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Review | The NYX Custom Pro Palette

As much as I love eyeshadow palettes, some of the shades within them just do nothing for me. The MUA Heaven & Earth Palette as well as the MUA Undressed Palette are my favourites and whilst I have hit the bottom of the pan on the majority of the eyeshadows, there are a few shades within each palette which have gone untouched and I hate the idea of being wasteful. Which is why I love custom palettes. You have full reign over which colours go into the palette, making it completely personal to you.

Not only do you have full creative control over the shades, but it also makes life a little easier when travelling as all of your favourite shades are held within one place, not across three or four different bulky palettes. I am very use to taking three palettes on holiday with me which is really silly when you think that I may only just need one eyeshadow out of a whole 12-shaded palette. I know there are more important troubles in this world and that it is very much a first world problem but you know, it's the little things.

My first (and only) custom palette before now was from FashionistA. Do you remember them? They were in Superdrug and sold eyeshadows and blushers purposefully for their custom palettes as well as the legendary magnetic nail polish which..less said the better. Anyway, I had a quad custom palette from FashionistA and filled it with colours I would never wear in a million years, such as a bright blue baked eyeshadow which I bought purely because it had silver and gold veins running through it. Have I used it or the other three shades since I bought it? Sadly not. Whilst I would like to say I have changed and had stopped buying things purely because they were aesthetically pleasing, I would probably be lying. Fortuntaely though, I am a little older, a little wiser, and am ready to give the custom palette another go, although this time from NYX.

The NYX Custom Pro Palette comes in two ways, either a 4 shadow palette or a 9 shadow palette, which is what I bought. The palette itself is made out of cardboard and actually feels pretty sturdy, considering. It has a magnetic lock on it, keeping the palette closed and secure and of course, the eyeshadows are held in place by magnets just like a Z-Palette. The spaces are actually a little bigger than the eyeshadows built for them which isn't too much of a bother as they aren't exactly sliding about in there what with the magnets keeping them secure but I would have thought the eyeshadows would have just slotted straight in with a perfect fit.

The NYX Hot Singles Eye Shadow in Own The Night and Sin were the first shades I bought to fit into my custom pro palette. You can either buy these in the solo version or as a refill, although I think the price stays the same for each regardless at £3.50. Sin is a pretty neutral pink which has tiny specs of glitter running throughout and Own The Night is a cool-toned, dark brown which has a purple undertone to it. Both shades are very pretty, very wearable and pretty much staples in an eyeshadow palette. I love NYX Eye Shadows as there is so many shades within the range, most of which are highly pigmented and best of all, they are incredibly cheap!

I am really looking forward to filling my NYX Custom Pro Palette up, and I would love to see if I could shove in some Makeup Geek Eye Shadows as well as some Morphe Individual Eyeshadows as there are some shades within both ranges which I have my eye on. My only niggle with this palette and eyeshadows is that I can't find neither the palette or the refills online so it's not something you can shop for easily, not unless you actually go into Boots to buy. Even then, my sister went in to our local Boots to pick up some refills and they do everything but so it's a shame they aren't so readily available. Unless you live in the USA where you can get anything!

NYX Custom Pro Palette


Other | The Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Collection

I never knew just how apparent the power of the beauty influencer was until recently. Late one Saturday evening I was flicking through Snapchat and one of my fave Youtubers Amy's Makeup Box posted about something which looked so lovely that I literally purchased it there and then. I have never done that before. Usually all of my purchases are very thoroughly thought out and I will have read a ton of reviews first but nope, I bought it without so much of a second glance and ended up buying a small portion of the Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Collection.

I bought this from QVC which does have the assumption of its target market solely being bored housewives but oh no. If you ever want to find Tarte make-up in the UK then the QVC website is definitely your best bet. Whilst the prices do vary slightly, sometimes they go down, sometimes they go up, I bought the 6 piece Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Collection plus make-up bag for about £35 when it should have been £70. I am not entirely sure I would have bought the collection had it not been on offer but that doesn't mean it isn't worth it.

This is what was within the 6-piece collection which I bought from QVC, although you can buy various other items from the Rainforest of the Sea Collection from QVC, such as the concealer which I have heard so many wonderful things about.

Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Water Foundation (SPF15)
This luxurious, lightweight liquid foundation is designed to give full coverage while hydrating your skin, to leave your complexion looking radiant and flawless. Infused with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide and features an innovative pipette dispenser.

Tarte Amazon Clay Silk Eyeliner
This eyeliner glides on easily to deliver high-pigment, high-definition colour. The automatic pencil tip, built-in sharpener and smudger allow you to create a custom looks, from a smoky eye to a defined flick.

Tarte Opening Act Lash Primer
A base for mascara, designed to give dramatic volume and soft, silky lashes in one simple first prep.

