Testing Academy of Colour makeup | Gin & tonic lip balm?!

Hey everyone!

I recently stumbled upon a makeup stand with a brand name that i’d never heard of before. After spotting a £4 eyeshadow quad and a gin and tonic lip balm I figured it would be a cool idea to try them out and put up a post on Beauty Dose!

The brand name is Academy of Colour and is stocked in Debenhams (and weirdly Matalan and Morrisons too?!).

I got 5 items from the nudes 3 collection (spending only £18.50) and aimed to make a bronze glam makeup look, here’s the result:

Find out how I created this look and what I thought of each item below!

Brow palette – £4

I feel like you can’t go wrong with a brow kit but I was impressed by this one. The kit comes with a lighter and darker powder and a dark wax, perfect for my dark hair. I think lighter brunettes might get away with the lighter colour but because it’s so warm toned I think blondes should stay clear.

I used the dark wax and my own brush (didn’t rate the eyebrow brush in the kit at all) and found it pretty easy to get the shape I like. Then I used the darker powder to set that into place.

Update: I’ve worn the brow products all day now and although it’s mainly stayed in place, the edges have faded slightly so the sharp look has completely gone and looked like it may have smudged a little!

Woke up like this eye-shadow palette – £4

The packaging is the strangest part because it’s literally just two foam blocks stuck together at one size. You might want to repot the shadows into your own palettes because I don’t see it lasting too long.

The shadows themselves are a regular size and the colours are what I’d go for a basic warm tone look. They did have a bit of kickback but I didn’t really mind as it didn’t budge on the eye when blending.

As you can see the colours are surprising really pigmented and so effortless to blend! I used the pale colour to set my concealer, the light brown for my transition colour and the dark orangey brown in the crease. Finished off with the shimmery purple on my lid.

The palette is definitely my favourite from the nudes 3 collection and something I’d find myself reaching for in the future!

Update: After wearing the eyeshadows all day (which has been really hot) the colours haven’t budged or faded at all!

Metallic eye pigment and eyeliner – £4

I felt what was missing was a highlight shade in this collection so I picked up the gold shimmer pigment to try to use it as a multi-function item. Initially I tried to add some gold on top of the shade on my lid for a pop of colour but it literally just fell straight off my face – need to try it out with glitter glue!

In the end I packed some on an eyeshadow brush, sprayed with some setting spray and added it to the inner corners. I did this again with a bigger brush and used it as a highlighter on my cheekbones and nose which turned out okay.

The gold liner was a good base for putting the pigment on top of, but lacked pigment on top of other colours. I ended up using it to line my waterline which didn’t really show up on camera but in person did give a slight hue of shimmer.

Gin and tonic lip balm – £2.50

As I’m using a matte liquid lipstick I felt some lip balm was needed. The first item I found that caught my eye in this collection was the gin and tonic lip balm.

The gin and tonic lip balm was the first item to catch my eye in the collection – you know were all obsessed with gin at the minute! – and I was really curious to what it would be like.

Disappointment.

There is no scent of gin OR tonic at all, all I smell is bubblegum so I feel like this was just a cheap shot at jumping on the gin bandwagon. The actual balm isn’t anything to shout about either as it’s so solid it’s hard to get any out and on to your finger.

Matte lip kit – £4

The lip kit was the product I really didn’t get along with. First off, the lipstick colour weren’t remotely similar.. and not in an ombré kind of way. The liner was a pinky muave and the lipstick was a warm toned orangey-brown and just looked really strange together. Not only that but after half an hour there was literally 0 product left on my lips, despite the drying formula. Definitely would recommend the MUR lip kits which are similar in price and 10x better quality.

What did you think of Academy of Colour? Let me know in the comments!


Want more from Beauty Dose? Check out my last post: Fake tan tips

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My top picks for a killer Valentines Day outfit | Pretty Little Thing, Missguided, Missy Empire and more

Whether you love Valentines day or to-be-totally-honest prefer pancake day: who doesn’t love a reason to shop? It’s the month of love, and if you want to spruce up your wardrobe for your fella (or a night out with the girls!) here’s my top picks to make you look and feel sexy.

Disclaimer: Links are not affiliate and all opinions are my own!

Outfit one

PLT Burgundy Lace Up Halterneck Bodysuit £18  with the PLT Black High Waist Extreme Flare Long Leg Trousers £18

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Favourites first, this outfit is perfect if you don’t mind showing a bit of skin! Pair with some strappy heels or heeled boots, throw on a shaggy black jacket off the shoulder and you’re good to go.

Scenario: A romantic cocktail with your no.1 or a night out with the girls!


Outfit two

Missguided Valentines Satin Nightie£22

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Is it even V Day if you’re not wearing red? This satin shirt is the ultimate pj chill so spend your night right and get the wine and chick flicks out.

