Sunday, 31 August 2014

End Of Summer Sale Haul

End of Summer Sale Haul Accessorize Topshop

Now you might already be able to tell, particularly if you've been reading my blog since the very beginning, that I'm a big fan of sale shopping. And whilst I do prefer Autumn/Winter fashion and normally go a little lot crazier in the Boxing Day/January sales (I did do three separate haul posts on these at the start of the year), I found some incredible bargains this summer that I just had to share with you. 

Top tip for those of you venturing somewhere sunny out with the traditional summer season; the summer sales can be your best friend, even if you don't fly out for months. I say this for a few reasons. Firstly, try finding flip flops, sunglasses or swimming costumes in December. If you fly off somewhere warm in the winter, forget buying those summer staples in store. And why pay full price online for items such as those, especially when you can pick them all up for bargain prices in the summer sales? I don't necessarily need an excuse to shop the sales (hehe) but my upcoming holiday definitely prompted me to seek out sandals and sunglasses this year. So here's what I managed to pick up and some of the bargains that I found.

Accessorize Georgia Winged Handbag Green Sale Haul Summer

Accessorize Georgia Winged Handbag Was £35 Now £22
As some of you might know, I already own this exact same handbag in lilac (which I featured in my Treat Myself Haul (link here)). I've been using the lilac version non-stop since I bought it all those months ago, so this purchase was an absolute no-brainer. I definitely adore the green shade too.

Accessorize Jane Cat Sunglasses Sale Haul Summer

Accessorize Jane Cat Sunglasses Was £16 Now £4.80

As soon as I saw this pair of sunglasses I instantly fell in love with them. They really are my dream pair of sunglasses. Tortoiseshell; check! Cat eye design; check! Miu Miu look-a-likes; check! And for less than £5, how could I say no?! They still had a few pairs of these in my local Accessorize store when I was there on Monday (my mum made sure to pick up a pair for herself too), so I would definitely be on the lookout for these in store and online if you like the look of them.

Accessorize Leo Leopard Wallet Sale Haul Summer

Accessorize Leo Leopard Wallet Was £17 Now £4.50

I've been searching for a new wallet for a couple of months now, as my last one was on it's last legs but nothing had really caught my eye until I stumbled across this beautiful leopard print one in the Accessorize sale. Again, much like the sunglasses above, this was less than a fiver, which is pretty unbelievable. All I can say is get yourself down to your local Accessorize store as soon as you possibly can, if you're a bargain hunter like myself.

Topshop HEIGHTS Double Strap Sandals Summer Sale Haul

Topshop HEIGHTS Double Strap Sandals Was £26 Now £10

Now I wasn't entirely sure if I was the kind of individual who could pull off this trend but as soon as I tried these on I knew they were keepers. I'm all about a leopard print (as you might be able to tell from above), so that was what first attracted me to these double strap sandals, as well as the £10 price tag. What really surprised me was the fact that these are 100% leather! I can't believe that I managed to get a pair of genuine leather sandals, from Topshop nevertheless, for £10. You can't even find faux leather sandals for that price in Primark nowadays.

Topshop Star Shaped Hair Rollers Summer Sale Haul

Topshop Star Shaped Hair Rollers Was £6 Now £1
Okay so this was a bit of a spur of the moment sale purchase. When you see something this heavily discounted in price on the Topshop website, you can normally anticipate an email pinging into your inbox to let you know that it's already out of stock, so I was very surprised when these arrived with the rest of my order. I've yet to try these out, so I can't really comment on whether or not they actually do what it says on the packaging but for £1 I couldn't say no to at least trying them. Maybe they will give me Mermaid looking locks, who knows? I'll be sure to let you know if they do, either on here or most probably on Instagram (you can find me at @ellistuesday - link here).

So what do you think of the bargains that I managed to pick up in the sales? Have you found anything in the summer sales this year? If so, what did you treat yourself to?


Friday, 29 August 2014

This Has Been: August

I still cannot believe that I was Look Fantastic's Blogger of the Week - Autumn/Winter fashion is always my favourite and this trend looks like the one I'll be aiming to emulate - I just had to pick up the very last macaroon wash bag in my local Primark - I'm all about a Saturday night takeaway - A Sunday spent blogging in bed - Shopping is my (one true) workout - A cheeky Burger King for lunch - Changing room selfie - A rainbow of choice in Topshop right now - RIP Robin Williams - Basically my dream issue of Stylist - I wish that I'd picked up these Sooty pyjamas now - Bye bye long locks - My first trip to the hairdressers in over eighteen months (eek!) - How can you say no to a Hello Kitty cupcake kit? - A spot of Lush shopping - Forever clicking and collecting - My Little Pony pyjamas time - Forever Daisy Dream(ing) - To take these sandals on holiday with me or not? - I picked up Lindsey Kelk's 'What A Girl Wants' and also got an incredible recommendation from Lindsey herself (link here) - Truth! - I wish that this galaxy print skirt had suited me a little more - Still got so much love for the print though - The perfect DVD to buy this month - The Stila stand was definitely calling my name - Mulberry dreaming - My new haircut! I blogged about it for Beauty at Tesco (link here)

Now that I've collated all of my instagram pictures for this post, it has become quite apparent to me that I've been feeling rather spendy this month. I think my 'Shopping is my Workout' sweatshirt really does sum up my spending habits pretty well. Hehe. And the worst thing is, that's not even all of the shopping that I've done this month! I have a summer sale haul post coming up this Sunday, so look out for that if you're a fan of haul posts or bargain hunting and I am also contemplating doing a holiday shopping post before I leave for my holidays next month. Does that sound like something that you would like to see? It's essentially just a few holiday essentials that I've picked up, the majority of which have been from good old Primark.

