Saturday, 30 November 2013

Smashbox studio skin 15 hour foundation

Last week, while on my quest for a final Christmas present for my Gran, I stumbled across the new Smashbox beauty desk in Boots on Portsmouth's high street. The whole "premium" make-up area has had a shift around, with Benefit replaces Dior *cry* and Smashbox taking over a previous display wall. I love Smashbox eyeshadow's and I prefer them to the MAC one's. I find them a little softer, but that's probably just me. Anyway, I got chatting to the lovely Lee about Marketing (I'm networking for Summer placements literally anywhere) and got persuaded to try some of their foundation. I received a sample of their Photo finish primer (the clear one) in Vogue some time in the last year and loved it! But with the lack of presence of Smashbox in Portsmouth, I bought pore professional instead. 

Back to the foundation, it has amazing coverage and over their hydrating primer, lasted all day with no budging what so ever. it was also a lot lighter than the Estee Lauder Double wear. I am very impressed! I got given a sample, which I plan to test on my next night out to see what it's like in slightly warmer situations, but so far so good.

One thing I will say is do not go by any colour samples on their website. I am the shade "Light Beige 2.1" which is perfect, but online looks like a washed out grey. Another example is their lipstick shades. I'll include an example of this below. The larger image of their red lipstick is exactly that, red, but their swatches on the side for their true red shade "legendary" is a berry colour... Think this needs sorting out!

Me wearing Smashbox studio skin 15 hour foundation 

30/11/13 - nails #4

So it would appear my previous Rimmel polish lasted about 4 days without chipping, so not too bad but definitely not the best!

Anyway, it's almost the count down to Christmas so I thought I'd go for another Christmas themed nail - a girl can never do to many of those, right? I used Nails Inc. Whithall and Barry M's 297 blue glitter to attempt a French  tip look. Now I normally have a steady hand, but trying to persuade pieces of blue glitter to go where you want them to, proved to be my downfall. never the less I finished them, and from a distance, they don't look too bad!

I am still waiting for them to dry a bit more before I tidy up the edges and add a top coat, so excuse the excess that is covering my fingers!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Season of the little black dress

Christmas often poses as the time of year known for the party dresses, a bold red lip and minimal eye make-up, and this year is no different. In my family, it's a tradition that we dress up for Christmas day and not ones to lay about in trackies. But then it comes to the same old question of "what am I going to wear on Christmas day?" When I was little, that was simple as Santa often bought me a pretty dress which I would be dying to wear, but now my Mum has reached the stage of not knowing what I want in terms of clothes, so that decision is left to me. I've put together a collection of dresses that are my this years competitors (I think). They are all LBD, as I can then take the opportunity to wear them again.

From top to bottom reads:

Monday, 25 November 2013

25/11/13 - nails #3

Got to the time of the day were my nails have finally dried and it's time to blog. I decided to go with a Rimmel Pro polish, 391 celebrity bash. It's got a really wide brush, which I'm not actually a huge fan of, I find I have to take more time to paint my nails, although this one prides itself in its maxi brush, so I'm not too sure why I bought it! Anyway I love the deep red colour and from memory (have taken a break from this over the summer due to the colour) it lasts well too!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Sample Review #1

I've had a small bag of samples that I've collected over the last few months and I thought it was about time to do a public review! It's so easy to collect sample's round the different make-up counters and whereas the sachets are a little irritating, only allowing you to test the product at most twice, and then on consecutive days where the chances are, your skin hasn't changed or you haven't done activities to really try out your product. I have oily combination complexion. 


First off is Estee Lauder's Double Wear, stay in place foundation in 3C2 Pebble. I've used their Futurist foundation for a while now but seeing as it's being discontinued at the end of the year, I figure I need to get my act together and see about replacing it. I love this. It does exactly what it says, staying in place all day (it claims 15 hours), without leaving me dry/ greasy and in breakouts the following day. I have used this on nights out, work and on an average day with no change in results. I think this could be my replacement!

I then have Benefit's Hello Flawless oxygen wow in Honey. This claims to be oil free but I found I constantly needed to reapply powder. I was impressed by the consistency and coverage but I would not buy this foundation.

