#TRIED’N’TESTED – L’ORÉAL CLAY MASK

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I mentioned somewhere previously that I was after a cream face mask that fully gets into your pores and cleanses your face, similar to the likes of GlamGlow. Well, L’Oréal came thru and answered my prayers.

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Quite a while back they released 3 clay masks, one to brighten the skin, a charcoal one and I’m not really sure about the other one. I went straight for the charcoal as it was most similar to the GlamGlow super mud one that I’ve previously used. Pricing was decent, I think it’s £7.99? I got it on offer for £6, so can’t go wrong.

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I apply mine with a flat foundation brush just so I can be more precise with my application. Otherwise I just end up getting it in my eyebrows and all sorts. It smells of soap, like bars of soap you used to get in school toilets, which is quite pleasent on your face (ish). The box says to leave on for 5-10 minutes but I think I did it until it was dry/15-20 minutes. The mini mouse ears are ESSENTIAL! They just keep my hair off my face whilst reminding me of DisneyLand.

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It tightens and you cant move your face, it also gets really deep into your pores as you can see on the photo. I ended up seeing a really funny meme on Facebook mid application and laughed and it actually really hurt my face cause it was so tight! I decided to just not use filters on the photos so you could see it in all its glory.

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Washing it off was easy, I just used warm water followed by cold water to close the pores, then patted dry with a towel. You might want to try wash it off with a face wash afterwards as some of the charcoal really got stuck into my pores, yuck. (Obviously I wear fake tan so my face is going to be considerably more pale than my body)

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Afterwards my skin felt so much smoother and less irritated! I had a spot appearing next to my lip which is why I applied it so close to my lip and it got rid of that which I was happy about. My pores didn’t really seem smaller but I have read with continued use this does help. Overall my skin felt smoother and looked visibly brighter and fresher.

I’ve continued using this since the post and I love it. The box says to use 2-3 times a week but I think that’s a bit excessive?? I use it once a week, twice only if my skin is having a hissy fit. It’s definitely a great dupe for the GlamGlow Supermud. At night I follow this with a sheet mask. You can purchase the L’Oréal mask clay masks here.

 

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#TRIED’N’TESTED – HUDA BEAUTY ROSE GOLD PALETTE


I managed to bag this on Cult Beauty as I’d signed up for email updates as to when this would be in stock. I imagined it would be out of stock by the time I got onto the website but it was still there! The palette was £56 which was a lot more than I thought it would be and I don’t know how I feel about it. But I kept looking at the glitter shades and was like look I’ll just buy it. As it was my first time ordering from Cult Beauty I was really impressed with the delivery time, it arrived the day after next in perfect packaging!

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I personally don’t like the packaging of this palette, it’s cheap for the price you pay. It arrives with a cardboard sleeve and then the palette is also made from cardboard within a plastic transparent lid, similar to a Z Palette. For £56 I was definitely expecting more, like think about how the Naked palettes and Anastasia Modern Renaissance palette are packaged. That was my vision. Plus once you have to keep opening and sliding on the sleeve, the corners of the palette just get scuffed.

So as I was a bit miffed at the packaging I wasn’t that excited for the shadows. They’re all talc free so there shouldn’t be much kick back and I was intrigued to see how they would blend. See below for my swatches, I didn’t add filters just so you can see the true colour.

The glitter was what I was most excited for, and you’re supposed to only apply these with your fingers. You can obvi use a brush if you want to but Huda suggested that the formula works better with fingers. The idea being you press firmly on the shade and then swipe on your lid and it glides on like a dream full of pigment. I prefer using my fingers sometimes for glitter lids but I also like spraying my brush with a bit of Fix+. Anyway I just couldn’t seem to get the glitters to swatch on my hand like I wanted them to! They seem quite flakey and you have to press down a couple of times to get the flakes to blend. A fantastic dupe of these shadows would be the Topshop singles, for £7-£9.50 they’re very similar.

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When I went to use this on my eyes I realised that this wasn’t an everyday palette, definitely more for occasions and going out. The shadows perform so much better on the eyes than in the swatches. They blend like and absolute dream. In the red toned colours there’s some kick back but I know that the formula on red shades is particularly difficult to make without kickback. The glitters work with a finger but I still went in with a brush to tidy it up, I also did my classic fix+ technique and that also works. I did have to press down firmly more than once to build up the desired amount of glitter on my lid.

Overall is this with it? I’m unsure, the price is so damn expensive and the matte shades are similar to other palettes. The shimmers could pass for Morphe shimmers once they’re on the lid. Plus I feel like you can only create a certain amount of looks with this palette, unlike a Morphe or Anastasia Beverly Hills where you can go for days. After this, I bought the Violet Voss palette Holy Grail and I’ve been reaching for that more often. It’s cute but the packaging really devalues it.

