August 27, 2013

bourjois gold is back nail collection

I dislike seeing anything Autumn related before Summer has officially finished just as much as the next person, but I think I can make an exception when it comes to nail polishes. Bourjois have got it spot on once again for this spellbinding collection including five gothic glam shades in total. There will be two base polishes and three topcoats, meaning you can mix and match to create different looks. For the first photo I used a black shade as a base and then the (30)Ghost Lovers polish as a topcoat to create an antique gold, for the second I used (31)Dangerous Wish on it's own and for the last I opted for (33)Enchanting Potion over (31)Dangerous Wish. They all applied to the nails really nicely and were super easy to use, I'd definitely recommend buying a couple once they launch in a couple of months. 


Available from 2nd October.

August 26, 2013

dhc deep cleansing oil

Oil based cleansers are my new best friend, they remove every trace of make up quickly and easily and leave my dry skin feeling nourished. I love how luxurious it feels removing make up with a cleansing oil, it really does just feel as though it's melting away any impurities on the skin. I'm still loving my Ark Double Cleanse system but have figured that the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil works brilliantly too. If I've been in the city all day or I'm wearing more make up than usual the Ark Cleansers are perfect but for the days my skin doesn't need the extra care then I use this instead. It's very light feeling so is suitable for oily skin types and is also very gentle so can be used to remove eye make up too. I love the simple packaging of the DHC Cleansing Oil, the nifty pump ensures just the right amount of product for full a full face application. You apply it onto dry skin and massage in to remove make up and then combine with a splash of water to rinse off, leaving clean and glowing skin. Using oil cleansers have truly made a huge difference to the radiance of my skin and I'm finding that I'm wearing far less foundation than usual as a result. Granted it's on the pricey side, but your skin will love you for it.

August 20, 2013

stargazer 235 chrome nail polish

Just when I think I have every shade of nail polish that one girl could possibly ever want for, another comes along and proves me wrong. It's been a while since I've found a nail colour completely different to anything I already own, but here it is. This Chrome nail polish from Stargazer is a silvery metallic lilac shade that flatters my skin tone perfectly, it applies easily too and gives a thick enough coverage with two coats. I always really like Stargazer products, they stock such unique colours of products and for such a low price everything is really good quality, but dear god they desperately need to revamp their dated looking website. That aside, do check out this lovely nail polish if you like alternative colours. 

August 19, 2013

make it personal with thierry mugler

A couple of days ago I received a lovely little surprise, my very own personalised bottle of Thierry Mugler Alien perfume! I'm already a great fan of the scent and as this bottle is refillable I will now always have my very own special bottle on hand. I've already put up a review of Alien here, so check that out if you want to read a more in-depth review. A name engraving on a perfume bottle may be extravagant but it makes a really lovely idea to give as a gift, especially if you already know the person likes a particular perfume from the Thierry Mugler range.


August 18, 2013

dhc make off sheets

I know that with being a beauty blogger I should always be promoting you to do what is best for your skin, but sometimes tiredness and a want for sleep can get to the best of us and the lazy option is most appealing. I do recommend that you double cleanse your skin as often as possible but on the odd occassion you collapse into your bed it's good to have a product on your bedside table to remove the night's make up with. Bioderma is a brilliant product for this reason, but if you can't find your cotton wool pads then you've had it.

Enter DHC Make Off Sheets. As most of you will probably all have experienced, a lot of make up removal wipes can irritate and dry out the skin and do more harm than good but yet we all like to have a pack lying around for those lazy emergencies. The DHC wipes are more gentle on the skin than any others I have tried, they are made from natural cotton and are soaked in product which makes make up removal super easy. With other make up wipes I have sat for what seemed like forever wiping away at my skin to remove make up but with these the process is much quicker and more pleasant. Afterwards my skin feels refreshed and the wipes leave a very light dewy finish so don't dry out the skin at all and have aloe leaf juice in to nourish even further. There are 50 sheets per pack which is much more than regular packs of wipes, I really like the understated box packaging as it sits sweetly on my bedside table meaning they are ready to use as and when I need them. I don't know about anyone else but the other main thing I hate about regular face wipes is the cheap looking packaging which is where these make a lovely change. They don't have an endless list of ingredients either and include no nasties, so if you are to ever use face wipes, make sure you check these out!

