MAC Quite Cute

Thursday, 31 March 2011

A few days ago MAC launched a new collection, entitled 'Quite Cute'. I'd been excited about the launch for weeks - after stumbling across the promo images I couldn't wait to get my hands on some of the goodies. The collection focuses on everything cute - and it's pretty clear it's very much inspired by the Harajuki culture in Japan (which I love). It's all about sugary sweet pinks and beautiful lilacs, minty greens and out-there brights. The collection consists of an eye shadow palette, 5 lipsticks, four lipglosses, 3 mineralize blushes (with love hearts embedded in the centre - HOW cute?!), 3 nail polishes and a set of eye lashes. I purchased 3 items from the collection - two lipsticks and a mineralize blush. 

First up; the lipsticks. I was immediately drawn to the lipstick 'Playing Koi', after seeing various promo images and swatches online. Therefore when I stumbled on the launch online (a few days earlier than I'd expected) it went straight in my shopping basket. It was definitely the thing I was most excited about - and to be honest I'm a bit disappointed. It's a very peachy nude colour, which is a lovely colour in itself but it isn't what I expected. I imagined it to be a LOT more peachy/orange than it is (to be honest I thought it would be like 'Jazzed' from a few collections ago - it isn't), but it IS a nice colour that seems to be growing on me the more I look at it. Here it is:


It definitely looks a bit peachier in real life, but still nothing like I'd imagined. I DO like it though, but it's definitely the least favourite of everything I got. Another thing I dislike about it is the fact it's a satin finish - I've never used a satin finish lipstick before and I HATE the formulation. It just sticks to your lips and is very drying. Having said that, it's a nice colour. 

Next up, my absolute favourite favourite thing I got. This lipstick is called 'Candy Yum Yum' (I love the name) and is to die for. I'm actually in love with it. It's a bright, shocking, in-your-face almost fluorescent pink that absolutely glows on pale skin. It has definite violet hints to it, which I love, I've actually been looking for a lippy that has for ages. It's definitely not for the faint-hearted though - if you're a nude girl or you steer clear from brights this obviously isn't for you. I, however, am all about the brights and LOVE it.

 
It's actually even brighter than this in real life!

Finally, the mineralize blush. After lots of debating over whether to get Sakura or Giggly I decided on Giggly (Sakura is a lot more lilac - I didn't think lilac would really suit my skin tone). Giggly is a beautiful, sugary pink that has definite coral hints in the pan, but not so much on the skin. It has a gorgeous little heart embedded in the centre, which is a more purple, shimmering pink. It looks gorgeous on pale skin or tanned skin and is really well pigmented. 

Left - Embedded Heart    Right - Rest of Blush

I actually wore this blush last night and I took a photo to show you - I'm wearing my beloved Costa Chic on my lips! 
Overall I'm really impressed with the 'Quite Cute' collection and I'm really happy with what I got. My favourite thing has got to be the 'Candy Yum Yum' lippy though - although I can see me getting some stares when I wear it! I'll definitely be doing some looks/face of the days with these products so hopefully you can see what they look like on better! What do you think to the new collection? Have you purchased anything from it yet?

Mac Costa Chic

Monday, 28 March 2011
I've been looking for a bright corally lipstick for quite a while now. Since Spring is FINALLY getting its act together, I feel the need to brighten up my make up a little and think there is nothing better than using a bright lip to do just that! I've always been very much a pink lipstick girl - think MAC St Germaine, Viva Glam Gaga 1 etc. however recently I've wanted to embrace everything coral - I just think it looks fabulous with a tan and reminds me so much of summer. 

I'd heard lots of good reviews on MAC's Costa Chic lipstick, and in all honesty it's been sitting in my shopping basket on the MAC website for quite a while. So when I heard a free shipping code was going around (I think it's ended now though - but MAC are doing free shipping until the 30th March as far as I know - use the code 'SPRING') I bit the bullet and purchased it. 


MAC Costa Chic

I wasn't disappointed - it is a beautiful, bright corally pink. It's a frost, which I didn't actually realise until I got it (I was sure it was matte for some reason) which means it is slightly shimmery/metallicy, but I like this as it means it's really moisturising. I only own one other coral lipstick - and I have to say I find it to be very similar to this one, although Costa Chic is definitely brighter and more pink. The lipstick in question is Barry M's 53 - which I definitely suggest you check out if you're looking for a cheaper alternative. It is very metallic though so be aware of that! 


