Thursday, 26 February 2015

The Matte Makeup Menu

It's about time I started talking more about what makeup I'm loving and wearing on a day to day basis or specific makeup looks I've tried and loved. Back on New Year's Eve I dressed up to stay in and realised afterwards that all the makeup I used was matte - a rarity for me as I do adore shimmering eyes and sheeny lips. However I absolutely loved the look and I've worn it quite a lot since. This is what makes up my current matte makeup menu.

Many of you can probably guess my foundation before I say it - the Vichy Dermablend Foundation (review). Being full coverage it gives me an almost flawless finish without looking heavy and unnatural. There's no dewy or even slightly satin finish with this - it's properly matte and having an oily t-zone, I like it very much. I then concealed my dark circles and any redness still peeking through with the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (review), which is just the best concealer I've ever tried. To set this all in place I used the Green People Pressed Powder (review). It's very fine so doesn't add too much colour and finishes a matte base off nicely. 

After last summer it took ages to wean myself off of cream blusher, but now I'm firmly back on the powder wagon with the gorgeous Frat Boy Blush by theBalm (review). This peachy pink powder contains no shimmer and packs one seriously pigmented punch. I only need to swipe the brush lightly across the pan twice to get a beautiful flush on both cheeks.

The eyeshadow that's opened my eyes to the wonder of mattes is the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette (review), which contains five neutral matte shades and one demi-matte shade. The lighter shades are perfect for daytime and the darker shades can create a gorgeous brown smokey eye. I use Naked2 (taupe) all over the lid and apply Faint (dusty brown) to the outer corner and along the crease and then blend, blend, blend. Then I take the Crownbrush SS006 Deluxe Angle Liner (review), dampen the edge and pat into the darkest shade Crave (black) to apply it as an eyeliner across the upper lash line. This method works so well - you still get a really pigmented line but it's a lot softer than using liquid or gel. I then finish with a few sweeps of the Bourjois 1 Seconde Mascara in Ultra Black for thicker, darker and longer lashes.

I'm currently having a moment with the Maybelline Brow Satin in Dark Blond (review), which is a double ended pen with a soft, waxy crayon on one end and a powder that's dispensed via a sponge applicator on the other. I use the pen to define the shape of my brows and fill in any gaps, then set and add some extra colour with the powder. This equals a defined but natural looking set of brows. 

After hearing that the Rimmel Exaggerate Automatic Lip Liner in East End Snob was a dupe for the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk, I snapped one up pretty quickly. I don't really own any matte lip products, so this dusky pink liner makes a really nice change. The colour looks gorgeous on its own and lasts a good few hours - I just make sure I use lots of lip balm beforehand because it doesn't have the most hydrating formula.

What products are on or would be on your matte makeup menu?

Beauty Bird xx

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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Review: Antipodes Hosanna H20 Intensive Skin Plumping Serum

Two or three months ago I was on the hunt for a new morning serum to boost my skin's hydration for the day ahead. My skin is oily/combination but can quickly become dry, especially in the winter. After many evenings of online browsing and checking prices and ingredients, I finally settled on the Antipodes Hosanna H20 Intensive Skin Plumping Serum. I couldn't see many reviews of it online, but every other Antipodes product I've tried has been fantastic, so I decided it would be worth the (low) risk.

The Antipodes Hosanna H20 Intensive Skin Plumping Serum is suitable for all skintypes, especially those with dry skin. The injection of moisture comes from Vinanza Grape from New Zealand, which also helps to protect and resist skin damage caused by environmental factors. Other key ingredients include Mamaku Black Fern Extract for healthy cell renewal and Waiwera Mineral Water for delivering nutrients and anti-oxidants. The Antipodes Hosanna Serum comes in a 30ml glass bottle, which costs £28.99 full price but can generally be found cheaper online. I bought mine from Feel Unique here, where it currently costs £27.99. 

As previously mentioned I generally use this in the morning; the serum is dispensed with a pipette and I find about 2-3 drops is enough for the whole face. The Hosanna serum has quite a thin formula, so it spreads out pretty far over the skin and is light orange in colour. When massaging into the skin it does initially have a slight tacky feel, but this disappears once the serum has absorbed, which doesn't take long at all. In terms of effectiveness, I'm pleased to report that the Hosanna serum really delivers - it seriously boosts hydration levels and makes my skin look plumper, brighter and just generally much healthier. I also have to mention the scent, which is subtle but delightful; made up of fragrant rose and spicy cardamom - love.

Thank you Antipodes, because you've delivered another winner and my skin loves you for it.

Have you tried the Antipodes Hosanna H20 Intensive Skin Plumping Serum? What is your favourite hydrating serum?

Beauty Bird xx

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Sunday, 22 February 2015

A Few Of My Favourite Things #1

I've been blogging nearly 3 years now and I don't think I've ever done a favourites post. I nearly started doing a monthly beauty favourites but being a creature of habit, I didn't think they'd massively differ month to month. So instead this is a roundup of a few of my favourite things right now, from beauty to food, from accessories to TV.

