Tuesday, 29 January 2013

MAC Up the Amp

MAC Up the Amp Lipstick £14*

Another day. Another post. Another MAC Lipstick. My dad recently jetted off to NYC with his girlfriend and offered to pick me up some bits from Sephora & MAC as late Christmas presents. I was unbelievably overwhelmed with the package of cosmetic treats they brought back for me and would like to take the time to say a MASSIVE thank you to both him and his girlfriend, Julie ( I know you're reading this!).

I have a few MAC Lipstick posts coming up before I thought I would do a MAC Lipstick Collection round-up as that's proved quite popular and has been requested before. This time last year I owned one solitary MAC Lipstick and now I have quite the modest collection as they're my favourite formula. Rightio, on with the review...

Up the Amp would have terrified me only a few months ago. Bold, brash, in your face with a purple punch. Far too scary for me! But I have started to embrace a bolder lip recently with plum's making the top of my list. Plum tones seem to suit me, I think the cooler hues match my skin tone and compliment my hair and so I traded my dusky pinks and blue-toned reds for plums (look out for my plum lipstick stash post coming soon!) and have never looked back. 

As it's an amplified cremesheen you know it will (hopefully) do two things: provide a good solid colour and have creamy formula that melts on your lips, and UTA does just that.
In bullet form it is a lot more vibrant and daunting than what actually transforms onto your lips, of course you can build it up to how bright you dare to go but one swipe can add a creamy slick of light purple that I wouldn't even mind wearing on an everyday basis. Used as a stain it is quite a gorgeous milky plum that I think most of you would find appealing and so I'm giving this lipstick two thumbs up as it shocked me with just how neutral it can be when in a less shocking make-up mood. Would you dare to Up the Amp?

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Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Exposed

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Exposed  $26*

It's no secret, Blushes, in all shapes and forms, are my weakness. I am obsessed to say the least. My blush drawer has to be my most coveted and I often find myself playing around perusing through and ooh-ing over how pretty they are, does that make me weird? 
Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes have been on my wishlist for quite some time and I've been even more desperate to get my clutches on the shade I am going to big up today, Exposed. Maybe it's because Tarte blushes aren't easily available in the UK that I wanted to own this SO badly, I mean you always want what you can't have, right? Or, maybe it's because the claim of their strong staying power that drew me in. I think its a bit of both.

I absolutely love the packaging and floral design imprinted on the blush, so cute. Each compact reflects the shade of the blush inside. I find this really handy when trying to find or figure out what shade to go for that day when I'm in a hurry and have no time to search for labels. What I find great about Tarte Blushes is the fact they can be removed from their pan to add to a palette if you wish, although I prefer keeping mine in its compact. It's sleek and has a good sized mirror for application on the go, perfect!

When swatched I began to worry that the blush was that bit too powdery for my liking but once applied my fears were averted. The powder is soft and makes blending an easy process with a very natural, and nearly matte, finish. I find using my RT Stippling Brush or Contour Brush great for application as less really is more and not much is needed.

(please ignore how utterly awful this photo is, my skin is NOT co-operating at the moment!)

As for the 12 hour claim I don't know if I can completely agree with that statement BUT Tarte Blushes do last longer than the average blush and I can leave the house knowing my blush will stay intact for up to eight/nine hours.
Exposed is described as simply a 'nude' shade but there are definite plummy undertones which suits my cooler skin tone to a tee. This blush was very much needed in my collection as rosy pinks were beginning to take over. Exposed is a great shade for everyday wear and adds definition to the face helping to achieve that killer cheekbone look that every girl craves (Eddie Redmayne, your cheekbones are wasted on a man!). For those of you that can't get your hands on this I would thoroughly recommend you try NARS Douceur which is a very similar nude shade but a little bit more rosy and less plum based than Exposed.

 What Tarte shades are you after or are there any nude blushes you can recommend? I think I want to try Tipsy out next, I just wish they were more readily available in the UK. BRING BACK SEPHORA.

