Friday, 24 April 2015

Too Faced Melted Metals Liquid Lipsticks review

Too Faced's Melted Liquid Lipsticks have been a staple in my makeup bag since they launched last year. The liquid format and semi matte finish makes them easy to wear and long lasting while giving a bold pop of colour.

For 2015 Too Faced have brought out Melted Metals - new shades that feature a high shine metallic sheen to them.
Too Faced Melted Metal LIquid Lipstick
Peony, Debutante, Tu-Tu and Macaron
Too Faced Melted Metal Liquid Lipstick swatches
Too Faced Melted Metal Liquid Lipstick swatches
The Melted Metals* have the same long wearing formula as the originals but the metallic finish to them gives them a gentle sheen which is really flattering on the lips.  The metallic element is definitely subtle - you won't end up looking like you've used a chrome finish product but I really quite like it. 

There are eight shades in the range, with quite a few centering around a pink colour palette but there's also a nude, a violet and a plum thrown in for good measure.

I find the best way to apply these is straight from the tube and onto the lips.  Each tube has it's own little applicator sponge which helps to distribute the right amount of product as you go. A little goes a long way with these so start light and build up more colour if you need to. 

Average wear time is about 4 hours without needing a top up but they will need a replication after eating to help keep them looking fresh. I tend to pop a tiny bit of lip balm on before I apply these as they can be a tiny bit drying, but nothing major to worry about.

All in all I think these are a great launch and I can't wait to see them launch into Debenhams at the end of April (they'll be £19 each).

Do you like the look of these new lipsticks from Too Faced?

*PR samples
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Thursday, 23 April 2015

High street heroes - the hairbrushes

Our hair is one of those things that is pretty much always out on show, so having a good hair day can be a real mood booster. I’ve been hunting out the best brushes on the high street which will make a good hair day much easier and also be kind on your wallet. 

high street hair brush heroes
The Wet Brush* – since discovering the Wet Brush, I’ve given up my Tangle Teezer and haven’t looked back. Wet Brushes are designed to be gentle to wet hair, but also work just as nicely when it’s dry and ease through tangles and knots without pulling or snagging. There’s also none of that tell-tale ‘tangle teezer noise’ (you’ll know what I mean if you used one!) and the whole process feels incredibly smooth. They also make a mini version which is the perfect size for your handbag and at £11.99 for the larger one, I think these are great value for money.  

Trevor Sorbie Detangle and Style Comb* – a decent comb is an absolute must when it comes to your hair and this one from Trevor Sorbie needs to be top of your list. It has three different widths of comb – thin, medium and wide, making it a total multi-tasker. Use it to gently remove knots from wet or dry hair, section your hair for drying or styling and even to help give it a bit of lift at the roots. £3.99

Mark Hill Blow Out! Moroccan Argan Oil Medium Radial Brush* – this vented rounded brush has been cleverly infused with argan oil to help give you shinier looking hair while you blow dry. Don’t panic if you have fine hair – it won’t leave it looking flat and greasy, it just adds a subtle shine to the hair without the need for extra product. My blow dry skills leave a lot to be desired, but even I can get to grips with this one without too many hair dramas. I also asked a friend to give it a try for me (as she has some good blow dry skills) and she commented that her hair looked a lot smoother and felt lovely and soft, all without changing anything else in her hair routine. £9.99 

Do you have a favourite high street hair brush? Have you tried any of these before?

*PR samples
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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Kiko Cream Crush Lasting Colour Eye Shadow review

I’ve got a couple of posts coming up on Kiko’s latest releases – they’ve really gone to town over the past few weeks! First up is the Cream Crush Lasting Colour Eye Shadows* (bit of a mouthful) which have already hit the shelves and are proving to be a big hit.

While they might be listed as a cream shadow, these feel incredible light to the touch, almost more like a mousse type texture and remind me a lot of those that Chanel and Dior brought out last summer.

