Beauty/Fashion Deals & Best of The Rest!

There are a few offers around at the moment so here's a roundup of some of the best deals, steals, free gifts etc.


ASOS beauty sale - upto 50% off nars, illamasqua, pixi etc

H&M - £5 off with code 1304, free delivery with code 0769 (can be used together)

The White Company - 15% and free delivery for orders over £50 with code AC373

M&S - free delivery with code SHIPMENT

The Body Shop - 50% off when you buy 8 products or 40% off when you buy 6 with code COLOUR

Yankee Candles - 30% off with code YCFF30

Boots - £10 off £100 with code VC26AUG100 (expires 8/9/13)
10% off £50 with code HOLIDAY (expires 3/9/13)

Lookfantastic - 10% off with code AVCODESLF

HQ hair - 10% off with code VCODESHQAU (expires 1/9/13)


Marie Claire  - free clinique face serum (repairwear laser focus) plus a voucher for eye cream and foundation fitting (available instore)

Instyle - free Philip Kingsley Elasticizer (sample size)

Subscribe to Red magazine - 6 issues for £9.99 and free espa lift & firm mask worth £38

Leo Claims - Make a claim for a work accident on a no win no fee basis* (sponsored link)

China Glaze Halloween Monsters Ball Collection 2013

Halloween seems so far away but no doubt it will come around quicker than you think. I don't usually like Halloween collections but I'm loving these images.
Nail polishes include;

Howl You Doin' - deep burgundy with purple, fuchsia and orange glitter
Bat My Eyes - black/green with gold glitter
Boo-Gie Down - clear with black, orange and white glitter
Fang-Tastic - clear with blue, pink, green and purple glitter
Bump in the Night - black textured

You can see them swatched here and they're already available here alongside the autumn collection!

Skincare Switch Up!

Now the weather is starting to get colder, I'm adding a few different products into my skincare routine. My skin is typically oily but becomes dehydrated in winter. 
The first product I've picked up is the new Body Shop Camomile Cleaning Butter, suitable for all skin types. I've only just started using this but I'm already impressed!It can be used to remove makeup as well as cleansing. In the tub, its solid but translates to an oily balm once on the skin. I like to massage it into my and remove with a flannel or muslin cloth. It leaves my skin feeling clean, soft and fresh.For £12 its a great buy!
Next up I've been using the Una Brennan Tea Flower Deep Clean Pore Purifying Clay Mask currently £5.99. It has a much thinner texture than the Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque I was previously using so it feels much lighter on the skin. It contains avocado and honey to rebalance skin for a clearer complexion. I think its perfect for combination skins as it unclogs pores and removes excess oil without drying. It also contains salicylic acid which helps to clear up blemishes. A good all rounder!

Have you tried either of these?
I'm also on the lookout for a new moisturiser so let me know if you have any suggestions!

First Impressions: Burts Bees Naturally Ageless Hand Cream

Whilst I'm a huge skincare lover, I completely neglect looking after my hands. As I'm a bit of a germaphobe, I wash my hands quite a lot throughout the day so they tend to be on the dry side.
Burt's bees naturally ageless skin smoothing hand cream is a 99.1% natural formula containing pomegranate extract, an antioxidant to protect skin and shea butter and lactic acid to even out skin texture. The cream has a small silver foil under the lid, which is a good idea as it keeps it fresh until first use! The hand cream itself has a light texture that soaks in quickly leaving hands feeling soft without any greasy residue. I like the herbal scent although its quite strong. I'm going to continue using it over the next week or two and report back. With any skincare, I think you need to give time for a product to work its magic, especially with anti-aging creams so I'll let you know how it fares!

MAC Retro Matte Collection 2013

Although I have a love/hate relationship with MAC lipsticks, I love the look of this Retro Matte collection. If you bought Riri Woo, you'll be familiar with the retro matte formula. 
This collection contains 8 lipsticks and 8 pro longwear lip pencils.

