ELIZABETH ARDEN EIGHT HOUR CREAM



Product raving happens alot here at HIW.. especially now that I seem to blog about beauty far more than I intended when I started blogging, however, if you could only buy one product.. make it this one. A cult classic, Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream can be used as a moisturiser, a highlighter, a lip balm, a brow-tamer, a cuticle cream, a face mask.. not to mention it's healing properties when applied to cuts, grazes and burns. The list is endless. Take it on the plane to revive dehydrated and jet-lagged skin, or use the SPF version when you land. It really is a multi-use product and is definitely worth the price tag.

Would you buy this? Or do you think there is a better 'do-it-all' product out there for less?

PERFUME 002 | REB'L FLEUR BY RIHANNA


 “Bad feels so good.”

When I was given this perfume for Christmas two years ago, I wrote it off and decided to regift it to someone much younger (everyone regifts right?). After leaving it in my drawer for a few months I decided to have a sniff of it in Superdrug. To my surprise, I loved it. So much so that I used it every day and have just repurchased a larger bottle. I've never been one for celebrity scents, but this is one of my favourite everyday perfumes that I have EVER used, and so maybe I shouldn't be so reluctant to try some others.

Reb'l Fleur is described as a fruity chypre. The initial smell can be overpoweringly sweet, but the dry down blooms into some lovely florals with hints of vanilla and coconut. Containing top notes of red berries, plum, peach and poinciana; heart notes of Hawaiian hibiscus flower, violet, tuberose and coconut; and then base notes of vanilla, patchouli, amber, musk, this fragrance reflects Rihanna's Barbadian roots, but also her present glamorous jetsetting life. Though Reb'l Fleur is a fantastic summer fragrance, reminding me of days spent of sunny, beachy islands, it works throughout the seasons. 

I bought mine from Cheapsmells which always has a wide range of perfumes at fantastic value. Can anyone else recommend any other celebrity perfumes? 

MAC LIPS HAUL

I picked up these two lipsticks and lipliners from MAC a good few months ago now, maybe around February/ March time, snapped away at my new products, popped them in my make-up bag and promptly forgot to put them up on the blog. It’s safe to say that I have been using these four regularly and now that they are fairly close to running out I will give you my thoughts.

First up, the lipliners:





I originally went in looking to repurchase 'Whirl', but as it was out of stock, the lady recommended Dervish, which I find to be slightly pinker than Whirl. I like to fill in my whole lip with lipliner before applying lipstick, to add some staying power but Dervish is creamy enough to stand up on its own. I wanted something neutral enough to go under many lipsticks and I actually prefer Whirl, which is a my-lips-but-better sort of colour. However, like most MAC lipliners the formula cannot be faulted and I imagine this would look great worn alone if you have a lighter skintone.


Brick is described by MAC as an "intense golden red" and works really well under most red lipsticks. As it's a deep, dark red, it gives a little more intensity to bright tomato reds, which don’t seem to suit my skin tone so well. Again I like to apply this all over my lips before applying lipstick, but it's velvety enough to wear alone.

And the lipsticks:




Plumful is a lipstick I had been lusting after for a while before purchasing, and I have to say I haven’t used it as much as some of the other products in this post. It is a lustre finish lipstick, which is of my all time favourite finishes; it's definitely the most wearable. Like other lustre's, Plumful is more like a balm or light gloss, and doesn't dry lips out. It's easy to wear and easy to reapply, even without a mirror. However, this comes up much more pale purple toned than I imagined it to be, and I find it's not as pigmented as some of the other lustre finishes, even when it's built up. 



Brick-O-La is one of my favourite MAC lipsticks, and definitely one for the 'repurchase' list. It is an Amplified Creme formula so really opaque and creamy. I usually find that this finish only works well if my lips are in good condition, otherwise it goes on a little patchy, however this lipstick seems to be the exception. I tend to have to apply Amplified Creme's with a lip brush to ensure a perfect finish, but Brick-O-La goes on really well straight from the bullet. MAC describe this shade as a "mid-tone berry"; it is more pinky than it looks in the bullet, with terracotta red undertones, but it's certainly not not the dark brick red you might be expecting from the name. I would say that Brick-O-La is the perfect day time red.. sometimes a bright bold lip can be a bit much for the day, but this muted red gives a lovely pop of colour without being too 'out-there'.

