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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Kiehl's Ultra Light SPF 50 Review


It has long been known that besides SPF being a daily essential to protect against sunburn, age spots, premature ageing and even some and skin cancers, it's also the best anti-aging secret on the market to future-proof our skin.

Did you also know that the paler you are naturally, the more likely you are to suffer the above effects? This is why everyone, but especially us fairer folk must protect our skin from the incredibly harmful effects of sun exposure especially if this is something we encounter on a daily basis.

I've been testing Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense with SPF 50 for the last few weeks, after purchasing it for £36 on a recent shopping trip.

Granted, it's not the cheapest SPF on the market and my worry is that younger beauty buyers would much rather spend the same on an Urban Decay palette or a few Mac Lipsticks, rather than an SPF which let's face it is never going to be a "cool" product in comparison.

That said, I hope more of you will start taking skin protection more seriously, and this product is a fantastic place to start. It's lightweight, sits great under make-up or on it's own with no sticky residue, peeling or white sheen left on the face. Infact it pretty much keeps itself invisible yet genuinely does a great job at protecting the skin.

It layers well against other products though I would still use a separate moisturiser especially if you have dry skin. It hasn't broken my skin out either or irritated it - both of which are massive pluses!

Check it out here on Kiehl's website and let me know if you buy it and how you get on with it. For me, I'm really glad to have this in my daily routine and I can't recommend it enough.


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Introducing Mon Guerlain


Today not only is it the re-launch of my blog with a brand new theme (did you notice?!) but also the launch of a brand new perfume by Guerlain, entitled Mon Guerlain.

I will be working to promote this new fragrance with my beauty agency which is being rolled out across stores Worldwide. I recieved a 50ml bottle as a thankyou for attending a training session for the promotion and this is the first time I've ever owned a beauty product that has not been released yet! Remember I am only a small-time blogger and youtuber and companies only send such items to the big guns.... well it's their loss because this is an incredible smelling product which I am more than happy to share with you all!

It has notes of Carla Lavender, Sambac Jasmine and Tahitian vanilla to name but a few. I can't think of a past perfume it compares to exactly, although fans of La Vie Est La Belle by Lancome and Blooming Bouquet by Dior will not be disappointed.

Most unusually, it has a light and fresh smell which has incredible staying power... this is never the case for such fragrances which typically fade out quite quickly and leave you reapplying within the hour. One spray on the blotter card in the training room filled my whole house with the smell before I had even unboxed the scent for myself.

Angelia Jolie is the face of the fragrance and is donating her entire fee to charity, so it's nice to know that her participation in this campaign will benefit those most in need in our World.

Typically Angelina does not front such campaigns and is not associated with any other brand or product, however it is the personal association she has and the memories of her Mother Marcheline using Guerlain when Angelina was a child, which made her want to be a part of it.

Marcheline used to have a powder by Guerlain which Angelina and her Brother like many children do, used to play with. It smelled of Lavender and used to comfort Angelina as the smell reminded her of Marcheline. One day, Marcheline gave Angelina the powder to take with her but being the busy traveler she is Angelina lost it.

During the making of Mon Guerlain, the company went into the archives and found a remaining powder identical to the one Angelina was given by her Mother. Angelina broke down upon receiving it and said it was the nicest thing anyone had ever done for her.

Mon Guerlain launches worldwide on March 1st 2017 so be sure to head instore during the month when we will be on hand to demonstrate and give out testers. If you do try it, let me know what you think!

You can also head over to my channel to see the unboxing!

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The Christmas 2016 Guide To Fragrance (Part 1 - Men's)

Every Christmas it has become my tradition to work in Fragrance. Some of the stores I have worked include Boots, Debenhams, Tesco (we had Tom Ford I'll have you know!), House of Fraser and The Perfume Shop. The brands this encompasses are endless but every year I notice a similar trend as to what is popular, and what I manage to persuade people to buy when I think something that little bit different is actually better suited than the number one seller.

Here I will let you know the most popular fragrances and aftershaves I sell, as well as letting you in on some of my more unusual favourites not to be overlooked!

For this first post however we are concentrating on the men!


Paco Rabanne 1 Million


Regardless of what you think of this extremely popular Mens fragrance (also Lady Million is equally as popular!) there is no getting away from the fact that every year my customers are frantically calling the store to check if I have any left in the cabinet before making there way in after visiting every other store in the county who have sold out. When they make their way in it's like looking at the finish line of the London marathon. Infact I even point them in the direction of the free mince pies to get their blood sugars back to normal, after their breathless Yoda-like voice calls out "Did I make it in time?!" - Yes, it's that bad!

