Monday, 28 February 2011

Post-Dissertation Haul

The last few weeks have been, let's face it, pretty dull for me.  I spent what felt like every waking moment working on my dissertation and I still didn't feel happy with it at all when I handed it in on Friday.

However, it is done now; I can't change it and I can still make up for it over the next few's hoping!

Since then, the relief has been amazing..anybody who has handed in a large piece of work will know what I mean! It has been fantastic to enjoy the last few days - Sunday afternoon especially when we made our way to Gusto in Didsbury for my house mate's birthday.  Amazing food, company, drinks and service - we ended up spending a small fortune but it was worth every penny!

As for the rest of the weekend, Saturday was my third week working for Boots which I absolutely love.  I spent the morning mentally deciding what I was going to treat myself to on my break - I honestly spend my wages before I earn them!

I was tempted by some of the great deals and freebies available with brands such as Bourjois and MaxFactor but in the end I decided on the 3 for 2 professional hair care offer.

John Frieda Serum

I can't believe I have never tried this cult product before.  I used it yesterday and can see what the fuss is all about - made my hair feel so soft and manageable.  A definite keeper..

Lee Stafford Heat Protection Spray

I've repurchased this so many times - it does what the name suggests but its bonus factor is the smell.  Makes your tresses smell beautiful; and who doesn't want that?!

Trevor Sorbie Beautiful Curls Curl Constructor

When buying hair products, I'm usually still stuck in the mindset of my 14 year old self.  That is - what can I buy that is going to give me the straightest, flattest hair possible.  Luckily, I've finally realised that look is not good on me and I now go for the curly option 90% of the time.  My hair has a natural wave but hopefully using this in conjunction with my tongs will help to create beautiful curls that last all day.

Nicola Roberts Girls Aloud Lashes by Eyelure

I finally bought these after lusting after the beautifully flirty, winged out style for a while.  I snapped them up as I noticed the appearance of some new 'day' styles appearing on the shelves.  I'm not sure whether these are replacing the old styles or in addition to, but I didn't want to risk not being able to try them in case they disappear of the shelves.  

I cannot believe it is March tomorrow!  This year is going so quickly but I for one cannot wait for warmer weather and longer days.  Plus, the added bonus of Easter - I've eaten about a million mini eggs already but there are plenty more to be had I'm sure....

Friday, 18 February 2011

Topshop Make Up Haul: Sandstorm Collection

When Topshop released their make up line, there were a flurry of blog posts and videos about the range but I have to be completely honest and say there never really seemed to be anything to get excited about.  I liked the look of the cream blushers but was put off by the powder finish so I never even took a second glance at the make up displays in store.


The main line was as previously seen with very cute polka dot packaging and a myriad of nail varnish shades.  What really caught my eye though was the new Sandstorm Collection of eye crayons, mousses, nail duos, creme lipcolours and gloss sticks all decadently packaged in sleek gold tubes.  I was sold on the spot!

Gloss Stick - Ablaze £8

Crayons - Zephyr and Equinox £8.50 each

Top to bottom:

These swatches look so much better in real life.  I absolutely love the crayons - they glide on so effortlessly with a beautiful sheen to them.  I can't wait to wear them on their own or as base to a smoky eye...especially Zephyr which has almost blue tone to it - just beautiful!

Have you been tempted by the Sandstorm collection?  Or are there any main line products I should invest in?!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The Rumour Mill: Soleil Tan De Chanel

If you're anything like me, you've watched numerous videos and read masses of blog posts which have included usage of the infamous Soleil Tan De Chanel aka Bronze Universel.  I've always lusted after the gel based bronzer and its ability to provide either an overall sun kissed look or the illusion of beautiful high cheekbones though some clever contouring...
However, at near enough £30 for a pot, I always hesitated to stump up the money and make the purchase.  (Unemployed student in the blogging corner!)

That was until I heard the re-sizing rumours and sure enough, the Debenhams' website now states the product is £28.60 for 6g.  That's right - 30g down to 6g for the same price?!  The product listing has also mysteriously disappeared from the Boots' website...

Upon this discovery, I hot-footed it down to Boots as fast as my legs could carry me to suss out the situation...

Thankfully, the Chanel assistant had absolutely no knowledge of this so before I knew it, I had a 30g Chanel box in my possession and my debit card lighter by £28.

I'm not sure whether I had one of the last 30g pots for sale or the 6g re-size is just that: a rumour.

Have you recently purchased the famed product or heard of any re-size?!  Let me know..!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Estée Lauder Concealers: Disappear Smoothing Creme vs Double Wear

As soon as I road tested Estée Lauder's Double Wear foundation, I pretty much was obsessed!  The 10 day sample from my local Boots counter was swiftly used up and a chunky, full sized bottle now stands pride of place in my make up collection.

I was therefore over the moon when Jaymi, from Lauder, offered to send me some concealers to compliment my new found gem of a foundation.  As a night owl with a tendency to be nocturnal, an efficient concealer is my best friend in masking how tired I really am.  But which one won out?!

Disappear Smoothing Creme Concealer
£17.00 - 15ml

Consistency: A light to medium weight creme - as the name suggests.  A little goes a very long way!
Coverage: Medium but potentially not buildable as can look thick and obvious.  I have fairly dark circles and one thin layer went a long way in covering them; but if you have very dark circles, you may need something heavier.
Application: A tube applicator that can be squeezed directly onto the desired area or onto the back of the hand.  As mentioned, a little really does go such a long way and you therefore need to be very light handed with this.  Too much, and it can cake and collect in fine line as it is a creme consistency.
Lasting Power: I always set any under eye concealer with powder as I want it to last as long as possible.  With a light application of this, powder did not cake over it and it kept my eye area looking bright for a normal eight hour day.

Overall: The aspect that overwhelmed me so much about this product is the sheer value for money.  At £17.00, it will last for what I expect at least a year, probably much longer.  The product goes such a long way  but can look overloaded if you accidentally use too much. 
I did also try it out on redness and blemishes and although it had good coverage, it unfortunately did not last as long as expected on these areas.

Double Wear Stay In Place Concealer
£18.50 - 7ml

Consistency: A standard light weight concealer - think MAC Moisture Cover or GOSH Touch Up!
Coverage: As expected from the double wear range, a great medium and buildable finish.  Went a long way in covering my dark circles and covered redness in a flash - very impressed with this!
Application: A classic sponge tipped wand that can be placed directly onto the desired area but this could cause contamination...  The thin consistency allows for controlled application both on blemishes and on the delicate under eye area.
Lasting Power: Like its foundation counterpart, this lasts and lasts.  Unlike the creme which left my redness showing through after a few hours, I felt confident with this that it would be under control all day.

Overall: Although coming in at a lower value for money than the creme concealer, I feel that this is a harder working product as not only does it cover under eye circles fantastically, but it also covers redness and blemishes with an instant effect that lasts all day.
Its thinner consistency also allows for a more natural look under the eyes - less creasing and dragging which leads to a much more polished and subtle finish.

The verdict?!

The Double Wear has to win in my humble opinion..!  If you have fantastic skin and a very smooth under eye area, the Smoothing Creme will be your best friend and a great investment that will work out at pennies per use.
However if, like me, you need a heavy duty concealer that can deal with extremely thin and delicate under eye skin and work hard at covering any blemishes, the Double Wear is for you.  And when teamed with the foundation, you may get that flawless face you're looking for!

As for me, I'm hitting the hay - safe in the knowledge that if I wake up looking exhausted, I've got my trusty concealers to brighten me up!

Do you have any other concealers to recommend to a base junkie like me?!