Saturday, 28 February 2015

• February 2015 Favourites •

I'm on a 'spending money on make up' ban, which has led me to using what I already have in my stash on a more regular basis, so this month's favourites were easy to pick!

Just purely, totally obsessed. It's the first thing I use when I wake up in the morning and it's the last thing I use when I go to bed at night. The lip balm is in a little glass tub and it's a very soft consistency which moisturises for hours. The scent is very fresh, slightly lemon-y with a subtle hint of honey, and it's probably the best lip balm I've ever used. It's the perfect base for a lipstick as it eradicates dryness instantly. Love. It.

My skin has been crazy lately, much to my disappointment. I had a really good spell for about 9 months then it started to go tits up a month ago. It's now combination to the extreme; in the places that I'm dry, it hurts to move my face and in the places that I'm oily, not even the most industrial primer is helping to keep my make up from sliding off my face. So I'm going for more gentle skincare, and I've gone back to my trusty Ultimelt. I love everything from the formula, the clean scent, to how easy the application is. This creamy product is great for taking off my make up and just generally giving my face a good clean. I usually double cleanse with it and use a muslin cloth soaked in warm water to wipe it off. I've fallen back in love with my old favourite!

Maybelline Colossal Cat Eyes Mascara
This mascara is a dupe for Benefit They're Real, I've said it before and I'll say it again. The length and volume I get from this mascara is insane and I'm always greeted with 'wow, your eyelashes look amazing today!' whenever I wear it. I've recommended it to everyone I know and they've had the same reaction. I love the formula, which is quite dry, and the wand, which is curved so you can get all of the diddy lashes near the inner corner and all of the bottom lashes really easily. I'm obsessed with it and can't believe how affordable it is - I'm on my third tube and can see myself continuously repurchasing.

Anastasia Clear Brow Gel
Brows are my thing; I fricken love them. I don't care how late I am in the morning - if my brows aren't done, I aint leaving the house! They are, however, long and sometimes unruly, so I've been reaching for this brow gel every day this month. I have noticed that if I don't wipe off the excess gel, the brush picks up too much, but when I do use this brow gel, I notice such a difference in the shape and lasting power of my brow pencil. This gel locks everything into place, from the hairs to the filler, and I don't find myself in front of a mirror all day trying to make my hairs stay in one place!

NYX Butter Gloss Merengue and Creme Brûlée
I picked up as many of these beauties when I was in Canada earlier this year (read my haul post here!) but Merengue and Creme Brûlée stood out to me the most. I love how easy these lip glosses are; I hardly ever need a mirror to apply them and they make my lips look so full and glossy with a nice amount of colour. They smell like cupcakes (amazing), don't feel sticky and last a long time on my lips. I'll be picking more of these up as I've used the heck out of them this month and will need to restock soon.

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation
If you love a light-weight, light to medium coverage foundation which leaves a satin finish, you'll like this. Best used with a primer on me, this foundation is simply stunning and I can't believe how long it took me to try it. It's quite a liquidy consistency but it provides the sort of coverage that covers up the smallest of spots and the palest of scars (on my face, anyway!) I've really been enjoying using it this month and the best part it, it's reacted well to the ridiculously dry parts and the ridiculously oil parts of my face - it doesn't accentuate either, which gets a thumbs up from me.

Real Techniques Buffing Brush
This has been a huge favourite for me this month as I usually use either the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush or my Beauty Blender, but as both were dirty one morning (and I was too lazy to wash them), I reached for the Buffing Brush when I was in a rush. It just worked magic. My foundation looked smooth, it was quick and easy to use because it's a larger brush (compare to the Expert Face Brush) and the bristles feel so smooth on my skin. I really love this brush and will be using it more often as I never knew quite how good it was!

Avon Orchid Splash and Collection Lilac Daze
The weather is telling me Winter, my brain is telling me Spring. I've been wearing these colours non-stop and it's getting me in the mood for the change of the season! They're both quite unusual shades and again, I receive compliments on my nails when I wear them. The formula for both are long-wearing and don't chip when I use a good top coat (Sally Hansen's strengthening top coat at the moment). I can't see myself painting any other colour on my nails for a while yet.

