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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

LUSH CHRISTMAS HAUL

Back in October I made a huge order on the Lush website when all of their Halloween/Christmas Seasonal stock became available, see my Halloween haul hereI decided to try some of the new items from this year which I haven’t tried before. There were quite a few new products which caught my eye this year, in different shapes and scents, which was nice to see as I’m such a big lush fan.
Bath Bombs have to be my favourite Lush products, so Dashing Santa and Butterbear went straight into my basket. Dashing Santa is shaped like Santa and his presents which is designed to move across the water when you place him into your bath. This one smells of satsumas and citrus and it left the water red with gold shimmers which made me feel really Christmassy. The Butterbear bath bomb is just so cute! This has the same vanilla fragrance as the butterball, just in a new teddy bear design. This bath bomb doesn’t give the bath much colour but it has Cocoa Butter in it which is so moisturising on the skin. This is one of the more affordable bath bomb and I would definitely buy it again as I can’t resist the bear shape.
A product I wasn’t too sure of was the Snowman Fun Kit just because I haven’t tried the concept before. I was really surprised of how much I enjoyed using it and have created one snowman so far, you can see him on my instagram here. Hopefully by the end of Christmas I will have a whole snowman family. I’m not sure I would find it as fun if I just had one colour of Fun though. But I really like how you can use it in a number of different ways as shampoo as well as soap. It’s moisturising on the skin and smells great! I’m sure kids would love this, it’s also a great stocking filler.
Another fun product which I have been trying out is the Snowman Shower Jelly. I have tried a shower jelly before after receiving it in a Christmas gift. It wouldn’t of been a product I would normally pick up, but I really enjoyed having something fun to use other than the usual shower gel. I’m really in to its blackcurrant scent and it lingers on my skin for a while after showering. It is a little tricky to keep hold of him during shower time, but I like to break a piece off to avoid any wastage. It does lather up really well though and makes my skin soft and clean.
I also picked up a few bubble bars, I went for Holly Golightly and The Christmas Hedgehog. Holly Golightly is massive and could be broken up into so many pieces to use in separate baths. It’s a shame mine got broken a little in delivery, but it still is lovely to look at. This bubble bar is super glittery on the outside and bright green on the inside. It turns your bath water green and makes so many bubbles, you really get value for money with this one. I’m not quite sure of the Christmas hedgehog, the scent isn’t really my thing. He still makes my skin super smooth, but he doesn’t crumble as easy as other bubble bars do. It is a shame as he is rather cute!
I'm really looking forward to repurchasing a few of my favourite products in the Lush Boxing Day Sales. Have you picked up anything from the Christmas Lush collection?

Sunday, December 21, 2014

WINTER BEAUTY PRODUCT EMPTIES - DECEMBER 2014

Philosophy The Gingerbread Girl Shower Gel, Bubble Bath & Shampoo, 480ml £14.00 – This took me so long to use up, just because the bottle is so big. I received this as a Christmas present as everyone knows I love gingerbread. This is a multi-use product, but I just like to use it as a bubble bath. It creates lots of bubbles and smells lovely, I currently have the Christmas Cookie version on the go. Would I repurchase? Yes I love Philosophy formulas.
Garnier Ultimate Blends Shampoo & Conditioner, 250ml and 200ml £2.79 each – This duo is a basic shampoo and conditioner which do the job but aren’t anything special. I like the coconut scent and they did make my hair feel sleek and smooth. This range is suited for dry, frizzy hair and it definitely did tame my flyaways. I did a whole blog post on this range, here. Would I repurchase? Maybe not this scent, but I would try other products from the range.
Chloe Eau De Parfum Spray, 30ml £36.95 – This is my all-time favourite scent. I will forever repurchase this and will never be without it. I have tried most of the Chloe fragrances and haven’t found one I didn’t like, I’m currently really enjoying the See by Chloe fragrances. I love how cute the bottle is and looks pretty on any dressing table. Would I repurchase? Yes, forever.
Chloe Perfumed Shower Gel, 200ml £19.95 – I wouldn’t normally buy an expensive fragrance shower gel, but this was on offer at the time. Being my favourite fragrance I really enjoyed using it and saved it for special occasions than using it every day. Would I repurchase? I would buy this again if it was on some kind of offer and it’s great as a gift to buy someone their favourite scent in a shower gel version.
Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation (In both old and new packaging), 30ml £9.99 – This is one of the first drugstore foundations I tried and fell in love with. I don’t like that they changed the packaging, as the old packaging pushed up any remaining product and you could see exactly how much was left. The colour is a good match for my pale skin and it gives me a light/medium coverage which doesn’t look cakey at all or oxidises throughout the day. I like the way it looks on my skin and I like that the bottle comes with a pump. Would I repurchase? Yes, Bourjois do some of my favourite high-street foundations.
Redken Blonde Idol Shampoo, 300ml £9.90 – I have really been enjoying Redken shampoo and conditioner this year. This shampoo is especially designed for blonde hair and helps to prevent my highlights fading too quickly. I like the scent and it foams up really nicely, I have reviewed this fully on my blog, here. Would I repurchase? Yes, I’m currently using the Diamond Oil range.
Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation, 30ml £6.99 I really like how well this foundation matched my skin tone. For a drugstore foundation it is really pale and perfect to use all year round, unlike the Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation which is a little too bronzed for me during Autumn/Winter. It so affordable and has an SPF 18 which is great to see from a high street foundation. Would I repurchase? Yes, it’s a good affordable foundation.
Vo5 Refresh Me Quick Dry Shampoo, 200ml £3.59 – I have raved about this dry shampoo again and again, I always go back to this brand. It’s really affordable and I know it works for me. I’m currently using another brand and not enjoying it so much, so will have to return to this one after I’ve used it up. Would I repurchase? Yes, I always make sure I have one at hand.
Soap & Glory Orangeasm Body Butter, 300ml £10.00 – This product has to be one of my favourite discoveries of 2014. I have really been enjoying Orange scented products and you can always rely on a Soap & Glory body butter to keep your skin moisturised and hydrated. I have reviewed this fully on my blog, hereWould I repurchase? Yes I would buy any of the Soap & Glory body butters.
Soap & Glory Heels Genius Foot Cream, 125ml £5.50 – This is another product I use all the time, nothing seems to work as well as this. It’s a thick cream which I like to massage into any dry areas and cover with socks in the evening. My feet are left feeling super soft and it makes me feel so much more relaxed. Would I repurchase? Yes this is holy grail for me, I've restocked up by buying the Annual Soap & Glory Star Gift at Boots!
Have you tried any of these products? What would you replace them with?

