26 February 2014

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer // REVIEW

Hey guys! At Christmas I received the Smashbox Try It Kit, which included the Photo Finish Foundation Primer. I have always heard loads of hype and good comments about it, so I was really excited to try it!

The primer is clear and oil free meaning that it is perfect for anybody with oily or combination skin. I have neither of them (I have more dry skin), and although Smashbox do other primers for different skin types, from what I have experienced it would be great for all types of skin!

I use a small pea sized to cover my whole place, and when first applied it has a slightly oily feel to it, but within seconds it dries completely and goes to a matte, velvety and very silky finish! You really don't realise that you have it on, unlike some primers that I have tried in the past, because it is so weightless and not at all sticky. I notice an instant difference in the look of my skin when it is applied, without even having a concealer or foundation on! It smooths out any little lines on my skin, reduces the size of my pores and just generally makes my skin appear much more smoother and clearer.

I have tested this out with a few different foundations (in different ranges of coverages) and they have all preformed very well with the primer! I especially love it with the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation since the two work exceedingly well together. When I used to wear makeup without a primer it would look a little iffy after about 4 hours, which I am sure many of you can relate to, however now I can wear makeup, with the primer, from 9am to 9pm and it will still be in near perfect condition! 

When I first started using foundation primers I always viewed them as one of those things that weren't really important, and I should save for any special occasions or when I have to wear makeup for multiple hours - since getting this though my opinion has completely changed! It has become a staple item in my makeup bag, not just for how it keeps my makeup in much better quality for a longer period of time, but also for how it makes my skin appear smoother. 

There is one drawback though - the price! It costs £25 for 30ml, which for me is far too much to spend on a primer. In defence of it though I have been using it a lot since I received it, and barely any has gone from the tube so I would consider buying a small size because it does last a long time and I can't imagine myself not being able to use it! 

Overall I was extremely impressed with the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer and I can really see why everybody loves it! It honestly is worth the hype in my opinion and I would definitely suggest that everybody tries it, especially since this single product has completely made my changed my view of primers. 

Have you ever tried the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer?

23 February 2014

LoveLula Beauty Box February 2014 // REVIEW

Hey guys! I recently won the February LoveLula Beauty Box in Ria's giveaway and I was so happy about that, especially since it contained an EOS lip balm, which I have always wanted to try. I thought that I would do a post about the box because I always see these sorts of posts and love reading them (I admit often with a little jealously of what lovely things people get in some boxes)! If you haven't ever heard of a beauty box like this it is basically a box that you receive through the post, on a subscription basis which is normally every month, full of goodies.

The LoveLula Beauty Box currently costs £12.50 per box and is filled with lots of lovely, natural products! The box that I received is worth around £32.97 (not including the MyChelle sample pack which I couldn't find the price of) so you really do only pay a fraction of what the products would cost to buy individually.

The thing I was probably most excited about, like I said before, was the EOS Strawberry Sorbet Lip Balm (worth £5.99)! I think this was probably the first ever hyped up product that I really wanted to try, but because, until recently, they used to only be available to buy in America, I could never really fulfil that wish. So far it has lived up to my expectations, which I am obviously happy about - the formulation is really light whilst still being moisturising, making it perfect for going under a lipstick!

The next thing was a MyChelle Sensitive Skin Sample Pack (I can't find out how much this is worth but I have left the link for the MyChelle product section) that contained four sachets - a 1.9ml Pure Harmony Cleanser, 3.5ml Pure Harmony Mask, 0.5ml Pure Harmony Serum and a 1ml Pure Harmony Cream! I had never heard of MyChelle before which made me look into some of their products and they seem to have good reviews, so I look forward to giving all of these a try.

Normally I absolutely hate the smell of all products that smell of rose, so I was definitely surprised to find that the mini 59ml bottle of  the Dr Bronner's Hemp Rose Pure-Castile Soap (worth £5.49 for 237ml) actually smelt very pleasant! This is an extremely mild and gentle "18-in-1" soap that can be used for everything from general body, face and hair washing, to being suitable for pest control, cleaning dishes and laundry - I even read that you can use it as a mild toothpaste which lead to me saying "wow..toothpaste" outloud. It has a very light rose scent that reminds me of something but I just can't place, and I can imagine it appealing to lots of people as it isn't one of those obvious, bold rose scents!

Lastly was a mini 15g GlamGlow Youth Mud Face Mask (worth £49.99 for the 50ml pot) which is another hyped up product! I haven't had a chance to try this yet, so I can't give any sort of opinion on it except that it does smell lovely, but going on the comments I've heard about it I expect it to be a great product.

