Tuesday 28 February 2017

So...? Fragrance Mists*

Body mists are probably up there with my top five purse essentials, so when So...? fragrance asked if I wanted to try out their new range of mists* I jumped at the opportunity. I remember the brand so vividly from back in the day when they sold little cans of fragrance; such a contrast from the chic new packaging that reminds me a lot of the VS sprays that are ever so popular nowadays.
They sent me four of the scents in a range of twelve (six of them being new releases), with mine being Vanilla Milkshake, Rose Petals, Watermelon, and Pink Grapefruit. Pink Grapefruit easily stands out of my favourite - the balance between citrus and a sweet, fruity vibe is exactly what a feminine mist needs. I've already popped this one in my uni bag for emergency spritzes.
Vanilla milkshake is the sweetest of the selection, and it reminds me a lot of the Vanilla Cupcake candle scent that a lot of people adore. This would suit a cosy night in with friends, and is such a bold scent that remains on your skin the longest of the four. Watermelon is your standard melon scent, but with beautiful notes of red berries and apple blossom that give it a sweet touch. I would consider this a good pick to buy as a gift, the perfect everyday fragrance. Finally, the last one I tried was Rose Petals, a rose scented mist with the prettiest packaging. This one is completely girly, and although Rose isn't always my cup of tea I know a lot of people would gravitate towards this scent.
I would be interested to try the scent Sparkling Tea the next time I pass the range in Boots or Superdrug, which is described as a "invigorating green tea" with "zingy notes of bergamot and mandarin". I imagine that that would be such a refreshing mist to take on holiday, and the tropical design on the bottle is to die for. If you want to order this #summermisthave product, you can pick it up online at Boots (here) or Superdrug (here). For £3.99 I think these mists are such a lovely gift idea, and I can't wait to put mine to good use.

*This product was sent to me to review, but all opinions are my own.


Thursday 23 February 2017

These Are a Few Of My Favourite Things

Isn't it about time I brought 'Favourites' back? I've missed this little collection of products. The past couple of months have been full of trying new make up bits; things I've picked up, products I've been gifted, you know the drill. There has been a couple that have stood out to me though, and I'm over the moon happy to chat to you guys about them (I'm pretty sure that any one of these four products has the power to change your life. Prepare yourself.)
I've been recommended the Kiko 'Extra Sculpt' mascara countless times in the past year, so when I was in the Leeds Kiko store repurchasing the Coconut Kiss Balm I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity. People aren't kidding when they say that this mascara is out of this world - I literally ran up the corridor of my flat showing my friends my lashes after just one coat. I will admit that if you aren't careful when applying this it can transfer to your lid, but that's only because the wand is gigantic. I'm talking huge levels of volume and length over here. I think I've fallen in love with a mascara.
The Instablur Primer from the Body Shop is another item I've had on my wishlist for months. I've clung to my NYX Angel Veil for way too long now; primers are definitely an item I have room to play around with. This primer is absolutely fabulous, my skin is instantly smoothed out and I can 100% tell a difference with the visibility of my pores. I was quite taken aback by the price (£15?!), but I'm completely converted after using it this month and I wouldn't hesitate to repurchase. The Body Shop beauty counter is a new concept to me, I think I might have to try some other bits and bobs.
If there's one beauty category that I will try countless new products from, its lip gloss. I'm constantly on the search for new formulas that I like, and as soon as I tried this Lip Lacquer from Smith & Cult in the shade 'Now Kith' I knew I was in love. I think I did a happy dance. I would describe the shade as a muted rosy mauve, and I cannot tell you how much I like how un-sticky this gloss is. When you combine that with the fact that the colour is very pigmented in comparison to other brands, I think I've found a winner (just trust me with this one.) Until now, all I'd tried from this brand was their nail polishes, so it was interesting to trial something more up my alley from them - fingers crossed that their other shades are just as good!

