Saturday, 29 March 2014

Making Magpie Obsessions About Me ...

This post has been along time coming but last night it just hit me so before I switch things up come April. I've felt that this year blogging has been way less enjoyable and has become a bit of a chore rather than the pleasure it started out as. Beauty blogging has changed so much in the last few years and I kind of feel like I'm so out of it at the moment. I'm trying to save to buy a house at some point so I can't justify crazy price tags or huge boots hauls anymore. I work full time too so I don't have the time I did at the beginning to spend on the blog and I think as my heart isn't in it anymore - I'm not making the time for it. 

I want this little piece of the internet to be wholeheartedly about me. I love beauty products don't get me wrong but it's not all that I'm about. Spending the weekend drinking wine and laughing till my cheeks hurt with my boyfriend is far more me and I want Magpie Obsessions to reflect that. I have a huge interest in interiors and crafting that never really gets it's space here. I'm going to mix it up a bit from now on and not feel so enclosed by the 'beauty blogging tag'. I love reading beauty blogs and I've learned so much from writing this little blog. I'm sure I'll end up in Boots every now and again buying more lipsticks than I'll ever need and I'll still post about it but I'm also going to make an effort to share all of my favorite home things, tips that I've picked up and also general lifestyle chats. 

Right now as I write this I'm surrounded by coconut candles, drinking a glass of prosecco whilst my boyfriend is cooking up a treat in the kitchen before we watch a movie. I'm excited for this new chapter which will officially begin on Tuesday (there's something about the first of a month isn't there)!


Saturday, 22 March 2014

Fragrance Direct Haul - Korres & Becca

My fragrance direct order came this morning and I couldn't wait to share it so thought I'd do a little haul before thoroughly testing all these out. I also wanted to note how darn cheap the site is compared to RRP's. So this is what I picked up: 

Korres Wild Rose Foundation - £3.50 RRP £18.45 
Korres Essential Oils Diffuser - £3.50 RRP £14.99 
W7 Double Act Bronzer/ Blusher - £2.75 RRP £3.99 

I paid £21.72 for this little bundle and it would normally retail for £87.88. Quite an amazing discount really - the shades are limited on the site but if you can find the shades you're after then it's an absolute steal. I think it's also a cheap way to try new brands and products that you wouldn't want to risk spending the full amount on. My parcel came in just a few days even though I picked the cheapest delivery option so overall I'm very happy - I'm a bit of a foundation whore at the moment so I'm going to give these a good test run and then do individual posts. 


Friday, 21 March 2014

L'Oreal Nude Magique BB Powder - Medium

I've had this product for a few months and I've been a bit reluctant to write about this as my first impressions were so positive but the more I've used it the less I love it. Now I've given it a proper testing I thought it was worth sharing my thoughts. I've loved all the products in the Nude Magique range especially the BB cream and foundation. I picked up the powder from Superdrug (£6.99) as part of some kind of offer at the time with high hopes as I hoped it would leave my skin as flawless as the rest of the range. 

The application of this is lovely - its silky smooth to the touch and applies evenly to a powder brush (not a fan of the sponge included). However the wear of this was awful for my skin type. I have combination skin that often falls closer to oily so a powder is a good way of resolving this. I found this didn't agree with me at all, it bought out dry bits I didn't even know I had and made the normally even wear of my foundation really patchy. I also found it to have near to no pigment so it was just ruining my base rather than adding anything to it. Sadly it didn't work for me I've read some reviews of people that really like it but it's a definite no for me.


Thursday, 20 March 2014

Weekly Food Shop - Tips & Tricks

I moved out of my parents for university in 2008 and whilst there I was a damn awful food shopper. A large supermarket was on my doorstep for the majority of uni life so I popped in all the time - never doing a proper weekly shop and in turn spending a fortune on very little. Then over a year ago I moved in with my boyfriend and took to being domesticated like a fish to water - sounds silly but I really do enjoy it. When we first moved in I don't think my food shopping skills were all that good if I'm honest however over the last 12 months or so I really do feel like I've come into my own and each week feel like I've gotten more for less money. I thought it wouldn't hurt to share a few of the tricks I've learnt that keep the bill down and also allow me to feed a boy with a stupidly high metabolism a lot of protein rich foods on a budget. 

