Friday, 30 September 2011

September Empties: Quick Reviews!

Boots Botanics Soothing Eye Make Up Remover - I love this eye make up remover - it's the best I've tried. I realise that the oily feeling this leaves can be annoying for some but I'd rather have that than really irritated eyes. I solve the problem by removing my eye make up first, then my face make up and then sweeping a teeny bit of toner over my eye area to get rid of the oiliness. This is the only eye make up remover I've tried which takes off all my mascara without me having to rub half of my lashes off. I will definitely be repurchasing!

Liz Earle Brightening Treatment Mask - when I first got this, I loved it and would have given it a rave review. I used it a couple of times a week in the shower after exfoliating my face with the Gentle Exfoliator from the same line. My skin looked brighter and felt amazing. However, I feel that this stopped working as well for me over time. After the first month I found it began making less and less difference and that my skin went back to looking a bit dull and breakouts kept popping up. Also, when I got to the end of the product the texture went very strange. This product has a funny texture anyway but it seemed to separate a bit and wasn't fun to use. I might buy it again in the future but will only use it occasionally rather than every week. 

Liz Earle Gentle Exfoliator - this is a really nice product and I think it did a good job of exfoliating my skin. I'm not entirely sure it's as good as my HG scrub (The Body Shop's Vitamin C Microdermabrasion) and I think it began to become less effective the more I used it, like with the Brightening Mask. I will probably repurchase this in the future but I have another scrub waiting in the wings to get on with right now.

Lush Tea Tree Toner - I don't have the packaging for this as the spray had broken so I'd put it in a different bottle anyway. This is a nice toner; I initially thought it would be a bit harsh for my skin but it was fine. I would sweep it over my t-zone after cleansing and it left that area feeling fresh and oil free. I might repurchase but I'm going to try using a cleanser which needs to be rinsed off so won't need a toner with that.

Superdrug Cleanser for Sensitive Skin - this thing lasted forever! It does a good job of removing make up but I'm not sure how suitable it is for sensitive skin. I normally use it once to remove my make up and again to cleanse my skin in the evenings before bed. I find that quite often after the second time my skin feels a bit stingy. I don't have particularly sensitive skin so I'm not sure how it would feel for someone who did have really sensitive skin. I probably won't be repurchasing this.

Origins VitaZing Moisturiser - never fear, I have a back up! This is my go to daytime moisturiser as I find it helps to even out my skintone before I put on foundation so I don't need to cake on the foundation as much. Sometimes I can just wear this with concealer on spots and under my eyes and a bit of my MAC Natural on top.

Barry M Toffee Lip Gloss - my boyfriend threw this empty in the bin because Teddy (the cat) was playing with it...anyway! I can't believe I've actually used up an entire make up product! I love this lipgloss though and if I'm wearing any sort of nude lip this is always my go to gloss. It does have some shimmer particles which can be annoying but it smells good and isn't sticky at all. I will be repurchasing once I've made my way through a few of my other nude glosses.

Aussie Mega Shampoo - I won't be repurchasing this as it gave me a horribly dry scalp. I do love the smell and it cleans my hair well so I do recommend it if you don't have a sensitive scalp like mine!

Boots Nail Varnish Remover - It's a decent remover and I would repurchase if I was in Boots. I don't really have any issues with polish removers!

Bioderma Ceraline H2O Sample - I really like this! I'd love to track down a full size bottle because it's so easy and quick to use.

No7 Cleanse & Care Eye Makeup Remover - This was an okay eye make up remover. I've already repurchased the Botanics one so won't be picking this up in a full size. It did the job but you do need to use a lot of it.

The Body Shop Body Butter in Blueberry - I have zillions of these! I will always repurchase them. 

NARS Eye Makeup Remover Sample - This is nice, it's very similar to my Botanics remover but it doesn't feel quite as oily. I probably won't purchase the full size though!

