Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Recent empties

When I say recent, these are actually my May empties.  What can I say, I've been busy.

There's some really good stuff in here though so lets crack on.

Omorovicza Cleansing Foam

Not my fave-talked about it a lot more here, but I found this quite basic for the price and I wouldn't repurchase.  It definitely sits in the 'morning' cleanse category for me and although it was nice, nice doesn't justify the price v results.

Niod Photography Fluid

Still my all time fave primer, I adore this stuff and have converted as many people as I possibly can onto it!  Already repurchased (plus a back up), I have written a full review on this magical primer/instagram filter for face here.

Niod Multi Molecular Hyaluronic Complex*

If you have dry skin this stuff is an absolute godsend.  The first time I used this 'as light as water' serum, my skin was suffering from the extremely drying effects of some medication I had been prescribed by my doctor.  My foundation wouldn't sit on my skin without peeling and flaking and it was just gross.  One application of this serum overnight sorted the problem totally out.  I genuinely couldn't believe the effect it had.  When I used this I genuinely didn't need to use a moisturisor before applying make up.  I've written a full review here
*PR sample

Kiehls Creme De Corps

One of my all time fave body moisturisers,  It's a cult classic and I love everything about it.  The yellow lotion absorbs almost immediately and it doesn't irritate my skin (a lot of body moisturisers make my skin break out in a rash, especially on my legs).  It's also super soothing and cooling when you apply it.  I adore it!

Bumble and Bumble Hair Powder

I go through stages of hating this and then loving it.  My hair is very fine and gets greasy very easily and every single day I either use a dry shampoo or texturising spray.  This is one of those sprays that really does make your hair feel a bit matted though so if you don't like that slightly stiff, matte texture to your hair, don't buy this.  I would also not recommend this for very thick hair.  The powder also contains colour so you definitely need to wash your hands after you apply it.  I probably wouldn't repurchase-I prefer the Charles Worthington texturising spray or just good old Batiste.

First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser

Technically only sample size but I really loved this wash off cream cleanser.  It's very basic and reminds me of the Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser and it is great for sensitive and acne prone skins.  I usually cleanse with an oil or balm and then once I have rinsed that off go straight in with this onto wet skin for a thorough cleanse.  Good stuff.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Brush On Glow BB highlighter

This is one of those 'YSL Touche Eclat' pen style concealer/highlighters and I would rate it as just ok.  I used it all but I wouldn't repurchase, I prefer these days to use a corrector and then concealer rather than a concealer and then a highlighter.  One good thing about this range is it comes in a wide range of shades and it's very similar to the Touche Eclat in formula.

Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash

I'm so picky about mascaras and this one is really good!  It really separates, lengthens and volumises, doesn't flake or smudge and is really black.

NARS Sheer Glow foundation

I had a real love/hate relationship with this throughout the time I used it.   Firstly I hate that it doesn't come with a pump and I have to buy one separately.  Double Wear is the same and it just drives me nuts.  I've used this before and remember really loving it but this time, initially I felt like it wasn't giving enough coverage.  So I started using it as a light base and then buffing in the Make Up Forever HD foundation (the stick version) over the top and I liked it much more.  Then one day I forgot to add the extra layer and I really liked the way this foundation wore throughout the day-it just seemed to look better the more my natural oils mixed with it.  It works really well with the Nivea aftershave balm as a primer under it but you won't get more than medium coverage.

Belif The Truth Cream

Included this little sample pot because I really loved this light, gel based moisturiser.  It was super hydrating without leaving me as an oil slick and make up sat really nicely over it.  I don't know if you can buy this in the UK-mine came from Sephora in the US.  Similar in texture to the Dr Dennis Gross in that it's gel based rather than cream based but I actually preferred the Belif-I felt like it never broke me out whereas I was never sure with the Dr Dennis Gross.

MAC Omega eyeshadow

My Holy grail powder for eyebrows-have repurchased over and over and I prefer it over anything else I own for brows!  Also works well as a contour for pale skin and a matte transition shade-a total all rounder.  If they ever discontinue it, there'll be trouble!

Nuxe Huile Prodiguise

I've had this little sample pot of the cult Nuxe oil for ages and I am sure I have used it before and not been overly wowed.  But for some reason I tried it recently and I was absolutely wowed-I just loved how soft my skin was after using it and how it absorbed so easily-I was literally slathering it on.  I've since been and bought the full size one and I just love it so much-also adore the packaging and the size I have has a spray pump so it is totally hassle free to use.

