Friday, 12 October 2012

MAC Stobe Liquid Lotion

I've reviewed a couple of my must have beauty products before, my cleanser and face mask from Lush, my peel-off mask from Boots, but I've not talked about one of my ultimate make-up must haves.

I don't have that many high end make-up items, the ones I do have have been presents, or treats. I'm a student, I'm on a budget, and there's plenty of time for me to get every eyeshadow Bobby Brown or whoever make when I've qualified as a solicitor. This product though will always be in my make-up bag.

MAC Strobe Liquid Lotion
MAC Strobe Liquid Lotion
MAC Strobe Liquid Lotion

 Sorry about the slightly messy bottom photo, but as you can tell I've had this for some time, and I'm clumsy. Before I get into this review, I want to highlight that this is the Strobe Liquid, and not the Strobe Cream, which I have never tried.

MAC says "Blending soft focus diffusers with iridescent pigments, this ultra-fluid strobe formula produces a soft radiant light on the skin, reducing the appearance of skin imperfections by providing a natural looking glow. Spreads on smoothly and absorbs quickly leaving the skin looking healthier and more radiant. A lighter weight addition to the popular strobe cream."

Packaging first, its classic MAC. The pump makes it really easy to get the right amount, and I like that I can see how much is left, so I know when I should run out and get some more.

For me, this is like photoshop in a bottle. I've used this for three different things, so I'll go through each of it in turn. I first used this as a type of moisturising base under my make-up after a MAC MUA introduced it to me. It works really well, smooths out any imperfections, reduces the need for concealer and just makes make-up look its best. As a primer, I'd say it was decent, my make-up lasted a lot longer with it, but its not a specific primer. I then used it on my "make-up free days" all over my face (ok, so I still technically wore some make-up) and it made a huge difference. From looking like I was ill, to normal in a half a minute is pretty impressive under anyones standards. Lastly, I use this, very sparingly, as a highlighter. One pump is enough for your entire face, and once blended in it gives the perfect amount of shimmer.

This one bottle has lasted my every day for a year so far. If you look on the above picture, I've still got so much left, so money-wise its definitely accessible on a budget, especially when you take into account how much this product can actually do! I know the cream is cheaper, but you do get more of the liquid so that's expected.

Below I've swatched the product. If anyone's wondering I've been matched to NW20 in MAC foundation.

MAC Strobe Liquid Lotion
MAC Strobe Liquid Lotion

That's one pumps worth, which is excessive for the area I blended it in to hence why it looks a bit "white?", but you get the point. It adds a subtle shimmer and really wakens up your skin, making your glowing, but naturally.

I can't recommend this product enough, and really suggest if your near a MAC counter, go and have a test because I can't imagine not using this product.

MAC Strobe Liquid Lotion RRP at £22.50 for 50ml.

While your here, why not entire my giveaway and have a chance of winning 1 of 3 beauty bundles!

Monday, 8 October 2012

How To Make Your Makeup Last All Night feat. Urban Decay

Urban Decay
I have no time to top up my make-up on nights out, I'll loose products, look like a clown, and its just going to end up in me hiding under the duvet the next day from the world.

Urban Decay are my go to for nights out. Using the Primer Potion and setting spray, I am guaranteed not to have my eye makeup near my chin, and in the sauna that is Keele SU, this is definitely a bonus.

Urban Decay De Slick XL (177ml)
Urban Decay

I got this off Buyapowa a while ago and I love it. Its an "oil control makeup setting-spray" which I use  on every night out and it definitely stops shine, and keeps my make up in place. You spray your face when you've done your foundation and base layer, then again when you've completely finished a couple of times. At first I thought it was going to completely ruin my makeup, with it all running down my face when I sprayed it because it honestly felt like someone just shot water at me. Fear not, it dried with no smudges. I love this product and can't rave about it enough. I don't do any touch ups at all, not even powder, so definitely well worth the money. This would also be ace when you go on your holidays to hot countries!

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion Professional Size (25ml)

Urban Decay
Everyone and their mum has got this, but if I'm wearing eyeshadow, I have to use a primer, otherwise I will look like a panda in a matter of hours. If you haven't tried this one, its like a nude mousse, apposed to a cream, gel or spray like the others I've tried. Not only does it really make the Shadow pop, it lasts all night! I know a lot of people say it makes blending hard, but I haven't noticed much of a change, but I am quite fast when I do my eyes (about 5 minutes). This tops my old Clarins one by miles, and the tube packaging makes its so easy and clean. If you haven't tried this, you really need to!

