Tuesday, 31 December 2019

December Favourites 2019

To end the year, I am bringing you my December favourites, some of the products I have been loving this month...
Starting with skincare, we have the Mudmasky Leave-Me-On Winter Mask (35 Euros for 40ml), and I received this in a Glossybox. You don't get a lot of product for the money but it is a really good mask, and because it is a winter mask, it is protecting, moisturising, ultra-repairing and nourishing, so it really does help the skin out during these colder months. Even though it says mask, it is more of a moisturiser in the sense that you apply a thin layer in a morning and then leave on the skin without rinsing off. The results of the mask are really good, but I do think you should get a little more product. You can find it online at Mudmasky here.
We then have the Clarins Moisture-Rich Body Lotion (£19.00 for 100ml), which I took on holiday with me this month. It is a really deliciously scented rich body lotion that contains peach milk extract, shea butter and orange blossom wax and helps protect the skin against the cold weather as well as heating and air conditioning. The Moisture-Rich Body Lotion has a nice lightweight texture, so that you don't have to be waiting around before you can get dressed, but it still feels very luxurious. You can find it online at Clarins here.
Something else I took with me to Orlando is the Rituals Soothing Hand Balm (£9.90 for 70ml) as my hands have been so dry this season, and I thought with being in the pool a lot on holiday, that I would need something a little extra. This Soothing Hand Balm is infused with Indian Rose and Sweet Almond Oil and smells and feels incredible, the texture is like velvet and it too sinks into the skin really quickly, as I hate it when you get a hand cream that takes ages to dry as we are using our hands all the time. You can find it online at Rituals here.
I had been wanting to try out the Smashbox Photo Finish Minimize Pores Primer (£28.00 for 30ml) ever since it was first released as I have terrible enlarged pores, and so I was over the moon when it was in my Glamour Beauty Festival goody bag! I am so in love with this primer! I do love and have tried some of the other Smashbox primers, but for me personally, this is such a winner. It is an oil-free, mattifying primer and it really does help to blur out my pores, which also reduces the appearance of them and this has definitely been a favourite this month. You can find it online at Smashbox here.
Whilst I was at the Glamour Beauty Festival, I also picked up the The Ordinary Serum Foundation (£5.70 for 30ml) as I was wanting something with a light coverage for during the day on holiday and even though I use sunscreen on my face, this also has SPF 15, so it is nice to know that it has my back in the sunshine. You really cannot go wrong with The Ordinary products, they are such good value, yet have such concentrated skincare ingredients within the formulas. This foundation comes with a pump applicator, and it is a very fluid formula, so just be aware of that when you first use it. This gave me a slight bit of coverage and kept my skin super nourished throughout the day. You can find it online at The Ordinary here.
A couple of months ago I wanted the Harvey Nichols gift with purchase as it was incredible value, and so one of the items I picked up to qualify for it was the Chanel Le Volume Ultra-Noir Mascara (£28.00). It is a pricey product, there is no doubt about that, because it is Chanel. But I do love a luxury beauty item, and I have been really impressed with this mascara. It doesn't have the traditional bristle brush applicator, which I tend to prefer with more high-end mascaras, and this coats my lashes individually to give a much darker, refined look to them. You can find it online at Harvey Nichols here.
Another item from my Glossybox that I have been using a lot lately is the Kandi Cosmetics Pre Glow Up Mist (£20.00 for 120ml). I hadn't heard of the brand previously, which is what I love about beauty subscription boxes as you get to try things that aren't always on your radar. This beautiful rose-gold shimmer mist works as both a primer and a setting spray and adds a delicate glow to the skin, and as our skin can get quite dull at this time of year, this is perfect for banishing that. You can find it online at Kandi Cosmetics here.
I have quite hooded eyelids and a lot of the larger false lashes don't look great on me, but when I was at the Glamour Beauty Festival, the lash brand Velour were giving free lashes away and they also applied them for you. I tried out the Velour Luxe Faux Mink Lashes in the style Sunshine & Whispie (£24.00) and they are so beautiful, even on my eyes. They have lots of little individual lashes that then go into fans, and so they don't look 'too much' yet definitely make such a difference. I find the lashes themselves super lightweight and comfortable to wear too. They can also be reused up to 20 times, which makes them such good value - you can't beat quality lashes. You can find them online at Boots here.
Something fairly new I have been loving on my lips lately is the Revlon Kiss Glow Lip Oil (£8.99). There are seven shades available and I wanted them all as the colours are stunning, but opted for Nuditude as it is great for everyday. As these are a lip oil, I didn't expect hardly any coverage, but these blow all other lip oils out of the water! They have such good colour and coverage to them, and they are not at all greasy or oily on the lips, meaning that they are so comfortable to wear and you get colour and nourishment at the same time. You can find them online at Boots here.
I have been painting my nails a lot lately as I cannot afford to keep having gel polish applied, and a colour which I think is so beautiful for this time of year is the H&M Nail Polish in Witching Hour (£3.99). It is a kind of dark petrol green shade, and such a unique colour to most green nail polishes I have come across. The bottles are super cute and the polish looks lovely and glossy once it has dried down onto the nails. You can find it online at H&M here.
I hope you all have an amazing night tonight and I wish you all the best for the New Year!