Tarte Double-Ended Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara
Designed to lengthen, curl, volumise and condition, delivering evenly-coated pigment while helping to protect lashes.

Tarte Coconut Oil Lipstick in Rosy Mauve
Infused with coconut oil that glides over lips to deliver rich rosy-pink colour and shine.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Mystified 
A long-wearing, supremely soft blush in a pink-mauve shade infused with Amazonian clay naturally baked by the sun.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Eyeshadow Palette
Comprising six velvety eyeshadow shades in Tide (pale pink), Sunset (taupe), Sandcastle (brown), Reflection (lavender shimmer), Horizon (pale plum) and Driftwood (dark plum).

Tarte Double-Ended Complexion Brush
For custom, all-over coverage; brush on your perfect level of radiant coverage with this 2-in-1 complexion-perfecting tool.

Tarte Gold Metallic Cosmetics Bag

I can't wait to try everything out, especially the foundation and the eyeshadow palette. I am also utterly transfixed by the complexion brush which has a beautiful purple to gold ombre handle which will look very pretty in my make-up brush holder. I am really looking forward to trying out the collection, especially the foundation which I am really hoping will match my skintone, as well as the palette as I think the Reflection and Driftwood eyeshadows may become a new Autumn favourite!


Review | Morphe Eyeshadow Brushes

Morphe Brushes is a brand which has suddenly become very popular here in the UK, especially when it comes to their range of eyeshadow palettes and make-up brushes. The famous Morphe 35O palette is so popular that I have had to join a waiting list just to even be notified of when it comes into stock and even then, I am not guaranteed to actually manage to purchase one. I will try my best though, I need those beautiful apricot and earthy copper shades in my life and onto my eyelids pronto!

I recently made a Beauty Bay order and I thought I would add in a few Morphe Brushes Eyeshadow Brushes into my basket to see what they were like, especially when they are so incredibly cheap. I firmly believe that you can never have too many make-up brushes, especially when it comes to eyeshadow. I would much rather buy a new brush than wash an old one but hey, don't tell anyone. Because of this I actually bought a couple of each but I could have quite easily bought one of everything.

Morphe Brushes B77 Oval Shadow Brush
A soft, round tipped brush for applying eyeshadow. Soft, natural bristles are packed into a round topped, tapered design which is ideal for applying a highly pigmented wash of colour to the eyelids.

Morphe Brushes M139 Tapered Crease Blender Brush
A pointed eyeshadow brush for defining the crease. Expertly crafted with Sable Hair bristles and a 6.5" handle, the M139 Brush is your beauty saviour for creating detailed eye looks.

Morphe Brushes M322 Large Pointed Crease Brush 
A pointed brush exclusively shaped for the defining the delicate lash line and for blending eyeshadow. The 100% cruelty-free synthetic bristles work to seamlessly blend your chosen eyeshadow onto the lids.

Morphe Brushes B83 Small Oval Shadow Brush
A small, flat and round topped brush for applying a highly pigmented wash of colour to the eyelids. With densely packed, natural bristles, the B83 Brush allows you to pack pigments and shadows onto the lid for a striking effect. The small size makes it perfect for precise application.

All 4 of the brushes I purchased have incredibly soft bristles and blend all of my eyeshadows like a dream. I wasn't expecting too much from them considering they were pretty cheap and I try and go along with the saying 'you get what you pay for' but these eyeshadow brushes are a true bargain and I cannot recommend them enough, especially since they only cost £2.50 each. Now, do excuse me whilst I go and buy some more...


Review | Lush Ocean Salt Self-Preserving Face & Body Scrub

Always on a look out for a new face scrub which will delicately scrub away the top few layers of skin from my face, I recently turned to Lush to try out their famous Lush Ocean Salt Self-Preserving Face & Body Scrub. I love Lush for cramming all of their products with (mostly) healthy and natural ingredients, and whilst their products may be slightly pricier than what you would find on the shelf in ASDA, they are so much better for your skin. I recently tried out the Lush Ultrabland Facial Cleanser which I loved, but the product I tried before that I literally could not abide. The Lush Cosmetic Warrior Face Mask was truly horrible. Don't get me wrong, it made my face feel lovely afterwards but the smell, texture and overall look really turned my stomach so much that I just couldn't use it. Fortunately I definitely don't feel the same way about this face & body scrub which comes in so many different formulas that it's bound to be a winner for everyone!

About the Lush Ocean Salt Self-Preserving Face & Body Scrub:
"Limes steeped in vodka, fresh grapefruit juice, and lashings of salt go into this invigorating face and body scrub - now in a self preserving formula. The salty, citrus fragrance is refreshing for the skin and mind, like diving into the cool blue ocean. Sea salt is rich in minerals and excellent for scrubbing and buffing skin. We also added rich, silky avocado butter, coconut oil and seaweed absolute to keep your skin soft, smooth and conditioned.

