Beauty – hair and makeup treatments, reviews and wishlists!

Primers and mascara: What I’ve loved this month

I’ve been really good this month – with my birthday coming up next month, and several international hauls due to come in later on in July I’ve been extremely strict with myself – which doesn’t make for an exciting beauty post but please be patient!

Baby Skin vs Prime Primer

First up is the battle of the primers. I never used to bother with primers but now I do, I can really see the difference – it gives me an easier base to work with and more lasting power which is always a bonus. I am still hooked to my Bare Minerals foundation, and when I ran out of their primer I was on the hunt for a replacement. I’d heard so much about Maybelline’s Baby Skin primer, so I was really excited to try it out. A few weeks into it I re-discovered Banila Co.’s Prime Primer, which I purchased in Tokyo on my last visit. I’m not sure whether my skin is more suited to Japanese skin care and cosmetic products but the Maybelline’s Baby Skin didn’t really do anything for me. It didn’t make my makeup last particularly long and I was slightly disappointed. The Banila Co primer however has been great, creating a great base with lasting power.

Kate Rimmel Mascarakate rimmel mascara

Even when I’m cutting back on my spending, replacing my mascara every three months is something I stick to religiously. I wear contact lenses and suffer from horrendous hayfever making my eyes particularly sensitive. I’ve found replacing my mascara often prevents me from getting the ever so attractive bloodshot eyes look! I recently picked up their Kate Moss mascara for a fiver and I am really impressed. I absolutely swear by their liquid eyeliners but I haven’t been a fan of their other mascaras in the past – their Volume Flash and Lash Accelerator were pretty unremarkable, but this mascara with the curved brush adds length and volume giving me fuller lashes. So far, I’m a fan.

St Tropez gradual tan

I’d recently been complimenting a French friend of mine about her glowing complexion, and she recommended St Tropez line. I’ve always been slightly terrified at the prospect of fake tanning – I absolutely hate the smell, and I’ve often been really irritated when friends have slept over and stained my sheets so I was slightly skeptical. The curiosity got the better of me, and I’ve started using their gradual tan moisturiser. With proper exfoliation (and rubber gloves!) I’ve started to use this and I really like the results. It looks really natural and there’s none of that horrible smell – hurrah! It’s light, easy and low-maintenance which is perfect for a girl like me.

I’m really excited about my US and Japanese orders and I’ll also be attending a beauty bloggers event in August which I can’t wait for!

Things I loved in May and a birthday wishlist

I’ve been extra good this month – planning meals, curbing my spending and generally being a little more restrained, trying to stick to my new year’s resolution. It’s been working out well, especially with the fact that the Vinted app has entered my life. The vinted app is great – it allows you to sell or swap your old clothes, and the selection is incredible: I bought a lovely blue topshop dress to wear to my cousin’s wedding later this month, and managed to swap some old clothes I hadn’t worn since my first year at university for some new items. It’s brilliant, because you get that new clothes feeling, while recycling and reducing waste.

vinted blue topshop dressBig, vanillary and 8 hour cream

I recently purchased ‘Big’ from Lush, one of my favourite beauty brands. ‘Big’ is a sea salt shampoo, and it definitely exceeded my (already high) expectations – the sea salt was great for exfoliating my scalp, it smells good enough to eat and made my thick, unruly hair manageable. It’s quite drying though, so if you have dry locks I’d steer clear. I also rediscovered my old tube of Elizabeth Arden’s eight hour cream, and I’ve been using it on my hands and feet at night. It feels thick, and really odd at first, but I’ve really noticed a difference over the past month. Vanillary is a solid perfume, it’s light and sweet and fits perfectly into my makeup bag – perfect all round.

Birthday wishlist

With my birthday coming up soon I’ve been thinking of things I wouldn’t mind receiving and here are some of them! I got a sample of Modern Muse over the weekend and am in love, and I’m really curious to try Urban Decay’s Naked 3 pallette which almost every beauty blogger has been raving about. A le creuset oven dish, kate spade planner and barely there sandals are also up there, and a 50mm lens for my Canon for all the food pictures too…I’m really looking forward to this month – I’m heading to Cornwall for the very first time, and I’ll be planning a trip to the Cotswolds too! Having not explored much of England I’m really excited – any recommendations on places to go and see would be really welcome!

