Florabundance: October 2011

30 October 2011

Top 5 Blushers

I've never been one to write 'top 5' or 'top 10' favourites post, but I decided to jump on the bandwagon as I love reading other peoples favourites.

So to start with, here are my top 5 blushers...

Top Row L-R: MAC Gentle, MAC Pink Swoon, MAC Melba
Bottom L-R: Nars Deep Throat, Benefit Coralista

1. Benefit Coralista - this is hands down my all time favourite blush! I just find it so flattering on my skin and it always looks great. It is quite shimmery, meaning I don't really need to use a highlighter when I use this and it still makes my skin look glowing. Benefit blushers are ridiculously expensive but I've had this box since January 2010 and I haven't even hit pan :)

2. MAC Pink Swoon - this is the first ever MAC blusher I bought (back in 2006!), and it is also the first blusher I ever bought and used consistently. Before I got Pink Swoon, I never bothered with blusher so in a way this blush is what started my love affair.... it really made me realise what a difference a pop of blusher on the cheeks can do for your complexion.

3. MAC Gentle - this is the only mineralized blush that I really use, and I think it is perfect for days when you have gone heavier on the bronzer and want a tiny pop of colour on the cheeks. It is also great for days when you are wearing minimal make-up. It is also has shimmer in it so it makes you look glowing and gorgeous.

4. Nars Deep Throat - I find this really comparable to Coralista, but it is definitely more pink than coral. I love Nars blushers but this is definitely my favourite - it suits my skin tone and never looks too harsh.

5. MAC Melba - I love this blusher for summer time when I'm tanned and using quite a bit of bronzer - Melba just looks so subtle on the cheeks. It is also my only matte blusher.

What are your top 5 blushers? I'd say I have a rather small collection compared to other make-up items, so I'm open to new purchases :)

Lydia xox

27 October 2011

FOTD 27th October 2011

Not quite sure what is going on with my camera today - it seems to be taking very grainy photos with the flash off despite being in great natural lighting :(
On the plus side, whilst I was trying to figure it out I snapped quite a few photos and ended up deciding to use one as a FOTD! How convenient :)

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Bisque
MAC Moisturecover Concealer in NW20
Nars Laguna Bronzer
MAC Mineralized Blush in Gentle

MAC Brow Gel in Clear
MAC Bare Study Paint Pot - all over the lid up to the brow bone
MAC Woodwinked Eyeshadow - over the whole lid
MAC Mystery Eyeshadow - crease
MAC Phloof! Eyeshadow - inner corner
L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Chance

Au naturel!

H&M this season

I hope you all enjoy FOTD posts. I personally like them because it allows me to see products in action, and inevitably get put on to my make-up wish list as a result!

Lydia xox

26 October 2011

Origins Clean Energy Cleansing Oil Review

I had planned to do an entire skin care post today, but then I changed my mind - you see, I'm quite fickle with skin care - I rarely repurchase products unless they have stood out to me.
Instead, I decided to put the spotlight on my evening cleanser of choice at the moment because it is definitely a product I'll repurchase.

"A healthier looking future for skin begins here. This lightweight, high-tech, hybrid formula with non-comedogenic Olive, Sunflower, Sesame and Safflower Oils removes dirt, makeup and pollutants with high efficiency.
Kukui Nut and Macadamia help protect precious natural moisture resources. Vitamin E helps reduce effects of environmental hazards such as irritation that can threaten the comfort of skin. Skin breathes freely. And the energizing aroma of Grapefruit, Orange and Lemon renew your spirits."

Wow, what a humungous product blurb with a plethora of claims and promises! Well, I can safely say the product itself lives up to them all.

I use the Origins Clean Energy every evening and it removes every little scrap of my make-up. I have used many oil cleansers in the past (Laura Mercier, MAC to name a few) but none of them remove foundation and eye make-up as well as the Origins version.

Oil is definitely my number one choice for make-up removal. For someone with combination-oily skin this might sound crazy to you, but using an oil is so gentle and effective at cleansing whilst also leaving the skin feeling comfortably hydrated. Despite having skin with oily tendencies, I absolutely hate any cleanser that leaves the skin stripped!

