31 August 2015

Anniversary At Chester Zoo

Hi everyone! Just writing this after I got back from a really nice weekend celebrating my 4 year anniversary with my boyfriend, it was on Saturday the 29th and we went away to Chester Zoo for the day and spent the night at a lovely hotel. 

I absolutely loved the zoo and if you've never been before then I would definitely suggest it for a day out! Only thing I would say is that if you are a couple or just going with friends then go in term time, it was absolutely over run with children. Obviously the fact that it was a weekend and the last weekend before school starts and a bank holiday didn't help but by the time we got to our hotel I needed a nap from all the surrounding craziness! I'd love to go again when it is quieter, it's huge so really good value for money and they have lots of baby animals currently which were far too cute! The baby elephant in the last picture is about 10 days old so everyone was dying to see her. 

We were at the zoo for about 5 hours and we had a hotel booked which was 10 minutes away called Crabwall Manor and it was so nice, if you're in the area I would recommend it. I wish I'd took some pictures of the room but I fell asleep for an hour as soon as I got there and by the time I woke up it didn't cross my mind. We had a lovely night, we used the spa area which included the pool, jacuzzi, sauna and steam room and then we went back to our room and chilled out watching The X Factor and ordered room service. We really aren't the most exciting couple we just prefer chilling out and we were far too tired after a long drive early in the morning to go out anywhere but it was such a nice night! 

We spent the following Sunday driving home and chilling out before I went out with some friends from work for bank holiday Sunday so all in all it was such a good weekend!

Let me know in the comments how you spent your bank holiday weekend!

26 August 2015

The Balm Hot Mama Shadow/Blush

Hi everyone! Last week I was browsing online and saw that Feel Unique were having a sale of up to 50% so I bought a few things I've been eyeing up. Recently I did a post on Mary Lou Manizer by theBalm and how I loved it so much that I was looking for more products, I saw theBalm Hot Mama shadow/blush for sale from £15 to £12 and I thought it looked so pretty so I had to get it! I've seen a lot of posts comparing it so Nars Orgasm but I didn't get it based on that, I just don't own a blush similar to this and it seemed like my ideal colour. 

You get 7.08g of product which is such a good amount, it will last ages. It's packaging has that retro feel to it that theBalm products typically do and you get a little mirror in your compact. I actually really like the size of the packaging, when I ordered it I thought it would be a lot more bulky but I was surprised when I got it. I thought it would be more like the Benefit Box'o'Powders which I love but they just take up so much room! 

I am in love with the colour of this product! The website describes it as a pinky-peach hue with a hint of shimmer which is definitely correct. The great thing is that there isn't an over the top amount of shimmer, it is just a nice subtle hint. I think it is a really flattering colour, my blush collection seems to only consist of corals and darker pinks so I am so happy I finally invested in something a lot lighter, and I probably prefer these colours anyway so I definitely need to stock up on more!

This was a light swatch on my arm, you can see how subtle it is but I think you could build up more product if you want an intense look. I really do like this colour and I think the shimmer is just a nice healthy glow. To be honest I don't think I will be using this as an eyeshadow, only because I love it so much as a blush and I think it is a bit more on the sheer side to use as an eyeshadow but that's just my opinion! I would definitely compare the colour to rose gold, it's so girly and such a pretty colour I would definitely recommend this product if those are the colours you like.

I'm really loving theBalm so far, I saw yesterday that they have a liquid lipstick collection called Meet Matt(e) Hughes, and there is a colour in it called Committed that I am desperate for! I couldn't find them online in the UK until I checked Debenhams but the one I want is out of stock (sad face). They are £13,50 so watch this space, if that one comes back in stock I will definitely buying it and reviewing it on my blog! Let me know in the comments if you have this product and what you think!

25 August 2015

August Favourites

Hi everyone! I can't believe it's nearly the end of August and I'm doing my August favourites already! Time is going too fast it's so scary. Anyway there are a few products I've been loving this month and I thought I'd share them with you.

From left to right:

- Stila One Step Correct Primer. I stopped using this a few months back and only just recently got into it again after I got a new foundation and it worked well with it. I've got a bit of red pigmentation on my cheeks and I find this works well to dull it down a bit and help foundation cover it better. It is also nice and hydrating for dry skin.

- Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water. I'll be honest I've had this a few months now and when I first bought it I wasn't overwhelmed by it, I thought it was just a fancy water and was a bit disappointed. However I think this was because I need a heavier more hydrating primer, so recently when I've been finishing work and heading out somewhere quickly with not much time to reapply makeup I spray this on and it completely refreshes my makeup and makes it look almost new again. Really good for solving cake face after a long day at work!

- Benefit Creaseless Cream eyeshadow in r.s.v.p. I've been loving this this month for when I'm going out but nowhere exciting and I can't be bothered to do a full eyeshadow look. This is perfect to just put on your lid and blend out to give your face a bit more something but a nice lazy alternative to anything too full on! Also love this colour, it's such a pretty neutral that would look great on lots of skin tones.

- MAC Amplified Creme lipstick in Blankety. Absolutely love this and I've been reaching for it a lot more recently! Definitely my favourite nude I own, when I came back from holiday and was a bit more tanned my other nudes were a bit too pink for me but this has been amazing when I'm tanned and pale! Probably my favourite MAC lipstick I own and the creamy formula is so nice.

- Mary Lou Manizer by theBalm. I recently blogged about this and if you read that then you will know that I am obsessed with this. My new holy grail highlighter and I can't imagine this changing unless I find something really amazing. 

- St Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub. This is a must for anyone who is looking for an exfoliator, the dry skin around and on my nose has been so bad this month for some reason and after using this it clears it up so well. I don't find it harsh on my skin either, I have this in the travel size as I bought it for holiday but it's lasting absolutely ages so I would definitely recommend!

- Make Up Forever HD Foundation in soft sand n120. Again I posted on this recently, I haven't had it very long but I've been reaching for it everyday. I won't say too much about this as I've gone into detail on my previous post but it really is worth the hype that it gets!

Let me know in the comments what you've been loving this month!

20 August 2015

MAC Cremesheen Pearl

Hi everyone! I'm a sucker for MAC collections and there has been absolutely loads coming out recently to feed my addiction. I was on a little ban though, and one day I checked the website and they had released their Cremesheen Pearl collection. There is 10 lipstick shades and 5 lip glass shades, and it is described on the website as a shimmer twist on the classic cremesheen finish. They are infused with pearlized pigments and a moisturising serum blend, and they are all Asian inspired shades. When I saw them on the website I resisted because I was like do I really need any more lipstick? I went shopping about a week after though and they had the collection at the MAC counter and they were literally so pretty I couldn't resist! I did only get one though so that was some will power.

I got mine in the shade Koi Coral, I was really torn between this and Nippon as they were so similar but I thought Koi Coral was so pretty and a bit more me. 

It is a really subtle coral colour, not in your face at all. When you wear it you can definitely see the pearl pigments in it but it is just the right amount. I couldn't think of a nicer girly colour and if you love your pinks and corals then this shade will be perfect for you!

You can see the pearl pigments in the swatch above, obviously as it's cremesheen it isn't as pigmented as a matte lipstick but I love the cremesheen formula, it's so moisturising and feels nice and creamy on your lips. 

The whole Cremesheen Pearl range has some gorgeous shades I would have loved to have got more but I was trying to be good! A lot of the shades are still in stock on the website as I'm writing this so I would definitely recommend grabbing some while they are there! Let me know in the comments if you have any shades from this collection! 


19 August 2015

the Balm Cosmetics Mary Lou Manizer

Hi everyone! I don't know about you but the certain beauty products that are all over the internet and featured on so many blogs make me question whether they live up to their hype. A product which I have heard and read so much about is Mary Lou Manizer by theBalm, this was the first introduction I have had to this company as I basically knew nothing about them other than this product. I've put off buying it for absolutely ages because I was unsure whether it would live up to it's reputation. also when you are first hearing about a company I think you are also a bit more reluctant to spend your money on it as you don't know much about it. Anyway I finally gave in because I'm obsessed with highlighters and I was like this product seriously must be good as people never stop talking about it!

