Monday, 16 January 2017

My Contraceptive Implant Experience

Hi everyone and happy 2017!

I know it's been a long time since I last blogged, but I'm back yet again and with something a little different for my first post of 2017...moving aside from beauty/fashion to talk about contraception - because I know from experience, choosing the right type for you can be confusing. So I really hope this is helpful in some way!

I did a post on my contraceptive implant experience over on my other blog, but frankly that post is super long and probably a bit of a slog to read, so I'm going to try and keep it more condensed over here.

Also - like my other post - this may get a little TMI, so sorry about that!

Background info
So in case you didn't know, the implant is a 40mm tube that's inserted under the skin of your upper arm. It works by stopping ovulation and lasts for three years. It's an extremely effective method of contraception (more than 99%) but doesn't protect you from STIs.

So why did I get the implant? The main reasons are:
  • I'm in a long term relationship with my boyfriend (I will say no more...)
  • I don't want to have a baby just yet 
  • I am forgetful and would probably forget to take the pill and freak out about getting pregnant!
I had mine inserted on 30th April 2015, so I've had it a while now! I was *really* nervous about the insertion - I am very squeamish, and not good with needles. However I can honestly say that the insertion really isn't much to worry about. It's over very quickly. I looked away and endured the pain of the needle (this is really the worst part, but no worse than any other injection) which numbed my upper arm. I could still feel a little bit of twinging as they actually inserted the implant but then it was over and they bandaged the wound up.

This is what my bruise and wound looked like four days after insertion.
You need to keep the bandage on a few days to keep the wound clean, and in this time my arm did start to feel a bit sore. I also had some bruising around the insertion area (as seen in the picture above) but it wore off quite quickly and I would say the post-insertion pain/bruising I had was very manageable.

My experience from there
I started getting light bleeding around a month after insertion which lasted two weeks - pretty long for a period but it isn't technically a period as I no longer ovulate. This was pretty annoying, and over the next months I had on and off periods that could be around 10-14 days long. These were neither painful nor heavy but it did get on my nerves so I went to my G.P who prescribed Norethisterone (a drug that can be used to delay your period). I took it every day for three weeks then had a week off where I'd bleed - essentially like having a normal period again. I stopped taking it in September 2015 because I was no longer having a period in the week off, and I didn't get any bleeding again for several months. Norethisterone also tends to make my skin break out (and I already get the occasional hormonal breakout on Nexplanon). I went back on it briefly just before my May 2016 holiday to Rhodes as I wanted to be 100% sure I wouldn't bleed.

Now it's kind of the same story - I can go for months without having a period and then bam, I bleed for two weeks - however it's mostly very light. It is quite inconvenient though, and especially so in December when I bled twice with only a week in between, which hadn't happened before. I was hoping I wouldn't be bleeding during my New Year's Eve plans but thankfully it had stopped by then! Depending on how this carries on, I'm hoping I won't need to go back on Norethisterone to control these infrequent periods.

Basically every woman is unique and reacts differently to the implant - some women will be lucky and have no bleeding at all (jealous) while others may be constantly bleeding on/off. There's no way to predict how your body will react to it and no way for me to know when I might next have a bleed so I must carry pads/tampons with me everywhere! (You just know that the one time I forget, I'll bleed).

Overall thoughts
Aside from the infrequent, annoying periods, I'm really pleased with my experience. The implant is extremely convenient - I won't need to think about contraception until April 2018 when my implant is due for removal and I may or may not get another one there and then. I'm not anxious about becoming pregnant, which is great as I'm anxious about a lot of things, but I know the implant is working and its side effects for me are pretty mild. Like I said, you don't know how your body will react to it, so it's not going to be for everyone, but you never know until you try, and you can easily ask for Norethisterone to control crazy bleeding, or ask for the implant to be removed at any time.

Thanks for reading and I hope this was helpful and not too long! For professional advice on the implant, please take a look at the NHS website.

If you have the implant I'd love to read your thoughts, and feel free to ask me any questions below in the comments as well :)

Sabrina xxx 

Monday, 25 July 2016

Recent Beauty Buys

Hi everyone, hope you're all well! Today I have a post on some items I snapped up from Superdrug the other day, yet again in one of those times where you go in to buy an essential and end up buying some things you didn't really my case, I can (sort of but not really) justify it as I haven't purchased much new makeup so far this year at all - I've been trying to use up what I have and then only buy the makeup I need (a new mascara every six months is fair game, right?) and save money, and this plan is going well for the most part!

