The Staples: MAC Studio Fix Fluid

Sunday, 31 March 2013

When I was updating my new 'Product Directory' page, I noticed I rarely do reviews of products that are staples in my makeup collection and part of my day-to-day essentials. There are items that I have repurchased multiple times, but have never mentioned on here. So I decided to start a new feature about 'the Staples' in my collection.

Today, I'm going to start off with an oldie, but goodie - MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation. I have repurchased MAC Studio Fix Fluid a few times now and can't seem to let it go.

FOTD with only MAC Studio Fix Fluid as a base. No concealer or powder.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation is a matte finish, medium to full coverage foundation that is buildable. I use the shade NC15 and it's the perfect colour match for me. It applies and blends into the skin easily, whether you're using a brush or your fingers. Sometimes if I want a more dewy look, I have mixed in Benefit High Beam or a dewy foundation and it works a treat. This is one of the most long-lasting foundations in my collection and I like to use it when I have long days at work or times where I need my foundation to last. This foundation has SPF 15 in it, which is great for daytime, but I have found that it does not photograph well in flash photography. I know some people have had bad experiences with MAC foundations, but it has never broken me out. It has a strong paint-esque smell to it, which I don't notice when applying to my face (only if I unscrew the cap and sniff). The foundation costs £20.50 for 30ml, which I think is a fair price. However you have to buy the pump separately, which is a little annoying but once you've bought one, you won't need to buy another.

As you can see, I have hardly any bad things to say about MAC Studio Fix Fluid. I think I would as far as saying that this might be my holy grail long lasting foundation.

Have you ever used MAC Studio Fix Fluid before?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Project Empties #22

Friday, 29 March 2013

This month I have finished a fair amount of my daily skincare items. I always find that the products I use on a daily basis always seem to finish around the same time - Does anyone else find this happens to them?

I was a little saddened to see my Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm (Review here) come to an end, as I absolutely love this product. I decided to invest in the giant 200ml tub from QVC as it seemed better value for money and would last me longer. I also finished my bottle of Bioderma Sensibio H2O (Review here). This 500ml bottle has lasted me ages and it works a treat to remove my eye makeup. I used up the last dregs of this Lubatti Super Firming Face Cream earlier this week. It's a lovely light moisturiser, which has a green tea-esque smell to it. I found it sunk into my skin quickly and never left my skin feeling greasy. It generally moisturised my skin well and left it feeling balanced across my t-zone, however I didn't feel that it was moisturising enough on some of my dry patches.

I also finished off the Asda Nail Varnish Remover. I always buy the cheapest nail varnish remover and there isn't much to say about this, apart from it removes my nail varnish well.

The last thing I finished was the Collection 2000 Extreme 24hr Felt Tip Liner, which is my holy grail liquid eyeliner. I have repurchased this countless times and will continue to. It is easy to use and gives a very opaque black line.

What did you finish this month?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

NOTD: Bikini So Teeny

Thursday, 28 March 2013

2 coats of Essie Bikini So Teeny

I'm late to this bikini party, as this was last year's much raved about nail polish. However, when I saw it for £1.99 on Fragrance Direct, I rapidly snapped it up and painted my nails with it as soon as it arrived. I was really impressed with the formula, as it only needed 2 coats to become fully opaque and dried quickly. The colour is a gorgeous cornflower blue with subtle silver glitters in, which I think I will get a lot of wear out of once Spring finally gets here. The new Essie brushes are also a dream to work with, as they're wide and flat. I experienced a little tip wear after a few days, but nothing too obvious and would probably have been prevented if I'd used a topcoat.

I may be late to the party, but I'm glad I finally got there!

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Book Club: The Girl You Left Behind

Monday, 25 March 2013

Before I go into the book review, I just wanted to let you know that: As we are now officially in Spring (even though it feels like Winter), I decided to give my blog a bit of a spring clean. I changed my layout a little using a fantastic tutorial from Gillian (here), which was easy to follow and great for html novices like myself. I feel like it's now more aesthetically pleasing and less 'blocky' after getting rid of the black header backgrounds. I also made a new header using a font that I recently downloaded (and am obsessed with) and rejigged a few things around. What do you think of it? I hope you like it as much as I do!

Moving on to the main blog post: Today, I am reviewing "The Girl You Left Behind" by Jojo Moyes. I finished this in a few days, which is a feat for me as it usually takes me ages to finish a book. Like the other book I read by Jojo Moyes, I absolutely loved this book.

The book is split in two parts. Part I is written through the eyes of Sophie in occupied France in 1916 and tells the story of Sophie and her family working in their hotel, while their husbands are at war. The story has a nice pace to it and leaves a bit of a cliffhanger at a crucial point in her story, which made me want to read part II quickly to see whether or not you find out what happens to Sophie. I personally really liked Sophie's character and thought all the characters were well written.

Part II is set in modern day London and we are introduced to young widow, Liv, and Paul Cafferty, her new love interest. I found the story dragged a little in the middle of this section, but the story reaches a point where you can't read it fast enough as you want to find out what happens. The last quarter of the book leads you to a satisfactory conclusion and I felt rather emotional reading through the last few chapters of the book.

The two parts of the book are tied together by a portrait of Sophie, which was done by her husband before he left for the war and hangs in their hotel in the first portion of the book and is owned by Liv in the second portion.

I thought this was beautifully written and I enjoyed the dip into WWI history in part I. I have loved both of the books that I have read by Jojo Moyes and am looking forward to starting the next one.


Have you read this book? If you haven't, read it!

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Fragrance Direct Bargains

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Sally Hansen Greige Gardens (£1.49), Dainty Doll Blush in 004 You are my Sunshine (£1.99), Essie Off the Shoulder (£1.99), Essie Bikini So Teeny (£1.99)

I recently managed to get some great bargains on Fragrance Direct. I could have bought way more, but I restrained myself and only allowed myself to spend £10. I even had some spare change, as my order came to £9.45 including postage and packaging.

