New Stuff | A Beauty Haul

ddDSCN1981.png

Over the past year I did a really good job of using up most of what I had & repurchased only the products that I really loved. As beauty bloggers it becomes far too easy to just shop continuously without actually using up products. I love buying new things, but I’m not about that life. However, with the using-up of so many products comes the need to replenish my bathroom cabinet & makeup storage with essentials, and occasionally, the not so essential.

So without any unnecessary rambling, here are some of my recent beauty buys:

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser – £4.99
I have been on the hunt for a new cleanser for so long and when I found out that this particular product is a dupe for the Liz Earle cleanser, I just had to try it. The Naturally Radiant Brightening Cleanser is from Superdrug’s own range which means that it’s cruelty free. YAY! It’s also packed full of natural plant extracts including:

  • Kiwi fruit extract for brightening, to even out skin tone and provide antioxidant protection against free radicals
  • Mulberry fruit extract for further brightening properties which can help to reduce discolouration and even out skin tone.
  • Cocoa butter for skin softening and conditioning

What’s not to love!

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Renewing Night Cream – £5.99
When shopping for a night cream I tend to look for anti-ageing ingredients as it’s important to start incorporating these into your skincare regime by the age of 25 (thrilling, I know.) I ended up picking this item up as Superdrug had a Buy One Get One Free offer on their Naturally Radiant line when I was buying the Hot Cloth Cleanser. Again it’s packed full of natural ingredients including:

  • Kiwi Fruit and Mulberry extracts to help revive skin’s radiance and even out skin tone.
  • Sugar Beet extract and fruit acids for rich and long-lasting moisturisation and to refine skin’s texture for smoother and more youthful skin.

This product claims to leave skin softer and smoother and more refreshed and energised after just one week of use. I’ll put it to the test & let you know my thoughts later!

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Liquid Glow 6% Cleansing Lotion – £19.95
If you’ve been with my blog for a while, you’ll know that I really enjoy Nip + Fab products. I like their wide range of products, how affordable they are and the great results that they give. So when I spotted this little beauty on offer (£9.75 instead of £19.95) I had to buy it.

The Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Liquid Glow contains a whopping 6% Glycolic acid concentrate (compared to the 5% in the infamous Pixi Glow Tonic!) so for the price, I think that’s brill. It claims to deeply cleanse and unclog pores and maintain skin hydration for smoother, brighter skin.
I can’t wait to see what this does!

Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder – £17.99
This is a repurchase for me after using up every last bit of my last one. I loved this powder. I initially bought it just to set my Vichy Dermablend foundation but I ended up using it to set all of my foundations. It is a translucent setting powder that sets your makeup well without leaving a powdery or overly matte finish and still allows that glow from within to shine through.

Rodial XXL Lipliner in Baby – £3.99 (RRP £19.99)
STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING! Rodial is in TK Maxx!
If you didn’t know, Rodial is the mother brand of Nip + Fab but sells at a much higher price point. I’ve been wanting to try some of their products for a while so was excited to find them in my trusty TK Maxx beauty section. And at such amazing prices too. I picked up this XXL Lipliner in baby which is a light, nude shade. It’s one of those ‘my lips but better’ shades which I love. Very creamy & looks natural. It also claims to contain a plumping complex. If I can find a lipliner that is a beautiful shade, feels creamy & plumps my lips too, you’ve got me sold!

Revlon Colorstay Foundation in 180 Sand Beige – £12.99
I used to wear this foundation years ago when I was starting off in makeup & I remember this being the foundation that I would wear when I wanted my makeup to last all day. After years of not using it I thought I would pick it up again to see if it is as great as I remember it to be. Oh nostalgia!

Armani Diamonds Eau De Toilette – £70
Yet again, another repurchase. I absolutely love this perfume & have done ever since my university days. It’s a soft, subtle, feminine scent and is everything that I love in a fragrance. Armani describe it as:

Gourmand-floral – The top notes are litchi and raspberry, the middle notes – freesia and lily of the valley, and the base are vetiver, cedar wood, patchouli and vanilla.

There are so many notes in this perfume from floral to fruity to sweet with a hint of musk. It is delicate yet lasts throughout the day and can be worn no matter what the season. I think this is just one of those perfumes that I will keep buying over & over again.

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Original – £2.99
Batiste is a holy grail for many gals out there & likewise, it is for me. It’s one of those products that I just couldn’t live without, especially as I only like to wash my hair twice per week. I usually pick up the tropical scent because I love the smell of coconut but I decided to pick up a different scent this time. The original scent is much more subtle and has that lovely clean smell. P.s. I heard a great tip for dry shampoo recently – spray it in your hair the night before & it absorbs a lot better overnight to leave your hair clean in the morning. Let me know if you try it!

Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam in Ultra Dark – £17.99
If you’ve been a reader of Beauty & The Blouse for a while, you’ll know how much I love this self-tan brand. Ever since it came to the UK it is the only tan that I have religiously repurchased. I had always used the Dark shade which gave me a beautiful brown glow but while I was living in South Africa, they released the Ultra Dark version. As you can imagine, I couldn’t wait to try it as I love my tan to be as dark as possible. The Ultra Dark is £3 more in price but my word is it worth it. This tan truly exceeds the Dark shade & I have well and truly fallen in love!

 

 

 

| June Empties |

bondi sands tanning foam, artistry exact fit foundation, nivea eye makeup remover, rimmel lasting finish primer, rimmel nail polish, armani diamonds violet foundation

I haven’t written an empties post in a little while & I had been trying so hard this past month to use up my almost-empty products. Believe me, consciously trying to use up products isn’t easy when you’re consciously doing it!

