UK Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

April 28, 2013

Just A Little Thing: Superdrug Facial Cleansing Sponge

 Available from Superdrug, here, for 99p

I was really very pleasantly surprised with this little facial sponge. I picked this up from Superdrug on a complete whim to try and help my, frankly quite rubbish, cleanser work a bit better. It definitely helped which is fantastic, but once I also switched cleansers I fully realised this little sponge's potential. Facial brushes are big blogger must haves but I for one don't want to invest in them. I've given it a lot of thought and I don't know why but they just really don't appeal to me. However, I do see why they might work well. Using something really clean and mildly exfoliating to apply your normal cleanser seems like it could only help your skin. With my student budget firmly in mind, this little facial cleansing sponge seemed like something worth giving a try.

I think this facial sponge is like a super gentle version of a muslin cloth, which is why I like it! I apply my cleanser with my finger tips to my face and then soak the sponge in hot water before squeezing out excess water. I then rub the sponge, gently, in small circles across my face. When I want to remove the cleanser I repeat this process but with a soaking wet sponge. The result is that my cleanser works better and my skin is left softer and clearer. It's such a simple little addition into my cleansing routine but I love it so much. Considering this was just 99p I would heartily recommend it, if you don't like it then you won't be too disappointed and if you do love it then you'll be super chuffed that you found something so useful that was so cheap!

Protip: I've also discovered that this little sponge makes taking off cream and clay facemasks so much easier and a lot neater! They'll be no more clay getting into my hair from here on out. 

Do you use anything like this when you cleanse?


GUEST POST: My Top Five Sheer Lipsticks

Today's post is another Guest Post this time over on Kat's blog, Tales of a Pale Face. I met Kat in December at the #bbloggersxmas meet-up and got on really well with her. Her blog is a lovely mix of make-up and skincare reviews and her posts are often quite funny too. I'd also definitely recommend checking her blog out if you have very fair skin because (as you might be able to tell from her blog's name) she has very pale skin so lots of her make-up choices will be highly relevant!

If you want to see what lipsticks made my top five then follow the link here. They're good-uns!


April 27, 2013

GUEST POST: Current Skincare Favourites

Hello everyone, I hope you're all having a lovely Saturday!

In the spirit of getting more involved in the blogging community I've been organising guest posts on some of the blogs that I love to read and today the lovely Hannah who writes Love Life and Make-Up has just put up a Guest Post that I wrote for her on my current Top Five Skincare Favourites! All of them are products that are absolutely essential to my skincare routine so if you'd like to find out what five products I picked and why I picked them then please click here!


April 25, 2013

Mini Review Round-Up #2 (Fragrance)

perfume sample review mini vials sniffed and tested

I thought I'd do something a little bit different to my last Mini Review Round-Up post (which you can read here) and focus on just one category. As you can tell, today is all about the perfume samples I've been trying out over the last month or so. I hope you enjoy reading my little mini-reviews! It's hard, but also very fun, to try and describe fragrances!

Nicki Minaj- Pink Friday*

This is a new scent from Nicki Minaj and the first thing that I notice when I smell it is that it is a really sweet fragrance that is made a lot nicer by the floral top notes. It's an incredibly girly scent, I imagine that a visual representation of this perfume would be something along the lines of a fruit/bubblegum mutant that had bathed in orange peel. I hate that I like it. It smells flatter than I normally like in my perfumes but there is something oddly alluring about it. Although, despite liking it, this isn't something I'd buy for myself. Pink Friday is definitely something you'd need to smell and make up your own mind about as I think it's going to be a bit of a love it or hate it fragrance. (Even if you aren't interested in trying this perfume t's worth checking out the bottle it comes in... It is terrifying.) Available here for £22.99*.

Dior- Miss Cherie Eau de Toilette*
This is the Eau de Toilette, which I think smells a little bit different to the Eau de Parfum. This Eau de Toilette is really wonderful to smell, it's a light floral scent with a base of musk that transforms it into something instantly more adult. It smells youthful without being an immature scent. I think it's light enough to wear throughout the summer but musky enough to still be a scent that you could wear in the evenings. To my nose, it is just a perfect scent. I've worked my way through a large bottle of this last year and this sample size was gifted to me to temporarily replace it. It's gorgeous and I think a lot of women would appreciate this as it is both delicate and versatile. Available here for £54.00*.

