Save or Splurge - Lipstick, Concealer & Mascara

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Spend_or_Splurge

When the savvy people over at Most Wanted, the blog behind Voucher Codes, emailed me to ask if I'd like to participate in their new SOS (short for Save or Splurge) project to review and rate different priced cosmetics, I jumped at the chance! 

With the beauty industry now a very over crowded market it can be easy to react like a deer in headlights when trying to pick out a new product. Also knowing when to save or splurge on a beauty product can be a tricky task. So with this in mind I have selected a range of products with 3 different price-brackets - bargain, mid-range and high-end,  to see how they fare!
 
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Bargain Under £5 - Collection 2000 Deluxe Lipstick 'Talullah'
(£3.99 - Boots here
 A stunning new lipstick here from Collection 2000 and one that is enriched with Shea butter for a smooth finish. This can definitely be felt on application as it just glides over the lips and smooths out imperfections. Touch-ups after eating and drinking are needed at this is a hydrating and weightless lipstick that just sits on the lips without drying them out, something I look for with quite dry lips. The only thing that brings this lipstick down and reminds you that it isn't a high end product is the slightly synthetic caramel scent.

Mid-Range Under £10 - Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter 'Creme Brulee' 
(£7.99 - Boots here)  
An everyday nude lip colour here with Revlon Lip Butter in Creme Brulee. Must like the other lip butters in this range the balm offers a moisturising formula with a nice sheen. However this is one of the more sheer shades that still allows your natural lip colour to show through. This made me feel like it was more of a tinted lip balm but with a thicker feel. Will be sticking to the brighter more pigmented shades from the Lip Butter range in the future.

High-End Under £20 - Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick 'Native'
(£15.00 - Feel Unique here
When it comes to high-end lip products you want luxury packaging and a perfect formula and that is certainly what you get from the UD Revoltion Lipsticks. Native is a beautiful rose shade that glides on to the lips making them look fuller and smooth. However by sheer coincidence this is a very similar lip product to my bargain lip pick!

Overall Winner 
This is definitely not an easy one as the Collection 2000 lipstick is so very similar in quality and shade to the Urban Decay lipstick, but the packaging of the Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick has to be swooned over. However if a bargain lipstick can preform just as good as a high-end one I will always be savvy and saving, going with the cheaper option. Collection 2000 Deluxe Lipstick in Talullah really is a stand-out lip product!

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Bargain Under £5 - Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Concealer 'Fair'
(£4.19 - Boots here)
Maybe the bestselling high street concealer right here and rightly so. Collection 2000 Lasting Perfect Concealer is the blogger's favourite due to the perfect coverage and creamy consistency. Only a little is needed to conceal blemishes and the creamy formula ensures it blends perfectly. This also lasts well on the skin without the need of touch-ups.

Mid-Range Under £10 - L'Oreal Lumi Magique Concealer 'Light'
(£8.49 - Boots here)
A perfectly packaged pen-style concealer here that focuses more on brightening than concealing. This light coverage concealer is best under the eyes and as a highlight for the face when contouring than for blemishes. But for this reason it reminds me of the much more expensive YSL Touche Eclat! Worth trying out if you want a concealer with brightening qualities.

High End Under £20 - Estee Lauder Disappear Smoothing Creme Concealer 'Light' 
(£18.00 - Boots here
An impressive concealer from Estee Lauder that offers high coverage with a lightweight feel that sinks straight into the skin and doesn't budge. The formula is moisturising so I could see this being great on dry/older skin. Unfortunately though I was let down by the lightest shade 'light', which as you can see from the swatch above is more of a medium colour... for such a high end brand I definitely expected more shades and for the lightest shade to be fairly pale.

Overall Winner
Without a doubt Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer! This is an amazing high coverage creamy concealer for the price. Under the eyes to conceal dark shadows/circles, to hide redness or on blemishes... this just works!

Best_Highstreet_Mascaras 

Bargain Under £5 - Collection 2000 Killer Curves Mascara
(£3.99 - Superdrug here
Even as a lover of the high street and bargain beauty products I tend to stay away from low-cost mascaras but decided to trial a small natural fibred mascara (big wands scare me!) with Collection 2000 Killer Curves. I immediately decided the oddly shaped wand wouldn't make my lashes any more curled... but how wrong I was! This non-clumping mascara is modest on volume but makes up for it by separating the lashes and giving them a noticeable curl/lift that actually stays for a good few hours. A good not-overly-wet mascara that did what it stated.

Mid-Range Under £10 - L'Oreal Miss Manga Mascara
(£8.99 - Boots here)
Doll-like eyelashes a-go-go here! L'Oreal's Miss Manga Mascara has been a product I have wanted to try out for a bit though knowing little about it. From the perfectly tapered brush that's just the right size to the flexi double jointed wand, L'Oreal have really put some thought into this mascara. The brush easily bends with the lashes to effortlessly coat them adding super volume that is free from clumps. This really does give an opened eye effect that even Bambi would be jealous of!

