Showing posts with label Product Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Product Review. Show all posts

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint & Mattemoiselle Lipsticks


If you've been following me on  you'll know I've been hardcore crushing Rihanna's makeup brand  since it launched in September 2017. I reviewed a few of the first products I purchased  and since there's been a few more product drops that have caught my attention - the Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color and the Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipsticks. The lip obsessive in me meant that I had to buy both types of the new lip products and whilst they’re both described as matte they couldn’t be more different.


(shades left to right - Ma'Damn, Shawty, Freckle Fiesta & Uncensored)


Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color (£19/4ml) 
Stunna is only available in the shade Uncensored (red) which is stated to be universally flattering. A big claim but I haven't seen a skintone I haven't loved it on. It epitomises what beauty enthusiasts have come to recognise in the slew of matte liquid lipstick launches in the past two years but of course with Rihanna's unique twist. The super luxe glass packaging gives it a high end feel and upon opening I wasn't totally sure what to expect.


The consistency of the lip paint itself is quite runny but very pigmented and I've found getting a precise line is much easier if a lip liner is applied first. Little product is needed to coat the lips and it's so opaque this can cover even a dark-toned pout in one swipe. Application with the small stiff doe-foot wand takes getting used to as it’s quite short and the product is so liquidy. You have to work with it fast and I’ve found starting application in the middle of the lips first and then working outwards helps with avoiding getting too much product on the edges of the lips. What’s on the brush is usually all that’s needed for one application as whilst the consistency is thin this doesn’t seem to impact on the pigment - I rarely have to dip the wand back into the bottle for more.

I'm so impressed with how it feels on, very comfortable for a matte lip - so no dry or crusty lips! Once applied the product takes a while to dry down so it requires a little patience. It lasts well but it transfers and fades throughout the day faster than some of my other matte liquid lipsticks. The wear-time also decreases significantly whilst eating (especially oily food) but I'm not too fussed about having to reapply lip colour.


Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick (£16)
The Mattemoiselle lipsticks have the feel of a typical lipstick but they're much slimmer and smaller than the standard bullet. The packaging is a cute mirrored plastic, not quite as luxe in feel as Stunna but still beautiful. There's an embossed 'FB' on the end of each fresh lipstick too but this disappears after one use. I like the small size but I'm not keen on the rounded shape of the lipstick - I'd prefer a pointed tip for a more precise line. 


These are available in a rainbow of 14 shades which are stated by the brand to suit all moods and skintones. The shades are really varied from a hot pink to lilac and navy so it's clear a lot of different looks are being catered to. I'm quite safe with lip colours and with all of the products I've purchased from Fenty Beauty I've tried to stick to items I'll naturally use most days. Neutral pinks, reds and browns are my favourite tones to wear so I grabbed the 3 shades Ma'Damn (royal red), Freckle Fiesta (spiced terracotta) and Shawty (warm chestnut). 

I'm in love with all 3 shades, the tone and pigmentation I can't fault but they don’t all perform the same. For Freckle Fiesta and Shawty the formula is super buttery and only look slightly matte once applied though this isn't as obvious in the swatches. These transfer easily because of the soft texture which doesn't bother me too much but these are described as 'all-day color'. Ma’Damn has a much drier texture and is harder to apply as it's not as smooth. It feels more matte so I thought this would last longer but it also lacks staying power. The shade of red is absolutely gorgeous but it’s very similar to Stunna. It seems like a more blue-red whereas Stunna is more of a true red in person but once they are booth applied it's only really the finish that gives away the difference as they're almost identical. 


Overall, whilst these are entirely different products I do prefer one type over the other. Stunna is slightly more expensive and awkward to apply, but the pigmentation from such a little amount of product and more long-wearing ability means it outperforms the Mattemoiselle Lipsticks including Ma’Damn which is similar in tone. I feel like you get more for your money with Stunna, especially as the Mattemoiselle Lipsticks are quite small but of course it's flaw is that it's only available in red so I’d love to see more shades of this. I still love the Mattemoiselle lipsticks I have because the colours and pigmentation is beautiful. There are better mattes out there but it doesn't bother me that Shawty and Freckle Fiesta have a much smoother, buttery feel in fact I probably prefer it. I find Ma'Damn a little dry but that's what I would expect from a matte lipstick. I'd love to see some matching lip-liners added to the product collection too, especially as with all of these products a lip-liner would help increase wear-time and make creating a defined lip easier. 


With all the swatches I applied no lip balm underneath, used no liner and applied everything straight from the bullet or wand - I think the colours speak for themselves but I'll let you decide. 


Fenty Beauty is available exclusively from in the UK or fromin the US 

Have you tried Fenty Beauty?


Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 29 October 2017

The UK just got Glossier


 started shipping to the UK earlier this month through their website and as they have their own warehouse here there's no long waits for deliveries or customs charges. The time to freak out is now.

I've already given a quick run-down of the brand in  post but in short there's two important things you need to know about Glossier. Skincare is essential, makeup is secondary. Founder Emily Weiss has created a brand that's beauty stripped back with products that are easy to use in a simplified regime.

