Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Blush – How I Love Thee

A little while ago I noticed quite a lot of buzz in the YouTube world around the Laura Geller Baked Gelato  Swirl Illuminator in Gilded Honey.    The first time I saw it swatched I pretty much squealed with excitement.  I immediately went online thinking I didn’t care how much it cost, just knowing that I HAD to have it.  Well, unfortunately the Internet had other plans.  Apparently my dream highlighter is not readily available in the UK (is any of the good stuff?) I was thrilled to find it on QVC, but it was already out of stock. Very sad face.

So, I’m sulking a little as I write this. Instead of oohing and aahing over the Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator I’d like share with you one of my favourite blushers of the moment.  The Laura Geller Baked Gelato Vivid Swirl Blush in Rosewater. Now there’s a mouthful.   The formula of this blusher is something else; it’s creamy and soft, and the pigmentation is spot on.

 

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Look how pretty it is!  I’m easily pleased, so even the swirl design gets me all hot under the collar.

 

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Here is a swatch. Looking closely here you can see a little bit of shimmer, although it’s not overwhelming on the skin. (But then this comes from a highlighter obsessive) Some may find a light hand is enough for them, but I like to pack it on for a full on flush.

 

I’m keen to try some other Laura Geller products in the future.  Unfortunately I am on a self-imposed spending ban over the next couple of months, so it won’t be any time soon.

 

Have you tried any of the Laura Geller range? What brand or product would be on your shopping list, if money was no object?

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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June Favourites

It’s the end of June! Only three weeks of school or nursery left for my three eldest monsters, before six weeks of no school runs! I am possibly more excited about this than my children are.  So, this also means that I have rounded up a few of my favourite bits and bobs from the month of June.

 

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Let’s get stuck in.  First up is the Bourjois Aqua Blush.  I have mentioned this before, so I won’t waffle on about it again, except to say: Love It.  Which leads me on to – not exactly a beauty item, but what the hey – my aqua bottle (do you see what I did there..?).  This is the Lifefactory glass drinking bottle.  This guy has encouraged me to drink more water over the last few months, and has thus improved my skin greatly, so I guess we can count it as a beauty item after all.  Being glass it is free from chemical nasties, and I love that it has a silicone grip, which means that even when old klutzy here drops it on the concrete driveway it doesn’t smash! Hooray! These bottles aren’t cheap (I bought mine from Amazon) but for me it’s worth it to be able to have drinking water with me at all times.

Next are two luxury items from Yves Saint Laurent, not my first choice for beauty products on my current budget, I have to say.  I was repurchasing some Touche Éclat, and was seduced by the packaging of the Volupte Tint-In-Oil, a glossy lip oil.  I went for the shade No. 4 I Rose You, a very pale baby pink.  I have a real obsession with lip balms, I can’t help it.  I am a sucker for anything that promises to (or even mildly suggests it will) nourish, hydrate or plump up my lips.  I can really suffer with dryness, so if there is a chance something will help with that then I’m there, pushing to the front of the queue, wallet in hand.  This oil might sound a bit yuck, but it really feels more like a lip gloss to me, with the added bonus of a fruity scent. With my online purchase I received a free sample of the Volume Effet Faux Cils Mascara.  I was really hoping I would hate this mascara, so that I could rest easy knowing that the ‘drugstore’ mascaras that I usually purchase are just as good as high end ones.  Unfortunately, I really like it.  It doesn’t clump, it is super black and it glides on without looking spidery (I don’t really like the clumpy look on myself).

 

 

Makeup Revolution Ultra Brow Arch and Shape L-R Pencil and Pen
Makeup Revolution Ultra Brow Arch and Shape L-R Pencil and Pen

Finally on my list, a brow product.  This is the Makeup Revolution Brow Dual Ultra Brow Arch and Shape in Dark.   One end is like a felt tip, that can be brushed on to fill in gaps, and the other a nice soft pencil for a more defined look.  I think it is a really fantastic product, with a bit more flexibility than other brow pencils, in that you can go in hard, or use the felt pen end for a more subtle look.

 What were your highlights in June, beauty or otherwise?  What are you looking forward to in July and August, let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Maybelline Superstay 24 Lip Colour – Does it Superstay?

Being fairly new to lipsticks and glosses (yes, really), the struggle of finding lip colours that last without drying my lips out is not something I have had to contend with previously.  But I can honestly say, the struggle is real.  As I have mentioned before, I always preferred not to use lipsticks (I’m including all lip products in this – other than lip balms and creams), because I used to find that they would cause my sensitive lips to become dry, and sore.

