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Sunday, 28 April 2013

A Peek into Maria Sparkle's Makeup Bag

Hello Kitty makeup bag (from Boots) 
For years monthly magazines have given us the opportunity to delve into many a famous beauty's makeup bag, without gaining a restraining order!! But have you ever wondered what fellow beauty addicts use on a day to day basis? For the next few weeks I shall be taking a peek into some of my favourite bloggers makeup bags, and asking them to spill the beans on their everyday must haves!! 
This week is the turn of the beautiful Maria Sparkle. If you love all things girly and beauty related, with a hint of sparkle on top, then you will love Marias blog!!
Revlon Nearly Naked Pressed Powder
The next best powder to my holy grail Mac MSF natural. I am using this at the moment as my MSF is running low.
Mac MSF Natural
Dior Rosy Glow Blush
I have this in my makeup bag as it adjusts to your skin tone, its ideal if I need to freshen my blush as it doesn't matter what shade I am wearing as it adjusts to my skin tone and blends pretty well with all other blushes. Its not a must have in my opinion, just super easy.
Hoola Bronzer ( A sample size)
I just have this in my makeup bag, lol, its one of my favorite contours.
Clarins Travel face brush
I have had this for years, I got it when I worked for Clarins, it was discontinued a good few years ago but I just love it for my makeup bag.
I am a lip product obsessive so I always have at least 3 or 4 lippy's in my makeup bag. Today, these are what I have in my bag...
MAC Angel... MAC Chatterbox...
TopShop All About Me... Revlon Lip Butter in Sweet Tart
Top Shop Lip Crayon in Wave Goodbye... NYX Beige Mega Shine Lip gloss, my holy grail lip gloss!!!!... GOSH Lip Glaze in 01

I also have
Soap&Glory A Good Kisser lip balm... Sugar Lip Treatment
NYX Lip Liner in Pale Pink... ELF Natural Blush Lip Liner
Dior Lip Serum ( I think its no 21, its worn off!! lol.
Essentials that I always have with me are
Hand Sanitizer,
Pencil Sharpener,
Bobby Pins/Kirby Grips
I have also been loving my Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser in the brightener shade to give my makeup a mid-afternoon pick me up.
I always carry my brow pencil with me, at the moment my favorite is the NO7, its just the right texture, not to hard and not to soft!
Lastly another obsession, I always have a few Mascaras on the go, my four at the moment are...
Lancome Hypnose, my all time favorite.
Maybelline The Rocket, I love this and think it may be my favorite drugstore Mascara!!!
L'Oreal False Lash Flutter, I like this, but I don't think its love...
L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic, I used to use this when it first came out and I fancied trying it again, I do like it but like the False lash Flutter, I don't love it.
Jane Irredale Lash Primer, My primer of choice, I don't use this every day, mostly when I use lengthening mascaras as I am a massive fan of volume, so add this to a lengthening mascara and I have the best of both worlds :))

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Harvey Nichols Gift With Purchase

 With payday just on the horizon and a rather extensive wish list of beautiful high end beauty products, just willing me to purchase them (lets face it I am a total shopaholic), it didn't take much for me to make a very naughty (gulp) unnecessary and indulgent purchase, with the prospect of being rewarded a Harvey Nichols gift with purchase for being so bad good!! 
With my constant late night shopping antics getting a little out of hand, I have slowly reached joking terms with my local DPD courier, so I excitedly greeted him at the door this morning with my box full of wonderful treats. 

In terms of the gift with purchase, it is without a doubt the BEST freebie I have ever received, with 14 decent sized samples (included in that two full size) sitting pretty inside a gorgeous makeup bag adorning Fifi Lapin in all her haute couture glory, whats not to love. Altogether the gift with purchase is worth a whopping £130, amazing I hear you say?! well the only downfall is that to receive this beautiful bag of goodies, you must spend £110 in the Harvey Nichols beauty department!! So if you've been after some high end luxury for a while, nows your time to be a little naughty. 

