Drinks at the ICEBAR, London

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Hello Beauties! I hope you're all well and had a lovely weekend. This was my first weekend since finishing University on Friday and as much as I love to keep myself busy, it was so nice to just take it easy and spend the weekend binge watching all of the Netflix. If you read my last post, you'll know that I want to introduce more 'lifestyle' posts to my blog, and today will be the first of hopefully many! Last Wednesday I was in London for a presentation and meeting, and afterwards I met up with the lovely Kimberley from Kimberley's Beauty Blog, and we headed to the ICEBAR in Heddon Square for an evening of drinks and catching up. Me and Kimberley actually met in the ICEBAR almost two years ago now at a Benefit Cosmetics Event, so it was a lovely location for a catch up. 

The ICEBAR has changed significantly since my last visit all that time ago, and has now been completely made over for Summer. The new ICEBAR has been designed by ice artist Jens Thoms Ivarsson, who has worked with Chanel at Paris Fashion Week and was also the designer of the worlds largest ICEHOTEL. When you walk in you see a giant ice cupcake and ice pineapple to your right which I thought were so cool. The bar is also designed to be a truck made out of ice, and you can also sit in the drivers seat of the truck - perfect for photo opportunities. There really is no block of ice left untouched in the bar and the detail which has gone in to everything is truly incredible. 

The bar is around -5 and everything in the bar has been crafted from ice from the Torne River in Jukkasjärvi, right down to the cocktail glasses, but don't worry - before you enter the bar you get fully kitted up in a blue thermal coat, complete with faux fur trimmed hood and gloves, to keep you warm inside the bar. I would recommend dressing for cold weather though if you're going into the bar, as it does still get a little chilly. If you find the bar a little too cold, you can also pop into the warm lounge bar and newly opened restaurant where you can treat yourself to a lovely sit down meal. 

thoroughly enjoyed my evening at the ICEBAR, and I definitely think its something everyone should experience at least once in their life. I think it would make a great location for any special events such as hen parties and milestone birthdays as it offers something completely different from any other bar - plus, the drinks were super tasty too! 

Lots of Love,

Becky x x

*Tickets to the bar c/o ICEBAR London


Friday, 29 May 2015

So, it's been about a week and a half since I decided to take a little break from blogging, and while that may not seem like a lot to some people, it seems like an absolute age to me - and what a week it's been. This week I finished my last exam ever and in doing so finished my degree, something I've been working towards for the past 4 years. Honestly, I'm just a little bit proud of myself for completing it, especially as I never thought I would make it to the end...essays and presentations were enough to make me run for the hills, let alone a dissertation. But I did it, and I made it out the other side, much wiser for it....even if I count being 'wiser' as now being able to use the washing machine without turning all my whites pink and managing to go 4 whole years without setting fire to the kitchen. I've also had a couple of trips down to London (more on that later) and spent some quality time catching up with friends I'd drifted away from, which was so lovely, and honestly, I just didn't have time to blog with all of that going on.

I always knew my break wouldn't be forever, and would only really last a week or two, as I knew I wasn't ready to give it all up but a little step back was very much needed and well deserved. My time off also gave me the opportunity to reflect on my blog and where I want it to go in the future, and from that I'd like to make a few changes to the way things are done around here.

Firstly, I'd really like to include more face swatches in my posts. It's something I'd always wanted to do, as personally I find them very helpful when reading a review of a product, but have always put off doing as it takes so much longer to get photos taken for posts, and the stress of trying to get a good photo of my face is almost too much (my wonky eye is such a pain in photos). However, I have decided to push myself to include more of them in my posts, and as I'm pretty much a full time blogger at the moment as I'm not going in to work straight away, I should have a bit more time to put the effort in to include these photos.

I'd also like to put a bit more effort in to vary my posts a bit more. I'd like to include a few more 'lifestyle' posts as I really enjoy reading these, and as I have a little bit more time to actually do things to post about, instead of sitting in bed writing essays, I think now would be a good time to include some more. I've found that I got into the habit of posting review after review, and while I know that's useful for people wanting to research a product before buying it, I couldn't help but feel that my blog was getting a bit dull.

Lastly, I'd also like to make more of an effort to improve my photography. I really enjoy photography, and when it turns out well, it's my favourite part of blogging, so I'd ideally like to dedicate a little bit of time to improving this, as I think my photos were getting a bit same-y. Now, this may mean that it takes me longer to get up a post, just while I'm getting used to working with new set ups, etc so instead of pushing myself to post 5 times a week, I'm going to aim for three instead - that's still hopefully enough new content for you all to feast your eyes upon, but it means I won't be stressing myself out so much trying to get it all done on top of everything else I've got going on, and will hopefully make for better content when it is published.

Hopefully all of these changes will make my little blog a little more interesting and helpful for you, but if you have any suggestions at all then please leave them below! 

Lots of Love,

Becky x x

An Honest Outlook on Blogging

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Well, this is certainly a post I never thought I'd be writing. For the past two years I've been completely and utterly in love with blogging and everything that surrounds it, every ounce of my spare time was filled with all things blogging, and new post ideas were always on my mind. For the past two years my blog has been my outlet, a place to share my opinions and get away from everything. My blog became my place to hide when life was getting me down, and also a place to share my successes and over the years it's seen me go through many a lifestyle change....I've moved multiple times to different cities, gone through break ups, new jobs, University struggles and I've also met some of my best friends. My blog is something I've grown extremely attached to over the past two years, it's almost like a fifth limb, which is why I feel extremely sad to continue on with this post.

For the past couple of weeks I've been feeling completely unmotivated to blog, and to keep up with my regular posting schedule. I understand that we all go through this from time to time, as I myself have experienced bloggers block on several occasions, but something feels different this time and I can't quite put my finger on it. I've always made it my aim to be completely open and honest about what's going on here on Lipgloss & Lashes, both to benefit myself and my readers, and lately I've felt like I've been blogging for the sake of it, just going through my motions and publishing half hearted content, which some of you may have picked up on. 

