Wednesday, 31 May 2017

I’ve said many times on my blog that I’m a huge fan of Maybelline mascaras. In fact, if I take a look on my dressing table, I have four different Maybelline mascaras, all of which make up some of my favourites. It goes without saying that many of them hold holy grail status for me, offering jet black colour and incredible volume, all on a tiny budget. Maybelline’s latest creation is the Colossal Big Shot Mascara* and it’s one to write home about….



I’m naturally blessed with quite long lashes, so for me, when I buy a mascara, it’s all about adding drama and volume to my eye look. The Colossal Big Shot Mascara is a new addition to the Colossal mascara family, which is well loved across the beauty community, myself included! Just like the other members of the Colossal family, the new addition is all about letting your natural lashes do the talking. It arrives in a glamourous gold tube, which is finished with pretty purple detailing – you certainly won’t have to hunt for it in your makeup bag! The Big Shot brush itself has been designed to give an ‘instant charge’ of volume. The brush allows you to coat your lashes right at the root, offering you a fully loaded finish. 



Now as I already mentioned, I’m a big fan of the Colossal family, as it offers great volume in just one coat. If, like me, you use the Colossal range already, you’ll be amazed to hear that this mascara takes things to a whole new level. Just one coat of the Colossal Big Shot Mascara gives you an incredible set of lashes, but you can build and build until you have your desired effect. It’s the kind of finish that I crave on a daily basis, so I’m pretty chuffed to have this mascara in my life! 



If you like the sound of Maybelline’s Colossal Big Shot Mascara, you’ll be pleased to hear its incredibly affordable. It’s only £7.99 and it’s a fresh new release for May 2017, so why not get yourself to the shops and give it a try yourself?!

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

When the Estée Edit first launched a year ago, it sent the beauty world into overdrive – a beautiful array of products created for the rule breaker and the risk takers. It is a collection which has been designed to be mixed and matched, so you can make your makeup the way you want it to be! I’ve wanted to try some goodies from the Estée Edit for the longest time, so I was squealing with excitement when these goodies arrived at my door. Let’s take a closer look at some of this beautiful makeup…



Estée Edit Flash Illuminator* (£22 here) 
The Estée Edit Flash Illuminator has been designed to give you instantly gorgeous skin. As with a lot of liquid highlighters, you can mix this with your foundation, use it on its own, or you can use it as a primer. The Estée Edit Flash Illuminator is packed with some pretty lovely ingredients (including Hyaluronic Acid, Caffeine and Vitamin E) which leave your skin feeling really hydrated. There are five different shades that you can choose from, including Morning Light, which is a pretty golden hue. 



Estée Edit Mattified Lipstick* (£17 here)
I love everything about the Estée Edit Mattified Lipstick, starting with the blue detailing on the lipstick packaging – how dreamy! As you will have guessed the Estée Edit Mattified Lipstick is a matte formulation, designed to be lightweight and comfortable. The formula is infused with Jojoba Oil, which gives a lovely finish, without drying out the lips. You cannot deny that this stuff is pigmented! One swipe of colour and you’re good to go – I have the shade Maybe Later. 



Estée Edit CocoBalm* (£15 here)
I’ve never seen something quite like the Estée Edit CocoBalm, but I think it’s super cool and utterly genius! This is a lip gloss, which is held in some very innovative packaging. Simply squeeze the soft sides of the circle and the lip gloss is distributed out the top. The sides of the circle are clear, which means the pretty colour of the gloss shines through and the metal lid is a lovely finishing touch. As you’ve probably guessed by the name, the lip gloss is infused with Coconut Oil – which leaves your lips feeling nourished, smoothed and soft. 



Estée Edit Flash Illuminator Fluid Powder* (£22 here)
I’m definitely saving the best to last with this gorgeous powder illuminator – I honestly didn’t want to use it was it was too darn pretty! The Estée Edit Flash Illuminator Fluid Powder is a highlighter fanatics dream. It’s a super creamy formulation, which is available in a single universally flattering shade. The powder starts life as a liquid and it is then baked overnight, until it becomes the creamy texture we find in the compact. This process creates a velvet-like finish on the skin, using different sized pearl particles to refract the light for a sheen that can’t be rivalled! I am its biggest fan! 



All in all, I think it’s safe to admit that I’m a big fan of the Estée Edit! I love that the products feel cool and unique, allowing you to achieve all the looks you desire. I love the blue details on the packaging, which sets the collection apart from over products in my stash. I also love that it’s not completely overpriced – of course it’s in the premium market, but it’s still obtainable! You can shop the Estée Edit on their website, or at Selfridges.


