Magnifibres Brush-On False Lashes | Review

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Instantly lengthen lashes by up to 5mm?

The Magnifibres Brush-On False Eyelashes came in the Glamour Beauty Edit box from Latest in Beauty which is still available here however can also be purchased separately here. The product claims to extend your own lashes by up to 5mm without the glue and fuss of false lashes. The steps are as follows:

Step 1 - Apply your own mascara
Step 2 - Immediately apply a coat of Magnifibres
Step 3 - Wait 30-60 seconds then apply a second coat of your mascara to cover the white fibres

Having been using this consistently for a week now, I've found that the results do vary depending on the formula of the mascara. Wetter textures such as Benefit's They're Real I've found give better results as more of the white fibres cling to the lashes. It's easiest to do one eye at a time so the mascara doesn't dry, however I would sometimes say it's been hard to get my lashes to exactly match with one eye applying better then showing better results. I've had no white fall out from the fibres and have always managed to completely cover them without it altering the blackness of the mascara. However, once of twice my eyes have felt slightly itchy for a minute after application before I blink and clear them. 

In terms of lengthening, I think it's great compared to natural lashes but that there isn't too much of an obvious difference when compared to 2 coats of a lengthening mascara again like They're Real as shown below.

Left - natural, Right - coat of They're Real followed by Magnifibres followed by another coat of They're Real

Left - 2 coats They're Real, Right - Magnifibres as above

However, using Magnifibres does make it considerably easier to achieve this same length without the worry of clumping. I would say it gets the same results but in much less time and effort than simply layering mascara. I always find the tips of my lashes look more fluttery and separated than the mess I can sometimes end up in using just mascara. Yet it also doesn't make my lashes look tip heavy, instead evenly adding volume throughout.

It wears perfectly all day with no transferring onto my lids or with any black bits dropping down. Removing it I also have no issue with as it doesn't really feel any different from normal mascara and I haven't found my lashes to fall out which is always a worry. 

Overall, for me it is much less of a faff than I originally expected it to be so is definitely something than can be either incorporated into an everyday routine or the steps repeated multiple times for a special occasion. Photos of the product itself as well as the other items included in the Glamour Beauty Edit can be found in this post.
Lara xo

London Haul

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Nars, New Look, Zara, H&M, Superdrug . . . 

A week ago now a wrote this wishlist post having spent a day browsing London shops. I also mentioned I had a second trip planned and this time I did not come back empty handed! Having spent around 6 hours in Westfields I can safely say it is the largest shopping centre I have ever seen with a great variety of shops and I absolutely loved it. Here is what I picked up:

Nars Duo - Kuala Lumpa was the only thing on my original list I purchased as I try to save high-end purchases for special occasions, but with this I simply couldn't resist. It's actually my first Nars product though seeing how smoothly the eye shadows apply, I can definitely predict me being tempted into buying more in the future! I am conscious, however, of trying to keep its matte black packaging clean, as whilst it looks very sleek and sophisticated I fear if I'm in a rush my grubby foundation hands will quickly mark it. All the same I love the shade combination and can definitely see me using it a lot to add a little more colour into every day make up.

 I picked this bag up for a bargain £5 in New Look sale, but despite the low price tag, the leather look finish doesn't look at all plasticy as can often be the case with cheap handbags. The burgundy colour is perfect for me as it is subtle enough to go with lots outfits yet is more interesting than simply black. My favourite heels are also this same burgundy shade so pairing them together will be perfect. It is big enough to fit in my purse, phone, camera, glasses and a small bottle of water so is a very practical design whilst not encouraging over packing. The same bag but in black is still available on the New Look Website here for £9.99.

