UK Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

July 29, 2013

Review: Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoos

eternal gold on and on bronze metallic pomegranate permanent taupe
eternal gold on and on bronze metallic pomegranate permanent taupe
eternal gold on and on bronze metallic pomegranate permanent taupe

My small collection of Maybelline's 24hr Color Tattoos began with On and On Bronze. It was an instant hit because, well, just look at the swatch- what is not to love about such a gorgeous bronze shade! I've been worried about creasing with cream eyeshadows as I do tend to get oily eyelids, however, I've worked out a method which leaves them crease free all day long (you can read about that here) and now I'm kind of hooked on using it. I wore it to a club last weekend and (especially given Britain's crazy heatwave) it survived admirably, honestly exceeding all expectations! But it is not alone in my collection, oh no. It didn't take me long to pick up a few other shades; Eternal Gold, Metallic Pomegranate and Permanent Taupe.

I mentioned Permanent Taupe in last week's Beauty Lurkers post and I am on a mission to get some more use out of it. My only issue is that it swatches really murky against my skin and I find it hard to wear without it making me look a little like I have two black eyes- but I'm working on it! I do find that it makes a good base for dark, matte shadows as it is the only shade I've got that doesn't have shimmer running through it. 

Eternal Gold is a massive dissapointment to me. The pigmentation is so, so lacking and it applies really patchily on me and wears off even more so - even when I prep and prime. I can't work out if I suit gold eye make-up but using this really hasn't helped me decide. Sadly, my only advice is to steer clear of this one.

Metallic Pomegranate had me hooked pretty much instantly. It is so out of my comfort zone as it swatches very red and I've never given much thought to red eye make-up in the past. However, there is something to it that makes it unrelentingly appealing. It has shimmer running through it, those gold flakes you see in my swatch run throughout and catch the light. I have yet to wear this shade out of the house but I'm working on an evening make-up look using this which hopefully will make its debut out into the world soon.

You can find Maybelline's 24hr Color Tattoos at Boots and Superdrug stores for £4.99, which I personally think is a bargain as they're pretty fantastic products.

Do you have any of these? Which of the shades I own do you like the look of?


July 28, 2013

Take a Peek Inside my Bathroom

Since I moved home for the summer I have been really enjoying having a bathroom to myself again. Whether a beauty lover or not it is such a luxury to have a bathroom to yourself, and I for one have really been making the most of it. I have slowly but surely filtered my serious beauty stash into my new found space and it has become, what I like to charitably call, organised chaos. Although I did do a bit of a 'tidy' before taking these photos this is generally how I keep the room - it's cluttered and busy, but that's how I like it. The 'bathroom tour' is going to head around my bathroom counter-clockwise and focus in on the areas where I keep my beauty products.


July 27, 2013

Fake It: Palmers Natural Bronze Body Lotion

I received this bottle of Palmer's Natural Bronze Body Lotion* in the goodie bag that I received at the #LDNBloggersParty and I was very excited to give it a go. With this heatwave that the UK has been having it is sort of expected that us ladies should have some sort of colour to our limbs. Now, when you're seriously pale like I am (and extremely susceptible to burning), tanning isn't exactly an activity in which I indulge. So, when faced with the prospect of a "night out" last weekend I thought it would be nice to bronze up for the occasion.

Now, I am not new to the world of gradual tanners and on the whole I've been thoroughly disappointed with them. However, I have to admit that this Palmer's Natural Bronze Body Lotion is the cream of the crop. It gave an intense colour, much more intense than I was expecting, but it wasn't at all orange and that's the important part. After three days of use my limbs were as brown as they were last summer, after six weeks spent in hot European sunshine (albeit slathered in sun-tan lotion), and it was believable. Comments were made about this faux tan of mine, the kind of comments that all newbies to tanning want to hear. 

"That is the best fake tan I've ever seen."

I was like- BOOM, this ain't leaving my body. And, to top all this off, no-one questioned my suddenly bronzed exterior, it was a noticeable shade, yes, but utterly believable. I wouldn't recommend this if you want something super subtle, but it is absolutely perfect if you want something easy to apply (use a mitt for streak-free application!) that looks really realistic. Oh, and it smells good too, the light cocoa butter scent masked any hint of 'fake tan' so it is totally good for use in the mornings. Basically, it's an all round winner and it comes in at a very respectable £5.35* at Superdrug. Save your skin and fake your tan!

Have you tried any gradual tanners?


July 26, 2013

On My Nails This Week: Essie Rosebowl

notd summer pink nail swatches
NOTD nails lacquer nail paint summer pink shade

So this week I finally ditched Headline Color's gorgeous 'Pool Party' and decided to head back into the bright pink end of the nail spectrum. Pink polishes are probably my most worn as I grew up thinking that pink nails were sort of the be-all-and-end-all - any other colours that I lacquered up with were never met well by my family! Essie's gorgeous Rosebowl polish is definitely 'my comfort zone' when it comes to nail polishes and I've been loving this a lot recently. It's a deep, relatively dark pink that contrasts really nicely with pale skin but comes into it's element against a tan (even if it's fake). If you have tanned or very dark skin then this colour is going to look gorgeous on you and I'd highly recommend it. My only concern is that this nail polish hasn't worn all that well on me. It is the newer Essie formula (which I definitely find superior to the old, thinner formula) and it has a gorgeous thick brush but I find that even with a good base and top coat I see chips after a day or so, which isn't something I expect from an £8 nail polish!