The products are good quality, neatly packed (hello pink-accented packaging) and the pricing is fair for the quality. Each product is designed to enhance your natural beauty - it's intended to be killer skincare and products to nail that 'no makeup makeup' look. Whilst the range is small there's still over 20 products to explore (and that's not counting the different shades) so I've been trying to really get to grips with as much of the range as possible over the past couple of months to really suss out what's worth purchasing.


The skincare

I've always taken a simple approach to skincare. My ideal is an uncomplicated routine with quality products which work the way they claim they will. So far I feel like Glossier deliver on those aspects but I feel like they're targeted mostly to a particular skin type - dry with not many other skin concerns.


 (£15/177ml)*
It's a pH balanced gel cleanser to remove impurities without irritating or drying out the skin. Interestingly it contains poloxamer which is a mild cleansing agent found in contact lens solution - so this product is safe to use around the eyes to remove eye makeup. It feels so gentle on the skin, leaving it fresh and clean afterwards but without that squeaky, tight feeling. It's a good cleanser but it's not the best makeup remover. I've found removing my mascara separately first is easier. I also always double cleanse in the evenings to ensure all traces of my makeup are gone, so I often use this after another cleanser.

(£18/50ml)*
It's stated to provide the ideal base for skin before makeup. It contains hyaluronic acid and mushroom plant extract to add moisture and plump the skin for a dewy finish. Tea and honey also soothes redness and calms the skin. It's a very hydrating moisturiser with a lightweight texture which you can build up as much as you need. It isn't tacky - it just leaves the skin soft and smooth. I like it but not enough for it to replace another 2-in-1 priming moisturiser I use from another brand which feels lighter and more ideal for my oily-prone skin.

 (£24/15ml)*
Glossier has 3 skincare serums, the Super Pure contains niacinamide (Vitamin B3) and zinc which soothes redness and helps remove impurities as it's primarily for breakout-prone skin. I've now been using this instead of a couple of other products I have containing vitamin B3 for the past couple of weeks but I still think it's too early on to tell how much of an impact this serum has had yet. With other similar products I've seen decent results on congested skin but nothing extraordinary. I still get spots, they're just not lingering around as long as they can do so I'm hoping this serum will give better results.


 (£15/118ml)*
I use a lot of face mists to prep skin before moisturising and to refresh during the day. It's key ingredients are rosewater, aloe vera, honeysuckle and glycerine which work together to hydrate and smooth the skin. This feels fresh on the skin, quite tingly and has a subtle herbal scent. I like it but I have other face mists which I'd use over this.

(£10/15ml)*
This is a multi-purpose balm for chapped and dry skin. I have a lot of very similar products but I've been using this more as it's not overly shiny. It's great for softening dry areas but I tend to only really use these types of balms on my lips. I mostly apply a thick layer before bed and when I wake up my lips feel so smooth. The original version is what I've been using most which is unscented / unflavoured but it's available in Coconut, Rose, Cherry, Mint and Birthday too. I picked up the latter recently and as it's inspired by Milk Bar's cake it's smells like vanilla and it contains a subtle shimmer, need I say more?

(£18/90ml)*
It's a hydrating treatment formulated with sweet almond oil, plant-based squalane, and hyaluronic acid. I use masks regularly for a serious skin pick-me-up and I have so many I love that this had big competition. I've tried this mask 3 times, twice after exfoliating with the PMD* (a device which sloughs off dead skin cells from the outer most layer of the skin) and this was the perfect combination. Each time I applied a thick layer onto damp skin. The product is creamy but gradually seems to sink into the skin after 20 minutes. After rinsing thoroughly my skin is always the softest I've ever experienced after using any kind of mask and I'm so impressed with this product I'd definitely buy it when it runs out.


The Makeup

Throughout the summer I adopted a minimal makeup routine and I felt like my skin was generally less irritated and looked better for it. Most days I skipped foundation and tried to stick to using just the below products and a bit of mascara. My makeup was nothing over the top and the goal was always just beautifully glowing skin - sounds simple but difficult to nail without the right products.


in Quartz (£18/5.5g)*
I have nothing like this dual-formula stick. The outer ring contains crystal extracts (yes you read that correctly, actual crystals) and the oil core contains vitamins and moisturisers. It's the ideal non-glittery highlight for that dewy, lit from within effect. It looks absolutely beautiful swiped onto bare cheekbones - which is mostly how I wore it during the summer. Now it's colder I've been wearing foundation more often again and I find the Haloscope shifts around anything underneath if applied straight from the stick so I prefer to dab it on with my fingers. The result is a subtle glow and I really love that it's not immediately obvious I'm wearing this. This shade Quartz is probably the most universal but there's also Moonstone ideal for lighter skintones and Topaz for darker skintones.

in Dark (£15/5ml)*
It's referred to as 'stretch' concealer as it contains micro waxes which are meant to move with your face so there's no cakiness. It feels flexible on the skin and ultra moisturising that it leaves skin dewy-looking after application. This does settle into my smile lines and creases but I always find this with makeup products so I think it's a lot to do with how I apply and set products. I have a dark scar on my jaw currently and it does cover it well but at the height of summer in Manchester (which is pretty sticky and humid) I found this slipped around on my face and didn't really set so that's just something to bear in mind. Now my skin is drier and it's colder outside it's ideal.

in Black (£14/3.12g)*
I've been filling my brows in less and less lately, especially if I'm wearing my hair down as my hair covers them anyway. I like my brows to still be groomed however so this makes them look a little more polished and softly fills in some of the gaps and sparse areas. It seems very similar to Benefit's Gimme Brow which I've been using for the past couple of years but I've found myself reaching for Glossier's Boy Brow instead.


in Leo (£14/2g)*
It's the lip colour for that just blotted look and uniquely both matte and sheer - not a combination I've seen together. The shade Leo is a warm cocoa brown and can be worn be different skintones as the sheerness of the product means your natural lip colour is visible and affects how the product looks on. My lips are naturally dark purple/brown around the edges and pink in the middle and this shade makes the tone of my lips more even. The result is super subtle but I really love the way it enhances my lips without it being obvious that I even have anything on.

