Monday, 30 September 2019

September Favourites 2019

I haven't done a monthly favourites for a while now, so I thought it was about time I showed you some of the products I have been loving this month. There is a mixture of skincare, body care, hair care and of course, makeup....Let's get into it...
The Maui hair and body care brand is originally from America, and as a lover of most things American, when I saw it in Boots I knew I had to try something out. I opted for the Maui Moisture Calming + Frangipani Dry Body Oil (£9.99 for 237ml) as at this time of year, my skin gets super dry, and sometimes even itchy because of how dry it gets. Plus, I love the ease and quickness of a body oil spray as you can just spritz it on after your bath or shower. This leaves my skin smelling heavenly, without being overpowering and really helps to keep my skin from drying out. It contains frangipani, exotic orchid extract and bright cypress oil to keep the skin super moisturised and looking and feeling healthy. You can find it at Boots here.
Not only does the skin on my body get dry in Winter, but so does the skin on my face. So I have been using the Pixi Glow Mist to hydrate my skin and get it looking more glowy and healthier. The Pixi Glow Mist is enriched with 13 natural oils plus propolis, aloe vera and fruit extracts to hydrate, protect and nourish the skin. It can be used as a hydrating facial spray or to set your makeup in place and leave it with a glowy finish. The Glow Mist is suitable for all skin types and if you suffer from redness, this will be great for you as it contains lavender oil to soothe and calm the skin. The Pixi Glow Mist costs £16.00 for 80ml and you can find it online at Pixi here.
As much as I love a boujee product, I also love a good bargain and whilst browsing my local Poundland last month I took a look at their makeup range, Makeup Gallery. The products, are quite obviously just £1.00 each and whilst some of them don't look the best quality, I did pick up a couple of the Makeup Gallery Shine On Intense Colour & Shine Lip Glosses. They had quite a selection of colours to choose from but I chose a trusty nude and a pretty pink nude. The formula isn't at all sticky, and you get such great colour payoff and coverage from them, that I would easily pay much more than just £1.00 for them. I love how glossy they leave my lips looking too. You can find your nearest Poundland online here.
Bronzers are one of my favourite makeup products at the moment and whilst in Boots recently, they had a 3 for 2 offer on as well as a £10.00 off voucher, and so I picked up the No7 Bronzer as I haven't tried it before. The No7 Bronzer is available in three shades, Golden Sand, Maple and Caramel. As I have fair to light skin, I chose the lightest shade Golden Sand, and it gives me a really pretty golden glow to my skin. The compact itself is rose gold and it has a mirror on the inside of the lid. This is a matte bronzer, which I prefer as I like to use a highlighter too, and his finely milled silky soft powder contains emollients to leave a comfortable, natural bronzed look. The No7 Bronzer costs £12.50 and you can find it online at Boots here.
I have been getting some American Beauty Boxes recently, and one product which I received in one of them is the Harper + Ari Juice Cleanse. Now I hadn't heard of the brand before, which is one of the reasons I have been loving the American boxes so much, and the Juice Cleanse is such a gorgeous product. The pot contains eight exfoliating sugar cubes, and just one will exfoliate and nourish the entire body. You simply take a cube with you into the bath or shower and gently massage it over wet skin. I break the cube up slightly before using it and it leaves my skin smelling of pineapple, kiwi and green apple and feeling silky soft and not at all dry. The Harper + Ari Juice Cleanse costs $16.00/£12.83 and you can find it online at Harper + Ari here.
Another American branded product I love is the Milani Illuminating Face Powder, which is available here in the UK. I must admit, I first chose it purely due to the packaging, as it comes in a regular face powder compact, but the embossed roses in the powder look stunning. There are multiple shades available and this is 01 Amber Nectar, which is the lightest option available. You can use this as a highlighter, blusher, bronzer or all-over face powder and it adds a super pretty finish to the skin. You could also take an eye brush and use each individual rose to create a peach and nude eye look, so you can get so many different uses out of this that I just had to include it in my monthly favourites as I love a multi-use product. The Milani Illuminating Face Powder costs £12.75 and you can find it online at Beauty Bay here.
I think I must own nearly all of the MAC Extra Dimension Skin Finish compacts, as they are just so stunning and one which I have been reaching for a lot lately is the MAC Extra Dimension Skin Finish in the shade Soft Frost. The formula of the skin finishes are liquid to powder and are full of prismatic reflections to give you the prettiest highlight. Soft Frost does have a soft lilac tone to it, and so I don't think this would be everyone's cup of tea, but it looks so wispy and delicate and suits my fair skin beautifully. The MAC Extra Dimension Skin Finish costs £26.50, and so it isn't the cheapest highlighter out there, but they last forever and are well worth the money in my opinion. You can find them online here.
Because the skin on my face gets so dry, particularly in the colder months, a face scrub or exfoliator is a must for me. I have been loving the Herbal Essentials* Gentle Renewal Scrub as it isn't made from any harsh or skin-damaging ingredients, and is instead made from natural, mild exfoliants that care for the skin. I tend to use exfoliators twice a week, but you may only need to use it once a week, depending on your skin. I have very sensitive skin which is prone to redness, and that is why I prefer to have a more natural scrub than something too abrasive. The Herbal Essentials Gentle Renewal Scrub works effectively at scrubbing away those dead skin cells, to leave my skin looking and feeling so much smoother and healthier, without drying it out or damaging the skin. The Scrub itself feels super creamy and soft when you massage it into the skin, and has a lovely, fresh scent to it, which perks me up no end. The Herbal Essentials Gentle Renewal Scrub costs £12.00 for 75ml, and this is going to last you a long time as a little goes a long way and you can find it online here.
Another of the products I got from my 3 for 2 on No7 at Boots was the No7 Airbrush Away Pore Minimising Primer. I hadn't previously tried any of the No7 Primers before, but this one just blew me away and I have used it so often already. The No7 Airbrush Away Pore Minimising Primer creates a barrier on the skin to shield the complexion from any shine or oiliness coming through, therefore leaving the skin perfectly smooth and even throughout the day. This is one of those wonder products, and I have been reaching for it over my Cover FX Gripping Primer more recently. You get 30ml of product, which looks like a cream at first, but once you massage it into the skin, it feels more like Benefit's Porefessional, but better. I have never seen a product instantly smooth my skin and cover my pores as quick as this does, and I honestly recommend you try it. The No7 Airbrush Away Pore Minimising Primer costs £16.50 and you can find it online at Boots here. Be sure to look out for a deal or offer though!
I am a sales person's dream. I am so easily locked in to a conversation about a product I have yet to try, and if they try that product out on me, even better - just take my money beauty counters! Whilst in Harvey Nichols a couple of months ago, the Aveda assistant sat me down and started playing with my hair, which is heaven in itself, and applied the Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair to the ends of my hair. It felt like silk for goodness sake, how could I not buy it?! The Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair is a 98% naturally derived leave-in treatment that instantly repairs the look of hair and helps protect it from heat styling. It can be used on damp hair, but if, once styled, your hair is a little dry on the ends, I like to run a small amount directly onto the ends, and it honestly works some magic let me tell you. The downside is that it is a pricey product. The Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair costs £25.00, and whilst you do get 100ml, it is a bit of an investment, but when I find products that work and do as they say they do, I am more than happy to fork out a little extra. You can find the Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair online here.
All the Loves,
Kathryn xxx

