Monday, 23 July 2012

Glamour Magazine Freebies

Who doesn't love a good freebie? I don't tend to buy magazines normally, the majority of the articles are available online and I hate wasting paper. This is why I feel especially guilty buying multiple copies of a magazine just to get the range of freebies. Glamour magazine in the UK really spoil us with the freebies they have, from Clinique and Benefit to the latest offering, Balance Me. This month you can choose from an eye cream, moisturiser, face wash and lip salve, each worth £11-12 each!
So far I've just picked up the lip salve, face wash and eye cream, as I have facial moisturisers galore, but I'm tempted to pick it up now that I've tried the other items. BalanceMe is a brand based on natural products, which is huge right now for any brand. It's fairly expensive as a brand but you get what you pay for. Check out their website to find out more about their philosophy and product range.

This wonder eye cream claims to soothe, brighten and lift. It smells lovely, very natural as you would expect. I have sensitive eyes so was worried any essential oils would irritate them. My worries were unfounded, this cream is lovely and really does make you feel as though your eyes have opened up, it is very refreshing and wakes you right up! Really love this product, and having only paid £2.00 for the magazine it is an amazing deal.

Next up we have the Pure Skin Face wash for normal to combination skin, which I was very excited to try. Not that I need any more face washes, but I like the fact that this has no sulphates in it. Obviously, this does not lather as such on your skin, it is more like a mixture between a gel and a balm but with a lighter consistency. Still smells gorgeous, and when you wash it off you don't feel like your skin has been stripped of all its natural oils.
Last up is my favourite product of the three, the rose otto intensive lip salve. I read reviews of this online before getting the magazine, and liked the idea that it goes on as a thick gel then melts away into the lips. It really does! Salve generally suggests to me a rubbish watery product that doesn't do much (I HATE the Cow Shed one). I like to feel that something is actually on my lips, but also don't like sticky lip products (fussy much?) This does what it says on the tin, it's natural, smells lightly but inoffensively of roses, and intensively moisturises. This really is a great product, and my Chapstick and Eos balms have been replaced temporarily. I've also been making women in my work try this too.

If you are going on holiday and want a treat with your magazine at the airport, or just want a little treat in general, I would definitely recommend getting Glamour. I'm even considering getting ANOTHER one of the lip salves, I definitely don't need it but it's such a great deal and I'll probably regret not getting another one (I only picked up one of the little Porefessionals and regretted it!). Get to the newsagents!! NOW!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Betty Buff Banoffee Sugar Scrub!

Morning all, happy Sunday etc! Another body scrub review of one of the items sent to me kindly by Betty Buff, this time the Banoffee Sugar Scrub. This is a little different from the Besty Zesty Scrub I reviewed here, which I sadly finished the other day. I was in love with that scrub and was a bit worried I wouldnt like this one as much.

The formulation of these sort of scrubs are very different from the likes of the Besty Zesty, which had a lot of liquid to mix in with the sugar and visible bits of fruit through it. This is a much drier formula, which made me feel like it scrubbed a bit deeper but was a bit harder to use as it was crumbly and tended to fall on the floor when I was using it in the shower.
As you can see the sugar all molds together in the pot, it's very sticky and smells delicious! There is brown sugar and freeze dried banana in this, it makes for a rich, warming smell. Very comforting, it reminds me of gingerbread men and banana bread, there is something very sensual about this smell too, like rich coffee.
It is a little too crumbly for my liking, but when it is on your skin and wet, the scent wafts up to you and there is a brownish residue on your skin around the sugar which reminds me of some luxury body treatments I've had abroad. Your skin is left very soft and smooth afterwards.
I do love this scrub and I would definitely recommend it to others, especially for winter time due to the scent, but my heart still lies with Besty Zesty unfortunately! Partly due to the oils and fruit pieces and partly due to the scent. I'm a grapefruit girl at heart!