Overall I think Costa Chic is a really wearable shade that would suit a variety of skintones. It's actually a tad brighter than it shows up in these pics which I really like - you know I love a bright lippy! I absolutely love it and haven't stopped wearing it since it came. That's my summer lippy sorted then! 

Have you girls tried Costa Chic? What do you think to it?

River Island Jeans Swap

Thursday, 24 March 2011
I've always been a fan of River Island as a shop, both for its fabulous clothes (and handbags - I have a slight addiction to RI handbags!) as well as its involvement in other campaigns as opposed to just selling beautiful clothes. River Island sponsored Graduate Fashion Week for six years in a row, and has supported Fashion Targets Breast Cancer for several years. 

A few weeks ago, on an average Friday in Liverpool city centre, River Island hosted an event outside their store in aid of Fashion Targets Breast Cancer. The people of Liverpool were invited to drop their old jeans or trousers and walk away with a brand spanking new pair of River Island jeans. They were encouraged to donate their old pairs to the fantastic charity, and in the end over 150 people took part, donating a brilliant 112 pairs of jeans or trousers to Fashion Targets Breast Cancer. Here's a short video to show you what went on! 


I think the event looks like it was a fantastic success and I admire River Island for thinking outside the box and creating a really fun way to help such a great charity out. Wish they held an event like this at my local River Island! 

17 Supreme Shine & 17 Crackle Nail Polish - The Good & The Bad

Wednesday, 23 March 2011
Hey girls, hope you're all okay! Apologies for being a tad absent on the blogging front recently, I've been very busy with uni work so don't have much time to blog (although I could probably make more time - I'm working on it!) Today in Boots I spotted a selection of new nail polishes in the 17 cosmetics display. Now, I DO buy make up brands other than 17, but recently I've been really impressed with 17's new ranges and have felt the need to blog, so apologies if you're not a fan of the brand!

Anyway, the nail polishes in question were the new 'Supreme Shine' polishes and the 'Nail Xtras' Crackle Top Coat. I'd heard a little about both, but was most excited to try the GOLD crackle polish, after loving Barry M's black version so much. I wasn't overly thrilled with the colours for the Supreme Shine polishes (a good range of colours but nothing new) but I was so keen to get the crackle polish I thought I may as well go for it and use the 3 for 2 offer whilst it was on, so got 2 of the Shine polishes and a gold crackle polish. I apologise in advance for the very bad nail polish application, I didn't have time to clean it up! 
Supreme Shine Polish in 'Wave'

Supreme Shine Polish in 'Miami'

First up - the Supreme Shine polishes. Well I'm not going to rave about them or tell you they're anything new or exciting because they're not, really. They are very shiny (although aren't most polishes) but I think they're selling point is that they CLAIM to last for 'up to 10 days'. I will be testing them out and seeing how long they last, but at the minute I'll say they are really good, opague polishes, not dissimilar to Barry M (although no where near as pretty colours). I bought 'Wave', a bright turquoise blue, and 'Miami' a bright pink. They are priced at £3.99.
Crackle Top Coat

Finally, the Crackle Top Coat. As soon as I heard 17 were bringing out a gold crackle polish I jumped for joy - although brands like Models Own and OPI are bringing out crackle polishes in a plethora of colours, I was yet to find a gold alternative, and I LOVE gold polish. Therefore I was really pleased with 17 for bringing one out, as I'm a fan of the brand and knew it would be affordable. Affordable it is, at only £3.99, but to be honest, I'm really disappointed with it. It didn't seem to work as well as Barry M's crackle paint did, kind of bunching together and not making enough crackles (this COULD have been bad application but I have used Barry M's version several times and not had any problems) but my main disappointment with it was the colour. I really wouldn't describe it as gold - I was expecting a really true shimmering gold, but ended up with a dull, pewtery, silver gold. It's very matte which is another reason it disappointed me, I really expected it to be a lot shinier (maybe this isn't possible with this kind of polish - who knows) but overall I wish I hadn't bought it, and definitely won't be using it again. I hate posting negative reviews, especially when I'm such a fan of 17, but I'm really disappointed with this product and wouldn't purchase it again.


What do you think to 17's latest nail polish offerings? Let me know!

