Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Birthday Beauty Haul

Tom Ford, Laura Mercier and Blink...

Luxe doesn't get much better than these beauties
These are the brands that I splurged on fora bit of birthday beautifying... I'd been planning to treat myself to a Tom Ford lippy with my birthday money anyway but the rest was unplanned and I certainly never expected to pick up anything else TF as it's so expensive! But after a little makeover at their counter in Selfridges at the Trafford Centre I was sold.

Tom Ford Lip Colour - 01 Spanish Pink £36

I had NO idea which colour I wanted to buy before the assistant tried a few on me but I was almost certain that it wouldn't be a nude... I've already got so many fave neutral lipsticks so I kind of thought i'd try the signature bright red lip or black orchid lippy that you see in the TF ads. I tried the new release for A/W13 - Bruised Plum and as much as I loved it and thought it would be perfect for winter I really have got the exact same shade almost in my Chanel A/W12 lippy: L'impatiente. The only difference is the texture and finish, the TF is super creamy and has a shine to it whereas Chanel's is matte and quite drying and staining. If I was to get another lippy I'd go for the True Coral one next. In fact, I really want it for my holiday next month. Addictive!
Spanish Pink in high lighting (above) and low lighting (below)
I think the true colour of Spanish Pink is a mixture of both my swatches - the top pic is slightly more pink, almost bubble gummy whilst the lower is a little too dark. Both look very different and I'd say it does look shiny though like the top swatch for a long while before dulling to more of a pink stain. The Staying power of this lipstick and undoubtedly all of TF's range is unrivalled.... Seriously impressive! Must be to do with the brazillian murmur butter and chamomilla flower oil that aids staying power and colour payoff. Seriously smooth application too.

Tom Ford Blush - 04 Savage £45

I had to buy this blusher after the lady applied some to my cheeks... I think the fact that this particular shade more than any of the others can double as a highlight and contour product sold it to me. Perfect for daytime and easily buildable and shimmery for evenings. Gives serious definition if applied properly to the cheekbones... I worried with it being quite so dark that it would look too bold/brash but I love it. There were a few other shades that seem a bit samey to the ones I already have so this was the only option for me. I cannot wait to use with a bit of a tan again!
Savage blush swatches in high and low lighting respectively
This blush really packs quite a bit of shimmer, more than most i'd say but it's still ok for daytime as it's not overkill I don't think. Unless you have trouble with shine on your cheeks/T-zone that this might emphasize but i'd suggest just using a powder blotting tissue and wear this beauty anyway! Again, massive differences in the swatches but this is quite true to reality. Depending on how the light catches the blush makes a huge difference to how it appears. it can look very bronzed and matte but then you turn and the golden shimmer plays on your cheekbones. Although the assistant said even the palest of faces can get away with this shade, I personally don't think I could pull it off at my palest come January... I mean I might but I just can't see it looking too flattering on myself.

Tom Ford Brow Sculpt - 02 Taupe £34 

This was the main impulse buy and I dithered slightly... I've been using Benefit's Brow Zings for what feels like forever and i've always raved about how much I love it but after she filled in my brows with this tool... well, there was no going back! The colour, the application and brush on the end is just perfect. The Taupe shade is a little lighter and gives me a less intense colour than the Brow Zings which I'm enjoying now that I've gone lighter with my hair. It's not too light for my natural brows and it's again very buildable. Just brush it through in strokes then wisp the wand through afterwards to soften and smudge the wax into the brow to keep it in place.  Slightly more expensive than I'd have ideally liked to have paid for a brow pencil and it's more than a little fiddly and technical to sharpen the damn thing when it gets a bit blunt but it was my birthday and I went a little mad :)

From top left: spanish pink lip colour, taupe brow sculpt and savage blush
So for three cosmetics from the Tom Ford beauty collection, I used just over £100 of my birthday pennies... I love luxe beauty and these scream premium so I don't mind forking out the extra for a few key items but I know a lot of people won't buy these purely because of the price and I don't blame them. I've found alternatives with the lippy for e.g, chanel which is still super premium but over £10 cheaper and i'm sure there's high street brands that can provide dupes. It's all about personal preference.

