Sephora Collection Illuminate Palette

HOLD THE PHONE; is this a new highlighter palette you say? You’re not wrong, introducing the new highlighter palette in my life, the Sephora Collection Illuminate Palette.

Grand entrance? Yes, but for good reason; this new highlighting palette from Sephora is a gorgeous new addition to my collection. It packs a punch in the pigmentation department, plus it’s kind to those on a budget.

Let’s have a look at some swatches shall we?

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1# – The first shade in this palette is a subtle pale pink, perfect for eye shadow or highlighting. I love a little pop of this in the inner corner of the eye, and it’s beautiful over a pinky blush.

2# – Cue the golden goddess shade of the palette. This shade is gorgeous all over the lid, and reminds me of a subtle version of Urban Decay’s half baked. While this is a lovely colour for summer, I can’t wait to team this with Burgundy lipstick in autumn.

3# – Number 3 is a pure shimmery white, not my favourite but definitely has its uses as a brow highlight / intense cheek highlight. Great for nights out when you want to tell the world you’re wearing a highlight.

4# – A stunning yellow-gold, number 4 is definitely my favourite for cheek highlighting. I use this shade all the time, and it hugely reminds me of Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone. LOVE.

5# – While this isn’t a cheek shade I can rock with my complexion, I adore this shade as an eyeshadow. This pairs beautifully with shade 2#, and is another that I can’t wait to pack on in the autumn time.

6# – And last but not least we have a stunning mauve-pink shade, the most wearable colour in the palette in my opinion as it doubles up as a blush and a highlight. Great with a tan as well as brightening paler skin.

Overall I’m very impressed with this palette. Pigmentation isn’t emphatic by any means, but I prefer to gradually build up a highlight rather than worrying I’ve applied too much.

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This is an excellent dupe for the Becca Afterglow Palette, which is currently sold out and nearly double the price.

My only qualm with this palette is the packaging. I’d have loved to have seen a mirror with this palette, and the packaging isn’t particularly sturdy. However given that you get a huge amount of product here for your money, I’d highly recommend if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the current popular highlighters on the market that still packs a punch.

THIS WORKS In Transit Camera Close Up

I’m all for a multi-purpose product; if it saves me time doing my makeup in the morning then count me in.

When I received the This Works In Transit Camera Closeup (such a mouthful of a name, thankfully the product is better!) in a recent Birchbox, I really liked the sound of it. It claims to be a face-mask, moisturiser and primer in one, which essentially means that it’s rich enough to be used as an intense moisture boost but also sits well under makeup.

The ethos behind this product is that it’s perfect for creating the perfect skin for ‘close-ups’, i.e. it’s good for wedding photos, events etc.

I can confirm that this creates a beautiful base for makeup, and isn’t the slightest bit greasy. I’m a big fan of the Lush Million Dollar Moisturizer, however it’s nice to use this product on top sometimes to tone down the oily texture.

This product reduces the appearance of pores, plus it keeps redness at bay which is a big plus. I’ve not used this solely as a face mask yet, but I can definitely see how it would work as it’s definitely richer in texture than your standard moisturiser.

This retails at £30.00 on Feel Unique, which isn’t the cheapest product on the market, but if you consider you’re getting 3 products in 1 I think it’s pretty good.

Anyone else loving this one? I’ll definitely be re-purchasing once my sample size runs out.

 

 

Bronzer On A Budget: L’Oreal Glam Bronze Cushion de Soleil

l'oreal cushion de soleil bronzer

I love a good bronzer, particularly in the summer months when everyone has been on holiday except you and you need to give that pasty skin of yours a bronzed boost.

What do I love more than a good bronzer? A bronzer that is affordable, easy to apply and doesn’t break leaving your handbag an orange mess.. There are many bronzers on the market at the moment that aren’t only ridiculously expensive, but they’re also so pigmented that you have to apply with the lightest hand to avoid looking like you’ve been rolling around in dirt for the afternoon.

So when I stumbled across the L’Oreal Glam Bronze Cushion de Soleil I was sold. A budget bronzer that is in liquid form, pressed into a cushion compact with a mirror and on-the-go buff applicator. Love. It.

