Saturday, 16 November 2013

Essence Quattro Eyeshadow- Over The Taupe

So my sister has finally returned from her internship in Spain and kindly brought back this eyeshadow quad for me to try. I had my eye on this whilst I was in Majorca but managed to resist temptation so I'm pleased she got it me.
Aesthetically it's simple but nice looking for want of a much better 'wow' word (the kids have been learning adjectives in class lately!). As the case is clear it'll be easy to spot when I'm searching for it in my rather full makeup bag and it also feels quite solid considering it's price. Anyways, no one really cares too much about packaging, what they want to know is how good are the actual shadows. Sadly this is where I have to say that only two out of the four have impressed me. The two paler shades are a bit pap in that when you swatch them with your finger it looks like they'll be pretty pigmented, but then when you go to transfer it the colour pay off is next to nothing. Even with a primer they refused to stick- it's like they're anti skin! The two darker shades perform much better and are very pigmented with just one swipe. I'm very pleased about this as it was the bottom left shade that drew me to it in the first place.
I'm looking forward to experimenting with the two usable one and I think they'll go nicely with some of the shades in my MUA palettes.

I would still like to try more Essence products out though and I'm a but miffed that they're not being brought out at a Wilkinson's near me!

What do you recommend from Essence?

The Body Shop Rainforest Radiance Haircare Set

I should have blogged about this ages ago but better late than never! I was in an outlet store a while ago and bought two of these for £7 which I thought was pretty good for 8 60 ml bottles and two combs! I love having a nosey in the outlet store- I always manage to find a bargain! I don't think I'll be keeping both sets though, one will more than likely be a Christmas gift. The shampoo and conditioner is for coloured hair and contains no silicones, sulphates,colourants or parabens. I've been meaning to try more 'natural' hair products for a while so I'm looking forward to seeing how they perform as I've not tried them yet. They also contain pracaxi oil, bilberry extract and linseed oil. All very good for your hair I'm sure! In any case they smell delicious-really fruity. The bottles also state that they contain UV filters, which I'm guessing helps protect your colour.
I'm nearly at the end of my current shampoo so hopefully I'll be able to write a little review on them soon. Fingers crossed it'll be a positive one!

Have you picked up any bargains from the outlet stores lately?

Monday, 11 November 2013

Creightons Vanilla & Macadamia Cocoon Shower Burst

This is a  recent empty of mine and I have to say I'm a bit sad that it's finished. I got this for less than a quid from Home Bargains (I want to say 80 something pence?) and it's been lovely to use. It's top selling point is definitely how it smells- it's gorgeous! If you love foody, cake-like scents then this will be right up your street. Whilst sweet it's not too cloying and sickly. I can find vanilla scented products overpowering but this one seems to strike the right balance. It also contains macadamia oil and vanilla extract so it's not all artificial which is a big plus point. It lathers really well and I find that when used with a body puff a little goes a long way. The texture is luxurious and creamy and makes a great shaving cream too! Some cheaper shower gels can make my skin feel a bit tight but this one leaves my skin feeling soft and not stripped in the slightest.
If I remember rightly they also do a grapefruit and lime one which would be nice to try as I like fresh, zingy scents too. If you live near a Home Bargains I'd definitely recommend popping in to see if they have these in stock. Otherwise I'm sure they're stocked elsewhere in places like Savers and Bodycare-though I haven't checked.

What's your favourite shower product lately?

Saturday, 9 November 2013

E.L.F 50% Off Sale

My package finally arrived the other day and I couldn't wait to dig in and check out what I'd ordered. It's hard to get a true representation of what products look like on the site so a lot of the time things aren't quite what you expected them to be, good or bad! Thankfully, on the whole, I'm pleased with what I bought. I didn't actually get this in one order as I used a free delivery code for one of them and then about a week later they were doing the 50% off code so obviously I had to splurge again... My make up hoarding is getting a bit shameful now when I consider that most days I don't wear an awful lot of it! Ah well! Anyways here is what I bought the first time.

