Time to Prime

Some of you may have read my first ever, (and very excitable) review of the Smashbox cosmetics a couple of months back, and I said I would be testing a few more products over the course of the year. A couple of months on, I have found myself buying another one their kits which they release frequently, containing some of their best products. This time I purchased the ‘IT’S YOUR PRIME‘ primer kit which contains 3 different amazing products; the Photo Finish Foundation Primer, the Photo Finish Lid Primer and the Photo Finish Hydrating Under-Eye Primer.

ITS YOUR PRIME

Smashbox: IT’S YOUR PRIME

Photo Finish Foundation Primer:

With my initial Smashbox purchase – Studio Pop for Lips, I received a small tester of the Photo Finish Foundation Primer, which I have used a LOT, yet still have to finish. I absolutely love this product as it really prepares my skin for foundation; giving my face a velvety smooth finish. It contains Vitamin A & E, grape seed extract and green tea, which reduces colour pigmentation on the face , soothes the skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines and pores. I only tend to use it before nights out so that my foundation lasts long hours and the elements of a night out – drunkenness, alcohol, tears, tiredness, you know the deal! It really does help make the foundation stay put for, I would say, a good 8 hours. You only need a small pea size amount to cover the whole face – too much and it can make the skin look greasy, despite being oil-free. Overall, a great product that can be worn by most, although I wouldn’t suggest it to people that suffer from dry skin as it could make it worse.

This product has won numerous of awards including being one of Marie Claire’s ’25 Products that will change your life’,  Best of Sephora award for Best Primer, InStyle’s Best Beauty Buy and many more!

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Smashbox: Photo Finish Foundation Primer

Photo Finish Hydrating Under-Eye Primer:

As I have mentioned in previous blog posts I suffer from really bad dark circles under the eye, so I love any product that can help reduce puffiness and dark pigmentation. Whenever I have been at the Smashbox counter I’ve always tried the Under-Eye Primer as it makes the sensitive skin under your eyes feel so soft and nourished, however; I just place it over the top of my make up meaning I can’t see the full difference it makes. I could never justify spending £21.00 on it, so when I saw that it was part of this kit – I was so happy and knew I had to get it! The product consists of anti-aging ingredients including caffeine, peptides and optical diffusers – all of which contribute to what Smashbox call the ’10 under-eye-benefits’: hydration, dark circles, puffiness, radiance, fine lines and wrinkles, texture, skin tone, age spots, clarity and soothing.

Using it for the first time properly and not in-store before concealer or foundation makes a huge difference. It feels as if the skin is being extremely hydrated, circles appear lighter in colour, and skin feels firmer. This product helps stop concealer from creasing, and ultimately helps eliminate the appearance of dark circles and wrinkles. It is a mini version of the product in the kit, but it still contains 5ml compared to the normal 10ml size.

What I like the most about this product is that it is multipurpose and can be worn alone to brighten the eyes instantly, worn under concealer to prevent makeup from creasing and setting into fine lines and finally used as a moisturizer to prevent wrinkles.

Photo Finish Under Eye Primer

Smashbox: Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer

Photo Finish Lid Primer:

Honestly, I haven’t used this product as much as I’ve used the other two, mainly because I don’t wear eye shadow often. However, when I have used this product, my eye shadow colours seem a lot more brighter and pigmented, and this product can be used separately as a highlighter on the brow bone. I do hope to use this more throughout summer as it is a lovely product.

Photo Finish

Smashbox: Photo Finish Hydrating Lid Primer

Overall, I am really happy with this purchase and I really do feel as I’ve got my money’s worth, as I always do with Smashbox products. I love the fact they are always bringing out new kits that are full of amazing products which are great value for money. I hope to see more make up brands doing this, as I know Benefit is another brand that bring out amazing kits for consumers.

I bought this kit for £14.00 in Boots which is such a bargain. If I were to buy these products separately, it would have cost me a whopping £61.00, so I can’t but feel pleased after getting these products, which are going to last me a long time – for practically a quarter of the price.

This product is  limited edition so if you want to buy one I suggest you do so soon so you don’t miss out on this fantastic deal. Head to your nearest Smashbox counter ASAP!

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The only way is…lashes

Last Thursday I delved into a beauty treatment that I actually laughed at when I first heard of it – Eyelash Lifting – a new treatment inspired by Eyelash perming.

