29 May 2012

MAC Lipstick Collection

I feel Creme De Nude (far left) has seen better days!


A handful of drugstore ones aside, plus the odd high end treat, MAC lipsticks are all I've ever really bought. I feel that they are somewhere in between for price, not too cheap, not too expensive and of course there's the benefit of the Back-to-Mac system as well. 

After filming my makeup collection, I had a few requests to show you which MAC lipsticks I currently own (note the running theme of pinky nudes!). I know a lot of people are unfamiliar with the different finishes that the MAC lipsticks have, so I ran through those as well (I won't lie though, I had to do a bit of research myself!).

What is your favourite MAC lipstick? Anything you think I should add to my collection?

Jessica x

26 May 2012

Summer Skincare

*Touch wood* Summer looks like it has finally arrived here in the UK and so out come my go-to products which I find give me a healthy, slightly tanned complexion but also help protect my skin at the same time. 

The Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Sun Defence for Face SPF 50 has been brought out from hibernation, gathering dust in my suitcase. The SPF may seem extremely high, but this is one of the only face sunscreens I've found to protect my lily white skin and prevents it from burning when I plan to spend most of the day in the sun. The herbal scent may not appeal to a lot of people, but I personally like it and as soon as I apply it to my skin, it takes me back to being on the beach the previous Summer! 

I know I praise the Origins VitaZing SPF 15 moisturiser probably more than I should and I apologize if I'm starting to bore you, but it truly is that amazing! Not quite the coverage that a tinted moisturiser would give, however, it gives the skin such a radiant looking glow and is a great base to use under makeup. Most importantly, it still protects my skin from the sun on days where I don't need to use such a high SPF.

The Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning helps to build up a hint of bronze to my face and the best part is, it doesn't have that awful biscuit-y smell that regular self tanners do, instead it has a lovely refreshing scent. I hate the idea of using a body tanner on my face so this is perfect, plus it doesn't break my skin out. I should mention that this does not contain any sun protection, so is not safe to use alone. I apply this to my face at night over the top of my moisturiser and wake up looking healthy and fresh!

What are your Summer skincare staples? Have you tried any of these products?

Jessica x

25 May 2012

Au Natural Mani

You'd probably think that with what I do for a living, I'd constantly be taking care of my own nails. That's not always the case as they have to be kept quite short and polish free, in fact the only time I'm able to paint my nails is when I'm filming a video or when I'm on holiday! As much as I'd love to have my nails preened everyday, it's just not practical and so instead I opt for the 'au natural' manicure. This probably doesn't get done as much as it should do but I'm trying my hardest to make more of an effort.

First of all I file my nails to the desired length and shape, as I said I always keep them short, I've never liked long nails. For ultimate hydration, I occasionally place a small amount of warmed sweet almond oil in a plastic bowl and soak my cuticles in there for around 10 minutes. After that, I apply the OPI Avoplex Exfoliating Cuticle Treatment which contains AHA's, an ingredient which eats away at dead skin (sounds gross, I know!). I then take a cuticle pusher to push back my cuticles and then a pair of cuticle nippers to remove any excess cuticle. 

When I remember, I paint my nails with the OPI Nail Envy, a nail strengthening treatment. This honestly is one of the only nail treatments I've found to make a difference with my nails. It's pretty pricey at £19 a bottle, but well worth every penny. Most nights I apply the OPI Avoplex Nail & Cuticle Replenishing Oil, which just helps to soften and nourish.

This is a great routine to do if you paint your nails regularly or wear false nails (cringe, sorry!) and have found your nails to become dehydrated and weak.

What do you use for your nail care routine?

Jessica x

21 May 2012

New Bobbi Brown Long Wear Eye Collection

L-R Cream Shadows: Smoky Topaz, Velvet Plum, Berry Noir, L-R Liners: Jet, Smoke, Hunter

One of my holy grail makeup items has to be Bobbi Brown's Long Wear Gel Eyeliner, it glides on smoothly, gives intense colour pay off and will not, I repeat, will not budge, so you can imagine my squeal of excitement when I discovered that these were at last being released in a pencil form as part of their new Long Wear Eye Collection.

