Delving into My Sample Stash #5

Makeup Sample Stash October

Makeup Sample Stash October

Benefit Gimme Brow in Number 5 

This came free with Glamour Magazine a couple of months ago to coincide with the huge launch of all the new Benefit brow products. I have been saving this mini one so I could take it away on holiday with me. Benefit have extended the shade selection which is fab news and I have the darkest shade – Number 5. Its a tinted brow gel with volumising microfibres which give your brows a fuller look. This is so quick and easy to use, it puts down a good amount of colour and it keeps my brows in place all day. I really like the new packaging too, its fun and very Benefit!

New Benefit Gimme Brow

Estée Lauder ANR Synchronized Recovery Complex II

I have repurchased the full size of this so many times, I adore it. Its quite a thick overnight serum and it feels so good on the skin, it instantly hydrates and soothes fatigued skin. This serum makes my skin so happy – that translates to looking radiant, fresher, brighter and all importantly well rested. I have a couple of these very cute mini bottles for travelling, its the perfect skin pick me up after a flight and I swear by it. Have you tried it?

This Works In Transit Camera Close Up

This is a moisturising Primer, it hydrates, smooths and helps skin look radiant. I wore this under my makeup everyday whilst in Amsterdam and I loved how well my makeup applied on top of this, it made a really nice primer. I had quite a few late nights whilst on holiday and I relied on this to keep my skin looking bright, which I have to say it did. This high-performance Superblend features Bio Boost – which is the This Works’ unique blend of anti-oxidant plant oils – to rebuild and protect the skin barrier, along with hydrating Hyaluronic Acid and Caffeine to rebalance and revitalise. Its a must have for anyone that wants their skin to look well rested and healthy.

Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen

This is one of the creamiest, deepest black, long wearing pencil eyeliner I have ever used. I used this to tightline as I like to use a liquid line for my actual eyeliner but this Pixi pencil was so good on my water line and stayed put all night without wearing off. Like I said its extremely pigmented and very black, I hate it when you are expecting your liner to be black and its more on the grey side, this is a fab pencil to have in your makeup stash and I loved using it. These eyeliners are Paraben-free. Mineral oil-free. Preservative-free. Hypoallergenic & contain Vitamin E which nourishes and protects delicate skin around the eye.

Estée Lauder Pure Colour Envy Sculpting Gloss

This isn’t the kind of lip product I would reach for but I am trying to use up my samples, the only thing that puts me off this is that it has quite the sparkle. I am not a fan of glitter but I do have a few nights out coming up & I am sure I can make it work. The colour is Reckless Bloom and its actually quite a pretty pink, I’m thinking of pairing it with a nice nude lipstick. We will see, I may end up having to pass this on.

Let me know if you hoard samples, I have quite a stash to get through but I have been making a big effort this year to actually use them. I love to empty them all out and pick a selection of new things to try, its a fab way to discover new brands & products and test things out before committing to purchase the full size. I get most of my samples from beauty boxes, gwp or magazines. Samples are perfect for taking away with you on holiday, I need to book more holidays so I can use up more of them, that sounds like a great plan.

September 2016 Empties

September 2016 Product Empties

September 2016 Product Empties

Merumaya Gentle Exfoliating Toner

If you like using exfoliating toners but worry that some of the acid based ones will be too stringent on your skin this Merumaya offering is incredibly gentle but is still an effective acid toner. Acid is great at gently removing the dead skin, dirt and and stubborn makeup you may have missed when cleansing. Removing this build up on a regular basis keeps your skin clean, evens out skin tone and helps your skin look more radiant. Reducing the build up of dirt also stops your pores getting clogged up which helps reduce blemishes and blackheads. I have noticed my skin feels softer, smoother and fresher. This bottle lasted me about 3 – 4 months of using it almost daily.

I have used so many products from British skincare experts Merumaya and this is another fantastic addition to their range.

Batiste Dry Shampoo

I always have a dry shampoo in my favourites but this past month I only seem to have used up a small can, maybe that means I am using less and actually washing my hair more. Either way I do like Batiste and its so easy to get hold of. I always buy the one that is on offer.

