30 March 2015

Beautiful Bedrooms #1

Beautiful Bedrooms

Top left to right: 1/2/3
Bottom left to right: 4/5/6

For a while now I have wanted to take A Little Boat Sailing into a slightly different direction; by no means does this mean that I will stop blogging about beauty. My beauty content will still be of a top priority however you will start seeing a few snippets of interior inspired posts here and there over the coming weeks. Where has this come from you might ask? Well, it has been on my mind for a while now where it has become even more evident since moving house. I'll be aiming to start decorating my bedroom around the end of June once my exams are all over and done with so until then I'll be looking for inspiration and ideas.

Pinterest without a doubt is my first point of call for this, not only are there some fantastic home ideas there's also a huge array of beauty content which is how I first stumbled across it. Over the last few weeks I've being pinning ideas a lot, particularly those that are interior orientated; in fact I now have that many running around in my head that maybe I should stop pinning and narrow it down to a select few in order to work from. 

Like a lot of people these days I'm in love with the aesthetic appeal of white however I really don't want my bedroom to feel clinical, I still want it to feel relaxing and comforting at the same time therefore I'm looking for things that incorporate both aspects. My Beautiful Bedrooms board on Pinterest is full of a combination of relaxing bedrooms as well as those which are more vibrant with bold statements of colour here and there. I'm still unsure as to what to go for ultimately as a nice refreshing bedroom that provokes energy in the form of bright colours is also quite appealing therefore I'm working towards trying to achieve a good balance between the two. 

Of the images I've selected above I find it really hard to choose an ultimate favourite here although the second one that I found from Urban Outfitters alongside the bedroom from Lonny are both right up there. Both have a laid back style although it's clear that the design from Lonny is more traditional in comparison to the somewhat boho vibe that I get from the candle lit bedroom featured on Urban Outfitters. 

Have you decorated recently or are you looking to have a bedroom re-vamp? I currently have red and gold walls from the previous occupiers so I'm itching to pick up the wallpaper scraper asap!

You can find me on Pinterest here.

28 March 2015

Blogging Conundrums

Blogging Conundrums
As somebody who writes about beauty so often I have over the last three years come across various little issues that I have to work around; I'm sure you have too. For the record this is by no means a post complaining, in fact it's quite the contrary as I thought I'd pop together a light hearted post where I share some of the various blogger conundrums that I have come across in that time. Feel free to leave yours in the comments below; I'll enjoy reading them when I get home from work.

To swatch or not? -  I've read a lot of opinions in the time that I have being blogging in regards to beauty swatches, some really positive and some really quite negative. When I started off writing A Little Boat Sailing I always included swatches however over time I developed more of an interest in the presentation of my blog and found that I rarely felt happy with swatch pictures. Generally speaking that's why there are not many on my blog these days, it's not because I don't like them, it's purely because I'm still yet to find a way that I'm happy to portray them. One final thought is that I couldn't care less whether someone includes swatches in a post or not; it's their blog at the end of the day. It's great to see the product on but let's face it the product will probably look different on everybody anyway so whether you post swatches on your arm, hand, finger tips or forehead or you decide to not to include them at all, who would I be to judge? 

Photograph before use! - Hands up who is guilty here? I know this may seem silly to some but if I have a new product then nine times out of ten I will wait until I have photographed it for a future review before I actually use it. Some people may not be bothered about this fact and do you know what that's completely cool, however for me personally it's just something I like to do. 

Grammar errors at 2am - No matter how often I re-read my blog posts I'm almost guaranteed to spot an error when I'm looking back on a post at a rather unnatural hour. You bet your bottom dollar I'll find one in this tonight.

Winter is coming - Whilst many bloggers find themselves super excited for the arrival of autumn and winter, queue snoods and ankle boots galore I can't be the only one who is secretly miserable inside at the sheer lack of light to come. I really do find it difficult to get nice pictures at that time of year and often spend a lot of my time in august taking photographs that will see me through over that period. I'm yet to buy dedicated lights for my blog as I prefer the look natural light if I'm honest however if you have any good recommendations then please do let me know.

Oh shiny! - Shiny packaging aside from cylinder products (until I discovered blue tac) are the bane of my life when it comes to featuring them on here. The amount of times I have come to edit pictures and have my seen little face glaring back at me on a product; it's not pretty. I have also discovered through this that my floors are clearly not flat; I've chased a few products across the floor in my time.

I'm a gymnast and I didn't know it - Photographing products can be quite the challenge at times, it's not all white card and pretty notebooks folks. The amount of odd positions I've found myself in and things that I have balanced on in the past to get a decent photograph is quite interesting. On many occasions I've found myself standing on a chair leaning over something so far that I'm convinced I will fall off.

Restart EVERYTHING - Yup, I'm not going to lie I have already started the process of going through older blog posts in order to tidy them up by making sure that links are coloured in grey and bold (they used to be blue) and re-sizing photographs. It's so incredibly time consuming and part of me wishes I could just leave it but I just can't, is anybody else like this?

Lists - The amount of lists I create for my blog is endless, I even find myself adding things on that I know I have already done so I can just tick them off (it makes me feel good).

I've also been known to buy pretty stationary just to use as props in blog photos...yes guilty as charged.

26 March 2015

The Muji Files | Part 5

The Muji Files Part 5
Quite possibly my favourite part of my make up routine these days aside from eye shadow is applying lipstick. I find this quite funny because I never used to wear it at all aside from a bit of tinted lip balm; oh how times have changed. My last Muji draw holds the majority of my lip products as aside from the ones that are in my hand bag I have just a few extra that sit on the very top of my Muji draws in a little acrylic holder, that has room for twelve lipsticks in which I will discuss those at a later date for the conclusion to this little series.