So there is my rather long, rambly list of favourites!
What have you been loving this month?
Daniela xo
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Monday, 23 February 2015

• Scruples Complete Recovery Treatment Hair Masque •

Another hair post! I'm on a roll here; first brushes, now masques.

This masque! *alllll of the heart eyed emojis* Everything from the scent, to the texture, to the way it makes my hair feel - the Scruples Complete Recovery Treatment Hair Masque* is a serious beauty and I've been testing it out over the past 3 weeks to see how it works for my lacklustre, limp hair. Well, I'm in love.

I am kind of a hair masque addict as, as I mentioned in my previous post, the health of my hair is very important to me as I like to take the least amount of time possible styling it, so if it looks healthy and shiny, that's good enough for me! The first thing that I look for in a masque is the scent. A good masque will allow the scent to linger in your hair so if it smells off, it's a no-go for me. The scent of this Scruples masque is quite light and subtle, but it's sweet and a tiny bit floral, too. The scent stays in my hair after I've washed it out and I've had compliments from the other half when I've used this product (which is always nice)! Next up is texture. I cannot stand runny masks that would just slip through my fingers when I go to apply it in the shower and subsequently slip through my hair. This masque is thick and stays put in my hair whilst I wash the rest of my body, which makes things a whole lot easier. Whist on the topic of application, I wash my hair with shampoo, rinse it out then apply this masque, leaving it for 10 minutes to do its magic before washing it out. Finally, the way it makes my hair feel is obviously the most important. I'm left with silky, manageable and soft hair when I've used this product and I can definitely tell when I haven't used it. On average, I wash my hair twice a week and I use this once a week, and I always seem to regret not using it on the times that I don't! Basically - this is one of the best hair masques I've used and I'll definitely be purchasing a new tub when I've run out, which will take me a while as I use one or two big scoops of the masque on my medium/long hair.

Have you tried this masque?
Would you recommend any other hair masques? I'm always willing to try new ones!
Daniela xo
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Friday, 20 February 2015

• The Wet Brush or The Tangle Teezer? •

These two brushes are two of the most reviewed, hyped up 
brushes in the blogging/vlogging world, so I put 
them both to the comparison test.

I picked up my Tangle Teezer in my last year of uni when I was just getting into reading blogs and watching YouTube, which was around 3 years ago. It was literally everywhere - everyone had something to say about the Tangle Teezer, and everyone seemed to love it. I ordered mine from feelunique and decided to give it a go, as I was stuck in a hairbrush rut and couldn't find one that wouldn't rip my hair out and cause lots of breakage. As soon as it came, I had to check that I'd ordered the right thing, as the bristles were really hard and tugged at my hair - so it was basically no different from my £3 Boots travel brush. I persisted, and I'm ashamed to say I persisted with it for 3 years, even though I think it damaged my hair. The reason being, I felt like all brushes caused my hair damage, so I might as well have kept using my £11 'high end' brush, since so many people adored it. I found new ways to use it - I used loads of hair oils and conditioners at the tips of my hair and started using the Tangle Teezer from the ends up to my roots, and that seemed to be OK, but it still wasn't great and I decided to go on a real hunt for a proper brush. That's when Lily Pebbles came along.

Lily mentioned in a video that she loved the Wet Brush, and she has quite thick, unmanageable hair so for her to say that something worked for her, I had to try it for myself. My hair is a little wavy, it's  thin but I have a lot of it, it breaks very easily (whether that's my hair type or three years worth of brushing-damage, I'm not sure) and I seem to lose it around the hairline when I get stressed. I ordered mine from Cult Beauty and as soon as it came I was anxious to try it. I fricken love it. This brush glides through my hair whether it's wet, dry, straight, curly, knotted, sleek, anything. I use it in the shower to brush out my conditioner, I use it when I'm drying it with the hairdryer, I use it in the mornings when I'm styling it. The bristles are soft and bendy, so they don't pull at the hair, they just go with the hair, if that makes sense. I love the handle - there seemed to be a love/hate thing with the Tangle Teezer and the fact it didn't have a handle - but the Wet Brush is really easy to grip and use. 

So after years of breakage and aches and pains when brushing my hair, I've finally found 'the one' that makes my hair feel soft whilst making brushing something to look forward to. I can't believe it took me this long to purchase the Wet Brush and I've already recommended it to my friends. I'm not much of a hair person, I'm more about the make up side of things, but when it comes to hair health, I want to make sure I'm making the best decisions.

