Friday, 30 December 2011

Monthly Favourites: November & December.

Last month I left it a little too late to put up a favourites post but I didn't want to miss out on a month because I've been doing these posts for a super long time now and I think they're amongst my favourite posts to write. So to make up for being so unorganised last month, this may be a bit of a long one...

I shall begin with the one non beauty/skincare item that I just had to include because I'm so in love with it and that is this beautiful Keep Calm & Carry On necklace ♦ from Temporary:Secretary. Sarah sent this to me as a Christmas present and I've pretty much worn it with everything since I opened it because it's so beautiful! I love Sarah and if you haven't checked out her jewellery & accessories shop, Temporary:Secretary, yet then you really should because I know you'll find something on there that you fall in love with!

Last month I decided to go back to using my Neal's Yard Chamomile Cleanser because I felt like what I was using previously wasn't quite cleansing my skin as much as I would like. After I've taken my make up off with a baby wipe I massage this into my skin when it's dry & I then take a hot muslin cloth and gently remove the cleanser. This leaves my skin feeling super clean but not irritated and every last scrap of make up is removed. I adore this cleanser!

Montagne Jeunesse sent me one of their new Very Berry face masks and since then I've gone a bit crazy for them and bought pretty much a zillion more because I loved it so much! This is a mask that's suitable for all skin types & is packed full of yummy ingredients like blueberries, cranberries and aloe vera - just remember not to eat it! Consistency wise this is quite a thick and creamy mask that smells absolutely divine & feels beautiful on the skin because it's super refreshing and soothing. Once I've taken this off my skin feels beautifully cleansed and not dry or tight in any way. I absolutely love this mask and the company, Montagne Jeunesse and completely animal friendly which is always a huge plus in my eyes!

My next favourite probably won't be a huge surprise but I couldn't not include it because I love it so much and it is of course Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation. Now I won't waffle on for too long  because I've already done a separate review which you can read here but essentially this foundation is pretty darn special. If you can find a colour match for your skin, I know that Bourjois foundations are more on the yellow side, then I highly recommend giving this a try. It's beautiful.

Concealer brushes have never particularly appealed to me & I never really saw the point because I thought my fingers did a better job of blending until I tried this concealer brush ♦ from Japonesque. Now, I was sent quite a few brushes a little while ago which I will review fully once I've tested them out a bit more and washed them a good few times because they are on the more pricey side and I wouldn't want anyone to rush out and buy a brush because I said I liked it after using it once, you know? If you're investing in a brush you want it to really stand the test of time and also wash really well. All I will say is so far, I'm impressed and this little concealer brush does a brilliant job at blending my under eye concealer and it gives a slightly more opaque coverage than my fingers do. Since my under eye circles are pretty horrendous right now, the more coverage my concealer can give me the better!

For the last few weeks I've been going one of two ways with my lip products - either nude and subtle or bright and bold. If I'm in the mood for a more subdued lip colour I've been reaching for Rumour Has It lipstick from Topshop. It's the perfect dusky rose shade that looks beautiful if you're wearing a bold cheek or a sultry smokey eye.

If I'm feeling more daring the lipstick I've been reaching for is of course Cherries in the Snow from Revlon. What can I say about this lipstick? It's just divine. You can wear it super bold like it looks in the tube or you can dab a little on to your lips and wear it more as a stain. Either way it looks absolutely amazing and I'm so happy I finally managed to track down a tube, it's perfect!

The Rose Ole Special Reserve highlight powder from the MAC ChamPale collection was something that I tried to sell in a blog sale but no one wanted it. I decided to start using it again just out of curiosity mainly and I've fallen back in love with it! It's a really subtle warm highlight shade that's not too much to wear in the daytime and can be built up for a heavier highlight look more appropriate for the night time too. I'm so glad nobody bought this from my blog sale, I've been reaching for it daily ever since!

