Thursday, 31 July 2014

MUA Luxe Power Brow in Mid Brown - Review & Swatches

Hi everyone!  My bravery in terms of makeup has come on in leaps and bounds in the past couple of years.  I know that's a weird thing to say for someone who wears bright green eyeshadow without batting an eyelid (pun completely intended) but things like a bright blusher or lipstick and filling in my brows were all foreign, scary concepts up until I started blogging.  I'll be talking about the latter today - I'm pretty comfortable with filling in my brows now, and am always on the lookout for a new product to try.  The MUA Luxe Power Brow  in Mid Brown is one I've been experimenting with!

MUA Luxe Power Brow Review box
The Power Brow is part of MUA's Luxe range, which is a bit fancier than their bog standard stuff but still very cheap.  The black packaging with gold accents definitely looks more expensive.  There are also instructions on how to use it. 
MUA Luxe Power Brow Review ingredients
This brow pencil is double ended, with a brow crayon at one end and a stick of highlighter at the other.  There's also an ingredients list for those interested
MUA Luxe Power Brow Review
The Power Brow comes in a black shiny plastic tube with gold accents.  Each end has a lid.  It does admittedly feel a little flimsy, but the £3 price tag means you can't expect top notch quality!  This products comes in 3 shades; Fair, Mid Brown and Dark Brown.  I went for the shade Mid Brown which was a bit of a risk, but as a budget brand I was concerned the darker shade would be way to dark and it's always better to have slightly lighter eyebrows than too dark! 
MUA Luxe Power Brow Review
The eyebrow pencil part is quite slim and pointed, allowing for precise application.  The highlighter end is thicker and dome shaped and is incredibly wobbly - in fact, after a few uses the highlighter end fell out altogether and then became stuck in the lid, making it unusable :/
MUA Luxe Power Brow Review swatch swatches
Here I've swatched both ends of the product.  The highlighter has quite a thin, balmy consistency and is a very pretty pearly champagne colour.  It's very pretty - I have seen some reviews stating it's too glittery, but I've never been one to shy away from a bit of sparkle ;)  The eyebrow pencil has a waxy consistency but still spreads well and has impressive pigmentation.  Mid Brown is the right depth of colour for me, but it does unfortunately lean quite red toned
MUA Luxe Power Brow Review
Bare brows
MUA Luxe Power Brow Review swatch swatches
With Power Brow applied.  I was initially so impressed with this as it applies beautifully and lasts all day.  However, the shade is too red toned - I don't mind too much, but it would be perfect if it was ashier!
MUA Luxe Power Brow Review swatch swatches
This photo better demonstrates the highlighter end.  It is very pretty, but the thin texture means it just blends away to pretty much nothing
The eyebrow pencil part of this is really fantastic quality for the price - it's got a great formula and it lasts really well.  The colour match isn't perfect, but it's close enough.  The highlighter end, unfortunately, is very disappointing - it blends away to nearly nothing and broke after just a couple of uses.  I think a spoolie would have been a better thing to include.

If you were debating on buying this, I'd personally give it a miss as if you pay a little more you can get a better quality product like Sleek's Eyebrow Stylist.  What are you using on your brows at the moment?

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Shopping in New Places - Bath Haul

Hi everyone :)  Jade and I seem to have acquired a taste for adventure as we've been going to some new places to explore - and shop of course!  Yesterday we ended up going to Bath, which is a very short 10 minute train journey from Bristol.  I hadn't been to Bath since a school trip when I was around 11 years old, so it was lovely to go back as an adult with my own money to spend!  Bath is a beautiful city full of stunning architecture and a rich history... but I was more interested in what I could find to bring home with me ;)

So what did I get?

Alice & Peter Cheery Cherry Eau De Parfum - I have wanted one of these amazing cupcake shaped perfumes for ages, and Bath has the only UK stockiest (True Grace) hidden within its walls so I grabbed one with both hands!  I will review this in full, but I can say that the scent perfectly reflects the beautiful packaging.

Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Strawberry - Another item I've wanted for a long time.  Burt's Bees lip products have always intrigued me but there are never testers.  This shop had some, so I could choose a shade I like!  Unfortunately I can't remember the name of the place but Burt's Bees are luckily stocked in a few different places.

