Thursday, 14 December 2017

HOME AGAIN | THE THINGS I MISSED MOST WHILE BEING AWAY FROM HOME


I arrived back home yesterday for the Christmas period and have a stretch of three glorious weeks where I can be in my happiest place. Being in London for the past three months has been a bit of a wake-up-call for me. I struggled more than I thought possible, I have always been someone who gets restless, itches to travel on average every three weeks and gets irritated at being in the same place for more than seven days. London was supposed to be a good fit for me, I have so many friends there, I share my living space with lovely people but I experienced some of my lowest lows over the past season which has been harder for me to deal with than I thought. It's necessary and still great, but home is home for a reason. So in an effort to bring a bit of thanks this side of the pond I wanted to share all the things that I have missed about being home with my family and I am sure many of you that have experienced fleeing the nest can relate, so here goes. 


1. MOM ~ It would be impossible to try and fit in everything she does for me in a novel let alone a blog post. Little things like braiding my hair before I go to sleep (no I am not three years old but it still feels nice), asking me how I am feeling, making me tea and food better than I have ever tasted. She does it all. If I need iron tablets, a doctor's appointment, need to put money in my bank account she is there for everything. No complaints. You just can't put a price on that kind of love, it's not the convenience but the reassurance that she is always there for me that I missed the most. 


2. FAMILY ~ Generally, I get on with my family pretty well, we share similar interests and importantly the same warped sense of humour. I love them to bits. Like most millenials I hate speaking on the phone but being alone in a room in London feeling despondent calling my parents and speaking to my siblings made all the difference in the world. You don't realise how important having a support network is, until you find yourself alone and struggling thrown into a new environment. 


3. HOUSE ~ A weird and unexpected one but I love our house so much, when I first came back after a mere two weeks of being away I recall just standing in our bathroom and appreciating every inch of the space. Most of all I think that because it feels like mine and is the place I feel most comfortable is why I felt such a rush of love when I entered the front door. I have the same key from when I was in Year 7 with the same flat metal NASA teddy bear key ring and that familiarity and safeness is immediately like being ensconced in the world's warmest blanket.


4. HABITS ~ I don't know if you guys know this but I am renting a room via Spare Room which has worked out really great, it is super close to my campus and the rent is affordable. I like it there a lot and get on with my housemates well. But I still don't feel like I can be myself, I am overly cautious and on edge at times because I am in someone else's space. I constantly feel like a guest overstaying my welcome so I try and make as little noise and mess and inconvenience as possible. I can't do the things that I would normally do at home, because I feel like I am being judged (this is most likely completely irrational bear in mind I am sure they don't care, it's just the way I feel). 



5. FREEDOM ~ Leading on from my last point at home I am with my family and the security of that is immense. I can do stupid things and forget to take my mug downstairs and they don't have the inclination to kick me out. I am free to be who I am because they know me, they like me and they love me. I don't have to clean up after myself immediately if I don't feel like it (even though I do prefer to) and no one questions me if I don't leave the house for two days and I fucking love it. 


The point of this post is I felt like Dorothy in Oz for a while, and the glamour, fun and chaos of London didn't impress me much (Shania!). I hope one day I find a place for myself where I do feel at home, I really do. I would love to do a post on what it's like living as a lodger in someone else's place but out of respect for the people I live with and you guys because I do want to be brutally honest it might not be until after I leave. I can't stress enough that they are beautiful, kind, understanding people and do their best to make me feel welcome. It is just me, I can be irrational at times and it is hard to feel at home in a temporary place. Thank you so much for reading, I hope you can forgive me for being such a flaky bitch. I am ready to bring the fire, have a great week. Take care. 

What are your favourite things about your home?

Love 
Kiran

Twitter          Instagram     Bloglovin'     YouTube
SHARE:

Thursday, 7 December 2017

REVIEW | LORD & BERRY SCULPT AND CONTOUR CREAM BRONZER IN SUN TAN AND CREAM BLUSH IN HONEY SWATCHES


Lord & Berry is not a brand I have seen, read or heard much about to be honest apart from the occasional editorial and blog post that floats my way. I don't know what shops they are sold in or how they came about so in case you are in the same boat as me let's dive into a little background first. The tag line for Lord & Berry and what they are know as is being the "The Makeup Atelier from Milan", it is a makeup line with proud fashion roots with the commendable goal of empowering women worldwide. They were first created in 1992 with an emphasis on colour products as "colour is fashion". Their intention is to create products for discerning women to wear throughout their lifetime: all ages, all events and all cultures.


