Friday, 15 July 2011

It all ends...

Hey dolls :)

Last night, I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two. I won't say anything about the film as I know a lot of people haven't seen it yet, other than it's amazing, wear waterproof mascara and take some tissues.

I know it's often difficult for non potter fans to understand why people get so involved in the books and it's difficult to explain...I was 9 when Harry Potter was first published and have grown up with these characters - they've become such an influential part of my childhood. I still remember the first time I ever read the philosopher's stone and completely fell in love with the magical world of Hogwarts.

After a while, it's easy to feel like a part of the books, the characters become like old friends. I'm lucky enough to have found two amazing best friends who feel exactly the same way as I do (hi lynsey and clare) and have lost count of the number of hours we have spent discussing ridiculously tiny details of the books. It's always amazing when you find another person who 'gets' your love for harry. As Lynsey Clare and I have discussed (ha), we all questioned at some point WHY HAVEN'T OUR HOGWARTS LETTERS CAME??

And while the closest we'll ever get to Hogwarts is Harry Potter World, there are always the books to escape into. Fourteen years on, I still feel the same excitment each time I read the opening sentence.

"Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much."

'The stories we love best do live in us forever so whether you come back by page or the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.'

In that way, don't, like I did initially, see this last film as a goodbye, but instead as an acknowledgment of how important these characters and stories are...gryffindor till I die (HA)


Thursday, 7 July 2011

Philosophy Pure Grace

Hey Dolls :)

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm off work at the moment with a hideous virus which has meant various trips to Boots have been made for lots of tissues and beachams. However, I was overcome with excitement (overreaction) when I realised that Boots have started to stocking lots of lovely new brands. I was most excited to see both a Stila and Philosophy stand. I celebrated with a little purchase...

I have a thing about smells...I'm always conscious of wanting to smell 'clean'. Philosophy say pure grace is designed to make you feel like you've just stepped out the shower, which is amazing for me as I normally go for two showers a day! It smells clean, fresh and soapy without being too overwhelming.

The bottle is simple just like the fragrance, which is exactly what I love about it. It's perfect for workdays as it isn't cloying or overpowering. It's such a unique scent, I've honestly never smelled anything like it! Pure grace is an eau de toilette, and I've found that for it to be long lasting you do need to layer it a little. It costs £32 for 60ml and you can get it from boots (advantage points- yay!) and John Lewis.

What Philosophy products do you recommend?

Lots of Love

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

My Favourite Three...YSL

Hey Dolls :)

I was requested to do my favourite three YSL items and yet again, I've cheated!

Creme De Blush in 5 Fuschia Temptation

I normally hate cream to powder blushers, preferring instead the formulation of the illamasqua cream products that stay dewy on the cheek. However, the formula of YSL cream blushers have absolutely blown me away. On first touch, they are ridiculously creamy but not greasy - when blended, the blush turns into a satiny powder. In the pot, fuchsia temptation looks rather scary - however it blends out into the most beautiful pink flush (I've included swatches of everything at the bottom). It lasts the full day without needing to be touched up and you literally need a smidgen for both cheeks. They are pricey at £28 but they last such a long time because of how little you use!

Faux Cils

I still love faux cils though it has its flaws. I absolutely love how it makes my lashes look - extremely black, thick and voluminous. However, it really does dry up far too quickly for the amount of money it costs to repurchase it every couple of months. Instead, I prefer keeping it as a treat purchase! You can read my full review here.

Lip Products

Yeah I cheated...I picked three lipsticks from my favourite YSL formulations. At the top is rouge pur 28 tyrian purple which is a bright fuchsia with a subtle silver that runs through - you can see me wear it here. Rouge Pur's are really creamy and pigmented and despite being such a vibrant colour don't feather or bleed. However, it isn't as long lasting in comparison to many other brights I have in my collection, though it does leave a lovely stain (not in a bad way) on the lips.

Next is rouge volupte 19 Frivolous Pink - which is quite a bright baby pink. Rouge Voluptes are probably the creamiest lipsticks I have ever tried - they are so opaque and glossy on the lips. However, the staying power is lower than the rouge purs - I try and see this a positive, at least I get to whip the beautiful lipstick out my bag more often!

Lastly is a recent lip combination I have fallen in love with - Rouge Pur Couture in number 11 rose carnation and a golden gloss in 42 Candy Pink. Rose Carnation is a browny pink that has a wonderfully glossy finish. The rouge pur coutures are not as creamy as the rouge pur and voluptes but they feel just as moisturising and are a little more longer wearing. Candy Pink is a beautiful pink gloss with a gold sparkle - it looks equally as pretty on its own or over rose carnation. It is a little sticky but less so than MAC dazzleglasses for instance but is just as long lasting.

