Firstly apologies in advance for the mass of posts on these freebies but they were just too good not to shout about. Whilst 'working' today I popped into Boots to pick up an eyebrow pencil to tide me over until I can get a new Clinique one. I picked up the No. 7 one BTW. Big love to the babe of a sales advisor who allowed me to buy a bundle of products to get a £5 voucher before purchasing this which meant it only cost me 3 quid. Total bargain. Therefore I can totally justify a little magazine splurge. Its educational research right? Glamour magazine is the norm on my reading list and not only is it a top notch mag for £2 but it is renowned for its fabulous freebies. This month was no exception and they are giving away 3 popular Benefit products in travel size editions. The set includes, That Gal primer, The Porefessional and Bad gal mascara. I opted to get the primer which is something I have wanted to try for a while and the Porefessional which is a staple in my makeup collection. Marie Claire is a mag I don't often purchase its a tad pricey in my opinion for £3.75 but they are giving away a Ciatè Paint Pot worth £9 this month. I opted for the colour Bon Bon which is a greyish lilac with almost a hint of mauve. There are 3 colours to choose from and having never tried Ciaté before it will be interesting to see how they fair against my current love for Essie. So thats it. A month of goodies worth splashing out on if you get the chance. Have you got these this month?
Thursday, 31 May 2012
Monday, 28 May 2012
A few months ago I went on a little MAC splurge and ended up walking away with their oil control lotion. Priced at £12 for 30ml this is pretty reasonable for a higher end brand. Having never tried any of MAC's skin care products this was a good place to start. If you are a frequent reader of my blog then you will know that I have oily to combo skin leaning more towards the oily side which has a tendency to get more shiny during hotter weather. This seems to be the case now so I dug this out to test the water. This is a hybrid of a serum and a cream. A light consistency which blends well and absorbs into the skin quickly which means no waiting around for it to dry. On initial application I found that it mattified my face and gave a perfect canvas for applying makeup however onto whether it actually keeps oil at bay. MAC deems this the ultimate no-shine base for oil control which is formulated to keep the skin PH balanced and allow makeup to bond to the skin meaning fewer touch ups throughout the day. Whilst I found that this gave a good base for makeup it did very minimal to actually reducing the amount of oil produced during the day and I found that I still needed to touch up my foundation as much had I not used this product. I really wanted to love this product as I am always looking for a breakthrough product that does actually reduce the amount of oil I produce during the day but this wont be replacing my blotting papers any time soon. Aside from this though I don't think this product is an absolute dud as it does make my skin feel smoother meaning I can achieve a flawless finish when applying liquid foundations. I would be interested to hear if anyone else has tried this and whether they had different results?
Sunday, 27 May 2012
Saturdays seem to be the only time I get to spend the entire day with my boyfriend and this Saturday having seen that the sun was going to be out, which is a rarity in the UK with the unpredictable weather, we grabbed the car and took an outing to the Seaside. To keep with british tradition we had some chips on the beach followed by ice-cream and an obligatory alcoholic beverage in the sun. Despite it being slightly chilly by the sea a good day was had all round and I even managed to get a few pics for you guys. After an initial fumble around with my bulky albeit expensive camera which my boyfriend could not seem to grasp the use of he was soon snapping away like a pro, David Bailey eat your heart out :-). Enjoy Guys!
Friday, 25 May 2012
Its that time of the month again whereby I lust over things I really should not purchase but I am going to do so regardless. #1 on the list today is the new expert face brush by Real Techniques. I have fallen in love with their brushes along with a mass of other bloggers and now own a plethora of them. Reasonably priced, high quality and do the business these tick all the right boxes when it comes to makeup brushes and I think a lot of high end brands have finally met their match. #2 is the Zara shopper bag. This has fast become a celeb favourite. A lot of people went mad for the messenger bag and yes I was tempted but this is just the epitome of sophistication. #3 is the Alpha H liquid gold. I have seen a lot of hype around this little skin miracle yet am awaiting the mass of reviews before I splurge my cash on it. #4 are these gorgeous sandals from Zara again. I think Zara has fast become a blogger favourite and their collections are spot on at the moment. I tried these on in store but reluctantly did not purchase but I might have to have a cheeky spend before they are not in stock.