(£11/4.2ml)* 
Glosses have been my weakness recently and I love that this gives my lips a super shine without being sticky or glittery. My lips feel buttery soft with this on - thanks to the Vitamin E in the formula - and it lasts well too even throughout eating and drinking.


Overall most of the makeup products were winners for me - they're easy to use and deliver on the type of look I like to create on a daily basis. With the skincare the emphasis is moisture - ideal but I feel there are better options out there which are more tailored to oilier skin types. I'll continue to use most of what I have but the only skincare product I'll be purchasing with absolute certainty in the future is the Moon Mask and I've already picked up the Birthday edition of the Balm Dotcom. I've also recently bought more of the makeup - the Cloud Paint blush in Dusk and the Perfecting Skin Tint (foundation) - but as these are still new I'll review them as I get to use them more in the next few months.


*Samples - read my disclaimer here.


Christine Stewart x

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Monday, 25 September 2017

Fenty Beauty


Hot on everyone's lips lately has been the latest addition to Rihanna's growing empire - Fenty Beauty. In her own words her aim was to create a makeup line in which “women everywhere would be included.” The most impressive (and talked about) aspect of the brand is that Fenty Beauty launched with 40 foundation shades which aim to deliver across the spectrum from very pale to dark skintones. Why is this such a big deal? Most established brands only carry 10-20 shades and often there's only a couple of shades at either end of the spectrum. From what I could find MAC, Lancôme and Estée Lauder are amongst a very small number of brands which have 35+ shades and this is usually for their most popular foundations. For a first launch Fenty Beauty has set the bar very high by simply catering to tones constantly forgotten about by the beauty industry as a whole. It's not hard to see why then that Fenty Beauty has become the brand that everyone is talking about.

The launched contained predominantly foundations, concealers and highlighters with a primer, a few tools and blotting products. I ordered Fenty Beauty products when they first dropped in the UK on the 8th September from Harvey Nichols (where it's exclusively available) and I tried to only order products I genuinely thought I'd use regularly. I spent £140 in total which got me 7 products. I've been wearing most of the products daily since so whilst they're still pretty new to my beauty routine I've been using them enough to give some detail on how they perform.


Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 310 (£26/32ml) 
I've tried a lot of new foundations this year and the Pro Filt'r is my favourite. The packaging is solid with the foundation contained in frosted glass with a pump for easy dispensing. I ordered my shade without swatching in-store and there's been long queues around the corner of Harvey Nichols just to take a look at the products! My selection of 310 seems like the best match but it's not perfect and I might have to grab 300 as my skin is already getting paler as the weather gets colder. Shade 310 is made for tanned skin with very warm undertones. The foundation dries slightly darker on the skin than it looks as a liquid (so I'd suggest getting a lighter shade if you're deciding between two) but I haven't noticed any oxidising (turning orange after mixing with the skin's natural oils) after it's initially dried down. The coverage is described to be medium to full but it feels more like a medium to me as it covers dark marks and redness well but not completely. The finish is skin-like and there's no cakiness even when building up the coverage. I've found it lasts really well on my oil-prone skin - especially as I rarely use powder on my face currently and tend to go heavy on the moisturiser - but as with any foundation it lasts far longer when applied after a primer.


Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer (£16/9ml)
The Gloss bomb is currently the one and only lip product within the Fenty Beauty line and I of course had to have it. The gloss comes in a hexagonal-shaped package with reflective lid and the large doe-foot wand applicator makes the product easy to apply. It's intended to be universally flattering and the sheerness of the pink means it can be worn by any skintone. I love gloss and this rosy-toned lip luminizer is super shiny without being sticky and it's scented like fruity sweets (very similar to the LimeCrime Diamond Crushers).


Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife (£26/8g) and Duo in Mean Money / Hustla Baby (£26/2x3.5g) 
Being a highlighter junkie, I've tried a lot of great products and let's just say my expectations are always high. There are currently 6 Killawatt compacts currently, 2 of which are single shades and the other 4 are duo compacts. All of the powder highlighters come in white packaging which has tiny holographic glitter in complete with a mirror in the lid. Possibly the most talked about product from Fenty Beauty is Trophy Wife, a glittering green-gold highlight, which you can probably spot from space. I wanted to really love this highlight but on the cheeks it's far too intense for me as it's so pigmented and glittery it's really hard to tone down. I won't be using it as a highlight for that reason but it looks gorgeous on the eyes. It's a different story with the Mean Money / Hustla Baby duo compact which contains two champagne-toned highlighters which are my ideal. The product is so soft and easy to build up or sheer out. Mean Money is a sheen which is more subtle on the skin suited to everyday use whereas Hustla Baby is much more intense. Both highlights are shimmery with an almost iridescent feel to them. Of the two I've been reaching for Hustla Baby most and I tend to just apply it on my cheek and brow bone.


