Budget Beauty: Christmas Gift Guide!

If you are anything like me, then christmas is an exciting time to find the perfect gift for the loved ones in your life! I like to spend hours ensuring the presents are perfect and are wrapped beautifully. However, we can’t always afford to go all out with the budget on said gifts and therefore the need to find more affordable presents has become a key element in a lot go gift guides over the last few years. This one is for all the beauty lovers out there, be it your friend, fellow blogger or even your sister! Everything is under £16 (Random value I know but one gift just tipped over the £15 mark!) and would be perfect for any beauty junkie!

  • XCSOURCE 11PCS Makeup Brush Set -£7.99 I have a similar set of brushes from this company and they are a really good budget option! This set has both face and eye makeup brushes in so would be a perfect all round option! They are lovely and soft and are synthetic so they pick up product really easily. 81z7gq5bkwL._SX522_
  • Zoeva Beauty Palettes  -£15.50-£15.95 There are so many beautiful palettes to pick from, whether your recipient prefers cool neutrals (En Taupe Palette), warm golden shades (Cocoa Blend Palette) or even a Smoky Eye (Smoky Palette), there is something for everyone! The pigmentation and quality is amazing and they are such good value for money. I have a whole review on the Cocoa Blend palette here if you want to read more! IMG_1100
  • Clear Acrylic Lipstick Holder – £4.99 If you know a lipstick obsessive, then what better gift than a simple and stylish way to store all those lippies?! I picked this up for my dressing table in the summer and it has been absolutely perfect. It has 24 sections for lipstick, however, I am embarrassed to say that that is not enough to hold all my lipsticks! It is so sturdy and is such a bargain, under £5, who could argue with that?! 41F0u6TVLLL
  • Easy On The Eyes – By Lisa Potter-Dixon -£10.49 I have this book on my wishlist on my Amazon account as it looks amazing! Lisa is the head makeup and trend artist and brow expert for Benefit Cosmetics and if that doesn’t sell it to you, I don’t know what will! It comprises of eye makeup looks that can be done in 5, 15 or 30 minutes, which guarantees something for every occasion. It is also rated a massive 4.9/5 on Amazon.co.uk! 51AW5oiHCLL._SX400_BO1,204,203,200_
  • Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm Tree Decoration – £10 I have been dying to try this Blogger Approved cleanser for years now but the price of the full-size has always put me off! This would be perfect for anyone who loves to pamper themselves or has a keen interest in skincare! The set includes a 15ml tub of the cleansing balm and also one of the cleansing cloths. This is high up on my christmas list this year and its a perfect little stocking filler too! UK200016220_EMMA_HARDI hope you have enjoyed this little Christmas gift guide! I am planning to do some more, for various budgets and various recipients if that is something you’d like to read? Which of these would you like to receive the most?

Much Love

xoxo

 

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Worth The Hype? – Charlotte Tilbury Vintage Vamp Luxury Palette

I have been lusting over the entire Charlotte Tilbury range for as long as I can remember, but in particular, I really wanted to get my hands on the Vintage Vamp eyeshadow quad. I love berry tones and the palette just looked right up my street. If you saw my Birthday Haul then you will know that I was lucky enough to get quite a few Charlotte Tilbury goodies and this was one of them!

Lets first talk about the packaging. It’s simply beautiful. High gloss burgundy packaging enhanced by rose gold, it’s a match made in heaven! It is very sturdy and has that satisfying click that all good makeup packaging has when it closes! There is also a large mirror filling the lid which is perfect for those of you that like to do your makeup on the go!

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The palette contains four shades, the lightest shade in the top left and corner is the ‘prime’ shade. This is used to cover the entire lid in a wash of colour and is a beautiful pale shimmery pink tone. Top right is the ‘enhance’ shade, this is designed to be used in the crease and on the outer corner to create a more feline shop and add some depth to the eye. The third shade, in the bottom right hand corner, is the ‘smoke’ shade which is designed to deepen the look even more. I add it to the very outside corner and a little into the crease, however you could use this as an ‘eyeliner’ too if you were wanting a softer look. Finally, there’s the ‘pop’ shade which is quite a chunky gold glitter in the bottom left corner of the palette. This shade works best if you use your finger and place it in the inner third of your eyelid to add a little something extra to the look.

