Sunday 29 January 2017

Products on Trial #2

I think I'm going to have to start doing these trial posts way more often, considering that the rate with which I'm trying new things is consistently increasing (honestly, someone needs to organise a makeup intervention for me.) Washing my face, sitting down in front of my make up mirror with my speakers on and just setting myself up for a face full of first impressions is up there with my ultimate favourite past times. The only thing slightly more exciting than that is setting them up for a pretty photo and review over on this little thing I like to call my own.
The first item that I've tried over the past few weeks is the Charlotte Tilbury 'Legendary Lashes Mascara', which totally wins on the mascara packaging front. I like the wand on this, its nice and chunky to give volume, and even though the mascara is a mini version, I feel like you get the effect that you would with the full size (some mini versions just aren't as good as the real thing for some reason.) Aside from adoring the volume I get with this and that the shade is black as black can be, I'm a disappointed with how this smudges a tiny bit around my eyes; not something I would usually expect from a luxury mascara. It's nothing major, just something to bear in mind.

Ever since purchasing Woodwinked by MAC and falling completely in love with the formula and pigmentation, I've wanted to trial another shade. Mythology is a gorgeous deep rose shimmer that works as an 'all over the lid' shade, and I'm definitely glad that I went out and bought it. With most of my single shadows I tend to buy them in the pan so that I can transfer them to my custom palette, but I love the MAC shadow packaging so much that I can't resist buying them in the usual form. This will be one of my go-to shades in Spring, I just know it.
Luminoso by Milani is a cult favourite blush that I've been desperate to try out for quite some time, and I wasn't disappointed because boy that product gives some pigment (but not like the stodgy pigmented blushes that leave an unblendable heap of product on your cheeks.) The consistency of the powder is quite light so settles easily, and the peach toned colour is so adorable, especially on paler skin like mine. I have to say that the packaging is a bit more bulky than I would like, and the brush included is below that standard of a usual blush brush, but the actual product is a right old gem, and the mirror is divine. I got this from Beauty Bay when it was on sale, so for the price I paid for it, Luminoso has proved its worth.

Finally, the Morphe MB23 crease blending brush is not a brush that I can imagine living without. I have other blending brushes in my collection, but this is so soft and sturdy that it does the job perfectly. I am consistently impressed with Morphe brushes; I don't think that for the price you can beat the quality! This brush paired with MUG shadows is a dream come true.

Thursday 26 January 2017

13 Happy Little Things So Far in 2017

Isn't it a wonderful feeling for a year to start off right? I've been making a conscious effort to appreciate the little things in life a lot more this year, and as a result all the pieces of my life are just looking a lot shinier. Positivity is such a huge part of my character and it always has been; towards the end of 2016 I almost lost that a little bit, so here's to a fresh year and making long lists of happy moments. Who doesn't love lists like that, right?
1. Beach walks. It's not until I moved away from the seaside that I realised how much I love traipsing through the sand-dunes and scanning the sand looking for the cutest shells. Having an extra week at home meant I went on a few extra beach walks, and that brightened my mood endlessly.
2. I finally got a tattoo. This is something I've wanted to do since I was fifteen, and I just feel happier knowing that its there. I might do a full post on this in the future; who knows!
3. My leopard print coat. I honestly feel 10x sassier when I wear that coat of dreams. Miss Selfridge, you the one.
4. The TooFaced Sweet Peach Lip Oils. Okay but what if you could find a non-sticky, moisturising, pigmented lip gloss that was scented like peaches? I know, I know. Perfection.
5. Curly hair. I've been straightening my hair consistently for so long now that I kind of forgot how much I liked my crazy natural hair. You could probably compare it to a yeti, but its mine and I'm kind of digging it right now (did I just say 'digging it'? Yes, yes I did.)
6. The Spotify Throwback Playlists. Nothing beats a jam session to old school Rihanna and the typical year 6 disco classics.
7. My flatmates and I found a house for next year! If I could move into my cute little room now, I so would. Plenty of light for blog photos; Hallelujah.
8. 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough. A good book leads to a good life, am I right? This is a mystery/thriller type shindig, and its so darn captivating. You won't be able to put it down (although the plotline probably doesn't quite fit into the 'happy' category.)
9. Instagram. I've started to put so much effort into posting more on my blog instagram (@asmalldistraction), and I can already see the difference its making to my engagement and my follower count. Plus, a lovely looking feed of make up photos can never be a bad thing for your mood.
10. The Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha. I think I need this in an IV drip; so freaking good.
11. I joined the University Newspaper. Considering my obsession with writing anything and everything, this seemed like a pretty sound idea. Getting involved with more societies was one of my resolutions for this year - you could say I'm a little bit happy to be taking a step in that direction.
12. The Alex Nine Drawers. Enough said? If there's anything better than a pretty make up collection, its a pretty set of drawers to store it all in. I'm 100% sure that filling a new set of make up drawers should be classed as a natural high.
13. Saying yes. As someone who lives in a constant state of worrying about something, its well within my nature to say no to opportunities and spontaneity purely because I can't predict the outcome. I've been saying yes to a lot more this year so far, and its turning out to be the fast track method to becoming a happy little bunny.
What happy things has 2017 brought you so far?