These 2 tops are from Zara and H&M respectively and both cost £9.99 (the Zara one was reduced to half price.) The first I think just looks so arty and creative and quite different from other tops. The orange collar compliments the design nicely and the hemline is also interesting with a slit near the bottom on either side then falling longer at the back than the front. For me it is a more flattering high-low cut. I love Disney so the Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald print on this H&M top made it a must for me. It is also rare to get Disney branded clothing at such a low price. The top is very over sized even though I bought a small so is ideal for just slouching around and being comfy or for when you want something a bit more baggy and airy in the summer heat.

I thought it was about time I tried some of the Barry M Gelly Nail Paints as they've been being talked about for a while. I made the most of Superdrug's 3 for 2 offer on selected nail items and bought the shades Lychee, Sugar Apple and Blueberry. I though the 2 pastels would be perfect for Summer and I find it's always useful to buy nude shades as I go through them quickly because of the number of coats they usually take to appear opaque. Hopefully Lychee won't be as sheer as some other nudes.

Overall, I think it was a pretty successful shopping trip and I can't wait to use/wear all my new purchases!
Lara xo

Making Money Online

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Survey Sites

Spending so much time online, I decided about a year ago now to look up perhaps more productive things to do. I'd always been the type who filled out surveys from companies to be entered into prize draws (because you never know do you!) so when I found that I could get a guaranteed reward and all I had to do was give my opinion, I signed up for as many sites as I could find. Since then I've realised, inevitably, some are better and more reliable than others and now have 5 which I use regularly. All are based around the same concept; you sign up and fill out a profile and then appropriate surveys based on this information are emailed direct to you or can be found when logging onto the website. You can choose which you want to complete and the amount paid depends on the time the survey takes (they range from 5-40 minutes generally). Points accumulate in your account and can then be redeemed for a variety of vouchers, both online and paper which can be spent either on treating yourself, like I do, or buying necessities such as groceries. Here's a breakdown of my favourite sites:

IPoll is the most varied site regarding surveys, but this does mean there isn't a standard time/pay ratio so it better to complete surveys selectively. As a guideline, some options I have available at the moment are £1.47 for 25 mins,  £0.67 for 20 mins and £0.59 for 5 mins; some are therefore obviously better value than others. In the past year I have earned £22.82 using iPoll on and off and available rewards include an Amazon gift certificate, an iTunes gift code or the best option, a prepaid MasterCard virtual account which I haven't found offered by any other surveys sites and can be used at any online merchant accepting MasterCard. Rewards can be redeemed from £13.48 (a strange number because its a US Dollar conversion.) 
I would say this site is best for its rewards.

I-Say (Formerly called Ipsos) because it has just been rebranded, currently has the easiest to use website. Example survey offers include 50 points for 10 mins, 175 points for 30 mins and 250 points for 35 mins. The rewards are much more consistent than iPoll and I would say it is much more likely to be offered longer surveys here than on other sites. A £10 reward is equivalent to 1380 points, however the options are slightly more limited; the only electronic voucher offered is Amazon and paper vouchers are John Lewis, a Leisure voucher (which can be used at attractions/restaurants) or a Compliments voucher (which can be used at a variety of high street stores.) Different from other sites you can also get invited to larger scale surveys through i-say such as becoming part of a Facebook focus group or completing phone diaries by installing an app. Activities such as this reap much larger rewards ; I have received £40 in vouchers for one of these before.
I-Say seems the most professional site to use.

Opinion World, I receive the most survey offers from and have redeemed £30 worth of vouchers in the past year. The minimum amount of points usually earned from a survey is 50 points, the equivalent of 50p, and can be received from even answering a couple of questions sometimes. Longer surveys can offer up to 300 points (£3). They have a wide range of both physical and e-vouchers which can be redeemed at £10 as well as offering Paypal cash redemption which I think is a definite pro for this site. 
I feel this site allows you to gain rewards the fastest.

