Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Marc Jacobs 'Decadence' - unboxing and first impressions


Today, I will be reviewing the newest, and long-anticipated fragrance by Marc Jacobs - 'Decadence'. I'm a huge fan of Marc's previous scents (Dot, Honey, Lola, Daisy to name a few), and I was very excited about Decadence ever since I first heard about it. This was announced as Jacobs' first 'mature' fragrance - sexy and sophisticated, as opposed to his usual girly, sweet scents. The concept seemed very promising, and I decided to just put my faith in the brand and blind-buy a bottle online before it hit the local stores. Unfortunately, thanks to the incredibly slow mail service, it only arrived yesterday, but I'm glad to finally have it. Today's post will be all about unboxing and first impressions - hope you enjoy. =)


This perfume emanates class and sophistication even before you take it out of the box. I absolutely love the box design - the deep, emerald green colour; the velvety fabric - it looks as if it was meant for some kind of expensive jewellery. It's stylish, elegant, and quite different to the usual colourful, floral, girly Marc Jacobs designs. Definitely worth re-using this box as a little storage space for makeup or jewellery!

Like the box, the bottle is modern, elegant, and unlike anything else I've ever seen. Marc Jacobs always creates the cutest, most eye-catching perfume bottles, and Decadence is no exception. The design is completely unique - the bottle resembles an emerald green handbag with a stylish gold chain (sizes 50ml and above also come with a black silk tassel), inspired by Jacobs' iconic fashion accessories. I was convinced that the bottle was only going to look good in the advert, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it's truly gorgeous in person as well. It looks expensive, high-quality, and is actually pretty heavy. It is a sturdy design, too - you can hold the bottle by the chain, just like a real handbag, and the cap will stay attached (trust me - I tested it!). 



The scent itself is a complete departure from the existing Marc Jacobs fragrances. My first impressions were a little mixed, and that's not because I didn't like what I was smelling - I was just completely surprised! Daisy, Dot, Honey, Lola - they are all such girly, sweet, happy scents. But Decadence? This is a dark, sexy and sultry fragrance. Right from the beginning I could detect lots of amber, which smells warm, earthy and balsamic. Amber is commonly used in night-time perfumes such as Thierry Mugler's Alien, or Chanel's Coco - and Decadence definitely shares that same bold, sexy, 'going out' vibe. I could also smell some dark fruits (possibly plums or blackberries), and something quite sweet that made me think of caramel and honey. This fragrance is very well blended, though, and it was difficult to tell the individual notes apart.


The quality of this perfume is exceptional. Whilst I really love Marc Jacobs, I think that some of his scents come across as a little watered-down, and don't last too long after spraying. Decadence however, is a powerhouse of a fragrance. It's intense, it really fills the room, and it lasts all day. If you want to buy this perfume only because you like Jacobs' previous fragrances - don't! This is completely different from Daisy or Dot. If I had to compare it to something, I'd say that Decadence is slightly similar to Gucci Guilty, or maybe Givenchy Ange ou Demon - elegant, modern, bold; whilst still very sexy and feminine. I think this perfume would be perfect for autumn, romantic dates and going out - ideal if you want to make a statement! 

Pros:
+ Gorgeous, unique bottle design
+ The scent - unusual, elegant, dark and sexy
+ Exceptional quality - it smells luxurious and expensive
+ Good longevity (about eight to ten hours)

Cons:
- Not really suitable for casual wear
- Expensive 

Where can I find it? Decadence is a recent release, and you should be able to find it on the shelves of most major perfume retailers. The price is about £49 for 30ml, £69 for 50ml, and £96 for 100ml. 