High End Under £20 - Benefit They're Real Mascara
(£19.50 - Boots here)
Another mascara that I was eager to try out after reading lots of raved reviews. Benefit They're Real Mascara instantly pleased me with it's thin brush but equally horrified me when I realised the plastic wand was actually quite sharp and spiky, especially at the end. My fears were met with a bit of discomfort as the plastic wand is definitely too hard and unforgiving to wiggle against the base of the lashes. Though it did leave me with nicely fanned out lengthed lashes. Very mixed feelings about this mascara.

Overall Winner  
Though I wouldn't use the L'Oreal Miss Manga Mascara on both my top and bottom lashes (it's just too heavy for the bottom lashes) it is an amazing mascara that offers great easy coverage with the flexi brush and a ton of volume. Also quite a unique mascara with new technology! 

Phew, mammoth post - DONE! 

Hope you enjoyed this type of post, if you did let me know if there are any other product categories you would like me to do this with in the future.

Fee xo. 

Hydrangea Nail Art with the New Models Own Nail Art Tool Kit

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Models_Own_Nail_art_Tool_Kit

Today I thought I'd start off the day with some pretty floral nails I created yesterday with the new Models Own Nail Art Tool Kit! 

The nail art brush set gave me a push in the right direction to stop being lazy with my nails and create something with a spring theme... and I will admit I was pleased with how my nails turned out, but more of that later! 

The new Models Own Nail Art Tool Kit (£8.00 - Models Own website here) is yet another addition to their fast expanding nail art range with a set of 6 brushes, 2 of which are double ender. The set caters to most creative requirements when adorning the nails with nail art from essential dotting tools to a handy striping brush and even clear nail art tape to experiment with!

Models_Own_Nail_Art_Tool_Kit_review 

Nail Art Tool Kit includes:
  • 2x Duo Dotting Tools – Use to create dots in various shapes and sizes
  • Short Detailing Brush – Use to paint controlled small details, designs and shapes
  • Fan Brush – Use to create feather effects, colour fade and ombre designs
  • Flat/Wide Brush – Use for wider line drawing, detailing and filling in
  • Striping Brush – Use to create intricate stripes and lines
  • Nail Art Tape – Use for high precision lines, shapes, colour blocking and details

Floral Hydrangea Nail Art... 
 For my pretty floral nails I started with an opaque white base with Models Own HyperGel White Light and a coat of Seche Vite to harden it fully before applying nail art. Then taking the largest Models Own Dotting Tool I added large splodges to my nails using Models Own Cornflower Gleam to create the basic bloom shape. I then went back in with the smaller opposite end of the dotting tool and HyperGel Lilac Sheen almost denting and pulling up the coat of tacky nail polish underneath to add texture. I then left the flower nail art to dry and used the short detailing brush to carefully paint on the leaves with HyperGel Turquoise Gloss. Once my nails were fully dry I then went back over the flowe detail with a small clean dotting tool to add more texture! This process has never occurred to me before but it worked perfectly to add more texture and a 3D effect! 

 Overall thoughts... 
This is a great all round nail art kit that offers everything you would need. However with a bit of searching on eBay I know I could find similar brushes for half the price... so at £8 the set is overpriced in my opinion. As for the quality the brushes have strong flexible tips which makes for precise nail art, though only time will tell... generally there is some wear after a few months with the use of acetone to clean them. The only brush I would ditch from this set would be the fan brush as it's doesn't give the nicest results and I feel it's just there as a bigger more substantial looking brush. All in all a nail art set I really can't fault! 

Question of the day - What is your favourite Models Own nail polish? Mine has to be Pink Punch. 

Fee xo.

Top 5 eBay Beauty Purchases

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eBay_Beauty_Favourites

eBay is one of my favourite websites for grabbing a total bargain! I rarely dislike my cheap buys and believe eBay is the best place online if you are on a budget. So today I thought I'd round up my forever bargain beauty purchases that I've been loving over the past year. 

*Just as a little disclaimer - most products here are international but come with free delivery without any custom charges! Shipping sometimes is slow but so far I've always been 100% satisfied and received my orders in the stated time and in perfect condition*

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Clear Acrylic Lipstick Holder 
£2.98 - here 
Before purchasing this little storage unit for my favourite lipsticks I was constantly rummaging around my storage drawers for what I wanted and not using my favourites half as much as I'd have liked. So I decided to purchase this neat and tidy looking tiered lipstick holder that holds an impressive 24 lipsticks! I often rotate the lipsticks that are in here and always make room for new lipsticks to ensure I use them! For under £3.00 this is amazing value for money!