Thursday, 24 May 2012
When it comes to moisturisers the one criteria it must have is be oil free in order to counteract the shine from my oily to combo skin. I had been using the Santuarys mattifying moisturiser but it just wasn't cutting it in the moisture stakes so I have been on the hunt for a new moisturiser that hydrates my skin where needed without causing my skin to product more oil than usual. Benefits Triple Performing facial moisturiser forms part of the Benefit skincare range released early last year. The aesthetics are typical Benefit. Cute and girly with a twist. The glass bottle is sophisticated without looking over the top whilst the faux cork lid gives it the Benefit touch. Priced at £19.50 for 50.3ml of product this is a tad pricey yet sits nicely with the pricing structure of other Benefit products. Basically if you know Benefit then you know the average price ranges. Firstly, I adore the scent. Fresh, slightly fruity and not at all potent. I apply this in the mornings before foundation but I have been applying under The Present facial primer lately and find that these compliment each other well. The formulation is rather thin, which means it can be hard to cover your entire face with one application so I find myself using 2-3 pumps to get enough coverage but this suits me well as despite using every morning for 2 months I have not even got half way through. Although I am hesitant to say this has made a dramatic difference in my skin tone yet it does keep my skin hydrated for the entire day without leaving me like a grease ball it also has the added benefit of an SPF 15 so if you aren't good at remembering to put your sun screen on then this does it for you. Especially now the weathers starting to heat up! Hello Summer :-)!
Wednesday, 23 May 2012
If you frequent my blog often you might have noticed the odd change. One of them being the Friends and Sponsors button in my sidebar column. To read more about it click here. Basically I am offering button swaps, absolutely free of charge to readers and bloggers. All I ask in return is that you add my button to your blog.
Tuesday, 22 May 2012
When it comes to teeth whitening its a slightly grey area for me, having foregone jaw surgery a few months back it means I am not able to take advantage of the at home kits widely available. So when I was contacted by Smile Brilliant a while ago I was intrigued by the products which were available promising whiter teeth in as little as 20 minutes per day. Now I was offered a trial of this however had to decline as I am not able to use it at this time and therefore would not be able to give a fair review. However Smile Brilliant have offered 2 of these at home starter kits for 2 lucky subscribers of Beckys Makeup.
The kits include an ultra high strength whitening pen with an LED lighting system. You simply paint on the gel using the pen and use the LED light to accelerate the process. Sound pretty good right? So to be in with a chance of winning one of two kits all you have to do is complete the Rafflecopter form below and the winner will be drawn 2 weeks from today on the 5th June 2012.
If you wish to check out some of the other products available from Smile Brilliant then please check out their website at www.smilebrilliant.com.
Monday, 21 May 2012
It doesn't matter if I am going away for 1 night or the entire weekend I am a stickler for having all my lotions and potions near to me. Quite often if my boyfriend and I are going on a big night out with friends then we will book a hotel nearer the destination. But like most girls I like to prep and preen myself before the night, usually with a glass of wine in tow. Just because I am away doesn't mean I scrimp on my routine and a night out usually calls for the whole shebang, hair mask, face mask, body scrub, you name it. And to say its a pain to lug all these products away for sometimes one night alone is an understatement so when I heard that Montagne Jeunesse had launched the ultimate travel pack* offering a range of treats in a folder type holder I was keen to see what was being offered. The kit itself offers 6 treats including a peel off masque, a skin smoother, 2 body washes, a foot cooler and an intensive hair masque all for 5 quid. This is perfect for just throwing in your overnight bag without having the worry of leaking bottles and the fact that all the products are infused with natural ingredients as well as being suitable for vegetarians means that it wont interfere with my current daily regime. I also think that these would be perfect if you have a hen party or girlie weekend away coming up to add to goody bags or just share out with the girls without breaking the bank.
