Lush The Comforter

THE COMFORTER BUBBLE BAR: £4.75 

The Comforter is a Lush institution and is as popular as ever even after so many years. I think this was one of my very first purchases from them and I have been buying it regularly ever since- it’s just so good. The sweet berry and vanilla scent is great for any season, and the bright fuchsia bath water never fails to cheer me up. It may seem like one of their more expensive bath products at nearly a fiver a pop, but I can easily get two baths out of this and still have enough bubbly loveliness to leave my skin heavenly soft. If you’re new to Lush and are looking for a place to start The Comforter would be a great introduction, just remember to crumble it under the hot tap as it won’t do much if you treat it like a bath bomb!

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New In Lush | Good News or Bad?

Lush Twilight Bath Bomb

Lush Blackberry Bath Bomb

Real Techniques Core Collection Makeup Brush Set

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REAL TECHNIQUES CORE COLLECTION: £21.99    

Real Techniques brushes are the brainchild of makeup artists Sam & Nic Chapman and have a huge cult following – and rightly so. Unbelieveably this is my first dip in to their brushes, and I’m so glad I’ve finally got around to buying them. 

If I’m honest I actually bought this set mainly for the buffing brush, which I’m delighted to say is amazing. I used to swear by applying foundation with my fingers after having bad experiences with awful flat paint-brush style brushes that left my face streakier than bacon, and I hate applying liquid products with any kind of sponge (sorry Beauty Bender fans). This buffing brush has completely changed my mind about them. If you hate makeup brushes, this is brush for you – trust me, you’ll love it!I’ve actually been really pleasantly surprised at the amount of use I’ve got out of the other brushes. In particular I find the pointed foundation brush is great at applying loose powder on to my t-zone to tone down shine, and the point allows me to really get in to the nooks around my nose and eyes. The contour brush is great for sweeping a touch of highlighter all over my cheekbones and a lil’ bronzer on my double chin! I haven’t yet found a use for the detailer brush, although I know it would probably be perfect for highlighting under the brow bone or the inner corners of my eyes. 

So yes, it’s a massive thumbs up from me for this collection. Another thing I love about it is that they are four great multipurpose ‘core’ brushes – you could give this to some just starting out in makeup and they’d have everything they need to create a great base. At just over £20 I think it’s excellent value for money and I’d recommend it anyone. Well done Sam & Nic.                                        

Autumn Lips

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REVLON COLORSTAY MOISTURE STAIN in NEW YORK SCENE: £8.99

SOAP & GLORY SEXY MOTHER PUCKER GLOSS STICK 3D VOLUME LIP SHINE in PURPLE RAIN: £3.50 

MUA VELVET LIP LACQUER in DARE: £6.55 HERE

KIKO INTENSELY LAVISH LIPSTICK in 05 HEAVY CHERRY: £6.90

RIMMEL APOCOLIPS LIP LACQUER in ECLIPSE: £6.49

Autumn lip colours and me go together like rama lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong (click the link for an explanation if you think I’ve just thrown a brick at my keyboard) and I just can’t get enough of them. I probably should’ve called this post au-plum-nal lip colours as as soon as September hits I’m all about my purpley pinks and reds. The above five are just a selection of my favourite shades for the colder months, as I’ve saved my more festive choices for upcoming Winter/Christmas lip favourites posts. Did I just say the C word for the first time this year? I think I did…

The Revlon Moisture Stain is quite a true red, not too pink or orange toned and it holds a glossy finish for a few hours with minimal bleeding. S&G’s mini gloss sticks are a new release that I am loving at the minute and I have two shades but Purple Rain is my favourite. It’s definitely not as scarily-bright-lilac as it looks on the swatch, rather it goes on quite sheer and as you top it up throughout the day you end up with a lovely mauve/soft plum colour. The MUA Velvet Lip Lacquers should retail at £3 in Superdrug but Dare appears to be out of stock at the moment, so I’ve left a link to an eBay seller but keep an eye out in store if you’re after one. They’re amazing for the money and I think I have four or five shades as once you apply them they pretty much stay put and give a completely matte finish, although like MAC Retro Matte formulas they can be a bit drying. My favourite out of the bunch has to be the KIKO Intensely Lavish lipstick, as Heavy Cherry is the absolute perfect autumnal colour for me and the formula is spot on. Smooth and non-drying but with great staying power and rose-gold packaging – heaven!  Lastly the deep, almost vampy but still wearable Eclipse shade in the Rimmel Apocolips is perfect for transitioning in to the dark blackberry tones of winter. 

