Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Brow Wow!

Brows have never been my thing. I over-plucked as a teenager but in recent years they've grown back a bit so I just leave them most of the time. Then I started seeing all these blog posts about Benefit Gimme Brow... all these wonderful reviews - "miracle product", "big brows in a flash", "couldn't be easier". So off I popped to Boots to have a little nosy and sure enough, there were these cute little tubes of seemingly magical brow gel. I tested the shades on the back of my hand and wanted to wait before making a decision so I left without buying a thing (I think I should get some sort of medal for that...). By that evening I was convinced that I needed Gimme Brow in my life so I went straight on the internet to order some. I went for the medium/dark shade to suit my colouring and lucky for me there was an online offer for extra points if I bought another Benefit product, so I stuck with my theme and ordered High Brow. I also ordered Burberry Brit Ryhthm - my review can be found here

I was ridiculously excited to try these products with my new love of blogging so I went a bit snap-happy getting every stage of the process!

Before Gimme Brow:

After Gimme Brow: what a difference!

At this stage I was already seriously impressed. So easy to use with instant results that you can adjust for high drama. You just press the brush gently into the hairs to disperse colour, then brush to shape and build texture. I carried on with High Brow, which in hindsight I probably should have applied first but I was too excited to use Gimme Brow!

Again, instant results. Complexion looks brighter, face looks sculpted and eyes are defined. I also used this product in the corner of my eyes to add extra pops of light. The linen pink shade is universally flattering.

I decided to carry on with the lightening and brightening theme to finish my look so I added Laura Mercier Illuminating Eye Colour in Pearl Fantasy...

... and finished with a slick of By Terry Baume de Rose limited edition shimmery lipgloss.

Voila! Brow wow and light, fresh make-up for a flattering spring day-time look.

(I also used Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturiser, Diorskin Nude Hydrating Concealer, Chanel Cream Blush and YSL Babydoll Mascara.)

Burberry Brit Rhythm

It's finally here! My beautiful new Burberry Brit Rhythm Eau de Toilette!

I've been dying to get my hands on it as soon as I saw the ad campaign with Cara Delavigne AND Kate Moss! When I read that the new fragrance would be a heady mix of lavender, pink peppercorn and neroli with berry and musk notes I knew it was perfect for me. Boy I wasn't wrong! I simply adore this scent. It's soft and feminine but with a super modern, designer punch. When I first sprayed this it instantly reminded me of my favourite Chanel No19 Poudre (floral) but as it settles it's much lighter and and very clean. How is it that some fragrances just ooze glamour? Like they were made to adorn the crystal shelves of Selfridges beauty department, and worn by women who were made to stride those very halls? This is definitely one of those. It reminds me of long shopping trips in London with my Mum where every counter smelled better than the next. The lavender is prominent but not harsh or soapy, and it has an almost vanilla-like creaminess to it that makes it easy to wear both day and night. I bought it as part of a small online Boots haul and got a free hand-bag sized roll-on too, bonus! Now I can top up when I'm on the go. Unfortunately this is not the longest lasting fragrance, and I have found that at least one top-up is needed throughout the day. The bottle is stunning though, with an embossed Burberry Pattern and a sturdy square lid. I will definitely be buying this again, and probably the body products to go with it. Very happy with my new perfume!

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Bit of Batiste

I'm going to the hairdresser today YAY! It has to be one of my absolute favourite things to do. A sleek beautiful boutique, full of sleek beautiful people using beautiful tools and products to make their beautiful customers even more fabulous. Plus magazines and coffee and gossip - some kind of heaven, right? Right. I'm off out with the girls tonight and want to look my best so my hair demands the expertise I could never achieve on my own. Unfortunately my appointment is not until tea time so I had to quickly do something about my mane to get me through til then. And all rise please as I reach for... Batiste Dry Shampoo!

The ultimate hair saviour product. The original and still the best. Dull, lank, greasy or flat hair is instantly boosted, refreshed and cleaned. It covers roots, it adds volume, texture and it now comes in an array of delicious fragrances. My choice is Tropical for the holiday coconut smell.

