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Saturday 30 November 2013

Meet My Advertisers | November

Source | Pinterest [edited]
Evening fellow birds. I cannot believe it's the end of November already! I'm so impressed with myself this year as I only have a few more little bits and bobs to get - I'm usually a Christmas Eve kinda girl so to say I'm feeling pretty chipper about it all is an understatement! I do hope you're all having a fabulous weekend.  Of course, it's that time of the month again where I introduce to you my monthly advertisers and their fabulous blogs.  Sit down, grab a cuppa and find some new reads to add to the list.  Without further ado, I shall hand you over to the lovely ladies over in my sidebar...  First up, it's my lovely EXCLUSIVE NOVEMBER ADVERTISER - Beky...

Beky | Beky Lou 
Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | BlogLovin'

My name is Beky and I started BekyLou in late September of this year; I've had an overwhelming response it's become such a huge part of my life.  BekyLou is a beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog in which I share all of my beauty fashion loves and lusts with you all, review products and also mix in some personal lifestyle posts such as 'My Journey with Anxiety and Depression', which has been my most viewed and most personal post to dare.  I'd love it if you could take a peep over via my links above and follow - I'm aiming for 200 Bloglovin' followers by the end of January!

Sarah | Sarah Smile
Blog | Bloglovin' | Twitter | Instagram

Hello lovelies! My name is Sarah and you can find me over at! I am a 19 year old political science major at Louisiana State University writing about all things life! I love clothes, makeup, hair and anything preppy or British (preferably both)! If you like Southern charm mixed with a bit of sass, come and hang out for a bit! 

Jules | Lippy Likes
Blog | Google+ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

Hi I am Jules and I am addicted to beauty and skincare.  I have always loved reading everyone else's blogs and finally a month or so ago I decided to create my own little corner of the internet and Lippylikes was born.  So far my posts have been about various skincare and makeup items but I have also written a few tags which has been a lot of fun.  I love it when I am left comments and sent tweets and always answer.  I would be so happy if you took the time to read LippyLikes and would love to hear your suggestions for future content.

Alexandra | Sweet Dreams
Blog | Instagram | Bloglovin' | Twitter

I'm Alexandra and I write a beauty and lifestyle blog, Sweet Dreams.  I'm really happy to be advertising on Birds Words as Beth has such an amazing blog and is a blogging inspiration to me! I love to keep variety in my blog.  I write beauty reviews, wishlists, I keep you up to date with freebies, voucher codes and sales and lots more! I'd love it if you had a little peek at my blog and feel free to have a chat too! x

And there we have it! I say it every month but there's some lovely bloggers here this month and they've been a wonderful bunch to have over on my sidebar - there's some true personal faves of mine in there and yet again I'm rather chuffed to have an even longer reading list - yay!  December will be my last advertising month for a while - final year university studies are taking over at the moment but I shall be reopening my ad spaces in a couple of months or so! Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you're interested in advertising as I'd be happy to pop you on a little reserve list! Hope you've all got your advent calendars ready for tomorrow....

Which blogs have you been loving this month?

Friday 29 November 2013

Love Me Beauty Box | November

Love Me Beauty Box | November - Menu 2 | £10.00 (+p&p)* | Link

Receiving my Love Me Beauty box is one of the highlights of each month for me. It's something I really look forward to receiving and I love reading through the menus each month and choosing what I fancy! I'm sure you're all aware of the concept by now so I shall just dive straight into the good stuff - what's in my box this month?!...

 Absolution Le Soin Purifiant | Sample Size (40ml) | RRP £24 (50ml)
Although this is a sample size, it's still pretty substantial considering the full size is just an extra 10ml. I've really gotten into my face masks just recently so this little tube is a really nice addition to the box this month. This mask is said to be skin-renewing, radiance restoring and toxin absorbing - pretty much ticking all the boxes for what I look for in a face mask - especially in winter! It contains birch sap and white clay to absorb impurities and get rid of any toxins and help tighten pores.  I really like the consistency of this - I've only tried it once so far so shall reserve judgement for now. But on first impressions it has to get a thumbs up from me!

Jelly Pong Pong | 2 in 1 Bronze Shadow/Liner | RRP £10.50
I was so excited to see Jelly Pong Pong in this month's menus! It's a brand I've always heard about but never had the chance to try for myself.  This little multi-use product is just my kind of thing - a beautiful bronze colour with a little bit of shimmer.  The formula is really soft and creamy and seems like the perfect little pencil for creating a soft, sultry smokey eye. I'm yet to test its staying power though!

