Honest reviews, regular hauls and all things beauty.

Battle of the primers featuring Lancome, Pixi, Elemis, Clarins & more!

I can't remember the last time that I didn't use a primer before applying my foundation - it is just an integral part of my foundation routine & really extends the staying power of my base. However, I also like how a primer can blur pores & fine lines, brighten the complexion and act like polyfilla for the face! I have a number of primers, some I use more than others depending on what my skin needs & I thought I would share my thoughts on them with you today. FYI, I have dry skin that is prone to dehydration.

My favourite make-up picks from 2014 featuring Nars, Lorac, YSL, Kevyn Aucoin & more!

It's make-up favourites day! I just love how make-up can brighten up the darkest day & make you look bright & awake, even when you're not actually feeling that way! It was difficult to narrow my favourites down to what I have here today, but I absolutely adore everything mentioned here.

My favourite skin care products of 2014 featuring Elemis, GLAMGLOW, Origins, Clinique & more!

Ah, skincare! My one true love! I bought my first cleanser, toner & moisturiser on my 13th birthday & the obsession has not abated since then! When I was even younger, I loved sitting at my mother's dressing & sneakily applying my mother's skincare products! Today, I am sharing my favourite skincare products from 2014. Some are new & some I had used previously.

My favourite haircare products of 2014 featuring Kerastase, TIGI & Macadamia Natural Oil

Today's favourites post is all things haircare. First off, I have dry, coloured & damaged hair so the products that I mention are all tailored to that specific hair type. I have a few products that are just non-negotiable for me now!

Favourite beauty discoveries of 2014 featuring GLAMGLOW, Darphin, Clinique, YSL, Hourglass & more!

I'm going to break down my favourites of 2014 into separate categories: Hair, Body Care, Skin Care, Make-up & New discoveries. Beauty products are my obsession & I love trying new products. Some I love, some not so much. Today, I am going to share some of my favourite discoveries from 2014 with you.

Nars Cruella - the perfect red lip?

I have never owned a red lipstick before because I have never found one that I thought suited me, however I felt that Christmas was the right time to try to find the right red. I am a big Nars fan & I really love the formulation of the Velvet Matte Lip Pencils (I already own Damned), so I thought I would try a red from that line. I think when you are new to a colour range that you are unsure of, matte is the way to go because gloss can be very full-on. There were a few to choose from, so after doing some research, I decided on Cruella.

My Mac blush palette updated!

A few months ago, I posted about my MAC blush palette, which was looking pretty sad! I must admit that I kind of neglected it until this week when I purchased 3 new blushes to update it & I thought I'd share it with you today! 

Mini Duty Free Haul featuring MAC & Clarins

My parents were away recently so I took advantage of The Loop's shop & collect service and ordered a few items that I had wanted for a while & my mother collected them for me!

I needed a new hand cream, so I ordered one of my favourites from Clarins as it was at the bargain price of €11.

Yon Ka Skincare review featuring Masque No.1, Hydra No. 1 Serum & Lotion Yon Ka

A few months ago I purchased some Yonka skincare products because I liked the moisturiser I was using from the range (Vital Defense) and so wanted to explore the brand some more. I purchased Masque No.1, Hydra No. 1 Serum & Lotion Yon Ka Invigorating Mist and I am going to share my thoughts in them with you today.

REVIEW: Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster & Pure Truth Activating Oil

I bought this duo set from Ole Henriksen last month, it's called the Merry And Bright Duo Holiday Kit and it has a value of £47, although it only costs £18, which is a bargain. I have never tried anything from Ole Henriksen previously, but the brand has been on my radar for a while. The skin Goddess that is Caroline Hirons likes Ole H products, so that's a green light for me to try some of the products. I wanted to try both of these products so the set was absolutely perfect for me. Each bottle contains 15ml and a little goes a long way. The products included are Truth Serum Collagen Booster & Pure Truth Activating Oil.

Lookfantastic November Beauty Box

This is my second Beauty Box from Lookfantastic.com and just like last month, I am very happy with it! It contains six very generous samples for a total of £15 with free post.

Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade in Medium Brown

I have used an eyebrow pencil for years & my favourite one is the Brow Wiz from Anastasia Beverly Hills but when that was running low, I decided to try their Dip Brow Pomade for a change because I had read so many positive reviews! I was a little nervous about using it because I have never used a cream product on my brows before, but I need not have worried because it is easy to use.

REVIEW: Stila Mile High Lashes Mascara

If you don't already know, I am a huge mascara fan! It would be my desert island product & just love how it opens up my eyes & makes me look more awake! I recently purchased Stila's Mile High Lashes mascara & want to share my thoughts with you today.

The Triple Threat Facial for tired/dull skin, featuring GLAMGLOW, Elemis & more.

I'm in the middle of a 3 month course of medical treatment for chronic Lyme Disease and it is taking its toll on my skin & hair. So to combat that, I have been trying to take extra care of it. I didn't want to spend more money on new products, so I had a look at my skincare stash & decided that a triple threat facial would be the way to go! I have been doing this once a week for the last few weeks & I really think that it is helping my skin to look a little better/healthier.

Christmas Giveaway! Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot Gift Set

I've decided to do a Christmas giveaway & because I want the winner to receive it in time for Christmas, it is starting today! It will end on December 12th & I will post the next day so the winner will hopefully receive in time for Christmas.

I am a massive blush fan so thought that the Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot Gift Set would be the ideal prize for fellow blush lovers. The set contains Dandelion, Sugarbomb, CORALista, Bella Bamba, Hoola & Rockateur as well as a little brush & a sample of Watts Up.

The rules:

The giveaway is open worldwide.
You must ask a parent or guardian's permission if you are under 18 as I will need your address if you win.
You must follow on bloglovin.
You must follow on twitter.
You must comment leaving your twitter & bloglovin usernames, if you don't do this, your entry will be void.
You must tweet the giveaway link.

The winner will be chosen using random.org and will be posted here & on twitter.  The giveaway ends on December 12th.

Best of luck!

Thanks for reading.

For daily beauty chat, please follow me on bloglovin here. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Recent purchases #11 featuring Nars, Xen Tan, Stila, Ole henriksen, YSL & more!

I have another haul to share with you all today. I didn't buy all of these products in one go, it was more a case of over a few weeks, but I thought I would bundle them together in one bumper post! I will post reviews separately when I have had a chance to road test everything.

Empties & speedy reviews #5 featuring Clinique, Origins, Darphin, Dermalogica, Estee Lauder, Soap & Glory & many more!

My beautiful Ursula Celano dressing table tidy bag is full to the brim again, which of course means that it is empties time! I have mainly face & body products in here, with a small number of make-up & haircare too so let's get started! 

REVIEW: Alpha H Age Delay Cleansing Oil

I recently finished my Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel & instead of repurchasing, decided to change things up & try a cleanser from Alpha-H. I adore their Liquid Gold Treatment, which I use at night (not every night!), so thought I would try a cleanser from the range & decided upon their Age Delay Cleansing Oil. I love to use cleansing balms at night, but for mornings I prefer something a little lighter, yet still hydrating.

REVIEW: TIGI Bed Head Superstar Blowdry Lotion

I purchased this TIGI Bed Head Superstar Blowdry Lotion because I loved the Queen for a Day Thickening Spray so much and the combination of the two should really work to create off the scale volume! Any review that I read on this product said that it builds body, holds it style & would add bounce.

Love at first sight! Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette

A few months ago, I fell in love with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Dim Infusion that I was lucky enough to receive for my birthday & I have really enjoyed using it. It is different from other blushes that I own, because it is mixed with ambient lighting powder & the marbled effect leaves my skin looking very healthy from within, if you know what I mean? At £28, they are not the cheapest blushes so I knew it would be a while before I could justify adding another to my collection because I already have quite a few blushes. This changed, however, when I discovered that a palette with a trio of blushes was being released and when I heard about the £10 reduction, I was completely sold & pre-ordered immediately.