Another plus point for me is that it only costs £17 for 200ml of product. To some people, £17 might be a lot for a cleanser which I understand. But for me, £17 is a reasonable price point - especially when a bottle lasts so long! The photo I included above was taken this morning so you can see how much product I have used over the past month and a half. I think a bottle would easily last me 4 months! So at £17 a bottle every 4 months, it's not too bad right?

Origins are my favourite skin care brand and I'd highly recommend checking them out if you haven't already.

Lydia xox

Disclaimer: Product purchased myself.

25 October 2011

Recent Skin Saviors

I have two products that definitely deserve a post of their own today - for they are truly my recent skin care saviors!

1. Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion: I've been using this non stop for about 3 weeks now and I am so happy with the results. I had a bad outbreak of cystic spots on my chin which is very annoying, and at first I used quite a lot of acne orientated products to try and get rid of them which just dried out my chin. So then I decided to take the gentle route, which is where my old faithful Cetaphil lotion came in to play. I apply this every morning and night and my skin has calmed down a lot. Once my skin goes back to normal I know I will use my Origins face cream again, but it's nice to have the Cetaphil as a safety blanket for when my skin goes berserk!

2. Satin Care Sensitive Skin Shave Gel: This past month I have started to get red itchy bumps all over my legs after shaving - well I was getting them until I started using this gel. I bought it from Superdrug for around £3 and every time I shave my legs with it it my legs are rash free :) thank the lord! I really recommend this if you get a shaving rash or you have sensitive skin in general.

Have you had any skin or product saviors as of late?

Lydia xox

22 October 2011

Interview Attire

Yesterday I had (yet another) job interview. It was for a job in admin, which is what I have mostly worked in in the past so I knew how to present myself in terms of clothes, hair and make-up.

You can't really see my full outfit in the photo sorry, but I am rubbish at taking photos of myself if I'm not holding the camera!

Black Waterfall Blazer - Topshop
Black Chiffon Dress - H&M
Black 90 Den Tights - Accessorize
Black Reva Pumps - Tory Burch
Rose Gold Watch - Michael Kors

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation #5
Chanel Pressed Powder #30
MAC Mineral Skin Finish in Triple Fusion (LE Colour Crafted Collection)
MAC Woodwinked Eyshadow
L'oreal Voluminous x5 Mascara
MAC Clear Eyebrow Gel
Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick in 04 Imagination

Au naturel.. with a bit of help from Moroccan Oil :)

Lydia xox

21 October 2011

Drugstore Purchases

Hate to use the term 'drugstore' as I am in the UK and all, but really.. what IS the UK equivalent of drugstore? I don't think we have a specific one!

Anyway enough rambling, here is what I have picked up from Boots and Superdrug this week :-)

  • L'oreal Voluminous x5 Mascara in Black (an old favourite)
  • Garnier Fresh Essentials Eye Make-Up Remover (something like my 20th bottle!)
  • Dove Damage Therapy Colour and Radiance Shampoo
  • Dove Intensive Repair Express Treatment Conditioner
  • Dove Silk Glow Shower Gel
All of the Dove products I have used on and off over the years but a while ago the hair products have been re-packaged and gone up in price so I stopped purchasing them. They are now all on offer for £1.20 in both Superdrug and Wilkinson's so I thought why not :-) I'd really recommend trying them out now that they are on offer - they all contain serum which leaves the hair super soft! I am going to stock up for sure.

Lastly, I picked up Marie Claire magazine and it has a free L'Occitane hand cream - amazing freebie :)
On a side note, how beautiful does Reese Witherspoon look on the cover? I am going to keep this magazine to show my hairdresser at my next hair appointment - hello side fringe, bye bye middle parting! What do you think?

