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Monday, 22 July 2013

The Balm INSTAIN Blusher

I am completely new to The Balm products. They have always interested me though, especially from watching US bloggers rave on about them to their hearts content. So when I got a tiny sample of one of their blushes featured in this month (July) Birchbox I was more than a little giddy. OK so the sample was very small, but on closer inspection you actually get more blusher than first thought and more than a months supply for sure! The colour I received was 'Swiss Dot' - a lovely matte coral/peach shade.

The Balm 'Swiss Dot'

Apart from the colour being lovely, I was mostly impressed with the longevity once applied. A tiny amount of product on my blush brush was used and the blusher stayed put all day! Pretty impressive when the UK is experiencing a freaky heat wave at the moment. Lets say I was more than ready for the product to disappear into nothing after just a few hours. Once over the shock of having peachy cheeks for a whole day without re-application I decided to bite the bullet and order a full size version. Luckily I had enough Birchbox 'points' to warrant £20.00 off of a full size product from their online shop, making my blusher just £1.50 to pay in total. Result! 

I took a risk and opted for a different colour in my full size purchase. I decided to go with 'Toile' - described as a 'strawberry' shade. I must say I was very happy with the colour when it arrived. Again, it was another matte shade that on first looks appeared to be another coral but on closer inspection and after a few swatches you could definitely tell this shade had redder undertones than 'Swiss Dot'. 

The Balm 'Toile'

As an aid for comparison I took a photo and swatch of this blusher next to Nars 'Orgasm' blusher - as this is a cult peach/coral shade that most could probably relate to.

Bottom: The Balm 'Toile', Top: Nars 'Orgasm'

As you can see Nars 'Orgasm' has more gold reflective particles and creates much more of shimmery effect, where as The Balm 'Toile' has no shimmer or glitter and is an all over rich shade. 

Bottom: The Balm 'Swiss Dot', Middle: Nars 'Orgasm', Top: The Balm 'Toile'

From the above swatches you can make out the Balm blushes are much more opaque and give fantastic colour pay off. Some perhaps wouldn't warrant owning all three shades because they are close in colour, however, a make up artist once told me if you are ever in doubt about what shade of blusher to use, pick a coral. It suits the majority of people, so it is very difficult to get it wrong!

These blushes would be great for a night out, as they really would last all night without the hassle of regular touch ups. These babies have staying power!!! I must admit these have had such a great impact on me that I now have my eye on The Balm's 'Mary Lou Manizer Luminizer' - described as a highlighter for cheeks and eyes. Once again, this is becoming quite the cult product throughout beauty blogs and beauty YouTube videos, so I am sure I wont have to wait too long till I cave in and splurge!

If you are a sucker for pretty packaging and love a 'girly' product, then you will love The Balm blushes (and most likely their whole product range.) I bought my product from the Birchbox shop online, however you can also find them online at Feel Unique.


Love and hugs

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Sleek Pout Paints

I am slightly addicted to the new Sleek Pout Paints that have recently hit the shelves. You can find them in larger Superdrug stores priced at £4.99 each. They are small tubes of highly pigmented lip colour that are very opaque but give just as much shine as a gloss. I am simply in love with these! They come in a range of different colours and seem to be very popular as I have encountered many stores being out of stock! Luckily I was able to pick up three of the shades - 157 Pin Up - a gorgeous bright red, 873 Lol-Lip-Pop (part of the summer limited edition 'Candy' collection), and 155 Lava - a bright orange hue.

Here are a few swatches on my hand taken without flash...
bottom = Pin Up, middle = Lol-Lip-Pop, top = Lava

And a few pout shots for you to see their true divine-ness!

Pin Up



I am hunting the shelves now for a few more of the colours that Sleek have on offer. 'Peachy Keen' and 'Minx' look like lovely natural/nude shades that would look great with a dark brown smoky eye - right up my street!.

If you are in doubt, the Sleek website (here) gives great swatches of the pout paint range on fair, medium and dark skin types which you can select from the individual tabs. The pout paints are also supposed to be mixed together to create your very own bespoke lip colour - what a great idea!

For the price, I cannot recommend these lip products enough. These are definitely up there with the higher end lip colours such as those from Illamasqua except for about a third of the cost!

Have you seen or tried these pout paints? What colours have you enjoyed trying and recommend?  Or will you be off to check them out? I would love to hear from you.

