Friday, 27 September 2013

REVIEW: ARK Skincarei Pre Skin Cleanse

Hey Ladies,

My love for oil / balm cleansers knows no bounds; I seriously want to try everyone on the market and review them so if you have any requests let me know!
ARK Pre Skin Cleanse*
A revolution in skin cleansing. This innovative product is the first step in our powerful cleansing routine. The multi-fruit lipid blend dissolves every last trace of daily grime, excess sebum and make-up – even waterproof mascara – while nourishing and soothing skin with a blend of natural ingredients.

I enjoy the simplicity of ARK and the concept of their product line; 'essentials' which every age group can use like this oil cleaser and then you choose which line of the products is suited for your age;
Age Prepare: Teens to early 30's
Age Maintain: Mid 30's to 50
Age Repair: 50's and beyond

On to the product; This is the thinest cleansing oil i've come across and I love that about it, it dissolves my makeup much more effectively because of this with minimum rubbing; the packaging is perfect for the texture as well as the pump doesn't shoot the thin oil everywhere it just dispenses it perfectly into the palm.

It is made with grape seed, avocado and kiwi oils as well as Margosa leaf extract which destroys standing bacteria on the skin so it is a great cleanser for oily skin; if you have been put off with oil cleansers having oily skin this could be the one for you.

I think it is very reasonably priced at £22.00 for 125mls (Link) especially considering it contains no mineral oil (something which a LOT of oil cleansers are jam packed with both the inexpensive and the more annoying the very expensive) also unlike many 'natural' cleansers/products it doesn't have one bit of a smell to it so if you have a sensitive nose I highly recommend this.

Have you got an oil based cleanser you swear by? or do you have your eye on one and want me to review it, let me know!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

NOTW: Mavala Bamako

Hey Ladies,

Ok so this is technically a summer nail polish release but like I said last week although I may gravitate towards darker colours in the Autumn/Winter it doesn't mean I don't enjoy a none-seasonal shade on my nails.
This is a gorgeous mix of green and turquoise; almost an emerald green but with a hint of blue. Opaque and streak free in two coats and it lasts a very respectable time on the nails around five days chip free then it wares at the edges slightly.

Mavala polishes are some of my favourite I own as they're fairly inexpensive at £4 each (Link) perhaps ml for ml they might not be the most economical as they're so dinky but lets face it who the hell finishes bottles of nail polish these days; I haven't finished a single one! These feel less wasteful and much more compact to store (meaning you can purchase more right?)

Thursday, 19 September 2013

REVIEW: Charlotte Tilbury The Golden Goddess Eye Shadow Palette

Hey Ladies,

Unless you've been hiding under a rock the past month or so you will know all about a very exciting makeup collection by makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury; I didn't even need to see swatches of The Golden Goddess palette before placing my order because I knew that it had Nicola written all over it.
Charlotte Tilbury The Golden Goddess Palette

This palette did not disappoint, the design is stunning combining the rich brown almost resin like plastic and rose gold metallic packaging; it feels luxurious in your hands and the quality hasn't been compromised in the slightest.

Of course we can all sit and look at a pretty palette (which I did for a week) without using it but the proof is in the pudding as they say and again I haven't been let down. I cannot describe how soft and blend-able these shadows are, the mere touch of a blending brush will have any harsh lines buffed out beautifully which I couldn't be happier about in the morning when blending is the last thing I want to be doing. The actual shades compliment each other perfectly and you really don't need anything else to complete the look meaning it is perfect for travelling with or if you are going out after work as it's all you need.
The actual shades have no names, (from top to bottom) they're just known as prime, enhance, smoke and pop so even someone not experienced in makeup will know how these should be applied; the prime shade is a lovely base to take up to the brow to highlight and looks especially pretty in the inner corner of the eye to make you look wide awake, the enhance shade in this palette is my perfect every day eyeshadow, its a gorgeous warm taupe shade almost like a more golden Mac Patina, the smoke shade is just a wonderful rich warm bronze and finally the pop shade is a dark bronze glitter to glitz up your eye to take it from a day time look into a wonderful smokey bronze more appropriate for a night out.

