-up line from a brand" - But this is different. The Dad/Daughter duo behind the Miss G Couture brand has a unique tale to tale when it comes to knowing the cosmetics industry. They aren't newbies to the game. Woah no. Having launched two major cosmetics brands in the UK, one being Constance Caroll (old school) and a brand you probably have heard of, Collection 2000 - the team at Miss G Couture know the industry.

The current range is positioned at a mid-weight price point, with singular products retailing in excess of £10. In a marketplace where you can snap up high-end dupes for a couple of quid Makeup Revolution /MUA i'm looking at you....

How does the Complexions range fare?

There are two palettes within the 'Dawn to Dusk Contour and Highlighter' range - One is a powder formula and the other cream. They retail individually at £20, or you can buy both palettes for £32. You get 5g of product within 6 pans which are all housed in sturdy cardboard packaging. My only qualm about the white packaging is that finger marks show up easily and mine is already covered in product smears.


To begin with a full disclaimer here, I am not a typical contour kind of gal, despite being blessed with prominent cheekbones (about the only thing I was blessed with looks wise!) I rarely do much by way of contour and I certainly don't rock that ever-popular 'look' that we see all over Instagram. I do however like to add a little definition to my face and my weapon of choice are usually powder products. With this in mind, I was interested to see how well I got on with the cream products.


Dawn to Dusk Cream Contour Palette - Swatches in order from top row to bottom

The colour range within the cream palette is varied and I can imagine that the shade selection would suit a small number of different skin tones. This is a positive as the range only offers 1 palette to suit all. This brings me onto my issue with palettes per say. For myself, there a few neglected colours in the palette as I am super pale with a blue undertone. This means that any contour I have going on has to be done using a flat toned brown/taupe shade to avoid looking like an Oompa-Lumpa.

For the purpose of the review, I did try the lighter shades in the selection. When applied with an angled brush, they sit on the skin really nicely, no stickiness, no greasiness and a smooth colour payoff. Slightly too warm for me, but ideal for darkening a foundation, or for achieving/enhancing a sun-kissed, summer glow. The lighter shades are perfect for concealing under the eyes, my favourite shade being the slightly yellower toned second pan. The cream is opaque, moisturising and blends really nicely.


Dawn to Dusk Powder Contour Palette - Swatches in order from top row to bottom

I have to admit, I LOVE the powder contour range, Again the shade range is a little bit of a wasted on me, but I find powder products to be a little easier to work with if they tend to sit on the darker side of the spectrum. The powder formula is extremely velvety and soft to work with. The colour payoff is more subtle, which I personally prefer. I again, apply the powder using an angled brush with synthetic bristles. The powder glides on without bunching or streaking. The far right shade, again the one most yellow in tone works really well as an all over powder, I use it to brighten dull areas and finish off my base.



I have purposely not washed my brushes for these pictures. Firstly, because ain't nobody got time for that (they get washed every 2 weeks or so) and secondly, I genuinely think that they look better in the pics with a little colour on the ends. I can truthfully confirm that once I tried these brushes, I had a clear out and now 80% of my brush collection is made up of the Complexions 12 piece brush set.

For £25 you receive 12 brushes, 6 base, and 5 eye/concealer/lip brushes and a travel pot to store them in. The soft, synthetic brushes hold product well and don't lose hairs when applying your makeup. They also wash well and retain their fluffy, white domed appearance. This set is perfect as a treat for yourself, or as a gift. Take my word for it, they really aren't those crappy brushes you get free in sets - they're top notch!

Left: Complexions Blush Peals Liquid Highlighter + Right: Gold Pearls Highlighter

A hero product for Complexions, the Pearls liquid highlighters retail for £10, or £16 for the duo. I recently featured the Blush shade in my September monthly favourites as it has quite literally become a make-up bag staple. The formula is creamy, blendable and seriously shimmery. 

My only qualm would be the packaging, I much prefer a 'dropper' style applicator as opposed to the nail varnish brush style we have here. I must admit, the packaging for these doesn't (in my opinion) do the formula justice. For instance, the new Makeup Revolution highlighters look much more expensive for half the price.
Application of the 'Blush' liquid highlighter Left, straight application + Right, unblended

Packaging aside, I apply the highlighter by decanting a little onto a stippling brush and tapping to the cheek. The formula doesn't drag, or bobble and sits put until you remove it. A nice product that rivals some of the more established liquid highlighter manufacturers.


Application of the 'Gold' liquid highlighter - Left, Blended + Right, straight application

So there we have it, my thoughts on the initial line from Complexions. I can say that the brand is bringing out new products over the next month and the eyeshadow palettes look INSANELY good. Rumour has it, they're made in the same factory of a very, very well known cosmetics brand that specialises in buttery shadow palettes. For an infant brand, the formulas are very good. 

What do you think? Would you take a gamble on an unknown brand?

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