Love and hugs

Sunday, 14 July 2013

L'Oreal skincare range

Hey guys

I realise these products have been out for a little while now, but I have yet to read that much about them and so I thought I would give my views.

The products in question are the L'Oreal skincare, more specifically, the 'Absolute Make-Up Remover - Eye & Lip', the 'Skin Perfection - 3 in 1- Micellar Solution' and finally the 'Skin Perfection - 15 Second Miracle Cleansing Oil'.

Overall I love this range. I have gone through two of the cleansing oils already and have re-purchased my third bottle. Three pumps of this oil and applied onto dry skin (over your full face of make-up) is a dream to remove all of the days impurities and of course your make up! My firm favourite oil used to be the Lancome Huile Douceur Deep Cleansing Oil-Face & Eyes, but at £20 a pop, I could not keep up with the costly re-purchasing. The L'Oreal version gives just as good results at a fraction of the price of around £6.99 (usually Boots and Superdrug do amazing frequent offers on this range too so keep your eyes peeled, I picked up my oil from Boots today at around £3.50 with the offer that was on! bargain!!!)

The eye make up remover is a two-tone liquid that is non-greasy and a little goes a very long way. A few swipes and my mascara is gone (and I use several coats of mascara on a daily basis so this really stands the test). Again I picked mine up from Boots for around £3.50 and I am thrilled that I do not have to worry about running out!

Finally the 3 in 1 solution is probably the most talked about with its similar properties to the Bioderma micellar water. I have tried and loved the Bioderma version, but again it can be around the £10 mark, and for a product that I use twice daily, I get through quite a bit, so a cheaper alternative is always welcomed. I feel the L'Oreal version really does help remove any make up after you have properly cleansed your face, so I tend to use mine as the 'toner' step. It helps remove any last traces of make up and I feel that my skin is clean and soothed after every application. I am almost out of my current bottle, but I will not hesitate to repurchase again - especially as my bottle of Bioderma just became an empty!

Have you tried this range and loved it too? I am not sure if this range is readily available in the US or Canada, but I am sure it will not be long until it is on your shelves!

Until next time...

Love and hugs

Ardell Demi Wispies

Hello everyone!

I wanted to kick start my new blog with a trend that I have recently got back into. That trend being false eyelashes. I remember the big hype that hit every fashion magazine a good few years ago when they became all the rage, and I eagerly picked up about ten packs thinking that my beauty life had changed forever. Sad to say, I found that all lashes I tried way too difficult to apply, and even when I got them sitting on my eye line they would never stay there for very long. **Big Sigh** However, some years later I am giving false lashes another whirl (I will not be defeated!) especially by a craze that really has grown to become even more popular as the years have gone by.

My lashes of choice were the Ardell Demi Wispies which I picked up in Superdrug for £5.49 - click here to view.  The reason I opted for these ones was the fact they had graduating lashes, starting shorter in the inner corner and then working to a fully beautiful lash on the outer corner giving the eye quite a dramatic, but natural look. A good tip I picked up before applying false lashes was to remove the lashes from the box and wrap them around my index finger for a few seconds to give the lash band a bit of a curl. This helped the lashes to sit on my natural lashes much easier. I used the Duo eyelash glue (and not the glue that comes with the actual Ardell lashes) simply because I like the fact the glue dries clear after application. I was lucky and didnt have to cut the lashes to size as they seemed to fit my eyes perfectly, but I would recommend checking this before you apply the glue.

Here is a close up image of one eye, to show you the effect the lashes gave after application.

I chose to wear these lashes during a lazy Sunday, but I think you could wear them with a nice smoky eye for evening and they would look lovely. The overall comfort level of the lashes was pretty good too. It is always handy to keep a tube of lash glue in your make up bag, just in case the edges start to creep up from your natural lash line, but lucky I didn't have any problems with that. I can honestly say that this time around my experience with false lashes has been much happier and successful. I have got my eye on a few other types of lashes that happen to be a bit bolder in style that I want to try, but I may hold off until I have a night out on the tiles to put them to good use. Hopefully I will be going to a 1920's themed party in September so I have a few months to experiment some 1920's make up looks! Perfect! 

Here are a few additional shots of the lashes after application:

What lashes have you tried and would recommend? I would be interested to get your thoughts and suggestions! 

Love and hugs