I have reviewed sample BB/ CC creams before (here) so I won't go into too much detail. I am yet to have the funds to buy one yet, but my firm favourite is still the Diorskin Bb creme in 002.

The Dior Capture Totale One Essential is a serum that claims to give "instantly radiant and deeply revitalised skin" which it does do well. It isn't greasy and you don't have to use much for full face coverage, but at £80, I think I can find an alternative!

The Glamglow tingling and exfoliating mask is really "hot" with the Hollywood stars at the moment, with it's mud like consistency it boasts volcanic rock and large chunks of green tea, alongside the French sea clay. It takes between 8-10 minutes to dry and washing off is easier in the shower (personally) which is when you really feel the green tea ex-foliating. I do like this product, my skin feels amazing afterwards, but again I think it's too expensive. Buy a good exfoliator and mask for half the price, and will probably last longer too!


Clinique high impact mascara in black is next on my list. Apart from their chubby sticks, I don't think Clinique is quite there with their make-up. This mascara defines my lashes, but doesn't give volume or thicken. This is probably just me wanted a more statement eye, as for subtlety this would be fine. It lasts well and is reasonably priced.

Bobbi Brown's smokey eye mascara is their newest mascara which has really grabbed the market. This mascara ticks off the big three with the first application. It effortlessly lengthens, gives volume and does not leave any clumps. I've been set in my ways for many years now with the Max Factor mascara (here), but I will be very sad when this little sample runs out. It really is a must have for anyone who likes thick lashes, without going fake. I won't be turning my back on this one!


Firstly for lips is the Benetint. I doubt this needs much explaining, it's a rose tinted lip and cheek stain. Although I haven't used this on my cheeks too much, I find this a saviour on my lips when wearing red lipstick as you avoid that awkward, half rubbed off on a glass look. This product is well worth the money as it lasts forever and I think is a staple piece, especially for Christmas lips!

Finally, a freebie from November's Vogue (I think). The Coralista Ultra Plush lip gloss from benefit is a rich coral shade which glides on easily without being too sticky. I love the shade and would like to own the full size, this is perfect for chucking in your clutch bag on a night out for an instant pout!

Well there you go. My collection of samples from around the beginning of September to today. I hope you found this useful and are tempted by some of the products you see here. I'd love your feedback!

Monday, 18 November 2013

18/11/13 - post!

It's so nice receiving post that isn't bill (sorry for sounding old)! The first package isn't at all exciting, it was my new phone case. I recently got an iPhone 5C, but I refuse to pay Apple 30 quid for a cheap plastic case which has holes in seeing as my phone could still get damaged. In fact I don't want to pay over 20 quid for a phone case, but having a phone that doesn't fit in any other case (iPhone 4 or 5) I was stuck. I scrolled eBay and Amazon with no luck until my friends boyfriend sent me the link to one he'd found. For 99p I had a range of 5 colours and postage was free. Bit more like it! I chose red for Christmas and sure enough after ordering on Friday, it arrived! It is only cheap plastic and very flimsy but it's fine for the moment. Hopefully someone will start making the 5C cases cheaply soon, and make them a bit more interesting!

Anyhow, the package I was most looking forward to came from On the 17th October I ordered the Benefit cream shadow in "slippin n dippin" and a Dolce and Gabbana ultra shine lipgloss in "delicious". The Benefit shade is very similar to their "sparkling champagne" from their latest range. It's a great nude tone with a hint of shimmer which will be the perfect base for eyeshadow. While shopping in the summer I had a makeover at a Dolce and Gabanna stand and really liked their lipgloss as it wasn't too sticky while it also stayed put. However I was put of by the £23 price tag. This shade is an orangey salmon and I love it! Just a shame it took nearly 5 weeks to deliver!! In total, I think I paid £20 for the two products.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

17/11/13 - nails #2

Seeing as it's such a horrible day I thought I'd do a quick manicure whilst having an essay writing break. I decided on a pre-Christmas theme, with a bright red and subtle gold. The Mary Quant nail vanish was once my Mum's and is old, really old. From the rubbed off writing I can say it's the shade "red scorcher" and is slightly a bluer shade of red rather than orange/ pink based. It hasn't gone gloopy and lasts fairly well! The gold is Ciate in "Sand dune 085". I believe I got this free with maybe a Vogue/ Elle magazine... But don't hold me to that! I love it because the metallic is still highly pigmented, so does not require more than two coats! I apologise for my hands, I was in dish wash yesterday at work, and ran out of phenomen oil, to which I don't have the funds to buy any more at the moment. 