So before I delve into this collection I do have here a few products which I must confess are a little old however I did take these pictures back in September last year where since then I have had a sort out, some sadly didn't quite make the cut. I decided to keep this picture though because if I'm honest very little has changed barring a few things.

Lip crayons were incredibly popular last year however this year I can't really think of any that have caught my eye as of yet.  All the ones above are off the high street and consist of the Revlon Kissable Balm Stains along with the No7 High Shine Lip Crayons, out of the two I'd say that the Revlon ones are my favourite as I find that they last longer once applied however I do have a soft spot for the No7 High Shine Lip Crayon in the shade Daydreamer which is a beautiful nude. From crayons to pencils the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils have so far in my opinion yet to be beaten, although please note I haven't tried that many. The shade Cruella is probably the most beautiful matte red that I have seen and worn, whereas Sex Machine, despite the name is a gorgeous mauve toned nude that I like to wear during the day.

Two old favourites that I wore constantly when I started blogging and therefore repurchased are the 17 Mirror Shine Lipsticks in the shades Beehive and Belle. Whilst they're not the most long lasting lipstick I have ever tried they are incredibly easy to wear and require very little maintenance, they're not drying either and cost less than £5 which I think overall makes them an awesome budget beauty find. The packaging of these has changed since I last purchased one which goes to show it has been a little while now, although secretly I do prefer the garish blue of these as they remind me of when I first started blogging.

I've a few products from some other well-known high street brands such as the L'Oreal Rouge Caresse Tempting Lilac which I think has now sadly been discontinued although you can see my review of that here. As well as that I've also tried the much hyped Rimmel Apocalips* in the shade Across the Universe which to date is one of the most pigmented lip products I have ever tried. I've also in the past road tested one of the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets in Peach Club however in hindsight I do regret purchasing that shade because whilst I love the formula I do think I struggle to pull it off; see a full review of that here.

My favourite products on view here would have to be the Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector, Rimmel 107, Charlotte Tilbury Bitch Perfect and finally 17 Beehive although I do try and keep all of these on rotation throughout the year.

What are your favourite lip products?

More in the series: The Muji Files Part 1, 2, 3 and 4.

24 March 2015

RMK Vintage Sweets Collection

RMK Vintage Sweets Collection RMK Vintage Sweets Collection RMK Vintage Sweets Collection RMK Vintage Sweets Collection

RMK is a brand that I have mentioned before yet up until now I have never tried any of their make up for myself in the comfort of my own home. Back in November I attended an event held at the RMK counter in Selfridges where I got to see the launch of the Christmas range. This time around I was kindly invited back to have a look at the utterly beautiful RMK Vintage Sweets Collection which is the spring and summer launch for this year. 

The Vintage Sweets Collection boats an array of delicately chosen fresh floral colours which are candy like in appearance helping to portray a sweet, soft and natural finish when worn. From eye shadows, nail polishes, lip glosses and blushes there is a little something for everyone within this collection; I like to think of it as a form of candy that isn't bad for you.

Starting off with the RMK Sweet Sugar Eyes (£21) there are five different eye shadows within the collection which are all equally as pretty as one another. They're relatively shimmery so that's something to watch out for however with a steady hand and application they are beautiful when applied; Ting looked absolutely gorgeous once she had her make over with the collection. One of the most impressive products from the new collection and one which actually took me by surprise was the RMK W Color Mascara (£25). There are five in the range and what makes them so unique is that they have different coloured ends, take for instance the middle image in the second picture. The model has blue mascara on her top lashes and pink on the bottom, I think that image is so beautiful yet creating this look is quite achievable for you too. I had the opportunity to try the blue and pink mascara myself and I was pretty impressed actually where if I'm honest I really didn't expect to be as it's not every day you wear two different shades of mascara. Whilst it probably won't be for everyone I do think that for those who simply love their make up and enjoy experimenting it's an incredibly fun way to add something more adventurous to your routine.

Blushes are fast becoming one of my favourite make up products so it's of no surprise that I had to add one of the RMK Vintage Candy Cheeks (£20) to my little collection. There are four limited edition shades of which I chose Candy Red Rose; this is incredibly elegant and suits my complexion really well as it adds a healthy flush of colour to my cheeks. As you can see there is a pretty little pattern within the blush, in fact it reminds me of old fashioned lolly pops however it is in fact a blush and highlight in one. You can use them separately however I personally do find that a little tricky as they're close together and it is only a small blush, therefore what I have being doing is simply using it as one product on its own for my cheeks. Together the two shades really do work very well so I'm happy to keep using it in that way.

On my way home from the event I had a little peek into the bag that the team at RMK had given us. They had kindly included some samples of some other RMK products along with a full size RMK Vintage Drop Gloss; I got the shade Butter Scotch which could not have been more perfect as I adore that scent. Generally speaking I do shy away from any form of lip gloss because I never get on with them very well however today I decided to wear this to work in order to test it out. Overall I have to say it felt really lovely on the lips, it wasn't sticky and it tasted pretty nice too although I'm not sure that's what you're supposed to do with lip gloss. On a slight tangent I think it tasted of fruit salad sweets which happen to be one of my favourites!

The collection also has Vintage Sweets Face Color (£33) which comes in two different shades, blue lilac and yellow green. Blue lilac can be used to create a luminous finish whereas yellow green can be used to help diminish uneven skin tone; personally I have never tried anything like these although I'd be tempted to give them a whirl in the future. RMK have also launched the Nail Color EX (£14) which consist of some beautiful pastel nail polishes, they really are gorgeous and are said to have a pretty good formula or so I have been told; I'm yet to try them for myself but do hope to at some point this year.

Overally RMK have created yet again another beautiful collection, it's a brand that in the past I have never seen much of yet every time I pop to Selfridges these days I have to stop by to see what is new. It's well worth stopping by to have a look at this collection as well as the skin care that's on offer; their cleansing balm on a side note is also pretty great.

