Friday, 31 August 2012

Weekend in Paris

photo -

Bojour lovelies, this is a scheduled post. Hopefully all going well I should be in Paris right now and most probably very tired but I am sure the excitement will get me through along with copious amount of Red Bull. Our train was due to depart at 6.24am from Ashford International which means I should have arrived in Paris around nine-ish. Ooh isn't this strange talking in the future :-). What I really wanted to say though is that you may see a lack of posts over the weekend. You see, I was going to take my laptop but trying to keep expenditure down it was going to cost a bob to have it insured and I really did not want to risk it and on top of that there was literally zilch room left in my suitcase, so its safe to say I did not pack as light as I had hoped. But, I definitely did better than past attempts! 4 pairs of jeans isn't really practical for 1 weekend, right!? Do not fret though I shall be lugging my camera about with me ready for some Paris themed posts on my return which happens to be the day before I move out so right this minute I am sitting on my bed wedged between box heaven!

If you want to keep up to date with my Paris shenanigans then please follow me on twitter @beckys_makeup or on instagram @beckysmakeup

Au Revoir for now!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish | Review

Liz Earle is a brand that I go back to time and time again and over the past year I have come to own a plethora of their cult products. The one product which I will always use is their Cleanse and Polish. Renowned in the blogging community for its amazing cleansing abilities this is the one product I will always return to when my skin needs an immediate boost.

Designed to suit all skin types it is packed full of natural ingredients such as eucalyptus and cocoa butter and is designed to fully cleanse the skin whilst helping to clear and smooth at the same time. As with all Liz Earle products this has a distinctive herbal aroma, something that I personally find pleasantly soothing.

The product itself is designed to work in 2 phases. The first phase being to cleanse. I add a pump and a half between my fingers and then work into my skin. The great thing about this product is that you can use it across the eye area without worrying about it stinging. I tend to do my face first and then the eye area last to save smudging mascara and other eye makeup across my face. The second phase is to polish. You do this using the soft muslin cloth which comes with the starter kit however you can buy these separately for a few quid! I will soak the muslin cloth in as hot water I can handle and then start removing the product using circular motions which means your skin gets a good exfoliation at the same time. Unlike some cleansers I have tried this does not leave my skin feeling tight nor dry just ridiculously smooth and moisturised.

In my own opinion this is like magic in a bottle, seriously and I love the fact that despite being of the higher end range you won’t break the bank purchasing it. The starter kit* is available for £14.25 and includes a soft pouch, a 100ml bottle of Cleanse and Polish and 2 muslin cloths, so its an absolute steal. If you are looking to introduce someone or even yourself to this cult product then this is definitely a good start.

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish is available from John Lewis and all larger department stores or you can visit the Liz Earle website by clicking the link to find out further details about the brand

Do you use the Cleanse and Polish?

*PR Sample

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Miniature Haul | A peek into my Travel Bag

On Monday afternoon, feeling a tad bored, I know bored on a Bank Holiday, I decided to pop into town. With my impending weekend away coming up I needed to get some essentials and could not help but take advantage of all the cute miniatures available in Boots. When I usually go on holiday it tends to be for a fortnights which means a miniature bottle of shampoo really isn't going to cut it, cue mad dashes to Boots in the arrivals lounge for me to stock up on toiletries (no one wants to weigh their luggage allowance down with this do they) hence why I like to get mine at the airport and if you buy after security there is no 100ml limit, bonus right. So going away for the weekend this week means I want to keep luggage to a min and I am trying to be as good as possible. All the mini's were on 3 for 2 and none were over the 2 quid mark, so bargain! The bag I picked up from Muji after reading about it on Lily's blog. It has several compartments, is compact enough to fit in a small suitcase or even large handbag and has a handy door hanger thingy so I can hang it in the bathroom. All in all its a winner! Boy I love packing, so heres what I got. Bear in mind these are only few of my latest shopping spree and of course other bits and bobs such as deodorant etc will be making an appearance! I also picked up some small screwable pots from Muji which I plan to decant some of my skin care into in order to save some space! Check me out being all organised, all I need now is a check list!