Monday, 29 May 2017

As soon as I twisted up one of the Avon True Colour Supreme Nourishing Lipsticks*, it was love at first sight. I’ve tried a lot of lipsticks that claim to be nourishing , or that feature a ring of lip balm around the edge of the lipstick, but I’ve never seen anything like this. The Avon True Colour Supreme Nourishing Lipsticks have a beautiful formulation, which features ribbons of balm throughout the colour. Let’s take a closer look...




The Avon True Colour Supreme Nourishing Lipsticks launched back in February and they are the first of their kind. The lipstick combines the beauty of Avon’s True Colour lipstick technology with the nourishing properties of a balm. The arrive in black lipstick cases and the bit that holds the colour is a lovely gold hue. When you twist up the lipstick you find a creamy formulation and doesn’t compromise on colour. It’s a pigment-packed formula, which as you can see in the swatches, gives you a rich, sumptuous shade. The creamy formulation glides onto even the driest lips, offering a wash of moisturisation, which feels perfectly comfortable on lips. 




The formula includes jojoba oil, honey and beeswax, which together create nourishing ribbons in the lipsticks. Is it just me that thinks they look like marble?! Utterly gorgeous! As you apply the lipstick, the ribbons help to form an additional protective barrier, which help to stop the lips from drying out. There are a whopping 12 different shades to choose from in the Avon True Colour Supreme Nourishing Lipstick line. They range from pretty pinks, to something more sultry and dark. 




I have four shades here, which I have swatched for you below. From top to bottom we have: Rose Revival, Perfect Pink, Red Creme and Revitalising Raspberry. The Avon’s True Colour Supreme Nourishing Lipstick is available right now, for just £8. You can pick them up from the Avon website. 



Friday, 26 May 2017

Not only is Stephanie Merry one of the best bloggers on this planet, she is also a dear friend of mine! I've admired her blog for years and years, so having Stephanie write a blog post for me, is pretty much a dream coming true! What this lady doesn't know about beauty, frankly isn't worth noting! Let's find out about her top dry shampoos - over to Stephanie... 

Now I don't know about you. But I can honestly say that dry shampoo has changed my life. Now this might be an extreme statement to make. But I honestly have no idea how I coped before dry shampoo. I mean obviously I coped. But I probably didn't get a lot of sleep. And clearly didn't wear my hair down very often. For me dry shampoo is up there as one of my most used, most loved and most relied upon beauty products. So if you're a dry shampoo addict like me, then let me share with you all three dry shampoos that changed my life...



OUAI Dry Shampoo (£20)
Now if you're a fellow beauty addict, then you're probably aware of the brand OUAI. It's the brain child of hair stylist extraordinaire Jen Atkin, who is responsible for creating that enviable 'French girl' tousled texture you see on celebs. And there's a reason why everyone is talking about this brand at the moment. Their products are amazing! I've been a fan of their hair oil for a while, now but this dry shampoo is another haircare staple I just can't live without. It's fab at leaving my hair looking and feeling healthier, stronger and certainly fresher. Not only does it smell amazing – almost like a hair perfume. But it also neutralises product build-up and oil, leaving my hair instantly refreshed.



Wella Professional EIMI Dry Me Dry Shampoo (£12.50)
Now this dry shampoo was actually recommended to me by a hairdresser. And I've not looked back since. It's amazing at creating volume along with a manageable matte texture. Although it does thicken up my fine locks. The formula is actually really lightweight and leaves my hair cleaner for longer. It definitely transform dull and lifeless hair by adding volume for big, bouncy manageable locks.



Living Proof Healthy Hair Dry Shampoo (£23)
Now this dry shampoo is truly revolutionary. I first discovered this one about a year ago. And it honestly did change my life a little bit. Because unlike other dry shampoos out there. Rather than mask the dirt and grease in your hair. This one actually cleans it. I know, life changing! It's powered by triple-action cleaning technology to make you hair look, feel and most importantly smell clean. And it honestly works! It absorbs and removes any build up of oil, sweat or odour. And best of all, it doesn't leave any residue or a powdery build up.



What's your favourite dry shampoo to use?

Thursday, 25 May 2017

You guys know that if there is a new KIKO collection, I’m all over it! I am truly one of KIKO’s biggest fans and I love checking out all their new releases. Amongst some of the latest products to hit the shelves is the Summer 2.0 collection. As you would expect, the Summer 2.0 collection is all about summer colours and warmth – it joins together the elegance and romance of summer, joint together with some more earthy tones. As always, the collection is vast and broad – including everything from the cheeks to the lips. It’s yet another collection with packaging designer Ross Lovegrove, who designs some of my favourite KIKO collection. Once again he’s drawn inspiration from nature, using uneven surfaces to reflect light. With pretty lines which wave across all the packaging, it’s utterly beautiful! I have a few items from the product to show you, let’s take a closer look…



Summer 2.0 Baked Blush* (£11.90)
Every KIKO blusher I’m sent firmly stays in my makeup stash – they are amongst some of all time favourite products! The blusher arrives in a rose gold compact, which features the pretty lines and a fabulous mirror inside. The blusher itself is a duo baked blusher, which is available in three different colour ways. I have the shade ‘Coral Bay’ which is a pink, coral colourway. It has a matte finish, it’s easy to blend and it’s a perfect travel compact! 

Summer 2.0 Eyeshadow* (£8.90) 
The Summer 2.0 Eyeshadows focus on bringing metallic, earthy hues to the collection! When I saw this Green Rivera shade in the tube, I wasn’t a fan, but actually, when you swatch it, it’s utterly gorgeous! It’s a lovely metallic finish, but it’s not so over the top that it becomes unwearable. The packaging features a clear tube so you can see the colour, but with the lovely Lovegrove lid on the end to give it a hint of rose gold. These are available in four shades, with everything from champagne hues to blue finishes. 



Summer 2.0 Lips & Cheeks* (£10.90)
I have to say that the Summer 2.0 Lips & Cheeks is my favourite product in this collection, which is actually quite a surprise to me! This is a blusher/lipstick hybrid, which you can use in multiple ways. There are six different shades, which are all matte finishes. Sorbet Watermelon is a pretty pink hue, which creates a comfortable and blendable consistency. I’ve been loving dotting this on my cheeks and blending it out with a sponge. I’m a big fan! 

Summer 2.0 Lip Enhancer* (£11.90)
Another surprise favourite is this PH Lip Enhancer, which is just available in the one shade. You swipe this all over the lips and it naturally adapts to your PH to give you the perfect shade. On me, it’s a lovely baby berry pink hue, which is just perfect for this time of year!



Summer 2.0 Highlighting Drops* (£11.90)
Being a highlighter obsessive, I knew that I’d be a huge fan of the Summer 2.0 Highlighting Drops. They arrive in tubes with a handy pipette, which distributes the right amount of product. There are two different shades and I have both to show you! Golden Shell and Plushy Rose are the exact colours you’d expect – one more golden and one more pinky! They are stunning, radiant, liquid highlighters and I’m loving using them. You can use them directly on the cheek bones, or you can mix them with your foundation for a pretty glow all over. 

The full collection is available right now from KIKO stores and their website. I’ve swatched some of the products for you below. From top to bottom we have: Summer 2.0 Eyeshadow in Green Rivera, the Summer 2.0 Lip Enhancer, the Summer 2.0 Lips & Cheeks in Sorbet Watermelon, the Summer 2.0 Highlighting Drops in Plushy Rose and the Summer 2.0 Highlighting Drops in Golden Shell. 



Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Hi, I’m Leah, from Leah XL - a beauty blog and vlog and I was ecstatic when Stephanie agreed for me to guest post on her blog, especially as I am a massive fan of Hope Freedom Love. If you’re reading this you probably are also a big fan of Stephanie’s blog so you will also already know that Stephanie, like me, is an eyeshadow palette junkie. I don’t know what it is, but eyeshadow palettes invoke so much creativity in me. I am by no means an expert, but I love to experiment and enjoy the many looks I can create: be it bold, smokey, colour or neutral, even when sometimes they can be a complete fail. Knowing I can change my eye look on a daily basis is why I allow my palette buying habit to continue. If you have come across my videos or blog before, you will know I have an obscene amount of eyeshadow palettes so I wanted to bring you my top 5 underrated palettes, which I think you will enjoy.




The best budget neutral palette – I Heart Makeup Naked Chocolate Palette (£7.99)
I know lots of people love their Urban Decay Naked Palettes, but for me, there is one palette I would recommend to people, who don’t have that sort of budget but still want great quality. It has to be the I Heart Makeup Naked Chocolate palette! This is a palette which looks pretty basic and monotonal but when you start to play with it you will find the possibilities are endless. Not only do you get a good amount of looks out of this, the quality is by far the best I have used in a budget brand, in fact, in my opinion better than some of the higher end counterparts. The shadows are super blendable and pigmented, including the mattes which is not always easy to come by in budget palettes. Every shade is usable and you don’t get repeats or duds. 