What are your favourite autumn lipsticks?

Autumn Nail Colours

KIKO Milano Haul

Pampering On A Budget

Autumn Nail Colours

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REVLON COLORSTAY LONGWEAR NAIL ENAMEL in 220 RAIN FOREST: £7.99

A rich, deep emerald green studded with flecks of golden-green glitter. If the Wizard of Oz wore nail polish, he’d wear this one.

ESSIE LUXEFFECTS MULTI DIMENSION TOP COAT in A CUT ABOVE: £7.99

A pink-gold (slightly too pink to be rose gold) glitter with a mix of bigger chunks interspersed with shimmer. I love to wear this one over a warm nude shade like Essie All Tied Up.

MAYBELLINE COLOR SHOW STRIPPED NUDES in 229 BRONZE ME UP: £3.99

Nothing is more autumnal than a copper glitter the colour of crispy leaves.

CIATE NAIL POLISH in STARLET: £9.00 (full size)

A colour I can only describe as like an oil-slick in a bottle, every time you move your hand you will see a new colour, from dark violet to black navy and hints of myrtle green. If the Wizard of Oz wears Revlon, the Wicked Witch of the West definitely wears this one. In a good way. 

COLLECTION LONG-LASTING NAIL EFFECTS in 34 PEACOCK: £2.99

This gorgeous offering from Collection is a jewel-toned turquoise that is bright enough to cheer you up but still very opulent and autumnal. 

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What are your favourite Winter polishes?

Lush Oxford Street

A trip to the biggest Lush in the world that spans three floors with shelves upon shelves of exclusive products? Count me in. Lush’s Oxford Street store is truly a marvel to be seen, with buckets and baskets overflowing with a rainbow of shimmery treats that smell as good as they look. A couldn’t resist a little haul (of course) so stay tuned for a succession of posts detailing what goodies I got!

Pampering On A Budget

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ROGER & GALLET FLEUR DE FIGUIER PERFUME: £39.50 full size

LUSH DELIGHT BATH OIL: £2.00 @ Lush Oxford Street

CIATE MINI NAIL POLISH: £5.00

BOOTS TEA TREE & WITCH HAZEL PEEL OFF FACE MASK: £2.99

BOOTS ESSENTIALS CUCUMBER 3 MINUTE CLAY MASK: £1.50

I am a huge advocate for indulging in a little self-pampering after a long week, a long day or just because you want to. It can however get very expensive very fast, so I thought I’d put together a little post on the products I use when I’ve maybe bought a few more lipsticks than I should have. Who said luxury comes at a cost?

The no.1 pampering product for me is always going to be something to plonk in your bath. Even a plain water bath can work wonders for stress but me being me I have to have a bit of something in there. If you’re in the vicinity of Lush Oxford Street they sell gorgeous little solid bath oils like the one above for only £2, around half the price of one of Lush’s usual offerings. They’re just little portions of butters and essential oils that melt in the bath and soak in to your skin, leaving it soft and moisturised.

Next on my list is always a face mask. While the £1 sachets are pretty good for the money in general, if you’re looking for real value then multi-application tubes are the way to go. The above Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Peel Off and 3 Minute Cucumber Clay masks are both from Boots, with the latter costing just £1.50! After trying both of them I can say the clay mask is a good basic one for sensitive skin, especially if time is short as you only have to leave it on for three minutes! I must say though I am just as (if not even more so) impressed with the peel off mask, as when I used this I could see the faint marks of a breakout on the horizon and it cleared them up almost completely. The small spot I had practically disappeared and unlike other blemish masks I’ve tried this one didn’t feel at all harsh, even on my rosacea. 

