Shot of Beauty


Here’s the products YOU brought into my life
February 15, 2013, 10:50 pm
Filed under: Blogging, Eyes, Face, Hair, Lips, Make-up, Nails, Skin care | Tags: , , , , , ,

I’ve always loved reading a good glossy mag to find out what’s hot in the big wide beauty world, but everyone knows the quickest route to the crème de la crème of cosmetics is via the blogosphere.

Thanks to you lovely beauty bloggers, I have seen so many amazing products lately for Spring/Summer 2013. So, to acknowledge these great finds (and fab bloggers!), I have dedicated today’s post to the products YOU introduced me to in your blog posts. As this post could potentially go on forever, I have given myself the tremendously tricky task of picking just five must-have beauty essentials. Enjoy!

ONE
What’s the product? Daniel Sandler Dual Action Make-Up Remover
Who featured it? Sheenie Shaikh, Just Nice Things

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Picture credit: danielsandler.com

For years, I used face wipes to remove my make-up, but a few months ago I decided that enough was enough – I was spending so much money too often on a product that did nothing spectacular for my skin. So I decided to move on to a thinner liquid make-up remover and buy cotton wool pads to go along with it, and it has been so much better for my skin. That’s why I am excited about this perfect potential purchase – a dual make-up remover from the highly-acclaimed Daniel Sandler. What’s not to love?

The 120ml bottle costs £15.

Read Sheenie’s full product review here.

TWO
What’s the product? Bumble and Bumble Deep Conditioner
Who featured it? Adrienne, The Sunday Girl

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Picture credit: bumbleandbumble.com

I’m always sceptical when it comes to deep conditioners – in the past I have been a sucker for marketing hype and haven’t seen a return on the majority of my hair care investments. However, because Adrienne has thick hair like me, I really trust that this product could be one to beat.

Plus, I have heard amazing things about Bumble and Bumble, but am ashamed to admit I have never tried anything! So I think you’ll find that’s at least two good reasons why I need this product in my life.

The full-size bottle (150ml) costs £21.50, but there’s a smaller version (50ml) for £9.50.

Read The Sunday Girl’s full review here.

THREE
What’s the product? KIKO Glamorous Eye Pencil
Who featured it? Grace, All that Slap

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Picture credit: kikocosmetics.com

Not only do I love a high-quality, pigmented eye pencil, but also I adore midnight blue. That’s why I completely fell in love with Kiko Cosmetics’ Glamorous Eye Pencils when I saw them on Grace’s blog last week. Retailing at only £4.90 each, these pencils are a really beautiful bargain.

Read Grace’s full review here.

FOUR
What’s the product? Maybelline Baby Lips
Who featured it? Jane, British Beauty Blogger

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Picture credit: walmart.com

Jane is always at the top of her game when it comes to what’s new and worth buying. One of the most exciting products I have seen on her blog lately is Maybelline Baby Lips. Originally from the US, Baby Lips is now going to be launched in the UK (much to many beauty bloggers’ delight). It’s available in several shades, has a sun protection factor of 20, and is said to provide 8 hours of moisture and rejuvenation.

See where I discovered this range here on Jane’s blog.

FIVE
What’s the product? Bobbi Brown Brightening Finishing Powder
Who featured it? Amelia Liana, Liana Beauty

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Picture credit: bobbibrown.co.uk

If I had to pick one product that screams Spring/Summer, it would be this uber pretty Bobbi Brown brightening powder. Formulated with mulberry, grape and brightening plant extracts, the powder illuminates the skin while also maintaining a natural effect.

At £40, it is quite expensive, but the fact that it’s so special kind of justifies the cost.

You can check out Amelia’s full post here.

Do you have any of these products already? What do you think of them? xxx

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Where do beauty bloggers buy their products? Survey results are in!
February 4, 2013, 6:01 pm
Filed under: Blogging | Tags: , , ,

Even beauty bloggers on a spending ban know how to dedicate A LOT of cash on new and/or staple products, but are we making the most out of the money we spend?

While I was tweeting away last night and watching all the bblogger responses fly up, I was thinking about my beauty buying habits and how much I had bought online as opposed to in store recently. That is so unlike me, as I like to see and feel what I am getting before I invest. So, I decided to tweet my thoughts and ask you all where you buy your beauty products and why, and got some really interesting responses. I then created a short survey and managed to get over 25 lovely bloggers to share their thoughts for this post, and here is where you get to find out what everyone else has said!

I want to thank you so much for your help and would love to hear your thoughts on what I found. If I have made any mistakes or confused the response, please let me know so I can correct it and I’ll do this straight away. Happy savvy beauty shopping!

Where do you buy your beauty products?
First things first, I will tell you the overall result from the first question, which was in multiple choice format and had three possible responses.

