Lush Aqua Marina Facial Cleanser: Review

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Hello Beauties! Recently, I've been making more of an effort to strip back my skincare and really simplify my routine, and the ingredients I slap on my face. All of the acids, etc that my skincare contained were leaving my skin feeling tight and dehydrated, so in an attempt to combat this, I headed to Lush a couple of weekends ago to take a look at their skincare. I decided to speak to one of the staff members there as I really wasn't sure where to start with their skincare. I went to the Oxford Street store and there was just so much to choose from that it was a little overwhelming. However, the lady I spoke to was extremely kind and helpful and really spend her time taking me through all of the different options and which would be most suitable for my skin type.

After spending a few minutes deciding between 'Angels on Bare Skin' and 'Aqua Marina', I decided to go for Aqua Marina (£6.25/100g), as it was the less exfoliating of the two. Aqua Marina contains Calamine Powder to soothe and soften the skin, aloe vera to cool the skin and a sprinkling of sea salt to gently exfoliate the skin, all wrapped up in nori seaweed, which is the green stuff you can see on top of the cleanser in the pictures above. Aqua Marina also contains Glycerine, which is known for its moisturising properties and it's ability to lock moisture in...perfect for my dehydrated skin.

I'll be honest, this isn't the prettiest cleanser to look at as the Nori Seaweed does look slightly like mould, and similarly, it's also not the nicest smelling cleanser either. It doesn't smell so bad you can't use it, but it's not what I would describe as a particularly pleasant smell. It's also quite a faff to use too. The Aqua Marina cleanser is a paste cleanser made with clay, making it a little unusual. You have to take a little of the paste, mix it with water to make a milky substance and then apply to your face. As this is something I'm not used to, I find that it's not as quick of a process as my normal cleansing routine meaning that I only really use this at night when I have more time to spend on my skincare, as I just don't have time to work the paste into my skin when I'm rushing around in the mornings.

Apart from the smell and the messiness of this cleanser, I really like the results it gives. After cleansing, my skin feels soft and smooth, and this cleanser really works to calm my skin down when it's feeling a little sensitive. The calming aspect also helps to take down some of the redness in my skin too, which is something that's been bothering me more and more lately, so any solutions are welcomed with open arms! Aqua Marina also leaves my skin feeling really clean without completely stripping it and leaving it feeling tight and dehydrated, which was one of the main problems I had previously and also what drove me to Lush Skincare in the first place, as I wanted to see if natural skincare would be slightly more gentle on my skin.

Overall, I really like this cleanser. It leaves my skin feeling smooth and soft, and has really calmed down my redness...however, I just wish it came in a cream form as I find the paste so messy to work with.

What are your favourite Lush skincare products? I'd love to know what to pick up next!

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

bareMinerals Blemish Ready Foundation Review

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Hello Beauties! I hope you've all had a lovely week! I've spoken plenty of times about my acne here on Lipgloss & Lashes (here, here and here) so I'm sure it comes as no surprise to you that I was pleased to hear that bareMinerals had released a brand new foundation, targeted at acne prone skin.

bareMinerals Blemish Ready Acne-Clearing Foundation is a light weight mineral foundation that helps to treat blemishes and redness. It's formulated to prevent new blemishes from forming while it treats blemishes you already have, with a mix of minerals and salicylic acid. The lightweight formula promises a non-drying finish that blends easily and creates natural looking coverage. 

The first thing that struck me about this foundation was actually the coverage it provided. I've not tried many mineral powder foundations before, so I have nothing to compare it to, but the coverage was just so light, which I found odd for a foundation targeted at those with blemish prone skin. When you're suffering with breakouts or if you've suffered with acne in the past which has left you with scarring and an uneven skin tone, you definitely want that covered and concealed, and this foundation just didn't offer that. I did manage to build the foundation up slightly so it offered more of a medium coverage, however it took me about three layers to do this and a lot of time blending it all in, and even then you could still see some of my blackheads and scarring (TMI but it needed to be said). If you're someone who prefers the more natural look, then you'd probably love this, however if you're more of a full coverage gal like myself, then you'd probably want something a little more heavy duty.

Coverage aside though, I actually really liked the finish of this foundation. I expected it to look quite dry and cakey, however it blended in really nicely and left me with more of a satin-matte finish. It was still matte, but it had a slight glow about it...just enough to make you look nice and healthy without being dewy or shiny. Although, I'd say if you have particularly dry skin then this ones probably not for you, as it did highlight some of the drier areas of my face.

One thing I really did like about this foundation was how light weight it felt on my skin. I'm used to thicker, full coverage foundations which you can definitely feel sitting on your skin, however this one felt completely the point where I forgot I was even wearing foundation. The lasting powder did let it down slightly though. I have extremely oily skin (not even the most long lasting of foundations stand a chance) so I kind of expect it to go fairly oily, nothing new there, but it might be worth just bearing in mind if you have similarly oily skin.

As for it's acne-clearing promises, I have to say I'm actually slightly impressed. I never really expect much from these acne-clearing/preventing makeup lines, however I did notice that this foundation helped to dry up any of my existing spots, and I noticed that I was developing less of those nasty under-the-skin spots that I'm fairly prone to. I'm not sure if it's the foundation on its own that helped with that, however it certainly had a role to play.

Overall, I have mixed opinions of this foundation. I really liked the finish and how light weight the foundation was, but unfortunately it just didn't offer anywhere near enough coverage for my liking. I will still use this foundation for days when I want a more subtle look or 'no makeup makeup' days, but it's probably not something I will repurchase...which is a shame, as I normally adore bareMinerals products.

