Dubai Beauty Haul

Now playing: “Lovesick” by BANKS

 

Whilst on my internship in Dubai last month I took the full liberty of doing an outlandish beauty haul, because, well, yano, treat yoself.

Not being one to beat around the bush, I took advantage of Duty Free prices and made my first purchases there at Heathrow Airport. I’ve always wanted to try Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray, and the travel-sized version was only £7, so there was certainly no harm in trying one.

I also had my eye one of their Vice Lipsticks and a desire for a deep, rich vampy purple shade, so I bought one in the shade Disturbed – a stunning blackened burgundy-raisin. The finish is Comfort Matte, and I’m so impressed with the formula because whilst drying down to a matte finish, the formula is incredibly creamy,  but intensely pigmented at the same time, which in my experience is a balance a lot of makeup companies struggle to achieve. I’ve previously been a devotee to MAC lipsticks, but the formulas and shade range of UD’s Vice Lipsticks are hands-down unbeatable.

Disturbed is the kind of shade that needs a lip liner, so I found one to match in the form of MAC’s NightmothFinally, I decided to try out Benefit’s Browvo! Conditioning Primerbecause I’m constantly (and also desperately, if you will) looking for products that make my eyebrows fuller and thicker.

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As some of you may know from experience, the Sephoras in our neighbouring Europe tend to be a little disappointing. I was super excited when I found out there was a Sephora in Milan but when I finally made my pilgrimage there it was full of the same brands I’d encounter in the UK. No Anastasia Beverly Hills. No Kat von D. No holy grail US brands.

That all changed when I came to Dubai. The Emirate is renowned for its multitude of mega-malls, including the world’s biggest. There are a handful of Sephoras across the city, but you have to correlate the size of the mall it inhabits with the size of the store itself. On my first week in Dubai, I went to Mall of the Emirates, which was overwhelmingly massive and disorientating (and it’s not even the biggest one), and when I set my eyes on the distant glow of black and white stripes it felt like love.

I pretty much lost my cool from thereon out. They had all the coveted brands I was looking for – Kat von D, ABH, Becca, Huda Beauty et al. I’d spent months lusting after a selection of liquid lipsticks from the first two, so I went ahead and picked up Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Crush and Heathers. Going for a similar contrasting colour scheme with Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick – a natural hue and a vampy shade, I went for Bow n Arrow and Exorcism, respectively.

To buy only four things from Sephora was a record demonstration of self-control for me. I’ve been back multiple times and hovered in the same areas, but I came, I saw, I conquered and got what I wanted.

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My next big feat was at Makeup Forever in Dubai Mall, where I met celebrity makeup artist Hrush Acheyeman, aka Styled By Hrush, and Dubai-based Hindash. It would’ve been rude not to buy something as a token of appreciation and a souvenir to remember the special moment by; inevitably, I picked up Makeup Forever’s Brow Sculpting Pro and their exclusive Brow Liner. I’m not too convinced by the Brow Sculpting Pro – the angled nib has already become blunt and ideally you want a super fine nib – but I’m sure I can still make do with it.

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My final beauty purchases were Inglot’s AMC Pure Pigment Powders, because I swatched about half of the collection and they were absolutely insane. I picked up shade 264 – a brilliant cranberry rust, and 120 – mauve with blue iridescent reflects.

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Have you been on a Sephora haul recently? Let me know what you’ve been buying in the comments!

The Style Banks x

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Review: Model’s Own Colour Chrome Eyeshadow Kits

Now playing: “iT” by Christine And The Queens

 

Working over summer at Model’s Own means I’ve been witness to their exciting new launches; whereas they were previously all about nails (fun fact: they have over 200 nail polishes to choose from in their bottleshops), they’ve redirected their focus to expanding their makeup range on a massive scale, launching unique products that I haven’t really seen anywhere else in the market.

One of those products is their new Colour Chrome Eyeshadow Kit. The kit, consisting of a metallic cream eyeshadow, liquid primer and tin tray, comes in 10 stunning shades; ranging from a universally flattering pale gold, to an ever-popular rose gold, to intensely deep night sky, emerald and jet black – I think there’s something for everyone.