The Lush Ocean Salt Face & Body Scrub comes in four different ways - self-preserving, alcohol free,  self-preserving & alcohol free or the original which is preserved. Unsure as to which to pick, I chose the self-preserving option which means it doesn't contain certain ingredients which are synthetic preservatives which is supposed to keep the product fresher for longer. Instead, the ingredients have changed to get rid of the synthetic preservatives which in turn have been replaced with ingredients which are naturally self-preserving without interfering with the product itself or shelf-life.

Why choose self-preserving?
"This formula contains only natural preservatives to keep itself clean and safe to use. Salt, as well as being a kick-ass cleanser and exfoliator, is an age-old preservative, which prevents bacteria from growing and reproducing if used in high enough concentrations. What’s more, this exotic scrub is vegan, thanks to the silken tofu and japan wax that help bind the mixture together. The added butters and oils in this self preserving formula help to make it feel a tad more delicate on the skin than its preserved counterpart. You may prefer to use this on your face, and Ocean Salt Preserved on the rest of your body - the choice is yours."

At first I kind of wish I looked more into the preserved/self-preserved options when it came to this product before diving straight in and picking up the self-preserving option because, as much as I love the natural preservatives within this formula, I was sure I would have preferred the preserved formula which is a little harsher on the skin. I am sure I have mentioned it a dozen of times before but when I use a face scrub or an exfoliator, I want it to be harsh. I want something so strong that gets rid of half a dozen layers of skin in one sitting. That may sound strange but I am fed up with using face scrubs which don't even touch the dry skin on my cheeks. I'm not saying I want an acid peel, I just want to find an affordable face scrub which has a bit of substance to it which gives me noticeable, immediate results without having to constantly use it every other day for a week.

Lush Ocean Salt Face & Body Scrub smells very much like citrus with the smell from the limes becoming really apparent within the formula. I can't say from first appearance that it looks too appetizing in the tub but the pale green, gritty but firm consistency still feels lovely when it is slapped onto the skin and rubbed in using circular motions. I love the salt within the scrub as it really feels as if it is scrubbing away any dead skin cells from the face, although if you have sensitive skin then I imagine this would be too harsh for you. I also wouldn't advise you use this scrub on your face if you had any red and sore spots as it really, really stings and irritates them. I was really expecting this scrub to be a bit meh after reading about how this scrub was a milder version of the original but boy, if this is mild then I would love to try the harsher version!

I bought this scrub purely to use for the face so I can't say what it is like when applied to the body but for the face it works wonderfully well. It lathers up really well and gives the face a really thorough scrub before leaving it feeling soft and fresh without making the skin feel sore. Another thing I love about this Ocean Salt Self-Preserving Face & Body Scrub is that it is entirely vegan whereas the original, preserved version is not. The original contains lanolin which is a fatty substance found in sheep - this ingredient has been replaced by japan wax and mango butter in the self-preserving option, making it perfect for those of you who are vegan.

Overall, I really like the Lush Ocean Salt Self-Preserving Face & Body Scrub, especially since a little goes a long way. It does everything it claims to by scrubbing away any dead skin cells without irritating or hurting the skin and it makes it feel incredibly soft after one use. With 4 different versions of this scrub, you are bound to find one variation which would be better suited to your tastes. The self-preserving variation is entirely vegan which is a massive bonus, although it is said to be a milder version of the original, which is preserved.


Review | MAC Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul

Do you ever use a product day in, day out and completely forget to rave about it? I don't think I'm yet to meet a product from MAC which I haven't liked; lipstick, eyeshadow, paint posts, blusher.. I like it all. Especially the blusher. My first MAC Power Blush I ever bought was in the shade Harmony which is a gorgeous neutral toned deep taupe with a matte finish. I have had it for 4 years, used it every day and it still looks as if it is fresh out of the box. At first reflection MAC make-up may seem rather expensive but when you take in just how long lasting their products are then £18.50 on a blusher seems pretty damn reasonable to me. I have used Harmony so much that I am now on about 0.01p per use which is amazing.

Fast forward a few years and I now have a few more MAC blushers, although my current favourite is the MAC Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul. If you're sat wondering what the difference is between a MAC Mineralize Blush and any other regular MAC Powder Blush is then the Mineralize Blushers are domed in appearance in the pan, have a shimmer running throughout and is slightly sheer in formula in comparison to a regular MAC Powder Blush which is really opaque in colour, as well as being flat in the pan in appearance.

About MAC Mineralize Blusher:
"Baked minerals refined into a powder formula to provide exceptionally sheer and lightweight application. Colour builds lightly, layer after layer, without heavy coverage. Veils and enhances the cheekbones with a luminous, pearlized shimmer."

