Sunday, 30 March 2014

March favourites 2014


Helllllo, remember me? So I've had a lot of deadlines in uni in the past two months so I've been a very bad blogger. But I'm back to blogging finally and I've really missed sharing all my favourite things with you.

Victoria Secret Love Spell fragrance mist
I bought a bottle of this a couple of summers ago, when the Victoria Secret store in London first opened and was obsessed with it. The scent is very sweet with Cherry Blossom and Peach, but I love it so much. I bought another bottle for quite cheap on Amazon and I will definitely be picking up a few more bottles of this and some other scents when I go to London next month. I love fragrance mists instead of perfume sometimes as its a lot lighter and fresher to spritz on after the shower and the staying power is pretty good. I've found people always ask me what I'm wearing when I wear this and tell me I smell like sweets!

Amazon Kindle & Book series- I heart.. by Lindsey Kelk
I love reading but I found myself having little time for it since starting uni as I have a pretty big reading list which completely put me off reading anything else. But over the past few months, I've picked up my kindle again and found myself completely obsessed with reading again. I bought I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk on my kindle and read it in two days because I was completely engrossed in it. The series is so easy to pick up and read, has gripping story lines and is so funny. I quickly bought all the rest of the series and finished it in about two weeks. I love reading light chick lit rather than watching the tv etc because its so relaxing before bed. If you're into chick-lit and haven't read this series yet- read it! I don't know why I didn't read it sooner- I'm now looking for a new series so if you have any recommendations for chick lit- send them my way please!

Benefit Hoola bronzer
As spring is finally here (albeit it's still freezing!) I've been enjoying bronzing my face up a little. This bronzer is the perfect shade for pale skinned girls as it isn't orange toned at all and is quite subtle, but can also be built up to a darker shade. It's matte so perfect for both contouring and bronzing the face up. It's also really pigmented so it will last forever like many of the Benefit boxed powders!

ELF High Definition Under-eye Setting Powder
I love this powder for setting most parts of my face as well as the under-eye area as it's really finely milled and quite brightening as it has very fine shimmer reflects. It doesn't make you look like a disco ball, it's really not that noticeable but it just brightens up the under-eye area and anywhere else you highlight. With it being a loose powder, I was expecting it to be ridiculously messy but it's not that bad as long as you're careful and use quite a small brush with it. I like using the Real Techniques Contour brush with it as its perfect for powdering smaller areas like around the nose and under-eyes. I'm pretty sure this is really cheap as it's from ELF so if you're after a powder similar to the Bourjouis Java Rice powder, give this a try!

Tanya Burr lip gloss in Aurora
I haven't worn anything else on my lips since I bought this in the end of January! It is literally the perfect everyday lip gloss shade as it goes with every make-up look, it isn't too pink or too bright- it's just so flattering on every skin tone. I love love love this shade and formula and I love the shade names of Tanya's lip glosses- how cute!

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer
This concealer is literally perfect. Its really pigmented so you don't need a lot of it at all, it's not cakey and gives a natural finish on the skin. Usually concealers that aren't matte leave my skin tacky or rub off really easily but this lasts really long on the skin. It's really hard for me to find a concealer that isn't cakey or doesn't break up after an hours wear! I like how natural this looks on the skin but gives just the right amount of coverage- I would say its probably medium coverage. I've really been enjoying using this with a lighter coverage foundation like Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum or Nars Tinted Moisturiser.

Stila Convertible Colour in Lillium
I couldn't not mention this cream blush as I think this may be my favourite of all time. The formula is perfect- not too sticky, not chalky, natural finish, stays in place almost all day. The shade of this blush is stunning- a muted rosey pink shade that looks so so natural on the skin. I love wearing this on natural make-up days as it looks like a subtle flush on the cheeks but I also love wearing it with heavier make-up as it doesn't detract the attention away from the eyes or lips. It's very subtle but can be built up for a stronger flush of colour- but the shade itself is inoffensive- very pretty and natural looking. I will definitely be repurchasing this when this eventually runs out- which I'm pretty sure will be never because you only need the tiniest amount.