Friday, December 12, 2014

TOPSHOP MAKE-UP HAUL - STOCKING FILLERS

I don’t shop for make-up in Topshop very often but whilst searching their website for winter boots I found a few pieces that caught my eye. Firstly, this nail polish called Stars and Stripes, which is obviously inspired by the American flag. I thought this was a really fun top coat and would look perfect during the party season over a glossy red. It has chunks of blue and red pieces, silver glitter and white stars. I have used a few Topshop nails polishes in the past and have found them to be really long wearing and their colour range is great. I found this nail polish fast drying on the nails and the coverage is perfect and doesn’t clump all the glitter into one area. The other thing I knew I had to add to my basket were these iridescent eye shadows. I don’t think I have tried an eyeshadow from Topshop before but I thought these were really unique. The Chameleon Glow on the left is called Wax and Wane and is purple and silver duo chrome. The one on the right is called Shuffle The Cards and is a golden and bronze duo chrome. Again, these are perfect to wear to a Christmas party and it’s nice to experiment with a few different colours other than the usual neutral shades. These multi-use powders are really pigmented and can be used as an eyeshadow or a facial highlight. I think these would look lovely layered over a cream eyeshadow for intense colour to create a multi-dimensional effect. These shadows can be used dry with a brush, with fingers or a wet brush for a more intense look all over the lid.  But If you’re not a fan of shimmer you won’t like these! I also had to pick up this Gingerbread Man Hair Srunchie which you can see in the background and of course a few pairs of Christmas Socks. Any of these items are great stocking fillers and all work really well during the festive season. Topshop Make-up is now sold on Feelunique.com
What do you think of Topshop Make-up?

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

REDKEN DIAMOND OIL CHRISTMAS SET

Redken is a brand I go back to again and again, as I know their shampoo and conditioner works for me. I have tried the All Soft, Extreme and Blonde Idol ranges in the past, but have always wanted to try the Diamond Oil variety. This Christmas Set is one of my Black Friday purchases, Look Fantastic were offering an extra 25% off this set so I thought it was a great chance to try it for myself. The set comes with a full-size shampoo and conditioner and a sample size Pillow Proof Primer, which I also haven’t tried before. I always like to have a more expensive duo on the go as well as a high-street shampoo and conditioner, so my hair doesn’t get too used to the formula and stops working so well. The Diamond Oil range is a hair care line focused for dull and damaged hair. The shampoo is really cleansing and foams up nicely, which helps to strengthen the hair to prevent breakage. It also boosts shine and makes my hair feel super smooth and I find my hair can go longer without washing it again when using this formulation. The formula contains coriander oil to seal, coat and smooth the hair cuticle for shine, camelina oil to penetrate deeper layers of the hair, and apricot oils to penetrate the hair and condition deeply. The formula is really moisturising and smells great in the shower and I can still smell it after styling my hair.
This is a great gift for a friend who loves hair care, it’s packaged up really nicely and you get good sized products for the price. It’s even a great set to buy for yourself if you want to try out the range and it’s a lot cheaper than buying the products separately. Look Fantastic also has a set which comes with a Maybelline Mascara instead of the Pillow Proof Primer. I managed to get my set for £16.57 which was a real bargain, but Redken is currently 25% off at Look Fantastic. I have also wanted to try the Pillow Proof Primer since it first came out as well, so it’s nice to have a sample size to try. This product is designed to reduce the time it takes to dry your hair, provides 24 hour lasting volume, helps protect against heat up to 23o degrees, leaves hair up to 3X stronger and helps protect against hair breakage.
The Diamond Oil range also has a Deep Facets Intensive Treatment, a Shatterproof Shine Hair Oil, An Intense version, A High Shine version of the Shampoo and Condtioner and a High Shine Airy Mist. I’m most excited about the Shatterproof Shine Hair Oil and will be definitely adding this to my wish list. I would definitely recommend Redken products if you want to try something more upmarket to add to your hair care routine. These are also great sets to look out for in the boxing day sales as they get reduced, I will definitely be picking up a couple! 
Have you tried Redken Haircare?