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

*Post contains PR samples

Stila Elegant Emerald Lip Glaze Trio: Review

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Hello Beauties! As the name of my blog would suggest, I'm fairly partial to a lipgloss or two, so when I saw this Stila Elegant Emerald Lip Glaze Trio in TK Maxx for only £6.99 I had to pick it up. 

The trio comes with 3 Lip Glazes (duh) all in peachy pink shades. I actually received one of the Stila Lip Glaze's in a shimmery peach shade one month inside a Birchbox and it's become one of my most worn lip glosses, so I knew I'd love the shades in the Elegant Emerald Trio - although I'm not sure why Stila chose that name for it, as none of them are Emerald shades in the slightest. The lip glosses are slightly smaller than the ones you can buy on their own, but they're still big enough to get a good few months wear out of before they go to makeup heaven. 

The Elegant Emerald Trio contains the shades Kaleidoscope, which is a gorgeous shimmery yet wearable peach colour; Apricot which is a gorgeous peachy colour with a slight shimmer running through; and Pout which is the more pink toned of the three. All are absolutely gorgeous shades and I really couldn't pick a favourite. I'm not usually one for shimmer lip glosses, however these ones seem to make the shimmer thing work and actually add a really nice plumping effect to your lips...and god knows I could do with a little lip plumper! The shades aren't super pigmented, which isn't something that bothers me, as if I was looking for pigmentation then I'd go for a lipstick or liquid lipstick, but it's just something to bear in mind if you're looking for something a little more pigmented. You can still see the colours of the gloss, but it's more of a sheer wash of colour rather than a full on look. 

The finish of these glosses won't be for everyone though. These glosses are a little on the sticky side, which is usually something I hate in a lipgloss, but again, these glosses just seem to make it work. They're not so sticky that it's uncomfortable or annoying, but they're just sticky enough to make the glosses really long lasting. Usually lipgloss slips off my lips straight away as I'm always licking my lips, but these glosses managed to stay in place for a good few hours without needing to be reapplied, which I think is pretty good going for a lipgloss. 

Overall, I love these lip glosses, they're super pretty and they're long lasting...what more could you want from a lipgloss. I'll definitely be picking up a few more of the Lip Glaze Trios as well, as I think they're a great way to try out a variety of different colours on a budget.

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

redken extreme lengths haircare review & discount code

Monday, 27 July 2015

Hello Beauties! First of all I just want to apologise for the lack of blog posts on here recently. Last weekend I made the big move to London so I've been busy building all of my furniture (my room is a bit like an IKEA showroom), so do let me know if you'd like to see a room tour or a dressing table/makeup storage type post! On top of that I also started my new job on Monday so I've been busy settling in and learning the ropes, which has left me pretty shattered. Anyway, today I thought I would share with you all some of the hair care products that I've been using and loving lately, as it's been a while since I shared any hair related items. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a bit of a product junkie when it comes to my hair. I have thick, curly/frizzy hair which I straighten regularly so I need products to ensure that my hair remains healthy and continues to grow healthily and preferably quickly...which is where some of the new Redken releases come in. 

I've always been a fan of the various Redken 'extreme' products for keeping my hair healthy, with the mask and anti-snap serum being regulars in my haircare draw, so it was no surprise to me that I loved these new products equally as much. 

The first product I've been trying is the Extreme Length Hair Primer, which is more of a hair conditioner than a primer I'd say, as you use it once you've washed your hair. This has the same sweet almond like scent as the other products in the Extreme range of products, so if you're a fan of any of the others then you'll definitely love this one. But aside from the gorgeous scent, this product is actually amazing for keeping your hair moisturised and conditioned. Straightening my hair usually leaves the ends dry and horrible, meaning that when I grow my hair it grows uneven and looks quite dead, however since using the Redken Extreme Lengths Primer my hair has felt smooth, moisturised and healthy. The ends no longer look dead and I've noticed that my hair has been snapping a lot fact, this product has the same effect as a hair mask which I leave on for around half an hour with only a mere 2 mins of use, which I think is amazing. If you struggle with dry, scarecrow-esque hair like myself, then I'd really recommend giving this a go as it has literally transformed my hair. 

Redken have also released an Extreme Lengths Sealer, which claims to seal your split ends and stop healthy hair from splitting. Now, I do realise that the only way to really 'cure' or 'fix' a split end is to get it cut out, however being the hairdresser-phobe that I am, I'm always on the look out for new products to help with the appearance of my split ends, and keep my hair in tip-top condition. The product comes with a brush applicator which is unusual for a hair care product and honestly, a little bit pointless. I found the brush applicator really difficult to work with and make sure that I was getting all of the areas that needed the product. In the end I just squeezed some of the product onto my hand through the brush and then combed through my hair using my fingers, which I found much quicker and definitely more fuss-free. However, minor complaint aside, I also really like this product. 

I was slightly worried at first that it would make the ends of my hair separate and have that greasy look that some products can create, but it left my hair looking clean and feeling soft which was exactly what I was looking for. After using this I found that the ends of my hair felt softer and a lot less coarse and definitely looked healthier...I love the product, I just wish they would get rid of the brush! 

Overall, I'm seriously impressed with these products and I would expect nothing less from Redken. If your hair is damaged, or you'd like to to be a lot softer then I really recommend checking out the Extreme/Extreme Lengths range from Redken as all of the products I've tried have been fantastic. I've also noticed that my hair has actually started to grow a little quicker too. My hair doesn't normally grow too quickly, hence why I'm always growing it out, and over even just the past couple of days I've noticed that my hair has grown a little and seems longer. I'm not sure if that's just a happy coincidence or that these products are actually miracle workers, but I'm happy either way! The Primer and Split End Sealer, along with the rest of the range are available from Shop Rush here

Shop Rush have also been kind enough to provide me and my readers with a discount code which entitles you to 20% off any Redken products when you spend £30 with the code BECKYMUSTHAVES, or if 25% off when all 6 Redken Extreme products are purchased with the code BECKYMUSTHAVES25. The offer is valid until the 31st August and all of the terms and conditions are listed below. 

