Barely there blush

Chanels Joues Contraste Powder Blush in the shade Rose Initial
I recently decided to treat myself to a new blusher and since I have never tried any Chanel beauty products I thought why not splurge a little as a treat! I actually picked up Chanel’s Joues Contraste Powder Blush in the shade Rose Initial at the airport on the way home from my trip to Berlin, so it was duty free which is always a bonus and definitely justifies the splurge (that’s what I am telling myself anyway…)

Since spring is the air I decided I wanted to go for this really pretty pink shade for the barely there blush look. The rosy pink colour has a touch of peach to it, especially in the sunlight, which is the perfect shade for me as I find peachy shades flattering for my pale skin. It has a slight gold shimmer but not enough that it is glittery and off putting thankfully. Once blended in the shimmer can hardly be seen and I find my skin looks more glowy and youthful rather than shiny.
The pigmentation is pretty much perfect for me. I’d go as far as saying it is the Goldilocks of blushers, not too much and not too little – just right! It is quite sheer and delicate, but it is very much buildable, so if you like a stronger look it is easily accomplished, but if like me you can be heavy handed with the blusher, this will be your best friend as there is no risk of looking like a clown.
Chanels Joues Contraste Powder Blush in the shade Rose Initial

The blusher comes in the standard black packaging with a little velvet pouch to keep it in if you are feeling fancy. The compact has a full sized mirror on the inside which is really helpful if you like to carry blusher in your handbag for touch ups. There is also a mini brush which is fine and definitely does the job for on the go use. I have noticed a couple of the bristles coming loose but nothing to complain about as I wouldn’t use the brush for everyday application.

If you are looking for a pretty spring blusher then I really recommend Chanel’s Joues Contraste Powder Blush in the shade Rose Initial for a natual hint of colour.

What is your go to blusher for spring? What Chanel products do you recommend?

Why you should pack your bags and hop on a plane to Berlin

I’ve been pretty absent from my blog and twitter since December as it has been so busy at work recently. Everything is a bit up and down right now so we have all been pretty snowed under. Blogging is like a second job, so after a hard day’s work I wasn’t really feeling much like writing anything. So a couple of weeks ago in an act of spontaneity, Ben and I booked last minute flights to Berlin for four days of culture, good food and a fantastic chance to get away from our every day stresses and immerse ourselves in something new.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Berlin, but I have to say I really loved it. The city is steeped in history and architecture so there is so much to see across the city. We spent a day doing all the obligatory touristy sightseeing, which included the Brandenburg Gate, The Reichstag Building, Checkpoint Charlie and the The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. 

I was really keen to visit The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, but Ben wasn’t as fussed because we had passed it on a bus on the way to the train station one day. I’m really glad that I convinced him to go back and have a wonder around the memorial because it was truly breathtaking. The concrete columns of varying length create an uncomfortable and disorientating environment. As we were wandering around, we noticed it was quite maze-like and when the blocks towered above you it felt very oppressive. I’m really glad we went because I think it is so important to remember what happened all those years ago.

On our second day we walked over to Postdamer Platz which is packed full of cultural buildings including art galleries and libraries. Our destination however was the Berliner Philharmoniker. I read a tip online before we went saying that every Tuesday at 1pm they open the doors to the public for a free recital in the huge foyer of the building. It was such an incredible atmosphere with people sitting where ever they could find a spot. We were treated to a duet from a pianist and a cellist and they were so talented. Ben studied music when we were at university, so he was completely in his element! It was one of the nicest things we got to do on our trip, so if you are ever in Berlin on a Tuesday, I really recommend you go along.

The food in Berlin was so good, we ate delicious (but naughty!) food every day. One of our must-try foods was currywurst, it is sausage sliced up, served with a tomato based curry sauce, chips and if you are lucky, some special curry mayo. We picked up ours for the very reasonable price of €3,50 at Hackescher Markt and it was amazing. I honestly think they need to open up some currywurst shops near bars and nightclubs in the UK because we think it makes the ideal post-drinks sober up snack!

