UK Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

October 30, 2013

October Beauty Haul

So, I finally got around to doing some beauty shopping now that my spending ban is over (it ended on October 16th). I had a lot of products that I needed to replace (mainly skincare and hair care) so although this haul is quite large, for the most part, the things that I bought are needed. I'll start off by showing you the skincare and hair care items that I picked up and then I'll move onto the make-up. I couldn't resist buying a few new make-up bits to play around with, there is so much good drugstore make-up out at the moment. I've included the prices of everything I bought plus the price that I paid for the items (I took advantage of a lot of special offers- most of which you can still take advantage of). As everything in this post was bought from Superdrug I've linked (for all but one product) everything to their website so that if you see something you like (or you see an offer you like the look of) then it's really easy for you to find the products. That's it from me for today really but I hope you enjoy taking a sneak peak into my purchases.

Revlon Photoready Skinlights in Bare Light RRP £11.99 (3 for 2 offer) (not on website)

So that was all the shopping I did this month - alongside my small Lush haul - I picked up quite a lot but I did try to make the most of special offers! Did I pick up anything that you've had your eye on? What would you like me to get around to trialing and reviewing first?

Please check out my wonderful October advertisers Everything's Rosie and Cynical Suzy.

October 28, 2013

A Small Lush Haul

full of grace rudolph fresh face mask porridge soap buche de noel cleanser

So this weekend I ventured out into Leeds' city centre and did my first proper beauty shop since July! I did actually pick up quite a few bits from Superdrug but I'll be posting about them separately later this week, today's haul post is just dedicated to Lush. I picked up four things, two of which are Christmas products and two are from their normal range meaning that they're available all year round.

full of grace  porridge soap

Lush's Porridge Soap 100g RRP £3.10
This is a repurchase and it is probably one of my favourite scented beauty products, it just smells amazing. I find that Lush's Porridge Soap is a really cheap and effective exfoliating product, especially useful for dry hands but it can be used anywhere on your body. I love it and have loved it for a long time now so I'd highly recommend trying it, especially if you like oat scents!

Lush's Full of Grace Solid Serum Bar RRP £8.25
This is a new product for me to incorporate into my routine now that I've run out of Hydraluron (which I'll be posting about soon). It is a Solid Serum Bar and is essentially a dry oil which you can use alone at night on your face or before applying your night cream. You rub this in the palm of your hand until a little bit of the oil melts onto your skin and then you rub it gently onto your face. I'm keen to see how this works with my skin and will review it once I finish it or after six-eight weeks of use (which ever is first). The ingredient which drew me towards this was actually mushroom which is supposed to be good for reducing redness in your skin. 

limited edition christmas face mask rudolph fresh

Lush's Rudolph Fresh Face Mask RRP £5.95
This is a new Christmas limited edition face mask. I tried this on my hand in the shop and it felt incredibly calming and soothing on my skin. It contains oatmeal, tofu and cucumber and the shop assistant who helped me (she was particularly lovely, even by Lush shop assistant standards) advised me that this is a good product for helping soothe skin that gets red or dry in the wind and cold weather. I loved the sound of this and have actually already used it on my face - I loved it but it's too early to comment on in full. I'll review it when I have used it more, probably when I finish it.

buche de noel christmas limited edition cleanser

 Lush's Buche de Noel Cleanser 100g £5.95
I bought this very much on the spur of the moment! This is another limited edition Christmas product and I tried this on my skin in the shop and really loved how it left my skin really clean but still smoothe and soft (it isn't at all drying on me). I'm almost out of my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish (expect a review of this soon- I have a lot to say about it!) and I'll be moving onto this Lush cleanser very soon. My first impressions of this were really good, don't be put off by how it looks, I think it has great potential!

 That was what all picked up from Lush but my Lush wishlist has doubled in length since going into the shop! Do you like the look of what I picked up? What's on your Lush wishlist?

Please check out my wonderful October advertisers Everything's Rosie and Cynical Suzy.

October 26, 2013

A Budget Bargain: Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl Kajal Eyeliners in Taupe and Bronze

budget bargain smudgeproof long lasting eyeliner neutral day time
budget bargain smudgeproof long lasting eyeliner neutral day time
budget bargain smudgeproof long lasting eyeliner neutral day time
Rimmel Scandaleyes Khol Kajal Swatches Top: Bronze  Bottom: Taupe 
(Taupe has no shimmer, any shimmer in my swatches has transferred from Bronze)

I first picked up Rimmel's Kohl Kajals in the nude shade that they offer (sadly not pictured) and I was so impressed with the quality of the eyeliner that I went back to try out some of the other colours - Taupe and Bronze. I've had these two for a couple of months now and I've been very slow in getting around to reviewing them but it does mean that I've had the chance to really put Rimmel's Kohl Kajals through their paces - I've find out how they wear in different sorts of weather and I've also played around with different ways of using them.

