Saturday, 17 January 2015

Review // Benefit 'Goodies A Go-Go' Eye Kit


Hi! It feels weird to be posting on this little corner of the internet again, as I haven't for over a year. I got stuck in a bit of a blogging rut, and with massive amounts of work on my shoulders I decided to take a little hiatus and come back when I had a bit more time on my hands and a bit more passion! So much has changed since then, and after coming across some of my old favourite blogs recently I can't help myself getting inspired. So I figured it's time to get this up and running again! Although I am now well and truly on a student budget counting the pennies, hopefully I'll have some great bargains and products to review for you, as well as some tips and tricks - and who knows, maybe even some baking (in my student kitchen without an oven!).

The first thing I decided to post about on here (massive decision there) is the Benefits Goodies A Go-Go eye kit. I received this from my boyfriend's parents at Christmas and it has honestly revolutionised my daily eye-look. It includes four eyeshadows: Call My Buff, Thanks A Latte, Gilt-y Pleasure and Kiss Me, I'm Tipsy. These range from a light highlighter shade, through different browns to the darkest, Kiss Me, I'm Tipsy. And who doesn't love a good Benefit pun name?!


It also comes with a great little booklet describing how to use the shades to create a day look, and transform that into a going out look. My favourite combination is to sweep Call My Buff across the lids and right up to the brow bone, then Gilt-y Pleasure across the lids, finishing with Kiss Me, I'm Tipsy across the crease and outer lid. The eyeshadows have great staying power, easily lasting a night out looking flawless and blend together easily.

I know a lot of bloggers would swatch the eyeshadows for colour on skin, but I've always found swatches to be unreliable and completely irrelevant to different skin colours, so you might have to head into a Benefits store to view the true colour - though the photo above shows them reliably.

As for pigmentation, I've been very impressed with the three darker shades, though Call My Buff does tend to require a couple of applications before noticeable. However being a light shade, it tends to be less noticeable so maybe that's just my half-blindness without glasses on!

There's two other parts of the kit to mention -  Stay Don't Stray eyeshadow primer, which seems to do it's job of supporting the eyeshadows well, as well as creating a good base to set the colour. I have to admit, there have been days when I've been too lazy to apply eyeshadow and have just used the primer as an all over base as it's light pigmentation means it softens the eyelids perfectly, providing a tad of coverage to cover light veins or imperfections. As for the They're Real! mini mascara, I am almost certain I've written many a post on this mascara as it is quite simply my dream come true. It applies (after the first few mascara overloaded application) very easily, transferring a perfect amount of product and catching every lash without clumping. See my earlier posts for a full review and photos!

This little set retails for £19.50, which is unbelievable value for 4 eyeshadows and a mini primer and mascara - a quick look on the benefits website shows the products have an actual value of £36.81so it really is a bargain. More than anything, the cute as anything box and leaflet make this a great gift (whether thats for yourself or someone else!) and I will certainly be re-purchasing every single product in here when they run out.

I hope I haven't rambled too much - it's going to take me a while to get back in the swing of things but hopefully I'll have lots of free time this week around lectures to get some photos taken and some posts written - after all, I should have bought lots of new products since 2013! SO... bear with me and have a lovely Saturday everyone :)


Thursday, 3 October 2013

Estee Lauder Double Wear vs. Revlon Colorstay


Until recently, my foundation posts have been swept away into an abyss due to the overwhelming presence of my beautiful Estee Lauder Double Wear. Since discovering this beauty I haven't had eyes for any other foundation, convinced nothing could beat my holy grail.
However, prior to my trip to Portugal last month I finally decided I needed to buy myself a cheaper foundation - I was that girl who decided to get a spray tan before she went on holiday (I absolutely don't tan a single bit), and needed to buy a foundation that was 2/3 shades darker - knowing full well that I'd only wear it after a spray tan, which happens a maximum of once or twice a year.
I did a bit of blog scouring and found that the Revlon Colorstay foundation seemed to be popular, especially with people wanting a long wear, medium-heavy coverage which matched my Double Wear. Unfortunately I accidentally bought the version for Normal/Dry skin instead of the Combination/Oily that I was planning to, but I ended up amazed by the results it gave and have repurchased in my usual close-to-white skin colour! As the two are so similar, I thought it would be useful to do a little comparison - Expensive vs. Drugstore, and see which I prefer!