Mitchell and Peach | Shower Wash | Sample Size (50ml) | RRP £20 (250ml)
I will openly admit that I'm always a bit iffy about seeing body washes in beauty boxes.  They're great to receive from time to time but I see them as more of a necessity than a beauty item. This being said - I actually really like this little bottle! It's the type of thing you'd expect to see in nice hotels and spas - the sort of product you'd use when you really fancied a treat.  I'm really fond of my Elemis Bath oil and similar items - so I have got a bit of a 'thing' for luxury bath products.  This one smells beautiful and luxurious - exactly what you'd expect from looking at the bottle - I can't wait to use it up over the festive season (although I have an urge to save it for the next time I'm travelling) It's enriched with Vitamin E so has added moisture in there - perfect for dull, winter skin.

Models Own | Nail Polish in 'Hot Pink' | Full Size | RRP £5
Who doesn't love a cheeky nail polish treat?! I love hot pink shades and this one is going to be a winner in my books! Although it isn't your average winter shade, you've got to have a little bit of pink now and again, right?

Art Deco | Hydra Lip Booster in 'Translucent Rosewood' | Full Size | RRP £11.50
It is thanks to Love Me Beauty that I have been introduced to this brand.  Art Deco's Eyeshadow Base is probably the best eyeshadow primer I've tried and their kohl liners are super soft and dreamy to apply. So, it's safe to say that I expected great things from this lip product - I was so excited to see it on this month's menu! The shade is simply stunning - a perfect everyday shade to wear either on it's own or over lipstick.  Translucent Rosewood is a gorgeous pinky nude - a very lovely 'my lips but better' shade that every girl has to have in their collection.  The formula is said to help even out the lip surface, filling in any wrinkles and giving a plumped up appearance.  I love that it doesn't have a sticky, heavy feel to it - it's just the kind of glossy lipstick I'd choose myself. Love it. 

EXTRA ADDITION: Lord & Berry | Lipstick in 'Brick' | Full Size | RRP £12.50
This month there was a lovely little addition to the box.  There were a few complaints regarding the mascara and eyeliner provided by Lord & Berry in the October box.  I personally only found problems with the mascara, but I know a lot of bloggers found both products to be dried up and not up to usual standards.  I've always been impressed by Lord & Berry (having ordered from them before) so I know that this wasn't 'standard' for them.  It was a lovely little addition to receive - it's nice when a brand really does care about the opinions of their customers and although it wouldn't have put me off buying from them, it's still a really nice little redeeming factor.  The shade I received is in 'Brick Lip' - a neutral warm brown/nude shade. It's not for everyone - but I really love the formula of these lipsticks.  I'd really recommend them!

So there we have it - my thoughts on November's box. The Christmas Love Me Beauty box is on it's way for December - containing an extra surprise product to try - I'm not sure I can contain my excitement! Also - I thought I'd give you all a little heads up... For all first time orders, Love Me Beauty have passed on a little 20% discount code which is valid from the 5th December all the way up to the 10th January - so if you've never tried a beauty box before or fancy treating someone for Christmas, it really is the perfect opportunity to do so!  Simply enter the code 'LMBBB20' into the delivery section when you order.  Anyway, I hope you've all had a lovely November and are looking forward to December. It's the first year in about 4 or 5 years that I haven't had to worry about working Christmas Eve or boxing day so I'm feeling rather chipper about that! Still not happy that I'm yet to see the Coca-Cola lorry advert though...

Have you signed up Love Me Beauty Box? Which product takes your fancy this month?!

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Exclusive Beauty Blogger Bundle | Organic Surge

Organic Surge 'Exlusive Beauty Blogger Bundle' | £20.95* | Link

Organic Surge really has taken the blogger world by storm just recently - and for good reason too!  Not only are their products amazing but also competitively priced and free from any chemical nasties.  I was so excited to hear about the 'Beauty Blogger Bundle' - a package containing 4 of their most highly rated products which is exclusively available to beauty bloggers and their readers for a special discounted price of £20.95. If you've never tried Organic Surge but fancy giving them a whirl, the bundle is a fabulous opportunity to do so - as well as making a fabulous Christmas gift for a fellow beauty or skincare lover! So what's in the bundle and what did I make of the products?