Steady Going  - Light pink matte
Runway Hit  -  Light nude matte
Dangerous -  Orange red matte *New/Permanent
Relentlessly Red -  Bright pink coral matte *New/Permanent
All Fired Up -  Bright fuchsia matte *New/Permanent
Flat Out Fabulous -  Bright plum matte *New/Permanent
Ruby Woo -  matte vivid blue red *Repromote/Permanent
Fixed on Drama -  Rich wine matte

Lip Pencils
In Anticipation -  Soft yellow pink *Repromote
Staunchly Stylish -  Pink beige *Repromote
Shock Value -  Bright pink cream *New/Permanent
Dynamo -  Bright peony *New/Permanent
High Energy -  Bright orange red cream *New/Permanent
Trust in Red -  Bright cool red cream *New/Permanent
More to Love -  Intense bluish pink *Repromote
Fashion Boost -  Bright purple cream

Retro Matte Collection is available from September - US & International

Free Blogger Template #2

Today I have another free blog template to share with you. The screen shot makes it look really fuzzy which it isn't in real life. You can see a live preview here.

You are more then welcome to make alterations if you know how - I have some tutorials here as a starting point.
The header is separate and can be added via the layout page area of blogger but you don't have to use if if you don't want to. If you do use it, you will need to add your own text in an editing program - picmonkey and pixlr are both free to use!

To get this template, just click download below - you'll need to unzip the file. Then upload the template via blogger dashboard!

August Beauty Love!

There's been quite a few products I'm loving this month but I've managed to whittle it down to a select few. Laura Mercier is one of my favourite brands so when I spotted this eyeliner trio reduced to just £7 at space nk it was a no brainer. So far I've only used the navy liner which is super easy to apply, though its not as pigmented as other liners I've used. Its a good alternative to black and I'm looking forward to using the turquoise and grey. I apply my liner with my sigma liner brush. I'm not an expert at makeup application but this brush makes it so easy to apply as the brush is very fine.
I've also been using the origins modern friction scrub this month, I only have a teeny travel size sample but I might consider the full size. Modern friction is a very creamy scrub that really feels like you're exfoliating the top layer of skin. It doesn't dry my skin out or feel too harsh, leaving my skin look fresh and glowing!
Tweezers are something I always have around, I really like these floral ones from Vintage cosmetics company*. The print is really pretty and they have a tight grip. You do have to be careful to make sure not to grab the skin as its quite easy with these to catch the skin.
This month, I've also gone back to one of my staple blushes - MAC stunner. Sadly, it was limited edition about a year or two ago but if its ever released again I will be snapping it up as its my most worn blusher and the colour really suits my paleness.

What are your favourite items this month?

In The Nude!

Neutral shades are my most worn items of makeup. I guess because they're easy to wear, everyday shades that you cant go wrong with. The Benefit world famous neutrals set* is perfect for any nude lovers. The set includes four long wear shadows and two creaseless creams in birthday suit and my two cents. These make perfect bases for any powder shadow or if you just want a little wash of colour on your lids.
My all time favourite nude nail polishes are Deborah Lippmanns fashion and Models own utopia (both swatched here). Fashion is taupe with creme finish whilst utopia is a very pale beige with grey undertones. Both are perfect for any skin tone and are beautiful shades for autumn.

For lips, my new nude love is urban decay revolution lipstick in naked (reviewed/swatched here). I also really like Rimmel moisture renew lipstick in notting hill nude which is a gorgeous, moisturising nude and really affordable too.

A blusher I adore is Bobbi Browns nude peach blush, a very light peachy pink with nude undertones. It has very subtle shimmer, leaving a subtle glow. NYX blush in taupe is great for contouring on pale skins but also a lovely nude blusher for darker skin tones.
A few other notable mentions are Urban decay naked basics palette and MAC eyeshadows in satin taupe and era.

What are your favourite nude shades?

MAC Eyeshadow Favourites

Whilst I don't really rate MAC lipsticks as being some of the best in the beauty world, I adore their eyeshadows!I usually pick up the pans, not just because they are slightly cheaper but I like to keep them together in my palette. Now and again I will buy one from a limited edition collection if it catches my eye but my favourites are from MAC's permanent line.

