Friday, 27 February 2015

ANASTASIA DIPBROW POMADE

If you didn't already know Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade is one of the most talked about 'it' beauty products since it was released back in 2013.  With the likes of celebrities, top makeup artists and online beauty gurus using dip brow, you just know that it's performance has to be immaculate.
Dipbrow is described as a smudge-free, waterproof pomade formula that performs as an all-in-one brow product.  It works as a brow primer (Oooo fancy!), provides colour and is ideal for oily skin and in humid climates.

I recently coloured my hair dark brown so I wanted a new brow gel to match my new locks and as the proud owner of a MAC Fluidline Brow Gelcreme in the shade 'Dirty Blonde', I was debating on getting a darker shade with my pro discount but then the positive reviews of Dipbrow had me sold.  
After seeing swatches of all the shades online, I ordered the Dipbrow Pomade in the shade 'Chocolate' from Cult Beauty for £15.00 and delivery was around £3.00 which is a little bit pricey but I knew it would be worth the investment.  It took two days to arrive which was surprisingly quick... I was really excited to see how it compared to my MAC one so I tested it out straight away.
The packaging is sleek and not too 'in your face' but it's packaged in a glass jar so be careful you don't drop it!
To apply the pomade, I used one of my slanted brow brushes from Crown (C158), working it into the product.  I noticed it glided very smoothly over the surface picking up just enough product on my brush without any overload.  I applied the pomade to my brows and straight away I was impressed to see how quickly it helped create that perfect brow and glided onto my brows effortlessly.  I'd say the consistency is pretty much the same as the MAC one but you get more product so it's 'more bang for your buck' (as our fellow Americans say)...
Everything about this product is excellent, I cannot speak more highly of it and would recommend it to everyone wanting to achieve a fully defined brow.  The formula is like velvet and it's so easy to work with so if you're a beginner then don't worry about trying this out... it's really effortless!
I must say that the only thing I'm not too keen on is the shade, it looks fine in the pot but once applied it looks extremely dark so I'll be investing in a lighter shade but will still keep 'Chocolate' for my kit.
May I also add that when I went shopping in Newcastle this week, I had compliments off three different makeup counter girls regarding my brows.  All of them said something along the lines of "your brows look amazing" and I told them I was wearing this.  I always get compliments on my brows but when it comes from another makeup artist then you know they look on 'fleek' as they all say now...
As you can see in the 'before and after' I tend to use less product at the front of the brow, this just makes it look more natural because I cringe when I see girls with full on block brows (urghhh!) it's just not a good look!  The Crown brush I use has a mascara spoolie on the end of the brush so I use that to blend everything and soften it out.
I absolutely love this product and can't wait to try more from Anastasia Beverly Hills.

Have you tried this product yet?


VALENTINES 2015

Two weekends ago it was Valentines Day, David and I had two separate weekends of Valentine's fun which involved the first weekend exchanging our gifts and the second weekend going away to a boutique hotel and having a nice meal in a restaurant. 
We exchanged our gifts on the actual Valentines Day and had a night in watching movies and ordered a pizza.  I bought him a Ralph Lauren jumper, a box of Thorntons chocolates and a new Yankee Candle in 'Peach Smoothie' which smells bloody amazing... I'm tempted to buy one for myself it's that nice.  David got me the new Chloe perfume 'Love Story', some Betty Boop pyjamas, some slippers for when I stay at his and some money to pay for my LVL lashes which I asked for.  We don't normally go 'all out' for Valentines but this year we both made the effort for a change which was lovely.
The weekend just gone we stayed in a gorgeous themed boutique hotel in Durham called The Gadds Town House.  Our room was called 'The Ruby' which had a beautiful bath tub at the end of the bed and was just so gorgeous!
When we first entered the hotel, the decor looked really elegant but in a glamorous kind of way and we were so glad we chose this hotel for our stay.  They had a small bar area and a separate restaurant out the back, we never bothered booking a meal because we wanted to venture out into the city centre for drinks and food.  We ended up going for drinks in a local pub called 'The Library" then going for a meal in Zizzi's which was all freshly made Italian grub which we both enjoyed.
The bath tub at the end of the bed was so relaxing to chill in, watching the tv and sipping on a glass of champagne.  The bed was extremely comfy and soft, I could of stayed there all night without even bothering to get dolled up to go out... we both had a good night sleep in it and didn't want to leave the next morning. 