RMK can be found at Selfridges.

21 March 2015

MAC Lipstick Collection

MAC Lipstick Collection MAC Lipstick Collection MAC Lipstick Collection MAC Lipstick Collection

I remember back when I very first started blogging three years ago when I had never heard of MAC, sacrilege I know. I had never gazed at the vast array of lipsticks and eye shadows on offer and I had certainly not experienced the hustle and bustle of the MAC counter at Selfridges. Fast forward three years later and I have now managed to accumulate a few MAC lipsticks into my collection. If there is one thing I think about when it comes to MAC then it is the lipsticks, whether it is the various finishes or the sheer array of shades on offer I believe that there is a MAC lipstick out there for you. Once upon a time I heard that they used to cost around £10 however these days they will set you back £15.50, perhaps even £17 if you opt for a limited edition shade from a collection.

Being a typical beauty blogger through and through I thought it was about time I shared with you the shades that I have. It'll already be quite clear to you that I very much urge on the side of caution with my lipstick choices as most of these are all nudes and easy to wear pinks if I'm honest, although I actually can't quite believe that I found myself looking at Acai today from the new Julia Petit collection, maybe there's an adventurous lipstick wearer in there somewhere after all! So jumping straight into it I'll give you a quick low down on the MAC lipsticks that I currently own, starting off with my only MAC red.

1: Salon Rouge - I feel slightly awkward starting off this with a limited edition shade as I know it's not available any more. Just one of the shades that was available from the MACH Heirloom Mix Collection this was the one that caught my eye the most. This is currently my only MAC red and it is one that I simply adore, it's a matte finish and has a cool undertone to it which I think suits my complexion much better in comparison to a warmer red. Like most matte lipsticks in my experience they are always slightly drying yet I do find this to be pretty comfortable to wear. It's a beautiful berry toned red and is one that I have a dedicated review to if you'd like to know more about it; find that here.

2: All Fired Up - This was my first matte lipstick from MAC and was one that actually won in a giveaway held by Julia. This is a bright fuchsia matte which surprisingly isn't as cool toned as you would think with it being fuchsia as, in my opinion it does have quite a warm tone to it. Again like the previous matte finish it is again drying so lip balm is a must, in fact I'd also say that I find this more drying in comparison to Salon Rouge. All Fired Up will be an awesome shade for the summer time, my top tip for this lipstick would be to keep your lips moisturised and exfoliated in order to show off this gorgeous shade in all its glory. Once again I have a dedicated review to this lipstick here.

3: Plumful - Last year I wore MAC Plumful pretty much none stop alongside Patisserie. It's such a beautiful lipstick that is so incredibly easy to wear on a day to day basis. Being a lustre finish I find that it provides enough colour without it being too much maintenance, it's sheer to an extent but can be built up, as well as this it also feels extremely comfortable on the lips as it isn't drying in the slightest. However on that note I have found that other lustre finishes I have tried have been a little drying at times yet for some reason unknown to me I have never had this problem with Plumful. As the name would suggest there is a plum tone to this although it's still very much based around the pink spectrum, it's very different to the other pinks I own as it is darker without it being too vampy; again this is another beautiful shade for the summer and indeed autumn.

4: Hot Gossip - This is my most recent MAC lipstick seeing as I only purchased it around two weeks ago. Hot Gossip is a cremesheen finish which like lustre I find to be extremely comfortable to wear on the lips overall. I've read that people can find this finish drying although I've never really had any major issues personally, although I guess there is a first for everything. Hot Gossip is a relatively soft pink with a cool undertone, in fact in comparison to Plumful I feel like this is its baby sister almost as to me they almost look as though they are just a a few shades different in intensity.

5: Patisserie - Without a shadow of a doubt this is my most worn MAC lipstick to date and will most likely be the shade I repurchase first. Patisserie is a muted pink with a hint of brown, it is for me the perfect nude. It's the lipstick that I always reach for when I'm wearing heavy eye make up or when I have no idea what to wear, I know I can simply pop it on and reapply it just as easily throughout the day. If I had to sum it up I'd call it a fuss free nude, it's beautiful! If I'm honest I'd be quite lost without it.

6: Creme Cup - If there was one MAC lipstick that I had heard the most about then it would be Creme Cup. It's funny that this was a shade that I wanted really badly but these days isn't one that I reach for very often; I'll have to address that as it really is a very pretty pink, especially for this time of year. It's definitely one of the palest pinks that I own although it does not lack pigmentation. Like Hot Gossip this is a cremesheen finish making it extremely easy and comfortable to wear, again this formula alongside lustre I would argue are my favourites because they make wearing lipstick easy. Being a cremesheen finish longevity isn't its strongest point however I'm more than happy to reapply something more frequently if it means the product being more comfortable to wear in the first place.

7: Plink - MAC Plink was my very first lipstick from MAC therefore it holds a rather special place in my make up collection. This was a prize I won in a giveaway by Emma all those years ago, it still seems like yesterday when I received her email telling me I'd won my very first MAC lipstick, oh the excitement! Plink is quite a sheer lustre on me, especially in comparison to Plumful which I think is actually quite pigmented considering it is a lustre finish; they're quite notorious for being sheer. I do find that if I'm not careful with this shade then it can end up looking a little frosty on me whilst building it up which isn't a look I like to achieve. I'm still yet to find a way to make this work for me so it has for a while sat being a little unloved, it's time to dig this back out to see what I can pair it up with.

So there we have it, my MAC lipstick collection. Overall I'd say that my favourite finish is lustre although it's a close call between that and cremesheen as I really do like an easy lipstick that feels comfortable whilst wearing it.

Do you have any personal favourites from MAC?

