Monday 31 October 2016

Cruelty Free Make Up Brushes From L.A.B.2*

Many moons ago now when I first started using make up, I wasn't too bothered about what I used to apply it. I used to use a combination of my fingers, cotton buds, and cheap scratchy make up brushes, and then I used to wonder why I was so bad at applying make up!

With age comes experience though, and now I know that you need good tools to achieve that professional look and finish. Yes, I still use my fingers every now and then but I've now binned all of my scratchy and plasticy brushes, and I've managed to accumulate a nice selection of make up brushes from all different price points, that actually do the job that they're supposed to. Based on my experience I don't think that price is a factor when you're buying make up brushes, yes you can pay a lot of money for a good make up brush, but here's the thing, you don't have to! 

One of the newest brush brands that I've came across is L.A.B. 2. Under the tag line "Live And Breathe Beauty", L.A.B. 2 produce a wide range of  "Luxe For Less" individual brushes, brush sets and make up applicators, that are both hypoallergenic and 100% cruelty free.

Embracing some of the most cutting edge technology available to them, all of their products are made to the highest quality standards available. Each brush consists of a titanium plated ferrule which is non corrosive, and double crimped to prevent wear and tear, and hair loss. Attached to the ferrule is a matte black rubberised handle which is easy to grip, looks good and is easy to clean. 

Where these brushes come into their own though, is with the brush hairs and the heads themselves. Every brush from L.A.B. 2 contains their unique Fibre Luxe Technology. All of their brush heads are created from the best quality synthetics fibres, which are specially designed to mimic the cuticles and feel of real hair. They are also designed not to lose the shape, and they're designed to last.

A little while ago now I was sent two brushes from the range to try out for you, and they've been a staple in my beauty routine ever since.

L.A.B. 2 Beyond A Shadow Of A Doubt Brush

This quirkly named brush is one of L.A.B.2's eyeshadow brushes, and at just £4.99, it's one of the cheapest brushes in their line.

With a shiny black ferrule, and a matte black rubberised handle with the name and use clearly printed on it, this is a typical slightly stubby, dome shaped eyeshadow brush.

The hairs are very smooth and soft but they're very densely packed, which gives you a nice and firm, and easy to control brush head. The brush is perfectly shaped and it has the perfect texture to pick up any type of product, be it a cream, a pressed powder, or a loose powder, with ease

The brush head is probably a little bit too big for detailed work, but it's perfect for applying eyeshadow all over the lid, and for blending.

L.A.B. 2 Don't Get Mad, Get Even Foundation Brush

I was also lucky enough to be sent L.A.B. 2's classic foundation brush. and I have to say that I've really enjoyed using it. Like so many people I've been experimenting with different brushes, and blending sponges but sometimes you need to revisit the classics.

I say classic but other than the shape of this brush, there is nothing classic about this brush. With the rubberised, easy grip handle, and the synthetic brush hairs. This brush is an updated version of the classic foundation brush that we all know and love.

With a flat head and a slightly tapered edge, this brush is perfect for applying both liquid and cream foundations, and for getting into those tricky areas around the nose and mouth.

Because these brushes are synthetic, you can use them with creams and liquids without damaging the brush. I've washed the foundation brush a couple of times already, and with just a bit of detergent and a bit of water, and a little bit of pressure, it comes up as good as new and I didn't lose a single hair in the process - result! This brush is a little bit more expensive at around £9.99 but in my opinion, it's still excellent value for money.

Although I've only tried a couple of the brushes from the L.A.B. 2 line I have to say I'm impressed. The brush quality is excellent, and I particularly love the rubberised handles, and the synthetic bristles, These brushes are both hypoallergenic and cruelty free and they retail at a really competitive, purse friendly price point. Prices start at around £4.99 for an eyeshadow brush and only go up to around £19.99 for a full brush set. You can find out more about L.A.B. 2 via their own website and you can also buy the brushes from various retailers including Asda, Ocado / Waitrose, Amazon and Superdrug. Have you tried L.A.B. 2 brushes? Let me know your thoughts x


Wednesday 26 October 2016

A Very Late September 2016 Primark Haul

I Breaking News - Louise starts a blog post with another apology lol! Today's post is super late and I'm sorry! October ends next week and here I am posting a collective Primark haul from September - me bad! Never mind I've got a lot to show you so I'll quit apologising and get started.

As I've said on numerous occasions I love autumn and winter when it comes to fashion I love layering and wrapping up warm, and I do love a nice piece of cosy knitwear, so it's probably no surprise that I'm starting this haul with a lovely fluffy jumper.