What I am taking

Soap and Glory Flake Away
Soap and Glory The Righteous Butter
Soap and Glory Mean Girls Shower Gel
Batiste Tropical dry shampoo
Aussie Miracle moist, shampoo x 2 and conditioner
Listerine mouth wash and toothpaste (essential right?)

Plus more to be added!

I was pleased to see that all these goodies fit into the travel bag with ample space to spare which means more space for clothes and makeup! A girl can never take enough...

Monday, 27 August 2012

Bank Holiday Brush Cleaning

Like makeup brushes, hair brushes collect dirt and grime so its fair to say that they need a good clean ever now and again.  Its surprising how much grease and products your brushes pick up over time so its imperative that you keep them as clean as possible, no point having nice clean tresses and then putting a dirty brush on them right? If I am honest, I tend to neglect my hairbrushes on the cleaning front (tut tut) but I like to give them a good detox at least once a month. Having hair which can get greasy very quickly means I have to wash every day so its important that I keep my tools as clean as possible. My product of choice for this mundane task is a detoxifying shampoo, harsh enough to get rid of all the gunk but kind enough that its not going to damage the bristles. I like to saturate by brush with hot (ish) water and then add a dollop of shampoo and use my fingers to massage it into the bristles. Its best to remove all the excess hair before doing this or it can get a tad messy. Afterwards just leave to dry naturally as you would your makeup brushes and et-voila nice clean brushes.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Moving out!

So yesterday I turned 28 and finally put down the deposit on a place for my boyfriend and I to call home. Although this is something I have wanted and been looking forward to for a long time its also a scary new chapter in my life which I can't help but worry about albeit be excited for our new adventure. I know it has to happen eventually and as much as I love my parents I can't stay at home forever and sooner or later I have to fly the nest and stand on my own two feet. Perhaps a little later than most people. But all I keep thinking as sad as it may be, is I am really going to miss my mum and the house I have called home for 28 years!

I did not realise until I actually started the process of how much there actually is to do and even though I only have to pack the contents of my tiny room compared to some people having to pack their entire house its still just as stressful. You see we have literally nothing so everything is having to be bought from scratch cue disagreements over the duvet cover and sofa style. On top of all this I have a million and one things to get done at work which means no time to take annual leave at a time when I could really do with it so everything is getting done on a mad panic. So if you do see a lack of posts, its not through neglecting my blog its through sheer stress of realising there is not enough time in the day to get everything done. But fear not I have a few interesting posts on the horizon coming up so please bear with me and in the mean time enjoy this little song which always makes me feel better when times are tough! 

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

How to | De-pot UD Primer Potion

Urban Decay Primer Potion is a must have for me. Whether I am wearing eyeshadow or not a quick sweep of this over my eye lid keeps oil at bay all day. I have the tube version which is a dream but trying to use up some products lately I have been using this mini version which I believe came with one of the Naked palettes. The problem is its a nightmare to get the product out so the other day I found myself mutilating the tube and de-potting it into a smaller container.

So lets get started!

What you will need:

- Sharp scissors
- A small pot
- Urban decay primer potion

Firstly I started by cutting the tube in half. Its a bit tough to start with but once your though its easy enough to hack into 2. Check out how much product thats in there. I probably would of thrown this away after a few more uses as I felt it was running out but theres literally tons of product in there, I can't even begin to imagine how long the larger ones would last.

Use the applicator to scrape all of the contents into the small tub. I got a set of tubs from Primark for approximately £1. Boots and Superdrug also sell them as well as Muji for a little bit more.

Finally admire your new little pot of product and no product wasted! Bonus! Simple yet effective don't you think?

Do you use this primer?

