Florabundance: May 2012

31 May 2012

ghd Air Dryer

ghd, the iconic British brand, have an exciting new release in the form of their first professional hair dryer called Air. This release could not come at a better time, what with it recently being the brands 10th anniversary. Yes, 10 years - can you believe it? With ghd flat irons being such an established must-have tool, it is hard to remember a time when we didn't have our beloved straighteners to make us look polished.

The Air hair dryer has been developed with the help of professional styling experts and it is designed to help you achieve the highly coveted salon blow dry look every day. It features a powerful professional AC motor (2,100 Watt) and advanced ionic technology, which means it delivers exceptionally fast drying time whilst also reducing frizz. Whether you are looking for quick, sleek results or an abundance of volume in record time, the new ghd air promises to help you achieve it. With 2 concentrator nozzles, I can imagine the amount of styles you could create is endless.

ghd CEO, Paul Stoneham, says "an incredible amount of research development and testing has gone in to producing such a high caliber, salon strength hairdryer. ghd air will leave consumers literally blown away."

In my opinion, it looks set to be the perfect companion to other ghd styling tools and I can't wait to get my hands on it. I have pretty long hair now and I absolutely loathe drying my hair for 20 minutes - anything that can cut the drying time down in my books is a winner.

Priced at £99 and available from their website . Although pricey, ghd are a brand I have no qualms about splashing out on. I have had my ghd flat irons for 6 years now and they are still going strong - very impressive!

What do you guys think about ghd Air? Will you be purchasing?

Lydia xox

Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post, however I only agree to sponsored posts if I believe the products are relevant to my blog and the people who read it. All content written by me and all opinions are my own.

25 May 2012

Tag: 8 Most Worn

Finally got around to filming a new video. I decided to dig up an old tag, which is the 8 Most Worn one.

Don't forget to open this out on YouTube and select 720p HD for the best quality :-)

Hope you enjoy this, and please let me know of any other videos you'd like to see me do!

Lydia xox

24 May 2012

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Review

I have been itching to review the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair for quite some time now, but I wanted to make sure I had thoroughly tested it out before giving my thoughts on it. After all, it is a pricey product and so I wouldn't want to sing its praises too soon and influence others to buy it before I had properly tried it myself. 

A 50ml bottle set me back £54. I decided to plump for the larger bottle even though I had never tried it before, mainly because if I bought a 30ml bottle for £41 and had to repurchase it, I would be kicking myself for not buying the larger size which works out at a much better deal (although still extortionate, I'm aware).

Why did I decide to splash out on this in the first place, you must wonder? Well, having heard an absolute plethora of positive things about this product, along with seeing how many awards it had won, a beauty addict like me simply could not pass a beauty icon like this by. What got me the most, was that I have heard so many girls say that this has helped fade their spot scars and reduced the amount of time a spot would last. 

Estee Lauder claim that ANR helps skin to reduce the appearance of past damage and help prevent future damage. Although sold primarily as an anti-aging product, a huge emphasis is placed on repairing and preventing skin damage whether it's from air pollution, the rays of the sun or even the stresses of modern day life.

I have to say that over the past two or three months, I have noticed a definite improvement in how my skin looks. My old spot scars are not so prominent, I get fewer breakouts, I never get dry patches on my skin any more and my skin just feels smoother in general. I use a few drops of this on my face in the evening, but I limit my use to every other night as I don't feel my skin quite needs a serum every night as it has oily tendencies as it is. Sometimes I use a moisturiser over this (usually Embryolisse) but it really depends on how my skin is feeling at the time.

As for value for money, I have used about a third of this 50ml bottle in almost three months so I imagine this bottle would last roughly 9 months - not too bad, although surely it should last considering the price hey? I do intend to repurchase this, although I am still very skeptical about anti-aging products in general and I guess only time will tell at how well this product performs in terms of that. For me, this product is more about repairing my skin from breakouts and I couldn't dream of being without it now!