Now, where was I... Well, 1 million is warm and spicy with notes of citrus and leather. Of course it's also gold which is pretty much fool proof for anyone at Christmas! Just be aware if you buy it, it's extremely popular which can be a double edged sword if every bloke at work smells exactly the same. Unless you are copping off with one of them behind his back? In which case um let's swiftly move on!

Paco Rabanne Invictus



There is equally no escaping Invictus which is the one people buy when they are either fed up of the above or another relative has got in there first - and believe me I witness the squabbles every year!

Invictus is a little more sophisticated from the glaring gold of 1 million, and is more of a woody scent with notes of grapefruit and patchouli.  Ideal for men in their early 20's-30's in particular those are just starting to get into aftershave after leaving their Lynx phase behind them.

Hugo Boss Bottled


Don't think I'm meant to say this but I'm just gonna put it out there - I got really fed up of re-stocking this when I worked at House of Fraser Belfast.

It just sells with pretty much no effort. It's one of those that people buy year on year without even questioning changing up. The bottled is extremely popular and has notes of apple and citrus fruits with bass notes of sandalwood and cedarwood. You can't really argue with something which gives me backache year on year, can you?!

Versace Pour Homme



Now whilst I can't promise you any encounters with a blonde who must surely be freezing after leaving her dress at home for the office Christmas party, I can guarantee you a scent which is clean and manly and rather unexpected.

The Versace fragrances don't have the glitzy tv ads and they don't scream and shout with bright packaging, however they are really divine and yet so often overlooked. I was selling this last Christmas and we went from having too much stock to selling out very quickly, just for spraying it on a tester card alongside firm favourites and getting people to smell it.

Pour Homme was also very popular with our store manager who kept coming for a top up on his wrist everytime he did a loop of our section! I highly recommend if you want something a little less mainstream but equally gorgeous.

Tom Ford Black Orchid



How can any fragrance guide be complete without a bit of Tom Ford?! Black Orchid is generally considered a Unisex fragrance. It's quite strong, powerful and imposing which I guess is exactly what you'd want from paying for such a luxury item.

It's notes include Black Truffle, Black Orchid, Black Plum, Noir Gourmand Accord and Patchouli. I once owned this myself and found it lasted very long on scarves which is one of my favourite ways to wear winter fragrances.

Friday, 25 November 2016

My Skincare Routine (Updated!)





I realised it's been literally YEARS since I did any kind of skincare routine on my blog or channel. Infact, I looked at my last skincare post on here from about 4 years ago and cringed so badly! Thankfully things have changed for the better especially since discovering Caroline Hirons and meeting her in the time that has past since that post.


My skin has long been a source of self consciousness for me as it has long been blemish prone whilst being very dry at the same time. Thanks to learning about how to put together a routine and the types of products to use (and avoid!) things have gotten much better and I can now wear less makeup without worrying.

Garnier Micellar Water



I use this to remove makeup to avoid wasting my cleanser and as a brush cleaner. I remove with a warm face cloth and watch the Mrs Doubtfire-eqsue imprint appear on the cloth!

Emma Hardie Amazing Face Cleanser



One thing is for certain, you better be bloody sure your product really is amazing before printing it on the packaging! EH doesn't disappoint and this is a wonderful luxurious balm cleanser which is perfect for the winter weather.

I like to let this sit on my skin for a few minutes before removing which is great when my skin is feeling dry due to central heating. I know it's been around a while on the Blogger circuit but that doesn't mean it's any less effective than the newer crazes. Caroline Hirons personally recommended it to me when we met back in 2015 and she was spot on.

Foaming cleansers are an absolute no-no for me. Oil and balm are where it's at!

Nip & Fab Pads



These are my toner stage and after trying a few other acid pad brands I find these work the most effectively. I use the night version which I find helps keep my skin clear yet aren't harsh or stripping at the same time either.

I like to sprinkle on a few drops of Pixi Glow Tonic so that I am getting the best of both Worlds, without using Glow Tonic up too quickly as I used to do when I used traditional cotton pads. I now only buy Glow Tonic around once or twice a year yet use it everyday!

Hydraluron



One of only two products to survive my original skincare list! This is a product which can hold 1,000 times it's weight in water. It plumps your skin full of hyaluronic acid and it pefect in between a toner and your other serums and or moisturiser.

