Kiko Cosmetics Sale Haul

So last week I had a day alone in Manchester, so naturally I gravitated towards the Trafford Centre, and after a morning of working away in Starbucks, I treated myself to an afternoon of shopping. I hit pretty much every store that had a sale sign in the window, and one store that caught my eye particularly was Kiko Milano.

Despite being well aware that I own enough makeup as it is, I always love trying new brands, and when that brand is not only having a massive summer sale but is also cruelty free, there was no stopping me, but I did only spend £25!

The first thing that caught my eye stepping into the store was the display of gloriously bright nail varnishes. I’ve always loved having colourful nails, and while I have always sworn by Barry M when it comes to nail products, over recent years they’ve opted to diversify and their original collection of nail paints just aren’t available in as many colours as they used to be. As soon as I saw the wall of Kiko Smart Nail Lacquers I fell in love, but not wanting to go too overboard I just chose two, which are actually two shades very similar to my favourite Barry’s that aren’t available anymore, and they’re only £2 each, so win win!

Nearer to the checkout, they also had a few ‘mini’ nail varnishes at just £1 each so I decided to nab two of those as well!

Next up, I couldn’t help but fall in love with this STUNNING matte finishing powder – its so creamy and blendable, plus its fine and super light! I also grabbed this pretty blush for just £3.80, which is also super light feeling and the shade, Breathtaking Azalea, is perfect for spring/summer looks.

Lastly, while I’m not normally one for individual eyeshadows, I decided to pick up this little duo-shadow because the colour combination was super pretty and very me. Its not the most pigmented, but the two shades compliment each other wonderfully and its perfect for a subtle look, which is more my style anyway!

Have you tried any Kiko products before? I’d love to hear any recommendations!

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The £5 Clinique Highlighter Dupe

I never have and never will claim to be a real beauty blogger. When I do write about makeup, I write as a girl who just likes wearing it (and buying way too much of it), so while I might not have the expertise of most, I still like to give it a good go every now and then. The discovery of today’s dupe was purely accidental, and I actually owned and used the dupe before I came across the high-end equivalent.

I’m the first to admit that I have a problem when it comes to highlighters. I’d say they’re my weakness when it comes to makeup but I have many other weaknesses too so I’m not sure if it counts, but it was due to this weakness that I made this discovery. You see, when I wracked up enough points on my Sephora card back in February to claim some free gifts, when I was offered a free Clinique chubby stick highlighter, I snapped that badboy up without a second thought, but with so many highlighters in my collection, it was only recently that I actually thought I’d give it a go.

So there I am, sat in front of my mirror with that new product buzz going on, when I was struck with deja vu – have I used this before? I was questioning my sanity when I realised where I’d seen the same results before: from my Barry M Strobe Cream, shade Frosty Pink, which I’d bought months before for a mere £4.49. Now I know my chubby stick was a free gift, but it retails for £19.50 so that’s quite a difference..

Wanna see?

Left: Barry M, Right: Clinique

Top: Clinique, Bottom: Barry M

As you can see from the swatches, there’s hardly any difference in shade between the two. The Clinique does have a creamier formula, and possibly gives a little more shine than Barry’s, but I actually prefer the lightweight feel of the BM strobe cream, and its just as long-lasting.

If a £15 difference in price isn’t enough of a selling point, let’s not forget that Barry M is cruelty free and vegan friendly, and if Frosty Pink isn’t your jam, this is just one of four shades that its available in!

I know which one I use more often..

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Mid-Year Beauty Blog Sale!

Hey gang! I’m in serious need of a declutter, especially when it comes to my makeup collection, so I decided to do my first ever blog sale, yay!

All of these items are either unused, just swatched or hardly touched, they’re just items I find I’m not reaching for anymore (or ever have!), and I’m just looking for them to go to good homes where they will be appreciated.

Postage will be Royal Mail second class, £2 for one item or £3.50 for 2 or more. To buy, please comment with which items you’d like and your email address, or email lottie@lottiemartin.com. Payment is via Paypal only.

Love and Light hand cream – £2 – No Drought dry shampoo – £5

ALL SOLD

Makeup Revolution palettes (Left is Iconic 3, right is Essential Mattes 2) – £2 each – Freedom Makeup Future Brights palette – £1.50

ALL SOLD

Makeup Revolution Matte Effect foundation in Ivory, I Heart Makeup No Shine Please primer, Makeup Revolution Ultra Face Base foundation in FB02 – £1.50 each

ALL SOLD

Left to right and swatches bottom to top – Mac x Ellie Goulding in Without Your Love, Mac Wash and Dry in Steam Heat, Mac Frost in Costa Chic, Mac Toledo in Barbecue

£10 each, or two for £18

Winky Lux lipstick in Corallo – £8

I bought this ‘Mac’ lipstick off eBay. It turned out to be a fake but its still a really nice shade (top swatch) – £6

Left to right/Bottom to top – Barry M lipstick – £2, Rimmel Kate Moss – £1, Barry M lip stain – £3 (this will be a brand new, still in packaging version, I accidentally bought the same shade twice!)

