The Balm Mary Lou-Manizer Highlighter

The Mary-Lou Manizer from The Balm is a powder highlighter that is currently priced at an RRP of £20, although with a quick google and by using discount codes you definitely don’t need to pay full price for this product.

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Firstly, the packaging of the product is gorgeous. I love the kind of vintage/retro/pin-up girl vibe that comes from having this badass ‘Mary-Lou’ character on the compact. It’s definitely one of the most cutely packaged highlighters I own.

Fortunately, the product itself lives up to all the high hopes you have from such a prettily packaged product. The colour of the highlight is a pale, honey gold which I think can be flattering on a huge range of skin tones. On my skin tone, the colour blends in nicely so it can be fairly subtle but then it gives off this beautiful metallic sheen that catches the light. The formula is not too powdery or chalky and it blends easily. It had a small amount of glitter to it but it’s not chunky. The main effect it gives is just the wonderful pale golden sheen. You can wear it quite minimally or you can build it up to be very intense.

If you’re looking for a highlighter in this sort of shade I don’t think you’d regret trying this one. It’s a lovely product and one I would recommend.

Love Nicole xxxx

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara Review

This mascara from Too Faced has a price of £19 and is available from various retailers in the UK like Cult Beauty, ASOS and Debenhams. This is a bit of a splurge for a mascara, so is it worth it?

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The packaging of this mascara is gorgeous. It’s a chunky and substantial pink tube with embossed writing and has quite a bit of weight to it. The brush is awesome. It’s a bristle brush in a hourglass shape. It’s pretty big and, admittedly, I do sometimes make a bit of a mess when applying it but once you’re adjusted to it it’s fine. The fact it’s a rather large brush means you see results really quickly and it’s easy to build up.

I love the effect this mascara gives! It gives beautifully full, thick and fluttery lashes. I love how it sets off my eyes and completely enhances them. It feels light on the lashes and lasts perfectly all day with no smudging.

It’s quite a dry, moussey formula which I think is partly why I like it so much (I always like mascaras more once they’ve dried out), however, this does have the side effect that the formula dries out quickly so a tube doesn’t last for as long as you might hope for £19.

I absolutely love what this mascara does and I like to treat myself to it every now and then. The price stops me buying this frequently though! Especially considering it dries out quite quickly.

Love Nicole xxxx

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser First Impressions

I had a little tester sachet of the Milky Jelly Cleaner from a Glossier order that I thought I’d share my first impressions on! This cleanser seems to be really popular so I was excited to try it out. A full size 177ml bottle of this costs £15.

It has a rosy smell to it which is understandable as it contains rose water. Rose isn’t my favourite scent but it’s a pleasant enough smell and is pretty inoffensive. The texture is gel-like as you’d expect.

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You can use it on wet or dry skin so I tried it both ways. I tried it on dry skin to remove makeup and I didn’t love it for this task. It didn’t have any slip to it as it’s not the type of gel that turns into an oil on contact with the skin. I feel like it wasn’t the most effective at removing all my base makeup but that is possibly because I didn’t use enough as I was trying to use the sachet sparingly. I much preferred using it on slightly wet skin where it could emulsify a bit and get some slip. It felt quite refreshing and gentle and I don’t think it’s a formula that would dry out your skin.

I wasn’t completely wowed by this cleanser; it feels pretty basic actually. It’s not a super affordable product but it’s not overly expensive either. It’s not something I’m going to rush to buy but I might purchase a bottle in future as it was quite nice and, I know it’s stupid, but the packaging is so aesthetically pleasing 🙂 . If I do ever purchase a bottle and I go on to change my mind on this product I’ll come back and update this post!

Love Nicole xxxx

Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Duo in Fire Crystal and Lightning Dust

These Fenty Beauty highlighter duos cost £26 and are available from Harvey Nichols in the UK. The shades in the duo I have are called Fire Crystal and Lightning Dust. The compact they come in is octagonal and white and if you look at it in the light it actually shines a holographic/iridescent sparkle which is a nice touch! There is a mirror inside.

