Monday, 31 March 2014

March Favourites


So last month I didn't do a monthly favourites purely because there weren't many new products I had been really loving, it was just the same things I have always used. However this month I have been loving some great new products, possibly because the weather has warmed up slightly so my makeup routine has changed a bit. But I made it my mission to break out of the rut of using the same products day in day out.

Lush Feeling Younger Skin Tint
I have recently posted a review of this product which you can see here. I have been loving using this highlighting skin tint as a primer all over the face to create an overall glow or as a highlighter on top of foundation to highlight certain areas of the face. I've been loving it because it creates a perfect dewy glow which I love at this time of year, it is also super pigmented so only a very little of the product is needed.

Scandaleyes Eye Liner in Taupe
In the last few months I have really started experimenting with eye liner, and recently I have been trying different colours out because sometimes black can be a bit harsh for the daytime. I have been using this taupe eye liner mostly on my water line as it creates excellent definition without being too over the top or striking. This eye liner is also really easy to use compared to other pencil liners I have tried.

Toni and Guy Classic Shine Gloss Serum
I received this a few months ago in a GlossyBox however I only started using it recently. After my hair has dried after washing, no matter whether I use a hair dryer or let it dry naturally, it will always become frizzy, ALWAYS. So in a bid of desperation, I thought I would give this a go. I apply a 50p size amount to the midlengths and ends of my hair and the frizz disappears almost instantly. Not only that, but my hair feels so much softer the following day and although the frizz may return slightly, its nothing compared to what it could have been. Now the weather is getting warmer this will no doubt be my best friend!

Barbara Daly Kabuki Brush
I may have mentioned before, but I have been really getting into contouring at the moment and been trying to create a perfect sculpted look. Although I love my Real Techniques Contour Brush and it is very good for creating defined contouring, recently I've rediscovered my love for my Kabuki brush when using bronzer. I use the brush to apply bronzer to the hollows of my cheeks and my temples, and it creates a much more natural sculpted look without looking too harsh.

Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry Me
I love the Maybelline Baby Lips range and I have all of the lip balms however this month I have found myself reaching for Cherry Me over and over again. First of all it tastes incredible, but also it has a beautiful soft red tint which is perfect for both during the day and in the evening for a more subtle lip. These balms are amazing at keeping the lips moisturised and stop them from drying out too, a real winner.

Sleek Blush in Life's A Peach
For me, Spring is all about looking and feeling fresh, and on a recent trip to Boots I was after a new blush to help me create that perfect fresh faced Spring look. The Sleek blushes are incredible anyway because they are super pigmented and apply like a dream, so when I saw this peach shade I knew this would be my perfect Spring time blush. And I was right. I learnt straight away to be careful on application as too much of the product can create a bright orange effect, not the look I am going for! However teamed with a good bronzed contour and this blush is just perfect! I have done a review that you can check out here if you wish.

So there we have it. Quite an in depth monthly favourites but I personally love these posts as it shows the reader exactly what the blogger has actually been loving using. I am also going to start doing a monthly non-beauty favourites so keep an eye out for that!

Has anyone else been loving any of these products? Or any similar? I would love to know!

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Birthday Celebrations

So on the 20th March I turned 22 and I had a lovely few days celebrating that I thought I would share with all you lovely people.

Its fair to say I ate very well the days around my birthday; I went out for posh fish and chips with my grandmother a couple of days before, I went out for lunch with one of my best friends, my mum bought me some lovely cupcakes, and I indulged in fajitas and nachos with my brother. Remember though, this was spread out over a few days!

I saw lots of my favourite people including a group of my best school friends when we went out for drinks the night after my birthday, and one of my best friends and her little lady.
I also went over to Westonbirt Arboretum for a day, went to my gym and spa, and just generally had a lovely few days.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

A Month In Instagram #3

March has been an incredibly busy month for me! I celebrated a birthday, went out for food and drinks quite a lot, and lost the best dog in the world (see my story here). I documented most of this daily using my Instagram account (gemmaford) however I like posting a selection of the photos on here for any non-Instagram users/followers.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Birthday Haul


On 20th March I turned 22 (cue Taylor Swift). I had a lovely few days around my birthday (possible birthday celebration post to come) and received some lovely gifts. I thought I would show you all what I got, not to show off but just because I'm a nosy parker myself and hauls are my favourite posts.