In Store Shopping
If you're shopping in store - write a list. It may sound simple but the weeks I forget this and wonder about aimlessly always cost me more. If you know your local supermarket write the list in order of how you travel around the store - it makes it a lot easier and means you stick to it without going off course. 

Check out the 'world foods isle' foods like coconut oil, coconut milk and all the spices are often 25% of the price of the same item in the oils & spices isle. Not only are you saving a lot of money but the flavourings in the curry powders and chilli spices are so much richer. 

Don't always grab the offers - often you can get 500g of XX for £1 in the middle of the store but if you take a look down the nominated isle you can get 500g of XX for much less! Ignore the centre of the store and walk down each aisle as you would normally. Sometimes the offers are better but all the offers in the middle are in the nominated isles too so you can make a far more informed decision when you're looking at all of the mushrooms not just the £1 ones on the end. 

Sign up to the store loyalty card - don't let these cards determine where you shop but sign up to them all. They mean coupons in the post and the chance to rack up points to take off your shopping later on in the year. They cost nothing and if you're going to shop there anyway - make the most of the point incentives it's surprising how quickly they add up. 

Online Shopping 
The best thing about moving into a new house and starting the weekly food shop journey was signing up for all the online shopping - most supermarkets have very generous discounts when you sign up for you first at home delivery. Waitrose for example currently have £70 off your first four shops and most supermarkets have at least £10 off the first online order. Wait until something juicy comes along and sign up! 

Mix it up - I tend to mix up where I shop online dependant on the offers and the kind of thing I'm going to buy that week. If I'm stocking up on cupboard items, sauces & tinned goods I'll head to Asda as I find they offer me the best value on staples like tinned tomatoes and toilet rolls. However if I'm looking to fill my freezer with meats I'll head to waitrose or sainsbury's as I find the quality is much better and I find the value (3 for £10) on par with the competitors. 

Delivery saver options - if you're shop loyal and you know you're going to get deliveries from one store for the next few months sign up to deals like Tesco's delivery saver. For as little as £7.50 a month you can get all the deliveries you like on nominated days saving you a fortune in the long run. Waitrose have free delivery over £50 too which is a really reasonable as you're more than likely to spend this much on a weekly shop.

Overall tips 
Don't be store loyal - it really doesn't hurt to shop around and I think being store loyal is the worst thing you can do. I have my favourite supermarkets (tesco in store & waitrose online) but I still pop into Asda to pick up tinned tomatoes every now and again I just know I wouldn't buy my fresh tomato's there as I don't find they last long enough to be worthwhile. Each area has better stores than others too I've been too some Tesco's that are horrible to shop in however my local one is lovely. I personally can't stand Aldi and I don't find it cheap enough to withstand the lack of service and range however some friends love it - find what you like and shop there.

All the supermarkets are cheap! The main thing I've learnt over the last year is that the ad campaigns mean nothing - all the supermarkets have good deals and a lot match each other now anyway. Just be savvy and remember the deals aren't always cheaper and don't buy into a 3 for 2 on soft cheese when you only want and will only use one soft cheese - you're effectively just paying double which you'll throw away 66% of! 

Eat before you go - again I think it sounds obvious but the amount of times I skip breakfast and head in on a weekend morning is silly. I always end up leaving with cheese dippers and iced coffee - make sure you're not famished or your bill will be an easy £10 more than it would be if you are full and shopping sensibly. 

I hope that's helped somewhat if anyone has any other tips I'd love to hear them I'm always on the look out for more tips and tricks to make supermarket shopping more savvy and bearable. 


Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Toni and Guy 3D Volumiser - Review

Of course I'm talking about a new voluminous hair product - literally can not get enough of them. This is one of the best ones I've recently bought (and there's been a lot of them) it's the Toni and Guy 3D volumiser spray. Firstly how pretty is this bottle - it's perfect packaging for me! The matte finish, gorgeous type and a funky little spray applicator means this little beauty gets dressing table space. It costs £7.19 and the range is pretty much always in some kind of haircare boots deal I got mine in a 3 for 2. It spritzes out in a really fine and even mist and smells o so divine - like luxury hair. It's directions say to spray from root to tip on wet hair then dry hair for volume and shine. What I really like about this is it has the perfect amount of hairspray too it which holds a style without making my hair crispy. The added shine is also a bonus as it's one of the only products I own which has this included it makes a nice change to a matte finish and avoids me using a shine spray after and overloading my hair with product. I love having big hair at the moment and this is a very welcome addition to my many volumising hair products.


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Sephora Wishlist

If you missed this - where have you been! I've been reading Sephora hauls with serious envy over the last few weeks. Reading endless lists of people's beauty buys has led me to just one conclusion - I want it all but I'd have to spend way over £100 to make it worthwhile and I just don't have the monies for that kind of haul right now. However it doesn't hurt to make up a little basket just in case I come into some serious money sometime soon. 
The HD foundation has been popping up everywhere and as a bit of a foundation whore at the moment this is definitely on my wishlist - this starter kit looks like a great way to try some of their most wanted products. I'm always looking for ways to be some kind of bronzed goddess so this Sephora facial bronzing gel immediately jumped out the little brush applicator looks perfect too - no orange fingers!

Even though Tarte is coming to the UK soon I had to pop a few bits in my basket as I've read so many great things about the brand recently. It would be hard to choose a colour of the Amazonian 12 hour clay blush but light peach and coral look absolutely divine. After reading the raving review of the Amazonian Clay 12 hour full coverage foundation on Essie Button's site it's definitely one of the next foundations I need to try - the packaging is so cute too! I haven't read anything about the Skntuitive cheek and lip set but it looked too cute to not pop in the basket I'd love to add this to my collection. Finally the Tarte CC primer has been picked up by a few of my favourite bloggers and it looks like the perfect little compact.  

When Sephora had a massive store in Southampton years ago I always used to pick up these small capsules of bath creme or shower gel and Santa used to always put them in my stocking I'd love to get these for travel and just a general trip down memory lane. Also adding this coconut hand wash to my bathroom would be very welcome. 

Finally a couple of Marc Jacobs beauty items couldn't help but fall into my basket - the remedy concealer pen and the Style Eye-Con shadow palette are too pretty to not want them. All in all my wishlist with taxes & shipping comes in at £243.56! It's so good they now ship to the UK but really the need to open a UK warehouse to make it worthwhile. Having to spend £75 just to get the 'deal' of £10 shipping makes it a site I won't be able to buy from anytime soon! I have super enjoyed putting this wishlist together too - if you've recently done a Sephora haul please send me your links I love reading them! 


Sunday, 16 March 2014

John Frieda Frizz Ease - Consistent Curls Range

I've been using the John Freida consistent curls range for nearly 2 weeks now so thought it was about time I shared my thoughts. The range consists of 4 products - a shampoo and conditioner, a heat activated spray and a hair oil. Like all John Frieda products they small amazing - that gorgeous salon hair smell that I can't get enough of is true of all 4 products in the range. The shampoo and conditioner are really nourishing and keep hair soft with a slight shine once dry. 

The heat activated spray is probably my least favourite of the four. It needs to be sprayed onto wet hair quite generously but I can't really tell what it does particularly. I used the same routine with and without this spray and couldn't really tell any difference between using and not using this spray. It doesn't make the hair any tackier or easier to manage and I don't really find my hair to hold it's curls anymore. I can't say I hate it it's just that I'm not really sure what it brings to the table. 

The hair oil in this range is my hands down favourite though. It's the perfect styling oil, I've found using it on wet or dry hair leaves the glossiest finish and  makes my hair so manageable. It's a clear oil (the bottle is coloured) and is a dream to use. As you can see from the before and after photo's my hair is much glossier and sleeker which I think I can owe mostly to the hair oil. It also leaves no oil residue in the hair so styling is an absolute dream. 


