19 June 2018

TRYING MILK MAKEUP // MATCHA CLEANSER, HOLOGRAPHIC HIGHLIGHTER + KUSH MASCARA


Any beauty product that gets the thumbs up from Sali Hughes, is nearly always going to be a winner in my opinion. And it is because of Sali that I was introduced to Milk Makeup. I watched Sali's 'In the bathroom with Milk founder Zanna Roberts Rassi (who may I just add, has a really interesting accent that merges Mancunian with American) And having watched both episode 1 and episode 2,  I was totally sold on what the brand has to offer.

This cruelty-free, 100% vegan brand is paraben free, sulfate free and amongst other ingredients, mineral oil free. Milk offers a really nifty disclosure on what it means to be a 100% vegan brand which I definitely recommend you read over to really get to the heart of the Milk brand. And over the past couple of weeks, I've been trying out a few products from the Milk range which were very kindly gifted to me by my Aunt.

Milk Makeup - Matcha Cleanser
For anybody who travels frequently, the packaging of the Milk Makeup Matcha Cleanser is ideal, all thanks to a push-up applicator and sturdy plastic casing. According to Milk, this cleanser survives airport security checks due to its carry on size and solidified formula. 

Upon trying this cleanser for the first time, I was really impressed by how refreshing it is when the buttery formula begins to melt into the skin - It really feels like a splash of cool water. I use the Matcha cleanser every other night as it is, in my mind, more of an exfoliating product as it contains loads of microbeads which you can see in the pic above. It's a lovely, no fuss, easy product that doesn't dry your skin out whilst removing makeup effectively. I roll it straight onto my face before buffing with my 'toothbrush' cleansing brush. 

Milk Makeup - Holographic Stick in 'Stardust'
For a dreamy, ethereal glow the Milk Makeup Holographic Sticks are divine. I have the shade 'Stardust' which is a baby pink shade with a cool, blue undertone. Containing meteorite powder?! coconut oil and mango butter, this super silky formula glides onto the skin beautifully. I like to apply it both underneath and on top of my base makeup for a glow that really is, out of this world! I will admit, this one is not for the faint-hearted and it offers highlight voltage at 180% but it's worth playing with to see how you can get the formulation to work for you.

Milk Makeup - Kush High Volume Mascara



And now for probably the best mascara, I've tried in a long, long time! - The Milk Makeup KUSH High Volume Mascara! I have the travel mini and wow this stuff is good! The fibres in this mascara feature conditioning hemp-derived CBD-infused cannabis oil and the tapered, bushy brush coats and lifts each lash from root to tip...without those sneaky globs. Quite frankly, it is amazing and is so dependable when you want full throttle lashes. 10/10!



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6 June 2018

TRYING US DRUGSTORE MAKEUP // MILANI HIGHLIGHTER PALETTE + FOUND BAKED BLUSH // FIRST IMPRESSIONS


This might be a slightly disjointed way to begin a makeup review but heck, I'm going to start here. I'm from a small family, really small. There aren't many of us and we're all spread out far and wide. I always joke that if I were to get married, my side of the venue would have no more than 8 people there max. When I was younger I always yearned to be apart of one of those big families where you're best mates with your cousins and you have an army of siblings. Maybe a large Walton-esc family will be a new legacy I'll try to initiate if I someday start my own family. And whilst it has been difficult having one portion of my small family based over on the East coast of America, when I do see them, we always have the best time. 

I saw my Aunt and my cousin a few weeks ago, they came to visit me here in Liverpool and we discussed at length the uncanny parallels between my 'borrowed' city, Liverpool and their city, Boston. My Aunt, who also shares an appreciation of makeup and beauty rituals, very kindly brought me over a few US drugstore makeup products to try, a few of which you'll see today and some in next week's post. 

First impressions of the found baked illuminating blush...


So let's start with found. Inspired by natural ingredients from around the world, found products are formulated with natural botanicals and good-for-you-ingredients that are never tested on animals *yay.* I love what this brand is about, I love their packaging and their classic, simple branding.

