Sunday, April 27, 2014

Charles Worthington Haircare: Two Shining Stars

Hello all!

Let me start this post by confessing that, save for a few special products, I'm not particularly loyal to any haircare brand. I like shopping around and trying new things! However, I think I might have found my new go-to high street salon brand in the form of Charles Worthington. I bought two of his products when they were on offer at Boots, and instantly fell in love! These two products were the Salon at Home Strength & Repair Longer & Stronger Hair Masque and the Salon at Home Moisture Seal Shampoo.

Empty and looking a bit worse for wear, but well-loved!

I chose these two products because I have quite long, dry hair that has been damaged with years of heat styling. I wanted products that would replenish my hair's moisture and breathe some new life into my sad dry ends.

Firstly, let me rave about the Moisture Seal Shampoo. It's very rare that I actually think one shampoo is much better than another, except for maybe personal fragrance preference. But this shampoo was beyond divine. Right away, I noticed that it smelled amazing, with a slightly citrus-y fragrance that wasn't artificial or overpowering, but just right. When I began to shampoo, I was immediately blown away by the lather. People, the lather on this baby is LUXURIOUS. I love shampoos that give a good lather because I feel like it allows me to really cleanse my hair without using tons of product...not to mention there is just something so enjoyable about those suds! It also left my hair feeling soft and considerably less dry and frizzy, perhaps due to the infusement of argan oil. I also loved the fact that it had a built in heat protectant, so I felt like my hair was protected when I used my blow dryer (although I still used a spray protectant when straightening). This shampoo really blew the other salon brands I've used in the past out of the water.

Onto the Salon at Home Strength & Repair Longer & Stronger Hair Masque. I like to use a hair masque about once a week all over my hair, and usually coat the ends in it every wash for an extra dose of conditioning where my hair needs it the most. I was attracted to this masque because of its promise to prevent hair breakage by 92%. Begone, split ends! This lightly scented masque wasn't overly thick or putty-like, but had the consistency of a heavier conditioner. Its detangling effect was noticeable: just a dollop onto particularly nasty tangles and I had no problem smoothing them out. My ends were sleeker and smoother with continuous use, and when I used it as a hair masque all over my hair I was left with soft, healthy feeling hair that was never left feeling greasy or heavy after I washed the masque out. A huge selling point on this masque was the packaging: instead of a screw top, the lid on the masque is attached for easy access. No more fiddling about with screwtops with wet hands!

The nifty pop top!

I can't wait to get my hands on more of the Charles Worthington hair products (perhaps when I get through the things I already own...I'm a bit of a haircare hoarder). I can't recommend these two products enough. The shampoo and masque both retail for £5.99 at Boots, although Charles Worthington is often on offer (usually 2 for £8) fact, I believe they are currently on offer, so run to your nearest Boots and scoop these up!

Have you tried any Charles Worthington products that shine as brightly as these two?

xo hannah

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

butter London "Cheeky Chops" - Review

Hello everyone!

Lately, I've been loving the look of bright nails. Maybe it's because spring appears to have finally come and cast the rain away! So when the sun started shining, I reached for this yellow nail polish that I recently purchased, butter London's "Cheeky Chops" 

It's funny...I ordered this colour online because I thought it was a nice yellow that wasn't too "banana" coloured, but that turns out to be the exact description on the official site! It still doesn't scream "banana" to me,'s not a deep yellow, but much brighter, closer to a daffodil-yellow.

I loved the colour,  but was not overly impressed with the formula. I own quite a few butter London nail lacquers, and I've noticed that the formula is not consistent across the board; while some perform beautifully, some are a lot more difficult to work with. This was one of the latter. I found the formula to be a bit thick and gloopy, and for this reason it was difficult to apply evenly. Even when I added a second coat it still looked patchy. A third coat amped up the opacity, but there were still sheerer patches that were visible in the light.