If you fancy winning some beauty products (3 prizes up for grabs!) head over to my giveaway


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Beauty Haul

Beauty Haul

If you follow me on twitter, you will know that this was intended to be as a video. However, the rain had other plans, and once I'd got to grips with making my first video, the rain was so loud you couldn't hear a word I was saying. So to keep up with my blogging schedule, its got to be done in the usual format. Sorry everyone, I will tackle YouTube soon I promise. I also want to apoligise for the awful pictures. I've tried every day since Saturday to get the lighting right, but it was having none of it.

Anyway, moving onto my haul. I wanted to share with you my initial thoughts on what I've bought before I actually use them, and they get mutated by my make up brushes. More detailed reviews will pop up sooner or later I'm sure, either in empties, specific reviews or in a feature. As you probably know, I've been on a challenge over summer, a summer without shopping to be more exact, so these are actually the first bits and bobs beauty related I've bought in ages, hence why theres so many. All of these products have been researched and recommended to me, and been on my wishlist for quite a while, so once my loan came in I decided to treat myself.

elf haul

I'm pretty new to E.L.F. I prefer to see what the product is like before I buy it, and in the UK E.L.F is only available online (as far as I'm aware). However, I was told E.L.F's Blush in Candid Coral is a really good dupe for the cult blush Nars Orgasam, and luckily got it for my birthday. This blush is one of my favourites, and although there is some fall out, for the price difference, I am honestly not fussed. After this success, I placed an order for a few more bits I've had my eye on.
Firstly, the e.l.f  fan brush. I had my make-up done recently at New C-ID in Manchester (highly recommend btw), and the MUA really praised a fan brush. I looked at the brush, and said bluntly, "I've never used that kind of brush before, what does it actually do?". In short, it makes removing fallen eye make up, and erasing mistakes so simple! It's also really good for loose powder. Because I'm pretty clumsy, and always have some eye mistakes which make me reach for the make up wipes, this is definitely something I had to buy. Until I use it, theres not really much more I can say. For a cheap brush, its really soft, and I like the MAC-esque look to it. But will it live up to the job? I'll let you know.
e.lf. Blush in Gotta Glow. I got this because I thought it would be a good dupe for Nars Albatross, but this has such mixed reviews. On first look, this looks to be a bit more yellowish, but I can't compare properly because I don't own the Nars version. I really like the black packaging, and if this is anything like my candid coral blush, we will get along swimmingly.
e.l.f Golden Bronzer. This looks really similar to my Collection 2000 Shimmer Shades, but you actually get more product I think with e.l.f. After comparing the two, I think the Collection 2000 one is slightly lighter, which is why I'm a little meh with it because I really have to concentrate to get my contouring right. I'm actually really excited to use this, because it could be exactly what I'm after.
e.l.f Daily Brush Cleaner. I use Johnson's Baby Shampoo on my brushes, and have done since I had a make-up lesson with an amazing MUA at MAC, who has done Lady Gaga's make- up no less, told me it was one of the best ways, and cheapest to clean you brushes. However, I sometimes want to use a brush more than once, particularly my eye brushes, and its a little bit of a hassle. With this, I can just spritz some on, clean it quickly, and still use my favourite brushes!
When I did my e.l.f haul, you got a free goody bag, with four products in it. Firstly, the plumping lip glaze in Mocha Ice. I'm never too keen on "plumping" lip glosses, because 9 times out of 10, they don't work. The packaging really puts my off, the white plastic looks kind of cheap, and I just don't think I'm going to love this. I'll let you know how I get on, but I just wish they stuck with the black packaging, because it looks far better. This is a similar story with the Brightening Eye Color in Hazy Hazel. Despite these being the perfect colours for my light blue eyes, the packaging looks so cheap, like something you got free from a pre-teen magazine. I will try it, but I'm not expecting much. Lastly I got two nail polish's in Twinkle and Smoky Brown. YEY! Back to the black packaging and I'm a happy bunny. Twinkle is exactly what I'm looking for, a very fine, almost holographic, glitter nail varnish, and Mocha is definitely a colour I would wear so these will be tested ASAP!
nyx haul
Again a company relatively new to me because of the whole online thing. I've got a couple of products from River Island and TK Maxx, but its still not very accessible in the UK.
As you've probably guessed, I love Nars, but just can't afford it, so I'm always on the look for a dupe. Someone told me (if it was you let me know!) that the powdered bronzer in Medium #2 was a really good dupe for Nars Laguna. I am so impressed with this product, and I've not even tried it yet. The amount of product you receive is so much, definitely value for money. Although I wish they had left the boat detail off, it looks a little cheap, theres really nice colours in the product so I can definitely see this being a favourite.
Nyx blush in Pinched is supposed to be another dupe for Nars Orgasam. Its a really pretty colour, but you get less product than the e.l.f. version. However, many people think Nyx is better quality than e.lf. so we will see.
topshop makeup haul
Like a bus, I hadn't got a single topshop product, then BAM! I got two at once ;).
Firstly, I was recommended Glow as a cheap highligher. Looking at it, its basically a more tinted version of strobe cream so I'm very excited. Thanks Sophie for you recommendation. Plus, with the frosted glass bottom I thought you wouldn't get that much product (kinda like Maybelline Color Tattoo's), but in fact the pan goes right down in the glass, so this looks a complete bargain!
I got another highlighter, this time a compact in Creascent Moon. I was looking at Moonbeam, but for me, it looks too yellow. I'm not sure it would suit my skin tone (let me know if you've tried it), and thankfully, by the time I came to order a new shade had been brought out. This looks a really natural highlighter, perfect for my everyday wear.
So that's my big spend as a treat for my shopping ban being complete. Please let me know if you've tried any of these products, I'd be really int rested to hear what you have to say!

