Friday 30 September 2011

My MAC Collection - Powder Blushers

Hi Guys
Whilst I'm absent I thought I''d start another series on my blog for you - this time it my MAC collection. I've had a few requests both on here and on You Tube for me to show you my not unsubstantial MAC collection so I thought I'd do it on here. Again it's not to show off etc, etc, it more as a little resource for you and for me.
One of the most populated areas when it comes to MAC is cheek products. I'm splitting this category into 3 Powder Blushers, Cream Cheek Products, and MSF's, Beauty Powders, etc.and kits.
The first one on the list is basic powder blushers - I only own 7 of MAC's basic powder blushers now, I've sold quite a few now but I'm happy with the ones I have, apologies in advance though that some of them are limited edition or have been discontinued blame MAC not me ;)

First up is the only regular blusher that I haven't depotted - Bite Of An Apple from the Venomous Villains Collection - what can I say I am a huge Disney fan!

It's a super bright coral pink colour, very, very different from anything else I own - It gives me a proper Snow White flush in the winter, and it's another product in my holiday make up bag as I'm sure the bright colour will work wonders with a tan.

After being against depotting for a long, long time, the lure of Back 2 MAC eventually got me about 12 months ago and I went on a depotting frenzy- my other 6 powder blushers are in a MAC blush palette, the depotting worked pretty well apart from poor Honour which I had to repress. 

Top Row From Left To Right - Buff, Strada, and Honour

Bottom Row From Left To Right - Tenderling, The Perfect Cheek and Well Dressed

As you can see all these blushers are quite similar I admit it I am a creature of habit I tend to go for the same shades and tones all the time. My favourite blush in this little lot has to be Tenderling a gorgeous nude pink. It did used to be Well Dressed, but then I bought Illamasqua - Katie which is a much more pigmented version of Well Dressed so I tend to use that instead.
So that's my MAC powder blush collection, I do have a few in palettes and Beauty Powder blushers but I'll show you those in a future MAC collection post. What do you think of MAC powder blushers and do you have any recommendations ?

Thursday 29 September 2011

My Nail Polish Collection - Essie

Hi Guys by the hopeful miracle of scheduled posting I'm back. If you read LouLouLand on a regular basis and especially my nails of the day posts you'll probably have guessed that one of the first Nail Polish Collection posts was going to feature Essie. Whilst digging through my nail polish I've rediscovered Essie in a big way.
I don't have as many Essie polishes as I have for some other polish brands but I'm fairly happy with the ones that I have got. We'll start with the mini bottles, I have to say Essie minis are one of the best mini polishes I've tried and they compare really well to the larger sizes in quality. More often than not they come in boxed sets, but I have picked a few up as magazine freebies. If you click the shade name you should in most cases be able to see a corresponding NOTD post :), if there isn't one and you'd like to see what the shade looks like on my nails let me know and I'll do a post for you x

Now onto the larger sizes, I mainly purchase my Essie from ebay but I have picked up a few bottles on ASOS - I tend to find that the darker shades apply better and last longer. I have a few of the nude and pale neutral shades and I find they tend to look either none existent on the nails or they tend to streak quite a bit, requiring a few coats to show the colour properly.

From left to to right - Mink Muffs, Sew Psyched, and Mint Candy Apple

Again from left to right - Allure, Sexy Divide, and Luscious Lips

and finally Mademoiselle

I have to say I've been pretty impressed with Essie generally my favourite colours out of the 13 I own  are probably Splash of Grenadine, Lapis of Luxury and Sexy Divide. Do you like Essie polishes and if so what are your must have colours?     

