Thursday, 10 September 2015

Too Faced A La Mode - The Summer Palette I Have Fallen For This Autumn

I've been seeing a lot of great 'transitional make-up' posts in the blogosphere lately, and I only wish I was so organised to think things through in such a sensible manner. Instead, I impulse buy Summer-themed palettes at the end of August and hope for the best! This one was a Cohorted bargain, and having always wanted to try a Too Faced palette, I figured it seemed a good way to test the waters. 

One of the reasons I had had my eye on these palettes was the packaging. I really like the tin, it's compact and sturdy, far better for travel than cardboard palettes or say, Naked 1. There's a handy little booklet in the top, suggesting different looks to try, which I think was rather considerate of Too Faced. Most people I know don't obsess over beauty like I do, and often find palettes a little overwhelming; this gives them somewhere to start. 

The shades are arranged into three sections, Day, Classic and Fashion. I love how the lightest colour is bigger than the rest, as I often hit pan on my favourite base shades first. 

Day includes; St. Tropez, a surprisingly glittery warm beige shade with gold sparkle; Cannes, a beautiful coppery shimmer with a gorgeous texture and a shimmering finish; and Soleil, a dark chocolatey brown shimmer. 

Classic is a less glittery look, and all three shades are satiny with a slightly metallic finish, and super buttery. Riviera is my favourite base colour in the palette, as the warm tone is flattering and it is very finely milled. Jardin is a pretty pink, with a hint of gold shimmer - it reminds me of NARS Orgasm! Cote d'Azur is a dream to apply, a lovely smooth taupey-brown. 

Fashion takes me out of my comfort zone, and at first I thought I wouldn't like these shades. However, La Croisette is a lovely highlight shade, in the vein of MAC Nylon, perfect for a bright inner corner. De La Mer is actually pretty awesome, a dark, shimmery navy. I love navy in Autumn/Winter, and can see myself using this as a bright liner or to add a bit of interest to a dark smoky eye. Monaco...scares me. I can't lie, I haven't figured this one out yet. All I know is that I won't be wearing it at the same time as De La Mer. Quality-wise, it's top notch though, super pigmented and buttery. 

On the whole, these shadows are fantastic quality, comparable (if not superior) to Urban Decay. I didn't experience any fallout with any of these, which I do with all of my Naked palettes, so I am pretty impressed. I'm looking forward to experimenting more with this, but so far I have been enjoying the look below. It's pretty much the Day look, with the base shade switched with Classic; so Riviera all over the lid to the browbone, Cannes on my mobile lid to the crease, and Soleil packed into my outer-v and blended well through the crease. I find the lack of glitter in Riviera makes for a more daytime-appropriate look, and although I can see how they chose to market these shades as Summer, I do think the coppery tones are gorgeous for Autumn. 

I am now dying to get my hands on more palettes from Too Faced. I know the Chocolate Bar one is super popular, and I can totally see why, but I do fancy trying out more of these tins. They all have the nine-shades-three-looks thing going on, which I like, and they have some gorgeous combinations. The Boudoir one looks amazing! Any recommendations for Too Faced palettes, or even other products? I hear their blushes and bronzers are not to be missed!

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

A Little Lush Haul.

Like rose gold, Naked palettes and these days, marble trays, Lush is a real beauty blogging cliché. However, these things tend to become loved for a good reason, and I defy anyone to leave a Lush store empty handed. I hadn't been in for a while, so grabbed a few old favourites, as well as some new and interesting products, recently.

Flamingos seem to be having a moment (are they the pineapple of 2015?), and I have totally bought into it. I've got a flamingo print in the bedroom, wore a flamingo bikini on the beach this Summer, and now am eagerly anticipating waving my Pink Flamingo bubble wand in the bath. I've actually not tried the reusable bubble bars yet, and I don't know how I feel about having a soggy, half-used wand lying around the bathroom. We'll see. However, I do know how I feel about the rosewood and ylang ylang scent, and that is good.

On old favourite, harking back to my teenage years, is good old Buffy. Remember when it was called Buffy the Backside Slayer? I miss that name. I used this at the weekend and it was even better than I remembered, and left my skin so soft. It really helps with keratosis pilaris, so I go to town on my upper-arms with this one. 

Another exciting new product, which everyone has been talking about, is The Experimenter Bath Bomb. Described, pretty boldly in my opinion, as a bath-time motion picture, this promises a rainbow-vanilla-popping-candy extravaganza. It smells comforting, and I can't wait to let it brighten up an Autumn evening. 

