Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Just a note...

Hey everyone,

Just a quick note to let everyone who stumbles across this blog and my subscribers that updates may be a bit slower than they were in the beginning. This blog will still very much be active though and is no way redundant to me. I have just started back for my 3rd year (eek!) of uni and so have a lot of work and readjusting to do in the next few weeks. Blogging is a fantastic hobby and I love every aspect of it but this year is really important so I may not be able to update it as regularly as I would like. It will still be updated a few times a week but nowhere near as frequent as in summer where I was posting nearly every day. I really wish I had more time to dedicate to this little blog as I really love posting and interacting with everyone!

I hope you all understand and wish me luck for this year! xxx

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

All Used Up #2

This is my second post of this type and I feel like I've used up quite a lot this time around! I'm trying to use up more before I buy even more but that is easier said than done. A lot of these products as you can see are bath things which I find easier to use than make up etc, so they will probably be the most recurrent throughout these posts. I love reading other people's posts like this so I hope you like mine :)

Simple Soothing Toner: This took me forever to get through and I liked it but I didn't love it. I like to feel that a toner is doing something special for my skin and this doesn't really cut it. It is refreshing though and takes takes off any cleanser/make up residue but that's about it. I'm currently using a travel version of this as I am on the look out for a new toner so suggestions would be welcome please :) (I am oily/combination).

L'Oreal Elvive Colour Protect Caring Shampoo: I enjoyed using this as it nourished my hair while cleansing it effectively at the same time. Since I colour my hair I'm always looking at labels for added UVA/B  protection on my hair products to combat fading and this shampoo includes it. I've since purchased a Bedhead shampoo for some variety and also because I have repurchased this before and you are meant to rotate your shampoos after a while, but I would recommend this for a bargain price.

Palmolive Irresistible Softness Showercream: The skin on my body is dry so I always try to get moisturising/nourishing shower gels to combat the dryness. I think I got this on offer and it had a lovely smell and lathered up nicely. There isn't much to say as it is just a bargain shower gel but I thought it was great for the price.

Schwarzkopf got2b Sparkling Hairspray: I love the packaging of this product and the product was ok too. I wouldn't say it gave my hair loads of shine but it gave a nice hold and was good to use on a night out. I would probably repurchase this.

Dr Bronner Pure Castile Liquid Soap: In a recent Joliebox I received 3 samples of this: an unscented baby mild, a citrus one and a peppermint. The scents of this were incredible, they were quite strong but not artificial in anyway and were a treat to use. The citrus one was very zingy smelling and great for mornings and the peppermint made me tingle all over so would be great for summer (similar to the Original Source mint one). I was also surprised at how much they lathered up. The only downside is that because they are soap they left me with a slightly tacky feeling on my skin but all soaps seem to do that to me.

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Wild: Love dry shampoo and love Batiste! I always try to have a back up can of this as I use it quite regularly. I tried a new smell with 'wild' and really liked it so will definitely repurchase :)

L'Oreal Elvive Nourishing Cream Conditioner: This took ages to use up too and I liked it but it didn't do anything spectacular. My hair was left soft after using this but this wasn't sustained until my next wash. I also used it on my legs for shaving which left them silky smooth!

Lush Tea Tree Water Toner and Catastrophe Cosmetic Facemask: I've already written a review on these which you can read here. But a quick update on the toner - I had a feeling that it was breaking me out so I stopped using it before it was finished. My skin cleared up a lot afterwards so my suspicions seem to be confirmed. It was a shame because I loved the spray and it was a refreshing toner but products with tea tree in seem to break me out instead of help cure the problem!

Have you tried any of these products? Do you agree with my opinions? xxx
Thursday, 20 September 2012

Review: So Susan Wide Awake Palette

RRP £15 from Jelly Pong Pong

You might have already read my review of the So Susan Lip Cushion which I got along with this palette in a recent Jolie Box. If you have then you would know that I found it really difficult to find information on this particular brand and finally found out that both products are originally by Jelly Pong Pong. The only difference as far as I can see is that the brand's name has changed, as even the packaging is identical. You would also know that I thought the Lip Cushion was rubbish and not worth the money, although I had high hopes for it in the beginning. To cut a long story short, my relationship with this palette is pretty much the same.

