Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Top 13 products of 2013

Top 13 Products Of 2013

First of all, I would like to wish all my readers a very Happy New Year and I hope that 2014 brings good health and happiness to you all.

2013 was a very mixed year for me. I had a flood in my house which was traumatic to say the least. Went on a lovely holiday to Tunisia with my little boy. I then had to start a new course of medication for my illness which involves me injecting myself which to be honest is still traumatic every time I do it, but Im slowly getting used to it. Then I was taken into hospital with chest pains, and then trying to get over that and work, and look after my son all at the same time. I began a whole new chapter, when starting up my blog, which I totally love and am trying to improve with every post and trying to promote on Twitter, so it has been a rollercoaster of a year.

I have been a lover of all things beauty for a very long time, and I thought that I would round up the end of the year by going through my top 13 beauty loves of 2013.

1)Alien Perfume by Thierry Mugler
I adore this perfume, and I was thrilled to get some more for Xmas. I had been using this slowly throughout the year as I wanted it to last but inevitably it was all used up and I was gutted to be honest. Its a very distinct smell, and I always get compliments when I wear it.

2)Maybelline "The Rocket" Mascara
I totally love this mascara. It is amazing and I will continue to purchase this mascara for as long as they keep making it. It totally delivers on everything that you would want a mascara to do for your lashes. It is lengthening, volumising and jet black in colour. The mascara keeps your lashes curled all day and I dont even need to use an eyelash curler if  I needed to.
3) Essie's Bikini So Teeny Nail Polish
This polish is is just beautiful in consistency, because a lot of the pale colours in nail polish can have a tendency to streak and look awful even after the second coat. But this polish looks beautiful on the first application on the nail, and you could even get away with just one coat if you had to. But I always do 2 coats to maximise the coverage. The colour is a beautiful pale baby blue and looks beautiful in spring, summer and even winter due to the pastelness of it.

4) Mac Soft and Gentle MSF
This was the very first Mineralise Skin Finish I had ever bought and it is just beautiful. A peachy/corally colour with ribbons of gold shimmer threaded through it. It gives a beautiful subtle sheen to the cheekbones and you could even use it as a light eye shadow. It contains 10 grams of product so it will last me a very long time. I would recommend this as a purchase to anyone looking at buying a Mac product.
It looks very orange in the picture due to the lighting but it is much lighter in reality.

5)No 7 Cleansing Brush
This cleansing brush has just overhauled my entire skincare regime. It was one of the best purchases of the year in my mind. It can be used in conjunction with any liquid cleanser and just helps the product get deeper into the skin to cleanse it more thoroughly. The brush has 2 settings a slow, and a faster setting, so you can choose which speed you want depending on the amount of cleansing you need.

6)Mac's Painterly Paint Pot
This is the best eye primer to apply on your lids before your shadow, as it neutralises any redness or veins on the eyelid. It helps to prevent eye shadow creasing and disappearing. It also helps colours to blend easier and transition the lid shade into the crease colour.

7) Sigma F80 Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki Brush
This brush has been brilliant at helping me get a flawless finish to my foundation. It helps blend every part and helps to get the foundation blended well especially into the hairline.
8)Maybelline Anti Age Concealer
This concealer is amazing and has really helped me to cover the dark shadows that I have under my eyes. It never creases and really acts as a good highlighter to lighten and brighten.

9)Benefit's Porefessional Primer
I really think this has been a total bonus to improving the way my whole foundation routine has developed. It truly is like applying velvet to the skin, the pores and age spots just seem to not be as prominent and the foundation just skims over the top of it.It doesn't contain any oil and doesn't feel heavy or cakey on the skin.

10) Max Factor Facefinity 3 in 1 Foundation
This is a truly beautiful foundation, it acts as a primer, concealer and foundation all in one. The finish is totally matte and and lasts all day. It comes in a wide range of shades and so Im sure everyone would find  a colour that would suit their skin tone.
Apologies for the battered looking bottle, but I guess it shows how well loved it is.

11) Hoola Bronzer by Benefit
This was my very first bronzer I ever bought and it is just a beautiful product.. It doesn't look orange, its just a delicate light brown and helps to contour the cheekbones, and give them a more chiselled appearance.

12) Rockateur Blusher by Benefit
It is the best blusher I have ever used. It is a delicate peachy pink with a subtle shimmer that transfers to the cheeks. This gives a lovely flush to the cheeks and I know I will be continuing to use this well into 2014.
It is not as orange as it looks in the picture it is a much lighter pink in person.

