Beauty – hair and makeup treatments, reviews and wishlists!

July Beauty Favourites

I haven’t done a beauty post in months – I’ve mostly been travelling around and stuffing my face! I’ve also been trying to be a little more restrictive with my beauty spending – trying to curb it as my mum embarrassingly pointed out during her visit, of the 35 bottles of shampoo, shower gel, moisturiser and conditioner in the bathroom, only one of them belonged to my boyfriend! Living in a tiny studio apartment means that I have to be clever with space.

Which brings me to my first July beauty favourite, which was also my birthday present from my lovely boyfriend – a brand new battlestation!

Ikea Brimnes Dressing TableThis one is the Ikea Brimnes dressing table, which is brilliant for our tiny flat. It’s got a mirror that opens up, and quite a bit of storage space for all my makeup and looks great, too! The best part is the inside of the drawers are red, which means it won’t look too messy with all the brushes and tools I keep inside.

Islandbell July Beauty FavouritesIslandbell July Beauty FavouritesI got my hands on some of these products when I was back in New York, but I have absolutely been loving these in July!

In the top left you’ll find the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact in Bronze. I picked this one up at Sephora, and it’s really delicately shimmery with an almost rose-gold sheen to it. It’s so versatile, and when I’m going away for the weekend I usually take this compact, using it as a bronzer and an eyeshadow – it’s really pretty, subtle and great for summer.

Next up is the Real Techniques Bold Metals Flat Contour Brush. Not only does it look amazing on my dressing table, but it’s such good value for money. This one costs a little more than the usual Real Techniques range, but is brilliant for blending and contouring – it’s just the right length, and the bristles are packed in really tight. It’s definitely one of the brushes I reach for the most!

Inside the little Lush tin is the Honey I Washed My Hair shampoo bar from, unsurprisingly, Lush. I tried their conditioner bars before, and wasn’t a massive fan (I think my hair is far too thick for that) but the shampoo bars are ridiculously good. This one is my favourite so far – it smells like honey and toffee, and has a really satisfying lather – and it saves on unnecessary packaging too. What’s not to like? I’ve had mine for about two months now, so you get a lot of uses out if it (provided that someone doesn’t break off massive chunks at a time!)

On the top right you’ll find the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit. Used with the Real Techniques contour brush, you can (almost) change the shape of your face. Okay, so maybe that is a massive exaggeration, but it’s seriously amazing how a little bit of clever contouring can make your face seem a little less ball-like, in my case. At £39, it’s not dirt cheap, so I still stick to the Beauty UK Cosmetics Ultimate Contour Palette during the week, and save this one for special occasions.

Also from Anastasia Beverly Hills is the Dipbrow in Chocolate. I’ve been using this with the Zoeva 317 wing brush to fill in my eyebrows, and it’s become a holy grail product. The cream-to-powder formula is really, really good, making my eyebrows that bit more defined and helping to frame my face. I’m wearing all the Anastasia Beverly Hills products in the photos below – one smiling, and one where I look a bit grumpy – but so you can really see the difference products make!

Islandbell July Beauty FavouritesIslandbell July Beauty FavouritesI’ve had a few drugstore favourites this month, too! Rimmel London’s Kate range of lipsticks have always been one of my favourites, as I don’t really tend to wear lipstick, but they do a few really good nudes. This month, I picked up Rimmel Kate Lipstick Nude in Shade 43. It’s got a really creamy formula, and the colour is the perfect nude colour for me. I also picked it up in shade 40, but it was far too light and made me look really weird (that is, more than I do usually).

Kate Moss Nude Lipstick, Maybelline 24-hour color tattoo eyeshadow creamy beige and on and on bronze, le roche posay sunscreenI’ve gotten really into cream-to-powder eyeshadows too, and have been alternating using Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24 Hour Eyeshadow in Creamy Beige and On and On Bronze. It is really long-lasting, even without using a primer, so it’s a great one to put on and forget about during the week. In the photo below, I’m wearing creamy beige.