Sunday, December 07, 2014

ANNABELLE'S WIGS HAIR PIECE - STYLE AUTUMN

Annabelle's Wigs is an online store which sells full wigs, 3/4 or half wigs, hair pieces, hair extensions and accessories. I had never really worn hair extensions or hair pieces in the past as my hair is naturally quite thick and grows quite quickly. When I was asked to try one of their 3/4 hair pieces I was intrigued to see if it would be something I would wear as not experiencing it in the past and hoped it wouldn't look fake or out of place. They matched up my hair colour and gave me a few options that they had available in my hair colour 24H613. My hair is currently ash blonde with golden highlights blended throughout. I decided to go for the most natural hair piece for me which was the Style Autumn*, which is a lovely layered straight style with a slight wave to create body. I have recently decided to go darker at my roots, so it doesn't match my parting perfectly, but the length shade is spot on. The 3/4 wig is made from 100% Kanekalon, which makes the hair piece feel super soft and silky and just like real hair. The hair itself is sewn onto a lightweight netting cap and doesn't feel heavy to wear. I love how natural it is and it blends with my own hair. I also like how it's just that little bit longer than my natural hair.
The hair piece also comes with care instructions, which are; wash it in lukewarm water, shake out and drip dry, do not brush or blow dry when wet, do not use heat appliances, brush into requited style only after wig is completely dry. I haven't tried washing it yet, but it sounds so easy to maintain and the hair piece won't loose it's style if used correctly. I was worried after seeing extensions before that just look fake and tacky but you can't tell I have a wig on when I'm wearing it. I have fooled quite a few people that thought it was my real hair. The hair piece has two flexi combs which you attached to the crown of your head right back to the bottom of your head. Once I have attached it firmly, I like to brush over to blend it in and frame my face. I love that it creates volume and you can play around with how much volume you want. It's so quick and easy to use, it doesn't feel like it's going to fall off and it's ideal for me to use on a night out. Annabelle's Wigs also have their own YouTube Tutorials, so you can learn how to fit the wigs properly and also style it in many different ways, see here. My hair piece is priced at £28.99*, so it's really an affordable piece you can use over and over again. There are so many different styles and trends to choose from and a lot of their wigs are based on celebrity styles and catwalk trends. It has really changed my mind about hair pieces and I would definitely use them again in the future, maybe not for everyday but if I was looking to create voluminous hair I would get this out as my hair is a nightmare to hold a curl! See the before and after below.
Have you tried a hair piece before?
*PR Sample

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

BOOTS STAR GIFT - CHAMPNEYS COMPLETE HOME SPA KIT

Boots have been on fire with their star gifts this year, some of my favourites so far have been the Ciate Big Beauty Bus which I featured in a past blog post here, a Nails Inc Ultimate Accessory Alexa Set, an Origins Mask Marvels Gift Set and the Sanctuary Spa Box of Delights. This week the big Star Gift is the Champneys Complete Home Spa Kit which was £50.00 and is down to £24.00, that's more than 50% off. I am a big fan of Champneys products and like how they use the same products at their Spas. This means you can indulge yourself in a Spa like experience at home. The set includes; Hand and Nail cream 40ml, Distant Shores Body Scrub 50ml, Distant Shores Body Butter 50ml, Skin Comforting Bathing Milk 300ml, Citrus Blush Body Lotion 200ml, Citrus Blush Shower Gel 200ml, Body Polisher and Vanity Case. This set is excellent value for money for seven products and gives you the chance to try a number of Champneys bestselling products all in a useful Vanity Bag which you could use to hold toiletries in after using the Champneys ones. The case this year is a lovely pale pink and feel very sturdy so great for travel. My favourite product in the set has to be the Skin Comforting Bathing Milk, but my favourite scent is the Distant Shores which smells like a blend of Grapefruit, Lemon, Orange Peel and Cedarwood Oils with Mango and Passionfruit. Hurry this offer is only available until Thursday! This is perfect for any busy friends in need of a little pamper or even for yourself. With Black Friday coming up I'm sure Boots are going to bring out an even better star gift and obviously we are still waiting for the Soap & Glory gift set to go on offer. Too much excitement!! There are more and more offers coming available before Christmas, you can find out the last days that stores will deliver before Christmas here.
Have you picked up any Boots Star Gifts?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

YOU BEAUTY DISCOVERY BOX - NOVEMBER 2014

This months You Beauty Discovery shortlist of products was based around gift worthy goodies. I do find it quite tricky to pick only two products from the shortlist. This month you could pick from; Skin & Tonic Steam Clean, Argan Organics Regeneration Anti Wrinkle Cream, Bourjous Cream Blush, Microfibres Brush On False Lashes, Green People Pencil Eyeliner and Invisibobble. The extra treats this month were Aduna Baobab Superfruit Powder and sample sachets of Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm and Iconic Youth Serum.
Roques O'Neil Therapie Himalayen Detox Salts - I have always wanted to try these bath salts after always hearing great things about them, so they had to be my first choice this month. I’m always interested with anything bath and pamper related. These bath salts are calming on the skin, balance energy flow and help combat insomnia. The Himalayan Detox Salts are designed to dissolve the accumulated physical and emotional toxins that build up in the body. The mineral salts contain powdered Amethyst and essential oils of Lemongrass, Juniper and Geranium. I love using this product, they make bath time heavenly! This mini is worth £10.00 and contains enough product for around three baths, so more than enough to feel pampered.
Rituals Hamman Delight Shower Foam - This is the other product I chose this month. I have tried Rituals shower foam before and really enjoyed how luxurious this product is. I received the fragrance Yogi Flow from a past Glossybox and think it's a great concept which is a little more exciting than normal shower gel. The Hamman Delight fragrance combines the aromatic and revitalising qualities of refreshing eucalyptus and rosemary. I really like to use this scent in the mornings, it's great for dry skin as it's really moisturising. This size is great for travel and really reasonable priced at £4.00 for 50ml. The gel formulation turns into a foam when mixed with water. This product stems from one of the oldest cleansing traditions in the world. The aromas and ingredients help to sooth and calm your body. Originating in Turkey, the Hammam, meaning ‘Spreader of Warmth’, helps to cleanse both the soul and body to promote inner and outer harmony and balance. These products are great to use together or on their own at the weekend for a well-deserved pamper.
What were your picks in this month's You Beauty Discovery Box?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

