Beauty – hair and makeup treatments, reviews and wishlists!

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?

October Glossybox Review

Hard to believe that my six-month Glossybox subscription has come to an end – how did that happen?!

October Glossybox review

I’ve absolutely loved having these packages arrive at the beginning of each month – its given me something to look forward to. As my subscription has coming to an end, I was really excited for this box- especially as Glossybox have recently changed their rules. Although I’ve managed to accumulate the 1,000 points you need to get your free box, you need to have a rolling subscription, so now I’ve got 1,000 glossybox points worth of feedback that I’ve given – but will get nothing to show for it.

I don’t like writing negative reviews of any kind – in fact, this is my first on my blog. As my last box, I was probably holding it to a high standard, but I feel as though this month I was let down.

First of all – the packaging. I know other beauty bloggers have raved about it, but I find it garish. I’ve used my past boxes to store makeup (or cables…) but I am not a fan of this at all, which is such a shame because they’ve been so spot on with their packaging previously.

Secondly, the contents. I’ve always found something I’ve liked but this was so unexciting!

ciate paint pot black

The first product was the Ciate paint pot. The formula goes on smoothly, and has a nice glossy effect. Unfortunately my nail polish was black – and as a girl who owns very few items of clothing in colours other than black, I don’t tend to wear black nail polish as I think it’s overkill. I know, however, that it works on others – but given the fashion and style choices I’d made on my Glossybox account, I’m surprised that this was the colour I ended up with.

rimmelYves Rocher perfume

Next was the Rimmel London BB Cream Matte, and Yves Rocher France Quelques Notes d’Amour perfume. While I like both of these products, the size of the products were really disappointing.

Basically my reaction to the teeny tiny samples.

They’ll be good for travelling, I guess?

My favourite product in the box was the Nuxe Masque Creme Fraiche de Beaute. I’m a massive fan of Nuxe (see my French pharmacy post for proof), and have used this previously, and I really like it. So perhaps I’m being unfair, especially as this was a full sized product, but it was the only redeeming product for me this month, and the only one I would buy myself.

Nuxe maskNuxe face mask

The other full sized product was the Etre Belle Cosmetics Liplift Peel. Practical, does the job – nothing special.

etre belle

The product that really let the box down in my opinion was, surprisingly, from So Susan. I really liked the Universal Blush that came in my June Glossybox, so I had high hopes for the So Susan Cosmetics Flutter Mascara – especially as I liked the packaging so much! I tried the mascara for a week, and every day without fail, I ended up a work with panda eyes. The brush seemed to scrape against my eyelashes, which made me cringe. The formula also smeared really easily and was unbelievably messy.

So Susan mascara

It’s really a shame that this month’s box was such a dud for me – but I think the team behind it must have a tough job choosing the products to appeal to a wide audience.

All in all, I love the subscription format – and I’d definitely consider trying another subscription box service in the future. Any recommendations? What did you think of October’s Glossybox?

Gorgeous made easy: KS Ultimate Treatment

The weekend before last, I was invited down to Salon International to try out KeraStraight’s KS Ultimate Treatment. For those of you who might not know, keratin treatments eliminate hair frizz, make your hair shine and reduce blow drying time by up to half. What’s not to like?

KeraStraight KeraStraightErin Longhurst  KerastraightErin Longhurst - Kerastraight

My hair is thick, wavy and unruly. The look in the pictures above takes me about an hour – and that is an attempt to blowdry it straight (which lasts about five minutes!) I’d had a similar treatment done years ago in Japan, so when the opportunity came to try KeraStraight I was really excited! I have never dyed my hair, and I don’t tend to be particularly experimental with it – so for me, this was a big step.

I placed my hair in the expert care of some stylists from Trevor Sorbie. They began with washing my hair in a pre-treatment cleanser twice, leaving the second shampoo in for five minutes. During this time your hair is put into a plastic cap, before having pre-treatment spray combed through towel-dried hair.

