Wednesday, 12 October 2016

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream Review and Swatches

Long lasting liquid lipsticks is a market that all brands are wanting to break into at the moment, and not everyone is doing it right. The NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams however tick most of the boxes when it comes to being top of the drugstore ranks. They certainly match affordability with quality and instead of doing my usual long winded intro into why I picked these up I thought I'd just go straight into the review. Feel free to skip to the bottom for a real quick run down of my thoughts.

The shade range NYX offers is incredible. With 31 shades to pick up at Boots (for UK buyers) it's safe to say you'll be at the NYX stand for a very long time swatching and deciding which ones to take home. But, at £5.50 a pop I'm pretty sure you'll easily be persuaded to take a small handful home with you.

The NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams are a perfect balance between lip stick and lip gloss and settle into the lips without any shine or shimmer. Although described as being highly pigmented, I can only agree to this after I've applied a number of layers. Don't get me wrong, once you've done two to three applications you do get a totally amazing pay off, but higher end brands do only need one coat. Although a little bit annoying, there is a plus side to this. The Soft Matte Lip Creams give us more control over how opaque or bold we apply the colour. You can go from subtle hint to full blown impact depending on your mood; and you don't get that freedom with higher, more extreme pigmented brands. 

These matte lip creams are great at settling into the lip, they do take a few seconds to dry which can mean a longer application process but it's worth it for the colour payoff. They aren't as long lasting as the higher end brands (but I never really expect that from a drugstore lipsticks anyway) and they can wear off after a few hours. Saying that, the do hold up well against eating and drinking, it's just natural wear off that is the issue here.

One other little issue I have with these lip creams is that they tend to clump up on the lip after a while. The don't stay completely in place all day and I sometime find myself having to wipe off build up around the corners or middle of my lips after a few hours. However, on the other hand, that does mean that the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream's don't dry out your lips in anyway; which is totally amazing for how matte the overall effect is. There is absolutely no transfer or smudging within the first few hours or wearing either. 

I picked up 4 different shades with Abu Dhabi being my favourite as it is a lovely subtle brown shade. Cairo has a creamier look to it, being very light brown, Tokyo is a lovely bright bold pink shade and Buenos Aires is a nice faint coral colour.

If you're just wanting a quick summary of these liquid lipsticks then this little section is for you:
1. They're not drying at all
2. NYX have a great shade range
3. Good pigmentation but could be better - does allow you to create own levels of opacity
4. Doesn't transfer
5. Last's about half a day without any top ups
6. Can occasionally clump or gather on the lips

If you were to ask me if I preferred these to higher end brands, like Kat Von D for instance, I wouldn't be able to agree...but, that doesn't mean I don't love the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams. They're so well priced and have such a great shade range that I can forgive them for any of the points that they drop on a little. These are 100% the best matte liquid lipsticks in the drugstore market and I will certainly be buying more.

Have you tried the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams? What are you thoughts? Which shades should I be picking up next? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading
Hannah xxx

Monday, 10 October 2016

Perfect Autumn Perfumes

There are a number of reasons as to why I love Autumn, I even listed some of them in a little post here, but one of the things I look forward to the most is Autumn scents. Pumpkin and Vanilla scented candles are something that gets me very excited about the months where the days get shorter and the air gets colder but swapping up the perfumes I use is also another scent experience I look forward to.

Gone are the months of fruity, florally and sharp scents and in come the musky, woody and cedar like aromas that I completely love. I totally love androgynous scents that are the perfect mix of feminine beautifulness with masculine warmness and these two hit those requirements perfectly. So, here are my perfect Autumn perfumes.  

Diptyque Philosykos and Elizabeth and James Nivarna Black

Diptyque Philosykos is a lovely deep scent that has the perfect balance of fig and cedar undertones. Although it has an underlining muskiness to the scent it also gives a great freshness that brightens up this perfume; which is totally welcomed. Philosykos also gives off the perfect amount of woodiness and hints of bark that warms the undertones of this scent. With ingredients including fresh leaf and green fruit, this fragrance really is the perfect combination on deep and crips that eases you into those full blown winter scents.

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black is another wood smelling scent which incorporates sandalwood with vanilla to create a sweet but warm combination of undertones. This scent does have more floral incense with hints of violet that brightens up the deeper tones of this perfume. This is definitely the more androgynous of the two and is perfect for an Autumn evening.

So here are my top two perfumes for the Autumn months. I love them both so much and couldn't possibly choose my favourite between them. Have you tried either of these? What are you favourite perfumes now the year is coming towards the end? Let me know below.

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Makeup Revolution Precision Pro Oval Brush Review

Make up brushes aren't things I buy too often. I seem to fall in love with a hand full and stick to them until they either completely fall apart or something really sparks my interest. The latter was definitely the case with the Makeup Revolution Precision Oval Pro Brush.

Since oval brushes swept the blogging world about a year ago I have been totally intrigued. I kept reading reviews of different brands left right and centre and couldn't decide if they would work for me or not. The reviews were all very mixed with some people swearing by them and other swearing off them for life, so I came to the conclusion I just had to try one for myself. 

Makeup Revolution Precision Pro Oval Brush

The Artis brushes were far too expensive for me; especially if I wasn't sure if they would work for me or not, but the cheap ebay alternatives that were floating around just didn't appeal to me. I just couldn't see how a make up brush costing roughly £2 would leave my make up looking good on my skin. So I was looking for a happy medium.

That's when I spotted how Make Up Revolution were branching into the oval brush craze and, to my delight, for a reasonable price. They aren't expensive but still not stupidly cheap that they had me automatically assuming they'd be crap. So off to Superdrug I went to pick one up.

Makeup Revolution do have a number of brush sets so you can buy a handful of different sized oval brushes and although this is a cheaper way of doing it, I didn't want to buy more than one brush until I knew if I liked them or not. The Precision Pro Brush is only £10 which is a great price for a brush, especially one that looks this pretty.