  • A whopping 74% (20) of you voted in store as the best place to shop
  • 37% (10) preferred browsing online
  • Only 3% (1) shopped in blog sales

Why do you shop in store?
Sensory instinct
: Five bloggers felt it was important to be able to feel and smell products before buying them. Sheona said ‘touching, swatching and feeling a product in my hands is what helps me decide whether to buy’. Helen wanted to ‘see the product and handle it’. Lil Fairy Doll needed to see products in the flesh to ‘test consistencies’. Grace said ‘for skin care it’s nice to sniff them’. Bettina wanted to ‘feel the products before purchasing’.

Lack of or misleading product information and photos: Five of you expressed concerns about the accuracy and depth of product information and photos. Orla wanted to see products first hand as she felt that ‘sometimes the photos online can be very deceptive’. Ingredient lists were of high importance to Grace, who felt these were ‘often not listed online’. Taylor wanted to try the products in store as she felt afraid products were ‘going to turn out the wrong colour/different to the photograph’. RaRa said ‘buying online can be misleading when it comes to exact shades’. Sheona felt that online stores don’t provide ‘full enough descriptions or show enough pictures for you to really get a feel of it’.

Swatches and colour matches: Swatching in person and making sure colours were right were top priorities for eleven bloggers. Sophie said she ‘likes to see the colours in person’. Lil Fairy Doll wanted to see what colours ‘REALLY are in the flesh’. Gem likes to ‘be able to swatch the product and see it in the flesh’. Donna preferred to own something new that she had ‘swatched in person’. If buying makeup, Grace likes to swatch items. Allie wanted to be sure colours matched correctly with her skin tone, as this can ‘sometimes be hard over the internet’. Callie wanted to ‘swatch the products there and then to ensure it’s the product that’s right for me’.

Getting it right for your skin type: Three of you wanted to check products matched your skin type in store before buying them. Ambarina said ‘I like to try before I buy, especially as I have indian skin, so need to be sure colours/formulations look good on my skin’. Ebony said testing products for your skin type is ‘beyond important’ for a pale-skinned lady as ‘foundations are so finicky’. RaRa felt buying online for fair shades was difficult and she didn’t want to look ‘washed out’.

Try before you buy: Nine of you wanted to sample products or use testers in store before investing in any beauty buys. Sophie said ‘I like to sample all the products. It makes a huge difference rather than shopping for them online and not being able to try a sample’. Ebony likes to ‘sample everything properly’. RaRa likes to ‘use testers to get a better idea of the product’. Taylor wants to ‘try products out and look at the colours’. Ambarina likes to ‘try out before I buy’. Another beauty blogger likes to swatch before she buys. Callie likes to ‘test the products there and then’. Bettina wants to ‘test the products before purchasing’. Megan likes to ‘try it out in store first, unless there are a LOT of good reviews’.

Cost of post and packaging: Annabelle raised an interesting point that shopping in store could ‘save money on postage and packaging’ and the money spent on this could ‘go towards something else such as trying products you aren’t sure about’.

Consultant advice: Two of you liked to chat to a consultant when looking into buying beauty products. Orla likes to ‘take advice from the sales assistant, as long as they are not too pushy’. Helen wanted to get advice from a consultant also.

Money concerns: Gem wanted to make sure she was spending her money on the right products as she doesn’t have a lot of her budget dedicated to beauty shopping and needs to be careful about what she buys.

Confirmation of choice and further exploration: The Ladida wanted to confirm her initial choice of product and look for different shades. She said she ‘really enjoys browsing and seeing what is out there before I decide on my purchase. Most of the time I know what I want but am undecided about the brand or sometimes even the shade’.

Why do you buy online?
Niche, natural and organic products
: Sarah felt limited by in-store shopping as she only likes ‘natural and organic products’. She said ‘it’s a niche market and you won’t find these products in Superdrug or Boots’.

Geographical barriers: RaRa Giggles felt online shopping enabled her to access a wider range of products as she only lives in a small town and works 9-5, making ‘selection outside of drugstore brands very poor’. Being from Israel, Lorraine wanted to get ‘American and European beauty products online’ as this made her ‘so happy’.

Convenience and choice: Gemma liked being able to ‘shop around, look for discount codes and get the best deal’. Gemma Bolton loves ‘browsing the newest brands and products any time of the day’. Sheenie said ‘online purchases are time-saving and often cheaper’. Tolly Dolly Posh said shopping online was ‘easier’ and that there were ‘cheaper brands in store’.

Gifts: Scott made the good point that shopping for beauty products online may allow you to get a gift as a reward for purchasing. He said that ‘sometimes there are gifts with purchase online that are not in stores’.

Crowds: Gemma Bolton prefers to ‘browse the newest brands at any time of the day without going to endless shops’. Gemma likes to shop for beauty products ‘without having to deal with the crowds’.