Islandbell July Beauty FavouritesI also turned the big 2-4 in July, and in the past month I seem to have turned into my mother. For my entire life, she’s been obsessed with putting factor 50 on her face everyday, and she could easily pass for twenty years younger than she is. She’s clearly doing something right, so I’ve been taking a leaf out of her book and have been putting a layer of La Roche Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Ultra-Light Fluid on every day as part of my daily routine. The name is a mouthful, and almost impossible to pronounce, but it’s been a godsend – it’s so light you can’t feel it, doesn’t make you feel greasy or break you out, but keeps your face protected all day. Win!

Lush Yuzu and Cocoa, Fushi Cellulite Oil, La Roche Posay SunscreenFor skincare, I’ve been really liking the Lush shower gel in Yuzu and Cocoa. It smells like chocolate orange, and is refreshing and comforting at the same time. The only problem I have with it is that I want to eat it!

Fushi Really Good Cellulite OilMy next beauty favourite is the Fushi Really Good Cellulite Oil*. After my beach holiday earlier this year, I’ve been really trying to get in better shape – going to more exercise classes and eating healthier, too. I’ve been supplementing that with this cellulite oil from Fushi, which smells like peppermint. It’s got green coffee bean extract, which is supposed to be really great for combating cellulite! I do feel like it’s making my skin softer, and that it’s working, but most of all I’m just really enjoying using a body oil as it’s not usually part of my daily routine!

Have you used any of these products? What were your favourites last month? Comment below, and don’t forget to follow me on TwitterFacebook or Instagram!

* I was sent the Fushi product to review – but was under no obligation to blog about it if I didn’t like it!

Summertime Virgin Mojito

It finally feels like summertime, which can only mean one thing – mojitos!

DSC03877Mojitos are my go-to cocktail in the summer months, so I was thrilled when the lovely people at the Body Shop got in touch about their new Virgin Mojito range.

Body Shop Virgin Mojito RangeLime and Mint Body Shop Virgin Mojito RangeI’ve tried the body butter, body scrub and body sorbet and the range smells incredible. The lime and mint really come through, with a little hint of cucumber – although that isn’t listed – and it’s a really fresh, summery scent. I’ve always loved Body Shop body butters in particular, and the virgin mojito one is no different. It’s thick and creamy, but with a light scent, meaning it’s not overpowering.

Lime and Mint Body Shop Virgin Mojito Range

To celebrate the launch of Body Shop’s Happy Skin Virgin Mojito range, I’ve come up with a virgin mojito recipe for the summer months.

Summertime Virgin Mojito
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Virgin Mojito Recipe - refreshing and basically guilt-free, the perfect drink for the summer months.
Author:
Recipe type: Cocktails
Cuisine: Cocktails
Serves: 4 Tumblers
Ingredients
  • 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons demerara sugar
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • Soda water
  • Ice
Instructions
  1. At the bottom of each glass, grind the mint using the juice of half a lime, and half a spoon of sugar.
  2. Once the leaves have broken up a bit, add half a tablespoon of agave syrup.
  3. Top with soda water and ice, and a few extra mint leaves to serve.
Lime and MintIt’s really refreshing, and you really don’t miss the alcohol that much, making it the perfect drink for summer nights – particularly during the week!

Body Shop Virgin Mojito Range

What’s your favourite virgin cocktail? Have you tried any of the Body Shop’s latest range? Comment below, and be sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

This post was made in collaboration with the Body Shop, who sent me samples to review and reimbursed the cost of producing this post. As always, all opinions are my own – I wouldn’t blog about it if I didn’t love it!

 

March Makeup Favourites

I’ve put myself on a spending ban of sorts, but I’ve rediscovered items already in my possession this month, with some late Christmas presents I missed in my previous beauty post! So without further ado, here are a few of my makeup favourites for March so far:

March Beauty Favourites

The Tools

Real Techniques make high quality yet affordable makeup brushes, and this month I’ve been making use of the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, mostly for blending. I’ve discovered the amazing and cheap-as-chips Beauty UK Ultimate Contour Palette, which has been great – it’s got a cream formula, which is quite hard to find in a contouring palette, especially for under a fiver! I’ve been using it with the Real Techniques Bold Metals Contour Brush. I love the bold metals collection – not only the look, but the soft, synthetic fibres are perfect for picking up makeup and blending.

