Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Maybelline Baby Lips - worth the hype?

I'm sure you're all more than fed up of hearing about the notorious Maybelline Baby Lips, especially if you're in the UK given we got them much later than the US. But I gave in and decided to try one out, and I'm completely split on my review. It's both worth it and not worth it at the same time.. it's a strange one. 

I bought the shade 'Cherry Me' and I have to say it smells delicious - if you're really into that sort of fake cherry sweetie smell. I think whilst when you first put it on it really does moisturise and makes your lips feel relatively soft. But after a while I feel like my lips are even drier than they were to begin with. It's very much artificial 'moisturising' and a quick fix product with a sort of instant gratification. I  can't speak for all the range, perhaps the plain 'hydrate' one is much better at not drying on the lips but this definately did me no favours in the long run. What I do love about it, however, is how easy it is to grab and use for the subtle hint of colour. 

 It adds a really nice tint to the lips (Especially lovely for this time of year) which is reasonably buildable as you can see below.

 For that alone I do think this product has a purpose. But overall I just wasn't as impressed as I expected to be given all the fuss, what can you really expect from a £3 lip balm is the question afterall? For the price point, it's good and certainly has a purpose as a nice tint of colour.. but for its moisturising properties alone I probably wouldn't buy it again.

What do you guys think? are any of the other shades different? 

Much love, 
                   Natalie xx

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

A quick apology!

Hey guys, just a really quick post to say sorry for my dreadful lack of posts! I swear I haven't forgot.. life has just been crazy busy recently and lots of work has been due. I've  got a ton of reviews etc planned for when I'm back on track. 
Thanks for sticking with me!

Much love, 
                               Natalie xxx

Sunday, 25 August 2013

The £1 eyeliner I've fallen in love with.

I'm prone to a bit of eyeliner most days. Those of you who are also eyeliner fanatics will know that once a girl finds it, she never goes back. You'll also know that finding a decently pigmented and smooth eyeliner for £1 is practically unheard of. We've made our way through most of the flimsy eyeliners from Boots which broke off, didn't sharpen, disappeared quickly, smudged and were never quite the colour promised.
That in mind, finding one which ticks most of these boxes and even has a sharpener for £1 left me blown away. 

MUA are an excellent cheapie brand. I love most things they've came out with. I'd love to do a blog post on my current MUA products if you'd fancy it? I'm looking to try more of their stuff.
They seem to just bring it with the pigmentation for such reasonable prices. We're talking £1 here for lipsticks and the alike and £4 for palettes which I reach for constantly. Their intense colour eyeliners are no exception!
I opted for a dark brown given I own far too many black eyeliners and my brown Stila retractable liner dried out (boo). I wasn't really expecting much and I was so pleasantly surprised with this eyeliner. 

As you can see it is smooth to apply and richly pigmented. I would definitely say this is the best value and best quality eyeliner for the price on the highstreet, that's just my humble opinion of course.
I'm very picky so the only negative I could comment on was some transfer onto the top of my eyelid towards the end of the day. It was very minimal however and nothing to rant about, I had expected it to disappear long before that!
 It is perfect to apply and smudge out for a smokey effect. When I last used it I did a winged eye look and just ran over the eyeliner with some dark brown eyeshadow to soften things up, I loved it! 

This eyeliner more than gets my seal of approval and I highly recommend you guys give it a try. It's comparable to my Avon Supershock gel eyeliner and similar ones 5x the price. It's worth it just for the sharpener never mind the eyeliner as well. 

Have any of you tried these eyeliners? What are your favourite budget liners? 

Much love, 
                        Natalie x

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Organic Surge sale splurge

A while ago Organic Surge had a massive up to 70% off sale and I took thorough advantage of it! Their products are truly organic and chemical-free ( no sulphates or parabens). They also don't test on animals, always a bonus.
 Sorry this post isn't actually during the sale but I wanted to trial the products so I could actually give my thoughts and skincare products take a good few weeks of testing. This way I can let you know if it's worth the full price and inform you of my savings. 