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instagram: ohlittlered

Sunday, 27 January 2013

MAC Angel

MAC Angel Lipstick £14

I asked for MAC Lipstick recommendations on a recent #bbloggers chat and almost immediately I found my interactions clogged up with the same name appearing again and again, MAC Angel. I've swatched Angel many times when browsing the store but never purchased up until three weeks ago when I decided that enough was enough and it was time to whack out the plastic. I'm so glad I did.

MAC Angel is that shade that truly lives up to the hype, its that 'your lips but better' lipstick that is perfect for everyday wear and adding a delicate rosy pink touch to your lips. I'm not a huge fan of the frost lipstick formula but Angel isn't over the top shimmery and I've found myself reaching for it every day since I bought it. The formula is creamy and a warm welcome to my lips, I would go as far to say that this is a staple lipstick if you're looking to start a MAC collection or in need of a every day shade. What do you think? 

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instagram: ohlittlered

Thursday, 24 January 2013

lush - shimmy shimmy massage bar

Lush Shimmy Shimmy Massage Bar* £4.25

Needing that little extra sparkle in your life? Lush may just have the answer for you. Let me warn you Lush's Shimmy Shimmy Massage Bar is not for the faint hearted, we're talking glitter that could rival that of Edward Cullen in daylight. Yes, I did just slip a corny twilight reference in there, tragic, I know. I'm not talking in your face primary school disco glittertastic-ness as this glitter is very fine but the shimmer is most definitely still there and can add that bit too much of a somethin' somethin'  for my liking. In the light a rose gold glow takes over and I think it's best left for a Tinkerbell dress up.

It's a real shame about the glitter overload as the formula is super creamy and moisturising with gorgeous notes of ylang ylang and vanilla which lingers on the skin. I have read mixed reviews with many loving the shimmer it can add to a tan or for a special night out where the glitter isn't as in your face so if you are after more than just a subtle glow than maybe this product is for you. However, glitterball chic isn't really my thing and so sadly even the cute heart shape can't entice me to test this out again. Sorry Lush!

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instagram: ohlittlered

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

A Few Changes..

I have been a bit disheartened when it has come to blogging recently. Do you ever get that feeling that it's just not going how you want it to and you wish you could start from scratch? Well I have. My blog does mean a lot to me and I wouldn't want to get rid of all the work and love that has already been put into it but Little Red was due a makeover and here are the results...

I wanted something more simplistic, more professional and easy to read without a hundred and one widgets flying about the place. Que Abby, author of one of my new favourite read Unobserved - her blog designs are absolutely gorgeous and she completely transformed my tired out layout and gave Little Red a new lease of life. Not only is she quite the html wizz but what I cherished most about her service is the genuine care of getting it just right for you as well as her level of patience even when I was sending her various e-mails with ideas and issues that I had or may have. If your blog is in need of a bit of a lift I really can't praise Abby enough!

Please let me know your thoughts as I would love to hear any feedback! Are there any particular posts you would like to see more often? Do you mind using the 'read more' function? Whatever your thoughts are please do share and I will get back to you.

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instagram: ohlittlered

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Weekly Peek #1

001: Helloooo! I thought I'd start up a new weekly feature named 'Weekly Peek' which is basically highly similar to old Sunday Session catch up posts but without the restriction of only posting that sort of post on a Sunday. I was terrible at keeping up with my Sunday Session posts namely because Sunday is a day of relaxation and crappy weekend tv for me. I do hope to regulate this feature, an peek into my life that week, more so on the weekend as that's the time I get all my blog reading and vlog watching done too but do bare with me as sometimes I'm so exhausted that I just curl up in my duvet with Dancing on Ice and a cuppa tea.

002: 2013 has set off in a great direction as I landed my dream internship with Gleam Digital this week which I'm absolutely buzzing about. Gleam help to manage the Pixiwoo sisters, the ever-so-gorgeous Tanya Burr, and one of my favourite bloggers, Zoella. I was realllllyyy nervous when it came to the interview at their swanky offices. I had primped and pampered the night before but my skin just wasn't co-operating and is going through a serious dry patchy phase right now, ugh! Despite that the interview wasn't as scary as I had thought, I was surprised to see another favourite blogger of mine, Katie, as one of my interviewers alongside the really lovely Lucy. Both of them made me feel extremely comfortable and seem really genuinely lovely and down to earth girls as well as tempting me more with the perks of the job which has made me even more excited to get stuck in there this Summer. Social media is taking over and I can't wait to be part of that side of things and especially with such a lovely team such as Team Gleam.

