Thursday, 3 October 2013

Estee Lauder Double Wear vs. Revlon Colorstay

Until recently, my foundation posts have been swept away into an abyss due to the overwhelming presence of my beautiful Estee Lauder Double Wear. Since discovering this beauty I haven't had eyes for any other foundation, convinced nothing could beat my holy grail.
However, prior to my trip to Portugal last month I finally decided I needed to buy myself a cheaper foundation - I was that girl who decided to get a spray tan before she went on holiday (I absolutely don't tan a single bit), and needed to buy a foundation that was 2/3 shades darker - knowing full well that I'd only wear it after a spray tan, which happens a maximum of once or twice a year.
I did a bit of blog scouring and found that the Revlon Colorstay foundation seemed to be popular, especially with people wanting a long wear, medium-heavy coverage which matched my Double Wear. Unfortunately I accidentally bought the version for Normal/Dry skin instead of the Combination/Oily that I was planning to, but I ended up amazed by the results it gave and have repurchased in my usual close-to-white skin colour! As the two are so similar, I thought it would be useful to do a little comparison - Expensive vs. Drugstore, and see which I prefer!

Starting simple, the Double Wear costs £28.50 for 30ml, and Colorstay costs £12.49 for the same amount.

Both foundations come in glass bottles - the Double Wear (shown above) has frosted glass which adds a certain touch of expense to the bottle and shows that it's a cut above the usual drugstore products. I've had to add a MAC pump (see my post here) in order to dispense the product better so not to waste any, but this also has a shut mode so acts as a lid.

The Colorstay also has no pump but I haven't found a pump that fits this bottle so I do feel like quite a bit of product is wasted when I use it. To be honest though in all other ways this packaging looks a lot more high end than it's £12 price tag and I think the glass bottle gives it a definite edge above plastic bottled foundations.

Skin Irritation
One of my big things about foundation is whether or not it's going to set my skin off - I'm extremely prone to breakouts and any kind of change can mess up my skin balance, so I have to pick my foundations carefully. I have to say though, neither of these foundations caused any kind of effect on my blemishes so my skin is obviously in favour of both!

Another factor for me is the coverage - because of my past trouble with blemishes I have a lot of those awful red marks that lots of teenage girls will be familiar with - the hyper-pigmentation left after a blemish that can take up to a year to fade. This means I tend to wear full coverage foundations, but because the rest of my skin is improving I've started to experiment with medium coverage as well. I would say the Colorstay is a medium, maybe medium-full depending on what you're used to. It won't cover hyper-pigmentation completely but will only need a tad of concealer to back it up - whereas the Double Wear is without a doubt full coverage - my skin still has a way to go before it hits perfect and this means I have practically zero need for concealer! Neither has a cakey tendency and will look fairly natural as long as you don't over apply - both can look dodgy if you pack it on (which I guess is common sense really..) so just go minimal and you can always add more!

Staying Power
The last comparison I wanted to make was the staying power - the Colorstay has a rather unbelievable claim of 'up to 24 hours wear' and the Double Wear is obviously famous for it's staying power. The Double Wear is definitely superior for stay - it lasts a full day from wake up to bed with almost no movement whatsoever, meaning absolutely no need for top up. The Colorstay does last the day but there's a noticeable difference between wake up and bed - for a flawless look, a top up of concealer would be needed half way through the day. Despite this, it lasted a surprising amount of time and far outdoes any other drugstore foundation I've tried!

In conclusion, the Double Wear is clearly the better foundation - that's to be expected from a foundation £16 more than the Colorstay. However, the Colorstay still holds its own in the battle of foundations and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a cheaper, medium-full coverage foundation as a Double Wear dupe with a little less coverage!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

My Beauty Bibles

I'm going to start out by saying that I wish someone had stopped me aged thirteen, foundation two shades too orange for my skin, hair scraped back and the scrapings of a Natural Collection mascara on my lashes and just handed me one of these books.

In my opinion, beauty bibles are completely essential: for both a lazy poolside read and a brush up on techniques and tips. I'm not saying these are brought out every day, but each contain their own priceless hints and tips that have helped sculpt my beauty routine.

