31 March 2015

March Beauty Favourites

This year is going crazy fast so far, slow down, I don't wanna turn 21! I've really been enjoying writing my monthly favourites posts lately, I feel like there have been so many products to share it just makes it so much more enjoyable. This month has gone so quickly but I am super excited for Easter, the best time of year for anyone who loves chocolate as much as me ;-). This month I tried out a few new things and picked out a couple of old favourites!


28 March 2015

Spring Makeup Essentials

Spring is officially here in the UK which means a slight re jig in the makeup department. Spring always makes me super excited as it means bringing back out the pinks and the lightweight products! Also, entering a new season is the perfect excuse to do a little shopping for some "well needed" new makeup.

When the warmer weather starts to make an appearance and the mornings become lighter, I begin to fall back in love with dewy skin and quick easy eyes. Today I want to share my favourite products that I will be using and loving over the next few months, as the weather gets warmer and the season changes there are so many products I will be using and many new ones to try, but these are my favourites. 


24 March 2015

No7 Instant Radiance Highlighter Review

In the past I've always seemed to wander straight past the No7 counter in Boots, I've always seen it as more of a mature brand and to be honest, nothing really took my fancy. Boots have been giving away their little vouchers again recently, the one where you can have £5 off skincare or £3 off makeup, when I last received one, I was determined to use it. 

I'm a slight lover of all things highlight and in particular I love a pretty pinky shade, it seems to really compliment my skin tone and creates such a beautiful effect. You may or may not have seen Clinique recently release their highlight and contour chubby sticks, after checking the highlight stick out in Debenhams I can confirm that this No7 Radiance Highlighter is an absolute dupe! 
The Radiance Highlighter retails at £9.95 but after using the voucher I managed to pick it up for just £6.95 which I think is a really fab price considering one of these by Clinique will set you back £19.95. Radiance Highlighter is a twist up chubby pencil that is soft and smooth in texture making it a dream to apply, whether that be straight from the bullet onto the skin or using a brush or fingertips. You can currently pick the highlighter up in another shade called Bronzing Highlighter which is more of a golden bronze shade, that I think would suit more darker or tanned skin tones beautifully. 

Radiance reminds me a lot of Benefit High Beam, it has that same beautiful iridescent pink undertone that really sparkles in the light, creating such a beautiful natural glow. At first I was dubious about this product because of it being a cream, I'm not really that familiar with cream highlighters so when I had good results after trying this one I was really pleased. I find myself blending a small amount of this product onto the very tops of my cheekbones and the bridge of my nose, using my warm fingertips to blend the product into the skin, it works a treat. 

I really love the effect this highlighter gives my skin, you could even apply it underneath your foundation or concealer to give the skin a beautiful glow. The finished result is super natural and lasts all day long. You can pick one of these up from Boots right now for less than £10 or less than £7 if you have a voucher, this is definitely a must in any highlight lovers collection. 

Whats your favourite product from No7?


21 March 2015

Saving Money on Beauty Purchases

The beauty world can be a pretty expensive one, and if you're wanting to try every new product release or you just want to build up a lovely stash of makeup, you may be interested in some easy money saving tips to help not break the bank but still allow you to try all of the wonderful new things. 

I've personally always been pretty good at saving money, I'm a really bad decision maker so when it comes to purchasing higher end makeup or even more expensive things in the drugstore, I'm always umming and ahhing over whether I actually want to buy it or not. I love that I can easily save my money but for some, it's not as easy as that, and I can see why, the beauty world is full of so many amazing things that draw you in so easily. 
Use your loyalty cards
There are so many stores that are offering loyalty cards, most of which are free to join and can give you so many benefits. My favourite is definitely Boots, for every £1 you spend you receive 4 points, then every 100 points you save is worth £1 to spend in store, which may not seem like much but it really does add up and over time you can find yourself with £10 or more to spend in store. Boots also have triple points events inshore and online which is a great way to gain yourself a few extras. The only slight downside to the Boots Advantage card is that you have to have the full amount on your card to cover the cost of an item, whereas stores such as Superdrug allow you to rack up the points and spend them when you wish, giving you a minimum of 50p off when you have enough. Loyalty cards also mean coupons, Boots are great at sending you coupons via the post and they now have an amazing iPhone app where you can load your vouchers to your Advantage card, meaning its super easy. 