The MAC Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul is a very pretty terracotta shade which has a really subtle golden shimmer running throughout. The texture to a Mineralize Blush is much softer than that of a regular powder blush, meaning it is so easy to blend and apply to the apple of the cheeks. Warm Soul has a really smooth but sheer formula to it, making it easy to build up from a soft wash of colour to full-on terracotta cheeks. The golden shimmer running throughout the blush means you could forgo the highlighter as Warm Soul gives a luminous glow across the cheeks but hey, there is no such thing as too much glow in my eyes!

I really love not only Warm Soul as a shade, but the Mineralize Blush range as a whole. The finely milled, soft formula means they are incredibly easy to apply with no fallout at all from the shimmer running within and whilst the colour itself is rather sheer, it is really easy to build the colour up if you wanted a deeper golden sheen to the cheeks.


Review | 2True Rainbeau Highlighter

We have all seen that gorgeous rainbow highlighter, haven't we? With its gorgeous 6 rainbow shades, all swirled into one small compact which makes it look as if you have a small rainbow sat on your cheek. It may not be for everyone, but it is certainly for me. Unfortunately, the original rainbow highlighter from Etsy has a 9-10 month pre-order waiting time and I just can't wait that long for a highlighter - it would be quicker to have a baby than it would be to get a new highlighter! Luckily there is a version readily available in the UK without a 10 month waiting list. Coming from the brand 2True, meet the 2True Rainbeau Highlighter*.

About the 2True Rainbeau Highlighter:
"Our Rainbeau Highlighter features soft lilac, gold sheen, rose gold, mint green and ocean blue shades which can be used in one whole sweep to create a rainbow glow or can be used separately to create a custom highlight shade to illuminate the face. The shades are easy to blend and can create a delicate shimmer with a soft sweep of colour or can be built up for a more intense colour. Our Rainbeau Highlighter can also be used as eyeshadows and can be swirled together for an all over shimmer or can be used individually to create a glowing eye look.

The 2True Rainbeau Highlighter consists of 5 different shades which can either be used on their own as a highlighter or as an eyeshadow, or swirled together to form a beautiful silver highlighter. I had hoped that I would have been able to sweep my highlighter brush across all 5 shades of the palette in order to get the beautiful rainbow pattern across my cheekbones but because the compact is quite large, it is really hard to do so - unless you use a big fluffy face brush as as a highlighter brush. The 5 shades which make up the rainbow within the palette are really pretty, with a soft lilac, gold, rose gold, light green and baby blue making up the shades, all of which are incredibly shimmery and beautiful. When you swirl all 5 shades together with a brush, you achieve a really lovely silver shimmer which makes for a lovely highlight across the cheekbones.

To begin with the formula of the highlighter powder is rather chalky but once you get past the top layer, the powder beneath is much softer and easier to use. I apply the 2True Rainbeau Highlighter by swirling all 5 shades together with my brush and apply the colour created to my cheekbones with a highlighter brush, although the back of the packaging suggests you can build up the rainbow effect on the cheekbones by applying each of the 5 shades one at a time with your finger. Which, may work and give the rainbow effect but in the mornings I don't really have time to layer each colour up on top of one another with my fingers - it would be so much easier and less faff to just dip my brush into it then apply it to the face. I think each shade of the 5 colours within this palette will make for wonderful, shimmery eyeshadows too, especially the almost-metallic blue shade.

One thing to mention is the packaging. If I saw this in Boots I would definitely pick it up from the shelf. Whilst it doesn't look particularly luxe or high-end, it's not trying to be so the packaging perfectly encaptures what is within with its fun and eye-catching colours. The product itself is held within a thin cardboard palette which has a magnetic lock to it. Whilst is feels sturdy, I have dropped it accidentally and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it had survived its fall!

Overall, I really like this highlighter from 2True. Why I may not be able to use it in perhaps the way it was originally intended, each of the 5 shades within the compact are incredibly pigmented and shimmery and can either be used on their own as a highlighter or as an eyeshadow and when each of the 5 shades are mixed together, you get a really lovely shimmery silver which looks lovely on the cheekbones. Whilst it may not have stopped me from joining the 10 month waiting list for the original rainbow highlighter, I do really like this as a highlighter.

(*Product sent for review)


Other | My Hair Extension Disaster

Everyone is supposed to have at least one hair disaster in their life. If you haven't had one yet then it is definitely going to come, let me tell you. I recently had mine, and this is it. If you follow me on twitter then you may already be aware of this - I've complained about it every day since - but honestly, it is baaad.