I got the studio line powder brush as I think my current one is on it's way out- I've had it for years! This feels lovely and soft whilst still being 'solid'- it feels well made. I also got the brush cleaner as I'm very lazy when it comes to washing my brushes so I thought this could be a quicker alternative. My lips are in a awful state at the moment so I'm hope the lip exfoliator will work and let me wear lipsticks again without it looking horrible. This smells gorgeous, like vanilla- even more of an incentive to use it. Lastly I got a Jumbo Lip Gloss Stick in the shade Pink Umbrellas. This is the one product I'm a bit disappointed with on initial looks. It's very sheer and not as bright as I was hoping. The swatch below took a lot of going over! Smells nice and minty though! 

When the 50% off code rolled around I then got this lot. 

I've been tempted to get the maximum coverage concealer for a long time now as I do get quite bad blemishes at times. I chose the shade Porcelain but I think it's still a smidge too dark, though I think it will be passable when blended out. It definitely feels very thick and high coverage which is just what I need. Another item that has been on my wish list is the high definition powder. I always powder after using foundations but it can get a little heavy looking so hopefully using this will give me a better, more flawless finish. The powder is extremely fine and silky feeling but very messy! I love blushers so I was very interested in trying out one of the HD blushes. I chose the shade Headliner which is a gorgeous bright pink shade that I think would be flattering on a lot of people. The blush is very creamy and pigmented and a little seems to go a very long way. As well as blushes, I've also been on a foundation mission lately as I just can't seem to find the perfect one. I thought I'd try the mineral foundation in Fair as in the past I've loved the L'Oreal True Match mineral foundation but at £15 it's rather pricey. Hopefully I'll like this just as much but we shall see! Finally I bought the eyebrow kit in the shade Ash as I never bother with my eyebrows and thought this might entice me to have a go at making them more groomed. 

Swatches of the concealer and blush. 

This was very messy when I was opening it! Managed to get it everywhere! 

'Fair' seems to be a good colour match-can't wait to test it our properly! 

Again this seems to be a good colour match for my brows. The powder is very pale-I couldn't get it to show up in a swatch. Hopefully this is a good thing, I'd hate to have brows that were too obvious!

There's been a lot of ELF reviews lately on blogs so I hope you're not too bored of them! I'm looking forward to trying these out properly and giving my opinions later on. 

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Pure Exfoliating Cleansing Wipes

I know that a lot of people aren't a fan of face wipes, but I'm not ashamed to say that I couldn't do without them! I tend to use these at night as I'm often just too tired to faff about with a cleanser and water. Lazy maybe but this way means I can be done in seconds whilst all snuggled up in bed. I give my face a good clean in the shower in the morning so it's not like they're my sole cleanser. I've tried loads of wipes but these are my current faves as they're really gentle and don't irritate my skin or sting my eyes. They're not flimsy or overly wet or dry either. These are 'exfoliating' wipes but they're not rough at all, they are just more textured than normal ones to help remove dirt and makeup. You'd still need to use a normal exfoliator if they're part of your routine. I get these from Poundland as they're a great bargain at 2 packs for a quid. You get 20 wipes in a pack and they're paraben free and contain vitamin E and witch hazel. All good stuff.
I do think wipes get a bad rap when they possibly shouldn't. Ultimately I think a persons lifestyle and hormones has a bigger effect on skin than any cleanser but different things work for different people- we're not all the same! I can definitely recommend these though and these will stay in my skincare arsenal for the time being!

Are you anti-wipes or do you find them useful like me?

Monday, 4 November 2013

Time to put the laptop down!

I realised the other day that I don't read as much as I used to any more and in the evenings I'm practically attached to my laptop. I really want to break this habit as I used to be such a bookworm- I loved going to the library and perusing the shelves. Now I just get in from work and plonk myself down on the sofa, log on, and stay there all night! With this in mind, last week I chose some library books that I hope will help reignite my love for reading. I spied 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' in the new book section and thought I'd give it a go as I've seen it on so many blogs and of course there was the movie. I'm hoping I enjoy it as much as other people have but we'll see! I'm sure many of you know what it's about but if you don't here's the description- 
Charlie is a freshman. And while he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can't stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up. 
The second book I chose was 'Penelope' by Rebecca Harrington. This seemed a good choice at the time but
it hasn't got favourable reviews on Amazon! Ah, well. Again I'll have to see for myself! Here's the book description-
Meet Penelope O'Shaughnessy, Harvard freshman.
Armed with her Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights poster and party conversation modelled on the repartee of Noel Coward, Penelope is ready to take her place on campus. But where are the kindred spirits who will share her passion for Morse code and Tetris? Penelope's roommates, over-achieving Emma and the sullen Lan, seem to have already got to grips with university life, and she is finding it hard to work out if the dashing but elusive Gustav matches up to her hero, Hercule Poirot.
Penelope follows our heroine's progress through her first year among America's elite, as she navigates the mysteries of life, love, inappropriate tutors, marionette operation and how to kiss on both cheeks and avoid disaster.