My initial presumptions of the perming was that one would have a set of very fuzzy and crimped lashes, which is unattractive to say the least! However, when I went in to my usual salon to get my HD brows, (which is literally my religion) I asked my beautician what this treatment was. It is a long lasting semi-permanent method of making your eyelashes appear longer and fuller due to the lift, and the tint. The lift lasts up to 2-3 months and the tint has to be repeated twice in that three month period.

My salon doesn’t actually do eyelash perming as it creates more of a curl on the lash, and is better suited for people with short lashes, so instead I received the eyelash lift treatment  The process of the two is the exact same, however just done with a different eye ‘sticker’ – one is rounded, and one is flat with a little bump. I’m going to tell you the process of it, and show you the results!

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This is a picture of my lashes before hand, with no makeup.

Firstly, the eye is cleansed of any oils and makeup residue that may conflict with the perm and tints. The bottom lashes are taped down to your bottom lid to help stop them being permed upwards with the rest. I’m not sure of the correct terminology but then a sticker – which my beautician described as a ‘speed bump’ – is placed over the lid as close to your lash line as possible.

Then using a small stick, your lashes are pushed back on to the sticky edge upwards, which is where they stay for the whole of the treatment. The first perm solution is then coated onto your lashes and left for ten minutes. This bit isn’t that enjoyable as the perm smells and even with your eyes shut, little bits of the solution can seep through your lash line and into your eyes – and it hurts like HELL.

After the ten minutes is up the perm solution is wiped off with a wet pad and then the setting solution is fixed onto the lash line again. The smell of that solution is even worse, a bit like rotten eggs, but luckily once again it is only placed on your eyes for ten minutes, and you get used to it quite quickly.

Once time is up that solution is wiped off and the lash tint is set onto the lash line. This part of the process is optional – but I would say that it is necessary. If you don’t have naturally dark lashes then you won’t notice that the eyelashes have been lifted unless they are of a dark colour. I had the darkest colour – blue/black – put onto my top and bottom lash line as it saves me spending five minutes on my mascara on a daily basis. This time the tint stays on the lashes for only five minutes which whizzes by – and at this point I was extremely excited to see my new lashes!

The tint and the sticker is then slid off and you have to wipe the eyes with a cloth as hard as you would when taking makeup and mascara off to ensure that all residue was gone. Then after a quick brush I was able to see the bad boys!

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This picture is taken after the process without any makeup on – yet! Unfortunately the photo I took was quite bad quality as it was taken in a bright room so I changed it into black and white so you can really see the lash line. 

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I was extremely happy with this whole experience and I definitely think it’s worth doing. A week in, the lashes are just as pert as they were when they were first done. To be honest for the first day they may look a little odd such as some higher than others, however, it takes a day or so for them to settle.

What I love about this treatment is that it is inexpensive compared to getting lash extensions. It’s quicker, there is not as much maintenance that comes along unlike extensions and ultimately, they last longer than them too. When mascara is placed over the top of the lashes, they look exactly like you’re wearing false eyelashes anyway!

I paid £32 for both the lift and the tint which is around the average price for this treatment.

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Lashes with mascara.

If you fancy getting this done for summer then ask around at your local salons to see whether they do this treatment or not. Please be careful and don’t always go for the cheapest option. Make sure the salon do the patch test on you first to make sure you are not allergic to either the tint or perm solutions – and make sure they know what they’re doing. Do your research! It’s better than having an allergic reaction and puffy eyes for a while!

Let me know your thoughts whether you think it looks good or not, or if you decide to get it done!

Spring Tag!

Seeing as Spring is really in the air, I’ve decided to do another beauty and fashion tag – dedicated to this season! Feel free to use this tag, and reply with a link to yours, would like to hear your answers!

Favourite spring nail polish?

As you may know from my previous tag that I 90% of the time wear shellac nail polish, just because it keeps my nails stronger, and lasts longer. I’m absolutely loving pale colours on the nails at the moment (makes my hands look more tanned!) and the one I’m currently using is a mix. I’m using the Bluesky 40526, which is the white from the French Manicure set, mixed with the Bluesky Pastel Blossom. You’re probably wondering why I mixed these colours but I accidentally ordered 2 French Manicure sets of Amazon, so instead of wasting one, I decided to make a pink/white to use during the Spring/Summer months. Ta-da!

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What is your must-have lip color this spring?

