New In #7: The Sephora Haul

15 January 2017

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Even though it's rumoured that Sephora will finally be hitting the UK shores, there's still something far too exciting knowing that when a mate goes to the US they will bring you a bag of goodies from the holy mecca itself. However what is the worst thing about this post, is the fact that this haul is from September.... yes September - that's how long its been sat in my drafts. I've also got an Ulta haul to come too, before you're going to see the epic New York haul. Now back in September, I didn't know that I would be going to New York so I took advantage of Angela's trip for Florida.

Even though I know Becca is stocked in Space NK here in the UK, I thought I would take advantage of the Sephora value sets and picked up the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector set in Opal, which consists of the worlds cutest mini highlighter and a liquid highlighter. I'm so glad I picked this up instead of a full sized version as this actually doesn't work well on my skin. Regardless of how much I use, you can't tell I'm wearing highlighter. The same happened when I swatched Moonstone - not a fan.

As loyal as I am to Tarte's Lights Camera Lashes mascara, I couldn't help but try their new Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara, ironically I received this in October's Tili box, so I now own two. First impressions of this wasn't good - I hated it, hated the brush, hated the application, hated how it made my lashes look. However use this with a lash primer and say hello to your lashes but better. Personally Lights Camera Lashes will always be my number one and the Tarte mascara which I will recommend to others.

The two products which I was far too excited to try I've saved til last. First up is Anastasia Beverley Hills Liquid Lipstick in Crush - there's been so much hype about these liquid lipsticks and oh my goodness, they are amazing. Literally so pigmented and they last for hours on the lips - also unlike other liquid lipsticks they don't dry your lips out. As I was going into this blind, after looking at lots of swatch pictures, I decided to go with Crush which is described as a soft beige. On me this is more of your lips but better and is more rose toned than beige. A winner from me.

After seeing Sol de Janerio Brazillian Bum Bum Cream on one of Tati's videos, this had to be mine, even if it was just for the name. This was initially on the list as a maybe, however after receiving a whatsapp from Angela while she was in the shop saying how nice it smelt, I was sold. This has to be my most expensive body cream, but also the most luxurious. This is supposed to tighten and smooth the look of your skin, however as this is my only use on special occasions, I really can't comment as to whether this works. I can say that I would happily repurchase this - it literally smells like holidays. So there you have it, the first of many American beauty hauls which you will be seeing on here over the next few weeks. If there is any products which you want a more full in depth review of, let me know.

The Fedora...

13 January 2017

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Fedora - ASOS // Jamie Jeans - Topshop // Shirt - Zara (sold out) // Boots - ASOS (old)

I was going to call this post "The Twat in the Hat" as I've aptly captioned the same picture on Instagram, however I went against it. Now considering I have a massive head (and forehead let's just state the obvious), I never thought I'd be able to get away with wearing a fedora or actually finding a fedora which fits my huge head. Anyway ASOS to the rescue as their hats come in different sizes and that's where I managed to pick this up for £20 which I thought was reasonable.

As it's baltic outside, I paired this up with my old faithful ASOS ankle boots, Topshop Jamie Jeans and my new favourite sale buy from Zara. Unfortunately this shirt isn't on the Zara site anymore, but you may be able to find it in store. In the pictures this shirt looks like it's made from silk, but in fact it's more like a heavy duty suede material - obsessed. Are you a fan of fedoras? 

Taking Advantage of the Sales

10 January 2017

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Have you noticed that you will always appreciate something more if you received it as a present or if you manage to get it in the sale. Since getting my own house, I've actually become one of those people who buys the occasional present or two in the Boxing Day sales, and also use it as an opportunity to stock up on certain items - namely perfume. I think this Boxing Day sales gone, has been one of the most bizarre which I've ever seen - shops have been quieter than usual, yet online sales items have sold out almost instantly (Lush I'm talking about you).

However if like me, you pride yourself on being a expert (or should that be savvy) shopper, I thought I would share my top tips and best sales buys. My top tips are pretty simple - know exactly what I want and how much discount ideally would I like to see. Boots has to be the winner as everyone knows near enough everything goes to half price. I use this as an opportunity to stock up on my Yankee Candles and Versace Crystal Noir perfumes. Also L'Occitane has an up to 50% off sale too - personally I'm a massive fan of their hand creams and hand wash. If you're looking to treat yourself or buy in advance, you can't go wrong with  L'Occitane eau de cologne, all of which are unisex.