19 March 2015

A Beauty Wish List

Beauty Wish List

In a world that is constantly moving where beauty is concerned I find that there are always products cropping up on my wish list. Whether I end up buying them is often a different matter however it's nice to be able to share with you the products that I have being looking at recently, maybe some of them have caught your eye too. These are all from Boots as that's my first point of call these days; points make prizes or so I'm told. They can of course all be picked up from various other stores such as Superdrug, Debenhams etc; you all know the drill by now.

First up is a fragrance which I smelt whilst out shopping with my friend a few weeks ago. The Jimmy Choo Blossom Eau de Pafum despite being a parfum and not a toilette it isn't overly strong in my opinion; this tends to be my downfall where parfums are concerned as I often struggle with really strong fragrances. This however is really fruity and smells absolutely delicious on the skin, I wasn't too sure I would like it as I have never been a big fan of Jimmy Choo fragrances in the past however this made me want to reach for my sarong and flip flops with one quick spritz; it'll be a fantastic summer fragrance. For the record I do not need any more eye shadows in my life however I always find myself looking at more. The bareMinerals Ready Eye Shadow 2.0 in the shade Epiphany has really caught my eye over the last few days, so much so that I have being looking online for it everywhere and so far only Boots seems to have it. This little duo looks beautiful and would be perfect for taking away or popping in your handbag, I don't know about you but all of my palettes are rather big in comparison to this little compact. 

Recently I've seen a fair bit of coverage on Nip + Fab products whereby I have to say that I haven't read a bad word about them. With Terri also stating how much she loves them (she's not one to beat about the bush) I thought I'd pick up a few things to try. The Nip and Fab range is currently on offer in Superdrug and Boots so it's well worth popping down if you too are interested in what the brand has to offer. I have picked up the Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Exfolaiting Facial Pads along with the Nip + Fab Deep Cleansing Fix so I'll hopefully be back in the near future to share with you my thoughts on them. From relatively affordable skincare to a luxury high end make up item I now have my eye on the newly released Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Blur Primer which not only looks gorgeous bur also seems to be receiving quite positive praise. I will however be holding fire on this to see how it goes down over the next few months once all the newly released hype drops off a little.

Claudia for me always chooses such gorgeous nail polishes and often features the Maybelline Forever Strong range on her blog therefore whenever I read one of her posts I always tend to jot down the shades. This formula from what I remember is really nice and is pretty affordable too, I definitely need to have a look at the range as it has been a while since I last did of which I'm fully aware that they have plenty of new colours to choose from. Between both Maybelline and Max Factor I feel quite the high street make up purchase coming on as I'm also quite keen to try out the new Max Factor Colour Elixir Gloss which are new releases as far as I'm aware. The shade radiant rose looks lovely so I'll be popping in to see if they have that, although I'm tempted to hold fire as I'd like to read some reviews to see what they're like before I pick one up as if the gloss is sticky then it'll be a big no I'm afraid. Has anybody here tried them?

I have also picked out the Barry M Bold Waterproof Eyeliner as I have read some good things about this one in particular. Recently I have being enjoying using kohl liner once again but have really struggled to find one that has not bled underneath my waterline; for the price I'm really quite keen to give this a shot. Finally rounding off with a skincare item from one of my favourite brands I have chosen the Liz Earle Gentle Face Exfoliator. I have just finished using my current one and find myself on the lookout for something more gentle. I really do trust Liz Earle products to deliver and having had such a positive experience with them in the past only makes me more inclined to give this product a whirl. Plus, who knew that Boots now stock Liz Earle? I'm clearly out of touch here.

What's on your current beauty wish list?

18 March 2015

Yves Rocher Sérum Végétal Skincare

Yves Rocher Serum Vegetal Wrinkles and Radiance Yves Rocher Serum Vegetal Wrinkles and Radiance

It's not every day when a new product comes along and you instantly know it is going to be a hit. Today is that day, or should I say that day was just under three weeks ago when I started trying out the Yves Rocher Sérum Végétal Wrinkles and Radiance* day and night cream which were kindly sent to me amidst the chaos of moving house. If there's one thing that will take its toll on your skin and stress levels then it is moving house, of course bringing with you a grumpy, stubborn fourteen year old cat will only add to that although I'm happy to report that he has settled in quite well and is happily roaming around as if he owns the place once again.

Starting off with the packaging the moisturisers are presented in a glass jar which in the past has been a slight bug bear of mine as I do think it is less hygienic, however seeing as I'm the only person using these products then this is something that I have much more control over. Simply ensuring your hands are clean each time you use the product should be enough to prevent bacteria reaching the product. The glass jar is weighty yet robust although not ideal for travelling and is presented extremely well; to me it looks and feels like a luxurious product which in the world of beauty is always nice. Price wise both the day and night cream as a set will set you back £42 (£21 each for 50ml) which I think after now trying them isn't too bad at all. Furthermore they are at the point of writing this post on offer for essentially buy one get one free where you're paying £21 and receiving both the day and night cream; find that here.

Day creams for me have always been incredibly hit and miss, I've struggled in the past to find one that wasn't too heavy for my combination/oily skin but gave me enough moisture to tackle areas of dehydration. At one point I was using two types on my face in order to tackle problem areas; even for me a self-confessed beauty addict this was a little too much for first thing in the morning. Now I'm not going to sit here and state that the Yves Rocher Sérum Végétal Wrinkles and Radiance Day Cream* has changed my life however I have to say that for now it is working an absolute treat on my skin. I use this everywhere on different areas of my face such as my dehydrated areas like my cheeks and neck as well as my t-zone which is generally more on the combination side of things. It is a lightly fragranced moisturiser yet it does not irritate my skin in the slightest, it is also thicker in terms of texture compared to the products I usually use in the day time however it applies just as well. In a matter of moments I feel like I can carry on with my normal make up routine once I have applied this, it's not heavy and doesn't leave my skin feeling greasy in the slightest.