We also took a trip to the famous Burgermeister, a tiny little burger joint built in a converted public toilet (no, really!). Oh my god. The burgers were fab, seriously one of the nicest I’d ever had so it is definitely worth a trip to Berlin just for one of those bad boys!

One of my friends from work went to Berlin a couple of years ago and she told me that we HAD to visit Fassbender & Rausch, a famous chocolate shop with a cafe just above. We ordered hot chocolates (mine chocolate orange flavoured and Ben’s mint chocolate) and honestly it was the nicest hot chocolate we have ever had and I’m quite gutted now because I don’t think anything over here will ever match up to the chocolately deliciousness!

On our last day, we went to a lovely restaurant recommended by Ben’s dad. We meant to pop in just for a coffee, but ended up ordering prosecco and dessert, key lime tart with blueberry ice cream. It was also so tasty and well presented and the atmosphere was lovely, so it was the perfect end to our trip.

Another thing on my must-do list was a walk along the East Side Gallery, a 1.3km stretch of the Berlin Wall that has been left to stand as a symbol of freedom. The wall has been painted over by famous artists and is so iconic. I loved seeing the different pieces, but Ben wasn’t so impressed because there was a lot of graffiti over the artwork which was a bit of a shame. The wall is also situated in the East Side of Berlin which was Soviet and you can really tell the difference between the East and the West.

We had such a lovely break in Berlin, and it was really nice to just get away from the stresses of work and experience a whole new city. We have both said that we would definitely go back, but we’d want to go with some friends so we could better take advantage of the nightlife scene and maybe hit some of the famous clubs! If you are looking for a spontaneous getaway, then I really recommend Berlin. 

Have you ever been to Berlin? Where are you next jetting off on holiday?

What I’d wear to Cheltenham Races Ladies Day

The Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse is this week, and Ladies Day is always the most exciting part for me because of the fashion. This year they are holding a fantastic competition #colourmemarch to bring a rainbow of colours to the races. All you need to do is go to The Festival website and share a bright outfit you would wear to Ladies Day and you could win some amazing prizes – including £2000 worth of diamonds!

So as I am feeling lucky, I have decided to put my outfit of choice forward. I am a huge fan of colour and most of my outfits contain a pop of colour, whether it is just the handbag, or the whole outfit. But seeing as #colourmemarch is all about being bright and bold, I have gone for a splash of orange with complementary sky blue.

The dress is from Miss Selfridge and is such a beautiful shade of orange I think it would look amazing on holiday with a tan. I really like the sweetheart neckline and the cutout details. I have chosen to pair it with some pretty New Look heels. The chunky heels will stop you from sinking into the grass and the platform will make them a bit comfier as it is always a long day of standing at the races,

As for accessories, a pop of bright blue nail varnish would tie the look together and keep everything super bright and a matching fascinator is a must. The necklace needs to be simple because the rest of the outfit is very bold, so a simple gold chain will work well with the orange tones and also sit nicely with the sweetheart neckline.

If you want to be in with a chance to win some amazing prizes, be sure to submit a photo of the outfit you would wear to Ladies day on The Festival website or tweet it including #colourmemarch

Good luck!

What to get your mum for Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day is just around the corner now, so if you have left it to the last minute to buy your mum a special something, then here are a few ideas to get you going!

1. Pink Grapefruit Large Yankee Candle Jar from Yankee Candle, £19.99

I treated myself to a medium sized jar of this flavour candle in January, and I have to say it is absolutely delicious smelling! I really love the fruity scents and I think that they are a good choice for mums as it isn’t too sickly and sweet. My mum hates floral scented things, especially lavender, so a fruity smelling candle would be right up her street. With so many different flavours on offer, it would be easy to find one that is suited to your mum’s taste too.

