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 Boots.com 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


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