Peanut Butter Fudge - Two of my favourite foodstuffs in one delicious package! I picked this up in Bath's Fudge Factory but I'm sorry to say I've tasted better :(

I love scented candles, and Bath's Roman Candles shop has some brands that are difficult to get hold of such as Kringle Candle and Village Candle.  These are 2 brands I've tried very few scents from, so I was keen to give others a go:
Kringle Candle Lemon Rind Jar - A delicious sweet, authentic lemon scent.  Yummy!
Kringle Candle Watercolours Melt - This is their bestselling scent and Jade has been recommending it to me for a while now, so I'm keen to see how I like it!  It's a really yummy powdery floral fruity scent; hard to describe and really you'd need to sniff it!
Village Candle Juicy Raspberry Votive - I'm going to chop this up to use in my tart burner.  I love raspberry scents!

I really enjoyed my day in Bath! I think we're planning on heading to Cardiff next, and I'd love to go to Meadowhall together as I think Jade might explode with excitement.  Where do you like to shop?

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Soap & Glory Face Soap and Clarity - Review

Hi everyone!  Back in April I revamped my entire skincare routine using mostly Soap & Glory products.  They just work so well for me and they're almost always on some kind of offer in Boots.  Today I'll be reviewing one of their face washes; Face Soap and Clarity.  I've been using Benefit's Foamingly Clean Facial Wash for a while and I adore it, but at £17.50 a pop it's a little out of my price range for now.  Let's see how this compares!

Soap & Glory Face Soap and Clarity Face Wash Review
I actually used to use this face wash, and it's since had a packaging update.  It comes in a transparent tube, allowing you to see how much of the face wash is left.  You get 150ml for £8.  This is a Vitamin C face wash suitable for all skin types
Soap & Glory Face Soap and Clarity Face Wash Review
As with most face washes, you massage on damp skin to work up a lather and then rinse off 
Soap & Glory Face Soap and Clarity Face Wash Review ingredients
This face wash contains Superfruit Yuzu to tone and brighten, Vitamins and Amino Acids for radiance and blemishes, Glycerin to soften and Microbeads to exfoliate.  I will talk more about this further down!
Soap & Glory Face Soap and Clarity Face Wash Review swatch swatches
The face wash is pale blue in colour and has a gel-like consistency.  There are pink microbeads suspended in the gel.  It has a delicious fruity minty scent like much of Soap & Glory's skincare - I love it, but I know it might be too much for some
The wash foams up beautifully when combined with warm water and it leaves my face feeling clean and refreshed, particularly due to the minty fragrance.  I don't feel like the microbeads add anything particularly - there aren't enough of them to get a decent scrub.  I use a facial brush with this anyway (which I will be reviewing in due course) so that gives me a bit of a scrub anyway.  I think it could be a touch drying on people with dry skin, but my normal/combination skin loves it.

My main issue with this is the microbeads - I didn't even think about it when I bought it, but microbeads are unnecessarily bad for the environment.  They're too small to be caught by water filters so fishies end up eating them and it's damaging!  I'm not usually that bothered by things like this which makes me sound heartless, but I'm being honest... however, it really is needless in this case.  I think this face wash would be just as good without the microbeads, so unless this is an update made I won't be repurchasing.  I may give their Peaches and Clean a go next as that doesn't contain any microbeads!

What do you use to wash your face?

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Lush of the Week: Mask of Magnaminty Self-Preserving

Hi everyone!  I've tried every single one of Lush's face masks, and my favourite has to be Mask of Magnaminty.  The refreshing mint is lovely on the skin, plus you don't need to keep it in the fridge like the others!  When I saw Lush had released a self-preserving version of the mask I was intrigued to see how it would compare to the original.

Lush Mask of Magnaminty Self-Preserving Fresh Face Mask Review
Like most Lush products, Mask of Magnaminty Self-Preserving comes in a black tub with white writing - instantly recogniseable!  You can either buy this in 125g pots like I have here for £5.25, or 315g pots for £9.25
Lush Mask of Magnaminty Self-Preserving Fresh Face Mask Review ingredients
Mask of Magnaminty is designed to clean, calm and clear the skin and it can be used on both the face and back if there are breakouts.  Kaolin, Bentonite Gel and Glycerine help the mask glide over the skin, Talc absorbs oil, Ground Aduki Beans and Evening Primrose Seeds provide exfoliation and soothe,  African Marigold Oil and Chlorophyllin treat the skin, Peppermint Oil stimulates the blood cells and Fair Trade Vanilla Absolute adds a sweet scent.  What makes this mask self-preserving is the much higher concentration of Honey, which is anti-bacterial
Lush Mask of Magnaminty Self-Preserving Fresh Face Mask Review swatch swatches
The higher concentration of Honey also means this mask is much wetter in consistency than the non-self-preserving version.  The texture is quite moussey and incredible cooling, meaning it glides over the skin with no trouble at all.  It has a yummy natural sweet mint scent
Lush Mask of Magnaminty Self-Preserving Fresh Face Mask Review swatch swatches
Of course, I had to include a full face photo!  This mask feels wonderfully cooling thanks to the peppermint and the exfoliating grains are gentle.  This mask doesn't dry on the skin at all, meaning you can leave it on for much longer and reap the benefits of the ingredients.  I must admit, it's nowhere near as tingly as the original Mask of Magnaminty, so it didn't feel like it was doing as much good

