My day of All Things Beauty

Hi, lovelies,

I hope you’re all enjoying the lovely weather this weekend! For a change, I have had a relaxing couple of days enjoying the sunshine and taking stock of various things in my life and regarding my blog.

I don’t know about you but now that I have been blogging for nearly 4 months it is hard not to become completely consumed by everything blog and social media related! There is so much to learn and do to make the most of blogging but never enough time to do everything, especially if you still have a very busy full-time job too. That’s why this weekend I was determined to take a step back, relax and remember there are many things to enjoy in life as well as blogging!

A Different Kind of Post

That led me to decide on this post. I started this blog site with the aim of focusing mainly on beauty, makeup and skin care but actually, there are so many subjects that I could cover under the title “All Things Beauty”. This post embraces that idea and is different to my usual posts because instead of just reviewing some great skincare or makeup, I wanted to share how I spent a lovely day recently enjoying “All Things Beauty” around Birmingham!

Beauty Day 1 – Sims Footwear

So, I started my day quite early and my first stop was a beautiful shoe store in the Great Western Arcade. The shop is called Sims Footwear and it stocks some of the most unusual and quirky shoes I have ever seen!

I haven’t bought any shoes in ages as my money generally goes on makeup now but this shop tempted me to splurge! There were so many designs to choose from, a variety of colours and heel heights and even matching handbags – it’s a shoe lovers heaven! If you haven’t been to this shop before I definitely recommend a visit.

Beauty Day 2 – House of Fraser

From there I paid a visit to House of Fraser. I have not been to House of Fraser in a long time as I no longer work in the city centre but I used to spend hours in there wandering the makeup sections! This time I actually paid a visit to the Swarovski concession stand first! I have been a lover of Swarovski for years and have a sizeable collection of jewellery but it has been a while since I bought anything.

There were some gorgeous pieces on display:

I have said before how much of a magpie I am – Swarovski is a magpie’s dream! There are so many designs to pick from and a range of prices depending on the budget you want to stick to. Swarovski also run a membership card where you can earn vouchers as you spend – suffice to say I have earned a lot of vouchers over the years! If you know someone who loves jewellery or you are looking for a special gift I would always recommend a visit to Swarovski! On this occasion, I was able to resist spending on the new Spring collection!

The Makeup Counters – Benefit

I then, of course, wandered to the makeup section! I never get bored with looking at makeup and beauty products as there is always something new to discover. One of my favourite brands is Benefit, the products are always great quality and they also create lovely packaging for everything. I loved the display stand they had set up for the extensive eyebrow range:

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I have tried a few of the products from the eyebrow range and everything is brilliant. The brow pomade Ka Brow is perfect for defining and shaping your brows – I use this for a night out so my brows look on point all night! Gimme Brow is ideal for slightly darkening and tidying up the brows whilst keeping them looking natural. The new versions of High Brow Glow are also great for highlighting under the brows and in the inner eye corners. The new range is worth exploring if you struggle with your brows as there is a product for everyone’s taste!

Bobbi Brown

Next on my journey was Bobbi Brown. This is one of the brands I first started following when I started learning about makeup and my love has never diminished. Most of my first makeup brushes were purchased from Bobbi Brown and I still have them! I love seeing what new makeup Bobbi Brown has created and on this day I discovered a new line of eyeliners!

These eyeliners are beautiful! The colours are all dark, perfect for creating a smoky eye or a rich natural look and the texture was so soft and smooth! I took swatches of each colour and when first applied you could blend them out but once they had set on my skin they did not move all day and the colours did not fade. I did not buy any of them on this occasion simply because I was watching my spending but they are definitely on my wishlist!

Another recent release by Bobbi Brown is the Art Stick Liquid Lipsticks. I have bought one of these to test and I have to say they are really good!

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It is basically a lipstick in a squidgy pen! They are really easy to use, the colours are lovely and no less pigmented than a normal lipstick and it is easy to control the application. The colour stays for a good few hours before you need to reapply and they aren’t drying. It’s a clever design and a great handbag item!