This is by far the easiest to apply bronzer I’ve ever used. I like to use a Real Techniques Sculpting Brush, but any kind of buffing brush really will do. The puff that comes in the packaging isn’t the best, but definitely good for touching up on the go.

I like to apply this on the high points of my cheeks, rather than the hollows, as this is definitely a bronzing product as opposed to a contour. I tend to find generally that I get a more flattering result anyway by bronzing my cheekbones rather than contouring; in doing so you’re shaping your face and giving a much more flattering effect – I tend to look a bit gaunt when contouring properly, whereas using this technique just makes my cheekbones look higher and much more defined.

L'OREAL cushion bronzer

The finish is very dewey which I love, and isn’t too orange either. Wear time is pretty good, but I’d recommend adding a touch of powder on top if you want it to last all day. As a liquid bronzer you’re unfortunately never going to get that wear time of powder, however I much prefer the finish and would rather top this up throughout the day than use a powder that looks too dry.

As for the packaging, I think it’s very pretty and definitely keeps the product inside secure. you have a compartment on the top with the applicator, and then you have to lift this to reach the cushion beneath.

I used to think cushion products were a bit of a fad, but can definitely see the appeal now. My only concern is this product will run out fairly quickly, but at £14.99 from Boots you’ll hardly be breaking the bank to replace it, and with the amount of 3 for 2’s on these days you can usually snap up a bargain pretty easily.

A budget bronzer that’s easy to apply and leaves a dewey finish; what more could you want?

Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in ‘Lolita’

I used to love watching Kat Von D on LA Ink, and have been meaning to pick up something from her makeup line for a long time.

With the matte liquid lipstick trend showing no signs of ending any time soon, I figured I may as well delve into another collection of liquid lipsticks (as if our lips need any more drying out!).

Kat Von D’s most famous product is probably the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick collection, famous for its staying power and wide selection of colours to choose from.

I made the decision to go for ‘Lolita’, an iconic browney-nude colour. A 90s-esque shade, this is a very wearable, yet statement, lipstick, giving plenty of pigment that is easily buildable.

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Application is very easy, with quite a long wand and a doe foot applicator. I do think if the wand was slightly shorter it may be easier to apply, but hey ho.

These set very quickly when on the lips, and truly do have excellent staying power. I’ve found with ‘Lolita’ it fades very flatteringly on the lips if eating etc, but I’m not sure this would be the same for the more daring shades in the collection.

I wouldn’t say these are the most comfortable liquid lipsticks on the market, but it is difficult to achieve when going for that extremely matte, long-lasting finish.

Overall I’m very impressed, and will definitely be picking up some more shades.  ‘Motorhead’ is next on my list, and ‘Damned’ is also gorgeous.

These retail at £17, and can be bought at your local Debenhams or online. There are so many different colours to choose from, so I’ll definitely be picking up some more shades in the near future.

 

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Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream All-Over Miracle Oil Review

I’m a huge fan of the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, so when I heard they were releasing an oil version I simply couldn’t resist. A cult classic, the eight-hour cream has been hugely popular amongst beauty bloggers and skincare lovers of all ages, and I have a sneaky feeling that this lovely little product is going to be no different.

The beauty of the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream All-Over Miracle Oil (excusing the ridiculously long name!) is that it’s very much a multi-purpose product. It functions beautifully as a hair oil, a facial oil, and a body oil, making this the perfect product if you travel regularly and need one holy-grail oil for everything (or if you’re lazy like me and don’t want to faff around with 3 different kind of oil-based products).

I like to use this on my hair before blow-drying, and as a facial oil before bed. Packaged in a handy spray bottle, this also makes moisturising your body easy, a task that few of us enjoy and manage to regularly maintain.

The beauty of moisturising your body with an oil is that you don’t get that sticky feeling after application, plus it’s not cold to apply. You can simply spritz on after a shower and voila. Supple, rejuvenated skin in no time.