Their pricepoint (in dollars) sits around the L'Oreal, Revlon mark - a mid-weight drugstore product in terms of price. I have been trying out the Baked Illuminating Blush with Rosehip Oil which retails at Walmart for $8.80 (about £6 in GBP.)


This is an illuminating blush that gives you a seriously healthy glow all thanks to a mineralised mix of pretty pink and subtle gold pigments. This is perfect for summertime when you want that 'Just stepped off the beach' glow without looking like Aunt Sally. I have the shade '70 Pink Glow' and it works really well when I'm wearing a slightly more tan foundation, and when I'm paler. There is a subtle shimmer to the formulation, but nothing too Edward Cullen-esc, don't worry. Do I recommend it? 110%!


First impressions of the Milani 'Stellar Lights' Palette...

If Angels could sing RN! The Milani Stellar Lights palette in the 'Rose Gold' variant is a palette that really packs a punch! Just look at that glow! If you're looking for buttery soft highlighters that are boosted by fabulous pigmentation, then you HAVE to get your hands on these highlighter shades. 




Another cruelty-free brand, I have seen Milani absolutely killing it with some of their eye palettes in particular. Retailing at $13.00 or just under a tenner in GBP, you get 3 large pans of micro-milled product. Perfect for creating a number of warmer looks, I have been alternating between the peachy shade and the frosty white shade. Shade number 3, which is redder in tone looks really gorgeous on the eyelids if you're a pale gal with light eyes like myself. First impressions? Milani are bang on the money with this beauty!


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31 May 2018

THE MAY '18 EDIT // MONTHLY BEAUTY FAVOURITES AND POP CULTURE LOVES


May.
May has been excellent. The weather has been glorious and there have been a few things going on behind the scenes in my life that have made everything that little bit sweeter! No actually, a lot sweeter! Yay! Amongst all this, I've had some lovely moments with my family and friends and really, really appreciate the little nucleus of good eggs I have around me. Oh, and we got a new addition to the family, little Muffin the hamster - Naw.

And whilst there have been some not-so-peachy situations i.e my leg swelling and expanding to four times its size thanks to a bite and a violent infection and a totally unnecessary and cruel occurrence happening to one of my most cherished family members, May has truly been a dream. Thanks, May.


Watching. Reading. Listening to and more.
Reading.

Like many people, on May 25th, I was avidly following the #hometovote hashtag all day. The masses of emotional tweets and videos showing people travelling from far and wide to vote in the 8th amendment referendum got me so, so choked up! I particularly loved the Grandad's and the sheer solidarity from Ireland's sisters was incredibly moving. Great result for Ireland repealing the 8th amendment, but now change must come for Northern Ireland also.

Did anyone catch this article where Ikea ran an experiment asking people to verbally 'bully' one plant for 30 days and give compliments to another plant? Both plants were identical and given the same amount of space, food and light however, the results were truly astonishing. They say talking to plants helps them grow, but I sure wouldn't have the heart to say mean things to a plant, especially knowing the effects it has on them! Let this be a lesson of how we speak/treat ourselves and others!


Watching.

For the last portion of the month, my leg resembled a cartoon meat bone all thanks to an infected bite. Well, of course, a lot of resting and leg elevation ensured my TV schedule was duly fulfilled. I loved the newly formatted 'Who wants to be a millionaire' hosted by Jeremy Clarkson. I genuinely found myself doing better than half of the contestants on there, maybe i'll apply if it comes back again!

A few compelling pieces of television that I enjoyed were: '24 hours in police custody' - such a powerful piece of telly and a huge educational piece surrounding social services, alcoholism and mental health. I won't give too much away regarding what happens in the case, but it was such a difficult case to make your mind up about.