Lydia xox

19 May 2012

Revlon Lip Butters

I was determined not to get caught in the hype that was surrounding the Revlon Lip Butters once they hit the UK, but I'm not sure what came across me the other day but I ended up purchasing 3 of them! 

I have been pleasantly surprised with the lip butters and just wanted to do a little review to give my two cents on them. 

Sweet Tart

Sweet Tart is a gorgeous bubblegum pink that isn't too overpowering. It's definitely been my favourite and most worn of the 3, I find it's enough colour to look like you're wearing something but not so bright  that it looks out of place in the day time. Below is how it looks on my lips with two layers.

Candy Apple

I love red lips so Candy Apple was instantly drawn to me. I actually really like this and it's great to find a red that is so balmy and moisturising on the lips - it will be perfect for winter and Christmas time. My only gripe is that when I swatch on my hands it looks incredibly pigmented, but for it to get the same pigmentation on my lips I have to go over it about 4 times. Below is how it looks on my lips with just 2 layers - less vibrant, but kind of good that you can decide how intense the colour looks.

Berry Smoothie

This colour is a classic 'my lips but better' colour. I bought this because I knew already it would get a lot of use because it is so easy to put on and forget about. Perfect for work and laid back days.
Below is how it looks with just one layer.

Overall, I have to say I'm very impressed with these. I know L'Oreal have brought out something similar recently which everyone seems to be claiming is better, but I personally couldn't find any shades in that range that I liked the look of. The Revlon Lip Butters have a nice variety and I already know I will be picking up a few more. They feel so hydrating on the lips and I find they last a decent amount of time on me before disappearing. I also love how glossy they look without feeling sticky.
I think at £7.99 a pop they are quite pricey for drugstore make-up, however I bought these on 3 for 2 in Superdrug and £15 for 3 drugstore lipsticks is much more reasonable in my opinion. I would definitely recommend these, but wait until they are on offer :-)

Lydia xox

17 May 2012

OPI Excuse Moi

I paid a (very long!) visit to an Ulta when I was in Miami last month and boy did I hit it big time with the OPI sale they had going on. I picked up a lot of $2.49 polishes, and one of them was Excuse Moi from the Christmas OPI Muppets collection. I had wanted it since it was released but I thought to myself "don't buy another glitter polish..." however for $2.49 I could hardly say no!

I have to say I'm really impressed with this nail polish - it is opaque in just 2 light coats, which is almost unheard of with glitter polishes no matter what the brand. I also love that the glitter is multicoloured, it just seems to catch the light beautifully. It lasted 5 days on me with no chipping - very impressive! My only gripe is that it looked a little dull and flat after the first day, but I sorted this out with a layer of Sally Hansen's Mega Shine Top Coat.

If you can get your hands on this I'd absolutely recommend it :-)

Lydia xox

15 May 2012

Top 5 MAC Lipsticks

This evening I posted my second video, which is my top 5 MAC lipsticks. I thought I would make this blog post so that I could include photos and swatches. 

Don't forget to select 720 HD for the best quality :)

Swatches L-R: Shy Girl, Creme Cup, Vegas Volt,  Petals and Peacocks, Rebel.

Hope you enjoyed my second video. It's a bit choppy as I'm not 100% used to editing yet! Also please subscribe if you intend to regularly watch my videos, as I don't think I will always create blogposts for them.

Lydia xox

13 May 2012

Make-Up Bag Essentials

I think most beauty addicts are like me; we chop and change products on a daily basis because we own so many that it would be insane to stick to any sort of routine, right?! I like using different things each day because it allows me to try out a range of products and figure out what works for me and what doesn't. 
Thinking about this made me realise that whilst some products come and go, there are some staples in my make-up bag that are essential to me - et voila, this blog post idea was born. 

Here are my make-up bag essentials...