Three coats of butter London "Cheeky Chops"

All butter London nail lacquers are "3 Free" - No Formaldehyde, Toluene, or DBP. That's definitely a plus, but at the expense of these polishes (£12.00/C$18.00), I would have hoped the formula would be more consistently high quality. This is a fun, beautiful colour, but it's also pretty dupe-able - a friend of mine noted that Barry M's "Lemon Ice Cream" is quite similar. I'd save your money on this one, and look for a cheaper alternative if you're craving a dose of sunshine for your nails!

I'd really love to find a softer yellow for the spring. Any suggestions?

xo hannah

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Worn and Well-Loved: My Loyal Repurchases

Hey everyone!

As I've been scraping the pan of my beloved Benefit Hello Flawless powder foundation for quite some time now, I thought it was time to do a post on my "worn and well-loved" products that I have repurchased before and will repurchase again.

Repurchases are a rare thing for me. If I finish a product, I usually don't go rushing back to replace it...I'd rather spend the money trying out something similar from another brand or something totally different. There's too much out there to limit yourself to the same set of products! However, I do have five products that I have immediately replaced in the past upon hitting the pan, and will continue to do so.

The first is Benefit Hello Flawless! Custom Powder in Me, Vain? Champagne (£25.50/C$42.00/US$34.00). If I had to choose one Holy Grail product out of my entire makeup collection, it would be this beauty. I'm at the end of my second and am soon going to repurchase my third, no questions asked! It is the perfect foundation, coverup, and setting powder. It comes with a sponge and brush, so it can be applied with a heavy hand for a full coverage look using the sponge, lightly patted onto the skin for days where your skin doesn't need too much concealing, and brushed over foundation to set it and give it a flawless finish. It never looks cakey and doesn't feel heavy on the face, and I love that you can build it up or apply as lightly as you want so you always have the coverage level you need. My Hello Flawless love knows no bounds.

Second, I have the MAC Liquidlast Liner in Point Black (£15.00/C$23.00). Black liquid liner is my go-to for many makeup looks, and I have never had any complaints with this one. I like that it's a brush instead of a felt-tip applicator, so you can control the amount of product you use and don't have to worry about it drying up. I find it incredibly easy to apply, and the staying power is second to none. I know it's becoming a lot harder to find as MAC has discontinued all of the Liquidlast line except this one, and stores don't always carry it. However, it can still be found on the MAC website, and I located it at a duty free kiosk, so it's still out there!

Buxom Lash Mascara in Blackest Black (C$24.00/US$19.00) has been my go-to mascara when all else fails. I have serious difficulty with my eyelashes: they are such tiny little nubbins that I need a heavy duty mascara to make them stand to attention! Now, I wouldn't say this mascara performs miracles, but I have tried many in between my last tube and my current one, including the much-hyped Benefit They're Real! mascara, and I've come back to this one and probably will again unless I find something better. The brush is thick and allows me to build up volume with several coats, and if I use the tip I can usually add some extra length as well. It doesn't flake away, and is formulated without parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, and all those yucky things I don't want near my eyes. I haven't been able to figure out if it's available in the UK, but since Sephora now ships here, you should be able to order it if you so desire!

Up next is MAC Eyeshadow in Vex (£12.50/C$17.00/US$14.00), which is frustratingly impossible to swatch. You need to see this one in's an insanely gorgeous muted frosted silver that turns lilac or pale green depending on how you catch the light. Shall I wax poetic? I always think it looks like powdered moonlight. It's so versatile and can be played up or down, and I've never seen a good dupe of it. It's a unique and beautiful eyeshadow to add to your collection!

And finally, we have Lipstick Queen's Medieval (£20.00/US$22.00). I have had a love affair with this lipstick for quite a while. It's a moisturizing, sheer red that really just adds a blush to your natural lipcolour, making your lips look like something out of a fairytale. It's another one that needs to be tried out to do it justice...and you should try it out, as it's designed to be universally flattering. As you can see by the above photo, my tube is looking a bit worse for wear and I'm right down to the dregs...looks like it's time for number 3! I've included a swatch below so you can see how it looks on my lips.

Lipstick Queen's Medieval

What products do you rush to repurchase? Are you close to hitting the pan any time soon?

xo hannah

Friday, April 11, 2014

Barry M "Birthday" for Superdrug's 50th - Review

Hello all!