Lavender Meadow Hand & Nail Cream | £4.95 | Link
This has to be my favourite product of the bunch and one that's going to become a winter favourite for me.  This hand cream is said to intensely nourish, comfort and moisturise and is enriched with organic lavender and geranium essential oils.  It's suitable for sensitive skin and also those prone to eczema - so it's really gentle without skimping on moisturising properties!  I love the consistency of this - it's really rich and creamy yet sinks in amazingly well - my hands aren't left feeling greasy for ages afterwards and yet still feel moisturised and soft.  The scent is also really uplifting and comforting - the hint of lavender isn't overpowering and it's become such a nice product to apply through the day. I also love that it contains cocoa butter and vitamin E - and the fact it's good for the nails too! Mine have been awful of late so it's great to have a little 2 in 1 cream! 

Blissful Daily Moisturiser | £8.49 | Link
This moisturiser is a dream to apply! It isn't fragranced but has that slight 'natural' smell that a lot of organic products seem to have - it's really nice and fresh.   It's the perfect balance between a thick gel and a rich cream - not too light, but then not overly rich or heavy. It's just a lovely in-between which is what makes it a perfect daily moisturiser for me.  It's a good one to apply in the morning before your makeup as it smooths the skin, sinks in relatively quick and leaves the skin feeling fresh, revitalised and moisturised for the day ahead.  It's also said to help rebalance dry and oily areas - which is a bonus if you're in the 'combination skin' camp like me.

Citrus Mint Shower Gel | £4.35 | Link
I'll be honest - I'm usually quite set in my ways when it comes to shower gel and I do find it hard to get excited about. However I must say that I like the fact that this one contains aloe vera to help soothe and calm the skin and help heal any irritation or blemishes.  I often find my skin gets a little dull and more blemish prone in the winter due to the weather change so I've found this little gel really nice to use. It's very creamy and foamy and you don't need much at all - it also doesn't strip the skin or contain any harsh chemicals.  The scent is really invigorating and it really does awaken the senses - definitely one for those early mornings when you've had a battle with the snooze button... We've all been there.

2 Minute Moisture Mask | £6.99 | Link 
Never one to turn my nose up at a hair mask, me!  I always like to use hair masks and treatments throughout the winter months - I find it helps combat dullness and dryness and generally just helps to keep my hair looking tip-top even when the weather isn't! This one contains coconut oil and plant extracts and targets weak or damaged hair shafts, protecting the hair and providing essential added moisture to help control frizz or fly-aways.  I really enjoy using this - the fact that you only need to leave it on for 2 minutes is great if you just want to hop in and out of the shower if you're having a hectic time of things.  It's not the most intensive mask I've ever used but it does help smooth away any split ends or frizzy areas and my hair always looks super shiny and soft afterwards.  Perfect for a quick fix pamper treatment - and the slight coconut scent doesn't go amiss either!

Overall, this is a really nice little bundle if you want to try a little bit of what Organic Surge has to offer.  At little over £5 for each product, it's not a bad deal and they would make perfect stocking fillers if you didn't want to keep everything for yourself! I have to say that the hand cream and the moisturiser sliiightly top the mark for me, but I've enjoyed using everything in this bundle and there's nothing I've tried from the brand so far that I haven't liked. You can purchase the blogger bundle at the discounted price through this special link, or take a look at what other fabulous products they have to offer here - even if you don't fancy everything in the bundle, it's worth having a look through their stuff! Everything is really reasonably priced and they also do a selection of other bundles if you're looking for Christmas presents. I've also recently reviewed their 'First Class Face Mask' here.

Have you tried any Organic Surge products? What have you got your eye on?

Sunday 24 November 2013

On The Go Stress Relief | Tisserand Aromatherapy Roller Ball

Tisserand Aromatherapy | Lavender Essential Oil Blend Rollerball | £5.49 | Link

A couple of weeks back, I typed up this post about my Top 5 Anxiety busting products.  I have really been trying to nip stress in the bud just recently after having a pretty bad few months suffering from heightened anxiety levels.  I've been incorporating different products into a daily routine in order to help keep any 'panicky' moments at bay and to hopefully gain a more calm state of mind overall. It ain't no secret that I'm not the most laid back person on the planet!  I was strolling through Boots the other week and noticed the Tisserand Lavender Oil - I'd had my eyes on the rollerballs for a while but had no idea I could get them in Boots so I promptly put it in my basket. I'm a big fan of my bath oils, sleep mists and rescue remedies (oh dear, I sound like a wannabee meditation guru or something, don't I?!) but I wanted something I could carry around with me in my handbag and use on the go.