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

Terms & Conditions:

Offer ends midnight 31st August and is only valid when fans spend £30 on Redken at Your voucher code is valid for 3 uses per person and must add code: BECKYSMUSTHAVES at basket before checkout. Promotional prices are based on original RRPs. To save 25% on the Redken, fans must add all six items from the Redken Extreme range at basket and add code:BECKYSMUSTHAVES25 instead. Free next day delivery orders must be placed before 3pm and will be delivered the next working day, this offer applies to orders of £60 or more. Read our Delivery Policy and Terms & Conditions before completing checkout.

*Post contains PR samples

my dressing table and makeup storage

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Pretty much stating the obvious here but...I'm back! Before I get into this post I just want to say a massive sorry for the little disappearing act I've pulled over the past two weeks. Most of you probably won't have even noticed that I've not been posting too much, but I've felt so terrible about neglecting my little space on the inter web. However, I'm back with something which hopefully makes up for it a little makeup collection & dressing table post! Ideally I would have liked to do this in a video but YouTube is just something I couldn't really get in to and subsequently ended up deleting my channel, so I'm going to try and make it work in post format. 

I've been wanting to do a makeup storage post for yonks now, but because I never really had any proper set up or space in my old room I wanted to hold off until I had a proper set up which I was really in love with. So when I moved to London I made it my mission to get myself a proper dressing table and a little area where I could sit and play with all of my makeup, and also use as a little desk for blogging. Now, I know I'm just one big blogger cliche with this but I decided on the Malm Dressing Table from IKEA as it fitted in nicely with my existing furniture and it's really convenient for storage. The room I moved into was already furnished with other bits from the Malm line in the dark brown shade, so I wanted something that would fit in with my room as well as something which would be great for makeup storage. I also already had the Alex Draws from IKEA in white, which is why I went with the white colour, as should I ever move those would be the two pieces of furniture I could take with me, so I wanted them to match. 

I like to keep the top of my dressing table quite clean and uncluttered, as I also sometimes sit here to do a little work and having little bits all around just looks messy in my opinion. So on one side I just keep my makeup brushes in these little flower pots from IKEA, which I'm sure you've all seen before. I liked them because they were simple but still pretty and girly, and they're the perfect size for storing brushes. I also have a little Diptyque candle in Roses which I got as a gift with purchase. It's not my favourite smell in the world but I like the design of the jar so I just popped it over here. In the middle I have a mirror from IKEA, this was only £15 which I thought was a pretty good deal, however I really don't like the way it tilts back as it's a really odd angle for doing your makeup so that's something I'd like to replace when I get the chance.

On the other side of my dressing table I have my acrylic storage. The large acrylic draws are from Glamour Living and are so handy for storing some of my favourite makeup pieces. I've tried to organise this by category, so in the first draw I have blushers, highlighters and bronzers then in the second draw I have some face palettes and some more bronzers, as I found that I didn't really have anywhere to put them. The third draw down is a bit of a mash up with eyeshadows, concealers, eyeliners, lip pencils, etc but it's split up into 6 sections which I think adds some kind of order to the draw. Finally, in the last draw I have some of my face palettes such as my MAC palette, a Cargo palette and a LancĂ´me travel palette. Next to this I also have an old Yankee Candle jar which holds all of my makeup sponges. I use these everyday so I find it really useful to have them sitting on top of my dressing table where I can grab them easily. 

On top of my acrylic draws I have this little acrylic organiser which I picked up from my local TK Maxx for around £7 and in here I store all of my MAC lipsticks, along with a few of my more frequently used higher end lipsticks at the back, as I like to have these on display. I also store a couple of my favourite foundations and lip glosses in here, along with the Benefit Big Beautiful Eyes palette, as I find that it's such a handy one to grab when I'm in a rush doing my makeup. On top of my acrylic draws I also have an acrylic cotton pad holder from Amazon, which is so handy for when I'm removing my makeup in the evenings.

Now on to the main bulk of my makeup storage...the dressing table drawer. I posted a picture of this on instagram a couple of days ago and I got a lot of questions about how I organise it and where I got my dividers. I organise my makeup in the order that I do my makeup starting from right to left. So I start off with primers, then on to foundations, powders, blushers, eyebrows, eyes, lip products and so on. I won't go through whats in each individual compartment as this post is already getting to be quite lengthy, but do let me know in the comments below if you'd like to see individual collections. I got the dividers from Muji, however they have since discontinued these exact dividers and bought out some which are very similar, but with rounded edges which you can see here and here. They're great for both the Malm dresser and the Alex drawers, which is why I chose them. Muji do them in a number of different sizes, however I have them set up with the larger rectangle size along the front, and then some long thin rectangle containers at the back. This doesn't fill up the whole drawer as the drawer doesn't pull completely out so I chose to leave some space at the back.

I also have my Alex drawers which store my palettes and some overspill makeup, a long with all of the makeup which I have yet to review. However these aren't organised properly so I won't show you inside of them. 

So I know this has been a pretty lengthy post, and I've had to skim over some areas but I hope you liked my makeup storage and collection...let me know in the comments below what you thought and if you'd like to see certain aspects of it explained more thoroughly in a separate post. I didn't want to go into detail about what is in each section of my draws, compartments, etc in this post as it would just end up being so long but I'm more than happy to share them with you in other posts! 

