Monday, 5 October 2015

Trying New Things

Hi everyone! So (and I hope this doesn't come off as me showing off) I recently won a giveaway (YAY!) from the lovely Zinita of Beauty & the Payroller - which I was really excited about, not least because it included the coveted Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette, which is top of everyone's wish list lately!

The bundle of stuff I won has enabled me to try new things - including stuff that's not actually available in this country, like the Sephora Kiss Me Lip Balm, which I love. At first I was a bit confused by it, as it's a massive rollerball lip product that looks like an egg! But the colour - 'Strawberry Fizz' is gorgeous and reminds me a little bit of Mac's Show Orchid lipstick. It has a lot of pigmentation for a balm and applies really nicely. I would definitely recommend checking this product out next time you get the chance - it would be great if we had a Sephora in the UK!

I also really like the Benefit lip balms Benebalm, Posiebalm and Cha-cha balm, which are all adorably small and great for travel. 

As you can see, Benebalm is the most pigmented of the three, but the other two aren't bad either. These balms are designed to match their corresponding lip tint, and I actually own samples of Benetint and Posietint (Posietint is almost empty!) so the only full size tint I own is Lollitint, which I think would still go quite well with Posiebalm.

The beauty bundle also included some nice bath/shower minis from Cowshed - a brand I previously hadn't tried before. The body lotion smells amazing and the little bag it comes with would make a lovely makeup bag.

I've also finally got to try Bioderma and see what all the fuss is about - again in a handy travel size - and it is quite good! It seems to get off loads of makeup quickly and leave my skin feeling nice and clean. I'm not sure if I've been wowed by it enough to pay more than I would for the Garnier micellar water though. Another product I've heard a lot of good things about is the Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan - as I've mentioned before, I'm not really into fake-tanning, but I'm still interested to try this out sometime (possibly for a night out, because flash is unforgiving). It sounds very quick and easy, and the mitt included is machine-washable, which is handy!

Zinita also gave me some face masks, two from Sephora and the Pur Minerals Dirty Girl Detoxifying Mud Mask, which I literally just tried before typing this - first impressions are that this stuff goes seriously tight, so it was a relief to wash it off! I now have super-clean feeling skin, although my nose is a little red. Also from Pur is a 'Big Look' mascara which comes in lovely pink packaging.

For eyes, as well the Naked palette, Zinita sent me a Lord & Berry smudgeproof eyeliner in black (plus a handy waterproof eye makeup remover from Sephora, which is good because this eyeliner is waterproof!) and two Fashion Fair eyeshadows in Suede (a dark brown) and Nude (a lightish brown) these should look great together, and again the brand is new to me. In fact, I think the only brands I've tried out of what I've received have been Urban Decay and Benefit!

After some consideration, I decided to sell the Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette. It is untouched, as literally all I've done with it is open the packaging and marvel at its beauty, but the packaging doesn't look opened. I hope Zinita doesn't mind - it's just that, as much as I love the look of this palette (and am very tempted to swatch it) I don't think I would get much use out of it, as I own the original Naked palette but barely touch it - partly because I don't wear eyeshadows very often anyway (I rarely have time in the morning for a proper eyeshadow look) and also because the shades don't suit me very much, being quite warm-toned. So my Naked palette is sitting unloved, which is a shame because there's nothing actually wrong with it, and I don't want the same thing to befall this palette! It deserves to go to a loving home.

(With that said, I just looked at online swatches of it, and I need a dupe of the shade 'Armor' in my life - if anyone owns the palette and knows of a similar shade in their stash please let me know!)

It's now sold, but please take a look at the other things I'm selling :)

Thanks for reading!
Sabrina xx

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Current Favourites and a Mini Blog Sale

Hi everyone! Sorry about the lack of posts lately...I started a new full-time job last month (I'm getting paid to write - eeee) so I've been busy settling in, so that unfortunately meant that my blogs have been a bit neglected!

In this post I'm firstly going to talk about my favourite products recently, and then I'm making my first foray into the world of blog sales with four items for sale including two MAC lipsticks.

So, recently my Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara has been looking a bit gloopy and generally worse for wear, so it was time to get a new mascara (one of the few makeup items I can justify buying despite being skint - because if you don't get a new mascara at least every six months you'd basically be putting yourself at risk of getting an eye infection!) I actually really liked that mascara, it was definitely one of the best I've tried in the past year or so and if it weren't for my penchant for trying new mascaras I'd probably repurchase it.

I decided to buy the Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara(which was £3 off when I bought it but the offer has ended, sorry!)

Look at this fancy limited edition 'Retro Summer' packaging! It might not even really be summer anymore but this packaging is lovely and cheerful. This mascara is one Bourjois' most well known but the only mascara I've tried from them has been the Volumizer one (one of the many Mac Haute and Naughty copycat 2-in-1 mascaras that were coming out in 2010 - I really liked that one, even if the 2-in-1 thing is a bit gimmicky.)

Anyway, this isn't technically a favourite because I've only been using it a few weeks and haven't made my mind up yet (I'll probably write a full review on this once I've been using it longer) but so far I have quite mixed feelings on this mascara. On the one hand, it does provide a very nice look quickly, with good volume and length. You certainly don't have to put much effort in to get a decent mascara look. On the other hand, the brush is flipping massive, so you have to be careful, and I've noticed that at the end of the day a few times it has smudged onto my lower lash line, so that's not ideal. But I will keep using it and I'll let you know how it goes!

In terms of other makeup, I've been enjoying long-lasting lip products - at work sometimes I can simply have a cup of tea and a biscuit and the next thing I know the lovely pink lippy I had on before is almost gone. So Benefit's Lollitint (which I talked about in my high end favourites post) is great for increasing the wear of my lip colour. It looks good either on its own or layered with a lippie like Nars Roman Holiday.  