Alas, if only it wasn't so pretty. The other 'pink' Essie polish on my radar right now is 'Watermelon', which Amy posted about, and if this post has got you lusting after a dose of summer pink then you should definitely pop over and give Watermelon an oggle! 

What polish has been gracing your nails this week?


July 25, 2013

Tackling the Beauty Lurkers

raiding shopping the stash

Although it might come across as otherwise, I really do try and avoid impulse purchasing. Whenever I buy things on a "whim" they tend to become beauty lurkers. What I mean by this is that they end up sitting about my room being aesthetically enjoyed but never being put to the use that they were intended for. My beauty lurkers tend to be "hyped" products or products that sounds appealing to me because they're really cute or simply because they're a novelty. I've pictured five products in the image above and all of these are at the top of my lurk-list - I want to use them! I have to use them, to save myself from the otherwise nagging guilt! I've recently started a spending ban (I'm on day seventeen!) to try and stop these sorts of problems and now I'm going to make a concerted effort to spread the love across the whole of my beauty collection.

Number one on the list is Topshop's Lip Bullet in Heartbeat. I picked this up during a period of Topshop mania and although I really like it (it's creamy and opaque in one swipe) the colour is a very loud orange and after wearing it a couple of times I started to chicken out! Since then I haven't reached for it and I feel bad because I purchased it full price and it's a great product. Come on confidence, it's bright lip o'clock!

Second on my list is Rimmel's Scandaleyes Eyeshadow Stick in Tempting Turquoise. After a brief love affair with blue mascara I abandoned wearing blue for ages, when I saw this turquoise colour it looked so on trend. I picked it up because I thought I could look really hip and summer-y with a wash of blue around my eyes. It does look nice but it is so out of my neutral comfort zone and I've only used it once.. I'm going to be giving this way more of a try in the coming weeks.

Ah, the L'Oreal Confetti Topcoat. When this came out I couldn't find it anywhere, for weeks and weeks! So when I finally saw it on the Superdrug website I don't even remember buying it - it was just instantly, thoughtlessly, added to my basket. I've used it a few times and I really do love how it looks but it really hasn't gotten as much use as I would have liked. It'll be adorning my nails soon!

Next up is a Maybelline offering, it's the 24hr Color Tattoo in Permanent Taupe. I own a few of these now, and they were all inspired by On and On Bronze which is honestly the most stunning colour, especially for blue eyes I find. Permenant Taupe is the only other 'neutral' colour I picked out and of the bunch it looks like it should be the most wearable. However, I actually find it a bit muddy and it closes my eyes up a bit. I'm hoping to play around with this a bit to find some sort of way to use it (even if it is just as a base) and maybe I'll do a FOTD when I find something I like.

Lastly, and this was really quite an indulgence, is a Christmas limited edition from L'Occitane, the Marvelous Flowers Shimmering Oil. I rediscovered this when I was lusting after the Nuxe Multi Use Dry Oil and was wondering whether I could justify the price - well, no Angelica, you can't, not when you have a high quality dupe already. It's a really hydrating body oil, but it is full of shimmer! I love putting this all over me when I'm off on a night out but those are few and far between at the moment so I've found a new use for it. I've started using this on my decolletage in the evenings as a sort of delicate, hydrating (and hopefully anti-ageing?) product. No Nuxe for me until I get through it! 

It has just occured to me that this post is quite similar to 'shopping the stash' posts but I refer to products like these as beauty lurkers anyway so I think I'll keep my title! Maybe this will become a series, who knows. I have a lot of beauty products that I've never talked about before and most of them deserve a little more attention.

Do you have any beauty products lurking in your collection?


July 24, 2013

A Disappointing Product: Garnier Moisture Match (Normal to Dry Skin)

Today's post is a nice contrast to yesterday's post - I feel like I have to give you everything in equal measure! Before I begin I think it is worth knowing that I picked up this Garnier Moisture Match Moisturiser with absolutely no expectations. My purchase was entirely down to Garnier's, obviously successful, advertising campaign - coupled by the fact that this was on offer at the time. I also didn't use this (on my face) for the length of time that I usually trial skincare products due to the reaction that it had with my skin. 

I came home for university for about ten days in June and I left my lovely L'Occitane night cream in Leeds and I needed something to use whilst I was at home. Cue the purchase of this Garnier Moisture Match, and I chose the 'Normal to Dry Skin' version because I thought this would be the best for night time use out of the range. Sadly, it almost instantly broke me out. I almost never have this reaction to skincare products so I was pretty annoyed but what is worse is that this really aggravated my dry cheeks, leaving them pretty red and 'angry' looking. Once this happened (it took a couple of days) I decided to stop using it on my face but as it hadn't affected the skin on my neck at all I kept on using it on my neck. I don't know if my reaction to this product was a 'one off' as I know that my skin is definitely sensitive but I've used Garnier moisturisers (and other 'highstreet' moisturisers as well) in the past and I've never had this reaction before!