My love for these eyeshadows doesn't just end in the packaging formula, and shades; their longevity is something to shout about as well. I usually have to use eyeshadow primer plus a cream eyeshadow to ensure the eyeshadow over the top stays in place all day. Not wanting to distort the actual shade of the eyeshadows in these pictures I applied my shadow at 7:30 am on top of some regular eyeshadow primer and by 10pm it looked perfect not a crease nor smudge in sight. Top Marks! 

Priced at £38.00 exclusively to Selfridges (Link) it isn't the cheapest of eyeshadow palettes however it is one I thoroughly recommend and this palette in particular especially if you have green eyes (If you don't there is bound to be one for you in the collection) as it makes them look so intense, if I had to give up all my other eyeshadows for this palette I think I wouldn't find it too difficult, all together a perfect palette.

Have you tried any of the Charlotte Tilbury range? I am seriously lusting after the lipsticks and shadow pencils so they may end up being reviewed in the near future so watch out for them.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

NOTW: IBD Just Gel Polish - Whipped Cream

Hey Ladies,

Whilst I was watching my weekly dose of trash TV also known as Keeping Up With The Kardashians I admired Kris Jenner's white manicure so thought i'd be a copy cat.
I love the simplicity of white nail polish and it looks great on everyone plus doesn't clash with any clothing so great for a weekly/bi-weekly manicure.

The reason I wanted a white gel polish wasn't because I wanted to have French manicures but because I wanted to wear it underneath lighter regular nail polish in my collection so that I could have the strength of the gel on my nails and take advantage of my rather large nail polish collection.

As Steve Jobs said 'Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication' ... I miss him!

Friday, 13 September 2013

DEAL ALERT: Selfridges ELLE Beauty Box

Hey Ladies,

Sometimes a deal comes along and I really don't have to umm and ahh whether to cough up the cash for it, this from Selfridges was definitely one of them so I thought I'd let you know about it.

The Elle Beauty Box contains:
  • Ciaté Cupcake Queen polish 13.5ml
  • Ellis Faas mascara 8.2ml
  • Eve Lom Kiss Mix 7ml
  • Topshop lipstick in Charmed
  • Sachajuan leave-in conditioner 250ml
  • Jurlique Rosewater balancing mist 50ml
  • Perricone Neuropeptide Firming Moisturiser Mini 7.5ml
  • ELLE October issue

  • I have wanted to try Ellie Faas and Sacha Juan for a while so it's a great way to try the brands without paying full price for the items, plus getting a few more thrown in to give a go. I have tried both the Topshop lipsticks and Eve Lom Kiss Mix before and they are great products so I'm happy to have more.

    This set is worth £125 if you were to buy the products individually so to pay £30 plus £4.94 I would say is a total bargain, I bought one pretty much immediately after I received the email and I am considering buying another to go into my Christmas stock pile as little bonus gifts.

    It is an online exclusive and you can purchase it from Selfridges (Link) will you be picking one up or have used any of the products?

    Tuesday, 10 September 2013

    REVIEW: Lip Augmentation at Bianca Estelle Aesthetics

    Hey Ladies,

    This could well turn into a bit of a controversial post/decision but I am going to discuss it anyway because it's my blog and I want to! Blogging is something I have loved to do over the past 4 or 5 years; it's given me some amazing opportunities and experiences in those years so I am thankful for that however it can be a little disheartening at times to sit and take 100 pictures of yourself and they all look rubbish. Regular none blogging people may take a picture and if it looks rubbish just erase it but when you're a blogger you're trying to capture colours and textures of products on your face and unfortunately that means you study it; you study each and every imperfection most people wouldn't notice and it can start to give you a complex.