Chanel Poudre Universal Loose Powder
A loose powder is an absolute must-have for my oily t-zone and I don't think a day goes by when I don't sweep this powder over my face. I have tried many face powders over the years and this is truly the creme de la creme! It is expensive but it is also a gigantic tub - I've had this for a year already!

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers
I would like to thank whoever invented the eyelash curler, because I honestly think I couldn't live without a pair! I have long lashes but they have absolutely no curl to them so an eyelash curler is the most important step in my morning routine. As for what brand to go for, I have been a fan of No7 in the past but since trying the Shu Uemura ones three years ago I have never looked back. Currently on my second pair, I think they are well worth splashing out on because they last so damn long! 

Illamasqua Brow Cake 
I never used to bother with my eyebrows much until this product came in to my life. Every day I now use the Illamasqua brow cake on an angled brush to define and extend my brows. I particularly love it because it can be used dry, as a powder, or wet (preferably with Illamasqua Sealing Gel) for waterproof, super defined brows that aren't gonna budge!

Bobbi Brown Corrector
I use this as my under eye concealer and I truly could not be without it. It camouflages my dark under eye area perfectly and I'd say as long as I had this on I'd be happy enough to go out in public without foundation. It gives me an instant pick me up and makes me look much more awake in the mornings! Hero product status here :-)

What about you guys? What do you consider essentials in your make-up bags?

Lydia xox 

10 May 2012

Illamasqua Eurydice Lipstick

Back in March I was absolutely captivated and overwhelmed by Illamasqua's new S/S12 collection, Human Fundamentalism. I left their launch event feeling incredibly inspired, wanting to rock the new uber cool teal lipstick Apocalips and their fresh white eyeliner in Scribe. Just as the buzz was wearing off, along comes the unexpected second evolution of the collection and I am feeling inspired yet again!

Hot pink lips are totally my thing, so it is no surprise I am absolutely besotted with the new Eurydice lipstick. 

To put it simply, Eurydice is a bright fuschia pink - daring enough to make you feel empowered but hopefully not so daring that it is out of your comfort zone! I think it's the perfect balance between the two. As with all Illamasqua lipsticks, it is a matt finish. I have to be honest, I am not the biggest fan of matt lipsticks but I can make the exception with Illamasqua's lipsticks because they are still very creamy and incredibly pigmented. They are the type of lipstick you don't have to worry about on a night out because you know it isn't going to budge after a cocktail or two!

What do you think? Did you get anything from the second evolution of Human Fundamentalism?


Disclaimer: this product was sent to me, however all views are my own and this post is not sponsored.

9 May 2012

Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser Review

The Nars Tinted Moisturiser is still a fairly new product on the market and when I spotted it for the first time at a Sephora last month I squealed with delight! It seems my shade, Alaska (Light 2), is particularly popular in the US because it took around 4 different visits to different Sephora's to track it down. I couldn't be happier that I managed to get my paws on it though!

Nars describe this product as "your skin - almost bare, but better" which is absolutely spot on. They claim that it is an advanced, oil-free formula which provides a translucent veil of colour and sun protection while helping to reduce the appearance of hyper-pigmentation and dark spots over time. 
Whilst I can't comment on those properties quite yet, I have to say I am very impressed with the product. I find the coverage to be very decent, and I think it is very comparable to the famous Laura Mercier's tinted moisturiser. It is also important to note that the formula is VERY pigmented! When I first started using it I would waste a lot of product because I squeezed far too much out. Honestly, a pea sized amount is enough for the entire face - I can see the tube lasting me a very long time! As the 'Pure Radiant' name would suggest, it is luminous and gives the skin a very fresh appearance which I like. I also noticed that the texture feels much like a serum and it does not feel like any other tinted moisturiser I've tried, but this is a good thing as it feels almost weightless on the skin. Oh and did I mention it smells great?! Sort of fruity. 

Me wearing the Tinted Moisturiser. If you are scared to wear tinted moisturisers because you have skin issues then fear not - I have quite a lot of blemishes right now but a dab of concealer sorts them right out! Plus, I think it feels much nicer to let your skin breathe a little when it is breaking out.