All the Loves,
Kathryn xxx

Monday, 30 December 2019

Trying Out The Ordinary Skincare - Review

Here's a fun (not so fun) fact - I have never tried anything from The Ordinary before. It blew up last year as a skincare brand, and there was sadly a lot of controversy surrounding the owner. However, when I was at the Glamour Beauty Festival last month, The Ordinary had a stand there and so I had a little chat with one of the assistants there and he recommended some products for me to try.
First up, we have The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque (£9.90 for 50ml), which was actually given to me as a gift with purchase. This mask is formulated to target dull skin tone and textural irregularities. The formula is infused with charcoal and clays, which are great for removing impurities from the skin, ensuring it is smoother and more refreshed. If you have oily or blemish-prone skin, this will be great for you as it is super deep cleansing and removes all of the dead skin cells that have built up on the skin. The Mask is black in colour and there isn't really a noticeable scent there. You only need to leave this mask on for up to ten minutes and then rinse off, and your skin will be squeaky clean, and because you have cleared out the pores, your skincare products that you apply afterwards are going to be able to work deeper in to the skin, and will work much better too.
The item I actually purchased is the The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Blemish Formula (£8.90 for 30ml) as this was the product the assistant advised would be great for clearing out my pores. Niacinamide is great for reducing the appearance of blemishes and congestion, so this formula helps to balance out the skin too, so for more oilier skin types, this will be perfect for you to ensure your skin isn't over-producing sebum. You get 30ml of the Formula and it comes in a little glass bottle with a glass dropper, so you can apply it straight onto the face. You can use the product both morning and night, and I would always recommend using a serum before you apply your moisturiser as it is the more concentrated product of the two, so it will be able to get further into the skin as the moisturiser acts as a barrier. I have been using this a little sparingly, just because I don't have oily skin, but I do have quite congested pores, and so this helps 2-3 times a week to give them a good clear out.
I bought one of the foundations, and was given another gift with purchase, this time it being the The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 (£10.60 for 30ml), which is particularly great for this time of year as hyaluronic acid is a wonder product for dehydrated skin. This formula also comes in a little glass bottle with dropper, and I think the prices are by far some of the best I have seen on the skincare market, especially for targeted skincare serums. Hyaluronic Acid can attraact up to 1,000 times its weight in water and Vitamin B5 also enhances the skin's surface hydration, so this serum is going to work wonders for dehydrated skin, to attract and hold in hydration. As with the Blemish Formula, this can also be used both morning and evening, and again use it before you apply your moisturiser. I have been using this on the days and nights I don't use the Blemish Formula, and my skin has been feeling perfectly nourished despite the cold weather outside.
Overall, I am super impressed with The Ordinary and I cannot wait to explore the brand further. You can find The Ordinary online here.