Lastly, time to be a little bit mean now, I'd also like to take a moment to point out how cheap the packaging looks. These moisturisers look so cute on shop shelves because they come in nice, thick cardboard boxes that are really wonderfully designed. However, the packaging of the actual product is very plain and looks very cheap. The only positive aspect of the packaging is that it is a squeezey tube making it hygienic to use (compared to typical 'pots' of moisturiser). All in all I was left very disappointed! I was hoping to like this and to maybe pick up the version for oily skin but now I can safely say that I won't be trying any of the other moisturisers in the line. Sorry Garnier, this product just wasn't for me. 

Have you tried any of Garnier's Moisture Match Moisturisers?


July 23, 2013

An Old Favourite: L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil Refill!

moisturising shower products to hydrate great for shaving
hydrating moisturising product dry sensitive skin friendly

L'Occitane's Almond Shower Oil is a much loved product of mine and I use it pretty much every single day. I picked up a 500ml bottle in a Christmas gift set that I purchased last November and it was only last week that I finally finished it! That is pretty good going for a product I use every day. 

Because I'm Me, I had a 250ml bottle lurking in my bathroom just waiting to be used as refill. Well, as of July 16th it was officially transferred over and the moment was captured for posterity. This is one of my all time favourite beauty products and if you can afford to invest in it (I know it's really expensive) then it really rewards you. It is the only thing I use when I shave my legs and I think that it has definitely helped keep my chronically dry, eczema ridden skin in check for the last few months. 

So, yeah, that's sort of it! I just wanted to highlight an old favourite and to emphasise that my love for this is not fleeting. It takes love and dedication to use up products like this and as an avid reader of beauty blogs myself I definitely like to know the difference between a blogger's fleeting fancies and their beauty staples. Well, this is one of mine (probably top of my list, even).

Have you tried this? What are some of your beauty staples?


July 22, 2013

My New "Thing": Glossy Lips

After 'discovering' lipstick last November I've been wearing lipstick all the time whilst simultaneously harbouring this, relatively unfounded, dislike of lip glosses. Yes, some lip glosses are sticky feeling and sometimes hair sticks to them - and let's face it, that feels really gross - but glossy lips do look pretty fricking lovely. There's something so sensuously glamourous  about a seriously shiny lip (and I'm not talking about that barely clad, fish-pouting sort of glamourous). I tend to associate glossy lips with youth, and with a sort of carefree, life-loving attitude - towards which I'm always striving. In short, to me they're not just a beauty item, they're a lifestyle choice.

And, you know what, I opted into it. It began with a blog sale purchase of a Mac Cremesheen Glass, one of the most pleasing lip gloss formulas I've ever had the pleasures of coming across. I bought a limited edition shade (Colour Saturation) that admittedly is a little but more on the Autumn/Winter side of the colour chart but I still think it looks great. Spurred on by this early success I went back to some old favourites, the Body Shop Lip Glosses have a wonderful formula and they're lovely and shiny. Now, you can see I was getting more and more into the whole thing, I moved over into Revlon's offerings (most of which I picked up at Fragrance Direct for 99p!). I absolutely love Kiss Me Coral which was sent to me by Kayleigh from Beauty Wish, and Pink Pop is another wonderful summer friendly colour - both of these can be found in Boots and Superdrug. I also have been seen sporting the Model Co. lip gloss that I got free with Glamour recently - surprisingly, for a freebie, it has a really great formula!

I've become accustomed to the upkeep required when wearing lip gloss. I've always got a mirror handy and I kind of like whipping out the adorable little tubes of sheeny goodness to top-up. I also love how light all of these options feel on the lips. In this heat wave that the UK has been having I've enjoyed a very paired down make-up routine - literally just BB cream, mascara and lipgloss, and I've never felt so good. There's a confidence that one can find by trying something different, and to be honest, I think this little foray of mine is just the beginning. I'm on a spending ban at the moment so I can't invest in anything new but I do have a Mac Dazzleglass hidden away somewhere that I previously deemed way too sticky and I'm going to have to give a second chance. Here's to second chances, and to trying something new!

What are your thoughts about lip glosses?


July 21, 2013

Review: Lush Brazened Honey Fresh Face Mask

Brazened Honey Fresh Face Mask available from Lush for £5.95

By now it might have become clear that I'm a little bit obsessed with face masks. I love face masks and I use them for a variety of different skin benefits. This weeks face mask of choice, Lush's Fresh Face Mask Brazened Honey is advertised by Lush as a "detox" mask, for use when perhaps you've been burning the candle at both ends. I have to admit that lately I've been a little lax with, well, everything and my skin has been a little worse for wear - duller than I'd like with a break out or two.

On paper Brazened Honey sounds more than perfect as it contains exfoliating, cleansing and moisturizing elements making it a wonderful 'all rounder'. I have to admit, it performs amazingly and it leaves my skin smoother, softer and brighter looking. I don't think it is the best cleansing mask from Lush (I think Cupcake is probably better suited for my skin) and it is a little bit on the harsh side because it contains ground almond shells, so this is not one for very sensitive skin. However, I do think that is a great mask for oily skin as I've found that it has great de-greasing properties and I think it has had a really positive effect on my normally very oily t-zone. Although, its worth bearing in mind that it does contain eggs, honey and almond oil so it isn't drying at all. Basically, this is one for a whole host of skin types and I'd say it is definitely worth a try, I've certainly really enjoyed using it and have noticed an improvement in my skin.

