Welcome back!

Welcome back!

Hey everyone, I know it has been ages since I last posted and for that I am sorry, although really the biggest apology that I owe is to myself.

I spent a lot of time and effort setting up my blog and I loved writing and sharing my take on everything from fashion to foundation! A lot has changed in the past few months though, some of which I will share with you in my writing, but it was a perfect storm of life changing events and for a while I kind of lost myself without even realising. It’s funny how you don’t realise how something has changed until it gets back to normal. Like if you’ve ever lost your hearing because of a cold and then one day it suddenly comes back and you realise how amazing it is to hear properly again. That’s what happened to me recently and I realised I needed to stop being unmotivated and get my shine back again and here I am.

I realised as well since I was last here that even if I am not feeling great about myself and the way I look or do makeup or dress, there is always someone else out there who looks at you and thinks “wow I wish I could do that” and that really motivated me to not let those people down.

So here I am, pretty much the same old me but definitely a bit older and perhaps even a bit wiser now too. So what will I be talking about here now? Pretty much the same stuff from my favourite fashions, my go to make-up, real world weight loss struggles, image advice but most importantly this will be a place for me to come and be myself, so I hope you all like it  🙂

Lots of love, Leanne

Advertisements

Review: Thai Square Spa

I had all but given up on blogging recently with time being a complete squeeze, but then one email reminded me that I was a good writer and even more than that, I really loved it too.

Not only was I going to a spa (which was well needed) but I would have an excuse to discipline myself to sit down and write and really remind myself what it is I loved about this in the first place. I love writing, but not finding the time to do it is certainly easier than finding it, but perhaps I just needed a little reset and zen time to remember this!

So off I went to Thai Square Spa in Northumberland Avenue for an afternoon in the Sen Space and for a Himalayan Salt Massage!

It was one of the hottest days of the year, the tube was uncomfortable and I was feeling like I’d rather sunbathe in Hyde Park all afternoon, but I went along hopeful (although slightly grumpy!) but luckily the team immediately had me at ease. Speaking in soothing tones, dressed chicly in black and with sparkly marble everywhere, I felt like I was exactly where I should have been (even if my smudged makeup, rushed up do and slovenly attire made me feel just a tad uncomfortable).

I was taken into the changing rooms, provided with my robe, slippers and a locker and then took some time to look around. The changing rooms were so clean, the lockers were big (and free!) and everywhere you looked was a lovely combination of sparkly red and black – it felt so decadent and even better that the slippers actually fit and the robes were soft unlike other spas I have been to.

Then I was taken into the dark and quiet downstairs, quite a difference to upstairs, which was decorated in stone, white and black with tiny Buddha’s holding tea lights everywhere you looked which gave the most amazing finish. An array of curved beds were situated in several areas, with enough room for your own space without being too far from friends and family. In the corner of one of the most relaxing places I have ever been was the Sen Space. Filled with a Jacuzzi, Sauna, Steam Room and an amazing ice funnel/dispenser thing, I was spoilt for choice! The Sen Space is unisex which I was warned about up front. I was sharing the Sen Space with a group of guys which although slightly intimidating at first as I was on my own, was easy to work around. After 30-40 minutes in the Sauna and Jacuzzi (which was amazing by the way!) I made my way to the beds to cool down ready for my massage.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect as I’ve only ever had a pretty standard half body massage before, but when a lovely softly spoken girl came to meet me I was very intrigued! The spa had such a calming yet mysterious feel! She took me into a treatment room and provided me with a speciality Thai tea which I should have taken the name of as it was beautiful, all whilst receiving a foot soak/massage pedicure treatment. After this it was massage time! Sometimes massages can be uncomfortable, as you can hear the therapist clattering around, making idle chit chat and being naked doesn’t help either, but this wasn’t the case at all here! The therapist (whose name I cannot remember sadly) was so quiet, kept making sure I was comfortable but was still very thorough.

The treatment started off with a hot flannel treatment, before a massage on my feet and legs, then arms and lastly back and shoulders. I carry a lot of tension in my feet and shoulders due to sports injuries and she made sure that every last knot was removed, which although painful, was also hugely relaxing. I wish I could remember more of it to describe in more detail but I had to fight the urge to fall asleep for the full hour as I was just so relaxed. After some lovely smelling oils and lotions I was then rolled onto my back to continue the massage on arms and legs before finishing with a very relaxing face and head massage.

