New In Beauty: Products I've Been Trying Out Recently

Sunday, 18 August 2019

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-This post contains PR/gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
I thought I'd do a round up kind of post about products I've been trying out recently. Some I've loved and have added into my makeup bag or skincare routine and there's also some I've hated. As always I'm giving my honest opinions and hopefully this post will help save you some money if you have had your eyes on any of the products that I haven't gotten on with.

First up is the recently released Too Faced Damn Girl! Mascara which I wanted to buy as soon as I saw the announcement because I wanted to see if it's any better than the Better Than Sex mascara which I can't seem to get on with. Did I need a new mascara? Absolutely not. But I was intrigued to see if it'd give me some big fluttery lashes without it flaking like crazy which I find the Better Than Sex mascara does. The packaging is quite chunky so it's probably not going to be a go-to if you're someone who travels a lot but the product itself is pretty good. It is quite clumpy but I personally like a bit of a clumpier looking lash because I think it just makes my useless lashes look fuller. However sometimes I do go in with a spiky mascara wand (usually the Glossier Lash Slick) just to get some of the extra clump out if it gets a bit too much. The brush is massive! But I did already know that before buying it as I watched Emma's Rectangle review of it. Also when you first open it the brush does have excess mascara in the curvy parts of the brush but you can just swipe it on the edge or remove with a tissue if it's really bad. Overall I do think it gives me nice lashes, I find that just one coat is enough to give me some nice, full looking lashes which is great. It is pricey at £22 but I would repurchase because it does seem to work well with my lashes and I like that it's cruelty-free too. You can also buy the travel size version at £12 if you want to try it before you splurge on the full size.

I was so excited when I saw the Revolution Hydra Matte Translucent Powder as I thought it was going to be a dupe of the BECCA Hydra-Mist Set & Refresh Powder which I've wanted to buy for ages but I've held back because it is expensive at £32 for a loose powder. It apparently feels cooling, kind of like water on the skin when you apply which sounds lovely, right? But is it £32 worth of lovely? Probably not. So I quickly nabbed the Revolution Hydra Matte Translucent Powder at £8 thinking I'd bought a complete dupe and guess what? It's not a dupe at all. First of all Revolution say that it's suitable for all skin tones... It clearly isn't as it's pure white as you can see from the photo above. So I don't what planet the person who wrote the description was on but it definitely wasn't earth. Secondly it should come with a hazard sticker on it because it kicks up so much powder dust it literally made me cough for a good 15 minutes after I used it for the first time. Anytime I do use it (just for the sake of using it) I have to hold my breath so I don't inhale it. So yeah, If you have asthma or any sort of breathing issues then honestly avoid this like the plague! Lastly in terms of working as a powder... it's just okay. Nothing special and not something I would say you need in your makeup bag ASAP. Overall I just feel like I've wasted £8 to be honest.

I was recently sent the Profusion Golden Nudes Eye and Cheek Palette* which is definitely my cup of tea when it comes to palettes as it has a bit of everything and the eyeshadow shades are lovely. They are a little similar but I am a big fan of browns, bronzes and golds. I was also sent their Highlight & Contour II palette too but unfortunately it was too deep for my skin. The Golden Nudes palette retails for £7 on Profusion's website which I think is a complete steal! It produces some lovely pigmented eyeshadows which blend out nicely and I also haven't experienced any fall out with the shadows either. Unfortunately the highlighter and bronze shades are a bit too dark for my skin tone but the blusher is a pretty pop of pink which I think I will be reaching for a lot. It is a little powdery but it's not too bad. I think if all of the shades suit your skin tone perfectly then it'd make a great travel palette.

I had high hopes for the NYX Bare With Me Tinted Skin Veil and I wanted to see if it was a dupe or similar to the It Cosmetics CC Cream which I do love but sometimes I don't have the money to repurchase straight away when I'm running low so I like to try and find cheaper alternatives if and when needed. Unfortunately the NYX Bare With Me Tinted Skin Veil is nothing like the It Cosmetics CC Creams. It oxidises like mad, it clings to spots and dry patches and it's quite hard to apply to your skin too. I've used a brush, beauty blender and my fingers to apply it and it just looks cakey and streaky no matter what application method I use. So it's a thumbs down from me!