003: My childhood friend, Louise, has jetted over from down under to spend some time in London with me whilst travelling around Europe. I haven't seen her in years but we got chatting like it was yesterday which was a lovely ending to my final week back home before heading back to Uni.

004: Last night Jon took me to see Wicked at Victoria Apollo which was outstanding. Seriously, insanely good. I'm not even embarrassed to admit my eyes did prickle slightly, okay A LOT, after the end note of defying gravity. The singing was insane. Words. Cannot. Describe.
How has your week been?

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instagram: ohlittlered

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

MAC Guilty Passion Nicely Nude Lip Gloss Set

MAC Nicely Nude Lip Gloss Set* Lip Gloss shown on me: Fashion Whim, Kiss Don't Tell
Firstly, let me apologise for not putting up pictures of me wearing all four lip glosses but let me tell you I did take some and they were not a pretty sight. I think it was because of my lack of energy after returning home from London where I had an interview for a Summer internship, fingers crossed people! The packaging is an all round winner with super cute bow embellishments and the circular container would make a great home for samples and little bits and bobs!

Coincidentally the two that I have shown, the only pictures that were even NEAR salvageable, are my favourites; the first being Fashion Whim, a milky nude that is slighly Kardashian-esque but I think would suit fairer skin tones more so over darker skin tones. Kiss Don't Tell is plummy chocolate nude that I think will suit every skin tone and certainly is a match made in heaven for a sultry smoky eye. Both are Cremesheen Glass and so live up to the soft, creamy-ness of that formula and being my favourite lipglass formula no wonder why these two made top of my list.
As Satin Slip and Get Rich Quick are both Dazzleglass formula's you can expect a more frosted finish and a definite glimmer factor. Satin Slip is a soft beige shade with a light golden pearl shimmer running through it which is not as evident as the shimmer that makes up Get Rich Quick, a very glittery terracotta shade with plum undertones that has a bit too much sparkle for me and reminds me of my primary school disco's...

I found that all four roughly lasted on the lips one to two hours at most with the Get Rich Quick starting to feel a little gritty on the lips once the glossiness has worn off. I would definitely repurchase the other three as unlike other lip glosses I have tried they are soft and not sticky and are a warm welcome to my lips. They really do make for a great nude lips set as all shades are complimentary and add that extra something that I was searching for in both an everyday and evening nude lip affair. For swatches of all four and a closer look on the lips take a look at this review I found here.

What are your thoughts? What's your go to nude lip fix?

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Saturday, 5 January 2013

The Weekend Post: Banishing Blemishes

 REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask, REN Clear Calm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser*, Origins Super Spot Remover
The majority of us have all had our fair share of blemish battles with some of us raging onto near full on warfare when it comes to the not so welcome little pustules...lavley image I'm conjuring up there isn't it? Throughout my teen years I was deemed one of the unfortunate souls that just couldn't get rid of spots no matter what lotion or remedy I tried. I suffered from mild acne; which seemed even more pronounced due to the unwanted redness caused due to the stress of said spots. Thankfully today I only have the odd red bump, y'know the annoyingly sore ones without a head on it, and sometimes a smattering of tiny blackheads because I have quite large pores and uprooting them can be quite tricky. So, I have compiled my top three products that have beat the blemishes to share with you....

REN INVISIBLE PORES DETOX MASK: So the main purpose of this product isn't to rid you of existing spots exactly as it is aimed more towards their prevention. This mask works wonders at unclogging unwanted muck that has buried itself into your pores by drawing out all such impurities and minimising your pores in the process, wonderful! I cannot sing its praises enough, not only have my pores noticeably reduced in size but I have been blackhead free since using it once every week.

