Life Updates

Monday, 28 January 2013

I feel like a little updates post is in order! Life has been hectic and stressful and unexpected but, most of all, very exciting lately. I also have a couple of blog-related updates to share with you all.

teeth whitening:
Firstly, I promised an update regarding my Blanx teeth whitening trial. This is long overdue, and I do apologize. Unfortunately, I can't see any difference at all after using the intensive whitening treatment for a month. I've booked into a clinic to have my teeth laser whitened, so I'll report back on that in March!

spending ban:
Some news which I'm slightly gutted about is my spending ban... I started this on 4th January, but I'm sorry to say that I failed miserably. I just can't hack the restrictions, it felt like some sort of diet. It's like when someone tells you that you absolutely cannot eat crisps... all you want to do is eat crisps! So for me, the spending ban actually made me want to spend more. I'm sure if I had enough willpower, I'd have been able to cope but I just couldn't. I am, however, being much more careful with my money and not splurging because I have a very good reason to save now...

summer plans:
And that reason is that I'll be spending my summer in the USA!!! I am beyond excited, if you can't already tell! I applied via Camp Leaders only around 2 weeks ago, so everything has gone crazy fast for me and I feel so lucky and privileged to be doing this. I'll be working as an outdoor cooking specialist at a children's overnight summer camp for 8 weeks and I fly out to Chicago on June 6th. What's even more exciting for me is that I finally get to meet my best friend of over 10 years! We started chatting online when we were 10/11 and she's been my absolute rock. She also recently had a baby girl! I'll also be celebrating my 21st birthday out there... Perfect timing! But I'm not going to lie... What I'm most excited about is SEPHORA BABY! I may need an extra suitcase to bring back the entire store and as many American beauty goodies as I can find. Typical beauty blogger!

stop smoking:
If you follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed my updates at the start of the month regarding quitting smoking. I'm very pleased to say that it will be 1 month tomorrow since I quit! I feel so much healthier and, of course, I'm saving a lot of money. It was horribly tough during the first week, but I'm so glad I persevered and hopefully I'll be able to call myself a non-smoker soon.

Sorry this post is so text-heavy, I just thought I ought to give you guys a little insight into what's happening in my life. Like I said I before, I want my little corner of the internet to be about more than just product reviews.

Winter Weather Heroes

Friday, 25 January 2013

With the weather here in the UK taking a turn for the worst as of late, I thought I'd write a wee post about the products I've been reaching for to see me through the cold snap! I never really have any issues with dry skin etc, but I've been adding some extra moisture to nearly every aspect of my beauty routine due to the harsh weather.

In terms of skincare, Origins Make A Difference Plus Rejuvenating Treatment has been my saving grace recently.  It smells heavenly, has a lovely consistency that's almost gel-like, sinks in quickly and leaves my dehydrated skin feeling plumped up and hydrated. My skin is weird, it's often uncomfortably dry in the morning, but it gets oily throughout the day. This little wonder product manages to hydrate my dry patches whilst not adding any extra oil throughout the day.

I've also switched up my evening skincare routine to reflect my skin's need for extra moisture right now, and I've been absolutely loving using the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm as my evening cleanse. I usually use this after I've removed my make-up, and it leaves my skin feeling so soft and nourished. It's a really luxurious feeling product, and my skin is loving it right now.

My hair is extra dry at the moment, mainly because I accidentally went blonde this week (more on that later...) as well as the elements taking their toll! I've been using the Joico K-Pak Intense Hydrator which leaves my hair feeling so soft, manageable and healthy. I use this either as an overnight treatment, or on the ends of my hair in the shower.

Next up is possibly the most gorgeous product that I have ever smelt before. It's The Body Shop Vineyard Peach Body Butter and I've been using this almost daily since I bought it on any dry areas I come across, or as an overall body moisturizer. It smells like real peaches, not synthetic smelling at all, which I love and it does such a great job of hydrating my skin and leaving it feeling super soft but not greasy. Even better, it's currently in the sale at £6.50 instead of £13.00! Go, go, go!

The last product is the QMS Medicosmetics Hand Care* and I have to say, this has been a lifesaver for my hands during winter. My knuckles, especially, get so dry and sore when it's cold and I actually hate the feeling of hand creams. I end up washing my hands once I've used hand cream to get rid of the horrible cream feeling! But this stuff sinks in instantly, leaving my hands feeling absolutely silky soft. What's even better is that this effect doesn't just last til the next time I wash my hands, which I find with a lot of hand creams, it genuinely seems to leave my hands soft and hydrated for days.

What are your cold weather essentials? Has it been snowing where you are?

PS: I would love to know what your favourite lip balm is! I need a new, super intensive one to beat this weather. Leave your recommendations in a comment!