I admire their ethos and their ambitions. However, I do wish their packaging had a bit more to it. In the way that when Nars collaborates with fashion designers the packaging is simply one of a kind. This packaging is a lot more generic and the idea behind that is that it is appealing to every one as well as classic, chic and elegant. Truly timeless. But I would personally love a tiny little detail that made you think of it being a Milan brand because prior to doing this research I did think it was a UK brand. Additionally, this style of packaging is very typical of UK high street brands so it would be cool and more eye-catching if they had something that would set them apart from TopShop and H&M. 

Getting to the actual products. I was sent the Cream Bronzer in Sun Tan (£22) and the Cream Blush in Honey (£20). I have always been hesitant about using cream products because I do have oily skin, but on the plus side if you have texture or blemishes cream products really help disguise imperfections whilst powder can sometimes emphasise it. If I want my makeup to last I usually layer powders on top of creams which is a great tip for special events or long days. I will talk about the products individually as I actually love both of them, but I have to say the price just seems a little too high. I wouldn't class Lord & Berry as a high end brand but they are not drugstore either, they are on middling almost high street ground and for what you get I think the prices should be dropped or the packaging should be improved


Sun Tan Sculpt & Contour Cream Bronzer (£22) This is available in six shades and Sun Tan is absolutely the perfect match for me. It is described as being natural and blendable with a silky texture and velvet finish. What I love about it is the shade first of all is extremely flattering and wearable and you can apply it in so many ways. I have tried it with a sponge, with my fingers and with a dense synthetic brush. All methods work really well and it would be basically impossible to mess it up. You get 0.20oz of product and it lasts for 12 months once opened. 


Honey Cream Blush (£20) The cream blush is available again in six shades and if I had picked out my shade myself Honey would have been my top choice. It is a soft peachy coral which is one of the most universally flattering blush shades. Unlike the bronzer I only apply this with my fingers and it is definitely buildable. It doesn't move around the foundation underneath, blends seamlessly and suits my skin tone. It does feel slightly waxy at first but I think that is what helps it blend into the skin, it quickly dries and doesn't feel sticky, wet or oily which would be my biggest concern. The blush looks a lot smaller than the bronzer but actually according to the packaging the blush contains 0.32oz of product whereas the bronzer which is twice the size physically contains 0.20oz. I feel that is slightly deceptive because of the size difference and higher price. It also makes no sense so I am hoping it is simply an error because you would want your bronzer which you apply almost everywhere to contain a lot more product than your blush which you only apply to your cheeks. I will check this with my contact and get back to you. This lasts for 24 months.


Overall, I think they are both great products. Cream products are difficult to get right. You want them to be pigmented but not crazy, comfortable to wear but not slippery or patchy and I think these formulas are top notch. The cream bronzer is truly the best I have ever tried, I can't compare the cream blush because I have only tried one other in my lifetime. The colours are spot on, although I would appreciate some darker and cooler colours in the bronze range for deeper skin tones and for contouring. I think the packaging unfortunately does them a disservice and the pricing is too high based on that. The products themselves are phenomenal and I know I will repurchase the cream bronzer again for sure. 


Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this review. These products were sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I am always fair and honest in my posts so you have nothing to worry about. I would love to hear your thoughts on these products. Have you tried them? Have you tried anything else from the brand? Do you think their prices are too high or too low? Please leave me a comment and let me know. Check back on Sunday for my next post. Take care. 

What do you think of Lord & Berry products?

Love 
Kiran

Twitter          Instagram     Bloglovin'     YouTube
SHARE:

Monday, 4 December 2017

#WINTERISHERE | WINTER SKIN SAVIOURS + NOVEMBER BEAUTY FAVOURITES


December has arrived, in fact we are three days deep in December so you are fully sanctioned to freak out. Have any of you started your Christmas shopping? I need to get a move on, December is the month of birthdays for me as well so it is imperative that I get my shit together this year. If you have any great gift ideas, or you have read a helpful post please help me out, tweet me or comment or even leave me a covert email so no-one can stalk your internet activity and find out what you are buying them. Today I am actually going for my first Christmas dinner, it is raining outside and I have a red scarf so safe to say I am feeling pretty festive. The winter months always wreak havoc on my skin, it doesn't know which way is up and which way is down, of course the body weight in chocolate I consume daily doesn't help matters. Have you tried those giant Dairy Milk Oreo bars? So so good. 

Moving on, these six products are what have my skin and base looking somewhat healthy and normal. Your skin is so important so I try to pay additional attention this time of year with all the parties and celebrations and the inevitable weight gain I want my skin to be in ship-shape. I have three primers, a bougie hand serum and two foundations to talk about, but don't worry I will be quick and you can go back to enjoying your Monday post-haste. 