Have you tried Decadence? What are your thoughts? =)

Follow
SHARE:

Sunday, 27 September 2015

TIGI Catwalk Oatmeal & Honey review

Having the right products to suit your hair type is essential. This is especially true if, like myself, you regularly subject your hair to colouring and styling (a day without a flat iron is a day wasted!). Whilst I'm completely committed to Pureology as my favourite, go-to haircare brand, I like to completely change up my shampoo and conditioner once every couple of months. I find that using the same hair products for too long makes them less effective, almost as if my hair was 'building a tolerance' toward them. This is why I decided to give TIGI Catwalk Oatmeal & Honey range a try - drawn in by the overwhelmingly positive reviews and a really good price (check out allbeauty.com feelunique.com or Amazon), it seemed like a promising purchase. This range is targeted at dry, damaged hair in need of a moisture boost, and is completely safe for colour-treated hair. Today I will be reviewing the shampoo, conditioner, and the intense nourishing mask.


Oatmeal & Honey shampoo 300ml (£6.95 on allbeauty.com)
The very first thing I noticed when using this shampoo was the scent. This smells absolutely delicious, just like a real oatmeal with lots of sweet honey. This was definitely a big plus for me, but if you prefer your beauty products to be fragrance-free, you might want to avoid this one - the scent is quite intense, and lingers on hair all day long. The consistency of this shampoo is perfect - not too thick, it lathers really well, and you don't need to use too much product in one go. The formula is enriched with wheat protein and vitamin E, which help repair damaged hair and stimulate healthy growth. This shampoo cleanses the scalp and hair well without drying it out, although I can't say that it made my hair look or feel any more moisturised. It definitely made it smell absolutely fabulous, though!

Oatmeal & Honey conditioner 250ml (£8.45 on allbeauty.com)
I was a little disappointed that this conditioner came in such a small size compared to the shampoo (50ml smaller). I always use up my conditioners really quickly, so 250ml didn't seem like much, especially considering the price. That being said, the consistency is quite thick, and it took less product than I expected to cover my very long hair. The scent is as intense as the shampoo, which means that the two go together really well. The formula is enriched with wheat protein and acacia honey to provide intensive nourishment and moisture. I was genuinely impressed with this conditioner; it left my hair feeling soft, silky, and very manageable in terms of styling. I would definitely recommend it to anyone with dry, frizzy hair - I've been using it for a couple of weeks and my hair is noticeably softer and feels more nourished. 


Oatmeal & Honey intense nourishing mask (200g) (£8.99 at fragrancedirect.co.uk)
This is, hands down, one of the best hair masks that I have ever tried. The very first thing I noticed about it was the delightful, buttery texture, which was also surprisingly lightweight. I find that a lot of hair masks end up weighing the hair down, leaving it feeling quite limp and heavy. This one however, is very light and easy to apply, and it smells just as delicious as the shampoo and conditioner. It provides intensive nourishment and moisture, and I could see a noticeable improvement in my hair's texture after just a couple of uses. My dry, split ends look a lot healthier, and my hair feels softer and less frizzy. This mask also provides heat protection, which is useful if you regularly straighten or blow dry your hair. 

Summary
Pros: 
+ the scent - leaves your hair smelling like an oatmeal biscuit!
+ very effective at moisturising dry and damaged hair
+ safe for colour-treated hair

Cons:
- the scent - if you dislike scented shampoos and conditioners, you should definitely avoid this range
- the price - unless you can find a good deal, I'm not sure whether it's worth the full retail price

Have you tried the Oatmeal & Honey range before? What are your thoughts? Let me know your haircare recommendations! x x 

Follow
SHARE:

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Current skincare favourites

Today, I thought it would be interesting to talk about some of my favourite skincare products. My skin can be a little problematic - prone to breaking out, oily, and with a lot of redness. I need to stick to a pretty strict daily skincare regime to keep it under control, and it took me a long time to find the right products for my skin. Here are some of my current favourites. =)


Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (£4.99)
This is my main go-to product when it comes to removing makeup. It's fragrance-free, gentle on the skin, and effectively removes most of my makeup. I also like to use it in the mornings before applying any other products - I find that it really freshens up my skin, and gets rid of any nasties that may have collected overnight. I don't know whether Garnier's micellar water is any more or less effective than other drugstore brands, but I like that it comes in a pretty generous, 400ml size (considerably bigger than other similarly-priced cleansers).


