Monday 28 October 2013

Clarins The Essentials Eye Make-Up Palette Review & Swatches

As you may be aware, two weeks ago I attended the Debenhams Beauty Press Show showcasing all the best Christmas beauty gifts available this year (full post on the event here)

That day I saw some amazing gifts, but one thing caught my eye above everything else, and I just could not get it out of my head until it was mine... The Clarins Essentials Palette.

Until now, I had never tried any Clarins make-up, in fact the only Clarins product I owned was the cult favourite, the Beauty Flash Balm so I was unsure what to expect in terms of quality, I was sold on the pure beauty of the 10 gorgeous neutral shades within the palette. 

Firstly let's talk about the packaging... I'm just going to come straight out and say I'm not a big fan. While I do like the stripes I think the colour choices are a bit dull and don't reflect the beauty within the packaging. I think it should have been designed to look a bit more special, it is limited edition after all. However, it's what's inside that matters...

10 soft neutral shades, all beautiful and more importantly all wearable... The shades don't have names, but instead are simply numbered 1-10 with one being the palest shade on the left and 10 being the darkest on the right. I actually like this as it keeps it simple without having to remember obscure shadow names (bootycall/snakebite/pistol - yes Urban Decay Naked2 I'm looking at you).

It's no coincidence I've brought up the Naked palettes, every neutral palette that comes to market has to compete Urban Decay as neutral palettes are what they do best but there's nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition, as a make-up junkie I thrive on it! I would consider this as the grown up version of the Naked Palettes, less glitter, less fuss, just simple good quality make-up.

You can actually take the plastic pan of eye-shadows out of the packaging... why? I have no idea

Quality wise it does not disappoint. Each eye-shadow is super soft and blendable and the colours work together perfectly. For some it does take a little bit of work to build up a deep shade, but I don't have an issue with this as I think it allows for more control over application. 

The palette comes with a cute double ended eye-shadow brush which I haven't really tested out properly, but I'm happy for one to be included.

Swatches of shades 1-10 (top-bottom)
You would be forgiven for thinking there was only 8 swatches but there is 10 I promise! Shades 1 & 2 are very natural base colours so it was quite difficult getting them to show up on camera.

Overall I absolutely adore this palette and will get a lot of use out of it!
I would recommend it to anyone looking for an alternative to the Naked palettes but it is limited edition so if you're interested, get in there quick!

You can purchase this palette from Debenhams for £35

What do you think of The Essentials Palette? Let me know in the comments below...

Linda x

Saturday 26 October 2013

The Wet Brush

I don't know about you but after I get a bath or shower I have PRETTY TATTY hair. I've learnt a technique to brush from the bottom and work my way up. I was still having major problems getting tatts out of my hair especially by my neck. I bought a tangle tamer which worked well on the top of my head but never properly helped with by my neck. I found it really difficult to control because of the lack of a handle. A few weeks ago I was sent an email from one of my lovely contacts at Sparkle saying they had a new product they wanted people to try - The Wet Brush.

I'd never heard of it before but after a little research I jumped at the chance. The Wet Brush has been named one of the world's best detangling brushes in the USA and is one of the best sellers in America. It's what I've been needing, a detangler with a handle! PERFECT. 

I just need to point this out, the bristles are called Intelliflex™ so they are super bendy and prevent snapping,  pulling, tugging and split ends and is perfect to use on the whole family, even the kids. 

"The Wet Brush is a favorite among women, men and children of all ages and can even be used on extensions and wigs. Perfect for use in the shower, after a shower, at a salon, on a beach or on children who cringe at the sight of a hair brush" - The Wet Brush Website

So really perfect for everyone and can be bought in a range of colours, as you can see mine is pink. But I love the purple. I've noticed how much good this has done for my hair, I am losing a lot less hair using this brush than I have with previous brushes. 

The Wet Brush is available from Sally's and Sally's Website for £6.95 and is well worth the investment as it leaves you with soft, shiny and manageable hair. 

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Wednesday 23 October 2013

Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tan

I was kindly sent this tan to review from Vita Liberata whilst searching for my perfect fake tan. I’m just going to put it out there right now – I’ve found ‘The One.’

The tan is a mousse which when applied 3 times over several hours claims to last up to three weeks. I did only apply mine twice as you have to wait at least 3 hours before you can rinse each layer off however it lasted almost 14 days and faded so beautifully. It didn’t go patchy or orangey, it just faded gradually from the beautiful golden glow it had given me thanks to the all-natural organic ingredients. I should also mention that thanks to the organic extracts it doesn’t smell like most other fake tans do which is nice if you need to pop out before you’ve rinsed it off.