It wasn’t until this year at the grand old age of (ahem) that I finally thought I would give the world of lip products another go.  So, being me and not doing anything by halves, I promptly bought several thousand lipsticks, lip butters, and lip glosses.  For the most part, I haven’t had a problem.  I suspect that nothing has changed my end, but the formula of lipsticks etc, has come a long way since the dark ages.

Anyway, the point of this fascinating little ramble is that I recently purchased the Maybelline Superstay 24 Lipcolour.  I only bought one shade; their bestselling Soft Taupe.  Incidentally, I already have this colour in a different formulation, apparently I’m boring like that.

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The idea is that you apply the lipcolour, wait two minutes for it to dry, then slick the lip balm over the top to condition.   Maybelline state that it will then last up to 24 hours, with no crumbling, fading or transference.  So, how does it go on? Really smoothly actually; setting pretty quickly without feeling overly drying.  It didn’t bleed on me, and although not glossy, it isn’t too matte either.  Weirdly, the first time I wore it, I noticed that it disappeared a couple of hours later.  On subsequent occasions, however, it has lasted.  And lasted.  To the point that I actually struggled to get it off again, but there’s always something isn’t there?

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A Little Bit of Heaven for the Skin

Well, what a week.  My family and I were – very reluctant – hosts this week.  Not to Great Aunt Mabel, but to a particularly unpleasant stomach bug.  I won’t go into detail here, but suffice to say, it was not pretty (children under the age of seven find it hard to get to a bucket in time to throw up, or at all in some cases – who knew?!).  I therefore didn’t manage to work on any of the blog posts I had planned, but I did manage to get some sneaky online shopping done.

One of the items I bought was something I had been thinking about for a little while, but couldn’t decide if I actually needed (not that this usually stops me).  This little wonder:

 

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Konjac French Pink Clay Facial Sponge

 

I have never really been one for using a muslin, or the like, for cleansing, but this little sponge seems to promise so much more (exfoliating, deep cleaning, PH balancing and refining of pores to name a few). I do own a Clarisonic, which I use periodically when I need a proper clear out, and I really love it but I am wary of using it too often for fear of irritation.  The sponge, though, seems gentle enough to use every day and can be used with just water, or with a cleanser which is what I have been doing.

I wasn’t sure what to expect initially, the sponge arrives a little wet and felt quite slimy (ick).  Using it on my skin though is heavenly; like being caressed by little tiny angels (ok, that’s a bit much, but it does feel very nice).  It really is like a mini facial every morning.  I went for the French Pink Clay, but The Konjac Sponge Company offer different options, depending on your skin type.  You can read further info here if you are interested in finding out more.

 

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

 

 

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My Super Speedy Summer Everyday Makeup

If I am truthful, and truthful is my middle name, I only wear ‘full – on’ makeup maybe once every fortnight.  Twice at a  push.  This is purely because of a lack of time, not desire.  I LOVE to do my makeup; I find it strangely therapeutic.  I adore choosing what I am going to use, and experimenting with different eye looks.  However, I am already late everywhere I go without spending an hour blending out my eyeshadow beforehand.  So here, my friends, are the products that I can pop on quickly for a fuss-free look, when I will be just pottering around and running errands.

 

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I start with my Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream, mixed with a little Dream Bronze Sunkissed Glow Perfector BB Cream.  The Bronze BB cream is designed to be used alone, but it is quite dark, even in Light/Medium, so I prefer to mix it with my favourite BB Cream.  Lovely Jubbly.  I then follow with the Freedom Makeup Pro Correct Palette.  This is a fairly new purchase, but I am really loving it for under my eyes and other areas that need a little more coverage.  It doesn’t completely cover my under eye circles – I have yet to find anything that does – what I like about it is the consistency. It is light and not at all drying, and I like being able to mix the exact shade that I need.  I choose not to set with any powder, because my skin can get very cakey if I am not careful.

Another new(ish) purchase is the Bourjois Aqua Blush in No.3 Pink Twice.  I am no stranger to cream blushers and cheek stains (I used the Body Shop lip and cheek tint for years, until quite recently), but this is the nicest I have ever used.  The colour is just right for my complexion (not the fairest of them all, but close) and it leaves a lovely hydrating little flush.  It doesn’t shift at all during the day either.  My bronzer of choice is the Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in No. 2.  This is a really lovely bronzer; it is subtle and buildable, and not at all glittery.  It looks nothing in the pan, the shade I have is only slightly darker than a face powder, but it is magical on the skin.  Next up is highlighter.  On ‘natural’ days I like to reach for my Makeup Academy Shimmer Highlighter in Pink Shimmer.  This has just the right amount of glow; which makes it visible, but not blinding.

