E.L.F Studio Brow Kit | The Staples

Strong brows seem to be back in style again with the likes of Cara Delevingne bringing back the trend. I have a real love/hate relationship with my own brows. I need to use product on them as they're naturally sparse and I've managed to finally relax with the tweezers after years of misshaped brows. 
The E.L.F studio brow kit is a product I've used in the past but decided to re-purchase in a recent order. It contains a coloured wax, powder and mini brush. I have the dark shade kit which is a good match for my brows. The powder is a touch on the light side so I tend to just use the wax. The wax itself is creamy, highly pigmented and easy to blend. The brush isnt too bad, the angled side is very sturdy and its easy to apply the product but I generally use my sigma brow brush as I prefer the longer handle. The wax looks really natural and lasts throughut the day - I've never once had to reapply. 
Even better is that this kit only costs £3.75 - a total bargain!Its well worth a try and is handy to have as part of your basics kit!

What are your favourite E.L.F products?

October Beauty Favourites

Its been a varied month beauty wise. A mix of new and old have come into play with a few surprising products thrown in.
I finally decided to invest in a good hair brush with the Michel Mercier Detangling Brush being my choice. I actually bought the kids version as its slightly cheaper yet still a good sized brush and does exactly the same job. It's become an essential as it detangles without tugging or damaging the hair. I have the version for thick hair which I guess would be comparable to the tangle teezer except I find it easier to use due to the handle, its a really good brush and worth shelling out for. I've also been using the Vo5 smoothly does it tame and shine spray. I usually spritz a little of this on before blow drying as it contains heat protection. Its really light, not-sticky and leaves my hair looking naturally glossy!
Makeup wise, I've been switching between a few items this month but my favourites have been MAC's extra dimension skinfinish in superb for a gorgeous glow, the appropriately named NYX lipstick in pumpkin pie; a dupe for MAC's shy girl which I reviewed here and sugarpills subterranean shadow (mentioned in this post).
Blush wise, I've returned to Bobbi Brown (totally off topic but I always write boobi brown  - thank god for spell check!) blush in nude peach; a soft peach with subtle shimmer. Pigmentation wise its not the best I've used but I adore the shade and satin finish.

Other products I've been enjoying are Ren Gentle Cleansing Milk and Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm. These are only travel size versions but I would definitely buy full size. Ren's gentle cleansing milk is the perfect morning cleanser as its so light, non greasy and cleanses whilst refreshing. The elemis pro collagen cleansing balm is possibly my all time favourite balm cleanser. Well I say that but my tastes change frequently. However, the elemis balm not only smells amazing but leaves my skin feeling so soft and smooth, I immediately notice a difference. It is an oily balm but I haven't experienced any breakouts or extra oiliness *touch wood* so far so good.
Not really beauty as such but a product I've really loved using this month is the luxury organic candle c/o Neom.  Neom candles are made using vegetable wax and pure essential oils and can be used as holistic treatments. The luxury candle contains lavender, jasmine and brazilian rosewood creating a relaxing ambiance. It has three wicks and can burn for up to 50 hours, a hell of a lot longer than your standard candle. I adore burning candles at this time of year, the neom ones are really lovely and luxurious and perfect for evening!

What products have you enjoyed using this month?

Bronzing & Soft Lips with The Body Shop!

Since I started beauty blogging one product I'm using a lot more is bronzer. I never thought that I could pull off the bronzed look with being so pale but I've been proven otherwise. My current favourite bronzer is The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder (£13). I have the lightest shade which I reviewed in this post. Recently I received shade 4* and thought a review would be appropriate for darker skinned readers.
The honey bronze bronzing powder is a matte bronzer with a honeycomb design. Packaging wise, it reminds me a little of guerlain powder bronzers in a brown compact with a mirror inside. The powder itself feels soft, is pigmented and applies evenly. The body shop bronzers aren't orange toned so theres no need to worry about looking like an oompa loompa! I love the natural healthy bronzed look the powder creates and they also double up as a good contour product too.
For shade comparison here are the variations between light (1) and dark (4)

Light (left) / Dark (right)

To apply, I've also been testing out the bronzing brush* (£16) made from synthetic hair. Hands down, this is the softest brush I've ever used. It doesn't shed and it applies powder evenly. 