On my eyes product nearly always smudges and, as a result, I tend to favour long wearing, waterproof eye make up. These eyeliners from Rimmel don't smudge on me, even if I put them on first thing in the morning and don't get home till late at night. They never end up anywhere other than where they're meant to be, even if I apply them on my upper lash line (which, as someone who has hooded eyelids, is quite the feat). This in itself, their longevity and refusal to budge throughout the day, won me over very quickly.

However, Rimmel's Kohl Kalajs have a whole host of other benefits which make them really pleasant to use. They're creamy, creamy like nobody's business, and it makes them a delight to apply because they never drag on your delicate eye area. In addition, they also make excellent bases for eyeshadow or for other colours of eyeshadow (especially if you like to use a powder for your eyeshadow). These eyeliners apply creamily and then "set" - drying to a smudgeproof finish relatively quickly. They can also be used as bases for eyeshadow (although I haven't used them that way too often) and they do prolong the weartime of eyeshadows. The fact that they are multifunctional makes them great to travel with and makes their already low price of £3.99 seem even more reasonable.

Lastly, I need to take a moment to appreciate the colours. Although there a couple of loud colours in the range (notably a really rather stunning bright blue and a purple) the more neutral shades are incredibly wearable. Bronze and Taupe (and the aforementioned nude shade) are all gorgeous and I find myself able to wear them on an everyday basis. Taupe especially is a wonderful colour for adding definition without making yourself look too 'done up'. It's a subtle and refined colour, one which I wear a lot, certainly more than some of my more expensive Mac eyeliners. Bronze is also lovely although it is a little bit more of an glamorous shade because it's very shimmery. It looks gorgeous used with just mascara though, but also can really jazz up and evening make-up look.

I have nothing bad to say about these! If anything I'd like some more colours to get released, but for now I'd definitely recommend trying one or two in whatever shades you normally like. They have a standard black too, so if you like a black smokey eye then that is reason enough to try these out! You can find them in Boots and Superdrug stores for £3.99.

Have you tried any of Rimmel's Kohl Kajal Eyeliners? Do you like the look of the shades Bronze and Taupe?

Please check out my wonderful October advertisers Everything's Rosie and Cynical Suzy.

October 24, 2013

Review: Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave In Conditioner

light conditioning hair product for fine hair adds shine smooths defrizzes

I think it is important to mention before I start that I wouldn't normally have been able to justify affording so I am really indebted to my family's generosity when it comes to gifts like this - it's an item I really wanted but I couldn't have otherwise justified owning it. I received this Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave In Conditioner as a birthday present from my brother. I knew I wanted it when I saw that EssieButton recommended this leave in conditioner in one of her videos and I was really keen to try it because I have serious hair envy whenever I watch her videos. 

I'm glad I had the opportunity to try it because I really, really like it and I think that it is going to last me through till my next birthday which does (to an extent) justify the price. You can find Healthy Sexy Hair products on FeelUnique and this leave in conditioner costs £11.45. It is the lightest of leave in conditioners that I've ever tried, you couldn't overdo it even if you spritzed five sprays of product into your hair. This is great for me because my hair is quite thin in texture (although there is a lot of it) and gets weighed down relatively easily and I never have a problem with this product. This leave in conditioner has never left me with lank or greasy hair, instead it smells absolutely beautiful (like cocoa butter but it's a really light, sweet scent) and it makes combing through my hair much easier. Coupled with the use of my tangle teezer, Healthy Sexy Hair's Soy Tri-Wheat Leave in Conditioner gives me with knot-free hair that dries much smoother than it would otherwise. I also find that my hair has a bit more shine to it on days when I use this leave in conditioner than on the days when I forget to use it. 

If you like to keep you hair in really good condition, especially if you're trying to keep it healthy so that you can grow it long, then I think it is worth investing in a good quality haircare routine. I posted about mine not so long ago (you can read the post here) and I do think products like this can make a remarkable difference to your appearance. I've struggled with cheaper leave in conditioners in the past and although I don't think they're all bad it might be worth considering asking for a luxury hair oil or conditioning product for Christmas, because those are the sort of beauty gifts that you'll reap the benefits from all year long.

Do you use a leave in conditioner? Do you have any similar products that you'd recommend?

Please check out my wonderful October advertisers Everything's Rosie and Cynical Suzy.

