My Top Three: Nude Lipsticks

Lipsticks and me have a very complicated relationship.  As much as I want to love them, I find it very difficult to find colours that suit me, and as for the formula? Well, I want light; but long lasting; moisturising, but not sticky; shiny, but not wet; and pigmented, but not staining. I’m not asking for much!

I don’t know if I am going about things the wrong way, but it is nigh on impossible for me to find shades other than nudes that suit me.  The struggle is real. So I guess that makes it all the more special that these lipsticks have actually made the grade, to become my top three.

 

Nude-Lipstick-Top-Three

 

*Glo & Ray Creamy Matte Lip Colour – 610 Venus.  I wrote a proper review on the few Glo & Ray items that I own here and I raved about this lipstick.  The colour, although possibly too light for some, is the perfect nude for me.  The lipstick itself is creamy and moisturising, and a pleasure to wear.

 

Glo-&-Ray-LA-AMO-Creamy-Matte-Lip-Colour-Venus-610

 

Next up, a very affordable option; NYX Black Label Lipstick in 117 Earthy .  I suspect I am cheating a little calling this a nude – it is actually quite pink. But, definitions of nude aside, this lipstick is a pretty shimmery nude/pink, that is comfortable on the lips and is sheer enough not to look like a throw back to the 80s frosted lipstick trend. So people tell me anyway.  I certainly don’t remember the 80s – I am far too young for that. Honestly.

 

Stila-Color-Balm-Lipstick-Olivia

 

And finally, the Stila Color Balm Lipstick in OliviaA more high end option, this lipstick is a cross between a lip balm and a lipstick.  It is moisturising and pleasant on the lips, while also staying put pretty well.  Ignoring the fact that I mainly purchased this particular shade because my eldest daughter is called Olivia, I really love the colour.  It is the one lipstick that stays with me at all times.  I don’t like to carry makeup in my bag, because I rarely touch up on the go, and I don’t like to take risks quite frankly.  I can guarantee that the one time I decide to put a powder or liquid product in my bag, it will explode, leaving me very cross.  Why take the chance?  Olivia, though, (the lipstick, not the daughter) is tucked safely in the little zip up compartment in my current bag, and has never lost her lid, or leaked.  Perfect.

 

What is your favourite nude lipstick? Come and find me on Twitter and tell me! I am always on the lookout for more nudes to add to my collection.

 

 

*This Lipstick was a PR sample – All opinions are still entirely my own.

 

You may also like: My Top Three: Eyeshadow Palettes.

 

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Glossybox – September 2015

Glossybox September 2015

 

The September Glossybox – the Style Edition – comes in a gorgeous box with a pastel water colour style image on the front.  Inside there is the usual wrapping; tissue paper bound with a bright pink ribbon.  This being my first Glossybox, I was so excited to open it and discover the contents.  I have deliberately avoided reading other reviews online, to avoid spoiling the surprise.  While I am glad I did, I have to be honest I was really disappointed with the contents this month.

This month’s Glossybox contains five products, all of which are full-sized.  Two hair related items; one makeup; one tool; and one nail polish.  All designed to be the ‘starter kit for the new season’.

September-2015-Glossybox

 

Glossybox-september-2015

Bellapierre Shimmer Powder

This is a really pretty greyish, shimmery loose eyeshadow,  Being the clumsy oaf that I am, I usually avoid loose shadows, because the chances of me dropping it all over the carpet are higher than the chances of Mail Online featuring a Kardashian based article on any given day.  I will, however, be braving the mess, and will give this pretty shadow a go – even if I sit in the garden to apply it.

Marsk Eyeshadow Brush Pro

A lovely soft shader brush.  I am amassing quite the brush collection, mainly because the more I have, the longer I can go between washes.  I’m just waiting for the day that someone invents a quality disposable brush.  Anyone want to get on that? Anyone? *watches tumbleweed rolling past*

Although I have never heard of the brand Marsk, I am not really a brush snob, and as long as it does the job I am not fussy what name is printed on the side.