Do you have a favourite Lush face mask?


July 20, 2013

Birthday Additions: Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh Sunshine

Back at the beginning of the month I turned 21 and for my birthday I received a couple of beauty related goodies. Today I'm sharing with you the big'un, the beauty item that had me hot under the collar for months - Marc Jacob's Daisy Eau So Fresh Sunshine.

Marc Jacob's Daisy is a beautiful scent there's no doubt about it but Daisy Eau So Fresh Sunshine is a limited edition version that smells like its sweeter, younger sister. I'd initially gotten a whiff of this perfume in a magazine and it was love at first smell. The first impression this perfume gives is that it is sweet and fruity with top notes of strawberry and apple blossom, which are tempered by pink grapefruit which keep it from being too sweet. However, its heart notes are floral - violet, jasmine and rose - and altogether these scents work together beautifully. The base notes are woody and although they're very subtle they do seem to do an excellent job of making the overall fragrance much more adult. It isn't excessively sweet or overly floral and to my nose it is the epitome of summer. I've been wearing this non-stop since I got it and I don't plan on reaching for anything else!

This is a limited edition scent so it won't be around for long but you can still find it at Debenhams (link here) and I'd definitely recommend snapping some of this up while you still can!

What's your summer fragrance?


July 19, 2013

"Do you dry brush your skin?"

My dry skin brushing saga began with a fairly innocuous question from my father. We were having a conversation about dry skin when he asked me "do you dry brush your skin?" Now, as much as I love a good moisturiser or body oil I'd never really invested in any skin care tools. A dry brush you say? I didn't even really know what it was or what you did with it. Skip forward four weeks and it's now safe to say that I'm hooked on dry brushing. 

All you need is a natural bristle brush (like the one pictured above) and you use this brush on dry skin, brushing your skin upwards / towards the direction of your heart. I tend to start from my ankles and work upwards, concentrating especially on any "problem" areas. Problem areas for me are areas of cellulite, so the backs of my thighs and my bottom, however, if you have dry or peeling skin you should also focus on those areas. In upwards strokes I work up my body and I dry brush all over. You don't need to press hard with the brush, its best to be gentle on your skin with the aim of improving circulation, removing dead skin and stimulating the lymph system. 

Over time you'll notice a number of different benefits. First off, and this is the first thing you'll notice, your skin is going to look and feel smoother - and you won't need to use any expensive exfoliating products. I also find that when my skin is 'prepped' in this way it absorbs moisturisers / body oily more quickly. The next thing you'll start to notice, although this takes more time, is that your skin's texture will become more even. What I mean by this is that areas of cellulite will drastically improve, both in appearance and to the touch. In addition, I've found that I don't ever get any spots on my back anymore (no more dreaded 'backne') and from what I've read elsewhere dry brushing is supposed to be helpful at reducing body acne generally. All in all, your skin is left smoother and softer. 

Basically, I can't believe I wasn't doing this before. One small addition to my routine and my skin looks and feels so much nicer. If you don't already do this then it's something I'd highly recommend giving a try! You can find body brushes in Boots stores or online, some examples are here and here.

Do you already dry brush your skin?

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July 18, 2013

Illamasqua Cream Blush in Seduce (Swatches and Review)

A couple of weeks ago, before I went to the #LDNBloggersParty, I first went shopping and stepped foot in an Illamasqua store. I've coveted Illamasqua make-up online for a long time now, and I've read countless positive reviews of their make-up. However, I've always been a little bit put off trying anything because of the price. If you don't like something that you've spent £5 on then that's one thing, but when it's £18 or £20 then it seems like a whole different level of waste! So, when I finally had the chance to swatch things in person and to see the amazing quality of these blushes myself I finally felt ready to dish out the dosh and invest in something.

Illamasqua's Cream Blushes are not a cream to powder formulation, they have an honest to goodness cream formula that is thick and melts onto your finger as you swatch them. This makes them incredibly easy to blend but perhaps not as long lasting (particularly in hot weather) as some other cream blushes. Seduce, the warm pink shade that I picked up, is very close to the colour that my skin naturally 'flushes' to. This makes it incredibly easy to wear - even if I overdo it a little bit when I apply it. I first tried applying it with my Real Techniques Stippling Brush but I found that because this Illamasqua Blush is so pigmented it transferred too much product onto my cheek and I was then left having to really blend it out into a wearable look. I found that applying the product with my fingers created the most natural finish which is fine by me as it makes it easier to use on-the-go. 

In the hot summer weather we've been enjoying in London recently it hasn't lasted on my face from morning into the evening. I found that around mid-afternoon (3pm or so) a touch up was definitely in order to keep my face looking totally fresh. However, on cooler days (or more specifically, on days when it's not really humid) this lasts much better, I can see myself wearing this all through autumn and winter! I'm also definitely going to be checking out some of the other shades as I really, really love the formula of these blushes.