Another tip is to search for discount codes if something you want isn't in the sales. I'm going to deliberately not discuss one major designer purchase which thanks to a discount code saved me near enough £250, however I did manage to pick up a Vivienne Westwood purse with 30% from Fenwicks. However Garment Quarter is another site I always look on if I want any designer accessories as you can normally find products reduced. My final tip is never to buy things just for the sake of buying - actually buy things which you want. I'm completely guilty of buying loads of Soap and Glory products and to this day I'm still trying to work my way through things. Yes I may have bought a set for £5 from Boots, purely on the basis that I use the minis for travel and I used my last lot for New York. Do you go all out in the sales, or are you a savvy shopper. Let me know.

* In collaboration with L'Occitane

2016 Discoveries...

8 January 2017

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Looking back over the blog, I can't believe that I didn't post a 2015 beauty favourites to look back on. However 2016 for me, was the year of new beauty discoveries, and apart from two products which I bought towards the back end of 2015, all these products were discovered in the last year. Two massive highlights for me, was the massive American Beauty Haul which Angela brought me back from Florida, and then secondly the fact that I was able to FINALLY experience Sephora for myself whilst in New York.

2016 was the year I finally caved into liquid lipstick and actually lining my lips - for lip liner, MAC Subculture has to be the one, a slightly darker nude liner, this looks amazing by itself as a colour, but also compliments any nude lipstick. As for liquid lipsticks, Anastasia Beverley Hills Liquid Lipsticks have to be the most comfortable, long lasting, pigmented shades I've tried. Currently I own four shades - Pure Hollywood, Naked, Milkshake and Crush. Naked and Crush are my two go to shades. Also if you don't know - ABH now have a UK website.

Keeping with the make up, Essie Tying the Knottie has been my go to nail polish throughout the year, best £2.99 I've spent on a polish. I've done a full review with swatches here, The two products which were bought in late 2015, however I've included them in my favourites is The Balm's Mary-Lou Manizer which gives the most perfect champagne glow to the cheeks. I also use this to highlight my brow bone too, and find that it makes my brows look more defined. Again you can find a full review here. MAC Extended Play Mascara is one of those products which you find very few UK bloggers mention, however watch any YouTube video from American Bloggers and this product is raved out, I never use this for my top lashes, only the bottom lashes. This mascara adds length to my lashes, but never makes them look spider like or clumpy. If I'm desperate for a more natural look, I will use this on my top lashes, but this is literally once in a blue moon.

Whilst at IMATS last summer, I picked up a couple of new brushes from Royal & Langnickel and one of them was their Crease Brush from their Pro Silk Line. Hands down these are some of the best brushes which I've ever used - they pick up just the right amount of product and then also blend shadow so easily. Can't recommend the brand enough. Over the last year I've been taking more of a conscious effort to look after my hair and one product I can credit for helping to improve the condition is Pureology Strength Cure Restorative Masque* which I received to review from Hairtrade. I've done a full review on this here, however since using this I've noticed very little breakage at the front of my hair and hair which had previously been damaged and snapped, I can finally pin back, something which I have not been able to do in years.

A bit of a random favourite, yet the world's most expensive tube of toothpaste from New York (£9 I kid you not), Crest 3D White Brilliance has to be one of the best whitening toothpastes I have ever used. I actually prefer Crest whitening strips over the Oral B ones, and this toothpaste I'll be continuing to use in conjunction with oil pulling to keep my teeth white. An expensive body butter obsession has begun thanks to Sol de Janerio Brazilian Bum Bum Cream - one of the most luxurious, hydrating moisturisers I've ever used (and it smells amazing). 

Finally onto skincare - now this has been the section which was the hardest to choose my absolute favourites as I could have included way more products. First up is my favourite sheet mask, sorry but I couldn't part with $6.50 (excluding tax) for the Sephora ones, plus I'm happy with my Garnier Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask which I use once a week, for an added boost of hydration into the skin. Plus for 99p you can't be robbed for that. On a whim in Boots I ended up buying Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pad Extreme which is a less abrasive way (and lazy) to exfoliate your face. Normally I only use this once a week as at times my skin can become very sensitive - regardless this was a fab buy and a product I'll continue to repurchase. 

Finally Mario Badescu Drying Lotion - the ultimate discovery of 2016, the one product which you can rely on to get rid of spots quickly, Even if you can feel one under the surface of the skin - this will prevent it from ever surfacing. I don't know whether this has a nostalgic feel to it, as it reminds me of chamomile lotion from chicken pox. All what you need to do with this is always keep it upright and then dip a cotton bud into the pink solution and then dab onto the skin and leave it overnight, or on the skin for a few hours. So those are my 2016 favourites, and if you managed to get this far, give yourself a high five. Are any of these your favourites? 

* PR Sample
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