I find My Survey a bit hit and miss sometimes; when it's good, it's great and offers regular surveys often with good value rewards, however, I've personally been experiencing quite a few technical issues which is always infuriating. With this site, it's often best to check the website as they are less efficient with emailing direct, but current surveys I have available are 170 points for 20 mins, 80 points for 20 mins and 50 points for 10 mins; again, the site isn't always consistent with rewards offered. Points can be redeemed for a huge variety of vouchers,as well as Paypal, but My Survey also uniquely offers being able to redeem points for items such as tools, jewellery and sporting equipment. 1200 points is about the equivalent of £10, however this varies depending on retailer and there are also sometimes special offers therefore a lower redemption rate. This site does have a considerably lower redemption threshold offering vouchers from £3. 
This site is the most flexible.

Valued Opinions, I would say, is overall my favourite site because it is simple and easy to be rewarded. The rates are very consistent, normally 50p for 10 mins or less, 75p for 15-20 mins and £2/£3 for 30 mins and above, which isn't always competitive with other sites but I do find this the most trustworthy and reliable to use which, for me, counts for a lot. Vouchers are also super straight forward to claim and they offer Amazon and high street retailer vouchers, notably Sainsbury's which is good if you're looking to put any earnings towards your food shopping. The threshold is a standardized £10.50 for a £10 voucher and I have made £54.50 throughout the year. 
Valued Opinions is simple, honest and best suited for what I want.

All of the above sites also offer you the chance to redeem points for charity donations.

Overall, I think surveys sites are great if you're someone who spends a lot of time on the internet already as they can be answered easily whilst, for example, having other tabs open to browse or listening to music. They are a great and very flexible way for when you fancy earning a bit of spending money as even though each individual survey's pay is relatively low, they soon add up.  
Lara xo

Advice for First Job Nerves

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Having previously been overwhelmed with excitement at the prospect of actually getting a job, yesterday that was replaced with anxiety as I prepared to face my first shift. Now many people may have had various little jobs since they were 16, but for me this was the first time I could officially say 'I'm off to work' and I was pretty terrified, evidenced by the fact I arrived almost an hour early and then had to walk round the block twice just to try and calm myself down. Silly, I know.  But for those who might share such irrational worries, here are some things I wish I'd been told/reminded of.

  • People expect you not to know what you're doing - if you've never worked there of course you're not going to know how they like things done. Ultimately, your manager wants the job done right and quickly so they're going to tell you how they want you to do it as it saves them time in the long run. It's also always better to ask a silly question than to make a silly mistake.
  • Everyone was new once - it can be hard to believe when you see how bubbly and confident  some are, but however long ago they didn't know who anyone was either. They're going to instantly recognise you as the awkward new kid simply because they won't have seen you before. However, you can use this in your favour; when they politely ask you if you'd like to sit with them or ask what your name is don't put your head down and mumble something nondescript,  see this as an opportunity to smile and be friendly. If your first impression is a nice one, they'll be more likely to talk to you later. If you just grunt, they might not bother again.
  • Get stuck in - use your first shift to experiment. Throw yourself into any task you're given and if you finish ask if there's anything else you can do. Don't worry about pestering but do make sure you work efficiently and don't rush. If you try out as many different things this time and get all the questions out the way, you will look and feel so much more confident on your next shift. Plus your manager/supervisor will probably have learnt your name and who you are through this which is always a helpful bonus. If you think there's anything important you learnt, make a note of it either then if you can or when you get home; you may think you'll remember it but ensures you won't have to ask the same questions again.

And even if it all goes wrong, at least you're getting paid for it so can comfort yourself later with either a shopping trip or a food based treat! 
Lara xo

London Shopping | Wishlist

Thursday, 17 July 2014

If I Were a Rich (Wo)Man . . . 


As a post birthday treat, I took a trip to London yesterday for a show, meal and a spot of shopping. Admittedly, most of it was a case of just looking, however with another trip to London planned for next week and an ever increasing wish list, the prospects for my bank card aren't looking too good. Living in a town with limited shopping facilities, I found myself drowning in the huge array of stores along Oxford Street and here are some highlights that may just be finding their way into my home.