REN  CLEAR CALM 3 CLARIFYING CLAY CLEANSER*:  This is my all time favourite skin care product, hands down. I have quite sensitive skin and so many cleansers I have used in the past have been far too rough for my skin and caused breakouts instead of tackling them but the clay formula is oh so soft on my skin and extremely gentle so hasn't caused any flare ups! The Clear Calm 3 Range is aimed for blemish prone skin and works at tackling the main causes of breakouts such as excess sebum, build of dead skin cells, and spot causing bacteria - yuck! I absolutely adore the range as all the products I have tried gently exfoliate whilst deeply cleansing the skin and reducing redness. I use this three times a week, after my skin is clean and all make-up removed, and my skin has never felt clearer or softer. Next on my list to try from their Clear Calm 3 Range is the Replenishing Night Serum which aims to banish redness, soothe the skin, and reduce pigments and scarring.

ORIGINS SUPER SPOT REMOVER:  Origins top seller and beauty blogger favourite, and no wonder why. Although it is only a measly 10ml for £13 you really do need the tiniest amount on the surface of the spot, and not, may I emphasise, the surrounding area. Blemish busting Salicylic Acid is the main ingredient but can also cause some dryness in which case reduce the amount you're putting it on a day as it does recommend up to three times daily, whereas I stick to just once before bed. Reducing redness and eliminating excess oil brings the blemish down a peg or two and normally I wake up with only a slighly red spot that is easily covered by my concealer instead of a mountainous bump that could poke your eye out.. Every time I have used this product the spot has gone within a day and I can get back to feeling a lot happier about my skin.

May I just add that Skincare really is subject to you personally and what works for one might not be the miracle cure for another. I have learnt this the hard way by trying out an array of products deemed miracle cures but really didn't seem to do much for me at all. Also being a beauty blogger it is hard not to stray into the habit of constantly mixing up my skincare regime  and wanting to try out every new fad out there, what I say is if you have something that works for you, stick to it. Using too many products cannot actually make a problem worse or cause one.

Whats number one on your skincare list?

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Friday, 4 January 2013

2013 be kind to me

I'm not really one for making resolutions, I never keep to them and setting the usual 'go the gym' or 'budget my money more' doesn't really cut it for me. I guess I feel like if I set it in stone so to speak then everything becomes forced and an obligation which causes me to panic when I don't stick by it rigidly and I just end up feeling a bit poop! So, this year I have decided to make a list of things I'd love to achieve that doesn't involve me feeling bad about my late night snacking habit and focuses on doing more rather than restricting certain things! 2013 is set to be one of the most important years of my life, it marks the final year I will ever be in formal education, the year I graduate and embark on my journey into the real world without student loans to help me subsidize that new lipstick that I just have to have, begin looking for a place of my very own to call home, and figure out just really what is it that I want to do with my life, eek! Here it goes...

One: Dabble with new foods. I spent much of my teenage life even avoiding pasta sauce and since starting University have slowly but surely started branching out when it comes to what I eat so this year I want to push that even furthur and develop my skills in the kitchen...don't laugh, Dad.

Two: Set a healthier sleeping pattern. Okay, okay, so this resolution is on the slightly restrictive side but I have suffered with bouts of insomnia and my sleeping pattern is something that really bothers me when I find myself wide awake at 4am when I have a 9am lecture the next day...

Three: Enjoy my last months at University. I know the next few months are probably going to be the most stressful time of my life as of yet with dissertation and essay deadlines looming and my final exams which determine my future causing shortage of breath and a queasy stomach BUT I need to remember to have down time and that if worst comes to worst University is only a chapter of my life not the whole.

Four: Get interning. I really want to branch out into social media or PR. I ultimately wanted to become a journalist but I know the industry is tough to crack so I want to get as many internship notches under my belt to help the process.

Five: Travel. I turn 21 this year and hope to receive some funding towards my goal to go travelling this Summer. I would really love to explore Thailand and Europe more and create memories that aren't another rainy English Summer spent wishing I was somewhere else.

Six: Swim. This is not for typical losing weight or getting fit purposes, although they are great bonuses, but instead purely because I consider myself a bit of a water baby. I've always loved the water and used to swim at least twice a week when I was younger and I always feel so much more relaxed whilst in the pool. It always gives me time to think things through without distraction.