I have always wanted hair extensions. I love scrolling through Instagram under the hair tag and seeing the long, thick, wavy hair girls have and feeling a real sense of jealousy. My hair is pretty flat and never holds a curl - you can't do anything with it. Last year I had quite long hair but because it lacked volume it just looked crap all the time so late last year I got it cut really short and for a while, I liked it. But then I saw all of the french braids and plaits on Instagram and I thought "damn, maybe I shouldn't have had it cut after all" but of course, hindsight is a marvellous thing.

Still lusting after long hair, just before I went on holiday I saw an advert on Facebook from a girl in my area offering L.A Weave hair extensions at a discounted price. She offered 100% remy hair, promised the world dream-hair wise and as she had such great reviews, I decided to bite the bullet and book with her. We stayed in touch over my holiday and worked together to find the best shade of hair to fit with my own and before I knew it, it was the day of my appointment and I was driving to meet her with my friend clinging onto the sat nav. I was so excited. I was going to get long, beautiful, voluminous hair! Only, it didn't really happen.

What are L.A Weave Hair Extensions?
"L.A weave is a technique used to make sewn tracks less visible than your ordinary braided sew-in weaves. It is secured with around 20 micro rings. Causing no stress or damage. This method allows the hair to breathe, and is much easier to shampoo and scratch, without using sharp objects that can injure the scalp. L.A weaves grow out in a downward direction, which allows your weave to continue to look natural, while your real hair is growing. With an L.A weave, your hair can be pulled in an up-do or ponytail without seeing tracks or huge lumps."

First things first: the setting. The address where I was supposed to be getting it done changed three times before the actual day. The lady who was doing it actually lives a few hours away but comes back every other weekend just to fit hair extensions and it seemed to be paying off - I was her fourth customer of the day and she had 8 people after me. So, I was sat in the garden of some random house in the middle of nowhere (which she had borrowed) getting my hair extensions fitted and at the time, it was okay. She was kind, chatty and more importantly, she seemed to know what she was doing. At no point was I given a mirror or shown what my hair looked like but I thought it was good from what I could feel and my friend said it looked nice so I took her word for it and went home. And then I looked in the mirror. I could have cried. It was awful. She didn't blend my hair in with the extensions so you could visibly see my blunt hair cut with the extensions underneath. It looked as if I had gone to Claire's Accessories and just stuck a bit of hair at the bottom of my head. It was not good. Also, the lady put the top row of hair extensions so far up my head that the sides just poked out and stuck out as they should never have been placed that high. I really could have cried when I saw it.

So, I tried to make the best of a bad situation and I curled my hair which made it better, but not enough to warrant me being happy with it. My Mum thought it was horrific and of course, Mum's know best and will tell you the honest truth so not only did I know it was bad, I also felt like I was fighting a losing battle. The lady who fitted them had not cut the hair extensions at all so the ends were all scraggly, I had bits poking out, it was uncomfortable... I lived with it for just over a week in hope it would get better (wishful thinking I know) before I decided to bite the bullet and do something I hate to do - complain. I messaged the lady on Facebook and told her how unhappy I was with not only the application and placement of the extensions but also how she hadn't blended my hair in at all. She replied back straight away saying how if I backcomb it a bit it would be alright and that when I get the extensions tightened in 6 weeks time she would replace the top row for me but there was no way I could go out in public like that for 6 weeks! Because she had applied them so badly I couldn't even put my hair up in a ponytail - or wear a hat - so I had no choice but to find a professional to fix it for me.

I managed to find a hair salon local to me who fit and work with the L.A Weave so I messaged them asking if they could help me with moving the top row of my hair extensions down, as well as blending them in to my own hair and they replied back saying they could help me but as I was unhappy with the row I could see, chances are I would be unhappy with the rows I couldn't see so I would have to get them all removed and start all over. They then asked to see a photo which I happily obligied, although I wasn't ready for their response of "OMG!!!! That is the worst I have ever seen!!!" I mean, I knew it was bad but having a professional tell me it looked shit was pretty hard to hear!

Hearing every member of staff gasp as I walked in before being pushed into a chair in order to get the hair fixed ASAP made me want to cry. Everyone gathered round to see my hair, photos were taken, whispers were shared.. Before no time they were taking them out and telling me everything the lady did wrong in the first place, such as applying them wonky, not securing them properly, applying them too high up and not even measuring them properly.. I was then asked what shampoo I had been using and I said I had been using Aussie products, which is what the lady specifically told me to buy when I was getting them fitted, to which the 3 hairdressers trying to sort out my matted, knotty extensions gasped. Did you know you aren't supposed to use sulphate on hair extensions? I didn't. Sadly Aussie hair products are crammed full with sulphate which made my hair extensions become in bad condition pretty quickly. At that point I asked if it was even worth putting them back in as I didn't want them put back in if they were in bad condition just after 1 week. I was promised they would do their best and they most definitely did!

