Sunday, 29 September 2013

My First Chanel Lipstick: Rouge Coco Shine #85 Secret

Yesterday my boyfriend and I went to Plymouth and being the lovely boy that he is, he treated me to a few things, one of them being my first ever Chanel lipstick! I was convinced that I wanted to get a YSL Rouge Volupté lipstick, but I wasn't particularly impressed with the colour range they had available and those that I did like the look of were sold out anyway. So, I went over to the Chanel counter, a place i've never ventured to before and had a browse. This lipstick really caught my eye and after trying it on in House of Fraser I knew it was the one I wanted. But, just my luck, it was sold out too! However, I ran to the Debenhams up the road and luckily they had one in stock! 

This lipstick is a Rouge Coco Shine from the limited edition Fall 2013 Superstition collection, inspired by "the symbols of good fortune that Gabrielle Chanel loved most" and is in the colour 85 Secret. It is a nude, slightly peach shade with a hint of shimmer. Due to the nature of the Rouge Coco Shine lipsticks it is very creamy and hydrating which is perfect for me because my lips tend to chap quite easily, particularly in the colder months (AKA every month in England)! However, I have been extremely impressed with the opacity of this lipstick. Despite being quite sheer, it is very buildable and creates a semi-opaque finish resulting in a natural "your lips but better" effect. 

This lipstick retails for £24, so obviously it isn't cheap, but I really think it is worth it. There are a lot of fantastic drugstore lipsticks on the market, but in regards to the packaging they really can't compete as this is absolutely beautiful. It makes me feel special every time I use it and it has immediately become one of my favourite products in my make-up collection. The formula itself isn't amazingly long-lasting due to the light creamy nature of it, however that just gives me more of an excuse to keep getting it out! ;) The lovely lady at the Chanel counter also gave me some free samples of the Coco Mademoiselle perfume and the new CC (Correction Complete) cream, so i'm excited to try those out too.

To find out more about the other shades in the Rouge Coco Shine range check out the Chanel website here
At the time of writing this post this lipstick is available from the Debenhams or Selfridges websites, however it is limited edition so if you want it you'd better hurry!

Have you ever tried a Chanel lipstick? Do you have any recommendations? 

"Invite Only" Revlon Lip Butter Review

If you read beauty blogs or watch beauty gurus on YouTube, then chances are you'll have heard of the Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters. They are beautiful balmy lipsticks which are very hydrating, but also deposit a sheer, yet buildable level of colour. I bought my first two back in August, so to read my initial thoughts on the shades Strawberry Shortcake and Candy Apple click here. Since then, i've accumulated three more lip butters, one of which is the limited edition teal shade, called "Invite Only". 

As you can see, it is a blue/green shade reminiscent of the famous tiffany blue. As with the other lip butters it comes in beautiful quilted packaging, which I love. I tend to play it extremely safe when it comes to my lip colour, usually opting for peachy pink nude tones and the occasional red. Therefore, considering the impressive pigmentation of my other lip butters I was slightly scared about trying this one out, but also quite excited to see how bizarre I would look with blue lips! However, I need not have worried because this lip butter barely deposits any colour whatsoever. I've read online that the subtle blue tone is intended to give the illusion of whiter teeth, but the specks of blue glitter are so tiny and sporadic that I really don't think it makes any difference at all. 

It is quite hydrating, but with an RRP price of £7.99 it's pretty pricey for what is essentially a clear balm considering you can pick up a pot of Vaseline for £1.99. 

Below I have swatched my other lip butters in order to show a comparison of the pigmentation of each shade. 
(l-r Invite Only, Tutti Frutti, Candy Apple, Strawberry Shortcake, Sugar Frosting)

Unfortunately, in my opinion this product is a bit of a gimmick and I think a lot of people are going to be sucked in by the novelty factor. However, if you're someone who religiously collects the lip butters it's a fun addition to your collection and it serves reasonably well as a lip balm.

Unfortunately, as this shade was limited edition it is no longer on sale on the Superdrug or Boots websites, however some stores may still have one or two left. As a last resort, there are some sellers on ebay selling them, however they are generally more expensive. 

Have you tried any Revlon lip butters? Would you try Invite Only?

Thursday, 26 September 2013

NYX Matte Makeup Setting Spray Review

Hello again!
Today I just wanted to do a quick review on a product that I’ve been loving recently and that is the newly released Matte Finish Setting Spray from NYX. I gave into the hype a few months ago and bought MAC’s coveted Fix +, which is supposed to be a 2 in 1 skin refresher and finishing mist. Whilst I cannot deny that a quick spritz of it is very refreshing, I didn't see a significantly noticeable difference in the staying power of my make-up when I used it and at £8 for a tiny travel-sized bottle, I doubt I will purchase it again. This somewhat put me off of the idea of setting sprays, but I was kindly given this product from my work experience mentor at Heat magazine (for more details on this click here!) and it has really impressed me!