 Left to right: Brown sugar body polish, super intensive daily moisturiser, blissful daily moisturiser and gentle cleansing lotion

Gentle Cleansing Lotion 
RRP: £5.99 
Sale price: £1.50

For the price I just couldn't resist this cleansing lotion. It promises to be gentle on the skin and suitable for even the most sensitive skin. I agree it is certainly extremelyy gentle. It isn't however completely fragrance-free. It contains lemon essential oils and rosemary which you can definitely smell during use. It isn't an overpowering scent but a required taste none the less. I quite like it myself and find it almost therapeutic.
In consistency it's quite a runny lotion and I generally use it in the morning due to its' light texture.
The instructions on the back tell you to use it on a cotton pad and swipe it over the face. I use it differently by massaging it in and using a hot cloth to wipe it off. I only feel my skin is truly clean when I use water - just my preference!  

Would I recommend it? Yes, although I'm not screaming its' praises at the top of my lungs. It is pretty  basic but enjoyable to use! You can't complain too much for £6 though, a purse friendly option. 

Blissful daily moisturiser
RRP: £8.49
Sale price: £2.12

Super-intensive daily moisturiser
RRP: £8.99
Sale price: £2.25

 I really fell in love with these moisturisers. I use the non-intensive moisturiser in the morning and the souped up version at night to inject extra moisture. The blissful daily moisturiser is made for normal/combo skin and it is so light. I love it! it absorbs into the skin quicker than anything I've used before which is exactly what I want in the mornings. It trumps the £18 Liz Earle moisturiser I was using previously. Again the scent is light and pleasant. The super-intensive version has a faint rose/floral scent which you won't like if you don't enjoy that sort of thing. It is much thicker in texture as you'd imagine and almost feels a tad 'balmy'. The blissful one is more on the herbal side. 

Would I recommend it? Definitely, they cater to different skin types and just a good all-round solid moisturiser which is pleasant to use and well priced. 

Million Dollar Brown Sugar Body Scrub
RRP: £32
Sale Price: £8.00 

This was the only 'luxury' product I purchased purely because it was on sale and I fancied a treat! I have to point out I think I'd only ever buy this if it was on sale because for me £32 is just too pricey for a body scrub.. especially when half of it ends up down the drain. That doesn't mean I didn't absolutely love it because I really did. As you can see from the photo above the oil in the scrub settles so you have to give it a good stir before using it. It smells mega strongly of orange to me.. In my opinion it isn't the best scent in the world but it's not offensive. The actual use of the product is what puts it in my good books. It leaves skin so so unbelievably soft and supple and exfoliated.

Would I recommend it? For the price tag, probably not. But if it was on sale definitely worth a try because the results are gorgeous and I'll be trying to find something similar.. 

What it should of cost:  £55.47
What I paid:£16.82 (incl delivery)
Total Savings: £41.60

A massive bargain i'm sure you'd agree! So have any of you tried any Organic Surge products? 

Much love, 
                          Natalie x

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Empties #1

This is a new type of post for me but I absolutely love reading these kind of posts so I figured why not make it a series? I love the idea of seeing the entire product has been used up and a short, useful review. It just so happened I had a few well loved empty products lying around that I had yet to throw out! 

Here's the lineup:
 left to right: Lush Ro's argan body conditioner, TBS Moroccan Rose perfume, Batiste tropical Dry Shampoo, Liz Earle Moisturizer, L'Oreal Super Liner. 

1. Ro's Argan Body Conditioner

I have the tiniest bit left as you can see here, but nowhere near enough for a full body use. This is the small trail tub that I got as part of a gift recently. It's such an interesting concept that I thought would save time in moisturizing after a shower (..i'm lazy). It's a really great product. It smells like a hundred million roses packed into a little tub - I love the smell. If you like rose scents and turkish delight you'll love it. It did make my skin baby smoothh and I really enjoyed using it. Would I repurchase? maybe some day! I just have no need at the moment. 

