As I'm sure you'll have guessed by now L and I are big fans of Paul Mitchell. We're part of their styling society this year so we'll be sharing some of our favourite products throughout the year and the new bits we love.
Last year for my birthday I got the Zoeva Complete Eye Brush Set (full review here), I instantly fell in love and was blown away by the quality of them and brushes I never knew I needed. I'd previously ordered a few ebay (review here) that I loved and still use now so when Make Up Savvy (one of L and I's favourite bloggers, her ebay bargains posts are the one!) shared this set I thought I'd see how it compared, and it comes in rose gold so looks pretty.
Today is a big day for Miss Patisserie, the brand is launching in Boots and we couldn't be more excited! We were lucky enough to be sent a few products to try so here's a few quick pictures to show you them.
They have created 7 product lines which will be available in 87 stores, and are currently available online already (although they are out of stock!)
Happy Sunday! Hope you're having a relaxing morning. I'm catching up with jobs before going to my friends son's first birthday party - he's such a cutie I can't believe he's one!
Today's post is a summary of my favourite cruelty free skincare brands. M made the switch a while ago now and I try my best to buy cruelty free, skincare is much easier for me and I'm just finishing up using some products from before. Make up is a bit more difficult but with brands like Urban Decay, Illamasqua and Make Up Revolution it is a lot easier!
Just before Christmas I was at home visiting Clarks Village, since going cruelty free last year I always pop into The Body Shop as I love their skincare now especially The Drops of Youth Range which I will be finally sharing my thoughts on next week! (L reviewed the peel here), when I was picking up my standard serum and bouncing sleep mask I had a reward on my beauty card so couldn't resist these.
A few weeks ago L and I headed to London and just happened to walk past Lush Oxford Street, as we knew Cardiff was opening it's own spa we couldn't resist a peak inside to see a glimpse of what may be on sale in Cardiff. We lost an hour in there browsing and both couldn't resist a few cheeky purchases.
The make up pigments and lipsticks are exclusive to Lush Oxford Street and Lush Cardiff I believe so if you head to either of these make sure you check them out.
I don't know about you but I am still in a 'Spring Clean' mode, so although I have some plans with friends over the weekend I also 100% want to have a sort out in my house too. Anyone else got to the point where their house looks tidy but actually it's because all the cupboards and drawers are stuffed full?! Oops!
I also plan on having a few relaxing baths - totally treating myself with multiple baths in a weekend! I've made many bath product purchases recently so it's a great excuse to look like a wrinkly lobster every few days.
One of my recent bath balls I've tried is Safari from Miss Patisserie:
If you didn't know L and I are HUGE harry potter fans (my bunnies are even named after characters - Harry Hopper and Dumbledore) we've read the books multiple times and watched the films countless times. We've been on the studio tour a few times too and we're planning another trip this year. You can see when we went on The Dark Arts tour here. When we discovered the company Storybook Cosmetics we both spent the next few weeks tagging each other in every post as we knew we'd both want all the products!! We've both got the eyeshadow palette on pre-order so I'm sure you'll be seeing lots of that! The quill and liner set is what I've got my eye on next!
Last week we were lucky enough to be invited to see the new Lush store. A few weeks back we went to Lush Oxford Street and it made us even more excited. We couldn't wait to visit and stock up on the essentials, we love how hands on Lush is and it's great to see and play with the products to find the right one for you.
Urban decay is a brand I love, I have Naked 2 and 3 (reviews Here and Here) And when my other half asked if I wanted anything for Christmas the link to ultimate naked basics was one of the first things I thought of as i don't have many matte eye shadow palettes and it had a great range of light shades.
Also the packaging needs a shout out, how gorgeous is it. It's plastic so long wearing and has a huge mirror.
As you'll know by now we love Antipodes so whenever we get the chance to review products we can't wait. The Manuka honey range is one of my favorites and it's lasting so long as the eye cream is a big pot (review Here and all Antipodes posts Here). Antipodes is the brand i turn to now for luxury quality cruelty free skincare.
