Saturday, 20 December 2014

BRAND HIGHLIGHT: BENEFIT COSMETICS




Hi lovelies. It feels like forever since I've updated my poor little corner of the internet! I won't ramble on as to why, as to be honest, there's no other reason other than being mega busy preparing for Christmas and having the worlds crappiest immune system and feeling pretty rubbish for the most part of this week! Anyway, boring bit over, let's get onto the topic of today's post! If you know me at all or have at least been reading my blog for a little while, you'll know that I absolutely love Benefit Cosmetics. So, today, I thought I'd do a post all about just why I love this brand! I've read a few brand focus posts on other peoples blogs and love to see peoples views on why they love a brand, top picks etc as I find it really useful and I figured this post may be useful to some of you, whether you are new to Benefit or use their products already, hopefully there'll be something new to you in this post.

First things first, I want to say that I am not sponsored by Benefit, nor was I asked to write this post. I just really love the brand! I have worked with Benefit from time to time though which leads me onto one reason why I love them. Benefit are one of the loveliest brands to work with as a blogger. Once you've worked with them once, they sometimes send little surprise packages out, which are always so beautifully presented and often come with little added treats inside! That aside though, even if I had never worked with the brand as a blogger, I would still buy and use their products as I think they're fantastic!

See, as a brand I think they almost always deliver on their promises, the products, at least in my opinion always do just what they say on the tin! Right now, my entire face of makeup excluding only lips is Benefit most days. While I do have a lot of other brands I decided to give this a go a little while back as I figured products from one brand are surely supposed to work together, right? So, using this logic, I switched up everything in my makeup bag, so my daily face consisted of, the PoreFessional Primer, Hello Flawless Powder and Foundation, Boi-ing Concealer, Benetint and Rockateur on cheeks, Highbeam as Highlight, Hoola Bronzer, Creaseless Cream Shadows as base with Worlds Most Glamorous Nudes Powder Shadows on top and They're Real mascara and Liner. Then I just use whatever on my lips as I really don't feel this makes a difference and I can't give up my MAC lippies. I can 100% genuinely say my makeup has never been better. 

As much as this backs up my theory that a full face of one brand definitely works, I think it also speaks volumes for Benefit in general. It's very rare that I find a brand that I love enough to buy every single product from, for example, I love MAC eyeshadow, lipstick and blush, but hate their foundations and concealers. I think Urban Decay shadows are fab, but could live without everything else. I could ramble on all day about several products from Benefit, but instead I'm going to list my top five for you all and do mini reviews of each to explain why they've made the top five! So, in no particular order...

Hoola Bronzer
This is incredible, it's such a cult product that I'm sure I don't need to explain this to you all. In case you haven't used this before though, it's basically a gorgeous, matte bronzer. What I think makes it unique is how buildable it is. If you wanted a lighter bronze, you can use it with a light hand, but if you have darker skin, have a tan or just want a darker bronzed look, it can be built up really well and never looks orange or patchy. It just goes on super smooth and gives a natural, bronzed look either all over or as a contour.

They're Real Mascara
Yes, it's hard to get off, yes you look like a panda if you don't get it off properly, but all this aside, it really is an incredible mascara. I do genuinely have a lot of people asking if my lashes are real when I wear this. As I work as a beauty therapist, a lot of people naturally assume I have lash extensions on and they're shocked when I tell them it's actually just this. So many of my clients have actually gone out and got this after I've told them what I use.

PoreFessional Primer
Another cult product that I think is more than worth the hype. If you suffer with large pores, or just want a primer that smooths the skin and gives a light coverage too, then this is definitely for you. It's perfect for under any kind of foundation and makes it stay on all day, but it's also fab to be worn alone with a little concealer if you don't want a full on foundation, I think this would work on most skin types, but it's particularly great if you have slightly oily or shiny skin as it has a lovely matte finish.

Benetint
This is a funny product, as a lot of people don't like it, but a lot of people love it. For me, it took a while for me to learn to use this properly, but now I know, I honestly couldn't live without it. I love blushers (Benefit ones are my faves, obvs!) and hate when my blush wears off throughout the day, as I don't feel complete without a flush to my cheeks. When I use any of the Benefit tints under my blush, I don't have to worry about my blush fading all day as the tint lasts ages. There is an art to using these and you really do need the tiniest amount, but once you start getting right, you will love these products. I particularly love Benetint as it's the original and I personally think it's the longest lasting.

Creaseless Cream Shadows
I love these. If I were to choose one shade in particular to recommend I'd say Birthday Suit, which is a gorgeous 'Brushed Chrome' colour, cool brown to you and me. What I love about these is that they make an incredible base for eyeshadows, keeping them in place with no creasing for hours and hours, but they also look beautiful on their own, as they're super pigmented and go on really smooth and even.

