Thursday, 15 October 2015

Best In Beauty: Kiko Shadow Sticks

Since my boyfriend picked me up one of these shadow sticks from Kiko (I know, he's a good egg) I've been addicted. 06 (right) is the most 'me' colour in the collection, a golden bronze. I also own shade 05 (left), which is a purple taupe; I think I've seen some bloggers compare it to Misty Rock Ombre Black Star by By Terry. Then I have shade 38 which isn't so shimmery as my other two. It's more of a matte medium brown with small flecks of gold glitter running through.

Their staying power is what really makes these shadows stand out for me. Having hooded eyelids like a 60 year old, I really struggle to find creams that don't crease or transfer. These ones stay completely put once set (seriously, they last all day), but are so creamy to apply and blend. Plus, if you're a lazy gal like me, an eyeshadow that you can apply in seconds which will take you from a 2 to a solid 6 is always a winner.

The only downside to these is the lack of neutral colours in the range; I'm not one for an electric blue eyeshadow look. Kiko, if you're reading - more browns and golds please!

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

The Life-Changing Lush Cleanser

Back last November I posted about Lush Ultrabland Facial Cleanser and said how I was taking it upon myself to use nothing but that on my face, morning and night for a month (I also said I'd report back after the month. Apologies for the late update!). Being a beauty junkie with a desire to switch between products constantly, I found this quite the task and wasn't sure just how long I'd last. Let me tell you, it was a long old month. My skin went through several rough stages during the process, as you would expect (I'd drastically condensed my routine from a plethora of products to just a single cleanser - so my skin was more than likely shocked). However, after just a month, my skin, which began with acne on my cheeks, forehead and chin, was completely clear. Not a single spot. Before trying this, I hadn't had a morning since about the age of 12 where I didn't wake up with a new little friend on my face. I was completely stunned. I also expected my skin to be in a bad way, with the lack of moisturiser, exfoliation and what have you, but it had never felt in better condition.

Once the month was up, I gradually began introducing some key products back into my routine, noting down what I felt my skin really needed, as opposed to just using products I was using out of habit. I now have a fairly simple routine of Ultrabland, Vichy Aqualia Thermal Light Moisturiser and a face mask once or twice a week. I like to use one from Lush or Origins which targets my main skin concern at the time. It's also worth noting that I do still get the odd spot (thanks hormones), Ultrabland really helps to keep them under control and stop them from coming to a head.

I honestly can't recommend this cleanser enough, and I definitely do recommend it to all my IRL friends. I took a chance on this product as a last resort on my quest for good skin and I haven't looked back since - 6 tubs later. If all this isn't enough persuasion for you, the fact that it's made by such a great company with equally as great ethics, and that it also doesn't contain any major nasties makes it a holy grail skincare staple.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The Burberry Dupe You May Already Own

When I first ordered Burberry's Wet & Dry Silk Eyeshadow in Pale Barley, it was love at very first use and it took me a week or so to realise what it was that made me love it so much. It's very similar to an eyeshadow combination I regularly wear from my Urban Decay Naked 2 palette. However, this comes with the convenience of being all in one shadow. They are nowhere near identical, don't get me wrong, but the overall effect of Suspect and YDK placed on top of one another resembles the unique shade of Pale Barley. The difference shows in the finish and the tone of the eyeshadows. Pale Barley is *stares desperately at the pan to try and explain it* a really soft taupe-y medium brown with a warm gold shimmer going through it and it has an almost pearl finish to it. Whereas my Suspect/YDK concoction is more shimmery and slightly darker, yet the tone is similar. Suspect looks very similar to Pale Barley in the pan, but swatched it appears more gold (which is where the medium brown colour of YDK plays a part).

So, would I still recommend this eyeshadow if you already own the Naked 2 palette? Absolutely. I would have never spent the steep £23 if I wasn't sure that it was a really unique shade that I'd get a lot of use from. The quality is beautiful and nothing beats the feeling of using it. However, if you're wanting to get an idea of what it may look like, or simply cringe at the price, Suspect and YDK are your guys.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

My 'Feel My Best' Makeup Routine

There are some days where you just need to pull out all your fancy makeup that you save for best and put your daily makeup back in the drawer. It's surprising just how much having a face of nice makeup can affect your confidence and how you feel. Am I right?

