NARS Virtual Domination Cheek Palette // Review & Swatches

Okay, I’ll admit it, didn’t exactly need a new blusher, bronzer or highlighter. But I had to have the NARS Virtual Domination Cheek Palette, especially after missing out on the NARS Guy Bourdin Palette last year. Plus, it’s just so pretty.

The palette which is exclusive to Space NK was released just before Christmas last year as part of the NARS 2014 Holiday Collection. The palette costs £45.00 and frankly is fantastic value for money with a combined retail value of £117, which is a saving of 62%! You receive more than a full sized laguna bronzer, which alone would cost you £27 and for the cost of just over two full-size blushes, you’re getting five shades. So really, I have no complaints in terms of cost. It’s worth every penny.

The packaging is just beautiful, with a white pattern overlay, a large mirror and not an ounce of rubbery NARS packaging in sight. It’s timeless and looks very pretty on my vanity (may I add). It’s also compact and will fit into the average makeup bag. But I would note it is a little weighty, so maybe not as travel friendly as I would have originally thought (but I can look past that). What is so great about this palette, is that is covers all bases, as it includes not one, but three blushers, a bronzer and a highlighter.

I love all the shades in this palette and Im certain I will put them all to good use. However, the quality of the blushers just isn’t as amazing as their stand alone blushers (which can I just add are possibly my favourite blushers!). I’m not saying the quality of this palette isn’t up to scratch, however they are a little more faded. Why this is I am not sure, the palette could have been made in a different factory, or by different machinery? Who knows?! But nevertheless, the blushers have a lovely soft, creamy texture making them blendable and easy to work with and look beautiful on the skin. They also last a good 6 hours. The Miss Liberty Highlighter although a little glittery, looks lovely when worn on top of the cheekbones and on the eyelids. And NARS Laguna Bronzer is an oldie but a goodie, which featured in my 2013 favourites. It is great for both warming up the face and as a contour shade. 

Miss Liberty Highlighter (Permanent): is a very light, golden peach with white flecks of glitter. 

Deep Throat Blusher (Permanent): is a medium, pinky coral with a slight golden shimmer. It’s a popular shade and one of which I have always wanted to try and I’m not disappointed. 

Laguna Bronzer (Permanent): is a medium-dark brown bronzer, with a golden sheeny finish. It looks quite scary in the pan, but is actually quite light and buildable. This bronzer works best with a big fluffy brush. Denser brushes can make it appear a little muddy on the skin.

Sex Fantasy Blusher (Limited Edition): is matte cool-toned dusty lavender/pink. The texture is soft and finely milled, but it is powdery. It is super flattering on the skin a lot like MAC’s ‘Well Dressed’ blusher.  

Final Cut Blusher (Limited Edition): is a softened, medium coral-orange with warm undertones and a matte finish. It has good color payoff and the texture isn’t as powdery as ’Sex Fantasy’. It’s more on the silky side. It reminds me a little of Tarte’s ‘Tipsy’ blusher - the perfect blusher for this spring. 

Now I just need to buy the NARS Yachiyo Brush #27... any excuse! 
Did you manage to get your hands on this palette? 


The Perfect Post-Workout Pair

The Perfect Post-Workout Pair

That’s right. These two products pictured here will have you looking like Millie Mackintosh in no time... I joke, I joke! But with January being the unofficial month of weight loss and healthy eating, I  have recently joined Regiment Fitness, where I roll around in the mud (literally), lift tyres, run with half filled jerry cans and sweat buckets. So as a result I have introduced a couple of new products into my beauty regime, both of which have been working wonders together after my hardcore boot camp sessions. 

The Body Shop Tea Tree Body Wash £6.00
My love for The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil range is only growing stronger with the recent addition of their Tea Tree Body Wash. The soap free, antiseptic, gel formula is great at removing any workout grime and leaves my skin feeling refreshed and super clean. I for one, get a few little spots on my chest and this body wash has been really effective at clearing them up and keeping them under control. In fact, my chest had completely cleared up after just 3 uses! Furthermore, it doesn’t dry out, or strip my skin and although it doesn’t lather well when applied on its own, it does lathers up really nicely when used with a body polisher/bath lily. 

