UK Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

April 27, 2014

& Other Stories Haul and Review

Body Mist Equatorial Dreams Body Scrub Couture Carnival
shopping trip to & Other Stories store in London

If you've been following my posts this week you'll probably already know that I went back to my family home in London for a week over the Easter weekend. Whilst I was there I took the opportunity to pop by all the shops that we don't have in Leeds (most notably & Other Stories, Kiko and Uniqlo). I didn't go completely crazy on the beauty-shopping front but I did pick up a couple of goodies.

Body Mist Equatorial Dreams Body Scrub Couture Carnival

I repurchased one of & Other Stories' Body Scrubs - I loved the one I picked up in January in Shinjuku Blossom and I've replaced it with Couture Carnival, which has a really fresh and fruity scent. These Body Scrubs are honestly the best that I've tried, they're incredibly "scrubby" without being harsh and they leave your skin very soft and smooth. I'll always repurchase these over the other body scrubs that I've tried in the past, it is just a little bit difficult to get your hands on them if you don't live in London but you can buy them online here.

I also picked up a Body Mist in Equatorial Dreams. I didn't intend to pick one of these up but I fell in love with the 'Equatorial Dreams' scent and I couldn't think of anything better than dousing myself in it on the regular. The bottle is plastic so I can throw this in my handbags without any fears of it breaking - or leaking, I've been using it for a week now and it hasn't leaked once. The actual body mist sprays finely out of the nozzle and distributes the scent over quite a  large area which is great. The scent is very fresh and to me it reminds me of watermelon - it is described on the website as 'juicy pomegranate, coconut, and mango with a hint of tiger orchid and lily of the valley are combined with sweet vanilla, milk, and amber.' I don't think the scent lasts as long as a perfume would but I can't get enough of the smell so I'm more than happy to have picked this up and I'm happy to reapply this throughout the day.

Lastly, because I was shopping over the Easter weekend I very kindly received a gift with purchase - a Cuticle Saviour Nail Treatment. It comes in a very cute little tube with a built in brush that delivers the product. Because of the brush element, I think this is the sort of product that I could only use for a couple of months before it got too unhygienic to continue using. However, I find it much easier and quicker to use than other cuticle treatments that I have and although I've only used it twice I'm happy with the results it delivers. 

That concludes my & Other Stories haul! If you don't live near one of their stores you can find their products on their website here. If you're motivated to purchase things based on how they smell then I can almost guarantee that you're going to fall in love with & Other Stories beauty section - their range of scented products is unbelievable.

Have you tried anything from & Other Stories before?


April 25, 2014

My Easter Weekend in London (in photos)

I went home for a week over the Easter weekend (I've been very much in need of a break from my work for a while now). I didn't get up to all that much as I had a lot of catching up to do with family and friends but I thought I'd share with you a slice of my trip home.

I hope all of you had a lovely Bank Holiday weekend!


April 23, 2014

Review: Eye of Horus Nubian Brown Goddess Pencil

smudge proof long lasting brown eyeliner
smudge proof long lasting matte brown eyeliner

I've been playing around with day-time smokey eye make-up lately and you just can't go wrong with a matte brown eye liner - especially if you have blue eyes, because brown just compliments them perfectly. Eye of Horus is a make-up brand that has only recently come to my attention but when they offered to send me one of their Goddess Pencils I jumped at the opportunity. Their Nubian Brown Goddess Pencil* popped through my letterbox last week and I've been wearing it non-stop ever since. 

smudge proof long lasting matte brown eyeliner smudge proof long lasting matte brown eyeliner