On Netflix, I've watched The Rachel Divide, a documentary centred around Rachel Dolezal an activist who caused a national debate over her self-identification as an African-American woman, when she was actually born Caucasian. Boy has this woman caused people's minds to be bent in a direction they've never been pulled before. In a world where people are becoming freer than ever before to identify and live as they wish, Rachel Dolezal opened up dividing opinion/debate on what exactly it means to identify as a particular race. I found this fascinating and I'll be honest, lies aside, I felt sorry for her. I was particularly moved by the story of her early home life. I've since read that Rachel is living off food banks and is extremely poor following the public exoneration of her name. Jon Ronson's legendary book 'You've been publicly shamed' comes to mind.

I've also watched 'Evil Genius' dubbed to be the next 'Making a Murderer' and again, what a show and what a truly bizarre state of affairs. The story begins with the barbaric death of a pizza delivery man who robs a bank with a collar bomb strapped around his neck and from then on in, the story unravels getting weirder and weirder. It's hard to believe situations like this one are cooked up and played out. There are some truly twisted people in the world.

And of course, what May 2018 favourites would be without an honourable mention towards the Royal Wedding of Harry and Meghan. I'll keep this brief but I thought Meghan's mum, Doria Ragland was so composed, dignified and effortless throughout and it was so moving seeing Meghan walk a portion of the aisle alone - in all honesty it did make me feel a bit sad for her, but if that isn't a huge step forward for the British Monarchy and having someone like Meghan a lead member of the Royal Family, then I don't know what is! I think Diana would have been so chuffed her legacy and wave making is having an affect even to this day!


Listening.

For some reason, over the last couple of weeks i've been on a total binge of anything to do with the iconic and jaw-dropping 1994 OJ Simpson case. Absorbing content that explores the case and the horrendous double murder of Nicole Brown-Simpson and Ron Goldman led me to Kris Jenner's 2011 memoir, All things Kardashian which I found oddly interesting. Sure, there's not much about that family we don't already know, but I have to say, I enjoyed hearing about Kris' life prior to KUWTK and I have all these images of her as a glam Beverley Hills housewife in the 80s.



Beauty Favourites.
This months beauty faves are taking a slightly different guise as I am talking about individual products which are apart of a wider concept - Latestinbeauty.com. Sure, I thought I was over the beauty subscription box concept too, that was until I discovered more about this particular box and what sets it apart in a saturated market.

What I like about this beauty subscription box is that there are a few of different options you can choose from to get your beauty fix. You can purchase 'one-off boxes' which are curated by a particular brand or organisation i.e The Eve Appeal box, or you can choose from one of three subscription deals including:
  • The 'Beauty Novice' box - £9 per month for 3 of your chosen products, or £16 as a one-off purchase
  • The 'Beauty Enthusiast' box - £15 per month for 6 of your chosen products, or £22 as a one-off purchase
  • Or the box I have, The 'Beauty Guru' box -£18 per month for 9 of your chosen products or £25 as a one of purchase 
Latest in Beauty also have this nifty little tool to help you personalise your box based on your answers to a few short questions. This is especially good, if like me you are super indecisive. As you can see my 9 products are pretty skincare heavy and I have to say I really was spoiled for choice, the LIB range is great! You also can add on a 'Latest in Beauty' makeup bag to house all your new goodies in, so this makes for the perfect treat for yourself or someone sassy.


And whilst i've only been trialling and testing my new products for a week or so, for me, so far stand out products include the Tropic Super Greens Serum, the Weleda Skin Food (Apparently a fave of Alex Chung and VB) and the Paula's Choice Clinical Retinol Treatment - I mean it when I say, my skin never looked so good!





* Post contains gifted items from Latest In Beauty
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27 May 2018

MY LATE SPRING TIME BEAUTY ESSENTIALS // MAKEUP & BEAUTY FOR SUNNY WEATHER


Here in the UK, the weather in May has been an absolute joy, and if 'summer' never arrives in July or August, I'll feel satisfied that we haven't been cheated of some good weather in 2018. And whilst my beauty routine consists of nothing more than a generous application of sunscreen and a dab of Olay tinted moisturiser when the temperatures rise, for those relaxing evenings sat outside with a gin and tonic in the garden, or a sunny stroll through the woodlands, there are a few products that I call upon time and time again to make me feel 'pulled together' without worrying I'll sweat them all of from the moment I step outside.

