March Non-Beauty Favourites 2014

April is going to be super busy for me so I may not be posting as much as planned but I have prepped a few posts ready so we can all stay in touch. As always, I will reply all my emails and comments which you all know I cherish and I can't wait for these busy times to be over just so I can get back to my normal routine. As mentioned in my Blogversary post, I recently purchased a Canon 600D DSLR Camera and I have been obsessed with it. I literally run back home after work everyday just to play with it; I feel like a child again with a new toy. Although, I have had a few cameras ranging from Nikon and FujiFilm which were point and shoot digital and Bridge cameras respectively, I still found handling my DSLR a little bit challenging. I bought it because I wanted to take my photography to a new level and I felt I had practised with the others really well. A DSLR is definitely different from these other cameras as there are so many things to learn and tweak to get really nice pictures. I did not want use the Auto setting so I have been using the Manual setting only because I wanted to experiment. I have been practising as much as I can in a variety of environments including low light, day light, night time and artificial light from the bulb in my room. It has been a little frustrating especially in the first week but practice indeed helps and I thought I would share a few pictures with you all. I am still very much a novice with using it but it seems every day gets better with practise.So, I thought I share a few of my favourites with you...enjoy...x

1. Black Seedless Grapes: I am obsessed with black seedless grapes and they satisfy most of my sugar cravings..

2. Grapes Special Bowl: So obsessed with grapes that I had to buy a special chalice for it and they taste even better in it...No, I am serious!!

3. Faux Flowers and Mini Vase: I fell in love with this flower and vase two weeks ago; it was staring at me off the prettiest crafts window shop...I could not leave it there.. I absolutely could not ...:-)

4. Selfie Phone Case: Yes, I shamelessly got a phone case of one of my favourite selfies...does that mean I am vain??

5. Stuffed Pets: I am not a teddy bear girl but I love my stuffed puppies (I can't have a real one in my flat) and piggie...they are so adorable, No?

6. These Nakd Bars are the real deal and they are definitely better than chocolate except Galaxy which, in my opinion, is irreplaceable..

7. My amazing Kit Lens (18-55mm) which came with my camera and we have had so many adventures within a short time....far too many I tell you..

8. Canon Lens EF 50mm 1.8: I could not resist buying another lens especially as I had a Canon £50 voucher so the purchase of the F 1.8 Lens was already destined to be and now the Kit Lens has a sister to play with...

9. My Lipstick Collection: Arranging them in my Muji Storage just makes me want to makeup all day ev'ry day ..I jest, I jest ....

10. My iPad Mini all prepped for NetFlix: This scenario keeps me sane when I am having a tough day because I know I can relax once I get to my room, slip under my duvet and watch Netflix.....

11. Drug Store Eyeshadow Palettes (Rimmel and L.A. Colours):  Just admiring my Drug Store Eyeshadow Palettes which were all bought from I love you my dear Poundland!!!...xo

I hope you have enjoyed my little post on a few of my favourite things. What has been your favourite thing this March? See you in my next post....x

Weekend Post #8: Volunteer work in Sierra Leone to support Millennium Development Goals(MDG)

Hi everyone,
Today is indeed a different kind of post but a very exciting one. It's a post on behalf of my dear friend Daisy who is volunteering in Sierra Leone come May 2014 and I am so excited for her!!!. She has to raise some funds to support her charity work so she would be needing a little help and I would appreciate any support anyone can offer to her. So, I am handing you over to her...

"Hi, I'm Daisy and I am a 23 year old from God's own country, Yorkshire! I am currently working as a web based intern for The Children's Society. I'm working on the Young Carers in Focus (YCiF) project and I'm based with one the projects partners, DigitalMe who are a non-profit organisation based in Leeds. I have really enjoyed being involved in this project and working as an Intern as it has confirmed my desire to pursue a career in the charity sector. As my Internship is a 3 month contract, I decided that I would try and achieve a lifetime dream to volunteer abroad. Thus, I applied to the ICS programme and there was good news!!..In summer, I will be volunteering for 3 months in Bo, Sierra Leone. The theme of the programme I will be volunteering on is Youth Participation and EmpowermentThis is part of International Citizen Service  which brings young people together to fight poverty. I will be volunteering for an incredible charity called VSO alongside volunteers from Sierra Leone on a project which encourages community development and works towards the Millennium Development GoalsThis is a competitive programme that is entirely funded by the Department for International Development . VSO works with communities that have specifically requested their help, and where the skills of young people can make a direct impact. 