This is what my hair looked like when I got up... Greasy and flat.

So I sprayed this magical product all over the front of my hairline and along my parting and then, the important bit, really worked it into my scalp. Massage it in with your fingertips targeting any particularly greasy areas or the top layers that are going to be visible when you're done styling. Then give it a good brush out to get rid of any residue. Your hair should be left soft and shiny, not powdery. For me it's an easy ponytail and ta dah! Lovely fresh hair.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Amazing Arran Aromatics

Arran Aromatics is currently my number 1 favourite brand. I only recently discovered it whilst staying in a hotel at a family wedding - the bathroom goodies were from the Feel Good Formulas range and it was love at first sight! Once I opened the adorable, colourful little bottles and discovered the most beautiful fragrances  inside I was straight on the laptop to order some full size products. After a few good deliveries this is what my amazing top shelf looks like...

My first purchase (and still my fave!) was the Feel Good Formulas Lavender and Lemongrass Shampoo and Conditioner. Indulgent, creamy and super cleansing. Leaves hair soft, shiny and manageable and of course, smelling totally delicious! The shampoo has a light lather so it doesn't dry the hair out, and you can feel your clean hair squeaking through your fingers. Although the conditioner is a very light formula it instantly infuses into hair leaving it perfectly conditioned without any residue. I have really thick, curly hair and these products work well for me. The fragrance really does last too, even after drying and straightening. When your hair blows about in the breeze you get a lovely whoosh of fresh lavender. I redecorated my bathroom at the start of the year and went a bit crazy buying as many lavender scented products as I could get my hands on. I bought a big gift set from the Island Spa range and although it's quite a strong lavender scent, it sits softly on the skin without overwhelming. Spearmint notes add a freshness that's really uplifting.

The Citrus Shores range is my new Spring must have. I ordered the Long Weekender gift bag which contains Hair & Body Wash, Conditioner, Body Lotion and Enriching Soap all with a grapefruit fragrance. This has to be the most zingy, refreshing scent I've ever used in the shower! The Hair & Body wash is so lush even my hubby-to-be has started using it. Perfect for mornings to blast you into life. Another long lasting scent too - fresh, sweet, juicy - perfect for sunny spring days. The Body Lotion is light and smooth, but still nice and moisturising keeping skin soft all day. The soap is amazingly soft and moisturising. It has a creamy lather that works really well for a good massage while you're in the bath. Skin is left clean and soft, and never dried out. 

My must have from this brand for face has to be Feel Good Formulas Aloe Vera Facial Cleanser and Toner. I have used this product every single day since it arrived a couple of weeks ago and I'm completely hooked! A light, non-greasy formula effectively removes all traces of make-up and leaves skin tingly fresh, clean, clear and soft. This has been a lifesaver for me on busy work mornings and equally handy for late nights as one pump on a cotton pad is all you need. The fragrance is gentle but super uplifting and lingers throughout the day. I also use this product after other cleansers as an extra detoxifying layer before moisturiser. It's also really handy for clearing your nails of any grease and grime before applying polish. Love a multi-tasking product!

There are a whole load of delicious ranges to try so I ordered a mini miniatures haul to test them out. They last for ages and are such good value, which is great for me as I get to enjoy a different fragrance nearly every day! On tomorrow's hair menu is Eydis - lime, mandarin and bergamot. Yummy.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Spring MAC Haul

I've always been a massive fan of MAC, but I don't always get a chance to try out their newest ranges because they sell out so fast. I took the plunge this time though and ordered some goodies online (isn't a make-up delivery just the best?) and I was not disappointed!The new "A Fantasy of Flowers" really caught my eye (I'm a sucker for pretty pinks) so I went for Mineralize Blush in Azalea in the Afternoon

Classic MAC, sheer and buildable but with the added benefit of a rosy gold shimmer to highlight. This shade looks beautiful alone but works particularly well when used over a cream blush or tint eg. Benefit Posy Tint. Use high on the cheekbones and, following on from last spring's pulled together looks, dab a little on your eyelids too. Unbelievably flattering!