Match Stix Trio in Tan 300 (£46/3x7.10g) 
There are currently 30 Match Stix products designed for highlighting, contouring and concealing. The magnetic mauve packaging allows them to connect together and it contains roughly 2cm of product. I find them quite chunky given how much product is inside but the packaging is solid enough that the product is protected well for travel. They're priced at £21 each and there's also Match Stix Trio kits for £46 which contain 3 products to conceal, contour and highlight. They're not currently customisable so, providing you love all 3 shades, the kits are a way to save some cash on buying 3 Match Stix products individually. The Trio sets are available in 4 variations - Light, Medium, Tan and Deep. I purchased the Tan set which contains 2 Matte Match Stixs in Caramel (Concealer) and Truffle (Contour) and 1 Shimmer Match Stix in Rum (Highlight). The formula of the products apply and feel like powder so they're not like you're typical creamy makeup sticks but they're fairly easy to buff into the skin and are ideal for normal to oily skin types. The concealer Caramel is too deep and warm for my skintone so it's the only product here I haven't been able to use. Truffle is the perfect contour which is fairly dark but easy to sheer out and I've also been wearing it on my lips as it's a beautiful brown! The Rum Shimmer Match Stix is described as a 'gilded bronze' and it looks this way on my arm but on my face (which is warmer in tone) it looks slightly pink so it's more like a blush on my cheeks. The finish is so beautiful it's definitely made me want to grab more shades of the Shimmer Match Stixs.


When it comes to applying the products together, the first look below is how I've mostly been wearing them for everyday. I start with the foundation applied over a hydrating primer before contouring lightly with Truffle and highlighting with Hustla Baby. I also often use Rum on my cheeks and swipe a little over my lids for a subtle pop of colour before finishing with the gloss. The second look is more how I would wear my makeup for an evening out. I applied my base, highlight and contour the same as the first look but used Trophy Wife on the lids and Truffle mixed with the gloss on my lips.


Overall I'm really impressed with the products I've tried. It's clear a lot of thought has gone into the products and shade range and the selection is so wide for a new launch of products. It's not often I spend a lot on makeup as I receive so much from brands as a blogger and ASOS insider but I would definitely buy a few more items. The Match Stix products are first on my list and possibly a lighter shade of the Pro Filt'r Foundation for when my skin inevitably gets paler during the Winter months. The 'Holiday Collection' was also recently announced to be dropping next month which includes an eyeshadow palette, lip colours and liquid liner. I've already got my eye on a few items from the Holiday collection so it's safe to say I've become a Fenty Beauty convert!


You can get Fenty Beauty in the UK at or from or  in the US

Christine Stewart x

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Friday, 21 July 2017

Review | Iconic Manchester Illuminators


Founded by makeup-artist Jade Elliot, beauty brand has become famed for their Illuminators. These highlighter drops have been featured in just about every beauty magazine you can imagine and Kim Kardashian, Amber Rose and Makeupdoll are just a few big names amongst their growing fanbase. With highlighters being my favourite type of makeup product to use currently, it was only a matter of time until I got my hands on the Iconic Manchester Illuminators to test them out for myself. So with so much hype around this brand do these Illuminators live up to expectations?

Shades: Left - Original, Right - Glow 

I have two of the three available shades - Original and Glow (£29.99 each) - which were sent over by the brand last month*. Original is described as a champagne shimmer to add a golden shine whereas Glow is a terracotta shimmer for a deep golden shine. The first thing to note is that these Illuminators are not for the faint-hearted. They give a serious glow which you can of course tone down but each drop is very concentrated. It's a fine shimmery liquid but it's not quite glittery. I have a lot of highlighters - liquid especially - but none that are quite like these.

Original is probably the most universal of the two shades and is more of a true highlight for me. As Glow is deeper in tone it looks more like a bronzer on my skin and seems more suited to darker skintones. Of the two I reach for the Original shade most or I'll apply them both together with the Original on the high points of my face (cheekbones, brow bone, cupid's bow) and Glow just on my cheeks in place of blush.


Shades: Left - Original, Right - Glow


Above I've applied mostly the Original shade just on my cheek and brow bones with a little of the glow shade dabbed on the cheek. You can apply these illuminators both under and above foundation, though I mostly tend to apply on top of foundation. With liquid highlighters in general the product can lift foundation depending on how you apply it but as I tend to use a damp beauty sponge to blend these into the skin I haven't had any problems.

In terms of wear I've been using these on and off for the past few weeks and the product tends to last all day without any touchups. It's been pretty humid in Manchester and I have oily skin so I've been impressed with the longevity of these. They're a bit pricey in comparison to some other highlighters but factoring in how little you need and the staying power I'd say they're worth it.


You can get them from the Iconic Manchester website


*samples - read my disclaimer here.

Do you use highlighters?

