Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Xenca Perfection Lipsticks



Xenca Perfection Lipstick in "Cherry" £8.30* - Whilst at the wonderful Nottingham Blogger Meet back in September were had a presentation and were introduced to a brand called Xenca who pride themselves on natural and organic products and are extremely passionate about not using any "nasties" in their products. They were so kind and gave us all one product of our choice at the end of the presentation and I decided to be daring and go for their Perfection Lipstick in their darkest colour - Cherry. The formula of this is just as durable and lovely as all of my other lipsticks, I was worried that the quality may be slightly lacking due to the different formulation but it is beautiful and the colour payoff is wonderful. The finish has a slight sheen to it and whilst the staying power isn't exactly fantastic, both the price and the finish kind of excuse that. I find that only matte lipsticks will ever stay put on me and even then I struggle hugely with dryness. It's definitely a brand that you should look into and do some research on, they do a vast wealth of products both in their skincare and makeup range and they also do collagen powders and drinks to make you beautiful form the inside out!

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Sunday, 30 November 2014

Stila Sunday - Mile High Mascara




Stila Mile High Mascara £16 - Welcome back to Stila Sunday here on Becka's Beauty Blog. This week I'm bringing you the wonderful Mile High Lashes Mascara, I'm sure that this is a bestseller over in the US and it seems to be doing pretty darn well over here too... Think of it as a Benefit They're Real Dupe but much easier to remove and far more natural. The "V" Shape of the bristles coats the lashes 360 degrees and gives them ultimate lift and volume. My lashes are super long anyway so I do actually have to be careful how much I lift them with this else they do just look OTT but for someone with shorter lashes or wanting a really dramatic look, this is perfect. It doesn't compromise on volume either as some lengthening mascaras do, the bristles grab your lashes right from the base and with a little bit of a wiggle gives great "oomph" and volume. My favourite thing about this product? Is that whilst it stays in place all day and looks blacker than black right up until the end, when it is time to say goodbye, a few seconds with a good eye make up remover sees this baby off without the harsh tugging and yanking out half my eyelashes that I seem to get with other similar mascaras..

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Friday, 28 November 2014

Manuka Doctor


Manuka Doctor ApiNourish Face Mask, Serum & Night Cream - These three little beauties came in my Goody Bag from the fantastic Notts Blogger Meet back in September. They come in a handy little kit that has actually been perfect for transporting between my Grandmas and my Boyfriends house meaning that I've not had to sacrifice on a good Skin regime. The face mask was something slightly new for me as usually I'm for Clay Masks all the way but it was nice to have a refreshing change that felt light and weightless but still did a good job of rehydrating and polishing my skin. I used the serum and night cream together as I usually only use a serum at night time and together they combatted any dryness and allowed me to wake up with silky smooth skin that was ready for the day. They're all around £16 each for the full sized versions so I'd definitely recommend getting your hands on a mini set such as this to try them all out first but I'd 100% say that the Serum and Night Cream are worth it. The face mask? I'm not sure I'm ready to depart from my Clay just yet...

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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Estee Lauder Daywear BB Cream


Estee Lauder DayWear BB Cream £34.00 - I received a sample of this such a long time ago and promptly popped it at the back of my drawer along with all of the other foundation samples that are totally the wrong colour. It wasn't until I got back from Denmark and was suitably tanned that I tried this out and instantly fell in love. It's a really thick BB Cream, in fact, I'd definitely say it was more of a foundation as I apply it with a buffing brush and the coverage is medium, not like your usual BB Cream! It lasts all day although it does wear off a little around my jaw line (I'm yet to meet many a foundation that doesn't) and gives me a lovely healthy glow whilst providing my skin with wonderful anti-oxidants and not feeling like it's clogging my skin up too much. It is certainly pricey so it is one for a special day out in the now long-gone summertime however for me it's totally worth the price tag, until I met my Stay All Day Foundation from Stila, I thought that I had found the one, and for Summer, I probably have. I also like that it comes in a tube, it's slightly refreshing to see as all of my other foundations are a pump and I often feel like I have little control over how much foundation I dispense and end up wasting some. This way I can totally control how much I use and it even makes it easier to mix in with my NARS Illuminator for an extra dewy look. 

