[GIVEAWAY] No7 Match Made lipsticks

No7 match made lipstick

With V-day round the corner, the red lip is where it’s at. Whether single or paired up, with our extra special giveaway, you can rock a red lip this V-day!

Finding the perfect red lipstick can be something of a challenge. I’ve written about finding the right red for me before – and since discovering the No7 Match Made service, I’ve become addicted. My latest addition isn’t one from my colour match but I think that’s the point. The Match Made service gave me the confidence to try out a red lip and from there, I’m happy to go ahead and push my comfort on the red lipstick front.

Like Flame that was the first red that I actually liked to wear, my latest red is on the coral/orange red spectrum. Hot Paprika is a hot fiery orange-red shade that will match up to lots of skin tones.

The key to finding the right red is to try, try and try again! I would totally recommend trying the No7 Match Made service which is why this giveaway is all about the service and finding the right red for you!

We’ve got 10 No7 lipsticks to giveaway, to celebrate Valentine’s Day (the 10 shades we have are: Sweet Chestnut, Brick Red, Soft Ruby, Raspberry Truffle, Deeply Pink, Soft Cherry, Magenta Shine, Pomegranate, Pillarbox and Blushing Rose). We’re going to give five lucky winners, two new lipsticks! To enter, tell us which shade you are (yep, you need to pop into your local store and get matched – it’s free!) and where you’ll wear your new lippy.

The giveaway is open to UK readers only. To enter you need to comment here (with your choice of lipstick) and head over to show some love for our Facebook page with a “like”.

The giveaway is open for two weeks until midnight on Thursday (26 February). Winners will be picked at random.

For an extra entry, share the post about the giveaway that’s on our Facebook page right now.

[BEAUTY] No7 Spring Collection

nails

I do love a new season make-up collection. Particularly a spring make-up collection which heralds the beginning of the end of winter.

no7 spring make up collection

No7 have already released their Spring collection and I’ve been playing with the new polishes and shadow set for the past week.

no7 spring nail polishes

The new nail shades are bright and hopeful for the new season – a coral which is more of a pretty pink that will ease you into the warmer weather – when it comes! – and a lilac which reminds me of fresh spring buds.

no7 spring eyeshadow palette

The best part of the new collection is the eyeshadow palette. The new palette offers a neutral option with four pale, nude shades and four darker brown colours.

no7 spring palette

This is definitely a palette for me – one of the shades in the lighter section is my go-to everyday shade of Mink. I wear this practically every day as a wash over my lids. The slight shimmer means my eyes look a little more done than if it was matte. If I want to mix it up (i.e. I have time!), I might sometimes add a darker shade in the crease. The four darker shades in this palette all complement each other. I’m not sure I will need another palette again.

How are you saying goodbye to winter?

[BEAUTY] Battle of the make-up brushes

battle of the make-up brushes

battle of the make-up brushes

It’s the battle of the brushes on this week’s beauty spot. I’ve been using No7 brushes for years, the £5/£3 off vouchers have made them affordable and they certainly have longevity. But they were looking a little sorry for themselves so I asked for some new ones for Christmas from the in laws.

I’ve read a lot about the Real Techniques brushes on various beauty blogs so was keen to try them and asked for the Core Collection. Just after I’d asked, I had an email from No7 telling me they were launching a new collection of revamped make-up brushes this spring and would I like to try them. They also have a Core Collection set, so I thought it was apt to compare these.

What they do?

The Real Techniques Core Set contains four base brushes. All four brushes are a starting point for your make up application, with a buffing brush, foundation brush, blusher brush and a concealer brush.

The No7 Core Collection is also four brushes: a foundation brush, a blusher brush, an eyeshadow brush and concealer brush.

The Real Techniques brushes are definitely a taster set, the foundation brush is much smaller than you’d really want and would probably be better suited to concealer while the concealer brush is much smaller. The No7 foundation brush is a much better size. I have been using the Real Techniques concealer brush for eyeshadow as it is the right size to offer precision.

I’ve found myself loving the buffing brush in the Real Techniques collection to set my foundation and blusher after application.

make up brushes

Best quality?

Both sets of brushes feel well made. The smooth, velvety handles of the Real Techniques brushes feel very luxurious and expensive. The thick handles with a flat bottle mean that they can stand up too. The plastic handles of the No7 brushes feel a little less hard wearing but the bristles feel as good and don’t feel at all loose, even after cleaning.

real techniques make up brushes

Best value?

They both retail for pretty much the same price so neither is friendlier on the purse. However, the No7 set is, in my opinion, the better value. The case for the No7 set can be added to with space for a further four more brushes. The set offers the best variety too, so you won’t necessarily need to buy anymore brushes – or at least not right away.

no7 stippling brush

In addition to the new set of brushes, No7 are introducing some new stand alone brushes. I’ve been trialling the smudger brush and stippling brush. The smudger brush is ideal for creating a smokey eye. The stippling brush is a new one for me, although I’ve seen them used by make-up artists at Fashion Week and by other beauty bloggers before. This actually applies foundation differently to a normal foundation brushes. The stippling effect and the blending after makes it look dewier (which I love) and it seems to last longer too.

What make-up brushes do you use?

[BEAUTY] No7 Youthful Replenishing Facial Oil

no7 youthful facial oil

I’ve always been slightly wary of facial oils as my skin leans more towards greasy or combination. But I have been using No7 body oil on my legs for a few years and oil on my hair too and love both, so was keen to give the new No7 Youthful Replenishing Facial Oil a go.

The new No7 facial oil is a blend of natural oils and vitamins that keep skin soft, nourished and conditioned, while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in just four weeks.