Make Up Haul
I received a little bit of cash from my grandparents and used some of that to treat myself to a few things in Boots, they had 3 for 2 on which meant I got a couple of extra things for free. I'm planning on reviewing most of the products so this will just be a quick run through. So, I picked up the Seventeen cheek stamp in Stare Struck, the Sleek matte lip cream in Party Pink, the Seventeen shimmer brick in Pink Bronze, two of the Rita Ora for Rimmel nail polishes in Lose Your Lingerie and Oragasm, one of the Barry M silk paints in Pearl, a Soap and Glory lip balm in Juicy Peach, a Seventeen solo eye shadow in Ivory Coast, and a nude Rimmel Scandaleyes eye liner.

Soap and Glory Birthday Box
I received this from my brother and sister, who know I love Soap and Glory. The box includes my favourite shower gel which is Clean On Me, a tub of the Righteous Butter (another fave) and a loofa.

Ted Baker Nail set and Aussie Miracle Hair Insurance
I received the Ted Baker nail set from my brother and sister also. The set includes two new shades-a candy pink called Sweet on You, and a pink glitter paint called Champagne Sundays. I got the Aussie Miracle Hair Insurance spray from a friend who knows I have just discovered the brand. The spray is a lightweight conditioning spray which is designed for weak and distressed hair, perfect for my tangled hair!

Marshmallows and Sekonda Watch
I got both of these gifts from my mum and step dad. The Marshmallows are just a little treat they know I love, but the watch is my absolute favourite present. Its a gorgeous rose gold, and has rose gold pearls and gem encrusted pearls connected to the face of the watch, and then a rose gold chain. The watch also comes with a beautiful bracelet, I haven't taken off the two since I got them.

I had an absolutely lovely day and I'm very lucky to have such wonderful people in my life who helped me celebrate and bought me such lovely gifts.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Sleek Face Contour Kit


I know for some the very thought of contouring frightens the life out of them, however over the last few months I have really enjoyed experimenting with different contour products, trying to create the perfect sculpted look. I have to admit, I haven't had any issues using bronzer to sculpt my face, as long as its not a shimmery bronzer as a matte product is much better to contour with, however I have been eager to get my hands on this contour kit from Sleek because I have heard many good reviews.

The contour kit contains a contour powder and a highlight powder. I have been using my Real Techniques contour brush to apply the contour powder to the hollow of my cheek bones, my temples and the sides of my nose. I find when used properly this does create a lovely sculpted look and lasts quite a long time which is another bonus. Sleek products are well known for their pigmentation and this powder is no different, very little of the contour powder is needed as it can quickly look very dark and heavy on the skin and borders on the ridiculous side a bit. So just be very careful not to load too much product onto the brush!

The highlighter powder is beautiful and applies like a dream. I have been using my Real Techniques buffing brush to apply this to my cheek bones, brow bone, the bridge of my nose and my cupids bow. It creates a lovely glow to the skin without being too shiny or shimmery.

Together these too powders work brilliantly however one must be careful not to overdo it with the contouring powder! But overall this kit is brilliant, especially for those just starting to experiment with contouring.

Has anyone else tried this product, or anything similar?

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Losing A Pet

Taz was the oldest of our 4 dogs, a golden Labrador that we adopted from a rescue centre 11 years ago. On 13th March 2014 we made the heart-breaking decision to put Taz to sleep. Taz had been suffering for a while; he had severe arthritis, a heart murmur, was profoundly deaf, had cataracts and had quite a few lumps which we guessed were tumours. However we had always said until Taz stopped wagging his tail and coming to greet us, we wouldn't take any drastic action. The day before Taz died he didn't touch his morning meal, something that never happened with Taz, he loved his food. The following morning, he wouldn't come out of his bed, and when he tried his back legs gave way. We all knew this was the day we would have to say goodbye. After a few hours of comforting Taz and making sure he was comfortable, the time had come. My step dad lifted Taz into his car, tears streaming down his face as he did this. I couldn't bring myself to go with my parents to the vets, it was too heart-breaking. My mum told me his passing was very peaceful and that the suffering left his eyes almost instantly. Our old boy had gone, a day we knew was coming but none of us had prepared for.

