Mini Sephora Haul

Mini Sephora Haul

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This post should really be titled "An Exercise in Self-Restraint" because it still baffles me how I managed to step foot in a Sephora for the first time in YEARS and only come out with five items. Five items! That means I managed to bypass the likes of Kat Von D, Kate Somerville, Tarte, Make Up For Ever... the list goes on.  In fact, the majority of what I came out with is actually available in the UK, but what can I say? I'm a sucker for a bargain! 

Now, my silence on the blog by no mean's reflects my feelings towards beauty. My love affair with all things make-up and skincare related is still going strong, fear not! And while this haul may be a good 4 months late (let's ignore that tiny detail, shall we?), on the bright side, I come to you with some serious testing time under my belt. 

BECCA SHIMMERING SKIN PERFECTOR


This happens to be my first foray into the world of liquid highlighters and what a game changer it has been. This stuff is absolutely luscious! After much deliberation I picked up the shade 'Opal'. It's a warm golden-toned highlight with THE most beautiful finish. This bottle contains the secret to healthy, lit-from-within, (dare I say it?) dewy skin. The gold and peach tones paired with it's effortlessly blendable formula makes this the perfect way to add a subtle luminosity without a hint of glitter.

I like to use this as a base under foundation, giving an initial dose of glow, and then layer it up on the high points of my face for a more precise highlight. If I'm opting for a particularly heavy foundation I tend to mix them together for the best finish. AND if I really want to go the whole hog (which is pretty much daily at the moment), I will layer Charlotte Tilbury's Filmstar Bronze & Glow over the top as well. Cue all the heart-eyed emojis. 

ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS DIPBROW POMADE


Up until December I had been faithfully using the Anastasia Brow Wiz and loving it. But the trouble with pouring through beauty blogs on a daily basis is that something new is inevitably going to catch your eye and eventually curiosity is bound to get the better of you. I had been umming and ahhing about this little pot for months, but as my trusty pencil neared it's end I stood in front of the far more reasonably priced Anastasia counter in Minnesota, Dipbrow called to me. Okay, it wasn't quite that dramatic... but I haven't written in a good 6 months and I'm stretching my creative muscles. 

I apply this with a Zoeva 317 Wing Liner brush, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that it is SUPER easy to use. The formula is a soft gel that glides on an absolute treat. There is a fabulous colour range (10+) and the pomade is incredibly pigmented, so you really don't need much! Once your brow has set it is completely waterproof AND effectively smudge proof which is a serious win in my books. This is the perfect product for creating both soft & natural brows or a big, bold statement. Either way you're guaranteed to get some serious precision and exquisite definition. 

Sephora CREAM LIP STAIN


I purchased one of these around two years ago and it was my all time favourite red lip (although Lady Danger could give it a run for it's money). It just so happens it tragically went missing on a night out, so naturally this was my first stop when I set foot in Sephora again. I ended up coming out with 01 'Always Red' and 14 'Blackberry Sorbet'. I think the bright lights got the better of me with Blackberry Sorbet. It is a very pink toned purple, that requires me to be exactly the right shade of tan to pull off. Needless to say, I have yet to be that tan in 2016 so I promise to report back come summer. 

Always Red, on the other hand, is a gorgeous and super flattering true red. The formula of these is one of my all time favourites. It goes on smooth and creamy and once set this will last all night without being at all drying. I'm talking through drinks, food, karaoke... whatever the night brings. On the downside you have to be pretty precise with your initial application as things can get a bit messy if you're not careful. But... I am more than happy to put in a few extra minutes if it means I don't have to re-apply once for the rest of the night. Which begs the question why I even had this in my bag the night I lost it?! 

Have you used any of these products? What are your thoughts?

ONE GIRL'S FOUNDATION

ONE GIRL'S FOUNDATION

I mentioned in my last post that I have a foundation problem. I can't stop buying them. Honestly, what you see here is the last of what is left over from a MUCH larger stash. But, seriously... how much flesh coloured liquid does a girl need? I can only wear one at a time. Maybe two at a push. I think I could probably successfully justify having four in rotation, but not the 10+ that were cluttering my drawers several months ago. 