Anyway, having picked up my essential items I noticed that Superdrug were doing a 3 for 2 offer across all makeup, so you can guess what happened next...

As a side note, I like it when the 3 for 2 isn't restricted to one brand! I don't always find it easy to pick three things I'd like from just the one brand. Anyway, the first thing I picked up was the Bourjois Radiance Reveal Concealer in Ivory.

Bourjois Radiance Reveal Concealer in Ivory
Bourjois Radiance Reveal Concealer in Ivory packaging and swatch

I didn't really need a new concealer that much so I have no excuse for this but I do like trying new ones as I have terrible dark circles and get spots quite often (although with this one I don't think I'd use it on spots, as I don't want to add radiance there and draw attention to them!) I love Bourjois for foundation (I reviewed their 123 Perfect CC Cream in my last post) and had heard great things about this new edition to their range of concealers, so I thought I'd give it a go. The shade ivory is probably the lightest shade and is a reasonably good match for my skin tone. It's also said to be a great dupe of, or at least a similar product to, the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, which I've tried and really like but can't afford to repurchase! This Bourjois one comes in quite fancy packaging for drugstore/high street and has a sponge tip applicator. It's a bit more than I'd usually like to spend on a drugstore concealer, at £7.99, but this is still pretty good considering the NARS offering is now £22.50. Anyway, I might come back with my thoughts on this after I've used it for a while! 

The next thing I got in the 3 for 2 deal is one of the new Rimmel Kate Moss 15 Year Anniversary Lipsticks in the shade Boho Nude. These lipsticks have been launched to celebrate 15 years of Kate Moss being the face of Rimmel, and come in gorgeous rose gold packaging which I adore. It caught my eye instantly and is definitely making its way to my Instagram...

There are three nudes and three reds in the collection and unfortunately I couldn't swatch any of them as my local Superdrug only had the sealed ones at the Rimmel section (I have mixed feelings about Superdrug using these stickers. On the one hand, they're great because it means you can be sure no one's been in and touched the makeup before you bought it. On the other hand, they're a pain in the arse to remove.) that is, until I was standing in the queue for the till and spotted a nearby mini-Rimmel stand which had a few testers. I'd already put Boho Nude in my basket after looking up swatches of it and deciding to take a risk, but when I saw the tester I gave it a quick swatch to actually confirm that I liked it.

It's a bit of a brown-toned nude, so I wasn't sure if it would suit me (I haven't really tried the recent brown lipstick trend, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't suit me at all!) but it's unlike any other lipstick I own so I thought I'd try it. I've worn it once and my first impressions are pretty good - it smells lovely (a similar smell to my other Rimmel Kate lipstick...I don't know how to explain it. It just smells good) has a great formula, and looks quite nice. It was £6.49 which I think is reasonable, especially considering the fancy packaging.

The final makeup item I got was a Maybelline EyeStudio Color Tattoo 24hr Cream Gel Eyeshadow in Creamy Beige. I've been meaning to pick up another one of these for ages (I already own one in the shade Pink Gold) and decided to get this as my free item in the 3 for 2 - it's £4.99 otherwise.

It's not a daring colour or anything but more of a good everyday basic brown eyeshadow that will last all day and can also be used as a good base for other eyeshadows. As you can tell from the name, these eyeshadows promise to last 24 hours - I don't know about that, but they do have brilliant staying power and are just generally really great quality and stay put. They have some really bright and more interesting shades as well which look nice but I thought I'd get more wear out of this shade.

Moving on to skincare, I needed a new cleanser and moisturiser so after a bit of deliberation (looking for ratings or reviews using the free wifi) I decided to try Superdrug's own brand Tea Tree range. They had lots of cleansers to choose from but I got the Foaming Face Wash. The range had a '2 for £5 deal' on so I also got the Tea Tree Moisturising Face Cream. You only get 30ml with the moisturiser which I thought was quite small, and both products are £3.29 normally so the 2 for £5 deal is pretty good. I've only been using these for a few days but so far I quite like them, they may not have worked miracles on my spots but they work well at getting the jobs done of washing and moisturising my face - the latter leaves my face feeling nice and smooth without being greasy at all.

