Monday, 27 April 2015

The Make-up Memory Lane Tag!

Hi! I thought I'd do this tag as I've enjoyed reading it on various blogs; most recently Natalie's here and I also liked Vivianna Does Makeup's video on it. I think it's interesting to think about how our makeup preferences have changed over the years. As mentioned before, despite wearing makeup in the pictures below at ages 16 and 13, I actually wasn't really very interested in it until I was around 17!

First makeup item ever purchased?
I can't remember but it may have been either Maybelline's Dream Matte Mousse Foundation (which, even in the lightest shade, was too orange for my skin!) or L'oreal Glam Shine 6 Hour Lip Gloss in Eternal Beige which is a fairly sticky and glittery pinky nude shade that I picked out especially for my year 11 prom in 2009:

This is how my natural brown hair colour looks.
Almost six years later, I still have it and I'm not sure if it might be too old to use now!

First MAC item? 
I think it was Ever Hip lipstick which is a really nice coral pink.

First MAC/other brand collection? 
Ever Hip was released in the Fashion Flower collection I believe. 

First high end make up splurge? 
I think it was YSL's Touche Eclat - but mine ran out annoyingly quickly. I got it because it was (and still is) a bit cheaper on this website and it's of course a cult product, but it basically ran out before I'd even made my mind up on whether I liked it or not - it's too late to say anything to them of course!

First makeover experience? 
When I was 13 I got a 'makeover' / photo shoot gift experience because my dad didn't want his 50th birthday gift experience. At the time I actually sort of wanted to be a model (cringe) so I quite enjoyed it, even though now the photos are a bit embarrassing! My hair was straightened to within an inch of its life and I had pink eyeshadow on:

Me in 2006...
First makeup brush? 
Hmm probably a makeup freebie, but the first proper set of brushes I bought myself was from 17!

First eyeshadow? 
When I was 14 I used to quite like using this Ipod-shaped eyeshadow palette that my friend got me, but the first eyeshadow I think I ever bought for myself was a dark brown 'Little Round Pot' by Bourjois - I'm still not sure whether shades like that make my blue eyes pop or whether they just made me look tired or bruised! The actual eyeshadow is nice though.

First skincare "investment"? 
Hmm, I actually don't think I've ever made a massive splurge on a skincare product. The only thing that comes to mind is La Roche Posay's Effaclar Duo which unfortunately didn't work at all for me, but I was able to get my money back with a guarantee :)

First nail polish owned? 
I used to get random unbranded nail polishes for free from my teen magazines but I didn't use them very much because I didn't want to get into trouble at school (such a goody goody) I did enjoy peel off nail polish though - so satisfying! I have no idea what the first nail polish I ever bought for myself was.

First fake tan attempt? 
I've never tried to do an all over fake tan application apart from dabbling a little bit with gradual tan. I did use to apply fake tan on my legs for nights out to in an attempt to make them look less pasty (that's right, only on my legs.) But other than that, I can't really be bothered to do a fake tan and I'm okay with being pale!

Hope you enjoyed this post!
What are your makeup memories?

Sabrina xx

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Review: Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

Hi! I've been trying Maybelline's Lash Sensational Mascara out for a while now and I thought I'd share my thoughts on it.

As you can see it has a curved wand and has actually been classed as a potential dupe for Benefit's Roller Lash Mascara for that reason. I haven't tried Roller Lash to compare them but the last mascara I tried that had a curved brush was 17's Doll'd Up Mascara, which is a great lengthening mascara. This mascara's brush is bigger and fatter than 17's mascara but I don't think it's too big.

I've noticed that the brush tends to pick up a lot of product, hence the lid of mine is getting a bit dirty due to me using it to get rid of excess mascara.

Maybelline say it has a 'lash multiplying brush' to give you 'a sensational layered, multiplied look.'

Cue scarily close shots of my eyes... (I didn't curl my eyelashes)

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara
Before and After
I think my favourite thing about this mascara is how well it lasts, particularly in holding a curl. Some mascara's curling effects tend to drop but this one lasts all day.