    My lips I was always ok with they weren't particularly small but I always wanted them balancing out as my top lip was smaller than my bottom lip and the corners were none existent and so when the opportunity arose for me to have fillers in my lips I didn't hesitate to try it and I wanted to share my experience and results hoping it might be useful for anyone considering getting them done.
    I had the treatment done by Bianca Estelle Aesthetics (Link) at her clinic in Birmingham; this woman is a jet setter filling all the lines & lips of celebrities and so I knew I was in good hands. The filler she uses in her practice is Teosyal which is a hylauronic acid base of non-animal origin, as Hylauronic acid is a naturally occuring substance in the body it is highly unlikely you will have an allergic reaction to the filler something which is well publicised (Pete Burns) another benefit of the Hylauronic based fillers is that they are not permanent as they are absorbed over time and last around 9 months, also if you have a particularly bad experience and result it can be dissolved.

    The treatment was very quick (around 30mins) and pain wise it was a very strange experience, some numbing cream was applied to my lips; I could feel the needle going in but I didn't feel any pain, when the actual filler was injected however it did sting. I will admit to being the biggest girl in the world when it comes to pain and to me it was perfectly bearable.

    Something I didn't account for was the swelling and it is a word of warning that it will require a little downtime; my lips did swell a lot and it lasted about 24 hours until they were a normalish size so having them done on a Friday is a wise choice so you can hide out watching Sex and The City for the whole next day.

    I am absolutely in love with the results and I really wanted to show you all that lip augmentations shouldn't have the bad reputation they seem to have.

    My top tips if you are thinking about having this treatment:
    • Research where you are going; I thoroughly recommend Bianca and going on recommendations is far more useful than any other decision you may have in the process. Going to a 'groupon' type clinic who sell deals might not be the best idea yes it may save money but if you don't get the results you want it will cost a lot more to correct.
    • Research which filler you would want; a none-permanent filler such as Teosyal could be the best option if you've never had fillers before (like myself) so you can see the results without the life long commitment.
    • Experiment with your natural lips by over lining your lips to see if it is suits your face, if your face is balanced with slightly thin lips it may look a little silly if you request huge lips so be realistic about the result you want and what will enhance your beauty not detract from it.
    If you have any questions or want any information at all then feel free to leave a comment or email me and I will get back to you all. Also especially for my readers Bianca is offering 50% off all treatments, just follow her on Facebook (Link)and Instagram (Link) and the flyer will be at the bottom of this post. I completely recommend her services, she was lovely and put me at complete ease explaining the procedure and what to expect.

    Would I have it done again? Hell yes, I'd even go as far as to say I'd have them plumped even more now I know how subtle it can be; they are noticeably plumper but not completely obvious ... this could get addictive.

    Monday, 9 September 2013

    Look Fantastic Sale: My Top Picks plus Free Gift and Discount Code

    Hey Ladies,

    Don't we all love a good online sale; no pushing and shoving, no crowds just you, your pajamas, a cup of tea and laptop however sifting through 5000 products across 50 pages can sometimes can seem a daunting task, one which is likely to fail if you're attention span isn't the best, well I've done my blogging duty and had a look through the LookFantastic sale and done the leg work for you and collated them into My Top Picks.
    Paul Mitchell Far Out Extra Body Duo was £19.50 now £10.89 (Link)
    I have heard very good things about the ExtraBody range which is designed to add volume and body at the roots and protecting your hair for any damage. For £5.45 each for 2 full size products it is excellent value.

    Paul Mitchell Super Strong Treatment 500ml was £34.50 now £19.54 (Link )
    I have raved about the Super Strong Treatment for a few years and gone though many bottles, I've never used such an effective leave in product as this, it increases the flexibility of your hair and protects it from further damage. I usually get the liquid version as it's so light but for this price and size the regular treatment is basket bound.

    Label M Protein Spray 500ml was £17.85 now £13.19 (Link)
    Whenever I go to Toni & Guy the hairdresser always uses this before brushing my hair and it just makes the comb glide through my usually very knotty wet mop, the concept of it is fairly similar to the Paul Mitchell above but in a spray version so great if your hair is on the thinner side as it's weightless ... plus it smells so nice!