#TRIED’N’TESTED – STYLIST LIVE

Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetAs I’m a member of the Stylist Beauty Council I very kindly got 2 tickets to Stylist Live! This was my second year going as I also went last year.

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So the concept of the day is that you book yourself onto 1 workshop, 1 talk and 1 catwalk show. By the time I got round to doing this the workshops I wanted were fully booked so I just decided to do a talk and the catwalk show. As I went the year before I had a rough idea about what the catwalk would be like. I booked myself onto a trend forecasting talk as my current unit at uni is based on forecasting. One of the guest speakers was from WGSN (major global forecasting site) which was really interesting. I learnt a lot from the talk but some of it was what I learn at uni, plus the audience could do a Q&A at the end which I enjoyed as it broadened the topic.

The catwalk is built up of 5 trends for A/W all of which are high street looks you can buy now. In my personal opinion, it’s just naff. I’d much rather a edit which you can actually shop at the event built up of some personal shoppers and stylists to help you find the look which is best for you. However the main thing which I disliked about the catwalk show, was that in the trend talk the fashion editor talked about tailoring everything for the Stylist reader. Now, this should of been filtered onto the catwalk show. The Stylist reader isn’t all a size 6 tall skinny early 20’s female. It would be much more exciting if we had a range of body sizes up on the catwalk to reflect the range of readers. You can say the same for all fashion shows I know, but Stylist is that magazine you get for free on the tube to read in on your commute and really reaches out to the reader.

In between all of this, the business design centre is built up of pop up stalls. Clarins and Urban Decay having the biggest floor space. I wanted to see more exclusive discounts. Liz Earle only had 10% off which was a bit disappointing, you can get better on Feel Unique! It needs to be a lot more hands on, a lot of the brands are small businesses trying to sell product to you which kinda got annoying. I want to be able to learn about these new brands and get an experience. For example, Urban Decay was just like going into Debenhams… where as at an event like this they should be doing master classes, prize giveaways, discounts etc. Like really open up to the customer and promote themselves. This is something that Clarins did well, they had makeovers, back massages, neck massages and hand massages going on. Plus there should be a lot of variety of brands, I saw too many Pinterest inspired greetings cards, old news.

This is a really fun day out or something to do post work, it doesn’t last the whole day, only about 3 hours I’d say? So if you travel from outside London it’s nice to go and get food and cocktails afterwards and really make a day of it I’d day.

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So my overall opinion is, great girly day and something different to do. It needs to be less money making orientated and more hands on and part of an experience. Plus add some body shapes to that catwalk! Look at what the Tommy Hilfiger, Burberry and Topshop Unique are doing and have the catwalk edit ready to shop afterwards.

#TRIED’N’TESTED – BENEFIT BROWS


This is a v much delayed post but I’m so picky and protective over my eyebrows that I had to post about this.

So I got some samples of the Benefit Brow pencil and Clear Brow gel in a magazine and I thought I’d try because I was getting a decent product for free. Usually for brows all I do is use the Topshop brow gel and that’s me set, I’ve never been fussed about the whole Anastatsia brow hype either.

I swatched the pencil on my hand and I was fascinated by the colour as it actually looked like a brow colour, not like a brown eyeliner. I used it lightly on my brows just to fill in the gaps to define my brow. It was so easy and I didn’t realise how much it made a difference to my brows!

The gel is clear, for some reason I thought it would have a tint to it. However it does have some sort of weird smell I’m unsure how I feel about it. The wand could be a bit more defined so it can comb through the hairs cause ATM it feels slightly like you’re sliding clear gunk into your brow. But it does keep yours brows in place all day.

I’m debating whether to repurchase or not when I run out, but I think I will as I am reaching for these two products everyday. If you’re ever in Benefit I’d try these out!

#TRIED’N’TESTED – NYX MATTE LIP CREAM


After trying purchasing the Kylie Jenner Lip Kit I thought I’d try these NYX matte lip creams to compare as they’re only £5.

I ordered 2 shades, Athens and Stockholm. Athens from ASOS and Stockholm from Feel Unique. Being honest though, I don’t think I’m going to bother buying make up from ASOS again. A friend of mine purchased a NYX Mascara and it arrived all dried up as if it had been opened. It wasn’t until my lip cream from Feel Unique arrived did I realise how dried up my ASOS lip cream was. I don’t know if it’s cause it’s old stock they want rid of or what? Weird.