A few weeks ago I was sent the ARK Skincare Skin Protector SPF 30 Primer RRP £36* and I'm currently using ARK Skincare's Skin Clear Cleanser and loving it (you can read my review of the products I was sent last month here). So I was excited to try another product from them. It's a makeup primer, sunscreen and moisturiser all in one and it's a great introduction if you want to make sure you're applying SPF daily. They're an award winning British brand who use natural ingredients and their formulations are free from parabens, SLS, mineral oil, S.D, Alcohol, Formaldehyde and artificial colours and fragrances. The Skin Protector SPF 30 Primer really reminds me of the The Body Shop's Skin Defense Multi-Protection Essence SPF50 which everyone raves about. I like The Body Shop's SPF too but because of it's high alcohol levels, it broke me out in spots really bad. It is a shame that the ARK Skincare Skin Protector isn't a higher SPF but I do think SPF 30 is still an okay amount for day-to-day wear in the UK. So far I'm enjoying the multi-use side of the Skin Protector because if I'm in a rush then I know I've moisturised, primed and also have a good amount of SPF on. So I guess it's killing two birds with one stone in a way which is why even though it is a high-end price I do think it's worth it and would pick it up again.

I decided to pick up my first ever product from Lanolips recently and I decided to get their Lemonaid Lip Treatment. Since I've been diagnosed with Gastritis I've noticed that certain foods AND beauty products from lip oils, LUSH lip scrubs and even lipsticks can upset my stomach and make me have a horrible taste in my mouth and throat. It's so weird! I used to swear by LUSH lip scrubs and now I can't use them. So I thought I'd try Lanolips. It was a bit risky going for something lemon flavoured but it's actually fine. I was so shocked after using it for the first time! It's not grainy or anything like that, it's more like a balm but because of the organic citrus lemon peel oil it lifts any dead skin and leaves your lips looking and feeling super soft and smooth. You also don't have to use a lot each time you use it so it will definitely last a while too.

What beauty products have you been trying out recently?

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A Minimal Base + Bold Lip From Tropic

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

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-This post contains PR/gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
This year I seem to be really enjoying more of a natural/minimal base with either a nude lip or a bold lip. I just think it looks really nice! If I'm having a bit of a rubbish skin kind of day then I'll apply a dab of concealer where it's needed just to build up the coverage in the areas needed and then I apply the base. I just feel like my skin is happier when I'm wearing less makeup, especially in the summer. So when Tropic got in touch about some of their makeup products I was definitely intrigued. I've technically already tried some makeup products from Tropic because they kindly sent me across their customisable Colour Palette* a couple months ago which I really like - especially the highlighter and blusher. But in this post I'm talking about their Mineral Foundation and one of their Kiss Me Quick lipsticks.

I've been debating on trying out a mineral foundation for a while but there's always a few things which put me off... one being the colour match because in normal liquid foundations or CC creams I tend to have to use whitening drops to make the shade right for me (even if I buy the lightest shade) and I also worry because I have an oilier skin type, I don't know if I'm just going to look like a mottled, oily mess after I've been wearing a mineral foundation for a few hours. But I decided that it was time to bite the bullet and try it out. 

Tropic's Mineral Foundation in the shade "Porcelain" RRP £24* is SPF 25 and has 6 shades available which I do think could be better but I do also think the shade range isn't too bad. I feel like there is a good mixture of skin tones if you get what I mean. In the pan I did think that the "Porcelain" shade looked quite orange and I was like Uh oh when I first saw it but once you start applying it, it looks a lot lighter. It's really easy to apply with their Kabuki Brush* (sold separately RRP £22) and you just buff in it in circular motions from the centre outwards like it tells you to on the directions on the box. They do claim it's full coverage but I think it's more of an almost-medium coverage but it still looks nice. It doesn't look powdery or cakey and it's so comfortable too! Although I think it looks lovely as soon as you apply it, I feel like once it settles into your skin after 20-30 minutes, it looks even nicer. It still looks like your skin and you can also use concealer underneath if needed over blemishes or to cover dark under eye circles etc and it still works just as well. I also like that they sell refill pouches for £19.20 instead of buying the whole pot all over again. So far I'm really impressed with the Mineral Foundation, I'm definitely reaching for it more than I thought I would. It looks nice on it's own or over the top of a tinted moisturiser (I've been wearing it over Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturiser) when you just want a bit more coverage but also want to be comfortable and I think it will last a while with it being a powder foundation.

