Friday, 30 December 2011

A Pretty Little Christmas

I didn't get a chance to post a Christmas wish to you all, what with all the fuss of the day, but I do hope you all had a lovely festive weekend. And I hope that Father Christmas treated you to a few boxes of beauty this year! So while I scoff the last of the mince pies I just thought I'd share with you what I found under my Christmas tree...




Special Edition December Glossy Box

My other half kindly agreed to subscribe me to Glossy Box, depending on how generous he feels, hopefully for a good few months. Luckily, in time for the special December edition which came in a festive red box and was filled with five fantastic beauty products. 

BLINK + Go Hi-Definition Mascara

I am always open to try new mascaras, simply because I haven't found THE ONE, so I was pleased to find that there was one included and even more pleased that it was a full sized sample which retails at £14.99. This mascara gives great volume, length and does genuinely define each lash without any nasty clumps. I can't say I was won over by this mascara but I will continue to use it on days I want my make up to be simple and natural. 

CARGO  COSMETICS Classic Lip Gloss

Again, this was a full sized sample which usually retails at £10.00. I received the shade 'Las Vegas' which I can only describe to be a dark toned peach colour. This product doesn't exactly tint my lips as such but I did notice how well it moistened my lips when I first applied it as well as giving them a great shine and a touch of sparkle, perfect for this New Years weekend..mwah!

DEBORAH LIPPMAN Razzle Dazzle Mini Nail Varnish with Stripped to Go Sachet

The nail varnish is a gorgeous shade of purple, which is a colour I don't tend to wear on my nails however I decided to use this for my 'Christmas Day nails'. I required two coats when applying as one was too thin and didn't emphasise just how dazzling this polish is! I do love a polish with glitter but the disadvantage is taking the bleedin' stuff off, which is an absolute nightmare. A crises that I often had when I used to regularly wear Barry M's Glitter Nail Paint where I'd find myself using atleast 4 cotton pads soaked in varnish remover to take it off. Since this sample came with a sachet of Stripped to Go, a finger mitt consisting of remover, I thought I'd see how well it works. The mitt had a delightful fragrance of lavender and had the right consistency, but I was disappointed to find that it just wasn't enough to remove the glitter filled polish it came with. I am certain that it would have worked for any other regular nail polish but I personally would stick to a basic remover and cotton pads.

JURLIQUE Age Defying Ultra Firm and Lift Cream

I know I'm only 21 but I will be using this product, why waste it after all? This is a 5ml sample and you can purchase the full 50ml tub that retails at £48.00. Since I don't have wrinkles..I doubt I will see any dramatic changes to my skin but it's always handy to slow down the ageing process sooner than later.

RITUALS Foaming Shower Gel

This product has an amazing fragrance of cherry blossom and is incredibly soft against my skin. When applied the gel actually becomes a mousse which creates a heavenly lather which makes you feel silky smooth all over. I was glad that it came as a full sized 200ml sample and I'm hoping it will last a good while as it's just so lush. 


Carolina Herrera 212 VIP

This is definitely my new favourite scent at the moment. It's sexy, glamorous and delicious, it's musky yet sweet and it's a perfume I would have never have thought to try yet I love it. A unique fragrance that I can't seem to compare to any other, which is great as I like to have a selection of perfumes to wear on different occasions. This is ideal for a night out with the girls or to get noticed, I feel ultra feminine when wearing this although I would say that it does fade throughout the day which is a shame, so several applications are needed. I will purchase this again in future and I recommend that you should too!


'Mr Frosty' from LUSH

It seems to have become a tradition in my family to give LUSH gifts, so I wasn't surprised to find a LUSH gift under the tree. This is 'Mr Frosty' which consists of 'So White', 'Li'l Lush Pud' and 'Golden Wonder' bath ballistics which all smell yummy and will certainly be a special treat at bath time. At the moment 'Mr Frosty' is still in my bedroom as I can't seem to bring myself to dissect him of his LUSH goods...until the morning that is.