However it can be a little on the clumpy side sometimes so it might take a bit longer than usual to achieve the look you want. I'm also not super keen on the very wet formula but it does dry quickly.

Overall, I think this mascara is really good! It builds nicely, gives me excellent length and volume, and is capable of giving you a beautiful fanned out look. I'm really enjoying using it! I wonder how Roller Lash would compare to this?

Have you tried this product? What's your favourite mascara?

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara is £7.99 available from Boots and Superdrug.

Thanks for reading!

Sabrina xx

PS: What do you think of my new blog design? :)

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Review: Garnier Pure Active Micellar Cleansing Water

Hi! You're probably well aware of the micellar water craze (if not, where have you been?) which started off with everyone raving about Bioderma (which used to be hard to get hold of but is now easily available here) to Garnier being the first (I think) drugstore brand to release their own version. Props to Garnier for being first in the race to launch these things, as I believe they were first in the BB cream craze too.

I would love to try Bioderma sometime in the future and see if it's worth the hype, but that stuff is pretty expensive (£10.20 for 250ml! ouch) so for now I'm definitely happy to keep using drugstore ones - to compare with Bioderma, Garnier's Micellar Waters are usually £4.99 for 400ml.

I tried the original pink-capped version of Garnier's Micellar Water and really liked it, so when that was running out I thought I'd try the one aimed at combination to oily and sensitive skin. I don't doubt that the original is fine for oily-skinned ladies like myself as it's super gentle, but this one is formulated especially for oilier skins. The ingredients of both products are extremely similar except there's Alcohol Denat in the oily-skin version.

In terms of makeup-removing, both products work quickly and easily. I used to use face wipes to remove my makeup, so this has been a good change for me as it gets the job done just as quickly and does a more effective cleanse. I've heard that some people have found Maybelline's Lash Sensational Mascara difficult to remove, but using this to take it off I've had no problems! If I've been wearing a lot of eye makeup I like to hold the soaked cotton pad over each eye for about 10 seconds to help get as much off as I can with one swipe.

However a few days ago I used this product to take off just a small amount of makeup (mascara and concealer) and my face seemed to go quite red, making me wonder if the addition of Alcohol Denat might be irritating my skin. I was confused in general about whether alcohol in skincare is harmful or not, so I googled it and Paula's Choice's opinion is that it is harmful unless it's fatty alcohol. If this is true, then why did Garnier add alcohol but still describe this product as suitable for sensitive skin?

Overall I still quite like this, but I think I prefer the original as I think it's gentler so more suitable for suitable skin. I also prefer the packaging of the original version as it's pink! I think when this runs out I'll probably repurchase the original, or try a micellar water from Simple or Nivea.

Garnier's Pure Active Micellar Cleansing Water is available from Boots here - both this and the original are on offer at the time of posting for £3.33 instead of £4.99.

Have you tried this? What are your thoughts on micellar waters?

Thanks for reading!

Sabrina xx

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

My Top 10 Nail Polishes for Spring/Summer

Hi everyone! I thought I'd share 10 of my favourite nail polishes for Spring and Summer in no particular order. I'm actually sort of 'shopping my stash' with this post as I don't need any more nail polishes and will probably be applying all of these colours in the coming months! I tend to mostly go for bright pinks and oranges as you can see in the picture below, but I also love pastel shades.

From left to right:

1. MAC Morange - this is the only MAC nail polish I own and the most expensive of the bunch at £10. I got this a few years ago when MAC released nail polish and lipglass versions of their most popular lipsticks, including Morange - it is permanent however. As much as I love bright lipsticks, I think this sort of bright orange is probably better off on my nails than my lips! It's been a while since I used this but I don't recall having any problems with the formula.

2. Rimmel Cocktail Colour in Shirley Temple - I am a sucker for glitter polish, despite how annoying it is to get off, and I love this vibrant shade. It doesn't seem to be available on at the moment but I have seen it in stores. It's great on it's own or layered over a similar colour, like Barry M's Mango.