Liz Earle Energising Hip & Thigh Gel (Discontinued)
Feeling the burn during a workout is a good thing, but hobbling around the office the day not so much! But I have a solution; the Liz Earle Energising Hip & Thigh Gel, which has been great for getting rid of those aches and pains. I personally like to apply this product straight after the shower, as it can leave the skin feeling a little sticky when applied straight onto dry skin. I massage the gel in circular movements over my thighs, hips, upper arms and stomach and it absorbs really quickly, leaving my skin feeling smoother, more hydrated and instantly tighter. The gel is cooling and uber refreshing and the herbal scent is therapeutic and lasts all day. I have noticed a difference since using this product (bare in mind I have been exercising and drinking lots of water). My cellulite is less noticeable, my stretch marks have faded in colour, and my legs and stomach appear more toned and firmer, not to mention when I use this product after a workout, I defiantly hobble a lot less in the morning! However, there is one MAJOR downside. This product has been discontinued! How Liz Earle can discontinue a beauty bible award winner and five star product is beyond me! If anyone has any recommendations or knows where I can pick up another bottle please let me know. Otherwise it looks like I will need to pick up the Energising Body Lotion instead.

What products do you like to use post-workout?


New & Upcoming Beauty Products For 2015

New & Upcoming Beauty Products For 2015

It’s the new year and I for one am definitely struggling with a bout of the January Blues. But what has perked me up? Hot, new, fresh, up and coming beauty launches and I’m pretty excited.

[1] Real Techniques Sculpting Brush £9.99 | Bold Metals Flat Contour Brush £22.00

I’m sure I’m not the only one who swooned when they saw Sam & Nic's Instagram snaps of the new Real Technique brushes last year. And I’m sure we can all agree the new premium collection is simply stunning, with long elegant weighted handles, soft bristles and how can I not mention the silver, gold and rose gold feature. I may not have the budget to pick up the whole collection, but my non existent cheek bones love a good sculpting session and the flat contour brush looks like it might just do the trick. However, I spy another new brush from RT that hasn't exactly been in the limelight as of yet, another contour brush which is a permanent addition to their basic range and costs just half the price. Which one would you go for?

[2] NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation - Release 1st Feb £32.00 
Are you a fan of NARS Sheer Glow? Well, NARS are upping their game and adding another foundation to their range which promises to be lightweight, natural, flawless and breathable, whilst offering full coverage in a single drop, for a full 16 hours! The formula also includes an exclusive 'even tone technology', which works to help reduce any redness or discolouration. And that there is how I would describe my ideal foundation. Sold.

[3] Maybelline FaceStudio Master Conceal - Release unknown 
After reading that Maybelline’s new concealer is comparable to Make Up Forever’s Full Cover Concealer, over on Jo’s blog A Little Pop Of Coral, I couldn’t be more excited about its release. The Master Conceal by Face Studio From Maybelline has a formula that camouflages imperfections and dark circles with ultra-resistant full coverage and I have a feeling that this concealer is going to be a hit this year.

[4] NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette £45.00
NARS have released yet again another beautiful palette, but this time with eight shades of their dual-intensity eyeshadows, all incased in a black palette with a mirrored front. All eyeshadows can be worn dry for a sheer finish, or wet for a more intense finish. The palette also comes with a very handy NARS wet/dry shadow brush. If you know me, you’ll know I’m finding it difficult resisting this one!

[5] Benefit Roller Lash Mascara - Available March 
I was never particularly a fan of the much loved They’re Real Mascara, or any of the Benefit mascaras for that matter. But Benefit’s new mascara 'Roller Lash', from the fun coral packaging, with the promise that you won’t need to use eyelash curlers, to the curved plastic wand, has me feeling very hopeful for uber long, luscious lashes. In fact, the wand is very similar to my favourite mascara from SEVENTEEN cosmetics. I have high hopes Benefit! You can pick up a sample of Benefit’s Roller Lash Mascara in ELLE’s March issue (released early Feb) before it ‘rolls out’ in stores which you can pre-order here.

[6] Love Tanya By Tanya Burr - Release 29th Jan £10.99 
I have a feeling I might not be the right target audience for Tanya Burr’s first book in terms of age. But I will defiantly be popping a copy into my online basket and gifting it to someone (my sister maybe?) or I will just keep it for myself! The book encompasses everything from fashion, beauty, love, friendship and YouTube. Tanya hopes the book will become a keepsake to those who read it, who will turn to it when they need some guidance or a little pick me up.

