Made From Real Unicorn Hair | Spectrum Brushes Review

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There was once upon a time* when I was at college, with me little pots of Barry M Dazzle Dusts (You know what I’m talking about girllll), and because I was way ahead of the curve, I decided that my makeup applied better with my beautiful paint brushes that I had for  my course. I didn’t really know that you were supposed to use brushes anyway, but as a 15 year old, I thought I was being pretty innovative.

*Have you noticed how all of my posts have a little anecdote, I’m like you Nan aren’t I? Awh.

Anyway, any makeup artist, Youtuber or eyeshadow enthusiast will tell you that the tools you use are the secret to a seamless finish. A far cry from the paint brushes I used to use, when looking for brushes, I consider everything from affordability, bristle softness, and aesthetics – you want a brush to obviously be good quality with£out breaking the bank, and more often than you want it to look great on your dressing table.

Spectrum are a brand that covers all of those bases, and then some. With individual brush prices starting at just £3.99 and finishing at £9.99 you could not ask for prettier or more effective brushes. What’s also handy, is that even if you’re  newbie to the brush world, they’re labelled on the website for their uses so, minimal confusion. Yay.

The brushes are heavy enough to feel comfortable and controlled in the hand and my goodness me are they fluffy, I mean damn, they are bunny rabbit soft – and also vegan. I have almost 10 of their beautiful brushes now and they are honestly a staple in my collection. I keep one clean, just for blending the edges of my shadow.

Their entire range is to die for, with beautiful iridescent details, and ranges including marbled handles with rose gold ferrules.

I honestly cannot think of more gloriously gorgeous brushes, and at around about a fiver a go, could you ask for more?

I could not.

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Charlotte Tilbury: On The Prowl

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Whenever you spot a smudgey, smokey eye on a red carpet or on the catwalk, then you can almost bet money that Charlotte Tilbury – the undisputed Queen of Rock and Kohl – has created it. If there’s one thing Charlotte knows, it’s how to smudge and blend her way to eyeliner perfection. I’ve long lusted after Charlotte Tilbury products – the combination of Art Deco and Old Hollywood in her packaging, and the contemporary take on classic glamour is beauty Nirvana.

Before I commit to spending a huge amount on products, I like to dip my toe into the brand by just purchasing a small item and the ‘Nocturnal Cat Eyes to Hypnotise‘ duo I spied on Net-a-Porter seemed like the perfect way to introduce myself to Charlotte. The set includes the coveted ‘Rock ‘N’ Kohl’ eyeliner in ‘Supernova’ and a complementing shimmery plum shadow.

LOOK AT THAT EYESHADOW… it’s straight out of the Great Gatsby.

The shadow itself is more subtle than I expected it to be, I needed to build it up quite a bit for it to be as dark as I wanted it. That’s not a bad thing though, the shadow is so smooth it makes the shadow easy to blend, it’s also far more purple than I expected it to turn out – it’s quite a light pigment as I was expecting the colour to be deep, rich and bronze’y. Used with the darker eyeliner, it creates such a beautiful depth to the eyes that I don’t think would be easily achieved should the shadow be darker, so it being lighter than I thought is a blessing in disguise – Charlotte really knows her stuff huh!

I feel the real star of the show here is the eyeliner. The buttery formula makes it the easiest eyeliner to smudge out that I’ve ever used (I was a proper little emo kid in the mid 00’s – I’m no stranger to eyeliner). It has a beautiful royal purple glitter in it and blends so smoothly it’s unreal – at £29, the set is well worth the investment for Charlotte Tilbury products. Use with lashings of black mascara and a slick of black kohl on the lower lash line… finish with black leather, unkempt hair and a pint of snakebite and you’ve nailed it.

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Clinique: 1,2,3 Simple Skincare Routine

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Clinique Skin Care Kit for Oily Skin, £20 available online from most well know beauty websites and retailers. Cheek Pop Blusher, in Plum Pop £17.

