Tale As Old As Time: Just Look At The L’Oreal Beauty & The Beast Makeup Collection!

I know I’m 34 years old, but I’m just not over the phenomenon that is Beauty and the Beast just yet. The original was released back in 1991 when I was barely nine years old, but I can still remember the songs practically word-for-world and continue to dream of having a dress as beautiful (and yellow) as Belle’s in that classic scene; there’s something about the emotion that’s attached to such a tale that still puts a smile on my face. Skip forward over 25 years and this iconic story is about to get a new lease of live via the live action version, starring our very own Hermoine Granger. (My inner Potter-nerd is probably happier about that than it should be.) It’s not even due to hit cinemas for another month, but the merchandise has already started to go into overdrive to tickle our tastebuds and get us in the mood for the big event. Although I may be too old for plastic dolls and princess dresses, I’m definitely not past the stage of wanting a piece of Beauty and the Beast lipstick – so when I discovered that L’Oreal were launching a 14-piece collection to celebrate the launch, I almost peed myself with excitement. The only downside is that it’s exclusively available in Italy, but thanks to an Amazon Prime account I was able to buy it and ship the collection over in a couple of days! Hoorah!

First things first: the collection includes seven lipsticks and seven coordinating nail polishes, which together set me back around £90.00. That works out about £6.40 each, with the bonus that they’re all packed in a special edition keepsake box; they’re not cheap, but together it’s not insanely expensive if you’re obsessed with the film franchise or just simply want a piece of makeup history. Each of the main characters each have their own lipstick and polish (including Belle, Beast, Mrs Potts, Cogsworth, Lumiere, the featherduster and the rose) which are adorned with designs that correspond to their character. Unfortunately the designs aren’t printed onto the packaging itself, but instead are stickers that have been applied over the top; I can only assume that this is why the range hasn’t been brought over to the UK, as it’s not the same standard we’re used to seeing from L’Oreal (even if the stickers are good quality and textured, as well as featuring embossed metallic touches.) Nevertheless, the overall effect is somewhat magical and definitely makes me feel like this is something to be treasured for years to come.

The collection includes a number of bold shades, including a classic red and power pink, alongside a more wearable chocolate brown and nude tone. I would’ve liked to see more of a spectrum (there feels like there’s a lot of red, perhaps because of the Italian market?) but they’re all very wearable and universal in appeal – just like the nail polishes. (That navy blue!) Personally I don’t get why the Cogsworth products aren’t a beautiful brown colour, nor why there’s a very random featherduster (not a main character in my opinion) and slightly tacky lipstick mark design, but the rest of the range definitely leaves me feeling pleased with my purchase. Thankfully the box everything is held in absolutely met my expectations, providing a covetable and great quality outer in which to store the makeup items within (because you know these aren’t meant to be actually used!) I do wish that there were token limited edition Beauty and the Beast lipsticks and polishes available in the UK, especially because the rose version is so pretty, but alas… Maybe the fact you can’t get hold of them makes it all the more lustworthy? I’m definitely in the mood for a Be Our Guest marathon now, even if I can’t bring myself to actually apply the polish! Continue reading

Clarins Face Contouring Palette – Better Late Than Never

Clarins Face Contouring Palette Review
If you are not already a huge fan of Clarins, be it their wonderful skincare, sophisticated beauty range or even their array of masterful fragrances, you really are missing out. Clarins may not be the Instagram or beauty blogger instant brand of choice, mainly because they don’t buck to trends, rather they create them and as such it may explain why the company was lacking a contour product or two before now. As the title more than suggests, there is a fairly new to the table Clarins Face Contouring Palette – which is sadly limited edition – and boy has it been worth the wait.

Clarins Face Contouring Palette Review

The great thing about the Clarins Face Contouring Palette is that the beauty powerhouse has really thought of everything: from a highlight, contour and blush, to a facial contour skimming brush – it is all there at your fingertips, making this ideal for beginners and/or those for strapped for time. It should also be mentioned that the typical of Clarins, yet ultimately classy, golden compact, that encases all three powders is housed with a large mirror – again really adding to the user-friendly aspect of this kit. Basically if ever you have considered purchasing an all-in-one face sculpting kit and you have a light to medium complexion, this is one that you may want to consider.