After 4 and a half hours sat in the hair salon, I could not believe the transformation. I couldn't even believe it was the same hair put back in. They applied them properly, thinned my hair out then blended all of the hair together before curling my hair and giving me my confidence back. I was honestly so upset when I walked in and I left feeling like a different person. It's amazing how your hair can really dampen your mood. I am so, so grateful and thankful that I managed to find someone to trust with my hair from now on, and I feel so silly for falling for a silly Facebook advert. The hairdresser told me as she was trying to get the hair extensions out with a pair of pliers that if you buy cheap then you buy twice and I couldn't agree more.

Have you had a hair disaster?


Review | Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar Moisturizer

A recent big box posted through my door really excited me, even more so when I realised it was filled with Philosophy products. Philosophy products to me, are a real luxury. I don't usually treat myself or splash out so being sent a few of my favourite skincare products was really rather lovely. I never started this blog to get freebies or money. Hell, for the first two years of this blog I am pretty certain no-one read a single word I was writing. Fast forward a few years and now we are here! It is all very flattering and exciting, even if I do still type up blog posts wondering if someone, anyone, will read them.

We all need a little hope from time to time. Some find hope in books or people, I find my hope in a jar. The Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar Moisturizer* makes for the perfect start to any morning. I have always raved about the Philosophy Purity Cleanser - it smells divine, is light and creamy and it removes every spec of make-up & dirt from the face, leaving it as clean and cleansed as possible. I love it and I could talk all day about it, but now I have a new product to rave about.

About the Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar Moisturizer:
"Philosophy has created a new generation of renewal and hope: renewed hope in a jar emerges as a new refreshed sensorial formula developed with the latest scientific advance in skin care. Renewed hope in a jar grants you three of the most demanding skin wishes, all day and every day:
1. refined texture and pores – thanks to a triple blend of alpha-hydroxy acids which gently exfoliate skin
2. all-day hydration – thanks to a combination of 3 hyaluronate plus Asian fruit extract
3. continuous healthy colour and glow – triple action illuminators which brighten and re-energize the skin"

The Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar Moisturizer may seem pricey at first but I can reassure you that this product will last you a very long time indeed. Housed in a 60 ml jar, a little comes a long way when it comes to this moisturizer. Not only does it smell utterly divine, it is also incredibly thick and creamy making it feel heavenly on the skin. When I recently went to Dubai I took this moisturizer with me and it felt so refreshing to apply this on a hot and sweaty day!

I suffer really badly with dry patches on my cheeks and until now, nothing has really treated it. It's the type of dry patches which makes your foundation cling to it, making make-up a not-so-pretty sight. After a few uses of the Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar Moisturizer the dry patches have completely cleared up which is incredible considering I have struggled with them for such a long time.

The Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar Moisturizer has definitely renewed my hope in moisturizers, so much so that when I do eventually finish up the tub, I will probably treat myself to a fresh, whole pot. If you haven't tried any of Philosophy's skincare products then you really need to - they may be on the pricier side but they last for such a long time and you really get your moneys worth.

(*Product sent for honest review)


Review | Lush Ultrabland Facial Cleanser

I am trying really hard to use only natural and organic skincare products at the moment. I believe your skin is something to invest in - let's face it, we are stuck with it for a while! - so if it means paying a bit more for products which are healthier for you and your skin then so be it. I now don't base my skincare choices on being reduced in price down to £1 in ASDA, let's put it that way!

I recently went into Lush to buy a few bath bombs to cheer myself and ended up coming away with a few skincare products instead. I have tried a few skincare products from Lush before, including the Lush Cosmetic Warrior Fresh Face Mask which is, hand on heart, the most repugnant thing I have ever tried. The smell was horrific, as was the texture and whilst the results were good, I just couldn't stomach using it or putting it anywhere near my face. That was a while ago so I decided to try again and buy two different products, a face and body scrub and the Lush Ultrabland Facial Cleanser.

About the Lush Ultrabland Facial Cleanser:
"Based on an ancient Greek formula for cold cream, Ultrabland is beautifully simple and very effective. Made with almond oil, rose water, beeswax and honey, this cleanser removes all traces of dirt and makeup, without stripping away your skin's natural defences. Smooth over the face, any dirt will cling to the cream and you can remove it with a warm damp cloth or cotton wool."

The Lush Ultrabland Facial Cleanser is designed to melt away any traces of dirt and make-up without being harsh on the skin and it definitely achieves that. Believe it or not, there are only 10 ingredients within this cleanser, 8 of which are entirely natural. Some of the ingredients include rose water which calms and soothes the skin as well as hydrating with the use of almond oil so if a natural cleanser is something you are after, then this one definitely lives up to that.