With this being the first ever beauty box that I have tried, I can definitely say that I was left really impressed! I can see myself using all of these products very willingly so I will have to look into more beauty boxes for the future. Maybe I will do some more beauty box posts soon!

Have you ever tried a beauty box?

19 February 2014

Guest Post - Dark Lip Round Up

Hi everyone, I'm Lauren from Makeup By Lauren Marie.

Bold Dark lips, you either love them or hate them. I personally used to hate them, well on me anyway. Everyone else seemed to look great with them on, but when I applied them on myself I looked a tad Gothic. However over the last year, I have been going darker with my lip colours and I've realised, it's all about what shade suits you best. So I gathered my fave shades all different formulas and colours so hopefully there is something here for everyone.

First up one for people who really cannot go fully dark. Soap and Glory plum jam is dark enough to rock a rock chick look without going out of your comfort zone. A glossy stick which not only nourishes the lips but plumps them up, you can't really go wrong. If you want to keep within a strict budget, MUA offer a gorgeous matte shade called Wild Berry this is again for people who don't want to go over the top with a dark lip a little darker than plum jam, Wild Berry is a gorgeous plum shade that can be build up for a more dramatic look or worn lightly for a hint of plum.

Now for people who want to rock the dark lip look we have Smashbox Red Grape this is a very dark purple shade, with a hint of red running through it, almost like a very dark red wine. This shade is slightly drying so prepare your lips with lipbalm before hand or wear with a gloss, either way this is a gorgeous shade, that will sure turn heads (in a good way of course). Next is Lancôme Prune, this one I never thought I would like but it is an absolute stunner, I actually fell in love with this when I got it, it's very glossy, moisturising and long wearing. It's on the berry side so it would suit all skin tones, but looks amazing on fair skin people. I can't describe how much I love this lipstick.

Now not all dark lips have to be plum or berry shades, red lips can be very daring. I have two for you today one that is budget friendly and one that is a little more luxurious. First up is MUA Scarlett, this is a fresh, matte red lipstick that would look amazing with minimal face makeup and a winged eyeliner. Think Marilyn Monroe but on a budget, with costing you only £1, it's a complete steal. Now if you like to treat yourself once in a while, why not opt for Lancôme Caprice, this again is a fresh red shade but it's a glossy formula, so if matte isn't your thing, this one is for you. Long wearing, great formula and amazing packaging, Caprice is not to be missed.

So there you have it. A dark lip run down, a few tips for when you wear dark lips. First up, find a shade that suits you, don't just throw on any lipstick because it's dark. Once you have found one that suits, you will be in love. Next apply with a lip brush to get precise application, you can fill in your lips before with a matching lip liner, but you can skip that and carefully apply with a lip brush. Add gloss if you think it looks too drying, never be afraid to add gloss and lastly wear it with confidence if you feel great, make sure the world knows it.

To read more from me, check out my blog www.makeupbylaurenmarie.com

What are your go to dark lip colours?

16 February 2014

Guest Post - Banana Bread Recipe

Hello lovelies. I’m Mariah from Starla Says.  

Millie wanted a guest blogger and I jumped at the chance because I love reading her posts. We discussed what would be cool to write about and we chose one of my passions: Baking. We decided on a recipe of Banana Bread as it reminded Millie of her childhood. Hopefully it tastes as good as the one she remembers!

The ingredients you need are:
·         280g of sieved plain flour
·         110g of unsalted butter
·         225g of caster sugar
·         2  eggs
·         4 ripe bananas
·         80ml of milk
·         1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
·         1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
·         1tsp of salt

You also need a loaf tin, scales and a wooden spoon. Unfortunately my boyfriend smashed my scales so I'm measuring with a tablespoon!! Make sure you line your loaf tin with butter so its easier to take the bread out.

Now...my mother and grandmother tend to just put everything in a bowl and stir. I’m sure they had the power of the Gods behind them because everytime I do that it’s a disaster. So I follow these simple steps.

1.       Mix the butter and softened butter in one bowl
2.       Mix the sieved flour, bicarb and salt in a separate bowl
3.       Add eggs and vanilla to the butter/sugar mixture
4.       Now you can put both mixtures together
5. Mash the bananas together and add to the mixture. I tend to add the bananas one by one
 to see if it balances with the batter

Mashed Bananas!!

Completed mixture

6. Add mixture to your loaf tin and place in oven for 45 mins

Lumpy Mixture!!

Ready for baking!