[7] L’oreal Infallible Pro-Spray & Set Makeup Extender Setting Spray - Release Unknown
Hooray for a new setting spray! L’oreal are extending their Infallible range with both primers and a setting spray which is described as 'a lightweight mist that locks in makeup for a ‘just applied’ makeup look all day'. With a formula that is dermatologist tested and non-comedogenic, I will certainly be picking up a bottle of this when it arrives here in the UK.

[8] bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream - Release Unknown 
This product from bareMinerals may have the worlds longest name, but boy does it sound promising. This mineral-based formulation combines both skincare and coverage. The gel cream is formulated to help energise, replenish and protect the skin whilst giving a sheer to medium coverage. With an added bonus of a SPF of 30. One for the summer wish list maybe? 

[9] The Glam Guide By Fleur De Force - Release 12th Feb £10.49
With the recent hoo-ha over ghost writing (I’m pretty sure we all know what I’m talking about), I’m excited to read a book that has been written by Fleur, from Fleur De Force. The beauty lover started making youTube videos back in 2009 and I have been an avid watcher/subscriber since 2010. In a sense I feel excited for Fleur, as it is apparent she has worked very hard on this book. The Glam Guide will share all her secrets and knowledge from makeup tips, wardrobe cheats, first-date pointer, healthy eating and lifestyle motivation.

What beauty releases are you excited about? 


Pretty Honest: The Straight-Talking Beauty Companion By Sali Hughes

Pretty Honest is truly a wonderful book and by far the best beauty book I own. From the blush pink hard back cover, to the 330 pages of content - I just can’t fault it

For those of you who may have not heard of Sali Hughes, she is a Welsh journalist and the Beauty Editor for The Guardian newspaper. She has heaps of experience writing for big time magazines (20 years worth of beauty related wisdom to be precise) and this is reflected through every chapter of her book, Pretty Honest. 

Now, I for one associate beauty books with big lavish glossy pages, full of models with the most beautiful skin and the most incredible makeup, which the average Joe would struggle to recreate. I love these books as much as any beauty addict, but Sali Hughes's book is different, it’s full of achievable tips and advice written in a no-nonsense, witty, informative and honest style - without the big glossy pages.

I may be a beauty blogger, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still find the beauty industry overwhelming, with thousands of products to choose from, glossy ad campaigns for the latest lipstick and various beauty recommendations. But this book isn’t filled with jargon and it covers everything from teenage beauty, waxing, ingrown hair, cleansing, things that work, motherhood, sunscreen, acne, scars, age spots, skin types, mature skin, fast fixes, brushes and cc and bb creams just to name few! For me, this book is a breathe of fresh air in a beauty industry built on hype and I have taken notes throughout of the products I want to get my mitts on! 

Sali Hughes: 'I never recommend anything I haven't personally tried on myself, or on someone I know well. There is nothing more satisfying than looking at someone's beauty kit and letting her know she simply doesn't need that £80 eye cream, that the £25 moisturiser will work much better, or that one concealer swapped for another will make her look fabulous in photographs.' 

Pretty Honest is a thought provoking and a classic read. Whether you’re an ammeter, novice or professional beauty lover, this book has something for everyone. It's without a doubt my beauty bible and my ‘straight-talking beauty companion’. 

Have you read Pretty Honest?


Worth The Hype? Clarins Instant Concealer

Every now and then a beauty product pops up, circulates around blogs, gets fabulous reviews and therefore as a result gets lots of free, very positive publicity. I started my ‘worth the hype?’ series to distinguish if some of these products that we are all seeing crop up, are really worth our money. And today I’m going to review the Clarins Instant Concealer, which is much loved by the likes of Sali Hughes The Guardian's Beauty Editor, Vivianna (Vivianna Does Makeup) and Alix (I COVET THEE)