In honour of Superdrug's 50th birthday, several cosmetic lines have released special commemorative products in Superdrug's signature pink and white. I spotted Barry M's Birthday on the shelf a few days ago, and picked it up for £2.99.

Two Coats of Barry M Birthday

Barry M's Birthday is a special edition hot pink nail polish imbued with silver, pink, and purple hexagonal confetti. It is a sheer jelly formula (think jelly as in consistency, not "gelly" as in the Barry M Gelly line) that is chock-a-block full of fun, girly confetti...just like a birthday in a bottle!

Three Coats

You need at least two coats for the hot pink to near opacity, although I chose to do three to fill in the more transparent spots. The confetti particles are not glitter, and therefore apply a bit unevenly. You have to manipulate them with the brush to make sure that they don't all end up on the tip. The finish is not smooth, but rather bumpy due to the confetti chunks. Additionally, I found the coverage to be a bit patchy. It definitely doesn't give a consistent finish.

Three Coats

Birthday was quick drying and is certainly fun to look at...who doesn't love to indulge in Barbie-esque nails every once in a while? The formula of the polish isn't as high performing as the Barry M Gelly's (which are fantastic across the board), but for the low price and novelty factor, this is a fun colour for an accent nail or a full-on party look. 

Barry M Birthday is available exclusively at Superdrug.

Will you be picking up this limited edition colour?

xo hannah

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Beauty Haul!

Hello everyone!

As March has officially come to a close and we are now well into April (where has the time gone?!) I figured it was probably time to get around to doing my March Beauty Haul, with a few early April purchases thrown in. I got some great deals this past month, some which are still continuing, so I'll make sure to point them out in case you want to get your hands on anything you see!

Above are the products en masse, but I'm going to break them down into categories to do them better justice! Let's get started!


Left to Right: Barry M Caspian, butter London Cheeky Chops, Cheeky Purple Haze, H&M Starstruck

After going a little crazy on the Barry M Gelly's back in February, I tried to tone down the nail polish purchases this month. But some were simply too pretty to turn down!

Barry M Caspian (£3.99): From the Aquarium Collection, Caspian is a stunning rose gold duochrome. Having jumped on the rose gold obsession bandwagon as of late, this one needed to be added to my collection.

butter London Cheeky Chops (£12.00/C$17.00): I got this pale yellow for a great price during the CutECOsmetics stock clearance. I love that its bright but not your typical banana perfect for spring and summer!

Cheeky Purple Haze (£7.00): I blogged about this one in my "April Lust List" post, and I couldn't resist the temptation. I think this lilac grey is so sophisticated and a great year-round colour.

H&M Starstruck (£2.99/C$5.95): One of my favourite polishes ever is butter London's Black Knight, which I have tried to steal from my sister to no avail. I picked up Starstruck hoping for a a similar effect, all though my hopes weren't too high as the price was quite low. On further examination I don't think Starstruck will match the opaque glittery awesomeness that is Black Knight, as it leans towards the sheer side of things but it certainly is glitzy and might work well as a top coat over a black creme polish.


Left to Right: Stila Petunia, H&M Kabuki Brush, Tarte Natural Beauty

Blushes seem to be my new thing lately. I've never paid much attention to them before, but recently I've been drawn to them like never before! I did my research before ordering two blushes, one a cream and one a powder.

Stila Convertible Color in Petunia (£16.00/C$33.00): I've heard a lot of good things about Stila's Convertible Color creme blushes. They can be used on lips too, but I think I'll keep this peachy pink colour to my cheeks to give me a subtle spring-ready glow.

H&M Kabuki Brush (£2.99): This little guy was an impulse purchase, because it was cheap and had a pretty rose gold handle. H&M brushes haven't served me very well in the past, but maybe this one will be different? Here's hoping!