Falling for Florals

Saturday, 12 March 2011
Floral shirt - Primark
Chinos - New Look
Oversized Cardigan - Miss Selfridge 
Hair Bow - Primark
Moccasins - River Island
Jewellery - Primark

Hello lovelies! I thought I would do an outfit post as I really love what I'm wearing today, and also wanted to show off my tan (courtesy of Xen tan) which I'm hoping to do a review on soon. I absolutely adore this floral shirt from Primark, I couldn't quite believe it when I saw it was only £6. I really do think SOME of Primark's pricing is going back to how it used to be, although I do still think some of their stuff is a tad overpriced for the quality. Nevertheless I'm in love with this shirt and hope to wear it lots over the summer, with denim shorts or jeggings (it's quite long but I tucked it in here). You might also be able to tell I've got a bit of a 'thing' for hair accessories at the minute, I have countless Primark headbands and bows taking up the space on my dressing table, but I just think they're so pretty and can add so much to an outfit. I'm wearing the River Island moccasins I got for Christmas and have hardly worn for some reason, I wasn't sure if they'd go with this outfit but I think it kind of works. The cardigan is so snug and warm, it was another Christmas present and I absolutely love it. 

I hope you're all okay and enjoying the weekend! :) 

My Acne Battle and Proactiv Review

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Okay, so I'm going to start by saying that I have suffered with acne for over 10 years. I remember being 8 years old and the boy sitting next to me at primary school asking me why I had 'a spotty face'. Charming, I know. My response was, quite simply, that I didn't know. Over the years my skin has fluctuated, but the majority of the time I've had pretty bad skin. A couple of years ago I started to notice an improvement, which is probably due to changing my cleanser and updating my skincare routine (more about that later). Anyway, the point is that my skin had always been something which got me down. I would never leave the house without makeup, and I remember when I had my first boyfriend, creeping to the bathroom at the early hours of the morning to apply concealer to make myself look less scary... or simply sleeping in my make up (I know, I know, such a skincare sin) to avoid any embarrassment. I had days when it got me so depressed I spent most of my time crying, wondering if my skin would ever get better. A few years ago I decided that I had to face facts, I was stuck with bad skin forever. Wrong. 

Now, during my battle with my skin I have tried a LOT of products. Pretty much anything on the market that specifically targeted spots, I'd tried it. Clearasil, Clean & Clear, Oxy, Garnier, Freederm, Benzoyl Peroxide gels, Tea Tree Oil, Witch... I could go on. The problem was, none of them seemed to help. I'll admit that I did notice a difference with Benzoyl Peroxide, but the dry, flaky patches on my skin resulting from its use put me off, and after a while it just didn't seem to cut it. I will say I tried (and still use) Sudocrem and found it to be FABULOUS, but only as a quick-fix solution. The same goes for Origins Spot Remover. I'd been to the doctors and tried various different medications, none of which did anything.

Like I said, a couple of years ago I noticed my skin start to improve. My skin was no longer something I dwelled on, although I did have days when I felt how I used to, as though it would never get better. I no longer felt the need to sleep in my make up around my boyfriend (although that could simply be due to being more comfortable with him). It was still bad, I'll admit, but it was an awful lot better than it had been. So, I was still on my quest for clear skin. I still tried out new products - although I knew better than to go back to my Clean & Clear days (I honestly think it is a terrible, terrible cleanser that did nothing for my skin), I would try out new products on the market, sometimes finding results, but nothing drastic. I did, however, form a lasting relationship with a cleanser which I still to this day use on a regular basis. I absolutely LOVE Garnier Skin Naturals Fresh Cleansing Milk - it is so gentle on my skin but also helps keep spots at bay. I definitely recommend using a product like this as opposed to things like Clearasil and Clean and Clear because in my book, they only encourage oil by taking too much away.

Then a few months ago I was approached by a PR company to review some of their products. When I learned that said products were the Proactiv Skincare Solutions range, I jumped at the chance. Proactiv had been something which I had looked into on several occasions, both because of the celebrity endorsement (Katy Perry and Avril Lavigne amongst others help front the Proactiv campaign) but mainly because it promised results. However, the price tag really put me off. For the full 'kit' it was £50, which is a big investment to make in something you're not entirely sure is going to work. Therefore I was not about to turn down the opportunity to review it for my blog, in the hope of seeing some serious results. 
And results I did see. The kit I received including a cleanser, toner, day moisturiser, night moisturiser and a face mask. For the first couple of months I used all of these religiously, however I will state that I only really started using the cleanser regularly recently because it isn't like a cleansing milk or lotion, but more like an exfoliating scrub. I prefer using this in the shower and then using my beloved Garnier Skin Naturals Fresh Cleansing Milk (the green one) afterwards to remove any left over make up and dirt. Anyway, over the past few months I have seen a HUGE improvement in my skin. My pores are reduced and I have definitely seen a reduction in black heads. I never, ever get as many spots as I used to, and the spots I do get are only small pimples which really don't bother me that much. I'm also pretty sure that the scarring I've received from spots over the years has gone down a lot, and I am just generally SO much happier with my skin. No, it's not perfect, or flawless, or like the adverts say our skin should be, but it is how I have always wanted my skin to be. I still have spots, yes, and I probably always will, but I don't look at my face and think 'I'm so spotty' anymore. I actually think I look pretty WITHOUT makeup for the first time in my life. I have absolutely no problems with Proactiv, the only thing I will say (although it honestly doesn't bother me at all) is that the night cream is a tad odd smelling, and I can't really stand the smell of the face mask but nonetheless use them both as they're doing my skin some good! I have had no problems with dryness or flakiness, and actually find all the Proactiv products to be really gentle on my skin. 

