Sunday, 27 January 2013

Body Shop Goodies

Today's post is basically a massive thank you to Andeep over at Fashion Kryptonite, as I was one of five lucky winners of her giveaway! I recieved this gorgeous Body Shop set, which is amazing - I enter so many giveaways and tend to forget about them in the resigned fate of never winning - so when this email popped up in my inbox I was amazed!

I am an absolute cult follower of the Body Shop and all of their products, so this was a gorgeous surprise. The set contains one of their signature body butters, a shower gel, a body scrub and one of those fuzzy showery bathy type things that never actually seem to get named..
All products were strawberry scented, and they just smell divine. One thing I love about Body Shop products is that their smells are so concentrated and fresh smelling - and long lasting! (Okay, that's three things, forgive me..)

I'm already a massive fan of the Body Shop shower gels, having a large pink grapefruit one dominating the shower scene at my house, and I'm a constant re-purchaser of their body butters, but one thing I've never tried are their body scrubs.. to be honest I never really noticed they sold them! I'll definitely be trying this one out as soon as possible - seeing as I keep opening them all just to get another whiff of the strawberry sweetness, I doubt it will be long!

Again, a massive thank you to Andeep - you've made my day!

Monday, 21 January 2013

January Haul

This is a little haul to tide over those Monday blues - a combination of things from Christmas and since. It's been so long since I've had a proper shopping trip so the trip I took to Cambridge to visit my sister at university was well needed - and well deserved in my opinion!


1 - Topshop Lipstick in Nevada
Ever since my friend pointed this colour out to me I've had it in the back of my mind every time I've visited a Topshop - it's a gorgeous matte nude shade - sort of a 'your lips but better' shade, which is something I've wanted for a while. As with other Topshop lipsticks, it goes on gorgeously but you do need moisturised lips as this will stick to the dry parts otherwise.

2 - Essie Nail Polish in Sole Mate
This is a lovely dark red colour, perfect for winter! I love the finish of Essie nail varnishes - they take two coats but are quick drying and last a good few days.

3 - Soap & Glory Perfume
I've already done a review on this which you can see here, but if you don't fancy the full review - this is basically amazing!

4 - Tweezers
My parents (ahem, I mean Santa) got me these in my stocking this Christmas and I just adore them! I'm not sure where they got them from, but they are adorable and make doing my eyebrows a dream!

5 - MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light Plus
This should be simple: I adore this powder. Yes, it is just powder, and before about a year ago I would have shunned this.. "£21.00 for just a simple powder?! Are people completely bonkers?!" but THIS IS AMAZING. It provides a gorgeous flawless finish for my makeup, reduces shine and makes my makeup last all day easily, without any budging. It also is great if I need a quick topup throughout the day. One thing I have been wondering if anyone else owns this - does anyone have any recommendations for a good brush to use with this? I'm not sure what I should be using!


Anke Blouse from Monki in Huntsman Green
This blouse is quickly becoming a staple in my wardrobe - so much so that I've already ordered another in the same style but in Cult Wine colour - more of an oxblood/burgundy. It's slightly sheer but nothing that a vest top can't hide, and has a lovely oversized fit, with sleeves that are slightly baggy but come back to a tighter cuff.

Primark Super Cosy Tights
Oh yes, the cult tights.. I finally went there! I haven't tried these yet but for anyone that hasn't heard of them - they are basically tights with a fleece inside - crucial for this snowy weather! I'm going to be wearing these under my suit to sixth form instead of leggings under tights, which I've been doing so far.

New Look slipper shoes
My mum got these for me in the sales a couple of weeks ago - gorgeous slipper shoes in an oxblood colour that were down to I think about £8-£9, which is amazing!

Primark jumper, £8
I bought this in Cambridge the other day and I adore it - it was £8 from Primark and I think it was part of their new Spring range. It's a waffle knit jumper with different shades of grey in it - with a slightly longer back than front. I just think it's gorgeous! It's surprisingly warm too, and for £8 where's the harm!

I hope you enjoyed the post, it's nice to have something new to post about! Ooh, and my new MUA palette has just arrived through the door with the post, so I may have to get started on some swatches and reviews of that!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Soap and Glory Original Pink - Spring Fragrance

My plan for today was to create a nice spring-like post, which went into my new spring perfume and marveled at how lovely spring was coming along. There was only one problem with this delightful plan: the bucket-loads of snow which happened to fall last night, before I had a chance to take some photos.. however the show must go on! So today, my 'Spring Fragrance' has a slightly more wintery theme to it - and I thought I'd make use of the gorgeous snow backdrop to take some photos anyway, however unconnected the two may be.

