Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Josie Maran & Topshop Cheek Gelly Comparison

Josie Maran Topshop Cheek Gelly Comparison

Josie Maran Topshop Cheek Gelly Comparison
Josie Maran Topshop Cheek Gelly Comparison
Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee in Getaway Red - $22
Topshop Cheek Jelly in Reign - £7

Beauty brands seem to be getting more experimental with formula's, and of course whatever happens in high end beauty usually filters down into the high street eventually. Forget jelly being a desert found at a small child's birthday party, it's now a widely-available beauty formula. Today I'm going to share two gel blush's, one is more expensive and hard to get if your from the UK, and one is under £10 and easy to find. 

When Sephora finally decided to ship to the UK last January I quickly placed an order. High up on my lust list was a Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the brand, don't be surprised; it's very hard to get hold of this side of the Atlantic. After have a look round the internet at swatches I finally settled for Getaway Red, which is described as 'true red'. Not too long after Topshop also realised a smiliar cheek product, this time in the form of their Cheek Jelly. Again, I had a look at all the shades and decided Reign would be the most wearable. At the time I was so swept up in the new release that I completely forgot about my Josie Maran Cheek Gelee in a very similar shade. It was only until I looked through my stash I realized the two were very similar, so similar that I may have stumbled upon the answer to us Brit's prayers. 

Apart from the obvious difference in the coloured lid, both products are pretty similar. Josie Maran has different lid colours depending on which shade you choose whilst Topshop's will always be black. I suppose this could make it a little confusing if you have a few pots with black lids, but you can see the product through the clear base so it's not too much hassle. Whilst Topshop's clear base is plastic, Josie Maran's is glass making it slightly heavier and sturdier. Both pots are exactly the same size too. The only criticism I could find is that the Topshop version isn't as clearly labelled, whereas Josie Maran can be read without titling the lid to catch the light.  There's really not much more to say.

This is the important bit. You can dress things up the same, but if it doesn't work the same, it's not competition. Both products are a gel stain formula and the best way I've found is using your finger, just like you would Vaseline. I know that might not be everyones cup of tea, but it really is the only way to pick up the product.  

This is where the differences start to become more obvious. On touch, Josie Maran's feels completely different to Topshop's.Whilst Topshop simply feel's like a pot of Vaseline, Josie Maran is almost bouncy. It's not wobbly like Illamasqua's Veil primer, but it does feel somewhat cushioned when you press your finger against it. 

What makes Josie Maran's Cheeky Gelee stand out is the ingredients. Infursed with 50% pure coonut-water it provides a unique hydrating stain. For any of you who have ever used a lip stain before, you will know how drying it can be. The thought of a product drying out my already-dry skin isn't the most pleasant, so it's amazing when a makeup product has added skincare benefits. Topshops? Well Topshop doesn't have any natural ingredient benefits, and I did find it very slightly drying and tacky on my skin. Josie Maran had none of these quality's and was silky smooth all day.

Pigmentation wise, the swatches speak for themselves. Josie Maran (left swatch) was very pigmented and a little certainly went a long way. On the other hand, I really needed to rub my finger into the Topshop (right swatch) pot to achieve any pigmentation like Josie Maran. I also found that the Josie Maran swatch was more true to the shade in the pot but the Topshop blush seemed to be a bit different. However, what you must remember is that this is a cheek product, and will (hopefully) be blended out on application so you don't look like a  doll. Both products do blend beautifully into a subtle pop of colour, with Josie Maran's surprisingly needing less work than Topshop's, despite being more pigmented. 

Now onto longevity. This is a deal breaker for me, as I hate touching up my make-up during the day, I'm just too busy. Whilst Topshop makes no claims to the wear time of their Cheek Jelly, Josie Maran states you should experience up to 14 hours of skin hydration and colour. That's a very bold claim, and one that tempt me to make the initial purchase. I haven't tested these products in heat or humidity, because quite frankly those two things are rarely found in Manchester. I have, however, worn these on your typical A/W drizzly day with central heating on, which presents it's own challenges for my make-up. Without touchup, topshop lasted around 4 hours before fading completely on the 6 hour mark. Not too bad, but it did leave my skin feeling a bit tacky on application, and dry after it had faded. In comparison, Josie Maran lasted 12 hours and was still going strong when I removed my makeup at night. My skin felt smooth on wearing and after removing it, and the formula is unnoticeable throughout the day.