You really can't beat Primark for good value cosy knitwear pieces and this one very much defies the £12 price tag. Primark have sold similar sweaters for the past few years now and have a bottle green one with different coloured and sized crystals, and I also have one in an aqua shade with slightly larger crystals around the neckline.

Made of a super soft feeling yarn, this one is in a beautiful blush pink colour, but what takes it to another level, is the beautiful, heat sealed crystal detailing on the neckline. It almost looks like you're wearing a necklace. Long gone are the days when you could only wear sparkles or glitter for a special occasion or a night out, I fully intend to wear this jumper during the day, to add a bit of sparkle to those dull autumn and winter days.

The next couple of clothing pieces that I picked up aren't out and out autumn and winter pieces by any means, in fact for me they're probably more like spring and summer pieces. That said depending on the occasion and who you style, I think that you can wear pretty much anything at any time of year.

This piece in particular has a very spring, summer feel, probably down to the bright floral print but I do think that it's a piece that I can make work in the colder months.

It's basically a  heavier chiffon feel, black patterned, sleeveless long line blouse, but it has splits up the sides and the buttons only go to half way down the blouse which gives a sort of long shirt tail look,

In the summer I can imagine this been worn either buttoned or loose over a pair of denim shorts but in the colder months I think I'm probably going to be wearing this open as more of an jacket or a waistcoat over long sleeved t-shirts, thin polo necks and jeans. It was £10.

The item that I got is another piece that will take my from season to season, it's basically a very smart, boxy, colour block top. With blocks of ivory, and navy, and black trims it has a very trendy, exposed zip at the back. The fabrics vary depending on the colour and it is a tiny bit sheer so I will probably need to wear a camisole or a vest underneath. This top was also £10.

Next up nightwear - admittedly I spend a lot of time in bed but I don't think that even that explains my total obsession with nightshirts and pj's. I am literally running out of space in my nightwear draws and still I buy more. Who could resist this pretty, snuggly brushed cotton feel nightshirt though!

I know that there are a lot of Disney fans out there and Primark at the moment have a lot of Disney pieces in all of their different departments. This lovely candy pink striped number is in the traditional nightshirt style and features Minnie Mouse appliques on each side. It was also £10 which is great value for a piece that will keep you warm and snuggly all winter.

Now this piece could be worn either as an everyday t-shirt or as a sleep tee. I found it in the nightwear and lingerie department, and since I love everything to do with New York for just £4.50 I had to have it.

It's basically just a long line khaki t-shirt, but it features an outline of the New York skyline, in a rose gold tone foil. I did initially buy it as a sleep t but I definitely think I will be wearing it as a t-shirt instead.

Next up feet and footwear! My feet are strange, because I have thyroid problems they get quite dry, and I also have a few circulation issues that means that they're either burning hot or stiff and icy cold I can't win, and whilst I love walking around the house in bare feet, I know that I need to keep my feet warm, and what better way to do it than by wearing a pair of these.

How cute are these? These super cute Hedgehog Cosy Footlets are made of a lovely soft and cosy fabric, and they also have non slip pads on the sole so unlike just plain socks you can walk around the house and even on wooden floor without slipping. These were just £3.50 and they have lots of different animals and characters to choose from.

From something a bit silly to something stylish but very, very practical, winter boots! Living up north like I do and in a semi rural area, a good pair of boots are a real essential for the autumn and winter months

Whilst these ones are super practical they also have a stylish edge, the chunky heel, and the buckle detailing gives these boots more of a fashion look, but for ease and practicality they have a side zip fastening. Okay they aren't leather but for just £15 i think that these boots are a solid investment and I've already worn quite a few times already with trousers, skinny jeans and even with tights and a dress.

Whilst i don't think I'm quick ready to wear this next item yet, I do love a winter hit, I bought something very similar for ebay last year in a navy, but since quite a few of my coats are black I thought I'd get myself a nice black, rib knit hat, with a huge faux fur pompom on it, we as you do. This cosy hat was only £2 and it comes in several other colours.

That was it for clothes and accessories but I did pick up a few jewellery pieces including this long line gold tone, tassel detail necklace which was £2.

and this silver tone long line, pendant cluster necklace, which was £2.50. I already a very similar necklace from Primark in a gold tone, which I've worn an awful lot so there was no way that I was leaving this one behind.

Since this blog is? / was predominantly a beauty blog, I always have a little look at the beauty selection in any shop that i going into and Primark is no exception. I went into both the Newcastle and the Intu Metrocentre store last month so I managed to have a proper look at all of the new additions. There were a couple of things make up wise that I might pick up in the future but this time round I picked up a few nails bits and a few essentials.

