Sunday, 31 December 2017

TOP TEN of 2017!

So it's that time of the year again when we wave goodbye to the old and bring in the new! I have used a lot of beauty products this year but realised I've not really blogged about them, so this is my chance to give you the top ten of what has been new this year.

Beauty...
Barry M Liquid Chrome Highlighter Drops
See the full review here. I still love these, and I've started mixing the two shades I have for my perfect winter shade :) Well worth the £6.99 price tag!

Isadora Chrome Nails Powder
In my preview post here, I said I would do a full manicure with tutorial. That never happened so far but I will do one! Maybe for my birthday... It doesn't last for jack, but it is gorgeous for about a day or so!

L'Oreal Paris Hydra Genius Liquid Care
Wait - just realised this is is still un-reviewed as well, must do something about that. This was the best moisturiser I had all summer!

Barry M Matte Me Up Metallic Liquid Lip Kit "Prestige"
Read my Lipstick July post here. I can't stop using this, but now I can't find it in the shops so I am hoping it wasn't limited edition!! The regular Matte Me liquid lipsticks are also great!

Blenderelle
Read the full review here. This has been so good for storing and drying my Beauty Blender at the same time that I can't imagine not having this now, so I hope they keep making them in case mine breaks!

L'Oreal Elvive Phytoclear shampoo
No secret I love L'Oreal Elvive hair care, you just need to search for it on the blog... But for some reason I haven't actually reviewed this shampoo?? After I got pregnant I had an awful time with dandruff and an itchy scalp so I bought this and haven't looked back!

L'Oreal Paris Brow Artist Xpert Eyebrow Pencil
I can't believe I've not actually done a review on this one either. I must do. It is simply the only eyebrow product I use on a daily basis now, and has completely replaced the rather overpriced Benefit Goof Proof eyebrow pencil. I would dare to say they are dupes other than the price point -£6.99 vs £20. For me the choice is obvious!

Urban Decay Naked Heat Lipstick in "Heat"
A limited edition Urban Decay release always sets hearts racing and this was no exception. Being very boring in the eyeshadow palette department in my old age, the lipsticks was the part of the collection I was drawn to. And this one in particular. I bought it as soon as it was released, and good thing, it's been sold out ever since! I will have to do a proper review on this lipstick as it is the best red ever!

Zoya Anchor and Armor top and base coats combo
After we decided to try for a baby, I switched all my nail polish to minimum 3-free (goodbye OPI and China Glaze), and wore mainly Zoya polishes (which are actually 5-free). I decided to start using a new system with only Zoya top and base coat, so I bought Zoya Anchor (base) and Armor (top) to use, and it has been phenomenal for me. A friend said it didn't last on her when she used it, but I've found my manicures last a minimum of 4 days before showing tip wear, which is unheard of! I will definitely be continuing to use this combo for some time, considering just how good it is, and also because it is 5-free.

Not beauty...
Chilly's Bottle
I will be doing a full review on this in the new year! These are metal insulated bottles which are leakproof. They will keep cold liquids cold for 24hrs and hot liquids hot for 12hrs. Being pregnant, your water being just as cold whenever and wherever is great when you're feeling a ugh and just want a really cold drink, not a lukewarm drink... These are pricey at £20 for the 500ml size, but they come in some cool designs and really live up to their claims! I love my bottle!

That's it for my top ten, what was your top products of 2017? And what are you looking forward to in 2018??

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Friday, 29 December 2017

REVIEW: L'Oreal Age Perfect Anti Ageing Radiant Foundation


So I am not really in the 'mature' skin bracket just yet, however I thought this foundation sounded like it would do what I want right now; "Gives the look of firmer, smoother, brighter skin. Blurs fine lines and imperfections. Medium to full coverage". Right on! Gotta get me some of that. There aren't really any reviews out there, and the ones on the Boots website are mostly collected as part of a promotion, so I was flying blind with this one.

I used my oil-free Smashbox primer on the left side, and no primer on the other. I used my Zoeva 102 Silk Finish brush to apply. I also ended up trying to pat it down with my Beauty Blender in desperation of the finished look... I am usually the shade 'Rose Beige' in L'Oreal's foundations in the wintertime, and it looks like that's a good fit for me still. The formula is rather thick, but to be expected for a foundation boasting medium to full coverage.

