Beauty Blender - Worth the Hype?

I was lucky enough to receive a beauty blender-sponge-type-makeup-applicator-whojamaflip-whatchamacallit-thingy this Christmas, and after three vigorous months of testing (not as violent as it sounds, I promise!) I'm going to share my thoughts on it with you.

My exact sponge is this one from Beauty Bay and retails at £16, however there are other similar, cheaper offerings such as this one from Real Techniques and this one from Superdrug. Now, I've never really been a 'sponge application' gal and have always opted for brushes, however all I'd heard was good things about the Beauty Blender so even though using a sponge wasn't exactly my forté, I was excited to try it out.

The sponge is almost like a 'teardrop' shape, small and pointy at one end to get into all the nooks and crannies, and big, round and flat-ish at the other. My first experience with this sponge was a nightmare to say the least - I was completely unaware that you had to make it wet before using it, ended up sponging makeup straight onto my face with a dry sponge and ended up in a bit of a dry, patchy mess. I was confused. How could something so hyped up be so, well... crap?

A couple of googles later and I realised I had completely gotten the wrong end of the stick. 

So it turns out when you run it under water, it expands to at least double the size, and becomes a lot softer and more bouncy. A damp sponge means it won't hold on to product, and more will end up on your face rather than mysteriously disappearing into the sponge, never to be seen again. Snazzy, eh?

When I apply my makeup with this sponge I feel like it takes a lot more time and effort to blend in the product, rather than just swirling a brush around, which means if I'm in a rush, it's a no-go. When I do take the time to use it properly, the results are lovely and it really does give a 'no-makeup' makeup finish, however for me there is one downside. 

At this particular moment in time my skin is quite blemishy and red, and when I apply makeup with this sponge it gives such a sheer finish, I get hardly any coverage over my red bits. I thought maybe it was the concealer I was using so changed it, but to no avail - my red bits were still sticking out like a sore thumb. I feel as if this would be an amazing product to use in the summer when I tend to go for a sheerer, lighter coverage and when my skin is clear, but for winter, late mornings and 'bad skin days' I'll still always pick up a buffing brush over this for ease of application and better coverage.

Worth the Hype?
Yes - For summer, light coverage and good skin days, that is...



Update: Moving Out

So the beginning of this year hasn't at all been, shall we say 'amazing' for my blog. A lot lot lot has been going on, the most recent being that I've moved out. Now, before I carry on I'm going to clarify that I've not moved 'out' out, but after certain complications and within a crazy half an hour I found myself packing up my belongings and moving in to live with my Dad. 

Mirror: From the cutest little 'bits and bobs' seaside shop close to where I live, which I don't think has a name. :(

When I say half an hour, I really do mean it. Let's say (hypothetically) at 6:00pm I came home from college, and by 6.30pm I was all of a sudden moving out - it was that quick. So it's safe to say that the past few weeks have been very up in the air. I've been backwards and forwards moving furniture and making sure I hadn't forgotten anything, I've had masses of college work for my final project, the most important part of my course, my practical driving test has been booked which makes me super nervous, I haven't had the time to sit down and blog and it's all just been a bit crazy. 

However there are a few upsides
1: My new room has room for a king size bed - starfish alert.
2: If I pass my driving test, I won't have to endure a horrible hour and a half bus journey to college at 7am every morning.
3: I'm due my phone upgrade in just under two weeks after two tedious years - iPhone 5s here I come baby!
3: I'm taking a trip to Westfield (the Stratford one) next weekend for my best friend's 18th, and we are definitely going to spend at least an hour in the MAC shop before stuffing our faces with sweet potato fries in TGI Friday's...

Fairy Lights: Homebase
So even though the past month hasn't really been interesting at all, things are looking up for April/May. Expect a whole load of blog posts being thrown your way, especially some hauls and bits and pieces from my Westfield trip (I'm hoping to pick up some of Tanya Burr's products while I'm there - the Afternoon Tea lipgloss looks BEYOND gorgeous). And hopefully, a lot more possible outings when, not if, when I get my car! 

I know this post isn't necessarily all that interesting, I guess I just wanted to let you know that I've not abandoned you and I've missed blogging so so much. 



