Sunday, 30 March 2014

Zoeva Haul & Mini Review


Hi beauty lovers!
Happy mothers day to any mummies reading, I hope you've been spoilt! I'm taking my Mom and Nan out for a Sunday dinner.
Today I wanted to share with you a brand that I’ve fairly recently discovered. A while ago I purchased some Zoeva makeup brushes, and I was that impressed with them that I placed another order. The first time I purchased these brushes they were from ‘Love Make Up’ an online shop that stocks hundreds of well-known but harder to get brands, Sigma, Lime Crime and Wanye Goss, just to name a few. However this time when I went to order, they were quite low on stock and didn’t have a great selection, so I ordered direct from Zoeva, where I was blown away by the amount of products they have, and it turns out each item cost slightly less, but I’m talking pennies.
I also got so side tracked by all the other pretty and shiny products that I only ordered one brush, but I've not included that in the haul.
Mineral ‘Pure Glam’ Pigments
How amazing is the packaging, each one comes in its own little box, which I of course love, and because each one has the name printed on the top it makes it so much easier to grab without messing up your collection. The main thing I love about this packaging is they aren’t messy! I am such a clumsy person, so you can imagine the disastrous times I’ve had with my MAC pigments, to name a few; I’ve knocked them over, sneeze half the product away, open it violently and got it all over my hands. So when I opened these pots to find they have a holed separator which you have to tip product into I nearly cried.
Left to Right : Porcelain | Champagne Beige | Zen | Opera | Buddaful

Argh look at how pigmented these are, that was a single swipe across my arm!
Porcelain – Pure white with large pieces of glitter.
Champagne Beige – a soft neutral shimmery brown.
Zen – deep, dark green with a slight shimmer.
Opera – deep, dark plum with a slight shimmer.
Buddaful – a dirty, tarnished gold colour with a small amount of olive green.

So I’ll quickly run through what I think about each shade, Porcelain I had to get just because it’s called porcelain and I thought it might be a dupe for MAC ‘Vanilla’, sadly this is the only shade I don’t like, the glitter particles are really thick, it would be so much nicer if it was shimmery.
Champagne Beige is one my new go to shades, it’s so easy to wear, I use it dry for a day time look and use my setting spray to use it wet for a night time look.
I bought Zen and Opera because I thought they would be a nice alternative to using black, they’re both buildable and blend easily so prefect for a smoky eye.
Buddaful I admittedly just bought because of the name, it makes me laugh every time I see it. It is surprisingly a lot darker than it looks, I’ve been trying different ways to wear it, so hopefully I’ll find the perfect way soon.
These pigments cost £3.50, so for five I paid £17.50, which is cheaper than one single MAC pigment. They quality is just as good as MAC’s, so if you want an alternative to MAC then check them out.
Cream Eyeliner
When I originally ordered from ‘Love Make Up’ I bought a cream eyeliner, which I’ll include just because it’s so pretty.
Again I love the packaging; size is identical to Illamasqua’s gel liner, so not bulky at all, again it has the name on the top so I can easily grab which one I fancy.
Left: Night Violet | Right: Eclipse
 
Night Violet - A deep plum colour with a hint of shimmer
 
Eclipse - A dark charcoal grey with a hint of shimmer
 
The quality and pigmentation is unbelievable, you wouldn’t believe that you were using a ‘cheaper’ brand product. The formula is smooth and soft so glides on easily, without pulling at your eyes. The shimmer is not really noticeable when worn, which I prefer. I’ve been using ‘Night Violet’ for several weeks and it’s not started to dry out at all. I’m really impressed with the quality of these liners.
 
These both cost £5.50 each, like I said before I’m gobsmacked over the quality of these products, they have a decent selection of colours to choose from and are the perfect price.
This brand is German so your parcel does come from ‘over sea’s’. I placed my order on Tuesday morning and it had arrived Thursday morning, so I’m definitely impressed. I paid £7.50 for delivery which though was reasonable, and even more so when it arrived in 48 hours. My package was securely wrapped and came wrapped in black paper with a note telling me who had packed and posted my parcel.
Thank you Theresa and Yvonne
 
I would recommend this brand to everyone, they have such a wide selection of products, their brushes are to die for and come single or in any set you could ever wish for.
Let me know if you’ve ordered from this brand before, I’m interested to know how well known it really is.
Lauren
AY
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Thursday, 27 March 2014