Benefit Make Up brushes

My dad was thoughtful enough to remember how much I wanted a new set of make up brushes and these three shown are by Benefit, they include blush/powder brush, foundation brush and a powder shadow brush. Although it wasn't a full set, I am still pleased that I can replace my worn out brushes. Benefit don't currently have a full set of brushes available for purchase, each are sold separately from around £15.50 to £22.50. These brushes help give a smooth and even complexion when applying make up and there is a noticeable difference in the quality of the brushes compared to my old ones. I do plan to purchase more myself possibly from another brand, I'm open to any recommendations.


Tamara x


Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Clinique Favourites

At the age of 21 I find that I am still cursed with teenage skin and, at times, have been so frustrated at the lack of results I get out of products that supposedly target and combat spots. Up till recently I refused to splurge on high end skin care as I didn't want the risk of spending a ridiculous amount of money on a teaspoon sized product. I've tried most of the brands that you'll find in supermarkets and high street retailers such as Boots, but I have not yet found my skin miracle. I seem to have outbreaks regularly which I figured I would grow out of by now. 

And so, losing my patience I decided to invest into more expensive skin care and throughout this year Clinique hasn't disappointed me so far and here are four products that I would recommend to anyone with the same skin issues as me...


(LEFT TO RIGHT)

Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions, Oil Control Cleansing Mask

I tend to use this once a week, as what you should do when it comes to face masks as using them too regularly will dry out your skin. I like to use this product to give my face a deep cleanse since I wear make up most days and as I mentioned before I am extremely prone to spots. The product is clay based and only requires 5 minutes although a little longer doesn't hurt, as long as you wait till the mask becomes hard then you can wash it off with warm water. The mask has been developed to prevent break outs and reduce shine on your skin which is ideal for me as my skin is very oily throughout the day. I purchased this 100ml product at £16 which I was hesitant to do so, but I must say it was worth it. I find that my breakouts, although not entirely prevented, have been reduced since using the mask. Also it gives my skin a slight glow after use which hasn't gone unnoticed!

RATINGS
Result 4/5
Quantity 4/5
Value for Money 5/5
Application 5/5

Clinique Take the Day Off, Make up Remover

I first discovered this gem when I bought an issue of Glamour magazine in the early half of this year and each came with a small sample of various Clinique products, I chose the make up remover since I didn't REALLY need another lip gloss. After my first use I was instantly amazed at what this product could do! A small amount on a cotton wool pad does wonders, it literally 'takes the day off' your face. I was so wrong to think my usual routine of soap, exfoliator and occasional steaming would remove all the make up and dirt clogged up in my pores. This product takes away everything that your other products didn't and leaves your face feeling refreshed. A 125ml bottle can be purchased for £14.50, again so worth the money I'm probably on my third bottle of this year and could never do without it.


RATINGS
Result 5/5
Quantity 4/5
Value for Money 5/5
Application 5/5

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions, Instant Perfector

This was introduced to me as a sample sachet sent to me with an order I placed on the Clinique website, along with a sample sachet of the Pore Refining Solutions Correcting Serum. When you order on clinique.co.uk you are entitled to two free samples out of a choice of four as an extra little treat. But out of the two I saw more results out of the instant perfecter rather that the serum and so I decided to purchase the full sized 15ml tube  for a harsh price of £18 which is the only disappointment. This product minimises visual pores giving your skin a smoother matt appearance. I, personally, have been using it as a form of primer, since it give my skin a matt finish it allows my make up to be more durable and there is no need for touch ups. I was advised at the Clinique counter that I could wear the product alone, however I don't find I can depend on it for cover ups and as I often have blemishes I would need to wear foundation or concealer either way. I will purchase the instant perfecter again although I am dis-encouraged by the little amount you get inside considering the high price it's sold at.

RATINGS
Result 5/5
Quantity 3/5
Value for Money 3/5
Application 5/5

Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions, Spot Treatment Gel

I wanted to try this gel as many of the spot treatment gels and 'wands' I have tried haven't been so reliable. A small 15ml tube costs £12 which again, is a bit pricey for what you get, needless to say it does tackle blemishes effectively and rather quickly. Whenever I feel a spot surfacing I dab a small amount of the product on the area and the blemish is reduced in no time. I won't say this gel is incredible but it works and that's what really matters at the end of the day.

