Alice May Snell

27 October 2017

New John Lewis &Beauty Nail & Brow Bar, Oxford

This week is a very exciting one for all of us in Oxford, it has been a long time coming and finally, after two years of building work and waiting, our new Westgate shopping centre is complete and open to the public. The new centre has become home to a mighty John Lewis store, which is a first for us in Oxford and as you can imagine, myself and a lot of others are very excited about having such a fantastic store on home soil. You can take a virtual tour around the new store by watching this short video John Lewis have created.

24 October 2017

Perfecting My Base With Charlotte Tilbury

A few weeks ago an email popped into my inbox from Charlotte Tilbury, asking me if I'd like to try some of their products. The fact that a brand as big as this one wanted to work with me made me squeal with excitement. I've never tried a Charlotte Tilbury product so I was very excited about the chance to finally try the brand for myself. The package I received contained three of their famous foundations that I have heard many good things about from friends and other bloggers. When it comes to my makeup base, I have always been a very loyal Bare Minerals fan and I didn't ever think I would sway towards using anything other than that, however, I have definitely found some new favourites that I have added to my collection. 
I've always been a full coverage girl so I wasn't really sure what to expect when trying Healthy Glow for the first time. Healthy Glow is a universal shade tinted moisturiser designed to give you a radiant, fresh, glowing complexion. The shade is ever so slightly too dark for me but it does work and I imagine it would work with a wide variety of different skin tones. I have found this product to be one of the easiest I've ever tried, a little goes a very long way so it only takes a small pea sized amount to even out my complexion and keep my skin feeling hydrated. I'm super impressed by this product and I feel really confident when wearing it, which is a first for me as I am usually used to wearing full coverage makeup.

The next product I have been trying is the Light Wonder Foundation. This is a lightweight product that includes ingredients to hydrate, smooth, illuminate, minimise pores and reduce wrinkles. Available in a wide selection of shades this foundation gives you a lightweight coverage perfect for daily wear, I find myself only adding a small amount of concealer under the eyes and I am good to go. What I really enjoy about this product is how light it really feels whilst on the skin, I completely forget I am wearing any makeup and yet any of my insecurities are still well covered.  The shade is perfect for my complexion and I really admire how Charlotte Tilbury has such a wide selection of shades available to suit everyones needs.

Finally, my current favourite base product and one I will 100% be repurchasing is the Magic Foundation. A full coverage foundation with SPF is exactly what I'm used to so this product is perfect for me. Available in a wide range of 15 shades ranging from pale to dark, there is such a great selection to choose from. I apply this with my beauty blender which helps me to achieve a flawless finish, although the coverage is full, the product does not feel heavy on the skin at all and I adore how my skin looks and feels once I've finished the application. I suffer from very dry skin so to find a full coverage foundation that does not cling to dry areas or crumble whilst being worn, is a big win for me.

What is your favourite base product?

11 October 2017

Blogger Stationery Essentials

Are you really a blogger if you don't have a drawer full of beautiful stationery that you will most likely never actually use? I buy a lot of stationery from all sorts of different brands and when I spot a design I like, I find it very difficult to resist buying everything. I'm a pretty organised person and in terms of blogging, and my life in general, I like to use particular stationery pieces to keep me on track.

Stationery is an absolute essential for me when it comes to blogging, I just can't complete my tasks without having something to scribble in or plan my posts. There are so many amazing stationery retailers out there now, some of which are just local supermarkets, that make it super easy and affordable to have nice, pretty things to use. I recently discovered a website called Rooi that sell a whole range of things from candles, stationery, bedroom accessories and more. I was immediately drawn in by all of the beautiful pieces available from this site and knew they would fit in with me perfectly. 
I have been using the I Am Very Busy Large Luxury Notebook to write all of my draft posts in style over the past few weeks. I don't think I have ever owned or used such a large notebook, it really is the most perfect size for any blogger. This notebook is a hardback and contains small pouches inside to keep important items safe, there are pages and pages of space to write posts, make plans and even just doodle. I take my notebook everywhere with me and I'd be so lost without it now, I can't wait to treat myself to a new design in this style, when this one runs out of pages! 

To go alongside my new notebook I treated myself to the prettiest set of pencils ever. The Compliment Pencil Set is packed full of ten wooden pencils, each with a different colour and motivational message written on the side. You can't ask for much more whilst working, my favourite has to be the holographic effect and I just love all of the different messages on each pencil, it's the perfect pick me up during a rubbish day. 
I'm a bit of a sucker for post-it notes as I find them super handy and a great way to organise things. I use them on a daily basis to remind myself of tasks I need to complete as well as using them to note down new ideas. I couldn't resist adding the I Am Very Busy Sticky Note Set to my collection, I love the variation of sizes and the different designs are super cute. Using fun and colourful stationery always gives me so much more motivation and encouragement to finish things. 

What are your stationery essentials? What essential items do you swear by for your blogging routine?

19 September 2017

Bourjois Rouge Velvet Matte Lipsticks

Matte lips has to be my favourite makeup trend ever. It's one that I've loved right from the start and I know I will still be rocking in years to come, mostly because glossy lips seriously aren't for me. Bourjois have delivered a stunning new collection of 12 matte lip shades in light to dark and I have to say, they are pretty impressive. I was sent this amazing range in my first ever Influenster VoxBox and I'll be sharing the ins and outs of them with you today. If you're a beauty blogger and you want to be in with a chance of trying new product releases, I really recommend singing up to the Influenster programme, there are loads of amazing brands to work with and its free to join!