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

#BloggersBlogAwards 2015

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Hello Beauties! Now I guess you're probably wondering why there's a picture of the worlds cutest dog in this post? Well, there's no reason really...I was just browsing free stock photos and spotted this one and thought it was just too adorable not to share! Anyway, it's just a quick one from me today to let you know about the Bloggers Blog Awards, created by the lovely Hayley from Tea Party Beauty. As the Cosmo Blog Awards seem to have disappeared, Hayley has set up her own blog awards which I think is such a lovely idea and a great way to recognise some of the real talent that the blogosphere has right now. For more information on all of the categories, how to enter and the prizes, etc make sure you check out Hayley's post here.

Now, I know this is a complete long shot and I'm honestly not expecting any nominations at all seeing as I'm not the best of the best, nor have I been a great blogger recently but like I always say, you'll never know if you don't try. I would be absolutely honoured if anyone nominated me for the Best Longstanding Blogger Award as I've had this little corner of the internet for well over 2 years now. I really do put my all into my blog and whilst I've been slacking a bit lately with all of the changes going on in my life, I would still be forever grateful for any nominations. 

Even if you're not voting for me (I won't hold it against you...promise) I really encourage you all to go and show some of your favourite bloggers your support as blogging really is like a full time job and it's nice to get a little recognition every once in a while! 

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

nspa skincare haul

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Hello Beauties! I hope you're all well and enjoying your week! This week is my first week in my new job so I'm still fairly busy settling in and learning everyones names, etc but so far I'm really loving it! With all of these changes going on in my life at the moment my skin has also been messing me around which has prompted me to try out some new skincare items. I've never been much of a skincare snob, only purchasing one or two high end items, so when I saw that the nspa skincare range was available in Asda at great prices, I decided to test some out.

The first product I've been using from nspa is the Cleansing Micellar Water. I'm a big fan of micellar waters for removing my makeup prior to cleansing, and this one struck me as interesting as its supposedly a more hydrating formula than your standard micellar waters. Although my skin is acne prone and oily, it's also dehydrated. I often find that micellar waters leave my skin feeling quite tight, probably due to the toning aspect of most similar products, so I was interested to see whether this one would be better for my skin, and amazingly it was. I found that this removed my makeup quickly and easily, was really gentle on my eye area and left my skin feeling fresh and soft without the horrible tight/dry feeling that I've become used to. The micellar water is enriched with grape water, willow extract, ginseng and vitamin e which all help contribute to it's soothing and moisturising nature. If you find that regular micellar waters leave your skin feeling tight, sticky or red then you may want to give this one a whirl.

I've also been testing out their Skin Renewal Gel which is effectively another acid moisturiser, so the ones without any beads, etc which can be harmful to your skin. I often use the REN Glycolactic Radience Renewal Mask to exfoliate my skin so I was interested to see how this, much cheaper alternative, compared. The gel contains exfoliating fruit acids much like the REN mask, however it also contains Neroli Oil to help make up it's gentle, no grain formula. It unfortunately doesn't smell as good as the REN mask, but the results were strikingly similar. [INCLUDE RESULTS]

Now that the weather has been getting hotter and I've been spending more days foundation free, I wanted a moisturiser which contained SPF and gave my skin more of a healthy glow than what I had previously been using. The nspa Brightening Day Cream seemed perfect for this purpose as it contains SPF 15 to protect my skin, claims to brighten your skin giving you a more fresh-faced and youthful look, and it's also a light formula which is something I always look for in day creams. The cream is a light milky white lotion which sinks into your skin quickly and effortlessly and actually leaves your skin glowing. I've tried my fair share of brightening products in the past which have done nothing for my skin, so I was happy to see that this actually did deliver on the brightening front and helped to disguise the one-too-many late nights I've been having recently. This was actually also surprisingly  good for my dehydrated skin too, I do still use my hydrating treatments once a week but for the days when I just don't have time this is perfectly fine and also didn't upset my skin and make it oilier which is a common problem which I face.

Lastly, I've also been trying out the nspa Instant Blur Primer. I love blur primers and anything which claims to 'fill in' my extremely large pores, so I couldn't not try this one out and see how it compared to my higher end primers. The nspa Instant Blur Primer aims to instantly improve skin tone, reduce the look of fine lines and pores, and also create an even base for everything you'd expect from this kind of primer. I found the primer really quite difficult to squeeze out of the tube (that might just be me though, being the weakling that I am) but other than that, I really can't fault this primer. It filled in my pores just as well as the Benefit Porefessional did, except this one felt lighter on the skin which I much prefer and it also created a smooth canvas for my foundation, making my makeup look a lot more 'professional' if you know what I mean.

Overall, I'm extremely impressed with everything I've tried from nspa. I don't do my food shopping in Asda as Sainsburys is closer to me, however I may have to brave the extra walk to my nearest Asda to stock up on some more nspa products...or maybe I'll just order online. The products mentioned in this post range from as little as £2 up to a mere £7 which I think is fantastic value for these products as they performed just as well as their higher end alternatives. So if you're on a budget or just don't fancy spending a small fortune on your skincare, then I would definitely recommend checking out the nspa products.

Lots of Love,

Becky x x

*Post contains PR samples

Life Update: Graduation, Job Hunting & Moving to London!

Monday, 13 July 2015

Before I start this post, it might be worth mentioning that I don't really have a plan for this post so it may end up being a bit of a ramble, but I wanted to share what's been going on in my life recently with you all, partly as you're all somewhat responsible for some of the changes going on (all good, I promise). 

