Sunday, 17 February 2019

Mac Fairly Precious Blush

MAC holds a special place in my heart since my teen years. I remember having my first MAC makeover age 18 and falling in love with the brand. On that day I purchased a blush named Margin, which I have bought time and time again over the past 6 years as it is my must have. During my last makeup clear out I realised that blushes were really lacking within my collection. I had two or three blushes which I reached for over and over again, and I wanted to branch out and buy something to jazz up my blushing game.

I went to MAC and went on a swatching marathon and fairly precious instantly stood out to me. It comes from their extra dimension range, which is part of their liquid-powder collection. This is very much a new concept to me. Basically, it is a mixture of combining the smooth consistency of a cream blended with the finish of the powder. This is supposed to give a second-skin finish, which I love.

It says I can use it wet or dry. I have to say I have never applied any blusher wet before, but I am always open to trying new concepts. The shade is a light pinky champagne which is perfect for my skin tone as I don't like a blush which is too heavy or dark. I also think this has that perfect amount of shimmer. I do not like it when blushes or any makeup item in fact contain chunky pieces of glitter. When I am doing my makeup no matter what season it is I like that glowy, fresh look to my skin and a little shimmer in your blush never does any harm

MAC has definitely put up its prices over the years, but hasn't all high end beauty brands? This cost £23 which I know is a lot of money for one blusher, however blushes last a long time for me. I always get a good few years out of one, so I see it as a product which gets its money worth. I have always found that with MAC blushes a little goes a long way. You will probably be getting the impression that I really, really like this, and that's because I do. I have been reaching for it on a daily basis for the last few months since adding it to my beauty stash. Like I say I don't own many blushes and this was the perfect addition and filled that blusher hole that was in my life.


Wednesday, 13 February 2019

No Spend January

So in January up until payday which was 28 days I decided to challenge myself to go on a mega saving campaign. It is only when you actually do something like this you realise what you spend your money on. I have some big travel plans in the works this year, meaning a lot of money needs to be saved. I do have a little disclaimer as I love doing posts like this but as my outgoings will vary compared to others, I always feel like it is open to opposition. Yes I still live home, something which I still love. Yes I am saving for a house. However, what I spend my money on is my choice, and I believe people can spend their money on what they want to!

I had an approximate idea of wanting to save £500 after my out goings. Each month I have a list of bills which I pay every single month, so I took of the total of all the outgoings and went from there. This was not including the £200 that I had already put into my help to buy house ISA which I do each month. More than anything else, this was a challenge and a bit of a reality shock all rolled into one. The main goal of this was to not buy any material goods e.g. any clothing or makeup.

So the first thing which I bought in January was a McDonald's on new year's day as I was horrifically hungover. I was clearly very ill as I spent £8.28! The day after went to Waterstones and spent £6.49 on a book. I then made a last minute decision to buy an additional present for my sister's birthday which was £30. On the 7th January I spent £15 in Boots, I am not sure what on but I don't think it included any makeup. It was more skin and health care buys. On the 10th I went to Aldi and spent £15 on food to get my through my upcoming night shifts, along with £2.60 on cleaning products and another £7.95 in Superdrug. I then naughtily went to McDonald's and spent £4.68.

My mum did not help as I was in need of a new suitcase for my holiday next month, and she saw a cracking bargain in Morrison's so I spent £35 on a new one. I did need a suitcase and it was a bargain, but I definitely broke the rules buying this! On the 17th January I cheekily went to Nando's for a catch up with a friend, and also managed to spend £14 in Asda. I once again went to Aldi and spent £10 before another week of night shifts. I feel like my major failure of this experiment took place within 2 days, I went for a carvery with the work girls and spent £9, had a cup of tea from Costa and then sneakily treated myself to some new gym gear from Decathlon costing £29.45. I also took £30 cash out along the way to pay for my dance lessons and to buy other bits and bobs.

I added up every single transaction I made excluding the expected bills and it totalled £240.08. I bought other little things here and there costing £2 and £3 which added up to about £20. Now I thought it would actually have been a lot less than the £240 as I had really, really tried. It simply shows me how buying little things here and there add up quickly. I had in my head that it was about £150. I was doing really well, but I can be impulsive which I have shown when I managed to spend £50 in two days without any thought.

I know my usual shopping habits include a few trips to Zara and a few ASOS orders so I have definitely identified that it is the materialistic goods e.g. clothing and makeup which make up a large amount of my 'treats'. This isn't actually new news to me as I know that this is where I downfall when saving. Out of the £500 target I set on payday I had £482 left so I think I did pretty well.