I always find it a bit funny how Superdrug offer a '100% happiness guaranteed' deal with their own brand skincare - if you're not 100% happy, they'll give you a full refund and 25% off your next own brand purchase. So I could just go back to the shop and say "I'm only 99% happy with this" and they'll give me this offer? Also, it's so cheap I don't think anyone would actually bother with the offer unless it was really convenient for them to do it/they wouldn't feel awkward/they really really hated the product. But I digress...another good thing about these products is that they're both paraben free and cruelty free, which I like!

Sort of sticking to skincare (only it's skincare for the body) I decided to try a new body scrub. My local Superdrug didn't have a huge range to choose from so I was tempted to leave it and get one from the Body Shop or somewhere instead but then I saw the Palmers Cocoa Body Scrub, which was on offer for £3.29 instead of £4.99.  I've not tried anything from Palmers before but thought they're meant to be a pretty good brand for body products and this one sounded good -"This unique formula contains pure Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Vitamin E and natural crushed cocoa beans which moisturise, refine and polish skin." 

I've used it once and so far I really like it, it does really well at exfoliating and moisturising your skin and smells AMAZING. Just like chocolate. I kind of want to eat it, but that probably wouldn't be a good idea. I'm sometimes a bit too lazy to use body scrubs but with this one I think I'll enjoy using it!

That's it! Hope you enjoyed my ramblings about buying some new beauty things, which I probably didn't need but what the heck...treat yo self.

What have you treated yo self to recently? :)

Sabrina xx

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Review: Bourjois 123 Perfect Colour Correcting Cream

Hello! So...guess who's back, back again. I can't believe it's been three months since I last posted here. ('I have a few posts in mind' I said, before disappearing again...) But here I am, with a review of a 'colour correcting cream' (basically foundation) I've been trying recently. Bourjois 123 Perfect Colour Correcting Cream constantly receives positive reviews, and despite not really needing a new foundation, I gave in to the hype and decided to try it. Bourjois in general seems like a great high street/drugstore choice for foundations - I've mentioned before how I love the original Healthy Mix Foundation and have used up loads of it. I have heard that they're owned by the same company who owns Chanel, whose foundations are supposed to be pretty good, so maybe we're actually getting pretty much the same products in different packaging?

Anyway, like the Healthy Mix Foundation, it claims to contain '3 colour correcting pigments':

  • Apricot for radiance
  • Melon for hydration
  • Apple to protect your youth

  • The Boots website also says that 'it is also enriched with crystalline pigments to even out the complexion while letting in the natural light for that healthy looking glow.'

    I don't really know what they're on about with colour correcting and crystalline pigments, but I can definitely agree that it makes your skin look radiant and healthy. As someone with blemish-prone skin I was concerned it wouldn't give me enough coverage, but it definitely gives you a decent amount - not too light but not full on either.

    This foundation is gorgeous - it never looks cakey or unnatural, it just makes your skin still look like skin, but better. I've found that it looks a bit nicer blended in with my fingers than with a brush. It has an oil-free formula, which is great for people with combination to oily skin.

    Me wearing the CC cream...excuse the bad hair
    Another thing I've noticed about this product is how well it lasts - I have somewhat oily skin but the foundation stays on even after a long and possibly hot day, and even without a primer or powder. It doesn't really give any claims about longevity apart from that it will give you 24 hour hydration...which is tricky, because no one wears their foundation that long! But I have been impressed with the staying power - it may even stay on longer than my No7 Beautifully Matte Foundation (reviewed here) which claims to last 14 hours. 

    As usual with Bourjois foundations, the shades on offer have a yellow undertone.
    A swatch of the ivory shade
    Luckily this doesn't translate into looking like a Simpsons character when you apply it. My shade (ivory) is the lightest and is unfortunately probably going to be too dark for any super pale ladies - I'm hoping I'll be able to get away with it in the winter, but for now it's perfect. I've already worn this foundation loads and can see myself reaching for it a lot more, although on days where my skin is looking particularly awful and I need a higher coverage I'll still use the No7 Beautifully Matte.