The pencils are available in 6 shades, Jet, Black Navy, Black Plum, Mahogany, Smoke and Hunter. With the exact benefits of the gel formula, the pencils can last for up to 12 hours without smearing or smudging. These pencils are so incredibly soft and creamy that they are a dream to apply in an instance and are also a lot more portable for if you did want to touch up during the day. Even though they set pretty quick, you still get a small amount of smudging time for more of a smoky look if you wish. Another tip, they seem to become dry if the lid is left off or not replaced properly!

The range also includes 5 new shades to their original Long Wear Cream Shadows, which I also absolutely love. One of the new colours, Velvet Plum, was released as part of a Christmas Collection a few years ago and I was so annoyed that it wasn't part of the permanent line, so I'm glad it now is! The other new shades include Cool Lilac, Smoky Topaz, Black Violet and Berry Noir. These again have such a creamy texture, last amazingly well and are great to wear alone or as a base for a shadow.

The final new addition to this collection is the Intensifying Long Wear Mascara, which has been designed with a new brush and has unique bristles making it easy to reach smaller lashes and also preventing clumping. Even though it is supposed to last for up to 16 hours and claims to be able to withstand a few tears, it can easily be removed with warm water instead of makeup remover. This is possibly my new favourite mascara, it is lengthening but not too volumising, doesn't flake and most of all, it lasts all day.

The Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Collection is now available to buy from counters or online and retail from £17.50 -£18.00.

Will you be purchasing anything from this new collection?

Jessica x

17 May 2012

Products I've Used Up in May

Click HERE to see my video!

Products mentioned:

If you saw my April Empties, I mentioned how much I'd been enjoying these kind of videos and blog posts, I still am! It's basically discussing products that you've recently used up, if you liked them or if you didn't and whether or not you'd repurchase them. This has encouraged me to 'shop my stash' and get through products I've had sitting around, plus this gives me a really good excuse to go out and buy new things once these have gone! :-)

As well as my monthly favourites, I'm hoping to do a 'products I've used up' video each month, depending on how many products I get through, so stay tuned!

Are you enjoying these posts/videos too?

Jessica x

15 May 2012

Essie Bachelorette Bash

I seriously got bargain of the year with this nail polish, along with another 2 in the same pack. A recent mooch around TK Maxx was not supposed to lead to any purchases but as soon as I saw these, I couldn't resist! They currently have a selection of 3-pack Essie polishes going for an insane £9.99, NOW can you see why I couldn't say no?! I was a bit cheeky and swapped one of the colours with one from another pack and ended up with the other 2 colours being different shades of nude. I've been very naughty gathering lots of new things so a beauty haul video will be on it's way very soon!

I read that there was a mix up somewhere amongst the distribution, so some packs even contain polishes from the new diffusion line. I'm really intrigued to try some of these new polishes as the brush is meant to be a lot better compared to the thin, flimsy ones in the older bottles making the application so much easier and smoother.

Bachelorette Bash is a blue toned pink, although it's not showing up true to colour on camera at all (something else I'm going to blame this English weather for!). It very much reminds me of one of my favourite lipsticks, MAC Girl About Town, but in nail polish form. 

Will you be popping down to your local TK Maxx to take up on this amazing offer? Have you tried any of the new Essie diffusion line polishes? If so, how do they compare?

Jessica x

10 May 2012

Concoction Personal Blend Shampoo

Even though I'm heavily into my cosmetics, I've found myself becoming more and more interested in which products I use for my hair. Whereas I used to pick up whatever was on offer from the supermarket shelf, I now research a brand beforehand and also look into what ingredients their products contain.

I was recently introduced Concoction, a professional haircare brand who offer a variety of made-to-measure blends to suit different hair types. Each Concoction base shampoo contains natural silk extract, which protects the hair, locks in moisture and prevents breakages. The fact that the shampoos are also paraben and silicone free gets a big tick in the box from me!

