Wednesday, 28 August 2013

YSL Sheer Candy '#3 Grapefruit' - Review

Hello beauty fanatics, I hope you're all doing well! I've been sat with my foot up for 2 days now on rest as I have done some damage to it! I can't believe I had an accident on Monday when I'm going back to London on Saturday, it's just my luck. I haven't quite broken my toe but I have a fair bit of bruising on the side of my foot and between my pinky toe and the 4th toe. I also have my foot strapped up in a lovely white bandage and hobble along at the pace of a slow coach - its very attractive!! I'm quite clearly joking... Anyway, whilst I have been sat with my foot up resting, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to do a review for you all on one of my favourite lip products ever! 

Lately, I have been loving the minimal makeup look and have therefore been favouring a base that isn't as full coverage as my current foundation which is MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NW10. I am sick of having a foundation that is super matte and is the wrong shade for me. I have such a hard time when it comes to MAC and foundations in general! NW or NC15 are far too dark and yellow/orange based for me whereas NW10 is ever so slightly too pink! I know, its a nightmare finding the perfect match. I thought that it was time to step away from the MAC foundation and instead I have been using and have fallen back in love with my old All in one Face Base from the Body Shop! I don't actually know why I stopped using it anyway because the finish is great, it lasts well on the face and I can get a good colour match. I love my Sheer Candy's and this shade is perfect for minimal makeup.

I have never really been a fan of wearing lipstick because I just feel that it doesn't suit me. I worry that wearing lipstick draws unnecessary attention to my lips and the fact that I suffer from eczema on my lips means that the product just clings to my dry patches and looks awful. I picked up my first ever Sheer Candy in June (you can see the first impressions post that I did on it here) and ever since I have bought three more!


'#3 Grapefruit' cannot be described as a lipstick but instead only as a balm. There is virtually no colour pay off and instead this product only provides a glossy finish. I know that this is something many people wouldn't like but personally this is what I love about this product. In the bullet, there are small flecks of shimmer but that doesn't properly translate onto the lips and instead this just adds to the shimmer of the balm.



The packaging of this product is super luxurious and it actually feels really rather heavy. I love that the casing is silver and the middle section is gold showing the intricate YSL detailing. I also like the fact that behind the middle section of the product you can see the colour of it. This is a really helpful design feature as you can easily identify what colour you want and pick it out from your lipstick collection. 


This balm smells of mango and actually smells good enough to eat. The consistency is really nice and leaves your lips feeling super hydrated. As I said earlier, I have pretty problematic lips and I find this this nourishes them amazingly well. You can either wear this on it's own as a lip balm or apply it as a base coat and then apply something else on top of it. I have worn it in both ways and it has provided moisture for a really nice length of time. Often I find that lip balms can be and can feel rather greasy but because this is a lipstick/lip balm it doesn't feel greasy at all. The formula is amazing. 

Although '#3 Grapefruit' is priced at £24.50 and can be described as virtually being a lip balm, I absolutely love it. I wear this shade all of the time during the day and sometimes apply a good layer before going to bed. When I wear this product overnight I always wake up with baby soft lips and they feel significantly more nourished than they did before applying this. I don't mind the lack of colour payoff because that is what attracted me to #3 but I do own a few more Sheer Candy's (that I shall be reviewing in the near future) and they are all as amazing as each other. 

In June/July there was talk that YSL had decided to discontinue their Sheer Candy line
and once stores had ran out of their stock they wouldn't be replenished. However, I am
glad to report that YSL soon changed their mind and have decided to keep the
Sheer Candy line! Have you tried this products? What do you think of them?

Twitter: @PurpleElll
Instagram: Elysia_JW

Saturday, 24 August 2013

OOTD ft. FD Avenue - Maxi, Skulls and a Mulberry

A few weeks ago I was approached by the lovely FD Avenue and was asked if I would like to choose an item of clothing from their website to try. I jumped at the opportunity and started looking through what they had to offer. I have always wanted to try a maxi dress and I finally decided I would give one a go, to the sheer delight of one of my closest friends who loves absolutely everything about this style of dress!