Molton Brown London- Valbonne

I recieved this sample in last month's Birchbox and it is an absolutely gorgeous fragrance, it's deep and rich without being too heavy. It's described as having " a top note of mandarin and dewy orange flower. Middle notes of Provencal mimosa, rose and deep purple orris. A base of vetiver and leather." It's a very sophisticated  scent, and very more-ish. The more I smell this the more I like it, it's quite a hypnotic smell. I think it would make a really fantastic evening scent for summer as it's floral without being very light- I'm very tempted to go out any buy it although it is advertised on the Molton Brown website as a men's fragrance...  Available here for £65

Dior- J'Adore Eau de Toilette*
J'Adore is a remarkable scent, it's very light scent but is also quite a statement fragrance. It's incredibly difficult to distinguish one (or more) of the particular components of this, it seems to be just a perfectly blended harmony of scents. I like this scent, it's wonderfully fresh and perfect for spring and summer, but in my opinion it just isn't as complex as Miss Cherie. But if you're looking for a fresh, statement perfume then this may be perfect for you. Available here for £54.00*.

Juicy Couture- Couture La La Eau de Parfum
At first I hated this perfume, and then I thought it was okay, and then I hated it and then I liked it. I just don't know with this one guys. It has top notes of mandarin, green apple, redcurrant and hyacinth, heart notes of lily of the valley, peony, violet leaves and orange flowers and bottom notes of smooth wood and liquid musk. It's definitely floral, but to my nose it smells a lot more sweet than musky. The base notes are there but they are really overpowered by the sweetness of the mandarin and green apple top notes. If you've been using DKNY Be Delicious and want something similar but a little less sweet to wear in the evening then Couture La La might be the perfume for you. Available here for £35.00.

Overall, this was a lovely bunch of samples to have been able to try out. Miss Cherie and Valbonne are definitely my favourites out of the bunch but I think all of them have their own personal appeal.

Have you tried any of these? Which one sounds most like something you'd wear?


April 24, 2013

A new beauty box? Introducing BeautecoBox!

Today’s post is on something I’m personally rather excited about! I recently stumbled across BeautecoBox which is a new beauty box service starting on May 3rd. They offer a really interesting new service with three beauty boxes released each month, each of which will feature five different products, and you can choose which selection of products you like best and they’ll send you that box.
new monthly beauty box subscription full size sample products natural eco friendly
[image source:]

In each box BeautecoBox aim to include one or two “star” (most  likely meaning full-size) products and the other three or four products will be normal samples. The great sounding thing about  all this is that you don’t need to take their word about what constitutes a “star” product. You can look up the boxes, see if there’s a product for you and then choose the one you prefer! After my incredibly disappointing experience with Birchbox this year BeautecoBox’s system sounds like a great way to help avoid your customers feeling any disappointment.

In addition, BeautecoBox aims to live up to its name by using a 100% recyclable box which features as  little material waste as possible. I know a lot of  people subscribed to beauty boxes keep their boxes for cheap and easy storage, but it’s good to know that if we ever want to get rid of the boxes that there’s an environmentally friendly way to do so!

I for one really enjoy receiving a monthly beauty surprise and am looking forward to trying out BeautecoBox's new service. I feel as though some of the other beauty box companies have, over time, become incredibly disappointing in terms of their content and all-round service. I love the ethos of BeautecoBox's company and being a big fan of natural products (which it seems BeautecoBox will include) I can't wait to peak inside their upcoming boxes. 

So keep your eyes peeled for the release of these boxes on May 3rd! One month subscriptions available for £10 + £2.95 P&P, whilst prepaid subscriptions plans (3 month, 6 moth, 12 months) are all slightly better value for money with a discount on the cost of each box.  Available here from May 3rd 

Also, there are currently competitions running on beautecobox’s facebook (link) and twitter (link) where you could win one of their May boxes. If you’re interested in trying out this new beauty box and reading more about the boxes contents then I’d recommend checking out those pages!

Do you like the sound of BeautecoBox? What's been your experience with beauty boxes?


April 23, 2013

What's in my Glossybox? April 2013

So this month’s Glossybox FINALLY showed up! I don’t  know why but I always get my monthly box days and days after everyone else. It wouldn’t matter so much if the surprise wasn’t ruined by everyone talking about the boxes on twitter. ANYWAY. Now it’s here I can show you what I got, and I have to say that I am exceptionally pleased with Glossybox this month. Also, how nice is the special edition box this month?