Kiko Cream crush lasting colour eye shadows
Kiko Cream crush lasting colour eye shadow swatches
There are 16 shades in the range, ranging from nudes right through to brights, so whatever your choice of colour palette, you’ll be able to find something that appeals. Being a bit of a nude shadow obsessive, I’ve been giving four of the softer shades a whirl and have to say, I’ve been really impressed.

Each shadow is quite lightly pigmented, so you can build up the desired depth of colour you want really easily. They also blend well together – just make sure you blend before they dry as once they’re set it becomes much harder to do. I found that these work best over some sort of base – I’ve been using an eye lid coloured powder shadow underneath to give them something to grip on to. Without this, they don’t last very well, but with a primer, or other shadow as a base, you get a full day’s wear out of them with no need for touch ups.

The shades I’ve seen are all pretty shimmery, but I believe there are a few mattes in the range (must go and hunt these down!). I think these would also work well used as eye liners if applied with a thin brush – maybe give one of the brighter shades a try for something a little different this summer?

Cream Crush shadows are available in store and online from Kiko now and cost £6.90 each.

Do you like the look of these new shadows from Kiko?

*PR samples
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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Ten problems all beauty addicts will understand

1. Having to justify to yourself/boyfriend/friend why you need yet another nude eye shadow palette. And NO, they don't all look the same (ok, maybe they do).

2. Boots 3 for 2 offers. It's basically free makeup right, so it's the perfect time to add to your collection. Even if you already have 25 blushers, 60 nail polishes, 13 mascaras...

3. Getting your nails to the perfect length and then one snaps. It's like the nail gods are laughing at you.

4. Limited edition makeup. It might just be a regular ol' shade in some fancy ass packaging (I'm looking at you MAC) but somehow it makes us want it even more.

5. Products that have pretty designs on them that you can't quite bring yourself to use. So you just sit and stare at them while the guilt sets in.

6. Having a spare of all your favourite products. Because running out really isn't an option.

7. Giving all your makeup brushes a wash, feeling smug and then realising you have nothing to apply your foundation with.

8. Having a really good hair day when there's no-one there to see it. So you take a selfie and Instagram the schizz out of it. Thank you God for the internet.

9. When your favourite product runs out and you realise it's been discontinued. ALL the tears.

10.  Painting your nails and then immediately needing to pee. Even if you went just before you did them.

What are some of your top beauty problems?
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Sunday, 19 April 2015

Hair: Original & Mineral Project Sukuroi Gold Smoothing Balm review

I don’t think I’ve met many people that would turn down softer, shinier hair with minimal effort. Let’s face it, it’s pretty much the holy grail of hair. So prepare yourself to get excited about Original & Mineral’s Project Sukuroi Gold Smoothing Balm, as that’s exactly what it delivers.

Original & Mineral are an Australian brand that pride themselves on making quality hair products, all with a natural edge. They don’t use sulphates, triclosan or other nasties in their range and after trying their volumizing shampoo last year, I became a bit of a brand convert.

Original & Mineral Project Sukuroi

Project Sukuroi is the newest product to be added to their range and it’s something that crosses the lines between a styling product and a hair treatment. It’s a gold toned, slightly runny crème textured balm that’s designed to be used on wet hair before you blow dry and style hair. Simply apply a small amount to damp hair and then blow dry as normal. You’ll be left with super soft, shiny looking hair that feels like you haven’t got any product on it. #winning

It not only smoothes, but helps to repair hair at the same time, giving long term benefits as well an immediate ‘look at my shiny hair’ buzz. It combines Gold of Pleasure Oil to smooth, repair and add shine; Macadamia Oil (more shine) and keratin to help strengthen.

I had my first taste of Project Sukuroi at a launch event a little while back and combined with a professional blow dry, I felt like I’d stepped out of a hair commercial. But the cynic in me thought it might be too good to be true, so after trying it out with my less than average blow dry skills (aka blast hair with hair dryer while vaguely waving a brush at it) I still ended up with a nice shiny finish and the softest hair EVER. Which I was pretty impressed with. Ok, really impressed.