As you can see from the photo, this is a well-loved palette, so much so that I may have to repurchase due to it being broken. Whilst I have so many neutral palettes this is the one I tend to reach for when I am going to a fancy event, or I want my eyes to be their best. And to top it all off, it does have a very subtle cocoa scent, especially the more you use them, the more you can smell it. Admittedly, this is the palette I wished the Urban Decay Naked 3 was.

The best all matte palette – Stila Eyes are the Window in the shade Mind (£30)
Looking at this Stila palette you might think you have seen it somewhere before, and you’d be right. It’s not because it is a palette that people talk about but I have found that when the Urban Decay Ultimate Naked Basics Palette came out, the shades were almost identical. At the time that palette was so overhyped and I knew I had seen the shades somewhere before so when I pulled out this palette to use I noticed similarities. So much so, when I visited Selfridges on a Vlogger day out I took this palette (and a few other items I felt might be dupes for higher end brands) with me to test them out.  They had the Urban Decay Ultimate Basics palette on the stand and I swatched them side by side and there was hardly any difference, besides the fact the Stila one had been out 18 months at least before it was released.




This palette to me is my fail safe palette. Every look I create is outstanding and it has all your needs for cool toned, warm toned and just all round every day looks. The shadows are not powdery but instead very smooth in consistency. The finger swatches are ok but this palette definitely performs better using a brush. Super blendable and buildable, but with great pigmentation and the price tag isn’t too bad for what you get. If you are looking for an all matte palette that will be a firm favourite in your collection look no further. There is often offers on these palettes so look out for them when you can.

The Luxury Brights palette – Viseart Editorial £64.00
I hear you gasp at the price of this palette and believe me, it wouldn’t be in here if I didn’t think this was one of those ‘get what you pay for’ items! This palette is exceptional and one of those that works alongside your collection. I know it’s extravagant to have a palette that doesn’t give you a complete look, but the pigmentation and performance of each and every one of these eyeshadows, will make any bright coloured eyeshadow wearer weep with joy.




This again is an all matte palette so it makes it very unique, but the consistency in how each one of these performs is incredible. I love playing with colour now and again and I find it’s particularly hard to get oranges, yellows and purples to show up true to colour but these are beyond perfect. They are quite hard to touch, they don’t have that buttery quality that some palettes have, but the shadows are not difficult to swatch or use, they just feel different. In a way it helps with less fallout, although there is still some. These Viseart palettes are just so ridiculously priced but if you do manage to get your hands on one you won’t be sorry. WARNING:  Some of these shadows do leave a stain because the pigment is intense so my advice would be to use a good eye primer.

The quick and easy palette – Avon True Colour Eyeshadow Quad (£9.00 however regularly under £6)
A blast from the past - Avon! Who’d have thunk it? Although Avon is very much going strong, you rarely hear about their products on the beauty blogging scene. Maybe it’s an age thing or just availability but I have many of their products and there are some hits (and some misses). This quad is my overnight essential. If I am away with work and want to chuck a reliable eye look in my bag I often grab this. I only have the one palette, but they have over 10 in their collection, with more limited edition palettes coming out regularly.




For me, if you are someone who either doesn’t wear eyeshadow often, feels overwhelmed by the larger palettes, or doesn’t want that intense pigment and prefers to build it then these are for you. They have a number on each shadow and a graphic on the back that helps you to place the shadow in the right areas on the eye (if you wanted to do that) and then they can equally be used one shade at a time or however you fancy. This palette is no longer available but there are similar ones. The shimmer is so lovely in here giving an almost wash of colour or if you want it to be ultra metallic it can build up to that. The eyeshadows are good for the price, you get pigment and you also get a little fallout but it’s nothing major. I wouldn’t put them on par with the other palettes mentioned but I do really enjoy this and it would be great for someone just getting in to experimenting with shadows.