8/10 for this
*this item was gifted to me for reviewing purposes

Friday, 20 July 2012

Maybelline The Falsies Flare Effect Mascara

Hello gorgeous people :) Hope you are all well today, I have had a very productive day between studying for uni, going food shopping, getting my currency for going away and going to meet a representative for the brand Tropic Skincare. I got a free facial and ended up buying myself an amazing body scrub, could not resist! But that's for another review, today I'm doing a review of a mascara which I would probably never have bought, but it arrived through my door in an envelope for me!

This isn't a PR gift, apparently I had voted for Maybelline in some sort of beauty awards thing online and was one of the lucky people to win a mascara for doing so! BONUS. Anyway, I'm a bit of a mascara snob usually so I don't tend to buy drugstore brands (bad, I know). But if it's free I'll always give it a bash!

Sorry if this looks a little beaten up, I've been taking it around with me in my handbag for a couple of days to give it a proper testing, and it seems to scratch rather easily. So this is the latest offering in the Volum'Express range of mascaras, which have been about for quite some time now in various formats. There seem to be 9 in the range at the moment, all in this funny tapered tube but in different colours. It is a very teenage-friendly tube, bulky, bright, easy to use but not very elegant. Cheap and cheerful but fairly pretty, it's only around the £8 mark so you can't expect too much. Plus if you're like me it will get ruined soon enough anyway getting lugged about in your handbag!
This is the brush, it's not a plastic one like we are seeing more and more of, but the interesting thing about this one is one side is straight while the other is curved. Ok, maybe not interesting but you catch my drift. You are supposed to use the "spoon side" against your lashes then the flat side to flare them out. Does this really work? I don't know about the specific sides etc but the effect is really very good for a drugstore mascara, I was very impressed with this! Check it out:

I think the effect is quite impressive! Almost as good as Benefit's They're Real, the current bestselling mascara in the UK, if not as good. I really can see the flare looking at these pictures, and my eyes seem to have opened up almost instantly. Weirdly, I only recently found out that I have hooded eyelids, and not deep-set eyes as my mum used to say. Basically my eyelids aren't visible when I look fully straight ahead, even though I do have an eyelid crease. This is different to the monolid that many asian people have, but still leads to me being asked about my ethnicity sometimes. I don't mind at all, I love looking a bit different! I was watching a Pixiwoo video tutorial about makeup for hooded eyes and I was like OMG that's me! It's a bit annoying as if you put shadow on it can't be seen properly, or transfers higher up the lid than it's supposed to be.

Rant over haha.The main aim of this review was to talk about the mascara, got a little distracted there! 
10/10 for this definitely. Although a sneaky 5/10 for the packaging, sorry Maybelline but it's a bit garish.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Teddy Bear Brush by Too Faced!

Bonjour! I use this greeting as this time next week I will be in France! Literally so excited it's unreal. Not actually so much for the holiday but for duty free and Sephora, is that wrong? I have a list of things I want to get and have allocated funds specifically for makeup and skin care! Sad much? Yep, judge me.

Before I go and get a bunch of new European goodies, I'd better review some of my recent purchases here in old Blighty. I've been quite good, trying to use up old bits and bobs than buying new things, as I know I'm going away. However you may remember my my review of the Too Faced Candlelight Powder (here). Well at the time I picked up a few other bits including their Shadow Insurance, which unfortunately was faulty :( I have to say Debenhams were very helpful and gave me the chance to exchange for something else!
This is the Teddy Bear Big Powder Brush and it is GORGEOUS. It was the very last one, sitting there looking lost and forlorn, so I gave it a home. Boy am I glad I did. It's like applying your powder with a cloud. The good thing for the tree-hugging animal lovers out there is that it is completely synthetic.
I fell in love with the little bow around the handle, it's just beautiful and so girly. This isn't a very professional grown-up looking brush, I can't see it being bought in bulk by MUA's but for your own collection, it's a great brush. These are £26.00 though I got mine half price in the sale, and I would willingly pay full price for it again. The bristles are so so soft, I kept tickling my palm with it just because it feels so nice and forcing various people to feel it "feel how soft this is" *attacks with brush whilst they look scared*
The darker bristles at the end are good, I was worried I would end up staining the brush with my various powders. It picks up powder well, I've had to learn to have a lighter hand with this in order to pick up the right amount.
Look at the lovely soft bristles! I have a full brush collection now, but should I need to replace any of them I will definitely look to Too Faced. Do any of you own their brushes or just their makeup? If not, well worth a look.