All the Loves,
Kathryn xxx

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Huda Beauty Smokey Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette Review + Swatches

A product range which I have used and loved a lot this year is the Huda Beauty Obsessions Eyeshadow Palettes, as they are such great quality and they are super handy for travelling with as the palette itself is neat and petite.
I received the Huda Beauty Smokey Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette in a gift with purchase a couple of months ago and I have been reaching for it quite a lot, in fact I took it to Orlando with me. As I mentioned, it is a small, slim palette and there is a good-sized mirror on the inside of the lid and nine eyeshadows.
There is a nice mixture of matte and shimmer shadows within the palette, and I even used the brown matte shades as eyebrow powder - you have got to love a multi-use product. In fact, the light pink shimmer shade you could probably also use as a highlighter and the black as an eyeliner!

The shades aren't named, but the palette includes (left to right, top to bottom);
*Black matte
*Camel matte
*Rose gold shimmer
*Silver metallic
*Deep brown shimmer
*Bronze shimmer
*Deep chocolate brown matte
*Medium brown matte
*Soft pink shimmer
The matte shades all have really great pay-off, and the metallic and shimmer shades are out of this world. The main thing with Huda Beauty eyeshadows is that the formula is consistent, so you know you are going to get good pay-off, amazing pigmentation and longevity whilst wearing them. There are so many different colour variations to choose from, that there really is a palette for everyone.

The Huda Beauty Smokey Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette costs £25.00 and you can find them online at Huda Beauty here.

All the Loves,
Kathryn xxx

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Josh Wood Colour Uplifting Shampoo & Conditioner Review

A month or two ago, the Boots store in Meadowhall were having a re-opening of their beauty department and they were giving away some amazing goody bags, which included the Josh Wood Colour Uplifting Shampoo & Conditioner, and so I have recently been trying these out.
As always, with new brands to my blog, I always like to do a little research and tell you a little about the brand itself. Josh Wood’s genius at creating perfect hair colour has made him one of the most sought-after colourists in the world. His expert knowledge and artistic eye mean he’s constantly called on by women across the globe who want his special brand of glossy, natural, believable-looking colour. His vision and technical ability with colour, along with his heart and roots in the Josh Wood Colour Atelier, has allowed him to shape the global beauty landscape for over three decades. He has a whole collection of haircare products as well as treatments and hair colours.
The shampoo and conditioners come in different options. So first you choose the colour - now there is only brunette or blonde to choose from, which I do think is a shame as there are obviously other hair colours out there. You then choose whether you want your shampoo and conditioner for either frizz-prone hair or fine hair. I luckily received blonde in my goody bag and then the versions for frizz-prone hair. 

The Josh Wood Colour Uplifting Shampoo & Conditioner costs £10.00 per bottle and you receive 250ml per bottle, which I think is about average for haircare products. I think £20.00 for the set making it more higher end when it comes to shampoo, but Boots often have deals on haircare so you can probably make it more affordable.
The Josh Wood Colour Uplifting Shampoo is specially formulated with shade-specific ingredients hence why it is either for blondes or brunettes, and contains advanced UV filters to prevent fading of the colour and then natural anti-oxidants to leave your hair feeling clean, soft and fresh. I do really like the scent of both products, which is quite a fresh, uplifting fragrance.

I have really enjoyed using both the Shampoo and Conditioner, as my hair has definitely looked a lot fresher and brighter than it can do with other shampoos that are not shade-specific. I don't know if I would be happy paying £20.00 for the two, but if there was an offer, then I would definitely consider re-purchasing. I think these would be great for brunettes too, as when I dye my hair brown, it tends to fade super quickly!

You can find the Josh Wood Colour Uplifting Shampoo & Conditioner in-store and online at Boots here.