1)  One store I particularly wanted to visit was Victoria's Secret having lusted over American bloggers' hauls for ages. I was specifically looking for sportswear (new gym clothes are always a motivation to get back to it) but for the prices I was very reluctant to buy anything despite wanting the adorable trademark pink shopping bag I'd seen everyone with. Whilst looking for alternatives, I found the H&M sportswear collection which isn't stocked at my local store and I must say I was pretty impressed. This pair of grey running shorts were a particular favourite.I especially liked that they are lined with a contrasting pink tighter inner short and for £14.99 are definitely a cheaper option.

2)  From looking online at shades, I've really felt a desperate need for a Nars duo but when I saw this 
at the counter I thought it was the perfect colour combination. It's called Kuala Lumper and reminds me of the hyped Estée Lauder raisins duo I was always gutted I never got my hands on. The lighter shade is a rose gold colour and would be ideal for a subtle lid option whilst the other is an aubergine-y purple  that would really bring out blue/green tones in eyes. Out of my wish list I think this is the item I really want the most.

3)  This Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in bronze for me is just the perfect summer multi-use item. From swatching the shades I think they would equally work well as individual eye shadows as well as using it to create an overall glow as intended. My only concern would be whether it would appear too bronze on my very pale skin.

4) I've never been a perfume fan, always being far too fussy that it was too sweet, too lingering, too floral, too masculine ... In fact I don't even own a single bottle, only small sample vials that I'll use if I feel in the right mood. Of course, I was first drawn to the packaging of this (admit it, we're all a sucker for the appearance of products sometimes) but I'm so glad this drew me into taking a sniff as it really does smell divine. Daisy Dream by Marc Jacobs just had the most subtly 'pretty' scent which isn't too much or too little of anything. I had to spend the rest of the day resisting walking around with my wrist glued to my nose. This is definitely an unexpected item on my wish list, but one that if not bought, will almost certainly be making an appearance on my Christmas list (too soon? Maybe . . . ) 

5) Finally something that there's been a lot of hype about; the Benefit They're Real Push Up Liner. When I first saw this released I thought nahhh, I don't need that, I do just fine with my drugstore pot of gel liner and little brush, however then the lady at the Benefit counter cast her magic spell and now I feel it creates such a perfect, precise and even line that it would make the whole eyeliner chore so much simpler. If you've tried this, please tell me, as I want to know whether it was just her training which made this look so easy or if it actually is!

I think wish lists are great; they help you remember everything you saw but give you the time to consider if you still want them later on. I personally keep a list in my phone whenever I see something which also lets me compare whether I really want a new item so much more than another product that may already be on there. 

With the plan being to go to Westfield's on Monday, hopefully I'll be ticking things of my wish list and not just adding to it!
Lara xo

Center Parcs 2014 | Part 2

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Sherwood Forest

Following yesterday's exciting adventures, here's the second half of photos from my long weekend at Center Parcs.

The freedom having a bike (with the tempatation of using the car removed) is great for exploring and connecting with your surroundings a little more - here we took on the challenge of finding lodge number 1 and then cycling to find lodge number 983

Photogenic squirrel posing perfectly for the camera

Riding a pedalo - a surprisingly hard task for those with legs lacking a little length

Not the best photo but definitely the best brownie

Always being reluctant to return home, after leaving Center Parcs itself, we headed into Nottingham's city centre for dinner. Following a quick view of the castle and a drink in the supposed oldest inn, we ate in Jamie Oliver's Italian branch which was both reasonably priced and more importantly absolutely delicious! I opted for a small portion of penne carbonara to ensure I had room for a desert and it was definitely a good choice - I devoured a warm, perfectly gooey chocolate brownie with salted caramel icecream and pieces of caramel popcorn - I need to learn how to make this beauty! That concludes a short yet extremely action packed holiday; bring on the post holiday blues in 3 . . 2 . . 1 . . 
Lara xo

Center Parcs 2014 | Part 1

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Sherwood Forest

Having just spent the most amazing long weekend away at Center Parcs, I think it's an automatic response to now share some of the highlights - and yes food is a definite feature!

