Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Lush Halloween 2015: Nightwing Shower Jelly

Hi everyone!

I am so, so excited - Lush's Halloween and Christmas stuff has been released, and I made a crazy order of all the new-to-me products.  I'm kicking off the spooky Halloween reviews with a product I couldn't wait to get my hands on...

Lush Halloween Nightwing Shower Jelly Review

Let's talk about Nightwing Shower Jelly!  And yes, I will be rinsing the seasonal PicMonkey decorations for all they're worth...

Lush Halloween Nightwing Shower Jelly Review

Like most Shower Jellies, Nightwing comes in a clear recycled plastic 95g tub for £3.95.  It only comes in this smaller size.

Lush Halloween Nightwing Shower Jelly ingredients

Nightwing contains fresh lime juice and aloe vera decoction, carageenan extract, lime oil and carob syrup.  This gives the jelly a gorgeous fruity scent and makes it beautifully softening on the skin.

Lush Halloween Nightwing Shower Jelly

Opening the lid reveals a rather ominous looking creature lurking inside...

Lush Halloween Nightwing Shower Jelly

BOO!  Once tipped out of the pot, you can see that Nightwing is in the shape of a deep purple spoopy bat!  It's absolutely adorable.  I'm such a sucker for a novelty shaped item, and combined with the fact that it's Lush...  I'm all over this!  Even better, the scent of this jelly is absolutely insane - a gorgeous deep, sweet and blackcurranty scent.  Long story short, it smells exactly like Wine Gums.  Yaaaas!

Lush Halloween Nightwing Shower Jelly

Like all Shower Jellies, Nightwing can be a bit tricky to use as it's slippery.  It lathers up easily, creating deep purple foam.  I prefer to use Shower Jellies by popping on a pair of exfoliating gloves and then putting a blob of jelly on each palm, underneath the gloves.  It then foams up through the glove and you don't have to worry about accidentally dropping it down the drain.  It leaves my skin soft and smelling like sweets... for the second time, yaaaas!

I don't think I need to tell you how much I love this product.  It's one of my favourite Lush releases to date.  I know some Lush stores have a giant Nightwing instore you can go in and wobble... I really want to see one!

Will you be picking up Nightwing?  It's so spoopy!

Monday, 5 October 2015

Karma Se7en Body Jewellery - Gold Push Fit Labret Studs and Nose Rings

Hi everyone!  I have another Karma Se7en Body Jewellery review for you today.  This time, I opted for some slightly fancier jewellery, and picked a variety of different gold items!

Karma Se7en Gold Body Jewellery Review

I went for some gold labret studs and some gold nose rings.

Karma Se7en Gold Body Jewellery Review

Karma Se7en's packaging really goes above and beyond any other online jewellery website I've bought from before.  Each item comes packaged securely in a little plastic screw top tub, and it's held in place with small rubber bands.  The box is a gorgeous bright purple.  It really does look great!

Karma Se7en Gold Body Jewellery Review

I went for 2 Swarovski gemstone and gold labret studs, 2 gold star labret studs and 2 gold open nose rings.

(5mm stone, 1.2mm x 10mm bar) - £15.95
(4mm stone, 1.2mm x 8mm bar) - 14.95

Karma Se7en Gemstone Lip Stud made with Rainforest Topaz Swarovski Gemstone

I decided to go for some super glitzy labret studs.  These studs are made of Bioflex, which are essentially hollow plastic stems you can then push accessories into.  In this case, it's gorgeous dark green Swarovski crystals, set into a 9ct gold setting.  I got two different lengths and sizes for my labret and medusa piercings, as my medusa piercing needs a slightly shorter bar.

Push fit labret studs are way less fiddly to put in than regular threaded bars/accessories.  The Bioflex is also completely hypoallergenic and are less potentially damaging than surgical steel or titanium as they're a bit softer.  I'm someone who chews on my piercings a lot, so even though it's better for my teeth I'd worry that the Bioflex wouldn't last as long as metal.  It's worth mentioning that I tend to pick bars that are slightly longer than I usually would when it's made of Bioflex because they don't have the threading on the end, so you lose a bit of length that way.

Karma Se7en Gemstone Lip Stud made with Rainforest Topaz Swarovski Gemstone

These gems are far bigger than I would usually wear in my lip piercings, but they're so pretty and sparkly!  I think they'd be perfect for fancy dress or if I was feeling particularly glitzy.  

(4mm star, 1.2mm x 10mm bar) - £9.99
(3mm star, 1.2mm x 8mm bar) - £8.99

Karma Se7en Gold Star Labret Stud

These labret studs are also Bioflex push fit ones, and they feature a really pretty 9ct gold star on the end.  I went for a slightly larger star for my labret piercing.  I love the way these look - I've worn silver stars in my lip piercings before but I think it looks better with gold.