I have to admit, I was a little bit dubious about trying out a maxi dress because I didn't want it to cling to me and look like a second layer of skin! Unfortunately, I wasn't blessed with a teeny tiny model body so I ordered a dress that was a few sizes larger than my usual dress size. I didn't want a dress that would be super tight, I wanted it to be loose and flow nicely whilst wearing it in the heat of the summer.

One thing that I absolutely love to do is to mix the inexpensive with the expensive. I am a super casual dresser and a firm believer that a good handbag (it doesn't necessarily have to be designer) and some carefully selected accessories (again, they can be non designer) help to pull any outfit together and make it stand out. When I wear my maxi I like to go for the casual chic look so I opted to accessorise with some designer items to give some added pizazz. Who says you can't wear McQueen and Mulberry with a £13.99 dress!?


Apologies for the awkward hand position, it's harder
to take pictures of yourself than you may think!


Outfit details:Dress - FD Avenue* here.
Scarfs - both Alexander McQueen.
Sandals - Next (about 3 years ago).
Bag - Mulberry NVT Bayswater in Oak.
Necklace.

I really am impressed with the quality of this dress, for something that costs as little as £13.99! I was actually worried that it would be a little see through but I am pleased to report that it is not. The people at FD Avenue are absolutely lovely and their website stocks a vast range of affordable fashion that is available in a number of sizes ranging from a 'Small' to a curvaceous size 26. The dress comes in a variety of different colours that would be perfect for taking away with you on holiday or just for wearing in the warm weather. One great thing about the fabric is that it's nice and thin - not thin enough so you see all the way through it but thin enough so you don't sweat whilst walking around in the sun.
If I were to be super picky, I would say that for me I would have liked the dress to be a little bit longer. In no way is the dress too short for me but it doesn't touch the floor in the way I would have liked it to. Instead, it stops at what would most probably be mid ankle height but that isn't a big issue! This problem is probably caused by myself because I am pretty tall - average height ladies, you will be fine! 

One minor issue I had with the style of a maxi dress was the way in which I felt as though it drew attention to my thigh area. This is nothing to do with the dress from FD Avenue or the quality of it, I'm just self conscious of my legs. However, I found that if I sat down in the dress for a few moments the fabric around the thigh area loosened up and I felt as though it skimmed over the area perfectly. Or maybe that was my brain convincing that that was the case!

I also thought that by pairing a scarf (or two) with a dress of this style makes you feel as though the eye is drawn away from problem areas because the scarf/s conceal them. So ladies, if you're conscious of your hips, feel as though you have a 'muffin top' or can't handle the thought of people looking at the tops of your thighs a scarf will skim over these areas and help to conceal them nicely; probably making you feel much more confident. Also as a little bit of advice, I would recommend you wear some underwear that is not going to give you a VPL. This material is the kind that takes no prisoners and will cling!

Overall, I am really happy with this dress and at £13.99 I definitely think that it is within everyone's budget and is amazing value for money. Whether you plan on wearing this black maxi on a summers day out, a shopping trip, to drinks with friends, on a date or to work; this dress will look amazing, with the right accessories. I know for a fact that I plan on ordering a few of these dresses for a family holiday which I am hopefully going on next year! Oh and if you don't feel comfortable enough wearing one of these dresses out and about...they make great pool cover ups!

How would you have styled this maxi dress? Have you shopped with
FD Avenue before?

Twitter: @PurpleEll
Instagram: Elysia_JW
FD Avenue: 
http://www.fdavenue.com/
(all links to their social media can be found here)

* dress c/o FD Avenue - many thanks x

Sunday, 18 August 2013

OPI 'Elephantastic Pink' - NOTD

As you may already know if you read my last post (if you haven't read it, you can read it hereI picked up a fair few OPI nail polishes from Fragrance Direct. On this site, although they predominately sell fragrances, you can pick up cosmetics, hair care, skincare and other various beauty bits and bobs at a great knocked down price. The OPI polishes are sold at £3.99 each and for a salon nail polish this is an absolute steal. I love OPI and the fact that I save £8.00 when I purchase them from this site makes them even more appealing.