Beauty Day 3 – Superdrug

After House of Fraser, I decided to wander to another favourite store of mine – Superdrug! I remember when Superdrug barely stocked any makeup or beauty products but now its brilliant! I can spend hours wandering the makeup aisles in Superdrug and they stock some really great value makeup brands that I probably would never have tried if they weren’t available here. On this trip, I was very restrained but I did notice that they now stock Nip + Fab Makeup!

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I have heard more and more good things about this brand but I have not tried anything as yet. This stand was already out of stock for many items which is generally a good sign that the brand is worth trying! I particularly want to try the cleansing facial pads which are supposed to be excellent but they weren’t in stock so I will have to keep checking until I can try them! I have also heard high praise for the correctors and concealers so they are both on my wishlist!

Beauty Day 4 – Debenhams

If you’re a makeup lover like me, a trip to the city centre would not be complete without a trip to Debenhams. Over time Debenhams has expanded its makeup section and it now includes some of my favourite brands, like Too Faced and Makeup Forever. I specifically wanted to check if Too Faced’s Natural Love palette was in stock but it wasn’t (I have since bought this palette and will be reviewing it soon!) However whilst there I saw Urban Decay had released a new palette and some limited edition lipsticks:

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Up to this point, I had been very controlled with my spending but when I saw this I had to buy it! This palette is petite but still maintains the Urban Decay quality we have all come to expect from the brand. I will be reviewing the palette separately with swatches but I can say the eyeshadows are buttery and pigmented and the colour selection is very versatile for day and night. I also bought one of the lipsticks and I love that too! It’s very pigmented, quite hydrating and stayed put for the majority of the day.

On the way out of the store I passed by the Illamasqua concession stand and saw they had released a new set of lipsticks too:

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Illamasqua is another amazing brand that I love to keep up with and it took a lot for me not to purchase some of these lipsticks! I have tried Illamasqua lipsticks before and they are beautiful, soft and creamy with great coverage and colour payoff. I will no doubt buy a lipstick from the new range at some point and I recommend trying the brand as a whole if you haven’t!

Beauty Day 5  – Lush Cosmetics

After strolling across town for a good few hours I was ready to go home, but not before I paid a visit to Lush! I have never truly explored Lush as a brand but I had heard so many recommendations I thought I better see what all the fuss is about! Watch out for a future post on what I bought and my review of the products!

And that was my day of All Things Beauty! I love days like that, where you can just enjoy spending time window shopping and enjoying the atmosphere as the city centre gets busy! It’s also a great way to relax, clear your mind and get some exercise – I felt thoroughly refreshed and inspired by the time I got home!

I hope you liked this post, I know it’s not what you usually expect from me but I had such a lovely day looking at beautiful things that I felt I had to share it! If you enjoyed this post, do like, comment and share it and if you don’t already, please subscribe!

See you all again soon!

Dips xxx

5 things I love about Makeup Geek – My Collection

Hi, there beauty lovers!

I hope you have all been enjoying your Easter Bank holiday weekend, I cannot believe how fast it has gone! I have spent most of it working on improving my blog so I have not posted anything new until now! This post took some preparation but I have been wanting to write it for ages!

Makeup Geek

If you have not heard of or used Makeup Geek eyeshadow before you’re really missing out! I had not heard of the brand myself until about 18 months ago but I am so glad I did because it is now one of my staple brands to follow and buy from.

Makeup Geek has been producing quality makeup and brushes for a while now and everything I have bought has been excellent. They have also launched lip products which I am going to purchase as soon as I can! As far as the eyeshadow is concerned though, it is second to none for pigmentation, texture, colour range and affordability.

As someone who loves to experiment with eye looks (check out my Instagram and Pinterest feeds and you’ll see for yourself!), once I knew how extensive the Makeup Geek range was I had to start collecting the pans!

This is my current collection:

I have tried to amass a good selection from each colour group and I have used almost every colour! My collection includes a mixture of all the different Makeup Geek eyeshadow finishes – matte, foiled and duochrome. Regardless of the finish you use, the colour payoff is exceptional as is the durability.