My one criticism is that the spikes on these stars are really sharp, especially on the larger star!  It makes it quite uncomfortable to remove the push fit star from the Bioflex stem, and as the fit is quite tight I end up really hurting my fingers when I try.  I've also found the stars get stuck to cotton pads/flannels when I'm washing my face, but this is a common pierced person problem ;)

Karma Se7en Gold Star Labret Stud

With the rest of my face - I feel so fancy wearing real gold!

Karma Se7en 9ct Gold Open Nose Ring

Finally, I went for a couple of 9ct gold open nose rings for my 2 nostril piercings.  Open nose rings are so much less fiddly to put in - you insert them backwards (from the inside of the piercing rather than the outside) which can take a bit of practice but it's far easier than struggling with a closed nose ring.  You can't see the open part of the ring once it's in and I really like the gold!  The rings are slightly larger in diameter than I'd usually wear but they're not so big that they look silly.

It's been so much fun to try body jewellery that's a bit fancier in terms of finish and materials.  Karma Se7en offer buy one choose on free on all of their jewellery, even the more expensive gold/crystal options, which is perfect for someone like me who has two of each piercing and often needs a second bar/ring to match!

Their customer service is excellent, the packaging is beautiful, the prices are reasonable... you really can't ask for much more.  I've placed my own orders alongside being sent items to review for you guys and have nothing but good things to say.  Make Karma Se7en your next stop for body jewellery!

*Item provided for review

I ended up buying another small star stud for a really subtle way to wear jewellery in both of my lip piercings.  So happy with the result!

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Lush of the Week: Dirty Deal Showder

Hi everyone!  Lush are well known for releasing limited edition products in support of different charities and causes.  They recently released a new Showder (shower powder) for this reason and I wanted to review it for you before it disappears.

Lush Dirty Deal Showder Review

Let's talk about Dirty Deal Showder!

Lush Dirty Deal Showder Review

Like other showders, Dirty Deal comes in a cardboard washing powder style box.  It features striking red and green world map patterns that were designed by Vivienne Westwood and her Climate Revolution.  Pretty swish!  You get 400g for £12.50; the same price as other showders.  I do really like the look of the cardboard packaging, but I don't think it's that practical when it contains something you use near water!

All of the profits of Dirty Deal go towards grassroots groups fighting The Transatlantic Trade And Investment Partnership (TTIP).  I'd never even heard of TTIP before, but it's not good news.  I'll explain more below!

Lush Dirty Deal Showder ingredients

So, TTIP is a deal being negotiated between the EU and the USA that could have really negative effects on environmental, health and animal welfare protections.  This link explains it better than I ever could, but essentially it focuses on obtaining corporate profit at the expense of everything else, even if that means removing regulations that are there to protect us, privatising services that were once free, or allowing the US to sue the UK in special courts. 

In terms of ingredients, Dirty Deal contains extra virgin coconut oil, kaolin, bergamot oil and rose oil to create a really soft and silky floral powder.

Lush Dirty Deal Showder

When dry, Dirty Deal is quite a chunky deep pinky red powder.  When you add water it fizzes up and changes colour to a deep purple, with red beads remaining behind - so cool!  These beads are nice and scrubby, meaning this smooths and softens skin all in one.  The rose scent is quite strong and almost musky as you use it, but once out of the bath and dry it leaves the skin sweetly scented like powdery rose.  I have found some of the other showders fizzed away too easily and I had to use loads to wash all over, but this one stretches much further.

I love the unexpected colour change of this showder, and while the scent is a bit too full on initially, I really like how sweet it leaves my skin smelling afterwards.  I'm really glad to see that all of the profits are going towards trying to put a stop to TTIP too.  You can sign a petition here to show further support.

All of Lush's new Halloween and Christmas products have been released and I placed a monster order, so I hope to start reviewing those next week!  I still have a handful of the new Oxford Street releases to review but they can wait as the seasonal stuff is more exciting :P

Let me know which of the new things you'd like me to review first!

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow Pomade in Ash Brown - Review & Swatches

Hi everyone!  I try to remain objective about cult beauty products because sometimes you can get swept up in the madness and end up buying something expensive you don't really want or need.  I avoided buying the Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow Pomade for this reason - I was quite happy using brow pencils and was unsure I'd be able to pull it off.  Of course, I then started feeling spendy, and the rest is history...

Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow Pomade in Ash Brown Review

Let's talk about the Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow Pomade in Ash Brown :)

Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow Pomade in Ash Brown ingredients

The DipBrow comes in matte black cardboard packaging with white and gold accents.  It's not groundbreaking, but it makes it look like a premium product.  You get 4g for £15, and as this is a deeply pigmented product you use barely any each time.  This makes it far more cost effective than their Brow Wiz!

Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow Pomade in Ash Brown

The DipBrow comes in a glass screw-top jar which prevents the product drying out.  It has no discernible scent.

Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow Pomade in Ash Brown swatch

Just like when I bought the Brow Wiz, I was really unsure which shade to get, especially as I was buying blind online.  There are 11 shades in total (in the UK), each designed for different tones and hair colours.  I got Medium Ash/Medium Brown in the Brow Wiz, but the DipBrow Pomade version of this shade is recommended for light to mid-brown hair, which I definitely don't have.  I was debating between Ash Brown (for very dark brown to black hair with cool tones), Dark Brown and Chocolate (for dark brown hair with warm tones).  I ended up going for Ash Brown, but to be honest the shades seem quite similar and they would probably all have been fine!

Ash Brown is an ashy brown shade, as you might expect.  It looks a bit light in this swatch, but once brushed through the brows it takes on the right tone.  I also feel that with my unnatural bright red hair, it doesn't matter too much that my brows match exactly!

Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow Pomade in Ash Brown swatch on brows

I struggled to get a decent photo of the DipBrow in action - it gives a really sharp and clean result that I just couldn't seem to capture.  I use the Makeup Revolution Pro Eyebrow Brush, which has really firm bristles that make carving out lines really simple.  

I tap my brush into the product a couple of times and then focus the depth of the pigment on the tail of my brow, drawing in fine hairs and filling in gaps.  I use the remainder of the product to lightly fill in the start of my brows where the hair is naturally finer.  I then use a spoolie to soften any harsh edges.  

It's so pigmented and creamy that you need barely any.  It sets within seconds and really won't budge, no matter how much it rains!

Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow Pomade in Ash Brown on brows

I hope you can see that my brows are more defined and sharper with the DipBrow on!  You can go really subtle, with just a handful of drawn on fine hairs, or fill in more gaps to give a stronger look.  I try to strike a balance between the two.

Even though I love the speed and simplicity of my Brow Wiz, the DipBrow Pomade gives such a long-wearing and clean look that I think I prefer it.  You also get so much more product for your money.  Colour me (and my brows) impressed!  You can find ABH on Beauty Bay or Cult Beauty.

What do you use to fill in your brows?

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencil in Minimalist & Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara in Dark Brown - Review & Swatches

Hi everyone!  I have a couple of Maybelline products to review for you today and I thought I'd stick them both into one post.  Maybelline is one of my favourite high street brands and these products are meant to be dupes of quite well known high end ones.

Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencil in Minimalist & Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara in Dark Brown Review

Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencil in Minimalist

This is a chunky lip pencil crayon which I believe is meant to be the high street equivalent of the NARS Lip Pencils.  I don't own one of these so I can't make a comparison I'm afraid.  The pencil is made of wood and sharpens the traditional way.

Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencil in Minimalist swatch on lips

I have the shade Minimalist, which is a very pretty neutral pink with sparkle.  I believe all of the 10 shades in the range are matte, but this one does have a bit of glitter.  The finish is matte yet creamy and it feels very comfortable to wear.  The matte finish means it sticks around for ages, even after eating and drinking.

This is a really wonderful product and I'd love to pick up more of the shades as they're great to wear alone or as a base for lipstick.  I don't think you need to shell out £19 for the NARS version when this works so well!

Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara in Dark Brown brush

This is Maybelline's take on brow mascaras, which have been taking the beauty world by storm as an easy way to define your brows.  I went for the shade Dark Brown, but it also comes in 2 lighter shades and in clear.  The brush is quite large, with a bobble on the end - it's actually a bit too large to use super precisely on the brows, but it gets the job done.  I know a lot of comparisons have been made with this product and Benefit's Gimme Brow but I don't own them both.

Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara in Dark Brown swatch on brows

Dark Brown is a deep, ashy brown that works well with my brunette brows.  While I do like the definition the product adds, it is a touch too subtle for me and it doesn't give the super sharp and refined finish a pencil/brow gel would.  The Brow Drama doesn't contain any fibres so it won't add anything to particularly sparse brows.  Once on, it doesn't budge.  If you like really subtle definition to your brows, this is the product for you!

Two great products from Maybelline - I usually stick to their mascaras so it's fun to try a few of their other options.  What do you like from Maybelline?