Wednesday, 27 August 2014

*new* Clarins "Ladylike" Autumn 2014 Collection!

Is anyone else as excited about Autumn as I am? It is my favourite season of the entire year! I was really taken aback by the sheer beauty of the new collection from Clarins - it just screams Autumn! Beautiful natural, earthy shades, perfect for the new season.

I am very lucky that the lovely folks at Clarins sent me a few pieces from the new collection to try, and trust me they are even more beautiful in real life.

First up, we have the Ombre Matte Cream-to-Powder Eyeshadows! Aren't they beautiful? I absolutely love cream eyeshadows, but I think the name is misleading here…. they are most definitely powder shadows but they are quite dense and the texture is so smooth, like a cream.

Swatches left to right: Nude Pink, Taupe, Earth

As you can see they are extremely pigmented! You could absolutely apply these to your eyes using just your fingers. I prefer to use a brush though. Nude Pink is a wonderful blending shade as it is almost exactly the colour of my skin tone. Taupe and Earth are absolutely beautiful, and I have been alternating wearing them each day, blending out the edges with Nude Pink!



What I love about these shadows is how super easy they are to apply. I love the intensity of them, the beautiful colours and the elegant packaging. They would be great for travel as one shade worn alone looks stunning.

What disappointed me a little is how, after about an hour or two of wear they start creasing. I have tried a couple of different primers (even my trusty ArtDeco eyeshadow base) to no avail. I can only put it down to the sheer density of the powder. I really do love these eyeshadows but I do wish they had better longevity!

I was also sent the Instant Light Eye Perfecting Base! This is a very light yet creamy product. I guess it would be similar to Urban Decay primer but a bit more creamier. I loved how this applied, it really smoothed out over my eyelids and created almost a blank canvas. The actual colour of the base is a good all-around shade but it may be a little dark for super-pale folks. If you are applying eyeshadow over it then it won't be an issue.

The Instant Light Eye Perfecting Base couldn't stop the Ombre Mattes from creasing fact I tried it out with other eyeshadows (Urban Decay and MAC) and it held them in place for a good 6 hours before I noticed creasing. I think the only primer which will serve all day and not crease up is the tacky, almost sticky kind. While I think that this is  a beautiful product, I don't think it is the best for prolonging the wear of eyeshadows. It's great for really smoothing the eyelids and it does have a brightening effect though. On my little or no makeup days I do apply this alone to make myself look a little more awake!

I think this collection is absolutely beautiful, though the products I have tried are not without their flaws. I am still playing around with them, it is a matter of trial and error on how best to wear them. I have especially been enjoying the eyeshadows, I am quite fond of my shimmery shadows so it has been a different experience for me playing around with mattes! I must say that I am converted! I love them for an Autumnal look.

The Clarins "Ladylike" Collection is available now!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

My bedroom had a makeover!

Originally I had planned to do a beauty review today, but this is so exciting for me that I couldn't help but share with you!
Recently I decided it was high time my bedroom had a full makeover - new carpet, paint, wallpaper, furniture…. believe me it was long overdue. I spent ages picking out everything that I wanted and now that it has all come together, I am so delighted with how it looks!

Sorry there are a lot of photos in this post!

I wanted the overall look to be rather neutral. I have 2 picture frames which are to be put on this wall over the bed, I just haven't got around to doing that yet!

My chandelier…from B&Q

Ikea Pax wardrobe and 2 Brimnes units….I absolutely love the wardrobe. Space is limited in my small bedroom so the sliding doors are a godsend.

 The far wall I chose to have feature wallpaper. I really love this, the colour and design are perfect for me! I also got a new TV with built in DVD player also to save space. I still need to get a cable tidy for it!

My dressing table is an off/white cream colour and it really doesn't match anymore. I am hoping to get it spray painted silver, I think it will be a nice contrast.

I went for a darker coloured carpet, I really love this!

Plenty of storage in the wardrobe! My clothes, bags and shoes all fit in with tons of room to spare!

My bedlinen and curtains are from Next Home.

My birdcage bedside lamp, from B&Q.

A close up of the wallpaper design. It is a Dulux paper I believe and the other walls are painted "Dusted Damson" which is the perfect match for the branches on the wallpaper.

I am absolutely delighted with the finished look of the bedroom, it looks so sophisticated now and grown-up! It was a lot of hard work and the reason why I haven't been blogging that much lately. It's amazing how redecorating one small bedroom affects everything!

I hope you enjoyed this look into my room, I really am so made up with it! :)

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Lancome Vernis in Love - "Nuit d'Azur" Nail polish

Lancome released some new nail polishes for Summer 2014 and this one absolutely stole my heart! I had to have it. Such a beautiful blue creme polish, the best kind!
I have to say that Lancome nail polishes are probably one of the best in terms of packaging and the brush is perfect for application. The nail polish formula was just a dream to apply (I used 2 coats) . It was the perfect consistency too!

It is such a beautiful, rich colour for Summer. I would never have thought of wearing a blue nail polish, but I have never seen a blue shade quite like this. My only problem with it is that it started chipping incredibly quickly! I would have expected a longer wear time from such an expensive nail polish.