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Up, Up, and Away - Nails Of The Day

OK Guys
Were just about ready for the off now, just time for an all be it shortened nights sleep, we have to be at the airport before 6am eek! My suitcase has been weighed, and re-weighed numerous times to try and get it under the 15 kilo limit, and my hand luggage has been packed to it 5 kilo limit. I really don't travel light lol  I like to have lots of my things around me and plenty options lol. My mum physically blanched at the weight of my toiletry bag although she knows full well I take things for her too - she never has to pack her own shampoo or shower gel I take enough for both of us lol
Anyways I'm waxed, bathed and fake tanned (although I do look a little bit orange atm -eek), and I've just painted my tootsies and my finger nails, so I thought I'd show you what I'm going with for the journey - a bit of an apology though my nails are not in a good way at the moment I've had so many breakage issues lately

First up finger nails and this gorgeous, gorgeous purple from Essie - Sexy Divide, I really love this colour

I've painted my finger nails purple to match my travel bag, and the top I'm travelling in- sad aren't I lol
My toes however are a more conventional holiday colour a bright coral red and a recent magazine freebie - Leighton Denny - Viva La Diva

It will look better when my fake tan develops or when I hopefully get a real tan but it's a great colour for a late summer holiday:)
So that's me just about ready for the off, don't worry though I may pop up on twitter if I can find some free wifi , and I've left a few scheduled post for you including a couple of nail polish collection posts including my Essie nail polish collection, the start of my MAC collection series, a September summary, a Budget Beauty series post and a little recipe so don't forget to keep checking back - it will be like I've never been away xx Oh and don't forget about my giveaway I added some pics yesterday of what you can win and there is more to come- click here to check it out x Hope you all have a great week and I'll see you soon xx

Monday 26 September 2011

Deep Cleansing Your Face With Lovea Bio - A Review For My Pure

I have to say there is nothing I love more than using a deep cleansing face mask, my skin always feels super clean and fresh afterwards. I must admit I have had my bad experiences with certain clay and mud masks but it's doesn't stop me trying new ones. My skin has been pretty good for a little while now only getting the odd blemish or two but I'm still prone to oiliness especially on my t-zone, in my quest for fabulous skin for my holidays I decided to try a face mask as part of this months My Pure reviews, the mask I went for was the Lovea Purifying Face Mask

I've reviewed quite a lot of Lovea products on my blog so far but this is the first facial product that I've used. Like all of their products the masks are organic and 98% natural.The Lovea Purifying Mask comes in 3 variants Yellow Clay for Dry Skin, Pink Clay for Sensitive Skin, and the one I went for Green Clay for Oily Skin.

As you would expect the key ingredient in these masks is Kaolin (Clay) which is known for it's oil absorbency, but the masks also contain Shea Butter and Vegetable Glycerin to add moisture, and Aloe Vera to calm the skin.

Packaged in a squeezable tube, the green clay mask is unsurprisingly bright green in colour, it has a thick but creamy texture, which spreads out easily onto the skin.

and a scary picture :)

Lovea advise you leave the mask on for about 5 minutes, and that you remove it before its completely dry. This is the first time I've used a mask like this normally they tell you to leave it till it's totally dry! I generally used a sponge or warm water to remove the mask. Because there was still a bit of dampness in the mask and it wasn't completely dry, it was actually pretty easy to remove, sometimes you have to scrub with clay masks but I didn't find that with this one, only the parts where it was thinner and had dried required a bit of pressure.
The most surprising thing with this mask was how my skin looked and felt when it had been washed. There was a noticeable glow to the skin but no redness, and the skin actually felt smooth and moisturised. This is exactly the opposite to how a deep cleansing mask normally makes your skin feel, your skin usually feels a little tight and maybe even dry, but my skin almost felt as though I had just applied a moisturising cream.