Essie nail polish in the shade Rose Bowl This is such a stunner of a colour, a bright, hot pink and Essie polishes have just the nicest formula. Couldn’t be happier with this to be honest! This has an RRP of £7.99 and is fullsize.

Sleek blush in the shade Flamingo I love Sleek make-up but this is almost a hot a pink as the nail polish! I’m going to give it a go but I have to say I am a little bit nervous about trying this shade out.  I don’t want to end up looking like a clown! Glossybox offered three different shades in their boxes this month, all full size, with an RRP of £4.49.

Nip + Fab’s Mango Smoothie Dry Skin Fix Body Butter I’ve been keen to try this for absolutely ages now so I’m really pleased I received a sample of it. I love mango scents and I have high hopes for this body butter. The full size is 200ml with an RRP of £9.99.

 A-Derma lip balm It took me ages of trying to decipher the box (which isn’t in English- anywhere!) before I just gave up and opened it to find a really gorgeous lip balm inside. The packaging looks and feels exciting and the product is thick and intensely moisturising, and after looking this up online I've found out it's 100% natural. Super happy to try this out! This has an RRP of £7.95.

 5ml sample of Yves Rocher’s So Elixir Purple Eau de Parfum I’m usually against perfume samples but this is actually a very generous sized one and the scent is lovely for this time of year, I love how floral it is but it is a tad strong so a gentle hand is needed. Full size has an RRP of £44.

All in all I was really happy with this month’s box, everything I received I can see myself using and some of the products *cough* the nail polish *cough* I can see myself wearing allll summer.

I’d love to know what you think about the box I received this month?


April 22, 2013

Wake Your Face Up: Dainty Doll Powder Blusher in Shade 004 You Are My Sunshine (Review and Swatches)

review of gorgeous coral gold flecked blush with swatches
colour powder blusher review swatch fotd
dainty doll powder blusher orange county girl shade review swatch

This is the second Dainty Doll Powder Blusher that I've reviewed (you can read my other review here, if you're interested) and it is the second one that I've fallen in love with. Dainty Doll Powder Blusher in the shade Orange County Girl (004) is an absolutely gorgeous peach shade with a healthy dose of very finely milled golden shimmer running through it. I find the colour to be really amazing. It's subtle but noticeable and offers cheeks a really lovely warmth that I've found is a really easy way to wake my face up.

Dainty Doll Powder Blusher in Shade 004 You Are My Sunshine  review swatches fotd

I'm quite pale at the moment (almost back at my palest) so I do apply this relatively lightly although I have applied it more heavily than in the photo above and I still liked how it looks. I use my Real Techniques Blusher Brush to apply this and find that I just have to gently tap it onto the powder and enough will transfer to give a lovely, light application of colour. It really looks lovely on very fair skin as you can wear it very lightly as well as being able to build it up easily and evenly when you want more of a statement cheek. I think this is the absolute perfect blush for people with pale skin like mine to wear in the summertime, when they have just a hint of a tanned glow to their faces. I never tan terribly well but when I'm a slightly darker shade I think the beauty and warmth of this blush will really shine through. Although I'm wearing this a lot at the moment, I can forsee this (and my other favourite shade, Money Talks 004) being summer staples.

The wear time on these blushes is fantastic. When I wear primer under my foundation these do last a bit better, but even without primer I have found that these last really well throughout the day, 9am to 6-7pm, (but with primer the colour looks a bit closer to how it does in the morning right at the end of the day). If I was to go out anywhere in the evening and wanted to look freshly made-up then I would most likely touch up my blusher, but I'd probably do this with all my make-up as my oily skin tends to need some attention after a full day in make-up. Also, it's worth knowing that the packaging of this blush is really quite lovely. The compact is really sturdy and the mirror is really large making this a product that it's really convenient to keep in your handbag.

All in all, these blushes are fantastic. Especially if you pick them up from websites such as HalfPricePerfumes or Fragrance Direct for the seriously low price of £1.99. Keep checking around for these as they frequently come in and out of stock! If you like the look of Orange County Girl I would seriously recommend checking out Money Talks as this is equally (if not more) lovely.

Have you tried any Dainty Doll products? Do you like the look of this blush?