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At £29 this certainly isn’t a budget product, however for a high-end, multi-purpose moisturising oil I think you’d struggle to find a cheaper alternative on the market.

For me this is a delight to use – let me know your thoughts in the comments.

May Birchbox Review

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So, this is my third Birchbox, and I’ve been really impressed with them so far.

They’re always delivered on time, and come in the most beautiful packaging.

May’s Birchbox has been no different, with a stunning design called ‘For the Dreamers’. Birchboxes are always unique, and this one you can scratch off with a coin to reveal the colourful design within.

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There are six products in this month’s Birchbox, and they’re all really good!

Philip Kingsley PK Prep Polishing Balm

This is a really lovely smoothing hair balm, perfect for taming frizz and curlier hair.

I love using this on blow-dried hair, to enhance my curls and keep frizz at bay. It can also be used on damp hair too.

Really lovely product, will be trying more from Philip Kingsley for sure!

Spectrum Collections Unicorn Tears Wonder Sponge

This is cheaper alternative to the beauty blender, and at 4.99 it’s a great deal. It’s quite a bit firmer than the beauty blender, but I find that it applies much fuller coverage than other sponges because of this, and it leaves the skin looking really flawless.

I usually dampen it before use, and ‘bounce’ my foundation into my skin. Lovely.

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Vita Coco Coconut Oil

I’m a big coconut oil fan, so when I saw there was a coconut oil sample in May’s Birchbox, I was super happy.

I can’t say it’s a great deal different to other coconut oils I’ve tried, but it’s really nice. Great for a hair mask before bed, a moisturizer and even cooking!

Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvinator

This is a really nice exfoliator, but be warned, it’s super grainy! You only need a tiny bit, and you won’t need to rub it into your skin harshly, but it really does leave your skin feeling clean and ultra smooth.

Ingredients include papaya, micro-crystals and aloe vera, giving you optimum hydration and removing dead skin cells.

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Puriskin Resurfacing Cream 

I don’t think I’ve been using this long enough to see the long-term effects, but I have high hopes!

It’s smells divine, and claims to help reduce the appearance of acne scarring, age spots, blemishes, bruises and a whole range of other skin issues.

I’ve been using it on some stubborn scarring – I’ll let you know if it has an effect!

The Balm Staniac Lip and Cheek Tint

This is a really lovely natural blush tint, that can be applied with fingers or a brush.

It’s not quite as good on the lips, as it tastes a bit strange, but would probably work lightly patted in for a natural look.

 

Have you tried May’s Birchbox? Let me know what you thought!

The Anna and Lily Cult Beauty Box Review!

anna and lily cult beauty box review

I’m such big fans of Vivianna Does Makeup and Lily Pebbles, so when I heard that they were collaborating with the awesome online beauty retailer Cult Beauty, I had to put my name on the mailing list.

The ordering process went very smoothly – I received an email on the Friday with a link directing me to the order page, and my purchase went through without a hitch.

I received my box within a couple of days, which is fantastic. Normally these things can take weeks, so I was very excited and impressed to see my box on my doorstep only days after ordering it!

Now, let’s start with the packaging.

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In true blogger style, the box itself is gorgeous, with beautiful marble detailing and gold lettering.It’s a very decent size, perfect for re-using to store makeup bits etc, and the products were folded in black tissue paper – very fancy.

The products themselves really are excellent. You can tell by the selection that these products are staple favourites for Lily and Anna, and the sizes are very generous.

So, let’s get to what I thought of the products…

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Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel (100ml)

I have wanted to try this cleanser for the longest time, having heard many reviews from my favourite bloggers, particularly Anna and Lily.

It’s a beautiful texture, almost oily and quite thick. It leaves the skin feeling very nourished and smooth, and it is very gentle. Full of vitamins and essential nutrients, this is a real treat for the skin.

I  was very impressed to receive a full size of this product, as it’s not the cheapest cleanser on the market. I have fallen in love with it, and the packaging is great too!

Becca Backlight Priming Filter (6ml)

I am completely smitten with this primer, and will definitely be buying the full size once this one has run out.

This is a cute travel size, and leaves the most gorgeous glow to the skin.