Scenario: Enjoy a cosy night in with your loved ones (or eat ice-cream alone?!) At least you’ll look good doing it!


Outfit three

Alessandra Black Femme Slogan T Shirt £14 Orla Wine Cropped Puffer Coat £35 Nike 95 OG £119

These Nike trainers have been on my wishlist for so long now! Paired with a slogan tee (with a knot for extra sass) and a big cosy puffer jacket will keep you toasty but still looking on trend.

Scenario: Wrap up warm for daytime outings! Whether that be a theme park or a fair, puffer jackets and candy floss will make your valentine day one to remember.


Outfit four

Christie Red Tie Front Bell Sleeve Crop Top £19 Trinity Black Lace Up Mini Skirt £18

PU is a huuuge trend currently and sticking with the red valentines theme, this tied up blouse is a great option if you want to look cute but still (kind of) covered up! (This top would also go great with the trousers in outfit one!)

Scenario: Pair with strappy heels or black boots to look cute for an evening meal or night on the town.


There’s my list! What were your favourites? Also tell me your valentines plans in the comments below!

Natalie x

The brow product that lasts 3 days | Ft. Maybelline Tattoo Brow Gel

After countless restocks, I finally got my hand on the latest Maybelline brow product – the Tattoo Brow Gel!


If you have no clue what product we’re talking about here, check out this video:

Maybelline claims that this gel formula:

  • Glides on effortlessly
  • Removes gently without pulling hairs out
  • Is transfer and smudge proof
  • Creates a natual look which lasts up to 3 days – gradually fading over time

Packaging

I ordered my Brow Tattoo from Superdrug for £12.99, and once it arrived in the post, I noticed just how small the packaging was.

The tube is around the size of a ‘fun size’ lipgloss and has very little weight to it – containing just 4.6g of product. The instruction state to apply this gel generously to the eyebrow with each use, so I can’t imagine this product to last longer than 3-4 weeks (if used every 3 days).


The applicator was another surprising factor as i’d expected a brush tip similar to an eyebrow brush used for pomade or powder products – this applicator is quite a lot thicker than that so a second brush might be handy if you want to create a defined brow shape.

Application

Maybelline offer the choice of wearing the gel for 20 minutes to overnight. To give myself an idea of what finish I wanted, I tested the product on my hand for 20 minutes. 

I wanted my brows to be way darker than it appeared on my hand (to match my dark hair) so I took the plunge and kept it on overnight!

The product was still perfectly intact one I woke up, and peeled off quick and easy – no eyebrow hairs were plucked!

I was so happy with the results and I didn’t have to touch them as I got ready for the day, here’s a picture of the results:

In review

  • Two days later and my brows have only faded very slightly!
  • I would recommend pairing the Maybelline brush with a more precise angled brush for a defined shape
  • The colour is very versatile as it can be left on for 20 minutes or overnight depending on what look you’re after.

What’s your favourite brow product? Will you be giving the brow tattoo a go? Let me know in the comments! 

 

Scrub Love Hydrating Coconut Oil Body Scrub | Face and body scrub for dry skin

Who are ScrubLove?

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Scrub Love is a uses 100% natural ingredients in there products, and cater to all skin types with every scent imaginable from chocolate orange to cucumber + bamboo.

 

Whether you’re wanting to prolong your tan, or just leave you skin smooth and glowing, ScrubLove claims to make miracles happen.

A statement from ScrubLove:

We are ScrubLove, an organic, fairtrade, Rainforest-Alliance Approved, ethically sourced coffee-scrub skincare company proudly made in the UK.

We’ve done our research and only given you the good stuff to love on: argan, baobab, coconut, sweet almond, sweet orange, tea tree and peppermint oils are all in there. Plus, we’ve sourced only the most skin-lovin’ Himalayan pink salt, Dead Sea salt and sugar to mix with our organic coffee.

I received the ‘Hydrating Coconut Oil Body Scrub in Coconut + Mango’ in my “mystery package” as part of my July Birchbox. Review here.

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This scrub in particular scrub is available online at £12.95 for 200g of product.

The unusual packaging is what caught my eye first: a colourful sachet with a zig zag pattern and a resealable strip.

On the back of the packaging, this body scrub in particular is packed with:

  • Coconut flakes and coconut shell – two natural exfoliators
  • Mango butter – to hydrate the skin
  • Coconut sugar – full of antioxidants
  • Macadamia nut oil and coconut oil – smooths, softens and moisturises the skin

*Full ingredient list at the bottom of this page

Opening the package I was surprised at how sweet and intense the scent was. Personally I thought the smell was amazing but if that doesn’t sound like you then i’d suggest trying one of their other scents.

