Wednesday 28 May 2014

Las Vegas Stylin'

Back to the fashion posts for today! I was approached by to take part in their #MyVegasStyle challenge: creating multiple looks for a day and evening at the Aria Resort and Casino.

My first look is for chilling by the pool, something I could definitely get on board with! I actually recently bought the sandals I've included; I think they're so pretty and different. The star of the outfit, however, has to be the bikini, from the already hyped brand Triangl.

For the rest of the day, I've switched up some accessories, but kept a few the same for an easy transition. With the warm weather I probably should've chosen shorts, but I really like these jeans and wanted to incorporate them into an outfit.

And finally, for the evening, I've kept a similar colour scheme but gone for a much more dressed up outfit. I'd love to wear this, but I struggle to find jumpsuits that fit my leg length (tall girl problems).

Las Vegas is definitely on my bucket list, and if I won the lottery I'd hop on a plane (first class obviously) right away and wear all of these things!


Sunday 25 May 2014

Review: St Moriz Instant Face Tan

Recently I've seen a number of posts talking about the new Clarins Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster (is it me, or does it seem to be a competition between companies to get the longest product name possible?!). It even featured on my latest wishlist, but when sorting through all my beauty products (keep your eyes peeled for a blog sale soon), I found this little gem which I think is a great alternative!

The St Moriz Instant Face Tan* isn't an exact dupe, but applied right, I've found it to give pretty much the same effect; but for about a quarter of the price!

The instructions say to apply direct to the face as a wash-off fake tan, but I like to mix this in with my foundation, to add a light tan and glow. I also think it would work just as well mixed with moisturiser for makeup free days.

The other great thing is that you get a whopping 100ml of this, and you only need a tiny bit each time so this is sure to last a while!

Available from Amazon, Tesco, and for £4.99. Or for just £2.99! 


Wednesday 21 May 2014

Review: REN Samples

A couple of months back, I was looking to overhaul my skincare routine and I'd heard good things about REN from other bloggers, so I emailed them asking which range would be best for my skin type. Their customer service was excellent and they offered to send me some samples to try. I should add, I never mentioned that I'm a blogger, they do this for anyone!

I've used them all up now, so I figured I'd share my thoughts.

The Clearcalm 3 Clarity Restoring Mask is a refreshing clay mask which was great at clearing my pores and brightening my dull skin, but didn't particularly do much for breakouts.

The Hydra-Calm Cleansing Milk is a lovely milky cleanser, which I found to be great for removing makeup as part of an evening double cleanse.

The Mayblossom T-Zone Control Cleansing Gel and T-Zone Balancing Day Fluid are a great day time combo for combination skin, with oily t-zones. I found my skin less oily than usual, without being too dry so I can see this range being good for summer.

REN have since changed the names of a few of these products but they're still all available on their website, as well as handy trial kits if you know which range you want to go for!


Sunday 18 May 2014

FOTD: MAC Club Eyeshadow & Please Me Lipstick

Today I wanted to share the makeup look I wore recently to my mum's birthday dinner. It was the perfect opportunity for me to try out a few new things I've purchased recently (latest haul here), and share them in a whole look.

Since I was going out, I used my trusty 'Flawless Base' routine before adding colour back to my cheeks with the aid of Color Combos Mineral Blusher in 02.

For eye makeup, I used MAC Club to create a quick 'cheat' smoky eye; I love the effect of this eye shadow! I did also use Urban Decay Tease in the crease to help create a seamless blend. To finish the eyes, I created a winged liner with Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Liner, and then applied Fairydrops Long and Curl Mascara to the lashes.

Finally, I applied MAC Lipstick in Please Me to complete the whole look. I didn't want to wear a bright lip, so as to keep attention to the eyes.


Wednesday 14 May 2014

The Flawless Base

There are a few products I know I can rely on when I need to achieve a long-lasting, 'flawless' base.

First step, is obviously to prime my face. My favourite primer at the moment is the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. I've come to discover that primers don't particularly make my foundation last any longer, but it does help achieve a smoother, more 'perfected' base to work on.