Application was so easy with the Vita Liberata mitt as the formula is a light mousse with a lovely guide colour so it’s easy to see if you’ve missed any bits. The tan also comes with a handy little guide which tells you exactly how to tan each area of your body and where to make sure its well-blended so your tan look as natural as possible. I thought this was really brilliant because before I sort of just slapped it on anyhow with no clue! 

I was so happy with how my tan turned out – no dodgy streaky bits, no white patches and no embarrassing peeling fading marks. The shade I tried was medium and considering I’m very pale I was concerned about going the dread cheesy wotsit orange but the tan left me with a medium golden bronze finish, the perfect flattering natural colour that I’ve been after! 

If like me you’ve been looking for a tan that’s fool proof to apply, minus the nasty biscuit smell, lasts for weeks and fades beautifully then pHenomenal is the one for you. I’ll admit at £37.50 it is very expensive but for how long it lasts and how it fades I do think it’s worth it. You also get a free mitt and free delivery at the moment from the Vita Liberata website at the moment -
If you’ve tried any of the Vita Liberata tans then let me know what you think in the comments below.

Rach xx

Tuesday 22 October 2013

Sephora & Vegas Beauty Haul

One of my favourite shops to visit whilst I'm in the States is Sephora. For those that don't know Sephora was founded in France and is a Cosmetics Store which sells all sorts of beauty related items from Make Up to Skincare to Perfume which is why I love it! 

I got the Sephora Favorites Boxset with an assortment of 12 items which has a combined value of $280 and I worked it out at like £250 and I only paid $75. I've bought one of these boxes on my previous trips to the states and they definitely are worth purchasing. I also got a 50ml of Vera Wangs Lovestruck in Vegas airport but will talk about that later. 

Our nearest stores to the UK are in Spain and France, Sephora is well worth the trip for any beauty addict if you're going somewhere that has one in the area! 

Back to the box. They do all kinds of these boxes and I picked up Sephora Favorites Superstars but you can get Lip related ones and Eye related ones and Fragrance Samplers. The box itself is so great, it's metallic and you can take the insides out and store a lot more make up in it. 

As you can see the items inside are all well presented and it just makes me want to jump in and try it all. 

First item is Deborah Lippmann Treatment-infused Nail Color in Cleopatra in New York which is a black nail varnish with gold glitter in. I don't wear nail varnish but this would look great especially with the festive season coming up, will give your DIY manicure a little sparkle. Deborah Lippman is available to buy in the UK at priced from £15-18.

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream in Light, I was really excited to get this as I have wanted to try Smashbox products for a while, especially this product. The coverage you get for it is great and it's really light to wear and you honestly don't need to use that much of it to cover a whole face. This retails on the Smashbox website for £27

Nars Lipstick in Dolce Vita it doesn't say but I believe this is one of Nars' Sheer Finish Lipsticks which is very moisturising and the colour comes out as a lovely pale raspberry. It doesn't leave your lips looking overly done which is what I love because I'm not much of a lipstick girl but this is definitely swinging me into buying more Nars Lipsticks. Nars Lipsticks are available on the website for £18.50

Nars Blush and Bronze Duo in Orgasm and Laguna Beach. I think this was a Sephora Exclusive but you can get the duo in Orgasm and South Beach which is really similar. The pigment in both of these are fantastic. Orgasm Blush has a hint of gold in it which gives your cheeks a little extra flair and the Laguna is lovely too, it's a great colour which just gives your skin a little bit of luminosity which makes it looked flawless. The Duo's can also be bought as single items but I do recommend this duo, it's the perfect 2 in 1. £33 from 

Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil this oil is great. It doesn't have much of a scent to it but I like that. I think some of these hair oils can have far too many additives in to make them a little too whiffy. It's light but it is pure oil so only a drop or 2 is needed. Josie Maran can not be bought in the UK but is sometimes available to buy on QVC for £30, so if you're a shopping channel junkie like me you might catch it!! 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel, I'm not entirely convinced by this but I do think the brow revolution is just starting and brows will be big this winter!! This can be found on for £16.50. If you're an eyebrow addict then I'd recommend this for you!! 

