Friday, 6 April 2018

Review: Maybelline Superstay Matte Ink Liquid Lipsticks

I am a massive fan of liquid lipsticks (well, any kind of lipstick to be fair), but I do tend to gravitate towards liquid lipsticks a little bit more.  I find that these can be great if you want something slightly longer lasting for a night out or if you're after a great matte lip look.

I saw these Maybelline Matte Ink Liquid Lipsticks posted on Facebook (I can never remember where I see these things) and hadn't seen them before so thought I'd go and check them out.  They are priced at £9.99 but always on offer and Boots and Superdrug are both doing a 3 for 2 on all cosmetics promotion at the moment. 

First of all - the shade range is huge! Maybelline have recently added around 10 more shades to the already large collection.  The original shades ranged from the classic nudes to pink, oranges, reds and plums.  They have now also added an "Un-Nudes" range which is classed as an "unconventional nude" range with purples, greys and browns.

I picked up a pretty nude colour in the shade Lover (15) and a red in the shade Pioneer (20).
15 - Lover

20 - Pioneer
I tested each shade for an entire day (from 8.00am through until 8.00pm) and took photos throughout the day to see how they lasted.

The first shade I tested was the nude (Lover) and this was how it fared:
Just applied - 08.00am

After work - 14.30pm

After dinner - around 17.30pm

I tested the red shade second:
Just applied - 08.00am

Transfer test - around 11.00am

After dinner - around 17.30pm

I do have a couple of tips for application:

Line lips with an invisible lip liner first just to stop any bleeding.  I'm not saying these will bleed if you don't do this but I personally tend to find matte formulations can sometimes have a tendency to bleed on me. 

Try not to smack your lips together when you apply it (like you would with a gloss or lipstick).  This is tricky (a bit like being told you can't lick sugar off your lips after a doughnut but concentrate hard)! Try to give the colour the maximum amount of time you feel comfortable with to dry otherwise it will feel slightly sticky for a while.  Once these dry though I promise you they won't feel flakey, cakey or uncomfortable and you will keep checking it's still actually on your lips. 

Lastly, use an oil based make up remover to remove these easily.  As a test I left a swatch on my hand and it was still on there nearly a week later with showers every day!  These have serious staying power I'm not kidding!

If you are after a long-lasting liquid lipstick that is going to see you through the day or night without the need for any touch ups then this is the one for you.  I will definitely use the brighter colour on any night out's I'll be going on and the nude is the perfect option for work and days when I really want my lippie to last.

What's the longest lasting liquid lipstick you've found?

Love Katherine xxx

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*All pictures and opinions are entirely my own.  All products featured on my blog have been purchased by myself unless otherwise stated*

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Spring Skincare Part 3 - Skin Pampering

For me, nothing says relaxation like a nice hot bath and a face mask!  Just recently I have really made an effort to have a bath at least once a week and I use this time to just chill with Spotify on my phone (The Greatest Showman on repeat), give my face a good cleanse and then pop on a face mask, lay back and....relax!

My last post highlighted my evening skincare routine and whilst I do try to do this every evening, I like to take have at least one evening of the week where I take a bit more time and really make sure my skin is lovely and clean.  I will pop a link HERE to that post so you can head over and have a little read.  

I do follow the exact same routine before my bath which is: Micellar Water to remove make up and then a cleansing balm to give my skin a good cleanse and that's when I will choose a mask to pop on.  
The two types I have been reaching for lately are the L'Oréal Pure Clay masks and the Garnier Sheet Masks.

Both of these are super affordable (the Pure Clay masks are around £6.99 but often on offer and the Garnier Moisture Bomb Tissue masks are around £3.00 but again, quite often there is an offer).  I am a bit disappointed with the Garnier Moisture Bomb Tissue masks though in that when they were first launched last year they were only £1.50 and always on offer at £0.99 and I think because of their popularity Garnier have really hiked the prices up.  Having said that though, they are great masks so I will probably find myself still purchasing them as I really like how they leave my skin. 