Here are the products that I managed to use up in the month of June, what I thought of them & would I repurchase them:

Bondi Sands Dark Self Tanning Foam
I love this false tan & have done for years. I’ve used up more bottles of this stuff than I can count & in my opinion, it’s one of the best affordable self-tanners on the market. It dries fast, gives amazing colour & lasts well without going patchy. It also smells of coconut which does start to give off that infamous fake tan smell after a while but it doesn’t smell as bad as others I have tried in the past.
Would I repurchase? – 100% It’s an amazing product!

Artistry Exact Fit Foundation
This is a foundation that is manufactured by Amway & I wanted to put out a disclaimer that I am not an Amway independent distributor. This is the only product I ever bought from the Artistry range & I’ve got to say that I really liked this foundation. It’s quite pricey at £38.70 but it is the quality of a high-end foundation. It offers great coverage & lasts really well throughout the day. My only negative was that it can leave that horrid foundation line along your jaw if you don’t spend time blending it well. But if it’s well blended, it’s a great foundation!
Would I repurchase? – Maybe. It’s a great foundation but it’s also pricey & a pain in the butt to get a hold of! 

Nivea Extra Gentle Eye Make-up Remover
I’ll put it out there that I haven’t used many different eye makeup removers in my time so I don’t have much to compare this to but I did enjoy this product. It has that lovely soft Nivea scent and it removed my eye makeup well without stinging my eyes. All in all I have nothing negative to say about this product and I love that its also incredibly affordable!
Would I repurchase? – Yes 

Rimmel Lycra Pro Nail Polish in Orange Bliss
It’s been forever since I have finished a nail polish because I only ever paint my toes & we all know how long painted toe nails last! But with my tootsies being out on show over the summer, I made sure that they were always looking pretty (as pretty as toes can that is) and polished. I really enjoyed the colour of this nail polish. It’s a beautiful orange shade with a very slight hint of coral and it just looked gorgeous with sandals & tanned feet. I also think that the formula of Rimmel nail polishes is good, especially when you consider how affordable they are!
Would I repurchase? – Yes 

Rimmel Lasting Finish Primer
I love the Rimmel Lasting Finish foundation which is why I initially bought this primer. It’s incredibly affordable at £6.99. Its more of a moisturiser consistency and doesn’t leave either a matte or glowy finish on the skin but it did leave my skin feeling more moisturised which I like. Sometimes a primer can wow you & sometimes it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference. For me I didn’t really notice a big difference so if it made any improvements to the longevity of my foundation, they weren’t big enough for me to really stop and take notice.
Would I repurchase? – No. I wasn’t wowed so I think its time to try something else 

Armani Diamonds Violet Perfume
I’ve got to say that I’m pretty sad that this perfume is finished as I really enjoyed it. I originally got this because I love the original Armani Diamonds and when the Violet version was released I just had to buy it. I certainly wasn’t disappointed. This particular scent is described as:

A Fruity Floral Gourmand that is sweet and addictive. With base notes of Praline, a smooth, tasty chocolate filling with hazelnut and almond tones define the base of this Gourmand fragrance.

I found this fragrance to last well on the skin & to give off a strong enough scent to be noticeable without being overpowering. It’s a beautiful, feminine, fruity but floral scent that is right up my street and if you enjoy Armani Diamonds, I’m almost certain that you’ll like this one too.
Would I repurchase? – Most definitely! 

 

|What’s New: My Latest Beauty & Skincare Buys |

DSCN1963.JPG

Who doesn’t love buying new makeup & skincare? I for one love an opportunity to nip into a drugstore or department store & spend my time browsing through all the goodies. As a beauty blogger I take it upon myself to call it market research & any purchases are an ‘investment into my blog.’

Having said this however, this past couple of years I curbed my spending & stopped going on shopping sprees. Instead I decided to make informed purchases & put products on a wishlist that I ticked off slowly. By changing my beauty purchases I now have more of an appreciation for the products I buy as I now have time to enjoy each & every one of them for a while before I buy the ‘next best thing.’

So without further ado, here are the makeup & skincare purchases that I have made in recent months:

DSCN1968

The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Protect Lotion
After finishing my previous moisturiser (read my review on the Celltone moisturiser here) I wanted to try something new, so I wandered into the trusty Body Shop where I found the Glow Protect Lotion from their Vitamin C range. I had never tried anything from this range before but the description completely sold me:

‘Enhance the natural radiance of your skin while helping to protect your complexion from the sun with our SPF30 moisturiser. Ideal for daily use to hydrate and help to protect, leaving the skin looking glowing.’

If I can make my otherwise dull skin look radiant, I am sold. So I snapped up this little beauty & now I am obsessed. It moisturises my dry skin well & leaves a gorgeous natural radiance. I’m not quite sure how they do it because I can’t see any obvious shimmer particles but it looks gorgeous on the skin. My dull skin suddenly looks healthy, glowy and just alive. Not only does it make my skin glow, the high spf30 will protect my skin from the sun. Yay for no ageing! It does have quite a strong citrus scent so if you are sensitive to smells then this may not be the product for you!

Garnier Micellar Water for Sensitive Skin 
I know that I am so late to the party but I finally tried my first ever micellar water (I can hear the gasps of shock from the beauty community.) I decided to bite the bullet and buy a bottle of the stuff after finding that there were nights when I really didn’t want to have to go the effort of washing off my makeup. So do I agree with the micellar hype? I understand why people really love the stuff. Its so much more effortless than using a cleanser that requires rinsing which means less time faffing in the evening & more time sleeping. The only thing I did notice was that it doesn’t quite take my makeup off as well as it shows in the ads or how people have described it to. I find myself using it on its own if I don’t have a lot of makeup on that day but if I’m wearing a heavier face I find that it’s best to use the micellar as a pre-cleanse and follow with another cleanser to completely remove every trace of makeup.

