Monday, 1 September 2014

Kiko Daring Game collection review

Italian makeup brand Kiko have just launched their autumn collection and I think it's my favourite one so far! The Daring Game collection* has been inspired by the iconic Bond girls and features packaging and products that have all have a casino influence.

Kiko Daring Game collection packaging

Kiko Daring Game collection packaging eye shadow palette and bronzer duo

Kiko Daring Game collection packaging eye shadow palette and bronzer duo
Kiko Daring Game collection packaging eye shadow palette and bronzer duo swatches
Eye shadow swatches, bronzer/highlighter swatches
Kiko Daring Game collection

Kiko Daring Game collection lipsticks
Ace of diamonds lipsticks and Number 2 Poker Nail Lacquer on nails
My favourites from the collection have to be the Golden Game Sculpting Bronzer and Queen Of Hearts Eyeshadow Palette. These both have playing card designs on their outer packaging and inside the Sculpting Bronzer, you'll see the Ace theme embossed into the actual product. 

There are three different shades of Queen Of Hearts Eyeshadow Palettes to choose from - mine is 01 Essential Browns, and features four complementary brown and bronze shades that are perfect for both day and evening looks. The formula of the shadows is fantastic - they're all powders, but are incredibly soft and blend like a dream. They're also really pigmented and wear for a good 8 hours without needing a top up. 

The Golden Game Sculpting Bronzer comes in two shades (this one is the darkest) and features two shades of bronzer and a highlighter powder. I absolutely love the design that's been added to the product - it almost makes me not want to use it! I found the bronzers slightly less pigmented than the eye shadows, however this does mean you can build up colour quite nicely without worrying about going over the top.  

The eye shadow palettes cost £14.90 each and Sculpting Bronzers are £15.90 each. I honestly think these are great value - they're of a quality you'd expect from a much more expensive brand. 

Another favourite from this collection are the Poker Nail Lacquers. There are six shades to choose from and each bottle has a dice design on the lid with the shade number shown in dice-like dots. These are gel-effect polishes that are super pigmented and extremely glossy and I've been really impressed at how long they wear for. I'm a notorious nail polish chipper, but have managed to go 4 days without a single chip, which is almost a personal best! The only thing I have found is that the colours can look slighlty different out of the bottle, so it might be worthwhile having a swatch in store just to make sure you're getting the colour you expect. 

There are lots of new releases for eyes in the collection - as well as the palettes, Kiko have also created the Colour-Up Long Lasting Eyeshadows, which are like giant shadow crayons, in a choice of 10 colours. The formula of these are amazing! They're a cream based shadow which can be applied straight from the stick and then blended out to your chosen finish. Once they're set, they literally don't budge throughout the day. I did a few hand swatches of these when I first received the collection and despite washing my hands repeatedly, they didn't budge until I got out an oil based makeup remover. £7.90 each.

The Mystery Smoky Eye Pencils are also another fun addition to this collection - these look more like eye liners than shadows, but can be used as both. There are six of these to choose from, and each features a little brush in the lid to help you blend out the pencil once applied. £6.90 each.

For the lips, you can choose from six Ace Of Diamond lipsticks, which have a lovely creamy texture and a semi-matte finish. They wear really well throughout the day, so you should only need to reapply after a meal. There's also no horrible dry lip feeling at the end of the day after wearing them. £7.90 each. 

This is definitely my favourite Kiko collection so far - it feels quite high-end to me and if you haven't tried Kiko yet, I urge you to get something from this collection, you really won't regret it! 

The Daring Game Collection is available in Kiko stores and from their website. It's a limited edition one, so if you see something you like, get in early as they do tend to sell out of popular items. 

What do you think of this new collection from Kiko? 

*PR samples
Sunday, 31 August 2014

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer and Cocoa Powder Foundation review

Makeup and  chocolate are two of my favourite things,  so it's safe to say I wasn't surprised when I fell in love with Too Faced's new Cocoa Powder Foundation and Chocolate Bronzer range. Like their infamous chocolate bar palette, the bronzers and foundation are infused with cocoa, and damn they smell good!

