Wednesday, 28 November 2012

November Empties!

This is my first empties post, mainly because it takes me so long to actually use anything up! This is the first month I've managed to accumulate enough empty products to warrant a post, so here we go...


Benefit's The Pore-Fessional Primer - This was a sample which came with Glamour Magazine UK. I enjoyed using it, and have already scored some more sample sachets to use. Would I actually buy it? Probably not, and my next empty will explain why...

L'Oreal Studio Secrets Smoothing Resurfacing Primer - This is my holy grail of primers. Reduces oil, minimises pores and creates a flawless base for my foundation. I've already repurchased this.

Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara in Brown/Black - Again, another holy grail item. This is my favourite mascara. It lengthens, defines and volumises, and I've already repurchased!

L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic in Brown/Black - I wasn't overly keen on this, the brush wasn't great for separating or defining eyelashes, I only ever used it over other mascaras to try and add length. I won't be repurchasing this.


Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash - This was a great little sample I received from Debenhams. I really liked this scrub, felt very cleansing and kept my skin pretty clear. Only reason why I'm not repurchasing right now is because this costs £22, and I can't really justify shelling out that much on skincare in the run-up to Christmas.

Aesop Parsley Seed Antioxidant Serum - This was a fantastic facial serum/oil, which left my skin soft, and clear. Again this is pretty pricey at £43 for 100ml, but maybe one day I will be able to afford it!

Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask - This is another "if only I could afford it" item. I loved using this face mask, it literally solved my oily skin problems for a while, but the only downside is that a full-size jar (50ml) costs £57. Though if Santa brings me Harvey Nichols vouchers, I may hop across the River Forth to Edinburgh and buy it...

Simple Clear Skin Oil-Balancing Moisturiser - I always like Simple products, they do what they say on the tin. This helped keep my skin moisturised without it becoming too oily. It didn't do it particularly well, but it helped. I have other moisturisers to use up, but I would consider repurchasing it.

Rituals Face No.1 Facial Cleanser - This is a sample I received when I visited the Rituals store in Glasgow Airport Duty Free. I didn't realise this is actually a men's face cleanser until... NOW, but it worked pretty well for a sample and it managed to get all my make-up off. I wouldn't repurchase this because it does have a bit of a manly smell to it, and personally I'd rather leave the manliness to my boyfriend :P


 Soap and Glory Flake Away Scrub. Soap and Glory are my current favourites for body scrubs, and I already have another tub on the go, as well as a gift set as back-up.

Rituals Yogi Flow Shower Foam - I have loved this ever since I received my first bottle in last year's Christmas Glossybox. It has the most beautiful scent of sweetness and roses. Next time I am near a Rituals store or counter I will probably repurchase this. Once I've used up the millions of other shower gels I have too though...

So those are my empties! What have you been using this month? Any particular products that you love or loathe?

Christina xo

Friday, 23 November 2012

The Beauty Blogger's Tag

I am not much of a beauty blogger, but I like blogging about make-up and beauty and things, does that make sense?

With that in mind, I saw that Sophia of Tattooed Tealady fame created her own tag, so I thought I'd give it a go...

Why did you start blogging and how long have you been blogging for?
I started this blog last October, as a way to help me cope with the stress and anxiety I was feeling at the time. I used to teach, but I then realised it wasn't for me, and for a while I couldn't sleep, cried all the time and felt like I couldn't cope, so the blog helped me to vent a little bit. Over time it's morphed into a beauty blog, since I needed a place to talk about make-up, boys don't like talking about fluffy stuff like that...

Whose blog did you fall in love with first?
The first blog I fell in love with was my friend Claire's blog, Eyelining Obsessions. She is open, honest, and her recent posts on her cosmetic surgery have been brilliant, especially since quite a few bloggers I've read have been a bit sniffy on the subject of surgery (judgy-wudgies:P) 

What was the first blogosphere hyped about product you bought and was it worth the hype?
My first Sleek order was probably the first time I caved to the hype. I bought Original, Storm and PPQ palettes, and a Lip Paint (the much-hyped dupe for OCC Lip-Tars). And they were well worth the 3 weeks I had to wait until they arrived. My most recent caving was prbably buying a MAC lippie, again, worth it!

What are your favourite five things about blogging and being a beauty blogger?

1. I love the honesty of bloggers. It's the best way to get an honest opinion on a product. For the most part at least...

2. I love the fact that I've been introduced to so many different brands through writing and reading blogs, I'm becoming more aware of indie brands too.

3. I love the fact that most bloggers have twitter, and that they're all lovely to chat to and will often give you great advice if you ask politely :)

4. I've become more aware of offers and companies giving away samples or products via Facebook and Twitter. For example I was very lucky to win the chance to test 3 full-size products from Dainty Doll because I follow the Debenhams Beauty Club on Facebook. 