April 20, 2013

Review and Swatches: 17 Mirror Shine On Lipsticks in L.A and Shouty

review swatch lipstick 17 L.A Shouty
review swatch colour lipstick 17 L.A Shouty
lipstick swatch colour 17 L.A Shouty review
17 review packaging swatch mirror lid

I only discovered 17's Mirror Shine Lispticks really quite recently (a couple of months ago) so I've missed a lot of the hype that these little beauties caused. Nevertheless, they definitely deserve a review as I do reach for both of these shades quite often and L.A made an appearance in a FOTD I did a while back. 

I'm a BIG lover of sheer lipsticks, I think they make bright colours really wearable during the day-time and they tend to fade really nicely and easily. They offer a super easy bright lip which needs minimum maintenance apart from reapplications (which I find really easy to do given the fantastic packaging of these lipsticks- that mirror on the lid is so helpful). The formula of these lipsticks is really lovely. They glide over the lips really smoothly and leave a super glossy slick of colour behind. All you need is one layer as I tend to find that they apply really evening but you can also layer them up a little bit to make the colour look more intense. They don't last terribly long, maybe an hour or so, but they feel really hydrating on the lips which is a nice change from some other lipsticks. 

I absolutely love the two colours I picked up. Shouty is a really punchy light, bright pink that I find brightens up my face. I like to pair this with a pink blush to build up a 'just pinched' sort of look, worn like this I think it's super pretty. However, I am wearing it with a peachy blusher in my lip swatch below so you can see how it looks worn like that. L.A looks really orange in the bullet but it swatches a really sheer orange with a red tint to it. I love this shade, it's a lovely colour to wear especially in such a glossy formula. I think it's a really versatile colour and it's perfect for people who don't like high maintenance red or orange lipsticks or are dipping their toes into brighter colours for the first time. As I said, I wear both of these quite a lot but I probably have worn Shouty more as it's a pretty unique colour in my lipstick collection!

You can see more closely what the colours look like below!

L.A Shouty swatch review colour 17 lipstick mirror shine
17 mirror shine lipstick Shouty swatch colour fotd
review swatch fotd lips colour L.A Mirror shine lipstick

Top photo: Shouty (top), L.A (bottom)
Lip Swatches: Shouty (top), L.A (bottom)
sorry about my fluffy fluffy hair!

All in all, I think that these are fantastic lipsticks. They cost £4.79 (available from Boots) which I definitely would say they are worth. I'm thinking of picking up the shade 'Beehive' next, which is the line's most raved about shade, but if you have any shades you'd like to recommend I'd love to check those out too!

What do you think about these lipsticks? Do you like the colours I picked up?


April 19, 2013

Review: Weleda's Skin Food

natural skincare moisturiser to help dry skin rough skin Weleda

I've been using Weleda's Skin Food for a couple of months now and I've started to reach for it more and more recently. It's an incredibly effective intensive moisturiser aimed at very dry, or rough, skin that is in need of some intense hydration. I have a couple of areas that need the help of a product like this, most notably my knuckles which I'm in a constant battle with to keep looking smooth and feeling soft. However, I've also started using this on my heels (as a sort of intensive treatment) to help my feet look more 'summer ready'. On both areas I've found it to be wonderfully effective.

Skin Food is full of natural ingredients, including numerous essential oils, and really is an incredibly multipurpose product (one that is also suitable for Vegetarians). I think this would make a great cuticle cream and I've used it on patches of my eczema before which it has really helped with. Skin Food is a heavy, oily, product that you only need to apply very lightly to feel its effects. It takes quite a while to sink in but when it finally does the benefits are immediately noticeable. This isn't a product I'd use 'on the go', but Skin Food is great to use before bed or on a lazy evening in front of the television or computer as you can apply it and just forget about it while it does its magic. It has a bit of a weird scent (once which is beyond my powers of description) but it isn't unpleasant, just unusual, and I don't think it would put many people off using it. 

I personally grew to really love Skin Food when I got used to its consistency and experienced first hand just how effective it it. It isn't a glamorous product but it is an incredibly useful one and costing just £8.95 for 75ml, which is enough to last you for ages, I think it is worth every penny.

Have you tried Skin Food before? What's your go-to intensive moisturiser?


April 18, 2013

A Disappointing Product: Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean Deep Cleansing Milk

disappointed review of peach skincare cleanser not worth the hype

There is no doubt in my mind that Soap & Glory are a great brand. There are a number of their products that I really love and have even recommended to friends, and to readers of this blog, in the past. After reading a lot of hype about their cleanser, Peaches and Clean, I was really excited to use it. I got it as a gift for Christmas as a part of their Best of All Kit and finally got around to using it about six weeks ago. Since then I have had a really difficult relationship with it. 