Eye of Horus' products are not tested on animals and the packaging and product looks and feels of very high quality. Each eyeliner comes in its own box, and this arrived in an Eye of Horus bag - leaving the whole purchasing experience akin to buying from Mac. However, I would argue that the packaging is nicer than Mac eyeliners and the product itself feels a lot nicer in quality. The Eye of Horus Nubian Brown Eyeliner* is made of natural waxes and has a really creamy consistency that absolutely does not smudge once you apply it. This is a must when it comes to choosing my daily make-up. If I'm going to be paying £13 for an eyeliner I want it to feel high quality (which these Eye of Horus eyeliners definitely do) and I want it to look and last better than anything I could find at the drugstore. I can safely say that Eye of Horus' Nubian Brown Eyeliner* is the perfect shade of brown, it is totally matte, it lasts all day long without smudging or transferring and it's the best quality pencil eyeliner I've had the pleasure of trying. Basically, I think it is definitely worth investing in one of these over eyeliners, especially if you want something reliable to wear on an everyday basis.

smudge proof long lasting matte brown eyeliner
smudge proof long lasting matte brown eyeliner
smudge proof long lasting matte brown eyeliner
You can find Eye of Horus' Nubian Brown Goddess Pencil* on their website for £13.

Have you heard of Eye of Horus before? What do you think of their Nubian Brown Goddess Pencil?


April 22, 2014

New In: Mac Amplified Lipstick in Impassioned

swatch hot pink creamy mac lipstick fotd

Sometimes there's nothing like a new, bright, summery lipstick to get a beauty lover's heart pounding… Mac's Impassioned is a gorgeous shade and the Amplified lipstick formula means it offers creamy, opaque colour in one swipe. The Amplified lipstick finish wears for longer than my beloved Lustres and Cremesheens making Impassioned a great option for a night out or long day out and about somewhere. I've been loving it just for jazzing up my everyday make-up - I keep everything very simple but then go all out on my lips. A bright lip is a quick, easy and almost foolproof way of looking 'done' without needing to make all that much effort!

makeup look featuring mac impassioned colour

What I'm Wearing
Mac Amplified Lipstick in Impassioned
Revlon Photoready Skin Light in Bare Light (used as a primer) (applied with fingers)
La Roche Posay Rosaliac CC Cream* (applied with Real Techniques Buffing Brush)
Collection Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Concealer in Fair (applied with fingers)
L'Oreal Nude Magique BB Universal Rosy Blush (applied with fingers)
L'Oreal Lumi Magique Pure Light Primer (used as a highlighter) (applied with fingers)
Yves Rocher Sexy Plump Mascara in Black*
Cosmetics à la Carte Brow Ink in Taupe
Gosh Defining Brow Gel

What do you think of Impassioned? What's your favourite Mac lipstick? (I'm on the look out for others to try!)


April 20, 2014

Review: Lush Ocean Salt

Not too long ago I asked on twitter for someone to recommend a new facial exfoliater for me to try. One of my long-standing blog readers, a wonderful girl named Gemma (link to her blog here), who I've met a couple of times before in London recommended Lush's Ocean Salt to me. We have a similar skin type and I trust her opinion so before long I popped out to Lush and picked up a pot to try out for myself.

First off, just in case you don't know I have combination skin (oily t-zone and dry cheeks) and my skin is sensitive and prone to redness - especially my cheeks. Lush's Ocean Salt is both suitable and unsuitable for my skin-type and I've been using it for about two months now and I've had mixed levels of success with it.

Ocean Salt is essentially a pot of sea salt with the added benefits of grapefruit (to brighten skin), lime extracted in vodka (to tighten skin and reduce the size of pores) and avocado butter, coconut oil, lime oil and seaweed absolute (to soften and nourish the skin). Compared to some of the other exfoliating products I've reviewed in the past this is quite a harsh product. The exfoliating particles are large and tough and if you have very sensitive skin I wouldn't recommend it. Even on my skin (which isn't super sensitive) I do think that this can be a bit harsh. However, if you use a very small amount at a time and you limit how often you use it (I use it once to twice a week) then I still feel able to use it on my t-zone, but don't like using this on my cheeks. They're very prone to redness from manual exfoliaters and this scrub is definitely too harsh for them. Whereas, on my t-zone, which is where my blackheads and congestion occurs, I've found this scrub to work fantastically. I really do think it is great at decongesting (my under the skin bumps have seriously reduced in size and number) and I also think that Ocean Salt works wonders at shrinking open pores and getting rid of blackheads.