3. Maybelline Forever Strong in Tornado Rose - this is a very pretty and girly pink which is right up my street. (Excuse the white label mark - mine somehow got stuck to another nail polish!)

4. L'oreal Colour Riche in Sex on the Peach - firstly, great name! This is a peachy pink and definitely one of my favourites. The only thing with this is I think it's a bit expensive for a drugstore polish in terms of how much product you get for your money - it's £4.99 for just 5ml, so basically a pound per ml, which is the same as MAC as that is £10 for 10ml. I wonder if this will be the first nail polish I use up as I'm already about half way through!

5. Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Mango - a bright, shiny and very cheerful orange. It's gorgeous! However I do remember this one chipping quite quickly.

6. 17 Fast Finish Nail Polish in Peacock - this is a stunning turquoise with an almost duochrome effect going on - depending on the lighting, it can look quite blue or green.

7. Barry M Speedy Quick Dry Nail Paint in Stop the Clock - this is my most recent purchase of the bunch and what I've had on my nails for the past week. I love this colour! The other day I had to repaint both my index finger nails after they chipped when I was scooping up some coconut oil, but other that I haven't had any problems with chipping.

I wouldn't say it dried that quickly which is slightly disappointing, and it also can be a bit streaky so it needs at least two coats - but other than that, this is a great polish and very summery.

8. Essie Mint Candy Apple - this a beautiful mint green, a very popular shade from Essie and one of my all-time favourites, even though again the formula can be a bit streaky and runny making it sometimes a bit frustrating to apply - you have to be careful not to let it run on either side of your nail. I can deal with this though as the colour alone makes it worth it!

9. NYC In a New York Minute Quick Dry Nail Polish in Raindrop - This is a lovely 'sky blue' shade which I wore to match my May Ball dress in 2013. I would say this is the most bargainous out of all my picks, as for your £1.79 (or £1.49 on offer) you get a very nice quality polish - although again I wouldn't say it dries particularly quickly.

10. Barry M Nail Paint Boots Limited Edition - Sorry to choose a limited edition shade that I'm pretty sure is no longer available! I've included it anyway because I think this shade is quite dupeable - I had a quick look online and one example I've found is Revlon's Grape Icy, which by what I can see is a bit darker and more purple - see here. Essie's Splash of Grenadine also looks similar, but a bit lighter. But I'm sure there are loads more dupes out there for this!

There you have it, those are my 10 favourite Spring/Summer polishes that I'll be sporting this year. Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post!

I'd love to know, what are your favourite Spring/Summer nail polishes?

Sabrina xx

Monday, 13 April 2015

My Spring Fashion and Beauty Wish List

Hello! Spring has well and truly sprung here in the UK - we've been having some beautiful weather in the past week! It's strange how the week before that I was still wearing my coat as it was quite cold, but now I'm bringing back my summery clothes and also being tempted to refresh my wardrobe a bit.

I still have some great basics for my spring/summer wardrobe - my New Look denim skater skirt being one of them because it goes with so many things. I am much more likely to be seen wearing skirts as opposed to shorts because I just find them a lot more flattering, particularly A-line shapes! I also love wearing dresses and occasionally playsuits.

So here are my picks for spring/summer clothing, makeup and a new perfume that I have my eye on (despite not really needing any more perfume.)

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Skincare Tip: Steam Your Face!

Hi! So this post is going to be a bit different - usually my blog is generally more for talking about fashion and beauty rather than giving advice, as I don't claim to be an expert in either.

If you're wondering what I'm on about with 'steam your face' I simply mean using the steam from boiling water to really open up your pores and do a deep clean. You may have heard of this before but I haven't heard very much about it in blogs or on youtube so I thought I'd share it just in case it helps any of you!