What mask I choose is really just dependent on how I'm feeling at the time.  I have written an entire blog post about the L'Oréal Pure Clay Masks which I will link HERE so you can read in-depth my thoughts on each one of these.  There are three to choose from and I definitely reach for the Detox and Purity ones more so than the Glow one.  That's not to say I don't like the Glow mask, but I just seem to prefer the other two a little bit more.
Now, this may sound a little strange, but I have to be in the right frame of mind to choose a sheet mask as they are so freaking cold on your face when you first put them on and that puts me off just a bit.  If you can take a deep breath and get through the shock though you'll be rewarded with gorgeous hydrated skin.  
A sheet or tissue mask is a single mask that is drenched in serum and you apply to your face and leave it on for around 15-20 minutes.  Once you take it off you can then rub in any excess serum and you're good to go.  The other bonus with these are you will always get a load of excess serum in the bottom of the packet so I keep this and then apply the serum every now and again during the week.

When I first started using the Garnier Moisture Bomb Tissue masks there was only one option available which was the  Super Hydrating Moisturising Mask but now there is loads of different options including Super Hydrating & Re-Balancing, Super Hydrating & Soothing and also a Lavender Hydrating option too.  Claiming to provide your skin with 24 hours of moisture, these are a great way to show your skin some extra love and attention.

I'd love to know how you find ways to relax and if you like using face masks - what are your favourites?

Love Katherine xxx 

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*All pictures and opinions are entirely my own.  All products featured on my blog have been purchased by myself unless otherwise stated*

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Spring Skincare Part 2 - Evening

Today's post is all about my skincare routine for the evenings.  If you read my previous post you will know that I said I try really hard to follow this strictly but it doesn't always happen that way, and I have to be honest and say I can be quite lazy when it comes to night time skincare.  I will pop a link to my morning routine HERE so you can catch up with that if you want to, but carry on reading below to find out what I do and the products I use in the evenings.

Let me start off by saying that we all have those evenings when we know we really should take off our make up but then we get waylaid and caught up doing other stuff (binge watching Stranger Things on Netflix is my current fave), before you know it it's 11.00pm and you can't be bothered with all the faff! This is most definitely me and for those evenings I will remove my make up using some wipes.  I try really hard not to make a habit of this but I'll be honest and say it happens at least once a week! The wipes I am currently using are the Nivea  Daily Essentials 3 in 1 Refreshing Cleansing Wipes and I really like them.  They leave my skin feeling clean and fresh and not dry which is a must for me.  They are priced at around £1.50.  I will say though that I feel that removing my make up with wipes is way better than just leaving it on so I don't give myself too much of a guilt trip if that happens.

For the rest of the time this is my evening skincare routine:

As I mentioned in my morning post, the first thing I always do is use a micellar water.  The one I'm currently using is the Nivea Sensitive Caring Micellar Water and I really, really like it.  I won't talk about it now as I mentioned it last time but this is the first step for me in taking my make up off.  I can be very fussy with micellar waters and they need to be hydrating and soothing on my skin. This for me does both of those things.
The next step is a cleanser.  I alternate between my Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm and the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanse & Polish but I find in the colder months, the Emma Hardie balm is the one I reach for the most.  It's so zesty and smells like lemons and oranges but is so comforting on my skin.  A tiny bit of this balm will cleanse your whole face and as soon as it hits your face it melts into your skin and is so great at removing every last scrap of make up.  To remove I take a muslin cloth and dampen it in hot water and rub it over my face.  I don't rinse my face as I find the muslin leaves it feeling clean enough.
Once that's done and my face is dry it's onto serums.  I will always use a serum or an oil after cleansing and before my moisturiser as I find this is the time my skin is really going to feel the benefit.

My go-to favourite at the moment is the Alpha-H Liquid Gold Rose and I mentioned this in my January Favourites post which I will link HERE.  I pop a few drops of this onto a cotton pad and wipe it over my whole face and neck and wait a few minutes for it to really get to work.  This can only be used every other day so on the days I don't use it I have been using the Perricone MD Blue Plasma Cleansing Treatment.  I love this firstly because of the colour (there's something so pretty about a bright blue liquid) but also because it leaves my skin feeling super clean and refreshed.

The last thing I do is moisturise and night creams are the one thing I've never really been in to skincare wise.  The product I'm reaching for at the moment though is the Nivea Creme (I promise this post isn't sponsored by Nivea).  This is one of those bargain products that has been billed as a dupe for the (very) high end Creme de la Mer moisturiser (priced around a whopping £120).  I can't comment on the likeness between the two as I've never tried the expensive one (nor am I ever likely to) but I love the Nivea Creme.  I picked up this tin for £1.75 in Wilkinsons and there is a ton of product in there.  It's a very thick heavy cream (which is why I only use it at night) but so far it's leaving my skin looking and feeling really hydrated in the mornings and has been so great during the recent freezing cold weather.

