Kate Middleton Approved Fragrances

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Illuminum candles

If you have ever wondered which fragrance brand Kate Middleton relies on then wonder no more. The answer you have been looking for is Illuminum and her chosen scent is Illuminum White Gardenia Petals Eau de Parfum, which she wore on her wedding day. I'd imagine a lot like myself Kate Middleton most likely enjoys candles and would bet money on her owning at least one Illuminum candle - most likely White Gardenia Petals. I prefer something a little more powerful and less white floral so my choice is Illuminum White Datura.

Don't let the name fool you, this is not a soft, white floral that is quickly forgotten or dated for this matter. Illuminum White Datura is an unusual, some spicy and aromatic scent which is oddly gentle at the same time. It somewhat reminds me of a Tom Ford fragrance counter - rich and expensive in scent if that at all makes sense?  Illuminum White Datura is a blend of Bergamot, Cardamon, Indian Jasmine, Patchouli, White Datura Oil, Musk, Patchouli and Vanilla. I think it is safe to say it is a fairly sensual scent overall and is perfect for a bedroom or perhaps an evening soak in the bath. It is very much a romantic fragrance without being overtly obvious or overpowering. As mentioned it is some what spice based but does not ring festive - think more Tom Ford Black Orchid rather than sleigh bells.  The scent quickly fills the room and lingers for hours after it has been snuffed out. Although only £5 more expensive than a Yankee candle this certainly feels far more luxurious - the all black packaging only heightens this.

If you are on the look out for a luxurious and lesser known fragrance brand I highly recommend trying out Illuminum. I already have plans to purchase the Illuminum candles in Wild Tobacco, Piper Leather and Tomato Leaf.

You can find all the Illuminum candles here for £25 each - link.

This post contains a press sample.

Ojon Rare Blend Moisture-Rich Cleansing Conditioner Review

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Ojon Rare Blend Moisture-Rich Cleansing Conditioner

I will be upfront and say I wasn't all that keen on trying out Ojon Rare Blend Moisture-Rich Cleansing Conditioner after a few other mishaps with cleansing conditioners. As many will know I have really long and thick hair, I don' actually mind washing my hair daily but do worry by doing so that I am stripping my hair of essential oils and of course moisture. On the other hand I do like to feel and smell fresh and shower caps honestly are more of a faff than they are worth. Enter Ojon Rare Blend Moisture-Rich Cleansing Conditioner the answer to my current hair woes.

Unlike other cleansing conditioners Ojon Rare Blend Moisture-Rich Cleansing Conditioner this does not leave my hair feeling heavy nor my roots greasy (yes that has happened), the formula is light weight and doesn't leave behind any residue. I have now used this three times and in all honesty my hair feels better than should I wash it daily with shampoo. 

Another worry of mine with co-wash products is that they can leave the hair fluffy and unmanageable - think static, lots of fly away's and generally untameable hair. Well not Ojon Rare Blend Moisture-Rich Cleansing Conditioner, it doesn't lather so it does take a little getting used to and yet it does gently cleanse. I'm not for one moment saying it should fully replace shampoo but for those in-between days when really all you want to do is refresh the hair. The added bonuses of Ojon Rare Blend Moisture-Rich Cleansing Conditioner is that it not only contains Ojon Oil to help protect, hydrate and repair the hair but also Coconut Oil Cream to soften, de-tangle and boost shine. Rich yet lightweight and easily one of if not the best co-wash I have tried to date. 

Ojon Rare Blend Moisture-Rich Cleansing Conditioner £5-£18.50 -link.

This post contains a press sample.

Kendall Jenner's Estee Lauder Beauty Favourites

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Kendall Jenner's Estee Lauder Beauty Favourites

As you may be aware Kendall Jenner has been announced the face of Estee Lauder for 2015. Yes everyone and their mother (myself included) has searched to see what Kylie Jenner uses to overdraw her lips (MAC Soar, MAC Whirl or MAC Spice Lip Liners) or Kim Kardashian's favourite contour products, we have all over looked Kendall Jenners more classic approach to make-up. Here is her line up of must have Estee lauder products:

1, Estee Lauder Modern Muse Eau de Parfum - I'm with her on this one, soft yet sexy and not at all what most of us would imagine from an Estee Lauder scent.