What do you think? Have you done a Christmas themed manicure yet?

Mini beauty hall 15/11/13

I guess this is a mini haul combined with a belated Birthday present from my boyfriends Gran.

I wandered round gunwharf yesterday with a friend and did a quick sweep of the small Boots, Cosmetic Company and The Body Shop - in which I had a £3 off voucher courtesy of Elle. 

Boots stocked my all time favourite body moisturiser, Nivea Soft. It is so thick and creamy, perfect for this time of year and drying skin, yet soaks in quickly without leaving a greasy residue! I also picked up some clear mascar by Collection 2000 to keep my eyebrows in place. It was cheap and isn't anything special, but it does the job!

In the Body Shop I purchased "scruff", a moisturising lip balm that also exfoliates. I've had issues (like a lot of others) with the wind drying out my lips causing them to chap - which is never attractive, and even worse when my boyfriend decided to comment on them. After using this product for the day (applying about 6 times) my chapped lips have vanished! It's been amazing. It cost £8 originally which I think is a bit much for a lip balm, but with the money off I am very impressed. However, apply too much and your lips do a have a green tint around the edge.

My Cath Kidston purchase (probably discontinued now) was the "Star" hand cream, with hints of lime and mint. I find their ranges of hand creams last forever and do the job without costing too much. I will re-buy until they decide to stop selling hand creams. The packaging is also nice enough to give as a present without it being just another dodgy beauty product you get given at Christmas! (Picture taken earlier in the day with better lighting! I must find my camera charger...) 

From the Cosmetics Company I collected another addition to my MAC lipsticks. This is probably discontinued too (I haven't checked) but this amazing Barbie pink is called "Silly". Where as I wouldn't wear this Matt colour at Christmas particularly I couldn't leave it there as it was the only one and just stood out to me. I know this is a colour I'll wear through next summer! 

Lastly, my belated present. My boyfriends Grandma very kindly knitted me scarf and bought me a Boots No. 7 lipstick and lipgloss set, even though I am yet to meet her. The lipstick shade is "Stay Perfect" and the lipgloss "Smile". I don't think I've ever come across a lipstick so pigmented! I'm actually a little apprehensive to use it. Saying that, it's matt finish is creamy and I'm intrigued as to it's staying power, I'm yet to find out. The lipgloss is high shine, and it definitely is! It does however have an almost sickly sweet taste at first, but the shine does last. 

(Swatches run from "Smile", "Stay Perfect" and "Silly") 

Thursday, 14 November 2013

"You know I love Christmas, I always will"

I love Christmas. I find it so intriguing as to when people start/ finish their Christmas shopping, I love the lights, I love shopping for presents (and watching them be opened), the happiness, decorations... My list could go on! I do even love wrapping up, big cosy jumpers and scarves. But I do hate the cold. It's a tricky situation. Anyway, I've started an album on Pinterest as to my favourite Christmas scenes/ items that I've come across, and I'm pleased to say that I've completed one (if that's the right phrase). I'm just so excited!

So, my purchases. I saw on Instagram that Millie Mackintosh (ex MIC) had got the perfect Christmas jumper - from Internacionale. At the time, I tried to purchase it online but had been sold out in every size. Instead I popped in to town on my break and prayed they had it in stock. As pre-assumed, I'm sure, I got one and it is perfect! It's classic sweater material in dark grey and is soo warm! I dislike itchy jumpers, regardless of how warm the wool may be. So I'm not fussed that it's mainly polyester. The main Pug print features a silver nose and the "hat" features red sequins and a furry rim and bobble. An the price? £17.99 (or £16.19 with student discount). As an added incentive, Internacionale also offer a loyalty card where if you spend £15 or more you get a stamp and on your 6th stamp, you get 20% off! Bargain I think.