Lydia xox

20 October 2011

Shellac 'Decadence'

So today I had my first ever Shellac appointment and I'm very pleased :-)

I plumped for the colour Decadence - see below for stock photo and above for the colour on my nails :)

Decadence looks really dark in the bottle which is what I wanted it to look like, however it turned out more of a cherry red which I am equally as happy with - think this kind of red is so classic :)

The whole process took around 30 minutes - a lot quicker than when I used to get 3 Week Manicure at Nails Inc.
It also only cost me £15 - a hell of a lot cheaper than Nails Inc!

Now that I have had Shellac I don't think I'd ever think twice about going back to Nails Inc. Nothing against the company - I do love getting manicures there - but the 3 Week Manicure is pricier and it also weakened my nails over time from the buffing during the removal process.

I'm still a bit of a Shellac novice, so if you would like a bit more in depth information then I suggest heading over to Sarah's blog where she has a really informative post on Shellac and a post on the colours you can get.

Have you ever had Shellac? What colours do you recommend?

Lydia xox

19 October 2011

Lately Loving...

I seem to have caught the blogging bug recently and want to post all the time.

Here is a post on a few things I am loving lately...

  • Curly hair
  • Nars Sheer Glow foundation
  • Slatkin & Co Leaves Candle (why why why must we be deprived of Bath and Body Works in the UK :( I do not love that!)
  • Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion
  • Fleece pyjamas (Primark!)
  • The Vampire Diaries - I look forward to Fridays, when I can stream the new episode online!
  • Winged eyeliner - I have finally perfected the art, hallelujah! I now wear it daily.

What are you loving lately?

Lydia xox

17 October 2011

Nars Ashes to Ashes & Mekong

After doing a blog post on Nars recently, I found myself lusting over lots of products over on the Nars website. I tried to restrain myself and in the end I ordered a modest 2 eyeshadows :)

The eyeshadows I chose were Ashes to Ashes (left)) and Mekong (right). Both have been talked about quite a lot by other bloggers and on YouTube so I figured they were a safe bet as I liked the sound of them. I was not disappointed!

Below: Swatches of Ashes to Ashes (top) and Mekong (bottom) in natural light - sooo pretty :)

I am very happy with my new Nars additions and can't wait to expand my collection even more! They are extremely pigmented, so you do need a light hand - particularly with Mekong. Most days I have been putting a wash of Ashes to Ashes over the entire lid and adding a flick of eyeliner. If I have more time or I need a more evening-appropriate look, I've been blending the tiniest amount of Mekong in to the outer V and crease.

Do you have any Nars eyeshadows? I currently have 3 and would like to expand - do you have any recommendations for my wishlist?

Lydia xox

16 October 2011

What I've Been Buying This Week...

So I have a mish mash of things I have bought this week and to make a little change from a beauty post I thought I'd post this on here instead!
My auntie came down to stay from Hampshire and we had a nice day shopping. Here is some of the stuff I picked up...

Absolutely gorgeous scarf from H&M (£12.99), I think the colours are perfect for autumn and that it will go with a lot of outfits. I tend to wear a lot of dark colours in winter so this will hopefully add a bit of life to my outfits!

This top is also from H&M (£7.99), which I think is just a nice simple basic. I got it in size L without trying it on and I'm really regretting that now - I usually get a M so I think this may have to be exchanged. I also want to pick it up in black! Very light and airy but with long sleeves so I think this will be a nice transitional piece of clothing.

I'm going to put it out there - I hate Primark and rarely shop there, but you can't beat their nightwear - especially in winter :) I always pick up some fleecey pyjamas from there every year as they are a bargain and soo cosy! (£7 for the pair)

Flip flops at the start of Autumn, I hear you ask? Well I got these Havaiana's from http://www.powderrooms.com/ for a bargainous £7 in the sale! I am going to America for 6 weeks in March/April next year so these will definitely come in handy - it is kind of a ritual for me that I buy a new pair every time I go on holiday hehe.

Finally, I ordered Essie Damsel in a Dress polish from Ebay and it arrived last week. I painted my nails with it last night and it is such a gorgeous colour - a dark with some purple shimmer to it. Pretty!