Monday, 16 July 2012

17 Wild Eyes Metallics

Rawr! Gotta love a bit of animal print, even if it can lead to Bet Lynch comparisons. I had saved up some Boots points on my Advantage Card so redeemed them on this little beauty, a cream eyeshadow from 17. This shade is Wild Nude, but there are currently six shades in the range.
I always worry about metallic shades incase they look a bit 90s, and for this reason I shied away from the blue shade. It might have actually been lovely on, but it looked SCARY. Anyway I stuck to boring nude, I have been watching a load of Pixiwoo videos recently and loving how they use cream shadows as a base to give depth to the overall eye look.
The shine coming off this shade is really gorgeous, and the formulation is very smooth and creamy. You do need to prime with this as I have found it prone to creasing. It doesn't crease if you prime and layer shadow over it, but you can't really get away with wearing it on it's own. But for £4 compared to around £17 for a not dissimilar high-end product, I can handle that.
This is the eyeshadow used as a base with a mid brown shade from the Bobbi Brown Bronze Shimmer Brick, and Chocolate gel liner. I do see what the Pixiwoo girls mean by adding another dimension to the look, as when you blink or look around the shadow shimmers and shines slightly.

Regardless of the tendency to crease, I give this 9/10 and would repurchase

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush

Good morning everyone! I've got a little US ebay purchase for you today, I'd seen this blusher on a couple of blogs and international swaps and was instantly intrigued by how...squishy it looked! I couldn't quite get how you use it if the product just bounces back when you touch it. I decided on the shade no 20 Peach Satin.
It's more of a coral than a peach colour I think? The packaging is your bog standard Maybelline but is quite study and does the job!
This is what it looks like when you push your finger onto it isn't that crazy? It doesn't actually seem to bounce back up as such, but if you push another bit down this comes up again, if that makes sense. Also if you just push down on it none comes off on your finger which makes application a little difficult, you need to really drag your finger into and across the product to get any off.
I don't know if you can see it properly but some of the product comes off in little bits which is a tad irritating. However, all that aside, this product feels beautiful on, very silky and smooth. It is a stunning colour and lasts well on, I put this on to swatch it and it would not come off for hours! I think if you ignored the finger application and used this with a stippling brush it would rival the best cream blushes in the business. If you fancy a break from the norm, get yourself onto ebay and order one of these.

7/10 but only because the product is so hard to get out of the pot and onto the skin

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Illamasqua Haul

Hello lovely people! Sorry I've been MIA for the past week, I've been working loads and been coming home drained and not up for blogging, just some sleep! Anyway I'm back with a vengeance and have an amazing Illamasqua haul to show you.
For my overseas readers, Illamasqua is a British brand launched in 2008 based on the dramatic makeup of the 1920's Berlin cabaret scene. There are some amazing products and collections, bold and shocking. I love their makeup so when I saw they were having a sale I was super excited and jumped online. For a high-end brand their sale prices are actually very good, around 70% off. Let's have a look what came in the post!
How stunning! This is their Cream Eyeshadow in Wail, a muted grey-pink colour. I'm always a bit cautious of cream eyeshadows incase they crease badly but these have a really good reputation so I thought I'd go for it. I really like this colour, I want to try a couple of smoky eye looks with this as I think they would work really well.

The texture is very smooth, almost like a lip balm consistency rather than a cream, but it dried well on my arm, matt but somehow not a flat colour. I want some other colours now!