Opening up this beautiful treasure chest, whilst admiring Fifi's beautiful illustrations, it did feel just a little like Christmas had come around again. So whats got me all excited this morning? the gift with purchase includes:
Fifi Lapin Makeup bag
Butter London Polish in West End Wonderland (full size)
Laura Mercier Foundation Primer (15ml)
Serge Lutens Eau De Parfum (5ml)
Shu Uemura Cleansing Beauty Oil (20ml)
YSL Volume Effect Mascara (2ml)
Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask (10ml)
Bare Minerals Eyeshadow in Pond (full size)
Lancome Advanced Skin Corrector (5ml)
ESPA 24-Hour Replenishing Moisturiser (7ml)
Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant (13g)
Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial Wash (50ml)
Clarins Advanced Extra-Firming Neck Cream (30ml)
Eve Lom Cleanser

Overall I am seriously impressed! I have heard rave reviews about a lot of the products, especially Butter London and Laura Mercier to name but a few, so im really looking forward to giving them a try. The only product im not too sure about is the Bare Minerals Eyeshadow due to the colour (I think the name gives the shade away), but im willing to give it a shot!! 
Right im off to act like a big kid and play around with my new things!! I will leave you with a picture below of the guilty purchases I made to receive my bag of goodies!! 
What do you think of Harvey Nichols Gift With Purchase?
Will you be taking a trip to the Beauty department? 

Sunday, 21 April 2013

A Peek into the Makeup Monster's Makeup Bag

For years monthly magazines have given us the opportunity to delve into many a famous beauty's makeup bag, without gaining a restraining order!! But have you ever wondered what fellow beauty addicts use on a day to day basis? For the next few weeks I shall be taking a peek into some of my favourite bloggers makeup bags, and asking them to spill the beans on their everyday must haves!! 
This week is the turn of the wonderful Makeup Monster. With beautiful photos and fabulous reviews, this blog has quickly become a firm favourite, after finding it a mere month or so ago!!

Skin79 gold - My skin and traditional foundations don't mix very well so this is a god send for my eternally dry skin and can be slapped on any old way and still look amazing, love it!

Guerlain Meteorites Pressed Powder in Voyage -  I'm all about illuminating products lately and this is an amazing product for giving skin a luminous quality that still looks natural. I use this as a final dusting  over my normal powder! 
NARS Immaculate Complexion Powder - This is a brand new discovery but it's amazing on dry skin, covers pores and leaves a radiant finish with no dreaded powdery bits!

Collection Concealer - I spent years trying out high end concealers with no joy so when I came across Collection's humble concealer, it changed my dark circles forever! a must-have budget buy 

kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder - If you need to fake some chiseled cheekbones in 5 minutes flat this is your only man and although its expensive, a little goes a long way!
Naked 2 and Naked Basics - These two palettes give me endless possibilities with eyeshadows it seems and as I'm very much a neutral kinda gal this covers all my basics, from barely there shades to smokier looks for night time.

Urban Decay Perversion Liner - More Urban Decay, this time with their blackest ever liner perversion. I love a soft eye pencil that's easy to use and this gives great results although it's softness means you get through it quite quickly. 

Shu Uemura Brow Pencil - I've had this about 2 years already and there's still more than a normal sized pencil left to use. This is more expensive but is a great natural brown for brows that doesn't have any of the orange tones I hate in other eye pencils.

Korres Lip Butters - I shamefully neglect lipsticks in favour of balms and glosses and Korres lip butters in a range of gorgeous shades are some of the nicest tinted balms out there and all are cruelty free!

Friday, 19 April 2013

April Birchbox 2013

So Mr Sunshine has finally decided to work his magic, the birds are singing, flowers are beginning to bloom, coats are off, sunnies are on and the flip flops may or may not have made a cheeky appearance.
So the arrival of Aprils Birchbox with its 'in bloom' theme couldn't have come at a better time. 
"at Birchbox HQ we're longing for warmer weather, sunny days and a lighter brighter outlook. So, just as the flowers are beginning to bloom, it's time to come out of winter hibernation and show your best self".
A little unimpressed with last months offering, all has definitely been forgiven with this months box. With decent sized samples, including a full size lipstick, this may, just may be one of my favourites so far.
Mirenesse | Glossy Kiss 
What they say: Add a pop of subtle colour with this sheer-but-buildable lip stick. Once you've worn your sample down, just use a sharpener to refresh!
My thoughts: This months box is worth it for the lipstick alone. I have a confession to make, I am a chubby stick virgin (que gasps) so I was really excited to see this sitting pretty at the bottom of my box. Perfect Kiss is a pigmented pinky red with gold undertones. The perfect spring shade, im sure I will get plenty of wear out of this. 

Gerda Spillmann | Renaissance Age Serum
What they say: Keep up your youthful appearance this spring with this antioxidant-enriched hero serum. Add it to your routine for fresh, supple skin for all ages.
My thoughts: This smells divine, and I cannot wait to give it a try, however a teeny tiny 3ml sample, its hard to really get a proper perception of the product. But with its £69 price tag im telling you all now that I will not be purchasing the full size tube. 