Christine Stewart x

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Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The Ordinary Colours Serum Foundation


Known for clinical formulations at affordable prices, The Ordinary has been the beauty brand on everyone's lips recently. In December 2016 they first announced they would be adding a foundation range - Colours - to their collection for less than £6 a bottle and the internet went into meltdown. There are currently two types of foundations available - the Serum Foundation (£5.70) and the Coverage Foundation (£5.90). Demand was so high for stock of these that the waiting list was 25,000 people-strong before the launch and in the first week of launching in May, orders amounted to 250,000 units. I was one of those hungry customers, placing orders of both foundations as I had to know if these were worth the hype and at less than £6 each what did I really have to lose?


I have been using the  over anything else recently so I'll only be reviewing this foundation here. It's described as a lightweight medium-coverage foundation with the feel of a serum (hence the name). The way in which the pigments are suspended in the formula are designed to cover imperfections and give a natural, 'flawless' finish. It comes in plastic packaging with a pump - making them easy to travel with. The foundation is also cruelty-free, doesn't contain alcohol or oil and has SPF 15.

There are currently 21 shades available which are divided into 3 categories:
1 for fair and light skintones (9 shades)
2 for medium skintones (5 shades)
3 for darker skintones (7 shades)
Within each category a second digit and a letter indicates the depth and undertone (P for Pink, R for Red, N for Neutral and Y for Yellow).

I have the Serum Foundation in two shades which I've swatched below - and   (the darkest shade in the medium category and the lightest shade in the dark category both with yellow undertones). The product in the bottles look like two completely different shades but swatched on my arm there's not much of a difference between them. I'd usually need a much lighter shade than these but I've tanned in the past few weeks meaning that I can now get away with wearing either shade though of the two 2.1Y is the better match for my skintone.

Left 2.1Y         Right 3.0Y 

So does this foundation live up to expectations? In short, yes.
The coverage is very good - lightweight as claimed and with a comfortable matte finish. The formula is quite runny but blends well and gives a good even tone to my skin. It isn't obvious I'm even wearing foundation which I love. A few really stubborn dark marks can be seen through as it's not high coverage but these are easy to minimise with a dab of concealer if needed. I've tried this foundation both with and without The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer and it lasts far longer on my oily skin with a primer than without. I get 'smile lines' (as I laugh and smile a lot in person) and the foundation does seem to settle slightly into creases here but not as dramatically as I've found with other foundations. The tone stays true to how it applies too. I've often found with other foundations that they 'oxidise' into a strange orange shade (when they mix with my skin's natural oils and the air). Thankfully there's none of that with this foundation.

I can't help reach for it every day so it'll continue to be my go-to foundation and the price is so good I already know I'd buy it again.


You can get on their website or in-store


Have you tried The Ordinary?

Christine Stewart x

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Saturday, 17 June 2017

Review | NYX Away We Glow Liquid Highlighters


I've been hooked on any (and all) illuminating products lately and some of my favourites are from the .


(left to right above) Liquid Prism, Moon Glow, State of Flux, Golden Hour, Crystal Glare, Daytime Halo, Moonbeam, Gold Rush and Rose Quartz (£8/6.8ml)*  

Released earlier this year, the collection contains 9 shades in total with something to suit a range of skin tones. Each highlighter comes in a transparent plastic tube with a sponge-tipped applicator. They're a little reminiscent of the travel-sized BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector (mentioned here) and as it's one of my favourite highlighters I was interested to see how these measure up. The tubes are a good size, small enough that they're easy to travel with but with enough product to last a decent amount of time. I swatched them below so you can get an idea of how pigmented these are though admittedly this photo doesn't do them justice - I'm not sure why I seem to always struggle with photographing highlighters! 


I tend to use highlighters on a daily basis (even on some days when I'm not actually wearing any other makeup) and these see a lot of use. I tend to dab the product directly onto the skin where needed or onto the back of my hands and then apply with my fingertips. Blending is easy with a few taps or I'll use a damp makeup sponge. They can be sheered out or built up pretty effortlessly so you have the option of a subtle or more intense glow. 

My favourite shades to use are Crystal Glare (white champagne pearl), Daytime Halo (true champagne pearl) and Moonbeam (soft pink pearl) which all give a natural-looking highlight and would work beautifully across a few different skintones. Daytime Halo and Moonbeam are the closest in tone to the BECCA Opal Spotlight Shimmering Skin Perfector but neither match it exactly so these aren't exactly dupes. They do match up in terms of quality and pigmentation however.

I also love to also use the shades Gold Rush (bronzed gold pearl) and Rose Quartz (rose gold pearl) which have a more metallic feel and are so gorgeous worn alone or over a light base for a subtle pop of colour. I reach for the other shades - Liquid Prism (white opal iridescence), Moon Glow (white pearl), State of Flux (lavender pearl) and Golden Hour (true gold pear) less often. Liquid Prism and Moon Glow have a more holographic look to them so these would be ideal if you like to be more daring with your highlight or for festival-inspired makeup looks. 

Overall I love this collection and have already grabbed another of the Crystal Glare shade in preparation for when it runs out! You can get them in-store or online at  and also at 

*samples - read my disclaimer .


Do you use highlighters?

Christine Stewart x

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Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Review | Pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse


Skincare has definitely been more a priority for me recently and one of the most important things in my routine is cleansing. One of the cleansers I've been relying on for the past couple of months is the newly launched (£24/2x50ml). It's a 2-in-1 product with cleansers to both remove makeup and sunscreen and prep the skin for your nightly skincare.


