Friday, 30 August 2013

Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Review

Hello again!
This review is long overdue. I bought this foundation from (who offer free delivery worldwide!) back in April, as i'd heard great things about it and it really is worthy of all of the complimentary reviews, because it is fantastic. Other than their Eye Bright brightening pencil and a free sample of the They're Real mascara I got free with an Elle magazine, this is the only Benefit product i've ever tried and I was extremely impressed with the quality of it.

Price: It retails at £25.50, which I don't think is too bad for a high-end foundation, however the plastic packaging is a little disappointing given the price-tag.

Colour: This foundation is available in 9 different shades, which is a surprisingly inadequate range for a high-end make-up brand. As is the case with a lot of foundations, the darkest shade, "Nutmeg (gotta know me)" isn't actually that dark, so i'd be interested to know how women with darker skin get on with it. In spite of this, Benefit have a shadefinder on their website which is quite useful for deciding which colour to go for if you aren't able to be colour-matched instore. I ordered mine online and decided on the colour "Ivory (I'm pure 4 sure)", which fortunately matches my skintone perfectly. Another fabulous site i've used for a while now is, where you can type in what shade you are in any foundation from a wide range of make-up brands and you can find out other brand's equivalents of that colour, to get a perfect match.

Application: I apply this foundation with my Real Techniques buffing brush from their core collection, which blends it into my skin really easily. The formula itself is quite thin, almost runny, but this makes the application effortless, as it glides smoothly into the skin, evening out any redness and giving a really lovely, glowy finish. Also, a little goes a long way with this product. I've used it constantly for about five months and as you can see from the photos, I have only just got halfway through the bottle.

Coverage: In terms of coverage, Benefit claim that this foundation "builds from light to medium coverage for a natural complexion you can believe in" and I completely agree with this. This foundation provides me with a light enough coverage to wear on a day-to-day basis without feeling like i'm wearing too much, yet by building up the coverage ever so slightly, I would feel confident enough to wear this on a night out, as it has the ability to build up to provide a truly "flawless" finish.

SPF: A great selling point of this product is that it has SPF 25 PA*** protection. Like most of you I assume, I had no idea what the "PA***" stood for, but it actually stands for the level of UVA sun protection and the 3*s means that this product has the highest protection level. This is great, as it means you don't have to worry about applying any additional sun protection to your face on a daily basis, as this product provides you with sufficient protection. However, SPF foundations do not always work well with flash photography and can make your face look unusually pale in photographs, so that is something to bear in mind if you are going to a special event. However, using a matte powder to set this foundation should help to cancel that out.

Additional Benefits: Though this foundation gives a bright, dewy look, thanks to light-diffusing particles, unlike a lot of foundations this formula is oil-free, so should still be fine for those of you with oily or combination skintypes. Their website suggests using the POREfessional primer in conjunction with this foundation in order to boost its staying power, so if you have a problem with the longevity of your foundation, that might be something worth looking in to. Benefit also argue that this foundation has "hydrating benefits" and as someone who suffers occasionally with dry skin in the winter, I am truly thankful for any foundation that doesn't cling to any dry patches and make them look any worse.

Overall, I love this product as an everyday foundation and would definitely repurchase it. Have you tried this foundation? I'd love to know what you think of it!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Starting Off: Skincare

Hello again :)
I'm excited as this is my first post as part of the starting off project, which is a project run by Stephanie from Steph's Inside Voice, aiming to help teenage girls, or simply people new to skincare/makeup by giving tips on what we've found works best for us. There are over 120 bloggers involved, so at 6pm every Tuesday, check out the hashtag #theSOproject on twitter to check out all of our posts!

The first topic of discussion is skincare. To be entirely honest, i'm not massively into skincare products. I'm lucky enough to have never really had any problems with my skin, i've never had acne and apart from the occasional blemish my skin tends to be pretty good. Therefore I don't see the need to go overboard and spend lots of money on products to improve my skin, when it's fine as it is. However, I have found a few great (and most importantly, cheap) products, which work well for me. This is my basic, no-fuss skincare routine and for the most part, this is what i've stuck to for the last couple of years or so.

