Wednesday, 13 December 2017

PUR Quick Pro Portables

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 2 Comments

It was my birthday recently and one of the things I decided to get with any money I was gifted, was a contour palette. I have one already, but a girl needs options. After lurking on BeautyBay, I saw the PUR Quick Pro Portables in Sculpt and Glow and fell for the shades immediately. The contours looked cool toned and the highlights were glowy rather than glittery (I have a lot of glittery highlights, I love them, but as I said, a girl needs options). For only £15, I couldn't stop myself and so, I ordered it.

PUR Quick Pro Portables

PUR Quick Pro Portables

When they arrived, they were definitely much smaller than I anticipated. Mostly because I didn't bother to watch the application video and took the larger than life photos at face value. However, whilst they are tiny, they are perfect for storing as I have officially run out of dresser space. They're about the size of a bank card and will fit nicely into a makeup bag or small drawer.

The contour and bronzer were warmer in tone than I imagined and it worried me slightly. The highlight palette was more natural than I'm used to, but I needed more of a soft glow in my collection, so they will be well loved.

PUR Quick Pro Portables

PUR Quick Pro Portables

PUR Quick Pro Portables

PUR Quick Pro Portables

For my first look using these palettes, I took Silhouette on my B. Contour Brush, applied it just below my cheek bones and buffed out and upwards using my Freedom Stippling Brush. The powders were velvety soft and smooth - not a trace of chalkiness to them - they blended evenly and stayed pigmented, but not overly so. I loved how my contour turned out. 

This is not the best photo but it really shows how natural yet snatched my cheekbones were:

PUR Quick Pro Portables

The highlight I used was High Five and although you can't see it in the photo above, from the side it was glowing to the heavens. I blended beautifully, melting into my skin. I did need to use a few layers to get it to show up on camera, but that doesn't matter as I bought it to look natural in the first place:

PUR Quick Pro Portables

To end this little review; I loved these palettes. The powders are an excellent quality and they do their jobs to perfection.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

Sunday, December 10, 2017 2 Comments

It wasn't until I started this blog that I fell in love with makeup, lipstick in particular. Before that, I owned exactly three. One was a hand me down from a friend, one was a six year old Rimmel satin and one was an ELF lippy from 2010. I still have the Rimmel, because nostalgia, but since then I've acquired a bit of a collection. I also really like lip balms, as you can tell...

My Current Favourite Lipsticks

It was only when I did a mini de-clutter that I realised I had favourites. I won't ever cry "holy grail" because there will always be something better and more innovative that'll come along, but there are some that I reach for more than others. As I do have colour preferences, I tried to base this on formula. So, in no particular order, these are the 10 lipsticks I love at the moment...

Please excuse some sloppy application.

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks
I actually saw this in a sophdoesnails video and fell in love with the colour. For a long while, I hated the Liquid Suede formula, but I wasn't giving it proper chance to set. I'm kind of impatient. Once I did, I realised just how good this product is. It's a liquid lipstick, but it doesn't fully dry down. It's matte and hardly transfers unless you rub your lips - even when eating and drinking. There are tons of shades and they're all beautiful, plus NYX is easy to get hold of and it doesn't cost the earth.

Price: £7.00
Scent: None

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

The Soft Matte formula is definitely a firm favourite. I like the velvet matte finish and how easy they are to apply. The colours are all so pretty and there's so many to choose from. They aren't transfer proof but they do hold up quite well and for the comfort, I'm willing to touch up my lipstick a few times. I have four in my collection,  and the only one I have a bit of trouble with is Transylvania, a dark, vampy purple, but purple's are notoriously difficult to work with, so it's to be expected.

Price: £6.00
Scent: Vanilla/Cake batter

NYX Lip Lingerie in Embellishment

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

This is the last NYX product, I swear. The Lingerie formula is a lot more matte and transfer resistant than the others in this list. It doesn't stain, but it does hold its own in all weather and against most foods. For example, I wore this today and after a McDonalds and 8 hours wear, it didn't budge. It fades a bit, but it doesn't disappear.

Price: £7.00
Scent: None

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

A friend bought me this for my birthday in 2016 and I fell in love with it instantly. There's something so luxurious, but wearable about these matte lipsticks. They're creamy, soft but firmly matte. They last a long time, but can't hold up against anything oily or hot (so a kebab is out of the question). It's classy, the formula is gorgeous and definitely worth the extra bit of cash. This is my go-to fancy occasion lippy and it probably doesn't get as much use as it should.