2, Estee Lauder Double Wear BB Cream in Light and Estee Lauder Brush on Glow BB Highlighter in Soft Pink - I rather like that someone so young has went for lighter formulations rather than the somewhat heavier original Estee Lauder Double Wear Formula.

3, Estee Lauder Scrumptious Extreme Lash Multiplying Mascara in Extreme Brown - I haven't personally tried the mascara but did find it surprising that she goes for brown over black mascara. Again quite a youthful approach.

4, Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Eyeshadow Palette in Fiery Saffron - A great array of very wearable neutral eyeshadows in one of the best eyeshadow formulations I have tried. Soft yet not prone to fall out, well pigmented, easy to blend and long lasting. You need to try at least one of the palettes within this range.

5, Estee Lauder Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliner in Blackened Black - I have nothing to add, it is a black eyeliner and one I haven't tested. Sorry!

6, Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Brow Lift in Black/Brown - When the list of products hit my inbox this was the product that appealed to me the most and piqued my intrest. As someone with naturally blonde eyebrows I am forever on the lookout for brow products and the the fact this promises to lift as well as fill, tame and correct really has me intrigued. I will be hitting my local counter soon to scope this one out. Stay tuned!

7, Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place High Cover Concealer in N1 Light - Again I haven't personally tried this out but I am willing to bet that the coverage levels are second to none.

8, Estee Lauder Pure Color Gloss in Rock Candy - A pretty, pink come peach lip gloss that helps to create the impression of fuller lips. Estee Lauder lip glosses do tend to be more pigmented than your average gloss.

9, Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Carnal - I actually own this exact lipstick and will say that although the shade isn't me the formula is second to none. I swear by the Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipsticks, they feel lighter than air on the lips, are belong pigmented, creamy yet don't bleed or slip and wear exceptionally well. Forget all other luxury lipsticks - this is the one!

10, Estee Lauder Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Dark Desire - Have you ever seen a nail polish and thought to yourself, yes this is the one? Today that happened to me. For the longest time I have wanted a deep, somewhat olive green polish that from a distance may appear to be black. I will level and say that I clearly haven't looked all that hard as Estee Lauder Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Dark Desire is the answer. Next time I am in the House of Fraser this will be coming home with me.

So now we know. Is anyone surprised at her choices?
For some reason I had Kendall Jenner down as a nude lip kinda gal?



My Little Cosy Box (Spoiler)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

My Little Cosy Box
My Little Cosy Box

Although a fairly new brand to the UK I think it is safe to say that My Little Box is taking the beauty world by storm. I have long grew tired of subscription boxes that offer the same boring samples month in month out and longed for something more substantial. Enter My Little Box - a monthly themed subscription service that not only contains beauty pieces but also little lifestyle trinkets. I can almost guarantee that you'll not only fall in love with the contents from the first box but actually look forward to delivery day each month. How many boxes can you honestly still say that about? Now let me share what is inside November's My Little Box aptly entitled My Little Cosy Box.

My Little Cosy Box

This month there are three make-up pieces all of which have been chosen to create an easy smoky eye look. You have a Yves Roche Eyeshadow in a deep hue, I am unsure if all the shades in the boxes will be exactly the same? I have the shade 112 Brun Cafe Mate which is a deep, blackened brown that is cool in tone and somewhat similar to MAC Brun Eyeshadow. There is also a black eyeliner by Arcancil Paris (a brand I am completely unfamiliar with) that reminds me of Rimmel ScandalEyes Khol Pencils - soft, well pigmented and once set it doesn't budge. To round the look of nicely there is a tube of My Little Box Mascara which in all honesty is a fairly basic mascara - I don't find it adds much volume or length but it will do a turn.

My Little Cosy Box
My Little Cosy Box

Coffee drinkers please forgive me as I don't really know what I am talking about, I have never drank tea nor coffee so types of cups and mugs go over my head. Anyway in this months box there is a small and super cute mug that not only features an illustration on one side but also a motivational quote on the other and in the inside too. I plan on using mine to hold pencils and pens on my desk because I am just that kinda guy.

My Little Cosy Box

It wouldn't be a cosy box without something to help beat the Winter chill. Say hello to the My Little Bouillotte, a small red and white polka dot, bead filled cushion that you pop in the microwave to heat up. I have had a few of these in the past and will go as far as saying this is one of my favourites as it hasn't been scented with lavender! I like the compact size as it can easily be draped on to aching muscles yet is large enough to be used as a hot water bottle replacement. Good work My Little Box, good work indeed.