My final favourite for these past few months is the Stila Cream Eyeshadow in 'Kitten', which I know I've mentioned before! I feel like I've only just begun to appreciate this as an everyday shadow; it's the perfect swipe of shimmer for a 5 minute make up look, and the champagne colour is gorgeous. I can without a doubt say that this is the prettiest cream shadow that I own in my collection, and I know that 'Kitten' is one of their more famous shades. I would consider this a staple in any eye shadow collection - it works beautifully as a base or on its own.

Now Kith, Kitten.

Monday 20 February 2017

Colourpop Valentines Collection 2017 and Giveaway

I'm so excited to write about this collection I think I might burst. A couple of weeks ago I ordered some make up from the Colourpop Valentines collection and when it arrived at my building this morning I couldn't help but dive straight in and start taking photos. I don't usually get drawn into limited edition collections, but isn't the packaging for this one darling? I just could not resist.
The whole reason I made the order was the Short and Sweet Mini Mixed Finish Lip Collection, which comes in the cutest box and has five mini lip products; one glossy finish, two satin and two matte. I think this would make the most adorable gift to a loved one! When I opened this I was immediately thinking about the Ultra Glossy Lip, since that's my favourite finish for a product ever (think non-sticky, pigmented gloss). The shade is 'Sugar Lips', which is described as "golden pink with gold, silver, copper and hot pink glitter". I know. The Matte shades are 'Honey Pie', which is definitely my second favourite, a beautiful bright pink red, and 'Pooky Bear', a coral shade that I'll probably wear least, but it still super pretty. 'Love Muffin' is a gorgeous pastel pink in a Satin finish, along with 'Schnookums' (what a name, right?), a "mid- tone warm rose". For $18 I think this set is an absolute steal, and I love the Valentines themed tubes that they come in, with the silver heart detailing.

There were so many shadow duos to choose from that were released in the range, but by far the one that I wanted to try was 'One of a Kind', since the colours are what I would consider to be most Valentines appropriate, and they're definitely out of my comfort zone. The packaging of the duos is designed to be a little love letter envelope that opens to reveal the shadows; the perfect Valentines surprise. 'Going Steady' is a matte dusty wine, and 'Pinky Promise' is a metallic wine; together they combine to create a gorgeous date night eye look. I've swatched these along with all the lip products at the end of this post, so you can see how pigmented they are, particularly the metallic shade. This duo cost $10 and guess what?! I bought one for you guys too! I know how expensive it can be to buy from America when you live in the UK, so if you want to be in with a chance of winning this (and a Spectrum eye brush), then head over to my Twitter @alittleblogger3 and RT the pinned tweet. The competition ends 27/02/17.

My final purchase was a Lippie Stick in a Crème finish with the shade name 'I'm Yours', which is such an adorable name that I had to pick it up! I recently tried a lippie stick from a different Colourpop order and loved the formula, so I knew that I would be a fan of this. The lippie sticks just glide on and have the most comfortable formula; this shade is described as a "Light yellow nude", which doesn't do it justice because it really is the perfect nude shade for your lips. I would 100% recommend trying these lip products, the formula really is to die for. I'm so impressed with this years Valentines collection - it was even worth the customs charge! 

I'm Yours, Love Muffin, Schnookums, Pooky Bear, Honey Pie, Sugar Lips, Pinky promise, Going Steady.

Wednesday 15 February 2017

Tropic Skincare || Vitamin Toner*

A few weeks back I posted about a cleanser from Tropic Skincare that I absolutely fell in love with, and since then I've been trialling the Vitamin Toner Pore Refining Mist*. The two products work perfectly in harmony with each other as a night time skin routine, and I'm at the point now where I'm struggling to imagine how I would get by without the pair. If you want clean, healthy looking skin, with products from a sustainable brand that prides itself on using fresh ingredients, then you've come knocking on the right door. 