When I ordered this shade off of Fragrance Direct, the site was actually showing a coral coloured swatch. One big tip I can give you when you're buying nail varnishes off them is to open a separate page and google image search the shade you're looking for as sometimes they show a completely different coloured swatch to the actual colour of the nail varnish you're buying.  

'Elephantastic Pink' is a gorgeous shade and it's also super summery. I love the fact that it's bright but isn't neon and would therefore be appropriate for wearing to work. I found that this shade of pink went with most things and was a really great colour to be wearing at this time of year - it's so summery! As with most OPI polishes the formula of this shade is super smooth and is relatively quick drying. The brush is a nice size and means that you can paint your whole nail in two strokes. Usually, my nail polishes don't last on my nails very well but recently I have been using OPI's Original Nail Envy and it has been working really well and improving the overall condition and strength of my nails. I have noticed that as my nails have been getting stronger, nail varnishes have been lasting longer. 'Elephantastic Pink' lasted on my nails for around 4/5 days and I was over the moon. Towards the fifth day there was slight chipping on my right hand but the left hand was absolutely perfect. I actually took the photo above as I was sitting down ready to take this shade off and re paint my nails with a different colour. I was seriously impressed with the way this polish lasted on me and it definitely confirms why I love OPI polishes so much. 

The only slightly negative thing that I have to say about 'Elephantastic Pink' is that to achieve the super opaque colour that's photographed above, I had to apply three coats of the varnish. This didn't bother me because I wanted to apply a thick layer so it would last longer and I will definitely be wearing this shade a lot. The nail polish itself provides a glossy finish but to make it even more glossy and to help it stay on my nails a little longer I applied OPI's quick drying top coat. 

What shade nail of nail polish have you been loving this week?

Twitter: @PurpleElll
Instagram: Elysia_JW

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Fragrance Direct Bargains #3 - OPI

Just a quick note to avoid any confusion: the large bottle of Nail Envy that is pictured below IS NOT part of this haul. Fragrance Direct DO NOT sell large bottles of Nail Envy. Unfortunately, other photos that I took of the nail varnishes I purchased were not showing their true colour because there was little natural light. Therefore, I had to use the photos that included the big bottle of Nail Envy. Just to clarify, I DIDN'T get the big Nail Envy from Fragrance Direct for £3.99. The only Nail Envy I got off of the site and what is included in this haul is the one that came as a part of the Miniatures set that is pictured below xx

If there's one thing that us beauty bloggers love, it's a bargain and when you're constantly buying beauty products, you can find that your money dwindles away so quickly. I love looking through bargain fragrance and beauty websites because sometimes you can find some absolute gems and also save a bit of money (which can be put towards buying something else beauty related). One of my favourite websites to look on is Fragrance Direct. Although they sound as though they only sell fragrances they don't and you can find some great beauty, hair care and skincare bargains on there. I particularly love going on and checking out their latest Essie and OPI nail varnishes. Who can resist discounted nail varnishes!? I certainly know that I can't!

I wasn't actually supposed to order as much as I did and nor did I intend to! I only went onto the site with my auntie to have a look and before we knew it we were adding things into the bag like there was no tomorrow. I ended up spending over £40 on nail stuff alone (oops!!) but looking back this is a total bargain and an amazing saving. Everything we bought, should it have been priced at it's actual RRP, would have cost around £120!!



L-R:
The Colour Of Minnie
Vampsterdam
Original Nail Envy (not part of this haul)
Elephantastic Pink
I'm All Ears
Diva Of Geneva
If You Moust You Moust
Nothin' Mousie Bout It 


I picked up the OPI minis kit because I just couldn't resist it and it had a saving of over £10! Everything that came in the set was miniature which meant it was perfect for trying out something new or for travelling with. When the set arrived, I was over the moon as I didn't think it would be as nice as it actually is. The main things I picked up were obviously the six OPI nail polishes (pictured above) which again I couldn't resist. Fragrance Direct sell these amazing polishes for £3.99 each which means you make a saving of £8.00. The bottles are all full sized and I was pleased to see that they stocked the four shades that were in the Minnie Mouse collection which was released last year so I snapped them up right away. I probably didn't need them because I have a few way too many pink nail polishes but ... despite what anyone says, you can never have too many pink polishes! I also picked up two dark winter shades as I know that OPI sells out quickly on the site and if I didn't buy them I would just completely miss out. 