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil | Review

This months Glossy Box paid tribute to 'International Superstars' by combining a selection of goodies from all over the globe. In light of the Olympics coming to an end this was a nice touch in my opinion. However as with all Glossy Boxes there are the odd duds but every now and again you come across a gem which prompts me to purchase the full size. This month it was the DHC deep cleansing oil from Japan. 

I had been looking into cleansing oils for a while now with the Shu Uemera one being a constant on my wish list. But I never know how my oily skin is going to react so I was happy to try this sample size of DHC to see how my skin reacts to oil cleansers. The sample I received was a generous 30ml. I love the fact that you literally shake it into your hand via the small hole in the top which means no messy spillages. The product itself promises to dissolve dirt, oil and makeup even waterproof mascara which is a winner for me as its the only type I ever wear. The oil formula is enriched with rosemary and olive oil and whilst there was only an ever so subtle hue of rosemary I could definitely catch a good whiff of the olive oil, not in a potent way though. The instructions state to massage into a dry face and then rinse. I did this before bed massaging it around my face and then gently rubbing my eye area before rinsing with a muslin cloth. Now, let me tell you this removes waterproof mascara and eye makeup like an absolute dream. It literally washes away every last dreg. Sometimes I will think I have removed every drop of my mascara but then still wake up with panda eyes, this was not the case with this as it removed every last drop! My skin felt thoroughy cleansed yet plumped at the same time and it definitely had a touch of radiance the following day. 

The sample size I received was 30ml whereas the full size 200ml retails at £18.50 and is definitely something I would consider purchasing in the future. With a weekend away on the horizon I will be saving this to take with me as the perfect travel companion! 

Did you get this with your Glossy Box? What were your thoughts?

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Benefit Ultra Plush Lipglosses | Coralista

Who doesn't like Benefit right? cute packaging, check, products that do the business, check, the list goes on. I don't think there has been a time since I got into makeup a long time ago when Benefit has not adorned my collection. It may possibly have been the first higher end brand that I dipped my paws into. 

Lately my collection has been over run with lipsticks bar the odd lipgloss and balm, however in the hot weather I can't be dealing with heavy makeup. So with that in mind I have been reaching for a gloss. My gloss of choice lately has been one of the new Ultra plush Lip-glosses* by Benefit in none other than Coralista.  The Coralista gloss forms part of their new collection launched back in June whereby they released a collection of 6 ultra plush lip glosses to compliment their most popular boxed powders collection.  

Creamy and moisturising this gloss is not one bit sticky which is always a fear of mine when it comes to glosses. The colour is not as pigmented as I had envisaged yet left a glossy soft coral sheen over my smackers! Those of you that like a lot of colour might want to step away as this is more sheer than highly pigmented.  Scent wise it has an almost subtle fruity hue, not overpowering, just pleasant and nice! So if you are a fan of the boxed powders then I highly recommend a quick dash to Benefit to check these beauties out, I already have my eye on Dandelion despite trying to curb my spending :-) 

The new Benefit Ultra plush glosses are available in 6 shades and are retailed at £13.50. 

*PR Sample

Friday, 17 August 2012

Competition | Win an iPad!

Guys, if you follow e-tail on Twitter then you will be fully aware of their amazing comp to win an iPad on Facebook!

To enter go to the e-tail Facebook page and complete the Rafflecopter form! Simple as that! 

There is only 5 hours left to enter so you need to be quick! 

Paris wishlist!

Product images from google - Paris symbol -

Let the countdown commence guys!

In case you hadn't heard, I am not sure how you couldn't considering I have been banging on about it for the past week or so (oops) but I am off to Qui Paris in just over 2 weeks!

Aside from all the exciting touristy site seeing adventures, yes I do like to act like a right tourist, camera around neck the full shebang, I shall be indulging in a few beauty treats. Its my birthday the week beforehand and my parents are very kindly giving me a little spending money so it would be rude not to right?

