Sunday, 26 April 2015

My Introduction to Yves Rocher Makeup

It's always fun trying out new beauty products or brands - the  excitement is a bit like a child playing with their new toys, but the toys are replaced with makeup! I've tried some of Yves Rocher's bodycare range before, but nothing from their makeup range and I now have a selection of four in my excited little hands!

First up is the Fixing Eyelid Primer (£12.50), which is a nude coloured, liquid primer for eyeshadow. The formula contains Camellia Oil, so although it has a thin consistency it provides a smooth and hydrating base. On its own, it evens out the colour of the lids and is well suited for those "no makeup makeup" days. As a primer, it adds a subtle but noticeable boost to the colour of eyeshadow and prevents creasing after a long day at the office. I frequently wore this just on one lid to test its longevity claims and my eyeshadow stayed on for a good few hours longer than the non-primed lid.

I absolutely love neutral eyeshadow palettes and I own plenty more than I really need. I don't have many quads in this collection however, so the Quad Eyeshadow Sumptuous Color in Red Hot Brown (£25.00) has a filled some of that space! This really is a stunning palette, with shiny gold packaging, a mirror in the lid, two sponge applicators (handy for travel, especially as one is tapered) and four really striking, pigmented shades. The two lighter shades are great to use all over the lid with their gold and taupe tones, with the lightest working well as a highlighting shade too. The two darker shades are more brown toned and are great for defining the crease and upper/lower lids. The only thing I would say about this eyeshadow formula wise, is that it's very soft and so when you take to it with an eyeshadow brush, there's quite a bit of excess to blow away afterwards.

Now for the lining the eyes and this comes in the form of the Intense Kajal 100% Eyeliner in Black (£15.90). I haven't used an eyeliner like this before and it does take a bit of getting used to due to its size. If you like a really thin or precise line, then this eyeliner definitely isn't for you as the tip is rounded rather than pointed. It also doesn't give a really strong, pigmented black line. What it works well for is a smokey eye or for that messy, lived in look; I tend to go over it with a smudging brush to really work it into the lash line and blend it out for subtle definition.

Last up is the Mascara Volume Vertige in Black (£22.00) - I'm still on the hunt for the perfect mascara, so it's a product I regularly try new ones of! First of all I really like the curvy, plastic brush and the formula, which contains botanical extract and has found the perfect balance between wet and dry. I do really like this mascara but it isn't as volumising as I expected considering the name. It does give volume but I would say it's subtle daytime volume rather than dramatic nighttime. What it's brilliant at is lengthening and lifting my lashes and it DOESN'T SMUDGE. Hallelujah! Most mascaras I try smudge slightly under my eyes, so it's so nice to not have to regularly check my eye makeup in a mirror.

These four products have given me a great introduction to Yves Rocher makeup - my favourite has to be the beautiful eyeshadow quad. The prices do slot these products into the high end bracket, but  they are all currently on offer online with over 30% discount! So if you like the look of them, head over to the website now to check them out!

Beauty Bird xx

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

Friday, 24 April 2015

You Beauty Discovery Box April 2015

I was really excited about April's You Beauty Discovery Box when the preview came through; I knew exactly what two products I was going to choose from the Organic and Natural theme. However this unfortunately led to disappointment as one of the products - the Our Tiny Bees Lavender Hand Balm and Beeswax Lip Balm duo - was already out of stock at 9.30am on the day of the box's release. Don't get me wrong, it's still a great box, it's just that I really had my heart set on that duo! *sob*

The first product I chose is the Spa to You Konjac Sponge, which is for use when cleansing as it naturally and gently helps to exfoliate, hydrate, soften and bring a glow to the skin. I've wanted to try a konjac sponge for ages, so I really hope this works for my skin.

After the Our Tiny Bees letdown I decided to pick the Scentered Sleep Well Therapy Balm as my second choice. It contains 14 essential oils including Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Chamomile and Palmarosa to help clear the head and quieten the mind. I do struggle with sleeping, so this is a nice addition to my bedside table as I don't have any pillow sprays. It'll be great for travelling too. 

The extras this month (that every box gets) are firstly, a sachet of the Yours Truly Organics Fix Me! Serum and secondly, a mini pouch of the Linwoods Milled Flaxseed, Cocoa and Berries. I've used the serum before and really liked it, so I'll definitely be using this up quickly. I'm obsessed with milled flaxseed at the moment - I put it in my cereal, smoothies and on toast, so I can't wait to use Linwoods' version with cocoa and berries. Big thumbs up for these extras! 

If you're already a fan of natural and organic beauty, or want to start using more in your routine, then I'd recommend picking up April's You Beauty Discovery Box. Other products available in this box come from brands Tisserand, He-Shi, Green People and Heaven Skincare. Find it online here.

What do you think of this month's box? 

Beauty Bird xx

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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

My New Crownbrush Additions

I've mentioned Crownbrush before on this blog after ordering some eye brushes from them last year and now my collection has considerably expanded with more eye brushes and some base brushes too. If you haven't come across them before, Crownbrush are an online based company offering a huge range of affordable makeup brushes, individually and in sets, plus a makeup range that includes foundations, eyeshadow palettes and bronzers to name but a few. After trying and testing my new brush additions, here's a brief rundown of each one!

C436 Mini Duo Fiber Blender £7.39 - This short headed, flat brush is perfect for blending cream and liquid formulas. I personally think it's too small for foundation (unless you have a lot of patience), but for blusher and highlighter it works really well. The bristles are quite dense, but being a mixture of synthetic and goat hair they feel extremely soft on the skin.

