Thursday, 17 July 2014

Holiday Beauty Essentials


Seeing as I've been doing a lot of posts recently reviewing products that are suitable for the holiday season, I thought it was only fair that I did a post showing the products I took on holiday with me. I am god awful at packing lightly and am renowned among friends and family for having the biggest bag packed full of what I like to call 'just-in-case' items. There was a mountain of products I wanted to take with me, but we were only taking hand luggage which limits liquids to 100ml bottles, so I had to be very selective about what I took, and just pick items I knew I would struggle without. 

Clinique Airbrush Concealer
Having looked up the weather before I went, and discovering it was going to be between 30° and 35°, just the idea of wearing foundation in that heat made me feel hot. However I wanted to take something, just to get rid of those dark patches and cover up any burnt bits, so this little concealer was perfect. Its light reflecting qualities made my skin look dewy and fresh instead of the beaten, weathered look created by lots of sun, sea and sand. 

Clinique High Impact Mascara
It's always nice to dress up of an evening on holiday when you're going out for something to eat, and even if you're not intending to wear much make-up, a decent mascara can finish off a basic evening look perfectly. I've tried many mascaras since doing this blog, and so far Clinique's High Impact is my favorite. 

MUA Gel Eyeliner
I've been testing this product for quite some time now ever since I bought a hauls worth of MUA products with the aim of doing an MUA haul and review post (which will be up shortly, promise) , so I won't go into too much detail about it just yet. Obviously the fact I took it on holiday with me is proof that I'm happy with the product. I do find liquid eyeliners can be a little bit too strong for the skin on my eyes - which is quite sensitive - and eyeliner pencils are too faint. So I'm fast becoming a fan of gel eyeliners, and since I'm a huge cat-eye addict, I couldn't go on holiday without it. 

ArtDeco Peacock Coquette Nail Varnish
I knew I wanted to take at least one nail varnish with me, and I'm sure if like me you have a massive collection, you can understand how hard it was for me to pick just one. This particular nail varnish is from Art Deco's Autumn/Winter 2013 'Asian Spirit Western Feeling' collection which I loved. The reason I chose it is because it's such a chameleon shade. Depending on the light, it can range from a gorgeous turquoise to a forest green, and in some lights it even looks navy. There were points when I was laying on the beach and noticed my toenails were the same colour as the sea. 

St Kitt's Herbery Face Cream
My skin has such a tendency to look dry, and I knew the Clinque concealer would not work to its best if my face wasn't moisturised. It's so important to keep your skin hydrated if you're going to spend hours in the sun like I did, and having just reviewed a few St Kitt's products and loving them, as well as the bottle being the appropriate size, I felt it was a perfect addition. 

Nivea Powder Touch Underarm 
This little beauty came in my Cosmopolitan Superblogger Masterclass goodie bag and is responsible for my new found love of roll-on deodorant. I had such a love/hate relationship with deodorant sprays and could never find one that suited me 100%, and it never occurred to me to try a roll-on, but seeing as this was a freebie I gave it a go. The main issue I had with sprays was that they dried out my skin, but this roll-on has nourished it back to health. 

Mary Kay Limited Edition Retro Rose Cream Lip Colour
As a last addition to my planned evening make-up look, I took this lovely Mary Kay lip colour. Finding lipsticks that suit me is something I struggle with (god I do have a hard time of it ha) and reviewing the Mary Kay Hello Sunshine collection actually introduced me to the first set of lipsticks that worked with my skin tone and my hair colour. Obviously it's creamy and moisturising texture was an added bonus, and the dark yet warm shade added a sophisticated element to my make-up as a whole. 

BVLGARI Omnia Crystaline Eau De Parfum
Due to being very picky about fragrances, I only have a handful of perfumes that I like the smell of, and at the moment this is my favourite. I received this as a free sample, and loved the fact that it was a miniature of the actual bottle and not a little phial, and that it was parfum and not eau de toillette. As it's parfum, I don't need a lot and the scent lasts for hours. I've had it months and I'm not even half-way through yet (by the way I sincerely recommend applying for perfume samples - a much cheaper way of having a large selection of fragrances, then buy the ones you really like). Due to it's size and of course how much I love it, there was no question about packing it. 