August 17, 2013

ark double cleanse

Recently I've been wanting to get into a better skincare routine and use products that will do my skin a great deal of good, so with that in mind I've been trying out double cleansing for a change. As a trained beauty therapist I was taught a fair amount about skincare and whilst practising facials learnt the importance of double cleansing. Step one is the pre cleanse which removes make up and dirt from the skin, whilst step two removes anything that is left underneath the layers of make up and balances up the skin. I always imagine the pre cleanse as removing a mask layer on my skin and then the second cleanse as actually treating the skin, if that makes sense!

REMOVE PRE SKIN CLEANSE: This stuff is amazing. It's a fairly thick yet non-sticky luxurious oil that you apply to dry skin to remove make up, using your fingertips to work it into the skin, one pump is all that's needed. After you've noticed the make up dissolving you then add some water to create a silky lather, and then rinse off. It melts away make up with such ease that you don't even need to use a muslin cloth or a flannel, for this reason I have to say it's one of the best make up removing cleansers I have ever tried. It's not advised for eye make up removal but I use it for that and have no problems but you may want to use it just for face make up if you have extra sensitive eyes.

CLEANSER: Along with the Pre Skin Cleanser this feels so luxurious and smells just like a product that you'd find in a high end Spa, it makes washing your skin such a pleasant experience. It's a gel face wash that you apply to wet skin and form a lather by massaging it in, straight after you've used the Pre Cleanser. It feels as though it's giving the skin a really deep clean and removing excess oil whilst nourishing the skin too.

After using the two products together my skin felt so silky, smooth and squeaky clean. I can't recommend them enough, plus they are both packed with skin loving ingredients too. They both come in a bundle set at a reduced price, but also come in variants for different age ranges. My skin has been so much brighter and healthier looking for using these in my routine, definitely check them out.

August 15, 2013

bourjois twist up the volume mascara

Today the newest mascara to from Bourjois landed through my door, it's quite a while off from being available to buy in stores yet but I know how you all love an exclusive sneaky peek at products before they've launched. I admit that I'm a bit of a mascara snob and as a rule I favour my Yves Saint Laurent False Lash Effect over anything else, but this genius invention from Bourjois has totally changed my viewpoint. It's designed to be a 'two in one' type of mascara, you apply your first coat using the position 1 setting which lengthens and separates, and then move on to position 2 by twisting the device at the end, which then thickens and volumises the lashes. I'm the kind of girl who likes full on dramatic lashes every single day but this kind of design means you can have a more natural look for the day and also bulk up your lashes for an evening look, I usually have a few different mascaras lying around depending on how I want my lashes to look but would happily swap those in for this multi-use version. It's fair to say that my lashes are looking the thickest and darkest they ever have, and not only that but they are left feeling light and not at all weighed down once the mascara has dried. I've been so impressed by this mascara thus far, if it manages to last well in the tube for a couple of months then I'd certainly recommend it to anyone who favours a volumising mascara. You will have to hold on until October for it to become available, but trust me it will be worth the wait!


August 12, 2013

aesop parsley seed cleansing masque

I've been going a bit crazy for skincare lately, and my latest edition to my routine is the Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque. It's a clay based mask but is different to all others that I've tried in that it feels so lightweight on the skin and doesn't dry it out. I like to use it on my t-zone to balance out any excess oil, or to keep blackheads at bay on the sides of my nose. It does a great job at unclogging pores to reveal a fresher complexion too and is really nice to apply before bedtime due to the lavender aroma. It feels very gentle and a little goes a long way, it's definitely a great product to have in your cupboard for when your skin is feeling out of balance.

August 11, 2013

jo malone wild fig and cassis cologne

Ever spray on a perfume and think 'damn I smell good'? This is exactly what happened when I tried out the Wild Fig and Cassis fragrance by Jo Malone. It's beautifully uplifting with a slight sharpness to cut through the sweetness, the balance is absolutely perfect. Imagine the scent of a freshly picked Fig on a Spring morning bottled up and sold as a perfume. The only criticism I have is that it doesn't last as long on the skin as I'd hoped, meaning you have to reapply throughout the day but all in all I will be buying a new bottle once I run out.

