Sunday, 31 January 2010

A Review: Sonia Kashuk Brushes

Sonia Kashuk
Makeup Brushes - various

What Do I Think?
Aside from a tiny bit of shedding on the flat headed blush brush, I've not experienced any negatives whilst using the above brushes from Sonia Kashuk, and am glad I now have them in my collection. I use the aforementioned blush brush every single day, it has replaced the MAC 168 for applying blusher, and gives a much more natural, blended finish which I'm loving. The HUGE eyeshadow brush is great for applying a wash of colour all over the lid, or even for applying a highlight to the cheekbones/temples. The angled brush is probably the one I've used the least, I have to say I prefer my MAC 219 for applying shadow to the lower lash line, but it is good for putting a thin line of colour on the upper lashes. The flat headed eyeshadow brush is great for blending and applying colour to the crease, and like all of the above brushes is really good quality and super soft. They are all a pleasure to use, and were such good bargains, so they're guilt free too!

Where Are They Available?
In the UK you can buy Sonia Kashuk from SpaceNK (but watch out, the online delivery service is diabolically slow and a rip off price).

How Much Will They Cost?
You can read my original post where I mentioned these brushes and prices here.

Would I Recommend Them?
I'm not sure I would pay the full price for these brushes, just because I'm happy with the MAC ones I already own, but they are really stylish, easy to use, and were a great bargain from the sales! If you have money to spend, then these are a good investment.

Star Rating:
5/5

In & Out: December & January

Please forgive me for forgetting to do my December favourites! I'm hoping in light of my recent announcement you'll understand I've been somewhat preoccupied ;)

I want to say a huge thank you for all of the wonderful, sweet comments you've been leaving on my last post, it means a lot, thank you :)

Once again, I'm combining two months worth of Ins & Outs, but it's quite fun to think back :)

IN:

Babies ~ An obvious one, right?! I've always adored babies and children, my first real job was working in nurseries, and I like to think eventually I'll wind up working with children again. Being pregnant so far has been an experience to say the least: emotions on overdrive and very erratic; constant sickness (feeling and occasionally being); tastes and smells going totally off kilter (very frustrating); many aches, pains and tiredness...now I'm going into the second trimester I'm hoping that at least the sickness will subside, and that I'll 'bloom' and be able to properly enjoy the experience of pregnancy! I'm SO excited to become a Mummy, I just can't find the right words to vocalise it all...it's an incredible feeling :) All I know is that all this stuff I'm going through is going to be more than worth it in the end! Plus, by the time I give birth (August 18th is my due date) I'll be 24, which is the age I'd always thought I'd like to start a family.

Cheryl Coles Night In ~ As you know I won tickets (via Colin) to be in the audience for the December ITV special dedicated to the wonderful Cheryl Cole (I'm pretty lucky with this winning tickets lark, right?!), and my sister and I were obviously ridiculously excited! The highlight of the night, after being treated to lots of Cheryl loveliness, was sitting right in front of Joe McElderry - who is such a sweetie, getting his autograph and then meeting him after the show, were he indulged our girlieness by posing for a photo!


Family ~ Although it seems like a far-away memory right now, I had a wonderful Christmas and New Year thanks to my lovely family (who more than made up for the fact I couldn't enjoy my favourite winter tipples of Mulled Wine and Winter Pimms!). It was fantastic to take some time out and just chill with my family, spending lots of time playing silly games, eating too much food (hey, I'm eating for two!) and swapping gifts.

JLS ~ A rather random 'in' I agree, but I am having a major JLS crush right now...their music style, voices, looks (OK, I'm shallow!) and sheer volume of talent. I was lucky enough to see them perform live last year when they were supporting Lemar (admittedly at the time my sister and I were annoyed that people seemed to be there for them more than Lemar, but we were blown away buy how awesome they were!). I'm kind of glad they didn't win X Factor when they were on it, because they would have been too moulded and not retained their originality, which is what makes them different from most 'boy bands'.
A truly shallow photo for any fellow JLS crushers (and Lucy this is for you too!):


Tunic style dresses ~ A blessing in the form of clothing if ever I've seen one! Perfect for the 'over indulged on chocolate and ice cream?!' stage of pregnancy, and hopefully the more roomy ones will see me the majority of the way through the 9+ months without having to resort to the decidedly dodgy maternity ranges!

OUT:

Moving house ~ I feel bad for putting this in the 'out', given that I've been trying to persuade Colin that we should move house for a while, and now we're upgrading to a bigger, better value house (we rent)...the reason it's an 'out' is due to the pure stress involved with it all: going from furnished to un-furnished; all of the needing to notify every tom, dick and harry that our address will be changing; realising just how much 'stuff' we've accumulated in the two and half years we've lived here and how much of a mission it is to pack it all up! Thankfully we're only moving round the corner, so a lot of our stuff can literally be picked up as is, but it's still a lot to think of and deal with whilst suffering baby brain! I always dislike the in-between stage, and just want to be in and settled, so I can start nesting!