Face scrub: In the mornings I like to use a face wash to clean my face and wake me up. I love this Olay Smoothing Face Scrub (usually £2.49 from Boots) as it contains tiny exfoliating beads, which gently rub away any surface skin cells, dirt or leftover make-up from the previous day. Although the exfoliating beads make a noticeable difference, leaving your skin feeling soft and smooth, this product is very gentle so can be used on a daily basis, as opposed to some more harsh exfoliants, which should only be used a couple of times a week.

Face wipes: I'm probably going to get shot by beauty bloggers everywhere for admitting this, but yes, I am an avid face-wipe user! To be honest it's primarily out of laziness. When i'm tired and getting ready for bed I don't tend to want to embark upon a massive cleansing routine. These Garnier Fresh Essentials Ultra-Cleansing wipes (usually £3.25 from Boots) easily and quickly remove the majority of my makeup and leave my face feeling fresh and clean.

Toner: I love this Olay Essentals Refreshing Toner (usually £2.99 at Boots) SO much. As I mentioned above, face wipes are great for quickly removing your make-up. However, they don't always remove all traces of it and so after using wipes I like to take some of this toner on a cotton wool pad and wipe all over my face, to make sure i've completely taken off all of my make-up. This particular product leaves my skin feeling incredibly clean and refreshed.

Moisturiser: After using toner, before I go to bed I use Olay Beauty Fluid (usually £5.99 at Boots) all over my face. This is honestly my holy grail moisturiser. It's amazing. It is incredibly hydrating and nourishing but it's biggest advantage point is that it is absorbed into the skin SO quickly. I also apply this before putting on any of my make-up and it's great because I don't have to wait around for ages waiting for it to dry. Olay also sell a slightly different version particularly for those of you with sensitive skin (see here).

Although all of these products are very affordable anyway, Boots currently have an 1/3 off offer on selected Olay skincare and Superdrug have various Olay products in their "better than 1/2 price" deal, so you can get your hands on these effective skincare products for EVEN cheaper!

PS On my nails i'm wearing Kingsland Road by Barry M!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Wishlist 24/08/2013

I've been browsing through the internet all night window shopping, so I thought i'd compile all of the things i've been looking at together and make a wishlist! I'm not ashamed to admit that i've actually already started my Christmas list and i'm sure a few of these items will end up on there!

1) Laura Mercier Undercover Pot Concealer, £29 at Space NK.
I've never tried any Laura Mercier products, but when I was last in London I popped into Space NK  and this concealer looked really great. It is a three-in-one product containing Laura Mercier's Secret Camouflage for blemishes, Secret Concealer for dark under-eye circles and a translucent setting powder. It's in a really convenient little pot and would be great for travelling.

2) YSL Rouge Volupté Shine Lipstick in Pink in Paris, £24 at Selfridges.
I've seen these Yves Saint Laurent lipsticks all over YouTube and I am totally in love. To be honest, like most people i'm drawn in primarily due to the packaging, which as you can see is absolutely beautiful. Although they're quite expensive, i'm happy to spend £15 on a MAC lipstick, so for £9 more and packaging this pretty, I think they're worth the splurge. My boyfriend said he'd buy me one for my birthday, so i'm holding him to that! 

3) Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder, £3.99 at Boots.
I swear by my MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural to set my foundation, but i've heard Tanya Burr talk a lot about this powder during her tutorials. As i'm going back to uni soon i'll be back on a budget, so i'd like to try this out to see how it compares. I love a matte finish, so hopefully it'll work well for me.

4) MOTO Daisy Leigh Jeans, £40 at Topshop.
Until fairly recently the only jeans I owned were all dark wash skinnies. However, I bought some bright pink jeans from Jack Wills and I actually really enjoyed the change and liked having more colourful legs! I've been on the hunt since for some patterned jeans and these daisy print ones from Topshop are so cute! They're still blue, so will go well with a lot of my tops, but are super girly and a bit more interesting than just plain old blue jeans.