I know that Benefit aren't the cheapest brand in the world, but sometimes I think you really do get what you pay for and with this brand in particular, you definitely do. Not only do the products deliver on their promises, but the packaging is super cute too. I know it's not exactly a reason to buy a product, but let's face it, a makeup bag full of pretty prints and candy colours is certainly not a bad thing!

So, what are your thoughts? Do you love Benefit as much as me? If so (or if not!) tell me why in the comments, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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Saturday, 13 December 2014

THE BODY SHOP BANANA SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER REVIEW



Hi lovelies! I'll be honest, I'm not sure if I've reviewed these before, so apologies if I have but just in case, I'm going to be doing another little review for you all today! As you will have gathered from the photos and title of this post, I am going to be talking about The Body Shop's Banana Shampoo and Conditioner. If you haven't heard about these before then first of all, where have you been? And second of all, go out right now (or, after reading this post) and buy them. From that, you can probably guess which direction this review is going in.

I'm not generally one to be loyal to one specific brand of shampoo or conditioner, I have a few favourites, but switch them up a lot. However, The Body Shop Banana duo is one that I will repurchase over and over again. It's not as though I use these all the time, because often I'll stick with my usual Herbal Essenses or John Frieda Sheer blonde, however, whenever I use these, I always remember exactly why I love it. For a start, these smell absolutely gorgeous, it's kind of an artificial banana smell, kind of like those foam banana sweets, so if that smell isn't your thing, then I probably would get these, but if like me, you absolutely love that scent, you will love these!

Not only do these smell amazing, but they also seriously do work. The shampoo lathers up really well, which I love and leaves your hair feeling squeaky clean without feeling dried out. The conditioner is quite thick and very yellow, which as a blonde, can be quite daunting, as yellow is generally not the look we're going for. However the colour of the conditioner does not actually effect your hair at all, unlike a purple shampoo or conditioner. It leaves your hair soft, shiny and manageable, without being weighed down or heavy - which is a problem I have a lot with thick conditioners. Best of all, your hair smells like super sweet bananas afterwards. It's just a subtle scent and in no way overpowering, which is great, because if I wear perfume, I want to smell of my perfume, not my shampoo, but it nice to have a little whiff of banana every now and then throughout the day too. At least I think so.

The reason I don't use these all the time isn't because you can't use these all the time, as you definitely could. They are most definitely a daily shampoo and conditioner (though if anyone at all connected to The Body Shop is reading, please bring out a leave in version of the conditioner), however I like to keep them as 'every now and then' products as I want to enjoy using them. When I use a product too much, even one with a super yummy scent, I start to get bored of the scent and while I still love it, it's just not as special. Like when you wear the same perfume every single day, as much as you love the scent, you love it more when you switch up your perfume for a while then come back to it. Hopefully some of you are with me on this, though I know many of you are probably reading this thinking, 'it's a freakin' shampoo! Use it whenever you want!' So let me know if you agree with me on that one!!

Overall, for £4.50 each, I think these beauties are definitely worth every penny! What do you think? Have you tried these, or would you like to? What's your fave shampoo and conditioner? 

Let me know!

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Thursday, 11 December 2014

BENEFIT HELLO FLAWLESS POWDER REVIEW










Hi lovelies! It feels like ages since I sat down to write an actual review! Today, I wanted to write about something I've been absolutely loving lately, which no surprise, is from Benefit! Benefit are hands down my favourite makeup brand and while some people do complain about the prices, I personally think that with this particular brand, you definitely get what you pay for, which is an adorably packaged, super high quality product. In all honesty, I've never been particularly loyal to one brand in the past,but this last year or so has been all about Benefit for me (which I will go into further detail on in an upcoming post) and today, I'm reviewing my new favourite face powder, 'Hello Flawless'.

Before, I'd been all about my MAC Mineralize skin finish and for me, absolutely nothing compared to that. However after trying several high street powders (none of which I have ever got on with!), I gave this beauty a go. I remembered that I'd gotten a mini size of this in a Benefit gift set that Darren got me a while ago and remembered liking it, so I gave it a go. If I say within two days I'd ordered the full size, can you guess where the rest of this review is going?