Don't forge to enter my giveaway to win 1 of 3 beauty bundles including Benefit, Jelly Pong Pong, Sleek and more!


Monday, 1 October 2012

How To Shop

I've been asked to do another How To... for quite a while now, and I thought one about shopping was pretty appropriate as I've just completed my Summer Without Shopping challenge. Through not shopping, I learnt how to shop. That sounds daft at first, shopping isn't rocket science, but to shop SUCCESSFULLY, a few things need to be known. I hope you try some of these tips, and they work for you.

  • Only pay in cash. If your on a budget, lets be honest most of us are nowadays, this is essential. When I use my card (credit or debit) it just doesn't feel like real money, but sadly it is. Not only will paying in cash make you consider the value of the item, it will also potentially limit the amount you spend. Take your car with you in case you see a one time thing you HAVE to have, but go to the cash machine to get money. The time it takes you to get the cash out will make you think if you really need the item, or if its just a spure of the moment thing.
  • Buying high end make-up? Always ask if they give out for free, or sell samples of the product. Most counters you have to ask at, so don't be intimidated. There running a service for you, they are not doing you any favours by giving you a sample. You need to test-drive the product in your normal routine, and see if it works for you with no pressure on you. A guaranteed way to reduce the risk of a mounting pile of products that cost a small fortune.
  • Shopping Uniform. When I go out I always without fail take a hairbrush, cooling spray like Mac Fix+ and a little touch up bag. This rule applies for shopping too. Once you try on an item, before you look at yourself, quickly brush your hair, and if your hot and flustered spray a little Mac Fix+ on your face. You need to see the item on you as it would be like everyday, not as it is after you've walked through a monsoon.  Try to wear a nude bra that fits well, preferably strapless, that way you know what an item will look like without neon pink bra straps. Go in the type of shoes you would wear, with roughly the same size heel, even if it means carrying them around in a small bag, at least you know how it will look!
  • Lists. I know this one takes a bit of organisation, but it pays off. Look in your wardrobe, and work out what you want to buy, that goes with your existing wardrobe, and pop it down, even if its on your phone. You won't forget when your in a mad rush for the bus, and you will be less likely to buy things that are completely unlike you if you know what your looking for.
  • Discounts Student and staff discounts (current staff, NHS etc) are your best friend. Check where you can get discounts from, and look there first for any of your purchases. The high street, especially the UK, is amazing. Most shops cater for all of the catwalk trends, with a lot of pieces extremely similar. So you set your heart on that dress from one place, but lets face it, saving money on another dress that's really similar, and being able to buy a new pair of shoes with those savings is definitely a plus. You might only save a little, but stretch that over a year, and you could pay for your car insurance.
  • Avoid doubling up (sometimes) Got an obsession with mascara and eyeliner like me? Tell yourself you wont buy a new one until your other one is nearly out. This can work for all products. Not only will they not go off, but you wont have loads on the go, so you'll get your value for money! However, if there is an offer on shower gel for example, and you haven't changed shower gel for 2 years, stock up! It's a given you definitely will use it, so save money now! Warning: Boots and Superdrug offers on make-up are there to get you to spend more money. If you only went in for foundation, you don't need two extra products, just so you get one free. Your wasting your hard earned cash.
  • Ask. If they haven't got your size, ask them to check the back. I used to work at Topshop, and we only put out a couple of each size, with more in the stock room, so if your in love with something, just mention it. If you need a product to do a certain job, but don't know what you should try, just ask. They are there to help you, so don't feel like your putting them out by asking them to do their job.
  • Hate crowded shops? Go on a Sunday. My mum has walking difficulties, so Saturday shopping sometimes becomes more of an effort than it should. Sunday's are so much more chilled. You can really take you time, and not rush, so you are less likely to make those daft buys. Counters are generally less busy, so the assistants can really take there time with you. A lot of places offer cheaper parking on Sunday's too!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway to win 1 of 3 beauty bundles including Benefit, Jelly Pong Pong, Sleek and more!
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