Friday, 30 September 2011

Leopard Print Love

Hello lovelies!

This is just a quick post to share my happiness on finding my purrrfect winter coat. A gorgeous faux-fur, leopard print jacket - the perfect length,  the perfect print, and most amazingly of all, the perfect price.

My search for the perfect faux fur coat has literally been going on for a few years now. Each winter I think how gorgeous they look paired with party dresses on a night out, and equally as beautiful with a pair of leggings and some pretty flats for the day. I looked at all the offerings from the usual suspects: Topshop, Warehouse, Miss Selfridge - I even searched through some vintage shops in Manchester and just could not find the right one for me. Then... on this gorgeous summery day where it is absolutely scorching hot here in Manchester, I finally found what I was looking for <3


This little beauty was a brilliant £44.99 in New Look, where they actually have 20% discount for students at the minute, but sadly my university days are long gone. However, if there are any students with their eyes on this coat I would advise to snap it up now as its only £36 with the discount. Brilliant.

It's a super flattering fit, unlike some other faux fur coats that I've tried on, it does not make you look twice your size or give you that unflattering boxey shape that some coats can.

I checked on the New Look website and it's not up at the minute. I don't know whether it's sold out or what's going on, so go and have a nosy in your local store and I promise you won't be disappointed. 

I'm so excited to wear this coat, and I never thought I'd say this but I cannot wait for the colder weather to come now! Having said that, hope everyone is enjoying the gorgeous sunshine :)


Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Top 5 Series - Blusher

Hello again, 

Time for the second installation of my new top five series, and next up is my second favourite product which is blusher. I can already tell how this series is going to go, I'm subconsciously doing it in order of how much I like the product so by the end of the series I may not be as enthuasiastic to do posts on say... hand cream? I don't know lol but bear with me and I will probably just do posts on products that I enjoy using otherwise I guess there is no point.

Anyway, ramble over. Onto todays topic which is blusher, again none of the products I have chosen are really expensive in fact I think the most expensive are the Topshop cream blushers at £6.

L-P: Pink Cloud, Head Over Heels and Pinch, Suede, Pink Rose

Clockwise from bottom left: Topshop 'Head Over Heels', Topshop 'Pinch', Sleek 'Suede', Rimmel 'Pink Rose', Natural Collection 'Pink Cloud'
Again, scroll to the bottom for swatches of all five blushers and I'm going to discuss each product in the order I've swatched them on the picture, starting with the pinkest on the left to the most neutral on the right.

So first up, is a blush that is absolutely not a neutral colour and that is Topshop's cream blusher in 'Pinch'. A bright, scary looking hot pink in the pan which actually blends out really nicely to leave a pretty flush to the cheek. You do have to apply this with a light hand as it can leave you looking a bit doll-esque.

Next is another Topshop cream blusher, which is 'Head Over Heels' - a much more wearable colour on the cheek. A really pretty peachey/coral shade, which is a lovely light cream which blends to a powder finish. I've been applying both of the Topshop blushers with an ELF stipple brush, as I find it picks up and distributes the right amount of product and allows you to blend in your own time - rather than a mad rush to get it exactly how you want it before it dries to a dodgy line giving you rather strange looking cheek bones. I also think it leaves a really natural finish, and because it dries to a powder finish it has really great staying power. I really cannot say enough good things about these blushes, and at £6 a real bargain.

Number three is Natural Collection's 'Pink Cloud'. This is a matte blush, which is a gorgeous light pink which I think suits a pale complexion really nicely. These blushes are so affordable at £1.99, they have four in the range and I would definitely recommend picking any one of them up. 'Pink Cloud' is really pigmented and only requires a light dusting on the cheek to pick up the gorgeous rosy pink colour.

Next up is Rimmel's Powder Blush in 'Pink Rose', which I have to say I have had for longer than I should like to admit. I think it could possibly be the first blush I ever owned, but I reach for it every now and again and I just really like it. It's a really natural colour on the cheek - unlike 'Pinch' which I would find really concerning if somebody turned that shade of hot pink. 'Pink Rose' is a deeper pink, with a really subtle shimmer that photographs really beautifully. It could have been discontinued for all I know, but I hope not cause it's definitely a product I would repurchase - if i ever get to the end of it!!