I am a face mask addict, just had to put that out there! They are my favourite treatments to use & hugely important on my never ending quest to achieve hydrated, clear skin. If you have read any of my previous skin care posts, you will already know that I am a huge fan of GLAMGLOW masks, in particular. The Youthmud Mud mask  is excellent for exfoliating & brightening the skin and the ThirstyMud mask is the very best that I have ever used, in terms of hydration. Yes, they are incredibly expensive but they really are worth it and there are usually weekly discount codes in emails from the online shopping sites, so that is the time to grab them.

October favourites featuring MAC, Nars, Lancome, GLAMGLOW, Calvin Klein & Sali Hughes!

So it is favourites time again & this month I have more make-up than skin care products to share with you & 2 non-beauty favourites too.

I'll start with make-up. I have been absolutely loving Lancome's Grandiose mascara this month. I love how you can reach every single lash with the wand & it really adds drama & volume, which is what I really want from a mascara.

REVIEW: Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energising Eye Masks Vs Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle-Resist 24 Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask

I am having a pretty tough time health-wise at the moment & am eager to try anything to help banish my dark circles & bags under my eyes. I have previously posted about an eye cream that I find is really helping, but for that extra bit of assistance, I have also been using some eye masks & thought I would share my thoughts on them with you today.

Empties & speedy reviews #4 featuring Eve Lom, Oskia, Kerastase, This Works, Roger & Gallet & more!

So it's empties time again! I seem to be really working my way through lots of products at the moment, making space for new additions to my beauty shelves. I have a variety of products to share with you today from body care, skin care to make-up & some miscellaneous.

REVIEW: Label.m Protein Spray and Blow Out Spray

Label.m is a brand that I am new to, but I bought 2 products from their range a few months ago & thought I would review them for you today. I bought the Protein Spray  and a mini bottle of the Blow Out Spray.

The Protein Spray is designed to protect the hair from UV damage and heat damage and it is sprayed on to damp or dry hair before using any heated appliances. It also claims to even out porosity, which made me want to try it even more because my hair is damaged from years to dying, tonging, straightening etc and also from general ill-health & medication.

Recent purchases #10 featuring TIGI & Nars

I have a mini haul to share with you today! Three of the items were necessary purchases & the other one was more of a want than a need! I will start with hair care. I needed a new hair spray & at the moment am enjoying using TIGI products so I bought the Hard Head hairspray as I had heard great things about it and at £9.31 for 400ml, I thought it was a pretty good buy. I also bought another product from TIGI: the Bed Head Superstar Blow Dry Lotion. This is designed to be used with the Queen for a day thickening spray in order to achieve maximum volume. I will definitely report back on how this works.

REVIEW: Cargo Cosmetics Vintage Escape Fall Eye Shadow Palette

I am self-confessed palette addict. I own more than is necessary, but there are some shadows in each one that I adore, however today's palette is different in that I love every shadow in the palette & use them all! It is from Cargo Cosmetics & is their Vintage Escape Eyeshadow Palette. 

It contains 12 shadows: a mixture of matte & shimmer. They are all warm toned & are so buttery soft and easy to blend. They are very pigmented so I only need to barely dab my brush in the shadow to achieve the colour. My favourite combination is crisp and withered leaves, with a little black crow smudged along the lash line. Cinnamon and rustic work beautifully together too. There are so many combinations that can be used for both day and night time looks.

Like big, voluminous hair? Try this: TIGI Bed Head Superstar Queen for a day thickening spray

Like a lot of ladies, I like some volume in my hair and am on the endless pursuit to find the ultimate volume inducing product (that doesn't break the bank!). I decided to give Tigi Bed Head Superstar Queen for a day Thickening Spray a whirl because at £11.86 for 300ml it is not too expensive. (I also like the name!)

REVIEW: Lancome Grandiose Mascara

I am a huge mascara fan and have previously reviewed a number of mascaras here, here and here. YSL's faux cils is my holy grail mascara, but I think there is no harm in checking others out just in case there is a better product on the market. Also, the packaging is just so pretty!