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4 Piece Eyeshadow Blending Makeup Brush Set 
£3.38 - here 
A great way to increase your makeup brush collection here with some good quality makeup brushes but at an amazing price. I decided to pick up this set as I wanted a few more blending brushes for smokey eye looks and thought for the price it was worth risking them being poor quality! However when they arrived I was amazed at how soft they were and how well made. I was then further impressed when they didn't shed and actually ditched a Sigma blending brush that I use for blending out concealer in favour of one of these. A great purchase that I use every time I apply makeup.

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10 Pan Blusher Palette 
£3.79 - here
This was a purchase when I was going though a blusher phase and decided I needed to try out some different shades but without the cost of individually buying them on the high street. I decided to risk it and pick up this bargain 10 pan palette as it had quite a few more natural pink/peach-y shades. The pigmentation of all the blushers is amazing and I love most of the shades.These are slightly powdery and have a bit of fall out but tapping off your brush solves that and once on the cheeks they blend perfectly. A superb palette if you want to build your blusher collection or try out some different shades.

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Acrylic Nail Polish Stand 
£10.99 - here
A slightly more expensive buy here but one I just adore! This amazing nail polish stand was a bit of a treat to myself for proudly displaying all my favourite glitter nail polishes, but since then I mix it up and sometimes keep all my new nail polishes on it to make sure I try them all out. The high quality stand holds a maximum of 30 polishes over 3 tiers and comes in a wide range of finishes - even a glass look acrylic! A great purchase if you are nail polish lover... I know I absolutely love mine!

Tony_Moly_Egg_Pore_Primer_Review 

Tony Moly Egg Pore Silky Smooth Balm Primer 
£6.07 - here 
 When it comes to primers I'm fussy! I've long since realised primers can't really be worn day-to-day as they block the pores and don't let the skin breath, so when I do use a primer I want there to be a noticeable difference to my skin. In the past I have been so underwhelmed by primers that just feel greasy on the skin... however I then discovered one of my favourite Korean makeup brands, Tony Moly offered an interesting pore concealing primer. I will admit I purchased it mainly for the stunning golden egg packaging but was amazed with how well it concealed pores and smoothed out the skin. As you can see above this totally airbrushes the skin! This won't be a primer for everyone as it's quite a heavy silicone based one but if you are looking for a primer that really does work for special occasions then this really is worth a try. 

Hope you've found a few bargains here! 

What has been your favourite beauty purchase from eBay?

Fee xo.

Blogging: For Better or For Worse

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Blogging 

Today I felt like a bit of a ramble/heart-to- heart about blogging. From what I love about it to what I secretly dislike. I say secretly because no one likes a negative nelly but hopefully it won't come across that way and some of you that also blog may be able relate.

Loves

Creativity...
For me blogging is all about being creative... something I've always loved being. From thinking up post ideas to photographing products and even the layout of a post. This makes me thoroughly enjoy blogging and always thinking up new ideas. Even though I love photography it's the initial idea for a post that excites me, especially when it's a post full of different products... a few upcoming posts that I've excited about are - My Top 5 eBay Purchases, The Bare Necessities, Spring Lip Picks and Makeup Storage Hacks. I definitely feel very lucky to be able to be creative everyday!

Freedom...
 Creating a blog is very much creating your own part of the internet and that in itself is pretty great! But what is even more amazing and pleasing is that you can decided everything, from what you blog about to, to the layout and the direction in which you want your blog to go. As a hobby this makes it so much fun, which is why I'd recommend to anyone that enjoys reading blog to start up their own (please do not let the number of blogs around put you off!). But as an actually profession the freedom you have with your time and decisions really becomes apparent and that's such a great feeling.

Dislikes

Perfection...
With so many amazing blogs around today that offer polished layouts, perfectly engaging writing styles and photoshop edited images that are magazine standard, it can seem the norm for bloggers to be naturally multi-talented. But the fact it a lot of bloggers try to be that (with a lot of hard work and determination I'm sure)... and succeed! But for me they are the Vogue's & Harper's Bazaar's of the beauty blogging world. I'm more of a glossy weekly mag... still enjoyed but definitely not up there and not trying to be either. But this is where I've had comments on bad grammar and even my not so perfect layout. Negative comments now affect me less but I still wish some readers would see that I'm not aiming for perfection.

My secret pet peeve with other bloggers...
From when I started Makeup Savvy back in 2010 to now the beauty blogging world has changed dramatically. Beauty blogs are now seen as quite a bit deal and a reliable source for reviews, beauty news and swatches. Which is why I feel bloggers need to be genuine and provide honest reviews... but this is where I feel some bloggers fall short. In the beauty blogging world PR samples are often sent out all at the same time and to my dismay I often see bloggers reviewing said PR samples in the same day of receiving them. Of course an overview of a new collection with initial opinions is fine but it now seems like a race between some bloggers at times to be the first to review a new product/collection. An honest and informative review comes with using a product and that really should be the main goal. Not pageviews or getting the first re-tweet about the new product from the brand! 