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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Stila Sunday - One Step Correct




Stila One Step Correct £24 - For how many weeks do I need to start by telling people that I am now a Make-Up Artist and Counter Manager for my local Stila? Sorry if I sound like I'm repeating myself but I don't want to seem like a crazed Stila obsessive. For my second week of "Stila Sunday" I wanted to bring to you their ultimate hero product and my new found unmissable step in my makeup routine. It's a primer, hydrator and corrector all in one and boy does it do all of those things to perfection. Mixed with Arclay too it also gives you a great big dollop of anti-ageing in there. The Green knocks out any redness, the Lavender lifts sallow tones and the Peach works its magic to illuminate all whilst diminishing pores, minimising fine lines and tackling any pesky wrinkles. For me it's main bonus is that it evens out my skin tone and gives me an extra boost of hydration before applying my foundation, but many others have said that it's the soothing feel of it that they prefer, and for some it's the brightening qualities. If you're brave enough you could wear this on it's own, which I often do if it's a no-make-up-day and also at the end of the day after I've removed my makeup. Especially if it's a while before I'll do my evening skincare routine... I find that I only need half a pump to do my entire face and I'm usually left with colour corrected hands too as I've dispensed far too much so for the £24 you certainly do get a lot for your money. Plus, look how cool it looks...


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Friday, 21 November 2014

Touche Veloutee from by Terry



Touche Veloutee from by Terry £35 - So recently I've been feeling a little spendy and decided to invest in some high end products rather than lots of high street ones. Hannah Maggs recently blogged about this little beauty and how much it's helped her look more awake with her 10 month old son and therefore I figured it was definitely worth a go. I've never been happy with the bags under my eyes and nothing I ever do seems to diminish this and therefore the slightly nauseating price tag didn't really put me off (oh and that Sian was there to enable me of course). I'd say this is a perfect mixture of the YSL Touche Eclat and Collection's Lasting Perfection Concealer. It does have a good coverage on it's own (although I tend to pair it with either my Stila Stay All Day Concealer or my Bobbi Brown version) whilst also brightening the area, giving it a definite illuminating lift. The only slight niggle that I have with the product is that too much comes out in one pump and I feel as though I'm wasting some but trying to blend it away, not good when it's £35 a pop. Therefore I do one pump and try to distribute it between both eyes before blending out. I use the brush attached to begin with but almost always end up using my foundation brush to finish it off as the brush isn't the best at blending. I'm definitely going to try and make this last as I'm not sure whether I'll repurchase it straight away or not but it's a wonderful luxury product for when I need an extra pick me up or I'm just feelin' fancy.

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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadw



NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in "Dione" £21 - When I first heard the price tag of these I'll have to admit I was a little taken aback, and if it wasn't for the sheer helpfulness and enthusiasm from the girl in Space NK then I probably wouldn't have taken the leap to invest. They are the new Dual Intensity Eyeshadows from NARS of course and are just as beautiful when used wet or dry. The colour Dione instantly drew me in as something slightly different from my usual picks, I'm a solid black or brown girl usually so spreading my wings into gold was definitely a Christmas Party driven decision. This will look beautiful blended with the darkest brown from the Ombre Matte Eyeshadows from Clarins as I am a a little dubious about just how glittery these would look on their own. I'm having serious fun playing around with these both with and without water and I'm definitely glad that I made the investment. I have been tempted my other colours however for the price I'm definitely going to make this one do for me for now. Needless to say, the sleek matte black packaging just finishes it off perfectly as it always does with NARS...

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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Stila Sunday - Stay All Day Foundation & Concealer

Stila Stay All Day Foundation & Concealer £29.50 - You may or may not know that I now work as a Counter Manager and Make-Up Artist for Stila in my local Downtown, I personally have been extremely surprised by the quality of their offerings and nothing has let me down as of yet. For that reason I wanted to bring them to my blog once a week and show you something new... The Stay All Day Foundation has become my new best friend and most applied foundation, taking over from both my Rimmel Wake Me Up and my Estee Lauder Day Wear. It says that it has a semi-matte finish however with a good and well hydrated base I think it gives a dewy effect. It also has no SPF in it, which I know a lot of beauty bloggers look for, however I much prefer one without as it looks beautiful in photographs and with all of the Christmas Parties coming up, that's definitely something that I look for. It comes with a the matching concealer in the lid, meaning that you don't have to carry around two different products or get colour matched twice as it's always a complimenting colour that very much remind me of my Bobbi Brown Concealer, only slightly more creamy. Another added bonus? Included in the packaging and your £29.50 is their Foundation Brush, making this a fantastic starter kit for someone new into the brand or makeup in general or for anyone wanting to keep it all together for travelling. Although the brush isn't the best (I prefer a flat or domed brush), it certainly does the job well and for the money you really can't complain. 

*Although I work for Stila, all views are my own and are completely unbias and 100% honest. 