This is by no means a cheap makeup item. It retails for £38 which, in my opinion is pretty pricey! I do however, think that it is worth it and not just because I am a lover of all things ‘high-end makeup’! The shades in this palette are beautiful and blend seamlessly into each other. Every eyeshadow I have ever tried creases on my eyelids so I always have to use primer if I want it to last all day so that’s nothing against this particular palette. I love the way Charlotte has made it as easy as possible to recreate the look she has designed, there is even a YouTube video if you are more of a visual learner! The only thing I would say is that these aren’t quite as pigmented as I would have expected. You don’t have to be heavy handed when applying but you definitely have to pick up more product than, say, a MAC eyeshadow. I kind of expected them to be on par with MAC pigmentation wise so I was a little surprised when I had to be a bit more firm when applying these.

If you are in the market for a little indulgent treat then definitely pick this palette up for Autumn and Winter. These shades are gorgeous and I find that they particularly complement my blue eyes well. Everything about this palette feels luxurious and screams high-end which is never a bad thing! I am going to be honest and say I would like to pick up some of the other quads as they are great for taking away with you or even those days when you want a ready-made makeup look at your fingertips. Have you tried any of the Charlotte Tilbury quads?If so what do you think?

Much Love

xoxo

Review: The Best Drugstore Foundation & Concealer Duo?

I am forever on the hunt for a perfect foundation, whether that be high-end or from the drugstore. This means that I am currently the proud owner of *cough* 11 *cough* different base products from both ends of the spectrum! I had absolutely no plans to expand my collection any further, however, I was reading Marie Claire magazine the other day and found a sample of Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation inside. Naturally, I thought it would be rude not to try it out…

So I slapped it on my face whilst Tom was getting ready in the other room and when he came in he asked what foundation I had used. I was a little concerned that he was going to say it looked awful or the colour match was off, however, to my great surprise, he said both that it was the best my skin had looked AND that he thought it was the nicest foundation I had ever used on my skin. Now girls, I know that I am lucky to have a boyfriend who is happy to talk beauty every now and again, but from Tom, that is high, high praise!

Always one for a second opinion, I went downstairs to ask Tom’s Mum, an ex Estee Lauder beauty consultant, what her thoughts were. She said it made my skin look really healthy and glowing and with those two comments in the little compliment bag, I called up the stairs to Tom and told him we were off to Boots…

Now, as a Boots employee, I am always a sucker for their infamous 3 for 2 offers and couldn’t warrant only buying one thing. That in mind, I decided to pick up the matching concealer to this foundation and also the new Maybeline Colour Tattoo in Creme D’Nude. I thought if the foundation was good then surely the concealer must be alright too?

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I would never normally buy a foundation without at least having it on my face for one full day, however, my initial impressions were so good, I thought I’d take the risk. The foundation has spf 18 in which is great for the day time but wouldn’t very good for nighttime or flash photography. In addition to this, the foundation claims to be a ‘light perfecting radiance’ base so would be more suitable for the day in my opinion. The foundation comes in a glass bottle with both a pump and a lid, something that a lot of high-end brands should take note of! All this for the pricey sum of £7.99. Bargain!

So how does it wear? I am pleased to say that it wears really well, stays even throughout the day and doesn’t break down very quickly or easily. It feels light on the skin and blends in seamlessly. I love this paired with the matching concealer as it really does give my skin a beautiful boost of radiance. The concealer retails for £5.99 and comes with a brush applicator which is great for on the go. It is quite a thick consistency but again, blends in beautifully. I picked up both the foundation and concealer in the shade Ivory and the concealer is considerably lighter than the foundation so you definitely don’t need to pick it up in a shade lighter than the foundation. If you pick them both up in the same shade you will be good to go.

I honestly don’t think I could recommend these products enough, particularly for the price. They are affordable, well formulated and long lasting. I just love it when a product does the job that it claims to do! This is the first foundation I have tried from Rimmel in the last few years and I am seriously impressed, but my love for Rimmel’s BB cream probably should have been a hint that their base products work well with my skin.

Have you tried either of these from the Match Perfection range? If so, what do you think? What foundations do you like from the drugstore?

Much Love

xoxo

Face of the Day: Gym-proof Makeup!

I know it’s a lot better to not wear any makeup to the gym, however if like me your gym is at university, it is usually pretty difficult to go bare faced in front of everyone on your course! For that reason, i’ve come up with a minimal ‘no-makeup-makeup-look’ that is both gym and lecture proof!

