Monthly Archives: September 2016

Beauty: An Introduction to IT Cosmetics at QVC

Posted on September 28, 2016

it-cosmetics-review

Hi Guys!

IT Cosmetics are one of those US brands that have been on my wish list for a while, so when the guys at QVC gave me the opportunity to try a few of their products, I jumped at the chance!

For those not familiar with IT Cosmetics, they’re a US based brand that has gained quite the cult following over over some of their base products – such as their famous CC Cream and Bye Bye Undereye Concealer. Luckily I’ve been able to try one of these out, as well as a couple of their other popular products…

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it-cosmetics-bye-bye-undereye-concealer-swatches

it-cosmetics-concealer-brush-review

So one of IT Cosmetics most famous products is of course the Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer, which is available as a bundle including a Dual-Ended Concealer Brush (for £23.64) This is an award-winning full coverage concealer that offers highly pigmented, natural-looking coverage, while the formula treats the appearance of lines, wrinkles and discolouration.

Well this all sounded pretty fantastic to me. For as long as I can remember I’ve always had dark circles under my eyes, so I had very high expectations for this product to work – as that’s exactly what it’s aimed at. I tried out two shades, Light and Medium, and found that I preferred light for my pale skin tone. The formula is very creamy with intense pigmentation, and it gives high coverage that most definitely erased my dark circles. I found the finish to be a bit on the shiny side though on its own, so setting it with a powder really worked for me. I was so impressed with how it literally made my dark circles vanish! I should point out it can also be used for general blemish concealing but it’s particularly aimed at the under eye area as it doesn’t settle into fine lines, and also helps to diffuse the appearance of wrinkles.

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Next we have the Sunshine in a Compact Vitality Anti-Aging Matte Bronzer & Mega Fat Fan Brush (£34.50) – This Sunshine in a Compact Anti-Aging Matte Bronzer is a nice warm matte bronzer in a large compact (there’s nothing worse than a tiny bronzer, don’t you think?) The formula is talc-free, and contains IT Cosmetics Drops of Light Technology to add instant radiance to your complexion without any glitter or shimmer.

The formula also includes anti-aging hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, silk and antioxidants to treat the skin whilst preventing the product from settling into any fine lines, and blurring the look of pores and imperfections. I actually initially thought the shade might be a tad too warm for me, but it applied with just the right amount of colour payoff and gave a lovely glow to my skin.

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And lastly the Hello Light Creme Illuminator (£29.00 including a brush not shown) – Now I am all about the highlighters right now, and I couldn’t wait to try this one out. This product promises to give a lit from within glow to the complexion, offering a light, natural radiance and illumination. It’s also infused with skin-loving, anti-aging and hydrating ingredients; including Peptides, Hyaluronic Acid, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Silk and Vitamins A, C, & E, which work together to hydrate, condition, and nourish the skin.

Now I’ve used a fair few highlighters in my time, and I know what I like and what I don’t like. From the description, this sounded like everything I look for in a highlighter – and oh my gosh it was literally highlighter perfection!

Firstly the shade is on the paler side, which is perfect for my fair complexion – and it’s not chunky, glittery or shimmery in any way – it’s just pure glow! The creme formula is a dream to apply, and really easy to build up if you want a more intense look. It glides on the skin with ease and also doesn’t emphasise the look of pores which some highlighters can tend to do.

I’ve included a bronzer and highlighter swatch below –

it-cosmetics-highlighter-and-bronzer-swatches

I’ve swatched the bronzer with quite a heavy hand here just so you can see the colour. It’s a really nice warm terracotta, again light enough to suit those with fairer skin tones. And you can see the highlighter is a really light colour, almost white – I love it!

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I really am so impressed with these products – the quality across all of them is just fantastic, and though they seem on the expensive side, in my opinion they are well worth the money – especially the highlighter!

I’ve also had a quick look on the IT Cosmetics  – and there are so many amazing looking products on there – I hope QVC UK can offer a bigger range soon!

Al the above products are available now at .

I hope you enjoyed my post! xxx

This post contains press samples

Beauty: Guerlain Autumn 2016 Collection

Posted on September 26, 2016

guerlain-autumn-2016-collection

Hi Guys!