I use either Coconut Oil or No 7's Radiance Boosting Hot Cloth Cleanser for this, the latter being a well known dupe for the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser which everyone raves about. The Liz Earle cleanser is £14 for 100ml and no cloth, whilst the No7 cleanser is £9.95 for 200ml and comes with a muslin cloth.

I have never tried Liz Earle's Cleanser to compare them but I quite like the No7 one, it's lasted me a long time and actually seems to have been discontinued. The one available now is called Beautiful Skin and is probably not much different to mine. It's probably best to use a Hot Cloth Cleanser rather than your usual 'foamy' cleansers as I don't think the consistency of the foamy ones will work for this as it's staying on your skin while you steam it and then you wash it off. 

I used to use the cloth provided and follow the instructions but I've found that I prefer the steaming your face method. As for Coconut Oil, it's amazing stuff and much lighter on the skin than the Hot Cloth Cleanser.

You can use any brand as long as it's virgin and there are a million more things you can do with it - read here for more detail! The brand I have is Real Food Source and was the cheapest one I could find on Amazon in terms of the amount of product you get for your money.

With both methods you're using heat for your deep clean and hot water can damage your skin so please be careful.

All you do is boil some water (I like to make a cup of tea to have when I'm done cleansing) and pour it into the sink - unless of course your hot water tap can go as hot as boiling. Next apply your cleanser to dry skin, get a towel and drape it over your head to trap the steam in so that it focuses on your face. Then just place your face close to the steaming water - but obviously not so close that your skin feels like it's burning!

You should be able to feel it working without it being uncomfortable. Try and steam your face for at least 10 minutes - I know it's a bit dull just standing there for that long, but it's worth it! (Like in the shower, it's a time for deep thoughts - like how I can't wait to have a chocolate biscuit with my tea when I'm done.)

After 10 minutes I add cold water to get the hot water to the right temperature and then wash off my cleanser, which by this point is quite melted. You can use a wash cloth along with the water if you prefer, but just make sure that all of your cleanser is gone.

Next I just splash my face with cold water to close my pores, which is always nice and refreshing after feeling a little hot whilst steaming my face! Then gently pat dry your face.

Your skin will now most likely feel extremely soft and squeaky clean, but try to resist the urge to keep touching it! Finally just follow with your normal moisturiser.

To be honest I don't do this every day - more like twice a week or so (mainly because it makes cleansing take much longer and sometimes you just don't have time) but when I do I love the results, it makes me feel less likely to get the breakouts that are caused by clogged pores/unremoved makeup.

If I do this after already cleansing my face to remove makeup (I use the Garnier Micellar Water for Oily Skin) it feels like I've got rid of every last trace of makeup, and keeping your skin as clean as possible is obviously a great idea for preventing spots. Even if you don't suffer from breakouts it's a great way to give your skin a bit of a boost and make it a bit more radiant.

I hope you found this helpful and if you have any questions or thoughts please feel free to comment!

Sabrina xx

Monday, 6 April 2015

High Street Haul: Boots, New Look and Superdrug!

Hi everyone, hope you all had a great Easter! Today I have a haul post to share, because I went to Boots, New Look and Superdrug, and stuff just happened...

I actually only got a few things from Superdrug so I'll start with those. I got two Barry M nail polishes from Superdrug as the £3.99 ones are currently on offer for 2 for £6 and I wanted to get a more expensive product for free when I took advantage of the 3 for 2 offer in Boots.

As I've said before, I do have too many nail polishes - but in my defence these two are both very unique in my collection, as I don't think I had any yellows at all before I bought this one!

I picked up one of the new Quick Dry polishes in Stop the Clock, which is a really pretty and summery pastel yellow. I'm not sure if this will go that well with my skin tone but I love the colour so it's worth the risk. I'm also looking forward to seeing if it does dry quickly as it promises!

The other colour I got was Almond in the 'Gelly Hi-shine' range which Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup said was an amazing dupe for Nails Inc's Porchester Square in this blog post. I don't normally go for this kind of taupe shade but I thought this would be a great work-appropriate neutral which is something a bit different from the light, natural pinks I usually go for when I think of more formal nail looks. I've tried a few shades from the Gelly range and they've all been great, and I love Barry M polishes in general!