Morrocan Oil
As my hair has gone through quite a lot of bleach and heat appliances, it is in need of TLC. I love using oils in my hair but I definitely felt like I was missing out by not trying the infamous Morrocan Oil. After a chat with a few girls on twitter, I decided to order a mini bottle just in case I didn't like it. I can't even describe how nice this has made my hair already. I bought it in January as I have noticed such a difference in the condition and feel of my hair. I'm glad I bought a small bottle as I can take this away with me on holiday. But I will be buying the big bottle when this runs out. I use a tiny amount through the lengths of my hair when dry if I've curled my hair or let it dry naturally as it gives it so much shine and softness. I always use it before blow drying- I only use a tiny amount though as a little goes a long way so this bottle will last forever. This seriously is amazing stuff and is definitely much better than the high street imitations!

I feel like the post was very long and rambly so pat on the back if you actually read it all! What are your favourites this month?:)

Saturday, 29 March 2014

What I used to dye my hair- Blonde to brunette

Hello! So yesterday afternoon I was feeling daring and decided to finally bite the bullet and dye my hair brunette. I've been pretty unhappy with the colour and condition of my hair for quite some time now. I'm naturally a blondie, albeit a very dark blondie these days. By now, I think my hair would be very dark blonde almost light brown if I didn't start highlighting my hair. From what was a few subtle blonde highlights to naturally perk my hair up at around 15-16 years old, I had been gradually getting lighter as I got older. However, my hair had gone way too blonde for my complexion and bank balance to handle so I decided I would go back to the beginning again.
My natural shade is very flat and dull looking so I tried to go for something that was a bit warmer so it would be a bit more flattering. But with that being said, I was told to go for a hair dye that was a dark blonde as they come out much darker than they say on the packet- which was true so I'm glad I didn't go for the 'iced mocha' or 'chocolate' as they would have come out so dark on me, especially because my hair has been bleached loads. I was also told to steer away from shades that promised a 'golden ', 'champagne' or 'warm' dark blonde/brown result as they would make my hair go ginger- which I didn't want. A few people that I spoke to told me to get medium ash blonde or dark ash blonde, and also recommended Nice'n Easy by Clairol, so off I went to Boots and took the plunge. I've been wanting to do this for quite some time now but I'm a big baby when it comes to drastic changes, especially with my hair! I bought Nice'n Easy semi permanent colour in the shade Medium Ash Blonde. My Mum was a star and applied it for me, there is no way I would have been able to do it myself as I have so much hair to cover! She used one bottle to cover my roots and the start of the mid lengths, another bottle for the lengths and another bottle to cover the ends and go over all of the hair. 



This is the shade I had before I dyed my hair.. As you can see it had gone way too brassy for my liking and my roots had become awful after only a few weeks of having highlights done because my natural colour is becoming darker as I'm getting older: 


Here's after I dyed my hair:


As I have thick hair and a lot of it, I needed 3 whole tubes of hair dye to cover the whole thing. I'm so glad I bought the 3rd one because it really made sure everything was covered. As my hair was really bleached in some places, some highlights didn't go completely dark and went a lighter shade of brown. But I do actually quite like that because it gives it a bit more dimension rather than it being one solid block colour which isn't very flattering on me. Even though I chose the Medium Ash Blonde shade, it is quite dark- for what I'm used to anyway, so I'm really glad that I didn't choose a 'brown' labelled shade! It is a warm brown and has a few subtle coppery tones in the light because of my highlights that I had to dye over- they were a mixture bleach blonde,ash blonde and some golden blonde. I really like the fact that it is quite a warm brown rather than a flat brown shade, I think if I picked up a 'golden brown' etc, it would have gone really orange-toned so I'm glad I chose the one I did. 