I really liked this mask I've been using it once a week for the past 4 weeks and I've really liked the way it leaves my skin, having said that I probably wouldn't buy this mask again! So why won't I buy something that my skin obviously likes? well it's very personal thing and that's the smell! Sometimes if we don't like a smell we can live with it but sometimes we dislike something so much we just can't get past. I hate marzipan and bitter almond so much it's untrue I can't stand the taste and I can't stand the smell. The mask smells exactly like a bottle of almond essence, it's strong and it's next to my nose! it does die off a little bit as the mask starts to set, but the minute the water hits it, it's back again! Sorry Lovea and My Pure I love the mask but the smell is too much for me :(

Lovea Bio Purifying Face Mask Green Clay Oily Skin 75ml retails at £6.99 from My Pure, don't forget though if you don't have oily skin you can also get it this mask in variants suitable for both dry and sensitive skins. That isn't all though if you spend £25 at My Pure you can get one of these masks absolutely free with your order. Any questions leave me a comment, and please tell me I'm not the only one that doesn't like the small of marzipan?

(Lovea Bio Purifying Face Mask Green Clay 75ml Was Provided By My Pure For Review Purposes.)

Sunday 25 September 2011

Sorting Out My Wobbly Bits With Soap & Glory ??

OK I'll start by saying that I don't believe that you can firm your wobbly bits up just by massaging in a cream, you need a good diet and plenty of exercise to do that, but since my diet is at times debatable and since I can do almost no exercise, in order to get beach ready I thought I'd give a cream the almost impossible task of firming up my bum. Don't worry guys no shots of my wobbly bits here, but I did decide to try a product from one of the high streets most quirkiest beauty brand, Soap & Glory.

Soap & Glory's Sit Tight appears to be a miracle in a tube, firming and toning our bums and thighs while we do nothing else other than sit down! I'm not going to get into the science behind it, I'm no expert but they claim that this product which is high in caffeine, uses the sitting down motion (or lack of it!) helps the product to work better in breaking down the fatty tissue on the lower body. Not only that but they claim that the simple action of massaging the product in everyday will help boost the circulation in the bum and thighs helping to shift fat and fluid build up. If the blurb is to be believed that could be the lazy girls answer to a firmer bum, bring it on I say!

I have to say straight away I have given this stuff a fair go, I don't mean I've used it for weeks, I have used this stuff for months and months, so yeah I've given it a fair crack of the whip!

Boxed and packaged in a 200ml squeezy tube, Sit Tight, has a off white colour, and a gel/cream type texture. It has a slightly menthol based smell.

Soap & Glory advise that you massage the product into your thighs every morning, as you know I'm not a morning person so I've been using it every evening instead. It spreads out really easily on the skin and after a little bit of massaging it absorbs right in leaving no stickiness or tackiness.

This is when the magic supposedly happens and do you know what? you can feel something happening. When you sit down you can actually feel a tingling, slight burning sensation on your thighs, this was a bit of a shock to be honest, it was pretty tingly! Strangely enough though I always see that as a positive with firming products it actually feels as though its working and doing something, no pain no gain as they say, and it only lasts a minute or two so its no big issue. Well were my thighs miraculously firmed, toned and cellulite free, no of course not! As I said you can't achieve a perfect body just by rubbing on a cream, but I do think that the skin on my thighs feels smoother and a tiny bit firmer. The difference is particularly evident just after the cream has absorbed, so I guess it's something you need to keep using, I'm definitely going to keep using it after all it isn't doing any harm. Soap & Glory Sit Tight retails at around £14.30 for 200ml from Boots and ASOS. Any questions please let me know and do you have any cellulite or body firming cream recommendations? Is there such as thing as a miracle product?

Saturday 24 September 2011

Hospitals and Hauling

Hi Guys
I didn't plan to do a haul post before my holidays but I managed to haul without actually spending any money, more on that later though ;)
Yesterday my mum had a hospital appointment to see her surgeon about her knee replacement, it went pretty much as we expected and she's been given the go ahead to have her operation in January, the only problem is it won't be at any of our local hospitals, it will probably be in Bishop Auckland which is about 20-30 miles away! It's still in the same county but it will take some getting to for visiting, two buses + not good! Never mind as my mums says we'll cross those bridges when we come to them.
After sticking it out in the hospital for a few hours, we then headed off to Tesco's - we only wanted a few bits to last us the weekend but of course Louise had a ulterior motive, this particular stores sells Vivo cosmetics. If you read my review the other day you'll now that I wanted a few more bits, well Mummy Lou kindly got me a few bits using the words if you get it now you won't get it when we're away, hmm anyways I got a few things including two of the Baked Blushers:
Rouge Shimmer

