Thursday, 17 November 2011

Weekly Lust List #3 and Bargain Alert

I'm going on holiday to Florida this Sunday, so there might be a bit of a draught post-wise for a while. I will be taking my camera and my MacBook, so if I can find a minute I might post the hotel room, though no promises there. Me and my boyfriend been dreaming about this holiday for years and working our butts off for the past couple of months in order to make this possible, so we're majorly excited! Before I whip out my Mickey Mouse ears, however, there was an event I wanted to let you know about.

We all love free things, especially when they come with no strings attached, right? Vaseline are currently touring the UK offering a free, full-sized bottle of the new Vaseline Essentials Body Lotion for anyone who brings in an old, unwanted bottle of body lotion. They've been to Glasgow and Manchester already, but if you live in or near Birmingham or London you can still snap up this offer.
They'll be in Birmingham this weekend, November 18-20, at the Bullring and in London next weekend, November 25-27 at Westfield, Shepherd's Bush.
The city that brings in the most bottles will earn a £15,000 donation for a chosen local charity, which is always a great thing!

This week's lust list is a little bit on the shorter side after a non-existent one last week. It seems that I'm way too busy preparing for my holiday or fantasising about actually being on holiday to engage in any window shopping. Prepare for a massive haul post once I'm back, however!

1) MAC Glitter & Ice Paint Pot in Let's Skate!, £14

I have a confession to make: I don't own a single MAC paint pot. I see everyone raving on about these and I'm getting more and more tempted to pick one up for myself, but as of yet I remain paint-pot-less. MAC's holiday items haven't really blown me away this year, but this looks like a really gorgeous shade to start off my collection. Looks like I'll be lusting over it for a little longer though, as it's completely sold out online.

2) Topshop Nude Maribou Feather Bag, £50

Topshop had a similar bag to this last year and even though it was one of those items that makes you cross the entire store without even bothering to look at anything else I didn't end up buying it in the end. They also do this bag in other colours, including black, plum and a bright ochre, but this has got to be my favourite. Tacky? Probably a little bit, but what else can I say other than "It's SO FLUFFY!"

3) Lush Gingerbread House, £2.95

Here's another confession for you: I haven't been in a Lush shop since the age of 12. Ok, that's a lie - I've been once, but didn't actually buy anything. Now, there's been a lot of Lush love going on lately and I can't help but feel a bit of a craving for a lovely bubble bath. Especially if it's surrounded by gorgeous Christmas smells. I love the look of this, I love the smell of this and I love the attention to detail that's gone into something that's meant to be dissolved in water. I'm afraid there's no way I'm not going to pick up one of these when I get back from holiday.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner Review

I'm not posting a weekly lust list this week, as quite frankly, there aren't that many things that I'm lusting over at the moment. Instead, I've got a few other posts lined up that I'll hopefully have time to publish before I'm off on holiday next Sunday.

Unlike a lot of people, I'm a fan of toners. I've been using them ever since I had anything that resembled a skincare routine and it would now feel like I'm missing something if I just left this step out.
I bought this well over a year ago and it's only just started to run out! This product claims to be an instant skin hydrator and refresher and that is exactly what it does. It's like a little wake-up spritz for my skin, which is moisturising and refreshing.
The scent, unlike the Dermalogica samples that I got in last month's Glossybox, is quite nice and by no means overwhelming. It sort of smells of freshness.

I'm not too sure about the spray container, however. The great thing is that it thins the product out, so it will last you a fair while - like I said, I've had this for over a year and there's still a little bit left. It costs £25, but you can currently get it for £18.75 from Lookfantastic. That's not a bad price for a Dermalogica product, as they tend to be on the expensive side anyway and it works out quite cheap considering how much use I got out of it. It seems like the spritzing action amplified the refreshing effect this had on my skin, which would make it great to use throughout the day or on long-haul flights.

The problem is that it took quite a while to absorb into my skin and I had to walk around with my hair pinned back for a while before I could apply my moisturiser, as otherwise it would just thin my cream out too much. Some days it would just kind of run down my face and then dribble off my chin. When it started running out the pump wouldn't pick up the bit of product that was left at the bottom, so I unscrewed the top and used it with a cotton pad - THAT was when this toner really came into its own.
It didn't give me a squeaky-clean feeling, but really pushing this into my pores made my skin feel so lush and velvety and soft - not at all sticky, as it sometimes felt after cleansing. I could use my moisturiser straight away and it even sank into my skin better and faster than before!