Laura Mercier Secret Camauflage Concealer in 03 - £26 and Eye Basics in Wheat £20

Secret Camauflage Concealer...Kiss goodbye to dark circles!

Eye Basics in Wheat
I've only swatched the Eye Basics here because the concealer is exactly how you see it in the picture. I've been using MAC's select cover up moisturising concealer for so long and although it works to an extent, it doesn't hide half the sins this concealer does! Dark circles are hidden and no caginess even though it really is much more intense than the gloopy MAC. I've also been using Urban Decay's primer potion since I was a kid it feels so I'm switching to LM's eye basics in wheat for a change. Doesn't feel as sticky for eyeshadows to catch to but seems to do the exact same job whilst having the advantage of evening out skin colour and providing a perfect base for your eyes. To be honest, I love this product so much because I feel I can wear no eyemakup other than maybe a lashing of mascara and feel fresh and wide-awake. 

I also got the Blink goodies with some vouchers I had which i will review in a separate blog post as I really have rambled enough for one night! Keep your peepers peeled fellow beauty junkies... As always, I'd love to hear from you if you've tried any of the above products or are wanting to know anything else about them gals! xoxo

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Birthday Fun

Turning 25 isn't so bad...

My birthday was on the 16th, finally falling on a Friday, so I decided I'd love to have a long weekend away in Manchester; my absolute fave place to shop! Birthday money burns holes in purses  even worse than normal money, y'know....I've had a few requests to see what beauty bits I was gifted and bought with my birthday money which I'm hoping to put up tomorrow. I went a little mad at the Tom Ford counter! Need time to try everything so I can chat about it in more detail.

My parents always get me the most yum cake, made to order from somewhere and this year didn't disappoint! Victoria sponge - lots of butter cream, jam and icing a-plenty with a sprinkling of glitter... I  still always make a wish before blowing the candles out :)

My fiancé and I stayed for the first time at the Hilton in the Deansgate area which was lovely. I love the bizarre shape of the building, I always see it on the way into MCR, very iconic but for some reason never chose to stay here before now. We went for the exec suite rooms but the very first had the most awful smell so we had to change and ended up directly under the Cloud 23 bar but thankfully you couldn't really hear it. We were right next to the presidential suite and their must have been some pretty important or snobbish people next door because they had strange bodyguards stood outside our/their doors all night.... So much for some privacy! Other than that, the hotel was nice and I really enjoyed my stay.

I think I took this skyline-y picture from the executive lounge area whilst getting slightly drunk off the free bar our room got us. Looked really impressive and for me it's the perfect place to just sit, chat and drink. There was a glass pane in the floor that I was stood on without realising that it actually showed you right the way down to the ground below... I quickly hopped off once this fact was pointed out to me!

I was surprised with some birthday bubbly from the Mr after a long hard shopping sesh' at the Trafford. This Lanson pink champers is seriously tasty! 

I've eyed Mulberry for so long, their bags being something of an obsession to me so it seemed only fair that I should treat myself to something from the collection sooner rather than later.  I knew I wanted it to be classic above all else and very simple. Something I could use with absolutely anything. Once I'd picked up the black and gold hardware LilyI was sold. Timeless and effortlessly chic. I wore it out on my birthday night with a Karen Millen bodycon and it looked and felt dreamy...

So this was a crystal skull I saw in Selfridges filled with Vodka for £62. I adored it and I totally regret not buying it now. Yes it's vodka and I don't care much for the stuff but you're paying for the skull ornament. Would have looked so cool on my shelf! I could still get it I guess, we'll see.

I also saw this uber cute fox knit from my all-time fave designer of amazing and uniqeu sweats; Markus Lupfer.  I have a thing for pretty foxes on anything and this is the best I've seen, th sequins are so sparkly and it has this look in it's eye that makes me coo but I can't bring myself to part with £310 to take him home with me :( Let's pray for a sale, huh?!

Before leaving Manchester, wrong 'un that I am, I had the best culpa ever from this Starbucks somewhere along 230? Deansgate. It was the only one that wasn't packed and I managed to bagsy a window seat. I'm easily pleased! I think better and reflect more when I get a good seat in these places :-) So i'm another year older, maybe not wiser, but I'm loving life right now and I can't wait to see what 25 brings.... 