Maria Nila Luminous Colour Hair Masque

This masque smells lovely, and is both sulphate and paraben free, in addition to being vegan.  I don’t  currently have coloured hair, but that won’t stop me slathering this baby all over my hair.  It promises to give me the ‘glossiest locks ever’, which can’t be bad.

 

September-2015-Glossybox (2)

 

Invisibobble Traceless Hair Ring

These little hair ties are described as a ‘…clever spiral design…[that will] secure your locks without leaving a kink…’  What strange contraptions they are. With their spring-like shape they looked to me – on first impressions – as though they would simply become a tangled mess.  In all honesty, that first impression was correct.  Now, I don’t have enough length to test these out properly (as in wear them out for the day – not unless I want to look a bit odd with a mini ponytail perched on the top of my head), but I did try one as I was curious about the shape, and I thought perhaps my three year old could get some use out of them.  Ouch! It immediately became entangled, and really did not want to come free again.  Sadly, not something I will be using if I ever grow my hair out again.

Nails Inc Nail Polish

The colour of this polish – a greenish khaki colour – would not be one that I would normally choose.  However, It is actually a perfect shade for Autumn.  The Nails Inc formulation is a winner in my eyes, their polishes go on smoothly, and last a decent amount of time on my poor mistreated nails.

 

I had been toying with the idea of subscribing to a beauty subscription for a many months prior to this month, and after a fair bit of research I narrowed it down to a choice of two.  I finally decided on Glossybox, because the past products seemed more suited to my tastes.  So I was super excited when this Style Edition box arrived.  Overall, I was not impressed with the contents.  Yes, the value is high (close to £65) but the products are really not that inspiring.  Hopefully the next month will be a little more exciting.

Now, I’m off to the back garden to do my eye makeup.

 

What do you think? Do you receive Glossyboxes, did you like the contents this month?

 

 

 

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Glycolic Acid : The Path to Smoother Skin

Stop the press! I have found the secret to smooth glowing skin: Glycolic Acid.  You have probably heard of it, maybe even used it yourself.

So, what is Glycolic Acid, and how does it work?  Despite the scary sounding name, Glycolic Acid is a natural ingredient, and is actually taken from sugar cane.  In very simple terms, it works by removing the very outer layer of skin, leaving behind fresh new skin underneath.  In skincare products that can be used at home, the concentration will be fairly low (probably under 10%) although if having a professional treatment it will be anything from 50% upwards.  It is normal to feel a little bit of tingling when using products containing Alpha Hydroxy Acids (of which Glycolic Acid is one) this simply means it is penetrating the skin and doing its job.  What you shouldn’t experience, however, is burning, redness, or peeling.

 

Glycolic Acid: Alpha-H Liquid Gold, Nip+Fab Glycolic Cleansing fix, Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Serum

 

Back in July I went on a little shopping trip, and bought a couple of skincare items (here, if you would like a read) one of which was the Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Cleanser.  I was a little nervous about using the cleanser initially, what with it having ACID as an ingredient, but eventually I decided to man-up (in a very female way) and try it.  It turns out that my hesitance was unnecessary; there was no burning or smoking from my face – just super smooth, soft skin.  Result!  Some may argue that the Glycolic Acid content is too low to actually do any good (it is 2%), but I am certain that it has made a difference to my skin.  In collaboration with this, I have been using the Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Serum , which contains a slightly higher concentration of Glycolic Acid: 4%.  In all honesty, I haven’t noticed a dramatic change after introducing this serum, it is a very thick, sticky product, that isn’t especially pleasant to apply.  You do need to wait for it to dry before applying moisturiser, which can be a bit of a faff in the morning, when time is short.  It hasn’t had a negative effect, so I will continue to use it, but probably would not repurchase it.

 

The real star of the show for me though, is the Alpha-H Liquid Gold.  This hugely raved about cult product really is as good as everyone says.  I actually came to own this because I had heard great things about the Alpha-H Absolute Eye Complex.  While researching the eye cream, I came across the Discovery Collection, which contains four small skin care products and is a great way to try out a skincare range without committing to full size products.  (I have mentioned before that I absolutely LOVE it when brands do this, it suits my fickle nature down to the ground).

