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!