I’ve even been mixing this in with my foundation, to add extra glow and hydration

LOVE. IT.

Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist (80ml)

I’ve never been much into face mists, but this is lovely. Perfect for a top-up of moisture before you apply makeup, this Pixi face mist really adds that kick of moisture that you may have lost since applying moisturiser.

Containing hyaluronic acid, this face mist has true skincare benefits, and can even be applied over makeup for a cool spritz on warm days.

Yu Ling Jade Facial Roller

I’ve never used a facial roller before, so I was very intrigued by this product.

Regular massaging the face is very good for keeping your skin looking bright, and jade is said to have healing properties.

I love keeping this in the fridge and using it when my skin is red and puffy… or when I’m feeling a little worse for wear. Great for getting rid of hangovers!

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

Now, this is the only product of the bunch that I am slightly disappointed with.

While it applies beautifully, and it super black, it just isn’t waterproof! It smudges really badly on me, which I never usually have a problem with, and it transfers above my eyelids, which, let’s be honest, is never going to catch on.

I will continue to use this, but perhaps more for natural makeup days, where I just need a really fine line to frame my eyes. I want to love it, I really do. Maybe it just needs to dry out a little?

Wet Brush Pro Classic

If, like me, your hair is like a lion’s mane after it’s been washed, you are going to love this!

It’s the best de-tangling brush I’ve ever used. It effortlessly combs through hair, with no tugging or anything painful.

I used to have to smother my hair in oil before even daring to brush it, whereas now I use only a tiny bit on the ends to keep split ends at bay.

I’m totally converted on this one, and really want one of the travel size ones to pop in my handbag.

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The Verdict

This box retails at 85 pounds, which is very good when you consider this is over half price if you were to buy these items separately.

I’m a huge fan of this box, and am so glad I made the order.

Have any of you tried it? Let me know what you think!

May Everyday Makeup

It’s been a while since I’ve shared the products I’ve been using on a daily basis, so here we go, introducing the wonderful, long lasting and generally pretty standard, May everyday makeup…

L’Oreal True Match Foundation

This is a recent purchase that I’ve been really enjoying. It’s quite matte, but the coverage is great, and it does last a long time. It’s a little on the chalky side, but because of the coverage I’m happy to excuse a little chalkiness.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer

I love this concealer, it’s very high coverage, but doesn’t crease or look cakey. If you’re in the market for a new concealer, definitely take a look at this.

It has a very good dophut applicator, that allows you to conceal any imperfections or dark circles with just one application. Easy-peasy.

Bourjois Healthy Balance 10HR Compact Powder

For a girl that doesn’t often rate powders, this is definitely my favourite. There’s nothing crazy special about it, but it’s got a decent amount of coverage without being too much, and beautifully sets makeup in place.

Maybelline Creme Puff Blush in ‘Nude Mauve’

I’ve gone on about this one before so I won’t bore you, but these are such a bargain, and look far more expensive than they are. I’ve written a whole blogpost on these, so read it here if you’re interested.

Benefit Dew The Hoola Matte Liquid Bronzer

I’m a big fan of liquid bronzers, and this is no exception. It’s a lovely warm toned bronzer, and when applied with a buffing brush it leaves a beautiful tanned look to the cheekbones.

This is surprisingly good for contouring, leaving you with cheekbones you never knew you had!

L’Oreal Brow Artist Genius Kit

I bought this as a way to do my eyebrows on the go, as the packaging is teeny tiny. However, this has fast become my go-to brow product, as the pigmentation is fantastic.

L’Oreal have done well to create a powder shade that isn’t too warm or too cool, and it matches my hair really well. I don’t really use the waxy side, but I would repurchase this purely for the power.

Urban Decay Primer Potion

This is such a cult product, and I think everyone know why so I won’t bang on about it.

In short, this intensifies the pigment of any eyeshadow I layer on top of it, makes it last longer, plus there’s no creasing in sight. Definitely give this a go if you haven’t already!

Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24HR Eye Shadow in ‘On and On Bronze’

These are the best cream eye shadows in the drugstore, and every time I use this it makes me want to pick up more shades.