Too Faced cocoa powder foundation and soleil chocolate bronzers

Too Faced cocoa powder foundation and soleil chocolate bronzers compacts

Too Faced cocoa powder foundation and soleil chocolate bronzers

Too Faced cocoa powder foundation and soleil chocolate bronzer swatches
Foundation, Milk Chocolate Bronzer, Chocolate Bronzer swatches
There are two bronzers to choose from - Milk Chocolate Soleil is the lighter of the two and is perfect for paler skin tones. They're both matte, so are great for contouring and offer a build able depth of colour - you won't need to worry about orange faces here! The fact that they also smell good enough to eat is just a bonus, but the cocoa inside the formula is great for packing an antioxidant punch.

I'm not usually a fan of compact powder foundations as they can be slightly chalky, but I've been quite surprised by how much I like this one. The Cocoa Powder Foundation comes in a choice of eight shades (I have Fair which is the lightest one) and they've catered for a good mix of fair to medium skin tones.

Inside the compact is the foundation pan and underneath a little compartment for the applicator sponge. I have to be honest - I don't really like using the sponge as I find it makes application a little cakey so I tend to apply using a buffing brush in the same way I would a mineral powder foundation, building the coverage up from light to medium/full depending on how much you need. My favourite way to use this product is actually on top of a BB or CC cream, adding extra coverage where I need it around the nose and chin area and helping to set the BB cream in place.

Both the foundation and bronzers are pretty long wearing - you'll easily get 8 hours from each before needing a little top up, and while they might smell deliciously like chocolate in the pan, that smell doesn't linger when it's on your face. Slightly disappointing, but it's probably a good thing as if I could smell chocolate all day, I don't think I'd ever stop thinking about it!

Too Faced's Milk Chocolate Soleil and Chocolate Soleil Bronzers cost £25 each and the Cocoa Powder Foundation is £28. You can find them from all Too Faced stockists (Debenhams Oxford Street is my favourite!) and online from Beauty Bay and Boots. 

Do you like the sound of these chocolate infused products? 

*PR samples
Friday, 29 August 2014

The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Collection

Argan oil is an ingredient we’re all pretty familiar with – you’ll find it in lots of hair care products as it’s great for keeping hair looking soft, supple and super shiny. It’s also great when used on the skin – something the Body Shop have tapped into with their latest launch, the Wild Argan Oil collection*.

The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil collection

The new collection is made up of a range of eight bath and product products, all of which have been infused with Argan Oil which has been sourced from the remote Atlas mountains in Northern Morocco.  The oil in this range is all hand extracted by a cooperative of Berber woman using an age-old method - pressing the best Argan nut kernels, before filtering and allowing to settle for over 48 hours. 

My favourite product from the new range has to be the Wild Argan Radiant Oil. This is a dry oil that can be used on both your body and hair, and because it’s a dry oil, it doesn’t leave you feeling greasy for ages after you apply it. I like to use this after my morning shower – I only use a tiny bit on damp hair to help smooth it before blow drying, but it really helps keep the frizz at bay! £14 125ml.

Another favourite has to be the Wild Argan Miracle Solid Oil. This little tin is full of a solid balm and can be used for hydrating dry patches, massaging into your cuticles, or even smoothing down flyaway hairs. It’s a great multi-use product that’s perfect for popping in your handbag or travelling with as you won’t need lots of different moisturisers and hand creams. At £8 for a 50g tin, I think this is a great little product and will be keeping mine with me at all times! 

Also in the range are a body scrub, body butter, shower gel, lip balm, bubble bath and body lotion. All of the products are pretty reasonably priced and start at just £4, with the Radiant Oil being the most expensive at £14. The Argan Oil smell is quite distinctive – it’s a little bit spicy and definitely reminds me of something you might see in Morocco. 

The range is available now online and in Body Shop stores – do you like the sound of this range? 

*PR samples 

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Skincare favourites for dry and sensitive skin

I'm a big believer in having a good skincare regime - if your skin looks good, you need less makeup, so it's generally a bonus all round. My skin often tends to be slightly oilier in the summer, but still suffers from dehydration and can be quite sensitive from time to time. 

I've been testing out lots of skincare over the past few months and wanted to share some of my favourites for anyone with dry, dehydrated or slightly sensitive skin. 

