Monday, 29 October 2012

Dior Skin Nude Tan Nude Glow Sun Powder in 003 Cinnamon

It was an extremely sad day when I read that Dior were discontinuing their Original Tan range, as 002 Honey was my absolute favourite bronzer of all time.  It was an even sadder day when my last Original Tan compact hit pan and split into about a million tiny pieces.  And so, off I went to the Fraser's beauty hall to try and find a replacement.  I had thought about repurchasing NARS Laguna, but it never really wowed me as it seemed to others, and although intrigued by Chanel's tan de soleil, I know that I always end up hating cream products. I took one look at the Guerlain Terracotta bronzers and ran in the other direction (I know so many people swear by these but they looked so dark, and personally the name terracotta frightens me, I don't want my face to look like a plant pot).  I finally returned to the Dior counter and asked what the Original Tan range had been replaced with and was presented with one of the most beautiful compacts I have ever seen.

The compact is sleek, sophisticated and extremely well made, although keeping it fingerprint free is a headache! The powders come in a range of shades and after swatching them side by side I felt that 003 Cinnamon was perfect for me (I love the shade name cinnamon!).  It's quite a warm shade but, when applied, despite looking dark in the pan, does not apply orange or muddy.  The powder manages to give a beautiful sunkissed look whilst looking quite sheer and natural.  

As you can see above, the bronzer has tiny light reflecting particles however these don't translate to a shimmer on the face.  Instead, they give a similar 'halo' effect to that of my Chanel Translucent powder.  It leaves a beautiful, polished effect on the skin.  

The compact also comes with a mini kabuki brush which I was actually pleasantly surprised by.  Although I prefer a large brush for bronzing, this kabuki is very soft and quite dense, perfect for on the go touch ups! 

I can't believe how quickly I have forgotten about Honey Tan after finding this Sun Powder.  Although it is more expensive (£34), the packaging is much more luxurious and you get the additional kabuki brush.  I also prefer the powder to the original, it gives a much more natural look whilst adding a beautiful radiance to the skin. I was having a quick look at reviews of these powders online and the fact that they have an average rating of 5/5 on the Sephora website speaks volumes. My love affair with Dior continues to develop!

What are your bronzer recommendations? And have you tried any Dior products? What are your favourites?

Love Nicola

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Ardell Demi Wispies False Lashes

Out of all of the false lashes I have tried, from high to low end, Ardell Demi Wispies are my favourite.  So much so I can't believe I haven't posted about them sooner!  

I like false lashes to look natural (unlike this Katy Perry pair I blogged about here) but be long and flared enough to add definition to my eyes.  The Ardell Demi Wispies give a fluttery and feminine effect and are quite long that flare out at the outer edge.  They are so lightweight that I barely feel them after a few seconds of wear and are ridiculously easy to apply - I don't even need to trim them, they fit perfectly on my eye.  

The lashes do come with glue which I have used a couple of times. While the glue lasted the whole night, it comes in disposable packaging meaning if you want to reuse the lashes you would need to buy a tube of glue (I recommend doing this anyway, Duo is my favourite).  Because of the plastic packaging, the lashes are easy to store and reuse, however if you're planning on doing this, I would try and limit the amount of mascara used as the band does not stick as well on the second or third use.  Here's an Instagram photo of the lashes on.

What are your favourite false lashes?

Love Nic

P.S Thanks to Ellie for making the Social Buttons in my sidebar on her design blog.  You've made my life a lot easier with your tutorials lady! x

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Favourite Cult Beauty Products

Hello :)

Like me, you probably spend a lot of time reading blogs, beauty websites and watching You Tube videos.  In doing so, I've seen a lot of cult beauty products being recommended again and again.  I wanted to share some of my favourites that I feel deserve all of the exposure they get.

Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre

I love Chanel's translucent powder.  It's extremely finely milled and while it doesn't add to the coverage of my foundation, it does add a beautiful 'halo' effect to the skin.  Granted, I don't use this everyday, I need something a little more mattifying to last a full day in work. However, it is perfect for nights out as it adds a soft luminosity to the skin that translates beautifully in photography. It smells lovely, and feels extremely silky on the skin. If I didn't have oily skin, I would definitely use this everyday, however reserving it for special occasions does make the powder feel more luxurious.

Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation Primer

Laura Mercier's foundation primer is unlike any other primer I've used.  It's quite a thin, moisturising formula that, when first applied, feels like it isn't doing a lot. To be honest, I was a little underwhelmed.  However it creates a smooth base and my foundation lasts all day without the need to touch up during the day.  For me, this is unheard of! I have the oil free formula which is perfect for my skin, but there are various other versions including a radiance primer which looks beautiful from photographs I have seen!