I think it's pretty obvious that Josie Maran's Coconut Watercor Cheek Gelee (mouthful) is my preferred choice. Whilst on first glance both products look the same, Josie's formula is truely superior making it worth the splurge in my books. However that not to say I hate Topshop's Cheek Jelly. For those of you who don't want the expensive of a Sephora haul, but want to try a gel blush, it's a great alternative. Whilst it's not as pigmented, you don't necessarily need it too be bright and bold, unless your employed as a children's entertainer. It's wear time wasn't too shabby either making it a good alternative, just not as good as the original. 

Which one do you prefer? Have you tried any? I can't wait for my trip to the State in September so I can stock up on a few more shades of Josie's Gelle. 

Monday, 23 February 2015

S/S 2015 Trend Report: Soldier Sailor

Spring Summer 2015 Womens Catwalk Runway Trend Report
Image Credit (Left to Right)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
For the second of spring summer 2015's women's runway trend report, I've focused on looks which have appeared time and time again on the catwalks; nautical and military.

Marc Jacobs is king of the khaki hands down. Billowing shirt dresses, satin prom dresses and embellished maxi dresses all featured in his SS '15 show, proving you can wear the trend whatever your style. Fingers cross the high street copy Sonia Rykiel's structured take on the trend, as her co-ord short suit is perfect for summer events. If your girly like me and love a bit of embellishment and sparkle, there's no need to fear about this trend. Ralph Lauren managed to inject some glitz by teaming excessive beading in khaki shades whilst Gucci showed that even a military inspired mac will keep you on trend this season. 

From land, to the sea, the nautical trend has always been part of spring summer fashion and this year is no different. Head to toe stripes were seen at Dior, Chanel and Trussadi, with Chanel even including knee high boots.. If stripes don't take your fancy, make like Valentino and don a sea-inspired print such as starfish. This floaty maxi dress was one my favorite looks of the entire season and I can't wait to see some sea-inspired accessories popping up soon!

Which look do you prefer? I think I'm swayed to nautical.

Friday, 20 February 2015

The Do-It-All Mermaid Mask

The Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Face Mask
The Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Face Mask
Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask - £13
Face Masks are a huge weakness of mine. I will unashamedly take selfies whilst being covered in mud and clay of any variety in the hope that they do something for my skin. But finding the right one can be tricky, especially if you don't know exactly what you want it to target. Do I want my skin to glow? Do I need a deep cleanse? Does it need hydrating? Well what if I want everything? Whilst I love using a variety of masks to target problem areas, it can be expensive and time-consuming. You'll be happy to know then that I've found the answer to your prayers, and its a little tub from The Body Shop.

At £13 a pot, the Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask from the Body Shop aims to cleanse, clarify and refresh your skin. Aimed at combination/oily skin, it uses wild bladderwrack seaweed from the clean waters off the south-west coast of Ireland to draw impurities out of the skin and control excess oil. It's worth noting that I have combination dry skin and haven't found this to be the least bit dehydrating after weekly use. As mentioned, the mask is clay based, but is easily applied and only a small amount is necessary to cover your face. Don't let the thought of seaweed put you off as there's no distinctive smell. It's recommended that you leave the mask on to harden for 10 minutes before removing. I love when you can see a mask is working and this definitely does not disappoint. Before even removing the mask you can see small dots on the mask where impurities have been drawn out. On removal, my skin was glowing, smoother and my pores were dramatically reduced. On closer inspection, my skin felt and looked as if it had been deeply cleansed and it managed to sort out the congestion I was suffering from on my chin and nose (we've all been there). As for hydration, I found my night cream seemed to sink in better to my skin following using the mask, causing me to wake up with radiant skin the next morning. 

At £13 for a tub that will last you at least 10 applications, this is the perfect mask for those times when your not really sure what you want. Well, I'll try anything that gives me skin like Ariel's!

Have you tried this mask? Would you be put off by the seaweed?

