Monday, 30 April 2012

Wish upon a star...

Every girl has a little wishlist permanently imprinted on her mind. I tend to wander about my day dreaming up outfits for items I don't even own yet! So this is what I'm lusting after just now, and a pretty top I picked up which is my new favourite thing.

Firstly, how gorgeous are these wedges from Zara? I saw them in the Silverburn store and they are a bit more orange-y in real life but I still adore them.

Now that's out the way *sob*, onto the next piece of frippery which would complete my life! I am a classic hourglass shape (read curvy) and love dresses that nip me in at the waist and have a full skirt, a bow and sequins, and I was SOLD. Check out this stunner:
WANT WANT WANT. You can find it at River Island, it's £70.00 but actually feels really well made. It also comes in navy which is gorgeous too! As for my final wishlist item, it's something that has been on my mind for ages, I love anything Vivienne Westwood has a hand in, and jelly shoes are just fun for everyone! So the Melissa collab shoes are right up my street, and while they are all fab, these are my favourites!

Look at them there, smugly revelling in their loveliness! But wouldn't you if you were so pretty? Shiiiinnnny. One day we shall be united, but until then I will keep logging onto Asos and imagining them on my feet. Being a skint student is rubbish!! Anyway onto the one item I do actually own, this beautiful top I found in River Island last week, I got 20% off as it was their student day, so it's totally justified.
Ok, so it has lace (tick), is sheer (tick), pearls on the back (tick) and has MERMAIDS ON IT. Could this be any more amazing? If you fancy it, head to River Island, it's £25.00, and is quite large fitting so go a size down. Warning though it is very sheer so not for the faint-hearted, I'm still trying to decide how brave I am before I wear it with/without a vest top under it. Maybe a bralet? Any advice is welcome!

L'Oreal Nude Magique BB Cream

So, like any good student, I sign up for any freebies going, and was sent a little sample of this through the post along with L'Oreal's new foundation. Unfortunately it was the medium tone, which was waaaay too dark for me and made me look like I'd been tangoed! Even then, though, I could see the potential of this product. I noticed a girl at my work had it and she loved it, so when I saw it on a deal in Superdrug the other day I snaffled it for my collection. Bad Emma- must stop spending!

Anyhoo, this BB cream isn't a BB cream in the classic South Korean sense, in fact it is almost nothing like those creams. For one thing it isn't a cream, and it isn't skin toned at all. When you squeeze this out, it is very runny, VIOLET, with little blue beads in it. The idea is that the beads burst on your skin and somehow cleverly adapt to your skin tone. This concept literally blows my mind, I don't get how that can work unless there is a foundation inside the bubbles already? Sigh. Anyway, it does work and you can see the liquid changing colour on your skin as you rub it in. It does change colour a little in the minutes after application, so I tend to put it on, then check it after five mins to either top up or adjust any lines that have magically appear.

Once on it really feels feather light and you feel fresh faced, but still covered. For day-to-day wear this is a really good product at a great price. They are currently buy one get one half price in Superdrug with all the L'Oreal products, and in Boots they are two for £14. I also got a lovely lippie which I will review next!

8/10, might repurchase if I don't find another BB cream I prefer first.

L'Oreal Rouge Caresse Lipstick "Nude Indulgence"

Before I start, on my lipstick the shade says "Nude Ingenue" but on the L'Oreal website it is called "Nude Indulgence". WEIRD.

Anyway, the whole blogging community has been going wild over the Revlon lip butters, but I read on a blog somewhere that the L'Oreal version is just as good so thought I'd go for that first! The idea is a lighter lipstick with lipbalm-like qualities that offers colour and moisture. I actually prefer the L'Oreal packaging as it looks a bit more grown up but I know I will like the bright Revlon packaging for summer! Oh I'm so fickle. As the Revlon products aren't on a deal right now I'm going to wait to get them, but keep your eyes peeled for a review!

I don't have any nude lipsticks, I realised recently whilst wading through my plethora of berry, red and purple shades. I tend to go for bold bright colours, as I have dark hair, blue eyes and pale skin I like a bold colour on my lips, but recently I have been experimenting more with my eyeshadow, meaning a bold lip would be overkill.

So I went for the nude shade of this, and it really is lovely. It is sort of a fawn colour on the bullet, but pulls a sort of warm beigey-brown on my lips. The consistency is creamy and not drying, and the finish is more shiny than you would expect from looking at the product in the tube. I like the way the packaging is put together, it is very sturdy and fits snugly around the lipstick, so I'm not worried about breakages.

All in all a great product for a drugstore brand, and a good staple without spending a fortune. As noted in the last post, there are L'Oreal promotions on in Boots and Superdrug at the moment so get buying!

7/10 but I will probably move onto another brand for my next nude lippie!