"But it's not really a real job, is it?"...
My last small irk is about how blogging as a profession is viewed, especially when it comes to beauty blogging. Makeup is seen as a light past time so when people find out I'm a 'Beauty Blogger' 9 times out of 10 they will thinking I'm talking about a hobby yet even when corrected I get the idea they still think it's not a 'real' job. Jobs comes is all different forms and really shouldn't be judged based on a lack of knowledge. I could have never foreseen blogging (and freelance work) being my source of income but I feel quite proud that it's something I've developed and grown myself!


Hope you've enjoyed this post! Let me know your own thoughts/opinions below. 


Fee xo. 

BeautyMART Beauty Box Review

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Beauty_Mart_Lastest_in_Beauty_Box

Last week I mentioned the launch of the Beauty Mart Beauty Box from Latest In Beauty (£12.95 here plus p&p) and today I thought I would show you the actual contents. 

BeautyMART are all about handpicked brands so this edited box has had the same care with products ideal for this spring/summer. The box contains nine products, three of which are full size (retail to a total of £42.00!) and the rest being sample sizes. 

Here's what you get in the box...

Balmain Silk Hair Perfume – full size 200ml
 Astalift Jelly Aquarysta Rejuvenating Concentrate – sachet sample
Mary Greenwell Plum – perfume vial sample
 Bronze Buffer Tan Remover – 1 sponge
 Weleda Skin Food – 10ml sample
 Rimmel BB Cream Matte – 8ml sample in shade ‘light’
 Kevin Murphy Colour Bug – full size, pink or purple
 DHC Deep Cleansing Oil – 30ml sample
YU-BE Moisturizing Skin Cream - 10ml sample 

You also receive a 20% off all purchases code to be spent on BeautyMart's online store here until 22nd June.

Beauty_Mart_Box_Review 

 Favourite products... 
From the entire box the Balmain Silk Hair Perfume has to be my favourite product. I'm quite surprised by this as hair perfume sounds like a useless product but this actually contains argain oil and does give the hair a silk finish along with a glorious scent (I won't even try to describe it, but it's subtle and lovely). I'm sure the bottle will last me ages and will be decanting some into a smaller spray bottle to take on holiday with me next month. Another perfect summer/holiday product is the Fake Tan Remover Sponge that I'm sure I will be making use of on holiday and throughout summer as it can be re-used. As for the Kevin.Murphy Color.Bug this is such an intense, pigmented hair chalk that I'm hoping it will show up in my brown hair... quite excited to give coloured ombre hair a try.

 Overall... 
If you are a true beauty lover that likes to try a mix bag of products then this is the box you as you will be sure to find some gems you love. Or if you wanted to try out one of the full size products anyway such as the Color Bug or Silk Perfume. I personally love the box for this reason as I like trying out new products and the added 20% off code I will be sure to put to good use. But if nothing stands out to you this may seem like a weak box especially with the standard perfume and sachet samples that no one enjoys. 

Will be making sure to report back if the Color Bug works! 

Fee xo.

How to find Beauty Bargains on the High Street

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Saving_money_high_street_makeup

With the price of high street makeup brands rising in recent years I have been making a conscious effort in that time to save money wherever I can. From saving points, hunting down clearance shelves, couponing and shopping in discount stores, I now feel I'm a fully fledged savvy shopper!

 So today I thought I'd share wih you my favourite ways to save money on beauty products on the high street. Plus some of my best ever savings?!

Top tips for grabbing a bargain... 

Look out for coupons and keep them in your purse - ...Or even have a separate small purse for them! 'Exteme Couponing' is a phrase generally used for savvy U.S shoppers but there are more than enough coupons to cut out and save for UK high street shops. My best tip would be to look in free magazines such as ones from Boots and Tesco for money off coupons and also women's weekly magazines. Boots also give money off receipts at the till when purchasing items, but having a quick snoop around the self serve checkouts will let you know which.

Hunt down the clearance shelves in shops - This is where you can find some amazing bargains. A lot of shops have them with slashed prices due to discontined lines or updated packaging. Boots and TK Maxx always have a great selection.

Sign up to reward cards - Saving up points to spend can be a great way to treat yourself for free (I'm currently resisting the urge to spend £17.00 in point on my Boots card). But can also give you money off vouchers by post. Beauty Reward Cards include - Boots Advantage Card, Debenhams Beauty Club Reward Card, The Body Shop Rewards Card, Superdrug Beautycard.

TKMaxx_Beauty 

Top high street shops to find a bargain (in order of preference)...