The best eyeshadow formula ever! Makeup Addiction Cosmetic Flaming Love and Meadow Palette (£26-£29)
I know I have cheated and there are two palettes mentioned here but they are just so spectacular I couldn’t just choose one. As far as I am concerned Makeup Addiction Cosmetics, which originally sold lashes and brushes, have cracked the best eyeshadow formula. You might ask why so I will break it down for you:

  1. They feel creamy and smooth, you’d think they might be a little bit wet but they are not
  2. They are all highly pigmented, even a gentle touch and you get the colour pay off
  3. There is NO fall out. Not one tiny bit. You swirl your brush in the pan and no extra eyeshadow dust flies up and around your palette. You don’t have to tap them off before adding to your eye as it won’t drop on your face. Each small tiny piece of eyeshadow will go from your brush and on to your eye
  4. You can use a brush, your finger, a cotton bud, anything and you will get the same result
  5. The shade selection is so unique and for me, they have the ideal Cadbury purple shade which shows the way it ought to
  6. You will never look at another eyeshadow the same once you have used these. They are game changers.



Amazingly you get 8 shades in large pans (the size of blusher pans) and they are all removable and the palettes are magnetic meaning you can either put them in your own customisable palette or you can switch them about creating new looks. They are in super slim (and super cute) packaging which also has a mirror and all this amazingness is under £30.

There you have it, my top 5 (well 6) underrated palettes that I feel are completely off the beauty community radar but should definitely be tried out. Are you inspired to try any? Do you have any of these and agree / disagree with my thoughts? Have you got any underrated palettes you think we should know about? 

I’ve loved writing this post for Stephanie’s blog Hope Freedom Love and hope you have enjoyed it too. If so please check out my other posts on my blog or pop over to my channel for regular beauty videos.


Leah x

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

I’m a long time fan of Latest In Beauty, I think their collection of beauty boxes are some of the best on the market! So when I saw the Cosmopolitan Holiday Edit*, I was absolutely desperate to bring it to the blog! Primarily because it’s one of the best boxes I’ve seen from Latest In Beauty in a long time. But secondarily, look at that stunning packaging! In all seriousness, the Cosmopolitan Holiday Edit has some pretty stunning products. Including some of my all time favourites, but also some of the seasons hottest releases! Shall we take a look and see what is inside?




The Wet Brush In Bombshell Blue
I use the Wet Brush every single day, so I’m always up for having a spare in my collection! The Wet Brush makes light work of my curly hair, even when it’s drenched in chlorine and feeling a bit worse for wear! It detangles completely pain free and it’s easy to use – it’s a winner in my book!

The St Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Face Sheet Mask
I have to admit, I’ve never come across a tanning face sheet mask, but I’m totally into the idea! Simply pop this on your face for a few minutes for bronzed, sunkissed skin in no time at all! It’s a completely new release, so this is a great way to try some brand new beauty goodness! 

Being by Sanctuary Spa Wash Bag
Does it get cuter than this?! As a coconut fan I’m pretty happy about this holiday wash bag from Being By Sanctuary! It’s a really good size for makeup, brushes or toiletries and it’s an exclusive for the Cosmopolitan Holiday Edit!



The Palmers Coconut Butter Lip Balm with SPF15
A good lip balm can be completely underrated, but it’s totally a holiday essential! Especially when it’s packed with SPF15! I’m a big fan of Palmers products, so this is coming on holiday with me this year!

Merci Handy Lollipop Hand Cleansing Gel
If you missed my Brand Focus on Merci Handy, I highly recommend checking them out! They are a fantastic French brand who offers fantastic, scented Hand Cleansing Gel. You never know what you’ll be faced with on holiday, but this allows you to have clean hands whether you’re on the beach or the plane! 

Ladival DNA Repair After Sun
I’ve actually tried a few Ladival products and I’ve always been left impressed with their lovely formulas. The Ladival DNA Repair After Sun is quite novel as it looks to protect your skin after you’ve left the beach, preventing the UV light from doing extra damage!


Garner SkinActive Moisture Bomb Multi-Protecting Hydrating Mist SPF30
I’ve been testing this Garnier mist for a few weeks and I’m really impressed – it really deserves the hype! All you have to do is take the mist and spray it on your face and you’re protected! You don’t even have to rub this beauty in, which means you can top up your SPF without disturbing your makeup! 

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water
This beauty really needs no introduction, but it has holy grail status in my collection! It’s a huge success story for Garnier, with the Micellar formulation being a bestseller! It gently removes your makeup, leaving your skin feeling hydrated and clean. It’s always handy to have another travel size to take away with me!

Eyeko Sport Waterproof Mascara
The Eyeko Sport Waterproof Mascara has a jolly good rep in the beauty community! I’m yet to try it, but Eyeko promise that this mascara does not move – regardless of what you’re up to! It’s a lovely mini size, so it’s perfect for your hand luggage! 