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Natural Beauty (C$31.00): Essiebutton had a whole blog post dedicated to this stunning blush, which is super pigmented and a gorgeous shade of strawberry red. I love that "just frolicked in the snow" flush, and this promises to deliver


Left to Right: MAC In the Meadow and Liquid Last Liner Point Black

It was a MAC month for eyes, and although I didn't make many purchases (my eyeshadow collection needs to be culled), I'm excited about the ones I did pick up.

MAC Mineralize Eyeshadow in In the Meadow (£17.00/C$25.00): Part of the Fantasy of Flowers collection, which came to the UK later than it did in North America, In the Meadow is a single pan quad of four earth toned shades: an iridescent silver, a pale yellow-gold, a green-tinged brown, and light green. Save for the silver, I don't have any of these in my collection, and have been searching for a green that wasn't too over the top for a while. I can't wait to try these out together!

MAC Liquid Last Liner in Point Black (£15.00/C$23.00): This is my holy grail eyeliner, and is becoming increasingly hard to find as the rest of the Liquid Last Liners have been discontinued. It isn't available in my local MAC store, so when I spotted it at Heathrow Duty Free I grabbed it immediately. It's so easy to use and lasts forever on the eyelid...I don't know what I'll do when the day comes where I can't find this beauty!


Left to Right: Korres Wild Rose, Too Faced Jelly Bean, Kiehl's Mango Balm, Sleek Fandango Purple, butter London Primrose Hill Picnic, Body Shop Damson in Distress, Korres Pomegranate

 I went a little lip-product crazy this month. While some were great deals that couldn't be resisted or products that I've had my eye on for a while, I was also on a hunt for the perfect purple lip, and ended up with two!

Korres Lip Butters in Wild Rose and Pomegranate (£8.00/C$16.00): I picked these up for £4 a pop during the CutECOsmetics sale, and I couldn't be happier. Everything about these is just so lovely: they have the texture of a moisturizing balm and offer sheer but buildable colour. Wild Rose gives you  that just-bitten red hue that we all wish we had naturally, and Pomegranate provides a pink-coral wash of colour. Highly recommended!

Too Faced La Creme Lipstick in Jelly Bean (£18.00/C$26.00): Oh, Too Faced La Creme Lipsticks. I cannot sing your praises enough. The La Creme formula is my absolute favourite: it is SO moisturizing, has great stay-power,  and offers true to pan (tube?) pigment. This rich raspberry shade is a new release, and is the perfect bold summer lip to chase away your winter blues. 

Kiehl's Lip Balm #1 in Mango (£9.50/C$11.00): This is an old standard in lots of cosmetic bags. The Kiehl's Lip Balm #1 is a colourless, glossy balm that has a delicious mango scent and offers hydration and shine to your lips. A simple oldie but goodie. 

Sleek Cosmetics Matte Me Lip Cream in Fandango Purple (£4.99): This was purchase #1 on my purple lip quest. The Sleek Matte Me formula is true to its description: it offers a pop of colour with staining power and a matte finish. Fandango Purple may not be an everyday colour, but it certainly is a statement lip, staining your pout a bright magenta-purple. If you like matte finishes and stains that don't budge, check this one out. Just be sure to apply with a mirror, because it does not come off easily!

butter London Lippy in Primrose Hill Picnic (£14.00/C$19.00): I already blogged about this one in my butter London Lippy short, a lovely glossy pink that is neither sticky nor tacky and has great wear time!

The Body Shop Colour Crush Lipstick in 240 Damson in Distress (£10.00/C$13.00): I am a huge fan of The Body Shop Colour Crush Lipsticks. I love the faint rose scent, the emollient texture, and the colour payoff. I was ecstatic to find this purple of my dreams. Damson in Distress (the name is only printed on the plastic seal, so look for 240 for reference) is a wine purple that is both dramatic and wearable. Think Lorde's signature look! 


The majority of my body purchases were from the AMAZING 40% off (and then some!) sale that has been happening at The Body Shop over the last week and is still occurring online and in stores, with extra savings for members. Go check it out as fast as your legs can carry won't regret it, and your wallet will thank you!