When I want my skin to look really nice, I really make an effort to amp up the dewy-ness. I like using Dior Glow Maximizer to prime my face, then I mix it in with my Diorskin Star foundation for extra glow. I conceal bags and spots with my Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. I love this, but it's way too expensive to use on a daily basis, so I save this one for nice occasions. The same goes for my MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter in Light Boost. I'd get through one of these every fortnight if I used it on a daily basis, but used every now and then, it really brightens up my face.

To bring life back to my face, I love Benefit Hoola dusted on the high points of my face, any blush from the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette and a generous helping of The Balm's Mary-Lou Manizer. I occasionally bring out my Urban Decay Naked Illuminated highlighter and add a tiny amount to the tops of my cheek bones, but as it's so glittery, I tend to use it just on the eyes.

Although they may not be the priciest or necessarily the best eyeshadows, I can always count on my Urban Decay Naked 2 palette or my MAC quad to make me feel my best. Primed with Urban Decay's Primer Potion, of course. As an extra touch, I like to line my waterline with a nude pencil as I think this ties everything in together. I always use my Benefit Roller Lash when I want a guarantee that my eyelashes will look good. Likewise, I love the Anastasia Brow Wiz to fill in any sparse areas of my brows, as it's my fail-safe product.

For lips, when pulling out all the stops, I have to use my Tom Ford lipstick in Spanish Pink. They're my favourite lipsticks and always make me feel so fancy. I sometimes add a dab of Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector (01) into the centre of my lips to make them look more plump.

What are your favourite products to use when you really want to impress and feel your best?

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Brands I Want To Try More From

Topshop: The only products I've tried from Topshop is this liner, and a couple of their base products. I'm continuously reading rave reviews about all their products, so I'm not sure what has held me back from trying more for so long. I love the look of their glow sticks and an eyeshadow palette of theirs, so I may have to try these soon.

Dior: I've raved about Diorskin Star foundation on here before, and Dior Glow Maximiser Primer is one of my all-time favourite makeup products. However, these are the only products from them I have tried. Since I love the Star foundation so much, I'd really like to try the matching concealer and see how they work together. I've also heard great things about their nail varnishes, so they might be on my 'to buy' list really soon.

NYX: I think that if NYX was more readily available in the UK, I'd be all over it. All the products I've tried from them (with the exception of the Jumbo Eye Pencils - no matter what anyone tells you about them, they crease like the devil) I've really liked. In fact, one of my all time favourite blushes is Angel by them. I'd really like to try the Taupe blush, because I've heard that it's a really great contour shade for fair skin, and I've seen a curved liquid eyeliner from them that is supposed to be amazing for creating cat eyes.

Anastasia Beverly Hills: Taupe/Ash Blonde from Anastasia is hands down the best colour I've ever found for my eyebrows. I am in love with the Brow Wiz and swear to use it for as long as it exists, and I really enjoy using the Dipbrow Pomade too. However, I'd really like to try the brow powders they do, and some of their brow gels and brushes.

Kiko: Since I'm so obsessed with the one shade of Kiko's Long-Lasting Stick Eyeshadow I own, I'd really like to try some more. I've had a little look online and they seem to have some really nice, wearable shades. I'd also like to try a few products from their Modern Tribes collection, in particular the bronzer and blusher, so I think I'm going to have to place an order soon.

Soap & Glory: With the exception of their cult favourite Archery eyebrow range and a bit of a dodgy pink highlighter, I've never really tried anything from Soap & Glory's makeup range. I've heard so many good things about a lot of their products, so when I'm next perusing Boots, I'll be sure to take a closer look of what they have to offer.

Too Faced: I own 3 products from Too Faced at the moment and I'm obsessed with all of them. Too Faced to me, are everything I hoped Benefit would be. I love the cute packaging, but Too Faced executes their products much better than Benefit. Their eyeshadows are amazing and by far my favourite formula, I love their Sweethearts blusher (despite the clunky packaging) and their Perfect Lips lip liner comes out of my collection at several times during the week. I'd love to try their bronzers since I know how popular they are, their Better Than Sex mascara constantly gets rave reviews, and I can't resist their Chocolate Bar palette that much longer. Oh, the smell!

Clinique: Clinique is a brand I briefly ventured into as an early teenager, but never touched again once my bottle of way-too-dark Anti Blemish Solutions foundation was empty. However, since the release of their Cheek Pop blushers and Lip Pop lipsticks, I've been obsessed, and it's spurred me on to try more of their offerings. If you have any recommendations, please let me know.