Benefit Gimmie Brow - Review

Hi Beauty Lovers!
I'm sorry I've been quite this past week, I've recently swapped internet providers and obviously it didn't go hiccup free so I was left internet-less for several days, its literally just been reconnected tonight so the first thing I did was post!
This post has been along time coming, I wont bore you with details, all I will say is due to a poorly timed eyebrow appointment I was delayed photographing the before and after photographs. However it’s been well tested now for three weeks so it’ll be a stellar review.
Packaging
In some ways I love the packaging because it’s so small and hardly takes up any room in my overflowing makeup bag, however it annoys me how little product you’re actually getting. I love the brush, its the prefect size to comb through even the thinnest of brows without tinting the surrounding skin.
Product
I ended up with Gimme Brow because Benefit were promoting it like crazy in my local boots and they insisted I try it out, I wasn’t actually in the market for a new brow product. but I got drawn into the hype.

It comes in two shades, of which mine is ‘medium/deep’. I think the range of shades is ridiculous, I'm sure there are so many people that don't suit either shade. I was told I could either continue to fill in my brows with my chosen product and then gently comb through my brows with Gimme Brow for a natural finish, or I could press the brush through my brows onto my skin and comb through for the a more intense look.
Left: Without Gimme Brow | Right: With Gimme Brow
 
I’ve tried both methods and I honestly don’t care for either. The first method seems a colossal waste of money; my clear brow gel gets the exact same finish for a lot less. As for pressing it onto my skin, well that just looked ridiculous, it was impossible to do in less than ten minutes because the product spreads all over your skin, also after a few hours my skin became very dry and I was worried the product would start flaking off.
Price
This set me back £17.50, which in my opinion is so overpriced! There are much better products on the market for a lot less money.
I really don’t get on with this product at all, my eyebrows look immensely better when I fill them in with my powder duo and comb through them with clear gel, it also costs a lot less. Hopefully for those people that do like this product Benefit will release more shades to suit more people.
 
Let me know what your thoughts were on this product, I’d be interested in knowing if anyone didn’t get on with it
Lauren
AY
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Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Clinique Iced Lotus Blush - Review

Hi Beauty Lovers!
 
Todays post is another 'first' for me, looking back at this month, pretty much all my posts have been reviewing a brand for the first time, and there was a MAC one thrown in for good measure. Well today is another first, its my first Clinique review and my first blusher review.
 
I normally find it quite hard to get excited about a blusher, it really has to slap me in the face for me to even entertain looking in its direction, let alone swatching it. I can give you the run down of my entire blusher history in two words; Bella Bamba, this was once my most loved beauty product, but as I've grown older and shed my fake tan skin, I sadly find Bella Bamba too bright for my porcelain complexion. For those of you who read that and thought Bella who? Bella Bamba is a gorgeous bright pink blusher by Benefit.
 
I was quite content getting buy without using blusher, but then I saw one that made my heart skip a beat and I knew it had to be mine! The offending blush was Clinique's 'Iced Lotus'.
 
Packaging
For those who know me, you know I keep the packaging for pretty much all my products, but I had to throw the box away for this blusher, so you know it must have been bad! The box was covered in what looked like cartoon drawings of leaves, but really magnified and in faded colours, it really just did not do it for me, I did post a picture of the box on instagram when I first bought it, so have a nosey.


Once you remove the box your left holding an absolutely gorgeous mirrored compact, now that's my kind of packaging. When you open the compact there's another mirror that's actually bigger than most mini handbag mirrors, this has replaced my old favourite bad gal pocket mirror and I now have no excuse not to looked blushed.
 
Product
I don't like bright blush on myself because I can end up looking like I've got sore cheeks, and that's not what I want people to think when they look at me, so this soft shade suits me perfectly, it gives me a naturally flushed appearance. Those of you with cool pale complexions should definitely give this a swatch because it is perfect for your skin tone. Its a very pale and soft pink but with a gorgeous frosted finish, when applied it looks as though I've layered Benefit's High Beam over the top.


Let me just take a minute to mention the brush that comes with it, usually the brush you get with some products is substandard, but this brush is amazing. I only like to apply blush to the apples of my cheeks, which are on the small side, so this mini brush is perfect for me, and it prevents me getting it everywhere. Its angled which means I can blend up towards my hairline if I wish, without it looking like one thick line. The bristles are super soft but unfortunately they have started to shed, so I will have to switch to my old blush brush soon.
Price
This blusher set me back £21, which at first I thought was a lot to pay, but it seems to be on level with similar brands. It contains 6g of product which is equivalent to MAC and 1g more than benefit.
 
For me this will last a life time, but that's simply because blush is not part of my every day make up routine, but I will definitely be repurchasing this when the time comes.
 