So there we have it, my last few MAC purchases. I wanted to treat myself to some summer lip brights, but as I'm short of cash it will have to wait until September. Next up on my wishlist is Costa Chic, a pretty coral and Modesty, a blushing nude. What lip products are you guys lusting after right now?

THE SPENDING BAN




Me and my friend L have embarked on the mother of all spending bans; a six month embargo on clothes, shoes and bags. As you can see, my wardrobe is fit to burst, and there is more.. I have under-bed storage, a shoe shelf, a chest of drawers and a wardrobe in another room all crammed with clothes and accessories. And this is after my ruthless clearout! I rarely wear the same thing twice, and whilst that sounds fantastic I am actually sick of getting stressed out about what to wear incase I've worn it before. My friends all laugh at me when I complain that I have no clothes, and when I say "I can't wear that, I just wore it (two months ago)" It is definitely time for a change.

So far I haven't bought any new clothes since I've been back from America, so about a month now. At first it seemed easy, with nothing in the shops catching in my eye.. but now, with off shoulder topsswishy sundresses and summer boots, it's proving increasingly more difficult to stay away. I'm trying to focus on the positives.. The money I will be able to save up is a massive incentive, but I'm also thinking about the headphones, books and beauty bits that I've wanted for ages and will finally be able to afford to buy.

Have you guys ever been on a spending ban? Did you stick to it?

THE BASIC CLEANSE


Having recently visited the doctors to get some acne treatment means that I really had to strip down my cleansing regime. I’m not allowed to moisturise, except for a couple of times a week if my skin gets really dry (which it doesn't  and I had to ditch all the deep cleansers and masks I have been using. Here are the products featuring in my new nightly routine.

Kleenex Facial Cloths are a little on the pricey side, but I stockpiled last time they were on sale and with 30 in each pack they last around a month as I only use them nightly. Super soft, large and strong, they work with any cleanser and even just water to remove makeup and cleanse the face.

I recently swapped my beloved MAC Cleanse Off Oil for L’Oreal Paris Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Micellar Solution. Despite the hype around Bioderma, I've never gone out of my way to purchase it, and so this L’Oreal product is my first foray into Micellar solution/ water. I find that this has a weird paint like smell, but it’s not overpowering and doesn't put me off too much. It does feel as gentle as water on the skin, and isn't greasy in any way. This makes a huge change from using an oil cleanser for so long, which has to be removed after use. There is no need to rinse this away and it doesn't leave my skin feeling tight or dehydrated. It removes my make-up really well, although with waterproof mascara/ eyeliner I feel I have to use another product. 

This is where the L’Oreal Paris Absolute Make Up Remover ‘Eye and Lip’ comes in. It’s Bi-phase, meaning it’s made up of part oil and part water solution, which you shake together before using. My eyes get irritated easily, especially after wearing contact lenses all day, but this is really gentle and doesn't sting one bit. It has no fragrance, which again, is great for sensitive eyes and it doesn't leave skin feeling greasy. I use this in addition to the Micellar solution when I have been wearing particularly suborn makeup, and it does a much better job of removing it.

Lastly I use Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne Wash morning and night as it contains ingredients that work with my acne medication. I know that using double acne treatments (for example, one prescribed serum and one drugstore face wash) can leave skin dry and tight, but I have been really lucky as this is not the case for me. I used this product when I was much younger, and it always kept my skin clear, but then I think they stopped selling it in England. I picked this up from America, and I’m pretty sure the formula has not changed. It still has the same fresh soapy fragrance, and leaves my skin feeling clean and pores unclogged. It doesn't irritate or dry out my skin, or cause breakouts, as I know other ‘acne treating’ face washes have recently.

And there we have it, my back to basics cleansing routine. Does anyone else have a simple three-product or less regime?