Bobbi Brown: Teenage Beauty, by Bobbi Brown and Annemarie Iverson
This is a fairly new book that my family brought back from a car boot sale a few weeks ago, but has already graced it's way into my beauty bibles collection. As this book is specifically for teenagers, it focuses mainly on how to achieve beauty in a subtle way - minimum makeup but maximum results, and it also talks about skincare tips for teenage skin, discussing issues such as how to deal with hormonal skin and acne.
If you ignore the scattered 'love yourself, beauty is on the inside' cheesy inspirational lines, it's a good read for younger people wanting to start wearing makeup, or maintain a subtle look.

Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual, by Bobbi Brown
Time for the big one: this gorgeous manual, again by Bobbi Brown (my makeup idol, that woman is a miracle worker!) is the be all and end all of makeup. It contains everything you would everything need to know about makeup of any kind, and displays it all in incredible full page glossy photos. I love that this book goes into great detail and almost feels scientific in it's explanations, so you can really feel like you understand the reasons why her tips work.

Lauren Conrad Beauty by Lauren Conrad and Elise Loehnen
I hadn't heard of Lauren Conrad till I heard recommendations for this book on a blog somewhere as I'd never seen The Hills - but it's pretty apparent at a google of her name that a) she is absolutely stunning and b) that girl knows how to dress! She's also a fellow worshipper of my staple look: the winged eyeliner, so I was in girl crush mode instantly. Again, the book focuses on all aspects of makeup, but also features a section on haircare and a personal favourite - the step by step makeup looks section. I find it fascinating hearing the little tips and tricks people use in their daily routine - and if she ends up looking that good then it must be worth a try.

If you haven't invested in beauty manuals yet then I'd definitely recommend one of these as a starting point - who knows, it could end up changing your entire routine!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Primark A/W Collection 2013 Wishlist

It's got to that weird time of year again: where the weather is finally acceptable in England, and then the shops bring in all their autumn/winter collections. Just looking at wool coats, jumpers and monochrome should be banned in August! Saying this, I'm still only female and could only resist the temptation for a few minutes after seeing a link to the new Primark A/W collections on Rachel Nicole's blog before I rushed to go check it out myself. I also saw her gorgeous wishlist and thought I'd do one for myself!

There is far too much monochrome on here for comfort, but hey, it's autumn and it's allowed! There are around a hundred new pieces on the Look website here but I've just picked a few that I would love in next seasons wardrobe.

Now I just need to get to a shop and buy it all!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

French Cosmetics Haul

Before I say anything about the collection of loveliness I have to share with you all, I have to start with a massive SORRY! It's been about a month since I posted and the only excuse I have is a big old case of bloggers block - if you're a fellow blogger, I'm sure you've been in the same situation where you just can't find any inspiration whatsoever. I'd much rather take a small break as I did than force myself to write about things that I had no passion for at all, so three weeks off plus another week sunning myself in Portugal has been my recovery. I'm glad to say I'm back now and have spent this morning photographing lots of treasures to post about over the next few weeks and I hope I still have some of you on board with Liv Florence!

Enough about me, shall we proceed onto the interesting stuff? If you're a usual reader, you'll know that a while ago I took a trip to Le Touquet in France for the weekend, and being the standard beauty blogger I couldn't help a little trip to Continente to pick up some beauty buys.

1 - Bioderma Sebium H2O
Starting with the stereotype - no blogger is going to travel to France without picking up a couple of bottles of Bioderma. I went for the Sebium version which is green rather than pink, which is meant to be more suited to oily skin as it decreases the sebium being produced in your skin (the oily yucky stuff which helps skin to break out). For those who don't know, Bioderma is a make up remover which also cleanses the skin and is truly famous within the blogosphere - I've been dying for a bottle for a while and though I did want the famous pink version, the green was more suited to my skin so :( I use this after I wash my face to make sure every scrap of make up is removed and it's actually scary to see that even after a proper cleanse, there is usually still muck on my face! I got a two pack of 500ml bottles which cost around 16 euros - amazing considering on amazon, a single 500ml bottle goes for around £15-20.

2 - Klorane Eye Makeup Remover
This was more of a spontaneous buy - I needed some eye makeup remover for my holiday and remember Ruth from A Model Recommends saying she liked this one. I have pretty sensitive eyes so usually rely on my Body Shop Camomile Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover, but this one is also supposed to be gentle and has a pH similar to that of tears (which while sounding a bit creepy, does mean it doesn't cause irritation). This works averagely for an eye makeup remover - though it is really gentle, it takes a while to fully remove eye makeup and I still prefer my Body Shop.