In terms of long-lasting lipsticks, Rimmel's Lasting Perfection lipstick by Kate in 01 and No7's Moisture Drench lipstick in Rosy Ribbon have been great options. Rosy Ribbon is a dark pink which leans slightly reddish on me, although next to Rimmel's Kate in 01 it looks very pink! It was recommended for my particular skin tone with the No7 Match Made Service.

Rimmel Kate swatch
Left - No7 Rosy Ribbon. Right - Rimmel Kate.
Rimmel Kate promises up to 8 hours wear, which I don't think is true although it does last very well. I can't see any claims about wear time in the description for No7's Rosy Ribbon, so it may or may not be this particular shade which is long lasting. At £5.49 Rimmel's Kate in 01 is more affordable than the No7 one which is £9.95 - quite pricey for a drugstore lipstick, but No7 do offers quite often, for example right now there's a 'buy one get second half price on selected No7 cosmetics' offer.

Moving on to concealer and I'm still loving the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer - I don't know whether mine is actually starting to run out though as I keep having to put more effort in to get product out. It doesn't look like it's nearly empty, but still...nooooo. Living in London, I'm now on a serious budget so I can't really afford to repurchase this when it runs out, sad times. But I am still happy to use the good old Collection concealer (you know the one) as a perfect budget alternative which is around £18 cheaper (seriously.)

I'm still using and loving the Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean Cleansing Milk which I reviewed here. It smells amazing, albeit a little bit sickly sometimes, and is great for removing face makeup. Finally, a haircare favourite I wanted to mention was the Garnier Ultimate Blends The Colour Illuminator, a one minute treatment which nourishes my hair as well as protecting the colour radiance. My hair gets quite dry at the ends (especially as I've been blow drying it more lately - oops) and this stuff really helps. I also use coconut oil occasionally as an overnight treatment.

The Mini Blog Sale...

Blog Sale

This is UK only - sorry! The prices below include £2.80 postage. Please let me know in the comments if you'd like to buy something and provide your PayPal email address - I will then send you a PayPal invoice. (If you don't want to post your email address on here, just DM me on Twitter.)

Please try to pay within 24 hours of me sending you the invoice and then I will post your item/s as soon as I can and let you know they're on the way. Also, if you live near ish to me in Tufnell Park in London then we might be able to knock £2.80 off the price (from postage) to meet up in person so I can give you what you bought - walking distance only though please. I won't accept returns/refunds I'm afraid.

From left to right in the image above, here's what's on offer:

1. Eyeco Skinny Liquid Eyeliner Black (never opened or used as I already have one) RRP £12, Price: £7

2. Jemma Kidd Light as Air Foundation in Ultra Light (about 80% left) (not sure what its RRP was, I think around £25) Price: £13

This foundation used to get raved about a lot before Jemma Kidd's makeup line was discontinued. This is a really nice foundation but I'm selling it because it doesn't work very well with my oily skin. (It used to work with my skin when I first bought it!) It has an SPF of 18 and the shade Ultra Light matches fair skin tones like my own quite well.

3. MAC Viva Glam Nicki Lipstick (used about 4 times) RRP £15.50 Price: £11

I wrote about this in my MAC lipstick collection post - (you can see swatches for both lipsticks there.) It's a great lipstick but I'm selling it because it doesn't work well with my skintone! It's been discontinued.

4. MAC Vegas Volt Lipstick - used 4-5 times. RRP £15.50 Price: £10.50

I'm also selling a Chase Your Shadow: The Trials of Oscar Pistorius book over on Gumtree if anyone's interested!

Closer look images:

Blog Sale MAC Lipsticks

Thanks for reading!

Sabrina xx

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Review: Nice 'n Easy Root Touch Up in Medium Blonde

I finally used this product the other day and sorted out my roots so I thought I'd share my thoughts on it! Nice 'n Easy Root Touch Up aims to match other leading shades including salon colours and provide 100% grey coverage, which I don't need just yet. ;)

As mentioned in this post I actually chose the Medium Blonde shade despite having dark blonde hair because I'd heard in reviews that it goes darker than expected. I left it on for 20 minutes just in case it would have been too light after 10 minutes and I got a great match!

The actual use was really easy - I followed the instructions, putting on the gloves provided then pouring the Colour Activating Lotion followed by the Permanent Colour Creme in the plastic tray and mixing them together with the brush until it was fully blended. I then used the brush to thoroughly apply over my roots including at the back of my head (I couldn't see what I was doing there but I think it mixed in alright!) I ended up with loads of mixture left which I was surprised by as I've heard some reviewers claim that they didn't have enough - I think this would depend on how thick your hair is. The brush provided was a little flimsy but it still did the job.

20 minutes later I washed it off and the water actually went bubbly rather than having a great deal of visible colour to it. 

So here's the result:

Nice and Easy Root Touch Up Kit in Medium Blonde
Before and After - ignore the odd parting
Overall I'm really pleased with this kit, it did exactly what I wanted! It's very convenient and cheap for those times when your roots need doing but you don't really want to splash out at a salon just yet.
I'll probably next get my colour done at the same time as I next get my hair cut. I would definitely use this product again but I'm not sure whether I should try the Dark Blonde shade and just only leave it on for 10 minutes?

If you'd like to buy this I think it's usually cheapest at Savers, where I bought mine for £3.28, but it is currently on offer with £1 off at Boots right now so it's £3.99 there.

Sabrina xx

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Review: Boots Skin Clear Oil-Free Mattifying Lotion

Review: Boots Skin Clear Oil-Free Mattifying Lotion

Hello! Today I have a review for a product that I've actually repurchased about three times, usually when it's on offer (although it's still quite cheap when it's not on offer!) This product has cleared up my skin really well in the past, and although I have been using an Avene moisturiser recently I still use this one when I have more breakouts than usual as the salicylic acid in the formula helps to get rid of them.