The other pink that really stood out for me was Saint Germain Nail Laquer. Pale pink nails are seriously in fashion right now and will be brightening up the closer to summer we get. This perfect polish is a great bridge colour to see you all the way to september! The creamy formula glides on really easily but a good two coats are needed to get a solid colour. Go for a matte top coat to keep your look fresh and modern. 

It's virtually impossible to visit MAC without buying a lipgloss! Lipglass is the original and the best, and to go with my new shimmery blush I've gone for Plushglass in Full for You

A beautiful, silver pearled rich pink that's sheer enough to wear as a subtle gloss or to vamp up your favourite pink lipstick. I actually love layering this over Dior Addict Lip Glow for a full, rosy finish. These glosses have the most amazing vanilla scent too, a total treat and highly addictive. The cute little tube with a soft, matte lid is so pretty you'll just want more and more!

My last MAC mineralize powder is right down to the bare metal and I fancied a change so I went for Studio Careblend/Pressed Powder in Light Plus

This is a super soft, light powder that gives great coverage whilst feeling light as a feather. It has added skin benefits to provide nourishment and comfort. It's creamier to the touch than other powders and blends to a totally flawless finish. Perfect for no-foundation days when you just want a little radiance booster. Use it on your t-zone to add a fresh light to your complexion. I use an old MAC highlighter brush which picks up just the right amount of product for sheer coverage.

So here is my look all pulled together!


Beauty at Work

I'm sat in my company office with the dog waiting for a huge TNT wagon to arrive so I can load on 36 massive, flat-pack sofa beds. Normally I would be busy researching new products and fumbling through my tote to admire all my lip glosses, but I have to kind of concentrate on work so I'm resisting all these...

The phone has been ringing non-stop, the workshop is busy and my mind is full of appointments that need to be made and deadlines that need to be met so I'm feeling a little stressed. Plus I'm waiting for a text from Boots to say my package is ready for collection! Just ordered the new Burberry Brit Rhythm perfume, very excited. Watch this space for a full review and pics!


Saturday, March 15, 2014


Beauty Bubble is currently undergoing a makeover, so please bear with me while I get my head around it! I'm hoping to make my blog more interactive for all you beauty believers and lots of beautiful pictures will be coming soon!

If anyone has any tips or advice on how to make more blog a bit more sleek pleeease let me know!


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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Happy World Sleep Day!

It's a beautiful day in sunny Newcastle today! My spring essentials are featuring daily and the knitwear is gradually receding into the depths of the wardrobe. I'll be keeping a few chunky jumpers at hand for long days in the office and dog walking, but I can finally wear beautiful shirts and flowy tops all topped off a pastel makeup palette. Hooray! I was feeling hot hot hot this morning so I've gone for a smokey eye courtesy of Estee Lauder Pure Colour Intense Kajal Eyeliner in Blackened Cocoa - http://www.esteelauder.co.uk/product/635/20160/Product-Catalog/Makeup/Eyes/Eyeliners/Pure-Color/Intense-Kajal-Eyeliner/index.tmpl - with a hint of lavender shadow (from a free palette) and a slick of Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara - http://www.esteelauder.co.uk/product/637/3599/Product-Catalog/Makeup/Eyes/Mascara/Sumptuous/Bold-Volume-Lifting-Mascara/index.tmpl

So today is World Sleep Day but it seems a shame to nap on such a glorious day so I'm waiting til this evening to get cosy with some scented candles, luxurious body products and a soothing mug of Chai Spiced Cocoa. Here's my lowdown for the best sleep inducing/relaxing beauty products:

1) Arran Aromatics Island Spa collection - http://www.arranaromatics.com/collections/island-spa/ - The perfect lavender scented collection for total relaxation. These hand-made products contain natural ingredients to care for your skin whilst indulging your senses. Try washing your hair with Island Spa Shampoo then slathering on Island Spa Conditioner, wrapping it up in a turban and leaving to soak in while you massage away your aches and pains with Island Spa Enriching Soap. Treat yourself to one of their many gift sets for a real spa experience!