Jergens Naturals Firming Body Lotion - This is a nice product and it has lasted me a very long time. The pump means I don't use too much. I will probably be picking up another at some point.

Origins Mega Mushroom Cleanser - I tried this when my skin was feeling very irritated

Random foundation/skincare samples - none of them are anything to write home about!

Soap & Glory Clean, Girls, Clean Shower Gel - I liked this but found I needed a lot of it to lather up well.

Soap & Gory Clean On Me Shower Gel Mini - I much prefer this S&G shower gel! I'm using up all my mini sized products because I never remember to take them when I travel anyway so I might as well use them up.

Origins Perfect World Cleanser Mini - This stung my eyes so much, even when I kept it as far from my eyes as possible so I will not be buying this in a full size.

Origins Modern Friction Scrub Mini - This was also very harsh on my eyes. It was a weird texture and I don't think it worked very well at exfoliating my skin.

Bath & Body Works Pocketbac in All Star Apple - I love this! It smells amazing. I love most pocketbacs and have a nice stock pile of them!

Liz Earle Intense Nourishing Treatment Mask - This smells pretty awful but I could deal with that at the beginning as it was nice and moisturising. However, it seems to be a common problem with Liz Earle products that once you get to the end of a tube, something goes wrong. In this instance, this mask started stinging my skin. It was horrible. I'll not be buying this again either!

Clinique Pore Minimizer Thermal Active Skin Refiner Mini - This isn't really an empty - I just can't get the product out! I got some out eventually and it was way too hard to smooth onto my skin.

Woah! That's a lot of empties - it has been a month of using up what I have already opened. I've also thrown out a few MAC paint pots/liquid liners which were past their use by date or dried up.

What have you used up this month? Do you keep a record?

Stace xx

US Swap Haul!

I did a post way back in July about a swap I did with a lovely girl from Makeupalley. It went really well so we decided we'd do another and I just got my package! Once again she went overboard with really thoughtful extras. She's a very sweet girl (I hope she's reading this and blushing!). I sent her a list of things I was looking for but told me to just send a random selection of products on that list and not to tell me what they were. It felt a bit as though Make Up Santa had been!

Hard Candy Sheer Envy Primer
Milani Baked Bronzer in Soleil
Sonia Kashuk Creme Blush in Rosey

NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in Smokey Look
Palladio Herbal Tinted Lip Balms in Orange and Rosey (I've heard EmilyNoel83 rave about these on YT)
EOS Lip Spheres in Strawberry Sorbet and Sweet Mint (this one smells delicious even in the wrapper!)

Milani Liquif'Eye Eyeliners in Black and Brown
CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara in Brown
Wet'n'Wild 8 Pan Palette in Petal Pusher

Sonia Kashuk Synthetic Flat Top Multipurpose Brush

Bath & Body Works Pocket Bacs in Sour Drop, Vampire Blood, Guava Grapefruit, Passionfruit Colada and Jelly Jam Donut

I was going to open everything to swatch it and show you all but I've been trying really hard not to open things unless I'm going to use them. I have a drawer of new things just now so when I feel the urge to shop, I go and look in there! Some of these items are things I will be trying soon but others may take me a while to get too. Let me know if there's anything you'd really like to see a review on or swatches of and I'll happily oblige.

I hope she gets my parcel soon!

Stace xx

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

NOTD: Essie - Mint Candy Apple

Essie - Mint Candy Apple

(Two Coats of Mint Candy Apple, Sally Hansen Insta Dri Top Coat)

This is my first manicure with this polish and it's left me wondering why it took me so long to try it! I've owned China Glaze Re-Freshmint and found it to be too pale. I'd always assumed Mint Candy Apple would be the same. This was almost opaque in one coat and it's worn amazingly on me. These pictures were taken after two days of wear. I've not had much luck with making my manicures last very long recently so this is a refreshing change! I know it's not the most autumnal shade but it's actually boiling here in Glasgow so I feel it's okay to wear it!