I've only really become familiar with Pixi products since last year but the brand launched over 10 years ago in Manchester. Creator of the brand Petra Strand has a wealth of experience as a makeup artist and product developer and her mission with Pixi products is to bring out the natural beauty in all women.

In creating the Double Cleanse Pixi partnered with , a globally qualified advanced aesthetician who's one of the first beauty bloggers I started following several years ago. She's also a massive champion of 'double cleansing' (using more than one product to clean your skin). Caroline is so straight talking and knowledgeable in her field that she's main reason I grabbed this product.



As you can guess there's two parts to this product - side 1 and side 2 and it's intended for use in the evenings. The Solid Cleansing Oil in side 1 does most of the dirty work to remove makeup and sunscreen and it's formulated with natural oils including Macadamia, Evening Primrose and Avocado. To use I scoop out about a pea-sized amount (you really don't need a lot) and massage onto dry skin. After a few seconds of working the product into the skin my makeup feels like it's melting off my face and it's at this point I remove everything with warm water (or you can use a moist facecloth if you'd prefer).

After the first step my face usually feels pretty clean but I've always gone in a second time with the same or another product to ensure all traces of my makeup are gone. Caroline recommends cleansing the skin with different types of products depending on what needs to be removed from the skin. The Cleansing Cream in side 2 is richer and feels like applying a moisturiser. It's described by Pixi as a luxe cleansing cream and it's intended to prep the skin for the next steps in your nightly skincare. It's so buttery, I just rub in and once it's rinsed off my skin feels so soft.


Together the two parts work well and I have loved using this product nightly for the past couple of months. I've tried a few cleansing oils before to remove makeup and some have made me breakout with regular use, I suspect as they had coconut oil in which this doesn't so I'm assuming that's why so far I've had no trouble with this. The only thing I don't like about this product is the packaging. It's quite bulky given that there's only 50ml of each cleanser and I prefer to have a pump rather than scoop out of a tub but it's not a deal-breaker. Neither of the sides drip despite the design of the tub - I've actually knocked it upside down by accident and the product barely budged so you can travel with this if needed. I now have about a third left in each side and I'm planning to grab another Double Cleanse when this runs out.

Have you tried anything by Pixi?

Christine Stewart x

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Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Skincare | Frank Body


I've always been a bit obsessed with body scrubs so it was only a matter of time before I got my hands on Frank (Frank Body products that is). Famed for their coffee scrubs, the Aussie brand has taken Instagram by storm and 'babes' across the globe (myself included) are hooked on the so called 'Frank effect'.

I grabbed the Original Coffee Scrub (which I've now finished), Coconut Coffee Scrub, Body Cream and the Lip Scrub and Balm duo at the end of December. My skin was looking pretty lacklustre at the time, partly from a neglected bodycare routine and the cold weather just made my skin so dry. Since I've noticed continued use of these products together has helped my skin feel the softest it's been for a long time.


My favourite product of the bunch is the Coconut Coffee Scrub (£13.95/200g) which contains only a few (all natural) ingredients including brown sugar, Grapeseed oil, Vitamin E, Jojoba beads, sea salt, coconut flakes and, of course, coffee. The ingredients are stated to help with a number of skin-concerns including stretch marks, psoriasis, cellulite, eczema and acne. Huge claims right? I apply the scrub on damp skin in the shower and scrub well before allowing to sit for a couple of minutes and rinsing. It's messy so I tend to do this on days I have time to spare but the results are so worth it. The oils in the product keep moisture locked into my skin and I've noticed scarring and dark patches on my legs are gradually lifting though old stretch marks on my inner thighs seem the same. I'm not crazy about the packaging as I find awkward to scoop the product out of, but there's always the option to transfer the scrub to a pot. The scent does linger on your skin too which some will love or hate. I don't find the Coconut Scrub too overpowering but with the Original Coffee Scrub I used a little shower gel afterwards to dull the scent before exiting the shower.


The Lip Scrub and Lip Balm Duo (£12.95) are also solid favourites and they smell so delicious. The balm contains natural ingredients including Coconut, Safflower and Olive Oil and Lanolin which absorbs and keeps in moisture. I reach for the balm daily but only need to dab a little on to keep my lips soft and hydrated. I tend to use the Lip Scrub weekly and it contains raw sugar, beeswax, Macadamia Oil, Coffee and Coffee Seed Oil. Again I only need a little product to smooth and buff away flaky patches. Together these are perfect.

The Body Cream (£17.95/200ml) like the other products contains natural ingredients and literally has the scent of cake icing. It smells beautifully sugary and I get so hungry (for cake) when I've applied it. This cream is so thick and rich I find it takes time to really settle into the skin. I usually have to dot small amounts onto my body and work it in well. Of the products here it's the only I don't think I'd repurchase as it just takes too long to apply and I find I'm reaching the other creams I have first.

Overall I'm in love with most of the Frank Body products I've tried and the Body Balm and newly released Glow Mask are now on my wishlist.

Have you tried Frank Body or Coffee-based products?