I absolutely love nail varnish and I have been loving OPI recently! At £3.99, I think I may have
to buy a few more. I hope Fragrance Direct get some new colours in stock soon!
Have you picked up any bargains off of the site recently?

Twitter: @PurpleElll
Instagram: Elysia_JW

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Maybelline 'Baby Lips ' are finally in the UK! - First Impressions

You all have no idea how excited I am to be sharing this blog post with you. I know I know, it's sad to get this excited but Maybelline Baby Lips are finally stocked in the UK!! I am a total lip balm junkie, so when I found out that Maybelline were bringing this super hyped up lip product to the UK I was over the moon. For goodness knows how long, I have watched countless YouTube videos and read numerous blog posts featuring these sought after lip balms. I really really wanted one but the only problem was that they weren't available here. As soon as Boots announced that Baby Lips were coming to the UK, they put a waiting list on their website and I signed up to it immediately (yes I admit it, I was on a waiting list for a lip balm! It's rather said, I know!). I wanted to make sure that I was one of the first people to know that Baby Lips were available to buy...

On the 24th of July, Maybelline Baby Lips were available to buy online and in store from Boots and Superdrug. Whilst browsing Twitter the night before, I noticed someone tweet a reminder that Baby Lips would be for sale online at Boots the following morning. I made a mental note and more or less as soon as I woke up, I was online. Unfortunately, signing up to be reminded about Baby Lips being available was useless because I never got my reminder until a few hours after I had made my order.

Since they have been released, I have ordered a grand total of 18 of these super hyped lip balms (They weren't all for me!). I believe that they were originally released by Maybelline in Japan where they went crazy for them, then they were brought to America/Australia and people there also went crazy for them so finally Maybelline decided to bring them to the UK. It's crazy to think that a lip balm has been so coveted but it is. This little £2.99 lip balm has achieved cult status!

As with all of my new purchases, here on the Little Beauty Blogg, I like to do a first impressions post that quickly sums up my thoughts and opinions on a product I have only used a few times. Then after much more use, I like to share with you a full in depth review. To some doing a first impressions post and then a proper review may seem a little pointless or excessive but by doing so I feel as though I can portray my true opinions across about a product - you can clearly see if my thoughts on a product have changed and why!


Although I have only had these babies for around a week, so far I think that they...

- Are priced really well and at only £2.99 these are definitely not going to break the bank and are most probably within everyone's budget.
- Have extremely cute packaging.
- Have got the balance right - 3 tinted and 3 none tinted balms.
- Last well on the lips.
- Will appeal to a range of people.
- Have a bold statement saying that they will inprove your lips in a week and give your lips moisture for up to 8 hours.
-  Have varying smells. I definitely prefer some more than others.
- Are possible dupes for something such as the YSL Sheer Candy's!? A first impressions post on one of these products can be found here.
- Have varying levels of pigmentation - Pink Punch seems to provide the best colour pay off, then Cherry Me and finally Peach Punch.
- Make the lips feel nice and smooth. I especially like Hydration (in the blue/pink packaging).
- Could have included SPF in all 6 of the balms (only the clear ones - Hydration, Mint Fresh and Intense Care include this).
- Provide a nice colour. Pink Punch provides a blue toned pink, Cherry Me provides a red/pink tint (this is kind of a your lips but better shade) and Peach Punch provides a sheer peachy/brown/nude shade.
- Do not feel greasy on the lips.
- Apply smoothly.
- Don't provide too much of a shine, when compared to other tinted balms.
- Can be built up to achieve a tint or a stronger colour.


Have you picked up any of the Maybelline Baby Lips? What do you think
of them so far?

