UK Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

October 31, 2014

Upcoming Lush Releases: New Shampoo and Massage Bars

image lush new releases

I was recently scanning the pages of the latest Lush catalogue and I spotted quite a few new products that are part of an upcoming release. I've asked in store at Lush on South Molton Street and the sales assistant told me that the massage bars are due in store on November 1st and the shampoo bars are due in store on November 21st. These new shampoo and massage bars might not be of interest to everyone but I'm certainly excited. There's a massage bar full of coffee beans (coffee beans!) that I'm particularly lusting over and a shampoo bar packed full of argan oil (and with a witty name too). If you're keen to know more then all the information on these products are available in Lush's catalogue which can be picked up for free in Lush stores.

 Do you use Lush's shampoo or massage bars?

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October Beauty Favourites

image beauty blogger favourite products from October 2014

October 30, 2014

Out with the Old (and very quickly in with the new)

deep cleansing face mask

Just when I think I'm about to bid a beloved beauty item farewell I remember that I've already got a back-up somewhere in my beauty stash. Thus was the case with Origins' Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask. I finally finished up the 75ml bottle that I picked up last Christmas and its promptly being replaced with a new tube that I was gifted for my birthday in July. I think I expected to finish it more quickly than I did, but I've got about three or four really gorgeous face masks in my collection now and I'm just not as reliant on Origins' Clear Improvement Mask as I used to be. That being said, I still think it is great for a deep pore detox and I reach for it at least once every fortnight. It is one of those skincare "extras" that I really like having to hand and I'm so glad I already had a replacement ready to go!

What beauty products do you regularly repurchase?

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October Beauty Empties

image of products Ive used up this month
image of products Ive used up this month

October 29, 2014

My Blow LTD Giveaway Win

image of gift with purchase Blow LTD

A couple of weeks ago Blow LTD (a website selling a whole array of beauty goodies) were offering a free gift with purchases over £60. I follow Blow LTD on twitter and saw that they had a giveaway running which was promoting this offer - they were offering their twitter followers the chance to win the gift with purchase goody bag for free. I entered, because why not eh, and I was very pleasantly surprised when I got a tweet telling me that I'd won. I was particularly happy because I knew that one of the products in the gift with purchase was an Ilia lipstick, and I've wanted one ever since Evelyn reviewed hers over on her blog - We Were Raised by Wolves. If you want to see what else was in the goody bag then I've included some photos below!

image of gift with purchase Blow LTD
image of gift with purchase Blow LTD

The products don't all match the promotional photos that Blow LTD used to promote their gift with purchase but personally I'm really happy with what I've been sent. There's a nice mix of products and I haven't actually tried any these brands before! I have to give a big thank you to Blow LTD for picking me as their winner and if you want to see any reviews sooner rather than later then let me know in a comment. 

Have you won anything recently? Do you enter twitter giveaways?

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October 28, 2014

Let's Go Lashes in Flirt 3

image of affordable false lashes
affordable false lashes

Recently I was contacted by Let's Go Lashes who very kindly offered to send me some of their strip lashes to try out. I am a complete false lash novice - I've never really worn them before, I think I've only tried to apply them once - but in the interest of trying out new things I took them up on their kind offer and chose the style Flirt 3*. Let's Go Lashes offer 40 different styles of false lashes which are divided into four ranges - Flirt, Tease, Temptress and Heartbreaker. I chose a pair from the Flirt range because I wanted some that gave me a 'fluttery' (and indeed a very much flirty) eye look. There are, however, all sorts of lashes to choose between and their false lash menu really impressed me. 

So, how did I get on - well, applying the lashes was easier than I thought it would be. I applied the lash glue provided and placed them on my lash line using tweezers and then pressed down on the inner and outer corners to secure the lashes. This was much easier than I expected! The lashes stayed in place for a long time and didn't fall off or need touching up. I disguised the lashes by applying liquid liner and also a small amount of mascara to my actual eye lashes - although I think this wasn't entirely necessary. All in all the process was simple and straightforward and the effect was really striking. I also feel as though one set of lashes could easily last me more than one wear as they seem to be durable and good quality (although I have't tried other brands so I don't have a reference for comparison).