So disappointing that this isn't a lunch option for today!

I didn't particularly expect to enjoy archery but I loved it (especially when competitiveness kicked in)

What makes Center Parcs so great is the sheer variety of activities - pictured here is field archery and rowing boat hire but the entire first day I spent on a his and hers spa day where too much relaxing was going on to pull out the camera. We were treated to full access of facilities from 9-6 with breakfast, lunch and a cheeky glass of champagne after our massage/facial treatment. I've never seen so many different spa rooms with every level of heat and humidity and it really was the perfect pamper day to kick off summer. Some other unphotographed ventures include badminton, tennis, squash and of course crazy golf (a personal favourite which may have something to do with the fact I won) and this is just the first half so be sure to check back for part 2 tomorrow.
Lara xo

Travel Make Up Bag

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Preparing for the Hols!

This Friday I'm off to Center Parcs which is somewhere I've been to pretty much yearly for quite a while. I just love the variety of activities there and, even better, now I'm 18 I'm set to enjoy a full spa day on the Friday with my boyfriend with a massage, a facial and everything. Although I'm only going away for a long weekend, my family are actually off to France for nearly 3 weeks, so I'm going to be moving between several places, none of which will be home. This left the very daunting task of packing for that long. Make up bag wise, here's the selection I've finally decided on.

The bag is from Smashbox - ones of those free gift with any purchase deals which I think always makes it worthwhile signing up for company emails so you get to hear about them. It's compact enough for travel but also quite easy to keep organised because of the compartments. In one side I have tubey shaped products like mascarara, concealer and lip balm and in the other is flatter products such as powder and my go to Naked Basics palette. Brush wise, I'm keeping them in their own travel bags but will bring the Real Techniques Core Collection, a Mac travel set and my favourite bargain 4 eye brushes from eBay (only £3.38 for the set here)

Are you going anywhere this Summer?
Lara xo

I Got a Job!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

First Job: Challenge Completed

Oh my. The excitement. The feels. I understand this may not be the most thrilling post but I want to be able to look back and relive the pure sense of achievement. Many a time have I applied for varying jobs, often hearing nothing back in response. However, today marked that fateful occasion where I got the call. To begin with my heart was thumping. To end, I had to all but resist screaming down the phone. Now, I'm sure in time the excitement will fade, but at the moment this marks the first step in hopefully a productive gap year. I will be earning real money (beauty splurges here we come), and maybe, just maybe, find that independence I've been playing hide and seek with for years.

I cannot wait (bring on looking back at this in the future and let's see if I still feel the same!)
Lara xo

The Glamour Beauty Edit 2014

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Latest in Beauty Summer Collection

My LIB Box arrived and gosh was I excited! It's in a beautiful neat and crisp white box with hot pink accents and the way it was packaged inside really did appease my organised mind.

As always it came with an information card describing all the products as well as a list of offers from some of the included brands. Then we we're into the goodies!

Toni & Guy Volume Plumping Whip
A good sized pot of mousse with the standard instruction of scrunching into towel dried hair and then blow drying. Having long straight hair I'm sure I'll get use out of this as I'm constantly looking for ways to stop it looking so weighed down. However, I am always disappointed with the smell of Toni & Guy products; I find they all have the same not particularly great but inoffensive scent  especially compared to other hair-styling brands.

