Worth The Hype? – The Original Beauty Blender

IMG_0384.jpgI’ve never really been one for beauty sponges but the lure of the Beauty Blender has been going on way way too long for me now and I decided it was about time to take the plunge. The money has always been the main thing that put me off but when I found a seller on eBay selling one a lot cheaper, I finally managed to pick one up for a reasonable price.

On first inspection, the Beauty Blender appears quite insignificant and quite similar to every other sponge out there however, the texture is actually quite different, with more of a porous, memory foam like texture compared to the usual smoothed sponges that you can pick up in Boots. The classic egg shape is also actually pretty ingenious as the tapered end allows you to blend in your concealer and foundation around your nose but I was still pretty sceptical as to how well it would work.

So, for the Beauty Blender to work, you soak it in water and then towel dry it off so it is slightly damp. I was surprised to see that it nearly doubled in size after this and the texture became even more ‘spongy’. I decided the best way to test this out was to use my favourite foundation at the moment as I am already happy with the formula and finish but wanted to see if the application could be smoother. I used the Rimmel Match Perfection foundation as this is my go-to at the moment, even over my pricier foundations and I know the formula is a good one and works well with my skin.

I decided to solely use this to apply my foundation rather than use this to blend at the end and found it a lot easier than I had originally imagined. You have to kind of ‘bounce’ the sponge across the skin to try and blend the foundation into the skin rather than buffing or smearing like normal. I actually really enjoyed using this and, although it took a little longer than normal, it was reasonably quick. The effect of using this sponge was actually incredibly seamless and my skin looked smoother and more flawless than normal, which to be honest, doesn’t take much!! I was surprised to see how dewy my skin looked and just generally more healthy, I couldn’t believe that a sponge made this much difference but to me it really did.IMG_0385

Overall, I am really happy with the Beauty Blender and I can totally see what all the fuss has been about! Although I 100% agree with the hype, I don’t agree with the normal price! I managed to pick this up for half the price and that is definitely my limit, after all, it is just a sponge!! This is going to be my go-to foundation applier for the next few weeks as I was so happy with the result. I think the interesting part is going to come when I have to try and wash it!! Have you tried the Beauty Blender? Do you agree that it’s worth the hype? How do you wash it?

Much Love

xoxo

Advertisements

MAC Cherry Lip Liner Review & Dupe!

So for Valentines Day this year, Tom picked me up my first ever MAC Lipliner in the infamous shade Cherry. I wear red lipstick all the time and a lipliner really does lead to better application so when he picked the shade Cherry out of the shades I showed him I was really pleased and couldn’t wait to try it out!

At £12.50 MAC lipliners aren’t extortionate but they aren’t as cheap as other popular lipliners such as the Rimmel Exaggerate lipliners. The majority of my lipliners have been the retractable kind that are great for travelling as you don’t need a sharpener, but are sometime prone to snapping, so I was intrigued to see how I would get on with a pencil.

First impressions were really good! The application was really easy and created a perfectly smooth yet crisp line around the lips. The texture was very creamy and didn’t drag or pull at the lips at all which I was really surprised about! The colour was a really bright, true red which was perfect for what I was looking for. It complements all the shades or red I own really well and looked beautiful paired with Russian Red despite Russian Red being more of a blue-toned red than the traditional yellow red.

One thing I really liked about this product was the packaging, MAC have designed it to be a thin pencil with a nice matte coating which is great for applying as it’s not too slippy. I just thought it looked really chic and was a decent length so I would expect it to last a while! I have added 4 other MAC lipliners to my wish list in the shades Soar, Whirl, Stone and Vino to complement some of my other MAC lipsticks!