August 10, 2013

the ninth sin of beauty blogging

After my blog post a few days ago 'the eight sins of beauty blogging' it seems a few people have become personally offended by what I wrote so I thought I'd just write a quick post to clear things up. It's a shame to see people have taken it the wrong way after I already wrote on the post to take it with a pinch of salt and that I certainly do not judge people on the way they write their blog. My aim behind writing the post was to give a light-hearted take on beauty blogging and to give people a bit of a laugh, and it's upsetting that as a result of this people have felt personally targeted and insecure enough to indirectly slate me as a person. As a blogger of three and a half years I have always seen a responsibility to not involve myself in bitchiness, in my mind there is never any gain from setting out to be judgemental about another person to hundreds of Twitter followers. However I also believe that being forthright with my opinions can sometimes get confused with bitchiness, I can assure you that really is not the case. If you want a real laugh then go back to the posts of when I first started my blog, I'm pretty sure I'd get the award for all of the eight sins of beauty blogging. Arm swatches, dodgy sponsored posts, bad manicures, the lot. Sue me! But hey, at least I can laugh at myself, unlike a few people it would seem.

collection colour pro intense colour lip lacquers

Collection recently launched a range of Intense Colour Lip Lacquers, which are basically highly pigmented lip glosses. I'm usually not a lipgloss fan due to them all lacking in colour but I've been impressed by these as they add a really nice pop of colour to the lips. They are fairly sticky feeling and are quite a thick formulation, but they do last a long time on the lips. I like the packaging too as it's sleek feeling and doesn't shout 'cheap' and inside is a doe foot applicator. I really like these two shades as one is a full on bright pink and the other is a more toned down nude peach colour, so if you are a fan of lipglosses I'd definitely recommend checking them out. 

August 09, 2013

schwarzkopf cosmic blue

Since dying my hair 'blueberry crush' by Schwarzkopf the colour had faded so this time I decided to go for the shade 'cosmic blue'. I found this much easier to apply than using mousse as with 'blueberry crush' and it didn't stain my skin either or get all over the bathroom tiles. I also noticed that it washed out easier, so I will definitely be using this shade over the other next time. In terms of colour it seems more vibrant too and lifts the hair colour to give a more blue and less black shade, I absolutely love it.

August 07, 2013

the eight sins of beauty blogging

ARM LIPSTICK SWATCHES: So you've written a review on a lipstick but thought we'd all like to see what it looks like on your arm or wrist? This is so 2011, please stick to lipstick swatches on the lips, not halfway up your arm.

FLOWERS, FLOWERS EVERYWHERE: Ok, I like flowers as much as the next person, but I've got to ask why bloggers are introducing blurred bouquets to take over half of an image with a few lipsticks aside of the flower photobomb.

THE BAD MANICURE: Chipped nail polish, bitten down nails or nail polish not cleared off from the edge of the nail making them look like a 3 year old has painted them never make for a good blog post. Ain't nobody got time for that.

FACIAL HAIR: For those who have learnt to do lipstick swatches on the lips but are yet to discover the world of waxing.

STOCK PHOTOS: Unless you blog from a desert island and have no access to a camera there is no excuse for stock photos, they are the most uninspiring and bland kind of imagery for a post and can sometimes land you in trouble too. 

ANY OLD SPONSORED POST WILL DO: Writing about PayPal, an airline company or an insurance website on a beauty blog just because you can earn some dollar isn't cool, just say no!

BITCHY BLOGGERS: On the rare occasion I see new bloggers to the scene trying to gain some sort of popularity on Twitter by being bitchy about almost everything to almost anyone. If you can't say something nice, just shut up. 

GUCCI GUCCI, LOUIS LOUIS, FENDI FENDI, PRADA: People who only ever write about the most expensive products on the planet, we are in a recession don't you know, and don't all have a limitless budget to spend in Space NK.

Take this post with a pinch of salt, in reality I don't go round judging people on their blogs. Hope it cheered up your afternoon, let me know what your pet peeves in the beauty blogging world are.

August 06, 2013

antipodes juliet skin-brightening cleanser

I can't say that my skincare products being Organic is of top priority to me however there is no doubting the benefits natural ingredients can have on the skin. Lately I've been impressed by beauty brands who are backed by a good ethos, it's always nice to know that what you are putting on your skin isn't any old chemical rubbish and the packaging of the product is from sustainable sources. With all that in mind I've recently been trying out my first product from Antipodes that is the Juliet Cleanser. The first thing I noticed was how amazing it smells, the scent is of warm cardamon and slightly sharp green apple, words can't describe how yummy it is. Gorgeous smell aside, I use a small coin sized amount and gently massage onto wet skin to create a silky lather and once worked into the skin I splash my face with cold water and dry with a flannel. My skin is noticeably brighter looking straight away and looks as clean as a whistle and ready to take on the day making the cleanser perfect for a skin wake-me-up in the morning. The price is a little high for my liking but I guess you get what you pay for in truly top quality natural ingredients.

"Reveal clean, clear and blemish-free skin thanks to the action of exfoliating extracts from the New Zealand kiwi superfruit and vibrant hibiscus flower. Manuka honey's antibacterial powers and antioxidant-packed Vinanza Grape form the perfect union to help reduce and balance oil production, helping grant your healthiest glow ever."