I've included swatches below - sorry I don't have any full face pictures of these in action, I've been off work all week with a hideous virus and my swollen face will do them no justice, however if you wish to see how any of these look on, I'll be more than happy to, when I feel a tad more human!

Rouge pur couture 11, golden gloss 42, 11 and 42 together, rouge pur 128, rouge volupte 19, fuschia temptation swatched then blended.

Lots of Love

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

My Face!

Hey Dolls :)

When it comes to foundation, I prefer to switch between products, depending on my particular skin needs of that day. However, one particular combination seems to very quickly have become a favourite of mine...

Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette

Tiffany recently sent me this as I couldn't find it in the UK and I am so grateful as I love it! In the pallete there are two concealer shades, a colour corrector and a setting powder. Previously, I had always sworn by MAC's studio finish concealer, however when I picked it up again I realised how grainy and cakey it can appear in comparison. The concealers are so creamy and blend seamlessly into the skin - I find that mixing the lighter and darker shades together give the perfect colour for my skin tone. The corrector is ideal to use on any redness and blemishes and the powder has a lovely brightening effect for under the eyes - if you can get your hands on this I really recommend giving it a try!

Chanel Mat Lumiere

Mat lumiere was a bit of an impulse purchase - I was always in two minds about how the finish is described - matte but with a luminosity, particularly as I have oily skin. Often, mattifying foundations can look a little plastic and made up, however the luminous particles in mat lumiere really do create a more natural finish. It gives a good deal of coverage however I have noticed, particularly in this humid heat, that the longevity is no where near other foundations I have tried - by mid afternoon I need to touch up my make up.

One thing I love about mat lumiere is how beautifully it photographs - It looks very natural and 'skin-like' as opposed to a mask. While mat lumiere is not perfect, it is definitely fulfilling my foundation needs of the moment!

Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre

I have finally found a transluscent powder that doesn't break my skin out! This powder is so silky and glides effortlessly onto the skin creating a really soft finish. It never looks powdery or cakey, neither does it cast an ashy tone. Again, it photographs beautifully - this with mat lumiere is definitely my new combination for wearing on a night out! While it is expensive for powder, the tub is huge and you use a minimal amount of product with each application - I can see this lasting me a long time!



As you can see, this combination evens out my complexion and covers any redness while still looking natural!

Lots of Love

Sunday, 3 July 2011


Hey Dolls :)

I love talking about make up...most people I know think it's a little silly that I can spend hours talking about 4692378247 different colours of lipstick. But that's what makes blogging so amazing, there are actually other people out there that I can share this with! Nothing makes me more excited than when I find an amazing new blog to read, however I always feel that I must be missing some amazing blogs because of the sheer amount that are out there.

I was proved correct today when I joined beautylish. It's amazing! You make a beautylish profile, here's a snippet of mine here...

and from there, you are able to add/read reviews of products, follow other people's profiles to keep up to date with their reviews and activity and interact on forums. I've had so much fun reading other people's reviews and having a good nosy and chat on the forums.

From the forums I have already found some AMAZING blogs that I would of never of found if hadn't been for beautylish...such as prettymaking and Jessica Beautician , both of whom you should definitely go and visit - their blogs are so lovely, informative and have brilliant photos.

I'm definitely going to spend the rest of the evening having a flick through all of the blog links posted - here's a link to one of the forum strands where you can post your latest blog post, which is not only a brilliant way to promote your own blog but, as I've done, to discover some brilliant new ones!

Also, the advice, tricks and tips strand is amazing! There's all sorts of discussions going on there from whether a primer really makes a difference to your make up to whether you should apply your concealer or foundation first!

If you have a beautylish profile, let me know so I can follow you!

Lots of Love

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Brand Love: Origins

Hey Dolls :)

Origins was always a brand that I was never particularly intrigued by, I'm not really sure why. Rather fickly, it is probably because the packaging or counter never really called out to me, it always seemed a little...dull - terrible I know. However, after reading several rave reviews I went in to see if I could get a sample of one of their eye creams, GinZing. However after talking to the SA and undergoing a consultation, I walked out with a new skin care regime.