Having set the challenge I found that I was feeling guilty about buying things and that definitely stopped me buying anything unnecessary (most of the time!). I am quite an impulse buyer, and as soon as payday comes I can easily blow £100 on clothes in one session without thinking about it. During January I also cleared my clothes out and realised the vast amount that I actually have. I am pretty sure that I will be sticking to minimal clothes purchases this year. I think it would be a great challenge to get out cash at the start of the month and only have a certain amount each week. When I have cash it definitely makes me think twice about buying something.

This has definitely shown me that I am capable to save if I want to. On the whole I think I am quite sensible with my money. I know I am lucky enough to be able to buy myself things, but there are definitely cuts that I can make. The main goal of no spend January was to not buy any material goods e.g. any clothing or makeup and I think I did fairly well with that. I am definitely going to try and take what I have learnt into the upcoming months, and hopefully save enough for my dream trip at the end of the year. It is definitely achievable and I have proved that I should stop moaning and start saving!


Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Sephora High Coverage Concealer

Sephora's high coverage concealer has been a favourite of mine for years now. Every time I go on a trip to Sephora I pick one up. I remember a good 4 years ago it costs approximately 7 Euros and it was the rave amongst many beauty bloggers. Now it cost 14 Euros, which I think is probably down to it being such a bestselling product. You can see what I picked up on my latest Sephora trip here.

I find it hard to pin point just what I love about this. I know I love it though as it features regularly in my favourite products posts. I think it all falls down to it being so creamy, I hate nothing more than a concealer that feels instantly drying when applied to the skin. This is probably down to my own skin which is dry, so I opt for a creamier consistency. I have tried many, many concealers over my blogging years, and like I say I always go back for more with this. In comparison to the Revolution conceal and define concealer which has the highest coverage concealer which I have ever tried, this is medium-high coverage on my first application, but it is definitely building to high coverage which I think is the preference for many consumers. We like to have control of how much we are applying, as we all know exactly how much we like on our own skins. We as consumers like to have the option to build our concealer and although I love the Revolution one for blemishes, it does not allow you to build it up as the consistency is thicker and it is all or nothing with full coverage.

I apply this using a damp beauty blender, as I find it manages to blend with my foundation just the way I like it. I have also used my fingers to blend this is and it has worked just as well. It comes with quite a flat ended doe-foot applicator which makes it easy to apply, and it reduces wasting product as you have easy control as to how much you want to apply. I have tried two shades of this 20 creme and 22 natural. I find that 20 creme has more of a yellow undertone and I actually ended up with this by accident when my mum picked it up for me on her holidays. I used this under my eyes for brightening as it was a little bit lighter and I found it very refreshing as once again the creamy consistency blends flawlessly. 22 natural is the shade I have been using for years, as it matches my skin tone better as it has a pinker undertone to it.

The bottle contains 3.4ml which I think is pretty much the standard amount for all concealers, which does tend to last me a good few months. I also like the sleek design of the bottle as it makes it easy to travel with. I am off to Paris in two weeks and I will definitely be picking two of these up when I go into Sephora. It is still such a shame that Sephora is not sold in the UK even through any of our high end department stores. They have also made their website very hard to use and you have to now order through their French store. That is the exact reason why I pick up a few on my holidays each year so I never run out!



Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Base Products on Trial

I have been trying out some new base products recently and have been putting them through their paces. Sometimes I go through stages of buying lots of makeup and then nothing for months. I would say that I have had all of these products in my stash since September, and after a good sort out I have put on top of my drawers a bunch of products in a designated basket. This was to try and encourage me to grab new products, rather than my trust-worthy items that I use daily.

First up, I have featured the brand Revolution quite a bit in 2018, as they brought out some incredible products. These Revolution Pro foundation drops are the first item I have bought from their pro line. I have tried these 3 or 4 times now I am quite enjoying them. I was intrigued by the idea of these foundation drops, it is a lightweight water based formula which aims to create a flawless finish. The idea is to use a few drops to build a natural looking coverage.

I cannot believe how long it took me to pick up the Maybelline eraser eye concealer. I had wanted to try this for so long. It is one of the top concealers sold across the world. This is so widely sold due to its high coverage and performance. The products main selling point is to cover and erase dark circles. It is sold to a mass market of different ages hence why it has sold so well. I like the applicator to this which is a small cushion, it is easy to use as with one swipe you have got your desired coverage. 

The Colourpop no filter concealer is a light weight, full coverage concealer which is formulated to be crease-proof and create a natural matte finish. I have been using this under my eyes, and I like it as it has great coverage. The shade I bought is slightly too light but it works brilliantly at brightening under my eyes. I can't wait to continue using this and I would be interested to try my actual shade which matches my skin tone to test on blemishes.

