Sunday 25 May 2014

NOTD: Matching My Mismatched Mani

Today's post title is a bit of a mouthful isn't it! Recently I have been loving the mismatched mani that the lovely Kirsty from Tartan Bones and Fran from Been There, Done That, Got the Lipstick have been sporting on their blogs. So when Three challenged me to co-ordinate a Kate Spade phone case for my iPhone 5S with my nails, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity (if a little contradictory!) to do my own mismatched mani.

I absolutely adore the black and white polka dot design of this Kate Spade case with the bright pink edging. So I decided to incorporate all of these aspects into my mani, plus something a little extra, with the below result.

I used the following nail varnish to create this look - the black is Kate Spade for Nails Inc "New York Noir" (of course), for the white I used Barry M "Matt White", the pink is Essie "Bottle Service" and the glitter is "Magic Attraction" by Color Club. I decided to include a glitter accent nail to break up the strong, block colours and I think it really works. I have had so many comments on both the mani and the case - I can't stop staring at either myself!

Are you a fan of the mismatched mani? Do you like to co-ordinate your nails with your outfit or accessories?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Thursday 22 May 2014

Crownbrush Eye Brush Haul

I must confess that this isn't actually a recent haul but one I did back in January! I took the photos when the order arrived and came across them in my unedited blog photo folder. Has I've had quite awhile now to use the brushes, it's about time I shared my thoughts on these with you all! I decided to order from Crownbrush after reading a haul post by Gemma over at Miss Makeup Magpie. Crownbrush brushes are extremely affordable but look more expensive with the sleek silver and black packaging, so it was inevitable I was going to do my own haul and ordered four eye brushes.

Left to right: C250-0 Mini Liner, SS006 Deluxe Angle Liner, C441 Pro Blending Crease, C138 Round Contour

C250-0 Mini Liner - £1.69
I picked this brush up as I was after something small to use with gel eyeliner for those days when you just want a thin, more natural looking line. This brush is extremely small, perhaps a little smaller than I'd like, but it is ideal for precise application.

SS006 Deluxe Angle Liner - £2.39
The reason for this order started with wanting an angled liner brush like this to apply eyeshadow as eyeliner. The SS006 Deluxe Angle Liner really is ideal for this sort of application - the bristles are firm but flexible enough to go with the shape of the eye. I simply dampen the end of the brush and dab it onto the eyeshadow before applying. This brush would also be good for filling in eyebrows with powder.

C441 Pro Blending Crease - £3.99
In her post Gemma mentioned that this could be a budget dupe for the popular MAC 217, so it just had to go in my basket! The white, tapered bristles certainly make it look like the MAC 217, though unfortunately I can't compare the actual application. It is absolutely fantastic at blending out eyeshadow - either in the crease or all over the lid. The only thing is that after a few washes the C441 went from feeling soft to more bristly, which was a little disappointing.

C138 Round Contour - £2.29
The C138 really appealed as it seemed like a great multi-tasking brush with a small, round, tapered head, which is densely packed. I use it for applying eyeshadow directly in the crease of my eye and then blend it out with the C441 Pro Blending Crease. I also use it for bringing eyeshadow softly across the lower lashline. Crownbrush also recommend it for softening pencil liner and applying highlight to the inner corner of the eye. 

In summary I am really pleased with my Crownbrush haul (I can forgive the bristly C441 for the price) and would definitely order from them again. If you're after some budget makeup brushes then I certainly recommend checking them out - you can visit their website by clicking here.

Have you tried any Crownbrush makeup brushes? Are there any you'd recommend?

Beauty Bird xx


Tuesday 20 May 2014

Review: Collection Work The Colour Eye Palette in Nude

When you're a lover of neutral eyeshadows and you spot a palette for £3.99, it's just envitable it's going to end up in your basket! I picked up the Collection Work The Colour Eye Palette in Nude but it is also available in Smokey, Purple and Blue.

For £3.99 Collection have created a palette consisting of eight shimmery powder eyeshadows and one cream highlighter across three rows. The idea is that each row creates a different eyeshadow look in 3 steps - with a light, medium and dark shade, plus the highlighter for the brow bone/inner corner. The lightest shade is meant to go all over the eyelid, the medium shade is to add definition to the centre of the eyelid and the darkest shade from the centre to the outer corner. Also in the Work the Colour Collection Palette is a mini double ended eyeshadow brush, which I doubt I'll ever use, as I always reach for my Real Techniques eyeshadow brushes. The palette itself is in shiny cardboard packaging, so not sure how well this would fare for travelling as it isn't the most sturdy.