The new travel pack is available on the Montagne Jeunesse website which you can view by clicking here plus if you spend over £7.50 on the site then postage is absolutely free within the UK.
Sunday, 20 May 2012
To say I was a tad sceptical about purchasing this product is an understatement. When it comes to skincare brands I tend to stick to the generic brands which specialise in skincare alone. With Chanel being a high end, elite brand I tend to categorise them into the makeup and perfume 'group' generally bypassing their skincare range. Priced at a hefty £29 for 150ml of product I was a little wary before buying yet a few weeks ago I found myself in the beauty hall of House of Fraser and just could not resist the urge.
Forming part of their Précision line the Mousse Exfoliant Pureté is targeted at those with oily to combination skin prone to the odd blemish which is my skin to a tee. If you are a little older, myself being 27 then the ranges available on the skincare market for blemish prone/oily skin can be restricted, being targeted at more of the teenage market. This product just feels that little more mature. Firstly the aesthetics are typical Chanel - simple and classy, something i'd expect to see adorning VB's bathroom cabinet next to the Cremé de la Mar. Aside from the gorgeous packaging, this product actually does the business. The formulation is a thick cream with small micro beads designed to exfoliate the skin and a subtle almost soapy aroma. No herbal fragrances here, which is a shame as I am rather penchant to the likes of Liz Earles herbal scents. After a few trial and errors I have perfected the amount required to that of approximately 1 and a half peas, I tend to rub between my fingers to warm the product slightly and then apply to my damp face. Now when I say this foams, boy does this foam up, but this is something I actually enjoy in a facial cleanser as it feels as though its really doing the job of getting all the gunk out of my skin. As far as exfoliation goes, the beads are so minuscule that you don't even notice they are there which his slightly disappointing so I find removing with a muslin cloth does the exfoliating job in itself. I can find this quite overpowering to use both evening and night as it does leave your skin feeling slightly dry but nothing that a good toner and moisturiser doesn't sort out. My skin has been a lot clearer and smoother whilst the oiliness has reduced significantly. I have been using this alongside the Caudalie Beauty Elixir and Esteé Lauder ANR as part of my evening routine and so far so good.
Tuesday, 15 May 2012
Looking for a volumising shampoo I was instinctively drawn to the Ojon range as so many people had been banging on about its miraculous properties. A quick look at the price tag and I shuddered though. Being someone that washes their hair almost everyday I could not justify the 20 odd quid price tag given the amount of bottles I get through, and thats not even taking into account conditioner as well. Saving it for special occasions just wasn't going to cut it either as I wanted a fix now. So I traipsed off to town, boyfriend in tow to see what offerings they had. Whilst in Superdrug I saw that John Frieda had released a new line called Full Repair. This promised full body whilst repairing hair from heat and colour damage. Being someone guilty of both offences this ticked all the right boxes and having enjoyed John Frieda products in the past I picked up the shampoo and conditioner for roughly a tenner.
The shampoo lathers well, has a pleasant refreshing, almost salon like aroma. and the conditioner compliments it well. Its thick enough to distribute evenly but washes out well so I am not left with residue. So far so good. The first thing I noticed after blow-drying my hair was how clean my hair felt. The roots actually felt slightly lifted as though they had been weighted down beforehand with left over products. Now don't get me wrong this is not going to give you an immediate Cheryl Cole bonce, volume takes work, hard work and a shampoo alone is not going to achieve that. But what I will say is that the overall condition of my hair has somewhat improved and this is through a weeks worth of use using almost every day. As I tend to get a slightly dryer scalp I am always wary with different shampoos and don't get me wrong I will always hold a torch for The Body Shop rainforest range which I always go back to when I need a back to basics routine but this didn't irritate my scalp whatsoever. Unfortunately for me my hair and scalp tends to get used to products and then the products stop being so effective after a while. To solve this I usually add a few alternative products to the mix and the rotate them on a fortnightly basis so if you know of any other reasonably priced volumising shampoos then hit me up in the comments box below :-).