My other truly Christmasy purchases were a case to replace the Osprey pouch I use to keep headphones, pens, hair bands, lipsticks etc in my handbag. And finally a bauble! I bought these from Ted Baker. The pencil case in the House of Fraser concession, with the most adorable polar bear/ penguin scene! I can't find the link on either the Ted Baker or House of Fraser website but it's on the Selfridges website. Whilst the bauble was in the Gunwharf branch. It has their signature bull dog printed front and back. What more could you ask for? 

To finish off, I thought I'd add a few more of my novelty Christmas "things"...

Navy and red robbin bobble hat - £7.99 New Look

Knitted ginger bread man jumper - £42 Topshop

Nails Inc Christmas Crackers - £29.50 (for 6) Nails inc. Feautring: Mayfair Mews – navy Fibre Optic polish, Baker Street – cobalt blue, Marylebone Lane – red full coverage glitter polish, King’s Road – rose gold Foil effect polish, Kensington High Street - deep wine polish, Trafalgar Crescent – silver Galaxy polish

Christmas jumper fake nails - £7.10 (for 24 nails) Eylure on ASOS

Hooded bear onesie (Not entirely just for use at Christmas time, but it's from their advert) - £20-£22 John Lewis

Reindeer scarf - £12 George at Asda,default,pd.html

Candy cane pendant charm - £30 Pandora (or any of their Christmas collection!)!791193EN09

Have you bought anything Christmas related yet?

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

December's Reading List

Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual

I bit the bullet. Enough time had gone by without this wonderful book being in my life. I know it has got praised on many other beauty blogs and I can now see why. I am of course talking about Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual - For everyone from beginner to pro. Published in December 2008 I understand I am a little behind time in this purchase, but then again I am not sure my 15 year old self would fully appreciate it's beauty. I have the paper back copy and you can easily pick this up for £20 (hardback) on the Bobbi Brown website. (

It really does cover everything. However my favourite pages are as listed below:

Pages 10-13 cover essential tools. In this section brushes are clearly identified by size, shape and bristle type allowing you to chose what is best for your make-up type. This isn't the brand pushing you to buy their brand, there are hints to different brands (such as tweezerman) and the brush descriptions are general to their use. 

Chapter 4 (pages 47-78) is aptly named "Face". The basics of this cover under-eye concealer, foundation and powder. In this also covers self tanning. I love how in depth this goes. I hate wasting make-up (primary as it is really quite expensive when you add it all up) so knowing how to apply make-up as effectively as possible is a bonus to allowing you to always look your best! Bobbi Brown is soo well known for her concealers, and being an individual in possession of one, I found this section especially helpful!

What struck me on the chapter on eyes (chapter 6, 87-116) is how well catered it is to different eye shapes and types. The looks in this are contouring, smoky, eyeliner, colour, tweezing and lashes to name a few sections. This section is probably my most read yet!

Elle the December issue

I admit, I am one of those that flicks through the adverts in a magazine first before reading the articles. I really want to go into Advertising (whilst studying Marketing now) and the positioning, use of models and use of colour fascinates me. My favourite is probably the Fendi advert (38-39).The subtle pastel colours of the coat complementing the pale blue sky and the longing expression is emphasised by the use of fur on the boots and bag, which to me, hints at the turn from Summer to Winter - which for most, isn't a good season to go through!

Talking of fur, on page 158 "shop the look" concentrates on textures - namely fur! With this in mind on a recent shopping trip I did purchase a few items featuring this specific feature. I love fur (fake) giving every day looks a depth to them, especially teemed with a knit. 

Fox beanie, £7.99 TKMaxx

Faux Fur headband, £12 Marks and Specer

Anyway, the Elle subscription has since been renewed and I eagerly await January's edition!

I'd love to hear your views on both of these items, both good and bad!