What do you think?

Stace xx

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

What I Spend My £5 Off No7 Vouchers On

I don't think anyone pays full price for No7 products anymore; it seems as though Boots are giving out the vouchers every other month! I got one last week and I've been thinking about what to spend it on. Normally I go for one of two products.

Top of my list is usually the Quick Thinking 4-in-1 Wipes which are usually £7 but are only £2 with the voucher. I've tried lots of different face wipes and these are by far my favourites. I don't use face wipes all the time and don't have any at the minute so I'll definitely be picking these up for when I'm feeling lazy.

(Image from Google)

The other thing I pick up all the time with these vouchers is the Blissful Body Wash. I love this and I've mentioned it before. It's very moisturising and has a nice, light scent. It normally costs £9 for 200ml but is £4 with the voucher. This might sound like a bit much for some people (I'm a bit stingey when it comes to shower gel because I think you can get really good ones at a very low price) but it lasts a reasonable amount of time and I didn't need to use as much moisturiser when I used this. It's great for the winter months, I think. 

(Image from Google)

The final thing I've been considering is a newly discovered product for me. I've been trying the Radiance Boosting Hot Cloth Cleanser for the past week now. This is the first hot cloth cleanser that I've tried so I don't know how it compares to others but I do like how it makes my skin feel. 

I was going to do a separate review but I might as well just tell you about it now! It's a thick white cream which you smear all over your face and then take off with a hot muslin cloth. I've never been a fan of standing over the sink washing my face because I always seems to get water everywhere and found that cleansers which need water to be removed left my skin feeling dry. This is different, though. My skin feels very soft after using this and it works great with my Embryolisse at night.

 I would recommend it for anyone with normal/combination skin like mine. It might be a bit rich for very oily skin and I'd expect it's not quite moisturising enough for very dry skin. It costs £9 for 200ml so that's £4 with your voucher. I think even at £9 it's reasonably priced but I do find that I get through it very quickly. I've been using it most nights and every other morning for just eight days and I'm already 1/4 of the way through the product. 

(Image from Google)

Make up wise, I'm not a huge fan of No7. I have their Skin Illuminator in Peach but the packaging was so terrible (it has a gunky brush on the end) that I had to depot it into a jar.  It's okay but it's nothing to write home about. I wasn't impressed by their nail polishes or lipsticks either. I'm keen to try a couple of their brushes, though, as I've heard good things.

What do you spend your vouchers on? Do you have any No7 recommendations? 

Stace xx

Monday, 26 September 2011

Weekly Make Up Challenge #1 - MAC

I'm so sorry for being rubbish at posting this past few days, I've just been so busy! The fact I have less free time has inspired this little make up challenge. I was watching a youtuber who has been giving herself a basket of make up to use each week rather than having to go through her entire collection. She has been doing it mostly to decide whether she wants to keep the items in her collection whereas I'm doing it mostly to reduce the time I take putting on my make up in the mornings! I'm only in university one day a week but I need to spend every other day doing work too. I'm the queen of procrastination when I want to be and since I enjoy putting on make up so much, I'll spend ages doing it to avoid reading about Puritans or whatever...

So! I wasn't sure whether to go with a colour theme or a category (i.e. high end, drugstore etc.) but this week I thought I'd go for the brand I have the most of; MAC. Here's what I've given myself for the week:

Face & Body Foundation in C3 
Studio Sculpt Concealer in NC30
Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Dark

Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle
Notable Blush
Warm Soul Mineralize Blush

Groundwork, Vintage Selection & Soft Ochre Paint Pots
(all eyeshadows are the round pans)
Top Row: Blondes Gold Pressed Pigment, Antique Gold Pressed Pigment (almost done!), Tempting, Patina
Bottom Row: Blondes Gold Pressed Pigment, Spiritualize Pressed Pigment, Amber Lights, Satin Taupe

Haute & Naughty Lash Mascara

Lipsticks in Rebel and Shy Girl
Lip Conditioner
Soothing Beige Tinted Lip Conditioner

The only products I don't have from MAC are a primer and brow gel so I'm using Hard Candy Sheer Envy Primer and a clear mascara from MUA. Other than that, these are the only products I can use for the week.

