Tuesday, 30 July 2013

MAC Face Protect SPF 50 Review

With all this very lovely weather here in the UK, everyone finishing up for the school year and seeking foreign shores, I thought it would be rather appropriate to talk about something which may be overlooked whilst basking in the glorious sun - protection. If I'm a little OCD on something, it's sun protection. I've experienced many sunny days in my time, yet I only have one set of skin, so I choose to protect it. A whole range of products contain SPF, be it BB creams, lip balms or even blushers but instead of trying to get the right cocktail of products on my face to protect it, I thought I take the plunge and try out MAC's answer to the problem.

This product comes in a 30ml size and retails for £23.00




Well, what can I say about this product? It works, my nose isn't peeling or even remotely affected by the Sun's mean ol' rays. But I suppose what I'm more impressed with is how it works underneath make-up. You could easily slap underneath your make-up your bog standard sun cream which would be super sticky, you'd wait an age for it to sink in and probably not help in the longevity of your foundation. However, this sinks in easily, leaving your face nice and soft and primed for whatever you wish to with your face, be it leaving it au natural or putting on that war paint.

I would recommend this product, especially to my pale home boys and girls out there. I don't put a price on my health, including the health of my skin, coincidentally this product is £23.00, which I do understand is a stretch for some budgets, but I think if you're willing to spend that on 30ml of perfume, you should be willing to spend that on 30ml of skin saviour. But hey, as long as you guys out in the blogosphere are keeping yourself protected, I'm sure other cheaper, drugstore products will do that same thing. And if you're looking a budget hangout after spending all your money on this, head to Club Tropicana, I hear the drinks are free!

Where are you guys heading this summer?
Do you have a favourite skincare brand?

Let us know!!





Updates, Updates, Updates!

After 7 months, over 6000 views and 51 posts later, we've decided to make a few changes to our lovely little blog. As you may have noticed our header has changed and we are in the process of making our blog look a little more homely. We've recently created ourselves a Facebook page, where you can be updated on all our goings on without having to check back for any new posts, we've also decided to add a little more structure to our blog with Alice posting every Wednesday and Emma posting every Saturday! Another exciting venture for us is that in the near future we'll be creating YouTube videos ranging from tags to tutorials and everything in between!! We thank everyone who reads our blog, we both really do appreciate it and are looking forward to what the future has in store for us!!

Love


Sunday, 28 July 2013

Toni & Guy Nourish Deep Conditioning Mask For Blonde Hair Review

Back a year or two ago, before the 'Hair Meets Wardrobe' campaign at Toni & Guy, I would have sworn by them. I lived and died by their volume shampoo and various other products, and was very happy to stay loyal to the brand, however, when the new 'Hair Meets Wardrobe' campaign came out, not only did the look of the brand change, but also the products inside of them. The signature T&G scent was gone (which smells a lot like Gucci Rush, if you were wondering), any type of volume shampoo, gone. The world of my hair was turned upside down and although I do own a few bits from T&G, I have now started branching out to other brands because this new (and more expensive line) does not fit the bill for me at all.

This product retails for £7.19


However when I was in Boots on the hunt for a mask for my dip dyed hair, this little guy was the thing that sprung out at me. Toni & Guy nowadays bar one have only colour specific treatments for brunettes and blondes (what about those in between?! Or those red or black haired beauties out there?!) but I chose the blonde mask because that is the colour of the ends of my hair and that is where I need the most help in keeping my hair looking healthy. I also thought I might give this brand a chance to redeem itself decided to try this not as a Toni & Guy product but as a product in it's own right!! And I must say I was pleasantly surprised!

I'm lucky to be blessed with quite thick hair, and I made the best decision ever to grow my hair long at the grand old age of 4 but I didn't make the mistake of dying it until I was 17. Although I am frequently asked whether my hair is mine or not (it is guys, no extensions over here) and people always reply 'but it's soooo looooong' which is true, but I guess I've never really appreciated my hair because it's always been there. But after using this mask a couple of times (I typically use it 2-3 times a week, depending on how much I want to pamper myself) I found myself literally just staring in awe of my hair, and ordering my nearest and dearest to touch it and bask in it's amazingness. It just looked so much more healthy and nice. I don't know whether it was this mask in particular that made such a good change (I've foolishly never had a hair mask before) but either way I am extremely pleased with the results. Any hair product that makes you think sitting at home and staring at your hair a good way to spend time HAS to be good. The price is slightly steep, but in my books worth it (your hair is a permanent accessory, after all!) and one I'd be willing to pay again!