13) Lorac Pro Eye shadow Palette
In my opinion this is the most versatile eyeshadow palette in my whole collection. It has a collection of mattes, and shimmers, lights and darks that you could use to create a light natural daytime look or a dark, smoky and sophisticated evening eye look.

Well, I hope you enjoyed all my favourites and I wish you every happiness for the upcoming year.

Love and hugs

Zoe xxx'

December 2013 Empties Part 3

December 2013 Empties Part 3

Well, here we go again.The final instalment of my December 2013 empties. I'm sorry there has been so many and next month I will try to post earlier in the month if I have lots of empties totting up.

The first empty is Oral B 3D white Radiant mint toothpaste. I really like this toothpaste as it did seem to leave my teeth looking whiter each time I used it.My little boy liked it as well, although you do have to watch children under the age of 6 whilst using it, and he only used a small pea sized amount on his little toothbrush.
Next up is the Monu First Defence Illuminating face primer with SPF15. I recieved this in a Glossybox and was very sceptical on how it would work, but I was pleasantly surprised.It did leave my face feeling smoother and allowed my foundation to glide on seamlessly.It contained Vitamin E and was paraben free which is very good for the skin.Also in the primer was mica for radiance, protecting Zinc Oxide, and moisture boosting blackcurrant seed oils. I always think its such a good thing to have as many natural ingredients included in your cosmetic products as it cant be good to be plastering your skin in artificial chemicals.
Third on the list is the Cath Kidston wild rose hand cream. It comes in a beautiful pink 30 ml tube. This was a pleasure to use, and really sank into the skin straight away. I will say though it is very strongly scented, so if you don't like rose then you definitely will not like this hand cream.
I finished another of the Baylis and Harding body lotions in the scent of sweet mandarin and grapefruit. This was nice but really hard to get out of the bottle. I wish these came with a little pump dispenser, as that would be perfect.
Last of all are 2 items that I tried, and I was totally thrilled when I was able to purchase some Elizabeth Arden as I had never been able to get my hands on any before so when I managed to get my hands on a special set I was thrilled. But once I began to try them, I was really shocked at how I hated some of them. The moisturising lip balm was lovely and I will continue to use it all the time but the eight hour skin protectant cream and the intensive moisturising hand treatment I tried twice but there is just no way that I could carry on using it.

The hand cream just smells absolutely awful.It just reeks of chemicals . Don't get me wrong the lotion sank into the skin straight away and is probably very good at protecting the skin in the winter but the I just could not get past the awful smell.The eight hour cream is a very thick gel like consistency  and just reeks of hospitals. What is with the smells????
So that is finally the end of my December empties. I hope you enjoyed all 3 empties posts.

Love and hugs

Zoe xxx


Monday, 30 December 2013

December 2013 empties part 2!!!

December 2013 Empties Part 2!!!

So, off we go again into the lovely part of the world which is my empties blog. To start us off now I have another holy grail item which is the Rimmel Stay Matte powder. I have gone through many of these in the past, and I will continue to buy them as they are such good value for money, and keep my foundation looking great throughout the day.
Now I hate having to throw out a product when I haven't used it up, but unfortunately with the next item shown I have to as it has got a very funky smell when I opened it, and I really don't want to use it as it might contain bacteria within it.It is a Mac Dazzle glass from one of the holiday collections I believe, as it has the white top. It is called Phiff and was a beautiful peachy colour and really sparkled on the lips I remember, but it must have got pushed to the back of the drawer and when I was re-arranging my makeup over the last couple of weeks, I found it again, but it had gone off. I hate it because they are really expensive too and it feels like a real waste of money when things are left to go bad.

Next up I used two of the candles that I bought in the Autumn, these were called Salted Caramel and Cinnamon Stick. Out of the two, I would have to say Salted Caramel was my favorite because the smell really lingered and left the house smelling all festive.
Again, this month I used up my hair colorant of choice which is the Garnier Olia hair colorant in the color 4.0 Dark Brown. I really like this dye because it just leaves your hair with a natural looking color and covers a lot of the grey hair, which I unfortunately now have. The conditioner that comes with it to help maintain your hair color is brilliant as it lasts such a long time, and I got at least another weeks worth of conditioning treatment out of it.
Now, I know deodorants and anti- perspirants are not everyone's favorite to discuss, but at the end of the day, everyone uses them (well, hopefully they do) and its only natural that they will feature in people's empties blogs.The one I used up this month is Sure's Cool Pink. It is supposed to include a motion sense system which detects when you are moving more and releases more of the micro capsules to help keep you feeling fresh and clean through out the day.
If you are a long time reader of mine then you know how much I love my Elnett hairspray and I think in the last months Empties blog, I had gone through two of the cans in just one month. Well, again this month I have gone through another can of the brilliant stuff.
I have tried other hairsprays but non of them are as good as the Elnett for giving me the hold that I like on my hairstyles.