Christine Stewart x

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Monday, 27 February 2017

TreasureTress | February 2017


I'm no stranger to beauty boxes though I haven't tried anything specifically curated for naturally curly and kinky before. Cue TreasureTress, a UK-based monthly subscription box, unique in that they provide 3 different boxes each month for young children, teens and adults (Mini Me, Tween and Qween) all priced at £20 + P&P.* You simply pick a box according to your age and the idea is that both mothers and daughters can try out a range of new hair products tailored towards their hair. 


I received this month's Qween box which contains Palmer's products mostly from the Manuka Flower Honey range which I've not tried before. Inside was the Manuka Flower Honey Strengthening Shampoo (£6.99/350ml), Manuka Flower Honey Nourishing Conditioner (£6.99/350ml), Manuka Flower Honey Protein Pack Deep Conditioner x2 (£2.99/60g), Manuka Flower Honey Leave-In Spray (£5.99/250ml), Manuka Flower Honey Leave-In Cream (£6.99/190ml), the Olive Oil Conditioning Spray Oil (£4.69/150ml) and a useful card containing information about the products and a few tips.

With all beauty boxes the main selling point is that you can try something new for a snip of the usual RRP and you do get quite a lot of products in this box. This is really ideal for those who haven't quite found the right products for their hair yet. The subscription cost is worth it providing you like the products inside and where most beauty boxes fall down is that you don't actually know what's in the box until it arrives. Currently you need to have started your TreasureTress subscription before the 5th of each month to receive that month's box and there's no hints about what might be inside. I think it's quite a lot of products to receive each month too but it is handy to have full size products so you can really get an idea on whether you like them. The subscription can be cancelled at any time too and there is the option to skip the next month when you open an account.


I've had these products for almost two weeks but I usually like to spend a couple of months using hair products to really get a feel for them so I won't be reviewing these in detail here. As you can guess from the name, the Manuka Flower Honey products all contain Manuka Flower Honey as well as Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter and Amla Oil. The products are also formulated without sulfates, parabens, phthalates and dyes and are stated to be for all natural hair textures. The products are scented, and whilst I don't love the scent, thankfully it isn't too overpowering. 

So far the standouts at the moment are the Nourishing Conditioner and the Leave-In Conditioner Spray. Both leave my curls feeling really soft and hydrated and I'd buy the conditioner to use as co-wash. The Leave-In Conditioning Cream I had less success with. It's really thick and, whilst I followed the instructions which suggest applying to clean dry hair, my hair didn't really absorb the product - it just kind of sat on top and made it feel a little sticky. I tried it again the next day but this time with my hair still wet first and the product seemed to work better but I have other hair creams which I'd reach for over this. I haven't yet tried the Protein Packs or Shampoo. The Olive Oil Spray works great for added shine but I don't tend to use these types of products often when styling as I only really use oils or oil-based products when I'm conditioning.

Overall this month's Treasure Tress box was a great introduction to Palmer's haircare products and as someone who's tried a lot of products before it was great to experiment with a brand I'm not familiar with already. I'll continue to use the products to see how they work for me over the next couple of months.

If you're interested in subscribing check out the TreasureTress website

*sample - read my disclaimer here.


Have you tried TreasureTress?

Christine Stewart x

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Monday, 20 February 2017

3Thirty Salon [Revisit]



I've been itching to get my hair cut again so went back to 3Thirty Salon on Old Street, Shoreditch this week. I first reviewed the salon back in June (see ) and I really loved my haircut as it gave my hair so much shape.

Since my last visit the salon has had a revamp. The decor still has a modern yet French baroque inspired feel but there's now a coffee and cake bar within the salon. They do more than just coffee though (for the hot chocolate and tea obsessives like me) and there's also a hot desk area which freelancers can work from.


I met with Salon owner Tiff-J again and explained I wanted a similar shape to before which had slightly grown out and I needed some sort of style to the shorter front pieces of my hair which I usually don't know what to do with when styling. She suggested a moisture-packed treatment before a small trim and she would blend the pieces at the front with my layers to create a slight fringe.*

Similar to my last visit Tiff started by cleansing my hair with  and to condition she applied a mix of and L'Oreal Fiberceutic. My hair was then detangled before Tiff trimmed the ends and brought back the shape. She then re-rinsed my hair and styled and diffused my curls with  applied.

I absolutely love the cut and like before I feel like it's made such a difference. My hair has grown a lot since my last cut and I think the extra weight was making certain areas look quite flat so it's like it's had some life injected back into it.

As I've had two really good experiences at 3Thirty I will definitely be returning when I need another haircut. Whilst they're most known for styling afro hair, they also have expertise working with European and Asian hair. If you're interested there's more details on their services on their website .


*complementary treatment received - read my disclaimer here.

Do you go to a salon?


Christine Stewart x

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Monday, 6 February 2017

Review | Beauty Bakerie Lip Whips


I've been collecting a lot of liquid lip colours in the past year and my latest additions are the Lip Whips by the adorably branded  best known for their smudge-free formulas.

The American beauty brand first caught my eye a few months ago on Instagram with their bright lip colours and cake-inspired products. Creator Cashmere Nicole is also an intriguing and admirable woman and has made it her mission for Beauty Bakerie to perpetuate the message that it's okay to be sweet and kind which I love. I've always been called 'cute' as I don't have this badass, super sexy persona, and I like that a brand is actually celebrating that. To top it off, Beauty Bakerie's Instagram is full of videos (like showing lip colour swatches being rubbed under a tap and not budging at allI was hooked, I had to try them for myself. Could these sweet lip colours really smudge-free?