LOOK FANTASTIC BEAUTY BOX - NOVEMBER 2014

Look Fantastic has to be my current favourite beauty box of choice. I have used up most of the samples from last months box, this is really good for me as a lot of samples I try and then put aside as I'm already using other products. Everybody has been raving about this box, but I know a lot of people wanted to see make-up items, so it's nice to see a lip product in this months box. The contents of this months box include;
Eve Lom Cleanser, full-size 100ml £55.00 - This is a cleanser I have heard lots about and have received quite a few samples of it recently. This is a rich, balm texture that moisturises the skin as well as deeply cleanses. It's quite similar to the Emma Hardie balm cleanser, but less oily. I really like the way it leaves my skin feeling smooth and removes every last trace of make-up.
Monu Recovery Balm, full-size 50ml £22.50 - Monu is a brand I have received quite a few times in past Glossyboxes. This is the perfect product for the winter months. Recovery Balm is a soothing product for efficient and effective relief for sensitised or stressed skin in need of comforting. You apply this at night as the last step in your skincare routine, like an overnight mask. My skin is left feeling super smooth and hydrated. It helps to reduce redness, leaves skin feeling balanced and protective and has relaxing scents of Soft Rose and Bergamot to calm the senses. Probably one of the best products I've used from the Monu range.
Nuxe Nuxellence Jeunesse Youth and Radiance Fluid, full-size 50ml £47.00 - This is an anti-ageing fluid which helps to recharge the skin and to restore its radiance. It's quite a unique product as it also boosts the efficacy of any anti-ageing skincare product. This is lovely to use in the evenings and is suitable for all skin types. This product contains Passionflower, Anchusa and Poppy Flower extracts, skin is luminous and appears younger.
Glamglow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment, full-size 50ml £39.99 - I have tried this product a number of times and have always got on with it and enjoyed the results. It delivers instant results as its designed to be a 10 minute facial in a jar. When applied, you can really feel it working on the skin. My skin is left feeling refreshed, soft and glowing. It's a treatment that gives your skin a mid-week renewal.
Hand Chemistry Intense Youth Complex, full-size 100ml £18.99 - Hand Cream isn't a product I need more of as I have plenty, but I was quite excited about this product. I was first taken in by the pink packaging but this hand cream claims you will see visible results in less than 11 days. It targets eight signs of hand ageing. It contains 19.5% active ingredients that work to improve firmness, smoothness and evenness. I love the way this makes my skin feel, I apply it in the evenings and my skin still feels super smooth in the morning. 
New CID Cosmetics i-Crayon Lip & Cheek Tint, £14.00 - I have only used a lipgloss from this brand before, but really enjoyed using that. I am a big fan of lip crayons and this shade is perfect for Autumn/Winter, I received the shade Plum Cordial. These retractable chubby pencils are multiuse and can be used on the lips or cheeks. The formulation is pigmented and blends really easily. They leave a glossy tint to lips or cheeks and stay around for hours. I think I will mainly use this on the lips, but it's great to have products in my make-up bag that can be used for a number of things.
This month's box also included a £10.00 Coggles.com voucher, which is ideal to stock up on Christmas presents! and also a nice little extra. What is your favourite product from this month's Look Fantastic box? December's Box is currently on Pre-Order here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

NARS VIRTUAL DOMINATION CHEEK PALETTE

I have been Nars obsessed recently. I purchased the And God Created The Woman Eyeshadow Palette last month and couldn't let this limited edition cheek palette pass me by. I have tried a couple of their blushers in the past, but don't own any of the shades in the Virtual Domination Holiday Set. The palette includes the shades; Deep Throat blush which is a sheer peach shade, a Limited Edition Final Cut blush which is a peach coral, Limited Edition Sex Fantasy blush in a pale lavendar pink shade, Miss Liberty highlighting blush and a deluxe sized Laguna bronzing powder which is a brown shade with gold shimmer. The formulation of these powders are buttery and pigmented. The blushers are a fair size and it's nice to have a bigger bronzer. I have never tried Laguna before, so was very excited to try this out for contouring! The colours are really wearable and it's nice to have a set where I can pick between a few shades instead of continually wearing the same blush day in, day out. The Nars Holiday 2014 collection is themed around laced with edge, it's inspired by fashion, femininity and new dimensions. I really like the sleek packaging, instead of their matte black packaging which can get dirty easily. The only thing I would say about the packaging is that it's a little heavier than usual, so I might think twice before taking this travelling with me. But I like that it feels really sturdy and it comes with a large mirror. I have been using every single shade in the palette and don't think any of the shades will go unloved. My favourite shade has to be Final Cut Blush, which of course is limited edition, typical! The palette is quite pricey at £45.00 but the combined value is £117.00 and when divided by each blusher/bronzer that's only £9.00 each, which I think is very reasonable for such high quality products. It's a product which I will be using all the time. I'm glad I took the plunge and purchased it, it's only around for a limited time, so get it before it sells out! I have only seen this available at Space NK and Sephora. Also in the Nars Holiday range is; Digital World Lip Crayons, a Kabuki Brush Set, Tech Fashion Lipglosses, Modern Future Pink Toned Set, Laser Cut Eye, Cheek and Lip Compact and Algorithm Bronzer. My next Nars purchase will have to be the Radiant Creamy Concealer, which I have had my eyes on for ages.
What are your Nars recommendations?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