October 22, 2013

The Sweet Stuff: Soap and Glory Smoothie Star Body Lotion

sweet smelling moisturiser with pump

Moisturising for moisturising's sake can be a chore. We all want soft, smooth skin but sometimes those five or ten minutes that we spend massaging in oils and lotions can cause us to exhale one long sigh. But one small delight that can shorten that aforementioned sigh is a delectable scent. If something smells good enough it encourages you to douse yourself in it night and day, and, ultimately, there's no point in hoarding beauty products and not using them. It does your skin no good, nor your wallet.

I am certainly guilty of accumulating many a body lotion and body butter but recently I have been powering through one moisturiser in particular. Two factors have encouraged me to reach for it over other products I own; it has a pump (I could compose a poem to that small wonder), and it smells like sweet, vanilla-oat cookies. Soap and Glory's Smoothie Star Body Lotion smells blooming wonderful- it's warming and sweet without being overly sickly and it lingers enough to leave me smelling like I've just wandered through a bakery.

Scent aside, the Smoothie Star Body Lotion itself is very good quality. I like to use it in the evening because it doesn't sink completely into the skin immediately but it doesn't take too long (maybe five minutes). However, I do also use it in the mornings when I want to layer up vanilla scents (to complement the Vanilla/Cinnamon shower gel from Korres that I've been using recently). The lotion intensely hydrates my skin and leaves it noticeably softer and smoother. Given that this comes in a hefty 500ml bottle (which, believe me, will last you ages) I think that it's worth the £10 price tag - I'm personally incredibly pleased with it and would definitely recommend it. It doesn't have the sort of scent that I'd typically reach for but it really is a rather lovely product and now that the colder months are drawing in upon us I think its a suitable addition to any beauty routine.

Have you tried any of Soap and Glory's Smoothie Star range? What moisturiser are you using right now?

Please check out my wonderful October advertisers Everything's Rosie and Cynical Suzy.

October 20, 2013

My Perfect Powder Blush: Benefit's Dallas Boxed Blush

great blush for pale skin contouring bronzing shaping face
blush for pale skin contour bronzing shaping face
perfect blush for pale skin contour and bronzeBenefit's Dallas Boxed Blush RRP £23.50 (available in Boots)

Back at the beginning of July I posted a "no spend" haul - where I picked up some items without spending any money. That haul included Benefit's Dallas boxed blush which I bought with my Boots points. I have a real soft spot for cream blushes but sometimes you just can't beat the longevity and reliability of a powder blush. Since I got Dallas, whenever I've felt like reaching for a powder blush it has been Dallas that I've chosen - it has definitely taken centre stage in the powder blush department.

Dallas is quite possible the most perfect blush for my skin tone. It has a bronzing feel to it but it lacks any orange tone that might make my face look dirty or overly "made up". I like to use it both as a blush and as a contouring product. When I use it as a blush I lightly apply it to my cheeks as I would any other blusher, but I do make sure that the edges are really blended out so that it looks really natural. I do this using the brush that I used to apply my foundation (usually my Real Techniques Buffing Brush or Expert Face Brush), I just gently bounce the brush over the tops and bottoms of the blush and this helps  created a completely seamless finish. When I apply Dallas as a contouring product I like to use my Real Techniques Contour Brush and I bounce this down the hollows of my cheeks and then blend it out a little bit more with a larger, fluffier brush (either my Real Techniques Blusher Brush or whichever other brush I haven't used to apply my foundation). I would then do the same down the sides of my nose and under my chin, wherever I wanted to contour. This way you get a concentrated, precise application but the larger brush then helps makes the colour less intense and more natural looking.

I honestly don't think that there is anything bad about this blush. The colour is wonderful, the lasting power is very, very good (it lasts me a full day at university- morning to evening) and I've even dropped it before without the powder smashing. If you're pale and you like adding a bit of colour to your face but you don't want anything orange or muddy-looking, then Dallas is something seriously worth considering. I don't know how it looks on other skin tones but the colour is very pretty and if you're ever near a Benefit counter I'd definitely recommend giving it a swatch. If you like the sound of it then ask for it for Christmas! All the other Benefit products I own I have received as gifts because they are really expensive. But the quality is definitely there and these boxed blushes will last you years. My last '10' boxed blush (I've used two up in the past) lasted me two years with near everyday use, so I can say from experience that they make really great gifts. 

Have you tried any of Benefit's boxed blushes before? Do you like the look of Dallas?

Please check out my wonderful October advertisers Everything's Rosie and Cynical Suzy.