2. The Body Shop Moroccan Rose perfume 

I'm noticing a rose-scented theme here.. I love me some roses. This perfume is not your stereotypical 'rose' perfume. It's slightly spicy making it alot more interesting. I initially bought this perfume because it was on sale and then absolutely fell in love with it. I would totally repurchase if I ever see it on sale again. 

3. Batiste Dry Shampoo - tropical

I love dry shampoo, it is just the most convenient product ever and suchhh a quick fix if you have to rush out and your hair is looking a bit worse for wear. It adds a nice boost of volume and absorbs any greasiness you might have going on in the roots (yumm). Aside from the general 'lift' it gives your hair it smells amazing and coconut-y. An immediate transportation to a beach - ahhhhhh. If coconut is not your thing it comes in tons of different scents and it's reasonably priced. Would I repurchase? I'm on my way right now.. 

4. Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser ( normal/combo skin)

This product was seriously lacking in any type of 'wow' factor to be honest. I would probably have needed the version for a dry skin type so that could potentially be what hindered its' ability to impress. It just is very 'meh'. I saw or felt no huge difference and whilst it does the job without many frills it just isn't worth the hefty price tag.. in my opinion. I think it's about £18 or so. I feel I could purchase something more effective cheaper. I won't repurchase anytime soon. 

5. L'Oreal Super Liner Black Lacquer 

I did enjoy using this liquid liner. It was pretty tricky initally but I did get better with it. What annoyed me about this eyeliner though was how it dried out exceptionally quickly during use so you had to dip back in the tube again all  the time. I was impressed with the wear time though and how it did not smudge throughout the day. Overall a generally okay product but I'm looking to try out more 'felt-tip' type liners with perhaps a thinner nib. Would I repurchase? Not anytime soon. I'm looking to broaden my eyeliner horizons. 

So that's everything, let me know if you guys enjoy this kind of post! 

Much love, 
                Natalie xx

Sunday, 14 July 2013

10 most common beauty mistakes

This post was heavily influenced by an article I read in LOOK magazine earlier today. I read it and was like 'right, I need to share this' so went about writing this post. 
Without further babbling, here are the beauty sins we're most guilty of.. 

(Disclaimer: Everyone does their makeup and beauty bits differently, whatever works for you is best! these are just the most common mistakes)

1. Dabbing foundation around your face 

  • Always start at the cetnre of your face and work outwards
  • It makes it harder to blend in when left to dry
  • You're more likely to encounter streaks and get product in your hairline


2. Holding eyeliner like a pencil 

  • Most people hold their eyeliner like they're about to write (close to the nib)
  • It means your more likely to create a blurred line 
  • The correct spot is further back (2in - if you want to be ultra precise)


3. Patting eye cream on at night 

  • Most of you probably know you should apply eye cream with your ring finger (to apply the least pressure)
  • It should be put on in the morning
  • Sleeping + eye cream = puffiness 
  • If you're standing up congestion can drain away


4. Misplacing blusher

  • Imagine a vertical line from the centre of your pupil down your cheek and another from the end of your eyebrow down - this can help lift your entire face


5. Putting kirby grips where they're not needed

  • Most of us are guilty of using enough kirby grips to support a small house, with hair still falling out
  • Usually it's because they're not in the right place
  • Slide them where there's the most tension i.e. centre or bottom of the style (not the ends of your hair)


6. Using too much hair product

  • It's  mega easy to go OTT on the hair product. 
  • This is a really quirky system that helps you work out how much of each thing to use. It is based on the circumference of different fruits (the same principle of like a 'pea-sized amount' etc)
 Shampoo + conditoner = Strawberry
conditoning treatment = Plum
Mousse =  Apricot
Serum = Grape
Oil =  Blueberry