I've also done two incredibly exciting features for some of my favourite companies this month. I had the absolute pleasure of being Look Fantastic's Blogger of the Week as well as sharing my new haircut, as well as the reasoning behind it, with Beauty at Tesco's blog (link here). As you can see above, I did take quite a big jump from having ridiculously long locks to the length that you will see in August's final instagram shot.

And I have to say it; can you believe that it's the end of August already? It will be Christmas before we know it. I've seen a plethora of Christmas cards in the shops already! As someone who absolutely adores Christmas and the entire festive period, it really can't come quick enough for me. Once I return from my holiday, in late October, then I can officially start counting down the days until Christmas Day (talk about wishing your life away. Hehe). And of course I can't wait for Autumn/Winter fashion to be appropriate once again even though that does mean that the weather will be getting colder, wetter and even more unpredictable (meh!)

What was your June like? Please feel free to send me your instagram links and I'll be sure to check them out.


Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Tresemme Keratin Smooth Trio

Tresemme Keratin Smooth Trio Beauty Review Shampoo Conditioner Heat Activated Treatment

Despite having naturally curly hair throughout my childhood and wavy hair now, I straightened my hair to within an inch of it's life during my teenage years. My ghd's were basically permanently attached to me. But since then I've went relatively heat free when it comes to my hair and as a result, my hair no longer looks glossy or sleek or even reasonably straight any more. This led me to begin my search for a product that would not only give me that much needed heat protection but that would also make styling my hair much less of a hassle. As my hair has been incredibly frizzy recently, I had all about given up on finding a product that could remedy this, until I came across the Keratin Smooth range from Tresemme.

Tresemme Keratin Smooth Trio Beauty Review Shampoo Conditioner

Tresemme Keratin Smooth Shampoo* £5.99
Tresemme Keratin Smooth Conditioner* £5.99

After using the Tresemme Keratin Smooth shampoo and conditioner your hair will truly feel like it's just been treated to a salon experience. I've always been a little bit dubious when I've heard that kind of line used in regards to at home haircare but this range has certainly convinced me that salon quality hair is achievable at home. Not only does your hair feel like silk but it also smells the way it does when you just step out of the salon. Using the Tresemme Keratin Smooth range is now my little bit of at home luxury.

Obviously the three products featured in this post work best when used in conjunction with one another but I've been incredibly impressed by the shampoo and conditioner on their own (when I've only had the time to use the two). And this is true even when I don't apply any heat to my hair to activate the smoothing quality of these products. Once my hair has dried naturally, it dries back to it's original state except minus the frizz. Now when I say original state, what I actually mean is if you have a natural curl, wave or kink to your hair, it dries back to that but it looks much shinier, is considerably less frizzy and is a lot easier to manage even without applying heat to the hair.

Tresemme Keratin Smooth Trio Heat Activated Treatment Beauty Review

Tresemme Keratin Smooth Heat Activated Treatment* £6.99

The Tresemme Keratin Smooth Heat Activated Treatment makes lusciously smooth locks a reality. Once you've towel dried your hair (preferably after shampooing and conditioning with the products above) all you need to do is dispense a couple of pumps of the treatment product (depending on the length of you hair) into your hands and then onto your hair. Try your best to distribute the product as evenly as you can and make sure to avoid the roots in the process of doing so and then comb through. And since the Keratin Smooth Treatment is heat activated, you first blow dry your hair and then get straightening with your hair straightener. 

Now if you don't normally go to the hassle of blow drying and then straightening your hair every time you wash it, either because it's too much hassle or too time consuming, trust me you'll thank yourself for doing so over the next seven days. I can honestly say, I've never been this impressed by a hair product before. It's not damaging to the hair in the slightest, unlike other straightening treatments, and it has kept my hair looking sleek, glossy and most importantly, frizz free for well over a week now (and I've washed my hair two more times since the first treatment). Just think how much time this will save you in the long run too. Instead of having to straighten your hair on a daily basis to ensure that it stays smooth, the Heat Activated Treatment has taken care of that for you.

If you fancy trying out the Tresemme Keratin Smooth range (which also includes a shine spray and a deep treatment masque) for yourself, then you can find the entire Tresemme Expert range on a 3 for £10 deal in Boots at the moment. Which I think we can all agree equates to some fantastic savings.

So what do you think of a heat-activated system like this? Have you tried any of the Tresemme Keratin Smooth range? If so, what do you think of the products? Have they worked as well for you?