I eventually managed to get my hands on a couple of bottle of the PS Cuticle Oil. I talked about this stuff in a recent favourites video and I absolutely love it but I was having trouble finding. Thankfully both stores had it so I decided to stock up. OPI Avoplex is my true love but I'm still going to keep dabbling with this one. At just £1 a bottle the brush is good, and it actually sinks into your nails and cuticles rather than just sitting on the surface. Love, love, love it and it's definitely something that i will keep buying.

Something else that was a repurchase is the PS Nail Polish Twist Pot which is also £1. I was never a big lover of this type of remover but at last I get it. I don't normally use these to remove a full manicure instead I use them for when I make mistakes or for when I just need to touch up one nail.

A little while ago now I posted a nails of the day featuring a nameless PS Gel Effect Nail Polish in a sort of periwinkle, forget me not, blue, lilac shade. Despite the fact that I bemoaned the lack of identifying name or number, I love the colour and the formulation, so much so in fact, that i decided to pick up another shade.

Yet again this is one of the nameless ones, but this time it's in a sort of jade, mint green colour. I went through a phase where I was obsessed with mint greens, turquoise and Tiffany blue like shades, and with the purchase of this shade and the launch of the OPI Breakfast At Tiffany's collection, I can feel that obsession returning.

Something else that I'm obsessed with is of course the PS Love Your Skin Oil Balancing Cleansing Wipes. I've lost count of how many packets of these that I've bought but I have a lot of swatch photographs to take in the next week or so, so I thought I would stock up. They are just £1 for two packs of 25 wipes.

The final beauty item that i picked up was another one of the rose gold tone make up brushes. This is the PS Double Ended Angled Brow Brush which was just £1.

This is definitely the year when I got the whole concept of the eyebrow and thanks to regular waxing and good products, I'm finally starting to see a proper brow shape forming. Over the last few months I've been experimenting with a lot of brow products, and as good as some of the tiny brushes that come with products are, nothing beats a full sized brush.

I've loved every single brush that I've bought from this range and this one is another win. It's double ended and it comes with an angled brush head to apply waxes, pomades and powders, and at the other end you have a spoolie brush. You could also at a push use the slanted end for cream and gel liners. This brush is a bargain and well worth picking up.

Finally home wear and more specifically candles. Yes, if you didn't get see enough candles in my last haul post, I've got a few more for you now. First up another pineapple candle, I have a few of these from both Primark, and H&M now, but I particularly love these small scented Primark ones.

This one is in a lovely dusky, lilac mauve ceramic and it contains and beautiful, delicately scented Rose and Lychee candle. It was £3.50

Finally i picked up this beautiful set of ornate glass, tea light holders, which was also £3.50.

I think that this set would make a great gift for anyone that likes pretty things, with a slightly vintage look. They are nicely packaged and each one of the holders comes with an unscented tea light, I've swapped them for some of my Yankee ones but they would also look really pretty with a flame less, battery operated tea light inside.

Well as well as late, this haul was also pretty epic, so well done if you've all of this post. You can watch the accompanying video via this link or below x

If you have any questions on anything in this haul please let me know x Thanks for reading and I will see you soon with a review post xx

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Lou On Nail Posts And A Nails Of The Day - Nails Inc - Royal Mews

Although they're often the quickest posts to write, nails of the day post can often by one of the hardest posts to do. Not only do you have to paint your nails as perfectly as possible, you then have to take and edit, dozens and dozens of pictures in order to capture the shade in it's truest form. I'm a bit of a perfectionist I'm afraid and even if I've photographed the most beautiful polish in the world , if it doesn't look right, the post will never see the light of day, unfortunately Models Own Diamond Luxe Asscher Blue I'm talking to you!

Never mind, that one polish fail means that I've got the opportunity to show you something equally if not more beautiful, Nails Inc - Royal Mews.

Although in the bottle  this looks as though it's a slightly iridescent silver, on the nails it's a beautiful silver holograph. I think holographic polishes are probably my favourite polishes in the whole world, I love the sparkle, and I love how the colour and the finish changes, depending on the light and how you move.

The polish itself is a little bit watery, and I needed three coats to cover my naturally creamy nail tips. Thankfully though it didn't take too long to dry down to a super smooth finish which is definitely worth a bit of extra drying time. Unlike a lot of holographic polishes the wear time on this one was pretty decent, and it could always be improved with a bit of topcoat.