 My only real issue is that I have quite hooded eyelids and these Flirt 3* lashes added so much length that they just didn't really suit me. Although I enjoyed trying them out I wouldn't  incorporate these into my regular routine, unless I could find a pair that suited my eyes better. Below I've included a before and after picture - the top image is of me wearing no mascara (annoyingly there is a bit of eyeliner on my lashes) and the bottom image is of me wearing Let's Go Lashes in Flirt 3*. I think you'll see that the contrast is striking! 

Although I didn't fall in love with the style of the lashes, trying them out really opened my eyes to the "false lash experience". My eye lashes could never look this long and full without false lashes and there are definitely occasions when I could see myself wearing them. I'd definitely recommend Let's Go Lashes and if I were to go on to try any others from their range then I'd definitely opt for Heartbreaker 2 and Flirt 2, as now know more what I should be looking for and these seem like they fit the bill perfectly.

Let's Go Lashes are offering all of you lovely lot a discount code where you can pick up 3 sets of false lashes for £9 - which is a very good deal as individually they sell for £6.50. If you're interested, just follow this link to the Let's Go Lashes online shop, choose your 3 pairs of lashes and enter the code LG3FOR9.

Do you wear false lashes? Have you tried Let's Go Lashes before?

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October 27, 2014

Introducing TEN Skincare's Anti Ageing Range

TEN Skincare contacted me this month and offered to send me their Anti Ageing Range* to feature on my blog. Now, I know that at the age of twenty-two I'm not in a position to review anti-ageing products but I did want to share the brand with you and give you my experience of the skincare products based on their ingredients, texture and how they work on my skin as although some skincare products are marketed as "anti ageing" they can still function well on a variety of skin types. I also plan on passing these along to my Dad soon so that he can write up his opinions on their anti-ageing properties which I will either add in to this post later or will include in a further separate post.
 I'm particularly keen to talk about TEN Skincare's products because I think they offer a very good range that is not only cruelty free but is also free from; parabens, ethanol, SLES, dyes, colour, lanolin and paraffin mineral oil. I'm certainly not "perfect" when it comes to all the products I use but I am trying to be more conscious about my beauty choices. If you're in a similar position to me and are looking for effective skincare that doesn't contain some of the nastier ingredients often found in beauty products then I would definitely suggest TEN Skincare's range. I've tried out four products and I've written a mini-review for each one. 

Revive Eye Contour Instant Lifting Cream Anti Ageing Luminescence Exfoliaiton

RRP £29.70*

This eye cream is rich without being heavy and it has a very gentle and comforting natural scent. It contains moisturising ingredients including shea butter and sweet almond oil which combine the benefits of Vitamin A and E as well as fatty acids. Together they work to create a product that is nourishing but that still completley absorbs into the skin with a speed that makes it suitable for use in both the morning and evening. It's a really lovely eye cream and it is by far my favourite of the eye creams that I've tried so far. It does also have anti-ageing properties, it contains Argireline that is a synthetic anti wrinkle ingredient that is supposed to reduce deep wrinkles and fine lines by preventing muscle movement. I can't personally comment on this aspect of the product, but the texture and high quality ingredients of the product are impressive enough for me to give this a strong recommendation. 

RRP £34.50*

The big name ingredient in this face cream is hyaluronic acid which is a bypolmer that absorbs the most moisturise compared to other ingredients. What this means is that by weight a small amount of hyaluronic acid will be much, much more moisturising than the same amount of water or other hydrating ingredients. Additionally, this moisture will not only penetrate the top layer of skin but will hydrate the lower levels of skin too. The cream is another light formula that absorbs quickly into the skin and I think it would be suitable for either day or nighttime use. It doesn't leave behind any residue on the skin which means that it would be suitable to use under make-up. I found this a rich moisturisers without it being heavy, but it wasn't entirely suitable for my combination skin-type. However, I think this would just be a dream product for those with dry skin.