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Base: My trusty Rimmel Matte BB Cream in Light is always my go to for minimal base days. This is my second tube of this and regular readers of this blog will know that this has been my holy-grail BB Cream for the last few years. It is almost unnoticeable on the skin, however provides quite a lot of coverage for a BB Cream and also blends in seamlessly with your skin tone. It is more of a satin finish in my opinion and is also pretty resilient when it comes to being sweat-proof! A perfect all rounder! For concealer, I’ve been trying the Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer in 010 Ivory. I have been trying the corresponding foundation out too and plan to do a post on both of them in the next week or two so I won’t go into it too much, but it’s very lightening and brightening so is good for giving you that healthy glow!

Brows: This is no surprise, but I used my Benefit Brow Zings in Fair this is great for quick and effortless brows. I have also been loving the brow powder that came in my Smashbox #Shapematters Palette as that packs a bit more of a punch but this is perfect for lighter makeup days! Also, its long lasting so there’s no uneven brows after your work out!

Face: I like a light hit of bronzer and a touch of blusher to offer that ‘i’ve been for an epic workout but at least I look more alive than I feel’ look. I love the Soap & Glory Solar Powder for a light dusting of warmth across the skin. I am very pale so I like to give my skin a bit more colour otherwise I may end up stretchered out of the gym for looking so pale that I may pass out. A little flush on the cheeks is also perfect for keeping you looking healthy and radiant so I opted for the Charlotte Tilbury Cheek To Chic Blush in Love Is The Drug. This is a lovely two toned, pink blush that gives a really beautiful flush to the cheeks!

Eyes: For me, it’s important to keep the eyes simple when heading to the gym as there’s nothing worse than coming out with panda eyes! I simply choose a pale wash of colour all over the lid and a light coating of mascara. I picked the ‘Prime’ shade from the Charlotte Tilbury Vintage Vamp Luxury Palette as it’s a lovely pale shimmery nude-pink colour. It is very subtle on it’s own and in my opinion is perfect for the gym! Finally, for mascara, I picked MaxFactor False Lash Effect Mascara as I know it doesn’t budge very easily and my lashes look great with it on!

Lips: I like to keep the lips incredibly simple so I always wear Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector in Rose as it is a perfect ‘my-lips-but-better’ balm stick that’s easy to throw on in a rush. Mine has so nearly run out so I am digging it out of the tube with a cotton bud! Needs must hey?!

I hope you like my idea of gym-proof makeup! Obviously if you feel comfortable going completely au-naturale to the gym then that is much better but I like to wear a little something, you never know who you’ll bump into at the gym!! What are your go-to products for the gym?

Much Love

xoxo

Bodyshop’s New Festive Scents!

Hey all!

Just a quick post today to let you all know about The Bodyshops new fragrance lines for the festive season! If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know how much I love BodyShop shower gels, particularly if you read my empties posts , there’s usually at least one each month! So, when I saw the new launches, I knew I had to at least pick up the shower gels in each fragrance so I could give them all a try to decide whether I wanted to pick up anything else from the ranges. There are three seasonal scents so I thought I would do my best to describe each one for you!

Glazed Apple 

This is honestly one of the most delicious scents that i’ve tried from the BodyShop, it is really sweet like their Strawberry line and reminds me of those apple flavoured liquorice laces you can buy. It has both apple and honey extracts in, which explains the sweetness and lingers just the right amount on the skin. I love using this at night as it feels so warm and cosy when you use it, if that even makes sense?! Isn’t the packing just so cute too?! I’m a sucker for a bit of festive sparkle!!

Frosted Cranberry 

This is more of a juicy and fresh fragrance compared to the other two. It has cranberry extract and also notes of pomegranate and red berry in, which gives it a really christmassy feel too. If you are not overly keen on sweet scents then this one might be for you. All three of the fragrances come in a wide range of products so there will definitely be something for you. If you’re a shower gel junkie like me or even if you are just looking for a lip balm, then there’s something for you! Tom actually declared this one his favourite of the three so if you’re wanting to share it with your other half or just fancy a males perspective, then this one could be the one to try!