I'm not sure exactly why I've been feeling like this, as it's probably down to a number of things, but I'm just not feeling it at the moment. This hasn't been a snap decision either, I've really been trying my hardest to keep up with my blog lately, but I feel that if I keep going down this same route of publishing something just for the sake of it, then I'll fall out of love with blogging all together, and I'd hate to have to give up such a large part of who I am. 

At the moment I'm at a turning point in my life, which I guess has been partly to blame for this feeling of discontent when it comes to blogging. If you read my blog regularly then you'll know that I'm coming to the end of my four year degree, in fact, I sit my last ever exam on Friday. As you can imagine, life's been pretty hectic recently. I've had tonnes of revision to do, a dissertation to write and on top of that there's the whole job search thing going on...and honestly, I'm just not quite sure where blogging fits in around all of that. I'm an extremely organised person, and I've managed to keep this blog going (with its regular posting schedule) throughout full time study and a full time job, but recently there's just been no time. There's only so many things one person can take on without completely burning themselves out, and in my case something just has to give. I'm at an exciting point in my life where I'm just about to take the first steps on the career ladder (hopefully) and I'm also tieing up loose ends at University, and I'd like to be able to enjoy this time with my friends without having to worry about whether this week's posts are done. I would hate to look back on my life when I'm older and regret not spending time with my loved ones, all because I was stressed out. 

However changes in my personal life aren't completely to blame for this less than chipper feeling towards blogging. When I started blogging just over two years ago, the whole blogging landscape was completely different and I adored the way it used to be. I felt like I'd finally found a hobby that suited me, after hating pretty much everything else I'd tried, and I loved it. Blogging introduced me to a whole new world, and a community of like minded beauty enthusiasts, who were all so lovely and supporting. But over the past couple of month's I've noticed a huge shift in the blogging community. I realise that with such a new and evolving industry that things are always bound to change, but recently I've noticed a few changes which just don't sit right with me. 

Over the past couple of months I've seen more and more bloggers turn their blogs into careers with amazing success, and on one hand I think this is great. I love seeing some of my favourite bloggers flourish, achieve their dreams and be handed opportunities I could only dream of, because they truly deserve it and I also think it's amazing to see the blogging community get the recognition it deserves. However on the other hand, I now see more and more bloggers playing the numbers game and doing anything they can to monetise their content. I won't lie, I do make a little bit of money from my blog, but nowhere near enough to support myself, but I've never been interested in turning my blog into a little money maker, or pursuing blogging as a career. I started my blog to share my opinions about beauty with like minded individuals and fill a gap in my life, thats it. However over the past few months I've fallen to the pressure of trying to make my blog professional in order to keep up with the way blogging is going. There seems to be an unspoken rule at the moment that to be a good blogger, or even worthy of readers, your photos must be taken on an expensive camera, your blog must be designed to super high standards and your content has to be good enough to make the editors at Vogue quake in their, probably very expensive, boots - and for me, that's not what blogging is about. 

I've found that recently I've spend more and more time picking apart my blog and all of its faults than I've spend enjoying the journey, which I guess is why I've been feeling this way. There's so much pressure on bloggers to be the best at the moment and I know if I carry on pushing myself the way I have been trying to get my blog to that high standard then I'll burn out and completely fall out of love with the whole thing. I've also noticed a huge change in the way bloggers act towards each other, and in some cases I've found it to be quite a hostile environment. More often than not, blogging chats are filled with snide comments about certain bloggers, there's been drama after drama, bullying and general nastiness from bloggers, and I don't think anyone should be made to feel that way. I'm not specifically talking about anyone here, so please don't jump to conclusions and think I'm creating drama, I'm merely pointing out that every time I log onto Twitter at the moment there seems to be something kicking off. Blogging has become an extremely competitive landscape, and as someone who was never interested in being the best, making the most money, or competing in any way, it's started to make me feel uncomfortable. 

I'm not saying that this is the end of my blog, far from it. But I think I need to take a week or two off blogging as I'm just not in the right headspace at the moment to continue. I currently have no posts in my 'drafts' box and instead of panicking me, it's actually quite a nice feeling...which I guess is a sign that a break is well and truly in order. I didn't write this post to get sympathy, I just wanted the chance to be completely open with my readers and explain that I'm not simply just bored of blogging. I do have one last post going up tonight as I'd already written it and it seemed silly to not publish it, but after that I'll be taking the week off - hopefully you understand! 

Lots of Love,

Becky x x

Paul Mitchell Smoothing Hair Care

Hello Beauties! I hope you're all well and had a lovely weekend. I'd love to say I spent mine relaxing and eating cake, however mine was spend revising and working away whilst also on a diet....could it really get worse? I finish Uni in just over a week though, so hopefully it will all be over soon and I can get back to concentrating on some new content for Lipgloss & Lashes! Anyway, I've mentioned before that since getting my hair cut and restyled, I've been testing out quite a few different haircare ranges, and today I wanted to tell you all about the Paul Mitchell Smoothing Haircare Range. I know that the picture says that it's called the 'so smooth' gift set, but it's actually just the smoothing gift set - I edited the picture and deleted the original so I couldn't go back and change it! 

The set comes in a plastic cosmetics bag, which I've kept to use as a travel makeup bag. I think the design is quite pretty, it's big enough to fit a fair bit inside, and the plastic makes it easy to wipe down. Clearly you wouldn't buy this just for the bag, but I always think these things are a nice little addition. The range aims to cleanse, smooth and soften the hair all while reducing drying time and helping keep frizz at bay, so exactly what I need from my hair products. Given the positive reviews and professional reputation of Paul Mitchell haircare, I couldn't wait to put them to the test and see the results. 

I'll get my first little negative out of the way first, and it really only is a little quibble for me....this didn't reduce drying time. I have extremely thick hair, and lots of it, so a product that reduces the drying time of my hair would have to be nothing short of a miracle...even hairdressers struggle. So for me, this didn't live up to that claim, but as I'm used to spending hours on my hair it's no biggie, and this may work extremely well in terms of drying time on less dense and thick manes. 

Before I get in to how well the product actually works, I have to mention the smell. The whole range smells delicious. It has a light and fruity scent which smells just like apples, it's also a scent which lingers on the hair after washing which makes the products seem a little more luxurious and more like 'hairdresser' products if you know what I mean. 