Okay so I can't not mention how pretty the tropical packaging is that the toner comes in (or any skincare product when you make an order.) There's something so intriguing about colourful, tropical packaging; and the sleek bottle underneath is ideal for travel and makes your skincare shelf look gorgeous. My journey with Tropic these past few weeks has been such a learning curve - before this, I had never used toner or cleanser, and now its safe to say that I'm a convert.

I spritz the toner over my skin following my micellar water and cleanser routine, and instantly my skin feels refreshed. On the bottle it says that you can use a cotton pad to wipe the excess away, but I'm finding it more beneficial, particularly considering that I'm using it at night, to let it sink into my skin. Two of the ingredients in this toner are organic aloe vera and cranberry extract - I don't think I can think of a more refreshing duo, and the scent of this product is lovely, which is obviously always a bonus. The toner claims to balance out pH and minimise pores, and I've got to say that this, maybe combined with a new primer I've been using (review to come, don't you worry), is making my skin look and feel a lot smoother.

There's something so sophisticated about using this toner, and I know that by saying that I'm practically sticking a sign on my head that says "I'm a skincare amateur", but it's completely true. Having a skincare routine is a fast-track method for an extra boost of confidence, and I don't know about anybody else, but it makes me feel like I have my life together (even if I don't sometimes), you know? 

Thank you to Tropic for sending me this toner to use alongside my cleanser; I've honestly been so surprised by the difference these products have made to the health of my skin, and I can definitely say that when I run out of these two I'll be stocking right back up. This toner is available to purchase on the Tropic website here, and costs £14 for 120ml, which I think is very reasonable for the amount of time that this will last you. I would recommend buying this alongside the Smoothing Cleanser, which I've also trialled and reviewed here. So far I'm really enjoying all of Tropic's products, and I was flicking through the catalogue yesterday and apparently they do makeup? Sign me up. 

*This product was sent to me to review, but all thoughts are my own.


Sunday 12 February 2017

Sweet Peach Lip Oil

 When I first heard about Too Faced bringing out the Sweet Peach collection, I was absolutely over the moon, head over heels excited. They're one of my go-to brands, and I always give in to the hype with new releases. I gravitated towards the Sweet Peach Lip Oils since lip gloss is kind of my new obsession; I think I have a subconscious quest to source the least sticky glosses (because if a lip gloss is tacky in the slightest, then it ain't for me.) If you've read this blog before then you'll know that Too Faced lip products are my holy grail...until I met this lip oil.
It's not all negativity up in here, because I hate doing that and will avoid it at all costs. There are three things about this product that I completely love, and there's only one thing that I don't get on with. So there's that. Maybe I just got a bad batch?
I picked mine up in the shade 'Peach Fuzz', which is a beautiful baby peach colour that looks ever so pretty in its packaging - which actually happens to be one of my favourite parts, along with the cute names that all the shades have. I think the simple packaging is gorgeous, and I like that you can see the exact shade of the product through the transparent tube. There's also an adorable little peach on the end of each oil; I now consider peaches to be cute, which isn't something I thought I'd ever type but there we go. The lip oil itself also smells so flipping good, and if you hadn't guessed by now (really??), it's scented like peaches. Honestly, I can't think of anything better.

This product uses peach oil, which means ladies and gentlemen, it isn't sticky. I'm not even slightly exaggerating - I'm the Queen of rejecting glosses/oils due to stickiness, and I can hand on heart say that this is the least tacky formula I've ever come across. That's why I'm so sad that I've had to shove it in my Alex drawers in sadness, because for some reason, I'm not a fan of the way it looks on my lips. I don't know whether I picked too light of a shade, but the oil clumps on my lips and looks really odd for some reason, and although it can be salvaged when you apply it over a pink lipstick, I'm disappointed that I don't like this on its own. If these weren't £16 I'd like to try a darker shade like 'Papa Don't Peach' and see how that works out for me, but for now, I'm going to admit defeat. I hate giving negative make up reviews, especially for brands that I usually love, but I want to be honest and give this a 5/10. It baffles me considering the amount of positive response I've seen towards these oils, but my lips don't lie (oh hello Shakira), and they tell me that this product is a bit iffy.
Update: After watching swatch video after swatch video on Youtube, I have a feeling that this might just be a lighter-shade issue like I originally thought.
Have you tried these lip oils? I'd love to know how you got on with them!

