Review: Nars Nepal Eyeshadow

Sunday, 9 March 2014

With all the love surrounding the NARSissist Eyeshadow palette at the moment, I thought I'd dig out an old favourite - Nars Nepal. Nepal is described as a soft, sheer rose on the Nars website, however I would describe it as a peachy bronze-rose with a frost finish and it is the perfect everyday eyeshadow.

I tend to wear it on its own with a sheer wash all over the lid and then blended heavier through the crease for a one-shadow-look, but you can also pair it with darker browns or matte tans in the crease for a pretty eye look.

The eyeshadow is buttery and very pigmented. I tend to apply it dry, but you can use a damp brush to make the colour more intense.

What are your favourite NARS eyeshadows?

Joy xx

February Favourites

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

I often find it hard to compile a list of products to mention in my monthly favourites, as my day to day makeup and skincare routine generally stays the same, but I thought I'd share a few products that really stood out to me last month.

I've used the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask before and while I liked using the product, I never really got how good it is and thought it was just a thick moisturiser... However I was really ill and sick at the beginning of February and my whole body (including my skin) became very dehydrated. My skin was looking very lacklustre and makeup was not sitting well on it. Enter the Origins mask and after a few days use, it left my skin feeling rehydrated and plump. It has a lovely citrusy smell, which reminds me of citrus polos (Does anyone else remember those?!)

I've also been loving the Superfacialist by Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Skin Renew Cleansing Oil (which is quite possibly the longest name ever!). I'd never used a cleansing oil before, but wanted to give one a whirl and decided to give this Superfacialist one a go after hearing lots of good reviews. It makes makeup removal very simple and leaves my skin feeling nice and clean, without any tightness or greasiness. This also has a nice citrusy smell, which I really like.

Chanel Lotus Rouge is a gorgeous deep raspberry red colour, which I have been sporting on my nails a lot recently. It's perfect for the colder wintery months, but is also versatile enough to be worn all year round as it's not too dark. Although the lasting power of this nail varnish leaves a little to be desired, the brush and application are top notch. I have a NOTD of this here.

I have been experimenting with cheek products this month, as they have been neglected for a long time. The Makeup Academy blush in Cupcake is a lovely matte peachy, pink which adds a natural flush to the cheeks. I find that even though it's a matte blush, it gives your complexion a glow and really perks up the skin. Another great thing about this blush is that it only costs £1! I have also been using the Soap and Glory Solar Powder bronzer from my Christmas Soap and Glory palette (which I plan on doing a post about). It has a darker shade and a lighter shade (which also has a little shimmer), which you can use separately or mixed together. I tend to mix them together and they give a natural looking shade, which isn't too dark or muddy for my pale complexion.

What were you loving throughout February?

Joy xx

Beauty Wishlist

Monday, 17 February 2014

Over the majority of 2013, I realised that my beauty spending habits changed quite a lot, moving from makeup to mainly skincare. I currently have a some vouchers burning a bit of a hole in my purse and I feel like a makeup splurge is in order, so I decided to collate some beauty bits and bobs that I'm lusting after.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation is hailed as an almighty foundation by many in the beauty blogging community. Apparently it has good coverage, good longevity, photographs well and comes in many shades. As a bit of a sheep and on a constant hunt to find the perfect base, Luminous Silk has made its way onto my 'to try' list. Amelia Liana recently posted about how L'Oreal True Match Foundation is a good dupe of the almighty, so maybe buying that will save me some pennies but give me a similar effect...

Another thing that has caught my attention is the Topshop Glow Highlighter in Polished. This is a cream highlighter, which has received a 4.4 out of 5 rating on the Topshop website and is many getting rave reviews about the beautiful highlighting qualities of this product. Coming in at less than £10, you can't really go wrong.

Tying in with trying to find the perfect base, I'm still on the hunt for the perfect concealer too. As a low maintenance makeup gal, I want a concealer that can cover dark circles, redness and blemishes. Enter the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, an all around concealer which can cover everything that you want hiding. Coming in 8 shades, you're bound to find the perfect shade for you.

I saw a picture of Essie Marshmallow on Pinterest and was instantly drawn to the shade. It is a sheer white shade, which can be your perfect French manicure base or can be built up to a jelly-like white. I like that it's not as full on as a pure white and can be used a base for glitters and nail art.

I've wanted the Naked Basics palette for a while as the matte shades in my Naked I palette are nearing pan and I was on the hunt for new matte eyeshadows. After being overwhelmed on the MAC website (anyone have any recommendations?), I thought this palette was a safe bet.