The star of this fantastic duo for me has to be the Yves Rocher Sérum Végétal Wrinkles and Radiance Night Cream* which for me may have just replaced another well-known night cream that I have raved about before; I'm incredibly torn between the two. The smooth texture of this product makes it an absolute dream to apply; it's thicker than the day cream naturally but still feels beautifully balanced on my skin. Of a morning I can visibly see a difference in my skin in terms of radiance which I do feel is a hard thing to notice, what is exactly radiance? All I know is that my skin looks fresher and much more awake; it's almost as if my skin has had a good long rest overnight and has been revitalised ready for the next day. The key aspect to this is the presence of Oryza (rice) extract which helps to stimulate oxygenation and cell respiration within the skin, clearly this appears to be working for me very well. 

As the name suggests this is targeted towards wrinkles and radiance which of the latter I can completely agree with; as for wrinkles I guess only time will tell. In targeting wrinkles one of the key ingredients is the super powerful Mesembryanthemum crystallinum extract which is dubbed as the life plant; this ingredient is integral to the Sérum Végétal range. Over time this stimulates proteins which rejuvenate the cellular mechanisms that help to battle wrinkles, or to at least help prevent them at any rate. Again this isn't something I can really comment on as of yet however I'm happy to take preventative measures seeing as this year I turn 26...gulp.

Have you tried anything from Yves Rocher?

16 March 2015

Bobbi Brown Pretty Powerful Pot Rouge II

Bobbi Brown Pretty Powerful II Pot Rouge Bobbi Brown Pretty Powerful II Pot Rouge

I remember last year being vaguely aware of the Bobbi Brown Pretty Powerful campaign yet it was something that I discovered a little too late whilst admittedly I didn't look into it all that much. Therefore when I saw this year's campaign being promoted late last week in House of Fraser I immediately decided to take a closer look. If you're new to this campaign then putting it quite briefly each year Bobbi Brown dedicates a product of which the full retail price (less VAT) will go to the chosen charity for that year.

This year the limited edition Bobbi Brown Pretty Powerful II Pot Rouge will be being sold at Bobbi Brown counters across the country in which the proceeds from the £19 RRP (less VAT) will be going to Smart Works. This is a charity that dedicates its efforts to helping out of work women by offering them interview training and advice, smart clothes and styling so that they're prepared for the interview process and everything that comes with it. The money raised from the campaign will help to run the Smart Works centres in London as well as providing support for opening up more around the UK. It's an awesome charity in my eyes and is one that I must admit I had never heard of until now; therefore I think it is great that Bobbi Brown has teamed up with Smart Works in order to help spread the word.

Onto the product itself as I mentioned before this shade is a limited edition and is available now to pick up. It's a multi-tasking product in which it can be used as both a blush as well as on the lips. Generally I'm not a fan of this type of product however I'm willing to give it a go with this as the shade is simply beautiful. For me despite it looking quite bright in the pan it is in fact much lighter in shade when applied, it's more sheer and would require a little bit of extra application in my opinion to build it up to a bolder finish. Personally when using it as a blush I do prefer this as I would rather have to build up a blush as opposed to putting too much on in the first place. As for a lip colour I can again happily work the colour intensity up to something I'm happy with where if I'm honest I'm still much more comfortable with a low maintenance lip colour as opposed to a statement lip.

The shade looks like a deep berry pink in the pan yet as I said it is quite sheer once applied and looks like a nice soft berry wash of colour on both the cheeks and lips. It's certainly very pretty and is one that I can see myself getting a lot of wear out of over the next few months.

I have never tried any of the Pot Rouge products from Bobbi Brown so it's nice to have the proceeds of my first purchase go to such a good cause.

14 March 2015

New in from Max Factor

Max Factor Make Up Max Factor Creme Puff Blush Nude Mauve Max Factor Excess Shimmer Eye Shadow
Max Factor Make Up

Last week I posted about some of my recent beauty purchases, a little 'haul' as it were. So many of you expressed that you were interested in the Max Factor products in particular therefore I thought I'd share with you my thoughts on them now that I have chance to use them properly.

Starting off with Max Factor Colour Elixir Lip Liner in the shade 'pink petal' I'll be honest with you in that this has been a complete disappointment from the get go. The main reason for this is the shade of which I will take some responsibility here as I should have tried it in store before I put it in my basket. All of the Max Factor products I picked up were on a 3 for 2 deal at Superdrug at the time where this lip liner was the third item I chose (on a whim) as I was really unsure as to what to pick up; in hind sight I wish I had picked up another eye shadow. The shade I chose is completely wrong for my skin tone yet the reason that I picked this up was down to the indication by the colour coded end of the liner. This to me suggests a pink/mauve type of shade which are the types that I look for regularly however sadly this was not the case this time around.  In my opinion it is more of a peach nude which verges on somewhat of an almost brown spectrum, it's a hard one to describe yet all I know is that this makes my lips look dead, in fact I can hardly see it at all when applied. It's a shame as the formula seems relatively good to be honest, it's not particularly drying although I do think it could be more hydrating and it seems to last quite well on the lips. Overall I would still say that the liners are worth checking out, although because my first experience has been quite negative I'll be sure to swatch them in store before I buy another one, just to be on the safe side.