RATINGS
Result 4/5
Quantity 4/5
Value for Money 4/5
Application 5/5


Tamara x



Thursday, 8 December 2011

All I Want for Christmas

Well, Christmas is indeed fast approaching..oh dear! Haven't quite got into the festive mood just yet but that certainly hasn't stopped me from writing a nifty little Christmas list just to nudge peoples generosity har har. Apart from the usual fashion vouchers I ask for to use in the January sales I do hope to find these under the tree this year...




The No.7 Illuminated Make-up Mirror is currently on sale at Boots from £49.99 to £20.00. I would love to have this mirror and even if I don't receive it as a gift I would gladly buy it myself, that is as long as the reduced price is still about come Boxing Day! When I put my make up on in the morning I always feel my room is poorly lit and so this mirror would be so ideal as it has all round lighting plus a handy 5x magnification. 




I am in desperate need for new make up brushes but why must they be so bloody expensive? A new brush set would be perfect this Christmas as my current make up brushes are absolutely awful. My favourite Estee Lauder blusher brush is knackered after using it for a good five years and I could do with a new foundation brush since my Max Factor is becoming frayed. A high end beauty branded brush set would give best application results such as these Clinique brushes (can only be purchased separately). 




Who DOESN'T love Lush? It's bath time haven, I literally adore everything and a bath is just not a bath without something from there. From their indulgent bubble bars, soaps that leave your skin squeaky clean, literally, fizzy bath bombs and soothing body lotions, Lush products are a lovely treat at Christmas. 


This is NARS blush in shade 'Mata hari' available on ASOS for £20.50. I think this is a beautiful shade to create soft rosy cheeks and I have recently used up my two favourite blushers, 'Sugarbomb' by Benefit and Clinique Blushing Blush Powder in 'Smouldering Plum' which both gave the same effect. Recently I am finding myself using bronzer as part of my daily make up routine which can sometimes look heavy on my cheek bones  so a new blush such as this one by NARS would be a nice stocking filler.


My favourite perfume by far has to be Chanel's Chance. I got my first bottle on my 20th birthday and I'm surprised how I've managed to make it last till now considering I wear it practically every single day. However it is now looking more and more empty so obviously a new bottle is crucial! 

Tamara x



Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Less is More

Bellapierre sale now on at secretsales.com, great reductions but be quick only one day left to shop!


Thursday, 10 November 2011

A/W Nails

I adore buying nail polish! I treat my nails as an accessory, an outfit is just not complete without painted nails and I tend to base my choice of polish on the colours that I am wearing that day. During summer, there was more of an opportunity to wear the entire rainbow spectrum on your finger tips, since it is such a colourful season. From neon brights to pastel shades, I was wearing them all..well tried to. Sadly we are now in the season of Autumn and that means colder weather and warmer colours such as camel browns, burgundy reds, mustard yellows and dusty greys. Consequently this limits what colours you can wear on your nails so for this A/W I plan to stick with reds, nudes and metallics and here are a few that I have tried and tested. 




This is a Nails Inc. polish in the shade 'Basil Street', a nude/beige colour, which I got with the latest issue of Glamour magazine. I have wanted to try a shade like this for a while now, so I was glad to get it free. It's not exactly the 'greige' colour that I've been searching for, it is much browner and may not work with every skin tone. Unfortunately, I found that I had to apply the polish 3 times to get the colour to come through as the product is very thin. I love the colour despite the time spent applying it, and it seems to go with most colours I have been wearing this season. 


I'm a huge fan of Revlon nail polish, not that I tend to buy much of it..at £6.49 each I really can't afford to buy them regularly. Feeling impulsive, I decided to treat myself and since it was 3 for 2 at Boots that was even more of an encouragement. These are the shades I chose, from left to right: 570 'Vixen', 091 'Smoky Canvas' and 680 'Revlon Red'.


'Vixen' was the shade I liked the least out of these three Revlon varnishes as it just didn't match with my skin tone. This is an extremely dark colour which made my hands look awfully pale or as my mum would describe as "corpse like". This is how my nails looked with just one coat (excuse the poor photo) and this is the colour I was expecting from the polish. However, one coat wasn't enough as the product is just too thin for one and so a second coat was applied which made my nails very dark...not good. I was instantly thrown off by the colour as it didn't suit me at all, I could only recommend to those with a very good tan or black skin.