2) Elemis Herbal Lavender Repair Mask - http://www.feelunique.com/p/Elemis-Herbal-Lavender-Repair-Mask-75ml - Battle stress and skin problems in one hit with this wonderfully soothing mask. It works deep into your skin to remove impurities and provides healing benefits for blemishes. Skin is left feeling soft and clear, all ready for a good beauty sleep.

3) Badger Balm Sleep Balm - http://www.feelunique.com/p/Badger-Balm-Sleep-Balm-56g - The ultimate go-to for restful night's sleep. This essential oil rich balm helps to soothe and relax your mind helping you to let go of all the day's goings on and drift off into a natural sleep. Use this when your head's in a spin, it really helps ease anxiety.

4) The White Company White Lavender Signature Candle - http://www.thewhitecompany.com/candles-and-fragrance/candles/white-lavender-signature-candle/ - My absolute favourite lavender scent. Pure and fresh, calming and soothing. Use in your bedroom or bathroom to enhance your relaxation.

5) This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray - http://www.feelunique.com/p/this-works-Deep-Sleep-Pillow-Spray-75ml - A little beauty secret! This lavender spray contains Chamomile and Vertivert to actively alleviate stress and battle both physical and mental exhaustion. Gently inhale this wonderful spray for a deep sleep. Your skin will thank you for it.

Don't forget your favourite PJs, a cosy robe and slippers! Happy snoozing.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Today's Top Tip

Welcome beauty believers!

Today's Top Tip: Applying foundation for a fresh faced, barely there look.

Step 1: Choose a super lightweight, radiance boosting foundation such as Yves Saint Laurent Le Teinte Touche Eclat and dispense a pea sized amount onto your middle finger.

Step 2: Gently spread the product between your first two fingertips on each hand.

Step 3: Use the fingertips to gently press the foundation into the skin, only where it is needed. For example around the eyes and nose to disguise any shadows or redness and in the T-zone area to get rid of shine and create a healthy glow. Applying the product in this way blends it seamlessly with the skin - no harsh lines or tell-tale brush strokes.

Step 4: To keep your look dewy and fresh skip powder and opt for a cream blusher as close to your natural flush as possible and a tinted lip balm. If you want a more polished, matte look simply press translucent powder onto the T-zone area and add a slick of black mascara. A bright pop of lipstick will add edge and sophistication.

There's a huge new trend for 'fresh faced' at the moment. It's been hanging around for a while but with the massive amount of products on the market now aimed at perfecting the skin for a 'no make-up' look it's easy to see why there's been a growing interest in this trend. It's all about beautiful, clear, flawless skin. Radiance, luminosity and even tone are the most sought after results with no visible make-up. One of the best ways to achieve a perfect complexion is with a primer. There are hundreds out there all claiming to do different things, and some of them really do! Bear in mind that you may need different products for different parts of your face. I, for example, need a redness corrector for my jawline and nose, but also need a pore perfecter for my T-zone area and the tops of my cheeks. Clinique do a fantastic range for all skin types - http://www.clinique.co.uk/products/11265/Makeup/Primers/index.tmpl - Benefit The POREfessional Pro Balm Primer is a cult favourite for velvety smooth, flawless skin. It's so good you can even use this in place of foundation! - http://www.feelunique.com/p/Benefit-The-POREfessional-PRO-Balm-22ml - For a more sheer primer try Nivea Daily Essentials Express Hydrating Primer - http://shop.nivea.co.uk/skincare/face-care/express-hydration-primer-50ml.html - This is moisturiser with a primer built in for quick results. Use alone or under make-up. There's even one for dryer skin types.

Along with primer, foundation is seeing a revolutionary new age of formulas designed to give great coverage, but without the look or feel of wearing any makeup at all. BB and CC creams are a great way to achieve fast results every day, but using my Top Tip for foundation application you can get a professional, photo-ready finish in a flash.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Beauty Bubble is back and it's Bridal Beauty time!

