THE PEACHY POP.

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Everyone, spring has sprung. I generally refuse to accept that winter’s over until I get my hands on the new spring launches, and Clinique’s new collection of Cheek Pop blushers is nothing if not the perfect little pots to usher in warm weather. I have the shade 02 Peach Pop, a lovely warm-toned pink with a hint of apricot shot through (hint: it’s peach). The formula on these is absolutely bizarre; they look like a cream product both in the pan and on the cheeks, but they’re actually made of powder. The hybrid consistency is really what sets them apart from your typical peach-y pink blusher. They apply slightly sheer at first and build up easily to give just the right amount of color. I’m usually quite heavy-handed with the blush, and I can’t say I’ve overapplied this even slightly since I got it. Foolproof. I have my eye on two other shades, Berry Pop, a bright fuschia, and the more muted Ginger Pop. They’re a dream to blend, and have the luminosity of a cream that makes melds perfectly with your skin to give the perfect sunkissed flush of color. Priced at $21, these are great bang for your buck as you don’t need a load of product and they’re reasonably priced, but the quality of these is what really sets them apart. On me, the shade is actually really similar to Nars Orgasm but more natural: think all the glow sans the discoball shimmer. Simples.

What blushes have you been loving lately?

SPRING CLEANING VOL. 1: FAVORITE BRUSHES.

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mBrushes are definitely one of those beauty vices I can’t seem to get enough of. Personally, I don’t usually mind investing in good quality brushes; with the right tools, you can make even the cheapest of products look fantastic. With spring fast approaching, I thought I’d do a little series here on le blog of some of my favorites from different beauty categories that are definite survivors of the yearly product spring cleaning operation. While many of the best brushes do come at a high price, Sam (and yes, we’re on a nickname basis) Chapman of Pixiwoo proves that you don’t necessarily have to shell out fifty dollar bills to get amazing quality tools. If you haven’t already ventured into her line of brushes, Real Techniques, stop reading and go buy them now. Great prices with every brush and collection under $20 and amazing quality that rivals quite a few of my MAC and Bobbi Brown brushes. The bristles are made of synthetic taklon, making them easy to clean and softer than Angelina Jolie’s skin (if you can mentally picture touching her glorious face), which is obviously the deal breaker with all soft things. If comparable in softness to her face, then purchase. Done. My two favorites have to be the Buffing Brush, which I use for blending in foundation and concealer every day without fail, and the Multi-Task brush, amazing for everything from setting powder to blush to bronzer. MAC were the first higher-end brushes I’d ever tried, with the award to first ever brush bought going to the Angled Contour Brush, the 168, which is perfect for bronzer to give a subtle hint of a contour and maintain that sunkissed glow. Purchase of the 109 soon ensued; this one’s the most  perfect brush to contour with, being dense enough to blend and deposit product in all the right places. I love it for blush too, when I want really precise application on the cheekbones. If you’re looking to buy a new MAC face brush, I’d say start here. It’s incredibly versatile; use it for foundation, blush, contour, bronzer, highlighter, etc, and it maintains its shape perfectly. Love. Next up, if I could only use two brushes on my eyes for the rest of time (which I probably will, since I’m so in love with these), they would be the 217 and the 239. Everyone and their mother raves about the 217, and you know what? Listen to the mothers. Those women know what they’re talking about. This thing is the most perfect crease, concealer, do-it-all blending brush ever created. It’s also great for a soft wash of color over the lids for an easy everyday look, while the 239 does a great job of packing on product to the lids or smudging shadow under the eyes. Last, for the non-MAC offerings, I adore the Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Liner Brush for gel eyeliner and the ELF contour brush to smudge eyeliner on the lower lashline. The Bobbi Brown brush is amazing for two basic looks: thick lines or super-thin, sculpted lines. It also does a great job of flicking up cat eyes because of the pointed tip, so if you’re into gel liners, I’d definitely give this a look. It won’t replace your basic angled liner brush, but it’s a great addition to any brush hoarder’s collection. Last, but not least, ELF’s contour brush is the bargain of the bunch, weighing in at just $3. It’s the best brush I’ve ever found to smudge eyeliner on the lower lashline for that lived-in, smokey effect that makes everything look more natural, and for the price, it’s an amazing buy. Oh yes. Brushes. . . I loves them.