and Peaches and Cream

I also got two of the pearl eyeshadows - Golden Leaf and Pale Gold

one of the lipsticks in Barely There

and one of the baked eyeshadow and blush palettes in Chocolate Box

I haven't got time to review these bits before I go on holiday but I will definitely do some reviews and swatches when I get back. I have to say though my first impressions are good, oh and if you enter my giveaway, I also got some Vivo cosmetics to add to the prize pile so don't forget to check it out x
As well as the hospital and Tescos, I also visited a few Boots stores on the hunt for the 17 Magnetized Nail Polish - can I hell find it? the assistants had no idea what I was talking about - total fail! Never mind I saw the make up was on 3 for 2 so I had a little guilt free splurge, guilt free because I used my advantage card point to pay :) I got 2 nail polishes from the new 17 collection A Woman Scorned - on the left - Revenge, and on the right - Fury

I can't wait to try these out it looks like I'll have to wait till I get back from my hols unless I change my polish everyday for the next 5 days though lol
As it was 3 for 2 I also picked something else up one of the Rimmel lipsticks from the Kate collection

Created by or inspired by Ms Moss, the one I went for was 03 which is the nude in the line.

Did I need another nude lipstick, definitely not did I want it yeah why not especially since I couldn't find anything else I wanted - I really wanted Revlon Facets of Fuchsia nail polish but my little Boots doesn't do Revlon anymore boooo. So that was my Friday, plans for this weekend tidying up a bit, finishing my packing, and posting and scheduling a few blog posts. Hope you all have a nice weekend and I'll try and pop a little review up for you tomorrow x Any questions please leave me a comment x

Friday 23 September 2011

Nails Of The Day - Grey Or Beige ? You Decide

I was at a bit of a loss so I thought I'd do another nails of the day post for you, thankfully I managed to take these pic before yet more nail breakage! I normally struggle with post titles but this one strangely enough came quite easily,even the You Decide bit which I feel must be said in my native northern twang a la Big Brothers Marcus Bentley, The only reason to watch that drivel is to listen to his almost familiar voice, then again I could just go down to the street to hear the same accent .I haven't put myself through the torture of watching Big Brother for some time now and I have to say I don't intend to, too many talentless fame seekers - My name is Louise and I hate reality TV!!! grrr!!

Anyway I digress, the post title pretty much sums up how I feel about this colour - Essie Playa Del Platinum. Is it grey?, maybe, is it beige? erm yeah maybe. This colour seems to be a perfect combination of dirty grey, mushroom, taupe and beige. Like so many Essie's in my collection this one is a cream polish, which means it's prone to streaking, this is two coats on most nails although my thumb has three but that's more down to my bad painting than the formulation. Oh and ignore the cat scratch I have matching ones on both hands that just appeared one morning hmm the joys of pet ownership!

I don't know why this came out with the Resort Collection last year, It seems to me to be very much an autumnal colour, not a summer one. I have to say at the moment sludgy colours are the way to go for me, khakis, greiges and beiges with just a touch of glitter and sparkle thrown in, hopefully I can snap out of it by holiday time - oranges, pinks and reds - bring it on ;) Have you abandoned your summer nail polish shades yet? let me know. I'll be back tomorrow with a little haul for you xx

Thursday 22 September 2011

Scrubbing Up For My Holidays With Acorelle - A Review For My Pure

OK It's less than a week to go to my holidays so I'm starting to get a little bit excited now :) This week I'm going to be reviewing a couple of things that are getting me beach ready - no not a home liposuction system or become a beach babe in a bottle, but a body scrub. Your probably getting sick of me reviewing body and face scrubs but my name is Louise and I'm addicted to scrubbing ;) The scrub in question is part of this months My Pure reviews, it's the Acorelle Skin Care Body Scrub.