This powder is absolutely amazing. It's super finely milled so you don't get that chalky, powdery look and it goes on incredibly smoothly over absolutey any foundation. For a powder, this does provide quite a bit of coverage, which is something I look for in a powder, as I like to take a little compact like this out with me for touch ups during the day and don't like having to bring my foundation as well. As for lasting power, I generally don't need touch ups with this for a good 6-8 hours, although I might do if I were to use it in the summer to control shine, but that's really not an issue for me this time of year. This is great for controlling shine though, so if you have oilier skin I'm sure you'd love this, particularly as it's great for touch ups during the day! Another bonus, this doesn't go patchy as it wears away, which is something I seem to struggle with with lower priced powders. This stays even all over even as it starts to wear off, which is fab!

What's great about this little compact is that not only is the packaging adorable, it also comes with a good sized mirror built in as well as a separate compartment for a brush and sponge, making it really convinient for on the go touch ups. The brush provided isn't anything to scream about, but it's nice and soft and does the job, let's face it, who wants to carry a full size kabuki brush in their handbag?! Something that I love about this in particular, is that the separate compartment locks into place with a magnet, meaning it doesn't flap about when you're holding it trying to the use the mirror and the brush and sponge don't fall out when you open it. This may not be a big deal to some people, but it's the little touches like this that I absolutely love and I personally feel you only tend to get with a high end product. While I still love MAC's MSF Natural, the reason I would choose Hello Flawless over it is because the coverage is slightly better, I feel like it lasts slightly longer and wears better throughout the day and the compact is just generally more convinient, as it has the brush and mirror inside, meaning you don't have to carry those separately. 

What do you think? Have you tried is powder before? What's your go to face powder right now?

Let me know in the comments!

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Monday, 8 December 2014

THE CHRISTMAS TAG


1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?
This is a tough one but I think I'd have to say The Holiday, I watch it every single year and never get tired of it. You can't beat Home Alone (any one, they're all fab!) too, but my absolute favourite is definitely The Holiday, fun fact, it is the only movie I will watch all the way through on my own. I'm generally not a movie person as I'm so easily distracted but I love that one!
2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Christmas Morning, of course! I guess maybe it's tradition in some other countries to do this on Christmas Eve, as I've seen this on a couple of international blogs. While I find it really interesting to see what other peoples traditions are, for me it seems wrong to open presents on Christmas Eve! In the past, me and Darren have opened one small present from eachother on Christmas Eve, but that's it.
3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
There are so many! I think it's quite hard to pin point one exact memory, as each Christmas tends to be different in my house with different friends and family members there each year! I do remember one year though and I swear to god this is true, myself and my twin sister Hannah used to share a room and one Christmas, we'd tried and tried to get to sleep and the later it got, the more worried we were that Santa wasn't coming (because he knows when you are sleeping and knows when you're awake, duh) and then we both swore we heard sleigh bells. To this day, none of us know where it came from, in hindsight it was probably the neighbours or something, but at the age we were it was so magical. I also looked out of the window of our room at this point and saw Santa's Sleigh (a plane) flying through the sky with all it's lights on. 
4. Favourite festive food?
I'd have to be a bit predicable and just say Christmas dinner in general. It's more the whole event that the meal is that I like, as for once, we all sit round the table as a family, honestly this is a rarity unless we go to restaurants, and just enjoy each others company. Also, if you've never put sausage wrapped in bacon into a Yorkshire pudding, do it this year, you won't regret it.
5. Favourite Christmas gift?
My Christmas present came early this year in the form of my teeny tiny Chihuahua puppy Belle! She is definitely without a doubt the best Christmas present I've ever received. My parents bought her for me early as I was getting a puppy anyway, but wanted to get her properly settled into my house a little while before Christmas, so that it wouldn't be super overwhelming for her. I love her to bits and she's definitely the best Christmas present ever! 
6. Favourite Christmas scent?
I love Yankee candle's Snowflake Cookie if we're going for a candle but another scent that I love, that isn't technically a Christmas scent, but always reminds me of Christmas is Soap & Glory's Smoothie Star body lotion, a couple of Christmasses ago, I was absolutely obsessed with Soap & Glory and this body lotion in particular was my absolute favourite. I use it exclusively in December now as it a lovely, super sweet cookie type scent that always brings me back to the festive period!
7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
Not really as every Christmas is pretty different, the last couple of years it was just me and Darren for Christmas Eve, this year I think we'll be with friends and family and of course, Belle! So that'll mean lots of drinks and Christmas films I would imagine! When we were younger we used to pop our stockings up in our bedroom and leave a mince pie and a beer for Santa and a carrot for Rudolf (though I used to insist this was massively unfair on the other reindeers) but we've obviously grown out of that now! Sometimes I do wish there were still children in our family to celebrate Christmas with, but until someone has a baby that's not happening!
8. What tops your tree?
A simple gold star, I like my tree kept classy!! As a kid, I used to think my mum was so boring keeping the tree just gold, or red and gold but now I'm exactly the same! I decorated our tree this year and it's all bronze and gold and I love it! No chocolate baubles or brightly coloured plastic reindeer over here thank you.
9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
A Puppy!! It only took 20 years, but I finally got one. To be honest, it's probably for the best as puppies are a lot of work and they do mean you have to think twice about plans as you need to consider how long you're leaving them alone, toilet training, feeding etc and as a kid, all of those responsibilities would have fallen on my parents. Now I'm old enough to look after my own little bundle of fluff though, she's definitely the best present ever and absolutely worth picking up poop for!!
10. What's the best part about Christmas for you?
Bit of a cliché but, it honestly is spending time with all of the family. As with most families, we don't always see one another as often as we'd like to as life definitely gets in the way, but Christmas is a time where you make time for the people you love. I have to say, I also love buying, wrapping and giving presents too. I find it so exciting to go out looking for the perfect gift (or browse through online stores, but you get my point), then choose something you think they'll love, wrap it and make it look all pretty, then see their reaction on Christmas Day. I definitely prefer giving presents at Christmas, though I love getting them too, who doesn't!