Our dogs are part of our family, they structure our day and we make plans around them. For those who don't have animals in their lives, its hard to understand this, but losing Taz was losing a member of our family, and we all shed many tears that day. To see him suffering and in pain was the worst part because he was always such an active and happy dog. It was also devastating to see our other lab, Maddie, who has never known a day without Taz. Her heart was breaking too, and the worst part was she couldn't understand it. For us, losing Taz was in the foreseeable future, and it was something we had talked about for almost a year. When that moment finally came to say goodbye to the dog that had provided us with so many happy memories, we all found it very hard but we knew it was the right thing for Taz and he was ready for it.

Life has been strange without him, when someone asks me how many dogs we have now, I still want to say 4. Or when I peg the washing out and Taz isn't there to trip me up, or when someone opens the back gate and then you have to spend 10 minutes trying to get Taz back inside the garden. Its the little things like that that I miss. I still expect to see him walk out of the kennel, or come and say hello when I go into the garden, I guess that is something I will get used to but its very strange.

We are all giving Maddie and the other two dogs a lot of attention now, they need it because they've lost their leader. Losing Taz was a lot harder than I ever expected, and seeing the rest of my family (including the other dogs) suffer from his loss is just as hard. He was a brilliant dog and we can still laugh at the memories he gave us.

Rest In Peace Taz, our old boy x

Monday, 24 March 2014

Lush Feeling Younger Skin Tint

As Spring is on its way, I have found that I've been wanting to create a much more dewy, glow when applying makeup. I picked this up just before Christmas (you can see my mini Lush haul here) however I have only just started using it. I originally was after a Lush pigment however the ever-so-friendly staff in Lush suggested I go for skin tint instead as I wanted something to use as a highlighter.
I have been using this tint in two different ways. The first is as a primer under my foundation. I have been applying a small amount all over my face, rubbing it in like I would with a moisturiser. I find my makeup looks much brighter this way and gives a much more natural glow. The second way I have been using this is applying on top of foundation to highlight certain areas such as the cheekbones and the brow bones. I use my Real Techniques buffing brush to buff the highlighter in and this creates a much more sculpted highlight to the face rather than an overall glow.
I absolutely love this product. Its very well pigmented so I use hardly any of the product which means this little jar should last me AGES. It is also very easy to blend this product, both with fingers or using a brush as it is a creamy consistency. I just think its a very versatile product and is unlike anything else in my collection.
Has anyone else tried this? What are your thoughts on the Lush pigments? I would love to know!

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Top 5 Spring Nail Polishes

So as we step into Spring, the colours I decide to wear tend to change, and my general style because a lot brighter and my palette more pastel. I have quite a lot of pastel polishes however I thought I would show you my top 5 polishes that I think are perfect for spring time.

Rimmel 60 Seconds Rose Libertine
These polishes are pretty great-they dry super quick and leave a lovely glossy finish so are perfect in a rush. This is a rose pink that applys much lighter than it looks in the bottle. This colour is very subtle and is workable with lots of other shades, and is great from transitioning from daytime to nighttime without any hassle.

L'Oreal Colour Riche in Opera Ballerina
This is probably the palest polish I own, but I think it is the perfect nude as it has a classy feel to it. It is slighty pink toned however has the most beautiful glossy finish to it. I love this polish for wearing everyday as I can get away with it at work (naughty) yet still looks polished for everyday.

Barry My Nail Paint in Peach Melba
As the name suggests, this is a beautiful peach shade and, as with most Barry M paints, is quick drying and long lasting. For me, this is such a fresh colour and is perfect for the warmer months. This is quite a subtle colour and works well for most occasions.

Collection 2000 Hot Looks Fast Dry in Dynasty
This is a perfect pastel shade, a lovely light lilac that has a slightly glossy finish to it. I actually picked this up in a pound shop so I don't know if its still available in stores but there are plenty of similar shades. I think this shade works well for all seasons as it is so versatile.