Look out for 3 for 2
The UK drugstores are great at holding their offers, there is always some sort of offer going on in one of the two so always find out which one is best and go there to pick up your beauty bits. I love it when Boots and Superdrug offer 3 for 2 across everything, meaning you can pick up one thing by Rimmel, one by Maybelline and get something from Soap & Glory for free. Also when using offers such as 3 for 2, always ensure the items you are buying are of the same value. Basically try to pick 3 items that are £10 each instead of picking up two items that are worth £5 then the third only being worth £1, because you always get the cheapest item free. I've also noticed brands such as Rimmel offering 2 for £10 recently, which is fantastic as you can pick up any 2 products from their range and they'll be £5 each, I managed to grab two mascaras worth £8 each for £10 in total! 

Save your loose change
After a bit of a shopping trip or just at the end of a busy week I always empty my loose change from my purse, leaving pound coins in there only. I have a jar in my room where I keep all of my loose change and over time this will definitely add up to something more exciting than just coppers sitting in the bottom of your bag. This is a great way to save up some money without even realising it because lets face it you probably won't miss that little bit of change and you won't even realise its gone once its in your savings pot. Once you have a pretty good amount of money saved up you can head to the bank or post office to get your change transferred to notes or you can have it put into your bank account. You can use the coin exchange machines in supermarkets if you're desperate but be careful as these take approximately 10% of the amount of money you are changing, so its definitely worth counting it out yourself and exchanging it at the bank or post office if you can. 

Purchase from blog sales
I'm a bit of a sucker for a good blog sale, these are such an amazing way to pick up an absolute bargain whether its a MAC lipstick or a Dior foundation. There are hundreds of bloggers out there now who buy products that they just don't seem to get along with, meaning they are happy to pop their items up for sale for someone else to try. Bloggers such as Sugar Fixx Beauty and Suzy Hearts Beauty run some amazing blog sales, so head over there and pick up a new product for a bargain price. It may not seem hygienic to buy makeup second hand, but there are easy ways to sanitise products and its a good idea to buy the products from a blogger you love or trust, just to be safe. 

Know your stuff
This may seem silly but its so important to do your research and know your stuff, know exactly what you're looking for before you head to the shops. Back in the day there have been countless times where I have just splurged all my money on a MAC foundation to get home to find it rubbish, the complete wrong shade and me being £30 down. I am forever googling about products to find out what others thoughts are because although what works for someone else may not work for you, its still important to find out more about a product especially if its a more expensive one. I love reading my favourite bloggers reviews, you can simply type into Google the product you're looking for and add review to the search bar, you'll find hundreds of thoughts on the product you want to try. Another great way to check reviews on a product is to head to the brands website or Boots/Superdrug where customers write reviews for you to read, Boots is great as it gives every product a star rating, so you can really determine whether its going to be good or not. But again, remember that what works for someone else may not 100% work for you, its all about trial and error. 

Find the perfect dupe
Finally, there are hundreds of amazing beauty dupes out there now, so even if you do eventually want to splurge on that new Chanel mascara, there may well be a very similar product available for a third of the price. I find dupe blog posts really helpful and one of my favourite things to read because finding a good dupe is such a great feeling, and if it truly works as well as the original or more expensive version, I will happily stick with the less expensive version and save my pennies for something else. I find Pinterest an amazing tool for finding beauty dupes, there are some amazing posts on there for MAC lipstick dupes and more, so definitely sign up to Pinterest if you're not already (although be warned, it is very highly addictive!).

I really hope this post was useful, I'd really love to know your ways in which you try to save money when treating yourself to new beauty bits?

18 March 2015

Soap & Glory Lid Stuff Eyeshadow Palette Review 'Whats Nude'

When a brand is offering 3 for 2 I find it extremely hard to resist, Soap & Glory seems to be a brand offering 3 for 2 on a pretty regular basis, the majority of their products are around £10.00 so being able to get 3 things for the price of 2 is a huge bonus. I've been really enjoying the brand recently and one of their beautiful eyeshadow quads has quickly become my favourite palette for daily use. 

I actually love the packaging of this little palette, its so classy and unique to anything else on the market, Soap & Glory always seem to wow me with their packaging! Each shadow is a pretty decent size and is neatly cased in the cute plastic packaging. 