This brush is actually really great and I fell in love after just one use. The brush gives amazing coverage and you don't have to take ages blending to get an even finish. The bristles are really tightly packed so don't soak up a lot of the product. It took me a little while to get used to having to do circular motions instead of the buffing motion in order for this brush to reach it's full potential but once I got comfortable, I really loved the pay off it gives.

The Makeup Revolution Precision Pro Oval Brush is also super soft. I know most brushes are beyond soft nowadays but I find the cheaper brands don't quite get this softness right. This brush however is a dream to touch and feels amazing on the skin. The only negative thing about this brush is that it's a little difficult to clean, but for the shamefully long lengths of time I go between washes, this shouldn't be too much of an issue for me. 

So, not only is this brush gorgeous to look at and will most definitely be featuring in a lot of my Instagram pictures (no doubt you'll get bored of seeing it) but it is also an amazing brush to actually use. It provides great coverage and gives a beautiful finish with real ease. 

Have you tried any oval brushes? How about this range from Make up Revolution? Let me know your thought's below.

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip Lipstick in Coy Review and Swatches

I did something out of the ordinary the other week. Something I never really do and something that I shocked even myself by doing; I bought a non matte lipstick (*huge gasp*). 

If you're a long time reader of my little space of the internet you'll know that matte is a description I could use for 95% of the products I own and shimmery, glittery or glossy are almost swear words in my world. But, there I was, finding myself saying "yeah, go on then" to a creamy lipstick. I was off to a wedding and my usual dark, brown and, well, a little lifeless lipstick don't quite work for such a joyful formal occasion so I agreed to go for something different. Obviously (by the title of this post) Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip Lipstick in Coy was my weapon of choice for such an occasion. 

Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip Lipstick in Coy

This lipstick is a beautiful darker pink shade with a tiny hint of a brown undertone. It's very much a shade that is a (and I really hate using this phrase but sadly it sums it up entirely) 'your lips but better' one. The consistency is very buttery and creamy. Once on the lip the Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip lipstick gives a subtle hint of shine but it isn't in your face glossy. I mean I didn't want to stray too far away from my comfortable matte lip look now did I? 

This lipstick last amazing on the lip for something that isn't matte. Eating and drinking don't seem to effect it too much and you only have to reapply once or twice in a night. No, it's not going to last half as long as a matte shade or a liquid lipstick but for a sheer formula, which are nuturiously bad for longevity, the Laura Meecier Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip lipstick does a very decent job. 

Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip Lipstick in Coy swatch

The pigmentation is also really great for a creme product. You only have to swipe two or three layers on the lip to get a strong pay off. Again, it doesn't compare to the one layer you need from a liquid lipstick but it's really great non the less. 

All in all I am very impressed and was totally won over by the Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip lipstick. I have to admit, I don't think it's completely convinced me to leave my matte obsession behind but I certainly wasn't disappointed with this lipstick. I definitely don't regret buying it and have worn is several times since the wedding, which I didn't really expect to do. Big thumbs up from me.

Have you tried the Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip range? Which Laura Mercier lip products are you favourite? 

Thanks for reading 
Hannah xxx

Friday, 7 October 2016

Bobbi Brown Instant Detox Masque Review

Who doesn't love a good face masque. I mean, a masque is an integral part of having a perfect pamper night right? Everything else; tanning, doing your nails or deep cleansing your hair changes from session to session. But a face masque; well that's always on the pampering agenda. 

Now I'm not one to indulge in the luxuries of face masques too often so when I do, I like to have one that does a really good job. That's why I tend to go for higher end brands over drug store alternatives (although there are some high street masques I love out there). This is also why, when I saw the Bobbi Brown Instant Detox masque when in The Cosmetics Company Store the other month, I just had to pick it up. 

Bobbi Brown Instant Detox Masque Review

The instant detox part of this masque was definitely a selling point for me. As I said, I don't get to treat myself to a face masque very often so I want its effects to be instant, and the Bobbi Brown Instant Detox masque certainly gives impressively fast results. My skin is always super smooth as soon as I wash this off. 

This masque is charcoal like and I find it's great for giving your skin a new lease of life. My skin always looks healthier and clearer after using the Bobbi Brown Instant Detox Masque. I find with a lot of masques, although eventually leaving my skin looking amazing after a few days, they can make me break out a little the day after using; but not with Bobbi Brown.

Bobbi Brown Instant Detox Masque Swatch and Review

The masque dries really quickly but doesn't crack or tighten on the skin at all. It's really comfortable to have on; to the extent where I sometimes forget I'm wearing it. It sinks into your pours quickly and deeply, which always means great results to me. It gives a deep clean and helps reduce oil and, as an oily skinned gal, anything that does that gets a big tick from me. Usually some masques can strip the skin but the Bobbi Brown Instant Detox Masque leaves it fully moisturised whilst being deeply cleansed; perfect match! 

Have you tried any of the Bobbi Brown masques? Which is your go to product for a pamper night?

Thanks for reading
Hannah xxx

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Four Reasons Why You Need Essie in your Life

I have to note a little disclaimer here; I'm not the biggest nail polish person (great way to start a nail polish post Hannah!). But wait, hear me out, I don't mean I don't like nail varnish, hell I love having my nails all pretty and I have a good 60 polishes in my collection. I just find it really difficult to actually sit down and spend the time putting layer after layer on to make my nails look perfect. I get bored and it always ends in one or two very smudged nails because I've given up on waiting for them to dry. However, I have come to the conclusion that there is one way to make this process a little easier; and that's Essie. 

I used to have the mentality that the cheaper the nail varnish the better. Let's face it, I wasn't wearing nail varnish enough to justify spending more than £2-£5 on a polish. But then I did something very out of character; I went to get my nails professionally done. Of course they weren't going to use some cheap ass polish on me so out the Essie bottles came. I won't go in to detail about the manicure (although if you live in Sheffield you need to go to The Salon on Eccelsall road; it's brilliant and very Instagramable) but here are the main reasons why I swore, from that day on, only to buy Essie polishes.