 RRP £34.50*

This another light cream that is perfect for use during the day. The ingredients definitely suggest that it would be better for the daytime as it contains rice bran oil that offer natural protective properties against UV light. It also contains Jojoba Oils and these do leave a very light film on the skin but it is non-toxic and non-comedogenic so it doesn't block pores or cause breakouts. Additionally, both these ingredients contain tocopherols which are natural agents that work against free-radicals. So what you're left with is a very hydrating day cream that protects skin from a variety of daily stresses. If I didn't wear makeup daily then this would a great barrier to protect my skin but I find that it doesn't work as well as I would like under make-up. I have a feeling that my dad might really enjoy this product, as it has great moisturising and anti-ageing properties and the protective properties will come in handy as we live in London (aka pollutant central). 

RRP £29.70*

For me, this is the standout product. It's a cream based AHA exfoliater, and I haven't come across anything quite like it before. AHA's are naturally occurring acids derived from plants such as sugar cane, apples, grapes and citrus fruits. These AHA molecules penetrate the first level of skin and help slough away dead cells, leaving behind a brighter and fresher complexion. Alongside the use of AHA's, TEN Skincare's Luminescence Skin Exfoliation also contains Golden Jojoba Oil which has known anti-ageing, moisturising properties. Together, these two ingredients work to leave you skin glowing. You apply the cream as would a moisturiser and when you've finished massaging it into your skin you simply rinse it away. It works so well but still seems to be quite gentle compared to other AHA based exfoliaters that I've tried before. Although this definitely has benefits for ageing skin, I think this is a product that is suitable for anyone looking for an effective exfoliation product. I've really enjoyed using it and I'd definitely recommend it! 

Have you heard of TEN Skincare before? 
Did you like the sound of any of these products?

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October 26, 2014

My MaxFactor Mascaras (False Lash Effect and Masterpiece)

recommended drugstore mascaras

For the last few months (four, or maybe even five) I've exclusively been using two mascaras from MaxFactor (barring one encounter with a mascara from W7). They're actually both repurchases, I've used MaxFactor's Masterpiece Mascara once before and I've gone through countless tubes of their False Lash Effect Mascara as it was my go-to for years when I was a teen. However, now that I've tried the Masterpiece Mascara I don't know if I'll be repurchasing the False Lash Effect.

lengthening defining drugstore mascara
lengthening defining drugstore mascara

MaxFactor's False Lash Effect Mascara has a very thick brush that adds a lot of volume to lashes - perhaps too much. I find it can be a bit too much for everyday wear as I've come to prefer a lighter and more fluttery eyelash look. I find the brush can be a little bit hard to work with, partly because of its size but also because product pools at the end of the brush often causing awkward smudges on my eyelid. The formula is really great though, it's incredibly long lasting and waterproof and I find it can hold a curl very well. I've become more accustomed to reaching for it when I'm going out in the evening or if I think I might get rained on, because this bad boy is not going to budge. (This does mean that you need something pretty hefty to remove it - I generally turn to Liz Earle's Cleanse and Polish which does a great job.)

MaxFactor's Masterpiece Mascara has a much thinner brush that gives tremendous length and definition but not a whole lot of volume. I use this pretty much every single day and I repurchased it as soon as I finished my last tube because I didn't want to try anything else. The brush is really easy to use and I don't have any problems with it, I hold it at the roots of my lashes and then wiggle it upwards to get as much length as possible. It doesn't have the same lasting power as the False Lash Effect Mascara but this does mean that it is much easier to remove, which I definitely prefer for general everyday wear. I find that I don't need anything special to remove it, I've been using Garnier's Micellar Solution and L'Oreal's Gentle Eye Makeup Remover and they both do a great job. 

As I've been using both of these mascaras for so long it is definitely time for me to get around to replacing them. I've got a Maybelline option in my stash to try out next but I know for a fact that I'll be repurchasing MaxFactor's Masterpiece Mascara again very soon and I'd definitely recommend it.

What mascaras do you like using?

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October 25, 2014

A Passion For Natural's Aloe Vera Bodycare Range

Earlier this month A Passion For Natural very kindly offered to send me some of their products to try out. I received their 100% Organic Aloe Vera Body Butter*, 100% Organic Aloe Vera Lotion* and 100% Organic Aloe Vera Body Scrub*. You probably wouldn't know this but I am a complete sucker for aloe vera products, I love how soothing and gentle they tend to be and I really like that they're usually almost scentless (because sometimes you just want something that smells clean and fresh rather than heavily fragranced). What this meant is that the light scent of A Passion For Natural's products totally appeals to me, but I have to admit that the packaging of the products did initially put me off as I don't normally associate soothing and organic products with the colour black. But lets not quibble over colours because it would be wrong to judge the book by its over. 