5. Most of all, I just like having my own space to be a bit girlie. Living with my boyfriend 60 miles away from the majority of my friends and family means I don't get the chance to be girly with my gal-pals too often, so the blog helps me vent that a little :)

What have you learnt from being a beauty blogger?
I've learned that just because something costs more doesn't necessarily mean it's better or will work for you, and that equally some of the cheapest make-up can be utterly amazing!

Have you changed anything since being a beauty blogger?
Yes, I'm now more aware of skincare and trying to take care of my skin. I also use brushes more in my make-up routine, and I now see the importance of keeping them clean too!

What advice would you give to a beauty blogger just starting out?
I am kinda just starting out myself ahaha! I think my advice would be to be honest, talk about what you like, what you think and don't feel like you should have to apologise for it. Also, get talking to other bloggers, they're lovely!

Name your top five brands!
For high-street make-up, it's MUA hands down, you just can't beat the prices and the quality. For designer make-up, my favourite is Chanel. I always feel that little bit classier when I have some Chanel make-up on!
For bath and body-care, I absolutely love Lush. The smells, the quality and the value, all are amazing.
I haven't found 1 skincare brand that I particularly love over all others yet, but for hair-care my 2 favourite brands are Aussie (great value, leave my hair in a great condition and smell great) and Bumble and Bumble (more pricey, but still great value and I want everything from their website!)

Recommend your top five favourite beauty products!
1. Lush Popcorn Lip Scrub.
2. Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Matte Lip Colour.
3. MUA Immaculate Collection.
4. Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara.
5. L'Oreal Studio Secrets Resurfacing Primer.

Tag other beauty bloggers to do this tag!
Anyone who wants to do this tag to be honest. Give it a go, go on go on go on!

Feeling Lush - My Latest Buys

During my last trip home to Glasgow, I took the opportunity to visit Lush on Sauchiehall Street, since we don't have a Lush store in Fife (Fife misses out on a LOT!). I'd been hearing so many great reviews on so many lovely products so I wanted to have a nosey and see if anything caught my eye...

Which it did, this is me we're talking about after all! After using up my Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask sample, I was looking for a new face mask that could help with oil control. The sales assistant I spoke to recommended the Cupcake mask, and with the mention of chocolate I was sold!

(INGREDIENTS: Rhassoul Mud, Linseed Infusion, Glycerine, Talc, Cocoa Powder, Cocoa Butter, Fresh Mint, Sandalwood Oil, Vanilla Absolute, Spearmint Oil, Peppermint Oil, Limonene, Perfume)

I've used this once, but already I feel it works! When applying it, the mask feels lightly scrubby, like it's also exfoliating while you apply. I can feel my skin lightly tightening as I wear it, and once I wash it off? WOW! Oil-be-gone.This would not be a great mask for those with sensitive or dry skin, since it really does curb oil production on your face, but for those of us with a shine complex this is a fabulous face mask. This retails at £5.95 for 75g.

My next purchase was the Snow Fairy Shower Gel. In the run-up to Christmas everyone seems to rave about this bubblegum wonder, so I thought I would see if the hype was right.

(INGREDIENTS:  Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Propylene Glycol, Lauryl Betaine, Perfume, Lactic Acid, Synthetic Musk, Titanium Dioxide, Blue Glitter (Polyethylene terephthalate), Methyl Ionone, Benzyl Benzoate, Colour 45410, Colour 45380, Methylparaben)

This costs £6.25 for 250g. The first thing to note about this is the smell. It smells of Pear Drops, which I find lovely, but it is an extremely sweet smell, so if you're not keen on those kinds of scents then you will hate this! I like the smell, but I use this sparingly lest I should end up smelling cloying! The gel lathers up really well with my loofah, and there's even a tiny hint of glitter through the shower gel, so it's perfect for giving your body a little hint of sparkle in preparation for those Christmas nights out!

My final purchase was the product I've used the most since purchasing, the Popcorn Lip Scrub. I bought this because in winter, my lips go on the fritz, and I have to spends ages trying to restore them to some kind of presentable condition. I thought I'd give this lip scrub a go to see if it helped get rid of all the flakey dry bits that like to appear on my lips. This comes in at £5.25 for 25g.

(INGREDIENTS: Caster Sugar, Jojoba Oil, Sea Salt, Polenta, Coconut Oil, Popping Candy)

This really does taste like popcorn, it's all I can do not to just eat it!  After scrubbing my lips with a tiny fingertip of this, my lips feel a lot smoother, and in conjunction with a good lip balm my lips are so much better this year. I don't have much to say about the lip scrub, other than it does exactly what it's meant to, it works and it tastes lovely!