*Items marked with an asterix have been gifted to me, but all opinions are my own

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Christmas Gifting: Clean Reserve Avant Garden Collection Hemp & Ginger Eau De Parfum Review

Yes, we are in September, however, this is my first Christmas gifting post because you can never be too early with your Christmas shopping. Things often sell out pretty quickly, and if like me, you are spending the first 16 days of December in Orlando, or elsewhere, then you want your Christmas shopping done and dusted before you go. We are starting off with something extraordinary, the Clean Reserve Avant Garden Collection Hemp & Ginger Eau De Parfum.
I have featured a couple of different fragrances from Clean Reserve in the past, and I must say that the Hemp & Ginger fragrance is by far my favourite, and is right up my street. I adore anything woody and spicy, and I enjoy quite strong fragrances like Thierry Mugler's Angel and Alien, and so I just cannot get enough of the Clean Reserve Hemp & Ginger.
I asked my friend Laura to smell this fragrance, and she said it smells quite manly, which I agree that it does, but in a very unisex way. Both men and women could equally wear this fragrance. The base notes of Hemp & Ginger are made up of Oud and Saffron, with spicy middle notes of Cardamom and Sichuan Pepper, followed by top notes of Bergamot and Ginger to create a uniquely woody scent tinged with a taste of the Orient.

If you are giving this as a gift, it comes beautifully presented, and the bottle is very warming, with a wooden lid and a yellow, orange and red ombred glass bottle. You get a whopping 100ml of fragrance and as it is an eau de parfum, it is a more concentrated scent than that of an eau de toilette, therefore you need just a couple of spritzes for fragrance that lasts all day long.
Clean Reserve perfumes are vegan-friendly and gluten-free, and include responsibly sourced, sustainable ingredients. They are free from phthalates, artificial dyes and preservatives and contain eco-friendly packaging and manufacturing process. I love a brand that is very eco-aware, as it stands them in high-regard for being so mindful.