Good afternoon beauty believers!

I'm well aware that it has been almost a full year since I've posted on this blog, but that is about to change. I've been rocking and rolling through one of the most tumultuous years of my entire life and, unfortunately, I have neglected my writing. The good news is I have not been neglecting my beauty regime! I've lost count of all the new products I've tried in the past year and now I'm stuck into sourcing the perfect Bridal Beauty Box for my big day (172 days to go!).

I'm going to dive straight in with the products I bought just yesterday at SpaceNK in Newcastle.

First up is Laura Mercier Illuminating Eye Colour in Opal Fantasy and Pearl Fantasy - http://uk.spacenk.com/illuminating-eye-colour/MUK200009974.html - These shimmery shades are ideal for a subtle wash of colour to really lighten up the entire lid. Opal Fantasy is a suits-all ballerina pink and Pearl Fantasy is a luscious lavender, perfect for paler skintones and particularly darker eyes. These long lasting shadows are incredibly versatile and can be used to achieve a variety of different effects. Simply dust over lids for a pretty shimmer or use a wet brush to really vamp up the colour. Use a wet angled liner brush to add sparkle to the lash line and inner corners of eyes for a bright pop of colour. Both of these shades are beautiful when used alone, but for a gorgeous Bridal glow try layering with champagne or soft gold shadow and a plum liner smudged gently along the upper lash line. No cats-eye flicks for brides though, soft and sophisticated is the key to looking radiant in all your photos.