Neutral Essie Nail Polishes Review

1. The shade range is amazing. I'm not just talking about Essie having a large variety of colours, although that is something they kick ass at. I'm talking each shade being beautiful and extremely wearable. Yes Essie have a great variety of bold, out-there colours that we all know and love; but only actually wear when we're feeling adventurous. But Essie are totally amazing at creating neutral shades that are all 'must haves' for your collection. Each cream, grey, brown and pink is just as beautiful as the next but still different enough to justify spending a small fortune on shades that have the same undertones. 

2. The pigment is amazing. Yes if you're going for a lighter shade then you'll have to add a number of layers to pack a punch (nothing new there) but when you compare Essie to cheaper brands, you're looking at three coats max rather than the four or five for the likes of Barry M. If you've got a darker shade you can 100% get away with one layer to give great pigmentation and one coat means quicker application and a speedier drying process...can I get an amen?! 

3. My god do Essie polishes last a long time. For anyone that hates doing their nails there is nothing more annoying then giving up 45 mins of your time (from first stroke to totally dry) just for the varnish to chip the next day; meaning redoing them a few days later.  Not a problem with Essie. Even without a top coat your looking at a full week no chips. If you do put that extra layer on then after 8 or 9 days your still laughing. Less chips means less reapplying and for someone as nail lazy as me, this means going much longer between fist pump. 

4. Finally the brush!! The Essie brush makes it soooo much easier to apply these polishes. Their sturdy bristles ensures better direct application, no stroke marks and way less spillage onto my fingers, which all in turn help with a speedier application process. 

So that's it, that's why there is no turning back now I've discovered the wonderful ways of Essie! You really can't go wrong with these polishes. Essie, I salute you and I bloody well love you. Thanks for being great.

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Kat Von D 'Lock-It' Liquid Foundation Review and Swatches - Light 45

If you follow me on social media then you'll know the constant love and raving I've been giving Kat Von D Beauty at the moment. Hell I even did a post the other week about Kat Von D beauty hitting the UK and what I thought you absolutely must add to your make up collection, so you could say I'm a big fan of the brand!

I ordered a number of things on the day Kat Von D Beauty was released and I had tried all of them before, apart from one little product. The Kat Von D 'Lock-It' Liquid Foundation.

Kat Von D Lock It Foundation Light 45 Review

I have to say I was a little sceptical about ordering a foundation online that I 1) hadn't tried before and 2) couldn't test which shade matched my skin tone. However, I pulled together all my blogging tips and knowledge and did all I could to ensure I picked up the best shade possible. If you want to know how I did this then check out my Top Tips for Ordering Foundation Online post.

After a bit of research, and feeling confident I'd picked the shade that was (hopefully) the best for me, I hit add to basket. Two days later my new foundation was sitting on my dressing table, ready to be tested, and thankfully the shade was pretty darn perfect.

The Kat Von D 'Lock-It' Liquid Foundation, like with all of Kat Von D Beauty products is designed to be long lasting, high pigmented and provide full coverage and I can certainly confirm all three of these statements.

Not only is the coverage amazing but a little really does go a long way; I only need 2 pea sized pumps to cover my whole face. It gives a velvet matte finish, which is exactly what I'm looking for. I've heard people who don't usually go for a matte look say that using setting sprays before hand, skipping primer or adding highlighter can really make this foundation work for all desired effects. 

When it says it lasts 24 hours it really means it. I decided to live tweet my first day trying the Kat Von D Lock-It Liquid Foundation and this is how it went: 

Used my Kat Von D foundation for the first time today and so far so good
4hr update on my 1st day of Kat Von D foundation. Still great coverage and very limited amount of shine 
6hr update for my 1st day of Kat Von D foundation: no oxidisation and still great coverage. Only needed one shine dabbing so far 
Nearly 10 hrs wearing the Kat Von D foundation and I've only blotted once and still have full coverage. I'm falling in love guys 
After 13 hrs my Kat Von D foundation it's still pretty darn good on the skin. No extra blotting needed & the coverage is going strong 

As you can see by my tweets it was love at first use and I can confirm, 20 days later, I'm still head over heels; this ain't going to be no short love affair I tell you. Just a small amount evens out skin tones, hides pours and pretty much eliminates shine.

kat Von D Lock It Foundation Light 45 Review and Swatch

I didn't think there would be a day where I would find a foundation that could make me even pick flaws in my Vichy Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation, let alone replace it, but the Kat Von D 'Lock-It' Liquid Foundation has done just that. Although still an amazing product I had noticed how the Vichy foundation transferred when I touched my skin but I thought that was something that just came with any full coverage or long lasting foundation. Turns out I was wrong! Once on, the Lock-It Liquid Foundation doesn't come off until you get the cleanser on it. What more could you ask for from a foundation?

To sum it up this is the perfect foundation if you want a soft matte finish (although you can add dewyness to it if wanted), full, and I mean full, coverage and one that lasts from the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep. It does this all whilst reducing pretty much any shine (even for the oiliest of skin types) and never transferring. If you're not sold after that then I don't know what will make you happy!

Thanks for reading
Hannah xxx

Sunday, 2 October 2016

3 Top Tips for Picking Foundation Shades Online

On a recent online shopping spree I decided that not only must I order as many of the Kat Von D Beauty products as I possibly could as soon as they hit the online shelves, I decided that this had to include the foundation too. And what's your point I hear you ask? Well I've never tried, tested or even looked at the shades of the Kat Von D Lock-It In Foundation before; which threw a major spanner in the works when it came to deciding which shade to choose! There's 17 for Pete's the hell was I meant to get this right?