I bought it from Debenhams when I was having a little spree for £17.50 which is a bit more expensive but you get 8.5g of product which for a highlighter will last ages! It is described as a 'honey hued luminizer', this is perfect for me because I prefer gold highlighters as I think they suit my undertones much more and I love the bronzed look!

I'd been reading a lot about theBalm and they do have that quirky sort of style to all their products which I think makes them interesting over your bog standard boring packaging. When it arrived it definitely did look really cute in a silver compact with a vintage style model on the front and it has a big mirror inside the compact which is handy. 

It's funny because when you first look at the product it doesn't look like it would give a really good highlight as it almost looks a bit flat, I think this is down to the lack of shimmer in it. However when you swatch it you can see it's almost like a different product! It's so bold and gorgeous and literally everything I would want from a highlight.

You can see here how pigmented it is, I'm obsessed with the formula when you swatch it you can feel how creamy and buttery it is. Obviously with it being so pigmented a little definitely does go a long way so application is important. My favourite way to apply it is with a small fan brush as it goes on so nice and not too full on. I was so obsessed with I first put it on, I can definitely say it lives up to the hype and more! It gives such a nice glow, by far the best of any highlighter I have used. I'm definitely now converting more to powder highlighters, before I was only into cream or liquid highlighters but I think with powder products such as this you get a much more intense highlight.

I wish I hadn't been so stubborn and just bought it ages ago now because I'm in love! It's definitely my go to highlighter now, and it will last absolutely ages because you get so much product. After being so happy with my first product from theBalm I'm desperate for more, if you've got any product recommendations from this company let me know in the comments!

18 August 2015

Birthday/Christmas Gift Idea For Your Boyfriend

Hi everyone! I thought I'd do something a little different today as I feel like what I have to say might benefit those like myself who get so stuck on what to get their boyfriend at Christmas or their Birthday because he's the type of person to say he 'doesn't want anything' when you ask what presents he wants! I go through the same struggle every year of not being given any ideas so you have to get creative! 

So last Christmas I was on the hunt for presents for my boyfriend again, I'd already got him a few bits, he usually likes getting clothes and trainers, I was in the Metro Centre at the time and right in the middle of the floor was a Lamborghini. Everyone was stood round taking pictures with it and it had a sign next to it with a salesman saying it was from a company called Driving Sensation and basically you can book a gift voucher which needs to be used up by October (it might be different for other companies, this was just what happened with the one I booked with) and you can pick different driving experiences. There is a massive range in price I think the cheapest is £99 and it goes all the way up to £369 (not 100% but it is around that price) and these increase in price by the amount of super cars you want them to do 2/3 laps in. I chose what was called a double supercar taster where you get 2/3 laps in two of your chosen supercars. From the company I booked with you could choose an Ariel Atom, an Aston Martin, an Audi R8, a Ferrari, a Lamborghini, a Lotus Elise, a Nissan GTR, a Porche 911 and a Subaru Impreza. So I bought him that and they sent me a gift voucher through the post and I gave it to him on Christmas day and he was really excited about it!

Last week we called up and booked the experience for today and he chose to drive the Lamborghini and the Ferrari, you can choose from York, Teesside and Lincolnshire as to which track you want to use, we picked Teesside as it's the closest one to us. We went today and despite the rain it was still on, there was lots of other people there but it was really well organised and my boyfriend absolutely loved it! We bought some pictures on a CD that the photographer took so I'll put a couple in.

He has his concentration face on in the pictures but when he left the cars he couldn't stop smiling and wanted to do it again. If you've got a boyfriend who is into cars or just likes driving I would definitely recommend one of these experiences as a present! I think it's so much nicer than buying a present from a shop you just unwrap and that's it as they actually get to do something really exciting. I hope this helps anyone who might be stuck on presents to get their boyfriend, I need to start thinking ahead for this Christmas already!

