Why it's okay to be a 'Sell Out'

Monday, 18 July 2016

When I started blogging all those years ago (I say that like I've been at it for decades, when in reality its been just over three years), I never thought this was a post I'd have to write. Partially because I was pretty clueless when it came to blogs and bloggers and didn't fully understand the opportunities that blogging brings to both bloggers and PRs and because I genuinely think that the blogging community was a nicer, much calmer place to be. Last night I joined the #bbloggers chat on Twitter for the first time in ages, and I'm honestly appalled at some of the things I was seeing. Admittedly, I've been keeping my distance from the blogging world for quite some time now, choosing to slow down and explore other interests, but I just cannot believe that the blogging community loves so much to tear each other down, to tear it's own down. 

A lot of the comments being banded around last night were to do with the age old topic of bloggers receiving 'freebies', and only being interested in getting their grubby mitts of free stuff. Freebies is a word I hate so much, as a lot of the things we supposedly receive for 'free' aren't actually as free as they may seem. Think of it this way, if a brand were to approach a magazine for coverage of their latest launch, they'd be charged through the roof, similarly with other online content platforms. However, when a blogger is doing the exact same thing as said magazine, the product is a 'freebie'? That just doesn't wash with me, especially as 9 times out of 10, the price of the product (sometimes worth as little as £5) is completely disproportionate to the amount of work a blogger puts into the post, and the size of the audience that post is then promoted to. 

I guess my point is that bloggers should not be shamed and made to feel bad about something they've worked for, a lot of the time alongside a full time job. It's not showing off if they talk about the products they've been sent for 'free', it's them doing their job - and to those of you who spend time tearing other bloggers down for receiving these so called 'free' items, just think of how you could have spent that time working on your own blog, instead of ripping someone else's to pieces. 

The conversation then moved on to how bloggers caring about their follower number. I'll be the first to admit that it's not all about having a million followers, and engagement is extremely important in today's saturated blog market, but that's not to say I don't care about my follower number, of course I do. The number of followers a blog has is used as one measure of success by other bloggers and those working in blogger outreach, whether you like it or not. So with that said, it's completely understandable for bloggers to want to increase their follower number and grow their audience size...after all, if you've poured your heart and soul into a blog post, you want people to read it, right? I admit, I care about my follower number and I want to work with brands. Working with brands has opened my eyes to a whole host of new and exciting brands, allowed me to discover some of my favourite products, and it's been a hell of a lot of fun along the way - all of which was because I have a platform on the internet which people follow and read regularly, so yes, your follower number does matter if like me, you want to work with brands. I'm not saying all bloggers want to work with brands and that's okay, but what isn't okay is when you're calling someone a 'sell out' for wanting to work with brands. Working with brands doesn't mean you lose your integrity overnight (I often post negative reviews of products I've been sent) and it definitely doesn't make you a sell out. 

By no means is follower number the only measure of success and if you've not got the biggest audience it doesn't mean I think you're a bad blogger, on the contrary, some of my favourite bloggers have under 1,000 followers - but please, think before you criticise those bloggers with large followings, as usually they've got that many followers for a reason - they've worked for them. 

I could go on for days about this subject, and I know I'm going to get some negative comments for speaking so honestly about something that seems to be a taboo topic - but I will finish with just one thing, it's absolutely okay to care about your follower number and want to work with brands, and that doesn't make you a sell out at all, it means you're working towards a goal. It doesn't make you any nicer of a person or some kind of saint if you spend your day tweeting how much you don't care about your follower number - you do you, and let the others worry about themselves. It's about time we all learned to tolerate each other in the blogging community and work alongside each other, as after all, we all have something in common. You don't have to like everyone in this life and blogging is no different, but as my Mother always said - if you've not got anything nice or constructive to say, then keep your mouth shut. 

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

Tom Ford - Nude Dip Eyeshadow Palette Review

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Owning a piece of Tom Ford makeup has always been my ultimate beauty junkie dream...whilst I love high end makeup and consider myself to be a bit of a makeup snob (there's really no point hiding it), it's always been a little too far out of reach. So when I landed my first 'proper' job I made it my mission to treat myself to something from Tom Ford, no matter how small - fast forward one year and I still hadn't gotten round to it as something had always got in the way, so as an early birthday treat to myself this year, I popped into World Duty Free and picked up the ultimate eyeshadow palette - the Tom Ford Nude Dip. After browsing the Tom Ford counter for what was probably way too long, I decided on Nude Dip. Spending in excess of £50 on an eyeshadow quad isn't a decision I take lightly, so I wanted to ensure that the quad I chose would be something that would work for me everyday but also on a night out, so that I was getting the most for my money. 

If I could describe this palette in one word, it would definitely be stunning. The collection of shimmery pearlized neutrals work so well together, and allow you to create so many looks from just four shades, it's genius. Each of the shades has a similar finish - they're shimmery and almost metallic, without being overbearing and without having any noticeable glittery chunks, which I think gives the shadow a more modern and up-market feel. The colours chosen for this quad are also stunning and I'd even go as far as to say they're timeless. Each of them are the types of nude which I know I'll reach for over and over again...whenever I don't know what to wear, whenever I want to feel special, or whenever I just feel like adding a little oomph to my makeup. The quad contains a soft champagne, a medium peach, a sort taupe grey and a satiny brown, each as unique as the next. The shades in this palette also layer over each other beautifully and work in harmony to create some absolutely stunning makeup looks, I've honestly had so much fun playing around with this quad. As you'd expect with Tom Ford, the shadows are extremely smooth, with a unique texture which helps give each colour dimension. 

On my eyes this palette comes across as neutral-warm, however I've heard that on deeper skin tones it comes across as neutral-cool due to the different pearls within each shadow. However the warm and cool tones aren't strong, meaning that you can get away with this palette either way really and the pearl pigments in each shade mean that in different lights you'll see more of the cool tones shining through, and vice-versa. 

As you'd expect, the packaging is just as luxurious as the shadows themselves, and so it should be for the price. The quad comes packaged in a velvet Tom Ford pouch, which matches the quad itself. The quad itself is fairly simple aesthetically - Tom Ford brown with a golden embossed strip running along the palette. It comes with two double ended brushes, most of which are those silly foam applicators which I'll never use but I did like to see that it included a small blending brush - something that I may find myself using when I'm applying my makeup on the go. 

