Friday, 24 January 2014

A date with Origins

Origins products
The products used on my facial :)

Origins sales consultant, Lavina
The lovely Origins consultant, Lavina :)

Scroll back a week, I was an Origins virgin.  Don't get me wrong, I knew who they were, I just hadn't ever tried any of their products.  I was suffering from really dry skin which is totally weird for me, as I have really oily skin normally.  I've seen their 'Drink Up' overnight mask raved about in the blogging world, so on my lunch time I went on a mission to buy one.

I rocked up to the counter and was greeted by the lovely Lavina (in Boots, Cardiff).  What I loved is that she didn't push me to buy other products, she gave me a couple of suggestions and left it at that. As I was paying, she asked me if I'd like a complimentary facial - normally I automatically say no to these kind of things, but I've never had a facial before so I signed myself up for Thursday at 5 before an event I was heading to.

So today I went down for my facial.  It might be the most relaxing half hour I've ever had!  Lavina used 6 different products on me, now forgive me, I can't remember the order she used them in, but have a look in the pic to see what was used.  My skin feels like silk or velvet, and definitely doesn't feel dry! I've used the Drink Up mask twice this week and it's really helped my skin, I haven't had any dry skin in a few days so I think it's really helping.

I didn't really know much about the brand before my facial, so while I was there I asked Lavina if there are any parabens or nasty chemicals in Origins - she confirmed that they don't use anything like that, they're all natural :)  This may sound like a strange thing to say, but they felt and smelt very natural - so many of them smelt really fruity and zesty.  This certainly won't be the last Origins purchase I make, I really want to try an exfoliator, the Gin Zing eye cream and some kind of moisturiser :)

Thanks Lavina for such a lovely facial :)  And for all of you reading this - if you head to your local Origins counter, you can book in for a complimentary facial too - it lasts for 30 mins, they talk you through everything they use, and don't pressure you to purchase anything.  You can go more than once too, how amazing is that :D

Have you tried Origins before?

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Luchessa from Beauty Expression


Thursday, 23 January 2014

Watches, watches, oh beautiful watches...

You may or may not know, two summers ago I treated myself to a Michael Kors rose gold watch.  I'd been saving up for a while and had some birthday money and finally took the plunge.  Whilst I couldn't be happier with my gorgeous watch, I am starting to crave adding another to my collection - there might be an obsession starting here!  Anyway, I've put a bit of a wishlist together, and just for fun, a wishlist from (some nice Chanel watches and Cartier!), after all, Swiss watches are known to be some of the best in the world.

Michael Kors wishlist

Left: $225, Middle $180, Right $250

High end wishlist

Left £3,775 (Chanel - J12 automatic), Middle £4,150 (Cartier - Ballon bleu de Cartier), Right £3,350 (Chanel J12 automatic 38 mm)

I've had a long time obsession with all things Chanel.  One day, I'd love to own my very own Chanel bag one day, and sunglasses, and watch, and... well, anything that has Chanel on it!  I think that's why I've become a little obsessed with their makeup - its the one bit of Chanel I can actually afford.  I've managed to get Chris into Chanel aftershave too - he wears Allure Sport - it smells so good!!!

Going back to watches, you get two basic different ones, fashion watches, and timepieces - my MK is a fashion watch - it's not something designed to last a long time - but a Chanel or Rolex or Cartier, they're timepieces, they're designed to last a life time.  A good watch can be such a statement piece and you really don't need to spend crazy money on them.  I know the list above is really focussed on luxury, spending like if money was no object, but there are other more purse friendly alternatives available on the high street if your budget doesn't stretch.

If I'm investing in a new watch, there's a few things I like to look out for.  I know I own a rose gold Michael Kors, but after nearly two years of wear (pretty much every day) there isn't much rosyness left on it, I'm not sure if I can get it re-coated?  But, for me, I want the clasp to be easy to get on and off, that's something I love about my watch, I don't need to wedge my nail under the clasp.  I like some sparkle too, there's nothing wrong with a bit of bling :)  I like quite a big watch, not your typical 'ladies' watch, for me it needs to make a statement of its own.