When I found out I had been accepted to the ICS programme I was extremely pleased and excited! However, panic hit me when I realised I only had a month to fundraise £800! Although my trip to Sierra Leone is completely funded by the Department of International Development, we are encouraged to fundraise £800 to show our commitment to VSO and to raise awareness of the work they do. VSO needs to raise £10 million each year in the UK to continue its vital work. Although £800 is a fraction of the total cost to recruit, train and send a volunteer to share skills in developing countries, it can obviously help. Why donate? VSO currently works in 43 countries. It receives funding from the UK government and has some corporate sponsorship but it predominantly relies on fundraising and individual sponsorship. The money allows more projects to be established and more volunteers to sent out to impoverished communities. Just £25 can help VSO keep a nurse in Sierra Leone for a week educating local health workers and communities to combat malnutrition, malaria and dysentery.

I have already organised many fundraising events, including a bake sale at Barclays Bank, a bake sale at my Dad’s art exhibition, a charity abseil with a group of family and friends, and I also intend to do the #belowtheline challenge. The charity abseil will take place on the 13th April at Ilkley Moor. We will be abseiling from a 20-metre rock! Everyone involved in this abseil is willing to gain sponsorship in order to raise money for VSO. As well as being an important part of fundraising, it will be extremely exciting and a fun activity to do. I will be organising other fundraising and sponsored events to raise as much as I can, as well as using my Just Giving Page for any donations and I would appreciate any support. Please also visit my Twitter @DaisyCWilde for updates on fundraising events and activities!" Thank you."

Candle Collection Loving

There is just something about bloggers and candles especially beauty bloggers. It makes your pictures look nicer especially if you have a blurry background but outside of all the blogging shenanigan, candles are beautiful and smell really nice. My love for candles has been heightened since I purchased my Desk. Although, I love them, I am not yet willing to splurge on it so I just purchased really nice, cheap and cheerful ones. I have always been intrigued with having candles around me because they just evoke a sense of calm and serenity that I can’t really explain. As much as I love candles, I cannot justify, especially at this point in my life, spending over £40 on a candle (Jo Malone and Diptique, I am looking at you!). That’s the reason why I settled with affordable candles which you can find in many places. Now, I prefer scented candles and I am willing to pay the extra £1 or so for a scented version and all the candles in my collection are supposedly scented. Yes, supposedly because not all of them actually give off their “so called” scent but I can’t really complain because I got the "culprit" very cheap (99p from IKEA).

IKEA Tindra Candle
Now this was a really tricky buy because I really like IKEA products but this candle did nothing for me to the exception of warming up my room which is of no use as I have a heater and it’s already Spring (allegedly). The packaging is a little deceptive as it has vanilla/ice cream on it which made me believe my room would have such a sweet smell. When you smell the candle itself, it actually smells really sweet but when it is burning, you get no smell whatsoever except  a normal candle smell but why on earth am I moaning? It cost only 99p so it’s very forgivable. Nevertheless, it serves its purpose as props for blog photos and I would use the glass packaging for storage when it is finished.

Yankee Candles
To me, these are the best affordable candles out there because they actually do what they say and you really don’t need an air freshener in your room after it has been burnt because the scent/fragrance actually lingers. I did not buy the larger sizes because I wanted to experiment with smaller ones first to decide what fragrance I preferred. I got the Sampler Votive Candles which cost only £1 in ASDA. The fragrances I got include Clean Cotton, Coastal Waters and Simply Home. I also got the cute candle holders from ASDA for £1 as well which is a perfect fit for the Yankee Candles. I will definitely splurge on the full sizes of Yankee candles because I believe they are worth it after testing out this little votive samples.