The bathroom was really small but who really needs a huge bathroom for a one night stay?  the Molton Brown mini products were a lovely little touch and the sink was really modern with the waterfall style tap.  The shower was quite big compared to how small everything else was and it had all glass panels with a window so you could see into the room, you did have the option to close the curtain so your other half didn't have to watch you showering (haha) but it was something very 'different'. 

The room also had a beautiful antique looking dressing table and matching mirror, perfect for getting ready!  We really couldn't of asked for a better room for our first Valentines getaway. 

We took our own champagne and glasses so we could have a drink before heading into town.  The champagne in the hotel was quite expensive which was expected so it's always best to take your own and save some money.  We did end up ordering room service (two bottles of wine at £20 a pop!) which is ridiculous but again we expected for a boutique hotel.  Next time we go, we will most certainly be stocking up in the supermarket on plenty of alcohol beforehand!
Dress:  New Look
Shoes:  Matalan
Necklace:  Primark
Bracelet:  Primark

The next morning we had our complimentary breakfast in the downstairs restaurant.  We had a choice of roughly five different things, we were both quite hungover so we both opted for the full english breakfast which was bloody lush!  After the breakfast it was time to get packed and check-out, we really didn't want to leave because we had such an amazing time at this hotel and will certainly be returning.  They have a couple of rooms with outdoor hot tubs so we'll be booking one of them to see what all the fuss is about, perfect for the warmer season.  If you live in the North-East area then I highly recommend you book a room here and see it all for yourself!... it's fantastic and such a nice experience to stay in a themed hotel.


Let me know if you've stayed here... or if you stayed somewhere similar... I'll look forward to your comments! 

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

CHARLOTTE'S 3 MINUTE BELLY BLITZ - WEEK 1

As a lover of the Jillian Michaels workouts and owning pretty much all of her DVD's, it's quite tough converting me to workout with someone new.
When I found out that Charlotte Crosby from MTV's Geordie Shore was bringing out a fitness DVD (just like her pal Vicky) I knew immediately that I could skip it and carry on working out with Miss Michaels, purely for the fact that I thought it would be gimmicky and very badly made.  Well boy was I wrong...
After the release and noticing that the 3 Minute Belly Blitz workout was Amazons number 1 seller in fitness I checked out the reviews and was also recommended this DVD by my best friend who already bought it and said it was really good.  The 5 star reviews really impressed me so I wanted to give it a go for myself and see if it really lived up to it's claims.
I ordered the DVD on Amazon which cost £12.99 with free delivery, it only took three working days to arrive and came on the Monday which was a great boost to start the DVD at the beginning of the week.
Every Monday I go to Bodypump class at my local gym so I decided not to bother with the DVD on this day incase I overworked my body.  Tuesday was the first day I tried it but not until later in the evening, I'd felt quite tired all day and just couldn't be bothered with any exercise not to mention my thighs and arms were aching from Bodypump the day before.  I knew I couldn't skip it so I pushed myself to give it a go and was sooo glad I did... I wore my usual gym attire which is a pair of lycra bottoms, a top, sports bra and my trusty Nike Thea's which feel like you're walking on air!
The workout has twelve high intensity rounds, I got myself through the warmup and the first six rounds for my first go which I was quite impressed with and felt really good afterwards.  Each round is three minutes long (hence the name of the DVD) which may not sound like much but each workout is high intensity so you're definitely burning fat and plenty of calories.  I do my own cool-down at the end of each workout to save me from messing about skipping forward to the cool-down section on the DVD.

Charlotte recommends you do this workout at least four times a week to get the benefits, I only managed to do it three times (six rounds each time) because I also done Bodypump class twice and went to Boogie Bounce class which is a very fast paced calorie burning workout on a mini trampoline.
For the first Two weeks I won't be using any weights, Charlotte and her trainer use weighted gloves to burn extra calories, I've looked online and they cost around £15 which isn't too bad so I may have to invest in a pair... you can also use water bottles of normal weights but I think the gloves would be more beneficial.


WEEK ONE RESULTS
Total Rounds:  I did 6 rounds x3 days in my first week.  Here's my results below:

Weight:  lost 2.5lbs
Measurements:
ARMS 0.5 inch
THIGHS 0.5 inch
BUST 1.5 inch
WAIST 1 inch

HIPS 0.5 inch
Total inch loss = 4 inches

THOUGHTS?
I totally love this DVD and I'm really glad I decided to purchase it, the music is upbeat and quite catchy and the workouts themselves are fast paced but really effective.  I'm pleased with my first week results too,  the DVD case says you can lose up to 5lbs per week but I'm already into fitness so my body is used to working out which means I won't lose as much as those just starting out which is fine.