DSCN1967

Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer in shade 001 Holo Pink 
Can we talk about how beautiful this packaging is? It’s just so luxurious! Even more luxurious is the stunning highlighter inside. This was a gift from my sweetheart & my oh my, did he do well! I’m fussy when it comes to highlighters & I don’t often wear a pink-toned highlight but this is just stunning. It’s a pink tone with faint & subtle rose gold shimmers so it doesn’t look icy on the skin which I find can sometimes happen with pinky highlighters. It’s also incredibly pigmented so a little goes a long way. Next time you’re near a Dior counter give one of the Nude Air Luminizer’s a swatch, you won’t be disappointed.

DSCN1965

Dior Addict Lip Glow in 001 Pink
This is such an unusual product but its one that I have really been enjoying. Dior Addict Lip Glow is described as:

‘The first colour reviver lip balm by Dior combining the comfort of a balm with a touch of colour for a tailor-made flush of pink. Its secret lies in a perfect balance between make-up and lip care, and the famous “Colour Reviver” technology. The formula reacts to the pH level of each person’s lips, releasing the ingredient and providing a natural flush of customised pink. In terms of comfort, the formula, enriched in mango butter, ensures optimum 24-hour hydration.’

In simple terms, it’s a lip product that lies somewhere between a lip balm and a lipstick. It’s incredibly moisturising and I can feel the moisture on my lips even after several hours. This shade is gorgeous because it gives my lips the sweetest hint of pink which is perfect for days when I wear little to no makeup but don’t want to look dead. I don’t think I would wear most of the colours in this range as they’re a little too bright or dark for me but this pink shade is just perfect.

DSCN1969

Essence Fresh & Fit Awake Primer
I have found a new holy grail product. I decided to purchase this little wonder after hearing that it was a dupe for the Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow and oh my, I was not disappointed. The Fresh & Fit Awake Primer claims to minimise your pores and give your skin a healthy glow while being packed with a range of vitamins and cranberry water. I truly cannot believe that this product has been created by the incredibly affordable brand, Essence. I have never, I repeat, never seen my skin glow like it does when I wear this product. On no makeup days I’ve even found myself putting this on to make my skin come to life. I have never tried the Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow but I have no intention of buying it now. Hello new holy grail!

That’s all for my new beauty additions. I found some amazing products recently & I’m really enjoying using them. Plus, who doesn’t love a beauty haul?!  

 

 

 

| Declutter : The Makeup I’m Getting Rid of & Why |

DSCN1953.JPG

For those of you who didn’t read my makeup collection post, you may not know that I like my entire makeup stash to be made up products that are all shown love & that actually get used. I’m not one for having so much makeup that things go off before I’ve had a good stab at them. 

With this in mind, while I was going through my makeup the other day, I realised that there were quite a few products in there that I hadn’t used in a long time because I didn’t like them quite so much or because they were a little old & perhaps past their best. So I decided that it was time to say goodbye to these items because I hate holding on to things that I just don’t need.

Here are the products that I’m saying goodbye to & why:

DSCN1958.JPG

The Balm Meet Matt(e) Hughes Liquid Lipstick in shade Doting
I previously wrote a rave review on these liquid lipsticks which you can read here, so you may be wondering why I’m getting rid of this shade. I love all of the shades of this particular liquid lipstick that I own, except this one. For those of you who have been with me for a while, you may know that I’m a pink/brown nude gal through-and-through. This particular shade is very much a peachy pink which means that it just doesn’t suit me. For whatever reason, peach just never looks cute on me so I have never reached for this & because I know it will never look good on me, it’s time for it to go.

L.A Girl Endless Semi-Permanent Lipliner in shade True Brown
As the name suggests, this eyeliner is a true brown shade & the colour is really pretty on the lips. But the colour isn’t my issue with this product; it’s the not-so-nice formula. You all know that I love the L.A Girl Pro Coverage Foundation but unfortunately this particular L.A Girl product let me down. The formula is so dry that I find it difficult to get a smooth line & it really doesn’t look good if you try to fill in your lips with it either. While the colour was pretty, the formula just wasn’t good enough & involved too much effort for me to use it any longer.

DSCN1956.JPG

Makeup Revolution Highlighter Palette in Radiant Lights
I am a Makeup Revolution gal through & through. I think they make amazing products for incredible prices & I’m so glad that more people are starting to hear about them. I own quite a few palettes from this brand from blush palettes to eyeshadow palettes & I had never been let down, until I got this one. There are three highlighter shades in this palette and although I love the deepest one when I have a tan, the other two just really disappointed me – especially when all of the other Makeup Revolution highlighters I’ve tried have been great. The two lighter shades had poor pigmentation & colour pay-off so I wasn’t able to achieve the poppin’ highlight that I’m usually after. I’m heading home to the UK next month & there are several palettes that I have my eye on so I decided to let this one go & make room for a better product.

 Essence Get Big Lashes Waterproof Mascara

I’ve really been enjoying Essence mascaras lately because I’ve found that they’re great mascaras for very affordable prices but one that I don’t recommend is this particular one in waterproof. The mascara itself is great as it lengthens & thickens well, doesn’t flake & wears well. But the problem is that it wears too well. This thing is a b*tch to take off. None of my makeup removers can take it off & I’m not all about pulling my eyes around & giving myself wrinkles over a stubborn mascara. Their non-waterproof mascaras are wonderful so save yourself the effort & stick with them instead!

DSCN1954.JPG

Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Lacquer in Charm Offensive
I really don’t have anything negative to say about this lipgloss. It really is a fantastic lipgloss – it’s pigmented, long wearing and nice & glossy. The only reason that I’m getting rid of it is because I’ve had it too long now & it’s gone off. I will repurchase another one but perhaps not in the same shade as this one was a little too pink for me.