Urban Decay: Other than their eyeshadow palettes and primer, their setting sprays, their Naked Skin concealer (which I love) and their Naked Illuminated highlighter (which I really don't love) I haven't tried much from Urban Decay at all. I've heard great things about their lipsticks and even greater things about their eyeliners, so they'd naturally be the first things I'd like to try. But, since I've been so impressed with their new concealer, I'd like to try more from their face range.

Monday, 29 June 2015

My Top 3 Foundations

Finding foundations is something I really struggle with and always have for as long as I can remember. As a delightful woman from a Clinique counter once told me, I have 'virtually no colour' to my skin - "I mean, seriously. You really are pale aren't you?!" Lovely. So, as you can imagine, foundations that go as pale as I am are quite hard to come by. For this reason, when I find a shade I like, in a formula that I love, I tend to stick with them like a loyal dog does to its owner.

NARS Sheer Glow: I use this in the shade Siberia, and this is my fail safe foundation. It gives the perfect amount of coverage for me, so I can use it if my skin is really bad, or if it's good and I just want that extra bit of coverage. Sometimes I do tend to find that it clings to those fine hairs or dry patches on your face, but that's easily corrected by mixing it with something that has a more moisturising formula. It's one of those formulas that look nicer the longer you leave it to set, but I do always powder over the top just to increase the wear time, as I find that isn't great if I'm having an oily day.

DiorSkin Star: This would be my absolute perfect foundation if the colour was that little bit more accurate. It is slightly too dark and more on the yellow side than I would like, but it can be corrected with a lighter concealer and taking my bronzer down my neck. This is the foundation I gravitate towards if I want to fake that I'm having a really good, glowing skin day. Wayne Goss once described it as 'the perfect selfie foundation' and I have to agree. While I wouldn't use it for flash photography as it has a high (30) SPF, it does look beautiful in your standard photographed. Mixed with Dior Glow Maximiser Primer, this is my favourite base ever.

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation: The more long-lasting sister of Sheer Glow, I was bound to love this foundation. However, only if I mix it with a moisturising, luminising product. It's far too drying for me just on its own but once you get the hang of it, it's a wonder product. It lasts all day and looks undetectable on the skin, whilst giving you a great amount of coverage. Plus, because you only need one (but I usually add a little extra) pump, it will last for absolutely ages.

Are there any foundations you think I should try? I'm always in the market for something new.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Lollyrocket Candle Co.

Lollyrocket is a local company to me, and one that I've thoroughly enjoyed supporting for a good while now. I first became familiar with them when they opened up a store in my home town, selling homewares and vintage items, along with their own natural soy wax candles. When they sold their store, I was gutted, but you can imagine my excitement when I found out that they were opening an online store selling their candles.

I recently purchased three of their 1/2lb candles from a shop in my town, but you can see a full list of stockists here. One of my pet hates with candles is that they often come in a variety of bright colours. However, because all of the candles in the Lollyrocket range are white and come in glass jar casing with a gold lid to hold in the scent, these will fit beautifully within any home. I absolutely love knowing that these candles are made using natural ingredients, and the quality definitely reflects in the product. They burn beautifully, evenly, and give off such a strong (but never over-powering) scent, and supposedly have a 40 hour burn time.

The one I'm currently burning is brown sugar & fig, but I also picked up candy floss and candy shop.
Since the scents are so unique, the only way I'm going to be able to describe them is by taking the notes descriptions from the website and put them into 'Alice' terms.

Lollyrocket says: top notes of fresh figs, peaches, and passion fruit followed by middle notes of 
coconut milk, vanilla orchid, jasmine, muguet, and freesia. Balanced with base notes of vanilla beans, caramel, maple sugar, fig leaves, and musk.
Alice says: Fruity, floral, fresh and sugary mixed in a bowl and poured into a candle jar. It's quite a grown-up, classy smell, but one I think everyone would like.

Lollyrocket says: A fruity blend of cotton candy, lemon drops, caramel and raspberry jam with subtle base notes of musk.
Alice says: The most unique candle I've ever smelt. Sweet, but really fresh at the same time. Every time I smell this, it reminds me of walking into a sweet shop on the seafront and brings back so many happy childhood memories.

Lollyrocket says: A delicious, sweet blend of fresh strawberry and French vanilla.

Alice says: The warm smell of candy floss but without the strong, sweet sugar. This makes it a little bit more fresh and more bearable for sweet scent haters. 