    Overall, this is a great base for summer - lightweight, with SPF 15 (though you'll probably want to apply a higher factor on your face on really hot days) and natural-looking. Definitely worth the hype in my opinion.

    Bourjois 123 Perfect Colour Correcting Cream is £9.99 from Boots/Superdrug and is often on offer with a '3 for 2 on Bourjois' deal. I got mine in a 2 for £14 deal along with Bourjois Volume Glamour Push Up Waterproof mascara.

    Hope this was helpful for anyone thinking of buying this foundation! :)

    Sabrina xx

    Tuesday, 15 March 2016

    Things I'm Loving Right Now

    Hello everyone! I thought I'd talk about some of the beauty and non-beauty bits and pieces I've been enjoying recently. :)

    Beauty favourites

    The Body Shop Mango Eau de Toilette
    I got this within a gift set of other products in the Mango range from The Body Shop and have liked the whole set, but this has been my favourite. Something about this perfume just perks me up in the morning - it's very sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. It's quite a summery scent, but still great for all year round. And it's very affordable at £8.50 for 30ml. Not much else to say except I'd definitely recommend giving this a whiff next time you're in the shop!

    Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara 
    I have this in this pretty 'retro summer' limited edition packaging, which doesn't seem to be available anymore, so I've linked to the original one. This mascara is actually nearing it's 6 month use by date, which is a shame as I've really enjoyed using it! It's not quite as good as Maybelline's Lash Sensational Mascara (which I reviewed here). But it's still a great product, giving me beautiful length and volume with very little time or effort needed. (Which is good because as you can tell from the name, it does promise giving you volume in one second). It's a little expensive for a drugstore mascara at £9.99, but it's included in offers quite often - there's a '3 for 2 on Bourjois' offer on at Boots at the moment.

    Dior Addict Lipstick in Spring Ball Extreme
    I got this ages ago, using birthday money after my 21st birthday. I didn't use to wear it very often (don't really know why - I guess when you have high end things you want to treasure them more often or something, but really their expensiveness is all the more reason to get your money's worth and use them!) but lately I reach for this a lot - it's a gorgeous peachy-pink. There's a good swatch (not mine) of it here alongside 'Spring Ball'. You can also see one of those freaky close ups of my lips with it on here:

    Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat
    I won't go on about this too much as I talked about it in my last post, but I've used this for a few weeks now and I'm loving it! I'm not sure at the moment whether it's better than the MAC Prep and Prime Highlighting Pen in Radiant Rose that I used up, but we'll see. ;)

    Non-beauty favourites

    Chocolate: Golden Eggs 

    Holy crap these are good. When I saw Alice Anne from Annie Writes Beauty rave about these on Twitter, I knew I had to try them. I am now officially hooked - you wouldn't have thought chocolate eggs could get any better than Mini Eggs, but I actually prefer these. The only problem is that I pretty much buy a packet every time I go to a shop, ie they may only a pound a bag but I'll probably go broke soon haha.

    Wait a second: will we still be able to get these after Easter?! :o

    TV: Happy Valley
    Image credit: BBC (please don't sue me Beeb)

    This programme isn't my usual pick - I don't really go for depressing crime dramas, especially ones with gore. (Don't be fooled by the name, it's an unhappy valley.) The first series was good, but this second series (which ends tonight!) has been even better. It's gripping television and you can just lose yourself for an hour and enjoy it. It's a shame the series is ending so soon, but at the same time I'm really excited to see how they'll tie up all the loose ends. And considering how good it is and how high the viewing figures are, they're surely going to make a third series right? I hope so! Definitely give it a watch if you're looking for a great drama to sink your teeth into.

    Cereal: Curiously Cinnamon by Nestlé

    I know what you're thinking: 'Really, Sabrina? A cereal?! Are you mad?' but this deserves a mention because it's the best non-chocolatey cereal I've come across. This is the kind of cereal that I just can't help but snack on if I'm really hungry and waiting for my dinner to cook...I have even been known to take some in a sandwich bag to snack on at work. Trust me, this is a really great way to start your day. I also think it's really great value when bought from Asda as it's only £2 for this large box, which will last you a while (or not in my case, because I keep snacking on them).