Let me know if you've tried this blusher and what your thoughts were.
 
Lauren
AY

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Sunday, 16 March 2014

LUSH Herbalism - Review

Hi Beauty Lovers!

Today marks the day of my first ever Lush review! I bet your all wondering how the devil I managed to go four whole months without blogging about a single Lush product, with the amount I spend in Lush, so am I!

For those who are among my beautiful followers or regular readers, you'll remember the fiasco I had with my Smashbox Primer, if you don't remember or want a refresher, click the link and have a quick read, because this is the skin saviour post I promised.

Packaging
For me, Lush packaging is odd to write about, mainly because when I see it, I don't judge it, which is strange because as beauty bloggers we are notoriously drawn to fancy packaging, like moths to a flame. I think because deep down all us 'Lushies' know the good Lush as a company do, to name a few for any newbies, they do not test on animals,  they use natural products where able, and have recently stopped using mica as they cannot guarantee it is mined ethically. And I personally get a smile out of knowing the name of the person who packaged my product. So when I see Lush packaging any thoughts I have on the appearance get flicked right out of my mind.

Product
When I bought this product it was definitely just because of the enthusiasm and recommendation from the sales advisor because the smell alone is enough to turn your stomach. The main ingredient is vinegar, so you can image its quite pungent, especially when your massaging it around your face!

Its a strange consistency, tough enough to be handled but flimsy enough to crumble, you'd have to poke your fingers in it to truly know what I mean. It contains ground almonds which gently exfoliate your skin, but for me its not enough, so I use a facial loafer to make it slightly more abrasive.

When I was first using this I was having a seriously bad breakout and I was informed the vinegar would help dry out any imperfections, and boy did it, I over did the scrubbing and made my face feel as though it had shrunk. The next few times I used it, I concentrated on the offending areas and that worked and felt much better. It really worked in clearing my breakout and I now use it a couple of times a week to keep any future blemishes away, and so far its worked.

Now this is not a traditional cleanser in any sense of the word, its not a cream, mouse, foam or gel, its not even a liquid, so I thought id share with you how I use it...
I break off a small piece about the size of a 10p
I then add a small amount of water to it and give it a mix. Don't run it directly under the tap otherwise it'll wash away.
I then wet a facial loafer until its soft and spongy, add the Herbalism to it and then massage it around my face, concentrating on any problem areas. If you don't want to use a facial loafer you can simply massage the solution into your skin once you've wet it.
 
Price

I paid £6.35 for the 100g pot, which I think is an absolute bargain, it is worth mentioning that they do have an expiry date, but the one on my pot is ten months so its not something to stress over. This small pot will last me months, I bought mine in February, so I probably wont need to repurchase until it reaches it's expiry date in December, well worth the £6.35.

Its safe to say I absolutely love this product and surprisingly I've grown accustom to it's unique smell.

Let me know if you've used any of Lush's weird and wonderful cleansers and what your thoughts were.

Lauren
AY
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Thursday, 13 March 2014

MAC Prep and Prime Transparent Finishing Powder - Review

Hi Beauty Lovers!

So can I first start off by saying I recently hit a few mini milestones which I'm very proud of, I've reached 100+ followers on my blog, Bloglovin' and Twitter, wahoo! I also entered the world of HTML writing and got myself some shiny, new clickable buttons, wahoo! Now I've shamelessly blown my own trumpet long enough I'll start the review...

As you all know I'm a fan of a matte finish, there's nothing more annoying to me than looking in a mirror and seeing shiny skin winking back at me. This year alone I've gone through countless amounts of translucent powders, but none have met my exceedingly high, oil free expectations. Because I embrace my pale complexion, the main problem I have is even the lightest shade of powder will annoyingly alter the colour of my foundation. Now before anyone suggests it, I will say that I absolutely adore MAC 'Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation' but sadly I find it too heavy for day time.

So after buying and trying all the most hyped about high street setting powders I started to lose hope, that was until I found an undiscovered beauty guru in my friend! I'm sure we all have this friend, that buys high end makeup, but doesn't strike up conversations about beauty, unlike us fanatics, however on this particular day I caught her in a new product high and she spilled her guts over our lunch date. The product she spoke so very highly of was MAC's 'Prep and Prime Transparent Finishing Powder', I was sucked into her high and she marched me over to MAC before I'd even finished my last sweet potato fry.

