Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Illamasqua Glamore Nude Lipsticks review

When Illamasqua launched their Glamore lipsticks earlier this year, I fell in love with the easy to wear, creamy formula. Long-wearing, moisturising and still semi-matte at the same time, they were basically my dream lipstick. 

For summer, they've expanded the range of Glamore lipsticks to include a much needed nude range* - up until now, every shade was pretty bright! Consisting of 7 nude shades, the Nude collection is designed to help you find your perfect nude.

Illamasqua glamore nude Cherub, Buff and Mix lipsticks
Cherub, Buff, Minx
Illamasqua glamore nude Cherub, Buff and Mix lipstick swatches
Cherub, Buff and Minx swatches
Being pale and ginger, it's quite tricky to find a nude that suits me - the closest I've come so far is MAC's Snob, but even that can sometimes make me look a little washed out if I'm not careful! 

Nudes tend to be soft pink and brown shades that balance warm and cool tones. It's a bit like finding the perfect foundation match - you need to get one that works with the undertones of your complexion. Illamasqua's head of training Daniel Busuttil suggests matching your lipstick to your natural nail bed colour to help you get the right shade. Mine is definitely on the pinker side of the spectrum, so this seems to be a good way of checking! 

The Glamore Nudes are broken down into three spectrums: nude corals, rosy and earthy rose shades. Cooler skin tones should check out the rosy shades: Rosepout and Starkers, warmer skin tones should try the earthy rose shades: Tease, Naked or Buff. If you fancy a nude shade with a little more colour, try one of the nude corals: Minx or Cherub, which have a mix of warm and cool tones so should suit most people. 

I've been testing out Cherub, Minx and Buff and Cherub is definitely the best match out of the three for me. Although not quite my perfect nude, it's definitely close and I will be heading to Illamasqua in Covent Garden for a swatch of Rosepout, as I have a feeling that will be the perfect shade for me! 

If you're a nude lipstick fan, you definitely need to check these out - the formula is just fantastic. At £18.50 each they aren't cheap, but I'd say it's worth it if you can find your ideal nude shade. 

You can find the Glamore Nudes in Illamasqua stores and counters from 31st July. If you're keen to get your hands on one now, they're available on

What do you think of these lipsticks? What's your favourite nude? 

*PR samples

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Heat wave heroes

Ginger people and heat are not a good combination, so while some people may be loving the recent heat wave I've been struggling a bit! To stop me boiling over completely I've been keeping a few products to hand that will help me keep cool in the heat.

hot weather heroes

Facial mists - pretty much an essential at the moment I've been rotating thermal water mists from Vichy*, La Roche Posay and Avene. These are pretty simple - just spring water in an aerosol can but the fine mist of water they produce is great at cooling you down, especially if you keep them in the fridge.

Pop bands - when it gets really hot I like to keep my hair tied up as I find it lets a bit more breeze get to my neck. Pop bands won't leave a dent in your hair, even after wearing them all day, which makes them ideal for emergency heat related ponytails! From £5 per pack.

Blotting sheets - let's face it, in the hot weather we all tend to get a bit sweater than normal and skin often becomes a bit more oily. Paul and Joe's blotting papers are my savior for getting rid of excess shine without leaving a powdery finish behind.

Phytocitrus Colour Protect hair mask* - while skin often gets oilier in the sun, my coloured hair seems to dry out completely so needs a lot of extra care. This super rich mask from Phyto is designed to help protect the colour of your hair while also adding back in lost moisture. I'm using this 1-2 times per week at the moment and it's working wonders at keeping my bleached ends from getting frazzled in the sun. £24.50

SPF - almost goes without saying, but when it's 30 degrees outside everyone should be slapping some SPF on! My favourites for the face are from La Roche Posay*,  Bioderma and Susan Posnick; for the body it's Ambre Solaire dry mist or Aldi dry oil.  Whatever you use, make sure you don't forget your ears, scalp and feet. I've burnt all 3 before and it's really not fun!

What are your essential products to see you through the heatwave? 

PR samples
Monday, 21 July 2014

Hydraluron Moisture Jelly review

Hyaluronic acid is one if the hot ingredients in skincare at the moment. A molecule that helps draw moisture to the skin, it can hold over 1,000 times it's weight in water and it great for plumping and hydrating. 