On the 29th May this year I sat my final ever exam and unofficially became a Bournemouth University Marketing Graduate (I say unofficial as our graduation ceremony isn't until November), and now I've typed that out it's kind of just hit me how scary that sounds. After 18 years in education I'm finally free to live my life as I choose and take the next steps in becoming a fully fledged adult - eek! This last year at Uni has been a pretty tough one for me in all honestly. Some of you may know that I took a year out of my degree to do a year in industry/placement and worked in the marketing department at Disney Channel for a year. After what can only be described as the best year of my life at Disney, I really really didn't want to go back to Uni, and that coupled with the sheer amount of work final year throws at you have taken it's toll on me, as when you really don't want to be somewhere it takes a lot of the enjoyment out of the work you're doing. However, I persevered and managed to graduate (hooray!) and I never ever say this, but I'm actually a little bit proud of myself. I never thought I would make it through first year, let alone 4 years and a dissertation! 

But now that I've left University and all of the celebrations are out of the way, it's time to get serious about the next stage of my life and there really is no preparation for the emotional roller coaster that is graduate job hunting. For a couple of months I was toying with the idea of doing a graduate scheme, but quickly decided that it wasn't the route for me. I have nothing against graduate schemes but I didn't really see one that was *perfect* for me, as I knew I wanted to go into social media instead of traditional marketing. So since making that decision I've been applying like crazy, but it's just so hard for graduates nowadays - you either don't have enough experience or you're over qualified (yes, I really did get told that) and then when you finally make it to the interview stage you're either too calm, too nervous, or you just aren't a good fit for the company...and thats if you even hear back from the company. The amount of times I've spend a small fortune on attending first, second and third interviews just to never hear back from a company, despite me chasing them, is actually ridiculous. I understand that these companies are busy but it's just basic manners to let a candidate know that they've been unsuccessful. It's no secret that graduates are poor, and nowadays you have to spend money to earn it (going to interviews, buying an interview outfit, etc) so when they've spent their last £30 on a ticket to London and spent days on a presentation for an interview, is it really that hard to email them and say no? 

However, I am happy to say that after about 3/4 months of job hunting - I am officially employed! I'm going to be starting work pretty soon as Social Media and Passenger Communications Advisor at Heathrow Airport, and I honestly couldn't be happier! I know what you're probably thinking, an airport seems like an odd choice for a self-confessed beauty addict, but seeing how passionate all of their employees are about what they're doing and the exciting opportunities the job presents, I couldn't be more excited to start my new adventure. Apart from my degree and work experience, my blog also helped me to bag my dream grad job, so I owe you all a massive thank you form the bottom of my heart for all of your love and support for my little blog over the past 2 years, I really couldn't have done it without you, and I hope you're all as excited for my new adventure as a London Blogger once again, as I am! 

Apart from bagging the job I really wanted, I'll also be moving to London which is just as exciting for me! I loved living in London when I was on my placement year, everything was so exciting and the blog opportunities coming my way were out of this world, so I'm super happy to be able to move back for work. I honestly haven't been this happy in months and I'm over the moon to finally be working towards and achieving my dreams and be in the place that I want to be. If you follow me on social media you'll have probably noticed that I've been a bit of a negative nelly over the past couple of months with the whole dissertation/job hunt becoming a huge emotional drain, but I'm happy to say that that stage of my life is well and truly over and I'll be back to my usual self before you know it! 

As you can see, there's some huge changes going on in my life right now, so while I'm packing/moving/settling into my new place and job, my posts may be a little sporadic so please bear with and I'm sure it will all be back to normal soon! In the meantime, if any of you graduates or final year students would like to see some tips/advice I've picked up along the way regarding finding a graduate job, please do let me know in the comments and I will be happy to oblige! 

Lots of Love,

Becky x x

dolly's mixtures haul

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Hello Beauties! I hope you're all well and having a wonderful week! This week I've been spending most of my time packing up my life into boxes ready for my big move to London this weekend, and the rest of my time has been lost to Netflix binges...but the less said about that the better. When it comes to bath products I love anything fruity, sweet, girly and cute...and Dolly's Mixtures shower gels seems to put a tick in to all of those boxes. Dolly's Mixtures are the latest brand to grace the shelves of my shower and I've been loving using them so much lately that I wanted to share with you all the ones I picked and why I love them so much. 

The first one I've been using is the Peach Melba scent. I love the smell of peaches and Peach Melba Ice Cream is one of my all time favourites so I knew I was going to love this one. The scent is peachy and sweet, however the slight citrus-y tang to the scent offsets the sweetness a little ensuring that it isn't that horrible fake kind of sweet scent that some products can have. 

One of my all time favourite sweets growing up were Fruit Salads, so I was happy to see that Dolly's Mixtures had included this in their new range of scents. The Fruit Salad scent does smell a little bit like the sweets I'm sure we all loved growing up, however this one is a little fainter in smell and has more of a fresh scent. It's still a lovely scent and does smell fruity and sweet, however it's not identical to the scent of the actual sweets...I still think you'll love this if you loved the sweets growing up though. 

The Fizzy Cherry scent is probably my favourite of all of the Dolly's Mixtures scents as it smells exactly like the fizzy cola bottles I always used to love getting in my pic n' mix bags growing up. It's completely identical to the smell and takes me right back to my childhood whenever I smell it, and I love it so much I can't help but giving it a little sniff every time I walk past it on my bathroom side. If you're a fan of fizzy sweets then I really recommend giving this a smell as I'm sure you'll love it. 