The cleanser comes in either a 46 g tub or a 100 g tub, with the latter being more value for money. It smells incredibly fresh and light in the tub and is so light and creamy in formula. I know a lot of cleansers are used for removing make-up but I prefer to do this first with a make-up removing wipe then go in with the Ultrabland Cleanser to remove any final scraps of make-up and dirt afterwards. My skin was left feeling so soft, clean and refreshed after I had washed it off with a warm cloth and as cleansers go, it does a pretty damn good job.

It is so hard to really rave about a cleanser when they all vaguely do the same thing and give the same results but if you are after a cleanser which is made up of (mostly) natural ingredients which isn't tested on animals, then the Lush Ultrabland Cleanser is definitely for you.


Other | HUDA Beauty Liquid Lipstick Giveaway

Yay, another liquid lipstick giveaway. Following on from my recent Sephora Haul, I shared with you all that I bought a few HUDA Beauty Liquid Lipsticks, as well as one to giveaway. The shade I have to giveaway is Medusa, which is a pretty grey-toned purple. I haven't yet tried them out myself so I can't rave about them too much but what I do know is they are incredibly long lasting and have such a lovely array of colours within the range. If you want to enter the giveaway then just fill out your details in the widget below! 

Good luck gang x 


Other | Another Sephora Haul

When people found out that I was going on holiday to Dubai, a lot of them asked me "why?" Well, my first reaction is "well why not?" Then I tell them why - the heat.. the beach.. the sun.. the sea.. the Sephora stores.. Bath and Body Works.. You know, that sorta thing.

I can't go into Sephora and not buy anything so I knew I was going to take a little bit of spending monies with me to splurge on make-up I didn't need but wow, is it expensive in Dubai. A while back I wrote a post all about if make-up was cheaper to buy in America and whilst the results were pretty varied, I can categorically say that make-up in Dubai is most definitely not cheaper than if I were to buy it at home. For example, I originally bought 2 Kat Von D Tattoo Liner's as they are my holy grail and I can't live without them. At the time I thought "wow, that sounds pretty expensive" as I handed over 200 AED but it was only when I got back to my hotel room and had a bit of a price comparison that I realised I had spent over £42 on 2 eyeliners, whereas if I had bought them from Debenhams in the UK, it would have been £32. Needless to say I took them back and bought a few lipsticks instead but wow, no bargains are to be had in Dubai, let me tell you.

Anyway, let me show you what I had bought! I managed to battle through the throng of women standing around the HUDA Beauty stand which has recently launched in Sephora in Dubai. It was so popular in fact that the lady supervising it couldn't get the lipsticks out quick enough. It was a bit like throwing bread out to the birds - they all want a bit but you're not quite quick enough to satisfy them all. 

HUDA Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick in Medusa & Trophy Wife 
I haven't seen any reviews on these HUDA Beauty Liquid Lipsticks but I knew they were popular so I really wanted to try a couple. I know you can buy these on Cult Beauty or in Harrods for £18 but I am glad I had the opportunity to swatch these beforehand as the shades I thought I would like I didn't and the shades I didn't think I would like I ended up loving. I bought Medusa which is a grey-toned purple taupe and Trophy Wife which is a pretty fuschia purple. I haven't tried these out yet but after swatching them on my hand I can tell you that these do not budge! They are very much like the Kylie Lip Kits just without the lip liner, which you can buy seperately if you so wish. I am really looking forward to trying these, oh, and I may have bought an extra one to giveaway..

Sephora Soft Matte Lip Cream in Endless Purple
I love the Sephora Soft Matte Lip Creams - think the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams but better. I have a couple now so I thought it was time to buy another, although a quick google has told me that the shade I purchased is discontinued and has been for a while now, so it is slightly strange that Sephora Dubai are still selling it. That said, my latest addition is in the shade Endless Purple which is a beautiful deep Autumnal plum shade. If I could buy every Sephora Soft Matte Lip Cream then I definitely would do, it is such a shame that you can't get them in the UK as they are much better than the NYX version.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Catnip & Dusty Rose
I am pretty sure I have nearly tried nearly every brand that offers matte liquid lipstick by now so it was about time I tried a few from ABH. There was so many shades that I could have quite easily bought but I thought I would try and refrain myself and only buy two - Catnip which is a pretty soft plum and Dusty Rose which is a nude mauve. Both shades I bought are incredibly easy to wear and I am looking forward to trying them and see how they compare to all of the others I have tried.

BeautyBlender Nude
Sadly the final item isn't too exciting but it was an essential! I have only ever tried BeautyBlender look-a-likes so I can't wait to try out the original and see what my make-up looks like afterwards! I might actually do a post on applying half of my make-up with a look-a-like then the other half with the BeautyBlender to see how they do compare and if they really are worth the money.