Monday, 16 February 2015

S/S 2015 Trend Report: Airy Fairy

Spring Summer 2015 Fashion Trend Mood Board
Picture Credits (From Left to Right)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

It's that time of year again when I round up my favorite looks from the catwalk and show you the key trends which will be soon flooding the high street for you to snap up. As always, my Spring/Summer 2015 Trend Reports are in a series of 4 over 4 weeks, sharing everything fashion has to offer and including this season's hair and beauty trends.

Whilst most people save the best for last, I could resist showing you my favorite looks first. As an unashamed girly girl I can't help get excited when I see metres upon metres of tulle skirt floating it's way down a catwalk. It's my chance to pretend I'm a Disney Princess and enjoy how effortlessly elegant everything is. It was no surprise then that when I saw a couple ballet inspired gowns at Valentino my heart skipped a beat. Sadly I can't quite stretch to a designer gown, but I'm going to be making do with a tulle skirt from ebay to give a nod to the trend. If  pirouettes aren't your think you may prefer to try a bit of hippy chic. Mastered at Chloe, the maxi dress is back to help you keep cool in the upcoming months. Look for flowing fabric in loose styles to achieve the festival-ready look. If your keen to multi-task and wear two trends at once, opt for a romantic lace option, as seen at Roberto Cavalli. I can't wait to see lots of lace details on the high street, especially in pretty pastel hues.

Do any of these trends take your fancy? Make sure you check out next weeks report for more SS '15 trends!


Friday, 13 February 2015

The Single Girls Guide to Valentine's Day

The Single Girls Guide to Valentine's Day

Unless you've been staring at the floor for the last couple of weeks, you will be well aware that it's the big V day tomorrow. If you weren't sick of seeing products of all shapes and varieties in the colour red at Christmas, you going to be by Sunday night. It's that time of year when the world celebrates love and establishment of gift companies. Whilst many of you reading this may be wrapping presents and putting the final touches to cards for your loved ones, their is a group of people who may be feeling a teeny bit awkward about this particular holiday; the Singletons. Although you may feel that you have a massive neon sign, complete with flashing arrow, indicating your relationship status above your head tomorrow, fear not my fellow singles, I have some simple ways to help you too celebrate Valentine's Day.

Love is an emotion

Duh! If you think I've gone a bit loopy, wait and hear me out. Love is just an emotion just like happy and sad. You don't have to be in a relationship to be happy, so why do you have to be in a relationship to celebrate love? Be it your friends, family or even your dog (or cat if were going down that cliche), take time out to show your loved ones that you care. Personally, I can think of nothing better than a night out with the girls, getting my Beyonce on. 

Loving yourself is just as important

You know when you have a breakup and people say you need to learn to love yourself before anyone else can love you? Well as annoying as it sounds, they kinda of have a point. If your unhappy, this is unlikely to change just because you've paired up with someone. Take tomorrow as a day to get to the bottom of your inner demons and show yourself some love. Think your bum's too big? It hasn't done Kim K any harm! Although easier said than done, there are always ways to view a negative as positive. Once you manage to turn you hates around, your confidence is limitless. Happy just the way you are? Well nothing is stopping you having some 'you' time and being 100% focused on doing things you want to do. Get yourself that little treat you've been eyeing up, having a pamper session, or spend the entire evening watching Netflixs. Go on, be kind to yourself.

& if all else fails ...

If you are still feeling a bit down after getting this far, remember this: Sunday is simply February 15th. Nothing more, nothing less. Valentine's Day is only one day out of the entire year and by Saturday it will soon be forgotten.

Oh and it's Pancake Day on Tuesday! If that doesn't brighten your mood, I don't know what will.

What are you doing tomorrow?

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Get Red(y) for Valentine's Day

From top to bottom
1) Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Candy Apple
2) Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in Provocateur
3) Nyx Butter Gloss in Cherry Pie
4) Rimmel Kate Lipstick in 11

Excuse my awful pun, I just couldn't resist. Cheesy title aside, today I though I would share 4 of my favorite high street lip products to get you ready for this weekend. Whether you single or taken, a lover of subtle or statement, there's something for everyone, without having to brake the bank.