Overall I have been extremely impressed with the range. Since using it on a daily/every-other-day basis my hair has completely transformed. I have curly hair, which can be a little coarse sometimes and end up looking slightly straw-like when straightened, however since using this my hair has been noticeably softer and smoother which has made straightening my hair a lot easier. I find that the serum really helps to keep my frizz under wraps too. Before, all I'd have to do was walk out the door and all my hard work and effort straightening my hair evaporated as the frizzy mess took over, but now my hair lasts a lot longer, which just goes to show that investing in your haircare (especially when you treat it as badly as I do) is sometimes worth the extra spend. 

This gift set, along with a number of other Paul Mitchell hair products, are available from HQhair.com, although I'd definitely recommend picking up one of the sets as they're so much cheaper than buying the products individually! 

Lots of Love,

Becky x x

*Products c/o HQHair.com

Cohorted Beauty Box May 2015

Hello Beauties! I'm back today with yet another beauty box review, I didn't really want to post two beauty box reviews in one week, as I know that could be a little annoying for those of you who hate beauty boxes, but they've been sat on my dresser for a good two weeks now waiting to be reviewed, so I thought I'd get writing while I still had the motivation to blog (something I've been struggling with recently). However, this beauty box really is something special so it really deserved a mention, and it's non other than the Cohorted May Beauty Box. 

The Cohorted beauty box service isn't like your regular Glossy Box or Birchbox subscription box, instead of signing up to the scheme and automatically receiving a box every month, you have to pre-order these each month. In fact, at the moment you have to pre-order them months in advance as they've just been SO popular - and I can certainly see why. This months box was packed with four full size products all from high end, recognisable brands, and adds up to just under £100, so you're definitely getting your money's worth! 

Michael Kors Lip Lacquer in Dame

The first thing I spotted when I opened the box was the white and gold Michael Kors packaging and let me tell you, I was excited. I opened up the packaging to reveal one of their lipsticks in the shade Dame and was immediately disappointed. Dame looked like a very dark red/berry colour and just not something I could pull off, however my disappointment was short lived as after trying the lipstick I realised that it applies quite sheer, leaving you with more of a berry shade than a deep vampy red. It really is a beautiful lipstick and something I'd never expect from a beauty box in a million years, so I think Cohorted did really well for including this. Okay, it's not really a 'summer' shade but I can definitely see myself getting a lot of wear from it later in the year. 

Dolce & Gabanna Nail Polish in 'Perfection'

Next I spotted yet another designer brand and my excitement levels increased. 'Perfection' is a light nude shade which I think makes a perfect 'everyday' shade, for when you don't really know what colour to go for. It works for every season, and is a great alternative to brights if you're not allowed them for work/school. I was pleasantly suprised with the formula of this nail polish, it dried fairly quickly, applied easily and there wasn't one hint of a streak...but I'm not sure it's all that much better than OPI, so I think I'll stick to OPI for the time being as they're a smidgen cheaper. I hadn't previously tried anything from Dolce & Gabanna due to the high price so I think it's great that the Cohorted beauty box gives you access to such high end brands at a fraction of the price, making them accessible to everyone. 

Too Faced Exotic Colours Eyeshadow in Enchanted Garden

I received one of the Too Faced Exotic Colours Eyeshadows in the April Cohorted box and absolutely love it, so I was excited to see another shade included in this month's box. The shade is a little dark for me to use on an everyday basis, but it's a great one to have for nights out when I want to create a nude smokey eye, and once again, Too Faced hit the nail on the head with their formula. Their products are fast becoming my favourites and this eyeshadow is no different, it's smooth and buttery making it a dream to blend and the little specks of sparkle are just so pretty. 

Cargo Cosmetics Vintage Escape Eyeshadow Palette

I couldn't quite believe my eyes when I saw that Cohorted had included a whole palette in this months box. The Vintage Escape palette is essentially a neutral palette comprised of a range of matte and shimmer shades, so it's got everything you could need for everyday looks or neutral night time looks. I also really like that the palette includes an olive green colour, I think it's such a flattering shade which never gets the love it deserves, so it's nice to see it in a neutral palette. 

Overall, I am thoroughly impressed with this box. It blows all other beauty boxes out of the water in terms of the contents - I just wish it was a little easier to get a hold of! If you'd like to try your hand at ordering a Cohorted Beauty Box, the next month available to order is July, which you can take a look at here. 

Lots of Love,

Becky x x

*Products c/o Cohorted

Birchbox May 2015 Review

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Hello Beauties! I hope you're all well and having a great week. Today I wanted to talk to you all about this month's Birchbox and it's contents. I usually post these reviews at the start of the month as soon as the box lands on my doorstep, however this month I've been so busy with Uni and life. I know I keep babbling on about it, but this month was spent finishing my dissertation (If you've written one yourself then you'll know how busy the last few weeks are!) and straight after that I had to start revision, and on top of all that I've been spending a lot of time applying for jobs and preparing for upcoming interviews, so I just had no time to get these photos taken and sit down and properly write the review - I hope you'll forgive me over the next two weeks as this is likely to continue on until the end of the month. However, I finish Uni for good on the 29th May so hopefully I'll have a little time to properly sit down and sort my blog out, as I'm feeling so behind with it right now! Anyway, rambling aside, let's get on to the contents. 

If you're wondering why my box looks a bit like it's been attacked by a creative 3 year old let loose with some crayons, that's because I coloured it, and I think it's fair to say my colouring skills have diminished significantly since leaving school all those years ago. This months theme was 'free your mind' and was based around colouring books. I'm no expert, but apparently colouring books are proven to help relieve stress and anxiety, so the box was essentially an adult colouring book and came with a little pack of colouring crayons so that you can decorate and design your own box. 

