UK Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Product Review: Maybelline 7 Day Superstay Polish

First of all, this stuff claims a 7 day wear. As a girl who never has unpainted nails, I know that's a big claim to make. Surely that's only possible in a Snow-White-in-a-glass-case world?

These polishes are relatively new and they're retailing at around £4.49 which I think is very reasonable for such a 'big claim' polish. I chose this nude-pink shade, Rose Poudr√© (Rose Powder? I'm guessing? Oh how I wish my French was still...average...)There's also a pale minty colour in the range that I was tempted by.
First impressions: This requires just two coats for a lovely pigmented colour. The brush itself is a thick one which seems to be growing in popularity in the drugstore as brands are finally(!) realising that thin brushes aren't going to get us anywhere in life. Thick brushes=fewer strokes=less air bubbles/streaking. I've said all this before.
It's high-shine and lovely. I was however a little concerned with the fact it doesn't 'seal' particularly well. 'Sealing' is when polish closes on the edge of the nail (the chip-prone area) instead of 'sitting' on it. Oh well, I thought... I was ready to trust the claim.
Verdict: Here's a day one VS day five...
As you can see, the colour has faded (this is partly to do with the lighting, apologies, the top picture looks bubblegum!) and there are little chips emerging, but I still like this a lot. No true 7 day promise, but it's leaps and bounds better than any other long-wearing polish I've tried (a lot...seriously, a lot.) You can also see that a few of my nails did have to be filed in the past few days, which may have affected the polish.

The colour fade is a little annoying but it still stays a pretty colour. The chip problem is really not too bad. It's arguably less noticeable because it's a pale shade; a red colour for example would probably highlight chips. If you can't be bothered with constant repainting, choose paler shades!
I really am impressed with the longevity of this and will definitely purchase more. Check out the colour range here and let me know if you guys have tried this.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Product Review: Herbalism VS Dark Angels

Whilst looking for a Lush cleanser I realised that I was torn between two: Herbalism and Dark Angels. Both retail for £6.75 and even the shop assistant described the differences as being very minor despite the total ingredient contrast. However, both are designed to help oily/combination skin. I decided to trial them first and get a comparison up in relation to the products' content. So which fared better? 

Main Ingredients: Ground Almonds, Nettle, Rosemary and Rice Vinegar Extract, Rice Bran, Gardenia Extract, Rose Absolute, Chamomile Blue Oil, Sage Oil.

First impressions: That colour! It's just pure Grinch. It smells like vinegar but this isn't unpleasant at all. The consistency is like a powder scrub. You take a pinch in your fingers, apply to the back of one hand then wet the other with warm water and mix together into a paste.

Whilst cleansing: Okay so it is kind of messy and takes practice to get the right consistency,  but it feels very pleasant on the skin when it's on: no tingling, no overpowering scent etc. The rice bran works as a gentle exfoliator. 
great look
Immediate effect: The main wow factor with Herbalism is the way it reduces redness. The Chamomile Oil is to thank for this according to the product description. My skin has a very pink undertone that is exacerbated by a lot of exfoliating cleansers, yet after washing Herbalism off my skin was immediately a much more even tone. 

Final observations: A great, gentle cleanser that calms the skin. Of course its very suitable for oily skin but it doesn't matte-ify in any way (not necessarily good or bad- sometimes that's what us oily skin girls like to get from our cleansers though!) 

Dark Angels:
Main ingredients: Rhassoul Mud, Organic Avocado Oil, Powdered Charcoal, Black Sugar, Sandalwood Oil, Rosewood Oil.

First impressions: It just looks so cool. It is applied in the same way as Herbalism (add a few drops of warm water to a pinch on the back of your hand.) The smell is almost like licorice, which is something I would usually hate but really don't mind it in this.
Whilst cleansing: Again, a little messy. However, it's gentle on the skin whilst clearly being an exfoliator in the process (more so than Herbalism.)
yet another great look
Immediate effect: This is incredibly smoothing. My skin feels polished and clean. It's quite heavy going and whilst it doesn't irritate my skin it definitely is a deep cleanse that is probably to be used every other day at max.