Clarins Face Contouring Palette Review
Clarins Face Contouring Palette Review
Clarins Face Contouring Palette Review

As you’d expect from any contour kit worth it’s salt the two shades aimed at mimicking the natural shadows and light of the facial hollows and high points are matte; truthfully I do find the contouring powder to be a little too warm in tone for my needs, it lacks the greyness I look for in such product but I do commend Clarins on creating a hue that is well pigmented and not at all ashen. No it isn’t the universal suit all shade some will be hoping for but generally speaking it is a little deeper than average and as such can be applied in both layers and with a light hand to create the illusion of sharper bone structure – or of course used in place of a bronzer and maybe in some instances as a setting powder or even an eyeshadow. That is the great thing about neutral toned, matte powders, they lend themselves to a world of uses and as such the intended highlighting powder within this set can be used for just that, or as an eyeshadow, a setting powder or rather wonderfully for both brightening and setting the under eye. As wonderful as a multi-tasking product is, in my opinion the real star of the show is the dusky pink, satin blush – this applied alone, beautifully carves out the cheekbones and adds a subtle, just-pinched effect.

Clarins Face Contouring Palette Review

Sure there are more budget friendly sculpting face kits out there but I do think that you will be hard pushed to find a better formula; not only is each of the three shades so finely milled that on the skin they feel lighter than air and utterly comfortable but they overall formulation has been enriched with plant extracts to nourish and of course a dash of Clarins’ anti-pollution complex to protect the complexion.

Clarins Face Contouring Palette Review

And then there is the brush, a nifty, little curved-come-angled number that perfect grips and hugs the natural contours of the face, including those pesky, hard to reach areas such as the side of the nose with complete control and ease. Yes the small, almost stubby like appearance can be deceiving and make it appear a lot more fiddly than it appears but truthfully it is one of the best brushes of its kind I own – so much so that, if sold as a separate product from the Clarins Face Contouring Palette I would buy a back up brush.

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Don’t Worry About It: 8 Beauty ‘Mistakes’ You Shouldn’t Be Getting In A Flap Over

Every single day us women are told off for the beauty ‘mistakes’ we’re making and unsurprisingly can be left feeling like a naughty schoolchild (or a female failure) as a result. There are so many beauty rules and regulations set by the media (including us bloggers!) but realistically none of us will ever be able to follow them to the letter – be it time, energy, understanding or finances preventing us from doing so. Although there are certain things I would recommend either avoiding or adopting, there’s also a tonne of stuff that’s really not worth getting in a flap over; you’re not going to ruin your body if you skip a step, forget to take off your makeup effectively or use a touch of sulphate-enriched shampoo on your head, but it is important to be aware and informed so you can choose what’s right for you. Here are the eight ‘mistakes’ many of us make, and why you shouldn’t get in a flap over them.

1. SKIPPING SERUM AND/OR EYE CREAM
Don’t get me wrong, I love a complicated skincare regime as much as the next beauty obsessive, but sometimes it’s ok to skip that extra step. I understand that adding four layers beneath your makeup can cause more problems than it helps if you don’t get it right (the key is to only apply a touch and not coat your face in a light layer of goo,) so if you feel like serum or eye cream isn’t for you then that’s cool. Just make sure you have a regime that works for your needs.
2. REACHING FOR A FACE WIPE
Yep, still hate them, but face wipes do serve a purpose: to help remove the superficial layer of dirt we see in the mirror after a long night out/the day that felt like it was never going to end. Although they will only ever remove the top layer of makeup and offer nothing in the way of a deep cleanse, something is better than nothing. Just don’t make it a regular occurrence as the alcohol can dry out skin, while the remaining grime on your face will inevitably cause breakouts.
3. NOT DOUBLE CLEANSING
Us bloggers have got a tendency to preach about double cleansing, when in actual fact it’s not right for everybody. If you wear heavy makeup and/or SPF you should definitely be cleansing twice in the evening to ensure your complexion is squeaky clean, but if you suffer with dryness or irritation, wear only a little or no makeup, or simply have a tendency to over scrub, then a singular cleanse may be all you need. If you’re prone to breakouts, acne or rosacea, then definitely stick to a gentle single cleanse.
 