First up is a product I bought purely because of hype. The Revlon Lip Butters used to be a regular feature on my news feed and rightly so to. Buttery soft (hence the name) with the perfect pigmentation, they're sheer enough to wear at work, but enough to complete an evening look. Another Revlon lip product I adore are their Colorburst Balms. Provocateur is from their Lacquer range and has a bit more shine to it than the others in the line. Incredibly pigmented and non-drying this crayon makes it ideal for a quick transformation if you need to get ready fast. Possibly my favorite out of all four is the Nyx Butter Gloss in Cherry Pie. Super pigmented and glossy, this creates the ultimate glossy pout. Oh and it's smells amazing too! Lastly, one of the more dramatic products is the Rimmel Kate Lipstick in 11. As you can see it's a bold, nearly matte shade, which will add a touch of glamour to your night.

What's your favorite red lip product?

Monday, 9 February 2015

Cakes & Crafts

Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts Show Manchester 2015

Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts Show Manchester 2015

Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts Show Manchester 2015

Cake International Show Manchester 2015 Dog Cake

Cake International Show Manchester 2015 Hat Cake

Cake International Show Manchester 2015 Cinderella Cupcakes

Cake International Show Manchester 2015 Pond Cupcakes

Cake International Show Manchester 2015 Gruffalo Cake

Cake International Show Manchester 2015 Otter Cake

If you've been reading my blog regularly for the last 6 months or so, you will know that that I've got back into my old crafty hobbies (I shared some of my jewelry here). I used to be a regular 'maker' but as I got older, other things took priority and I soon forgot how much enjoyment I got for getting my fingers covered in glue. For some reason, I rediscovered my passion towards the end of last year, and since then it's been full steam ahead.

On Saturday I headed down to Event City in Manchester for the Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycraft, and Cake International shows. This was my first Hobbycraft and Cake show so I didn't really know what to expect and definitely wasn't prepared for how many people were there. It was very reminiscent of the Clothes Show, but for crafters! I was also quite surprised at the mix of people attending the events. I must admit I was half expecting to feel a little out of place, with more, shall I say, mature ladies being the majority; but I was very wrong. From young people, both male & female, families and pensioners alike were all present and represented, all sharing the same interests. 

I decided to head to the Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts show first and I quickly got distracted by stands selling craft supplies perfect for my project life scrapbook for a mere £1! Whilst wandering along the rows and rows of craft stands I was amazed at all the products available. I could have started so many new hobbies, but somehow managed to stay restrained. I eventually wandered upon a small stand showing the original costumes used in the television show Mr. Selfridge. As you all know, anything vintage is right up my street and I fell in love with how elegant they all were,  After I'd finished finding bargains I decided to signs up for two free workshops, one on how to make a felt bangle from scratch, and the other learning how to use a new product called Wonder Mesh to create beautiful jewelry. I was a little anxious that these would be too advanced for me, having only recently started again but I was relieved the instructors were very friendly and went through it step by step. I would definitely recommend going to one or two workshops as its a great way of learning something new from professionals with no commitment to continue it if it's not your thing. If you do pop down, make sure you look at the workshops in advance and sign up as soon as you get their. All workshops were booked up by 11, and the show only opened at 10!

After lunch I decided to head over to the Cake International show (entry was included in the price of the ticket to the Hobbycraft show). I didn't really want to buy anything as I've already got everything I need for the bit of cupcake decorating I do, but what I really want to see was all the decorated cakes entered into the competition. I always knew that you could make amazing things with cake and icing but some of the entries were absolutely breathtaking. The detail on the dog cake was astonishing, and I genuinely thought the straw hat was real before I saw the sign showing it was hand-piped. The work that someone went into to make the water on the Otter cake look so realistic is crazy and I loved how actual water with a toy fish was used to showcase the lily pad cupcakes! I think my favorite in the entire show was the Gruffalo cake. I have a bit of a Gruffallo cake obsession and watch the animation more often than I probably should. The thought the creator had put into it to show every character and the skill they showed to make it look like a model is amazing. Believe it or not, it only got 2nd place in its class too! 

Well and truly exhausted from walking round both shows I went home with crafty bargains in my hands and cake on mind. 

Are you a 'maker'?