The last scent I've been using recently is the Parma Violet scent which is this gorgeous lilac colour. I adore pretty looking bath products and this one is definitely up there with the prettiest around as it's such a lovely colour (lilac is one of my favourite colours). I wasn't the biggest fan of Parma Violet sweets growing up but I actually love this scent and find it to be incredibly soothing and relaxing. I like to use this when I'm having a shower in the evening as it completely relaxes me and gets me ready for bed in a way. 

Apart from the gorgeous scents on offer from Dolly's Mixtures, I was also really impressed for the quality considering how inexpensive these are. Dolly's Mixtures shower gels are available from Asda for £2, and even as little as £1 when they're on offer, and they're actually quite good quality-wise. They're a little runny and not as thick as the shower cremes that I'm used to, but I find that they lather up really well as long as you don't squeeze too much out of the bottle. Also, who could resist that packaging? A lot like the Soap and Glory products, the packaging has a vintage vibe and includes lots of cute baking and sweet related puns. 

Overall, I'm really impressed with these shower gels and I will definitely be testing out some of the other scents once I've worked my way through this lot! 

Lots of Love,

Becky x x

*Post contains PR samples

The Too Faced Lust List

Monday, 6 July 2015

Too Faced is one of my favourite brands at the moment. I've loved everything that I've been fortunate enough to try from the brand but there's also a whole list of things I'd still love to try, so today I thought I would put them all into a little wishlist-style post for you. When it comes to Too Faced you really can't go wrong in my eyes, the products are all of amazing quality, the packaging is to die for and they're cruelty free. 

1. Too Faced Born This Way Foundation | Link 

Too Faced newest foundation launched in the US about two weeks ago now and since then I've been lusting after it like crazy. All of the reviews describe it as having undetectable coverage, a semi-matte finish and great coverage and that plus it's supposed longevity makes it perfect for me. I've heard that this is launching in the UK towards the end of July and I can't wait, I think it will definitely have to be my payday treat! 

2. Too Faced Boudoir Eyes Palette | Link

The Too Faced Boudoir Eyes Palette has been on my wish list for well over a year now but for some reason I've never got round to picking it up (probably due to the obscene amount of palettes I already own...). I have the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette and a couple of their eyeshadow singles, so I know that Too Faced shadows are to die for, and the purple/mauve twist on the neutral palette is right up my street. I think this palette looks so versatile too as there's so many day and evening looks you could create with the range of shadows on offer. 

3. Too Faced Teddy Bear Hair Brushes | Link 

I have to admit, I mainly want these brushes because they're pink, cute and have bows on but I've also heard that they're super soft too. The name 'teddy bear hair' already suggests this (and adds to the cuteness factor) and you can never really have too many brushes in my opinion...anything to reduce the amount of time spent washing my brushes every week! 

4. Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipsticks | Link 

Again, these have been on my wish list for ages now and I only ever hear great things about these lipsticks. After swatching the whole collection on a recent shopping trip I've decided that I must own Melted Peony and Melted Nude and I'm pretty sure that they will be making their way into my collection at some point. I'm kind of hoping that Too Faced release a holiday set like they did last year where you can get a couple of shades in mini form so that I can try before I buy the full size. 

5. Too Faced Love Flush Blushers | Link 

After reading the lovely Alyson's review of these blushers over on her blog, The Beauty Vanity, I decided that I must own these blushers. It's no secret that I'm a huge blush junkie and after hearing that these are in fact, better than the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushers it's no surprise that I'm on a mission to add these to my collection. After looking at the swatches I think that Love Hangover and Baby Love are my favourite, but honestly it was so hard to choose as every shade in the collection is beautiful. 

6. Too Faced Snow Bunny Bronzer | Link 

I technically already own this product as I got a small version of it inside one of their holiday palettes this year, however I love it so much I'd really like to get my hands on the full size version so thought that I would include it in this wish list. I'm not sure I'd really class this as a bronzer as it's kind of a bronzer/blusher/highlighter hybrid but it's perfect for adding a little flush and glow to your cheeks when you're not in the mood for using three different products. The illuminating finish also makes you look really healthy and glowy without looking shiny or greasy. 

7. Too Faced No Makeup Makeup Palette | Link 

Face palettes are my new favourite thing at the moment and this one looks just perfect. It comes with everything you need (bedsides foundation) to create a really natural looking, flawless base. Having everything in one palette is also a massive time saver for me when I'm getting ready for work in the mornings too as I don't have to go hunting around for 7 or 8 different products while I'm still half asleep. 

8. Too Faced Cocoa Contour Palette | Link 

I've wanted to purchase a contour palette for a while now, but a lot of the palettes are either just not the right colours for me (i.e too warm) or they come with around 8 different shades and I just don't need that many. I'm not a contouring pro and don't normally contour my nose, etc preferring to just stick to my cheeks and forehead so 4 shades is perfect for me. This palette also comes with a pretty light contour shade which would be perfect for me when I'm not looking for anything dramatic. Not to mention, it smells like chocolate so who can resist? 

Which brands are you currently lusting over?

Lots of Love,

Becky x x

Make a Splash with Birchbox this July!

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Hello Beauties! I hope you're all well and Happy July,  I honestly can't believe were already over half way through the year. So much has happened this year and July is set to be one of the biggest months of the year for me...I'm moving to London, starting a new job and then to finish off the month I turn 22 on the there's lots going on! With the start of every new month, comes a brand new Birchbox delivery and this really does get me excited for the beginning of a new month, no matter how sad that makes me. This months Birchbox, or Birchbag should I say, is the 'Make A Splash' edition which I think is the perfect theme for the time of year as there's plenty of people jetting all over the world and making the most of their summer. 