Sleek Matte Me Liquid Lip Cream in Birthday suit (middle) & Shabby Chic (bottom)
I wrote a detailed review on these liquid lipsticks here and it was really quite negative. As you can read my full thoughts on the linked review, I’ll keep this short & sweet – I really didn’t like them. The colours are lovely but I hated the formula – dry and uncomfortable to wear. I bought these when they were first released & I’m not sure if they have since changed their formula as a few people had commented on my review saying how much they like them. But if they haven’t reformulated then I won’t be buying any more. Sorry Sleek – I still like your other products though!

DSCN1955.JPG

Barry M Satin Super Slick Lip Paint in Shades 171 & 170
I find that Barry M can be one of those hit or miss brands. Some of their product releases are really great & some miss the mark. Unfortunately this lipstick range is a bit of a miss for me. The colour pay off from these lipsticks is incredible but the problem is that the formula is too moisturising (I never thought I would say that!) It’s so slippery that the lipstick goes on your teeth and outside your lipline far too easily making it incredibly difficult to wear. It’s the texture of a lip balm which I don’t think is practical for such a pigmented lipstick. As I bought two purple shades I think it makes it more obvious when they slide all over my face so these lipsticks may be better in a nude shade.

NYX Lip Lingerie Liquid Lipstick in Honeymoon
I must say that I like the Lip Lingerie range from NYX. It’s a collection of nude, liquid lipsticks so what isn’t there to like? The reason I’m no longer holding onto this particular one is because the colour just looks awful on me. It’s a greyish brown & unfortunately I just cannot pull it off. Maybe I’m not cool enough but I just look like I’m very sick when I wear this particular shade. I do recommend the Lip Lingerie lipsticks but unfortunately for me I just couldn’t make this particular shade work.

That is all of the products that I’m decluttering from my makeup stash. Unfortunately these products didn’t work for me for whatever reason & as a blogger I always prefer to be honest in my reviews, but that doesn’t mean they won’t necessarily work for you. 

| 5 Foundations You Need To Buy|

foundation, best, favourite, high end, drugstore, la girl, wet n wild, estee lauder, double wear, maximum cover, vichy

As a beauty-lover I am always on the hunt for the next perfect foundation that will make my skin look as flawless as possible. But with so many options out there it can feel a little overwhelming. Over the years I’ve tried countless foundations from inexpensive to high-end & I’ve found a few solid favourites along the way. Here is my list of the 5 foundations that you must buy: 

Vichy Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation 
I have used this foundation for years & have mentioned it on here a couple of times before. Vichy Fluid Corrective Foundation is marketed as a high coverage foundation that is suitable for minor to moderate skin concerns including acne & blemishes, rosacea, vitiligo, tattoos and scars. As it is targeted in this way you can imagine how fantastic the coverage is. When I initially bought this foundation I was a little concerned that it would be incredibly heavy because of how high the coverage is but it is the complete opposite. It’s so incredibly light on the skin & that’s because it is formulated with a 25% pigment concentration (much higher than your average foundation) instead of being a thick consistency. It’s also non-comodogenic so if you suffer from acne or breakouts, it shouldn’t clog your pores & cause additional breakouts. It’s also hypoallergenic so won’t irritate sensitive skin. All in all, if you have skin concerns or if you don’t, this product is fantastic & at £20 it’s more than worth the money!

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup
It’s a foundation that has won numerous awards & is famous across the world & for good reason! It’s a foundation that gives great coverage and lasts so well throughout the day – they don’t call it ‘stay-in-place makeup’ for no reason! If I’m going to an event & need my makeup to stay on the entire day without going patchy or wearing off, this is the foundation I’ll always choose because it never lets me down. It also comes in a whopping 36 shades & caters to women of colour. A big plus in my books! A word of warning however to my dry-skinned ladies out there – if you use this foundation it’s important to moisturise your skin well beforehand for a smooth finish & to avoid it clinging to any dry patches.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover
This foundation is a similar concept to the Vichy foundation in that it’s packed full of coverage and can be used to conceal scars, acne, birthmarks, sun spots and varicose veins. I personally don’t need foundation to cover these things, but I do love a high coverage foundation & that is exactly what the Maximum Cover offers. It’s incredibly light for such a high coverage foundation and it’s also non-comodogenic so won’t clog your pores. I like to use this foundation on it’s own and I also like to mix it with other foundations to up their coverage. I’ve also seen other lovely ladies using this as a concealer so it’s a versatile product! This foundation isn’t quite as long-lasting as the Double Wear Stay-In-Place foundation so I do recommend that you set this foundation with a powder to avoid transfer and to keep it in place for longer.

Wet n Wild Photofocus Foundation
If you follow me on Instagram (you can follow me here if you aren’t yet) you’ll have seen me testing this foundation on my stories for the first time. Honestly, this foundation completely blew me away! I had seen beauty bloggers raving about this foundation & I finally bought into it & they really weren’t wrong. I must say I don’t like the smell of this foundation but when the formula is so good, I can handle it. It has a medium to full coverage (it’s definitely buildable) with an almost matte finish. As a dry-skin girl I’m normally reluctant to pick up matte foundations but the finish of this foundation is beautiful & didn’t look dry on my skin at all. It lasts so well throughout the day & looks just as good when I go to take my makeup off as it did when I first applied it – I just can’t believe that its a $5 foundation! In South Africa you can pick it up at your local Clicks store but if you’re in the UK it’s a little harder to get a hold of. I found it on Amazon & I really recommend that you pick one up for yourself. It’s my best beauty find of 2018 so far!