This is their medium pencil, a multi-tasking product which can be used on eyes, lips anywhere you like really! I went for Torment, a gorgeous raspberry-red colour, which I will use as a lip pencil as I'm no way brave enough to use it on my eyes!!
My skin looks so pale here! Might need to go for a Snow White pale skin and red lip look! I don't ever use lip liners but I hate my lipsticks feathering so now might be the time to start, and I love this shade, it's a warm shade, very romantic.
My last buy is their Light Liquid Foundation in shade LF120 which is one of the lightest shades but with pink undertones, which isn't exactly my skin tone as I'm more neutral but they didn't have any other options around my colour. However this actually matches very well.
Read the back! It's little touches like this that draw me to this brand, the packaging, the ethos and the fact that we finally have a British brand to rival the likes of Bobbi Brown and MAC makes me happy. Also, they have the S.O.P.H.I.E products and a short film dedicated to the memory of Sophie Lancaster, a British teenager who was beaten to death for her style (gothic). If you have a chance, watch the film as it's very beautiful.

It is a very light formulation as the name suggests, easily blended and doesn't feel oily under my fingers, although I can see from the ingredients it does contain Avocado oil. So I'll need to see how my skin gets on with this. If you like their Facebook page, you can get a code for 15% off, and it works on sale items. Delivery to the UK is only £3.50. They do deliver worldwide but advise that it can take up to a month! It's worth the wait, I promise.

Have you ever owned any Illamasqua products? Did I choose the best products or what would you have picked? Hope you are all well :)

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Golden Oldies

Hey guys, today I'm reviewing a product that I might be needing sometime soon, an anti-ageing BB cream. Unlike a lot of women, being on the wrong side of 25 doesn't really bother me, my gran is 76 and acts like a 21 year old so I know age is just a number! However I can totally understand being a little upset when your skin loses firmness and wrinkles appear, so I'm already having a little look about to see what wonder potions there are out there. This BB Cream is by L'Oreal and claims to fight 10 (yes 10!) signs of ageing. I didn't even know there WERE 10 signs but cool, whatever. I had three samples of these sent to me, in the medium shade, through their Facebook page I believe.
These samples are all pretty generous, I didn't even need half of one for my whole face. This is on my hand when I have a bit of fake tan on (couple of shades darker than normal) so the shade is really far too dark for paler skins, but fine for me with a tan which is around NW20. I like that it tends to a neutral tone rather than orange, and I have to say even on the skin it didn't oxidise too much so stayed pretty much the same colour.
Before and afters:

Before (obviously)
As you can see, it has smoothed out my skin tone completely and evened out the coloration, but it is quite waxy until you set it with powder, highlighting any already shine-prone areas. It also does not cover blemishes, which I consider to be a main point of BLEMISH balm?? I had to go over problem areas with concealer, which is fine but something I wouldn't expect from a product like this. After setting and putting the rest of my makeup on this is the finished article:

I did like the finished feel of the BB cream on my skin, but I noticed around my jaw it had gone a little patchy so tried to blend it lightly with my finger. Unfortunately, it rolled off in little rubbings leaving that part of my jaw bare!! So don't touch it when it's set is the moral of that story. As for the rest of my face, I have used Too Faced Brow-nies Eyebrow pencil, Avon Glazewear lipgloss in Iced Pink, Mac Mocha Blusher, Benefit They're Real mascara, Natural Collection eyeliner in brown and an ANCIENT neutal eyeshadow pallette from The Body Shop that doesn't even have the name on it any. Oh and Too Faced Candlelight Powder. Loads of makeup for a no-makeup look, that's quite scary!

Anyway, I would recommend this for older, dryer skins. Perhaps 35+ skins would benefit from this more than I have, it's a bit too thick and waxy when it goes on, and not flexible enough to be manipulated once set. I'll give the other two sachets to my mum and see how she gets on with them. The one major bonus is it did stay on for at least six hours and the colour was great, a couple of people at work thought I had caught the sun!

6/10 for me but generally 8/10, I would not purchase this sadly