Considering I’ve never seen a product like this anywhere else before (have you? Let me know if you’ve seen something similar in the comments!), I was really excited to try these out, but at the same, I was slightly sceptical, as cream shadows tend to crease in my eyelids after a few hours of wear. I picked up the shades Copper Lustre, a vivid copper (it’s in the name, really), and Platinum, a pale silver (again, in the name) and decided to give them a whirl.

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Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to take pictures with the Colour Chrome Eyeshadows on myself, but I will upload them as soon as I have! In the meantime, you can still gather the overall effect of the product in the swatches (it was my first attempt at that whole using-tape-to-achieve-swatch-goals thing).

The resulting effect of applying the product to the lids is a super-pigmented, super-intense metallic foil finish. Once it’s been applied, it sort of reminds me of the appearance of loose pigment enhanced with a fixing spray, except perhaps even more opaque and WOW-factor. I quite like the idea of using Platinum to highlight the inner corner of my eyes; with Copper Lustre, I’ll create a warm-toned canvas with powder eyeshadows, then pop the gilded bronze in the centre of the lid. 

In terms of the formula, I found it really satisfying just to pack the product all over my lid; the colour payoff is fucking incredible, and one of the perks of the firm-ish, slightly mousse-like cream formula is that you don’t get any pesky fallout, as you would with the majority of powder shadows.

Whilst I found that the shadow was in fact fairly long-lasting, however, as I suspected, the shadow did gather a little in my crease and become slightly flaky, say, after 4 or 5 hours of wear. Perhaps a little annoying, but this doesn’t really deter me from the overall awesomeness of the kit. Bare in mind, however, that I didn’t use anything to set the shadow; dusting a little transparent setting powder over the Colour Chrome might help prevent any creasing.

In regards to the effectiveness of the liquid primer, which claims to “intensify” the eyeshadow, I found that combining it with the shadow in the tray provided made the product softer and more malleable; I’m not entirely sure if it changed the overall visual effect, but perhaps it helps improve the staying power. I couldn’t really tell.

Overall, I’m quite in love with the Colour Chrome Eyeshadow Kits. They’re dramatic, high-impact and really pack a punch on the lid. There’s nothing soft and subtle about them; whilst you can use a teeny bit of product and sweep it across the lids for a more subtle shimmer, the point of this product seems to be to wear them boldly, for an intense, out-of-this-world look. I mean, you should want to be seen from space with this stuff on and nothing less. My God, they are simply poppin’.

I hope you’re tempted to get your hands on these babies – for £14.99 each, they’re pretty decent value for money, and I think they’re one-of-a-kind products!

The Style Banks x

(N.B. this isn’t a sponsored post: I paid for these products myself and this review is entirely honest and as unbiased as possible)

June Makeup Haul

Now playing: “Gold” by Kiiara (strange, but constantly on repeat)

 

This month, I’ve been a little trigger-happy (the trigger being my debit card) and bought quite a bit of makeup. It must be the pre-payday anticipation (i.e. I haven’t been paid by either of my jobs yet, but I’ve been reassuring myself that this premature haul is totally okay). Here’s what I’ve been splurging on this month.

 

MAC: Dusky Rose Times Nine Eyeshadow Palette, £25

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Pink/mauve-toned eyeshadows have become my obsession recently. I was given MAC’s Eyes x9: Burgundy Times Nine eyeshadow palette last year, and I’ve been in love in with it ever since.

So, you can understand my excitement when I came across MAC’s newly-released Dusky Rose Times Nine palette. My bank balance was telling me no, my head was telling me no, but my heart was telling me yes. Miraculously (as well as, in my case, shockingly), I found willpower within myself and resisted making the purchase, and it was for the greater good too: a few weeks later, MAC announced that all of their Eyes x9 and Eyes x15 palettes were having a permanent price reduction – £30 became £25 for the Eyes x9s, and £60 became £49.50 for the Eyes x15s. Queue hysteric cries of joy from all MAC lovers.