So. Once I'd applied it, I looked in the mirror and realised I instantly looked 10 years... OLDER!!! WTF... This foundation emphasizes every pore and every fine line on my face, and it even made the skin between my eyebrows look massively wrinkly. I don't mean it showed fine lines, I mean, wrinkly. It also grabs onto and emphasizes any little bits of dryness. It sets to a semi-matte, not dewy, finish which wasn't what I was expecting. There is definitely no hint of the 'radiant' part of the name of this foundation.

It is certainly medium to full coverage, and definitely buildable. It feels lightweight on the skin for a full coverage foundation, and isn't sticky etc. But I can't hack the awful finish - I look OLD when I was hoping for the opposite!! My Husband aptly said; "I think it accentuates the texture of the skin", which is the opposite of the claim made of 'blurring fine lines and imperfections'. It's also a nice way of him saying I look like I have elephant hide on my face... #besthusbandever

After about 7hrs it still looked the same on both sides (primed vs. un-primed), so I guess it is at least long-wearing?

Mucho disappointed, L'Oreal. I wouldn't recommend spending the RRP of £12.99 on this, unless you fancy looking well past your prime 🤔 Nil points, L'Oreal.

Jikes look at those PORES :O I didn't even know I had a smile crease...

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

REVIEW: 2017 Advent Calendar from H&M


Days 10  to 18

Days 19 to 24
So Xmas is over, boo, and no more advent calendar action :( But this year's calendar was a real treat!! As discussed in an earlier post, I bought the H&M nail polish calendar. This hadn't really been advertised anywhere, I am guessing they didn't send it out to lots of bloggers for review... But when I saw it on their website, I knew I had to have it!

I wasn't disappointed! Out of 24 doors (it's Swedish, we celebrate on Xmas eve!), only 3 were meh (7, 18 and 21). I wasn't super excited about the nudes but they are great nudes in terms of coverage and colour, it's just not my 'thing'. I like a colourful nail, in case you didn't know 😉

The formula is the new formula of H&M nail polish, which I absolutely love - smooth and opaque. The polishes are also 3 free, which is important for me at the moment (since I'm pregnant). These are small, half the size of the regular bottles. But the range of colours and finishes is amazing - the only thing there wasn't was a matte and a textured polish but I am not sure the regular range do these anyway?.. There is even a holo in here (scattered, but still holo!).

For the price of £35 I thoroughly enjoyed this, and will continue to enjoy it through the year 😁 Hats off to H&M for a well thought out advent offering this year!

Monday, 25 December 2017

MERRY XMAS + best xmas gift ever?



If you're wondering why the last few months have been rather quiet on the blog, it's mainly because of that... We're expecting our first baby! If you are already a mum (or indeed a dad) you may know that the first few months of pregnancy can be rather ugh, and you're too tired to even think. Mix that with working full time and trying to get a new house in order, you know there is no spare time when you are not sleeping...

We found out that we were pregnant a couple of weeks after we had moved into our new house - some housewarming present!! I've not been very unwell or anything save for the first few weeks when I had skyhigh blood pressure. Other than that I've just been mega-tired. But now at 18wks preggers the fatigue seems to finally be going away :)

So here is to a 2018 of regular blogging and maybe mixing things up a bit with more 'lifestyle' things like I'd hoped last year. Maybe even some pregnancy beauty, who knows?? :)

MERRY XMAS YA'LL!!

Monday, 11 December 2017

Advent calendar update!


I love Day 11 - it's called "Alexandrite"!
Yeah, time is flying past at the moment... Even forgotten to do any posts in December so far. BUT I got myself an advent calendar from H&M, and it's so far pretty damn awesome!

Today I opened the little door and was like "*%$# it!! I should have done my nails today, not yesterday!!" because today's colour is an absolute stunner! I've completely forgotten to do my NOTD's from this calendar (ooops) but you can see today's one in the background, it's H&M "Spiced Plum".

So far in this calendar there is only one real dud apart from the nudes, I'm over my nudes phase. Don't get me wrong the nudes are all great if you like a nude colour, they are butter smooth and opaque, but I'm needing a bit more colour in my life than nudes.

Thinking Day 2, 6 and 11 are my favourites so far!
All the colours I've swatched so far are great in two coats (apart from Day 7's glitter one which is crap but maybe it's supposed to be a top coat?..). The formula is all I'd expect from the new range of H&M's nail polishes (search my blog for H&M reviews) i.e. excellent! The only problem I have with this calendar is that I am too lazy to do a new NOTD every day to actually do it justice... I work for a living. Don't judge me!!

