Thursday, October 29, 2015

I Heart Make Up by Makeup Revolution

As makeup lovers we regularly scour the UK 'drugstores' Boots and Superdrug to sniff out any new releases from the affordable brands and last week was no exception. However, as we entered our local Superdrug store a brand new display stand practically smacked us in the face! This stand was I Heart Makeup by Makeup Revolution and we are ashamed to admit that we had not heard of this offshoot of Makeup Revolution until that day (bad beauty bloggers!).

L-R: Death by Chocolate, Naked Chocolate, I Heart Chocolate

It was initially the Chocolate Palettes that drew us in (Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette dupe anyone?!) but once we started to swatch we found many other little treasures that we wanted to try. Sadly one of the beautiful Chocolate palettes, the pink one, was not available but a helpful Superdrug employee explained that they had just gotten the display instore but all of the products had not been delivered yet. We picked up the three available Chocolate palettes; Death By Chocolate, Naked Chocolate and I Heart Chocolate and continued swatching for other items we thought we would like. We have spent some time playing with the beautiful coloured shadows in the chocolate palettes are we have been very pleasantly surprised by the excellent pigmentation of the shadows and at how easy they are to blend. They also have great staying power and are still going strong after a full day at work. Furthermore, can we take a moment to appreciate the fact that they smell like a delicious bar of chocolate!

L-R: Death by Chocolate, Naked Chocolate, I Heart Chocolate 
Death by Chocolate

The next thing that attracted us was the Lip Lava (Too Faced Melted dupe anyone?!) We picked up Tremor, Unleash and Shockwave. Lip Lava are liquid lipsticks in a squeezable tube for £2.99 - yes you heard right £2.99! They are described as an 'intense lipstick formula, melted to create our most impactful gloss' and after wearing Tremor all day from 7.30am til 7pm Elle can definitely vouch for it's staying power!. As owners of Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipstick we can safely say that it is difficult to see any difference in the two formulas - apart from the £12 price difference of course!

Top to Bottom: Unleash, Shockwave, Tremor

L-R: Tremor, Shockwave, Unleash

The packaging on the I Heart Blush was too good to pass up so we selected the shade Blushing Hearts Blusher (Too Faced Sweethearts Blush dupe? - this is getting predictable!!) Admittedly we did not have high hopes for this blush as some of them swatched a little chalky. The Blushing Hearts Blush is a triple shade baked blush and despite our low expectations the pigment is great and it is still visible on the cheeks 10 hours after application! At £4.99 it's a steal when compared to the Too Faced product which sells for £21! 

Blushing Hearts

There were so many lipsticks on offer that it took us an age to select just one shade to try and review but we eventually settled on the Lip Geek Lipstick in Dare to be Different which is a brownish nude shade perfect for Autumn. We are definitely going to get some more shades of this fab lipstick as it has proven to be long wearing and very comfortable on the lips.  

Once we got home we couldn't wait to photograph the products so we could start using them! We fought over who would be first to use the Chocolate palettes and were spoilt for choice when selecting which lip product we wanted to try first!

We are so impressed with the I Heart Makeup selection and the affordability is hard to beat! You can guarantee that we will be picking up more of the products when we are in Superdrug next! We will keep you posted!

I Heart Makeup by Makeup Revolution is available in selected Superdrug stores and on Superdrug.com as well as direct from Makeup Revolution website now.

A selection of the products we picked up!

Have you tried any of the I Heart Makeup products? Which are your favourites? We would love to hear your recommendations in the comments below.
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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Quest For The Perfect Mascara

I have spoken previously about my sad eyelashes (hence the LVL treatment that I have resorted to getting every 6 weeks!) and over the years I have been on a seemingly endless quest to find a mascara that suits my lashes. I have been told by experts that my lashes are a) short b) fair c) fine which is polite talk for the fact that I have poor eyelashes that are beyond redemption!

Having tried many different mascaras with varying degrees of success I really wanted to pass on my experience and recommend some options for anyone with the same stubborn eyelashes as me!

Let me start by saying that some years ago I found my ‘holy grail’ mascara. I purchased the Covergirl Volume Exact Mascara in waterproof and was amazed that, after curling with my beloved Shu Emura eyelash curlers, the mascara went on clump free, held the curl, gave volume and lengthened my tiny lashes. I used this mascara for many a happy year and as it was not available in the UK I stocked up when visiting the USA and purchased from Ebay if the stocks got low.