Since I received the products they're the only scrub and moisturisers that I've been using. I personally think that the 100% Organic Aloe Vera Body Butter* is the stand out product out of these three and I really really like it. I find it difficult to find really good moisturisers at an affordable price point that aren't too thick, too greasy or that aren't filled with chemicals with which my skin disagrees, but this body butter ticks all the right boxes! The 100% Aloe Vera Lotion* is lighter in consistency but still does a good job at hydrating skin and sinks into skin nice and quickly making it perfect for everyday use. I've been keeping the 100% Aloe Vera Body Scrub* in my shower, using it every couple of days. The packaging isn't the easiest to open (especially with wet hands) but the scrub itself is quite thin  with large exfoliating particles that offer a medium level of exfoliation. It isn't as scrubby as I like but it will be perfect for more sensitive skinned ladies or those looking for an exfoliating product to use regularly and it has the benefit of leaving skin soft and hydrated after use. Although I like the body scrub I don't love it, but I would definitely recommend both of the moisturisers especially the body butter. You can find A Passion For Natural's products in Boots and online at Revital for £6.99-10.95.

What body scrubs and moisturisers have you been using lately?

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October 24, 2014

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap in Green Tea

washing make up brushes soap
washing my make up brushes soap

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap* is one of those hyped products that I've put off trying because everyone talked about it all the time. This might seem silly but it comes from a place of sanity. I usually a) don't like talking about the same things as everyone else when they're talking about them and b) sometimes I just can't believe the hype. I remember when Bioderma hit the scene and beauty fanatics raved about it. All I could think for months was "why is everyone going so mad about bottles of water?". Inevitably I caved and I will be the first to admit that in the case of Bioderma I had judged the book by it's cover and had gone months without the wonder of miceller goodness. Well, to my pleasant surprise, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap* is another one of those products that well deserves the chatter that surrounds it. I picked mine up at the #BloggersTeaParty in the Green Tea scent (which I chose for myself, although it was a very close call between Green Tea and Almond) and not only does it smell amazing and not at all fake and perfumey but it does a blooming brilliant job of cleaning my makeup brushes! It does it in about half the time, using 1/3 of the amount of product, as baby shampoo (which I've been using for years) and now I just can't imagine going back.

Other than using less product and saving me time there are a whole host of other reasons to switch to Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap*. Not only is it a cruelty free product but it is also suitable for vegans, meaning that it doesn't contain any animal products or by-products. The brand also has a fair trade and eco friendly ethos, with all the packaging being made out of recycled plastic. If a product works then that's one thing, but a product that works from a brand with strong ethical values that makes it suitable for all (or nearly all) beauty junkies is another thing altogether - and I think it probably explains Dr. Bronner's success and subsequent good reputation. I'm going to be investing in a big bottle of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap* when my small bottle comes to an end (although I can see it conceivably lasting me a couple of months if I reserve it for my brushes). You can find sizes from 59ml all the way to 946ml in a whole array of pleasant fragrances over on Dr. Bronner's website (RRP £1.99 - £13.99).

Have you tried any of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps? What do you use to wash your make-up brushes?

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October 23, 2014

Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick in Minx (compared to Magnetism)

I finally got my hands on one of Illamasqua's new Glamore Lipsticks in October's YouBeauty subscription box. I received the shade Minx, a dark rosy nude that is a perfect colour for the autumn/winter season. It also helps that I don't have anything like it in my collection so I know that I'll be reaching for it whenever I want a slightly vampy nude (when I apply it heavily) or a more subtle dark nude stain (when I apply it lightly). 

I only own one other Illamasqua lipstick in the shade Magnetism, which I picked up in Illamasqua's summer sale this August. It's a gorgeous purple/berry shade (which the the sort of colour I've been wearing a lot this year) and it has an incredibly matte texture. I've included photos of Magnetism (left) and Minx (right) below so that you can get an idea of their colour and also of their texture.