Collection Speedy Blush Stick
Another great product if you’re someone who wants to keep your makeup simple on holiday. Stripe this Collection blusher onto your cheeks and blend away for a pretty flush of colour, whatever the weather!

Nails Inc Nail Polish in Notting Hill Gate or Abbey Road
Is there much better than a new nail polish? I don’t think so – especially when it comes in a bright pink neon hue! You seriously can’t go wrong with Nails inc, the products are good quality, pigmented and they last really well too! 

MUA Luxe Ombre 3 Shade Shimmer Highlighting Stick
I’ve tried quite a few products from MUA, but I’ve never seen the Ombre 3 Shade Shimmer Highlighting Stick before! Let’s be honest this is a serious holiday essential, one swipe and you have a subtle gleam on the cheek bones! There are three shades in the stick, which gives you a contoured finish without any of the hard work! 

And breathe! I honestly think this is one of the biggest beauty boxes I’ve ever seen! I know what you’re thinking, this must cost a fortune! Well it’s actually worth £94, but it will only cost you a tiny £20! It’s an utter bargain and it’s a fantastic way to stock up your beauty collection for the holiday season! 

Monday, 22 May 2017

Today's guest post is from the beautiful Sam from Made From Beauty. She runs such a phenomenal beauty blog, which I've followed for years - it's an honour to have her write something for my blog! This guest post will have you lusting over some amazing products and the best bit is that they don't cost a fortune! Check out Made From Beauty for new beauty post five times a week, but for now over to Sam...

There really are some amazingly affordable beauty buys out there; little gems of makeup and skincare magic waiting to be discovered in the aisles of Boots & Superdrug. So today I’m bringing you a round up of 5 affordable products you’ve got to pop in your basket now.




L'Oreal False Lash Sculpt Mascara
When it comes to affordable beauty, I don’t think you can beat a highstreet mascara. I personally think L’Oreal mascaras are some of the best on the market. The one I have been reaching for recently, for full, long, luscious lashes is the L'Oreal False Lash Sculpt Mascara. The unique comb like brush lifts the lashes from the root, giving you miles of length with a heavy dose of volume. After trying this product, I seriously do not think you have to pay a lot to get incredible lashes. And when you think that mascaras kind of need to be replaced every three months – who wants to splash the cash here? 




Maybelline Age Rewind Eye Concealer
Normally I would suggest spending a little extra money on getting your base makeup just right. But when a product is as good as the Maybelline Age Rewind Eye Concealer, why bother? This concealer has to be one of my favourites for covering darkness under the eyes and those pesky blemishes, not just because of it’s affordable price tag, but because of it’s amazing formulation. If you are in the market for a long-lasting, high coverage, natural looking concealer, you have to try this Maybelline number out. 




The Skin System Dual Phase Eye Makeup Remover
When it comes to removing makeup, affordable brands have a lots of choice. But how does £2.00 for one of the best eye makeup removers I’ve ever tried sound? Sounds pretty good, right? The ASDA Skin System Dual Phase Eye Makeup Remover has some serious removing power behind it. The dual phase formula tackles waterproof mascara just as easily as the cult favourite Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover, whilst still being gentle and easy to use. 




The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2% Serum
I couldn’t do an affordable products round-up without mentioning something from new brand The Ordinary, now could I? The Ordinary have recently burst onto the beauty scene with kick-ass skincare ingredients at ultra affordable prices. With no-frills packaging, and ‘lets get down to business’ product names, I have fallen in love with this brand. I have been trying out the Advanced Retinoid 2% Serum for a few weeks now, and am happy to report it is a little miracle in a bottle. The lightweight serum sinks into the skin instantly and then gets to work throughout the night at revealing younger looking, brighter skin. 




COLAB Dry Shampoos 
One of my go-to affordable buys every time I go shopping is dry shampoo. I love me a good dry shampoo, and in my opinion COLAB make the best out there. I load up on their original formula (although they also have the Extreme Volume if you want a bit extra va va voom!) everyday to keep hair fresh and clean. The innovative formula leaves no white residue, even on my very dark hair, and lets 3 day old hair move and feel like freshly washed hair. 




So have you tried any of these products before? Or do you have another affordable favourite you think should have made it into this list? Let me and Stephanie know in the comments below! 


Sam

Friday, 19 May 2017

The latest range from L’Oreal is all about colour without compromise! The aim is to allow the consumer to really play with colour, offering a highly saturated lip paint collection. L’Oreal want us to throw all rules out the window and to really experiment with colour. They say that whether you’re a colour pro, or someone who likes things more understated – there will be something for you! The new Lip Paints* are part of the #PaintItLoud collection, which offers us everything we need to suit our mood on any given day.