Anyway, I digress.  Liquid Gold has 5% Glycolic Acid, and brightens the skin by giving it a little boost.  Best used three or four evenings a week, simply wet a cotton wool pad with the Liquid Gold, and wipe over the face after cleansing.  It is actually recommended that the skin is left to work uninterrupted overnight, which means not applying moisturiser.  Having quite dry skin, it really goes against the grain to not follow up with a rich night cream, I can tell you.  I initially expected to wake up looking like the Crypt Keeper, but actually the opposite was true.  When I use Liquid Gold (and I don’t use it more than three times a week) my skin is plumped, refreshed and smooth the following morning.

The reason that I actually reached for it (because, as I said, it was just a bonus item with a much wanted eye cream) was that I became frustrated that I couldn’t seem to find anything that would smooth out my bumpy forehead.  I don’t suffer hugely with spots (well, until recently but that’s a whole other blog post) but I have always had a lumpy forehead, which I believe is caused by congested pores.  I have tried all manner of methods to rid myself of the pesky bumps, and the combination of these Glycolic Acid skincare items has done the trick.

 

I would expect that anyone with very sensitive skin should approach any skincare products containing Glycolic Acid with caution.  For anyone looking for skin that is as fresh as a baby’s bot though, I would recommend finding your Glycolic Acid soul mate – you won’t regret it.

 

 

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W7 Eyeshadow Palettes : Review

 

W7 In the Buff, In the Night Eyeshadow Palette

W7 is a brand that I have not had much experience with, but I have seen other reviews of their products recently.  The general consensus seems to be that their range is good quality and affordable, so I thought I would check them out.  They started in 2002, and have apparently been building gradually over the last 13 years.  Prices are reasonable, although I found them to be not particularly consistent across online stockists.  For example, the two palettes I have range from around £4 on Amazon, to £9.99 on the W7 website (which you can’t purchase from, incidentally).

The W7 In The Buff Eyeshadow Palette contains 12 nude shades; 3 mattes and 9 shimmer shades.  The colours are typical nude colours; golds, browns and taupes.  It also has a matte black, which is a useful addition to any palette.  The colours are reasonably pigmented, although not intense (which allows the colour to be built up) and blend well.  I also found that they lasted well on my eyes – although admittedly I don’t usually have an issue with creasing or shadows relocating elsewhere on my face.  When buying eyeshadow palettes – which I do frequently – my main concern is whether I can create a complete look from it. I don’t want to have to rummage around in my collection to find complimentary colours, or a transition shade.  So it is pleasing to me that the In the Buff palette contains both light and dark colours, in shimmers and mattes.

 

W7 In the Buff Eyeshadow Palette

 

W7 In the Buff Eyeshadow Palette

 

The W7 In the Night Palette, on the other hand, contains only one matte as far as I can see (it’s black).  The colours are fab though; if you like smoky purples, pinks and heather/greys.  And shimmer.  Again, the colours are fairly pigmented, and easy to blend.

Unusually for an eyeshadow palette, they also both contain a decent brush.  It is double ended however, and has one of those useless sponges on the other end (why do they even bother – I always put these straight in the bin).  They also both come in a tin, rather than a plastic palette, which makes them sturdy, yet lightweight.  They remind me of the tin pencil cases we used to have at school, except these don’t have tippex graffiti on them.

 

W7 In the Night Eyedhadow Palette

 

W7 In the Night Eyeshadow Palette

 

 

 

Having looked at the website (here) I can see that the range is impressive, but the buying options seem limited, as I mentioned earlier.  I haven’t personally seen anything by W7 in an actual shop (as opposed to a virtual shop – my favourite kind).  I bought these both from Amazon, and didn’t pay more than £5 for either, which I think is pretty good value.

 

Have you ever tried anything by W7? Is it stocked in a store near you?