Mac x Ellie Goulding bronzer/blush duo – £9, Sephora Collection blush – £6

HD Pro banana finishing powder – £3, NYX baked blush – £4, Freedom Makeup blush – £1

I Heart Makeup Bronze and Glow/Light and Glow palettes – £3 each

Sleek Makeup colour correcting palette – £4, NYX concealer in fair – £3, Makeup Revolution The One concealer stick – £1

Sale will be based on a first come, first served basis. Payment is required within 48 hours to secure item or it will be offered to the next person.

Happy shopping!

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Get Sparkly For Summer

Who else is mega excited that the sun has finally started making an appearance?!

Sun means summer, and summer means beach days, festivals and pretty much every day is an excuse to be your best and sparkliest self – so get sparkly!

As a self-confessed highlighter addict, I make my love of all things sparkly pretty obvious, and here are a bunch of products that are perfect to get you shining away this summer:

Unicorn Heart highlighter from I Heart Makeup

I don’t reach for this highlighter nearly as much as I should do, but its multicoloured shine is perfect for music festivals and carnivals.

Barry M Dazzle Dust

I’ve loved Dazzle Dust since I was a teenager; its super pigmented and lasts really well, plus it feels so light! I have quite a few brighter shades, but at the moment I’m loving Aphrodite, which is a shell-pinky/nude which works amazing as a loose powder eyeshadow, but also when lightly dusted on your cheekbones as an extra shiny highlight.

Dandelion Twinkle from Benefit

I’m really a sucker for everything from Benefit’s Dandelion range, but I couldn’t help but pick up this new highlighter when I was last in Sephora and its so pretty!

Shimmy Shimmy Shimmer Bar from Lush

This just sorta fell into my basket when I was last in Lush.. Its a cocoa butter based bar which has the most beautiful vanilla scent, and is packed with environmentally friendly glitter! Its essentially a moisturiser which leaves you super sparkly, but you can also use it as a solid perfume and a highlighter. Rub it all over your arms and legs to sparkle away on a night out!

Illuminating Strobe Cream in Frosty Pink from Barry M

Not only is this a fab product for under £5, but this is also a highstreet dupe of Clinique’s Chubby Stick highligter which is £19.50!

Anastasia Beverly Hills x Nicole Guerriero Glow Kit

Remember when I bought this back in February and fell in love with it? Well I’m still in love with it and its going to be my best friend through the summer. Full review and swatches here!

What are your favourite summer beauty products?

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Are Lush Hair Products Worth The Money?

Something that I’m making a big effort to do in life is to choose more cruelty-free products, and towards the end of last year I switched the majority of my hair care to Lush products.

I made this change for a number of reasons. Firstly, my hair needed a major shake-up; I had to wash my hair everyday to avoid dealing with major grease issues, and secondly, I found that I was going through so much shampoo and conditioner, and probably over-using them, adding to the grease issue.

Switching to Lush products wasn’t exactly difficult, I mean, y’all know I’m a major Lushie, and I’ve used some of the products before, plus I was pretty excited to make this change to cruelty free and also cut down on the amount of chemicals going into my hair.

Now we all know that Lush products can cost a pretty penny. This has never really bothered me as I’ve always seen Lush products as a treat, and let’s face it, you can’t expect to pay Primark prices for handmade, cruelty-free high quality items, but I must admit that the thought of forking out for these on a regular basis had me a little concerned.

But here’s the thing: I’ve hardly bought any.

The switch has really been a win win scenario for me. Not only are the products so much better for my hair that I’m not having to wash it nearly as often, but I’m also being more careful about the amount of product that I’m using – partially due to be cautious of cost!

So what am I using and what am I spending?

Shampoo bars – I’ve switched from liquid to solid shampoo. Lush’s shampoo bars range from £6-8, and I tend to alternate between Seanik, a seaweed and seasalt based bar, which is available in all Lush stores, and Jumping Juniper, which is my all time favourite, although its now an Oxford Street and online exclusive. Now although I say alternate, I switched to shampoo bars back in October, and I’m only just starting my third one about now; generally I find the bars last at least 2-3 months washing every 2-3 days. Total spent since January? £12.50

Psst! Shampoo bars have no packaging, so make for a much happier environment!