Well, after pulling all my blogging, make up and research skills together I actually managed to nail it! I got the shade pretty much spot on from solely using these three little tips below. So here they are, my tips for the best way to help choose your perfect foundation shade online.

3 Tips for Picking Foundation Shades Online

1. Look at all the foundations you already have. No I don't mean just stare at them and hope that, by some miracle, the right shade will pop into your head...that's certainly not going to happen. I also don't mean look at the shades or swatch them on your skin; although this will come in useful at a later stage. I mean look at the description of these foundations and use them to help. Usually the bottles or tubes don't have a full description on the product, and the names of the shades are normally so obscure that they have no relevance to the actual shade at all. So what I mean is; go online, look up the description of the shades you already have and match them to the closest description of the new foundation you're wanting to order.

For example, if your normal foundation has pink undertones, go for a shade that is described to have the same. If your usual foundation is described as having warm, cool or neutral tones, go for one that matches this. If there's a shade that has both of these; you're onto a winner. 

2. Look up reviews and swatches of the foundation online. There are many posts about your new foundation out there and some will even have great swatches of, not just one shade, but all of them in the range. If after reading the descriptions you still have a number of potential options to choose from then seeing the swatches next to each other will help you see how different they are in comparison to each other. 

Another great thing about online reviews is that they will hopefully let you know if the foundation oxidises once on the skin. If this is the case, you can figure out if you need to pick a lighter shade than you had originally expected. If it doesn't, then you're probably good to go with the shade that matches your previous foundation description.

3. Finally this is where you can get swatching! Put a bit of foundation on the back of your hand and take a picture. Then screen shot a picture from any posts that have swatched any of the potential shades that you think may match you skin tone. Next, open them up in a collage app (I use Photo Collage) which allows you to add photos together, side by side. Once you've done this you can check if these shades look similar when they are next to each other. It can be difficult to judge by eye if two different swatches look similar, but once they are side by side it makes it much easier. 

After these three steps you should be in a position to choose the best foundation for you. These top tips certainly helped me pick a shade that matched my skin tone almost perfectly, so no more shying away from ordering base products online. Most of all, no more dreading that you've just spent a lot of money to look orange.

What are your tips for choosing products online? Do you take the risk or is it just a big no no for you? 

Thanks for reading
Hannah xxx

Sunday, 18 September 2016

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate Review

For many years I'd been looking for one thing and one thing only. I'd been searching for that single product that would totally transform my skin and change it from the oily mess it had been since I was 13 to something much more tolerable. I'd tried many different things, most of them being different primers or powders, and then one day I did something I don't normally do; I gave into the hype. 

Normally I am one to wait for new releases to settle down in the blogging scene before deciding whether to buy it or not. If a product still gets major attention 6 months after launch then I will look into whether it would suit my skin type/tone or not before, most probably, purchasing. I don't know what it was about The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate that made me act so out of character (maybe it was the word 'youth' or my oh so desperate attempt to not get wrinkles as I approach my 30's) but for some reason I picked this up not long after launching. 

I wasn't expecting this Concentrate to have any effect on my oily skin, but little did I know, this one product would change my skin type for the better. But more on that later. 

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Review - best moisturiser for oily skin

Firstly let's get into a little run down of what this product is and what it claims to do. What's probably most important to note is that this Concentrate is organic which means now nasty surprises in the ingredient's that could irritate your skin.  

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate is designed to, in the words of The Body Shop, enhance your surface skin condition, leaving it looking smoother, fresher and healthier and I can confirm it does all this. The Concentrate sinks into the skin straight away and leaves it feeling fully hydrated in a matter of seconds. A little goes a long way with this one and you only need a drop or two to moisturise the whole face and neck. 

Although amazing for hydration and keeping my skin looking and feeling soft and healthy, this little miracle in a bottle has totally transformed my skin. It was not something that I had expected from this product as I wasn't looking to it as a tool to improve my skin type, but this little bottle has made my oily skin soooo much less shinny then it has ever been before. Gone are the days of constant blotting, powdering or screaming bloody murder at my, can't even be passed off as very dewy, skin. Sometimes, if I've forgotten to put this on before bed, I can even look at my skin in the day and think it looks a little dry. This is not something I ever thought I would say.

Now I do have to be honest with you. I've been using The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate for almost nine months now and my skin has started to ever so slightly slip back to its oily ways, but a huge emphasis on the slightly. Maybe my skin has just got used to the product and I could do with having a break from it for a while or maybe it's because I'm doing long commutes and once I settle in Manchester my skin will calm down. Either way my skin is nowhere near as bad it was a year ago. Yes I have to occasionally powder or blot my face but it's only once or twice a day; not every time I go to the ladies like before. 

As far as I'm aware this Concentrate is helping my skin stay youthful and no fine lines have appeared since using, but at the ripe old age of *coughs* 27, I won't find out if this is really working for a few years I guess. My skin does look healthier and much more hydrated than before and most of all...much less shiny. 

Basically, if you're looking for a quick run down, I would highly recommend his Concentrate to anyone who wants a great moisturiser that quickly impacts the skin without a huge price tag (£32 for a 50ml bottle). But most of all, The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate is an absolute must for you oily skin people out there who are desperate to reduce that shine. 

Have you tried The Body Shop Drops of Youth range? Are you as much of a fan as I am? What's your moisturiser of choice if not and, to anyone with oily skin, what products do you use to keep the shine at bay?

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx 

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Kat Von D hits the UK

If you haven't been living under a rock over the last week you will have heard the news which is like music to any beauty bloggers ears. You'll know that Kat Von D beauty is now, fiiiinally, available in the UK thanks to Debenhams online. 

If you didn't already know, Kat Von D make up has a super cult following in the US due to its high pigmentation, amazing longevity and great coverage. The fact we can now pick it up in the UK makes me happier than words could ever describe. 

I am very lucky to have been able to pick up some Kat Von D make up when I visited New York last year and here are the products that I recommend you defiantly pick up now we don't have to pay crazy delivery charges from Sephora. 