Avocados are everywhere at the moment, there popular for diet, skincare and hair care. I love eating them but haven't specifically sought out skincare containing avacado oil so couldn't wait to try this out. As I'm loving my Manuka honey day cream I decided to try the Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream, I've been testing it for the last month or so now so I could really see the effects it has on my skin.(L got the Rejoice light facial day cream that I'm sure she'll share soon.)
I've been wanting to write this post for a while but I've been so busy using the eyeshadows and swatching them on my hand every day that writing about them just seemed too distracting.
If you haven't heard of Phee's Make Up Shop you have been completely ignoring almost every tweet and Instagram post we've put up in the last few months, take a look at these beauties!
First let's introduce you to Phee, she's a blogger herself who makes her own mineral make up. You can read a full bio on her About page but her make up is free of titanium dioxide (no flashback) and no talc so no powdery finish either. All they contain is Mica for a super shimmery finish and they're cruelty free with free postage in the UK - WINNER.
For my first order I picked up three eyeshadows and three highlighters, all of these were in pan form.
From left to right the pans above are Polilla, Peppered and Sphinx.
I couldn't resist picking up a few to try and ever since I have had my eyes on the rest of her collection - and I mean I wish there were more. So many more!
Let's talk about them one by one, Polilla:
I'm not sure I have ever used any eyeshadow that is so pigmented. These are such good quality and the colours are beautiful. The swatches in this post are just one swipe on the pan and swatched directly onto my hand - they're so pigmented it's kind of hard to believe.
Polilla is described as a warm toned dark brown with turquoise duo chrome. The brown gives it some body but the turquoise reflect is stunning.
The photo below shows the eyeshadow put on dry with a brush, however since then I've found that using a wet brush brings out the colour so much more! I absolutely adore it and it has fast become a favourite in my every day make up.
The second one is Sphinx, a foiled copper eyeshadow.
I can't say that I've been a fan of coppery toned eyeshadows, in fact I didn't venture much from boring basics. But I decided to embrace them recently after seeing so many pictures of beautiful looks, and this one did not disappoint.
Again, it's super pigmented and I have just applied it all over my eyelid, it's a gorgeous colour and perfect for Autumn. I've been wearing this one non stop too, especially along my lower lashline during the day for a flash of colour for work when I normally wear matte shadows.
Lastly we have Peppered. This is also a permanent choice in my every day make up now, I use it EVERY DAY and I love it.
Peppered is a foil taupe with a gold reflect running through it, this means it is super flattering on my skin tone and it's the easiest shade to just brush on in the morning and go....and with lots of liner it's a great one for the evenings too:
I really do adore all of these eyeshadows, and as soon as I can I plan on purchasing Citrine (I reeeeeeeeeally badly want this one!) and I am keeping all my fingers crossed that Iris is coming back into stock too. There are many more shades that I can only dream Phee makes soon, the quality really is amazing and I'm so in awe that she makes them herself. I wouldn't have the smallest clue how to start making my own eyeshadows let alone make enough to start my own business! Definitely #goals right?!
So in short, for £6.50 per pan I would 100% recommend these eyeshadows, and I'll be fighting anyone on my next pay day so I can pick up a few more! The highlighters are great too, there will be a separate post on those soon.
Have you heard of Phee before? Have you tried any make up from her shop?
I've been meaning to share these on the blog for ages and it's one of those things I've not gotten around to. When NYX arrived in Cardiff it was a happy day, a cruelty free brand that everyone raved about. I couldn't wait to try it. On my first visit I picked up two of the Nyx Lip Lingeries, after swatching on my hand I was sold they had such a soft mouse like texture that I had to have them.