All of these photographs are taking with the flash but I also managed to take the following picture in natural daylight with a bit of sunshine, so you can see how the colour can change from a bright sparkle to a more subtle holographic shimmer.

This isn't the sparkliest holographic polish that I've ever used but it's still a real beauty. Alas I think that this polish is a long gone limited edition, but you could always have a look on ebay, and pray for a reintroduction, Nails Inc sometimes do bring back discontinued shades so you never know. If not have a look around and I'm sure you will find something similar. Holographic polishes aren't the most common of things unfortunately but you can usually find a few different ones from overseas on ebay. Are you a fan of holographic polishes? Let me know your favourites x

Saturday 22 October 2016

Another Home Haul - Candles, Lighting And More

Have you ever had one of those days where you just can't concentrate on anything, and where if someone asked you your name, you wouldn't be able to remember it? Well I think I'm having one of those weeks! Last night I started uploading a You Tube video only to notice this morning that I'd actually updated the wrong one! Argh bigger disasters at sea I suppose, so instead of getting a Primark haul, today your getting another collective home haul instead. Of course I hadn't edited any of the photos that I needed, so guess what I've spent all afternoon doing!

It's been a bit dull and rainy this afternoon though, so I've been chilling out with a few candles lit and working on my tappy lappy, as mum affectionately calls it. it therefore makes sense to start off this haul with a few (or a lot of) scented candles.

In the last home haul that I posted I showed you a lovely hamper of Yankee Candles from QVC that I'd picked up on auto delivery, well just before I'd finished that post my second Yankee Candle 39 Piece Seasonal Hamper arrived.

Again it came beautifully packaged in a sturdy canvas storage basket, and like before it contained, 12 of Yankee's famous votive / sampler candlers. You got two of each in the following autumnal fragrances, Autumn Nights, Sweet Apple, Ebony and Oak, Rhubarb Crumble, Honey Clementine and Cranberry Pear.

It also contained two green bucket style, glass votive holders, and two boxes of 12 tea lights, in the Autumn Night and Honey Clementine fragrances.

I've got to be honest and say that are a few fragrances in this drop, that just aren't me, I'm still going to burn them and try them though, and if I don't like them, I may hold a little Yankee Candle giveaway later in the year. Last time I looked this kit was actually still available on QVC UK all be it for a higher price than what I paid. I think there kits are a great way to try some new fragrances, and I'm in love with a couple of new discoveries, Cranberry Pear and Rhubarb Crumble. If you can't get your hands on this kit, most of these fragrances should be available from various other Yankee Candle retailers.

Although I love my Yankee Candles,  over the last few months I have been trying to try out a few different candle brands, and after buying my mum one of their Parma Violet fragranced candles for her birthday, I recently bought myself a candle from Flamingo Candles, in the fragrance Mango and Dragonfruit.

Believe me this smells as good as it sounds, sweet, tangy and mouthwateringly fruity. I love the sparkly acrylic flamingo on the jar and I'm in love with this candle. I got mine from the Littlewoods catalogue website but you can also buy Flamingo Candles from various retailers and of course from their own website.

Someone that I have tried candles from in the past is NEXT, I particularly love their Festive Spice fragranced candles and reed diffusers and I've also been pretty happy with the other fragrances that I've tried from them but for a change I decided to try out some of their other festive fragrances.

Beautifully packaged in triangle, tree like box,  tied with a ribbon, this set of 6 fragranced candles, which was just £12 would make a perfect gift.

The box contained 6 candles packaged in different coloured, mercury glass votives, which you could probably reuse. All of the fragrances have a festive feel, and include, Gingerbread, Figgy Pudding, Under The Mistletoe, Cream Liqueur, Mulled Wine and Roasted Chestnut.

Each candle burns for around 15 hours and whilst some of them don't smell quite as I expected, you get a really nice selection of fruity, warming, fresh and woody scents. All of the candles in this box are available in a larger size and I've already bought Mulled Wine in the full size. Many moons ago Yankee Candles produced a fragrance, also called Mulled Wine which I loved, and this is the closest fragrance that I've ever found to it. Please can we have this one in a reed diffuser too, NEXT, pretty please!

I do love a reed diffuser, they make a great substitute for conventional air fresheners, and get a good one and you can easily fragrance a whole room, or even a house without the need to too many chemicals or a naked flame. I do love NEXT's for ever day and for their festive scents, but again I always come to a Yankee and one of my favourite ever fragrances from them, is Lemon Lavender.

