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....