Ok, so the list is not huge...yet, but these are just a few of the main products I am hoping to pick up, feel free to add to the list :-)

1. Bioderma Créaline H2O 
I have got through 2 bottles of this stuff which I purchased via a very reliable albeit eBay source, but as I ran out I did not want to fork out again and have been loving the No. 7 cleansing water as a great alternative. However being that it is considerably cheaper in the capital I will be sure to pick up 1 or 2 bottles to keep me going!
2. Make Up Forever HD foundation
Hmmm there have been some mixed reviews on this but I am one of those people that I have to try it for myself once I have an idea in my head and this has been on my makeup wish list for an eternity. 
3. Caudalie beauty elixir
Again I have got through about 2 bottles of this stuff. OK its not too expensive over here to be quite honest but it will be interesting to see the price comparison in France. Plus I am keen to check out more of the Caudalie range especially their perfumes!
4. Embryolisse moisturiser
From what I gather this is just a generic moisturiser however apparently it provides a great base for makeup, and is good for all skin types. I am pretty sure I will pick some up for my mum too or else she will be pinching mine, cheeky!

So not a huge amount of products but its a start! Do you have any suggestions? Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for some travel themed posts and more french skincare!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Vintage Gucci & Preparing to move...

Slightly different post today guys. As I prepare to move out of my parents house and into a home with my boyfriend its time to start sorting out all my odds and sods. Yes, its clear out time. But as I was sorting through some stuff I came across this vintage Gucci watch which was given to me by my great aunt some time ago. I guess you could call it vintage almost. It was purchased in 1989 when I was just 5 years old. It's amazing how the styles have changed so much over the years but it still holds the iconic Gucci green and red stripe which if I recall used to be quite a statement on their messenger bags. I am not a big jewellery person on a day to day basis bar a watch and my grandmothers engagement ring which never leaves my side. This style is the classic 18ct gold plated with interchangeable bezels which I believe was rather popular at the time. Its definitely a piece of Gucci history!

Honestly, I have never actually worn this. It needs a re-furb as the battery has died but its still in as good condition as the day it was purchased by my uncle when he was working for Reuters reporting all over the world. I have contemplated selling it in the past as it just sits in my drawer gathering dust but one day i hope to pass it onto my future daughter. 

Do you have any jewellery items you can't bear to part with?

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

House of Fraser Blogger Challenge

House of Fraser are currently running a blogger challenge to win a whopping £200. I love these types of challenges the chance to add items to my virtual shopping bag without the guilt! Plus there was no price limit therefore you have free reign to the entire shop! 

The challenge is to head over to House of Fraser and pick up your key pieces for this season. 

So what do you think of my outfit? I am definitely a casual girl during the day. I like to be comfy but then smart enough to take me into the evening if the occasion arises. I practically live in ankle boots and this pair from Dune, albeit pretty pricey look pretty darn comfy but smart whilst being on trend for the autumn/winter season. The AA disco pants have been working their way around the blogging scene for a while now but these high waisted coated jeans make a good alternative for a similar price. Teamed with a casual tee with a slight edge this outfit is definitely something I would wear! The MK watch is a lust of mine and yet another beauty blogger cult item! I love the darker colours in the new NAR's collection and Diamond Life is right up my street. I can't go anywhere without a handbag, which usually entails lugging everything bar the kitchen sink around. This quilted number from Jaeger is smaller than my usual preference but has a real Chanel feel about it and the chain detail is to die for. I want! 

Will you be entering?

To find out more about the House of Fraser 'blogger challenge' just hit the link :-)

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturiser | Review

You may have heard me rave about this product on both Twitter and Instagram. You see it took me a long time to take the plunge and fork out the £33 for what was effectively a tinted moisturiser. I had tried tinted moisturisers in the past and been left disappointed. They gave minimum coverage and rarely matched my skin tone so I was either left looking washed out or that I had been hit with the orange stick! Having heard such good reviews on this I went back and forth to Space NK umming and ahhing over the counter and then finally thought sod it the only way I am going to know is if I buy it. So I did, casually ignoring the price to my boyfriend, like you do haha. 