You definitely need a good sports bra for this workout as there's lot's of jumping around and high impact moves so it's best to purchase one to fully support your boobs and to feel more comfortable.
You don't really have to wear shoes for this workout but I wear my Nike Thea trainers which are extremely comfortable and lightweight.

I'd highly recommend buying the weighted gloves as this will make a huge impact on your results and will help tone the arms more.
For you beginners out there, there's the beginner options for every workout so don't worry about being thrown right into the deep end if you're new to fitness, you can still do this DVD.  You also get a meal plan but I haven't bothered looking at it yet, I'm just eating what I want at the minute.

The only negative thing I have to say about this workout DVD is that there is far too much talking before each round.  It's good for them to show you the exact moves you'll be doing but there should be an option to turn these off once you're familiar with the rounds.  Other than that I cannot fault this DVD at all and I'm really excited to do week two...

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

TOM FORD VELVET ORCHID

Tom Ford is one of those designers that just screams sexy.  His advertisements ooze class but with a fun twist... The original Black Orchid was on my wishlist for a while after smelling it in a local Debenhams and falling in love with the scent but I never got round to buying it.  Last year I noticed the new release of Velvet Orchid and decided to give that a whiff to see how it compared to the original, I was sold instantly and crossed off Black Orchid and added Velvet Orchid to my wishlist instead.
I ended up getting Velvet Orchid as a Christmas gift from David in the 50ml size which will last me ages.  The bottle is very luxurious and modern, the deep purple shade is very classy with a feminine touch and the gold hardware brings it to life.

Top Notes:  Honey, Rum, Bergamot, Mandarin Orange
Heart Notes:  Jasmine, rose oil, orchid, orange blossom, magnolia, heliotrope, narcissus, magnolia
Base Notes:  Vanilla, Myrrh, Suede, Sandalwood, Labdanum, Balsam
The perfect thing about Tom Ford fragrances is the fact that you only need one or two sprays and it will last all day without the need of a re-spray.  This perfume is very powerful, musky and oriental and is one of those scents you can wear during the day taking it into the evening without being too over the top.

This is certainly one of my fave perfumes and it makes me feel glamorous when I wear it... now I just need to try out the other TF scents!

You can purchase Velvet Orchid from Debenhams for £72.00 for 50ml.

Monday, 16 February 2015

GOTHIC SUNSET GLAM

I really really REALLY need to buy a decent camera and lighting some point this year... my iPhone camera cannot seem to give my makeup looks any justice which is a shame.  I'll be investing in the Glamcor lamp as soon as possible because it will double up as good lighting for my lash extension clients as well as taking makeup selfies.  The camera will have to wait though, they are bloody expensive!  But I WILL have one at some point in 2015... watch this space.
Anyways, as usual I was randomly playing with makeup in my makeup room and came up with this look.  The eyes are inspired by the sunset and really make my blue eyes pop, I tried on about four lipsticks before I came up with this dark green eyeliner lip which is surprisingly nice and I made sure that my brows were 'on fleek'. 
WHAT I USED
FACE
- Embroylisse Lait-Creme Concentre
 MAC Studio Fix Fluid NC25
- Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - shade 2 (under eyes)
- Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder (to set concealer)
- MAC MSF Natural powder - medium dark (to set foundation)
- MAC MSF Natural powder - deep dark (to bronze skin)
- Sleek Contour kit - medium (to lightly add definition to cheeks and highlight cheekbones)
- Illamasqua Cream Blush - frisky


EYES
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade in 'Chocolate' (brows)
- Benefit High Brow (to highlight under brow)
- MAC Paint Pot in 'Soft Ochre' (prime lids)
- Kat Von D Ladybird True Romance Palette - shades 'Harlow' and 'Cleopatra'
- MAC Eyeshadow in 'Going Bananas'
- Inglot Gel Liner in #77 (upper lid and waterline)
- Benefit Roller Lash mascara
- Eylure lashes #141

LIPS
- MAC Kohl Power Pencil in 'Jealous'

Monday, 9 February 2015

BENEFIT ROLLER LASH

As mentioned previously, I'm not really a huge fan of Benefit Cosmetics.. yes I've purchased the odd couple of bits in the past and while some products were a hit, the rest were a complete miss.  I've steered well clear of their mascaras as I normally opt for the cheaper brands because I know that they deliver perfectly fine.. but it wasn't until recently after hearing so many positive reviews about their 'They're Real' mascara I was really thinking about buying it.  Did I buy it?  nope... only because I found out that Benefit were releasing a brand new mascara so I decided to just wait for more details on the newbie before making a purchase.