5) Nude Willow Tote, £1500+ from Mulberry.
I saw this bag in a haul on YouTube and almost died. It's absolutely perfect. I've loved Mulberry bags for years and adore the classic Alexa and Bayswater bags, but I love that this bag converts into a clutch bag and the pinkish nude colour is to die for. Obviously, being a student there's no way i'd be able to spend £1500 on a bag, but if ever I won the lottery this would be the first thing I would buy! Although sadly this colour was limited edition, so it's almost impossible to find! Boohoo :(

6) Knitted Ankle Socks, £6 from River Island.
I recently wrote a post on my new Chelsea Boots (here) and have been on the lookout for some cute knitted socks to wear with them. These ones from River Island are great as they're a bit longer than ankle socks, so will peek out of the top of my boots. I love the frills and the colour and its nice that they're slightly different to the Topshop ones that every man and his dog seem to have!

7) Medium Yankee Candle in Soft Blanket, £11.73 from Amazon.
I'm really excited to be moving into a house with my friends at uni in a few weeks and as we weren't allowed candles in halls due to fire safety regulations, i'm going to fully exploit my new found candle freedom this year! I love the smell of this candle, it smells really clean and comforting. As my duvet cover and a few things i've bought for my room so far have been white, I also thought it would tie in with the rest of my room decor nicely.

Are you lusting after any of these items too?

New Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation Review

(For the record, this foundation isn't particularly "new", but Bourjois revamped the original Healthy Mix Foundation and therefore on their website it is referred to as the NEW Healthy Mix Foundation.)
Hello again!
I was in Superdrug with my mum the other day and she was looking for a new foundation. I recommended the Bourjois Healthy Mix, as although i'd never used it, i'd heard it was great. Luckily for me, Bourjois had a 3 for 2 deal on, so she bought me one too!

I'm actually a bit of a foundation snob. I have quite a lot of high-street makeup, but when it comes to foundation I don't mind spending a bit more, as it will be going on my skin pretty much every day. For this reason, for the last couple of years i've tried MAC's Mineralize Foundation, Studio Tech and Studio Moisture Tint and more recently Benefit's Hello Flawless, which I LOVE. Therefore, I was excited to see how this high-street foundation would compare.

I've used this foundation about three or four times now and here are my thoughts on the product...

  • The colour. I got this foundation in the lightest shade available, 51 Light Vanilla and it matches my (very pale!) skintone perfectly.
  • The smell. This foundation smells so lovely! The product contains apricot for radiance, melon for hydration and apple for youthfulness and together they make a really pleasant, fruity scent, which makes applying this foundation really enjoyable. However, this could be a con for those of you who don't like scented products. 
  • Radiance boosting. Bourjois claim that this foundation is radiance boosting and I would definitely agree with this. It gives your skin a really dewy, healthy looking glow, without being shimmery or making your face oily.
  • The packaging. The original Healthy Mix came in plastic packaging and i'm really glad that Bourjois have opted for a glass bottle this time around as it makes it feel much more luxurious and distinguishes it from cheaper high-street brands.
  • Light texture. The product itself is very light, which makes it very easy to apply. I have been using my Real Techniques Buffing Brush to buff this into my skin and once applied it feels like you aren't wearing anything at all. (Read my review of the brush here.)
  • Price. This foundation retails at £9.99, which for a product of this quality is a great deal and Boots and Superdrug constantly have some sort of deal on  Bourjois products, so keep an eye out for them!
  • The colour range. Although my shade matches my skin well, the actual range itself only consists of eight shades. All of which are fairly pale, as you can see here on the Boots website. So women with darker skintones may not be able to use this foundation.
  • Coverage. Although this foundation is intended to give a very natural look, which I think is great for those days when you don't want to wear too much makeup, it really is quite sheer. Personally I generally prefer a slightly fuller coverage, to even out my skintone a bit more and give a more flawless finish.

Have you tried this foundation?  What did you think?

Liebster Blog Award

I'm very excited to have been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by the lovely Aimee Jean of I hadn't actually heard of the award until now, but it is essentially an award for up and coming bloggers (with less than 200 followers). I think it is a great idea, as it helps those of us who are new to the blogging community to establish ourselves, connect with fellow bloggers and motivate each other to keep going. Liebster, translated from German, means dearest, sweetest, cherished etc. which is very sweet!

Official Rules:
1.You must link back to the person that nominated you.
2.You must answer the 11 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you.
3.You must pick 11 bloggers to be nominated for the award with under 200 followers.
4.You must come up with 11 questions for your nominees to answer.
5.You must go to their blogs and notify your nominees.