It's probably worth me stating that from the very start I was quite cautious about using Soap & Glory's Peaches and Clean Deep Cleaning Milk as I had heard that another blogger had a terrible reaction when they first used this product. As excited as I was to try it, I did skin tests on my neck (three tests, one per day for three consecutive days) just to make sure that my skin could handle it. If there's one thing I don't need it's a bad reaction to a product on my face! Anyway, it passed this first hurdle and I started using it on my face soon afterwards. The first thing I really noticed was the scent of it. With a name like Peaches and Clean I imagined a fresh, fruity scent that would be sweet and gente and would just generally make the whole face washing experience more pleasant. Sadly, I was thoroughly disappointed. Peaches and Clean smells a lot closer to some sort of Peach cocktail. It smells really fake and, to my nose, a little bit alcoholic. I don't like the scent of it at all and it initially it almost put me off it entirely. I've since gotten used to it but the scent alone would make this an instant no-repurchase item for me (which would have felt like a terrible waste as there is a whopping 200ml of product).

A positive aspect of Soap and Glory's Peaches and Clean Cleansing Milk is the packaging and also the colour. I love the colour of the bottle and product, it's really girly without looking scarily artificial and the packaging, as per usual when it comes to Soap & Glory, is really cute. I also absolutely adore the pump aspect of the bottle. Using this with wet hands is child's play and it's really hard to waste product with a bottle like this. If you like to cleanse in the shower then this is probably the sort of packaging you'll like as it's easy to use and completely mess free. It's also great if you use a messy sort of product to remove your make up- slippery hands can be such a pain if there is tricky packaging.

However, and this is the BIG deal breaker, the actual cleansing power of Peaches and Clean on my skin has been incredibly poor. For a product that claims to be a 'deep cleaning milk' it hasn't left my skin feeling particularly well cleansed and I've actually noticed that my blackheads have gotten worse since I started using it. It's very creamy which makes it feel nice and gentle and I think maybe it is just too gentle a product to tackle my skin but I'm in two minds about this as I tend to use relatively mild products most of the time due to my sensitive skin. Also, if people have had terrible skin reactions to using this I don't know if I'd be happy describing it as gentle! Since I started feeling a little bit like I was wasting my time I decided to up the ante and incorporated a facial cleansing sponge into my routine (which I'll be briefly reviewing soon) and this has helped Peaches and Clean work a little bit more effectively but I do think that this is all the sponge's hard work, not the cleanser's. Overall, Peaches and Clean just doesn't do a good job. I've really tried to give it a fair chance, I've stuck with it for what feels like forever and used four fifths of the bottle, but it hasn't improved my skin and it hasn't started to work better. I think I may actually give up on it now as I'm sick of my skin looking so average, especially with summer looming so close in the distance. It would be nice to feel confident with a bare face like I did at the end of January.

All in all, I really would not recommend this cleanser. If you want to try some Soap & Glory products I'd veer towards the bath and body products myself, this skincare item has left a lot to be desired and for £7 in Boots I really don't think that it is worth the money.  Personally, I'd highly recommend checking out Laidbare's cleanser instead. It worked fantastically, especially compared to Peaches and Clean, and smells so much nicer too.

Have you tried Peaches and Clean before? What Soap & Glory would you recommend trying instead?

April 16, 2013

Taking advantage of great offers: A small L'Occitane Haul

l'occitane almond shower oil l'occitane almond silhouette
l'occitane ultra gentle moisturiser shea butter
l'occitane almond silhouette collection minis
almond summer silhouette collection
l'occitane almond shower oil freebies samples

If you've been reading my blog for a while then you'll probably know by now that L'Occitane are one of my absolute favourite skincare brands. If I could, I would buy out the entire shop. I love the quality of their products and my favourite range of all is their Almond range. I've reviewed quite a few products from their range in the past (if you'd like, you can take a quick look at these reviews here, here and here) and all of them have been pretty much raves as I haven't yet bought a product from L'Occitane that I haven't loved.

Anyway! When I recieved an email featuring a pretty sweet offer I swooped in and took advantage of it. The offer was that you got a free 250ml bottle of their Almond Shower Oil (my absolute favourite shower product, out of all shower products... ever... seriously, it's amazing) when you spent £35 or more. Given that the 250ml bottle is worth £17 this is a good offer! Especially good if you were planning on picking something up from there anyway, like I was. 