Real Techniques Bold Metals, Eyelash Curlers

The eyeliner brush is perfect for shaping eyebrows, and looks great on my dressing table too!

I’ve upgraded my old Mac eyelash curlers for a new Shu Uemura, and the difference has been astounding. The results have been really dramatic, and this is one cult beauty tool that lives up to its reputation.

The Products

I’m pretty fussy about perfumes – my go-to scents are Chloe, Elie Saab and YSL Cinema. I got a bottle of Trussardi Donna for Christmas, a brand I hadn’t been familiar with in the past. This scent has fast become a favourite – with base notes of vanilla and sandalwood and a citrusy overtone, it’s in a similar vein to my staples and I absolutely adore it.

Trussardi Donna, Mac Paint Pot, Beauty UK Contour Palette, YSL Blush

For my eyes, I’ve been making good use of my Urban Decay NAKED 2 Palette, the shade YDK in particular. I’ve been building it over the cream Mac Paint Pot in Frozen Violet, which is a beautifully pigmented cream shadow in a metallic taupe shade. I’m not usually a fan of colourful eyeshadows, but this is such a gorgeous shade, and the formula is really long-lasting too.

March Beauty Favourites

This peach YSL blush is one I’ve had for quite a while, and I’ve only just rediscovered my fondness for it – I find myself reaching for the peachy shade the further we get into spring.

Have you tried any of these products? What are your March favourites?

 

February Makeup Favourites

I’ve been running around doing so many food and lifestyle posts recently, and have really neglected the beauty side of my blog. So without further ado, here are just a few products that I’ve been loving this month!

Miss Dior

I’d left my bottle of dry shampoo back in Cambodia, so once I was back I picked up a bottle of CoLab Extreme Volume Dry Shampoo in Tokyo (of course). It feels a lot more luxe and grown-up than my usual Batiste, with notes of sandalwood, orchid and mandarin. I am loving the scent, and finds it gives my hair a lot of extra volume – I definitely prefer this to my usual.

Next product is something I picked up in duty free – a bottle of Miss Dior EDT. I love the scent of this – it’s fruity yet musky, with notes of patchouli and rose. It’s such a classic scent that I know will definitely be a staple for a long time.

I took advantage of a recent 2 for £10 deal on Rimmel products at Superdrug and picked up a bottle of Rimmel’s Lasting Finish Foundation in Soft Beige. It’s got good coverage, although the overall effect isn’t as nice as the Wake Me Up foundation, so I’m not sure whether I’ll be repurchasing this from Rimmel in the future.

Mascara, eyeliner, concealer

I’ve also been loving this tube of Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer, which is great for running underneath my eyes on early mornings.

Another duty-free purchase is now a holy grail product for me – Lancome Hypnose mascara has definitely replaced Fiberwig as my new all-time favourite mascara. I love the effect, and it comes off easily with a bit of makeup remover without any harsh rubbing. At £22.50, it’s not exactly cheap, but when you wear contact lenses like I do you have to be particular about what you put near your eyes.

I also picked up a Rimmel Brow This Way brow gel, which is great for running through my brows before applying powder with a Zoeva angled brush.

2015-02-09 17.51.19

Another drugstore favourite is the Delice de Poudre from Bourjois – it smells a bit like chocolate (although not as much as my favourite bronzer from Toofaced!) It’s been great for contouring and giving a little bit of a sunkissed glow.

After much searching, I found a Maybelline Color Drama Pencil in Nude Perfection at my local Superdrug. I love the creamy formula and the nude colour, as I tend to shy away from bright lipsticks colours as I’m usually sporting heavy eyeliner.

And speaking of eyeliner, I’ve rediscovered my love of Urban Decay’s 24/7 liner, which I found at the back of one of my drawers – it’s so pigmented and long-lasting, and I have honestly found that no other pencil liner compares.

I’d run out of eyeliner when I was in Thailand in January, and picked one up at a convenience store. Mistine is a popular high street makeup brand in Thailand, and I picked up their Super Black Fixed Eyeliner, which is liquid. It’s been really great – goes on smoothly, and is long-lasting and not to mention cheap – but not sure I’ll be able to get my hands on these locally!