After rinsing the mask away, my skin felt soft, smooth and energised.  I love mint-based masks, and even though my skin has been pretty well-behaved for a while now (touch wood) it's good to know I can rely on this for its spot fighting properties.  I think I prefer the original because it just feels like it packs more of a punch due to the tingle!  However, I love the idea of self-preserving products and am keen to see where else Lush go with it.  This mask has a shelf life of 4 months as opposed to the 28 days the fresher masks that need to be kept in the fridge keep for.

Have you tried both versions?  Which do you prefer?

Saturday, 26 July 2014

bareMinerals Bristol Cabot Circus Blogger Event

Hi everyone!  Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend a blogger event at House of Fraser in Bristol's Cabot Circus.  It was run by the lovely Joseph and Ashton, who recently got a job with bareMinerals and ran the event to familiarise us with the products.  The other bloggers there were (in no particular order!) Beky of Beky Lou, Simone of Eltoria Secrets, Tara of The Style Rawr and Melody of A Simple Melody.  It was lovely to meet other bloggers, especially as I've been a bit removed from the blogging community due to being in Bangor all year.

bareMinerals Bristol Blogger Event
As a fat girl, my favourite part of blog events is almost always the nibbles ;) There were yummy cakes, lollies and Pepsi for us to snack on!
Ashton showed us the 'Swirl, Tap, Buff' technique for applying their mineral foundation.  I believe she's applying the Original SPF15 Foundation to Simone here - it was pretty amazing to see a powder transform into really impressive coverage by just buffing it in, yet still look so natural.  This is the first time I've seen mineral foundation in action and I was so impressed!  The ingredients list is nothing to sniff at either, containing just 5 natural ingredients to care for the skin, provide sun protection and add colour

bareMinerals Bristol Blogger Event
Their skincare is very impressive in terms of ingredients too - I couldn't tell you the specifics, but algae and seaweed were mentioned haha!  None of the products have added fragrance, so they all have quite natural scents
bareMinerals Bristol Blogger Event
bareMinerals Bristol Blogger Event
The liquid products contain all natural ingredients and the colour range is really impressive
bareMinerals Marvellous Moxie Lipgloss in Hypnotist
bareMinerals Marvellous Moxie Lipgloss in Hypnotist swatch swatches
I was quite taken with this amazing Marvellous Moxie Lipgloss in Hypnotist, which had this amazing holographic rainbow look! Unfortunately it looked like a normal lipgloss on the lips - I want a rainbow on my mouth!
Estée Lauder Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Viper swatch swatches
As well as getting a chance to try the 'Swirl, Tap, Buff' technique on ourselves, we were all given manicures at the Estée Lauder counter.  I opted for the green shade of course which I believe is called Viper
bareMinerals Bristol Blogger Event
Of course we took a group photo!  From L-R: Ashton, Beky, Tara, Simone, Melody, Joseph, yours truly
bareMinerals Bristol Blogger Event
We also received a really cute goody bag made of sweet-shop style pink striped paper.  I received a lollipop (yay!), a sample of Estée Lauder Modern Muse EDP, a sample of their Flawless Definition Mascara and their Marvellous Moxie Lipstick in Speak Your Mind.  Obviously I'll be reviewing these in due course :) I also received a card for me to book myself or a friend in for a complimentary makeover, but I forgot to take a photo of it!

I know Ashton was a bit nervous as this was her first event she ran herself, but she did a great job.  I was so impressed by the quality of the products and how she did my face because she actually paid attention to how I like my makeup - matched to my skin, light coverage, no warmth and so on.  For a self-confessed foundation hater like myself to be considering a purchase, bareMinerals are clearly doing something right!

It was lovely to meet everyone and I can't wait to go to another blogger meet.  Do check out the blogs of the ladies I met as they're all lovely!  Have you done any blog networking recently?