So that's it for this post! I hope you've enjoyed this Christmas tag and definitely let me know if you've done it in the comments below as I absolutely love reading these.
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Friday, 5 December 2014

IS TECHNOLOGY REALLY SO BAD?


Hi lovelies! We're going to be having a bit of a chat today, so the beauty, fashion and festive rambles are going to be put on hold for a while for today, I hope you don't mind! Today, I wanted to talk to you all about something, because I think it'd be really interesting to get your thoughts on it.


When I was younger, my sister and I used to have a best friend who lived next door, the houses weren't attached, but we had windows that faced each other in both of our hallways upstairs. We used to write to each other on whiteboards, in huge letters, so that it was actually visible. We'd arrange at school to 'go to the window' at about 7pm for a chat and without fail, except one time for Shelly's wedding in Eastenders, obvs, we'd do this every single night. Then he moved away, suddenly our nightly window chats had to stop and we'd have to talk on the phone when we didn't see eachother at school and we'd have to hang up and redial when it got to an hour, as our landlines were only free for an hour. We didn't have mobile phones, Facebook or even msn back then, so those phone calls were our only way of communicating when we wanted to talk. At this point we were in different schools (he was a year older than Hannah and I!) and it was awful for us all to go from speaking to someone every single day, to being lucky to have a phone call once a week.

Going even further back, I used to have a friend in Primary School who was from America and one day, she told us she was going back. Her family were moving back out there and we were all so upset! We used to write letters back and forth, which would take days and weeks to get to one another, Christmas cards were late, birthdays were missed and a lot of our parents money was spent on international postage! We'd get disposable cameras to send photos of us and our friends, then you'd have to take them, wait for them to be developed (often to find your finger was over the lense in half of them!) and then finally pop them in an envelope in the hopes they'd reach the US safe and sound! Every now and then we'd get to email, which was super exciting, as you could send a message and it would get to her right away! At the time this was the most fascinating thing ever. However, the internet required dial up broadband, which meant if Mum was on the phone, no emails! And as we were too young to have our own email address, it was Dads email account and if he wasn't home, we had no chance!

Fast forward to today, I have both of these friends on Facebook and can get in touch with them at the touch of a button (or a few keys to be precise!). If I want to meet up with a friend, I can send them a quick text or whatsapp message and they can get back to me in a few seconds. I regularly email my grandparents when I can't get there to see them and can take photos whenever and wherever I like on my phone, only to be able to share them a few minutes later (after choosing the perfect filter of course), with whoever I like. Just a couple of days ago, a few friends and I were arranging a Christmas night out and we decided to do a secret santa, the problem was we couldn't all get together before the night out to draw names but guess what? There's an app for that! 

The point I'm trying to make is that technology isn't all bad. Sure we say it can make people unsociable, it can 'take over our lives' and we're living through instagram rather than in the moment, but is that so bad? Isn't it amazing that we can take a picture of anything and everything we want (not anything we want, don't be weird), to share with our friends and family? Isn't it incredible that even if our loved ones are thousands of miles away, we can talk to them and see them every single day if we want to through Facebook, Skype, whatsapp etc, without expensive phone bills? Isn't it amazing that we can look back on tweets and photos of little moments that we may otherwise have forgotten?

I guess what I'm trying to say, is that yes, we should cherish each moment with friends and family particularly at Christmas time, but if we can capture those little moments with the help of modern technology, then isn't that a good thing?


What do you think? Do you have a technology ban at Christmas time or do you like to capture your festive memories with the help of your phone?


Let me know!


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