Pound World - Best place for nail polish and high street brand (such as Revlon,Rimmel, W7).
TK Maxx/Homesense - Great for higher end bargains (think Color Club, Tigi, Nails Inc) & trying out new brands.
 Boots - Best for saving up points, money-off vouchers (in the magazine, through the post, with receipts and at print-off vouchers at the Advantage cars machines) and sometimes amazing clearance sections (always seem to be at the back of the store/not where you'd think!)
 Poundland - Ideal for beauty essentials (wipes, shampoo, conditioner) and stock high street makeup brands (Sinful Colors, NYC, Revlon).
 99p Stores - Wide selection of good branded toiletries and always stock China Glaze Shatter Nail Polishes.
JTF Warehouse (not really on the high street) - Open to trade & public, great for candles and toiletries (spotted in the past - Lipsmackers, Organic Surge, Aussie)
Sally's - Small clearance section but often highly reduced China Glaze nail polishes.
Savers - Good for toiletries and sometimes have surprisingly good brands (spotted in the past - Urban Decay, Naked, Palmers).
 
Important things to remember... 
  • If the packaging isn't sealed check the product inside! A lot of the time people seem to think clearance products can be mauled and tested, so make sure the product hasn't been used or isn't missing anything. 
  • Check the product isn't out of date - especially important with sunscreens and skincare. 
  • Don't buy for the sake of it being a bargain! When I first discovered the wonders of the TK Maxx beauty clearance section I'd end up buying products I'd never use just because of the reduced price. Ask yourself if you really do like that shade/product and will you use it.

My favourite bargains in the past year... 
Over the last year I've purchase some amazing bargains and literally saved £££'s! I expanded my Color Club nail polish collection with some amazing sets containing 7 nail polishes each for £7.99 from TK Maxx and was amazed when I picked up 3 Deborah Lippmann polishes (worth £18.00 each) for a mere £5 on clearance. From Pound World I have picked up so many Revlon and Sally Hansen Nail Polishes that I adore and recently stocked up on sunscreen for summer (high street sun protection is just too pricey!). However my best bargains came recently with Avene skincare products reduced to £1 each on clearance at Boots (Boots haul post to come soon)! 

What has been your favourite beauty bargain on the high street? 

Fee xo. 

Morning Skincare Routine - Spring Edition

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Spring_Skincare_Routine

As we are now into Spring I thought an updated skincare routine wouldn't go a miss. When it comes to my routine I like to keep it fairly simple with not too many products as my temperamental skin that swings from oily/blemished to dry/dehydrated prefers that I've found.

Much like my last skincare post I will give more affordable alternatives to high end skincare products that I've also used in the past, as I'm aware not everyone has the budget or wants to spend on skincare! 

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Morning Cleanse
When it comes to cleansing in the morning I will admit if my skin doesn't feel oily or in need of washing I won't. Instead I will take a cotton pad with the Organic Surge Orange Flower Toner (200ml/£6.50 - OS here), which is super light and refreshing, and sweep it over my entire face. However if I have an oily T-zone (quite likely in the morning) or blemishes I will use Organic Surge Daily Care Face Wash (200ml/£5.49 - Amazon here), a great facial wash for all skin types as it's SLS-free and free from all other nasties so it won't strip or dry out the skin. I then will follow up with the OS Orange Flower Toner. If you are on a budget but want general but effective skincare then I'd highly recommend Organic Surge products. 

In the Shower 
If I'm jumping straight in the shower, I will use Skin Doctors Oil Control Cleanser (150ml/£11.20 - Look Fantastic here), this feels mild on the skin and is actually free from sulphates (a novelty for face washes targeted at oily/blemished skin) but works wonders at keeping the skin mattified through out the day... I really do see a difference. Then at least 1-2 times a week I will exfoliate with a sample size Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant (baking powder can be used in a similar way) which is a none abrasive powder that removes dead skin cells, something I prefer over a standard face scrub/exfoliator as it doesn't leave my skin red or irritated.

dehydrated_oily_blemished_skin 

Pre-Moisturiser 
Next I like to apply a serum and an eye gel and let both soak in for a minute or so before progressing onto my last step of using a moisturiser. When it comes to under eye skincare I prefer gels to creams as I seem to develop small spot when using any eye cream. However I now love using gels are they really wake up the eye area, my current favourite being Arran Aromatics Green Tea Refreshing Eye Cooler Gel (AA - £3.50 here or Bath & Unwind here) an eye gel that is amazingly cooling on the skin. As a serum I like to use 1-2 drops of The Body Shop Nutriganics Drops of Youth (30ml/£22.00 - TBS here) which soaks into the skin effortlessly and smooths, I love this product but a great alternative is the Botanics Radiant Youth Super Serum (30ml/£9.99 - Boots here).

Moisturising 
Finally I use two moisturisers on various parts of my face. For the blemish prone area (chin & cheeks I apply La Roche Posey Effaclar Duo+ Anti-Blemish Cream (40ml/£15.50 - Boots here) the most perfect cream I've come across for tackling blemishes without drying out the skin. For the rest of my face, particularly my nose and forehead that can easily become dry, I apply No7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream for Normal/Oily Skin (50ml/£12.50 - Boots here) that soaks in beautifully leaving the skin moisturiser and brightened.