It was only when I compared Cherry to my current Red lipliner, No 7’s Fire, that I realised just how similar the two shades are. I am finishing off fire at the moment and have found that to be a really good liner too. The only differences between the two products are that Fire is retractable whereas Cherry is a pencil; Fire is a touch more pink than cherry and it is also more prone to smudge than Cherry. Cherry is a bit tougher in the lasting stakes which makes it the winner for me, however, I love No 7’s lipliners and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Fire to anyone looking for an alternative to Cherry. Particularly at only £6.75 full price; £3.75 using a No 7 £3 off makeup coupon or £2.23 for lucky Boots discount card holders! I’ve included a swatch below to show you just how similar they are:

IMG_0374_Fotor
On the left is No 7 Fire and on the right is MAC Cherry!

I hope you liked this post; have you tried either of these shades or any of the other colours from either brand? What are your favourites? Let me know in the comments!

Much Love

xoxo

My MAC Lipstick Collection + Swatches

Over the last few months, it’s pretty safe to say that I have harboured quite a MAC lipstick obsession – the struggle is real! I have trawled the internet looking at blogs and watching YouTube videos of peoples collections and looking to inspire my own post and I thought that now I am the proud owner of 12 different shades, it’s about time! I am rather embarrassed to say that when I started this blog, just under a year ago, I only owned 3! Clearly, the collection has spiralled this year and I wanted to share with you some shades that I do not think get enough hype as well as some of the much loved favourites! I have managed to take/find a lip swatch for every single shade so you can see what they look like on as well as in the bullet!

First up is the CREAMSHEEN formulas:

Creamsheens basically do what they say on the tin – They’re creamy when applying and leave a nice sheen along with the colour on the lips. I would say they are quite a medium pigmentation and aren’t particularly long lasting however they feel very comfortable on the lips.

DSCF9539_Fotor.jpg

From left to right we have:

  • Fanfare – mid-tone yellow pink – This is a lovely every day colour that is definitely more of a pink nude than the others. I have written a post with this in here so feel free to check that out if you want to find out more. I will insert a lip swatch below.

IMG_1054_Fotor

  • Modesty – muted neutral pink – On me this comes up quite taupe which I love. It is very similar to my beloved and discontinued Ladies Choice Lipstick from Benefit which I adored so this is a good, replacement. It also featured in this post. As you can see from the picture below, it is quite a bit more brown/taupe than fanfare and it’s so easy to just slap on. It is my go-to nude with dark smoky eyes!

IMG_1047_Fotor

  • Shanghai Spice – frosted neutral pink – I would definitely describe this as more of a coral-nude and I love it! I have worn this more than any of my other creamsheens and it’s just so easy to wear! I love pairing it with a coppery eye (in the form of MAC Woodwinked!) as it keeps the golden/orange tones flowing throughout the whole look. It’s a great spring/summer colour and really flatters my pale skin.

IMG_1052_Fotor

The next formula is SATIN :

This is honestly one of my favourite formulas and I wish they did more colours that I liked in this formula! It has similar lasting power to the matte formulas without being overly drying. They are more comfortable on the lips but pack a similar punch in terms of pigmentation!

DSCF9537_Fotor.jpg

  • Brave – beige-pink with white pearl – I was bought this for my 21st birthday by two of the lovely sisters I tutor, Lauren picked this shade herself as it’s one of her favourites and she knew my obsession was unravelling! If you want to see what else I got then just click here. If I don’t know which lipstick to put on I reach for this as it is so east to apply and is so easy and comfortable to wear! I also love putting a little bit over mehr to make my lips look plumper! This is the only picture I have of me wearing this so I’m sorry!

IMG_0025.JPG

The third formula that I own is the AMPLIFIED finishes:

This finish really packs a punch with the pigmentation whilst not being at all drying on the lips. They are really easy to apply and leave a slight sheen to the lips. They are incredibly comfortable to wear and have reasonable lasting power!

DSCF9538_Fotor.jpg

From left to right:

  • Brick-O-La – mid-tone berry – I was bought this by my brother Alfie for christmas (thanks Fred!) and I just love it! It is a really wearable red shade if you don’t want anything too bold or like me, you love red so much you need something for every occasion. I hardly ever hear anything about this and it is such a beautiful colour that I can’t understand why! Here’s me wearing this whilst visiting my nephew over christmas! As you can see it’s quite a muted red, not quite the brick colour the name would suggest though!