Since then I've gotten another and a few of the Liquid Suede. I've got the liquid suedes in seductive socialite and soft spoken and the lip lingeries in ruffle trim, push up and bedtime flirt (courtesy of L as she didn't get on with the shade!). These have lived in my handbag since I picked them up, with the exception of seductive socialite, I love this shade but it's not an everyday colour. When I wore it to work a colleague talked to me, stared at my lips and said your lipstick if very purple!
The liquid suede shades are so soft on the lips, they apply well (the applicator on nyx liquid lipsticks is a bit longer than a normal doe foot applicator so takes a bit of getting used to at first!) and last pretty well. These are some of the most comfortable liquid lipsticks and don't leave you with that dreaded lipliner look as these wear off.
The lip lingeries dry slightly more matte then the suedes but are still super comfortable these also really last!! These last on me all day. One thing to be wear of with these are the shades are very similar and the colour of your natural lips effects this. Bedtime flirt looks totally different on L and me.
Subversive socialite is a rich blue toned purple, this is one of the liquid suedes so dries semi matte. I do find it needs two coats but it wears well and is easy to reapply, it doesn't go cakey when layered up.
Soft spoken Is another liquid suede, this shade is super popular and I can see why. On me it's a rose toned nude brown. It's so easy and comfortable to wear and really finishes off most looks.
Ruffle trim Is the first of the lip lingeries and slightly more orange toned than it's showing here. I love this as it's not the tone of nude I normally go for. I've been wearing it loads though and the lasting power is amazing.
Push up Is the lightest nude I can get away with without being washed out. Anything too pale doesn't suit me as my lips are naturally quite dark. I surprised myself with how much I like this colour!
Bedtime flirt You can see the difference in colour on L and I here. On L it's definitely more brown toned than on me. I originally had this in my hand when I bought the first two but decided against it. On me it's more pink than the other lip lingeries I have but still nude.
Next on my hit list is exotic. I love the slight red tone to it. These formulations are my favourite of all the liquid lipstick trends as they are matte without being uncomfortable!
Our Antipodes love continues today. We were recently sent some new bits to try and we've been testing them now for the past month. With skincare like this we like to wait a while to review it as it can take a few weeks for skin to decide if it like it. You can find all our other Antipodes posts here.
As I'm sure you'll all be aware by now at the beginning of the year after getting my two fluffy bunnies I went cruelty free. It meant I had to totally change everything I'd normally buy and left me searching for new brands. Antipodes is now one I throughly recommend. This year we've been lucky enough to try out more of the range and we've loved everything so far.
Today we're sharing our thoughts on the Manuka Honey Skin Brightening Light Day Cream and the Eye Cream (L has previously purchased and loved the Aura Manuka Honey Mask, reviewed here)
The Manuka Honey Eye Cream and Day Cream are both vegetarian society approved products and bee friendly products. I love the brand ethics of Antipodes! Manuka Honey is amazing and something that is everywhere. I decided to do some research on different Manuka Honey after recieving these to see the benefits and the differences. Manuka honey have different UMF ratings (grading systems for the beneficial properties) which is usually reflected in the price. The range from 5+ anything less than 5 has undectable levels, 5-9 have low levels, 10-15 useful levels and 16+ superior high grade levels. The different levels have different benefits too. Both the antipodes products are 20+ so you get great grade Manuka Honey that's really going to benefit the skin.
Manuka honey is know to help fight ageing, promote hydration and help with skin blemishes due to it's antibacterial properties. I couldn't wait to try these products out!
Here's what Antipodes say about the Day Cream.
Manuka Honey Skin-Brightening Light Day Cream (60ml) features bee venom, Vinanza® grape and kiwi seed to restore a light and fresh visage. Bee venom and mamaku black fern provide a gentle lifting effect. World-famous manuka honey Active 20+ with natural antibacterial properties helps address any skin blemishes. Revolutionary Vinanza® antioxidants from grape seeds and kiwi work with peony flower for the ultimate skin-bright finish.