Firstly, the experience at the origins counter is one of the best I have ever had. The staff take a real interest in any skin care concerns you have and I felt they actually listened to what I said, and selected products that suit my skin care needs. When you go to the counter, the SA completes a customer record card, recording everything you speak about in the consultation. Following the consultation, you are offered a complimentary facial in a couple of weeks to discuss how your regime is going (which I have taken advantage of and was amazing - I honestly can't believe it was free!). Before buying any products, the SA always demonstrates how to use them and allows you to feel the products in action on the back of your hand.

I really felt that Origins as a brand try to offer a more personal and tailored service, by building a proper personalised relationship with their customers, predominantly through the customer records system which means you mainly deal with the same member of staff each time you visit the counter. On my first visit, I commented that I am very wary of trying new products - instead of trying to push me to buy, the SA gave me generous samples of all the products we had spoken about - amazing! If you look down through the last couple of posts, I have definitely seen an amazing improvement to my skin, overall my skin tone is more even and brighter and my skin definitely produces less oil throughout the day.

1. Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash

I personally would never of considered using a face wash in place of a cleanser, as I never feel that a face wash does anything beneficial to my skin. However, my skin has never felt cleaner and more refreshed since using checks and balances.

I have combination skin, predominantly oily but I do get small dry patches, meaning skin care can be a bit of a nightmare. Checks and Balances is designed for combination skin - however if you're skin is on the drier side I would be a little wary of using this, I could see it being quite drying on already dry skin. However, for a more oily combination this is amazing! My skin feels mattified without feeling tightened plus any dry patches have disappeared.

Scent wise - it's a herbal-y mint, which is pleasant enough, though nothing particularly exciting. To use, I squeeze the tiniest amount into the palm of my hand, lather with lukewarm water and massage into my face before washing off. Checks and balances lathers up so well, it definitely is true to it's name - foamy! I do use a separate eye make up remover as it can sting a little around the eye area. For £16.00 you get 150ml which I think is reasonable considering the amount of product you use for each cleanse. I can't recommend this enough!

2. Balanced Diet Lightweight Moisture Lotion

Balanced diet is another product that is designed for combination skin. I really dislike using heavy moisturisers, particularly on my face as my skin is so oily, however I do still think moisturising is important. For me, balanced diet is perfect; as it's a lotion it is really light on the skin and sinks in really quickly without leaving any residue.

It contains wheat and soy protein that help moisturise the skin, but also konjac powder that helps to soak up any excess oil. My skin has never felt so smooth since using Balanced Diet. Until now, I had still being using La Roche Posay's Effaclar M which, as a mattifying moisturiser, is amazing but I always felt that my skin could feel softer and more moisturised. With Balanced Diet the balance between mattifying and moisturising properties is perfect. For £21 you get 50 ml of product.

3. A Perfect World for eyes

As I mentioned previously, I had originally visited the counter to ask about GinZing, however trying A Perfect World I absolutely had to buy it. I fully believe that if you look after your skin now, it will look after you as you get older, and a good eye cream is key to this. A perfect world is the smoothest, silkiest eye treatment I have ever tried, it is more like a gel/serum than a cream - which is a big change to Kiehl's creamy eye treatment which I had been using previously. My eye area seems much brighter and refreshed and again you need the tiniest amount. It is quite expensive at £27.00 however, in comparison to the kiehl's eye cream, you get 1 ml more for the same price and you use less product so for me, a perfect world is...perfect!

4. Brighter by Nature Brightening Peel

Brighter by Nature is a completely new concept to me - an exfoliater that is a pad. Initially, I was a little wary as the pads smell a little more of alcohol compared to the other products - however I honestly think these pads have done a lot of work to how bright my skin looks. They use fruit acids to peel away dead skin which, when used routinely has really evened out and brightened my skin tone.

I use a Brighter by Nature pad twice a week, sweeping the pad over my entire face before moisturising. The pads do feel quite abrasive on the skin so use them gently, and you are left with a slight tingling sensation. Again, these seem quite pricy at £29.00 however, I read that when you work it out, using two pads a week, one pot of pads last 5 months - which works out to £5.80 a month!

I hope you can see how much I love these products and the brand as a whole. All of Origins products are free from Parabans, mineral oil, petrolatum, paraffin, animal ingredients and are 100% natural. They are tested on voluntary panels and as a company, are dedicated to recycling and using renewable energy - even the boxes are made from 80% recycled material!

If you're interested in any of the Origins products, I can't recommend visiting a counter more, the staff are honestly the nicest and most helpful I have ever dealt with. I really do get so excited by skincare!

Lots of Love