 It isn't a 'miracle' product but I think it words very well and would be especially good for oily/combination skin that is a bit less sensitive than mine. I'd recommend it to people with those skin types especially if you also suffer from skin congestion or open pores. For £7.25 I do think it is worth a try, however, it isn't something I would necessarily repurchase straight away.

Other facial exfoliaters I've reviewed:
The Body Shop Aloe Gentle Exfoliater (link to review here)
Eve St. Agnes Refining Bamboo Exfoliating Polish* (link to review here)
The Body Shop Tea Tree Blackhead Exfoliating Wash (link to review here)
Collected post on 'higher end' exfoliating skincare products (link to review here)
Biotherm Skin Exfoliating Purifying Toner and Targeted Solution (link to review here)

Have you tried Ocean Salt? Do you have any skincare recommendations for me?


April 18, 2014

Review: Yves Rocher Sexy Pulp Lash Plumping Mascara

affordable volumising mascara

Yves Rocher is a new brand on my radar. I haven't tried any of their products before but I have pursued their website (link here) and they make a whole assortment of beauty goodies! I'm always on the look out for new mascaras to try and having never tried anything from Yves Rocher before I was very keen to out their Sexy Pulp Mascara*. It comes in a typical black mascara tube - it's easy to open but very durable and the packaging hasn't become distressed after a few weeks in my make-up bag (they usually do). What's unusual about this mascara is the wand - the brush is quite large and dense, and has a very unusual shape. It means that the product is distributed quite thickly over the lashes (which does mean a certain degree of clumping, although it isn't too bad) but the curved shape of the wand really does offer a nice curl to both the upper and lower lashes (see my photo below). 

Affordable volumising lashes

You can see me wearing Yves Rocher Sexy Pulp Mascara* in full 'face of the day' make-up looks  here and here.

This mascara offers an intense black colour and I find that the product lasts well on my lashes. However, I have quite hooded eyelids and I did have a little bit of an issue with product transferring onto my eyelid. It wasn't so bad that I didn't want to wear the mascara but on hotter, summer days it would probably leave me not wanting to reach for this mascara over others. All in all, I've really enjoyed my first taste of Yves Rocher make-up - I liked the packaging, the innovative mascara wand and the product itself was not disappointing. I'd definitely like to try more from the brand and if you're looking for a new mascara to try out you can find Yves Rocher's Sexy Pulp Mascara on their website here and from Baobella Boutique

Have you tried anything from Yves Rocher before? 


April 16, 2014

Loving Lately: Sleek's Lipsticks

Sleek's True Colour Lipsticks are long standing favourites of mine. They come in two different formulas, 'matte' and 'sheen', and I have one of their matte lipsticks in the shade 'Heartbreaker' and two of their sheen lipsticks in the shades 'Liqueur' and 'Barely There'. I fell in love with the sheen formulation when I bought 'Barely There' after repeatedly hearing Katie rave about the shade over on her blog. It soon became one of my most worn lipsticks (which is quite a feat considering the size of my collection) and it wasn't long before I set out to expand my Sleek lipstick collection. 