I paired it up with another Lancome polish from their Summer collection, the beautiful "Golden Riviera". The blue and gold look amazing together! Apologies for the bad photo, it was taken on my phone.

So although Summer seems to be leaving us rather prematurely, I really am enjoying these Summery nail polishes! And I do think the beautiful blue "Nuit d'Azure" will look amazing in Winter too!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

My Clarins Skincare Collection - it's growing and growing!

Since I started paying more attention to skincare last year, it transpires that Clarins is actually my favourite, go-to skincare brand. I don't know why, I just love it. I feel like they are a top quality, luxurious product with a fairly reasonable price.

It seems that lately, between sale purchases and duty-free splurges that I noticed I have amassed quite a collection!

What I use every night without fail are the Instant Eye Make Up Remover, Cleansing Milk and Toning Lotion, and the Eye Contour Balm. These are must-have items for me! I am on my 4th bottle of the eye make up remover (I had to use a sample size bottle in the photo but don't worry I ran out and purchased the full size soon after, because I can't live without it!)

For moisturisers I am using a sample of the Hydraquench but I really do love the Daily Energiser Cream also!

The rest of my collection are (very generous) sample sized items which came as part of skincare sets. I have the One Step Cleanser (which i actually did use up a full sized bottle of and loved it!), Hand and Nail Treatment Cream, Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream, Moisture Rich Body Lotion and a teeny tiny Eye Contour Gel!

There is a great selection of products here, I have tried each and every one and have fallen in love with them all! There is nothing here that I don't like, they are staple products in my skincare routine and I love trying out new things. I am constantly adding Clarins skincare to my never-ending wish list!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Mini Body Shop Haul!

Do you ever have one of those days - after a long hard day at work you arrive home and start browsing online, when before you know it, you have your bank card in your hand! That was me the other night!

There isn't a Body Shop near me, and I have barely tried any of their things. I don't order too many things of a cosmetic nature online, but I have heard nothing but rave reviews about their body butter. After much consideration I went with the Raspberry! I love anything fruity so I knew i couldn't go wrong. I needed a new body scrub too, so I got the accompanying raspberry. And then, just as I was about to check out, i added in the honey lip balm just for fun! (You can't have too many lip balms, right?)

After trying each of these products a few times, I have to say that I am most taken with the body scrub! It looks exactly like raspberry jam! A tiny bit of product goes a long way, it is hard to see but there are minuscule exfoliating beads in there as well as what looks like seeds! It's really great and it smells so fruity and fresh.

The body butter is great too, I was a little surprised by the texture! It's kind of firm at first, a bit like a mousse texture but it absorbs really well and does not feel sticky at all once it's on! It has the same lovely raspberry scent - if I apply this at night I can still smell it even the next day! I would love to try more of these, especially the orange one!

The lip balm it really nice, it is kind of like a Vaseline type but much softer in texture. The smell is - oh my god! amazing! I actually think I am addicted to this. It gives really decent hydration to the lips but I can't help but re-apply it unnecessarily. I'm not usually a fan of lip balms in pots but this product is so beautiful I don't care. And i think the pot is super cute.

So, I am so impressed with my purchases! I definitely would love to try more things from the Body Shop!

Sunday, 3 August 2014

First Impressions of Lancome Grandiose Mascara!

Lancome can do no wrong in my eyes. Every time I try any of their products, I am amazed at the superior quality, especially of their makeup. Lancome mascaras are in fact the best I have ever tried, and I was delighted when their new offering arrived through my letterbox to try out.

Firstly what struck me was the incredible beauty of the packaging. I love the Lancome rose encased in the lid, for some reason it reminds me of Beauty and the Beast! It is certainly a fine looking mascara tube, so glamorous!

 And now, behold the fabulous "swan neck" wand! I must admit I was a little apprehensive about this, I wondered if it was just a gimmick? It claims to reach each lash from top to bottom, and apply to your "other eye" with ease.  After admiring the beauty of this mascara, I was ready to try it out!

I am used to mascara wands with a much bigger brush than this, however I really loved the smaller, more precise brush of Grandiose. It really did reach into the very corners and even the tiniest lashes. As well as the wand itself being bent at a 25 degree angle, the actual brush is flexible too.

In the above photos, I am applying it to my "other eye". I am right handed, and always with my regular mascara the lashes on my left eye never look as good as my right. The Grandiose wand gives exceptional control, and I was astounded how different it was, applying mascara to my left eye with perfect ease! For the outside lashes, as I held the wand I bent my wrist to the right, and as I moved my way to the inner lashes I put the wand across my nose. It was amazing doing this and not getting mascara all over my face!  Lancome have got this spot on! It is a perfect art, the size and shape of this wand for perfect application.

Here is a little before and after comparison…. My lashes are already quite long but I think this mascara does give decent length and fullness.

So, first impressions of this mascara are that I am very impressed with the design of the wand for application. My lashes do look great, I suppose it is a similar effect to Lancome Hypnose which is my regular mascara. The formula is excellent, the perfect consistency.
I did fear that the design of this mascara wand was a gimmick but I couldn't have been more wrong! Never has applying mascara been so easy for me.
Perhaps this will tak over Hypnose as my favourite mascara….