A couple years back when Mimi was in the USA I asked her to pick me up a fresh supply of my favourite mascaras. She searched high a low and could not put her hands on the Lash Exact anywhere. I did a bit of research and discovered the devastating news that my perfect mascara had been discontinued.....back to the drawing board.
 
In an attempt to find a dupe I purchased what seemed like hundreds of mascaras (some went straight in the trash after one or two uses), both high end and drugstore and some were okay but in the world of mascara okay is just not good enough!

 
I recently found an old Instagram post from when I was trying a TON of mascaras to find one that suited me! Oh dear....

Just a selection of the mascaras I tried!
 
About a year ago, completely by chance, a kind beauty blogger wrote a post in which she explained that Max Factor is to the UK beauty market what Covergirl is to the US market, that is, Max Factor is actually the sister brand of Covergirl! She also explained that many of the products are  the same or similar but with different names.
 
Off I headed to the Max Factor display! The mascara that was said to be the most like the Covergirl Volume Exact was the Max Factor Masterpiece Mascara in waterproof. I picked one up and was excited to give it a whirl! I was delighted to find that it is the perfect dupe for my holy grail Covergirl mascara and does the exact same job! I love the size and shape of the brush as it is the perfect size for my short lashes and the formula is not wet at all. It grabs all of my lashes and hold the curl in place all day. This has now become my must have mascara and I always have a back up in my make up stash just in case!

Max Factor Masterpiece

Shout out to some other mascaras that I tried during my quest and quite liked and also one that is Mimi's favourite;
 
The Chanel Inimitable Waterproof Mascara: is a really good high end mascara with a great size brush that gives good curl and separation. The waterproof version does a great job at holding a curl all day long.
 
Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof:  Mimi's favourite drugstore mascara that gives buildable volume and a really great 'false lash' look.

Maybelline Lash Sensational
Max Factor Masterpiece Transform: This is a strange looking brush but don't let that put you off! It works really well to grab all of those small lashes and gives a very defined look. For our friends who are unable to get Max Factor products this is the same as Covergirl The Supersizer available from Ulta and drugstores.

Covergirl The Supersizer
NYX The Skinny Mascara: I discovered this in Ulta while in the USA and it intrigued me! I loved it so much I bought a back up before we left! It is amazing for bottom lashes especially very fine ones like mine.


NYX The Skinny Mascara

Being a mascara junkie I am always interested to see a new mascara hit the market but more often that not I am disappointed with the results as I have such difficult eyelashes to please. If you do have similar lashes to me I can highly recommend the LVL Enhance Lash Treatment that we have reviewed in a previous post as it has really been a life saver for me and along with my Max Factor Masterpiece I can now at least fake the look of somewhat normal lashes!

 
Are you a mascara addict? Have you a favourite that I should try? I'd be delighted to hear your recommendations in the comments below.

Elle x

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Maybelline Baby Lips Winter Delight - New Discoveries!

We have long been fans of the Maybelline Baby Lips and have them in every incarnation. When they were first released they were only available in the USA and we brought a ton of them back from holiday with us and passed them on to family and friends. Since the initial launch of the original Baby Lips, Maybelline have also delighted us with the Electro Lip Balm and the Dr Rescue formula.

Maybelline Baby Lips Winter Delight L-R Sweet Apple, Hot Cocoa
We recently got our hands on a couple of flavours in their Winter Delight range that we have not seen before so we thought that we would give you the heads up so that you can keep your eyes open for these new additions! The flavours we picked up were Sweet Apple and Hot Cocoa! Both very seasonal offerings from Maybelline!

They have the same fun packaging as their predecessors and are easy to pop into your bag/keep on your desk or as we like to do, pop them into your gym bag when you go for your workout! They are both moisturising and great for those no make up days. We are currently keeping our eyes pealed for any more new additions to the range!

Have you seen any new Baby Lips flavours that we have not managed to get our hands on yet? Let us know in the comments below!
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Maybelline Dr Rescue Nails

While browsing the aisles of Superdrug this week we stumbled upon some Maybelline products that we had not seen before. We have been fans of the Baby Lips and Dr Rescue range of products in the past and when we saw more goodies from the range we started to throw them into our basket as we wanted to show you what we had found! We are not sure if this is a new range or if we've been living under a rock and it passed us by, but we are excited to give all of the products a try as they are soooo affordable! Most of the products are only £2.99 and readily available in Boots, Superdrug and Wilkos right now.

Dr Rescue Nailcare
Dr Rescue Nail Care All In OneThis is described as a base coat and top coat in one and also acts as a treatment/strengthener. Should be a good multi tasking product!
 