Bourjois So Laque Glossy in 04 Amande Defile
The pastel green is perfect for Spring as it has a lovely fresh feel to it and is a bit different to other shades I would normally wear, however this nail polish takes an absolute age to dry but does leave a lovely glossy finish, as the name suggests.

I'm very excited about Spring arriving, everything seems so much happier and jollyier (don't thnk that's a word but I'll work with it).

I would love to know your recommendations for Spring time polishes!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Sleek Life's A Peach Blush

Sleek is a brand I have only recently discovered, I already have their Rose Gold blush which is beautiful but I knew I wanted a new blush for Spring so I decided to opt for Life's A Peach. Some have named this a duplicate for the Nars Gina blush however I haven't tried the Nars blush out so cannot pass judgement.

What I like about Sleek blushes are their excellent pigmentation-I find I only ever need a dusting of the product on the brush to create the desired effect. This shade is a beautiful peach colour, as the name suggests, and gives the cheeks a fresh look that is perfect for Spring. I have found that if too much product is applied then the cheeks go from peach to orange very quickly so just be careful there. However I do really like this blush and it has been perfect to wear during the day and looks beautiful teamed with bronzer as it gives a very natural 'glow' to the skin.

Has anyone else tried this shade? Or does anyone have any recommendations for other Sleek products?

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Striking Spectaculaire


Firstly I have to apologise for the bad quality photos, this is the best of a bad bunch!
Every blogger and their dog has heard about the release of the new balms from Revlon, they come in matte or lacquer form. I decided to go for the matte as I love a matte lip and I realised I don't have many matte lip products in my collection.
On first impressions there is a lovely selection of shades to choose from, I decided on Striking Spectaculaire just because it stood out for me and I think this colour looks beautiful as a matte lip. The application of this product is beautiful, its has a creamy consistency to it with a beautiful matte finish. The orange toned red shade lasts AGES on the lips, and definitely doesn't dry the lips like many other matte products.
I really like this product and I am definitely going to be adding more shades to my collection. I think they are perfect for the warmer months.
Has anyone else tried this or any others from the new Revlon collection? 

Friday, 14 March 2014

Seventeen Phwoarr Paint Concealer

Seventeen had a bit of a re-launch towards the later part of last year, and I have to say everything I have tried from them since this has failed to disappoint me, and this concealer is no exception. It is described as a heavy duty under eye concealer and instead of a typical doe foot applicator, this concealer comes in a compact pan, and has a much thicker consistency to it. I have been using my Revlon concealer brush to apply the concealer to my face and then using my fingers to blend.

Although this concealer claims to be for under the eyes, I find it to be too thick and dry for under the eyes as I prefer a much creamier concealer for easier application, however this concealer is fantastic for blemishes and spots due to its very high coverage. However I do have a couple of faults. Whilst this is a great high coverage concealer, to begin with I found it very difficult to find a technique for easy application. I don't like using my fingers to apply make up as my fingers end up picking up a lot of the product, however I found my normal blending brushes just couldn't work with this concealer. I also find this concealer to be very drying and, unfortunately, can look a bit 'cakey' if applied too heavily onto the skin.

However I have got used to using this concealer now and now I have found a good technique for application, I can see why so many people have been loving it. Well done again Seventeen!
Has anyone else had similar problems with this product?

Has anyone else tried this concealer? I would love to know!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Empties #3

I haven't done an empties post for ages it seems! However I still don't seem to have that many empty products, which is great of course! However I have a small collection I thought I woud show you.

The Body Shop Camomile Eye and Lip Make Up Remover
I loved this product, it did such a good job at removing heavy eye make up! I have done a full review that you can see here. The only issue I had with it is that it can leave an oily film on the skin after use which isn't ideal as I have oily skin as it is. I haven't repurchased this yet but I think I probably will in the nearby future unless I can find something better.

Collection 2000 Fix Me Up Fixing Spray
I got this spray quite a while ago and whilst I loved it to begin with, I quickly forgot about it and felt I didn't need it once the summer was over. However I have recently rediscovered it and have been using it to set makeup that I know will need to stay in place for a while (on a night out for example) and it has been doing a good job. I won't be repurchasing this though as I have a couple of other similar products that I can use.