 Evening skincare routine post to come soon. 

Fee xo.

99p Beauty Bargains on eBay

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Under_99p_Ebay_Bargains_Beauty 

Today I thought I'd share with you some amazing budget finds on eBay and when I say budget I mean budget! All of the products you see in this post are only 99p... with free delivery?! 

This is actually something that blows my mind with eBay, well the products you can find on there. How can something be sent for under £1, international? When the price of a small 2nd class parcel is £2.80 with Royal Mail! It really is craziness... but craziness I love!

15 Pack of Nail Art Brushes 
99p here 
I purchased a set of nail brushes very similar to these almost 2 years ago now and still use them! Really good quality and a wide range of brushes. 

Decorative Cake Contact Lens Case 
99p here 
How cute?! I now wear throw away daily lenses but I'm tempted to purchase this still! 

Travel Perfume Atomiser 
99p here 
These are great and for 99p you even get a fancy looking one. Perfect for storing a small amount of your favourite perfume in, for your handbag or when travelling. 

Natural Konjac Sponge
99p here
A sponge made from a type of asian potato that has been used for over a century in Japan. These are hard to come by in shops and retail for £5+ online so this is quite a bargain and worth just giving a go. I know I'm tempted!  

12 Mini Nail Art Glitter Bottles 
99p here 
I purchased these teeny bottles of glitter last month and will admit I purchased them more for their cuteness than anything else! For only 99p you get 12 little glass bottles of amazing glitters - such a bargain. 

10 Pack Flexi Hair Ring Bobbles
99p here
Basically the invisibobble x10! A set of 3 normally costs £3.75 so this is an incredible bargain. Already ordered these. 

  Cookie Pocket Mirror 
99p here
A nice little gift or something cute for your own handbag. I love sweet like kawaii items like this that can be found on eBay. 

Pump Dispenser for Nail Polish/Makeup Remover
99p here
Another recent purchase here, well a multiple purchase as I plan to store nail polish remover in one and micellar water in the other. These dispensers are just ingenious for using with cotton pads. 

Cherry Blosson Makeup Pouch 
99p here
A cute little makeup bag I stumbled across that I thought was just the right size for keeping in your handbag for makeup essentials. 

  Crushed Shell Nail Art Wheel
99p here
Crushed shells are the latest in nail decoration and this wheel covers every colour - I love the look of the peach and mint shells the most. The listing also has 19 other wheels available all at 99p! 

Hope you've enjoyed my bargain finds! 

Fee xo.

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge Review

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Real_Techniques_Complexion_Sponge_Review

A flawless complexion to me is much more satisfying than achieving a perfect smokey eye or contouring that even Kim Kardashian would be envious of. If I haven't got my base just right I feel a bit deflated with my makeup, which is why for the past 3+ years I have being using a damp blending sponge to apply my foundation (and a fluffy eyeshadow brush for concealer I should add). 

For my frustratingly oily/dry skin I find this works best as there is no chance of micro exfoliation causing flaky looking skin which I tend to see with buffing brushes and it gives me the light flawless coverage I'm looking for with all foundations. 

My blending sponge of choice for as long as I can remember has been the Cosmopolitan Blend Perfection Sponge (£4.95 - Feel Unique here) in fact I raved about it in a full blog post 3 years ago! But as my last sponge was looking a bit worse for wear I thought it may be time to try something new with the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (£4.31 - Amazon here or £5.99 at Boots).

Compared to the Cosmo sponge there isn't too much difference, except for the clear difference in shape with the Real Techniques sponge being a more usable. The two different pointed tips of the sponge are perfect for around the nose and under the eye if you chose to blender concealer out with it. I've used this both dry and damp now and personally love the lighter finish a damp sponge gives, though if you are looking for more coverage keeping the sponge dry is probably your best option. Either way this never fails to give an even airbrushed look with such ease!

Real_Techniques_Sponge_UK 

 I'm currently all about a light base so have been using the sponge in conjunction with the Bourjois 123 Perfection BB Cream that made my March Beauty Favourites here and my all-time favourite Max Factor Xperience Foundation which is hands down the best foundation for a weightless light coverage (the lightest shade is also ideal for super pale skin).

To combat the sponge soaking up too much product and wasting it, which all blending sponges do, I have found applying my foundation of choice roughly over my face with either my fingers or a flat foundation brush to be the best option. Then I simply bounce/stipple the sponge over my entire face to give that airbrushed finish to the skin, blending in the foundation perfectly. 

If you are looking for a flawless finish then this is 100% worth purchasing! 

Also a great budget alternative to the cult Beautyblender.

Fee xo. 

Top 10 High Street Pastel Nail Polishes for Spring 2014

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Highstreet_Spring_Nail_Polishes_2014 

Finally, finally I have sat down to talk pastel nails! Spring is definitely here with the mix of sunny and rainy days we seem to be having and pastel polishes are adorning my nails the majority of the time. 
  