ESPA Spafresh Balancing Herbal Toner

I'm a good little girl. I know that I must cleanse, tone and moisturise. Except when I can't be bothered and wash my face in the sink, oops. But generally speaking, I behave myself. When I was younger, I relied on cheaper brands, but then my naughty sensitive skin started reacting to EVERYTHING. So now I tend to stick to brands like Clinique and Clarins.

However, on a recent trip to Harvey Nichols, where I was definitely, no way, buying a single thing, I found myself magnetically drawn to the ESPA counter. Twenty minutes later and I had bought this. I am dreadful for spur-of-the-moment buys! I did however get a full kit of products to try and the woman invited me back for an evening event so all was not lost. In fairness, most high-end products I buy online heavily discounted so it was nice to have the full experience for once. Excuses over.

This is one of two Spafresh toners they have, this one is more for oily/combination skin and smells vaguely minty/tea tree/lavendery. That's a rubbish description, but it really smells expensive and even smoothing this over my face on my couch feels like I'm in a spa. It really works, I feel refreshed and notice a reduction in my oiliness after using this. I love this product, which is lucky as it was £22.50. Yeah, that's not a typo. And I wonder why I have no money?!

But just LOOK at the packaging *drools*. From the gorgeous box with its white and lilac tones, to the glass bottle with its stone-like lid, this product just screams class, but not in an inaccessible way. It makes you want to have a white-washed antique dressing table to display it proudly on. Or just to carry it about with you to show people. If I could afford it I would buy the whole range of these products, but it simply isn't an option at the moment!

10/10 and I sincerely hope I get to repurchase at some point :) Muchos love.

It's all about me...

As you probably guessed, this is a little bit of info about myself. Not too much info obviously, lest I attract a stalker and make it easy for them to kill me and stuff me in a dumpster. Anyways...

I'm 25 and live in Edinburgh with my boyfriend, Richard. We live in a flat on the edge of a park next to the canal, which is pretty in summer and nice for walks. There are cherry blossom trees and a playpark, and I love it. I study Psychology and work for a shoe company, amongst other things as I like to keep busy.

I love makeup and clothes, I'm feisty and geeky and don't sound very Scottish despite having lived here all my life. My favourite author is American sci-fi author Orson Scott Card, I'm a Studio Ghibli fan and I don't listen to the radio, because they don't play Fleetwood Mac enough.

Food is my life and you can't beat a good book. I LOVE a bargain.

This is what I look like...I like foxes. 

New shooooes?

As you will probably find out, I have a thing for shoes. Well, I do work for a shoe company so it's only to be expected. It's my job to know about such things, or so I tell myself...

I got a BARGAIN the other day in Topshop. These are easily the cheapest shoes I have bought in years. They were (I kid you not) £4.50!!! In Topshop! You can't get a shapeless t-shirt in there for that! As an aside, it should be noted that while I will spend ridiculous amounts of money on health food or an exclusive whisky, I am ludicrously cheap when it comes to other things. I am Scottish, after all. And a student.

Aren't they pretty though? Kinda retro with the gold bar at the front, suede upper, and a nice chunky heel. No platform though, which I'm used to, so I spent all day today feeling like the world was tilting forward a bit! I wore these to work today for the first time and they were suitably admired. I wore them with a tea dress which had safety pins on and tights with a little line of hearts up the back, and felt ridiculously girly all day! All I needed was a cupcake and some knitting, but I settled for a Hotel Chocolat chocolate bar and Richard watching the football in the background *sigh*.

Have you gotten any bargains lately? What was your best find?

Monday, 23 April 2012

The Body Shop Lipscuff

Now this is a product I have been using for YEARS, so much so that I noticed when they changed the formula a couple of years ago. Most people know to use an exfoliator for their face and body, but their poor lips get neglected! You could resort to the old-toothbrush trick for getting rid of dry skin, but trust me, this lipscuff is more efficient and much more pleasurable.

It looks just like a lipstick from the outside, but is really a lipbalm crossed with a scrub, that smells amazingly minty and tingles when on. As you can see, it is a mint green colour, but when you get into it, the little scrubbers are brown and look like the could be oats or something equally healthy! You just rub it onto your lips then either use a finger to scrub a little or rub your lips together, then remove the scrubby bits with a tissue (or the back of your hand if you're lazy like me). You are left with smoother feeling lips and the minty balm stays on, moisturising for another couple of hours.

In winter this is a life-saver, especially when combined with Carmex or another heavy-duty lipbalm, but in summer the sun can wreck your lips too, so get this in your life! If you have used this in the past, when it was VERY abrasive, it is a lot more gentle now so give it a second try.

10/10, and I always repurchase! These are £8.00 from the website but they almost always have good deals on!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

MAC Shop Shop Shop Cremeblend Blush "Florida"

Whenever MAC bring out a new collection, it's all I can do to stop myself buying the lot, usually, and the retro looking Shop Shop Shop collection was no exception. I was very good in this case (so far) and limited myself to one carefully chosen item, the lucky item being the Florida Cremeblend blush.