The Charles Worthington Texturising Spray isn't necessarily a makeup item, but it's something else I want to try. Currently being claimed as the cheaper alternative to Oribe's Dry Texturising Spray, the volumising and texturising properties of this spray sound like something my occasionally flat-looking hair can benefit from.

What's on your beauty wishlist at the moment?

Joy xx

Review: L'Oreal 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Water

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

As a loyal Bioderma Sensibio H2O fan, I was interested to see how this L'Oreal 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution compares as it is a fraction of the price. I use micellar waters daily to remove my eye makeup and the top layer of my foundation, before double cleansing with either a cleansing balm or oil to remove the rest of my base.

When I first started using the L'Oreal micellar water, I noticed it had a little bit of a plastic smell, but as I have used it more I don't notice it any more. I have quite sensitive eyes and have never found this to irritate them, unless there is too much on the cotton pad and some of the solution goes directly into the eye. After use, I don't find this leaves any residue on my skin and doesn't leave it feeling tight.

I find it removes the bulk of my makeup well, but occasionally leaves random patches of foundation on the skin, especially around the nose. This fares averagely on eye makeup removal, unless I'm prepared to rub with more pressure. I have never used this with waterproof mascara, but I imagine you may be there for a while trying to remove it. On the back of the packaging, it states that the micellar water "acts like a make-up remover, toner and skin soother", which is a little misleading as it sounds like they are suggesting that you can use this alone to remove your makeup, cleanse and tone. I have found that this doesn't leave my face completely makeup free after use, so this would never be a standalone cleansing product in my skincare routine and should be something to bear in mind if you're after a quick and easy makeup removal fix.

The packaging is extremely annoying, as the micellar solution flows out very quickly and you either end up with a drenched cotton pad or solution on the floor - both of which are super annoying and a waste of product. I've found the key to getting the right amount is to put the cotton pad directly on top of the hole (rather than a few cm away) and then just tip the bottle, but don't squeeze it.

While I remain a firm fan in the Bioderma camp, I would repurchase this again, as you can just nip to the shops to purchase this which is handy if you're running low and don't want to shop online and it's also well priced. I believe this usually retails around the £5-6 mark for 200ml, but I'd advise you to shop around, as it's always on offer somewhere. I bought mine for half price from Tesco!

Do you use micellar waters? I'm interested to try the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, has anyone tried that?

Joy xx

Review: ELF Studio Cream Eyeshadow in Dawn

Monday, 10 February 2014

As a low maintenance eye makeup gal - eyeliner and mascara, that's me done - I'm always after something to add some colour to my lids, but without the effort of using multiple brushes, multiple eyeshadows and spending many moons blending, blending, blending. Enter the ELF Studio Cream Shadow in Dawn.

Dawn is a beautiful grey-taupe colour, which is the perfect everyday neutral shade. It has tiny gold glitters in, which are barely detectable in the pot, but show up very subtley on the eyelids. I tend to wear only this all over the lid for an easy everyday look, but this would also be lovely as a base for other eyeshadow looks too.

The texture is quite moussey and creamy, but never feels greasy on the lids. This is a great day to day product, as you can easily apply it with your fingers if you're in a rush or for a more intense colour, use the brush that comes with the eyeshadow. I have to admit, I haven't tried this with any other brushes as the mini brush that comes with the eyeshadow is really all you need. A little goes a long way, so I can see this 4.75g of product lasting a long time.

I have worn this all day for up to 8 hours and find it never creases on me, even without an eyeshadow primer (although I always powder my eyelids before applying eye products). I was seriously amazed at the longevity, as I can get oily eyelids. I have used this so much since I bought it in November and would highly recommend it. It is common for cream eyeshadows to dry out and harden after a few months, but I have had no issues with this yet.

What are your favourite cream eyeshadows?

Joy xx

Five Favourite Fitness-stagrams

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

I am an Instagram addict. There, I've said it. If I'm waiting for my train, waiting at the doctor's, or just playing around on my phone, Instagram will definitely be one of the first apps I check. Towards the end of 2013, there seemed to be a surge in fitness Instagram accounts (maybe there had been lots before, but I hadn't noticed...) and I found myself randomly stumbling across a few and following them. This year, in a bid to finally reach my goal fitness, I have followed even more and I thought I would share with you five of my favourite fitness-stagrams.

censkiii - Cenna has worked her way from being skinny to fit and every time I see her instagrams, they always make me want to go to the gym. I love her Instagram workout videos - They're short and sweet, but cover everything from working out in the gym or at home workouts and include abs, arms, legs, etc and they're great to tie into your current workout routine or to use as inspiration.

