Monday, 19 May 2014

Illamasqua blogger evening

 Evening all!

I was lucky enough to be invited to an evening with Illamasqua last week and thought I'd share my experience and thoughts!

At first I was slightly apprehensive because I've been to a blogger event before and it was just a walk around the counter and pretty much just took 10 minutes. But... you've gotta be in it to see it eh?!


I waited at the counter for the other girlies to arrive and decided to have a peruse around the products. I soon got chatting and had to admit that I was an Illamasqua virgin.. much to the surprise of the lovely counter ladies! 

The event was held down in the depths of the store in a private room and although 6 bloggers were invited only 4 of us turned up! Fine by me though... more chance for us to ask questions!

The bloggers/youtubers who joined me were-

Hannah from Cagney and Lace
Hayley from Hayley loves
and lovely Youtuber notesfromthecity


We were greeted in the room and given a lovely glass of Cava, a yummy looking cupcake and a gift bag!
We got ourselves settled and introduced and the demo's began! The beautiful Zoe Peplow, Illamasqua's UK brand Ambassador, took centre stage with her lucky model and co-worker!


Brows

Zoe first worked on the Leanne's brows, first using their new primer 'Hydra Veil' - this helps control the brows and works as a great base for the next product- Eyebrow Cake in 'Thunder'.


The brush Zoe used is something they all swore by.... its the 'Angled Brush'. All of Illamasqua's brushes are synthetic so they don't shed their hair or misshape. The shape of this brush is perfect for brows and creating either a bold brow look or something more natural and smouldering. 

This brush retails at £19, yeah its pretty steep but.. I can assure you its worth it! More to come later on that!

Eyes

Once the brows were preemed to perfection (maybe slightly too dark for my liking though!) Zoe moved on to create a beautiful masterpiece on Leanne's eyes using the 'Paranormal Palette' 





This palette is wow, bold! The water resistent eyeshadows have a bizarre consistency, sort of between a cream and a powder...very pokeable! 

When being applied with in a circular motion with blending brush the outcome was amazing, really natural and soft! They gave us a great tip... hold the brush right near the end and the look will be more natural and blended!

Shades-
Paranormal (vivid cerise)
Aura (warm copper)
Trance (soft violet)
Possession (cool green)

The palette retails for £38, a bit steep but these are SO pigmented they will last for months/years

This was then followed by Illamasqua's  Precision Gel Liner  and Masquara in Raven

Face

Matte Veil- This cream creates a long lasting shine free base for your primer and foundation to sit on whilst reducing oil and shine! 

 Hydra Veil- cooling gel with micro Algae which helps reduce redness. Best applied with brush.. don't waste your products on your hands ladies!

Foundation- Skin Base in shade 10.5

Pure Pigment in Static (used with eyelash glue to make dotty effect!)




 How cute does she look eh! Now i know it isn't something you'd wear on a normal day.. but I love the detail and its something that shows how durable their makeup can be, how adaptable!

Zoe ran through her top 5 must have products for your girlies too-

1. The Veils (linked above) £30

2. Eye Brow cake £15.50

3. Skin Base Lift in Light 1- Brightening concealer £17.50

4.Velvet Blusher  £21.50

5.  Masquara in Raven £16.50


  
I'd completely agree with numbers 2-5 but maybe not the Veils for me. They don't seem to make that much of a difference to usual primers but are a lot more expensive... have you tried either?

I was lucky enough to receive a gift bag...

Mine included the Bronzing Duo in Glint/ Burnish  worth £26
 and a small sample of Hydra Veil which I've used up already. 


I was also rather naughty and purchased the Brow cake and the angled brush! But I'm glad I did.. the
girlies were right... you can't buy the cake without the right tool!


I've already tried all the products out and i must say... I love love love the bronzer and brow cake! The bronzer is so pigmented you only need a tiny bit along with the highlighter. Its great for contouring! 


Here are my brows-

In this photo I am also wearing 'Surrender' - one of the new matte lip glosses! Take a look at the range and everything i've featured on -

Illamasqua's website
I'm still planning on sticking with Mac for my foundation and primer, I like what I know.. but I'm loving the new colours and textures introduced to me by Illamasqua. Its all a bit more exciting and bold!

Thanks to the lovely ladies too for having us!


Follow them at all for great makeup tips and ideas for your own bold designs-

Instagram
@Zoeleannepeplow 
@Nikki_leanne91
@Leannenicolefinney 
@sarahlou0000

What do you think of the products I've featured?

Have you found any essentials in the range that I need to try?

XOXOX












Sunday, 11 May 2014

Contents and first impression of May Birchbox 2014

Hello lovely readers!

Well the weekend has flown by for me.. how about you?

I had a nice surprise waiting for me on Saturday morning... my May Birchbox!

This months box comes absolutely beautiful packaging. Its bright, summery and a hint of peacock design and generally just very cute! Thanks go to Harper's Bazaar for this one!

