Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Book Corner: Me Before You by JoJo Moyes



It's been an embarrassingly long time since I sat down and read anything which wasn't academic or because I needed to for some reason or another.

So I've been finding the time to start reading for myself again and tackling the pile of books which I've not yet read!
I thought it might be nice to share them with you too.

The first on my list to read was Me Before You, by JoJo Moyes.
I've never read anything by JoJo Moyes before so I'm not entirely sure what inclined me to pick it up all those weeks back but this is definitely one that will stay with me forever.

Something about the way that Moyes writes just had me hooked from the first few pages.
It focuses on two characters, Lou and Will and ultimately, how each of their lives changes the others.

Obviously I won't give away any spoilers for fear of ruining it for those of you who haven't read it and may want to, but somehow, this this has subtly and inexplicably changed my life.

It's a romantic story but not like one I've ever come across before.
Not your classic 'girl falls in love with guy who doesn't want her but somewhere along the line they both realise that they actually wanted each other all along' kind of affair at all.

It's funny, it's emotional and it's sad but it's more eye-opening in my opinion. Sure, the love-story is nice but it's more so about realisation and acceptance than just falling in love.

I would definitely recommend reading this, but I'd say to do so when you have a nice quiet weekend because this isn't a book which you will be able to put down and pick up again a few days later.
I found myself reading before bed, before work and while I was at work I wanted to be at home so I could keep reading because I was so immersed and actually involved with the story that I didn't want to stop.

In fact, it's so intense that by the time I'd finished it and went to pick up another book to start reading, I actually hesitated because I wasn't entirely sure if I was ready to move onto another.
I realise just how insane that sounds. I do.


Basically, this is just something that you NEED to read.
I urge you to just go and even read the first few pages and get hooked for yourself.

Thanks for reading,
Kirsten.

P.s. I got over not being able to read another book and I'm working my way through something else so look out for a new Book Corner post soon!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Max Factor Excess Shimmer | Review


I've always been a powder eyeshadow kind of gal.
Cream eyeshadow products have never been my scene if you will, but I've recently been venturing into the world of cream eye products and I think I'm hooked.

Everyone talks about the Maybelline 24 hour colour tattoo things... you know the ones. But I was intrigued when I found that the Max Factor Excess Shimmer cream shadows existed!

I picked up the shade Copper but I have to just put it out there early on that this is not a copper shade in any sense of the word. For me, that's not a problem and it IS still beautiful but I think it's maybe a bit misleading.

Nevertheless, the name really doesn't affect how much I adore this eyeshadow.



The swatch on the right is just a swipe of the product and on the right I've blended it and sheered it out just a little. 

As you can see, the shade isn't copper but more of a champagne gold tone. I do see where they may be some orange tones to it but it's more gold than copper and s the name would suggest, this is a 'shimmer' but it's definitely not glittery.
The formulation is definitely softer and more mousse like than the coveted Maybelline shadows which is great as it makes it easier to work with on the eyes. It's incredibly easy to blend not only with a brush but on those days when you just want to get out of the door as quickly as possible, it's just as easy to apply it with your fingers and blend given that it's so soft and workable. That being said, it isn't sticky which I was a little scared of when I felt how soft the product was. It dries to what feels like powder on the lids and is really comfortable to wear.
You also only need a tiny, tiny amount of product to achieve a really beautiful finish and it lasts all day, so I think this 7g pot will last me for a long time.

I've mentioned before that I work in a kitchen.
I've worn this almost every day to work since I bought it and it just doesn't crease, even in the heat of the kitchen.
No creases! At all! Hurrah!

The list of pros goes on!

I love a product which I can use in multiple ways and this definitely ticks that box.
It works great on it's own, sheered out across the lid to just add a bit of something without being too obvious; this is how I wear it most days.
You can also build the colour up and use it all over the lid and work some matte brown shades into the crease and outer corner for a shimmery, brown smokey eye. This has been my eye look of choice lately if I'm feeling a bit fancy.
Or, you can use it as a base for other shadows.
I've been loving using it as a base for my Smashbox Full Exposure palette.
It makes the colours really stand out and it's great to use under the shimmery shades to soften them a bit and help blend them with ease; something I find difficult sometimes.

These retail at £7.99 in Boots and Superdrug which I think is a really good price for the quality. I'd definitely pay more for it!
There are 6 colours in the range; I'm not too fussed about the lighter shades but there is a bronze shade and a black which I think I'm going to pick up!

Have you tried the Max Factor Excess Shimmer pots?
What's your favourite cream eyeshadow?

Thanks for reading,
Kirsten x

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

L'oreal Color Riche Exclusive Nudes | JLo and Julianne | Review



You know when you see something in a shop and you just have to have it?
I was in Boots recently with a friend with no intention of buying anything when I came across the L'oreal Exclusive Nudes collection and I was smitten.
Usually I would never buy two products from the same line at the same time in case I didn't like the formulation or the colour pay off or what not, but in this case I had to both Julianne's nude and JLo's nude because they were actually perfect. Just, perfect.