This month instead of the usual box format, all of the goodies come packaged in this splash proof bag, perfect for keeping all of your poolside essentials safe. There's also 4 different colours which your bag could come in, all chosen and designed by one of 4 top beauty editors from major UK magazines. Each of the bags are supposedly designed around each of the beauty editors favourite holiday locations, and I received the pink bag which is the Ibiza bag. I've never actually been to Ibiza so I can't really vouch for it as a holiday destination, but the Birchox is quite a gooden'. Anyway, on to the contents...

Barely Prep, Blot & Blend Sponge | Full Size

The first product I spied when I opened the bag was the Barely Beauty Sponge. I'm a big fan of beauty sponges to blend my cream products in, so I know I'll get a lot of use out of this product. However, Barely say that although this can be used for cream base products, it's intended use is for blending skincare and primers into the skin, in order to prep the skin for foundation application. I honestly don't think I'll use it for it's intended use and just stick to blending my foundation with this, but I was nevertheless excited to receive this product. It's a lot like the beauty blender really in the way it doubles in size when wet and it has pointed ends and no edges, etc however this sponge is a little softer in my opinion.

Unani Aloe Vera Gel | Sample Size

No matter how hard I try, I always manage to get a little bit burnt during the summer so this product will be really handy to have around. It's a clear gel with little scent so it can easily be used with perfumes and other body products which I like, and it's also really cooling so perfect for those burnt shoulders! I think this product goes really well with the 'make a splash' theme and was happy to receive it in this months bag.

Balance Me Congested Skin Serum | Sample Size

Durning the summer my skin always tends to suffer a little more...the abundance of suncream in addition to getting a little sweaty in the heat (I'm lovely, I know) usually leads to a few major break outs so I was happy to receive this little congested skin serum. I normally hate receiving skincare in these boxes as they're always geared towards those looking to add some radiance to their completion but this sample is actually something I'll use which is always a bonus. The serum is really light and smells quite citrusy and fresh so it's perfect for this time of year when you really want that fresh feeling.

Benefit Cosmetics Dream Screen SPF 45 | Sample Size

I always enjoy recieving Benefit samples in my Birchbox and this one seems perfect for this time of year, with it being a sunscreen and all that. The Dream Screen got a lot of hype last year but as I still had my Decleor Facial Sunscreen I didn't really feel the need to purchase another, as lets face it, suncream is hardly the most exciting product. However, I absolutely love this sample and may have to go out and purchase the full size, even if it is an eye watering £25. The sunscreen is light and applies kind of like serum so it sinks into your skin straight away without leaving that horrible greasy feeling behind. This product also has that typical suncream smell, which I reminds me of holidays and summers when I was little and always brings back lovely memories.

Jelly Pong Pong Glow Getter Luminizer Gel | Full Size

Jelly Pong Pong isn't a brand I've heard much about, I tried a couple of their products years ago after getting some at the Clothes Show Live, so I was happy for another chance to try out the brand. The Glow Getter Luminizer gel comes in a little nail polish like bottle with a brush, and is a gorgeous golden champagne colour...perfect for the summer months. This actually really reminds me of the Benefit Cosmetcis Sun Beam which has been on my wish list for months now. I've actually been really enjoying this highlighter (and I'm not the biggest fan of liquid/gel highlighters) as it adds just the right amount of glow to my cheekbones and it's just the right amount of bronze for my pale complexion.

POP Beauty Eyeshadow Trio in Peach Parfait | Sample Size

The last item I received in my Birchbox this month was this little POP Beauty eyeshadow palette. I always enjoy receiving makeup products in these boxes as opposed to skincare as I find they're more suited to my interests, so I was really happy to receive this as well as the Jelly Pong Pong highlighter. The palette comes with a highlight colour, lid colour and crease colour making it a great little travel palette as you've got everything you need in a little compact. I didn't think I'd be too impressed with this eyeshadow palette judging by it's packaging (I know you should never judge a book by it's cover but you know..) but I actually really like this palette. The eyehadows are pigmented, soft and blendable which are the three main things I look for when it comes to eyeshadow.

Overall, I'm thoroughly impressed with this months Birchbox. I think all of the products are great for this time of year and actually go with the theme for, who could be disappointed with two full size products? What did you think of this months offering?

Lots of Love,

Becky x x

*Post contains PR samples

My Summer Beauty Staples

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Here in the UK we seem to have been struck with a little heatwave, and after a cold and rainy winter there's no way I'm complaining! However, all of this hot weather has inspired me to change up my makeup a little and make it more summer appropriate and heat proof, so I thought I would share some of the products I've been using to do that with you all. All of these products would be perfect if you're planning on jetting off anywhere exotic this summer or if you're just enjoying the English summer like myself.

MAC Studio Fix Powder | Link

MAC Studio Fix powder has been a favourite of mine since I first really got in to makeup in my late teens, it something I always go back to and with good reason. This powder is kind of like a cross between a setting powder and a powder foundation, so as well as locking all of your makeup in place and mattifying the skin it also offers you some coverage which is perfect for people like me, as I have some acne scarring and pigmentation issues that I've been left with. Now, this isn't cheap, however I really do think it's worth the money and I've never found a powder that comes close in the drugstore. The shade pictured is actually a couple of shades dark as I accidentally ordered the wrong shade so I've been using it for contouring (which its surprisingly good at) however as soon as payday rolls around I'll definitely be picking up one in my correct shade.

Essence Blotting Papers | Link

As much as I love my powders, I always find blotting papers to be the best thing to use to touch up your makeup, as they help to avoid the dreaded cakey look. I picked these up on a whim when I was in Westfield one day as they were really cheap, and I'm pleasantly surprised at how much I love them. When my face is looking a little shiny I just dab a couple of these across my face to absorb the oil and they take my face back to looking matte again without removing any of my foundation, and then if I feel like I need it I can always dab a little powder across my t-zone. If you've got oily skin and struggle with 'cake face' as you have to top up your powder a lot, then I'd definitely recommend these.