My Little Cosy Box

Lastly there is a small print, with a cute message which you could frame or perhaps use it in a DIY project.

A great little box non? If you see what I did there you have been reading this blog too long ha!

You can sign up for My Little Box here - link.
It costs £14.95 per month, inclusive of delivery.

This post contains a press sample.



Diptyque Résine Candle for Winter 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

Diptyque Résine Candle for Winter 2014

Diptyque's Holiday Collection for 2014 is a beautiful medley of gloriously intricately designed glass holders - rich shades of blue, red or green depending on which scent you purchase. Each of which when lit illuminates the entire casing breathing life into the delicate, golden etchings on each candle holder. They truly are show stopping. . All three scents come in two sizes much like the permanent Diptyque candle range -  the smaller size features solid coloured frosted glass votive holders each of which has the same golden and white etchings. The larger sizes are similar in design but the main difference is that the candle holders have a gradient effect and instead of being frosted in finish the glass is glossy. 

I was kindly gifted Diptyque Résine Candle from the Diptyque Holiday Collection which in my opinion smells like Christmas/Winter and all things you associate with the colder months, wrapped in one candle shaped gift. Once you can bring yourself to light the candle (the beautiful packaging does leave one a little hesitant) the scent throw is almost immediate. I have tried several Diptyque candles and this is by far one of the strongest fragrances to date - it is in no way overpowering but one hour of burn time can and will fill your entire home. I tested this around 12pm today and four hours later the fresh pine notes are still lingering in the air.

"Infused with the invigorating scent of crushed pine needles, bark and resin, the distinctive woody notes of Diptyque’s limited edition Résine Christmas Candle is a fresh and modern take on a traditional festive fragrance. Presented in a stunning emerald green glass vessel with gold embellishments, this striking jewel-coloured candle makes for a beautiful gift and a stylish addition to any interior. Its subtle, elegant scent will fill your home with an inviting ambience - perfect for entertaining over the Christmas period."

I agree with Space.NK when they describe it as a aromatic, fresh and woody,scent. All aboard Adrienne's imagination train...choo,choo! If you have ever been skiing then I feel this candle will have a special place in your heart (even if like myself you just lounge around in the lodge). It has the fresh, crispness of Alpine air - cool and refreshing, yet it is tinged with a festive green pine note and has a slight woody base. It really is a luxurious scent and one I feel both female and male audiences will appreciate. 

Diptyque Résine Candle £45 via Space.NK - link
This post contains a press sample.

Marc Jacobs Make-Up First Impressions

Friday, November 21, 2014

Marc Jacobs Make-Up First Impressions

This isn't a review post as such as I have only just plucked up the courage to test out my Marc Jacobs goodies. When it comes to expensive and/or limited edition make-up it does take me some time to actually use it, well that time has come and unsurprisingly I have an opinion (don't I always). Here are some quick thoughts until I have properly tested everything..,

Marc Jacobs Make-Up First Impressions

Packaging
I'm not all that sold on the shape, the rounded edges of the eyeshadow palette remind me of a paint palette and not that of a high brow make-up purchase. On the other hand all of the packaging be it the lipsticks, the blushes or even the nail polishes there is no denying that it is well constructed. Sturdy, sleek and in a classic colour scheme. I rather like that the Marc Jacobs lipsticks have a magnetic enclosure which is both satisfying and of course secure.

Marc Jacobs Make-Up First Impressions

Formulations
As you can see I purchased an eyeshadow palette, a blush and a lipstick all of which I have mixed feelings about. The lipstick is a gel formulation which slicks on with ease, is oddly cooling and moisturising. It isn't nearly as pigmented as I'd have liked but that may be due to the fact I purchased a light, nude hue (Margot)? The powder formulation are more what I expected - soft yet not prone to crumbling and again with an almost gel like texture. They glide on to the skin with ease, are a dream to blend out (both the eyeshadows and the blush) and pack a punch when it comes to pigmentation. I have yet to try the blush or eyeshadows for that matter without a primer but have so far been impressed with the wear time.

Marc Jacobs Make-Up First Impressions

Other than swatches and full reviews is there anything you'd like me to touch on when typing up my full Marc Jacobs make-up posts?



Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash Review

Friday, November 21, 2014

Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash

I have mentioned time and time again that it is not often that I reach for a foaming facial wash as typically I find them to be both stripping and drying on the skin. I'd imagine for those with normal skin this won't be much of a problem but for those like myself with oily skin it just further promotes imbalance (by drying out my skin it over compensates and becomes more oily), and of course those with a dry complexion could only result in more dry areas. Lovely. I have however been on the lookout for a few gentle foaming cleansers to recommend and joining my list alongside Clinique Foaming Sonic Facial Soap is Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash.

"Origins gentle, frothy face wash carefully does both jobs without cancelling each other out. It helps to seek out oil, soaks it up then keeps it well in-check, while it balances and protects dry prone zones. And Broadleaf Kelp breaks down dirt, disperses excess oil and sends dullness down the drain. Skin feels comfortably refreshed after cleansing, never tight, pulled or parched."

Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash a soft, minty scented face wash which has a creamy consistency that is technically a foaming facial cleanser but isn't at all sudsy. Frothy really is the best way to describe this, when combined with water this produces gentle and soft, small bubbles that gently cleanse the skin without irritation. I can also vouch that even with continued use Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash does not dry out the skin, rather it leaves my skin feeling soft, well cleansed and oddly blemish free which may be due to the oil control aspect. In all honest I can not say that the cleanser has in any way brightened my skin and I have been trailing this since October but if you are looking for a quick, non-drying and easy way to cleanse you really could do a lot worse! I will be purchasing a full sized bottle in the coming weeks (I bought a mini/travel sized version in Sephora) which I guess is testament to how well it preforms considering I never purchase foaming cleansers - full stop!

Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash £18.50/150ml via Boots - link.


The Daily Beauty Report 20.11.14

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Daily Beauty Report 20.11.14

Here is what happening in the beauty world at the moment...

I will be honest in saying this is not at all up my alley but I do think the bottle is really pretty and for all I know it could be a beautiful fragrance. "TV star and business woman Lucy Mecklenburgh has announced the launch of her début fragrance, Wings. The fragrance comprises top notes of tangerine, nectarine, blackcurrant and bergamot, while notes of freesia, jasmine and gardenia are at the heart, and notes of patchouli, vanilla and musk form the base. The bottle design incorporates a sleek glass bottle influenced by Lucy’s favoured colour scheme of white and gold, complemented by three oversized and bold butterflies to form the cap. Regarding her new fragrance, Lucy comments: "It's a dream come true to have my own fragrance. As a little girl growing up I could never imagine having my own perfume! I've worked really hard for months on it and I'm really proud of it. It smells gorgeous and the butterfly bottle is just adorable, I love it!" It launched yesterday and costs £24.99/100ml.

I don't even need to smell either of these candles to know I want no need them but £325 I'm going to have to win the lottery first. "Luxury fragrance brand JO LOVES has announced the launch of limited edition Luxury Candles, available in Salted Caramel and Log Fires. Each candle has been hand poured into ice white opaque glass and finished with a precious platinum. Salted Caramel comprises notes of ceylan cinnamon, tonka bean, leather and clove bud; while Log Fires features camphor wood, pine, clove, cedar, gaiac wood and black leather." These launch this month.

Is this just not drool worthy or not? "Burberry has announced the launch of a limited edition blush palette, inspired by the hand-painted illustrations featured on the Burberry Prorsum SS15 catwalk collection. The words ‘Rain or Shine', as featured on Prorsum SS15 Pre Collection ready-to-wear and accessories, are embossed in the powder. Pink azalea and bright coral red shades sit alongside a nude-coloured illustration of a cloud on a hydrangea pink background. The shades blend together to highlight skin with the signature Burberry glow. The ‘Rain or Shine’ illustration also features on the palette’s outer transparent sleeve."

A new fragrance launch this month! "Fragrance brand Penhaligon's has announced the launch of Ostar, a new fragrance created by master perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour. The fragrance, inspired by the daffodil flower, is a solar floral scent that opens with notes of clementine, bergamot, red berries CO2, juniper, spearmint, blackcurrent bud CO2, violet lead absolute, leafy effects and aldehydes. Heart notes comprise hyacinth, narcissus absolute, beeswax absolute, cyclamen, ylang ylang, hawthorn and wisteria; while notes of styrax resinoid, vanilla, benzoin, musk, amber and white wood effects form the base."