August 05, 2013

fake fans

If you are intrigued by the world of social media, it's pretty hard not to be in a generation obsessed with the internet, you will have probably watched tonight's Dispatches programme; Celebs, Brands and Fake Fans. I started off by just rolling my eyes and sighing as companies were being revealed to be spending money on fake Twitter followers and Facebook 'likes', but then I started to become more and more irritated at how sleazy social media agencies are building names for themselves by creating fake fans for brands. 

The second part of the programme which outed Z-list blagger 'celebrities' for being paid to endorse brands via tweets annoyed me the most, it's bizarre to me as to why they would want to be used as a human billboard for a relatively small sum of money. Not only that but how they would turn up to events that were specifically set up for them to be given freebies in return for tweets, surely you'd expect better behaviour from a well paid actress. It's all very well for them to thank a brand publicly for giving them a 'gift' but when it becomes a regular practice all I see is a very greedy person exploiting their minor celebrity status for petty money and freebies. 

This is where I realised a huge difference between 'celebrities' and bloggers like myself. For the most part brands send products to bloggers for a possible feature or a possible review, whereas it seems common practice with a select few celebrities that brands can expect a photo of them endorsing the product or tweeting about it before they have even got home to try it out. Plus let's say for example a 'celebrity' has 40k Twitter followers, those followers don't instantly translate into people who trust their opinion and value what they have to say. Whereas a blogger who has 4k loyal followers who look to them for fashion and beauty ideas are far more likely to care if they recommend a product, meaning they have more influence despite a smaller number of followers, and any company worth working with will already know this.

The issue which is becoming more and more apparent to me is the practice of some brands attempting to harness the following of bloggers for the sake of advertising. It's done in a very clever way which doesn't appear as clean cut adverts and almost uses said blogger as a middle man to soften the blow of appearing like a market trader shouting at passers by. After all pretty Instagram pictures and a sponsored tweet here and a blog post there seem much less intrusive don't they? I think the time has dawned that bloggers need to be very careful of merging with an idea that they can be easily persuaded to do the work of an advertising agency for a lesser fee. I do believe brands and bloggers can work well together but never by alienating and breaking down the trust of loyal readers. There are many social media agencies and PR companies who really get what blogging is about, it's just a case of being wary of some.

I can't say you can trust every blogger but what I can say is that it's more than likely we don't pretend to be a fan of something just for the sake of it, in a world of fake fans and brands manipulating fame it just paves the way for bloggers with integrity to shine through. 

August 04, 2013

color club platinum record nail polish

For the past few days I've been wearing this Color Club glitter polish and have been loving how it looks on my nails, pictures really don't do it justice to just how sparkly it is. I decided to just go with one coat so you can see the shape of the glitter better and the natural nail shows through which I think is a nice look and alternative to full on bling nails. Using just one coat also means it is much more resistant to chipping too, this really is such a great polish I just wish Color Club was easier to get hold of in the UK though if you have a scour of eBay or TK Maxx you may spot some.

August 03, 2013

st. ives scrub giveaway

One of my favourite face scrubs of the last few years has been the St. Ives Apricot Scrub and even more so since they updated the packaging to give a sleeker look. I always find that it gives my skin a deep clean and the fine granules in the product buff away dead skin cells to leave a much more radiant complexion, plus it smells lovely too.
I have each version up for grabs making four prizes in total so there is plenty of chance to get your hands on the scrub that suits your skin type. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

August 02, 2013

stella mccartney the print collection perfume

I have a new favourite perfume, again. I fell in love with the packaging of this version of bottle from the Print Collection by Stella McCartney, the perfume is the same in every bottle but the limited edition designs get updated and changed according to catwalk trends of the season, this one is from SS12. The scent itself is very grown up and sophisticated with an irresistible depth of woodiness and musk finished with a citrus edge, it certainly holds it's own in being unique to any of my other perfumes. It's described as a 'seducing and sexy' fragrance and for that reason is perfectly paired with a little black dress. If you spot 'Stella' by Stella McCartney in the shops then have a spritz as it's exactly the same as this but just not with the limited edition packaging.

"Stella McCartney Stella Print Collection eau de parfum spray for women is described as a floral and citrus perfume, and the limited edition Print Collection features bottles with a host of vintage print motifs inspired by geometric patterns. Print Collection by Stella McCartney opens with fruity top notes of mandarin orange, which then blend into a floral heart of rose and gardenia accords, all of which is neatly rounded off with smooth a base of amber."