Late spring beauty essentials...


Nails.
There's nothing nicer than slipping into a pair of your favourite sandals and feeling confident that your feet don't look horrendous. And if like myself, you don't have time for a proper pedicure, a steady hand with the nail polish is all you need.

My favourite nail colours and formulas this season are from trusty Rimmel London. Available at supermarkets and drugstores such as Boots + Superdrug, they're so cheap you won't feel guilty about swapping and changing your shade as the range of colours is super extensive. My current faves are; 'Lose your lingerie' (HORRENDOUS name) and 'Coral Queen' which looks particularly good on your toes!


Scent.
I love fresh scents in spring, how original of me, I know. My current favourite squeeze is Eau Dynamisante by Clarins. An icon in its own right, since hitting the shelves in 1987, this is a firm favourite with many people. It's fresh and it acts as a tonic for the skin, especially good after a hot day sitting outside in the sunshine. With citrus, herbal and fresh spicey notes, this is definitely a fragrance that will transport you to a place of utter contentment in an exotic spa. 


Lips.
Whilst I'm very rarely seen without a bold lip, my choice of pink, coral or red lipstick amplifies to full voltage when the sun makes an appearance. I am currently flittering between a punchy, raspberry pink and a loud shade of orange.

The pink is the iconic stalwart 'Cherries in the snow' by Revlon which I have since learned has been discontinued from the normal Revlon line wtf? Say it isn't so. But I have found it is now, along with 'Fire and Ice' a part of their 'Live Boldly' line. Phew. This is one of Revlon's most iconic lippies with an illustrious history which I talked about in this post. The formulation is out-of-this-world, creamy and insanely pigmented. And finally, my favourite orange lipstick, the L'Oreal Color Riche Matte Addiction in '227 Hype' - perfectly pigmented and the staying power on this pocket rocket is INSANE! Looks great with no makeup, makeup, or just a swipe of shimmery bronzer. I particularly like wearing this with my oversized, yellow sunnies from Polaroid




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16 May 2018

3 EYESHADOW PALETTES WORTH BUYING // INCLUDING URBAN DECAY, W7 + MAKEUP REVOLUTION


I just love eyeshadow palettes. The simple act of opening them up and looking at the wonderful array of rich colours makes me feel super happy. I like the way palettes give you options to create multiple looks whilst being handy and compact for travelling. 

Palettes are just my jam.

For me, the only downside to eyeshadow palettes, or any makeup palette in general, is that quite often some shades can go unused because, at the end of the day, not every shade is going to be to your liking. Though, I have found in more recent years, that palettes these days tend to be much more cohesive in terms of shade offering. And with all of this in mind, here are three eyeshadow palettes that I definitely believe to be worth the makeup bag/dressing table real estate.

I Heart Revolution - 'Golden Bar Palette'


It was the Makeup Revolution 'Golden Bar' palette that really turned me on to the 'I Heart' sub-brand of Revolution which is available at Superdrug. This unapologetic Two Faced dupe certainly has some dreamy colours inside and for £9, it's definitely worth giving a go if you like warm toned shades. The creamy, shimmer shadows are easily blended and the pigment payoff is pretty insane. Looking for swatches? Check out this post for a full review of this palette.


Urban Decay Naked Palette #1


I wanted to photograph my original Urban Decay Naked Palette here because it was such a huge moment for me when I bought it with some of my 18th birthday money. I've since gone on to buy two more of the original UDNP's but this one, in particular, holds some special memories for me and you can really see which shades have been my absolute favourites to wear over the years. I love the warm, wearable shade selection and the way you can wear any combo, day or night. Is it worth the
£39.50? price tag? Absolutely! And it's still, in my opinion, the most versatile shade selection out of the Naked Palette family.

w7 'Delicious Palette'


And finally, an honourable mention to the w7 'Delicious Palette' which I talked about at great lengths in this post. This bargainous palette is a proper gem and so affordable at £9.95. The shades are highly pigmented, easy to blend and stick around on the lids for a decent amount of time. If you're looking for a palette with similar shades to the Anastasia Beverley Hills 'Modern Rennaisance' Palette, then this is definitely your match made in dupe heaven.