I've had my eye on L'Occitane's Ultra Gentle Moisturiser for a while now. I've burnt through many a sample sachet of this beauty and always exclaimed how nice it is whenever I've tried it, and yet the price, a pretty steep £25, isn't the sort of money I'd normally splash out on a moisturiser. Tempting offers aside, because yes they are alluring but in this instance they weren't all that encouraged me to shop, I really do think that good skincare products are an investment and that we'll reap their rewards when we start to, ahem, mature. I love my skin, I love how it looks and I'd love it to stay looking like this for years on end but there are also aspects that I'd like to improve. I think starting to use this moisturiser which not only has an 8% Shea Butter content which will nourish and soften by skin but also is specially formulated to be ultra gentle and to help make sensitive skin less reactive. For me, this seems like a worthwhile investment although I'll be interested to see what differences I notice. Naturally, I'll be reviewing this when I've given it a good usage so I can update you on how good it really is.

To bump my purchase up to the needed £35 limit I chose the Almond Summer Silhouette Collection. This is a lovely little pack full of all the Almond products that I love, it's a great way to sample the range if you don't want to invest in a single expensive product. It has my favourite Almond Milk Concentrate, a very generous sized Almond Shower Oil and some gorgeous Almond Hand Cream and exfoliating Almond Delicious Soap (I've reviewed most of these if you want to get a low-down on how good the products are). Usually this set is £25 but there was an offer on which halved it's price making it a far more reasonable £12.50. I'm planning on using this kit as a travel set, especially as it comes with that adorable travel bag. This is the perfect sort of thing to leave at your boyfriend's house as it'll mean you won't have to sacrifice a pampering shower routine even when you're away from your usual beauty arsenal - this is my plan anyway. 

And then the freebies! The L'Occitane Shower Oil was completely free and is going to be topping up my 500ml pump bottle that I keep in the shower at all times. I also got to choose two small samples, I chose the Ultra Rich Body Cream (a gorgeous, thick body moisturiser) and a sample of the richer version of the Ultra Gentle Moisturiser just to see if I like the formulation of it.

The offer code to receive a free 250ml Almond Shower Oil is SOFT13 (enter the code at checkout) and this offer is running until May 1st 2013. The offer on the Almond Silhouette Collection is featured on L'Occitane's website, until stock runs out.

Let me know if you pick anything up from L'Occitane, or if you have any L'Occitane products that you can't live without!


April 15, 2013

Review: Skinetica anti-blemish solution

review blemishes redness skincare problems solution fix

This product has graced many a blog over the last six months, and not without reason. Skinetica is a product that is supposed to help more quickly clear up blemishes as well as helping stop them from occurring- quite some claims, but I would say that it has lived up to them. I started using this about two months ago now (I've actually just finished the bottle that I've pictured above) which means that the 100ml has lasted really quite well. Skinetica is a clear liquid that you apply as you would a toner, I squirt some of the product onto a cotton pad and then apply it to the areas of my face that I feel need some extra help. Using this every evening at the end of my cleansing routine I have really noticed that my blemishes have been far more infrequent than normal and that when I do get a full blown break out this really helps calm down the redness. Skinetica isn't a miracle product though. It doesn't zap spots into oblivion or give you perfect skin. It is, however, a great product to incorporate into your skincare routine if (like me) you are prone to small blemishes that you want to clear of redness (so they don't shine through even your best concealer like little beacons of evil). For me, this is what Skinetica helps with and I've noticed that I don't have to pull out the heavy duty concealer as often since I started using it. My sensitive skin hasn't reacted badly to Skinetica in any way so I wouldn't describe it as harsh on the skin but I do find it tp be just a tad drying so wouldn't recommend it for those out there with super dry skin or eczema.

It's a difficult product to rave about because it's mainly a preventative and it's really easy to overlook the effectiveness of these sorts of products. But I really do think that it has worked well for me and I'm going to be continuing to use it- I already have another bottle! It's possible to get a small 15ml sample off Skinetica's website (here) for free, all you have to pay for is a small delivery charge, which I think is a great way to see if you like the product before buying into a large bottle. The large bottles cost £9.99, which I think is reasonable given how long they last, and are similarly available off Skinetica's website.

Have you tried Skinetica before? What products do you use to help with blemishes?