When I first received it I thought it was such a generous size for a beauty subscription box and I liked the packaging. It is a thin girly palette which encases a good few products which a multitude of uses making it great for travel... or not as the eyebrow colours smashed ridiculously easily, ruining the other cream products leading me to chuck it in the bin. The kit includes an illuminating cream to hide dark circles, a highlighting cream for your cheeks and brow bones, 3 brow colours and a set of tweezers and a brow brush. All in all my first impressions were great of this product and I was excited to try it out.

Let's start with the tools. The tweezers were useless and the brush looked more like a cheap lip brush rather than one for defining your brows, so in my eyes they were redundant from the beginning. The brow colours were really limited too because two out of the three were glittery... does anyone really go for the glittery eyebrow look? If so, I would like to meet them. Luckily the middle matte colour wasn't too far off a natural colour for my eyebrows and I used it a few times to shape mine naturally and thought the staying power was quite good. However, like I previously said they all smashed after a few uses (and I was being careful with it) so the one redeeming product was gone. The highlighter cream was a difficult texture to work with as the consistency and colour was more of a thick concealer rather than a natural highlight. I tried using this by warming it up loads with my fingers to make it more pliable and with a stippling brush but neither seemed to work well and I ended up rubbing off my base. Lastly we come to the illuminating cream. This wasn't too bad although you definitely would need to use a concealer with it, it did manage to lighten the area slightly and was one of the better products in the palette. 

Overall, I think it is fairly obvious I wasn't impressed with this AT ALL and how it is retailing for £15 is beyond me. Both products from this company seem to be made for children as the quality is comparable to the cheap make up you buy from Claire's. I personally feel you can get much cheaper products from drugstore brands such as Collection, 17 and MUA with much greater quality. Its great that the company are cruelty free and have 'Green commitment' but when a product just isn't up to scratch these features become redundant to me.

Do you think I am being too harsh? Do you think this product deserves it's price tag? xxx
Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Day Trip to London

Since Matt has started his new job we havn't been able to see each other nearly as much as we used to or would like. Therefore, the weekends are extra important and last weekend we decided to do something a bit different and spend the day in London. The weather was boiling (for once!) and we had a really love day. We had lunch at Pizza Express opposite the British Library, spent a good few hours wandering around the British Museum and then visited Russel Square Park on the way back home with a refreshing Starbucks. Even though I live really near London I don't visit much, so it was a nice change to explore new things with Matt.

I also made a vlog but not sure whether to publish it or not - what do you think? xxx
Monday, 17 September 2012

Review: Wen Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner

I received this in a beauty box and although I've heard Wen is a lovely brand which I would love to try, because it is meant to be cleansing I made the decision it wouldn't be the best thing to use on my colour treated hair. I've read that you can use it on coloured hair but I didn't really want to risk it. So instead I gave it to my boyfriend Matt to test out for me :) He has short coarse hair that needs moisturising but also uses a styling product called Dax Wax which is an absolute nightmare to get out properly, so I thought he would be a pretty good tester for this product!

Wen states that this is a 5-in-1 formula by replacing both shampoo and conditioner, deep conditioner, detangler and leave in conditioner. I love that it has no sulphates or detergents so they don't lather but instead clean your hair naturally. Here's what Matt had to say about it:

"So, to give you a little bit of background, I’m not the kind of guy who knows a lot about ‘products.’ I can’t really say that I used them on a daily (or even weekly) basis or even really knew the vast enormity of variety surrounding them until I met my girlfriend. I guess I’ve become something of a guinea pig, as a few weeks ago she gave me a shampoo/conditioner to try out. Wen by Chaz Dean,  (sweet almond mint) is described as a cleansing conditioner, eliminating that annoying halftime process of switching the shampoo bottle for a conditioner. Any product that reduces the amount of other products I have to buy and use gets a big plus in my books.

In terms of the product in general, I can honestly say this is the best shampoo I’ve ever used. My hair felt thoroughly cleansed afterwards, a great deal softer and most importantly became more manageable when I styled it afterwards. You don’t need much for it to have a real effect, and although it is fairly annoying waiting 3 minutes before rinsing off (especially if like me you’re not in the habit of taking a stopwatch into the shower with you), it scores very highly indeed. I can’t really compare it to much I’m afraid and as such attempting to rate it out of ten might seem a little pointless... but I’m going to do it anyway. With the double whammy of convenience and effectiveness on its side, I give Chaz’s Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner an 8.5 out of 10. A definite rebuy."