You do need to use it with some sort of heat – it won’t work very well if used on damp hair which is left to dry naturally, so that’s really the only caveat for use. I tend to use about a 20p sized amount for my medium length fine hair, but if you have more/thicker hair you can tailor accordingly – just start sparingly and use more the next time if it wasn’t quite enough.

While Original & Mineral products do fall into the higher end price bracket, I think that at £26 for a 100g tub, this is a good value product. Even if you use it for every blow dry, you’ll still get a good 4-6 months out of your pot and the silky soft hair you’ll get is well worth the investment!

You can find Original & Mineral products online from Net-a-Porter, Josh Wood salons, and in store and online at Selfridges.

Do you like the sound of Project Sukuroi?

*PR sample
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Friday, 17 April 2015

5 beauty bad habits you need to break

No matter what your beauty routine, I think we all have at least one sneaky bad habit we’d rather not admit to! Whether it’s not moisturising your legs in winter or taking serious pleasure in peeling off your nail polish, these are my top five beauty bad habits you should think about breaking.

beauty bad habits you need to break
‘Cleansing’ using micellar water – micellar water is a great invention as it literally lifts away makeup from your skin, making it an ideal first cleanse or makeup remover. What it doesn’t do is give the skin underneath a decent clean, so if you’ve been using micellar water as your only cleanser and wondering why your skin’s not looking as great as it could, then now’s the time to change things. Add in a gentle second cleanse after using your micellar water – a balm or cream cleanser used with a warm flannel works well and will leave you with super clean skin without any squeaky feeling.

Skipping/overdoing exfoliation – exfoliating is one of those things we all know we SHOULD be doing, but sometimes it’s easy to forget to add it into your weekly schedule. Not exfoliating properly can lead to a build up of dead skin cells on your face and body, giving skin a dull, sometimes dry look that won’t go away no matter how much moisturiser you use. Aim for a gentle exfoliations once or twice a week and you’ll soon see results. And if you’re sitting there thinking ‘but I exfoliate all of the time, #winning’ then be careful not to over-exfoliate – too much exfoliation can lead to you irritating the skin, leaving you feeling a bit sore and tender. Think Goldilocks – not too much and not too little.

Going in hard on your skincare regime – as much as I love to preach about the latest must-have skincare product, when it comes to a skincare regime, sometimes simple really is the best. Don’t feel like you have to add absolutely everything to your regime at once – build it up slowly and see how your skin responds. Do you really need three different serums, a double cleanse, brightening treatments and many, many more? Probably not. If you’re lucky enough to still be in your teens/twenties, also take care not to start slapping loads of stuff on that you probably don’t need yet – save those anti-wrinkle creams for when you get a bit older and enjoy that lovely bouncy skin you’ve got.

Using Vaseline as lip balm – Vaseline is 100% petrolatum jelly (aka mineral oil) which acts as a barrier to help keep moisture in. Unfortunately it doesn’t actually add any moisture itself, so if you’re suffering from dry lips, a petroleum based lip balm is going to do nothing for you. Instead, try something infused with natural oils/cocoa butter/shea butter for long-lasting hydration and super soft lips.

Picking off your nail polish – yes it might be incredibly satisfying, but picking off your polish can also lead to brittle, thin nails and even long term damage if you’re not careful. Your nail is made up of several layers, a bit like our skin, and improper nail polish removal can lead to these layers becoming thin, weak and exposed over time. This is especially true for gel polish or acrylic nail users, so please, please, please stick to a decent remover!