Hawaiian Tropic Satin Protection Ultra Radiance Sun Lotion SPF 30
For once, a sun cream without that obvious scent! This subtly smells of coconut and doesn't feel greasy on the skin as some sun lotions can. It is very easily absorbed, however be aware that a little really does go a long way. I also found it quite moisturising which is good if you're on holiday and spending a lot of time either in the sea or a chlorine filled pool.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
I'm always a bit wary of oils as sometimes it can feel like I'm prepping my skin for frying, however, this product I surprisingly really liked. I found it actually sunk nicely into the skin rather than sitting in a greasy film so was quite softening and moisturising for my face. More impressively it removed make up, especially around the eyes, so gently and with such ease that my eyelashes are definitely going to thank me as when removing heavy or dark shadow and liner I can be prone to losing a few. I'm not sure I would use this all the time, as I do still prefer the texture of other cleansers, however when I'm wearing a lot of make up I will definitely turn to this.

Velvotan Tanning Mitt
This has a very soft surface which feels gentle on the skin and I look forward to using it pre-holiday. On my teeny-tiny hands it does feel quite large, but I'm sure this will come in handy when trying to reach my back.

Magnifibres Brush-On False Lashes
I've seen a lot of products like this floating around on YouTube and blogs recently so I was excited to have one to try myself. I had a little play this morning and whilst it feels a bit alien to be putting little white flecks of what looks like cotton near my eyes, I did notice I then used a lot less mascara helping my lashes look less crunchy and more fluttery and separated. I also didn't have any issue with the white making the mascara look any less black which is something I had worried about. I plan on doing a full review on this with side by side comparisons soon.

Bourjois Cream Blush
Each box contains one of three shades and I was very pleased with my option of 01 Nude Velvet which offers the perfect subtle flush. I'm always conscious of blushes because I find with my fair skin and freckles they can sometimes go a bit funny looking. However, this was super easy to apply (I used my fingers) and just made me look healthy. Consistency wise, whilst it feels creamy in the pan, it very quickly turns to a powder texture when applied to the skin. The packaging also makes a very staisfying magnetic click when closed. Only down side is, as you can see, my mirror came with a bit chipped off which is surprising considering how well this box was packaged.

 Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick
You can see swatched above both the shade I received in the lipstick (Starkers) and the cream blush previously mentioned. Oh my, I think I've found my perfect nude. It's dark enough not to wash out my face and erase my lip line but light enough to still not look too brown and muddy. I also love that its not overly peachy as some nudes can be as I find they can then make me skin and teeth look very yellow. The formula is moisturising and leaves a natural looking finish which is neither shiny or super matte. Illamasqua's website is great for looking at more swatches and I definitely recommend taking a look. By far my favorite product of the box and great that this is worth £18.50 on its own therefore more than the whole box itself.

Rimmel Sun Shimmer Instant Tan BB Skin Perfector
Oh dear, this is a product I really can't see myself using. As you can see my fair skin tone definitely doesn't need a medium shade tan. It is way to dark and I had to show it on my hand because on my face it really does look comical. Overlooking this, as you can see it does blend out evenly without any streaks and isn't too orange in tone. The finish is matte as it claims to be and thankfully it does also wash off very easily just by using soap and water. The scent I don't like as I find it lingers and smells a little elderly, however in terms of tanning, I'm sure this does an excellent job as long as you're a darker shade to start.

Crabtree & Evelyn Nail Laquer
The box comes with either the red or pink variation (called 'petal pink') of this polish and I was thrilled when I spotted the pink. It  looks the perfect subtle baby shade that for some reason I seem to be missing from my collection. However, like many paler colours, when applying it is so annoyingly sheer and thin that on some nails it took 5 coats to reach the pictured level of opacity. Having, said that, the thin consistency does mean it dries quickly between layers. I know will persevere with this as I'm in love with both the flattering shade and the glossy finish, but I really do wish light shades would be made to be more opaque as no-one wants to be able to half see white tips poking through.

Best Products - Illamasqua Lipstick, Bourjois Cream Blush
Worst Product - Rimmel Instant Tan

This is definitely a box worth purchasing because of the range of good quality products, many suitable for everyday use. Unlike subscription boxes containing a majority of mini or samples sizes, I find LIB boxes really are a good deal. You can buy it on the website here for £16.95 including p&p.

Lara xo

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