I don’t really *do* skincare. Or at least, I didn’t until my skin changes as I got… older?

Ordinarily, I had the driest, easy to manage skin – in fact, all through my teens it was pretty good. Aside from a few larger-than-I’d-like-pores, I had no real complaints. About 6 months ago, I noticed a real change in my hormones (my bloody implant is really causing havoc #sozTMI), and at the ripe age of 24 my skin because the skin of a 16 year old. Whereas once I could get away with not washing my face all day and it being glowing and happy, now – I follow a skin care routine morning, lunch and evening. And if I don’t follow it.. I end up with spots that would rival any high school boys. Nice.

So I decide to invest in some skin care, but skin care confuses me and I get a bit lost on the FeelUnique website and in Debenhams I feel a bit flustered, so I opt for something that my Nan would tell me was a good idea and buy some Clinique.

I decide to buy a little kit for £20, that catches my eye and I decide that with this easy to follow routine, skincare will be easy. And it is. There’s a few of these beauties for different types of skin and naturally I select the one for oily to combination skin. This is a very simple way to have a skincare regime that works. You buy the three different potions in your particular permutation, apply them in the order suggested, and voila: good skin that people notice.

The unscented formulas smell a little clinical, and I like that. I feel as though they might strip enough oil from my skin to actually make a difference, and they really do make enough of a difference that people notice when my skin is recovering from a particularly terrible breakout. The soap is mild and doesn’t hurt my skin as many formulas for super oily skin do – but it makes it feel clean, the toner makes it feel facial-clean and calmed and the moisturizer is light enough for even me to wear.

Weirdly though, the skincare, the results, the price aren’t the best thing about buying a few little lotions and potions from Clinique. It’s what it represents to me. When I started taking notice of the makeup my Mum wore and the skincare that she used, it was Clinique, and I feel strangely united with all the other generations of women using their famously classic and effective products.

And so, I’m going to add these products to my absolute staples list and know that, with a brand that both my Nan and my Mum loved, my skin is in good hands.

(Also included in this picture is one of their cheek pop blushers, £17, which I have yet to try BUT LOOK HOW PRETTY IT IS!)

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Hair Scare to Hair Care | Hair Care Haul

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I have a confession to make. In fact, I have several hair related confessions to make.

My first confession is this: I do not own a hair brush. There, I said it. I don’t know why I don’t, and yet still, sometimes I am surprised when I have to cut knots out of my hair.

Secondly, I only wash my hair about once a week… it’s so dry that it doesn’t tend to need much more than that.

Finally, I wash it quickly with a cheap shampoo and conditioner, haven’t had a trim in at least a year and have bleached it at least 5 times this year. I also only ever ‘style it’ by pinning it on top of my head – I sleep with it like that too – which leads to it becoming matted and much like the fur you’d expect to see on a stray cat. 🙁 It’s not unknown for me to cut chunks of matted hair out, because detangling the knots is too sore and too time consuming – when I had blue hair and cut the knows out, I ended up having what looked like little blue unicorn tails laying around everywhere, kinda cool, shame it was my *actual* hair though.

As far as crimes against hair goes, I’ve committed them all.

It got me thinking, I put so much time and effort into dressing nicely and I spend hours meticulously applying primers, foundations, shadows, highlighters, lip plumpers, eyebrow gels and whatever else, that I should probably be taking a little more care of my hair. Heaven forbid it all falls out before my 25th birthday!

You might be wondering why someone that is so obsessed with beauty and taking care of themselves, inside and out is so dire at taking care of their mop and I think it’s because I’m used to having short hair. As a teenager, I routinely had the sides shaved and have it trimmed into a boyish elfin crop. Having a hairstyle so short took very little maintenance, and I’ve never gotten into the habit of looking after it properly. So now I have shoulder length hair, it’s high time I started treating my locks with a bit of r.e.s.p.e.c.t. I might play that song now, amazing.