The Body Shop Body Butters in Papaya and Cranberry Joy (regular £13.00, on for £5.00/C$20.00): Body Butters have a cult following, and if you've never tried them, you absolutely have to...they are non-greasy, incredibly moisturizing creams that smell amazing. I was so excited to find these two in stores, because Papaya is a limited edition scent that is usually only available online and Cranberry Joy is a Christmas release that I was kicking myself for missing late last year. Papaya is the perfect tropical fruity scent for the warmer months, and I plan on saving Cranberry Joy for the chillier seasons when its zingy notes will be a perfect pick me up. The best part? These full sized products were £5 (less with a membership)!!!!

Marks and Spencer Aromatic Shower Gel in Seamoss (£3.00): Lately I've been stockpiling shower can never have too many, right? This Marks and Spencer line is super inexpensive and smells amazing. I love the fresh aquatic scent of this shower gel, and am also intrigued by the moisturizing properties it claims to have. For £3, it was a steal for sure!

The Body Shop Body Scrub Mini in Pink Grapefruit (£5.00/C$6.00): I'm pretty picky about my Body Scrubs: I like a lot of exfoliating power in my potted scrubs, and usually look for a softer bead in my body polishes. I've never tried The Body Shop scrubs before, so I picked up the mini as a tester.  The Grapefruit scent is one of my favourites. It's zesty and citrusy and wakes up the senses! Even if the scrub is a miss, at least I'll enjoy breathing in the scent of grapefruit in the shower!

The Body Shop Shower Gel in Passion Fruit (regular £4, on for £3.00/C$9.00): This is another one of those limited edition scents that were previously online only. Adding to my shower gel stockpile, I picked up this rich tropical scent that is slightly less sweet than its papaya counterpart. And for £3, who could resist?

That's it for this past month's beauty haul! What have you slipped in your shopping basket lately?

xo hannah   

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Evening Skincare Routine and Weekly Treats

Hello all!

I'm back with Part 2 of my skincare routine posts. Having already gone through my morning skincare routine, I'm now moving onto the evening process. I take a little more time at night with my skin, because I want to remove all the makeup and gunk that has built up during the day. Also, there's nothing like going to bed with a clean face!

Again, the products mentioned are all pictured in the photo above and will be in order of use, from left to right.

1. Makeup Remover: This is a biggie. The most important part of my evening skincare routine is getting all the makeup off my face, so I don't wake up with panda eyes or skin saturated with foundation. I pay special attention to my eyes, as mascara can be a pain to get off. I've always hated oily eye makeup removers, because they make my skin and eyelids feel greasy, and I never feel like I can remove all the oily excess. Therefore, I look for eye makeup remover creams, which are the consistency of moisturizer and don't leave oil slicks on my face. The Boots Essentials Eye Makeup Remover Lotion is a ridiculously cheap (£1.50!), gentle, and unscented lotion that does the job beautifully. My mom has always been a fan of this and used to pick it up on her trips to England, and I can see why...for the price, it's truly unbeatable, and a little goes a long way. 

2. Face Wash: On nights where I'm exhausted I usually just reach for my cleansing cream and call it a day, but most nights I like to give my face a good wash. I've been using the Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash (£19.50/$24.00) forever, and have never really felt the need to look elsewhere because I'm so satisfied with it. It's a two in one oil-free cleanser and exfoliator, but the exfoliation beads are gentle enough for daily use. I like that it foams but not excessively...I've used face washes that lather like a shampoo, which is not a pleasant experience. It has a light, fresh scent of rose hips and contains soothing ingredients such as chamomile that work well for sensitive skin. All in all, it cleans well, isn't too harsh, and includes a bit of exfoliation, making it a highly recommendable face wash for all skin types.

3. Face Wipes: I like to remove any traces of face wash or makeup with my face wipes. The Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes (£3.25) are ultra-soft, vitamin-infused, unscented face wipes that cleanse the face without any scratching. I'll be doing a facial wipes review in the near future, so stay tuned. 

4. Toning Water: Back to the old LUSH Eau Roma Toning Water favourite! See my morning skincare post below for a full breakdown of this cult product. 