DOWN TO THE ABBEY | OUTFIT POST

    

I wore this outfit last week for a little stroll through my local town and then on to the cinema and dinner. These black jeggings are from America, but you can find similar here and here, and my top is also from America but you can find similar here. My mac is from New Look but I must have had it for 2/3 years now! My bag is from Zara; I know lots of bloggers have t
he yellow one but I just couldn't resist the bold green version. It doesn't seem to be available online anymore, but the blue version is currently in the sale for a mere £9.99! 


I've been on a clothes spending ban recently; I'll be doing a post about that soon, but you won't be seeing any new clothes in my ootd's anytime soon.

So what do you guys think? Do you prefer fashion posts to only feature new clothes, or do you not think it matters?

CURRENTLY LOVING #1



001. Crafting. I honestly find writing lists therapeutic and always have a notebook to hand to scribble down my thoughts. Recently I've become obsessed with DIY projects, perusing craft and sewing blogs regularly instead of usual dose of fashion and beauty. I’m currently working on a canvas for my bedroom, and some little paint-them-yourself wooden hearts and photo frames to decorate the house, but I have a whole list of things I want to do. Check out Randomly Happy and Nouvelle Daily if you fancy some inspiration.

002. The Long Song by Andrea Levy. Having loved Small Island by the same author, I thought I would pick this up and give it a whirl. Recently I've been trying to get myself back into an old habit of reading before bed. I’m not even halfway through this book, but so far I’m really enjoying it. I've found it takes longer to get into than Small Island, but so far it is making up for its slow start.

003. Nivea Q10 bodyfirming lotion. I’m a massive fan of Nivea body products, I've already raved about their shower gel, and now I’m loving this moisturiser. It claims to firm the skin in two weeks, and whilst I haven’t noticed a huge difference, it definitely leaves my skin softer and smoother. It isn't a rich lotion; it dries quickly, and it isn't tacky, but still leaves my skin feeling hydrated. The smell is light and fresh, and very inoffensive, and the large bottle lasts for ages.

004. Lemon and Passion iced tea. Make this in the morning using a few tea bags in a large jug, keep it in the fridge and drink over ice throughout the day. I prefer to add sugar to this, but it depends on individual taste, and you certainly don’t need a lot. It makes the perfect refreshing drink for the hot weather we have been enjoying recently, and is a great way to get those 8 glasses a day if you don’t like plain water.

005. Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel is a product I've been sampling for a few weeks now. Applied after cleansing, and left on for 20-30 minutes this leaves my skin looking bright and clear. This is an exfoliating cream, and I find it so much easier to use than manual exfoliators which can often leave my skin dry and tight. I'm definitely going to get my hands on the full size product!

006. Sephora Pro lipbrush. I picked this up in America recently, having been a long-time fan of Sephora’s eye brushes I was hoping their other brushes would be of similar quality. And I wasn't disappointed. I picked up a couple, and use them for different lipsticks throughout the week, and then give them a deep cleansing wash at the weekend. They distribute lipstick really evenly across my lips, and are just the right size to be able to control them well. Even on the first wash they didn't shed, and they didn't lose their shape. At only $12 despite being from the ‘pro’ collection, I would really recommend getting your hands on some if you can.

007. LA Colors Calcium nail treatment. I’m not sure this is available in the UK, but it has done a wonderful job of strengthening my nails after my holiday. As I spent the majority of the time in the pool and the sea, and not eating as well as usual, my nails were flaky and brittle when I returned home. I had to cut them very short and I've been applying this maybe twice weekly. My nails are almost back to their usual length and much less prone to breakages now. You can find similar products here and here

008. Smiths minted rose lip balm. Another Sephora purchase, but one you can now pick up at ASOS.. This wonderful product has to be one of my top three lip balms, and one I've been repurchasing for years. The smell is pretty strong, but mint combined with rose gives a really fresh scent and it’s not overpowering once you apply it. It’s not the most hydrating lip balm, but its glossy finish and lack of stickiness make it ideal for quick top ups throughout the day.