Ziaja Cleansing & Pore Tightening Toner (£2.56)
This was a very recent discovery for me, but now I can't imagine being without it. It effectively removes any last bits of makeup that my micellar cleansing water couldn't handle, whilst soothing the skin and tightening the pores. This toner is infused with nourishing manuka leaves and B vitamins, which really help to keep my oily skin under control. The only downside of this product is that it has a pretty strong fragrance to it (very herbal, a little like green tea), and I wouldn't recommend it if you're skin is prone to drying out.


Bielenda Cucumber & Lime Exfoliating Gel (£4.65)
I use this twice as week as my main exfoliator - it's gentle on the skin, but very effective. I never used to see exfoliating as an essential part of my skincare routine, however, this product has convinced me otherwise. It helps clear any breakouts, and leaves my skin feeling clear and smooth. It contains cucumber and lime extracts which help brighten up the skin, and leave it feeling soft and more radiant.



Garnier Moisture Match Shine Be Gone (£3.99)
I think that having the right moisturiser is the foundation to a good skincare regime. I have a few go-to ones that I like to change up depending on the mood, and Moisture+Matte is my favourite one to use on my lazy, makeup free days. Although not the most hydrating moisturiser, it is very lightweight, and has a lovely, fresh scent to it. I really like how it feels on my skin when applied - it's soothing, refreshing, and enriched with a detoxifying green tea extract. It also does a really good job at mattifying my oily skin for most of the day.



Soap and Glory Wish Upon a Jar night cream (£16)
I absolutely love this product - it provides intense hydration without leaving my skin feeling greasy or heavy. It's enriched with an anti-aging mix of essential fatty acids and antioxidants, which help smooth away any wrinkles and improve skin's elasticity. Thankfully, I don't yet have any wrinkles, but using this product has helped my skin look more radiant, firm, smooth, and also feel wonderfully nourished. The only downside of this cream is the slightly overpowering, chocolate-y scent - whilst not unpleasant, I'm not particularly keen on my face smelling like a chocolate pudding. =(



Garnier Skin Naturals Fresh Essentials (£4.39)
This is one of my favourite budget-friendly moisturisers, and I highly recommend it to anyone with oily to combination skin. It is lightweight, non-greasy and absorbs very quickly, leaving your skin feeling smooth and thoroughly hydrated. The formula is enriched with grape water and vitamin E, which are great antioxidants that help protect and brighten up the skin. This product is great value for money, and I have been re-purchasing it for years. 


Ava Day Green Tea Mosturising Cream (£7.31)
This is another recent discovery for me, which has quickly become my favourite day moisturiser to use under makeup. The consistency is slightly gel-like, and incredibly lightweight. It absorbs very quickly, leaving the skin feeling smooth and hydrated throughout the entire day. It feels as if  you're wearing nothing at all, which is why this cream works so wonderfully as a makeup base.

What are your favourite skincare products? Let me know your recommendations!

Follow
SHARE:

Monday, 21 September 2015

Lancome Juicy Tubes - lip gloss review and swatches

Hey lovelies!         

Today I'm going to do a quick review of a set of Juicy Tubes lip glosses by Lancome. These have been around for a long time, but I only discovered them recently when I picked up a mini set for £15 at my local TK Maxx. This is a travel-size set and it includes five delicious shades: Marshmallow Electro, Lychee, Fraise, Cerise and Pamplemousse.


These high-shine glosses are absolutely stunning, and give your lips a lovely, jelly-like finish. The colours are sheer - although they look rich and intense in the bottle, you will only get a slight tint of colour on your lips. They also feel really hydrating, and make your lips look fuller and plumper. However, the consistency of these glosses is very thick, which makes them a little difficult to apply. They can feel quite heavy on the lips, and you should definitely avoid them if you dislike sticky lip glosses. 


Marshmallow Electro
This is a cool, pale pink shade with a bit of glitter, but I barely got any colour out of it. It has a sweet, sugary smell and taste, a little like bubblegum. This shade is the clearest out of all the Juicy Tubes, and would be a good one to use on top of lipstick, if you want a shimmery, glossy finish. 