I've also been using my Kadalys Hydramuse Comforting Cream.  It is fragranced with Banana and Mango and is really nourishing on my face.  I tend to use this mostly in the colder months, especially on holiday in Lapland, where my skin really suffers from the cold.  As with my morning routine it really is a case of whichever one I get to first though. 

What products to you favour for your evening skincare?

Love Katherine xxx

Previous blog post: Spring Skincare Part 1 - Morning
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*All pictures and opinions are entirely my own.  All products featured on my blog have been purchased by myself unless otherwise stated*

Friday, 9 March 2018

Spring Skincare Part 1 - Morning

I've been meaning to do a skincare related blog post for a while now but time has just slipped by (as always!).  Now that we've hit March though I thought it would be the perfect time to share my current skincare routine with you as I change my routine to fit in with the season ahead and Spring feels like it's most definitely on it's way.  I have decided to make March my "Skincare" month on the blog and will be posting regular weekly posts about my routines and the products I use so keep checking back as I will be uploading more regularly (or at least trying to) this month.

I do take my skincare quite seriously and whenever possible I try really hard to follow the same routine daily, saying that though, it doesn't always happen, but 99.9% of the time, it does and this is especially true of my morning skincare routine. 

The first thing I do (after brushing my teeth) is soak a cotton pad in micellar water and gently wipe it over my face.  I am currently using the Nivea Sensitive Caring Micellar Water and I really, really like this.  It's very refreshing but not in an uncomfortable way (I have found so many micellar waters that are so cold on my skin that I dislike using them) and I've found I do this out of habit now just to make sure my face is clean after getting out of bed.
Once in the shower I will use a face wash to clean my face.  I never use soap on my face as I find it so drying on my skin.  I am currently using my Glossier Milky Cleanser which is very mild so ideal as a face wash.  I recently finished up the Aldi Lacura Moisturising Face Wash and you can read my thoughts on that product HERE.

Once out of the shower I have been applying a facial oil.  I find I don't need to do this in the summer, but it's a must during the winter and coming into Spring.  The one I am using at the moment is the Dirty Works Pure Beauty Facial Oil which was a stocking filler a few Christmas's ago and I got round to finally opening it in January.  You can buy this direct from the Dirty Works web page (HERE) for £5.00 and if you fancy trying an affordable facial oil, I highly recommend this one.  It has no scent which I like and it soaks straight into my skin leaving it feeling hydrated and ready for moisturiser. 

The last step in my morning routine is moisturiser.  Now, I'm not loyal to one particular brand and I tend to flirt with a fair few at any given time  My current favourites though are the Body Shop Vitamin C Glow-Protect Lotion and Simple Protecting Light Moisturiser.  Both contain an SPF which is something I always look for in my morning moisturisers and both sink in nicely, leaving my skin prepped and ready for my make up.  My choice of which one I choose really just depends on what one my hand reaches for first.  I apply this making sure I give enough time for it to sink in (about 10 minutes) before applying make up. 
So that's my morning skincare routine.  It may seem like I use a lot of products but it doesn't take me any time at all to complete and I feel like good skin prepping in the morning gives you a great base to apply your make up for the day.

I would love to know what skincare care products you can't live without in the mornings.

Love Katherine xxx

Previous blog post: February Empties!
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*All pictures and opinions are entirely my own.  All products featured on my blog have been purchased by myself unless otherwise stated*

Saturday, 3 March 2018

February Empties!

Hey everyone,

And just like that, we are at the end of another month! One more month closer to Spring but as I am writing this, the snow is falling down outside my window and setting a very (magical), wintery scene!