In the pictures the shades looked slightly different but when they arrived I realised how similar they were! Athens has more of a peachy under tone to it than Stockholm. They can be blended with so many different nude lip liners and brands to create a block colour or ombré effect on the lip.

On the lips they feel creamy and slightly moisturising. I always apply my NYX Lip Primer underneath to create a base and keep the product on longer. The pigment isn’t as good as the Kylie Lip Kit, if you apply a second layer you get slight streaks on your lips. But what I love about these is that they’re the perfect affordable everyday lippy. They do have a soft creamy texture which feels lightweight on the lips and doesn’t dry your lips out at all.

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Since writing this I’ve purchased more, London and Abu Dhabi (both nudes) and Copenhagen (deep burgundy colour). London is my absolute favourite and I think it might be my perfect go to nude! Copenhagen is nice but it really doesn’t suit my skin tone, it would look beaut on a darker skin tone.

These are cheap and cheerful and an absolute bargain! Perfect to keep in your handbag of desk at work for a pop of colour on your lips.

#TRIED’N’TESTED – KYLIE COSMETICS LIP GLOSSES 

Kylie Jenner has our money, and she’s laughing her way to the bank.

Skip this if you’re a die hard Kylie Jenner fan or don’t care about the background story to these glosses.

SO, I actually ordered these way back in April when they were first released, I ordered 1x Literally and 2x So Cute. I only meant to get 1 So Cute but I accidentally managed to add another into my basket somehow. I don’t actually know where to start with this because everything seemed to go wrong. 2-ish weeks passed and my Lip Kit which I ordered after this, arrived before my glosses. I got a notification from Royal Mail saying that I had to pay customs on my order, can I just note that on the delivery tracker that Kylie Cosmetics give you, they mark your order as delivered when it’s not, so I had no idea where my order was for 2-3 days until I got a card through my letterbox from Royal Mail. You can’t get in contact with USPS (the shipping service) because it’s American and you need to fill out details before sending an email, tragic. After an hour of frantic googling, I learnt that orders got delivered by Royal Mail or Parcel Force when they enter the UK. So anyway, my customs charge was about £14, which I thought fair enough I’m ordering from America it was bound to happen.

My order arrived in the usual box, but only one lipgloss was there. I had a receipt enclosed for all 3 lip glosses and the sticker on the box stated that 3 items were inside. I’ve never been so frustrated that I’d paid for 3 lip glosses and £14 customs for one lip gloss. By the time this happened, Jeffree Star had Snapchatted his faulty lip glosses which he received from Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie had responded saying that she had addressed the problem of the faulty wands and her new batch will be improved, and everyone who ordered the first time round will get sent replacements. Read more here. So I thought ‘OK maybe the other 2 were faulty and they’re coming later’. OH HELL NO. I opened up Literally, and the wand was fucked, it looked like a mini toilet scrubber it was awful. There was no way I could apply lipgloss with  it.

I emailed Kylie Cosmetics customer services to complain about my missing 2 lip glosses and the faulty brush. 2 days later I received an email asking for order number and details (even though I included this in my original email), just to then receive and automated response about the faulty brushes being replaced later that week. I don’t know if it’s because in England we’re overly polite and customer service is so important or because you’re and A-List celeb and you can get away with shit customer service. It was SO frustrating and they just kept ignoring the fact that they didn’t send my full order, eventually all I received was ‘your new order is on it’s way’. No apology, nothing. At least they could of marked my order as a ‘gift’ so that I would’t have to pay custom charges, but oh no I had to pay another £14, so nearly £30 was spent on customs for 3 lip glosses.

So today, over 2 months since I ordered my lip glosses I finally have them. They didn’t even arrive in the usual box, they were just wrapped in black bubble wrap. I opened up the bubble wrap and inside was the 3 glosses, shoved into their packaging looking as if someone had already opened them before me.

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(Left – First batch, Right – Second batch)

Okay so now about the actual glosses

The brush had 100% been improved since, thank god.

So Cute is much lighter than I thought, the formula is incredibly thick and it does go on patchy so I’d recommend wearing a lip stick under neath and outlining your lips with a slightly darker lip liner.

Literally is actually a really nice colour even worn alone. The pigment is stronger than So Cute and it’s also incredibly thick.

Overall, focusing on the product and not the brand, these glosses aren’t any different from elsewhere. They’re only ‘special’ because they have the Kylie name to them. You’re honestly just better sticking to MAC or even NYX. With approx £30 paid in customs for 3 lip glosses it makes each gloss worth £20. For a gloss? It’s a no from me, sorry Kylie. Stick to your lip kits and please improve your customer service.