REVIEW: Kerastase Discipline Range

I am a big fan of Kerastase shampoos & conditioners & have tried & loved products from a number of their ranges: Elixir Ultime, Oleo Relax, Cristalliste, Nutritive and Resistance (my favourite range). When their new Disclipine was launched, I knew that I would inevitably have to try it. It is designed for unruly hair. Whilst my hair is not particularly unruly, anything that will add moisture and reduce frizziness is right up my street.

REVIEW: Real Techniques Nic's Picks Collection

I've loved Real Techniques brushes for a long time - their Expert Face Brush is my all time favourite foundation brush. I'm a big fan of the lovely ladies from Pixiwoo & I think their tutorials are fantastic. Theirs was the first channel that I subscribed to on youtube and it has been amazing to see them go from strength to strength. The majority of my brushes are from Real Techniques - they are brilliant quality at a really affordable price.

The Perfect Palette Tag

I've seen this tag float around on youtube so thought I'd do it today because I am a big palette fan!

Question 1: Best Packaging: 
This has to go to my Charlotte Tilbury quad - I just adore the burgundy & gold packaging & think it is very luxe & sophisticated.

Question 2: Best Colour Payoff:
This was a tough one because I think that most of my palettes have good colour payoff, but I eventually settled on the Clarins Essentials Palette. I can definitely rely on these shadows to last as long as I need them to & also they are so pigmented that I don't need to use too much of the product to achieve the colour I want.

REVIEW: Aveda Botanical Kinetics Exfoliant

I recently finished a bottle of Pixi Glow Tonic and thought I would change it up & try the Aveda Botanical Kinetics Exfoliant because it was in the Look Fantastic sale and I also had an Aveda facial last year where the therapist used this & it had been on my mind since then. It is a chemical exfoliator, which I apply with a cotton pad at night after cleansing. It gently exfoliates, yet is very effective at brightening my skin by removing dead skin cells. It is extremely gentle on my sensitive skin and I have not had any redness or adverse reaction to it at all. I follow it up with my beloved Dermalogica Ultra Calming Mist, serum & moisturiser.

REVIEW: bareMinerals bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation

When I saw Jaclyn Hill using this foundation in a tutorial a few months ago, I knew I had to have it. The video was called "How to look fresh & awake when you're exhausted" - it was right up my street! I'm back on treatment for my illness now & I look and feel permanently exhausted so anything that will help to make me look (& therefore feel) a bit better is worth splashing the cash on! Fortunately, this foundation isn't over expensive. At £22.88, it is mid range and certainly a lot cheaper than my other recent foundation purchase -  YSL Fusion Ink. I also bought the Perfecting Face Brush, which at first I thought was a bit indulgent, given that I have plenty of buffing brushes but I am glad I bought it because it works perfectly with this foundation.

Currently loving theBalm products!

theBalm is a brand that I've only become aware of in the last few months, but the more products I try, the more I love! I adore the retro packaging of the products & that they are all really compact. It is also a very affordable brand with blushes & bronzers starting at £13.50, yet the quality is as good as high end brands.

Two new highlighting additions: theBalm Mary Lou Manizer and Illamasqua Aurora

I'm a big fan of highlighters and I've written a post on my favourite ones here. More recently, I have added three more to my collection and I am going to share my thoughts with you on two of them today. I have one cream highlighter: Illamasqua Gleam in Aurora and one powder highlighter: theBalm Mary Lou Manizer. They are both similar in price at £18 and £16 respectively.

Empties #3 featuring Xen Tan, Pixi, Elemis, Macadamia & more!

So it is empties time again! There's something very satisfying about finishing products for me - the opportunity to try new things or just to make some room on my heaving shelves! I have a variety of empties to share with you today - hair, body, skin care & 1 make-up product.

I'll begin with the hair care products. Firstly, I have a bottle of Sebastian Professional Penetraitt Shampoo. I had heard so many good things about this product, but it just did not live up to the hype for me. My hair felt completely stripped. I live in a hard water area so maybe that didn't help, but I definitely would not but this shampoo again. I finished 2 hair oils this month: Percy & Reed Volumising No Oil Oil, which was just a mini size that I had received with a magazine. It has lasted a long time as a little goes a long way. I really, really like this product - it is very light, has a very light, fresh scent and really does add volume. I would repurchase at some point in the future when I get through some more of the many, many hair products that I have on the go at the moment! The second oil is Macadamia Healing Oil Spray - I love this product. I used it as a finishing spray & it really added a fabulous shine to my hair. I will definitely repurchase.