SS001 Deluxe Large Oval Foundation £9.39 - I'll be honest, I'm so used to the ease of my Real Techniques Buffing Brush that I find flat headed foundation brushes hard work in comparison. However this a good size brush and it does have some depth to the synthetic bristles, which gives it a bit of bounce! This seems to work best with heavier coverage foundation as it doesn't sheer out the product very much.

C473 Pro Contour £9.99 - Made from sable and goat hair, this brush is wide and thin with a flat end to fit in the hollows under the cheeks. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get much use out of this as I never contour and don't own any contouring products, but I've given it a go with blusher just to get a feel for it. The bristles are dense but super soft and it sweeps easily to get a line of colour, though I'd recommend a separate fluffy brush to do the blending work!

C430 Duo Fiber Crease £4.79 - Speaking of blending, this brush fits perfectly into the crease of my lid to blend out the darker shadow I normally apply there. It does work for the outer corner of the eye too, though I personally prefer a wider, fluffier brush for this area, which isn't so precise. The bristles are a mixture of microfibre and goat to ensure a soft and smooth application.

C428 Deluxe Duo Fiber Shadow £5.49 - I'm used to using a smaller, rounder brush to apply eyeshadow all over the lid, however this larger, flatter brush makes it much easier. Two swipes across the lid ensures even application - though if I was using a darker shadow I'd go in after with a blending brush just to soften the line around the socket. It's also a good size for applying concealer.

C124 Firm Shadow £4.59 - I have been desperately missing a brush like this in my life! As the name suggests, the red sable bristles are closely packed together to ensure a firm brush head, which is slightly oval in shape. I use this to pat on a concentrated hit of eyeshadow in the outer corner of my eye where I want definition, then go in with a fluffy brush to blend, blend, blend.

SS008 Deluxe Eyeliner £2.29 - With a thin tip, the firm but soft synthetic bristles on this brush are ideal for sweeping gel eyeliner across the lid. The application is precise but gentle. A great, affordable brush.

C409 Angle Definer / Liner £3.69 - Angled eye brushes are great because they can be used for applying eyeshadow to the brows and on the lids as eyeliner when slightly wet. I think everyone needs one of these in their life and this is easy-on-the-purse option!

SS025 Syntho Brow Duo £3.99 - Believe it or not, this is my first ever spoolie!! My brows have never looked so groomed! What makes it even better is that it's double ended with an angled brush on the opposite end, making it the perfect travel buddy for my brows. As mentioned before, I also love angled brushes for applying eyeshadow as eyeliner.

C326 Precision Smudger £2.49 - This is another brush that does just what is says on the handle! With a teeny brush head it's flat and firm, but kept relatively soft by the sable and goat bristles. I primarily use this for softening eyeshadow under my bottom lash line, but it works great for smudging eyeliner too.

Overall, I think these brushes are great quality, affordable and do exactly what you need them to, plus more. I really recommend visiting their website and checking out their huge range!

Are you a fan of Crownbrush? Which of their brushes do you love?

Beauty Bird xx

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

Monday, 20 April 2015

Giveaway! WIN a £25.00 Space NK Voucher

In March it was the blog's 3rd birthday and I really wanted to do something to celebrate and thank you all for reading, as you keep me writing! However it wasn't good timing back then, but now I'm ready to go with the first of three giveaways and it's one that I know I'd love as a blog reader. 

You could win: 
A £25.00 Space NK voucher

Vouchers can be redeemed both in store and online. Space NK stocks a wide range of brands including NARS, Laura Mercier, Hourglass, Diptyque, REN, GLAMGLOW and Bumble and Bumble, so there's plenty of amazing products to choose from!

Giveaway T&Cs
1. This giveaway is U.K. only as unfortunately I can only buy gift vouchers in Sterling.
2. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Entries will be checked!
3. The winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter and contacted via email. 
4. The giveaway will end Sunday 3rd May.
5. If the winner does not respond within 7 days, a new winner will be drawn. 

As previously mentioned I will be running three giveaways in total; the other two will be on my Twitter and Instagram in the next few weeks, so keep a look out.

Good luck!

Beauty Bird xx

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Review: Organic Surge Ultra Light Oil Control Lotion

I've tried a few products from the Organic Surge Extra Care skincare range before and the latest one gracing my face is the Ultra Light Oil Control Lotion. This is a 99% natural and 25% organic moisturiser containing a blend of hydrating and softening ingredients including Argan Leaf Extract, Damask Rose Oil, Aloe Leaf Juice and Safflower Seed Oil. Suitable for normal to dry and mature skin, it is also designed to protect the skin from environmental influences, regulate oil production and prevent shine. A 50ml bottle costs £18.50. 

The Ultra Light Oil Control Lotion comes in simple but classic packaging; a glass bottle with a red and white label and a pump to dispense the moisturiser. The formula is extremely light and reminds me a little of the consistency of a serum; it's more akin to a gel than a cream and is very thin in consistency. As a result it absorbs into the skin super quickly, leaving it smooth and refreshed. I don't think the Ultra Light Oil Control Lotion makes any significant difference to regulating my oil production or shine, however I can see why this is a great moisturiser for oily skin that can't deal with heavy, thick formulas but still needs that moisture boost. I don't find myself reaching for this every day while the weather is still up and down as I prefer to use something more intensive, but I think it will come into its own when those hot summer days come along.

You can find the Organic Surge Ultra Light Oil Control Lotion online here

What is your favourite moisturiser for oily skin? Have you tried Organic Surge's offering and if so, what are your thoughts?

Beauty Bird xx

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