The other bath bomb I picked up is yet another new addition, which makes the most of the demand for all things Arendelle. Frozen is a glittery blue treat that looks fit for a Snow Queen, and I have to admit it was the Elsa connotations that drew me to it. I really like the scent too though, and it wasn't the super-sweet princess fragrance I expected. It's sort of bright and fresh, but also earthy, and subtle rather than full-Disney-effect. If you like leafy, Summer-to-Autumn fragrances like Jo Malone Blackberry and Bay, I think you'd like this. 

Finally, my true love, Popcorn Lip Scrub. I love the scent and, let's not lie, the taste. I'm pretty loyal to this lip scrub and thought I should get a new one in, ready for the less forgiving shades of lipstick Autumn tends to bring! 

That ended up quite long! Have you tried any of the new bath products? Which one should I use first? 

Saturday, 5 September 2015

New Love: Kiko Milano Rebel Romantic Collection

kiko rebel romantic collection haul

 Since Kiko opened a shop near to me, I have been one hell of a frequent flier. I'm crazy in love with their affordable, innovative, high quality make up, so naturally I was excited to see a new collection when I popped in this weekend.

The Rebel Romantic collection is a sight to behold. The so-now, so-Charlotte T rose gold packaging and vintage glamour is a blogger's dream, and little touches like the embossed design on the lipstick bullet (not to mention the satisfying magnetic click of the lid) make many items feel like high-end.

kiko rebel romantic lipstick lusty peony

I picked up a lip liner and a lipstick, and am super impressed with both. The liners each have a co-coordinating lipstick, but in the spirit of the collection, like a true Rebel Romantic, I mixed and matched. The liner I have, 02 Pretty Mauve, is lovely used alone or, as I am wearing below, with lipstick. It is impressively long-wearing and makes me feel a bit Kylie Jenner. 'Nuff said. I also love the hydrating, rich and luxe feel of the Intensely Lavish lipstick I bought; it genuinely out-performs many of my far pricier lip products. I found it very hard to pick a shade, so in the end my husband picked for me. I am loving the shade name, Lusty Peony! I think I may have to go back and get one of the darker shades too, as I am blown away by the quality of this lipstick. In fact, I kind of want them all...

kiko milano rebel romantic intensely lavish lipstick lusty peony swatch on lips

I think my Zoeva cravings led me to pick up the only make-up brush in the collection, a duo ended face brush, with synthetic fibres. It's designed to be used with their bronzer and bouncy blush, but I have enjoyed using it with my usual bronzer and cream blushes. The smaller end is quite firm, so really allows for precise application. It feels lovely and soft, and the pretty art-deco design is a nice touch. For around £13, you are getting two decent brushes, which I think is rather good.

If you spend £25 on the new collection, you get a free eye liner pencil, so I went for the excellently-named Cuddly Marsala. I don't usually use pencil liner on my upper lash line, but I am loving this! already I have used it in my waterline, for a cat eye and just for a quick swipe along my lid. It's soft, precise and long lasting, and the rusty colour is perfect for transitioning into Autumn. I'm slightly obsessed. 
kiko milano eye liner kajal swatch on eyes
Excuse my untidy brows!

Have you tried anything from Kiko's new collection? I'm always on the lookout for recommendations from their permanent line too!

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The Harry Potter Tag

I know this tag is a little out of date, but hey - so's my blog. Any excuse to blog about Harry Potter would be fine my me, but what better day than 1st September, aka Hogwarts Express Day? I will try not to bang on too much here and be concise, but I once wrote an 11,000 word dissertation about these books; I have a lot to say!

1. What is your favourite book?
I find this genuinely hard, as I hate to play favourites, and each and every book has some truly amazing moments. I really loved Half-Blood Prince, as the chapters exploring Voldemort's childhood were just so fascinating and kind of spooky, and finding out about Horcruxes was really satisfying, linking everything up from Chamber of Secrets. It's nice how it all plays out juxtaposed with the silly side of life at Hogwarts, with all the awkwardness of growing up and teenage relationships. However, my husband tells me that last week I declared Chamber of Secrets my favourite book. And I know I have told people in the past it's Order of The Phoenix. Oh and while I waited for Order of the Phoenix, I read Goblet of Fire until the cover fell off. Tomorrow, I'll probably say Prisoner of Azkaban. Yeah, it's Order of the Phoenix. I'm rubbish at this. 