I have made a vow to myself that I will finish every bottle I have left before I let myself repurchase my favourites... or, dare I say it? Try any new ones? In my defence, there are still one or two I'm curious about! I thought I'd share the pros and cons of the bottles I have left, and hopefully if I'm lucky I can inspire myself to tuck back into the Silk Creme at some point! I might have to give up on that one though...

 

RIMMEL LASTING FINISH 25 HR FOUNDATION


What: A thick, high coverage drugstore foundation. Semi-matte finish. Excellent lasting power. Not photo friendly. 

Why: I wanted a flawless, high coverage foundation to wear on nights out and I didn't want to spend a lot of money. I didn't read any reviews, but I did have a few recommendations from friends.

When: On nights out, long days and occasional unforgiving skin days. Never on big occasions or photo ops. Flash back is horrendous.

How: Pump applicator. Best buffed in with a dense flat brush to centre of the face and blended out.

VERDICT: Value for money. No repurchase. 

 

 

CHANEL VITALUMIÉRE AQUA FOUNDATION


What: Water based, light coverage foundation. Natural  dewy  finish. Build-able. Moderate lasting power. Travel friendly packaging.

Why: I had heard rave reviews and curiosity got the better of me. Also who doesn't love a bit of Chanel?

When: As a daily base, or on special occasions. Ideal for good skin days, also great underneath a high coverage concealer.

How: Shake vigorously and work into skin using fingertips, allow to fully sink in before continuing with makeup application.

VERDICT: Fabulous. Repurchase imminent. 

 

LAURA MERCIER SILK CREME FOUNDATION


What: (Old Formula) A high coverage, thick foundation. Semi-matte finish. Often patchy. Moderate lasting power. 

Why: Was impressed with the LM tinted moisturiser and spurred on by a beauty 'guru' on a particularly flawless skin day (her, not me).

When: Not often these days. 

How: Mixed with either Clarins Beauty Flash Balm or Chanel Le Blanc de Chanel Primer and buffed in thoroughly with a dense flat topped brush.

VERDICT: Far too thick. Don't know how I'll finish this. No repurchase.

 

L'ORÉAL TRUE MATCH FOUNDATION


What: A medium to high coverage foundation. Great colour selection. Build-able. Good lasting power. Satin finish. 

Why: Suposed dupe for Georgio Armani cult foundation, but less than 1/2 the price. 

When: Ideal for a long day at work or as a night out option, although not great for traveling. 

How: One pump, thoroughly buffed in with a buffing brush. Best allowed to sink in before continuing with makeup application.

VERDICT: Decent, but not blown away. Repurchase unlikely.

 

M.A.C. FACE AND BODY FOUNDATION*


What: Very light, extremely build able foundation. Sets nicely and has a waterproof finish making it an excellent warm-weather option. Anything from light to full coverage. Satin/dewy finish. 

Why: Wanted a high coverage summer foundation that wasn't cakey,  looked natural and had great longevity.

When: On holiday (due to colour). Usually when traveling as packaging is SUPER travel friendly.

How: Shake well. Apply generously with fingers and then buff in until set. Layer until desired coverage is reached. Perfect under a full face of makeup or paired with simple bronzer and mascara.

VERDICT: Enormous bottle, may last for life.

*Yet to use on body, thoughts?

 

LAURA MERCIER OIL FREE TINTED MOISTURISER


What: Highly pigmented, relatively thick tinted moisturiser. Oil free. Light-medium coverage. Healthy finish.

Why: Bought alongside MAC Face & Body in my investigation into summer base options. At the time I had fairly problematic skin so wanted a tinted moisturiser with decent coverage.

When: On a daily basis, for minimal-natural makeup looks. Low-matenence days. Never on a plane (packaging is terrible under air pressure).