Bioderma Anti-Redness Care Moisturiser- a non-scented, lightweight moisturiser, I found this great for use in the day time when you need some hydration but don't want anything too heavy. It's lack of perfume makes it great for more sensitive skins and while it's aimed at calming redness in skin, I think it's a great bet for anyone who has issues with perfumed products. I did find out (virtually at the end of my tube) that it contains mineral oil, which is an ingredient I usually try to avoid, however I've had no issues at all with it in this product. Mineral oil is designed to stop moisture escaping from the skin, but does have a reputation as a bit of a pore blocker, so if you know you don't get on with that ingredient, it's probably best to avoid this one. £16

Aromatherapy Associates Hydrating Rose Cleanser* - I'm totally obsessed with the hydrating mask from this range, which my skin literally vacums up, so it was great to see that the cleanser is just as good! It's quite a rich, creamy textured cleanser that smells divine (good rose smell, not old granny rose smell) and I find it best used massaged into dry skin and removed with a warm flannel. If you have oily skin, this will be too heavy for you, but I love to use it at night as my second cleanse to get skin completely clean, but with no dried out feeling. £25

Bee Good Honey & Propolis 2 in 1 Cleanser* - Bee Good skincare is a natural brand that harnesses the healing powers of beeswax, honey and propolis to create products that really make a difference to your skin. This is a rich, creamy cleanser that's great for cleansing without stripping and leaves skin feeling super clean and really soft at the same time. It's best used with a muslin cloth or flannel for removal, and is one of my favourite products to use in the evenings. At £11.50 for a 100ml tube, it's also great value.

Heal Gel Face* - fear not, the tiny tube in the photo is just a sample size that I am currently rationing until I can order my next full sized-bottle (I've already used one!). HealGel Face is one of those amazing all-rounder products. It works for pretty much every skin type, and can be used by even super sensitive skins as it was originally created with post-plastic surgey patients in mind. The texture is very lightweight and yet hydrating at the same time - two pumps should be enough for most skins in place of your usual morning moisturiser. If you're very dry, you might need to top up with an oil or a richer cream, but I'd definitely recommend giving this a try. £48

Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser* - This lightweight gel texture cleanser from Dermalogica is amazing at removing makeup and cleansing your skin without any harsh feeling at all. I love to use it in the mornings - massaging into my skin and then removing with a warm flannel. It's unscented and aims to help reduce redness in the skin, something which I've definitely noticed over the past few months. This is something i'm quite susceptible to, and i've definitely noticed a reduction in redness in my cheeks. Massive thumbs up Dermalogica. £26.90

Have you tried any of these products before? What's your top tip for dry or sensitive skins?

*PR samples
Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Flamingo Candles Lemon Lime Mojito Scented Candle review

If you’re on the hunt for an eco-friendly scented candle that smells UH-MAZING, look no further and let me introduce you to Flamingo Candles. 

Flamingo Candles are a British brand based in South Wales. They hand make each of their candles using eco-friendly soybean oil and natural cotton wicks and offer a fantastic array of scents. 

Flamingo candles lemon lime mojito

Lemon Lime Mojito was just one of the candles on my top ten list to try – not only did the name of it sound mouth-wateringly good, but the cute acrylic flamingo on the front of the glass jar made it the perfect quirky accessory for my coffee table. 

I usually find I have to burn candles for a good few hours before really noticing the scent, but after only 20 minutes, my living room was already smelling pretty darn good (even my Dad noticed on a recent visit). I’m a big fan of citrusy scents and Lemon Lime Mojito is a really fresh, zesty scent that’s great to get rid of any afternoon sofa slumps. 

Each of the standard sized glass jar candles will burn for up to 50 hours and at only £12 each, I think these are a great alternative to higher priced candles such as Diptique. There are over 30 different scents to choose from, so whatever your preference of smell, they’re pretty much bound to have one - they’d also make lovely gifts if you can bear to part with them! 

You can find the whole range of Flamingo Candles online on their website, from ASOS, Joy, Amazon and many more independent stockists. Next on my list to try is the Thai Lime and Mango – I hope it smells as good as this one! 

Have you tried Flamingo Candles before? What do you think of the packaging? 

*PR sample