Sunday, 24 August 2014

Victoria's Secret Smoky Exotics Eye Palette (With Exclusive Discount Code)

Victoria's Secret Smoky Exotics Eye Palette Beauty Review The London Perfume Company

Victoria's Secret Smoky Exotics Eye Palette* £22.99 (Or £20.69 with exclusive discount code below)

If you read my post on the Victoria's Secret Strawberries & Champagne Fragrance Mist back in May (link here) then you may remember that I had some exciting Victoria's Secret beauty news to share with my UK readers. Just in case you didn't see that particular post, the Victoria's Secret beauty line is now available from The London Perfume Company. And t
hey have just added to their range of Victoria's Secret fragrance mists, body lotions, body washes and Eau De Parfums with some spectacular make-up palettes. So if you're anything like me and have always wanted to try some of the Victoria's Secret make-up range, or if you've tried it before and are already enamoured, then you need to check out these sets asap. 

Finding these incredible make-up palettes at The London Perfume Company is especially beneficial to those who don't live anywhere near one of the Victoria's Secret flagship stores here in the UK (which are currently based in London, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and Kent) as well as those who don't really trust Ebay when it comes to buying beauty products.

I was given the fantastic opportunity to share this incredibly exciting news with you (as well as an exclusive discount code that you will find below) and there are so many beautiful make-up palettes to choose from that I have a feeling you'll end up with quite a few on your wishlist. For me, the Smoky Exotics Eye Palette was the one that immediately jumped out at me, as it looked unlike any other eye palette that I've tried before. Not only does this come complete with ten wonderfully pigmented smoky shades but it also includes a spectacularly soft black kohl eye-liner pencil as well as a little double ended make-up brush.

Victoria's Secret Smoky Exotics Eye Palette Beauty Review Eyeshadow

Victoria's Secret Smoky Exotics Eye Palette Eyeshadow Beauty Review

There's a great mix of matte and slighly shimmery shades, which are simply beyond beautiful. I can't wait to create some suitably smoky looks with this palette.

Victoria's Secret Smoky Exotics Eye Palette Beauty Review Eyeliner pencil swatches

This is quite genuinely the best kohl eye-liner pencil that I have ever used. It glides on with such a buttery texture and is a true black hue. I was extremely surprised at the quality of this product as I just expected it to be your run of the mill eye-liner pencil that had just so happened to be included as a little freebie. Boy, was I wrong! All my other eye-liner pencils and products have since taken a back-seat after I found this gem of a pencil.

Victoria's Secret Smoky Exotics Eye Palette Beauty Review Packaging

And just look how beautiful the exterior packaging is. It screams Victoria's Secret in a very good way! I absolutely adore the typography on the label and the pink, slightly mirrored, leopard print covering is so on point for me.

Much like last time, when I had an exclusive discount code to share with you, The London Perfume Company have very kindly given me another exclusive discount code to use on the brand new make-up products. All you need to do is enter VSBeauty at the checkout to receive 10% off your Victoria's Secret make-up purchase. This code is valid until the end of September. Now how amazing is that? I'm already tempted to add a few more of the stunning palettes to my make-up collection.

Will you be taking advantage of this fantastic discount code? If so, which palettes do you have your eye on? And what do you think of this particular one?


Friday, 22 August 2014

What I've Been Watching In: August

Insidious (2010)
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins, Lin Shaye
As a big fan of The Conjuring (which I will be reviewing in a special Halloween edition of 'What I've Been Watching' in October) I thought I would check out Insidious, considering the two share a lot of similarities. When I say similarities both The Conjuring and Insidious were directed by James Wan, both revolve around the notion of possession and of course both star Patrick Wilson. I just watched the Patrick Wilson episode of Girls, you know the one, "One Man's Trash" and subsequently I'm rather besotted with him at the moment.
I did prefer The Conjuring but that certainly doesn't mean that Insidious is a bad horror movie at all. Tumblr had ruined the biggest fright of the entire movie for me though. Hehe. But there are still plenty of scares to be had in Insidious and I'm definitely looking forward to watching Insidious: Chapter 2 very soon to see where the story goes from here. It's not the worst horror movie that I've ever seen by quite a long shot, so I would say give it a watch, especially if you've always wanted to see it.

Blue Jasmine (2013)
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Sally Hawkins, Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard
When Cate Blanchett swept the board at every single awards ceremony at the start of the year, I knew that I would need to see this performance for myself. After watching this, I completely understand why Cate Blanchett received the amount of acclaim and awards that she did. Cate plays Jasmine, a formerly wealthy New York socialite, who ends up having to move in with her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) after her life completely falls apart in front of her. The lifestyle she has become accustomed to is no longer a reality when she ends up penniless and homeless.
This has an incredible cast of secondary characters made up of some of the most interesting actors you could think of. Alec Baldwin is the perfect fit as Jasmine's embezzling husband, Hal and when you throw actors such as Peter Sarsgaard and Louis C.K. into the mix it's easy to appreciate why this movie was on everyone's lips during the last awards season. Sally Hawkins plays Jasmine's younger sister Ginger brilliantly. So brilliantly that I was actually rather surprised that I hadn't heard more praise for her performance at those same award ceremonies, to be honest. Bobby Canavale is also excellent as Ginger's boyfriend Chilli. I would certainly recommend giving Blue Jasmine a watch.