7. Not wiggling your mascara wand

  • Literally everyone has a weird and wonderful way of applying their own mascara (and a facial expression to match) 
  • Makeup artists contest that wiggling the wand at the base of the lashes before combing through creates the most volume


8. Using hand cream on your palms 

  • In reality it is the back of your hands that need the TLC
  • Your palms have more sweat glands, so don't get as dry


9. Using too much nail polish 

  • So many of us apply nail polish too thickly, so it chips 
  • Aim for 3 swipes per coat (one down the centre and one to either side)
  • Wide brushes work best


10. Spraying perfuime on your neck

  • We all moan that you can't smell your perfume after a while and that it doesn't last
  • Most of us spray straight onto our wrists and neck
  • For longevity spray onto your collarbone and into the crook of your elbow 

Sooo that's everything. I know I am definately guilty of a few if not all of those.... opps. 
What about you guys?

Thanks for reading! 

Much love, 
                     Natalie  xxx

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Discount store shopping

In the UK we have these bargain stores like B&M, bargain home and poundland etc that occasionally sell discounted makeup. I'm not one to pass up any decent looking cosmetic item that costs £1 so on a recent shopping trip I picked up a few things and it's all good news.

Cue the goods.. 

Left to right: Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Sheerest Cream Blush, Revlon colourstay nail polish, NYC applelicious Glossy Lip Balm, NYC Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil.

As you can see above the blush is the shade 'Beaming'. It's a beautiful natural pink shade and, as the name would suggest, goes on very sheer. I'm probably most impressed with this out of all the things I bought. I didn't even know Sally Hansen made makeup but I'm in love. It creates a really nice natural sheeny effect and generally brightens up the face. 

Here's what it looks like on... 
(I wear my blusher quite high up on the cheeks)

Shades left to right: Sweet Tart, Sorbet and Provence. 

The pencil and applelicious lip balm came in a pack together for £1. The pencil is a dark blue sort of colour and whilst i'm not convinced about its' staying power, it is a nice shade. 

The lip balm is in the shade 'Apple Blueberry Pie'. I loveeee this balm. It smells amazing and proper appley. It has a core of moisture surrounded by the colour and, as you can see from the swatch, is a sheer deep raspberry colour. Almost like the colour of Ribena!

All in all I'm well chuffed with the purchases and so surprised at how much of a bargain it all was! The revlon polishes especially. 

Much love, 
                              Natalie xxx

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

NOTD - Barry M Gelly 'Blueberry'

Summertime always makes me want to wear the brightest colours all the time. This is the perfect shade and I love it. It's the shade 'blueberry' which is a fun bright blue. 

My favourite thing about this particular line of polishes is their formula. I really really really like it. It seems to be totally fail-proof and even with a rather sloppy application looks okay in the end.

 The longevity is admirable for a polish costing £3.99 and they're well worth the money. I'm slowly beginning to like these polishes more than my nails inc ones (which is saying a lot!).

Paired with my new favourite cult top coat Seche Vite it's a combination that has me catching myself just staring at my nails. The top coat dries near instantly with a super shiny glass-like finish. It makes it look like you've had a full blown manicure without even stepping outside your own door! 


 and voliaaa.

What do you guys think of this colour? have you tried the gelly polishes before?

Much love, 
                          Natalie xxx

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Jumping on the micellar bandwagon - the bargain way

I've been intrigued by the micellar explosion over the blogging world now for months, all started by the highly-acclaimed Bioderma. What was famed for being a make-up artist secret made its way on the highstreet - but only in France initially.  Thankfully however more and more brands are now releasing their own versions within many different price ranges. 
I don't know why I never decided to jump on the bandwagon before, maybe I was skeptical about how good it actually was after it had been so over-hyped.

Micellar waters generally offer thorough cleansing and makeup removal in the most gentle way possible (no more hopping manically around the bathroom fearing you've lost your eyesight due to what can only be described as acid in a bottle). Those days are gone. 

