Friday, October 31, 2014

Sneak peek: The Sephora haul

Sephora haul

Sephora haul

Another sneaky peek haul post today-I would love to know what you're interested in me reviewing first!!

This was a Sephora US order to the UK which was then forwarded to me in Dubai by my lovely mum so these are all items that Sephora 'permits' to be shipped to the UK.

In the haul are:

The Sephora Favourites 'Draw the line' gift set with liners from Kat Von D, Urban Decay, Marc Jacobs, Nars, Sephora and Stila

2 x Sephora Lustre Matte lip colours in the shades Nude Pink Lustre and Pink Flush Lustre

4 x Kat Von D Studded Kiss lipsticks in the shades Love Craft, Backstage Bambi, Bachelorette and Sexer

Kat Von D Tattoo liquid liner in Trooper

2 x Marc Jacobs Kiss Pop lip colour stick in the shades Heartbreaker and Wham

3 x Bite matte creme lip crayons in the shades Tatin, Fraise and Sucre

2 x Marc Jacobs Highliners in Blacquer and Lunatic

2 x Marc Jacobs Twinkle Pops in Three Shakes and Au Revoir

So, what do you reckon?  What should be the first thing I crack open and get testing?


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder

By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder review

This is one of those cult product that gets raved about, so I buy it and then stash it, too scared to use it in case it's not as good as everyone says it is.

Believe the hype-this is the best setting powder I have ever used.

Ok so here's the lowdown.  This is a finely milled, white setting powder that applies translucent on the skin.  It contains hyaluronic acid so it feels cool when you apply it and almost a little wet (it isn't, it just feels that way) which helps to keep your skins moisture levels topped up, whilst blurring imperfections/pores/fine lines like nothing else.

You can use this powder like any normal setting powder but what I do is dust my skin with a light covering of this powder on a fluffy brush after I have applied my foundation primer-and then apply my foundation directly on top.  And then another light dusting of powder over the top.  It gives me the longest lasting base I have ever tried with touch ups reduced to a couple of times a day (instead of 5-6-I'm an oil machine what can I say)

You need to go easy, we all remember that picture of Angelina Jolie where her MUA went a little OTT with the HD powder leaving a ghostly cast....if you don't remember, let me terrorise you....



The only flaw to this flawless powder is the packaging-mine seems to leak constantly and it's horrific for travelling with.  I know all loose powders are horrendous to travel with but why haven't cosmetic companies sorted this issue by now???

Being By Terry it's not cheap-the Space NK website tells me I spent £42 on this baby (I prefer not to look, so does my bank manager) but I honestly think it is worth the splurge.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Lip Six

You know the drill-last six lip picks!

Armani Rouge Ecstacy in 510 Dolci, YSL Rouge Volupte 13 Pink in Paris, Mac Modesty, Rimmel Apocolips in Nova, MAC Twig, YSL Glossy Stain 11 Rouge Gouache
Top row (L) Armani Rouge Ecstasy lipstick in 510 Dolci (R) YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in 13 Pink in Paris

Middle row (L) MAC cremesheen lipstick in Modesty (R) Rimmel Apocolips in Nova

Bottom row (L) MAC Satin lipstick in Twig (R) YSL Glossy Stain in 11 Rouge Gouache

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Disappointing products



I keep a little box of products that I have, personally, been disappointed with and once I get to about five things in the box I do a little blog post about why I find them so disappointing.

I know some of these are a bit controversial but hey, you can't win them all!

Kate Somerville Goat Milk cream

This is probably the only Caroline Hirons raved about product I haven't loved.  I sourced this moisturiser from the States after reading Caroline speak highly of it but unfortunately it just broke me out constantly and I ended up giving it to my mum.  Literally as soon as I stopped using it my cystic type spots around my chin healed and went away.

The moisturiser contains lactic acid to maintain skins PH levels (and also act as an exfoliant) and jojoba and avocado to hydrate and smooth.  It also contains soothing aloe and natural antioxidants from grape seed.  Looking at the ingredients list I can't see anything that I know would irritate my skin but sadly it did.

I did like the hygienic pump applicator (although you have no idea when the product is going to run out) but I think that the formula was just too heavy for my combination skin. 

Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk foundation

This is definitely a controversial one as I have seen people literally label this as holy grail stuff but for me it just has no coverage or lasting power at all.

Admittedly I like a fuller matter coverage but I was dying to try this foundation after reading so many good reviews.  I really did my research and concluded that Lasting Silk was the way to go as it seemed to be the formula offering more coverage over Luminous Silk.

I tried this over a week and first of all it applies horribly with my usual foundation brush (Real Techniques expert face brush).  I couldn't build up any coverage at all and it was constantly streaky and patchy when applied with the brush over my usual primer. 

And then, by lunchtime it had completely disappeared and I didn't feel like I had any foundation on my face at all.

A definite miss for me.

EOS lip balm

My best friend loves these but I hate them.  I don't find them to be very hydrating at all and it makes my lips tingle when I apply it.  I also don't like the shape of the balm and would only apply it in private as I don't like to look like I am kissing my lip balm!  Again, I know these are well loved by beauty bloggers but they're not for me.

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector

I know I know, another much hyped product but honestly I just don't get it.  My main issue?  The applicator is just disgusting-it's a foam applicator that is perforated to push the product through when you squeeze the tube but it's really unhygienic and I have read reports of them going mouldy (yikes). 

I find when I use it I suddenly seem to have dry and flaky patches I didn't even know I had and there is an ingredient that seems to irritate my lips and dry them out further.

This is a non sticky gloss/balm with a subtle, plumped up shine to the lips and although I was happy to try out this trial size version, I am glad I didn't give into the hype and purchase a full size one.