Lavender isn't everyones cup of tea.  I think I have a bit of a 'thing' for it because I know how much of a calming influence it has on me and I've almost trained myself to feel calm as soon as I smell a hint of the stuff!  I'm not one for floral perfumes or anything like that - I'm not a fan of super-strong Lavender scents but when it's done in the right way - it can actually serve a purpose.  This little oil blend smells lovely and gentle - not overly powerful which is just what I like.  If I pop some on, only I can really smell it (unless some weirdo decides to come up and intently sniff my wrist) and it doesn't overpower any perfume I have on. It also has moisturising properties and contains Jojoba and Chamomile to add to the calming little mix of ingredients. It's very gentle and not heavily fragranced - therefore, I tend to use this in the same was as I use my Badger Sleep Balm of which I mentioned in my previous post - on my wrists and temples - or on the back of my hand if I've got perfume on. I find that the rollerball feels really nice and relaxing to apply to the skin and the oil sinks in quickly.  I simply pop some on throughout the day if I'm feeling a little bit stressed and it just sort of reminds me to concentrate on staying 'calm and collected' for a little while.

Obviously, don't expect miracles - I'd recommend using this in conjunction with other products if you're feeling stressed, but it does seem to help maintain a calmer state of mind - especially if you've almost trained your brain to feel relaxed around certain scents like myself! It's easy to keep in your makeup bag or pencil case and it's a nice little product to keep if you're sensitive to daily stress or anxiety - it instantly comforts and gives you a little boost whenever you apply it. Tisserand also do a 'De-Stress' version for 'hectic' moments (link) which might have been more ideal for me as I have a load of uni work on at the moment that's keeping me on my toes - but I can't imagine there's a huge difference between the two. They also have a sleep version, and one for helping to focus your mind which might help those of you who have important exams coming up this year! To name a few more they also have 'Diet Aid', 'Energy Boost', 'Head Clear' and even one to help clear stuffy noses.  I've also found a 'Travel' scent which is said to help refresh the mind and revive the senses after long flights - definitely will be picking one of those up for my next trip abroad! They really do cover a lot of ground with their rollerballs don't they?!  If you're after something stress-relieving to carry around in your bag - it's worth looking into these. There's something there for everyone even if you don't suffer with anxiety - they'd make a lovely stocking filler for someone you know who's been a bit on edge recently. You can find a range of them on Feel Unique, and also in Boots. It's also worth mentioning that they have a website containing the whole range - they have some fab tea tree products on there too!

Have you tried anything like this before? Which version would you like to try?

Thursday 21 November 2013

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation | Full Review & Swatches

Swatches / L - 'Fiji' | R - 'Punjab'

Nars Sheer Glow foundation has fast become one of the most talked about 'high end' foundations amongst bloggers and beauty fans of late.  I think I'll just take this moment to commend myself at how long I managed to refrain from purchasing (pat on the back, Beth) - I certainly didn't take the decision to part with £30.50 lightly! I spent hours scouring the interwebs for reviews, shade descriptions and good and bad opinions until I eventually decided to just bite the bullet and go and get myself matched.  I shall apologise now - this post isn't going to be the snappiest review in the world but I wanted to provide a more in depth product overview and list all the vital information I personally wanted to know before I purchased.  However, I shall waste no time in telling you that it is without a doubt one of the best foundations I have ever bought - I genuinely do love Sheer Glow - but I did have to give it a second chance.  Let me explain...

I actually had a sample pot of this a good few months back.  I had amazingly sky-high hopes for it after reading many a rave review but was left feeling a little bit 'befuzzled' (is that even a word? It is now...) It looked awful on me - I immediately took it off with a face wipe and reapplied my trusty YSL Touche Eclat - I forgot about it and that was that. Skip forward a few months and I'd read an influx of amazing blog reviews that had left me wondering 'what am I missing out on?' - maybe I'd just applied it on a bad day? I had my graduation coming up, was obviously going to be having professional photographs taken and I wanted a long lasting, flawless effect foundation with no SPF (Nars Sheer Glow doesn't contain any at all).  I spent about 3 or 4 weeks thoroughly researching everything (detective Beth) and decided it was time to give it another go. First impressions aren't always right, after all.  I tottled into Space NK, was matched up to 'Light 5 - Fiji' (which I'd already picked out from online swatches, how's that for research?!) and left feeling completely content with my purchase.  I applied it as soon as I got home and was amazed at the results.  It looked flawless! Far better than it did previously when I'd tried it - almost like a completely different foundation! It didn't look cakey or dry or orange in any way - it appeared just like my skin - but better! I have no idea why it didn't mesh well with my skin from the sample pot - my only explanation was that it has dried up slightly as there wasn't much in there and I didn't get a true representation of what Nars Sheer Glow had to offer.