The whole palette just screams luxury from the packaging to the formula, and I can see this being the beginning of a very expensive love affair as I've already got my eyes on some of the purple toned palettes! One thing about Nude Dip worth bearing in mind though is that it can be pretty difficult to get hold of. Nude Dip is their classic eyeshadow palette, meaning that it's always in high demand and when I'm spending this much on an eyeshadow quad I like to go into store and really test it out and speak to the makeup artists before, which can be a pain when the stores are constantly out of stock. This palette is currently in stock online at House of Fraser and Selfridges, however I decided to pick mine up from World Duty Free, not only because I knew they had it in stock and I could pop in for a free Tom Ford makeover while I was deciding, but because it was only £52 instead of £64 (plus delivery) from the high street. I'd honestly recommend waiting until you're in the airport this summer if you're considering any Tom Ford beauty purchases, it's so worth saving the extra pounds when you're buying something so expensive. 

Have you tried any Tom Ford beauty?

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

Lancôme Grandiôse Eyeliner Review

Thursday, 14 July 2016

When it comes to eyeliner, I wouldn't consider myself your go-to-gal, as I rarely every wear it. So you may think it strange that I've popped on here to rave about a new eyeliner release, right? Well, the reason I so rarely wear eyeliner is because I find it so difficult to apply. If I even step near the eyeliner, I can almost guarantee that I'll have panda eyes,  a wonky line or smudges everywhere, so really it's never been worth the hassle for me...until now. 

Apart from a shaky hand, one of my main problems is my apparent need for double-jointedness when applying liner. I've never been a fan of pencil eyeliners as they're so inflexible, but in all honestly, liquid liner was only a smidge better - and that's why Lancôme have released their new Grandiôse Eyeliner with a fully flexible brush. As you can see from the pictures above, you can use the eyeliner in the traditional way, however you can also bend and snap the brush into an angled position, making it so much easier to apply and create symmetrical cat-flicks. 

Apart from the obvious positives associated with this product, the actual liner is pretty good too. It's wet, but not too wet, giving you the fluidity you need to create the perfect line, and the thin brush tip is perfect for creating a slim line or an exaggerated wing. Also, long gone are the days of your eyeliner melting down your face - once this stuff has dried (you do need to leave it a few seconds to dry, or it will smudge) it's not going anywhere unless you want it to, and even then you do need a good makeup remover. 

Overall, I think the Graniôse Eyeliner from Lancôme is a great product for eyeliner lovers and novices alike, and I'll definitely be reaching for eyeliner a little more (practice makes perfect after all!) when adding the finishing touches to my eyes. It's so funny how such a simple change can make all the difference! The Lancôme Grandiôse Eyeliner is now available in all major beauty retailers, and online here in three different shades. 

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

*post contains PR samples

Escaping the City

Sunday, 10 July 2016

London will always have a special place in my heart and it's where I've chosen to call 'home', but I find it's so easy to get swept up in the blur of excitement that is London, so much so that sometimes I just forget to stop and breathe. So this weekend I decided to take a much needed break from the big city and hopped on the train to Brighton to visit one of my best friends. As I was only able to stay for the day, I headed to St Pancras super early to catch my train - with Brighton only being just over an hour away from London, and it only costing me £10 return with Thameslink, it's a wonder I've never been before - and I was in Brighton by 11am ready to explore. 

As soon as I arrived we walked on down to The Lanes, which was a must -see on my list. The Lanes are a collection of small little alley ways and lanes, packed full of quirky little shops, perfect for finding something unique or stopping off for some tea and cake - which is exactly what we did. After a little wander around the North Lane, which is the quirkier of the two main lanes (and a stop in Sass & Belle - obviously), we stopped off at Catwalk Cakes for some Rainbow Cake. I'd never had rainbow cake before despite lusting after it for months, and if you're going to indulge, it should definitely be in Catwalk Cakes a.k.a the cutest tearoom ever. After our little pit-stop, we carried on exploring the lanes, ducking into the cute antique shops and taking a peek at all of the vintage sweet shops, before walking down to the beach and the famous Brighton Pier. 

I lived in Bournemouth for four years whilst I was studying and despite being one of the countries most famous beaches, the pier leaves a lot to the imagination - so Brighton Pier was a must see for me. Brighton Pier is pretty much everything you'd expect from a traditional seaside resort...fairground rides, fish and chips, novelty stores and of course, pier donuts! Having just filled up on rainbow cake, I couldn't quite manage any of the yummy delights the pier had to offer...but I'll definitely be going back to sample the seaside delights. 

After a trip down the pier and a little wander down Brighton's glorious pebble beach, we were feeling a little peckish so we headed down the lanes to Donnotello's Italian Restaurant - a surprisingly large family run restaurant, popular with locals and celebrities alike. The food was delicious and definitely easy on the purse strings - a refreshing change to the extortionate London prices I've become accustom to. 

During the afternoon we headed back down to the lanes to take a look at some of the other stores (Choccywoccydoodah was a personal favourite of mine!), try on a few outfits and have a little catch up as it'd been a few months since we'd seen each other face to face, before catching my train back to London. 

I have to say, I absolutely loved Brighton and it's definitely been one of my favourite places to visit in the UK - everything was quirky and cute, and there's just so much to see and do. If it wasn't for work, I'd definitely consider moving down to Brighton for a slightly quieter life, but alas, for now Brighton will just be my escape from busy city life. 

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

Love Me Beauty | July 2016

Friday, 8 July 2016

It seems as though all I talk about on here at the moment is my beauty subscription boxes, but as a member of so many subscriptions, it's hard to avoid beauty box overload at the beginning of the month! This week, the July Love Me Beauty box dropped through my letterbox and it comes as no surprise that it's just as good as the previous month's box. 

This month's box wasn't a box as such, instead the products came packaged in a cute blue makeup bag, perfect for popping into your handbag on the go. I've managed to build up quite a collection of these smaller size makeup bags now though, so this month I think I'll be passing it on to one of my housemates...there's only so much I can fit into my little London bedroom! 

