Sunday, 22 November 2015

Nars Glossybox | GIVEAWAY! |

The arrival of this month meant for all of the beauty obsessed, the arrival of the long awaited and much talked about NARS Glossybox.
Everything about this gorgeous little box of wonders has been seriously thought out. From the packaging itself a silky, soft matte black, perfectly mirroring NARS' own iconic packaging, to the careful selection of the products within including both much loved and newly released beauty bits.

So what exactly do you get in the box...?
A Miniature NARS blush in the cult shade Orgasm (Naughty I know) I already own this in the the full size, but I'm pretty sure either of my sisters will be happy to receive this as part of their christmas gift! Its a gorgeous pink blusher with a gold shimmer running through it, I am sure it will complement any skin tone beautifully! 
Next up is the again cult Larger than Life Longwear Eyeliner in Via Venito (black). I'm an absolute slave to my MAC Fluidline gel eyeliner, but having tried this I'm not so sure anymore. It has a creamy, easy to use formula perfect for lining both the waterline and the lashline. It is velvetly smooth and almost glides onto the skin whist giving rich pigmented colour. Definitely a keeper.
The NARS Multiple in Orgasm was the next thing I got. It's the equivalent of getting four products in one. The Multiple can be used on eye, cheeks, lips and body, its creamy formula allows it to blend effortlessly into the skin with your fingers giving the perfect sheer, shimmery finish. A must have for any contour queens out there!
I have been dying to try the new NARS Audacious mascara for a while now but alas I already had about four mascaras on the go so have been waiting for these to run out before I went and purchased one of these, so when I got my hands on this box I was super excited to test it out. The brush itself is a bit scary, when the product itself is cleaned off it is a bright red, rubbery claw like thing. The formulation of the product is a bit clumpy and I found it difficult to build with it, but it gave my lashes lovely length. After a full day at uni though it had smudged a bit and begun to flake. Not my favourite mascara in the world but gives good wear for short periods of time. I did love the packaging though, very Louboutin- esque!
And last but by no means least, I received a Satin Lip Pencil in the shade Rikugien, which can only be described as a seriously stunning, very wearable, dusky rose shade. I'm ashamed to say hadn't previously tried any of the satin lip pencils before this one. The formulation is so creamy and the colour long lasting. Again I feel this will be complementary to most skin tones.

In my eyes this box is an absolute 10/10 and would suit anyone from a hardcore beauty lover (especially those partial to anything limited edition) or a beginner to the beauty world. Its seriously luxurious.

Here is the exciting part!

As the Glossybox website was so busy the page froze after I had put all of my bank details in... I stupidly refreshed the page as a result, instead of receiving just one box I had two arrive in the post. Well done Katie.

So, being the lovely person I am (haha) I thought why not turn my stupid mistake into something fun and make this my first EVER giveaway! (Hopefully the first of many!) You could win the above box filled with all of these lovely beauty bits. 

Could this sold out, limited edition box RRP £35 be any more perfect for Christmas- either for yourself or for a loved one?

How to win: Simply use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter as many times as it will let you. If you do have any trouble working it, please let me know. The only mandatory entries are following me on Twitter and Bloglovin, doing the additional entries is entirely up to you. As always, thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog, whether you’ve visited it once or read every post, it means a lot to me.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

***The giveaway starts Monday 23rd November 2015 and runs until the Sunday 6th December 2015. (So I can post it to you by Christmas!) The winner will be chosen at random. Only open to entrants from the UK please! ***

  • You must be a Bloglovin and a Twitter follower in order to enter! 
  • All entries will be checked and any false entries will be removed
  • If you are under 18 please ask your parent or guardian permission to provide me with your address 
  • This prize cannot be exchanged, swapped or refunded.
  • The prize will be sent directly to the winner from me, should the item get lost/damaged or stolen in transit, the responsibility is with the courier. I am under no obligation to provide replacements.
  • The winner would be randomly selected via Rafflecopter and notified via email and twitter. If no reply has been received within 3 days from the initial contact, another winner will be randomly selected.

Good Luck!
Love Katie x

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The Only Drugstore Foundation You Need

As I previously said in another post I absolutely ADORE my Magic Foundation from Charlotte Tilbury, however, as I am a student, I'm on a budget and sadly as a result can't afford to wear it every day (sob!). As a result I went on the hunt for a cheaper alternative.
I tried out quite a few, but the one I really fell in love with was the much hyped about L'Oreal Infallible 24H-Matte. This foundation promises long lasting, full coverage with a demi matte finish. Which I have to say I completely agree with. I have worn this foundation pretty much everyday for the last fortnight and it ticks all the boxes for me and my skin type.
I just want to briefly look at the packaging, which I'm a big fan of. L'Oreal has clearly outlined exactly what we can expect from this product making it super easy to identify if this will suit you and your skin type. It is also in a plastic tube making it perfectly portable for handbags.