I left the treatment in a lovely little bubble of relaxation which even on a hot tube home stayed with me for days.

I would seriously recommend for anyone to go and I’m already looking to go back for more treatments as the standard of the one I had was so high. It isn’t the cheapest of spas to attend, but I would say that it is so worth the money as it is by far the best experience I have ever had. (I have to point I didn’t have to pay for this treatment in return for a review, however if I hadn’t have enjoyed the experience I definitely would be truthful in my review. Luckily for you all it really was incredible though!)

 

Review: Makeup Revolution Golden Sugar Ultra Blush Palette

Hey everyone, it’s been a while since I have done any posts, let alone a review but instead of doing a review of something new I thought I would actually do a review of something I have owned for quite a while and that gets used daily by me! Apologies for the absence, I feel like I’m only just starting to formulate some kind of routine after starting my new job. I’m really having to make time to write and get online to post/edit so will be posting again but only once a week until I am completely settled 🙂 I’m trying though, honest!

It’s my blush palette from Makeup Revolution at Superdrug which I bought when the Makeup Revolution collection dropped at Superdrug and is still going strong. Obviously after such vigorous use I feel I’m pretty well equipped to review on it so I hope you enjoy reading this one as much as I love the product 🙂

So this product has 8 shades all for the price of £6! All have a lovely finish and vary from very lightly pigmented and sparkly to heavily pigmented which is ideal for the look you are going for. All are metal toned shades with hints of gold and silver. I find there are shades there for a more subtle bronzer, a super pumped up highlighter as well as a blush shade too so it really is multi-purpose and can be used day to night 🙂

blog1

The palette (sans lid as I lost it) and the brush I use to apply my highlighter

If you don’t believe how much I have used this product check out the picture below which shows just how much I love the highlighter, how messy the palette has become with daily use and the fact that I lost the lid for the palette a while ago too 😦

My favourite of this collection is definitely the silver highlighter which although it looks really garish when blended can look really natural and is easily buildable. Second favourite is definitely the shimmery pink/purple blush!

IMG_0118

Darkest shade at bottom with highlighters on top (nearest wrist) Have lost the top of this palette so cannot remember their names, soz!

If you are unsure what palette to go for and want max versatility I would definitely go for this one, it is by far the best choice of shades of all the blush palettes I have from Makeup Revolution and for £6 how can you go wrong?

blog2.PNG

Me with the highlighter and blush on. Giving a really natural sheen and cheek colour perfect for the day 🙂

So the key question would I buy it again and what is my rating? This gets 8 out of 10 for me and definitely will be repurchased if this palette ever runs out 🙂

What are your favourite palettes and highlighters? I would love to know so comment them below!

Lots of love, Leanne xx

Product Review: Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolour

Hey everyone, me again! So I think I am going to have to keep my posts to once a week at the moment as I am seriously lacking any time currently, but I promise I am trying really hard to keep this all going for you as I love writing, talking about products and getting to do load of fun things with makeup and clothes 🙂

So today I decided to review a new product I purchased and put to the test yesterday for you which is the Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolour. I bought shade 605 HD Obsession which on the shelf looks like a shocking pink colour. It really caught my eye as being a standout and fun shade AND with it being matte as well made it a no brainer!

lippy

So, I love matte lipsticks, but unfortunately they are often very flaky and drying which is why I like to try as many different brands as possible until I find one which I love. I recently purchased MACs Pink Plaid (review to come soon) but even that needs constant reapplying and still makes my lips flaky, which definitely isn’t a good look, so honestly I didn’t have high hopes for the Revlon lippy.

Firstly, I bought this from Superdrug on a 3 for 2 offer as well as getting a free gift set, so it was essentially free, although I think it usually retails at £7.99 so about half the price of a MAC lippy. Secondly, it is probably worth nothing that this isn’t a lipstick, but is instead a colour and applies more like a gloss or stain. Traditionally when I have used other liquid matte colours, I have found them to be really drying, and although they have lasted well, they make my lips feel chapped to high heaven so I try to avoid them (MUA – I’m deffo thinking of your products when I write this!)

Also worth mentioning is that if you find you love the formula, unfortunately it only comes in 8 colours, with at least 4 of them being pinks. The rande features very limited reds, nudes or browns which is a shame as they are definitely my fave shades normally!