My favourites include satin taupe, which is a beautiful taupe with brown/purple undertones and a frost finish. Its the softest and most pigmented of all the MAC shadows I own. It looks perfect blended in the crease or just worn on its own. This is definitely the product that shows MAC at its best.
Another favourite is all that glitters, a veluxe pearl finish I would describe as a champagne beige.Again its very soft and pigmented. I think this is one of those shades that can really make your eyes 'pop', I don't really like using that word but that's kinda what it does. Even though its shimmery, the texture is really smooth and super easy to blend.
An eyeshadow, I really feel is underrated is era, a satin cool toned taupe, although its described as a golden beige by MAC. Its very flattering on my skin tone and a great everyday shade. It looks perfect paired with any other neutral shade or even something completely different like a navy, purple or green.
Speaking of green shadows, two of my all time favourite greens are MAC's steamy and sumptuous olive. Steamy is a green/blue frost with gold pearl. I don't generally wear a lot of brights but I love this shade the texture is perfect and easy to blend. I like to use it with a damp liner brush and work it into my lower lash line, which looks really beautiful paired with neutral shades. 
Sumptuous olive (I've spelt it wrong in the photos) is an olive with gold undertones in a veluxe pearl finish. I love this shade, its so subtle and versatile. It can be paired with so many other shades and is one of those colours that will flatter most eyes.

Do you have any of these?

Ebay Beauty Bargains!

Ebay is one of my favourite sites to find beauty bargains!
Here's whats on my wishlist this month *I'm not affiliated with any of these sellers by the way*

5. 15pc Make Up Brush Set - £3.99 free p+p

6. Etude House My Part Nails Polish - £3.50 free p+p

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Naked

I'm always partial to a new lipstick, especially one that has so many glowing reviews!Enter Urban Decay's new revolution lipstick - creamy, badass luxury! (their tagline and I like it!)
I decided to go for the shade Naked (a nude pink), one of 22 colours. 

Urban decay naked is fully opaque in one swipe, its creamy, feels smooth and wears for a few hours. Naked feels comfortable on the lips and isn't drying. I'm in love with this lippie and I think the metallic casing looks gorgeous too! Notice my reflection in the photo haha!!
Revolution lipsticks are priced £15 which is the same as MAC. I prefer the UD formula as MAC'S are a bit on the dryer side, so I think £15 is a decent price tag, especially when the formula feels luxurious and will give a few higher end brands a run for their money.
I've got my eye on a few more shades from the range. 

Will you be giving these a try?

NYX Pumpkin Pie Lipstick: a MAC Shy Girl Dupe?

I've already found a decent dupe of MAC lovelorn lipstick and been trying to find dupes for other mid-high end lipsticks that I own. Today, I have a lipstick to share with you that bares a resemblance to another MAC lipstick - Shy Girl. 

Like Shy girl, NYX lipstick in pumpkin pie is a peach nude shade. MAC lipsticks now retail for £15 whereas NYX lipsticks are £4 - a huge difference. The two look very similar, not identical but fairly close.

NYX pumpkin pie is more pink toned than shy girl in the bullet and it leans this way on my lips. 
Shy girl is a cremesheen finish, I always find MAC lipsticks to be slightly drying but I love the vanilla scent and they generally last a few hours on my lips. NYX pumpkin pie feels thinner on the lips. Its not a sheer shade but the formula is lighter with more slip so the wear isn't quite as good as shy girl.
Both these are really wearable shades, if you're looking for something similar to shy girl then pumpkin pie is a good bet, its also £11 cheaper which is a bonus too!!

Amazon Beauty Bargains!

I think I've mentioned before that Amazon has become one of my favourite sites to shop for beauty products. I do tend to buy items directly from amazon themselves rather than the Amazon marketplace as there are quite a few fakes floating around on there. Still, you can pick up a few bargains directly from Amazon, although you now have to spend £10 to get free delivery!
Here's a few things I've spotted recently!


shower & scrub!

Truth be told, I'm not a massive fan of baths. That sounds like I must smell haha but no I love nothing more than jumping in a nice warm shower and using some gorgeous pampering products.