Lollyrocket 1/2lb candles are individually priced at £8, but using the code 'giveme3' on their website, you can get 3 for the amazing price of £20. I love knowing that my hard earned money is going to an independent, local company who invest a huge amount of time to the quality of the products and not to a large corporation. I've now got my eye on some of their other 1/2lb candle scents, and I'm desperate to try their new 1lb boxed candles. Every single one smells insane. I'll never buy another Yankee Candle again. 

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

The Body Moisturiser That Actually Works

I'm going to put this out there and say that Lush Vanilla Dee-Lite Body Lotion is the best moisturiser my skin has ever been lucky enough to have slathered on it.

I'm not someone with dry skin at all, but my skin just seems to reject every body butter I've ever put on it. The only other product I've ever used that did anything near to what this does for my skin is coconut oil. However, I just couldn't tolerate the smell of it, and I think that's a really important factor with something you're going to apply to your whole body daily.

Since I'm a big fan of Lush products (their use of natural ingredients is really important to me and my sensitive skin), and I love vanilla scents, Vanilla Dee-Lite was an obvious choice for me. Not only does it smell absolutely insane, it contains ingredients that my skin seems to absolutely love. The combination of kiwi fruits, cocoa butter, illipe butter, coconut oil and tamanu oil means that it has amazing moisturising powers, but is really light on the skin and sinks in after just a few minutes. The only thing I would change is the packaging. Because you rub the product in with your hand, it doesn't take long for the bottle to get really slippy and difficult to use. I would much prefer that it came in a tub, but nothing good ever came without its faults.

If you have dry or irritated skin, I can't sing Lush Vanilla Dee-Lite's praises enough. Do you have any recommendations for good moisturising body products?

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

The Beauty Product I'll Never Run Out Of

Everyone has a signature scent. One that all their loved ones recognise them by and are remembered of when they smell it elsewhere. For example, Stella by Stella McCartney is my mum's signature scent. Naughty Alice by Vivienne Westwood is my nan's favourite scent. Well, Black by Zara is mine. Thank goodness I've found a perfume I love that's cheap and cheerful too.

Zara Black is a really inexpensive perfume, but amazing quality. The scent really does linger all day. Right from when it was released, I started purchasing this. So, I now have all the old editions of the packaging, all new sizes they've released and I'm not even ashamed to say I have my own little back stock of it in my beauty drawers. The thing that concerns me the most is that they'll discontinue it and I'll be left to settle for a perfume I don't like nearly as much. For that reason, I have about 4 boxes of the stuff laying around, 2 bottles at my boyfriend's house and a couple of bottles hanging around in my bag. It's safe to say I won't be running out of this for a while.

Are there any beauty products you stock up on and panic buy? It can't just be me, no?...

Monday, 15 June 2015

Go For Bronze



I'm a pale girl. There's absolutely no beating around the bush with that one. Bronzer is my best friend and the makeup product I rely on the most to make me look like a normal human being. However, it isn't just a warm toned powder I love to brighten up my complexion; I also love bronze makeup shades that bring my face to life. These are some of my favourite products that make me look a little bit more tanned, whether I've got bronzer swept across my face or not.

FACE: I always rely on warmer toned products to give life to my face. My favourites for this are Mac MSF in Soft & Gentle, Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in Nude Mauve and the discontinued Nars Douceur blush. They're not too muddy looking on the face, but help to sculpt and give a natural flushed glow.

EYES: There are four bronze products I love on my eyes to warm things up slightly and surprisingly, they're all really affordable. For cream bases, I use Maybelline 24 Hour Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze or Kiko Long Lasting Eyeshadow Stick in 06. Then, my go-to shadow for making my eyes warmer is Rimmel Scandaleyes Mono Eyeshadow in Smoky Quartz and if I fancy a bronze liner look, I love Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in Bronze.

LIPS: With lipsticks, I don't ever wear anything to brown because they simply don't suit my complexion. However, these are some lip shades that I've found, that are just brown enough and don't make your face look too sunken, they warm up the face instead. Clinique Pop Lip Colour Primer in Beige Pop is my favourite, but Maybelline's Colour Sensational Lipstick in Tantalising Taupe is a drugstore favourite. I like putting a dab of Maybelline Colour Elixir in Caramel Infused in the centre of my lips with these products, to make my lips look more pouty.

These were my favourite products for bronzing up my face, with no bronzer, fake tan or sun in sight. What are your favourite products for warming up your complexion?