4. TURNING UP YOUR STRAIGHTENERS
I come from the generation of women who had to turn their straighteners up to full wack to get them to do anything; but that was before GHDs and scorching temperatures that could practically sever a finger. I’m sure we’re all guilty of using our appliances on the hottest setting, but the most important thing is you apply a heat protection spray so you don’t burn off your tresses – and that you regularly embrace putting down the tools.
5. USING TOO MUCH DRY SHAMPOO
Dry shampoos are designed to draw out moisture from the hair and scalp, removing the ‘lank’ feeling that can often occur between washes; however, when overused they can actually remove too much moisture. (Find out more here) Despite that, dry shampoo is one of the biggest must-haves and is used so often that we can’t really remember a time without it. Rather than ditching it or feeling guilty, opt for a lighter and more natural version that won’t clog the hair follicles – your head will be happy, plus you can get those extra minutes in bed.
6. FORGETTING A BASE COAT
One of my biggest beauty hates is that inevitable staining when you’ve removed your dark nail polish; what is is about deep reds that leave a mark on your fingers for days to come? We’re told we should always use a base coat in order to provide protection and help to strengthen the nail, but in my experience it really doesn’t make that much difference – especially now many polishes are enriched with ingredients that are supposed to offer a base coat effect anyway. Take my advice and skip this extra step in favour of applying a top coat; at least that may help with longevity!
7. DYING YOUR WHOLE HEAD (NOT JUST THE ROOTS)
Every single time I open a new box of hair dye, I whimper at the thought of having to apply it in a two-phased approach; it doubles the time and effort, when all I want to do is chuck it on and get rid of those greys. Although it is better for your hair to apply to the roots for the majority of the time, topping up the rest of your locks in the last few minutes, realistically you won’t overly damage your barnet by chucking on more dye – especially when most of the time it’s already saturated with the same colour. If your priority is those annoying greys, get on with it and then get on with your life.
8. NOT CARING ABOUT INGREDIENTS
There’s so much information online about parabens, silicones, sulphates and so on – and even more so about opting for organic or embracing the natural. Although I’m a firm believer in being informed and making purchasing decisions that work for you, you’re not going to die from a bottle of shampoo. (If you think you are, please stop reading the Daily Mail.) If you care passionately about what you put on and in your body, that’s great – but equally if you really couldn’t give a toss that’s absolutely fine too.

Do you worry about any of these beauty ‘mistakes’ creeping into your daily life? Are you fed up of being made to feel like a rubbish woman because you don’t use seven products on your face every morning, or because you go through a bottle of dry shampoo a fortnight?

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The Iconic Lipliner Becomes a Lipstick

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillowtalk

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillowtalk needs to introduction, it is the nude go-to lip liner for myself and many others for two very good reasons: the shade – the most wonderfully, flattering, lip plumping nude-come-blush pink, coupled with a silky, soft and easy to apply formulation. Now as wonderful as Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillowtalk is, due to the pencil format, constant application and of course all but daily sharpening of the pencil, it is not the most economical lip purchase – not that this is an expectation from a luxury brand. If like myself your Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillowtalk habit has somewhat become a situation of finical crisis, then the arrival of Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk will be something of a revelation.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillowtalk
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillowtalk

What can I say about the Charlotte Tilbury copper, intricate and very much art deco inspired, lipsticks and compacts that hasn’t been uttered before? Truthfully not much but I do think it is worth noting that aesthetics aside, the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipsticks – regardless of what shade you choose – have been constructed for ease of use. From the weighted tube, to the chiselled lipstick bullet – everything is for convenience and precision, elements that you don’t see all that often within the world of lipstick and the hidden little extras, that enhance the overall application experience.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillowtalk
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillowtalk
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillowtalk

If you have yet to try the staple pink toned nude that is Charlotte Tilbury Pillowtalk, the applied shade will depend on the natural hue of your lips – there is a slight blue undertone which can optically brighten the teeth, but can also result in Pillowtalk leanings lightly mauve toned on certain complexions; best described it is a mid blue toned, pink based nude that in my opinion is universally flattering. A few have asked if Pillowtalk is in any way similar to Secret Salma and the answer is no: one is far more blue toned and deeper than the other which you can hopefully decipher from the above photos.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillowtalk
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillowtalk
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillowtalk
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillowtalk

For those familiar with Pillowtalk and perhaps on their third or forth pencil, I can vouch that there is absolutely no differentiation nor discrepancies in terms of colour or tone, between the two forms of the now iconic lip shade – the main difference is the finish and comfort levels. Typically – and I do say typically as how you wear any beauty product is up to you – lip liners are not aimed at overall lip application and as such can be both a little firmer and drier, which can result in a less than enjoyable experience. With the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillowtalk, you have the same, pretty, everyday nude shade you have come to know and love, coupled with a by far more nourishing and dare I say slightly more matte finish.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillowtalk

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My MAC Cinderella Collection Picks

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Mac Cinderella, Cinderella collection, uk, release date, mac, lipstick, glitter, powder, glitter, pale skin, my pale skin, limited edition, review, first impressions, swatches, Mac iridescent powder, powder, my pale skin, em ford
On Friday morning, the MAC Cinderella collection was finally released in the UK, and unsurprisingly, it sold out within 20 minutes. I was really hoping it wouldn’t release on Friday with it being the one day of the week that I wasn’t in front of my computer as I was attending my part time advertising course at a local London University and was spending the whole day in the classroom.
Luckily for me, I’d given my Partner ‘M’ the heads up the day before that the collection was being released. As soon as I received a text message from April telling me it had gone live, I began manically texting M, hoping my tutor sat across the table from me wouldn’t notice. The boy did good, and I ended up with 4 of the products I was wishing for from the range.
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MAC Iridescent Powder – £23.00
From the images alone, I knew I had to have this gorgeous metallic powder. I’m looking forward to seeing how it works with my skin tone. I have a feeling it’s going to make for a beautiful pink glistening finishing powder on the cheeks.
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MAC Royal Ball Lipstick £17.00
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MAC Free As A Bird Lipstick £17.00
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L-R Free As A Bird & Royal Ball- £17.00 Each
The things I can never have enough of in my make up collection, are Pink & Nude lipsticks. I have to admit, I don’t actually own any MAC Lustre lipsticks and wanting to add a few to my collection, I jumped straight in. I’m obsessed with a soft lip, and the Royal Ball lipstick was my first choice. It’s a beautiful frosted pink shade. The other lipstick in the range is Free As A Bird which is more of a golden nude shade.
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Cinderella Glitter – Reflects Pearl – £18.50
Glitter, oh how I both love and loathe it at the same time. I love a good sparkly eye, but I absolutely hate how much mess it makes. There’s nothing that fills me with a sense of dread more, than the thought of a bottle of glitter erupting in my make up bag and having to clean it up for the next few months. Glitter fears aside, I wanted to push myself and try something new, so I added the Reflects Pearl Glitter onto my wish list. I have absolutely no idea how i’m going to wear it – and it’s worth pointing out that the glitter isn’t eye safe, so beats me what i’ll use it for.
So those are my selects from the MAC Cinderella collection! Did you manage to get your hands on anything before it sold out online? Don’t despair too much, as it actually hits the MAC Stores and Counters on 13th March, so there’s still time to pick up a few bits before you resort to overpriced items on Ebay.

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