Magnetism is incredibly matte whereas Minx is much creamier in consistency. Minx doesn't drag when I apply it to my lips which makes it slightly more comfortable to wear and I also find it easier to apply it lightly. It also has very good staying power for something so creamy and when I'm not eating or drinking it lasts for hours without fading. It isn't quite as long lasting as Illamasqua's matte lipsticks but this is to be expected. Magnetism's staying power is really quite incredible and I love to reach for it when I don't want to have to worry about my lip colour. 

All in all, I really like both formulations and I think Illamasqua's shade range is pretty amazing, especially now that they've expanded their collection to include nude shades. Magnetism and Minx might not be to everyone's liking, but if you want very high quality lipsticks that are going to feel great to wear and are going to last a long time then I'd definitely recommend them. I certainly prefer them to my Mac lipsticks and I find the customer service when I shop in Illamasqua stores has always been impeccable.

Have you tried Illamasqua's lipsticks? What do you think of the two shades I own?

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October 22, 2014

La Roche Posay's Effaclar Anti-Blemish System International Giveaway

acne prone skincare kit giveaway

I've had some really good experiences with La Roche Posay's products, especially their Effaclar Duo + which I found made a big difference to my blemish prone skin. Recently I was given the opportunity to trial La Roche Posay's newly released Effaclar Anti Blemish Systemwhich includes three skincare products designed to be used together as a three step skincare regime. However, as I'm already currently trialling a full skincare routine I asked if I could instead offer the kit to one of my blog readers. La Roche Posay very kindly agreed so I now have a very exciting prize for one of you lovely lot.

La Roche Posay's Effaclar products are suitable for a whole range of skin types because although they work brilliantly at tackling blemish prone skin they aren't overly harsh. The first product in the Anti Blemish System kit that I'll be giving away is the Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel which removes bacteria that may lead to spots. The second product is the Effaclar Clarifying Toner that smooths, mattifies and tightens pores. The third product is the Effaclar Duo + which corrects the appearance of blemishes, unclogs pores and reduces the appearance of red and brown marks. Used twice daily (morning and evening) these products are designed to combat blemishes, unclog pores, reduce excess sebum and even out the texture of your skin. 

If you have blemish prone skin and would like to win La Roche Posay's Effaclar Anti Blemish System (RRP £32.95) then all you have to do is enter via the rafflecopter form below. This giveaway isn't sponsored but the prize has been provided to me by La Roche Posay and I will only be sending it to one winner who will be picked at random via rafflecopter. I will be checking all entries before contacting the winner, good luck!


October 21, 2014

Maybelline's New Leather Effect Colour Tattoo in Creamy Beige

drugstore cream shadow matte brown
drugstore cream shadow matte brown mac groundwork dupe

I spotted Maybelline's Leather Effect Colour Tattoo in Boots last week and I immediately snapped it up. I am such a big fan of the regular Colour Tattoos, they're one of the few cream eyeshadows that actually last on my eyelids without creasing or fading. When I saw the shade Creamy Beige (which I was hoping would be a dupe for Mac's Groundwork Paintpot) I was so excited. I love On and On Bronze and Permanent Taupe but neither are the easy "everyday" shades that I want, but Creamy Beige is a light, matte brown that just screamed "your future everyday shadow".

I wasn't at all put off by the Leather Effect claim. When I swatched it in-store I didn't notice any difference from the regular colour tattoos except that they have a thinner and more creamy consistency. Sadly, it was exactly this that turned out to be a problem. The thinner consistency means that the shadows doesn't have as much purchase on my eyelid and when used without a primer it very quickly creases and fades. I can't stress how disappointed I am! I've tried using this so many times, I think I've applied it every day since I bought it, and every single time the same thing happens - all the product slips into the crease of my eyelid. For now I am resigned to the fact that I can only really use this under my eyes as a smudged out liner. I don't think I'll be trying any more shades but I will work to see if there is any way I can make Creamy Beige work for me.

I'd love to hear your thoughts if you've tried out any of the new Leather Effect Colour Tattoos, how have you found the different consistency?