You get 60mls of product with this which is 10mls more than standard day creams. I've been so impressed with it. I've been using it at night as well. As my skin tends to be oily combination I tend to worry a bit about trying out a new cream but this is amazing. It absorbs into my skin easily leaving it feeling moisturised and plump. My makeup allows really well over this as well (it's never good when your foundation makes your moisturiser peel off your face!) As I've just come back from holiday my skin has been loving the extra help with hydration this has been giving it and it's not made me break out which is amazing. It doesn't have SPF in which may be a downside for some people but I've taken to using a separate facial SPF lately anyways as I'm crossing my fingers it'll help with ageing!!
Here's what Antipodes say about the Eye Cream
Manuka Honey Skin-Brightening Eye Cream (30ml) with Persian silk flower helps hydrate and freshen under-eye tissue. Manuka honey Active 20+ has world-renowned moisturising and anti-inflammatory prowess. This luxury formulation introduces Persian silk flower blended with revolutionary antioxidant Vinanza® grape seed and kiwi skin to brighten delicate skin.
Again this is larger than standard eye creams and actually double most as it's 30mls. When I opened it the size suprised me. You get so much product for your money. This feels amazing on the skin. It feels so refreshing under the eye and sinks in easily leaving the skin feeling hydrated. For me I don't find many products that brightening for the under eye area so I can't comment on those bits. It leaves the skin under my eyes feeling so soft though and has been great for the changes in weather my skin has been subjected to lately.
I've really loved both these products and after using them for about a month I'm really loving them!
As Mia said, we're huge fans of Antipodes. Not only because their products are beautiful and actually work but their ingredients and ethos of being cruelty free are something that we believe in.
I have really sensitive eyes so am always a bit nervous trying out new eye creams because I don't want them to become sore. This eye cream however has been amazing, so hydrating and as it's quite a thin consistency doesn't feel heavy at all. I've been using it the last few weeks without any reactions and the skin around my eyes has stayed really hydrated - I would definitely repurchase this especially as the size of the pot is so much bigger than others.
The day cream has also been a treat to use, I've been using some other oils recently in the day to keep my skin hydrated for longer and the combination of the two together has been great.
Just like M I have also been using this in the night as it is so light and my skin just drinks it straight up!
We would both definitely recommend both of these and they are a great addition to the Aura Manuka Honey mask which has been part of their range for a while.
Have you tried Antipodes before? What are your thoughts on ingredients like Manuka Honey?
A few weeks ago we were sent some lipsticks from Living Nature, so I chose the lipstick called Wild Fire.
Living Nature are a company from New Zealand who produce products that do not contain any synthetic compounds including parabens and only use beeswax and honey from animal derived products. In fact the list of products that aren't in any of their cosmetics is pretty impressive! In fact, here's the list so you can see yourself:
No Synthetic Preservatives, No potentially harmful chemicals, No Mineral Oils, No Herbicide or Pesticide Residues, No GM ingredients, No Animal Ingredients or testing, Only Use Recyclable, Reusable Packaging. The Living Nature preservative system is a synergy of potent plant extracts which are strong antioxidants, bactericides and fungicides. Living Nature aims to create a sustainable, profitable, ecological, educational and inspirational business that impacts on the individual by promoting healthy skin.
All sounds wonderfully promising don't you think??
In addition to this, the lipsticks in particular have a 100% natural formula containing beeswax, certified by BDIH and produced in recyclable plastic tube. They are not tested on animals either which is always a great bonus, there really isn't any excuse any longer for animals to be tortured for humans to wear make up.
The packaging is black and rubbery on the outside, hopefully this means it is a little more hard wearing than other black plastic packaging we are all familiar with. It feels a lot sturdier and has a satisfying click so you can be sure the lid isn't going to fall of these - which you would think is an odd point to make but I've lost a few lipsticks to my hairbrush and keys recently and I refuse to lose any more!