Lack of resources and sold out product ranges: Another interesting point raised by Scott is ‘sometimes products are sold out on the counter, other counters try to sell you stuff you don’t want, or during busy periods someone from another counter will serve you who doesn’t know the brand that well’. Sarah was concerned that stores do not ‘stock the products I am looking for’.

Why do you prefer blog sales?
Good reviews
: Although Annabelle was the only person to mention blog sales, she said that as long as the product had good reviews and was trusted, she would buy them from a blog sale.

BIG LOVE AND THANKS TO
Megan Lillie, thumbelinalillie.com, @meganjanelillie
Sheona Ranson, thebeautyobsession.com, @thebeautyboss
Sophie Halbert, dontwearitanymore.com, @dontwear
Sarah, sugarpuffish.blogspot.co.uk, @sugarpuffish
Ebony, ELNFashion.com, @ebzo
RaRa Reid, rarareid.wordpress.com, @rara_reid
Helen Gray, unevenlemmingbeauty.blogspot.com, @unevenlemming
Lil Fairy Doll, hazyfairyland.blogspot.ie, @lil_fairy_doll
Rara Giggles, raragiggle.blogspot.ie, @raragiggles
Sheenie Shaikh, just-nice-things.co.uk, @sheenieshaikh
Gem Seren, gemseren.blogspot.co.uk, @gemserenx
Tolly Dolly Posh, tollydollyposhfashion.com, @tollydollyposh
Donna, notjustinside.com, @vonfluffy
Lorraine, beautifulyou.blogspot.co.il, @beautifulyoul
The Ladida, theladida.com, @theladida
Taylor O’Callaghan, taylorjanway.wordpress.com, @taylorjanway
Grace, allthatslap.com, @allthatslap
Ambarina Hassan, beautypassionista.co.uk, @ambarinahasan
Gemma, missmakeupmagpie.com, @makeup_magpie
Annabelle John, annieshomemadeheaven.blogspot.co.uk, @annabellejohn
Allie Smith, rushandteal.blogspot.co.uk, @allieee_smith
Gemma Bolton, buff-beauty.com, @buffbeautyblog
Callie Rose, cllrs.blogspot.com, @catdicko
Orla Barrett, hallofmirrors.com, @orlabarrett
Bettina, beautyswot.com, @beautyswot
Scott, scottsbeauty.wordpress.com, @sbgblog
A yet to be identified beauty blogger! Will update this when I know your name!



Gorgeous giveaways you can’t afford to miss!
February 3, 2013, 2:44 pm
Filed under: Blogging | Tags: ,

I think you will agree that February is off to an amazing start in the bblogging world. The truth is, where there is a giveaway there is an amazing new blog to read, and the list of blogs I follow on Bloglovin is getting bigger by the minute! I just had to share these amazing giveaways with you so that you could check the blogs out and have the chance to win these gorgeous goodies! Here’s my top 10…

1/Diary of a Makeup Geek, 300 Follower Giveaway
First on my list is Diary of A Makeup Geek’s amazing giveaway to celebrate her 300 follower milestone! The first prizes on offer are Sleep-In Rollers, Tan and False Lashes. Second prizes are a Lush Bath Bomb (my fave!), Illamasqua Liquid Metal, a MAC lipstick of the winner’s choice AND a Benefit Naked Basics Palette. Amazing right?! Such a good mix. Would love to win these beauties. Follow Aqeela on Twitter here.

2/Rush and Teal, 75 Follower Giveaway
First of all – how pretty is that header? I love the pics and style of this blog so much. To mark the big 75 milestone, Allie has given readers a chance to win the super cute Paul&Joe Foundation Primer. I’m on the hunt for a new primer and have always wanted to try this product. Such a good choice for a 75 follower giveaway. Follow Allie on Twitter here.

3/Dream Makeup, Sigma Beauty Essential Brush Kit Giveaway
I have come to realise that every beauty lover needs a quality collection of make-up brushes to perfect her look, making this giveaway one you really can’t afford to miss! It’s an international giveaway and there are many colours to choose from, including aqua blue, pink and purple. I went for classic black for a classy staple collection. Can’t wait for the winner announcement at the end of March. This is one you cannot afford to miss for sure. Follow Dream Makeup on Twitter here.

4/Ramblings of a Beauty Bird, 500 Follower Giveaway
It’s amazing that this blogger has 500 followers – congratulations to Sasha on this milestone! Had to mention this giveaway as there are fantastic beauty bits up for grabs here, including a Real Techniques Blush Brush (love this brand and have just bought the stippling brush), one of my fave mascaras Benefit They’re Real and a Kate Moss lipstick. Also up for grabs is the sweet snow fairy shower gel from Lush, a MUA palette, Maybelline gel eyeliner and Rimmel Scandaleyes eye pencil. It’s an international giveaway packed with essential products. Follow Sasha on Twitter here.