Another item I've been using a lot from the body shop is the born lippy pot lip balm in strawberry (£2)*

These little pots are great for moisturising lips and adding a tint. Strawberry smells so yummy - I just want to lick my lips constantly when I use it!They also come in other flavours; satsuma, raspberry, watermelon ,passionberry and pink guava and other flavours are available in stick form so theres something for everyone! 

Givenchy Ombre Couture Eyeshadow Collection 2014

Beauty never sleeps. I'm already starting to see bits and pieces from upcoming 2014 collections and so far its looking good. For Spring 2014, Givenchy launch their couture eyeshadow collection - a range of silky smooth, waterproof shadows created by Nicholas Degennes.  Possibly these may be Givenchy's version of Chanels illusion d'ombre shadows?

Ombre Couture Eyeshadows

*Blanc Satin
*Beige Mousseline
*Rose Dentelle
*Bleu Soie
*Taupe Velours
*Kaki Brocart
*Gris Organza
*Prune Taffetas
*Brun Cachemire

Available from February 1st 2014 priced £18

Winter Skincare Prep!

I quite like this time of year, even if the weather is terrible. Dark evenings are no good for taking photos - my photos are so poopy, maybe its time to invest in some lighting?hmm. 
With winter on the horizon, its also time I begin to prepare my skin - moisturise, moisturise, moisturise is my motto. Even my face which is generally oily still gets dehydrated so I definitely need a few good products and I've think I've found a few!
I have a bit of a thing for Soap & Glory Body products. The Righteous Body Butter is great for using all over the body. The floral fruity scent smells incredible and the texture of the moisturiser is really creamy. It soaks in super quick leaving scaly skin a thing of the past!
Not really a saviour for dry skin but I wanted to give a shout out to bath and body works hand gel. I bought a couple from ebay to pop in my various handbags. I'm something of a germaphobe so I always have to have hand sanitiser. The bath & body works ones are only 29ml each (the minis) but they come in so many fragrances. Vanilla cupcake smells so yummy!
For my face, I love using Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask. This is literary a 'wonder mask' - it hydrates, balances, softens, plumps and calms. Antipodes are a natural brand, meaning theres none of those 'bad ingredients' in their products. The Manuka Honey Mask is suitable for any skin type and its become one of my ultimate skin care products.
No skin care post on dry skin would be complete without a nod to lipbalm. In my case, I've been using the Nuxe reve de miel stick. It's slightly more expensive than your average lipbalm but I already had the pot version and wanted to purchase the stick to carry around with me. The stick has a lighter formulation than the pot and isn't quite as nourishing but it smells really good and still keeps my lips feeling soft.

Let me know if you have any favourites for dry skin or if you've given any of these a try?

E.L.F Baked Blush in Pinktastic - A MAC Dupe!

These days its generally blogs that encourage me to make a beauty purchase. After spotting the E.L.F baked blush in pinktastic over on Sandras blog I immediately made a little order. Pinktastic is a dupe for MAC's Soft and Gentle MSF, a highlighter that's been on my wishlist for a while but just never got around to buying. MAC's offering is £22 whilst the E.L.F blush is only £3.75. 
Pinktastic feels soft to touch, isn't overly powdery and has great pigmentation. I picked up the E.L.F studio small stipple brush to apply it. Pinktastic is extremely blendable anyway but with the small stipple brush its even easier as the brush size is perfect for application to cheeks. I love using the brush as it feels really soft and doesn't shed. For £3.75 its such a bargain buy!
If you're looking for a good duo for glowing skin then I highly recommend giving these two products a whirl!

Trilogy Skincare!