HOT OR NOT - BEAUTY BOX PRODUCTS OCTOBER 2014

As I missed out reviewing most of my October beauty boxes, I thought I would give an overview on which products I enjoyed and would repurchase and which ones I would give a miss. I reviewed my current favourite box - Look Fantastic, so all of these products are from Glossybox, Birchbox or You Beauty Discovery box. Glossybox's theme last month was based around a pop art box, which I love and will be keeping after use. The limited edition box came in four different colour ways and included four full-size products and two samples, which really impressed me. October's Birchbox was a collaboration with Coppafeel as October is also breast cancer awareness month. I loved that all the products featured in that months box fit in a cute pink zip up pouch and the box also came with a handy lipstick pen, which is perfect for any beauty lovers! You Beauty Discovery's product list was based on handbag heroes which are effective in the quick fix approach. I love this beauty box as it gives you the chance to try samples you actually want to try at a really reasonable price tag.
Hot Products -
The products I got on with the most were; Ciate Paint Pot in Ditch The Heels (Glossybox) - I received a gorgeous green shade called Ditch The Heels. I've tried many Ciate nail polishes in the past and really like the glossy finish. Nuxe Masque Creme Fraiche de Beaute (Glossybox) - I was really impressed to receive a full-size product from Nuxe. This is priced at £19.50 and is similar to the Origins Drink Up Intensive mask, so great for dry skin types. So Susan Flutter Mascara (Glossybox) - Mascara is probably my least favourite make-up product to receive in a beauty box, just because I know if I try it I have to use it up within the next few months, so I have a stock pile building up. But I decided to try this and really liked the way it lengthened my lashes. Etre Belle Liplift Peel (Glossybox) - I had never heard of this brand, but I was intrigued as I haven't used many products like it. This gives your lips a gentle exfoliation to prepare your lips for lipstick and I was impressed with the results. Balance Me Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm (Birchbox) - I have tried samples of this before, I really enjoy the balm texture. It's a product I go back to again and again but have yet to purchase it as I keep receiving samples. Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Honey Nectar (Birchbox) - I was very excited for this product as I haven't tried many products from Pixi. This gives a lovely nude tint to the lips and helps moisturise them as well, great for the winter months! KMS California Hair Play Playable Texture (Birchbox) - I have been loving KMS products and this one is a must try! You can use this before or after blow drying and it helps to build style and define layers without making your hair feel weighed down. Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick in Tease (You Beauty Discovery) - This was my first choice from You Beauty last month as I haven't tried a lipstick from Illamasqua before. I received the shade Tease which is a gorgeous matte nude and goes lovely with my skin tone. Crystal Clear Skincare Intense Anti-Ageing Serum (You Beauty Discovery) - I love a good serum and I knew this was a pricey brand so I thought I would give it a go. It helps to reduce wrinkles and firm the skin, I'm sure this is for an older target market but I love the way it peps up my skin. Cowshed Anti-Ageing Perfecting Night Serum (You Beauty Discovery) - Another serum similar to the Crystal Clear one, I liked massaging this into my face in the evening. It has made me want to try more from the brand!
Not So Hot Products -
The products I didn't rate were; Yves Rocher Quelques Notes D'Amour Perfume (Glossybox) - I'm not a big fan of perfume samples in beauty boxes, this one is a little too sweet for me! Rimmel BB Cream Matte in Light (Glossybox) - A nice little extra, but even the light shade is too orange toned for my skin. Shaveworks The Cool Fix Gel Lotion (Birchbox) - As I don't have any issues with shaving my legs this isn't a product I would normally pick up. It is really smoothing and cooling though, so maybe nice to leave until the summer months, not too sure of the manly scent though. Lollipops Paris Nail Lacquer (Birchbox) - I had never heard of this brand before, I really like the festive shade and the shade is quite pigmented. But I wasn't very impressed with the staying power as it chipped quite easily. Gold Collagen Forte (You Beauty Discovery) - I have received one of these before in a beauty box and I must admit I haven't tried it. It's aimed at the 40+ market, but I can't imagine it's a nice beauty supplement to drink, I think I will give it a miss.
I think my favourite box out of the three October editions has to be Birchbox.
Which is your favourite Beauty Box?

Monday, November 10, 2014

YANKEE CANDLE HOUSE ADVENT CALENDAR 2014

My last post was about the No7 Beauty Advent Calendar, but another advent that I just had to buy this year is the Yankee Candle House. Yankee Candle have brought out two calendars this year; this cute American style white and red house and a Christmas Wreath design. The calendar contains 23 tea lights for every day and a Christmas Eve Votive for the last day of advent. The seasonal scents of the tea lights vary from; candy cane lane, christmas garland, snowflake cookie, sugared apple, christmas cookie, christmas memories and spiced orange. I love the cute 3D design of the house, it will look great in any room during December. It's a great chance to try a few different scents from the range, instead of just having one big candle to burn. I have been burning Christmas Cookie since last year! What's nice about this calendar is that the house design still looks nice once all of it's windows and doors have been opened, instead of a flat 2D calendar that can look messy. Being beauty obsessed and having numerous beauty boxes a month, it's nice to try something a little bit different to enjoy, than a mountain of miniatures to save for travelling. It's also a nice thing to burn the candle you opened that morning, every evening after work to relax you. The scents would make the whole house smell festive and get you in that christmassy mood. The only downside is it may be a little more pricey to buy tea lights in this set than to buy them separately, but when the outcome looks this adorable I don't mind! This would make the perfect gift for any candle lovers, I much prefer it than chocolate! This has been very popular and has sold out in many shops, so if you want one I'd order it now. I got mine from Love Aroma for £24.99. I would really recommend their free postage and packaging, I got a £1 off my order for liking their Facebook page and I also received a free wax melt bar sample, which I can't wait to use!
Which advent calendar will you be purchasing this year?

