NYX Shine Killer Face Primer

NYX Shine Killer. Quite a dramatic name isn't it? But then again who wants shine at the wrong places eh so might as well 'kill' it! At least the name is better compared to some of Rodial's ridiculously named products. Yes I am talking to you 'Size Zero' and 'Boob Job'!

What is it? In a nutshell it's meant to be used as a primer just after your skincare routine and prior to applying foundation. It provides a smooth, almost silicone like matte blanket for your foundation to glide on, while this happily absorbs excess shine in certain areas like the t-zone, cheeks and forehead.

You can use it alone as well if you're not a huge make-up wearer and are blessed with good skin to bare it on its own to be honest. If you get shiny mid day and hate wearing powder, grab a tissue and blot shine first and then apply this directly to the skin for a gorgeous matte finish. Please don't apply it everywhere ladies! Shine looks good on the cheekbones and above the jawline so keep that as it is.

My favourite way of using this. Over make-up of course! It just shows how beautifully formulated the product is to be able to apply on top of make-up without disturbing it at all. So for instance, I'd apply a dewy foundation as I usually do and find the t-zone and apple of the cheeks look a little too oily for my liking. I squirt out a little bit of this and pop it on certain areas and voila! Matte where I want it, dewy where I like it. It makes foundation almost tailor made for my skin.

I have to say however, it adds a superficial shine you see. So if your foundation hasn't been blotted by a tissue to absorb excess oils, this will just add a matte finish and not absorb all the oils underneath.

Above, I put Weleda Skin Food which is a super rich, hydrating cream on the back of my hand to demonstrate how the Shine Killer works. I wasn't expecting it to make a thick, lush cream matte but it did. I could still feel the Weleda Skin Food move on the my skin but the overall finish looked matte.

Now that the heatwave isn't planning to leave us any time soon, I am going to make full use of the product before and after make-up. I can't stand powders in this season so this will be my new hand bag staple. For £12.50, it deserves a try.


Beautecobox July

I am not sure why this isn't talked about as much as the Birchboxes and Glossyboxes, because all my Beautecoboxes till date have been substantial, with more full sized products than any other beauty box and most importantly, an impeccable selection of products. I like how they don't focus necessarily on 'big' brands and rather introduce customers to slight more niche, less talked about yet brilliant brands.

I love Neal & Wolf haircare. I remember having a leave in conditioner from their range a few years back and absolutely loving it to death. They are high-end in their feel and packaging but I am sure their pricing is mid range. My gibberish blabbering aside, I am trying to say that I absolutely love these two full sized products in the box which I am sure are worth much more than the price of the entire box itself.

One of them is a volumising lotion. Poufy hair is always welcome in my tresses!

The other one is an Intensive shower treatment which I plan to use as a hair mask once a week.

We also have two Art Deco products in the box. Now Art Deco, I am really confused as a brand. I am not sure where they originate from and where I can buy them but I have indeed tried their products in the past and they are not bad at all. I feel the ones in this box are much better than what I've tried. Especially the Eye Shadow Base is gorgeous! It's a bit like MAC's paintpots where it adds a hint of champagne tinge to the lids and also acts as a primer for the lids. Brilliant! 

The Pukka Radiance Serum I have tried in another beauty box and loved so it was great to see it making a reappearance here again.

On the whole, I quite like this month's Beautecobox. Subscribe if you haven't already!

DHC Q10 Base Makeup Foundation (For Dry-Normal Skin)

If you are someone with olive, golden or yellow undertones, have dry skin or perhaps dehydration around the nose and cheeks then you're in luck as I have found a great Foundation for you! If you think about it, most high street brands will only cater for 'oily' or 'acne prone' skin and simply ignore flaky, chapped skin girls as if that's not even a problem. I sometimes suffer from phases where my skin needs extra hydration via a Foundation so I was actually quite excited that this one's catered just for that. Also, if you're one of those who cringe and shudder looking at the fleet of pinky-grey shades on the highstreet, you need to track this down on the DHC website.