Anyway, how did it apply I hear you ask? Very well actually! It applies quite lightly and the velvety applicator is perfectly shaped to help quickly apply colour without the need for lining and although it is a drier formula doesn’t dry the lips at all and helped to prevent any bleeding (although it did still smudge a bit) It is really easy to build to a strong all over colour. A bit of a shame though as the pink it applied is actually quite a lot duller than the package, however is still nice.

Now most lip colours like this will offer a guarantee about how long they are supposed to last but this one didn’t, which really should have been a bit of a giveaway! I applied it at about 8pm before going out, but after a few pre drinks of wine, had to apply before leaving the house to go out and had to reapply at least 4 times before coming home.

^ Applied (terrible quality picture as I think I have stained my camera lens and with friends before going out!)

All in all, it was a decent lip colour. It was easy to get off, didn’t leave my lips dry, applied nicely, but for the money I would definitely expect it to last a bit longer than it did and wish the shade had been a touch brighter.

Would I buy it again? Probably not to be honest but it was definitely worth a try. Do you guys have any matte lip shade recommendations?

Rimmel London Lasting Finish 25hour Foundation Review

Hey everyone,

It feels like it has been a while since I wrote a review so today I thought I would share with you my thoughts on the Rimmel London Lasting Finish 25hour Foundation with comfort serum.

I picked this up after video hopping on Youtube and noticed a few people (including Zoella) talking about how this was one of their favourite daily wear foundations so I figured it was worth a try.

Now all you regular readers will know that I have become a bit of a Nars Foundation convert (read my review here), so I was extremely sceptical about trying a new foundation but I have to say I have been pleasantly surprised and this has definitely become my everyday foundation due to its exceptional coverage and its exceptional price!

As I have mentioned before, I have really fair skin so finding a foundation with the right base colours to match my pale skin and not make me look too orange is really hard (especially in the middle of winter when I am in my new born fish phase of colour!) I ventured away from my usual shop and actually ended up getting this from Superdrug instead of Boots as there was an offer on for Rimmel products there but unfortunately they didn’t have their lightest colour (Ivory) so I settled with the next shade along which is called True Ivory (I have a feeling that in a hurry these names being so similar really could get a bit confusing) I was worried that it could potentially be too dark, but actually it matched really well and I am now wondering if I had picked up the Ivory colour that I would have just ended up looking like an extra from Twilight.

Again when I tried this foundation my skin was terrible thanks to a change in skin care products, however I found that this both covered my blemishes and allowed my skin to breath helping clear up my problems in double time! I was worried that this product being a silk finish may reduce the coverage but I was wrong… actually this looks fab with or without setting powder for a more natural finish without compromising on coverage like I have found in the past.

Even better is the fact that not only does this foundation come with a pump unlike the Nars Sheer Glow, but it also retails at £7.99 full price and is usually on offer and with a wide range of colours too, at that price you’d be silly not to give it a go if you are in the market for a new foundation.

Obviously I don’t know if this lasts 25 hours as I have never worn it for that long, however I did accidentally fall asleep with this on and woke up with it looking the same as it did when I went to sleep so I would say 25 hour lasting is probably pretty accurate 🙂

Some of the looks I have created using this foundation ^

So let’s do a little run down of the pros and cons in case you have forgotten…

Pros:

  • Applies so easily with a brush and blends for a flawless finish
  • Smells clean and fresh
  • Gives great coverage although requires some building
  • Easy to build for a fuller coverage look
  • Breathable and lightweight to wear
  • Doesn’t transfer!!!
  • Doesn’t get oily throughout the day
  • Great range of colours to choose from
  • Super affordable

Cons:

  • Does need building for a fuller look
  • Names of colours ae very similar which could get confusing if purchasing in a hurry

I have to admit that I hadn’t really used too many Rimmel products before this often sticking with other brands (both high street and slightly more high end) but this foundation has definitely opened my eyes to the quality of Rimmel London products and I already have my eyes on some other pieces I want to get my hands on! This has absolutely renewed my love of the high street products and for that I am giving this a Lifestyle for Less rating of 4 out of 5! I will absolutely be purchasing this and other Rimmel products in the future and am recommending this to everyone that has been asking too 🙂

I hope this review was helpful but don’t forget to let me know what your fave foundation is in the comments! Make sure to check out my Instagram and Twitter for more from me daily and to like, comment, share and subscribe if you enjoyed this post and you can also find me on snapchat @leannemerrill and @lifestyle4less 🙂

Lots of love, Leanne xx

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation Review

Hey everyone,

Today I am writing about a product which I purchased recently which in has changed my makeup routine!