The Clarins Instant Concealer is a lightweight liquid concealer that contains light-bluring pigments that optically blur dark circles. It also contains both caffeine extract to help the under eye area appear less puffy and aloe vera to help soften the skin. On initial application the concealer feels hydrating and leaves my skin looking super smooth. It’s also very easy to work with as it blends beautifully unlike any other concealer I have ever tried. It doesn’t go cakey and provides a decent amount of coverage (medium) due to it’s rich pigmentation which is pretty amazing considering its fluid like texture.  The finish is natural (neither matte, or dewy) and seriously brighting, without being shimmery and greasy. The concealer definitely helps to neutralise dark circles, but I would say I probably need the next shade up, as it has a far more apparent peach undertone, as the shade I have (01) is yellow/beige in colour. It works very well at concealing all areas of discolouration, such as redness and minor blemishes, but personally I would opt for something a little thicker to pinpoint conceal larger blemishes. And how can I not mention that it lasts incredibly well, 5-7 hours in fact. However, the one downside of this concealers long wearing properties, is that it can on occasion it can look a little dry around the eye area after a long days work.

Clarins Instant Concealer

The Clarins Instant Concealer comes in a rather large squeezy tube (hooray!), which could be mistaken for a foundation. I like to squeeze a small amount onto the back of my hand (pea sized - petit pois to be precise) and apply it to all areas of my skin with my fingers and then blend with a small buffing brush. At £21 it isn't exactly cheap, however 15ml’s will last you forever. 

Overall, this concealer is pretty good at restoring natural tone and perfect for those 'no-makeup, makeup' kinda days. I personally have been wearing this product alone without any base and quite frankly love how quick, easy and effective it is and as a result I will certainly be heading to a Clarins counter soon to pick up one of their foundations.

This concealer is defiantly one to try and I can see why it is much loved by many. I personally prefer  this concealer to the likes of NARS Creamy Concealer and Collections Lasting Perfection Concealer as it ticks far more boxes for me. But keep in mind there are only a few shades available and there is quite a big difference between them. So if you are interested in giving this concealer a go, I would highly recommend testing out the shades in store first.

Have you ever tried this concealer?


The Body Shop Glazed Apple Shower Gel

The Body Shop Glazed Apple Shower Gel
The Body Shop Glazed Apple Shower Gel £1 (RRP £4)

It's sad, so sad. It’s a sad, sad situation... yep that’s right I’m wallowing away singing Elton John and evidently feeling pretty sad that my Body Shop glazed apple shower gel is nearing an end.

This might come across a little extreme. It’s just a shower gel right? Well, yes. But it is by far the best smelling shower gel ever. It smells phenomenal. It’s literally mouth watering and by far my favourite scent from The Body Shop and trumps my Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Shower Gel (yes, really!). It smells of tart candy apple laces - delicious. It fills my whole bathroom and lingers on my skin for a good couple of hours. 

Scent aside, it also lathers up really well and has a medium gel consistency, unlike other Body Shop shower gels I have tried which I have found are quite runny. It’s soap free, refreshing and leaves my skin super soft. 

So, the sad situation is this shower gel was part of The Body Shop’s 2014 Christmas collection, meaning it won’t be available for much longer. However, it is on sale for just £1 a bottle! That’s a serious bargain ladies, you can’t put a price on a showergasm, and I for one will certainly be stocking up. It’s a shame I have missed out on the glazed apple hand cream, bath jelly, body polish, body butter, lip balm and room spray from the glazed apple Body Shop Collection and I may just be a tad envious to all of those who did.

Did you manage to get your hands on something from this collection?


Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Instant Tan & Tough Stuff 3 in1 Body Scrub

Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Instant Tan

The Cocoa Brown range has done extremely well since hitting the market last year, especially considering the copious amounts of fake tans out there. Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Instant Tan is one of the products from the line and unlike most fake tans it offers bronzed skin in just 1 hour. The formula has accelerating ingredients to help it to develop quickly, so rather than applying fake tan and sleeping in it (say goodbye to orange bed sheets!), you apply it as you would a regular fake tan (mitt in hand) and leave for 1-3 hours depending on how dark you would like it to develop and then just shower it off  - simple. 

Rather than a spray or gel, this tan in particular is a mousse with a light guide colour, which applies evenly, is really moisturising and dries quickly. In all honesty, I can’t fault the formula it even smells pretty nice with the Cocoa Brown signature Tahitian Gardinia scent. It leaves skin looking sun kissed, with a natural looking golden tan. This tan is great for those of us with a paler complexion and you can really tailor the tan for you.

