March | Beauty Favourites

March | Beauty Favourites

It's quite insane to think that we are already 1/4 of the way through this year already, it doesnt seem like 5 minutes since New Year. However, i must say that I'm very glad that Spring is finally here as it's one of my favourite seasons. Throughout March, I've discovered and rediscovered some absolute gems and I've found myself sticking to the same products for most of the month.

Mini Boots Haul Feat. Maybelline, L'Oreal and Rimmel

Mini Boots Haul Feat. Maybelline, L'Oreal and Rimmel

It's been a heck of a long time since i did a haul post, I've been trying hard not to splurge on products as often as i once was because i own more than enough to be able to justify constantly buying news products. However, Boots have their 3 for 2 offer on at the moment and I've had a gift card for Boots burning a hole in my purse for about 4 months so i decided to treat myself to a couple new products.

Review | INIKA Face in a Box Starter Kit: Nuture

INIKA Face in a Box Starter Kit: Nuture

INIKA Face in a Box Starter Kit: Nuture

Mineral Make Up is something I've never really ventured in to, it's definitely something I've been curious to try but i didn't really know which brand i should start off with and I'm generally a little sceptical about how a loose powder can compare to the coverage of my trusty liquid foundations. Finally able to ease my curiosity, I've spent the past few weeks testing out the INIKA Face In a Box: Nuture* - the perfect starter kit for novices like myself who don't really know where to start with mineral make up. You might want to get a drink as this is going to be a bit of a long one.

Current Go To Red Lip | Maybelline Colour Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencil in Red Essential

Maybelline Colour Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencil Red Essential

Red lip products are definitely one of my biggest vices when it comes to make up, despite owning more than enough i can never seem to resist getting one more. I have the perfect excuse for this one though, it was a Christmas present and i didn't actually choose the shade - i mentioned to my sister i was interested in trying the Maybelline Colour Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencil and told her the two shades i was interested in most and this turned up under the Christmas tree, what can i say she knows me well

My Mac Eyeshadow Quad

Mac Eyeshadow Quad: Naked Lunch, Patina, Satin Taupe and Mystery

Mac Eyeshadow Quad: Naked Lunch, Patina, Satin Taupe and Mystery
Mac Eyeshadow Quad: Naked Lunch, Patina, Satin Taupe and Mystery
Naked Lunch, Patina, Satin Taupe and Mystery
I've had an empty Mac quad for almost a year, i won it in a lovely giveaway along with the shade Satin Taupe. I've been wanting to create my own perfect little palette that would have any shade i needed to create the perfect eye look whether it be neutral or bold.

I can't tell you how long i agonised over what colours to include in my mac quad; i wanted three colours to compliment Satin Taupe and it took me a heck of a long time to make my decision, i spent a lot of time researching shades and swatches to try and figure out which i liked the most and which would be best. It was not an easy decision and one of the shades i ended up purchasing on a it of a whim but i feel like it paid off - i can not tell you how exciting it was putting all the shades together into the palette. My palette consists of the shades Naked Lunch, Patina, Satin Taupe and Mystery.

Naked Lunch is a shade I've coveted for a heck of a long time. Naked Lunch is a light champagne colour, it's a very versatile shade that can be used as a wash of colour over the lid, as a high light or used as a base colour to compliment other shades too - it's one of those shades that goes with everything and it has a frost finish too so it has a slight shimmer to it.

Patina is the shade i never knew i needed but now i don't think i could ever be without. It's a light taupe shade with a gold shimmer and in some lights i also think it as a slight green tone to it. It's a really gorgeous eyeshadow and like Naked Lunch i love wearing this all over the lid alone as well as pairing it with other shades too. This is also a frost finish.

Satin Taupe is an eyeshadow i absolutely love and have owned for ages. It's a taupe shade with a silver shimmer running through it and it is absolutely gorgeous. I love wearing this as a crease colour, it's so pretty and it compliments lighter colours really well to create a lovely subtle smokey eye.

Mystery is the one eyeshadow that i bought on a bit of a whim. I wanted a darker shade to compliment the rest of the shades in the palette but i wanted a shade that i could work with that wouldn't be too dark so i settle on Mystery. It's a cool muted brown eyeshadow with a slight plummy tone to it and its the perfect shade to go in the crease or outer corner to really define the eye look. It's a satin finish which means it has very subtle sheen or demi-matte appearance - in the pan it does looks like it's a matte shade.

Mac have an enormous range of shades and finishes so you can't really go wrong for choice and they are such good quality too - they last well, blend together well and are so pigmented. They aren't cheap - the single eyeshadow are £13 each and the pan eyeshadows are £10 each which is part of the reason it took me so long to decide which to get because i wanted eyeshadow I'm going to make use of.