The Q10 Base Makeup by DHC comes beautifully packaged in a purpley, pink bottle which looks absolutely pretty on the vanity. If you are unaware, DHC is a Japanese brand originally specialising in skincare I believe with their cult favourite being a cleansing oil which I actually have had in my collection since a while now.

The foundation comes with a in-built pump which although should be a staple in all foundations is in actual fact still a rarity, so kudos to the brand for catering towards our convenience. Having said that, because the Foundation's texture is quite runny, think Jemma Kidd's Light As Air, it would have been better suited in a tube. Just saying, not complaining.

Besides being marketed for dry-dehydrated-normal skin, it also contains some anti-ageing goodness. How does it perform then? In my experience with it, it glides onto the skin beautifully and can be spread with fingers or brush. It doesn't leave any streaks and leaves a gorgeous dewy finish on the skin. I felt I could feel it sitting on my skin a little but then again I feel that with most foundations so it could be just me.

The coverage is light-medium. It's not buildable as it's meant to be sheer, light reflecting, moisturising and anti-ageing. The dewiness does help blur fine lines and imperfections. I could still see through some blemish marks and pigmentation so a concealer would follow but for those of you with relatively good skin, who just need decent coverage to cover redness on a daily basis, this would be your best bet. It has decent longevity, around 6 hours or so after which it might need powdering. Also, I wear this with a primer underneath to avoid it from moving as I do have combination skin.

What I LOVE about this however is their shade range. I believe it comes in 5 shades in total and I have the first three in my possession. 01 is a good NC25 match, 02 is a spot on NC30 match and 03 is lovely warm NC35. All shades have a golden undertone to them which makes me want to do a little happy dance.

If I had to compare it to certain foundations, I feel it is somewhere in the line of YSL's Touche Eclat Foundation, Urban Decay Naked Skin and MAC Face & Body. Oily skin ladies, I am sorry but this ain't for you. A nice one to switch up to for the Summer when you need a bit of moisture and light coverage.


Noble Isle Luxury Bath & Body

I love discovering luxury bath & body brands especially if they are British! There’s something about British luxury skincare brands that makes them so appealing, regal and opulent. Maybe because one always associates baths with the Brits and showers with well…the rest of the world! 

One such new British brand which I recently came across is called Noble Isle and I instantly fell in love with their strong British ethos which they consistently maintain across their product scents, naturally extracted ingredients, hand sketched logo featuring a typically British bath tub, embossed bottle and old whiskey keg shaped bottles. It’s adorable how they take inspiration from all isles of Britain and use ingredients that are home grown in the country itself such as Malted Barley, Perry Pear, Water Lily, Elderflower, Oak and so on.

From crisp, sophisticated outer packaging to frosted glass bottles and carefully selected decadent colours, Noble Isle products would make such effortless presents for occasions. Especially their Candles and Reed Diffusers I would indulge in purely for how beautifully crafted their packaging is. One of the Reed Diffusers is named ‘Whisky & Water’. I imagine it to be quite warm and woody with a hint of sweetness shot through it. If you find it difficult to select presents for men, this I believe would be totally up their street! The name is difficult to ignore and surely an unusual one when it comes to Reed Diffusers.

Along with making sure the products look stunning in your home, Noble Isle have made sure they are well blended concoctions to give a lasting sensory experience that can bring back memories when sniffed again or visiting the rooms they have been used it previously. I am so used to using luxury bath and body products with perfume like scents now that I just cannot do with products that don’t perform much in the scented body care category. My bathroom forever smells of gorgeously revitalising body scrubs and my living room of warm yet sweet scents, pure aromatic bliss!

The overall gist of the brand to me seems clean, indulgent, modern yet elegant. The products claim to be gentle on the skin, without stripping it off its moisture that low end alternatives can sometimes do, making this great for dry skin gals. If you are British, the scents of these luxury bath products are likely to remind you of childhood memories perhaps so for a trip down the memory lane, give the range a try. At the end of the day, any bath and body product can give you a good old wash and scrub but a scent is what will trigger a memory and help distinguish it from the rest of the herd and Noble Isle do a darn good job at that. 