On the NYX website they say “When you spend the time for your makeup to be just right, it’s nice to keep it looking that way.” There is nothing more annoying than doing your makeup really well, only to then discover that in a few hours it’s all started to come off! I’m ashamed to say that there have actually been times when I’ve been so desperate to increase my makeup’s longevity that I’ve sprayed my face with hairspray! (Oh the shame…)

The setting spray comes in two different varieties, a matte finish and a dewy finish. Personally I prefer a matte finish and sometimes I find, particularly with MAC’s Fix + , that some setting sprays actually give a more dewy effect to the skin. However, this one does not. It doesn’t affect the look of my makeup at all, it simply sets it and keeps it looking freshly applied for longer. At the same time, if you are someone who likes a dewy finish instead, you can opt for the dewy finish version for more of a glow!

Although the spray pump doesn’t look like anything special, it actually disperses the product really evenly, creating a fine mist which dries almost instantly.  I primarily use this on nights out or day trips, when I know i’m going to want my makeup to stay on for as long as possible. However, if I remember I use it on an everyday basis also, as it “shields your flawless look from temperature variations, sweat and air pollution”. This is a bold claim from NYX but I am genuinely really happy with this product and it’s definitely something that I will continue to use, because it really does do what it claims. This setting spray comes in at £8 for a 60ml bottle, which is a great deal as a little goes a long way with this product and I only ever need to use about two or three spritzes of this at a time.

NYX Cosmetics tend to be pretty hard to locate here in the UK, but you can buy this from their online shop here.
Have you ever tried any makeup setting sprays? 

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Rootflage Review

Hello lovelies! Sorry i've been away for a while but i've just moved into a new house at uni and we don't have any wifi until OCTOBER. (Shocking, I know!) Anyway...

A few weeks ago I noticed that a company on Twitter called "Rootflage" were looking for blonde bloggers to try out their blonde mineral powder, which was created to blend away roots between trips to the hairdressers. I have been getting a full head of blonde highlights for a few years now, as I naturally have quite mousey brown hair. Therefore, roots are a pretty big problem for me, so I jumped at the chance to try out this product in the hope that it would help!

Rootflage is available in three colours; light blonde, cool blonde and warm blonde. I was sent samples of the light powder and the cool powder. The light powder was a little too white for my hair, but would be perfect for people with silver/white platinum blonde hair. The cool base powder however was a practically perfect match!

Applying the powder is really easy, it's very similar to how you would use a regular dry shampoo and it's actually quite similar to the Batiste Light & Blonde dry shampoo, which I have used before and loved. Much like dry shampoo, you sprinkle the powder onto your roots and then use your fingers to massage it into the roots slightly.

However, one major advantage that Rootflage has is the built-in applicator brush. Not only does it make it easy to brush the product through your hair and blend the product into your roots, but it also has a handy dial which you can turn to your preferred speed. If your roots aren't too bad, you'll be fine with number one or two, but if they're particularly bad or you have thick hair, you can opt for number 3, which will release more of the product.

It's clear that the makers of Rootflage have really carefully thought about the packaging, as part of the plastic cylinder actually slides up to protect the brush when you put the lid back on, so that the brush doesn't get damaged in any way, which I thought was a really nice touch.

Now, it's all well and good discussing how great the packaging is, but the real question here is does it actually work? I think the photos speak for themselves...



I am seriously impressed with this product. I know my roots are still visible, but they are definitely significantly less noticeable and the Rootflage has blended them in really naturally with the rest of my hair. This isn't a permanent effect, the powder washes out when you wash your hair, but as a temporary alternative to bleaching between hair appointments, I think this product is absolutely amazing! 

If you'd like to try out Rootflage for yourself, or check out some more before and after photos, check out their website here.

Will you be trying it out?

N.B. I was sent this product to review, however there was no obligation to promote it and all views and opinions are entirely my own.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Starting Off: Foundation

Hello again!
This is the third installment of #theSOproject and this week i'm going to be talking about foundation!

To start off I should probably get back to basics and explain what exactly it is. Foundation is a skin-coloured make-up that is most commonly used to cover up blemishes, even out any redness or discoloration of the skin and generally give a more flawless finish to the face. It differs slightly from concealer, which is more heavily focused on eliminating particular problem areas or obvious blemishes. To find out more about concealer you can read my post all about concealer here.