3 - La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo
I picked this up after a friend told me how much she swears by it - I haven't had a chance to try this out yet but it is basically a blemish treatment cream which cures most complexion woes, especially acne/ blemishes. From what I can tell, it can be used as both a direct treatment on blemishes, and as an all over cream to improve basic complexion. I'll be trying it out over the next few weeks and will be sure to pop a review up!

4 - Ducray Keracnyl Triple Action Mask 
This was another spontaneous buy, one that I am very very proud of myself for. This mask is a little miracle worker! It has three functions - absorbing excess sebum using clay, deep cleansing of pores and exfoliating. The first time I used this, it had a mild sting on my face due to what I suppose is the poly-hydroxy-acids - a feeling I actually enjoy with treatment masks, as I can feel it working. After using it, my skin felt amazingly smooth and soft - a couple of days later, a few pimples popped up as usual with a mask, and after they'd disappeared I noticed a dramatic difference in the smoothness and clearness of my skin. In short I adore this mask - I think it was only about 7-8 euros too, so a complete bargain! I'll definitely be stocking up on this when I go to France in a couple of weeks.

5 - Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm
Why am I so predictable?! I picked this up because... because everyone else have it and I want it. And guess what, I love it just like everyone else! It's a fairly matte lip balm, not leaving too much shine, but is very thick and really softens lips - whilst smelling absolutely divine! This again (though I can't remember exactly how much it cost) was quite a bit cheaper than in England, so go me!

Now that I've tried out French cosmetics, I'm completely converted - it's not going to be good for my bank account when I head over to France again in a couple of weeks.. I'm going to want to try even more!

What are your favourite French cosmetics and skincare, is there anything I should try when I go back?

Friday, 5 July 2013

Le Touquet - A French Weekend

Last weekend my family took a mini break from work and school, and headed to the gorgeous seaside town of Le Touquet in France to celebrate my dad's birthday. Le Touquet, nicknamed 'Paris-Plage' which roughly translates into 'Paris by the sea' is a gorgeous little getaway which features chic shops and Parisian visitors, as well as huge sand beaches. We were actually really lucky with the weather and managed to arrive to sunshine, which made for a lovely day of sitting in cafes, admiring the beach views and of course sampling the traditional french food.

Our hotel was also amazing, as it featured a huge indoor seawater spa pool right on the beach, as well as a hotel bar on the beach where we caught some amazing views of the sun setting. I would definitely recommend Le Touquet for anyone looking for a quick authentic French getaway, which was easily reachable through Eurotunnel in literally 3-4 hours from Hertfordshire.

I realise I've been terrible at my posting recently as it's all been happening, but I promise I've got a post lined up all about the French skincare I may have picked up in a cheeky visit to Cite Europe... I'm a blogger, I couldn't resist!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

The Analogue Tee Company

Bit of a different post today, but I thought I'd introduce you all to a new company that my sister has just set up - The Analogue Tee Company. They specialise in unique homemade tie dye t-shirts in a range of colours, and offer a 'custom design' service where you can even choose your own colours and style of tie dye to make your t-shirt totally one of a kind! My sister asked me to model the t shirts for the etsy store so I've popped some of the less awkward photos above for you to all have a look.

They are the perfect top to wear with high waisted shorts for a boho festival look, or oversized and dressed down in winter with a pair of leggings. The t-shirts come in a range of sizes and colours and are just £12.99 each, currently selling on Etsy at

Best of all, if you use the coupon code 'LivFlorence' at checkout, you can get 10% off for the first month!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Review // Topshop Lip Bullet in Covet

Topshop Lip Bullet in Covet, £8

As most of you will know, I don't have a great track record with lip products - I'm not a great fan of my lips and tend to veer away from making them stand out in anyway. Cue my obsession with nude lip products! Recently I've been trying to crazy myself up a little, and make the massive step from total nude, to nude with a hint of coral... ok, not the greatest of steps but every little helps!