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Tropical
Not much to explain about the concept of this product, does pretty much what it says on the tin. I have been using dry shampoo quite a lot recently as I have been trying to leave an extra day in between hair washes, and while it doesn't work miracles I love the tropical, coconut scent of this shampoo.
Rimmel Eye Shadow Primer
I featured this in my first monthly favourites post and I still love it. Its great for keeping eye shadow in place and makes application much easier and smoother. I haven't been using it as much during the colder months but when the weather gets warmer this little gem is a saviour so I will definitely be repurchasing.
L'Oreal Cleansing Oil
I still can't quite make my mind up about this product. While I think its great at removing makeup, it leaves my skin with an oily film that I just cant get used to, and I find that when I use my cleanser all that is doing is just removing the remainder of the oil from the skin. I don't think I will repurchase this because the weather will start getting warmer soon (I hope!) and my skin is already very oily so I don't think this would be a good idea.
Argon Oil Shampoo
I got this in a pound store and I thought it was a great buy at the time as I had just started using oil in my hair, however I found this shampoo dried my hair out and it never felt like my hair was getting a thorough clean. If I didn't use a good conditioner then I would definitely know about it, so therefore I am not going to be repurchasing this.
Superdrug Orange and Satsuma Shower Gel
I loved the scent of this shower gel, it was perfect to use at the gym as it was so fresh to use and I felt so clean after using this. This is definitely a product I would purchase again as I love citrus scents for shower gels.
Has anyone else tried and tested any of these products? Or no of any better versions? I would love to know!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Collective Haul

I thought I would show you a few bits that I have picked up over the last couple of months (even though I have been on a spending ban, oops).

I picked some of these products up in drugstores such as Boots and Superdrug but a couple of the items I got from Poundland which was a great surprise!

Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo
This is a product I got from Poundland. I have never actually tried an Aussie product but have heard mixed reviews about it so have never been tempted to pick any of their products up. However when I saw this travel size in the Poundshop I thought I might aswell give it a go. I thought it would be perfect to take with me to the gym.

Revlon Colourburst Matte Balm in Striking Spectaculaire
I mentioned this in my Drugstore Wishlist post which you can see here. Revlon released two new collections of lip crayons, the Matte Balms and the Lacquer Balms. I'm quite enjoying a matte lip at the minute so that's my reasoning for picking up this one, plus it is a lovely bright colour which will work perfect for spring.

L'Oreal Infalliable Foundation
This isn't a product I went out looking for, it was in the Reduced section in Boots and was a ridiculously cheap price for a foundation so I decided to give it a go. There wasn't a great selection of shades but this one looks fairly similar to my other foundation shades.

Rimmel Glam Eyes Quad
Another Poundland purchase. I really like Rimmel eye shadows, I find them to be well pigmented and long lasting which is pretty much all I ask for. Also, these quads come in a great selection of shades to choose from, I already have a bronze quad but thought this one would be great for creating a smoky eye. And for just a £1 you really can't go wrong!

L'Oreal Skin Perfection Micellar Water
I have been wanting to try this for a little while now, I loved the Micellar water by B. so I want to see if this is any good in comparison.

L'Oreal Eye and Lip Makeup Remover
I only bought this because I have heard many times that it is an excellent duplicate of the Clarins eye make up remover, but for obviously half the price. I'm always on the hunt for a good, heavy duty eye makeup remover for when I do a smokey eye or use heavy eye makeup.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser
I have seen this on DizzyBrunette3's blog ever since I first discovered the world of blogging, and I have been having quite an issue recently with large pores. I love The Body Shop anyway, and Tea Tree oil is great for my oily skin so I thought why not.

Seventeen Phwoar Paint Concealer
I have really been loving Seventeen the last few months, anytime I'm in Boots I end up having a good swatching session at their counter. They have released some great products recently, and there have been some great reviews of their concealers. I have been after a heavy duty concealer as I have had a bit of a breakout this month so as this is a much thicker consistency I hope it will conceal any spots well.

Bit of a random collection of products but I think I have justified all the purchases made.

Has anyone else tried any of these products? I would love to know what you think!