If you're a teenager just starting out in make-up, you may still have perfect baby-faced skin, in which case, you really don't need to worry about it! I didn't start really wearing foundation until I was in about year 11 and to be honest there are still many occasions now when I just can't be bothered and a little concealer is enough. However, puberty often results in hormone-induced acne, which can make girls self-conscious. Ultimately though, women of all ages have problems with their skin from time to time and simply want some extra coverage, just to help with their self-confidence.

Luckily, the cosmetics industry has come a long way since our mothers and grandmothers were teenagers and there is an unbelievable range of foundation products on the market, ranging from BB creams and tinted moisturisers, mineral powder foundations and whipped mousse foundations to name just a few. However, all of this extra choice can be a little confusing, so i'm going to go through a few products that i've tried personally and hopefully it will help you to decide which kind of product you are looking for.

Tinted Moisturiser:
If your skin is in pretty good condition, with few blemishes and little oiliness, a great, lighter alternative to a classic foundation is a tinted moisturiser. What it will do is help with any dry skin you may have, whilst offering a subtle tint of colour, which should be enough to help even out your skintone, whilst still resulting in a very natural look. Personally I love MAC's Studio Moisture Tint as it has SPF 15 in it which is great for protecting your skin from the sun and it provides just enough coverage to make me feel confident with my skin. It's a little pricey at £21.50 but I love it a lot and i've repurchased it numerous times.

BB Cream:
BB (Beauty Balm) creams have been popular in Asia for ages, but are a pretty recent addition to the Western cosmetics market. BB creams are pretty similar to tinted moisturisers, but tend to be multi-functional, offering not only coverage but various skincare properties. They offer a subtle coverage, not completely eliminating imperfections, but evening them out and giving a very natural finish.
I have the Simple Kind To Skin + Perfecting Beauty Balm which retails at £8.99. It is only available in one universal shade, but from reading reviews online a lot of people with different skintones have said that it has adapted well to their individual skin colour. It's cheap, it gives a light, natural coverage and contains SPF15, Vitamins E and A and no artificial perfumes or colourings.

Liquid Foundations:

Liquid foundation is probably the most commonly used type of foundation as it is easy to use and there are so many different types available. It can be applied using a sponge, such as a beauty blender, a brush (personally I use my Real Techniques buffing brush) or can simply be applied with your fingertips. I've used many different types of liquid foundation over the years but at the moment my favourites are:
Benefit Hello Flawless (for a full review click here) £25.50 from Benefit
Bourjois Healthy Mix (for a full review click here) £9.99 from Boots or Superdrug
and Revlon Colorstay £12.49 from Boots or Superdrug
The main advantage of liquid foundations is that you can build them up to your desired level of coverage.

Powder Foundations:

Powder foundations, when worn alone, tend to offer a naturally matte looking finish and a soft, barely-there coverage. However, some powder foundations give this illusion of flawless bare skin, whilst actually offering quite high coverage. Brands such as bareMinerals specialise in loose powder foundations that can be built up to your own preference, from a sheer finish to a virtually full coverage. Powder foundations are also great for setting other products, such as a BB cream or a liquid foundation, making them last longer.
I love the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, which I use everyday to set my liquid foundation, or I wear it alone on days where I don't feel like wearing a whole face of make-up.
£22.00 from MAC Cosmetics.
I also like the Original Foundation SPF 15 from bareMinerals, as you can build up the coverage without it looking caked on and as their website states it "looks like a powder, but feels like a cream", so you don't feel as though your face is covered in layers of powder.
£25.00 from bareMinerals.

There are many other types of foundation out there, for example I was an avid fan of the Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse when I was younger, but now I find mousse foundations far too drying, so I tend to avoid them.

Anyway, apologies for the extremely long post but I hope it has been informative and helped you in some way!
What is your favourite type of foundation?

Monday, 9 September 2013

Bourjois Java Rice Powder

I was lucky enough to win a Bourjois competition on Twitter recently and my prize was this new (well, old...) Java rice powder. This year marks Bourjois' 150th birthday, so to celebrate the occasion they have re-released their Java rice loose powder, which was their first ever best-selling product. It's hard to believe that the product was originally launched back in 1879!
The beautiful mint green packaging with the product name in French is inspired by the Parisian-style packaging of the original product, which I think is a lovely touch.