7. After 45 mins or so, take out the loaf and place a knife in the middle. If the knife comes 
out clean it's cooked! If not place back in the oven under a lower temperature so it doesn't burn.


8. Once the loaf is cooked, place on a cooking rack (or plate) and allow to cool. Then you can cut it and enjoy!!

I hope you enjoyed reading my guest post, and liked what I made. Come and say hello over at my blog for Beauty, Baking and Healthy Living Posts!



12 February 2014

Autumn/Winter Photography

Hey guys! When I came to writing a post for today I was facing a complete "bloggers block", where I couldn't think of a single thing to write about. This then got me looking through all the photos that I've taken, to hopefully give me some sort of ideas of what to post. I then began looking at my non-blog photography and I thought that I would do a little post to show you some of my photography from the last few months! Kathryn did a post similar to this a little while ago here, and I loved that post, which is also what inspired me to do my own version.

Most of these photos were taken on my Canon 600D for anybody who is interested!

I hope that some of you enjoyed this slightly different, shorter post! I always enjoy looking at people's photography, so if you have done a post similar to this please leave me a comment with a link to it. 

Have you been out taking photos in the past few months?

8 February 2014

1st Birthday Giveaway! Win A MAC Lipstick Or Eyeshadow In The Shade Of Your Choice!

Hey guys! Today is a rather exciting day because it is Hidden Beauty's first birthday. I honestly can't believe that I started blogging a whole year ago, it really doesn't seem like it! I also recently passed 400 Google Friend Connect followers and 550 Bloglovin' followers, so to celebrate and say thank you for all of those things I thought what better thing to do than do a giveaway for all of you.

I know how much everyone loves MAC products (especially their lipsticks), meaning that I decided that one very lucky person will win either a MAC lipstick or eyeshadow from the permanent collections, in the shade of their choice! For your chance to win this lovely prize all you need to do is fill in the Rafflecopter form below. The giveaway will last for a month and will end on the 8th of March at 11:59pm!

Now onto the rules! -

• If the shade that you would most like is unavailable you will need to provide me with an alternative! 
• The prize is either a one MAC lipstick OR eyeshadow from the permanent collections.
• You must follow my blog on either GFC or Bloglovin'.
• Sadly this is only for UK residents.
• You must be 16 or over to enter, otherwise you must get permission from your parent or guardian because I will require your address.
• Entries from competition accounts and multiple entries will not be accepted.
• The giveaway closes on the 8th of March at 11:59pm GMT and I will contact the winner by Twitter or email.
• The winner must reply within 4 days of me emailing/tweeting them, otherwise I will pick a new winner.

Thank you so much everyone and I hope the next year is just as amazing as this one has been! Good luck to everyone entering and congratulations to the future winner. 

5 February 2014

Chanel Spring 2014 Collection (Notes de Printemps) // REVIEW

Hey guys! I am here today with my review of the Chanel Spring 2014 Collection, also known as Notes De Printemps. I have reviewed the last few Chanel collections and the products are always of such high quality, so I was really happy to be sent some from this collection! 

This Spring Chanel have gone for very much a bold, feminine look as the key shades are pinks and purples! I I must say that when I first saw all of these new products I was a little wary of just how bold they are, because normally I like to stick with my "neutral basics", however Chanel have done an amazing job at making them not as scary as they may appear. As always the swatches of the three products are near the end of this post!

Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow - Diapason (92) - £24* The Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Eyeshadows are a cream/gel hybrid I absolutely adore the formulation of them! From the first look you would think that Diapason would be extremely glittery and possibly a little too purple, but it is infact quite the opposit! It has a smooth, creamy texture which helps them blend into a gorgeous light aubergine shade with some silver shimmer. I could imagine it being used to make a lovely smoky eye look because it can easily be built up to look perfect.

It is really pigmented, and you do need the smallest bit on the end of your finger to cover your whole eyelid (or in the outer corners as I like to wear it)! The lasting power is amazing too - I've applied it at 10am, with a small amount of eyeshadow primer, and it has still been there at 10pm that night, completely uncreased and intact. I think you will agree, that is fairly good!

Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour - Melodieuse (136) - £25* I am a huge fan of Chanel lipsticks (especially the Rouge Coco Shine line), the formulation is probably the best of any of the lipsticks that I own! Melodieuse is a pigmented, bright corally red shade, and I must admit that at first I was a little worried that it wouldn't suit me in the slightest, however I was pleasantly surprised. It can easily be layered to create more of a bolder shade, or you can apply a lipgloss applied to the top to lighten it up a little!