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Tinted Moisturiser

The first product which I pulled out was the Caudalie Vinoperfect Tinted Moisturiser (sample size). I believe that this is a new launch from Caudalie so I was pretty excited to receive this, as it's always nice to test out new launches before buying the full size. I'm not really a tinted moisturiser kinda gal, as I much prefer my full coverage bases, but this one is surprisingly nice. It doesn't offer much coverage, but if I'm having a 'no makeup day' I'll slap a bit of this on just to even out my skin tone and make my skin look slightly better, while still looking natural. The shade I received was 'light' which was perfect for my pale skin, but I can see how this would be a little disappointing for those subscribers with darker skin tones. 

Number 4 Lumiere d'Hiver Reconstructing Masque

Secondly, I spotted this little hair mask. I say little because it came in a sachet, so you really only get one use out of the product. I haven't used this yet, but the product claims to transform your tresses from lacklustre to luscious with its super moisturising blend of soy proteins, shea butter, sunflower seed and jojoba oil. I am actually looking for a new hair mask at the moment, so maybe this will be my next purchase. 

Mirenesse Mattifying Lip Rouge in New York

I'm always complaining that they never include enough makeup in these subscription boxes, but this month Birchbox have actually included a lip product, hallelujah! However, It's not very me (these things rarely are). I'm not really a great lover of the matte lip, but if you are then I can see this being a real hit with you. It's a sample size but you get quite a lot in the sample, and its perfect for popping in your handbag. New York is a orchid pink colour which is super pigmented, it also leaves a stain on your lips so it's perfect for girls on the go. 

Parlour Moisturising Sea Salt Spray

I've recently been trying to go for a more beachy look with my hair so I was really happy to see a sea salt spray included, especially in the run up to Summer. The spray claims to give you all the benefits and texture of a regular sea salt spray while also being really moisturising for your hair and scalp, which is something I always look for. Parlour by Jeff Chastain is exclusive to Birchbox too, so if you love it enough to get the full size, you'll have to buy it from the Birchbox shop. 

RMK Point Makeup Remover

I was so happy to receive this in this month's box. It sounds silly to get excited over eye makeup remover, but I'm a big fan of RMK (their lipsticks are great) and the dinky size is perfect for when I have overnight trips - although, I've actually been using this on a regular basis. It's one of those makeup removers that you've got to shake and I find that it does a really good job at easily removing all my eye makeup, even after a night out. But what I really love is how gentle this is on your eyes. My eye area is extremely sensitive and I often find eye makeup removers can leave it a little red and sore, but this actually moisturises the skin and your lashes, so it's perfect for me! 

WAH London Press On Nails

The last product I received this month was these press on nails, which are the only full size item in the box (although, I'd be pretty miffed if they'd only given me enough nails to do half my fingers). They're stiletto (pointy) nails which come in this interesting graphic watercolour design, but unfortunately these just aren't my style. I hate pointy nails on me and I think the design is a little on the tacky side, as I much prefer pinks and nudes. 

Overall, my opinions are split on this months box. I received some products I really liked the look of and have enjoyed using, however I found that half of this box just wasn't for me whether it be the product concept itself or the design. I think it's an okay box, but it's definitely not one of their best. 

Lots of Love,

Becky x x

*Products c/o Birchbox

Bloom With Harrods Beauty - Spring Gift With Purchase 2014

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

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Hello Beauties! I hope you're all well! I'm in the middle of revising for exams at the moment so I'm suitably stressed, but the end is in sight now as I only have 2 weeks left then my four years at University are over - scary! Anyway, today I thought I would make some time to post all about the Harrods Beauty Gift With Purchase for Spring 2015. I don't often post about these kind of things (In fact, I don't think I ever have) but this one was just too good to keep to myself! Throughout May, Harrods are celebrating all things floral, and to mark the occasion they're giving every customer who spends £250 on beauty products this beautiful 'Bloom With Harrods Beauty' gift with purchase. I understand that for most people, spending £250 on beauty products in one go may seem excessive, but if you're running low on a few high end items, or just want to treat yourself, then now would be the perfect opportunity! 

The gift comes in this gorgeous rose gold makeup bag which comes with two compartments, a flatter one perfect for storing any palettes and brushes, and a larger open compartment with plenty of space for all your beauty necessities. I'll definitely be keeping hold of this bag and using it for my travels as it's a really good size and really good quality too - always a bonus with these gifts! The makeup bag comes packed with tonnes of big brands and cult products, plus a few I haven't heard of, which was something I really liked about this gift. I got to try out some cult products that have been on my wish list for ages, and also got the chance to discover a few new favourites! I'll briefly go through all of the items, so you have a better idea of what to expect from the box! 

Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid

Burberry is a brand I haven't really had the chance to explore properly, due to their high prices, but so far what I've tried from the brand has been brilliant, so I was excited to receive a mini sample of their Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid. This product is basically a multitasking base  designed to moisturise, protect and illuminate the complexion. It can be used on its own, as a primer or mixed with foundation, or even used to highlight certain areas of the face.

By Terry Baume De Rose

Another brand which I was so excited to see included was By Terry. Again, this isn't a brand I've had the chance to try out yet (despite their Ombré Blackstar's being firmly on my wish list since last year) and I've heard a lot of wonderful things about their Baume De Rose. This lip saving product contains a lipo-regenerating complex of rose-flower essential wax and pastel oil boost cell renewal. The product also contains Vitamin E and Shea Butter to sooth the lips and fight the signs of anti-ageing. 

Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Punk Princess

I always love receiving nail polish in these kinds of gifts as it's a product I rarely buy for myself. Punk Princess is a beautiful duo chrome purple colour with tiny flecks of purple glitter running through it, creating a beautiful and glamorous finish. This is definitely my kind of colour, and unlike anything else in my collection so I was really happy to receive this. 

Decléor Double Radiance Scrub

I love a good scrub, and this deluxe sample size will be perfect for any nights away or holidays as I hate to take full size products with me - it gets a bit much when you're going through a 5 step skincare system! The Double Radiance Scrub from Decléor contains Egyptian Luffa to gently buff the skin while Madagascan Cardamon Seeds and Jojoba Beads revive luminosity and restore softness to the skin. 

Diptyque Roses Scented Candle

I was SO excited to receive this. I'm a bit of a candle hoarder, so much so that they even have their own shelf in my room, and Diptyque is a brand I've been wanting to add to my collection for a while now. As the name suggests, the candle smells like Roses and fills the room with the aroma of freshly picked roses, you couldnt get more spring if you tried. 