Dusky Rose Times Nine contains a spectrum of nine cool-toned, dusty eyeshadows, ranging from grey taupes to mocha shimmers to rose pearls. It’s the perfect everyday neutral palette and is a great addition to my collection – one thing I was previously lacking was a variety of go-to cool/grey-toned shadows, so this has completed my makeup needs.

First impression: Out of all six of MAC’s Eyes Times Nine palettes, I’d say that this is one of the most essential. It has everything you need for a day-to-day look, and can easily be amped up for night-time. For anyone struggling to narrow it down to one palette to pack in their suitcase, look no further: Dusky Rose Times Nine is no one-trick pony.

 

KIKO MILANO: Velvet Passion Matte Lipstick, £10.90, Everlasting Colour Precision Lip Liner, £6.90, & Radiant Touch Creamy Stick Highlighter, £8.50

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I was glad to discover a KIKO Milano store had recently opened nearby. It would’ve been plain rude not to have bought something, so I went ahead and purchased their Velvet Passion Matte Lipstick in “Chocolate”, an Everlasting Colour Precision Lip Liner in “Brick”, and their Radiant Touch Creamy Stick Highlighter in “Gold”.

First impressions: I’m impressed by the fact that the Velvet Passion Matte Lipsticks have corresponding, matching shades in the Everlasting Colour Precision Lip Liners, which saves the hassle of trying to work out the match yourself. So far, so good; the lipstick, whilst not as matte as formulas such as MAC, is still matte, but also creamy at the same time. I’m also impressed by the lip liner, as on one side it has this sort of mini rubber spatula thing that you can use to neaten up edges to ensure you have a really crisp, featherless lip. I’ve found that the Radiant Touch Creamy Stick Highlighter is pretty much a dupe for Benefit’s Watts Up!, so if you’re looking to save some pennies, pick this up.

 

ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS: Modern Renaissance Palette, £41

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The emotional baggage you get from following Anastasia Beverly Hills on Instagram inevitably results in a purchase from them. After seeing virtually every beauty influencer on social media raving about the new Modern Renaissance eyeshadow palette, as well as newsletters from Cult Beauty and Beauty Bay announcing its release, which I believe was just last week, I immediately ordered one, almost threatened by the idea of it selling out soon.

First impression: I think this might just be my holy-grail palette. What immediately attracted me to Modern Renaissance was the range of colours, many of which are nothing like what I already own. Shades such as Burnt Orange, which are featured in many a beauty vlogger’s custom ABH palette, are the reason I’ve wanted to branch out towards oranges, pinks and even red-toned eyeshadows. While some of the shades, like Red Ochre, Venetian Red and Loveletter, seem a bit intimidating at first, the overwhelming amount of YouTube tutorials featuring this palette have given me faith that I can totally slay them. I’ve used the palette a couple of times and I have to say, it’s true, ABH eyeshadows are INCREDIBLY pigmented and feel like butter. They say you can’t pick a favourite child (‘child’ being palette), but Modern Renaissance is mine.

 

PIXI: Glow Tonic, £18

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Firstly, how full of coveted cult beauty and skincare brands is the M&S beauty hall full of? I think M&S have done a really good job of recognising the brands that consumers and beauty enthusiasts alike are seeking. They stock a lot of high-demand brands that aren’t really physically stocked anywhere else, such as the ones I’ve bought from in this post. I took the plunge and decided to test the blogger-approved waters of Pixi’s Glow Tonic after deciding that I’m willing to invest in proper skincare products in order to achieve perfect skin.

Glow Tonic claims to exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells and revealing healthy new ones that’ll improve the vibrancy of skin. It supposedly smooths, hydrates, firms and tones – basically, a miracle worker.

First impression: I’m sceptical. I’m sceptical because I’ve never spent so much on a single skincare product, and I’ve never really incorporated a toner into my daily skincare routine before. I’ve been using this morning and night for just under a fortnight, and, whilst I haven’t noticed any dramatic, miraculous changes, my skin does appear a little brighter, and feels brilliantly smooth and fresh everyday. This stuff smells fantastic and luxurious, and so it should – I only spent 18 bloody pounds on it. I’m hoping the hype around this product’s true; apparently, Glow Tonic fades scarring and other imperfections, so this stuff will grant me flawless, radiant skin.