L.A Girl Pro Coverage Foundation
I bought this foundation after the beauty community was raving about it and claiming that it was a dupe for the infamous Makeup Forever HD Foundation – Of course I had to try it too. This foundation is so lightweight yet offers high coverage with a beautiful dewy finish. It looks absolutely gorgeous on the skin & leaves me looking dewy & healthy. Although it can move around on your face if you don’t set it so I recommend using a powder to set your foundation to avoid this. L.A girl is such an affordable brand and this foundation is no different – the value for money is unbelievable! I picked up the shade Natural but it’s a little dark for me so I’ll be purchasing a shade down next time!

You may spot in the picture that there is a 6th bottle (the very first one) & notice that it is clearly a lot darker than my foundation shades. I wanted to include it in this post because I think that it’s a fantastic product that you need in your makeup bag:

The Body Shop Darkening Shade Adjusting Drops
This little wonder product, as the name explains, darkens the shade of your foundation. If like me you wear fake tan quite a lot, it’s such a wonderful product. Simply add a drop or two into your current foundation & wallah! it now matches your tan. Not only does this make life easier, it also saves a fortune on having to buy 2 or 3 different shades in a foundation in order to match your skin. The Body Shop also offer lightening drops which will lighten the shade of your foundation if it is too dark for your skin. What a great idea from The Body Shop.

I love discovering new, wonderful foundations so please feel free to leave your personal favourites in the comments. 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links

| My Makeup Collection |

makeup collection, acrylic containers, beauty blogger

Being a blogger who writes mostly about beauty, my makeup collection is perhaps slightly larger than the average person. However, I am by no means a hoarder & I like to think I’m pretty good at keeping my makeup addiction under control, using up products & keeping my purchasing to a minimum.
I have always loved looking at people’s makeup collections to see what they have & how they store it. Beautifully presented makeup just makes me happy. So I thought why not show you exactly what makeup I have?

vanity area, makeup storage, interiors, decor

To be honest I am not completely happy with how my makeup is stored. My partner and I weren’t planning on staying long at this property but we ended up staying longer than expected & I just never got around to buying makeup drawers. But when we move I’ll give you all a storage update that is hopefully a lot prettier than my current one.

You’ll have seen this little corner of my room many times in my photos but you won’t quite have seen it like this before. This is my ‘getting ready’ corner. On the left hand side you’ll see my handheld mirror & 2 jars full of brushes (90% of which are Real Techniques – check out my Best of Real Techniques post) On the other side I’ve added some girly decorations to add a little bit more excitement to my vanity corner.

DSCN1894.JPG

The long white drawer is where I keep all of my hair stuff but the brown set of drawers underneath is where my makeup is kept! I’ll admit, before I start applying my makeup I always take out the products that I’ll be using & then I sit my bum on these drawers to do my makeup – can you tell that this was a thrown together makeup area?

acrylic containers, makeup, collection, storage

In each of my two makeup drawers I have acrylic containers to keep my makeup organised & pretty. Acrylic containers are my container of choice because I can see all of my products at one time & they’re also easy to clean. Although, the only negative is that they do show up all of the makeup marks!

I bought the acrylic container you see in the above photo from B&M (believe it or not) and is stored in my top makeup drawer along with my eye shadow palettes. This container is generally full of the products that I use on my face first (apart from the lipsticks, but I have so many that I couldn’t fit them into the one container!)

DSCN1916.JPG

At the very back I keep my face primers, which I have successfully whittled down to just two. TWO! (any recommendations for great primers are welcome.) I also keep my MAC Fix + back there to use before and/or after I finish my makeup. In the next compartment I keep all of my foundations, of which I only have 6, as well as my travel sized MAC strobe cream for that glow from within & The Body Shop Darkening Drops in case I have a bit of a tan & need to darken any of my foundations.

DSCN1914.JPG

In front of my foundations you’ll find all of my drugstore lipsticks which are predominantly Rimmel lipsticks (read my Best of Rimmel Lipsticks post) but there are also lipsticks from L’oreal, Ted Baker & Barry M back there too. I love that these acrylic containers have specific spots for my lipsticks – it makes my lipsticks look so neat & tidy which will always get a BIG thumbs up from me!

DSCN1915.JPG

Moving over to the other side of this container; I keep all of my eyeliners right at the back. I really don’t like to keep a lot of eyeliners because I just don’t see the need as I only ever use black or brown & it takes me forever & a day just to use up one eyeliner. That is why I only have 3 eyeliner pencils & 1 liquid eyeliner pen!
I also keep my mascaras back here & again its the same story – I never have more than 2 at a time – a waterproof & a non-waterproof one! You’ll also find my concealers next to my two tubes of mascara & in front of that are my bronzers & contour powders from Barry M, Sleek & Bourjois as well as my setting powders from MAC, Vichy & Bare Minerals. The two little pots you see there are samples of the Ben Nye powders in light pink & white because I wanted to try them before I bought the big-ass container that they normally come in. (Although Makeup Revolution have since released a white Bake & Finish powder so I think I’ll get that instead for 1/4 of the price!)

DSCN1910.JPG

Moving onto the second drawer of my makeup storage you’ll find two acrylic containers this time. The one in the above photo is the same container from B&M that you already saw but this one is the home of all my favourite kinds of products!

At the very back left side, although you can’t really see them, I keep all of my individual eye shadows. I don’t have lots of them, probably about 10 or so, as I prefer eye shadows in palette form. In front of that are all of my Makeup Revolution Blush Palettes (can you tell I’m a fan?) They fit so perfectly in this little spot & I still have room for one more if I want to buy another. Highly, highly recommend getting yourself a couple of these palettes!

DSCN1902.JPG

In front of my blush palettes you’ll find all of my MAC lipsticks as well as one lonely little Dior lipstick.  Don’t MAC lipsticks look so pretty side-by-side?! You can read about my favourites on my Favourite MAC Lipsticks post!