Last but not least, is a new purchase of mine and a new offering from Sleek MakeUp's Nude Collection - which is the Suede Blush. It's not something I would buy off my own back I don't think, but I'd seen swatches and reviews of the product online so thought I would give it a try. It's quite a deep brown shade really, and could actually be used more like a bronzer or contour product but I've used this a few times on the cheeks, and I really love it. It's another really natural colour, so great for everyday make-up looks. Sleek's blushes are around £4, and as expected from Sleek they are super pigmented.

L-R: Pinch, Head Over Heels, Pink Cloud, Pink Rose, Suede

So there we have it, part two is done and dusted. Hope you enjoyed reading it and let me what you think of the blushes I've mentioned or any blushes you think I might like!

Next up... eyeshadows. See you next time :)


Monday, 26 September 2011

Product Rave - Tundra by Topshop

Hey everyone,

Just wanted to do a quick post on a product that I've been really liking lately! It's the eyeshadow mousse from the Topshop 'Sandstorm' collection, in the colour 'Tundra'. I believe this collection was released in February 2011, so I do realise this is a bit of a silly post as you can no longer find the product online =\ but perhaps you could keep a look out on blog sales or possibly eBay if you like the look of it! In fact, I bought this in... August? So maybe some Topshop's still have a stash of this gorgeous product!

I had never really tried a cream or mousse consistency eyeshadow before Tundra came into my life, and I wasn't really that keen on trying them until, of course, I set my eyes on this little beauty.

A gorgeous metallic olive green, that is absolutely packed with a golden sparkle. It is such a pretty colour, the consistency of the mousse makes it so easy to apply - you can use your fingers or brushes to apply this product and the effect, in my opinion, is just stunning.  The mousse can apply quite sheer at first, but if you want a more intense look you can really easily build up the product or blend it out as you wish. The photo below shows the product blended out on the right and heavily swatched on the left.

Just a little note on the packaging, as the product was part of the limited edition Sandstorm collection it looks a little different from Topshop's core range. The frosted glass base and the rose gold decorative strokes look so pretty, which I think just adds that extra special touch to the product.


Thursday, 22 September 2011

Top 5 Series - Lipstick

Hey everyone, 

I'm starting a new 'Top 5' series to get me into a bit of a routine with blogging, and hopefully will have one up a week for the next month or so! Starting off with my absolute favourite product, lipstick. Now I have been a wee bit naughty and included an extra, for no other reason than I could not narrow it down to five - but I promise in subsequent posts I will play by the rules and have just five products to share.

L-R: Shy Girl, Beehive, Snob, Shade 03, Cassis, Cherry 80

I think I've picked a good mix of drugstore and higher end products, although none of these products cost above £15 so none are too pricey! Scroll down to the end of the post for swatches of all six of the lipsticks

So I'll kick it off with the lightest shade of them all, which is the very lovely 'Shy Girl' by MAC. These lipsticks are £13.50 I believe, and come in a range of finishes such as a matte, creme sheen, satin finish and a few others. Shy Girl is a gorgeous nude, that has a peachy tone to it and is warm enough to not give you that awful concealer lips look!

Number two... 'Beehive' by 17 which is around the £5 mark. Out of all the formulas of the six lipsticks I've chosen, this has got to be my absolute favourite. It's creamy and moisturising and glossy and just gorgeous! The colour is a lovely neutral shade, it is quite sheer really and is really great for layering over other lippies for the gorgeous finish that it has!

Next up, 'Snob' by MAC. My first ever MAC lipstick, and to be honest I hadn't heard as much about this one as other MAC cult classics but it just seemed to jump out at me and stand out from the many, many other lipsticks at the counter. It's a lovely cool-toned pink, almost a lilac shade, that is really pigmented so has a lovely finish on the lips. Although it has been described as a 'Barbie' pink, in my opinion it is very wearable and you can definitely wear this in the day or night time.