Since writing a blog, I've become more interested in skincare. Trilogy has fast become one of my favourite brands. I've mentioned both the cleanser and rosehip oil before but since then I've purchased the replenishing night cream and I've been using them enough to give a more in depth review.
Trilogy very gentle cleansing cream is a nourishing, creamy cleanser that's fragrance free. I apply to damp skin and remove with a cloth or flannel before splashing my face with warm water to remove any remaining residue. Its become one of my favourite cleansers as it feels incredibly soothing and leaves my skin feeling clean and soft without drying it out or making my skin oily. Its what I consider to be an all round brilliant cleanser.
Another Trilogy favourite is the certified organic rosehip oil.  This is a multi-purpose product that can be used on the face or body to moisturise, treat wrinkles and stretchmarks. Rosehip oil is naturally rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids which work to promote cell regeneration and increase skin moisture. I love that this oil feels light, meaning it doesn't make my skin oilier. It also leaves my skin look more radiant and has smoothed my stretch marks. To treat any fine lines I have, I also use Trilogy replenishing night cream. Before I bought this, I looked at more expensive creams but this one seemed like good value for money at around £25ish for a 60ml pot. This moisturiser is a heavier cream than which I'm used to so I like to use it sparingly and generally apply straight to fines lines before blending in. The cream contains hyaluronic acid and omegas 3, 6 and 9 to help restore skin elasticity and the natural process of regeneration. I've been using this cream for a few weeks and I've definitely noticed my skin looking smoother, more refined and plumped. I like that it feels really gentle and isn't overly greasy despite being a rich cream. I think this would be a good night cream for most skin types.
I purchased these from Amazon which were slightly cheaper but its worth shopping around for beauty offers. I'll 100% repurchase all of these when I run out - my skin seems to really like them and although they're not mega cheap, they're good quality for the price point!

Have you tried any trilogy products?

MAC Magnetic Nude Collection

A new MAC collection that sees the return of Superb extra dimension skinfinish (above) one of my favourite highlighters - you can see my review here. I'm really interested in seeing the other skinfinishes and lipsticks especially close contact and morning rose.

Extra Dimension Skinfinishes 
Superb soft peachy nude with multi-dimensional shimmer *
Magnetic Appeal Medium tan with fine gold sheen
Fairly Precious peach with dimensional pearly sheen

Extra Dimension Blushes
At Dusk mid-tone cool pink *
Autoerotique mid-tone coral rose
Pleasure Model soft terracotta with pearlized pigments

Close Contact creamy peach (Amplified Creme)
Carnal Instinct deep brick red with gold pearlized pigments(Frost)
Morning Rose soft cool rose (Cremesheen)
Sensual Sparks mid-tone cool caramel (Amplified Creme)

A Quiet Roar creamy off white*
Steel Kiss mid-tone mauve with green pearlized pigments
Hell Bound brick red with gold pearlized pigments*
Oh My Darling pale yellow pink*
Overspiced mid-tone muted coral

Extra Dimension Eyeshadows
A Natural Flirt iridescent light pink*
Sweet Heat soft peach pink*
Silver Dawn mid-tone grey mauve
Platinum Love bright silver
Amourous Alloy deep terracotta copper

It's Physical brown with purple pearlized pigments
Chilled frosted white gold
Our Secret metallic brown with red pearlized pigments

Bad, Bad, Black black

128 Brush Split Fibre Cheek (Natural/synthetic fibre)*
235 Split Fibre All Over Eye (Natural/synthetic fibre)*
* Repromotes 

December/January release.

A Homeware Wishlist

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Lately I've been spending some time on little projects around the house. I love browsing home furnishings and I've picked up one or two things already but I've got my eye on a few pretties that wont break the bank. 
The first thing I'm after is a Yankee candle diffuser. My sister has a few scattered around her home and they always smell lovely!I'm also looking for a metal jug to keep flowers in. I spotted this (2) shabby chic one on ebay which is really pretty.
One of my favourite places for homeware is Dunelm Mill, there are so many nice things in there that are really affordable. I've spotted a beautiful birdcage lamp (3) for £14.99 which I think I'm going to buy soon. I also like this rose organza cushion (4) too for £4.99 which is really cheap! Another place I've also found some pretty gems is gifts & pieces which is owned by Abby from un-observed. I love this letter rack holder (5) which would be handy for storing makeup palettes in. 
At H&M I've found this cute rose glass bottle (6) which would look gorgeous on a dressing table. For the bedroom, I also really love this boudoir sign (7), its very shabby chic - a style I'm really into.