    Book: The Humans by Matt Haig

    I haven't read a lot of this yet, but so far I'm really enjoying it. It's by the same author as Reasons to Stay Alive and Matt also follows me on Twitter - hi Matt if you happen to be reading this (which is unlikely but there we go). The start of this book was absolutely hilarious and it's quite unique to anything I've read before. Here's a synopsis:

    After an 'incident' one wet Friday night where Professor Andrew Martin is found walking naked through the streets of Cambridge, he is not feeling quite himself. Food sickens him. Clothes confound him. Even his loving wife and teenage son are repulsive to him. He feels lost amongst a crazy alien species and hates everyone on the planet. Everyone, that is, except Newton, and he's a dog.

    What could possibly make someone change their mind about the human race...?

    What beauty and/or non-beauty things are you loving lately?

    Sabrina xx

    Friday, 4 March 2016

    I'm back with a Boots Haul!

    Boots haul
    *sorry about the bad photo, it was taken at night time
    Hello everyone, so I'm back after many months...many people won't be bothered but if you do want to read my excuse explanation then I'll leave it at the bottom of the page, otherwise read on! 
    So, the other day I went to Boots, and stuff happened. I was actually going in there intending on buying the famous YSL Touche Eclat - despite being on a budget. I justify this because ever since my MAC Prep and Prime highlighter ran out I've missed using a pinky brightening pen under my eyes and wanted to see what all the fuss was about with Touche Eclat (I actually did buy it once ages ago from Cheap Smells, now called All Beauty, as it is slightly cheaper on there, but I barely recall if I liked it or not because it ran out suspiciously quickly. I should really have chased them up about it at the time because it makes me wonder if I had a dud).
    My other excuse is that I've not bought myself new makeup in ages (basically just mascara and concealer late last year when both of the old ones were running out) and so when you think about it that £22.50 (it was on offer at 10% off) was probably what I would have spent on random stuff anyway if I hadn't decided to stop buying more makeup items I don't need, because I wasn't running out of those things at all (lipsticks, eye shadows, blushes etc). Plus, you've got to treat yo self once in a while, right...?
    Fun fact: this video was posted on my birthday.
    Anyway yes - the lady at the counter didn't need to sell this to me much at all. One odd thing was that she told me it was a concealer but I'm not sure this is true - I mean, as I understand it, you use it under your eyes to brighten, not conceal. I fully wasn't expecting this to cover up my dark circles, just to really help cancel out the darkness under my eyes and help make me look like I've had my eight hours (when really I've been writing blog posts at half midnight).  
    Another thing that was tempting me was that I had these vouchers from boots to boost my points - these are great as they're easy to redeem and you can get loads of points quickly. So when I did this haul I gained about £9.50 worth in points! Another way I boost my points is through the offers on the app, which are sometimes better than the coupons they send in the post. For example, I have a coupon left to get 200 points when I spend £20 or more before 15th March, but another one on the app gives me 400 points if I spend £20+. So obviously I'll go with that one, and before 15th March I'll head back to Boots to get some more things, mainly essentials as like I said I don't really need any more bits of makeup! The app can be a bit glitchy but if you don't have it you can still access the same offers under your advantage card account page on
    But yeah, YSL Touche Eclat is one of the most iconic makeup products of all time and sometimes it's just nice to own a beautifully packaged, top quality luxury beauty product. So I don't feel too bad about buying this, but if I repurchase it, it will probably be using my points!
    I've used it a few times and really like it so far, I get terrible dark circles so anything that makes me look more awake is a winner. I might do a full review in the future, so let me know if that's something you'd be interested in! 