All the Loves,
Kathryn xxx

Friday, 27 December 2019

BPerfect x Stacey Marie Carnival XL Pro Eyeshadow Palette Review + Swatches

I reviewed Stacey Marie's first eyeshadow palette collaboration with BPerfect a while ago now and because I loved it so much, I went ahead and ordered her second palette, which is her most recent release, the BPerfect x Stacey Marie Carnival XL Pro Eyeshadow Palette.
This is a whopper of an eyeshadow palette! It is a good chunky size, which isn't the best for travelling with, but that's not the end of the world. The palette itself is black and has a metallic rainbow effect on the front, with a large mirror on the inside of the lid. You receive three stunning highlighters and an amazing 40 eyeshadows! Wow!
One of the things I love most about this palette is that each column has a colour story, so for example column one has oranges and yellows, then you have corals and reds, pinks and purples, mauves and purples, greens, blues, browns and smokey shades thereafter. So you can of course mix and match, but then if you are new to makeup, you have the opportunity to learn what works well together.
The highlighter shades are super soft and buttery and very pigmented, with the colours included being;
Fairplay - a snowy gold iridescent
Gold Lux - a champagne shimmer
Over It - a bronze metallic
The eyeshadows are on another planet and I have never seen neons like it! You receive (left to right, top to bottom);
Keen - sunflower yellow matte
Boy Bye - bright red matte
Wasted - true purple matte
Reckless - rich burgundy matte
Mood - deep blue matte
Make Waves - sea blue matte
Slow Burn - burnt orange matte
Pillow Talk - bright white matte
Fortune - rich yellow gold shimmer
Pink Me - soft pink iridescent
Backchat - navy blue with blue shimmer
Persuasion - plum purple matte
Peppermint - mint green shimmer
Soft Spot - sky blue matte
Splendour - rich copper shimmer
Fade - soft taupe matte
Lit - electric orange matte
In Lust - bright berry pink matte
Funki - Barbie pink matte
Make Up - dusky pink matte
Why Though? - mint green matte
Cargo - forest green shimmer
Basic - warm peach matte
Inspire - light brown shimmer
Shuffle - mustard matte
Foolish - bright coral matte
Orchid - soft lilac shimmer
Temptation - rich light burgundy shimmer
The Hype - vivid green matte
Showboat - bright teal green
Haul - terracotta brown matte
Vex - smokey grey brown matte
Infurno - vibrant red matte
Valentine - true red shimmer
Pep Talk - neon pink
Influence - magenta matte
Ecstasy - acid green matte
Nuke - forest green matte
Intuition - chocolate brown matte
Lights Out - black matte
As you can see, there are a lot of shades in here, and so many of them are super wearable on a daily basis, but I love that you get the chance to explore brighter colours and shades you might not normally consider in your eye makeup looks.
The BPerfect x Stacey Marie Carnival XL Pro Eyeshadow Palette costs £42.00, which I think is super reasonable for 40 shadows and three highlighters! You can find it online at Beauty Bay here.

All the Loves,
Kathryn xxx

Thursday, 26 December 2019

111Skin Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Mask Review

I hope you all had the most amazing Christmas spent with your loved ones and received some sweet gifts. I blooming well love a good face mask, and most preferably a sheet mask. In a recent FabFitFun box I received the 111Skin Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Masks, which are pretty special in all honesty.
The 111Skin Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Masks were originally created as a limited edition item, but there was that much love surrounding the product that they continued to make them and kept them in their regular line. The Mask contains 24k Gold and Damask Rose and works to illuminate and calm the skin.
I will get the worst part out of the way. This mask is pretty pricey. If you were to buy a single mask it would cost £20.00, however the more you buy, the cheaper they get. So for example, I have the 5 x 30ml Mask Box which costs £85.00, making each mask £17.00, and then they do a 10 mask box for £150.00, making each one £15.00. But are they worth the big price tag?

The 111Skin Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Mask contains Colloidal Gold which soothes inflammation, brightens and provides the skin with antioxidant properties. Another key ingredient is Hexapeptide which tightens, tones and firms the skin while encouraging collagen production in the skin and finally Rose, which also provides powerful antioxidant properties and is also great for soothing any irritation and moisturises the skin.
You apply it just like any other sheet mask, to clean, dry skin and wear it for up to 20 minutes. 111Skin do say you can use the masks up to three times per week, but that is way beyond my budget. The mask has a gorgeous, uplifting scent to it, which did make it feel luxe whilst wearing it and as soon as you apply it to the skin, it feels very cooling and refreshing, so great if you have dry or sensitive skin particularly.
I must admit I do see results with other sheet masks, but with this one the results were definitely more instant and longer lasting. My skin feels much softer and fresher and there is a radiant glow there too which was great for my non-makeup days. I also found that it did a great job of keeping my skin feeling nourished and more moisturised that other masks would do longer term. Is it worth £15-20? I think it is, but at the same time it isn't something I would be able to afford to use 2-3 times a week or even weekly, and it is definitely something I would use as more of a pampering treat.