April 12, 2013

DAYDREAMING... Pet Rabbits

image source []

I know this was a bit of a weird post from me but it's the second post in my 'Daydreaming' series [read my first post here] and they're all going to be about things that I've been daydreaming about a lot and this month I've been pet crazy! For years and years now I've wanted a pet rabbit. I think rabbits are the cutest of all the domestic pets, possibly the cutest of all animals ever. The problem was always that my family didn't agree, we always had cats (which, don't get me wrong, I do love) and we had one dog when I was growing up. It isn't that these pets weren't enough for me, I loved each and every one of them, but they weren't rabbits! They could never hop, they didn't have ridiculously oversized floppy ears, and they didn't make me 'squeeee' with excitement about their cuteness in the way that my friends' pet rabbits did.
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I still, to this day, daydream about owning a couple of house rabbits. The idea of a couple of rabbits hopping about my home fills me with glee- and I can't be the only one! I know that Jennie from sailboat. has a gorgeous rabbit named Ralphie whom she features on her blog often (but not often enough for me!). I don't follow many blogs where people talk about their pets but I find that when you do see them they always make for great personal posts. Sadly, I can't see myself getting a pet of my own any time soon as I'm not going to settling down anywhere for the next couple of years due to continuing on at University after I graduate this Summer. I do, however, still have a gorgeous cat who lives back at home with my family in London and whenever I'm back home he dotes on me like there's no tomorrow. Animals really never forget you, it can be months and months before I see him again and he'll still come and sleep next to me from the first day I get back until the night before I leave, it's adorable. As soon as I move back home and get settled he's going to be coming to live with me! I just hope he can handle a potential rabbit friend at some point.

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For anyone who shares my love of rabbits then this might be worth checking out- a while ago Charlotte from LilMissChickas mentioned on twitter that everyone should look up 'bunstagram' on their instagram. It didn't take much for me to look the hashtag up and as soon as I did I just found tonnes of pictures people had taken of their pet rabbits! It's a fantastic hashtag, definitely one of my favourites and for those of you without instagram, if you just Google 'bunstagram' the result is very similar! 

I  hope you enjoyed this month's Daydreaming post! You can look forward to a return to everything beauty related tomorrow :)


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April 10, 2013

A Product I Keep Picking Up: Revlon's Kissable Balm Stains (Review and Swatches)

Revlon Kissable Balm Stains swatch review pen twist up
Revlon Kissable Balm Stain review swatch colour packaging
rendezvous Romantic Precious Honey
rendezvous Romantic Precious Honey lovesick smitten swatch
rendezvous Romantic Precious Honey lovesick smitten
Swatches of product when first applied, and then swatches of the stains they leave behind.
(left to right: Romantic, Rendezvous, Lovesick, Smitten, Honey, Precious)

I posted about Revlon's Kissable Balm Stains way back when I'd just started my blog and I raved about them! My love for these has not waned but my collection has doubled since then so I thought I'd do an update, especially as I just keep on reaching for them! As you can tell from my photos, Honey (MLBB shade) and Romantic (red) are my two most reached for shades but Lovesick, Smitten and Precious are very new additions to my collection and I think I'll be wearing them a lot through the summertime. I love the look of Rendezvous but I always chicken out of wearing orange shades! When you look at my lip swatches (below) you'll see that it's lovely and subtle but the brightness of the packaging does put me off when I'm choosing a lip colour in the mornings. I'm on a real coral kick right now so I'm hoping that I pick it up more when the weather improves- cloudy, dark, snowy days are not encouraging me to choose bright anything!

Smitten and Precious are shades which aren't available in the UK and I received them in my Canadian Beauty Exchange. Precious is unlike any of the UK balm stains but Smitten is relatively similar to Lovesick. It's hard to see it in my swatches but it's actually a little bit darker than Lovesick which I find makes it a little but more flattering on me. Lovesick and Smitten leave the best stain behind when their glossiness fades so when I want a completely hassle free day where I won't need to worry about smudging or fading these are the colours I reach for. I'm keen to pick up 'Crush' which is a berry shade and I have a feeling it's staying power would be similar to the bright pinks but I think I may wait until autumn/winter before buying it as it isn't particularly summer-y.