Last month I did a "favourites" post as there were a few things I had been really reaching for in January (I will link that here if you would like to take a look).  I am still loving those same things but have accumulated a couple of empties, so I thought I'd make February an "Empties" post, rather than storing them up for a huge blog post later.
The first thing to be finished up is my favourite ever perfume, Black Opium by Yves Saint Laurent.  This was a bottle I got for Christmas 2016 and I had been down to the teensiest bit by around September and I was eeking it out to make it last.  To be fair, this has such a strong, long-lasting scent that one spray of this is all that's needed to last an entire day so I could have made this last much longer had I not been so liberal at the start of the year.  I now have a brand new bottle so no more stretching it out for me.  This is such a sexy, sweet smelling scent with notes of black coffee, vanilla and white floral but it isn't overpowering and is perfect for both day and night time.  This is definitely my signature scent and I constantly get asked what perfume I am wearing.
The next thing I used up this month was a little bottle of the Garnier Skin Active Pure Active 3 in 1 Wash, Scrub and Mask.  I got this in a My Little Box last year and it has been something I have reached for from time to time in the shower.  As the name suggests, it has three uses - a wash for a quick daily clean, a scrub for some gentle exfoliation or a mask for a more deeper clean.  I loved that this had multi-uses but I felt it had just a little too much eucalyptus in it for me.  I am quite fussy with products that contain eucalyptus and if it leaves my skin feeling a little too zingy or minty then it isn't for me.  That said, it didn't dry my skin out in any way and is really handy if you travel but as a personal preference, because of the "zingy factor" I wouldn't purchase this again.
Next up is the most gigantic-est (I know that's not a proper word but I love it) bottle of shower cream.  This is the Camomile & Bamboo Milk Soothing Shower Cream from Imperial Leather and I loved this.  Firstly because it was a present from my eldest son for Christmas (every year his school do a present buying event and they can choose a gift for £1.50) and he really put some thought into what I would like and secondly because it's blooming lovely and left my skin feeling soft and nourished and the scent is beautiful.  Not too heavily floral and really calming.  I have made it my mission to seek out another bottle of this as it's fab.
The last empty for this month is the Lacura Moisturising Face Wash from Aldi.  I picked this up in my weekly shopping as I wanted something for the shower to just have to hand to clean my face in the morning.  It was £0.99 and I think from the packaging it's Aldi's take on the Simple range.  I liked this, but I didn't love it.  It left my skin feeling quite dry when I got out of the shower which is something I dislike so although I have finished the bottle, I won't be replacing this one.
And that's the end of my February Empties.  Have you used up any products this month that you have loved or disliked?

Love Katherine xxx

Previous blog post: January Favourites!
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*All pictures and opinions are entirely my own.  All products featured on my blog have been purchased by myself unless otherwise stated*

Thursday, 15 February 2018

January Favourites

Hey everyone,

So we finally made it to the end of January and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  I hope it was ok for all of you, whether you chose to do some resolutions like "Dry January" or "No Spend" or you just needed to get through to the first payday since Christmas.

There are just a few things that I have been reaching for constantly in January and I really wanted to share them with you.  The first two things though are products I have written about previously so I won't repeat myself but I will send you in the direction of my previous blog posts.  They are (if you haven't guessed already) the Tanya Burr Gift Set (here) and my haircare favourites from Percy & Reed (here) but they have been staples in my everyday routines through January.
There are a few new products though and they are all skincare related.  The first being the Alpha-H Liquid Gold Rose Limited Edition.  This came in my Marks & Spencer Advent Calendar (I seriously recommend this advent calendar if your budget allows) and at first I thought it was a highlighter just by the name "Liquid Gold".  It's actually a concentrated skin treatment which you wipe onto your face after cleansing every other evening.  The rose scent is so soothing and it leaves your skin looking so fresh and glowing.  I will pop a picture below of me having applied it just after a bath and it's sch-amazing.  I will definitely be repurchasing this again but this little bottle will last ages as you only need the tiniest drop.  If you are interested in this product,  you can purchase it from Marks & Spencer and a 100ml bottle costs £37.00.

January is definitely a month that I love to look after my skin and another favourite has been the Body Shop Vitamin C Glow-Protect Lotion.  Formulated for "dull, tired, grumpy skin" it appears to be made for my skin right now.  With an SPF 30 it also protects too and I love the fresh orange scent.  It absorbs quickly without feeling sticky and doesn't leave any residue on my skin so it's the perfect skin prep for make up.  There are a few other products in this range, and as The Body Shop are always doing offers (I picked this up with 40% off-current price is £15.00) it's a great way to try out new things.
My last favourite has been the Soap & Glory Melty Talented Dry Skin Balm.  I have tried numerous "wonder balms" in the past and have always found them a little too thick or maybe the scent is a bit too herby (Boots Mediterranean Olive, Almond & Sage I'm talking about you), but this gets it spot on for me.  It's a huge tin for £5.00 and the consistency is exactly what I love in a balm - not thick or cakey feeling (I hate the feeling of Vaseline) but light, with a little wetness that sinks in without leaving that feeling of a film on my lips.  I have also been using this on my cuticles (hands and feet), my legs and if I have any spare on my hands I rub it through the ends of my hair.  I love the scent too - formulated with coconut and almond oils, it's sweet but not overpowering.
So those are my January favourites.  I seem to be pulled towards looking after my skin in January and I've really discovered some little gems that I will be keeping in my routine for much longer than just a month.