Sainsbury’s Tropical Fragranced Candle Set £7.99
I and my flat mate have been waiting for these candles to go on sales in Sainsbury’s because we love them but we have refused to splurge on it for its full price. One faithful day, our prayers were answered and this set of candles went on sales although it was just 1/3rd off but it was better than full price.  The set contains Honey Papaya, Spring Meadow, Golden Fig and Wild Berry but Honey Papaya is my favourite and I think it lingers the longest after burning. The packaging looks so pretty and the dainty little candles look exquisite on my table but sadly, they do not give off their fragrance as well as the Yankee candles which is really sad as I had high hopes for it given the price. Don’t get me wrong, they do give off a nice fragrance but it is rather faint and if you want a stronger fragrance, you may have to light up at least 2 of these candles which is a sad waste!! However, they photograph beautifully and they actually burn really well. Some candles just burn so fast and it seems like you don’t get your money’s worth with their short lifespan but that’s not the case with this set. They are lovely and long lasting although they are just candles so they will eventually burn off and I will convert their glass packaging, as usual, to something useful.

Sainsbury’s Tu Fragranced Candles 
Last but not least are these ones also from Sainsubury’s. They went on sales shortly before Mother’s Day sales came on in full swing and I am pleased I grabbed me two of these. They cost £2.66 each which I think is a fair price for the quality. I can’t remember what their full price was; I think it may have been £5 but I am not quite sure. I chose the Orchid & Sweet Coconut and Wild Cotton fragrances because those were the ones that appealed to me the most. The Orchid and Sweet Coconut remind me of the beach and the Wild Cotton reminds me of a clean bed and laundry which I just love to have but hate to do the actual laundry L. I prefer this set of candles to the previous set because they are bigger, longer lasting and they leave a really nice fragrance that lingers in the room after burning it. That’s it folks. I love candles and ever since I got my table and organised my work space (I have a post on it here),I use different candles according to how I feel. I find that they just make my pictures look better especially as props when they are blurred out or even when they are in focus. I love them all including the naughty “faux fragranced ones”.  What’s your favourite candle?

La Roche Posay Effaclar A.I. Targeted Breakout Corrector Review

Everyone and their mother must have heard about the La Roche Posay brand especially their best selling Effaclar range including the Effaclar Duo and Effaclar A.I. Targeted Breakout Corrector. I have been in the know for a long while now and I always say I will try something from LRP soon. Thankfully the day came when Boots was offering 1/3rd off La Roche Posay brands so I quickly snatched up both the Effaclar Duo and A.I but today I will be concentrating on the Effaclar A.I. Targeted Breakout Corrector. 

La Roche Posay Brand
There is something about French Skincare that makes other non-Parisian ladies just go gaga. Could it be that we think that using French Skincare can make us as chic and pristine as French ladies? I would never know but I know I love French Skincare products because they just seem to know their onions when it comes to skin care. The Effaclar range is targeted at oily skin which is prone to acne, imperfections and dullness and this is the only range I have tried from the brand so far.They are one brand that I have heard and read so many consistent glowing reviews which goes to say a good product always sells need for excessive adverts.

For starters, I think white and blue look very good for skin care items and I have noticed that most of my skin care currently in my bathroom are white and blue. Very bizarre I know. The outer packaging has some instructions on how to use it and an ingredients list. The packaging of he product itself is a tube which is quite small (it's only 15 ml). I really like the tip because it is narrow and pointed which means you get the right amount of products and there is a very little space for cross contamination. 

To begin with it's paraben-free which is good to know. The active ingredients are Salicylic Acid which you all know is excellent for zapping acne/spots/pimples, Benzoyl Peroxide which targets acne that is deep in the pores and dries it up. The Effaclar A.I. formula has a unique approach to treat acne by combining Lipo-Hydroxy-Acid (LHA) which has an exclusive exfoliating property to prompt cell renewal and Benzoyl Peroxide in a micronized form which makes it even more stable. Together, they work in synergy to reduce spots and prevent scarring in the most effective way I have experienced. The unique combination makes this product really effective on different skin types.

How I use it
I use this whenever I have any breakouts or pre-breakouts especially those associated with that time of the month. I never wait for breakouts to become full blown before using this to kill them off...I know that sounds rather harsh but honestly, that's what those pesky breakouts deserve. I cleanse my face thoroughly and wash my fingers afterwards. I apply a tiny amount, not even up to a pea size, directly on the area and massage it a little bit and that's it. Most times, I follow up with Effaclar Duo to prevent any dark blemishes and that's all.It is a white cream and it is really easy to apply and blends out easily which is great if you want to wear your makeup underneath.