The eyeshadows themselves have a really nice, smooth texture and there is barely any fall out, which is really impressive. However what isn't as impressive is the pigmentation, which is more noticeable with the darker shades (you have to apply a LOT of eyeshadow). I'm not too fond of the highlighter either, mainly for the same reason and because the formula isn't as creamy as I'd like. It's a shame because when on top of a eyeshadow primer, the colour nearly lasts to the end of the working day. I primarily use row 2, which are my favourite shades and the ones I have used in the picture below.

I do feel like I shouldn't moan because, after all, I spent less than £4.00 on the Collection Work The Colour Eye Palette, but I don't think I'll be reaching for it as often as I expected to when I first set my eyes on it.

Have you tried any of the Collection Work The Colour Eye Palettes? What are your thoughts on this product?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday 18 May 2014

Love Me Beauty Box May 2014

Earlier in the week I declared my love and excitement over this month's Love Me Beauty Box both on Instagram and Twitter. Of course I do love beauty products and this is a beauty box, but to have two lifestyle related products on the menu this month as well was just a nice surprise and something different. I chose Menu One of the three choices and here's what I received...

Suti Trial Pack - Cleanse Balm, Purity Balm and Fabulous Foot Balm 4ml each (pack worth £6.50)
The Cleanse Balm draws out impurities and cleanses the skin of dirt, pollutants and make-up.
The Purity Balm soothes and cocoons the skin with its incredibly pure and potent botanicals and contains a natural healing and skin strengthening formulation.
The Fabulous Foot Balm is a rich and nourishing foot balm to help rehydrate and revive chapped, tired and aching feet.

GO Stationery Pocket Notebook Set in Vintage Daisy (worth £5.00)
This handy set of three soft covered notebooks are the perfect size to pop in your handbag for on-the-go scribbles. The "Vintage Daisy" collection is perfect for Spring with its dainty flower and polka dot designs.

Raw Skincare Natural Lip Balm in Hint of Mint (full size, worth £1.98)
A cooling lip balm that protects and calms sore, dry lips instantly. This everyday balm will provide nourishment due to the organic coconut oil and cocoa butter, whilst providing lasting protection.

Nail Girls Nail Polish in Nude Pink 10ml (full size, worth £13.50)
An elegant nude with a hint of soft, sheer baby pink. A shade of style, sophistication and class.

Tea Pigs Chocolate Flake Tea - Set of 3 Tea Envelopes (worth £0.65 per tea bag)
The perfect partnership of strong tea with a hint of dark, rich chocolate. It is often described as a choccie biscuit dunked in tea!

This has to be one of my favourite boxes that Love Me Beauty have ever released. I've been dying to try a cleansing balm for ages and now I can with the one in the Suti Trial Pack! The pots are quite small, but it'll definitely give me a good idea of the nature of the product. The Nail Girls shade is already adorning my nails as you saw from the pictures and it's a gorgeous pink. I wouldn't say it was a nude shade with a hint of baby pink though (as per the description); the pink colour is quite strong, though the brightness has definitely been muted down. I haven't used the Raw Skincare Natural Lip Balm yet as I have way too many on the go already, but if you saw my Marvellous Mint post (here) then you'll know I adore minty lip products, so hopefully this product will be a winner. One of the gorgeously patterned Go Stationery Pocket Notebooks has already worked its way into my handbag (I am an avid list/note maker) and the Tea Pigs Chocolate Flake Tea is just divine - now I understand why Tea Pigs are so popular!!

If you fancy picking up your own Love Me Beauty Box you can do so here and it will cost you £10.00 plus postage. Menu One is worth £28.93, so you'll definitely be getting your money's worth!

What do you think of this month's Love Me Beauty Box? Do you own any of the products mentioned?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Wednesday 14 May 2014

Review: No7 High Shine Lipgloss in Smile

Lipgloss is one of those products I go through phases of wearing and I'm currently having a moment with the No7 High Shine Lipgloss in Smile. I recently bought the No7 Instant Radiance Highlighter (review to come) and received a free No7 Perfect Lips Kit from the lovely lady at the counter. In the kit was a lipstick, lip brush and the lipgloss I'm reviewing today. I think when you get a freebie like this you don't always expect much from the products, which can often result in a pleasant surprise!

