Wednesday, 29 October 2014

5 Autumn Nail Picks

I was rifling through my boxes of nail varnish the other day, looking for an Autumnal shade to wear and I just couldn't decide which one to use. I pulled out the nail varnishes I was most drawn to and this post was born. So without further ado, I introduce my 5 nail picks for Autumn...

 Left to Right: China Glaze - Harvest Moon / Maybelline - Divine Wine / China Glaze - Dress Me Up / 
Essie - Warm and Toasty Turtleneck / Essie - Parka Perfect

China Glaze - Harvest Moon
I adore this unique shade, described as a "luxurious metallic copper", which was inspired by District 9 from The Hunger Games. Every time I look it at it I can't help but think of beautiful orange Autumn leaves on a woodland walk! 

My favourite colour in Autumn is, well, anything with a berry hue! One of the nicest shades I've come across is Divine Wine, which is a mid toned berry that is vibrant and rich in colour with a gorgeous glossy finish. 

If you're loving the 90s nude lip trend at the moment, then this is the perfect nail shade to co-ordinate with your lips. Dress Me Up is a brown toned, dusky pink, but the pink is so muted it borders on the nude category. This shade was also inspired by The Hunger Games - this time District 8.

I only recently bought the Essie polishes in this post (and for a bargain too from Fragrance Direct - clickable link above), the first one being this lovely lavender shade. I love picking up these muted kind of colours - I always think of it as just one step down from my adored summer brights, so you still get a strong, deep colour, just toned down a little.

Although some people see it as quite a boring colour, grey is one of my favourites as I think it suits my pale skin and blonde hair. This is possibly one of the nicest grey nail shades ever - blue toned with a delicate shimmer running through it. Love love love!

Which of my Autumn nail picks is your favourite? What are your favourite nail shades for this time of year?

Beauty Bird xx


Monday, 27 October 2014

Review: Lychee by The Library of Fragrance

Recently the brand The Library of Fragrance launched in the UK, with an online shop selling their full range of over 100 colognes and a selection being available in 400 Boots stores nationwide. Their fragrance is unique in many ways; firstly because the scents are not what you'd necessarily expect to wear on your skin. They are described as "inspired by life"; smells that surround us on a day to day basis captured in a bottle, such as Cherry Blossom, Honey and Ginger. More unusual scents include Pizza, Baby Powder, Grass and Play-Doh. The second unique aspect of The Library of Fragrance is the fact that their scents are "single note" - one individual scent that expresses its character immediately and doesn't change over time. This also means that their range of scents can be layered and mixed together to create your own bespoke scent. All the bottles are 30ml in size and cost £15.00.

Recently I've been wearing the fragrance Lychee, a scent that delicately captures the sweet and fruity nature of this exotic red fruit. It's quite a light scent, truly typical of a cologne, which means it does wear off by the end of the morning. This is definitely one to pop in your handbag and top up through the day as needed. The bottle is nice and compact, the packaging very simple and functional with a sticky label. It's not the prettiest or most exciting bottle, but the low price reflects that and at least you know you're paying mostly for the scent. 

The Library of Fragrance really sets itself apart from other brands because of its quirky scents and affordable price point. I think the scents would appeal to both men and women, old and young, making nice gifts or an inexpensive treat for yourself. See the full range online here.

What do you think of The Library of Fragrance's range of colognes? Which scent do you like the sound of the most?

Beauty Bird xx

P.S. This post contains a PR sample. This does not affect my opinion of the product. 


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Writing a Product Review: My Tips

Tea and biscuits optional!

When I write an individual product review for this blog, I have a little tick list in my mind of things to mention in the review and generally follow this for any beauty product. I personally prefer quite detailed reviews; I'm not talking an essay, but a good few paragraphs as opposed to three or four lines briefly describing why the product is good or bad. I love to read an overview of the product and the writer's experience of using it. After all, a lot of the time I'm reading a review because I don't know much, if anything, about what's being featured or because I'm trying to make a well informed decision on whether to purchase it or not.

This is the format I tend to follow for individual product reviews;

I keep this quite brief, but I like to write a few introductory lines to ease the reader into the review - for example, how I came across the product or who/what influenced me to buy it.

Brand and Product Information
After the introduction, I will write some facts that are appropriate to the product type and a sentence about what the brand claims it will do. If the brand is fairly unknown then I will include some facts about the brand too. Here are the key points I aim to cover;
  • The size of the bottle/pot
  • The price
  • The packaging
  • Key ingredients
  • The formula e.g. a cream cleanser or a powder blusher
  • Brand claims e.g. "designed to reduce the appearance of pores and re-balance oily skin"
  • If the product comes with anything e.g. brush and mirror with an eyeshadow palette
  • Any other appropriate facts e.g. 98% natural, non-comedogenic, contains SPF15

My Thoughts
This is obviously the key section of the review and I try to cover as many aspects as possible to thoroughly share my experience of using the product. 