Sunday, 13 May 2012
When it comes to brow products I own a plethora of different products, I have tried them all, gels, powders, pencils you name it I have tried it. Its taken me some time to perfect the ideal routine that works for me that does not take ages in the morning. Skip back a year or so ago and I was guilty of neglecting my brows bar tweezing them and the odd threading appointment to keep their shape. It has taken me a while to discover that a good groomed brow can make all the difference when it comes to your overall makeup and now even if I am having a barely there makeup day I always ensure that my brows are 'done' before leaving the house. So with this in mind I have decided to throw together some of my most used products.
When it comes to keeping my brows in place I tend to steer away from pricey brow gels in favour of a clear mascara. Boots 17 clear mascara is only a couple of quid yet does the trick, a quick swipe of this over each brow keeps those unruly little ones in place, you know the ones you daren't pluck or end up with a massive gap. If you are lucky enough to have a good shape but just a few sparse gaps then a powder is your friend. If I have not over plucked then I will alternate between MAC espresso used with an angled eyeliner brush or the Benefits brow kits. These kits are perfect for beginners as you get the whole shebang, tweezers, setting gel, and 2 shades. I tend to swap between Honey Pot if my hair is lighter and skin is looking a tad pale and Brown Sugar when I have darker hair and complexion as I do now. Although I have dark brows I always go for 1 or 2 shades lighter for a more natural appearance. Even if you have the blackest of brows I would steer clear of jet black unless you are favouring the painted on effect. As for tweezers you cant beat tweezerman in my opinion. They are on the pricey side but they do the job. If however they are out of your price range then just ensure that you get a good sharp pair, the ones from a christmas cracker are never going to cut it and you will end up doing more harm than good. At the moment however, I have been loving my Clinique Superfine liner (review here). I use it in soft brown. This is by far the best I have come across in regards to achieving a good shape if you are lacking slightly in the brow department. Due to the very thin tip it allows me to create small strokes that unless inspected closely you would not know weren't your own brows. Now I am no expert when it comes to eyebrow grooming these are just a few products that I find work for me. Let me know your favourite brow products.
Friday, 11 May 2012
Ah, it feels as though I have not blogged in ages. Which isn't strictly true as my last post was Tuesday. What with it being a 4 day week this week it seems to have gone on for what seems like forever. So, I guess this post is what you could call a little blogger catch up time so to speak. Its been almost 6 weeks since I returned to work after jaw surgery and this week for some reason has caught up on me and whereas usually I will be raring blog the minute my key enters the door after work, this week for some reason I have been uber tired so have spent most of my evenings chilling reading some blogs and generally enjoying a little me time. It was not helped by the fact my camera died on me mid uploading photos which was a tad annoying to say the least, but it is safely on charge now and normal posts will resume this weekend.
Last Saturday my boyfriend Chris and I took a trip to London for the opening of the new Olympic park. Unfortunately we could not enter as it was tickets only but we got a sneaky glimpse and it seems to all be coming together. I am not a sports fan whatsoever but I think its once in a lifetime event for the Olympics to be in your own capital city so I am enjoying watching all the preparations. I can safely say I shall be avoiding London throughout this time as it will be absolute chaos and its busy enough at the best of times. Whilst in London I got to go to the amazing Westfields shopping centre in Stratford. Although its a new shopping center its by far my favourite I have been to so far purely due to the amount of High Street and High End shops available. Chris had to literally drag me past Mulberry as I am still after their Hobo bag as featured in my latest lust list (post here). After London we went to see American Pie the reunion. I am a big American Pie fan and remember going to see all the originals when I was at school with my best mate Lauren so it was good to see all the old cast back together for one last time - I highly recommend. This weekend I think is going to be a bit about the same. I will probably catch up on some shopping with Chris and maybe go to the cinema, as we are unlimited card holders we seem to be there more than the staff these days. So I apologise for slightly rambling in this post, and the fact it had no actual purpose but I think its nice to do a little one on one personal post now and again to let you know the goings on in my life. Let me know if you like these types of posts.