Friday, 6 February 2015

Lush Lonely Heart

Lush valentines day lonely heart bubble bar
Bubble Bar - £3.50

I would say Lush is my guilty pleasure, but that would imply I'm in some way trying to hide my love. Just in case any of you have the slightest ounce of doubt, I love Lush. Being able to take an hour out of the madness and just indulge in a warm bath that smells amazing is sometimes the only thing that keeps me sane. It's the little things after all. It's no surprise then that when their are limited edition collections, I nab a few bits. And if you buy something new, but don't mention it on your blog, did you really buy something? ;)

The item from the Valentines Collection I thought I'd share with you today is this amazing iridescent heart-shaped bubble bar. Orange based and covered in gold glitter, this product is aptly called Lonely Heart. If like me you're single, don't worry, this bubble bar will more than fill that space. As with all bubble bars, simply break a bit off (I used half) and watch as you bathroom fills with the sweetest scent. Think peach water with just the right amount of bubbles. The bubble bar has notes of lemongrass, ylang ylang, bergamont and jasmine, which creates the most uplifting and comforting secent, perfect for a relaxing night, and particularly good if you want to escape the scent of Valentines roses. I will warn you that the gold glitter does transfer one touch, so you may will end up with sparkly hands whilst crumbling the bar. Don't worry about your bath though, the glitter doesn't stick and it took me less than a minute to rinse the glitter away.

Overall I would recommend this for anyone who wants to enjoy a Valentines treat but doesn't want something pink, red or smelling of roses. It's an ideal alternative which has exactly the same effect. Oh and at £3.50, it's not too pricey either!

Have you snapped any Lush Valentines products up?

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

The Beauty Molecule

Fountain Beauty Molecule Food Supplement
Fountain Beauty Molecule Food Supplement
The Beauty Molecule - £24.99
 It takes a long time to incorporate something into my daily routine. I get bored of things quite easily and I'm always in such a rush, if it's not at the front of my mind, it's just not going to get used. I always buy vitamins and supplements with the best intentions, and then a month later their collecting dust. But if said product is in nice packaging, well how can I resist? ;)

Looking more like a high end candle in its cardboard box, Fountain is a food supplement brand, aiming to make you look and feel your best. Containing Resveratrol, the same magic found in red wine and Japanese knotweed, and Water Matrix, to make the Resveratrol soluable, the Beauty Molecule aims to make you bright eyed and bushy tailed. I'm not scientist, but after a little digging around the internet, it seems resveratrol is relatively new, but studies have been extremely positive and the benefits include helping to tackle symptoms of unhealthy lifestyles. In order to benefit from the supplement, simply take one teaspoon daily, either on its own or mixed into a drink, just not dairy. Easy right?!

My Experience
The supplement itself looks just like pomegranate juice, and is in fact pomegranate flavor. If taste puts you off things, I'm afraid to say this product is a bit of a mixed bag. I have only ever tried the supplement on its own so I can't say if the taste varies when mixed with another drink. The pomegranate comes through pleasantly strong initially, however there is a sort of medicinal aftertaste, which is reminiscent of cough medicine, so best have something ready to wash it down. 

Does it work? I'm naturally quite skeptical, but I must admit I have seen a difference. Before taking this I was pretty run down but since taking this once a day I've had endless comments, all stating I seem to be glowing. It's very hard to describe, but it's almost like I've had mild airbrushing on small things that have bugged me. My hair seems to be behaving even though I've not tried anything new, my nails seem to be growing stronger despite no treatment being applied. I've still experience breakouts, but they too seem to have come and gone faster than normal. My skin has regained some luminosity and seems a lot more vibrant rather than looking tired and  It's not just physical changes too. I feel a lot more  energetic, alert and generally on the ball. It seem's I've gained a sparkle

Although it's recommended that you use the product within 2 months of opening, I would say you have at least 3 month's worth of product in a bottle so whilst it is quite expensive, you do get value for money.

Overall I would recommend this product. Like most things of this nature, results are probably dependent on the individual, but looking at other reviews on the Boots website, the vast majority of people have seen the benefit. Whilst the taste is something that will be hit or miss, it is only one teaspoon a day.

Have you tried any Fountain Supplements? Would You?
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