When I scooped a bit of the product out I was shocked at how loose and dry it was and thought this would be terrible for my dry skin.

However once you start to rub it in you really feel the oils start to work their magic and my skin was feeling incredible!

After i’d rinsed it off i felt like i’d been lathered in moisturiser as the oils had left a silky smooth feel.

I also tried this on my face and lips (it actually didn’t taste too terrible) where i really suffer with dry patches and afterwards I noticed a dramatic change.

The scrub kept my skin feeling like that for hours and I couldn’t keep my hands off my face all day!

Overall I can honestly say this is the best body scrub I’ve ever used – if you have dry to normal skin I would definitely recommend you add this to your skin care routine!

 

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Ingredients

Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Powder,Mango Mangifera Indica (Mango) Fruit Powder, Cocos nucifera (Coconut) Shell Powder, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Flour, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Sugar, Glycerin, Tocopherol, Lactic Acid, Parfum

Nike gym clothing? REVIEW

Just like buying stationary for the first day back at school, kitting out your gym wardrobe does wonders in motivating you to start your fitness adventure.

Athletic clothing is also supportive during some heavy workout sessions and adds a touch of confidence to your attitude.

Today we test out some of our Nike favourites and tell you what we think!

NIKE Pro Classic Women’s Sports Bra

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The damage: £25

You might worry about the support of this piece considering there’s no padding at all.

However we found the piece to be craaazy supportive, and recommend it to anyone with a larger bust – your ladies won’t be moving ANYWHERE!

Although you feel very tucked in and in place, the piece doesn’t dig in uncomfortably like a lot of sports bras do.

As for the price we just can’t say no!

NIKE Power Legend Twist Women’s Training Tights

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The damage: £50

These are a little pricey, especially if you’re just starting out!

BUT the quality is definitely there – the Nike Power fabric has compression technologies which supports and keeps the shape of your core.

Just feeling the material you can tell they’re a long-time investment.

Another plus is that these are pretty high waist, so if your not too comfortable with your stomach area quite yet these are great for keeping you all tucked in.

The only drawback is the length as they’re a little too long (5ft 2 talking here) but if that doesn’t bother you then these may be for you!

Unfortunately these aren’t in stock at the moment but keep an eye out on the Nike store if you’re interested!

NIKE Pro black shorts

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The damage: £19.99 – now discounted to £16.99!

As you can see these are pretty tight… and pretty short! So we would recommend you go a size up.

These are the most comfortable piece in this entire post!

Not only do they allow a lot of movement, they’re amazing for keeping you cool during them warm up sessions.

For only £20 the quality is great!

NIKE Pro Tank Top

purple-nike-pro-ootdThe damage: £20 – now discounted to £15!

This top is a great addition to your collection if you want to be covered up, but still want something light and cool.

The material is very thin and stretchy and pretty comfortable to wear.

One bad quality is that the material can also be pretty clingy (see image).

 

NIKE pro ladies bra

20225701_721464421370789_8734871991435132928_nThe damage: £24.99 – now discounted to £19.99!

This piece wasn’t as supportive as the sports bra mentioned above so definitely something we would recommend for those of you with a smaller bust.

Despite this, the item was super comfortable and breathable – we also loved the fun colour!

Birchbox Unboxing + Review | July

If you’re new to Birchbox like us, then you should know that it’s a monthly subscription service that provides you with a box of mystery beauty samples – kind of like Christmas all year round!

I actually found a sponsored post by Birchbox on Facebook which offered last minute buyers an additional ‘mystery box’ if they purchased July’s edition!

So obviously I made an impulse buy and I have to say I’m pretty impressed with the prizes that landed on my doorstep!

Having no knowledge of Birchbox, I cut open the cardboard packaging with no expectations but was happily surprised at how gorgeous the packaging was.


The products come tucked away inside a small drawer with a unique pattern for each month – perfect for collecting and as each month you can build on what will turn to to be a tiny set of drawers for your desk!

The pattern was super summery with a pink and blue sunset, black palm trees and a metallic logo.

But the contents is what was most exciting!

 

Benefit Cosmetics Gogotint Lip & Cheek Stain | RRP £25.50*


The most hyped about product in this box was definitely the Lip + Cheek Stain by Benefit.

Birchbox provided each subscriber with either the Chachatint – a more orangey/red shade – or like me, the Gogotint – described as a ‘bright cherry’.

After only two days of trying to get the thing open, I finally got to see what the hype was about!

The colour was beautiful as a natural flush to the cheeks but also build-able for those wanting that extra pigment – a bonus being that it can be used on the lips too!

Balance Me Flash Cleanse Micellar Water | RRP £16*


I hadn’t heard of this brand before but as a sucker for a good micellar water I was happy to give this a try.

Honestly the chamomile-infused formula did smell pretty funky, but the refreshing feeling this left on my skin made it totally worth it.