The Bourjois website states that the original version was "designed to lighten skin and leave it silky-soft" and for the most part that remains to be true. However, the product has been reformulated somewhat into a pearlescent, radiance boosting loose powder, which personally I think would be best used as a highlighter, although you could definitely use it all over your face if you wanted to. The powder is only available in one shade currently, a shimmery, transparent, slightly pink shade, which I think would flatter a lot of skintones.
Personally I twist the product to open it and then tip some of the powder into the lid and swirl my brush around in it, to avoid making any mess, which is the only trouble with loose powders. The product itself is very finely milled, meaning it adds a very natural looking glow to the face, without looking caked on or adding any garish chunks of glitter. 
Above is a photo of the powder before blending it in, to show the subtle, soft pink shade. Below I have blended it in and you will see that it clearly gives an highlighting, illuminating effect.

 Another feature of this powder that deserves to be commented on is definitely the smell! It smells similar to the Bourjois little pot blushes, but with a more pungent floral scent. Quite simply the only way I can describe this smell is "vintage", it reminds me of my Nan! I love it, it reminds me of the way old-fashioned make-up used to smell and I think it's a lovely detail. However, if you're not one for scented products you may not like it!

Bourjois have confirmed that this Java rice powder will be joining their permanent line, retailing for £9.99. Originally it was only available from Selfridges, but you can now find it in Boots and Superdrug.

Have you tried this product? Would you like to?

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Mini ASOS Haul

I bought a few things from ASOS just over a week ago, with the intention of wearing them for my work experience, but unfortunately they didn't come in time. But i'm happy with what I ordered nonetheless, so I thought i'd share them with you!

The first thing I ordered was this pair of loafers by New Look. These were a pretty essential purchase as I've had to sadly part with a couple of my pairs of pumps lately that had become a bit too worse for wear. I thought these shoes would be great as brown loafers look great with everything from jeans to floral dresses, so I figured I would get a lot of use out of them. Also, they were only £16.19 with my myunidays student discount, which is a great deal. They look a lot more expensive than they were and I think the cute little tassels make them a little bit more interesting.

Check these shoes out here.

The next thing I ordered was from the ASOS own brand and it's this lovely sheer blouse, with scallop detailing and pastel blue embroidery. This blouse comes in two colours, cream and navy and they are currently on sale for £10 and £12.50 respectively, which is a great deal considering they originally retailed for £32. This blouse is very sheer, but would be fine with a plain white vest top underneath or perhaps paired with a pretty bralette for nights out. I'm a big fan of collars and I love the scalloped detail of this one as it makes a change from my regular collared blouses. I also love the subtle pastel blue embroidery, it's really pretty and girly. I can't wait to wear this blouse under cosy knitted jumpers in Autumn/Winter.

 Check out the blouse here.

The final item that I purchased was this knitted jumper by Mango. It is also in the sale and is available in mint, which I opted for, as well as cream. It is on sale for just £12.50, a saving of over £20, which is such good value for a jumper of this quality. I wish that the photos did this jumper justice, because it is so well made and will definitely be a staple item in my wardrobe as the months get colder, without being too obviously autumnal, due to the lovely mint green colour. It looks great layered over the blouse and I can see myself wearing that combination a lot. I ordered a size small instead of an extra small, as in the photo of the model wearing it it looked quite tight-fitting and I wanted mine to be a little baggier. 

My photos don't accurately show the colour very well, but in real life the colour is much more like this:

This jumper is selling out fast, but they still have a few size and colour variations available, so check it out here

You can also currently get an extra 10% off of all sale items on ASOS with the promo code WOW10.

What do you think of the items I bought? Have you found any great ASOS sale finds recently?

Review: Avon Mega Effects Mascara

 I saw this mascara advertised a while ago and i'd never seen anything like it, so I was really excited to try this out. It has a revolutionary brush applicator, which reminds me a little of a paint brush! Avon claim that this mascara "provides panoramic volume and corner to corner coverage for dramatic definition". I agree somewhat with this statement, the tiny bristles and the small handle give you the ability to really get close to the lashline and reach even the shortest of your lashes, as well as the inner and outer corners.  However, i'd say the mascara is definitely more lengthening than it is volumising, so if you like a natural, fluttery look as opposed to heaps of volume, you should definitely try this out! I have this mascara in brown black, but it is also available in a classic black and a navy, which is very on trend right now with YSL, Chanel and many other brands bringing out coloured mascaras recently.

The packaging is compact and the handle has indentations on as you can see, which make holding the brush a bit easier. You can also bend the brush to your preferred angle, which is a nice touch. 