DSCN1919.JPG

To the right of my MAC lippies you’ll find my highlighters as well as any blushes I have that aren’t in palette form.  This little section includes highlighters & blushes from brands like MUA, Makeup Revolution, Topshop, Dior, The Balm & Sleek. I’m not completely happy with this little section because I’d love to be able to lay all of my highlighters side by side for easy access but unfortunately they won’t fit!

DSCN1921.JPG

Behind my highlighters you’ll find my lip liners. I like to separate them by brand so that I can easily find what I’m looking for. At the front you’ll see all of my MAC lip liners. I keep these at the front because they’re my most reached for liners. The formula is amazing – creamy, pigmented & lasts well on the lips. Next to that are some thick liners that I bought from Ebay (you can find them here) They’re not my favourite because they can dry out my lips from time to time but I do like the shades & generally they’re not bad when paired with a lip balm or lipstick, so they can hang around for now. Behind these I also have my drugstore liners, of which there are only a few from L.A girl, Rimmel, Maybelline & L.A Girl. I’d love some recommendations for great drugstore lip liners if you have any!

DSCN1900.JPG

Last but not least we move onto my last acrylic container. This one is from Clicks and is a lot smaller than my other containers but it’s perfect for storing 16 lipsticks at one time. This container houses all of my liquid lipsticks & glosses perfectly as well as my Christian Louboutin lipstick. My Louboutin lipstick takes pride of place in my makeup collection as it was a gift from my wonderful boyfriend & because it’s my own little piece of luxury. I’m not one for keeping packaging normally, but I just had to keep this lipstick in its box. I mean, look how gorgeous!
On the right you’ll see all of my liquid lipsticks & glosses. I have 13 liquid lipsticks in total from Sleek, NYX & Bourjois as well as my 5 mini liquid lipsticks from The Balm (which you can’t see in the photo). I also keep my lip glosses in this container but you can tell I’m not a massive lip gloss wearer from the fact that I only own two, total!

So that’s it folks! My whole entire makeup collection. You may or may not agree but I do think it’s pretty small for a beauty blogger but I like it that way because nothing gets neglected & things rarely go off before I’ve used them up! How big is your makeup collection? 

 

| January Empties & Mini Reviews|

DSCN1822.JPG

The longest month of the year has finally ended & I can hear the sighs of relief. Holy heck January sucks when it comes to finances! With this new month comes a new empties post but it’s only a little one this time as I seem to take forever to use up products.

Here is my itty bitty selection of products that I finished up in January & what I thought of them:

Dexe Lip Balm in Pineapple
This was a completely random purchase from me but it turned out to be a great one. I love the EOS lip balms but they are so freaking expensive here in South Africa so there was no way I was repurchasing another one. But much to my delight, while on my way to the checkout at Dis-chem, I spotted these lip balms because their packaging is so like that of the EOS lip balms. The difference? These are R14.95 – that’s less than £1 compared to the R200ish for an EOS lip balm! What I love about the Dexe lip balm is that it’s entirely made of natural ingredients in the form of different oils & you know me, I love as much natural as I can get. The pineapple scent of this is delightful & it’s so moisturising on the lips while giving them a pretty sheen. I’ve already purchased another scent in this range & I’m totally converted.

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Extreme Pads
Saying farewell to this product means saying farewell to the last of my Nip + Fab stash from back home. I bought these pads after getting hooked on the Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing pads when I lived in the UK but to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t blown away by these. At £15 they aren’t the cheapest for only 30 pads & with the more concentrated blend of glycolic acid, I expected more results. I liked to use them as a chemical exfoliation & I did feel that something was working when I used them (in the form of a light sting) & my skin did feel nice afterwards, but I just didn’t see a difference in my skin the next morning. I haven’t given up on glycolic acid yet because it’s benefits are raved about but I just wouldn’t repurchase these as I didn’t see enough of a difference. The hunt continues!

Supersalve Cell Care Oil
Supersalve was a brand that I had never heard of until I wandered into a random little health store & wallah! there it was. Turns out that they have a whole range of products which you can find here. This product is packed full of natural ingredients including avocado oil, calendula oil, lavender oil, grapeseed oil & tea tree oil & claims to do many wonderful things for your skin including:

  • Alleviate dryness, itching & flaking
  • Repair sun-damaged skin
  • Reduce age spots
  • Rejuvenate & regenerate cells
  • Soften & moisturise
  • Reduce stretch marks

That’s a list of pretty damn impressive things if I do say! I orginally bought this little bottle of goodness when I was going through my natural oil skincare phase but as it turns out, my face doesn’t like oils so I had to find another use for it. Turns out it’s a great body oil to lather yourself in at night – my skin felt so moisturised & it completely got rid of my dry, itchy skin. I can’t vouch for it’s age spot & stretch mark reducing properties but I did enjoy using this product. It also smells divine – you know that natural, essential oils smell? Yeah, just like that! Would I repurchase this product? Probably not, because it’s not easy to get your hands on but I would recommend it.

African Extracts Rooibos Pore-Clearing Face Scrub
Being a dry skin girl it is so important that I give my face a good exfoliation about twice a week to get rid of all the dull, dead cells that can turn into a flaky, ugly mess if I’m not careful. When it comes to face scrubs I can be quite fussy. I want them to be really gritty but with natural grit. By that I mean that I refuse to buy any scrub that contains little plastic beads as they go down the drain & kill marine life & I’m not about that life. If you want more information on this you can find it here. This African Extracts scrub doesn’t contain any cruel plastic beads and instead has that gritty, sugary texture which is why it made it into my bathroom cupboard & has been well loved since. I love that this scrub contains vitamin B3 & salicylic acid, is paraben free & is cruelty free & it left my skin feeling so soft & clean. I would absolutely recommend this scrub as it’s great for getting rid of dead skin at the very affordable price of R64.99!