I don't find this all that moisturising but it definitely does what it says and mattifies the skin. It has a non-greasy formula so it effectively soaks up any oil on your face, just like it promises:

Review: Boots Skin Clear Oil-Free Mattifying Lotion

However this lotion does have one downside that is fairly annoying and does limit its use: it doesn't really leave a good base for makeup. You have to be careful how much you use as it can leave little white flakes on the skin, which especially annoying when you're trying to apply foundation! This is quite a shame really as it limits when you can use it.

Review: Boots Skin Clear Oil-Free Mattifying Lotion

Overall though this is still a great buy and it's definitely worth picking up if you suffer from breakouts/oily skin! If you have combination skin you may only want to apply this to your T-zone or wherever you're oily as you might find it a little drying otherwise. This is usually £2.99 but seems to be on offer a lot and is currently £2 available here.

Hope you enjoyed this review. If you're new and like my blog, please follow me here on Bloglovin, and it would also be lovely if you'd like to nominate me for the Bloggers Blog Awards! :)

Sabrina xx

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Self-Image: You are Beautiful

Hi! This is going to be a bit different to my usual posts. The video below is a must-watch if you haven't seen it already!

Looking in the mirror, there are things I am not happy with. Also, if you know me in real life then you'll know that I don't accept compliments very easily (yes, I'm one of those annoying people who's always like 'thanks, but I'm not/I disagree' if someone calls me pretty. For some reason I'm much more likely to say a simple thank you to a stranger who compliments me, or someone I don't know very well. Sometimes I remember more significant compliments quite vividly - like a teacher (in a secondary school subject I was rubbish at) randomly telling me I was talented one day. Or someone at Uni telling me I have a 'graceful figure' because I'm quite tall and slim. Unfortunately despite this I have low self-esteem and could identify with Helen at The Lovecats Inc's post 'But You're Already Skinny' as I may be a size 8, but I'm still not completely happy with my body, especially if I were to compare it to models or celebrities. I think we should promote body confidence for everyone. 

Anyway, I don't know about you, but I hate how sometimes we treat ourselves worse than our worst enemy when we look into the mirror and mentally point out our flaws. And it's not easy to stop once you get into the habit of this sort of self-depreciation. So what I want to say is, please try to be kinder to yourselves!

It is not big headed to be happy with your appearance. I'm quite jealous of those who are completely comfortable in their own skin and I wish more of us were! I saw this tweet the other day:

...and I was quite sad to see just how many people had retweeted and/or favourited it. I know it's easier said than done (and that I'm probably a bit of a hypocrite for saying this yet not believing it applies to me) but to quote Em Ford (My Pale Skin) in her inspiring video You Look Disgusting, you are beautiful, don't let anyone tell you otherwise - not even yourself. Instead of picking out your flaws, try and notice what you like about your appearance.

Be your own best friend instead of your own worst enemy. Treat yourself sometimes and when you think you look good today, be it a good skin/hair/outfit day, then allow yourself to feel confident in how you look without worrying about being full of yourself!

So I'll go first, and then I'd love it if you would like to comment with at least four things you love about your appearance. Definitely list more than four if you want to! This is going to be weird for me, but here we go...

1. My eyes as they're reasonably big

2. My dimples when I smile

3. My stomach

4. My hair colour as I like it dark blonde (or maybe bronde)

Now over to you!

Sabrina xx

PS: I'm just going to leave this here - I would be extremely grateful if I were nominated in Hayley's (Miss Tea Party Beauty) Bloggers Blog Awards! ;)

Monday, 13 July 2015

Night Out Makeup

Hey everyone! So I went out in Stafford on Saturday and I quite liked how my makeup turned out, so I thought I'd write a post on it! This post turned out a longer than I thought it was going to be...

I forgot to include the Porefessional sample in this photo so let's pretend it's there too haha
I had moisturised my skin with the Avene Cleanance MAT Mattifying Emulsion, letting it sink in for a while before I primed my skin with Benefit's Porefessional, which I have a few sample sizes of (one was with a gift set, another with a magazine.) I don't think I like it enough to purchase the full size one when my samples run out - it's a nice product but I don't think it makes much difference on my pores and I feel like the siliconey formula is quite dupeable on the high street. However my makeup did last quite well despite me getting all sweaty in a nightclub - I'm not sure whether it's down to this, my foundation, my powder or just the combination of all three!

For foundation I went with the YSL Touche Eclat Foundation, which is the only high end foundation I own. This contains no SPF so it's ideal for night time makeup. When I bought it my skin was more normal and less blemish prone so because it's quite glowy and my skin became oily I was put off using it a bit. When I applied it last night though I really liked it - it blended beautifully when I used the Real Techniques Buffing Brush. Its coverage was light to medium but buildable without becoming cakey, as I did need to apply a little more than I normally would because of the amount of blemishes I have. (Quick foundation tip: obviously you can start applying it wherever you want on your face, but if you have an area that you think needs more coverage then you might like to start applying your foundation there.) I think I have the lightest shade and it matches me perfectly.

I did still powder it with MAC Blot Powder as although the dewy-ness of this foundation is nice, my oily skin means my face risks looking shiny as the night goes on. Again I have the lightest shade although this powder has barely any colour as it's not intended to add any more coverage! I have very much hit pan but I'm not sure I'd repurchase as it is expensive at £20.50.

I went for a neutral eye look because of how bright my lipstick (MAC's Show Orchid) is. So I blended together the MAC eyeshadows in Satin Taupe and Patina, which I've raved about before here.