Kerastraight application

Then the treatment is applied. I’ve lived in several girl-dominated houses, and was fully prepared to endure an overly powerful chemical smell, but found that the treatment doesn’t have it at all. In fact, it just smelled like really nice shampoo, which was quite nice as you leave it on for 45 minutes (and doesn’t give you a headache).

Kerastraight application Kerastraight application Kerastraight application

While I was waiting, I got to see some of the others who had the treatment done. Can you guess which side has had the treatment here? The results were crazy, and her hair was so smooth on the treated side.

KeraStraightKeraStraight

After the waiting time, your hair is given another quick rinse before the moisture lock is applied. The moisture lock is left in your hair for two minutes before your hair is rinsed out. Then you can start blow-drying and ironing your frizz-free and manageable hair!

The stylists were absolutely brilliant – even with the treatment, blowdrying my hair turns out to be a three-man job! I felt like Beyonce. I was absolutely thrilled with the results, and it felt so silky and smooth and I thought they did great.

Kerastraight

However, I think the real mark of a hair treatment is when you go home and style it yourself. Unfortunately having the stylists on retainer doesn’t fit into my budget, but I was intrigued to see whether the treatment works after the stylists have done their bit.

KeraStraightKeraStraight

I left my hair as is for three days, even though you could wash it almost immediately. My hair has been shinier, and has cut the blowdrying time in half. This is great, as I usually spend around an hour blowdrying my hair for it to get the look I want. Using some of the oils and shampoos I was given by KeraStraight, my hair has been looking great and I am absolutely thrilled with the results!

KeraStraightKeraStraightKeraStraight

I had the KS Ultimate treatment, but there are other treatments available. Treatments are available at salons for around £250. It’s great for saving time, and protecting your hair as you don’t using as much heat on it.

KeraStraight

Thank you KeraStraight for my lovely new hair – I’m a big fan!

The French Pharmacy Haul

Although I wasn’t able to go to Paris a few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to get a French pharmacy haul brought back for me. I love going into pharmacies and supermarkets when I’m abroad, and I’ve had my eye on a lot of these products for a while.

Nuxe huile prodigieues and reve de miel

First up was the Huile Prodigieuse from Nuxe. It’s a scented oil that can be used on your face, body and hair, and I am absolutely loving it. I’ve put a couple of drops in the bathwater too – it smells amazing, and makes a regular bath seem that much more luxurious. This bottle also came with the sample of the perfume, which has the same scent – and I’ve already run out of it, I’m enjoying it so much! I’d definitely repurchase the oil, but I definitely need to get my hands on the bottle of perfume first.

Nuxe

Also from Nuxe was the Reve de Miel face cream. It’s a thick, lightly honey-scented day cream that is really moisturising. The only downside is that I like my day creams to have SPF in it – when Mr. A mocks me about my day/night face cream routine, I can’t justify the difference between day and night cream without SPF! Otherwise, it ticks all the boxes for me.

la roche posay

Next is the La Roche-Posay Serozinc toner and Effaclar Duo Anti-Imperfections cream. I like the toner, although I don’t get why toners need to come in spray form – I like to put some on a cotton pad, as I feel I’m wasting a lot of product through the spray (and that it’s ‘toning’ my hair, too). The Effaclar Duo cream really smooths over blemishes and feels great.

Bioderma

I’m a big fan of the Garnier micellar water, and when I tried the L’Oreal version I really didn’t think it compared. The makeup didn’t melt away, and it left my skin feeling tight – which is why I love the Garnier micellar water, because it doesn’t do that. I think the Bioderma is of an even higher standard. Colourless, odorless, a few drops of this on a cotton pad and my makeup is swept away. I love!

If this is standard for all French personal care products, I think I’m going to have to make trips over the channel more often!

For those of you who have favourite French products – what do you recommend?

French pharmacy haul