Wednesday, 21 May 2014

New Age Fun with a Vintage Feel: Mary Kay's 'Hello Sunshine' Collection

Oh how I adore Summer make-up. The variety of colours open to us this season is endless,  and vary magnificently from trend to trend.
I absolutely love it when a brand takes a current fashion trend and uses it as inspiration for a make-up collection, and Mary Kay Cosmetics have done just that.
Honing in on the vintage mania that has taken over the fashion industry for a good few years now,  Mary Kay’s Limited Edition ‘Hello Sunshine’ collection is new age fun with a vintage feel. Oh, and how kitsch is the packaging? 

When I first opened these and saw the colours, I really wasn’t sure what to think, but the moment I swept my finger across them I couldn’t wait to try them out. They really are springy, and lay slap bang in between a powder and a cream eyeshadow. They’re incredibly lightweight and smooth to use, and require hardly any blending whatsoever. The colour is quite translucent, with a slight shimmer, so that the colours on the skin are subtle, but obviously the colour is buildable. I like to put the browner shades just under the bottom lash line, and either the blue or the yellow on my eyelid, all the way up to the brow, and team it with a thin line of eyeliner for a 60s Summer look.

These are the answer to my red lip prayers. Being olive skinned, yet not very tanned, I find it quite hard to find a classic red lip colour that doesn’t completely wash me out, but the colour palette of this entire collection is quite warm so it suits me perfectly. These lipsticks are incredibly smooth and moisturising, and have a matte finish with a slight shimmer that lasts for ages. Carefree Coral is a pinky red  whilst Retro Rose is on the browner side.

For a classic vintage red without the matte finish, this product is perfect. A bit of sheen with some colour adds volume to your lips, so for a juicy, voluptuous look, without the grease of your average lip gloss, I highly recommend this product. My only gripe would be that you need more than one application to build up a decent amount of colour, but once you’ve achieved that, it lasts for quite some time. 

Mary Kay were also kin enough to send me samples of their Lash Love Mascara, True Dimensions Lipstick in Citrus Flirt and Facial Highlighting Pen in Shade 3, all of which are featured in all of these pictures, except the lipstick, which is only in the above picture. 

Steph x x x


Thursday, 15 May 2014

Get a Fresh Faced Look with Clinique

Ever since doing the Cheek Pop review, I've become a massive fan of Clinique products, and couldn't wait for the opportunity to do another one. Clinique were kind enough to send me three samples for a fresh faced 'awake' look which I was so excited to try out.

 Natural make-up looks are perfect for Summer. No one wants a cake face in boiling hot weather. There's nothing worse than your make-up slipping half-way down your face. 

Now I have quite an extensive make-up routine, so when I realised I had to create a fresh-faced natural look with just these three products, I wasn't sure if it would work. 

The first of the products was the SuperPrimer which colour corrects dullness in deeper skins. It actually took me a while to get used to this, because it's texture is very different to other primers that I've used. It's nowhere near as wet, and dries instantly once upon the skin, whereas others leave a dewy, moisturised feel.  It's also tan in colour, which surprised me. But the more I used it, the more I realised that both the texture and colour work to benefit your skin and the finished look. The dryness creates the perfect matte base for you to apply foundation too, so that it doesn't cling to any particular area, whilst the tan colour helps to gently even out your skin tone, whilst adding just a slight bit of colour to your face.

I have quite dry skin, and when my skin was at its worst, I found this primer a little too dry, but to fix this I used a thick moisturiser, left it to dry thoroughly, and then applied the primer. Problem Solved.

Next is the Airbrush Concealer. I fell in love with this instantly. So easy to use, and with the primer it creates brilliant coverage with no need for added foundation. It's so light on the skin, and reflects light, which hides any dark areas (this baby is absolute magic for dark circles under the eyes). It also works as a highlighter, particularly in the corner of the eye and just below the eyebrow.  I now take this absolutely everywhere with me. It's perfect for when you want a quick touch up, without having to heave out the foundations and brushes etc.
My only complaint would be that you can't see how much you've used, so you can't see when it's running out, and considering how much I love it, that's something I'm going to need to know.

With your skin sorted, the last thing to focus on is your eyes. No matter how fresh your face looks, if your eyes look tired it will ruin the whole look. This is where this bad boy steps in. Clinique's High Impact Mascara adds length and volume to an extent where it opens up your eyes, creating a wide-eyed effect, whilst at the same time separating them to make your lashes look as natural as possible. Nobody likes a clumpy mascara. 

So here's the complete look:

All in all, I am so happy with these products. It's actually changed my make-up routine completely, because in testing these product I've become so used to a light layer of make-up that I don't want to go back. The days are getting hotter, and we're all going to be looking for an answer to our melting make-up problems. I think Clinique have it! 

Steph x x x