Kat Von D Beauty hits the UK

If you only pick up one thing then you need to get the Shade and Light Eye Contour palette. I haven't seen any other palette that has such lovely shades where each one is actually wearable. Not only are they amazing quality but truly last all day. The range of colours go from neutrals to rusts to your standard smokey eye shades. To me, this palette has all the crucial shades you need to make any amazing eye look. They blend amazingly, have a lovely soft buttery feel and have no fall down when applying. Even better, they're laid out in a style that makes it easy to pick shades that go well together. Also, just a little note, all shades are matte which is an absolute must for me. 

Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye Shadow Palette Review

My next recommendation would be that you pick up any of the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks. Although these aren't as long lasting as the Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain, the longevity of the Kat Von D Everlastig Liquid Lipstick is incredible. They don't dry the lips out at all and have never creased or cracked on me. The shade range is amazing too. You've probably heard all the buzz about the shades Lolita and Lolita II and if you want my honest opinion, if you were only going to pick one, I'd go for the Lolita II because it's a much more flattering shade - for all skin tones. I also have Beloved, a lovely pinky/orangey shade, which I'd definitely recommend. 

Kat Von D long Everlasting lipstick review

You've also probably heard all the hype about the Kat Von D Shade and Light Contour palette and yes it is incredible, but...if I was very honest with myself I could have probably lived without picking it up. Don't get me wrong, I use Subconscious and Shadowplay (the two lightest matte contour shades) all the time and totally love them, but Sombre is way too dark for me. I do try and use the highlighter shades and, although I'm not one for adding shimmer to my already shiny face, I do occasionally like to add a bit of extra glow. These highlighters are super matte and I think they don't really seem to do what they are meant to. I don't really notice when I'm wearing them and can't see the difference from when I am compared to when I'm not. Lyric is great for setting concealer as is almost like a banana powder, but if Subconscious and Shadowplay were sold separately I would be much happier with just having those two shades. Obviously if you are an MUA or hugely into contouring then you would 100% benefit from having the Shade and Light Contour palette in your kit. 

Kat Von D Shade and Light Contour Palette Review

Finally, the Kat Von D Lock It Creme Concealer is a great one for those who have dark circles and want their concealer to last all day. This concealer blends into the skin lovely and doesn't cease at all. Like with all of Kat Von D's make up it's known for being extremely long lasting and very high coverage. It really is a great concealer but features at the bottom of my recommendations as I am a huge concealer addict and although I love this one, I do have others I prefer as my dark circles are beyond extreme. Saying that I do use this everyday with other concealers, you know, to really build that coverage. 

Kat Von D Lock It In Creme Concealer Review

So that's it, my top picks for what you should be buying now we have access to the wonder that is Kat Von D Beauty. I have just order some of the foundation, fingers crossed I picked the right shade, so I will have to let you know my thoughts on that. Update from when I drafted this post this morning, it turns out there was an issue on the website and the pictures didn't match the actual shade so I'm getting it for free, plus the shade I actually want - that's amazing customer service if you ask me. 

Have you tried any Kat Von D make up? What are you favourite products and shades? Have you ordered anything from Debenhams today or will you be making an order soon? Let me know below. 

Thanks for reading
Hannah xxx

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo Review

You know something is really working when it leaves your skin tingling in a good way and that is certainly the case when it comes to Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo.

Sadly I appeared to develop a dry scalp over the last year or so, and for months I wasn't able to figure out what was causing it. I'd annoyingly tried everything, using less products, washing my hair more, washing my hair less, but nothing was helping so I really needed to rethink my hair care situation. After getting nowhere fast with this, it was eventually a trip to the hair dresses where I found my hair knight in shinning armour. I was recommended the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo and, so far, it's doing a pretty decent job.

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo Review

This shampoo is designed to invigorate your scalp and wake up your hair but I've found it's been great for my dry scalp. It recommends you only use a pea size amount to wash your whole hair but I find that for thick hair like mine a small amount doesn't lather up enough to wash from root to tip. Because of this, and the fact it is a tad on the expensive side, (£11.55 - way more then I'd normally spend on shampoo) I use that pea sized amount and only wash my problem area, the roots and scalp. Of course I then wash the rest of my hair with some normal, cheaper shampoo!

I leave it on the roots for a few minutes and it really starts to work its magic by getting the scalp tingling. Not only does it smell amazing and fill you're whole bathroom with a refreshing tea tree scent, when I use it in the morning I find the tea tree smell really helps to wake me up.

Since using the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree shampoo I've noted a real improvement with my dry scalp; to the point where the problem actually isn't there anymore. I started off using the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo every time I washed but quickly reduced the use down to once a week, and my dry scalp doesn't seem to be coming back. I've being using it for a good 3 months and have barely made it half way down the bottle so, despite the price tag, it's actually worth the money.

I've seen others compare this to the Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo for the reason that they both claim to detox the hair. However, I have to say they are totally different. The Sunday Shampoo helps get rid of any build up from products such as gels, sprays and creams, and although using these products could be the cause of some peoples dry scalps, the Sunday Shampoo doesn't sooth or calm the scalp like the Paul Mitchell shampoo does.

All in all this shampoo is a must for anyone who is having scalp issues, and actually, it would be great for those that aren't too. It's made my hair shinier, healthier and I even think it's made my hair cleaner for longer. I couldn't recommend it enough. 

Have you guys tried this shampoo? If so what are you thoughts? Or do you use any other shampoo's to nourish, strengthen or help repair your hair. Let me know below.

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx 

Sunday, 19 June 2016

The Cosmetic Company Store High End Beauty Bargains

It really is amazing what a designer outlet centre can do to you when you're trying to save money! It was all going so well until heading to Bicester Village was suggested as one of our weekend activities. "Sure, it's all high end and designer brands," I thought to myself "I won't be able to afford anything anyway so I can just look at some pretty clothes...I'll be fine." Turns out I wasn't! 