Number four, Shade 3 by MUA at an extremely bargainous £1! I've tried a few of the MUA lipsticks out and to be honest they are a bit hit and miss with colours, but this one is just beautiful! It's a gorgeous fuschia pink, it isn't shimmery at all but  has a really high gloss finish. Creamy and so pigmented, what more could you ask? The packaging is a little cheap looking? But for £1 who cares or expects any less really.

Number five, I guess I could do without in my top five line up - however I love the packaging and it is a lovely colour. It's an Elizabeth Arden lipstick in 'Cassis', which is a gorgeous deep rasberry shade that I just love wearing. It feels so luxurious on application and has really great staying power, its a little darker than MUA shade 3 and being honest I prefer the MUA formula but I think its the packaging on this one for me! 

And last but not least, I had to include a red lipstick as it's one of my favourite looks - simple black eyeliner and a classic red lip. I absolutely love No7 Stay Perfect in 'Cherry 80', its a deep red as appose to a more orange tone, and I find it has really incredible staying power. It's super flattering on my skin tone, and like I said worn with a flick of eyeliner it completely transforms your look!

And below, as promised, swatches of each of the six lipsticks in the order that I've spoke about them! I'm aware that the bottom two look... well, the same... but they are very different in person I promise you :)

Top to Bottom: Shy Girl, Beehive, Snob, Shade 03, Cassis, Cherry 80

So that rounds up the first installation of my Top 5 series, next up... blushers perhaps? I hope you enjoyed this post :) 


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Glossybox - Hits and Misses!

Hello strangers!

It's been quite some time since my last post so thought I would do a quick 'hits and misses' post on the products that I have received with the July, August, and September Glossybox's to get me back into the swing of blogging :)

I've picked out my top three favourite products, and three products that I have been a bit disappointed with or I haven't liked at all - bearing in mind there are quite a few products that I'm just not fussed about either way! Just in case any of you haven't heard of Glossybox (not likely) - its a £12.95 monthly subscription where you receive a beautifully packaged box full of beauty samples and sometimes full sized products!

So I'm going to start with my least favourite products, so I can end this post on a positive note! 

First up is the Ciate Nail Enamel in Mojito, which I received in the July box. In all fairness it is an excellent product to receive considering sample sizes are expected, in addition to the fact that Ciate are pretty pricey polishes - it was a nice surprise to see this in my Glossybox. However, my problem lies with the colour. It's an apple green colour which I just could not for the life of me make it work! I thought I'd try it on my toes as a nice summery colour and my mum actually commented that it looked like I had infected toe nails - not the look I was going for. The formula of the nail varnish is really great, so I would love to try other colours and as a brand I've heard really great things about Ciate!

Next up is another nail product, and my problem lies again with the completely random colour choice that I was given! It was the Rebel Nails Nail Wraps, that were in the August box. I was quite excited when I saw some spoilers on Twitter that they would be in that months box, and there were some really pretty designs - but once again I appear to have drawn the short straw on colour choice! A bright, fluorescent yellow/green colour, think high visibility jackets, yellow highlighters and 80s rave gear - definitely not a colour I would choose for my nails!

Finally we have the Daniel Sandler Jumbo Jet Mascara, which was also in the August box. Now this mascara was... okay. However, I love super long and voluminous lashes and this mascara failed to do anything too spectacular. I also found it to clump quite easily so it's definitely not a mascara that you can layer up to produce longer length or more volume.

I think on the whole, its pretty fair to say I have never been majorly disappointed with any of the products that I've received considering the first two were because of the colours I was sent and the third product is a personal preference I suppose! I really love the idea behind Glossybox and I love that you get to try out products that you would probably never come across or purchase off your own back, and that you can come across some holy grail products that you can now unfortunately cannot live without!

So, with that in mind, onto my favourites... 

I'll start off with the Orla Kiely perfume sample that I received in the July box! I think I've mentioned before how bad I am at describing scents, but it is a really pretty and fresh floral perfume, and in my opinion quite unlike anything I've ever smelled before! I would definitely consider buying the full size version of this perfume. I also really love that the sample was in a miniature version of the full size bottle, as appose to the little tubes that perfume samples usually come in.