I used it by applying to a cotton pad and wiping it over my face – it removed my makeup beautifully and didn’t leave a weird film on my face like some other brands do.

Adding the fact that t’s a natural product enriched with regenerating neroli and mandarin oils, this was a win for me.

Rituals Hammam Delight Foaming Shower Gel | RRP from £4.50*

This product was my favourite of the whole box!

With it being described as a foam shower gel, I had assumed it would be just like the other ones I own – such as ____ –  and that it would pump out like a thin foam.

This one however squirts out like a gel, and begins to expand pretty rapidly as soon as it touches your skin.

This product felt amazing lathering into the skin! The formula is really hard to describe but is very thick and cushion like.

The eucalyptus and rosemary was not only refreshing to the skin but left a lovely scent which lasted most of the day!

Pop Beauty Bright Up Your Life Eye-shadow Trio in Champagne Mocha | RRP £15.50*

Being a eye-shadow hoarder, I was sceptical about these eye-shadows due to the plain and basic packaging.

In the trio is three unnamed, shimmery shades as shown in the image, which came with one of them useless sponge applicator wands – why do they even exist?!

However in all honesty, the formula and pigment of these eye-shadows is surprisingly good! The colour selection is perfect for a simple everyday eye look and the small packaging is travel-friendly.

Percy + Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Overnight Recovery | RRP £20*


Does anyone else have super dry hair that turns greasy as soon as you’re anywhere near a bottle of hair conditioner?

As I struggle with this, i’m always looking for alternative products to add moisture and softness to my hair without it being too cakey – so hearing about this product pricked up my ears.

This stuff smells heavenly!

Smoothing this product through my dry hair before bed and shampooing it out once i wake up has turned my frizzy hair super smooth and silky.

It also doesn’t transfer onto my pillow!

I’ve only used this the once so I will definitely have to keep trying it out but so far I love it.

 

Sneak peek for August!

Birchbox has gave us a sneak peek for August’s box! Everyone will receive a FULL SIZE Spectrum Collections make-up brush!

To see my review of the August Birchbox – Click Here!

 

 

How to be confident | Body confidence

Spending day and night exercising and dieting is a waste of effort if you haven’t got that initial body confidence.

So many people live with the belief that as soon as they ‘fix’ that one thing they find ugly about themselves they’ll suddenly feel beautiful – but this isn’t the case!

This mindset can have a serious toll on the body, both physically and emotionally – with people setting unrealistic goals for themselves, which can only cause more distress

In this article we have 8 ways to help you gain that confidence in yourself, so you feel beautiful no matter what!

Stop comparing

We’ve all been a victim to the explore page of instagram.

Sometimes it’s easy to find yourself following an endless list of accounts from models to celebrities just to scroll through their page with envy.

If you find yourself getting nothing out of these accounts except feeling bad about yourself, UNFOLLOW!

If you find it impossible to not get swept up in the fake reality of someones seemingly perfect life – sign out from social media and concentrate on yourself – even if you do this for short periods at a time.

The sooner you stop forcing yourself to compare with others the happier you will be.

Invest in clothes that make you feel beautiful

In the last decades, businesses – especially clothing brands – are moving to social media to advertise their products.

It’s easy to get caught up with the latest fashion trends that your favourite celebrities have inspired.

Don’t buy clothes for the sole reason of fitting in – choose outfits that suit your personality and that you actually feel comfortable in!

You don’t need to feel pressured to buy that skimpy bra-let if you aren’t going to feel confident wearing it.

The results will truly show when you feel like you’re slaying an outfit as you’ll be so much more confident, happy and care free!

Silence your inner critic

It’s important to acknowledge and stop fat talk ( or any talk consisting of you putting yourself down)

It’s so easy, especially as girls/women to use our group of friends as outlets to our insecurities.

Like said in this article of Women’s Health: ‘”If a woman says ‘I’m so fat,’ the other woman might feel like she has to say ‘no, I’m the fat one. Have you seen my thighs?'”

If you can be more aware of these types of conversations with your friends, you can change the topic to actually EMPOWERING each other – that’s what friends are for after all!

Pamper yourself

Make time to treat your body right!

Setting side time for yourself can be an amazing treat when you’re not feeling your best.

Get a massage, get your nails done, or even just have a long relaxing bath!

Anything that gets you feeling pampered is a must to feel sexy and relaxed – you and your body deserve it!

The most important thing is to take it slow – this is no time to rush, enjoy every last minute!

Mind over matter

Thin about the bigger picture.

In 30 years time do you wanting to be thinking ‘oh I wish I loved myself more’ or looking back on amazing memories with people you love where you were happy and carefree?

I think we all know the answer to that one. 🙂

 

Natalie @ Health Tonic