Hope you all enjoyed this post,

Lydia xox

12 October 2011

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua - Repurchase!

I recently repurchased Chanel's Vitalumiere Aqua foundation because I flippin' love it! For me to repurchase a product can be sometimes quite rare so I thought it deserved a little blog post.

I was running dangerously low on my old bottle, plus it was in shade 20 which was a bit too light for me so I went and bought a brand new bottle of B30. I think I'll put my old bottle aside so I can use the remnants up when I'm paler in winter :)

Here's a photo of me wearing it :) probably not the greatest photo to choose as I currently have a cystic spot outbreak on my chin boohoo - nothing a bit of concealer can't hide though!

Lydia xox

8 October 2011

Illamasqua Freak Eau de Parfum

Recently I was kindly sent a very generous 15ml sample of Illamasqua's new (and first!) perfume - Freak. I was not expecting it but I was pleasantly surprised because I have been itching to smell it ever since I heard that the brand were bringing out a perfume!

As always with Illasmasqua, the box had huge attention to detail with the silver shell, purple shredded paper and the images rolled up in to a scroll. I also love that the perfume came in a small velvet pouch!

I am SUCH a fan of the way they seal their envelopes with wax :-) it's all very Harry Potter eh?!

But enough about my package, let me tell you about Freak....

"Freak is you, freak is me, freak is her, freak is he, freak's who you are and want to be, freak's the door, freak's the key, freak is out, freak is free. The freak's will inherit the earth." Alex Box, Illamasqua's Creative Director

I'm dreadful at describing scents so I shall instead say what the press release says about Freak...

Top Notes
Black Davana, Opium Flower and Belladonna; bewitch the senses into uncontrollable lust and passion.

Heart Notes
Poison Hemlock, Datura and Queen of the Night blossom; caress and kiss.

Base Notes
Aromas of Frankincense, Oud and Myrrh; addictively mesmerises and captures the senses.

My thoughts on Freak:

It is a rather sensual and sexy scent that lingers for hours and hours on the skin. In my opinion, it would make a great evening scent. My initial thoughts on the perfume was that it smelled a bit like bergamot but with a sort of citrus freshness to it. I also feel it is very unisex - either female or male could wear it, if they so wished. I may actually buy this perfume once my sample runs outs, as I have really been enjoying wearing it, particularly as the weather is colder and I have felt an urge to wear stronger perfumes. The only downfall? I wish it had more sizes as the current size is quite a big commitment.

Freak by Illamasqua 75ml EDP will retail at £59 and can be pre-ordered from the 3rd October at Illamasqua.com - the scent will launch 20th October.

Lydia xox

7 October 2011

A Face Full of Nars! FOTD 07/10/11

I dug out Nars Sheer Glow today and as I was applying it I decided to go a bit Nars crazy and try and do a face full of Nars products :)

Here is my FOTD:

Nars Sheer Glow in Deauville
Nars Bronzer in Laguna
Nars Blusher in Deep Throat

Nars Eyeshadow in Ondine
Covergirl LashBlast Mascara
MAC Brow Gel in Clear

Nars Lipstick in Roman Holiday

I think I did quite well - only 2 products were non Nars :)

What do you all think of Nars? Are you fans or not so keen? I've only really got in to them over the past year and my collection is slowly growing. They are definitely one of my favourites though :-) just wish they weren't so pricey!

Lydia xox

5 October 2011

Naughty MAC Haul!

To make the most of being in a city that had a MAC store earlier this week, I decided to pop in and pick up a few bits. I'll be honest, I didn't plan on getting this much but I thought what the heck - it would be better than placing an order later down the line...

Lipstick in Girl About Town - a gorgeous hot pink creamsheen, which is my favourite finish of lipstick. I'm such a sucker for fuschia lips. I'm not scared of a bright lip at all, but I frequently choose pink over red so this purchase will not go unloved.

Select Moisturecover Concealer in NW20 - I've been tempted to buy this for a while and think it will be great for spots that are dried out. My other cream based concealers always emphasise the flakies, so hoping this will disguise them better. I will also use this for under eyes.