    Alpha H Liquid Gold Prep & Prime was £25.00 now £15.29 (Link)
    I am a HUGE fan of Liquid Gold and I know it is many a beauty bloggers favourite however some people just can't hack it because it is a very strong chemical exfoliation; this 'Prep & Prime' version can be used by both Liquid Gold novice and pro, if you have sensitive skin or new to the world of chemical exfoliation you can use it every other night under your moisturiser, if you are lover of Liquid Gold this can be used underneath your makeup for a bit of day time exfoliation whilst continuing using the hard stuff at night.

    Green and Spring Reviving Face Mask was £33.50 now £16.40 (Link)
    As we're coming towards Autumn and Winter brightening your skin is a must as the cold and wind can make your skin dry and sallow; this mask is designed to leave the complexion with a well nourished, toned and brightened glow.

    Murad Hydration Sensation was £69.60 now £44.66 (Link)
    This set is incredible value, It contains my all time favourite moisturiser and eye cream full size; they are perfect for the coming cold as they're incredibly nourishing and great for more sensitive skins as they are very gentle and fragrance free.

    DuWop Pure Venom - Nude was £21.00 now £13.14 (Link)
    Lip balm is a must for all seasons and this balm leaves a peachy pink stain which nourishes as well as some lip pluming effects and lets face it any pout can do with a bit of a plump.

    Daniel Sandler Luxury Matte Lipstick - Red Carpet was £13.25 now £10.08 (Link)
    Unless you're a new reader (in which case welcome!) you should know my slight addiction to red lipsticks and especially matte formulas so one which promises to keep your lips well hydrated with a formula enriched with shea butter and hyaluronic acid.

    Violent Lips The Coral Cheetah was £10.50 now £6.30 (Link)
    I have wanted to try Violent Lips since the moment I saw them; unfortunately £10.50 for one use is a little steep for something I might not actually like. For £6.30 however I could give a go for a night out so it's the perfect time to satisfy my curiosity.

    On to the discount code and free gift; if you spend £25.00 in the sale you get a free 'Editors Kit Pick' with your purchases, there's no details on what exactly you get but hey it's free and £25.00 is a very easy amount to spend. The discount code's are below you can use even on sale items!

    SEPT4 - £4 off when you spend £30
    SEPT8 - £8 off when you spend £55
    SEPT12 - £12 off when you spend £80

    Have you popped any sale items into your basket or any of my picks tickle your fancy?

    .... FYI this isn't a sponsored post or anything I just love a bargain & thought it would be useful!

    Sunday, 8 September 2013

    NOTW: Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint - Papaya

    Hey Ladies,
    After trying out the Barry M Gelly formula I wanted to pick up a couple more shades as I was very impressed with the application and longevity.
    Papaya I would describe as a bright creamy peachy coral, It would have been the perfect summer shade but I was a little late to the party as per usual so sporting the look in September. As per usual with the Gelly formula it's opaque in one coat (I always add two), has the shiniest finish and great lasting power.

    Are you one for sticking to seasonal shades or do you just go for whatever tickles your fancy that day?

    Sunday, 1 September 2013

    Nail of The Week: Red Carpet Manicure Plum up The Volume

    Hey Ladies,
    The first gel polish I applied from the Red Carpet Manicure set I purchased was this one and it was the gel polish I applied that actually lasted two weeks.
    I wouldn't exactly describe this as a plum as the name suggests it is, I'd say it was more like a dark raspberry pink; perfect for this time of year at the end of summer/beginning of autumn. I cannot believe it is September!

    Red Carpet Manicure polishes are amazing quality and certainly last the two weeks of application, initially the range was a bit 'classic' ie totally not me but i'm happy they've released some collections with more trend shades so you may see a few more modern Nail of The Weeks in the future from them; I seriously need to purchase Santorini Martini, Tangerine on The Rocks and Mimosas by The Pool. Perhaps I'm craving a cocktail with names like those but they are a minty jadey green, bright orange and a bright coral respectively, perhaps better purchases for the start of summer. Oh well!

    You can purchase Red Carpet Manicure shades £12.95 each and the system from their website (link) & it's free postage which I always like to see especially if you just want to purchase one colour at once.