*This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your continued support of Joyful Things!*

Things I Would Tell My Teenage Self – The PLL Effect

 

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I have a confession to make: I did not watch Pretty Little Liars when it was on originally – shocking right?  As is quite common for me, I waited until it was finished to decide I would see what all the fuss was about.  I am currently up to Season Three, and I can say that despite myself, I am hooked.  It has got me thinking though.  Not just about who ‘A’ is (although I have used more precious brain power on that than I should admit to) but about how perfect these teenagers are – aesthetically speaking.  I realise it is fiction, and in order to be appealing they couldn’t be awkward and spotty – it just wouldn’t be the same.  It’s just, compared to myself as a teenager, they are like a different species.

 

I try not to have regrets, but I can’t help but think what I would change about my teenage years.  What would I tell myself if I could go back and spend an hour (or 36) coaching myself on how to be a little bit less of a mess?

  • Use more sun cream:  When roasting in the back garden during the summer holidays, put cream on! Lots of it.  And don’t wear those sunglasses when you’re sunbathing – you will regret it when you have to spend the rest of the week with a red face and white circles around your eyes.

 

  • Even better, don’t roast in the garden during the summer holidays.  Embrace your pale skin! At least until fake tan becomes more user friendly.

 

  • Don’t – I repeat DON’T – pluck your eyebrows into oblivion.  Definitely don’t shave them to save time.  Just calm yourself down and tidy the stragglers – no more.

 

  • Smile! Yes, I know you are shy (unfortunately that won’t ever change) but that doesn’t mean you can’t be friendly.

 

  • Experiment with the length of your hair, by all means.  Just accept that short hair suits your face better and go with it.  You’ll only be frustrated (and hot) with long hair.

 

  • That doesn’t mean you should agree to the disgraceful haircut that will result in you being teased mercilessly at secondary school.  Being called Mop Top is not a pleasant experience.

 

  • Enjoy yourself! These are the best years of your life.  You’ll get married when you’re 20, so make the most of single life while you can.  That’s not to say you should be promiscuous – far from it – just be more sociable.

 

  • If you are going to insist on slathering thick foundation all over your healthy, young skin, at least choose the right shade.  And don’t just stop when you get to your jawline.

 

  • Don’t stress that you aren’t the prettiest in the room.  One day soon you will meet someone who will genuinely believe that you are the prettiest girl in every room.

 

  • Maybe think about doing some exercise, get that body fit before you hit thirty.  It will be so much easier that way.

 

  • And wear a crop top or something – that stomach will be ruined when you have your first baby and you’ll never be able to show it in public again without people gagging and turning green.

 

  • Try a little bit harder at school.  Stop worrying about what everyone thinks about you, and just concentrate.  Who knows how much you could accomplish?

 

  • And finally, don’t worry about most of these (except for the sun cream) you will be just fine.  Four children is a pretty exciting accomplishment – let someone else be the brain surgeon that you are not.  Oh, and your eyebrows will eventually grow back.

 

 

 

What about you, what would you tell yourself as a teen if you could? Or would you not change a thing?

 

 

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H&M Beauty Collection – How Does it Shape Up?

A couple of months ago H&M launched an updated beauty range; they have offered makeup and body care products for a while now, but not on this scale.  Some of the previous items were impressive (blushers and brushes), and some (body sprays), well, not so much, so I was curious to see how the new offerings would shape up. I talked about some of the body care range here, and now it is time to discuss a few of the makeup items. In typical H&M style it is all very affordable, with prices starting from £1.99 for a makeup sponge, to £9.99 for eyshadow palettes.

 

 

H&M Beauty

 

H&M Beauty Gossamer Lip Stain - Gauzy Mauve

 

I’m going to start with something I really didn’t like; H&M Gossamer Lip Stain in Gauzy Mauve. I was disappointed from the get go with this, I’m not sure if it is deliberate (as in they have added perfume/flavour) but this lip stain tastes vile. It is very hard with lip products, especially those of the liquid variety, not to end up with some of it in your mouth (or is that just me?). Usually I would choose no taste or scent for makeup – it just seems a bit wrong. I would have been prepared to overlook that in this case though, if it dried and that was it. This lip stain did dry, but that was not it. As soon as I had a drink, there it was, wet again. And slimy. Not characteristics I look for in a lip stain.  If you can get past that though, the colour is very pretty, especially for the upcoming Autumn days.

