AN ODE TO THE ONE NIGHT STAND.

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palette interiorMy love affair with blush is nothing new, but this… I mean, come on. When it first came out, all the major bloggers declared themselves obsessed. These are the people I trust the most with what to put on my face every single day, so yes, I’ll admit: I was intrigued. I remember back in the day, Fleur of Fleur de Force on youtube was going on about the Nars Danmari All About Cheek Palette, which was, to say the least, beautiful. And limited edition. So, I gave up on getting my mitts on one of Nars’ massive six-shade palettes until this came out. The Nars Guy Bourdin One Night Stand Cheek Palette. Please and thank you. But I resisted, I swear. I even managed to talk myself out of this purchase, being that it costs a whopping $65. I was nearly off the hook when the product sold out at Sephora everywhere (as in, no more are being made sold-out, not check back soon.)… And then I went online and stalked swatches. And more swatches. And finally more. And all of a sudden? Back in stock. Alas, ’twas fate. But I digress. I only own one other Nars blusher, Luster, and the Laguna bronzer, both of which I’m completely obsessed with. But having six good-sized shades in one handy palette? Genius. First up, the highlighter of the bunch, Devotee, is an almost frosty offering, but if blended well gives the most gorgeous high-sheen finish in a pinky beige that pairs beautifully with the blushes. Nars laguna is an old favorite, giving incredible warmth to the face without going on orange-y at all. The only matte shade, Misinguette, looks terrifyingly bright in the pan, but translates beautifully on the skin to brighten and wake up the complexion. Deep Throat is a great staple pink shade for everyday. I’m happy to report that the next offering, the cult shade Orgasm, lives up to its hype, giving the most stunning, lit-from-within glow. Lastly, Goulue, my favorite of the bunch, is gorgeous for autumn; when applied with a light hand, it’s just the product for the whole flushed Snow-White-running-through-the-forest look I love so much. François Nars, if you’re listening, do me a solid and release this babe in a full-sized single. Pretty please. Unfortunately, the palette has just sold out again on sephora.com, but keep looking in individual stores and online; I’m sure they have more on the way. And I might just have a giveaway of one of these coming up… Stay tuned. In summation, a must-have for any blush fanatic.

NOVEMBER BIRCHBOX UNBOXING.

birchbox novemberI can’t believe how fast this month has gone! It feels like Halloween was yesterday and all of a sudden Thanksgiving is tomorrow… Crazies. I’m a little late with this post, since I got my box a few weeks back, but this way I’ve been able to trial all the products for an extended amount of time and give a full review on each:) Enjoy!

First up, the Pop Beauty Aqua Lacquer in Flowering Fuschia.

Meh. That’s all I have to say about this. It’s quite sticky, about five levels up from my-hair-keeps-getting-stuck-to-my-lips-in-the-wind sticky. As the day wears on, it goes grainy on the lips and has this weird texture that’s gloopy but almost exfoliating at the same time. Do yourself a favor and just skip this stuff.

Vasanti “Brighten Up!” Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator.

Being that the last product was quite the let-down, it was a nice surprise to try a product that actually works. It’s basically an exfoliator, to be used up to 3 times a week. Where it differs from your typical scrub is that it includes enzymes to help break down the outer, dead layer of the skin. I am no scientist, but they must work just like it says on the back, because after use, my face definitely felt brighter and softer. It’s not the most abrasive scrub, which sensitive-skinned ladies will appreciate, but at the same time, it’s quite effective. Love.

Color Club Cocktail Hour Collection in Top Shelf. 

Let me tell you, I love getting nail polish in my Birchboxes. This one is no exception; glossy, with a gorgeous rose-gold hue, perfect for a subtle holiday look. Color Club polishes are generally fantastic formula-wise; not gloopy, but with decent staying power, and great color payoff, and this one is no exception.

Tiossan Body Cream.

This one is the highest-end offering of the bunch, priced at $38 for the full size. Honestly? Not my personal preference in the wide world of body creams. The smell is quite strange, almost powdery. That, I could get past, if it was truly hydrating. After trying it over the course of the last few weeks, I didn’t find the hydration long lasting. If I’m being frank, it really wasn’t hydrating at all. It left my legs still feeling a bit dry after each application. In summation, not worth its price tag.