I also just wanted to say a BIG thank you to everyone who follows my blog! Today is my 100th post on the Little Beauty Blogg and blogging wouldn't have been possible without everyone who follows me and makes blogging worthwhile. You're all amazing and I value each and everyone one of you. I never imagined that people would appreciate my blog as much as they do because I just started this as something I thought only I would read!! If I could give everyone who follows and has read my blog over my past 100 posts a big hug to say thank you then I would. I hope that you all continue to enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy writing it and lets hope that there are many many more posts to come! Thank you all so much xxx 
Twitter: :@PurpleElll
Instagram: Elysia_JW

Friday, 2 August 2013

July Haul!

Last month seems to have flown by so quickly and I cannot believe that we are in August already! I feel as though the year is flying by and before we know it Christmas will be just around the corner. I'm heading back off to uni this month so a lot of my time will be spent preparing things for making the big move ... AGAIN! I'm trying not to think about it too much because I know that if I do I will just work myself up and get all nervous and in a total fluster about leaving family behind ect...
The weather last month was absolutely gorgeous and although it did get a bit too hot a few times, I enjoyed being able to relax and sit in the garden doing absolutely nothing. I even managed to catch a bit of a tan which is extremely rare for me as I'm so pale I just burn haha! In typical English fashion, people were moaning that it was too hot and then started moaning when we finally got some rain but that's the thing about us Brits...You just cannot keep us happy!

Claire's Accessories 

Admittedly, Claire's Accessories (or is it just called Claire's now?) isn't somewhere I really shop anymore. Back in the day when I was a lot younger and would go to town with my friends we'd spend a stupid amount of time in there looking around every Saturday. I never bought much because I always thought it was a little over priced and to be honest ... I still think that it is, slightly.
The only place I get my hair grips from is Claire's and with the hot weather I was desperate to get one of those headbands that goes right around your head and pulls all of your hair off of your face and neck. These headbands came in a pack of two and were priced at £3.50 (although I paid a little less because I had my NUS Student card with me and could therefore get student discount) and have been an absolute god send. We are planning a family holiday for next year and I know that I will be stocking up on these and wearing them none stop!




Boots

As per usual, I bought a fair few things from Boots last month. Firstly, I stocked up on a few essentials that I love and use all of the time. I love the Simple cleansing facial wipes and the eye makeup remover wipes. I have extremely sensitive eyes and I also have eczema in the outer corners so it's essential that I use something that won't burn or aggravate my skin. These wipes are gentle but are textured enough to remove mascara. The facial wipes are also super soft and work an absolute treat. I have repurchased these two items numerous times and will continue to do so. I love them!



Finally, I made a super exciting purchase from the Boots online store. I have watched so many YouTube videos where online American and Australian gurus talk about their love of Baby Lips or feature them in their daily makeup routine videos. After spending god knows how long wishing these lip balms would come to the UK they did! They arrived sometime last week and I was on the Boots website straight away ordering a few. At first I ended up ordering 12 and when I arrived I ordered a further 6 more. Don't worry, they're not all for me though; they are for myself, my mum and auntie! We all seem to have gone crazy for Baby Lips. My next blog post shall be a first impressions post on these super hyped up balms.


Next 

I seem to have got a lot of things from Next last month. I had a few things to return that I had previously been bought and whilst doing so I thought I would have a look in the sale. That was something that I do not usually do because I just hate sales shopping and especially the Next sale as it just seems to be such a jumble sale, When I do bother to look in sales, I don't usually find anything that I like but this time I seemed to strike lucky. I don't usually go for green items of clothing and this t shirt is the first green thing that I have ever owned but I love the way it looks casual chic with the embellished jewelled neckline. I'm a huge cardigan fan and when I noticed this was in my size I couldn't resist. I just had to have it! 



As I said earlier in this post, I am due to go back to uni at the end of this month (I am having to go back a little earlier for a number of reasons) and therefore I have been getting a few things over the past month. As many students will know who live away from home during term time, you always end up coming home with a list of things you need to take back with you. Number one on my list was bedding as I like to have new bedding every year (new pillows, duvet, bedding, mattress protector, mattress topper ect...). I always end up getting cute bedding for when I'm away from home as I just find it gives a fun and uplifting feel to a room in which you can sometimes feel rather lonely in. 


I have also picked up a few new t shirts from Next but unfortunately, I have been a bad blogger and haven't taken photos of them!