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8 May 2018

BEAUTY PREP FOR BARE LIMB WEATHER // LOOKING AND FEELING SASSY IN THE SUNSHINE


Here in the UK, the weather has been an absolute treat over the bank holiday weekend and when the temperatures soar and the sun makes an appearance, there really is no better place than home. I split my weekend between catching the rays at the beach and at home on the comfort of my sun lounger. Bliss. There are however a few bits and pieces to get in order before I venture outside in this kind of weather, especially if I'm opting for a pair of Birkenstocks, some denim shorts and a cami outfit combo. 

Treatin' those feet...

Feet. Funny things, I broadly don't have a problem with them as a whole however, I do find toes a bit...weird. In the late spring/summer months, I'm rarely seen without a pair of Birkenstocks and so my toes and heels need a little TLC to keep things sweet. A slick of polish does the trick, Copper Kiss from non-other than Poundland is a winner for me at the moment. The formulation is really good and it's only a quid.

I also inherited what I call 'Hoof-feet' from my Dad, sorry Dad. If I don't keep up with them, my heels are dry and sore. That's when I call upon my weapon of choice, the Micro-Pedi Nano which painlessly exfoliates and removes hard skin from your feet using a rough rotating pad which kinda fees like a cats tongue! 



Faux Glow...

I always feel that smidge more confident when I have a tan. I don't mean to the excessive levels that I rocked in my late teens / early uni days but a subtle glow is always a good thing. My tan of choice is the Palmer's Natural Bronze Body Lotion which is, of course, a classic and who doesn't want to smell like chocolatey/coconutty biscuits? 

I've previously talked about the HiGlow shimmer oil in my April favourites so I won't ramble on too much about it again however, I like to use this lightweight, pigmented oil on my arms, chest and legs to add a little shimmery glow while I'm about and about. This stuff is especially nice to wear on the skin and smells pretty sassy too.


Hot weather approved beauty...

Being a naturally pale skinned gal, sun protection is vital. Before heading out anywhere with bare limbs, I also use sun lotion. I'm a big fan of the fine mist sprays and when I'm on the beach, those are my favourited choices of sun protection, however, if I'm just dotting around the garden, or sat in a beer garden, I'll use the Solait SPF 30 suncream all over.

The last thing I want to be wearing is a full face of makeup when it's hot. Instead, I'll opt for a sheer, tinted moisturiser with an SPF and rock some gel-based products. The Glossier Cloudpaints are particularly good for these occasions. These cream formulas double up as blush, bronzer and highlight in one and are particularly useful for topping up that sunkissed glow. If I am wearing powder-based products, my go to is a creamy bronze duo from Elizabeth Arden housed in the cute Red Door packaging.






* Post contains gifted items from Emojoi
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30 April 2018

THE APRIL '18 EDIT // MONTHLY BEAUTY FAVOURITES AND POP CULTURE LOVES


April.

For me, April is a month of great change, a sentiment shared by the legendary make-up artist, Mary Greenwell of whom I interviewed earlier this month for one of my client's digital magazines. It was such a great honour to be able to chat so candidly with Mary about her enviable career working with the original supermodels, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista, as well as her transformative work with the beautiful, Diana Princess Of Wales. You can find the article HERE if you're interested.

I was also extremely lucky to be invited to the opening of a new restaurant in Liverpool named, The Florist which has taken residency in The Old Blind School Building. The restaurant, which is spread over multiple floors, is adorned from floor to ceiling with beautiful flowers. Adam and I were invited to try their Sunday Roast which I hope the picture below is doing justice because it was simply divine. I had the lamb with homegrown mint sauce and cauliflower cheese and Adam had the belly pork, both were far from mean on the portion size and incredibly tasty. We finished our meal with a sharing bowl of the most scrumptious apple crumble and custard that I've ever eaten in my life. If you're in Liverpool, you must call into The Florist, even if only for one of their beautifully crafted cocktails -I recommend the coconut and poppy mojito from their English garden cocktail menu. 
Wearing my Ruflixoo red tartan scarf, the softest scarf I've ever worn  | Roast Dinner + cocktails @ The Florist | The most beautiful arrangement of flowers suspended from the ceiling, can I have this in my house?
WATCHING. READING. LISTENING TO AND MORE.