Saturday, 15 March 2014

Winter to Spring Make Up Look

Face: Rimmel Wake Me Up (review)
Concealer: ELF Maximum Coverage Concealer
Eyes & Brows: HD Brow Kit & Yves Rocher Sexy Pulp Mascara (review)
Cheeks: ELF Contour Kit & MAC Cream Blush in So Sweet, So Easy (review)
Lipstick: MAC Please Me (review)

The sun is finally shining! I've bought out the pinks and fell back in love with Rimmel Wake Me Up again! It's the perfect drugstore summer foundation for me - brilliant coverage to take you out of the cold season and gives the skin the loveliest glow. I'm really in love with the HD brows palette in Foxy too right now - this is my second palette and has everything I need for a basic eye and brow look - I love this quad!


Friday, 14 March 2014

MAC Please Me Matte Lipstick - Review

I adore MAC lipsticks so when I see a cheeky giveaway for one I can't resist entering. I was lucky enough to win a lipstick of my choice from the lovely Paige's blog competition a little while ago. It was super hard to choose a shade but in the end I went for 'Please Me' in a matte finish. I love matte lipsticks so that bit wasn't hard I especially like MAC's formula I don't find them to be drying at all. Please Me is described as muted rosy toned pink which I think sums it up perfectly. It's a lovely middle ground pink that is perfect for everyday wear. I adore it and I'm so glad it's now in my collection. I feel a little MAC order happening soon as there are so many gorgeous shades I want in my collection - would love any recommendations! 


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Charles Worthington Texturising Spray - Review

*please excuse the awful setting of this photo I was in such an excited rush I forgot that not only the product was in shot! 

I'm sure we've all heard so many people rave about the Oribe Texturising spray but at £38 but in all honestyl unless I win the lottery it is never going to be in my collection. Anyways when I read 'the battle of the texturising sprays' by Anna with her recommendation that this was the best budget buy I had to get my hands on it. It comes in at £6.99 and is often on 3 for 2 (like right now) it's a good buy but a little more expensive than the vo5 texturising spray I love. 

I found it very different from all of the texturising sprays I've tried it dispenses in the same way but is a lot more hairspray than dry shampoo. It's less tacky than hair spray but doesn't have the chalky texture of dry shampoo. I do really like this product for completely different reasons to the vo5 spray. This is perfect for adding texture to styled hair and for slightly setting a style without getting the crunch of hairspray. I don't find it's as good for just adding texture to my natural hair style. It's good to spritz over loose curls or waves to add a little more oomph to the style. 

I can definitely see myself buying this again - this and the vo5 spray together meet all of my texturising needs. 


Monday, 10 March 2014

Empties - The Shower Edition

I really love the dry texturising spray from the vo5 plump it up range so was excited to try out the shampoo and conditioner from the range. Overall I quite like it but I did find it took a little getting used to - it's not as sleek as other shampoo/ conditioners that I've used. It washes hair really well but left my hair with the feel that it was clean but next day clean. I found my hair less manageable and took a lot longer to brush through after using it. It's good if you're styling your hair but on a day to day basis I found it hard work. I'd pick up some smaller bottles to have in the bathroom as it would be perfect to wash your hair with if you were going straight out as it gives you a little boost before you even begin getting product out. They're only £4 for both at Superdrug though so definitely worth a go. 

I picked up the Superdrug pink grapfruit tea tree facial wash ages ago as it was cheap and I had a few little pimples on my chest so without spending lots of pennies on a specific showergel I thought this might do the trick. And it did within just a few showers! I wouldn't use it on my face personally as it was a little drying and my skin couldn't handle it. I can't find the pink grapefruit scent online but the lemon is available here for just £2.99. 

Finally I've used up my little morroccan oil shampoo and conditioner samples. I really do love this stuff - it's a once a week treat for the hair that's full of oil just leaving the softest sleekest hair behind. I wish it wasn't so expensive - I did find 500ml of each for just under £40 here which is amazing but still so so much money considering the vo5 came in at a 10th of the price for the same amount. I'll always be on the look out for some crazy deal that doesn't exist but I might pick up some small bottles again as they do last for ages. 