17 August 2015

Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge First Impression Review

Hi everyone! I made a post a couple of days on a Make Up For Ever foundation I bought as Debenhams now stock it in the UK and when I bought it I saw this MUFE lip product that I thought looked really interesting and it is called the Aqua Rouge waterproof liquid lip colour. I'm really into liquid lipsticks right now, but I'm yet to find a brand that makes one that I really love (still forever waiting to be able to buy Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lipsticks in the UK). Aqua Rouge is said to be 'long lasting, doesn't bleed and leaves no trace'. I thought they looked cool because it comes with the lip colour on one side of the product and on the other side there is a gloss which provides a lacquer finish. I was so stuck on colours to choose as none jumped out at me so I got the shade 18 coral as coral is usually one of my go to colours.

You get 5ml of the liquid lip colour which I think will last a while as a little goes a long way with this product, you really don't need to put a lot on at all.

I swatched the gloss on the left of the liquid lip colour, you can see how transparent it is. To be honest I had really high hopes for this product however when I tried it the colour wasn't for me at all. I liked the feel of it and how pigmented it was but it was far too bright, basically neon. Not saying it isn't a nice colour but I prefer a less bright lip so it would be great for anyone who loves bold lips. I can definitely vouch for it being long wearing though because I took it off after I tried it on my lips and literally couldn't get it off I had to scrub and even once I managed to remove it my lips were tinted pink so if you want a long wearing lip product this is definitely for you! I was a bit disappointed because at £19 it is pricey so when you get something and don't really like it when it was expensive it definitely sucks! The struggles of buying online though! I actually looked at loads of swatches of this and it looked no where near as bright so I don't know if it just shows up neon on my skin tone but never mind! I can definitely say I would try this product again as I liked the formula, this particular colour just wasn't for me, anyone who likes a bold lip though it would be great for. Let me know in the comments if you've tried this product and also any shade recommendations if you have!

16 August 2015

Spectrum Collections Brushes Review

Hi everyone! I hate to admit but my make up brush collection is severely lacking, mostly because I struggle to part with money for brushes that seem to be so expensive when I'd rather be buying make up with it. By lacking I mean really lacking, so I've been wanting to build it up for a while. Like I said though it seems like one of those necessities that you can't be bothered to buy because you'd rather spend your money elsewhere. I am now constantly on the hunt for more affordable brushes and recently all over Instagram I have been seeing the prettiest brushes! Looking into it more I found out about Spectrum Collections and since I'd been hearing such rave reviews and judging by their appearance I actually expected them to be fairly pricey. I actually couldn't have been more wrong though, they are so affordable and their was a sale on the website, I was a bit unlucky that most had sold out but I got three that I really wanted. 

From left to right I bought the domed setting brush on sale for £4.99, the small fan brush on sale for £2.99 and the Atlantis flat top buffer which was £8.99. The Atlantis flat top buffer was actually from a different collection, it was part of a set called the Glam Clam collection which I really wanted but unfortunately it was sold out, however some brushes from this set are being sold on their own and I really wanted the buffer in this colour so I was able to get this one! 

They actually are so pretty and would look gorgeous on anyone's dressing table, I love how they aren't boring like a lot of brushes are. Another bonus is that they are 100% vegan, they're synthetic brushes so they are so soft (I mean really soft).

When I ordered them I had to pay a flat rate of £3.49 for UK shipping and it came within 4 days. They arrived in a really cute pink pouch with a personalised note on a little insert that comes with them. 

The great thing is that not only are they attractive and affordable but they are really good quality and really easy to use. My favourite out of the three that I ordered is definitely the small fan brush, I love this for highlighting. I use the domed setting brush for applying my bronzer and the flat top buffing brush to apply my foundation. 

I'm so impressed with the brushes I bought that I am definitely going to get more when they restock, I'm after the collections because they are such good value so I'm going to wait till they bring some out and go a bit crazy! I'd definitely recommend them for people like me who find it hard to justify buying expensive make up brushes but still want to get a bigger collection. Let me know in the comments if you've tried this brand and what you think!

15 August 2015

Make Up For Ever HD Foundation Review

Hi everyone! I'm actually so excited I can finally write a post on this product as I have finally been able to get easy access to this brand in the UK! Basically nowhere in the UK stocked MUFE which meant having to ship it over from other countries which was just a massive chew but Debenhams have stocked it in some stores and online finally! I'd been wanting to try a new foundation for a while and I always thought this one sounded good and people were always raving about it saying it was their 'holy grail foundation'.