Eyebright from Benefit had been on my lust list for months and months but for some reason I never bought it until recently. I really have been missing out by not getting this sooner because it really works to brighten up my eyes and make them seem a little bigger which is always a good thing in my opinion! I've been putting this creamy pale pink shade along my waterline & on my inner corner and I'm really impressed with its staying power - on me it lasts a good 4 to 5 hours before I have to apply a touch more. This is a product I just can't be without now and has fast become a staple in my make up routine.

Lastly I have two blushers to talk about and like my favourite lip products I've either been opting for a subtle cheek colour or a super bold one. Peachy Keen from Eyes Lips Face is a fairly new addition to my make up collection but I'm so glad I have it because I don't have anything else quite like it. This gives a really subtle peachy glow to my cheeks which is really lovely and it's sometimes quite refreshing opting for a light cheek colour since I usually go for something more noticeable.

My bold blush of choice for the last couple of months has been Tweak from Illamasqua and although it looks terrifying in the pan, a light hand gives such a pretty bright pop of red-pink to the cheeks. It's my perfect winter blusher and I think Tweak will always be one of my all time favourite shades!

What were your favourite products of November or December? Have you tried any of these products before? What do you think about them?
xoxo

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Outfit details & Cherries in the Snow.

Dress: Peacocks. 
Necklace: Love Hearts & Crosses.  ♦
Bracelet: Sailboat, Ahoy!
Ring: Studio 59.
Lipstick: Revlon Cherries in the Snow.

In one of those 'thinking oh my gosh I've got nothing to wear while throwing the contents of my wardrobe on to the floor' moments I rediscovered this coral-red & white polka dot dress that I had forgotten I owned! Even though I've only had it for a little while I'm already completely head over heels in love with Cherries in the Snow!

xoxo

Monday, 26 December 2011

The most wonderful time of the year!






Christmas this year was quiet and just completely wonderful. We ate, we pulled crackers and wore silly paper hats all day. On Christmas Eve I baked vanilla muffins & decorated them to look like cute reindeer with curly wurly's for antlers and cherries for the big shiny red noses. Our beautiful dog absolutely loved ripping the wrapping paper off and revealing her new toys & treats!

It's now Boxing Day and I'm snuggled on the sofa in my new slanket and slipper booties with my donkey hot water bottle & I'm about to enjoy some of yesterdays left over roast potatoes. Yummy! I'm already excited for next year!

I trruly hope you all had a wonderful day yesterday & you spent it with loved ones because after all, that's what Christmas is all about. Family, friends and love. ♥

xoxo

Saturday, 24 December 2011

December GlossyBox.

Immediately upon opening the outer cardboard box I was struck by the beautiful shiny red box that is this months GlossyBox ♦. I think this was a really lovely festive extra touch and I must admit, it gave me high hopes for the contents hidden within!


This month I would go so far as to say that this is the best box so far because every single one of these products are lovely in their own way and they'll get used, as opposed to some samples being forgotten about after just a couple of days. 

My mama has already requested to try out the Jurlique Age Defying Ultra Firm and Lift Cream as well as the Blink+Go Hi Definition Mascara so those two products are making their way on to her dressing table as we speak. The Jurlique moisturiser looks wonderful, feels so lovely on the skin and claims to noticeably firm skin within 6 weeks. Now this sample is only tiny, with the full sized 50ml cream retailing for £48, so I'm not sure how long it will last with regular use but my mama is looking forward to testing it out. 

The Blink+Go mascara is actually really lovely, I gave it a quick test run on my lashes, (with my mamas permission of course!), and it held a curl really nicely while offering me a bit of length and a fair bit of volume. It hasn't blown me away but it's nice and I know that mama sailboat will really love it and enjoy using it, which is brilliant!

The other three products all appeal to me in equal measures and for once I can't really pick a single stand out product this month, there are three! 

The mini Cargo Cosmetics lipgloss has a really nice formulation and I received the shade Tokyo which is a pretty peachy pink. It's not the most pigmented gloss I've ever tried but that's part of the appeal for me. Adding just a touch of peachy warmth this is the kind of gloss I can keep in my handbag and pop on over almost any lipstick without having to think about it or root around trying to find a mirror.