I don't know how I was so oblivious to them before because I know they're not brand new onto the market but somehow I missed them.

The idea behind the collection is that L'oreal have teamed up with a group of famous women, all of different skin tones and undertones etc to create a collection of nudes which are suited to everyone.

I'm not normally one for a nude lip but these really stood out to me and I chose Julianne's nude and JLo's nude; both quite different colours but both beautiful.

On the left; Julianne's nude
On the right; JLo's nude.

Julianne's nude, designed by Julianne Moore is suited to those with a pale complexion and is what I would describe as a peachy, pink mauve shade.
It is a really beautiful shade and definitely the kind of pink that I tend to sway towards... something that's suitable for everyday and isn't too obvious.

JLo's nude, designed obviously by Jennifer Lopez (but I've also seen this called Cheryl's nude too?) is much more of a classic nude in my opinion. It is a more browny nude but there are definite pink tones within it too which makes it very soft and easy to wear, especially on a paler skin like mine as often I can find very brown based nudes too dark and sometimes harsh against my complexion.
Although mine and JLo's skintones are worlds apart, I actually prefer this on my skin to Julianne's which is surprising.


The formulation of these is beautiful. They are buttery and smooth and glide onto the lips with ease.
The pigmentation is great, too. The swatches above are only one swipe which, for nude shades is a lot of colour payoff.
I find that they last about 3 or 4 hours on my lips before they start to wear off. I wore JLo's nude out for a meal and drinks on my 21st birthday and I didn't need to touch it up all evening so it passes that test!
Even when the colour has started to wear off though, the buttery softness is still there and still feels as though it's giving the lips moisture if not any colour which is still a plus for me!

I think the matte black packaging is sleek and the gold signatures make each one unique.
These retail at £6.99 and there are 6 shades in the collection altogether, each catering for different skintones and needs which I think is a great concept. It makes it a lot easier to choose which is best for you given the information on who designed each one!

I would definitely recommend taking a look at the Exclusive Nudes collection if you're looking for a nude lipstick as you're guaranteed to find one to suit you.

Have you tried any of the shades from this collection?
Which one do you think is your perfect shade?

Thanks for reading,
Kirsten.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

YSL Shocking Mascara | Review


I've said many times before here on my blog that I have incredibly light, straight lashes which can test even the best mascaras.
I have found a few which win the battle against them but nothing has ever really stood out to me as being something which I could claim to be a staple in my make up collection.
That is, until I tried the Yves Saint Laurent 'Shocking' mascara.

This has done the rounds in the beauty community; on Youtube and on blogs but I'd avoided picking it up because it retails at £25 which for me was just far too much to justify spending on a mascara.
But I obviously caved and picked it up in Boots a few months back... it pained me but I don't regret it in the slightest.

Given that it is a mascara from YSL, one would expect the packaging to be beautiful and it definitely delivers.
 A stunning gold, mirrored tube with striking black font and the YSL logo looks and feels every bit as luxurious as you could hope for and it definitely stands out as something special in my make-up bag.


At first sight, the wand isn't anything to write home about but on closer inspection it's actually quite unique.
It's a fibre wand which I tend to prefer to plastic wands although I'm not all that picky.
But the bristles actually seem to point in all directions which can look a bit messy but it actually makes it very easy to catch every lash with wand and coat them all in product.
It seems to pick up a lot of product which actually did worry me a bit at first; not what I'd expected from a £25 product. However, somehow the product just seems to settle into the centre of the wand and is then evenly distributed throughout the lashes which is brilliant.
 The formulation of the mascara itself is definitely on the thicker, more dry side which is perfect as I find that thin, wet mascaras don't offer me a lot of hold or curl and anything that I do achieve simply falls down very soon after application.


What really makes it worth it though, is obviously how it performs and how it leaves my lashes looking.
In my opinion, I can't fault it at all on performance.



                                 



Obviously, the photo on the left is of my bare lashes and on the right is with two coats of the 'Shocking' mascara.

As you can see, it's given me an incredible amount of lift and curl and definitely a lot of length and definition.
I think it looks very, very natural also. Not like I've applied lashings of mascara to achieve a full lash look but like my lashes are just full and long and defined with minimal effort which I really love.
But what's most impressive I think is just how long these effects last for.
I struggle with keeping any curl or lift with my lashes.
I work in a kitchen where it's obviously very hot and so usually any effect that mascara gives either flakes away or just falls within a few hours, but this mascara gives me this amount of curl all day.
Hours and hours on end in a boiling hot kitchen and when I leave, my lashes look just as good as they did when I applied the mascara.
That's a definite winning property for me.

I do however, have one minor issue with this product.
It has quite a strong rose scent which I just don't understand.
It's pleasant and all, but I will just never understand why one would need scented products for their eyelashes?!
I just don't get it.

Nevertheless, I simply adore the YSL 'Shocking' mascara and as expensive it is for a mascara, I see myself continuing to repurchase it time and time again.
Besides, if I use my Boots points it doesn't even really count, does it?!

Have you tried the 'Shocking' mascara?
What's your favourite YSL product?

Thanks for reading,
Kirsten x