This foundation is oil free and unscented too, how brilliant? Making it suitable for all skin types and less likely to cause sebum induced breakouts, especially useful for oily teenage skin. 

Even after the first use I was really impressed with the finish of this product, it is matte but definitely not "flat" and the fact it is not fully matte means its isn't at all drying on the skin. It is very buildable, but as is with most foundations, too much of this can lead to that inevitable cakey, mask like finish which isn't a good look on anyone. This product has an impressively high coverage but at the same time feels strangely lightweight on the skin, meaning I only have to conceal very prominent blemishes. Formulation wise it is very creamy, with a gel like consistency making it very easy to work with, blending easily into the skin. 

After a full days wear my skin is still matte however I usually tend wear primer underneath and a small amount of powder around my T zone, so this may have helped with the staying power of the matte effect. Though I can't vouch for it lasting 24 hours because come on, lets be honest, who really wears foundation that long? Not me.
Unblended in shade 12 'Natural Rose'
I have applied this with my fingers, both my Real Techniques stippling and foundation brushes and a beauty blender, each giving me a seamless application. 

Annoyingly as with all products this does have a few slightly less favourable features. I find it has a tendency to sink into some of my larger pores making them more noticeable. Which we all know is not cute. At all. It also clings to drier patches of skin. Yuck. But FEAR NOT these can be easily avoided if you make sure you moisturise and use a decent primer underneath, if done correctly it gives a smooth, flawless, almost airbrushed finish. 

My favourite primers to use with this being Mac Prep and Prime Skin Smoother for nights out. Or alternatively NARS Pore Refining Primer for the day time, an added bonus to the latter is that this too is oil free, perfect for the breakout prone!  
Shade 12 'Natural Rose' Blended with my Real Techniques stippling brush
For £7.99 (for 35ml) I don't think you can really go wrong with this foundation so long as you colour match correctly. You can find it online here. All I can say is believe the hype everyone. Its real.

Have you tried this foundation, if so what did you think?

Love, Katie x

Monday, 16 November 2015

Mary-Lou Manizer | The Balm

I just love a good highlighter, I practically bathe in the stuff till I emit a near radioactive glow. I don't know why I'm so obsessed, they're just so sparkly and pretty and add that extra bit of depth and oomph to your makeup look

Initially I ignored the hype about The Balm's Mary-Lou Manizer, this went on for months as I was pretty content with my Film Star Bronze and Glow. Recently however I gave into the hype, and boy oh boy am I glad I did!
The packaging itself is super cute, with a vintage style picture on top of the lid. The powder is contained in a sturdy but sleek, flip lid, plastic case. It also contains an internal mirror, perfect for quick on the go application. Another plus is that the lid fits tight, I carry this around in my handbag all the time and it has yet to open by itself - making it totally-travel friendly!
The highlighting powder itself is a gorgeous shimmery champagne shade. It is so pigmented, a little bit of this goes an incredibly long way. Use with caution: you only need tiniest bit for a nice amount of shimmer, but it is easily buildable for a Beyonce-esque diva like shine, if thats what you prefer. 

The formulation, despite it being a powder is so soft and creamy (almost buttery), it is so finely milled it blends like a dream into the skin giving an instant healthy glow. The shimmer in the product is very fine and dense giving the over all glowy appearance rather than obvious lumps of glitter as is with some other highlighters. In addition I find it does not cling to or emphasise my pores. Fabulous! 
For me this is the perfect highlighter for nights out, it leaves a stunning golden goddess like sheen to areas of the face where applied once the light hits it. I generally use this on the tops of my cheekbones, the inner corners of my eye, my cupids bow and just under my brow bone. This is a multi-use product and could also be used as an opulent shimmery eyeshadow, to brighten up and lift the eye area.

I still reach for my Film Star Bronze and Glow during the day as I prefer a more subtle, natural makeup look during the day. If I was to wear this for the day however, I would have to be incredibly sparing with it so as not to overdo it.

In my opinion those with oily skin may want to test this product out first, as they may well find it only exacerbates their oily skin, making them appear more shiny- which is no ones favourite look.
I am totally besotted with this product. If you are looking to add to the highlighter department of your makeup collection this is a must! I think this would complement most skin tones, from the lightest to the darkest. It is priced at a reasonable £17.50 (between drugstore and high end prices) here. The balm also have a Manizer Sisters Palette if you want to try out all three shades in the range! Stunning stuff 

*If you're a student don't forget your 10% discount code for ASOS (Thank me later)*

Let me know what highlighter you use, or if you've tried this product!

