Wednesday, 26 June 2013

MUA Bronzed Perfection Bronzer & Undress Me Highlighter

Apologies for the lack of posts recently; I have just got back from holiday with my uni girls. The holiday was the perfect way to end a beaut 3 years at Reading Uni, and I'm pretty gutted to be back in the grey UK!

Whilst on holiday, I suffered that age old problem - I didn't want to put my head in the sun whilst sunbathing because I was trying to read my Kindle, but didn't want to end up with a tanned body and white face. In the end I gave up and surrendered to the inevitable two-tone bod, and decided to rely on makeup to even out my skin tone.

My weapon of choice was MUA's new Bronzed Perfection Bronzer, which will set you back a mere £3. I decided to purchase this product after reading several positive reviews on the Bloggersphere, plus I needed a new bronzer anyway. The other thing that drew me towards this MUA offering was its matte finish - although I'm not opposed to a shimmer bronzer, I usually find that cheaper products tend to contain primary school style chunks of glitter that are far from flattering. Here's what the product looks like...

I've been using this bronzer alongside MUA's Undress Me Highlighter, £3, another lovely product that I mentioned in my Five Under a Fiver post a couple of months back. I use this highlighter sparingly, just brushing a small amount of powder above my cheekbones. Here's what it looks like...

I was not disappointed by either product. My first impressions were that, like many MUA products, both the bronzer and highlighter are huge, making them very good value for money. The bronzer only comes in one shade, but I imagine this will be a pretty universally flattering shade for Caucasian skin.
When using a brush to pick up the bronzer I did find that particles did fly all over the place, although this is fairly easily remedied by passing the brush very lightly across the product, and blowing gently on the brush before applying to the face.

The bronzer comes out a lovely shade on my skin, is easy to blend and is build-able. I've been applying it first of all to my cheekbones, jawline and temples, then a thin dusting over the remainder of my face to match the tan on the rest of my body. Here are some close ups and swatches of the products...

My main concern with both of these products is that, like several MUA products I already own, the packaging feels fairly flimsy. My favourite MUA Eyeshadow Palette, Undress Me, has been rendered difficult to use now that the lid has broken at the hinges, and the tube of one of my MUA lipsticks has also broken. Although I am beyond impressed at the amount and quality of the product you get for your money with both the bronzer and highlighter, I worry that the packaging will break before I'm able to use them up.

Both products score 4/5

Monday, 17 June 2013

My Summer Ball Look

It's been a busy few days for me - I got my degree results today (2:1 yaaaaaay), and I also had my end of uni Summer Ball on Saturday night. This isn't a formal event, it's basically an overnight festival type thing, but it was a brilliant night and the perfect way to send off an amazing three years at Reading Uni! For this post I thought I'd share what I wore, and my makeup look from the Ball. Here's what I looked like:

I absolutely love my dress, which is from Motel Rocks. I originally spotted it on a fellow blogger's page (see her original post here), and promptly fell in love with it. I had to exchange the original size 10 that I ordered for a size 12 (despite usually coming up as a size 8) because the 10 came up very small, but other than that I adore this perfect dress!
The fluro pink wellies come courtesy of my "BFF" Lizzy, who loaned them to me when the weather forecast was looking a little ominous. I stuck the headband on for good measure since the Ball tends to have a festival-esque vibe.

The Ball goes on 'til 6am, so I thought I'd go for brightening makeup in the hope that I'd look a little less haggard by the end. Here's what my makeup looked like:

I used a pair of Primark false lashes which I was really pleasantly surprised by, they were easy to apply and the glue kept them in place all night, and they only cost £1. I brightened up my eyes by applying highlighter into the corners using an eyeshadow brush. I also used a riduculous amount of my new MUA Bronzed Perfection Bronzer on my face, starting by applying it to my cheekbones, jawline and temples, and then applying a thin layer over the rest of my face. I also used highlighter just above my cheekbones, although the pictures don't really show this too well. I used a light gold eyeshadow across my lids, and a pale silvery-gold shadow below my brows. I hid my fake lash line with a thin layer of liquid eyeliner on my lids, and used a little lilac-grey eyeliner on my lower lash line, topped off with one layer of mascara. I didn't use eyebrow pencil on this occasion as I'd had my brows threaded earlier in the day, and it didn't really seem necessary.

I fake tanned (a LOT) using Little White Lie Self Tanning Mousse, which takes a few hours to develop. Unfortunately I got bored of waiting and ended up sticking a layer of St. Moritz Instant Tanning Mousse on top - the result being very bronzed (borderline orange) limbs. I think I just about got away with it...

I hope you like my Summer Ball look. I will leave you with a few more pictures of the night, because I'm so proud of all the beautiful friends I've made :)


Monday, 10 June 2013

June Magazine Freebies

Here are the goodies you can snap up free with magazines this June (the July editions of the magazines)

Red - Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm
This facial balm promises to create a youthful dewy complexion, and is particularly suited to those with ageing skin. The magazine costs £4, and the product is worth £11.50. A good opportunity to try a high end skincare product. 

Elle - Rodial Tanning Products
I hadn't actually heard of Rodial before...have I been living under a rock, or are throw just not that well known? Anyway, Elle claims that these freebies are worth £13.50 each, so if you're a tanorexic then it might be worth giving it a go. Elle costs £4.

Cosmopolitan - Sunglasses 
Not exactly beauty, but still worth mentioning. Cosmo is giving away three variations of sunglasses with this months issue, so if you're going on holiday then it's worth picking up a copy and taking the glasses as a spare pair for knocking about on the beach. The mag costs £3.60.

Marie Claire - Ciate Nail Polish and Caviar Set
I'm really tempted by this offer as the polish and caviar come in such pretty neutral colours! The set is worth £10 and the magazine will set you back £3.80. If you're not familiar with nail caviar, then it is essentially a pot of teeny tiny balls that you apply to the nail for a textured finish. 