Autumn is most definitely in the air now – and it’s probably my favourite time of year. I love that the weather is getting cooler and the nights are starting to draw in, and one of my other favourite things of course is all the Autumn Winter beauty collections!

One of my favourite high end brands, Guerlain, has recently sent over a selection of products from their Autumn 2016 collection – and I think I’m in love! Guerlain A/W 2016 is all about quick, easy and spontaneous make-up. This collection contains ready-to-wear shades for eyes and lips, in chic and easy to apply colours, allowing you to effortlessly customise your look however your mood takes you. This is a collection where there really is something for everyone.

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Starting off with the brand new range of Palette 5 Coleurs (£43.00) – Guerlain have launched six essential and comprehensive eye palettes for AW16. Each including a base to illuminate and even the lid, two mid nude tones to subtly enhance, and two smoky, more sophisticated shades to intensify the whole look. The six palettes are as follows –

  • 01 Rose Barbare – a cool lavender and purple toned palette.
  • 02 Tonka Imperiale – a warm chestnut brown palette.
  • 03 Coque D’Or – a warm gold and bronze themed palette.
  • 04 L’Heure De Nuit – a light and mid grey toned palette.
  • 05 Apres l’Ondee – a cool blue and silver themed palette.
  • 06 Bois Des Indes – a warm pinkish brown toned palette.

The palettes I have above are – 01 Rose Barbare at the top, and 02 Tonka Imperiale – and I’d highly recommend checking the shades out on the House of Fraser site (link at the bottom of the post) as my camera has made the eyeshadows look quite a lot lighter than they are. Trust me when I say it’s worth a look!

I also wanted to point out that Guerlain have included ultra-fine light-reflecting pigments in these shadows, to give brighter, more radiant colour, and the packaging is also rather nice! Being a fan of smaller sized palettes that can easily fit in a makeup bag and be transported – these really do tick all the boxes for me. The Palette 5 Coleurs come in an ultra slim black case, which has a handy panoramic mirror on the inside lid, as well as a couple of dinky brushes included too.

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And next we have the gorgeous L’Art Du Trait Precision Felt Eyeliner (£27.00) – this precision eyeliner pen has been designed to be both long-lasting and water-resistant. It features a long, sharp, flexible tip to ensure a precise line, and it has a super fine tip, making thin, fine lines as easy to draw as thicker, graphic lines on the eyes.

The product formula is the blackest black – which is obviously a must in a black eyeliner – and I can confirm that it’s completely smudge proof, so this will now live permanently in my makeup bag 🙂

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And lastly, Guerlain have included two brand new shades of KissKiss Lipsticks (£27.00) to finish off your autumn look. The two new shades are Fall in Nude – the perfect beige nude, and Fall in Red – a delicate rosy red, which have been created specifically to compliment the new eyeshadow tones. These two subtle shades easily adapt to any skin tone or occasion, from midday to midnight.

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The Guerlain AW16 collection is available now at .

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post contains press samples

Beauty: Laura Mercier 20th Anniversary Iconic Leading Lady Lip Sets

Posted on September 25, 2016

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Hi Guys!

On writing this post, I’ve realised that Laura Mercier is one of those brands that I definitely don’t post about enough – and now their  have just landed, I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you all about them…

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So would you believe it that’s it’s actually the 20th anniversary of the brand? Doesn’t time fly! And to celebrate, Laura Mercier have created three limited edition lip sets, including exclusive colours that have been inspired by Laura’s favourite Hollywood leading ladies, as well as the movies they starred in.

Each set contains a Velour Lovers Lip Colour Lipstick and a Lip Glace Gloss, in three universally flattering options –

  • Catherine – a mid toned nude.
  • Sophia – a dusky rose.
  • Vivien – a true bright red.

I have the Vivien set, which really is stunning. The set arrived boxed, which opens up to a lovely soft-touch inner box (imagine the feel of NARS style packaging) – which opens up to reveal a lipstick and gloss, with a handy mirror slotted in the back. The packaging has gunmetal silver lettering and trim to correspond with the products, and just has an overall feel of quality and luxury.

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And I should also mention that this set isn’t just pretty to look at – the products themselves are also fabulous. I first tried the gloss, which leaves the lips with a lovely slick of colour, that feels hydrating but not sticky in any way. I love how this felt on my lips!