What's your favourite hair mask?
Do you like Toni & Guy's 'Hair Meets Wardrobe' venture or are you pleading for the old range to be back on your shelves?



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Saturday, 27 July 2013

Balmi Lip Balm


This is probably one of my favourite lip balms since Alice gifted me the Mint flavour for my birthday in May and as Balmi are claimed as an EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balm dupe which are getting a lot of love from Miley Cyrus in her new video and they are on offer at Boots right now (£2.99 instead of £4.99), I felt now was a better time than any to talk about them!

Balmi have recently changed from their old, rounded shape to this new cube shape, which I think for application works a lot better! I have never been the biggest fan of tinned lip products where you have to use your hands for application, so with Balmi you get to skip spreading bacteria and apply straight from the cube, a huge selling point for me! These balms are crammed full of natural goodness such as Vitamin E, Shea Butter and Jojoba Oil which all help to leave your lips feeling super hydrated and smooth. Balmi lip cube's also have SPF15 which is just perfect for this weather we are enjoying at the moment!

Both the Mint and Raspberry flavour's are lovely (I am yet to try any of the others!), both scents are not too strong and neither tastes bad or artificial. I like to use my Mint flavour at night as it is lovely and fresh and to be perfectly honest, doesn't taste horrible after you brush your teeth...

Are you an EOS or Balmi fan?
Have you tried any of the other flavours?
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Sunday, 14 July 2013

Glossy Box July 2013

Both Alice and myself have been a bit let down with Glossybox over the past few months, although that is the concept of a beauty box, to discover the products you do and don't like, it is never fun to keep receiving bad products. A new month brings a new selection of products and my oh my, Glossybox you have redeemed yourselves!

This months theme is 'Seaside Splash'. With exotic and English holidays in mind, the Glossybox team have selected their 'current summer must-haves' for this months box. Not only is the box filled with summer goodies inside, July's box has a 'Seaside Splash' print on the outside and I think this has to be my favourite design to date!


So, this month I received:

I think this is perfect for a holiday hair routine, you spend all day at the beach with those perfect natural beach waves, just to go back to your hotel and wash it all out in the evening! A quick spray of this and they are back!

A face product with SPF is a MUST when you are out in the sun, a lot of people wear foundation/primers/moisturisers with no SPF and don't even realise that you can still get sunburnt through your make-up! Popping this on under your make-up will give you that protection from sun damage that you need and is hassle free so there should be no excuses!

For me, I wouldn't class this is a 'seaside' product, my experience of nail stickers is that they are fiddly and come off very easily. On the other hand, I know that some people out there class their get-away as a time to go all-out with their nail designs! It is a really lovely product, just not one for me and my holiday bag!

My new favourite product, this would be perfect for lounging around the pool as well as being your best friend in a sweaty Ibiza night club! Sometimes blotting your make-up a lot can dry it out and this will add that tiny bit of moisture that you need for a natural look!

An ideal product if you are going for a look that won't need a lot of reapplication, similar to OCC Lip Tar, a little product goes a very long way and lasts hours. Keeping with the theme of holiday products, I think that Minx is a lovely colour for the day time where as Mauve Over is a bright, bold purple giving you that pop of colour you might need in your evening make-up!


So, overall I am very very pleased with this box and all thoughts of cancelling my subscription are distant memories!

What did you receive in your box?
Did you love yours as much as we did?
Let us know!!
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Beauty VIP: Is It Worth It?

Everybody loves a good offer & when it comes to beauty products the words "free" and "discount" always suck me in! When I was browsing the Nails Inc website earlier in the year, I noticed that they were offering a years 'VIP Membership' for only £5.00! This was my first sighting of this type of offer and I was instantly sold. Nails Inc offer a free full-size polish when you join, 10% off of every online order, a £5.00 gift during your birthday month along with the chance to be able to collect 'VIP Points' with each order. So, I added this membership to my basket and looked forward to reaping the benefits! With my order I received my free full-size nail polish, although you can't choose the colour you receive, or swap it, I received 'Chester Street' and I love it! I joined in March and I couldn't wait to see what my birthday gift would be in May!