Firstly, I thought I'd just show you what my backdrop was when taking the photos - the snow looks absolutely stunning! Donning my snowboots and big dufflecoat just to venture onto the balcony was so worth it for this..

Now onto the real stuff, my actual review:

I picked up this little baby on a whim in Boots the other day - I've heard brief mentions about it on some other blogs but nothing too much, but seeing as I adore everything Soap and Glory, I figured how bad could it be?! The answer is, of course, not bad at all!

Firstly, I loved the packaging - the classic pink of Soap & Glory with the little raised sections, and the silver logo in the middle. The bottle is a cute little round one, with ribbon and baby pink writing - though the mirrored silver bottle gets smudged and fingerprint-ey far too easily.

It's scent is fresh and light, and described as fresh citrus top notes of orange leaf, lemon, peach and sweet strawberries, with a sparkling heart of mandarin. Basically, it's a gorgeous mix of fruity fragrances which mainly focus around citrus. If you're not into overly sweet smells then this may not be for you - but for a girl like me who loves the classic Soap and Glory sweet girly scents then this is gorgeous! As I said earlier, I was planning to say that this was the perfect scent to take you into Spring, but I guess we might be waiting a bit longer than expected for that..

It only retails for £16.50, which personally I find very unoffensive for a fragrance, and I would probably be prepared to pay up to about £20 for this.

The only negative point I would have about this is that it doesn't have the staying power of some of the higher end perfumes, but it's still great as a quick freshen up or top-up throughout the day.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

January Beauty Wishlist

My January Beauty Wishlist
with Real Techniques, Benefit Cosmetics, MAC

I've had hardly any time to blog recently due to tons and tons of work pressing down on me - but there's always time for a bit of beauty lusting! These are a few of the things that have been catching my eye recently - and I'm going to blame it all on post-Christmas/ January/ exam blues!

Another thing, it was my blogs 6 month anniversary on Wednesday, and it's completely amazing that I have 130 followers after only that tiny amount of time! Thank you to everyone that's been reading, and here's to the next 6 months!

Liv xxx

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Boots Botanics - 'All Bright' Purifying Face Scrub

Own brands for me are always a little touch and go - quite often they are products which yes, are very cheap but use cheap, useless ingredients to achieve this, and end up being altogether fairly pointless - that's if they don't start irritating my sensitive acne-prone skin as soon as I bring product to face. But every once in a while, a shop will bring out an own-brand product which somehow, is actually very good - and then the price is just a bonus.

I've read quite a bit about the new Boots Botanics range - some good, some bad, but I wanted to give it a go and after months of exfoliating using sugar and lemon juice (which I have to say, is gorgeous and works amazingly, but just a little messy) I decided to bite the bullet and buy their Purifying Face Scrub. I hadn't read any reviews on this product in particular, but the packaging was cute and hey, for £2.49 you can't really go wrong!

The first thing that struck me when I picked this up was the how cute the packaging was - I love the colour scheme and I find tubes so handy - and much nicer than scraping product out of a pot. Of course, when I start to reach the end I'll have the usual problem of trying to get the last bit out, but I'll probably just cut the end off and wahey, there's my product! The tube also has a nice opening to it which doesn't splurge product out all over the place, and is fairly easy to keep clean.

I used this after cleansing my face and I have to say, I really loved it! The beads are rough enough so that you can feel it working on your skin and doesn't feel totally pointless, but not so irritating so that it hurts your face or you get that horrible feeling where your fingers go all tingly from rubbing it in. After washing this off, my skin immediately felt gorgeously smooth and soft to touch, and still felt gorgeous the morning after. I've been using this about once a week when I have time to add the extra stage into my evening routine, but I can definitely notice the difference on nights where I have used it. I even got a comment from my older sister yesterday, who's back from uni, who had pinched a bit when I wasn't looking and said how good it was - and how she was definitely going to go and buy a tube to take back to uni with her, for when she can't just borrow all of my many products!

In summary, this didn't irritate my skin and left it smooth and soft with lasting effects for the next day or so. Cute packaging and what the hell, for £2.49 why not!

Liv xxx

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Alpha-H Liquid Gold

So this year, I'm going a bit wild - this is going to be my second post in as many days.. that has to be a record! I've been wanting to share this beauty with you for a while now - it's the product that's been my saviour for the last month or so.

"This beauty" is the Alpha-H Liquid Gold, and I'm not even sure what product overview you'd put it under - it's a treatment that is put on the skin every other night - or however often you want to use it - and is a glycolic acid based treatment designed to 'refine and firm the skin'. From what I can tell, it has different effects on different people and skin types - so I can't say exactly how it will help, just that it will definitely help.