REVIEW: YSL Fusion Ink Foundation

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I am a bit of a foundation junkie! My foundation collection post is here, if you want to check out the general types of foundations that I like. When I first heard about YSL's Fusion Ink foundation, I was very intrigued - firstly, because I am a massive YSL fan, but also because I have never tried an ink foundation before - Armani's Maestro & Lancome's Air De Teint never particularly interested me. 

REVIEW: Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette in Streak

I bought this Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette in Streak last month because I liked the idea of a bronzer, highlighter & blush in one and I thought that Streak would be most suited to my skin tone. It was the coral blush colour that really attracted me to this palette over Native & Strip. There is more bronzer than blush & highlight and this is the right proportion, in my opinion because I couldn't see myself using equal amounts of all three. The bronzer is a medium shade, not as dark as my Hoola or Nars so I wouldn't use it for contour even though it is matte, however if you are pale it might work for you. 

REVIEW: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

If you read my mascara collection post, you will know that I love a voluminous look on my lashes & when I read Just Julie's post about Better Than Sex Mascara from Too Faced, I knew that I had to get my hands on it. I featured it in my recent haul & have been using it for 2 weeks now & am ready to share my thoughts with you now.

Recent Purchases #7 featuring Hourglass, Nars, Illamasqua, Urban Decay, Too Faced, Vita Liberata, Kerastase, TIGI, Label M & Manuka Doctor

With the last of my birthday money, I decided to splurge on some items that I had wanted for a while! I have a mix of make-up & hair care. The great thing about being subscribed to newsletters with online shops is that most of them send a discount code for your birthday! How could I resist using them?!

First up are two items that featured on my recent wishlist: Hourglass Ambient Blush in Dim Infusion & Urban Decay Naked Flushed Compact in Streak. I have wanted a Hourglass blush since they were first released & Dim Infusion looked right up my street. I love coral and gold & this product has the perfect blend of both. I was lucky enough to receive this as a gift from my cousin for my birthday a few weeks ago & I am very excited to use it! The Urban Decay palette in Streak is perfect for bringing in your handbag as it has a mix of bronzer (can be used to contour), blush & highlight.

Empties & speedy reviews #2 featuring Elemis, Clinique, Xen Tan, This Works, Macadamia & more!

So it's empties time again! I am really on a mission this year to clear my shelves of products & use them up, so I've told myself that I can only buy products when I have used some others up! I always store my empties in this  Ursula Celano dressing table jar because it is just so bright & pretty!

I finished 3 small bottles of perfume this month (sob, sob!). The first is from Calvin Klein - a 30ml bottle of Euphoria. This is one of my favourite perfumes & I always like to have a bottle on the go. Luckily I have another larger bottle so I don't need to repurchase just yet. Next is Acqua Di Gioia - this is a beautiful, refreshing scent. It is quite minty & citrusy and I just love having this fragrance in summer. Also, from Armani I have Acqua Di Gio, which is similar but not quite as minty. It smells clean, if that makes sense & very uplifting! I don't have back-ups of either of these unfortunately, so will keep my eye out for any offers!

Foundation favourites featuring Armani, Lancome, Chanel, Nars, YSL & more!

In my quest to find my perfect foundation, I have gathered up quite the collection & I thought I would share my thoughts on them with you today! My skin is dry/dehydrated & I've never found one foundation that sits perfectly all of the time & gives that luminous glow I like. I don't like a matte finish & I like my skin to look dewy. So with that in mind, I have tried & tested many foundations!

REVIEW: Comparing hair oils featuring Kerastase, Percy & Reed, Moroccan Oil & Macadamia Natural Oil

I am a big fan of hair oils in a never-ending bid to hydrate & protect my hair. I currently have 5 in my collection, although I wouldn't repurchase all of them. I don't think it is necessary to own more than one, but I kept buying until I found "the one" & thought I would share my thoughts on the oils I own with you today.