Let me know if there’s any you would recommend – the formula of these are so good.

L’Oreal Super Liner Perfect Slim in ‘Intense Black’

This has the tiniest little nib, making it perfect for creating a really fine line to make your eyelashes look thicker.

I don’t love this for creating flicks, but I always pick this up when I just want to add a thin like to create depth and make my eyes look more awake.

Tarte Lights, Camera, Flashes Statement Mascara

I’ve only recently seen the best effects of this mascara, as it used to smudge really badly on me. I let it dry out for a few weeks, and went back to it, and oh my I’m glad I did.

This is a really dramatic mascara, and will instantly give your lashes a lift and curl to make you look as if you’ve had 10 hours sleep. Good job Tarte.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick by Kate Moss in ‘003’

This has been my favourite nude lipstick for ages, and I’m praying Rimmel never discontinue it!

It’s quite a cool toned nude, and sometimes has the capacity to look a bit pale on me, but I love that this can be lightly patted into the lips for a natural effect, or built up to look more statement.

What makeup have you been using lately?  Let me know in the comments!

Everyday Eye-Makeup

When it comes to eye makeup, I want it to be as quick and easy as possible, but look as if I’ve spent time on it.

I try a lot of different makeup, but I think I’ve found the three greats when it comes to quick, easy eye-makeup that makes me look awake and put together.

Maybelline Color Tattoo 24HR Eyeshadow in ‘On and On Bronze


I am a huge fan of the Maybelline Color Tattoos, and ‘On and On Bronze’ has to be my favourites. I love that you can use it as a quick wash of colour, but they’re very buildable too.

I use this frequently for my daily makeup, but it’s gorgeous as a base for more glittery eye shadows for an evening makeup look.

This is such a go-to product for me, as I know I can rely on it to look gorgeous and last all day without creasing.

If you have any shadows that you love, but are prone to creasing, pop some of this on first as a base and you’ll find your eyeshadow so will last so much longer.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner


I received this in Anna and Lily’s beauty box that they created in Collaberation with Cult Beauty (expect a fully review very soon), and I’ve absolutely fallen in love with it.

This eyeliner is super black, and never flakes or smudges on me. The wear time is fantastic, but the real winning feature of this eyeliner has to be how easy it is to apply.

It has a nice long nib that doesn’t bend, and it allows you to create really thin lines, as well as beautiful cat flicks. Love it.

Tarte Lights, Camera, Flashes Statement Mascara


When I first bought this I was a bitdisappointed, as it used to smudge all over the place, despite looking completely gorgeous when first applied.

However, after stashing it away in my makeup drawer, I recently decided to give it another chance, and it’s perfect! I think it was just a bit too wet in formula, so if you have quite watery eyes and find your mascara are prone to smudging, but them away for a few weeks and you may find they need to dry out a little in order to see the best results from them.

This is a beautiful finishing touch to my eye makeup, and gives my lashes lots of volume and length.

How do you like to do your eye makeup?

Barry M Nail Varnishes

I’m a really big fan of Barry M Nail Varnishes. For the low price tag, they last exceptionally well on my nails, and the colour range is fantastic.

I’ve been getting very into nude shades lately, and there are two that I think you should go for if you like nude nails too.

Barry M Nail Varnish in ‘Pink Lemonade’

I’ve been loving ‘Pink Lemonade’ recently, as you may have seen from my April Favourites post. It’s a really gorgeous pinky nude, that is pink enough to make your nails look classic, but nude enough to give a quick wash of colour that doesn’t show chips easily.

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I love this colour for work, as it’s not hugely obvious you’re wearing nail polish, but it makes your nails look beautiful and put together.

Barry M Nail Varnish in ‘Stone’

If you’re not as into pinks, but you still want to go for something quite nude and subtle, ‘Stone’ is definitely for you.

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This is a gorgeous purpley, cool toned pink, with a hint of grey running through it. It looks really classy, and would suit both long and short nails.

What do you think of Barry M Nail Varnishes? Let me know your favourites in the comments!