Ahmad Teas.

I love getting lifestyle items like food in my boxes, and these are no exception. Personally, I’m partial to a steaming cup of earl grey with milk and sugar, but this I can dance with. Peaches? Mangos? Get in my mouth, please and thank you. Now.

So there you have it! November’s box, un-boxed. Simples.

If you haven’t seen my last post yet, you can take a look here. Interested in birchbox? Try out your own subscription by clicking here.

 

 

 

14 WEEKS OF MELODIES, #9.

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Haim-Don’t Save Me

So a few weeks ago, I’m sitting with a cup of earl grey in sweatpants and my favorite socks, watching one of my favorite shows on the planet, Saturday Night Live, when up on the screen pops an itty bitty notice that says in massive, bold letters, NOVEMBER 23: JOSH HUTCHERSON AND HAIM. So yeah, I guess you could say I flipped out (just a little). I did a little dance. Because Haim? Please and thank you. I know I’ve gone on and on about them, but honestly those girls are so good. If you haven’t heard of them, you’ve probably been living under a rock for the past few months… I jest. They’re this beyond-cool trio of sisters from California with killer style, both musically and in fashion. Very unique on the whole. Anyway, this sounds like the beginning of a love letter to the band, so I’ll stop my fangirling and just tell you how I’m beyond obsessed with their song “Don’t Save Me”. Don’t forget to get your bunny on and join the hop (see what I did there?:) over on the host blog, Beauties Unlocked here.

What have you been listening to lately? Drop me a comment below!

THE WEEKLY EDIT: FALL LIPSTICKS.

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mac syrupA quickie post today; I wanted to share my two favorite fall lipsticks for this season with you. I adore this time of year, especially because of the vampy lips and boots come out to play. First up we have Maybelline’s Deepest Cherry. It’s a gorgeous oxblood-red that’s also uber-moisturizing. I love it dabbed on really lightly for a pretty stain, concentrated in the center of the lips and blended out with the fingertips as a sort of ombré effect, and full-on for a pout that pops. Stunning for a great price.

My second favorite autumn lipstick is also one I love year round for it’s gorgeous plummy-mauve shade. Mac Syrup is one I’ve had for a while now, and, while I think it’s great at any time of year, I especially love it for fall. Want to wear a smudged-out smokey eye and lashings of mascara? This one isn’t overpowering, but still gives a pretty purple-ish sheen to the lips, plus it looks great on its own. I think it’s an amazing alternative to a nude lip, especially at this time of year. I’ve done a full review here, if you fancy having a look.

So there you have it! Two easy, effortless lipsticks to change up your look this season; a festive red and a subdued plum. Simples.

 

TIBI’S 80% OFF ONLINE SAMPLE SALE.

TibiFall2011CocktailDressesChances are, if you’re into fashion in any way, shape, or form, you’ve seen that cheesy rom-com Confessions of a Shopaholic. I read the book years back, which is light years better, let me tell you. But let’s be honest: who cares? A film centered completely on shoes, handbags, and a girl who’s given in a little too much to the lure of New York Fashion doesn’t have to be a cinematic masterpiece for me to enjoy it. But I digress. There’s a scene in the film that shows the main character fighting her way through a designer sample sale, and yes, those things exist, but mostly just in the wonderland they call New York. As is the case in most aspects of life, New Yorkers have a not-so-slight edge over all of us when it comes to getting more than half off an Alexander Wang slip dress. BUT. The brand Tibi (think ultra-minimalist, effortlessly chic) seems to be pioneering a new sort of sample sale that’s much more accessible to those of us not blessed with being residents of the Big Apple (at least not yet). The sale lasts until tomorrow, so if I were you, I’d get a move on and have a look! You can shop the sale here.