And boy, I was not disappointed. If you are a full coverage type of girl then step away now as this is a far cry from double wear. This in my opinion is a medium coverage but as the formulation is lighter than a usual foundation means it has the potential to be built up without looking cakey. I opted for the oil free version. Now do not be misled by oil free versions, they won't stop you getting oily skin but they are a lot better than oil versions which are effectively adding oil to your face. What I did like was the extensive shade range, which tends to be a rarity in tinted moisturisers which usually are only available in light, medium and dark. There are 10 shades available in the range. I opted for nude which is about 1 or 2 shades off from their lightest shade 'porcelain' and I found that this was a perfect match for my skin tone despite being naughty and not getting shade matched in the shop. So I guess you could say I took a bit of a gamble there but it definitely paid off. For £33 you do get a whopping 50ml of product so its not going to run out anytime soon either.

I apply this with either my Real Techniques buffing brush or Sigma F80, both are flat top kabuki style brushes which allow you to really buff it into the skin to create an almost flawless base. After applied by skin feels nourished and slightly dewy. It does look slightly shiny after initial application but I find leaving for a couple of minutes to allow it to firmly sink into the skin and then dusting a light amount of powder down my T zone does the trick. As for staying power I think this will vary from person to person but on me personally I can get through an entire day at work 8am to 4pm without this budging. I did have to fix up some areas half way through the day such as the creases of the nose but literally just blended these in with my fingers and I was good to go. 

This has definitely been my go to holy grail product in recent weeks and was definitely worth the hype in my opinion. Don't you just love it when you find a product that really does meet your expectations!

Laura Mercier oil free tinted moisturiser is available at Space NK for £33. You can click here to view.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Whats in my | Clutch Bag

I did a whats in my handbag post some time ago but I thought I add a little spin to it. Going out isn't a weekly occurance like it used to me. And when I do go out I like to keep things as light as possible taking only the essentials to get me through to the wee hours of the morning. OK I lie these days midnight is a late one haha! My clutch is from River Island and was a gift from my best friend Lauren last year. Its a mink colour with studded detail, goes with literally everything and is big enough to hold all my odds and sods without feeling too bulky and heavy so a winner all round. 

So what do I take?

Laura Mercier Translucent Powder
A powder is a must for me on a night out. A shiny face after getting sweaty on the dance floor isn't a pretty sight, trust me. A quick dusting of this keeps any shine at bay. For day to day I use a large brush with this but thats not convenient to carry around so I tend to use the little sponge applicator that it comes with and then wash it afterwards to get rid of any nastyness! 
Hair band
If like me you have long hair, all that styling and straightening goes out the window by about 11pm and  all I want to do is get that mane off of my neck. 
At the moment I am loving the Revlon Kissable Balms! I usually throw in whatever lip balm/lipstick I have used to complete my look for touch ups during the night. Luckily with these they require little touch ups as they do literally stain your lips!
Cash card and ID 
I always seem to leave things until the last minute and get cash out when I am in town. I hate not having my card on me. Despite being almost 28 I still get asked for ID so this is a must. Last time I forgot it, cue my dad having to drive into town to drop it off! Oops!
Loose change
I don't actually know why I feel the need to carry loose change, but you never know when you might need it.  Generally to grab some mints from the machine in the loo's! 
Ah this is a must. I can't even count the times I have lost my friends on a night out and have to call them  endlessly.  I may even be guilty of the odd drunken text/call so its not always a blessing but I do rely on this to take pics of the night and look back on *cringe* the following day!
Door key
I think this is pretty self explanatory!
I like a brush, end of. But it takes up too much room so a comb is my only option. I hate having knotty hair so you will often find me in the ladies taming my unruly tresses! Hot clubs and bars and my hair does not bode well!
I like to freshen up throughout the night so usually if my travel flo isnt to hand I will throw in a sample sized perfume to use on the go. I have just finished the Caudalie one that came with Glossy Box and need to stock up sharpish. 
Cotton Buds
On a night out I like to wear slightly heavier makeup. In hot climates is usual for this to smudge and move around so these are handy for on the go touch ups!