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
Starring: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Lucy Liu, Daryl Hannah
After watching Buried, which I have reviewed below, I instantly felt an urge to watch the Kill Bill movies. Despite being a huge fan of Quentin Tarantino's, I've only watched Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 a couple of times, the last time being well over five years ago.
When "The Bride" (Uma Thurman) is assailed on her wedding day and her entire bridal party is slaughtered by the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad (of which "The Bride" was a former member of) she seeks her revenge. There are five names on her 'Kill List' which comprise of the the five members of the aforementioned Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. 
I actually forgot how much I adored this and how visually stunning this movie is. As soon as you watch it I have a feeling you'll feel the need to watch Vol. 2 almost immediately. When you consider that Tarantino had originally intended for the two movies to run as one, it's no real surprise. I already have Vol. 2 set up on Netflix, ready to watch next. If you're a fan of Tarantino I have a feeling you will probably have already seen this but if you've not then it's exactly what you would expect from the masterful Quentin Tarantino.

The Internship (2013)
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne, Max Minghella
Now I hadn't exactly heard the greatest of reviews when it came to The Internship but I was willing to give it a try due to the fact that Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson were starring in it. Both actors have been in so many of my favourite movies; Owen in The Royal Tenenbaums, Midnight in Paris and Meet The Parents and Vince in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, The Watch and Old Schoolto name just a few. But for me, when it comes to this duo, Wedding Crashers is the real highlight. It's one of my favourite comedies by quite some margin and it's also the reason I gave this movie a chance. I in no way expected it to be anywhere near as good as Wedding Crashers but it wasn't a total flop either. It does kind of feel like a two hour advert for Google though, as Vaughn and Wilson begin an internship (as the name would imply) at Google HQ in California. If you can look past that then it's an okay movie to stick on in the background when there's nothing else on.

Buried (2010)
Starring: Ryan Reynolds
Oh Ryan Reynolds, my second favourite acting Ryan (right after Ryan Gosling of course). Was anyone else a huge fan of the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode where Nick was buried alive? The episode entitled Grave Danger, directed by Quentin Tarantino, was so unlike anything that I had ever seen on television before and for that reason it quickly became an episode that I would never forget. Tarantino's not only dabbled with the concept of being buried alive during his stint directing CSIThe Bride (Uma Thurman) in Kill Bill Vol. 2 is also buried alive, escaping using her one-inch punch technique. So as soon as I saw the first advertisement for Buried all those years ago I was instantly reminded of Tarantino's scenes. (I think it might be the reason why I felt the need to re-watch Kill Bill Vol. 1 this month too). There was nothing on TV a few weeks back so I stuck on Buried.
Firstly, this entire movie is set within the confines of the coffin that Paul (Ryan Reynolds) is buried in. He's an American truck driver in Iraq who has been kidnapped following an ambush. I really didn't mind this movie at all. Considering this was a movie starring Ryan Reynolds I had a feeling it would end in a particular way, which it didn't. It's very rare to get to the end of a movie these days and be surprised, so that's something Buried certainly has in it's favour. It's no Kill Bill Vol. 2 or Grave Danger but it's not as bad as I thought it would be.

View From The Top (2003)
Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow, Christina Applegate, Mark Ruffalo, Candice Bergen
This was one of those movies that I had always wanted to see in my teens. I actually remember picking this up in the video shop in preparation for a sleepover (oh yeah, this movie goes that far back!) but I think I put it back on the shelf in favour of a Hilary Duff movie. Remember when we actually had to go to the video shop to rent new movies? I feel older than I should right now. Hehe. Streaming this on Netflix could not be further from the video shop experience when it comes to technology.
All I can say is I definitely made the right decision to choose the Hilary Duff movie all those years ago instead. I could easily guess the plot twists literally as they were happening, instead of about 45 minutes later when they were eventually revealed. You can certainly find much better chick-flick movies from the early 2000's (my picks being; Clueless (obviously), A Cinderella Story and of course the Charlie's Angels movies). But if you want to see a young Mark Ruffalo (and who wouldn't?) then maybe you might want to skip to his parts in this, just maybe.

What have you been watching this month? Do you have any recommendations? Have you seen any of these? If so, what did you think of them?


Wednesday, 20 August 2014

GOSH Stardust Nail Polishes

GOSH Stardust Nail Polishes Beauty Review Swatches Moonlight, Night Sky, Stardust, Milky Way, Million Stars

GOSH Stardust Nail Polishes * £3.99

(From left to right: Moonlight, Night Sky, Stardust, Milky Way and Million Stars)

GOSH have added five brand new Autumn/Winter appropriate shades to their permanent nail polish collection and despite it not technically being Autumn/Winter just yet, I couldn't wait to share this incredible collection with you. 