Another thing that never fails to make me feel a bit better is a spritz of good perfume. If you haven’t got a bottle to hand then little samples like the one above will do just fine. Other great-smelling alternatives are the Soap & Glory body sprays (not pictured) due to their delicious scents that last all day and budget-friendly price tag of £4 each. (If you are looking for a perfume my faves are Viktor & Rolf BonBon, Valentino Donna and Gucci by Gucci).

Last but not least my preferred way to end a good pamper sesh is by painting my nails while watching a great film. Professional manicures are lovely but expensive and if I’m honest I prefer doing my nails myself as it means I can change them whenever I get bored, plus I get to build up a collection of super pretty polishes. Many premium brands such as Ciate (above), OPI, Orly and Essie do miniature versions of their best-selling shades for a smaller cost. If you’re worried about them being too small ask yourself if you’ve ever actually finished a bottle of polish – if you’re anything like me the answer will definitely be no! Most brands also do limited edition seasonal gift sets that are much better value than buying the colours individually.

Happy pampering!

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RECOMMENDED READS

Orly Mini Nail Treatment Trio

Lush Twilight Bath Bomb

The Best Face Mask For Your Skin Type

Surprise Me!

Michum Advanced Control Deodorant | Worth The Hype?

MITCHUM ADVANCED CONTROL WOMEN 48HR POWDER FRESH DEODORANT AND ANTI-PERSPIRANT STICK: £3.20

MITCHUM ADVANCED CONTROL WOMEN 48HR FLOWER FRESH ROLL ON DEODORANT AND ANTI-PERSPIRANT: £2.89

I’ll start off by saying that if you saw the title of this post and thought ‘how on earth can a deodorant be ‘worth the hype’ then you are forgiven, as I thought exactly the same thing before trying it. I’d heard bloggers rave about Mitchum Advanced Control for years but had never really taken much notice. After all, it’s just a deodorant right? Wrong.

I eventually decided to try it when shopping with my friend Maria, who when I asked what was so special about it replied “it just works”. And you know what, I can’t put it any better myself. It just really does what it’s supposed to do, controlling under-arm dampness and eliminating any odour. I hadn’t actually realised how rubbish my normal anti-perspirant spray is before trying the above product as I didn’t really have anything as amazing as this to compare it to.

After trying both the stick version and the roll-on (not the spray although they do do one – apparently it’s not as good) I definitely prefer the latter, but it can take a while to dry so for mornings when I’m in a rush the stick is very handy. If you’re only trying one, I’d recommend the roll-on. Let the good(-smelling) times roll!

L’Oreal Infallible 24HR Foundation & Lip Colour

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LOREAL INFALLIBLE 24HR FOUNDATION in 200 GOLDEN SANDS: £9.99

LOREAL INFALLIBLE 24HR LIP COLOUR in 213 Toujours Teaberry : £9.99

Any product that claims to be long-wearing (or in this case ‘infallible’) and I’m in. While I don’t think I’m too lazy with my makeup I do sometimes begrudge having to reapply a lipstick every two hours and if my foundation has a meltdown, so do I. After hearing positive things about the L’Oreal collection I decided to pick up a couple of bits to try, and test their long-lasting claims.

I’ll start with the foundation, as I tried it first and immediately recoiled from my mirror in horror, convinced the shade was far too dark for me. However the warm undertones in my skin and a hella lot of blending (especially on my jaw line) pulled me through, and I actually quite like the slightly-more-sunkissed-than-I-should-be look. The sun-deprived months ahead will really test how much I can pull this off though as whatever morsel of tan my skin has managed to achieve over summer will no doubt fade. The formula of the foundation itself though it brilliant, it blends incredibly well and gives medium-to-full coverage. And yes, it really did last all day with the aid of a powder.

The lipstick was the product I was most excited to try (obviously) as about three years ago I was completely obsessed with Max Factor Lipfinity, and these are very similar – a matte paint that lasts forever on your lips with a balm topcoat to stop the dreaded raisin lips. While I was definitely pleased with the formula overall (though I feel as if I’m going to run out of balm long before I run out of colour), it is the stunning shade that made me really fall this lipstick. XXX is such an unusual lilacy mauve that I’d describe as a baby plum, with a hint of metallic sheen that makes this unlike any other lip product I own. Definitely one that is far more interesting than it swatches.