To finish I curl my eyelashes – of course – and add a little bit of my current favourite mascara; Maybelline Big Eyes Rebel Black. I love this little guy.  It is thick, but not clumpy, and the little mini brush is perfect for the lower lashes.   I then follow with Maybelline Brow Drama in Dark Brown.  This is the only brow mascara-type product I have ever used (other than plucking them I have pretty much left them alone until recently), so I don’t know how it compares with other similar products.  I find that it gives me just enough colour to fill in any sparse areas, and holds without going rock-hard or flaky.

And that is it.  I can usually slap this little lot on in around five minutes, and be out the door in another 120 minutes or so (do you have any idea how long it takes to get a baby and a three year old ready? Ages, that’s how long).

Disclaimer:  Despite appearances, this post is not sponsored by Maybelline, I just happen to like quite a lot of their products.

Thanks for reading, as always!  Let me know in the comments below what your favourite quick-face products are, and do you switch it up depending on the season?

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My Morning Skincare Routine

I like to keeps things fairly simple in the morning.  With a baby that refuses to sleep through the night, I can’t say that I leap joyfully out of bed in the morning, so I need a quick and straightforward regime. I am currently using only three products, with the addition of various primers when I apply makeup.  I haven’t included those, because they change with my mood, and I don’t consider them part of my daily routine.

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 Lush Angels on Bare Skin cleanser

I wash my face in the shower in the am, so I like a cleanser that can be washed off without the need for fiddly cotton wool, or muslin cloths.  My skin cam be very dry, so foaming cleansers are out too. I discovered this lovely cleanser a few weeks ago, and, as I mentioned in my May Favourites, it – along with a couple of other changes that I made recently – has changed my skin for the better.  It starts off as a solid, and as water is mixed with it, a paste is formed, which gently cleanses and exfoliates the skin.  My only issue is the little lavender flowers, I’m not convinced they need to be there, and they mostly end up being washed down the plug hole because they don’t mix in with the rest of the cleanser.

Origins GinZing Moisuriser

This is a fabulous lightweight moisturiser, with a lovely fresh fragrance.  Origins claim that it brightens, and while I haven’t noticed that, I do find it to be hydrating without being greasy, so my skin is left feeling smooth but not slimy.  One thing to note though is the lack of SPF.

Origins GinZing Eye Cream

In my eternal quest for an eye cream that will magically make my dark circles disappear, I stumbled across this little guy.  It can be used twice a day, but I only use it in the morning as I have a separate night eye cream.  I find that it doesn’t work especially well under concealer, so I often skip it if I am doing a full face, because it almost goes lumpy.  Because it is illuminating it does make me look slightly more awake, and a little bit goes a long way.  I can’t vouch for its depuffing qualities as I don’t have a problem with eye bags or puffiness, and I have no idea if it has helped in the battle against fine lines – ask me again in 20 years.

Do you like to keep it simple in the morning, or do you like to pamper yourself before you face the day?

 

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Passing a Little Bit of Time

When I’m not playing with makeup, or reading about makeup, or watching Youtube videos about – yep you guessed it – makeup, I like to relax by watching a little bit of Stevie the TV.  We cancelled our Sky subscription a few months ago in a bid to save some money, and extended our existing Virgin subscription to give us pretty much the same channels, but at a slightly lower cost than Sky.  Now, this is all well and good, but I HATE the set up of Virgin (or Tivo, actually).  I thought I would get used to it, but I just can’t, so the upshot is that I no longer watch any ‘proper’ TV.  So, in order to fill my evenings I have had to scour Netflix and Amazon Instant for quality programmes.  So far I have binge watched Community, That 70s Show, The Following, Orange is the New Black, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and Short Poppies.  I also started to re-watch The Walking Dead (my all time favourite), but Amazon cut me off at season three.  Well, not literally, but seasons four and five are not free to watch, and I refuse to pay for them.

Anyway, I digress.  The reason for this post was to mention the film I watched last night; Wish I was Here.  It was written and directed by Zach Braff (or JD as you may also know him).  I wasn’t expecting much to be honest, despite the four stars it had on Netflix.  I can honestly say though, that it was fantastic.  It’s serious, but light hearted in places, funny, but also sad.  Just an all round mix of loveliness and humour(I could never be a film critic, could I?).  So if you haven’t already seen it, and fancy a bit of entertainment, then I highly recommend Wish I was Here.