Seriously though, how gorgeous are all these watches?  Which is your favourite?  I'm not sure I could pick just one!  I love the middle MK one because it's so different and not typical of a MK rose gold watch, and it goes without saying I adore both the Chanel watches and the Cartier one, they look so luxurious and elegant, really really stunning.

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Luchessa from Beauty Expression


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Clarins New Opalescence Spring Make-Up Collection

Every now and then, a press release lands in my mailbox that genuinely excites me and makes me go 'squee' out loud.  Well, this was one of those times. 

The Clarins Opalescence spring makeup line is being launched in February and oh, my, god, I want it all!  Here's some pictures for you to drool over!

Radiance Boosting Complexion Base...£26
For beautiful skin in an instant, this tube is a must-have life line for any make-up kit. Applied alone after your regular day cream or mixed with your foundation, Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base helps to eliminate imperfections, giving skin the flawless finish we all desire.

Multi-Blush Cream Blush...£18
A flush of colour to the cheeks accentuates freshness and good health. Easy to apply, this lightweight cream melts into the skin to sculpt, smooth and add a hint of colour to create a light, natural- looking finish. Floral waxes from rose, mimosa, jojoba and sunflower protects skin against dehydration.

Ombre Mineral in Smoky Plum...£17
For added definition this new addition to the Mineral Eyeshadow range offers a seductive ultra-luminous plum colour. The highly pigmented formula allows for intense colour through both wet and dry application.

Limited Edition Eye Quartet Mineral Palette...£31
Enhance eyes with this collection of four illuminating shades. The white highlighter offers a pearly hint to the eye whilst the opulent pink and grey shades create definition. Use dry for a subtle look or slightly dampen the applicator for more vivid colour. Finally, the plum eyeliner adds a touch of vibrancy and matches perfectly with the softer tones of the palette.

Gloss Prodige...£17
This ultra glossy, non sticky formula smoothes lips and makes them look naturally fuller thanks to the intelligent ‘Suprashine Colour Complex’. The additional raspberry oil also nourishes the lips to prevent cracking. This new coral tulip shade adds a veil of light pink to the lips and for those who love a finished glossy look, this new transparent version enhances radiance and acts a great seal over your regular lipstick.

Joli Rouge Brilliant Sheer Shine Lipstick...£18
These lipsticks provide luminous colour in a deeply moisturising, soft texture, leaving lips fuller looking, soft and incredibly shiny. These new additions offer a range of bright, vibrant colours that will add a touch of sparkle to everyone’s lips.

Will you be picking up any of these when they come out?

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovelyLuchessa from Beauty Expression


Emporio Armani diamonds

Empiroi Armani Diamonds
Armani Diamonds - c/o Fragrance Direct

In its brilliant cut bottle, reminiscent of a solitaire diamond - this has quickly become a bit of a go-to fragrance for me.  I'm not sure anything will shift my Lacoste - Touch of pink perfume from being the first thing I reach for, however, this has become a close 2nd.

Out of the main scent classes (sweet, fruity, spicy and floral) I'd say this is definitely a sweet one, with floral undertones - although the website describes it as floral and fruity - maybe my sniff is off :)  The scent lasts for hours before needing a respray which is great in my books as I don't usually carry fragrance with me, I just spray in the morning before I leave for work.

There's no denying that the bottle is gorgeous, I'd say its one of my favourites.  I love the spray mechanism too - it sprays the perfume in a really broad spectrum and quite a lot too - so you don't need to spray too many times.

This is a beautiful fragrance, it's elegant and strong but without being overpowering, I always feel so glamorous when I wear it - something my go-to perfume doesn't.

What's your favourite perfume?