Saving the best until last- the best part of all is that this blush is on sale and is reduced to from £18 to £10, and for £10 I can reassure you that this is more than worth it! You can find it on the Illamasqua website or perhaps, like I did, in Illamasqua stores. Anyone pale like myself will find that they can apply this blush very sheerly to achieve a similar natural look (see my face swatches below), however, because it is so pigmented it is an incredibly versatile product that will look good on a lot of other skin tones. 

Have you tried any Illamasqua blushes? What do you think about Seduce?


July 17, 2013

A Weekend Away in Shropshire

Last weekend I ventured out of London to spend the weekend with my friend Tom who lives in the absolutely gorgeous county of Shropshire. The weather was absolutely glorious and it really showed off the countryside in its best light! I had a pretty relaxing time, all we did really was visit his local town of Shrewsbury and go on a couple of walks but it was a wonderful weekend. I thought that today I'd share some of the photos I took, so this post is going to be a little bit picture heavy! 


July 16, 2013

Discovering Bioderma: Photoderm AKN Mat SPF 30 and Sensibio H2O

make up remover and matte summer spf for oily skin

Oh Bioderma, how widely art thy praises sung!

You might be sick of hearing about Bioderma, I know that I for one have read many a review of their micelle solution. But you know what, I gave in to the hype and now I'm joining the flock. I bought a couple of Bioderma products off Escentual, and by a couple I mean two; Bioderma's Sensibio H2O Solution Micellaire and Bioderma's Photoderm Mat SPF 30.

Let's start with the most well known of the two. The micelle solution  is essentially a super powered water which gets off all my (non-waterproof) make-up in one sweep. It's incredibly gentle on the skin and the proof of this is that even when I've got this stuff in my eyes (not on purpose..) it didn't sting at all. I'm super impressed by this as a pre-cleansing / make-up removing product and I'd definitely recommend it. Its price seems reasonable now that I've tried it as it really is pretty great at what it does. However, I wouldn't rely on it on it's own - still use a cleanser afterwards, I don't think a micelle solution is enough to keep skin really clean. Available at Escentual for £4.50 (100ml)

Now, onto the (sun)cream of my Bioderma crop... The Photoderm Mat SPF 30 is a sun cream for your face which doesn't leave you white, streaky or oily. Advertised with mattifying properties in mind it certainly lives up to its claims and offers protection from the sun without leaving you looking shiny or greasy. I've worn this alone and am happy to announce that it doesn't move if you sweat (this stuff isn't going to slide down into your eyes). I've also worn it under make-up and although it feels odd to me as I'm not usually one to use primers all over my face, that is what it feels like when you use this. It feels like a primer. I'm not going to lie, I would love it if this were just a touch thinner in texture as I love my skin to feel 'weightless' but it a lot better than any other facial SPF that I've tried before. Oily skinned gals, this is something that should be on your radar. Holidaying abroad or spending time outside at home, everyone needs to keep SPF products in mind. Available at Escentual for £13.70.

So, to sum up: both products are fantastic, especially for what they cost. Bioderma's Solution Micellaire lives up to the hype and is on my 'to repurchase list'. Bioderma's Photoderm Mat SPF 30 is a fantastic addition to my skincare routine but it isn't the lightest product in the world so I might look elsewhere first before instantly repurchasing.

Have you tried any Bioderma products before?


Mac Lipstick Giveaway

It has been a little while since I did a giveaway and since I've been having a small love affair with Mac lipsticks recently I thought that I'd give one of my subscribers a chance to win one! The prize is one Mac lipstick and you can let me know what shade you'd most like to win. The giveaway is going to run for three weeks (until August 7th) and there will be one winner. (This is a UK only giveaway.)

If you need any help picking a shade you can see my Mac lipstick collection here. I'd recommend any of the shades I own as they're all lovely, but feel free to choose any colour you like from Mac's main collection.


July 15, 2013

My Mac Lipstick Collection

costa chic shy girl vegas volt fanfare ravishing plumful lovelorn syrup

 Mac lipstick collections are somewhat of an oddity as not many other brands get posts such as these. However, I must admit that they are very useful when it comes to choosing new lipsticks as seeing swatches can really help determine if a shade is going to suit. Plus, I for one love a good look into people's make-up collections! So, with this in mind, I thought I'd share my collection with you today. It is comprised of eight lipsticks so it isn't vast but I have nearly all the bases covered when it comes to my little range of shades.


July 14, 2013

Review: Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Radiance Peel

fantastic facial exfoliating mask great for sensitive or red skin

I don't usually like to post full reviews of sample size skincare items as you usually don't get enough product to really give them a thorough test. However, despite this Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Radiance Peel Mask only being a sample size it is an incredibly generous one at 15ml (with a full size coming in at 50ml). What's more, this little tube has so far allowed for six full-face masks with at least enough product for a few more. Honestly, a little goes a long way! 