October 19, 2013

Meet My October Advertisers

Not that long ago One Little Vice celebrated it's first blog birthday. In the year that I've been blogging I've learnt from my own experiences with advertising on blogs that advertising is a great way to expand your audience. I feel as though my blog now has enough of a loyal readership for me to justify offering advertising and my advertising package (which costs just £4) includes all the elements that I've personally found successful in the advertising packages that I myself have paid for in the past. This includes twitter mentions, a blog post on my advertisers, a linked blog button in my blog's sidebar and a link to my advertisers' blogs in every blog post that I put up over the course of the month. This October two lovely ladies, Rosie and Suzy, decided to jump on board here at One Little Vice and they became the first people to advertise with me. 

Rosie writes a blog called Everything's Rosie which features lots of beauty posts as well as a sprinkling of fashion. Rosie recently posted about her Autumn Beauty Essentials which is a highly relevant read at this time of year and she's actually just put up a giveaway where you could win a £30 Cult Beauty Voucher. Rosie's blog is definitely worth a read if you're into beauty!

Find her: Blog // Twitter // Instagram

Suzy writes a blog called Cynical Suzy and it's a mixed bag featuring Life, Beauty and Wedding related posts. Suzy recently wrote a post called How Much is My Face Worth which I really enjoyed reading (it got me thinking about how expensive all my skincare is!) and she's also recently reviewed the new Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation which I found very helpful in deciding whether I should try it! Suzy's blog is definitely worth a read if you like a little bit of everything!

Find her: Blog // Twitter 

If you're interested in advertising with me next month the cost of a month's advertising package is just £4 and further information can be found on my advertising tab, or you can just click here.

Please check out my wonderful October advertisers Everything's Rosie and Cynical Suzy.

October 18, 2013

Hands like the Sahara?: Lanolips Intense Rose Hand Balm

My hands are always the first port of call when dry skin comes sailing along, heralding the changing seasons. As of yet, I don't have a 'holy grail' hand moisturising product - I tend to flit pretty indiscriminately between L'Occitane's Shea Butter Hand Creams and Soap and Glory's Hand Food - indeed, in last month's favourites post I mentioned that I'd been reaching for a rose scented offering from L'Occitane. However, since I won a whole host of Lanolips' products back in August I've been reaching for their Intense Rose Hand Balm  (for Very Dry Hands and Nails) with increasing frequency.

The tube only houses 50ml of product but it feels quite hefty in size compared to other hand creams I own, so as a result it doesn't tend to make it into my handbag. Instead, this is the moisturising product that I like to use on my hands in the evening. The texture of the product is thicker than a traditional hand lotion but a little less thick and creamy than a moisturising 'butter' texture. I apply a generous dollop into one hand and then massage this across both my hands until it is evenly distributed, and then I keep massaging my hands together until the product is totally absorbed. It is a very intensely hydrating product so it doesn't sink in immediately (like I feel Hand Food does) but its effects can be noticed immediately and they last for quite a long time. When I use this Rose Hand Balm before bed I always wake up with incredibly smooth, soft skin. 

Although it contains rose oil and is advertised as a 'Rose' product this Hand Balm doesn't have a particularly strong rose scent. It smells a little bit similar to Lanolips' Lip Ointments (if you know what those smell like), it has that distinct, unique scent that I can only assume comes from the product's high lanolin content. The smell, however, isn't particularly strong so even if you're not keen on it there won't be any continued assault on your senses. I personally also really enjoy the aesthetics of the packaging. I like the pink tube, the lipstick'd sheep's face etc. I find it all very endearing and I like how this looks on my bedside table.

Lanolips' Intense Rose Hand Balm costs £9.18* at Boots which certainly feels like quite a lot of money. However, the quality of the product is incredibly high (it performs at the same standard as L'Occitane's Shea Butter hand creams, although it feels very different to use) and I think the packaging helps make this product a lot more suitable for gifting. If you're thinking about a present for a friend or family member, especially those concerned with keeping their hands youthfully smooth and soft, then I'd bear this Lanolips Hand Balm in mind. I personally don't think I will be repurchasing it, or at least not for a long time, as I have a whole host of other hand creams to use and I imagine they will last me throughout the whole of the next year. I may, however, buy another tube to give to my Dad who I think despite all the pink packaging would enjoy the hand cream's moisturising benefits because, honestly, that man has hands like the Sahara.

What hand cream are you using right now? 

Please check out my wonderful October advertisers Everything's Rosie and Cynical Suzy.

October 16, 2013

Spending Ban: Day 100 Update

beauty spending ban post

I have to apologize for skipping my 75 Day Update - it was purely due to a lack of organisation on my part and my move back to University getting in the way of pretty much everything. However, I am pretty happy to say that today is Day 100 of my Spending Ban and technically it is all now coming to an end. 