Love, Katie X

Monday, 9 November 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Blusher | Review

Being super pale I rely hugely on blusher to add a bit of life to my cheeks, I find its hard to find one which just adds a bit of glow rather than just adding a huge amount of colour. And then then Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic blusher came into my life. How could I say no to a product which promises to "Enliven dull skin with a swish and a pop" I chose the blush in the shade Ecstasy.  
The Packaging, like the rest of Charlotte's Products follows the gorgeous art deco style. Each blush comes in a lightweight mirrored compact and is made up of two complementary colours. An outer ring comprised of a lighter shade and in the middle a bolder centre colour. Charlotte advises to "Swirl" your brush into the outer shade and "swish" onto the cheekbones to add a delicate shimmer and subtle colour and the dab the brush into the stronger centre colour, applying to the apples of your cheeks to add a vibrant "pop" of colour to them. One can also 'wash' the two shades together for another blush effect. Gorgeous
Each of the six blushes in the collection has a very slight shimmer to it, perfect for adding another dimension to your makeup. However those who prefer a matte look to their skin may want to avoid this blush and just stick to their shimmery highlight instead. If Applied as directed, the product gives a healthy looking, radiant flush to the skin.

Ecstasy consists of an external "swish" shade which is a warm, orangey coral with an almost frosted finish, and the internal "pop" shade which is a pink-coral with faint gold shimmer. This shade is incredibly versatile in my view due to the pigmentation which is pretty impressive, one can create a sheer, delicate wash of colour when I'm my natural pale self or alternatively layer it up to give a more intense strong wash of colour when tanned in the summer. Perfect!

Moving onto the formulation of the product. The powder is so finely milled it is almost buttery and blends instantly into the skin, giving a deliciously even glow, if it didn't the two step application could be problematic. I think the texture of this product was my favourite thing about it, and other blushes I have used since have been too drying and patchy... This product is the one! The blushes are also fragrance free and therefore unlikely to cause reactions with sensitive skin. As I said previously there are only six shades in the range, which doesn't sound like much, surprisingly there is one to suit every skin tone, from pretty, pale peach shades to beautiful, bold, bronzy tones.

At £30 it is definitely at the more expensive end of the spectrum, but you get what you pay for with this product. Considering I purchased this product back in February and as it is now my go to blusher I use it most days it looks virtually untouched. I would without question recommend checking this out if you do find yourself at a Charlotte Tilbury counter. It is available online here.

I've got my eye on the shade First Love next! Have you tried any of Charlotte's products, if so did you think they lived up to the hype?

Lots of love,

Katie X


Monday, 2 November 2015

Worth the Hype? | Good Genes, Sunday Riley

Its hard to believe that any 30ml product is worth £85. I mean for that you could have a spending spree in Topshop right? On seeing all the hype surrounding Sunday Riley's Good Genes, I decided it was an investment I was willing to make... Who doesn't want to fool the rest of the world into thinking they have naturally 'Good Genes'?

This is the first product that I tried from the brand. Good Genes is a leave-on serum treatment which is "formulated with key ingredients which will plump fine lines, reveal brighter, newer skin, and improve circulation for a smooth, vibrant complexion. Long term use will help restore damaged skin, reduce hyperpigmentation and scars, reduce the depth and number of line and wrinkles, even out skin tone, and increase epidermal thickness and firmness.”

Once applied I find it tingly, for me this is a plus as I feel like the product is really getting to work (apparently this is the lactic acid doing its thing!) I would suggest testing before you buy though especially if your skin is super sensitive, the acid in it could easily cause a reaction and be a waste of quite a bit of your precious money. However if your skin is hardy enough to tolerate chemical exfoliants go for it. Its seriously like an 'instant facial' in a bottle.

As I'm a student this was an incredibly naughty purchase, and as a result I cant use it all the time as I really cannot afford to. However I wouldn't want to use it every night as it is pretty strong. When I do use it I only need a tiny pea sized amount before bed- once a week. When I wake up my skin feels all glowy and soft. Perfect

Despite no longer being a teenager I still (sadly) have rather spot prone skin. And my skin takes forever to heal, by forever I mean weeks- but this has definitely helped cut down this healing time. I have found it has also drastically helped to decrease my pore size, especially around my nose area. My skin feels altogether brighter and smoother. This product also works fantastically with older skin. My mum, after using my bottle once went out the next day and bought her own as it works fabulously at plumping and giving the appearance of a younger, dewier more radiant skin.

Packaging wise I love how simple and clean all the products in Sunday Riley's range look, perfect for any dressing table. My boyfriend cannot stand the smell of this product, he claims it smells like dried lemons (is that a thing?) I later found out its heavy scent is a result of the Lemongrass oil. Personally I don't mind it as I know how fantastic this product is and what a difference it makes to my skin. But if you aren't one for heavily scented products this might not be for you.
This stuff is amazing, and a HUGE thumbs up from me. I know this is a pretty big investment, but in my opinion, your skin is so important - you need a good base to apply makeup to and good skin can do wonders for your confidence so its okay to spend a bit of money on it... treat yourself! However make sure you do test it out first because its strong stuff, and the smell could definitely put some people off. You'll thank me later though!
It's available here.

Love Katie x

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