Speaking of photos, let me explain my next beauty saviour for brides. How many times have you looked back on photographs and wondered why you looked so pale, washed out or even bright? Well the answer lies in whats inside your make-up and your moisturiser. Products that contain SPF reflect light away from the skin, and when put before flash photography creates a very unflattering white flashback. Finding both a skincare regime and foundation that are 100% SPF free is the best way to ensure glowing skin in your photos. Firstly, really go to town with your skin regime in the run up to your big day. Invest in a good quality cleanser and spend time massaging it in twice a day. This is absolutely the best thing you can do for your skin, anything else you add is a bonus. If you have the budget for it try Eve Lom Cleanser - http://uk.spacenk.com/cleanser/MUK154050009.html - This is a delectable cleansing balm that melts away make-up and impurities while loading your skin with essential oils and cocoa butter. It gently exfoliates to create a  buttery soft, smooth, glowing complexion. Alternatively try any creamy cleanser but avoid foaming ones that strip essential moisture from the skin. Sanctuary Spa Fresh Faced Purifying Face Wash - http://www.sanctuary.com/en-gb/fresh-faced-purifying-wash/ - may be a lather and rinse formula but it's loaded with Vitamin E and glycerin to maintain a healthy moisture balance and is great for oilier skins or those prone to breakouts. I personally use this product a few times a week to keep blackheads at bay! Try using a warm, damp face cloth to gently remove your cleanser rather than rinsing. This adds an extra exfoliating step and stops the skin from drying out. Whilst the skin is still slightly damp you can either jump straight to moisturiser or, and I would recommend this from experience, apply a moisturising toner. Toner helps seal in all that goodness from your cleanser and a moisturising one provides the perfect base on which to apply your moisturiser. Layering products like this also makes the skin plump which actually makes your make-up look better.  Biotherm Biosource Toner for Dry Skin - http://www.biotherm.co.uk/women-care/face/by-concern/dry-skin/cleansing-and-soothing/biosource-toner-dry-skin-001763-3.aspx - is a softening toner that also digs deep into the skin to get rid of any lingering impurities, leaving the skin feeling smooth. I have also recently discovered Arran Aromatics Feel Good Formulas Aloe Vera Facial Cleanser and Toner - http://www.arranaromatics.com/collections/feel-good-formulas/aloe-vera-cleanser-and-toner/ - This can be used alone to remove make-up or refresh the skin but is also a great second cleansing step to provide moisture and the healing properties of aloe vera leave the skin feeling fresh, clean and clear. It smells incredible too, I love using this in the morning to wake me up! So now your skin is clean and primed and ready to moisturise. Again invest in the best quality you can afford, and don't use it sparingly. The more you use and the more you massage it in the better your skin will look. An SPF free formula is essential for brides. For ultimate luxury go for Dior Hydra Life Pro-Youth Sorbet Creme - http://www.feelunique.com/p/DIOR-HYDRA-LIFE-Pro-Youth-Sorbet-Creme-50ml - This is a deliciously soft, light cream that glides on and melts away to water leaving the skin hydrated, incredibly even toned and velvety to the touch. Even dryer skin will benefit from this intense hydrating formula that is ideal if you're planning to put foundation over the top. Nivea Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Plus Energising Day Cream  - http://shop.nivea.co.uk/skincare/face-care/q10-anti-wrinkle-energy-day-cream-50ml.html - is a rich, softening moisturiser that adds a healthy glow. Really work this one into the skin to plump and prep for your foundation. Foundation is not for everyone, but for a completely flawless, even complexion it's a must for brides. There are some amazing ones out there and the more money you spend, the better the results. Only premium brands will do here and my ultimate Bridal Saviour product (without a doubt) is the fabulous Dior Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation - http://www.feelunique.com/p/DIOR-DIORSKIN-AIRFLASH-Spray-Foundation-70ml - This is by far the best foundation I have ever used. It's 100% SPF free and it's so simple to use. Use a band to cover your hair and protect your clothes with a towel, shake the can for about 30 seconds (this aids even distribution), hold it at arms length away from your face and fairly quickly spray in a 'Z' shape across your face starting at your forehead. Lightly touch up the jawline on both sides if necessary. Now the most important step - completely leave it for a few seconds. Do not touch it. This foundation is made of millions of tiny little beads of liquid that, once sprayed onto the skin, begin to plump up and fill out creating a perfectly smooth and flawless finish. Now you can start to blend with a soft foundation brush for light coverage, or a stiff-bristled one for fuller coverage. Work it into the jawline, nose and forehead avoiding the area just under your eyes (you want to keep this as light as possible.) You can spray the foundation directly onto a brush for application if you prefer, but the finish from spraying directly onto skin is so professional, and so easy to achieve! Try to keep your fingers away as much as you can as the heat from them will disturb the plumping process. I find that I don't need to touch up with any powder after using this product, but if you're a matte fan then go ahead with a translucent powder in the t-zone area. The other foundations that I've found provide a beautiful finish are Yves Saint Laurent Le Teinte Touche Eclat Foundation - http://www.feelunique.com/p/Yves-Saint-Laurent-Le-Teint-Touche-Eclat-Foundation-30ml - and Estee Lauder Invisible Fluid Makeup - http://www.esteelauder.co.uk/product/643/20670/Product-Catalog/Makeup/Face/Foundations/Invisible/Fluid-Makeup/index.tmpl - Both of these foundations provide a flawless finish whilst adding radiance, both with a totally weightless feel.

Wow, do you need a moment to take all of that in? The other product that I bought yesterday (which is nice and easy, don't worry!) is By Terry Baume de Rose 100th Anniversary Gift Set which includes a limited edition lipgloss. This legendary balm is a bride's best friend for her big day - a subtle wash of delicate pink for the lips, a handy go-to for strays and flyaways (even unruly brows!) or a quick cuticle touch up for glowing hands - very important for the ceremony and showing off your new bling. The classic rose scent will soothe your sense and most likely entice your hubby-to-be, no kissing til you've said I Do!

That's all for now, I'll leave you with today's beauty run-down: Arran Aromatics Aloe Vera Facial Cleanser and Toner followed by Estee Lauder Daywear. Eve Lom Radiance Lift Foundation, Dior Diorskin Nude Skin Perfecting Hydrating Concealer, Guerlain Meteorites Pearls, Chanel Le Blush Creme de Chanel, Laura Mercier Illuminating Eye Colour, Yves Saint Laurent Volume Effect Faux Cils Babydoll Mascara, By Terry Baume de Rose. Fragrance: Taylor by Taylor Swift.