It claims to be an invisible cover foundation that 'combines flawless coverage and an extremely natural finish'. It is well known for being good for photography as well because it doesn't contain any SPF so you don't get a white face in pictures when flash is on.

Great news is you get a pump as well! I love the packaging, only thing is that it is a bit bulky, the bottle is quite tall so it takes up a little more room but it's not massive, you get the standard 30ml of product. When it came to picking my shade I was stuck as I absolutely hate ordering a foundation you've never tried before online so you are taking a stab in the dark at choosing your shade. Thankfully I put in two of my shades in two foundations onto Findation and it matched me up to N120 which is also called soft sand, this is described as a shade for medium-light skin with a yellow undertone and it matched, so I can breathe a sigh of relief. It's described as medium to full coverage however I would definitely say when first applied it is medium coverage but it is also buildable, I had to add some more product to areas that needed more coverage and it covered these areas great after. 

The thing I love about it is that despite being medium coverage it doesn't feel like you are wearing make up, definitely agree with it being an 'invisible cover' foundation. My main concern was that typically fuller coverage foundations tend to be more matte and dry my skin out more, however it didn't dry me out at all, I would say it is semi-matte, not totally matte but not dewy either, just a nice middle ground. It isn't the most moisturising foundation I've ever used but it definitely isn't drying. 

The consistency is definitely liquid but it isn't very runny, I found that it is a much thicker consistency than some of my other foundations however it is so blendable and I found it so easy to apply. As I am writing this I have been wearing this foundation for over 6 hours and it still looks good, not as good as when first applied but it barely needs touching up, just a little around my mouth where my laughter lines are so it definitely has good staying power. 

I took a picture of me wearing it this morning to test how it looks in photos and whether it lived up to it's invisible cover reputation.

I do think it is invisible cover foundation as I feel like it doesn't look like I am wearing a lot of make up in that photo but I'll let you be the judge!

I definitely would recommend this foundation especially since it is so much easier to get hold of in the UK now that Debenhams stocks it, at £29 it is pricey however it is such good quality and great if you want a higher coverage foundation that still looks natural. On the Debenhams website there is 23 shades to choose from which is great for people who have a harder time finding a shade that matches them like me. Let me know in the comments if you have this foundation and what you think of it!

2 August 2015

Gerard Cosmetics Tequila Sunrise Lipstick Review

Hi everyone! So when I was scrolling Beauty Bay recently I saw they stocked Gerard Cosmetics and after hearing Shaaanxo talk about them so much I really wanted to try one. They didn't have the full range of colours but I really liked Tequila Sunrise which the website describes as 'a fresh and fun peachy coral which is festive, flirty and softly matte'.

Priced on Beauty Bay at £11.50 I thought it was reasonable, when it arrived I fell in love with the packaging it's so pretty! The smell of the product has a similar smell to MAC lipsticks but not as nice, it isn't a bad smell, but there is a smell although you don't notice it when applying. 

You get a really good amount of product with these lipsticks as well, I feel like it would last a long time. When it comes to the formula it is described as 'softly matte' however I didn't really think it was very matte. I loved the creaminess and to be honest matte lipsticks aren't my favourite as I find them so drying so this really didn't bother me at all, I just think anyone looking to buy may be expecting a product which is more matte. I do absolutely love the formula though, it's really creamy and the pigmentation is good, I did put two layers on though just to make the colour stand out more. I found it wasn't the longest lasting lip product however I did eat fairly soon after applying so this is probably why, it would last much longer if it was just sitting on your lips.

You can see in the swatch that the colour is a bit more pink than peachy however on the lips it definitely comes off as coral, I just wouldn't say it's a really peachy coral although I do like the colour and I think it would suit a lot of skin tones. 

I actually really like this product, for anyone who prefers a creamy lipstick formula you won't be disappointed, it just feels really nice and moisturising but is still pigmented. For £11.50 as well I think it's a good price and I really want to try more colours now! Next on my list is Buttercup which is one of the collabs Gerard Cosmetics did with Jaclyn Hill so I really want to try that. Let me know what you think of this brand in the comments!
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