 

 

 

#TRIED’N’TESTED – BEAUTY BLENDERS 

Paying £16 for a sponge has never appealed to me, so I’ve never bothered to splurge on a Beauty Blender. However, I have wanted to know the difference between the Beauty Blender and other brands. This post started off as a Real Techniques VS Beauty Blender post, but then I got sent a Spectrum Sponge in my Birchbox and it just needed to feature on this.


For those who don’t know, to use these sponges you dampen them. So put them under luke-warm/cold water and keep squeezing until they expand. Then squeeze all the water out and wrap them in a towel to get rid of excess water. You want your sponge to be damp not wet.

Ima start with the Real Techniques sponge, I’ve used this for about 2 years now and it’s fine it does the job whatever. I don’t use this to blend foundation, only to set/blend my under eye concealer. I haven’t used it to blend anything as I don’t do cream contour cause I’m just awful at it. The flat edge is really good for setting under eyes and the pointed edge allows you to get up in the corners.

My friend swears by the beauty blender and she said the Real Techniques one wasn’t as good so I was keen to try. But I just can not get my head round paying £16 for some sponge! When it’s expanded in water it seems slightly bigger than the RT one, it’s also a little less dense. I didn’t like this for setting my under eyes as I felt like it took a lot of the product away, but it was definitely better for blending out. If you do cream contour then I would recommend this at it really blends evenly. I might try doing cream contour with this and see if I’m any better at it. I bought the red beauty blender and I noticed that when I washed it, the colour was running, grim.


THEN my May Birchbox arrived and inside was a Spectrum Blender. Now I don’t really know much about Spectrum as a brand but I recognise the name from YouTube. The first thing I noticed about this blender was that it’s much more dense and larger than both other blenders. I LOVE this, it’s amazing at setting my under eyes as it doesn’t take the product away and it stops my concealer from creasing. It’s also really good at blending, it’s like the Beauty Blender and Real Techniques sponge mixed into one. I will Deffo be re purchasing this. It also comes in a cute lil packet which is perf for traveling.

However, anyone mastered a way of cleaning these sponges?

#TRIED’N’TESTED – KYLIE JENNER LIP KIT

After many failed attempts, I fiinnallyy managed to purchase a Kylie Jenner Lip Kit in Candy K. I bought my lip kit through Kylie’s website. I’ll admit it though, I do have her app and I found out there about restock times and dates. There are fan accounts on Instagram and Twitter which post about restock times just incase you don’t fancy paying that £2.99 a month. Great glam tutorials though.

The site does crash so you have to be prepared. I was out for drinks when the restock went live and I used mine and my friends phone to get onto the site. I fully recommend using more than one device to get through to the website. I ignored all messages telling me to ‘wait in line’ or ‘don’t refresh the page’ and my order still went straight through to checkout. The whole order process is so tedious, I don’t understand why Kylie didn’t just open this up as a concession in Sephora or Selfridges etc. Hats off to her though she knows how to create a hype.

The lip kit including delivery cost £32. Which to be fair I think is quite reasonable considering you get a lip liner and lipstick which is similar to what you would pay in MAC. Luckily I didn’t receive  any customs charges either. The order took just over 2 weeks to arrive, if it got stopped at customs it would of probably taken about 3 weeks.

 

 

I wish you could buy the lip liners separately as I fully rate them. They’re thick, pigmented and creamy unlike MAC pencil liners. This did surprise me as we all know Kylie used MAC Stripdown liner on her lips, so I thought she would of gone for a similar formula. They glide on to the lips really well and you can start up lightly and build it up for a deeper colour.

The liquid lipstick I was a bit sceptical about at first as I heard they were really drying and mattes always make my lips incredibly dry the next day. However, this is a weird one. My lips feel slightly dry when I’m wearing it, because it really is sooo matte your lips have a weird texture to them. For example, when you wear a matte by MAC (I know I keep comparing this to MAC) you can still feel a creamy texture. Where as with this it’s just almost like sandpaper. The strangest thing is, it actually doesn’t dry your lips out one bit. It legit baffles me. I do have slightly cracked lips and the product does settle in the lines making my lips look dryer than they actually are.

Candy K was darker than I thought it would be, for some reason I was expecting it to be like MAC Honey Love but it’s more of a darker MAC Viva Glam 2.

I did have to reapply this through the the day, however when you reapply make sure you take all of the product off your lips and fully reapply. I’d recommend carrying make up wipes with you as this lipstick does not budge off easily! If you make a mistake or smudge when applying you’re gonna have a bit of a mare as its not something you can just wipe off with your finger. Take your time applying!

The only criticism I have to the lip kit is about the design. The liquid lipstick doesn’t have a stopper (like you know when you take your lipgloss out and it makes that pop sound, yeah well like there’s basically no pop sound) which means your brush gets product all over it and if you knock the tube over it spills out.