What are your favorite makeup brushes?

2013 EYESHADOW HALL OF FAME.

eyes-bestLooking back on the past beauty year in review is a typical thing going around the blogosphere these days, so I figured I’d throw my hat in the ring with a few of my own posts. I will be doing two more over the weekend; one for general beauty and one for fragrance and bath favorites, but these eyeshadows were so good I had to give them the honor of their own post. Yes, they all happen to be MAC; over the course of last year I really didn’t venture too far into single shadows from any other brand, and I fell so in love with these it was unnecessary to start. First up we have Mulch, a stunning deep bronze. This one is a firm favorite all over the lid and blended out into the crease and under the lower lashline for a quick and easy smokey eye all year round. For a bit of understated color I’ve been reaching for Sumptupous Olive all year long; I love this paired with Woodwinked, but it also looks amazing on its own smudged around them lashlines. Love. Handwritten is my favorite deep brown shade; it’s quite warm-toned which suits my skin better than say, Espresso. I love this as an alternative to liner on lazy days, but it’s perfect to create a smokey eye working its magic in the crease. The all-time favorite shadow award easily goes to Woodwinked. This was the first eyeshadow I ever (yes, ever) bought, and I may or may not have bought it in secret while out with friends and then hid it in my sock drawer so mum wouldn’t find out whilst I figured out how it worked, but I will confess to nothing. Let me just say this; if you’re at all into gold/bronze shades, you need this in your life. Rant over.

You can buy all the products here. What shadows have you been loving this year? Let me know in the comments below!

14 WEEKS OF MELODIES, #14.

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Long Black Road-Electric Light Orchestra

… And here we are. It’s the last of the fourteen weeks for this blog hop as 2013 comes to a close, so I won’t bore you by droning on and on about this week’s pick. I’ve been loving listening to the American Hustle soundtrack (which is incredible, by the way) as a little 70’s throwback, and the song Long Black Road? Yes. I’m obsessed. It’s not for everyone, but I do love listening to it while jogging (I’m a bit of a sucker when it comes to 70’s and 80’s music…). I can’t believe I actually managed to do every single post in the blog hop; I’ve been quite busy but I’m happy I stuck with it and did all fourteen. Wishing you all a very happy New Year’s tonight :)

 

14 WEEKS OF MELODIES, #11.

 

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Baby, it’s Cold Outside.

Hello everyone! Another quickie post today on my recent favorite song pick of the week. With Christmas fast approaching, we’ve all been humming caroling tunes in the shower (or holding a full-on performance in the bath), so I wanted to mention a Christmas tune for you all this week. I know, everyone has a favorite, and mine happens to be “Baby, it’s Cold Outside.” Ohmygosh. I love. That. Song. We’ve all watched Elf (I should hope) and have heard Zoeey Deschanel’s silky voice crooning it from the Gimbel’s shower while inadvertently being accompanied by Will Ferrell, so of course that was the only version I could possibly think of to link up here. Suffice it to say I’ve been singing this one since before Halloween in preparation.

 

Now, onto the Blogmas front, apologies for my lack of posting! I’ve been swamped with work for my finals coming next week, but I promise I will have my post up by tomorrow. And don’t forget to follow the host blog of this blog hop, Beauties Unlocked. If you haven’t already entered my giveaway yet, please do so below! What’s your top Christmas song?