The science behind the magic
skip over this if you're already clued up!
  •  'Micelle' is a microscopic cluster of oil molecules suspended in soft water – (complicated right?)
  • The clusters are hydrophobic and oil-loving, therefore grabbing and absorbing dirt and makeup without breaking or upsetting the skin’s natural lipid (fat) barrier like a foaming or rinsing cleanser would. (those that contain sulphates).
  •  Alcohol and soap free, they can be used as a gentle makeup remover, after-cleansing toner or as a non-rinse cleanser for sensitive skins – most formulations also contain soothing and softening ingredients like glycerin, cucumber and rose that contribute to the soft, clean feel they leave behind.
In short, they are the lazy girl's dream. It's perfect for those late nights which led us to neglect our skin and not take off our makeup or a quick fix in an emergency. What is important to note though is it is not to replace your normal cleansing routine.. as tempting as it is. We've all been there, exhausted and staring at bed longingly, but not wanting to feel and look like a crack addict in the morning. But over use of micellar waters do dry out your skin. (the lovely skin genius Caroline Hirons warns pixiwoo about it in this video - here! This woman's word is God on skincare). 

So, with all the warnings in mind, I couldn't not try out this micellar solution when I walked past it in tescos. It was on sale for buy one get one free! and was priced at just £4.99. A huge bargain!

This one claims to be great for even sensitive skin which is great and I can testify it does not sting your skin and does infact just feel exactly like water which does make your skin feel really refreshed. The Glycerin in this one acts as a calming agent. As you can see from the picture i've got through quite a lot and all you do is apply using a cotton pad straight on to dry skin. 
I like to soak two cotton pads in the water and then leave them on my eyes. When I wipe it away almost all the eye makeup is gone. 

I'll be totally honest the only time I did experience a bit of irritation was when the cotton pad was over saturated and alott of it ran into my eyes.. that hurt a tiny bit. But mostly my own fault! It's pretty unfragranced and claims to be totally hypo-allergenic - which is always good. A nice short ingredients list on the back of the product is always promising too.

On the whole I was very pleased with this product and I'll be using it for all sorts of situations where I need to get makeup off quickly. Just don't neglect your normal cleansers!

I'll link up Caroline Hirons blog - here - for you guys (she really really knows her stuff).

Much love, 
                    Natalie xxx

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Birthday beauty - a birthday 'haul'

From this post you'll be able to gather my loved ones know me too well... they're well aware of my beauty fanatic ways. So it may look a tad excessive but remember these were gifts guys! From lots of different people. It's why I was reluctant to use the 'haul' label.

Real Techniques core collection brush set - MUA 'undress me too' palette -  Sleek 'Storm' palette - Avon Naturals body lotion - Soap and Glory 'mist you madly' body spray - Bourjois pot rouge - Collection lasting perfection concealer - Essie nail polish, Avon nailwear pro+ polish, Barry M gelly hi-shine polishes, Bourjois 1 seconde polish - Models Own Hedkandi polish.


These are the two palettes I received (apologies for the lighting, didn't want to wash out the colours!)The colours are def up my street and both are a totally bargain with the sleek palette costing just £7.99 and the MUA palette £4. Neutrals are kind of my thing and so far I'm loving these colours.

Make-up Bits

The pot rouge blush is in the shade 'rose pompon' and the concealer is 'fair 1' (the lightest I presume). I have heard a lot of negative feedback about these blushes for their lack of pigmentation and 'overly glittery' appearance. However, these are the exact two reasons I have came to love this blush. It's relatively cheap and cheerful and I don't have to use a light hand. I've found it to be an amazing everyday blush purely because of its 'buildability'. I don't have to be too careful and I can skip on a highlight - perfect. I have it pegged as a lazy day blush. The concealer is also up to scratch and I've found no problems with it as yet.

Body products 

I currently already own a bottle of this Soap and Glory body spray but I absolutely adore it and was delighted to have a backup! The lotion is is the scent 'raspberry and hibiscus' and smells divine - for those of us who have no qualms with smelling like a massive 'petit filous'. 