Seriously, this has to be my favourite spot/breakout treatment because it is super effective; I daresay it is more effective than my Holy Grail Mary Kay Acne Treatment Gel which I think may be because my skin is used to it or because Effaclar A.I. contains a slightly higher percentage of Benzoyl Peroxide. If I use this at night, guys no joke, my spot is significantly reduced by morning. In fact, there have been times when they have actually disappeared. You need to use it to understand and I remember reading many reviews and narrowing my eyes saying "Hmmm how dramatic can this be though?" but it truly is. However, I would say if it's not a full breakout (you know those that are deep in the pores and not ready to pop), it takes a few days to be completely cleared but if it's already there and ready to pop (Ewww!! I know that sounds super gross!!), then it would definitely reduce its size significantly or it may disappear completely. It's all up to your skin type really.

It normally retails for £9.50 for a tube which I already said is only 15 ml but trust me, it lasts for a really long time provided you use it as instructed. A little goes a really long way. The best time to purchase this is when Boots is having any of their offers either 3 for 2 or 1/3rd off so keep your eyes peeled. However, Escentuals are currently having 1/3rd off all French Skincare Brands so, you can pop over and get your hands on it while it's still on. I got mine for £7.12 when it was on offer in Boots and this was since February and I still have a good amount of product left.

Personal Thoughts
I really, really love this product so much that I went to get a backup even though it was full price. It has saved my skin a great deal and it is non-comedogenic and it is suitable for use under makeup. It is an amazing product and if you suffer from pimples/spots/zits, it's definitely worth a try.  Watch this space for the Effaclar Duo Review...See you in my next post...x

RAVPower Luster 3000mAh Gold Lipstick Charger Review

I was recently contacted by the lovely team at RAV Power to ask if I was willing to try out their new Luster Gold Lipstick Charger* and I said yes because it looked very pretty and I was keen to see how it compared with the Anker one which I had previously reviewed here.

The packaging of any product, even if it is not a beauty item, just makes me happy and it makes me feel like the manufacturers actually care about their customers. It has an outer packaging which shows what product you receive, the colour and the specs. Inside the packaging, it has the warranty card, some instruction of use and other details about the product. Apart from the paper work, you also get a cable for charging it, the power pack itself and a clip which is a lovely touch especially for guys who don’t carry bags.

Luster Gold Lipstick Power Pack
Don’t you just love how attractive it looks? It’s just really pretty. There are other colours as well so if you are not a gold-y girl or guy, then you can choose from a selection of black, pink, blue, etc. I prefer the gold colour because it really stands out.

It has a capacity of 3000 mAH and an output DC of 5V/1A. It is really compact with a height of 4.33 inches and a width of 0.9 inches. Its weight is 2.57 oz which is pretty portable and it won’t weigh down your wallet or purse although it is described as a lipstick charger, it is definitely heavier than a lipstick. According to RAVPower, its external battery is LG grade A cell with premium chips to ensure consistent high quality.

What phones/devices are compatible?
It is compatible with virtually any device that uses a USB cable which is very handy. It works on all generations of the iPhone and iPads although you need to have your lightning cable as the USB cable attached will not work on it.  Other devices include HTC: One X, S, V/Sensation XE XL/EVO 4G/Radar 4G/Inspire 4G/ ThunderBolt  Samsung: Galaxy S4/S3/Note 3/Note 2/S2 /Nexus/Galaxy Note/Focus S/Infuse Google: Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Google glass Motorola: Droid Razr, Bionic/Atrix 2/riumph - Other cell phone, MP3, MP4, digital camera, and other with DC 5V input.

How does it work?
It works in a pretty straightforward way. When it is charging,  it shows a red light and once it is fully charged,  it shows a blue light.  Once it is fully charged, you attach your device and it charges it straight up. If you take off your phone, it automatically stops charging so you don’t have to worry about wasting the charge which is really good because many times I just take my phone off in a

What else does it offer?
This is where things get as little more interesting. Would you believe this also doubles as a flash light? I know, I was surprised and the light that comes off this little device is really bright. It’s almost unbelievable! It has a small button to switch on the flash light and it has 3 settings. If press the button once, you get a bright consistent light which can act like a torch light, press the button twice, you get a dimmer light which is ideal if you hate sleeping in the dark and press it thrice, you get a strobe light which can also double as a disco light...I kid, I kid!! This means you can take this with you for camping, riding a bike at night and going to dark places and that’s really I think cool.

