Chemist 4 U haul

My name is Laura and I am a nail polish addict, I have hundreds of them and yet can never resist adding new shades and finishes to my collection whenever I see one that catches my eye (which is often). The irony in this is that I rarely paint my nails any more, I spent years having to keep them bare due to clinical work, and now I’m in an office based role I’ve been splashing out on shellac manicures. Still, when I was given the opportunity to order some products from Chemist 4 U I just couldn’t resist the lure of bargain O.P.I. polishes, especially in shades that are just perfect for the festive party season.
The shades I picked (L-R on the swatch wheel) are: unfrost my heart, I Carol about you, first class desires, kiss me- or elf! and I’ll tinsel you in. Each polish cost a bargain £2.99- a huge saving on the RRP of £7.99 each! O.P.I. was the first nail polish brand I really fell in love with, they just look so luxe and last really well- at this price these would make awesome stocking fillers this Christmas, or the perfect little pick me up for yourself.
I also picked up my absolute winter lip saviour- Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream lip protectant stick for just £10.49 which is a saving of over £9 on the RRP. Chemist 4 U sells primarily pharmacy products (also at excellent prices, for the record) but it’s the beauty section where the true bargains hide. I hadn’t used the website before but was impressed with the ease of ordering and the prompt, well packaged delivery. Well worth checking out if you’re looking for some Christmas gifts or want to stock up for yourself.
Does anyone remember the hype over O.P.I’s Russian Blue? I bought about three bottles at the height of it’s popularity! Which is your favourite shade?

end

Products were provided for blog consideration, all thoughts about the products and the service I received are my own.

Tricks and Treats with Essence

My favourite budget makeup brand, Essence have been at it again and dropped a whole host of fun products just in time for Halloween. It was my intention when these samples arrived to create a full on Halloween look but work and life took over and I’m afraid all I have for you is some swatches and lipstick experimentation. I’ve probably saved you all from a true fright anyway, whilst I can get by with everyday makeup skills I’m not exactly experienced in anything more special…anyway, whatever your plans are on Tuesday, here are some last minute must haves to complete your look.
I was so excited by all of the eye products in this package especially the brand new moonlight eyes cream in the shade gilded. This is a super light mousse type eyeshadow in the most awesome metallic copper shade. The colour is really buildable making it perfect for both work and play- I don’t have a price for this yet but I can guarantee it’ll be excellent value.

Another brand new product was the metal shock eyeshadow in supernova. Another awesome metallic finish, this time in a cream format. This is fantastic for a party smokey eye and will be well used and loved in the run up to Christmas.

The two eyeliners in the package are perfect for creating fun and funky Halloween looks. The metal art lip and eye liner in rock chick is a gorgeous metallic liner that is perfect for jazzing up any eye look or creating more dramatic designs all over the face. The super last black eyeliner has a thicker brush than I’d usually use but I still rate it, as per all long lasting essence products this really lives up to the hype and I highly recommend this to all liquid liner fiends.

Being a true lipstick fiend I was obviously excited by the products in this package. The metallic blue metal shock lipstick and metal shock lip paint are both absolutely perfect for Halloween in these spooky shades. Excuse the dodgy application in these pictures- I was in a rush and didn’t prep my lips before hand…whilst these might not be colours I’d sport on a daily basis, and my Halloween plans involve a sofa, a boyfriend and a kitten I’ll probably pop some on just for the fun of it- if nothing else I can leave a cheeky metallic smooch on Bob’s cheek!

For a more subtle look I love the sheer and shine lipstick which is so sheer I couldn’t get a good photo of it on my lips. I have a huge collection of this essence range now and love them for every day subtle lips or for toning down a heavy eye makeup look.

Lastly we have the holo rainbow nail polish which I couldn’t swatch as I currently have a gel manicure for once. This is seriously stunning though, even in the bottle and I can’t wait to try it out! This is the shade holo love, but there are four more in the range which I will definitely be buying, I’m sure.
If you’re looking for some last minute Halloween makeup, or fancy some on trend and affordable updates for the new season then definitely head to your local Wilko store or to their website where you’ll find all of these products and more for under a fiver per piece.
Anyone got any exciting Halloween plans?

end

All products in this post were sent to me for blog consideration, all thoughts and dodgy makeup skills are my own.

Matt vs Shine with Essence

My lipstick obsession has got out of hand since last Summer. My collection seems to grow each week and I have every colour and texture imaginable at this point. The one thing I just can’t make my mind up on is which finish I prefer though- one day I’ll be sporting a vampy matt lip and the next I’ll be wearing something sugary sweet and glossy.

One of my favourite brands for lip products is of course Essence, the super affordable brand stocked exclusively at wilko.com and in selected Wilko stores. With a huge array of lipsticks and glosses coming in at under £3 per piece I find it super hard to resist temptation- and really, what’s the need when you can get several new looks for under a tenner?

I was recently sent a selection of lip products as part of their Matt vs Shine campaign. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post I really can’t decide which team I’m on but I’ve popped up some little reviews of each shade and how I’ve been wearing them (minus the evidence because once again, I fail at taking photos of myself!)