Eyeshadow pans: Mylar, Mystery, Club, Nocturnelle - just building up my palettes slowly. Though it was about time I'd own a highlight other than Brule. Also love using purple on my eyes, so Nocturnelle is a nice little addition :)

On a side note...
Sometimes I feel a bit iffy about posting hauls, but I am a nosy person and like to see what other people buy so that's why I do them. When other people post them, I enjoy reading them. I hope people like to read mine!
Hey ho, I guess everyone has their opinions.

Lydia xox

4 October 2011

September 2011 Favourites

Hello everyone! Yep, it's that time of the month again.... time to do monthly favourites :)

September has been a bit of a blah month for me, nothing much has been going on but I did find time to shop and all of these items are kind of newbies :)

1. Soap and Glory Pulp Friction - this body scrub is probably the best I've ever come across. It smells gorgeous and fruity, and has a thick paste consistency with very fine scrubbing beads. I find it very gentle and non-abrasive, unlike the Body Shop one I had previously been using.

2. Dior Forever Flawless Perfection Foundation - I think this may actually be one of my favourite foundations! I bought my first bottle of it back in March and I used it constantly, but as soon as summer rolled around it got put to the back of my drawer as the shade was too light for me. However I have now invested in the shade up (020 Light Beige) and I am wearing it every day again. I love it for many reasons - it smells great, has just the right amount of coverage (medium) and I find it looks better on the skin as the day goes on.

3. Dr Weil for Origins Mega Mushroom Skin Relief Cream - I fell in love with this back in August after a lady at the Origins counter gave me a generous sample pot. I had previously been told by a different woman that this would not suit my combination skin, so I was amazed to see that it was doing wonders for my skin. I later found out that this is actually for sensitive skin, so it should be pretty universal. It totally gets rid of any redness and I wake up with plump, soft skin each morning. It is also less greasy feeling than my previous oil free face cream, providing a great foundation base in the mornings. I am still alternating this with my Origins Starting Over oil free, but when I run out of both I will be sure to repurchase the Mega Mushroom cream.

4. Dior Amber Diamond - ahh the famous Amber Diamond! I knew I'd crack and buy it one day, and that day sure came at the end of August this year. I have been using it basically every day since getting it and I love how it gives me a healthy glow. Most days I am skipping blusher altogether and just using bronzer with Amber Diamond on the cheekbones.

What have you been loving this month? Looking forward to everyones monthly favourites, as usual :)

Lydia xox

3 October 2011

Lush Christmas 2011: Magic Wand

Calling all Lush Snow Fairy fans... prepare to get mega excited and squeal with delight!

I was wandering around Cardiff on Saturday after having a successful job interview, when I decided to pop in to Lush and treat myself. I thought to myself that I'd pick up a Butter Ball or two... but I was totally not prepared to see the entire Christmas collection out on shop floor! YAY!

What struck me the most out of this years collection was definitely the Magic Wand. It is a brand new addition to the beloved Snow Fairy line that comes out every year. I think people are going to absolutely nuts for the Magic Wand... my money's on a regular sell-out!

See it here in all its glory:

Isn't she purrdy?!

Lush says:

"A reusable bubble bar star that gives mounds of sweet-smelling foam. This is a solid version of our best selling Snow Fairy shower gel for those who prefer to bath.

The magic of this version is that you can wave your wand under the water until you have the amount of bubbles you want – then you just stash it someone safe to dry off, ready for when you next bath."

Now for the slightly negative aspect - it does cost a whopping £4.95! However, it is reusable despite dunking the whole thing in to the bath each time you use it - very impressive in my books that the bubble bar doesn't just shrivel up after water contact. According to Lush, you should get several baths from this, depending on how much bubbly magic you want in your bath of course.

Each use will leave you smelling of candy floss and pear drops. Baths don’t get more yummy or more girly than this :)

Are you going to be trying this? I will be stocking up for sure!!!

Lydia xox