Comparison with Anker similar model
I thought it would be interesting to compare the RAV Power model with the Anker one. They are very similar as expected but the RAV Power one is slightly longer but weighs about the same. Of course, the added flash light gives it an edge over the Anker model. However, in terms of lasting power, I think I prefer the RAV Power model because it takes a shorter to time to charge and holds a good charge for my phone as well which is why it is my go-to power bank. I still love my Anker model but I find myself reaching for the RAV power model more these days for all the above reasons.

It is sold on Amazon which is brilliant so you can read other reviews on there by people who have purchased it. Also, it is sold both in the UK and USA and I believe they ship to other places. If you are in the UK, you can purchase it for $19.99 here on Amazon and if you live in the UK, you can purchase it on offer for £10.99 on Amazon UK. I think it’s an absolute bargain for the quality you get especially with free delivery on Amazon UK. I honestly can’t think of anything bad to say about this device but I have listed a few things which you may want to be aware of.

1  1. When you use the clip, there may be some scratches if you are not very careful.
2  2. It is slightly longer than the other power packs.

Personal thoughts
I have to say that I really like this charger because it charges my phone throughout when I am at work and that’s for a period of 8 hours which I think is brilliant. I only have to charge it in the evenings when I get home and it does not take long to charge which is even more brilliant! I particularly like the added flash light feature because it makes it a really practical device which can be used in a variety of situations and it shows that the folks at RAVPower took extra time to think about a product that will stand out against the other power banks that have flooded the market.  The clip which is attached makes it suitable for guys as well who are always on the move and it means you can never forget it as it’s clipped to your clothing. See you in my next post...x

*PR Samples: I was kindly sent this product for review but all opinions are mine as always!

Estee Lauder Stay-In-Place High Cover Concealer (5N Deep) Review

I am slowly beginning to fall in love with Estee Lauder as a brand. For some reason, I just think it’s for older women and I am not sure where that came from. My Holy Grail MAC Studio Finish Concealer finished and I was in dire need for a new one but there are no MAC Counters very close to my work place or even at home. I went into Debenhams and I saw their lovely Gifts With Purchase enticingly displayed and I decided to try the Estee Lauder Double Wear  Stay-in Place High Coverage Concealer which I had heard good things about.

I really like how sleek and compact the packaging looks and I think the characteristic Estee Lauder  Navy Blue colour works really well with this packaging. Once you open it, you also have a small mirror which is a really good touch especially if you want to touch up on the go.

I am in the shade 5N Deep (Neutral) and I know it looks unnaturally dark in this picture and even in real life but it’s actually the best shade for me when I apply it and blend it in. I and the Sales lady were pretty sure it won’t match but when we tried the shade above this it was too light and we tried this and lo and behold! It was a perfect match.

Applying concealer depends on your preference. I use concealers to hide my dark blemishes from previous acne and spots. I usually apply my concealer after my foundation because I prefer it this way and I know a lot of people apply it the other way round. I feel applying it after foundation saves more time for me especially when I am rushing off to work. I use my fingers sometimes and other times I use a concealer brush to apply and blend it in.

As the name implies, it is full coverage which means it really hides any pesky blemishes and it actually stays in place especially when you set it with a powder. I find that it can be a little drying when applied which is fine for me but if you have dry skin you may want to moisten your concealer brush before application. I would say the wear time is between 6-8 hours which I think is fair. Depending on how you much expertise you have, you may not need to touch up before the day ends but I do occasionally and other times, I can’t be bothered.

It costs £21 which is not the most expensive concealer out there but it is quite pricey and if they did not have a free Gift With Purchase (already reviewed here) and a 10% discount, I highly doubt I would have bought it. The packaging is so pretty though with a small mirror so I am guessing that's where the extra cost went to.

1.       It may be a little drying if you have dry skin which can also make it difficult to blend.
2.       It is quite an expensive concealer but you get a good amount of product and a little goes a long way.
3.       There are not a wide range of colours unlike the other Estee Lauder Concealers.

Personal Thoughts
I really like this concealer and I aim to finish it. It looks classy, compact and does the job really well. I am not sure I would repurchase only because I feel the MAC Studio Finish Concealer is better suited to my skin and more blendable than this but seeing that Estee Lauder owns MAC I guess the formulation may be the same. But MAC is cheaper than this so it’s a total winner...