I have tried a couple of mousse blushes before, and borrowed a creme blush once but never really fell for them, but seeing them used more and more in videos and blogs, I took a leap onto the proverbial bandwagon. And I'm so very glad I did! The colour of this blush really is an in-your-face, look at me, Legally Blonde pink. It is unashamedly bright and just so so PINK. Seeing it when I opened the much-anticipated black box, my own colour drained from my face.

But fear not! This little beauty transforms (when used sparingly) into an English Rose hint of a girlish flush. I dab it on with my ring finger and blend gently up towards my temples. I like that I can control how much blush I have on easier than with a brush and powder. Too often I take the brush from my cheek to see I've over-blushed one side and now look like a lopsided clown.

I've used this almost every day since receiving it and it barely looks used, so I reckon I'll get some good mileage out of this one. 10/10 but I probably won't rebuy as this will last ages, and by then I'll be in love with something new no doubt!

MAC Viva Glam Nicki Minaj Lipstick

As with all the Viva Glam lipsticks, this was hotly anticipated, maybe more so because of Nicki's rather mental style and addiction to bright colours!

Now, I'm more of a shrinking violet than a neon pink, but I too found myself lusting after this Barbie-pink shade. Normally I find myself drawn to reds/warm colours so this yellow-toned pink is completely out of my comfort zone, but when it's on it actually pulls less yellow and more icy pink than neon. I wore this with a nice shade of tan on a night out the other week and got loads of compliments all night!

The one thing I would say is I would like to have a lip pencil to match as it feathers a bit at the outskirts of my lips, but it won't be an easy colour to match! Also as with many Mac lipsticks, the formula is a little drying, so I have been trying it out with various lipglosses, which also tones down the brightness for a daytime look.

Hmm, I'd say 8/10 and yes I'm looking to get a back-up already! On a side note, the Ricky part of this offering was very lacklustre! Surely they could have come up with something more exciting than a lipbalm?

Benefit "The Porefessional"

As the possessor of annoyingly oily skin, a primer is a must have and I have been struggling to find one that fits my skin perfectly.

I actually bought this for my sister for her birthday back in February after reading the hype on so many blogs, and after I gave her it I had a case of serious jealousy! Thankfully, Charlotte of Charlotte's Obsessions, enlightened us all as to the wonder of BuyaPowa and I snapped one up on there!

And boy I'm glad I did. The packaging is the quirky, girly style we have come to expect from Benefit, and I like the little picture of the action figure inside the box! I almost expected the primer to be that scary turquoise colour of the tube (to aid redness maybe) but was pleasantly surprised to find a nude, silky, half-gel half-cream come out. It smells vaguely fruity but not overpowering, and blends like a dream.

I could really just wear this alone, it makes my skin feel so smooth and mattifies instantly. When teamed with a great foundation (Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation is a current fave), my makeup seems to last all day without looking heavy.

Overall, I'd give this product a 9/10 and would definitely repurchase.

She Said Beauty Box April 2012

Beauty boxes are something I have been very cynical about, especially after reading many people's disappointed reviews of particular months where they have felt a little cheated. So I did my research and stumbled upon a good deal for She Said Beauty Box, where I'm pretty sure I got a three month subscription for about £27.00 including postage.

My first box arrived recently and I must say I'm quite impressed! A gorgeous turquoise box with magenta paper hid away goodies nestled on straw. They even sent us all a Lindor egg for Easter (shameless chocolate bribery). There's a handy little guide included, and if you review the products on their website you get points towards a free box!

In this months box we all got a Mischa Barton lipgloss which was about as memorable as the actress herself (I've lost it already), a Filthy Gorgeous nail varnish which looks good but is a sort-of blood red colour so I will be keeping for Autumn, a selection of Comfort Zone products, a face scrub which smelled ODD, an Erno Laszlo selection and an AMAZING Bellapierre shimmer powder.

It really is gorgeous, and worth £12.99 new so really paid for itself. The shade "Champagne" would suit any complexion, the powder is really finely milled but still highly pigmented. There is nothing worse than chunky bits of glitter all over your eyes, and this just gives a beautiful glowy finish.

Comfort Zone- meh. Nice packaging but I broke out in reaction to the scrub and one of the creams, as did another reviewer on their site. Avoid.

Erno Laszlo: I very nearly fell in love with all these products, which are named after Hollywood screen sirens, especially the Ava Gardner eye cream, but the samples were a little too small and the RRP extortionate (from £85.00)! But hey, Erno, if you have any spares kicking about, sling them my way.

All in all a great box, I will probably do a full review of the BellaPierre shimmer powder at some point. For more info on SheSaid Beauty Boxes, and what's in this box, click here.