If you've been a reader of this blog for a while then you will know just how much I truly adore GOSH nail polishes. I've reviewed both the original frosted sand nail polishes (link here) as well as those of the pastel variety (link here). As soon as I saw this brand new range of Stardust nail polishes I really could not contain my excitement. These are some of the most beautiful shades that I have ever seen and the fact that they can be found at the drugstore is pretty mind-blowing. They definitely look much more expensive than their £3.99 price tag.

I have tried my very best to convey the sparkle and shimmer of these absolutely spectacular Stardust polishes but the camera really does them no justice, in my opinion. If you happen to pass by the GOSH stand in your local Superdrug then I would definitely make a beeline for the nail polish section, so you can truly see the brilliance and magic of these polishes for yourself.

GOSH Nail Polish in Moonlight (630) Beauty Review Swatch Stardust Collection

GOSH Nail Polish in Moonlight (630)*

GOSH Nail Polish in Night Sky (632) Beauty Review Swatch Stardust Collection

GOSH Nail Polish in Night Sky (632)*

GOSH Nail Polish in Stardust (628) Beauty Review Swatch Stardust Collection

GOSH Nail Polish in Milky Way (629) Beauty Review Swatch Stardust Collection

GOSH Nail Polish in Milky Way (629)*

GOSH Nail Polish in Million Stars (631) Beauty Review Swatch Stardust Collection

GOSH Nail Polish in Million Stars (631)*

Every single shade is simply stunning, so much so that I can't really pick a favourite (although I have been wearing Stardust the most as it's just the most perfect pearlescent shade that I have ever tried).

I would recommend applying two coats of these polishes (as I have done above) just for the fact that the intensity and lustre of the shades are brought out even more in that second coat. The first coat of some of the darker shades (I'd have to say Night Sky in particular), can look a little blah until you apply that second coat. After you do that, you will be truly blown away by the beauty of it. Unlike the frosted sand nail polishes, which dried with a textured finish, the Stardust collection dries completely glossy. So much so that there really is no need for a glossy top coat at all, in my opinion.

So what do you think of this brand new collection of nail polishes from GOSH? Do you have a favourite shade? What kind of shades do you like to wear in the colder months?


Sunday, 17 August 2014

The Best of the BB Creams

BB Cream Beauty Review L'Oreal Nude Magique BB Cream Balance Me BB Natural Perfection SPF 25 The Body Shop All In One BB Cream

After searching, for what felt like forever, to find a CC cream that actually matched my skin tone, I finally found the perfect one. It was Nip + Fab's CC Cream in the shade light, just in case you never got around to reading that particular review (link here). But I felt like I had missed the entire BB trend in the process of solely searching for CC products, so of course I just had to turn my attention to the predecessor to the CC cream.

Whilst a CC traditionally stands for colour correcting, a BB cream instead targets blemishes and is often described a blemish balm. As I don't often wear heavy or full make-up on a daily basis these are the kind of products that I'm certainly open to trying out. After an extensive search and quite a bit of swatching in the beauty aisles, I found three BB creams that I just had to share with you! I hope this post will be helpful to those who like me, hadn't even considered venturing into the realm of BB creams or those who have a similar skin tone to myself that are looking for products that are light enough for them.

L'Oreal Nude Magique BB Cream Light Beauty Review

L'Oreal Nude Magique BB Cream £9.99
When I first started my quest to find a BB cream that would actually work for me and my skin tone, the first place that I headed to was the drugstore. There is such a wide array of BB creams from a variety of different brands at the drugstore right now but the one that I was instantly drawn to was this one from L'Oreal. L'Oreal actually have some really interesting takes on the BB/CC trends and what's even better about this product is the fact that you will never have to pay the full £9.99 price tag for it. It's always in some kind of deal at your local drugstore which means you will definitely be able to find it at a reduced price. I personally picked this up in one of the ever tempting store wide 3 for 2 deals a couple of months back but there is always a deal to take advantage of when it comes to this specific BB cream.

L'Oreal Nude Magique BB Cream Light Beauty Review Swatches

(From left to right: product as dispensed - product swatched and blended)

Now I have to admit, when I first picked up this tube of BB cream, something really intrigued me. Right above the lid are the words "smart pigment capsules." If like me, you just asked yourself, "what on earth are smart pigment capsules?" then I can clear that up for both of us. I hope you can see in the photograph above, but there are actually tiny flecks of colour in that white creamy consistency, which appear as soon as you dispense the product from the tube. These flecks of colour are like little beads which then burst to transform that original white liquid into the colour itself. Pretty cool yes?
I must also say, don't be put off by the fact that it looks really rather dark on my skin here, especially if you have a similar skin tone to myself. It blends into the skin seamlessly and leaves the skin looking dewy and illuminated. It's definitely a drugstore purchase that I'm glad I made.

Balance Me BB Natural Perfection SPF 25 Beauty Review

Unlike the other two BB creams included in this post, the Balance Me BB Cream dispenses in the BB shade itself. I think I actually prefer this as I know exactly how much to apply and where. With the other two BB products it is a case of seeing how concentrated the colour is when it does start to magically transform to the right shade, which is a little more finicky than using this particular BB cream.
This also feels more like a skincare product, which just happens to brighten and hide blemishes as well, than just your typical make-up product. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that it has an SPF of 25 included in the formulation of it. This makes it the perfect BB cream to wear all year round and also means that you don't need to worry about applying separate sun protection in addition to this base product. Regardless of the time of year or how sunny or dull it is outside, you should try to get some semblance of sun protection into your make-up routine. With Balance Me's BB cream it's one less product to worry about having to apply.