My current favourite shower gels include some 'natural' products. I've re-purchased The Body Shop Earth Lovers shower gel, which is sulphate, paraben and colourant free several times. I'm guessing these have been discontinued as they're not available on the website any more. They're not my favourite shower gel as they're quite watery but I like the gentle formulation. I think they were around £5 each which I don't think they're worth but I used to buy them when they were on offer or with one of the many voucher codes that pop up for the body shop. Another shower gel I love is the Organic Surge Sugar Almond Shower Gel. Again this is a gel free from parabens, sls, artificial fragrances and colourants. For a little over £4 this is a great buy. It smells quite sweet but feels gentle whilst foaming and rinsing well so I will definitely re-purchase. 
For Shower Oil, I'm still enjoying using the L'occitane Almond Shower Oil* (reviewed here). My skin feels really soft after using this and it smells yummy too!

My two current body scrubs include Soap & Glory's Sugar Crush, which smells like lime and is a light scrub with brown sugar. I like that it leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth with a light scent. My ultimate all time favourite scrub is Boots Extracts Cocoa Butter Sugar Scrub which has the yummiest scent ever!Its thicker than the soap & glory scrub so ideal for more intense exfoliation. It leaves my skin so soft and smelling lovely. I also like to use the Extracts Cocoa Butter Body Moisturiser after, which smells amazing too!

Let me know if you've tried any of these!


Beauteco Box August 2013

 Beauteco is a relatively new brand in the beauty box world and I was really impressed with lasts months offering.
With Beauteco, you get to choose one of three boxes each month. Each box is a slight variation and you get to know the contents before the box arrives. This month, I chose the second box* which includes the following;

Arran Aromatics Lavender and Tea Tree Facial Wash (Full Size ) - £12.95
This smells exactly like it says - a soft tea tree and lavender. I don't normally use a lot of facial washes but I quite like this one as its a thick gel with little bits of loofah to exfoliate. It feels fresh and doesn't leave a tight feeling. I think this one would be good for blemished skin due to the antibacterial properties of tea tree.

Lord & Berry Intensity Lipstick in Peach Gleam (Full Size) - £12
I've heard of Lord & Berry before but never tried anything from the brand so its nice to see two full size items in here. I am a bit disappointed with this lipstick as it feels quite gritty and the texture just feel 'off'. The shade is nice but sadly doesn't really suit my skin tone either.

Lord & Berry Kissproof LipColour in Blossom (Full Size) - £7.50
I'm happy to report that the liner is much better than the lipstick. It feels creamy and smooth without dragging on the lips and has a good colour payoff. I'm not 100% keen on the shade but again that's my personal preference.

S5 Calm Serum (Sample Size) - full size 30ml bottle retails for £44
Although I do have a bit of redness around my nose, I didn't think I would be particularly interested in the S5 Calm Serum but I'm really impressed. I'd need to use it for a while longer to test how it really calms redness but I love how it leaves the texture of my skin feeling perfect. That's quite a bold claim but that's really how my skin feels when I've used this. I'll definitely look into this range.

Melvita Atomiser Orange Blossom Water (Sample Size) - full size 200ml bottle retails for £16
I have heard of Melvita before but again its a brand I've not tried. This little bottle is perfect for travel or throwing in your bag for a quick spritz throughout the day. It feels very light and refreshing.

Beauteco boxes are £10 + p & p. For this box the value of the lip products alone more than covers the price of the box which is a pretty good deal. I really like that Beauteco include full sized products along with deluxe sized samples. Whilst I'm not keen on the Lord & Berry lipstick, I'm very happy with the rest of this months contents and its nice to try brands that I've not previously used. This box also included a voucher for new subscribers, who will receive two extra products with their first box - just used the code FRIEND07 (not an affiliate code by the way, just thought I'd add that!)

Let me know what you think about this months contents or if you have a favourite beauty box brand!


MAC Lovelorn Lipstick & Dupe!

MAC Lovelorn is one of my favourite shades!Lovelorn is a cool toned medium pink in a lustre formula to give a sheer finish. I find MAC lippies on the drying side so I usually add a bit of lip balm before applying but they tend to last a few hours on my lips.

MAC Lipsticks are now £15 say what?!! 
However I've found a pretty good dupe and its a great lipstick too - Loreal Rouge Caresse Lipstick in Rose Mademoiselle (I reviewed it here!). In the bullet, rose mademoiselle looks darker but when swatched they're pretty much identical.