Final observations: This has seriously sorted my skin out. Even after day one, my skin felt and looked smoother and clearer. It has also gradually reduced my skin's oiliness. It doesn't immediately tighten and matteify the skin, but after a few days use I definitely noticed that my skin wasn't getting that horrible T-zone shine after a few hours.

Final Verdict? Herbalism is a brilliant cleanser for combination/oily skin but Dark Angels just works so much harder for you. I will definitely purchase a full sized pot asap!

Have you tried any Lush cleansers that you'd recommend?

Friday, 20 February 2015

Prime Time: 3x Primer Review

Primers are important for our makeup, there's no denying it. They create a smooth base for our skin and help makeup sit well, last well and avoid settling into creases or pores. These three primers are the ones I currently own and they all work a little differently so I thought I would give you guys the low-down. Honestly, finding a good primer is such a seems like a stage you can skip but you can spend a lot of money trying them out if you're not careful. Here are my opinions on these few. I hope they help you in choosing your next primer:

This primer is part of the Nivea Daily Essentials range. It's a very good price, at around £4.99 in Superdrug. There are three primers for each skin type. I use the normal/combination skin one. 

The good stuff: I do like the packaging of this in particular; it comes in a really nice looking glass pot. This primer applies like a serum. It's lightweight and smooth. As it's hydrating it doesn't have the same 'silky' effect as silicone-based primers (the other two I'm going to review) in that it simply feels like a moisturiser. 

The bad stuff: I don't really see this as a primer. I like the fact that the silicone-based primers give you that flawless skin finish. This doesn't improve your makeup-free skin's appearance and I don't think it really adds much to the longevity or appearance of foundation. 

Finally, it doesn't aid in combating oil at all. Honestly, I just use this as a moisturiser. 

Final score: 2/10  

This has been all over the blogosphere in the past year or so, so I had to pick it up. This primer retails at around £7.99 and is a transparent gel-like formula.

The good stuff: It does indeed create a perfect 'baby skin' feel (as promised!) It softens and smooths extremely well for a drugstore primer. It also blurs any creasing or unwanted pigmentation  and adds a decent amount of longevity to your base.

The bad stuff: One of the main claims of this product is that is is a Pore Eraser. Hmm... it slightly minimises pores but it isn't anything drastic. You'd need a microscope to see it.

You need a lot of this in one use, even if you only want to cover the T-zone. It's frustrating as it seems to stick to the skin and isn't particulary blendable.

It's also slightly concerning that it says 'only for adults'. Okay so what will happen to kids if this touches them? Will they dissolve?

Finally, with some foundations it reacts badly with the formulation and just turns into a big cakey disaster, particularly one from Maybelline's own range (??), the Super Stay. Bit confused there.

Final score: 4/10. It's okay. If you want to improve your natural skin's appearance then it does work, but if you want to minimise pores and get hold of a product that goes a long way then search elsewhere.
3. Benefit Porefessional

Finally, Benefit's famous primer retails at around £25 for a full size (I have a travel sized one at the moment.) It's a beige-tinted gel-like formula.

The good stuff: See how it says it minimses pores? Oh Benefit, you humble people. This absolutely erases the appearance of pores. I use it on my nose, the sides of my nose (where lots of people have the largest pores), between my brows and on my chin. It makes bare skin look flawless.

The silicone-based formula isn't heavy, but glides on and blurs out any imperfections. I don't understand how it works!

A little goes a long way, unlike the Baby Skin primer. It blends well and you don't even have to work quickly.

This primer also aids the longevity of makeup and provides oil-control.

The bad stuff: I'm running out of it. I find no fault with this. I would coat my entire face with this every single day if I could. Though I don't really advise that... let your pores breathe a little!

Final score: 10/10.

And there you have it. Whilst Porefessional is expensive, nothing I have tried lives up to it. Also, if anyone happens to have tried MUA's primer, please let me know. Or any other miracle primers (preferably that cost less than Benefit!) for that matter. Comment below!