elle_fit - Elle taught herself Yoga throughout last year and her Instagram pics make me want to try it and attempt to become more flexible and improve my posture. She has some simple stretching pictures and videos for those wanting to get started in yoga, which is super handy for a yoga novice like myself. Her beach shots make me wish I was from Australia and could work out on the beach. I just need a boy to do the partner yoga moves with now ;)

kayla_itsines - Kayla was one of the first Instagrams that I followed. She has abs to die for and trains people to get a lean, bikini-ready body - now who doesn't want that? If I lived in Adelaide, I would be first in line for Kayla's boot camps. But for those of us living further away, Kayla has recently released a fitness eBook, which is on my to-buy list. She has also recently got the cutest husky puppy ever called Ace!

russellsbc - This is one of the newer Instagrams that I've followed this year. The Skinny Bitch Collective is a favourite with the likes of Millie Mackintosh, Daisy Lowe, amongst others and I can see why. Russell's classes in London have a waiting list longer than my arm, but I love the sneak-peek instavideos into his classes and routines, which give an insight into the intense workout sessions and you can use them in your own workout.

wayofgray - Sophie's Instagram has a bit of everything, from transformations, foodie posts, inspiring quotes and workouts. I bought Sophie's first eBook last year and recently purchased her second one too and boy do they break you out in a sweat. They are all based on HIIT and the second eBook is based on the Tabata format, which makes me want to die! You don't need fancy gym equipment, but just a little space, a timer, lots of water and motivation.

Who are your fitspirations? Do you have any favourite fitness Instagrams?

Joy xx

Review: REN Clarifying Toning Lotion

Monday, 3 February 2014

I had never heard of chemical exfoliation until it was mentioned by Caroline Hirons on her skincare bible of a blog. As a person who usually omits toner from her skincare routine, I was sceptical about whether adding that extra step would be worth it. I was using the REN Clarifying Toning Lotion daily when I bought it, but briefly forgot about it and stopped using it. Since starting using it again and slowly nearing the end of the bottle, I thought it was about time to share my thoughts.

The first thing you notice when using the REN Clarifying Toning Lotion is the smell. It has a very natural and fresh, herbal-esque smell, which I really liked. As the product is by REN, you're pretty much guaranteed that the scent of this product is due to the ingredients rather than artificially added perfumes, as they do not add synthetic fragrance to their products. Some people may not like the scent, but do not fear, it disappears shortly after application.

The toner is easy to use, as you just pour a little onto a cotton pad and swipe it all over your skin. I find this toner feels lovely and refreshing on the skin. It was perfect on those hot days we had during the summer and feels amazing on the skin after a hot shower, as it almost has a light cooling effect.

I love using this when my skin is breaking out, as its active ingredients include lactic, citric, tartaric acid and glycolic acid, which help to get rid of dead skin cells quicker and mayblossom extract which helps with oil control.

As an Alpha H liquid gold afficionado and as someone who uses AHAs fairly regularly in my skincare routine, this felt quite mild on my skin, but I liked that I was giving my skin an extra exfoliation kick by using this daily. Unlike many toners, this does not contain alcohol and does not leave my skin feeling tight or dry. Overall, my skin feels like it has less dry patches and I have noticed that my pores look minimised. I also feel my chin and forehead areas have less congestion, which is a miracle as they are my worst bits.

The Clarifying Toning Lotion is part of REN's combination to oily range, but I believe that people with sensitive, dry or normal skin would be able to use this due to how gentle the product is. But don't be fooled, as although the product is gentle but gives great results. It costs £18 for 150ml, which I think is reasonable and would definitely repurchase this again.

What toner do you use?

Joy xx

Hi (-atus No More)

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Hello everyone! That doesn't feel like an adequate or enthusiastic enough hello after a long hiatus from blogging, but there you go... How have you all been? I hope your 2014 has started off swimmingly!

Back in September, I kind of fell out of love with blogging as I felt the blogging world was evolving faster than I could keep up and that my little space was lacking direction. I was also constantly comparing my blog to others', which is never good for your sanity.

Recently I'd been thinking about blogging again, and after a friend asked me why I hadn't blogged in a long time, I was compelled to start again... So, here we are - a few tweaks to my layout, new post ideas up my sleeve and a fresh start for 2014. I've decided to make up for my long hiatus by blogging as often as I can (hopefully 2-3x week) throughout February and see how it goes from there. Looking over my blog statistics, I've realised that there is no need to drastically change how I was blogging. My blog stats may not be millions of hits per day, but I don't care about that. I've realised that bells, whistles and fancy edits aren't needed - An honest and thorough review of products is the most important thing for a beauty blog and Dearjoy will remain as a way to share my opinions of products that I have tried in order to help other people that may be considering them too.

If you are reading this, thank you for you support and here's to a fresh start. Cheers xx