For the last month, I've been using this Facial Glow Radiance Peel in lieu of a manual exfoliating product and have been reaching for it every five days or so. What I've noticed whilst I've been using it is that my skin has become seriously, visibly, obviously, all-the-"ly"s, less red and sensitive, and I've also noticed that the texture of my skin has been wonderfully smooth and even. This is a product that I didn't know I needed but now I don't think I can go without it. Sadly, the full size costs a beastly £40 (at Space NK) which puts it outside my price range. But, if you can get your hands on a sample or if you want a present that will keep on giving, then this is something that I couldn't recommend more highly. I love it and I'm going to scour the interwebz for sample sizes - if I can help it this baby is going to stay in my routine!

Do you use an exfoliating treatment?

July 13, 2013

The Body Shop Jasmine and White Frangipani Scented Candle

I know it's summer and I know candles aren't exactly summer "appropriate" (yes I did mime the quotation marks with my hands), but I like my rooms scented! Now, I know for a fact that this candle from the Body Shop isn't going to be to everyone's tastes. I had this before I moved out of my flat in Leeds and my two flatmates did not like the scent of this one bit. Me, however, I love it! It's a little bit heavy for this summer weather but whenever its even a little bit chilly, or raining, I go back to lighting this up. It's a very comforting fragrance and the candle gives off a noticeable scent even when unlit. My only complaint is that wax is left around the edge of the glass jar as the candle burns down meaning that product goes to waste. This, I presume, is result of the candle having only a single wick and it is a great shame as I don't like the idea of spending £10 on a candle for half of it to go unburnt! I'd definitely consider repurchasing this, or trying some of the other candles, based on their scent but the wasted product aspect really irks me. Sadly, I don't think these candles are worth £10 but if you can nab one in one of the Body Shop's many offers then at a lower price they'd be worth a try.

Are you still burning candles, or am I a crazy lady?


July 12, 2013

Out With The Old: The Make-Up Clear Out

This weekend I'm off on a trip to see my friend Tom who lives in a gorgeous little village in Shropshire. As I'll be away for a few days I had a little rummage through my make-up collection to pick out bits and pieces to take with me. Whilst I was rummaging, I started to notice quite a few beauty items (especially mascaras...) that I really should have thrown away by now. In order to take control of the situation (and also as an exercise in procrastination) I decided to have a little clear out of any make-up that was most definitely past its use-by date.The result of this clear out was the removal of seven items; MaxFactor's Clump Defy Mascara, MacFactor's 2000 Calorie Mascara, a sample of Clinique's High Impact Mascara, Sleek's Blush in Fenberry, Bourjois' Clubbing Liquid Eyeliner, Bourjois' 10 Hour Sleep Effect Foundation and a sample of Yves Saint Laurent False Lash Effect Mascara.

I don't know about you but I find it incredibly hard to let go of some beauty items if they aren't completely used up. I'll admit now that I didn't even like some of these examples (MaxFactor's 2000 Calorie Mascara was one of the worst mascaras I've ever tried, and the Sleek Blush was far too dark for me) but I couldn't let them go. There are, however, three beloved items that I'm saying goodbye to. The Bourjois 10 Hour Sleep Effect Foundation was my first ever foundation (although this is probably my second or third bottle) and although this isn't empty it is old. Then there is the Bourjois' Clubbing Eyeliner, which remains my favourite liquid eyeliner to this day. I've probably gotten through six tubes of it over the years  and I actually had a back up tube ready to go, so I don't know why I've hung onto this one for so long. Lastly, the most recent addition of the lot (and you can tell by the packaging), is MaxFactor's Clump Defy Mascara. this was an instant hit and I feel as though I really should have reviewed it before giving up on it due to its advanced age. Almost six months old, and having been used almost every day, it is definitely time to retire this mascara - I really don't want an eye infection, even if it is sunglasses weather.

It's hard to determine what products should bite the dust, but when you look through your make-up collection in your heart of hearts you just know. Honestly, your skin, your eyes and your health are all worth replacing old make-up for. It doesn't have to be an activity you enjoy but it is definitely a necessity, and if you're anything like me you'll probably have a few back-ups that will take the place of anything lost. 

What make-up products do you own that in your heart of hearts you know you should bin?


July 11, 2013

On My Nails This Week: Headline Colors Nail Polish in Poolside Party

summer blue nail polish bright

It's party time on my nails this week, of the Poolside variety. This bright blue offering is seriously head-turning and it is the first polish in a while that I've got multiple compliments on. I've worn this before on my toes but now I know it isn't too much for my hands I think it'll be gracing them a lot this summer. I received this nail polish in a beauty box and Headline Colors is a new brand to me. The polish stands up remarkably well though, the formula is opaque in one layer and completely streak free in two. It lasts for almost a week (seriously good going) and, you know what, I've come to love the shade. I know they do more conventional colours, think along the lines of a classic red and mauve, but Poolside Party is a fun pop of colour especially given my heavily monochrome wardrobe! You can find these polishes on the Headline Colors website for £9 (with free delivery), I think they're worth it and I'm eyeing up the shade 'Belladonna'!

What nail polish(es) have you been loving lately?

July 10, 2013

The Must Have: Antipodes Divine Face Oil

Over the last few months I've definitely tried to bring my skincare routine up a notch. The shadow of my twenty-first birthday loomed in the distance and now it has passed me by it has definitely been reassuring to know that my skin is in good hands. One of these good hands is Antipodes, their Divine Face Oil has been gracing my face for about six weeks now and its effects have not gone unnoticed.