Having never tried a foaming shower gel before this offering from Rituals called Zensation which contains organic rice milk and cherry blossom is a bit of an intriguing product. When you first spray the product into the palm of your hand it's a gel consistency but after a couple of seconds and contact with water it begins to change into a foam which I really love. The scent is subtle and absolutely divine and it leaves my skin feeling moisturised as well as incredibly clean. This product gets a massive thumbs up from me and I will definitely repurchase when I run out!




Finally we have a Deborah Lippmann nail polish in the shade Razzle Dazzle and a sachet containing one Stripper To Go nail polish remover finger mitt which is supposed to make taking off even the most stubborn of polishes a total breeze. I've yet to try the finger mitt, I'm definitely going to save that for when I next need to remove a stubborn glitter polish!

Razzle Dazzle is a beautiful deep black purple with lots of pink shimmer that just looks incredible in the bottle. In some ways I'm a little disappointed by this, I thought it would be much more vibrant on the nails and it does need a good three coats to look perfect. If I'd had the chance to pick out any Deborah Lippmann polish I wouldn't have chosen this one, I think I would have opted for something super pretty like Some Enchanted Evening, however I'm really pleased to have this in my collection and I just know that it's one that I'll reach for a lot - especially for my toes!

Are you subscribed to any beauty boxes? Which one is your favourite? I'd love to know your thoughts too!
xoxo

Friday, 23 December 2011

Review: Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation & An Added Face Of The Day.

When I hear a product being talked about a lot in the bloggersphere my instinct is to grab my purse and run out and buy it as soon as possible. That instinct is even stronger if it's an affordable and easily accessible product because lets face it, those things have the ability to make something even more appealing! I must admit it's been a little while since I've seen a product receive so many positive reviews from a lot of different people and there was one aspect to it that had me particularly interested. This product is of course Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation.

Although this has a similar name, I personally think this foundation is quite different to the original Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation. There are also couple of similarities, it almost feels like they've taken the best aspects of Healthy Mix & added some extra magic and come up with Healthy Mix Serum. I'll just start by saying that I have very pale, dry warm toned skin so the yellow undertones that all Bourjois foundations have suit me really well. The lightest shade, 51 Light Vanilla, is a pretty good match for my NC15 skin -  it's not perfect because it's a touch too dark but it's pretty close. The packaging is nice, the jar doesn't feel cheap and the pump is a great addition because it just makes everything more hygienic and I don't find myself wasting any product.

The one aspect that stood out to me the most is the fact that this is a gel based foundation. My all time favourite foundation is MAC Studio Sculpt which is also gel based and also quite a bit more expensive than this offering from Bourjois. These two foundations aren't exactly the same, Studio Sculpt from MAC offers me slightly more coverage where as the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum is more of a light-medium coverage. There is definitely enough coverage to even out my skin tone and blur out any imperfections but it's not enough coverage to allow me to skip concealer. The most attractive quality of this foundation is that it just looks like skin, it doesn't look like you're wearing foundation at all and I find that it doesn't need to be powdered either which I love! I can't say I've worn this foundation for 16 hours straight in order to test its 16 hour radiance claims but it easily lasts on me all day long. In terms of the finish it gives me, bearing in mind I apply this over the Satin Primer from Illamasqua, is semi-matte so it's not dewy but it also doesn't look flat at all. It looks like skin!

In comparison to the original Healthy Mix Foundation, I prefer this Serum version so much more. It offers a similar amount of coverage but this one blends into the skin so much easier and this one doesn't cling to any dry areas of my face at all which is just incredible. Interestingly this foundation seems to be loved in equal measures by people with different skin types - Cami from Cami Loves Kiwi has more combination skin and she is loving this right now as well so it could be worth a try if you're on the market for a new foundation.