Left: Patina Right: Satin Taupe

Swatched in the same order
I also applied Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Stag which came with the Naked on the Run kit. I rarely wear eyeliner but this one is great - a flattering dark brown with a lovely smooth formula. It also stays put for a long time, as the name suggests!

This lipstick is one of my all time favourites:

MAC's Show Orchid lipstick

For mascara, I used two - I used the Seventeen Falsifeye HD Mascara first because it's great for length, then I topped it up with Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara. As much as I like the 17 mascara I think I prefer the Maybelline one as it's better for volume and it also seems to hold a curl longer. I did a full review of the Maybelline mascara here.

I had some spots to conceal so Collection Ultimate Wear Concealer did the job, whilst I applied NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla (review here) under my eyes along with MAC Prep and Prime Highlighter in Radiant Rose to brighten the area. I also applied the highlighter on both brow bones and my cupid's bow.

Top - Soap and Glory Glow All Out, Bottom left: Mac's Blot Powder, Bottom right: Benefit Bella Bamba
For a mix of highlight and blush (because of how pale I am this product is like a blush on me!) I used Soap and Glory Glow All Out Luminizing Face Powder (review here) at the top of my cheekbones and then applied Benefit's Bella Bamba Blush to the apples of my cheeks - I love this blush but haven't wanted to rave about it on here because it's sadly been discontinued! Benefit should definitely bring it back. As you can see the packaging has faded as I've owned and used it since Christmas 2011!

I used the L'oreal Brow Artist Plumper in Dark Brunette, which is a ridiculously easy way to tidy up your brows, as I'm not fussed about properly attempting to fill them in.

The finished look. I feel like I look a bit evil in this photo lol.
As for my nails, it didn't really match my outfit but my current NOTW is Rimmel's 60 Seconds in Pulsating:

I really like this colour! I wouldn't say it dries in 60 seconds but I think it does dry slightly sooner than normal. (I can't find this online but I'm fairly sure it will still be in stores, if I'm wrong then I'm sorry!) I've had this for about five years and it's still going strong and applying well, and there's some gorgeous shades in this line!

Also if you're wondering (after my last post) if I've used the Nice and Easy Root Touch Up Kit yet - nope! I'm waiting for the right time; I didn't want to use it on Saturday in case it went wrong and I also don't want to use it before Thursday as I have a job interview that day! But I will give it a go soon and report back. :)

Hope you liked this post, and thanks for reading!
Sabrina xx

Monday, 6 July 2015

Recent Beauty Buys

Recent Beauty Buys

Hello! Well so far I've been successful in my makeup spending ban and have been happily using my stash rather than adding to it unnecessarily (I have been ridiculously tempted to get one of those Rouge Edition Velvet lipsticks from Bourjois though) so this post is going include a few skin and haircare bits that I've bought over the past month or so, with the Avene and Nice and Easy purchases being the most recent. Obviously it's only a matter of time before I crack and buy more makeup but hopefully by that point it will be something I actually need!

Firstly I went to Savers to save (heh) 80p off the Boots price for the Nice and Easy Root Touch Up Kit. My roots are beginning to show again and I fancied saving money by not going to the salon just yet and using this kit just to touch up my colour at the roots until I go again (for a haircut as well since I had my hair done yesterday.) I was deliberating between the Dark Blonde and the Medium Blonde shade as my hair is dark blonde but quite a few reviews of this I've read on and Makeupalley have mentioned that this kit turned out darker than they expected. So I went for the Medium Blonde one and I'm just going to leave it on slightly longer than 10 minutes to let it have more time to develop and hopefully match the rest of my hair.

I'll let you know how I get on with this, probably in a review! I haven't seen many reviews of this in blogs but the ones on Boots/Makeupalley seem quite positive. The main complaint I've noticed seems to be from girls with very thick hair finding that they didn't have enough product, I have fine hair so that's okay but it's something to bear in mind.

I've pretty much all used up my No7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream (review here) so I picked up the Avene Cleanance MAT Mattifying Emulsion. Boots had an offer on in which you get a free 150ml Eau Thermal Spring Water Spray (worth £7) when you buy an Avene moisturiser so I was pleased with that - I've never tried anything from Avene but I've heard great things about the Thermal Spring Water, which is also part of the ingredients of the moisturiser. I'm going to use the water as my toner and then see how I get on with that and the moisturiser. Unfortunately I can't see anything about this offer online so it might just be an in store thing!

Anyway, I've only used these twice so far but I'm really liking both of them - the spray is very refreshing and the moisturiser sinks in perfectly, mattifies, and leaves my skin feeling really smooth. I'll probably review these properly once I've been using them for a while.

I've also been trying out the Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque which is a very highly rated product for fighting acne that I bought almost a month ago. I use it once a week because it's quite strong - I've used it 3 for 4 times so far but I haven't really noticed much change in my skin after using it yet which is a bit disappointing, but I'll keep trying it.

I wouldn't say I really have severe acne but when I mentioned my frequent breakouts in a visit to the Doctor's the other day I was actually prescribed Fucidin Cream which is an antibiotic. So hopefully my skin will clear up soon!

Moving on to hair stuff, and I bought the Dove Oxygen Moisture Root Lift Spray when it was on offer at Superdrug. (I just looked, and it's still on offer!) Again I may do a full review on this soon but so far I like it for using on wet hair, but can't seem to get it to do anything but wet my hair a bit when using it on dry hair (it's meant for both uses.) I feel like the fact that it's a spray makes it work better for blow drying, but I don't blow dry my hair often and I'm not sure that this has heat protectant.