Friday, November 07, 2014

NO7 BOOTS ADVENT CALENDAR 2014 - 25 DAYS OF BEAUTY

I know what your thinking, yes I know it's only November, but it's important to get your advent ready for the 1st of December. Last year, Boots did their own Advent Calendar, which was a huge success and contained lots of different brands and products available in-store. I was a little disappointed they didn't bring it back this year, but they have just released a N07 Advent Calendar (be warned the contents is shown on the website). The N07 beauty calendar is priced at £35.00 and has a value of £135.00. It contains N07's Bestselling products behind every one of it's 25 doors. That's even a present for Christmas Day! The products range from make-up to skincare to bodycare, so there is something for everyone. Some of the products are full-sized and some of them are minatures. I won't spoil the whole contents, but my favourite products have to be the high shine lip crayons and the skin illuminator radiance boosting beauty fluid and I don't think there is a product I wouldn't use! It's perfect to try products you haven't tried before and minis are also great for travelling. The calendar also includes a beauty quote behind every door, which is also a nice touch. I also really like the packaging as it opens like a book and the pink and gold colours looks really luxe together. I am very impressed with the contents of this Advent and I feel like it's one of the more affordable ones this year. I feel advent calendars have definitely shot up in price and I'd be more happy to have more choice around the £30.00 mark. This would make a great early Christmas present or even a gift to yourself to make you feel more festive! I'm sure a whole range of women will be eager to get their hands on this, bring on December! No7 also have some gorgeous gifts this year, including their Christmas Cracker Collection and their Best of the Best Beauty Collection.
Which advent calendar will you be buying this year?

Sunday, November 02, 2014

DUBAI BEAUTY HAUL - DUTY FREE , SEPHORA AND MORE

Last Month, I went to Dubai and may have done a little bit of shopping! Having never been to Dubai before I was very excited to hit the shops and brands that we don't get over here in the UK and the Dubai Mall didn't disappoint!
Firstly in Duty Free, I picked up the new Chloe fragrance called Love Story Eau De Parfum. I have been wanting to try this for ages and wasn't sure if it was available yet in the UK. I was so pleased to see it at Duty Free and picked up the 50ml bottle, but I don't think it's available in high-street stores until January. I love the orange blossom and jasmine scent and the cute packaging which is inspired by the padlock bridges in Paris. Chloe has to be my favourite perfume brand, so I'm pleased to add their newest addition to my collection.
In the Dubai Mall, of course I had to take a trip to Sephora. I was a little disappointed as it seemed the store was under construction and part of the shop closed off so everything was a little squashed, but I did manage to pick up a few things. I bought the Marc Jacobs Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer in Gatsby, which is a metallic pinky, champagne shade. I also bought a Formula X Effects Top Coat Nail Polish which I haven't tried before in Turbulent which is a lovely blue and black top coat that can be built up over your regular nail polish. I then decided to treat myself to the Nars - And God Created The Woman Eyeshadow Palette, which was a bit of an impulse buy, but a girl can't have enough palettes! This is the same as the original popular palette but the shadows have just moved around and swapped places. This also comes with a wide contour eyeshadow brush and a pro-prime smudge proof eyeshadow base, which I'm looking forward to giving a go. I have been looking on the Sephora website and I may have to make a little order, as there are so many nice things.
I then went into Bath & Body Works, I wasn't too impressed with there selection and they didn't have many Halloween candles that I had seen online. So I just ended up picking up three PocketBac Anti-Bacterial Hand Gels in the flavours; Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin, Orchard Apple and Island Margarita as these always come in handy. I also picked up this cute Little Sparkle Cosmetics case from Bloomingdales and thought this would be the perfect size to carry make-up around in my handbag and it's in my favourite colour! My last purchase was this Dubai Starbucks mug from the airport. I try and collect a Starbucks mug from everywhere I go, I think it's a nice little souvenir!
What do you think of my Dubai purchases? If you would like to see a full review on any of these products let me know!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

LUSH HALLOWEEN HAUL

I am a big Lush fan, especially during the festive months. I went a little mad on the Lush website and bought a lot of the new items this year that caught my eye and which I haven't tried. I'm much more of a bath person, but hopefully I've got enough items to last me up until Christmas and the Boxing Day sale. I thought I would share my views on the Halloween range and do a Christmas Lush Haul too in another blog post. This is probably the first time I have bought quite a few products for Halloween, but I'm very excited for the cute designs, scents and lots of glitter!
The first product I wanted to try was the Sparkly Pumpkin bubble bar. Pre-warning you will have glitter everywhere after using this! But it's so cute and perfect to use with the run up to Halloween. I really like bubble bars as you can use them for quite a few baths instead of just one when using a bath bomb. This changes your bath water to a lovely, bright orange with glitter and so many bubbles. The scent is a blend of Juniperberry, Lime and Grapefruit oils. This is also quite nice to use before a night out, as it leaves glitter on your skin. I might have to pick up another one of these before they go!
Another bubble bar for Halloween is the Wizard. This is another shimmery product and I just love the scent! The scent is energised with Tangerine oil, Juniperberry and Fennel essential oils. It turns your bath water a vibrant purple shade which I love and I think I will get quite a few uses out of this one. He is quite a cute design and I love the star on his hat!
A bath bomb which I haven't tried before is the Lord Of Misrule bomb. I'm kicking myself for not trying this one before as the scent is just gorgeous! It's not a very exciting design with just a star imprinted on the top but when you throw this into your bath you find out that the outer layer is green but the inside is a rich wine shade. The scent is really spicy, it has a blend of Patchouli and Black Pepper oil, this also has a fun ingredient of Popping Candy in it. It makes your skin so soft and it's a shame this one isn't around for longer.
The last two products are more inspired by Bonfire Night and are called Northern Lights and  Sparkler and are both bath bombs. I love the unique design of these bath bombs, they're not round like your average bath bomb but more of a tube shape. Sparkler is a bright yellow, Rose Jam scented bomb which fizzes and crackles as it spins around your bath. It is definitely one to lift your mood. Northen Lights is a similar design but this time purple with tiny gold stars in the middle. I'm so impressed with the colours this made in my bath, the ends fizz away first and reveal a blue and green middle. This design is also great to split in half so you get more value than just one expensive bath. I'm also in love with the soothing scent of Jasmine and Ylang-ylang which is right up my street!
Lush have also brought out a few exclusive products from past years, which are available on their website. Lush have definitely upped their game for Halloween!
What are your Lush recommendations?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