5/Shayy In Wonderland, Welcome Back Giveaway
I just love coral blushers, lipsticks and nail polishes. Shay’s MAC Blusher giveaway to welcome her back to the blogosphere is one not to miss for Spring/Summer 2013. The Peaches product would do wonders to lift a nude look and is the one I would love to get my hands and cheeks on! Follow Shay on Twitter here.

6/Pooches and Cream, MAC Giveaway
Another coral beauty is the MAC Lip Look Bag in Lavish Coral, which the lovely Robyn is kindly giving away on her blog. The giveaway includes 4 items – a lip pencil, cremesheen lipstick and lipglass and a cute purse. It’s UK only and you can follow Robyn on Twitter here. She is great to have beauty banter with 🙂

7/Glad Rags and the Handbags, 200th Post Soap & Glory Giveaway
Ask any beauty blogger what products they have in the shower, and Soap & Glory will be in the top 10, if not 3! That’s why this giveaway to win the Best of All set is truly amazing and one not to be missed. Mel is offering readers the chance to win 9 products, including the Hand Food Hand Cream, Clean on Me Shower Gel and Sugar Crush Body Scrub, plus the branded bag. Enter immediately and also follow Mel on Twitter here.

8/Dippy Writes, One Month of Blogging Revlon and Essie Giveaway
I love a good nail and lip combo, and Dippy is offering readers two special treats as part of her One Month of Blogging Giveaway. Up for grabs are an Essie nail polish of the winner’s choice (I chose Beyond Cozy) and a Revlon Lip Butter (I chose Raspberry Pie). Really nice products on offer here and I would like to congratulate Dippy on one month of blogging! Follow her on Twitter here.

9/Little Bo Blab, 20k Views Giveaway
20k blog views is an amazing milestone! My love of Body Shop bath and body products makes me adore this giveaway. Kerys Marie is giving readers the chance to grab a pink box of goodies, including a pink grapefruit shower gel, watermelon and raspberry lip balms, mango soap and Rimmel London nail polish in Azure (so gorgeous). You must enter this one! Follow Kerys Marie on Twitter here.

10/Makeup-Pixi3, Impulsive Giveaway
I’m terrible for shopping for beauty bits on impulse, so welcomed this giveaway from Makeup-Pixi3. Georgina is offering readers the chance to win a MAC lipstick of their choice – and the choices are endless! Nude, red, vampy or pretty pink? Don’t miss your chance to win – it’s an international giveaway. You can follow Pixi3 on Twitter here.



Favourite blog posts of February (so far)
February 1, 2013, 1:39 pm
Filed under: Blogging, Face, Lips, Make-up, Skin care | Tags: , ,

I have loved reading everyone’s best blog posts of January, but as today marks the first day of February I think it’s time to do something a little different. So, instead of writing about my favourite entires from last month, I have taken the time to browse through today’s blog posts and share my favourites with you to set the second month of the year off to a shining start!

The first blog post I would like to mention is Winter Essentials: Super Hydrating Products by @makeup_savvy. My skin definitely suffers from dehydration in the winter season, and I have been told many times to invest in skin care products that will work underneath a moisturiser to boost my skin’s hydration. This blog definitely opened my eyes to some affordable options – I want to try Botanics 100% Organic Facial Oil and Weleda’s Skin Food.

Second on my must-read list for 1 Feb is By Terry Lip Expert Hydra Shine Gloss – Mythic Shine by Grace (known on twitter as @allthatslap). For some time I have been in love with purple shades for the lips, and so this would make a great addition to my collection. It’s a product I haven’t heard of before, but with moisturising, plumping and collagen-boosting ingredients, I think you would agree it has all the great qualities that a top lipgloss should have.

Next is a post that I thought was brilliant and followed on nicely from my post on five questions to ask before investing in skin care. New to My Skincare Routine by @fluttersparkle was fab. It definitely sounds like she has had a similar experience to me, and we have the same skin type. I have started using the Dermalogica Daily Microexfoliant and I really love it. The Vichy Normaderm Micellar Water also sounds amazing.

Number four on my list is Maybelline Moisture Express – Cool  Watermelon on MaSucree’s Make-Up Musings. It’s a good honest review of this Maybelline lipstick and a cute shade as well. There’s nothing like looking at a lipstick on someone to see what it would be like – and this one looks super moisturising and not too out there.

Last but not least is Clarins New! Rouge Eclat in True Aubergine: Get the Look! by @poutoutproud. I have to confess I haven’t tried a Clarins lipstick before, but I love the brand’s skin care products and foundations. This shade looks really lovely and the lipstick protects against hydration which is great. I love how she has made a whole look around it – even her hair is done. Go girl.

Did you enjoy reading my best blog posts of 1 February so far? Would love to know your thoughts and if you have any to add to the list. Leave me a comment below 🙂 Happy friday!