Do you have any favourite shops for homeware?

Love Me Beauty Box October

Octobers Love Me Beauty Box* seems to have come around quickly and this months box is a good 'un!

To recap, the Love Me Beauty box offers three boxes each month - each box is a variation of contents so there is something tailored to everyone and you see the contents of the box before you receive it. You can find out more here
Each month you receive 4 or five products. This month I chose box 2 which includes;

Lord & Berry Scuba Mascara (full size) worth £12
This month sees the return of makeup to the love me beauty box. This item is a waterproof, smudge free mascara aiming to thicken and lengthen lashes. I'm looking forward to trying this and I'll have a full review soon!

Lord & Berry Smudge Proof  Eyeliner (full size) worth £7.50
Smudge proof liner that outlines from day to night. This is in the shade 'smoke' which is brown and a great alternative to black. I prefer brown for a more natural daytime look so I'm looking forward to trying this.

Balm Balm Detox Bath & Shower 5ml (full size) worth £6
Even though this is teeny tiny its actually a full size sample. I'm not too familiar with Balm Balm but this blended aromatherapy oil sounds relaxing. Detox cleanses mind and body with essential oils of ginger, lemon and juniper. This little bottle is contains 2-3 uses.

Weleda Millet Nourishing Shampoo (18ml sample) full size is £8.95
I'm really looking forward to trying this as other Weleda products I've tried have been great. This shampoo is ideal for normal hair and contains organic macadamia oil and sage to gently cleanse and nourish.

Amie Skincare Morning Dew (full size) worth £4.95
Morning Dew is a light daily moisturiser which is mineral oil and paraben free. It sounds perfect for oily/combination skin as it hydrates whilst controlling shine and leaving a smooth matte finish. 

I really like the variety of products in this months box. With four full size items, Love Me Beauty is definitely onto a winner again. I've been impressed with all the boxes I've had so far. Love me beauty definitely has consistency, which the likes of glossy box lack. If you're looking at signing up for a box then I do think this one is one of the best beauty box brands out there!

Ebay Bargains Under £5!

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

I'm back today with some more ebay bargains under a fiver. This time I've found some fashion items as well as beauty. I cant believe these are so cheap especially the cat watch, madness!!!
I think I'm going to pick up a few of these. I already have a china glaze polish from the seller I linked but in a different shade which I'll share soon!!

Sugarpill Subterranean Eyeshadow!

Sugarpill is a brand new to me but after spying their cold chemistry palette on another blog, I fell head over heels with the shade subterranean. Originally, I was going to purchase the palette but then discovered each shade is available to purchase separately - to my knowledge this range isn't limited edition so I may pick up another shade at some point.
Subterranean is a forest green shade with teal shimmer. It has amazing pigmentation and is super soft but borders on being slightly powdery. I wear my shadows over a primer and this shade is long wearing with no obvious fading. I love the packaging too and its definitely a brand I want to discover more of.!

If you have any sugarpill suggestions let me know!

Giveaway!Win My Highstreet/Drugstore Favourites!

Today, I have a giveaway featuring five of my favourite highstreet/drugstore products. All items I've picked out and purchased myself and as usual this giveaway is open worldwide. All you need to do is follow the instructions on the rafflecopter form below.

Sleek Vintage Romance Palette
Sleek Rose Gold Blush
Maybelline Baby Lips
Maybelline Colour Tattoo Pink Gold
Kate Moss Rimmel Lipstick Shade 5 (pink)

Giveaway ends November 10th 2013

Good Luck!!