Price: £24.00
Scent: Vanilla

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

Although these lipsticks have generally bad reviews, I really love the them. Like NYX Soft Matte, they have a velvet matte finish but are slightly more oily, which means they are more hydrating than the traditional liquid lip. They never properly set, so if you're a smudger, they aren't for you but if you don't faff with your makeup too much, you're golden. It can be a bit patchy, but its only seems to pick up in photos, like the one above. Sigh. The colours are all modern and interesting, they aren't too pricey and they do last a long time if undisturbed. 

Price: £9.50
Scent: Lemon/Mint

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

By far the cheapest product on this list, the Velvet Kiss formula is almost an exact dupe for NYX Soft Matte. It has a velvet matte finish, isn't transfer proof but doesn't fade without provocation, it smells exactly the same and even the tubes are similar. The only real difference is the shade range. NYX has dozens but there are only 6 for Collection

Price: £2.99
Scent: Vanilla/Cake Batter

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

I love a matte lipstick, I love purple and this is the perfect combination. The fiance bought this for me to use for my blog when I did "crazy" makeup looks but I wear this quite often on the daily. The formula is creamy, non-patchy, matte and doesn't pick up on the dry bits on your lips. Like most traditional lipsticks, it won't hold up against hot drinks or oily foods, but it does stain your lips underneath so that you can't tell too much where it lifts. I'm not a fan of staining products but I quite like that about this one, as it still easily removes with a lip balm or cleansing oil.

Price: £15.50
Scent: None

L.A. Girl Flat Velvet Matte in Snuggle

Unfortunately this has now been discontinued, but its still one of my favourites because its damn good. The lipstick is matte but not drying, creamy but not overly so and it lasts ages - even though its not transfer proof. The colour is a pretty nude and goes with most makeup looks.

Price: £6.00
Scent: None

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

I got this in a Dollibox and I fell in love. It's creamy, it's easy to work with, it smells delicious, the colour is stunning, it removes so easily and doesn't stain the skin. This lipstick doesn't feather at all and for a bright red, that's rare. It's not impervious, so it doesn't last incredibly long but it more than makes up for it in pigment and hydration

Price: $10.00
Scent: Vanilla

What are your favourite lipsticks?

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation

Wednesday, December 06, 2017 2 Comments

I've been on the look out for a new foundation for a while. What I wanted to do was buy a higher end one, which meant I would have to venture forth into Liverpool or Manchester and at Christmas time, that's just a disaster. So I decided to find a decent one online that if it turned out to the wrong shade, I wasn't too bothered about. After a tiny amount of research, I decided on The Ordinary Coverage Foundation which includes SPF 15.

The most difficult part of this was choosing the shade. I read other people's reviews, watched a few vlogs and finally decided on 1.1N, which is the fair with neutral undertones and the third lightest shade out of 21.

A lightweight, full coverage foundation.

Available in 21 shades, Coverage Foundation SPF 15 is suitable for all skin tones. Rich and buildable, this cream like texture smooths seamlessly over the skin to even, conceal and disguise fine lines and wrinkles.

Those are a lot of promises for a £5.95 foundation.

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation

I really like the packaging. It's matte plastic without the unnecessary lid, but it still has a twist lock feature for the pump.

With all full coverage foundations, less is more. I dispensed about a third of a pump on to the back of my hand to check out the shade before applying and immediately worried that I'd gone too light. I decided not to use primer on this occasion as I don't always wear it and tend to get a better feel for a product without it.

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation

I applied this and another half pump to my face and bounced in with my Real Techniques blending sponge (not pictured as it could do with a good wash). 

I was pretty impressed with the coverage. It isn't full as my freckles show through completely, but it hides most of my blemishes (except for the massive spot on my temple). It blended out so easily, I've never had a foundation that required so little work. The end result is demi-matte and I really like it. I do have combination skin but matte foundations make my cheeks dry, so this offers the best of both worlds.

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation

I didn't notice at the time, but after taking this photo, my foundation had already oxidized a shade. You can mostly tell around my mouth as the skin there is more yellow toned than the rest of my face. It's not too dark and I can lighten it with concealer in future, so I don't mind. Next time I will definitely choose the lightest neutral shade, 1.0N.

The product settled nicely around my nose and I did apply another thin layer on my cheeks to get this level of coverage, as I have a lot of redness there. It's barely peeking through and I'm pretty pleased with it. With the rest of my makeup done, I found that it definitely seemed darker. Maybe another shade, so now two shades darker than my neck. Which is a bit of a disappointment. 

The other products went on top of it like an absolute dream. Everything blended perfectly, the powders went on smooth. My pores and fine lines looked slightly blurred. It didn't do much for the texture on my cheekbones but that's what I use primer for. I'm definitely impressed.