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovelyLuchessa from Beauty Expression


Monday, 20 January 2014

January 2014 Empties

I haven't brought you an empties post for a while... I did have a very big bag of empties that I photographed a few weeks ago, but I lost all the photo's somehow :(  So, these are some of the things I've used up in the last few weeks.  I will try and do these monthly so I don't end up with a massive collection :)

Used up shower gel, shampoo and conditioner

First up, my little bottle of Lush Ponche - an orange and tequila shower gel (cruelty free).  On initial sniff, I really liked this, but it's taken me ages to finish, despite it being tiny as I started to dislike the scent, so not one I'd buy again.  Then we have my beautycology cherry cupcake body wash, believe it or not I bought this a year ago in TXMaxx and then lost the set it was in somewhere in the house, until about a week ago!  It smells amazing, however, it didn't lather very well and I needed to use a lot of product to feel clean.  Sadly to say, the scent didn't transfer onto my skin either.  Then we have naturalmente - these little samples were sent to me to try, but I only managed to get 2 washes out of them so not really enough to review.  What I will say, the times I used them they were lovely, but weather that was because they were new to my hair, or if it was because they were great, I'm not able to tell.

Used up shampoo and conditioner

Next up - my trusted Aussie Colour mate shampoo and conditioner - I adore the Aussie range, it works well with my hair and makes it feel great, especially the 3 min miracle conditioner, it almost feels like a treatment.  Yes I'd buy them again, however I do like to keep mixing things up when it comes to my hair.  I also finished my Naked smooth conditioner, this was really lovely and great combined with the Naked shampoo (which I finished the month before) for clarifying my hair of all the silicone and other nasty things that are in other shampoos/conditioners etc.  I'm currently using up some TRESemme shine shampoo & conditioner and I really don't like it that much - don't get me wrong, it makes my hair feel lovely, but coats it in so much silicone I have to wash it every day.

Used up makeup

I've finally decided to call my Maybelline Fit Me powder empty - there's only a trace of it around the edges which is a bit difficult to use.  I also finally managed to use up my Urban Decay primer potion - don't let the picture fool you - it's completely empty!  I've now replaced it with another one, but the Eden one instead - it's supposed to be great with oily lids, so it's worth a try :)

It's fair to say January has been a good month for empties, although really, this includes some of December too :)

What have you used up recently?

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovelyLuchessa from Beauty Expression


Friday, 17 January 2014

Neve pastello eyeliners

Neve pastello eye liners

Neve pastello eye liners

Neve eyeliners swatched on my hand

I have blogged about the Neve eyeliners before, but not these particular shades.  I'm a big fan of them, they're affordable, cruelty free, long wearing, well pigmented and soft & blendable.  There's not much else you could ask for from an eyeliner!  I love how in the swatch of the purple shade you can really see the pink/purple glitter, it really shows up on the eye like that too.

Neve cosmetics pride themselves on being paraben free, silicone free, cruelty free and suitable for vegans.  Neve are arguably one of Italys best makeup brands, they make high quality products that are comparable to their high end counterparts.  Between the eye liners, lip liners and eye shadows I've tried of theirs, I've yet to find something I'm disappointed with.

One really nice thing you can do with these eye liners is apply them under your lower lash line and blend them in with a small brush and create a soft smokey soft look, one that will stay in place for hours.  Don't expect them to last as long as a waterproof eyeliner though, but they do last well compared to other kohl liners.

These are a great price of £3.95* each too - and at the moment over on beauty chamber they're buy one get one free from this particular set (Twenties icon set), the colours I have are: cincilla taupe beige shimmer and vanita dark purple shimmer.

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovelyLuchessa from Beauty Expression


Thursday, 16 January 2014

January 2014 Birchbox

January Birchbox

It's that time of the month once again for a new Birchbox.  I've been a big fan and champion of theirs since they started here in the UK, but I can't help but feel disappointed.  Don't get me wrong, this isn't a terrible box, but I'm just tired of getting endless amounts of skincare - I want makeup!!  Yes there's a Porefessional (arguably a skincare product), which doesn't actually work for me - it does the reverse and highlights my pores (not a good look).  The thing that excited me most in this box is the Miso soup by Itsu - I love their big tubs of noodles so I'm sure I'll love this too.  I'm sad to see they've ditched their little bags too and opted for pink tissue paper, I much preferred the bags as I could re-purpose them.

All in all I got:

Philip Kingsley moisture balancing conditioner (pretty happy with this)
They claim it moisturises without weighing your hair down, leaving it shiny, smooth and tangle free.