How: Best blended in with fingers followed quickly by concealer. Will settle ±5 mins after make up application so don't judge finish prematurely.

VERDICT: This is my second tube, lovely product. Have since discovered several other preferred bases. Repurchase unlikely. 

 

What's sitting in your base collection? Have you tried any of these products?

The Empties Post #3

The Empties Post #3

Guys, it happened again. I moved house with an overflowing bag of empty products I hadn't written about. Cut to me awkwardly fumbling over my words as I try to come up with a feasible explanation for my my boyfriends 20-year-old, boy-racer brother as to why it is essential that a bag of recycling reaches Bournemouth unharmed. Right, no more back story I'm jumping right into everything or we might never see the light of day again... 

 BATISTE DRY SHAMPOO X5

My failsafe ticket to 10 more minutes in bed in the morning. I don't like to deep clean my hair too often and this keeps things looking fresh for as long as possible. 5 cans says it all really. 

GARNIER EXPRESS 2 IN 1 EYE MAKEUP REMOVER

A bi-phase make-up remover is by far the best way to remove waterproof mascara at the end of the day. I honestly don't see that much difference between high-end and drug store offerings, so this is my go to.

 

URBAN DECAY ALL-NIGHTER MAKEUP SETTING SPRAY

I have gone through so many of these. Although by no means a necessity, it's pretty handy for locking in all the hard work that went into your makeup application. Usually reserved for nights-out or big events, but forever repurchased.

CAUDALÍE BEAUTY ELIXIR 

I first mentioned this over a year ago and have since bought and finished a full-sized bottle. I really did enjoy the added hint of luxury this added to my daily routine so I suspect there may be a cheeky repurchase at some point.


 

LA ROCHE-POSAY EFFACLAR DUO [+]

I have gone through a fair few of these, but since finishing this one my approach to my skincare has changed slightly (post coming) so I don't think a repurchase is on the cards. The boy has a tube though... so, you know, if I ever change my mind.

BIODERMA MICELLE SOLUTION 

This has featured in every empties post I have ever done. I think that speaks to my love for Bioderma. A micelle solution is a necessity for every woman and this is the one to go for. Also, claps all round because you can now buy this in Boots! 

 

CLARINS WATER COMFORT ONE-STEP CLEANSER

I bought this because it smelled nice. It smelled of peaches and I love peaches. I wouldn't recommend a water cleanser in the morning, although this did come in handy when I was running late. 

SOAP & GLORY BREAKFAST SCRUB

<-- If you hadn't realised, I like products that smell good enough to eat. This is no exception. Also, great price point. Also, great consistency. Also, does a cracking job.

 

CLARINS PURE MELT CLEANSING GEL

I bought this AGES ago, but as it was running low decided to save it to use when travelling as the packaging is pretty fail-safe. A fairly oily gel cleanser, this is nice as a quick refresh. Not ideal for removing eye-makeup or a deep cleanse but a nice one to have on hand. 


L'ORÉAL SUPERLINER BLACK LACQUER X 2 

This is the only eye-liner I use. It's black, it's easy to apply, it stays in place all day and it's easy to remove. What more could you want? I've already got another one on the go and I don't see this relationship ending any time soon. 

 

CLARINS DAILY ENERGIZER CREAM

I have mentioned my love for this stuff on countless occasions. The struggle to find a perfect day-time moisturiser was gruelling and then they go and discontinue it! Rude. Fear not though, I have found a suitable replacement and it's amazing (post soon).


NARS RADIANT CREAMY CONCEALER X 2 

The perfect balance of radiance and coverage makes this concealer my holy-grail. Great on it's own, or layered over foundation this covers all manners of sins. It takes care of under-eye circles, covers spots and lasts all day. 

 

YSL VOLUME EFFET FAUX CILS WATERPROOF MASCARA

 I don't think you could get packaging more gorgeous. On the downside though, the wand was too small. It didn't grip my lashes particularly well. It was difficult to get off, it took AGES to build up volume (despite that being part of the name) and it dried up faster than lightening. Slight exaggeration, but there abouts. 