It feels absolutely unbelievable that 100 days could have passed me by so quickly, it really has brought home to me just how fleeting time can be. I also want to point out that unlike a lot of spending ban posts that I've read I really didn't feel time drag on at all, the whole process (despite my one slip up when I went to Amsterdam) has been really rather painless. I haven't avoided going shopping with friends, I've been into Boots and Superdrug for essentials and I've managed not to break my spending ban. It is entirely possible to browse, to window shop! In fact, last week I spent about an hour swatching and talking about make-up with a friend of mine and I didn't feel like I had to buy anything. If anything I felt better than I used to because I could enjoy learning what new products were out without impulse shopping and making myself feel guilty. 

I mentioned in my 50 Day Update post that I wanted to quickly walk you through how my spending ban is going to make a lasting impact on my life. I've been thinking about it a lot and I've decided that I'm not going to go beauty shopping more than once a month and I'm going to wait until the end of each month before going shopping. I will set myself a budget and over the course of the month I'll work out what I really actually want or need and then at the end of the month (knowing exactly how much I can afford to buy off my "wishlist") I'll go shopping and will stick within my budget. That way I can still buy things that I want but don't necessarily need without any feelings of guilt. I'm not going to stop shopping, I'm really not the sort of person who could live by a strict one-in-one-out policy, but I feel as though my new system will make me more sensible with my money and will mean I don't buy products that go unloved. The fact that I had enough products to use up and review over the course of my spending ban (more than enough in fact) says a lot about my previous beauty hoarding.

A spending ban is also a fantastic way to save yourself money, if you've considered going on one to save up for a holiday, a social event, a special purchase then I would highly recommend it to you. I managed to go on a holiday that I wouldn't have been able to afford if I'd been shopping all summer and I've spent the rest of the money that I used to spend shopping on socialising more often. I felt a lot happier being more social and I realised that I can afford to do more than I thought I could. I've always valued having experiences over having things but sometimes its easy to forget that not buying a lipstick could mean that you could afford to go for a coffee with a friend, or not buying another body lotion and hair mask might mean you can afford to go on a cheap day trip at the end of the month. The little things do matter but your happiness matters most of all. Use any challenge you set yourself as an opportunity to ask yourself questions and to work towards making better choices in the future. I feel like my spending ban was a worthwhile experience and I'd definitely consider doing it again in the future, although for now I think it has taught me as much as I needed it to. 

Have you ever gone on a spending ban? Would you consider going on one?

Please check out my wonderful October advertisers Everything's Rosie and Cynical Suzy.


October 14, 2013

The Power of a Bold Lip

Recently I've been a little under the weather, I've also been incredibly short of time. Anyone who's started postgraduate study at University or is working full-time will know the crushing dilemma that can effectively be summed up as "If only I could actually be everywhere and do everything I want and need to do". Choices have to be made and ultimately some things have to be cut back on. For me my usual eight hours of sleep was one of the first things to get hacked down, I'm now trying to get by on much closer to six hours a night. I'm not going to lie, it has been hard to adjust to and I'm tired a lot! I think this is partly why I'm feeling a little under the weather. The second thing that I cut back on was my full make-up and hair routine. I said goodbye to eyeshadow, eyeliner, contouring etc. and for the last two weeks I've pretty much been rocking a 3 or 5 product face. You'd be surprised how useful the extra half an hour or so that I've been saving has been.

Anyway, moving on to the whole reason that I'm writing this post. A couple of days ago, for the first time in years, I wore my make-up without any mascara. Instead I opted for just a really natural but flawless base and a dark, vampy red lip. The result made me look very 'done up' but it only took me a couple of minutes. I was actually very nervous about even leaving the house without mascara (I honestly barely ever do that, even when I'm not wearing any other make-up) but I gave it a try. The result was a whole assortment of compliments over the course of the day - none of which I was expecting! One of my new-made male friends on my English course even went as far as saying I looked beautiful, which from a relatively new acquaintance was not only very much appreciated but it meant more to me than if one of my close girl friends had said the same thing. 