'Chester Street'
Whilst I was patiently waiting for my birthday month to arrive, I was picking up some goodies in The Body Shop, when the lovely lady at the checkout asked if I wanted to join their 'Love Your Body' VIP scheme for £5.00 and receive a free sign-up gift... my answer was so obvious, of course I wanted to join! I signed up by filling in a leaflet and then the sales assistant made me up a Love Your Body membership card. When I joined the free gift was a 30ml hand cream and I chose from the almond range, I was a bit annoyed that this wasn't full-size! The Body Shop's membership scheme offers very similar benefits to Nails Inc including the free sign-up gift, a £5.00 gift during your birthday month and 10% off of all purchases.



There are a few slight differences between both schemes, Nails Inc offers the chance to collect 'VIP Points' which are redeemable against future purchases (5 points = £5), whereas The Body Shop runs a stamps system. On the actual Love Your Body card there is space to collect stamps, you will gain 1 stamp for every £10 spent, then on your 4th stamp you will receive a gift worth £5.00 and on your 8th stamp you will receive a gift worth £10.00, I haven't hit either, so couldn't comment on the quality of the freebies! The Nails Inc VIP Membership is solely based on nailsinc.com, which I think is a real down fall as The Body Shop's Love Your Body scheme runs online and in-store with your unique card number. 

So my birthday month came around and I received e-mails from both companies within the first week with my birthday gift. I was actually expecting an actual product to come in the post, (maybe my expectations were too high!) but instead I received a £5.00 gift voucher from both companies, the Nails Inc voucher was redeemable on nailsinc.com and the Body Shop voucher was redeemable in-store.


Overall, I feel I have benefited more from the Nails Inc VIP offer, as generally their products are quite expensive and you feel like you are making quite a saving. I have actually only used my Love Your Body card once and I wouldn't really recommend it, as to a normal customer they offer so many deals and discounts anyway in the form of online sales and voucher codes, that you aren't making any real extra savings with the card!

Are you a VIP member?
Have you heard of any other companies offering similar memberships?
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Thursday, 11 July 2013

MAC Lipstick Review: Vegas Volt





MAC describes Vegas Volt as a "full powered coral", and to be honest I couldn't put it any better myself! Vegas Volt is in the Amplified Creme line of lipsticks, the Amplified Creme formula is basically a more glorified Cremesheen. The range consists of brighter and more bold colours (see Alice's Morange review!) with a creamy finish, as the name would suggest. I would say this is probably one of my favourite finishes, as it doesn't dry out your lips at all, and if you really wanted to, there would be no need to wear a base product as the finish is so lovely on its own! The only downfall is that a creamy finish means that the product does not last as long, and you do need to keep re-applying through the day! Although Vegas Volt is a very intense/bright coral, it is really wearable as it is such a pretty shade. I can see this lippy being a favourite this summer!

What are your favourite summer colours?
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Monday, 8 July 2013

The IMATS Experience 2013


2013 marks our first visit to the International Make-up Artists Trade Show, or as it is commonly known on the blogosphere, IMATS. We made the trip up to London, got up at the crack of dawn to experience the wonders of the famed trade show, and thought we'd give you a guided tour of our day.





As neither of us are in possession of a pro card, we weren't able to attend the Friday evening MUA only event, (although we are both students, so got a discount on the entrance price - which was £35 for one day) but were eager to snap up the bargains so decided to attend the Saturday and get there for when the event opened, which was a brisk 8:30am. We arrived at the right time as there was still a queue we had to join, but it doubled in size in a wee 5 minutes, luckily the folks of IMATS have got it down and it moved surprisingly quickly, and we were inside. A very good point to make on IMATS which we learnt very quickly, most stalls do not get any more stock, so when it's gone, it's gone, so if you're there for a few certain products, we'd recommend you getting there as early as you can. We were also surprised as to how busy it actually was, Kensington National Hall is massive and was was brimming with MUAs and beauty enthusiasts alike, the atmosphere was a nice one too, everyone was very polite, and patient, although getting yourself in front of the tester you'd like to try is a bit of a pain! Devise yourself a strategy, whether it is pick up the products you really want to try out but it's hard for you to get hold of, critically acclaimed products, or just your favourite brand. Another thing to think about is what you're going to eat and drink whilst you're there. A bottle of coke was priced at a hefty £2.50 so bring plenty of provisions with you to get you through the day.