HOURGLASS ARCH BROW SCULPTING PENCIL

I won't go into detail, because there's a whole post about it in the archives (it's old and I take zero responsibility for how cringey/ cheesy it probably is). The colour range isn't great on these, but the texture and nib shape are fab. I have since discovered Anastasia and I don't think I'll be going back, but me and this little guy do have very fond memories. 

 

BOURJOIS HAPPY LIGHT FOUNDATION 

If you scroll back to my first ever blog post, this is what graced my face... so it's probably WAY past it's use by date. Purchased before I wisened up to how to shade match drugstore foundations, I could only really wear this during the summer but it has the most easy, wearable finish I have ever found in a drugstore foundation.  A good shout if you're on a budget... or just more sensible than me. 

NARS SHEER GLOW FOUNDATION 

Continuing on with my battle to finish the foundation hoards, this little bottle is now sitting empty in my recycling bin. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this is my all-time favourite foundation. It has the perfect balance of coverage and texture that leaves your skin with a healthy, gently lit from within glow. It's super easy to use and looks flawless every time. 

 

FIRST AID FACIAL RADIANCE PADS

You get 60 pre-soaked pads that are meant to be used for daily exfoliation. Convenience-wise they were top notch, there's nothing I love more than a short cut in my evening routine. The pads themselves have a rough enough texture to add a bit of manual exfoliation as well which was nice. In hindsight though, I think these were a bit too harsh for my skin. 

ANASTASIA BROW WIZ

I can see what all the hype is about! The Anastasia Brow Wiz comes in a wealth of different brow-friendly shades and is the easiest thing to use... ever. The nib is small and strong, perfect for creating the illusion of brow hairs. It's waxy consistency means that the product stays put far longer than any powder and it has a cracking spoolie. It's all about the spoolie. 

 

SARAH CHAPMAN INTENSE HYDRATING BOOSTER

The product itself, god rest it's soul*, was a beautiful and intensely hydrating serum. Combining two of my skin's favourite ingredients- hyaluronic acid and rose water. Since it's untimely departure I haven't been able to bring myself to repurchase it, and if I'm honest I'm not sure I ever will. 

MAXFACTOR FALSE LASH EFFECT WATERPROOF MASCARA

This is my all-time favourite mascara and I have probably gone through 10 tubes of the stuff... easily. It's a water-proof formula that lasts all day and with the right oil-based eye makeup remover it's super easy to remove. The plastic wand has short little bristles that grip your lashes perfectly, and boy does this stuff build well. 

 

L'ORÉAL EVER RICHE NOURISHING INTENSE MASK

As with most of the things in this list that haven't already appeared on the blog, I don't have a great deal to say about this little tub. Was my hair softer and smoother the next day? Yes. Did it feel rich and nourishing? Yes. Did it feel pampering or groundbreaking? No. And that's where it ends. 

NARS SMUDGE PROOF EYESHADOW BASE

As a self-professed oily eyelid gal (glamorous, I know) this is a game-changer. *Insert beautiful angels chorus here*. The price tag has put me off immediate repurchase, but my eye makeup is seriously suffering. There's nothing quite like it. 

 

AND BREATHE. Pat on the back to you for getting this far. I'm moving house again in February and I pray to God this doesn't happen for a third time... that would just be embarrassing!

Have you used any of these products? What are your thoughts? 

But more importantly, how do you all feel about future video posts?


*Please refer to video for the woeful story of how this met it's untimely end. 