Nars Laguna Bronzer | Link

Througout the winter I was completely obsessed with the Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soliel Bronzer, however now that the weather has gotten a little warmer I found that I needed something a little bit darker so that the definition between my foundation and bronzer was a little more significant. Nars Laguna Bronzer has been perfect for this as it's a few shades darker without being so dark that it makes my face look muddy or orange...just enough to lightly bronze up my skin and leave me with a healthy glow. I have this larger compact of this bronzer which comes with a mini Ita brush, making this so easy to use for light contouring, or you can use a larger fluffy brush and lightly dust it across areas which would naturally catch the sun for a really healthy, summery look.

Estee Lauder Pure Colour Blush in Peach Passion | Link

Throughout the summer I always find that I crave that gorgeous glowy look, however due to my oily skin this isn't something I can achieve through my foundation so I always have to look elsewhere to get that summer glow...and blusher is the perfect solution for me. The Estee Lauder Pure Colour Blush in Peach Passion is perfect for this, as it's a gorgeous peach colour (as the name would suggest) which just screams summer to me. The blusher also has a glowy finish so I find that it illuminates my face and gives the impression that I've actually got a decent nights sleep for once in my theres no need for a highlighter with this so if you're off on your travels and want to cut down on the products you're taking, this would be perfect!

Decleor Facial SPF | Link

I'm sure I don't need to lecture you too much on the importance of a good sunscreen but honestly, the tan is just not worth it...and if skin cancer isn't enough to put you off baking your skin under the suns harmful rays, then maybe the wrinkles you'll get when you're older will do. As someone with a history of acne and who regularly suffers breakouts, Its really important that I use an SPF which doesn't block my pores and cause more problems that it prevents, and I've found the Decleor sunscreen to be the best for this. It sinks in really quickly without leaving any weird white cast on your face or making your face seem oily/shiny like so many others can do. This is only SPF 15 which isn't really strong enough for me as I burn like nobodies business, so now that the weather is hotter I'll definitely be picking this up in a higher SPF. 

What are your favourite summer products? 

Lots of Love,

Becky x x

Tanning Favourites From Cocoa Brown Tan

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

I'm sure it comes as no surprise to most of you that I'm a big lover of Cocoa Brown Tan, as I've never made it much of a secret here on Lipgloss & Lashes. Now, I'm not someone who tans a lot (I'm for too lazy for that), but I do like to give myself a bit of a faux glow for nights out, special occasions and sometimes during the summer when the weather is a bit nicer...and being the lazy person that I am, 1 hour tans are perfect for me. I have a couple in my stash, some way better than others, but I always seem to return back to my trusty Cocoa Brown tan. I've been using the original 1 hour tan for about a year now and I love it. It's quick, easy and it eliminates the whole tan stained sheets situation - a complete lifesaver for someone with white sheets. However, I do find that I normally need about two layers of the tan to achieve the colour I'm looking for, after all, if I'm going to go through the hassle of fake tanning I want to be noticeably darker. So when Cocoa Brown informed me that they had recently released a dark shade of my favourite tan, I couldn't wait to try it. 

The Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan Mousse in Dark has everything I love so much about the original except just a little bit darker. The main reason I always return to Cocoa Brown tan is due to the natural tan it leaves you with. Too many times I've decided to try out a new tan only to end up looking like a chubby wotsit, so now I find it's just safer to stick to what I know. One layer of the Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan in Dark is more than enough, any more than one layer and you'll look like you're trying to chance me, I made this mistake the first time I used it. But if you do the sensible thing and stick to one layer, then you'll be left beautifully bronzed, without a hint of orange. The tan also smells quite fresh and floral, instead of your usual baked/biscuit smell which I think is great, because there's nothing I hate more than smelling like a digestive.

Although the tan is marketed as a 1 hour tan, and you can use it as that, I like to leave mine on for about 3 hours to make sure that the tan has properly developed, and avoid washing off the majority of my hard work blending the tan into my skin, as I find that 1 hour will only leave you with a very light tan, even with the darker shade. 

Another product I've been trying from the Cocoa Brown tanning range is their Gentle Bronze Tanning Moisturiser. One thing I hate is applying body creams, so the fact that I can double my tanning and moisturising up in one easy step definitely appeals to me, as I'm all for anything that saves time. This tan comes with the same scent and natural colour that the whole Cocoa Brown tanning range has, however this is definitely a light tan. I found that to get any real colour from this I had to apply it twice daily for about a week, and even then it was fairly it may be perfect for those of you who are a little scared of fake tanning. However, I've actually been using this to extend the life of the 1 hour tan and keep my legs bronzed for longer as the slight colour payoff coupled with the moisturising elements really help to increase the longevity of your tan. 

Apart from the wonderful tanning elements of this moisturiser, I actually really liked it as an actual moisturiser. It was thick enough to hydrate my skin, but not so thick that it sat on top of my skin and actually sank in super quickly which meant I could pop my pjs on and jump straight into bed without the sheets sticking to me....something I always look for in a moisturiser. 

Overall, I would really recommend Cocoa Brown if you're looking to get bronzed this summer. Everything I've tried from the range has not only been exceptional, but also super affordable. Cocoa Brown Tan is also available in Primark, Tesco, Superdrug and online at Feel Unique (who are also having a 50% off sale on Cocoa Brown) making it really easy to pick up, which is always a plus. 

Lots of Love,

Becky x x

*Post contains PR samples
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