I was so excited to see Essie Bikini So Teeny for only £1.99, as I wanted it last year when it seemed like the 'it nail colour' as everyone seemed to be wearing it, but I kept putting it off and ultimately forgot to buy it. After googling swatches of the other nail polishes, I settled on Sally Hansen Greige Gardens, which I think will be lovely for Autumn and Essie Off The Shoulder.

I was quite surprised to see Dainty Doll products on Fragrance Direct for only £1.99, as they're full price at their other stockists! I was contemplating buying more of their products (such as the concealers and foundations), but I couldn't find any good swatches online and didn't want to buy a product that would end up being unloved. So I decided to get a blush and I am so happy with my choice! You are my Sunshine is a beautiful rose gold blush. It kind of reminds me of something along the lines of NARS Orgasm or Sleek Rose Gold.

Have you got any bargains from Fragrance Direct recently?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Life Lately #2

Friday, 22 March 2013

Pandas at Changsha zoo - The pandas are brown and black, rather than white and black as apparently they're in need of a bath! Haha.

Changsha, Hunan, China

Shaoshan, Hunan, China

1) I'm back from China! I got back on Sunday, but I've been ill and working so I haven't had the chance to blog yet. It was a bit of a whirlwind trip of visiting family, eating far too much, going to the zoo and a theme park, trying to improve my Chinese and doing a spot of shopping. But I really enjoyed the trip and I definitely won't be leaving it eight years until I visit again.

2) I was featured on the Sigma Affiliate Blog in a UK Global Focus post, which is pretty exciting! I was asked to recreate my favourite look and write a little about it. I decided on a classic red lip, where I kept the eye makeup fairly simple so that the focus could be on a bold red lip. I would say my makeup application skills are average at best, so it was really an honour to be featured on the blog among other more talented bloggers and youtubers. It did, however, make me realise how much I hate taking self portraits!

3) When I got back from China, I found out that Google are retiring Google Reader. I'm quite saddened by this, as I use Google Reader to catch up on all the blogs I follow. However, Bloglovin' has made it super easy to import all the blogs I was following on Google Reader to Bloglovin by going to, which is a godsend. If you want to follow Dear Joy on Bloglovin, you can do so here.

I hope you're all well! :)

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

30 Day Shred Level Two Review

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

This level is a killer. I found this a hell of a lot more difficult than level one and did a mixture of the beginner and advanced moves. As the week went on, it did get easier, however I still found it difficult, especially on some of the plank based moves. This level also made me sweat a lot more than level one (Sorry, if tmi!).

I did not do this every day for the past ten days. Due to starting a new job and having other commitments, I started this level late and then didn't do it every day. I did add on the missed days at the end, so I still did a total of ten days.

I felt level one worked my legs more and didn't feel like it did much to my arms, however I found that this level had more emphasis on arms and legs. The strength section in circuit 3 is a killer on the arms, especially as I am a weakling. There is also a lot of emphasis on the plank position, which works the arms, shoulders and legs, but are hard!

I definitely saw more of a difference in my body this week. I feel like my stomach has more definition, and while I don't have abs of steel (ha), I have lost 1/2 an inch from around my waist and 1/2 an inch from my hips (in comparison to measurements from day 1) and my jeans now fit a lot better. That's purely from doing the 30 Day Shred, as I haven't changed my diet recently. I feel like if I had improved my diet, my results may have been more, but who knows. I haven't seen much difference in my arms and legs, but I am pleased with the results from my middle section, as that's one of my problem areas.

I am going to China today for two weeks, which I am so excited about as I haven't been in 7 or so years. I don't think I will be able to do the 30 Day Shred while I'm there and I have a feeling I may end up eating my weight in food... But I will definitely be continuing on with the 30DS level three when I get back, as I am pleased with my results so far.

Have you done the 30 Day Shred before?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Project Empties #21

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Recently I have not been finishing as many products as I would like, especially on the makeup front. I really want to start working through my makeup, as I have more than enough. However, my makeup items never seem to finish! They always seem to last forever.

I have had this Murad Clarifying Cleanser for ages, as you only need a little bit of product each time. I bought this from a blog sale, but the RRP of this cleanser is £25 for 200ml, which is fairly expensive for a cleanser but you do get a generous amount of product. I found this cleanser dried my skin out a little, so I only used it a few times a week or more often if my skin had broken out. I really liked it with my Clarisonic as it foamed up nicely, although if you use too much, the bubbles go up your nose and into your mouth! It has a strange smell, which I can't quite pinpoint, but you get used to it after a few uses. I find it difficult to gauge how well it helps with my blemishes, as I use other spot treatments. However my skin has been relatively clear over the time that I have been using this cleanser, so I would say this works well in combination with my skincare routine.

I also finished the L'Oreal Everstrong Conditioner, which I love, as it leaves my hair feeling soft and silky. It has a strong herbal smell, which I really didn't like at first, but grew to like.

I love the Boots Expert Build Up Removal Shampoo. I have repurchased this a number of times and will continue to. It's great for removing build up from styling products and dry shampoo and it leaves my hair feeling clean, without leaving it feeling stripped. This is one of those great products that truly work and don't cost a bomb.

Lastly I finished this Johnson's Dreamy Skin Body Cream. I have had this for ages and am a little glad to finally have finished it! It's quite a light body moisturiser, which blends into the skin easily. I found it moisturised my skin enough, without leaving it feeling greasy or sticky. This moisturiser also has a pleasant smell, which lingers on the skin but isn't too overpowering.

What did you finish this month?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy