Monday, 27 January 2014

The One Brand: Maybelline

Again sorry this is late, I have had visitors this weekend and haven’t had chance to get it up. I am also moving house this week so will struggle with blogging for a few days. Anywho, over to Maybelline. Firstly, yay I actually have 5 products to take pictures of this week. Maybelline is one of my favourite high street brands, after Rimmel and MUA, so I'm very happy to be writing about it. 

With probably the most famous beauty strap line in history, maybe it's Maybelline's History that makes it the super brand it is today. It was created by Tom Lyln at the tender age of 19 in 1915 and he named it after Tom's sister Mable. Tom was fascinated by how she tried to make her eye lashes look thicker so decide to create his own 'mascara' and before he new it the American company ‘Maybelline’ was born. In 1996 Maybelline was sold to L'Oreal and became part of their partnership, with many other high end and high street products, basically L'Oreal practically rule the beauty world.

My absolute favourite product from Maybelline is their coloursensatial lipstick. They're so moisturising and never dry your lips out or flake. They apply super smoothly and last a fairly decent time throughout the day. My favourite colour from this range is actually a pretty boring one if I'm honest. For me, it's the perfect 'your lips but better' shade. It looks natural but stunning, so the 630 in Velvet Beige is a winner for me. It's actually in my top 5 favourite ever lipsticks.

My next favourite is a little product that gets a whole lotta love from the beauty blogging world, and rightfully so. This product is the Colour Tattoo 24hr shadow cream. You have to be fast with application as it dries extremely quickly but if you can get it right the pay off is amazing. With just this one product you can create a killer smoky eye look. You need to blend like crazy but it really does create a great look. This is also the only eye shadow I own that actually lasts all day. It looks just as pigmented at the end of the day than it did when first applied. I have it in On And On Bronze but I NEED to get all the other shades available.

Next we come to the best dupe I have ever tried. I am going to write more about this little bad boy in my next installment of my high end vs high street series so stay tuned for that. What is this product and what is it a great dupe for? Well it's the Dream Lumi Touch and it's the perfect high street alternative for the YSL Touché Éclat. For one, the two products are made by the same people so you would hope they have pretty similar effects. Anyway, the product works great as a highlight and technically shouldn't be used as a concealer, just like the YSL, but it can be used under the eyes after a corrector to brighten the eye area. It can also be used above your cheekbones to create a dewy highlighted look. It's the perfect multi-tasking product and for the price it's definitely worth having over the YSL (and that's saying something, I LOVE Touché Éclat).

The next two products are eyeliners. If I'm honest I haven't tried the Master Precise liquid pen very often as I got it for Christmas but I’m loving it so far. The Lasting Drama Gel I have however is apparently a great dupe for Bobbi Brown. I love the packaging and it even comes with a brush to help apply it. Ok, if I'm honest again, I'm not overly impressed with the eyeliner itself. Although it looks amazing when first applied, I find by the end of the day it has either faded or smudged. I do however think it's worth buying this eyeliner for the brush alone. It's so easy to use, creates the perfect thin or thick flick and can be used with any gel or liquid liner.

So that's it, my top five Maybelline products. Have you tried any of these? What are you top products and which Maybelline gems am I missing out on. Let me know below.

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Oqibo Skin Refining Exfoliator and Purifying Cleanser and Toner Review

If you read my post the other week about Oqibo's moisturisers you will know how much I loved them. If you didn't, whatcha playing at, go check it out here. When I was sent the samples for the moisturisers I was lucky enough to receive a few most testers of Oqibo's products. And what were these little extras? The Skin Refining Exfoliator and The Purifying Cleanser and Toner.

Let's start with my favourite of the two, The Skin Refining Exfoliator. This little delight is a very subtle and gentle scrub that manages to pack a good punch. I find with a lot of scrubs and exfoliators they either don't have any effect at all and might as well just be a normal face wash or, they're too strong and feel like they scratch your skin and strip it of its natural goodness. This scrub is neither, it's the perfect in between. Although it's not a perfect scrub, it's very hard and very unlikely to get a perfect product, this certainly gets to as close as I've ever tried.

The texture is silky and luxurious and you can actually feel the beads in there. There's nothing worse than a scrub where you can't feel the grains when your getting your hands stuck in. The smell is delightful too. I can't quite put my finger on it but their website says it's got a little apricot and seaweed in, so I guess it's that!