I'd love to know what products you reach for most in January.

Love Katherine xxx

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*All pictures and opinions are entirely my own.  All products featured on my blog have been purchased by myself unless otherwise stated*

Friday, 26 January 2018

Tanya Burr's "Beauty & The Feast" Christmas Set

Hey everyone, 

As you all know by now, I LOVE the Tanya Burr cosmetics range but haven't had a chance to try too many of her products.  I bought two bargain lipsticks in Superdrug in the Spring/Summer (if you fancy giving the range a try it's worth checking for a sale as they do mark things down and my favourite pink lipstick - Central Park - was knocked down to a bargain £1.75!)I thought at the time it would be because they were being discontinued but that shade is still sold to my knowledge, so bargain hunters amongst us, keep your eyes peeled.

I'm also not a huge fan of "gift sets", especially at Christmas time. Sceptical I know, but I think they just make me think of the lip palettes I used to get when I was about 12 (which I loved by the way), but now wouldn't really cut the mustard if you know what I mean.

On first impressions though, the packaging of this gift set is just stunning.  The artistry on the unusual octagonal box is a sparkly, wintery scene, showing snow-covered shops with gorgeous "chocolate" themed names like "Truffles & Co", "Chocolate Chip", "Sweet Selections" and "Cherry on Top".   From this, you can clearly gather that the products inside have a chocolate theme and when you pull open the pink ribbon holding it together, the products are beautifully packaged inside with tissue paper.
Packed inside with products which enable you to create two different looks I was really surprised at what you get for your cash.  Just to put it into perspective - one Tanya Burr cheek palette (containing a blusher, bronzer and highlighter) is £8.00 and in this set you receive one full cheek palette, one eyeshadow palette containing 6 shades (matte and shimmery), two cream eyeshadow sticks, one golden face illuminator, and two full size matte lipsticks.  Before Christmas, this retails at £50, but then with pre-Christmas offers, it drops to a very reasonable £30, but after Christmas is where the real bargain is to be had as in the sale you can pick it up for £15 which is a huge bargain for the contents inside.  
Sweet Cheeks Face Palette
L-R Bronzer (Toffee Crunch), Blush (Coco Blush) Highlight (Champagne Shimmer)

Too Tempting Eyeshadow Palette 
Top Row L-R - Crème de la Crème, Gold Star, Hazelnut Coco
Bottom Row L-R Cookies and Cream, Christmas Mocha, Chocolate Coin

Cream Eyeshadow Sticks - L-R Melt My Heart and Sweet Sugar

Golden Face Illuminator

Matte Lipstick in L-R - Belgian Truffle and Winter

Matte Lipstick in "Winter"
Matte Lipstick in "Belgian Truffle"

I have tried out both of the recommended looks (both of which are posted below) and I really loved both of them.  The first is a very natural look and the second is a slightly more "glam" look, ideal for Christmas day or parties. Of course, you can make up any look that takes your fancy, but I love that there is help from Tanya if you need it.
Look 1 - "Tis The Season For Champagne Bubbles"

Look 2 - "Tis The Season For Sweet Chocolate"
Overall, I love everything about this little gift set and it has made me even more excited to try out more of her products.  I forgot to mention earlier that inside you also receive a 1/3 off coupon for any of the products in the range, online or in-store until the end of February, so even more reason to give some things a try.     

There is one negative though, and it's a very minor one, but the eyeshadow and cheek palette packaging have a (very pretty) glittery design.  Although it looks so pretty, it's a pain in the ass when it comes to getting glitter all over your hands, face...everywhere!!! I am currently trying to find ways of getting the glitter off but for now, if I hold them in the teensiest-tiniest tips of my fingers, I can kind of get away with it!

I've done a bit of searching around and this set isn't available anymore...but... the whole point of this blog is, the products inside are fab quality and great value for money so pop a Tanya Burr gift set on your Christmas list next year or get down to Superdrug now and give some of her current products a try! 

What do you think of Christmas Gift Sets? Do you think they are good value for money? I'd love to know.

Love Katherine xxx

Previous blog post: Empties - December 2017
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*All pictures and opinions are entirely my own.  All products featured on my blog have been purchased by myself unless otherwise stated*