If you read all of the above you would have seen that I have a HUDA Beauty Matte Lipstick to giveaway! It will be up in the next couple of days so keep a little eye out. Oh, and I am aware that Sephora may be opening up in the UK and actually? I would kind of rather it didn't. Sephora is a novelty. When I go in there I buy lots because I know I can't get it at home. Would I go into Sephora in the UK and buy as much? I don't think so. Does anyone else feel the same?


Review | Revlon PhotoReady Insta-Fix Highlighting Stick in Champagne

Can you have too many highlighters? I really don't think you can - the more the merrier I say. I am sure that if you asked me 5 years ago what a highlighter was I would have told you that they came in yellow, green, pink and orange. Has highlighter always been around? Or was I just unaware of it? 

I have quite a few highlighters now and my favourites are powder-based, although I am starting to come round to the idea of cream-based highlighters, which is why I went and bought another. The time I added the Revlon PhotoReady Insta-Fix Highlighting Stick in Champagne to my collection. 

About the Revlon PhotoReady Insta-Fix Highlighting Stick:
"Illuminate and enhance your best features. The universally flattering shades are perfect for highlighting any skin tone for a soft, luminous look. Apply PhotoReady Insta-Fix™ Highlighting Stick in center of forehead, cheekbones and chin where your skin naturally catches the light. Easy to apply with one swipe for a subtle look or build as desired for a more dramatic 'strobed' finish. Makeup stick allows for perfectly precise application - even on the go!"

The Revlon PhotoReady Insta-Fix Highlighting Stick comes in two different shades, either Champagne (Gold Light) or Starlight (Pink Light). I opted for Champagne which is a gorgeous golden shade which has a bit of a sheen to it which runs throughout. Both shades are created to be universally flattering for all skintones which I definitely agree with. Both Champagne and Starlight are very pretty and I can't imagine them being anything but flattering for everyone.

The highlighter comes housed in an easy-to-use retractable tube with the intention of just swiping the product onto the face without having to use make-up brushes. I apply the highlighting stick in this way, although I do blend it out a little afterwards using with my fingers or with a beauty blender as otherwise you do end up with a harsh strip of gold running across your cheekbones. It blends in incredibly easily and leaves a really gorgeous champagne coloured glow to the face and the cheekbones. For an extra glow I sometimes add the Makeup Revolution Highlighter in Golden Lights on top but it is definitely optional as the Revlon Highlighting Stick in Champagne is definitely all you need!


Review | NYX Lip Lingerie Lipstick in Embellishment

I feel like this blog is slowly starting to turn into some sort of liquid lipstick shrine as I feel like that's all I mention on here! Today's post is another of the matte liquid lipstick variety and it comes from NYX. I know everyone loves a Soft Matte Lip Cream and as much as I like them, I don't think the longevity is the best so I decided to try a Lip Lingerie Lipstick instead. It was really hard trying to pick just one out of the range as they are all such pretty neutral shades but in the end I chose the NYX Lip Lingerie Lipstick in Embellishment.

About the NYX Lip Lingerie Lipsticks:
"Slip into something seductive with Lip Lingerie, our new weightless liquid lipstick with a plush matte finish. Available in a range of colour-kissed nudes—from cinnamon pink and chocolate brown, to warm mahogany red and classic nude beige—each sultry shade will coat the curves of your lips with irresistibly creamy colour."

The NYX Lip Lingerie Lipstick in Embellishment is a very pretty neutral grey-based mauve shade which applies ever so slightly darker than the shade which appears in the tube. For your money you get a 4 ml thin tube of product which has its doe-foot applicator within the lid. The applicator is rather slim and long so you can apply a pretty precise applicator without a lip liner. Like most other liquid lipsticks out there, the NYX Lingerie Lipsticks too have a rather unpleasant chemical smell to them. Fortunately the smell doesn't linger too long on the lips after application but yes, the scent is definitely noticeable!

The Lingerie Liquid Lipsticks dry completely matte and once applied, it dries almost instantly. I suffer from dry lips occasionally and luckily this doesn't show up any dry areas or feel heavy or drying on the lips. Embellishment felt really lightweight and comfortable to wear and most importantly, it lasts so much longer than the Soft Matte Lip Creams! I usually feel like the Soft Matte Lip Creams don't really dry down or stick to the lips so every time you move your lips the lipstick just transfers onto everything but fortunately the Lingerie Lipsticks last much longer. Don't get me wrong, it does fade ever so slightly but it's nothing that a re-application won't sort out.

Overall, I think I really do much prefer the NYX Lip Lingerie Lipsticks to the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams. Whilst the colour range in the Soft Matte Lip Creams is much more vast and varied, I much prefer the formula to the Lip Lingerie's. Embellishment is a really pretty grey-based mauve which, whilst it won't be for everyone to begin with, it does look less scary on the lips than it can appear in the tube.