Decléor Micellar Oil*

I absolutely LOVED this micellar oil and started to use it more sparingly as it was running out. It is a wonderful first cleanse and just melted my makeup off, easily and without having to rub my face like a lunatic. It contains Sweet Almond Oil which is rich in essential fatty acids and will help strengthen and soothe skin & it also contains Vegetable Squalene which is derived from Olive Oil and helps maintain skins optimum hydration levels and leaves skin feeling supple and radiant. This won’t sting your eyes or leave your skin feeling greasy, I also really like that it has a pump and it will last a really long time. I would 100% repurchase this.

Black Chicken Cleanse My Face

This is a very thick cleansing oil which left my skin feeling incredibly soft, clean and very hydrated. I only got about 6 cleanses out of this sample pot but it was enough for me to completely fall for it. I used this as a second cleanse because of how rich and hydrating it was, it left my skin feeling like i’d had a facial. I took my time to massage this into my skin and work the product in, ensuring all the lovely oils work their magic.

This cleanser uses 14 medicinal oils to target impurities held deep within your skin, removing makeup and dirt without stripping skin of its natural oil balance. To use, massage into face then wipe away with a warm cloth for clean, calm and hydrated skin.

The 14 oils include,
Castor oil*, Jojoba oil*, Camellia Tea oil*, Sweet Almond oil* , Sunflower Oil *, Sesame Seed oil*, Macadamia oil*, Cedarwood oil*, Palma Rosa oil*, Mandarin oil, Patchouli oil*, Geranium oil, Lavender oil*, Vitamin e oil, *certified organic

I want the full size so badly and think I will treat myself as an early birthday present.

Bath & Body Works Hand Sanitiser

Again, these are quite a regular empty each month. I like to carry one in my handbag just to keep those pesky germs at bay. I have no idea what this scent was because all the text has rubbed off but I know it was a sweet summery one. I am just about to purchase a few more Autumnal scents and if there is one thing B&BW do well its a pumpkin / spicy scented product.

Essence Make Me Brow

If you haven’t tried the Essence Make Me Brow yet, what are you waiting for. I have raved about this brow product so much. It works along the same lines as the very popular Benefit Gimme Brow, it tints and shapes your brows and for the bargain price of £2.99 your brows look fab! The only downside to the Essence one is there are only 3 shade options. I have been through a few of these and will continue to repurchase.

*PR Sample

Blank Canvas Cosmetics Palette One

Blank Canvas Cosmetics Palette-one

Blank Canvas Cosmetics Palette-one

So this month I was introduced to Blank Canvas who are an Irish, online cosmetics brand. Their product selection is quite small but they are constantly adding to the line and growing as a brand. I have been trying out one of their latest releases, the Master Series Palette One. Being a complete Neutral Eyeshadow Addict this 12 pan neutral palette had me very excited.

Blank Canvas Cosmetics Master Series Palette One* £30.40

This palette comes well packaged in an outer sleeve and the palette itself feels very sturdy and good quality, it has a great sized mirror, and the palette has a magnetic close so its not going to end up open in your makeup bag.  You also get a really nice quality double ended (vegan friendly) makeup brush which is also for sale separately and retails at £10. One end is fantastic for packing on the shadow and the other end is a lovely fluffy blending brush. Its a total 10/10 for the quality of this brush, I am very impressed.

You get a total of 12 colours, 11 matte shadows and 1 shimmer shade, often it is hard to find good quality matte shadows and a couple of the lighter colours in this palette are a little hard to work with which is a shame but I like that you get a nice selection of warm neutral colours, these colours are so easy to wear and exactly what I reach for daily so I was hoping this could become my new goto palette.

Blank Canvas Cosmetics Eyeshadow Palette One

Blank Canvas Palette One Swatches

Lily / Goddess / Core / Hibiscus / Brazen / Carmin

I really wanted the quality of these shadows to be great and in the pans they looked gorgeous and rich but once I started swatching, the shadows had quite a lot of fall out and quite a few colours applied patchy. The top row has all of the lighter shades which are not the best quality, the three darker shades on this row are better and their texture feels a lot softer in comparison, they’re much easier to blend and have better colour pay off.

The bottom row is much better, these 6 darker shades are on the whole rich in colour and easier to work with. There are a few shadows in this palette that I absolutely love like HIBISCUS, CARMIN and COCOA but I really wish all the colours were of the same quality. I had to work hard to get the swatches below to look as bold as they do.