Eve Lom Cleanser

If I'm correct, the Eve Lom cleanser was the product that kicked off the whole cleansing balm trend back when it was released 29 years ago. The balm contains a blend of four aromatic oils to cleanse, decongest, tone, exfoliate and remove makeup - even waterproof mascara, so I was excited to receive this. I'm yet to try a balm cleanser, so I'm happy that I've got a sample to try out before investing as some of them are quite pricey! 

Givenchy Phenomon'eyes Mascara

I actually love receiving mascara samples in these kids of boxes, so much so that I rarely buy a full size mascara anymore, as they just last me so long. The Phenomen'Eyes mascara is slightly different though, as instead of having your standard mascara wand, it has a little ball for a more precise application. I've yet to try this yet but I'll definitely report back on how I got on, as it's such a unique product! 

Kiehls Creme De Corps

This is a product I actually own the full size version of and I love it. It's ultra moisturising and perfect for those with dry and sensitive skin like myself, and this mini version will definitely come in handy for travelling. 

Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Infusion De Rose Nourishing Oil

I'll be the first to put my hands up and admit that I never knew Laura Mercier did skincare, I've honestly never heard anyone mention it or seen it on a counter, however I am excited to give this oil a whirl as I've been really getting into using oils on my skin at night to restore moisture. This oil is made from a blend of rose-hip seed oil, safflower oil, vitamin E and Macadamia-seed oil to rejuvenate and strengthen the skins moisture barrier - just what I need for my dehydrated skin! 

Natura Bissé Diamond Life Infusion Retinol Eye Serum

This is a brand I've never heard of before, but so far I've been loving using this on my tired eyes (too many late nights revising!). This eye serum has a highly concentrated formula containing active ingredients such as Retinol and Bio-Magnet Nanosomes to help fight the signs of ageing around the delicate eye area. 

Philip Kingsley Geranium and Neroli Elasticizer

This is another product thats been on my wish list for ages now, however this is actually the limited edition version. It's quite a hefty sample so you can definitely get a few uses from this pre-shampoo conditioning treatment. 

Révive Moisturizng Renewal Cream

This is another brand I've never heard of, but I'm excited to give it a go, as I've been trying to use a proper night cream regularly to help combat my skin's dehydration. The cream promises to work while you sleep to eradicate imperfections and diminish fine lines, definitely things I'm interested in. 

Robert Piguet Rose Perfection Rollerball Perfume

Continuing on from the rose and floral theme, this perfume smells very similar to the Diptyque candle. The rollerball is also perfect for popping into my handbag too. 

Rodail Dragons Blood Eye Masks

As I mentioned, too many late nights revising have left my eyes looking tired and puffy, so I'm excited to try these eye masks out to see if they can help in any way. They claim to reduce puffiness and leave your eye area looking brighter, and you get a good few packs of the masks, so enough to get a good idea of whether you like the product. 

Shiseido Ultimate Power Infusing Concentrate

I've yet to find a serum that I love enough to buy, and I'm hoping that this one may just be 'the one'. It claims to help boost the skins defensive powers and prevent the signs of ageing, all while boosting the skins moisture levels, something which I've really been trying to get into recently. 

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

This is another anti ageing product which comes with the gift, containing the highest concentration of Pitera of all SK-II's products, to effectively leave skin looking radiant and smooth. 

YSL Touche Eclat Blur Primer

Lastly, I pulled out the YSL Touche Eclat Blur Primer. I love the Touche Eclat foundation so I was excited to receive this and really did want to try a sample before purchasing the while product. This is YSL's first light infused primer which works to blur pores and fine lines, creating a smooth base for makeup application. 

As you can probably tell, the whole box goes along nicely with the floral theme, and even contains a 'seed bomb' so you can add a little bit of spring to your garden which I think is a lovely touch. Sorry for the lengthy post, but I really wanted to go through everything inside the gift, and couldn't see another way of doing this! The gift is available both in store and online throughout May, when you purchase £250 worth of beauty product from Harrods

Lots of Love,

Becky x x

*Post contains PR samples

Madame LA LA Facial Bronzing Serum Review

Monday, 18 May 2015

Hello Beauties! Recently I've been getting really into fake tanning. I've never really been one of those girls that is always tanned, usually preferring to tan only for nights out (which happen very rarely these days), but as of late I've been making a conscious effort to top up my tan more regularly. It really is true what they say, life is better with a tan. I find it makes me look a little healthier instead of my usual shade of greyish white, it slims me down (I'm using the 'If you can't tone it, tan it' motto here) and it makes matching my foundation to my skin so much easier. 

However the one problem I usually have is tanning my face. I have sensetive skin on my face so I don't like to slather it in my regular tan, as it tends to dry it out and just isn't right for my skin, but recently I've been trying out the Madame La La Facial Bronzing Serum and I've been pleasantly surprised with the results. 

The Madame La La Face Bronzing Serum is infused with Coco Water and Vitamin E to help hydrate and brighten the skin, along with Antioxidants, Vitamin C, A and E, and CQ10 to protect the skin, fight the signs of ageing and boost cellular renewal for smooth skin. So it's essentially, fake tanning skincare, which I think is a great idea, as when you're tanning you may as well give your skin a little bit of a boost in the process. 

The packaging does state that it's an instant tanner, but with all fake tans, I like to apply mine before bed, let it develop overnight and then wash off the excess in the morning. That way you get rid of any of that fake tan smell and it leaves you with a more natural result. I really liked the colour this gave me, Madame La La claim that it gives you an 'LA Glow' and I'd have to agree. My skin was bronzed and glowing the following morning and actually really smooth and hydrated. The colour wasn't orange or fake looking, which is something I always worry about when it comes to fake tan. 

It was also really easy to apply. Much like a serum, it's a runny liquid, which does appear quite frightening when you first see it as it is pretty much black. However once smoothed into the skin, it leaves behind a really pretty glow, and all you need is a pea sized amount, so this will definitely last me forever. 

