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18 April 2014

Travels | Eff in Paris - Part 2

Les Invalides

Today I have the final part of my Paris trip.  Hope you enjoy reading!

Day 2

We went out for breakfast and I ate macarons and pastries to my heart’s content!  Then we headed to Les Invalides.  It was a really gloomy day and after we came out of Les Invalides, the sky basically broke and it poured it down with rain!  We ran across the Pont Alexandre III and ran inside the Grand Palais to get away from the rain! We were stuck there for about an hour! The rain just did not let up.

From there we walked to the Louvre museum through the Tuileris Garden.  It was absolutely huge, but so beautiful!  The weather had significantly improved by now and we queued up for the Louvre, it was long – but was moving quickly.  To be honest, our main aim was to see the Mona Lisa, and the museum was jam packed inside.  Especially the room with the Mona Lisa was bursting at the seams with people!  We had to push our way to the front to get a glimpse, from across a red rope.

Fun fact: the Mona Lisa on display is not the ‘real’ Mona Lisa painting.  It is a very, very good replica, possibly painted around Da Vinci’s time.  The ‘real Da Vinci’ painted Mona Lisa is securely stored at the Louvre’s underground secure storage!  I wasn’t aware of this, and was somewhat disappointed, but hey, I’m no art specialist, I didn’t know the difference!

Also, if you’re under 26 and an EU citizen, you get free entry to the Louvre!  I was delighted about that!

We then manoeuvred our way out of the maze that is the Louvre and decided to head to the Arc de Triomphe.  We were completely exhausted by this time; we had walked faaar too much!  After taking photos at the Arc de Triomphe, I went searching for Cattier masks, as I couldn’t find them in CItypharma the day before. Never too exhausted for beauty products! 

Then, we headed back to the hotel to have some well-deserved rest!

Pont Alexandre III
Louvre Museum, Paris
Louvre Museum, Paris
Ceiling inside a hall in the Louvre Museum, Paris
Arc de Triomphe, Paris

Day 3

We technically didn't have the full day, so packed our bags and headed to the station to store our bags there.  There was the longest queue there!  Anyway, afterwards we went and had breakfast at a cafe near Notre Dame Cathedral.  We didn’t go inside because the queue was far too long!  If there is one thing I hate in life, it’s queuing!  Anyway, we bought some souvenirs and bought tickets for a cruise on the Seine River.  This is a must do if you’re in Paris, it’s just such a lovely way to see Paris!  It’s definitely the highlight.  We started near the cathedral and went up to the Eiffel Tower and turned around and got dropped back at the cathedral.  After that we headed back to the station to get back to London.

Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris
Seine River Cruise, Paris

Pont de Alexandre III, Paris

It was a really short trip, but I felt like we had a chance to see all the major sights.  However I would like to go back again to spend a lot more time in the Louvre museum and just spend a bit more time discovering things around Paris!

What is your favourite thing about Paris?  Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @beautybyeff!

16 April 2014

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo [+] Plus | Review

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo [+]

La Roche-Posay has fast become my favourite skincare brand.  My skincare routine is pretty dominated by LRP.  The main reason being, I find their products to be no-nonsense and amazing for my skin.  I have previously mentioned the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo [+] in my skincare routine (morning and evening).  Now that I've fully used it, I feel I can tell you my thoughts.

14 April 2014

Travels | Eff in Paris - Part 1

I had been to Paris when I was a teenager, but that wasn't to roam the aisles of Citypharma (although that served as a motivator this time round)!  So last summer we decided to go on a short break to Paris.  We travelled to London by train and took the Eurostar to Paris.  I was surprised at how quick it was – I think it took me longer to get to London!

We got off at Gare du Nord at Paris around 10 am. 

12 April 2014

Topshop Kohl Eye Pencil in Coal | Review & Swatch

Topshop Kohl Eye Pencil in Coal - Beauty by Eff

I have more eyeliners than I could ever finish in this lifetime, but doesn't stop me buying more!  Enter Topshop Kohl eye pencil in Coal, £4.  I mentioned in my previous post, this was part of the “Topshop Best of Kit”.

Initially I wasn't sure what to expect.  I always think fashion brands can’t do makeup/skincare well, as that’s not their niche.  But hats off to Topshop, they've proven me wrong.

Topshop Kohl Eye Pencil in Coal Swatch - Beauty by Eff

Topshop's kohl pencil in Coal has a really creamy and soft formula.  It applies really softly and doesn't drag the skin at all.  The pigmentation is amazing, so you can have a strong black line or smudge for a more smokey look.  It stays relatively well in the waterline although does smudge through the day.

It feels comparable to high end products rather than high street.  I was really surpised at how good the quality was for the £4 price tag. 

In comparison to my old favourite Rimmel Kohl Kajal pencil in Jet Black, Topshop Kohl pencil has a much better formula.  It is much softer and has a better colour payoff.