Reading.

I know that Christie Watson's powerful book extract focusing on 20 years on the front line of the NHS for The Times has been shared to death in the zeitgeist, but I wanted to include it here, because not only did it strike a nerve with me, but it is also one of the most insightful, no bullshit pieces of writing I've ever read. Christie worked as a nurse for the NHS for 20 years, in her upcoming book, of which The Times extract is taken from, Christie discusses what it's really like working in different areas of the NHS from paediatrics to A+E to palliative care and more. There are no filters here, it's real life. If you read one thing today, make it this.

I also really enjoyed this blog post by Lily Pebbles where Lily reflects on her experiences getting tattoos over the years. I particularly loved (and deeply resonated) with this part:

"I honestly disliked every single tattoo experience I had. I don’t mean to generalise, but they were all men and every single one made me feel rushed, intimidated and inexperienced. I’ve said for years that there’s a gap in the market for a tattoo parlour for either first-timers or for people who have just a few small tattoos… because it’s different, it just is. Often tattoo artists won’t draw the design for you ahead of time to think about it because they’re worried you’ll take the design elsewhere to be done. So you arrive on the day, you’re shown a design and unless they actively say “don’t worry, take your time and any changes you want to be made can absolutely be made”, you feel really guilty and embarrassed asking them to change things. There’s a pressure, a time constraint and I’ve many times in the past been told: “no, that’s the best I can do”. In the past, I’d paid deposits, booked appointments months in advance and it doesn’t feel easy to stick up for yourself, especially in an environment that feels alien to you (most the tattoo parlours I’ve been to are quite scary inside)."

I completely agree with Lily here, I've only had two tattoo experiences, one here in the UK and the other in America, with my first tattoo I experienced exactly what Lily is talking about. The whole process felt totally overwhelming to a tat first timer. 


Podcasts.

My favourite podcast this month was an episode of 'Desert Island Dishes' - in-particular the episode with Levi Roots of Reggae, Reggae sauce fame. I had obviously watched Levi on Dragon's Den many moons ago, and there is indeed a bottle of Reggae Reggae sauce in my pantry however, I was really inspired by Levi's episode where he talks about his work with Princes' Trust, the close relationship he had with his Grandmother in Jamaica, before moving to the UK age 11 and how his humble jerk sauce made in his kitchen was snapped up on scale by a major supermarket.

I've also been catching up on the 'Re-issued' Desert Island Discs, as the programme/ Kirsty is taking a break at the moment, some iconic back episodes have been republished. I listed to Steven Hawking's 1992 episode with Sue Lawley on a whim and I was mesmerised by Steven's eloquence and sense of humour, not to mention his penchant for classical music. 

I also, more recently listened to Annie Lennox's, 2008 episode, what a soothing voice Annie has! A delight to listen to, Annie is someone who really appreciates the composition of music. I loved the way she identifies with particular music of a certain time or era because of the messages and mood it gives out. I share this same sentiment with music from the 1980s incidentally. Annie also introduce me to The Blue Nile, a Scottish folk-ambient band, rather ironically famed for their inaccessibility and infrequency of recordings. 

Other podcasts to listen to...

Lily Pebbles on The Emma Guns Show discussing Friendship, entrepreneurship and honesty


Watching.

It's certainly felt like royal family mania at the moment and amongst babies and that Camilla documentary I LOVED the Queen's Green Planet with David Attenborough where Queenie and Sir David took a stroll around Buckingham Palace gardens looking at the different plants and trees planted there. I don't think I've ever seen the Queen as animated, she came across really human and far less stuffy than I imagined.


BEAUTY FAVOURITES.


Body.