Moving onto much more positive feedback I can tell you that the Max Factor Excess Shimmer Eye Shadows are pretty great. My choice was of course 'bronze' of which there will be no prizes for originality there however the product itself, pigmentation and longevity are factors which are most important. I mentioned in my recent purchases post that the pigmentation of this shade is incredible and I still stand by that. Having being using it for over a week now I have hardly made any dent in it due to having to use hardly any product for each application, a little really does go quite a long way. I've read a few people who have said that these can be messy where I guess I can agree in that they could, especially if you use too much product however you only need a little bit of consideration into exactly how much you need. The name of the product also suggests shimmer and again from other reviews I have read that they're not shimmery however I can't say that I agree as when you apply it either as a simple swatch or onto your eye lids it is quite clear that there are glitter particles here. The only thing I have that is similar to this type of finish is the Illamasqua Vintage Metallix Cream Eye Shadow as I do think that it is different to the Maybelline 24Hr Colour Tattoos. In terms of being easy to blend I find bronze to be incredibly easy and simple, I have used both a brush and my fingers and find that overall I prefer the finish that a brush provides. 

Finally the Max Factor Creme Puff Blusher in nude mauve was the product that led to this little purchase in the first place. Dubbed as dupes for the Hourglass Ambient Light Blushes I knew that I wanted to give these a shot in order to see what they would be like.  Nude mauve appealed to me the most as this is the type of shade I wear quite frequently at this time of the year, although having now tried it I know that I'd like to pop back and have a look at the other shades on offer as I have been quite impressed by the quality. The concept of the blush is simple, it's a traditional baked blush with swirls of various mauve and champagne tones which when combined together help to create a really beautiful fresh yet natural glow to the cheeks. I do find that despite the name of this shade that it has quite a nude yet peach tone to it, although maybe that's just my eyes? 

Have you tried anything from Max Factor recently?

12 March 2015

Narciso Rodriguez For Her

Narciso Rodriguez For HerNarciso Rodriguez For Her

If like me you're a little bit stuck for ideas as to what to pick up for Mum this Mother's Day then I may just have an answer for you. I don't know about you but when it comes down to my Mum I know that I'm pretty safe with a fragrance as she absolutely loves them, I certainly take after her in that department as together we can be found trying out the various new scents that launch each year. 

One such scent that we have both admired for a while now has been Narciso Rodriguez for Her* which is available both as a Eau de Toilette (black bottle) and a Eau de Parfum (pink bottle). As you can see I have here the lighter version of the two which is generally the path I follow when it comes to fragrances as I often do find that the parfum version of any fragrance for that matter tend to be a little too strong for my personal taste. Narciso Rodriguez for Her is firstly a very elegant and sophisticated fragrance in terms of packaging, it has that grown up feel about it despite it having slight floral notes, those of which for some reason I tend to associate with younger fragrances although I do not know why. Visually I think it looks beautiful, it's weighty and bold yet is sleek and feminine; it's simple and I like it.

Moving onto the actual scent it has top notes of flower honey, middle notes of amber light rounding off with base notes of tactile woods, although the blend consists of much more such as orange blossom, vanilla, vertiver and solar musk which all enhance the heart of musk. Previously I mentioned that it has light floral notes in which I feel that they really are present, I feel like I tend to catch them at the end of the scent when I smell it where at first it does feel quite warm and sensual although I'm sure this is different for everyone as we all pick up things differently.

The beautifully presented Narciso Rodriguez for Her Gift Set that is currently available from Fragrance Direct provides you with the fragrance itself in a generous 50ml size. Alongside that there is a 50ml body lotion and a little black sequin bag which will be handy for nights out; it's the perfect size for popping a lipstick and concealer into.

It truly is a beautiful fragrance that remains on the skin for a good few hours afterwards; in fact I would argue that this is a scent that lasts all day which is something that I find harder to come by these days, particularly from an Eau de Toilette. My final thoughts on this fragrance is that if you haven't yet tried it then it's one worth popping on your radar. If you're a fan of Stella by Stella McCartney or you know your Mum is then I'd like to think that this fragrance is well worth looking into, it would make a fantastic gift for Mother's Day.

10 March 2015

A Skincare Overhaul

Debenhams Skincare Brands Debenhams Skincare Brands Debenhams Skincare Brands

Back in January I had a little bit of a skincare overhaul and incorporated some new items into my skincare routine. After the festive period and eating far too many sugary treats I found that it had taken its toll on my skin. I do it every year, I indulge! However if you can't do it at Christmas when can you?

An exciting email popped into my inbox offering me the opportunity to try out a few products from the wide variety available at Debenhams. Alongside some new skincare products I have also being given the opportunity to have a facial on their behalf which I'm really looking forward to, what with the move and the stress of my university course for the last six months I have to say I cannot wait to book it soon. Sticking with the products for now though I thought I'd share with you my thoughts on these so far as there are a couple here that I had heard a lot about prior to giving them a try for myself. For the record my skin type is oily to combination with pesky dehydrated areas that I struggle to combat on a regular basis.

Starting off with the Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm* this has been a product that I have read nothing but good things about. Elemis has always been a brand that I wanted to explore more of but hadn't managed to get around to doing so. This cleansing balm can be used as both a cleanser and a treatment mask which I wasn't aware of. Having tried a few cleansing balms now I'd definitely say that this is the smoothest and indeed the softest in terms of texture and application, it really does feel luxurious as well as having a beautiful relaxing scent to it from the blend of oils present, namely starlower, elderberry and optimega. It removes make up with ease and leaves my skin feeling incredibly nourished and hydrated. As you all know by now I don't like any form of balm around my eyes, it's just something I personally don't enjoy and always opt for a micellar water for any eye make up. I did test this on my eye make up for review purposes and can happily report that it did a really good job, although I still prefer a lighter product for that area. So far it has been a pure pleasure to use making it part of my skincare routine that I look forward to the most. 

The Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions All Over Clearing Treatment* aims to as the name suggest tackle blemishes, keeping them at bay or reducing them quickly. From what I understand this can be used all over as a normal moisturiser however this is something I have refrained from doing as I know that it would be a little too harsh for my skin, plus, I don't have blemishes everywhere so it would be a little pointless to use it all over my face. The only product I can compare this to is Effaclar Duo + which I must admit I do prefer as I think that works much quicker in comparison. Despite this the treatment from Clinique has worked for me because I have noticed that blemishes have been reduced in terms of redness and frequency since I started using this.

Moving onto the last two skincare products I have here two that I have tried in the past however the one I have only used for a small amount of time as it was a sample size. The Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream* was a product I really liked back when I first tried it however having now tried a few more I have changed my opinion ever so slightly. For the record I still like this however I do now think that this product is more ideal for the summer as I find it not to be as hydrating as say the Kiehl's Avocado Creamy Eye Treatment which I have being using a lot throughout autumn and winter. I'm someone that does suffer from dehydrated skin around my eyes, it's something that is pointed out to me whenever I have my make up done at a counter so I'm aware that I need something with a bit of a kick in the hydrating department. The texture of this product is incredibly light and is easy to apply, it's delicate and has a hint of a scent to it which does not irritate my eyes. Overall it's a lovely eye cream for the summer I just wish it was more hydrating for me personally. 

My final product to share with you is the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate* which again is a product I have tried in the past. I purchased my original bottle of this back in June last year whereby I have used it continuously unless I have being trying out new things. Starting off with the packaging it for me wins all of the style awards as I simply adore the apothecary design of this, right from the blue glass bottle to the glass pipette it has me sold. The actual product itself however is just as good as this is something I use of a night time after cleansing and before my moisturiser, although you can mix it in with your moisturiser if you like I do prefer to use them separately. The aim of this in a nut shell is to replenish the skin with moisture whilst you sleep, leaving you with softer and more radiant skin come morning. Whilst it is oil it doesn't for me feel greasy when I apply it, it sinks in really well and doesn't feel as though it is sliding down my face. A few drops a night is all I use in which I do apply this all over, including my neck. Come morning time I always know that I have used this as my skin really does look much more radiant and healthy, it really is a fantastic product in my opinion that has earned its place firmly in my night time routine. 

Have you tried any of these products before?

7 March 2015

February Favourites

February Beauty Favourites February Beauty Favourites

Moving house really threw me off my stride over the last week. I found myself running out of posts that I felt were ready to publish, hence the little hiatus over the weekend. Nevertheless I have today finally got around to putting my February Favourites together where whilst there are not many I have to say that this month has been fantastic in terms of trying out a few new beauty products, some of which have fallen straight into my favourites.

Starting off with my favourite NARS palette to date I have here the limited edition NARS Virtual Domination Palette. I picked this up in a hurry after Gemma gave me a tip off that it was back in stock on the NARS website. This had been a palette that I had really wanted around Christmas however at the time I couldn't quite justify it seeing as I had other people to be buying for. With three blushes, a highlight and the infamous Laguna Bronzer this is a fantastic palette that offers a variety of shades which I think will work perfectly throughout the seasons. Having never tried Laguna before I have to say that I can see why so many people like it. I'm not extremely fair in terms of skin tone however I'd still say that I'm relatively pale yet I can get away with using this without it looking orange on my skin.

Sticking with NARS for a moment longer I have continued to really enjoy using NARS Sheer Glow in the shade Deauville and have done now for a while. If I'm honest this foundation has pretty much replaced any other that I have used aside from the Laura Mercier Silk Cream foundation. My only gripe is that after I had spent a further £3 on a pump the lid then would not fit on, come on NARS, sort your selves out!

Back in January I was sent a bundle of skincare products from Debenhams of which the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate* was part of said bundle. I have being using this of an evening before I pop on my night cream where I'd argue that it really is helping to make a difference to my skin. My skin feels much more hydrated and looks more alive and much more vibrant in the morning.

The next product comes from one of my favourite body care brands, that being Soap and Glory. I'll be the first to admit that as of yet I still haven't tried much from their make up range however I'm quite certain I've tried nearly all of their body care products as they're so good! A few weeks ago I was kindly sent a couple of things from the brand which I'll be featuring over the next few weeks however I really wanted to make a mention of the Soap and Glory Archery Brow Pencil* here as I honestly have used this every day without fail since it arrived. I was sent the shade hot chocolate which is perfect for me as despite having blonde hair (it's a dye job) my brows are dark. For £8 I think this is an absolute steal, it would easily fit into my top five high street products of all time; yes it is that good. It's a great match for me, it looks incredibly natural and feels nice and sturdy which enables you to create precise lines without being too harsh, you really do have complete control with this product. Luckily for me this shade suits me really well however I know that there are currently only two shades available which for me is the only limitation here, it would be great to see Soap and Glory add more shades to the range.

Finally I'm rounding this off with an old favourite which has recently come back into my life. One of my favourite fragrances has been Very Irresistible Givenchy which I had a long time ago and never got around to replacing. Whilst out shopping with my mum last year we were really spoilt by one of the fragrance assistants in Debenhams when my mum made a purchase of Givenchy Play. She gave us a few samples of the other fragrances and also gave us both one of these very generous purse sprays, I used mine up ages ago but my mum passed hers onto me last week as she wasn't using it, needless to say I was pretty happy.

6 March 2015

L'Oreal Professional Steampod

L'Oreal Professional Steampod L'Oreal Professional Steampod L'Oreal Professional Steampod L'Oreal Professional Steampod

When it comes down to the subject of hair I'll be the first to admit that it is not my strong point. I'm generally a wash and go kinda gal who will straighten it if the occasion requires or, if I'm feeling really brave I'll bring out the curling tongs. For a very long time now I have used the same pair of straighteners which have been utterly fantastic however a little while ago I was offered the opportunity to try out the L'Oreal Professional and Rowenta Salon Electricals Steampod* so thought it was the perfect time to try something new.  