        

        

        

There is a massive range of products available at the trade show, with a huge range of beauty hall vendors, brush vendors as well as prosthetics specialists selling stage make-up too, so whatever you're there for, you'll be able to pick it up, and may get it for a discount too! Discounts range from vendor to vendor, we managed to get 35% off at the MAC Pro stand, and NARS was a whopping 60% off, with deals like this and IMATS only rolling into the UK once a year, these deals are definitely something to take advantage of, but ladies (and potentially gentlemen) some restrain is needed. You will be surprised how quickly your money goes, even with a crazy amount off! We both set ourselves a £150 budget, not all stands take card and not all stands take cash, so being prepared with both will save you heartache when you finally get to the till with your arms full of products. There is a cash point within the hall, but the queue was ridiculous all day long, so draw your money out the before you get there! Each booth has a different system employed to get everyone served and seen to as quick as possible. MAC employed a sort of raffle ticket system, the brush vendors with large stands gave you baskets and you could fill them up and then give them to a staff member, but ultimately this is not for the impatient nor the claustrophobic, so be prepared to stand and wait with a lot of other people standing and waiting, this especially stands for the bigger brands, so going there knowing what you want and potentially trying it out in your nearest concession could save you a lot of time and agro! Within the IMATS hall there isn't just brands selling themselves, there are also online stores selling a range of brands, some of which aren't representing themselves at the event. With this in mind, it is a good idea to see which stand is selling the product you're after for the cheapest. We found asking around we got the famed Ben Nye's Banana Powder for £3 less than what it was being sold at at a different vendor.



        

        


Not only are there great deals to be snapped up whilst visiting IMATS, there are also brands showcasing their products on models as well as school and academies showcasing their talents too. Places like London Make-up School and West Thames College have stands, students and lecturers alike ready to give you all the information you need on their courses, this is a great way to find out what sort of courses are out there and to see what they offer and if it sounds like something you'd be interested in. Models are made up head to toe in prosthetics and stage make-up and walk around the hall, and quite enjoy creeping up on you. There is absolutely no issue with taking photos of the models during and after their transformation, so don't be shy and get snap happy as they really are a sight to be seen. Another highlight of the show is the student competition, six students are picked compete and create a look on a model and are judged mid afternoon on the Saturday. We were lucky to stumble upon the finalists' photo shoot and get a great look at the what the students had come up with. Talks are also held throughout the day from various people from the profession, so definitely have a look into those and keep an eye on the time because there aren't any general announcements (except for on the app) so you don't want to miss out! If you are lucky to have a smartphone, we'd highly recommend downloading the app, as it lets you know which brands are vending, what talks/demonstrations are going on and with who as well as letting you make lists of what products you want, how you're getting there and if you're staying somewhere over night.


        


         


Tucked upstairs was this fabulous little exhibition showcasing some moulds and prosthetics from the big screen. After a long morning of shopping, dropping was in order and we went and had a look at this and were pleasantly surprised. It was nice to get away from the mad rush downstairs and have a look at some damn impressive pieces of work. We definitely did stumble upon this and it wasn't readily advertised so do have a little explore and see what you come across!!


IMATS was a brilliant experience for the pair of us. We got to do one of our favourite past times, see some brilliant make up and had a really good day out. It is also a great way to see your favourite bloggers and youtubers (we had a lovely little chat with TalkBeckyTalk - she is so nice!!) so whether you're heading to the next event in Vancouver or simply thinking about the next event near you, we would both highly recommend attending! This is a really great day (or indeed weekend if you plan to go both days) out, even if you're not from the area, make a weekend of it and see a bit of the city it's in (the places IMATS visits are fantastic cities in their own right - do a little exploring and be a mega tourist!) we will for sure be attending next year probably a bit more prepared than this one! We bet you're wondering what we bought whilst there - you'll have to wait for our first ever video to find out!!

Did you attend or are planning to attend an IMATS event this year?
What did you think?! Do you have any strategies?
We'd love to hear from you, let us know what you think!!