SUNDAY JOURNAL 6.0

SUNDAY JOURNAL 6.0

Welcome to the weekend, and how lovely was it to have that extra hour of sleep?! I have to say, I felt super productive when I woke up of my own accord at 9:00 am, I'm just going to pretend that happens on a regular basis. Last weekend I popped up to London for the Saturday, did some shopping and caught up with some friends I hadn't seen in well over a year. Our night out was followed by a 6:30am start and a 4 hour drive to a family Christening in Devon... my head still hurts. It's taken me pretty much all week to recover form the exhaustion, but I am pleased to report that this weekend has arrived blissfully plans-free. I have got the house up to scratch, made a cracking moussaka (if I do say so myself) and had a whirl at filming my first ever video for GnR... stay tuned for the most confused accent you have ever heard. Although at the moment it's 16% uploaded with 3773 minutes to go, so we'll see if that ever happens! In the meantime here's something a bit more familiar. I hope you are all having a wonderful Sunday!


THIS WEEK'S BEAUTY ROUNDUP



A FAMILY RECIPE: POST-WAR MOUSSAKA

I have a little black recipe book that sits in my kitchen, it's hand written and it's loving filled with recipes I have stolen from my granny's overflowing cookbook collection. The bulk of the recipes I pinched come from her handwritten selection, so I assume that they have been passed down through quite a few generations. One of my favourite things about this collection of recipes was that there are a couple of dishes that feature war-time and post-war versions, and the ingredients differ accordingly. Whenever I stumbled across these I made sure to note them both down, just because there is part of me that never wants that detail to be lost. A few of you may have seen on snapchat that I cracked out the post-war moussaka this week and it was seriously tasty, so I thought I'd share it with you:

Par-boil the potatoes and leave to cool. Slice the aubergine into rounds and fry with a little olive oil to soften, set aside. 

Sauté onions and add the lamb mince. Season with thyme, parsley, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Cook until the meat has just browned. Add beef oxo cube, tomato puree and a splash of water. Mix and set aside. 

Start layering a buttered oven dish (lasagne style):

  1. Sliced potato
  2. Mince meat
  3. Sliced aubergine
  4. Tinned tomatoes
  5. Sliced Potato

Melt butter in a pan and add a generous amount of flour, mix until a smooth paste is formed. Add milk and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Continuously stir until thick Béchamel sauce has formed.

Add the sauce as the final layer of the moussaka and generously top with parmesan and/or cheddar cheese. 

Bake at 180C for 40-60 minutes. Enjoy!

Follow me on snapchat (@gingerroses) for more food-scapades!

 

  • Potatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Lamb Mince
  • Onion
  • Thyme
  • Parsley
  • Bay Leaf
  • Beef Stock Cube
  • Tomato Puree
  • Aubergine
  • Tinned Tomatos
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Nutmeg
  • Parmesan
  • Cheddar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
 

BOURNEMOUTH EATS

SMOKIN' ACES

Not so much an 'eats' as it is a 'drinks'... but really, who's being picky?? My lovely uni friend paid me a visit a couple of weeks ago and this is where we ended up. Elise is the cocktail connoisseur so you know you've found somewhere good when she's impressed... and she was impressed. 

It was one of those places where there was no real menu, you just stepped up to the bar and said 'Can you make me something gin based, and spicy?', and voila, it appeared in front of you. There was minimal bottle juggling (a big plus in my books) and our drinks came topped with some exquisite ice sculptures (an even bigger plus in my books). Also, the best screaming orgasm I have ever had... we all know that's a drink, yes? 


5 THINGS TO READ/WATCH:

  1. Grace's new 'Almanac' series, it is absolutely spot on... and they just keep coming!
  2. The Hong Kong vlog on Isobel-Rose because she is delightful and HK is beautiful!
  3. This.
  4. Jessie Cave and her wonderfully accurate insta-cartoons.
  5. Adele's new song, it's all kinds of fabulous. 

5 THINGS THAT MADE ME HAPPY THIS WEEK

  1. Getting exited about the new Star Wars film, the inner nerd in me is beside herself!
  2. Having a plan-less weekend to just breathe and relax.
  3. The clocks changing and the decidedly autumnal shift in the UK.
  4. Finally having a mooch 'round & Other Stories... purchases were made.
  5. FINALLY finishing the bulk pack of 800 Yorkshire tea bags I bought... a year ago. Simple pleasures, eh?