The No7 High Shine Lipgloss is described as "a collagen boosting, moisturising gloss that glides on for voluptous smoothing shine". It also contains SPF15, which I think is quite unusual for a lipgloss, so this is a fab bonus. There are 15 shades in the range, from nude to red, which are advertised as having a "subtle" colour payoff. To add one of these glosses to your collection it will cost £9.00.

The No7 High Shine Lipgloss comes in a compact tube with a doe foot shaped sponge applicator. The shade Smile is a pretty, dusky pink with no shimmer and subtle as promised - I'd say it's that your-lips-but-better colour. While I don't see any lip plumping effects from this gloss, I do love the high shine look and its smooth, moisturising feel. The formula is quite thick but not sticky or tacky, plus it's smells and tastes gorgeous; quite sweet and fruity.

While I don't think I'd part with 9 of my pounds for another No7 High Shine Lipgloss, I would definitely oblige if I had one of the No7 vouchers that Boots regularly give out. If you're looking for a daytime lipgloss or one to layer over a lipstick, this is for you. Don't buy it for the lip plumping properties though.

Are you a lipgloss lover? Have you tried any of the No7 High Shine Lipgloss range?

Beauty Bird xx 


Tuesday 13 May 2014

I Love Rimmel Salon Pro Nail Varnish

It certainly is love with the Rimmel Salon Pro range of nail varnish, so much so that I just had to dedicate a blog post to them! I only have 5 shades but I adore each one. Apparently there are 36 shades in the range, although I don't think I've seen half of these on the stands in my local Boots/Superdrug, so I will have to hunt some more down online. 

The brush on the Rimmel Salon Pro's are the perfect size; they're quite wide, so you can apply a good wedge of colour down the middle of the nail and then just fill in the outside without having to dip the brush in the bottle again. It makes application so, so easy; I find I get less nail varnish on the skin around my nails with a wider brush. 

The formula is meant to be an all-in-one strengthening base coat and top coat with a gel shine finish, that lasts for up to 10 days. I always apply a separate base and top coat out of habit, but I do get a good 5-7 days wear out of the Salon Pro nail varnishes, which is fantastic. The formula is so good that you can achieve an opaque finish in just one coat - although I apply two coats just to get a stronger colour finish. All this for just £4.49! Amazing.

The shades I have are (left to right); Grape Sorbet (metallic pink), Cocktail Passion (coral-pink), Peppermint (mint green), Britpop (bright blue which has a teal tone to it in certain lights) and Navy Seal (a purple toned blue).

Are you a fan of Rimmel Salon Pro nail varnishes? Are there any shades you'd recommend I add to my collection?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday 11 May 2014

Review: L'Oreal Lumi Magique Concealer in Light

The latest addition to my increasing concealer stash is the L'Oreal Lumi Magique Concealer in Light. I had a gaping hole for a highlighting concealer and I decided on this one, mainly because I've read some good reviews online, with some touting it as a budget dupe for the YSL Touche Eclat. I haven't ever splurged on the YSL one, but with YSL being under the L'Oreal Group umbrella, I thought the chance of the two being similar was quite high. 

The L'Oreal Lumi Magique Concealer is described as a "touch of light" highlighting pen to brighten eyes and highlight cheekbones, browbones and the cupid's bow. The bottom of the pen twists round, which then releases the product onto the little brush at the othe end. The packaging is a shiny rose gold colour, which gives it a higher end feel. The L'Oreal Lumi Magique Concealer will set you back £8.49; much cheaper than high end highlighting pens but it does lean towards the top of the price range for budget/drugstore versions. I picked up the shade "Light", with only one other shade being available, which is "Medium". 

After using this product for about a month now, I'm really glad I picked it up as I use it every day. The formula is very thin though still nice and creamy, so it's perfect for using either over or under a heavier duty concealer. I personally prefer to use it underneath to bring brightness to the darkness under my eyes, mainly above the inner corner and directly underneath the lower lashline. I then don't have to apply quite as much of a higher coverage concealer in these areas and I can just concentrate it on the main curve of the dark circle. If you have very dark circles like I do, you will need to use a coverage concealer too as a highlighting pen won't be enough. Because of the formula, the L'Oreal Lumi Magique Concealer is also great to use as a top up throughout the day as necessary, without feeling like you're caking on the makeup. It's a product that just works!