Balance Me BB Natural Perfection SPF 25 Beauty Review Swatches

(From left to right: product as dispensed - product swatched and blended)

Now I am aware that this is a little pricier than the two other products that I have featured in this post but again I just have to reiterate that there are products that are a little pricier that I believe warrant the additional expenditure. This is one of them, as it is easily the most hydrating out of the bunch but there may be a slight downside to this product for some. The coverage of this BB cream is rather light and especially lighter than than the two other, more affordable, alternatives. If you are looking for medium coverage or higher then this wouldn't necessarily be the first product that I would recommend. But if you're looking for light coverage and a great base product for the summer months then I don't think that you'll find a better BB cream. You don't feel like you're wearing any make-up at all with this on and it also gives you the peace of mind that you are protected from harmful UV rays as well.

The Body Shop All In One BB Cream Beauty Review 00 Shade

The Body Shop All In One BB Cream* £12
First of all I just need to express how much I adore this particular BB cream and it's completely down to the fact that it matches my pale skin tone identically. Not only is this a colour-adapting tinted cream but it is also available in four different shades which really cover a multitude of skin tones. There is shade (00) which is the shade that I've been using. This is aimed at those with the fairest of skin tones. Shade (01) is for those with lighter skin tones, shade (02) is for those with medium skin tones and shade (03) is for those with darker skin tones. I have a feeling that the deepest shade (03) will also work well for black skin tones in addition to naturally tanned skin tones.

The Body Shop All In One BB Cream Beauty Review 00 Shade Swatches

(From left to right: product as dispensed - product swatched and blended)

Much like the L'Oreal BB Cream, The Body Shop's version initially dispenses in a similar shade of white which then transforms itself into your shade of choice. This gives light to medium coverage and really is ideal for those days when you don't really want to apply any make-up at all. If you do have the odd blemish or area that you do want to cover then this does the trick. It leaves your skin looking bright and even. You can't even detect that you're wearing a base product once you've blended it in but it does look like your skin, only better! 

So what do you think of BB creams? Are you a fan of them? Have you found the perfect shade for your skin tone? And if so, what is your favourite BB cream on the market at the moment?


Friday, 15 August 2014

Nails Inc Nail Polish Diary: August

Nails Inc Fleet Street

I've well and truly succumbed to the textured nail polish trend over the past couple of months. If you saw my reviews of the GOSH Frosted Sand nail polishes (review here) and (review here) then you'll remember how enamoured I was with them. So you can imagine my levels of enthusiasm when I was met by a 
polish from the Nails Inc Leather Effect collection in my Nail Diary.

Firstly I really adore the shade itself. The fact that I don't have anything anywhere near this kind of colour in my nail polish collection 
automatically makes it a winner in my eyes. This really is the perfect shade for the colder months (which it already seems to be here in Scotland today). This is also a great example of a textured nail polish that isn't too outlandish or eccentric for everyday wear. I think it has a lot to do with the neutral shade but you could easily wear this in a work environment (of course as long as your workplace allows you to wear nail polish) or a more formal setting. It's just such a classic and chic colour.

This textured leather effect nail polish dries much quicker than any other textured nail polish that I've tried so far and most impressively; it dries faster than the wide array of glitter polishes in my collection. Considering that this is a textured nail polish I'm certainly a little amazed by that. It applies much like any other traditional nail polish and is a creamy consistency when wet. This then develops to leave a coarse yet subtle texture on the nails. I personally adore textured nail polishes but I know that many just feel the need to pick it off immediately after applying it. I still wouldn't discredit this shade as you can remedy the textured finish by applying a glossy top coat. And you can also get away with just the one coat of this polish to achieve an even application (I did apply two coats for the purpose of the photograph above though).

Even though the weather is back to normal here in Scotland (I'm talking rain, wind and dullness) and it seems that the sun might not be making an appearance any time soon, I was still a little disappointed to find this polish in the August spot of my Nail Diary. So far each of the previous polishes have been perfect fits for their designated months but I don't think this shade works for August as much as it could have in a more autumnal month for example. When I think August I think of the final few weeks of summer and this colour makes me think of a completely different season instead.

What do you think of textured nail polishes such as these? Have you tried any of the Nails Inc Leather Collection? If so, let me know what you thought of it. Do you think this is the perfect fit for the month of August? 


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Macadamia Volumizing Dry Shampoo

Macadamia Volumizing Dry Shampoo Beauty Review

Macadamia Volumizing Dry Shampoo* £19.50

Now I don't know about you but I certainly don't have the time to wash my hair every single day. Okay so maybe I do have the time but with hair as long as mine is at the moment (I do have a hairdresser's appointment booked for tomorrow to finally go for the chop though), I don't necessarily want to go through the hassle of washing it, blow drying it and styling it on a daily basis. And I know that even if I did have the motivation to do it, my hair would be incredibly unmanageable and candy floss-ish. So basically, washing my hair on a daily basis doesn't even factor into the equation for me. This is when dry shampoo becomes a bit of a necessity.