Price
Starting simple, the Double Wear costs £28.50 for 30ml, and Colorstay costs £12.49 for the same amount.

Packaging
Both foundations come in glass bottles - the Double Wear (shown above) has frosted glass which adds a certain touch of expense to the bottle and shows that it's a cut above the usual drugstore products. I've had to add a MAC pump (see my post here) in order to dispense the product better so not to waste any, but this also has a shut mode so acts as a lid.

The Colorstay also has no pump but I haven't found a pump that fits this bottle so I do feel like quite a bit of product is wasted when I use it. To be honest though in all other ways this packaging looks a lot more high end than it's £12 price tag and I think the glass bottle gives it a definite edge above plastic bottled foundations.

Skin Irritation
One of my big things about foundation is whether or not it's going to set my skin off - I'm extremely prone to breakouts and any kind of change can mess up my skin balance, so I have to pick my foundations carefully. I have to say though, neither of these foundations caused any kind of effect on my blemishes so my skin is obviously in favour of both!

Coverage
Another factor for me is the coverage - because of my past trouble with blemishes I have a lot of those awful red marks that lots of teenage girls will be familiar with - the hyper-pigmentation left after a blemish that can take up to a year to fade. This means I tend to wear full coverage foundations, but because the rest of my skin is improving I've started to experiment with medium coverage as well. I would say the Colorstay is a medium, maybe medium-full depending on what you're used to. It won't cover hyper-pigmentation completely but will only need a tad of concealer to back it up - whereas the Double Wear is without a doubt full coverage - my skin still has a way to go before it hits perfect and this means I have practically zero need for concealer! Neither has a cakey tendency and will look fairly natural as long as you don't over apply - both can look dodgy if you pack it on (which I guess is common sense really..) so just go minimal and you can always add more!

Staying Power
The last comparison I wanted to make was the staying power - the Colorstay has a rather unbelievable claim of 'up to 24 hours wear' and the Double Wear is obviously famous for it's staying power. The Double Wear is definitely superior for stay - it lasts a full day from wake up to bed with almost no movement whatsoever, meaning absolutely no need for top up. The Colorstay does last the day but there's a noticeable difference between wake up and bed - for a flawless look, a top up of concealer would be needed half way through the day. Despite this, it lasted a surprising amount of time and far outdoes any other drugstore foundation I've tried!

In conclusion, the Double Wear is clearly the better foundation - that's to be expected from a foundation £16 more than the Colorstay. However, the Colorstay still holds its own in the battle of foundations and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a cheaper, medium-full coverage foundation as a Double Wear dupe with a little less coverage!


Tuesday, 13 August 2013

My Beauty Bibles


I'm going to start out by saying that I wish someone had stopped me aged thirteen, foundation two shades too orange for my skin, hair scraped back and the scrapings of a Natural Collection mascara on my lashes and just handed me one of these books.

In my opinion, beauty bibles are completely essential: for both a lazy poolside read and a brush up on techniques and tips. I'm not saying these are brought out every day, but each contain their own priceless hints and tips that have helped sculpt my beauty routine.


Bobbi Brown: Teenage Beauty, by Bobbi Brown and Annemarie Iverson
This is a fairly new book that my family brought back from a car boot sale a few weeks ago, but has already graced it's way into my beauty bibles collection. As this book is specifically for teenagers, it focuses mainly on how to achieve beauty in a subtle way - minimum makeup but maximum results, and it also talks about skincare tips for teenage skin, discussing issues such as how to deal with hormonal skin and acne.
If you ignore the scattered 'love yourself, beauty is on the inside' cheesy inspirational lines, it's a good read for younger people wanting to start wearing makeup, or maintain a subtle look.

Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual, by Bobbi Brown
Time for the big one: this gorgeous manual, again by Bobbi Brown (my makeup idol, that woman is a miracle worker!) is the be all and end all of makeup. It contains everything you would everything need to know about makeup of any kind, and displays it all in incredible full page glossy photos. I love that this book goes into great detail and almost feels scientific in it's explanations, so you can really feel like you understand the reasons why her tips work.

Lauren Conrad Beauty by Lauren Conrad and Elise Loehnen
I hadn't heard of Lauren Conrad till I heard recommendations for this book on a blog somewhere as I'd never seen The Hills - but it's pretty apparent at a google of her name that a) she is absolutely stunning and b) that girl knows how to dress! She's also a fellow worshipper of my staple look: the winged eyeliner, so I was in girl crush mode instantly. Again, the book focuses on all aspects of makeup, but also features a section on haircare and a personal favourite - the step by step makeup looks section. I find it fascinating hearing the little tips and tricks people use in their daily routine - and if she ends up looking that good then it must be worth a try.

If you haven't invested in beauty manuals yet then I'd definitely recommend one of these as a starting point - who knows, it could end up changing your entire routine!


Friday, 9 August 2013

Primark A/W Collection 2013 Wishlist



It's got to that weird time of year again: where the weather is finally acceptable in England, and then the shops bring in all their autumn/winter collections. Just looking at wool coats, jumpers and monochrome should be banned in August! Saying this, I'm still only female and could only resist the temptation for a few minutes after seeing a link to the new Primark A/W collections on Rachel Nicole's blog before I rushed to go check it out myself. I also saw her gorgeous wishlist and thought I'd do one for myself!

There is far too much monochrome on here for comfort, but hey, it's autumn and it's allowed! There are around a hundred new pieces on the Look website here but I've just picked a few that I would love in next seasons wardrobe.

Now I just need to get to a shop and buy it all!



Thursday, 8 August 2013

French Cosmetics Haul


Before I say anything about the collection of loveliness I have to share with you all, I have to start with a massive SORRY! It's been about a month since I posted and the only excuse I have is a big old case of bloggers block - if you're a fellow blogger, I'm sure you've been in the same situation where you just can't find any inspiration whatsoever. I'd much rather take a small break as I did than force myself to write about things that I had no passion for at all, so three weeks off plus another week sunning myself in Portugal has been my recovery. I'm glad to say I'm back now and have spent this morning photographing lots of treasures to post about over the next few weeks and I hope I still have some of you on board with Liv Florence!

Enough about me, shall we proceed onto the interesting stuff? If you're a usual reader, you'll know that a while ago I took a trip to Le Touquet in France for the weekend, and being the standard beauty blogger I couldn't help a little trip to Continente to pick up some beauty buys.

1 - Bioderma Sebium H2O
Starting with the stereotype - no blogger is going to travel to France without picking up a couple of bottles of Bioderma. I went for the Sebium version which is green rather than pink, which is meant to be more suited to oily skin as it decreases the sebium being produced in your skin (the oily yucky stuff which helps skin to break out). For those who don't know, Bioderma is a make up remover which also cleanses the skin and is truly famous within the blogosphere - I've been dying for a bottle for a while and though I did want the famous pink version, the green was more suited to my skin so :( I use this after I wash my face to make sure every scrap of make up is removed and it's actually scary to see that even after a proper cleanse, there is usually still muck on my face! I got a two pack of 500ml bottles which cost around 16 euros - amazing considering on amazon, a single 500ml bottle goes for around £15-20.