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Current Obsession: MUA £1 Lipstick

You may know that I adore Makeup Academy. It looks so high-end that you walk up to the stands like huh, this is a pound? 

The products are insanely good quality for the price and since it's now available in the US a lot of big beauty gurus are also giving it the thumbs up (always gives me confidence when I'm trying new products from a line.)
Lipstick in Shade 11
Just look at that pigment. I'm very impressed with how creamy yet long lasting this is. The formulation is perfect for drier winter lips as it has an element of 'sheen' to it which seems to moisturise and prevent cracks from forming.

There's also a really nice range of colours. Nevertheless, I keep getting home recently and realising I'm buying lipsticks in the same darn shade...this dusty rose colour keeps drawing me in. 

And finally, please note: this is ONE POUND. £1. I'm not lying. I literally don't understand it.
MUA is available at Superdrug or online here

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

I'm now part of the HC Blogger Network!

Hi y'all, just a quick post to announce that I've been invited to join the HC Blogger network! Check out the sexy new badge on my sidebar.

I'm already a features writer at Her Campus Nottingham, and I'm now expanding my Her Campus dedication further by joining a 500+ strong community of collegiate bloggers looking to share their writing and inspire their readers. 
I'm looking forward to the opportunities this will bring and hopefully it will inspire lots more exciting blog content! 

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Product Review: The Perfect Nude Nail

B.Complete is a relatively new brand. I think it's trying to be Superdrug's 'signature brand' in a Boots No7 kind of way. The nail polishes usually cost you just £4.99 but are currently on sale for £2.99. This nude is in the shade Innocence

I love nude nails. They went away for a while but with the likes of Kylie Jenner (isn't she just the beauty inspiration for everything this year?!) sporting them as well as them featuring on the runway, they're back.
It's very hard to find the right tone of nude... it's either too brown and 'mushroomy' or too washed out. This however is perfect. When I saw it on display I said to myself now THAT is a good nude. I've got a radar for these things. 

First coat left me feeling a bit meh. The pigment was average.

However, two coats/three coats in and it becomes the most beautiful, pigmented tone and texture. I'm also a big fan of the brush for this polish: it's wide and thick, so one stroke gives you even application (small brushes=more strokes=more air bubbles/streaks.)

It didn't take too long to dry and I'm really pleased with the result. I love the way this looks: nude is so elegant, though it does make my extremely long hands appear even longer! If you have small hands, a nude polish would definitely do some tricks for you. 

Tip: Don't apply a clear top coat. It makes the polish very 'tacky' and peelable. Because it's already a long lasting polish, leave it be to avoid peeling. 2 coats is plenty.

nude nails + rose gold watch= perfect match
Let me know if you've tried any products from the range because I am really keen to see what they're like.

You can find this polish in the shade Innocence here.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Product Review: L'Oreal Studio Line Hot & Sleek

Hello lovely people. Today I'm reviewing a hair product that I bought two weeks ago and have been using regularly: L'Oreal Hot & Sleek Heat Protect cream. Sorry if this ends up being a really long post, but when it comes to hair I feel the need to ramble on about how unruly mine is and compare the product in line with the unruliness.

It doesn't actually say that it's a cream. Its top is super strange but I thought, hmmm, let's just put a little on my hands just to smell it (thinking it would trickle out as a liquid.) Wrong. It's a thick cream that you apply to wet hair before blow drying and then straightening. Messy business when I just wanted to try it.

Anyway, I was searching for a new heat protector product and stumbled upon this. I'm a terrible person in that I heat style my hair most days and often don't use heat protector. Okay, very often. If I run out it's not high on my list of replacements, basically. Which is terrible! I'm trying to grow my hair but dry damaged ends ain't helping the situation.