One of the first products I spied sitting inside the bag was the Pixi Correction Concentrate. Pixi isn't a brand I've really explored yet, so I was happy to receive something from the brand this month as it's always been one to intrigue me. The Correction Concentrate is a small pot concealer in a salmon pink colour to help cancel out any dark circles or discolouration under your eyes and brighten the general area. I've had great success with similar products before (Benefit Erase Paste, I'm looking at you!) so I'm excited to give this one a go, and I'll of course let you know the results! 

This month's Love Me Beauty subscription contained not one, but two Pixi products, the second of which being the Nourishing Lip Polish. Unlike other lip polish products, the Pixi Nourishing Lip Polish comes in a tube form with a plastic exfoliating applicator, so there's no need to spread the scrub on to your lips using your fingers like with so many similar products - you just buff the gentle exfoliating balm into your lips using the added applicator like you would any normal lip balm. I was never really a fan of the Lush lip scrubs as I found them to be a bit too messy, so I'm excited to see how I get on with this one, so far so good! 

July's selection also included two Caudalie product - the Divine Oil and the Vinoperfect Radiance Serum. I've received samples of the Divine Oil in the past and whilst the sample size is great for taking on your travels, I find the oil to be a little on the thick side for use on my hair and face, so needless to say it's not my favourite. Despite being disappointed to receive yet another Divine Oil sample, I actually do use the Vinoperfect range of moisturisers so I look forward to adding the radiance serum into my routine over the next few nights. 

This month's box also contained a few of my favourite products, one of which was the Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Facial Wipes. I'm not really a fan of face wipes, as I like to sit down and properly remove all of my makeup, but if I have to use face wipes, then these are my go-to, as they're incredibly refreshing and soothing. I always use these wipes on long haul flights to freshen up my skin during the flight and pre-arrival, so this smaller packet size will be perfect for my trip to Dubai in September. 

Another one of my favourite brands included in this month's selection is OPI. OPI are my favourites for nail polish and over the past couple of years I've built up quite the collection. This month I received the shade 'Strawberry Margarita' which is a medium pink shade - nothing special, just the perfect pink which I can see myself getting a lot of use from over the coming months. 

Lastly, this month's box also contained a sample of the La Potion Infinie by ARgENTUM. I'd actually never heard of this product before, probably due to the fact it's an anti-ageing cream and I'm only 22, however after a quick google I can see that the full size product is a whopping £147! It's only a small sample, but I think it's great that beauty subscription services offer these expensive products out to you, that you may not have been able to try previously. 

Overall I think this month's selection of products is pretty impressive...I received three full size products from well known brands, in shades that are actually on trend and wearable, which I actually think is fairly tough to find, so well done Love Me Beauty on another fantastic month! 

Sign up here to receive your own Love Me Beauty box (rep: £10). 

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

*post contains PR samples

The 'Miami Box' from BeautyBay.com

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

If you're an avid reader of Lipgloss & Lashes then you'll know I'm partial to a beauty box (or two...) so when I received this 'Best of USA' box from Beauty Bay, my heart did a little somersault. The 'Best of USA' boxes are Beauty Bay's little tribute to the Fourth of July, and they're the perfect way to celebrate for any beauty lover like myself. The Best of USA boxes contain eight products, seven of which are full sized and come in two differed variations - Miami and LA. The LA box is inspired by the warm, golden vibes of a summer spent in LA, whereas the Miami box is a nod to the glitz and glamour of a night out in Miami. I recently received the Miami box in my latest blogger mail drop, and it was too good to keep to myself...

So, what's inside?

Makeup Geek Contour Powder in 'Break Up' - I've wanted to try out some Makeup Geek products for so long so I was excited to see not one, but three makeup geek products included in the Miami box, the first of which was the contour powder in break up. Break up is a little dark on my extremely pale skin, so I'll definitely be saving this for when I've got a little bit of a tan, but I really can't knock the quality. The powder blends out like a dream, and the cool tones are perfect for creating that chiseled look without looking overly bronze. 

Makeup Geek Blush in 'Spell Bound' - Spell Bound is a beautiful petal pink shade, and it's honestly like this shade was made for me. It's the perfect shade of pink and the quality of the powder is amazing. It's no secret that MAC are my go-to for blushes, however I'd even go as far as to say that the makeup geek blushers are even better than their MAC equivalents - so I definitely think I'll be saving my pennies and investing in Makeup Geek next time. 

Makeup Geek Eyeshadow in 'Crème Brûlée' - Lastly for Makeup Geek, the Miami box contained Crème Brûlée, a gorgeous soft sand colour that brightens the lids and also makes for a natural crease colour. Again, I'd definitely say that these are extremely comparable to MAC and maybe even a little bit better pigmentation-wise. I often find MAC eyeshadows a little hit and miss, so again, I think next time I'll stick to Makeup Geek as this was pigmented, soft and blended out excellently. 

Anastasia Beverley Hills Illuminator in 'Riviera' - By far the most exciting product in the box, the Anastasia Beverley Hills Illuminator in Riviera is a stunning rose gold shade that gives you that 'lit from within' look that's so hard to find in a highlighter. I often find that brands overdo the sparkle a little too much, but this one looks perfectly natural when applied lightly, but obviously you can build this highlight up for when you want a more glam look. I've been putting off buying one of these shades for months now as they are a little pricey at £28, so I was excited to see one included as it's such an excellent brand. 

Kevyn Aucoin The Flesh Tone Lip Pencil - This cult classic has unfortunately never made it in to my makeup collection due to the high price tag so I was thrilled to see the deluxe mini included in the box. Honestly, I don't wear lip pencils all too often so the size doesn't bother me at all, I'm just thrilled to be able to try out such a high end brand for a fraction of the price! The Flesh Tone Lip Pencil is a perfect 'your lips but better' shade, designed to perfectly define your lips and create the perfect base for your lip products, and I can definitely say it does that - although I'm still not sure I'd pay £20 for it. 

LA Splash Forbidden Kiss Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick in Latte - The Miami box contains two lip colour for you to choose from in order to complete the look, however I found them both to be a little too similar as they're from the same colour family. I'd of liked to see a little more variation in the shades so there was a little more choice if I'm honest. Anyway, the LA Splash Forbidden Kiss Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick in Latte is a beautiful cool toned brown-nude shade and although I think it's been a little overdone, the perfect Kyle Jenner shade. The formula was also great, although a little wet a first it proved to be an excellent liquid lipstick - the colour was opaque, it was easy to apply, non-drying and light on the lips. 