I used it more or less every day up until my graduation, so that I could get used to applying it the best way and learn which moisturiser worked more effectively underneath it.  One of the things I really have to highlight about Sheer Glow is that it is by no means a dewy foundation as the name would suggest.  It's actually got more of a satin, almost matte finish which provides a slight hint of a 'glow' to the skin so it still appears natural and maintains a bit of dimension.  It definitely has that 'lit from within; look.  However, it will cling to the slighest dry patch you have without fail. I have combination skin so have to make sure I really do exfoliate regularly and use a rich moisturiser on my forehead and outer cheeks (my dry areas) before application to ensure this doesn't happen.  Application is a dream - I actually find it best to use my Real Techniques Buffing brush to buff and smooth it onto the skin, and it instantly smooths out any uneven pigmentation, red areas or blemishes.  It provides the effect of a medium-full coverage but without the whole 'heavy sticky' sort of feel.  Wear time is amazing - I can get a full day at uni out of this with little need to touch-up with powder or concealer throughout the day and sometimes I can get away without powdering at all.  It also photographs beautifully - not a hint of flashback or 'oilyness' and for the first time ever I had no hint of 'ghost face' in my photos whatsoever.  Thumbs up for not looking like Caspar!

Like most people mention, the only slight downside is the fact that it doesn't come with a pump. The glass bottle and sleek Nars packaging are undeniably beautiful but it can get a little messy quite quickly if you're the clumsy type and it's easy to pour out too much - which is why I went on Space NK's waiting list for a Nars Foundation Pump (yep, that's right, waiting list!!) It cost £4 and came packaged in its own little Nars box (which actually made me quite happy - how cute does the little box look?!) and does the job perfectly well. The only problem is, once you apply the pump to the bottle, it makes popping the lid on impossible so if you're the type to carry your foundation around with you, I'd suggest just doing without it unless you fancy seeing the contents of your bag swimming in foundation.  Slight negative aside, I really do love this foundation.  Fiji is just the perfect shade for me and it's yellow undertones match my skin amazingly well (worth mentioning that Nars foundations are predominently yellow based) - in fact, I have to admit it's probably the best match I've ever found in a foundation.  You may be wondering then, why I have two bottles? Simple answer - Punjab suits me better if I have a little bit of fake tan on.  There's actually not a lot of difference between the two but it's a tad darker and ever so slightly peachier - worth baring in mind if you have the same skintone as me but wear fake tan on a regular basis.  I personally don't wear much on my face through winter unless I'm going out so for now, Fiji is my 'everyday' shade and 'Punjab' is purely a 'night on the tiles' shade,  To say I've swiftly gone out and bought another shade speaks volumes for my love for Sheer Glow!  Whatever your skintone, you're bound to find the right one for you - there's 20 shades (I believe?) ranging from pale to dark and everything inbetween. Maybe one of the best colour ranges I've seen. It's also worth mentioning that I usually HATE medium/fuller coverage foundations, but this one has changed my opinion and swayed me.  It has that flawless effect without feeling like it's clogging up your pores and it looks lovely and natural - no cake face in sight. It's actually one of the only foundations I've tried that seems to mimic the texture of skin.

I thought I'd sum it up for you if you're considering buying the infamous Sheer Glow but didn't fancy reading all of my dribble...

The Stats:
My Shade: Light 5 'Fiji' (every day) / Medium 1 'Punjab' (with a touch of fake tan)
Fiji = Light with yellow undertone | Punjab = Medium with golden, peachy undertones
Cost: £30.50
Coverage: Medium to full (in my opinion)
Finish: Satin - naturally radiant
I apply with: Real Techniques Buffing Brush

- Even, flawless coverage
- No SPF was a 'pro' for me as it's great for flash photography - a great 'going out' foundation - no flashback.
- Provides a slight glow/sheen to the skin without looking oily or greasy
- Works well with my combination skin
- Covers up my blemishes with ease
- Only 2 pumps needed for the entire face - it will last a good while!
- Fabulous shade range
- Lasts all day.
- The glass bottle and Nars packaging pleases me. 
- Doesn't seem to oxidise on me
- Predominently yellow toned range suits my skin  (personal 'pro point' - if I was any more yellow I'd be a Simpson!)

-Can cling to dry patches. If you have dry skin or any dry patches whatsoever - take heed! If you've forgotten to moisturise it will look awful! Prepare for a love/hate relationship at first until you find your 'routine' with it.
- No pump 
- Some would say price - but I think it's worth the money.  
- If you live in sunnier climes (lucky you) bare in mind that the lack of SPF might not be the best choice for daytime wear.