My hair is naturally frizzy- not quite curly, not quite wavy, and definitely not straight- so I really need a lot of product to help me get it looking sleeker. Don't get me wrong, I love curly hair but mine is too kinky to leave natural. I have used products from this L'Oreal line before but it was too long ago to remember (yep, bad habit of frazzling my hair on the regular, sorry.)
  • Firstly: I love the smell of these products. They smell very...professional. Like hair-salon-hot-hair-expensive-product smell, which I love. You apply to damp hair and then blow dry. Now, I do know how to blow dry my hair out properly but seriously who has the time? My hair isn't overly thick but there's a lot of it, and getting the layers divided and sweating in the heat of a proper blow-out just isn't fun at all. I did it for this though. *Melts into a puddle.*
  • The difference between using this with a proper blow-dry and a quick clumsy one is pretty minimal with my hair. I did notice immediately however that whilst my hair was far from poker straight and sleek, it felt softer.
  • So then to straightening. Again, no miracles but a vast improvement. My hair didn't have all those pesky flyaways that usually come from the humidity. I could even leave the house with slightly damp hair and the frizz was definitely a lot tamer.
Also note the 3 day sleek claim on the side of this bottle. Nope, it doesn't really want to explain that one, but I'm guessing it's saying that's how long your hair is going to stay sleek for. If I didn't wash my hair for three days it would be pretty I cannot testify to that factor!

It's no miracle in a bottle but it's a helping hand if your hair is unruly. Give it a go.

Check it out here. It's currently on sale at Boots.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Valentine's Day Rocky Road

Happy Valentine's Day for yesterday everyone! I hope everyone had a sweet day. I personally don't think much of the over-commercialised element of it all, but hey, it means we can make cute food. 

Rocky road is the easiest thing to make. Here's the very simple recipe I used:

125g butter
200g chocolate (dark/milk/a mixture)
3 tablespoons of golden syrup
A dozen crushed rich tea biscuits 
Two handfuls of mini marshmallows 
A sprinkling of coco pops

Melt the butter, chocolate and syrup in a large pan, adding each part in small pieces. Add the crushed biscuits, marshmallows and coco pops, stir well and pour the mixture into a lined baking tray. Leave in the fridge to set for at least three hours. 
The jelly beans are from The Treat Kitchen in Nottingham. They were actually a birthday gift from my boyfriend but seeing as this rocky road is mainly for him then it's like the circle of life etc...putting them to (cute) use instead of eating them all myself. They have so many sweets in store and it's just a nice little shop in general. If you're in Nottingham you should check it out. 

So there you have it. Perhaps the easiest treat to make, ever. Have a lovely day!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Product Review: Botanics Cleansing Foam Wash

Today I'm reviewing the Botanics Cleansing Foam Wash. I have recently been loving the BB cream, so thought I would investigate the range further. Read my review of it here.

It's usually £3.99 but is currently on sale. The fact it's for all skin types didn't fill me with much confidence: I like oil reducing washes usually, but hey, oily skin is included in all! It claims to be brightening, so I hoped it would help my skin from looking dull and wintry. 

First impressions: Okay so it's got natural ingredients in it...hibiscus and plants and stuff (it's developed with Kew gardens, and that's what they're into I guess) but seriously...this cleanser smells not good. Not antiseptic but it definitely has a hospital vibe to it. I've read other people's reviews and they seem to like it, claiming it just has an absence of scent. Everyone is different I guess but the smell for me is a big downside to this product. 
After that I was in a mood with this product. I didn't want to like it. Damn when something works, eh...

Conclusions: Does it brighten? Yes. After a week or so my skin was looking that extra bit perkier. It also does a brilliant job of removing seems to melt away. 

It's a very good cleanser that leaves your skin feeling clean but not stripped, like so so many of the popular brands. It's almost as though we're used to feeling products 'work' on us (generally just being abrasive, probably), when we should be looking at the way a product actually makes our skin look. 

If you're not fussy about how stuff smells, try this out. I really like this range and will be buying more in the future. 

Friday, 13 February 2015

Product Review: LaRoc Concealer Palette

Today I'm reviewing a buy I stumbled upon whilst trawling Amazon. This is the LaRoc Concealer Palette. Beauty experts will already have figured out that this product is just a massive dupe of the famous Lorac. Horay! If you know me, you know I just love finding dupes. Partly because it's just fun to test but obviously, let's save some cash please. 