All of these Lip Balm Stains look and feel fantastic on the lips, they last amazingly well on the lips and the packaging is incredibly practical. My only complaint is that the lids seem to crack quite easily, although that may be due to the battleground that is my handbag! I haven't tried Clinique's Chubby Sticks (which these are a highstreet dupe of) but at £7.99 these are really affordable for me and I don't think I'd ever try Clinique's Chubby Sticks as I love these too much. I know MUA are releasing a similar dupe called 'Power Pouts' and although I am intrigued I don't know if they will rival Revlon's Kissable Balm Stains. If you haven't already tried one of Revlon's Kissable Balm Stains then I'd highly recommend them. The hype they received last year wasn't for nothing, and I don't think a week has gone by without me using them at least once or twice a week. I love them and I don't think I'm going to stop loving them any time soon.

I hope my swatches help anybody out there who is stuck for what colour might suit them!


(left: Precious         right: Honey)

 (left: Romantic           right: Rendezvous)

(left: Smitten             right: Lovesick)

What's your favourite shade? 


April 08, 2013

Subtle and Gorgeous: Dainty Doll Blush in Money Talks (003)

packaging box
colour bronzer contour blush
face swatch colour color contour bronzer

Dainty Doll was a brand that I'd never tried before but when I saw their products on Fragrance Direct for seriously discounted prices I couldn't say no to giving them a try! I initially fell in love with shade 004 (You are my Sunshine) which I featured in my March Favourites post but Dainty Doll's Blush in shade 003 (Money Talks) is really subtle and needs to be applied for you to be able to see what a stunning colour it is. I find it hard to describe this as a blush as, in my opinion, the shade of it looks a lot closer to what I'd call a bronzer. I certainly use this as a bronzer / contouring product as I don't expect it to add much 'blush' to my complexion. However, I think the look of this product as a bronzer/contour is absolutely stunning. It's actually achieved a considerable amount of compliments which obviously makes me pick it up more often than other bronzers / contouring products that I've reached for in the past.

In the above photo of my make-up, I'm wearing the sort of products that I'd normally team this blush with. I'm wearing Maxfactor's Clump Defy mascara, Eyeko's Pen Eye Liner, the Body Shop's eyebrow pencil in Blonde and Revlon Kissable Balm Stain in Precious. On my Skin I'm wearing very minimal base products, just a Revlon foundation and Collection concealer. I find that if I'm in a rush adding 'Money Talks' with a Real Techniques Blusher Brush is not only very quick but it's pretty fool proof. It's hard to apply too much and it's very easy to blend to create a natural bronzed cheek. As the product isn't at all orange there is now stark contrasts for pale skin and the final effect is really subtle. I think that it's a gorgeous colour and a fantastic product, especially for £1.99! This is going to be a go-to shade for me for summer as it looks great  even when I'm only wearing a light foundation and mascara, but also adds a subtle elegance to a smokey eye as a powder highlighter can be blended across the top of the cheekbone very easily producing a more dramatic (but still not too in-your-face) contour.

I love this and I'd definitely recommend it! If you're pale like me I think you'll love wearing this :) Keep on checking websites like Fragrance Direct and Half Price Perfumes as it comes in and out of stock regularly. 


April 06, 2013

Beauty Haul: Setting myself up for summer

gradual tanner haul
haul make up brushes

I finally caved! It turns out I can't resist Boots' 3 for 2 offer, and then once I was in town Superdrug and Topshop lured me in. I've actually never tried any Topshop make-up before so I'm really excited to try their cheek duo in 'Desert Sun'. Also, you can probably tell that a lot of my choices are ones that are going to prepare me for summer. I got a new set of base products- foundation, concealer and powder. Although I don't really need a new foundation right now (my two new Revlon foundations are really lovely!) I thought that I'd pick this Bourjois one up as my freebie after purchasing the Real Techniques brushes. I'm keen to try the Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer as my Collection concealer is definitely on its last legs and the powder is a summer must have for keeping my oily skin in check! I've also picked up some gradual tanner as well as all the things I'll need for when I embrace instant tan (when it's warmer and I'll actually be able to go out with bare legs). In addition, I've picked up Collection's Shimmer Shades because I think all of the four colours will work really well on me for either contouring or bronzing and three workable shades for around £4 seemed like a good deal. The Mua lipgloss (in the shade Sienna) is a lovely orange colour which will definitely compliment bronzer and tanned skin. All in all this was definitely a hopeful shop, please please please can summer hurry up and get here, because when it does I am going to be ready!

Are you preparing for summer too? What summer-y products would you recommend?

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