Get a funky tattoo without the pain or commitment! "PAPERSELF, which specialises in paper art for eyelashes, has announced the launch of Tattoo Me, a new line of temporary tattoos. The collection is inspired by 18th century classic design, transferring vintage illustrations into accessories for the skin. Since launching in 2009, PAPERSELF has collaborated with The Victoria and Albert Museum, Bourjois and Shu Uemura, as well as being worn by celebrities such as Rihanna, Anne Hathaway and Kelly Osbourne. Lashes have been featured in The Hunger Games 1 and 2 on leading actresses Elizabeth Banks and Jennifer Laurence." These will cost £5 and launch this week.

Lots of new launches from Elizabeth Arden are on the way (29th November) "Beauty brand Elizabeth Arden has announced the launch of a new collection of make-up and skincare products. Flawless Finish Perfectly Satin 24HR Makeup SPF15 is a foundation that contains long wear polymers that safeguard against transfer and fading, providing a satin finish. Plankton extract helps control sebum without drying the skin or clogging the pores, while time released encapsulated spheres monitor and absorb excess oil throughout the day. Beautiful Color Moisturizing Lipstick: Matte comprises a velvety, matte and pigment-rich colour with moisturising formula. Available in five shades, the product offers a fade-resist complex that keeps colour true for up to 12 hours. Shades include: Bold Red (matte red), Coral Crush (coral), Nude (yellow-based neutral), Raspberry (fuchsia) and Rose Petal (soft mauve-pink). The Prevage Anti-Aging Neck and Décolleté Firm & Repair Cream features an age-defying formula, powered by the brand's antioxidant, IDEBENONE, coupled with a tightening, firming and re-texturising complex for maximum anti-ageing benefits and a firmer appearance. Other key ingredients include: botanical lupin seed extract, glycerin, hyaluronic acid and retinyl linoleate."

Budget Beauty Multi-Taskers

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Budget Beauty Multi-Taskers

I may not have children of my own but I am no stranger to the baby product aisle in my local supermarket. It is here that I have found the majority of my favourite beauty multi-tasking products, items that the vast majority of us grew up around and are more than familiar with. The best part is that each product costs less than £2. Simply put you can't afford not to give them a go or route around within your stash and try putting them to use in a less traditional role.

Baby Oil
I will be the first to state that I am not the biggest fan of oily textures, they are messy and of course slightly greasy (okay a lot greasy) but there is no denying that when it comes to locking in moisture nothing quite compares. Like a lot of Johnston's baby products the scent of Johnston's Baby Oil takes me back to my childhood - I bought a huge value pack with just about every Johnston's baby product going and it pains me to say that the baby bath scent has changed! Personally I use baby oil as a pre-shower treatment. I apply all over my skin, leave for five minutes and then rise off for touchably soft skin. You can also add a few drops to a bath, the heat of the warm water seems to encourage the skin to lock in the extra moisture. If in a hurry you can mix a little baby oil into your shower gel to benefit from its skin hydrating properties. If you struggle with in-grown hairs when shaving your legs (or elsewhere) swap your shaving gel for baby oil and it will quickly become a problem of the past, not to mention the oil will prevent your limbs from drying out. I personally don't recommend trying this out for fear of it stinging my eyes but I do know a few girls who use baby oil to remove waterproof mascara. Not a tried and tested tip on my part but still good to know!

Baby Shampoo
There will never be a day in which I don't have a bottle of Johnson's Baby Shampoo in my shower caddy. As someone who regularly subjects their hair and scalp to bleach I am no stranger to a dried out, itchy scalp. Yes there are lots of shampoo's out there targeted at such problem but sometimes I need something utterly gentle and this is the answer. It cleanses effectively yet is in no way stripping not to mention it does soothe a stressed out scalp. I also swear by Baby Shampoo for cleansing my make-up brushes as it removes all traces of make-up (even stubborn foundation and concealer) without damaging the brushes in any way, not to mention should any residue be left behind you know it won't be in anyway problematic on the skin.