Yankee do a couple of different types of diffuser but I do love the traditional candle jar look of this one. I can easily get a couple of months out of one of these in my room, they key is to just keep turning the reeds to refresh the fragrance.

I think I'm going to leave this one in storage till after Christmas now though, as I'm currently in a very foodie, fruity and festive fragrance mood at the moment, hence this purchase of yet another candle!

Although I love Yankee and other brands for their quality and burn time, I couldn't resist this Poundworld purchase. This is a lovely fruity fragrance that is supposedly reminiscent of a Powdered Blueberry Krispy Kreme, have never personally smelled one i can't say but this certainly smells edible! These can't actually that bad for the price I've had a few under the Betty Crocker, Skittles and Chewits branding and they all provide a pleasant if intimate fragrance.

Ahh I do love a pound shop, and although it is still a tiny bit early, I've recently picked up a few things from Poundland's Christmas range.

Ho Ho Ho indeed, I couldn't resist this Santa mug, made of ceramic, it has a cute little slot underneath for your biscuit. There isn't a huge amount of space for drink but I think that this would be perfect for little people.

Over the years I've managed to accumulate quite a few festive character tea light holders from Poundland, and this little fella is my newest addition. I prefer to use these with battery operated tea lights, but obviously you can also use them with a real flame.

Open any interiors magazine and something that seems to be bigger than ever before is lighting. For many years, lighting was an essential but now it's become a trend and more often than not a design feature in the home. I love a bit of mood lighting and the next few pieces that I'm going to show you are about the light.

The first buy is again from Poundland's festive range, and it's another set of battery operated string lights. They have some lovely ones at the moment, and the majority of them to me could be used all round. My mum's already picked up a set of white wooden star lights but I loved this retro looking light bulb string.

I love my fairy lights but at the moment I'm also loving initial lights I already have one but this one that I picked up from Studio was just £9.99 and it was very different to the one that I already have

It's make of wood and it has a smaller, squatter shape than my other Primark metal L. Again it's battery operated and the LED lights are also quite small. As well as the entire alphabet they also have a variety of numbers too.

Something else that I got from Studio, was a Cinematic Lightbox. These are absolutely everywhere at the moment, and I've so many bloggers with them, that it was inevitable that I would jump on the bandwagon.

This one which is around an A4 size was £14.99 and contained 71 letter, number and punctuation tiles. You can get these cheaper but it's better to shop around a little bit. Some of of them are smaller, and some of them don't contain that many tiles. This one don't contain enough letter U's of all things so I had a little look on eBay and i managed to get myself another couple of sets of letters.

The next couple of things that I got from Studio were from my bedroom. First up something pretty boring - this rubber doorstop which was just 99p.

You can get doorstops pretty much anywhere, but I loved the flower detail on this one, my bedroom door has an annoying habit of slamming when any of the upstairs windows are opened so I'm hoping this quirky doorstep will keep it still.

Next up bedding, I didn't really need another duvet set but I loved the colours and the floral pattern on this one, which was just £11.99 for the double set and also from Studio.

Not the best picture I'm afraid but this is what it looks like on the bed. If you're not a Studio customer, B&M stores have the same set for a slightly pricier £14.99.

I love my bedroom pretties and when I saw this particular product on the H&M website, I added it straight to my basket.

I love my pineapples and I now have a display of all my pineapple candles, and trinket boxes on one of my new IKEA Helmer's. This large glass and gold tone glass jar was £7.99 and it also came in a few plain colours.

From sensible pretties, to fun and silly, and another few purchases from Tiger Stores. Like pineapples, Cacti have been everywhere this year, on cushions, clothing and even on the humble eraser.

This one was just £1 and it has major kitsch appeal, I don't think I'll ever use it, but I love a bit of quirky stationery, speaking of which..

I love my daisies and this quirky set just appealed. Again from Tiger, it's a plastic daisy case which contained a variety of mini stationery bits including a mini stapler and staples, mini scissors, a mini highlighter pen, a mini sellotape dispenser, and some mini sticky note page markers.

My final purchase in this haul and from Tiger, was a bit of silly one, a set of make your own paper flowers. I love my crafting and to be honest I haven't done enough of it lately. This kit makes a variety of layered paper flowers which you can then go on to use as card toppers or in scrap booking.

I know that was a pretty extensive and candle filled haul, and whilst it wasn't what I intended to post today I hope you enjoyed it or found it useful x You can watch the offending video below or via this link, so don't forget to have a watch and of course subscribe x

If you have any questions on any of my buys, or if you fancy linking me up to your own home and lifestyle video and post then leave me a comment below x