Although this is only my second box I know from reading all your blogs and watching youtube vids that these collaborative boxes are always the best ones. This months is said to feature lifestyle and beauty products co-curated by the Harper Bazaar team. 


Look how pretty it is!





Inside the box as usual there is,what I like to call the menu card that tells me what surprises await (I avoid looking at this before opening!). Along with this comes an exclusive Bazaar offer card which gives details of the discounted subscription offer for Harper's Bazaar magazine- 76% off a 12 month subscription! Pretty good value at £1 per issue! I'm not on this occasion going to sign up though... I already have subscriptions to Elle and Glamour that I barely get time to read as it is!


This months box also comes with a Bazaar beauty guide.. again much the same as the menu card it just tells you about the selection of products in the box along with a bit more detail as to why they were chosen to feature in the special box.  It's great to have to look at once but no doubt this will end up in the bin soon. Not very enviro friendly Birchbox!


Again, a useful little drawstring bag that holds all this months lovely surprises! I have no idea what I'm going to do with all of these, anyone got any ideas?!

Contents



Aromatherapy Associates- Revive Morning bath and shower oil (3ml sample- full size is £39)

Yum... this oil smells so luxurious. As soon as I opened the parcel I could smell this little sample wafting through! With hints of pink grapefruit,rosemary and juniper berry its tangy and refreshing. I'll admit.. I haven't tried it fully yet (the post arrived just after I got out the shower!) but i popped some on the back of my hand and wow... this reminds me of being at the spa and being pampered, my skin was soft and felt hydrated. The price tag however.. £39 for a full size... I don't think i could justify spending that much.. but maybe once I've used it in the shower I might change my mind!




Beauty protector shampoo and conditioner (travel size bottles - full size £14 each)

Handy little duo! They are both Sulfate and Paraben free, suitable for all hair types and boast of being great at adding moisture,enhancing volume, adding shine,sealing cuticles, smoothing hair and being UV protective! Phew!

 Again, I haven't used these yet due to the bad timing of the postman. But... I've had a sniff and a read of the menu card! They don't particularly have a smell, if i had to compare them, slightly like the Aussie shampoo smell.  I'll have a go this week and let you know!




Benefit Cosmetics- They're Real! Mascara - (3.0g sample Full size £19)

This is one of the most well known mascara's about.. and I can see why! Its a jet black thick mascara that promises to provide separation and length without clumps...and that it does! I received the same sample in my Elle magazine a few months back and have been enjoying it. 

I like the plastic brush applicator and funnily enough it has saved me from buying another product. I'd seen a few blog posts about the Clinique Bottom Lash mascara  and was tempted.. but when I tried They're Real! I didn't see the need to consider getting it.. the small brush with pointed end allows me to apply to my smallest lashes anyway!
The only downside of this product is the fact its not so easy to remove at the end of the day... thankfully I have Lancome Bi- Facil which works pretty well but still needs a bit of a scrub!




Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleaner- (30ml sample-  Full size -£13.25)

What a lovely product to find in this months box! If you are a reader of my older posts you'll know I bought a full size Cleanse and Polish set a few months back. I've loved using it and its lasting me so long that I think I'll either gift this one or pop it in my cupboard for later in the year!
If you haven't read my post about this click here



Soigne nail lacquer- (Full Size product £10)

The French "Soigne" translates to "Very well dressed; well groomed" and I must say, the packaging lives up to the meaning. It came in a rather unnecessarily large box and was held in place by some somewhat pointless foam! I think something is happening to me.... I'm becoming quite conscious of the amount of rubbish I seem to be having to throw away after each box arrives!

That being said... the nail varnish has really impressed me. A lot more than what I can say about the varnish in last months box! This time I did apply undercoat, I learnt my lesson yes. The varnish itself applies beautifully.. the consistency is thick but not gloopy and only needs one coat. I love the orangey-coral shade and the drying time was about 1 minute. Perfect for me as I always tend to find something completely ridiculous to do whilst my nails dry which means 99% of the time I end up with smudges all over my hands and my apartment!

Verdict

This months box does have a feel of luxury about it and that to me is the essence of Harpers Bazaar, the products hit the spot on that front. I loved the design of the actual box itself.. its a lot more exciting than the plain brown one from last month but I didn't really enjoy all the bumph that came in this box;the beauty guide wasn't much to shout about. 

This month I give it 4/5!

Have you subscribed yet? What did you think to all the products this month?
Do you have any recommendations of other boxes I should try?

xoxoxox








Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Birchbox April 2014

So i buckled... I decided this month to subscribe to a beauty box- Birchbox!
I've seen so many of you guys talking about the various boxes you get each month and thought its about time i get involved!

I ordered the box and within a few days it was waiting for me on my return from work one afternoon.


The theme of this months box was "Good enough to eat". Taking inspiration from local food markets and kitchens!

The helpful leaflets inside the box explained a bit more about the theme-

"Aprils samples feature delicious scents and foodie elements"



Packaging
Really cute little fabric drawstring bag- could be handy for a travel wash bag!