The Clean Reserve Avant Garden Collection Hemp & Ginger Eau De Parfum retails for £129.00 and you can find it in-store and online at Space NK here.

All the Loves,
Kathryn xxx

*This post contains an item which was gifted to me, but all opinions are my own

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Scott Barnes Body Bling Platinum Shimmering Body Lotion Review

If you follow one of my favourite You Tuber's Tati Westbrook, you may have seen she has been doing quite a few videos with makeup artist Scott Barnes. In true Kathryn style, I had not heard of him before, as I think his brand is 100% American based, and with so many amazing makeup artists and You Tubers, it is so easy not to be on top of your game at knowing who everyone is. One of the products both Tati and Scott were discussing was the Scott Barnes Body Bling Platinum Shimmering Body Lotion.
This is from Scott's own makeup and beauty collection, and as I hadn't tried anything before, I had a couple of his products imported over here to try out. I won't lie, the tube packaging of the Body Bling Platinum, did look a little cheap to me, but the outer carton looks rather classy. You get 120ml of this product, so quite a lot, and a little goes a long way. 
Here in the UK, we don't get the weather to be having our legs, arms and decollete out all the time, so for me this would probably be a Summer or a Christmas party product. There are two shades available, Original and Platinum and as I have fairer skin, I went for the lighter shade Platinum. Although when I released a little of the product, I was slightly scared at first as it looked pretty dark for my skin, but I couldn't have been more wrong.
The Scott Barnes Body Bling Platinum instantly adds a natural, yet healthy glow to wherever you place it. It doesn't look too dark either as it seemed to instantly blend into my own skin tone like magic. I personally haven't come across a product which looks this effortlessly stunning here in the UK before, and it wouldn't be something I could afford to use on a daily basis, but luckily due to the UK weather, I probably wouldn't need to anyway.

The Scott Barned Body Bling Platinum Moisturising Shimmering Body Lotion costs $42.00/£33.72 and you can find it online here.

All the Loves,
Kathryn xxx

Friday, 27 September 2019

SOL Body Glow Oil & Shimmering Dry Oil Review

When I placed my Colourpop order recently, I added to it the SOL Body Glow Oil and Shimmering Dry Oil and even though it is more or less Autumn here in the UK now, I still have my holiday to Orlando in December, and who doesn't want to add glitter and shimmer to their tan?!
SOL Body is the little sister of Colourpop, and it is a pretty new brand within the Colourpop family, with at the time of writing this, just the two products included in this post plus a body kabuki brush. As with all Colourpop products and brands, the SOL Body products are pretty inexpensive, with both of these products retailing at $15.00 each, which works out at about £12.00 each due to the current horrific exchange rate.
The SOL Body Glow Oil is available in four different shades - Champagne, Rose, Golden and Caramel, and I opted for Champagne as it is the lightest and I have light to fair skin. Although, on reflection I do wish I had maybe tried the Rose. The Glow Oil comes in a 104ml plastic bottle complete with pump applicator and lid, and is a rich body oil that gives the skin a slight hint of colour and a large amount of glow. The formula includes light-diffusing micro pearl which creates a subtle luminosity to help the skin look healthier and contains Coconut, Argan and Marula oils to soften and moisturise the skin. Now, I would recommend being careful when dispensing the product as a little goes a long way - but it smells like coconut and that scent is just the gift that keeps on giving. You are going to shine like the champagne-coloured disco ball that you are! This is truly stunning and it is going to last you a long time as it really is very concentrated with shimmer and of course can be used absolutely everywhere and anywhere to add a glow to the skin and I think I am definitely going to try adding a little to my foundation to see how that turns out.
The SOL Body Shimmering Dry Oil is also available in four shades, Platinum, Soft Gold, Warm Gold and Bronze. I chose Platinum as again this is the lightest shade of the four and I must say I think it is really great to create a range of shimmers for different skintones, as normally you just get one, maybe two at the most with other brands. You get 90ml of the Shimmering Dry Oil, even though it looks the taller bottle, and this one comes in a glass bottle for some reason, which isn't the best for travelling with I must admit. It has the same pump applicator as the Glow Oil, and again, it does come out really quickly and so be careful when pumping the product out - one pump at a time works perfectly. The Shimmering Dry Oil is a lightweight dry oil that has multidimensional shimmer, however, it is a lot more sparse shimmer and glitter wise than the Glow Oil, but still leaves the skin looking glistening and gorgeous. The coconut scent this time reminds me of one of my favourite ever coconut scents from Bath & Body Works so I am currently sat here inhaling it haha! It too has Coconut, Argan and Marula oils to keep the skin looking and feeling much more nourished and hydrated, which is perfect after a day in the sunshine.
Colourpop do ship to the UK, and all taxes etc are included in their shipping prices. I find shipping to be quite quick considering they are coming halfway around the world and you can check them and SOL Body out online here.