Haters ~ Fortunately I'm lucky enough to have not been on the receiving end of negative comments on this blog, or anywhere else (hope I haven't jinxed it now!), but I was just watching a couple of videos on YouTube and had to close the page because I was genuinely upset by reading some comments that are downright rude, vile, nasty and absolutely unnecessary. If those comments are upsetting when not personally directed toward me, I can only imagine how horrible it is for that person to read those things about themselves...what on earth goes through peoples minds when they write these things, who the hell are they to be that vicious to someone they don't know. Its disgusting, and I flagged a few people before realising it's a rather pointless task...the sad reality is that there are some right b**tards out there who think its their right to abuse other people, purely because their own lives are so unfulfilled and pathetic. What happened to being a nice person :(

~

I feel like the luckiest girl in the world right now, so that's it from me on the 'out' front!

xxx

Friday, 29 January 2010

An annoucement...

I'll keep this post short and sweet, but I would like to let you all know my most recent news (well, I've known for 3 months, but ssh!).

Yep! In 6 months time, that will be me!

Colin and I are over the moon, and really excited about what is to come...although I guess not so excited at the prospect of being skint for the rest of our lives! I had my 3 month scan this week and it was excellent to see the little bubba growing inside of me!

xxx

Oh, and P.S...morning sickness is a lie...it's ALL day, 24/7 sickness...yuk :(

Thursday, 21 January 2010

A Review: Vichy Essentielles

Vichy Essentielles
Skincare

I'm sorry to tell you that I won't be reviewing these products, that I received from Vichy. I had agreed to their offer of them sending me some products from their new Essentielles range, thinking that I could give them to my Mum (after I tried them out to check them), who has sensitive skin and these products sounded ideal.

However, a couple of things have led me to not only discontinue use on myself but also to me thinking that there is NO way I will give these to my Mum!

For more info, read this post by one of my favourite bloggers Jo. I was horrified to see the reaction that Jo had experience, and although I know that every product will have different results for different people, but I had experienced VERY itchy dry skin on my legs after using the body lotion. Initially I had put it down to shaving rash and the effects of winter on my skin, however now after putting two and two together, I think I can attribute the reaction to the body lotion.

I'm going to be overly cautious and not use the body lotion again, and I think I'll give the face products a miss too...and safe to say, I won't pass them onto my Mum!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Mmm, Chocolate!

I've been brunette for a while now, and I have to say I enjoy living on the dark side! I'm pretty sure blonde and brunette suit me equally, in different ways, which I know is quite lucky, but for now I'm enjoying the simplicity that being a brunette offers me!

When I was blonde, I would have to have highlights done professionally (I just don't trust the blonde DIY dyes), which is obviously an expensive habit, one my Mum did warn me about way back when ;) Being brunette, I'm perfectly happy to dye my own hair, it seems safer somehow to go darker rather than lighter when doing it myself at home (or getting someone else to do it for me at home, hehe!).

I've tried various dyes form various brands, in various shades of brown (who knew there could be so many?!), but the one I keep coming back to every time now is the L'Oreal Excell 10, in shade 5.15 Chocolate, which is, as the name would suggest, a really nice and rich chocolate brown.


The other really great thing about this dye is that it only takes 10 minutes to take, 5 minutes on the roots, 5 on the rest of your hair (maybe more if you're hair is super long), and I don't find it patchy or drying, in fact my hair always looks and feels at its best after a fresh dye. I adore the conditioner that comes with the dye too, something about cashmere...whatever it is, it smells fab and makes my hair so soft and shiny!

I'm pretty low maintenance when it comes to the rest of my hair care routine, I use the John Frieda Brilliant Brunette range of shampoos and conditioners, although I've started only conditioning my hair a couple of times and week and am finding my hair is a lot less greasy now (yay!). I usually deep condition once a week (at the weekend!) and have managed to go without using heat on my hair for well over 3 months now (aside from the very occasional blow dry if I'm in a rush and it's really cold out in the morning), and it is in a much better condition!

I do have a few products for encouraging the natural waves/curls in my hair, but on a day to day basis (I'm pretty lazy!) I tend to just let it air dry and crunch/twist it a little before I walk out of the door! It can sometimes look a little frizzy, but I'm not too fussed any more, besides it looks a lot better with its natural volume than when it's straightened and just hanging off of my head!