Wednesday, 9 May 2012
Its no secret that my love for Essie nail polishes has become a slight obsession and I was first in the queue to purchase them online from Superdrug when they launched their diffusion line. Not only does this line have a selection of their most popular shades but it also features a new larger brush which I kid you not has made applying nail polish like a pro an absolute breeze. So when I teamed my new Essie polishes with my other great love in the nail polish family - Seche Vite top coat I found a match made in heaven. If I had to choose 2 products at the moment then these 2 would win hands down. Peach Daquiri is a vibrant verging on neon coral. I'm not quite sure where the peach comes into this, if I look closely I can see slight peach undertones but aside from this it is verging on a vibrant orange/coral tone. The one thing I have discovered with Essie polishes is that the formulation can be a tad watery hence the need for 2-3 coats to achieve a perfect opaque colour but the drying time between coats is so good that I am willing to overlook this based on the amazing colour payoff end results. The Seche Vite applied on the top is the icing on the cake. Not only is my nail polish bone dry within a matter of minutes it allows me to have chip free polish for up to a week. Prior to this I would always have to re-apply my polish mid week but now I have found I can complete my weekly manicure on a Sunday and be good for the rest of the week. Amazing huh?
Tuesday, 8 May 2012
Dodgy Primark cotton pad, Feel Unique goodies, Essie Superdrug online, Shu Uemura cult curlers, L'Occitane, Potions, Biggest burger, Essie, JK light as air, Chanel Pureté, Red Bull at work, More Essie, Blogging, New post, Esteé Lauder, Trip to Westfields Stratford, Caribbean food, Bourjois Magic, Brush cleaning on a Sunday, The End
Another instalment from my life. I don't know about you guys but I have become hooked on Instagram, its my guilty pleasure catching up on the daily goings on. If you are on Instagram then comment below with your user names as I'd love to follow you :-) My user name is beckysmabblogs so come and follow me...
Monday, 7 May 2012
Ok, ok I caved and got it. Yes, the Bourjois 1 second nail polish remover. In fact this was the last one standing in Stratford's Boots. When a particular product gets some hype in the beauty community you can expect an entourage of beauty lovers hot footing it to their nearest store to try it. And that was no different with this product. You see, I trust the blogs I read so when my favourite bloggers say a product is good rather than some PR spew then I am guaranteed to follow. So I apologise in advance for what must have been like a foray of samey reviews over the past weeks or so :-).
So, the product. In a nutshell is a piece of foam encased in a plastic container saturated in nail polish remover. The instructions, pretty simple, place finger in hole and twist, theres a joke there somewhere :-) This promises to remove in 1 second which I think is pretty optimistic if I am honest but 2-3 seconds or a couple of twists and all polish is removed with a minute being the average for total removal from both hands. The trick I find is to twist the bottle rather than finger, so whilst my finger is in there I give the bottle a couple of swirls and all traces of polish have been removed. The scent is described as red fruit and vanilla fragrance, to me this has the usual potent scent of nail polish remover the difference being that after I have used it my fingers smell deliciously fruity. Priced at a rather reasonable £4.99 it is definitely worth the hype it has received. Its a lot cleaner and convenient than conventional nail polish remover in the sense that no more messing about with cotton pads, I usually get through 2 or 3 dependent on the intensity of the polish. This will also be perfect for travelling without having to worry out nail varnish remover leaking all over my clothes :-). Would I purchase this again? Most definitely. I am the first person to admit to being slightly sceptical at first however having tried this I think it would be hard for me to return to generic nail polish remover.