All the Loves,
Kathryn xxx

Thursday, 26 September 2019

BPerfect Cosmetics x Stacey Marie Carnival Eyeshadow Palette Review + Swatches

When I went to the Jeffree Star x Mmmmitchell makeup masterclass back in Summer, there were a few VIP guests there, including Stacey Marie. Now, I must be honest and admit that I didn't know who she was whilst I was at the event, but a few people mentioned it was her and that she was an incredible makeup artist. So I checked out her Instagram when I got home and realised that she had an eyeshadow palette out with BPerfect Cosmetics, the BPerfect Cosmetics x Stacey Marie Carnival Eyeshadow Palette.
Stacey Marie recently released a larger version of this palette, and I have already bought it, so there will be a post on that too, but for now I wanted to start at the beginning. The Carnival Palette includes two highlighter shades and 24 eyeshadows, all encased in a colourful palette complete with mirror on the inside of the lid.
There are a mixture of finishes too, including mattes, shimmers and metallics, and such a unique and varied range of colours. Here is what is inside...
Sinner - Bronze-toned highlighter
Saint - Pinky champagne highlighter
Shuffle - Mustard yellow matte
Guilty - Redcurrant matte
Hustle - Black gold metallic
Naked - Beige matte
Basic - Peach nude matte
Howdy - Warm-toned brown matte
Funki - Neon pink matte
Pink Me - Iridescent white with pink shift
Keen - Yellow matte
Lit - Neon orange matte
Wifey - Raspberry matte
Hush - Light gold metallic
Foolish - Peach matte
Wasted - Neon purple matte
Queeny - Gold metallic
Mint - Apple green matte
Recharge - Royal blue metallic
Sky - Bright blue matte
Liquor - Burgundy brown matte
Chant - Mauve matte
Envy - Forest green matte
Breezy - Turquoise metallic
Moony - Gold-toned white iridescent shimmer
Mood - Navy matte
Phew, that is a long list! The highlighters are stunning, and super pigmented so you could even use them as eyeshadows too, if you didn't already have enough within this fabulous palette. I discovered there was little, if any fall-out when using the eyeshadows, and the pigmentation was top notch - especially on the brighter colours which can be very hard to create. 
There really is something for everyone, and every occasion within the Carnival Palette, and it really is hard to choose favourite shades. The Saint highlighter is definitely more suited to my fair to light skin tone, and the eyeshadow shades I have been particularly loving are the neons, Foolish, Hush and Breezy. They are all quite different to shadows I have seen in palettes previously and I love how Stacey Marie has included some neutral, transitional shades too so you can create a full look from this palette.
The BPerfect Cosmetics x Stacey Marie Carnival Eyeshadow Palette costs £40.00, which I did initially find quite expensive taking into consideration the cost of an Urban Decay or Anastasia Beverly Hills eyeshadow palette as they are more established, well-known brands. However, it works out at £1.67 per eyeshadow and that is not including the highlighters, and so it really is actually very good value for money considering the pigment and quality of the shadows and highlighters. You can find it online at Beauty Bay here.
All the Loves,
Kathryn xxx

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Urban Decay Stay Naked Liquid Foundation + Concealer Review

As soon as Urban Decay announce a new release, I get super excited, because they sure as heck don't do things by half. Say hello to the Urban Decay Stay Naked Liquid Foundation and Concealer. There are a whopping 50 shades available, and as it is currently foundation season, I just had to try it out.
The Urban Decay Stay Naked Liquid Foundation is another expansion on the Naked Collection, and this new foundation come in fifty shades, including nine shade intensities, three mastertones and seven undertones. As there were so many shades and different tones, I decided to drive over to my local Debenhams store to get colour-matched.
The sales assistant and I settled on the shade 31NN, which means a light shade intensity, a neutral mastertone and a neutral undertone. It can get a little like science class here. The Urban Decay Stay Naked Foundation is a waterproof, long-wear foundation that has a lightweight formula and promotes itself as having 24 hour wear. I have mentioned this before in reviews, and I have no need to wear a foundation for 24 hours, but this certainly stayed in place throughout the day and there was no need for touch-ups.

