Monday, 28 December 2015

♥ Christmas Makeup / Beauty Haul 2015

This year my friends and boyfriend were very generous with their gifts. The theme was mostly makeup and beauty bits and pieces and I thought I'd pop everything into a haul post to show you the presents I received over the festive period!

I exchanged gifts with two of my best friends that I work with and Nathan, taking note of our Kiko stop in Rome this summer, went in store in Merry Hill and picked up two things for me. He got me the Temptress Lip Set in Deep Wine. It comes with a lip liner and a lipstick in a dark berry red and it looks incredible. The bullet to the lipstick reminds me of the bullets on the Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks and I'm interested to see how it applies onto the lips! The other gift he got me, from the same festive collection, is the Total Sculpt contour kit in Light to Medium. I've not really tried contouring so I'm super excited to have a play around with this. The highlight shade looks nice and matte and because it has a yellowish tone to it I'm going to see how it works with setting concealer under the eyes. Taryn is apparently an expert listener and bought me the bits I said I really wanted when we popped into Superdrug a few weeks back. She picked me up the Tanya Burr Handy Candy Manicure Kit. This is absolutely perfect, as I have the worst habit of biting and picking at my nails so this is a great encouragement to let them grow nice and long and start looking after them a bit more. She also picked me up some lavender scented candles, as lavender is my go to scent. Theo, my boyfriend, went crazy. He too, listened to everything I have mentioned over the past few months and bought me a collection of stuff I was desperate for. If you caught my Christmas Wishlist post, you'll have seen a few of these bits before. The only thing I asked for (and really hoped I would get) was the Classic Face Brush Set from Zoeva. After falling in love with their eye brushes earlier in the year, I felt my brush collection would be complete with a few of their face brushes, and now it is! Off that wishlist he also bought me the MAC Purple Times Nine palette, It's more beautiful then I imagined and I'm so so excited to try a purple smokey eye now. In the run up to the festive period, Estee Lauder released their Makeup Artist Collection and it had it on sale for half price at one point. I popped it in my basket, really excited to purchase, and boom. Sold out. I couldn't get my hands on it and I was texting Theo how disappointed I was. Little did I know, he'd managed to get one and opening it on Boxing Day was such a shock. It's absolutely beautiful and it was such a bargain. I can't wait to try their mascara and the bright pink lipstick, as it isn't something I'd usually wear - they even threw in a sample size of a new fragrance, which was a nice extra, too. The release of Urban Decay's collaboration with Gwen Stefani didn't really excite me all too much in the beginning. Then everybody was talking about it and my opinion shifted. I thought it looked the perfect mixture of mattes, neutrals and jewel tones and really, really wanted it. Theo got this last minute after listening to me lust over it one too many times, and IBM so glad. I would have bought it for myself anyway, but him surprising me with this made me so happy. Finally, in the last on my beauty related presents, he got me the My Warpaint makeup bag I had mentioned. I bought this for Taryn, and really wanted it for myself, too, so thank you Theo!! 

I am honestly so grateful for the bits I had bought for me this Christmas and I can't wait to start using it all. I'm such a lucky girl!

Did you get anything beauty related for Christmas? Let me know in the comments below as I'd love to know. Hope you're all having a great Christmas break!

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

♥ MAC Lipstick Collection

My collection of MAC stuff is barely a year old, so the amount of stuff I have from the brand still shocks me a little. It's a tiny one, i'm sure, compared to some of your collections but it's something I'm still quite embarrassed about. Why on earth do I spend all this money on makeup? More importantly, why do I spend all this money on makeup that is super similar and totally irrational? When I spend on MAC, I do it online, and I will put off a haul until I have a spare £100, and then I'll go crazy. I pop over to their counter time and time again when I'm home in Birmingham and it's something I find very intimidating (and it's always awfully busy) so I swatch and swatch and then make mental notes of the things to get next time. The one item that started it all off was the Twig lipstick. I bought it last December, when the hype around the shade was still going. It's a shade that looks quite natural - as lipstick goes - on me as I have a naturally dark lip and I'm not too adventurous with my make up, so I wanted to take small steps and have something that I wouldn't be scared to wear. There was also Creme In Your Coffee. A lovely, dark brown nude that is right up my street. I always go for a brown or bronze eye and I knew a brown lip was something I might be able to pull off, so it was the shade my best friend bought me for Christmas last year. I then ended up with my first pink... Pink Plaid.

Monday, 7 December 2015

♥ Beauty Blender | Review

I never buy into hypes. It takes me ages to persuade myself that something might actually be as good as other people say it is, so I come round to interesting products like this way later than others. It seems as though Beauty Blenders are quite a recent product to be introduced onto the market. I first heard of them maybe a year or two ago, and I couldn't ever excuse paying around £15 for a sponge. I used to buy a big pack of cosmetic sponges in Poundland when I was younger, and popped my makeup on with those and never had an issue. They broke apart and went gross really quickly, and I assumed a Beauty Blender wouldn't be much different.

My gateway into beauty sponges was the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge. The finish that gave was incredibly flawless, however the sponge didn't wash too well, and it's now tearing, but it's still a great alternative to the Beauty Blender if the £15 price point is a little too much.