These are the questions that Aimee Jean asked me to answer, I think they will be a great way for you to get to know me more!

1) When did you start blogging?
I wrote my first post back in March! But i've only recently started blogging more regularly.

2) What is your one most exciting part of blogging?
Probably getting comments, because it's nice to know that people are appreciating what i'm doing and actually reading my posts, as so much effort goes into writing them.

3) What are 3 of your favourite hobbies (beside blogging!)?
Shopping, watching beauty gurus on youtube and exploring London with my boyfriend.
One of my many excursions to Oxford St!

4) What is your favourite season?
Winter! I love everything about it. I love the weather as it means I can wear cute cableknit jumpers, tights, layers, scarves, boots, cute socks etc. I just love winter fashion! I also love the festive season, as Christmas means I get to see family members who I don't get to see very often. Also, my birthday is in February which I guess is in Winter (?), so that's great too!
How nice was my uni campus in the snow?!

5) Who is your idol?

Lana Del Rey! I love her! Ever since my sister showed me the video for Video Games i've been obsessed with her. I love her voice, her amazing approach to fashion and how old fashioned her influences are, despite her being a modern day artist. 

6) What is the one thing you cannot live without?

My iPhone! It's worrying. I genuinely think i'm addicted to it.

7) What is your top tip for new bloggers?

Try your best to create a nice, professional look for your blog. First impressions are very important, so whilst you're establishing your content it's good to make your layout look the best it possibly can, as it's what will catch people's attention.

8) What is your favourite tv show?

Pretty Little Liars! I started watching the first season on MTV, but halfway through the second I kind of gave up with it. After my uni exams were over this year me and my boyfriend had a massive PLL marathon and caught up with it and now we're obsessed. I love all of the actresses, they all have such great style and the storyline always has so many cliffhangers that you can't help but keep watching it every week!  WHO IS A?!?!!

9) What is your favourite song?

This is a tough one, I have so many favourites! At the moment I think i'd have to say Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Rey, as I loved it so much in The Great Gatsby. Which, by the way, is my new favourite film!

10) What is your favourite blog post you have written?
Probably my latest blog post about the Revlon Lip Butters, as I had been wanting to try them out for SO long. It was also the first post I wrote after completely revamping my blog layout, so it was a bit of a milestone for me.

11) What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
This pretty much confirms my ridiculous obsession with Lana Del Rey, but in an interview once, when asked what she would say to her fans she said "Find someone who has a life that you want and figure out how they got it, read books, pick your role model as wisely and find what they did and do it." 
I had this quote on my wall at uni in my first year and it always inspired me. Read books, educate yourself and make good decisions. Pretty good advice i'd say!

I'm tagging the following 11 blogs, as I think they all deserve more recognition! (She doesn't have any posts yet but she is one of my best friends in real life, so give her some love guys!)

Here are my 11 questions for you-
1) What made you want to start a blog?
2) What kind of posts do you most enjoy writing?
3) Do your friends and family know about your blog?
4) Where in the world would you most like to go on holiday?
5) What is your holy grail beauty product?
6) What is your favourite designer brand?
7) If you had a time machine and could go back to any era, which one would you choose?
8) Do you have a favourite book?
9) What is your dream job?
10) If you could marry any celebrity, who would you pick?
11) What is your favourite flower? 

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Revlon Colorburst™ Lip Butters Review

I'm pretty late to join the bandwagon on this one, but i'd been wanting to try out the Revlon lip butters for absolutely ages. I bought mine from Boots, where they are currently 2 for £10, but Superdrug are also offering this same deal. I spent quite a while trying to decide which shades to go for, as Revlon have vastly increased the number of colours available since they were first released.

Naturally, the collection includes an array of different shades of pink, but there are also some more interesting options, such as "Provocative", a pastel lilac colour and "Tutti Frutti", a reddish orange. Eventually I decided on "Strawberry Shortcake", a girly Barbie pink and "Candy Apple", which is a classic pillar-box red.