The Swatches

Now for the fun part! I took swatches of every single colour in my collection for all of you to see! I also listed the names of each eyeshadow pan next to the swatch so you can pick the colours you really like and might want to buy:

Hopefully, you can see how amazing the colours and pigmentation are – on my eyes, the colours are even more intense.

So, what are the 5 things I love about Makeup Geek?

  1. The colour range – I am a colour magnet and love everything multicoloured so for me Makeup Geek is heaven! I can be as muted or as bright and crazy as I want and I know that every single pan will be good quality and will look beautiful after application. There is also very little fallout from most of the pans although some of the more shimmery shades will have a nominal amount when you build them up. What is great is that the brand caters for all tastes – if you’re like me there are some amazing bright colours you can work with but if you’re a more natural neutral loving addict there are just as many paler, more subtle shades to experiment with.
  2. The finishes – Makeup Geek does three different eyeshadow finishes, which are matte, foiled and duochrome. All three result in great makeup looks and they all work well together too so you can create multidimensional effects and add real depth to your look. Having tried other brands for foiled and duochrome style eyeshadows, in particular, I would still say Makeup Geek is the best.
  3. The pigmentation – I cannot shout about this enough! Whilst there are now some brands that could compete with Makeup Geek on this point when I started my collection they were hardly any that could compare. Even now not many brands have nailed high-quality pigmentation on all finishes. I have yet to use a shade from my collection that does not give colour pay off and not only that, the colour intensity does not fade during the day. They are also intense enough to use as eyeliners!
  4. The texture – every Makeup Geek eyeshadow feels smooth and buttery to the touch. They are not chalky or dry in any way and you can easily dent one with the tip of your finger if you’re not careful! I actually broke one of my pans accidentally and had to put it back together using rubbing alcohol but this did not in any way affect the quality of the eyeshadow or the texture or colour intensity. Because they are so soft and creamy they are a dream to work with and blending them is so easy. Once applied they also stay in place and don’t melt into one another or slide over the eye due to the weather or the natural oils on the eyelid. As we approach Summer, this is a definite bonus!
  5. The affordability – I have looked at other brands that cater for individual eyeshadow pans, such as Anastasia Beverley Hills, and I have to say I find Makeup Geek to be the most affordable. You can order them from Makeup Geek direct, which is what I do, and even with shipping, it is still very reasonably priced. There are some UK stores that sell them too but they work out more expensive than the actual store. You can also order the pans in sets on the main website so it is more like a palette. I personally love the ability to pick the specific colours I want without paying over the odds for that option.

I hope this post gives you a flavour of the Makeup Geek brand! Definitely have a look at the website because there are so many other great products you can buy, from eyeliners, pigments, glitters right through to lipsticks and highlighters. The brand is cruelty and paraben free as well which I know will appeal to many people now. The other thing I love about the website is that they have an education section and video tutorials so you can learn tips and tricks to improve your makeup artistry!

Thanks for reading lovelies, ask any questions you have below and feel free to share and like! Enjoy what’s left of the Easter weekend!

Dips xxx

Miraclo London Nail Art – My Review

Hello beautiful people,

I hope you’re all enjoying the sunshine this weekend! It’s so gorgeous outside, I’m sitting in a cosy sun-drenched corner of my lounge while writing this and its bliss! I’m hoping for more like this, as its so lovely enjoying the sun whilst writing about things I love!

Miraclo Nails London

Today, I wanted to tell you about a new nail product I have tested! This product was sent to me as a PR sample by the company Miraclo London in exchange for my honest review and its been great fun trying it out. Miraclo London is a company I had never heard of before and they create beautiful fashion and nail art jewellery. As a lover of all beautiful things and beautiful nails, I was thrilled to test out a few of the nail art range.

This is the outer packaging:

  

The main box was elegant and sturdy and inside it was felt-lined and housed 2 nails. I received 3 boxes of different sized and designed nails and some loose samples and they were all beautifully packaged.