 

STILA: Mile High Lashes Mascara, £16

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Another purchase from the M&S beauty hall, I applied this on top of my already mascara-coated lashes and it made them look HUGE. I was in an impulse-buy mood, so I thought I’d give it a chance.

First impression: I’ve used this alone on my lashes only a couple of times so far, and, while I’m pleased with the decent amount of length and volume it’s given me, this leaves hella smudges underneath my eyes after a few hours of wear. Although this happens to literally every mascara I’ve ever tried (even waterproof), I’ve noticed that it happens quicker and more frequently with this Stila one, despite the product description claiming it won’t “smudge, budge, clump or flake”.

Discount alert: Beauty Bay currently have 15% off of Stila products, meaning that you can buy what I just did for less. Yay for you, boo for me!

 

Do you own any of these goodies? Let me know what you think of them! Also, let me know what products you’ve been buying this month!

The Style Banks x

 

April Student Loan Haul

This post was due a couple of weeks ago, but April seems to be a month full of deadlines so I’ve only just had a spare moment to post it!

You know what time it is. The student loan came in on Monday (edit: a good few Monday’s ago now), so I went to town (both literally and figuratively) and bought myself a few things. Maybe more than a few.

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I’ve been trying to get my hands on MAC’s Studio Eye Gloss in ‘Pearl Varnish’, £16, ever since I came across it in MAC’s Dark Desires collection a while back, but it was sold out absolutely everywhere…until now. The Studio Eye Gloss returns in MAC’s Future collection, which, centring itself around Mineralize products, depicts an other-worldly, futuristic luminosity which I am in love with. It was a tough call between Pearl Varnish and the other Studio Eye Gloss in the collection, Lightly Tauped, which is also really tempting me. What are student loans for if not for making frivolous purchases?

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I prefer to wear nail polish with nude or muted tones, so this Barry M Jelly Nail Polish in ‘Almond’, £3.99, which is a perfect mauve-hued grey, is my go-to for nails. I used my new Sally Hansen strengthening treatment underneath as a base coat as my nails are brittle and weak AF and split / break pretty much every damn day. So hopefully this treatment works!

MUA Merged Trio Eyeshadow in Emotions, £3  – This trio of eyeshadows is called ‘Emotions’, which is fitting because it got me feeling something. When I saw this at Superdrug I just knew I had to have it. The three copper-hued shadows are multi-tonal (something I’ve been seeing everywhere recently – MAC Mineralize, you’re the OG though!) and beautifully compliment each other – there’s even a diagram on the back that tells you how to create a look with them. They’re super pigmented, so for £3 you really can’t go wrong!

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It was 3 for 2 across all cosmetics at Superdrug, and you get a free makeup pouch, so really it’s a win-win situation. I was running low on my go-to Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in Black-Brown, so I bought myself another one of those, and a Rimmel 1000 Kisses Lipliner in Red Dynamite to complement my MAC Ruby Woo lipstick, as I heard they were a perfect match. You were right, Internet, spot on!

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After rinsing Superdrug with my shopping partner-in-crime, Paige, we popped into Boots to have a browse. Only, naturally, it turned into a bit more than just a browse. The first thing we saw when we walked in was a Benefit promotional stand consisting of these adorable Benefit miniatures. It was any four miniatures for £15 with, you guessed it, a free clear Benefit pouch thrown in. It was almost as if they knew the student loan had just come in. I chose two High Beam (easily one of my favourite Benefit products) and two It’s Potent! Eye Cream miniatures. These miniatures and the complimentary pouch are perfect for travel. I couldn’t find this deal online so I think this is an in-store only offer, so keep your eyes peeled!

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As usual, it wouldn’t be a student loan haul without an ASOS order. I love my new Weekday oversized striped shirt, £24, and my Monki roll neck top, £20, which has a really nice metallic sheen and slinky feel.