I’ve got two favourites that I purchased quite recently but cant stop wearing.

lips colours

First of all is the gorgeous burnt orange colour from Topshop and it’s called Hedonist and it was £7. Unfortunately, it is not on the Topshop website but they may have it in store. If not they have plenty of other beautiful orange colours in lip paints, tints, bullets and crayons, such as the Lip Bullet in Heartbeat.

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The second is an Accessorize lipstick in Love Struck. This is a very bright colour, I don’t think the pictures do it justice! But it’s a bluey pink, therefore teeth appear whiter! I think this will be absolutely amazing in summer for both the day and nights out. This was only £4.50. This has been around for quite some time now, so it’s not online. I have seen it in Superdrug and Accessorize stores, so it is a case of searching. If not there is a similar lipstick which is the Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Loved Up.

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What’s your favorite flower?

At this time of year my favourite flowers are daffodils. It just reminds me that its Spring and the heat is on its way! Also I love the fact they come out of nowhere, and they’re just so colourful and pretty!

Favorite spring scarf/accessory?

I don’t actually own any spring scarfs at the moment, mainly because I haven’t found one that I like enough. But I am absolutely obsessed with 2 accessories at the moment. The first is my black and white bow from Topshop. I have worn it pretty much every day I’ve had it, and cone be worn in so many different ways. It’s so cute and girly.

Secondly, is my new Prada sunglasses. I’ve been wanting a pair of cat eye sunglasses for ages. And I really wanted to treat myself to a nice pair for summer, seeing as in the house fire that happened last year (you may know this if you’ve seen my other blog), all my nice sunglasses were binned – and I had a lot! Hopefully these ones will last a lot longer.

They both make an appearance in this fashion feature:

 https://fernbalch.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/4-looks-one-pair-of-treggings/

What spring trend(s) are you most excited about this year? (Makeup, fashion or both!)

Kimono’s. Especially floral one’s! I have recently just bought a Zara one which looks amazing with jeans and a coloured camisole underneath. I’m going to keep it a secret though as I think I’m going to be using it for my next fashion feature!

Favorite spring candle?

I’ve recently purchased loads of Spring/Summer candle ‘tarts’ from Yankee Candle to replace my winter ones. I’m currently burning Waikiki Melon which smells amazing. I tend to alternate to keep my room smelling different so that I can actually smell it, otherwise I’d get used to it! The melted pink one at the bottom is Pink Dragon Fruit, and then I have Fluffy Towels, Strawberry Buttercream and Sandalwood Vanilla. 

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Favorite body spray/perfume for spring?

Always has and always will be Armani Diamonds for Spring. It smells very sweet and fresh, just like this beautiful season. I also use Ghost Anticipation which is now discontinued! In winter I love using Dolce & Gobanna Light Blue.

What is spring like where you live?

I live in Bournemouth in the UK which is a lovely seaside town. The first sneak of sunlight we see is my favourite time of year. Everyone is suddenly out of their winter clothes and into some shorts and sandals, all in a good mood and smiling – it’s great! Plus we have the beach which is perfect for BBQ’s and walks.

What’s your favorite thing about spring?

The fact that it’s a reminder that Summer is just around the corner. Also my birthday is in May, which I think technically counts as Spring – so what other reason do I need to have!

Any plans for spring break or an upcoming vacation?

No vacay’s on the card at the moment, just revision, revision, revision. I need to pass my first year at University! I’m going back to work soon so hopefully I can save some up and get away.

Hope you all enjoy your Spring, and let me know what your thoughts are!!

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Beauty tag

I’ve seen this a fair few times on other beauty blogs so I’ve decided to give it a go! 

1. Name a beauty regime that you rarely do?
Embarrassing one to start with! It’s going to sound gross but I rarely give myself pedicures. I own a shellac light and colours so when I paint my toes they tend to last up to a month so I don’t bother changing them often. I should really use the pumice stone more regularly!

2. Is washing your makeup brushes something you do regularly?
100%, it is so important. It can completely change the look of a makeup, especially foundation and eye shadow brushes. I’ve recently purchased No.7 Makeup brush cleanser which is great to just wipe your brushes down once you’ve finished to avoid buildup. Every month I deep clean them with a mild baby shampoo. Strong shampoos may affect the glue which holds the bristles on the brush.

3. How long will you last with chipped nail polish?
I cannot stand chipped nail polish. It just seems like someone can’t be bothered with their appearance. Again, I use shellac on my nails and if one tiny bit chips it’s not like I can paint over it a bit to cover it up, so I tend to pick the whole lot off and leave my nails clear until I decide to do them again. It’s quite a long process so I only do it once a week! Chipped nails are a big beauty no-no!