Coloured Raine Matte Liquid Lip Paint in Mars - Similar to the previous shade, Mars is a brown toned nude, however this shade is more of a brick red nude as opposed to a light brown nude - there's definitely a difference in the shades, however as I said, they're a little too samey for my liking. Again, this liquid lipstick turned out to be lovely as it was opaque, easy to use and long lasting. Apart from the colour being something I'd not necessarily choose for myself, I think the product is excellent. 

Gerard Slay All Day Setting Spray in Jasmine - After seeing Beyoncé at the weekend, I'm completely in love with the name of this setting spray, but besides that I also think this is a great product. It was refreshing to use and I noticed that it improved the overall appearance of my makeup by getting rid of some of the powdery 'cakiness' that can sometimes appear. It is worth mentioning though that the scent is Jasmine in this product is extremely strong for something you're meant to spray all over your face - so if you have a hatred for perfumed products then I'd steer clear. 

Overall I love this box and think it's a great way to try out some stateside beauty and add some new products to your collection. In fact, I love it so much that I'm definitely considering treating myself to the LA box (and I highly recommend you do the same!). The Best of US boxes can be purchased from Beauty Bay online here

What do you think?

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

*post contains pr samples

24 Hours in Cowes, Isle of Wight

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Travelling whilst working full time is hard work, and it seems the more of this world I see...the more I want to see of it. So this summer I've decided to make the effort to see more of the world, starting with my own little island - I have a holiday to Dubai planned later this year, so more overseas excursions are unfortunately off the table, but that doesn't mean that I can't travel and create amazing memories with the ones closest to me...they just need to be created a little closer to home. 

So last weekend, me and five of my housemates set off to the Isle of Wight for a sailing holiday. On Friday night we drove down to Gosport in Portsmouth, where we'd hired a boat from Commodore Yachting, to set up and have a few drinks on board before an early night. Unfortunatley Friday ended up being an extremely long day as we were all up at the crack of dawn to watch the Brexit results roll in (I'll keep my opinions on this matter to myself for the time being), so instead of having a heavy night, we went to a local 'all you can eat' Chinese restaurant for dinner and a few drinks before heading to bed.

We woke up bright and early on Saturday morning to start our mini lesson in how to sail as 5 out of the 6 of us had never sailed a boat before. The lesson was quick as one of my housemates is an experienced sailor and reassured us that we would learn as we go. However just as we set off, the heavens opened - I've honestly never seen rain like it, it was so heavy that at one point I wasn't sure whether I was on the boat or under the water! Despite the rain absolutely soaking us (I'm pretty sure my jeans are still damp!) we didn't let it dampen our spirits and we sailed away over the the Isle of Wight. I'm not really tall enough to help out with the sail, so I steered the boat into the wind as we sailed over to Cowes. I didn't really think I'd enjoy the sailing part of this mini-break but I absolutely loved it, and I really think it made this holiday special - it was a new experience for me and one I'll never forget.

Cowes was extremely busy when we sailed over (I think there was an event on the island) so we ended up staying in East Cowes Marina which meant we needed to get a water taxi into town for the night. After drying off on the boat and getting glammed up, we called ourselves a water taxi and headed over to Cowes town centre for dinner and drinks. After doing a little research on the local bars and restaurants, we headed over to The Mess Canteen + Bar on Cowes High Street and I really can't recommend this place enough, it had a lovely relaxed vibe and the retro decorations were brilliant. I had the Halloumi, Beetroot and Pesto burger and oh my gosh it was amazing, I don't think I've ever had a halloumi burger that I've enjoyed as much. The main selling point of this restaurant/bar though, was the jam jar cocktails - we loved them so much that we ended up having way too many and staying until closing before heading back to the boat for the night. If you're ever in Cowes then you *need* to try their 'Messy Mai Tai'.

The next day was a lot calmer weather-wise so we explored Cowes a little in the morning, taking time to take in the quaint little streets which are littered with cute homeware shops and souvenirs - a typical English seaside town I'd say. After we were done in Cowes, we headed over to Hamble for lunch before heading back to Portsmouth. As we were setting off and attempting to get the sales up, the wind picked up and a couple of planes were flying past doing loops and tricks, which was amazing to see and really added to the excitement of the sail back! When we docked in Hamble we headed to the King & Queens head for some traditional Fish & Chips which were amazing but as time was tight (we needed to be back in Portsmouth for 6pm) we didn't really have time to hang around so we headed back on over to Portsmouth before a long drive back to London.

The trip was definitely tiring (nobody told me sailing was hard work!) but so rewarding. As I said, it was a new experience and it was honestly such great fun - I'd recommend it to anyone looking to get away without getting on a plane!

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

New In from Caudalie

Thursday, 23 June 2016

When it comes to skincare, I truly believe that french is best, and the new Caudalie Vinosource range is no exception. The Vinosource range is packed with Caudalie's famous grape seed polyphenols - powerful antioxidants which stimulate microcirculation and help the skin to maintain hydration. The formula is also enriched with chamomile to soothe and calm the skin, and next generation peptides to help desensitise the skin with their painkilling properties. Today I wanted to share with you some of my favourites from the range...

My favourite product from the Vinosource range has to be the Moisturising Sorbet. This light, almost whipped, cream sunk into my skin straight away and provided instant relief from my tight, dehydrated skin. One concern I always have when trying out new moisturisers is that it may increase the oiliness of my skin, however the Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet effectively hydrated my skin without leaving a tacky feeling behind, and without increasing the oil levels in my skin, making it perfect for the summer months.

Another product from the Vinosource range which I've been using a lot lately is the Moisturising Mattifying Fluid, which has been perfect for these hot and humid days we've been having here in the UK. This ultra moisturising fluid has a weightless feel making it perfect for the summertime when you don't want anything too heavy on your skin. The fluid contains flax seed powder which gives you an instant and long lasting mattifying effect, and the added grape seed oil also means that while the fluid mattifies your skin, it won't dry your skin out in the process, as the grape seed oil helps the product to react to your skins natural hydration levels. In addition to this, the Vinosource Mattifying Fluid also contains Vinolevure which strengthens skin over time to become less sensitive and more resilient to the elements.