Like all the Oqibo products I've tried so far, a little goes a long way. I don't know how they've done it but Oqibo have managed to produce products that have one of my favourite qualities in them, you don't have to repurchase them every two flippin' weeks. It speaks thousands of words that three sample sachets of each product are still going strong almost two months later...worth the money for sure.

My skin feels baby bum smooth after I've used this Exfoliator and there is definitely a reduction in the shine I produce through out the day. It feels like this product does the job it's meant to do without taking the natural nourishment out of your skin. I'm certainly sold on this bad boy.

The final sample I received from Oqibo was their Purifying Cleanser & Toner. Now if you read my review on REN's T-Zone Control Cleanser then you'll know I don't get on too well with gel cleansers. As I have an oily complexion, it's only really cream cleansers that have a real impact on my skin. Unfortunately this cleanser hasn't been the gel product that conquered this battle, although from the results of their other products I did think it was in with a fighting chance.

Saying that, this is still a very lovely cleanser and everything else about this product is great. For dry, normal and combination skin types this really could be for you. And, it's a cleanser and toner in one so you can eliminate one of the many steps we have to go through in a morning....amazing.
The smell for starters is my favourite thing about this cleanser. It smells like mint and I have found myself on the odd occasion picking it up just to give it a good whiff. As I've said before about Oqibo's other products, this cleanser leaves my skin silky soft, soft enough that it got a "Russell (my boyfriend)...feel my face" comment. At first he looked at me like I'd gone completely raving mad but his face soon turned to surprise and delight when he felt how lovely my skin actually felt. When I used the cleanser, exfoliator and moisturiser in a row, oh my gosh my skin felt like silk.

The texture of the Purifying Cleanser and Toner is lovely and smooth and it creates a good lather so you only need a wee little pee size portion for the day.

All in all these products from Oqibo have been amazing and I'm so grateful that I got sent some lovely samples. Although the cleanser didn't work for me because I have an awkward skin type, all their other products have been like god sends. If you haven't checked out their products you really should. You wont be disappointed and the company seems like such a lovely, genuine one that cares about their customers. You get a 90 day guarantee, you can get free samples and they also sell candles...Im sold! So go on, check them out here.

Thanks for reading and thanks Oqibo,
Hannah xxx

Saturday, 18 January 2014

The One Brand: Bourjois

I'm sorry this weeks The One Brand post it so late but this week has been a mega and stressful one and if I'm honest, time just slipped away from me as I had too much stuff to sort out. However, when I saw the brand of choice this week I thought, brilliant I can take some actual pictures for this post. Turns out I was wrong! I could swear that I had some Bourjois products in my collection, I've clearly just read too many reviews that I'm starting to think I own products I actually don't.

I do have 2 products from Bourjois and one is mentioned below. The other was a huge disappointment and will feature in my 'products I wish I didn't buy' post, that I will eventually publish (it's the cream blush by the way).

Any who, on to a little about the brand. Bourjois has a fairly interesting story. The brand came from stage make up where its original creator created looks for actors. This idea and these looks were then taken over by Mr Bourjois himself who turned turn it in to the world wide brand it is today. It's not only has one of the longest histories out of the brands in this series, it also has had some of the most gorgeous packaging of all the brands, go and check out some of their vintage packaging here.

So the only product I have (that I like) is the SO laque glossy nail varnish. I got this when this range first came out as there was so much hype about these varnishes, and it certainly didn't disappoint. There is a fairly decent colour range available and these varnishes have the easiest brush I have ever tried. It's a flat brush that fits the nail perfectly and provides a thick even coverage. It claims to last 10 days and as far as I'm concerned, it sticks to this promise pretty well.

Now we move onto my wish list. If you saw my Christmas wish list you'll have seen that the Jave Rice Powder made a little appearance, and I still don't know why I haven't got it yet. The main reason I want this is for the packaging if I'm honest. Just look at it it's so beautiful. The fact that this a powder is an added bonus for us oily skin types.

The next two things on my list are the Delice de Pourdre bronzer (you know, the one that looks like a chocolate bar) and the Healthy Mix Foundation. The reason I want both of these is due to them being loved in the beauty world and I want to know what all the fuss it about. Although I am in love with my NARS Laguna bronzer so find it difficult liking any other, and I just know from all the reviews the Healthy Mix won't suit my skin type, I am a beauty blogger at the end of the day so I just HAVE to try them...obviously!