As I love accessible products and my budget nail polishes I thought I would make this little spring nail polishes edit strictly high street only. You can of course get all these nail polishes online as well.  

Here are 10 of my very favourite nail polishes that I feel are perfect for spring!

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Nudes & Pinks 

From nail swatches top left; clockwise - 
Sinful Colors in Easy Going (£1.99 - Boots here), Rimmel Space Dust in Aurora (£3.99 - ASOS here or Boots), Barry M Gelly Hi Shine in Lychee (£3.99 - ASOS here or Boots), Revlon in Popular (try eBay), Models Own Fruit Pastel in Strawberry Tart (£5.00 - MO site here or Boots).

I personally love neutral nails whether it's a glossy nude or a pale pink. My go-to nude come spring (well any time for that matter) is Barry M Lychee - a perfect creamy nude with a high gloss finish that will suit any skin tone. Though for sunnier days you can't go wrong with Sinful Colors Easy Going - the most perfect easy to apply light pink-y toned nude that is surprisingly very opaque. For more glitzy nails, or the most perfect accent nail for nude/pink nails, there is Rimmel Aurora... just wow! The nail swatch doesn't show it off to it's full potential so make sure to have a read of my full post here if you like the look of it - trust me it's an amazing nail polish. 

Onto more pink-y/lilac shades now with a milky lilac glitter from Revlon called Popular... which I sadly realised when I came to writing this post is now discontinued and therefore hard to get hold of. However never fear I do have a just-as-pretty alternative for you with Revlon Girly (£6.49 - Superdrug here) which may actually be prettier! Last but not least a true pastel pink and a scented one at that with Models Own Strawberry Tart - just the most perfect cream baby pink shade ever.

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Blues, Greens... and a Yellow
 
From nail swatches top left; clockwise - 
W7 in Sheer Blue (£3.35 - Amazon here), Essie in Bikini So Teeny (£7.99 - Superdrug here), NYC Expert Last in Mint Macaroon (£2.49 - Superdrug here), Revlon Colorstay in Buttercup (£7.99 - Superdrug here), Models Own Speckled Egg in Magpie (£5.00 - MO site here or Boots).

For warmer more summer feeling days in spring I love nothing more than a bright pastel on my nails. A beautiful soft pastel blue can be found with W7 Sheer Blue, this is just about opaque on the nails but looks so light... hard to explain but I don't have a pastel shade similar to it. However my most worn blue has to be Essie Bikini So Teeny - a perfect shade for pale or tanned skin and can be worn right in to summer. 

For a more chic and muted pastel I like to go for NYC Mint Macaroon, actually NYC have quite a few muted pastels in the Expert Last range that are worth checking out. But for when the sun is really shining Revlon Buttercup is straight on my nails - sunshine in a bottle with this sherbet lemon pastel that actually makes me happy when looking at my nails. Last but not least Models Own Magpie, one of my favourite shades at the moment that is sure to get quite a few compliments and rightly so as it's such a unique nail polish.
 
 Hope you have enjoyed my Spring nail polish picks! 

Fee xo.

What's In My Shower? My Favourite Spring Shower Products

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Much like an edited down 'What's In My Bag?' post without the crumpled receipts and minus the *ahem* lady products, I thought I would do the same with my shower stash. Just as much of a chaotic mess with over flowing shelves of too many body scrubs and conditioners my shower does need editing down. 

So here are a few favourites from my shower this spring...

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Shampoos 
When it comes to shampoo I'm strictly SLS-free (due to previous scalp irritation from a crappy Herbal Essenes shampoo and now believe SLS-free shampoos are much better for the scalp and hair) so over the past few years I have tried out quite a few in search of ones that foam nicely and don't strip the hair. 

My current favourite for dry/damaged hair is the Macadamia Rejuvenating Shampoo (a huge 300ml for £8.89 - Amazon here) which is a highly nourishing shampoo (the most moisturising I have come across) that leaves my hair so smooth even pre-conditioner. However this does have an unusual feel, almost like a thick serum, which does take time to work into the hair... so for that reason I use this shampoo 1-2 times a week. For my general everyday shampoo I use the wonderful L'Oreal Ever Riche Nourishing & Taming Shampoo (250ml/500ml - Boots here), again a nourishing and hydrating shampoo best for dry/frizz hair. This is another unique shampoo that comes out as a white creme and lathers amazingly well for being SLS-free. The Body Shop Rainforest Moisture Shampoo (250ml/£4.50 - here) also gets used at least once a week.

Conditioners 
 For my general day-to-day conditioners I'm all about ones from Aussie. I'm currently using the Take The Heat 3 Minute Miracle (250ml/£4.99 - Boots here) to help protect against further heat damage to my hair that I have been noticing recently. However I do prefer Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor (£250ml/£4.99 - Boots here) which has the most addictive bubblegum scent. For a deeper condition I generally opt for Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Intensive Mask (200ml/£4.39 - Tesco here) which leaves my hair soft and smelling of coconut! But for a more intensive treatment Macadamia Deep Repair Masque (100ml/£10.20 - Look Fantastic here) will always be my holy grail.