Benefit Porefessional (not a product I'm a fan of)
They claim it magically erases pores and leaves skin velvety.

Rodial Glamtox night (dubious about how the product has discoloured the packaging)
They claim it's a super-hydrating formula, that it smoothes the complexion and plumps fine lines.

Vasanti detox facial cleanser (interested to see what this is like)
They claim it washes away toxins and all traces of foundation

Premae instant renewal body oil (interested to see what this is like too)
They claim it moisturises, tones and detoxifies skin.

All in all a couple of products I'm interested to try.  But I'll be honest, I am thinking about cancelling this box, which is a real shame as I've been such a steadfast fan of it.  

Did you get a box this month?  What did you think of yours?

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovelyLuchessa from Beauty Expression


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Ojon rare blend oil total hair therapy

Ojon rare blend oil unmixed

Ojon rare blend oil mixed

Ojon rare blend oil combines different ingredients to bring you a hair treatment that claims to boost moisture, nourish, repair, tame frizz, prevent heat damage and reveal shine.  It contains rouge oleifera, tahitian monoi oil, tahitian kukui oil, african marula oil, ximenia oil and kalahari desert oil - all are from things like seeds from melons, extracted from trees, coconut oil (renowned for its great qualities for hair) and nut oil.

To use it, just apply it like any other hair oil after washing your hair and before you blow dry it.  Shake it up so it goes cloudy like in the picture above.  Here's where it gets tricky, from my experience, if you use too little, you won't feel the benefit, and if you use too much, as I found out last week, your hair will look oily.  The ideal amount for me with quite long hair was about the same size as a 1p - a 2p size was too much, and less than a 1p I found to be not enough.

When I did get the size right though, my hair was lovely.  It looked healthily shiny (not greasy), it had a nice weight too it and not too flyaway, and best of all, it felt lovely and soft and just looked really healthy.  In fact, if I had to sum this up in one word, healthy would probably be it.  I love how it makes my hair look and feel, especially now I've figured out how much I need :)

This isn't a cheap product by any means, it'll set you back £30*, but do I think it's worth it? Yes, definitely.  A little goes a long way and will last you well.  For your money you get 45ml of product, it's a little more expensive than say, Moroccanoil, but this has arguably better and more natural ingredients.

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovelyLuchessa from Beauty Expression


Monday, 13 January 2014

Urban Decay Vice 2 palette review

Urban Decay vice palette
Vice 2 palette button]
For Christmas I had this little baby, no, not an actual baby, a makeup baby in the form of the Urban Decay Vice 2 palette.  Oh my goodness, it should be framed and hung in the National Gallery as a work of art!  Before I get into the nitty gritty of the review, here's some beautiful pictures of it and some swatches :)

Urban Decay vice 2 eye shadows

All the UD Vice 2 eye shadows

Close up of Vice 2 palette

Another close up of the Vice 2 palette

One last close up of the vice 2 palette
The top row of the UD Vice 2 palette swatched
Top row swatch

The 2nd row of the UD Vice 2 palette swatched
2nd row swatch

The 3rd row of the UD Vice 2 palette swatched
3rd row swatch (look at that pretty glitter in the middle!)

Bottom row of the UD Vice 2 palette swatched
Bottom row swatch

Ok, lets get ourselves together after those pretty pics!  Can you tell they were taken with a new camera? :)  Anyway, on with the review!

First off, this is really beautifully packaged.  I'm a sucker for purple at the best of times, but this is adorned in fluttery purple petal print.  Then there's the way it opens, a push button-auto-open action, ooooooh yeah!

Inside you'll find 20 stunning shades ranging from blues to pinks, neutrals, greens and metallics.   All are of the standard you've come to expect and love from Urban Decay, they're creamy, buttery, blendable and highly pigmented without too much fallout (there will be some though).  The first combination I wore is the blues (below), I really was taken back by how beautiful these looked together - I think I might have scared my family though!  The next day I work the silver shade 'shellshock' with the glittery black 'lovesick' (no matter how many times I write that, I keep going to say lovestick!).