DSCF9466.JPG

  • Saint Germain – clean pastel pink – This is VERY bright, VERY pastel, VERY pink and VERY white based. It is also the first MAC lipstick I ever bought! I do find it quite had to wear to be honest but I ave written a post on how to make this one more wearable if like me you have this hiding out in the back of your collection needing some more love. Heres a little blast from the past for you, back to when I was 14/15 and thought this colour was 100% going to attract the boys also featuring heavy black eyeliner and a couple of lovely visible forehead spots. Ahhhh…

26098_376326992283_5285672_n

The final finish I have takes up a massive 50% of my collection on it’s own! I don’t mean to but the MATTE formula has the best colours in my opinion!

MAC’s matte lipsticks have really good staying power, deliver a goo hit of pigmentation and are generally not too difficult to apply, not as easy as other formulas but not too bad overall. They can, however, be quite drying and will expose any chapped lips you have so a good, hydrating lip balm will be your best friends with these babies!

DSCF9540_Fotor.jpg

Starting from the top and going clockwise:

  • Whirl – dirty rose – This is reasonably new addition to my collection and it’s also pretty new to MAC too. It originally started out as an infamous lip liner but due to the popularity it is now available in lipstick form too. I really love this colour, it is the perfect brown tone to nail that 90’s lip trend and also follow in the footsteps of Kyle Jenner (obviously!). Lipsticks seem to pull more brown on me than others so this is quite a dark brown tone on me but I adore it. It’s great day or night and I am dying to get the lipliner so I can make my application even smoother!

IMG_0276

  • Mehr – dirty blue pink – I picked this up when I bought one for the winner of my first ever giveaway and realised how beautiful it is! It is gaining a lot of popularity with the likes of Lily Pebbles and Anna from VDM keeping this in regular circulation through their makeup bags. I wear this so much and get tonnes of compliments on it. It is actually on my lips today and pairs incredibly well with No 7’s lipliner in plum. This has featured in this post if you’d like to read more and i’ll leave the lip swatch below.

IMG_1057_Fotor

  • So Chaud – intense reddish-orange – The description of this one is dead on and I love it so much! I love orange lipsticks but the mix of red with this makes it a lot more wearable. I wore this for my year 13 prom as my dress had some orange in and it really stood out. It also looks great with a tan and is naturally pretty long lasting! I need to wear this more coming into spring and summer as it really is beautiful! This post is really turning into a blast from the past for me as this was taken in 2013 when I was leaving sixth form. The other two beautiful ladies are my best friends from school Emily and Megan.

1014802_10201294226974790_487829335_o.jpg

  • Stone – muted greyish taupe brown – This is a real love it or hate it shade and a lot of people have slated it saying that it makes them appear a bit dead looking, however on me I just can’t fault it. It’s not to everyones taste but I love stand-out shades and for me this hits the nail on the head. Like whirl, this is a new addition to MAC’s shade range and also started life as a lip liner. I really want to pick up the lipliner to match to get a nice clean application. I think with the right makeup this looks amazing!

IMG_0264

  • Viva Glam Ariana Grande – deep dark plum – This is so dark that it is almost black and is the most difficult to apply of the lot. However, the shade is beautiful! It is so vampy that it is unlike anything else I own. It is very purple toned and doesn’t blot very well so I find that if you blot then smudge it in with your fingers a little bit that works the best. It can come across a little patchy so I think I need to invest in Vino lip liner to work alongside it to make application smoother. This is my first viva glam lipstick and I love that all the proceeds go to charity! There is a whole post on it here.

IMG_0371_Fotor.jpg

  • Russian Red – intense blueish-red – This is a staple in my collection and was the second one I bought I believe. I have worn this so much over the years as it is such a classic red shade. It is one of Tom’s favourites and I feel really glamorous when I wear it. Due to it being matte it doesn’t bleed or slip and just looks so lovely on! Here’s a picture of me wearing it in Stockholm with my friend Megan again and my friend from Denmark Jasmin.