5. Moisturizer: I like to use a heavier moisturizer at night, but shy away from "night creams" because I find them too thick. Potted day creams are my best option for a moisturizer that will keep my skin hydrated over night. I'm currently using the Korres Wild Rose 24 Hour Moisturizing Brightening Cream, which I've thoroughly reviewed in my "Facial Moisturizer Showdown" post. 

6. Eye Cream: I'm still undecided about the eye cream craze. I'm just not really sure if they do anything that my moisturizer can't accomplish by itself. Nevertheless, I figured I'd dabble with this trend by purchasing an inexpensive eye cream to start. The Simple Kind to Eyes Soothing Eye Balm (£3.99) promises to relax tired eyes and soothe puffiness. I do have darkish circles under my eyes, and it doesn't seem to help in that department, but it does soothe the eyes with a pleasant cooling sensation that feels lovely when I close my eyes to go to sleep. What are your thoughts on eye creams?

And now for my weekly treats....

My weekly treat products are things I only use once or twice a week, because they're either indulgences or unnecessary for daily use. From left to right:

1. Face Scrub: Because my skin leans towards the dry side, I like to use a scrub once or twice a week to rid my dry areas of flaky skin. The Botanics All Bright Purifying Face Scrub is a heavier scrub that has large exfoliation beads that really help to slough away dead skin. It smells fresh and fruity and leaves you with glowing skin. Don't use this more than twice a week, is too harsh for daily use. 

2. Face Masks: Is there anything more satisfying than a peel mask? I don't think so. The Quick Fix Facials Brightening Peel Mask (£4.99 at Boots) unclogs pores and targets dull and uneven skin tones to restore radiance to your skin. The Quick Fix line has several masks that target different problems and comes in several formulas. I find my skin just feels so clean and refreshed when I peel this papaya and goji berry scented mask off my face. Definitely an indulgence!

3. Lip Butter: If my lips are particularly dry, I like to slather them with The Body Shop Mango Lip Butter (£4.00/$6.00). It is an extremely thick opaque moisturizer for the lips that is certainly not something you'd want to wear under lipstick, but feels luxurious on the lips when you're settling into bed and works magic overnight. It comes in a variety of delicious flavours...I have my coconut lip butter all ready to go when the mango runs out.

That's it for my skincare routine! Leave me a comment and let me know what you use to cleanse, scrub, and moisturize your skin to perfection!

xo hannah 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Morning Skincare Routine

Hello lovelies!

I've noticed that a post that has been floating around beauty blogs recently has been that of the skincare routine. I personally love these posts, because it's great to see what people are using to combat certain problems and therefore make the best possible choices for my skin. Having skin that not only appears flawless (thank you foundation!) but that is also healthy is one of my obsessions. Afterall, your skin is the canvas that you work with, and it's important to take care of it in your youth so that you have no regrets later in life.

I'm going to do a two part skincare post on my morning and night routines, as well as including some of my weekly "treats" I like to indulge in. Without further ado, my morning routine...

Unless I'm in a rush, I usually use six products on my face in the morning. I tend to stick to things that are light, sink in quickly so that I don't have to wait before applying my makeup, and promise to keep my skin hydrated and moisturized during the day.

The above picture includes all of my current morning skincare routine products, in the order of use from left to right.

1. Cleansing Lotion: Because I wash my face thoroughly at night, I don't always feel the need to go at it again in the morning (and I am NOT the kind of person who enjoys splashing water into my face in the early thanks!) What I prefer to use is cleansing lotion, which softly replenishes the moisture in your face while removing any impurities or left over traces of makeup. I just apply it to a cotton pad and work it around my face. I am currently using the Simple Kind to Skin Purifying Cleansing Lotion, which is a very gentle and unscented option, and cheap to boot (£2.99 at Boots). I also love the Boots Botanics All Bright Gentle Cleansing Cream (£3.99).

2. Face Wipes: When I'm finished with the cleansing lotion, I like to remove the excess and refresh my skin with face wipes. Face wipes can be super cheap or quite expensive, but I'm not particularly partial - I just like my wipes to be soft on the skin and sufficiently moist. I'm currently using the Good Things Total Wipeout Raspberry and Cranberry wipes (£3.49 at Boots), which smell amazing and seem to be doing a good job. I'm planning a face wipe review in the near future to give my opinion on some other winners and losers in that department.