Conditioner – I must admit that I was onto a winner with my first trial of American Cream, and I haven’t tried any others since – I mean if it ain’t broke? It smells so beautiful and I end up sniffing my hair all day. Conditioner being the product that I’m most guilty of over-using, I’ve really reined myself in and am using a fraction of the amount as I have done with regular branded conditioners. Total spent since January? £17.95

Rub Rub Rub – one of my favourite little Lush hacks is using my favourite shower scrub to clean my hair every now and then. Every 2-3 weeks, I’ll do a wash with a handful of this seasalt body scrub, and the results are fantastic. I’ve bought a few tubs of this, but I use more of it on the rest of my body than I do my hair!

So when your typical bottle of shampoo or conditioner costs £2-5 (and we all know that the conditioner runs out much quicker than the shampoo!), and lasts a month or two depending on how much you use it, I don’t actually think there’s that much of a difference in the amount of money I’d be spending on the market leading brands, and I’ve really noticed a difference!

I used to have to wash my hair daily, or risk a greasy second day, and now I can quite happily go 2-3 days between washes, and my hair just generally feels so much lighter and cleaner! Let’s just say, I’m not gonna be changing back!

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Lesson Learnt by a First Time Fake Tanner

That’s right. First timer..

I’ve always thought myself lucky in that I’ve always tanned fairly well naturally, but that generally involves spending a lot of time in sunshine, which is something that I haven’t really had much of recently, and with my trip to California looming, and my legs shining whiter than the moon, I decided that I was going to do something about it.

Being a first timer, I knew that a proper fake-tanner was never gonna be a good idea, so instead I opted for a gradual tanner instead, and took a recommendation to try Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Natural Bronze lotion, and here are a few things that I’ve learnt along the way..

Always read the label

So my first tanning faux pas came the morning after my first attempt. It said on the label to wash hands after use, and did I? Well my bright orange hands in the morning might give away that answer..

Get a feel for it

If its your first time using a particular product, trial it carefully. Either test it on a small area that can’t be seen, or do a super light layer to see its effects before you totally slather yourself in it.

If you’re uncertain, go gradual

There was no way I could have thrown myself in at the deep end with a regular fake tanner on a first attempt!

Even coverage matters

Even when using a gradual tanner, being sure to get a clean spread is still super important to avoid any weird lines or streaks.

Creases collect

Knees, armpits, ankles are a few of the biggest culprits, watch out for weird lines and darker patches!

Exfoliators and scrubs are your friends

Orange hands, weird patches, these products are like little erasers.

Results are slightly addictive

Once you find a product and a routine that works and you start seeing results, you might find it a little difficult to stop.

I’m really happy with the results I’ve been seeing, even after just a few weeks. It started out as just a way to fake it until I get to California and can build a little bit of a tan for myself, but I may just have to keep it up through the summer, especially as everyone knows you can’t trust the UK sun.. But also cos its cocoa butter based and it smells delicious.

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Too Faced Sweet Peach Glow Palette

I’m gonna say something controversial: the Sweet Peach eye palette did not excite me. Aside from the peach scent, I couldn’t find any reason to justify the money for shades that I probably wouldn’t wear very often.

Now when they released the Glow palette on the other hand, it hit all the spots for me, and when I finally got to see it in person I knew that I’d be taking it home with me. Not a drop of regret.

The palette consists of a highligher, a blusher and a bronzer, and that peach smell every time I open the lid is just too perfect. The packaging is, of course, adorable, from the tin to the peachy pattern on the product itself. And speaking of the product..

Top – highlighter, Middle – blush, Bottom – bronzer

Oh. So. Creamy. All three are so buttery and soft, and blend so nicely – honestly I feel like its a pleasure to apply them, not to mention how nice my face smells with them on. The shades are subtle but buildable, and all compliment each other so well! Considering its a ‘highlight’ palette, my favourite product is actually the blusher; peachy shades are my faves so this ticked every box for me, and I prefer this one to the stand-alone blush from the collection. I also love the fact that the bronzer isn’t too dark, because nothing annoys me more as a pale girl than bronzers that look like war paint, but it does come out a little orange if over-applied. As for the highligher, its pretty, subtle and perfect for a more natural look, but also the golden undertones make it versatile for an evening look too.

I’m not a big eyeshadow person, so I’m really glad that Too Faced released more face products to the Sweet Peach range, and considering the individual blushers are £25, and this retails at £34 and includes two more products, so its more cost effective, right?

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