It's disappointing that the L'Oreal Lumi Magique Concealer only comes in two shades, but if one them suits you then I'd recommend adding it to your daily concealing routine! It's become an essential part of mine!

Have you tried the L'Oreal Lumi Magique Concealer? What's your favourite highlighting pen?

Beauty Bird xx


Thursday 8 May 2014

Review: Claudia Louch Hydrating Mango Face Cream

Whenever I try a new product I always read up on the brand behind it with great interest - the history, the goals, the ingredients - especially if it is a brand I haven't come across before. This was definitely the case with the Claudia Louch Hydrating Mango Face Cream. In this case Claudia Louch is not just a brand of skincare and makeup products, but a internationally renowned natural holistic skin specialist, nutritionist, pharmacologist and health scientist with her own skin clinic in Harley Street, London.

Claudia Louch's basis for producing her own range of beauty products was that they should be simple, uncomplicated and containing the best ingredients to the skin. All of the products are hypoallergenic, allergy-tested, non-comedogenic and free from harsh chemicals, parabens and SLS, making them suitable for a range of skintypes and skin conditions.

The Hydrating Mango Face Cream is a 94% natural moisturiser, packed with quality ingredients to hydrate, soothe and plump the skin. These ingredients include a blend of Almond, Olive, Avocado, Sunflower and Grape Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin E, Aloe Vera and of course, Mango Butter. Mango Butter is meant to have protective, hydrating and healing properties, which makes it an effective ingredient to treat dryness, itchiness, skin damage, lines and wrinkles. 

Aside from the impressive ingredients list, one of the first things you notice about the Hydrating Mango Face Cream is the extremely luxurious packaging. It has a completely rectangular, shiny black bottle with a silver chrome pump dispenser in-built into the top. Definitely one to display on your bedside or dressing table! The pump itself is very controllable, meaning you don't waste any of the formula, which is of a medium consistency but is extremely rich and velvety! I don't think I've ever used a moisturiser that I could describe as velvety, but the Hydrating Mango Face Cream really is - this quick absorbing formula leaves my skin amazingly soft without being heavy or greasy. Plus it is super hydrating, giving me that "glow from within" that only a good quality, nourishing and restoring moisturiser can do. It is advertised for normal to dry skin, but I think any skintype could use this moisturiser, especially in the colder months (I have oily/combo skin prone to dehydration). I thought the Hydrating Mango Face Cream would have an overhwelmingly fruity scent, however it's just your normal standard moisturiser scent with a very subtle hint of fruit, which is lovely.

Now for the catch - this 40ml bottle of goodness will set you back £61.50. Although I can understand why it has a high price tag, unfortunately my beauty budget won't be able to stretch far enough to replace the bottle when it runs out. I do believe that skincare is worth investing in, so if you have the budget available and love your high end skincare, then the Claudia Louch Hydrating Mango Face Cream is the sort of product to splash out on. To visit the Claudia Louch website and find out more, please click here.

Have you used any Claudia Louch products before? What is the most you would spend on one skincare item?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Tuesday 6 May 2014

Magazine Freebies May 2014 (June 2014 Editions)

As we head towards summer the monthly mags tend to be very forthcoming with freebies! I always tend to give into them, even when I tell myself I don't need them - the same happened this month with the release of the June editions...

Marie Claire are giving away a trio of Aromatherapy Associates skincare minis worth £13.00. This includes a Hydrating Renewing Rose Cleanser 10ml, Hydrating Triple Rose Renewing Moisturiser 5ml and Hydrating Rose Face Mask 15ml. What makes it even more appealing is that Marie Claire is on sale for just £2.50 instead of the normal £3.90. I have never tried any Aromatherapy Associates products, so really looking forward to using these.

Instyle have three Nails Inc nail varnishes available with their magazine this month, worth £11.00 each. The shades available are Sugarloaf Sunset (pink - seen in the picture above), Copacabana Coral (orange toned red) and Sao Paulo Streets (grey toned beige). Normally Instyle costs £3.90 but go to Tesco and it's on sale for £2.50! I went for Sugarloaf Sunset as I don't have a pink shade like this in my nail varnish stash, but I am very tempted to get Sao Paulo Streets as well as you can't beat a good nude shade!

I've also seen that Elle magazine, which costs £4.00, have a Benefit freebie on offer - a 7.5ml POREfessional primer. I'm not sure how much this is worth exactly, but I think it's around the £8.00/£9.00 mark. I have used this before and I'm not keen on the slippy, silicone feel, though it does reduce the appearance of pores noticeably. 