I'd heard bits and bobs about the new Lip Bullets from Topshop and decided that for only £8 I'd give it a whirl, in the totally outlandish colour that is Covet. Covet is a peachy pink nude colour (if any of you own the lipstick in Whimsical, it's basically the reincarnation of that in bullet form!) , and only needs a couple of swipes before it's full coverage and ready to go. Though it generally provides a lovely dewy finish over the lips, it can cling to dry areas so is definitely better after a good old scrub!

I'm pretty impressed with these new lip bullets - especially the new packaging which appears to contain quite a bit more product than the lipsticks (the lipsticks are across the room and I may or may not be in bed, don't judge me for not checking), and provide a great on the go application!

I just wish Topshop would release a few more colours in the lip bullets excluding total nudes and bright shades to tempt me out of my nudey cave (NOT LIKE THAT).
Anyone else enjoying the lip bullets?

Thursday, 13 June 2013

5 Beauty Uses: Cotton Buds

I spend many of my posts getting all excited about various glamourous lotions and potions, but sometimes the most useful of beauty products are the simplest. One of the most used things in my makeup box fits under this roof: the lowly but oh so useful cotton bud.

1. Eyeliner Correcting
Everyone has this problem: you've just finished the perfect cat eye flick to your eyeliner and now it's time to repeat on the other eye - except you can never quite recreate that flick. By over lining my eye, I then use a cotton bud soaked in eye makeup remover to remove parts of the liner in order to match the other eye. For those with a rather over enthusiastic lining hand, this technique is also great for toning down the panda eyes!

2. Mascara Flecks
Another problem faced on a daily basis: applying mascara with particular force and getting those annoying little flecks of mascara everywhere: eyelids, temples or even down the cheeks! Again soaking a cotton bud in eye makeup remover and dabbing onto the flecks can easily remove them without any noticeable removing of foundation.

3. Acne Creams
On a slightly more unconventional note, direct blemish treatments are often seen as easiest administered by fingers - but fingertips carry bacteria which, when spread from spot to spot can cause more damage than the treatment prevents! Applying cream or gel products with cotton buds means no bacteria is spread and your skin can get to looking perfect again!

4. Eyeshadow Fallout
The classic smokey eye is a great look for any night out - but if you get a little over excited with it, you can end up looking a bit scarier than anticipated. A dry cotton bud can be passed along the line of the smokey eye to reshape it back to normality, picking up the eyeshadow from the skin effortlessly. Also, if any eyeshadow falls under the eyes during application, a swipe from a cotton bud will pick up the residue.

5. Eyebrow Shaping
Only recently have I discovered this method for keeping your eyebrows looking tame. Though I (through my excitable overplucking) have quite small sculpted eyebrows, they tend to go a bit wild throughout the day, and can end up facing all over the place - a fact my boyfriend finds incredibly amusing. Using literally a tiny amount of vaseline on the end of the cotton bud, it can be dabbed onto the part of the eyebrow past the arch in small measures to keep them set and in place - who needs brow setting products?! A note of caution on this one - do not use any more than the teeniest tiniest amount of vaseline, or apply the vaseline onto the larger part of your brow - unless you fancy looking like your eyebrows have been dipped in a vat of grease.

Can you tell I love a good cotton bud?! I hope everyone found this useful, feel free to comment below if you have anymore ingenious uses for your lowly cotton buds!

Friday, 7 June 2013

So... I went to the zoo! OOTD

So, today I went to the zoo! I haven't been in years and it was so nice to take a day out and just go enjoy myself, especially after the exam stress of the last few weeks. While I was there I took a couple of outfit snaps of me and the friend I went with to share with you all, and also thought I'd add a few cute animal photos I took! (Warning, maybe a little photo heavy!)

White scallop top - Topshop
Leather jacket - Oasis
Bleached Shorts - Homemade
Bag - Topshop
Shoes - Converse

Dress - ASOS
Jacket - River Island
Bag - Topshop
Shoes - Boohoo

We had a brilliant day out at London Zoo and even managed to pop into Topshop on Oxford Street on the way home! To anyone who has had exams, I hope they all went well and good luck to anyone still slaving away!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Cosmopolitan Blend Perfection Sponge: A Fad Too Far?