Wednesday 8 February 2017

How My Blog Has Changed My Life

I'm sure you're thinking to yourself, 'wow, that's a bit melodramatic isn't it?', and to be honest, I'm not going to argue with you there. But I've been thinking a lot lately about blogging, and I'm sure if you sit for moment and do the same, you won't be able to imagine your life without it. In a couple of months it will be the three year anniversary of my corner of the internet (unbelievably crazy to think about), and its definitely about time I expressed my gratitude to the idea of having a blog.
It always gives me something to do.
If there's one mood that I really cannot thrive under, its boredom. I'm an over thinker, so boredom gives me way too much time to dwell on things that I can't change and land myself in a miserable rut. Blogging is so constantly evolving and moving in new directions that there is always something to do. Even when you think you couldn't possibly schedule any more posts or reply to more comments or emails, it hits you that a little thing called tweet scheduling exists. And then you're back on the blog cycle. Thank goodness (although some days I really would rather watch paint dry than schedule any more tweets, you know how it goes.)
Its an introverts way to creativity.
Creativity has been on my mind in the past week or so. I've always considered myself solely academic, since I don't express myself in bold ways like dance, drama or art, but when you look at a blog, and the time and effort put into it, its actually like taking a look inside the mind of a creative. If you're a bit quiet in reality but still want to express your creativity, I feel like blogging is the ideal way to do that. Often the shyest people have the most to say.
It has kept me writing.
Throughout my whole life, writing has been integral to my spare time. I have vivid memories of writing a story about an underwater school with my Mum's help when I was about seven, and from then on it's pretty much all I've done. The dream is to publish a book, but for a while I lost my train of thought story-wise, and turned to blogging. Consistently writing posts has meant that I haven't lost my style of writing, and it made it so much easier to jump back into writing when I was ready again.

There are other, more blatantly obvious ways in which ASD has changed my outlook and the pattern of my days. Going to events and communicating with other bloggers and brands has increased my confidence in leaps and bounds, and I'm grateful that my eyes are slightly more open to the world of business. It's also ignited my love affair with make up, but I'm not entirely sure that my bank account would agree that that has always been a change for the better. Writing about make up and taking apart in an online community can often seem so fickle if you're on the outskirts of it, but I can't imagine my life without it, and I don't see that outlook in a negative light.
As more people are starting to read the words I put on here, particularly those from my everyday life, its clear to me the effect that my blog can have on other people. Sometimes though, its nice to reflect on what writing a blog has done for yourself. How has blogging changed your life?

