Sunday, 22 January 2012

Some Recent (Re)Discoveries

Hey Dolls,

Over the last couple of weeks I have bought some amazing new beauty products that I wanted to share with you all.  Some of the products featured below are repurchases and others I have been using for the first time.  It always says a lot to me when I repurchase products as I am so fickle/restless.

Foxy Locks Extensions

My natural hair never grows past just below my shoulders and for years I have longed for long, voluminous love affair with the Kardashian's hair and make up hasn't helped this at all.  I still remember how excited I was when I purchased my first set of extensions (clip inz) and from then on I have tried several different sets of extensions.  By far, Foxy Locks are the best I have ever tried.  This is my second set of foxy locks extensions - they are so thick, soft and shiny.

Look at how shiny they are in natural light - there's no flash been used here at all!  I wear the colour 1b which is closest to black without being jet black and match my hair perfectly.  The extensions are 20" but I always trim mine down probably to about 16".  The clips used on foxy locks extensions are amazing.

They are quite stiff meaning they grip my natural hair really well - there's no chance of these losing grip throughout the day.  I'm thinking about doing a separate post about how I clip in, style and care for my extensions, let me know if this is of any interest!

Lush Ocean Salt

I'm suffering from horrid winter skin at the moment - I feel it looks really dry and dull.  There was only one product I knew that could rescue my skin - Lush's Ocean Salt.  Ocean Salt is a face scrub that combines vodka, lime, coconut, grape fruit and sea salt (coarse and fine) into an amazingly refreshing but quite abrasive scrub.

Although Ocean Salt is extremely exfoliating it is also quite creamy and the oils and coconut butter leave my face feeling so smooth and moisturised, plus it smells like a margarita!  I'm coming to the end of a 'fake tan scrub week' and ocean salt has been brilliant at getting rid of  any fake tan on my face and neck. If you're skin's feeling a little blue this winter, I can't recommend Ocean Salt enough!

L'Oreal Colour Infallible in Bronze Divine

I was so excited with I first read about L'Oreal's Colour Infallible eye shadows. Likened to a budget version of Armani's Eyes to Kill Intense shadows that I could buy for under £10 (in fact I bought this and a few others for £3.99) - amazing!  The shadow has an unusual texture, like a tightly pressed pigment that to the touch feels really velvety, and could easily be mistaken as a cream. 

Bronze Divine is quite an unusual colour as it seems to change in the light - at times it can look like a blackened gold and at others an olive gold.  This is intensified by layering them over a coloured base.  I've used Bronze Divine over a black base and a brown (Urban Decay Whiskey) which you can see at the bottom of this post.  Over a black, the gold is particularly accentuated however over a brown bronze divine is a more wearable daytime shade.

Chanel Glossimer Myriade

I posted about this gloss last week but I wanted to show you just how pretty it is on its own.  Myriade is a gorgeous red/pink that has a beautiful multitoned glitter running throughout.

I love glosses that not only add a beautiful sheen to the lips but are pigmented enough to wear on their own.  I wore this every day to work last week and it added just enough colour to cheer me up through my working day, but wasn't too overwhelming for the office!

M.A.C Gingerly

I've had Gingerly since September last year and it's only been in the last couple of weeks that I've realised what an amazing blush it is.  It's such a natural but pretty colour that adds depth and dimension to the face.  It's a matte peachy/tan shade and looks a little darker in the pan that on the cheek.  It takes a lot for me to step away from pink cheeks but Gingerly has quickly become one of my most reached for blushes - I love it!

Lots of Love

Friday, 20 January 2012


Hey Dolls,

In May, Nick and I moved from our first flat together into our 'proper' home and at the time I promised to share some photos.  Eight months later and I'm finally getting around to it.  I've taken some photos (using my Iphone because I'm lazy) of some of my favourite bits and pieces around our home.  I love looking at photos of other people's houses, I'm so nosy!

I love that although our flat is now much more grown up than our first, but there is still little bits of Disney sprinkled in here and there...we wouldn't want it any other way!