This review is 100% honest. I would tell you completely if I didn't get on with Proactiv, but honestly I love what it's done to my skin. I definitely do think that my trusty Garnier cleanser had some input in it too, so I'm not going to disregard that at all. As well as this being a review on Proactiv, it's really an opportunity for me to say to anyone that suffers with acne that it isn't permanent. I know so well how easily you can become disheartened through trying products and nothing working, but honestly I do believe that we can ALL have good skin. I'm not telling you all to go out and buy Proactiv, because I understand it's a lot of money to invest in a product, but I have to say keep trying, keep persevering and hopefully you will find a product that works for you. Proactiv definitely has worked for me - after over 10 years of bad skin I've finally found something that works.  I never ever thought I would be able to have skin like this, and like I said before, no it isn't perfect, but I feel so much more comfortable in it now than ever before. 

Apologies for a very lengthy post, but it's something I wanted to get out there for anyone suffering with acne as I know how horrible it can be. If anyone has any questions please let me know. For more information on Proactiv go to www.proactiv.co.uk :) xx

17 Spring Beauties

Wednesday, 2 March 2011
So I've been excited about the new 17 spring collection for ages, and also about all the other lovely collections/new products 17 has on the cards at the minute. Therefore, when lots of new 17 products launched last week I just had to get my mitts on some of the beauties.  17 has released two BEAUTIFUL 'Vintage Love' palettes, new blushes and some lovely new pastel nail polishes. 
The products I was most excited about getting my paws on were the 'Vintage Love' palettes, both because of their truly kitsch and gorgeous packaging, as well as the stunning product hidden inside. I had seen these beauties in various magazines for a while now and had been craving seeing them in the flesh. Then yesterday I stumbled across them in my local Boots and  simply HAD to buy both. 




First up; the 'Pretty Pastels' palette. This is the one I'd been seeing sprawled all over the magazines, and although I'm not usually a pinky-purpley pastel kind of girl on a day-to-day basis, I do love a good pastel every now and again, especially when it comes to spring time. This palette is truly beautiful, with a mix of lilacs and pinks, with some green and gold thrown in. The shadows themselves are butter-soft and blend beautifully together. The colours really compliment each other and overall I just really love how this palette looks.

Second up; 'Metallic Nudes'. Now, this palette is DEFINITELY my kind of thing. I am a nude girl through and through, and most definitely could not resist this palette as soon as I saw it. I actually didn't realise 17 was releasing a 'nude' palette until I saw it in the shop, but I'm absolutely thrilled they have because I absolutely adore this palette. Again, the shadows are butter-soft and blend beautifully, highly pigmented and glistening with metallic shimmer. I love this palette so much I'm actually debating buying another, purely because the shadows are all rather small and I always use up nudes straight away. I can see this being a make up staple for me from now on, seriously in love with it! Both palettes are £5.49.

I've been looking for a bright neon orange/red powder blusher ever since I fell in and out of love with the Topshop cream blush 'Neon Rose'. I absolutely loved the blush on, but had a serious issue with cream blush (I just don't think it's for me) and so had been looking for the powder version. As soon as I saw this beauty last week I immediately thought 'Neon Rose'. Now, it's actually a tad different to the Topshop blush when on, but I just love how it looks. The pictures do not to it justice - it's a LOT brighter in the flesh. It's a gorgeous bright corally pink, which is VERY highly pigmented so a little goes a long way (which is good as it's not the biggest blush in the world). I only usually go for very pink blushers (bar 'Neon Rose') but I'm loving the change. It's called 'First Flush' and is £3.49.

What do you think? Have you tried anything new from 17? I'm hoping to do some make up looks with these soon so you can get a feel for what they look like on. Also - it's 3 for 2 on 17 at Boots at the minute, well worth a look!
- brand3 - brand5