Products I Love: April

When the weather is nice in England, it’s hard to imagine anywhere nicer. We had some gorgeous weather this Easter, with the exception of Easter Sunday, and I spent it in my grandparents beautiful garden in the countryside.

Black tulips Bluebell woodEaster Basket

I even got my own homemade Easter basket, complete with chocolate and shredded wheat nest!

Red flowers

Taking advantage of the amazing weather and light, I’ve decided to focus on a few products that I’ve been loving this month.

Products I love:  April

From left to right: Sanctuary Body ButterVivienne Westwood Boudoir EDP Spray 30mlSana Make Essence Eye Concealer – Light Yellow, Batiste Dry Shampoo Dark & Deep Brown, Garnier Skin Naturals Micellar Cleansing Water

Sanctuary Body Butter: I’ve repurchased this body butter many times now , and I absolutely love it. It’s thick, creamy, smells incredible and always feels luxurious when I put it on. I’ve since heard that the Sanctuary Spa has closed, so I might have to stockpile a few of these as it is by far my favourite moisturiser.

Vivienne Westwood Boudoir: Although I purchased this perfume years ago, I’ve decided to include it in this months list as it has finally run out! A sophisticated and delicious scent with serious staying power, Boudoir has notes of bergamot, mandarin, roses, sandalwood…. and tobacco leaves. Finally, an explanation as to why Mr. A likes it so much, as he is constantly trying to quit!

Sana Make Essence Yellow Concealer: Another product purchased years ago in Japan, this concealer is banana yellow but nothing covers my blemishes more than this. It’s also brilliant for contouring, but I’ve yet to find a dupe in the UK or US!

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Dark and Deep Brown: This product has finally converted me to dry shampoos. I’ve tried a few in the past but it turned my hair white and ashy and I never bought into the craze until this. I’ve been able to extend the time between hair washes, saving my hair from the heat. Since I’ve started using it my hair has become healthier and more voluminous, as well as saving me time in the mornings. Having ridiculously thick hair, it takes an embarrassing amount of time to blow dry it in the morning. This makes the routine so much quicker and when it becomes to beauty and haircare I am all about convenience.

Garnier Micellar Water: This product has been blogged to death so I won’t bore you, but I’m a massive fan. Again, I’m all about convenience and this product is simple and great.

Soap and Glory

Taking advantage of a deal at Boots I succumbed to these three products from Soap & Glory.

Left to right: Soap And Glory Archery Brow Tint And Precision Shaping Pencil Brownie Points, Soap and Glory Supercat carbon black extreme eyeliner pen, Super Colour Fabulipstick Powdercoat Matte Lipstick Super Nude

Archery Brow Tint and Pencil: After my HD brows experience I decided to invest in this brow tint and pencil combo from Soap & Glory. I was a massive fan after the first few times, particularly of the brow tint, but the pencil has begun crumbling quite a bit so the jury’s still out on this one.

Supercat Eyeliner: Adding this liquid eyeliner to my collection was a bit of a gamble as I am completely loyal to Rimmel’s black liquid eyeliner. I’ve tried liquids from Chanel, Clinique and other drugstore brands but I always go back to Rimmel – no other liquid eyeliner gives the same level of matte black and unfortunately neither did Supercat. I’m also less keen on the liquid eyeliners in pen form – perhaps my years of calligraphy lessons are now paying off, as I can do a mean cat eye with a brush and pot but not so much with this!

Fabulipstick in Super Nude: This is my favourite product of the three – I love a good nude and this one is spot on. Creamy finish and flattering colour, I’d definitely repurchase this again.

Muji Mania

Muji Mania

Muji is one of my favourite brands.

It’s funny, really, because ‘Muji’ is short for ‘Mujirushi Ryohin’ – which means unbranded, high quality goods in Japanese. Muji’s minimalist and Scandinavian inspired design, along with its emphasis on recycling has made the brand a hit in the west. Everything I’ve tried from Muji has been of such a high quality and standard – including personal care products, stationery and clothing. I’ve never been disappointed in anything I’ve purchased from them and they have lasted years.