Close up of the shade Alaska.

Alaska blended out a little. You can see how radiant the formula is already!

So to put it simply; I love this product and it is going to be an absolute make-up bag staple for me this summer. I used it every day for over 2 weeks in America and it didn't let me down once, not even in the pouring rain or the beaming hot sun. The fact it has SPF30 is a huge plus point if you are thinking of buying this to take abroad, it is unfortunately very rare to find products with such a high SPF and it essentially kills two birds with one stone in the mornings.

Have you tried the Nars Tinted Moisturiser?

Lydia xox

8 May 2012

Travel Snaps: Florida

Yet another travel post from me - hope you aren't sick of them yet! I'm getting a lot of high traffic to these posts but not many comments, but I guess that's ok as long as people want to read them :-)

I decided to skip Miami because to be honest all we did there was relax - we were so close to the beach and shops etc that we didn't venture far. 

After our 3 days of relaxing in Miami, we hopped on a coach for the 4/5hour journey to Orlando. We spent 5 days in Orlando - we decided to split it so that we'd spend a day at each of the Disney Parks (Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom) and then our final day was spent at Universal Island of Adventure purely for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter :-D

On to the photos...

 Me stood by the Disney Hollywood Studios sign. I really enjoyed this park, it wasn't that Disney orientated though as it focused on all kinds of Hollywood movies.

Yay here's me posing by the magical castle at Magic Kingdom. I wore my Minnie Mouse ears all day because I had to get in the spirit of things eh :-)

Mickey in one of the day time parades. We watched a day time one because it was longer, and then came back later on for the evening one.

The gorgeous castle lit up for the fireworks display after the evening parade. It really was gorgeous - the most magical part of my trip.

Hogwarts Express! Gosh I nearly peed my pants I was so excited :P

It looks just like the films - although not keen on the faux snow on the buildings... way too sunny for that to look realistic ha!

Me stood outside Hogwarts castle! So freaking cool - the ride inside there is amazing and well worth the 60 minute wait.

Finally, me drinking a butterbeer :-) I'd heard from various people that they tasted disgusting but I'm pleased to report I found them very yummy!

Up next will be New York.

Lydia xox

7 May 2012

USA Haul May 2012

Hi everyone! I'm really excited to share with you all my haul from America today :-) 

I didn't go too crazy because A) I was out there for 5 weeks and had to budget for food etc, and B) because I made a few expensive purchases as opposed to a crap load of cheaper ones! 

So here we go....

I managed to snag this cute Wildfox jumper at 50% off in a cute store at Hermosa Beach, CA on my first day out there. I paid just $54 for it - absolute bargain considering I was originally intending to pay full price for a Wildfox baggy beach jumper at some point on the trip!

Also in Hermosa Beach, I picked up this gorgeous scarf from a cute surfer shop near the beach. There was a whole rack of gorgeous scarves, and seeing as I am a total scarf addict I knew I couldn't leave without buying one! This scarf will now always remind me of my time in LA - I like items with sentiment :-)

Surprisingly, this sheer orange blouse was my only Forever 21 purchase. I find that with F21, I picked up a huge basket full of clothes to try on but the sizing is so weird there that nothing ever really fits right! Plus, now that F21 is much more accessible in the UK, I wasn't that desperate to buy much there.

Of course I had to pick up some Bath and Body Works candles! Possibly my favourite purchases of the trip, I love 'em so freaking much. I went for Island Margarita and Pink Sangria - both delicious scents. They were on offer 2 for $20 too, considering they are usually $19.50 each I just couldn't resist a deal like that! The lovely lady bubble wrapped them for me and I carried them in my hand luggage, so they made it home safe and sound :-)

Also at B&BW I bought some hand sanitizers. The 5 for $5 offer makes it hard to resist! One is missing because it's already half used up in my handbag :P

I picked up this huuuuuge Crest 3D White toothpaste at a drugstore as it is my absolute favourite! It might sound a little lame, but I used this for the whole 3 months I spent working in America back in 2010 and I noticed a visible difference in the whiteness of my teeth. I'm so sad this product isn't available in the UK :(

Another non-UK product I stocked up on was Jergen's Natural Glow. My favourite gradual tanner ever! I get natural, light sunkissed results EVERY time with this! 