The novelty of this product is unquestionable, it's fun to use, but it also takes a lot longer for me to apply it, purely because i'm not used to using a mascara wand of this nature. It can also get quite messy, particularly when I use it on my bottom lashes, but I'm sure the more I use it the easier it will become for me to apply it.

Overall, i'm disappointed to say that this mascara is quite underwhelming. It's an innovative new idea for Avon and i'm sure the hype will boost sales, but honestly it's quite difficult to apply and I don't think the end result is particularly wonderful either. 

This mascara can be purchased on the Avon website for £10 or through an Avon representative. (Buying through an Avon rep may work out cheaper, as they often have deals on.) 

Have you tried this mascara out? What did you think? I'd be intrigued to know if anyone actually got on well with it! 

Saturday, 7 September 2013

My Week At Heat Magazine!

Since December, maybe even earlier, I started regularly writing to magazines and publishing houses applying for work experience. It was actually getting to the point where I wanted to give up, because it seemed like no-one was ever going to give me a chance. However, I saw an opportunity advertised on, which provides amazing work experience opportunities for young people at magazines such as Heat, Empire, FHM and Grazia to name just a few. I applied, assuming nothing would come from it, but a few weeks later I got the call to say that Heat had chosen me and I was due to start the following Monday! To make things even better, I was going to be working specifically within the fashion and beauty department!

The Heat offices are based in central London, so it was easier for me to commute from my boyfriend's house, as he lives in London. So on Sunday, accompanied by about 38572847 bags full of clothes, I made the journey to his house. I was so nervous that night that I barely slept and when my alarm finally went off, after hours of tossing and turning, I was dreading it. However, within about ten minutes of arriving I realised I had literally nothing to be scared about! Everyone was so welcoming and relaxed and nothing at all like I had imagined in my "The Devil Wears Prada" style nightmares! 

I was shown to my desk and taught how to log into the system and the first task I was set was researching current fashion trends. As Heat is a weekly magazine, they focus heavily on what is relevant to the specific week, so keeping up to date with the ever-changing fashion and beauty trends is key. Next, I had to use Fashion Monitor to find contact emails and phone numbers of PR companies. I discovered that working in the beauty department of a magazine involves a lot of communication with PR reps of cosmetics, skincare and hair product companies, as they need to call in samples of products to use in features and to keep readers up to date with the newest product launches. I'm actually extremely shy when it comes to talking to strangers on the phone and I often get very flustered, so having to spend a large amount of time on the phone dramatically boosted my confidence and it became a lot easier as the days went by. It was also extremely exciting to be able to pick up the phone and say "Hello, this is Beth from Heat magazine..."!

Another of my roles was regularly going down to the courier room to collect post. The beauty junkie in me was amazed by the endless parcels coming in from MAC, YSL, Burberry, Giorgio Armani, Revlon, Maybelline, Lush, Butter London, Sleek, Eylure and so many more amazing brands. I also had to organise the beauty cupboard, which involved sorting all of these products into particular categories to make them easy to find when they're needed for photoshoots and features. I was practically drooling over the amount of products in there, it was a make-up addict's dream! 

Other tasks included searching through massive paparazzi photo databases to get recent photos of celebrities to support the magazine's fashion articles. For example, we were doing research for features on bright, colourful trainers, metallic effect clothing and plastic, PVC-esque pieces, so I had to search for examples of popular celebs wearing them, so that people can see their favourite stars rocking the trends and hopefully be inspired to try it out themselves.

I was really eager to write something for Heat, so the junior style writer showed me how to write an article for Heatworld. She said that some of the most popular posts are "Who wore it best?" articles, so I set to work on my piece. It only had to be 200 words, but I was determined to make it the best I could. If you'd like to read my post you can view it here! (It has my name on and everything haha!)
I forgot to take OOTD photos every day, but here are a few of the things I wore.

I am extremely grateful to Heat for making my week so great and contrary to popular belief my days did not revolve around making people cups of tea and coffee. I was treated like one of the team and I gained a valuable insight into the media industry and now have some great contacts. My time at Heat has definitely proven that this is a career path that I would love to follow and I am now focussed on doing well in my degree, getting even more work experience and adding to my CV, so that hopefully one day I will be able to work at somewhere like Heat!

I also received all of these products as a thank you gift from them for helping out, I literally can't believe how generous they were! 

Sorry this post was so long, but I had a lot to say! If you have any questions about my work experience i'd be happy to answer them! Have any of you had any work experience in the beauty/media industry? 

P.S. apologies for awful iPhone quality photos in this post, but I obviously couldn't take a massive DSLR to work with me!