Sunday 5 February 2017

Naked Flushed || Strip

The Naked Flushed palette has been on my wish list for a good year now, after seeing some of my friends using it and being fascinated by the idea of having all three products (bronzer, blush and highlight) in the same place. I picked it up in the New Year with some Christmas money, and you know what? I didn't even know that there was going to be several shades to choose from.
Strip was easily the most toned down of the options; I like a subtle blush and highlight and an ashy, cooler toned bronzer, and this seemed like the most likely palette to fit my preferences. Although Urban Decay can be a pricy brand, I don't think you can grumble at £23.50 for three products, and the packaging is so neat (I'm a sucker for any palette that closes with a satisfying 'click'.)
Sadly, I do have some bits to pick apart about this palette. It's definitely not something that I regret purchasing, since the shades are perfectly up my street, but as for formula...lets just get to it. I'm all for pigmentation - there's nothing more annoying than being excited to try out a new face powder and it not even slightly showing up on your skin, but man this bronzer is pigmented. I tried this (admittedly, not the best plan) with five minutes to go until I had to leave my flat, and quickly entered a panic situation of "oh my days I look like an Oompa Loompa." We've all been there. You can't get away with using this without tapping the excess off the brush, I promise you, it'll end in tears. It is however, so easy to blend that it is possible to rescue the situation (praise the lord.)
The blush is as pretty as pretty can be, and surprisingly, since I'm in no way a blush girl, this is my favourite part of the palette. The shade is described as a "deep mauve blush", but it isn't as scary as it sounds and looked quite subtle on my skin. I have to say, I'm not sure where the highlighter fits in with this colour scheme. Both the blush and the bronzer are suited to pale skin, but the "gold shimmer highlighter" is kind of on the dark side of the spectrum. Don't get me wrong, its a gorgeous gold highlight, it just seems a bit odd that it would be slotted in to this scheme. It would look beautiful with a tan!
I adore that this palette is easy to travel with, like hello Summer holiday essential its nice to meet you. There's a considerable amount of each product included for the price; the only other qualm I have is that the powders have a lot of fallout. You have to be gentle with this palette, when applying the bronzer and when dipping your brush into the shades. I can't decide whether this is a positive or negative review, since I do reach for this product on the daily - when you buy a make up item with such high expectations, its difficult not to find issues unless the product is literally ideal in every way. I do think that face palettes are some of the hardest products to get right, so I think Urban Decay did a good job considering all of that. 


Wednesday 1 February 2017

February Lip Library || Valentine Kisses

The month of February is a bit meh for me. There's nothing particularly exciting going on, no promise of a New Year or anywhere near my April birthday, but it is the month of Valentines. Isn't a day dedicated to that warm fuzzy feeling just the cutest thing? And one thing is for sure, no matter who you celebrate it with, its the best day of the year to wear a stunning pink lip. Whether its a deep fuchsia or a nude pink, that's what this lip library is all about. If you've got a Valentine's date coming up, or a girls night out, then this is probably going to be the post for you. 
The Toofaced Melted Matte liquid lipstick in 'Bend and Snap' is up there with my top pink shades. Its a gorgeous deep raspberry colour (doesn't that description just sound dreamy?), and for a matte formula these lipsticks are no where near as drying as I thought that they would be. One thing is for sure though - these lipsticks are the slightest bit smudgy, so I wouldn't be putting my faith in them for a February 14th kiss. I definitely want to pick up some more shades in this formula, Queen B is next on my list!
The Bourjois liquid lipstick in the shade 'Don't Pink of it' is the prettiest nude pink, and this formula consistently impresses me since it doesn't budge unless you want it to. These apply similarly to the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams, but I prefer these as I think they're much more comfortable to wear. Trust me when I say that if you tried these lipsticks without looking at the brand name, you would think it was a luxury product.
My YSL Rouge Volupte Shine lipstick is pretty much my baby, and the formula is right up my street. I can't stand a drying matte lipstick, so the moisturising glossy finish of this range is 10/10. Shade 44 is a beautiful rosy pink colour that would look perfect any month, but particularly during Valentines (and moisturised lips are never a bad thing, wink wink.) If I was going to recommend a lipstick purchase to anyone, this range along with Toofaced Melted would be what would immediately pop into my head.

Last up is a bit of an odd one, since before receiving this MDM Flow lipstick in my Glossybox during December, I had never even heard of the brand. The shade 'Vamp' is one of the nicest pinky plum shades I've ever come across (and the perfect colour for a gals night out), and the formula of this lip product way surpassed my expectations. I have this habit of never expecting big things from items that I haven't seen before in the beauty blogosphere, but after trying this out I would definitely be interested in exploring the brand more. Beauty boxes may be on the decline, but they're still useful to discover some newbies!

Vamp, Bend and Snap, Don't Pink of it, 44
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