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October 20, 2014

Vichy Idealia Eye Contour Idealizer

I've seen people using brightening under eye creams for a long time now but I never considered using one myself until I found out that Vichy made one. I've tried quite a few of Vichy's skincare products (I've reviewed a couple here and here) and I've always been really impressed with them. I've been using Vichy's Idealia Eye Contour Idealizer* since the beginning of the month and I've found that it works really well as a daytime eye cream. The formula is quite light (it has a very thin cream consistency) so it doesn't take too long to absorb and it leaves behind a pearlescent pink-toned sheen that does visibly brighten the under eye area. 

The product is delivered through a flat, flexible plastic applicator and although it is definitely a lot more hygienic than a sponge or pot it isn't necessarily the best for achieving an even application of product. However, what it does help with is reducing product waste as it slows down the speed at which the product is released. I apply Vichy's Idealia Eye Contour Idealizer* after I moisturise but before I apply primer. I squeeze some of the cream onto my finger before gently dabbing it under my eyes until it's applied evenly. By the time I'm finished with my primer it's been completely absorbed and I'm ready to crack on with my make-up. 

This isn't an eye cream for those with a severely dehydrated or dry under-eye area but if you have dark circles (like me) and you like brighten them (hell yes I do) then this would probably be a welcome addition to your skincare arsenal. You can find Vichy's Idealia Eye Contour Idealizer* on Escentual where it is currently on offer for £15.33 (RRP £23).

What eye cream do you use?

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October 19, 2014

Madara Brightening AHA Peel Mask

natural chemical exfoliating treatment from MyPure

If you read my last natural beauty wish list then you may recognise this Brightening AHA Peel Mask from Madara*. I've been looking for a new exfoliating treatment for a while now so when the natural beauty website MyPure very kindly gave me the opportunity to pick a couple of products from their website at the beginning of the month I jumped at the opportunity of finally putting this mask to the test.

natural exfoliating treatment mask

Madara Brightening AHA Peel Mask*

The mask is available in two sizes, 15ml (RRP £5.50) and 60ml (RRP £20) - I opted for the smaller size, just in case I found it too harsh to use. Luckily, I've only had good experiences since I started using it! I've been applying it twice weekly (the face mask comes with comprehensive instructions on how often you can/should apply it dependent on your skin type) and I noticed an immediate improvement in the texture of my skin. Even after one use my skin was smoother and softer, and with repeated use I've also found that its having a positive effect on the appearance of my pores. Although 15ml might sound small, I've already used this mask five times and I think I could easily get a few more uses out of it. In retrospect, I should have opted for the larger 60ml tube but I think it is really nice that travel size tubes are available to ensure that you can test the product out before investing in a full-size product. 

MyPure has only just started stocking Madara's face masks and I'm really glad that they have otherwise I may never have discovered the brand. Madara won "Best Face Cream" at the 2014 Natural Beauty Awards and the entire range was also Highly Commended as the "Best Organic Range" at the same awards. Their range is entirely natural and is certified by ECOCERT. Full of fruit acids, vitamin C and lactic acid, Madara's AHA Peel Mask is supposed to brighten and unclog skin to leave it looking more radiant and feeling smoother. I for one have been really impressed with my first foray into Madara's skincare and I'd definitely consider trying more products from their range. If only they did makeup…. hold up, they do? Please excuse me whilst I go and give that a browse! 

You can find Madara's Brightening AHA Peel Mask* online at, which offers free delivery (on orders over £8.50) and a number of fantastic free gifts with purchases over £15.

What exfoliating treatments do you enjoy using?


October 18, 2014

Lee Stafford Ubuntu Oils Light Oil Repairing Mist

In September I had about five inches chopped off my hair, it was a bit of lifestyle change hair-wise and it has encouraged me to shake up my haircare routine quite a bit. Now that my hair is so much shorter and I've gotten rid of the raggedy ends of my hair, I'm not in need of such deeply hydrating and intensely repairing products as I used to be. I've swapped out my Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment (which I used to use daily) for a lighter alternative from Lee Stafford, the Light Oil Repairing Mist for Fine/Damaged Hair*. It is still a 'repairing' product but the consistency of the hair oil is much lighter and because it comes in a spray it is very quick and easy to apply with no worry about dropping it because it comes in a sturdy plastic bottle.