Too Faced Better Than False Lashes Nylon Extension System (try saying that more than once: mouthful) £32 This is really cool, we've tried something like this on the blog before where you apply the nylon fibres to your lashes and mascara over and they lengthen your lashes and make them look fabulous. My sister highly recommended Too Faced to me before and I can definitely see the quality here. It's just great and well worth the price tag. 

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Duo in Sin and Mushroom as you may know, I love UD like properly!! These 2 colours are probably the most popular, especially sin. These give you great pigmentation and they do last ages on your lids. These are available as singles from Debenhams from £14.

Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray. I'm yet to give this a go but I've heard good things about it and it smells great which is always a plus because these sprays can tend to smell a little sodium filled. This size is £9.50 on the Bumble and Bumble website.

Origins GinZing™ Refreshing Eye Cream to Brighten and Depuff this is just a sample size but the proper pot of this is £23 from the Origins Website. This does really work, I tried this after spending 11 hours on a plane with no sleep after a 2 week active holiday and it does get to work straight away. The smell is really lovely and it's really gentle on the skin under and around my eyes. 

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner, I love Stila stuff. Last time in Vegas I purchased lip glosses and they were the best (and yummiest) glosses I've ever owned. I was so happy to get this liner, I usually find liquid liners really hard to work with because I'm a lefty so have no control in my right hand at all. This is like a felt tip pen so it goes on really easy and is so simple to manoeuvre. Currently available in 9 shades from the Stila UK website for £13

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Rollerball even though this is only a handbag size I really love it. The fragrance is sweet and florally and not overbearing as some more expensive perfumes can be. This is ideal and will be going in my handbag on nights out. For 30ml from the Fragrance Shop it is £48.50 but is well worth it!

That's my Superstars Box finished, I also bought Vera Wang's Lovestruck (50ml) for $50 from Vegas Airport which I considered a bargain considering the size of the bottle. I have always been a fan of Vera Wang Perfume since I was 17 and got my first bottle of "Princess". I love how every bottle is beautifully flamboyant, this one having red flowers and a tulle ribbon, oh I just loved it. Even though the bottle is adorned with flowers they are a very subtle within the perfume itself, it is fruity and has a little bass notes of jasmine. 

I am really happy with my purchases from Sephora and Vegas. Now I'm ready to look great for the up coming festive season! 

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Saturday 19 October 2013

My thoughts on Redken

Recently I was a hair model at a salon my sister is training at and got this goody bag of some new Redken products; the Diamond Oil Shatterproof Shine, the Diamond Oil shampoo and conditioner, the Iron Shape Hair Spray and the Smooth Lock shampoo and conditioner.

According to the Redken website: 'Diamond Oil utilizes an exclusive formula of silicone free hair oils that include camelina oil, coriander oil, apricot oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil and other to strengthen hair from the inside-out. Results are unprecedented strength and shine.' Sounds extremely posh. There was certainly shine added to my hair after using this and it felt softer, but I'm not sure if it helped with strength. My hair is pretty damaged and I think it will take more than just this shampoo and conditioner to repair it.

Same goes for the Smooth Lock, I couldn't notice a difference to the product above e.g. whether it made my hair in better condition. Maybe I need to use more than a small sample to see the proper results (so this review isn't really so helpful hah sorry!).

As for the 'Iron Shape 11', a heat protection spray...hmm. I'd say use this VERY sparingly. I got a bit carried away and sprayed loads hair then felt a bit greasy and wouldn't dry properly for ages. It definitely does reduce frizz and add shine, as it claims to. And it does give hold - I sprayed it before straightening my hair and it was poker straight and stayed that way.
Finally to this tiny, tiny bottle of hair oil. I couldn't really notice a difference to be honest because I only used it twice before it ran out. My sister told me that you're supposed to use a REALLY tiny amount and to not even feel it on your hair when you put it on. I'm not so convinced with this to be honest, I think you can get better oils for better prices (this is around £24). Erm, sorry for this not so helpful review but I'd say if you want to try a Redken product then try the Iron Shape hair protection spray :)

Beauty Buzz - Birchbox October 2013

I'm always super excited when my Birchbox gets delivered and I can't wait to find out what's inside. This month the theme is 'Beauty Buzz' and it brings together award winning products and celeb-favourites so I had high hopes for this one...