4. How long do you put off buying/replacing a beauty or nail polish product even if you need it? (i.e purchasing a new topcoat, or a new foundation etc.)
It depends how desperate I am for something. If its a must have like foundation then I’ll just have to bite the bullet and buy it. I mix between Mac Studio Fix SP15 Liquid Foundation and Seventeen Photo Flawless foundation, so if I’m running low and skint I will buy the Photo Flawless as it is a third of the price of Studio Fix.
I could never run out of nail polish I have a whole box full. I should really clear it out..

5. What is your worst beauty habit?
I don’t have a worst but I have a few bad ones. If I haven’t taken my mascara off properly then I pick at my eyelashes which does not help my stubby lashes! Also, I know it’s a horrible habit but if I have a chipped nail, I will bite it off even if I’m near a nail file.

6. Name something non-beauty related that you put off doing all the time?
Shorthand revision. It is the the most horrid thing, it leaves me completely baffled. And with a migraine.

7. When going out somewhere, do you leave getting ready until the last minute or not?
When going on a night out I used to get ready a lot earlier than I do now. Probably because I’m a little bit better at makeup and can do it quicker/or that I can’t be bothered and sitting down watching TV sounds a lot more appealing! On a day to day basis, it depends if it’s an early start or not. If I have a 9 am lecture then I will start getting ready as soon as I wake up but if it’s a bit later then I wake up, have breakfast, then start. It’s been great at the moment whilst on Easter holiday – I don’t have to bother all day, pajama fun!

8. Can you commit to spending bans?
Yes and no. If I can’t afford anything I just don’t go out and steer clear of shops. If I’m running low on cash but need something then I won’t buy anything too expensive.

9. How organised is your makeup and nail polish collection?
Very! I have my day to day makeup in a makeup bag, my nail polishes are all in a box, and then I have a big pink vanity makeup box with all the rest of my makeup that I love, but don’t use daily.

10. What is the longest amount of time you have gone without writing a blog post?
I have been really bad in the past couple of months because I like to do in depth reviews about a load of products and I have had such a huge work load. But recently during Easter, now I’ve had a bit more time, I’ve been writing a few blogs ready to post up when the work is piled on once more!

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Feel free to use this on your blog, pass it on, or let me know what you think of my beauty tags!

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Con-cealabration!

I enjoy reading various blogs to keep up to date with new or must have products, and an item that has been recommended by so many is the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. I am a firm believer of Mac Studio Fix Concealer, my one pot lasted me more than a year and it was extremely good. However, when it finally came to the end of its life, I was tempted to buy this inexpensive product to see what all the fuss was about. And boy I’m glad I did..

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Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer Light 2

I have always been a sufferer of dark circles from a young age. It’s not because I don’t get enough sleep, or that my body is dehydrated, I just think it is an ugly thing that I inherited. It’s always been a worry of mine as no one wants to look like something from Halloween every day of the year, however since discovering the Studio Finish Concealer in NW20 I’ve managed to keep any harsh blemishes and discoloration at bay. I’m also a fan of Benefit’s Erase Paste in medium as its quite thick it covers anything up very easily. I’d still happily use these products, but for £4.19 for the Collection concealer, which works just as well, it seems like a waste of money to keep buying expensive products.

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See it yourself…

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Picture One: You can see how dark my circles are before any makeup is applied (I do apologise!)

Picture Two: I dotted the concealer around the problem area, putting larger spots in the corners of my eye where it appears the darkest.

Picture Three: I then used a Real Techniques Base Shadow brush to blend it into the skin – this brush is great for blending. My beauty must haves are the Real Technique brushes. They  are simply amazing and work absolute wonders. 

Picture Four: After a bit of concealer and a groom of the eyebrows it is obvious my eyes are a lot brighter. There is still a slight blue tone, however in this picture I had not set the skin with foundation or a powder. Foundation would help cover this up completely.

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My Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer is in colour Light 2, which works great with my skin tone and blends nicely with my Mac Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NW20.

So if you want a product that is as good as an expensive one, but a fraction of the price – then head to anywhere near you that stocks this product – you won’t regret it!

Links to all the products mentioned above are below.

P.S. sorry for the disturbing and so-not-funny title!!!