  

  

The Design

The first thing that makes these nails unique is that they are metal, not plastic or imitation acrylic. They come in silver and gold and can be round tipped or pointed. They also make them in small, medium and large sizes to cater for all nail sizes. On the website, there is a sizing guide to help you to pick the correct sizes. I tested all three sizes. They also have different designs embossed on them including special designs for holiday seasons such as Christmas.

  

Above on the left are the 3 sizes and on the right are the full set of nails I received. When I tried these on my nails, the largest size was suitable for my thumbnail and the middle size fit my other 3 mid-size nails, but they didn’t cover my entire nails from side to side – they did leave a tiny part of my natural nail showing, although this was not noticeable. Sadly, the smallest size was actually slightly too wide for my little finger nail. It was then too small for my other nails so for me the smallest nail size was unusable.

What’s Included

To attach the nails, each box contained the following which was tucked behind a flap in the box lid:

The instruction leaflet helpfully had written and picture information which explained the full process for attaching the nails. The next important difference between these nails and plastic false nails is that these can only be attached with the sticky tabs provided. You cannot use nail glue. They are also designed for at least 24-hour use so they work well for a night out or a special occasion.

The process to apply them is very similar to standard false nails – you push your nail cuticles back, buff your own nails slightly and then clean the inside of the Miraclo nail with a cotton bud before applying one of the sticky tabs to it. The tab needs to be pressed down for a short time to make sure it fully adheres to the nail and then it can be applied to your own nails! This is how they look once attached:

  

The first 2 pictures are using the medium-sized nails and the last is the largest size. Once on they were really comfortable and did not move at all. I think they would be ideal for Christmas and New Year when you want something extra special!

Pros and Cons

So, what are the pros and cons of these metal false nails compared to standard plastic and acrylic ones?

Well, the Miraclo nails are beautifully designed and made of good quality metal. They don’t need to be filed into shape, they come in many different designs, they are easy to apply and remove and they can be reused many times.

However, because they only come in 3 sizes instead of a wide selection as you would normally receive, they may not fit all nail shapes. Personally, I don’t think I would use them for longer than 24 hours in one application as I would not want to diminish the shine on the nail, I would not want to risk losing one and I would rather save them for something special. They will also cost more than a standard pack of plastic false nails although there is a bulk discount available online. Realistically I think they are perfect for special occasions but not for regular use.

I hope you enjoyed reading this review! One of the things I am most loving about being a beauty blogger is the ability to try new things and review them for all of you, especially when the items I am reviewing are different and unique! If you liked this post, please like and share it! If you aren’t subscribing to my blog yet I would love it if you did!

See you again soon!

Dips xxx

Bliss Fabulips – is it fabulous?

Hey there lovelies,

I hope you’re all looking forward to the weekend! My blog this week is later than usual as I have been so swamped and stressed with my ‘day job’ that I haven’t had the energy to come home and go straight back on the PC! Suffice it to say I cannot wait for the weekend!

Bliss Fabulips

I know I have been on more of a skincare vibe in my last few posts but I am really into caring for my skin at the moment. You all seem to enjoy reading them so I’ve done another one! This one, however, is about lip care. I don’t know about you but I struggle to keep my lips soft and smooth all year round. Sadly I also have a bad habit of chewing my lips, especially when I am stressed! This kit popped up when I was surfing the web and I had never heard of Bliss before so I thought it might be worth trying. I bought it and have been testing everything over the last 2-3 weeks.

The kit includes the following items:

  • On the far left, a lip scrub
  • In the middle, a lipstick style lip balm
  • Next, a lip cleanser
  • On the far right, a lip plumping cream

The Lip Scrub

I have tried using scrubs before and I even made a DIY lip scrub but I never found that they made any difference to the condition of my lips. This one is actually pretty good, in that it contains natural ingredients, has a pleasant taste and smell and the texture is not too abrasive but does buff the lips. This is what it looks like:

You don’t need a lot to scrub your top and bottom lips. I don’t use it every day but the days I have used it, my lips have felt noticeably softer and smoother afterwards. This effect will last to the day after use as well. I do have to say when I have forgotten to use it my lips do start to dry and chap again. Now it may be that no product can give me super soft smooth lips all the time but I was hoping this product might have a slightly longer lasting effect compared to others. Sadly it only seems to maintain the results if you use it religiously every couple of days, but it does work to a reasonable degree.