Would I repurchase? Other colours – yes. This same shade – probably not. This looks like it’ll last a while anyway and by the time I come to repurchase there will most likely be so many other cheaper alternatives on the market.

#TRIED’N’TESTED – MARC JACOBS THE FACE 3

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100% I am not the kind of gal who spends £37 on a make up brush, no way, but I did. When I was in Sephora this caught my eye and it felt amazing, it’s so thick and dense I thought it would be perfect for buffing and blending foundation. It’s also quite a big brush so I assumed the coverage would be on point.

Tbh I didn’t think a make up brush could bring so much disappointment. I use a very lightweight foundation and build it up to create coverage, I felt like this brush took away about 60% of my product and I was having to do 6 layers of foundation. It also made my foundation appear matte, it took away that glow and made my skin appear dull. However, I did use it with my Make Up Forever Ultra HD foundation which is slightly thicker than my Sephora one, and I found that it did work slightly better with a thicker texture.

I’ve used the Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki Brush for nearly 2 years now. I bought it for about £16 on Amazon and I’ve never looked back. It builds up product so well on the face for any type of textured foundation. As soon as I used the Marc Jacobs brush I felt myself reaching for my Sigma brush instead. Honestly guys, I fully rate the Sigma one. Major regrets going on between me and my bank balance RN.

 

#TRIED’N’TESTED – FAKE TAN

Being from the North, fake tan is very much in my blood. I’ve rounded up my most rated fake tans for every type of tanner…

Always shave and exfoliate the day before you plan on tanning. I use Lush Ocean Salt to exfoliate my skin and Cocoa Brown Tough Stuff scrub on tough areas such as knees and elbows etc. Tough Stuff leaves your skin feeling silky and not like you’ve just erased off a layer, fully rate it. If you have sensitive skin, avoid a salt based scrub and use a sugar based one. Follow up by moisturising the skin, I use Palmers Cocoa Butter as that’s just my preferred moisturiser. Make sure your skin is free of moisturisers when you go to start tanning as this will encourage streaks, hence why this should be done the night before.

I use latex gloves to apply my fake tan, none of my friends seem to agree with this but I think it’s great. Personally I find that a tanning mit absorbs too much product and leaks through my hands. However Marissa Carter founder of Cocoa Brown has brought out a double sided mit, our prayers have been answered.

Best Instant Tan: Rimmel Sun Shimmer

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I’ve used this for years, it’s so perfect for last minute needs for tanning. Rimmel listened to peoples wants and needs and improved the formula to make it water resistant, so you’re safe if you knock a drink on yourself on a night out or get caught in the rain! It comes in matte or a shimmer, in shades light – medium – dark. Available at Boots.

 

 

Best Gradual Tan: St Tropez In Shower Lotion

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This is a fairly new tan which launched last summer, with such a unique concept I couldn’t not give it a try. Concept being you shower and wash your hair etc and then (with the shower off) apply this all over the body and wait for 3 minutes before showering it off. Standing in your shower naked in a lotion is a bit weird at first, I recommend using this time to do a hair mask, brush your teeth or do squats (legit yes I did this). This tan has a built in moisturiser so no need to moisturise after your shower. After your first application you wont notice much of a difference but if you use this every day, after about 3-4 days you’ll see you’re developing a gorgeous natural looking tan. It’s great for fair skin tones who don’t usually wear much fake tan. Also perfect for beginners as it is absolutely streak free. Available at Boots.

 

Best Natural Looking Tan: Bondi Sands Foam

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Recommended to me by my Australian bestie, this tan is quite new to the UK. It smells absolutely divine, I felt like a walking pina colada. I applied 2 coats in the shade Dark before I went to bed as I wanted a deep tan. I woke up still smelling of pina coladas but with a very dark tan, I showered off the excess and it really evened out the tan looking like I’d been on holiday overnight. I used this when I got back from holiday and received so many comments on how great my tan was… little did they know it was fake AF. The downside of this tan is that it takes ages to dry and feels sticky if you go to bed with it not fully dried. Weirdly it also stains your bedsheets pink? no idea where the pink comes from. However it does come off easy in the wash! Available at Boots.

 

 

Best Overall Tan: Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan

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No matter how many new tans I try, I always end up going back to this one. It’s easy to apply, not streaky, no biscuit smell, doesn’t stain bedsheets and dries super quick. It lasts for about a week and doesn’t do that patchy thing on your skin that other tans do when they flake off and leave your skin looking like you’ve got a liver infection, if you know you know. I fully rate this. Available at Feel Unique.