Sunday, 29 May 2016

Manchester Lush Store Opening.

On Thursday night myself, other bloggers and press were invited along to the launch of the new Lush store in Manchester Arndale. I was beyond excited to see the new store, knowing it would be much bigger than the previous offering in the Arndale. In fact, we were told in the store, that this is actually the third biggest store in the World!

So what's the new store like? It's set out in a much more customer friendly way. It's really easy to move around to the different sections and browse leisurely, rather than squeezing past other shoppers. The store has its own greenhouse which grows some of the plants used in products made by Lush. It also makes a cute, quiet place for skincare consultations to learn about the products. 

Each area is dedicated to a particular range of products from bath and shower to hair care and skincare. But my favourite section has to be the make up. I've never really explored Lush make up before, but that may be because the selection in my local store wasn't great. However that has now all changed. The lovely store assistants showed us all of the make up range including some Manchester exclusives (other than the Oxford Street branch). I'm completely obsessed with the Lush pigments, which are incredible for using in eyes, lips and as a highlight - expect a full review soon. I also tested the new eye jewels and lip pigments which are incredible. 

The store was full of demos and we were lucky enough to see some of the products being made right in store. For the launch, staff from the Lush Kitchen were onsite making Angels in Bare Skin cleanser - you can't get much fresher than that! 

I've fallen in love with a few of the Lush Gorilla Perfumes too. After having an in depth chat with one of the assistance about the origins of the scents, I'm really intrigued to try some more. The launch had a super sensory experience with the perfumes, where we learnt all about the notes of the scent and the relationship between smell and taste - this did involve some yummy chocolate tasting too. 

We were kindly gifted some items from the new store to try out at home so I am super excited to give them all a go! 

For those wondering, the new Lush store is opposite the old store in the Arndale Centre - if you're in Manchester visiting the new store is an absolute must. 

Katie xx

Saturday, 21 May 2016

My MAC Lip Collection + Swatches.

I've been getting more and more into Mac lipsticks recently. No matter where I pick other lip products up from, I always end up coming back to trusty Mac. So I thought there was no better opportunity to share my Mac lipstick collection with you. I've swatched the colours in order from left to right, so if you've seen dorm thing that catches your eye - keep reading. 

Finally Free (Creamsheen) - This is my newest addition to my collection. Only being released recently, this is the colour inspired by Caitlyn Jenner and all proceeds go to helping transgender communities in the UK. The colour is a gorgeous pink/brown toned nude and is super easy to wear. Creamsheen is one of my favourite formulas from Mac. I find this formula really flattering and non-drying on the lips. I know I will be getting a lot of wear from this pretty colour. 

Impassioned (Amplified) - This colour was bough on a whim one day whilst I was browsing the counter. This is a super full-on bright pink lipstick but is somehow still flattering in the lips. I don't wear the Amplified formula as a daytime lipstick as they can be quite drying, but this is the ultimate statement lip for an evening/nighttime look. 

Syrup (Lustre) - Another of the new additions to my collection. I picked this up after seeing Lily Pebbles raving about it. My all time favourite lip colour is Patisserie (another Lustre formula) so I knew I would love the way this sits on the lips. I adore this colour and it's so easy to apply. It's my everyday go-to at the moment and I can apply without a mirror which is an absolute bonus. You'll see I don't have Patisserie featured here because I am scraping the bottom
of the bullet, but for the record I adore it.  

Mehr (Matte) - This is a gorgeous your-lips-but-better shade. I love the pigmentation of the matte shades but again they can be a little drying. This looks incredible with a deep smokey eye to add a little something to the lips without taking away from eye look. It's buildable too, so applying a really thin layer can be super subtle. 

Rebel (Satin) - I think this may have been my first ever Mac lipstick purchase. I have no idea why I went straight in at the deep end and went for such a bold colour. However I have had a good amount of wear from this shade. I find Rebel is a shade than can totally work with any complexion from super pale like me to gorgeous olive skin tones. 

Twig (Satin) - This is somewhere between Syrup and Mehr but a slightly more brown-time. As you can see I have a "type" when it comes to lipstick shades and this is up there with my faves. 

Morange (Amplified) - Another intense lip colour in my range. I picked this up when I wanted something really bold to wear with a neutral make up look. This looks incredible with a tan and is so flattering on holiday with bronzed skin. 

Stone (Matte) - This is an absolute 90s throw-back and a little homage to my love for the Spice Girls. I wasn't completely sold on the brown lip but I really love this shade. Despite having ghost-like skin, this somehow works really well as an everyday lip colour. 

And that's it...what other shades do you recommend? Have any caught your eye here?

Katie xx

Monday, 16 May 2016

The £3 Dupe for ABH Brow Wiz.

One of the most hyped up brow products of the last few years, has to be the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz. And being a sucker for a hype, it was at the top of my to-buy list when I visited Sephora in NYC. I went and picked up the shade Taupe and I've been using it regularly since February.

On a whim I more recently picked up Avon's answer to the ABH in the form of the eyebrow Glimmerstick. I thought this would be a great chance for a cheeky comparison post between the two products. The biggest difference between the two products is the price tag. The Brow Wiz is priced around the £15 mark and the Glimmerstick is £6 (but usually in £3 offer). 