The Bourjois Rouge Velvet Matte Lipsticks are a range of 12 highly pigmented lipsticks with a matte finish. Each shade claims to last 24 hours of wear time and you can guarantee each shade will give you the bold look you're after. Sadly, I haven't ever invested a lot of time into Bourjois products so I have to say that, when it comes to first impressions, the packaging of these is really lovely, each shade is encased in a uniquely colour identified plastic bullet making it easy to find the colour of choice from your collection. There is certainly a shade for everyone, ranging from light to dark and nude to red, I feel very lucky to own and be able to try out every shade! My two favourites so far have to be 01 Hey Nude and 05 Brique-A-Brac. Each shade is versatile and although I find nude shades suit me a lot better than red and purple, I have found every single one of these shades works really nicely against my complexion.
These lipsticks come with a super smooth tear drop shape applicator making application easy and precise. Every single shade is extremely creamy and soft, gliding onto the lips with complete ease. Matte lipsticks can be very known to dry the lips out and be uncomfortable to wear, thankfully these are the opposite. My lips feel nourished, hydrated and super comfortable when wearing any of these shades, especially when I'm having a really long day. I really like that throughout the day the shade will slowly wear away but will leave behind a subtle hint of colour, so if you're not able to re-apply the product throughout the day, it's really not an issue. I know for a fact that when wearing these, I can apply my desired shade at 07:00 and a hint of colour will still be there when I finish the day at 17:00.

If you're after the matte lip look and you're on a budget I'd definitely recommend checking these out at just £8.99 a shade. I really hope the brand release more shades, especially lighter pinks and nudes, in the future.

Whats your favourite Bourjois product?


10 September 2017

Fragrance Direct Haul

We all know that buying beauty products is one of my favourite things to do, I sometimes wish I had an endless pot of money to spend on all things beauty related! I love to find ways to save money on my beauty purchases especially when it comes to high end products, I actually find most of my collection is made up of high street products as I find it too hard to part with lots of money!

One of my favourite ways to save money is to use discounted makeup websites and voucher codes, there are so many of these around on the internet now, it makes it so easy to save a few pennies here and there. A website I run to frequently for my beauty essentials is Fragrance Direct, this is a discounted beauty website that stocks all sorts from makeup and skincare to tanning and fragrance, all at a slightly cheaper price than you'd find in stores. I've recently been browsing the Fragrance Direct website and picked up quite a few bargains I thought I'd share with you.
I had to pick up this bronzer purely because I was super excited to see this brand on the website, I've never tried any of their products before and since seeing Zoella use a Guerlain bronzer in one of her past videos, I've wanted to try it ever since! I really like the variation of shades inside the bronzer, the range from light to dark tones really works well with my complexion.

NYX High Voltage Lipstick 'Flutter Kiss'
New lipsticks excite me a lot. I don't think I've ever tried a lip product by NYX so when I saw a few variations on the website, I thought I'd give one a go. This shade is a really lovely muted pink that has a semi-matte finish. After wearing this shade for over a week it is safe to say its a long-lasting and very comfortable product.

NARS Audacious Lipstick 'Barbara'
Another brand where I haven't tried a lip product is NARS, mostly because I have so many amazing high street lip shades that I don't feel myself needing to buy higher end brands. Nevertheless, it's good to try something new and I have to say this I feel pretty swish wearing NARS on my lips. I really love simple, natural shades so this one is perfect to add to my collection.
Real Techniques Bold Metals 300 Tapered Blush Brush
I already have a selection of this brush collection but it was really lacking this brush in particular. The  blush brush is quite possibly my favourite of the bold metals collection as it is so versatile and I have found myself using it for blush, highlight and bronzer.

Maybelline Falsies Volume Express Waterproof Mascara
When I spotted that Fragrance Direct also sold a lot of Maybelline products I thought I'd pick up my favourite mascara, ready for when my current tube runs out. This mascara is amazing and is one of very few that keeps my lashes curled and separated all day long. Usually I'd be forking out £7.99 for one of these mascaras, on Fragrance Direct I only had to part with £3.99!

Revlon Highlighting Palette '003 Bronze Glow'
I have to admit that Revlon is a brand I don't own a lot of for some reason, I'm not really sure why but I usually find myself skipping past the stand in my local high street stores. I really like the Bobbi Brown shimmer brick style palettes and I thought this in particular looked like a great dupe, the shades are lovely and warming and the product becomes a blush, bronzer and highlighter all in one!
Vera Wang Flower Princess Limited Edition EDT Spray 100ml
I have tried a couple of different variations of the princess scent in the past so when I spotted this new limited edition, I was very keen to try it. The bottle itself is really pretty and the scent itself is very sweet and girly. I picked up this 100ml bottle for just £18.95, a total bargain when it would set you back a lot more than that in any regular high street stores, especially for this size.

As well as the Fragrance Direct website already offering great discount prices, you can also get 10% off across the website for all students, using UniDays. All you need to do for access to this offer is to sign up to UniDays here with your student email address and you're good to go! I'm a huge advocate for 'every little helps' so if you can save even just a few pounds on your purchases, it all adds up and really does make a difference.

Have you purchased from Fragrance Direct before?

Alice May Snell