I've tried competitor versions but I always return to this and it's very noticeable when I run out as my skin doesn't feel as supple or hydrated. It's often on 3 for 2 at Boots so I always stock up when it is! An absolute must to slip into your routine if you suffer from any dryness or dehydration.

Sunday Riley Good Genes


It wouldn't surprise me one bit that if the Hollywood Walk of Fame was opened up to skincare this would be first on the list. I just can't even begin to think of adjectives to tell you what this has done for my skin and in turn my confidence, but let me tell you it's the most incredible thing that even gets me compliments of total strangers.... yes it's that good!

A lactic acid treatment for when you need your skin to wow and amaze. So good I often ditch foundation when I have this on and this is coming from someone who has had a lifelong struggle with skin issues and confidence as a result. I'm about to finish up my 3rd bottle of this and I have no regrets!

Aveda Botanical Kinetics Light Lotion



Anything Aveda you just have to love, I'm going to be honest! Whether you are visiting their salon or trying out their skincare everything is wonderful and offers something that little bit different to your typical drugstore brands.

Unlike most moisturisers this comes in a huge bottle that will take you months if not over a year to work through. Works brilliantly as a top up if you are feeling particularly dry or find your current moisturiser doesn't work deeply enough.

Medyskin Vitamin C Oil


This is a facial oil perfect for anyone with dull skin and pigmentation issues. I have alot of scarring from past breakouts, and being pale doesn't help! This is a product that is affordable yet really works to help combat unwanted marks on the skin and also hydrates well too.

I like to drench my skin in this at night and add a tiny drop in with my moisturiser for daytime use without looking greasy. A fabulous find from the skincare aisles of TK Maxx!

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentrate




Mine wasn't in the best shape for photographing having being squeezed to death, but that's only because I love it so!

I first discovered this moisturiser after Pixiwoo used in their videos and I have to agree it's fantastic under makeup. It doesn't peel or irritate or make foundation slide off the face. It's one of those reliable staples everyone should own in their collection.

Kiehl's Avocado Eye Cream



Everyone needs an eye cream and with me being pale this is no exception as us fairer folk are more prone to premature ageing including fine lines around the eye area so every drop of hydration helps! 

This would make for a great starter eye cream for those not ready for "anti-ageing" yet still want to protect and have something which will sit well under makeup too.

P.S: There are a few more products to mention but I will save these for a separate post!

Sunday, 6 November 2016

COLLECTION PRESSED POWDER IN IVORY 18


Whilst working for a makeup brand in Boots recently, a customer asked me for advice on finding a super pale pressed powder. I realised that the one I recommended to her was one I have been using for years and have yet to mention on either my blog or channel!

The product in question is Collection's Pressed Powder in the shade Ivory 18. It's brilliantly affordable too costing just £1.99 and is also available in a range of shades if you happen to be a different skintone to me.

What I like about it is that it's very subtle in what it does yet works really well at setting makeup and keeping everything in place. This is not the case with some powders as they can be very well... powdery! Leaving a caked finish which ruins the look. The Collection powder is very discreet and yet holds really well. I'd also agree on the 10 hour hold it boasts.

The powder also contains Vitamin E and UVA/UVB sunscreen which can only be a good thing! Especially on fairer skintones we need all the protection we can get.

The reason I have never switched to a more expensive power is that for me it just works. Similar to their lasting perfection concealer which I have on constant rotation....why pay more when something is brilliant as it is?!

I'd recommend to anyone looking for a product which will help set their makeup and keep everything in place without taking center stage.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

NYX WHITE PRO FOUNDATION MIXER



A product I have been meaning to share with you is NYX's new range of foundation mixers which cost £7.50 and come in 6 different shades. I picked up the white shade for mixing the perfect pale shade that so few companies have yet to recognise we are in dire need of!

Mixing it with my Mac Studio Sculpt in NC15 you can see it lightens the colour beautifully without leaving it ashy or disrupting the formulation. It is super easy to do and can be done on the back of the hand prior to application.

Overall I am really impressed, especially at the price point as I have tried more expensive mixers that have left my foundation too thin or watery. The NYX mixer is thick and is of excellent quality.

You can buy it here for £7.50 from Boots.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

THE ABSOLUTELY EPIC ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BEAUTY ON A BUDGET



Welcome to the most epic penny saving guide when it comes to beauty you will ever see! Here I have compiled my years of thriftyness into one handy blog post so that everyone can afford to look great no matter how deep your pockets go.
I want to arm you with the tools to build a beauty collection and get smart with how you spend so that you can get the most out of your makeup wardrobe and not feel left behind.