Sephora PRO Large Domed Stippling brush (41)

In general I am a huge fan of the Sephora PRO range and if anyone ever asks me for advice on what to buy from Sephora I always recommend this range of brushes because in the main they are awesome.

I bought this brush blind from the US website, thinking it would about the same size as my Real Techniques stippling brush and would be great for applying cream blush.  As you can see from the photo below it's literally mahoosive when compared to the RT version.


And here lies the problem with this brush-I am not sure what to use it for.  It's huge but not dense enough to apply foundation with-the finish is really streaky.  It's a bit too dense for powder and unless I had cheeks the size of saucers I can't use it for blush.

It doesn't clean well either, I have washed and washed this brush but it doesn't seem to come clean at all.  It also shed terribly the first time I used it and is very 'top heavy' meaning that you need to hold it very near the base otherwise it's difficult to control. 

Have any beauty products disappointed you recently?


Saturday, October 25, 2014

The must repurchase empties


I haven't done an empties post for so long due to all the guest posts whilst I was recovering but my empties box was overflowing from all the empties I had collected over the past 3 months.

To do a post on them all would be epic and nonsense so I decided to do a round up post on the 'best of the best' empties, focusing on the ones I loved and will definitely be repurchasing.

Elemental Herbology Facial Detox (£28 // purchased from Space NK)

Everything I have tried so far from Elemental Herbology I have loved so much and the Facial Detox mask was no exception.  This is an old school white clay mask with extracts of malachite, laolin and manuka honey.  I found this amazing for stopping spots in their tracks and making them recede back to nothing.

You apply the mask to dry skin and it dries down to a pale grey clay and some of the mask is absorbed by the skin.  It does harden but it's relatively easy to remove with water and a damp flannel.

Clarins Gentle Exfoliator (£25 // purchased from Debenhams)

Possibly my favourite exfoliating toner of all time, I just love how the runny gel like texture feels on the skin.  This is a very gentle exfoliating toner and perfect for those new to the concept.  It contains tamarind fruit acids (AHA's) to remove impurities and brighten the skin.

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet (£23 // bought from Look Fantastic)

This is my 'go to' moisturiser if everything else is going wrong!  It has no outlandish claims, it just soothes and hydrates even the most sensitive skin.  There's a full run down here from my recent morning skincare routine post.

Rodial Dragons Blood Hyaluronic toner (£33 // bought from Space NK)

This is a really lovely hydrating toner that can be used in your skincare routine or for a quick freshen up during the daytime.  It comes in a handy spritz bottle and has a really fine but powerful mist.  Dragons blood is sourced from the red sap of the 'sangre de drego' tree and works to form a second skin like protective film on the skin-this helps to protect the skin against environmental damage whilst soothing stressed skin.  There is also rose water and vitamin B3.  I really love this range from Rodial.

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel (£28 // bought from Space NK)

A brilliant gel to oil cleanser for cleansing in the evening.  I have a review here in my recent evening skincare routine post but this is a firm favourite for my nighttime ritual.

Josie Maran coconut watercolour cheek gelee 'Poppy Paradise' ($22 // bought from Sephora)

I absolutely love the formula, it feels like jelly in the pot without being messy and squishy.  The colour is to die for-a pink toned, almost neon coral but without being at all in your face.  I prefer to dip a stippling brush in the pot, tap the excess on the back of my hand and lightly buff into the skin.  It's easily buildable and the lasting power is incredible.

Smashbox photofinish primer ($36 // bought from Sephora)

I love the feel of this on the skin even though I know its full of silicon and that's why my skin feels so silky!  But it does a fab job at mattifying and blurring the skin before applying foundation.  I really enjoyed using it-your skin really does feel like velvet.  This is also an oil free primer but Smashbox do a whole range of primers to suit everyone.  It's definitely one of their best products and this is my 3rd or 4th tube.

Aveda Botanical Kinetics toning mist (£28 // bought from Look Fantastic as part of this skincare set)

This is a deluxe sample size of the toner included in a starter set-it retails for £17 for 150ml usually.  I really loved this toner, I love the smell of Aveda products, they're so soothing and spa like.  This toner was in the normal/oily skincare set and is designed to hydrate and balance the skin whilst minimising surface oil build up.  It contains white oak, witch hazel and peppermint so is mildly astringent.  It was the perfect spritz after my exfoliating toner and got me wanting to try more Aveda skincare.

Charles Worthington Salon at Home texturising spray (£6.99 // purchased from Boots)

I love texturising sprays, I have long, fine, flat hair that gets greasy easily so a texturising spray or dry shampoo does help to give it a bit more ooomph!  I've used Batiste for years but the white powder residue is off putting.  I find this spray does a bit of everything for me-it has the hold of a hairspray but the oomph and grease absorbing powers of a dry shampoo-and it's clear.  And smells amazing.  I much prefer this to the Oribe spray and it's a fraction of the price.

Lokum Rumi's rose rose candle (£32 // purchased from Lokum Istanbul Boutique, 95 Walton St, London)

I loved everything about this candle.  The packaging was divine with it's intricate artwork on the outside.  When I was recovering from surgery I burnt this every single day in my bedroom.  It's beautiful, fresh, clean, light, almost 'sparkly' or sherbert-y and wasn't cloying or heavy at all.  It has a 30 hour burn time but I am sure mine was longer than that as I literally used it every day.  I would love to try more from Lokum which is a small boutique in Knightsbridge.  Their Turkish delight was amazing as well!

So that's it, the best of the best, the creme de la creme, the cream of the crop.  Are any of these your 'must repurchase' favourites?