I'm back on the fake tan wagon, well on a part-time basis I guess. When we were treated to the beautifully sunny weather the week before last, I decided to whip out the gradual tanning moisturisers in order to not look quite so pasty. My current favourite is the Palmers Cocoa Butter Natural Bronze Tan Lotion. It doesn't streak, smells divine and offers a really nice colour payoff.
Sticking with the self-tanning theme, I also bought a bottle of Hi Glow shimmer oil which is a tanning range by Rochelle Humes and stocked in Superdrug. Simply give the bottle a vigorous shake and the shimmery oil formula applies to the skin beautifully. The shimmer payoff is very, very subtle and in my opinion, could do with being amped up a little bit but the moisturising oil is lovely for patting onto your collarbone, arms or cheeks when the sun is shining.

Fragrance.

As I mentioned earlier on, I had the great privilege of interviewing Mary Greenwell which inspired me to seek out her fragrance range, sadly now discontinued. From Mary's line, I chose 'Plum' - her first fragrance featuring notes of white floral (my favourites) tuberose, fruit to name but a few. This is a very elegant, grown-up scent which I can totally imagine Mary wearing. You can tell that this perfume was made for the premium market as the bottle, particularly the lid is extremely weighty. I really want to try Mary's Fire next.

Makeup / Skincare.

I have a secret place that I like to go to find discounted makeup and whilst a lady never tells, I can say that this shop has the best collection of Cover Girl cosmetics (Maybelline here the UK) I've recently been coveting the Lash Effect mascara, the thin, plastic wand helps to really dig into those lash roots and help lengthen and curl my lashes. I've been teaming a basic makeup look comprising of just one swipe of mascara with my favourite lip stain/balm of the moment 'Crush' from Glossier.


I've waxed lyrical about my love for Olay skincare and as the slightly warmer weather sets in I've been using their Complete BB Cream in Fair, the colour blends into the skin, matching the pigment and tone, though I must add this formula is slightly on the warm side. I like how much of a healthy glow it gives me whilst evening out my skintone. It's perfect for everyday use when you don't want to wear a full coverage base.



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* Post contains gifted items from Ruflixoo
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27 April 2018

NYX 'SWEET CHEEKS' BLUSH PALETTE // REVIEW + SWATCHES


I was pretty late to the game with blush, when I first started dabbling with makeup age 12/13, it was all about the eyes and maybe a touch of bronzer. It's only in recent years that i've started to experiment more with blush and thanks to Charlotte Tilbury's 'swish and pop' technique, actually understand how to use it. Lol.

I could buy Bourjois Little Pot Rouges all day long, just for the aesthetic of them, however, I find the formula a little disappointing and after a while, the colour payoff isn't as great as when you first start using it. It is because of this, that I wanted to experiment with more shades of blush and I figured a palette would be the best way to do that without wasting too much money.


Step forwards the NYX 'Sweet Cheeks' palette - Ah, just looking at this satisfying array of colours delights me. At around the £17 mark, it isn't the cheapest palette around, but in my eyes, it's well worth the dollar because not only is the formulation on point, but the shade range is diverse also. Whats more, some of the blush shades can be doubled up as highlighters. The palette contains 8 blushes with the top 3 shades being shimmery and the other 6 being matte.

The only shades that don't work for my skin tone are the two Barbie bubblegum pink shades, I'm too pale for those and they do look a little chalky on my face. My favourite shades are the ones that are more orange in tone. If you aren't afraid to experiment with colour, this blush palette is definitely one to try.





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24 April 2018

W7 MAKEUP HAUL SWATCH & REVIEW // DELICIOUS PALETTE & OTHER MAKEUP DUPES


When it comes to creating affordable budget makeup and dupes of premium makeup products, w7 cosmetics have it down. w7 are famed for creating 'in the style of' products based on bestsellers from the likes of MAC, Ben Nye, Benefit, Anastacia Beverley Hills, Urban Decay and many more. Now, i'm not under any illusions, I know that there is a fine line between inspired dupes and complete rip offs however, w7 have made the 'makeup of now' accessible to everyone. And whilst these days I am lucky enough to be in a position whereby I can afford to buy high-end makeup and beauty, I still absolutely love drugstore and budget makeup. 