The formulation is silky and creamy, and it applies effortlessly without any tugging on the lips. The finish is almost half matte-half satin, which I think looks really nice if you are one of those people who are a little indecisive about exactly what you like! I find that it can stay in pretty much perfect condition anywhere from 3 to 5 hours after applying it, depending on if you drink or eat. It does get a little drying around the 4 hour mark, but I just top it up with some lip gloss or lip balm and it's good as new!

I do have one slight negative which is that it isn't the best on dry lips, I did notice it clinging a bit to any dry patches that I had, so this is one of those lipsticks for a good lips day. Apart from that though it is a gorgeous lipstick and well worth the money!

Chanel Levres Scintillantes Glossimer - Murmure (179) - £21* Murmure is a lovely sheer and glossy, salmon pink lipgloss that really makes my lips stand out! It gives the "your lips but better" look whilst adding a little bit of pink, and I just love that. I am normally a little wary of lipglosses, since I can't stand them making my lips feel sticky especially when my hair gets stuck to them, however with this it rarely ever happens and my lips never feel at all heavy!

I only need to apply a little bit to give my lips a completely glossed look and that is something I haven't really experienced with other lipglosses, as normally I need a few coats to make them look really glossy. The lasting power is probably one of the best bits though! It can go 6 hours easily without wearing off, and even drinking or eating doesn't really seem to effect it much. This has definitely become one of my favourite lipglosses, and it looks gorgeous by itself, there's no real need for a lipstick underneath!

I really enjoyed reviewing these three products, they all lived up to Chanel's reputation of gorgeous, high quality products! I loved all of them and I've definitely converted a little more over to the bolder makeup side of life. I would say that my favourite of the three is possibly the Illusion D'Ombre Eyeshadow in Diapason because it is such a gorgeous eyeshadow and is so easy to apply!

I hope that you all liked this review and I would love to know your thoughts on this new collection. Also I have a very exciting post coming up on Saturday related to Hidden Beauty's first birthday (and it may involve a giveaway), so be sure to keep an eye out for that!

What do you think of the Chanel Spring 2014 Collection?

2 February 2014

Natural Everyday Makeup

Hey guys! Today's post is going to be my natural everyday makeup. I would wear this if I wanted quite a neutral and natural look when I'm not doing much that day or my skin was going through a bad phase! It also doesn't use that many products, and allows my skin to breathe whilst still letting me wear makeup. Now onto what I used!


To start off my face I gently smoothed a pea-sized amount of the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer all over my skin! This is a new product that I have been trying out and so far I love it. Using the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush I blended the Vichy Idealia BB Cream, in the shade Light onto my skin, then followed up with the Nars Creamy Concealer in Vanilla under my eyes and on a couple of blemishes on my chin and forehead using the Eco Tools Deluxe Concealer Brush! To set the base makeup I dusted some of the Collection Pressed Powder, in Ivory, on top with a powder brush (from a cheap makeup brush set).


The first thing I always do to my eyes is apply the Helen E Eyeshadow Primer to help make my eyeshadow last that bit longer! For eyeshadow I used the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette, from which I applied the shades Naked 2 and Walk Of Shame (W.O.S) all over my lids using the Nanshy Large Shader Brush. In the outer corners I blended in the tiniest bit of Faint, which is extremely pigmented so you must be careful about how much you use, with the Nanshy Blending Brush!

I used two eyeliners in this look, the first being the Soap & Glory Supercat Pen Eyeliner to create quite a thin line along my top lash line, and then the Smashbox Limitless Eyeliner in Onyx on my upper waterline to create a little more definition. Then I tried out, for the first time, the Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes Mascara on my top eyelashes and I was quite impressed with it! It really seemed to give volume to my eyelashes, so I must try it out some more. To complete my eyes I used a small amount of Venus, from the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette, in the inner corner of my eye to add a subtle highlight!


The first thing I used on my lips was a Balmi in Raspberry to help moisturise my lips a little because they were pretty dry that day! Next came the MAC Lipstick in the shade Peach Blossom - which is one of my favourite lipsticks at the moment since it is a gorgeous peach shade which looks lovely and natural. To finish the lips I applied the Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss in Illume to add a little bit of a shine! I am really impressed with this at the moment as normally I don't get on with lipglosses (I hate the stickiness), however this one is barely sticky at all and gives my lips a gorgeous pop of colour whilst helping to enhance them.

That is how I complete this look! It is pretty quick to do and would be lovely to wear when you aren't doing much or it's hot (ahh I can only dream of when those warm days happen). I hope you liked this post!

What products do you like to wear when you are having a natural makeup day?