Simples :)

Friday, 15 January 2010

A Review: Lush Sugar Babe Sugar Scrub


Lush Sugar Scrub
Sugar Babe


What Do I Think?
My wonderful sister gave me one of these in a little box of goodies from Lush for Christmas (the box also included one of my staples, Porridge Soap, and Honey I Washed The Kids soap). It smells amazing - of sugar (duh!), coconut, ylang ylang and mimosa blossom - and I couldn't wait to use it. I wish this product came with a warning though...but because it doesn't, for anyone thinking of trying it...please read this:

WARNING: Break off a chunk of this BEFORE you get it wet...otherwise the WHOLE 100g of product will start to disintegrate in your hands and you will have to use it all up in one go!!!

Trust me, I didn't think it would harm it if I dunked the whole thing under running water, but it did! I really, really loved using it though, and any excuse to stay in the shower longer is fine by me! It is very moisturising at the same time as being really exfoliating, without being too harsh, and it's a pleasure (if a little messy) to use. I can't really think of anything else to say, other than that if you fancy treating yourself to something sweet...try this!

Where Is It Available?
Lush is available nationwide, in store and online.

How Much Will It Cost?
£2.60 for a 100g piece.

Would I Recommend It?
Disintegrating aside, yes! This exfoliates really nicely, has a delicious scent and my skin was soft as a babies bottom after I used it! I will definitely repurchase.

Star Rating:
4/5

A Review: Hourglass Extreme Sheen Lipgloss


Hourglass Extreme Sheen Lipgloss
Siren

As mentioned in this previous post, I was kindly sent this product by the founders of the website Zuneta.com, as a Christmas gift. The purpose was not for me to review the product for the brand or the website, it was a gift to introduce me to a brand that I had heard very little about. As you know, I review pretty much everything I use/try, and this product is no different!

What Do I Think?
Hourglass is a luxurious looking brand, which retails for more high end prices, and upon initial sight of this product I certainly got that impression. The packaging is very simple, classy and elegant, and it feels like a well made, well thought out product and design. Upon further investigation I discovered that this lipgloss smells AMAZING, good enough to eat - although I certainly wouldn't recommend that! It has a small brush applicator, which I do sometimes prefer to the more traditional 'cheaper looking' doe-foot applicator, which picks up a very good amount of product with just one dip into the tube. The intensity of the colour, both in the tube and on the skin (whether swatched on hand or lips) is really great, this is so pigmented, and really is the most beautiful red colour, with a hint of metallic gold. I'm not a huge fan of red lips on myself, but I was actually won over by this colour, plus when I look at it I just think of Christmas! It was actually released especially for the Christmas season, as you can see from the below press picture.


It all sounds pretty good right?! I'm a little torn on this product after application though, I'm sad to say. It's very accurate in the 'high shine' description, my lips were glinting and gleaming, however I really have to disagree with the claims that this is moisturising - I found this very, very drying, even if I applied it over the top of a lipbalm. I also disagree with the claims that it will stay put when you drink or lick your lips - it's a big fat fail in this department in my opinion. I tried applying less product, but it still wouldn't stay put :(

Where Is It Available?
Hourglass is available online at Zuneta.com

How Much Will It Cost?
The Extreme Sheen lipglosses retail for £21.00 in the UK, on the Zuneta website (standard delivery is £3.95).

Would I Recommend It?
Despite my thoughts on the Siren gloss, I would like to try out some of the different shades in the Extreme Sheen range, to see if they differ at all (plus, there are some gorgeous shades to choose from). I personally wouldn't recommend this particular gloss, and it is quite pricey at £21.00 if you don't like it, but by all means, give it a try and let me know how you get on!

Star Rating:
3/5

Overrated product #1: MAC Underage Lipglass

I'm sure at some point, we have all (and will probably continue to) purchased a product that seems to receive a lot of hype and credit, but actually to you, is extremely disappointing, and somewhat overrated.

For me, one of those overrated products is MAC Lipglass in the colour Underage. This was on of my first MAC purchases, back at the start of 2009. I have not gone on to purchase any more of the MAC Lipglasses, purely because a) I didn't want a repeat performance and b) I think you can get lovely glosses from drugstore brands like L'Oreal and Maybelline (simply to name a couple).


Obviously, every product out there will differ from person to person in terms of results, but I personally think lip products are one thing that are quite universal in terms of how they apply (you don't have to agree with me!). This aside however, I just do not think that this Lipglass in particular lives up to anything I was expecting it to be. I find it very gloopy and very uneven in consistency, which when applied to the lips is glaringly obvious, and the only way I found to avoid this is to use the silliest, smallest amount of product, which is not only annoying but pretty pointless!

I do like the scent, and I actually wouldn't mind that it is sticky either (some of my favourite glosses are the Soap & Glory 'Sexy Mother Puckers' and these are SOOO sticky!), but it's the bad kind of sticky, the kind that glues my lips together, and goes a bit gungy in the corners (which is NEVER a good look!). It is a pretty colour, a pinky nude, but to me, this product is something I really regret buying, and sits unloved in my lipgloss drawer...so sad!

What are you most overrated products?