VANS 

After goodness knows how long of deliberating whether or not I wanted to get a pair or would even suit a pair, I have got some VANS! I have to admit that I am usually a Converse girl but I have found that recently they have been really hurting one of toes and they were causing it to blister every time I wore them. I had had enough and decided I was finally going to try VANS. I chose a navy blue pair because I'm super picky; I don't like the coloured ones as they are just not me and I'm not a fan of the black ones. I have worn these a few times and so far I am over the moon with them. They're super comfortable, so far haven't rubbed me (although I assume they'll rub my heel because new shoes always do) and they look great on!


UGG

I will be the first to admit that these flip flops are not the most attractive looking things on the planet. However, they're super comfortable! I really do not know that I have got these on my feet. I can see myself using these as slippers when I back at uni and mooching around the flat. Although these have the fur lining, they are not too hot and are actually really nice to wear because they keep your feel super cool. I like wearing these whilst I am carrying my Mulberry Oak Bayswater (featured in this haul below) because they match well and the Mulberry makes them look more pretty than they actually are...



Debenhams

Whenever I have some points on my Debenhams beauty card, I like to go in and spend them! Last month I had aquired £15 worth and knew what I was going to spend them on ... another YSL Sheer Candy! I have previously done a first impressions post of one here, if you would like to take a look. I suffer from eczema on my lips and this only becomes noticable when I apply a lipstick. The glossy balm like finish of these 'lipsticks' make them perfect for me and they also just give the perfect slight hint of colour which is the look I prefer; rather than wearing a strong lipstick. The best thing is that because of my beauty card points this stunning lip product only cost me £9.50!

Shade No. 2

If you have been reading my blog for a while or follow me on Twitter, then you will probably know that I am a total lip balm junkie. Because of my problematic lips, I don't wear lipsticks so I substitute them for lip balms. Whilst in town with my mum a few weeks ago, I had a look in Debenhams and ended up at the Dior counter. I didn't actually plan to buy anything but in true Elysia fashion ... I ended up coming away with a new lip balm! I have never had a Dior balm and ended up taking the Dior Addict Lip Glow. This is one of those really clever balms that react to everybody's lips in a different way and although it goes on sheer at first it does turn a very subtle pink colour. 


Pandora

I have two Pandora bracelets. One has plain silver charms on and the other is for the charms that are more 'special' and have gold on them. Although I don't wear my Pandora's as much as I used to (I much prefer gold but unfortunately the price of a gold Pandora is extortionate) I still like to collect charms. I am actually allergic to Silver and it seems that Pandora is the only silver that I can wear (although it doesn't turn me green like most silver jewellery has done in the past, I still can't wear it for too long ...) Last month, I was hooked to the media coverage surrounding the Royal Baby and when I discovered that Pandora had brought out a charm commemorating the birth of the Royal Baby I really wanted it - it's really cute!




Mulberry 

Last but not least is my two favourite items from my July haul! I did blog about these two items a while ago when I featured them in my 'New bag reveal' post (which can be seen here) so I'm not going to go into too much detail (and plus I shall probably be reviewing this bag in the near future). 
After drooling over the Mulberry Bayswater for ages and ages, I was finally lucky enough to receive one. I went for the classic Oak colour and I couldn't be more in love with this bag! Since getting it, I have packed my beautiful Louis Vuitton Speedy 35 (you can see a what's in my handbag post here featuring this bag) away in it's dust bag and have used my new Mulberry at every opportunity. I am in love!!


Finally, from Mulberry I received a bright pink iPhone 5 case with I absolutely adore! I chose this colour because it's so bright, I won't loose it in the bottom of my big bags. This phone case (like all other Mulberry products and my bag) smells absolutely amazing. I have done some unboxing videos of my bag and phone case and Instagram so if you want to see those I shall (as always) leave my Instagram name below!


I hope that you have all enjoyed last months Haul and have been making the most of the sunshine!
I shall be back soon with a first impressions post on the super hyped Maybelline
Baby Lips lip balms! 


Twitter: @PurpleElll

Instagram: Elysia_JW