Saturday, 27 July 2013

Take me to the beach...

Orlando + Miami, June 2013

If you really know me then it'll come as no surprise to you that i'm totally obsessed with summer and all that it entails; long hazy days, unleashing your summer wardrobe and my fave part... getting ready to hit the beach! It's taken me a while to get around to uploading my holiday pics but it's been a month since I was in my most favourite place in the whole world so I think it's about time. Bikinis at the ready!
Starbucks cuppery
Shameless Bikini Selfie
I know that my bikinis aren't for everyone due to budget but seriously, you really can tell the difference... They just feel like they're holding everything where it's supposed to be and the fit is amaze... The green Odabash bikini a bit below was £160 but I got it for free after winning a twitter competition and I'm in-love. 
Agent Provocateur monochrome Mazzy bikini
ahh, The Mazzy...where do I start. I was eyeing it all last year in the 2012 orange and black colours and  I went cray and bought it this year. Everyone has their vices! It's just a stunner.
Melissa Odabash Nevis triangle bikini 
South Beach
My fave place on earth... The beach is just beautiful and it's quite the place to people watch. It really is like the movies, so glam and full of the rich, beautiful and famous. The old ego takes a bashing when you're eating all you can eat buffets and there's a 6 foot skinny blonde with big boobs a few loungers down from you though....
I ate so much fro-yo whilst on hol! I miss it SO much, why is there nothing quite the same unless you live in LDN?! Pfft. I always have gummy bears and some form of chic drops or yoghurt drops. God damn, now i want some! :O
Martini time
Copious amounts of cocktails were slurped... my fave martini from Tony Romas in Orlando...
Wildfox crop top
I love Wildfox and their stuff is just too perfect for holiday clobber! Crop tops for the day, beach dresses for coverups and baggy snuggly jumpers for the flight. Again, sales of WFx are everywhere! This is the 'My Boyfriend Is A Cowboy' tie crop.
South Beach lifeguard hut
Brassy blonde hair after sunning
I usually hate that brassy ginge blonde look but for some reason it actually looked OK on holiday. Maybe the tan and the warmth went together but back in drab old Britain I just feel meh. It kind of looked a lovely strawberry blonde that day. Purple shampoo is doing the job again.
Jin Soon polish in Blue Iris
This Jin Soon nail polish in Blue Iris is simply the most vivid blue I own and my first ever Jin Soon purchase! I wanted Tea Rose also but it was sold out - the gorge salmon colour. Wah!
Before tidying up smudges... 
Some of my makeup and beauty buys
I always come back with a wide variety of makeup bits and this isn't even the whole lot. Infact, it was as I was taking this picture that I realised I was missing my Bobbi Brown shimmer brick and MAC lippys and case that I bought in the bargainous Cosmetic Company! Urghh. Then I got jibbed and sent a bill of £53.82 to have it shipped back.... ERR. I got my own way and was refunded in the end and got my pretty bits back. WIN!
My beloved Micheal Kors 'Selma' handbag and pink purse....
Glmaour magazine called it the 'Holygrail of handbags'... I concur! The structuring, the colours that you can get... The Selma has it all. I got this white version with a $100 off making it around $260 whereas it was being sold in the UK for £330. It had to come back with me. And the purse. And the hotpink iPhone purse (not pictured). I have a problem.
South Beach, nr Wet Willies Bar
Crazy Golf
Take me back!! Roll on Barbados...

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

5 Images I Hearted

I love trawling through WeHeartIt when i've got a spare few minutes. These are the last 5 images I hearted and why...

Girl got 'tude...

This picture makes me smile, feel young, wild and free. It reminds me a lot of the Wildfox clothing campaign pics, probably why I like it so much.

Time for reflection...

Candice Swanepoel looks the image of serene perfection. I try and think what she might possibly be thinking about, this gal has it all. I feel like I need time to reflect on my life right now; where i'm going and where I really want to be. 

 Lazy lie-ins...

This makes me think of the weekend - It's pretty much what goes down every saturday and sunday morning for me - a bed full magazines whilst perusing the boy's iPad with a cup of tea and usually a sugary snack which this pic is lacking! I was also took by the skinny tan legs. Most of the pics I heart have skinny tan legs a plenty! Good for motivation.