    The next thing I bought was a Soap and Glory Foam Call Bath and Shower Wash. These body washes always smell amazing and are a nice treat (not that they're expensive at £6.50, but this is a fair amount to pay for a shower gel) and I got 200 points for buying a soap and glory product. I haven't tried this particular one before but I'm pretty sure I'm going to enjoy it, these are great products.
    My Garnier Micellar Water was running low so I decided to try out Nivea's offering in the micellar water trend - the Daily Essentials Sensitive 3in1 Micellar Cleansing Water, which I've also heard good things about. It's currently half price at £1.84, but I wouldn't really buy it full price as it's not as good value for money as the Garnier one, which gives you twice as much product for not much more money (it's also on offer quite often).
    Staying on skincare and another points offer was to buy a Boots Skin Clear product - they do a lot of offers around this range and in taking advantage of them I've ended up with so many spot sticks! I decided to try out their Deep Clean Daily Face Wash, which was only £2.99. Reading reviews before I bought it I could have sworn some people said it had beads in it, which I wasn't too keen on - I wouldn't really want to use an exfoliating wash once or twice a day, it's too harsh. But it doesn't have any beads - I don't know if they might have reformulated it since these reviews were written? But anyway so far I'm liking this. I've heard that foam washes aren't that great for the skin as they can dry it out but to be honest I like using them, they give you more of a feeling of having a squeaky clean face than milky/lotion type cleansers like Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean do (don't get me wrong I like that cleanser a lot, but it doesn't make your skin feel as clean as foam washes do). 
    In case you wanted to have a looksie inside
    And another skincare item I bought, again from Boots' own brand range, is their Boots Essentials Cucumber Moisturising Cream. To be honest when I picked this up at Euston station a while before I bought this other stuff I just needed a new moisturiser and couldn't be bothered to look up loads of reviews, but the ones for this seemed promising. It's aimed at all skin types, so I knew it wasn't going to do anything special, but I'm really enjoying it - it's refreshing to use, not too heavy, and makes my skin feel nice and soft. The only thing I don't like is that it takes ages to sink in to my skin, so if I'm getting ready in the morning and want to do my foundation it's a little annoying if the moisturiser hasn't finished sinking in. But yeah, I wasn't expecting anything too fancy from this but I quite like it, and you can't go wrong really at £1.50. I think quite a lot of people have tried the eye cream in Boots' cucumber skincare range, but I'd recommend this too if you're looking for a good, cheap, basic moisturiser. 
    My excuse for being a bad blogger:
    I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but I have a bit of an obsessive personality. Not that I get hooked on drugs or anything like that haha, but I get periodically obsessed with things like songs, chocolate/sweets/snack types, and makeup. When I stopped blogging it wasn't just because I'd slightly run out of ideas and couldn't afford to keep buying new products all the time (this is another thing - there shouldn't be too many hauls, because I really want a holiday and living in London now is expensive!) it was also because I just wasn't all that bothered about makeup anymore. And if I'm not interested in or passionate about it, I don't think it would make for a good reading experience for you (and writing experience for me) if I forced blog posts just for the sake of it. Besides, moving to London was quite a big change last year, so I had so much on my mind with my new job and everything that blogging and makeup and beauty just sort of got sidelined. So apologies if anyone has missed my blog (doubtful, but thanks very much if you like my blog that much!). I don't know how often I'll blog from now on, but I have a few posts in mind, and I'm getting a bit back into beauty, so we shall see. ;)
    Hope you enjoyed this post! Have you tried any of these products? 
    Sabrina xx