 

Review | Celltone Moisturiser & Xtra Hydrating Treatment

DSCN1753.JPG

As a dry skin girl I have very high standards when it comes to a moisturiser & I’m not an easy woman to please. When I finished up the last of my moisturiser I fancied trying something new & went on the hunt for a new product I could fall in love with. So while shopping in Dis-chem I came across the brand Celltone.

Being from the UK I’d never heard of this brand before & the reason for that is because they are a South African company who only sell here. Celltone became well known because they use snail gel extract in their products which has been known to soften, smooth & anti-age the skin – all the things I want & need. 

Here’s what I thought of their Daily Moisturiser & Xtra Hydrating Treatment:

Daily Moisturising Facial Lotion

What Celltone claim

‘Celltone Daily Moisturiser contains a medley of oils, Argan, Calendula & Olive. It contains UVA & UVB sunscreen filters. Enriched with Anti-Oxidants and Vitamins A, B3, C & E to soften & moisturise the skin. Snail Extract enriched. Paraben & perfume free.’

What attracted me to this product was the amount of natural oils that are in this moisturiser. I’m a firm believer in using as much of what mother nature gave us as possible so I always love to see products filled with natural products & without parabens. This product also has SPF 15 & protects against both UVA & UVB rays which is so important for keeping our faces fresh & young.
When I first opened the box I was so shocked at how generous Celltone are with the amount of product they give you – there’s a whopping 125ml of product in that bottle! After trying the product I realised why this is the case – it’s a very thin moisturiser & I tend to use a full pump with every application. Which brings me onto my next point, it has a pump! Woohoo! I don’t know what it is about beauty bloggers & pumps but we just love them for how easy they make using a product.
While this moisturiser has a thin consistency it still moisturises my dry skin really well without making it look greasy. In fact, it leaves my skin looking healthy & glowy. It also sinks in super fast which makes it the perfect moisturiser to apply before putting on your makeup!
I also wanted to note that Celltone is against animal testing. It’s so difficult to find companies who don’t test on animals these days & I like to buy as many animal testing free products as I can. Thankfully I’ve found one!
The only negative things I have to say about this product are that I would have loved a higher SPF than 15 and also the scent isn’t my favourite. I love natural scents but I find the rose scent of this moisturiser a little too much as I’m not such a fan of rose scents. I don’t find it offensive, it’s just not my favourite.

DSCN1756.JPG
Xtra Hydrating Treatment

What Celltone Claim

‘A superior hydrating treatment cream made for face & body providing an invisible mesh on the skin. The mesh releases hydrating agents bringing moisture to even the driest skin. Soothing BCA Blend (Bisabalol, Calendula & Allantoin) – known for its soothing properties has been added to assist in relieving discomfort of dry skin. Beautifully silky emolients may increase aquaporin synthesis & therefore improve the water channels into the skin’

I don’t know about you but that description sounds like witchcraft!
I bought this moisturiser in addition to the daily moisturiser as I prefer a richer moisturiser in the evening & also on days when my skin is extra dry. This product is of a much thicker consistency which you can (hopefully) see in the photo below:

DSCN1758.JPG
Left – Daily Moisturising Lotion. Right – Xtra Hydrating Treatment

While this  product is of a much thicker consistency than the daily moisturiser it still absorbs quickly into the skin & leaves it feeling so hydrated. I really loved how my skin felt after this product & it got rid of any dry patches I had. I was initially worried that such a rich moisturiser would clog my easily clogged pores but thankfully its full of non-comedogenic ingredients that haven’t left me with breakouts. While Celltone call this a treatment rather than a moisturiser it can still be used every day as a moisturiser & it contains SPF 15 so it can be worn during the day on extra dry skin days too.
Like the Daily Moisturiser the Xtra Hydrating Treatment is scented but it has a much more subtle rose scent along with that ‘face cream’ smell so its much less offensive which I prefer.

The Final Verdict

These two products were the first that I ever bought from Celltone & I’m very much enjoying using them in my daily routine. It’s great to have found an affordable brand that’s full of natural ingredients, is paraben free & that is against animal testing. I’ll definitely be trying a few more of their products because I really am impressed!

| The Best of Real Techniques Makeup Brushes |

DSCN1706

I go on & on about makeup here on Beauty & The Blouse but what good is makeup if you don’t have good brushes to apply it with!

Over the years I’ve tried a bunch of brushes from different brands but I always find myself reaching for my Real Techniques brushes. From the moment I bought my first Real Techniques set I completely fell in love & a long love affair began. They offer so many different brushes, superb quality, affordable prices & not to mention they look cute too. I just can’t fault them!

So lets get into my Real Techniques favourites:

Real Techniques Nic’s Picks Limited Edition Brush Set

DSCN1713

DSCN1714

I hate talking about limited addition products in case you guys can’t get a hold of them so I’m sorry that I’m mentioning these but you can still buy them online if you want them! In the Nic’s Picks collection there are 5 brushes but it is only 3 of these that made it into my Ride or Die selection; the Cheek Brush, the Angled Eyeshadow Brush & the Base Shadow Brush.

The Cheek Brush (set exclusive): (1st photo above) This is my absolute go-to blush brush. It’s so dense & picks up a lot of product (so be careful with those super pigmented blushes) & blends out my blush beautifully to give me the understated look that I always go for when it comes to my blush.
The Angled Eyeshadow Brush (set exclusive): (2nd photo above left) Holy moly this brush is so unbelievable soft & fluffy. It’s a very easy brush to work with in that it provides plenty of movement for blending but I would say that for those with smaller eyelids, this may be a little more difficult to work with. I love using this to apply my dark, outer corner shade.
The Base Shadow Brush: (2nd photo above right) This product does exactly what it says on the tin & more. Again like the brush above its so soft & fluffy. It is the perfect shape & size & has the perfect density to apply your base shadow quickly & effortlessly. It’s also great to help you draw out your crease colour & you can then blend it out too. It can be a really versatile brush if you want it to.