What are your favourite shows to watch? What is your favourite genre of film, or TV?

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St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower – As simple as it sounds?

 

I don’t want to Jinx anything, but it would seem that (whisper it quietly, we don’t want to scare it away) summer has arrived in the UK.  So that means it’s time to slap on the fake tan.  Now, we all know the dangers of frying in the sun or using tanning beds, so I won’t get into that here.  Suffice to say, it’s a pretty bad idea.

There was a time when I wouldn’t have touched fake tan with a barge pole; it was smelly, streaky and usually orange.  However, in the last few years, there has been such a huge improvement I have ventured into a bronzed new world.

 

 

St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion
St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion

 

I have to say, I do still prefer a gradual tanner, rather than a full-on tan in a bottle.  This is because I am a coward, and a messy one at that.  I still feel – as idiot-proof as most tanners are – there is too much margin for error for someone as careless as myself.  So when I saw that St Tropez had brought out a new in-shower lotion, I was quite excited.  It all sounded so easy! Simply wash in the shower as usual, then spread the lotion on, wait for three minutes and rinse off.  The tan the develops over the next few hours and voila! A gorgeous tan.

But is this just too good to be true? Well, for me, yes.  The first time I used it I followed the instructions to the letter, even turning off the shower when the tube told me to (the instructions that is, the packaging doesn’t actually speak).  I rinsed off (using just water) and carefully dried myself, and immediately got dressed.  So far so good, no stickiness or nasty smells evident at this stage. I had showered in the early evening, so I then watched TV for a couple of hours, eagerly checking my arms every 30 minutes or so.  Not much to see there.  Not to worry, I thought, it must need longer to develop.  Then I went to bed, convinced I would see a slightly tanned me in the mirror the next morning.  Alas, it was not to be.  I didn’t look ANY different. So, I tried again, repeating the steps that day, and the next, and the next.  In total I repeated five times before I ran out of lotion.  What did I see after all that? A little change in colour, but only very slight. Enough for me to notice, but I certainly didn’t look as though I had taken a trip to St Tropez in my free time.

So would I buy the in-shower lotion again? Well, actually yes.  The thing is, the colour is very subtle, but it is so easy to use that I think it could work as a top-up when using a proper fake tan, or if you have a ‘real’ tan, obtained the old fashioned way.

Just to break it down even further, here I present to you the Pros and cons, in my opinion:

       PROS

  •  Super easy to use, almost fool proof.
  • Quick.
  • It dries as you do, so no need to wait around feeling sticky.
  • No nasty smell, so can be applied any time of day.
  • Subtle colour for those with fairer skin.
  • nice colour (eventually) – not too orange.

 

      CONS 

  • Subtle colour, unless you’re prepared to repeat the process over a few days you may find it disappointing
  • Not cheap – £14.50 per tube – bearing in mind I used the whole thing before seeing much effect.

 

 

So, there it is, overall I think the St Tropez in shower tanning lotion is pretty OK, but don’t rush out and buy it if you’re looking to get an instant dark tan.

What is your favourite tanning mousse or lotion? Let me know in the comments if you can recommend an affordable, effective alternative.

 

As always, thanks for reading!

 

 

 

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Bitesize Review – The Balm Betty-Lou Manizer

Betty-Lou and I have a love-hate relationship.  I love the colour, the consistency, and the pigmentation.

The Balm - Betty-Lou Manizer
The Balm – Betty-Lou Manizer

 

 I also HATE the pigmentation.  Good grief is she scary to use.  The first time I tried her (other than swatching here, there and everywhere) I made the mistake of dipping my Kabuki brush straight in and rubbing it around like a woman possessed.  Then I swept it on the top of my forehead (y’know – like all the pros do).  Biiiig mistake.  I looked as though I had dipped my head into some shimmery cocoa powder, mixed with brick dust.  As I tried to get my panicked breathing under control, I took my trusty Real Techniques buffing brush (that baby can sort out all manner of overzealous makeup application) and buffed.  Then buffed some more.  I buffed as if my life depended on it.  Once the redness had died down – from all the buffing – and my eyes had cleared from the tears of fear, I took a look in the mirror.  Expecting to see a big brown mess, I was pleasantly surprised that I looked fairly normal, just gently bronzed.  It was then that I took a vow.  I promised myself that I would only place that brush back on my face with minimal bronzer on, and only after tapping the heck out of it first.