Rimmel's Kate Moss Matte Lipstick in 107 was the lipstick that earnt me this particular comment and I have to admit that this lipstick, as well as some of my other bold, matte(ish) lipsticks, seem to have this weird power to them. A bold lip, coupled with very paired down make-up and hair, has a really simple but incredibly aesthetically appealing look to it. It gives a woman an air of glamour, but it does so effortlessly. There's no time needed, barely any effort - all you need is a pocket mirror to keep an eye on your teeth. I'm all for natural make-up, I love nude and lightly-pinked lips, but when I need to feel a little more full of oomph, especially on a tired morning, there is something incredibly satisfying about reaching for a bold red, or matte purple. I'm not going to be doing it every day, and I don't recommend that you should wear one every day either, but on those days (you know the sort of days I mean) maybe you should reach for that often neglected shade. Give it some love and it will love you back, because even if it seems vain sometimes receiving a heartfelt compliment can really make your day. 

Have you noticed the power of the bold lip before? What bold lipsticks do you have in your repertoire?

Please check out my wonderful October advertisers Everything's Rosie and Cynical Suzy.

October 12, 2013

Hungover to Heroine in 60 minutes

hungover to hero in one hour

Hungover as all hell but you've got an early morning seminar or need to get to work? Do you have just one hour between when you wake up and when you need to leave the house to get to a seminar? No problem. Here's how to fake being awake in 60 minutes .

[Thank you to Holly for letting me write my own version of this post because her post last year completely inspired me.]

08.00: Step One - The Rude Awakening
Drag yourself out of bed - this is probably the most important bit. Even if you do it looking like a zombie, head to your kitchen and put on the kettle. At this point pour yourself a pint of warm water and start mindlessly sipping it until the kettle has boiled. Once it has, slowly and carefully make yourself a cup of caffeinated tea or coffee whilst you continue to sip your water. When you've completed this first task head back to your room (or wherever you normally get ready) and deposit your tea/coffee.

08.10: Step Two - Coming Back to Life 
Now it is time to head towards the shower, to bring you out of the alcohol induced reverie. Make sure you have some sort of exfoliating body scrub or brush and preferably an invigorating shower gel. Get into a lukewarm (but on the colder side) shower and proceed to buff and scrub your treacherously hungover body until you feel smooth and clean. The water, exfoliation and the scented shower gel should rouse you into a slightly more useful state.

08.25: Step Three - General Appearance
It is now time to sluggishly remove yourself from the shower and begin the process of making yourself look more alive. Moisturising is essential, you want all of your skin to look smooth, plump and awake. If you have one, slather on a moisturising mask, add some hair oil to your locks and slap on some moisturiser to your tired limbs and decolletage. You want your skin to say 'healthy' not 'hungover'.

08.35: Step Four - Time to Correct
At this point I would urge you to opt for minimal, corrective make-up otherwise you will probably end up looking overdone and tired. Colour correcting, brightening, illuminating - these are all terms you want to look out for. I like to use an illuminating primer under a very light BB cream or foundation which I find help brighten my face as well as cover any redness. I then add a neutral cream blush just to shape my face and lashings of brown mascara. Then I just set my brows and add lip balm (preferably a lightly tinted one). For me this takes a maximum of 10 minutes, probably less because it's quick, easy and fool-proof.

08.45: Step Five - The Finishing Touches
Go for simple, neat hair - I usually choose a high ponytail - which will require minimal blow drying and minimal effort. Once this is complete, sit back and drink your cooled tea or coffee and prepare for the caffeine to help make you feel fully alive as the hour draws to a close. Reach for comfortable clothing, but don't go for a whole outfit of black. You want to be completely at ease, and I know you'll probably not want to be the centre of attention, but you don't want to wash yourself out. I usually opt for a simple black a-line dress coupled with a colourful cardigan, regardless of where I go or what I'm doing I know I'll look put together despite the effort behind it being entirely minimal.

How do you fake being awake in the mornings? Have you got any tricks that help get you from hungover to heroine in an hour?

Please check out my wonderful October advertisers Everything's Rosie and Cynical Suzy.

October 10, 2013

Review: L'Oreal Elvive Extraorindary Oil Mist for Fine Hair

hydrating smoothing hair treatment for wet and dry hair adds shine defrizzes

After a long love affair with expensive, high end hair oils when my birthday rolled around I decided to try out a cheaper "high-street" version. I really wanted to see if you could get the quality of Macadamia Oil or Moroccan Oil on a student budget. The product that I settled upon back in July was L'Oreal Elvive's Extraordinary Oil Mist for Fine Hair. There is also a version for "normal hair" but I can't comment on it because I haven't tried it.