Laura Mercier Hydrating Foundation Primer (£30) I got this primer free after I had blown an extortionate amount of money in Space NK one time. No regrets. At first, I overlooked it as I have oily skin so in my eyes I had no need for a hydrating primer, but that was a mistake. Your skin can always use extra hydration and above everything this primer makes such a gorgeously smooth and plump base for makeup. This would be a great option for mature skin I think and a little goes a long way.

Too Faced Hangover RX Primer (£27) My sister complains about her dry skin from time to time so I purchased her this cute primer last Christmas and like most gifts I give to people I sneakily used it on the reg myself. It is a great primer and one of the reasons I love it is I feel it is moisturising enough that you can skip moisturiser altogether. My favourite thing about it though is it smells like coconuts. So when you are getting up at the crack of dawn and you have five minutes to look lively what better way to start your makeup routine. Coconuts forever will remain one of my favourite scents. I think it is because it reminds me of Bounty chocolate not holidays or the beach.

NYX Angel Veil Primer (£13) One of the best discoveries of this year for me, I have heard so many people rave about it and recommend it for me. Thank you to Nicole from The Glam Surge because of her I tried this and I have never looked back. This is a primer I use daily and I feel I can never use too much. Most mattifying primers in my experience tend to use the less is more ideology otherwise it makes your foundation weird, but this one is a complete fuss-free product for fussy skin. It leaves a slight white cast at first but doesn't change the colour of your foundation. Recommend to all. Eager to try Hourglass Mineral Veil as well, that is supposed to be a holy grail for oily skin.

Verso Hand Serum (£50) I reviewed this product for Really Ree, a fantastic UK beauty site, and the name serum really threw me for a loop. It is essentially a hand cream that does so much more, like a serum for your face this is anti-ageing and protective. It is thick and nourishing and you don't need to reapply a million times a day to get soft, beautiful hands.

Maybelline Matte + Poreless Foundation (£7) An affordable foundation with a high end formula, I am in dire need of a darker shade but the finish and wear of this foundation rivals some of the most expensive on the market. It blends and wears throughout the day beautifully, perfect for touch-up free days. One of the best foundations I have ever tried that actually looks good year-round. I have found people with dry skin and people with oily skin both adore this foundation.

L'ancome Teint Idole Utra Foundation Stick (£25.50) Stick foundations can be tricky, majority of the time they can be too creamy and can slip around or let oil through too easily. This stick foundation is a cut above the rest, if you are looking for a long-wearing stick foundation that truly lasts this will be a fantastic choice. The coverage is brilliant, the finish is beautiful and it has a built-in SPF 30 which can never hurt. One of the best foundations for oily skin I have tried, it doesn't look heavy, builds effortlessly and blends like a dream. 

Thank you so much for reading, hope you enjoyed this list of current favourites. It takes a little more effort these days to get my skin to co-operate but these products are the best of the best. I would love to hear about the products that save your skin on bad skin days, and what you reach for as we slip into the colder months? I hope your Monday starts wonderfully, have a great week. Take care. 

What are you favourite winter products?

Love 
Kiran

Twitter          Instagram     Bloglovin'     YouTube
SHARE:

Thursday, 30 November 2017

FAVOTELL 2 YEAR ANNIVERSARY FASHION EVENT


Truly, I never get over being invited to events in London. There is something so magical and unique about this city and the event I attended two weeks ago showcases all the things I love and cherish about London. Favotell had their 2 year anniversary where they celebrated designers from all over the world. All women. All from various cultural backgrounds and of different ethnicities. All unbelievably talented. Their designs were eye-catching and detailed and this isn't an event I would normally think I would enjoy but it was such a great experience for me.


Dressed quite casually myself I did feel a little out of place, the guests were just as trendy and exquisitely attired as the models. I loved that each designer talked about their inspiration. There was everything from silk lingerie to athleisure to couture. My favourite was the House of Radha designs. Bold and brilliant dresses that take inspiration from the animal kingdom but still manage to be elegant and sophisticated enough to be rocked on the red carpet. Each dress was so stunning and the models wore the hell out of them. 


It was such an honour to be invited and exposed to designers that I would never otherwise meet. I loved that each designer shared how they got started and how they were all on the verge of their big break or had just garnered the recognition they rightfully deserve. I think it's amazing that someone can take a concept and actually make a physical thing out of it, that is worn and admired. It's art.


Surprisingly, I fell a little in love with the athleisure looks. The leggings were so cool. There were photographers and bubbles and I felt a little out of place. I was thankful I had my sister there with me and we both had such a wonderful time, so thank you so much to Favotell for having me. 