Although Bourjois Effect Smoky pencil in Intense Black (£5.29, review here) does have the formula to match, it is pricier than the Topshop Kohl pencil (£4).

Another great product from the Topshop makeup line, this maybe on my repurchase list!

Have you tried Topshop’s Kohl pencils?  Share your thoughts!

09 April 2014

Topshop Blusher | Head Over Heels Review & Swatch

Recently I bought the Topshop Best Of Kit, £40 which contained six of Topshop's bestselling makeup items.  Having never tried any of Topshop's makeup before, I thought this'd be a great way of trying out different bits and pieces, also the price works out cheaper.

The kit contains a glow pot in Polished, cream blush in Head over Heels, kohl pencil in Coal, 3D curve mascara, smokey eye palette in Tuxedo and lipstick in Innocent.  I will review everything, so watch this space.

Today I have the very popular cream blush in Head over Heels, £8.  It's a beautiful peachy coral blush that looks quite daunting in the pan, almost orange.  Once applied, it leaves the most natural, subtle glow to the cheeks.  The pigmentation is just right.

The packaging is very sturdy and feels like a high end product packaging.  I love, love the matte finish packaging of Topshop makeup.  Feels very chic!  The mirror inside is quite large, makes it handy for travelling.

I have been mostly applying this with my fingers, because it glides on so effortlessly.  It’s really easy to blend, doesn't go patchy at all.  I've also used RT Stippling brush (review here) to apply the blush too, and it goes on great too.

I am so pleasantly surprised with the quality of the blush and at £8, it’s a frickin’ steal!  I may try some other colours.  It’s a great shade for spring/summer so I’ll definitely get a lot of use out of this.

Have you used Topshop’s Head over Heels blush?  What’s your favourite Topshop makeup?  Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @beautybyeff!

02 April 2014

Bourjois Paris Colour Edition 24h Eyeshadow Review

Bourjois is a brand that always makes me feel special.  It's definitely one of my favourite high street ('drugstore') brands.  I can't get enough of the Parisian feel from the packaging.  When they released the Bourjois Paris Colour Edition 24h Eyeshadows, I had to have it.  I picked up three shades that I thought were very wearable.

These have a cream to powder formula, and make sure you don't leave the lid open for prolonged periods, as it'll dry out pretty quickly.  The shadows are great to work with your fingers or a brush.  I can seamlessly blend with my MAC 217, and it washes off the brush easily enough.

Kaki Cheri is an olive green with gold shimmer running through.  This is my favourite out of the three.  I find it great as a base for a smokey eye, or just a sweep of it on the lid on it's own for a casual day look.

Or Desir is a straight up gold.  I mostly use this with my middle finger to dab on the centre of the lid, making my eyes 'pop'.  It's great for adding dimension to any eye look.

Prune Nocturne has a plum base with pink glitter.  It's a really pretty colour which I think can be worn all year round.  You can wear it quite light with one swipe, or really intensify the colour.  It's amazing for a smokey eye.

Now the downside, these crease like nobody's business!  Even after an hour or two, it sat in the crease looking greasy.  I have tried with the Smashbox photo finish lid primer (full review here), but no joy.  It's such a shame because I really do love the colours and the texture, the longevity really let this product down.  To get around this, I use them on top of the Maybelline Colour Tattoo eyeshadows (full review here), which does help a lot.

The Bourjois eyeshadows are available at Boots for £6.99 each.

26 March 2014

Ciaté Dolls House Mini Polish Set Review and Swatches

Ciaté Limited Edition Dolls House Mini Polish Set £18 here contains 5 pastel Spring appropriate shades.  Can we just take a moment here and appreciate the beautiful packaging?!  That alone is a seller for me!

The polishes are mini-sized, 5ml and the colours are: 

Paper Doll - White
Baby Doll - Salmon pink/peach 
Poppet - Lilac
Sweet Pea - Mint
Doll Face - Nude

Ciaté describes the finish as 'porcelain' i.e. matte.  I had never tried matte polishes before so was unsure if I would like it.  But I once on, it's quite nice.  It gives an effortless chic look, and I like the fact that you can always put a glossy top coat on to give it a glossy look.  2 in 1!

Now, my gripe with these polishes.  The chip SO badly!!  I painted my nails in the afternoon and took pictures, went about my normal ways (i.e.watching YouTube videos) for the rest of the day.  When I was going to bed, I realised on 4 out 5 nails, the polishes were chipped!!!  If you follow me on Instagram, you can see a picture (@beautybyeff).

I may try with different base coats and see if the chipping improves.  That aside, the colours are really lovely and looks great on nails.  The set at £18 means you're paying £3.60 per polish which is pretty good value for Ciaté polishes.

Have you tried any Ciaté polishes?  How have you found them?