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Friday, 14 November 2014

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure



Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in "Shall We Dance" £6.99 - When I was younger I had an obsession with a certain Sally Hansen nail polish that made your nails instantly look like you had a French Manicure but with only one polish. I have searched the drug stores and internet with a fine tooth comb and cannot find it anywhere anymore (if you know of it, please do share!). Someone recommended to me to try a pale pink colour (not sure why I didn't think of that myself) and when I saw this I thought I might as well give it a try. The name "shall we dance" also enticed me in as it just sounded so pretty. One coat of this certainly does do the trick and although it's not quite a total French Manicure look, it just neatens up my nail colour and makes it look slightly more pink and a lot more uniform. A few more layers sees this turn into an opaque baby pink colour that would be perfect for a bridal or more elegant look. The staying power is amazing, as always with Sally Hansen, and the application is super speedy. I always find that I need more coats with a nude colour to get it as opaque as I'd like it to be and so I do have to wait around a fair while but until I find a pale colour that goes on in two or less coats, I'm not going to hold it against this Sally Hansen offering. 

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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Clarins Instant Light Eye Perfecting Base


Clarins Instant Light Eye Perfecting Base* £19.35 - If there's one thing that I've learnt as a newly trained Make-Up Artist, it's the importance of starting from a good base. With the best will and talent in the world a makeup look will always look a million times better if the base is good to start with. One area that I really struggle with darkness is my eyes, and not just under them, I feel as though any time I put a slightly dark colour onto my lid, my eyes are instantly darkened. This primer from Clarins not only primes my eyelids to lock in that colour all day long, it also brightens them ready for any colour. I never, ever like putting foundation on my eyelids as I feel that the skin is far too delicate and 9/10 times it'll only lead to creasing. However sometimes the skin does need a little perfecting, this has a tiny amount of colour in it that creates an even base but is still gentle on the eye and scares creases away instead of inviting them in. The price is a little high for my liking and it's only marginally better than the Urban Decay offerings but it certainly does it's job to perfection and my hesitation is probably only because eye primers are a relatively new thing to me..

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Sunday, 9 November 2014

Clarins Ombre Matte Eye Shadow



Clarins Ombre Matte Eye Shadow* £19 - The best thing about taking a blogging hiatus is most definitely digging out everything that you haven't blogged about yet and rediscovering some gems that you may have previously forgotten about. I've previously shied away from creating different eye looks as I could never get it just quite right and found that I got into a shimmery mess. So when this range of matte offerings were released by Clarins I was immediately interested to give them a go, I got number 02, 04 and 05 and they go together beautifully to create a smokey eye, whilst either 02 or 04 could also be used on their own all over the lid. If used with a good primer then the staying power of these little beauties is, of course, fantastic and they don't budge, crease or lose density all day. Now I've been trained in make up artistry I'm far more adventurous and have started wearing at least a subtle smokey eye most days and so have really started to notice the varying quality in my collection. Needless to say these are definitely top of the class, rivalling only my MAC Pro-Palette. My only downside to these is that now I spend my time split between two homes (again), they're a bit much to carry around with me. For that reason I use the middle colour 04 the most as it's my favourite on it's own. But I much prefer to just take a palette with me knowing it's got all I need. It's as if Clarins were personally thinking of me with their latest release...

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Friday, 7 November 2014

Shu Uemura Tint in gelato

Shu Uemura Tint In Gelato Lip & Cheek Colour* £18.50 - I was super lucky a few months ago and managed to win one of the much coveted Dave Lackie Twitter Competitions. At first I wasn't too sure about my prize as I've never had anything from Shu Uemura before (no, not even the lash curlers!) and it wasn't a brand that I had heard much about. Needless to say these were received, swatched and then popped in my drawer for when I was feeling more daring to try something new. Boy was I wrong. After falling head over heels for my Stila Liquid Lipsticks I decided to give these a try as they appeared very similar. I was not disappointed. They have almost exactly the same formula as the Stila versions (although I don't think they're quite as thick, nor do they have the beautiful Vanilla scent that my Stila babies do) and they have the same fantastic staying power! They have a matte finish that's not at all drying and extremely comfortable to wear all day and the vibrancy of the colours is fantastic. The applicator is a little round for my liking but that's purely because I have quite small lips and thus need precision to not end up looking like a clown. I was so lucky to be sent a beautiful nude, a lovely coral and also a wonderful plum so I am well and truly set up for all seasons. The coral has been my most used up and till now but as we're firmly into Autumn (and dare I say it, winter) the plum is creeping out more and more often.