Walking past Reiss, Armarni, Mulberry and Gucci, I was doing very well. Yes these amazing brands were heavily discounted but they were still well in the three figure price tags; not something my purse could justify. But then something bad happened, then I hit The Cosmetics Company Store!

I've not heard of this shop before, and maybe it is just specialised to Bicester Village but wow was it amazing. There were numerous high end make up brands with very heavy discounts and a great range of things to choose from. With brands such as Jo Malone, Mac, Bobbi Brown, Bumble and Bumble and Estée Lauder (just to name a few) I knew I'd be spending some of that money I'd transferred to my savings account in an instant. 

I have to quickly mention that although the brand range was incredible (I missed Clinique, Smashbox and Origins from my first list) the over all selection of products and colour range wasn't too overwhelming; however if you dug deep enough you could find some real gems. So what did I treat myself to? 

The Cosmetic Company Store High End Beauty Bargains

First and foremost I couldn't walk past the Mac stand without picking up a lipstick. There weren't many shade that stood out to me because the majority of them were satin finishes (I'm more of a matte girl to be honest) however when I saw the much talked about Morange I just couldn't leave without it. The Morange Mac Lipstick I picked up came from one the limited ranges so came in beautiful limited packaging (however it is a permanent shade) and although it is a bit of a bolder shade then what I usually go for, I had to pick one up as I'd heard great things about it. With the £5 off price tag it was a no brainer to take it home with me as an adventurous addition to my lipstick collection. 

Then came the Bobbi Brown stand. If you read my last post all about how amazing the Bobbi Brown blush in Pretty Coral is, you'll know exactly why I couldn't leave without another shade. I went for Pastel Pink which is, well, exactly what it says on the tin; a lovely pastel pink. Just like with Pretty Coral, the colour pay off is amazing and the longevity is incredible and with £5.50 off, it brought the cost down from high end (which it is totally worth by the way) to a very reasonable one. The Bobbi Brown Pastel Pink blush is definitely a very beautiful shade, that's for sure.

I also couldn't leave the Bobbi stand without putting one of her much loved face masks into my basket. I went for the Bobbi Brown Instant Detox mask as my skin is a bit all over the place at the moment. I've moved to a new office and new surroundings, heating systems and commutes always throw my skin into a tantrum; a detox is definitely in order - plus the packaging is oh so very Instagramable. This was also the biggest bargain out of my beauty purchases (yes I bought some homeware too...disappointed face emoji) with a lovely £8.25 saving!

Finally I couldn't go past the Origins stand without picking up the cult favourite Super Spot Remover now could I? I've heard great things about this but wasn't prepared to folk out nearly £15 for it, however with almost a £5 discount; how could I refuse? I've already had to use the Origins Super Spot Remover once since getting it and so far it's worked miracles; definitely worth the hype. 

I'm sure I will be doing reviews on all of these products soon but I just had to get a post up to tell you all about the amazing collections they have at The Cosmetic Company Store. Anyone living near or visiting Oxfordshire should definitely pop in and get themselves some bargains. I made an amazing saving of £23.50 on these four products!

Have any of you tried any of these products? What do you think of them? Or have any of you visited The Cosmetic Company Store before? If not, do you know where else we can get amazing beauty discounts?

Thanks for reading
Hannah xxx

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Bobbi Brown Blush in Pretty Coral Review and Swatches

If you are a regular follower of A Day In The Life of a Northern Girl you will be very aware from my posts and Instagram that I am a little obsessed with blusher. I went though a phase where I went totally blusher crazy and had to rein it in a little bit for a while...that was until I had my birthday!

Each year, as I get a little older, I like to make myself feel better by buying a new highend make up product. This product has to be something I couldn't justify buying on a regular basis (or more specifically without that extra birthday money) and I usually like to go for a brand that I haven't had many products from or I've never bought from before. This year that brand was Bobbi Brown.

I finally settled on getting myself a new blush (as I suppose it had been a while since I banned myself from getting more) and with the help of one of the lovely assistants in the Covent Garden store; I chose Pretty Coral. Now, I wouldn't say that this blush is a true coral tone so I'm not sure just how accurate that name is, in fact it's actually verging on a deep pink shade. However, that aside, this is one of the best blushes I have ever had.

Pretty Coral is a new shade that has been added to Bobbi's matte range (shimmer's and cream's are available) however don't let that put you off if you like a glow to the cheeks as this Bobbi Brown blush does leave the skin with a little highlight. There are no flakes of glitter or shimmer in this blush (which is perfect for me) but it certainly doesn't leave the skin looking dull or flat like some matte products can.

Bobbi Brown Blush in Pretty Coral Review

So why exactly am I so in love with this blush? For starters the consistency of the Bobbi Brown Blush in Pretty Coral is amazing. It's a finely pressed power that has the consistency of a cream blush once rubbed into the skin. It's not the most buttery of consistencies, noting beats Mac when it comes to cream like powder blushes, but the texture of this blush is lovely and silky.

The colour pay off is also amazing. Sadly it didn't quite pick up as strong on the skin as it does in real life when I tried to take pictures, but it really does pack a punch. You only need a couple of taps to your cheeks when applying to get a natural pop of colour. It is very easy to go too heavy with this blush so I recommend starting off with a small amount and building up the product until your happy with the colour.  I've had a lot of lovely comments from people since I started wearing this blush, with the lads at work even noticing "you have some of that stuff on your looks nice" - men have such a way with words!

The point I am trying to make with this is just how nice and noticeable the Bobbi Brown Pretty Coral blush is. I wear blusher everyday for work but it was only when I started wearing Pretty Coral that people started to notice. I also really love how this shade looks on my face and I think it would work for any skin tone too. I'm not pale but I'm not olive toned either; I'm sort of smack bang in between and this colour gives a really nice natural flush to my face. 