Have you tried this product before? xxx

Friday, 14 September 2012

Review: Cosmopolitan Blend Perfection

£6 from Tesco

Upon seeing various reviews on YT about the infamous Beauty Blender, I decided to look into purchasing one. I have quite a few brushes already, and love my stippling brush and RT buffing brush for my base, but thought the addition of another way to apply foundation would be helpful in creating different looks. Plus I was curious about how this piece of sponge could create a 'flawless finish' as similar old fashioned sponge applicators can easily turn your makeup cakey and obvious. The original Beauty Blender retails for around £16 and I wasn't prepared to pay that for a bit of sponge that I didn't know whether I would like or not. Therefore I decided on picking up a dupe instead. 

This search led me to Boots and the Cosmo Blend Perfection. It looks pretty similar to the original Beauty Blender although it is concave in the middle so not entirely egg shaped and the point at the top is less pronounced. The instructions are to dampen the sponge and then 'blend and dot' all over, using the pointed side for tricky to reach areas such as around the nose and eyes. I run the sponge under cold water until it expands to double it size then squeeze out as much water as possible. Then I normally wrap it in a towel and squeeze some more as you really only want it to be slightly damp. I dot the foundation on to my face and then by using quick and light tapping motions with the Blend Perfection blend it into my skin.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I like the finish. It leaves even thicker foundations looking skin-like (I tested it with the 17 Miracle Matte foundation that is quite thick) while still providing a good amount of coverage. I would say that this product gives you light to medium coverage depending on how much base product you use and the type of base you choose. In the areas I wanted a little more coverage I used my RT blending brush to buff a little more into those areas. I have used this on many occasions now and have always been impressed with the results. It is great for days where you want a little more coverage while still looking natural. Considering it is 10 pounds less than the original I would say it is well worth picking up yourself and giving it a go yourself. I'm looking forward to trying this with other types of bases too.

Have you tried the original Beauty Blender or anything similar? Do you know of any other dupes? xxx
Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Wishlist Wednesday #5

The time has come for another wishlist and boy was it hard to narrow down just 5 for this week's post... my Amazon wishlist now has 333 items on it!! Safe to say being a beauty blogger has not only opened up my eyes but also my purse. I am on a spending ban at the moment though for this month so hopefully I can stick to it and feel a little better about my finances...and then maybe treat myself to something at the end of the month? 

First on the list is Liz Earle's Cleanse and Polish Ltd Edition which when I heard about it I knew I just needed!! I love the original (see me rave about it here) and think the addition of Rose and Lavender sounds just lovely. I popped into my local John Lewis the other day to have a look (and smell) and liked what I saw, however I wasn't expecting the price to be quite so high. You do get a bigger bottle though and money from the sales go towards the Prince's Trust charity so I think the price is understandable. I've just run out of my original c&p so hopefully I'll be able to afford the new version soon to replace it.

Second is another perfume: Love Struck by Vera Wang. I have a good selection at the moment but they all seem to be running dangerously low at the same time! Everything about this particular perfume appeals to me from the amazing bottle (although not the best for travel), to the gorgeous smell, to it being fronted by Leighton Meester. I have another scent by Vera Wang which is Princess and I love that too. 

Next is a blusher. You may have noticed that I've developed a serious addiction to lipsticks recently and now I seem to have moved onto building up my blusher collection. This particular blush is 'Super Orgams' by Nars. Nars products have always interested me but they are SO expensive, so this really is a wishlist item. No doubt you would have heard of the Orgasm products due to their popularity and also the naughty name! Super Orgasm seems to be a little bit peachier with more shimmer running through. I know alot of people prefer matte blushes but I'm partial to a bit of shimmer sometimes!

This week's random item (always has to be one!) is a yoga/pilates/work out mat. And of course I would like it to be pink! These are pretty easy and cheap to get on Amazon, eBay and at John Lewis. I'm trying to get a bit fitter and do more exercise but I find it difficult to do some of the exercises without a proper mat. Maybe if I had one of these I would be more inclined to work out...maybe haha.