For me, the main use for it is reducing blemishes, completely obliviating my acne scars, and generally making my skin look glowy and healthy. Firstly, whenever I have a blemish, I use my Origins Super Spot Remover about twice daily and then put this on at night - and normally when I wake up in the morning, the blemish is either completely gone or left much more manageable, (due to the glycolic acid in the formula) - and in a state that means I can put makeup on top of it and it will stay in place. I also have a major problem with acne scars - most of my 'bad skin' isn't actually blemishes, but in fact acne scars that cover both my cheeks. Anyone who has acne scars will tell you how annoying this can be, as it looks like you have many many spots, even if your skin is clear apart from them, and they are close to impossible to cover up for periods of time. However since I've been using this every other night (alternating with my PanOxyl Benzoyl Peroxide cream), my acne scarring has gone down amazingly - my right cheek is almost completely clear and you would not believe the difference! Over the next few months I'm hoping it will clear up entirely, which will be such a massive boost for confidence - and my bank balance, as I'm hoping my makeup consumption will drop dramatically!
You can tell what a difference this makes waking up the morning after using this, skin looks healthier and glowing, and I just adore it!

It's applied onto a cotton pad and is a watery formula, so it doesn't take much to cover the cotton pad - and the packaging isn't much, but that's not something I care madly about as long as the product works.This carries a pretty hefty price tag at £31.50 for 100ml, which put me off for a few months before I finally caved, but the bottle lasts forever - I still have way over half left, and if you used it less than every other day then I'd think this could easily last 6-10 months.
I would especially recommend this to anyone with acne scarring or acne-prone skin, as it makes it much more manageable, and literally does wonders!

Liv xxx

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Benefit 'Upgrade to Gorgeous' Set and Reviews

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a great Christmas and new year - apologies for the break I've taken over Christmas, but it was nice to have some time to relax without worrying about shifts at work, school work or revision - unfortunately, I'm kicking off 2013 with a lovely 6 hour shift at the pool this afternoon, but hey ho, I'll try my best to stay awake!

I thought today I'd do a little review of a Benefit set I got for Christmas - it's a mixture of full size and sample products, which gave me a good chance to test out a few of their products and give you my opinion on them.

High Beam Highlighter
I've had the dupe version of High Beam for a while now - the Technic Highlights and though it's amazing especially for it's miniature price tag, I've always had a slight want to get the real thing. Luckily, it was included in the set as a full size product - so I can use it to my heart's content! I've only used it the once so far, but from first impressions, I can already tell that the formula is much more concentrated than the Technic version, and it doesn't sit so much on top of makeup - it's much more blendable. So far I'm loving it!

Sugarbomb Blusher
I'm having mixed feelings about this blush- initially after putting it on, I love it - the colour is a gorgeous peachy coral and because of the four colour sections, looks lovely when swirled. It has a slight shimmer but nothing offensive and is pigmented enough, though not hugely concentrated. The only issue I really have with it is the lasting power - it doesn't last more than an hour tops, and though I haven't actually yet found a blusher that will stay put for more than a few hours, this one seemed to disappear at top speed - a shame for such a lovely colour! I'll definitely keep using it, but it might need topping up a bit more than other products would.

They're Real! Mascara
This product has been the biggest surprise of the set - it's only a sample size of 3g, but before receiving this set, I'd never heard of it. Since doing a bit of googling, I was surprised to find that it's actually a product that's been raved about everywhere - and yet I'd never heard of it! It has a weird shaped brush head with a spherical part on the end which makes sure to catch every lash, and is a big enough brush to keep me happy - there's nothing I hate more than mascara with a tiny wand! Onto the actual product, I have to say I absolutely adore it! It's by far the best mascara I've ever tried, and even beats the Maybelline 'Falsies' that I've been in love with recently. It somehow achieves jet black colour, good length and volume, whilst keeping the lashes completely clump-free! A totally gorgeous product, and I'm without a doubt going to be purchasing a full size once this runs out.

The other two products in the box were The Porefessional primer, and a sample of Laugh with me LeeLee perfume - I haven't had a chance to try either of these out yet, but the perfume seems like a pretty standard sweet smelling smell - maybe a bit too strong for me but we'll see if it grows on me! I'm wary on the primer as it contains silica, which my skin is extremely sensitive to and tends to break out if I use it, so I may have to give that one a miss.
Thank you so much to my Mum and Dad (not that Dad probably even knew what it was) for getting me this if you're reading!

Again, hope everyone had a lovely Christmas - and bring on 2013!
Livs xo