At the moment the weather is generally rubbish - it's either freezing cold or wet and windy, which makes me even more of a home bird than I already am. However this does mean I have become addicted to Netflix and I'm currently watching Pretty Little Liars. I struggle to watch just one episode and end up watching three or four back to back! If you like American teen series and can deal with plenty of mystery, drama and suspense, then this will be your cup of tea. 

Speaking of tea, I've been craving hot drinks in the evening but if I drink caffeine I won't sleep. So I've been reaching for the herbal teas and am loving the Pukka Vanilla Chai Tea. It contains cinnamon and cardamom, so it's got a hint of spice but it's so warming on a cold night. I also add some honey to make it a touch sweeter. 

For Christmas my future sister-in-law bought me a Yankee Candle Large Jar in the scent Sweet Apple. I'm obsessed with candles and one doesn't disappoint. It's the perfect balance of sweet and fruity and I think it's a scent that will work all year round. I'll be very sad when it runs out! 

Another Christmas gift that I've been loving is the NutriBullet, which I've been making smoothies with for breakfast. My current favourite is a blend of oats, frozen berries, banana, honey, flaxseed and almond milk - yum! Every week I'll buy a couple of new food items that I can keep in the cupboard, so I can make the recipes more varied - for example, last week I bought some almonds and raw cacao powder. Doing it this way also helps to spread out the cost. I also plan to make up some mixtures for raw energy bites and I whipped up a banana and oat pancake batter in it for Pancake Day. I feel so much better when I'm eating healthier and the NutriBullet really helps that happen. 

What are some of your favourite things right now? 

Beauty Bird xx

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Thursday, 19 February 2015

Review: Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

Benefit Cosmetics have recently released a new mascara to add to the family of BADgal and They're Real! and it's called Roller Lash. The idea is that you don't need to use eyelash curlers before applying Roller Lash, thanks to the unique Hook and Roll brush, which is made up of lots of teeny tiny hooks to grab, separate, lift and curl the lashes. The formula also contains Provitamins B and Serin to condition the lashes, is water resistant and gives a satin finish. I have the mini version of Roller Lash, which Benefit gave away with the latest edition of Elle magazine before the full size was even on sale - good move Benefit! The full size has since been released early and is available to buy for £19.50.

I try to use eyelash curlers as little as possible because my lashes can become weak very quickly and I'm pleased to report that my curlers will be continuing to stay in a drawer thanks to Roller Lash. This is definitely the toned down version of They're Real! - Roller Lash lengthens and curls the lashes but not with quite so much drama and impact. Therefore it's the perfect mascara for daytime and it will keep that curl all day. The formula isn't too dry or too wet; though occasionally it does clump a few lashes together, so I tend to keep a mascara comb on hand just incase. The only other thing I would say is that on me, Roller Lash smudges a little onto the outer corner of my lower lash line, however I have this problem with most mascaras unfortunately. Unlike They're Real!, it's super easy to remove at the end of the day with either a micellar water or with an oil or cream cleanser.

All in all, I'm really impressed with Roller Lash and it's my favourite Benefit mascara hands down, so don't dismiss Roller Lash if you didn't get on with BADgal or They're Real!. Find it online here.

Have you tried the new Benefit Roller Lash mascara? Are you a fan?

Beauty Bird xx

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

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

You Beauty Discovery Box February 2015

Every month I can't wait for the postman to turn up at the door with my You Beauty Discovery Box. This is my fourth box now and I haven't yet been disappointed. For £6.95 inc. P&P you get to choose two products out of a different selection each month and then You Beauty will automatically include a couple of extra freebies, such as sample sachets, chocolate or even tea. 

February's You Beauty Discovery Box theme is Red Carpet, inspired by the BAFTAs and Oscars. Therefore You Beauty have chosen products they describe as "extra indulgent and truly red carpet worthy" from brands that include Kiss the Moon, L'Occitane, Green People, IN.FUSED, Proto-col and Josh Wood.

The first product I chose was a 10ml tube of the L'Occitane Almond Delicious Hand Cream. L'Occitane hand creams are hands down my favourite but I've never tried the almond version before, so I can't wait to use it. It'll be perfect for popping in my handbag to keep my hands hydrated on the go.

My second choice is a brand and product that's completely new to me - a 100g re-sealable sachet of the IN.FUSED Coconut Body Scrub. It contains a mixture of coffee and sugar granules enriched with coconut oil to exfoliate yet moisturise at the same time. How amazing does this sound?! 

The extras this month are a sachet of the bareMinerals bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation and, quite aptly for Valentine's, a little box of Lindor Milk Truffles. And yes, these have now been eaten!

Well what can I say, the You Beauty Discovery Box has done it again and I can't wait for next month's! If you're interested in subscribing, visit the website here. The new box will become available on 1st March.

What do you think of February's box?

Beauty Bird xx

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