REVIEW // Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Amethyst

I honestly can't believe I haven't blogged about the Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Shadow Sticks before - maybe it's because they are such a mouthful to try and say - But in all seriousness, these are the things I tend to reach for when doing my eyes about 90% of the time, they're so quick and easy and make it look like you've spent half an hour blending various eye shadows across your eyelids, when in reality, it's a sweep of this and a quick buff and blend for 15 seconds. 

There's a lot of hype in the blogging world at the minute about the By Terry Ombre Blackstar eye shadows and while I don't own any of these, I have swatched them and I feel like the formula and colours are quite similar, there's not a huge difference between these price wise but the Laura Mercier are about £8 cheaper which when you're picking up a couple, definitely makes a difference. I actually got mine in a set of 6 at Christmas for around the £45 mark which makes them quite a bargain so keep an eye out to see if there is anything like this coming up - I also picked up another set on Boxing day for £22.50, I was literally beside myself with joy! I'll do another post at some point covering all the shades I have, I have around 7 or 8 I think but I think my definite favourite has to be Amethyst which is a deep plum shade with a hint of taupe as well, I thought it was going to be my least favourite when I bought this online but as soon as I put it on, it was amazing, I have Green eyes and the purple colour really intensified my eye colour, I've always seen recommendations to wear purple shadow but to be honest, I just had visions of me looking like i'd stepped out of the 80's but this colour just really works.

These have great lasting power and work really well on there own or as a base for other shadows, I'm an oily eyelid gal so eye shadows have a tendency to crease very easily on my lids but this stays put for a good 8 hours before I start to see any signs of movement and I think if I used a primer underneath, this could last even longer or if I use a powder shadow on top it locks it down. I picked mine up in Space NK a bit closer to Christmas time last year but they have this Mini Caviar Stick set online for £38 which has a nice range of colours similar to the set I got and I'd definitely recommend picking it up.

Have you tried these?

Soph x

REVIEW // Zoeva Rose Gold Brushes

I've been after these brushes for over a year, I remember first seeing them around May 2013 I think but they sold out instantly and then a few months ago whilst going through my spam folder I spotted an e-mail telling me they were back in stock, I was on that website placing an order within minutes - it's a really beautiful set, the bag is lovely and the brushes themselves are just so pretty, rose gold, super soft and sturdy - I'll go through these one by one and give you a quick run down of how I got on with them but there isn't a brush in this set that I don't like and at £55 for the set, that makes each brush under £7 which is pretty impressive. Ok, onto thr review:

102 // Silk Finish

This is probably my most used brush out of the set, I use this for applying foundation and blending it in - i'd liken it to the Real Techniques buffing brush in look but it's actually alot firmer and more compact than the Real Techniques brush which I find gives a bit more of a flawless finish because it really buffs in the product - quality wise, as with all of these brushes, they really are good for the price, it's never dropped any bristles, it's easy to clean and is just so soft.

106 // Powder

Next up is the Powder brush, again, amazing quality and i've been using this for both powder and also for bronzer because it gives a perfect sweep of product without looking powdery. One of my biggest things with powder is that I hate the look of powder sitting on your skin, I only ever wear powder when I know i'm going to have a long day or if I need to work in the office because I know by the afternoon mymakeup isgoing to start to melt off of my skin - this however, delivers the right amount of product to set my makeup but never too much, obviously if you do like powder, you can build this up. I also love it for Bronzer because again, it doesn't put too much product on the skin so I can do my whole face in just a few sweeps.

127 // Luxe Sheer Cheek

This is my first angled blush brush, I normally go for more of arounded or pointed brush for blush because I have quite big cheeks and high cheek bones but this is actually the only one I've been reaching for, fo blush, it's quite square in shape when you look down on it and as a result it gives a nice sweep of colour in the right places - This could also be used as a contour as it's quite direct with applying the product so all you'd need is just to apply and then buff.

142// Concealer Buffer 

A nice compact little brush, perfect for blending in concealer under and around the eyes and for pinpointing concealer around any spots or redness.