I feel like I'm repeating myself here but... yet another non-UK product is Aveeno's Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser. We do get Aveeno in the UK but the Clear Complexion line seems to be US only unfortunately. I have really been enjoying using this - it's brilliant with a Clarisonic as it foams wonderfully.

It took me many Sephora visits to track the Nars Tinted Moisturizer down! The shade Alaska (Light 2) was sold out in SO many stores. I finally got it in NYC and I have been loving it ever since. I know I could get this at home, but it was the first time I had seen it in store as it is still a new release and I just couldn't help myself. Full review on this to come :-)

Something I was most excited to purchase cosmetic-wise in America was Tarte's Amazonian Clay Blushers. I tried to track these blushers down for months in the UK, and unless I wanted to pay stupid amounts then it was impossible! I decided to go for the shade Exposed, which I shall blog about in the near future.

I have never been a fan of Benefit's mascaras, but seeing as they retail for $22 when at home they are £22.50 I just HAD to pick up They're Real to try out. Again, full review of this to come - let's just say I am LOVING it.

As you may have already seen from my previous post, I bought Impassioned from MAC. It wasn't that much cheaper to buy from MAC in the states, but I just fancied buying a lipstick that would remind me of the trip.

Whilst in the queue at an Ulta, the EOS Lip Balms caught my eye and I just had to get one to see what all the fuss was about! I actually really like it and when I finish it I think I'll order some other flavours from Ebay.

Also at various Ulta's I picked up an array of OPI nail polishes in the sale. I bought 5 in total but these were the only 3 I could find to hand! Prices ranged from $2.49 to $4.99 - absolute bargain eh!

In Miami I managed to find the last Butter London 'Knackered' nail polish from Ulta - it is so beautiful! And again, slightly cheaper to buy Butter London in the US.

Dun dun dun... here's my big purchase of the trip! It's a gorgeous turquoise Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac Clutch. Originally it was $195 but I ended up paying $164 inc tax at the Saks Fifth Avenue friends and family 20% sale day. I didn't even know the sale was on so I was super pleased!

Speaking of bags.. I also picked up this lovely handbag from Aldo. It was on sale for $36 so I was very pleased with that. I love how structured it is and its A4 size - perfect for fitting my laptop in!

Finally, I spent a ridiculous amount of money at Victoria's Secret. I realise it is a little odd to post my underwear on here so I'll just leave you with a little snippet of some of my purchases!

Hope you enjoyed my haul. Did I miss any American essentials out? Let me know, I can add them to my list for another trip.

Lydia xox

6 May 2012

MAC Impassioned Lipstick

Most people tend to shy away from bright lipsticks, but I personally cannot get enough. Hot pink is my colour of choice, so it probably comes as no surprise that the most recent lipstick I bought is Impassioned by MAC.

Here it is in all its glory...

Taken indoors away from daylight.

Taken in bright daylight.

Despite owning a lot of pink lipsticks, I can honestly say I own nothing else like this. I'd describe it as a watermelon pink. It's incredibly vibrant and it just looks so... juicy... if that makes sense?
Being an Amplified Cremesheen makes it super creamy, super glossy and super pigmented. It feels so comfortable on the lips, I almost forget I am wearing anything. It gets bonus points for being very long lasting too! The type of lipstick I can put on at 8am and the remnants of it are still visible at 5pm.

I used to consider MAC's Girl About Town as my all time favourite hot pink, but I think Impassioned has taken the top spot now. I'd definitely recommend this one :-)

Lydia xox