Saturday, 24 September 2016

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Makeup Obsession custom palettes


Top L to R: Eyeshadows "Daze", "Scene", "Cosmo" and "Precious Metals"
Middle L to R: Blush "Fancy" and "Babe", Highlighter "Bronze"
Bottom L to R: Cream Highlighter "Radiance", Cream Contour "Light", Highlighter "Bare" and Powder Contour "Light"

You know when you're just cruising the internet and just happen on something then half an hour later you have bought something you probably didn't need? Yeah. That happened. Lucky for me I only spent Boots Advantage Card points, not money :)

I must say that this particular launch has completely passed under my radar? I can't even find hardly any blogger posts, Jane from British Beauty Blogger has one, and London Beauty Queen has one too. There are some swatches, but not that many. Small selection of Instagram posts. So I've included a swatchfest in this post for you! :) Boots pages have a few more nuggets of information, and a very short video.

I did go past the new Emporium stand in my Boots today where these are to be sold, but it wasn't all finished. But they did have all the colours out already, so I bought another blush and highlight.

Anyway let's get into this. You buy the palette, then you buy the colours, then click them into the palette. If you decide to swap things round, just pop the product out and it goes back into the hard plastic box it came in! This is great if you want to just take one or two of the products with you travelling. The boxes are also great as you could mix and match it on a weekly basis without having unprotected eye shadows lying around getting broken.

Of course I went overboard with the large luxe 12 shade palette in rose gold... It's not completely full, as I decided I could buy more later when I had made up my mind. I did get a bit of anxiety trying to choose the shades...

My only concern right now is I am not sure how the cream products will fare in the palette; they may dry up/attract dirt. I'll keep you posted.

Swatches

Here is a list of the shades, and how I feel they swatch in terms of formula and colour pay off. I swatched these with an brush, as that is how I will use them.

Eyeshadows: "Daze" (matte), "Scene", "Cosmo" and "Precious Metals" (shimmers)

Blush: "Fancy" (matte) and "Babe" (shimmer)

Cream Highlight "Precious", Cream Contour "Light", Powder Contour "Light", Highlighters "Bare" and Bronze"
I wore the first lot today for the day. I put MUA Pro Base eye primer on under the eyeshadows, and they didn't start to crease or fade until middle of afternoon (I put them on around 9.30am). Good going for £2 each! The blusher in "Fancy" was hella lot more pigmented than I thought, so I ended up with a bit of clown makeup and had to reapply :) Rookie mistake! The contour (I used it as bronzer), blush and highlights (I layered the cream with the powder) wore flawlessly.

Overall I felt the colours I picked had great colour payoff and the formula was smooth, and the only one I didn't like much was the matte eyeshadow, which I found a little bit 'dry'. This is likely to be swapped out for a light shimmer I spotted called "Champagne" fairly swiftly.

That's it for this first impressions, I will update you on my adventures with this palette in a month's time, so please keep checking back!

PS: This is a perfect gift idea - I am planning one for my Mum for Xmas (check the number of shopping days til Xmas here)! Actually I hope she doesn't read this post... :(

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Fitbit Charge 2



Wearable fitness technology is all the rage right now. But I bought my fitness tech because frankly I'm fat and struggle to keep as fit as I should be, and I need something to help me keep motivated. That's it. I will eventually give a full review on this new bit of kit, however here are my out-of-the-box and setup first impressions. The Fitbit Charge 2 comes in 4 colours, and you can buy leather bands for it as well.

It comes in a box with a weird-looking clip-on charger and scant instructions. Good thing I am a thrifty consumer and had watched umpteen YouTube videos before committing to the £129 price tag, or I wouldn't have a clue how to set this up!

With so many different kinds of trackers out there, why did I choose the Fitbit Charge 2? Hard to say, but I think the features you get for the price is the dealbreaker. I am not an athlete so something that does the everyday fitness stuff is better for me.

The Charge 2 has a heart rate monitor, which is actually good if you like to keep an eye on what your blood pressure might be up to. People have rated it very good for sleep tracking which will be interesting! I also liked the sound of the interval training mode as I like to run-walk and not just run. 

I must also admit I was totally drawn in by the new 'Relax' mode where it gives you a 2 or 5 min guided breathing exercise...How much I'll actually use it I don't know but hey I'm gonna try it! And you can set it to issue buzzing reminders to get up and move every hour. That will probably get really annoying after a while but at the moment I am excited to try it out!

NOTE: you cannot just use this thing on its own to track your fitness! You have to use either a smartphone or a computer with the Fitbit app alongside it. There is a handy list on the website which devices and OS it supports. I use it with my Samsung Galaxy S5 with the Android app (I have Marshmallow OS). The app itself has such a vast amount of information you can collect that it will take you some time to get used to it all and to set it all up.

This syncs with your smartphone using Bluetooth. I didn't realise just how annoying this would be. I have never really used Bluetooth before and find it's a bit fiddly to get the devices to pair. But maybe that's just me - perhaps more experienced users will not have this problem. Once done that's it done though, I guess.

I also found that constantly using the Bluetooth (and Location, as it won't work with that turned off!) drains the life out of my smartphone battery like nobody's business?! I have now bought a Veho Pebble Smartstick emergency charger to deal with unexpected shortfalls, but I am also starting to switch Bluetooth and Location off and only syncing the Fitbit occasionally through the day to save juice. But technically this is an issue with my smartphone, not the Fitbit, so I should stop moaning.

The Fitbit app has so many variables and mode of tracking, you just have to spend some time to get to know it and your device! :) I enjoyed the silent wakeup alarm this morning, no loud beeping noises. However if you are a heavy sleeper you may benefit from a back up alarm...