La Societe Parisienne De Savons | Soap 
What they say: Fresh scents characterise these soaps by La Societe Parisienne De Savons, and - bonus - the retro packaging will look fab in your bathroom!! 
My thoughts: This is no doubt going to sound silly, but im really not a fan of that squeaky clean feeling you get from traditional soaps, so this will be going to my mum. However that being said it smells lovely (like parma violets), and top marks for the retro packaging.
Natio | Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser
What they say: An effective wash which omits traditional lathering chemicals to prevent skin feeling taught and dry. 
My thoughts: A serial skincare junkie I will welcome most cleansers to my routine with open arms, so I was excited to see the Natio Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser in this months box. This smells divine with notes of Sandalwood, Rosewood and Jojoba, so I cannot wait to give it a try. 

Weleda | Skin Food 
What they say: Victoria Beckham is just one star that swears by this all-natural moisturiser which softens dry heels and elbows with ease. We love it. 
My thoughts: I have already succumbed to the charm of Caudalie which has been highly praised by Posh herself, so im looking forward to trying yet another skincare item loved by the queen of all things beauty & fashion! If its good enough for Mrs Beckham then its definitely worth a shot! 
Lifestyle Extra
Birchbox | Paname Paris Mirror 
They say: Brighten up your outlook with our Birchbox 'Let The Sunshine In' mirror - perfect for those on-the-go touch ups!
My thoughts: I love this months lifestyle extra, a cute, decent sized mirror, perfect to pop in my handbag! Although I question the £7.50 price tag! 

What did you think of this months Birchbox? 

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Michael Kors Beauty Line 2013

5 minutes after promising myself to curb the horrendous spending habit (a grown up wage is lethal), a post popped up on my newsfeed about a new beauty line by none other than Michael Kors, which  to be brutally honest put my newly made promise straight out the window! 
If you hadn't already guessed I LOVE MICHAEL KORS. After visiting one of his many stores in New York, I have gained an infatuation for the brand, a love that goes past everyones beloved chunky watches!! Im the girl who cried in the middle of covent garden after my boyfriend bought me my beloved Jet Set Tote (which is also named FYI ha), im the one who browses Harrods and adds MK related items to my imaginary wish list, and takes a trip into tkmaxx in the hope that il find a Michael Kors shaped bargain. 
Right enough of my devotion to one of the many gods of designers, and lets talk makeup!! The new fragrance and beauty collection looks divine. With influence from some of the most important ladies in Michael Kors life, such as his grandmother who was glamorous, and his mother who believed in more of a natural look, with these facts in mind the collection is split into three categories, catering for a variety of ladies. Sporty for those who love a more neutral look, sexy and glam
This isn't your usual makeup launch, there is not a single mascara or foundation in sight. Instead the collection focuses on beautiful nail lacquers, lipsticks, bronzers etc, each decadently packaged and embossed with the Michael Kors logo. 
The only negative for us UK fans? the collection will be available exclusively to Macy's for the first year, aswell as MK stores. Luckily for my bank balance these wont be released until at least August, so I better start saving the pennies!! 
What do you make of this collection??

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Barry M Nail Art Pens

I have made no secret that I am a massive nail addict, and it sadly takes very little for me to fall for a beautiful glitter, a fabulous neon, pastels, nudes (even new/limited packaging), and dont even get me started on anything nail art related. Caviar beads, fur, glitter you name it and I will try it (does this count as living on the wild side? sigh). With lots of new and beautiful shades being released left, right and centre, I have finally given in to the reality that this is a love affair/obsession that is never going to go away. 
Whether your a nail art pro or like myself somewhat of a novice (even if I do have enough nail polish to have a stand in my local boots), Barry M will have you going gaga over their new nail art pens, and will help to create quite simply the perfect manicure!!
Unlike conventional nail art pens with 'squeezy tubes' that more often than not ruin your beautiful work of art, these beauties are unlike no other (well what I have seen at least). With thick, sturdy packaging, these pens with plastic nibs could easily be mistaken for a set of sharpies. To release the polish you simply need to shake the pen generously, push down on the nib once or twice, and your good to go. The bulky packaging makes it easier to grip the pen and in return create more precise designs. 
As you may have guessed from the picture above, I may or may not have had a little bit too much fun playing around with the pens. The polish itself dries pretty quick, so theres no need to sit around, flapping your hands and waiting for them to dry (tell me im not the only one that does this!!) 
The Barry M nail art pens cost a pretty reasonable £4.99, and are currently part of the 3 for 2 offer in superdrug. Colour wise the range includes the silver, white and black pictured about, aswell as a gorgeous baby pink (fellow nail addicts had already snapped these up by the time I made my visit to superdrug). I will be honest with you all, if more colours are released (Barry M please please please release some more) there may be the risk of a new collection forming in my ever crowded drawer!! 