Sunday 22 January 2017

Tropic Skincare

I know I know, you're thinking that this blog has never been about skincare before. Up until this month I just relied on micellar water and my trusty Simple face wash, but I decided in the New Year to whip myself into shape. A few months back I got the 'Smoothing Cleanser' from Tropic Skincare, and so far this product has been an absolute dream to work with. I thought I'd write a lil review for anyone completely clueless in the world of skincare (aka people like me.)

Okay so first of all, this cleanser smells pretty darn good; I realise that that probably isn't the most important factor here, but its right up there, wouldn't you agree? It's made using 100% natural ingredients (yay), with green tea extract, golden jojoba, and eucalyptus leaf oils. When I put this on my face I love that it doesn't smell chemically or synthetic at all, it just smells fresh. I know that cleansers can technically be used to 'melt off' all of your make up, but I'm quite content using an initial make up remover and then following up with this product to clean my skin to the max and leave it feeling soft soft soft - which, I can verify, it does.

The bottle that I have, which you can buy here for £16, contains 120ml, and considering I only need to use a tiny bit of cleanser each time I use it, I would consider that a good price for how many uses you would get out of the whole bottle. It also comes with a bamboo cloth to use with the cleanser, and although I don't use it because I prefer to use my hands, that's just personal preference and I can imagine that it would go hand in hand with the product. I've had troublesome times with my skin lately, getting breakouts when I wouldn't usually, and this has really (genuinely, I'm not just saying it for the fun of it) cleared it up, probably due to the fact that my skin is a lot cleaner. From a complete and utter skincare amateur I would give this a five star review; Tropic has definitely earned a space on my bathroom shelf.


Wednesday 18 January 2017

New Bourjois Picks

Anyone who's ever read a post about drugstore make up on this blog will know that when it comes to Bourjois, I think they've absolutely nailed it on all levels. Aside from a foundation clash, every single product I've tried has ended up becoming one of my favourites. When I went into Boots last week I couldn't resist picking up a few new bits to review here, and I wasn't disappointed.
The main feature of this post is the 'City Radiance' foundation in the shade Rose Ivory, which I absolutely, positively love. Trying foundations has never been something I've been interested in; I watched a Zoella video about Rimmel Wake Me Up about five years ago and haven't strayed from it since, but it's time to put my big girl pants on and explore the world of foundation on my own. Although I was definitely not a fan of Healthy Mix, I had high hopes for City Radiance due to my love affair with the Radiance concealer. Okay so number 1, this foundation was perfect for my skin tone - if you're a pale gal like myself then this will suit you to a tee. Another thing I adore about this product is that it does what it says on the tin and makes your skin glow, but it doesn't fall into the trap of a shiny finish (thank goodness.) I've used this a fair few times now to know that it's swiftly transitioning its way into my everyday routine; complete success on the foundation front.

The next item I wanted to try was another of the Rouge Velvet liquid lipsticks. I've raved about the shade 'Grand Cru' before on my blog, as its my go-to red lip and I'm obsessed with how comfortable it feels on my lips. The shade I picked up this time was much more subtle, 'Don't even pink about it' is (as you could most likely guess) is a pretty pink nude, which suits January lip trends. Although the lipstick had the same comfortable feel to it, I couldn't help but notice that the pigmentation wasn't as opaque as with Grand Cru. This isn't too much of an issue when it comes to nudes though, as its the kind of 'your lips but better' shade.

Bourjois blush pots have always stood out to me on the stand; they're an ideal size for blush and cute enough to pop in your handbag, and the shade range is huge. Even though I'm not much of a blush girl I'm slowly getting there, so I bought two shades - 'Santal' is a beautiful bronze shimmer shade that I've already used and loved, and 'Rose D'or' is a shimmery Barbie pink that I'm going to try and incorporate in the Spring make up season. The colour pay off in these blushes is the ideal balance, high pigmentation isn't needed with these types of products, and the colour is easily blended. Santal is my preferred shade of the two since it's more of a neutral shade, but I'm confident that both of them were worth the splurge. 

Santal, Rose D'or, Don't even pink about it.