When my trusty Batiste Dry Shampoo ran out I decided to try one from COLAB by Ruth Crilly as these have been raved about a lot lately. I have the Paris one which has a pleasant floral fragrance. However so far I haven't been sold on the oil-busting effects of this (I think a few times I've simply sprayed too much by accident and that's not helped) but I'll keep using this and trying not to spray too much of it and we'll see!

Update: Oops. Today I bought this month's InStyle Magazine and got the free 50ml St Tropez In Shower Gradual Tan and saw there was a voucher inside for £2 off the full size...guess what happened next.

St Tropez In Shower Gradual Tan

I originally went into Boots for a prescription but when I saw that they'd restocked on the In Shower Gradual Tan I decided to ask if the £2 off voucher would work alongside the introductory 3rd off price (which has now ended, sorry!) and it did, meaning I only paid £8.33 I think for the full size one when it is worth £14.50! (For some reason it came to 10.33 rather than 9.67 on my receipt, but I didn't feel like querying it since it's only a small difference.) I'm going to use the 50ml one first as if I don't like it I can simply return the full size one unused.

I had been quite unsure about whether to buy this or not as not only is it pricey but it does get very mixed reviews - I think it might be a good option for me though as I'm super pale, still quite new to tanning and just looking for a radiant hint of colour rather than anything major.

I also bought two Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean Deep Cleansing Milk Cleansers (review here) for the following reasons:

1. Soap and Glory have kindly increased the amount of product you get from 200ml to 350ml but the price has stayed the same at £8 which makes it great value for money, especially compared to some of their other products.
2. Boots are currently doing a 'buy one get one half price' offer on Soap and Glory skincare, meaning I got these two for £12.
3. I also got double points for spending over £10 on Soap and Glory skincare (this offer was via the Boots app) - so around 80 points.
4. I'm happy for this to be my new makeup removing cleanser and now I have tons of the stuff so I won't need to buy any for quite a while (unfortunately I wouldn't be surprised if S&G increased the price soon.)
5. It smells amazing.

^ So yes, I have slight shopping guilt now but at least I've taken advantage of some great offers! The 350ml size does mean it's obviously heavier to travel around with so what I'm thinking of doing is using one of my new ones at home and keeping the 200ml one (which I don't have much left of) for taking with me next time I travel down to see my boyfriend.

Have you tried any of these products? What have you been buying and testing out lately? :)

Sabrina xx

Friday, 3 July 2015

NOTW - Essie's Tart Deco

Hi! I thought I'd do a little rave and review post about my latest Essie polish, Tart Deco, which you might have already seen me post a picture of if you follow me on Instagram. I was in love with the colour when I bought it but when I got home I wasn't sure whether to return it as it has very negative reviews on Makeupalley. I gave it a try anyway and overall I really like it!

Essie Tart Deco Nail Polish

I've had a few minor issues with the formula - same as Mint Candy Apple it is quite runny so you need to be careful not to let it go over the sides of your nails. If I do get any polish at the side where it shouldn't be then I find I can easily chip it off which is actually quite satisfying! However the formula and brush both leave you with a shiny and pretty look at the end. I think this one is also more opaque with one coat than Mint Candy Apple but I still preferred two coats.

I've also found that this polish chips a bit more easily than Mint Candy Apple - not that it completely chips off a whole nail, but more that it repeatedly chips at the tips of my nails, including the day after I'd topped it up and sorted out the chips, which was a bit annoying, but in fairness I had been busy doing stuff that day with my hands.

Overall I can get over any minor annoyances that I have with the formula because I absolutely adore the colours of Mint Candy Apple and Tart Deco. Tart Deco in particular is a polish that I think would be lovely on toes as well as nails.

There's actually since been a very similar coral colour released in their Summer Collection this year called Peach Side Babe so I definitely don't need that one as well but it also looks very pretty. If you're not sure which one to get, Essie Envy did a really helpful post here comparing the two and other shades in the collection. Right now I am really lusting after Chillato, a yellowy lime green shade which is nothing like anything I have in my collection. I wish I could buy and review the whole collection but I can't!

Also if you're a new reader and haven't seen it, I wrote a post about my 10 nail polish picks for Spring/Summer a while ago here. :)

What nail polishes are you loving at the moment? Will you be picking anything up from the Essie Summer Collection?

Sabrina xx

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Gorgeous Summer Wedges

Yeah, this is just going to be a quick post to demonstrate my love for these wedges. They are summery and gorgeous...I love the shimmer effect on the straps and the details on the flowers.

Dorothy Perkins Gold Multi Flower Strap Wedge
Sorry to steal DP's photo but I haven't collected them yet and I wanted to get this post up before the offer ended!
I don't really own any wedges so I have an excuse but I spotted these in store and tried them on - they were very comfy and easy to walk in. I resisted getting them for £29 in the shop as Dorothy Perkins do so many offers online and they're currently doing a 'Up to 40% off Summer' offer exclusively online so I snapped these up for £20.30 instead! I have looked but I have no idea when this offer ends I'm afraid.

So if you see something you like in store in Dotty P's then it's always a good idea to double check you can't get it cheaper online. (Of course with sale items it probably wouldn't be worth it because your size may not be in stock on the website.) These wedges have already sold out in some sizes so if you want them too then I'd recommend snapping them up soon! I chose 'collect from store' for free delivery but DP do do free delivery offers fairly often.

I don't even know what outfits I'm going to pair these with yet, all I know is it's love. I would normally never wear heeled shoes during the day but with these I'd imagine I'd be able to wear them for quite a long time before they start to feel uncomfortable. 

PS: I don't know about you but I think it might be a bit hot in the UK at the moment! Hope everyone's keeping cool/making the most of it :)

Sabrina xx

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Review: Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean Deep Cleansing Milk

Hi! Today I have another review, and you might remember a while ago in a little haul I bought Soap and Glory's Peaches and Clean Deep Cleansing Milk while it was on offer in Boots.