Here are my top 20 tips to help you. If there are any more tips I haven't mentioned leave me a comment and share the budget friendly love!

1. Keep it Sleek and Edited



The very first thing you should do is assemble all of your makeup into one place. Have a look through everything and see what you use and what you do not. What isn't working for you and why, and what products do you need more of and what do you have too much of? Knowing your beauty inventory back to front will save you from making costly mistakes when you do come to spending.

Don't buy anything you already have at home - use it up first and don't buy anything you know you will use never or at best once. Neon eyeshadows anyone?!




No matter if it cost £1 or £80 - anything you do not use up to it's entirety is a waste.


2. Dupes



Possibly the most obvious point on my list but so commonly overlooked. Tom Ford and Charlotte Tilbury are amazing but absolutely not a must to still look amazing. Has anyone ever stopped you in a lift to question why you are wearing a dupe eyeshadow and not the Chanel?

Swatch, layer and think about adding a primer if appropriate to make the product pop if needs be. Don't fall for consumer hype if you can't afford to play along. Makeup is great but not the be and end all.

Here are my go-to dupe brands:

Base/Face - Nyx
Concealers - Collection 2000
Eye Palettes - Sleek/Makeup Revolution


Lips/Nails - Barry M

3. Real Techniques Brushes



Amazing quality brushes that blend well, wash up well and are incredibly soft to the touch. They also don't lose bristles or degenerate over time. One whole set is the same price as one single brush in Mac or Bobbi Brown. They are also sold in Tk Maxx and Asda at an even lower price than Boots and Superdrug.

Also the Miracle Complexion blending sponge is the only tool I use to apply foundation as it gives a flawless coverage. Pick one up for a fraction of the price of the original Beauty Blender - £20 for a sponge?! A SPONGE?! Lol no tar.

4. Get Sensible

 



Always swatch before you buy, and never ever rush a purchase especially if it's outside what you would normally spend on an item. Ask, do I need this, will I wear it? Did I want it as badly before I came into the store?

If you are unsure go to a counter and ask for the product to be tested on you or for a sample. Go home, look at the results in natural light and check out the reviews online. Also double check there isn't a dupe you could buy instead especially if it's an eyeshadow or lipstic
k which are the most commonly duped items out there.


5. Stick to your budget
 

I've worked on counters I know how it goes. Someone comes in for a foundation we are pressured into link selling which means showing them a blusher and powder too for example. If you can afford to indulge in this great - if not politely decline or say you will think about it.
 

No mascara or lipstick is ever worth not being able to pay your bills so don't get carried away if you know you really can't afford to. I've been to counters before where I just wanted that one item but they start trying to sell me unrelated items so be firm with yourself and the person serving if needs be.

One day you will be able to afford it and it will be great - until then resist temptation or find a dupe. Trust me it will feel
great initially but only until your statement comes through. If you want to be able to comfortably afford this stuff in the future it's time for you to get financially smart.

6. Beauty Card Events




Department stores frequently have beauty club card events such as 10% off all products or triple points. This can lead to big savings if you are the type of customer who buys all their beauty in one go once a year. You can sign up to alerts or ask in store when the next event will be.

7. Beauty Bags/Offers



Following on from my last point, if you are someone who buys
your makeup all in one go - look out for beauty bag offers. Companies such as Dior, Lancome, Clinique, Clarins, Estee Lauder etc frequently give out gift bags full of products if you buy 2 or more items. It depends on different stores and the offers will differ too. The best ones tend to be at Christmas where you can get an insane amount of makeup for free just for buying what you normally would just at a different time of year.

8. TK Maxx



 



Quite simply, it's an amazing treasure trove of different skincare and makeup brands at heavily discounted prices. It's a pick and mix for beauty lovers and the stock differs greatly everytime you go in. Illamasqua, Nars, Lauder, Essie and OPI are just some of the brands I have spotted in there recently.

9. National Beauty Events




Imats, The Clothes Show, Beauty Con and Professional Beauty are just some of the events that happen every year and offer massive discounts against the original price. Granted, you have to buy a ticket to get in, but you can guarantee you will make your money back in savings especially if you are a MUA in need of lots of products for your kit
or if what you need is quite specialist. 

10. Competitions






Over the years I've won hundreds of pounds worth of products which you've probably seen me blog about if you've been following me for long enough! I've won items from Sunday Riley, Nars and Sleek on caption contests run on their official social media channels (p.s: I never en
ter ones where you just enter your details and they sell these on for profit...)