Jane Iredale Glow Time BB Cream

It seems like the bb trend isnt going away anytime soon. To be be truthful, I think the term 'bb' has become slightly overused but I judge a product on how well it works regardless. Lately, I've been using the Jane Iredale Glow Time BB cream*  a bb cream that provides full coverage! I've only used one or two bb creams before and I find they are either far too light or far too orange for my skin tone. In glow time bb cream, I use bb1, the lightest of 6 shades and its a perfect match for my skin.
Glow time is a mineral based formula thats non-comedogenic (doesnt block pores), has spf 25 and is water resistant for up to 40 minutes (I cant say I've tested that out yet!). As a full coverage cream, glow time has a thick consistency, a little of this goes a long way - In the swatch I've applied it heavy for photographic purposes but generally I use it sparingly. Its quite hard to blend so I prefer to apply with my fingers rather than a brush or sponge. Coverage wise, the formula is perfect - pores are minimised, fine lines are blurred and my complexion feels smooth and refined with a demi matte finish. My skin is oily but this cream lasts well throughout the day and most importantly doesnt feel heavy despite being full coverage.
I really like this bb cream, it performs much better than previous creams I've used but I think thats down to the higher coverage consistency. It's not cheap by any means but for the price point it does perform really well and its a product I would recommend to anyone looking for a full coverage base.

High Street/Drugstore Favourites

As nice as it is to splash out now and again on a luxury item, the majority of my favourite products are from the highstreet/drugstore. There are so many good value for money items out there that its been really difficult to whittle down a few. I haven't even thought about nail/body products etc. Revlon has been one of my favourite brands since I first discovered makeup. There have been one or two duds along the way but on the whole, Revlon have some great products, my favourite being foundations. Revlon Colorstay is one of my all time must haves. I've repurchased so many times, mainly due to its amazing oil control, good coverage and shade match. When I want something lighter, I'll opt for Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation. I need to blot more with this base but I love that it blends really well, smooths the complexion and just generally makes your skin look radiant and healthy. For concealer, I love the hyped Collection Lasting Perfection. This offers great coverage without looked caked on, its lasts all day and its a great match for my skin tone. 
The Loreal Nude Magique BB Powder is a product that's shot straight to the top of my favourites since I purchased a few weeks ago. It offers great oil control whilst feeling light on the skin and it doesn't oxidise which is plus. My skin looks smooth, refined and shine free when I use it.
For mascara, my love for Max Factor Masterpiece Max* has been growing. I've mentioned in the past that I've never got on with high street mascaras but this one is in a different league. It rivals one of my all time favourite Laura Mercier mascaras in terms of lengthening lashes, adding volume and lasting throughout the day without smudging.

There are so many lip products that I really rate but if I had to name some of my favourites, they would include Loreal caresse lipsticks, Revlon Lip butters, Maybelline baby lips and Kate Moss for Rimmel Lipsticks.
For eyeshadow, Maybelline Color Tattoos are great for a wash of colour or as a base. On and On bronze is one of my favourite shades but pomegranate is also a great shade for autumn. One of the best brands for value for money are Sleek. My current favourite Sleek product is the vintage romance palette, which I reviewed here. I also really love the Sleek blush in rose gold too.

I would love to know your favourite high street/drugstore products?

p.s. I'll be giving away some of these items later this week!!

Gwen Stefani for OPI 2014

This may be the best beauty collaboration I've heard about in a while!OPI are partnering with Gwen Stefani for 7 new shades!

4 in the Morning 
 a new, semi-matte satin finish designed to be worn without top coat.

Push and Shove, a bold chrome hue, is also worn without top coat but requires a special complimentary base coat – Lay Down that Base. .
Hey Baby
I Sing in Color
 In True Stefani Fashion
 two glossy crème lacquers and one sparkly glitter shade

Over & Over A-Gwen – is available in a boxed set, which includes Swarovski black crystals and silver, gold and pewter studs in bar, square, diamond and circle shapes for creating unique nail designs, as well as nail glue for easy application.

This collection is released in January 2014! I'm so excited to see swatches of these shades, I'll definitely be picking up a few. I cant wait!!