I'm really happy with the choices I've made and i absolutely love the quad I've made. I think i choose well with the shades as they work well together and there are so many different looks you can create with it ranging from natural day looks to bold sultry eyes. The palette itself is really great, it's a handy compact size so it won't take up a lot of room and will be perfect to take on holiday or travelling. I also love that i can take the eyeshadows out easily and swap them with different colours if i wanted too.

At some point in the future I'd love to get one of the bigger palettes so i have a whole range of shades - not that i need anymore but I'd love to know what your favourite Mac Eyeshadow shades are?
Natalie xx
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Review | Max Factor Masterpiece Glamour Extensions 3 in 1 Volumising Mascara

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Max Factor is quite quickly becoming one of my favourite high street brands; they've released some absolutely amazing products lately - I'm currently in love with their Creme Puff Blushes (review here). One of the products that Max Factor seem to excel at is their mascara and whilst i didn't think they could beat the Max Factor Excess Volume their latest mascara the Max Factor Masterpiece Glamour Extensions 3 In 1 Volumising Mascara* definitely comes close.

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I've been trying out a lot of different mascaras lately but this one has become my go to for nights out as it's one of the best mascaras I've tried; it gives really thick and long looking lashes, a friend of mine actually thought i was wearing false lashes. (The photo doesn't do the lashes justice) The mascara applicator has been created to ensure tight contact between the wand and lashes, the formula is combined with 'lash extending fibres and the mascara has also been designed so that the wand is evenly and heavily coated in the formula to ensure a transformation with every stroke.

When it comes to mascara i don't like heavy application and i usually only tend to apply a couple of coats because i hate clumpy lashes and even with very few coats on the lashes you still get amazing results. As well as extending and adding length to the lashes, it really separates them leaving you with really thick and full lashes. It lasts all night without smudging, transferring or flaking.

The design of this mascara and the wand are both very similar to their previous mascara release the Max Factor Masterpiece Transform Mascara (review here) I think the packaging at least should be different so it's easier to distinguish but that has no reflection on the quality of the product and despite how similar it looks to the other it's quite impressive how different the results are that you get.

The mascara retails for £10.99 (available here) which is quite pricey for a high street offering but i genuinely believe that you are paying for excellent quality when it comes to this mascara and you really do get the results it promises. I'm seriously impressed and i honestly think Max Factor are on fire with their releases at the moment.

What's mascara are you loving at the moment?
Natalie xx
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*This item was either gifted to me or sent for review.

Currently Loving | Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in Seductive Pink

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I seem to be discovering some absolute gems lately and the Max Factor Creme Puff Blush* is no exception. Have you ever tried one of those products that you just can't get enough of? That you get so excited to use and you just want to tell everyone about it - that pretty much sums up my feelings about this blush.

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The blush has a finely milled, baked formula with multi-tonal pigments; it's designed to gave a soft and lightweight feel, whilst the tones compliment and enhance the skin with a buildable natural colour. The blush itself is really pretty and aesthetically pleasing; it's packaged really compactly so it takes up barely any room and the multi-tonal swirled pattern is stunning, they remind me a lot of the Mac Mineralise products - I've not tried those so i can't compare them but visually they look very similar.

Their are six shades available and each one is more suited to a skin tone; i opted for Seductive Pink which is a mid tone rosy pink which is suitable for most skin tones. I'm really glad i opted for this shade as it's so beautiful. The multi tones in the blush adds radiance to the skin and liven up the complexion without being too obvious, it's really nice and so natural looking too.

If you are someone who likes a really heavy blush these won't be for you, but if you are like me and love a natural flush of colour to these cheeks then you need to get your hands on one of these. They are not heavily pigmented, they are really light but you can build them up so easily. I love that i can apply this really quickly and roughly to the face without worrying that I've applied too much.

They retail for £8.99 and are available to buy here. I'm seriously impressed with these blushes and i have my eye on so many of the other colours as they are just beautiful and i love the natural finish that they give, it's so subtle and it adds such a lovely radiance to the skin and i honestly urge you to go and check them out.

What product are you currently loving?
Natalie xx
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*This item was either gifted to me or sent for review.

Maybelline Vs Benefit | Gel Liner Pens

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Eyeliner is one of those products that i very rarely go without so the release of gel liner pens made me really rather excited as it seemed like I'd be able to get the same results you do with gel liners but the application would be much easier, at least for me. For today's post, i thought it might be interesting to compare and share my thoughts on two different gel liner pens; Benefit They're Real Push Up Liner and Maybelline Lasting Drama Black Shock Gel Liner.