I'm excited to see how I feel on Sunday! I'll go over the list and give you my thoughts then.

Stace xx

Friday, 23 September 2011

Haul: Primark Accessories

I realise not everyone is a Primark fan but I really like picking up some bits of jewellery from there. Quality wise it's not amazing but it's not any worse than some other high street stores which charge five times as much. I popped in yesterday for some plain v neck tops and added a few accessories to my basket so I thought I'd share!

Navy & Mustard Purse - £3

I've needed a new purse for a long time, my other one is falling apart! I've never owned a purse from Primark before and I've never seen one in there that I liked at all. This one caught my eye though because It's not made of that horrible shiny material and I thought the clasp was interesting looking. It's not the most practical on the inside but does have room for all my cards etc. I'll have to see how long this will last!

Bottle Green Long Necklace - £2.50

I love bottle green (it was the colour of my school uniform which I hated at the time...) so I picked this up. It's pretty long and I'm planning on wearing it with most things!

Blue Oval Stretch Ring - £2.50

I have this in yellow and wear it loads. I don't often go for the 'one size fits all' rings but these are super comfortable on my chubby fingers. The blue just caught my eye. They have the same ring in pink and possibly black, too.

Jade Locket Necklace - £2

I thought this was really sweet and a total bargain. It doesn't feel too flimsy and I thought it would look nice with a sheer blouse. 

I also bought the scarf in the background which was £3. I've got a thing for brown just now (brown and bottle green!) so I thought it would go well with a lot of the things I've been wearing lately.

Have you been shopping recently? 

Stace xx

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Blog Award from Kayleigh!

The lovely Kayleigh over at KGJ Beauty gave me this blog award a few days ago. It's for bloggers with less than 200 followers. So, thanks!

I now have to pass this award on to five other bloggers with less than 200 followers and I've decided to go with these girls:

I think you should all go and check these girls out!

Do you have any recommendations for some more great new blogs? I always love to check them out!

Stace xx

NOTD: OPI - We'll Always Have Paris

OPI - We'll Always Have Paris

(Rimmel Base Coat, Two Coats of We'll Always Have Paris, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat)

I'm disappointed with this polish, the photos show it after just 24 hours wear. In that 24 hours I've barely done anything which should cause my nails to chip! It's a beautiful colour; it's a bit different from my other dark polishes which look similar because this one seems to be more purple. I love the colour but I'm going to need to track down some sort of super strength anti-chip top coat to combat the chipping!

What do you think?

Stace xx

PS - I'm sorry there's been a bit of a slow down with my posts, I've just started back at uni so I don't have as much free time. I have a few more wee hauls coming up and then I'll get back into the reviews I have lined up - I've been testing lots of mascaras and foundations!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Review: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat

Product: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat

Price: £6.08 at Boots (but I definitely bought this for £3 something in Superdrug a while ago!)

Description: "Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat dries any nail colour in 30 seconds, giving you long-lasting shine, chip resistance and a great manicure that dries fast and lasts."

What's Good About It?
I really like this top coat. I possibly prefer it to the Mega Shine (also by Sally Hansen) because it was a bit cheaper, it's a thinner formula and it dries more quickly but also leaves a shiny finish.

What's Disappointing?
My main complaint about this product is regarding the packaging. I don't know if it's just my bottle but the brush doesn't go very far down into the bottle so I feel it's going to be a pain to use once it's less than half full.

Overall Score & Comment: 9/10 - I can find very little fault with this top coat. If you're looking for something which dries quickly but is still shiny and prevents chipping, try this.

What's your favourite top coat?