Cerise
I was actually a little afraid of this one, because it looks like such a bright orange colour. Fortunately, it's quite sheer when applied, and gives my lips a subtle, peachy tone. It smells like watermelon! It's super shiny, and has barely any glitter in it, making it look nice and clear. 


Pamplemousse
A really lovely, warm, nude rose shade. Probably my favourite out of all the Juicy Tubes, it really seems to plump up the lips when applied. It smells like sweet pink grapefruit, and gives my lips a mirror-like shine. The glitter in this one is multi-coloured, but it doesn't look too obvious - it's actually quite nice and subtle. 

Lychee
This is a sparkling, girly, cheeky-pink shade, with a lot of glitter. It looks quite bright in the packaging, but it comes out soft and delicate on the lips. Good choice if you want something light and natural that will liven up your look. This one smells and tastes like berry-flavoured sweets! 


Fraise
This is the most intense, pigmented shade out of all the lip glosses in this set. It is reddish-pink in the packaging, but it comes out soft and pink, with a little bit of shimmer. I'd recommend wearing it with little to no makeup to really make your lips stand out. This one smells and tastes like candied strawberries! 

Where can I find them? Juicy Tubes are widely available in the UK across all major retailers such as Boots and Debenhams, but the price is about £17 for one lip gloss so I'm not sure whether it's really worth investing in. However, I'd definitely recommend trying them out if you can get your hands on a decently priced set (check out your local TK Maxx!). 

             
Have you ever tried Juicy Tubes? What is your favourite colour? =) 

Follow
SHARE:

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Rihanna 'RiRi' and Britney Spears 'Intimate Edition' - unboxing and first impressions

Today is a an exciting day! My two new perfumes have finally arrived in the mail. Rihanna's new and long-anticipated 'RiRi', and Britney Spears' most recent addition to the Fantasy range - 'Intimate Edition'. I haven't tried either of these before, so today's post will be all about unboxing and first impressions. Hope you enjoy =)


Let's start with Fantasy Intimate Edition. This perfume was created to celebrate Britney's debut lingerie collection, and that idea is clearly reflected in the design. The box is really cute, coloured in lovely shades of pink and white, with lace patterns all over. The bottle is gorgeous, and has the same shape and design as the rest of the Fantasy range. This time however, the bottle is snowy white, with pale pink gems. It looks girly and innocent, and makes me think of snowflakes and whipped cream!



After spraying Intimate Edition for the first time, my impression was that it smells similar to the original Fantasy (pink bottle), but softer, creamier and more subtle. This is very sweet, but gentle. As the scent began to settle down, I started smelling more musky and soft floral notes, such as jasmine and violets. The sweetness wore off after about twenty minutes, and the fragrance became more mature, elegant, and indeed quite 'intimate'. If I had to sum it up in one sentence, I'd say that Intimate Edition smells like a really expensive, luxurious body lotion. It's very warm, comfortable and creamy. My boyfriend, who is difficult to please when it comes to perfumes, said that he liked it lots, and that it made him think of a 'fluffy, clean white duvet'.



Overall, I think this is a lovely, warm, feminine fragrance. It smells soft and 'cosy', and I'm going to wear it a lot during the autumn months. The quality is surprisingly good for a perfume this cheap. Definitely try this if you like the original Fantasy, because it is fairly similar, but different enough to deserve your attention.

             
Next is Rihanna's new fragrance, RiRi. The box is quite simple, in black, pink and gold colours. To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of the bottle. I like the pink liquid, but the design itself looks a little cheap (indeed it is... As I'm writing this, the cap broke off). I think that the writing is slightly over-sized, but it might look better on bigger bottles - mine is only the smallest, 30ml version.


My first impressions of the scent were overwhelmingly positive. This smells so delicious! Very 'perfumy', with exotic vibes, like passionfruit or mango. It immediately made me think of Escada perfumes, which are always fruity, yummy and exotic. I could also detect a hint of something 'boozy' in there, which smelled a little like rum (it was very subtle, though, and gave the fragrance more depth). After a while, the scent became sweeter and more creamy - I could smell a lot of vanilla with some fruity accents, which reminded me of one of my all-time favourite perfumes - Armani 'Si' (or more like a lighter, less intense version). 