Next up, is the Illamasqua Powdered Metal in Ether which was also in the July box. This was my first Illamasqua product so there was a lot of obvious excitement over that, but it's such a gorgeous product! It's a shimmery golden powder that can be used as a subtle highlight or, as you would expect from Illamasqua, it can be built up to an extremely dramatic metallic finish to create a pretty spectacular look. I love using this product on nights out to give my skin a lovely shimmer, using it mainly on my shoulders, collar bones and on the top of my cheek bones.

Last but not least is a product that I have only just received in the September box, but I have already fallen in love with - which is the L'Oreal Professional Mythic Oil. This product is to be used either on wet or dry hair and gives hair a gorgeous shine and feeling lovely and nourished. As I have bleached my hair in the past, my hair is so dry at the ends and the Mythic Oil really puts some moisture back into my hair giving it a really nice shine without it looking greasy or oily in the slightest!

So to round up this unexpectedly long post, I really can't see me ever wanting to cancel my Glossybox subscription as I've enjoyed every box so far and I have found the customer service to be really fantastic. I know a few people have had problems with their HD Brow Palette, myself included, and Glossybox have already replied to my email and have already popped a replacement in the post. 

Keep up the great work, Glossybox :)


Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Mid-Month Favourites

Hello again :) 

Sorry I've not blogged in so long and then have uploaded two posts in one day, but I thought whilst I was on a bit of a roll I'd do my favourites.
First up is the new 17 Falsifeye mascara, which promises to give 'voluptuously thick, curvy lashes' and I've got to say that for me, it absolutely delivers! It's got a really over sized brush which helps to coat every lash and prevent clumping, the only down side to this is that I really struggle to apply this mascara on my lower lashes as it tends to just go all over my eye! The formula is quite dry really which suggests I won't have this mascara for too long =\ but I guess it helps to prevent clumpiness.

The next product is my Heaven and Earth MUA Professional palette. I've done a full review which you can find here. I just wanted to add that I've used this palette nearly everyday since purchasing it and I'm still really happy with it :)

The next product is another one that I have mentioned before, its the Natural Collection Colour Foundation in Porcelain. I just think for £1.99 it's absolutely brilliant, it's the perfect colour match for my skin tone and it blends really nicely with my new ELF Powder Brush or with a traditional foundation brush. It doesn't last all day and does need touching up at times, but for a day to day foundation to wear to work, college or out to the shops I think its really good. However... I think they have a very limited variety of shades so I think a lot of people will struggle to get the perfect match for their skin tone.

The next product is an old one that I go through phases with, I tend to fall back in love with it after I've given it a good wash and a bit of TLC, and that would be my ELF Total Face Brush. It just seems to get better with age, it never sheds any hairs and it's still really fluffy. Love this brush.

And last but not least are two products from Boots Botanics Range, a Skin Brightening Toner and also the Organic Cleansing Balm, which is on the same lines as the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish. I haven't used toner for years it's just been a step that I've completely bypassed in my skin care routine, however I thought this one looked quite nice and I was picking up the Cleansing Balm anyway so thought I'd try it out. So far so good with this product, its got a lovely scent - as all of this range do - and feels really natural and just a nice product.

The Cleansing Balm is so so nice, I've not tried the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish yet, but I aim to do so when this one runs out. It comes with a little Muslin cloth to buff the product onto the skin which helps to remove make up and give your skin a really deep cleanse. I've noticed improvements to my blemish prone skin after just a week or so, so I would definitely recommend this product.

That rounds up my favourites for the past few weeks, its not quite on time for July favourites but didn't want to wait till the end of August so its a middle of the month job I'm afraid! 

Hope everyone is well and let me know  any products that you're enjoying in August!

Hannah Elizabeth xx

ELF Haul

Hey everyone, got lots of things to talk about today so I'm going to split into two posts - an ELF haul and also a very late July Favourites!