What are your 'musts' for a night on the tiles?

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Products I have used up | Empties

There's something almost therapeutic about finishing a product? Or is this just me? It's like an accomplishment especially when I look at the mountains of products in my collection alone and in one way its testimony that I have enjoyed a product enough to use it all up down to the last drop. Its been a while since my last 'empties' post, and to be honest I am pretty disappointment in myself with the lack of products I have finished. God knows how some of you girls are able to do this on a by-monthly basis. Challenge to myself is to try and use my existing products and not buy any new ones this month. I doubt this will last though I have zero willpower whatsoever but with an forthcoming trip to Paris in a few weeks I am trying hard to save my pennies for a massive french haul! So here are the products I have emptied and accumulated lately!

Ayuuri Body Wash
I got this in a Glossy Box a couple of months back and really enjoyed using it. It smells like coconut and reminds me of holiday's gone by so this was a lovely little product. I have never seen the brand before so I am not sure where I can pick this up again though which is a shame.

Aussie shampoo and 3 minute minute miracle conditioner
I have fallen back in love with this brand and have just stocked up again by making the most of the Boots offer at the moment on 3 Aussie products for a tenner! I do not know why I ever strayed from this brand but my hair has never felt better!

Paul Mitchell Hot off the press
I got this on a whim after my hairdresser used it and I fell in love with the fruity, tropical aroma's. It is a hair protectant spray but comes out like a mist. I am definitely going to pick up another plus a travel size for when I go away when I am next at the hairdressers! This has lasted me an eternity too!

Bioderma H20
Ah a bloggers favourite. I purchased 2 of these from eBay and have literally just finished the 2nd botter. I have been enjoying the Boots No. 7 cleansing water as a good alternative (post here) and I was in two minds as to whether to re-purchase the Bioderma again as its quite pricey having to get it via eBay. But as I am off to Paris at the end of the month I think it would be rude not to pick some up whilst there, right?

The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Shower Gel
I have used this shower gel for what seems like forever. I just love the scent of it, really fruity and refreshing. I am not sure its as moisturising as some shower gels I have tried but its one I always tend to go back to as soon as they are doing offers in The Body Shop as you can usually pick these up fairly cheap!

Percy and Reed Hair Mask
I got this as a freebie a while back with Glamour magazine. I used it a couple of times and then it just sat on my bathroom shelf gathering dust so I thought I should use it up. I did like it, it left my hair feeling softer and smelling rather nice but this retails for about 20 quid and I just do not think its worth it given that you can get the same for so much cheaper.

L'Oreal Telescopic Mascara
I have already re-purchased this. This is my go-to holy grail product. I tend to look for mascara's that give length and hold a curl well rather than volume so this is right up my street. Its not the best for those looking for thickness but if you are looking for definition and length then I highly recommend this. Plus it doesn't budge all day!

Collection 2000 lasting perfection concealer (shade 02 light)
Ah this is such a good concealer for less than a fiver but as I scraped out the last dregs I decided to purchase the Bourjois Healthy Mix concealer which I am yet to put to the test so shall keep you posted.

Giorgio Armani Diamonds Eau De Parfum
I have probably gone through about 3 bottles of this stuff. Its definitely a go to perfume so it was a sad day when I used the last squirt of this!

Caudalie Perfume
Another Glossy Box item. This is bloomin' gorgeous. So light and refreshing, the perfect day perfume. I am going to keep a look out for this in France as it was so lovely. I am not usually a fan of samples in beauty boxes but this was a pretty fair sized sample and had a spray atomiser which is a raritity with perfume samples so it was good to throw in the handbag. The empty bottle may also come in handy so watch this space.