Thank you guys for reading, I really appreciate it. I am feeling emboldened as of late. I literally just tweeted about how I am being wasteful of my time recently, I could be and should be doing so much more. Being in London was supposed to be this amazing opportunity where I could spend a year dedicating my time to all my varied interests instead of committing to a demanding job for most days every week. It is time I took full advantage, so your support and kindness means everything. Please follow me on my social media and YouTube, I hope you take this journey of improvement with me. It will be slow going I am sure, but I am determined to make some changes round here. Take care.

What is your favourite city?

Love 
Kiran

Twitter          Instagram     Bloglovin'     YouTube
SHARE:

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

FIRST LOOK | URBAN DECAY DISTORTION EYESHADOW PALETTE SWATCHES


Nothing excites me more than the news of a brand new limited edition Urban Decay eyeshadow palette. It is no secret that UD are the creators of my favourite eyeshadow formula, their colours and pigmentation are unique and extraordinary and they create well thought out palette which can produce a wide array of gorgeous eye looks. The new Distortion Eyeshadow palette contains 15 shadows and is a twist on the classic eye palette containing five "transformer" duo chromes in addition to ten stunning shades. My biggest concern with this palette is that out of the 15 colours up for grabs only one, Blackout is matte. As a strong matte lover myself this is slightly alarming. Retailing for $48 in the US, available on the Sephora website and I imagine around the £40 mark in the UK, this truly is an interesting palette but most likely won't appeal to everyone. Images in this post have been captured from Leesha's (xsparkage) video review so please check that out for more details. You can watch the full video below before scrolling down for swatches. 


The palette is designed to be used vertically, there are three rows of five shadows. The top row are duochromes and the two shadows beneath each duochrome are great complimentary bases as is demonstrated in the swatches below. The top row of duochromes can be used alone as a topper, or placed on top of a white or black base to accentuate the shift. They can also be used on top of any eyeshadow but pair really well with the ones in the same column, just pat on top of the traditional eyeshadow for a beautiful gradient effect. 



Top Row: Bleach (gold shift), Shifty (green shift),  Space (blue shift), Mind Game (lavender  shift),  Blur (pink shift). On top of a white base the duochromes are quite subtle but still pretty and on the black base you get to see more of a base colour. I prefer using a black base for duochromes for richer colour payoff. That is a great tip if you want to make any shimmer or rich colour pop.



Second Row: First Offense (metallic burnt orange), Hot Box (deep green satin with green micro-sparkle), 5.0 (metallic medium blue), Rouge (muted medium purple shimmer), Trash Talk (muted medium pink shimmer with purple shift). As you can see the shadows directly below the duochromes are in the same colour family more or less, the green shift is above the metallic green, the blue shift is above the metallic blue etc. 



Third Row: Territorial (deep metallic bronze), Blackout (matte black), Old Smoke (metallic smoky grey), Shag (metallic silver taupe), Velvet (metallic burgundy with gold micosparkle). Even though the matte black is not extremely pigmented I do really appreciate the inclusion as depicted by the very first swatch photo a black base makes the world of difference so it is great to have a matte black shadow that can be used with all the duochromes and metallics in this palette to amplify the shimmer. Overall, I love that this palette is a little different; it is a very cool concept and although the pigmentation isn't intense across all shades they are still all of great quality. First Offense, Hot Box, Trash Talk and Shag are my favourites from the whole palette and I think it is possible to create some cool, fun looks with this palette. I wish there was an extra row of just mattes and then it would be a complete palette for me. Thank you so much for reading, leave me a comment. Take care. 

What are your thoughts on the Distortion palette?

Love 
Kiran

Twitter          Instagram     Bloglovin'     YouTube

*Images from xsparkage video here
SHARE:

Sunday, 26 November 2017

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY | REVLON PRO COLLECTION SALON ONE STEP HAIR DRYER AND VOLUMISER TUTORIAL


If you know me at all you know I don't mess with hot tools, but my hair takes such a long time to dry that sometimes I have to use a blow dryer. Revlon kindly sent me this One Step Hair Dryer and Volumiser (£60) in one and I finally got around to using it today. It is a hot tool so I would recommend using a heat protectant, I used a hair oil from System Professional and I learned quickly that it is best to brush through the wet hair first before using the hair dryer. It is best to work in sections and brush it through whilst rolling up. Overall, it took only about fifteen minutes and I have quite a lot of hair. It isn't completely dry at the moment but my arm was getting tired. I think if you are used to blowdrying your hair this will be a great time-saving tool. For someone who airdries this takes a little getting used to. I think if I continued my hair would be completely dry and nicely styled after half an hour but as it is I am pretty happy with the results as it is.