This is very different from previous Rihanna fragrances. I like it, although it does smell a little generic - it's the kind of scent that you know you've smelled so many times before. The quality isn't the best - this perfume is vibrant and intense only in the first half hour. After that, it becomes much lighter and 'watered-down'. That being said, RiRi is a lovely, delicious, accessible scent, and I think it will be great for casual wear all year round.


             
Verdict:
Britney Spears - Fantasy Intimate Edition 8/10. Unusual, feminine and sensual; smells like a luxurious body lotion
Rihanna - Riri 6/10. Fruity, girly and delicious; smells like an exotic cocktail with creamy vanilla (sadly, it disappears after about thirty minutes)

Where to purchase? In the UK, Britney Spears Intimate Edition is available across all major perfume retailers (The Perfume Shop, Boots, etc.). The price is roughly £28 for a 50ml bottle, £22 for 30ml. Rihanna Riri is a more recent release, and so far I've only seen it in Superdrug - £30 for 50ml, and £23 for 30ml.

Hope you enjoyed this review! Have you tried either of these perfumes before? What are your thoughts? Stay tuned for a review of the Lancome Juicy Tubes collection next week! =) 

Follow
SHARE:

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

How to get thicker, fuller-looking eyelashes

Hey lovelies! 

Today, I'd like to share with you a few tips I use for getting the most out of my mascara, and giving my lashes a little more volume. Although applying a mascara isn't something that takes up a lot of time in a typical makeup routine, a few small adjustments to your technique can make a huge difference (especially if your lashes are naturally thin and short, like mine). Thick, full, long lashes can really make your eyes stand out, and beautifully enhance any makeup look. Here are a few simple steps to my daily mascara routine:

Things you'll need: eyelash curler, a bit of baby powder or your usual makeup powder, your favourite mascara (I use a separate one for my bottom lashes)



Step 1) Eyelash curler is a must! Use it on clean, mascara-free lashes. I have the Tweezerman Great Grip Eyelash Curler (£15), which is very comfortable and easy to use. I like to heat mine up before use, for about 10 seconds with a blow dryer. I find that it makes it much more effective at curling lashes, and it also makes your curls last a little longer. Just make sure you test the temperature on your skin first so you don't end up burning your eyes!

Step 2) Apply the first coat using your favourite mascara. Having the right mascara for your lashes is easily the most important step. I personally recommend trying out Chanel's Le Volume De Chanel in black (£25) - it gives brilliant volume without clumps, and makes your lashes appear much longer. It is a little more expensive than your usual drugstore mascara, but the quality is definitely worth the price (one bottle usually lasts me about four months). In terms of application, what works for me is a simple back-and-forth motion whilst moving the wand up my lashes.

Step 3) Dust a small amount of baby powder or your usual makeup powder over your lashes. This will make them appear a little thicker and more 'fluffy'. Be careful not to overdo it, though - you could easily end up with clumpy-looking lashes.

Step 4) It's time to apply second and third coats! This is why I love Le Volume De Chanel - it's very difficult to overdo it.You can layer the mascara easily and it never gets clumpy - all you get is thick, full-looking lashes. I also like to apply a bit of mascara on my bottom lashes to complete the look. Now, as much as I love Le Volume De Chanel, I don't think it's the best product to use on your bottom lashes. I prefer something that gives length, not volume, and that's why I use Lancome's Hypnose Star (which is a great mascara if you're after the 'falsies' effect!).

That's about it! Just a few simple tips, hopefully you'll find them useful. =) If you're interested in Le Volume De Chanel, but can't quite afford it, check out Elizabeth Arden's Double Density Maximum Volume mascara (you can find it on Amazon for about £9). It's a really good alternative - it gives you easily buildable volume, and the brush is wonderful to work with. 

What is your favourite mascara? Do you have any personal tips for getting thicker, fuller-looking lashes?    