Buns of steel...

Apparently if you want a super firm bum you should be doing this exercise! I'm constantly wanting to firm up the derrière and slim my thighs so this picture just spurs me on! So toned... Sigh.

Pretty brunette...

 I'd been listening to the Blurred Lines tune all holiday but until recently had never seen the music video to it... I kind of developed a small girl crush on the brunette girl (Emily Ratajkowski). Her long chocolate brown hair and those statement red lips made me want to ring the hairdressers and book in to go back to my natural brown colour stat! Hawwt.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Jax Coco - My Ultimate Healthy Beach Tipple

The Drink of Life...

I recently got back from holiday and I can safely say after spending hours on the beach slowly sipping a bottle of chilled Jax Coco I'm a total coconut water convert! I've dabbled with the stuff before but none have been as refreshing or, let's face it, pretty on the eye as Jax Coco's delicious coconut water. 
Beach Essentials...
This drink quickly became a must have for my beach essentials...The simple and uber chic bottle looks so inviting and you can tell just by looking at it that the contents are going to pure and natural. 100% pure coconut water is within the bottles or tetra packs that you can get and some of my main reasons for going coconut crazy are:

  1. This beverage is naturally free from fat, gluten, cholesterol, preservatives and artificial sweeteners. Hoorah!
  2. It is super low in calories - there's just 18-24 per 100ml compared with 48 calories that can be found in orange juice... There's only 70 calories per 330ml serving.
  3. It is also natural isotonic and contains FIVE essential electrolytes to keep you feeling refreshed and hydrated no matter where you are and what you are doing!
Jax Coco Keeping Me Hydrated At South Beach, Miami
For me, replacing lost fluid and electrolytes due to my sun worshipping ways was crucial for me to enjoy being out in the blazing sun and heat without feeling run down and dehydrated afterwards. This stuff works! The taste of coconut water isn't for everyone - my partner hates the stuff, especially the non-flavoured versions like these but I love the natural taste of coconut water. Maybe it's an acquired taste but I insist you try Jax Coco for the amazingly crisp and fresh taste of pure and natural hydration.  Drinking it now reminds me of being on SoBe... if I close my eyes i'm half way there! ;)

You can buy from Jax Coco direct here...

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Melvita Pro-Sun Gradual Self-Tanning Moisturising Gel-Crème Review

The natural, DHA free and super moisturising self tanning crème by Melvita!

Whether you struggle to get a tan naturally or just want to acheive a beautiful gradual tan safely; Melvita have the answer to every pasty girl's prayers...
Let me introduce the Melvita Pro-Sun Gradual Self-Tanning Moisturising Gel-Crème which i was fortunate enough to win from one of my favourite online beauty and skincare sites - Feelunique. This little beauty, unlike many of its contenders, contains NO DHA and still leaves you with a lush sunkissed face and body... sans the nasty biscuit smell! Perfection, right?!

In fact, the formula smells absolutely delightful; think of the scents and products you usually opt for when at the beach, very summery indeed with the fragrance of coconuts and creamy vanilla...It's not at all overpowering but just enough to be able to transport your mind to a beautiful tropical beach and back! I digress, but the scent of this product is just divine and well worth a mention. The tube contains 150ml and will cover the body a good few times from head to toe I'd think but I've been using it mainly for my legs so it should last me much longer. As you can see from my swatch above, the formula is quite thick and creamy - ideal for when smoothing over your body as it glides effortlessly and is intensely nourishing which is essential for achieving an even gradual tan. Although it's very creamy and thick, I found the product took no time in sinking in to my skin and didn't feel greasy to touch after; just super soft skin was left in it's wake. 

As for the results, I must say i'm hooked! The tan is quite light to start off with but builds up nicely with time if you apply it each day or until you get to the colour you like. I went a very gorgeous shade of golden olive and I loved how natural the finish was. You can use this on both face and body but I personally found this a little too moisturising for my oily/combi skin but it will work wonders on normal to dry types. The most important factor for me with this product is the fact that it's natural and uses organic ingredients such as buriti, safflower, coconut and sunflower oils to give a long-lasting, even and skin friendly tan ALL year long!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Dr Bragi's Marine Enzyme Intensive Treatment Mask

Thirsty Skin? Look no further...