Overall - I love it.  I'm so glad I gave it a second chance and didn't settle for my opinion on the tester pot.  It gives a naturally radiant finish that looks like skin and feels lightweight, at the same time as giving a brightening effect - perfect if I'm feeling a little tired and worse for wear!  I've had so many comments on my skin since wearing this - and it gives me a little boost of a morning.  I just look forward to applying it and for me, that's what makes a great foundation. Nars Sheer Glow? I COULD KISS YOU! You can find the range on their website here complete with shade descriptions, and it is also available at Space NK, ASOS and John Lewis - to name a few!

Have you tried Sheer Glow? What were your thoughts?

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Urban Decay Singular Eyeshadow Pots | My Current Daily Duo

When it comes to eyeshadows, Urban Decay have to be a clear winner for me.  I use my beloved Naked Palettes on a daily basis and find their shadows to be best in terms of pigment and velvety consistency.  Buttery soft and easily blendable, they really are the cream of the crop for me and I think they're worth every penny.  Although my palettes get a lot of use and are ideal for taking abroad with me, I also have a selection of their singular pots.  I thought I'd introduce you to my current favourite duo - one shade of which most of you will probably be quite familiar with...

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in 'Naked' | Matte | £14.00 | Link
Yep, you're right. This is the lighter of the two matte shades featured in the Original Naked Palette.  I adore this colour and ran it down to the pan pretty sharpishly. I wasn't exactly keen on the idea of re-purchasing another Naked Palette purely for the sake of one shade so I was jolly well chuffed that they sell a singular version of it.  I guess you could say it's nothing special - but I really do love it to bits and it's just the perfect blending shade for use in the crease of the eye.  It's not too dark, so it doesn't look too heavy for during the day - a light dusting of it blended slightly up towards the brow bone provides a lovely, subtle bit of shadow and definition without going over the top. It's slight grey tinge helps to create a more natural look.  It's also a good shade for blending harsh lines and for wearing purely on it's own across the lid.  Urban Decay admittedly don't offer a great deal of matte shades - they're very much known for their sparkle and shimmer, but the matte offerings they do have are all very usable and great for neutral, everyday eyes. I use this without fail almost everyday - and I've even been known to use it to fill my eyebrows in so it really is quite versatile (my eyebrows are quite ashy so its the perfect kind of grey/brown shade). If I ever want a little more definition in the crease I simply blend the darker matte shade from the Original Naked Palette through the outer 'v' with a fluffy brush and I'm good to go.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in 'Easy Baked' | Shimmer | £14.00 | Link
I was lucky enough to win this little beauty in a giveaway hosted by The Sunday Girl a while back (thankyou Adrienne!) and it's fast become an everyday 'go to'. It is without a doubt extremely similar to the famous 'Half Baked', featured in both Naked original and Naked2 palettes, but I find it to be slightly lighter and a little more yellow toned.  It is described as a warm toned, golden copper with a frosty finish.  I love the texture of this one - like the majority of Urban Decay shadows, the formula is amazing and lasts all day without creasing or a great deal of fading - and gives a wonderfully smooth, seamless finish. I simply sweep this across the lid of a morning and take it slightly under the lower lash line for that extra 'pop' of gold.  Alternatively, I apply 'Half Baked' across the lid (slightly darker and more of a true gold colour) and then dab a little touch of this in the centre of the eyelid for a subtle eye-opening effect.  

I cannot recommend the Urban Decay shadows enough.  If you still haven't got your mitts on the Naked Palettes I'd recommend grabbing one or the other as a starting point - I promise that from then on you'll be hooked like me!  Or if the palettes aren't your thing, it's worth having a nosey at their singular pots - there's something there for everyone and I find each shade to be incredibly pigmented and amazing quality for the price. 

Do you love these eyeshadows as much as me? What's your ultimate favourite Urban Decay shade?

Sunday 17 November 2013

Loreal Liners | The Favourite 3

Swatches L-R / Ultra-Precision | Midnight Purple | Perfect Slim

I've realised that I'm actually pretty loyal when it comes to eyeliners, especially those of the liquid kind.  I've tried a number of different varieties and I always end up back with my old favourite - the Loreal Super Liner.  It comes as no surprise really - it is after all one of the ultimate all-time blogger faves and it might as well have 'holy grail' written all over it. Loreal don't half make a smashing eyeliner, let me tell you! It occurred to me the other day that I've never actually blogged about my liquid liner favourites, but when the inevitable happened and 2 of them both ran out at the same time (typical much?) I thought it was about time I dedicated some bloggy space to them (and because there's nothing like brand new 'straight off the shelves' packaging to photograph is there, fellow bloggers?!)  So without further jibber-jabber, I shall introduce you to my little Loreal trio...