I also chose a Kiss Me Quick Lipstick to try which are RRP £20. I chose the shade Fresh Fig* which is just a lovely everyday kind of shade. It can be built up to a bolder colour if wanted or you can just sweep it on lightly for a glossy balm-like look. It's comfortable and gives you a nice plumping effect too. It also smells really fruity - I think it's the shea butter and passionfruit I can smell but I'm not sure. There's also a nice selection of shades if Fresh Fig doesn't tickle your fancy - there's 8 shades altogether.

Overall I'm really happy with both of the products I've tried. It's another thumbs up from me! I will definitely be picking up the Mineral Foundation again and I would buy a couple more shades from the Kiss Me Quick range if I wanted to add more glossy lipsticks to my lipstick collection.

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Interior Design And Home Decor Trends I'm Loving This Year *

Monday, 12 August 2019

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-This post is in collaboration with Trade Radiators, all opinions are my own-
You may have noticed that I've been talking more about home and interiors on my blog this year. I don't know if it's my age, now that I'm 25 or if it's something which I'm just really enjoying in general but I'm a bit obsessed to be honest. So I thought I'd do a blog post about interior design and home decor trends I've been loving and taking inspiration from this year. 

60's/70's Vibes
I'm really into 60's/70's interior design right now. I admit I wouldn't go all out and have my house completely decked out with furniture and wallpaper from those eras but I do like the idea of injecting bits and pieces into your home. Whether it's a snazzy over the top wallpaper design, a retro looking chair, clashing some bold colours or adding a huge bookcase or a long teak sideboard with legs that look like it can barely hold it up. There's just something about the 60's/70's I love and I've literally felt that way since I was younger.

Making Features 
Something else which I'm liking this year and have even incorporated into our house already is making features out of things in your home that otherwise get overlooked. From turning an old unusable 1940's fireplace into a vanity area, upgrading your curtains by adding some bold curtain hooks, picking up some snazzy wall hooks to hang your coats and jackets on in a small hallway or making a feature out of your otherwise plain radiators by adding custom coloured, bold graphite or chrome radiators which you can buy from Trade Radiators. Making features and changing small things often makes a big difference.

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Plants Everywhere
I basically want to turn my house into a greenhouse haha. I love homes which have plants everywhere. But because we have two cats I'm always worried about making them sick because a lot of houseplants are toxic to both cats and dogs and can even be fatal. I do have some cacti and succulents (Echeverias) in the bathroom window where the cats don't go and I'm also thinking about an Aloe Vera plant for my room (which are toxic btw) but I'm planning on putting a shelf up on my wall quite high up and making a feature out of it with a large print behind the plant and adding a few books and too. ~Fingers crossed the cats won't bother with it~

Industrial Interiors
I also really like industrial interior styles too. From metal stairs, big windows, oversized lights in the kitchen and more. I also like the mixture of rustic wooden tables and bookcases made from metal with wooden shelves. I think it looks bold and eye catching but you can make it look softer and cosier by adding some books, plants, string lights etc.

Mustard Everything
Mustard seem to be everywhere this year and I am here for it. We've recently revamped the living room by adding a floral mustard yellow feature wall above the fireplace and we've also added some warm yellow cushions in a few different designs to add some texture too. In addition to that I've recently picked up a cosy mustard fleece blanket for the colder months to snuggle up in with a hot drink and a book. I'm so ready for Autumn and Winter now, can you tell?

Freestanding Mirrors
I also love the look of huge freestanding mirrors against the wall but unfortunately I have two cats and they're both mischief makers so I can guarantee a freestanding mirror wouldn't last that long in our house. However I think they just look so great and if you have a large room and you have a lot of space and don't know what to do with it then I could see how filling the space with a massive mirror would work well.