I haven’t been using the oil for four weeks yet but have been using it in the evenings for the past week and thought I’d share my thoughts so far.

I’ve been trying to moisturise and take better care of my skin in the lead up to my wedding (in less than five months time!). So trialling the facial oil has helped to add a new dimension to my skin care regime.

As I said, my skin does lean towards greasy so I have been using the oil in the evenings, rather than mornings when I’d have to put make-up over the top.

It says to use 2-3 drops of the oil but using this in one go seems to leave little for the entire face. So instead, I have been using a drop on each cheek and a third drop for my T-zone. This seems to work better.

It is greasy but it does seem to sink in quite quickly and leaves my skin feeling silky soft in the morning.

No7 Advisor Rachel Parish told us: “Throughout the colder months, more women turn to us to find out how they can keep their skin looking hydrated and radiant- a facial oil is the perfect way to do this!

“Simply apply 2-3 drops of new No7 Youthful Replenishing Facial Oil on to cleansed skin and massage in circular motions over your face and neck, being sure to avoid the eye area.

“It can be used as part of your daily cleansing regime, or alongside your favourite No7 night cream for an added moisture boost.”

NEW No7 Youthful Replenishing Facial Oil will cost £23 and will be available exclusively in Boots and on boots.com from March.

[BITE-SIZED BEAUTY] Stylish treats

Chanel les vernis nail polish

This blog is all about staying stylish on a budget but just sometimes I like to splurge. One of my treats, is Chanel nail polishes. I love them. I love the elegance of the bottles on my dressing table, I love the range of colours and the quality of the polishes. My latest addition is from the new Rouge collection. There were three polishes released towards the end of last year, a darker red, a pinky red and this, true red. I hadn’t got a Chanel red in my collection so knew I had to get my hands on one!

What do you like to splurge on?

[BEAUTY] No7 Nail Care and Treatments

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no7 nail care

During the cold winter months, it’s a good time to take a little extra care of yourself. But it’s not just your skin that you need to look after when it’s cold, your nails need some TLC too. Boots No7 have helpfully launched their new collection of nail care and treatments.

Strong and healthy nails are essential for a perfect manicure, so the experts at No7 have developed the new No7 Nail Care and Treatments. The new collection includes four products that are designed to strengthen, smooth, cleanse and condition nails.

No7 Nail Strength & Grow Treatment (£8) encourages strong and healthy growth, while also tackling weak and brittle nails. It works to keep nails split and break resistant – which is great for the cold weather. This is a new product idea for me – you apply this treatment to your nails and wash it off before applying a base coat or colour. You can follow this treatment with No7 Ridge Filling Base (£8) to smooth and conceal ridges and imperfections in an instant, giving nails the optimum base for colour application without the need for buffing. This is the product I’ve been using the most. It gives a clean matte buffed look which gives a professional and natural manicure.

The winter air can be harsh and dehydrating for nails and the new No7 Cuticle Oil (£8) leaves nails feeling smoother and more hydrated as the oil works to condition and restore the cuticles as well as the nails.

Just before applying a base coat or nail colour, you can gently brush new No7 Nail Cleanse and Prime (£8) on to nails to cleanse the surface and effectively remove stains. This is a brilliant product for dark polish junkies – like me! Nails are left looking fresh and conditioned.

New No7 Nail Care and Treatments is available in Boots stores nationwide and on boots.com now.

[BEAUTY] Finding a foundation

how to find the right foundation

I’ve been trying a few new foundations recently and thought I’d give a little bit of a review of my favourites.

I’ll start this post with a disclaimer. I hate make-up on my face that I can feel. I hate that caked feeling of layers of make-up. So learning to use different products, like primer and concealer, has been a bit of a battle. But one that I am slowly winning thanks to a bit of trial and error.

I used to always use Boots No7 tinted moisturiser. For years and years. Then they released their BB cream and I tried that. I still use this as my lazy weekend make-up when I don’t really want to put anything on but want a little colour and coverage. It goes on easily with fingers or a brush, the colour is good, despite only coming in three shades (I think!) and it doesn’t cake at all!

After chatting with No7 Business Manager, Rachael Parish, she recommended I try No7’s new Superlight foundation. I tried it and it is as light as air. Really lovely. But for, a little too matte. So off I headed to my local No7 counter and found the Instant Radiance foundation. From my first try, I was sold! This foundation is also light weight but also adds a little dewy glow which I prefer.

I’m staying true to my love of tinted moisturisers too with the newest addition to my make-up bag: Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturiser – a beauty blogger favourite. I’d wanted to try it for years but never seemed to be in a store that sold it with any time to try it. Back at the end of 2014 I had a beauty consultation at Selfridges in Birmingham. Basically you get the full attention of their beauty advisor for a couple of hours and she takes you round the various concessions and discusses what you want to get out of the session etc. Rose is lovely and approachable. Both my sister and I were after trying new foundations. I was set on the Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser. My sister was less set. I didn’t make a decision on the day but went away with a tester and my mum then got my a tube for Christmas. My sister, too, left with a couple of testers and later returned for the NARS one she’d loved. If you’re in Birmingham and looking for new make-up or a bit of a switch up, make sure to get in touch and book an appointment. They cost £30 but this is redeemable against any purchases you make on the day. So really, it’s free!

The tinted moisturiser is quite a creamy texture when it comes out of the tube. Surprisingly it actually feels slightly heavier than the No7 Instant Radiance foundation but it definitely feel moisturising and sinks into the skin quickly, adding a hint of colour too.

Normally I’d keep a tinted moisturiser like this for weekends or the summer but I’ve been wearing it some weekdays to add a little colour to my poor pale winter skin.

Do you stick to the same foundation or mix it up and try something new?