Fashstyleliv's Feature on Jennypurr Blog

Forgive me for posting this late. The actual post went up on the 14th March but somehow a few things got in the way. A little introduction to Jen from Jennypurr. Her blog is one where you can get all the bumf on beauty, skincare, makeup, lifestyle and some personal posts. I love her blog because it is so easy to navigate, has a beautiful design and her photography is one that inspires me. She writes really well and her posts are honest; she even shares some personal posts on her blog which I think is very inspiring and I find real strength from people who have the courage to share some aspects of their personal life and struggles on their blogs. It is very easy to assume bloggers (especially if their blogs looks so beautifully designed and they have the latest products) have the perfect lives but they are just real human beings like everyone else. Okay, enough of my ramblings. Can I just say how organised she is? Don't believe me, check her post out on Blogging and Being Organised and her post on Blogging on a Budget. I was lucky to advertise with her for a month (it's ending in a few days) and that's how I came to know a little bit more about her. She is a truly lovely person and I have not met her but I do feel like I know her. I was featured here on her blog where I spoke about my Updated Peek into my Makeup Bag which you should check out because it's updated and I was also featured yesterday in her Monthly roundup of her advertisers. You can also find her on her Twitter @Jennypurrblog and Instagram Jennypurrs. I would appreciate it if you checked out her blog Jennypurr (and advertise if you are a blogger) and while you are there, say hi to her from me. See you in my next post...x

Marks and Spencer's Autograph Retractable Brush Review

It did not take me long to realise that if I wanted my makeup bag to be clean and devoid of brush marks, I needed to invest in a retractable powder brush which not only looks pretty and classy but it also ensure that your makeup bag is clean. I still want the Real Technique Retractable Brushes but I decided to get this for now while I get my acts together.

I quite like the packaging of this little brush because black always looks so classy and sophisticated. It has Autograph and Powder embossed on the brush side and the lid. It is quite handy and fits nicely into my makeup bag which is where it lives permanently. I have never tried any makeup brushes from Marks and Spencer’s Autograph range so I was quite curious to see how it held up as Marks and Spencer is well known for its good quality.

Brush Material
It feels really fluffy to touch but not as fluffy as my beloved Real Techniques Brushes but it is soft enough. The bristles are black but with hues of dark brown and red which gives it an interesting look but then you don’t know when it is dirty or not as it looks like you have some make up on. The bristles are made of synthetic hairs which is good.

How I use it
I use it mainly with my Chanel Les Beiges Sheer Glow Powder and I find that it is perfect for an even distribution on my face. The bristles pick up a good amount of product and distribute it evenly. I just wish the brush was just a little bit smaller as that would have been perfect to pack the punch but it’s not too bad. Sometimes, when I wanted a more targeted application, I retract the brush a little and it works really fine. One thing I like about it is how it does not retain products or powder on its bristles. It picks it up well and distributes it with little residue left which makes it feel fluffy for each application.

Shedding and Washing
I just washed it a few days ago and lost a few hairs which was a little disappointing because I really did not expect that but I hope it does not happen again. It washed really well which was such a relief and dried really fast; I was impressed with that. I just wash it with any liquid soap nearby and let it air dry. I think one can actually get away with washing it every day because it will definitely dry but hey! Ain’t nobody gat time fo’ dat.

It costs £7.50 which in my cheapskate opinion is a little pricier than I expected. I think it should be £5. I think it’s just me but it’s easier for me to justify spending £5 as opposed to anything more. Even £5.50 stresses me; I feel like I am just spending £10...I am just weird don’t listen to me.

Personal Thoughts
I really like it despite the cost and the shedding I experienced. It is very good quality and it actually looks more expensive that it costs. It makes my touch ups easy peasy and mess-free and I am pleased with my purchase although Real Techniques Retractable Brushes, I have got my eyes on you still....