You can find the 111Skin Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Masks online at 111Skin here.

All the Loves,
Kathryn xxx

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Florence By Mills Like A Light Skin Tint Review

Merry Christmas to you! 
As I am self-employed, and even though I have an office in another building, I don't always like to wear a full face of makeup during the week, as I like to give my skin time to breathe and I am by myself a lot of the time. So, I was wanting a light foundation that got rid of my redness without being super full coverage, and so when I was at the Glamour Beauty Festival I popped over to the Florence by Mills stand and asked if they could colour match me to the Florence By Mills Like A Light Skin Tint.
The Florence By Mills Like A Light Skin Tint is a non-greasy skin tint that gives a slight glow to the skin but is still pretty sheer so that it doesn't feel heavy or look thick or built-up on the skin. The formula contains plant-based oils such as Meadowfoam and Jojoba to keep the skin hydrated and bright, as well as nourishing moisturisers such as Squalene, which is a natural moisturiser made from olives to make the skin look and feel smoother as well as super hydrated. 
As it is a light skin tint, it isn't ever going to be full coverage, but you can go as sheer as you like, or apply a second layer to add a little more coverage. There are 23 shades available and I have LM050, which even though it looks a little dark in the bottle for my fair to light skin, as it is a sheer product, works really well and adds a little warmth to my skin.

The Skin Tint itself comes in a plastic tube, a little like the IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream, and has a lilac cap and a pump applicator so that you can control the amount of product you are releasing. You receive 30ml of product, which is the average for a foundation, and one pump is more than enough to cover the entire face. I love how lightweight this feels on the skin, and when I am a little conscious of the redness I get on my cheeks, this is great for adding a little coverage.
The Florence By Mills Like A Light Skin Tint costs £18.00 which I find reasonable for the amount of product you get, the fact that it is also skincare based and the results you get. You can find it in-store and online at Boots here.

All the Loves,
Kathryn xxx

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Jeffree Star Cosmetics 24 Karat Skin Frost Pro Palette Review + Swatches

Happy Christmas Eve! Today I should be back in the country after flying home from Orlando, and so I hope you are all having a lovely, special day and managing to relax before the big day tomorrow (the Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special of course haha!). This year I fell in love with so many Jeffree Star Cosmetics products and the one missing piece of my palette collection is the Jeffree Star Cosmetics 24 Karat Skin Frost Pro Palette, and yes, I said collection. I really love to collect his pieces, which I know sounds sad, but they really are works of art and I haven't come across a product I have disliked yet.
The Jeffree Star Cosmetics 24 Karat Skin Frost Pro Palette is, in my opinion for warmer and darker skin tones. It has a stunning gold brocade style design on the palette itself and has a mirror on the inside of the lid. There are six large pans of product inside and even though it is a Skin Frost highlighter palette, I personally, with my fair to light skin wouldn't be able to use all six shades as highlighters.
However, I do think it is great that the brand is being inclusive and including those warmer tones as so many brands just release one highlighter palette that is suited to light and medium skin tones. The shades included are;
Sarcophagus - Light champagne
King Tut - Light bronze
Dark Horse - Dark bronze
Legendary - Coral pink
Giza - Rose gold
Liberace - Yellow gold
I can certainly use Sarcophagus as a highlighter and Legendary makes for a really pretty blush shade, but the other four certainly don't suit my cheek area. However, they make the most beautiful eyeshadow shades, especially as I have blue eyes as it really makes them pop.
As with all Jeffree Star Cosmetics Skin Frost products, the formula is incredible and one of the best around - it is super soft and buttery and blends onto the skin beautifully. Each shade is super pigmented and just one swipe gives you the most amazing shimmer.

The Jeffree Star Cosmetics 24 Karat Skin Frost Pro Palette costs £35.00, which is such great value for the amount of product you are getting and you can find it online at Beauty Bay here.

All the Loves,
Kathryn xxx