I've been wanting a concealer spectrum to work with for contouring for a while. Originally, I was simply going to buy a Revlon Photoready concealer in a darker shade, as I've seen so many people are loving (including my angel Carli Bybel who I will put below.) 
However, I stumbled on this palette whilst looking for something totally random (getting lost on Amazon, as always) and thought I would try it out.

Firstly, this arrived super fast. Secondly, the packing is very nice. It looks sleek and professional, and the opposite of the price tag. The colour spectrum ranges from virtually white to dark brown. You can also see on the first picture that this palette contains some unusual shades: namely a yellow, a green and a purple. 
  • These shades are known as 'correction' colours. 
  • Orange concealer is used to cancel out bruise-coloured pigmentation whilst green and purple will minimise redness. They can be used on the under eye area or on imperfections. 
  • You apply them before your skin-coloured concealer, either all together or just one or two shades depending on your needs. The below video demonstrates how orange concealer can help you out.
I pretty much follow this pattern of contouring. Below I've labelled the shades I'm using and where. I've mixed some and had a play around too. This is obviously for fair skin, but I don't think it's too hard to figure out which contour colours you need for your skin tone. I just like to make sure my nose contour colour is lighter than my cheek contour colour, but that's just personal preference.
You can purchase this palette here. It's got 4 stars on Amazon from a lot of reviews. I think it's a really good, affordable addition to any collection. 

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Current Obsession: Barry M Gelly Polishes

Truth be told, I never have unpainted nails. I remember how when I left school for the freedoms of sixth-form, one of my first thoughts (apart from I'm going to avoid maths forevermore) was: I'm going to wear nail varnish every single day. And so I do...quite literally. I like my hands and I just feel totally 'un-done' with bare nails. This however does mean that when I buy nail varnish I'm looking for one thing in particular: longevity. I do not have the patience to paint my nails every few days and chips are very frustrating. 

So I put this one to the test. Barry M's Gelly Hi-Shine nail polishes claim to have the effect of a gel manicure. Which, as a student, is a habit that can't be upheld. So I tried it in a bottle.
Firstly, the colour choice in this range is gorgeous. This is the shade Damson, a gorgeous deep electric blue. This one was actually a gift but wow this colour makes me so happy. 

These glide on so well. The formula is thick but easy to work with, and I find you're more likely to get a cleaner finish with gel-type polishes. They seem to radiate across your nail and fill in all the gaps. It's brilliant technology. 

With a decent top coat, these last perfectly chip-free for up to 5 days, in my experience. That's pretty decent wear in contrast to all the hundreds of nail varnishes I've ever tried. There's a real shine on this polish too. It's just a glossy, perfect pop of colour.
Shade: Watermelon
As this is a Current Obsession and not a review, I hope you've guessed that yes, I'm in love. I have a few shades, namely Damson, Watermelon and Prickly Pear. I love the themed names as well. I think my dream job would probably be naming nail varnishes...

All shades can be found online here or in store. They're only £3.99 and some of the best I've ever tried. Let me know if you like them!

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Product Review: Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

I hope I wasn't the only one who had to send my boyfriend on a mission to find this for me (not that I'm not an independent woman and all, but these are getting increasingly hard to come by.) Elle is selling super fast this month, and no it's probably not because of the impeccable Keira Knightley (soz Keira.) Instead, they've only gone and put a brand new, not-on-the-shelves, new technology mascara as a free gift. Yep, go and scour the land for a copy of it if you're wanting to try out Benefit's Roller Lash Mascara. 

Inspired by the lifting, curling technology of velcro rollers, this all new product claims to curl your lashes and add length so that you'll never need eyelash curlers again. Here's what I thought of it:
I'm not usually a fan of rubber wand heads but this one doesn't feel painful on your lashes. It does indeed curl your lashes as you go.

My eyelashes grew before my eyes. I've never seen them so long. 