After that, I ventured into the neutrals and experimented with the different browns, either wearing just one shade, or blending lots of them together - they looked beautiful in whichever arrangement I wore them in.  I really do love the matte nude shade 'habit' (middle of bottom row) for highlighting under the browbone too - it's skin coloured but brightens just enough without any shimmer.

The only negatives I can think of with the palette is that it's a little large, so not that travel friendly, but on the flip side of that, if you did take this palette with you, you wouldn't need to take any other shadows with you.  Also, there's the price, it's £42 which for what you get is a really good price, but £42 for a palette feels like quite a lot.  But you do get reasonable sized shadows for this and in really beautiful packaging.  I would recommend this to anyone and everyone, I absolutely adore it!!!  What's better, it's Urban Decay so it's cruelty free :)

Madness and prank all over the lids
 ** Yes, I know I need my brows done **

Shellshock and lovesick over the lids
** Sadly these two pics of my eyes weren't taken with the new camera, however, they were taken in good light and do the shadows justice **

Is the Vice 2 palette on your wishlist?  Or do you already have it and love it?

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Luchessa from Beauty Expression


Sunday, 12 January 2014

Spending ban update - The End!

The front of the Canon EOS 600d with the 50mm lens

The back of the Canon EOS 600d with the 50mm lens
After a couple of months (3 I think) of being on this beauty spending ban, I'm happy to announce I'm finally off it!!!  Well, sort of!

On Thursday evening we went to Jessops to have a look at the Canon EOS 60d and 600d - the aim was to see after having a play with both, which we actually wanted.  The aim was the 60d, but the 600d was in a January sale.  After holding the two of them and using them, for me the 600d was by far the better camera - the 60d was just too heavy, it made my arm ache after half a minute, whereas the 600d was really light and easy to use.  If I'd have been using the camera on a tripod for most of the time the 60d may have been the better camera to get, but I'll be holding it for the majority of the time.  

We had enough money saved (including some Christmas money) to purchase the 600d there and then, so we did :)  To go with it we bought a 50mm lens too, great for focussing on a specific thing and getting a very blurry background (and some bokeh going on!).  As well as it being on offer, it also had another offer where it came with about £100 worth of kit (spare battery (essential!), camera case, lens cleaner and a LCD protector).  To go with that we also bought a decent memory card and a cheap (£20) tripod.

Both hubby and I couldn't be happier, we've been taking photo's of all sorts of bits and bobs from around the house, and I've already shot 2 videos on it (one is already live and the other will be live on Tuesday).

We had to add a little extra money to our savings to be able to afford it, so even though we've bought the camera and my spending ban has officially come to an end, I'm going to say on the ban until the end of January.  February will hopefully then see me become the proud owner of the NARS sheer glow foundation, and the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette :)

So hopefully from now on, this blog will be adorned with stunning photo's and blurry backgrounds :) Here's a few of the pics we've been taking - be warned, we're still learning so they're not perfect :)

A pic of me taking a pic


A close up of a little sculpture I made years ago

A close up of Matilda

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Luchessa from Beauty Expression


Friday, 10 January 2014

A foundation free month

Me without foundation

Yep, you read that title right, during January I'm not wearing any foundation, concealer or powder.  In December my skin wasn't looking exactly good, it became redder and redder, and I really broke out with loads of spots.  So I decided to give my skin a break and January seemed the best month to do it. I'm getting back on the healthy eating bandwagon (eating LOADS of veg!) and I'm doing Dry January (no alcohol in Jan).

I know that pic doesn't make my skin look terrible, but trust me, I have a lot of redness going on, especially when you compare the skin on my face to my neck and decolletage.  I also get dark circles around my eyes (purple and blue) which I won't be covering up.

There's a few other things I'm going to do this month to try and get my skin in the best shape possible, like drink more herbal tea, drink more water, eat more vegetables, eat more fruit and eat less rubbish!

If you have any tips to help with my regime feel free to leave them in a comment below :)

This months Biggest-Pixi3 advertiser is the lovely Luchessa from Beauty Expression

© Makeup-Pixi3. All rights reserved.