It was £35 quid. Considering each bottle is a small 4ml (half the size of the full size bottles) it's slightly pricey, but for me, it's really worth it for the variety and excitement. I am really loving this calendar, can't wait to open the rest of the doors!! 😎


Thursday, 2 November 2017

REVIEW: Barry M Liquid Chrome Highlighter Drops

L: Liquid Fortune   R: At First Light

L: Liquid Fortune   R: At First Light

After waiting ages for drugstore brands to bring out clones of the hyped CoverFX liquid highlighters, two different brands release their versions almost at the same time! I haven't tried the Makeup Revolution one yet, as I've not seen it in my Superdrug but I might try those as well.

I got this Barry M offering as soon as I saw it in my local Boots! First I bought "At First Light" which is an icy pink champagne. I found this was far too starkly icy on me, so it's going over to my very pale friend. I then bough "Liquid Fortune" which is a bronzey gold. That one is perfect! It gives a really lit-from-within glow on me, and I am in love with it! I guess it's a bit in colour like my favourite highlighter which is the NYX Liquid Illuminator in 'Gleam'.

I did try a few ways of putting this on. First was just put a drop on the cheekbone and rub in. Not ideal, kind of became just a bit glittery? Then I just patted it on with my finger, which was OK. After that I tried dampening one the mini Beautyblenders (I bought these in a moment of madness) and dabbing on. And that is perfect! Of course, you could just use your usual Beautyblender as well. It gives a much more perfected result but you will use more product as some gets stuck in the sponge. And it's kind of a pain in the ass to clean out. But the mini ones I don't use for anything else (as they are useless for anything else) so I don't mind.

This is not as creamy and pigmented as the CoverFX highlighter, but it's a very nice product and about £25 cheaper! It retails for £6.99, which is very affordable. The shades do looks similar in the bottles, but they do go on rather differently as you will see in my swatches vs the bottle shot. So if you're looking for an affordable alternative to the CoverFX highlighters, definitely have a look at these!

Monday, 30 October 2017

REVIEW: The Ordinary Coverage Foundation


So I've moved house, and finally got to a point where I feel I have time to get back to blogging!! I had such a massive clear-out of products, both makeup and skin/body/hair care, that I feel I have almost started anew! :) Of course, my husband doesn't agree... 

So when this foundation was released back in the summer it had a massive waiting list, and I was waaaaaay down on that list! I had to wait a month or so before it actually came, but when it did I was super-excited to try it out.

The reviews for this particular offering varies. Some people seem to love it, others, not so much. I have now tried this when my skin is in various states over the last couple of months, and here is my verdict...

I like that it's;

  • very affordable
  • in a pump bottle
  • has good coverage

What I am not loving is that;

  • you can't go to a shop and try on shades unless you live in London
  • it clings to any tiny dry bits
  • you need to wear a primer or it won't last

I struggled to find a decent shade despite the shades being swatched on the website and other blogs. I have again chosen a shade which is just that bit too light for me (2.0N), as it gives me a rather pale face when I put it on. Choose carefully - I found it's really hard to gauge the actual colour from swatches I've seen!

I found that this is best put on with fingers, no brush or sponge. When applied with a sponge, I couldn't get an even coverage. When applied with a brush it settled in my pores. I think you need the warmth of fingers to work this into the skin.

In terms of finish, it is rather matte, more matte than I usually wear. Therefore it clings to dry spots, so you need to exfoliate and moisturise very well. I think this is one of those foundations which you will need to use a primer with, both to get a good base and to make it last. I used it with my Smashbox primer and it was better. But, I don't like using primer, as most of the make me break out (and I never break out). Wear time without primer was about 3hrs for me before it started to break up around the nose.

So for me, this is not something I will repurchase. I think on young, supple and maybe slightly oily skin this would be better. I don't fit in any of those categories anymore... In hindsight, even though I wanted the higher coverage, I should maybe have gone for the Serum Foundation instead. But for the price, £5.90, I'm glad I gave the Coverage one a try anyway! :)

The Ordinary have just announced their 'Watercolors' range of foundation, so I might have to try those as well, maybe I'll have more luck with those!