A Flush of Colour: Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush in Spicey

I think I've said before on here that I'm a massive fan of blush. I love discovering new blushes and one recent addition has been a watercolour blush by Daniel Sandler. I'm familiar with Daniels brand although I haven't tried anything before this product. I've heard quite a lot about the watercolour blushes as I know they're generally well regarded within the beauty world but the watercolour texture is completely new to me. As the name suggests, watercolour blushes are a liquid texture that need to be shook well before use to avoid the blush 'separating' in the bottle. To apply, I find it works best pouring the liquid onto the back of the hand and then dipping your brush into it. This avoids getting too much blush onto your brush as it literally does pour out from the bottle. 
With this type of blush, I find it best to use a really good brush (I've been using real techniques buffing brush!) as it can look patchy during application with the wrong brush. The shade I have is spicey, which is a shimmery terracotta. The shimmer is really subtle which leaves a lovely glow on the skin. As its quite sheer, this is the type of blush that you could build up or layer another blush over the top. I've used a matte blush over the top and the shimmer still comes through. On the whole, this is a really pretty, long wearing blush for a natural flush. I love the packaging, its so cute and the squeezy style bottle is ideal for this type of blush. There are several shades of watercolor blush available but I think spicey is a shade that would suit the majority of skin tones!

E.L.F Mineral Must Haves!

Recently I was given the chance to try a few items from E.L.F's mineral range. I've tried a few products from E.L.F in the past and truth be told I've found the brand hit and miss but as with any brand/product I keep an open mind.

Eyeshadow primer is a staple in my makeup bag. The E.L.F Mineral Shadow Primer £3 is a nude coloured primer formulated without parabens, preservatives or chemical dyes. I've used this is the past and it was one of my favourite primers so I hoped I would still like it this time around. Packaging wise, its housed in a 'lipgloss style' tube. I don't mind the packaging apart from that you cant see how much is left in the tube but application wise the wand makes it easy to dot on the lids and blend.
I suffer from oily eyelids and with this primer any shadow I use stays put throughout the day. It dries quickly, doesn't feel tacky and leaves my shadow looking crease free. I prefer using this primer to more expensive versions. Too faceds primer doesn't work on my lids and Urban Decay Primer Potion leaves my shadow looking dry. For £3 E.L.F's mineral primer is definitely worth a purchase, especially if you suffer from oiliness or if you want your shadow to stay put for longer!

When it comes to eyeshadow, I love anything across the neutral spectrum. E.L.F Pressed Mineral Eyeshadow £3.50 in What's Your Name is a taupe/mauve. It feels silky smooth with good pigmentation, it's easy to blend and apply. What's Your Name looks like it has subtle shimmer in the pan but applied, its more of a matte finish and any shimmer is hard to detect. I found this shade started to fade slightly towards the end of the day but nothing too bad and the shade is a beaute.

E.L.F Mineral Shadow in Confident £3 is a loose powder shadow in a shimmery mid brown taupe shade. E.L.F loose mineral shadows are 100% mineral based with no parabens, preservatives or chemical dyes. Confident feels soft, has good pigmentation and can be used wet or dry. I find theres less fall out when used wet and the shade is slightly more intense. To use, I tip a little in the lid, swirl my brush around, tap off any excess powder on the side of the lid and apply. Worn over a primer, this lasts throughout the day. I highly recommend this shadow if you love shimmery shades as Confident looks beautiful and is a steal at £3!

For dark shadows around the eyes, E.L.F's Mineral Eye Brightener £3.50 aims to perk up tired eyes and brighten and revitalise. The Mineral Eye Brightener is a yellow toned powder. It looks quite dark in the container but applies much lighter. The first thing I noticed was how well it blends into my skin. I'm incredibly pale and it blends seamlessly into my skin and hides any discolouration. Under my eyes, I do find it looks slightly dry after a few hours. My tip is to mix it with a little moisturiser as my under eye area is on the dry side so it stops it looking powdery or chalky. I've also been using this under my nose and other areas where I have some redness and it works perfectly!

primer/whats your name/confident/eye brightener (swatched heavily)

Overall, I'm pretty impressed with these items from the mineral range. I'll definitely be looking into a few other E.L.F products so let me know if you have any suggestions/recommendations!