I've actually used this up at an alarming rate and the first thing I have to mention is the smell. It might not be to everyone's taste (not that you want to eat it) but I'm with Mikhila (Miss BudgetBeauty) on this one. I love it. It's quite strange, being peachy yet minty at the same time, but I find it really refreshing and maybe even relaxing!

I was a bit confused about this product at first. I normally use foaming cleansers but apparently they can strip moisture from your face so I thought this would be a good alternative, but I wasn't sure how I was supposed to use it. I mean, it is a cleansing milk, so should I use it as my makeup remover? Should I use it with a flannel? The answer is basically you can use it however you want, but it needs to be left on for at least 5-10 minutes or it won't have had a chance to do anything. I really like how it just gently tingles as I leave it to work. Sometimes I'm knackered and just want to take my makeup off, do my teeth etc and go to bed, so in that case I just leave this on while I do other stuff. Miss Budget Beauty has even said before that she's left it on overnight! So in that way it's sort of more a face-mask-that-doesn't-dry as opposed to a normal cleansing milk.

It doesn't sting and it actually seems to moisturise a bit while it's there. I have used it both for normal cleansing and for makeup removal and I think it works well for either, although an important thing to remember is you shouldn't use this bad boy to remove your mascara - it will hurt your eyes. It's gentle, but not gentle enough for eye makeup. It will definitely help make sure every last trace of foundation/concealer/blusher/bronzer is gone from your face though. Soap and Glory claim it 'melts away makeup' and it does! I typically use face wipes or cotton pads to remove the cleanser, along with warm water.

If you're a regular reader then you'll know that my skin is usually pants, so I won't bore you with too many details! But yes, my skin is quite oily/blemish prone and the only reason I'm not quite 100% in love with this product is because it's not really done anything to help fight breakouts. To be fair, this product is aimed at all skin types so that tells me right away that it's not going to tackle a specific skin issue, though if you have dry skin I think you'll quite like the moisturising feel you get whilst you leave the product on. If you have very sensitive skin you might want to avoid this because of the glycols it contains. If you buy this and are nervous about whether you might react badly to it, maybe do a patch test on your neck just to be safe.

Another thing that was a downside and is more my fault than the product's is the fact that I couldn't work out how to lock the pump before I went travelling down south to see my boyfriend, so I wasted some of that peach-smelling-creamy-goodness in the little bag I put it in! Does anyone know how to lock the pump?!

Anyway, let's round up the pros and cons:


The smell
Attractive girly packaging
Somewhat moisturising
Tingles but doesn't sting
Melts away makeup as you rub it in
The smell
For all skin types so universal

You need a separate eye makeup remover
Might not be suitable for very sensitive skin
Can't lock the pump packaging
For all skin types so not targeting any skin issues

Here are the ingredients:

Overall, this is a great cleanser, even if you only want to use it for makeup removal and then use something else afterwards just to be sure. It's definitely worth trying. I would probably repurchase this for the smell for makeup removal and then use Micellar Water/cotton pads for getting rid of eye makeup. At £8 normally that's a bit pricey for a makeup remover so I'm probably more likely to buy it again when it's on offer. Speaking of which, it's in a 'buy one get second half price on selected Soap and Glory' offer at Boots right now.

Edit: I just realised that not only has the packaging changed again, but the amount of product has been increased from 200ml to 350ml which in my opinion makes this product great value for money! Hopefully Soap and Glory won't decide to increase the price soon to reflect that, but still it's great to see a brand increase rather than decrease the amount you get and not change the price.

I hope this post was helpful!
Have you tried this product? What's your favourite cleanser right now?

Thanks for reading,

Sabrina xx

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Day to Night Dresses

Hi everyone, so I have another fashion post today as I'd like to talk about some of the day and night time dress I like to go for! I don't get the chance to take full length pictures of my outfits very often as I don't own a full length mirror, but I definitely want to get more of them so I can share Outfit of the Day posts with you all.

These pictures aren't going to be the usual kind you're probably used to seeing in fashion blogs of chic, elegant women posing in front of various interesting backgrounds!

I love how dresses are so easy to wear and basically make an outfit with minimal effort. I always feel slightly awkward posing with my hand on my hip for some reason so I only have one photo here with that pose haha.

For a day dress, I really like this New Look Tall purple dress which I got the very last one in (sorry!) on with 20% off, so it was only about £8!

My shoes are from Dorothy Perkins :)
I just wore it for a day at my Grandad's spending time with my family sitting outside under an awning. It was very warm and sunny and this dress was just a nice casual day dress which kept me cool. I know considering it's plain I probably should have paired it with some jewellery but I'm honestly not a big jewellery-wearer. I do quite like the 3D daisy bracelet the model is wearing on the website but I haven't been able to find it or one like it yet. My sunglasses are a freebie pair I got with an issue of Cosmopolitan ages ago. This month's issue actually has free sunglasses as well as a packet of Mentos fruit sweets!

Here are three of my going out dresses:

Click to make this picture bigger!
I think the style of the middle dress works quite well with my smallish boobs and I really like this belt for pairing with different outfits. The midboob dress (lol) is another one of my favourites and is from Topshop over two years ago! The red dress is actually from the Rihanna for River Island collection yonks ago, it's a bit sexier than I usually go for but I like it has a dipped hem flowing at the back - it helps with keeping my modesty whilst bending down! It also has an open back and a culotte style so it's a little bit like a playsuit. Here's Elle Fanning looking gorgeous in the same dress. That picture is from my 21st Birthday night out :) I wear heels on most nights out although sometimes I can't be bothered and I'm tall as it is so I don't like to feel like a giant in them!

Again for night, and on dinner date nights with my boyfriend I like to wear a slightly posh and feminine dress.