Overall, I'm extremely impressed with this tan, it makes tanning my face a whole lot easier, and gives a more natural result, without harming or upsetting my skin. Madame La La is currently available from HQHair.com, where you can also pick up the matching body tan - I've already got it saved in my basket for when I run out of my Cocoa Brown! 

Lots of Love,

Becky x x

*Product c/o HQHair.com

Pixi by Petra Undercover Crayon Concealer Review

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Hello Beauties! I've been fairly ill recently with some flu like disease, probably related to the stress of finishing my dissertation and revising for my final exams. All of this has left me looking like I've got two black eyes from a particularly nasty fight, not a look I'd like on show for the whole world to see. Seeing as my current concealer collection just wasn't doing it for me, I decided to pick up the Pixi by Petra Undercover Crayon Concealer in Perk-Up Peach, which you can see in my recent HQHair.com Haul. 

Pixi describe this concealer as a youth preserving full coverage corrector, which is infused with peptides to plump lines, contains wild rose to nourish the skin and liquorice root to fade dark circles, all in a convenient crayon. The crayon also promises to conceal, brighten and treat...so basically everything you'd want from a concealer. The concealer comes in 4 flesh toned shades, however I chose Perk-Up Peach as I've learnt that peachy toned concealers are the best for brightening up your under eye area. 

I won't lie, at first I hated this concealer. I've never really been a huge fan of crayon concealers (I'm more of a liquid girl) but now that I've properly got to grips with how to use it, I've been loving it for concealing dark circles. It's not an overly creamy concealer anyway, but if you just use it straight away then I find it to be impossible to work with...it dragged on my skin, wouldn't blend out at all and generally just looked like a mess. However, if you spent a minute or so warming the crayon up in your hands then it works perfectly and the problems I encountered before virtually disappeared. 

It's a fairly high coverage concealer, and the peach tones work really well to brighten up my eye area and conceal any darkness. I've actually been really enjoying the crayon format too, something which I never thought I'd say, it's less messy that some of the pot concealers I have and it's so easy to use. I just draw it on over my dark circles then blend out a little with my fingers and I'm ready to go. It also doesn't feel like I'm wearing a tonne of makeup when I wear this, so I think it will be great for the summer months when I want a more lightweight base. 

Lots of Love,

Becky x x

*Product c/o HQHair.com

YSL Volupte Shine Lipstick in Corail Intuitive No15 Review

Thursday, 14 May 2015

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Hello Beauties! Today I'm back with yet another lipstick review...can you tell I've been a little lip product obsessed recently? Throughout the Winter I don't tend to purchase any new lip products as the new shades that beauty companies just don't appeal to me...I've never suited deep reds or berry lips. However, now that Spring is slowly starting to turn into Summer, I thought it was about time to refresh my lip collection a little. So say hello to my newest edition...the YSL Volupte Shine in Corail Intuitive. 

If you'd have asked me a year ago if I'd ever consider wearing an orange lipstick, the answer would have definitely been no. However times have changed and I'm slowly becoming more open to trying new lip colours, with orange being my favourite new edition. Since trying out Flamingo by MAC, I've been loving orange lips...not bright orange, but more of an orange toned coral, which is exactly what Corail Intuitive is. 

The YSL Rouge Volupte Shine lipsticks promise to leave your lips visibly softer and smoother with up to 8 hours of hydration, and also claims to give you a dazzling colour, extreme comfort, and a luscious shine. I'm happy to report that the lipstick did deliver on all of these promises. I've never been one for matte lips, preferring a glossy/shiny formula as I find them to be a little sheerer and generally more hydrating on my lips, which is exactly what this lipstick offers. The lipstick has a high shine, glossy finish which is slightly lighter than the regular Rouge Volupte lipsticks from YSL. I found that the colour payoff was surprisingly good for a glossy lipstick, but it's nowhere near as thick and creamy as the regular Rouge Volupte formula. I think you'll love this is you're a fan of the MAC Lustre finish lipsticks like I am, with this one being slightly better and clearly more luxurious. 

I'd say the lasting power on this is fairly good for a glossy lipstick, it lasts around 3-4 hours on me, which is slightly longer than a MAC cremesheen or lustre lipstick would last on me, which I think is pretty good for such a high shine finish. 

And I could hardly end this review without at least giving the packaging a little mention. I think YSL lipsticks are one of the most recognisable on the market, and it doesn't really get more luxurious than YSL. The Rouge Volupte Shine lipsticks come encased in the beautiful gold packaging with the YSL design around the middle and the colour also around the centre part of the design, making it not only stunning but functional too, as you can easily see which lipstick is which if you have a few of them. 

If you're looking to treat yourself to a new lipstick, I'd highly recommend a trip to your local YSL counter, all of their lipsticks are divine and the Rouge Volupte Shine formula is just stunning for the Summer. 

Lots of Love,

Becky x x

Bourjois Rouge Edition Aqua Laque in Fuchsia Perche No7 Review

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

When Bourjois first released their Rouge Edition Velvet Lipsticks I really wasn't fussed, and consequently never ended up trying any of them out. Matte lipsticks just don't appeal to me, because, as the name of this blog would suggest, I'm more of a gloss girl. So when I heard that Bourjois had introduced the Aqua Laque's to the range, I knew I had to try one out. 

The range contains 8 shades ranging from nudes to deep reds, however I find that the shade range definitely caters more to those of you who prefer a bright or red lip, with a very limited selection of nudes. These new offerings from Bourjois promise mirror-like shine, intense colour payoff, a water like sensation on the lips, 10 hour hydration and a non sticky formula - so some pretty big claims. 

However all of these claims mean nothing if the product doesn't live up to them, and I'm happy to report that it really did. The lipstick/gloss hybrid applies so smoothly and easily, without any feathering or need for a lip liner and really does pack a punch when it comes to pigmentation. But what really had me falling in love was the non sticky formula. I've tried glosses from countless brands trying to find a non-sticky formula and I could probably count the number of successful finds on one hand, so I was over the moon to find out that these lived up to promises. They feel very slippy and lightweight on your lips (if that makes any sense), almost like a gel, so you do have to be careful you don't rub your lips together a little too vigourously and spread the lipstick across your face while it's still drying. 