One of favourite things about this tan is that it fades evenly - which most fake tans claim to do, but don’t and lasts amazingly well on the skin unlike any other fake tan I have tried. This leads me onto the next product from Cocoa Brown; the Tough Stuff 3 in 1 Body Scrub. 

Tough Stuff 3in1 Body Scrub
Now this scrub really is a no-nonsense scrub and I really like it. It removes old tan, prepares skin and not to mention its a great exfoliating treatment (I would recommend it for this alone!). It smells lovely and how can I not mention the fact its pink! The formula includes smaller and larger exfoliating graduals and it leaves your skin feeling super soft and prepared for tanning. 

If you don’t like to fuss about with fake tan and like your white bed white, I can’t recommend this tan enough. And the scrub speaks for itself. You can’t even complain about the price point.

Have you ever tried any products from the Cocoa Brown range? 


2014 Favourites: Beauty Tools

Best beauty tools

Strangely out of all four of my 2014 favourite posts, todays post is the one Im most excited to share with you all. I think that may partly be down to the fact I havent shared a few of these products with you before here on British Beauty Addict, but they are products I use and love on a regular basis and lets be honest, we can all dream about having beautiful hair, skin and makeup, but without the right tools that just won’t happen.

Crown Brushes C139&C412 (Full Review)
All eyeshadow addicts need the perfect eyeshadow brushes and for me that would be two Crown Brushes; the stiff tapered crease eyeshadow brush and the dlx pointed crease eyeshadow brush. These brushes are super soft, wash extremely well and have helped to create countless amounts of smoky, natural, eyeshadow looks over the past year. They have both trumped my recent MAC 217 purchase and I couldn’t be without them! 

I was lucky enough to receive the Magnitone Pulsar at the beginning of 2014, but my skin wasn’t so lucky and all hell broke loose (basically I had a breakout). But now I couldn’t be without it. When used in a routine, I can really see the difference, it helps smooth, clear, remove dirt and impurities and I can tell when I don’t use it. Skincare and makeup products apply beautifully the morning after using the Magnitone Pulsar and it has really helped my skin become more even in texture and tone. 

Another affordable brush at just £3! The MUA F6 Blusher & Contouring brush is a soft synthetic angled brush and my go to for contouring. It’s the perfect size, cleans extremely well and doesn’t malt. I have been using it lovingly along with my Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow palette. 

Who really uses all their brushes for their intended use? Well this brush is without a doubt a brow changing brush. I like to use it with a matte powder to fill in my brows and it works perfectly. I have received so many comments about my brows and who knew a brush could be the reason why.

My RT brushes are still going strong and have been staple brushes in my collection. If you are looking to invest in some brushes, I can’t recommend the Real Techniques range high enough. Brilliant brushes, that are affordable, wash perfectly, last a long time and help to apply your makeup beautifully. 

A more recent discovery; the Travalo. Forget travelling around with your favourite bottle of perfume, this perfume atomizer allows you to carry your favourite perfume without the worry of smashing it, it’s much smaller and hay doesn’t weigh a ton. Simple and effective. 

Award winning tweezers? Yep, I thought the same, tweezers are just tweezers right? Nope, think again! Tweezerman Tweezers are super sharp and great at getting rid of those pesky, short unwanted hairs that other tweezers fail to get. I have a travel pair, which are just as good, but saved me a couple of pounds and worth every penny. 

All hail the at home facial! I have had this at home facial steamer for as long as I can remember, it’s brilliant as a little treat, its incredibly relaxing, helps to bring dirt and impurities to the surface, helps increase circulation, it’s hydrating and preps the skin for subsequent treatments. I use the steam facial around 1-2 times a month for around 10 minutes and follow up with my favourite face mask - winner.

I have spent years trying to curl my hair and then consequently doing everything I can to try to make them hold and last at least a couple of hours. But gone are the days where I unleash a whole can of hairspray onto my hair, in the bid to keep my curls bouncing. Say hello to the Remington Sapphire Hair Tong, the only hair curling device that has ever managed to successfully curl my hair. Absolutely brilliant.

What are your stand out tools of 2014?
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