This wouldn't be a complete review if I didn't include some pictures of how the foundation looks on my skin so here are a couple I took while experimenting with my new camera. My lovely new camera really does pick up every imperfection on my skin, even some that I can't see in a mirror, so this obviously doesn't give me a totally flawless complexion but it does look really natural. Also please excuse my horrendous dark circles - I need to sleep more!


For £10.99 you get 30ml of product and I find that one pump easily covers my whole face. This is a really lovely and quite affordable foundation and if you can find a shade that's right for you I would highly recommend giving this one a try!

Have you tried Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum? What's your favourite foundation?
xoxo

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

What I Wore: Starry Eyed.

It feels like forever since I last sat down to write a blog post, the last few weeks have been a little bit hectic in terms of work, my degree and a few bits and bobs to do with life in general. Over the past couple of months I feel like my blog has been stuck in a bit of a rut and that's why I decided to post my blog readers survey last Friday. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone that has taken the time to answer those questions for me, almost 150 of you lovelies have so far and I really do appreciate it! I'm reading every single response and taking everything on board - there are a few things regarding certain answers that I'd like to talk about but I'll do that in a separate post in the new year.

Yesterday afternoon my boyfriend and I drove over to Nottingham to have a little look at the Christmas market. To be honest it was a little disappointing - no ice rink or Ferris Wheel this year & the few stalls that were there were lacking a little bit of Christmas magic. Nevermind though, I had a super yummy sandwich & bowl of chunky chips for lunch in John Lewis and I had the chance to road test my brand new camera which made up for the pretty lack lustre Christmas market. Oh and I also managed to track down a tube of the illusive Revlon Cherries in the Snow lipstick which I'm so happy about!

Yesterday morning my new glasses arrived, I've had the frames for a little while but a change in my prescription meant I needed some new lenses. I was originally quoted £200 to have new lenses fitted by a high street optician, which quite frankly is ridiculous, but luckily I found a wonderful company online who would thin the lenses & pop an anti-glare and anti-scratch coating on for just £40! I'm so pleased to have these new frames, I feel infinitely more confident with these that I did with my previous pair - in fact my old glasses have never made an appearance on my blog because I felt so uncomfortable wearing them. I know when I showed these new glasses a little while ago some people didn't like them but as long as you feel confident in something then it really doesn't matter what other people think - always go for what you like & what will make you happy because that's really important and I think sometimes that's easy to forget!

Cardigan: George at Asda.
Uncut Ruby Ring: Studio59 - £35.

With only a couple of days left until Christmas I thought I'd snap a few outfit of the day pictures next to our Christmas tree! This is the dress I featured in my last wish list post & as you can tell I decided to keep it after much umming and ahhing! I really do adore the little white collar and the lace overlay is just beautiful. It's currently on sale for only £21.50 at the moment so if you like it, it's a total bargain! Thankfully I only paid £26 for it, if I'd bought it at full price I'd be pretty miffed right now! The purple cardigan is one I've had for a little while and I just don't wear it often enough - I always end up realising how cute it is whenever I pull it out of my wardrobe but I find myself overlooking it all the time!



Necklace: Temporary Secretary

This absolutely gorgeous necklace is from Temporary:Secretary and the wonderful lady behind the shop, Sarah, was sweet enough to send me this as a Christmas present. I will always do my best to support Sarah & Temporary:Secretary in any way I can, not only because the shop is an online treasure trove of sparkly goodness but also because I've seen how hard she works every single day and how much love she puts into her business. Good things deserve to happen to good people, it's always lovely to support smaller businesses & I have a sneaky feeling that 2012 is going to be a cracking year for Temporary:Secretary and you wouldn't want to miss out on any of that, would you?!

Oh dear, this turned into a little bit of a long post full of rambles & me getting side tracked - I apologise! Are you looking forward to Christmas? I'm excited for to eat an enormous vegetarian roast dinner and I have a bottle of Hendricks Gin because it's the best kind and well, it's lovely to have a little tipple during the holidays when you don't really drink throughout the year. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it..!

xoxo