After washing and towel drying my hair I apply the oil liberally into my damp hair before leaving to air dry or blow drying. I also like to use it on the ends of my second-day hair to reduce frizz and add a very natural shine to the lengths and ends of my hair. The main oil used in this hair product is Marula Oil (a botanical relative of the Mango) with the other oil component being Sweet Almond Oil, which being rich in fatty acids and proteins is great for damaged hair. I never find that this hair oil leaves my hair looking greasy and I use more product each time I apply it than the bottle recommends. I'm a hair oil convert and if you're looking for an easy-to-locate and purse friendly option then I'd definitely encourage you to give this hair oil a try. You can find it in Boots stores and online for £10.99 (it is also currently on a 3 for 2 offer) and there are other products in the line for different hair types.

Do you use a hair oil? Do you have any hair product recommendations for short/medium length hair?

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October 17, 2014

High Rise

"These people were the first to master a new kind of late twentieth-century life. they thrived on the rapid turnover of acquaintances, the lack of involvement with others, and the total self-sufficiency of lives which, needing nothing, were never disappointed."

High Rise, p. 46.
J. G. Ballard


My time at the #BloggersTeaParty

Last Sunday I had the pleasure of attending the #BloggersTeaParty, a blogger meet-up hosted by Olivia and Nadja. The meet-up was held at a tea shop called Drink Shop Do in Kings Cross and it was a perfect venue. From the outside it looks quite small, but the shop stretches backwards and there are three distinct spaces on the ground floor. Our meet-up was situated in the very back of the tea-shop and the lighting was low and moody. Everyone (or nearly everyone) ordered themselves a hot beverage and slice of cake and settled down to get chatting! I didn't know anyone at the meet-up before I went, although I'd been following quite a few of the girls on twitter when I found out who was attending. The group (which numbered about 30) was split up across five tables and the other three girls whom I sat with were Jasmine, Ellish and Hannah. I have to admit that I didn't mingle as much as I should have done, but the four of us got on really well and had a lot of fun!

The event was sponsored by many different brands. Olivia and Nadja did an amazing job organising everything and there was not only a very generous goody bag (featuring some amazing brands, including Make Up Revolution, Sleek, Balance Me, So?, Palmers, Giovanni Cosmetics and Sponge) but a sampling "beauty pick-n-mix" where everyone was able to choose some products from Ciate, Dr. Bronners, Jason and ForYou Skincare. I'm really looking forward to giving all of the products a try - I've already started using the Balance Me Eye Cream and the Sleek products because couldn't wait to try them! If there's anything you'd like to see a review of sooner rather than later then just let me know in a comment and I will put it near the top of my to-do list.

I can't stress how lovely I find blogger meet-ups, I've yet to attend one that I found disappointing and I've always ended up meeting fun, friendly and like minded individuals. The most beautiful thing about blogging is the wealth of new relationships the it offers up - all the new friendships, online and offline, as well as the more casual acquaintances that still bring with them smiles and entertainment. Olivia and Nadja's meet-up was particularly well organised and fun and I'm very thankful that they invited me! They're planning on hosting another London event (probably a Christmas event) so if that sounds like something you'd be interested in then you should definitely follow them both on twitter and keep your eyes peeled for any updates - @TMSBeautiful and @FjordBeauty.

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October 16, 2014

New Beauty Bits

Over the last month I've been trying out a couple of new products that I thought I would share with you. Today I'll we talking about my thoughts of a lip balm, moisturiser, facial oil and some face wipes - all of which I tried for the first time over the six weeks.

Bee Good Vanilla & Honey Lip Balm*
I was very kindly gifted this lip balm at Scarlett London's #bloggerfestival and it is the first Bee Good is product  that I've had the pleasure of using. Bee Good is a lovely British company that uses natural ingredients in their products. Their Vanilla & Honey Lip Balm is very light and hydrating and works well when used in the morning before applying make-up or throughout the day. It doesn't, however, have the heavy, super hydrating consistency of the lip balms that I like to apply in the evening before bed to rejuvenate my lips for the coming day. All in all, I really like the subtle scent, the light texture and the colourful packaging and I've been reaching for it all month long. I think it is much better than simple and cheap drugstore lip balms and it is on par, but not better, than my long standing favourite lip balm from Lush, Honey Trap. I would definitely recommend it if you like to wear lip products and want something to use during the day but not if you're looking for an overnight lip treatment.