First of all, I must say that the packaging is lovely. The quilted effect gives them a high-end feel and the fact that the packaging colour coincides with the product inside makes it easy to pick which one you are looking for. As well as this, they have a clear top, which is great for me as I lay them flat in my muji drawers where I store all of my makeup and then I can easily find them.

Although they look like lipsticks, as Revlon state on their website they are actually balms, offering "sheer to medium colour with buttery shine". I'm not sure how far i'd agree with the claims that they "boost lip moisture by 156%", but they definitely add softness to the lips and they seemingly melt, like butter, onto the lips. The lip butters are quite sheer, but are certainly buildable, with the end result being highly dependent on the pigmentation of your lips originally. For example, Strawberry Shortcake is far more subtle on my lips, as my lips are quite pink to begin with. However, a few layers of Candy Apple creates a lovely, classy red, without the heaviness of a lipstick. The staying power is good considering they are essentially lip balms and as they are so hydrating I don't mind reapplying them every few hours.

(l-r Strawberry Shortcake, Candy Apple)

I'll definitely be investing in a few more of these, overall I think they're really great, particularly for the price (RRP £7.99). Have you tried any of the Revlon lip butters?

Monday, 19 August 2013

Chelsea Boots

Despite the fact that it is technically summer, I very much prefer autumn/winter styles and have been on the hunt for a decent pair of Chelsea boots for months. 

I've had my eye on the ABE2 Ultimate Chelsea Boots from Topshop for ages and I stare longingly at them every time I wander in store. They are 100% leather and absolutely beautiful!
However, along with the "ultimate" Chelsea boots comes the "ultimate" price and being a student, I (sadly) cannot afford to spend £65 on boots at the moment! 

I recently came across the website Daisy Street and was pleasantly surprised when I logged on one day to discover that they had a 30% off promotion across the entire site (using code YES30) They have a wide variety of different Chelsea Boots; studded ones, heeled ones and even a rather questionable pair of leopard print ones ;) However, I opted for the Cheska Classic Chelsea Boots in Brown, which are also available in black. The original price of these boots was £29.99, so with the 30% off they were just over £20, which is amazing. 

When I first opened the box I was slightly taken aback as they did smell rather odd... Not particularly bad, just slightly like plastic, which I suppose is to be expected, they were only £20 after all. However, this soon wore off and I am really loving them. They're really comfortable, the dark tan colour means that they will coordinate well with any outfit and quite simply, they just look nice. In fact, a couple of my friends liked them so much that they've already ordered themselves a pair too! I can't wait to wear them with cute dresses and tights in winter.
What are your thoughts on Chelsea boots? 

Friday, 2 August 2013

Real Techniques Core Collection Review

My lovely boyfriend recently bought me the Real Techniques core collection, so I thought i'd do a little review of my thoughts so far.

The set comes with four brushes; a detailer brush, a pointed foundation brush, a buffing brush and a contour brush, as well as a lovely protective case for the brushes that also doubles as a stand. All of the brushes are extremely soft and seem very well made given the price (in boots it retails for £21.99).

The detailer brush really is absolutely tiny, which makes it great for concealing particular areas, or for neatly applying lip products. However, personally I have been using it to apply a highlight (i'm currently using 'virgin' from the original Naked palette) to my brow bone and the inner corner of my eyes.

The pointed foundation brush is a bit of a hit and miss really. I already have the regular Real Techniques foundation brush, which can be found here and I think it is absolutely perfect, so I don't really have any need for this smaller, pointed version. I've tried using it to apply concealer under my eyes, but I don't find it blends as well as using my fingers.

The buffing brush is great with powder, as it enables you to actually build up quite a full coverage as the bristles are so densely packed together. Normally, I use my Mac Mineralize Skinfinish natural (found here) simply to set my foundation, but when used in conjunction with this brush it builds up, providing a much higher, yet not cakey, coverage.

The contour brush is brilliant, i've been using it to apply my bronzer and its great at defining the cheekbones without picking up too much product and making it look unnatural. Though i've only used this brush with bronzer so far, due to its size I think it could also work really well at applying a highlight to the tops of the cheekbones and down the nose.

I hope you liked my review! Sorry there aren't more photos, but my brushes are covered in makeup at the moment and I fear that wouldn't do them justice ;)
Have any of you tried any real techniques brushes?