So, on a casual Saturday morning, after grabbing my weekly Starbucks treat (seriously trying to cut down on them but damn I just love Vanilla lattes too bloody much!), I took a stroll around humble old Boots. I did have a look on all of my favorite beauty websites but after deliberation, I decided I wanted to go into the shop and have a lil’ smell of all the products, to be able to read the bottles, and above all, not have to spend a small fortune on my new haircare range. Boots offer me the opportunity to get a feel of what I’m buying and stock effective products generally at lower price points. I also popped into Superdrug, because they have a younger market and I thought would probably offer me some tropical concoction to smooth over my hair that will have promises of Kardashian like results. I could also snoop the Lottie stand and lust over the metallic Nails Inc polishes, so off I trundled into town.

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L’oreal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Shampoo and Conditioner, £2.89 for 200ml bottles

Before using these, I was using Herbal Essences, and as much as I love them I had definitely got stuck in a rut with them. I’d been using them for a good year or so and totally sworn by them, but I felt like they started making my hair greasy and I had loads of build up from them. “L’Oréal Paris Laboratories have combined 3 Refined Clays to create its first re-balancing range revealing perfectly balanced, beautiful hair.” Now, I’m no hair care expert but these are brilliant. Enough said.

Will I buy these again? Yes.

Toni and Guy Reconstruction Mask, £6.50

I really enjoyed using this, it smells great and leaves my ends feeling nourished. I pop it on in the bath a few times and a week and leave it whilst I’m doing my skin care routine. I prefer it to the Aussie hair mask I picked up and at £6.50 it feels like a really luxurious product without the price tag. Good works Guys, and Toni. I regret saying that.

Buying again? For sure.

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructer Conditioner, £4.99

I’ve used Aussie products before, and they are good don’t get me wrong but I feel a bit let down by this. I feel like it’s probably more of a good conditioner rather than a 3 minute miracle. It does smell gorgeous though, and if you want a intense conditioner rather than a hair mask… this is your gal.

Would I but this again? Na

Umberto Giannini Overnight Beauty Moisture Balm

I can’t find a link for this anywhere. Big sad face! It seems to have sold out on the Boots website and from the UG website! Damn. Anway, did I love this? Hmm. It’s *very* heavy, and it leaves my ends feeling very heavy and greasy, it also smells a bit ‘medical’. It has the most gorgeous packing though, so there’s that.

Would I buy this again? No, but I do really want to try other products from the range.

Fudge Urban Iced Tropical Cocktail Miracle Ends, £5.99

So. Much. Yes. I’ve long been a fan of the Fudge products, and this is no exception. It’s lightweight, smells like candyfloss and leaves my ends feeling silky and far, far less frizzy. I can’t fault it.

Buying it again? Buy it! Can I bathe in it please? Yes.

ORS Monoi Oil Anti Breakage Rejuvenating Spray, £3.99

Guys, I’ve saved the best till last. This spray, is the best out of this haul, it’s from Superdrug and it’s not a range I’ve come across before. A light spritz on my dry ends leaves them feeling so nourished and healthy, it also makes my hair shiny and I cannot even tell you how good it smells. It smells like tropical paradise because of the monoi, which is apparently “a fragrant Tahitian coconut oil with omega 3 and 6”. I really love this, I cannot recommend it enough and I will 100% be trying other products from their range.

Will I buy this again? I’m off to buy the whole range… laters!

 

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My Favourite Things |Burberry Lace Highlighter S/S16 Review

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When I saw the Burberry Spring Summer Lace palette on Net-a-Porter, despite it coming with an eye watering price tag, I knew the palette and I were destined to be together. I always try and bring you something either that is great value for money, something a little out of the ordinary or something that I think you’ll find helpful – however, this is just here because it is beautiful.

Frankly, I’m not quite sure what to even say about this, I mean, just look at it. It’s the makeup dream, I can’t even bring you a review because I can just about barely bring myself to lightly swatch it, let alone use it!