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Finally, I bought these Topshop pleated trousers, £32, and heeled sandals, £29, which I’ve been keeping an eye on for a while. Finally mine, all, mine!

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What have you been buying recently?

The Style Banks x

 

 

Rave Review: Lipstick Queen Sinner Lipstick in “Rust”

I hope everyone’s had a fantastic Christmas spent with loved ones and filled with plenty of food, booze and presents! Just a quick, short blog post today that I’ve been meaning to publish for a while now, all about one of my favourite things (as any of my regular readers may know) – lipstick!

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Now playing: “Heartburn” by Wafia

A number of weeks ago I had the opportunity to stumble across a Space:NK store on Kings Road in London (it was a bit like dying, and going to heaven), and, completely unintentionally, found this beauty – Lipstick Queen’s Sinner Lipstick in “Rust”.

This is my first Lipstick Queen lipstick – forever a MAC devotee (as you may well know), this was an almost begrudging purchase, as, at £22, Sinner lipstick was a real investment compared to the endless £15.50’s I’ve doled out for my beloved MAC lipsticks. However, it is a purchase I don’t regret in the slightest. Here’s why:

More muted than my MAC Chilli lipstick, this product is the true rust colour I’ve been looking for for ages (and the shade is literally called “Rust”…it was meant to be!)

What I love about this shade is that it’s so wearable – not quite bold, but not quite neutral, it sits right in the middle. It’s the perfect red-brown shade that’s a great option for someone who doesn’t want something bold and bright. Unlike MAC’s super-bold, super-pigmented Chilli, Rust, whilst still being highly-pigmented and matte, has the slightest sheer edge to it, gliding on perfectly and feeling great on the lips.

 

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Left: Lipstick Queen Sinner Lipstick in Rust; Right: MAC Lipstick in Chilli
Left: Lipstick Queen Sinner Lipstick in Rust; Right: MAC Lipstick in Chilli

I’ve found that Sinner Lipstick also seems to have a creamier formula than the MAC matte lipsticks; I find the texture and wearability of it makes it a lot more fuss-free than the effort I have to put in to keep any of my MAC matte lipsticks flawless and neat on my lips.


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Overall, whilst the price of Lipstick Queen’s Sinner Lipstick may seem a little extortionate (although any lipstick addict may beg to differ), I do think it’s a worthwhile investment, particularly if you buy it as a one-off treat. The texture is

perfect and wear is comfortable, unlike some matte lipsticks I’ve tried, yet they’re still highly pigmented and come in 20 brilliant shades. Buy them here.

Do you have any Lipstick Queen products? What do you think of them? Let me know in the comments!

thestylebanks x

 

Beauty Haul for the Hungover Student

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now playing: “Keep It Healthy” by Warpaint

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This blog post is a beauty-loving student special – an homage to anyone who goes out and buys a lot of crap to put on their face and make them feel better about themselves. I type with bitterness. As I type, my voice has been reduced to nothing but a raspy croak. My body is shutting down. Going out the night before a 10am lecture? Doable, but incredibly regrettable. You hate yourself for it. The self-loathing and alcoholic residue drips off of you in one big ache. But enough of the heaving live anecdote – on to the products I’ve bought in my hangover haul!

Benefit Erase Paste, £20.50

Now, my dark circles are atrocious. They are literally a deep purple colour. Like, literal, eternal fresh purple bruises underneath my eyes. Most concealers sadly don’t do the job. But this industrial-strength baby has an incredibly thick, creamy consistency (you guessed it – like a paste!!) and the salmon undertones greatly help counteract the purple of my dark circles. Plus, I got an It’s Potent! Eye Cream sample with my purchase. Die, dark circles, die!

Benefit High Beam, £19.50

Years ago, I was given a Benefit’s Watt’s Up! miniature as a birthday freebie from Sephora (WHY DON’T WE HAVE SEPHORA IN THE UK???), but recently I’ve been looking for the perfect liquid highlighter as I thought it’d be easier to blend all over my face (additionally, I found the Watt’s Up! was a little too golden-toned for my complexion). A friend recommended Benefit High Beam, so I bought it, and it’s my absolute new favourite. It’s the perfect, pink-toned pearl that gives an instant healthy, lit-from-within glow. Not to mention, it makes me look a bit more like a living, human being after a night out.