On my lips, rose mademoiselle has a slight sheen to it and appears slightly pinker but it feels lighter than lovelorn although lovelorn wears for longer. Loreal Rouge Rose Mademoiselle is £7.99 and currently on 3 for 2 at superdrug. Well worth a look if you want something similar to lovelorn without shelling out more money. 


Oh So Blue!

Right now I'm really into blue shades of polish. Anything remotely sky blue and I'm drawn to it.
My favourite blue shades currently include Essie, Topshop, Maybelline and China Glaze.
Essie Bikini So Teeny is a cornflower blue shade with subtle silver shimmer. I bought this from Fragrance Direct a while back and its well worth the £1.99. Its opaque in two coats and doesn't streak - really lovely!
Essie Maximillian Strasse-Her is a recent purchase again from Fragrance Direct. Its a grey creme with blue-green undertones, great consistency and opaque in two coats. This is from the spring 2013 range!
China Glaze Sea Spray is one I've had for a while. The formula is great but the brush is quite thin. I'm not sure if they've changed since. Its a blue grey creme, slightly lighter and more blue toned than Essie Maximillian Strasse-Her so not really a dupe but they're fairly close.
Maybelline Forever Strong Pro in Ceramic Blue is also a recent purchase - its currently 99p at Fragrance Direct. Ceramic Blue is a pale blue shade with lilac shimmer. Its a very pretty shade but the formula is really thin and needs 2-3 coats to be fully opaque. Finally, Topshop Tidal is a pale grey/blue creme. The consistency is on the thicker side but it dries quickly and only need two coats. I love this shade so much, it reminds me of a really grey day buts its a really soft shade and works well with my pale skin tone.

Topshop Tidal | Maybelline Ceramic Blue | China Glaze Sea Spray | Essie Maximillian Strasse-Her | Essie Bikini So Teeny

Have you tried any of these shades?


Evening Skincare Routine

Over the past few months, I've given my skincare routine a major overhaul!I'm really happy with the products I'm using at the moment, though I'm looking to add a new toner and anti-aging moisturiser so if you have any suggestions let me know. 

My skin is typically oily but leans to combination in the colder months. The first thing I've introduced into my routine is a makeup remover - Loreal Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution. I'm guilty of using face wipes which are not the best thing to use for your skin so I thought I'd give this a go. I find this removes my makeup effectively and feels light on the skin. I prefer it to bioderma which I find a bit over hyped, luckily for me its also a lot cheaper and easier to get hold of. After the micellar solution, I use a cleanser - I've just started using the Una Brennan Vitamin C Brighten Skin Renew Cleansing Oil.  This is a lightweight oil with olive, grapeseed and rosehip oils to cleanse and unclog pores. I apply it to my face, massage in and add water to rinse. It makes my skin look bright and radiant, the only downside is the packaging as there is no pump so it pours out everywhere. For £10.99 though its a good buy. 

Another cleanser I like to use is the Trilogy Very Gentle Cleansing Cream. I use this in the same way you would use a hot cloth cleanser. Its the creamiest cleanser I've used, it leaves my skin feeling super soft and nourished. Its fragrance free, containing natural spring water and chamomile to sooth. Its not cheap at £22.50 but I really enjoy using it.

When it comes to toners, I've been using an Avene one (not pictured - I'm going to try and find an alcohol free one) and also Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner.  This contains 2% glycolic acid to gently exfoliate the skin leaving it bright and radiant. I like that it only has four ingredients and is alcohol free. I typically use it every 2-3 days as I feel it would be quite drying to use every day and I like to follow up with La Roche Posay Serozinc. I love this spray - it feels cooling, soothing and refreshing. It aids skin irritations so its perfect for blemishes or any imperfections.

For serums, I like to use a few in rotation. Bliss Firm Baby Firm* feels like a light moisturiser, its sinks in quickly and leaves my skin feeling plumped and fine lines look smoother. I also like the use the Liz Earle Smoothing Line Serum which looks/feels like your regular clear serum. It's oil free and can also be used around the lips and eyes. 