Since then, you’ll be relieved to know, I haven’t had another disaster involving Betty.  She has been kind to me.  I still get a little shiver of terror when I first go to apply the brush to my face though, followed by a sigh of relief when I know it’s all going to be alright.

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Brand Focus #1 – Makeup Revolution

I don’t think I am unique when I say I Love Budget Makeup.  As nice as it is sometimes to splurge on a high end product, there is something very satisfying about popping in to Boots, or Superdrug, or even the supermarket, and picking up a handful of exciting new products to play with. A few months ago, I was on a super speedy (all shopping is carried out double quick when accompanied by a three year old and a not yet one year old) trip into my local high street.  I ran into Superdrug and headed straight for the makeup stands.  Although I had seen Makeup Revolution before, I don’t think I had ever purchased anything from their line before.  First I noticed the eye shadow palettes, or should I say, the space where the palettes should have been.  Empty.  Then, the lipsticks.  Empty.  My eye then travelled to the highlighters, and seeing two different shades (Pink Lights and Golden Lights) I quickly grabbed them.  I decided then that either the products were super amazing, or so terrible that Superdrug hadn’t even bothered to restock. Well, it turns out that they are super amazing.  I mentioned the highlighters in my May favourites because I love them, and wear one or the other every time I wear makeup.  I have since made several purchases on their website – this seems to be the best way to see the full range.  I am now the proud owner of, well, pretty much everything on there. After a LOT of arguing (with myself, that’s normal, right?) I have chosen a few favourites to share with you.

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Firstly, I have the Mermaids Forever eyeshadow palette (£8).  I really can’t speak highly enough of this 32 shade collection; there is not a dud in there, in my opinion. The colours are all super pigmented, and blend extremely well.  As do the shadows in my other favourite – Run Boy Run.  These colours are a little more neutral, and there are some matte shades in there too.  The colour payoff is still excellent though, and at £6 it is amazing value.

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Mermaids Forever Eyeshadow Palette
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Run Boy Run Eyeshadow Palette

The blusher is a baked blusher, so it is pretty hard, but the colour is perfect.  Not crazy pigmented, so that it’s scary to use, but not so pale that it looks as though you haven’t bothered.  And it is £2.50!

 

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Vivid Baked Blush – All I Think About Is You. E101 and E103.

Next are two highlighters; the Goddess of Love triple baked highlighter in Goddess of Faith; and the Vivid Baked Highlighter in Peach Lights.  These are both really great,  and shiny without being glittery.  These are priced at £4.99 and £3 respectively.  Goddess of Faith is a little more subtle, so it can be built up.

Goddess of Faith Triple Baked Highlighter
Goddess of Faith Triple Baked Highlighter
Vivid Baked Highlighter - Peach Lights
Vivid Baked Highlighter – Peach Lights. E102 and E104.

I have also included four brushes; this is the full Pro Eye Brush Collection £7.96).  They are the E101 eyeshadow brush; E102 Eyeshadow contour brush; E103 eyeshadow blending brush and E104 eyeshadow brush.  For budget brushes, I think these are fantastic.  They don’t shed, and they do the job they were designed for very well.

Finally, we have one of the very extensive range of lipsticks.  This is an Amazing Lipstick (that’s the name, not just the description) The One, a pretty nude colour.  I like this lipstick, because it is creamy and pigmented (how many times can I use the word ‘pigmented’ in one post…?).  It doesn’t last a particularly long time, but I have yet to find one that does that doesn’t also dry my lips out beyond recognition. These lipsticks come with a little pot of lip balm (or something) in the end, in the matching colour.  To be honest, this smells awful, and I am not really sure what its purpose is.  It certainly isn’t moisturising, and I struggled to even get a finger inside it to test it.  I can overlook this one little error though, when the rest of the collection is so exciting to me.  Oh, and these lip colours are £1.  Yes, that’s one pound.  One can’t really go wrong with those prices.

Amazing Lipstick - The One
Amazing Lipstick – The One

It was so difficult to narrow down the palettes in particular, as they are all wonderful.  I have been using nothing but for the last few weeks, even choosing them over my beloved Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette.  I know, right?! So if you are looking to venture into the world of Revolution (they do ship internationally I believe, although I am not sure what this would cost) then I say go for it, you won’t be disappointed.

Once again, I purchased all of these items myself, and yes that is fake grass.  Ask my husband why we have fake grass in our garden.

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