This is 091 'Smoky Canvas' basically a light grey. It's not a colour I think I will wear a lot but it is ideal if you're looking for something simple and low key. Again, much like Nails Inc.s 'Basil Street' this colour would only suit certain skin tones and takes 2 applications to give best results. This polish could compliment most colours in this A/W fashion colour trends so I would't put it down as a complete no no but not necessarily a must have either. This is actually a new shade that has been introduced to Revlon's nail varnish range so right in time for this season.  


You can't go wrong with red nails, they look good with any outfit and just like red lipstick, give an edge. I love the 'Revlon Red' polish as its bold, striking and sexy! I found it a breeze to apply and only needed one coat which will surely allow me to stretch it out for a good few months, since this is the colour I wear on my nails most of the time and I tend to get through plenty of red varnishes. 


I usually purchase polishes from the 17 range at Boots as there is always a fabulous selection of colours, they don't chip and they're cheap. They are usually rather small so you don't get a lot of product..which I guess could explain the low prices. Never the less, I once again found myself eyeing up the 17 display and chose a polish ideal for this A/W to share on Beauty Blah Blah Blah. This is shade 'Mink' from the selection of Supreme Shine varnishes by 17 that guarantees to last for up to 10 days and retails at £3.99.  


Finally! I have found a 'greige' shade that I'm utterly in love with. This is a lovely colour if you want nude/simple nails, 'Mink' is definitely my favourite nail colour for this A/W. The polish comes with a wide brush so application isn't a hassle and the product is much thicker than the Nails Inc. and Revlon varnishes, however I continued to apply 2 coats. Even my mother adores the colour and would consider buying this polish for herself and all she ever wears is pink on her nails! I would urge anyone to buy this 17 Supreme Shine shade, I promise you'll be most impressed. Although it claims the polish will last on your nails for up to 10 days, I did sadly notice a small chip on one of my nails by the forth day but not enough to complain about. 


A TIP FROM TAMARA

We all hate when our nail varnishes become thick, sticky and impossible to use, so why not store your perfectly pretty polishes in the fridge to keep them chilled. This allows the product to last longer as it prevents drying out.



Tamara x

10-day L'Oreal Paris Haircare Trial

As a member of the ELLEUK online panel, I contribute to surveys and polls regarding fashion and beauty and last week I received an email informing me that I was as one of the selected few chosen to take part in a haircare trial for 10 days. Of course I couldn't refuse free shampoo and conditioner, coincidently mine had run out so I was actually in need! A week had passed and I was delighted to find a surprisingly big (ish) package on my door step and opened to find this treasure...





I was sent two generously large full sized samples of shampoo and conditioner from  L'Oreal Paris's Hair Expertise which has only recently been introduced to the U.K from the U.S. The samples given to me are actually the American products but will soon be available to purchase here in the U.K. These particular haircare products have been targeted at delicate, frizzy and damaged hair. My hair isn't frizzy, however it is rather damaged by frequent use of heated styling. 


From first impressions, they look very professional and worth spending a bit extra for. Botanical oils are found within the ingredients which I've not been aware of, in other shampoos and conditioners. When reading the bottles I noticed that essences of Rosemary, Juniper and Mint have been used. I was concerned that these scents would be over powering and I didn't really fancy having hair that smelt like a lavender bush or toothpaste, but I was pleased to find that the smell of the products were very subtle. 


When applying the shampoo to my hair, I noticed how well it lathered! I always find a good shampoo gives a good lather. Instantly my hair felt sooo fresh and the product is easy to rinse out, so no residue. The conditioner compliments the shampoo perfectly, after the revitalising lather my hair was treated with a soft, creamy and minty finish which was just lovely. I must admit it took a couple of days to see the impact the products had on my hair but I was impressed to noticed that my split ends weren't looking so horrid and my hair was feeling silky soft. Even my other half had a cheeky  try and even he noticed a difference in the condition of his hair. 