Nip + Fab Bee Sting Fix Eye Cream, £14.95 (half price at Superdrug right now!)

I decided to take action against my foreboding dark circles – although I doubt that most eye creams claiming to fade dark circles actually work, I threw my hands in the air and gave Nip + Fab’s Bee Sting Fix Eye Cream the benefit of the doubt. The product claims it helps brighten dark circles with the use of amino acid. Okay, amino acid, you’re going to have your work cut out for yourself when you meet my deep purple pits of death. I have yet to start using the Bee Sting Fix Eye Cream as I’m currently giving my Benefit It’s Potent! Eye Cream a go, but will get back to you with a review ASAP.

Too Faced Natural Matte Neutral Eye Shadow Collection, £32

I’m pretty sure I saw this in Debenhams for £32 or so, but when I set my heart on this palette a couple of months ago, I got my friend who was visiting New York to grab it for me from Sephora for the equivalent of £25. It’s not every day you can find a perfect, all-matte eyeshadow palette – in fact, I’ve found that the majority of eyeshadow palettes tend to be stingy on the mattes and go crazy on the shimmer. So when I discovered that Too Faced had created an all-matte version of their Natural Eyes Neutral Eye Shadow Collection, I knew I had to have it. The Natural Matte eye palette is a great essential to have amongst all my shimmer-filled palettes, and comes in a gorgeous range of versatile neutrals with really attractive, pretty names (v. important, of course). It also comes in a small, handy tin case with a built-in mirror and a little leaflet containing 3 how-to looks. Perfection!

Bioré Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strips, £7.99

Even though I’ve found that pore strips never do much for me, I was in a beauty haul frenzy and just felt like I needed these. Have you found that these work for you? I’m still undecided.

Clean & Clear Advantage Clear & Soothe Foaming Wash, £4.99

This foaming face wash just does the job for me. Keeps breakouts at bay without being harsh on the skin.

Ben Nye Luxury Powder in Banana

Okay, so technically I haven’t bought this yet as part of my haul, because I’ve been finding it virtually impossible to get it online without a catch (high delivery cost, shipped from the bloody US, comes as a dodgy sample rather than the actual thing, etc. etc.). However, my friend kindly gave me a little sample from the Banana Powder she owns, so I’ve been using that as a substitute whilst I find the brightening loose powder I’ve been looking for. So far, I’m fairly happy with the Banana Powder – it has prevented creases forming underneath my eyes from concealer, and sets underneath my eyes to the extent that they feel really lovely, soft and powdery. I think a little bit goes a long, long way – the powder is yellow, which should help counteract blue-purple dark circles, but one time I went a little bit too powder-happy and soon noticed that underneath my eyes it looked a little cakey. Any tips to prevent this, beauty bloggers?

I was hoping to try Laura Mercier’s Secret Brightening Powder, but at the moment it’s out of stock from everywhere that’s accessible to me. Have you tried this product? What do you think of it?

thestylebanks x

 

Back To Uni Wishlist

It’s back to uni for a lot of us in September, and for some of you, you might be going to uni for the first time! If you’re worried about settling in and nervous about making friends, read this post about what I learned from my first year at uni 🙂

It’s a new academic year, so it’s only fair that you treat yoself to a couple of new things. Instead of turning up to your lectures hungover, dehydrated and dressed in whatever you could find on your floordrobe (which was me 50% of my first year) (study hard, kids), why not make a fresh-faced entrance head-to-toe in new season gear?  Here’s what’s on my lust-list:

  1. Firstly, there are SO many lipsticks I’m craving right now, many of them Mac (naturellement). Because, after all, a girl can never have too many Mac lipsticks. I’m eyeing up PersistenceKinda Sexy, Chilli (all Matte), Paramount (Satin) and finally Extended Play, which is apparently a Pro Longwear Lipcreme; the reason I say “apparently” is because I couldn’t find that shade on the Mac website, but it’s floating around on Pinterest and it looks like the deep yet muted terracotta / rust / brick colour I’ve been looking for.
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Credit: makeupgeek.com

2. This lovely turtle neck ribbed jumper, £22, curtesy of ASOS

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An easy go-to essential to keep you warm when the days get shorter and the nights longer. How I’d style it? Wear by itself with your favourite pair of jeans or trousers, or layer underneath a sheer item.