Macadamia's Volumizing Dry Shampoo is unlike any other dry shampoo product that I have tried before. There's none of that trademark dry shampoo white powder to be found when you start spraying this product. Macadamia's sprays on clear. Normally I'm left with white roots when I pick up a bottle of dry shampoo from the drugstore and as a redhead I definitely can't get away with that look to be honest. Instead of using the conventional powders that many brands employ, this dry shampoo works by using starch to absorb oil and grease.

Now the £19.50 price tag might be rather off-putting for many but unlike the drugstore alternatives this hasn't run out after about a month of use. Normally I can go through cans of dry shampoo pretty quickly depending on how often I use it but this is still impressively full. This is because you honestly only need a little amount of product to achieve a lot. I think I'm becoming increasingly aware that the more luxury/high-end products on the market tend to focus on this much more so than the affordable drug-store brands. Applying any more is not only a waste of product but it can also leave the hair feeling wet and a little crunchy if you apply far too much. It also does add volume. It simultaneously adds volume whilst getting rid of any grease or excess oil. One word; genius!

After falling in love with this product I now really want to explore more of the Macadamia range. Do you have any recommendations of products that really work for you? And if you have any reviews of these products then please feel free to leave a comment below with the link to that review and I will be sure to check that out.

Do you like the sound of this dry shampoo-come-voluminising product? Would you ever consider paying over the £10 mark for such a product? And if you are a fan of using dry shampoos, which other brands would you recommend trying?


Sunday, 10 August 2014

NARS 413 BLKR Illuminator

NARS 413 BLKR Illuminator Beauty Review Limited Edition

NARS 413 BLKR Illuminator £22.50

After reading several reviews of NARS illuminators in past few months, all of which were incredibly persuasive, I just had to have a little browse on the NARS website. It was there that I first laid eyes on this wonderful 413 BLKR shade. As soon as I saw it I could actually feel my stomach getting little butterflies. Does anyone else get that rush of excitement when they find something that they just have to have? (Just me then? Hehe).

NARS 413 BLKR Illuminator Beauty Review Limited Edition

Available exclusively at the brand's flagship store in New York City's West Village and on the NARS website, this limited edition product is part of the 413 BLKR range. Named after the flagship boutique store itself, which is located on 413 Bleecker Street, this collection includes brand new and exclusive shades of lipstick, blush and nail polish, as well as a gorgeous hue of The Multiple (link to the 413 BLKR collection here).

If you are new to illuminating or highlighting products then I don't think you can get a better initiation into that realm than with NARS' liquid illuminators. This is due to the real versatility of these illuminators. Not only can you use it in the traditional sense (ie. by applying it as a highlighter, which is exactly how I've been using it) but you can also use it all over the face and in conjunction with your favourite foundation(s). By that I mean you can actually apply it under, over or mixed in with your normal foundation to really add something spectacular to your traditional make-up routine. For me this is especially true in the warmer months. Plus, on top of that, a little seriously goes such a long way with this product. You only need a tiny amount to see a huge difference. So if you're a little put off by the £22.50 price tag, I would just say to you, think of all the different ways you could put this product to use. It really is an investment piece but it's a product that I know I'll be able to turn to throughout the year.

NARS 413 BLKR Illuminator Beauty Review Swatches Swatch Limited Edition

(From left to right: product as dispensed - product swatched and blended)

This truly is the perfect shade for me personally. I do worry that shades such as Laguna and Super Orgasm might be a little dark for me but this just works incredibly well on my skin tone. Not only will it work for those with paler complexions, such as myself but it's also the kind of shade that would work universally well. It really will brighten and illuminate a whole host of skin tones, in my opinion. It's not glittery in the slightest, which is always something that puts me off trying many other highlighting and illuminating products on the market. Let's just say, you definitely won't look like one of the vampires from Twilight as a result of using this product. Hehe. It just gives such a wonderful shimmer to the skin that is almost indescribable.

What I also love about this product is just how easy it is to apply. You can either apply this illuminating product with your fingers and then blend it with a brush or alternatively you can blend it in with your fingers as well. It just depends on your preference really. I think I do a mix of the two depending on how much time I have to apply my make-up that day. Your skin doesn't feel wet or sticky like you might assume it could and it dries with such a beautiful sheen.

So what do you think of this limited edition shade? Have you tried any of the NARS illuminators? If so, what do you think of them? And what other shades would you recommend that I try?