The #PaintItLoud is all about expression, taking inspiration from (unsurprisingly) the world of paint. L’Oreal think we have a lot to learn from paint – including the vividness of the shades, the dripping formulation or the rich pigmentation. The whole collection covers eyes, lips, nails and cheeks – today I wanted to introduce you to the new Lip Paints! 

With all this paint inspiration in mind, it’s not surprising that the new Lip Paints are beautifully and vividly pigmented. The Lip Paints arrive in little squeezy tubes, which remind me a lot of the little paint tubes I used to have as a kid. I was expecting them to be something that you squeeze onto the lip, so I was really pleasantly surprised to see that they actually have an applicator inside. The brush inside offers you a highly-controlled application, which a brush which is ultra-precise, meaning you can get the perfect definition on the lips.



The Lip Paints are available in two different formulations – there are six liquid-matte shades and five rich lacquers – offering a total of 11 shades. Both sets of formulations cover everything from nudes, to pinks, to bold hues – perfect for both the lovers of extreme colour and those of us who like it a little more understated. The formula offers an opaque wash of colour, which is combined with a fixing liquid base. This offers a smooth finish on the lips which just lasts and lasts!

I have three shades from the collection to show you today, they are swatched from top to bottom below. The first is from the Lacquer collection and is aptly named Gone With The Nude* (shade 101). The other shades are part of the Matte collection: Wuthering Purple* (shade 207) and Apocalypse Red* (shade 205). The L’Oreal Lip Paints are available to buy right now, priced at tiny £6.99 each. 


Thursday, 18 May 2017

I actually know very little about diego dalla palma, so I was really excited when this little box of goodies arrived at my door. This is their brand new summer collection aptly named ‘The Cruise Collection’. It’s designed to give you everything you need for your makeup this summer, from rich jewel hues, pretty blues and metallic finishes. The collection features everything from lovely eyeshadows, pretty blushers and summery lip colours – let’s take a look inside. 





Sunset Boulevard Blush* (£25.50 here)
First up we have the stunning Sunset Boulevard Blush, which arrives in a matt black compact, decorated with the diego dalla palma logo. When you flip open the lid you find the most gorgeous powder, accompanied with a handy mirror. The powder itself is separated into five section, which an ombre array of shades. The silky powders are arranged from dark red to a light peach. It’s lovely as you can either blend all the colours together, or focus on a particular selection of shades. It’s fabulous for travelling as you can switch up your look in your one compact. 




Passion Lip Stylo* (£17 here) 
Next up we have the Passion Lip Stylo, which arrive in a glossy stick formulation, finished with the diego dalla palma logo. These are really handy as they have a twist up stick, which means you don’t need to have a sharpener at hand. There are three shades in the Cruise Collection, which have two slightly different formulations. Shade 237 (bright orange) and shade 238 (bright coral) have a matte formulation, which is super pigmented and really creamy. They are designed to be long wearing and smudge proof. Shade 236 (a pretty peach) is a lighter, less pigmented formulation, which is semi-transparent finish and a comfortable moisturising texture.




Long Wearing Eyeshadow* (£17 here) 
Next we have the Long Wearing Eyeshadow, which is a handy eyeshadow stick. These are available in two different gorgeous metallic shades; Aquamarine is the one I have here, but there is also a lovely Gold Copper hue. I love a good eyeshadow stick and these do not disappoint – they are high quality and have an intense colour payoff. Like a lot of other eyeshadow sticks on the market, you can blend them into place for a few seconds before they set and stay put for hours!

I’ve swatched some of the makeup products for you below, from top to bottom we have: the Long Wearing Eyeshadow in the shade Aquamarine (shade 36), the Passion Lip Stylo In 236, the Passion Lip Stylo in 237 and the Passion Lip Stylo in 238. 




Nail polish* (£9.50 here)
Last but not least we have an array of nail polishes, which have been created in pretty complementary colours. There are three in total in the collection, I have the shades Gold Copper and Bleu Canard, but there is also a pretty Coral Bay shade too. These arrive in quite large nail polish bottles, the bottle itself is clear and it’s finished with the diego dalla palma logo. The lid is matte black and holds a really handy wide brush, which makes application a breeze. As you can see in the swatches below, these polishes are really pigmented and have a lovely high shine finish. 







The Cruise Collection is available for purchase right now, so don’t miss your chance to add a pop of colour, or a hint of metallic to your makeup this summer. 