Dr Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Moisture Cushion

I have tried really hard to like Dr Dennis Gross products but nothing has really impressed me.  I gave away the Ferulic and Retinol serum because it wasn't doing anything for me, the Alpha Beta peel pads seem really harsh on my skin and this moisturiser was just ok-as I said above I was never 100% sure this wasn't breaking me out.

The formula contains Hyaluronic Acid which keeps moisture locked into skin, Glycolic Acid to improve tone and texture, Aloe to soothe and Collagen to plump and firm.  I do think I prefer the Origins Ginzing which is very similar and I wouldn't repurchase this particular product.

So that's all my empties from May, I now need to go and start working on my June empties post!

Have you used any of these products?


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Huda Beauty Lip Contours-review and swatches

Huda Beauty Lip Contours-review and swatches

Huda Beauty Lip Contours-review and swatches

So there was a bit of hype when these launched in Dubai.  By 'a bit' I mean there was a massive line snaking around Sephora in Dubai Mall when they initially went on sale and they sold out within hours.  I managed to grab only one in another Sephora and I practically snatched it out of the sales assistants hand as she was heading over with it to show a group of teenagers.  Snooze you lose kids.

I then picked up 4 more in a Sephora US haul (post here if you fancy a nosy) and have finally gotten round to posting about them.  It's going to be a short post because there is only so much you can say about lip liner.  I believe these are about to be restocked so grab one whilst you can because I really do like the formula.

The formula is waxy and very easy to use.  The point can snap quite easily though but that could be because Dubai has such a warm climate and they possibly soften during the day when I don't have my air con on.  I liken the formula to the Marc Jacobs liners, the Charlotte Tilbury liners and some of the MAC Pro Longwear liners.  They don't drag on the lips or move about-once they're on, they're on.

Liners are drying, it's a fact-I have never come across a 'hydrating' liner but luckily these aren't hideously drying.  I also find that if I line and fill my lips with one of these and then put lipstick over, the wear time increases dramatically.  At least doubles.

So I am a fan.  I find myself using Gossip Gurl and Bombshell the most but all of them are wearable and could be used as a lipstick.  As you can see from my 'lined and filled in' lips below, the finish is quite a luminous matte.

Huda Beauty Lip Contours-review and swatches

Huda Beauty Lip Contours-review and swatches

Have you tried any of the Huda Beauty Lip Contours?  Are any on your wishlist?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Cancer diagnosis-2 years on

I had really planned to write an update/reflection post for today, the second anniversary of my cancer diagnosis.  But the truth is I've been going through quite a difficult time recently and right now I don't think I can put into words (or subject you to!) the tangled web of emotions I am feeling.  If you follow me on Snapchat (Stadybelle) then you will have seen some of the rawness of the situation over the past couple of weeks.  But I am genuinely fine-it's just been all just very bad timing.

I had to have more surgery about 6 weeks ago when I grew two new masses around my right ovary and they, along with my ovary were removed by my surgeon, Dr Rajesh Devassy here in Dubai.  Over the past two weeks my body has been subjecting me to an absolute nightmare and it's now been confirmed I am going through the menopause at 36.  It's a lot to take in, understand and comprehend and admittedly there are times I feel overwhelmed at the moment with everything.  I never imagined that I would ever feel so bad and like I had absolutely no control over my own body.

One of my doctors said my FSH levels (which detects whether the body is in menopause) were one of the highest she had ever seen when I got the results of my blood tests on Sunday and that my body is currently feeling like it has been hit by an earthquake-especially given I have been through so much in the past two years and that I am going through the menopause 15-20 years earlier than expected.  That pretty much explains everything I have been feeling recently.

But clearly, I am not one to give up.  I'm seeking treatment, being as kind to myself as I can and seeing this as a very temporary blip in the road.

This year has not been easy at all so far for various reasons, but on the plus side I am now pain free for the first time in 2 years following the operation 6 weeks ago, I am back at work and once I get my medication sorted for the menopause I think everything is going to be a-ok.

I'm so grateful to my family and the friends that have stuck by me through thick and thin, my amazing boss and the company I work for, for their support and understanding and of course my team of doctors here in Dubai for being there from day 1, 731 days ago.

I had cervical cancer-if you would like to read and understand more I have posted about my diagnosis and all my subsequent cancer posts can be found under this link.

Thank you for reading x


Monday, July 11, 2016

Lip Six

lipstick swatches

So it's back to reality after a wicked week in the UK!  This week is quite difficult for me-on Friday this week it will be the second anniversary of my cancer diagnosis and it's a week of reflection and gratitude that I am where I am today.