2. Blackberry Cake Stand from Marks and Spencer, £29.50

The Great British Bake Off has been back recently with special celebrity episodes for Comic Relief and every time the show is on our screens it seems that everyone is inspired to get baking. This cake stand is really pretty and if your mum doesn’t yet own one, perhaps now is the perfect time! You could treat her even more this Mother’s Day by getting your bake on and making an array of cute cupcakes to display on it.

3. Carrie Statement Pearl Earrings from Accessorize, £17

Mums love a bit of jewellery, and the best part is these Accessorize beauties wont break the bank. I love the pearl accents as they look really classy for statement earrings. These would be perfect for your mum to pair with pastels this spring, but would also look great with an LBD.

4. Dark Willow Picnic Hamper from John Lewis, £85

This picnic basket is absolutely divine! I honestly think this is a fantastic gift to buy for your mum if she doesn’t have one already. The Dark Willow Picnic Hamper caters for four people which is ideal for a little family jaunt to a park or the beach (obvs when the weather is better!) Plus there is even room for wine and you get a corkscrew included too – perfect!

5. Shea Butter Hand Cream from L’Occitane, £19

All woman love hand cream and in my opinion, L’Occitane make some cracking ones.Shea butter is one of my favourite body care ingredients as it treats all sorts of skin issues including dry, cracked and sore skin – so it is the perfect treat for mum’s hands.

6. Jimmy Choo Eau de Parfum from Feel Unique, £35.10

If in doubt, perfume is always a good choice. I love this Jimmy Choo scent, and it is also one of my mum’s top picks. It smells amazing with a fruity and feminine base and woody depths, it is utterly lovely and I highly recommend it.

I hope this gives you a little bit of inspiration for your Mother’s Day shopping. I’ve got my present, just need to sort the card out now!

What gift would your mum prefer? What gift ideas do you have for mums?

The only lip liner you will ever need…

 Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Pencil
It has been a while since I have posted any reviews here on Must Have Girl. I have been really busy at work and sometimes the last thing you feel like doing after a long day at work is planning blog posts and writing reviews. But now I am back and I will try to post as regularly as I can so I can get a bit of “me time” back into my life! So without further ado, today I am reviewing the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Pencil in the shade Ozone.

I am (like most of you I’m sure) a lover of lipstick. I love bright and bold colours the most and throughout autumn and winter I like to wear darker colours such as MAC Rebel. I find that these darker shades often feathers around my lip line – not good. I’d much rather have a crisp line of colour and the way to achieve this is with lip liner to prevent the colour bleeding. However, owning enough lip liners to match with every shade of lippy I own would kill off my bank balance rapidly, so I went in search of a solution.
When I found out that clear lip liners were a real thing I swear I could have jumped for joy. One lip liner that does it all? It has to be too good to be true right? So I decided I would have to test it out for myself, so I quickly ordered the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Pencil and hovered by the letterbox for the postie to deliver it!.
 Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Pencil

The pencil glides on really smoothly with no tugging however I did find that it was slightly drying when applied to my whole lips. Even though it was quite drying, it did stop my lipstick from settling in the lines on my lips as much as it usually would which is great. The majority of times I use the pencil, I just use it on the outline of my lips to prevent feathering. I have tried it with several shades of lippy and it has worked wonders for all of them my lipstick has stayed on in a crisp line all day

The only thing that I don’t really like about this product is that you have to sharpen it. I much prefer twist up liners as it is faster, more convenient and less messy, but I like the formula so much it wouldn’t stop me from buying this liner again.

If you want to try out a clear liner too, you can get the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Pencil in Ozone from Feel Unique for just £12.

Have you ever tried a clear lip liner? Which brand would you recommend?

Holidays are coming…

Christmas wishlist
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This weekend the TV has been awash with a flurry of Christmas adverts ranging from the famous Coca Cola advert to the new John Lewis advert featuring Monty and Mabel (if you haven’t seen it yet get on it now!) so I have been getting very excited for Christmas. This will be our first Christmas in the flat, so we are starting to think about how we are going to transform it into a winter wonderland! So for anyone else who is thinking about buying some lovely items ready to decorate for Christmas here are a few of my favourite Christmas decorations that are on my wishlist.