14 March 2015

The Perfect Nudes

When it comes to nude lipstick, I find it so super difficult to find shades that actually suit me, most are either too dark to even be classed as a nude or too pale that they completely wash me out. I have a few of the Rimmel Kate Moss lipsticks and I absolutely love them, they're by far one of my favourite ranges from the drugstore and they're only £5.49 each. Since Kylie Jenner has been rocking MAC Velvet Teddy, the world has gone wild with nude lipstick and I think I may have caught the bug.

Available in the Rimmel Kate Moss range are two beautiful lipsticks, shade 03 which is a lighter more brown toned nude and shade 08 which is more pinky toned and a touch darker.
I have reason to believe that 08 is a dupe for Velvet Teddy, I could be wrong but really it looks so similar and I've heard a few other people talking about this one being very comparable. I picked up shade 03 after Gabby from Velvetgh0st said how much she loved it, and how it was her perfect nude. 

Firstly I really love the edgy packaging of these, they are cased in a sleek black bullet with Kate's signature on the lid, which is super cute and separates her range from the rest of Rimmel massively. The shades are numbered instead of named which I guess is ok, but it's sometimes nice to have cute names to lipsticks, but for now we'll have to stick with just numbers! I really like the feature of the coloured sticker on the bottom of the bullet, where the number is, it really helps to identify the shade you want without opening the product completely.
These two shades are so beautiful and are really my favourite nude colours to this day, I tend to lean more towards 08 on a daily basis just because I feel like the pinky undertone suits me better but I love and wear both on a regular basis. If you haven't tried the Kate Moss lipsticks I would highly recommend, ranging from light pink to deep red and available in original or matte formulations.

The finish of these is kind of semi-matte, they do give off a slight shine which you can obviously keep or use a translucent powder to create a more matte look, I personally like both. The colour pay off and longevity of the lipsticks is amazing, I can wear one of the shades all day and I genuinely wouldn't need to touch it up throughout the day although most of the time I choose to do so after lunch which I think is just a bit of a habit I'm in! These shades are really gorgeous and I am so glad I decided to pick them up because they have really become staples in my collection and encouraged me to wear lipstick more often and to wear nudes rather than pinks and reds!
Rimmel Kate Moss Lipsticks are available from both Boots and Superdrug as well as larger supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury's if they stock Rimmel. RRP £5.49.


04 March 2015

L'Oreal Brow Artist Genius Kit Review & Swatches

Brand new and available right now from the Drugstore/Highstreet is the L'Oreal Brow Artist Genius Kit, available in two shades for just £9.99. Lately there have been some amazing brow product releases, you can pick up some amazing kits from the drugstore nowadays, most of which are under £10. The L'Oreal Brow Kit is a super cute little kit which includes everything you'd ever need to keep your brows well tamed and groomed, even mini tweezers! I love how compact everything is and the sleek packaging gets marks out of 10 from me.
L'Oreal have created this kit in two shades, Light to Medium and Medium to Dark, I went for the latter of the two because my hair is darker, there were no testers available when I purchased so it was really just a gamble. I'm really glad I picked up the darker shade as I think even this could be a little too light for me, I feel like anyone with darker hair than me would struggle to make this shade work, it's really quite light for the darkest shade available. 

When you first open the palette you are greeted by a sheet of acetate which explains what each product is and how to use it, on the left is a tinted wax and on the right is a setting powder, underneath these you have a small angled brush with spooly and a pair of mini tweezers (which are actually not bad tweezers which makes a change!)
The shade of the wax is definitely more warm toned, however the powder is more cool toned which works quite well, I'm not a fan of warm toned brows so I tend to use the powder on top to avoid this look. If you like a very natural but defined brow, the wax alone works perfectly at filling in sparse areas and adding a hint of colour. If you're like me and like a more fuller brow then adding the powder on top really is the icing on the cake.

I really like the texture of both the wax and the powder contained in this kit, the wax is the perfect consistency to keep your brows in place all day and the powder is a fab colour and you won't experience any fall down from this throughout the day. 
Overall I'm loving this little brow kit so far, and its such a bargain at just £10.00, its easily comparable to Benefit Brow Zings and the ELF Eyebrow kit. I do think it would be handy if it was available in more shades, or more specific shades, as the lighter palette may not be light enough for some and I feel like the palette I have wouldn't be dark enough for, lets say, those of you with black hair. 

Have you tried this palette yet? Will you be picking it up? L'oreal is currently on 3 for 2 in Boots!
Alice May Snell