3. This Zara top (£12.99) and trousers (£17.99) co-ord

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Because co-ord = cool. Great for seasonal transition. And who said pinstripes were strictly for the office?

4. I’m absolutely adoring Nars’ Dolce Vita shade; it comes in a gloss, a blush, a sheer lipstick and a matte lip pencil. I really love the look of the Dolce Vita Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, £19 – which is, I’ve recently discovered, officially labelled by the online beauty community as an MLBB (My Lips But Better – I know right). A soft, dusty rose, this would be perfect for everyday use.

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5. Okay, so maybe I’m boring. But if you have read my other fashion posts, you may know that I am obsessed with turtlenecks. In fact, I don’t know why I haven’t written a blog post dedicated purely to the turtleneck. Maybe I will! See, inspiration comes from the most unlikely of places. These Weekday turtlenecks are silky soft and come in 5 colours.

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6. As someone who pretty much only wears silver jewellery, I’d love some delicate, simple and minimal silver rings, such as these ones from & Other Stories for £12.

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So that’s pretty much it for my round-up of my wishlist for the coming season. What are you hoping to get your hands on?

thestylebanks x

 

 

Clinique Black Honey Beauty Gift Set Rave Review

Now playing: “Warm” by SG Lewis

I recently treated myself to Clinique’s Black Honey Beauty Gift Set, after spotting it at the Cosmetics Company Store in Bicester Village at a discount – where the set RRP’s at £25, I managed to get it for £17.50. Yay :)))

The set contains cult favourite Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, a Superbalm Moisturising Gloss, A Different Enamel, and a Quickliner For Eyes Intense, all in the same shade. What I love about the set is that the products can be swept across an eyelid / lip / nail for a sweet, satisfyingly harmonious yet low-key makeup look.

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On a similar note, I’m now tempted to also purchase the Black Honey single eyeshadow from the same place, where it’s sold for £11 as opposed to the usual £16, despite having my suspicions that this shade is similar to Mac’s Antiqued eyeshadow, which I own as part of my Mac Burgundy Time Nine eyeshadow palette. I clearly want to make my face BE Black Honey.

The Quickliner is creamy and easy to use – although you can’t use it to draw precise, fine lines, I like to use it along my upper or lower lashline then smudge it in with my Mac 217 brush. Alternatively, I’ll literally apply the Quickliner all over my lids then blend for a quick wash of colour.

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I’m personally not a fan of lipgloss at all – far too girly and fussy for my style –  however I like to use just a swipe of the Black Honey Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss to keep my lips moisturised, blotting if need be; an additional perk is that the gloss not only moisturises your lips, it also gives your lips a healthy sheen.

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Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey has achieved cult status amongst beauty fans, and I can see why. Black Honey is famed for being sworn universal on all skin tones; even those who are commitment-phobes of lipstick are guaranteed to love this gem.  The nourishing product glides on smoothly and effortlessly, leaving a sheer, just-eaten-berries / just-drank-a-glass-of-Merlot hue on the lips. What I like about the Almost Lipstick is that you can build up the intensity in layers (although, obviously, don’t expect to get any opaque colour from it).

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From left to right: Quickliner For Eyes Intense in Black Honey; Almost Lipstick in Black Honey; Superbalm Moisturising Gloss in Black Honey

There isn’t a whole lot to say about the Black Honey nail enamel – it’s a gorgeous, mulled plummy wine colour, and what can I say, it just does the job. I haven’t had the opportunity to properly paint my nails with it yet, so I’ll update this post with a picture when I can 🙂

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Overall, I think Clinique’s Black Honey Beauty Gift Set is good quality, good value for money and a must-have to acquire an everyday, muted plum fuss-free look.