So that's my latest buys from Lush, have you visited a Lush store recently? What are your favourite Lush products? :)

Christina xo

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Selfridges Lucky Beauty Bag - The Un-Baggening...

I don't know if unbaggening is a word, but I have an English degree, so I say it should be.

ANYWAY... I was about to finish work yesterday morning (was on nightshift) and I had two minutes to check my emails. Saw I had a Selfridges email, telling me the bags were now available to order, managed to bag (ho ho) one, and had it ordered before I left work. Came home from work this afternoon to discover that not only had it been dispatched, it had been DELIVERED and left with my lovely neighbour Tania! Cue major excitement from me and a fair bit of squeeing.

So does the Beauty Lucky Bag live up to the awesomeness of its predecessor, the Box? Well let's see what I got... 

In my box was:

OCC Lip Tar - £10 (Full size)
Anatomicals "Our Lip Balm's Better Than Yours" SPF 15 Lip Balm - £2.55 (Full size)
Ren Rose Otto Body Wash - 50ml Sample = £4.25 (Full size is 200ml for £17)
Eve Lom Rescue Mask - 15ml Sample =  £8.25 (Full size is 100ml for £55)
NPW Luxe Talons Nail Caviar - £2.50 (Full size)
NPW Beauty Junkie Ginseng Mud Mask - 15ml Sachet = £1.50 (Full size)

Bag cost = £15 + £4.95 delivery, Actual Product Worth = £29.05

I love the look of some of the products, and I'm especially excited by the OCC Lip Tar. I actually had no idea Selfridges stocked OCC, so looking forward to trying this gorgeously vivid pink shade! The Ren Body Wash smells gorgeous, so again, a thumbs up for me! The Anatomicals Lip Balm tastes nice and feels moisturising... but I have around 10 lip balms at the moment, so it is just another lip balm to me. I've never tried anything by Eve Lom (mainly due to budget :P) but I'm looking forward to giving this mask a go.

The NPW products have left me feeling a bit...meh? I think it's just because nail caviar and sachet masks are so easy to buy from any high-street chemist/pharmacy, and I was expecting to receive products that us mere mortals find it more difficult to obtain. Where this also leaves me feeling a bit downhearted is in the actual value of the products. I paid £19.95 for just under £30 of product, whereas most beauty subscription boxes give you more every month, and the Selfridges Beauty Box had a whopping £150 of product for the same price as this. I dunno, maybe I'm being cheeky, but I expected a little more from Selfridges. I suppose that's the point of any lucky bag, that you win some and lose some, but still...Feel free to disagree!

Overall, I'm looking forward to using these products, but I... I dunno I feel slightly cheated. Did you also order the Beauty Lucky Bag? What products did you receive?

Christina xo

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Why Do You Wear Make-Up - Tag

I've seen this tag going round lots of blogs at the moment, so I thought I would try it, seeing as I love my tags at the moment!

Why do you wear make-up?

1. When did you begin loving make-up.

I'm not sure I started really loving it until very recently. My first experience with make-up was playing with Glitter Babes (Remember them? Do they even still exist?) nail polishes when I was about 8/9, but that was all my mum would let me buy. That and glittery body gel (Why Mum, why?). When I was 11/12, for our last primary school disco however, my mum agreed to let me wear a little eyeshadow, liner and mascara, but she applied it. Good thing too, would probably have looked like Coco the Clown if I'd tried it myself. I didn't really start wearing make-up regularly until I was about 14/15, but it's only really been in the last year or two that I've really begun getting excited about make-up and trying new things :) So I'd say I was about 22 when I first started to really love make-up. I know, late bloomer and all that...

2. How do you feel without make-up?

I honestly feel fine without make-up. I don't wear it a lot when I'm working, because working in a care job doesn't always lend itself well to maintaining yourself, as more often than not, I'm more preoccupied with what my service-user is doing rather than remembering to blot, powder and reapply lipstick! Mostly for work, all I do is: Skincare, blot, primer (seals in skincare and protects against the elements) and lip-balm, and maybe some tea-tree oil if I have a spot. My skin's pretty good despite its oiliness so I don't mind baring all when I head out!

3. What do you love about make-up?

I love its versatility mostly. You can use it to just enhance your natural beauty - like you, but better - or you can use it to dramatically alter how you look. You can be anyone you want to be!

I also love the fact that, like with many things, cheap doesn't necessarily equate to bad quality products, and expensive make-up isn't always that great. Sometimes it's more about what works for you personally.