The finished look:

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation

I checked it again around 5 hours after application and a little oil had come through, but not a massive amount. I also had a little creasing around my nose, but nothing crazy. I think that it would last fine all day with a setting powder. It definitely is one of the better foundations I've tried in the last 12 months and I will be incorporating it into my makeup routine.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Shuffle The Music Tag!

Sunday, December 03, 2017 3 Comments
Shuffle the Music Tag

I've been ill for the last few weeks of November and, not wanting to have a Sunday without a post (I've done pretty well keeping up with them this year), I thought a tag would be quick to do and pretty entertaining to read. Unfortunately, I haven't been tagged in anything this month. So I did a quick search and came across the Shuffle The Music Tag on Tania Michele's blog. Music tags are few and far between, so I thought it would be a nice change from the norm.

The Rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog
2. Shuffle your entire music library and talk about the FIRST FIFTEEN songs that come up
3. Mention the songs as well as the artists
4. Tag 7 people or more to do this tag and let them know

The Music
1. Heart Shaped Box - Nirvana
I LOVED Nirvana when I was in my mid to late teens and although Heart-Shaped Box wasn't my favourite of their songs, I did listen to it a lot back then.

2. Feed My Frankenstein - Alice Cooper
What can I say, I love Wayne's World.

3. Burning Love - Elvis Presley
Who doesn't love Elvis?

4. Constellations - The Shears
There's a terrible MTV movie called The Dorm and this is from the soundtrack. It's poppy in a 2009 way that I sometimes miss.

5. Detroit Rock City - Kiss
This is one of those songs that I find it impossible to ever listen to enough. Kiss are one of those bands that I always enjoyed but didn't realise how much until I had to import all my music to a new laptop and it went missing in the transfer. I was gutted!

6. Dear Prudence - The Beatles
The Beatles are undoubtedly one of my favourite bands of all time. This song is haunting and beautiful. In fact, the whole of The White Album is a masterpiece.

7. Freak On A Leash - Korn
I have a confession to make. I had heard of Korn, but never really listened to them until I saw Queen of the Damned and became obsessed with the soundtrack, which was produced with front man Jonathon Davis. I'm not a massive fan but I defy you to not love this song.

8. Cupid - Sam Cooke
This is a song that has always seemed to be in my music collection, somehow. I don't remember ever downloading it. I don't know where it came from but I like it.

9. She - Green Day
A throwback to my early teens, She is one of those songs that I used to love to play loudly and it probably annoyed the shit out my mum. Back then, the bands I listened to were considered "weird" and "goth" which is so strange considering how things are today.

10. Jumpin' Jumpin' - Destiny's Child
Are you even a 90s child if you don't love Destiny's Child?

11. Scars - Papa Roach
When I googled this and realised it was from 2004, I felt horribly old. This song feels like its 5 minutes old, despite the fact that it is really dated. Seeing this live in 2013 was a highlight. I loved Papa Roach.

12. Coppers - Rancid
I'm back into Rancid again lately. Every few years I "rediscover" them and pick a new song to adore. This is definitely one of my favourites right now. It encapsulates everything about the punk movement that I missed because, you know, I wasn't born.

13. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down - The Band
The Band are a classic rock group that no one seems to know about these days. Whether its a generational thing, or they've just been forget to some degree, I don't know. But I do know that this song is fantastic.

14. Torn - Natalie Imbruglia
You can't forget this relic, also the David Armand mime.

15. Living in a Suitcase - Jack McManus
Ah :) I haven't heard this in forever. I bought the album after seeing him support John Mayer on tour. Jack McManus was one of those artists that had one underwhelming album and disappeared from the charts forever. But he married Martine McCutcheon so it all ended well.


Wednesday, 29 November 2017

What I Read In November

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 2 Comments
What I Read in November

Time has been difficult to come by this month. Between work and being ill, I've not had much to myself. Which explains why I read so little, even though it's kind of sad.

What I Read in November

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her "our little genius". 

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into a wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favourite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad - Goodreads

The Girl With All The Gifts is DEFINITELY not the book I thought it was going to be. I didn't think too much about it, when reading the synopsis, but its evident early on that this is a zombie novel. Whilst that's a bit 2015 in itself, this is unlike any other zombie book I've ever read. Mostly because the subject of the story is a child.

The children are kept in a pseudo-boarding school environment in which everyone is terribly afraid of them and they are starving for human affection. Spending their lives isolated and strapped to chairs, they are wasting away on an army base in the aftermath of some sort of apocalypse scenario of a virus that affects humans, that are then dubbed "hungries". Melanie is a child desperate to win the approval of her favourite teacher and discovers just quite what she is capable of. After the hungries make it onto the base, Melanie and a handful of adults must make their way to safety.