Moving on to Boots, I went in knowing I was going to get the L'oreal Brow Artist Plumper, as Renata from Speaking Beauty wrote that it was a great dupe for Benefit's Gimme Brow, which I've tried at a Benefit counter - it looked great, but it's too overpriced for me at £18.50. L'oreal's offering is £5.99, but I got it free with the 3 for 2 offer and it's the first eyebrow product I've ever bought! They had no tester for the darker shade but I tested the lighter one and knew it would be too light so I got the darker one - I have dark blonde hair so I just hope my eyebrows don't clash too much with my hair colour.

'Dark Brunette' swatched
I quite like it so far! It's a welcome new addition to my everyday makeup as it definitely makes my eyebrows look more polished. I had a look at the even cheaper (£3.99) Rimmel version of the eyebrow mascara type product (Brow This Way) but the brush was shorter and larger so I wasn't sure about it. I like the brush of the L'oreal one, it's quite long yet small and it makes me feel like I know what I'm doing when I do my brows haha.

Before and After

But seriously, this kind of brow product did seem best for me as an eyebrow product beginner because I just don't know how to fill in my brows with products like Benefit's Brow Zings and the mascara-like brush does it all in one go so it's pretty effortless. I also wasn't sure if my eyebrows even need much filling in as they're quite thick already!

I also went in thinking I was probably going to buy the No7 Beautifully Matte Foundation - I had a sample of it and quite liked it, but I also noticed that L'oreal had a new foundation aimed at oily skin - Infallible Matte Foundation, which at the time of posting is on offer for £6.99.
It looked intriguing - it promises to stay on for 24 hours which is a slightly pointless claim considering that no one keeps their foundation on for 24 hours! In the end I went for the No7 Foundation as it has SPF which is great for daytime wear (I can use my Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation for night time wear to avoid flashback in any flash photography) and looking on Makeupalley on my phone I could see that the No7 foundation had a higher rating/more positive reviews than the L'oreal one. I would still love to try that L'oreal foundation sometime though! I have never tried a foundation from either L'oreal or No7.

Side note: am I the only one who checks the overall rating of a product on and Makeupalley whilst browsing in Boots or Superdrug?! I just don't want to take the risk of blindly buying a product without checking any reviews or ratings first, and I might even return a product unused if I did buy it blindly and then find that it has extremely negative reviews!

The final product I got in the 3 for 2 was the Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara, £7.99, which I've heard great things about on blogs. I've used it a few times now and I like it so far apart from that it's a little clumpy, but I'll let you know how I get on and probably do a full review soon!

I went to New Look just to see if they had any nice work appropriate pieces other than the usual white shirts and black trousers. I bought this dress with a contrast collar. It is a little short (I'm 5'9) so I'd probably wear it with tights. The only size 8 they had in this had foundation marks around the collar so I got 10% off and it's non-returnable. It is £19.99 normally and looking online it's currently on offer for £14.99 which is slightly annoying, but nevermind.

They also had a black version but no size 8s, I tried on the 6 and it was way too tight, so that made the decision for me on which colour to get!

Lastly I didn't intend to buy a bag and I haven't bought a new one in ages, but I fell in love with this one - it is such a classic style but in a gorgeous, unique colour, which I couldn't help but notice is very similar to the nail polish I bought earlier that day, Barry M's Almond.

The rose quilted design is very pretty and it's a good size - not too large or small, and I really like the adjustable strap. It was also very reasonably priced at £12.99!  I'm not sure if it goes that well with my new grey dress, but it doesn't clash either. Overall, everything about this bag is gorgeous, and I think it's suitable for finishing off both formal and casual outfits.

Thanks for reading!
Sabrina xx

Follow my blog with Bloglovin!

Template by | Header Image by Freepik