I will start with the one that is probably most well known: Moroccan Oil. This is the original version - it also comes in a light version for fine hair. When I first used this, I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread! It helped my comb to just glide through my hair & reduced drying time - result! However, over time I found that it left a lot of build-up in my hair & I just felt that I couldn't get my hair to feel clean. I tried using a clarifying shampoo, but it really just took time & lots of washing for my hair to feel clean & non-greasy again. Having said that, this oil really gives my hair a beautiful shine & it is nice to use occasionally rather than after every wash. Maybe the light version would just suit my hair better.

Face mask collection featuring GLAMGLOW, Ren, Origins, Eve Lom, Borghese & Dermalogica

I love a good face mask & really think it is the perfect way to instantly perk up my skin. I have a number that I use on rotation & for different reasons, so I thought I'd share them with you today!

I'll start with my least favourite - not because it is not a good product, but it is probably the least suited to my skin of all of my collection. It is the Borghese Fango Mud Active Mask & active it certainly is! This offers a very, very deep cleanse & will always bring spots out when I use it - probably why I'm not crazy about it! I have never used a mask like it before & I don't tend to use it too often, but if I feel that a spot may be about to appear, I will dab a bit of this directly on the spot & leave it for hours or overnight (don't open the door to strangers when this is on!). It will always bring the spot to a head, then I whack on the Origins Spot Remover & possibly some sudocreme if its a really bad one & this combination of products mean that the spot is gone within 24-48 hours! I don't get spot very often, so am unsure how I'll ever get through this big tub!!

For the love of scrub! REVIEW: Body scrub comparison featuring L'Oreal, Clarins, L'Occitane, The Body Shop & More!

If you want soft skin, you have to exfoliate. If you want an even tan, you have to exfoliate. If you want to get rid of dead skin, you need to exfoliate. If you want your skin to glow, you need to exfoliate............ are you getting the picture?! I love a good scrub & usually do so twice a week - some people need to do it more often, some less so but everybody needs to do it! I have a little body scrub collection built up & I love trying out new products, but I do tend to get through them quite quickly! I use scrub gloves with a shower gel on a regular basis, but I also need more than that to keep my skin soft & supple. Depending on your skin, how often you tan, the weather where you live & a variety of other factors, you may only need to exfoliate once a week, or possibly up to 3/4 times a week. It's up to the individual, but I like to use a body scrub twice a week for a deep exfoliation. I have 6 body scrubs to review for you today - 2 budget, 2 mid-price & 2 high end. I'll start with the budget brands.

First up is the L'Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Exfotonic Body Polishing Gel Tan Optimiser (why do so many products have such long names these days?!).

REVIEW: Clarins Beauty Flash Balm Vs Elemis Pro Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm has been part of my collection for years & years - it has holy grail status at this stage! I cannot do my make-up routine without it - it helps my foundation to sit better & not cling to any dry patches I might have. No matter how tired or ill I am, this perks my skin up & makes everything look dewy & radiant. I use it after my moisturiser & put my foundation on immediately after application. I use my fingers, but you could use an old style foundation brush also (MAC 190, for example). It can also be used as a mask if you apply a thin layer after cleansing & leave it on for 15 minutes. This product is an all round 10/10 for me.

REVIEW: Grow Gorgeous Hair Growth Serum after 6 weeks of use.

I have been on medical treatment since last September & it has taken its toll on my skin, nails & particularly, my hair. I come from a family of women who have lots of hair - let's just say volume wouldn't normally be a problem for us! But I noticed that my hair wasn't as thick or full as it used to be & did a bit of research to see if there was anything I could use to change that (I already take supplements). I read some blog posts about Grow Gorgeous, but they all seem to be from the time of its release, rather than after use. I decided to buy it in Boots even though it is quite expensive for what you get - £29.99 for 60ml. I've been using it for 6 weeks at this stage & feel ready to share my thoughts. You can see how much I have used in the 6 weeks in the picture below.

The directions say to put 20 drops (it comes with a pipette) once daily on to the scalp & massage evenly & thoroughly until you feel the serum has been absorbed.
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