In the first picture we have a trio of lip glosses. The pale pink at the top is hands down my favourite Essence lip product to date- it’s the shine shine shine wet look lip gloss in shade 02 (smile, sparkle, shine) and features an awesome prismatic glow whilst remaining subtle enough for daily wear. It’s probably my most worn lip product at the moment and I have a back up ready for when it runs out! The middle shade is another shine shine shine gloss in shade 07 (happiness in a bottle). This is a bold pinky neutral shade with a lovely shine, it gives the coverage of a lipstick whilst remaining light with a lovely shine to it, as the name would suggest. This is such a great colour for this time of year and I’m loving it teamed with a berry toned outfit and my copper hair. The third product in this photo is a matt matt matt long-lasting lipgloss in shade 05 (simply be an icon). I found myself reaching for this on a night out in Scotland- it’s light to wear and not at all drying whilst giving a super bold punch of colour that didn’t budge all night, even several vodkas in. This matt shade costs £2.30 whilst the shine glosses are £2 each.

The second picture plays host to two lipsticks that couldn’t be more different if they tried. First up is the sheer and shine lipstick in the shade candy love (12). For anyone who loves a “your lips but better” look this is the lipstick for you. It’s so sheer in colour and so light to wear you wouldn’t really know you’ve got anything on. I’ve been popping this on when I’m running late and want to look a bit more polished in a hurry. This has become the ultimate handbag staple for me! Secondly we have the matt matt matt lipstick in shade 08 which is a deep, dark burgundy colour perfect for wearing with this season’s Victoriana trend. This isn’t a lipstick for the faint hearted as it really doesn’t budge once it is on, but it has a super light texture and non-drying formula that I love. Both of these products cost £2.30 each.

Are you team matt or team shine when it comes to lipsticks? Let me know in the comments.

end

Products sent to me by Essence for blog post consideration.

Xtava Twist Curling Wand review and giveaway

Over the last twelve months I’ve really got in to styling my hair, ever since I took the plunge and went for a new style and bold colour I’ve been determined to make more of an effort with it, both in taking care of it and in how I wear it. My army of tools is basic- a dryer, straightener and a curling wand. My current wand has definitely seen better days so I welcomed the chance to try out a new one as well as give one away to one of my readers.
This is the xtava twist curling wand* which costs a very reasonable £20 from Amazon. Call me a snob if you must but I do seem to have fallen in to the habit of spending a fortune on hair tools with the belief that they’ll somehow be better for my hair, or give greater effect so I was interested to see how a budget curling wand would perform.

This is the 1-1.5 inch conical wand, it’s thicker than the one I currently own and for me that’s a good thing. I prefer a looser curl over tight spirals and this gives me exactly that. In true Laura style I haven’t yet managed to photograph the results (watch this space!) but it gives a wave type curl (technical term) which I’m really enjoying for an every day laid back vibe.

In terms of quality I’m really happy. It uses ionic technology to keep frizz at bay and the barrel is coated in tourmaline and ceramic to help minimise heat damage to the hair. There are many temperature settings on this wand with a guide of what heat will suit your hair type best- the LCD display is a helpful feature too as you can keep track of how hot you’ve got it.

The look and feel of this curling wand would have you think it costs far more than it does- from the luxe packaging to the weight and feel of the tool itself- I’d definitely recommend this for anyone looking out for a new curler whether you are on a budget or not.

I also have one xtava curling wand to give away to one of my readers so you may get to try it out for yourself! Just follow the simple instructions below.

Win the xtava Twist Curling Wand #11

Let me know in the comments what your favourite hair styling tools are and if there are any you’d especially recommend.

end

Beauty- my first ever Glossybox

I think pretty much every blogger out there has heard of Glossybox. It was the first subscription box I was ever aware of and tempted by, yet for some reason I had never got around to it.
It would appear that August 2017 was a great month to finally get acquainted with Glossybox as I was pretty impressed with every product inside it. The box itself was pretty special too- a gorgeous pale blue and emblazoned with “girls just wanna have sun” (so very true, I’m so tired of grey skies and rain) which just added to the experience.
As with any kind of subscription box I think it’s pot luck each month as to the actual value of the products included. I haven’t done the maths on this one but I’m pretty certain it exceeds the price paid for the box- and to be honest, the box could be packed through of high value products that were frankly rubbish, just as much as it could contain cheaper items that make a big impact. Although this box was sent to me free of charge I can hand on heart say I would have happily paid for this one.
I was very excited to see Essence products included in the box having already given their my must haves palette a rave review. I love the pretty packaging on this one and the shades included just so happen to be right up my street- for me this was the star product of the August Glossybox and it’s been in near constant use since.
Other highlights included the suede lips pencils from Rodial- again the shade is right up my street and this gives an amazing, soft looking matte lip that lasts.
I’m also a big fan of the safari sun bronzer from model launcher cosmetics. Obviously bronzer is a pretty essential summer product for many and this one is up there with the best I’ve tried in terms of being a good suits everyone shade, and it has a great texture.I’m yet to try the hair Replacement care products- I’m intrigued by the 2in1 shampoo and conditioner from Batiste, it’s designed to shampoo the roots and condition the lengths which sounds perfect for my thick and often unruly hair. I’ll be packing this for my holiday next month as a week in a caravan in the Highlands means dry shampoo is going to be 100% necessary.

Probably the most intriguing product in the box is the ice hair mask from Total Repair- this apparently has a cooling effect which powers up the macadamia oil it contains making even more efficient at hydrating the hair. My hair is in dire need of a cut and colour, it’s long overdue which also means the ends are somewhat fried right now…I’ll be giving this a try next time I was it and will report back if anyone is interested…

Anyone here a Glossybox subscriber? After the success of my first ever box I am sorely tempted to sign up and make it a more regular thing but I do worry that it won’t consistently live up to the hype, I’d love to hear other people’s experiences in the comments.

end

Glossybox sent me this box for blog consideration, I was under no obligation to post and all opinions are my own.