The final product is also a much raved about one on the blogosphere. This easy to use and quick to remove 1 second nail varnish is something that I think is a must for me. I'm one of those people that will leave their nail varnish chipped and horrible on their nails for longer than I'd like to admit. The chore of removing nail varnish properly is something that I can't bring myself to do. Therefore if I had this, and I could just quickly dip my finger is to remove the last little dregs, well maybe I'll have nicer nails more. Go on be honest, hands up if you let your nails get like this...

So there it is, my top wants from Boujoir. What's on your list? Which products would you recommend that didn't make the final cut? And which of these have you tried?

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx

Sunday, 12 January 2014

High End Vs High Street: Together on one face - half and half

The high end vs high street make up debate is one that's been on going in the beauty world since the beginning of time.... Okay I may have slightly over exaggerated there but still, it's been going on for a long time now. Since starting A Day In The Life of a Northern Girl I have been having the internal debate as to whether spending the, lets face it, small fortune on high end make up is really worth it? Should I save the pennies and stick with drug store products? Well, this got me thinking! Why not start a small series on my blog investigating the two categories to see which products are worth saving on and which are worth the money?

I've tried a full high end face before, I've tried a full high street face before, but I've never tried both and I have gone and done just that to help answer this question. What are you on about Hannah? I hear you ask. Well, I went for a very unusual make up routine yesterday and did half a face of top branded make up and half a face of make up you can find in a regular pharmacy. I have never seen anyone do this before and this way I can compare the two on my face, side by side, at the same time. Although feeling a little silly and finding it rather difficult to do half a face at a time, it provided some interesting results. Lets see if you can tell which is which?

Can you tell the difference? The line isn't too clear until you get to the lippy, which looks a little strange I must say. But, as you can see by this picture, on first glance there isn't too much of a difference. However, if you look closer there are some tell tale signs as to which side of my face cost the most. So, lets get into how I found the two in comparison. I was going to keep you guessing on which was which till the next post, however, when viewing them separately it becomes pretty obvious.

This side of the face (compare it to the next photo) quite clearly belongs to the high end products. The skin looks smoother and more polished, the bronzer looks more natural and the eye liner looks less harsh. Although I don't get many spots I do have the odd dark patch and skin blemish which the pricier concealer and foundation have done a brilliant job at covering up. In the first picture my eye bags don't look too different next to each other however, when comparing the two sides separately and close up I look like I've had significantly more sleep with some high end corrector and concealer slapped on. I asked my boyfriend which side he preferred and thankfully he chose the one that had burnt a small whole in my pocket...he didn't know which was which by the way.

With the drug store make up you can see my skin looks a tad shiner around the nose than compared to the high end products. The bronzer also looks a little on the orange end of the spectrum, which isn't always the best of looks now is it? The most obvious part of the high street face has to be the eyes. Not only does the concealer have bigger problems covering up my dark circles but the eye shadow looks cakier and patchier than with the high end. The high street make up does have some advantages though. From comparing the two hand in hand, I have noticed there is little difference in mascara, lipstick and blush. These three still have similar, and potentially better effects when compared to top named brands. My lashes look longer, the lipstick is less sticky and the blusher is more noticable on the skin here.

So there it is, the two rivals next to each other on one face. What is your opinion on these two sides of make up? Does one stand out more, does one look better, or do you think they pair pretty well in comparison?

And what can you expect from the rest of my versus series? Well next time I will do a run down of which products I used for each side and how they compared to each other. The third post will figure out which side of make up stands the test of time better and the final post will say what products I think are worth spending on and which products you can pick up whilst being kind to you bank balance, so stay tunes guys.

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx


Thursday, 9 January 2014

The One Brand: Wet and Wild

So, us One Brander girls have had a little break over Christmas but now the new year has started, like the rest of London, it's back to business. However, my face is a much happier one when it comes to this beauty blogging business compared to the miserable faces on the tube in the morning rush hour. I have missed doing the one brand so I'm happy it's back.

This weeks pays homage to Wet and Wild, which, shame on me, I have never tried before. I am a W&W virgin which, after doing a little bit of research for this post, I will be changing ASAP! This means, this weeks post is a complete wish list, or should I say really bloody want list.

Wet and Wild are, I think, the first brand in this series that originated across the pond, and I bet those that have tried it are glad the American's let us in on their beauty products. W&W have been around for roughly 30 years and seem to be doing pretty bloody well from what I've heard about them on the blogasphere. Their make up is not only affordable and good quality, it also has a huge product and colour range to keep their fan's happy. So on to the wishlist.