Frosted Plum 

The final scent for Christmas is frosted plum and I have to say that this is my least favourite of the three. It’s not horrible by any means but it almost has a slightly musky scent to me and I don’t normally gravitate towards those. Alongside extracts of plum, it has peony and magnolia notes in it to add a more floral twist. This is probably why it’s my least favourite as I don’t particularly rave about floral scents either! I know, so picky!

I feel like Body shop have really catered for everyone with these three scents, there’s the sweet scent; the more fruity, refreshing scent and finally the floral and slightly musky scent so there is really something for everyone. I have been really impressed with Body Shop on the whole this year and their Christmas offerings have only added to my new found love for them. These are limited edition I believe so make sure you get your hands on anything you fancy trying before the sell out! They have my seal of approval, let me know what you think of them if you get to try them!

Much Love

xoxo

Hot or Not? – Colab Dry Shampoo

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Image Credit: A Model Recommends

NB: This post relates to the Extreme Volume Variety, I was unaware I had picked this up by accident!! I’m going to try the sheer invisible variety too and update you on that one too! Thanks to those of you who commented and made me realise there were two varieties of each fragrance. Clearly today should have been a stay in bed and sleep day lol!

I am a huge lover of dry shampoo. I use it every week and like the way it just freshens my hair up! So when Ruth Crilly, from A Model Recommends, came out with her own range of dry shampoo, I was eager to give it a try as I am a huge lover of Ruth’s blog and YouTube channel and wanted to support her new venture! I picked up two fragrances: New York and London. I’m not going to lie, but I picked up New York purely on the basis that it reminded me that I am going in April!

I gave London to my Mum and I have been using New York and I thought I’d share with you how I’ve found it. Firstly, the packaging, I absolutely love it! I think it looks so chic and high-end and looks like its worth way more than it’s retail price of £3.49. I did’t expect any less from Ruth though as she is so sophisticated and stylish that surely, anything she put her name to would be too?

The product itself smells great, it’s clear Ruth spent a lot of time thinking about the fragrances of the product and they are all lovely without being over-powering. It doesn’t linger too long, which for me, is a good thing. The spray on the bottle is also really good, dispersing a perfect amount out in fine mist which is really useful.

Now it comes down to how it actually works. The truth is, it makes your hair look great, I’ve had loads of compliments on my 7 day old hair after i’ve use this and it gives A LOT of volume to the hair too. However, it makes my hair feel absolutely disgusting! My trusty Batiste feels quite weightless in my hair whereas this feels like it has coated every strand of my hair and my, already thick hair, feels like I have three peoples worth of hair on my head! If you have fine hair this might be a good thing for you if you want more texture and volume, however, if like me you have thick curly hair then it makes you feel like you hair has turned into dreadlocks. Not a fantastic feeling. I was really disappointed by this as I had really high hopes with this product, but the even more disappointing thing is that it does a really great job at freshening the hair but this horrible feeling really takes away from that fact. As soon as i’ve put it in I want to wash my hair!

I am hoping it may just be the New York scent, so I am going to persevere and try some of the other scents. I don’t hate this one enough to see it go to waste, but I probably wouldn’t buy it again which is a shame. Have you tried any of the other fragrances? What did you think of them?

Much Love

xoxo

October Empties

I cannot believe that October is over already! I love October, so I am sad to see it end but we’re now one month closer to Christmas and I am so happy about that!! Through my ever-changing blogging schedule, one thing always remains constant, my empties posts! I absolutely love reading these and the sense of satisfaction that comes from using up so many products can’t be beaten.

I’ve finished off quite a few things this month, so lets take a look through my rubbish again:

  • Kerastase Nutritive Bain Satin 2 Shampoo – I really liked how clean this made my hair, it is quite expensive, but it lathers up well and keeps my hair looking lovely. The bottle lasted a long time so I guess it was quite cost effective, however I’m not rushing to buy it again as I am trying out a new brand that Tom bought me home from Boots and I am actually really enjoying it! I will do a brand focus on it at some point in the future so keep your eyes peeled for that!
  • Kerastase Masquintense For Thick Hair – I rarely use conditioner, instead favouring to use a treatment masque as I only wash my hair once a week. This way my hair gets that intense hit of moisture that it often so desperately needs. I really liked the way this masque worked, it made my hair colour look brighter and my hair slightly less unruly! Again, I’m trying a new product out at the moment so I won’t be repurchasing this again just yet.
  • Peter Thomas Roth Mega-Rich Shampoo (Travel Size) – To say I got this as a freebie from a hotel, it was pretty good! I enjoyed using it and it worked well with my hair. Admittedly it didn’t do anything Wow! to my hair, but it wasn’t bad either! I won’t be purchasing the full size though as my hair needs Wow!
  • Peter Thomas Roth Mega-Rich Conditioner (Travel Size) – As I said, I don’t often use conditioner as it’s not rich enough for my hair, but I have to say that this wasn’t awful! If you just want a conditioner that you can use a few times a week that will give your hair a little moisture boost then this would be great. For me, it wasn’t intense enough so I won’t buy it again. I do have another sample of this and the shampoo to use up so I will use those in the future.
  • Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover (Sample) – Mum and I ordered the Clarins Advent Calendar the other week and they sent us a few freebies for spending over £50. This was one of the ones I picked and I would say that this is probably my favourite eye makeup remover. Dark smoky eyes vanish in an instant and this doesn’t leave you pulling or dragging your eyes. I have gone through a few bottles of this in varying sizes and I think I probably will buy the full size of this in the future, it really is good!
  • Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser – I picked this up on a whim when my skin was bad and kept it in my shower. It was really nice to have the pump so I could use it easily when in the shower. It didn’t leave my skin tight and left a nice tingly feeling to the skin. If you want a cheap foaming cleanser to use in the morning then this is great. I would buy it again for that purpose, however I am using another one I have in the mean time.
  • Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush in Soft Pink – I have had this blush for years and year from a gift with purchase. It has been lying in my drawer all those years and this year I finally got round to prioritise using it. I honestly loved this product for summer, it was so dewy and fresh-looking and really perked up my complexion. I am definitely going to be repurchasing this next summer as the colour was absolutely perfect, with a tan or without. If you like cream blushers, then you should definitely give this one a try.
  • Vaseline Active Fresh Deodorants – I used up two of these deodorants this month, one in the compressed spray format and one in the regular roll-on format. I really like the scent of this one and I find it really effective at keeping me smelling nice all day. I never use the same scent twice in a row though so I am using a Boots one now and then I have a Dove backup, but I’m sure i’ll come back to this one some point in the not so distant future.
  • Bodyshop Vitamin E Eyes Cube – I loved the concept of this, brightening & moisturising eye cream in a stick format?! Perfect! I really did love using it and it was so cooling and refreshing. The only thing I would say is that it didn’t last too long which was a bit disappointing. Seeing as this was the first product I have ever tried like this I thought I better try out a few more before I declare that this is the best so I have replaced this empty one with a new one from Asian brand Tony Moly. I will keep you posted with how I get on with that one, but I am liking it so far.
  • Fem Fresh Soap Free Wash – Not a lot of detail needed here but, although the product was good, the bottle design was awful and on one occasion I did get Fem Fresh in my eye which hurt way way more than a ‘soap free wash’ should! Despite only being £1 I won’t be buying this again on principle!!
  • OZ Naturals Ocean Mineral Tonic* – I was sceptical of this when I first received it, however I really loved this product. I could really feel the difference when I didn’t use this. I don’t know whether it’s coincidence, but my skin really cleared up when I used this twice a day. The spray on the bottle was really good and dispersed the perfect amount of product in a fine mist. It was also really practical when trying to do my skin care in a rush! I received this one free in exchange for an Amazon review, however, I think I will consider actually buying this when my other toner has finished. The only thing I would say is that, as it contains natural ingredients, there was some kind of weird mould-like substance that formed in the lid that made me feel a bit squeamish when I looked at it! Maybe all that bacteria is what made it work!
  • Rommel Match Perfection Foundation Sample – This was taped onto one of the pages in a magazine recently and I had very low hopes for a good colour match. I tried it on and first things first, this was my exact colour match! Result! Once I knew the colour suited, I could asses the actual foundation and I have to say I love it! Tom came in after I had put my makeup on and he said ‘have you used a new foundation, your skin looks the best it ever has and that’s gone on so smoothly’. Sold. Rimmel take my money NOW. (I went to boots 15 minutes later and bought the foundation and the matching concealer and I’ve not looked back since!) This is an absolute bargain at £7.99 for a really incredible, glowing foundation. I will do a full review soon on both this and the concealer so keep a look out for that!

So that’s everything for this month. I hope you enjoyed reading this post! What is the main thing you finished off this month?

Much Love

xoxo