RMCA translucent powder is a finely milled powder which I first heard about via Jaclyn Hill literally years and years ago. Before I added this to my designated basket, I could count on one hand the number of times I had used it. I first bought it back when 'baking' your makeup was big and I wanted to try it out for myself. I have actually used this numerous times now since it has been in the basket, and my very quick conclusion is that it is way too much effort for me. I understand the principles of it, and when on my face it definitely does make my skin feel super soft. It also does help to set my make up, but I love my skin to look glowy and fresh. This aims to give a matte finish but still have a certain amount of glow to the skin. For me, it is a matte finish but takes all of my glow and luminosity away. Overall, it is a lot of effort for everyday use.



Thursday, 24 January 2019

Did I manage to break up with my phone?

So in December I thought it was time to spend last time on my phone. Some days it was ridiculous on my tracker it was saying that I was on my phone for 4+ hours, some days 6 hours! When you think about it in the grand scheme of things it is a lot of wasted time. I was angry for allowing myself to spend so much time mainly scrolling pointlessly through social media. I saw another blogger had put this book on her insta stories and it came around at the perfect time.

I ordered the book and when it came I enrolled one of my best friends Ella to do it with me. We had recently had a discussion about reducing our screen time and what we would do with the time not spent on our phones. As always with everything we were excited and enthusiastic and gave ourselves a weekend to prepare. I started off really well and got on board, I sent Ella a picture of the next day's challenge each day so we could keep up. I loved writing the list of why I was wanting to give up screen time, and I found so many reasons why I wanted to and what I would do with that time. When I am work I go on my phone for maybe one hour a day and probably an hour when I get home. It is on my days off that I massively downfall. I often sit watching Netflix or catching up on all things do with my blog.

I got off to such a good start and was really on board with the idea. The book gives you a few goals each day for 30 days, and the obvious aim is that by the end the time on your phone has massively reduced. It is set out really well, and I like that it is gradual process rather than just going cold turkey and giving up your phone completely. On one of the days it tells you to delete getting notifications and I found this really useful. I 1000% open my screen when I get a notification which leads me open to scrolling. Taking off all social media notifications was great. The biggest difference I saw was taking my notifications off my email. Every time I opened my screen and there was an email I would check and delete it. In some aspects it is good that I cannot get on my work email at home, which means that all my emails to my personal address are usually junk. Even if they are not junk they are from my favourite online shops and nothing essential. I still have my mail notification off now and I am still seeing the positives. Taking the notifications off social media lasting approximately 5 days and I am disappointed that I reverted back. However, I found that I was checking those apps more often with anticipation of what could have been.

I was doing really well sticking to my goals, but I really did struggle. I realised that I am actually addicted to my phone, and the bad relationship I have with it. I am dependent on it, and I don't think I am the only one. I don't think people realise how much time they are on it. I do use my phone to catch up on YouTube and I didn't see that as a problem and I still don't as I often watch it at night as a bit of downtime from the real world. It was definitely the amount of pickups that was the problem, it was on average 40 pickups a day. That added up to 30% some days of my waking life. I find that number actually embarrassing and absolutely obscene.

As the days went on I was feeling great about it. I was putting my phone on charge more than arms length away, my time was reducing and I was seeing improvements. The most important thing I realised was scrolling through social media was actually really boring and repetitive. I think we live in an age where we think we are missing out, comparing ourselves to others, and that is not good for our self esteems. I hadn't ever thought about it like this before. I wasn't actually enjoying spending all those hours on my phone, it had just become an everyday norm in my life.

I really struggled with the task of having an entire 48 hours off my phone and I actually didn't complete it. It was hard for me to choose 48 hours where I wouldn't need my phone. I didn't like the idea of not being able to contact someone at all in the outside world. I did manage to stay off social media for the allocated time, just not off my phone completely. I am not really sure what happened but after day 25 I thought I had it all in hand and I was a changed woman and I did not finish the full 30 days.

I am disappointed to say that in the new year I have quickly reverted back to old habits. I feel like I do spend less time on my phone, but I have still not cracked stopping scrolling on social media. Sometimes I do really well less than 2 hours, other times it is 5 hours again. The time really varies which is an improvement, but I still want a bigger crack down. I am going to go through the book again, and highlight the particular pages which I felt that first time round really had an impact on me. Ella actually feels the same as well, it is so easy to slip into old routines which have become every day life. I want to revisit the list I made at the start with the main reasons for the crackdown, as I still feel passionate to try and tackle this problem. I am not going to stop myself from going on social media at all, as I do enjoy some aspects of it. I can pinpoint that my downfall is at night, and that is where I need to make the changes.



Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Sephora Haul and First Impressions

When I went on my last trip to Italy of course I had to take a little trip to Sephora. I knew I wanted to pick up my favourite product which they sell their own brand concealer. I also had saved a little bit of money as I know I always want to treat myself to a few things whilst shopping in the store. I did really well and I usually only buy Sephora own products or brands that I know I can't get hold of easily in the UK.

The Sephora high coverage concealer was a big hit with bloggers a few years ago, and I don't think it is really talked about as much as a must-have product anymore. However, for me it is still a holy grail concealer. It has definitely gone up in price over the years but at €14 (£12) it is still good value for money. I love the consistency of this as it is very creamy and light to apply on to the skin.

The coconut water rubber mask is enriched with coconut water extract, the powder mask transforms into a bright rubbery dough when mixed with water. It works in just 5 minutes to relieve the discomfort or dry skin and reducing signs of dehydration. When the mask is dry you simply pull it off your face to hopefully reveal skin which is quenched and comfortable. I can't wait to try this it sounds amazing but for €3.90 I hope it does wonders as it is a one use only product.

I have tried many cream lip stains from Sephora in the past, and I have always been so impressed with their pay off and pigmentation. I was intrigued to try this cream lip stain from their metals range  (€10.90). I picked up the shade fancy peach (115) which is a beautiful metallic rose. On first impressions it is soft and smooth when applied to my lips, and I love the colour pay off. It is an ombre shade of a muted rose pink which is a lovely neutral colour which adds some definition to my lips, with a gold light shimmer running through it. These dry down quite matte, but are budge proof which is exactly what you want from any liquid lipstick.

The Sephora #lipstories range seems to be a big hit within their line. I think they release different colours and finishes of these each season and they are one-off exclusives. I picked up the shade berry-licious (32) which has a satin cream finish. Once again on first impressions this is really soft when first applied to the lips. I don't usually use dark toned shades, but on the lips I really like this. It is very much a vibrant red grape, and I love it on me. This is perfect for that "can't be bothered to really do my makeup, but I will stick on a bright lip to make up for it" kind of day. I don't think this going to be completely smudge-proof as even on swatching it is easy to smudge, so I think after eating and drinking it could potentially end up all over my face. I think at €8.90 these are well priced as they are really well pigmented and I only need one layer to achieve the colour pay off I like.



Sunday, 13 January 2019

Product Empties

This is my second tub of this which I have used up this year, the Kiehl's ultra facial oil-free gel cream is the first moisturiser in years that I have really got on board with. I have since bought my third tub as I am scared to invest in anything else in case I don't like it. It is not cheap as this size tub costs £24.50, but it lasts me a good 4 months and I use it literally every day. It is advertised to be must suited to normal to oily skin types, but mine has been dry and it has still worked really well. It is light and feels lovely and refreshing when applied, I really do recommend it and I have done to many people.

I remember years and years ago this Smashbox photo finish primer was a must have product for many beauty bloggers. I was always a bit sceptical as it is expensive and I was never sure about the silicon consistency. It is oil free but as expected I did not love this on my skin, it felt a little greasy. In terms of being a primer I get the reason why people like it, it preps the skin well before application of base products. However, like I say the consistency felt a little oily and I did not like the texture on my skin. I won't be repurchasing this, as I now know I much prefer a cream/liquid primer consistency.

I bought my first Sephora high coverage concealer years ago on one of my very first trips to a Sephora store. Every time I have been on holiday and there has been a Sephora store I have ensured that I have added one to my basket. They don't seem to last me very long, but it contains 3.4ml which is the standard amount. I love the flat ended applicator on this as it makes it so easy to apply to the exact areas you want, I then use my damp Beautyblender to blend it into my skin.

This has been a long standing MAC must have in my collection. I remember buying my first MAC skinfinish powder when I was about 17 and every single beauty expert was saying it was a must have in your collection, and thank god I got on board with the hype. I buy one a year and it tends to last me well, when my skin is really dry I do not use much, if any powder as I find it sets my dewy base which I have tried so hard to achieve a little too much. If you are a little bit oily or are needing to set any areas this is a fantastic powder. It is finely milled and you can add just the perfect amount of product.

Even though I love wearing mascara, when I go beauty shopping it is the one product which excites me the least. I bought the Maybelline falsies push up drama mascara when it was first released, I bought it on an introductory offer as my last mascara had just ran out and I tend to buy them one at a time when I need one. I usually like a brush with a bit of curl and I think this is what this lacked. I used my own eyelash curlers to add some natural curl to my lashes before applying this. I like how spread out the bristles are on this brush as it coats each lash from root to tip. I like it but I didn't love it, I then tried L'Oreal's paradise mascara and liked that more due to the curve of the brush.

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