Unfortunately it is what I would consider a luxury product and not exactly fitting with my Lifestyle for Less brand, however, I am going to work to find a fitting and affordable dupe and will be saving this foundation for more special occasions as it is just a bit too expensive for everyday wear!

Today’s product is the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation. As always with my foundation reviews the best place to start is at the colour picking stage. As you all know, I have really fair skin so finding a foundation with the right base colours to match my pale skin and not make me look too orange is really hard and I took a bit of a risk when I purchased this!

I decided to treat myself to this foundation as I was bought a House of Fraser voucher for my birthday from my brother and his girlfriend so thought I would invest in some products I wouldn’t normally spend my own money on! As well as purchasing a highlighter I also wanted to invest in their foundation as I had read so many great things about it and after deciding between Sheer Glow and All Day Luminous Weightloss foundation, I settled on Sheer Glow. This is going to sound really strange but this is mostly because of Shaaanxo’s reviews on Youtube. She has fairly similar skin to mine in most aspects from breakouts, redness and skin colour, and after seeing she preferred to Sheer Glow to other foundations I settled. Because the nearest House of Fraser to me is miles away I ended up ordering my foundation blind having no idea if this was going to match, and purchased Deauville. It turned out to be a perfect match and I have to say I am not putting this down to luck! Nars have such an amazing website and offer so much info on each of the shades as well as grouping into different skin brackets (e.g. Extra Light, Fair and also talk about undertones of colours) that I was pretty confident even just from reading about them I could pick the one for me, and it worked!

nars colours

When it arrived (really quickly I have to add!) I couldn’t wait to try it on 🙂 I was suffering from a really bad breakout when it arrived which is both a blessing and a curse as I would be able to see exactly how this foundation worked when my skin was at its worst and I have to say, I wasn’t at all disappointed and was actually way more flawless than I expected!

Unfortunately I overlooked the fact that this foundation comes without a pump (so annoying!) but the tiniest amount of product on my foundation brush covered all of my face with ease. It applies easily thanks to it’s nicely liquid formula (which is not too runny) it smells amazing, blends effortlessly and gives  a really full coverage for day or night depending on the amount you build up. I don’t think I have ever used more than you would expect to get from one pump to be honest and I’ve done a few heavy makeup looks with terrible skin as well! I think the thing I liked most about this foundation though is that it is the only one I have ever worn which actually makes my skin look glowy and yet matte at the same time, but also feels so light and allows my skin to breathe.

However, there is of course one pretty hefty drawback and that is the price! This foundation cost me £31 from House of Fraser which coupled with the fact I think I may now be addicted to this foundation and will definitely have to buy more, is going to leave me with a much emptier bank balance (damn you Nars wizardry!)

Some of the looks I have created using this foundation ^

So let’s do a little run down of the pros and cons in case you have forgotten…

Pros:

  • Bottle and packaging look so chic
  • Applies so easily with a brush and blends for a flawless finish with or without a beauty blender (I always recommend using one though!)
  • Smells amazing
  • Gives great coverage without using too much product
  • Easy to build for a fuller coverage look
  • Breathable and lightweight to wear
  • Doesn’t transfer!!!
  • Doesn’t get too oily throughout the day
  • Great range of colours to choose from

Cons:

  • Really too expensive for a day to day foundation
  • Doesn’t come with a pump!

So to conclude, I think I’m in love! This foundation has definitely changed my opinion of higher end brands and may have made me a bit of a Nars obsessive! However, I am definitely not neglecting my love of high street, but honestly this doesn’t compare to any foundation I have used yet, so I am definitely on the look out for a more affordable dupe for day to day wear! If you have any sheer glow dupes which you adore, let me know in the comments below 🙂 Let me know too what your favourite foundations are as I’m always on the hunt for new goodies to try!

So what is the Lifestyle for Less rating? Well I’d definitely recommend it (I already have to basically everyone I know) and I will definitely be repurchasing when this one runs out, although hopefully that wont be too soon. For application, appearance and basically everything to be honest I would give this a 5 out of 5, probably more to be honest, as this is absolutely not comparable to other foundations I have reviewed, however because of the price I’ll have to drop this to 4 out of 5 as I just don’t think it’s affordable for most people to want to wear every day!