Sunday 15 January 2017

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette

Every time I think I've narrowed down my perfect collection of palettes, another one comes along that is even more ideal than the last. One of my gifts from Mum this year for Christmas was the Charlotte Tilbury 'Instant Look in a Palette', which includes basically every product you would need for a make up look (three shadows, two blushes, a bronzer and a highlight.) This is the ideal choice for someone who has never tried anything from the brand before, like I hadn't. I am now a complete CT convert!
For me, the stand out in this palette is the set of three shadows, which have absolutely stormed ahead in terms of eye shadow formula; I don't think I've ever tried such buttery shadows, and they are just so easy to blend. The shades create a gorgeous smoky eye, and I've used them pretty much every day since receiving the palette in December. Particularly the 'eye enhance' shade, which is just the most beautiful shimmery taupe shade and looks amazing all over the lid on its own as well. If I was to splash out on another product from CT, it would definitely be a shadow quad after trying the formula of them in this palette.

Eye brighten, eye enhance, eye smoke.
One product that I've coveted for a long time now is the 'Filmstar Bronze and Glow' Bronzer, so I was over the moon to find it in this palette, and its completely exceeded my expectations. It reminds me a lot of a cross between the TooFaced Milk Chocolate Soleil and Nars Laguna; a dreamy, natural bronze. Something I've noticed the most about all of the products in this palette is 100% the blendability (probably a made up word but lets just move forward anyway) - none of these products are scratchy and stiff on the skin, and just blend the way that you would expect luxury face powders and eye shadows to. The highlight is another lovely addition to the palette; even though I've moved on from my love affair with bright and blinding highlight, this soft vanilla version is something I can still very much appreciate.
Whilst the blushes are the product that I'm least likely to use on a regular basis, I've tried them out and I'm pretty impressed. Blushes aren't a product that needs to be super pigmented (hello clown cheeks), so a subtle formula that gives a slight hint of colour is ideal. Cheek Swish is a soft pink blush that I know will suit Springtime make up looks, and Cheek Pop is a lot of a rosier pink with red undertones.
This palette is what I would consider to be a sound beauty investment, particularly if you do a lot of travelling and need to minimise the space that make up takes up in your suitcase/handbag. Luxury beauty isn't something I've really delved into yet, but this gem is definitely an encouraging step; I can't imagine a more perfect palette!


Thursday 12 January 2017

Lazy Girl Beauty Routine

We all have them don't we? The days when you wake up and just know its going to be a lazy day (I'd like to say its rare, but honesty is the best policy.) Still, its nice to get out of bed and put some make up on, even if you're just going to put on a clean pair of pjs and sit on the sofa all afternoon. I've got my lazy day beauty routine down to a tee; girl gotta have a game plan.
When it comes to daily make up, regardless of whether its going to be a productive day or not, I tend to skip foundation. I love the way it looks, but after a while I get tired of the feeling of heavier face make up, so I try to find concealers that I fall in love with enough to be an alternative to foundation. One of my go-to choices for days when you really need it to cover those dark circles is the MAC Pro-long wear concealer, which covers like a dream and literally stays put until you come to take it off. I've mentioned this before and talked about how much I hate the pump design of this product, but the quality of what's inside is something I cannot deny. This concealer is quite matte anyway so doesn't necessarily need a powder over the top, but sometimes its a nice touch to add some translucent powder to set the look.

The next step to make yourself look slightly more alive (being pale can be such a mare sometimes), is to take a bronzer and lightly contour. Nars Laguna is ideal for adding a bit of colour and definition; you can't go wrong with this cult classic, and its not something I would ever want to leave out of my routine.

Brows are essential for the lazy day make up plan, they are an important feature to emphasise and I always reach for my NYX Tame and Frame to darken my eyebrows and make them look a little more defined. I've reached a point in my existence that I never thought I would - I'm an eyeshadowaholic. Two years ago I couldn't put any on without it looking completely tragic, but now if I don't add some into the routine I feel a little but lost. The easiest shadow I can think of to apply would be the Long Lasting Eyeshadow Stick from Kiko, because one swipe across your eyelid is all you need and you're good to go.
Obviously you need a little mascara to pull the effortless look together, but you don't want anything too dramatic when you're just going to be watching re-runs of PLL all day long. Bourjois do the best mascaras from the drugstore, and the 'Volume Reveal' is just enough to set the beauty routine, along with a little bit of lip balm, because I would be lost without that on any kind of day.
What do you use for a 'no make up' make up day?