I'm not one for fancy face cream normally, but I had bought my mom some L'Occitane soaps and hand creams for her birthday back in September and because I ordered online I was able to choose what samples I would like included in my package. Well, I saw some of the moisturizing fluid listed, so I thought I would give it a go. To be honest, I wasn't too impressed. It seemed extremely liquidy and runny so that when I went to get it out of the sachet I wasted half of it trying to keep it in the palm of my hand, and I wasn't very keen on the smell. I'm now glad that I hadn't wasted a lot of money on a full size of the product, as I think it is in the £30-40 region.
Another body lotion I had used up had been included in a set I had recieved in one of my birthday presents last year. It was in the Just Pink range from Next.I love the packaging of it all pink, with hearts and very girly and feminine which I love. The smell was very floraly too and it was a real pleasure to apply this product and would recommend this to anyone looking for a gift for a mom, sister aunt etc.
Last but not least I finished up another of the packs of baby wipes, which I use for everything and they are so useful for keeping in your bathroom, bedroom, even handbag as they just help keep every thing clean and are useful when you have children and you are out, go get something to eat and they end up in a right mess. So baby wipes are so very handy.
Well, that's it for part 2. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to upload the last and final part of the December empties. WooHoo!! This girls done good on getting rid of products this month. Go me!!

Love and hugs

Zoe xxx


December 2013 Empties Part 1!!!

December 2013 Empties Part 1!!!!

Yes, that's correct. Part 1!! This month I seem to have accumulated so many empties that the bag I kept them in was overflowing and so it was definitely time to write this blog, but then when I looked at all the different products I realised that to stop this blog being the size of an encyclopaedia, I was going to have to split them up into different parts.

I am chuffed with myself that I have managed to get through some of my backlog of products as I have so much beauty stuff that it can be a little overwhelming at times. So Ive decided that 2014, is the year where yes I want to improve my blog to be the best that it can be, but also to slightly reduce my collection down, so that I use all the products I have instead of them just sitting in a drawer gathering dust.

Well, onto the empties. First I used up another one of my favorite conditioners, the Herbal Essences Bee Strong range. Its so lovely, nourishes and conditions the hair so well, but doesnt leave it that soft that you cant do anything with you hair once you try to style it.
Next up is my favorite go to cleansing wipes. The Simple facial cleansing wipes I always use if I am feeling lazy and I cant be bothered to use my cleansing brush and my cleanser. They are great and remove all my makeup including stubborn mascara and eyeliner.
This next product has taken me a while to use up but in a way that is a good thing as I have not had to repurchase anything, it is the Gilette Satin Care shave gel with a touch of Olay and is for sensitive skin. To be honest Im not that fussy when it comes to shave gels and normally just grab the one that is on offer. But when I first saw this it was the gold can that drew me in, and as I had not used it before, I thought I would try it out. It is just lightly fragranced but once you wash the gel away after shaving, it really leaves you with the nicest, softest smoothest skin ever.
Another item to be thrown out was the Dove hair therapy Intensive Repair shampoo. I did use it all up but I cant say whether I found it to be repairing on my hair. I did have some split ends when I was using this shampoo, as I was due for a hair cut, but I don't think it did anything extraordinary to help them look any better.
Now you wont see many of these next items in my empties as they take me forever to use up but use it up I did and its the Cutex Ultra Cleansing Nail Polish remover. It is supposed to contain multi fruit acid, green tea extract and vitamin E.I will say though that this stank to high heaven, I know that most nail polish removers do smell, but this seemed so much stronger than other removers I have tried. It did do a very good job of removing all types of polish, even GLITTER!!
Another shampoo I had finished up was the John Frieda Straight Ahead shampoo.It is supposed to smooth, soften and align frizzy hair for instant easier, straight styling results that last up to 24 hours. I will agree that it left my hair feeling very soft and squeaky clean once I had rinsed it all out. 24 hours???? I'm not sure as after sleeping on it, my hair is never smooth and straight.
Perfume takes forever to use up so I was so excited to finish this. Does anyone else get excited when they have finished a product? I do, maybe I'm the only one that does lol. My perfume collection is huge and I REALLY want to use some of them up before purchasing anymore, so the one I finished was Very Irresistible by Givenchy. A really lovely perfume, and great that you can wear it in the daytime or if you are going out for the evening,
I finished up another of the miniature Baylis and Harding body lotions that I have, this one is in the scent of  citrus lime and eucalyptus, and was really a refreshing lotion to apply. The only problem with these bottles is that sometimes the lotion is that thick that it is hard to get out of the bottle.
(Apologies for the blurry picture).