Super Liner Ultra-Precision Black | £6.49 | Link
With its beautiful gold exterior and sleek, thin lid - this liner certainly looks the part.  It doesn't stop at the packaging either - it ticks every single box for what I look for in a liquid liner.  The thin, slightly flexible nib picks up just the right amount of product and distributes it in an even, opaque line across the upper lash line. With just a slight change of pressure, it's easy to go from a thin, precise line to a dramatic cat flick in seconds.  Not only that, but it lasts all day.  It doesn't matter if I've been at work all day running up and down stockroom stairs or if I've been on a flight - you name it - it's still going strong at the end of the day! I like the fact that it gives a slightly glossy finish - it makes it even more striking on the eyes and adds so much definition.  There's no flaking or smudging, and it doesn't fade throughout the day. It's not waterproof, so don't expect miracles - but overall I really cannot sing this liner's praises enough and If you're after a new liquid liner, I really recommend this one! It's the ultimate of ultimate faves!

Super Liner 'Midnight' in 'Purple | £6.49 | Link
I can't really say much about this one as it's basically the exact same as the Ultra-Precision, just with a little bit of colour!  Yes - it's purple but it doesn't look like you've tried to go all 'Disney Princess' when you wear it.  There is a very subtle hint of a purple hue in there that can be seen when it catches the light - but appears almost black when worn on the lash line.  I use this when I'm off on a night out and fancy something a bit 'spesh'. I have green eyes so I find the purple really does help to accentuate my eye colour and it looks really flattering when worn with a simple gold, neutral eye.

Super Liner Perfect Slim | £6.99 | Link
I bought this when I couldn't find my beloved 'Ultra Slim' and have actually managed to find myself a new favourite.  I've been wearing this constantly just recently and am now on my second tube of the stuff.  It's much more like a 'felt tip' sort of liner, and it a little more matte in finish than the ultra-precision.  I really love the nib of this one - it really is super easy to use and it's essentially fool proof.   I find it easier to grip than the ultra-precision and it's much easier to use if I'm in a rush of a morning.  I actually find this one more 'user friendly' than the ultra-precision - I find creating cat flicks and dramatic lines much more easy and it's such a good all-rounder.  I really recommend this one if you're after an easy to use, everyday liner with more of a 'felt tip' kind of feel to it.

So there we have it. My Loreal faves.  At just under £7 each they're really worth the money and last forever.  Many a time I've treated myself to a new eyeliner only to find it doesn't cut the mustard when it comes to life-span but these little beauties will last you ages! 

What's your current favourite liquid liner? Do you love Loreal's offerings as much as me?

Thursday 14 November 2013

A Vampy Lip Obsession?! | Mac 'Dark Side' Lipstick

Mac Lipstick in 'Dark Side' | £15.00 | Link 

What's this? Two blog posts in the space of two days?! Yes, well, you might think I'm on the ball but if I'm being honest, I've just gone a bit skew-whiff with the ole blogging schedule - many thanks to final year uni work.  I will hold my hands up and openly admit that before I decided to go to university, I used to moan my way through the 9-5 and wonder why all the Saturday 'student' staff came into work of a weekend complaining about how hard it was to get a degree and how they wish they could swap with me for a while. If you're reading this, any of you, I'm sorry - I eat my words. I 'get it' now.  Anyway, schedules aside, just because I've been bogged down with work doesn't mean I haven't been trying out new items of cosmetic goodness - I am a beauty blogger after all - no amount of essay writing or presentation planning will stop me from Bird's Words-ing it!  This week, I happen to have added yet another dark berry lipstick to my collection of other dark berry lipsticks. Because you can never have enough dark berry lipsticks, right?

Yep. Mac's 'Dark Side' finally made it's way into my lipstick drawers.  If you've seen a couple of my recent lip colour related posts (here, here and here) you miiiight have noticed that I've become somewhat obsessed with dark, vampy reds and burgundy shades.  I must admit,  I've always been a classic 'pillarbox' red kind of girl, but I've thrown caution to the wind and turned over to the dark side (ahaha...sorry...) and have realised how pretty a statement dark red can look - even in the daytime.  It's definitely not a look for everybody but you'll be surprised at how much it compliments 'winter skin' - it seems to lift any dullness and adds an amazing pop of colour.  I like to pair mine with a flawless base, toned down blush and a fairly neutral eye - with either a thin flick of liquid liner or a light smudge of brown kohl across the upper lash line.  'Dark Side' is now the darkest lipstick I own - I'm not entirely sure I can go much darker than this without looking like an extra from The Adam's Family, but I'm getting quite addicted to a statement lip and it's become my go-to look for a good couple of months now.  The lipstick is described on the Mac website as being a 'deep burgundy' - and I'd definitely agree.  It's extremely opaque and being an 'Amplified' formula, the consistency is smooth and creamy, whilst providing a flawless look with amazing pigmentation.  Mac's Amplified formulas have to be one of my favourites!  I simply apply from the bullet or with a lip brush after applying lip liner (a must have!!) and I'm good to go.