(sorry there's no lip swatch!)
Sleek's matte lipsticks are very thick, very pigmented and offer totally opaque colour payoff. When you apply them they feel quite creamy but they do dry down on the lips and leave a dry, stain-like finish that really does stay put. The lasting power is really impressive and the colours in the range are gorgeous. Heartbreaker is a bright, hot pink which I love to wear as an alternative to a red lip. 

affordable drugstore dark nude lipstick

Sleek's Sheen Lipsticks are super creamy, really moisturising and they offer thick, opaque colour payoff that has a gorgeous glossy sheen. I coveted Liqueur for months before buying it. It doesn't necessarily look that appealing in the bullet but it is a really unique nude-nude/pink shade that just has something special about it. I don't own anything like it and I'm very glad I finally picked it up because I think it looks really beautiful on the lips. 

affordable drugstore coral lipstick

Barely There
This is a gorgeous coral-coral/pink shade that looks beautiful on lots of different skin types. I find it really flattering when I have a tan but its also totally wearable when I'm at my palest. It's a very pretty and easy to wear colour and its a nice alternative to a straight up pink shade. This is probably my favourite shade of the three and it is certainly the most reached for of the shades that I own. I love the feel of the sheen formulas on the lips, they're so easy to wear and I don't find that they smudge or bleed like some other more moisturising lip products do. 

Left to right: Heartbreaker, Liqueur, Barely There.
You can find Sleek's lipsticks in Superdrug stores and online here for £4.99.

Have you tried any of Sleek's lipsticks? Which of the three I own do you prefer?


April 14, 2014

Review: La Roche Posay Rosaliac CC Cream

spf foundation for covering redness in skin

La Roche Posay's Rosaliac CC Cream is a gorgeous base that is advertised towards those who suffer from redness in their skin and want a product that will help even out their skin tone. I am a prime example of someone who suffers from redness in their cheeks (as well as around my nose) and I'm always on the lookout for base products that offer good coverage without breaking me out or feeling too heavy. This CC Cream has a very thick consistency that works wonders at hiding all of my skin's sins (open pores, blackheads, spots and redness). I actually love the level of coverage that it gives, especially as it offers high coverage without feeling too heavy. It is a tad heavier than the base I'd been using previously - Bourjois' CC Cream, review here - but I prefer the finish the La Roche Posay CC Cream gives and I also don't have to worry so much about powdering my t-zone which makes it less hassle to wear. I think it's great for those want something that's really easy to apply, long lasting and has offers protection from the elements.

colour of foundation for covering redness in skin

This CC Cream comes in one shade that is supposed to be suitable for fair-medium skin. I've swatched the CC Cream (quite heavily) in the above photos so you can get a sense of the colour at its darkest but you can also see just how little product you'd need to use to get a full coverage finish! I only need to use the smallest amount to get a medium-full coverage look that completely covers all the redness in my face. The colour works on my skin but it is definitely more my "summer colour", as it is a shade or two darker than I've been wearing over the last few months. I still think it is a very wearable shade and it does a nice job of warming up my complexion without leaving me looking orange. Given that this CC Cream has SPF 30, together with the colour of it, I think it will work perfectly as a summer base product - in the summer it will be a perfect colour match for me and having a built in SPF is something I need otherwise my skin is prone to burning. In the photo below I'm wearing La Roche Posay's Rosaliac CC Cream as my base - you can see that it leaves me looking a touch darker than the skin on my chest but I think it is still a very natural looking shade and finish.

Wearing la roche posay rosaliac cc creme

What I'm Wearing
La Roche Posay Rosaliac CC Cream*
Seventeen Stay Time Concealer in Fair
NYX Powder Blush in Taupe
Topshop Glow in Gleam
Maybelline 24hr Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze (lower lash line)
Sleek Respect Palette
Catrice Tinted Brow Gel
Yves Rocher Sexy Pulp Mascara*
L'Oreal Glam Shine Stain Splash in Romy

All in all, I'm really happy with this CC Cream from La Roche Posay and I think it is a great option for anyone who wants to mask redness in their skin but are looking for something that feels more like skincare than heavy make-up. I'll definitely be continuing to use this throughout the summer and no doubt I'll feature more 'face of the day' photos featuring it! You can find La Roche Posay's Rosaliac CC Cream on for £19.50*.

Have you tried any CC creams? What make-up base are you loving at the moment? 

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