14 WEEKS OF MELODIES #8.

 

 

bloghopbutton_zps0d768d38Lorde-Tennis Court

The past week has been really stressful, with school being more hectic than normal, but never fear. Lorde has me covered. I’m literally obsessed with this chick. No joke. Incredible voice, stunning, cool rocker-chic style. Love. I’ve especially been loving the song Tennis Court whilst doing my best to try to get through piles and piles of books. I hate that feeling of being so overwhelmed by everything that you start to feel helpless, like nothing you could possibly do will change anything, and unfortunately I’ve had enough of that going around lately to supply the whole rest of the world. And you know how, when you start to feel that sense of hopelessness coming up that you just have to stop everything and somehow you realize that you’ve spent over an hour doing absolutely nothing? Or it could be just me. The point is, Lorde, you and your crooning got me through a pretty rough spot. Thanks a bunch.

Check out the host blog, Beauties Unlocked, here.

MAYBELLINE THE ROCKET MASCARA.

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lashesWhilst roaming the aisles of the drugstore the other day, I wandered my way over to the Maybelline section of CVS to see if anything new had popped up, when the mascara section caught my eye. I’m not a huge fan of every Maybelline mascara I’ve tried (The Falsies Flared, here’s lookin’ at you), but I did fall in love with their Colossal mascara earlier this year. I’ve been on the hunt for my perfect high-end mascara for the longest time, but nothing I’ve tried seems to make the cut. So, coupon in hand, I thought I’d give this little blue tube a go. I’m sure we all heard the hype surrounding Maybelline’s The Rocket Mascara  when it first launched, and I’m telling you now, it’s worth it. Volumizing? Check. Lengthening? Check. Holds a curl? Double Check. I’ve got lashes that tend to droop an hour after I’ve applied lashings of mascara, and by the end of the day, they’re completely stick-straight, hence my tedious journey to find the perfect lash-booster. I always use waterproof mascara, as I find it holds a curl better than wetter normal formulas, and this one is no exception. By the time I get home eight hours later, my lashes are still holding up the same way they were when I first applied the mascara. I’ve been using it for about a month now, and I’ve also found that I can build up quite a few layers without it ever looking clumpy. The only downside is that the brush is rather large, so it makes it a little tougher to get to my bottom lashes, but in exchange for the way it makes my upper lashes look, I’m willing to sacrifice.

14 WEEKS OF MELODIES, #7.

 

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Birdy- Without a Word

Drumroll please. Yes, this is the halfway point of the blog hop. Which is to say, I have actually successfully completed a post a week for the hop for seven weeks. Points for dedication. If you’re not familiar with this hop, you’re meant to write a post on a song you’ve been loving for the past week every Tuesday until December 31st. Interested? Have a look at the host blog, Beauties Unlocked, here.

So does anyone watch the vampire diaries? I’ve been obsessed with the show since it came out; I’m really not into the whole vampire shabang, but this show seriously has some of the BEST writers out there. Aside from the script, there’s literally not one single actor on the show that’s unattractive. I kid you not. So in summation, it doesn’t hurt that the show is basically a Dylan’s Eye Candy Bar. But I think one of the aspects of the show that drew me in the most was the soundtrack. Oh. My. Goodness. I’ve discovered so many songs from having heard them on the show (Medicine by Daughter, anyone?), and this week’s favorite is no exception. We’ve all heard the songy Skinny Love by Bird(or the original by Bon Iver), but another of her songs made its Vamp debut a few weeks ago during the scene where Bonnie’s friends gave her a memorial service. I immediately recognized her voice, but I had to google the lyrics to find the actual song. It’s called Without a Word, and I cannot stop hitting replay. Her voice is dreamy, and her lyrics are actually meaningful, contrary to most mainstream stuff these days. Set to a chilling piano score, it’s beyond beautiful. What songs have you been loving recently?

 

 

THE WEEKLY CLEANSE.