1. Spiced Orange Large Yankee Candle Jar from Yankee Candle, £19.99 
One of the best things about Christmas is the lovely smells that come with it! We love to burn Yankee Candles and this is one of our favourites. It smells so orangey and is like Christmas in a jar!
2. 3D Resin Stag from Marks and Spencer, £12
I have definitely inherited a stag/deer obsession when it comes to Christmas decorations from my mum who has a few different ones she displays every Christmas. This little gold stag is very cute and would be perfect on a mantelpiece or sideboard if you have a gold colour scheme. 
This candle is absolutely gorgeous, it looks so pretty that I would be reluctant to burn it! The scent of the candle is beautiful and reminds me of mulled wine.
Whilst I am not really a fan of tinsel (sorry!) I adore baubles! I could honestly wander the Christmas displays for hours looking at all the different baubles on offer – so pretty! I like the damask pattern on this bauble and it is so cheap!
5. Christmas Past Berry Wreath from John Lewis, £35
This wreath is absolutely gorgeous! The red is so vibrant and bold I much prefer it to the traditional green holly or fir wreaths. It’s just a same that we aren’t allowed to hang this on our flat door…
6. Linea Gold Textured Bauble from House of Fraser, £5.60
This bauble is just a little bit special! I love the textured effect and I think it would reflect twinkly Christmas lights beautifully. This is probably my favourite item on this wish list, and the best thing is, it is currently in the sale!
What is on your Christmas decor wishlist? What colour scheme are you going for this year?

5 reasons you should go back to basics with your cleanser

Lush Ultrabland cleanser

If you are up to date with my posts you will know that I often suffer from troublesome skin and I have tried all sorts of wonderful products in my battle to combat those pesky spots. But recently I have found myself wanting to strip my skincare routine right back to basics. I was previously using a micellar water, an eye make up remover and an astringent lotion to remove my make up and cleanse my skin but I found this process to be too time consuming, too many products and actually not very good. So when I was in Lush about a month ago I started speaking to one of the lovely girls who worked there about what I needed from a skincare product and she recommended that I try the Ultrabland Facial Cleanser.

What really sold me with this product it the fact that Lush founders have declared this their “number one desert island product”. The cleanser is very mild and feels like a thick almost buttery cream which melts down into an oily consistency. It is very rich and it feels so nourishing. Now I know we all love Lush for their amazing smelling bath bombs, soaps and shower gels however this is a very different product. I’ve read some negative reviews where people say it stink…it really doesn’t Personally I think the name is very apt because the scent is ultra bland. It is barely there, if anything it smells slightly of beeswax but it is really no noticeable of offensive. It is just very pure and not chemically or artificial smelling like a lot of cleansers

The product is typical of Lush, very natural based with no nasties in there to cause flare ups for those with sensitive skin. Ingredients include almond oil, rose water, beeswax and honey which are perfect for soothing and hydrating your skin. Although I have oily skin, I actually love oil based cleansers more than anything. They are amazing at removing heavy make up including waterproof mascara and eyeliner, and Ultrabland does not disappoint.

I apply a small amount of cream to dry skin and gently rub in to my skin in small circles. When I get to my eyes, I very gently smooth my fingertips in a downwards motion to coat the lids and lashes with the products and slide the liner and mascara away from my eyes. I like to look in the mirror at this point because you look like a scary ghost with big black panda eyes/face (depending on how crazy you get with the sliding technique) Sometimes if I’m feeling silly I will hide and try to scare him because I look ridiculous and I’m childish :) When I am done clowning around I dampen my hands slightly and rub over the product as it slightly emulsifies the oil and helps to lift grime and make up from your face. Then using a damp face cloth I wipe away the product gently and voila I am clean and have a naked face once more.

So here are my five reasons you should go back to basics with your cleanser:

  1. It is fantastic at removing all traces of make up, not matter how heavy it its.
  2. Ultrabland is so gentle and it has never irritated my skin. If you are prone to allergic reasons or sensitivities to skincare products I really recommend you try his out.
  3. The antibacterial properties of this cleanser have really helped keep breakouts at bay.
  4. Thanks to the almond oil and honey it is a very moisturising cleanser and it leaves my skin feeling plump and soft after cleansing.
  5. Aside from preservatives, the cleanser is made with natural ingredients that have been selected for their fantastic properties so you avoid slathering chemicals all your face.
If you are persuaded to go back to basics with your cleansing routine, you can pick up the Ultrabland Facial Cleanser from Lush. It is available in two sizes, 45g for £7.25 and 100g for £11.50.
Are you convinced to strip back to basics? What Lush skincare products do you rate?

The budget eye liners that are making my peepers pop

Rimmel eyeliners

So I was wondering around my local boots a couple of weeks ago and I just so happened to find myself standing in front of the Rimmel stand. I wanted to pick up a cheap liquid liner as I had just used up the last of my Benefit They’re Real Push Up Liner sample. Of course I couldn’t just walk away with one teeny eye liner…so I got three (oops!) I treated myself to the waterproof Rimmel Exaggerate Eyeliner, Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl liner in Nude and the Exaggerate Automatic Waterproof Eye Definer in Emerald Sparkle.

I tested out the Rimmel Exaggerate Eyeliner first, I really like the felt applicator. It has a tapered tip so is perfect whether you want a thin natural line or a thicker flick (see photo below). I found the liner easy to apply, but it was strange as I have been using gel liner for years so I found it very wet in comparison! I was able to create a reasonably accurate wing and it was fairly black. I did have to go over my line slightly in places but I am just quite fussy! Overall for the price, it is a pretty nifty little thing and I would pick it up again for that price. So if you are after a budget eyeliner this may well be perfect for you.

Next I tried out the Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Liner. I picked this up in the shade Nude, because I read a sneaky top tip that using a little bit of nude liner on your waterline brightens your eyes when you are tired and makes them look larger without being over the top. I had heard this tip before as a teenager, but with white eyeliner – this is seriously not a good look , it is far too obvious and doesn’t look natural! The product is very creamy and glides on beautifully. I really love the formula and I would definitely pick up other shades.

Lastly I tried out the Exaggerate Automatic Waterproof Eye Definer in Emerald Sparkle last weekend. I applied it to my upper lash line and then used the smudger to blend the colour upwards and outwards slightly to make my look slightly less dramatic. I love the effect and it was perfect to add a little bit of colour to a miserable autumn day.

Rimmel eyeliners swatches

These three Rimmel eyeliners have done the job for me and I would be more than happy to repurchase all of them. My favourite of the three is the Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Liner purely because the formula is so creamy and fab. I think I will be adding a couple more shades to my wishlist! So if you are looking for some budget eyeliners to add to your collection, I recommend these little beauties. You can buy all three from Boots for £4.99 for the pencils and £5.29 for the liquid liner – bargain!

Have you tried these Rimmel eye liners? What are your favourite budget liners?  

How Vichy Dermablend foundation has improved my confidence

Vichy Dermablend foundation

I am usually quite reluctant to try out new foundations, I have been using MAC Studio Fix Fluid for years now as I love the buildable coverage. However I do find that for me, it can slightly exacerbate oil production and I regularly have to blot to avoid looking greasier than a chip pan. Whilst I have found some products that help reduce this, namely La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat moisturiser – I felt like an improvement could be made. So after reading lots of reviews I decided to try out Vichy Dermablend foundation.

Vichy Dermablend foundation

I know that I am a MAC NC15 so I used Temptalia’s Foundation Matrix to work out which shade I needed. If you have not used this tool before it is amazing. You can find hundreds of products on there so it really makes changing foundation easy as pie. So relying on the matrix I went with shade 15 Opal and I was pretty worried that it would be too dark. When I opened the tube I squeezed a tiny amount on the back of my hand and I was a little scared I’d look tangoed, but once I applied it to my face it blended in seamlessly and it is truly the perfect shade for me! I used my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush to buff in the foundation and I have to say it applies like a dream.