The Lip Balm

This is also pleasantly scented and not too soft in texture. It does moisturise the lips well and I tend to use it at night when I go to sleep so that it sinks in. In the morning my lips will still be reasonably soft but that won’t last into the day unless I apply more. For me, I am searching for a lip balm that can be applied sparingly and keep my lips soft all day. This is proving to be a challenge, which I hoped this lip balm would solve but it’s not quite there.

The Lip Cleanser

Now, this product is less about giving you soft lips. It is more about making sure they are clean and ready to absorb whatever you put on your lips afterwards. It’s really good for cleaning your lips after wearing heavy lipstick or a deep stained colour. Your lips do feel refreshed and clean and plump after use. This is probably my favourite item in the kit because it does what I expect it to! Like the other products, it has a lovely fragrance and pleasant taste and the texture is smooth and gel-like.

The Lip Plumper

I have to advise that I did not really notice any difference in my lips after using this! Apart from a slight tingling after the gel was applied, I did not see any change in the plumpness of my lips! It did give a nice sheen to my lips and added a little moisture but that’s about it. For obvious reasons, this was my least favourite item!

So does this kit deliver ‘full, healthy, beautiful lips’ as promised on the box? Overall, I would have to say it helps to keep your lips in good condition. BUT given what it has been created for, the effects aren’t as obvious and long-lasting as you would hope. The kit cost £25 which isn’t extortionate when you are getting 4 products but I would not buy it again. At most I would buy the cleanser on its own because that does deliver. However, I will have to continue my hunt for a good lip balm and lip scrub that gives me the luscious long lasting lips I want!

Hopefully, you enjoyed reading this post and found it useful! If you have any good recommendations for lip products I can try do leave your comments in the box below, I always love getting your feedback! If you did like this post, feel free to like and share and keep following me!

Thanks! xxx

My Liz Earle favourites – a treat for the skin!

Hi beauty lovers!

I hope you are all well and enjoying the sunshine wherever you are! My weekend has been non-stop! I’ve had a hectic week too but its been really exciting – I finally reached 1000 followers on Instagram! I have spent a lot of time cultivating my social media feeds since the start of 2017. Instagram has been a big focus so to reach my first 1000 felt amazing. I have also been contacted by companies for different opportunities to review products and even film a video review! Filming a video is new to me and will be an interesting challenge but should be fun!

Liz Earle Skincare

Onto my blog subject for today then! I have mentioned my love of Liz Earle a few times in other blogs and in social media comments so it was about time that I did a blog dedicated to her skincare! Liz Earle was introduced to me by a male friend who had been using her hot cloth cleanser for a while and raved about it. I have always been keen to try different skincare brands as my skin whilst not overly sensitive, has sometimes been temperamental and prone to breakouts. When Liz Earle was recommended to me I thought why not try it?

So, I went to her website and found that she did a travel sized pack of her main skincare products, which come in different skin types. I am an oily combination type so that is what I purchased. Since then I have never looked back! I will still test other brands for the purposes of my blog and to keep up to date with innovations but Liz Earle is my go-to skincare brand.

The Ranges

What I love about her ranges is the simplicity of the design and the vast array of skin care options. There is something for every skin type and skin issue and her products are paraben free and contain plant oils and extracts. She is actively against any animal testing or animal ingredients and takes the sourcing of her ingredients very seriously. When you order online, the products come beautifully packaged and there is often a free sample included. As for the quality of the range, it is excellent. After only a few days of using the hot cloth cleanser, I noticed how much clearer my skin looked and how soft it was. I have had a massive reduction in the number of breakouts I get since switching to her skincare and when I have tried anything new she has created it’s equally amazing.

So, what do I specifically use and love? Below are my staples from the range:

 

  

 

From left to right:

Instant Boost Skin Tonic

This is the toner from her range. It can be used across all skin types and is a clear non-perfumed liquid. You only need a small amount on a cotton pad to rub all over your face and it leaves the skin feeling fresh and clean without any tightening or drying effects. The size of the bottle is 200ml which lasts months so you aren’t’ constantly having to replenish!