KMS California Silk Sheen Styling Cream - this is a hair styling cream that provides heat protection and frizz control. It also smells really good which is a bonus. This is a 50ml sample, full size costs £15.50

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser - the first thing that caught my eye when I opened the box! This is the star of the show for sure! I've only swatched it on my hand so far but I do think its a little too dark for my skintone :( However, I will try make it work, either by doing some expert blending or mixing it with another product and if I get along with the formula I will definitely go and purchase one better suited to my skin. It is something I have wanted to try for such a long time so I'm super happy with this sample. It is just under 15ml and a full size costs £33

Dr Lipp Nipple Balm for Lips - a 3ml sample of this cult beauty product. I always love to receive cult products and this is genuinely a great lip balm, however, I received this exact sample in last months Glossy Box which obviously Birchbox wouldn't have known but I don't like that the two boxes give the same samples it such a short space of time. 

theBalm cosmetics Stainiac - I've never tried any products from theBalm before but have always heard amazing things about them so was really happy to receive this item. It is a cheek and lip stain which looks like a mini lipgloss with the doe foot applicator, and it looks like a really bright red colour in the tube. However, I did apply this to my lips and it felt nothing like a lipgloss, it was really light and wasn't at all sticky and the colour gave a really natural looking flush rather than a full on red lip which I really liked. This product seems perfect for carrying around in your make-up bag as it is smiall, multi-taking and really easy to use. This is a 1.2ml sample and a full size would cost £10

Akane Mask Cocoon Nocturne - an overnight face mask formulated to beat signs of tiredness and hydrate thirsty skin. This smells REALLY strongly of apples which I personally quite like but imagine it would be too overpowering for a lot of people. I'm really happy with this sample and will be using in place of my Origins drink up intensive overnight mask for a while and see how I get along with it. This is a 12ml sample and a full size would cost £18

Also inside the box was a 'Lifestyle Extra' of these The Chia Co Shots which are a superfood you can blend into smoothies for added omega 3 and protein. I've seen other people receive some UltraDex Interdenal Brushes instead of this which I personally would have rather had, but I guess that is just the luck of the draw.

These was also a 'Beauty Extra' included in the box which was these little sachets of Egyptian Magic which is a multi purpose healing skin cream with just six all-natural ingredients. A full size of this would cost £29

And there you have my October Birchbox! I'm really happy with it, but mainly because of the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser. There was also a little spoiler on the leaflet that said there will be another Laura Mercier product in November's box which I am super excited for!!

What do you think of this months box? Let me know in the comments below...

Linda x

Thursday 17 October 2013

Skinade Journey ~ Update 2

 Hey sweeties!

So this was going to be my last update due to the taste of the drink making me feel a little icky, however, this morning I had the drink as I have done every day and felt fine! The taste is something I don't think I'll ever learn to enjoy but if it's not making me feel ill then I'm going to keep at it.

I haven't noticed a huge difference in my skin other than that it is feeling slightly smoother, this being proved by how nicely my foundation now applies (bonus!), but it has only been 2 weeks. I'm hoping I'll get to the last drink and notice some serious improvements. The drink contains so much good stuff that I feel like it MUST be helping.
What I really like about this drink at the moment, although it sounds a little odd, is that it's nice to have some sort of routine to my mornings, it's encouraged me to really take care of my skin. I get up, shower, use all the good body scrubs, lotions and potions, eat breakfast and have my drink - I know I'm looking after myself.

After a bumpy start, I have high hopes for the final result!
Check back next week for my 3rd week update.

Vegas FOTN's

Whilst in Vegas every night was like a night on the town so every night I was doing my make up. A few months ago I called myself a "Make Up Novice" wanting to learn how to make more of an impact with my make up. I think I achieved this. I went from Subtle girly tones with bright pink cheeks and light eyes to heavy rock make up with lots of eye make up and lashes. Below are a few of my face FOTN's.

For my New York New York look I did pretty basic make-up but tried my luck at doing a smoky eye using silvers and blacks and using shadow blending brushes from W7 to create the look. I also used my trusty Thick and Fast HD Mascara.

For this I wanted to try a Rock'y type look as I was going to see Rock of Ages so wanted to be a little more dramatic. As you can see the lashes came out for this. These are the original Katy Perry "Oh Honey!" lashes. I used lots of liner and blue. With just a little flush of bronzer on my face. 

For this look I went for a (dare I say it) angelic, dew'y look. This consisted of using a light pink blush and lots of highlighting, especially under my eyebrows. No liner was used kept it simple and feel like I looked made-up but fresh faced at the same time. 

Tools used: W7 Brush Set, Soap & Glory Eyeshadow Palette, Benefit's High Beam and Various Soap & Glory Make-Up. 

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