It's not something I ever would have thought of buying but I am so impressed with it and I know I will definitely use it again. You twist it from the bottom to turn it on and you just need to be careful as it is hot so keep away from your scalp and fingers. So so so I am doing a giveaway and one lucky winner will win one of their very own One Step Hair Dryer and Volumiser. All you have to do is follow me on Bloglovin' and subscribe and comment on my YouTube video. Couldn't be easier, the winner will be chosen at random and I will pass on your details to Revlon who will send you the hair dryer and volumiser directly to your address. I am so excited, I hope you enjoy this post. Watch my video below when it is finally loaded and thank you so so much. Take care.



Enter my giveaway by subscribing to my YouTube (UK only)

Love 
Kiran

Twitter          Instagram     Bloglovin'     YouTube


SHARE:

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

NAUGHTY OR NICE | KYLIE COSMETICS HOLIDAY 2017 PALETTE BATTLE


I haven't posted in a week and I feel terrible about it, at the moment I am unbelievably ill with a full on head cold. My throat feels like sandpaper every time I try to speak. I have bought a tonne of new foundations that I want to review and there are PR packages waiting to be tested as well. Rest assured, there is content brewing and coming your way shortly, and a cool giveaway. I am thinking of doing daily posts in December to make up for the inconsistency of the past few months. 


In the meantime while I try to fit everything in and actually make some decent content for you all, let's discuss Kylie Cosmetics next drop. Her Holiday 2017 collection launches 3pm PST which is 11pm UK time on Wednesday 23rd November. The two palettes are what I am interested in discussing today, one is called Naughty and the other is called Nice. Very clever and seasonally appropriate. Each retail for $44 and as I have mentioned in other Kylie Cosmetics post, I will not be buying anything from her brand purely because the prices are unreasonably high to me and the custom fees are astronomical. The packaging doesn't look very festive or interesting to me, especially for the Nice palette which is a tad disappointing. All in all, you get 14 shadows per palette. 


Naughty: This palette is definitely darker with some bolder shadows, the only shade that stands out a little to me is St. Nick it is just the perfect happy cartoon Santa red which I rarely see in eyeshadow palettes or even in single shadow formulations. Ho Ho Ho looks like a typical Christmas metallic and Unwrap Me looks like a beautiful deep wine matte. Tipsy and Coal are both great cool toned mattes that pair really well together for a smoky eye on brown eyes especially, but Merry Mint, Mischief, Emerald and Hot Toddy are boring shades to me, they look dull or odd in this selection. Personally, I don't think the names are very creative, Coal is the only shade name that fits in with the Naughty theme and I would have loved for this theme to be taken more literally. 


Nice: This palette doesn't look like anything to do with Christmas at all. Holly looks a lot like Xmas Kiss from the Naughty Palette and apart from Jack Frost, which is a stunning highlight shade for warm skin tones, Santa Baby and Holly the shade names make no sense. A lot more thought could have been put into this, I hope Kylie fires whoever is in charge of shade names because they suck on a new level of sucking. Jack Frost and Wonderland are the only colours I like in this palette. I think the four mattes on the bottom row Lullaby, Santa Baby, Macaroom and Hot Cider as well as Miracle and Wonderland from the top complement each other really well. Holly and Gingersnap look like the odd ones out and if they were replaced with maybe warm toned mauves or rich purples that palette would be more cohesive. Slay looks garish and Drummer Boy doesn't stand out amongst the rest at all. Blizzard and Gumdrop look like the prettiest metallic shades.


Disappointingly, I don't like the shades enough to be tempted by either of them. I think the Naughty Palette has more attractive packaging and a slightly more obvious holiday vibe which tips it for me. I do like the mauve tones in the Nice Palette but not enough to buy it. Overall, both seem a little nonsensical. For $44 I would expect much better packaging and creativity. The mattes seem to be nicely pigmented and blendable but the shimmers are not lacklustre about from what I can tell from Kylie's video (watch here). Thank you for reading, I would love to know which one you prefer over the other if you absolutely had to choose. Comment below your favourite, or even which one you might buy either as a gift or for yourself. I hope you're well and I am sorry for being MIA. I hope your week has been exceptional so far and return on Friday for giveaway news! Take care. 

What do you think of stick foundations?

Love 
Kiran

Twitter          Instagram     Bloglovin'     YouTube
SHARE:
© ALITTLEKIRAN. All rights reserved.
BLOGGER TEMPLATE DESIGNED BY pipdig