3. Toning Water: I find toning water a little more hydrating than a toner, and I am loyal to LUSH's Eau Roma Water (100mL £3.95/$9.95, 250mL £7.50/$21.95). It reduces redness and hydrates the skin beautifully. I usually look for rosewater toners, because of its gentle astringent properties and pleasant scent. You can apply it with a cotton pad, but I choose to spritz it on my face and pat it into my skin so as not to waste product. It just leaves you feeling so refreshed and dewy.

4. Moisturizer: I'm very picky with my morning moisturizer, because when I'm in a rush, I want a cream that sinks into my skin and doesn't sit on my face. I find most potted day creams are too heavy, so I usually look for emulsions or lighter options. I absolutely love the Superdrug Naturally Radiant 2 in 1 Moisturizer and Serum (£5.99 at Superdrug, but currently on offer for £2.98). This moisturizer is super light, sinks in beautifully, and smells and feels high end. The scent is delicious and light, very fruity and probably attributable to its kiwi and mulberry extracts. I also am loving the Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream (£28.50/$42.00), which is a great all purpose cream for day and night and isn't too heavy.

5. Lip Scrub: No one likes dry, flaky lips when you go to apply lipstick! I start the lip rehydration process with my LUSH Sweet Lips Lip Scrub. I think this chocolatey flavour is discontinued, but you can still purchase Mint Julips, Bubble Gum, and Popcorn for £5.50/$9.95. This is a gentle lip scrub that can be licked off, as sugar is one of the main ingredients. It's a great way to rid your lips of dry flaky skin.

6. Lip Balm: I need to coat my lips in non-greasy lip balm, because I find that heavier lip balms make lipstick application difficult. My current love is Haus of Gloi's Exotic Rose. Haus of Gloi is an AMAZING homemade vegan skincare company based out of Oregon...I'll rave about them at a later date. Their lip balms are seasonally released and always come in unique and delicious flavours. They are very moisturizing without being too heavy. You can still snag some of their spring release lip balms for $3.50 at Alternatively, I find the classic Burt's Bees Lip Balm (£3.70/$3.29) does the job nicely, if you don't mind the tingle. I love the Grapefruit flavoured one!

And that's that! What does your morning skincare routine look like?

xo hannah 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

M&S Downton Abbey Lip Gloss Trio - Review

Hello all!

I've been absent for a while because I'm currently in Ireland attending a conference. However, I picked up a small beauty purchase yesterday and decided I would attempt to blog about it from my hotel room.

I ran into Marks & Spencer to pick up a few things upon my arrival to Ireland and came across the Marks and Spencer for Downton Abbey Lip Gloss Trio. It looked like a set of lovely colours for the reasonable price of €13.00, the packaging was quite pretty, and I'm a sucker for anything Downton related, so I had to have it.

The trio includes three full-sized glosses in Claret (red), Precious (Gold), and Velvet (mauve).

Left to Right, Claret, Precious, Velvet

The first thing I noticed about these lip glosses when I opened the package and tried them out was the brush. It is truly the weirdest and worst applicator. It's a strange, pointed spike of a brush that applies minimal product and takes precision and a mirror. Points off right away.

The odd pointed brush

When I swatched the glosses, they seemed less promising than their packaging suggested. Claret was a sheer strawberry red, Precious was a gold flecked nude, and Velvet was a dusty rose. The pigmentation in the swatch was medium, but there was still a discernable difference in colour between the three shades.

Bottom to top: Velvet, Precious, Claret

And then, I tried them on. And it was all downhill from there. While the formula was moisturizing and completely non-sticky, the three glosses were luckluster. Precious was barely visible, and didn't even have enough shine to merit its use as a sheer gloss. Claret and Velvet were virtually identical.



Final Verdict? Unless you're a HUGE fan of the show, skip these for sure.

xo hannah