    Monday, 5 October 2015

    Trying New Things

    Hi everyone! So (and I hope this doesn't come off as me showing off) I recently won a giveaway (YAY!) from the lovely Zinita of Beauty & the Payroller - which I was really excited about, not least because it included the coveted Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette, which is top of everyone's wish list lately!

    The bundle of stuff I won has enabled me to try new things - including stuff that's not actually available in this country, like the Sephora Kiss Me Lip Balm, which I love. At first I was a bit confused by it, as it's a massive rollerball lip product that looks like an egg! But the colour - 'Strawberry Fizz' is gorgeous and reminds me a little bit of Mac's Show Orchid lipstick. It has a lot of pigmentation for a balm and applies really nicely. I would definitely recommend checking this product out next time you get the chance - it would be great if we had a Sephora in the UK!

    I also really like the Benefit lip balms Benebalm, Posiebalm and Cha-cha balm, which are all adorably small and great for travel. 

    As you can see, Benebalm is the most pigmented of the three, but the other two aren't bad either. These balms are designed to match their corresponding lip tint, and I actually own samples of Benetint and Posietint (Posietint is almost empty!) so the only full size tint I own is Lollitint, which I think would still go quite well with Posiebalm.

    The beauty bundle also included some nice bath/shower minis from Cowshed - a brand I previously hadn't tried before. The body lotion smells amazing and the little bag it comes with would make a lovely makeup bag.

    I've also finally got to try Bioderma and see what all the fuss is about - again in a handy travel size - and it is quite good! It seems to get off loads of makeup quickly and leave my skin feeling nice and clean. I'm not sure if I've been wowed by it enough to pay more than I would for the Garnier micellar water though. Another product I've heard a lot of good things about is the Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan - as I've mentioned before, I'm not really into fake-tanning, but I'm still interested to try this out sometime (possibly for a night out, because flash is unforgiving). It sounds very quick and easy, and the mitt included is machine-washable, which is handy!

    Zinita also gave me some face masks, two from Sephora and the Pur Minerals Dirty Girl Detoxifying Mud Mask, which I literally just tried before typing this - first impressions are that this stuff goes seriously tight, so it was a relief to wash it off! I now have super-clean feeling skin, although my nose is a little red. Also from Pur is a 'Big Look' mascara which comes in lovely pink packaging.

    For eyes, as well the Naked palette, Zinita sent me a Lord & Berry smudgeproof eyeliner in black (plus a handy waterproof eye makeup remover from Sephora, which is good because this eyeliner is waterproof!) and two Fashion Fair eyeshadows in Suede (a dark brown) and Nude (a lightish brown) these should look great together, and again the brand is new to me. In fact, I think the only brands I've tried out of what I've received have been Urban Decay and Benefit!

    After some consideration, I decided to sell the Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette. It is untouched, as literally all I've done with it is open the packaging and marvel at its beauty, but the packaging doesn't look opened. I hope Zinita doesn't mind - it's just that, as much as I love the look of this palette (and am very tempted to swatch it) I don't think I would get much use out of it, as I own the original Naked palette but barely touch it - partly because I don't wear eyeshadows very often anyway (I rarely have time in the morning for a proper eyeshadow look) and also because the shades don't suit me very much, being quite warm-toned. So my Naked palette is sitting unloved, which is a shame because there's nothing actually wrong with it, and I don't want the same thing to befall this palette! It deserves to go to a loving home.

    (With that said, I just looked at online swatches of it, and I need a dupe of the shade 'Armor' in my life - if anyone owns the palette and knows of a similar shade in their stash please let me know!)

    It's now sold, but please take a look at the other things I'm selling :)

    Thanks for reading!
    Sabrina xx

    Sunday, 13 September 2015

    Current Favourites and a Mini Blog Sale

    Hi everyone! Sorry about the lack of posts lately...I started a new full-time job last month (I'm getting paid to write - eeee) so I've been busy settling in, so that unfortunately meant that my blogs have been a bit neglected!

    In this post I'm firstly going to talk about my favourite products recently, and then I'm making my first foray into the world of blog sales with four items for sale including two MAC lipsticks.

    So, recently my Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara has been looking a bit gloopy and generally worse for wear, so it was time to get a new mascara (one of the few makeup items I can justify buying despite being skint - because if you don't get a new mascara at least every six months you'd basically be putting yourself at risk of getting an eye infection!) I actually really liked that mascara, it was definitely one of the best I've tried in the past year or so and if it weren't for my penchant for trying new mascaras I'd probably repurchase it.

    I decided to buy the Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara(which was £3 off when I bought it but the offer has ended, sorry!)

    Look at this fancy limited edition 'Retro Summer' packaging! It might not even really be summer anymore but this packaging is lovely and cheerful. This mascara is one Bourjois' most well known but the only mascara I've tried from them has been the Volumizer one (one of the many Mac Haute and Naughty copycat 2-in-1 mascaras that were coming out in 2010 - I really liked that one, even if the 2-in-1 thing is a bit gimmicky.)

    Anyway, this isn't technically a favourite because I've only been using it a few weeks and haven't made my mind up yet (I'll probably write a full review on this once I've been using it longer) but so far I have quite mixed feelings on this mascara. On the one hand, it does provide a very nice look quickly, with good volume and length. You certainly don't have to put much effort in to get a decent mascara look. On the other hand, the brush is flipping massive, so you have to be careful, and I've noticed that at the end of the day a few times it has smudged onto my lower lash line, so that's not ideal. But I will keep using it and I'll let you know how it goes!