If you need an extra moisturising kick, the grape seed water is also a brilliant extra touch. Much like the Clinique Moisture Surge spray, Caudalie's 100% organic Grape water is a refreshingly cool mist which tones and moisturises the skin, to keep it looking and feeling fresh throughout the day. The mist is enriched with moisturising polysaccharides and mineral salts to provide an instant boost of hydration either under or over your makeup. I wouldn't say that this is a completely necessary product, as it's more of an extra step, but it's been brilliant on these hot and humid days and you just need that little mid-day refresh.

Overall, I've been really impressed with the Vinosource range from Caudalie, and thats something coming from a girl whose been using the same moisturiser for three years. If you're looking for some extra hydration this summer without overloading your skin, I'd highly recommend you try out this range from Caudalie, available here from £6-£23.

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

*post contains PR samples

Urban Decay XX Vice Reloaded Palette - Review & Swatches

Monday, 20 June 2016

When it comes to eyeshadows, Urban Decay are up there as one of my favourite brands...and trust me, I've tried the lot! The buttery smoothness of the shadows and the dreamy way they blend out make Urban Decay my shadow of choice - so when I heard they were launching a brand new eyeshadow palette to celebrate their 20th birthday, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. 

To celebrate those special 20 years, the XX Vice Ltd Reloaded Palette contains 20 shades, each representing Urban Decay over the years. Urban Decay were actually one of the first brands I ever used back in my early teens, and I'll always remember how excited I was when my Mum gave me their 'Ammo' palette as a present, so I absolutely love that this palette contains some of their vintage and 'cult favourite' shades, some of which have been discontinued for years, along with some brand new shades to mark the occasion.

Shades and Swatches:

Moonflower is described as a 'metallic rose gold with gold micro-shimmer' and wears as a shimmery copper shade with warm undertones and a soft, frosty finish. Much like all UD shadows, the shade blended out excellently and the pigmentation was brilliant. 

Smog is described as a 'deep coppery bronze shimmer' and is a rich, bronzed shade with a beautiful metallic sheen. Smog is one of my favourites from the original Urban Decay Naked palette, so I was so happy to see it featured in the Vice Reloaded. I'd say that out of all of the shades in the palette, this was one of the softest and most pigmented. In fact, it seems that all of the metallic shades seem to wear better in terms of colour payoff and their blendability. 

501 is described as a 'deep metallic blue with copper micro-glitter' and wears as a medium-dark cobalt blue with a slight sheen and a little sparkle. I have to say, I was slightly disappointed with this shade as the sparkle that you see in the pan didn't quite translate on to the eye. I found that the glitter got lost on the brush or fell off after application, leaving a lightly shimmery shade behind but nowhere near as sparkly as I'd have hoped. The texture of this shade was also slightly drier, making it harder to blend. 

Suspend is a muted medium taupe shade with a matte finish. I'm always more of a fan of shimmer eyeshadow shades, however this one was soft and blended well, making it an excellent crease colour. 

UV-B is a bright violet blue shade with cool undertones and a gorgeous shimmery finish. Much like smog, hot pants and some of the other bright shimmer shades, this one really packed a punch and the pigmentation was excellent. The swatch above is just one swipe from the pan, so you can really see how bright this shadow is. I find brighter colours like this slightly harder to wear, but recently I've been liking this one lined above a strong cat-flick to add a slight pop of colour. 

Misdemeanor is described as a 'deep olive green matte with green micro-shimmer'. However, I'd say it was more of a deep turquoise with a green base, and it definitely isn't a matte on me - it tends to wear as more of a frosty, shimmery shade on me. I did however find that whilst this one swatched excellently, the pigmentation was a little sheer when I applied it to the lid, meaning that I needed to layer the shadow up slightly more than the other shades. 

Shallow is a really pretty taupe-silver shade with a satin finish. It has natural to cool undertones and a beautiful sheen to it, making it a really pretty everyday colour when you want to stray slightly from everyday neutrals. 

Oil Slick is a shade I already own in the Ammo palette, and is one I often use as a liner shade. It's a deep black shade with silver glitter running through, and really does make an excellent liner as its seriously pigmented and lasts all day on my oily lids. 

Goldmine is a beautiful yellow-gold shade with a seriously shimmery finish, making it appear almost like liquid gold. Much like the other bright shimmer shades, the pigmentation was amazing, and it lasted hours on my lids. This shade is slightly crumbly though, making it slightly messy to work with, so I'd definitely recommend doing your eyes first before your face makeup to allow you to clean up a bit!

Freakshow is described as a bright purple satin, however I'd say it was more of a dark violet purple than a 'bright' purple. Again, the shimmer was brilliant and the pigmentation was amazing, and the soft texture meant it blended out like a dream. 

Laced is a muted pinky-taupe shade with a matte finish. This shade is probably one of the more 'boring' shades in the palette, but it does make an excellent base for some of the other brighter shades in the palette. I did however find that it was slightly harder to achieve a good colour payoff with laced due to the light nature of the shade. 

Roadstripe is an iridescent white with a blue-violet shift which I think is just so pretty. The violet sheen catches the light whenever you flutter your lashes and is so beautiful without being too over the top. It's a shade I've never tried from the brand, but it's definitely making its way into my favourites now. 

Twice Baked is described as a 'rich brown satin with gold micro-glitter'. I'd say it was a shimmery dark brown which would look amazing used in a smoked neutral eye or as an everyday liner if you're looking to switch up your usual black shades. 

Asphyxia is one of my favourite shades in the palette, and if you've been reading this blog for a while you'll know I'm fond of a purple eye. Asphyxia is described as a 'hyacinth shimmer with a blue shift' which I'd say is pretty accurate, as it's a lovely iridescent lilac shade. It was slightly more sheer than it appeared in the pan, which I actually liked as it made it slightly more wearable. 

Hot Pants is a pearly medium pink with a silver sheen. It has warm undertones and a frosted finish, and despite the fear that pink is a difficult colour to work with, I absolutely love this shade and think it would look lovely used as part of a rose gold eye. 