Superskin Moisturiser with Natural Neroli

This moisturiser is gorgeous! It’s a thick indulgent cream that sinks into the skin beautifully, leaving it smooth and soft and very hydrated. You only need a pea-sized amount to cover your face and neck and because of the neroli, it has a lovely fragrance which lasts hours. I use this moisturiser mainly in the winter months because it is so nourishing for the skin but you can use it all year round and one tub will go a long way.

Superskin Face Serum

This is another product from the Superskin collection and it is equally brilliant. I love serums and this one is a cream formula rather than a thin liquid or gel which is the more common form serums take. Again, you only need a small amount to cover your face and you only use it in the morning. I use it before applying my moisturiser and more so in the autumn and winter when my skin needs an extra boost. It sinks into the skin really well and unlike some serums, it does not leave any oil or residue. It does, however, smooth my skin texture and makes my skin glow.

Superskin Eye and Lip Treatment

This product is now just an eye cream as Liz Earle has created separate lip products now (which are on my wishlist!). This cream is lovely, it is quite rich and thick and you only need a tiny amount to pat under the eye and on the eyelid. It hydrates the skin so well and I have noticed over time that I have very few lines under my eyes and the darkness I used to have has reduced. I have also used it on my lips and it did reduce dryness but I think it is far better as an eye cream. It also lasts ages.

Smoothing Line Serum

This serum is magic! It is a gel formula and very potent but without any fragrance. It is designed to use at night and not just on the face but on the neck and decolletage. Its purpose is to plump and firm the skin and I have to say it does do that after using it for a little while. It does have a slightly tacky feel once it is on the skin so it is best used at night on clean skin so that it can sink in overnight. As with the other products, you don’t need much at a time so it will last.

Skin Repair Light Moisturiser – Oily/Combination

This is my daily moisturiser during the spring and summer months. I use it after the toner and it is much lighter than the Superskin moisturiser, absorbing into the skin in seconds but with no less hydration. It is also fragrance-free and lasts a while, especially as I don’t use it all year round.

Superskin Concentrate for Night

This is a super rich night-time face oil which has a slightly herbal scent when applied. A little goes a long long way and the combination of ingredients relaxes you as you breathe it in. Your skin feels soft and nourished after application and the following morning! I don’t use this every night simply because it is like a pampering treatment for me but it is designed to be used every night all year round.

Superskin Hand Serum

Now I realise that this is not a face product but it is too good not to include! I often have very dry hands and I have struggled to find any cream that tackles the problem….until this one. This serum/cream is so moisturising that any dry patches I used to have on my hands have disappeared. I tend to use it at night when it can really work on the skin but it can be used all day and only a small amount is needed each time. Definitely one to have in your drawer for winter!

Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

Only as I was writing this blog did I realise that I did not take a picture of the highlight of the range! Nevertheless, I had to of course include the hot cloth cleanser because it is simply exceptional. I have noticed since Liz Earle brought this out, many other brands have created their own version. I can’t say I am surprised because it is genius. The muslin cloth you receive with the cream cleanser is not abrasive on the skin yet gently exfoliates leaving soft, clean and radiant skin every time. You receive a muslin cloth every time you buy the cleanser too so even though you can wash them, you don’t have to. I can completely understand why this product has won awards because it transformed my skin!

So those are my skincare favourites! Saying that I have branched out into the hair and body care ranges and they are equally brilliant. I will save those reviews for another post! If you struggle to find good quality skin care or simply want to try something new, I definitely recommend Liz Earle. She stands for so many good things in the beauty industry and she is British so it feels good to support her brand and help it grow. She also produces makeup too so I will no doubt be testing that in the future!

I hope this blog was helpful! I would love to hear your views on Liz Earle or another brand you love! If you enjoyed reading this post, don’t forget to like and share! As always please follow and subscribe to my blog to keep up with my blogging journey!

Thanks!

xxx

NB. This post is not sponsored by Liz Earle and all opinions are my own. None of the links are affiliate links.