The first product's that I MUST get come in the form of some lovely eye palette's. I have heard sooo much about these shadows, mostly that they are great dupes for a hell of a lot of Mac's best selling shadows. and I totally get it, because these colours look B.E.A.utiful! I also am very interested to try a green shade on my lid as I heard it complements brown and hazel eyes. I love how on the small palettes, the shades tell you where to place on your lid to get the best look. Very well played Wet and Wild.

The next goes to two lovely looking lipstick's. I think I'm more drawn to this lip product because of it's lovely packaging, because let's face it, I really don't need any more lipsticks. I already have one and a half MUJI draws full. But, these little tubes really stand out to me. I love the clash of the black and white and it kind of reminds me of Mac a little, just upside down (does that make sense?!?) Now I've written this I see a little pattern forming. Are Wet and Wild trying to be the high street Mac? Well I MUST try their products out now to test out this theory!!! I couldn't decide which shade I preferred so, obviously, went for both. One comes in my favourite lip shade, a deep purple berry colour, perfect for winter. The other, in the every girls must have, red. In the beauty world, it's red lippy that really is a girls best fried.

The final want has to be handed to a blusher seen as though I just can't stop buying them at the moment. This one is a lovely dark coral shade which I think would compliment any skin tone. I do have a shade like this in my collection but it's a cream. Therefore I can justify getting a powdered version...right?!?

Do you have any Wet and Wild products? Which would make your wishlist and wich would you recommend?

Thanks for reading,

Hannah xxx

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Outfit of the Night: Tartan Dress

So, it came to the time again where I asked my rather reluctant boyfriend to take some pictures of me. Since my last OOFD had such a good response I thought I'd try it again, although I'm thinking the other half won't be too happy if it keeps happening.

This outfit was actually the one I wore for Christmas Day but I didn't want to ask my family to do the awkward photoshoot. As I busted out the outfit again today I though I'd let my boyfriend draw the "lucky straw" and be camera man again. To me I'm letting him learn new skills, to him it's just a bloody chore.

Any road, lets get onto the outfit. I'm not normally one for a dress or skirt (ignoring the fact the last two outfit posts have featured one or the other!!!) I usually throw on a pair of jeans and dress them down with a T and some converse or dress them up with a blouse or knit and some boots. However, when I was out shopping with my mum last week back in good old Sheffield, I saw this and just had to own it. 

Again, like most of the things I have been purchasing recently, it is tartan. As I said in my New Year's Eve outfit post, I am a little behind on the tartan bandwagon but it's popping up in shops and catwalks still so I think I can get away with it! 

This Ark tartan dress is more of a traditional print when compared to my last outfit, which I have really fallen in love with. I love the clashing of the deep red and dark navy colours and the thin lines of white help to make the tartan squares pop.

This is a skater dress which, in my opinion, flatters any figure. The fact the elastic in the dress hugs inbetween your bust and waist line means the skirt section of the dress falls nicely, just skimming the stomach. I do however, find the length of the dress is just a little too short for me (being 5ft 10/11) but, if I don't bend down at all, I can manage to my dignity intact. If I do bend over though...hello granny pants!!!

I kept the jewellery simple with just my watch (and the hair bobbles I have round my wrist at all time!) The shoe of choice went to my fairly new chealsea boots. These are a lovely deep purple colour, which isn't something I'd normally go for but I've decided to be more adventurous with my style recently. I think they keep this look nice and relaxed so if you wanted to dress it up maybe you could bust out the odd heel. 

I kept my make up simple again as I'm not one for having too much of a bold look, however do love to add a pop of colour with the lips. I went for my go to lipstick shade of the moment, a deep red. This exact one is Rinmel's Kate Moss Matte effect in 107 (for swatches see here). I also went a bit different with my hair and tried to rock a centre parting which I've never done before. If you follow me on twitter and Instagram you'll have seen I'm not sure on it (and my boyfriend certainly isn't). It did get a good reception on those, but any more opinions would be greatly appreciated. Should I keep it or go back to a side parting?!?

What did you guys wear on Christmas Day? How would you style this dress? Again, answers on a postcard please.  