I'm an easily influenced person, and something that greatly influences my buying habits are the words and praise of fellow bloggers. When bloggers get on the 'bloggers hype', I'm normally one of the first to jump straight in and trustingly submit myself to the product. It's worked for a lot of products: the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish is still the most wonderful skincare product ever, and my Estee Lauder Double Wear graces it's way onto my face almost every day. One craze that I was however a little more dubious of, was the blending sponges.

If you (somehow) haven't heard about these blending sponges, they surfaced a few months ago in the form of the 'Beauty Blender', a little sponge meant for applying foundation that somehow costs around £17. Bloggers swore by these, as they claim to provide a professional finish and flawless complexion that is only dreamable with makeup brushes.

Now I wasn't about to jump straight in with the proper Beauty Blender, so I chose to try it out with a cheaper version - the Cosmopolitan Blend Perfection Sponge. This was only around £4.99 on Amazon so was much more affordable, and I was planning to purchase the more expensive one for longer term use if this one went well.

Unfortunately, I absolutely without a doubt hate it. The idea of using a sponge was weird to me at first, and after two days of struggling, it's still incomprehensible to me.The sponge used far too much makeup - needing at least double what I would usually use in order to cover my face, because it soaked half of it up.

I tried many different techniques and however I tried, I could not get even a half decent finish. By the end of the ordeal, my face would be streaky with orange lines - something I'd never experienced before with my Double Finish, and it wouldn't be blended at all, no matter how hard I tried. I ended up both days wiping it all off and starting again with my lovely stippling brush.

I love the idea of the two ends (the larger for face, the smaller for harder to reach areas like under eyes), but the fact is that the material just didn't work- understandably, the sponge soaked up the makeup, shock horror!

I think it's safe to say I'll be sticking to my brushes for now - and that sponge will be going straight in the bin!

What are your opinions on blending sponges?

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Look at my beautiful blog!

I recently contacted Stephanie from StephanieGDesigns about giving my blog a makeover, as I was sick of the old boring design! After looking through the portfolio on her website, I decided she was definitely the right girl for the job - I loved all her previous designs and hoped she'd be able to make me something beautiful!

So this is the unveiling of my new masterpiece - isn't it gorgeous!

Stephanie's let me know that if any of you fancy using her design services, mentioning 'LivFlorence' with get you $5 off any package throughout June.

Thanks Stephanie!

Monday, 3 June 2013

Primark at ASOS

Just a quick post today (chemistry exam tomorrow, boo hoo), to quickly express my excitement about the movement of Primark online! Ok, so it might not be a whole website yet, but the lovely Primark people have got together with the slightly more pricey ASOS people, and are trialling a collaboration - 20 of Primark's most 'fashion forward' pieces have been selected to feature on the website to see how well they sell.

I for one love the idea of this! It's often difficult to get out to the nearest Primark and even then the shop is usually something of a female hunting ground - clothes thrown everywhere and women fighting for the pieces that are actually wearable and in average sizes. I definitely love the look of some of the chosen pieces and can't wait for more clothes to be released!

To find the clothes, head to the 'New In' section of ASOS and select Primark in the brands list.
Happy shopping!

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Mini Haul: H&M, Topshop, River Island and MAC

So this week, I did what every other 17/18 year old girl mid-revising for their A-levels does - I used my revision break to go shopping. It's amazing what a few hours of retail therapy can do for 'study leave depression'! 

Seeing as I hadn't done a haul for a while, I thought I'd write a little post on the few items I picked up - I know they're not the most exciting of buys, but seeing as I've recently quit my job, I've had to do the unthinkable and cut back on spending... so bear with me for now!

MAC pro palette, £14, MAC insert, £6.50, Typographic, £10

The first item I was intent on buying was a MAC pro-palette. I have wanted one of these for as long as I can remember - though I have wanted the palette of 4. So I walzted happily into the MAC shop (Cambridge if anyones interested, have a gorgeous shop!), only to find that the palette of 4 was out of stock everywhere. Not to be deterred, I decided to make a bit of an investment and go for the 15 palette - I'm hoping to fill it up over the years and eventually have a gorgeous collection of eyeshadows to be proud of!
As the palette was much more than I hoped, I decided to only get one eyeshadow to start myself off with, and I chose 'Typographic', which is a lovely charcoal grey colour (darker than appears in the picture). I chose a matte shade, as all my MUA palettes are all sparkle! From first impressions, this is highly pigmented and long lasting - I may have tried it on, only to sit at my desk and revise for a day, oh student life! :(

Primark belt, £1

I then stopped off at Primark and was a little disappointed. After the many blog posts I'd read raving about this spring's stock, I couldn't find anything! I may have just been a little late to the party, but I did find this gorgeous woven brown belt - I snapped it up for £1!