The information leaflet is FULL of stuff... info on all the products and even a yummy sounding recipe  for salted caramel cupcakes (full recipe is available at Birchbox Blog)

Inside my box was......

Thebalm cosmetics -   "How 'bout them apples?" Cheek and lip cream





Lord & Berry-Kohl eye liner



Colour Club- Gala gems nail polish


Yes to cucumbers- facial wipes


Campos De Ibiza- Almendra body milk


Propercorn- Sweet coconut and Vanilla



Thoughts so far.....

 "How 'bout them apples?" cheek and lip tint.  (£26 full palette- 0.57g sample)

 Really cute packaging, although the bizzare half naked cowboys aren't really needed are they?! Aside from that, the packaging reminds me of the Benefit range and I love the fact that the little book has a magnet in so when you pop it in your handbag the product isn't spread all over your phone, purse,lunch etc etc!
The first thing I did when i opened the product was sniff it... as did my mother! I assumed because the leaflet in the Birchbox spoke of "delicious scents and foodie elements" they might have chosen something with at least a bit of smell... this has no scent at all!

Aside from the lack of scent... i adore this. The colour pigmentation is amazing and you really only need a tiny amount so it will last a while. 


Lord & Berry Couture Kohl eye pencil - (full size £10- 0.6g sample)

I'll be honest... I was slightly disappointed with this product.. not because of the quality just because eyeliner to me is rather boring... We've all got tens of them rattling round in our makeup bags haven't we!? That being said... I've done a swatch on the back of my hand it seems easily smudge-able and long lasting.
I haven't used this on my peepers yet but if its groundbreaking I'll report back!


Colour Club Gala's Gem nail polish-(£15 for set of 4 - 7ml sample)

I got this in shade 'Breakfast at'. Its a really cute pearly green shade apparently inspired by the English countryside! 

The colour is great for this time of year and I was quick to apply this once I'd opened my box.  It was easy to apply with a good size brush however the longevity of the polish was pretty awful. The leaflet  does recommend that you apply a base coat, 2 layers of polish and then a top coat. I skipped all and just applied 2 layers of the colour and within a few hours I had three nails that needed redoing! Yes I didn't follow the instructions fully but my ideal nail polish isn't one that I have to faff about with coat after coat! 
Have you tried these yet? What did you think?


Yes to cucumber Facial Wipes (£4.99 per pack)

Up until about 5 minutes ago I hadn't used these. I sort of wish I hadn't to be honest. My face is stinging! I love the idea of a 95% natural product but theres something in those little towelettes that my face doesn't agree with. 
The cucumber smell is nice and refreshing but my skin feels very tight and not very clean. A shame as I had been looking on the Yes to.. website earlier this month for some new products. Thats not saying I won't try the other ranges.. I have my eye on the Yes to Carrot range as its for dry skin. 


Campos De Ibiza Almendra almond body milk (£16.55  full size- 38ml sample)

This one is growing on me... at first I when i opened it I wasn't keen. It reminded me of something I got once in a Next xmas selection box. Not great huh? But... I've stuck with it for a few days and it seems to do what it says on the tube. Gives me moisture. 

I still can't decide on the scent... slightly reminds me of something for the older generation.... for me I don't think the scent is age appropriate. 

The packaging is plain and simple... and theres not a lot more to say about it! 

Propercorn sweet coconut and vanilla popcorn (90p full size- 8g sample)

I'm a massive fan of popcorn anyway so this made me smile as soon as i opened the box! I find with most popcorn flavours that the scent is always better than the taste.. this also applied for this one but the taste was okay still don't get me wrong! 

I shared it with my mum and fella and they both enjoyed it! The vanilla for me is the most noticeable in this mixture. Pretty yummy!

Its reminded me of some of the other popcorn flavours/brands I love.. blog post coming in the future!

Verdict 

Overall I have enjoyed my first beauty subscription box experience.. we've also subscribed to a foody box this month so I'll fill you in on that soon!

The theme loosely fitted to the products I received so for that reason I'm giving April 2014 Birchbox a 3 out of 5. 

What could have made it better for me? More fruity scented items to fit in with the "Good enough to eat" theme!

Have you subscribed too?

xoxox


















Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Bank holiday OOTD


Evening lovely readers!

Thought I'd just do a quick OOTD. We ventured to Wales at the weekend to see my parents and happened to stop off along the way for some casual posing!

Looking back at the pictures I feel VERY un-summery and miserable looking but hey ho.. the weather was bleak anyway and I'd been driving for 4 hours!



Black and white bomber jacket- £15 (Primark)
Black holdall bag- £10 (Primark)
Grey-black jeans- £14.99 (H&M)
Black Chelsea boots- £14.99 Dorothy Perkins
Black top- Rhianna range at RI last year 




 I love the bomber jacket, it was one of those items I saw in Primark and though "If I don't buy this now I'll never see it again in here!"

Can you tell my favourite colour is black?! I need to get colourful this summer... do you have any tips of where to begin?!

xoxox