Packaging
Urgh look at the gorgeous packaging, I'm not sure if you can really see it on the pictures, but the box and the lid are embedded with green, pink and purple flecks of glitter, not something I was used to seeing with MAC. It's the typical style packaging for loose powders, it has the holed partition that lets you control how much product you tap out, or you can throw caution to the wind and remove this if you so please. Now this is going to sound incredibly boring but to hell with it...one of the things I love the most about the packaging is that you can tap the excess back into the lower part of the tub, so a cloud of powder doesn't explode in your face every time you take off the lid, you laugh but this happened to me many a time. The lower half of the tub is clear so you know when your coming up close to needing a refill. I really is the perfect packaging.

Product



To say I love this powder would be a massive understatement! It's been so long since a product truly blew me away and exceeded all my expectations. It's white as snow, not even a hint of colour, so my foundation stays the shade I want it to, cool and pale like porcelain. It makes my skin feel so soft and as though I'm not wearing a face of makeup. I need only the lightest dusting across my face and my skin is instantly mattified, but it doesn't empahsize any areas which are drier. It sits very lightly on my skin so I don't have the 'cake face' appearance. The staying power on this product is unbelievable, it lasts me 14 hours without any visible oil break through. So yeah colour me impressed.
 
Price
This little beauty cost me £20, which I think is an absolute bargain. Like I said you only need to use the tiniest amount so I will probably only need two of these a year. This has instantly become my new holy grail face powder and I'll be buying in bulk from the airport in case they ever discontinue it...irrational I know.
 
I would recommend this product to absolutely everyone, if you want to set your makeup for the day without looking like you've had a rather unfortunate spray tan then this is definitely the powder for you.
 
Let me know if you've tried this product and if you loved it as much as me!
 
Lauren
AY
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Thursday, 6 March 2014

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer - Review

Hi Beauty Lovers!
 
I'm really sorry for not posting as often as I used to, I seriously have a list of draft posts as long as my arm, but I'm currently writing my dissertation which the deadline is June and working full time, I'm starting to get really nervous about the impending deadline date. I'm hoping that I can post twice a week until I hand in my dissertation, then I'm free as a bird to focus all my attention on my blog. So that being said lets begin...
 
So before I start with the review I just wanted to for warn you this is a contradictory post, but you'll soon find out why...
 
So after my bad experience with my previous primer (review here) I've been on the hunt for a new primer that exceeds all my expectations, and that hunt landed me at the Smashbox counter, I'd read a lot of good reviews on there primer and hardly any bad ones, so with a bit of advice I walked away with the Photo Finish Foundation Primer in light.
 
Packaging
I'm indifferent about this packaging, I find it more functional than eye catching. I like that the majority of the packaging is clear so you can see how much product you've used. I also really like the teeny tiny applicator, it squeezes out just the right amount of product so you don't over prime. The packaging is made of really flexible plastic so when your running low you'll be able to squeeze out every last drop. But like I said its not aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, but I can overlook that for a great product.
Product
Right so this is where the contradictions begin...so let me start at the beginning...it was a typical cold and gloomy day in Sheffield...I jest I jest.
 
I bought this primer because as I said I had read countless reviews on how amazing this product is, and for the first couple of days I agreed with every positive word written about it, then the breakouts began, one by one until I was barely recognisable to my closest friends. Now I'm not usually one to get spots, I might get one a month if I'm unlucky, but this literally ruined my skin. I ended up buying more face products to try and combat my unsightly face, with I will publish a post on shortly. But unfortunately I couldn't afford to buy another primer as I'd just paid my holiday off and payday was so far away you'd need a telescope to see it, so I had to grin and wear it! After time my skin stopped looking like pebble dash and more like smooth marble, and I slowly phased my new skin saviour products out of my daily routine and I've been using the primer breakout free for three weeks.
 
So now down to the actual product itself...
I bought the 'light' formula because it was supposed to be the best to combat oil, and let me tell you, it really does mattify your skin, after I use it my skin feels noticeably softer but its not greasy to the touch and your not left with a greasy residue on your finger tips. I find using this and setting my foundation will last me around 10 hours without any pesky oil breakthrough. A little bit goes along way I use a tic tac sized amount, I've been using this since the 8th of February and I'm yet to notice any signs of use.
 
So you might be thinking I'm crazy for not tossing it, but like I said money was tight and the thought of not priming made my blood run cold, but its turned out to be a really good product. Obviously the reaction I had wont happen to everyone, so I would still recommend this primer to people wanting to have a matte finish to their foundation, but take into consideration that you might end up with a nasty surprise.
 
Price
Now down to the pennys and pounds, I paid £25 for the full sized primer which contains 30ml, you can also buy the product in a travel size at £12.50.
 