I've already tried a few of the Acorelle products (Click here and here to see some reviews) and I have to say I've generally been quite impressed. Acorelle predominantly focus on hair removal and body and skin care related products so it's no surprise that they have a body scrub in their range. Scrubs are an important part of my holiday preparations, before I go on holiday I wax and I fake tan, and scrubs are essential for getting rid of the dead skin that can interfere with hair removal, and make you fake tan streak.

The Acorelle Body Scrub contains a wide variety of  moisturising ingredients such as Royal Jelly, Argan Oil and Beeswax to nourish the skin, as well as containing walnut and apricot kernels to exfoliate the skin.
The product comes in a 200ml tub. The first thing I noticed was the smell. It has quite a distinctive but not unpleasant smell, my mum says it reminds her a bit of tea, but I think it has quite a nutty fragrance, you can really smell the argan oil and also a hint of almonds

The scrub itself has quite a creamy consistency, but you can see the larger grains with in it

When you apply to the skin you also feel a slightly smaller particle in the scrub, it's abrasive but not at all harsh or scratchy. I applied this product on to my damp skin usually while I was in the bath, it massaged on nice and easily without any dragging. It did take a bit of rinsing off but it was well worth it this scrub left my skin feeling super soft and actually quite moisturised not greasy or oily which you sometimes get with scrubs.

I have to say I actually really liked this scrub despite normally preferring sugar and salt scrubs, I found this did the job but it didn't irritate my skin, which will be ideal for when I'm removing hair or when my skin is a bit more sensitive. There is one tiny drawback with it though - it failed Mummy Lou's clean bath test - She hates it when the remnants of body scrubs and so on are left on the bottom of the bath - she's convinced their going to scratch the enamel - as you can see above there are quite a few grains leftover. Never mind I liked it and I can always rinse the bath out ;) Acorelle Skin Care Body Scrub 200ml  retails at £12.99 from My Pure. If you have any questions please leave me a comment xx

(The Acorelle Skin Care Body Scrub 200ml Was Provided By My Pure For Review Purposes)

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Budget Beauty Series - Vivo

Unless you've been living under a rock then you'll already have heard of the newest make up brand to hit the blogesphere Vivo. Labelling themselves as the MAC of supermarket make up brands Vivo launched earlier this month. Exclusive to Tesco stores Vivo promises on trend, catwalk inspired products, available in a convenient location and at a bargain price. Big claims indeed from a budget brand but budget beauty is what I'm all about at the moment so I was keen to give the brand a go and even more so when I found out the Vivo line is from the brains behind MUA! The lovely people people from Vivo were kind enough to send me a few items from the range to try, I've had a little chance to have a play with my goodies so I thought I'd let you know what I think :)

First up eyeshadows, Vivo offers a full range of eyeshadows including pearl and matter single shadows that retail for £1.50 each, but they also offer 5 different Trio Eyeshadow Palettes that retail at just £2.50. I was lucky enough to be sent one of these trios in Green With Envy

In a chunky compact, which features a super slim mirror, and a double ended applicator, you get 3 circular shadows

Unsurprisingly given the name, the trio I received features 3 beautiful green colours, a lighter green, a darker green and a very dark blue / green shade, all with a gorgeous shimmer running through them. Apart from the colour the first thing you notice about the shadows is how soft and smooth they are, they literally feel like butter between your fingers. What about pigmentation though? well see for yourself

Good so far but what about on the eyes ? - well on the back of the shadow compact, it gives you full instructions on how to apply all three shades to create a perfect eye look, so that's what I did followed the instructions. First of all pictures taken without the flash you can see more of the actual colours here but less of the almost metallic sheen

Finally some pictures taken with the flash, although these pictures don't show the true colours of the lighter greens, they do show the beautiful shimmery metallic effect of these shadows

I have to say I am really impressed with this shadow trio, the shadows are super smooth, and pigmented and they last! I wore these colours for over 8 hours and whilst there was some fading they were still there at the end of the day. For just £2.50 I have to say these shadows are well worth picking up.