Yesterday I flew long haul to Florida for around 9 hours and anyone who has ever flown before will know that your skin gets really dehydrated and sore during and after a flit, even short ones. I was actually planning on testing the Dr Bragi Marine Enzyme Mask over the weekend but I'm so glad that I saved it for a post flight pick me up back at the hotel!

This mask is very intensive as it states on the packet and delivered a real shot of moisture to my parched skin last night allowing me to get my glow back and be ready to hit the pool looking fresh again today... The mask is a made from fabric with cut out sections for your eyes, nose and mouth area; you apply to the face by smoothing it around your eye contour and then the rest of the face should follow suit. This mask aims to "rapidly target redness, dehydration, loss of firmness and premature ageing" and once used your skin should look and feel more radiant and plump. It is recommended for stressed or fragile skins but this mask is definitely fab for all skin types too that need a little boost from time to time.

The mask looks a little scary but you can see there's plenty of room for your mouth and eyes etc. I left my mask on for the full amount of time, around 10-15 minutes and before I went to bed for optimal results. I loved how nourishing it felt whilst on - the fabric was soaked and clung to the skin but didn't drip. Once I was ready to take the mask off I found that I needed to tissue off some excess product that had accumulated around my lower cheek/chin area but I left it quite moist to really give my skin the moisture it so desperately needed. It's now the morning and my skin feels super soft again... Phew!

You can purchase this Dr Bragi Treatment Mask over on the Dr Bragi official website for £8.33 for a single packer £20.83 for a triple pack.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Review: Sampar Glamour Shot Matte Perfection

The 6 Hour Mattifying Transparent Concealer...

Glamour Shot Matte Perfection, £26 for 15ml
I recently reviewed the Sampar So Much To Dew Day Cream and since then I've had the chance to try a product that i'm always on the hunt for; a long lasting skin mattifier. Sampar's Matte Perfection boats being able to keep my skin shine-free for 6 hours whilst also helping to conceal enlarged pores. I've used a wide range of serums and gels to help me deal with any shine I accumulate throughout the day and none so far have lasted me any longer than 2-3 hours before i've needed to blot. 
Sampar's pretty packaging...

Again, Sampar's packaging is really feminine and pretty with the powder pink tube and Parisian skyline   encasing the product within. Glamour Shot Matte Perfection is £26 and the tube holds 15 ml - you only need to apply to your problem areas, not the whole face unless you really feel you need it, so it should last a decent amount of time before running out. I'm quite excited about the fact that Sampar describe it as a concealer and state that "over time, skin texture is refined" and that it "unifies the complexion"... This product is definitely quite the multi-tasker!

Potent formula
As you can see, the gel is milky and transparent. When applying to my T-Zone, it almost instantly dried upon blending and felt very dry at first; not tight just smooth and slightly like a dry coating/film where I had used it. I had just cleansed my face so I was very shiny in places but once applied the shine nearly vanished completely! It doesn't erase 100% of my shine but it certainly conceals the majority of it and leaves me with a very lovely shine-free finish. It just looks natural. I'm not keen on the scent and it's very pungent and strong. I can't describe it to you as there's no florals in there, a little bit strong for my liking. 
Swatch of a pea sized blob
The question you've all been dying to ask: did it last the full 6 hours?!

It certainly provided me with 6 hours shine fighting time but after about 4-5 hours I was slowly starting to feel the need for my blotting tissues. That said, it is still the most powerful mattifier that I have tried so far and you have to bear in mind that my skin is VERY combi/oily so keeping the sebum under control which causes shine is pretty damn hard for even the most potent mattifiying potions... 

This is also a product that gets to work on your skin over a period of time, balancing sebum production, so it should slowly last longer and give more dramatic results over time. My pores definitely looked like they had shrank and when I applied my usual foundation over the top my skin just looked so much more flawless. I think this would last possibly more than 6 hours on someone with normal skin that has a few shiny areas or milder cases of combo/oily skins. 

If you want to try this for yourself, take a peep at Sampar.co.uk or Marks and Spencers... 

Tried this product? Did it last the full 6 hours for you? I'd love to hear x