Wild Fire is described as a semi-matte red with an orange undertone, it is a very wearable lipstick. The colour is quite sheer so it is more like a stain or a tinted lip balm than a traditional 'lipstick' but I really like it.
It's very comfortable to wear which is a welcome change from many of the matte lipsticks and liquid lipsticks that are available now that I can find are very drying.
My lips are quite small and I always prefer a lip product with a cream or glossy finish to give the appearance of more volume so the semi-matte finish is a perfect compromise for every day wear.
The lipstick colour doesn't last all day with eating etc but to be honest it is so easy to reapply owing to the sheer finish that it isn't a problem.
The range of lipsticks from Living Nature contains twelve colours altogether and a lip hydrator. Botanical Brands (the sole distributor in the U.K. for Living Nature) carries all 12 of these which is great! You can find them at www.botanicalbrands.com
The lipsticks cost £19.50 each which is perfectly reasonable for a lipstick with minimal chemicals and no animal testing in sight!
Have you heard of Living Nature before? Have you tried out some of their lipsticks?
They have a huge range of skincare too, some of their serums, oils and masks sound wonderful and I've spotted some gift sets that would be great on a Christmas list!
When we were contacted to see if we fancied trying some Pestle and Mortar skincare items we of course said yes. We have both taken care of our skin with full skincare routines started from our early 20s in the hope prevention is better than cure.
We couldn't wait to get out hands on the Pestle and Mortar products as not only are they cruelty free (a must for me now), they are suitable for all skin types, both of our skin needs seem to be changing so a product suitable for all is great, they also free from parabens, mineral oil, silcones, sulphates and propylene. When we first started the blog we wrote about parabens, sulphates and silcones in products and what it means, you can find these posts here.
Pestle and Mortar is an Irish beauty brand that have a great range of skincare products all in gorgeous packaging. I love the simplicity of the packaging and the monochrome it looks great on my bedside table.
We were lucky enough to be sent the Hyaluronic Serum. I'm so excited to give this a proper try. L has tried the alpha h liquid gold before which contain hyaluronic acid so was excited to try this to see how it compares.
The serum is formulated from the salt of hyaluronic acid. This is a smaller molecule and is said to be even more penetrative than hylauronic acid. I can't wait to give this a proper trial and see the results. As I'm getting older even though I have oily skin I'm still finding my skin dehydrated. Serums such as this one are great for getting moisture in my skin without drying it out.
It leaves the skin feeling really soft and the perfect base for makeup. We will be doing a full review once we've been able to try it for a while but wanted to go on and share it as with Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner Pestle and Mortar are offering some great deals. It's worth signing up to the mailing list as you get 20% off. Non-subscribers still get 15% off thought.
Lately I've been very spendy so expect a few hauls coming up!! I was meeting some friends in town the other day and have 30 minutes before they arrived and accidently ended up in boots and superdrug and before I knew it I'd bought 2 lipsticks, a lipstick palette, an eyeshadow palette, a contour palette and a nail varnish. Clearly a lack of self control that day ha!
I tend to go to Superdrug more these days as they have a great selection of cruelty free brands (NYX keeps me going to boots though!). With the weather getting colder I'm getting drawn back into the darker shades and can't seem to resist the liquid lipsticks everyone is loving at the moment. As soon as I swatched old hollywood on my hand I knew I was going to buy it. It's such a deep red colour and perfect for the colder weather.
It comes in the traditional lip gloss packaging with the doe foot applicator you would expect for a liquid lipstick, It's really easy to apply direct from the applicator and get that straight line to the lips. It dries really quickly. I love the colour and love how easy it is to apply but it's not my favourite formula. For me it's too drying and does the flaking off the lips from the middle and leaves staining around the lip line. I prefer more mouse like formulas like the NYX lip lingeries and the liquid satins.
Even though I'm not sold on the formula the colour is so amazing I will definitely keep wearing it. It just needs reapplying throughout the day to keep the colour looking it's best.