Hair Extras
When using any deep conditioner I like to comb though my hair with a wide tooth comb (seen above) as I feel this really helps the conditioner work effectively and then I place it up with a large hair clip (seen above) so that the product on my hair isn't against my skin. You can find large crocodile clips like this in Primark for £1.50.

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Body Scrubs 
 One of my favourite body products to use in the shower are body scrubs. I have a tower of yummy more winter appropriate body scrubs but fresher scents are harder to come by. However the Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub (300ml/£8.00ml - Boots here) is the ultimate summer scrub! The scent of this is just so zingy and reminds me so much of Diet Coke with Lime! Aside from the amazing scent the scrub is also the perfect consistency and exfoliates the skin well. Another fruity favourite for spring/summer is Melvita Citrus Body Scrub (150ml/£14.00 - Look Fantastic here) which although pricey is the nicest body scrub for day-to-day. The gentle gel smooths over the skin and exfoliates with actual pieces of orange and organic brown sugar. Another amazing smelling scrub with it's real orange scent.  

Shower Gels 
 Shower gels are a shower essential but I make sure to go for organic or natural... which is harder than you'd think! For ease and their enjoyable scents I opt for Organic Surge Shower Gels and have quite a selection in my shower. The two I've been enjoying lately are Citrus Mint Shore Gel (250ml/£4.35 - here) - a refreshing and invigorating shower gel I like to use for morning showers, and Tropical Bergamot Shower Gel (250ml/£4.35 - here) a recent addition that is great for sensitive skin. I also strangely like to use Halos N Horns Gentle Baby Bath & Body Wash (250ml/£2.10 - Boots here) which is the mildest shower gel I've come across! 

Would love to hear what your favourite products to use in the shower are come sunnier weather. 

Fee xo.

6 Simple Beauty Hacks

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Easy_Beauty_Hacks

We all have our beauty shortcuts and ways of doing things but today I thought I'd rack my brains for some unique beauty shortcuts or as I like to call them "Beauty Hacks". 

The beauty hacks below are all super easy and are worth trying out!

1. Store makeup palettes neatly using a letter holder or toast rack
For the past 6 months this is how I've been storing my favourite eyeshadow palettes on my makeup table and it works perfectly! Toast Racks and Letter Holders can be picked up in most homeware stores for under £4 but for something a bit quirky (and cheaper still!) charity shops and car boot sales are a great place to look.

2. Remove stubborn nail polish using a muslin cloth
Yes, this is a slightly odd one but I swear I use a muslin cloth to remover my nail polish quite often. You of course still need to use nail polish remover on the cloth... it isn't magic after all, but unlike using cotton pads you can re-use it so many times and make use of old muslin cloths that were destined for the bin. Also as muslin cloths are slightly abrasive they help to remove textured and glitter nail polishes that bit better than cotton pads.

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3.Remove redness from spots with redness-relief eye drops
For the past decade we have been reading about applying toothpaste to spots however toothpaste can move right on over as eye drops for bloodshot eyes is now the thing... well my thing anyway! I know this does seem a bit odd but a cotton bud with a few drops of eye drops that are aim at removing redness from the eye is all you need before applying makeup to take the redness right out of spots. Eye drops have minimal ingredients and are safe in the eyes so there's no worry about applying it directly on the skin. This beauty hack just makes sense at most eye drops contain Distilled Witch Hazel and Naphazoline to relieve redness.

4.Thermal face mask in a flash by simply heating up a face mask in the microwave 
Such a simple one here to give any face mask a heated/thermal feel. I like to place the contents of a sachet face mask on a small dish or bowl and then heat it up in 20-30 second burst so not to over heat the mask and dry it out. I then apply the mask to my face using an old foundation brush for a lovely spa-like feel.

5.Find your perfect skin highlighter with pearl toned eyeshadows.  
 Another simple one that makes use of shimmery champagne and light pearl eyeshadows to give a perfect glow to the face. My personal favourites are a Madina light reflecting eyeshadow and a cute little pot Bourjois eyeshadow in a shimmering pearl shade. Cheaper than large face highlighters and you will be sure to find some perfect pearl shades in your makeup stash!

6.Easily remove split ends by twisting sections of hair and trimming the ends
Last but not least my simple beauty hack for tackling annoying split ends. Simply take the hair in sections and tightly twist it to the tip of the hair making all split ends stick out (you may want to run your index finger and thumb over the twisted section to make more split ends appear). Then taking hairdressing scissors or small nail scissors snip off all the split ends. This is a great way to keep your hair maintained between hair cuts or if you are growing your hair!


Hope you liked a few of my ideas and give them a go! 

Fee xo.

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