2015-02-09 17.51.31

Another Asian beauty product was actually gifted to me for Christmas, and comes from South Korea. It’s a customisable palette from Etude House, a popular Korean makeup brand who do a great range of skincare, face masks (which I have been completely addicted to) and makeup. This palette has been great – all the colours were chosen for me, and they are perfect: minimal fallout, perfectly pigmented in some beautiful shades.

Etude House EyeshadowEtude House Eyeshadow

The packaging seems made for me, too – I’m a massive fan of Etude House.

ETude House Eyeshadow PaletteEtude House

The third and final product is the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. My old Cosmopolitan Blend Perfection Sponge was looking very tatty, despite being washed frequently, and I was due for an upgrade.

I love using the sponge to apply foundation over a brush – I think when using a foundation brush, you need to allow yourself plenty of time to buff in order to avoid brush strokes on your face. But by simply wetting the sponge and buffing with some foundation takes about half the time, and leaves you with a lovely glowing effect on the skin.

Etude House Eyeshadow

Have you tried any of these products? What have you been loving this month?

November Beauty Favourites

It’s been a really long time since I’ve done a post about my beauty favourites! Here are a few things I’ve been loving this November:

Lush Haul

I’ve repurchased the Big sea salt shampoo from Lush. It’s without a doubt the best shampoo I’ve ever tried – the sea salt is great for exfoliating the scalp, and it smells absolutely divine. The sea salt gives your hair volume, too – what more could you want? I tend to use it once a week, alternating different shampoos so as to avoid drying out my hair but it’s definitely a product I’ll be getting again and again.

Lush Jungle Solid Conditioner

The next item from my mini Lush haul is the Jungle solid conditioner. I was really intrigued by the concept, and I really like the scent of avocado and banana. I’m not fully sold on the texture, but it does a good job of conditioning the ends.

As mentioned in my last post, I’m ridiculously excited for this holiday season – and I LOVE Lush’s range of seasonal products. Snow Fairy smells like all the good smells from childhood – like cotton candy, or bubblegum.

They're Real Mascara

The next product up is Benefit They’re Real mascara. I recently had this brought over from America for me, and I am loving the brush in particular, and how it lengthens my lashes. My only gripe with the product is that it’s not easy to get off – this has lasting power, so make sure you have some good eye makeup remover to hand. I know Benefit sell their own remover, which is specially formulated to remove it but something about that just doesn’t sit well with me particularly – I don’t like being forced to buy an entire range of products.

They're Real Mascara

Next on my list of November favourites is Bourjois’ Happy Light Matte serum primer. I much prefer the consistency of this to Maybelline’s Baby Skin primer – it feels less greasy, and I like that it is light and mattifying. I like this product as a drugstore alternative to Maybelline’s primer, which I wasn’t a fan of.

Bourjois Matte Primer Elie Saab Perfume

I haven’t found a new scent I’ve liked in ages. I’ve been wearing the Chloe perfume for ages, and while I love it, I was looking for something a bit different. I always associate the Chloe scent with summer, and the patchouli, jasmine and orange blossom of this Elie Saab perfume is deeper – it has a smokier quality to it which makes it perfect for winter. If you are a fan of Vivienne Westwood’s Boudoir, or Calvin Klein Euphoria then I think you should put this scent on your Christmas wishlist.

Nars Orgasm

This Nars blush is a cult favourite, and something else I had brought back for me from the States. Nars blush in Orgasm looks really natural, but with tiny flecks of shimmer which creates a really lovely glow. My one is becoming a little worn because I’ve been using it so much – it’s definitely been featured on other beauty blogs so much for a reason!

Zoeva Brushes

My final favourite this month has been the rose gold brush set from Zoeva. It’s my first proper brush set – previously, I’d been using my bare minerals brushes and I finally couldn’t resist these. They are the softest brushes I have ever touched. They don’t look quite so nice at the moment as they do in the picture above, but I have it on good authority that they wash incredibly well – and for under £7 a brush are more affordable than ones from MAC. The case is great, and there’s a lot of room for other products too.

What products have you loved this month? Anything you’ll be putting on your Christmas wishlist?