Now, cheek products, I have to say this part of Vivo's inventory really excited me. They really have introduced something for everyone, their cheek product range includes a bronzer, 3 shades of blush and highlighter duos, a highlighter, and baked blushers and bronzers. Yes you heard me baked blushers and bronzers, first up the blushers. OMG after looking a various swatches and pictures of these floating around in cyberspace all I can say is I want!!!

They come in 4 shades and I have to say I don't think there is one I wouldn't love to own. My hearts desire though is Peaches and Cream - why? because it looks to be an almost exact dupe MAC MSF in Stereo Rose I need this!!! At just £4.00 each you really can't afford not to try these and I can't wait to find them and give them a go!

As well as blushers the Vivo baked range also includes 3 different Baked Bronzers, Sunkissed, Bronze and Healthy Glow. The lovely people at Vivo were kind enough to send me one in Healthy Glow. For just £5.00 you get 12g of product. I haven't seen the other shades yet but based on the description you would assume that Healthy Glow is potentially the most natural and it is.

This is a lovely natural toned golden nude coloured bronzer, it does have a little bit of shimmer in as you can see here but it certainly isn't overloaded with shimmer or glitter

I have to say I am scared stiff of bronzers but this one is so light and the tiny bit of shimmer means it's never going to look muddy or flat. You can see it too well here, I've used it one my eyes and cheeks but you can see the glow gives off.

The isn't the most bronze, bronzer you'll ever use and on some people it can probably be used as a highlighter, but on me it really lives up to it's name and give me a healthy glow - another winner x

The final offering in the Vivo baked range are these fabulous looking Baked Shimmer Palettes

In a choice of 3 variations each palette contains one baked blusher, and 4 baked eyeshadows, all for just £6.00 imagine what MAC or Laura Geller would charge for something similar not £6.00 that's for certain - these are definitely on my wishlist too!

It's all very well having pretty colour on your eyes and cheeks but first of all we need to prep our skin and create a flawless base. Vivo have produced a full range of base products including a primer, a concealer kit, face powders, and foundations all for less than £6.00! They very kindly sent me one of there Undereye Roll On Concealers to try.

At just £3.59 for 10g of product this comes in two shades a Light and a Medium. You probably know the theory behind these, the metal roller ball cools and soothes the eyes whilst at the same time, releasing a light reflecting concealer to cover your dark circles

I have to be honest here and say a certain company does an eye gel /serum in this format which I love, but the concealer variant never ever appealed. Never the less this was the perfect opportunity to give it a try and I was very kindly sent the medium shade 2

I have to see I was a bit wary at first would Medium be too dark? I needn't have worried though it really wasn't it seemed to match my skin perfectly, often concealers like this can be too light and give you the reverse panda effect but not with this one

It blended really well and most importantly for the under eye area, it wasn't heavy or cakey I don't have the worst dark circles ever but I actually really like this and the smooth even finish it gave.

I have to say so far so good with Vivo, the products I've tried so far are really pretty impressive especially when you consider the pricing. There really appears to be something for everyone in the line with the cheapest items being just £1.50 and the most expensive £6.00. The line features all the basic products you could need and a few extras too in face the only thing they don't seem to do is nail varnish! I'm certainly going to be heading to my nearest large Tesco store as soon as possible to check out the full range x What do you think ?is anything catching your eye?

(The Vivo Trio Eyeshadow Palette In Green With Envy, The Baked Bronzer In Healthy Glow and The Undereye Roll On Concealer In Medium Were Provided For Review Purposes - All Other Images Come From The Vivo Facebook Page)