110 // Face Shape

This is one of the brushes I haven't been too sure what to use it for - it's essentially a bigger version of the 142 Concealer Buffer Brush and i've been using it to buff in foundation or concealer around the nose but essentially, that's it's only use for me at the minute - if you have any tips on what this can be used for, let me know!

227 // Luxe Soft Definer

A super soft, blending brush for the eye, similar to MACs 217 which is the ultimate blender but this does a pretty good job, buffs and blends eyeshadow nicely.

231 // Luxe Petit Crease

Funnlily enough, I've been using this crease brush to apply eyeshadow in the crease - it's perfect, it's nice and pointed and dense enough to deliver enough product to the crease without overpowering it and blends it in nicely.

317 // Wing Liner

The only disappointment of the set, mine had a bit of a flaw so the bristles aren't straight which makes it not so ideal for doing liner but to be honest, i'd very rarely use this anyway.

HAUL // Sephora feat. Tarte, Bite & Josie Maran

I actually ordered these bits about a month ago so I'm a little late with posting this and as a result, the Tarte Eyshadow set has gone unfortuately, but I have a good alternative, the rest all appear to be on there though. This was my first order from Sephora and I was really impressed with how quickly the order arrived from the US, I placed my order on Saturday and despite a bank holiday in the US on the Monday, it had arrived by the Friday, I took advantage of the $6 shipping on orders over $85 which is really good, it's almost worth spending the $85 because the shipping works out being fairly pricey if you spend under that - One thing to be aware of though is that there are additional taxes that will be added when you go to checkout so the price you see on the site will go up slightly but on the plus side, there are not duties to pay when it arrives in the UK so what you pay is what you get.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Eyeshadow Set V1/V2 $39

I'm not sure whether this is V1 or V2, it's advertised as both in a lot of places but it's essentially an eyeshadow pallette with 16 shadows in a range of mattes and shimmers in varying nude shades, all very neutral. I wouldn't say that these are the best formulas in the world but by no means bad, some are definitely better than others but they are fairly buttery and easy to blend, a few of them have a little bit of fall out but nothing that can't be fixed easily and the shades all work very well together, for the price, this is a great little pallette. This set isn't available anymore but there is a similar one in this set which is $59 and comes with a varitey of mini products from the Tarte range such as lip glosses, lip tints, blushes & mascara so you get to try a bit of everything which I think is really nice and if this had been there when I was placing my order, I would have gone for this instead! 

BITE Agave Lip Mask (Champagne) $26

This is like nothing I've ever tried before, you all know how I love my lip balms, but this takes it too another level - I went for the Champagne version which has a hint of shimmer running through and a sweet vanilla flavour which I love but the original version is definitely on my wishlist now as well. I'll do a full review of this in the next few weeks but this makes me all kinds of happy.

Josie Maran Argan Oil Lip & Cheek Set - $28

This is another one that is unfortunately no longer available but to be honest, this was the disappointment in the order for me. I was so pleased to see the four little minis so I could try out all the colours but as blushes, these just aren't for me, I found they tended to drag a littlebit so it would move my foundation underneath and they just looked a little strange on the cheeks and the colours inside didn't seem to match the packaging or the decriptions, they were just a bit strange, I think they can work on the lips but again, it's not the ideal lip product as they are quite oily, I'm going to keep trying with these but first thoughts aren't great!

Tarte Lights, Camera Flashes Mascara - $23

This is hands down one of the best mascara's I've ever used, it literally makes my lashes look like i'm wearing false lashes, it's super black, really lngthening and adds plenty of volume which is everything I look for in a mascara, I normally hate plastic brushes but this is definitely a winner for me, I will be putting up a review of this shortly *hearteyessmiley*

Sephora Favorites Draw the Line Set - $30

I love the Sephora Favorites sets, little mini sizes that give you the chance to try and multitude of products that you wouldn't normally get to try. This set includes Nars, Marc Jacobs, Stila,Urban Decay, Kat Von D - big names, mini sizes but you still get a lot of product to really give it a good test!