And so...


After 10 days I can honestly say, hand on heart, that the L'Oreal Paris's Hair Expertise
shampoo and conditioner left me very satisfied. It was a pleasure to be part of this trial. I would definitely consider purchasing these products, when available in the U.K and I would recommend to anyone with damaged hair. My usual choice of hair care is L'Oreal Elvive, most commonly Full Restore 5; Nutri-Gloss, Smooth Intense or Re-Nutrition Royal Jelly. In my opinion I think all of these, including the trial products, give similar results so I wouldn't say there is a dramatic difference between them. However, I did feel that the Hair Expertise didn't leave my hair as fragrant as I usually like it to be, compared to Nutri-Gloss or the Re-Nutrition Royal Jelly products, for example. Apart from that I have no complaints and I encourage you all to try for yourself. 




RATINGS
Quantity 5/5
Fragrance 4/5
Result 4/5
Overall 4/5


Tamara x

Friday, 4 November 2011

Muji Makeup Storage

For an unnecessary amount of time, I resorted to throwing all my make up products and brushes into one small make up bag, which on a daily basis made it a mission to search through the clutter to find what I needed and in the end I found myself tipping every thing out to only then put back. It was all a total mess! Over time I have managed to make a collection of unused lip sticks, mascaras and blushers, some that I wasn't even aware I had...


I wanted to find a way to organise my make up, I'm a perfectionist and admittedly a bit of a neat freak, so having a bag of beautiful mess just wasn't acceptable. Ideally I needed something that would allow me to categorise my products (face, eyes, lips e.t.c). Whilst watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians...yes I shamefully watch American reality shows...I noticed how the girls organised their make up. 




These acrylic drawers are the perfect, yet simplest way to keep make up organised and since they're clear, you don't have to search through to find what you're looking for. It took me a while to find some for myself that weren't too over priced and at last I came across Muji which had exactly what I needed. I decided to buy them in store but they are available to purchase online and come in a variety of sizes.



This is Mujis Acrylic Box-2 drawer in size w17.5 x d13 x h9.5cm. I bought two of these at a price of £7.95 each and I don't know how I managed without them. They're so efficient and they can be stacked upon one another. I've actually come to realise four drawers really isn't enough for everything, so I do plan to buy more as I just can't seem to stop buying make up! These are a MUST have if, like me, you have an over flowing bundle of beauty that needs a good old sorting. 

Tamara x

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Maybelline EyeStudio Lasting Drama Gel Liner

Since the age of 15, I have worn make-up and, by friends, have been known to not go a day without eye liner. I have tried liner from most cosmetics brands, whether it be a Kohl pencil liner, liquid liner or crayon liner and it has taken me a fair few hundreds of attempts to master the 'cat eye' flick we girls all seem to love. For the past year I have been using Barry M liquid eye liner in black,  but find that the applicator tends to become soft and flimsy which makes it incredibly frustrating when trying to create a perfect line and flick on my upper eye lid. The product its self gives a perfect result, however the applicator is a let down. 


I then became more aware of gel eye liner and for some time wanted to try it for myself so the other day I purchased Maybelline's EyeStudio Lasting Drama Gel Liner in 01 Black for £7.99 in Boots. 




To apply the product I use an angled brush, such as this one from Models Own, which came as part of a five piece brush set, found in Boots for £10.


You only need a small amount of the gel to get the bold line you're hoping for, unlike some liquid eye liners I have used, where I need to apply more of the product to develop the depth of the black several times. The straight edge of the angled brush allows you to mark and fill in the 'cat eye' flick with precision. No smudges and no touch ups needed. I found using gel liner saves time and there is no need for tissue or cotton buds to fix up any badly drawn lines. This is my result after my first time using the product.




RATINGS
Colour Intensity 5/5
Durability 5/5
Value for Money 5/5
Application 4/5


I would definitely recommend this gel liner by Maybelline, its a small price to pay for a genuinely good make up product. I could only seem to find gel liner in the Maybelline range at the time I bought it, I am aware that Topshop sell one too for £8 which has received good reviews, I may try for myself at some point to compare.  


Tamara x