Master Series Palette One Swatches

Cocoa / Downtown / Forza / Hickory / Strut / Corruption

I didn’t use a primer because day to day I don’t wear one and not everyone would have that step in their makeup routine. If I could make a smaller palette out of the shadows I love I would 100% purchase it. I have searched for other reviews of this palette and a few people have said they are not completely in love with it but there are also quite a few people that love it and say that it’s pigmented and wonderful quality. I wonder if I have a dud or maybe I’m being super critical.

To look at this, its a gorgeous neutral palette & has the potential to be my dream palette but overall for me the quality just isn’t there so I’m sticking to my guns and saying this Master Series Palette One isn’t one I would recommend.

*PR Sample

Haircare for a Special Occasion

Party Hair Prep

Party Hair Prep

I went to my brothers wedding last weekend and I don’t really do the whole dressing up all glam, I’m 100% more comfortable in a casual setting, so when it came to styling my hair I knew I was going to go for a look that was simple. My Mum, Bride & a few other girls went to the salon to have their hair put up or styled but I like to do my own, that way you get exactly what you want. I thought I would share a few of the products I used on the day.

Pureology Fullfyl Shampoo & Conditioner

This duo is so good at giving your hair a really good clean but leaving it with a little volume and a gorgeous healthy shine. It is more for colour treated hair but I always think haircare that is formulated for that is gentle and less striping and this range is perfect for that. It also leaves my hair with less flyaways and gives it a nice texture once styled. I have the full sized versions but how could I resist taking these minis away with me. Pureology is 100% vegan and sulphate free so your hair is in good hands.

Shea Moisture 10 in 1 Multi Benefit Hair Masque*

If I am honest when it comes to hair masks I am a little lazy and more often than not it is a step I skip. I do have my favourites that I use when my hair is looking lacklustre or when I need my hair to look its best for a special occasions. This Shea Moisture SuperFruit Complex one is one that never lets me down, its rich formula gives your hair a boost of hydration and just leaves it feeling silky soft. I leave this on for as long as I can, generally about 45 minutes, it contains so many lovely ingredients and the positive results are not only visible immediately but also long term.

  • Superfruit–a blend of red raspberry, ketones, goji, acai and guava extracts rich in anti-aging antioxidants
  • Marula oil–contains natural plant peptides that help support hair’s elasticity
  • Biotin–nourishes individual strands for thicker, stronger hair
  • Shea butter–deeply moisturises while conditioning hair and scalp

OGX Moroccan Curling Perfection

My hair is naturally wavy so when it comes to styling it for special occasions I like to wear it as natural as possible. If I try and straighten it I know that a few hours later it will have kinks in it & if it gets wet its pretty much a frizzy mess & game over. If I add a little curl to it I find it holds really well and looks better throughout the night. I love OGX haircare and this Curling Perfection Cream is fantastic to help my waves / curls look natural and doesn’t weight them down. Its not going to leave your hair crusty or heavy with product, so if you like more of a natural effortless wave to your hair this product is for you.

Nicky Clarke Supershine Conditioning Tong

Nicky Clarke Supershine Iconic Steam Conditioning Tong* £39.99

As I said my hair is naturally wavy but to ensure it looked a little more polished and like I’d made an effort I used this pretty swish black & rose gold curling tong from Nicky Clarke.  I like that this tong is super light weight, the barrel is 25mm which is perfect for creating subtle, natural curls and you can vary the temperature to suit your hair type from 130c to 210c.

  • Ceramic finish barrel gives fast, even heat and smooth, snag-free styling for soft, silky styles
  • Ionic conditioning locks in moisture to keep hair healthy and frizz-free
  • Automatic safety shut-off after 60 minutes.
  • 30 seconds heat-up time.
  • 5 settings up to a maximum of 210ºC, with digital controls and LED display

There is a little reservoir at the tip of the tongs which you fill with water so you can release a little steam to lock in moisture and help your curls have a little more structure to them. I also run my fringe through these to give it that slight curl under. All in all this is a great quality styling wand and it looks very luxurious too, my hair kept its curl all day and night. There is also a hair dryer and straighteners in this Supershine range & if like me you often forget to turn them off this range has auto shut-off after 60 minutes for safety, such a great safety feature.

I didn’t take many photos from the Wedding of my hair but I do have this one of me & my husband towards the end of the night.

Wedding Guest Photos

*PR Sample