The first step of creating your own shampoo is to choose one of four fragrances, Lemon Verbena, Bakhour, Rosemary Mint or Black Pepper Citrus. You then get the choice of up to 2 SuperSerums, each suited for various hair types/problems and all containing active natural extracts, vitamins and minerals.

All fragrances sounded wonderful but I settled for the Bakhour blend, a combination of Arabian spices, sandlewood, ambergris and musk. For the first SuperSerum I chose Back To Your Roots, a blend of lavender and chamomile, which helps to calm and soothe the scalp and hair roots, I also thought it would would work perfectly with my chosen Bakhour scent. The second SuperSerum I chose was High Definition Blonde again containing chamomile which is also known for enhancing and brightening natural, coloured or highlighted hair. 

My hair certainly felt deeply cleansed, soft and the scent lingered in my hair right through till the next day. I just love the idea of being able to create your own blend and switch it up each time. The only downsides? The products contain sulfates, which is something I try my best to avoid. I'd also love to see a conditioner be released, I personally like to use the same branded shampoo and conditioner to benefit the full effects!

Concoction shampoos are available online for £12.50 a bottle. What are you thoughts on a personalised shampoo? 

Jessica x

9 May 2012

Skincare Routine

Morning routine

Evening routine 

I always say how much I like to invest in my skincare products, and I constantly seem to be on the hunt for the next best thing, however, I feel very settled with the products I'm currently using, some of them have been a part of my routine for a few years, some just a few months.

I've been using the Liz Earle skincare range for over 2 years, and I don't think it'll be removed from my routine for a long time to come, unless I discover something else extremely life changing! To cleanse, I use the Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, which I then remove using a warm muslin cloth. I spritz my face with the Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer and apply moisturiser. If I plan a makeup free day and know I won't be leaving the house, I'll pop on Oilatum, a very light, non-greasy cream for all skin types. If I'm going to be out all day, whatever time of the year, I'll wear the Origins Vitazing as it contains SPF 15 so I know my skin is protected. I wouldn't say it gives the amount of coverage that a tinted moisturiser would but it gives the skin the most amazing radiance and makes the perfect base for makeup. This has become one of my holy grail product and I can even go as far as saying it is the best skincare product I have ever come across #Amazeballs.

In the evening I remove my eye makeup using the Boots Botanics Soothing Eye Makeup Remover which works wonders! A recent cleansing addition is my Clarisonic Mia which I've been using with the Elemis Melting Cleansing Gel and so far so good. After cleansing, I spritz my face once again with toner and apply the Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser. Last but not least, I apply the Origins Ginzing Eye Cream 'to brighten and de-puff'.

I'm constantly switching up my skincare so stay tuned for an update in the near future!

Jessica x

3 May 2012

May Wishlist

I've wanted to try some products from this range for a while. I especially love that all of the products are paraben and sulphate free. The smoothing and nourishing Hydrate Me range sounds the best match for my hair type as it gives a healthy shine and prevents from moisture loss.

The reviews for these Lip Perfecter's have been amazing, but I really love this particular shade. They're said to make the lips appear fuller and leave a glossy sheen to the lips, which is not at all sticky but infact extremely moisturising.

Slightly predictable because lets face it, who isn't talking about this at the moment?!

ViviannaDoesMakeup and Zara from Mouldy Fruit have both raved about this and it just sounds incredible. It seems pricey for what it is, but it's said to leave the skin so soft that there's no need for moisturiser afterwards, making it a two-in-one product!

I don't think I'll ever have a wishlist without some shade of Essie polish, I love the colours in their range and this one is just perfect for Summer!

I think I first saw this being used in one of Pixiwoo's tutorials and I've heard several raves about it since. The shade is right up my street and again, would be great over next season.

What's currently on your wishlist? Have you tried any of these products before?

Jessica x
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