I picked up the version for Fine Hair because I have relatively fine hair, I just have a lot of it. I also thought that it might make the oil more multi-purpose, and indeed I think this version of L'Oreal Elvive's Extraordinary Oil is a lot more useful than my Moroccan Oil - although perhaps not as intensely nourishing. After I have had a shower I use leave in conditioner, tangle teezer my hair, towel dry it and then apply a hair oil to the mid-lengths and ends. Some days I will spray two pumps of oil into my hands and then smooth this through my hair and other days I will spray up to three pumps into my hair and then use my tangle teezer to work the product through my hair. Both methods work in a similar way and give me similar results. If you have very, very fine hair maybe one to two pumps would be plenty, or if you have thick hair then maybe you could try out three or four. The result when I use the product in this way is that my hair is left almost completely frizz free, smooth and shiny - emphasis on the shiny. It doesn't help straighten my hair but it leaves my naturally wavy hair a lot neater looking and the waves are defined in a way that I don't see when I skip hair oil from my routine.

I've also found that this hair oil is light enough to use on dry hair. I like to use it after I've straightened my hair, applying one spray of oil to my hands and then working it through the ends of my hair to add some hydration back into my hair as well as adding shine. I also like to use it on the ends of my hair on days when I don't wash my hair and use dry shampoo. I find that it doesn't weigh the ends of my hair down and instead refreshes the ends of my hair and also helps stop any frizz that might be developing. 

Overall, at the very reasonable price of £8.49 for 100ml on Feel Unique I think that L'Oreal Elvive's Extraordinary Oil Mist for Fine Hair is a bargain, especially if you take advantage of FeelUnique's regular 10-20% off discounts. I wouldn't use this as a leave in treatment like I do with heavier oils but for day-to-day use it is incredibly high performing and fits a number of different hair needs. If you have thicker hair then I'd definitely consider the Normal Version of this product as I have been really impressed with this version and think that it is great value for money. 

Do you use a hair oil? Do you like the sound of a 'lighter' option hair oil?

Please check out my wonderful October advertisers Everything's Rosie and Cynical Suzy.

October 08, 2013

Review: Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask

moisturising hydrating leave on skin care

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask usually comes in a 100ml tube and clocks in at £22. My 30ml tube was a free gift with purchase and I was very keen to give it a try because I've read mixed reviews. In case you didn't know, I'll just quickly catch you up - my skin type is combination (oily t-zone with dry cheeks) and I haven't quite escaped my "teenage skin" meaning that I am still rather prone to getting spots. I think it's important you know what my skin is like so that you can appreciate that my skincare reviews are going to be influenced by my skin's specific needs. If you have very, very different skin issues then it might be more helpful to read a review of this product written by someone with similar skin concerns to yourself.

Moving on to my review. You're supposed to apply a thick layer of this face mask before bed, after your normal skincare routine, and then leave it on when you go to sleep. I was nervous to try this out because I thought that a heavy "intensive" moisturising mask (especially a leave on mask) might break me out. What I found is that it has actually done wonders for the drier parts of my face and helps leave them softer, more hydrated and less prone to redness. However, I do think that it isn't the best product to use on my t-zone. Although I thoroughly advocate moisturising oily skin I feel as though Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask doesn't plump the skin so much in the oilier areas. Instead, although it hasn't broken me out, I feel as though it sits a little heavily in my pores - no spots per se, but I do feel as though it undoes some of the hard work I put into declogging and shrinking my pores. I now like to use this on my cheeks, and sometimes on my neck too, once or twice a week at the end of my usual skincare routine. I find that this gives my skin the help it needs in the areas it needs it and that way I don't waste any product and I don't aggravate my t-zone. 

As I said before, if you have dry skin or very oily skin all over then I think this review isn't relevant to you and I'm sorry that I can only write from the perspective of my particular skin type! I really like this product but I think that I would like to try out a different moisturising mask before repurchasing because although I really enjoy using it I am not totally enamoured with it. You can find Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask on Origins website or on the Boots website.

Have you tried Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask? Are there any moisturising face masks you'd recommend?

Please check out my wonderful October advertisers Everything's Rosie and Cynical Suzy.

October 06, 2013

My Top 10 Beauty Products For Under £10

Not so long ago I wrote a post about my Top 5 Beauty Products for under £5 and given my love of 'drugstore' make-up I thought I'd continue on with the natural follow up, my top 10 beauty products for under £10. As I've mentioned before, people often don't like to talk about the monetary value of beauty products but I think that regardless of the price bracket you're buying into you should always aim to make the most of your investments. There are some wonderful beauty products available for under £10 but there are equally some really poor quality ones. In the past the only way I had to differentiate between the duds and the gems was an often very disappointing process of trial and error. In an attempt to save some of you from much of that disappointment I'm going to share ten beauty products, that all come in under £10, which I really love and think are worth investing in.