2.What is your favourite film?
This one definitely is Half-Blood Prince. The acting just seemed to get loads better, and the tone seemed much darker and yet much funnier than ever before. I loved Ron's gross relationship with Lav-Lav, Harry's new-found hilariousness (the whole Felix Felicis scene, and being suddenly okay with being The Chosen One when it's making girls fancy him) and Tom Felton got to show a whole new side to Draco, and really pulled it out of the bag. 

3.What is your least favourite book?
I hate to say it, but this is kind of easy. Deathly Hallows just never made me love it in the same way as the others did. Maybe it was because it was set at Hogwarts, maybe it was the cheesy final chapter, or maybe I just can't forgive her for Fred. It had its amazing moments though, from Dudley's cold cup of tea (sob!), to "Not my daughter, you bitch!"

4. What is your least favourite film?
This is a tricky one. It's more moments in the films that annoy me, and so I'm trying to decide which films had the most annoying moments. The third film annoyed me for Lupin (weird casting) and Hermione's line about what her hair looks like at the back (because all girls think about is hair, right?). The fourth film could deserve this title for shouty Dumbledore ("DID YOU PUT YOUR NAME IN THE GOBLET OF FIRE?") and lack of periwinkle blue dresses. However, I think I will give it to the last film, despite truly amazing moments, for the weirdness of Voldemort. Hugging Draco, acting kind of camp, and instead of just dying, becoming suddenly butterflies; I don't know what was going on with him. 

5.Which parts of the books/films made you cry?
I didn't think I cried at the films at all, but the husband just reminded me of Snape crying over Lily's body, and I could cry again just remembering it. Alan Rickman seriously nailed that whole character, from his first scene to his last. I cried a good few times reading the books, but it was the last one that destroyed me. I think I sort of drifted in and out of tears throughout! It started with Dudley and that cold cup of tea - come on, other people cried at that, right? Right? I think Fred got most of my tears though. I am still in denial over Fred. 

6. If you could hook up with any character, which would it be?
Hot though my Sirius is, I think I'd go Weasley. Maybe Bill? 

7. Who is your favourite character?
Another toughie! I think it might be Hagrid though, because when it came down to it, when reading the last book, he was the one I just kept worrying about and thinking "Not Hagrid. Not Hagrid." over again whenever things got murder-y. He is just so loveable, and has nothing but good intentions. He loves Harry, and Ron and Hermione too, like family, and just totally lacks any malice or vanity. His only weaknesses are that he likes a drink and he goes a bit nutty over his pets, and I can relate to that!

8. Who is your least favourite character?
I immediately thought of Umbridge here. She's an amazing character, but so totally detestable. The whole pink-and-kittens exterior makes her seems even more sinister, and Harry's detention was the nastiest thing. It would be easy for such a boo-hiss villain, with no redeeming qualities, to come off just cheesy, but she's well written enough for it to work. 

9.What is your least favourite line?

"“Albus Severus," Harry said quietly, so that nobody but Ginny could hear."

I mean, the whole chapter was bothersome, but this. No.

10. What would your Patronus be?
A penguin. Just waddling away at those Dementors, all cheerful with short legs.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Um, hello again.

You could say I got a bit of writer's block there, but given that it was a whole year, that'd be a bit simplistic. I definitely have a bit of writer's block now though, and it has taken months to build up the courage to come back. I'm not totally sure what I'm afraid of!

To explain. Last September, I was totally in love with blogging. It was my biggest hobby and something I truly felt proud of. Then lots of things seemed to happen at once. One was that work suddenly got a lot more time consuming. Another was that I had some pretty tricky health issues. Also I was planning a wedding. Something had to give, and I suppose the thing I did just for me, felt like something I could let slide for a while. But having taken so much pride in my blog, I hated feeling that I was being a 'bad blogger.' The shame! So I stopped blogging altogether. And then it felt too late to come back. 

Now my life is considerably less stressful. Work is still busy, but manageable. My health is much improved. I'm married! But blogging had left its mark on me, and I have felt a little unfilled without it. Kind of how I felt before I started blogging. It's taken an awful lot of husbandly-persuading, furtive Google Analytics-checking and deep breaths to get me back on here. But here I am. 