So tell me, do you have a penchant for luxury bath products that smell scrumptious? If so, do you invest in the entire range of a particular scent (I am guilty!) or like to create a  bouquet of scents lingering in your home?


NYX Matte Lipstick Shocking Pink Rose Intense

It's my absolute favourite colour of the week. I have already decided to pop it into my make-up bag for a holiday as it would look absolutely amazing with floaty maxis or an otherwise muted face. It's effortlessly chic as you really can just slap on foundation and this lippy and be ready for the day. You won't look pale or lifeless in pictures as this will make sure to add a pop of colour.

NYX Matte Lipsticks come in an impressive range of 22 shades that retail for a mere £6 each. I cannot get over how reasonably priced they are. The colours available are super fun and this particular one namely 'Shocking Pink' is the most blue toned lipstick I own in my collection. It's got so much blue in it that it's almost purple at one point but still very, very wearable.

I usually shy away from such shades but I am not sure why this colour draws me so much towards it. I know they have a matte finish but can I just say that they are the least drying matte lipsticks I have ever tried. Yes a dot of lip balm underneath or a minuscule amount of gloss dabbed on top will make it's wear more comfortable for those with chapped lips, but nonetheless it's not drying at all if not moisturising.

You can see the pigmentation above on my hand. I am wearing it sheered out on my lips so I wouldn't take that as a measure for its pigmentation. It lasts for ages and once on is pretty much transfer resistant. I always loved NYX blushes and now have a penchant for their matte lipsticks.

Anyone remember NYX Thalia back in the days? How popular and always 'out of stock' was it eh! I know I used up mine in weeks.



L'Oreal Color Riche Neon Pop Nail Polishes

With neons being so in for accessories, clothes and shoes these days, L'Oreal have joined the neon brigade by introducing a selection of 5 Color Riche Neon Pop Nail Polishes. They are 5ml mini bottles and retail for £4.99 each. I love the sleek packaging and the dinky size means they are perfect to take away on a holiday. The colour selection is varied as well so there's something for everyone. 

I like how they apply so opaque and don't really need another quote unless you're striving for perfection here. Besides the pink one, all of them are equally well pigmented. The pink one's not bad it just needs two quotes to look opaque. I like how they dry quickly and do not need a top coat to last long. They also have a lovely glossy finish to them albeit not overtly glossy. I think a demi matte finish works well for neons. The gloss like finish in fact would just take away attention from the pop of colour. 

Coming to my favourite one from them all, Wasabi Hint. What a name and what a colour. It's the most stunning green I've seen in years. It's almost like a pistachio shade minus any milkiness that would usually accompany it. It's one of the shades you'd see in Dulux paints and wish a brand created a nail varnish out of it. Well, here we have it! 
The pink one here is called Acid Watermelon. Again a stunning name. Not so stunning colour as it's been done before and neither is the pigmentation to die for. None the less, quite a refreshing pink if you want something bright yet not intimidating. It's got a nice neutral undertone to it hence would flatter a lot of skintones in my opinion. Try out the testers in store!
Banana Pop is one of my favourite shades too. I just wish it was more neon as it's actually quite a literal primary yellow colour. Having said that, it's neutralness makes it easier to wear. It is a bright yellow so if you're looking for something eye catching and bold, this would be it. One of the most opaque shades from the range, it would look great for a festival or at the beach.
Snow in Megeve is hands down the best white nail paint from my collection. It's quite a true, paper white. No hint of yellow or beige in it at all. Quite a cool toned, blue white hence is easier to sport. I have been loving clean white nails this Summer and they are a huge trend too so if you're looking to replicate the chic yet subtle trend, this is what you need in your life. It's super opaque which is usually rare with whites and works well with French manicures too.
Get them now!


Five Great Summer Hair Looks

Summer is that great time where you can deconstruct your style a little bit, put less effort into your look and still look fabulous. Our skin glistens, our hair shines and even a simple summer dress can look chic.