I have been known to suffer from eczema on my face and to have blotchy skin and these two skin problems have definitely been improved by Antipodes Divine Face Oil. I use it in the evenings in place of a serum (I apply it after my skincare routine waiting for it to completely absorb before applying my night cream) and couldn't be happier with it. On FeelUnique it costs £18.99 for 25ml which I initially thought of as extortionate. The endless good reviews wore me down and, taking advantage of a 10% off code, I caved and soon enough it was in my house and on my skin.

As someone who suffers from combination skin (oily t-zone, dry cheeks with all-over sensitive skin) I was ambivalent about using a facial oil as I thought it would aggravate my t-zone. Although I haven't noticed drastic improvements in my oil production I do think that it has settled down a little bit, meaning that I no-longer have days where I look in the mirror and silently curse my face for it's random oil outbursts. Antipodes Divine Face Oil is 100% oily skin friendly and it has a lot to offer sensitive skin too. It is a great all-round product and I think it does a lot more than a serum (probably the combined job of Hydraluron and Peptabright which I'm going to be starting to use regularly in the mornings). I don't feel as though I strictly need an equivalent to use during the day as this does a great job but I am keen to keep on fading acne scars and other skin pigmentation so I am still looking to add to my morning routine. As facial oils take a while to absorb I definitely prefer them as night time products, especially as I don't feel as though it works well under make-up.

So, all in all, this is an awesome facial oil that does a lot for your skin. It really has improved the look and feel of my skin and I have every reason to believe (especially given other reviews that I have read) that these improvements will continue. Antipodes Divine Face Oil is a wonderful place to start if you're thinking of giving facial oils a try!

Do you use a facial oil?

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July 09, 2013

Worth the Hype? Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in Ivory

worth the hype swatches review
base heavy review swatch

I've read so much about Rimmel's Wake Me Up Foundation on blogs, it's been everywhere and I felt a little bit reluctant to write about it. People seem to love this foundation and when I finally bought it I expected to love it too. It's promise of a base that would keep me from looking fatigued and that would actually provide a bit of luminescence kept me hopeful, but the shade (I chose the lightest shade which is in Ivory) is too dark for me. Oddly, in my pictures below it looks very pale but it just doesn't quite cut it. It has an orange tone to it that stops it from matching my skin and I had to apply it down my neck to keep everything looking normal. The colours may work for you but if you are very pale, or just as pale as me then sadly there won't be a colour for you. I plan on using this as my 'summer' foundation- if I ever get a tan I'll probably pick this up and use it so as to not have to repurchase my other, more expensive, foundations in darker shades.

In terms of coverage this is medium, but it felt on the heavier side. I felt this on my skin far more so than I would Revlon's Nearly Naked Foundation or my much beloved Dior BB Cream. I like having products like this in my collection so that I have the option to wear a heavier base should I need to but, personally, I wouldn't like to wear this every single day. Also, I did notice that throughout the day (when worn without a primer) it settled into all of my pores. I have open pores on my nose and around my nose, straying into cheek territory, and normally only the pores on my nose are ever a problem. However, Rimmel's Wake Me Up Foundation settled into any and all pores it could lay its hands on which left me looking worse off towards the end of day. This is it's only major vice, it didn't oxidise or slip of my face (and it wasn't at all glittery on my skin), but if you have open pores like I do than I would be wary when using this foundation- a primer is a must.

All in all I think that this wasn't worth the hype. It is an okay foundation, it offers good coverage, but I don't think it perked my face up any more than any other foundation I've tried.  I will be using this but only sparingly, I can only assume that everyone else who loved it must have very different preferences to me.  You can find it in Superdrug and Boots stores or online here.

Have you tried this foundation?


July 08, 2013

Discovering Lee Stafford: Poker Straight Dehumidifier and Flat Iron Protection Shine Mist

I'm not usually one to do much experimenting when it comes to hair products but I did recently decide to branch out a little bit and give a couple of new products a try. Lee Stafford is a brand that I've seen grace many a blog and with their shiny in-your-face pink packaging I can't say that I haven't noticed their products when I've bopped into Boots. I've recently started using heat on my hair again (I occasionally straighten it and since I was given a hair dryer for my birthday I have also been using that) and so I was in need of some heat protection. Enter Lee Stafford's Poker Straight range, I decided to pick up a couple of travel sizes and the Flat Iron Protection Mist didn't make its way into my basket alone. Oh no, I couldn't help myself and decided to give the Dehumidifer Spray a try as well. 