I'm not repurchasing this at the moment, as I feel that my skin needs something a bit more cleansing at the moment, as my skincare needs have changed slightly, but for normal to dry skin this is highly commendable. There's no alcohol in it, so it won't leave your face tight and burning. It works better if you use it with cotton pads but it will last you longer if you use it as a spray.
I just wish Dermalogica would make a spritzer version and a bottled version (like Liz Earle do with their toners), just so you could choose, as I feel I won't be going back to sprays for a while.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

NOTD #02 Betty Blues

I dug through my nail polishes recently and realised that I don't have too many wintery shades when I found this one that I'd completely forgotten about! I bought this ages ago and only wore it about once or twice, so decided to give it another go.
It was only after applying it that I remembered why I hadn't used it for so long. You can tell a little bit from the photo, but in the bottle the polish is a gorgeous dark blue shade with a tiny hint of blue shimmer. Unfortunately, this doesn't translate to the nails. It tried forever to find a light in which my nails wouldn't look black until I eventually gave up realising that they simply look black, no matter how you look at it.

Application was a nightmare as the varnish had a thick and gloopy consistency. The good thing was that I got a solid colour from the first application (apart from on my little finger, which I only noticed looking at the picture now) - but I also had to sit around all evening waiting for it to dry and when I finally went to bed after three hours I still managed to damage it.
I tried to apply thin coats by wiping the brush on the bottle like mad, but the result was streaky, messy and still gloopy.
I also spent quite a bit of time cleaning up the mess left behind by blobs of product.

This is a major disappointment for me, as I fell in love with a set of No.7 mini polishes that I received for Christmas last year. I just don't seem to be so lucky with any of the full sized products that I've bought since. On the plus side I found this fairly long lasting, but I think I'll be taking it off tonight anyway considering the mess it's left.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

October Glossybox - Tried and Tested

Last month I was quite eager to publish my review of the products I received in my Glossybox as quickly as possible. This month I decided to test them for a little bit longer, as I'd mis-judged an item in September's box.

I said in my review that the Moa Green Balm was a high contender for Elizabeth Arden's 8 Hour Cream, but I'd only tried it on skin that was already healthy (and it worked great then). A week or so later I got a sore patch of skin under my wrist splint, so I applied some of this product hoping it would heal my skin - and that was a painful mistake to make! It burnt like fire, became post box red and then on top of that my skin dried out so much it started flaking away. So, back to 8 Hour Cream it is.

A few words about Glossybox while we're here: I only noticed now that there was only one discount code with the box this month which was very disappointing, as there are two products that I seriously consider repurchasing.
Those two products are something that I probably wouldn't have picked up in a shop, which I'm very happy about. A lot of people complain about Glossybox and other beauty boxes for not tailoring to their needs, when the whole point is to discover new things that you wouldn't have bought if you were in a store. No one's going to magically pop into your head and find out that what you really want is a bright purple eye shadow, or that you've run out of body scrub.

Rant over. Let's get on with the reviews!

Dermalogica AGE Smart MultiVitamin Thermafoliant

First off, apologies to the Glossybox team: I complained about being sent lots of anti ageing products when I'm 22 years old without doing my research first. The AGE Smart range is sort of an anti ageing range for young people. Rather than claim to erase wrinkles and signs of ageing, it promises to prevent them if used in advance, which is something I'm actually really keen on!
This scrub is one of my two favourite products from the whole box. If it wasn't for the fact that I bought a new tube of exfoliator the weekend before my box came I would instantly buy this again.
It's got an orange, quite grainy, "sandy" texture and can be used on dry or damp skin. Personally I prefer using it on dry skin, but with wet hands, as it's a bit too rough otherwise. It warms up as you rub it into your face, but it's a pleasant sensation and doesn't burn or sting one bit. It genuinely feels like I'm scrubbing away every last trace of rubbish from my skin.
Afterwards my skin glows and just feels very fresh and gorgeous.

Dermalogica AGE Smart Power Recovery Masque
This is a bright orange liquid which goes on quite smoothly. You're supposed to leave it on for about 10-15 minutes and then rinse it off. I found that my skin actually absorbed quite a lot of this product while I let it sink in, so maybe it's in need of a bit of moisture?
What I dislike the most about this product is its scent - it's like a vicious, flesh eating flower. At first it pulls you in, as it smells quite fruity and nice and then you get a second whiff and it's just disgusting. It smells like the stuff your dentist puts on your teeth to seal them. That horrible, orange, sticky stuff. Anyone know what I'm on about? No? Let's move on then.
When I do rinse this off it leaves my skin feeling quite taut (which I like), but also a little bit sticky (which I don't like). I'm unsure about it, maybe someone with drier skin would benefit more from this.

Leighton Denny Nail Polish in Babydoll
I'm really a fan of nail polishes with a creamy and glossy finish, so out of all the shades that were sent out in last month's boxes this one was bang on! It applied easily enough and was opaque enough to just go with one coat. It lasted through a busy morning working at the restaurant without a single chip, which is impressive! 
Then at my well-deserved soak in the hot tub afterwards it came off in gigantic flakes. I'm not too bothered about that though, as I've yet to come across a nail polish that survives swimming pools, bath tubs or jacuzzis. If you know of one then please let me know!
All in all this is a great polish, but no better than a lot of other brands that I know.