And, I think that's it - but putting in the links has highlighted a whole new batch of products that I want to try/buy...

Have you tried any of these, what are your thoughts?

Soph x

REVIEW // GlamGlow Mud Mask

I didn't expect to love this and I was really hoping I wouldn't love it to be honest, you've all probably seen this mask out there in the blogging world, it's crazy expensive but honestly, it's so, so good, I asked my sister to pick this up for me when she was in America because it's slightly cheaper over there, although only marginally so I got the little sample pot which is 15g but still works out at £25 here so when I do use it, I use it fairly sparingly depending on what my skin is like but I think I've had about 6-8 masks out of this pot, I have tended to use this just on the area's that need it though and pairing it with another mask, normally Origins Clear Improvement or Out of Trouble mask which I think helps to keep this lasting a little bit longer.

Texture wise, this is quite a thick clay with little bits in it that help to exfoliate - it sets on your skin, and I mean this sets, like rock hard so you don't want to be using this if you need to ring anyone or eat or anything like that because it will just crack and crumble, I apply it, settle down for 15 minutes and then wash it off using a warm flannel and it leaves my skin super soft, glowing and just generally looking healthier, if I have any spots, they look visibly reduced almost immediately, it really does make skin just look a lot healthier overall after using. A lot of people mention that this tingles or burns sometimes when they use it so I'd recommend doing a little test to make sure it works for you, I had a very little tingle but no burning or anything like that, it just felt a little bit warm.

It smells very lemony, I'm actually not a huge fan of the scent, it reminds me a little bit of cleaning products, I'm also not a massive fan of the pot it comes in because I find that it gets right under your nails when you come to scoop it out which is quite annoying when you think of the wastage, plus I don't really want clay setting under my nails. The actual outside packaging is nice though, i's in a little metal tin which looks quite pretty sitting on the dressing table.

Overall, although this is crazily priced, I'd definitely recommend it, and I'll be repurchasing the full size soon because it really does work and it's so handy to have for when you just need something that will fix your skin.

I've just noticed that HQHair have 30% and 50% off some of the GlamGlow sets so I'd get in there quick - click here.

Have you tried this? Thoughts?

Soph x

REVIEW // Birchbox October 2014

Sooo, I'm a little bit later than planned with my Birchbox Review this month - I'm not as happy with it as last month but I'm still pretty impressed, it definitely seems like Birchbox have been on a bit of a roll with their boxes for the past few months - there was an error in my box this month, I ended up with two Pixi Lip Balms instead of the Meaningful Beauty Serum which is a bit of a shame but I actually really like the Pixi balm and I know my sister will love it as we're both pretty fond of a neutral tinted lip balm so I shall be giving one to her to try next time I see her. Anyway, onto the box, the theme was a collab with Coppafeel for Breast Cancer Awareness and all the products were packaged up in a handy little pink canvas makeup bag.

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Honey Nectar

This was the standout product for me, it left lips super moisturised with a wash of colour- the colour of Honey Nectar is a little bit like the 90's Kylie Jenner look with a hint of gold glitter, I'd prefer it without the gold sheen running through it but I still really love this.

KMS California Dry Wax Spray

I haven't actually tried this on my hair yet but I have given it a little spray and it's unusual, a little bit like a heavier texturising spray - I think it could be good, I've just been working all week so haven't had a chance to play around with it yet.

Cattier Pink Clay Mask

Another one that I haven't tried but I'm really looking forward to trying, I got two sachets of this and they both have a fair amount of product in so I'm guessing I'll get at least 4 masks out of it, I don't think I've got any products with Pink Clay in either so I'm interested to see the difference, I'll do a review on this once I've given it a go!

Shaveworks The Cool Fix

I've tried this one but only once but so far so good, a gel formula that is quite cooling but I don't really suffer from Razor burn - This may be TMI, but I'm going to give it a whirl on my underarms (the word armpits makes me want to vom) to see how that goes, if there's any revelations there, I'll be sure to let you all know! 