I have 4 Beauty Bakerie Lip Whips (£16/5ml) currently, 2 matte and 2 metallic (I did have another matte but annoyingly I haven't been able to locate it since returning from holiday). The two matte shades - Gingersnap and Syruptitious* are my favourites and most worn as the shades are perfect for everyday wear. I reach for the metallics, Berried* and Cinnamon Roll, less often but they are both absolutely gorgeous shades.

I'm an absolute sucker for the packaging of these and the branding is almost spot on. The products have adorable cake-based names and cute 'nutrition facts' on the boxes (all of the Lip Whips are 'No Calories' and '1 Sweetie Per Serving'). Only one thing is really missing - none of the products actually have a sweet scent or taste and the Lip Whips don't exactly look 'whipped' but this is something the brand is working on.

Shades left to right: Cinnamon Roll, Berried, Syruptitious and Ginger Snap 

The Lip Whips can last throughout the entire day without touch-ups depending on what you're eating/drinking as these only come off with an oil-based remover. This means if you're eating anything oily or greasy you'll have to reapply but otherwise these stay on amazingly well. I find the mattes tend to be easier to apply as they are more opaque whereas the metallics can look a little patchy without enough coats. The key to perfect application is to apply thin coats and allow each layer to dry fully before applying another. This can take a few minutes but the results are worth it.

Whilst these Lip Whips do wear well, I find the mattes in particular a little drying (see ) so I really make sure my lips are buffed and smooth before application. Usually I dab on a little balm underneath to counter any dry lip products but this does affect how well these stay on. For maximum staying power the brand suggests to avoid using lip-liners, moisturisers or balms with the Lip Whips.

Overall it's hard not to love these and I can forgive the dryness as the staying power is so good. They are a little on the pricey side in comparison to some of the other liquid lip products I have but as reapplication tends to be minimal I do think they're worth it and I will be grabbing more soon.

The Lip Whips are available from or in the UK or you can buy directly from

*the two shades marked are samples from the brand - read my disclaimer .


Have you tried Beauty Bakerie products? 

Christine Stewart x

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Monday, 9 January 2017

Skincare | Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix


Founded by Maria Hatzistefanis (aka Mrs Rodial), skincare brand  aims to provide 'premium skincare and everyday prices' with most products retailing between £8 - £25. The brand creates a whole host of products aimed at helping improve skin hang-ups like cellulite, scarring and anti-aging. I've been using a variety of their products which were sent over in September last year but the range has held my attention most.


Glycolic acid helps clear blocked pores, remove dead skin and deeply cleanse. I've dabbled with applying home chemical peels in the past including Glycolic acid (see here) and it made a massive difference to my skin. The problem was I like skincare to be convenient and I found the process of using home peels a bit cumbersome. I'll admit I am lazy with skincare. I like to apply a product and just leave it to work it's magic but this is where Nip + Fab really have it nailed. There's a lot of products to choose from in the range so it's easy to get your ideal 'fix'.

I have 6 of the 10 products in the Glycolic Fix range and, whilst I've loved all of the ones I've tried, realistically it's quite difficult (and unnecessary) to use any more than 2-3 products in the range at a time, especially if you're looking to still use other products/brands alongside them. My favourite products of the 6 I have are the Cleansing Fix (£7.95/150ml)*, Night Pads Extreme (£14.95/60 pads)* and Radiance Shot (£19.99/30ml). 

The Glycolic Cleansing Fix sees the most use as I tend to reach for in the morning and at night. I've used this cleanser consistently since I got it and you only need the tiniest amount. It cleanses so well and my skin feels so smooth and moisturised afterwards. I've already purchased a replacement for when this runs out so this is now a staple in my skincare routine. 


I use the Night Pads less often - usually 2 or 3 times a week just before bed as recommended - and my skin feels brighter in general and less congested. The name 'Extreme' makes it sound scary but you barely feel the product on the skin and I've not found any redness or irritation when using these. The pads are soaked with 5% glycolic acid (the highest concentration in the range) alongside salicylic, lactic and hyaluronic acid. They're not as concentrated as the home peels I mentioned above but the convenience of using these sold it for me. I usually just smooth a pad over my face before my head hits the pillow and that's it. There's enough product on the pads and the tub hasn't dried out since I've been using them. As you don't need to use these all of the time they last for months and are well worth the price.

The Radiance Shot launched fairly recently is the priciest of the bunch and the size of the product is quite small at 30ml but this is ideal for more targeted treatment. I didn't really need it (as it's effects are quite similar to the Glycolic Fix Overnight Purifying Gel I already have) but I bought it anyway. I was kind of swept up in it being new and I was totally sucked in by the packaging. I have no regrets though as I've been massaging a couple of drops of this directly onto any scarring and stubborn areas seem to disappear much faster than usual. You can also mix in a couple of drops of this with your usual moisturiser.


Overall I was a bit dubious about how much difference this range could actually make to my skin but having used a few of the products consistently I have noticed improvements. The tone and texture of my skin feels more even and smoother so I'll definitely continue to use products from the Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix range.

*samples - read my disclaimer .

Have you tried anything by Nip + Fab? 

Christine Stewart x

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