Have you tried either of these brushes?
What do you think of them?
Daniela xo 
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Saturday, 14 February 2015

• Laura Mercier Creme de Pistache Souffle •

Pistachio in anything - be that ice cream or
 bath and body products - will get my heart racing.

So when I received this beaut of a product for Christmas, I was extremely excited to try it out and see if it lived up to its hype. Oh, it does. It really does. This Laura Mercier Creme de Pistache Souffle Body Creme smells glorious, like a day at the gelataria on a hot summer's day in Italy (I'm a little obsessed with pistachio ice cream...)
Aside from the scent, this product really does pack a punch in the moisturisation department. I usually use this when I've had a bath before bed and my skin still feels so soft the next morning, as well as smelling of pistachios. This is a big deal for me as I don't like moisturisers that sink into the skin so much that they don't even feel like they've done anything. With this, you need the smallest amount of the body cream and it spreads beautifully - perfect, as the price tag makes me cringe! It doesn't feel sticky and you can put your clothes on straight away without feeling like you have a layer of lotion on your skin. The packaging is luxurious as the product comes in a heavy glass tub and the design is very minimal - love. If you're looking for something similar but for less than a quarter of the price, I'd try the Soap and Glory Smoothie Star Body Buttercream; it smells like pistachios and is a really lovely body butter, however it doesn't feel as 'whipped', doesn't smell identical to the Laura Mercier Body Souffle and you need a lot more product to feel totally moisturised, so perhaps it works out as not that much cheaper - give it a sniff, though, if you're new to the pistachio scent.

Have you tried either of these products?
Are you a fan?
Daniela xo
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Sunday, 8 February 2015

• Tarte Bon Voyage Eyeshadow Palette •

Feast your eyes on this glorious palette of eyeshadow goodness...

I was lucky enough to win this palette, along with the collectors travel bag and blush palette (review on this beauty here) from Stacey's giveaway, and I could not be happier with the products that I won. I'm in love with Tarte and everything I've tried, I've become a little bit obsessed with - and these eyeshadows are no different.

There are a mixture of shimmers and mattes, from light to dark, and they are all extremely pigmented. The application is beautiful, none of them are chalky, and they blend effortlessly - I know it seems as though I'm using all of the buzz words, but they really are very impressive and I would only say the things that I believe are true. I've swatched a few of my favourites above so you can see how intense they are after only one swipe; amazing, as I'm sure you'll agree. I don't brighten my photos when I'm photographing products as I want the colour to be true to real life, so the colours here are exactly how they truly appear on me. I'm planning a few 'get ready with me' posts using this palette as I'd like to show you the kinds of looks you can create - I've loved playing with this palette as you get such a variety of shades.

Short and sweet, but the photographs speak for themselves.
Have you tried any of the Tarte eyeshadows?
Daniela xo
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Sunday, 1 February 2015

• FOUNDATION DUPE // L'Oreal & Maybelline •

Oh I do love a good dupe, me!

L'Oreal Eau De Teint and Maybelline Dream Wonder Liquid Foundation are basically the same thing. Simple. They both have the same very watery, light, liquid consistency, both have medium/buildable coverage and both leave a matte-ish/powder finish. The only different is that the Maybelline foundation has a dropper, making it a little easier to apply onto my face, whereas you have to place your finger over the top of the L'Oreal bottle and tip it upside down to get the product - but that's no biggy, as I'm obsessed with the L'Oreal foundation (and you can read all about it in this post).
The foundations blend out so well and I love the fact that they cover my scars and my under eye circles. I also spot conceal with both foundations as the liquid is so pigmented that it can double up as a concealer. You can't get the Maybelline foundation in the UK (as far as I'm aware) so if you've been lusting over it, you can just grab the L'Oreal foundation as it's pretty much the exact same thing. For reference, I'm in the shade 'Warm Ivory' in the L'Oreal and 'Classic Ivory' in the Maybelline.

A quick one from me today, but I just had to share this with you. I'm planning a 'get ready with me' soon, featuring the Maybelline foundation, but if you wanted to see what the L'Oreal base looks like on, you can read this post.

I hope you enjoyed!
Let me know if you've tried either of these foundations; I absolutely love them both.
Daniela xo
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