I ordered it from Net-a-Porter for £45 and as soon as it was delivered I felt instantly more elegant – the chic black packaging that Net-a-Porter offer makes the entire experience more luxurious and worthwhile. The highlighter comes in a typical embossed Burberry box, with a lace sleeve around it. Included with the highlighter is a velvet pouch to protect the platinum check packing from being scratched and a mini flat brush to apply the product with. Of course, the contents of the box is the most important, but when you’ve paid such a lot of money for a product you want the attention to detail to be exceptional, and Burberry of course, deliver.

The gloriously romantic lace pattern is inspired by the fabrics used in Burberrys Spring Summer 16 offering. The powder is incrediblgy lightweight, and just a small swatch provided a wonderful intensity, the colour is as white and pure as Snow Whites skin, and shimmery without being the slightest bit sparkly and is still subtle. For a super intense strobing effect, the highlighter is effortlessly buildable.

Burberry are renowned for their classic, English Rose aesthetic and it’s lovely to see the commitment to their brand injected throughout their beauty line – the sophistication and beauty of this piece means I’ll be keeping it on my dressing table for days when I need to feel like a Princess.

Available from Net-a-Porter for £45.

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Dr Paw Paw for Pawfect* Lips (Sorry…)

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(*I’m not even remotely sorry about the title of this, if there’s one thing I love more than food and makeup, it’s a terrible pun.)

Ok girls, boys and unicorns, I appreciate that a humble lip balm review isn’t the worlds exciting blog post. I also know that this little baby has been floating around the bloggosphere for a good few years and I am seriously late to the party. Or, you know, fashionably late. It will come as no surprise to any of you that I wear a *lot* of lipstick, I wear a lipstick at least 4 times a week and if a lippie lands on my desk in the mornings post, by lunchtime I’ve taken the old colour off and reapplied the new one. This, inevitably takes its toll on my lips and they frequently get into less than tip top shape.

It’s also running joke in my family, that I will try to cure any minor ailment with Carmex. I know that’s not it’s intended use, but hey ho. Rash? Carmex. Sore lips? Carmex. Hand cream? Carmex. Insect bite? Carmex. Headache? Carmex. Broken foot? Carmex. I really am that bad, there’s a dirt-collecting topless tube in all my handbags and at least three half emptied tubes on my desk. So any product that will cure me of my Carmex addiction, is one that I hold in very high regard indeed.

Whilst procrastinating and browsing the isles of Feel Unique, I came across these brightly coloured tubes and decided to pop one in my basket. Long story short, I’ve used this every day since purchasing it and I need the other two balms and the new haircare product!

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The multi-purpose balm applies a little like Vaseline, but I feel like it actually absorbs into the lips rather than just becoming gritty and uncomfortable. It also has no taste, which means it tastes a damn site better than Vaseline. There are only 5 ingredients in the balm, alongside a few colourings because I picked up the tinted balm, and active ingredients include fermented paw paw, and aloe vera – all in all a magical combo that works so beautifully.

So what exactly is Paw Paw? Its an exotic fruit, and I think I picked one from a roadside in Morocco. Feel Unique says that “Paw Paw is rich in antioxidants, minerals and also contains vitamins C and B to aid skin repair, provide anti inflammatory properties and to add moisture.” And add moisture it certainly does. The soothing properties of fermented PawPaw, anti-inflammatory Olive Fruit Oil, and extracts from the nutrient rich Papaya combines to create a silky balm jam packed full of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that aid skin repair.

The tinted version I have can be used on the apples of the cheeks for a naturally healthy glow. I initially thought that this might be a bit too thick and heavy on my oilslick skin, but after using a tiny dab over a light application of foundation, this made me cheeks baby soft and didn’t feel greasy at all. When I swatched this on the back of my hand, I had the softest patch! Now fly away little bees and go and stock up on this miracle product – before I buy them all.

If any of ya have tried the hair product, please do comment – I want to know all about it!

You can buy the tinted versions on the Dr Paw Paw site, along with a little handbag sized version that made me squeal with excitement! Also available on FeelUnique for just £6.96.

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