Gash is an Urban Decay old favourite, returned to this palette to commemorate their 20th birthday. This metallic brick red shade is rich with warm orange undertones and has that buttery consistency  Urban Decay are known for. I know a lot of people will be happy to see Gash return however I'm not sure it's the one for me - it's just a little bit too 'out there'.

Anonymous is described as a pale peachy cream matte, but on me it was unfortunately just invisible. I've heard a lot of US bloggers rave about how this shade is an excellent highlight shade or transition shade, however it's just too sheer to really do anything for me. Unfortunately I think this was the dud shade of this palette. 

Acid Rain is a pale yellow-green with a golden sheen and one of my favourite shades in this palette. Neutrals, purples and greens are some of my favourite shades to wear for nights out, so this palette is pretty perfect for me, and this green is, despite looking slightly scary, unbelievably flattering. The shimmer makes this perfect for adding a pop of colour to the lid and the light green goes perfectly with my murky green eyes to brighten them up. 

Next to Acid Rain is Mildew, a deep metallic green shimmer shade with warm undertones and a frosted appearance. I actually already own Mildew as part of the Ammo palette however I'm almost out so this has come at an excellent time. Mildew looks amazing paired with Maui Wowie from Urban decay (unfortunately not included in this palette) and also Acid Rain when going for a golden green look. 

Midnight Cowboy is a pink champagne shade with a beautiful shimmer and a silver glitter, which definitely makes it the most wearable shade in the palette. I either like to wear this on its own for an everyday look or use it as a brow bone highlight or inner corner highlight when wearing a more 'out there' glam look. 

Overall, I absolutely adore this palette. As a neutral lover, at first I found it quite intimidating seeing all of the bright colours in the palette, but I've really grown to love the selection and think there are some really special colours included in the palette. 

If you want to get your mitts on this special palette though, you'll have to be quick. The Urban Decay XX Vice Reloaded is extremely limited and at the moment, it's only available at World Duty Free - so if yo've got any summer holidays planned, make sure you grab it while you can at the airport!

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

Kate Spade Sale Finds

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

If you've been reading my blog for a while, then you'll know I love a good bargain - I mean, why pay full price when you can get 50% off?! So when I saw that my favourite brands, Kate Spade, was having a sale, I couldn't resist popping a few items into my basket. I visited the Westfield London store as the Regent Street store is always so busy, and the staff were so lovely and helpful, going above and beyond to make sure I left the store with everything I was looking for. 

There was honestly so much I wanted to buy when I was in store (pretty much the whole store if I'm honest) but as I'm saving up for my holiday to Dubai right now, I decided on just two small items. The first thing I picked up was this stunning little card holder. I already have one of the larger Kate Spade wallets, but sometimes all I want to take out with me is my bank card and ID so this little card holder will be perfect for those occasions, or for cards I don't often reach for - so I know they're in my bag, but they're not taking up space in my purse. The card holder has a larger space in the top which would fit around 3 cards if you wanted to carry that many, and two single card holders on the side for things like your bank card and ID. Although it looks slim and compact, it's definitely big enough to carry everything you need for popping to the shops, and I think the polka dot print is just adorable without looking childish. For £25, I just couldn't leave it behind. 

The next thing I picked up was this 'glitter is my favourite colour' clutch. I've loved this slogan range ever since I saw it in the stores months ago, so I was determined to pick something up. Luckily, the store had one piece from the range left in their store cupboard and the lovely sales assistant was more than happy to retrieve it for me. Although I had little choice, with it being the last one left, I love that I picked up the smaller size pouch/wristlet as this will be perfect for when I'm just popping out to the shops or out for drinks and don't need too much stuff with me. I already have a medium size Kate Spade bag which I use as an everyday bag, so it's nice that I now have a teeny tiny option for those days when I don't want to carry everything with me - and honestly, I've always loved the more novelty items which Kate Spade design! 

Overall, I'm thrilled with my purchases and I'd definitely recommend you take a look at the Kate Spade sale, as this lot only cost me £68, which I think is an amazing deal considering the quality of the items. The Kate Spade sale is currently online here and in stores. 

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

Skin Tone Perfection from Avène

Monday, 13 June 2016

When it comes to skincare, I truly believe that the french do it best. The mild, simple formulas and reliable ingredients work wonders for my skin and I'm a true advocate of the simple skincare routine, especially when you have difficult skin like I do. Having suffered with severe acne for years as a teenager and young adult, my skin has been left with marks and darker patches, an oiliness I just can't shift and pores so large you can see them from the moon...in fact, I pretty much look like the moon with all of these craters on my face! Most of these things I have learnt to deal with and cover up, however the darker patches and marks from my acne are the one thing I just cannot conceal...the only way I've been able to deal with this so far is by wearing a serious amount of makeup, which in the summertime is just not ideal. 

So when Avène got in touch to let me know they'd just released a hydrating skin tone perfecter, I knew it would only be a matter of time before I just had to try it out. I'm a big fan of Avène, particularly their light hydrating creme and hydrating serum, so I was excited to see whether the skin tone perfecter would deliver the same results. 

The Avène Hydrating Skin Tone Perfector is subtly tinted to suit most complexions and is said to provide optimal hydration and a healthy glow while perfecting the complexion thanks to it's winning combination of two actives, Meibosérine and Lipomucine, which ensure an even diffusion of the Avène Thermal Spring Water and prevent it's evaporation. The product also contains a combination of mineral pigments and illuminating pearlescent pigments to instantly correct skin tone imperfections and the powerful antioxidant rich formula also protects skin from environmental aggressions and living in London, that's exactly what I need from my skincare. 

But did it work? The short answer is yes. Although the cream looks extremely dark on the swatches, it blended out and melted into my skin like a dream, leaving no 'tide marks' or orange streaks behind. At first I was concerned that it wasn't really doing anything as it's so sheer, however once I'd applied it to my whole face and let it sink in, I really noticed the difference. My skin instantly looked more even and it went some way to conceal my darker patches. While it's way too sheer to use as a foundation or on it's own, it definitely make my foundations job a lot easier, as my skin was already even and slightly concealed.