Formula 10.0.6 Seriously Shine Free Mattifying Oil Free Moisturizer Aloe Vera & Bamboo
I picked this moisturiser up when I was in Amsterdam in September. I've wanted to try some Formula 10.0.6 products for a long time but I haven't ever seen them for sale in the UK. If you have combination or oily skin then you'll know how important mattifying moisturisers are in a skincare routine. What I really like about this one is that it isn't overly scented, it has a very light constancy that is reminiscent of a higher-end product favourite of mine (L'Occitane's Angelica Ultra Matte Fluid) and it really does keep my oily t-zone matte without overly drying out my skin. I really like the product, I like the packaging and I like the results. I've only been using this for about a month now but my first impressions are really good. I'm hoping that I can continue to use this throughout the next few months, although with winter approaching I will need to wait and see if I need a more hydrating option. 

Green People Anti-Ageing Facial Oil*
This is another sample that I received at the #bloggersfestival and I am so, so glad that I did. Green People is a relatively new brand discovery of mine but I have been overwhelmed by the quality of their products. I recently reviewed one of their powder blushes and fell in love! The results of trying this facial oil weren't much different. I have never applied a product before bed and seen very immediate results the next morning. From my very first application of this facial oil I saw an immediate and drastic improvement in the texture of my skin. This facial oil packs a seriously hydrating punch and transformed my tired and dull complexion into much softer and more radiant skin. I couldn't recommend this more highly and I've already purchased a full size. I've also converted my dad to this oil, even on his very dry mature skin it does wonders so I definitely think this is a winner.

Diadermine Hydrating Facial Wipes
This is another product I picked up when I was in Amsterdam because I was staying in a 8 bed hostel and wanted something to quickly and easily remove my eye makeup when I returned late in the evenings. Sophia actually chose these make-up wipes and her decision turned out to be a good one because I think these are the best ones I've ever tried. They're incredibly moist and hydrating and they remove eye makeup very very well. We picked up two packs for €5 so they're relatively affordable and if I ever need face wipes again when I'm travelling I'll definitely be keeping my eyes out for these and repurchasing them. Honestly, if you know where to buy these I would recommend them above any of the others I've tried and reviewed in the past. Like all face wipes they aren't as good as a thorough cleanse, but they're great at removing make-up and they didn't irritate my skin at all. 

Have you tried any of these products before?
 What skincare products have you been loving lately?

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October 15, 2014

Lavera Natural Concealer in Ivory 01

I picked up Lavera's Natural Concealer in my Naturisimo Haul which I blogged about earlier this month. I decided to pick it up because I was looking for a natural alternative to my 'go-to' concealer from Seventeen (the Stay Time Concealer which has a very thin and light consistency but which lasts very well throughout the day). 

If you're looking for a heavy duty concealer than Lavera's Natural Concealer is not going to be for you, it isn't thick and I like to sheer it out further as I blend it under my eyes and around my nose. I like applying a light layer of concealer underneath my foundation (to diminish but not completely conceal my imperfections) and I find that Lavera's Natural Concealer works well when applied like this. It is very easy to blend and it dries much more quickly than Seventeen's Stay Time Concealer (see my swatches below). It isn't quite as yellow toned as Seventeen's concealer (which I think is a shame) but I still find the colour very natural and wearable. 

Lavera's Natural Concealer isn't quite as light in colour as Collection's Lasting Perfection Concealer in Fair but it isn't quite as dark as their Light shade either. This is perfect for me as I usually have to blend Fair and Light to get the right colour. 

I'm not blown away by this concealer but I do like it and I will definitely continue to use it. I think it works very well at evening out skin discolouration but because it isn't very thick and creamy it isn't amazing at covering blemishes. I don't think I could entirely rely on this concealer alone, especially when I want a more done-up look featuring a heavier and more "perfecting" base. However, it does work well as part of the light, natural every-day make-up looks for which I generally opt.  You can find Lavera's Natural Concealer online at Naturisimo for £9.81 (with free delivery).

What concealers do you like using? 

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