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Even though Heathcote & Ivory have almost been around for two decades, I only recently heard about them. Heathcote & Ivory was founded in 1999, by Managing Director Denis Aaronson. Today it remains as a British, family owned business – dedicated to selling gifts that feel and look very special. Over the last 18 years, they’ve sold everything from candles, to soap, to home fragrance and travel accessories! The company has over 20 collections of gifts, each of which have their own look and feel. Many also feature collaborations, with the likes of Kaffe Fassett, Sanderson, Morris & Co and Harlequin. Today, the distinctive Heathcote & Ivory brand continues to evolve – offering a delight in every gift. I’m really excited to bring you today’s Brand Focus with the Heathcote & Ivory team, I can’t wait for you to see some of these beautiful gifts! 




The Braids & Blooms Vintage & Co Collection 
The Braids & Blooms collection features notes of roses and fresh hay, paired with jasmine, lily, violet, juicy grapes, warm cedar, woody sandalwood and frankincense. The collection is inspired by the art of dressing up – designed to remind us of the scent of perfume or a feather upon a hat. The products in the collection are decorated with geometric prints, designed to mimic tiles and pretty floral prints. I have three products from this beautiful collection to show you! The Lip Butter Jar* (£4.50 here) has tasty hints of coconut and sweet caramel and it arrives in the cutest box bag. My favourite item has to be the Soap Flowers* (£10 here) which add the perfect touches of colour and design to the bathroom. Finally we have the beautiful Bath Fizzer Caddy* (£10 here) – when you pop off the lid you find 15 stunning bath fizzers!










The Harlequin Savanna Collection
You may, or may not know that Harlequin is a leading British Interiors brand. They are well known for the inspirational designs, which encompass different textures and different uses of colour. This Heathcote & Ivory collaboration features the Savanna design, which is a stately procession of matching elephants. The scent itself is a combination of lemon, bergamot, jasmine, geranium, musk and amber. I have two products from this collection, first is the Savanna Mirror* (£13 here) a travel mirror in a hand finished case. The second item is the Savanna Hand Cream* (£9 here) which includes a gorgeous set of three hand creams. The hand creams are created with vitamin E, cocoa butter, shea butter, lemon and aloe extracts, lavender and grapefruit essential oils. 





The Harlequin Papilio Collection
The Papilio collection is another selection of goodies that have come from a Harlequin collaboration. This time the design is a vibrant portrayal of botanically drawn butterflies in a lustrous colour palette. The products in this collection include notes of cassis, bergamot, lily of the valley, rose, amber and sandlewood. The Papilio Pencil Case* (£15 here) is a lovely hand finished case, with a zip pull and a contrast lining. 

The Love Is Enough Collection
This is possibly my favourite collection of all the products I got to try from Heathcote & Ivory! It’s a beautiful, delicate leaf pattern, which is balanced with a traditional typeface. The typeface is inspired by a wall design in the Green Dining Room at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The fragrance in this special collection is all about peach – pairing it with osmanthus, heliotrope and musks. The Medium Linen Cosmetic Bag* (£16 here) looks stunning in the Love Is Enough print, the attention to detail is impeccacble and I love that the words feature on the side of the bag! 




The Morris & Co Golden Lily Collection
This Morris & Co Golden Lily Collection features imagery of birds, flowers and leaves. It’s a very dense pattern, which has lily flowers and country blooms intertwined within. The scent for this is fresh and fruity, offering notes of: tangerine, bergamot, cinnamon, nutmeg and cedarwood. I have one pretty set from this collection and it’s the Guest Soaps* (£13 here) – the soaps are triple milled and are made with shea butter, glycerine and essential oils. They are each wrapped in paper, which is a really pretty touch. 




The Gardeners Collection
The final collection I have to share with you, is the Gardeners collection! Which is made for the gardener fanatic in your life! Whether they are always tending to the garden or they just like to occasionally get their hands dirty – this collection is for them! The Hedgerow SOS Tin* (£10 here) is such a lovely gift, as it arrives in a little tin and has some essentials packaged inside. When you lift the lid you will find a Hand Cream enriched with rhubarb, elderflower, shea butter and blackberry, a SOS balm and a muscle soak! 

I can’t believe how beautiful and affordable the gifts are from Heathcote & Ivory, I’m quickly becoming their biggest fan! I really hope you’ve enjoyed this Heathcote & Ivory brand focus, I’d love to know which of the collection is your favourite in the comments below! 
 
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