Stila Smudge Stick in Moray
I'm in love with this. I would have never, ever picked up a dark green shade if I had the choice, but this eye liner is absolutely gorgeous. It has loads of little golden specks in it, which you'll only notice once you swatch it. It goes on buttery soft, but once it dries it will stay put. I can get a good 9-10 hours' wear out of this before it starts melting into the crease.
The only downside is that you have to twist it up, but can't twist it back down again. At first I thought I had a faulty product as it wouldn't come out any further, so I kept twisting it and twisting it... until it went too far and then I couldn't get it back in again. So that was annoying.
Other than that this is absolutely amazing and I want one in every single shade!

Robert Piguet Perfume Samples
As I already said in my contents post I was happy to have three perfume samples rather than just one (though I still would have preferred something else entirely), because it meant that surely there'd be one that I really like. Right? Wrong. I hated every single one of these. Don't get me wrong, I get why these are expensive perfumes, as they're very rich and multi-faceted, but they're just not for me.
Let's start with Fracas. This is an extremely floral scent. I mean, dipping-your-face-in-a-flower-floral. Now, I like floral, but not to such an extreme extent. This one didn't change much on my skin either and I can't say it lasted particularly long.
Visa is by far the worst for me. It's over-powering, musky, sweet and just plain nauseating. My boyfriend thought it made me smell of freshly washed car - not something I tend to go for when choosing a perfume to be quite honest with you.
When I first smelt Calypso I thought "Eurgh, great, this smells just like Visa", but it actually softens a little bit on the skin and somehow lightens up a little. I'd say that this is the lightest of all the scents and it's also the one I like the most dislike the least.
All in all these are all just way too old-fashioned for me. I'm sure that if you're a perfume connoisseur you'd be able to appreciate these scents, or even if you're into heavy, vintage perfumes, but I just don't like these at all.

Dermalogica AGE Smart Renewal Lip Complex
This was a bonus item, but I still think it deserves its own review. Now, I've been applying this to my lips religiously ever since I got it and it's just about running out now. It does make my lips smooth and soft and it also has a nice creamy, but not sticky texture once it's on the lips. I do, however, have two major problems with this product.
Firstly, it grosses me out. There's the smell that reminds me of rotting fruit - I don't know if anyone else's smells like this as well, but it's not pleasant and I can't escape it as I'm applying it on my lips which happen to be just below my nose. Then - and I'm really sorry about this, as it's disgusting, but I can't help but write about it - there's the way it comes out of the tube. A pale yellow semi-hard blob. It looks just like popping a blackhead. It's the first thing that came to my mind and I just can't get this image out of my head. Again, sorry for the gross imagery.
Secondly, the price. Yes, it made my lips lovely and soft, but so would a lot of other lip balms if I applied them as much as I applied this. Cheaper ones and nicer smelling ones. Perhaps it's doing what it says and keeping lines and wrinkles around my mouth away, but there's no proving that as of now, is there?

Overall I'm still satisfied with this month's contents - everything was at least worth trying and I found a few products that I really liked, so I'm happy. Just lose the perfume samples, pretty please?

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Weekly Lust List #2

1) River Island Burgundy Coated Zip Super Skinny Jeans, £45.00

Oh my god, how amazing are these jeans?? I really don't care that much about flares or palazzo pants - I'll probably always be a skinny jeans girl at heart, especially with beauties like these around. The colour stands out in a sea of grey and black with the zips injecting a healthy dose of attitude. I can feel myself stand taller just by looking at these.

2) Models Own Beetlejuice nail polish collection, £5 for one or £20 for set
To be honest these don't look great in promotional pictures, but I first saw them on and then looked up some swatches and these look gorgeous on nails. I really wish they weren't called Beetlejuice, as I'm not a great fan of anything that crawls, but it's still a great alternative to this season's prevalent glitter polish trend.

3) Asos Disk Sequin Mesh Top, £35

Trust Asos for affordable dupes of the biggest catwalk hits. If you picked up any fashion magazine in the last two months you're bound to have stumbled across a stunning white double layered Stella McCartney dress which inspired this top. Cheryl Cole was snapped in it fresh off the catwalk, but to be quite honest I didn't think she was the right person to carry this off. This also comes in red, but I by far prefer the white one.

4) We Are Faux false eye lashes in Painted Lady, £15.50
After ruining two pairs of falsies for Halloween my total count of false eye lashes is now at 0. I've only recently heard of this brand and I really love this criss-crossed pair with a bronze glitter strip at the top. If I'm going to bother with false eye lashes I may as well make it worth my time and these add the necessary amount of sparkle to stand out, especially against blue eyes.

5) Lancome, All I Want This Christmas advent calendar, £80 (exclusive to Selfridges)
I swooned over this as soon as it was released last year and by the time my boyfriend couldn't hear about it anymore and decided to buy it for me it was already sold out. I love Christmas, I love waiting for Christmas and I love beauty, so what's not to like about this? (Apart from the horrendously high price, of course.) This year I'm uhmming and ahhhing over it again - not sure it's worth it considering I'm on holiday during the first week of December anyway and I'll probably need all my money while I'm away. It's still worth dropping loads of hints for this