It's odd to read an adult book from the point of view of a small child, but it worked. The Girl With All The Gifts is sad, heroic and well written. Whilst it's not the best book I've ever read, it's entertaining. I enjoyed the complexity of some of the characters, but Miss Justineau was predictable and her background was disappointing.

I'm not sure why, but I can never take books set in UK that incorporate action seriously. It's not the British way. We don't run around with guns shooting first and asking questions later. We queue for three days to evacuate the country or accept our lot. But that is not a fault of the writer, more of my dislike for dramatics while British.

Overall, I liked it, but I didn't love it.

Rating: 3/5

What I Read in November

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets, whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now... - Goodreads

Everyone has heard of The Handmaid's Tale. It's one of those books that, even if you haven't read it (or seen the recent TV series), you're aware of its existence and it's often on your reading list. It was definitely on mine, because I knew it was 1984-esque, but I had never actually looked it up to find out what it was about. However, unlike most dystopias, this doesn't centre around a character that has never experienced what came before, it's smack bang in the middle of a strange new life and I am here for this. I get so sick of people fumbling over phones, or being confused by basic things.

The story takes place something like 3 years after the fall of the USA and formation of Gilead. Women have become "protected" citizens whose body is the only thing deemed worth anything - thus they become nothing more than baby making machines; where possible in such a declining population. They aren't allowed to do anything without permission from the man of the household, after which the handmaiden is named. They aren't even allowed to read. Propaganda runs rife, people are executed and displayed along The Wall as a deterrent, and for crimes committed before the wars - when their actions were still legal. Our protagonist Offred was torn from her husband and daughter and became a handmaiden, she must serve whichever household she belongs to. Told in fumbling prose, Offred weaves seamlessly from present day to recent past and continues to be effortlessly engaging in the process.

However, The Handmaid's Tale seems to be more of a scare mongering cautionary tale than it is a story. Many parts of it make no sense and whilst this can be explained away from Offred's limited point of view, so very much of the padding is lacking. How has the country descended so quickly from liberalism to quasi-religious fundamentalism? I found it very difficult to believe that this would have happened in 3 years, from start to finish. It can take decades to change society in any notable way. Why have women become slaves to men? Some notions of control are introduced by the Commander, but that's it. What were the events leading up to this? Why is there a population crisis, who were the people who "disbanded" the government and what reason did they have for doing it? Why was liberalism rejected? I have a lot of questions. As an intelligent woman, during the uprising of Gilead, Offred would have known what was happening to a certain point and that could have been woven into the plot instead of one of the many flashbacks of her husband that served no purpose.

All that being said, I enjoyed this book but I don't deem it a "Must Read", not by a long shot. It's often sited as one of the best feminist fictions of all time and whilst it's a great story, the execution was a little lacking. We don't have quite enough information to truly understand the reasons for anything that happens and the lack of punctuation for speech drove me insane.

Rating: 3.5/5

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Dollibox November 2017

Sunday, November 26, 2017 0 Comments

And so, my foray into the Dollibox subscription service is over as quickly as it began. It was without any prior warning that I received an email from the company to tell me that the November box was to be their very last one. I thought it was a little bit, dare I say, unprofessional that there was no warning that the box was about to be discontinued.

I can't say that I'm not disappointed because I really am. I enjoyed the previous two boxes and waited with gusto for the third one, which was said to contain their favourites, amongst other things. A one off box can be bought from Not On The High Street, but it's not the same as getting a monthly treat dropped off, especially since its now a LOT more expensive. But then that website isn't known for being reasonably priced.

Without further ado, this is Dollibox's swan song...

Dollibox November 2017

Dollibox November 2017

Dollibox November 2017

SkinJam Cosmetics Pink Lemonade Bath Bomb (no listings)

Box cost: £10.00 + £3.90 shipping = £13.90
Box worth (excluding SkinJam): £38.81

This is hands down the best value I've received out of all three boxes I ordered, but I probably won't use most of the items. 

The shampoo will definitely be first on the chopping block because I can never have too much. I just threw out four half bottles that I didn't like, so it's nice to have more variety. The nail polish is pretty, but I very rarely wear it, so I will probably pass this along to my mum as she is a bit of a nail polish junkie. I can't see myself getting too much use out of the leg and foot spray, but the boyfriend may like it - he is always on the look out for more foot products. I will 100% use the bath bomb (it smells very much like a more subtle Hawaiian Sunset) and the lash primer though, so at least I've got my money's worth.

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