Nail Polishes

I have been eyeing these up for far too long (as my friends already knew apparently!) and was so excited when I got them. I've found the colours are great and the formula even more so.

Shades from left to right: papaya, dragon fruit, blueberry and greenberry.

These were the other assorted polishes I was equally excited to get! 
Shades left to right: 'Buy me a cameo', 'beach party', couldn't find the shade of this after scrutinizing the bottle for a good ten minutes, it's a purple glitter polish anyway) and 'seduce me strawberry'

So that's about everything! I figured the brushes were fairly self-explanatory. Thanks for reading guys. 

If you want to see any individual reviews on anything just ask in the comments and I'll be more than happy to do one! 

Much love, 
                 Natalie xx

Monday, 13 May 2013

A love affair - Ted Baker

Deepest apologies to all of you for not blogging in the longest time.. this is the joy of exams *sobs uncontrollably* 
I'm still in the midst of the dreaded things so I'll post when I can and then hopefully more regularly in the summer. 

For now I bring you the latest love in my life. This is something I've admired from afar for a longg time but I just couldn't bring myself to buy it. I couldn't justify the £40 it cost for something so small....yet oh so beautiful. Of course when it was bought for me as a birthday gift I couldn't feel guilty! 
I've been after a Ted Baker make-up bag for a long time. I adored the bright floral neon prints and patent appearance; in the end I opted for something more classic and luxurious looking.

so wait with bated breath no longer, here it is in all its glory.. 

 It's called the 'Galene' bag and is actually branded as a wash bag, but for me its' the perfect size and material to use as a make-up bag. The lighting here makes it look very white, it's more cream with rose gold hardware.

 It's on the Ted Baker site - Here!

The detailing is really quite nice and although the cream lining is not going to stay cream for long, the bag is beautiful. Or at least I think so anyway! 
This is without doubt going to be long and beautiful love affair.

Much Love, 
               Natalie xx

Monday, 8 April 2013

Sunny days, happy faces

Sunshine is such a rare occurrence in Northern Ireland that when it happened I felt the need to take some photos and preserve it.
You can still see the snow on the hills in the background. After snow in spring it's no surprise I was eager to see some sun!
 Now if only the temperatures outside matched it..

I've definitely got those summertime cravings..

Much love, 
                 Natalie xx

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Azure eyes - beautiful blues

I got bored yesterday and started playing around with a few colours to see what I could come up with.
I was actually staring out the window (visible in the background) so you can see where the inspiration for these colours came from. I am in love with the turquoise-bluey-greeny eyeliner i've used underneath the eye and I feel like it really brings out my blue eyes!

Admittedly it's a very dramatic look and not one for everyday but I think the colours are gorgeous nonetheless.

 so here are the products I used to create this eye look: 

Left to Right: GOSH eyeliner in 'Cool Mint', L'Oreal colour riche le kohl, Too Faced Eye shadow insurance policy palette, L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes Mascara and Rimmel Match Perfection concealer. 

 You'll have to excuse this rather grubby looking palette but the colours inside are striking and bold, not for the faint-hearted, but perfect for adding drama.  I used the bright blue colour 'Skinny Dip' all over the lid and blended it outwards to diffuse the colour.
Along with the eyeshadow I think this product is the shining glory of this look. The pencil is so creamy and goes on like a dream (again you'll have to excuse it's grubbiness - it was lying in the bottom of a drawer). I think this colour is so unique and I'm glad I re-discovered it. These sorts of colours are also bang on trend this spring so they're a lot more wearable than you might think. 

 I used the black liner to tight-line my eye and the concealer to tidy up any possible fallout underneath and to give me a cleaner line where I blended the shadow.

So what do you guys think? What eye looks are you loving currently? 
 Thanks for reading! 

Much Love, 
                     Natalie xxx