2 - Klorane Eye Makeup Remover
This was more of a spontaneous buy - I needed some eye makeup remover for my holiday and remember Ruth from A Model Recommends saying she liked this one. I have pretty sensitive eyes so usually rely on my Body Shop Camomile Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover, but this one is also supposed to be gentle and has a pH similar to that of tears (which while sounding a bit creepy, does mean it doesn't cause irritation). This works averagely for an eye makeup remover - though it is really gentle, it takes a while to fully remove eye makeup and I still prefer my Body Shop.

3 - La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo
I picked this up after a friend told me how much she swears by it - I haven't had a chance to try this out yet but it is basically a blemish treatment cream which cures most complexion woes, especially acne/ blemishes. From what I can tell, it can be used as both a direct treatment on blemishes, and as an all over cream to improve basic complexion. I'll be trying it out over the next few weeks and will be sure to pop a review up!

4 - Ducray Keracnyl Triple Action Mask 
This was another spontaneous buy, one that I am very very proud of myself for. This mask is a little miracle worker! It has three functions - absorbing excess sebum using clay, deep cleansing of pores and exfoliating. The first time I used this, it had a mild sting on my face due to what I suppose is the poly-hydroxy-acids - a feeling I actually enjoy with treatment masks, as I can feel it working. After using it, my skin felt amazingly smooth and soft - a couple of days later, a few pimples popped up as usual with a mask, and after they'd disappeared I noticed a dramatic difference in the smoothness and clearness of my skin. In short I adore this mask - I think it was only about 7-8 euros too, so a complete bargain! I'll definitely be stocking up on this when I go to France in a couple of weeks.

5 - Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm
Why am I so predictable?! I picked this up because... because everyone else have it and I want it. And guess what, I love it just like everyone else! It's a fairly matte lip balm, not leaving too much shine, but is very thick and really softens lips - whilst smelling absolutely divine! This again (though I can't remember exactly how much it cost) was quite a bit cheaper than in England, so go me!

Now that I've tried out French cosmetics, I'm completely converted - it's not going to be good for my bank account when I head over to France again in a couple of weeks.. I'm going to want to try even more!


What are your favourite French cosmetics and skincare, is there anything I should try when I go back?



Friday, 5 July 2013

Le Touquet - A French Weekend


Last weekend my family took a mini break from work and school, and headed to the gorgeous seaside town of Le Touquet in France to celebrate my dad's birthday. Le Touquet, nicknamed 'Paris-Plage' which roughly translates into 'Paris by the sea' is a gorgeous little getaway which features chic shops and Parisian visitors, as well as huge sand beaches. We were actually really lucky with the weather and managed to arrive to sunshine, which made for a lovely day of sitting in cafes, admiring the beach views and of course sampling the traditional french food.

Our hotel was also amazing, as it featured a huge indoor seawater spa pool right on the beach, as well as a hotel bar on the beach where we caught some amazing views of the sun setting. I would definitely recommend Le Touquet for anyone looking for a quick authentic French getaway, which was easily reachable through Eurotunnel in literally 3-4 hours from Hertfordshire.

I realise I've been terrible at my posting recently as it's all been happening, but I promise I've got a post lined up all about the French skincare I may have picked up in a cheeky visit to Cite Europe... I'm a blogger, I couldn't resist!


Thursday, 27 June 2013

The Analogue Tee Company






Bit of a different post today, but I thought I'd introduce you all to a new company that my sister has just set up - The Analogue Tee Company. They specialise in unique homemade tie dye t-shirts in a range of colours, and offer a 'custom design' service where you can even choose your own colours and style of tie dye to make your t-shirt totally one of a kind! My sister asked me to model the t shirts for the etsy store so I've popped some of the less awkward photos above for you to all have a look.

They are the perfect top to wear with high waisted shorts for a boho festival look, or oversized and dressed down in winter with a pair of leggings. The t-shirts come in a range of sizes and colours and are just £12.99 each, currently selling on Etsy at http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TheAnalogueTeeCo.

Best of all, if you use the coupon code 'LivFlorence' at checkout, you can get 10% off for the first month!