Stace xx

Monday, 19 September 2011

Sleek Giveaway at The Beauty Corner!

The lovely Chloe is giving away a Sleek palette of your choice on her blog which is here. The giveaway ends on the 2nd of October.

I hope you all enter! Good luck :)

Stace xx

NOTD: Zoya - Shawn

Zoya - Shawn

(Rimmel Base Coat, Two Coats of Shawn, Sally Hansen Insta Dri Top Coat)

I've wanted this polish for a long time! I've become obsessed with greens like these and this one has not disappointed me. The first coat went on horribly and I was worried I'd need a million coats to get a smooth finish but I just applied a slightly thicker second coat and that was perfect. I like Zoya polishes, they wear well on me. I need to add some more to my collection, I think!

What do you think? Are you into greens?

Stace xx

Friday, 16 September 2011

Haul: Chanel, BeneFit and M&S

Oh dear...I was naughty. 

First I went into M&S; this is the least naughty part of the haul. I was picking up some tights when I spotted all their bath and body products so I decided to have a look. I really like their shower gels but I don't need any right now so instead I picked up this lip butter set and a pillow mist from their new Spa range. 

Then I popped into Debenhams and came out with two little bags...

I decided to get one of the Chanel Illusion D'Ombre shadows...and now I want a couple more! This one is in the shade Illusoire and I got this one because I don't have another shade like it and I think the purple-y undertones will look nice against my brown eyes. As everyone else has said, the texture of this is very weird; it's not a gel, a mousse or a cream. I can't wait to use it! 

I stopped by the BeneFit counter to sniff So Hooked On Carmella but I found it was a bit too sickly sweet for me. The assistant told me to try Ring My Bella and I really liked it. It's not very often that I find a perfume I like and I'm running really low on my Naughty Alice so I decided, against my better judgement, to pick this up. There is an offer on at the moment for 1000 extra Beauty Club points when you spend over £40 on various brands so I thought I might as well pick up They're Real. After all the hype, I knew I'd have to try it at some point. I'm not particularly happy with any of the mascaras I'm currently using so I'm going to finish those up and move on to this. I hope I like it!

There will be another haul in a few days as I'm waiting on an online order but after that I'll have to go on another spending ban. I keep picking things up from blog sales too...

What have you picked up recently?

Stace xx

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Review: MAC Haute & Naughty Lash Mascara

The thicker wand

The thinner wand

Me wearing the mascara

Product: MAC Haute & Naughty Lash Mascara in Black

Price: £17.50 from MAC


"A two-in-one mascara that lets you choose if you want lashes to  be naturally defined or instantly combed and loaded for full on drama. Easy to use dual-wiper system allows this lightweight formula to go on either way. One wiper refines the application for a clean sweep, while the other loads the lashes for greater impact"

What's Good About It?

Well, I got this when MAC were giving one away free to customers who tried to place an order and couldn't because the online shop wasn't working properly so I guess I haven't lost anything on this mascara regardless of what I think of it. Initially I really didn't like it, the formula was very wet and made my lashes horribly clumpy when I used the thicker wand. It took forever to dry and was generally a mess. However, now that it's dried out a little, I do like it a lot more. I wouldn't say it's love but I do like the fact I have a choice of wands. I use the thinner ones on days when I want a super natural look and when I want more dramatic lashes I use the thicker wand first and then go over it with the thinner wand to separate out my lashes. It gives a reasonable amount of length and volume.

What's Disappointing?

I'm one of those people who thinks drugstore mascaras are just as good as high end ones so I don't think this mascara is really worth the price. There are some good dupes of this concept of two different wands out there. As I mentioned before, initially the formula is horrible! Also, I do find that this transfers on me quite badly but this is something I usually struggle with unless I'm wearing a waterproof mascara.

Overall Score & Comment: 5/10 - this is just okay, I won't be repurchasing but I will continue to enjoy it until it dries up.

Have you tried this? What's your favourite mascara?

Stace xx