What beauty products have you been loving lately?

thestylebanks x

July Favourites

Hi everyone! I’ve been really lazy and uninspired recently (also, it doesn’t feel like July right now…it doesn’t feel like anything really, just like we’re floating through time?), until it hit me that I’ve been buying lots of little treats this month. Here’s what I’ve been loving this July:

Starbucks Cinnamon Swirl Frappucino

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I don’t know if this kind of news excites you, but sugary, overpriced drinks are right up my alley. Recently, Starbucks have released four new Frappucino flavours apparently inspired by their fans. I’ve yet to try the other flavours (Cupcake, Summer Pie, and Cookie Dough), but I’ve had their Cinnamon Swirl Frappucino on multiple occasions, and it’s something you really need to introduce to your life. I mean, it’s cinnamon syrup blended with coffee, white chocolate mocha sauce and vanilla. Topped with whipped cream and cinnamon. Enough said.

Mac All Fired Up Retro Matte Lipstick, £15.50

(I haven’t had the chance to take my own pictures yet, so in the meantime have a look at All Fired Up on Pinterest!)

Every girl’s got to own a Mac lipstick in her life. It’s almost a right of passage into womanhood (yes, this is a materialistic statement and I have no shame in that). My most recent Mac lipstick purchase marks the fifth addition to my Mac lipstick collection, and as shallow as I sound, I really feel like this is a milestone achievement for my life (in case you haven’t seen my Twitter, my humour is often of the deadpan kind). It was when I was on the lookout for a matte fuchsia lipstick when I inevitably wandered into the Mac store and stumbled upon All Fired Up. I’d describe it as bright, reddish-fuchsia – the blue undertones aren’t very strong so the tone is fairly warm. It’s also a Retro Matte, whatever “Retro” adds to it, so obviously it’s a fully matte finish that can be quite drying, so always balm the f**k up before applying! Overall, All Fired Up is a gorgeously bold lipstick that I’m kind of having a love affair with. What are your favourite Mac lipsticks?

Shura // 2Shy

Ethereal-voiced Shura’s been played on the radio quite a bit lately. 2Shy has total Dev Hynes vibes.

New Balance 420 Cream Suede Trainers, £65 at ASOS

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After my trip to Stockholm last summer, I instantly became inspired by the city’s streetstyle, as well as how many of them wore trainers on the daily commute. Okay, so I technically haven’t bought these babies yet, but I love their sleek, minimal and functional design so much that they’re going straight in my basket (yes, that was an awful reference to that video).

 

Clinique Black Honey Gift Set, £25 at feelunique.com

I’ve heard that Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey is a cult favourite that suits virtually anybody. Naturally, I went to see what all the fuss was about and tried it on myself. The verdict? Definitely worth the hype. Described as a “deep blackened raisin”, Black Honey added a gorgeous, sheer wash of plummy colour to my lips. You know, that just-eaten-berries look? Seeing as the lipstick cost a fairly hefty £18, I think it’s a little better value to get the Black Honey Gift Set – yes, the lipstick isn’t the full size of the original, but it’s still likely to last a very long time. Plus, you get a really nice nail polish, moisturising gloss (although I’m not a fan of lipgloss, but still hey why not!!!!!) and Quickliner all of the same stunning hue! As if things couldn’t get any yummier, Clinique also sell an All About Shadow Black Honey single eyeshadow, which by the looks of things appears to be a sort of intense shimmery terracotta-bronze. Check it out on Pinterest!

L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara, £10.99 at your local Boots of Superdrug :))

L’Oreal Telescopic is one of my all-time favourites – it gives great length, definition and separation, so I find the skinny brush especially good for lower lashes and really easy to use. A great all-rounder!

And finally, to round off my July favourites, is this video. Because, as my inner white girl would say, it slays. YASSSSS KWEEEEEN. 🔥🔥🔥

 

What have you been treating yourself to this month?

thestylebanks x