1975061_10203312267224535_659235915_n

So there we have it! All 12 of the MAC lipsticks in my collection! I really hope you enjoyed this post, I feel a real sense of satisfaction having finally written it up! From now on I will update you with each one I buy, having said that my bank balance is screaming NO MORE at me so it could be quite a while!! If there’s any lipstick that you would like more of a review on that I haven’t already done then just let me know. I am planning on doing posts on whirl and stone in the future though so keep your eyes peeled for those!

Finally, I swatched all the shades on my arm so you can see them next to each other:

DSCF9542_Fotor.jpg

From left to right: Viva Glam Ariana Grande, So Chaud, Shanghai Spice, Brave, Brick-O-La, Saint Germain, Fanfare, Modesty, Mehr, Whirl, Russian Red, Stone.

Thanks for reading this epically long post!

Much Love

xoxo

Calling All of You Who Want a Dog But Can’t Have One!

Now this is a post that is unlike anything I have ever written on my blog before. It’s something that I have wanted to write about for ages and have never got round to as I wasn’t sure you’d be interested, however, I have just decided to go for it as it is relevant to my life at the moment and is a good excuse to have a post with a load of cute pictures in!!

So, from the age of 2 years old I loved dogs, however I also was very badly allergic to them, meaning that if I was near them at all it triggered an asthma attack! Cue many years of me moping around, unable to go and play at friends houses, desperate to have some doggy attention! This carried on until I was 17 and met Tom. Now as most of you know we have now been together nearly 4 years and are inseparable, however, I wasn’t sure at first if I would be able to stay at his house at all because of his huge German Shepherd Max! Max was a very large, very hairy but very lovable dog. All of which would be likely to cause a ginormous asthma attack for me!! Now Tom is a very stubborn person and if I had told him I couldn’t come round he would not have taken no for an answer! So, over the years I took small steps to trying to adjust my body to being around dogs and very quickly I noticed I was a lot more tolerant to him and his endless amounts of fur! In the end, I pretty much became immune to his dogginess and was able to treat him like the dog I had always dreamed of owning. Now, this is just a bit of a back story for the main content of this post however, I also want to add a few pictures of the wonderful Max who sadly passed away last month. He was the ripe old age of 10 with the brain of a puppy and despite him not actually being my dog, I miss him terribly! Here is a little slide show with a few cute pictures of him to share with you all!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So, once Max had helped to cure me of my allergies, I decided it was about time I started to pester my parents into letting us have our own dog. Max unfortunately had bad hips so I couldn’t walk him and that was what I was craving, long walks with a dog in the fresh air. I started to win my mum around but my Dad was a firm and resounding NO. This got me thinking and I stumbled across the website Borrow My Doggy. This is a site where owners who need some car for their dog, be it a couple of days a week or just while they go on holiday, connect with people like me who want to have a dog but are currently unable to for whatever reason. It is £9.99 a year for a ‘borrower’ which entitles you to vet care 24/7 and you are covered by third party liability insurance once the dog is in your care. For an owner it is £44.99 per year and you are entitled to the same as the borrower.

I decided to sign up on a bit of a whim and immediately started contacting owners to try and find a suitable match. I was disappointed not hear back from anyone straight away and kind of lost interest for a few weeks. That was until I was contacted by a lovely lady who needed someone to help look after her 4 month old puppy. I mean, I was sold! It also turned out that she only lived about 5 minutes from my house so we decided to meet up and get to know each other and see if the puppy was suitable for us. I can honestly say that it was love at first sight for me and Martha. She is a black Jack Russell x Pug (Jug!) and has two white paws and a white belly. We had a few meetings after that and since September, I have been looking after her one day a week. She is absolutely adorable and the service has been great for me (and my mum who adores her nearly as much as I do!). I get the long walks in the fresh air that I have been craving and we curl up together afterwards and sleep on the sofa, it is the best arrangement I could have wished for! I will insert another bunch of photos here of my adventures with Martha for you all:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

She is such a beauty and her affection for me is something that I really treasure. Having her in my life has really improved my general wellbeing and Borrow My Doggy is a service that I would highly recommend to anyone who needs some doggy love in their life!! This post is not at all sponsored, both me and Martha’s owner have paid the fees to use the service and are both reaping the benefits it has to offer! Have you tried this service? If so what do you think of it?