 

Real Techniques Sculpting Brush Set

DSCN1717

Yet another set from real techniques that sucked me in was the Sculpting Brush Set. I love a good contour & a set of brushes that was designed to help me contour & sculpt my face was always going to be a winner! In this set there are 3 brushes but there are only 2 of these that I use almost every day; The Setting Brush (above left) & the Sculpting Brush (above right)

The Setting Brush: This brush was of course designed to add powder to the skin whether it be setting powder or highlight. This brush is the perfect size for setting specific areas of the face & I personally use it to set my under-eye concealer on a daily basis.
The Sculpting Brush: This brush is a super dense, wide brush that is perfect for my contour powder. Because of it’s slanted shape it fits into the hollows of my cheeks easily & because of its density it blends out my contour shade effortlessly. The only thing I want to mention is that because of the thickness of the brush you need to concentrate a little if you want a sharp contour to avoid it going above your cheekbones.

 

Real Techniques Core Collection

DSCN1719

These were the first brushes that I ever bought from Real Techniques & were what started my long love affair with the brand. These brushes are marketed as 4 steps to complete coverage & the set includes 4 brushes of which I’ve included 2; the Buffing Brush (above middle) & the Contour Brush (above right)

The Buffing Brush: This brush is great for applying powder because of it’s slightly flattened top & because of the density. I previous used it with my setting powder to set my foundation however I have recently started using it with my bronzer because the density of the brush picks up a lot of product to give me that bronzed look that I love in the summer. It’s also fantastic for blending out my bronzer so that my skin looks naturally sun-kissed.
The Contour Brush: This little domed brush is my go-to for my powder highlighters. It is the right size for the tops of my cheekbones, picks up enough product & blends the highlighting powder perfectly to give me that seamless, popping highlight that I love. It’s also a small enough size to apply highlight down the centre of the nose.

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (above left)

There’s a reason why this is Real Techniques #1 best-selling brush – it is a dream for foundation. When it comes to foundation brushes I’m incredibly fussy. I want a brush that doesn’t waste too much product, that isn’t too small, that is dense & soft, that effortlessly blends my foundation & that leaves a beautiful streak-free finish (I’m not asking for much am I!) This brush gives me all of those things. It’s perfect for liquid foundations & it’s the right shape & density to make applying my foundation the effortless task I want it to be while giving me a perfectly flawless finish.

What are your favourite Real Techniques brushes?

 

 

| Review: Sleek Matte Me Lip Creams|

DSCN1695

You all know that I love a good liquid lipstick. I love how effortless & pigmented they are & how well they last throughout the day (if of course they are a good formula.) I bought a couple of the Sleek Matte Me lipsticks a while back & I felt obliged to tell you about my experience with them. Here is my experience:

What Sleek Claim

Sleek describe their Matte Me lip cream as:

‘A matte finish liquid lipstick that glides on in one smooth application, with no need for a second coat. The light as air texture provides you with comfortable wear for hours, that doesn’t cake, flake or dry out, ensuring long lasting colour all day.’

The Shades

The shade selection of these lipsticks is really quite good with 21 shades available including nudes, reds, pinks, purples & brown shades from light to dark. The two colours that I oped for were Birthday Suit & Shabby Chic. 
Birthday Suit is is a nude shade that leans a lot more on the peachy orange side. This is definitely not my favourite colour on me. I have never suited peachy tones because of my cooler toned skin & this just didn’t compliment my skin tone.
Shabby Chic is a mid-toned pink with a lot of purple undertones. It truly is a gorgeous shade that added a lot of warmth & colour to my face. It’s definitely my kind of colour.

DSCN1700.JPG

The Formula

This is where these lipsticks seriously let me down. Quite frankly the formula really isn’t great. When first applied they look very pretty. They don’t go on streaky & they’re very pigmented so initially I was impressed. Then they just went south. They dry quickly but once dried they showed up every single line on my lips & they became so dry. I was very aware that the product was on my lips as they weren’t comfortable to wear. When I kept applying lip balm to Shabby Chic I could deal with it because the colour was so nice & it is a slightly (and I mean slightly) better formula but with Birthday Suit there was just no saving it.

Put to the Test

The Eating Test – After I had this product on my lips for about 20 minutes & it was completely dry I ate my breakfast to test how well it held up. Well basically, it didn’t. You know after you’ve had a lip product on for a long time you can get that line half way down your lips where half your lips have lipstick & half don’t? That’s what happened. So it didn’t quite pass the eating test but it wasn’t completely gone either! Just make sure you carry around a mirror for touch-ups!

The Wear Test – So I wore this lipstick for about 3 hours & then I could wear it no longer. It had gone patchy, dry & just didn’t look cute at all so I had to take it off before I left the house. Again, Shabby Chic tends to wear better but Birthday Suit was just a massive no after a few hours.

The Verdict

Generally Sleek are a good brand with a lot going for them when it comes to their products & there are many products of theirs that I really like. (They also don’t test on animals which gets a big YAY from me) However, they really let me down on their Matte Me liquid lipsticks. I wouldn’t purchase any more shades because they’re just too much fuss for me. If a liquid lipstick makes my lips look incredibly dehydrated when in fact they’re not & if it doesn’t wear well, then unfortunately I cannot recommend it. Sorry Sleek but these get a big thumbs down from me!

Have you tried the Matte Me liquid lip creams? What did you think?