Topshop crop top, £8

Topshop was also a bit disappointing for me.. though they had lots of lovely stock in, their prices seem to be going through the roof and I just can't justify spending £30 on a top or £50 on a jumper, it's insane! However I did spot this little fuschia crop top and the classic scene of me strolling down a sunny beach on holiday popped into my head. After a quick jump in the changing rooms I was sold - though I'm not the type to go walking around with my stomach out, I think this will look really nice with a high waisted skirt or pair of shorts.

River Island skirt, £18

Speaking of high waisted skirts, I also ordered this online last week from ASOS (not strictly part of the shopping trip haul, but I thought I'd pop it in). It's originally River Island and is a light blue, faux denim style. It sits nicely around the waist for a high waisted fit, though is quite big - I ordered this in a 6 after assuming it would be big on me! I've also spotted a gorgeous coral bralet in River Island that would go perfectly with this - please come back into stock in a size 8!!

H&M dress, £19.99

The last item I bought was this dress from H&M. I really enjoyed H&Ms new stock, and spent a good hour wandering around all their lovely items, before heading into the changing rooms with a pile to try on. Due to my little spending cutback, I decided not to in fact purchase the whole store, but pick one item - which happened to be this little skater dress. I love the back detail to this dress, and think it will be great for a casual summer daytime look, with some little flats and a belt to cinch in the already elasticated waist.

My last exam is Tuesday, so after that it's time to start looking for a new part time job so I can afford proper hauls again! Hope everyone else's exams are going well, not long till summer now!


Thursday, 23 May 2013

NARS Laguna Bronzer

It feels quite ironic sitting here writing this post, staring at these gorgeous sun filled photos whilst I'm sat in my room with rain hammering on the window - so let's all just forget about rainy England and for a few minutes concentrate on happy things! For example - maybe a bit of NARS Laguna?!

Another birthday treat from my lovely friends, this is the first NARS product I've ever owned - and I'm not going to lie, I had very high expectations! I'd heard lots and lots about Laguna since being part of the blogosphere, both as an all round face bronzer and for contouring, so I was very excited to try it out!

The first thing that I noticed when I opened it was that the size was pleasantly surprising - I'd seen the blushes before and they'd always seemed pretty small for the price tag, so I was happy the bronzer was a bit bigger (around 6.5x5cm). I love how expensive the packaging feels, it's something you'd happily pull out in public to show it off - though the matte black does seem to get mucky pretty quickly. My favourite thing about the packaging is probably the large mirror inside, which is often overlooked in products but comes in so handy for touching up on the go!!

The actual product itself is quite pigmented, as I expected, but it also really easily blended into the skin to give a subtle finish. Unfortunately, it does have a slight shimmer to it - this combined with it's colour being a bit too orange tinted for my pale skin means it's not great for contouring on paler skin, and I much prefer my NYX Taupe for contouring.

It's not all bad news though! I've discovered this works really well as an all over bronzer. I'm not too much of a fan of fake tanning my face as it's majorly sensitive, so if I've fake tanned my body I can sweep this over my face to give myself a bit of a glow and make sure my face is the same colour as my neck/body! It works gorgeously on pale skin and lasts well.

I'm actually really happy with this product, definitely something I'll use more as it gets into the sunnier months to fake a bit of colour!


Friday, 17 May 2013

Jumping on the Bandwagon: The 30 Day Shred

So summer's getting closer and that can only really mean one thing: the cue the universal female panic over the fact that you've spent the whole winter with hot chocolates and not bothering with the gym because it's raining outside.

It only really struck me a week or so ago that my weekly swim isn't really doing much for me (especially with all the "well earned" revision chocolate), and I'm supposedly going to Portugal at the end of the July... hence a lot of time spent in bikinis.

As always with these panics, I turned to the internet to see what I could do that would give results quickly, without being too intrusive on my lazy life. Lo' and behold, I found the Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred DVD, a workout meant to give great results fast! I found my copy on the Tesco website here for only £4 and free postage!

