MAC Strobe Cream

9 March 2014

MAC Strobe Cream Review
 After raving about Fix + earlier in the week, I thought that I'd share another MAC product with you which has been helping me to achieve the perfect base: Strobe Cream. I first used this dewy dream back in my university days, but after working my way through a couple of tubes never got round to replacing it, until I noticed it popping up on a couple of blogs recently.

MAC bill strobe cream as a moisturiser, but I've never used it in this function, so I can't comment on how it works in the hydration department. My preferred method of use is as a liquid highlighter, which I layer over my skin care routine. I apply this cream to the areas that I'd typically use a highlighter on (the tops of my cheekbones, down the centre of my nose and under my brows), buff on my foundation, and then  if I'm really going for a dewy look, pat on another light layer of strobe cream over the top with my fingertips. Given the creamy consistency of strobe cream, it's very easy to blend with your fingers.

Strobe cream gives a beautiful pearlescent glow to the skin without looking greasy, which I feel would be flattering on any skin tone. As well as being a pretty highlighter, it's great to mix in with a heavier, more matte foundation prior to application for a more natural finish. I've had no issues with breakouts etc as a result of this product, and if you're in the market for a new highlighter (be honest, who isn't?) I'd definitely recommend giving this MAC version a go.

Strobe cream when blended out:
MAC Strobe Cream Review Swatch

Sally Hansen Shell We Dance

6 March 2014

Sally Hansen Shell We Dance Swatch Review
I'm not sure if it's all the Valentines related marketing recently, or the fact that Spring is right around the corner, but lately I've been loving anything pink. I became borderline obsessed with tracking down a pale pink polish, eventually opting for this Sally Hansen bottle. I'd never tried a Sally Hansen shade before, but Shell We Dance instantly caught my eye.

First things first - lets get the bad out of the way. Because Shell We Dance is such a sheer, pale shade it takes a good few layers (I'm talking four or five) to build up to the full colour. This means that it's not the longest lasting polish - you'd struggle to get more than a couple of days chip free - although I sealed the polish in with my Sensationail kit so it lasted a week. However, once you build the colour up it's the perfect creamy baby pink, so worth the extra effort. Alternatively, this makes a great sheerer polish.

Now, on to the good. Aside from the dreamy pale pink colour of Shell We Dance, the formula of this is spot on. It was super easy to apply, dried quickly, and despite being a sheer polish never appeared streak, hence a layer or two of this would work really well as a natural hint of pink to the nail. Also, the Sally Hansen brushes are perfect. Not too slim, not too wide - they fit the nail easily, and make painting my nails a delight, not a chore. Despite the extra work required to achieve an opaque nail, I'm impressed with Shell We Dance, and will definitely be looking to try more Sally Hansen polishes in the future.

MAC Fix +

4 March 2014

Mac Fix + Review Fix+

I'm not quite sure why it's taken so long for Fix + to make its way in to my makeup bag, or even longer for it to appear on the blog. It's the sort of product that has always been on my radar, but i've never really felt that I needed. I purchased it on a whim a month or two ago (this seems to be happening a little more frequently than it should be…), and haven't looked back. MAC Fix + is now a daily fixture on my face. If, like I was, you're on the edge about whether you really need this spray, then read on.

Fix + is essentially fancy water in a spray bottle. It's packed with vitamins and minerals, and (amongst other things) chamomile and and cucumber to soothe and refresh the skin. I'll happily spray this on to bare skin prior to applying my makeup, however the way in which it works best for me is once I have my base in place. I generally prefer a lighter, more glowy finish, however if my skin is looking a little dull or I've been slightly heavy handed during the application process, then I don't achieve my desired dewy result. However, a spritz or two of Fix + and my skin looks perfect. There's no cakey-ness, I'm left with a flawless satin finish and a face which looks healthy. I'm now actually enjoying wearing some of my fuller coverage foundations thanks to this spray.

Whilst Fix + doesn't actually prolong the lasting power of my makeup at all (I still use my Urban Decay All Nighter for that purpose), it's brilliant for refreshing your base. I'm 100% sold, and can't imagine a day where I won't be using this as part of my routine.