7 REASONS NOT TO GET ACRYLIC NAILS

7 REASONS NOT TO GET ACRYLIC NAILS

You know how you inevitably end up regretting pretty much every single hairstyle and fashion decision you've ever made? At the time you think you are the t*** and then 4 years down the line you look back at that photograph of you with hideous crimped hair and a boob tube and think 'dear god, why?!'. I have this problem with fake nails... as if any girl needs more adding to that list. In my defence I do suffer from a serious case of cocktail sausage hands (for anyone confused, that is baby hands with sausage fingers... baby sausage fingers... cocktail sausages fingers... whatever, it makes sense in my head).

Anyway, I digress. From time to time I hit a stumpy hand crisis and go to drastic measures to superglue talon like pieces of plastic onto my fingers. It's about as ridiculous as it sounds. So here I am taking a stand and penning down a note to self and warning to any ladies straying into fake nail territory. There are endless reasons not to get acrylic nails, but for the sake of time I'll share the first 7 that came to mind:


It's no secret that acrylic extensions damage your nails, but it's something I never really paid much attention to until I made the mistake of getting them myself. Before the acrylic is applied your nails are buffed and little ridges are cut in to help the false nail attach.  It's this step that makes your nails rough and weak when the extensions come off. Please see above. 

BECAUSE YOUR NAILS WILL LOOK LIKE THIS WHEN THEY COME OFF:


You've just shelled out £30 odd quid on a set of nails so, naturally, you want to make them last. Now, I wouldn't say my nails grow particularly fast but even after 1 week there was a sizeable gap/dip where my natural nail was growing out and by week three (I was getting my money's worth) I looked even more ridiculous than I when I started. 

BECAUSE THEY GROW OUT:


One of the main things that spurred me to go acrylic was the fact that there is nothing strong or sturdy about my natural nails. I was convinced that extensions would mean I would not only get length, but fail-safe, indestructible colour that would last through countless hair washes and dish washes. Not only did colour get patchy and strip off, but after a week there were several significant breakages.

BECASUE THEY ARE NOT INDESTRUCTIBLE:


On your phone. On your desk. On your coffee cup. On the kitchen counter. Pretty much anywhere you can tap... you will be tapping. You'll hate yourself for it. You'll acknowledge that you have turned into the kind of person you hate. But you'll do it anyway, because that click is super addictive. 

BECAUSE YOU WILL BECOME AN UNBEARABLE NAIL TAPPER:


Satisfying that mid-back itch... not happening. Taking care of that little whitehead that's appeared on the side of your nose... nope. Tapping away at a reasonable speed on your phone, out of the question. Scooping cleansing balm out... yep, most of it is stuck under your stupidly long nail. 

BECAUSE THEY ARE HIGHLY IMPRACTICAL: 


I decided to go for hugely oversized jet black stick-ons for my 18th... you can spot them a mile away in all the photos. To this date it is one of my poorest beauty decisions. The recent acrylic experiment looked just as bad. However long and elegant you think your nails will be, they never quite turn out that way. And even if you can just about get away with them for the first 4 days... as soon as they start to grow out it's game over. 

BECAUSE THEY DON'T LOOK NEARLY AS GOOD AS YOU THINK THEY DO:


It takes on average £25 to put a set of extensions on and an additional £8 to take them off again. Just think of how many uses you could get out of £33 of nail varnish. And your nails have a far better chance of looking fit and healthy at the end of it. 

BECAUSE PRETTY MUCH ANY OTHER OPTION IS CHEAPER:

 

 

Now, rant over and I am all ears if anyone has any suggestions of what I can get my hands on to start sorting out these nails! They are feeling very sorry for themselves and are in desperate need of some TLC. Please send all product recommendations this way. I don't even own a cuticle oil guys, help a girl out!