Over the last month I have being trying out the L'Oreal Professional and Rowenta Salon Electricals Steampod (RRP £165) in place of my normal straighteners. If you haven't heard of the Steampod before (I hadn't either) then I'll give you the quick low down. The Steampod is not just your standard hair straightener as whilst having the expected ceramic plates it also has continuous steam pressure which, when combined with the plates ensure you have a smooth, soft silky finish to your hair. 

I'm not going to lie I was extremely intrigued by the concept of this as I had never seen anything like it before. To begin with in order to use the Steampod you simply have to fill the water tank up to the designated level with tap water (although you do have to ensure that your tap water isn't too hard). The water tank is incredibly easy to remove and is just as easy to slot back into place on the base, which, incidentally has little sucker pads on that ensures that the base remains stable. Once that is set up and you have plugged the Steampod into the mains you are almost ready to get started. 

There is your normal on and off switch which is pretty straightforward and then of course there is the temperature settings of which there are five available; 170-180-190-200-210°C. Once your chosen temperature has been selected the Steampod will then after five seconds go into lock mode which prevents the temperature being accidentally increased or decreased. It takes around 90 seconds for the Steampod to reach the set temperature which I would say is a little slower than my current hair straighteners. However this is something I can easily overlook because let's face it, what does half a minute really matter? 

The steam is generated quite quickly and flows up through the tube connecting the base to the main part of the Steampod. You can hear this as it filters its way through so don't worry if it makes a noise; if it doesn't then you know nothing is happening. Once you can see steam coming up through the little holes by the comb (the steam is only released when the Steampod is held closed) next to the plates you are ready to start straightening your hair. You have to use the Steampod in the same direction each time; this is indicated by the arrows by the plates. The reason for this is so that your selected hair section is exposed to the steam before it is straightened by the plates. The high pressure steam hydrates your hair without causing heat damage which is primarily the one reason as to why I don't use hair straighteners as often as I once did.

To be used in conjunction with the Steampod is the L'Oreal Steampod Light Replenishing Smoothing Cream* which has been specially formulated with nourishing Pro-keratin technology. This is to be used on towel dried hair where you are supposed to apply it from root to tip, although if I'm honest I started half way down as I rarely put any products in my roots as that tends to make my hair greasy super quickly. The cream is designed to help create anti-frizz as well as protecting it through the Steampod process. I'd argue that it does this job really well to be honest as I tried the Steampod with and without having used this cream and did notice a bit of a difference; it certainly makes my hair much easier to style.

Having used the Steampod for a little while I have been able to draw a few conclusions. Firstly I think the whole idea of this product is fantastic as it's great to see something new and innovative on the market. I also really like the fact that once I have used this my hair is left feeling so soft and silky; it does not feel remotely dry at all. I have also noticed that the next day my hair is still nice and straight even after sleeping on it in various awkward ways, in fact it remains that way until I wash it. However I do have a few things that I wasn't entirely keen on when it came down to using it. Firstly I found that it was quite a bulky item to use, I'm aware that the Steampod is an incredibly popular product within hairdresser salons where they most likely have a set designated place and space for an item such as this whereas in my bedroom I did find that I struggled to find somewhere to put it safely. My next issue would be the fact that you can only use it one way which is fantastic if someone else is doing your hair as they have much more flexibility and can easily see what they are doing however when it is just you and you're trying to do the other side of your head I must admit I did struggle.

Overall my experience with the Steampod has been a bit hit and miss, I really liked the results that it gave me as well as the added protection to my hair yet it often felt like a bit of a long winded process for what should have been simple home use. So there we have it, a slightly 50/50 opinion here, if you have tried the Steampod for yourself let me know what you think.

The Steampod is available to buy from Look Fantastic, Feel Unique and All Beauty.


4 March 2015

Recent Purchases #5

Recent Purchases

Last week I popped into Superdrug after I found out they had a 3 for 2 offers on Max Factor. It has been a while to be honest since I picked up anything from the high street in terms of make up so it felt a little exciting to be browsing the shelves once more. I had already set my mind on picking up one of the new Max Factor Creme Puff Blushes after hearing they were somewhat of a dupe for the Hourglass Ambient Light Blushes. Having never tried them myself I cannot comment if they are a dupe however they do look very pretty and are much more affordable. After a bit of deliberation I finally decided upon nude mauve which is a rather nice mauve toned champagne shade in the pan however I do think it veers on a peachy finish on me, either way I think is perfect for every day. I'll be seeing how I get on with this over the next few weeks in order to form a better opinion yet so far I really like it; I can see myself popping back to have a look at the other shades that are available.

I also decided to pick up the Max Factor Excess Shimmer Eye Shadow in the shade bronze which I have over the last few weeks seen a few reviews of here and there which did sway me towards this particular product. Having tried it already I can confirm that it is extremely pigmented, this little pot will last me a very long time so upon initial impressions I can see this being really good value for money. I personally wouldn't say that it is overly shimmery however there are quite clearly little flecks of glitter which I didn't notice until I was actually wearing it as a quick swatch in store did not highlight this to me. Finally to complete the 3 for 2 deal I picked up the Max Factor Colour Elixir Lip Liner in the shade Pink Petal which I'm actually regretting. At the time I should have paid more attention to the other shades available as I think a slightly darker one would have been much better for me, this upon first instance seems really light so I'm not too sure how I will get on with it.

Finally going back into January now I was trying to hunt down the Origins Mask Marvels gift set in the Christmas sales however none of my local boots stores had them in stock. Luckily for me the lovely Hayley picked a set up for me which I was absolutely thrilled about as I had wanted to try the Clear Improvement Clay Mask for a rather long time.

Have you picked up any new beauty purchases recently?

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