This is the most expensive beauty item that I'm going to mention but I really wanted to talk about it because I feel like it generally gets incredibly overlooked. I like to use this on the high points of my face under my make-up because it gives me a natural looking glowing complexion, however, it also works just as well over make-up when used as a highlighter. It has a liquid formula without being too thin and I find that it doesn't dry as quickly as the Benefit highlighters making it easier to work with. Given how multi-purpose it is and how long it lasts (it makes it through long, long days) I think it is a wonderful product that fully deserves a place in everyone's make-up bag.

If you're looking for a really light, natural looking base then this is what I would consider to be the nicest drugstore option. It doesn't last terribly well without a primer but I love how it evens out my skin without being thick or cakey. I think for younger girls (myself included) this is a great foundation because I often want a bit of coverage but don't want to age myself by looking like I'm wearing tonnes of make-up.

If you've tried Collection's Lasting Perfection Concealer and wanted something with similar coverage that wasn't quite so thick then I would recommend trying Rimmel's Wake Me Up Concealer. I wrote about the concealers I use in this post so if you're keen on seeing swatches or reading about how I apply my concealer you might enjoy reading it.

Lanolips' Lip Ointment with Colour* RRP £8.16
I mentioned this product in my September Beauty Favourites but in case you didn't already know about these I'll give you a little run down on them. They're essentially very nourishing lip balms but they have a very thick consistency that is also really glossy meaning that they stick around on your lips a lot longer than most balms. In addition, the lip ointments with colour (as you might imagine) have a colour so they also can be used in place of a lipstick or gloss, or you can use them over the top of a lipstick or lip stain. I'm very impressed with their moisturising qualities and how long they last compared to pretty much every other lip balm and lip gloss that I've ever tried. 

(especially in the shades Bewitching Coral, Pink Brandy and Ruby Tuesday)

I would go as far as saying that the MaxFactor Colour Elixir Lipsticks are my favourite drugstore lipsticks. The only area in which they are let down is their shade range- there are only three really gorgeous colours and I've already bought them all. These lipsticks are completely opaque, have a creamy/satin finish and are very long lasting. If they expanded the shade range I think the popularity of these lipsticks would explode but in the mean time do definitely check out Bewitching Coral (a bright pink), Pink Brandy (a coral hued "my lips but better" pink) and Ruby Tuesday (an intense, classic red). 

(especially in shade 107)
Rimmel's Kate Moss Matte Lipsticks have a satin finish that is definitely on the matte end of the spectrum but it means they aren't as drying as many matte lipsticks. The colours swatch very opaque and they last on the lips for a number of hours which helps make it less scary to wear the deeper, intense colours (such as 110 and 107). I wear the shade 107 to death in the autumn and winter and I think if you haven't swatched it before then you definitely should. However, if you don't like dark, bold lip colours then 101 is a very pretty pink colour that comes highly recommend from nearly everyone I talk to!

These are my absolute go-to lip products. I nearly always wear them on 'nights out' as I know they'll last on my lips for hours and hours and they don't ever smudge or bleed on me. I have about six shades which I've reviewed and swatched (on my arm and lips) which you should definitely read if you haven't already tried them. I think they're the bomb.

Maybelline The Falsies Volum' Express Mascara RRP £7.99
A relatively new favourite of mine but Maybelline's The Falsies Volum' Express Mascara really delivers in terms of quality. I find it gives me long, volumised lashes without any clumps and it doesn't ever leave me with panda eyes despite it not being waterproof. I have this in brown so I can't comment on how black the black shade is but I would definitely recommend this on the basis of its formula and brush. If you're interested I wrote a full review here.

Although I am gravitated away from liquid eye liners I still think that this Bourjois offering is the best one that I've ever found. The colour is intensely black and the lasting power is amazing. I used to wear this daily for years and years and have gotten through countless tubes of it. It can be a little tricky to apply but the brush is really tiny which allows for precise application. I love it and it doesn't seem to get the attention it deserves.

(shown here is the limited edition Respect Palette)
Sleek's eye shadow palettes offer some of the best value for money eye shadows without compromising on quality. I have worn the Respect Palette to death since I bought it and am keen to try other palettes in the future. I find the colour options to be incredibly wide meaning that there will be a palette for everyone and there are both matte and shimmer options. At under £8 I really don't think you can do better and if you pick the right palette for you then unless you're a complete make-up junkie like me you'll probably not need any other eye shadows!

This was a bit of a long post but I really enjoyed putting it together! I hope this helped any of you on the hunt for good quality, affordable make-up. What some of your favourite beauty products are that cost less than £10?

Please check out my wonderful October advertisers Everything's Rosie and Cynical Suzy.
© One Little Vice | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Designed by pipdig