And the lipstick is just the most gorgeous shade of true red – and feels wonderful to wear too. I’m a big fan of red lips for when I (occasionally) glam up, and this set is now definitely up there with some of my favourite red lip products.

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The Laura Mercier Leading Lady sets really are a special treat, either for yourself or as a gift – if you’re a lip product lover, I’d highly recommend checking these out.

Laura Mercier Leading Lady sets are £29.00 each and available now at .

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post contains press samples

Beauty: Illamasqua Extinct Collection

Posted on September 22, 2016

illamasqua-extinct-collection

Hi Guys!

I have Illamasqua’s brand new Extinct collection to share with you today – and it’s probably one of my favourites yet. The Extinct collection has been inspired by the natural beauty of insects, the reality of climate change and the fearlessness of punk. It includes iridescent beetle tones, dark glittering purples and fantastic reflective finishes which can be use to create makeup looks that really go outside the box.

The Extinct visual focuses on brave, unique shapes that emphasise the eyes, lips and nails to inspire creativity and push boundaries. This powerful collection provides you with the tools and expertise to create your own kind of beauty that challenges the expected.

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illamasqua-demise-palette-swatches

Starting with the Demise Palette (£34.00) – I love the name of this palette, it’s so dark and dramatic! This eyeshadow quad contains four intense autumnal shades, perfect for creating a striking smoky eye. Illamasqua have brought back previous shade Gimp, a deep black-blue to include in this palette, but I have to say I’m in love with Interitus, a rich burgundy that’s perfect for this season.

  • Wilt – Red Gold
  • Gimp – Black Blue
  • Lost – White Gold
  • Interitus – Burgundy

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There’s also a Pure Pigment (£17.50) – this is a finally milled pigment that can be worn alone to softly reflect a translucent blue or layered over a deeper product to give it a 3-D punch. This shade is called Axolotl and though it’s describe as holographic, I wouldn’t say it is. It’s very similar to MAC’s Reflects Teal pigment.

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The collection also includes two Powder Eyeshadows (£16.50) – Jubilance first caught my eye, this is a wonderful light copper shade, almost like a shiny penny. It has the most amazing high shine finish, and it’s incredibly soft and easy to apply.

The other shade, Cascade, I thought was just an average white when I first saw it. How wrong I was though! Cascade though innocent looking actually has a luminous blue frost finish that looks pretty awesome when you catch it in the light!

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Here’s some swatches starting with Jubilance at the top, then Cascade, then Axolotl.

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And lastly, I have two Nail Varnishes (£14.50 each) – the Extinct collection offers two exciting shades with high shine finish. Shade Remains is a deep merlot injected with glitter particles and Quagga is a two-toned green that mimics iridescent beetle wings. Illamasqua recommend to wear these over a black polish to intensify the colour, which I’m going to try myself very soon.

The collection also includes a Matte Lip Liquid (£18.50) in shade Exoskeleton – a dusky Plum, and a Gel Liner (£20.00) in shade Quixotic, a deep emerald green.

illamasqua-extinct-range

The Illamasqua Extinct Collection is available now at .

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post contains press samples

Fragrance: Marc Jacobs Decadence VS Divine Decadence

Posted on September 20, 2016

marc-jacobs-decadence-review

Hi Guys!

On attempting to sort out my perfume collection, I realised I never got round to sharing the original  with you, which was released last year. Marc Jacobs have now launched a follow up – Divine Decadence, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to show you both scents, and let you know how they compare and differ…

I remember when I first saw the original Marc Jacobs Decadence, I fell in love with the bottle instantly! It’s just so luxurious looking, and like no other fragrance bottle I’d ever seen – I knew I had to have it!

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So the original  is a wonderfully glamorous and sensuous fragrance. It’s heavy and intoxicating, and most definitely an evening scent. It opens with a blend of Italian Plum, Iris and Saffron, and Bulgarian Rose, Jasmine Sambac and Orris at the heart, leading to a rich and tempting dry down of liquid Amber, Vetiver and Papyrus Woods. This is a sophisticated scent, grown up, striking and not easily forgotten.

  • Top Notes: Italian Plum, Iris and Saffron.
  • Heart Notes: Bulgarian Rose, Jasmine Sambac and Orris.
  • Base Notes: Liquid Amber, Vetiver and Papyrus Woods.

