Friday, 25 July 2014

The best bronzers

Fake Bake Beauty Bronzer, glo-minerals Bronze, Sleek Face Form Contouring and Blush Palette, KIKO Essential Bronzer, KIKO Rock Attraction Bronzer, Liz Earle Natural Glow Bronzer, KIKO Colour Splash Multi-tone Bronzer, KIKO Loud Night Bronzer

Being naturally pale - even a week in the Mediterranean didn't touch me - means that in general, I find wearing bronzer a challenge. Last year, I was a complete novice. I watched countless amounts of YouTube videos in the hope that I'd perfect the sought after "contouring technique." But I had no luck. More recently though, particularly this summer, I haven't been able to step away from the stuff. Whether it's contouring, adding a glow or dusting all over my skin, I'm constantly using the product. Here are my favourites.    

Best brand:
When it comes to choosing a bronzer, the brand I always look to first is KIKO. Half the bronzers chosen for this post are from the Italian brand and it's easy to see why. The KIKO Rock Attraction Bronzer in Loud Tan* (currently on offer for £6.00) is the bronzer that I tend to use on a day-to-day basis. Despite being a powder formula, it's creamy to the touch and exceptionally easy to blend. It's completely matte so is perfect for contouring, and it's very hard to overdo this bronzer. Next up is the KIKO Essential Bronzer in Warm Melange* (currently on offer for £11.80) which is a two-tone bronzer. The pan is absolutely huge so I use this with a big fluffy brush and dust it all over my skin. The KIKO Loud Night Bronzer in Supple Satin Honey is up there in my top three. It's perfect for my pale skin tone and can be used matte to contour, or with subtle shimmer to add a glow. And finally the KIKO Colour Splash Multi-tone Bronzer in Jovial Tan comes with three different shades that are perfect for bronzing up the complexion.

Best highlight:
As a brand, I find glo-minerals underrated. Their products are of such an exceptional quality yet they're rarely raved about on blogs. The glo-minerals Bronze in Sunkiss* (£31.50) is an absolute gem. One side contains a matte bronzer and the other a beautiful golden highlight. The two shades can be swirled together or used separately and I constantly find myself reaching for the highlight side. It's stunning and makes the complexion glow. 

Best glow:
The Fake Bake Beauty Bronzer is wonderful for adding an all over glow to the skin. It's quite dark and pigmented so I tend to use this when I've tanned my skin. A light hand a big brush works best when applying this bronzer. Sadly, I can't seem to find this online anywhere. Does anyone know what's happened to Fake Bake's make up range?

Best all-rounder:
The Sleek Face Form Contouring and Blush Palette in Medium* (£9.99) comes with everything you need to truly bronze up your skin. The contour, highlight and blush-shade work together to create the most beautiful golden goddess look. Of course, the three shades can be used separately but I find them stunning when used altogether to create a bronzed look. 

Best natural:  
As you can tell from the image above, this bronzer is exceptionally well loved. It has a hint of shimmer running through it but it's not over the top and still manages to look natural. There isn't a lot of pigment in this bronzer so it's perfect for pale skins to contour or use all over the skin.

I'm always on the look out to try out and find new bronzers. Let me know your favourites in the comments below.
*PR Sample

Monday, 21 July 2014

LIFESTYLE | Cruising around the Mediterranean

The reason my blog has been a bit lacklustre recently is because my life has become quite hectic. And that's something I never thought I say. For the past four and a half years I've managed to juggle this blog, with my education and a part time job. Yet finishing university, moving out of two houses in the space of three weeks, going on holiday and starting a new job really has gotten on top of me. Today is the first day in a while I've felt relaxed, and able to chill out and write a proper blog post.

I decided that I would focus on my holiday seeing as I promised more lifestyle posts (don't worry, the beauty will always be there)! I went on a cruise around the Mediterranean for a week with my grandparents, my mum, her partner, my sister, my auntie, uncle and cousin. It was really lovely, but I don't think you'd find me cruising anywhere in the near future as one of the nights was quite rocky and off putting. We sailed from Spain, to Italy, to France and back to Spain again and got to see many beautiful places. That's the beauty of cruising, you're not just stuck in one place for a week. This world is huge and full of fascinating cities, and I definitely want to explore every single part of it.