REVIEW // Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

I have been seriously loving the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, it was a real impulse buy, I had some points saved up on Birchbox that needed spending, I spotted this on their online shop and without reading any reviews ordered it, which is very unusual for me - I like to know what I'm getting normally particualry when it comes to skin products and foundation but thankfully it paid off for me this time, I went for the shade Nude which I think is the second lightest shade and almost a perfect match for my skin tone, probably the best match I have found, coverage on this is fairly light, during Summer I have been wearing this on it's own but now it's moving into the colder months, I'm using this all over and then using a little bit of extra coverage  where I need it, normally on my cheeks in the form of the YSL Touche Eclat Foundation in the shade B40, the two blend together really well and leave my skin looking very natural but with an even tone, it doesn't look cakey and has a nicedewy effect which I'm all about.

Formula wise, this is a moisturizer but it's lightweight so I do use a regular moisturiser underneath, my current is the Antipodes Vanilla Pod Day Cream, review here, which is quite a heavy formula so they work OK together, it has an SPF 20, offering protection from both UVA and UVB rays which is always a win. I've been using the Real Techniques Buffing Brush or the Zoeva Silk Finish brush with this, buffing it into skin which gives a really natural finish. Price wise, it's not the cheapest at £34 for 50ml but I've been using this for the past 2 months, albeit fairly sparingly but it still seems to be going stong.

You can find this in most places but I picked mine up from BirchBox here.

WISHLIST // Weekly Wishlist #7

Weekly Wishlist #7

It's October - OMG! Seriously, this year is flying past so quickly, it's crazy!! This weeks wishlist is all about those Vans, I'm in love with them, I think they might have to move from this wishlist and into my little paws soon!

If you haven't seen it yet - I have posted a new Giveaway up here to win either a MAC or Urban Decay lipstick to celebrate 500 BlogLovin followers so check it out! 

Hope you all have a good week!

Soph x

REVIEW // MAC Mineralize Skin Finish - Soft & Gentle

This is one of those holy grail beauty products that has been blogged about many, many times before so I'm not going to go into too much detail here but merely out it out as a little refresher. I hadn't used this for about 6 months before re-discovering it last Christmas and falling in love all over again. It's the MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft & Gentle, the mere mention of those words can send many a beauty bloggers heart a flutter. It's a golden bronze colour that is quite a chunky highlighter I guess, if I were to compare it to something like The Balm's Mary-Lou-Manizer which is very finely milled. This one has more of a thick, chunky effect mixed in so it's not one that I'd necessarily recommend if you are after a very subtle look although I think with a very light handed application you could probably achieve quite a subtle look.

My personal favourite use for this is during the summer as it looks so lovely with a tan, I do find that in the winter months, throwing this on top of my makeup during the day, can look a little too much because it is that little bit chunkier and darker than some of my other highlighters and I tend to be quite pale during the winter but for an evening look or a summer day, it's perfect. Colour wise, it's a little more golden than some of my other go to highlighters which tend to be more of a pale, pearly colour so it's a good addition to my collection, ya know, it's nice to spice things up every now and then (or so I tell myself to justify buying a new £20 highlighter)! As mentioned before, this is very pigmented so I'd go in very lightly and build this up because once it's on, it's difficult to tone it down. 

Product and price wise, this is a huge pot and considering you need the tiniest amount of this, I think it's something that will be in my collection for a long time and not necessarily something that I'm going to have to re-purchase any time soon, If I had to though, I would. Overall, I really like this and will definitely be delving into some of the other MSF's that MAC have to offer. I picked mine up at Selfridges for £22.

Have you used this, what did you think?

Soph x

GIVEAWAY // MAC or Urban Decay Lipstick

Hey Guys & Gals,

UPDATE :: I've had to extend this giveaway by a few weeks, I'm just about to move to house, then going away for a week and with work and Christmas thrown into the mix, I just don't have time to sort anything else out sooooo I am extending it but to make up for it, I'll throw a little something extra in for the winner :)) 

A new giveaway on the cards to win either a MAC or Urban Decay lipstick of your choice - my last MAC giveaway went down really well so I figure that's what you want to see.