Much Love

xoxo

P.s Martha say Woof!

January Empties 2016!

Hey everyone,

I can’t believe another month has come and gone, but finally we are out of the miserable month of January!! It’s been a busy month for me and I have another batch of empties for you guys so lets have a look at what i’ve finished off this month!

  • Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser – Obviously this is holy grail and everyone loves it. I am one of those lovers too. It’s such a lovely product and smells simply incredible. I do find it is occasionally a little bit heavy though and can leave a little bit of a greasy residue on the skin. This wouldn’t put me off using it again but since getting the Bodyshop Chamomile Cleansing Butter back in my life I have realised how much I prefer that. I may pick this up again in the future though so watch this space.
  • Dove Invisible Dry Deodorant – You know I am so picky with my deodorants and never buy the same one twice but this one was great! It claims to have 48 hour protection, it’s scent is light and refreshing. The formula is a bit like a bar of soap (if that makes sense) rather than the usual liquid or spray and I really love it! I have actually bought this one again! Miracles do happen!
  • Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara – I have written a whole post on this mascara so i’ll leave the link to it here. I did love this mascara however I did find it a bit scratchy to use and ended up hurting my eyes MULTIPLE times!!
  • Clarins Hydraquench Cream – I think this is one of my favourite moisturisers of all time. It is moisturising without being greasy and leaves my skin looking lovely and plump and refreshed. I have gone through loads of these and I’ve also gone through the full size twice too so I will definitely be buying it again!
  • Bodyshop Frosted Cranberry Shower Gel – This was part of the bodyshop christmas range which I wrote a post on here, and I loved this scent! It was very fruity and just lovely morning or night. I would say I didn’t love this as much as the Glazed Apple version but still it was lovely all the same. I will be picking it up again next Christmas season!
  • Claris Beauty Flash Balm Mini -I have always loved this product, particularly as a primer but it can also be used as a face mask too. It makes makeup apply so smoothly and keeps it looking fresh all day. I have a handful of half sized tubes at home to keep me going for a while now so this isn’t the end of this one for me!
  • L’Occitane Jasmine & Neroli Hand Cream – Now I am not normally one for floral scents but I loved this one! It was so fresh yet feminine and I loved the lingering scent it left on my hands for the few hours after usage. I don’t feel like this is very easy to get hold of but if I can I will pick it up again as it made a lovely change from my holy grail L’occitane Amande hand cream!
  • Lancôme Doll Eyes Mascara – I have adored every single version of the Lancôme Hypnose mascara that I have tried and this was no exception! It had a lovely cone shaped wand which enabled you to get good length and volume on the outer corners and still reach all the baby eyelashes on the inner corner. I found the formula didn’t smudge or flake easily and it was the perfect combination of coating and separating. I will definitely be picking up another Lancôme mascara once all my other minis have finished!
  • Jack Wills Hope Cove Body Wash – I got this as part of a set this christmas and to be honest I wasn’t particularly overwhelmed by it. The scent was nice, but nothing special and the packaging felt a lot like it was aimed at a 12 year old girl. I ended up using it in the bath as bubble bath to finish it off quicker so I could get back to my lovely Bodyshop shower gels! Overall, not particularly impressed and I won’t be buying it myself.

So there we have it! Again, I was quite efficient at finishing things off this month and I’m hoping to be again this month so I can start wading through the products that are hiding in my room. I am a little poor at the moment so I have put myself on a bit of a no-buy to try and save money whilst also finishing products off. Hopefully this will lead to more chocker-block empties posts for you guys so it’s a win-win! What have you finished off this month? Leave me any empties links below as i’d love to have a look!

Much Love

xoxo