Do you like my socks? :D
I love the sweetheart neckline of this floral Dorothy Perkins dress and I have a few other date night dresses from DP; they do great styles which bring you in at the waist and then flare out a little bit which is very flattering. Something about this dress seems slightly wintery and on the DP website the model wears it with thick tights and boots, but I still think it's a good date night dress in the summertime. This dress is completely sold out on the website unfortunately but if you like it you can still find out whether any nearby stores might still have your size!

For cover ups I generally would wear a light jumper over the day dress and a beige leather jacket over the night time dresses, although I do sometimes like to wear my leather jacket during the day.

Hope you enjoyed this post!

How do you take your style from day to night when it comes to dresses? :)

Thanks for reading,

Sabrina xx

Monday, 15 June 2015

Out, Damned Spot - Witch Blemish Gel Review

Witch Blemish Gel

Hello, so I've mentioned before about how I have quite bad skin (which has actually got a bit worse lately thanks to a certain thing.) Obviously having bad skin isn't the end of the world but it does get me down a bit, so considering I have no control over my hormonal breakouts it's great that I've found (and many times repurchased) the Witch Blemish Gel, which has been probably the best spot-zapper I've used so far.

It's basically a clear gel with (as the brand name suggests) extract of Witch Hazel. You're meant to apply it at night so that it can get to work while you sleep but I occasionally use it during the day and it still works well - though not if you want to wear makeup over where you've applied it.

Witch Blemish Gel

This product is especially good at helping to reduce the size of any large, red 'angry' spots (like the ones you might get during that time of the month) but it also helps with 'juicy' smaller spots. It won't make a spot disappear overnight but it still does an amazing job of soothing and reducing it and then hopefully making it go away sooner. I find that any large spots quickly dry up and form a scab after I've used this a few times..sorry if these details are disgusting haha. It can sometimes feel tingly as it works which itches and I have to resist the urge to touch the area!

At £3.29 for 35ml from Boots it's also really good value for money. I used to use Witch's Blemish Stick which was okay but I found it to be not very hygienic as you dab the stick onto your face or use your fingers, whereas the Blemish Gel is in a squeezy tube. Witch say this is great for all skin types but especially oily/combination skin and this is true - if you have dry and/or sensitive skin then I'd recommend only using it lightly.

Overall if you're looking for a new spot treatment I would really recommend this product, it really works!

Have you tried this? Do you have another spot treatment that you'd recommend?

Sabrina xx

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Review: NARS Wonder Lip Gloss

NARS Wonder Lip Gloss

Hello! So I'm normally really not much of a lip gloss-wearer. I went to Uni in Aberystwyth which, being by the coast, was often windy - so lip gloss wasn't really a good idea (unless you like having hair stuck to it!) Nevertheless a few years ago I gave in and bought this Nars lip gloss, pretty much because youtubers like Tanya Burr and Fleur De Force were always raving about them and how non-sticky and comfortable they are to wear!

As it's Nars, it's pretty expensive...I actually paid £15.75 for mine because I got 10% off the old price (£17.50) in 2013, but they now retail for £19. That 10% off was student discount at Asos, so if you're a student and want some Nars in your life, Asos is the site to get it. Also, every now and then Debenhams do 10% off beauty and John Lewis tend to do the same promotions as their competitors - hence you can get 10% Nars with them occasionally. Obviously it doesn't make a huge amount of difference but hey, it adds up!

I tried to a pick a more unique shade too so it's hopefully more special than a gloss I could just get for a fiver or so on the high street, as well as maybe having a nicer formula (not that you can't get great glosses on the high street; I quite like the Barry M ones.) I do love this shade:

NARS Wonder Lip Gloss swatch

As you can see, it's a very pretty reddish-orange, although it definitely shows up less orange on the lips. It also has some subtle pink and gold shimmer which adds to the prettiness. It comes in the typical rubberised and unfortunately dirt-prone Nars packaging which does look good. The formula is nice and smooth, it's comfortable to wear and not too sticky although I wouldn't describe it as completely non-sticky. It also lasts around 3/4 hours before fading. It doesn't seem to smell or taste of anything.

You get a doe-foot applicator which I find works quite well:

NARS Wonder Lip Gloss swatch

Nars actually describe it as sheer but I wouldn't say it was particularly.You can apply just enough to get a sheer look, or you can build it up to a more intense shade, which I love. Here's how it looks:

NARS Wonder Lip Gloss

I don't think this is a shade that pale girls like myself would usually go for but it does work with pale skin! I also think it would look amazing with tanned skin. I almost feel like it works with my natural lip colour to come off a bit more pink than it does in the tube. Here's how it looks from a distance:

NARS Wonder Lip Gloss
If my nose looks a bit red, it's because I managed to catch a cold in June! Wah.
(I'm actually not wearing the No7 Beautiful Skin Foundation which I reviewed recently, but instead I'm wearing the Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream which I mentioned in that post. For some reason it came out looking really dark but thankfully it didn't make me look orange!)

Final thoughts: This is a gorgeous product, and the only high end lip gloss I own (and rightly so as I don't wear lip glosses a lot.) It is very pricey, but if you have £19 to spend on a lip gloss it's a great option. I think it might look quite nice layered over a lipstick like MAC's Vegas Volt.

Have you tried this lip gloss or any of Nars' other glosses? I've heard that Super Orgasm and Turkish Delight are good. I would definitely purchase another Nars lip gloss, despite the price, when I win the lottery.

If you know of any possible dupes for this product please comment below as it would be great if there was a similar alternative available on the high street!

Thanks for reading,

Sabrina xx

Sunday, 7 June 2015

50 Facts About Me

Hello! So I've been blogging on here for a while now and I recently reached 100 followers on Bloglovin, so thank you for reading/following/commenting, I really appreciate it.