My Hair Saviour

Ever since I was little, I've always wanted super long, luscious princess hair. Slowly but surely it was getting there, until my 15 year old self decided she wanted to go all punk-rock and dye her hair a million different colours. 

So 3 years on, at 18 years of age, I am attempting growing my hair back out. This may or may not have been the result of me watching Tangled and falling in love with Rapunzel (it was definitely the result of that). Using next to no heat has been helping so far, and I have had a couple of inches of growth, however it's gotten to the stage where it's just below-the-boob, and will not budge any further. I don't particularly want to delve into the realm of hair growth pills or anything like that, so I've opted for the next best thing. Oils. Argan oil to be precise.

If you haven't heard at least something about argan oil, where have you been?! Not only can it be used as a hair treatment and heat protectant, but also as a makeup remover or moisturiser, snazzy eh? Trouble is, most 'argan oil' hair treatments contain about 5% argan oil, and 95% other chemicals, even the cult Morroccan oil. To get the best results for my hair I decided to try and find some pure argan oil. 

A few tips to consider when buying argan oil:
For best results, the only ingredient should be argan oil or 'Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil', which is the fancy name for it. 
If it's 100% pure oil, it should be kept in a dark coloured, glass bottle.
It should have a mild nutty scent to it, nothing too sweet or strong.
It won't be cheap. Argan oil is considered a 'precious' oil, so expect to spend out a little more money for the real deal. 

I managed to pick up this 120ml bottle of pure argan oil by Creation's Garden in TK Maxx for £12.99, which is a fair bargain considering the amount of product you receive! It ticked all the boxes, single ingredient, dark glass bottle, and a nutty smell, and I can confirm it has performed literal miracles on my hair, especially the ends.

I ended up with extremely dry, straw-like ends that felt and looked so horrible. All they'd do is tangle themselves up and then break off whenever I un-knotted them. By literally popping 3-4 drops of this onto my damp ends after a shower and leaving it to dry, miracles literally occurred. 

A little goes a hell of a long way when using this, and just after a week, my bright white split ends were no longer visible, my ends felt so smooth and luscious, and tangles were nowhere to be seen. Although this isn't going to repair the damage I've already caused, it's definitely helping to tame and disguise it! The rest of my hair is always so moisturised and healthy when I take this further up past my ends, and I honestly cannot fault it. 

I've yet to try this as a moisturiser or makeup remover, but I'm definitely up for it. I'm falling more and more in love with this oil every day.



Pretty Pastels | Topshop Cosmetics

So it turns out sticking to my new year's blogging resolution didn't quite work as planned, and I hang my head in shame. I posted twice in the whole of February. Twice. Bombarded with final major college projects, 6 days of work a week and last (but not least) boyfriend duties, February wasn't exactly 'my month' blogging-wise. 

I'm determined not to let my blog slip any more, so here I am, hopefully back to 3 posts a week! I've got a lot of stuff to share from my absence, but first I'd like to introduce you to a few little impulse buys I ended up walking out of Topshop with...

It's becoming impossible to go into Topshop without walking out with something from the makeup stand. It's simply too pretty to ignore. On a horribly rainy, cold day, I decided to treat myself to these bits to try and get myself hyped up for springtime. I picked up one of their Velvet Finish Lipsticks in 'Petal' and a gorgeous pastel nail varnish in 'Occupational Therapy'.

I am a massive, self-confessed Topshop lipstick fan. Their Velvet Finish Lippys boast one of the nicest formulas I've ever tried, they're lovely and pigmented, aren't at all drying on the lips and are so silky soft when applied. 'Petal' is a gorgeous baby pink, my kind of perfect spring/summer shade, and it's the perfect finish for a natural 'no make up, make up' look. I can see this becoming a staple of mine.

I was absolutely torn between purchasing this shade or another gorgeous pinky nude, however I seem to lack pastel shades in my nail collection, and this was a winner. It's the perfect pastel lilac colour which can be worn sheer with one coat or built up for a more opaque finish. I only own one other bright orange Topshop nail varnish, so it's nice to expand the collection a bit more! 

I wish I could have swatched the nail varnish for you but, to be honest, no one wants to see my scruffy, stubby nails at the moment -  they just won't do it any justice! 
(Note to self: Buy a nail wheel).

Topshop, you've well and truly exceeded my expectations once again. So pretty. 

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