One place I definitely need to go back to is Italy. I've now visited Rome, Venice, Verona and Lake Garda and I've loved every inch of it. Sadly in Rome, we only spent a few minutes at the Colosseum so the next I visit, I must go inside of it. I absolutely adore historical Rome and the Romans. I also have to go to Pisa! I've only decided to show a few photos from the holiday mainly because in total, there was 700+ photos taken and I don't think Blogger, or your computers, would be very happy with me if I uploaded them all. So here are a few. Mainly on the boat, in Corsica, Rome and Cannes.

Have you been on a cruise before? What's your favourite place in the world to visit?

Saturday, 19 July 2014

MAKE UP | Benefit's They're Real range

Despite having these products for a good few weeks, it's taken me a while to gather my thoughts and opinions and write a blog post. I'm guessing by now you all know about Benefit's They're Real range? It started out with the mascara, which has been hugely successful in its own right. And because of this, Benefit decided to expand the range and launched a revolutionary eyeliner and an eye make up remover.

First up, the cult favourite. I never invested in this mascara because my eyelashes are pretty good on their own. It's lucky for me because it means that I never have to spend a fortune on my lashes as drugstore mascaras work just fine. Lots of people rave about this gem and it's easy to see why. The pigment is outstanding and the jet black mascara truly lengthens, curls, volumises, lifts and separates the lashes. It makes my lashes look out of this world, but for me, £19.50 is a lot of money to spend on a mascara. Will I splash out once mine runs out? I'm not sure. I'll see how much I need it when it happens.

Ooh this didn't half take me a while to get used to. It's the first gel liner in a pen to hit the market and has an innovative soft tip which is supposed to truly hug the lashline. In the photo above, I'm wearing this eyeliner and as you can see, it's barely visible. That's how close it allows you to get to the lashline meaning that thicker lashes and a natural eye look is now possible. Once set, this liner doesn't budge on the lashes but I will warn you that you have to work quickly as it dries almost instantly after application and can sometimes flake. I've definitely become a huge fan of this liner, it's easy to use and creates an array of different looks.

This was the product that I didn't think I'd care about. £14.50 on an eye make up remover? No thank you! And before I used it, I wasn't convinced. You see, my Lush Ultrabland removes my They're Real liner and mascara perfectly well, so I didn't see a use for this. Until I used it the other day. It's incredible and makes removing eye make up gentle, a pleasure and simple. With Ultrabland, I'd have to rub for a few minutes however with this, eye make up is removed in an instant. It simply melts away. It's a light milky formula that immediately lifts any make up from around the eyes without leaving behind residue. Pricey, but I'm addicted.

Have you tried any products from the They're Real range before?
*PR Sample

Saturday, 12 July 2014

His 'n' Hers kits with Korres

I'm all about cute little travel-sized beauty sets, and you might've seen a few of these products feature in my holiday packing series. Korres is a brand that I've fallen in love with over the past few years. Their products are of such exceptional quality and I haven't found a dud one yet. Currently, four of their kits have 1/3 off of them at Debenhams so whether you're travelling this summer, or just wanting to try out a few products from the brand, now is the time to snap up a kit. At just £12.67 each, they're an absolute bargain.

Men's Kit Gift Set* - currently £12.67
This kit contains the basic grooming essentials all packed up in a compact (and environmentally friendly) travel kit. The Absinthe Shave Cream is non-foaming, doesn't require a brush and has been formulated at a milder pH than standard lathering creams. The Cream is rich in essential oils and flavonoids which work together to sooth the skin, protect it from irritation and leave behind a smooth finish. The Marigold & Ginseng Aftershave Balm is a light-textured balm which improves skin tone and firmness. The antiseptic properties provide effective protection from irritation whilst the Aloe soothes any post-shave rash. The Aloe and Ditanny Shampoo promises to be a gentle shampoo that is ideal for everyday use. The Aloe is rich in proteins and aminoacids which moisturise the hair and increase its elasticity. The Dittany is a mild antiseptic which retains the scalp's balance. The Basil Lemon Showergel and the Guava Showergel first of all both smell incredible. They have a lasting moisturising effect and are rich in many different vitamins which enhances the skin's immune system. The shower gels also claim to stimulate collagen and elastin synthesis to reduce the visible signs of ageing.