Hope you're all well!

Friday, 13 January 2012

Chanel Rouge Allure in Lover

Hey Dolls,

I'm worried I sound like a broken record when I say this, but Chanel's Rouge Allure lipsticks are my absolute favourite I have tried.  They are so smooth, pigmented and have such a beautiful sheen meaning they feel really moisturising to wear.  A new favourite of mine is 09 Lover and to match Glossimer 106 Myriade. 

Lover is absolutely beautiful - in the tube it looks quite an intimidating dark red, however on the lips, it's a little sheerer and on me shows up as more of a raspberry (a little like Revlon's Cherries in the Snow).  I think if reds intimidate you, Lover would be perfect.  As a lipstick it's extremely wearable as you can dab it on which gives it the appearance of a stain. 

I really love Chanel's Glossimers, they are so glossy without being heavy or sticky and last quite a long time on the lips.  Myriade is a red/pink gloss with quite prominent multitoned glitter that looks beautiful paired with Lover.  Why are all my favourite Glossimer's always limited editions?

I look like such a moody cow! What are your favourite red lipsticks?

Love Nicola

Monday, 9 January 2012

Beauty Favourites of 2011 - Part Two

Hey Dolls,

Here is the second half of my 2011 beauty favourites, in which I focus on skincare, body care and haircare.

Origins is by far my favourite skincare brand - you can read my original rave post here. In the morning, I still love checks and balances as it leaves my skin feeling really awake and refreshed. Alongside this, I use a newer product not originally featured in that post - the Perfect World White Tea Skin Guardian. Honestly, this serum is amazing - it contains white tea, mimosa, orange and bergamot which leaves the serum smelling beautiful. It leaves my skin so soft and plumped up, helping my base make up apply much more smoothly. I also team this with my beloved Bobbi Brown hydrating eye cream which you can read a full review of here.

At night, to remove my make up I use Shu Uemura's Balancing Cleansing Oil. I absolutely love this, and while it may be pricey, this bottle has lasted me since April which I think is amazing! You literally need the tiniest amount to remove a whole face of make up - definitely try and get a hold of a sample if you can! I then use another new favourite Origins product - the Perfect World Deep Cleanser which is much gentler and more moisturising than Checks and Balances, making it perfect for night time. My routine is completed by the Perfect World eye cream and the Balanced Diet lotion which I blogged about above.

I haven't actually blogged about many of my body care favourites this year so I'll give you a quick run down of each. The Sanctuary's body scrub buffs skin with quite fine, natural pumice which, while being exfoliating, isn't overly abrasive. It smells beautiful, containing patchouli and orange oil. To me, this scrub feels much more luxurious and expensive than it is, and has been particularly effective this winter at keeping my false tan in tip top condition!

The St. Tropez bronzing mousse is my favourite tan of all time and I've tried a ridiculous amount. What I love the most is the speed at which it sinks into the skin, avoiding any awkward tan drying poses. There is a colour guide meaning it's easy to see any streaks, and I really don't find much of a scent after showering the guide colour off.

I feel a little hypocritical including The Body Shop's Coconut body butter into my favourites as midway through the year I proclaimed my hatred for body butters. However, the body shop butters, though being really thick, sink in much easier than others I have tried and don't sit on the skin. Also, I'm a sucker for anything coconut scented. Another staple when fake tanning (which for me is all year round!).

Honey I Washed the kids - my absolute favourite - Read why here.

Some may be surprised that there isn't a shampoo in my annual favourites, but honestly I tend to buy what is on offer (cheapskate!). You can read my full review of Bumble and Bumble's Creme De Coco Masque and Thickening Hairspray here. I never really see much written about Lush's American Cream but it is one of my favourite conditioners - I tend to mix it with a tiny bit of hair mask to make it really moisturising. Honestly, I use it for the smell, throughout the day I (and others around me) get whiffs of vanilla -amazing!! I have reviewed Argan Secret here. It has definitely been my most used hair serum of the month (and yet another vanilla scented product).