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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Stila at Downtown Grantham




First up, massive apologies for the blogging hiatus recently, life has been a whirlwind of moving out, moving back in, moving on and most importantly... opening a brand new makeup counter in my local department store! I've always loved Downtown and Oldrids and so when an opportunity presented itself to me to not only work in my favourite department store, but also open a brand new makeup counter, I just could not say no. Stila isn't particularly well known around where I live due to it's exclusivity and the fact it's only been back in the UK for 3 years, but I'm really enjoying the challenging and introducing people to such a versatile brand. The range is priced slightly cheaper than the likes of Benefit but I honestly think that the quality matches up if not supersedes. Their Stay All Day Foundation really does stay put all day, glides on beautifully and photographs as only the likes of my Illamasqua Skin Base does. The Liquid Lipsticks are my new favourite and can survive through lunch, snogs and singing at the top of my voice on my 30 minute journey home. I'll go into more detail about the products as and when, I don't want to bombard you all with pure Stila goodness and will of course still bring unbias variety to my little corner of the internet but I just couldn't pass up the chance to tell you all about this exciting new venture. Fancy trying something from Stila? I can post items out to you free of charge so if you fancy helping a gal out (I have targets ya know!) and fancy something being popped through your letterbox then just let me know! 

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Monday, 22 September 2014

The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Reviver by Sian Marie Beauty

Hello there;

Firstly let me introduce myself! I am Sian from Sian Marie Beauty, and the ever so lovely Becka asked out for some guest bloggers. I adore her blog, so I was all over the chance to be on here! I hope you like my post and don't be shy to come and say hello to me on mine :)

Sick of having dull skin? Let me introduce you to my little friend. The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Reviver.

The Body Shop Skin Reviver Vitamin C
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Friday, 29 August 2014

Ultrabond Strip Lash Adhesive



Ultrabond Strip Lash Adhesive* £6.49 - Back in April/May time I was very kindly sent some false eyelashes and this Adhesive from Ultrabond as part of the Ultrabond challenge to keep your lashes on for the duration on a bank holiday. For me it didn't quite work out that long but that was because I got irritated by the feeling of false lashes after around 36 hours, I like to feel quite natural, especially when I'm sleeping. One thing that I didn't want to miss out on though, was telling you all how great the glue actually is. It goes tacky enough to apply your lashes within a few seconds yet doesn't completely set for about a minute after so you can faff around getting them in place really easily. It also dries completely clear so if you're a touch messier like I am then it's not glaringly obvious. I think if you have the patience and can stand wearing false eyelashes for a long period of time then this will totally last you an entire weekend too. I also like this over the small little pots that you get (not namely because I always lose them) but also because you can get a little extra out of this to do any touch ups you may need after the first day or two. I've never had lash adhesive that didn't come with the false lashes themselves and now I always opt for this over the stuff that's included. 

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Thursday, 28 August 2014

Nails Inc Portobello Nail Polish

Nails Inc London Portobello Nail Polish £11 - I thought that I would introduce you to my favourite summer and spring nail polish, although I've only got a miniature of this I know for sure that I'll purchase the full size as soon as I run out. At £11 a bottle, it can be a bit of an investment for a nail colour so I like that I've had a mini one to make me fall in love with it before I make such a purchase. I got this in a beauty box last year and reserve it for my most special of summer days. It's a beautiful bright coral colour that looks quite frankly fantastic with a tan and really makes your skin look more bronzed. You need 3 coats really to make it opaque which can be a touch frustrating if you're in a rush but it's mainly because I like my nail colour to be super bold and opaque so I may go a touch overboard. I also like to wear a topcoat with this however if you're sometimes lazy like me then you can get a good 4 days wear out of it, maybe even longer if you're careful. It has a certain fluorescence to it too which I also love as it brightens up even the dullest of spring days.

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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Soap & Glory Puffy Eye Attack Hydragel



Soap & Glory Puffy Eye Attack Hydragel £12.50 -  Soap & Glory are a brand that I've primarily associated with bath products and smellies. Only in the past 6 months or so have I come to realise that they actually make really good cosmetics and skincare too, there's so many things of theirs that I'm desperate to try out - the list is endless. So naturally when I was on the hunt for my first ever eye cream I looked to Soap & Glory to see what their offering was, I had heard reasonably good things about this but not enough to really influence my decision. The message on the packaging looked promising enough that it was going to turbo-boost my under eye area and diminish bags and dark circles so I went ahead and popped it in my basket. I had vouchers at the time and so felt a little better about buying something I was slightly unsure of. I didn't have overly high hopes for this as I didn't want to be let down and to be honest, I'm sort of glad I didn't. Admittedly around a month after using this I discovered the Clinique All About Eyes in my stash and after one use of that, switched to it full time. But it did make me realise that this wasn't really doing anything. The Clinique offering immediately made the skin around my eyes feel softer and smoother and the bags were noticeably less visible really quickly. Where I'm not sure that this really did anything, I didn't even nothing my skin being particularly softer either. Maybe I didn't give it enough time - let me know if you've preserved a little longer with it and what results you did see, but I'm fairly impatient and I would have like to see something straight away (even if it was something minor) and definitely have some results after a month. 

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