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Benefit They're Real Push Up Liner is the more expensive of the two retailing at £18.50, so at that price i personally expect the best results but it definitely has some a few flaws. It has a custom Accuflex tip that's supposed 'hugs your lashline' to get that perfect smooth application. For me gel eyeliner should glide effortlessly along the eye but this drags a bit and requires some effort to get a good line, it sometimes crumbles too which can mess it all up. Once you've managed to apply the liner - it can look amazing and it does not budge at all, to the point it can be quite a pain to remove but whenever I've used this I've found that my winged liner looks amazing.

Maybelline Lasting Drama Black Shock Gel Liner is the on the opposite end of the spectrum and is much more affordable at £8.99 - it has a similar angled applicator to the Benefit one but i actually found the Maybelline liner glides really smoothly along the eye, it applies exactly the way i'd expect a gel liner pen to apply - very smooth and with ease, it also doesn't crumble. However, don't be fooled this liner is also flawed, i found that after the application it can be a little smudgy and if you blink whilst waiting for it to dry sometimes it results in the liner transferring onto the lid and near the crease which is not a good look. It's fine once it's dried but it's not good  if you are someone who is in a rush because you will end up with it all over the place.

Usually with a comparison type post there is a clear preference at which is better but in this instance each liner as a quality that the other should have. Benefit is awful to apply but stays and doesn't smudge whereas Maybelline glides perfectly but is a little smudgy - if you combined these products together you would probably have the perfect gel liner pen but both products are equally good and equally flawed.

I feel like this post is insanely rambly but if I'm being completely honest, I'd probably say if you wanted to try one I'd save your money and opt for the cheaper alternative just watch the smudging.

Which do you prefer? I'd love to know your thoughts?

Natalie xx
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Recently Read #4

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It's taken me quite a while to get through these books but I'm also quite proud I've managed to get through some of the ones on my reading list (See here) as I've not had much time and it's normally around this time of year that i fall into a bit of a reading slump and don't get through many books. Feel free to follow me on Goodreads if you'd like to follow my progress or see what I'm currently reading.

Thirteen Weddings by Paige Toon
Last year, Bronte left Sydney for a wedding in England, where she met newly single Alex. After a night of passion they parted ways, and Bronte returned to Australia. Now working on a picture desk for a magazine in London, Bronte is about to meet her new colleague, who turns out to be all too familiar. Although awkward at first, as Alex is now engaged to the girl he was on a break from when they met, they soon become friends. But as the two get closer, and the wedding day looms, it is clear that Alex and Bronte have unfinished business

I really enjoyed this book; it had me gripped and it was one of those books that i hated having to put down. It's quite a typical romance chick lit type of book but it had me hooked and i couldn't not put it down for wanting to know how it ended - granted, i was a little disappointed in the ended but it was still well worth a read. It's the first book I've read by Paige Toon and i thoroughly enjoyed her writing style.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Cath is a Simon Snow fan. But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids, Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone. Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

I had quite high expectations of this book after seeing so many good ratings on good reads but I'm a little torn about it. I loved the storyline and seeing how Cath coped without depending on Wren so much but i hated the fan fiction that was featured a lot - i didn't mind the fan fiction element of the book but i didn't want to have to read that as i didn't enjoy the Simon Snow snippets and ended up skipping them sometimes. Other than that i did really enjoy it - the whole Levi situation was a quite predictable but i enjoyed it all the same.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephenie Perkins
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend. But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

This book is incredible cheesy but i enjoyed it so much that i was actually gutted when i finished it. The story is predictable and you can see whats going to happen a mile off but despite that i still found it seriously difficult to put it down. I can't wait to get my hands onto the others in the series.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail but they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives. Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job - reading other people's e-mail. When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories. By the time Lincoln realises he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself. What would he say . . . ?

I was quite disappointed in this book to be honest, i found that the story was quite slow and it took me ages to read because it just didn't captivate my attention - it was too slow paced and the ended was so rushed.

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg and Siobhan Curham
Penny has a secret. Under the alias GirlOnline, she blogs about school dramas, boys, her mad, whirlwind family - and the panic attacks she's suffered from lately. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets the gorgeous, guitar-strumming Noah. Suddenly Penny is falling in love - and capturing every moment of it on her blog. But Noah has a secret too. One that threatens to ruin Penny's cover - and her closest friendship - forever.

The writing style of this book was a bit childish and sometimes patronising but I did enjoy the story of this book, id be lying if i said i didn't. It was cute and innocent and such an easy book to read.

Let me know if you have any book recommendations, especially romance/chick lit type books!
Natalie xx
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