Will you be picking up any of the Barry M Nail Art Pens?? 

Sunday, 14 April 2013

A peek into Beauty & Some Books (aka Nev's) Makeup Bag

For years monthly magazines have  given us the opportunity to delve into many a famous beauty's makeup bag, without gaining a restraining order!! But have you ever wondered what fellow beauty addicts use on a day to day basis? For the next few weeks I shall be taking a peek into some of my favourite bloggers makeup bags, and asking them to spill the beans on their everyday must haves!!
This week is the turn of Danielle from Beauty & Some Books, better known to me as Nev my fabulous University housemate. living with Nev for three years, resulted in many a shopping trip, countless hours browsing through each others makeup collections, and a ridiculous amount of time spent getting ready for a night out. Now miles apart, I thought it was the perfect time to rekindle a favourite past time and ask her to reveal the current contents of her makeup bag!! 

When Sophie asked me to get involved with this feature, not only was I ridiculously excited, I also knew exactly what I was going to tell you about. 
My holy grail foundation this month (as is everyone's) is the Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation in 51 Vanille Clair. It just seems to glide all over my skin perfectly and matches my complexion to perfection. Not only that but the finish is so good for my oily skin that I don't wear powder over it which is very very rare for a foundation, especially when they promise 70% more radiance. 

Sophie will know from living with me for so long that I am obsessed with Mascara and in desperate attempts to lengthen my fair, stubby eyelashes I will spend most of my morning routine layering mascara onto them. Rimmel Lash Accelerator does the best job on my lashes without me ending up looking like a spider eyed clumpy eye-lashed harlet.

Chanel's Illusion D'Ombre in 83 Illusoire is perfect for lining the top lid, or going for a heavier look on a night out. I got it as a gift but if I had to tell you one premium beauty buy this would be it. It's a thick textured paste with high pigmentation that is to die for. Plus it has a massive Chanel logo on it!

Two of my absolute favourite MUA palettes are the Undress Me Too and Artiste collection. 

The Undress Me Too is a dupe of the Naked 2 palette by Urban Decay. If you want a budget palette that you can use daily then this is for you. I get loads of compliments aswell so for £3 (normally £4) compared to the higher brands £36 price tag you are onto a winner with this palette. Its got great pigmentation running from cool neutrals to warm metallic coppers. 

The Artist Collection is the ultimate multi-use palette. It has 6 marbled shadows (none as good as the Undress Me Too palette unfortunately), 2 blushes, a bronzer and a highlighter. So that's contouring, bronzing, peachy blushes, and your eyes covered in one palette for £3 (normally £6). A no-brainer for the budget buyers amongst us. 

Finally Lasting Perfection in Fair doesn't even need anything said about it. It literally is lasting perfection!! 

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

"Playing dress-up begins at age five and never truly ends" ... (Kate Spade)

I dont think this Kate Spade quote could be much truer. From a very early age I acquired a serious love for dress up, which usually involved strutting infront of my mothers mirror in her favourite red heels. Adorning a dress fit for any budding Disney princess, whilst showered in pearls given to me by my Nana to sit pretty on my beloved Fischer Price vanity (ah memories).  
That thrilling sense of excitement standing infront of a mirror as a child, head to toe in beautiful things remains still at 21!! I long for the day that I possess my own walk in wardrobe filled with rows of beautiful clothes and accessories, sitting pretty, ready for me to play dress up all day to my hearts content.
So dress up these days doesn't include looking like Cinderella's sidekick, but there is still something special about putting on a pair of sparkly heels ready for a night on the town, using my favourite lipstick in all its beautifully packaged glory, and on a daily basis picking out a piece of jewellery, to dress up a plain tee and jeans!! 
When my mum came home with this beautiful yet edgy Kate Spade arm candy, crafted in smooth leather, with gold detailing, I couldn't wait to put it on. Okay so it may be a little extravagant per-say for everyday wear, but paired alongside a gold bangle and my beloved Michael Kors watch, I feel as if im playing a little game of dress up, yet nobody but myself knows. 
Do you still love playing dress up? 

Sunday, 7 April 2013

A peek into Call Of Beauty's Makeup Bag

For years monthly magazines have given us the opportunity to delve into many a famous beauty's makeup bag, without gaining a restraining order!! But have you ever wondered what  fellow beauty addicts use on a day to day basis? For the next few weeks I shall be taking a peek  into some of my favourite bloggers makeup bags, and asking them to spill the beans on their everyday must haves!! 
This week is the turn of beautiful Laura from Call of Beauty (for obvious reasons my boyfriend thinks her blog name is amazing ha, and I have to agree). 