Here are my last six lipstick picks

Top row (L) Marc Jacobs Beauty LoveMarc Matte Lip Gel in Shout (R) NARS Audacious lipstick in Fanny (review!)

Middle row (L) YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in 13 Pink in Paris (R) Clinique Pop Lip Colour and Primer in Plum Pop (review!)

Bottom row (L) Charlotte Tilbury KISSING lipstick in Velvet Underground (review!) (R) MAC matte lipstick in Pink Plaid

Which is your favourite?


Sunday, July 10, 2016

7 days of Tom Ford

tom ford lipstick review

tom ford lipstick review

tom ford lipstick review

tom ford lipstick review

tom ford lipstick review

Sunday is the first day of the working week in Dubai so I like to keep it classy and simple with a nude for the office-Pink Dusk fits the bill perfectly-it's fuss free and easy to wear.  I pair it with L'Oreal Color Riche lip liner in 630 Beige a Nu for a precise finish.

Monday is my day full of meetings so I plump for a bolder colour for confidence-Casablanca paired with MAC Soar lip liner looks effortlessly chic.

tom ford lipstick review

Tuesday is always the lengthiest day of the week so I choose a long wearing matte formula-Pussycat (not bought at all for the name....) paired with MAC Edge to Edge lasts the distance.

On Wednesdays we wear pink!  Showgirl is a beautiful bold blue toned (hello whiter teeth) glossy pink that works perfectly with MAC More to Love Pro Longwear lip pencil

tom ford lipstick review

Thursday is dress down day in the office, Flamingo is a casual, luminous, brightening pink.  I pair it with the Dior Glow lip liner.

Friday is the weekend! True Coral is a great statement lipstick for brunch or drinks.  I pair mine with MAC Pro Longwear lip liner in High Energy.

Saturday is R&R day, pared down make up and a ponytail.  Blush Nude paired with MAC Dervish lip liner is the perfect pick!

tom ford lipstick review

I really do like Tom Ford lipsticks-I find the formula really creamy, pigmented and long lasting.  I also love the luminous finish they give to the lips.  If I could only use one lipstick brand for the rest of my life I think this would be it!

What would be your 'only one lipstick brand for the rest of your life'?


Friday, July 8, 2016

The review: Zoeva brushes

Zoeva brushes review

Brush crush. I love Zoeva.  I own mainly eye brushes but I think that the price point v quality is exceptional.  Today I am talking you through my 5 newest purchases-and they're all really good.  And rose gold #BeautyBloggerClichĂ©

I bought mine directly from the Zoeva website in Germany but you can buy Zoeva from Beauty Bay and Love Makeup.  They're made so well, they wash brilliantly, I have never had a hair shed and they blend eyeshadow beautifully.

Zoeva brushes review

Zoeva brushes review

Zoeva brushes review

Zoeva brushes review

Zoeva brushes review

Zoeva brushes review

The non eye brush first, the 122 Petit Stippling.  This is a soft, duo fibre brush made of taklon hair.  It's relatively dense and I love using this for blending in my cream blush.  It doesn't absorb too much product and buffs out hard lines seamlessly.  It can also be used to apply powder or cream highlight and concealer.  It retails for EUR12.80.

The 231 Luxe Petit Crease is my absolute favourite for placing and blending darker colours in the crease.  The slightly smaller, narrow head and firmly packed synthetic bristles mean you can precisely place the colour exactly where you want it.  It's super soft and just a brilliant blending tool.  It retails for EUR9.80

The 221 Luxe Soft Crease is the MAC 217 dupe.  I love a MAC 217 and have about 6 but the Zoeva is virtually identical and is way cheaper.  Again this is made of synthetic bristles and is slightly longer and wider than the 231.  It's brilliant for blending and ensuring that your eyeshadow is seamless with no harsh lines.  It retails for EUR9.50

The 228 Luxe Crease is very similar to the 221 and you probably don't need both.  The Luxe Crease is slightly bigger than the 221 and is great for doing your final blending, ensuring everything is really seamless.  It retails for EUR9.50

The 225 Luxe Eye Blender is shorter and denser and has a rounded tip.  Again it's perfect for placing colour in the crease and blending out.  I personally do prefer the Luxe Petit Crease because it's just that little bit longer and more flexible and I prefer to use this for blending lighter colours-the Luxe Petit Crease is just again a little more precise with darker shades.  It retails for EUR9.50.

I would love your Zoeva recommendations for non eye related brushes-I am sure I would be impressed with the wider line that Zoeva offers given how much I love the ones I already own.

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