Baby Wipes
I always carry a pack of baby wipes on my person at all times, I travel fairly frequently and one thing public transport has taught me is that people are messy! I not only use wipes to clean tables, seats and handles on trains and buses (yes I am that guy) but also on my hands and sometimes my face. Okay wipes of any sort may not be the best thing for your skin but better that, than going to bed with a full face of make-up still intact. I do use baby wipes on long train journeys to allow my skin to breathe as it is easier to carry a pack of wipes than a cleanser. Basically you never know when they will come in handy and I can almost guarantee there has been more than one occasion in which we all wish we had a pack in our bags?

Baby Wash
If ever there was a product that does it all baby wash is the one. Although I'm not all that fussed when it comes to Baby Wipes, Cotton Buds or to some extent Baby Shampoo in terms of the brand, the only Baby Wash I recommend is Johnston's Baby Top to Toe Baby Wash. You can use it as a bubble bath, as a body wash/shower gel, as shampoo and of course to wash make-up brushes. A friend has also used this is a jam to wash her food dishes, I'm not sure I advocate that but hey I guess it beats getting dressed at 10pm to go to Asda! The next time you are grocery shopping I all but insist you purchase a bottle.

Cotton Buds
Traditionally used to clean the ears and other crevices but when it comes to make-up application you simply can not be without them. Not only can cotton buds be dipped into eye make-up remover to tidy up any stray blobs of mascara or messy eyeshadow but they are great for applying eyeshadow to the lower lash line for a soft, smoky look. I also like to use cotton buds to dab glue on to false eyelashes, to remove nail polish and to apply blemish lotion in a completely sterile way.

Would you add anything to this list or perhaps use one of the above products in a completely different manner?

Marni Rose Eau de Parfum Purse Spray

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Marni Rose Eau de Parfum Purse Spray

I am a sucker not only for all things cute and slightly kitsch but for scents in general. I am completely new to the world of Marni fragrances but if Marni Rose Eau de Parfum is anything to go by they have a new fan! A great way to try the brand out with committing to a full sized bottle is by purchasing one of the new Marni Eau de Parfum Purse Sprays - the fact that they are beyond cute is really only a bonus!

"For Marni, dolls are a metaphor for self-expression and a reminder to find the magic in everyday life."

Marni Rose Eau de Parfum Purse Spray

There are two Marni Purse Sprays to choose from : Marni Rose Eau de Parfum and Marni Il Profumo each of which comes presented within not only a doll shaped bottle but also a super cute gift box. Said box can be twisted to change the outfit of the doll and the same applies for the actual purse spray. Like I said utterly adorable and the perfect gift for a loved one be or yourself. Marni Rose Eau de Parfum is a beautiful rose based scent that is somewhat slightly spicy and long lingering on the skin. It contains notes of black rose, Bulgarian rose oil and rose absolute, along with  mint nanah, cardamom, violet, raspberry, patchouli, cedar and vanilla which all together blend to create a rose fragrance with an edge. I guess it somewhat reminds me of Stella McCartney - Stella but a little deeper and dare I say it edgier. If you like rose scents or strong florals this is one I fully recommend trying out.

Marni Rose Eau de Parfum Purse Spray £25/10ml via Harrods (it has yet to go online)
This post contains a press sample.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette Review

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette

From the moment I as much as heard about the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette I knew it would be mine. I managed to snap mine up while in the US and I kid you not stared at it a good fortnight before as much as plucking up the courage to try it out - it is just that beautiful. I will openly say that the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes were slow burners for me (not this palette the solo blushes) but once you get to grips with the formula there is no going back.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette

The packaging is nothing special truth be told but rather an elongated version of the original Hourglass Ambient Powders which I am not the biggest fan of - the contents yes, the style of packaging nope. This is mainly due to it being pretty flimsy, the chocolate brown metallic plastic which is very, very light and does worry me that it would crack/crumble on the first fall. As someone who spends a vast amount of their time navigating on and off public transport and battling up and down busy city streets it just doesn't seem ideal for general daily wear and tear. If you have tried any Kevin Aucoin powder products then you will understand what I mean. Other than that it is fairly pleasing to look at, a decent enough size and it does contain a well proportioned mirror which always comes in handy especially now the weather has took a turn for the worse.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette

Okay now on to the good stuff - three powder blushes contained which are utterly beautifully and worth every penny. The concept of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes (and Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette) is that each blush not only contains pigment to create a flush of colour but each blush has been combined with one of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders to illuminate and add radiance. By doing so you eliminate the need for highlighting powder - you can of course still use a separate highlighter should you wish. The best way I can describe the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes to those who have yet to test one out is that they are most akin with MAC MSF's in texture and ease of use - soft, easy to blend out and fairly flattering to less than perfect skin textures. I do find the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes to veer slightly on the sheer side but they can be layered on for a more pigmented finish.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette

Within the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette there is three shades: Luminous Flush, Incandescent Light and Mood Exposure. Incandescent Light is a limited edition shade and can not be purchased individually (this may change in the future but for now this is the case). The other two shades are permanent and can of course be purchased in full size. Hourglass Luminous Flush Blush is described as a champagne rose blush which has been infused with Hourglass Luminous Light. The overall shade is a bright, slightly golden toned pink which is not worlds apart from MAC Stereo Rose MSF albeit a little deeper. Hourglass Incandescent Electra Blush has been listed as a cool peach blush which has been combined with Hourglass Incandescent Light Lighting Powder. Overall Hourglass Incandescent Electra Blush is a light, blue toned pink that would best suit light to medium skin tones, on deeper complexions it may be more suited as a highlighting powder. Lastly we have Hourglass Mood Exposure Blush which is a plum blush combined with Hourglass Mood Light, overall this is a brown come pink tinged blush which reminds me of a slightly shimmery version of MAC Mocha Blush.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette £56 via Space.NK - link.
This is a limited edition palette at the moment but as with anything this can all change.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit Discount Code

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit

I have wanted the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit since the day I saw it but it seems everyone and their mother shared the same thought, resulting in the palette forever being out of stock. If that sounds a little too familiar I urge you to quickly go over to Cult Beauty today and click order as they have replenished their stock of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit.

Oh but it gets better use the code ABH45 and you will get £5 off a £45 spend on Anastasia Beverly Hills products - I have my eye on the Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro Series Brow Palette if you need any inspiration or if my Mother happens to be reading and needs any gift pointers ha!

I will have a full review of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit in the coming days but I can say that the shades are pigmented, easy to blend and do offer a good few options for all skin tones. I personally like that there is a pressed banana powder which is perfect for setting under eye make-up and is on par with the Ben Nye version.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit £39 via Cult Beauty - link.

Origins Make a Difference Overnight Hydrating Repair Cream Review

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Origins Make a Difference Overnight Hydrating Repair Cream

As someone with both young and an extremely oily complexion finding a night cream that suits my needs is more rather difficult. I want and need something light yet repairing, a cream or gel that is quickly absorbed, not overly hydrating yet intense enough for the cold Winter weather. A demanding list wouldn't you agree? The truth is not many night creams fit the bill but Origins Make a Difference Overnight Hydrating Repair Cream is pretty much the answer to my night time skin woes and one I recommend to all even if you don't have oily and/or a young skin type.

Those who loathe heavy night creams but want something nourishing, moisturising and most importantly repairing rejoice as Origins Make a Difference Overnight Hydrating Repair Cream is the answer. "At night, skin loses more moisture and its barrier is more vulnerable. So we created an ultra-rich overnight cream fortified with Rose of Jericho plus Lychee, Watermelon and Rhodocrosite. It helps create a reservoir to help replenish surface moisture lost after dark. Plus our ultra-hydrating formula helps lock in surface moisture and support skin's natural night-time self-repair ability". On paper this may sound a little too heavy for oily/young complexions but rest assure the light, gel texture prevents it from being overwhelming. It seems to deliver moisture just where my skin needs it and does not irritate my somewhat sensitised skin.

What I like most is how quickly absorbed it is and just how hydrated and soft my skin feels after application - I noticed this from the first use and can say things have only got better over the weeks. It leaves the skin feeling plump and as it promotes the skins natural ability to self repair it is a great first step into anti-ageing skin care. It could help in the long run - as they say prevention is better than a cure. At the moment anti-ageing isn't really top of my agenda rather I am forever on the look out for a light weight yet effective night cream and this has been my Winter saving grace. My oily skin laps it up, I may need to switch to something lighter come the Summer months but for now this is my night time staple.

Origins Make a Difference Overnight Hydrating Repair Cream £34.50/50ml via John Lewis - link.

This post contains a press sample.