    In terms of other makeup, I've been enjoying long-lasting lip products - at work sometimes I can simply have a cup of tea and a biscuit and the next thing I know the lovely pink lippy I had on before is almost gone. So Benefit's Lollitint (which I talked about in my high end favourites post) is great for increasing the wear of my lip colour. It looks good either on its own or layered with a lippie like Nars Roman Holiday.  

    In terms of long-lasting lipsticks, Rimmel's Lasting Perfection lipstick by Kate in 01 and No7's Moisture Drench lipstick in Rosy Ribbon have been great options. Rosy Ribbon is a dark pink which leans slightly reddish on me, although next to Rimmel's Kate in 01 it looks very pink! It was recommended for my particular skin tone with the No7 Match Made Service.

    Rimmel Kate swatch
    Left - No7 Rosy Ribbon. Right - Rimmel Kate.
    Rimmel Kate promises up to 8 hours wear, which I don't think is true although it does last very well. I can't see any claims about wear time in the description for No7's Rosy Ribbon, so it may or may not be this particular shade which is long lasting. At £5.49 Rimmel's Kate in 01 is more affordable than the No7 one which is £9.95 - quite pricey for a drugstore lipstick, but No7 do offers quite often, for example right now there's a 'buy one get second half price on selected No7 cosmetics' offer.

    Moving on to concealer and I'm still loving the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer - I don't know whether mine is actually starting to run out though as I keep having to put more effort in to get product out. It doesn't look like it's nearly empty, but still...nooooo. Living in London, I'm now on a serious budget so I can't really afford to repurchase this when it runs out, sad times. But I am still happy to use the good old Collection concealer (you know the one) as a perfect budget alternative which is around £18 cheaper (seriously.)

    I'm still using and loving the Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean Cleansing Milk which I reviewed here. It smells amazing, albeit a little bit sickly sometimes, and is great for removing face makeup. Finally, a haircare favourite I wanted to mention was the Garnier Ultimate Blends The Colour Illuminator, a one minute treatment which nourishes my hair as well as protecting the colour radiance. My hair gets quite dry at the ends (especially as I've been blow drying it more lately - oops) and this stuff really helps. I also use coconut oil occasionally as an overnight treatment.

    The Mini Blog Sale...

    Blog Sale

    This is UK only - sorry! The prices below include £2.80 postage. Please let me know in the comments if you'd like to buy something and provide your PayPal email address - I will then send you a PayPal invoice. (If you don't want to post your email address on here, just DM me on Twitter.)

    Please try to pay within 24 hours of me sending you the invoice and then I will post your item/s as soon as I can and let you know they're on the way. Also, if you live near ish to me in Tufnell Park in London then we might be able to knock £2.80 off the price (from postage) to meet up in person so I can give you what you bought - walking distance only though please. I won't accept returns/refunds I'm afraid.

    From left to right in the image above, here's what's on offer:

    1. Eyeco Skinny Liquid Eyeliner Black (never opened or used as I already have one) RRP £12, Price: £7

    2. Jemma Kidd Light as Air Foundation in Ultra Light (about 80% left) (not sure what its RRP was, I think around £25) Price: £13

    This foundation used to get raved about a lot before Jemma Kidd's makeup line was discontinued. This is a really nice foundation but I'm selling it because it doesn't work very well with my oily skin. (It used to work with my skin when I first bought it!) It has an SPF of 18 and the shade Ultra Light matches fair skin tones like my own quite well.

    3. MAC Viva Glam Nicki Lipstick (used about 4 times) RRP £15.50 Price: £11

    I wrote about this in my MAC lipstick collection post - (you can see swatches for both lipsticks there.) It's a great lipstick but I'm selling it because it doesn't work well with my skintone! It's been discontinued.

    4. MAC Vegas Volt Lipstick - used 4-5 times. RRP £15.50 Price: £10.50

    I'm also selling a Chase Your Shadow: The Trials of Oscar Pistorius book over on Gumtree if anyone's interested!

    Closer look images:

    Blog Sale MAC Lipsticks

    Thanks for reading!

    Sabrina xx

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