I thought I'd do a tag that lets you find out a bit more about yours here are 50 facts about me! It took a while to come up with these as there's nothing quite like thinking up facts about yourself that makes you think 'Oh God, I'm not particularly interesting!' But there we go haha. 

  1. I have no piercings or tattoos - they're just not my sort of thing, but I have no problem at all with others having them.
  2. My favourite colour is fuchsia pink.
  3. I think I've mentioned this before on my blog, but I have a faint V-shaped birthmark in between my eyebrows, which isn't very noticeable.
  4. When I was little I had a sort of (but not really) near death experience as whilst 'fishing' by our caravan site in Wales. I fell into a river and was pulled out by my brother.
  5. I have no cousins or aunts. My family is fairly small really!
  6. Speaking of family, I am the youngest of three children - I have two older brothers aged 24 and 28.
  7. I can't click my fingers or swallow pills.
  8. I'm quite scared of spiders.
  9. In April 2014 I skydived out of the first plane I'd ever been on to raise money for Breast Cancer Care. It was as terrifying as it sounds!
  10. I have never travelled outside of Europe, I really want to though! I've only been to France and Spain. I would love to go to America, Egypt or Thailand in particular.
  11. I have a scar on my elbow from when I fell off my bike when I was little (what an accident prone child)
  12. My birthday is the 15th of October so my star sign is Libra. (I'm 23 this year, ack.)
  13.  I am one of those people who is shy when you first meet them but then I relax and open up! Especially if alcohol is involved.
  14. My favourite film is Mean Girls.
  15. I love listening to a wide range of music.
  16. I am embarrassingly quite squeamish, so not really a fan of horror films.
  17. When I was younger I went through phases of wanting to be a teacher, actress, singer, author, journalist or model (lol) but these days I want to be a Writer/Journalist.
  18. I'm awful at Maths, hated it at school and had to resit it at GCSE level after I originally got a D. I got my C on the resit :) To this day I have still not needed pi.
  19. I'm also not great at sport and I'm quite unfit...but I do like dancing on my own and swimming.
  20. I have mild Eczema.
  21. I really like wedding dresses and like to just look at them every now and then even though I'm not getting married - I'm not hinting to my boyfriend or anything haha I just think they're stunning.
  22. There are certain kids films that I really like and will still happily watch as an adult! Anastasia, Mulan, The Emperor's New Groove and The Road to El Dorado are just a few of my favourites.
  23. I'm also not ashamed to say that I like Eurovision a lot and I actually think that occasionally some of the music is quite good (I mean, 'Alcohol is Free' - enough said.) Although I know I'm probably alone in that opinion, plus everyone moans about how the UK always do quite badly but I think we can do quite well if we send something good.
  24. I like both cats and dogs but I've become more of a dog person since me and my family looked after my Grandad's dog Lucy on and off when he's been in hospital. Lucy is a Yorkshire Terrier and such a sweet little dog. Every now and then I like to share pictures of her being adorable on Instagram so if you'd like to follow me my username is sabrina.jaine :)
  25. I am a massive softie - I love hugs and sometimes cry easily (it's good to let it all out though right?!) 
    Just thought I'd break up the text with a picture of me and Lucy!
  26. Speaking of which, I'm sometimes too nice for my own good and have learnt from past experiences to not let people walk all over me.
  27. I love magazines and would absolutely love to work at a fashion magazine like Glamour or Cosmo.
  28. I like the smell of bacon but I'm not that keen on the actual thing (I don't like the texture.)
  29.  I'm not religious at all nor do I believe in God.
  30. I love pizza, chocolate, pasta, crisps, McDonald's etc. Basically lots of unhealthy food...
  31. I like chip shop fish batter far more than the actual fish, and the breadcrumbs of KFC chicken more than the actual chicken. 
  32. I'm a natural brunette and have had my hair dyed dark blonde for about five years now. I find it interesting/amusing when people I meet think I'm a natural blonde as sometimes I leave the roots for a shameful amount of time (it's often expensive to get it coloured.)
  33.  I don't have any allergies...that I know of anyway.
  34. I've never broken a bone or been a patient in hospital (I'm hoping I haven't just jinxed it.)
  35. I love reading and writing.
  36.  I get periodically obsessed with things like songs, makeup items, types of sweets/chocolate, other different foods, etc.
  37.  I've never been to a wedding.
  38.  I have no idea if I can sing well or not as whenever I sing it's usually for a joke/whilst drunk and therefore I'm not very good because I'm not trying to be good!
  39. I used to be almost teetotal and wasn't into alcohol/didn't like it much...then Uni happened.
  40. I absolutely hate public speaking.
  41.  I have never used a sun bed or had a spray tan, and apart from a gradual tan I'm using at the moment I don't really use tanning products.
  42.  My favourite alcoholic beverage is Malibu and Coke.
  43.  I passed my driving test first time in my Uni town, Aberystwyth, coming up to two years ago now as I think it was the 11th. So my probation period is almost up!
  44.  I am a Feminist.
  45.  I have never smoked or done drugs and I don't plan to.
  46. I want to have at least two children (a boy and a girl) just not for a while yet!
  47. I love helping people, and if I wasn't so squeamish/bad at science I would want to be a Doctor.
  48. As much as I want to travel I don't think I'd ever want to live abroad permanently...the weather here might get on my nerves sometimes, but I'm a true Brit and this country is my home!
  49. I love sleep. It's the best.
  50. My middle name is Jaine. Bet you weren't expecting that one! ;)

I hope this was at least vaguely interesting?! Haha. I really like reading this tag on blogs so if you've done or would like to do this tag, please leave me the link! :)

Sabrina xx

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