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx

Friday, 3 January 2014

Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation Review

I know as Christmas time came upon us we were meant to be restraint and not spend on ourselves, but...I just couldn't resist, sorry Santa. I also thought that I was ok with using high street foundation everyday since Rimmel's super amazing Stay Matte Foundation came into my life, and although I do still have a very loving relationship with it, I'm afraid it has been friend zoned. It just doesn't last long enough on the skin for my liking. So, I'm afraid I've cheated on it! I found myself ever tempted by Estée Lauder's Double Wear foundation so it ended up under my blanket...I mean in my basket!

I have tried this before as I had a sample from way back. I knew that I liked it, it agreed with my skin, and from the time it's taken me to use the sample, lasts a crazily long time, so off to Boots I went.

This is a liquid foundation that, yes is high end and yes cost a fair amount (£28.50) but really is an investment rather than just a foundation (well, that's the convincer I'm sticking with anyway). The coverage is amazing as it really masks any blemishes or imperfections. Ok, yes it means the consistency is pretty thick and heavy but nothing that can't be fixed by thinning it out with some moisturiser, which makes it last EVEN longer!! From my experience less is more and a little goes a long way, as it can look a little cakey if you apply too much.

Now, they certainly got it right by calling it double wear. I don't know if they did this because it lasts double the time of most foundations, or because it lasts double the length of time when actually on your skin? Which ever is was, when they say 15 hours, they really mean it. When I'm wearing this my make up looks almost as perfect at the end of the day as it did when I first applied. My boyfriend even said (when I did a naughty and didn't wash my face before bed, virtual clip round the eye) I still looked like I had a face of make up when I woke up. That really is good staying power.

There are also a few other great things about this foundation. One, it has SPF factor 10 which is always a Brucie bonus and two, it gets along swimmingly with my oily t-zone, barely any shine at all. However, as always, nothing is perfect and unfortunately this little beauty does NOT come with a pump. This means messy application is probably inevitable and you can get the odd product wastage. I feel that for the price, you should be getting a pump with the bottle.

However, saying this I am so happy I decided to bite the bullet and cheat on high street foundation's, and more specifically for Double Wear. Yes, it may be a little more high maintenance in expecting me to splash the cash on it, but when it makes me look so flawless, I guess I don't mind! And don't worry, while I was at with the MUA I decided to get a cheeky sample of some more Estée Lauder foundation to test...I'm one happy beauty blogger!

Has anyone else tried Double Wear, or any other Estée Lauder foundations? What is your favourite foundation, high street and high end?

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

My New Year's Resolutions

I'm not normally one for resolutions as I can rarely ever think of any, plus I'm always pretty sure I'll never stick to them! I never say I'll eat healthy or join the gym because I know it's an unrealistic expectation. I never say I'll travel more, because I just don't have the money. But this year I've decided to make some small and manageable resolutions (or changes) that I hope I can stick too and achieve.

My number one New Year's resolution is to work harder on A Day In The Life of a Northern Girl. I love blogging and notice a huge difference when I actually put some time and effort into it. I have found over December I have been lacking on the blogging and social media front, I claim it was because I was having a Christmas break but really I just didn't have the energy. I have however missed my blog baby and I'm determined to get back into the swing of it. This means schedules, pre written posts, actually remembering the blogger chats and socialise more with the blogging community. I'm not going to set any goals such as 500 followers and all that jazz because I don't see that as a big deal. I'm doing this for me, not to get 100's of followers (however I do love and appreciate every single one of you that does subscribe and read). 

My next is more of a must have than a resolution, I NEED a new job. By that I don't mean just any old job, although being a temp who's contract is running out soon means I do need anything, I have bills to pay. This resolution is a promise to myself that by the end of 2014 I will have a job in the areas I want to work in. I love research, be that marketing, psychological, social or medical, I just love the whole research process. Hopefully by the end of the year I can be using my research knowledge for my job. I would also love to mix this with my love of social media and PR so working in a company that does that would be amazing.

Next I want to start saying yes more. I have found that moving to London with the long commutes and early starts is wearing me out. I have decided however that saying I'm too tired, or I can't be arsed or I have work tomorrow is no longer an excuse. I need to make the effort to do more with my spear time otherwise my 20's will be swallowed up by working and sleeping. I need to spend more time with my friends, explore London and say yes when someone invites me to do something. I'm hoping this book I got for Christmas will help with this too.

What are your New Year's Resolutions? Where would you like to be this time next year. Answers on a post card please. I hope you all had a lovely New Year's Eve celebration. And for the first time in 2014...

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx

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