Bobbi Brown Blush Pretty Coral Swatch

Finally, my absolute favourite thing about this blusher is its longevity. Ok it's not as prominent at the end of the day as it is when I first apply it, but it is still there when I get home after work; which can't be said for any of the other blushes in my collection (including Mac, Topshop or Sephora). When Bobbi says it is long-lasting she's really not lying!

All in all this is definitely the best blusher I have ever had for 1) colour pay off 2) a natural looking shade and 3) staying put on my face. I couldn't recommend the Bobbi Brown Pretty Coral blush enough. No, seriously, for only £19.50 you need to go out and buy it now!

Have you tried Bobbi Brown blushes? What's your favourite shade? Are there any other blusher brands I should be adding to my collection? Let me know below.

Thanks for reading

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Jo Malone's Fragrance Combining Experience Review

As I've got older I've found it harder and harder to think of gifts to get my Mum. Over my 27 years I have bought her everything under the sun that you could possibly get a mother; from candles to perfume and a couple of pairs of slippers thrown in between. When both my parents reached a milestone birthday last year, I wanted to get them something a little extra special. For my Dad it was simple, something sentimental and something guitar related; which both went down a storm. For my Mum it was a little more difficult.

As my Mum is a HUGE lover of Jo Malone (I can't remember a Birthday/Christmas/Mother's Day gone by where she hasn't received something Jo Malone related) I wanted to get her something she hadn't had from the brand before. Through doing a little bit of research I soon learnt I could not only physically get her something she hadn't had before (a nice new shinny perfume, among other things), I could also get her something she hadn't done before. I could treat her to a whole Jo Malone experience that she'd never had...and all for no cost!

Jo Malone's Fragrance Combining Review

Jo Malone offer a number of experiences that you can do in store (or at any department counter) and they're all completely free. These experiences help customers try out a number of products allowing us to figure out which scents are best for us. For my Mum (who has been stuck on the same scent since she first fell in love with Jo Malone) I chose the Hand and Arm Massage with a Fragrance Combining consultation in order to help her pick a new fragrance that would not only smell amazing on it's own, but would also work well when mixed with her favorite sent, letting her to create a whole new scent of her own. Not only do you get to discuss and test your preferred notes with one of the lovely and extremely knowledgeable Jo Malone ladies, they also throw in a free hand and arm massage in for good measure.

The experience starts with discussing which notes and scents you prefer, along with getting help figuring out which scents would work well with the perfume you already have waiting for you at home (my Mum went for the fruity Grapefruit to complement the citrusy Lime, Basil and Mandarin). You then get to sample a number of Jo Malone fragrances that the consultant matches to your suggestions. Once you've picked your favourite, then comes the most relaxing and calming hand and arm massage you'll every have, using all the products from your chosen range.

The massage starts with the Jo Malone consultant using the Body and Hand Wash to cleanse your hands and arms, this is then gently wiped off using a Lime, Basil and Mandarin infused warm towel. Next comes a lovely hand and arm massage using the Body Cremes; which was truly needed in my case, I didn't realise how much a hand and arm massage can really help to relax you and relieve stress! Finally, you are left with a generous spritz of perfume to leave you smelling divine for the rest of the day.

I really can't recommend the Fragrance Combining experience enough. Not only was the experience as a whole a lovely, relaxing and luxurious event, the Fragrance consultant was so friendly, tentative and knowledgeable. Sadly I forgot to take note of the lovely girl's name who helped me and my Mum but she worked at the Jo Malone counter in House of Fraser at Meadowhall and I'd go back to her every time either of us want a new fragrance, that's for sure.

You can book this experience, along with a 'Scent your Wedding,' 'Scent your Home' or 'The Scent for you' experience by calling up your local Jo Malone counter, or by booking online at one of the four Jo Malone Boutiques. And don't worry guys, Jo Malone isn't leaving you out, there is also an 'Essentials for Men' experience to help you find your signature scent too. And don't forget, they are all completely complimentary.

Have any of you had any of these experiences? Is it something you would love to do as a Jo Malone fan? I think it's a great way to choose the best scent for you and, as Jo Malone has so many fragrances to choose from, it's great for customers old and new to help them find their favourite scent.

I'd like to give a huge thank you to Jo Malone at Meadowhall for making mine and my mum's day and for helping me give her the birthday treat she deserves.

As always, thanks for reading.

Hannah xxx

Monday, 16 May 2016

Vichy Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation Review

It's not very common that I make it to the end of a foundation without wanting to go out and try something new, or that my skin has completely started to reject the product it once knew and loved. Saying that, it's not very common that I actually reach the end of a foundation at all, let alone go out and repurchase it. But I think this is all because I had never used the Vichy Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation before.

Gone are the days of constantly researching a better foundation for oily skin. Gone are the days where I'm reaching for one of my many half empty bottles that I have in my collection and gone are the days where I'm looking for the next foundation that will hopefully be THE foundation. And I have Vichy to thank for that!

Now, casting my mind way back to almost 2 years ago, I went to Vichy's launch of several new products to their Dermablend range (see that post here because there really are some amazing products in this range) and this is when the Fluid Corrective Foundation caught my eye. If you don't know much about Vichy's Dermablend range then here's the most important thing; Vichy takes pride in making this make up for even the most sensitive of skin types to use and love, and thus the healthy make up was born.

Vichy Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation Review

 So, now on to why I just love this stuff and why I haven't touched another foundation for a least a year. First of all the coverage is amazing. Now I'm not someone that has particularly bad skin but I do have a very uneven skin tone and when I do get a pesky little blemish, my God does that little thing scar my face up. It takes months for the remnants of each blemish to disappear from my face, but the Dermanblend Fluid Correction Foundation really does cover my skin flawlessly. To top it off, and help support my amazing coverage claim, it's well known that make up artists use this foundation to cover tattoos and you can't argue with that.