It really is a massive change for me as I haven't ever been this dark but I really like it and intend to stay with this shade for a long time as it will be so much cheaper than spending a ridiculous amount on highlights! I bought 2 packets for £7 in Boots which was a bargain, but they only had two left on the shelf so I had to buy one in Sainsburys which was £6 for one packet- how annoying! So definitely shop around because there's always offers on hair dye! I think this shade makes my hair look and feel much healthier and in better condition so I'm really enjoying embracing the change!

What do you think of my new hair colour? Have you dyed your hair brunette from blonde? I would love to hear your thoughts on home-dying kits!

Ellie 
xxx

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan review



Hello! Even though I'm a major milk bottle and love feeling bronzed, tanning to me just requires way too much effort. I would love to be one of those girls that has perfectly applied fake tan constantly but I am way too lazy for that. All that scrubbing, applying, ruining the sheets, ending up with patches, orange hands and fingers (guilty of this every time) and it fading off patchy just leaves me feeling defeated every time. I was a fan of Xen Tan Dark Lotion for quite some time but for £24 a bottle and I didn't really feel like it lasted on my skin for very long, so I've been on the hunt for a new tan.

I've seen Cocoa Brown One Hour Tan by Marissa Carter pop up on quite a few blogs recently and at only £7.99 a bottle I decided to give it a go. What I love the most about this tan is the application. It's a mousse formula which blends really easily and when applied with the tanning mitt (which I purchased for really cheap from Primark) you can achieve a smooth, even application really easily. Both the fake tan and the mitt are available for the same price in Primark as well as Feel Unique which I think is really great as it is quite readily available. The mitt retails for £2.99 and is of a good quality but I don't have any other fake tanning mitts to compare it to.. I didn't photograph it because quite frankly, it looks gross right now haha.

The main thing that attracted me to trying this tan was the claim that it develops in just an hour which sounds amazing. The tan does develop within an hour but if you want to achieve a deeper tan, which lasts longer it definitely needs to be left on for a bit longer. However, I applied it before bed and woke up with a really really deep tan as I am so pale, which although was worrying, I wasn't orange at all and it did calm down to a lovely natural colour once I washed off the guide colour. I think if you want to have a light bronzed glow then leaving it on for an hour would be fine, but if you want to be slightly darker, I would leave it on for 2-3 hours max.

Praise the lord, finally a tan that doesn't stink of mouldy biscuits or curry! The scent of the tan is pleasant and doesn't linger on the skin after the guide colour has been washed off which I really like. Although the tan is a mousse formula, I didn't find the tan drying at all which I have found with other mousse fake tans. I actually find the formula to be quite moisturising and it felt nice on the skin. According to the Feel Unique website it has 'vegetable derived DHA and No parabens' which is good to know if you have sensitive skin. Marissa Carter has brought out a few variations of tan in her Cocoa Brown range which include a Chocolate Whip moisturiser and Night & Day instant wash off tan which I am dying to try. I've seen Cocoa Brown One Hour Tan and the mitt from the range in Primark but not the rest of the range. However the full range is available on Feel Unique and is shipped worldwide.

I've inserted pictures of the tanning process and before & after shots as a reference of how deep the tan is on my skin tone (these haven't been edited at all apart from the size) I applied one coat and left it on for 3 hours before rinsing off the guide colour. Excuse my ghastly milk bottle legs :



Overall I do really enjoy using this tan as it really is simple to apply, develops pretty quickly and doesn't smell. The only downside I would say is that it is pretty difficult to remove- which leaves me red raw after scrubbing my poor arms for hours as it tends to go patchy on my wrists, elbows etc. after a while. I applied the tan on Friday evening and the tan only really started to go patchy and fade on Thursday so really, that is pretty good! If you're not a lazy so and so like me and actually look after your tan- i.e moisturise every night, don't have 1000 baths a week instead of showers then you will probably find the patchiness is minimal!

Have you tried any products from the Cocoa Brown range? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Ellie
x x x