A recent addition is Pepta-bright - a serum to improve skin clarity. It feels lightweight and soaks in quickly, my skin looks smoother and brighter. I've heard a few people say it feels drying but I haven't noticed anything like that but its possibly something to consider if you have dry/sensitive skin.
For my eyes, I love Eysilix, which I mentioned here. Its a lightweight cream, sinking in quickly and there has been a huge improvement in my skin firmness and dark circles.

For moisturisers, I like to use Trilogy Organic Rosehip Oil. I've been hesitant to put oils on my skin but this one feels really light and not too greasy. I also use Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre (reviewed here). I tend to use this sparingly as its quite rich and creamy. Saying that, it doesn't feel too heavy on my skin but a little goes along way. It really makes my skin feel soft and hydrated. Its worth noting that it contains mineral oil which there is a debate over as its derived from petroleum. I'm not clued up on it but there are several articles online - this one from paulas choice states it ok to use.

I also really like using the Nuxe Creme Prodigieuse Anti Fatigue Moisturizing Cream if my skin has been feeling really oily. It gives a mattyfying effect yet still feels hydrating.
Finally, I've been using the Algenist Regenerative Anti-aging Moisturizer. This was part of a little set (reviewed here) so I'm really just using up as its quite expensive to buy on its own. Its nice enough but it doesn't really blow me away. If you have any suggestions for an anti-aging cream let me know!

I do have a few masks/treatment that I like to use in the evening but I'll save them for another post at some point. My current routine is working really well for me at the moment. My skin has definitely improved in texture, softness, firmness. I have less blemishes, if I do get any I use a little of Nip & Fab Blemish Fix and they clear up quickly.

Have you tried any of the products I've mentioned or have any skincare items you love to use?


The Hit or Miss List

I've made one or two purchases recently - some good and some not so great. I thought I'd share my thoughts on a few products I've used recently, speed review style!

Soap & Glory The Righteous Body Butter 
 I love this body butter, its thick, creamy and smells delicious. I find it takes a minute or two to sink in but it leaves my skin feeling soft and smelling great. I think the price of £10.50 is very reasonable considering its a quite a large 300ml tub.

Bioderma Pore Refiner 
 I have a few noticeable pores so I'm always drawn to a product that claims to improve the look of them. The Bioderma Pore Refiner aims to refine the skin texture of oily skin, tighten pores and reduce sebum. Whilst it leaves a matte, velvety finish, I cant say I've noticed any difference in pore size or in the oiliness of my skin. It makes a nice primer under makeup as it smooths the skin but as a 'pore refiner' it just doesn't cut it.

Batiste Dry Smoothing Conditioner
This was a random Boots buy. I see new products and I cant help myself. I use batiste dry shampoo so thought I'd give this a try. Enriched with argan oil, the conditioner aims to smooth flyway hairs and nourish hair with a non greasy shine. I've used this a few times and I just don't like it. It doesn't make my hair look greasy but it also doesn't seem to make my hair feel any softer or smoother. If anything, my flyaway hairs looked worse after using it. My regular leave in conditioner - Dove conditioning spray works so much better!

Topshop Nail Polish in Tidal
This is my first purchase from the Topshop make up line. I love this shade so much!Its a cross between a light grey and blue - so pretty!The consistency of the polish is really good, it dries fast and I'm a sucker for the cute packaging. I'll swatch it in an upcoming post.

17 Wild Metallic Eye Cream in Wild Nude
At £3.99 I hope this would be a slightly cheaper version of Maybelline Color Tattoos. Sadly it wasn't meant to be. Whilst this shade is gorgeous, it lasted under an hour over a primer before disappearing, which is a new record. I do have oily eyelids but other creams tend to last a lot longer over a primer. Not one I would recommend!

Have you tried any of these products?


Sleek Vintage Romance Collection

There is currently one collection shooting straight to the top of my wish list - Sleeks Vintage Romance.

This limited edition collection features Vintage Romance palette with 12 shades including pretty in Paris and a vow in Venice. Sleek palettes are generally highly pigmented and great value for money. I'm loving the packaging and the combination of neutral and darker shades. Priced £7.99

Antique blush is laced with silver iridescent glitters, perfect for highlighting cheekbones with an effortless glow. Priced £4.99

Both are available from September so keep a lookout for them soon!