Seven: Don't full victim to blogging 'rules'. The first half of this year is going to be extremely hectic and stressful for me and sometimes I feel obligated to blog rather than doing it for my own pleasure. By no means do I want to become a blogger that posts every other month but I need to recognise it is okay not to blog more than once a week or even only a few times a month whilst I have more pressing things to be doing. I never want to view my blog as a chore and so hopefully you'll all bare with me whilst I blog a little less often for the next few months! Spending your lives online isn't living, get out there more. 2013 will see me spending less hours glued to my laptop.

Eight: (Another Blog Related Resolution) Grasp more opportunities thrown my way! This one is just as relevant for 'real life' outside the blogging world of course but I have stopped myself attending events and saying 'yes' to certain things out of fear of the unknown or of being that awkward girl. I need to learn to say yes more. I started attending quite a few events over winter and I felt stupid for ever sitting at home putting it off instead of actually going and meeting lot's of lovely new friends. Just by saying one little word you really can surprise yourself.

Nine: Get organised. I truly do believe a tidy environment can help create a clear mind. I get WAY too stressed out when my clutter levels reach maximum (which they do, a lot) and can't get into the right frame of mind to start an essay or do anything remotely productive for that whole day because I tend to work myself up. Just by throwing out loads of old CD's and junk I no longer needed the other day I felt ten times lighter and happier, I don't know, I just did. I am a hoarder and try to keep hold of any little thing that I have attached some memory to or think I might need or want in the future. No, Lauren, you really don't need your old school study diaries, when would you ever want to know what homework you was set in Year Nine? I've put up some new shelving units and by creating that little bit more space I have really felt better in getting stuck in and being more productive. Think planners, goal of the day post its and colour coding...

Ten: Read for me, not just for Uni. Being an English Lit student has somewhat dwindled my love of reading funnily enough. Because we rip texts to shreds (not literally) and have certain texts that we are set to read in allotted time slots the fun is well and truly taken out of it in most cases. I do love my course but I can't remember the last time I chose a book for myself to read and to read without jotting down key themes or quotes. I will set time for a mug of tea and a good book this year.

What do you want to do more of in 2013?

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Thursday, 3 January 2013

Candle Crush

Cold nights call for an assortment of pick me ups, the standard hot water bottle, fluffy slipper socks, a onesie thrown in the mix but, for me, to complete mission 'get snug' I always have a scented candle or two burning...
Whilst some fall head over heels for a mug of hot chocolate and a bubble bath, my festive crush is candles. I absolutely love the affect a flame can create when cosying up in bed with a good book or a Made In Chelsea catch up, bliss! So, here's the run down of the seasonal scents that have taken pride of place on my bedside shelf...

An age old favourite, the Yankee Candle. The obvious choice. Christmas Cookie is my top choice and I kept this burning away filtering my room with sickly sweet hues during the run up to Christmas. My housemates would walk past my room sniffing the air, my room smelt like my very own sweet shop after a few hours burning this bad boy. I'm normally opposed to overly sweet smells but this one is rather scrummy if I do say so myself. Frosted cupcake is like Christmas Cookies smaller but still as sickly sweet sister, I may have squealed a tad when my mum brought me this back from across the pond. These candles smell like the most heavenly vanilla and buttercream cakes, so go on indulge yourself!
 For those of you who are more partial to spicier scents and milder floral aroma's then I have accumulated quite the modest collection. Lily-flame candles are a new purchase of mine after spotting their festive candle tins in an online sale. Normally priced around £8 each I picked up Winter Wood - think ferns and pine -, Cranberry Crush - a light fruity scent-, Silent Night - a dreamy concoction of chamomile and fresh floral fragrances-, and finally Snow fall which reminds me of fresh bed sheets. Not only are the tins incredibly cute but they don't leave that sooty black mess that sticks around the sides, I have that problem with my Yankee Candle tubs and am constantly sweeping the sides with a tissue!

Are you a fellow candle lover? What are your favourites?

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