Firstly, thank you Sophie for asking me to post in this feature. I feel very honoured. Secondly, I have to admit something to you all. I don’t really have an everyday make-up bag. Gasp, I know. I tend to just keep my make-up bits and pieces stored and dotted around me so I can pick and choose on the day. However, for this post, I grabbed the things that are pretty much in daily rotation, and if I was to go on holiday tomorrow (anyone fancy taking me?) these are the items I would pack.
 Face Products:
My main foundation is the bareMinerals Original foundation. I like to keep what’s on my face light, so I alternate between that and the Dr. Jart+ BB cream. For a primer, I’m yet to find one I love, but this one from Rimmel ain’t too bad. For a powder I’ve just started using this Healthy Balance one from Borujois, so far so good. For some highlight I’m loving this Topshop Glow, and I’d be nowhere without this Multiple in Portofino by the gorgeous Nars. My holy grail concealers are Estee Lauder Double Wear for those pesky blemishes and the ‘better than YSL’ under eye concealer by Maybelline – Dream Lumi Touch. If I fancy a bronzed look I’ll hit up my Nars Laguna, I love Hoola by Benefit too, but it’s not that great for a make-up bag. Finally, I am obsessed with lip products at the moment, but if I had to choose one, it would be Berry Smoothie by Revlon.

I am an eye make-up junkie, which is why there is a vast range of products for eyes. Firstly my Mac palette, whilst majorly expensive, it houses my favourite shadows, and I wouldn’t be without it. I also have a two palette which contains my two brow colours. I also have a Max Factor Brow Pencil in Hazel for my ‘natural’ days.  Two mascaras may seem excessive, but the Revlon 3D volume one is perfect for a ‘natural’ look, where False Lash Effect by Max Factor gives to die for lashes. The perfect travel palette would be this Merry and Bright one from Stilla, it has six shadows and a blush colour. I have to eyeliners, one for my waterline (Rimmel Kate Scandaleyes in Nude – amazing!) and a grey Loreal one for my lashline. Finally to cream based shadows, Mac Painterly for a netural wash of colour, and for a bit of daring Maybelline color tattoo in On and On Bronze.

So that has been my ‘make-up bag.’ I hope I haven’t bored you, and thanks again Sophie.
Laura xoxo

Friday, 5 April 2013

Nars & God created Woman Palette

Its safe to say that I was more than just a little excited about my latest purchase, and Nars really know how to keep a girl waiting. In all fairness several of the days I was left anticipating my arrival did include easter weekend, so I will let them off this time!! 
Once the girl who coveted the whole purple eyeliner/eyeshadow combo (okay it was perhaps more of a lilac hmm), fast forward a good six years later, and im that girl that goes giddy over a good neutral shadow!! (oh how times change). from the look of bemusement on the boyfriends face when I happily unveiled my latest beauty, and the stern look I received from my brother for purchasing yet another palette, I dont think guys quite get the hype over neutral shades, that just "all look the same thing" to them (anyone else with me here?)

The Nars and god Created Woman palette includes 6 highly pigmented eyeshadows and the added bonus' of a smudge proof eye primer and shadow brush. The palette itself is teeny tiny (something I was prepared for after reading various reviews), im talking a little larger than a credit card, and a little smaller than my beloved iphone4s. However size really isin't an issue as its compact enough to be a convenient sidekick for travelling. Plus as my Nana would always say at the grand height of 4ft 10, "Sophie the best things come in little packages", and when it comes to this beautiful palette, boy is she right!  
Nars and God created woman is ideal for creating a simple daytime look, aswell as a smokey evening one. With a perfect colour range, the palette incudes two matte shadows, Belissima (a light taupe with a slight hint of glitter) and Coconut Grove (a dark chocolate brown). Two shimmers Alhambra (peachy/pink gold, ideal for highlighting) and Kalahari (a coppery bronze), and the piece de resistance two micro glitters, Galapagos (a medium to light brown with serious gold glitter) and Night Clubbing (a black with beautiful gold flecks). The only little niggle I have is that there is slight fall out with the micro glitters, but nothing major!!

The Nars and God Created Woman palette, is limited edition, so its best to pick it up sooner rather than later. The beautiful must have (just call me an enabler) can be purchased via the Nars website aswell as SpaceNK.... Now on your marks, get set, goooo!!!!..

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