Word finally spread and the new mascara 'Roller Lash' was announced to the world and to be honest I wasn't too impressed.  I knew I could skip on this new mascara because it just didn't seem to look like it would give me the same amazing results what L'Oreal Telescopic gives me and is half the price.

I was then stumbling across a blog one day and noticed that the new Benefit Roller Lash mascara would be available as a free sample in February's Elle magazine, "why not?" I thought to myself... I hate buying those magazines because they cost a bloody fortune (£4.00 for 100's of adverts? nooo thanks!)  but paying £4.00 and receiving a sample of a Benefit mascara was really appealing and as soon as the magazine was released I popped over to my local Tesco and bought it.  I couldn't wait to get home to try out this new bad boy...
I don't know why but I seem to love the packaging for this mascara, it's very sleek but still looks 'fun' and I love the rose gold lid it just gives it something extra.  This sample size will probably last a couple of months too so it's definitely worth picking up the magazine and paying £4.00 for something that you'll get good use out of.  The original sized mascara has a pink lid which looks like a hair roller (very cute!) but I must say that I do prefer this rose gold version better.
The wand is quite similar to my beloved L'Oreal Telescopic which is one of my favourite mascaras in the world if you didn't already know.  It has a slight curve going on and the bristles are plastic which I like because it helps 'comb' through the lashes leaving them clump free.  It also has something called a 'hook 'n' roll' which is designed to catch each lash to lift and curl.


You can see below a picture of my eye with no mascara on... I have very fair lashes but they are long and I have lot's of them.  As soon as I apply mascara or get them tinted you can see how full they are and this mascara works wonders on my lashes as you can tell...
It really lifts them and gives them plenty of volume...  I did have a tiny bit of a clump as you can see but I only applied 2 thin coats, you can obviously build up more coats with this mascara but I wanted to show you how effortless it is with just a couple of layers.  Roller Lash leaves your lashes with a black glossy finish but the mascara isn't one of those wet ones, it dries easily but still gives you time to build up as many layers as you like without going lumpy and creating the dreaded spider leg effect.  The brush also gets right to those pesky little lashes that are usually missed with other mascara wands which is a bonus and it even works well for the bottom lashes without giving you panda eyes.

You'll also be pleased that this mascara is waterproof and contains Provitamin B5 and Serin, ingredients known for their lash conditioning benefits.
I'm so glad I gave this mascara a go and will certainly be making a full sized purchase in the very near future ;)

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

KIEHL'S DEEP MICRO-EXFOLIATING SCALP TREATMENT

Over the past few years my hair has been the least of my worries and it's normally shoved up in a messy bun to save time and to keep off my face.  Expensive, high-end hair care has never really interested me (apart from Moroccanoil obviously) so I've never really spent a fortune on hair products unless I know it will be worth buying... 
I've had quite a dry, itchy, flaky scalp for about a year now and it got to the point where it was annoying the hell out of me.  I'd constantly have flakes all over my hair which isn't a good look whatsoever but it was also knocking my confidence.  I'd be sat watching the TV itching away at my scalp without even realising, then next thing you know my hair looks like it's covered in dandruff!  I knew I needed to find a solution so searched online for some scalp treatments hoping to find a miracle.  
A miracle I did find by the way!  Let me introduce to you this amazing product from Keihl's which actually does what it says on the tin and has gave me back my confidence.  This 'Deep Micro-Exfoliating Scalp Treatment' gave me noticeable results the very first time I used it and has completely transformed my scalp leaving it flake free and far from dry.  The product itself is formulated with something called Vitreoscilla Ferment which is known to be rich in vitamins and minerals to help restore a healthy balance to the scalp.  It's combined with Micronized Apricot Seed and Argan Shells to gently, yet effectively exfoliate and loosen flaky buildup to leave the scalp smooth.  
The scent is a strong menthol smell and reminds me of cough medicine, I quite like this though as it smells like an actual treatment rather than something sugary and sweet that does nothing.  It leaves a slight tingle sensation when applied to the scalp so you can literally feel it working its magic.  You apply this treatment to your scalp dry, leave it for 5 minutes then start shampooing and carry on with your normal hair routine.  It's recommended that you use this treatment 1-2 times per week but I'll probably start using it as a monthly treatment now that my scalp is completely cured.