I hope this review was helpful! Don’t forget to check out my Instagram and Twitter for more from me daily and to like, comment, share and subscribe if you enjoyed this post 🙂

Lots of love, Leanne xx

No 7 Beautifully Matte Foundation Review

I’m not sure if I’m unusual, but I seem to own an excessive amount of foundations! Different brands, different colours all which claim to do different things and offer different finishes, so I thought I should probably share them with you (and also find out if I am a weirdo or if all you other make up junkies also seem to have way too may foundations!)

Today as part of this series I thought I would review the No 7 Beautifully Matte Foundation. On the pot it claims to last all day and offer a shine free and smooth finish. I bought mine in shade 4C Warm Ivory and actually got colour matched to find this shade.

Now I figured I should probably talk about the whole process from being colour matched right through to actually applying the foundation for the first time and I have to admit I did find the whole thing a bit unnerving and awkward. I’ve been colour matched before by Clinique and expected the process to be similar to this (matched by eye using neck colour by an expert) but it really didn’t work like this! In my local Boots in Hitchin I turned up to the No 7 kiosk, to be greeted by a very pleasant advisor, who promptly admitted that she didn’t wear much makeup when I was apologising for my very unkempt appearance that day! She took out her colour matching device, held it up to my face and then assessed that she thought I needed the fairest shade of foundation to which I immediately looked at her in horror. I had just returned from holiday, looking far more tanned that usual and I was still the lightest shade?! There was no way that was possible!

After some discussion, which included me telling her that my face didn’t really tan and that shade wouldn’t match my body, we decided just to try different shades on my face and I finally found Warm Ivory, although even that when I first tried it on at home seemed maybe a shade too light. She also didn’t seem to know too much about coverage which was a concern as I made her aware I wanted a Medium-Full preferably matte coverage similar to the MAC foundation I was used to, but still offered me a light “buildable” silk finish at first!

Needless to say I didn’t feel like I was in the hands of an expert and that I probably knew more about brands and makeup than she did, but we got there in the end.

As it turned out, on my way home from purchasing this foundation (which was purchased specifically to match my holiday glow) I got invited out for lunch so thought I would give it a go then and there. As always with my foundation application routine (which you can read all about here if you haven’t already) after priming and using my BB cream I then applied the foundation using my foundation brush from Wilkinsons to ensure coverage all over the skin and then using my Nanshy Beauty Blender to provide the finished airbrush appearance before setting with Loreal Magique Powder.

no 7 foundtion

The foundation on and finished!

Once I had finished applying my foundation I did have a bit of a crisis of confidence, convinced that the foundation still looked too light, which led to a succession of pictures being taken in all different lights and asking the opinion of several people (including my Mum who I know I can count on for an always honest opinion!) who settled my nerves.

Now I know all of this sounds pretty bad, but I have to say that although the process wasn’t my favourite, the foundation actually isn’t too bad! It covers really well, only requires one layer and does last all day providing a gorgeous matte finish. It applies well, smells nice and looks good, but it isn’t my favourite foundation. Of all the foundations I own this is actually probably one of my leas favourites! It isn’t as good as the MAC Studio Fix and is on a par with my Collection Lasting Finish foundation which is a fraction of the price, so all things considered I probably won’t be repurchasing!

Pros

  • Easy to apply
  • Great coverage
  • Smooth finish
  • Lasts for at least 12 hours with a matte finish
  • Smells good

Cons

  • Small spectrum of shades
  • Complicated, fussy and somewhat lacking colour matching service
  • Quite pricey
  • Other foundations are as good but much cheaper
  • Have to use quite a lot for a good finish

So to summarise with my key questions, would I recommend it and would I repurchase? Well the answers to those are no I wouldn’t repurchase and I also wouldn’t recommend it, but I also wouldn’t dissuade others from giving it a go as it isn’t bad, I just think there are better alternatives out there which are definitely cheaper 🙂 From me this gets a 2 out of 5!

I hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful! Let me know in the comments below what your favourite foundations are and whether you have tried any No 7 products and whether you liked them! Also don’t forget to like, share, comment and subscribe and also to come follow me on Twitter and Instagram if you don’t already 🙂

Lots of love, Leanne xx