The bottle looks quite boujee, with a rose gold cap, and cut-out style bottle, however it is plastic, and I did expect, and would have preferred a glass bottle, just because I think it looks a little better especially when you are buying a more higher-end product. But that is just my personal opinion and of course has no impact on the product itself.
I have quite large pores, and I find that this foundation covers them evenly, without clogging them up, and so I love that about this product. When you use the pump applicator to release the product, it does look and feel quite thick, but it blends out super easily and quickly into a full coverage base. It literally works like magic at covering and concealing redness and the rest of the face. I only really suffer from redness, so I cannot comment on things like spots.

I was sold on this foundation as soon as I first applied it, purely down to the coverage, finish and longevity of wear and I actually find the best way to apply it is with your fingers, and then I like to go in with a Beauty Blender just to pat down any excess. One pump alone does my entire face, and so you are going to get plenty of use from this 30ml bottle.

Moving on to the Urban Decay Stay Naked Correcting Concealer, this is a vegan, demi-matte liquid concealer with plenty of pigment and full coverage that again has that 24 hour wear-time claim. This time we have 25 shades available, with nine shade intensities, three mastertones and five undertones. I was matched to shade 40NN, a light medium shade with neutral mastertone and a neutral undertone. 
A lot of people like to go a lot lighter with their concealer, but because I get quite dark circles, and the way my eyes are set, I tend to more or less match my foundation. The packaging is rather plain, with that copper-style lid, and a regular rectangular tube, however, the wavy wand is slightly unique, and you use the flat side for a more precise, light application or lean into the curve for a smooth glide-on application and heavier dose of product.
I found that the concealer has a really great consistency, it isn't too watery, neither is it too thick. It blends beautifully into the skin, and there is no caking or oiliness after it has settled in, to create a stunningly natural look. Due to it being quite heavily pigmented, the Stay Naked Concealer does cover under eye circles really well, and I naturally have darkness there, and will often go in with a colour corrector and then a concealer, but I found that the concealer alone works great for that.

The Urban Decay Stay Naked Liquid Foundation retails at £29.50 and the Concealer retails at £20.00 and you can find them online at Urban Decay here.

All the Loves,
Kathryn xxx

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Halotop x Colourpop Rainbow Swirl Super Shock Pigment Duo Review + Swatches

I haven't placed a Colourpop order for about a year, apart from the Zoella collaboration, and so I thought it was about high time I did! There have been so many new releases lately, as there always is from them, and so I ordered a lovely little selection. One of the items being the Halotop x Colourpop Rainbow Swirl Super Shock Pigment Duo, which I have for you here today.
The Halotop x Colourpop collaboration contains just four Super Shock Pigment Duos, there are no lip products etc, just these four cute sets. For those that aren't aware, Halotop is a low-fat, low-calorie ice cream company - gotta love that - and their Colourpop collaboration obviously takes on that ice cream theme.
After receiving the Rainbow Swirl edition, I do now wish I had ordered the other three, Strawberry, Mint Chip and Birthday Cake. I am trying to hold off ordering anything else at the moment as I am going to Orlando in December, and so I am saving my money to have a good beauty splurge there.
The Halotop x Colourpop Rainbow Swirl Super Shock Pigment Duo comes in a cute ice-cream style cardboard container, and then inside are the two eyeshadows. The eyeshadow pots have little ice creams on the lids, and are baby pink in colour, so very much sticking with that ice cream theme, which I love!

The two shades in this duo are Creamsicle and Sherbert Day. Creamsicle looked a little boring through the lid, but once you remove it, it gives way to a pretty creamy pearlescent pink with so much soft pink shimmer and glitter running through it and you could actually use this as a highlighter too, as it is quite gentle, which I love. Sherbert Day looks stunning in the pot, a slight marbled/tie-dyed effect full of peaches, pinks and purples. Once swirled together, it gives a bright pop of Barbie pink which has silver micro glitter running throughout it. The two work beautifully together, as well as on their own.
If you haven't tried the Colourpop Super Shock Pigment formula before, it feels very strange to touch in the pot, as it kind of feels like jelly, kinda bouncy. However, they apply beautifully and are super pigmented, and you get a good amount of product in there. Working out at $6 each, which is £4.88 each at the moment due to the horrific exchange rate, these are really excellent value for money, and I don't think I have ever hit pan on one of these shadows before.

You can find the Halotop x Colourpop Rainbow Swirl Super Shock Pigment Duo online here.

All the Loves,
Kathryn xxx