If you have seen any other freebies around this month let me know and I'll add it to this post with a credit.

Will you be picking up any magazines this month?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday 4 May 2014

April Empties #2

Hope you've all had a good April! I worked my way through a fair few products this month, so without further ado, here's my thoughts on each one...

Simply Home Yankee Candle in Vanilla Frosting 538g - £13.00
Technically I used this up in March, but forgot to include it in the post - oops! This has a quite a sweet vanilla scent but I really like it and think it's a scent that works all year round.
Re-purchase? I would definitely buy this scent again.

Melt Luxury Glass Jar Candle in Eden* - £21.00
The scent of this candle is very fresh; woody but slightly sweet, so I think it is a nice scent for the Autumn or Spring seasons. I really like the design on the jar too. Full review here.
Re-purchase? Not at the moment due to the high end price.

Girlz Only Dry Shampoo in Dawn til Dusk 150ml - £1.50
This is a pretty regular empty of mine! I do like Batiste but I think this dry shampoo is just as good as Batiste's standard versions, plus it's cheaper and overall you do get more ml for your £. Dawn til Dusk is my favourite Girlz Only offering as it has an uplifting citrus scent. Full review here.
Re-purchase? Yes.

Organic Surge Citrus Mint Shower Gel 250ml* - £4.35
If you want a gorgeously scented, SLS free, affordable shower gel then look no further. I love the blend of citrus and mint together, which is perfect to use in the mornings as it's such a revitalising scent. My other half stole it away in the end as he liked it so much!
Re-purchase? I have way too many shower gels to even consider buying any right now, but in the future, yes.

Lush Rose Jam Shower Gel 100g - £4.65
Ahhhh this is such a lovely product! I hope Lush release it at Christmas again this year. The formula is quite thick - actually quite jam like! - and the scent is beautiful. It's primarily floral but with a hint of sweet lemon. I may even prefer this to Snow Fairy...
Re-purchase? If it's released, yes - though I'll probably wait until the Boxing Day sale again to get it cheap!

Antipodes Divine Face Oil 30ml - £18.99
It's no secret that I love this stuff. It's hydrating, re-balancing, softening, soothing, plumping, scar reducing... all with a bunch of natural ingredients, many of which are organic. My skin drinks it.
Re-purchase? I ordered another bottle as soon as I knew this one was getting low.

Macadamia Deep Repair Masque 30ml - £3.75
I received this sachet at a blogger event. A little goes a long way, meaning this lasted for many, many uses. This intensive conditioner smells absolutely amazing and makes my hair so soft and silky - I feel like I've been to the salon after I've used it!
Re-purchase? 100% yes! In fact a 250ml tub turned up at my door just the other day...

What products have you used up this month? Are you a fan of any of the above?

Beauty Bird xx


Thursday 1 May 2014

Review: Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush in Soft Pink

The Max Factor stand in Boots is normally one I walk straight past - I think I may have bought a Max Factor mascara a fair few years back, but that's it. That was until I spotted the Miracle Touch Creamy Blush in Soft Pink on One Little Vice's blog recently and fell in love. It didn't take a long for a trip to Boots to happen, for my purse to part with £6.99 and for this cream blusher to be mine. It's definitely one you'd miss unless you were really hunting for it - these tiny pots were at the bottom of the stand, with two of the four shades hiding behind the others.

The Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush comes in quite plain, plastic packaging, but this is a blusher where the shade does all the talking. Soft Pink is just the most perfect colour for a natural flush to the cheeks; there's no glitter or shimmer, so it is completely matte. It gives my pale skin a subtle but beautiful glow, so it's a good product for your daytime makeup bag. I use the Real Techniques Stippling Brush to apply and blend the Miracle Touch Creamy Blush on the apples of my cheeks up towards my hairline. Although the formula is creamy, it is also ever so slightly tacky, but the Stippling Brush makes easy work of it. The colour begins to fade after 6-7 hours, but will last a few hours longer before completely disappearing, which is really impressive considering it isn't a cream to powder formula.

It's safe to say the Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush in Soft Pink is a new favourite that I can see myself reaching for a lot over the Spring and Summer months... My beloved Bourjois Cream Blush in Rose Tender has certainly been pushed out of the way for now!

Are you fan of cream blushers? Have you tried any of the shades from the Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush range?

Beauty Bird xx 

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