These duos come in four different variations and I think the idea with all of them is that there is a more subtle ‘daytime’ highlighter and a more intense ‘evening’ highlighter. Of course, you can where either whenever you damn want ;).

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In this duo, Lightning Dust is the subtle one and Fire Crystal is the intense one. However, I honestly don’t find Fire Crystal that intense and Lightning Dust is very, very subtle. That’s not to say they are bad but if you’re looking for an intense or buildable highlighter, this duo probably isn’t one to go for. Lightning Dust gives a very soft sheen to the skin so is ideal for if you really don’t want obvious highlight. It is also a super creamy formula considering it is actually a powder; this can make it hard to pick up with a brush. Fire Crystal translates differently in different lights; sometimes it looks peachy, other times white gold or pinky. It does have some glitter in it which does get left behind as it wears off. It’s definitely more intense that Lightning Dust but it still has a subtlety to it so that it doesn’t look super obvious or made-up on the skin.

I find these highlighters can rub away into nothingness quite easily, possibly due to the creaminess of the formula. I don’t find it to be a very long lasting formula but with highlighters I don’t personally mind if it doesn’t last all day.

I was surprised how subtle this duo was and, despite having it for a year now, I’m still not really decided on how I feel about it. I don’t reach for it often and doubt I would buy it again though so make of that what you will. It’s very pretty but I think I prefer something that packs more of a punch. If you like your highlighter very subtle though or don’t wear much makeup you might love this. I need to make more conscious effort to use it and maybe I might change my mind and decide I love it one day!

If you’d like to read what I thought of the Fenty Beauty Soft Matte Foundation click here.

Love Nicole xxxx

Oskia Renaissance Mask Review

Oskia’s Renaissance Mask aims to resurface and brighten the skin by increasing cell turnover. Some ingredients of note are lactic acid, fruit acids and MSM (organic sulphur). A 50ml tub of this will cost you £51. To me, that’s super expensive, and I only have the product to try because I got a mini tub within the 2017 ASOS Beauty Advent Calendar. Otherwise, there’s no way I would have spent that much money on a face mask! So, after trying it, do I feel it’s worth the price?

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The product itself is a gel-like consistency which is initially pink in the pot but quickly turns white when you apply it and massage it into the skin. It has a pleasant fragrance, which is apparently a combination of rose, passion fruit and camomile. Once massaged into the skin for a minute or so, the instructions say to leave it on for 10-20 minutes, however I’ve left it on for well over that (about 40 minutes) with no irritation. It’s a very gentle formula which is great for sensitive skin, however, the flip side of this is that any exfoliation is not as powerful as you would get from other products.

Once it’s been left on for a while it stays quite oily and tacky on the skin but the colour goes from white to almost transparent, all be it making the skin look very shiny. Before completely washing off, it is recommended that you emulsify it by wetting your face or hands slightly and massaging all over again.

Once removed, my skin felt super soft, nourished and plump. My skin did look healthy and had a bit of a sheen to it, although I do wonder whether that is just residue left over from the product. Any immediate difference was minimal and as always with masks, it’s so hard to know if you’re getting tangible results as they usually only come about as a result of prolonged and regular use.

As for enjoyment to use, this is a wonderful and luxurious mask which does make you feel like you are really pampering yourself. Which, if you were to splash out £51 for this product, is the least you would expect! It does tick the luxury ‘treat yo’self’ box.

Now to whether I think this mask is worth the price… For me, it’s not something I would probably buy for myself as it is just too much money for me to justify when there are such dubious and intangible effects on the skin. I’ve managed to get just about 5 uses out of this 10ml pot, so applying that to the 50ml there is potentially 25 uses per pot, which actually works out at good value! So despite that high purchase price, if it’s something you fall in love with it could turn out to offer decent value for money for a high-end luxury face mask. I’ve really enjoyed using this and if I happen to acquire another pot in future I will be happy to pamper myself with it!

Love Nicole xxxx