Next comes the formula. For a medium to thick liquid foundation the Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation feels so ridiculously light on the skin. Ok, yes if you are trying to blend a 5p sized amount onto your face you are going to feel it, but the point with this foundation is that you really don't need much to go a long way. I only use a pea's size amount on my brush then dot that round my face and this covers and blends perfectly and feels like I have nothing on my skin. One little negative about this foundation is that it can transfer if you're wearing too much, so if you're wanting a really thick layer and heavy foundation look than I definitely recommend setting it with some powder or using a setting spray.

Then we come to the 16 hours this foundation claims to stay on the skin for. Well I have to say that I don't think there has been a time where I have needed to wear this foundation for 16 hours but I know for a fact that my skin still looks great when I'm washing it off at 10pm after it's been applied at 8am. It never needs topping up throughout the day and certainly lasts a full day after suffering the morning London commute and awful office air con without being affected. Not only does it last a long time on the face, it also last's a long time in your make up collection. Due to only needing a small amount to cover my whole face, a little really does go a really long way with this foundation, it has lasted me months without even a hint of running out or needing to repurchase. 

And finally, the finish of this foundation is definitly matte so it works perfectly for oily skin types. However, if you add a little bit of highlight to the skin, or mix the foundation with a brightening moisturiser, you can certainly get a glowy look. It is hard to say anything bad about this product but sadly here comes another small negative. Unfortunately, like most foundations found in the drugstore or on the high street, the colour range isn't the best. I use Opal (number 15) which is the second lightest shade they have and I'd consider myself to have a medium skin tone. Saying that, it looks like they have added a few more shades since I first purchased it so I wouldn't let this stop you for checking to see if you can find a shade to match.

In summary:
Coverage = Flawless
Longevity = Over 14 hours
Formula = Medium but buildable
Finish = Matte
Price = £18 for 30ml

All in all I really can't say a bad thing against this foundation. For something that covers so well, lasts so long on the skin and blends so well when applying, the few minor negatives that come with it are easily forgotten. This foundation is a must for anyone with bad skin or for those that just like a decent coverage with minimal effort. It's also a great one for us shiny faced gal's.

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xxx


Sunday, 3 April 2016

March Favourites ft Bumble & Bumble, Body Shop, Kat Von D

So Spring has finally (pretty much) sprung and we are welcoming April with open arms, well at least I am as it is my birthday at the end of the month, and although I'm not looking forward to reaching one year closer to 30, I am looking forward to having something to celebrate. March has been a busy month with my workload increasing and a lot of travelling to parents and parent in-law's over the weekends (hence the lack of blogging this month) however that hasn't stopped me from falling in love with a handful of beauty products. So here we go, my March favourites.

My first favourite has to go to the product that has, no joke, changed my life. I never thought that a product could change my skin so much in such a short period of time but the Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate has done just that. As a girl with oily skin I had come to terms with the fact that, although I could keep it at bay or reduce the level of shine, I would always have a "natural glow" to the put it nicely. The Drops of Youth Concentrate has literally changed my skin type so much that my oily skin is actually now a thing of the past. I plan on doing a full review on this concentrate to really sing its praises, but in summary this product has a serum consistency that sinks into the skin rediculously quickly and feels like silk as it does so. I never thought I'd ever stray away from my faithful moisturiser but this concentrate has completely changed my knowledge of the type of skincare I should be using.

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate Review

Something else that has helped improve my skin this month is this silicone facial cleanser brush. Now, as I got this from TK Maxx and threw the box away I can't remember which brand it came from, however I have found one pretty much identical for the same price here. This is definitely a dupe of the Foreo Luna cleanser, which I haven't tried out (as it's 8 times the price) but I no longer feel the need to as this one is just incredible. With two different vibration settings the silicone cleanser brush makes my skin feel sooo smooth after every use and my skin has really cleared up since using it. I've been complimented so many times on my complexion since this came into my life.

Alternative to Foreo Luna Silicone Facial Cleanser

My next favourite has to be the Kat Von D Shade and Light Contour palette. I featured the Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye palette in my January favourites and felt it'd be rude not to rave on about how much I've been loving the contour palette too. With three contour shades and three highlighters there is no need for any others in your collection! The powders are really creamy and easy to apply as well as blend; and the pigmentation is incredible. Just a little amount goes a very long way with these. Ok, so the darker shade is too dark for me but it is will be great if I ever, god forbid, want to create that Kim K extreme contoured look. The highlighters are not only great for emphasising those check bones but also brilliant for setting under eye concealer.

Kat Von D Sade and Light Contour Palette Review

Next we have a product that I had totally forgotten about until I shopped my stash. The Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer gives the best coverage out of all the concealers in my collection, and there's a hell of a lot of concealers in there let me tell you! The consistency is very thick; so it's not one to pack on as it has the tendency to crease, however this concealer is perfect for those really dark eye bag days and those times where you're running on little sleep. As I am someone who has the worse dark circles you'll ever see, this concealer is an absolute godsend to me.

Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer Review

Next we have a new love of mine; which I just happened to discover by chance (and you can read that story here). The Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara is well and truly the best high street/drug store mascara I have ever tried. In my full review I compare it to the YSL Babydoll mascara and I am in no way being over the top when I say that. It gives great length, amazing volume and holds the best curl I've ever's a must for all.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara Review

Finally I have something that, like the Amazing Concealer, has come to my attention again after loving it a few years ago. The Bumble and Bumble Thickening Spray is bringing much needed volume to my hair along with a big dose of texture that is always needed for someone that has straight but boring locks like mine. Ok, it's not cheap, but it really is worth the money for the amazing things it does to your hair.

Bumble and Bumble Thickening Hairspray Review

So that's the lot for you; all the things I have been loving over March and they will all no doubt be staying in my daily routine for the next few months. What's made it to your March Favourites? Leave any links below.

Thanks for reading
Hannah xxx
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