So why a sudden penchant for w7 makeup? Well, I was inspired to give a selection of w7 products a whirl after another late night binge of 'makeup declutter' videos of which I am wholly obsessed with currently. By the time I got to video 109, it was apparent that the w7 cosmetics brand popped up time and time again as the brand to go to if you were looking for affordable high-end dupes.



w7 'Delicious Palette' - Anastasia Beverley Hills 'Modern Renaissance Palette' Dupe 
Like the look of the Anastasia Beverley Hills 'Modern Renaissance' palette but can't justify the price tag? w7 offer a dupe that is so unapologetically a dupe. For an as-near-as-dammit palette, I recommend trying the w7 Delicious palette. I must however start by caveating the fact that I've only ever swatched the iconic Anastasia Beverley Hills 'Modern Renaissance Palette' therefore it wouldn't be fair to write a full comparison on how they pit against each other, though I do have it on good authority that the w7 'Delicious' palette is a pretty good MR dupe. 

The Delicious palette is made from snap-shut cardboard packaging and comes with a double ended brush which is perfect for pressing and blending colour on the lids thanks to a duo comprising of one dense, flat brush and one fluffy brush. And whilst the shade range and pan formation of these two palettes are very, very similar, one thing that certainly sets these two palettes apart is the cost. The Delicious palette retails at £9.95 making it an ideal budget beauty option if you don't want to shell out the eye-watering £43 for the MR palette.


I've been road testing the Delicious palette for around 3/4 weeks now and I have to say that I am thoroughly impressed with how pigmented these colours are. My favourite shades are by far and away the two orange tones which in the MR palette are named: 'Red Ocre' and 'Realgar.' I also recommend not shying away from the deep red toned shades which are super easy to work with and again, pigmented so beautifully. If neutrals are however more your bag, the neutral shades including taupe browns, creams and biscuit tones are really wearable.

So what about formulation? Well, despite having talc as a lead ingredient as most budget cosmetics do, I didn't find these shadows to be at all overly powdery, unlike the MR palette of which unnecessary fall out is notorious. So even if you have zero interest in dupe hunting, if you're looking for an affordable warm toned palette with plenty of workable berry and neutral shades, this palette is definitely one to try.
w7 'Hollywood Bronze + Glow' Palette - Charlotte Tilbury 'Filmstar Bronze + Glow' Dupe


I really wanted to try the w7 Hollywood Bronze + Glow palette out of sheet interest on how it fared against its originator and inspiration, the famed Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze + Glow duo. It's with a heavy heart that I confess that I did once own this high-end contour and highlighter duo, however, it sadly met a brutal end on holiday in Portugal when the compact fell to the ground and shattered to smithereens all over a hard, marble floor. Weep. Instead of repurchasing and parting with yet another £49, I was curious to see how this £5.95 dupe worked out in comparison and of course on its own merit. w7 certainly haven't tried to be subtle with their take on this premium product, hello 1920s-esc fan effect powder press and obnoxiously similar product name. 

Though, in terms of how the w7 dupe stands up, it's pretty good. I'd say that the Charlotte Tilbury formulation is slightly more on the peachy side, but other than that, the w7 contour powder is a decent match, it applies smoothly and provides an even contour/cheek bronze. If you're interested in this duo, it's worth noting that I found the w7 highlighter a little chalky, it is also quite subtle and takes some working with a brush or fingers to see a noticeable result on the cheek.

w7 'Strobe Struck' - Cream Highlighter
If you're looking for a subtle, dewy highlight with a natural finish, then the w7 Strobe Struck Cream highlighter is a brilliant option for only £5.95. It's very similar in tone to the Jouer Cosmetics Crem Highlighter in the shade ' Champagne' . I like to pat the cream formula onto the top of my cheekbones and above the cupid bow for a nice, easy going glow, nothing OTT, nothing major.


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