Then I like to apply concealer first. I know a lot of people say apply it after foundation, but doing this just tempts me to apply more foundation. My 'holy grail' of concealer and foundation combo is Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer and Nars Sheer Glow. Both featured in favourites posts here and here respectively. I've found the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush to be, err, expert, in applying higher coverage foundations, and their Setting Brush good for applying concealer under the eyes (and highlighting) although sometimes I use my fingers just for speed.

The final step, to ensure my makeup lasts, is to powder. My powder of choice is the Rimmel Clear Complexion Powder which I find to be just the right amount of mattifying, without being too heavy (which I find the Stay Matte version to be). I like to apply this in a pressing/stippling motion with a kabuki brush, as opposed to brushing it on - I find this prevents streak marks in my foundation.


Monday 12 May 2014

Spring Playlist

Today I wanted to post something slightly different. I suppose it kind of follows on from my April favourites, but these are some of the songs I've been listening to and loving recently. My 'Spring Playlist' of sorts, as it's approaching summer, but it's not quite here yet

Kavinsky ft. The Weeknd - Odd Look
Bastille - Skulls
Disclosure - F For You
Holy Ghost! - Dumb Disco Ideas
Sneaky Sound System - Thin Disguise
The Glitch Mob - Our Demons
DVBBS & Borgeous ft. Tinie Tempah - Tsunami
Futurecop! - Ain't That Fresh
Cazzette - Beam Me Up

What music have you been loving? And is this post something you'd like to see more of?


Sunday 11 May 2014

April Favourites

It's that time again (what, where did that month go?), monthly favourites!

1. TIGI Bed Head Ego Boost Split End Mender Leave-In Conditioner
Ask any of my university friends and they will surely tell you I do not need an ego boost! Having said that, my hair absolutely loves this stuff, especially since going blonde. This is so good at keeping my hair conditioned and glossy without weighing it down at all. Plus it smells delicious (something I've found with all TIGI products to be honest).

2. Benefit They're Real Mascara
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this mascara. When I first got it, I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread (read my raving here) and then I kind of went off it for a bit. Now though, it's back in my good books - really great for lengthening and separating my lashes, not so much the volumising though I've come to realise.

3. Facial Cleansing Waters
Not specifically the L'Oreal brand of cleansing water (since I've only just opened this one), but facial cleansing waters as a general I've been loving this month. I like to use them as a pre-cleanse to get rid of any makeup, but they're also great for after a night out - a quick cleanse is better than no cleanse right?

4. Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer
I can't believe this hasn't featured in a favourites post until now! I've been using and loving this for about 3 months, and honestly I think it might be my holy grail concealer. Which is annoying because it's not available in the UK. But this truly does mean full cover - dark circles, blemishes, redness; you name it, it conceals it. Also being waterproof, this does not budge. All day.

5. Malteaster Bunnies
I know these aren't a beauty product, but I couldn't do a favourites post for April and not include Malteaster Bunnies. I can't get enough of these, although I'm going to have to ration my final four since they're not in shops any more :(

What have you been loving this month?


Friday 9 May 2014

April Empties

Another month, another empties post, I really feel like I've been successful in using up a lot of products lately! 

I was tactical about packing for Hong Kong, and took travel sizes or products which I knew were close to running out. This included a few skincare items: Sephora Triple Action Cleansing Water, Clarins Water Purify One Step Cleanser, and Elemis Skin Glow Exfoliating Face Wash. I've definitely caught on to the benefits of cleansing waters recently - great for lazy cleansing, or a pre-cleanse to remove makeup. 

Other 'Hong Kong Empties' were my holy grail base coat - Essie Help Me Grow, my fragrance favourite of 2013 - Nina by Nina Ricci, a clear mascara from Natural Collection I use for my brows, and Maybelline Fit Me concealer. I definitely need to repurchase the base coat, and I would repurchase Nina but I've got enough other perfumes for now. The mascara and concealer; not so much. The mascara takes a few minutes to dry (wet brows aren't ideal) and I feel like my brows just don't need it. The concealer is decent but I've got others that provide more coverage.

I also ran out of a few things before going to Hong Kong. The first being my Clinique Stay-Matte Oil-Free Foundation. I liked this foundation, finish-wise and coverage, but I did start to find it a bit pink-toned for my liking. Another base product I finished was the So Susan Water-Based Pure Luminizer, talked about here. This seem to run out very fast to say I didn't get to use it that many times.