I was very sad to finish the next items up as I have found the product absolutely beautiful, and would highly recommend this primer to everyone. Benefit's The Porefessional, is silky to apply, and gives a flawless finish. It is an expensive product, but if it gives you the look you want then I think its totally worth it.
And last of all for the first part of the December empties is the Organix Macadamia Oil conditioner. It is really a nice conditioner and contains sugar cane extract as well as the macadamia oil, which would help to give your hair shine.
And as you can see I bought it for a reduced price to so that's always a bonus to any purse.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the first part of my December empties. Stay tuned for parts 2 and yes 3!!!!

Love and hugs

Zoe xxx


Saturday, 28 December 2013

December 2013 favorites

December 2013 favorites

For me this past month has been all about easy simple products that give you a flawless look but are simple, quick and easy to use.At work I have been rushed off my feet, and then any spare time I had went to ensuring that Daniel had the most wonderful Christmas ever.

So my makeup had to last all day and I tended to go for very simple eye looks and a neutral glossy lip.

The eye shadows that I have been reaching for have been my Naked 2 palette, Mac's Soft brown eye shadow for using in my crease or my Inglot eye shadow palette, where I just swept the cream colour all over the lid and used the darker browns in the crease again to give the look some depth and dimension.
They are all beautiful colors and stayed all day long with my favorite Painterly paint pot used as a base for the eye shadows to adhere to.
For eyeliner I have really been loving my Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliners. I have them in Perversion, Zero and Rock star. They all give smooth line to the waterline. They don't run or smudge and are just so easy to use. The one I have been loving this month is Zero.
As I said earlier I have just been using a lipgloss to finish off my look, and the Laura Geller Lipgloss in Cafe Au Lait is such a pleasure to use, and it smells of chocolate which is always a bonus in any makeup product.

About 4 weeks ago, I went to the hairdressers and had a good couple of inches took off the length of my hair, as it was getting really scraggly and a whole nightmare when it came to trying to style it, and so I inevitibly always just stuck it up in a bun, or a ponytail. Well since having it cut and restyled I have really enjoyed taking the time to straighten it and making it look presentable, sleek and shiny. And my precious GHD's have really been helping me achieve this look
 As you all know I ran out of my Alien perfume before Xmas and so I have been trying to use up some of the many perfumes that I have in my collection. So the last couple of weeks I have been reaching for my Viva La Juicy perfume by Juicy Couture. I love it, its sweet and citrussy and really makes you feel fresh. I wouldn't say it is the longest lasting perfume you can buy but it is still lovely.
Plus the bottle is just so beautiful and looks so pretty on my dressing table.

With the wet and freezing cold weather we have been experiencing here in the UK, my hair has really been getting all sorts of frizz and so to help keep my hair looking smooth before I straighten it, I have been using the John Frieda Frizz Ease Straight Ahead Conditioner just a couple of times a week to help my hair stay looking sleek.
A really important tool for me this month has been my No 7 face cleansing brush, which I use in conjunction with the No 7 melting Gel cleanser. The brush is basically a dupe for the Clarisonic but about £80 cheaper. It really helps to cleanse my skin and once used, I pat my face dry with a towel, and face just feels silky soft and clean.

To give my skin a beautiful glow for the Holiday season I have been using my long time favorite highlighter, my Mac's Soft And Gentle MSF. It is simply beautiful and just gives your cheeks a subtle sheen. Think this product will be in my collection forever.
And last but not least are my nail products that I have been loving. Color wise I have been reaching for bright reds, a silver and a dark grey/taupe/purple. The reds have been Ciate's Boudoir and Essie's Russian Roulette. This I wore on Xmas Day with Essie's No Place Like Chrome on my ring finger as an accent color. I think these colors were just perfect to reflect all the Christmas color and sparkle that you see around you at this time of the year.Then the dark grey polish which I am currently wearing and I love is Essie's Smoking Hot nail polish.
Well, that is about all of my December favorites. I hope you all had a good month. Let me know in the comments which products you have been loving.

Love and hugs 

Zoe xxx

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