If like me, you've tried other beauty sponges and then move onto the Beauty Blender, the difference in finish is incredible. I wasn't convinced that the sponge would vary too much in texture but it feels completely different, it's less dense, and seems to 'bounce' a lot better than my RT alternative. It's been washed a fair few times and though the dye is running out of it, it's not too bad and there are no tears - something that happened to my RT after a few washes. This can blur out quite heavy foundations to a lighter coverage, so on those occasions I'm wearing my Double Wear, I'll apply with a brush and then use my sponge to buff it much more thoroughly, I'll use it to blend in my powder products (like blush and highlighter) after applying them to really blend them down. It's perfect for popping concealer under the eyes after doing eye make up and whatever else.

All in all, I've found so much use out of this little sponge and I'll willingly repurchase when my current one comes to the end of its tether! They're a great secret santa gift/stocking filler or a great present for anyone who's into make up as, like me, they might not be too convinced to pay such a silly amount for a sponge that won't last as long as a good foundation brush! I'm obsessed.

Em x

Friday, 4 December 2015

♥ Christmas/Winter Wishlist 2015

As we're now in December, I'll let the festivities commence. Though, I must say, I am not a fan of Christmas at all. My childhood is to blame. There wasn't much fun to be had when Christmas morning was spent in hospital, visiting Mum, instead of being sat around the tree as a family, giving and receiving gifts... Everything is all good now and we do exchange presents and sit down for a beautiful turkey dinner with the extended family and the day is tonnes of fun. It's the run up to it all I detest. In my opinion, it's dragged out for far too long and I work right through my time off from university, anyway, so it's just not that fun. There are, of course, a few thing's I'm lusting after in the festive period and here they are:

Zoeva Face Brush Set
I purchased an eye brush set from Zoeva back in August (read this) and I have been blown away by the quality of the brushes. They're incredible to use and so versatile. My face brush set is lacking though, now that I have so many brushes for eyes, so this would make a pretty complete collection, I feel.

Mac Purple x Nine Palette
I've been going on about wanting this palette for months now, and I'm pretty sure I'll pick it up as a treat for myself when I go into London next week! I'm really into purple shades with darker hair and I'm toying with the idea of putting blonde through the ends of my hair again and then dying them a purple colour... I don't know what it is about the colour purple, but I'm obsessed. These tiny palettes from mac are such great value for money too, and an ideal size for trying out new shades.

'My Warpaint' canvas makeup bag
I've never paid too much attention to the website notonthehighstreet, but I found this beautiful slogan make up bag on it and fell in love. It's super affordable and the slogans to choose from really are lovely. It's a great gift idea for any fellow make up lover, too!

Bossypants by Tina Fey
I love a funny woman. This year I read Yes Please! by Amy Poehler and absolutely adored it. Next on my list is Tina Fey's first book. It's bound to be hilarious and I would love to know more about her life as an upcoming comedienne.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion
Winter is well and truly here and I feel as though I need to drench my skin in moisturiser. Skincare isn't usually something I would spend my money on, but I'd love this as my skin has seen very many better days. I hope a few indulgent skin care bits will get my skin back to normal and reduce my blemishes, so this is something I'm really lusting after this winter!

What's the top of your christmas wishlist? Let me know in the comments!

Em x

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

♥ Disappointing Products #4

There's nothing worse than buying something and ending up with a really strong dislike for it... but it's something that happens to all of us even when the product is one we know other people absolutely love and couldn't live without. I haven't written a disappointing products post since May, so this is well overdue!

Maybelline The Rocket Volum' Express mascara
I bought this quite a while ago now, after hearing Estee Lalonde ranting and raving about it at every opportunity. I can't get along with it as a mascara at all though. I find it super wet and it does nothing for my lashes, it coats them, but it doesn't add volume or length it just separates them and makes them look sparse and lifeless. I might give it a bit of time to dry out and then maybe my opinion will change, but for now I am so disappointed with this.

Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation
I've repurchased this foundation and I've been using it for a couple of years now, but I always end up with it in the depths of my makeup drawer - because it's full of shimmery glittery particles and I just do not want a shimmery base! I do love this foundation so much, but the shimmer really puts me off and so I never reach for it. I do, however, always always use the wake me up concealer. It's my absolute go to.

Body Shop Vitamin C Daily Moisturiser
I bought this moisturiser right before I went on holiday over summer because it has SPF in it and I knew it would do me well in the summer sun. However, when I pick this up now and pop it on, it doesn't sink into my skin undetectable, it coats it and then rubs off all sticky. It just coats the face and leaves a film that bunches up on the skin and it's really not nice.

Estee Lauder Little Black Primer mascara
This sample is one I picked up with my Double Wear Foundation (review, here). I wasn't expecting much from a sample, but I didn't expect to hate it. It doesn't prime my lashes well at all, it makes my mascara go all clumpy and weird and it doesn't do anything to enhance them or make them look better, so I'll stick to using a drying mascara as my 'primer' if you will.

What's the last beauty buy, or influenced purchase that disappointed you? I'd love to know what is was and why you didn't get along with it.

Em x

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