In comparison, the new  is the perfect sister to the original scent. Described an effervescent, floral-woody expression of timeless glamour, Divine Decadence captures the same indulgent and luxurious nature as the original Decadence, but this time the mood is lighter, the scent more radiant and sparkling, compared to the heavy creaminess of the original Decadence.

Divine Decadence opens with a radiant shimmer of almost-solar notes, including Orange Blossom and a pop of Champagne Extract. At the heart, the creamy floral explosion of Gardenia, Hydrangea and Honeysuckle are glamorous florals, leading to seductive notes of Amber and Vanilla combined with precious Saffron that linger on the skin at the base.

  • Top Notes: Champagne Extract, Orange Blossom and Bergamot.
  • Heart Notes: Gardenia, Hydrangea and Honeysuckle.
  • Base Notes: Saffron, Vanilla and Liquid Amber.

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Overall, both scents are quite intense and I have a feeling you’ll either love them or hate them. If I had to choose though, I’d probably say I prefer Divine Decadence out of the two, just because it’s slightly lighter and more versatile to wear.

Marc Jacobs Decadence and Divine Decadence are priced from £49.00 for 30ml and available now at .

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post contains press samples

Molton Brown Limited Edition Bursting Caju & Lime Collection

Posted on

molton-brown-Bursting-Caju-&-Lime-collection

Hi Guys!

Molton Brown is easily one of my favourite bath and body brands, and I get incredibly excited when they launch new products – I mean who doesn’t want a fabulously scented bath or shower? One of their latest ranges is the Limited Edition Bursting Caju & Lime Collection, which is right up my street. The fragrance is fresh, zesty and energising – which is exactly what I need first thing in the morning.

When I was creating this citrus fragrance, I was excited to bring to life the vibrancy and spark of Brazil’s caipirinha cocktail – the first fresh sip on a hot summer’s day. The top notes of caipirinha accord are refreshing with a squeeze of zesty lime, grapefruit, lemon and orange. To lift it even more, a dash of spearmint is added – crisp, just like the cocktail. To give that humid finish, woody fig tree and oak moss mix perfectly with upbeat green galbanum. – Jennifer Jambon, Principal Perfumer, Molton Brown.

Starting with the  (£39.00) – this is a clean, fresh and zesty eau de toilette, with no specific gender in mind. This fragrance really is for everyone, evoking the lively ambience of Brazil’s colourful carnival and spontaneous nights, this scent is perfect for those looking for something zingy and bright.

  • Top notes: Lime, Grapefruit, Orange and Lemon.
  • Heart notes: Spearmint, Clary Sage, Galbanum and Cypress.
  • Base notes: Musk and Oak Moss.

The  (£20.00) – matches the EDT perfectly. This is an energising bath and shower gel blended with lime accord, spearmint and caju fruit extract with a base of Amazonian forest accord to evoke the bright mornings and spontaneous nights of Brazil.

And lastly the  (£25.00) – with the same fragrance as the Bath & Shower Gel, this luxuriously smooth body lotion is the perfect finish to your bath time routine, leaving skin smelling fresh and vibrant.

I’d love to hear which bath and body products you use? I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post contains press samples

My NYC Sephora Haul! Feat. Kat Von D, Milk Makeup, Tatcha, Becca & More!

Posted on September 19, 2016

sephora-haul-new-york

Hi Guys!

Any beauty lover will know that one of your priorities when visiting the US is of course, . Visiting New York was my first ever visit to the US, so I had my first ever Sephora store experience too!