  • How I apply/use the product and ease of application
  • The pigmentation and how well the shade suits my skin
  • The formula e.g. is the lipstick dry or creamy, is the eyeshadow overly powdery or smooth and buttery
  • The finish e.g. matte, glossy, shimmery
  • If there is any scent and what that scent is
  • The average wear time on my skin
  • How I apply/use the product
  • The consistency and feel of the formula e.g. it feels silky, it feels heavy
  • If there is any scent and what that scent is
  • How it affects my skin - this will vary massively depending on the type of product but could include if it's drying or hydrating, if it's soothing or irritating, if it improves blemishes/redness/fine lines/dullness/pores as promised, if it removes makeup effectively.

This summarises my thoughts from above in a couple of sentences. I try to be as balanced as possible - if the product wasn't for me then I will say so, but I will then recommend who I think it could be suitable for.

I also like to include an external link to a website, which makes it easy for the reader to read more about the product if they wish and even make a purchase if they feel inspired to do so!

I may not always write a review exactly like this or in this order; sometimes I will put the external link at the beginning of the post and sometimes at the end of the post for example. However I feel like following this format as a guideline really helps to me to write a helpful, informative review - hopefully if you read my reviews you will agree! Please note that this does not mean I think this is the best way to format a review or that I do not like other formats, I just find this works for me. 

I would love to know your tips for writing a product review?

Beauty Bird xx


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Review: MAC Eyeshadow in Sable

When I spotted this MAC eyeshadow pan in the shade Sable on a blog sale for just £7.00, looking barely used, it was too good to resist. After googling swatches and reading that it was a great colour to suit blue eyes, I knew it had to be the third eyeshadow to go in my MAC pro palette quad. 

Sable is a Frost finish, which gives an iridescent shine to the eyeshadow. MAC describe Sable as a "gold-plum with bronze pearl" shade, which I do partially agree with. I would describe it as a warm bronze with plum undertones; I'm not sure if there's any gold in there! Although Sable doesn't look much in the pan, it really comes into its own on the skin and looks stunning. I'm so glad I bought it; I don't think I have any other shade quite like it in my eyeshadow collection and the plum undertones make it perfect for Autumn. I also love how buildable the colour is, so it can be easily be transformed from a day to night shade. As with the other MAC eyeshadows I've tried, the quality and pigmentation is on a very high level.

I now need one more eyeshadow pan to make my quad complete (the other shades I have are Satin Taupe and All That Glitters), so if you have any recommendations please let me know in the comments.

What do you think of Sable? Which MAC eyeshadow shades do you love?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 19 October 2014

Review: Faith in Nature Grapefruit and Orange Shampoo and Conditioner for Normal to Oily Hair

I love coming across new brands and products, especially when they use natural ingredients. Faith in Nature is a British brand based in Lancashire, producing a range of hair, body, skin and home care products. These products do not contain SLS, SLES, Parabens, synthetic colourings or fragrances, artificial preservatives or genetically modified ingredients and are not tested on animals. 

I've recently been using Faith in Nature's Grapefruit and Orange Shampoo and Conditioner for normal to oily hair. I used to wash my hair every other day, but in the last month I've been extending this by a day, so have had to cope with extra oiliness in the process. This duo promise to cleanse and condition with organic Citrus Oil, Sunflower Oil and Chamomile Flower Extract, whilst providing an uplifting scent. The bottles are 400ml in size, costing a very reasonable £5.50 each. 

The Faith in Nature Grapefruit and Orange Shampoo has a fairly thin, gel formula, but lathers up brilliantly - if I didn't know otherwise, I wouldn't have said it was SLS free. It cleanses my hair gently but effectively. The Grapefruit and Orange Conditioner has a creamy, medium consistency, which is enough to nourish the ends after cleansing. Unlike most natural shampoos and conditioners I've tried, Faith in Nature's do not leave my hair extra knotty or rough to the touch. The end result is smooth and I would even go as far to say silky locks, that have been purified and refreshed without being stripped. I adore the scent too - it's a real zingy punch of grapefruit, which is so invigorating on a sleepy morning.

All in all the Grapefruit and Orange Shampoo and Conditioner are a fantastic duo, that I'd really recommend for oily hair based on my experience. They're possibly the best natural shampoo and conditioner I've tried to date and are really affordable too. They can be purchased from Faith in Nature here.

Have you tried any products from Faith in Nature? Are there any other natural haircare products you'd recommend trying? 

Beauty Bird xx

P.S. This post contains PR samples. This does not affect my opinion of the product.