It's a no-brainer that when it's this hot out you don't want to wear a lot or make a major effort. Luckily some of summer's hottest looks this year are super easy to throw on and work like crop tops, bold stripes and mix-matched patterns. Nothing says easy like not having to pay attention to your prints when making an outfit! With that said, I'm sure you've gotten the fashion down, but what about the hair? What have you been doing this season? The standard messy pony held back with a million bobby pins?

Com'on, we can do better than that. I've broken out the top 5 hair styles for this summer. Fortunately, they are all easy to execute

Low Buns:
Remember how the top knot dominated last season. Everyone was seen wearing it and while it looked fancy and maybe even a little difficult to pull off, it was extremely simple to do as long as you had a sock or a hair donut. Fortunately the look is still in, you just need to adjust the height of your top knot and officially make it a low one. Bring your top knot down to the nap of your nape and follow the same steps as you would to make a top knot. Simple, easy and clean and best of all, it still keeps your hair off your neck.

Deconstructed Buns:
So these are kind of in stark contrast to the top/low knot style bun, which is typically made to look perfectly sleek. For this one, you want your bun to look messy, you can do this by a few ways. You can put your hair in a ponytail (anywhere you want on your head). Then start taking twisting pieces of the ponytail and bobby pinning them near the ponytail elastic. Pin them in a messy fashion, on top of each other, next to one another. etc. It should result in a very messy, yet beautiful look. You can also make a bun the usual way by not pulling your hair all the way through to be a pony tail. Then pull out pieces and begin wrapping them around the bun and securing them.

Major Side Bangs:
It's time to grow out those Michelle Obama inspired bangs you got and turn them into major side bangs. If you don't already have bangs or aren't willing to cut them, you can easily fake it. Start by making an imaginary line from one eyebrow up to your hair line. Make a deep part right at that point. Comb over all of the hair on the other side of your part and sweep it across your head. Position it so it makes you look like you have side swept bangs. Then secure it tightly with a bobby pin or two and spray with a little bit of hair spray. Don't go over board, otherwise it will look a little piecey. Finish it in a braid, a pony tail or bun.

Beach Waves:
Beachy waves are the ultimate sexy look in the summer even if you don't live anywhere near a beach. This look is the easiest of the bunch to do, too. All you will need is some sea salt spray and wet hair. Wash your hair as you normally would. Then ring it out in a towel and allow it to air dry for roughly 30 minutes. Once its no longer damp, take a comb or brush and brush out the top of your head down to your ears. Spray the rest with sea salt spray and begin scrunching your hair. Consider using a defuser on your hair dryer if your hair doesn't hold product or curls well. If it does, just allow it to air dry. From there, you can touch it up with the spray throughout the day.

Messy Braid:
Braids are so convenient during the summer. They help keep your hair back when you're out running around. They're perfect for wearing to the beach and they're incredibly quick to do.  This season is all about the messy braid, which is great for those of you who are still learning how to do it because you don't want it to be perfect. You can do the messy braid in any style you want, like a fishtail, waterfall or even french. Use it in side bangs or upside down on the back of your head. Just make it messy however you do it. That means making pieces looser than others, having your layers poke out a little bit and having lots of face framing strands left out.

These five looks are super easy and will help protect your hair from excessive wind and sun damage. However, once summer has ended be sure to do a hair mask to help revitalize and moisturize your hair and get a fresh hair cut to go into fall looking fresh. Without the horrible heat of summer, you can use this time to really get innovative, such as getting some Rush hair extensions, dyeing it a new color or even getting a pixie cut.

Let me know your favourite summer looks below and how you plan to change it up this fall!

*Featured post

TeeIsland Online Fashion Retailer: Uber Cool Beanies & Tank Tops!

Here we are again with yet another online fashion retailer that’s caught my eye this time around. The online fashion outlet is again quite modern, young and on-trend and I quite like the selection of tank tops, t-shirts and beanies they have in particular. Unlike H&M, River Island , New Look and Top Shop, this one doesn't copy the rest like sheep but instead has uber cool picks that’s hard to find on the high street.