For those yet to experience this pleasure, I have to tell you it’s actually quite overwhelming – especially for a small town gal like me who gets excited visiting Selfridges! Sephora is literally floor to ceiling beauty – so I decided to tackle it with a strategy – basically if the brand was available in the UK, I didn’t bother looking. So I headed for all the exciting US brands that I’ve been dying to get my hands on – Kat Von D, MILK Makeup, Anastasia and Sephora’s own brand to name but a few. Let’s take a look at what I picked up…

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So first of all I headed for Kat Von D (and yes I know we have it in the UK now, but it wasn’t available here when I was in NYC!) I really liked the look of the new – a super-versatile, rich and creamy concealer with 24-hour wear and instant full coverage. It promised to brighten the undereye area, cover blemishes and correct discolouration which was exactly what I was looking for. I got Hayley to help shade match me and ended up with shade Light 3 Warm. I started using this while in NYC and I have to say I was very impressed, it did a great job of covering my under eye circles as well as staying put throughout the day. I picked up the  too – described as ‘a high-performance concealer brush with an exclusive sculpted shape to seamlessly blend under eye concealer and instantly cover blemishes‘ I thought this would be the perfect match for the Lock-It Concealer. It’s just the right size and shape for concealer coverage on the under eye area, and applies product like a dream.

While I was at it I thought I’d also grab the too – you know, when in Rome! This is a weightless translucent loose powder, formulated with Micro-Blurring Technology to blur pores and set and perfect makeup for a flawless, locked-in finish. This is probably the most lightweight and silky finishing powder I’ve ever tried – it leaves your complexion velvety matte and smooth – and you can also use it for baking if that’s part of your routine too.

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I’d also been dying to try some bits from MILK Makeup – they had quite a big range on offer, and I decided to pick up a couple of quirky sounding products…

Firstly I grabbed the – this is basically a twist up stick that you apply to the face to cool, soothe and hydrate the skin. I tried it on the back of my hand and the cooling effect really worked! The product contains rich marine minerals and caffeine to hydrate, whilst give skin an energized, glowing look.

And the – well, I’d heard of this and thought it sounded fantastic, so I popped it in my basket too. Technically this doesn’t give a holographic highlight, but it does give skin an iridescent lavender sheen, which is really fun and pretty. Also, you can use it wherever you like – lips, eyes, cheeks – I’m looking forward to creating some fun looks with this!

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I then checked out Sephora’s massive own brand range, and they literally stock everything! I loved the look of their retractable Hide & Sleek brushes, which come in high shine metallic casings with lids so they don’t get ruined in your makeup bag. I grabbed the  – a retractable cheek contour brush in a slim and elegant rose gold case, and the  – a chic retractable foundation brush this time in gold casing.

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I’m also really glad I came across the – I’d been wanting to snap this up for a while, but the full size tub is $60.00 – eek! I found this mini 10g tub which was only $15.00 and very much in my price range. If you haven’t heard of Tatcha, they offer luxury skincare inspired by Japanese Geishas – you should definitely check them out if skincare’s your thing. Their Classic Rice Enzyme Powder is a creamy, water-activated enzyme powder that effortlessly releases debris from skin, leaving it feeling polished and baby soft in an instant. It’s formulated with nourishing Japanese rice bran blended with papaya extracts, to help reduce the look of fine lines and addresses uneven skintone, hyperpigmentation, and breakouts. I’m looking forward to giving this a go!

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And while I was checking out all the amazing mini products and sets that Sephora has to offer, I came across the – this is a mini duo of BECCA’s Shimmering Skin Perfector luminizers. I love Becca’s highlighters and these mini pressed and liquid Shimmering Skin Perfectors in Opal just looked so cute – as well as being the perfect size to throw in my bag.

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And lastly, I couldn’t resist the  – this is a six-piece, multibranded lip sampler set, including two full size products, and it was only $28.00 with a  total product value of $97.00! –

  • Fresh Sugar Rosé Tinted Lip Treatment (sheer rosy tint)
  • Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Lovecraft (mauve pink nude)
  • Lancôme Juicy Shaker in 313 Boom-Meringue (lemon meringue flavor – full size)
  • NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien (rose pink)
  • Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick in Stepping Out (deep nude – full size)
  • Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Chihuahua (dusty mauve)

By this point I’d tried mentally adding up how much I was spending and decided I’d better calm down a bit. I quickly glanced at Anastasia, Surratt and in the general direction of skincare and fragrance and decided I’d better head to the checkout before I got too carried away.

sephora-haul

So yes I ended up spending quite a lot of money… but I don’t regret it. It’s not every day I get to pop into an actual Sephora store, so I’m glad I made the most of it while I had the chance!

Do let me know if you’d like to see any swatches, or full reviews of anything – this post ended up being quite long so I decided not to include swatches this time 🙂

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I hope you enjoyed my post! xxx