When indeed labs launched Hydraluron, a hyaluronic acid serum, it flew off the shelves in Boots and has since become a firm favourite in many skincare regimes.

Indeed labs hydraluron moisture jelly

This summer, they've expanded their line to include the new Hydraluron Moisture Jelly* - a lightweight jelly texture moisturiser packed full of hyaluronic acid, and PatcH2O - a micro network complex that helps to lock in moisture to skin.

The jelly like texture of the moisturiser means that it sinks into skin really quickly and leaves virtually no trace behind.  Skin is left hydrated but without that slightly tacky feeling some moisturisers give. 

I think it's perfect for oilier skin types or for use in the summer when you don't need a heavy duty moisturiser.  If you have really dry skin then this may not be for you - you'd probably need to add something extra over the top. You can use this as well as your Hydraluron serum - they're designed to work well together and combined will give an extra hydration boost to skin. 

The packaging uses a clever pump system to deliver exactly the right amount of product for each use. I think this is a great idea as I often end up using too much with pump or free pour bottles. My only grumble would be the fact that the packaging is a lot bigger than the amount of get. It's a bit deceiving as while you're getting 30 ml (which is standard for a lot of skincare) the bottle is pretty big so you may think you have more than you really do!

That aside, this will be keeping me company throughout the summer - it's great kept in the fridge and applied cold during the current heatwave!

You can find Hydraluron Moisture Jelly in Boots and it's currently on offer for £16.66 (usual price £24.99).

Are you a fan of Hydraluron?  Do you like the sound of this new Moisture Jelly?

*pr sample
Sunday, 20 July 2014

Sew Lomax makeup bags

I have to confess I'm usually more excited by the contents of my makeup bag than the bag itself, but since discovering Sew Lomax, that's all changed!

Sew Lomax are a British brand created by Emma Lomax, and make super cute makeup bags, each of which is decorated with gorgeous embroidered designs. After lusting after a lipstick print bag for ages, I decided to make the most of their recent sale and put an order in.

Sew Lomax makeup bags

Sew Lomax makeup bags

I chose the Raspberry Pop Pouch makeup bag with lipstick design - reduced to £17 from £25. You can even choose to have a message sewn on the bag of most of their bags so went for 'Kat's makeup'. I think this would be a fantastic gift - offering a personalised option definitely makes it really special.

I also chose a second bag, the candy inspired 'Sweet On You' pouch,  which has been decorated with a lollipop design. It's not as roomy as the lipstick bag but I love the design and it was a total bargain at £5.50, reduced from £18.

The Sew Lomax sale is still on for a few more days so I definitely recommend checking it out. If you're super organised you could always buy some Christmas gifts and put them away until December!  They also make ranges for babies which look absolutely lovely.

Have you heard of Sew Lomax before? What do you think of these makeup bags?
Thursday, 17 July 2014

Crownbrush blusher palette review

Crownbrush are a brand most commonly know for their good quality, amazing value makeup brushes. But on top of a huge line up of brushes, they also make a range of makeup palettes that are guaranteed to make any beauty addicts eyes light up.

The 10 colour blusher palette has probably every shade of blusher you'd ever need. And then some.
Containing a range of pinks, peaches and soft plums all in powder finishes, the Crownbrush Blusher Palette is a must have for any powder blusher fan.

Crownbrush 10 colour blusher palette

Crownbrush 10 colour blusher palette top row swatches
Top row swatches
Crownbrush 10 colour blusher palette bottom row swatches
Bottom row swatches
While the individual blushers don't have individual names, it's a palette that will work for pretty much any skin
tone. My personal favourites are the second shade on the top row, which looks very natural on pale skin, and the third shade on the bottom row, which is great for adding a small amount of warmth, without going full on bronzer.

The paler pink shades do have a tendency to be slightly lighter in terms of pigmentation, so you may need to build up colour gradually if using these until you get the desired effect.

I love the fact that there's a mix of matte and shimmer blushers included - it's actually nice to see matte shades given more of a preference for a change.

At £14.99, this palette is a total bargain. There aren't many other brands that sell blushers that work out to be £1.50 each and when you think about the range of shades you're getting, it makes it a must-have purchase.

You can find Crownbrush online or at certain beauty trade shows throughout the year, and I definitely recommend adding one of these to your wishlist!

Have you tried any makeup from Crownbrush before? What do you think of this blusher palette?

*PR sample