Long story short, this pair works really well together. The heat protection spray has done a great job of keeping my hair healthy without gunking it up and making it look or feel heavy or greasy. The spray produces a wonderful fine mist of product that covers large areas of hair lightly, which I think is a key factor to most hair products.Whilst the Dehumidifier Spray has worked wonders in this weirdly humid London weather to keep my hair straight and frizz free throughout the day. The Dehumidifier spray is akin to a very light hairspray so I don't think it is a complete game changer but it definitely is a good product and one that I'll be purchasing in the fullsize. I'm also really happy with the heat protection spray and will definitely be repurchasing this in the future. All in all, this was a very happy accident as I didn't do any research and was completely influenced by the glitzy packaging! I always suggest trying hair product minis wherever possible because everybody's hair is different and otherwise it is so easy to waste your money. Sadly, I can't find these minis on the Boots' website but they are still in Boots stores! The full sizes both have an RRP of £5.99 and I personally bought my minis for £1.99 each (as part of a 3 for 2 offer).

What heat protection products do you use? 


July 07, 2013

Soothin' and Smoothin': Super Facialist Rose Hydrate Intense Moisture Mask

hydrating moisturising face mask to soothe and refresh tired or dry skin

I own another Super Facialist face mask and my success with that one definitely encouraged a second dip into Super Facialist's skincare offerings. This face mask happens to be another wonderful gift from my friend Tom (he knows how to spoil me) and I am thrilled with it. I have a small arsenal of face masks aimed at exfoliating and cleansing my skin but there's not one moisturising mask in sight. Super Facialist's Rose Hydrate Intense Moisture Mask had its work cut out for it as I had high expectations, but it didn't disappoint.

Rose scented but oddly grainy, it was all a little unexpected. I'm not used to such soothing scents gracing my face when I apply a mask and the texture is downright bizarre. However, ten minutes later without one moment of stinging (always a good sign that what I've slathered on isn't irritating my sensitive skin) I removed the face mask with warm water and my trusty face sponge to find far smoother and more hydrated skin. It was a success story from day one, and now I happily use it once a week to counteract any dehydrating effects from my weekly clay mask. And every week it repeats its magic, it isn't a one hit wonder. It is definitely suitable for sensitive skin and I find it very effective, which isn't what I was necessarily expecting from a drugstore face mask. The Super Facialist range is really quite fabulous, for a fraction of the price of higher end face masks you get a wonderful product (and quite a lot of it too). I've been using my 125ml tube of Super Facialist's Tea Flower Deep Clean Pore Purifying Mask for months and months now and I still have product left. The amount of product you get makes them even better value for money and means that I'll undoubtedly be using this hydrating face mask into winter, which is lucky as that is probably when I'll most need it. 

There isn't anything I dislike about this face mask, I'm even a fan of the packaging (and I can be really fussy when it comes to packaging). Overall, it's a winner and I'd definitely recommend it, but if it doesn't tickle your fancy then (if you haven't already) do take a peek at the Super Facialist range at Boots as there a whole range of lovely products worth some attention. You can find this face mask in Boots stores or online here.

Do you use a moisturising mask?


July 06, 2013

Beauty Bargain: Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipsticks (review and swatches)

(left to right: Latino, Precious Brown, Notting Hill Nude, Sweetheart Tulips, Violet Pop, Dusty Rose, Pink Chic)

After I dipped my toes into Fragrance Direct's stash of Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipsticks I loved the formula so much that I went back for more, five more... You might think I'm mad but at 99p a pop (with a normal RRP of £6.29 in Boots)  I let myself indulge a little bit. Some of these shades aren't available in stores but I've seen Latino, Precious Brown and Notting Hill Nude on the shelves of Boots so there's always the chance to swatch some of them for yourself before taking advantage of the bargains online prices.

The formula of these lipsticks is really nice. Advertised along the "moisturising" end of the scale they live up to expectations and aren't at all drying whilst still managing to maintain a very respectable three hour average when it comes to wear time. However, what makes them different is the colours. It might seem obvious but for me a lipstick is all about the colour, I can forgive a formula if I love a colour enough. Rimmel's Moisture Renew Lipsticks may not look like much in swatches (even to my eyes!) but on the lips they just look, I don't even know how to type it, they just look damn nice. The kind of nice which has you looking at yourself in mirrors and smiling. Very surprisingly Latino has become a front runner despite looking visibly frosty (it has an air of Mac's Costa Chic to it, frosty but still wearable and oh so summery). Notting Hill Nude is another shade I've been particularly enjoying as it is incredibly pretty whilst still being demure and low maintenance - I've not been one for frequent touch ups lately. Of the three pinks (which I imagine might look like the most wearable looking of the bunch) Violet Pop is definitely the most dramatic whilst Pink Chic is as close as I can stray into 'Barbie' pinks without getting washed out. Sweetheart Tulips is incredibly wearable as it is loud without being too bright, I think will suit a lot of skin tones. Precious Brown is a lovely shade, sheer enough to be wearable on me but it is just too glittery for my tastes - you can't see it too well when you swatch it but on the lips, especially if you layer it up, it is noticeable. Dusty Rose was the only real disappointment, it looked lovely in swatches I saw online but it doesn't look as pink as I was hoping and it is hard for me to pull off such an opaque brown tone. I'm sure it will be to some people's liking though.

All in all I'm pretty happy. It's hard to choose lipstick shades online so liking 5/7 of my picks isn't exactly bad odds, especially when the whole lot came close to the price of buying just one lipstick instore. You can find these lipsticks on Fragrance Direct.

Have you tried any of Rimmel's Mositure Renew Lipsticks?

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