Last but certainly not least is again a definite wishlist item as it is quite expensive. Alpha H Liquid Gold has had a lot of blogger hype and I really want to try it for myself. From the reviews I've seen it looks like it would be great for my skin type and the different problems I have such as blemishes, dullness etc. Here's to hoping!

What do you think of this week's wishlist? Do you have any of these products? xxx
Sunday, 9 September 2012

NOTD: Nailgirls | The Medal Collection: Gold |

£10.50 for 15ml (full size) // Mini size shown

When I first received both this colour and a bronze in my July Jolie Box, which are part of  'The Medal Collection' from Nailgirls, I was originally disappointed as they didn't seem like the typical colours I would pick up myself and were by a brand I had never heard of. However, I was proved wrong when I tried the gold (I am yet to try the bronze) and was really pleasantly surprised. That is the beauty of beauty boxes (pardon the pun) - you can discover some great brands that you would otherwise never have crossed your beauty radar. 

The gold is a beautiful metallic foil shade and nothing like the other colours I have in my ever expanding collection. It would be perfect for all times of the year, whether in the summer to accent a tan or for a Christmas party. With just one coat I had a perfect opaque gold layer which dried almost instantly but I applied 2 coats out of habit. I liked the brush as it was large enough to cover my nails in one sweep, and together with the fast drying time this nail varnish makes light work of a manicure, something that can often take me ages. It also lasted a good few days before tip wear and considering I was doing washing up and other household chores I thought this was pretty good. The little trial size of these varnishes make them perfect for holiday so I will definitely be packing them next time I jet off, although I'm not a fan of the actual bottle because I think it looks a bit cheap therefore giving the wrong impression of a great product.

All Nailgirl varnishes are free from nasties that can be found in other salon formulas such as formaldehyde and from reading up about the brand they seem to actually care about the state of your nails unlike some of the quick walk in nailbars which use electric files etc which really harm your nails and nailbeds. Nailgirls are a British brand and have a walk in salon in Islington and also blend their own colours to suit the cat walk trends each season.

Overall I was really impressed with the quality and would pay full price for the original size. This nail varnish in particular was good quality and I'm looking forward to trying the bronze.

Have you tried any polishes from this brand? xxx
Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Review: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain

RRP £7.99 at Boots

There have been a million and one reviews of this product but I'm going to jump on the bandwagon and do one myself as I've had this product for a while and have been meaning to do it for ages. There has been so much hype around Revlon recently, about both this product and the lip butters. My personal preference is definitely for the latter (see my review here). I can't compare these to the Clinique Chubby Sticks as I havn't tried them but it is common knowledge that these are considered a good dupe for them.

I really like the packaging of this product as it is sleek but sturdy, you can easily tell the colour of it in your make up drawer and to get more product you screw the bottom instead of having to look for a sharpener. Although the tube and tip are quite chunky, you can still get precision and it is easy to apply. The actual formula is pretty moisturising when first applied leaving a slight gloss to your lips but I think that fades quite quickly and can feel a little sticky. It also gives a tingle sensation that I really like and smells kind of minty/soily which I know some people hate but I don't mind as it wears off quite quickly.  I also think that although it is meant to be a stain it doesn't actually last as long as I would like.

As always, the colour selection is greater in America but I guess that is just something we have to get used to in the UK. I have the shade 'Cherish Devotion' and think it is an easy to wear soft pink that is great for the day, offering something a little different to the 'my lips but better' daytime pinks I already have. I would also wear this in the evening if I was wearing a heavier eye. Another aspect I like is that you can build up the opaqueness on your lips from a slight wash of colour to a bolder, brighter shade. Other shades that I have my eye on are 'Honey' as a lovely every day neutral and 'Lovesick' as we all know how much I love my bright pinks!

Although this product hasn't wowed me as much as the lip butters, I still enjoy using it as I love all in one products which are easy to pop in your handbag and use on the go with little fuss. It offers something different formula and packaging-wise to my many other lip products so I am pleased I bought it.

Have you tried this lip product from Revlon? What shades are your favourite? Do you know of any other Chubby Stick dupes? xxx

EDIT: I have also reviewed the shade 'Crush' here. (23/9/13)

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