ELF had a 50% sale off on all products on their website around a month or so ago, I missed out on it last time but kept checking their twitter page to see if they had a similar offer on - and lo and behold, they had another 50% off code which clearly is too good a deal to resist!

You had to spend £30.00 to qualify for the voucher so I got a few things that I've wanted for a long time, such as the stipple and powder brushes! I received my order last week so have had a good opportunity to test out these products and make my mind up on what I think of them.

From left to right on the photo, I'm just going to mention what the product is and my first week thoughts :)

1. Waterproof Lengthening and Volumising Mascara in Black. I wanted a waterproof mascara for work really, cause it can get really warm at my work and sometimes my mascara kind of melts off a bit so thought a waterproof one may do the trick! It certainly doesn't melt off, but I only really found it lengthened my lashes rather than add volume too. The wand is really long too, which helps to apply the mascara as you can get close enough to coat every lash. For £3.50, or £1.75 that I paid, it is a good mascara but I don't think it's one I'd go for again, as I prefer more dramatic lashes than this particular mascara creates. 

2. Studio conditioning lip balm SPF 15 in Mellow Melon. This lip balm is so different to what I thought it would be, the consistency is much creamier and more pigmented and opaque than I had thought! It's a lovely glossy finish, and it also contains an SPF to protect lips from the sun, and natural ingredients that help to repair dry lips and leave them in a lovely condition.

3. Studio Blush in Pink Passion. I love this blush!! In the picture below, I've really heavily swatched the blush on the right and blended it out to the left - you can see how pigmented these blushes are they're incredible! You do have to have a light hand when applying it but it blends out like a dream, it's a really lovely true pink colour that and really brightens up my make up routine!

4. Mineral Lipstick in Natural Nymph. I have completely ruined this lipstick already :( it has snapped off so I've not been able to use it much. I'm gonna try and find a little tub to put it into and just use a lip brush. With the few days I had with this lipstick, I was starting to really like it! Its a really creamy formula but with a matte finish, its a peachy toned nude so it doesn't leave you looking really pale which is always a win :) Definitely would look into picking up more of the lipsticks from ELFs mineral range.

Top: Gypsy
Bottom: Natural Nymph

5 and 6. Studio Powder Brush and Studio Stipple Brush. Since buying the Powder Brush, I have used it every day to apply liquid foundation or tinted moisturiser. It makes applying these products so quick and hassle free, not having to worry about the streaks that a traditional foundation brush can leave. It leaves skin looking really polished, and on someone who has better skin than mine probably quite perfect. It's a flat top brush that is so dense, ELF recommend using this for liquid or powder products and also suggest that it is perfect for contouring. Definitely a new favourite of mine :)

Sorry it's so dirty - you can see its already so well loved :) 

Now onto the Stipple Brush... I'm just not 100% sure what to do with it really it isn't particularly dense, so for me its no good for applying liquid foundation. I've also tried it with a cream blusher and it seems okay, but yeah I'm not really sure about this brush I may just need a bit more time to play around with it.

7. Matte Finisher Clear Nail Polish. I've tried this out twice now, once with a dark navy and then another time with a red and I really like the effect! It was a bit of a quick and messy application both times, so I didn't really do it properly but I like what I've seen so far!

8 and 9. Eyelash and Brow Wand and Blending Eye Brush. The eyebrow wand is pretty basic really but does its job nicely! The blending eye brush is really good, I've had the eye shadow brushes from ELF before and was pretty impressed so thought I'd pick the blending brush up as well.

10. Lipstick in Gypsy. This lipstick is from the basic £1.50 range and the website says that it's a 'deep cool pink sheer' and has a rather different looking swatch to my lipstick that has been delivered - it's more of a raspberry colour and I wouldn't say its sheer its quite a strong opaque finish, as you can see in the swatch above with Natural Nymph. In fairness though, it's a really lovely lipstick - a pretty colour and a nice formula.

That's everything that I ordered from ELF - all for £15 with the 50% offer on! Anyway, I hope everyone is doing well and I'll probably be doing my Favourites post after this one so keep an eye out for that :)

Hannah Elizabeth xx