My skin is also quite dehydrated, meaning it feels tight and uncomfortable, so the hydrating properties of this cream were perfect for creating a barrier to keep moisture locked in, and it also gave my skin a bit of a glow.

Overall, I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who sees their uneven skin tone as a real problem, as it definitely goes some way to solving the problem, however if you're not really in need of it, or your foundation is doing a good enough job on its own then I'd say this is a 'nice to have' instead of a 'need to have'. If you are interested though, the Avène Skin Tone Perfector is available for £16.50 here.

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

*post contains PR samples

How To Find Designer Shoes for Less

Friday, 10 June 2016

When it comes to shoes, Carvela and Kurt Geiger are some of my favourite brands, as they allow me to own high-quality shoes but at a price which is still within my budget. Now I know they aren't cheap so to speak, but they're hardly up there with the likes of Louboutin and I really do think the quality matches the price. So, imagine my excitement when a friend told me that I could get the brand up to 70% off all year round with shoeaholics.com. 

Shoeaholics is owned by Kurt Geiger, and is essentially a discount version of it's online store. However, as well as Kurt Geiger shoes, you'll also find Carvela, Ted Baker, Miss KG, Butterfly Twist,  Nine West, etc so there's definitely something for everyone on the site. But I guess what you really want to hear about is the discounts. The site offers some really big discounts on all of it's shoes, with some selling for as little as £9. For example, the 'Lotty' shoes pictured above which I picked up recently were £180 down to £19 - which is amazing

Now I realise this is pretty unbelievable, but fear not, all of the shoes are 100% legitimate Kurt Geiger, it's just that a lot of them are ex-display or they're last season. I have no problem with this, as I don't buy new shoes every season and often wear the same heels all year round, so I'm not precious about wearing things which are last season. In fact, I love this site so much that I've now ordered two pairs of shoes in the past week, and each of them have turned up absolutely perfect and with no cosmetic damage at all, in fact, they've all been brand new. 

Needless to say, I'd completely recommend taking a look at the site, and I can pretty much guarantee that you'll find something you'll fall in love with - I know I found about 5 pairs! It's also worth sharing that if you use the code AFF15 at the moment, you'll get 15% off your order, and if you sign up to their newsletter, then you'll also get 15% off your first order - which is how I ended up getting the shoes above for as little as £16! 

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

Nars Lip Glosses in Turkish Delight, International Velvet and Ophelia

Monday, 6 June 2016

If you hadn't already guessed by the title of this blog, I love me some lip gloss, so just imagine my excitement when I spotted these Nars lip glosses in TK Maxx for £7.99 each! Nars is one of my favourite makeup brands, but it's fair to say they're a little pricey, so it's not often I get to add a new Nars lip product to my collection (I have about three holidays to save for instead!), so you bet I took the opportunity to add three new glosses to my collection at this bargain price. 

My local TK Maxx had a whole host of shades available in all different formulas, but it was Turkish Delight, International Velvet and Ophelia which really caught my eye. Turkish Delight is one of the Nars cult classics, made famous by none other than Kim Kardashian when she revealed that it was her go-to gloss, so you bet I needed it in my collection. Described as a pink sherbet, Turkish Delight is a pinky-beige shade with subtle warm undertones and a creamy, glossy finish. The colour is semi-opaque meaning that it's beautiful worn alone or over the top of a light pink/nude lipstick (It works so well with creme cup by mac). 

International Velvet, from the Andy Warhol collection, is one of the Nars Larger Than Life lip glosses. Designed to provide brilliant shine and intense colour, the larger than life lip glosses provide a high shine finish which stays in place for hours (they're my favourite Nars formula for this reason alone). The innovative formula also provides your lips with the moisture and protection they need, all while naturally plumping your lips (without that horrible tingly feeling). The Larger Than Life Lip Glosses also have a shorter, bristle brush, unlike other Nars glosses, for a more precise application. Much like Turkish Delight, International Velvet is a light and milky pink shade which works perfectly when paired with lighter pink lipsticks such as Creme Cup and Angel from MAC. Out of the three, this one is definitely my favourite for a cute, everyday look. 

Lastly, I decided to pick up Ophelia for the summertime, which is when I get the most use out of glossy lip products. Ophelia is a light watermelon shade with pink sparkle which I think will look so pretty with a peachy blush and beachy waves over the next couple of months, and I can definitely see Ophelia getting a lot of use in Dubai this September. I love that Ophelia is slightly sheer, allowing you to really tone down your look or build it up over the top of a coral lipstick. If you're a fan of their Orgasm gloss, then I'd definitely recommend Ophelia for a lighter, more subtle look. 

Overal, I'm thrilled with my latest Nars purchases, as they're all perfect for the upcoming summer months. I'll definitely be continuing to check out my local TK Maxx for similar beauty bargains, and I'd urge you to do the same. 

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

Nude Lipsticks for Fair Skin

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Nude lipsticks are honestly pretty much the only lipsticks I buy. As I've gotten slightly older I've become more certain of my tastes in makeup and fashion, and try to only buy the things which I know I'll wear a lot of. I still have lots of pinks, bright reds and purples from my days of experimentation, so if there ever was a need for a particular colour I can pretty much guarantee I've got it, making it a lot easier to only buy the colours that I wear on an everyday basis. With that said, I've become pretty good at picking out a nude lipstick which will work on my fair skin in to time at all, so today I thought I'd share with you my favourite four. 

MAC Peach Blossom - Peach Blossom is my all time favourite lipstick, and it's the one I wear almost everyday for work and at the weekends, which is why there's so little left. It's a beautiful creamy peachy/pink nude which complements my skin beautifully, and makes my lips look that little bit plumper. I could honestly rave about how great this lipstick is for days, and I tell all of my friends to go out and buy it whenever we're near a MAC counter. Honestly, if you buy one thing this month, make it this lipstick. 

MAC Without Your Love - Unfortunately 'Without Your Love' was a limited edition lipstick so I umm-ed and ahh-ed about including this, but it's such a pretty colour I couldn't leave it out. Without Your Love is a beautiful peachy-pink nude which works so well with my fair skin tone and love for pink blush. It's slightly lighter and more pink-toned that peach blossom so if you found that a little too peachy then this may be the one for you. Although this was limited edition, I know some MAC counters do still have it in stock (particularly the ones in Duty Free stores) and if not, I'm sure you can find it on blog sales or eBay/depop - just be careful it's not fake. 