Like I said, the pigmentation on these is gorgeous, and combined with the glossy finish I think these actually make your lips appear slightly larger - win! The colour also stays on your lips for a seriously long time. The glossy finish will rub off, as with any gloss, but these also stain your lips with the shade, so when the gloss rubbed off it still looked like I'd got something on my lips. I always find this to be a bonus with darker lip products, as they're a little harder to touch up on the go without a proper mirror, so knowing that touching up isn't something you have to do immediately is a god send. 

The shade I have is Fuchsia Perche (No 7), which is absolutely gorgeous. It's a bright pinky red colour, perfect for anyone whose a little scared of red lipstick like myself. I think this shade will be perfect for summer and I can see myself getting a lot of wear out of it on days when I'm not really feeling like going all out with my eyes. 

Overall I really love the formula of these and I definitely think I'll be picking up a few more, especially the pinky nude shade in the range! The Bourjois Rouge Edition Aqua Laque range is available at HQHair.com for £8.99 which I think is a great price, as these definitely compete with some of my higher end lip choices. 

Lots of Love,

Becky x x

*Products c/o HQHair.com

Foundation Favourites for Oily/Combination Skin

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Foundations are one of my favourite makeup products to buy, I'm constantly on the look out for the next best thing, and having problematic skin, I'm forever looking for that perfect base - which is a lot harder than it sounds! Recently I've been getting a lot of questions about which foundations I like to wear and which ones I'd recommend, so I thought it would be worth putting together a post incase any of you were wondering. I do own other foundations which I will occasionally wear, but more often than not these are the foundations I find myself reaching for. 

Before I start, just a little bit of background on my skin type and what I look for in a foundation, to help you see if these would be suitable for you. I have very oily, dehydrated skin, which is also sensetive and acne prone (I've got it all going on!), so I look for something that will be able to control my oil without drying out my skin. As I used to suffer with acne and still have a few remaining spots and scars, I also look for medium to full coverage, so if you're a fan of a very light base, then this post may not be for you! Anyway, on to the foundations...

1. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Foundation in Cool Beige | £31

Finding a foundation that stays put on oily skin is no mean feat, let me tell you. So when I discovered the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Foundation I was over the moon. This is fairly new to my collection but I've worn it every day since I brought it home and so far I've been loving it. If I ever have a long day ahead, or I'm travelling or just know that I'll be unable to touch up throughout the day, then this is my go-to foundation. It evens out my complexion, covering everything I need it to and it stays put all day. I touch my face quite a lot (I know, I know, such a bad habit) which usually results in my rubbing off my foundation but when I put this on at 7am, I know it will still be there at 10pm when I take my makeup off. If you've got oily skin and struggle to find a foundation to stay put then I highly recommend you grab a sample of this one. I won't go in to any more detail for now though, as I'll be putting a full review up soon once I've had a chance to road test it for slightly longer. 

2. MAC Matchmaster Foundation in 1.0 | £28

I picked this one up at the beginning of the year after trying a sample, and I quickly fell in love with it. I was wearing it almost everyday non stop and was utterly smitten with the finish it gave me and the longevity it provided but unfortunately I have noticed a difference in my skin. Since wearing this non-stop I've noticed that my skin has been feeling a little more dehydrated and uncomfortable, which has resulted in lots of tiny spots all over my face and a bumpy texture, this is because MAC foundations aren't designed to be worn everyday, which is why so many people break out when they use a MAC foundation. I still love this foundation though, it controls my oil and matches my skin perfectly and evens everything out without being too thick or full coverage, but for now I'm having to use this as my 'special occasion' foundation. Whenever I have a night out planned, an event, or just know I'm in for a busy day this is my go to foundation.

Nars Sheer Glow may seem like an odd one to love, as someone with very oily skin, but it has its advantages. You're right in thinking that this one isn't the best at controlling oil, but I find with a bit of primer and a good setting powder, it's not too bad. What I love about this one is how comfortable it is to wear. I have dehydrated oily skin, so I often find that matte foundations can make my skin feel tight and generally uncomfortable, but this manages to hydrate my skin without leaving it feeling greasy, which is why I love it. It also has brilliant coverage and wear time, which are always things I look for in my foundations. For me though, this is definitely a 'winter time' foundation, as it's just a bit too glowwy for the summer time when my skin gets a little oilier.

4. L'Oreal Infallible 24hr Matte Foundation in Vanilla | £6.99

The L'Oreal Infallible 24hr Matte Foundation is one of the only, if not the only, drugstore/high street foundation that I've actually liked. Most of the time with high street brands I find that their colour selection is too limited, or they separate on my skin, and their matte finishes are either too dewy or too drying, but this foundation seems to get it spot on. It dried so a semi-matte finish, so it's enough to rid your face of all of its shine, but without creating that mask like or chalky appearance that so many matte foundations leave you with. This foundation is also seriously long lasting, I did need to powder once or twice throughout the day, but other than that the foundation stayed firmly in place with no patchy spots or sliding - pretty good for a cheap base! I would just say that the foundation does dry to a shade darker than it originally applies, so it's worth getting one shade lighter than you think you need with this one.

Lots of Love,

Becky x x

Nars Tahiti Laguna Bronzing Palette

Monday, 11 May 2015

Hello Beauties! Nars Laguna Bronzer has been a staple in my makeup collection for quite some time now, and if you read my latest haul then you'll know that I recently picked up a new one from HQHair.com. However instead of going for the regular Laguna Bronzing Powder, I decided to pick up the Tahiti Laguna Bronzing Palette, as it's slightly larger and also comes with a mini Ita brush, another product I've been wanting to try from Nars. 

The Tahiti Laguna Bronzer doesn't come in the usual black rubber packaging which we've all grown to expect from Nars, it's still black and still looks like a Nars product but instead of having the rubbery feel, it's more of a matte black plastic. I think it still looks classy and high end, but be warned - this bronzer is huge. The Tahiti Laguna Bronzer  comes with 10g of product rather than the usual 8g so if you're a fan of Laguna bronzer then this may be a good option for you. 