If you're after a vampy lip, Mac's 'Dark Side' is worth a swatch.  It's dark enough to be classed as 'vampy', but not overly so that it looks gothic or too 'black'. It's a true dark burgundy shade and would look stunning on both paler complexions and darker skins.  Apologies for not showing a lip swatch - I'll be sure to do a post involving this little beauty nearer to Christmas time but I just had to document this new purchase! Overall, I have to say this has to be one of my favourite Mac purchases so far - it's definitely one of my more daring choices! It's not an all year round colour, nor is it one you can simply apply 'on the go' or everyday, but it's one that makes a statement and one that looks incredible when worn in the right way. I'm most certainly a fan.  Which leads me on to my next point - I'm thinking of doing an updated Mac Lipstick collection nearer to Christmas time since I did my last one a year ago (it's considerably bred since then ;)) - let me know if you'd like to see it!

Are you a fan of dark, vampy reds like me?! What's your current favourite?

Wednesday 13 November 2013

Elemis | Melting Cleansing Gel

Elemis Melting Cleansing Gel | £17.85* | Link

My bathroom cupboard is bursting at the seams (or hinges...?) at the moment!  I've really been getting into my skin care - trying a few new bits and bobs and breaking out of my little skin care rut that I often find myself stuck in around this time of year.  I have combination skin that's quite sensitive, so what works for me throughout summer doesn't necessarily do me much good as soon as the colder weather and dark evenings roll round.  The Elemis Melting Cleansing Gel has fast become my go-to cleanser for when I want a light, gentle cleanse of an evening and I find it works a treat on my dull, winter skin. Targeted towards tired or stressed skin (yep, that's me down to a 't' at the moment...) the cleanser is 'ultra purifying' and contains skin protective ingredients such as Argan Oil, 'mattifying' rice silk, rosemary and moringa.

I've been using this in the evenings mostly, but depending on your own personal routine it's definitely gentle enough to use morning and night.  I find it works well with my combination skin - being moisturising enough for any dry areas such as my cheeks and my forehead, yet not being overly heavy for use on the t-zone area.  What I love about this cleanser is the texture and consistency.  It really is amazing and such a treat to use! It comes out of the tube as a thick, luxurious gel which smooths out like a dream.  It really is so silky and it feels lovely to apply.  It simply melts at your fingertips! I apply to a damp face, and simply massage it all over the skin in circular motions before rinsing off with warm water.  It melts on impact with water and quickly transforms from a gel into a rich milky liquid - you really don't need much at all and a little goes a very long way.  After rinsing off, my skin feels really silky to the touch and has that lovely 'squeeky clean' feeling.  It leaves my skin feeling incredibly smooth and soft, and I seem to find that my moisturiser sinks in very well after using it.  Personally, I find it best to use in the evenings but you can use this any time of day - applying moisturiser afterwards is a doddle, making it perfect for use in the mornings if you're going to be applying makeup. It also smells lovely - it has a really subtle, fresh scent and isn't heavily fragranced. Perfect for those with sensitive skin like myself!

I've really been enjoying using this cleanser and I can imagine it's going to remain part of my regime for some time to come! I've had some congestion around my cheeks for a while and it's starting to clear up now I'm using this along with a slightly creamier moisturiser.  It's amazing what a simple switch up of routine can do! The fact that it also helps to combat winter dullness is also a big plus point for me!  I can imagine that those with more troublesome skin might need something a little stronger, but it's a fab everyday product to use and it's lovely and gentle on sensitive skin.  What I love about Elemis is the spa like feel they have to their products - I recently treated myself to their Relaxing Bath Soak (post here) and have been really impressed with the quality - I can see why their products have received so many good reviews and awards! They provide an excellent range of luxury skin care and spa treatments, all with natural, botanical ingredients.  You can find the Elemis Melting Cleansing Gel on the 'Beauty Time Therapies' website for a special price of £17.85* or browse the Elemis range here. 
Have you tried the Elemis Melting Cleansing Gel? What's your favourite Elemis product?