Topshop Beauty Christmas 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Topshop Beauty Christmas 2014

If you are looking for something slick for either a secret Santa gift or a stocking filler then you really should head to Topshop and check out their rather cute beauty gift sets. The great thing about the Topshop gift sets is that they are really well priced, great value for money and if you loathe gift wrapping they come ready to gift, a win/win situation really! I was kindly sent a few to share...

Topshop Beauty Christmas 2014
Topshop Beauty Christmas 2014
Topshop Beauty Christmas 2014
Topshop Beauty Christmas 2014
Topshop Beauty Christmas 2014

Topshop Lip and Cream Blush Set (two colour options) £12 each 
I am obsessed with the little boxes the Topshop Lip and Cream Blush Sets are presented in - chic white and silver boxes that look like they should contain jewellery not make-up. As mentioned above there is two shade options : one nude and one with a pinky blush and red lipstick. I have the nude kit which contains Topshop Lipstick in Innocent which is a dusky, light blue toned pink lipstick which is not entirely dissimilar to MAC's Angel Lipstick in both colour and formula. Topshop lipsticks are one of the high street's lesser spoken about gem's - they are well pigmented, creamy and long lasting. I own a good few and fully recommend them to all. The kit also contains a Topshop Cream Blush in Illicit which is a cool toned and slightly purple tinged pink that has a slight shimmer effect making it perfect for the party season. Although not matte it does not settle into enlarged pores but rather gives the skin a little hint of radiance. I am a huge fan of Topshop's Cream Blushes as they wear really well on oily skin and blend wonderfully not to mention they have great colour pay off.

Topshop Beauty Christmas 2014
Topshop Beauty Christmas 2014
Topshop Beauty Christmas 2014
Topshop Beauty Christmas 2014
Topshop Beauty Christmas 2014

Topshop Lip Pyramid's £8 each (two shades to choose from)
Aren't these just the cutest? A full sized lipstick presented in bauble form which will feel at home on any Christmas tree! You can of course gift wrap the Pyramid's or pop them into a stocking as is, either way I am sure the lucky recipient will be more than happy to receive one. The two shades I have are Hazard which is a true classic red, slightly cool toned due to the hint of blue as close to a suit all red you will find. The other shade is Beguiled which is a vampy, deep wine hue that again is cool toned, I really wish I could pull this shade off but I fear my lips look a little ridiculous in dark lipstick shades. Much like all Topshop lipsticks these are well pigmented, creamy and easy to apply, not prone to bleeding and wear fairly well too!

You can find all the Topshop gift sets here - link.

This post contains press samples.

Bath and Body Works Winter Candle Haul

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bath and Body Works Winter Candle Haul

Bath and Body Works is probably one of my favourite shops ever, I can't walk past one without popping in and purchasing an arm full of goodies. That is why I can't understand why they haven't branched out to the UK, without a shadow of doubt in my mind I know that they would do really well! A girl can only dream! Until that day let me share a few Bath and Body Works Winter Candles that I purchased last time I was in America.

Bath and Body Works Winter Candle Haul

As you can see I was fairly reserved as truthfully not many festive scents appealed to me, that and 3 wick candles are heavy and sure do take up a lot of room in your case. If you don't have a particularly big home to scent I fully recommend the mason jar candles over the 3 wick candles, they are more than enough to scent a single room not to mention cheaper and more travel friendly. 

Bath and Body Works Winter Candle Haul

Anyway the three scents I purchased are: Mahogany Teakwood, Marshmallow Fireside and Spiced Apple Toddy. Mahogany Teakwood may be one of my favourite scents ever - it is very masculine but kinda sexy at the same time. For lack of a better term it reminds me of expensive aftershave (perhaps of the Tom Ford variety) and generally of a well groomed man. No complaint there ha! Out of all the candles I have featured in the past this is the one I would recommend purchasing for a male as it is in no way feminine. Bath and Body Works Marshmallow Fireside is very similar to Yankee's Fireside Treats - sweet vanilla combined with slightly smoky notes, the main difference is that this veers a little fresher and has a much better scent throw. Lastly I have Spiced Apple Toddy which smells exactly how I imagined - rich, apple based with a kick of cinnamon. Christmas in a candle essentially and if you like Lush Hot Toddy Shower Gel I can say with full confidence that you will love this.

Now who is with me in starting a petition to bring Bath and Body Works to the UK?
If only it was that easy...