I can't wait to get stuck into these and I'll keep you updated on what I think about them! 

Do you have any book recommendations? If you've read any of these what did you think? 

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Deborah Lippmann Fade To Black & Across The Universe NOTD

When I bought these on Thursday I couldn't wait to try them out and I have to say that I am in love with this combination! It's so fitting for bonfire night- reminds me of fireworks! This is the first time I've ever tried a Deborah Lippmann polish but I wish I had sooner as they are really good. I thought the black polish would be hard to apply, as is often the case with dark colours, but it went on really smoothly. The formula wasn't too thin or thick and dried quickly. I used two coats but I could have gotten away with one I think, especially as I was adding a sparkly topper. I was most excited to try out the gorgeously glittery Across The Universe and it didn't let me down! Against the black it's just stunning- I love the mix of large and fine glitter particles in shades of blue and green. Again glitter polish can be hard to apply as it sometimes requires you to do a fair bit of dabbing in order to get an even distribution but this applied well- I got the result I wanted after two coats, but it still would have looked lovely after one. Even though I had four coats of polish on in total it didn't take long to dry at all, and in any case it was worth it for the fab effect.
I think I'll be sad when this starts to chip but I'm looking forward to trying the other shade I got, Modern Love. I still can't get over the fact that if I had bought these separately on Beauty Bay then it would have cost £47 instead of the £8 I paid at TK Maxx! Most Bargainous!

I also posted a pic of my nails on Twitter-it's a bit closer and clearer too! 

Have you tried any Deborah Lippmann polishes? I'd love some recommendations. 

Friday, 1 November 2013

Mini Hol to Torquay!

During the school holidays I usually do playscheme work but this time I decided to take the whole week off and go on a little trip away with my boyfriend to Torquay. We booked it a while ago when there was a deal on for 2 nights at a hotel/b&b for 2 people for just £75. Bargain! There were lots of places to choose from but after extensive Trip Advisor research we plumped for the Crown Lodge Hotel in Torquay. Of course the cost of petrol was going to bump up the cost of our trip but it was still very affordable between us. After 8 weeks of stress and madness at school though I just HAD to get away this half term! I was very willing to cough up!
We definitely made the right decision as the hotel was lovely- the rooms were spotless and very comfortable and breakfast was excellent, particularly the French toast and maple syrup I had on our second day- perfect for me and my sweet tooth! The owners were also very friendly and helpful. Whilst we were there we visited Paignton Zoo as well as Living Coasts. I particularly liked the sweepy otters at Living Coasts-they were so cute all curled up together! We were really lucky that on the whole the weather was good, especially whilst we were trekking around the zoo! We also had some yummy food (I'd recommend Amici in Torquay for some great Italian food as well as The Singing Kettle for an amazing cream tea!) and wasted some money in the arcades. Well you just have to at a seaside resort! On our way back home we also stopped by my uni friends house near Tewkesbury for a quick visit which was lovely. We managed to pack a lot in but there was so much more we could have done if we had stayed longer. I'd never been to Devon before but now I definitely want to go back. 

I miss this bed-it was so comfy! 

Homemade cherry scone- so very gorgeous! 

Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, I think! These had lovely long eyelashes- was very jealous! 

Love Giraffes, they are so elegant and interesting looking. 

Me and a goat. He was thrilled, obviously. 

View from Paignton Pier 

We won a whole pound! 


Choppy sea! 

Cutie pie penguins. 

Sweepy otters! 

Look at their little faces, squee! 

I've got a bit of the holiday blues now though- I don't want to go back to school again!  Have you been anywhere nice lately?