The best thing for me about this workout is that it only lasts 30 minutes a day for 30 days - so you're getting good exercise without having to spend loads of time on it. Each workout is divided into three main parts: strength (3 minutes) , cardio (2 minutes) and abs (1 minute), which you do three circuits on, as well as a warm up and cooldown to make up the thirty minutes. Each ten days, the intensity of the exercise increases to form Level 1, 2 and 3, so as your endurance and strength increases, so does the workout.

So far I've only completed the first two days of Level 1, but I'm excited to see the results! I've taken before photos and am planning to take more at the end of each level to chart my progress and let you all know how I'm getting on with updates. Bear in mind I'm already a size 8, so I'm doing the workout for toning up and getting fitter rather than losing weight at all.

As for an 'after the first workout' update, I didn't find it too bad! I was sweating (lovely..) by the end of it and was out of breath for a lot of the exercise, but it wasn't as killer as I thought! However I woke up this morning with aching thighs and arms, so I'm really excited to see how it affects me! If the worst comes to the worst then at least I'm getting some exercise right?;)

Is anyone else trying the 30 day shred this summer?

Friday, 10 May 2013

Benefit 'they're real!' Mascara // Review

For years I've slaved away with the same mascara routine - thinking it was perfectly normal to use one mascara to separate lashes, then another to lengthen, then a third to add a bit of volume. Three mascaras?! Not thinking anything of this, I didn't consider changing until I was bought this little beauty for my birthday. I'd got the sample size in a gift set before, but you can never really tell how good the product is in a sample size, and the tiny container irritated me to the point where I just threw it to the back of my drawer and that was that.

Until my birthday that is.. lo' and behold the full size Benefit 'they're real!' mascara! I don't even know where to begin with this...


The photos above are after two coats, and i'm pretty impressed with the results! It dramatically lengthens and blackens the lashes and adds a bit of volume. The lashes almost never clump and the ball-shaped part of the end of the wand can be used to separate lashes further if need be.

I wouldn't even complain about the staying power, which I normally would - by the end of the day only the very very ends of the lashes will have diminished in length, and the volume and blackness stays completely.

There we go, not even a bad word to say!

Hope everyone's having a lovely week xxx

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

MAC Paintpot Review: Bare Study

Another birthday post today! My lovely friends as part of their birthday present to me (also featuring NARS laguna, bound to be coming up in a post soon!!!) bought me one of the famed MAC paint pots - something I'd been wanting for a while! I have a lot of cheap eye shadows from the MUA range and a few others I've acquired over the years, but what I really wanted was a base for them, to stop them rubbing all down my face within a few hours.

This paint pot is a perfect example - Bare Study is described as a soft beige with gold pearl frost, which I would say fits it perfectly. It works well both as a base under other eye shadows, and by itself as a sort of 'your eyelids but better' shade (that's assuming you have fair/medium skin like mine). It definitely has a bit of shimmer to it, but nothing that's too much for the day time as the shimmer is minuscule and won't show greatly if other eye shadow is on top.

The formula is described as going on creamy then drying for an intense finish - I would say that because of it's cream nature it doesn't resist oil on the eyelids very much, but with powder eye shadow on top it wouldn't be a problem, unless you have a problem with oil in this area.

I mainly use this as a base over a light brown eye shadow in the day, and as a base for a smokey eye at night - it works well as a highlight in the inner corners for a smokey eye, as well as going underneath to keep it still. I've definitely noticed a difference in the lasting power of my eyeshadow when using this - if I pop it on under a pale brown for a day at sixth form, it'll still be there at the end of the day maybe 10 hours later, which is great!

I suppose the pot is a little unpractical, being quite heavy glass, but I think it's totally adorable, and looks like a high-end product, which I guess is what you want when you pay £14.50 for an eyeshadow.

Another great thing about this product (standard for MAC) is how amazingly pigmented it is- you only need to literally lightly touch the pot and it'll be enough for a whole eyelid, so I know this pot will last genuinely decades (though lets face it, I'll have lost it by then).

I've definitely been persuaded to try some more eye shadow products from MAC, as the only other products I've had are concealers - I'm definitely being pulled towards their 'make-your-own eye shadow palette', as apparently it's great value for money!

Hope everyone's having a good week!