Bobbi Brown Corrector

The Bobbi Brown Corrector in Bisque has quickly become one of my most loved products.  Using this on my under eye circles immediately makes me look more awake and well rested.  Bisque is a pink toned corrector and is an extremely creamy formula. I always apply an eye cream about 10/15 minutes before application and place the most product in my inner corner and darkest area before blending out.  You can see before and after photographs here

Shu Uemura Eye Lash Curler

The Shu Uemura Lash Curler must be one of the most hyped up products in the beauty world and rightly so.  The design of the curler means that even the smallest of lashes are caught in the guard , and creates the most amazing curl without crimping the lashes.  To fully get the best out of your mascara, you need an eye lash curler, and the Shu Uemura curler is the best I've ever tried.  Read my full review here

Leighton Denny Nail File

Nail files freak me out a little bit, I cringe a little bit whenever I'm filing my nails, and it's worse when someone's doing it for me.  However, because the Leighton Denny file is made of crystal it doesn't drag across the nail and, as described on their website, 'turns nails to dust'.  While this statement makes me shudder a little bit, it does mean that filing is much quicker and also leaves the surface edge of my nails much smoother as opposed to using a traditional nail file.  If you are a little squeamish when filing your nails, this would be perfect for you!

Dior Lip Liner Pencil 513 Linen

For being a cult Dior product, I haven't read very many blogposts about Linen. I was reading an article recently about this pencil (Yep, a whole article!) and it was originally discontinued by Dior in the 90's, causing uproar and panic buying which eventually lead to Dior re-releasing the pencil.  To look at, Linen looks a little intimidating...very dark and very brown.  However, on the lips it translates to a very natural, nude colour that works with a surprising number of lip colours.  It also looks beautiful on it's own, paired with gloss. Linen even makes my thin, non existent lips look BIG. It is an extremely smooth and blendable colour that glides onto the lips. Dior's lip liners are double ended with a lip brush at the other end and also come with a Dior Sharpener.  Next time you're at a counter, ask to see Linen; for a product that looks quite unremarkable, it's very special!

Love Nicola

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Touches of Gold

Hello :)

I've said it before, I'm not particularly fashion minded - keep me in a black dress and I'm happy.  However, I do love accessories, and wanted to share a few things I've recently bought. 

I bought this necklace from New Look and I absolutely love it! I really like the tarnished colour of the gold, I think this makes it look a little more expensive than it was.  It's deceptively light, when I first picked it up I expected it to be quite heavy but it's easy to wear and doesn't drag around my neck.  I love that it adds a bit of edge to a plain outfit.  Best of all it was only £7.99! You can see it online here.

I've been lusting after a studded headband after seeing this black Valentino one on Net-A-Porter (even on sale I can't justify the money on a headband).  I was so excited when I found this Accessorize headband, the studs are a little more wearable than others I've seen (I had toyed with the idea of buying this topshop one but it's just too big!) I would of preferred it in black but the 'leather' is very soft and the teeth grip my hair without giving me a headache.  Every time I've worn it I've got lots of compliments.  I can't find it online but think it was about £5!

Lastly, I am in love with these metal toe capped flats from River Island.  However they're so dangerous to walk in - I keep tripping!

Love Nicola

Monday, 8 October 2012

Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel

Hello :)

I have wanted to try the Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel for such a long time, so jumped at the chance when Pure Spa offered to send me a sample of the mask to try.  Pure Spa offer a range of beauty and spa treatments with locations in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen (I'm thinking about trying one of the rasul treatments!)

The word 'peel' always scared me a little - I had visions of red, sore peeling skin.  However, this mask gently uses papaya and pineapple enzymes to slough away dead skin cells and has a brightening effect; while milk protein, vitamin E and marine algae all help to moisturise and replenish the skin.  I would definitely describe this as more of a mask than a peel.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the formula - what I didn't expect was a thick, lightly scented cream. I had imagined more of a gel formula or a grainy texture. I applied this onto my face and waited for about 15 minutes before removing with lukewarm water and a cotton pad.  Whilst on my face, it didn't tighten or harden, and by the time the 15 minutes was up you could barely tell I had applied a mask, however I did get a pleasant cooling sensation the longer the cream was applied.

Once I had removed the mask, my skin was a little pink, however it felt unbelievably smooth and it did look much brighter.  I have a feeling that using this weekly would have a marked effect on my skin tone.  So much so I've bought a full size tube of it!  I'm desperate for something that will even out my skin tone and help with acne scarring, fingers crossed this helps!  I will definitely keep you all updated and write a follow up post.

Pure Spa now have Elemis Christmas gift sets for sale on their website - the Majestic Beauty Collection contains this peel, and Pure Spa offer free delivery! Also if you're in Scotland, you should have a look at their revival package that includes an Infra Red Sauna Detox, a Swedish Massage, an Elemis Booster Facial and Pro-Collagen Eye Treatment all for £55 in the month of October or valid for the next three months if bought as a gift voucher! Sounds exactly what I need to prepare for the oncoming winter!

What Elemis products do you recommend?

Love Nicola