The packaging is gorgeous, and the full sized bottle looks to be even nicer. I just think Benefit get it right every single time with their packaging; it's tasteful, unique, and thoroughly high-end whilst still being really cute. 

One slight downfall: It's not as great on bottom lashes. Might just be me though! It's a bit tough to make my lower lashes thick whilst not being spidery with this wand. 
Nevertheless, I am certainly getting this when it's released for purchase. It's rumoured to be the end of this month, but there's no official date as of yet. 

Definitely go and try this. It's totally free with Elle, which is a grand total of £4 for a really great mascara that I'm certain is going to be a big thing this year. 

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Liebster award #2

Very pleased to announce that I've been nominated to do the Liebster award again! Seeing as I've already done it once, I won't be doing another tagged round but I will however answer the questions the lovely Alyssa left for me. Check out her blog in the link.

Why did you start blogging?
I've always been a big fan of two things: beauty and writing. I love reading beauty/lifestyle blogs and I have big obsessions when it comes to beauty YouTubers. I just wanted to have a go for myself and see if I could do it, really! I love recommending things and trying out new products. I rep the drugstore a lot because I do believe you don't have to spend a lot of money to look and feel great: I want my readers to feel the same way. I've wanted to blog for a long time but was so nervous to start and didn't really know what I was doing, but I am so pleased with the response I've got so far. I'm glad I challenged myself!

What is your favourite post that you've written?
I loved reviewing the looks on the Golden Globes red carpet.

What is your go-to look? 
I like getting that great skin look, with smokey brown shadow, big lashes, winged liner and a good bit of contouring.

Favourite lip colour?
At the moment I'm obsessed with dark dusky rose-esque lips. The Max Factor lip pencil in Mauve Moment is such a perfect colour, and their pencils work well as a total lip cover.

Who inspires you? 
Happy, creative, humble people who are interested in things.

What are your goals for this year? 
Just to strive to be the best person I can be. Just healthy and happy really... I'm trying to work out more, eat better, be grateful and just use my time wisely. Read about my New Year resolutions here.

Favourite season?

What should every girl have in their collection?
Some decent makeup brushes.

Favourite quote? 
Favourite animal?

If you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself?
I would tell my thirteen year old self: know your worth and worry less. Keep reading, read all the time; it's the best favour you'll ever do for yourself. Your parents are very cool people, be friends with them. Look after your hair (don't try and go blonde, you definitely won't have more fun) (how I wish I'd taken that last bit of advice.)  

I'm super thankful that I've been nominated twice and for all my readers who are so supportive. I have some really good product reviews coming up this week so stay tuned and have a wonderful day. 

Monday, 2 February 2015

Product Review: No7 Moisture Drench Lipstick

Hi lovelies! Yesterday I rushed out to town partly because I remembered that the No7 discount vouchers were ending and I really wanted to grab this (also purchased other goodies that I will review later this week.) Even without money off, this only sets you back £9.95 which I personally think isn't too bad for a good quality lipstick. I chose the shade Ginger Rose.
The colour is almost autumnal; although we're moving into spring, I'm living in denial. I think this colour is super wearable anyway. It's an orange toned red- not quite burnt orange- more gentle and classic. It looks as though it would apply opaquely, but as it's a Moisture Drench lipstick the effect is a bit different.
I've purchased Moisture Drench lipsticks by the brand before, so I know I like them! (sorry, biased reviewing.) Whilst I love the look of matte lipsticks (which are everywhere at the moment) I would rather not wear them, especially in the day time. They're too heavy for me, and even if they last all day I would rather re-apply. 

These lipsticks feel like lip balm, which is something I personally like. However, the pigmentation on this one isn't brilliant. It's good, but not great, and re-application is probably needed every few hours at least. For some people that's an issue, but I honestly don't mind if it means my lipstick feels comfortable.
trout pout not necessary
For me, despite the slight want of pigment, I love this and would purchase more. The full range is only available in store (including this shade), but you can purchase a good selection here

Have a great day!
© Getting to Nomi

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