My Tip? Never start with "I want to win because". Give it a bit of thought, sass and something unexpected for the judges. Don't believe me? I haven't lost a single one I have entered up to now.

11. Experiment with what you have


Don't have money for endless eyeshadows and lip colours? Get into custom blending (you can use separate pots to make your own lip products for example) you can also layer different toned eyeshadows together to create a completely custom colour.

Also, some products are multi-use such as benetint which is designed for lips and cheeks. These are
perfect for travel too!

12. Know what's important

 


Only spend more on products on what is most important for you. For me this is the base. I need a good foundation that will last well and gives me good coverage as if the base is wrong, nothing else is right! If you struggle to find a colour match for your skintone you should also factor in a mixer shade to alter up the colour/undertone as well.

I personally feel high end foundation cannot be duped to the standard of other makeup products which is why I don't cop out on my base
but do with other products.

13. Research before you buy



Just because a brand has a new contour or eye palette out doesn't mean it's right for you. If you can
- swatch on your own skintone, read reviews and check for cheaper dupes before you part with your cash.

Makeup Revolution have duped pretty much every Urban Decay palette at 1/10th of the price. If you're in a financial tightspot this is a godsend. Granted,
sometimes there is a difference in the quality but not always so do your research. You'd be amazed at what can be found as a cheaper alternative if you don't settle on the first thing you see.

14. 3 for 2 offers

Boots and Superdrug frequently have 3 for 2 offers across all beauty. Save up for these events and make the most of it by buying 3 similar priced items. Don't spend £30 on skincare then £2 on your cheapest item which you'll get for free - get crafty with it to maximise your savings.


15. Seasonal Sales


Christmas sales aren't just for onesies and tacky jumpers. Often companies will sell Christmas themed items such as beauty advent calendars or gift sets with a
seasonal theme on the box which they wouldn't be able to sell after that date. It's the exact same stuff just in a festive box which you'll recycle once you get it home anyway.

Look out for these offers right after any seasonal holiday in makeup, skincare and fragrance - you'll be amazed! Selfridges for your higher end items but do try all online retailers depending on where you live.

16. Magazines


 
Every Month keep an eye on what the magazines are giving away as a free gift. In the UK it's not uncommon to see products from Benefit, Eyeko, Estee Lauder and Ciate amongst many other brands as the free gift. Sometimes the price of the magazine only costs a fraction of what the gift is worth!

Also, some magazines offer makeup as a free gift when signing up to a subscription so if you were planning to do this anyway it can be an added bonus. 



17. Ask for samples



 

Great if you have a job interview but cannot afford a new foundation for it. You can always return and purchase it if you get the job (and love the product of course!)



Whether they will give it to you varies on the store as much as the brand. If a brand declines but there is another counter in a different store - try there instead. I know I have given hundreds of foundation samples out in my time covering counters and the majority of brands are more than happy to oblige. 



18. Book a makeover


If you have a special event coming up or are just stuck in a makeup rut and don't want to spend money on products you are not sure if you will love - call up or visit your nearest counter or store of your favourite brand.

Some brands will offer a makeover free on the spot, and for others you will need to book ahead. Some brands charge a fee that's redeemable against a product and others may charge a flat fee so it's worth finding out in advance to make sure you can afford it.

Many brands offer this service and some of the most popular include Mac, Bobbi Brown, Lancome and Urban Decay. For prom and event makeup it always works out cheaper than hiring a makeup artist or visiting a beauty salon - plus you get all branded products which isn't always the case depending on where you go.



19. Turn your powder products into liquid liners/shadows



Damp eyeshadow brush = amazingly pigmented eyeshadows

Damp Eyeliner brush = dip in shadows to create liquid liner from powder pigments.

The sleek palette in Storm is my favourite for this. You can do eyes, brows and liner all in one palette. Don't overload the brush with water to avoid turning the shadow into mush. Make sure you use the same amount of water on each eye to get the same intensity.

I love this tip and share it with customers all the time. It allows you to re-invent what you have and create a whole new set of products from using exactly what you had already! Try using a bottle lid to keep your water in so you don't keep having to run to the tap. 




20. Avoid waste



When applying foundation with a sponge, don't apply the product directly onto it as it will soak it straight up and you'll end up going through your foundation much quicker.


Also be careful when "tapping off" powder based products to avoid the excess product floating into mid air and not back into the container.

Finally, watch you close up your nail polishes directly after using them to avoid them drying out as you won't get the ml's you paid for and you'll have re-purchase much quicker.