Another empty is the Lush Santa's Lip Scrub, which I would repurchase for the colder months, but I'm tempted to make my own. I also got to the end of NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk, a product which has seen me through many a Halloween (or other) costume.

It's a bit cheeky to call the Marc Jacobs Dot Eau de Parfum an empty of mine, since my mum passed it on to me quarter-full. I can say though, that we're both huge fans of Marc Jacobs fragrances and both really liked it. Finally, I used up my TIGI Body Booster Plumping Spray, another 2013 favourite, and I've already got another bottle of this on standby from Christmas.

What have you used up recently?


Wednesday 7 May 2014

Hong Kong Haul

Hey! As you may have seen from my previous post, I've recently been to Hong Kong. I think it's safe to say I went a bit mad with the Asian beauty purchases... I've heard good things about their products being ahead of ours in terms of what they can do, especially skincare.

Most of my purchases came from Sasa, which I can only describe as Asia's version of Sephora. The first thing I was on the lookout for was the infamous Fairydrops Mascara, and I think I might be a little in love with the packaging. The brush is an interesting shape, so I'll update you with how I get on!

As you can see, I picked up a fair amount of face masks, targeted at various skin concerns. I opted not to get the infamous snail gel mask though, because I don't really fancy putting snail slime on my face, not matter how good it's supposed to be!

Other products I picked up were Missha BB Cream, which will be good for a lighter coverage this summer; Dollywink corner eyelashes; a pale pink blusher from Color Combos; Cyber Colors blotting papers; a mini perfume atomiser; and some powder puffs.

I then spotted an Etude House store (after we'd had toast flavoured liquid nitrogen ice cream, bit of background for you), and couldn't resist going in - just look at the adorable packaging! I picked up their Oil Control Pact, Avacado Seed hair pack, a beauty blender (it's about time I joined that bandwagon), another blusher, some cotton buds (I heard a rumour that Asia have a better quality of these than we do), and another powder puff - it's so fluffy! I also got some freebies with my purchase, some tissues, and samples of BB cream, a hair mask, lip gloss, and eye cream.

I also had a bit of a splurge in the duty free at Heathrow airport (what else was I going to do with 4 hours to kill?). I treated myself to some new GHD's as mine are about 7 years old, a couple of new fragrances - Elie Saab Le Parfum and Viktor and Rolf's just released Bonbon - and my first MAC lipstick - Please Me, for the record. I also picked up some Marc Jacobs Lola minatures (the bottles are so cute!) in Hong Kong airport, and the cracker looking thing was free with my purchase of Bonbon, containing a mini Bonbon perfume, body lotion, and shower gel.

Phew! I think I've got enough beauty purchases to keep me going for a while! What do you think of my Asian beauty purchases?


Sunday 4 May 2014

Hong Kong Happenings

Hey! Today I thought I'd share some of the snaps from my recent trip to Hong Kong. I had such an incredible week exploring the city; it's such a varied place. To experience mountains, city skyscrapers, and beaches all so close to each other was so bizarre!

I think one of my favourite parts of my trip was a spontaneous hike up a mountain - I wasn't particularly well dressed for the occasion (ahem, sandals and a mini skirt) but the view from the top and sense of achievement was so worth it. I also walked past wild monkeys on the way up which was pretty damn cool.

I fit in a lot of tourist-y type things during my week, Lantau Island and a visit to the Big Buddha, Lamma Island, Chi Lin Nunnery, Nan Lian Gardens, Wong Tai Sin Temple (where I had my Chinese fortune read), and Ocean Park where I got a bit excited about seeing a Giant Panda.

The food there was so good too, I ate a lot of dim sum and I already miss Cha Siu Bao (barbecue pork buns). We went to a restaurant called Tim Ho Wan which does dim sum, and happens to be the world's cheapest Michelin star restaurant. I think 3 of us ate dinner for less than £20.

Anyway, enough rambling from me and onto the pictures:

I'd never really thought about going to Hong Kong before, but my friend is currently on a year abroad there so I decided it was a perfect opportunity to visit her, and travel a bit at the same time. I can certainly say it's inspired me to travel even more; best I start saving!