The final thing I love about make-up is that it's a great leveller. You can have all the designer make-up in the world, but if you don't know how to apply it, then it's pointless. I've seen some budget beauty challenges that created amazing looks, and I've seen some designer make-up tutorials that looks awful. It doesn't matter what make-up you wear, just make it work for you :)

4. What are your 3 Holy Grail items?

1. L'Oreal Studio Secrets Smoothing Resurfacing Primer - £14.29 from here.

I've yet to try a better primer than this (P.S. this is a pretty good dupe for the Clarins Instant Touch Primer, and it's cheaper, score!). It mattifies, it minimses my huge pores, it makes my base last the whole day (bar touch ups on oily bits). I love it!

2. Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara - £10.99 from here.

This is my go-to mascara. I don't need much length, but I need volume and definition, which this gives in spades. I always have beautiful doll-like, voluminous lashes with this; it just works for me better than any other mascara I've tried. I like it better than Benefit's They're Real.

3. Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Colour in L'Exuberante - £25 (I paid £20.50 in Duty Free) from here.

I originally wanted a different shade, but when I swatched this as I passed through duty free, I fell in love. If you want to make one designer purchase in your life, make it a Chanel lipstick. It makes you feel like a goddess! If I feel a bit crap, I get glammed up, put this on, and I instantly feel better, like I can take on the world! I shall try to review it soon for you, and let you experience it in its full gorgeous glory!

Why do you wear make-up?

Christina xo

Friday, 2 November 2012

I went to Glasgow and all I got was...

... a shit ton of stuff!

One thing I like to do whenever I return home to Glasgow is to check out some of the shops I wouldn't normally find in Kirkcaldy/Fife at large (where I live currently). One of these shops is Lush, so I decided that while we were down in Glasgow for some Halloween celebrations, I would go in and check out some of their products since I hadn't visited a store for a while.

Another thing Kris and I like to do when we can: catch up with his mum and her partner. Kris' mum works long hours as a Menswear manager in Debenhams (score) but... she used to be the Cosmetics Manager, and she is angling to get back there soon! (Double score!) As a result, she still gets beauty samples from colleagues instore, as well as having stuff sent to her by beauty PRs (TRIPLE score!). Kris' mum gets sent so much stuff that she shares it out with her sisters and (because Kris has a brother and no sisters) ME (Grand slam!) We got chatting about beauty and make-up, then she said "Come and I'll give you some goodies!". I squeed. Loudly.

So here is a collective haul picture of everything I came home with yesterday...

(N.B. I actually got a whole lot more from Kris' mum but I shared it with my own mum and my friend Vicky when she popped round for a visit after she finished work :))

From Lush we have:
Snow Fairy Shower Gel - This smells like pear-drops and candy-floss - love it!
Cupcake Face Mask - The kind salesman offered me this  face-mask after I told him about my oily face woes. Again, it smells amazing and I can't wait to give it a go!
Charity Pot hand lotion - Once I manage to actually open the tin I will tell you what this is like. At the moment I can't get the lid to unscrew :S
Popcorn Lip Scrub - (sweet tooth much, Christina?) I love this! I've had very chapped lips of late, and this has helped get rid of the dead skin, and helped my lips to feel smoother and  healthier. May have to stock up when I'm next near a Lush store...

And from Kris' mum's bag of goodie we have:

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair - I'm intrigued to see what effect this has on my skin, will use this once I've finished with my current facial oils and serums.
Lancome Genefique 5-Day Starter Kit - I died and went to heaven when I saw this! I had a sample of this back in July and my skin loved it - it looked radiant and I felt like my moisturiser worked better with this also. Looking forward to using this soooo much!
Floozie by Frost French lip balms in Plum Pudding and Cupcake - I tried Cupcake this morning and it tasted yummy. I now have enough lip balms to last me a lifetime, so it may be a while til I get around to using these!
Clinique All About Eyes - I've been in desperate need of an eye cream to help with my bags and dark circles (caused by an abundance of late/nightshifts at work), so this, so far, is an extremely welcome addition to my skin-care routine.
Marc Jacobs Dot Perfume - I already have Daisy and Lola from Marc Jacobs' perfume range, so I'm excited to give this a sniff!
Ojon Hair Restorative Mask - I'm really into my hair-masks at the moment, so again, glad to have this to try!

Also, the more eagle-eyed among you will have spotted a cheeky little Nails Inc Nail Polish hiding at the back there. There are four different shades free with this month's Glamour Magazine (UK), and I chose this lovely deep blue/black shade.

I'm really looking forward to trying everything? Is there anything you would like me to review specifically? Please let me know :)

And lastly, here's my boyfriend Kris and I dressed up as Poison Ivy and the Riddler for Halloween, along with our friend Scott who is Batman!

Christina xo