Staying with lip products for now, the next item I have is the Lip Primer. I have never tried a lip primer before; I usually just reach for good old fashioned lip balm to get my lips ready for lipstick. Unfortunately the H&M Lip Primer is so hard that it just drags painfully across the lips, depositing uneven white lumps. This then, obviously, looks pretty awful under lipstick.  I would not recommend this at all.  Unfortunately I couldn’t take a close up picture of it, because my youngest daughter decided to wind it up and smoosh the lid down – destroying the end.

 

 

H&M Beauty Lip Colour-to-Go - When in Rome

 

The Lip Colour-To-Go in When in Rome is a vast improvement.  This lipstick pencil has a soft creamy consistency, making it pleasant to apply. The colour lasted well, and it wasn’t drying on my sensitive lips.  I would certainly choose this formula over the liquid lipstick any day.

 

 

H&M Beauty Cover-up Concealer - Ivory

 

The Cover-up Concealer in Ivory was a very pleasant surprise. I have mentioned many a time that my dark circles are a force to be reckoned with. They want to be seen, dammit, and will show through even the thickest layer of concealer. I therefore wasn’t expecting too much from this one. In all honesty, no it doesn’t cover everything, but it offers decent – medium – coverage and it doesn’t dry out and cake on my dry skin. It also lasted fairly well throughout the day. I definitely think this concealer would work well for those lucky, genetically blessed people with not much to hide.

 

H&M Beauty Solar Flair Bronzing Powder - Sheer Tan

 

In the absence of any sun in the UK, bronzer is a must in order to actually look alive. This Solar Flair Bronzing Powder in Sheer Tan ticks all the boxes for me, it is warm and not muddy or glittery.  As the name suggests, it is an almost sheer colour, which can be built up to give a nice bronzy glow. It is also subtle enough that it’s not frightening to use (not like one other bronzer I could mention).  Most definitely a hit in my eyes, and it even comes close to rivalling my holy grail bronzer – The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder.

 

 

H&M Beauty Eye Colour Palette - Smoky Nudes

 

Now, on to the Eyeshadow Palette in Smoky Nudes. This is a lovely neutral palette, containing five soft matte colours, and four shimmers.  The colours are fantastic, if you are looking for a neutral colour selection, and the eyeshadows themsleves are blendable and very forgiving (if you are a bit heavy handed like me).  I think H&M could do with offering a little bit more choice (there are currently four palettes to choose from), with a bigger colour selection.

 

 

H&M Beauty Pure Velvet Cream Blusher - Dusty Rose

 

 

Lastly, but certainly not leastly, is my favourite of all the H&M makeup range that I own. The Cream Blusher in Dusty Rose. I realise that the world is divided when it comes to cream blushers (I expect it is being debated in Parliament right now) but I am of the opinion that they are pretty great. I have yet to come across a cream blusher that interferes with the layer underneath, or that slides off during the day. Maybe I have just been lucky, or maybe they just work well with my skin type. For whatever reason though, I love cream blushers. And this one could well be my absolute favourite. I have not stopped wearing this blusher since I bought it. I love everything about it; the colour, the consistency, the longevity. Everything.   I find it is best applied with a stippling brush, rather than fingers. This helps it to go where it is needed, without disturbing anything else.

 

Overall, I find the H&M Beauty range very exciting.  The packaging is classy looking (although it is all plastic – so won’t impress everyone), and sturdy, and the products inside are – mostly – great.  I would definitely recommend a look next time you are passing a store – or browsing online.

 

Have you tried any of the H&M Beauty range? What did you think?

 

 

 

*This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your continued support of Joyful Things!*