Have you tried the Sleek Matte Me lip products? Any tips on stopping it being so drying?
As I've just got back from holiday there will definitely be a few holiday based posts coming up. I'll be sharing what I got up to soon but as well took over 2500 photos across 4 cameras there are a lot of photos to sort through.
This was my first holiday since moving to cruelty free beauty so I knew I needed to pick up a few bits and find substitutes for old favourites.
My hair is something I try my hardest to keep in the best condition. It's died a lot so I was concerned about the effect of sun, sea and chlorine on it. To keep it in the best condition I made sure to pack these!
If you don't have one of these you need it. I wasn't convinced at first as £10 was a lot for me to spend on a brush but since I got it I'm totally convinced. It easily gets through the worst knots without struggling too much. I've recommended this to colleagues, my mum and my sister law who have all bought them. My mum even bought on for the cat as in his old age was getting really dirty!
Marula Oil Rare Oil Treatment
L and I went to an event a while ago and were lucky enough to have this gifted to us. It is amazing. I love it so much. You only need about two drops and my hair loves it. I use the shampoo and conditioner as well. It makes my hair shiny and helps with the dryness. Even though it's expensive it really lasts. I'm still on my first bottle and I spilt about half of it over my dresser (there were almost real tears!!). As a holiday travel product it's also great as it can be used on the skin too.
These are from New Look but I know they have similar in Primark as I was telling L to purchase them the other day. These clamps make putting the hair up so easy and especially in heat when you just want it off the face.
Facial Skin Care
Miss Patisserie Goji Youth Preserve Face Cream
Miss patisserie along with Lush is somewhere I turn to for a lot of skincare and bath needs both are totally cruelty free and have a great selection of products. This Goji Face Cream is a bargain £8.99 and I love it. It sinks into the skin so easily, it's got a lightweight texture but leaves my skin really well moisturised. I loved applying this at night to really replenish the moisture in my face.
Neals Yard Wild Rose Moisturising SPF 30 for face
I purchased this with holidays in mind but also for everyday. I'm not getting any younger and I do think a good high facial spf will help prevent wrinkles (prevention is better than cure and I'm hoping my skincare routine since I was 21 will help me in later life!!). This is heavier than I'm used to using everyday and for the first 2-3 weeks of using it I was a little spotty. It has calmed down now though and I'm happy with it. Even though I have oily combination skin and this is quite moisturising it hasn't been a problem. I use this everyday religiously now and it was amazing on holiday, My face didn't get burnt once and applying it in the morning was enough which considering I was in mid 30 degrees heat was amazing. I can't recommend this enough for holidays as well as everyday.
Lush Sparkle Toothy Tabs
Toothpaste and deodorant have been the hardest cruelty free adjustment for me. (for the record for deodorant I use Dr Organics, post here) The toothy tabs were the first ones I bought. Lush Cardiff were helpful as always and gave me a few flavours to try out and this was my favourite. It's strange getting used to not having mint. These are perfect for travel as it's one less thing to worry about exploding in the suitcase!! The tooth powders are also great!
Antipodes Saviour Skin Balm
We shared this on the blog a few weeks ago and this was a saviour on holiday!!! I used it on mossy bites and sun burn religiously and it really helped put moisture back into sun burn and soothe the skin. So far I also haven't peeled on my sun burn yet. This is a holiday must for me now as it's great to have a multi use product,
Now I'm back from holiday I still use most of these products on an everyday basis! I can't recommend them enough.
Whilst in duty free I couldn't resist a few cheeky purchases (who can!!) I'd been eyeing up the Urban Decay All Nighter foundation for weeks and had planned to purchase it. In my excitement at the airport of seeing the Urban decay Shop and Foundations there I just grab Naked Skin not paying any attention to the packaging thinking it was the All Nighter foundation. Initially I was a bit disappointed but it's actually really impressed me.