The strap on this is changeable so that's good - I have heard people having to replace their whole unit on the preceding model the Charge HR as the straps have kind of disintegrated with sweating! The strap is soft and comfortable even if you are sleeping. Some reviewers commented that it was difficult to get off once on, but you only really take it off when you have a wash so shouldn't be too much of an issue...

The unit isn't waterproof - it is sweat and splashproof but you shouldn't shower or swim with it.

The only thing I am kind of thinking is a bit weak so far is the vibrating feature. It's very subtle and you may not actually notice it if you are exercising... But maybe I am just too hardened!

So here's to many fun months of tracking my fat ass around town :) Check back in a few weeks to see how I'm getting on! :)



Monday, 19 September 2016

NOTD: MAC Star Trek collection "Skin of Evil"



I saw the very first promo shots of this polish way back last year and knew I needed it. I wasn't sure what it would look like on the nail, and it wasn't what I expected. It was better!

I can't recall seeing the episode that this is named after, as I was more of a Star Trek: Voyager fan than Star Trek: The Next Generation. Captain Janeway was totally rockin'!

Anyway, veering off target. I did 2 coats here, and it's an amazing goldy-green shimmer base with larger green glitter particles. If you hate VNL, you need to put this over another polish, like the silver and gold from the same collection. But the sheerness of it makes it so sparkly! I did 3 coats on a nail wheel just to see what it was like but there wasn't much difference.

Love this, it will likely appear in the Top Ten at the end of the year! :) Now I will need to seek out the Lip Glass called "Khaaaan!" as well :)

Sunday, 18 September 2016

REVIEW: Tresemme Expert Beauty-full Volume reverse system


So I am a sucker for anything new that will give me nice hair. So of course, I had to try the 'reverse hair washing' system from Tresemme. I don't think this is necessarily new, I think it may have been out for a while but passed under my radar.

I have fine, blonde hair; typical Scandinavian hair. It's also a little bit dry. I gave this system a good 2 weeks to work, washing my hair every other day or so.

So the gist of this system is that you put the conditioner in the ends, let it work for 1 minute then rinse out. You then shampoo your hair. Tresemme claim that this way you can condition your hair without weighing it down. I found the shampoo feels more like a 2-in-1 shampoo as it's very creamy, more on that below.

No matter how much I wanted them to, these products did not work for me. I found my hair to be very soft, but also very limp and flat. I tried varying the degree of conditioner I put in, but it was always the same. I also got a lot of flyaways, something I am not usually bothered with and my hair was also static a lot of the time.

I think the shampoo formula is to blame. It seems like it has something in it that coats your hair and just makes it a bit too heavy for fine haired gals like me. I think I could probably use the shampoo on it's own as a 2-in-1 shampoo if I go travelling?..

So sorry, Tresemme, I love your Deep Cleansing Shampoo but this system is a bust for me. I will be going back to my L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay shampoo and conditioner tomorrow!


Friday, 9 September 2016

**FREEBIE ALERT** NOTD: Ciate "Prima Ballerina"


The second of the Ciate freebies in October issue of Marie Claire (UK edition) that I picked up!

This feels autumnal even though it's a grey not like an orange/vampy or whatever. I was hoping this would apply OK to apply as some grey/greige are gloopy.

This is 2 smooth-to-apply coats, first I panicked as the polish seemed a bit thick and highly pigmented in the bottle but it self-levels nicely. I topped it with Sally Hansen Megashine,

I think this is definitely a bit more edgy but still an office appropriate neutral nail. Such a great freebie as these are full-size bottles as well. Bring on more like this! 

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

**FREEBIE ALERT** NOTD: Ciate "Dangerous Affair"


Marie Claire (UK Edition) is running Ciate freebies this month with their October edition - so be quick if you want one!

I love a free nail polish with my fashion magazine :) I got both the grey and this dark red one. I couldn't get a decent photo of this one! Very annoying. In all my photos it looks washed out on the nail as my camera tries to compensate the light levels. Bad camera!!! It's a vampy dark red creme, much like the bottle in this photo. The formula was smooth and easy to apply. I've worn it all weekend and it still looks good despite running a bumblebee information stall at a large event for kids in the weekend, and fiddling around inside the Husbands computer (broken, again).

I did 2 coats here with a coat of Sally Hansen Megashine top coat. Love this colour, getting me in the autumn mood :)

These are full size Ciate bottles, so excellent value for money with your magazine! I loved the previous Ciate release with InStyle magazine as well, "Rain Check". Well worth checking out if you fancy any of the four colours.

Friday, 2 September 2016

FIRST LOOK: Makeup Revolution Precision Pro Large Oval Face Brush



I saw these on Facebook and in seconds proceeded to order. I've been waiting for an affordable alternative to the highly hyped Artis brushes that I keep seeing on blogs. This is £12 from TAM Beauty website (not an affiliate link). Needless to say, as I won't part with £50+ for a brush to put makeup onto my face with, I've not tried the Artis brush. So I guess I can't really compare as such, but I will do a full review of how this particular brush applies and blends my foundation. If it does a good job, there is no need to want an actual Artis brush anymore! There is also a smaller face version of this oval face brush, if you find the gargantuan proportions of this bad-boy too much for you!

I went for the 'large' version as I decided I wanted the biggest mofo brush they sold; if I was gonna go there I was gonna go hardcore. And yeah, also the large oval looks like the Artis brush that Tati is using in this video, the no 7... It is indeed large! I have compared it below with a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush.

Bad-ass brush!!
It feels ridiculously soft yet springy, and it's amazingly densely packed. I have a feeling it may be a b*tch to wash, but that's a problem for another day. I can't wait to try this out - I think I will try it with my YSL foundation first to offer it some stiff work.

Keep an eye out for the full review in a couple of weeks!