Giveaway is open internationally and the only mandatory option is to follow me on Bloglovin - link here!

Hope you enjoy and good luck :) 

Soph x

REVIEW // The Body Shop Vineyard Peach Shower Gel

Today we're talking about The Body Shop's Vineyard Peach Shower Gel, This was a bit of random purchase for me, I've been using the Soap & Glory Sugar Crush shower gel since it first came out, swapping it up around Christmas Time for Lush's Snow Fairy and I'm quite happy with that little routine but I needed to up my spend in The Body Shop a few months back so I ended up picking this up along with the Vineyard Peach Body Spray. It smells really good, like seriously good, it's got a peach (obviously!!) scent but it's not the normal super sweet manufactured peach scent you find in most peachy products, which I do also find a bit dreamy but it's more of a subtle, natural peach scent, really, really good!

It's soap free, which I was quite surprised at because it definitely feels like a regular old soapy shower gel, it leaves me feeling super clean without drying out my skin and is perfect for the summer. In Winter I tend to reach for creamier shower products just to keep my skin feeling a bit more nourished and I probably will switch over to something a little creamier now this is nearly gone but I'd definitely recommend it if you want to keep a little bit of a Summer feel  going in the shower.

Now that I'm writing this post, I've just remembered that I have the matching Body Butter for this as well, which is like all of the body butters from Body Shop, super thick, super moisturising and has the same subtle peach scent, I'll defnitely be going to dig around my stash to pull it out in a minute!

This is £4 but you can always find a discount code for Body Shop for either onnline or in store - they currently have 40% off when you buy 5 items online.

REVIEW // GHD Eclipse Hair Straighteners

So, I kind of just want to look at these and not use them so they stay this pretty and shiny forever. If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that I've been banging on about my old GHDs coming to their end for a while and even though they still have a little life left in them, I decided to bite the bullet and get a new pair of straighteners so I wasn't left stranded one day. I did quite a lot of research into which were the best straighteners to go for, I'm a GHD girl through and through, I've had a pair since I was about 15 and thinking about it now, I think I've only had 2 pairs which shows how long lasting they are so despite a lot of competition on the market, I settled for the new GHD Eclipse, partly because they're beautiful and partly because I just know they'll last. I had my old GHDs for over 5 years and they're still not quite dead and I straighten my hair virtually every day so they get a lot of use. 

Ok, so yes these are very pretty but are they any good? I actually really like styling my hair with these, the plates are a little more curved than my old pair which means that I can give my hair a bit of life and slightly curl the ends round rather than the poker straight effect I got with my old ones. It's also a lot easier to style my fringe with these, I have a side fringe that's quite grown out and I like it to kind of flick  back on itself if you know what I mean (I'm not quite sure what I mean so I hope you're still with me on this) but because of the curve of the plates and the fact that the plates are a lot thinner, it's a lot easier to achieve that look. 

The tool itself is a lot lighter and the cord is a lot longer which I know a lot of people will find useful when plug sockets are limited. It has a little button on the top of the styler that you press to turn on, you'll hear a little beep and within about 10 seconds another beep to let you know it's ready to use - I normally turn my straighteners on and head off to do something else while they heat up but these are ready literally in seconds which is great if you're pushed for time. I won't go into the technical details of these too much because I'm really not that clued up on these kinds of things but essentially there are 6 sensors within the heat plates that make sure there is no heat lost while styling your hair, they also keep a constant heat of 185°C throughout styling the hair which is the perfect temperature for styling hair.

As you can probably tell, I'm pretty pleased with my purchase but they are pricey and are they better than the regular GHD's that around £50 cheaper - not necessarily but they look nice and I desparately needed an upgrade so I'm pretty pleased with these bad boys! 

Have you tried these? What's your favourite styling tool?

Soph x