Sunday 8 January 2017

January Lip Library

For me, January is a month of the more subtle lip shades following the bold lips of Autumn and the festive season. Most of the reds and berries are left behind for a little while, and the nudes and pinks take the make up stage. I've recently received/bought quite a few that fit into this category, which made choosing my picks for this months lip library relatively easy.
The Jouer liquid lipstick in 'Citronade Rose' is such a unique metallic ballet slipper pink that it balances subtle and eye catching in the perfect quantities to wear on a January night out. Metallic lip colours are so different to a matte or satin finish that the finish alone is enough to make a statement, regardless of the actual shade. I've spoken about the formula of these lipsticks in the past; just moisturising enough to pass my comfort test and be separated from the dry, matte finishes.
The Colourpop liquid lipstick in the shade 'Point Zero' has a satin finish, and is from the Kathleen Lights collaboration. I see this shade as the ideal brown nude - its similar to Spirit by MAC (one of my all time favourites) and does not budge. Considering this beauty only set me back the dollar equivalent of £5, I'm a very happy bunny when it comes to the formula of this, and I think the brown tone gives it a good pop for this month.
The TooFaced Melted Lipstick in Chihuahua is quickly becoming my go-to lip product. Its a gorgeous deep nude pink, and the formula of these products is unbeatable (as I've said a million times on this blog). If you want a nude pink that applies easily and stays put for a good amount of time I couldn't think of a more fitting choice. This is constantly in my handbag for me to just reach in and grab, and its definitely my favourite lip product of the month/year. I talked about these in my beauty round up for 2016, so for a full review just visit here.
The Victoria's Secret Lip Silk in 'Victoria' is a pretty pink gloss that works well on its own or paired with one of the pink liquid lipsticks, and the best part? Not sticky at all. Hallelujah. I never would have thought to try out VS make up, but they've got this gloss so right that I'm definitely tempted to pick up some more. This would look beautiful on no-make up make up days, and it would definitely match with the TooFaced lipstick if you wanted it to appear a bit more bold.

My last choice for January is an unusual one for me, since I've never been a lip liner girl. I got the Loreal Lip Liner Couture in the shade 630 as part of a deal at Boots, and I was so impressed with the quality. I'm lazy when it comes to applying lipstick and hardly ever think to try a liner first, but this is such a brilliant base for nude lip colours that I know I'll reach for it a lot this month. It even works well on its own with a sheer gloss on top, a look that I've tried a few times already.
I hope you're having the best start to 2017, and that everything is beginning in the way that you wanted it to. Have a lovely Sunday!

Left to right: Chihuahua, Point Zero, 630, Citronade Rose, Victoria.


Wednesday 4 January 2017

The Annual Product Round Up

2016 may not have been the best year to look back on in general, but it was a pretty darn good year for beauty products that were released/rediscovered. It took me an unreasonably long time to narrow this down; I think I had about five favourites in every category!
Hands down the first product I think of when I think 2016 is the TooFaced Melted Lipsticks, which I've talked about relentlessly in this space since April when I started collecting them. I currently have the shades Ruby, Chocolate Honey, Sugar and Chihuahua, and I can't get enough of the formula of these liquid lipsticks. Honestly, these may be slightly on the pricier side of things, but they are one of the high end products that I would wholeheartedly recommend. 
The other product in my top two is the MAC blush in the shade 'Harmony', which should also come as no surprise if you've been reading my blog throughout 2016. I use this blush as my go-to contour shade - MAC describe it as a 'muted rose-beige brown', and I would consider it the ultimate ash brown contour powder. 

Obviously I couldn't let this post pass me by without bringing up the MAC Sweet Copper Face Compact from the Nutcracker Sweet collection. I actually did a whole post on this that you can read here, but the highlight shade is what ultimately bought this into a ticket into my favourites collection. I love that the highlight is gold but not too yellow, you know? What a gem.
The Bourjois Radiance concealer is another find that I use religiously in my make up routine. 2016 was the year I fell in love with the brand as a whole. It's not the highest coverage I've ever tried, but this concealer is by far the best brightening product I've found for under the eyes. I literally have about four in my drawer as back ups just in case it gets discontinued.
The Primark contour brush (£1.50 like what the heck) is definitely my most used brush after the Real Techniques powder brush. I bought this kind of as a joke to myself because I was so unconvinced that such a cheap brush could be any good, but I was so wrong. It doesn't matter how often you wash it, it never loses its shape, and its the ideal brush for applying contour powder under your cheekbones. At such an affordable price this product is a god send, and if you don't have it then what's your excuse? It costs less than a Starbucks!
Make up geek eye shadows just had to make it in here, it would have been rude not to. Single pan eye shadows have changed the game for me, and for quality and formula you just can't beat MUG. My go-to shades are shimma shimma, barcelona beach (the only warm brown you'll ever need), and homecoming. Funnily enough, the three of them make such a pretty eye look all by themselves.
Last of all, I started trying out the Toofaced 'Better than Sex' mascara in November and its completely wiped the floor with any of my other favourite mascaras. I swear by the Bourjois offerings, but this Toofaced pick really is as good as they say. The curved brush gets to all of your lashes at once, and I am so impressed with how lengthening it is. I always said I wouldn't cave into luxury mascaras (which lets be honest, only ever last a few months), but I don't think I can go without repurchasing this!

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