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Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer

Real Technique Brushes

Studio Finish SPF35 Concealer

Benefit Erase Paste

Studio Fix Fluid SPf15 Foundation

Smashbox Cosmetics

I’ve got to admit, I am a bit of an addict for anything beauty, and always up for trying new things. So when me and my friends ventured into Boots the other week, I decided to investigate the new Smashbox Cosmetics counter. I’ve only recently heard about Smashbox from makeup video’s on YouTube so thought it would be quite a good idea to try out a few new products. At first, I wasn’t convinced. I assumed it would just be another rip-off Mac makeup brand with student un-friendly prices, but no. My mind was changed as fast as you can say kabuki brush.

We ended up looking at the boutique for at least half an hour and went round the counter again and again searching high and low just to make sure we didn’t miss out, now that we’d been introduced to this simply smashing brand (sorry).

I was initially drawn to the sale items (as any girl is) but realized that actually, the current stock wasn’t that much more expensive. They had so many amazing products and I was dying to try them all.

By the end of our visit, we had collectively spent smashbox’s annual turnover. One friend went home with the majority of the facial products after having a makeover, my other pal the ‘Try it Kit’ and lip glosses, and me trying to be kind to my bank account – the Limited Edition ‘Studio Pop for Lips’.

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Picture from Smashbox Cosmetics.
(From left to right) Spiceberry, Candy, Illume, Star, Razzle.

Now I’ve gone through my fair share of different lip gloss’ such as Benefit’s Lip Shines, Bobbi Brown’s High Sheen Lip Gloss, (which are both uncomfortably sticky and result in awkward gloss/teeth situations), and my personal all time favourite that I was introduced to in Bloomingdales – the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfecter. However, I have never used such long-wearing glosses that keep the lips so conditioned, like the Smashbox glosses do. I couldn’t wait about trying my new purchases and as soon as we reached the car, I popped open my tin of Studio Pop.

In the box….

One of the first things that attracted me to this product is the metal tin in which the lip glosses come in (sad but true). Within the tin there are 3 Lip Enhancing Gloss’; Spiceberry, a nude/cream pink (and my fav), Illume, an irredescent pink and Razzle, a hot pink/purple which looks great when lightly applied over red lipstick. They separately retail at £14 each.

Then there are 2 Reflection High Shine Gloss in Star, a clear colour that can be put over any lipstick, or on its own to add a subtle sheen and Candy, a bubblegum pink perfect for girly moods. These lipglosses sell at £15 each.

If you can do the math, (I can’t I used a calculator), if I had bought these separately, I’d have paid a whopping £72 on 5 lip glosses which simply cannot be justified; however, I bagged myself an incredible bargain paying just £17 for the 5 glosses which are only a fraction smaller than the full sized. And what’s even better, I had enough points on my Boots card to pay for these so I technically got them for free!

Overall, I think these are great little products which can be put in your bag for a quick top up (even though I don’t think you would need to). Now that I’ve got a starting point I’m hoping to purchase the ‘Try it Kit’ which contains small ‘try-before-you-buy’ sizes of Smashbox’s most iconic products, but I can see this brand easily providing some of my essentials. Such as the Photo Finish Foundation Primer tester I received with my purchase, even though I personally find that primers tend to dry out my skin.

So if you don’t mind splashing your cash on anything pretty, and at a very good value(!!), then why not check out either their website, Facebook or Twitter. 

http://www.smashbox.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/smashboxcosmeticsuk

https://twitter.com/smashbox

 

Easter Beauty haul

As some of you know Boots are currently doing their 3 for 2 offer on selected hair and cosmetics items at the moment. They do these a number of times a year – and this is when I tend to do most of my beauty products shopping, as nothing feels better than getting things you love for free! And seeing as money is in the bank and the sun has been shining – I thought that there would be nothing better than to celebrate Easter with a beauty haul.

I will review some of the items bought separately. There are some products that I have wanted to try for a while, some that were impulse buys and some that I often use.

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(From left to right and top to bottom)

1) No.7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser

2) Aussie Colour Mate Shampoo

3) Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Shine

4) Aussie Miracle Moist Conditioner

5) No.7 Makeup Brush Cleanser

6) No.7 Beautiful Skin Hydration Marsk

7) L’Oréal Nude Magique CC Cream – Anti Redness

8) L’Oréal Nude Magique BB Cream – Light Skin Tone

9) No.7 Total Renewal Micro-Dermabrasion Exfoliator

So if you fancy filling your boots/shelves/drawers with fabulous products, pop in to your local Boots store today. I think I’m going to pop back in tomorrow for another, oops!

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