Now I usually find this part really easy and know exactly how I feel about the cost, however I was conflicted this time, on one hand I find it over priced but on the other hand with the amount I need to use, I can imagine I'll only have to repurchase this twice a year. It bothered me that they had just halved the cost for the travel size, usually if you buy a bigger product you save slightly even if its only buy a few pounds, but its a nice gesture and feels like a reward for been loyal and buying the bigger product.
 
All in all I will repurchase this primer, as I do really love it now its not doing terrible things to my skin, as I love the way my makeup looks and feels when I'm wearing it.
 
Let me know if you've used this primer before and how your skin reacted to it.
 
So there you have it, the worlds most mixed feelings review since blogging began!
 
Lauren
AY
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Saturday, 1 March 2014

Zoeva Makeup Brush - Review

Hi Beauty Lovers

For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you'll have seen these brushes in a coupe of posts, so I thought today was the day to finally write the review I promised.

Having recently suffered the tragic loss of my beloved MAC 266 brush, which then arose like a phoenix from the ashes...very long story...I decided I needed a new eyeliner brush, and I really wanted one of the cute angled bird like looking types.

After a long researching session I landed on the 'Love-Makeup' site looking at the Zoeva brush collection. I'd read a lot of great reviews on these brushes, but I was skeptical about ordering having never heard of this brand before, but when I saw the prices I threw caution to the wind. I obviously then talked myself into buying more brushes and products, including my beloved Lime Crime Velvetine, to qualify for free shipping.

Each brush came in its own zip top pouch with the Zoeva name and logo embossed on the front, my regular readers can imagine how overly excited I got about this. The brushes are really similar to MAC in appearance, apart from the Zoeva ones have a slight shimmer to them.

So now for a close up look at each brush...

315 | Fine Liner
I really wanted this type of liner brush as I'd never used one before and I've seen so many You Tuber's using these and their eyeliner just appeared absolutely flawless...it also reminds me of a Flamingo for some bizarre reason.
 
I love this brush so much, it makes my eyeliner appear a lot more rounded and really cuts down on the application time, when using an angled brush I had to draw in a rough line close to my lashes and then go over it to get the shape I wanted. I can also get right in the inner corner of my eyes without it appearing too straight, it just appears a lot more softer.
 
I love that's its an off white colour, just because when I wash it I know when it's clean, it stops the nasty build up of product.
 
232 | Classic Shader
This brush is the best of the bunch, my eye shadows have never looked so intense. It has long flat bristles so it gets right up to your crease with one sweep. The bristles are really soft so they don't scratch your eyes, always a bonus. It's not really a multitasking brush, it literally just packs the colour on your eye, but it does it fabulously. I'm buying a few more to have so I don't need to wash this one between each colour.
 
228 | Crease
You know when you use something and you wonder how you ever lived without it? Well that was it for me with this brush, I was previously using and loving the Urban Decay Good Karma crease brush, and ordered the Zoeva one to use as a backup between washes, but it's actually doing the job a whole lot better. I love how the bristles are rounded, they fit perfectly in your crease, there also quite loose so they don't pick up lots of product, which means you can build your colour gradually. I've washed this brush several times and it reshapes like a dream.
 
235 | Contour Shader
I find this brush so easy to use, the bristles are so dense and compact that it blends out even the most intense of blacks with ease. The angled shape make it so easy to blend colours close to your lash line and into your crease. It also quite thin so I use it to blend out any eye shadows I've used under my bottom lashes. It white on the tips, so again you know when you've got it squeaky clean.
 
227 | Soft Definer
This brush is probably the least used of the lot and to be honest is not totally essential. I use it to sweep around the 'edges' of my makeup and blend away any harsh lines, and on occasion to apply a shadow as a highlight. It's made of course and rough feeling bristles, so I tend to use it with haste as it scratches my eyes...soft definer it is not!
 
 
So now down to the price, I paid in total for all brushes £29.85. For the quality of these brushes, I think there defiantly worth every penny. I would recommend the fine liner, crease and classic shader brush to absolutely everyone, they've soon become my go to makeup brushes.
 
If you're like me, and not heard of this brand before, go check them out they have a huge range of brushes and some cosmetics as well. I ordered all my brushes from 'Love-Make', as I said in the Lime Crime Velvetine review it is listed as an official stockist of Lime Crime makeup, so its a company you can buy from worry free.
 
Let me know if you've heard of this brand before, or if your going to give them a whirl.
 
Lauren
AY
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