This 100ml tube cost £20.00 which isn't that bad considering it will last quite a while so it's definitely a good investment for your scalp.  I give this product a a big thumbs up and would recommend it to anyone who has scalp issues... I'm sooo pleased I found this gem!

Monday, 2 February 2015

SMALL INGLOT HAUL

Inglot is a brand I've never really bothered buying into purely because I've always been a MAC kinda girl and the fact that I've never been to an Inglot counter, it's hard for me to tell if the quality is good enough.  Fast forward to 2015 I took the plunge and ordered a couple of bits after coming across a few girls on Instagram who work for Inglot in Ireland... their makeup looks absolutely flawless on their pictures and I love how they list what products they've used.

I only wanted to get a couple of items for my first order so the first item I opted for was the #77 gel liner which is very popular with makeup artists.  The reason why it's so popular is simply because it's a perfect matte black whereas most gel liners have that shiny look.  It glides on with ease and you get double the amount of product compared to the likes of MAC.
 I knew I wanted to get some eyeshadows so after having a long browse and checking swatches on google images I went for #373 which is a pure matte white and #407 which is a beautiful coral shade with gold iridescence running through it.  I also picked one of the Freedom System eyeshadow palettes which fits two shadows and is magnetic, I think these are such a good idea and you can choose any size so you can custom build your own palette.
I find the prices of this brand to be pretty decent, they are cheaper than MAC and the quality and pigmentation is just as good.  I'll definitely be buying more eyeshadows and I want to give the lipsticks a go, I love how the eyeshadows are only £5 so it's great if you're wanting to build up your kit with lots of new shadows and the palettes are cheap too varying in price depending on the size.

You can purchase Inglot from their website.  Have you tried anything from this brand?

Sunday, 1 February 2015

A LITTLE LUSH HAUL

Bloody hell! It's February already... Valentine's Day is just around the corner and it's certainly the perfect excuse to give your skin a good 'ole pamper (as well as being spoilt of course).
Who doesn't love a little bit of LUSH?  Every time I walk past their shop I can smell how wonderful and perfect everything is inside, then I suddenly find myself walking through the door and smelling everything in there... (who doesn't do that though?) 
A few weeks ago when I was out shopping in Middlesbrough I came across the LUSH shop, obviously I went in and looked around.  I came across two items 'Angels on bare skin' cleanser which I'd heard so much about and 'Love Lettuce' face mask which I read a review on recently and liked the sound of, both items came to around £13 which isn't exactly breaking the bank and I was really excited to hurry home to try them both out...
Angels On Bare Skin:-  this is a cleanser which can be used for both face and body.  It has a very gritty texture which scrubs away dirt leaving it soft to the touch, the 'grit' is actually ground almonds.  I use this morning and night to thoroughly cleanse my acne prone skin, it's lightly abrasive so it's gentle enough to use daily and I find that it removes makeup quite well too.  The scent isn't the best but if the product itself does a decent job then the smell doesn't bother me.
Love Lettuce:-  this is a fresh face mask which doubles up as an exfoliator.  It leaves my skin feeling soft and clean, again it doesn't have the best scent but as long as it does a good job then I couldn't care less about how it smells.  These face masks are best kept in the fridge to stay cool, when you apply them on your skin it feels very refreshing which is a big thumbs up!  I normally use this mask 2-3 times per week.

It's been almost 4 weeks since using both products and my skin has noticeably improved.  It's certainly nowhere near perfect but the acne which flared up after Christmas has now pretty much none existent, my skin feels cleansed and soft to the touch after using both of these skin products and I'm so pleased I gave them a try.  The packaging is basic but has all the information you need to know including ingredients and a best before date.  I'll definitely repurchase both of these items especially the cleanser and I'll be giving some of the other face masks a try.

Also:  Did you know that if you take back 5 empty (and clean) full-size Lush pots or tubes, you get a free face mask?... what a good little incentive!

Have you tried any of these? let me know in the comments below...

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