Follow
SHARE:

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Autumn fragrance recommendations

One thing I love about autumn is finally being able to get back into cool weather fragrances. We put away our fresh, citrusy scents of the summer, and begin reaching for more intense, sweeter, stronger perfumes. For me, autumn in fragrances means lots of earthy patchouli, amber, and heavier florals such as gardenia and tuberose. Here is a list of my autumn perfume recommendations. =)

Taylor Swift - Wonderstruck Enchanted (£28 for 50ml)  


This is my top recommendation when it comes to budget-friendly perfumes. Whilst I adore the original Wonderstruck fragrance, I think that Enchanted has more of an autumn feel. The quality is exceptional for a fragrance this well priced - it doesn't smell cheap, and lasts all day long. My boyfriend absolutely loves this one on me, and many online reviews suggest that this scent is indeed a bit of  a man-magnet. ;) It smells like creamy berries and sugar, but there is something sensual and spicy about it. The bottle is one of the cutest things I've ever seen, but make sure you purchase 50ml or above - 30ml bottles come without the charms.

Official notes: Vanilla, wild berries, passionfruit, sugar

Diesel - Loverdose (£51 for 75ml)  


This is probably my top choice for casual wear. Loverdose is very sweet, comforting, but there is also something happy and uplifting about it - good for getting you through those cold, rainy autumn days. The fragrance is based around sweet, creamy notes of vanilla and licorice, with a bit of amber and citruses. If you are familiar with Lolita Lempicka's original fragrance, Loverdose is very similar to that, but more on the sweet side. This is a very girly, delicious, good-enough-to-eat kind of scent that feels on the playful and flirty side. The bottle is stunning, too - designed to resemble a heart-shaped diamond pierced by an arrow, coloured in lovely shades of purple. 

Official notes: Licorice, vanilla, star anise, jasmine, amber 

Givenchy - Very Irresistible L'Intense (£63 for 50ml)  


I was completely obsessed with this when I first discovered it! For weeks, it was the only fragrance I was willing to wear. Very Irresistible L'Intense is really sexy, dark, mysterious and edgy. It smells like juicy plums mixed with delicate roses, and lots of patchouli. The bottle is stylish and gorgeous, and it matches the scent perfectly - made from dark glass, decorated with a silver rose which resembles a tattoo. If you ever tried Euphoria by Calvin Klein - this is pretty similar, but lighter, more fruity, and in general more wearable.

Official notes: Plum, patchouli, rose, musk

Lacoste - Eau De Lacoste Sensuelle (£33 for 30ml)    


This is a lovely, casual scent. It smells really delicious, almost 'edible', with lots of juicy blackcurrants and sweet nougat. There is also a hint of balsamic amber, and some delicate florals that make this perfume really feminine. What I  enjoy about Sensuelle is that it's quite unusual (you don't often see nougat used in perfumes), but still approachable and easy to wear. This is a perfect everyday fragrance for autumn - sweet, comforting and warm. It reminds me a little of Yves Saint Laurent's Manifesto. I recommend it to anyone who's looking to try something a little different. =)

Official notes: Pink pepper, blackcurrant, rose, sweet pea, nougat, amber

Chanel - Coco Noir (£75 for 50ml)    


My top choice when it comes to night-time fragrances for autumn. This is edgy, yet classy; powerful and feminine. If you enjoy the original Coco Mademoiselle, this will be a good one to try - it's like a darker, sexier, more grown-up version. Coco Noir doesn't smell sweet at all - it's spicy, floral, with some woodsy undertones. Patchouli is the most dominant note here, and it smells very top-shelf (as you'd expect from a brand like Chanel). I reach for this one whenever I want to feel elegant and confident. Although quite expensive, this fragrance is definitely worth investing in. Perfect if you're looking for a good night-time scent that's going to get you lots of attention and compliments! 

Official notes: Patchouli, sandalwood, olibanum, grapefruit, rose, bergamot

What are your favourite autumn fragrances? =) 

Follow
SHARE:
Blogger templates by pipdig