FIVE AUTUMN BEAUTY FAVOURITES - OCTOBER 2014

As the the nights are getting colder and darker my beauty routine has started to change to suit the Season. Last week I was in 30+ degree weather on holiday and now I'm back in rainy England, so my skin and shade preferences have adjusted dramatically and my skin needs more looking after. I have started to bring out the heavier scents as I wear lighter fragrances in the Summer. One of my favourite to wear during the day or evening is the Thierry Mugler Alien Essence Absolue. I love the original Alien fragrance, but this one is more musky, woody and just reminds me of Autumn. The scent is intense and deep, it's main notes are Jasmine, Vanilla and White Amber. The fragrance stays around for hours and I love the shape of the bottle and liquid amber colour.
My skin starts to get drier as the weather gets colder and one of the main product I reach for it the Origins Make A Difference Rejuvenating Hand Treatment. This is a sample size I got in a Christmas set and it does wonders for your hands! It's not too thick a formula and doesn't leave a greasy film on your hands either. The scent is a nice light, orange blossom scent and I like to use this on my hands as well as any other dry areas like my elbows and knees. This is a handy sized bottle to throw in my handbag and I think this would make a great gift for Christmas!
I like to wear a higher coverage foundation in the colder months. My favourite higher end foundation has to be the Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation, which I have loved for a few years now. This gives a lovely, flawless base which looks natural but can be built up to a full satin coverage. It has light-reflective properties which cause fine lines and wrinkles to optically vanish. I like that this foundation stays around all day and the shade Soft Ivory matches my fair skin tone perfectly as my tan fades.
My make-up preferences have also changes to darker, vampy shades instead of the bright lips and nails I was sporting in Summer. The Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stains have fast become one of my favourite lip products to apply. I currently have three shades, but this is my Autumn favourite in Parisian Passion which I mostly like to wear in the evenings. They're easy to apply, create bold colour and lasts on the lips for hours. I have done a full blog post on these here. My nails have also been painted in berry shades, I especially like this Butter London Nail Lacquer in Shambolic which is a lovely sparkly, glitter purple. I bought this in a set which comes with a matching lip gloss. I think this lip and nail combo would look great together!
What are your favourite products this Autumn?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

BEVERLY HILLS FORMULA - PERFECT WHITE BLACK TOOTHPASTE

When I first heard about the Beverly Hills Formula Perfect White Black Toothpaste*, I was a bit sceptical and was worried that it might stain my teeth than do any good to them. As a naughty soft drink drinker, I'm always looking for new products that can help with whitening and the appearance of my teeth. If i'm honest I haven't tried many products from Beverly Hills Formula's range, but I was interested to start using this to see if I could see a difference with use. With Halloween coming up it's the ideal product to use and is definitely unique to everything else on the market. I'm sure children would love to use this to scare their siblings and more liking to brush their teeth! The advanced ingredient activated charcoal is proven to be one of the most effective and safest teeth whitening ingredients. It also helps to eleminate bacteria which can cause bad breath and helps remove tannis from the surface of your teeth. When using this my teeth and mouth felt super clean and refreshed without being overpowered with mint. I really like the taste, but it's a bit funny to look in the mirror whilst brushing your teeth. The only thing I didn't like about using it was the colour of my sink after brushing, but obviously this just washes away. I would really recommend this if you are an avid coffee, tea, red wine drinker, if you eat berries or spices or are a smoker. This is Beverly Hills Formula's first ever black toothpaste, it's the same texture as a normal toothpaste and it also helps combat plaque and gum disease. The toothpastes are proven to be less abrasive than many regular teeth whitening toothpaste brands, so are kinder to your teeth and are suitable for children and everyday use. I will definitely continue to use this toothpaste as I saw results after just one use, so don't be put off by the colour of the formula. It's an affordable way of keeping your teeth whiter. After recently having a wisdom tooth out, I have become even more interested in keeping my teeth healthy and happy! 
You can pick up your own tube from Amazon here.
Black is the new White.
*PR Sample

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

BAKING - MINI VICTORIA SPONGES RECIPE

On Sunday, me and my Dad decided to bake something. After watching the Great British Bake Off Final I think we must have been inspired to make some tasty treats, as we aren’t regular bakers. We decided to make mini Victoria sponges as we haven’t made them before and one larger cake seems to go to waste in our house. We followed the Waitrose Recipe, see the full instructions here, we found it easy to follow and quick to make with not too many steps. The only problem we did have was not having the right cake trays, the recipe asks for a rectangular baking tin but we had to make do with a couple of muffin trays. This was a problem during baking but after they had cooled down we were able to cut them into shape with cookie cutters. For a first attempt I think they turned out really well and tasted great. Hopefully next time we can buy a proper tray and make even better ones. You can watch the Waitrose video on how to make them below. Helping to make these has inspired me to bake things more often. Hopefully I will try another recipe in the near future, Jamie Oliver’s new book called Jamie's Food Tube: The Cake Book looks great!