I worked in thin layers and built up the product on areas that needed a little more attention. I found that it was so high coverage that I could use it like a concealer. I switched to my Royal and Langnickel concealer brush and applied a small amount around my eye area and it really improved the appearance of my awful dark circles. The product is quite creamy but has quite a matte finish – I felt like I didn’t need to use as much powder to set it.

If you have read some of my other reviews, you will know that I have previously suffered from bad skin, whilst my complexion has improved a lot over the last six months or so, I still struggle sometimes with my chin area. So the real test for this foundation was if it could conceal the redness and blemishes that I suffer from. I decided the best way to do this was to take before and after photos to see if the coverage is really all it has been cracked up to be. Now I feel a bit self-conscious about these photos as it is not something that I really want the world to see, but if it helps someone else with skin that isn’t perfect then that’s fine by me.

Before

No Make up - blemishes and redness on chin area
Please excuse the towel!!

After

Vichy Dermablend foundation after photo

As you can see in the after photo, the redness, pores and blemishes are much less visible and my skin tone looks even. I was thrilled with the result and I think that the level of coverage is great. I have worn this almost every day now since I bought it and my make up still looks good after a long say of work, my skin is less oily that it was before and I feel more confident. So in my books this is a winner and I will definitely repurchase when I run out.

If you are tempted to give Vichy Dermablend foundation a try, you can purchase it from Boots for £16 or from Feel Unique for £17.

Have you tried Vichy Dermablend before? What foundations to you recommend for high coverage?

W7 Showing Out Mascara review

W7 Showing Out Mascara
Last month my sister and I were wondering around our local outlet centre and one of the shops sells a wide range of discounted beauty products from brands such as W7, NYX, Butter London, YSL and lots more. So whenever we go shopping there we always pop in and treat ourselves to something new. The W7 stand really caught my eye and seeing as I hadn’t tried anything from there before I decided to pick up the Showing Out Mascara. I cant remember exactly how much I paid, but it was just a few pounds so I thought I’d give it a go.

W7 Showing Out Mascara close up
I like the packaging very much, the bright orange tube is great because it stands out when I am rummaging around in my make up bag whilst half asleep in the morning! The brush is  nice and thick and specially designed with a sphere of bristles on the end which is meant to help you reach the smaller, harder to reach lashes. Personally, I hate this shape, I found it quite clumsy to use and too big for reaching the tiny hairs in the corner of my eyes. 
The first time I opened the bottle, this ball of bristles caused a huge glob of mascara to fly out of the bottle and land on the carpet…not cool W7. Pretty much ruined my day and the carpet – thankfully this was at my parents house and they were replacing the carpet with wooden floorboards anyway (phew!). Unlike most mascaras, there isn’t really a mechanism that removes the excess mascara from the wand. So every time I remove the wand far too much mascara accumulates on the wand that must be wiped off before it can be applied. To me, this is a huge waste of product and if I had paid a lot more I’d be pretty annoyed! For a few pounds though I guess you can’t really complain too much.

W7 Showing Out Mascara wand close up

The formula itself is ok – my lashes looked thicker and longer than than the would be sans mascara but equally it is not the best mascara I have ever tried, my lashes didn’t look amazing, they just looked alight. I’d say this is the type of mascara I’d pick up for a festival to prevent a high end mascara being nicked from my tent, but to be honest, the messy globules of mascara flying everywhere wouldn’t be practical at all. So unfortunately, this isn’t something that I’d buy again, but I will probably use the remaining product occasionally to coat my lashes before nipping to the shops, or going to the gym.

If you do fancy trying W7’s Showing Out Mascara (please let me know how you get on if you do!), you can buy it from W7 for £4.95.


Would you recommend any W7 products? Have you tried the Showing Out mascara? What is the best mascara you have ever used?