InStyle - Neal's Yard Remedies Face Moisturiser 
I've never used this facial moisturiser, but I am a big fan of Neal's Yard hand and nail cream, so I imagine I would love this too. Their products use high quality ingredients, and have a lovely lavender scent. The product is worth £12 and the magazine costs £3.90. 

Glamour - Various ModelCo Makeup 
With this month's Glamour mag, which costs just £2, you can pick up products including a Fibre based mascara, two lip glosses, an eyeliner and a lip liner. Worth £15-16 individually, these products are worth £78 overall for anybody that feels like collecting the lot! Another brilliant freebie deal from Glamour.

Which mag do you plan to purchase this month? 

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Holiday Checklist

It's that time of year again...summer has officially arrived and if you're lucky, you will probably be jetting off to sunnier climes in the coming months. In light of this, I thought I'd do a post suggesting a few beauty bits and bobs that you should be adding to your holiday checklist this year.

1) BB Cream
I bought my first BB Cream to take on holiday last year, and it worked a dream. BB creams contain SPF protection meaning that you won't need to apply greasy suncream to your face, preventing potential breakouts. A BB Cream will also provide skin coverage during the day when you wouldn't usually wear makeup, making it ideal for those who feel uneasy at the thought of going sans-foundation. I use Maybelline's Dream Fresh BB Cream, you can read my full review here.
Me, lovin lyf 2k12 in Aruba

2) UV Spray for Hair. 
The one product that I absolutely swear by when around the pool or at the beach is Charles Worthington's Sunshine Spray, a protective UV spray for hair. You can read my full review of this product here. Not only will the spray protect your hair from harsh rays, it will leave it soft, shiny and tangle free - well worth investing.

3) Deep Conditioner
In fact, I'd probably recommend sacking off regular conditioner altogether in favour of a deep conditioning hair mask to use daily when on a beach holiday. Your hair will not enjoy being frazzled by the sun and exposed to salt water and/or chlorine, and deserves a little treat back at the hotel. Aussie 3 Minute Miracle is perfect for this cause as you don't need to leave it on for long for it to take effect.

4) Body Butter.
Traditionally I purchase a new body butter from the Body Shop before going on holiday, even if I'm nowhere near finishing an old one. Last year I went for Passion Fruit, and I can't wait to get in there and choose my fragrance for this year! These butters might be slightly more expensive than alternatives by Boots or Suprerdrug, but the quality IS better, and that's what matters when you're on holiday and most prone to dry skin. Keep an eye out on voucher sites for Body Shop discounts.

5) Waterproof Mascara.
The last thing any girl wants around the pool is panda eyes, but ditching the mascara can be painful! I will definitely be packing a waterproof mascara when I jet off to Tenerife later this month - I plan to try MUA's Waterproof Mega Volume Mascara, since it's cheap and cheerful and I will probably only use it on this holiday. 

6) Blotting Paper.
I've been using Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets recently, and have become pretty dependent on them. Blot the sheets against your skin to absorb excess oils from your face, ideal for holiday when you will probably be sweatier than normal (beaut). Keep these sheets handy to avoid looking super-shiny in all your holiday snaps. You can pick these up from Superdrug at £2.99 for 50 sheets.

Have I missed any important holiday essentials? What will you be packing to take away with you this year?

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

My Everyday Beauty Regime

Just in case anybody was is my everyday beauty routine and a few of my go-to everyday products!


I use two cleansers, one in the morning and one in the evening.  In the morning I use Boots' own brand Cucumber Cleansing Lotion (£1.50), which is super cheap and cheerful and does the job for my fairly clear skin. In the evening I use DHC's Deep Cleansing Oil (£11) which I received in my goodie bag from the Cosmo Careers Masterclass and have since fallen in love with. This cleanser removes every last trace of makeup, and leaves my skin super soft and usually keeps it clear.


I absolutely loooooove Radox Shower Smoothies (£1.99, not pictured as I've currently run out) which you can often find half price in supermarkets. They smell divine and the scent lingers on your skin all day. In terms of shampoo, I'm currently using Mane 'N Tail, a crossover shampoo for horses and humans (£7.49 on Amazon for shampoo and conditioner). Yessssss I know - sounds a bit weird right? Well this is actually one of the best shampoos I've used, it leaves my hair feeling beautifully soft and adds volume. It's also famed for making your hair grow quickly, which is why I originally purchased it.


I use L'Oreal Mythic Oil (£13)  and Percy and Reed No-Oil Volumising Oil (£14 for a full sized bottle, but I got my miniature free from a magazine) in my hair before blow-drying. If I'm going somewhere special I will also use Tresseme's 24Hour Body Root Boosting Spray (£5.49). I try not to blow-dry, straighten or curl my hair unless I really have to, and if possible I don't wash it more often then once every three days.


I always start with Nivea's Express Hydration Primer (£3.99) which I  mentioned in my Five Under a Fiver post to create a smooth base and hydrate my skin (I don't use a dedicated moisturiser as they tend to be too much for my skin).  My favourite budget foundation of all time is Maybelline's 24Hour Superstay Liquid Foundation (£9), which I massively prefer to their popular Dream Matte Mousse. A few of my other staple budget-friendly products include Avon Glimmerstick Eyeliners (£6 but often half price), Seventeen's Doll'd Up Mascara (£6.29), and MUA's Undress Me Eyeshadow Palette (£4). My favourite daytime lipstick at the moment is Shade 14 'Bare' by MUA, a really nice Made In Chelsea style nude for only £1. I remove my makeup using the pink makeup wipes from Primark, which cost £1 for 50 and work perfectly.

What are the staple products that make up your everyday beauty regime?

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