Best of Korres Gift Set* - currently £12.67
This little kit is a great way to try out some of the brand's best sellers. It also has pretty much everything you'd need for a weekend away. The White Tea Fluid Gel Cleanser uses White Tea to deeply cleanse and refresh the skin, without dehydrating it. The Cleanser is easily rinsed off, but the Oat proteins leave a moisturising film on the skin to leave the skin soft and comfortable throughout the day. I've reviewed the Wild Rose 24-Hour Moisturising & Brightening Cream before (which you can find here) and I stand by everything I said in that review. This Moisturising Cream is outstanding. It leaves the skin balanced and hydrated throughout the day. The Wild Rose oil also helps to repair fine lines and hyperpigmentation disorders. The Wild Rose Instant Brightening Mask promises a clear and radiant complexion and is suitable for all skin types. It has an instant brightening effect on the skin and the Wild Rose oil repairs fine lines and skin blemishes. It also promotes cell renewal and leaves the skin brightened and radiant. Both the Basil Lemon Body Milk and the Guava Body Butter, like the showergels, smell incredible and they both leave the skin hydrated and nourished.

What's your favourite Korres product? Will you be buying one of these kits?
*PR Sample

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

BEAUTYBAY The Collection Little Black Box BB Summer Style Edition

I've never been a fan of the monthly subscription boxes. I think they started off well, but have gone downhill since then. Every month I constantly find myself reading blog posts about how disappointed subscribers are. The one off beauty boxes, on the other hand, always surprise and intrigue me. When the BEAUTYBAY The Collection Little Black Box BB Summer Style Edition* (what a mouthful!) landed through my letterbox I was at first amazed. I had no idea that BEAUTYBAY had their own range. So this box is not only a fabulous way to try out new products, but also to discover a new brand.

The box contains the following:
  • Blending Sponge in Fuchsia Pink - I'm yet to try this out but I'm really happy that I now have a blending sponge in my collection. I've heard wonderful things about them and this one promises flawless foundation application with no streaks and no difficultly blending.
  • Lipstick in Delicate Pink - I instantly fell in love with this colour but sadly, my lipstick has no pigment whatsoever. I doubt BEAUTYBAY would put a pigment-less lipstick in the box so I do think that mine is a dud. The lipstick is supposed to be smooth, creamy and moisturising yet still have great coverage.
  • Lipgloss in Coral Shimmer - I was pleasantly surprised with this lipgloss. It's moisturising and deposits a nice amount of colour on the lips. It isn't non-sticky, but it isn't overly sticky. It's just the right balance which ensures it has pretty good longevity.
  • Detangling Brush Large in Hot Purple - Another standout in the box is this detangling brush. Don't get me wrong, I love my Tangle Teezer but this one has a handle which makes it even easier to use. It eliminates knots and tangles effortlessly and can be used on wet or dry hair. I'm shocked that this is just £5 when bought on its own.
  • Mascara in Flawless Black - This isn't the best mascara in the world but it's welcomed in my collection. It lengthens, volumises and defines the lashes and leaves them looking natural and perfect for the day time. It also contains a blend of waxes which care for the lashes.
  • Lip Brush - I'm not a big fan of lip brushes so sadly, this one won't get much use but I have tried it and the flat yet rounded tip allows you to trace the contours of your lips easily. It provides even coverage and blends the lipstick onto the lips beautifully.

So in this box there are two standout products (Blending Sponge and the Detangling Brush), three good products (Lipgloss, Mascara and Lip Brush) and one that's a complete dud (Lipstick). Now, I don't think that's bad at all. Overtime I've realised that the boxes are always going to be a bit hit and miss. But if you've wanted to try the Blending Sponge and Detangling Brush for a while now, this box is definitely worth the money as those two alone retail for £10. The box is priced at £15 (a saving of £14) with free delivery.

What's your favourite beauty box? Does this one intrigue you?
*PR Sample