Magnifibres: Brush On False Lashes

Monday, 21 January 2013

Magnifibres Brush On False Lashes - £20*

I've always struggled with having short, sparse and thin eyelashes so I'm always on the hunt for a mascara that offers lots of volume and length. I'm a big fan of Benefit They're Real, but sometimes I still feel like I need a little boost, especially for a night out. I hate using false lashes because I'm so conscious of them being there, I'm constantly checking to make sure they're not peeling off - attractive!

Magnifibres brush on lashes are such an innovative product, and they appealed to me instantly! You literally just brush the white fibres onto your lashes to get the effect of false lashes, without the fuss. You apply one coat of your regular mascara, apply the Magnifibres, wait 30 seconds and then apply a second coat of mascara. This process can be repeated until the desired effect is achieved. I used my current mascara, Lancome Hypnose Star, paired with the Magnifibres. In the before picture, I've applied 2 coats of my regular mascara. In the after picture, I've applied 2 coats of my regular mascara plus one coat of Magnifibres.

As you can see, the voluminizing effect is quite apparent. I didn't see a big difference length-wise, but I loved the added volume from using Magnifibres. The best thing about this product is that it really does feel just like normal mascara, it washes off easily and I don't have to worry about them falling off like false lashes! I found the application to become a little clumpy when I built up the layers, so I do usually just use one layer of Magnifibres and then additional coats of mascara.

Are you a false lashes fan? What are your tips for making the most out of your lashes?

Inspiration #1

Thursday, 17 January 2013

all pictures sourced from tumblr

Today's post is a little different to what I usually post. Instead of my blog consisting purely of beauty posts and reviews, I want to try and incorporate some lifestyle and general posts into it. I thought I'd start off today by posting some images that I came across on Tumblr that I really liked and have found either inspirational or have made me smile. I see so many people who run around constantly busy and stressed out and worrying, and I think it's important to take the time occasionally to sit back and appreciate what you have. Life is never as bad as you think it is, we all come across bumps in the road but things get better. Life is what you make of it.

Luna Twilight Palette - Bella

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

I wanted to hate the Twilight films, I really did. But they are a somewhat guilty pleasure of mine. Twilight Beauty have released a make-up range to complement the movie saga, one area of the range being "Luna Twilight". There are several face palettes in the collection which contain 1 blusher, 2 eyeshadows and 2 lip colours and these come in the variations Team Edward, Team Jacob, Bella, Alice and Rosalie.

Out of all of the palettes, Luna Twilight Bella* is the one which I was most attracted to because it looks like it could be used to create a neutral, everyday look. Firstly, the packaging is very compact. It's about the size of a credit card, so yes it's great to take on the go, but it means that it's difficult to actually use the eyeshadow and lip glosses as they are so small.

The blush is a very light peachy pink, it's not highly pigmented so if you're not pale (I'd say NW15 or less) then this won't work for you. I find myself having to build up the colour a LOT to get the slightest colour pay-off, so the finish can end up a little powdery. The eyeshadows are quite neutral brown/peach shimmer colours. They're soft and easy to work with, but again, the pigmentation is lacking. As for the lip colours, I didn't bother to include a swatch of them as the pigmentation is non-existent. They feel nice and non-sticky, but that's about it. I understand that this palette is meant for a neutral look and I did use the palette to replace my usual eye, lip and cheek colours, but I just found myself having to use so much of each product that I couldn't see it lasting very long at all.

Basically, if you're as pale as Bella Swan then you might be able to work with this, but if not then this might not be for you. I can't speak for the other colour palettes in the range, but I wasn't particularly impressed with this item.

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish - Stereo Rose

Thursday, 10 January 2013

I debated whether not to review this product as it's so hyped that I'm pretty sure everyone and their dog has heard of it by now. The product in question is MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Stereo Rose. It was recently re-released as part of the Aprés Chic collection and I decided to make an impulse buy at the same time as I purchased my first MAC lipstick. I'd never tried a MAC MSF before, but I had heard great things and I was sucked in by the hype surrounding this particular shade, Stereo Rose.

The packaging is typical MAC - black and sophisticated. The compact is sturdy and practical, but I wish it contained a mirror so I could take it on the go. The formula of the product is lovely, it's soft and blendable and applies like a dream. It's really pigmented but you can build it up to a more intense shade, or apply lightly for a sheer flush of colour. I couldn't capture it well in a hand swatch, so I included a couple of photos where I am wearing this on my cheeks. In the first photo, I build up the colour to a more intense coral, and in the second I went for a more sheer flush. I find the colour really flattering for my skintone at least, but if you use too much then it can look a little like sunburn, as I heard someone recently describe it. I use this as a blush, but it doubles up as a highlighter as it contains lots of shimmer. I don't usually like shimmer in blushers, but I do really like this one. It seems to give my skin a healthy glow without looking like I've sprinkled glitter on my face.