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Skincare For Stressed Out, Spot-Prone Skin

Friday, 9 August 2019

-This post contains PR/gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
Because my blog post about glowy skincare products seemed to go down well last week I thought I'd bring back another round-up skincare blog post this week. So in this post I'm talking about my must-have products if you have stressed out, hormonal, spot-prone skin - like myself! After many trials and errors I feel like I now know what works best (for me anyway) and there's a mixture of budget and high-end in this post too.

For cleanser I don't really stick to any sort of brand anymore I just try and use something that's either gentle or has the words purifying or detoxifying in the name. I've recently realised that foam cleansers aren't for me anymore because I find they dry out my skin in weird places like around my eyes and on the edge of my nose so I just avoid them now. I also tend to prefer a gel cleanser because I find they work best with my Magnitone London XOXO Silicone Cleansing Brush* and I find that using a silicone cleansing brush helps to deeply cleanse my skin and unclog any blocked pores. I can definitely feel a difference between using a cleansing brush and just using my hands to wash my face. The Magnitone XOXO is a great travel friendly brush with different textures on each corner and I also have the PMD Clean* which is another great silicone brush too. I think it just depends on what you're looking for and also the space you have to store your skincare bits too.

For the face mask section I have quite a lot to talk about... My go-to mask over the past 2 years has definitely been The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask because it helps draw out impurities, settles down any current spots and leaves my skin looking nice and glowy. However... it is super messy to use, it smells very strong of tea tree and it's a bit of a pain to get off. But because I get such good results from using it, I keep repurchasing it. I also like to use the Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment as a spot treatment mask but I've recently discovered the Lacura Charcoal Clearing Mud Mask from Aldi is more or less exactly the same at a fraction of price. It's just a little harder to remove but I'm not that bothered about that. It kind of comes in and out of store so if you see it, buy it! because it goes out of stock so quickly. 

Another mask I like to use as a full on mask or as a quick spot treatment mask is the Alpha-H Clear Skin Blemish Control Mask*. You only have to leave it on for 5-10 minutes and it does so much in that time. It helps to get impurities out, calms any red areas and it's also a good one for getting those pesky under the skin spots to come to the surface too. I've also found that the T-Zone Australian Pink Clay Mask is basically a complete dupe to the Sand and Sky Pink Clay Mask - it even smells the same! Again, it's a fraction of the price. I like to use it when I feel like my face needs a bit of a pick me up when it's looking a little drab.

For "treatments" I've kind of stuck to the same four products for a while but I've recently been introduced to a few others which I've incorporated into my skincare routine when my skin is acting up quite bad.

The four that I've been using religiously for months/years are the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ which is kind of like moisturiser and treatment lotion in one. I find it works well to smooth out your skin if you suffer with texture and I also find it helps to fade scarring really well. It's definitely one of my holy grail skin care products. Next is the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion which works so well at drying out white head spots as well as helping to bring out under the skin spots too. I tend to only use it at night as it is visible on the skin. Another fave is the Pixi Glow Tonic* which is a great chemical exfoliator as it contains glycolic acid and it really does make your skin glow the next day after using it. It does tingle and sometimes it does make my face go a little red, so again it's a product I tend to use in the evening.

 My last go-to treatment which I literally can't be without is the Dermalogica Redness Relief Essence which is great if you're someone who goes red in the cheeks when you're going through hormonal spells, have sensitive skin or if you've had an allergic reaction - which is what I use it for. If you follow me on twitter then you might know that I keep having an on/off reaction to dairy (I think) and some other foods and I go really red and hot on my cheeks. But now I always reach for the Redness Relief Essence to calm it down. It's kind of like a toner and serum in one so it's really hydrating and great for sensitive skin. If I leave my hot flush as I like to call them then I'll stay hot and red in my cheeks for literally hours and it's so uncomfortable but with the Redness Relief Essence it goes away within 15 minutes or so. I'll even go as far as to say it's now my all-time fave Dermalogica product.

Talking of Dermalogica, I've been really enjoying their recent skin clearing release which is the AGE Bright Clearing Serum*. It's main active ingredients are Niacinamide and Salicylic Acid which are both known for their skin clearing properties. When my skin is acting up or if I can feel a breakout on the way then I pop this either directly on the area of the impending breakout or just all over and if I keep on top of it for a few days I will see a difference. 