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Let’s be honest. When it comes to washing makeup brushes, we get lazy. You wash them all one day, and then at the end of the week you’ve used every single one and they’re all dirty and it’s way too much work to get up and clean thirty brushes. I know the feeling. Even so, cleaning your makeup brushes is one of those beyond important, often overlooked routines we should all be doing. Think of it this way. You’ve been using your foundation brush all week after cleaning it. It sits there on your vanity, gathering dust and microbacteria while you’re out taking on the world, and then the next morning it goes right back on your face, maybe even picking up some more gunk from your skin if you’ve forgotten to cleanse. You don’t wash it over the weekend, and then for the next week, you’re buffing in bacteria and funky stuff along with that gorgeous new foundation you picked up. If we take such care to take care of our skin, spending hundreds on moisturizers, serums, and cleansers, why do we suddenly think it’s okay to use dirty brushes on our faces after working so hard to keep them clear of blemishes, acne, and the like? I say all this, but of course I’m one of the worst people when it comes to washing my brushes regularly, but it’s a work in progress. My routine? Every Saturday, I’ll trudge over to my bathroom with my jar of dirty brushes, turn on the hot water, and lay a towel out on the counter. You never want to dry your brushes standing up; water drips down into the handle and can loosen the fibres and bristles. One at a time, I run hot water through the bristles, thoroughly wetting it, and pour a little soap into my hand. I then take the brush head and swirl it around in the soap and run it through the water again to rinse, repeating as many times as necessary for all the color to come out. I’ve been using Dr. Bronner’s soap for years; I particularly like the almond scent for the shower, but my dog much prefers the peppermint for his bathtime routine (I kid you not), and I only just discovered it can be used for brushes. If you live in the U.K., it might be hard to get your hands on a bottle, but in the States you can find it at any Whole foods or natural/health food stores. If you do live in the U.K. and want to get your hands on some, let me know, and I just might slip a bottle into my giveaway coming up…

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After cleaning all of them, I lay them out on the towel with the heads hanging just a bit over the counter, and leave them to dry for at least a full 24 hours. Some, like small eye brushes (MAC 217, 239, etc.) dry in just under two hours, while others (Sigma Angled Round Kabuki, RT expert face brush) take a little longer. And that’s my brush cleaning routine! Simples.

How do you clean your makeup brushes? let me know below:)

 

 

 

THE SAMPLE REVIEWS.

le cpIf you happened to read my October Birchbox Unboxing post, you might have noticed that I received an itty-bitty sized sample of the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, which I was kinda sorta beyond excited about. Well, that’s a bit of an understatement. I was over the moon. If you’ve been around the beauty blogosphere for a while now, odds are that you’ve probably heard our über-chic British blogger friends talking on and on (and on) about this little tub of joy. Problem is (or was, until Birchbox swooped in to save us all), Liz Earle products don’t normally ship to the U.S. bummer. I’ll save you the details of the story, since I talked on about it in the post, but basically Birchbox saved my bank account by sending me this bad boy and making it available here in good old ‘merica.

The product itself feels quite luxurious; it’s a cream in texture and massages into the skin like a dream. You’re meant to buff it onto dry skin to cleanse, followed by a quick towel-off with a muslin cloth. I found it a bit tough at first to work it in properly, since you have to use a considerable amount to effectively cleanse. In short, this is not one of those “a-little-goes-a-long-way” kind of products. It doesn’t bother me, per say, but it is something to think about if you don’t like the idea of repurchasing every so often. While it doesn’t have a particularly heavy scent, I find that it does have kind of a funny mint-ish smell to it. Personally, I don’t really enjoy the smell, but I’ve gotten used to it. For me, it’s just not a cleanser I massage in forever purely because of the joy of the scent, but I’m sure some people will love it. It’s not unpleasant, to me it just seems… weird. It definitely took some getting used to. In terms of its effectiveness? This thing cleanses off makeup with ease, although I find that prior removal of eye makeup if you wear waterproof mascara (like me) is necessary; it’s not the toughest stuff in the world. Do I love it? To be honest, not as much as I thought I would. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect cleanser, and this just doesn’t seem to fit the bill. It’s okay, but for me it just isn’t the oneRight about now, I’m pretty darn glad Birchbox saved me from buying the full size for a third more than it costs (including shipping), only to find out I’m not in love with the product. Still want to give it a go? Have a look here.

Second on the docket today is a sample of the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer that came with my Ambient Lighting Palette, which I did a post on here. I’ll admit, this is the first foundation primer I’ve tried, but I’m pretty sure it’s the only one I’ll ever try. It smooths out the skin like nothing else, leaving an even canvas to apply the rest of your makeup, whilst keeping oils at bay. Yes, it is expensive, but I’m definitely planning on purchasing when this product runs out.

Do you have any samples you’ve been trialling recently? Let me know below:)