 

Sephora favourites giveaway

Stylinspire Succhisimples

INTRODUCING BLOGMAS + GIVEAWAY

Screen shot 2013-12-01 at 10.22.33 AMHello everyone! I’m so excited to be working on a collab this month with the lovely Sadia of Stylinspire. We’re dubbing December as Blogmas; we’ll be putting up two Christmas-related posts each week leading up to Christmas day. I will also be blogging EVERY SINGLE DAY this month, so please stay tuned! Want to win two limited edition makeup sets from Sephora? These are exclusive for the holidays, and the giveaway is live TODAY! The winner will be announced on Christmas as the last post for Blogmas. The first set is the Sephora Favorites Glitz+Glam set, a $159 value, which includes:

– 0.05 oz Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow in Space Cowboy
– 0.11 oz Nars Lip Gloss in Gold Digger
– 0.17 oz Nails Inc™ Kensington Caviar Gel Effect Plumping Top Coat
– 0.18 oz Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelèe
– 0.135 oz Lancôme Hypnôse Star in Noir Midnight
– 0.34 oz Stila Stay All Day 10-In-One HD Illuminating Beauty Balm with Broad Spectrum SPF 30
– 1 x Sephora Collection False Eye Lashes in Celebrity
– 0.02 oz Too Faced 3 Way Lash Lining Tool

 If that wasn’t enough, the second set, Stila’s Color Me Glossy Lip Glaze set, includes NINE of Stila’s picture-perfect Lip Glazes, and is worth $124. It includes shades: Cranberry, Persimmon, Melon, Dazzleberry, Wildberry, Strawberry Cream, Passion Fruit, Kaleidoscope, and Amaretto. The total value of this giveaway is a whopping $283. Just follow the directions and enter in the Rafflecopter form below! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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!

14 WEEKS OF MELODIES #8.

 

 

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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.

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?

 

 

OCTOBER BIRCHBOX UNBOXING

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DSC_0188The second Friday of every month is probably my favorite day of the month, purely because checking my mailbox reveals a little pink box of beauty for me to squeal about. Oh yes, I love me some Birchbox. I know that a lot of people prefer Glossybox to Birchbox, but I can’t compare the two, as I’ve only ever tried the latter, but this month’s box is definitely something to phone home about. So what’s inside? Have a look.

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

While the name’s a bit of a mouthful, I’ve been trying this stuff for about a week now and it’s seriously good. I’d actually been trying to get my hands on a bottle, but it was nearly impossible to get it anywhere in the U.S. I was ready to order off the Liz Earle website and pay an extra third of the price for shipping when I heard Birchbox was launching it in the States. Hallelujah. Gorgeous scent and amazing product that leaves skin clean without feeling stripped. Love.

Liz Earle Muslin Cloth

Included in the little Tiffany-blue Liz Earle box was one of the brand’s muslin cloths, which actually counted as a separate product for this month’s box. While it is cute, the flannel is just okay. To be honest, I much prefer my own set of cloths from Wal-Mart that cost me $4 purely because I feel like they exfoliate much better than these, being a bit more scrubby, yet still thin. I’d say don’t break the bank and buy these at $6 for 2 cloths when you can go out and get a set of 18 better flannels for $4, but no qualms here about it being included in this month’s box.

Dermablend Smooth Indulgence Mineral Finishing Powder

I received the shade “Amber”, the darker of the two. Personally, the color is a bit dark for me, but then again the only other shade suits light skin tones, so I’m not sure that would be any better. This will probably suit me better in the summer when I have more of a tan, but for now, it works fine as a bronzer. This sample is actually a full size product, retailing for $25. The product alone is worth $15 more than the price of the box, so I was happy to see this month’s box having a great value.

theBalm “Stainiac” Cheek and Lip Stain

The shade Birchbox sent me was “Beauty Queen”, a gorgeous berry. I freaking love gel cheek/lip tints. Easy to apply, this gives just enough time for blending out on the skin before setting and staying put for hours. It’s also lightweight on the lips and seriously does not budge.

Birchbox Find: ChapStick Hydration Lock

I heard from the BB sneak peak video that this one is supposedly a great lip primer before using any sort of lipstick or gloss, and I actually really like this product. I’m a bit of a balm snob, if that’s a thing, and I typically stick to the same products, so I haven’t used ChapStick since  was seven. I liked how this wasn’t included in the 4-5 samples we received, and it’s versatile and really quite useful.

Overall, this has to have been my favorite Birchbox so far. I’ve actually just hit 400 Birchbox points to spend in the online shop, so check back soon to see what I’ve picked up! What subscription beauty boxes do you love?

Want to order a box? Here’s the link to the subscription: Birchbox Subscription