At the moment I’m coveting Muji furniture, which is aesthetically pleasing as well as being practical. My ikea wardrobe is now falling at the seams and leaning like the tower of Pisa so I’m looking forward to making a new addition to my room soon!

Muji makeup

One of my favourite Muji products is their range of bath salts. This rose scented one is my favourite, and smells divine. They also do an amazing range of scented candles and oil burners. These clear plastic drawers are also perfect for storing makeup and are guaranteed to go with any interior, while great for organising your collection.

February Favourites

I regret nothing! But…

February Makeup Haul

… It’s almost shameful how many new beauty products I seem to have acquired this month. It’s an occupational hazard I suppose – when you spend all day looking at fashion and beauty blogs it’s hard to resist the temptation! I say almost shameful, because luckily this month I seem to have only had good luck with my haul – so I might as well try and channel my compulsion and be productive by doing a little review.

Boots Botanics

I’m really into the Boots Botanics skincare range at the moment. As a ‘halfie’ I tend to prefer using Japanese skincare brands (which I’ll get into at a later date) because I find most drugstore brands in the UK to be quite harsh and drying. I’ve had a lot of success with the Boots Botanics range though – and they get extra points for being environmentally friendly, as well as being developed with Kew Gardens (which I love). This month I’ve got the hydrating day cream which I put on first thing, which has SPF 15. My entire family are completely obsessed with sun protection and I guess I’m not immune to it either. I also picked up the eye make-up remover. Embarrassingly I went up to someone at the store because the liquid was slightly brown at the bottom of the bottle – this is meant to be the case. All-natural, remember? So don’t make the same stupid mistake I did. You’ve been warned!

Benefit big beautiful eyes, hoola and high beam

Confession: these were all second time purchases. But I barely ever purchase anything twice so it is a testament to how amazing Benefit’s product range is! I very much prefer the big beautiful eye palette to the smoky eye version they do – this looks more natural, and you can always build on it and create a smoky effect with the colours. I can’t imagine this not suiting anyone. I’ve also been trying to do more ‘contouring’, and believe me, if you don’t have high beam there’s not much point. The hoola bronzer probably won’t get much use until next month when I start to get my tan on. Always good to be prepared, right?

Bare minerals get started kit

I’ve always been fairly lucky in terms of not breaking out, but this Bare Minerals get started kit has changed everything I knew about makeup. I’d always see those gimmicky ads on TV, or try to avoid those pushy sales people in department stores and I was so skeptical about this brand. Like, how is that powder sticking to your face? Why should I pay £50 a pop for these weird dyed powders? But now I am a total convert. My skin hasn’t felt this good in a long time. 10/10 would buy again.

Lush

Lush is one of those brands that I feel like I would hate on paper – where all the high-handed and smug shop assistants have bizarre names and everything smells of patchouli. But I really, really like it. I love a good bath and Lush does a good bath-time. This month though, I was duped into buying a pot of pink sugar – bubblegum flavoured, yes, and very beautifully packaged – but I’d recommend just buying an exfoliator like a normal person, or just rubbing sugar on your lips instead of buying a LIP SCRUB. What was I thinking!? It’s okay though – this cleanser, which you wipe off with a hot, damp flannel makes up for it.

Lip bullet topshop and flower crayon

Now that my lips are super smooth after being buffed with my pot of sugar I also ended up buying a ‘lip bullet’ (back in the game) from Topshop, and had my mom send over a Flower lip crayon from the States. Flower is a US drugstore brand of makeup developed by Drew Barrymore, and this lip crayon is a lovely neutral colour (sheer blossom). I love the lip crayon trend at the moment, because although skilled with liquid eyeliner (years of calligraphy class finally paying off) I am terrible at putting on lipstick. So having it in pencil/crayon form really helps.

Getting all of that off of my chest makes me feel slightly less guilty about all of this. Like I’m doing a public service or something. Oh dear. The things I do to live with myself….