Sunday, 9 March 2014

No 7 - Instant Radiance Highlighter

No 7 Instant Highlighter and the Pop and Glow cream blush sticks have been popping up everywhere recently. After a little haircare binge in boots I got a £3 off No7 make-up voucher so thought it was about time I worked out what all the fuss was about. I decided on the highlighter stick simply because I have far less highlighting products than I do blush. I swatched the blush sticks in store and would have found it hard to pick just one shade too - classic rose and mango sorbet are stunning and so so pigmented. 

However swatching the highlighter in store made me fall in love a little. It's super creamy and has a lovely soft gold illuminating quality that adds a natural glow to the skin. It blends out really well and is perfect to add some shimmer to cheekbones. I love how compact it is and how super easy it is to apply and use. I know I put off buying the blushers on this occasion but I'm sure they'll end up in my basket some time soon as they look too pretty to pass up. 


Friday, 7 March 2014

MyOptique London Retro Highgate Frames

A little while ago I was lucky enough to get an email from Catherine at Catherines Loves saying I'd won her London Retro glasses competition. I got to pick a pair of MyOptique glasses from the London Retro range. It was a pretty hard choice but I went for the highgate frames in tortoise shell in the end. Just under a week later they arrived made to my prescription in the most gorgeous leather effect case - packaged just beautifully. I adore them they're really well made and feel very sturdy for such a thin frame. I'll definitely be using the company again as these retail for just £79 which I think is super reasonable for such a gorgeous range.


Thursday, 6 March 2014

Korres Pomegranate Lip Butter - Review

I've only tried a few Korres samples before but all the things I've tried have smelt amazing and been super lovely to use. I picked up the Korres pomegranate lip butter in a recent Beauty Expert haul and it's been in my desk at work ever since. It's very sheer but has a lovely pinky coral colour that just adds to the natural colour of the lip. It's the perfect office lip as in my opinion - it's buttery nourishment means the air con won't be chapping your lips between 9-5 and the slight tint gives the lip the perfect hint of 'I've made an effort'. It's currently £5.09 at Beauty Expert which I think is such good value for winter's lip cure with a hint of coral to take you into spring. 


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Avoiding Boots Wishlist

I've made a promise not to go crazy in Boots this year as I really need to save up & use up so many of the products I already own. However it doesn't hurt to put together a little wishlist basket does it ...?! I really want to give the Maybelline baby skin pore eraser a go and see how it compares with benefit porefessional. It will definitely be purchased when I'm in the need of a new primer. I also want to try out the Maybelline better skin foundation and concealer - my skin isn't the best at moment so I'd love to see what these can do. 

I really don't need any more nail varnish but this Essie twinkle belle duo kit looks too pretty to pass up for Spring time. I've read so much about the Revlon matte lip balms and as it ticks all my lip wishes so I can't wait to get my hands on it. For the exact same reasons I'd love to try the L'Oreal Paris glam shine balmy gloss. I'm coming to the end of my L'Oreal CC creams so the Bourjois CC cream looks like the perfect new addition along with it's matching CC eye concealer. Even though my skin is getting better I wouldn't mind seeing the Nude Magique Blur Cream lives up to all of its claims. 

Finally as sleek is now available in Boots I will most definitely be picking up the contour kit sometime soon. I've wanted it for ages but now it's in Boots there's no avoiding this purchase. I've done pretty well at avoiding Boots for all of 2014 so far. I might still avoid it and do a calculated online shop once over the next few months to make sure I don't get that crazy shock at the till. 


Sunday, 2 March 2014

Spring Nail Picks

The rain definitely hasn't stopped but every now and then the sun is coming up so surely spring is on it's way. Pastel colours are out - finally! My favourite nail polishes for this season are: Essie - Bikini so Teeny, Barry M Gelly - Papaya, Models Own - Utopia, L'Oreal - Wasabi Hint & Models Own - Lemon Meringue.