When I first tried Laguna Bronzer, I was surprised to find that it's not a matte bronzer like most people claim. It's not sparkly by any stretch of the imagination, but it does have a slight natural glow to it which I really like. I think the slight glow gives it more of a natural and 'skin like' appearance on your skin and really helps to brighten your complexion up on those dull days. Like you'd expect from Nars, the formula is just wonderful. The powder is so soft and finely milled that it blends out like a dream. However, contrary to popular opinion I don't think this is a great contour bronzer and it's definitely not what I use it for. I think the bronzer is amazing for warming up the face and doing a soft  contour as it gives you a gorgeous sun kissed colour, but if you're wanting to go for more of a harsh contour then I think looking for something slightly more cool toned may be better. 

Saying this, I'm not one to go for a strong contour every day, so this bronzer is brilliant for me. It makes me look healthy and awake, and perks up my skin on days when it's looking a little bit dull, and really, what more could you want from a bronzer? I'd also say that this is a great shade for all skin tones. I'm extremely pale and finding a bronzer to suit my skin tone is mission impossible, however I find that as long as I tap my brush off before (as it picks up a lot of product) using, this works a treat. Simialrly, if you've got darker or olive toned skin then this would be great as it layers up really nicely without caking or resulting in  that horrible streaky look that you can sometimes get from products like this. 

The real reason the Tahiti Laguna Bronzer caught my eye, as oppose to the regular Laguna Bronzer, was the little Ita brush that it comes with. I'm usually one to ignore the brushes that come with palettes as in all honestly, they're usually utter rubbish. However the Ita brush is one which has been on my wish list for ages now, so it really made the decision to choose the Tahiti version of the bronzer easy for me. The Ita brush is a flat, thin shaped brush which is perfect for using to contour your face. The Ita brush is slightly less dense than regular contour brushes, and has looser bristles to allow you to pick up less product, which means less chance of ending up with a streaky contour! I love the fact that the bronzer comes with an actually decent brush (it's a rare find) and it definitely makes spending a little extra on the Tahiti version worth it in my mind. 

The Nars Laguna Bronzer never fails to impress me, and its my go-to product for warming up my face and adding that sun-kissed look, just perfect for everyday wear. I'd say that if you're a big fan of the bronzer too, and need to pick up a new one (I'm forever hitting pan!) then go for the Tahiti Laguna Bronzer, you get more product and the chance to try out the Ita brush, so it's a no brainer really! 

Lots of Love,

Becky x x

*Products c/o HQHair.com

HQHair.com Haul

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Hello Beauties! I hope you're all well! It's been a while since I've published a haul over here on Lipgloss & Lashes, mainly because I haven't really been 'hauling' anything. For the past 8 months or so I've been working away on my Dissertation so really I've only been buying things as and when I need them, and I think it's fair to say I haven't really taken the time to really research any products that I may be interested in. However the lovely guys over at HQHair.com asked if I would like to try anything from their site, and as a treat for finishing my Dissertation, it was an offer I just couldn't refuse. 

HQHair.com are an online beauty retailer, who stock pretty much anything you could want. They've got some of the top makeup, skincare and haircare brands such as Nars, Glam Glow, Keraste, Bourjois and Real Techniques, just to name a few. 

Nars Laguna Bronzer has been a favourite of mine since I picked it up last Summer, and with Summer fast approaching, what better time to pick a new one up? Instead of going for the regular bronzing compact, I decided to go for the 'Tahiti Laguna Bronzing Palette' as it comes with slightly more product and a mini Ita brush, something which I've been wanting to try for a while now after spying it on a couple of contouring videos. First off, let me tell you, this bronzer is huge, not that I'm complaining but compared to the usual palette, you really do get quite a lot more. I won't say too much about the products, as I will be putting full reviews up of each of them, but I really do love this and the little brush is just too cute! 

Pixi by Petra isn't really a brand I've explored much, I have one nail polish which I love and thats about it. Lately, my dark circles have been out of control, late nights writing and editing my dissertation and endless hours staring at my laptop screen have ruined my eyes, so when I saw that Pixi had released a 'Perk-Up Peach' shade of their Undercover Crayon concealers, it seemed like it was meant to be. The peach shade is supposed to neutralise dark circles and brighten up your eye are, I've tried peach concealers before with great results so I'm expecting great things from this! 

I've seen a lot of hype surrounding the Bourjois Rouge Edition liquid lipsticks for months now, but seeing as the only shades were matte until very recently they just weren't something that interested me. However, now that Bourjois have released glossy versions of their famous liquid lipsticks, it seemed like a good time to give them a go. The colour I picked up is called Fuchsia Perché, which is a gorgeous red shade with a hot pink tone to it, perfect for those of you who want to try red, but don't want to go all out. I can see myself getting a lot of use out of this over the summer months when I want to go for a brighter lip. 

Fake tanning season is fast approaching for me, I'm one of those unfortunate people who can't get a tan so faking it is the only way to go. However one problem I have is with tanning my face. Having sensetive and acne prone skin, I'm always a little wary of putting my regular fake tan on my face, so I decided to pick up the Madame La La Face Bronzing Serum. It's packed with vitamins, antioxidants and loads of skin loving ingredients, meaning that I don't have to worry about putting it on my face - and I can avoid having an orange body and white face! 

The wiser among you may have noticed that I've recently had a little hair cut, so I thought that now would be a good time to really treat my hair, as I'm trying to keep it super healthy (hence the shorter length). This gift set seems perfect for me as it promises to minimise hair drying time. I have seriously thick hair, and a lot of it, which means it takes me forever to dry my hair, so anything which can help me out with this is warmly welcomed. The gift set contains a three full size products (Super Skinny Daily Shampoo, Super Skinny Daily Treatment and Super Skinny Serum) so you really are getting a bargain here, as if you were to buy all of the items separately it would cost you well over £40. The set also comes in this cute plastic makeup bag which I'm going to be using as my travel toiletries bag and smells amazing - always a bonus! 

As I mentioned before, I'll be uploading full reviews of all of these products once I've had the chance to test them out properly, so keep your eyes peeled for them! 

Lots of Love,

Becky x x

*Product c/o HQHair.com

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