Estee Lauder Gift With Purchase (Debenhams)

A few weeks ago, I was browsing around in Debenhams after work. I needed to buy my backup of the Clinique Anti-Blemish Foundation (review here) and I spied the Estee Lauder counter with this lovely Gift With Purchase. Normally, I never buy from them because they always have an attractive offer but you have to buy two products from their range and one has to be skin care which is never affordable. It was the same thing this time around. I had recently run out of my cleanser SK:N Vitamin Rich Cleanser (already reviewed here) so I thought "Oh well" I may as well give it a go seeing that they also had 10% discount. I ended up buying the Estee Lauder Multi-Action Gelee Cleanser and the Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer which I would be reviewing soon and I was quite happy with the discount I got and of course this Gift With Purchase (GWP). I have been using them for a little while now and I really like the range of products included so I thought a little review/first impression was due...

As always, I really like how much effort these high end brands put in their sample sizes. It just makes a difference and you feel like you are using the full size which is exactly the feeling a sample size should evoke just so the customer can end up buying the full size if they had a good experience. I particularly love the Makeup bag and the Eyeshadow quad.

Can we just appreciate how colorful and spring-y the makeup bag looks? I love it. It is actually made of plastic/rubber and for some reason, I thought it would be cotton/canvas or whatever material normal makeup bags have. I have to say the names of their products are so looooooooooooong and I wonder whatever happened to having shorter names that actually stick better in a customer's memory. Long names aside, they were pretty generous with the range of products included inside. You are even allowed to choose what Eyeshadow Quad shade you wanted and the Lipstick shade as well which I think is commendable. Inside this beautiful bag, I received the following:

Estee Lauder Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Creme SPF 15 (what a mouthful!)
This is now my go-to moisturiser because it is so easily absorbed and it does not leave an annoying greasiness on my face. It applies really well and keeps my skin hydrated and with the added SPF 15, it's a winner for Spring.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Cream
I already tried their Advanced Time Wise Eye cream and I loved it but I love this one even more. The texture feels rich but light when applied; it's really hard to explain. Once it hits under the eyes, it's also readily absorbed and I am slowly becoming a fan of eye creams because the two Estee Lauder ones I have tried are lovely.

Estee Lauder Stress Relief Eye Mask
I am saving this for when I go on holiday so I can use it on the plane because my eyes would definitely be needing it as my flight will be a long one. I am quite excited to try it because I don't think I have tried an eye mask before so I hope this is really good and I would report back after I have tried it.

Estee Lauder Pure Colour Eye Shadow Quad
You beautiful I love you so! I was excited about this because its packaging is just beautiful and attractive. Inside the eye shadows are really tiny. Seriously, if you have big fingers and you forget your brush, you won't be able to apply this. At first, I thought the shades would look dodgy on me but they are actually good and the color pay off is fantastic but not as good as my beloved MAC. The shades are Ivory Slipper, Enchanted Forest, Nude Fresco  and Hot Cinnamon. If you are dark skinned or olive skinned, this would look pretty on you and you can get a few looks from this quad. 

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Mascara
The former non-mascara applier (moi) has been slowly converted to a die-hard mascara fan with the constant application (and practice) using some new high end mascara samples I have been trying. When I saw the wand/brush, I knew we would get on really well. I prefer lengthening mascaras to volumising ones but sometimes, it does not really matter. Although this falls under the volumising category, it's actually lengthening too and gives a very flattering length and volume to my lashes no matter how tiny they are. The trick is in the application which should be done from root to top with a slight wiggle. That always works for me and prevents clumping which is my pet peeve.

Estee Lauder Pure Colour Lipstick in Sugar Honey (83)
When I saw this shade, I thought it would be too dark but it's really flattering on my lips. It's like a nude with a hint of colour and lustre which would be suitable for olive and darker skinned ladies. I am not quite sure how flattering it would be on paler skin types but you never know. It is well pigmented and has a good lasting power on the lips sans eating/drinking. I have stuck this permanently in my makeup bag because it's the perfect nude for work.

Estee Lauder Pure Colour Intense Kajal Eyeliner Duo
Last but not least is the Kajal Eyeliner Duo which is my least favourite/used product and it's not because it's not great but mainly because I am rubbish at applying eye liner. No really, I am really bad at it and I end up with really watery and sometimes, red eyes. It's pathetic and when I rub my eyes, I look like a weeping Panda so this has been staring up at me from my makeup drawer daring me to use it. I will prevail one of these days....

That's it folks and I hope you have enjoyed it. This post was meant to go up when the offer was still on but it's ended now which is a real shame but you never know if it would be up in your local Debenhams but if if you wanted to try out any of these products, I hope this has helped however little and I will see you in my next post...x

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