Beauty: NYX Picks (Worth The Hype?)

At first I wasn’t hugely tempted by the launch of NYX in Boots. The stands were always surrounded, testers were missing or empty, there were no unopened products left to purchase. It reminded me a little of Primark at the end of the day; nothing in it’s correct place, messy and just not quite worth the hassle. Then the first stampede died down, reviews started being posted, stands were restocked and I was able to get an idea of what I actually wanted and needed.

 photo NYX Picks 8_zpsqgnzav2n.jpgI’ve ended up being really impressed with everything I’ve bought so far. Not one dud product, nothing I can see myself throwing away in a few months, and in fact none of these have left my ‘everyday’ makeup bag which I’ve been relying on whilst most of my stuff is waiting to be unpacked. I’ve found the quality is excellent for the price, the packaging looks more high-end than it is (nothing irks me more than cheap-looking packaging). Definitely worth the wait!

Butter Gloss in Tiramisu (link). My love for MAC lipsticks is well-documented here, my dislike of lip-glosses also. I hate my hair sticking to the gloss, the chance of smudging, having to reapply having eaten. I’ve said I’m more of a brown-nude rather than pink-nude girl. So my love for this is a little odd. The colour is just pink enough to add a bit of girliness, but it’s brown enough not to weird me out. The finish is glossy, but it stays glossy, even a slice of pizza didn’t smudge it up. And most importantly? Hair does definitely not stick to it in the wind. Whilst my addiction to lipsticks remains, this is becoming a greatly loved ‘no-makeup’ day product.

 photo NYX Picks 1_zpsvddwsybp.jpgDark Circle Concealer (link). This was the product that originally drew me in; I have suffered particularly horrendous dark circles (particular since my sinus surgery) and it’s one of the things I’m hugely self-conscious about. No matter how well I eat, how much I sleep, I still look a little like I’ve been doing a few rounds in the boxing ring. And this vanishes them. Admittedly it took me a while to get to grips with – it needs a base of eye-cream (which I use anyway due to puffiness), then a good blend, before setting with powder. It doesn’t quite last all day (my only real gripe) and in the winter I’ll need to layer with a paler brightening concealer to ensure it sits right with my skin tone. But for now? It’s a keeper!

Wonder Pencil (link). I’d used one of these a few years ago, before it ended up being picked up by the dog during one of his mad-half-hours (not a puppy, he turned 10 this year!). I remember my old Rimmel liner being okay at making me took more awake, but going a little crusty after a few hours. This lasts a lot longer – it’s great for lining my waterline to get rid of discolouration. I’ve also used it to highlight my inner eyes and underneath my brow, and define my cupid’s bow. Perhaps a bit gimmicky, but I’m enjoying using it for now. It’s also great to hide away in my bag for use as an impromptu concealer!

 photo NYX Picks 5_zpskgfw1per.jpgConcealer Jar in Green (link). Yep, a green concealer. W thought I’d gone mad when I swatched it and, trying not to giggle, asked him if he thought it suited my skin tone. Used to reduce the appearance of redness, I’ve found this little green pot excellent for hiding away healing spots, scars and the damn insect bite on my cheek that just won’t quite heal up. The tackiness of the formula (there is a more liquid wand available) means that this does stay on all day, though it needs a decent amount of blending. I can see myself popping back for their full coverage concealer soon (which, by the way, comes in a super-pale shade).

High Definition Blush in Taupe (link). Ah, the blogger-made-me-buy-it purchase. I’ve been failing at finding a completely neutral-toned contour powder for while now, I’d seen various reviews of this wafting around the bloggersphere and once I found a pan in stock I snatched it up whilst I could. The verdict? Definitely neutral toned, definitely a good contour for pale girls. The downside is that it is SO pigmented it is easy to over-apply, but a good brush and decent blending is all you really need. Definitely one worth the hype.

 photo NYX Picks 6_zpskbfwsn7f.jpgSo, NYX? Is it worth the hype? From the bits I have tried, I would say yes. Though I say so cautiously – I’m not so sure any makeup is worth the swarming round shelves, grabbing whatever you can get your hands on, setting stock notifications. It’s a good makeup brand, it’s cruelty free, it’s a great price, I’ll probably pick up some more bits. But I’ll perhaps put in an online order…

Have you tried anything from NYX yet? What do you recommend? 

Beauty: What’s in my Shower

First off, let’s show a little appreciation for this gorgeous ‘product holder’ that’s hanging in the bathroom. Seriously cute, and the whole house I am living with is styled pretty similarly. The bathroom is gorgeous – massive, with a huge bathtub, massive marble-topped linen cupboard, and the most lovely mirror made out of an old-fashioned door. My accommodation this year is definitely spoiling me, student houses for next year aren’t very appealing!

 photo 81b84276-2fcf-4326-9069-5867a605aeac_zps01ab234a.jpgEver since becoming a student I’ve tried to keep my shower routine to a minimum. I’ve always shared a bathroom, and whilst that’s never been a problem I don’t want to be the first to be accused of hogging it! This year I’m the only one who showers in the evening (often in an empty house) but I’m still rushing through – renting a room means I don’t want to be taking the mickey when it comes to increasing bills. As I travel home at least once a month this isn’t a problem; deep conditioning and hair dying gets done then!

 photo 570149e1-2382-4d40-95d2-229a844f4789_zps9e06fa95.jpgI start my washing my hair. I have a strange routine normally, whereby I only shampoo once a fortnight, and co-wash the rest of the time. This has been blown out of the window since July when I won EmTalks’ giveaway of some Toni&Guy goodies. Whilst I can’t say my hair enjoys being washed ‘properly’ so often, I love the styling products and as they contain silicones co-washing wouldn’t be enough to actually clean my hair. Co-washing actually gets quite scientific and technical, but let me know if you’d like to see a post!

 photo 695f608e-8575-4959-8f40-ec617dabbe5c_zpsca980454.jpgAfter shampooing, I’ll load in a good handful of conditioner, using my fingers to detangle (I don’t brush my hair!). Whilst that’s sinking in I’ll wash and condition my body too! I have quite sensitive skin on my arms, with most shower gels really irritating it and drying it out. I now swear by Bodyshop’s gels, they are the only ones that don’t make me regret washing! I like more natural scents; Olive is a favourite, and at the moment I’m using Moringa which is light but floral. I’m desperate for the Wild Argan Oil one though, it will definitely be purchased as soon as that new range is included in offers – I can’t be the only one who refuses to purchase from the Bodyshop at full price?!

 photo 8c7cfc3f-5e4a-4d6f-bc66-c2cf6a2be8fa_zps08086004.jpgInitially unimpressed (to say the least) by Nivea’s In-Shower Moisturiser, it’s now something I use regularly. Now this wouldn’t be enough on its own, but its fine for layering underneath my more regular moisturisers. My skin feels less irritated by the water (I hate water down South, it’s so harsh on the skin!) when I use this too. I definitely wouldn’t rely on it, but I’d always like to have a bottle. I want to try the Superdrug version too, as it just smells slightly better.

 photo d61dfacd-25c1-42f4-b0d0-951c2049fde2_zps1ff8e3a6.jpgAfter all this I rinse out my conditioner, rinse my hair again upside down, plop it into a t-shirt, towel down, and slip into my pyjamas. All done in under 10 minutes. Give or take.

What shower products are you loving at the moment? Any favourite Bodyshop scent?