Finally, my best haircare discovery of the whole year (and cheapest) is Velcro rollers. I cannot believe the amount of volume Velcro rollers can give my hair. They are also perfect for adding shape to hair styles that are beginning to grow out and have also reduced the amount of backcombing and volumising products I use in my hair. Here is a link to a post where I demonstrated how I achieve volume in my hair, however, it has been requested quite a lot I do an updated hair care post - I'll get on it!!

As always, thanks for reading and commenting dolls, I've really enjoyed catching up with everyone and their blogs! Let me know any favourites of yours that you think I might like!

Lots of Love

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Beauty Favourites of 2011 - Part One

Hey Dolls,

In 2011 I stopped doing monthly favourites posts, and so, I decided to write a couple of posts rounding up the products that I particularly loved throughout the year. I've split the beauty products into two posts and I am thinking about doing a seperate post of non beauty favourites - jewelry, clothes, games, films etc.  I have tried to link below to any posts where products mentioned have been featured.

The brand I fell in love with last year was Chanel. 

Prior to 2011, I had never tried any Chanel products other than perfume, but, with my first purchase Mat Lumiere, I was hooked.  Above are a selection of my favourite products I have tried so far.  As I mentioned, I have fallen in love with Mat Lumiere, and I really am so sad that it's being discontinued (I've stocked up). You can read my full review of Mat Lumiere and the Poudre Universelle Libre here

Dior Bronze Original Tan in 002 honey may be my favourite product I have discovered in 2011.  In every photo I have taken since June I have wore this bronzer, I absolutely love it.  It does have a slight shimmer which you can see in the bottom right hand corner, but this doesn't translate onto the skin meaning I can use it all over my face.  Here is how I wore my make up to my graduation ball, pairing honey with Amber Diamond - such a beautiful combination. 

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush Doll Face, Accessorize merged blush in Starlet, YSL Creme de Blush Fuchsia Temptation

My favourite highlighters included M.A.C's Pearl, Benefit Moon Beam and Dior Amber Diamond.

Urban Decay Naked Pallette, MUFE Aqua Eyes and Smoky Lash, Clinique Gel Liner.

Love Nicola

Thursday, 5 January 2012

From AM to PM

Hey Dolls,

Happy New Year! I hope you've all had a wonderful festive period! 2012 is going to be the year that Magic's in the Make Up makes a proper comeback for me - since graduating I've really struggled to find a good balance between working and blogging. However, I've made a huge list of posts I want to write - I'm really excited!

As I'm now working full time, often the only time I'm able to meet up with friends is straight after work, and so, I've had to master the art of taking my day make up into the evening without hauling my whole collection into work with me.  This is how I looked yesterday morning before leaving for work...

On my face I'm wearing Chanel Mat Lumiere (sob, chanel why are you discontinuing this?), Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer, Maybelline's Dream Matte Powder, Dior Original Tan in Honey Tan and Dior Amber Diamond. On my eyes is M.A.C's All That Glitters and a Clinique gel liner and on my lips Chanel's Levres Scintillantes Glossimer in 287. This really is a ten minute face that I can pretty much do in my sleep!

Last night, I met my old flatmate for dinner straight after work and so had to touch up my face ever so glamourously in my work toilets in about ten minutes.  Here's how I looked when I got home (I did touch up my lipstick a little)

All I did was apply M.A.C's smoulder to my water line, a little of Tarte's Amazonian Clay Blush in doll face to my cheeks and lined my lips with Estee Lauder's Double Wear lip pencil in Fuchsia matched with Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in L'Exuberante (still my favourite).  Estee Lauder's lip pencils are amazing for travelling with as it is double ended - at one end there is the pencil and at the other is a lip brush.  I use a travel size M.A.C 138 to apply my blush and the tarte blush is also travel sized, meaning I don't have to cart around lots of make up and brushes.  I'd love to know what your make up must haves are for taking your daytime make up into the evening?

Lots of Love 

P.S Since writing the title of this post I've been listening to old Christina Milian Songs - so good!!