While I was gone, I kept up pretty religiously with all the other blogs I love, but stopped commenting, choosing to lurk silently behind my veil of bad-blogger-shame. I'd like to think the blogging community will understand. 

So...I'm back! Yay!

Friday, 29 August 2014

What's In My Travel Make-Up Bag?

Make Up Bag and contents NARS MAC Benefit

I started the week by showing you the contents of my travel wash-bag, so thought I'd end it with a peek into the make-up I took on the same trip! I took a small make-up bag, and kept things pretty streamlined (for me, anyway!), and I was pleased with my choices.

Base products are always essential, and I managed to take two primers. Yes, I know that's hardly streamlined, but they were both minis so that barely counts as one. I used Benefit Porefessional over MAC Prep + Prime, purely because it was so hot the last thing I needed was more glow - mattifying products were the way forward. I took my trusty NARS Sheer Glow (I use Barcelona FYI), and it's BFF NARS Creamy Radiant Concealer. Clearly I was in a NARS-y mood when I packed because I took my NARSissist Blush Palette too. The full review is here, but basically it contains Laguna, Orgasm and an exclusive powder highlighter - it really is everything you need in one place and perfect for travel. Somehow my Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick managed to sneak out of this picture, but I took that too, y'know, just in case

Not wanting to faff around with Dip Brow on holiday, I took my Anastasia Beverley Hills Brow Wiz, for brow perfection. I also took the Benefit They're Real Push-Up liner, mainly because it is compact and long-lasting, and I wanted to give it another chance. I'm still neither here nor there on it, to be honest. Glamour magazine provided me with a good old Clinique mascara (I am sure the Chubby Sticks were a myth, I searched hard) and I took my Shu Uemura curlers for fluttery lashes. I thought long and hard about which palette to take for eyes, and settled on the Sleek Del Mar palette (reviewed here) as it had a good variety of shades to get me in the holiday mood. 

I managed to keep the lip wardrobe to a minimum, taking just my Paul & Joe lipstick in Pink Stockings, my new love the Revlon Colorburst Moisture Stain in Cannes Crush (review and swatches here, if you're interested) and for a nude option, MAC Creme Cup. 

Restrained, right? Right? I didn't have a massive bag to lug around, but definitely gave myself options, so I feel I did pretty well here. Some days I look in my handbag at work and discover seven lipsticks, so this felt like a big achievement! 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

A Picture Perfect B&B

door sign goldplease remove your shoes
Whilst browsing airbnb (for the first time, might I add!) for somewhere to stay in Brighton, I hit the jackpot when I stumbled across the gorgeous Number 34. I ummed and ahhed for a couple of days, finally settling on the Gold room. Then oddly enough one of my absolute favourite bloggers Katy stayed there and posted some seriously gorgeous photos of her room, the Silver room, which I took as a good omen as she's a girl of taste.

wooden shelves with lots of accessories

As soon as we walked through the door and I laid eyes on those shelves I was in love. Lots of the decor at Number 34 is upcycled and vintage, making it so unique and full of character. Set against a backdrop of whitewashed walls and the kind of painted floorboards I have dreams about, it's a gorgeous, light and airy haven. 

top of drawers with butterfly print
airbnb room in brighton

The Gold room is gorgeous, and I spent the first afternoon in Brighton really looking forward to getting back and trying out that comfy bed! It was so lovely to return to somewhere so homely that night, with scented candles in little lanterns dotted around on the stairs. When we turned on the lamp we noticed that the wallpaper behind the bed was shimmering with golden glitter, a gorgeous touch! You can't see it in the day, so it isn't garish at all, and I found myself wondering where I could incorporate glitter wallpaper at home, something I never would have expected to like.

dog lamp and bed
framed photo of black cat

I loved the little details like the bicycle print on the bedsheets and the framed pictures of cats - it certainly made me feel at home! The owners also had two gorgeous cats, which were so big and snuggly it almost made up for being away from my own naughty kitty.

white and gold bedroom
keyring number 34

I wish I had managed to photograph the kitchen, which was also totally Pinterest-worthy, but there were always other guests around. It was a lovely, friendly atmosphere though, and I really enjoyed chatting to the other guests over a coffee in the morning, with a cat snoozing away in the corner. It really was so easy to feel at home. I'd definitely recommend checking out Number 34 if you're looking for somewhere to stay on a budget in Brighton, and can see us returning in the future. I fancy the Silver room next time! 

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