YSL Nude Beige - Nude Beige was my first YSL lipstick and I can already tell it won't be the last. The formula is ultra moisturising and creamy, and the colour is so opaque, which I wouldn't necessarily expect from something so moisturising and shiny. The shade is a little more warm-toned than the rest of the nudes so can sometimes be a little hard to pull off, but when I've gone ultra simple on my eyes and blush, this is the perfect nude for the occasion. 

Clinique Sugar Pop - Sugar Pop is the latest addition to my lipstick collection, and a very welcome one at that. Edging more towards the 'Kylie Jenner Nude', Sugar Pop is slightly darker and more mauve toned than the others and works excellently with my fair skin. I often find that the more mauve-toned nudes don't work so well with my skin, but the lightness of sugar pop works so well. This is definitely more of an autumn-winter nude for myself, as I like to go lighter for the summer, but it's definitely one to watch. 

What are your favourite nude shades? I'm always looking to add more to my collection!

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

Fun Summer Accessories from Accessorize

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Throughout the year my style pretty much remains the same...girly touches, pastel hues and simple lines. However, when summer rolls around and the sun finally shows it's pretty little face, I find that I like to experiment with my style a little more - bright colours, cut outs and definitely some fun accessories. As the sun has been out a little more recently, it's been inspiring me to update my summer wardrobe a little with some fun accessories which I can pair with my beach dresses and floppy hats, and whilst on a browse through Westfield last weekend I discovered the Accessorize summer collection. 

The collection is filled with adorable novelty bags which I'd say are very Kate Spade-esque (I almost came away with a picnic basked handbag and a cocktail one!). I decided to pick up this little suitcase handbag as I've had my eye on it for a few weeks now and think it's just adorable. It's not the most practical bag in the world, but the design is super fun and quirky, which I think would be perfect to go with my beach dresses for trips to the seaside cocktail bars this summer. I also love the blue 'Bon Voyage' print and think it adds something extra to the bag. This bag is definitely out of my comfort zone, but I can't wait to pair it with some summer outfits over the next couple of months. The sun seems to have gone in at the moment though after a couple of hot weekends, so it's currently being used as a display piece in my room to sore all of my travel documents and passport, etc. 

The next thing I picked up is this adorable charm bracelet. I rarely wear necklaces unless it's either my Tiffany heart or a statement piece, so a dainty little bracelet is perfect for me. I picked this up mainly for the flamingo charm as they've always been one of my favourite birds and remind me of the holidays I used to go on as a child. I think this bracelet looks great worn on it's own for simplicity or layered up with some other dainty charm bracelets, which is how I'll be wearing it. I wouldn't normally go for something as bright and as quirky as these pieces, however I think they'll both look great with a white sundress and a floppy hat this summer, and can't wait for an excuse to wear them! 

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

Co Lab Dry Shampoo: Original & Active

Monday, 30 May 2016

When it comes to dry shampoo, I've tried the lot - they've either been too powdery, itched my scalp or they just haven't worked, so when I was given the opportunity to try the new Co Lab active dry shampoo, along with their original formula, I jumped at the chance, hoping that I'd found my go-to can.

As you probably already know, Co Lab is the brain child of fellow beauty blogger Ruth Crilly from A Model Recommends. Up until this point, I'd put off buying anything from the Co Lab range, mainly due to the fact that I had a huge collection of Batiste to use up before I went out and bought anymore, but also because I wasn't too sure that I could believe the hype surrounding these dry shampoos when they first launched. It's natural for us bloggers to want each other to succeed (or, at least it is for me) and that can sometimes mean that we see other blogger's products through rose tinted glasses, however, these dry shampoos deserve all of the hype they received and continue to receive. 

The Co Lab dry shampoo comes in two ranges - the sheer invisible and the extra volume - I've only tried the sheer invisible so I can only vouch for that side of the range, however I've heard excellent things about the extra volume range. Unlike other dry shampoos, the Co Lab sheer invisible original leaves no white traces at all, is super fine in texture so it doesn't leave your hair with that horrible matted feeling that other products can, and it offers enough root lift to add a little bit of volume without looking too 'done'.

Also, Co Lab has just launched an 'active' version in time for summer. Complete with all of the great things the original has to offer, the active version also comes with added conditioning and uv protection, perfect for girls on the go, and definitely perfect for your summer holidays. As someone who always manages to burn my parting, this will definitely come in handy this summer. 

The only other thing to mention would be the scent, unlike other brands who tend to go for the talc-like sweet scents which are all-together a little bit sickly, both the original and active versions of this dry shampoo smell fresh and clean, like you've just washed your hair. The original formula also comes in a couple of different scents themed around cities of the world which I've heard smells amazing - so I can't wait to try them. 

Have you tried Co Lab?

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

*post contains pr samples

Thank You For 5000 Followers!

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

When I started this blog three years ago, I honestly never thought I'd be sat here writing this post, thanking you all for getting me to 5,000 followers - it's all so surreal to me. 

I started Lipgloss & Lashes on a gloomy, raining (and typically English) night at the end of my second year of University. I was about to embark on the next chapter of my life, having just been offered my first full time job in London, full of excitement for what was to come...and whilst the jobs have changed, not much else has. I'm still sat in my bed on a gloomy London night (I know, how glamorous) typing away whilst simultaneously watching Sex and the City and my blog still fills me with the same joy, anticipation and excitement that it did 5,000 followers ago. 

I don't want to ramble on, or get too soppy, as I've done that...when I reached 1 follower, 50 followers, 100 followers and astonishingly 1,000 followers, and now here we are three years later. I just wanted to take the time to say thank you. You'll never know how much I love you all (who'd have thought I'd be saying that about 'internet friends') and appreciate all of the support you constantly give me. I may not always say it, but every single comment, like, retweet and kind word means so much to me, and it always will. 

To say thank you, I'll be running a little giveaway on my Instagram (@rderbyshire93) later this week, so keep your eyes peeled for that! 

So thank you, and here's to the next 5,000 followers!

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

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