Spa Break - St. George's Park

2 March 2014

Spa Break Hilton St. George's Park
Spa Break Hilton St. George's Park
Spa Break Hilton St. George's Park
Spa Break Hilton St. George's Park
Spa Break Hilton St. George's Park
Spa Break Hilton St. George's Park

Last week one of my best friends and I decided that it was time for some overdue pampering and headed off to the Hilton at St. George's Park, which is actually conveniently located right next to our home town! I'd been to St. George's Park a couple of times for work events, but never actually stayed over or used the spa facilities before.

On arrival we opted to upgrade to an executive room, meaning that we had a slightly nicer room and access to the executive lounge, which offered free drinks and canap├ęs throughout the evening. Our room had a beautiful view over the grounds (St. George's Park is set in stunning countryside), some of the comfiest beds I'd ever slept in, a ginormous telly, and a gorgeous bathroom. There was wifi throughout, and you could set your music to play through in to the bathroom, too. I was pleased to see Peter Thomas Roth products stocked in the bathroom, as I'm a big fan.

On our first day, we headed straight down to the spa for our treatments. The entire experience was tailored to our personal preferences. Initially, we were given a range of four scents to smell, and then advise which we were most drawn to. Each scent was a blend of essential oils, designed to target various needs of the body. I selected the Indian blend, which I was then advised was to replenish the body and draw out any impurities - exactly what I needed. Following that, we were taken in to our individual treatment rooms, which had been filled with the scents of our choice.

I opted for a facial as my skin had been really playing up, and let me tell you, it was hands down the best facial I've ever had. A hand, foot, shoulder and head massage was incorporated in to the treatment, as were some deep breathing exercises using my chosen scent. By the time my 45 minutes were up, I felt more relaxed than I had done in months, and could happily have gone to sleep. A few days later and my skin, which had been in a horrible mess, was completely back to normal. At the end of the facial a ribbon laced with my chosen scent was tied to my wrist. Following the treatment, we were guided out to a relaxation area where we made use of some comfy chaise longue's, and were provided with a glass of water and herbal tea, with the tea being our chosen scent blends.

Alongside our treatments, we also had a delicious three course dinner and breakfast the next morning, before making use of the spa facilities again. Although we didn't touch the gym, we spent the following morning lounging in the pool, jacuzzi and sauna rooms, which were all beautifully finished. Our stay at St. George's Park was exactly what I needed, and we'll definitely be looking to go back in the future.

Currently Loving 03

23 February 2014

L'amour Josie Currently Loving
Hold the phone - I'm about to talk about some products that I'm currently loving, and I haven't included my Tudors box set in the photograph. Don't worry, I still love it, I've just promoted it to eternal favourite status. Now that you've all recovered from that shock, here's the latest round up of (very pink) products that have been floating my boat lately…

First up, lets talk beauty. I recently extended my concealer collection to include MAC Pro Longwear Concealer. Despite being in liquid form the coverage of this is excellent, and the finish is perfect - not too matte and giving a light, flawless result. As I mentioned in my makeup bag post, I've been enjoying using my Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation again recently. This was my favourite foundation throughout university, and it's creeping back up to the top space again. Sally Hansen's Shell We Dance is a polish with questionable wear time. However, the colour is positively dreamy, so I can't resist. Expect to see more from this soon. The final beauty item is Vivienne Westwood Mon Boudoir perfume*. I love the packaging, and the scent is beautiful. I've worn this most days this month, although a new bottle of Flowerbomb been sharing the love too for the last couple of days.

Now for the non-beauty. I bought this pale pink pouch in H&M on a whim a couple of weeks ago and it's the perfect size for overnight make up. I might also have bought it in black at the same time (shh, don't tell). Another H&M purchase were the rose gold rings, which I've been wearing above my knuckles. Hanging up is my big fluffy Marks & Spencer dressing gown, which I've lived in when not at work. This is the comfiest thing ever. Finally, wrapping up the pink theme is the floral photo frame, which I bought from Paperchase. It fits in so nicely with the rest of my room, now I just need to find the perfect photo!