These aren't cheap at £21.50 a go, but you do get a lot of product and because you have to use so little, I can see this lasting me quite a while! Unfortunately, Stereo Rose sold out within days so you won't find it online but your local MAC might have some left. Do I think this particular MSF is worth the hype? Yes. I had high expectations, but these were met by the gorgeous colour and formula. I can see myself getting a lot of wear out of this during summer, especially.

Did you manage to get Stereo Rose this time around, or have you tried it before? If not, what other MSF do you recommend? I want to collect them all now!

Rimmel Scandaleyes Nude Eyeliner

Sunday, 6 January 2013

I've been loyal to my trusty black eyeliner for years, but I've only recently realised that it wasn't doing me any favours at all. I have small eyes, and using lashings of black eyeliner was making them look tired and smaller. Enter this little beauty from Rimmel. It's a nude coloured kohl eyeliner which I use on the waterline to help brighten my eyes and open them up. The consistency is really nice and creamy, it glides on without dragging and the staying power is amazing. I use this every single day and it's really amazed me by how much difference it makes.

The best thing about this product is that it's super affordable, costing just £3.99 and you can pick it up at Boots or Superdrug. It also comes in a variety of other shades.

I definitely think this is a staple product that everyone could get use out of. Have you tried a nude eyeliner? Do you prefer using black eyeliner?

100 Day Spending Ban

Friday, 4 January 2013

I've decided to jump on the bandwagon and attempt a 100 day spending ban. I'm absolutely awful with money. I have no self-control and I end up spending money as soon as it hits my bank account. I haven't been out of my overdraft in nearly 3 years, and I'm sick of constantly being in debt due to spending money that I don't have!

I have enough beauty and skincare products to last me the duration of the spending ban, so I'm making a pledge to not buy any more during the 100 days. This is going to be really difficult for me because I just can't resist what I think is a good deal, but I'm going to try my bloody hardest. I'm budgeting money for lunch and buses to college, but I'm going to try and bring my own lunch where I can. I also quit smoking as of 1st January, so I'll be recording how much money I save per week from that and adding it to a savings account, where I plan on treating myself at the end of the spending ban.

I'm not going to set any 'rules' as such, because there aren't any things that I feel I need to make exceptions for. I am not going to buy anything that isn't a necessity (ie, food). I have enough of everything else to keep me going! I'll only really be spending money on groceries, rent and bills. I'm also committing myself to 'dry January', so I won't be spending money on alcohol this month at least. As of next month, I think I'll allow myself a night out once or twice a month.

My spending ban begins today (4th January 2013) and will end on 14th April 2013. I'll be posting weekly updates with how I'm getting on! I think I'll also record any products which I'm tempted by, but resist buying, and keep a running total of how much money I've saved to motivate me.

Are you participating in the 100 day spending ban? If so, leave me a comment with your blog link so I can keep up with your progress!

MAC Haute Altitude Lipstick

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Hope you guys have all had a lovely festive season and happy new year! This is my first post of 2013, which is pretty crazy. I decided to stay away from the usual Christmas and New Year posts because, in all honesty, I've been too busy trying to fit in seeing family and friends and working. But I now have a whole 2 weeks to myself to do absolutely nothing, so I plan on catching up on blogging and making up for my absence lately!

If you follow me on Twitter (@flowersatdawnn) then you might know that I'm MAC lipstick virgin. I know, I'm ashamed. However, I can proudly say that as of today, I am the owner of a new, shiny MAC lipstick! I've been eagerly anticipating the release of the Aprés Chic since I heard about it, and I thought it would be the perfect time to purchase my first lipstick, as well as a cheeky wee order of the super-hyped Stereo Rose MSF.

I chose the lipstick Haute Altitude and it was a bit of a blind order as there weren't many swatches online at the time, and the colour shown on the website isn't that accurate. But I opened it up today and I can safely say that I am not disappointed. I think it's the perfect colour for my first MAC lipstick as it's not too bold, and it's a colour that is easy to wear and something I can see myself reaching for a lot. Haute Altitude is an amplified creme finish lipstick and it's a slightly blue-toned muted pink. It's so creamy and I don't really feel it on my lips so much, which is something I love. I hate being really aware of something on my lips ie, sticky lipgloss.

You can find this lipstick here on the MAC website, where it costs £14.00 - pricey for a lipstick, but I can see myself getting so much use out of this, and it has definitely lived up to my expectations! Some of the Aprés Chic collection has sold out already (I'm looking at you, Stereo Rose!) so if anything takes your fancy then I'd suggest ordering it ASAP!

Can you remember what your first MAC lipstick was? Do you think they're worth the price?

PS: I'd love some reader feedback on my blog to help me improve in 2013. If you have 2 mins spare, I'd really appreciate your feedback! Click here to go to the survey. Thank you!


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