What is your favourite thing to bake?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

WHAT'S IN MY TRAVEL WASH BAG/IN-FLIGHT BAG - DUBAI EDITION

I'm off to Dubai next weekend and of course the first thing I've packed are my toiletries. I have collected so many mini sized samples by getting numerous beauty boxes a month, so it's a great time to use them up and try new things. I always find these sort of posts helpful when I'm packing myself and by doing my own version I can look back on this when I travel in the future. Let me know if I have forgotten anything or think I might benefit from taking something else or if you have tried any of these products and what you thought about them.
In my main Kate Spade wash bag which I will be putting in my main luggage there is; Kerastase Nutritive Bain Satin 1 and Lait Vital which I received in a Look Fantastic beauty box, my hair loves these. I have also popped in a couple of Bumble and Bumble samples of the Surf and Thickening shampoo and conditioner, if I want to use something different. For styling products I have; the KMS Free Shape Quick Blow Dry Spray, KMS Hair Play Texturising Spray, Bumble and Bumble Shine Finishing Spray and the Philip Kingsley One More Day Dry Shampoo. I have my favourite Mitchum Shower Fresh Deodrant, Korres Citrus Shower Gel and Body Milk which I also received in beauty boxes, thought this scent would be great to use on holiday! For sun lotion I have packed the Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration SPF 30 Protective Sun Lotion and the matching After Sun, which I always get along with. I also have a Coola SPF 30 Classic Sunscreen for my face, which I'm looking forward to using properly. My skin is very pale so I have also throw in a St Tropez Instant Tan Wash Off Face & Body Lotion for the start of the holiday. For skincare I have packed the Ren Rosa Centifolia 3-in-1 Cleansing Water, which I already use full-size and the Ren Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel. For toning I'm using the Premae Skincare Balance Rescue Face Tonique and if my face wants a treat I have the Ren Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial. I also have a couple of sachets of Origins GinZing Refeshing Scrub Cleanser and a tub of Benefit It's Potent Eye Cream, which I can't get enough of. I then just have essentials like the Elegant Touch Nail Polish Remover Pads, a standard razor, flannels and muslin cloths, cotton pads, cotton buds, hair elastics and a tanning mitt.
In my In-Flight bag which contains 100ml and under products which will be in my hand luggage I have packed; the Cowshed Cow Slip Antibacterial Hand Gel, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream (which is holy grail!), Gatineau Collagene Expert Smoothing Face Cream, La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water Spray which will be my life saver at the beach. Origins Make a Difference Rejuvenating Hand Treatment and Peace of Mind On-The-Spot Relief which I like to use just before boarding my flight. I also have my mini toothpaste and toothbrush, hand and face wipes, Eve Lom Kiss Mix Lip Balm, a mini first aid kit containing plasters and a hair bobble. I also have three mini perfume samples; Thierry Mugler Alien, Ghost Eclipse and Chanel Coco Noir as I'm hoping to pick up the new Chloe - Love Story perfume in Duty Free. I will definitely have to review my favourite products of the holiday when I come back.
What are your holiday wash bag essentials?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

CIATE BIG BEAUTY BUS COLLECTION - BOOTS OFFER OF THE WEEK

Ciate London is such a cute nail brand. I have brought many of their sets in the past including the Mini Mani Month Advent Calendar, the House Collections and the Caviar Manicure gift sets. I'm always impressed with their huge shade range and how long lasting they are on the nails. Boots have started to bring out their Offers Of The Week and star gifts which change every week before the run up to Christmas. One of the offers this week is this Ciate London Big Beauty Bus Set which is so cute, I had to pick it up! This is £25.00 on the Ciate website and is reduced to £12.00 at Boots, which is great value! You receive six 5ml bottles in must-have shades; Ferris Wheel, Pom Pom, Hopscotch, Pool Party, Locket and Snow Virgin. There is a lovely mix of fashion shades in the obviously London colours, red, white and blue and then a baby blue, a hot pink and a silver glitter shade. It's great to try the mini polishes in a set before plumping for your most used shade in the full-size. The polishes are highly pigmented, give a high gloss finish and the brush is so easy to apply with. The long handle provides the best strokes every time and the curved bottle is designed to sit comfortably in your hand for maximum control. Ciate is a new brand to be stocked in Boots and I have added the Candy Cane House gift set to my Christmas Wish List. Ciate also do a Nail Taxi Collection with the same London theme, which features three full-size paint pots. The packaging is so creative and playful and this would be a great gift or even just a treat for yourself! My favourites shades in the set are Pool Party the gorgeous bright blue and Locket the silver foil, which is great to apply over the other shades. I would really recommend picking up this set if your a nail polish junkie like me, it works out at £2.00 per polish so you are getting such a good deal. You could even split up this set and give your friends a single nail polish as a stocking filler. I will be keeping my eye out for more great Boot's offers. Ciate are also doing there own Nail Advent Calendar again this year, so exciting!
Have you tried Ciate paint pots?
#bigbeautybus

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