Dr Rescue Peel Off Base Coat: We can't recall ever having used a peel off base coat but we are curious to give this one a try!
 
Dr Rescue CC Nail Care Base Coat:  A colour correcting base coat that conceals and whitens nails. We always use a base coat before polish so we are interested to try out this super affordable option. 

Dr Rescue Gel Effect Top Coat: Who doesn't love glossy nails! We are big fans of the glossy nail look and for only £2.99 this could be a perfect budget option for a gel effect finish.

Dr Rescue SOS Nail Balm: This is a new one for us! We've never heard of a nail balm but if it's anything like a lip balm then bring it on!  This is a pale blue coloured stick with jojoba oil and shea butter that nourishes the nails. Intriguing!

Dr Rescue Quick Dry Drops: We have tried some quick dry drops from Essence in the past but were not too impressed as they seemed to dull the look of the polish so we are keen to see how we get on with these interesting looking drops!

Have you tried any of the Dr Rescue Nail Care line? We'd love to hear what you think in the comments below!
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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Trilogy Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm - Review

Trilogy Cleansing Balm
Trilogy Makeup Be Gone Cleansing Balm
Our love of Trilogy Skincare is nothing new to regular readers of our blog (see our review of their products here) however neither of us had ever tried a cleansing balm until Trilogy launched their new Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm at the end of the summer. Cleansing balm is not a product that has ever held much appeal for us and we have remained faithful to cleansing creams. However, as we love Trilogy products so much we felt this was the one to make us leave that cleansing cream comfort zone and give the balm a whirl!
 
The cleansing balm comes in a generous sized tub holding 80ml of product. On opening the tub the balm inside has an almost solid consistency but it melts into an oil like texture when it touches warm skin. At first it was a little scary working this rich oily balm into our skin but don't let that put you off as once we persevered the results were fantastic. We applied the balm to dry skin and as it warmed it literally started to melt the make up off. Once we had completely worked the balm into our skin (paying particular attention to stubborn mascara!) we used warm water and the organic cotton cloth provided to wipe away the balm and - by some miracle - our entire face of make up was removed in one fell swoop! Our skin was left feeling soft and incredibly clean, literally, the cleanest face ever!

We both have different skin types and of course, our skin is 20 years apart in age, however we both loved this cleansing balm and would most definitely recommend the product for all ages and skin types. We love that Trilogy products are 'created from simple and unique blends of the purest natural plant oils and botanical extracts' and are not tested on animals. Having particularly fussy skin it is a revelation to find products that never cause break outs or reactions.  

We hope that Trilogy continue to produce fantastic new products like their Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm! You can guarantee that we will be first in line for any new launches in the future!  
 
Trilogy Make Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm is available from Trilogy Products direct and the RRP is £19.50 however we picked ours up with the rest of our beloved Trilogy products from Naturisimo who were offering a 10% discount.
 
Have you tried the Trilogy Cleansing Balm? We would love to hear your opinion in the comments below!
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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Afternoon Tea & Shopping Day

Regular visitors to our blog will know that in December we have a very special event to look forward to, Mimi's wedding! We are all very excited as we have people travelling from as far afield as California to attend the wedding celebrations and spend time with us. 
 
As December draws closer we are crossing things off our 'to do' list on a weekly basis. This past weekend the two of us headed into Newcastle, our closest 'big city', to partake in some wedding retail therapy. As we were having a special outing we decided to make a girly day of it and booked afternoon tea so that we had an excuse to eat lots of cake while we shopped! We thought it would be fun to share some of our photographs of the delicious food we consumed over the course of the day!
 
Coincidently, a couple of weeks ago we received an email from Travel Zoo offering a deal for Afternoon Tea at the Marco Pierre White Restaurant, Hotel Indigo, Newcastle. The offer was £18 for afternoon tea for two. Having enjoyed the same offer a couple of years ago we jumped at the chance to do it again and we felt that £18 for two was a really great deal.

We started the day pretty early as the NCP car park in the city centre have an offer on parking - all day for £5.95 when you arrive before 9.30am - which gives a good saving if you are there all day as we usually are! We skipped breakfast at home and headed for CafĂ© Nero when we arrived to set ourselves up for a morning of shopping with caffeine and pastries until our 2pm reservation at Marco Pierre Whites!
 

Our main objective for the day was to look at bridesmaid accessories and check out the make up for some wedding day options. We had heard that Charlotte Tilbury Cosmetics were opening in Newcastle and were very excited to see if the rumour was true! We discovered that they are indeed opening a counter within Fenwicks but it was not due to open until 2 days after we visited, however, we did speak to one of the Tilbury Team and will we back in a couple of weeks for an in depth swatchfest!
 