Both products I’ve tried from the L’Oreal Infallible collection have been superb – a little pricier than your average drugstore products but they are well worth it.

KIKO Milano Haul

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KIKO UNLIMITED STYLO LIPSTICK in 06 POPPY RED: £6.90

KIKO LONG LASTING EYESHADOW STICK in 06 GOLDEN BROWN: £6.90

KIKO INTENSELY LAVISH LIPSTICK in 05 HEAVY CHERRY: £6.90

KIKO LONG LASTING EYESHADOW STICK in 05 ROSY BROWN: £6.90

KIKO UNLIMITED STYLO LIPSTICK in 08 PEARLY STRAWBERRY PINK: £6.90

Here in England we have a phrase called ‘Sod’s Law’, which roughly means that whatever you want to happen, the opposite will of course happen instead. Or, according to Wikipedia: “while Murphy’s law says that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong (eventually), Sod’s law requires that it always go wrong with the worst possible outcome.” In this instance, I have realised my favourite makeup brand may very possibly be KIKO, which is completely ‘Sod’s Law’ as it’s one of the hardest to get hold of. My nearest KIKO shop is in Leeds and though there is an online option I’d really rather not meet the £25 minimum delivery threshold every time I want a £7 lipstick. 

So as you can imagine on a recent trip to the Regent Street branch I may have gone a teeny tiny bit overboard. Not too much though, as all things considered I could have easily spent far more time and money fawning over their glorious lipsticks, eyeshadows, brushes, eyeliners…yeah you get the picture, the poor friends I dragged along with me were just about ready to throw themselves down the Oxford Circus tube stairs.

Still, I just about managed to get home with friendships and purchases intact, and I am delighted with everything I bought in this little haul. The Shadow Sticks are simply amazing, liquid metal colours with creamy textures and unbelievable staying power, and I’ve discovered they are actually both dupes for my two favourite Urban Decay eyeshadows…post to come on that. The two Unlimited Stylo lipsticks both live up to their unlimited wear time claim as well as being great shades, 05 is a true cherry red while 08 is a metallic fuchsia pink with a hint of shimmer running through. My favourite has to be the Intensely Lavish lipstick though – who can resist that glorious rose gold packaging combined with an embossed bullet, and a rich plumy pink shade that for me is autumnal makeup in a tube.

I’m pleased to say that KIKO have indeed done it again, just please open a branch in Meadowhall! 

NYC Applelicious Glossy Lip Balms

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NYC APPLELICIOUS GLOSSY LIP BALMS: £2.59 £0.50 

On my weekly (alright, daily) browse around discount beauty website Fragrance Direct, I came across these ridiculously inexpensive lip balms and vaguely remembered a Makeup Savvy blog post from ages ago in which Fee couldn’t speak more highly of them. At a mere 50p each I chucked two in my virtual basket without expecting much and wow – I couldn’t have been more impressed. The next day I was back online ordering the remaining two shades they stocked while they were such a bargain. There’s just something about them that reminds me of everything I imagined Maybelline Baby Lips would be only ten times better. Texture-wise the balms are completely perfect, silky-soft and smooth while staying put for longer than ten minutes. The shades are pigmented but not strong enough to be high maintenance, and the little apple-shaped core stays put throughout all of the balm (a really nice touch for such a budget product). As someone who doesn’t really like the scent or flavour of apples I was surprised to love these, but they all taste and smell lovely, not synthetic or plasticy at all. 

Overall they are just really, really amazing for the price tag. In fact I would happily pay ten times the price (still only a fiver) for these. My final advice would be if you’re looking to buy a Maybelline Baby Lips – don’t. Buy these. You won’t regret it. 

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RECOMMENDED READS:

Dr Organic Ic Mint Lip Balm Review

EOS Lip Balm – Worth the Hype?

Surprise Me!