I cannot stand wearing clothes that I see tonnes of people wearing just because they are apparently ‘popular’. I'd rather prefer something fresh and different form an online fashion retailer as such to keep the variety going on in my wardrobe and leave people inquisitive of where I shop from. Isn't it just annoying when people correctly know the name of the store of the t-shirt you’re wearing? Where’s the mystery gone! I am sorry if my posts look all geared towards a holiday but I will be leaving for short vacation to Italy soon and I cannot help but pick outfits for it.

Here’s another one which would be just perfect for the warm sunny skies that will greet me there in August. So how fun would this Nothing Feels As Good As Skinny Feels tank top look paired with a maroon Wasted Backpack and this unbelievably awesome Bad Hair Day Beanie. Tanks tops are great to layer with t-shirts and still manage to feel airy. I feel beanies are not restricted to winter and can be exploited in any season. Don’t get me started on how trendy ruck sacks are this season. I am a girly-girl at heart but the amazing selection of back packs these days, wants me to me pull them off with a dainty dress.

For a casual lazy weekend or even a day out in the park when I don’t want to dress up, wouldn't these t-shirts be effortless to throw on black jeans with some loafers perhaps. I like how roomy they are as the heat these days even in London is unbearable and the last thing I’d want is to have my clothes clinging to sweat. NOT a glam look at all peeps. Stick to roomy tees and let your skin breathe. I like to opt for graphic prints or just plain old worded t-shirts with something cheeky written on them.

My favourite picks from teeisland are the 90’s baggy t-shirt just because I was a 90’s kid and LOVED the era. The last clean t-shirt is just something funny without trying too hard and with a messy wardrobe which is half of the time in the laundry basket like mine, I think it suits me just perfectly. You just cannot say no to this Shopping is my cardio t-shirt. I know a few people who own it and have been wanting it from ages! With clean eating and workout lagging behind these days, I think I will have to resort to the t-shirts mantra very, very soon.

On the whole, teeisland has some fun, cheeky, humorous, vintage inspired, chilled back range of t-shirts, tank tops, beanies, sweaters and ruck sacks. If you’re bored with the run of the mill clothing from online fashion retailers, check them out for a quick (and affordable!) wardrobe revamp.


Baker Days Personalised Letterbox Cake

It was my mommy's 49th birthday yesterday and because it's Ramadan and dinner time is 9.30 pm where we hog our stomachs out for the entire day of fasting, I thought what better than a mini 5 inch cake! It would feel celebratory having a cake around and it wouldn't go waste. I absolutely love how Baker Days let you personalise your cakes, makes letterbox cakes and gives next day delivery.

The letterbox cake arrived just on time for the Birthday and was so cutely packed in a cardboard box, then a tin 'just for you' keepsake box within it which contained the gorgeously printed cake. Believe it or not, the cake was intact and did not melt even in this hot weather. Two thumbs up for that!

I have never seen such brilliant prints on cakes before so I am quite amazed at how they do it so well. I cannot begin to tell you how ecstatic my mum was to see her face printed on the cake. We were quite amused at how much she giggled and kept staring at the picture, narcissistic much? Hah.

It was actually quite funny when none of us were willing to cut her face part from the cake and she had to do it for us. If you know friends or family who don't get excited by the usual cakes, do get them a personalised one next time to keep up the excitement.

The cake itself was a sponge cake I believe and was dark brown in colour. I believe it was a carrot cake with a hint of ginger shot through it. The nicely packed icing on top ensured the cake didn't dry up. I am quite fussy with my cakes but I have to say this was one of the best I have tried till date. Not too sweet, not too dry - just perfect. I sneakily ate some of the icing too although I am meant to eat clean. Whatever! It's Ramadan and a birthday when it's legally allowed to cheat you see.

This 5 inch personalised letter box cake retails for £14.99 and seeing the response we got from the family, I am sure to order in the future. I have my eyes on their personalised cupcakes now.