Are you guilty of any of these? What are your beauty bad habits?
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Thursday, 16 April 2015

Arran Aromatics Just Grapefruit scented candle and reed diffuser

The sun has been out for almost a week now and in my mind that means we are officially on our way to summer. Cue open windows, bare legs and an emergency pedicure (as let’s face it, no one has nice feet after 5 months in boots). For me it also means finding some fresh, more uplifting scents to fragrance my home with.

Arran Aromatics Just Grapefruit range* is the perfect answer for me – I love a good citrus smell and this one really delivers. As the name suggests, this range is ALL about the grapefruit, so if you don’t like that smell, you’ll need to move on from this blog post quite quickly!
 Arran Aromatics Just Grapefruit scented candle and reed diffuser

Just Grapefruit forms part of the ‘Perfumer range’ which has been inspired by Scottish contemporary deisgn. There are two sizes of scented candles available – a travel size (£5) and a full-size (£20) both of which have been infused with Pink Grapefruit oil for a zesty, refreshing scent. Like other Arran Aromatics candles I’ve tried, they really do scent the room after just a short while, but make sure you allow the wax to melt all the way across the top of the candle to get the maximum number of hours burn time you can.

The reed diffuser is also a great way of getting an ongoing scent throughout the house, as the scented oil is pulled up via the wooden reeds and diffused into the air. I’ve been using mine in the bathroom, which is at the top of my stairs and my candle in the living room, and combined together they make the whole house smell amazing! To get the most out of your reed diffuser, make sure you give the wooden reeds a turn every day or two and you’ll get a continual burst of fragrance all day long.

At £20 for the large candle and £22.50 for the reed diffuser, I think that Arran Aromatics’ products are really well priced – they feel luxurious but still at a price that’s affordable to most. They aren’t the easiest of brands to track down, however you can find the full range on their website, including some other lovely rooms scents like Fig, Bergamot and Geranium andAmber Wood. TK Maxx also sometimes have bits and pieces from them which I always snap up if I spot!

Do you like the sound of this grapefruit range from Arran Aromatics?

*PR samples

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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Illamasqua Gel Colour and Gel Sculpt sticks review

Just when you thought you could take no more of the current contouring craze, Illamasqua have come along with an exciting new product that really stands out from the swathe of contouring palettes currently available on the makeup scene.

The new Gel Colour and Gel Sculpt sticks* are gel formula products in a fat stick format that when applied to skin, give the perfect amount of colour to create a fresh looking complexion with some seriously chiseled cheekbones.

Illamasqua Gel Colour and Gel Sculpt sticks in Fluster and Silhouette
Illamasqua Gel Colour and Gel Sculpt sticks in Fluster and Silhouette swatches
Fluster and Silhouette swatches 
In the tube, Silhouette (the sculpting stick) looks a terrifying black colour but this actually translates to a soft grey/brown when on the skin. Alex Box, creative director for Illamasqua demonstrated the best way to use these little beauties - apply a small amount to the fleshy pads of skin just under your thumbs and then press gently under your cheekbone area. I tried this at home and it was amazing! The perfect sculpted effect with no need for brushes or complicated application methods.

It is a one shade only product but I've seen it being used on all sorts of skin tones and somehow it just seems to work on everyone. I have no idea what magic powers they've put inside Silhouette but I'm loving whatever it is!

The colour sticks are very similar - they look seriously bright in the tube but when dabbed on with a finger you get a nice natural flush of colour. Just start gently and build up the depth of colour you'd like. They can also be used as a lip colour (or eye colour if you're braver than me!), so it's a good multi-use product. There are two shades to choose from - Fluster (pink toned) and Charm (more orange toned).

Because of the gel formula, these seem to sink into the skin making them look really natural, like you're not wearing any makeup at all. They're also great if you have dry skin as they don't leave a powdery residue, but also last well on oilier skins due to the water resistant formula.

The Gel Sculpt and Gel Colour sticks are available now from all Illamasqua counters and via their website, priced at £22 each.

Do you like the look of these new products from Illamasqua?

*PR samples

Read more »
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