Okay first up, the ABH Brow Wiz has two ends. One is the product and the other is the spooly for moving the product around the brows. Where as the Avon offering is just a product stick, which isn't a major issue for me. 

The actual texture of the products is quite different though. The ABH is quite a hard product and I find it does take a little warming up on the brows to get it moving. The Glimmerstick however, is much easier to apply and moves into the brows with very little effort. This is certainly a big plus for me, as intend to get pretty impatient when a product isn't quite doing what I would like. 

Of course the more expensive of the two have a wider colour choice and I think there are around 7 colour choices in the ABH range. Avon offer 4 colour choices, but for the difference in the price tag, this doesn't bother me. In fact, I actually find the Glimmerstick is a closer match for my natural hair colour. 

So would I pick up the Brow Wiz again? In a word - no. To be honest it's pretty over priced for what it is and there are so many drugstore, cheaper alternatives on the market. In fact the Avon Glimmerstick  is actually one of my all time favourite brow products and I find myself gravitating towards it much more that any of my others. I like the finish it gives, the match to my brow colour and the staying power is second to none. My brows stay put all day and still look pretty good when I take my make up off. 

My advice would be, save your money and try an alternative product to the ABH. For once, I don't feel like I'm missing out on a holy grail product. 

Katie xx


Tuesday, 10 May 2016

H&M Beauty Additions.

I'm pretty much obsessed with H&M beauty range. I've had a few eyeshadows from the range and can't get over the amazing quality for the tiny price. And after having a good browse of the shelves I picked up a few more items I've fallen in love with. 

I adore the packaging of the products, it's not the highest quality but from afar looks really sophisticated and high-end. It's super sleek and looks so much more expensive than it actually is. The product inside is incredible and the quality of everything I've tried, easily rivals Mac. 

This time around I picked up two lipsticks and another eye shadow. It took me a good 20 minutes to pick out which shades I wanted, the range is so huge and I kind of wanted one of everything. In the end I went with lipstick shades in Siena Piazza and Powder Puff, and the eyeshadow shade in Sun Worship. The lipsticks are £7.99 each and the shadows are £4.99.

First up Siena Piazza is a gorgeous muted-coral colour that just looks amazing with a really subtle make up look. It's the perfect colour if you're looking for something a little more daring but don't want to go too far out of your comfort zone. 

Powder Puff is a beautiful pinky nude and gives that gorgeous "your lips but better" look. I adore this shade, it's so easy to wear and I can easily apply without a mirror, which is amazing. 

Both lipsticks are the perfect texture and remind me a lot of the Lustre range from Mac. They feel incredibly moisturising and not drying on the lips at all. I love the way they wear throughout the day too, they don't have super long wearing power but they do wear evenly throughout the day and can be easily topped up out and about. 

A nude lip will go perfectly with the incredible Sun Worship eye shadow. I've been looking for a deeper golden-brown shadow colour and this is just spot on. This is the perfect one wash shade and doesn't need any other shade to make it pop. I love how blendable this shadow is and the buttery texture is amazing. These shadows are easily up there with some of my favourites and for the price tag, can't be beaten. 

Have you tried much from the H&M beauty range?

Katie xx

Sunday, 8 May 2016

The "Pregnancy Glow" Trio.

I am a huge fan of Antipodes skincare and have been some time now. My skin seems to soak up all the goodness of these products and I finally seem to be developing that "pregnancy glow". 

I was kindly sent three of the Antipodes range to try, to combat my dull and dry skin. I've been breaking out no end and my skin has just lost all of its suppleness. But thankfully I seem to have turned it around the past few weeks and I can only put it down to these babies. 

First up the Juliet Skin-Brightening Gel Cleanser* has been an absolute godsend. The consistency is somewhere between a gel and an oil and massages into the skin perfectly. I find this really therapeutic to use as it removes all of my make up in seconds. This cleanser contains Manuka Honey which is full of anti-bacterial properties. It also contains kiwi and grape which are full of anti-oxidants to help with getting that glow back. I am completely head-over-heels for this cleanser. 

The other two add on products I was sent are the Apostle Skin Brightening Serum* and the Aura Manuka Honey Mask*. Myself and my husband have been using these products and both agree they do amazing things to our skin. The serum is water based and just soaks in within seconds. Considering the hubby and I have completely different skin types, this seems to work really well for both of us. 

However, my favourite product of the three had to be the Manuka Honey Mask. This is like some kind of miracle worker. This completely transforms my skin leaving it brighter, less red and reduces my break outs over night. I've been applying this twice a week and leaving a thin layer on for around half an hour after cleansing. Not only does it smell incredible, but it leaves my skin softer than I've ever felt it. 

If you're looking for something that really does help to reduce inflammation and breakouts, the mask is easily one of the best products I've tried. You can even apply directly to the break out to help soothe the area. Plus it's a completely natural product (like the rest of the range) and doesn't contain all the nasties most anti-blemish products contain. An absolute must-have for me. 

Have you tried anything from Antipodes?

Katie xx

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