For on the go or on the spot (get it?) spot treatment then the Clinogen Zap It! intensive Spot Treatment* might be one for you. I've only been using it for a few weeks but it's definitely helped me out a couple of times already. It contains a unique formula of natural enzymes and anti-microbials which all help to heal and prevent spots from developing. It unblocks the pore and then the product gets inside and eliminates any of the bacteria. It has a sponge-like applicator and it doesn't give out tons of product each time you apply so you don't waste any product or go overboard. It works really well for under the skin spots too! It also can help to treat cold sores but I haven't tried it for that as I haven't had a cold sore. But it's definitely my go-to quick spot treatment at the moment.

I recently picked up the Pixi Peel and Polish which is a sugar-based scrub which contains enzymes and lactic acid. It's super gentle on the skin and you can either use it as an exfoliator or leave it on as a mask for 5 minutes and I can literally see the results after removing it - my skin instantly looks brighter and the texture looks more even. It's honestly one of the best skincare products I've tried.

For moisturiser I tend to go for lightweight or gel-based moisturisers such as the Origins Energy Boosting Gel Moisturiser just because I find they are hydrating enough but don't block my pores like a thick moisturiser does. I also sometimes use oils as a moisturiser. At the minute I really like the True Skincare Balancing Safflower & Basil Facial Oil* which is lovely and it smells nice too. It contains all the right things if you have an oily/combo skin type but it's also nice and hydrating.

What are your go-to products when your skin is acting up?

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Simple Ways To Revamp Your Living Room Space *

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

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-this post is a paid collaboration with Land of Rugs and contains a gifted rug. All opinions are my own-
I'm a big fan of switching things up and revamping spaces in the house. I think I just get bored of things looking the same for too long, so in this post I'm talking about some ways you can easily revamp your living room space without having to go all out and redecorate the whole room.

In our living room we have a feature wall above the fireplace which has been a warm teal colour since last year and the rest of the walls are white and we do have a lot of wood going on in the house because when we first moved here, my dad loved rustic/tudor looking houses but we recently decided to strip back the teal colour and to put up a bold wallpaper above the fireplace instead. It was a bit of a risky move because my mum went wild in B&Q and picked out the wallpaper herself and let's just say sometimes my mums wallpaper/homeware choices are a bit well... crazy. Thankfully we all like it and I really like that it's main colour is kind of a mustard yellow because I've been loving anything mustard colour over the past couple of months. I also think that the wallpaper goes really well with the rustic looking wooden mirror we've had for literally years (no idea where it's from - sorry). 

To tie in with the feature wall and wooden mirror we also wanted to get a nice cosy rug to make everything go together when the whole room is complete. For this we chose a rug from Land of Rugs who sell lots of different styles and colours of rugs which will suit any home. There's definitely something for everyone! We chose the Noble House Beige Rug RRP £99.99* in the medium size option of 120 x 170cm (3'11x5'7) so that it fills the area in front of the fireplace which as you can tell Charlie has already taken to, so god knows what the cats will be like in the winter when the fire is on. I like that the geometric design kind of resembles honeycomb. I don't know why I just find it nice to look at. I also really like that it looks glossy and silky because I think it makes it look even softer if that makes sense. I definitely think it will make the room feel even cosier when the colder months come around too. You can also buy the rug in various different colours - 7 to be exact if the beige-almost-brown option isn't to your liking.

 Another few simple ways you can revamp your living room without going all out is by choosing some new curtains and also buying some new homeware bits such as ornaments, cushions, candles, vases, mirrors etc. Because we're going for a brown, purple and mustard yellow colour scheme in the living room we've got some new brown curtains to tie in with the room which I think will look really nice once they've been altered (they're slightly too long at the minute). We're also planning on doing a Matalan and George at Asda shop in the next week or two to see if we can pick up some nice cushions, a couple of oversized cosy throws and maybe some new cute ornaments to put on the shelves on either side of the fireplace too.

Are you planning on revamping any rooms in your home?
If so, how and what plans do you have?

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