At almost 2pm we headed down to Marco Pierre White Restaurant, handed in our pre paid voucher and were shown to our seats. The last time we attended we were presented with a lovely tea book offering in depth explanations of the various exotic tea choices however this time there was no such book and we were simply asked what we wanted by the server. We both settled for English Breakfast Tea and after giving our dietary requirements we were soon served a tower of delicious looking treats. 

 


We quickly got stuck in! The sandwiches were tasty with a substantial amount of filling - cheese and tangy pickle and ham with delicious French mustard (for the salmon-phobe) with the addition of salmon and cream cheese and tuna with cucumber for those less fussy eaters! The other savoury options were tiny warm quiches which were sooo delicious with crumbly short crust pastry.
 

In addition the sweet options were plentiful! We managed to munch our way through a fruit scone with jam and clotted cream, the lightest vanilla macaroons ever, chocolate mouse cake, a mango panna cotta served in a cute miniature teacup and a second scone that we took away as we were unable to manage it! The tea was plentiful and flowed freely with as much as we could drink being offered and unlimited coffee as an alternative.
 

By the end of the feast we were unable to move!
 
If you are an afternoon tea lover then Travel Zoo and similar sites are a great resource to pick up some affordable deals. We would never have normally booked this treat for the full price but it made the day extra special for us and for only £9 per person it is no more expensive than a sandwich and coffee in one of the well known coffee shops!

We will certainly be back soon for more sweet, delicious treats to fuel our Saturday shopping trips!
 
Have you enjoyed any affordable tasty treats lately? We would love to hear any tips you may have on bagging a bargain!  
   
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Monday, October 05, 2015

The Batiste Family

Batiste
Batiste L-R Dry Shampoo, Hairspray, Heat & Shine Spray, Texturizing Spray
Batiste is hands down our all time favourite brand of dry shampoo. We go through a ton of the giant sized cans in Floral & Flirty Blush and recently we have been loving the limited edition Ella Henderson scent (who doesnt want hair like Ella Henderson!). It has been a part of our haircare routine even since its launch (what did we ever do without dry shampoo!) and despite trying many other brands over the past few years it is the one we always come back to. When we saw that they had launched a new 'stylist' range we were very excited to get our hands on some of the products and try them out! We decided to purchase three items we regularly use to see how they compared to our regular brands.
 
Hold Me Hairspray: Hairspray for both of us is something that we regularly use and always have in the bathroom cabinet so we were interested to see how the Batiste hairspray measured up. This product claims to hold a style for up to 24 hours (no we did not test this claim!) It also claims to be lightweight and easy to brush out. Both of us have long hair that we wear straight, in loose curls or occasionally up for work. The hairspray disperses in a fine mist and unlike some hairsprays the smell is pleasant and not overwhelming. It holds a curl during a day at the office and also holds an updo during a long hot day working and shopping. Overall this product does a great job and is something that we would repurchase especially during those times when they are on special offer in Boots/Superdrug.   
 
Shield My Locks Heat & Shine Spray: We both kill our hair on an almost daily basis with heat styling tools such as straighteners and curling irons therefore a heat protect spray is something that we do reach for regularly. We have not yet found one that can be sprayed onto dry hair that we love so we really wanted to love this. We can safely say that we do! It is so easy to work into your hair care routine. Simply spray thoughout dry hair, concentrating on the ends, before heat styling or through each length of hair prior to applying heat.  This really left the ends of our hair feeling softer than normal when styled. It's a definite repurchase for us.
 
Texture Me Texturizing Spray: We have used other texturizing sprays in the past but they are not something that we reach for on a regular basis. The Oribe Texturizing Spray gets a lot of blogger/YouTube love but let's be real, at £39.00 for 300ml it should be changing the world while making us dinner! Let's look at this realistically priced option! Claiming to give a tousled and super sexy look we parted sections of hair and lightly sprayed the product into the part finising with a bit of a rub to mess the hair up slightly and give it some volume. It definitely worked as our hair looked much less flat and had more lift and texure without being 'gritty'.
 
To summarize we would use and repurchase all of these products. They all performed well and did exactly what they said on the can! We will be picking up some of the other products in the range to put them to the test soon! They are currently available in Boots for 1/3 off so it is a great time to pick them up and try them out. See the full range here:
 
Have you used the new Stylist range from Batiste yet? What are your thoughts?
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