Friday, 8 August 2014

St. Enoch Summer Blogger Challenge

St. Enoch Summer Blogger Challenge
From left to right: Warehouse Pretty Stone Studs £6 - H&M Shoulder Bag £19.99 - Dorothy Perkins Black and White Bikini Top £14 -  Dorothy Perkins White And Black High Waisted Bikini Bottoms £12 - Warehouse Stud Crossover Sandals (Find at Debenhams) £22 - Topshop Wrap Front Jersey All In One £25 - Topshop 3D Flower Brow Cateye Sunglasses £18 - Warehouse Metal Bars Waist Belt (Find at Debenhams) £16 - Illamasqua Paranormal UV Nail Varnish Limited Edition (Find at Debenhams) £15 - H&M Multistrand Necklace £9.99 - Viktor & Rold BONBON Eau De Parfum (Find at Debenhams) £50 - Dorothy Perkins Green Block Heel Sandals £32

I was recently challenged to put together an outfit for the summer as part of the St. Enoch Summer Blogger Challenge. St. Enoch is always the first place that I head to when I'm going shopping in Glasgow City Centre. It's also the place where I normally stop to refuel with a bite to eat at what I would deem the best food court out of all the shopping centres in Glasgow City Centre. If you follow me on instagram (@ellistuesday) then you will have seen that I paid a visit to the food court only yesterday (link here). So I instantly knew where I'd be heading to find the pieces for this Summer Blogger Challenge.

When I think summer I immediately think summer holidays and since I just so happen to be going on my summer holiday to Florida in a few months time, I knew exactly the kind of outfit I'd want to focus on for this challenge. Since space in my luggage is always rather limited (I try my best to leave as much space for bringing back holiday goodies as I can) I aim to bring pieces with me that will work equally well for the daytime as they would for the night-time. Picking items such as midi dresses, maxi dresses, playsuits and jumpsuits removes the need to bring multiple tops and bottoms along for the journey. Instead you can create an entire outfit around one key piece, such as I've done here. This led me to find such a beautiful statement piece from Topshop; a Wrap Front Jersey All in One.

I think the wrap front makes this basic jersey jumpsuit incredibly interesting and the fact that it's all black means the opportunities are pretty much limitless when it comes to accessorising this to create two (or more) outfits. Just because I've chosen to higlight one daytime look and one night-time look (both below) that doesn't mean to say that you can't mix and match all of the different pieces to create even more beautiful looks.

Firstly let's start with my daytime look:
St. Enoch Summer Blogger Challenge Day Wear Look

From left to right: Topshop Wrap Front Jersey All In One £25 - Warehouse Pretty Stone Studs £6 - Topshop 3D Flower Brow Cateye Sunglasses £18 - Warehouse Stud Crossover Sandals (Find at Debenhams) £22 - H&M Shoulder Bag £19.99 - Dorothy Perkins Black and White Bikini Top £14 -  Dorothy Perkins White And Black High Waisted Bikini Bottoms £12 - Illamasqua Paranormal UV Nail Varnish Limited Edition (Find at Debenhams) £15 - Viktor & Rold BONBON Eau De Parfum (Find at Debenhams) £50 

This pair of studded crossover sandals from Warehouse at Debenhams are perfect for day or night. They are flat enough to keep your feet comfortable whether you're taking a trip to the beach, to the malls or just out for a spot of lunch. Next up, this shoulder bag from H&M, which I've had my eye on for quite a few months now, ties in the black and gold theme started by the sandals perfectly. It really is the perfect size for all your summer essentials (including your swimwear in case you decide to go for an impromptu dip in the pool or the sea) and can also easily take you from day to night. 

Now the sunglasses from Topshop are just absolutely stunning! The mix of a cateye frame and a flower design makes these the dreamiest sunglasses that I've seen on the high street this summer. I also couldn't complete a summer outfit without a spritz of the one fragrance that I've been coveting all summer; Viktor & Rolf's BONBON. Despite already owning far too many summer scents I have a feeling this might need to come home with me on one shopping trip before the summer ends.

Then to transform the look for night:

St. Enoch Summer Blogger Challenge Night Wear Look

From left to right: H&M Multistrand Necklace £9.99 - Warehouse Pretty Stone Studs £6 -
Topshop Wrap Front Jersey All In One £25 - Illamasqua Paranormal UV Nail Varnish Limited Edition (Find at Debenhams) £15 - Warehouse Metal Bars Waist Belt (Find at Debenhams) £16 - Viktor & Rold BONBON Eau De Parfum (Find at Debenhams) £50 - H&M Shoulder Bag £19.99 - Dorothy Perkins Green Block Heel Sandals £32

I took inspiration from one of the shades in the pair of earrings (that I also included above) that you can pick up at Warehouse in Debenhams, by adding a few teal green accessories into the mix for this night-time look. First of all, how amazing are the green block heel sandals from Dorothy Perkins? Can you fall in love with a pair of shoes? Because I'm genuinely smitten with these. I then matched the green of the sandals to this wonderful multi-strand necklace from H&M which features a stunning greeny-blue stone. Then add a great belt such as this one from Warehouse at Debenhams (which also perfectly matches the Warehouse sandals in the image above). This means you can quickly take your look from day to night just by adding a metallic or sparkly belt. Oh and that Illamasqua nail varnish that features in both the day and night outfits, well it really does come into it's own on a night out. This UV nail varnish literally glows in the dark. Yeah you heard me right! And during the day it's the most beautiful shade. 

So what do you think of the pieces that I've selected and the outfits that I have created? Also, would you like to see more of these posts in the future? I'd love to hear what you think.

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