Friday, 26 December 2014

All Used Up #11

Although I have a huge bag overflowing of empty products, I haven't managed to write one of these posts in months! I've been so good at using things up but maybe at my peril because now I have lots of products to write about. Today's mix includes some of my favourite skin care and hair care products along with bath and body.

001. Lush Twilight Shower Gel: This featured on my blog about a year ago and I have only just got round to using it up! It was a large bottle and I tended to use it for night time baths only due to the relaxing lavender and malt scents that feature in this shower gel. I love the dark purple gel which was flecked with silver glitter but the smell and consistency isn't one of my favourites. The shower gel isn't available any more but you can buy the Twilight bath bomb here. I probably wouldn't repurchase.

002. Origins Out Of Trouble Face Mask: Origins are fantastic for skin care and this mask is one of my holy grail items (as you can tell from me cutting the bottle to get every last drop!) It is a clay formula which dries hard, something that I like as it draws out impurities effectively. I preferred to use this on active break outs as it unclogged and calmed any redness. It is also fantastic at helping to regulate oil production. The Sulphur and Zinc Oxide does mean that this mask has a very powerful smell but it doesn't put me off at all. A definite repurchase.

003. Sanctuary Spa Relax Warming Sugar Polish: This was a random purchase but I ended up loving this body scrub. Sugar scrubs suit me best as they are the most abrasive but due to the blend of essential oils this wasn't too harsh and smelled wonderful as well. I loved the squeezy bottle as it made application in the shower super easy and the scrub was actually hot and stayed warm while you worked it into your skin. I would repurchase this product.

004. Dove Hair Therapy Nourishing Oil Care Conditioner: When thinking of the Dove brand I've always pictured body care or deodorant. However, the shampoo and conditioner from this range is super cheap and I had heard good things. I think for the price the conditioner was really good, it nourished the hair well without weighing it down at all and was a lot better than the normal bog standard conditioners you get in the chemist. I would repurchase this, although I find it hard to stay loyal to a particular brand. I would also love to try the hair mask from this range.

005. The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Toner: After receiving this in my stocking last year for Christmas I put it in my over flow bin of products and kind of forgot about it. Cue a skin melt down and I dug this out along with the tea tree face wash. I have to say this toner is amazing!! You need to shake it up really well to make sure the active ingredients are all mixed and there is alcohol included however this is great for blemished skin. I can feel it working, which may be superficial but is something that I like and it helps to aid the healing process and keep skin looking clear. I have already repurchased this.

006. Lush Butterbear Bath Bomb: This is one of the cheaper bath bombs Lush offer but one of my new favourites. The cocoa butter melts into the bath leaving skin super soft and nourished without feeling greasy and the smell is sweet yet not over powering. It is just the right size so you don't feel like you are wasting any product either. I think this is only a Christmas edition (you can get the larger and more expensive Butter Ball all year round) so I will definitely be stocking up on this.

Have you tried any of these products? What have you recently repurchased? xxx

P.S. I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and are enjoying your boxing day!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

The Best Festive Nail Varnishes

L-R: Barry M 'Starlight', Model's Own 'Jack Frost', China Glaze 'Cleopatra', Models Own 'Dancing Queen' and Nails Inc 'Alexa Sequin'
L-R: O.P.I 'Play the Peonies', Essie 'Carry On', Nails Inc 'Tate', Jessica 'Venus Was Her Name' and Nails Inc 'Motcomb Street'
Now the festive season is in full swing, it is a great excuse to crack out the glitter nail varnishes. I've picked 5 of my favourites perfect for Christmas parties and 5 bases that work really well layered with the glitters or by themselves for a glossy plain manicure. These polishes offer a multitude of combinations, a few of which I have suggested below.

'Tate' is a deep red by Nails Inc which is opaque with two coats and works really well with a new offering from Barry M called 'Starlight'. The packing is super cute but the formula is quite gloopy. However, the thicker nature of the polish is packed with glitter and means the particles stick to your nails more easily. I love the stars included in this polish but you need to make sure to seal them well with a top coat otherwise the points can sticks up and catch. I will definitely be sporting this on Christmas Day.

The next combination is different to the traditional dark shades of this time of year but I think is so pretty and reminds me of fresh snow. The base is 'Play the Peonies' by O.P.I which is a pearlescent white with the tiniest hint of a pink undertone. Applying two thin layers of Model's Own 'Jack Frost' on top, the combination gives a subtle iridescent glow. 'Jack Frost' is again packed with glitter but in comparison the particles are much smaller and have a bluey green tinge to them.

In terms of the darker hues 'Venus Was Her Name' by Jessica is a dark yet vibrant purple, Essie's 'Carry On' is similar but a much deeper rich burgundy and finally 'Motcomb Street' by Nails Inc is a wonderful inky blue. My top picks for glitters which look amazing on top of these include 'Cleopatra' by China Glaze - a thin formula filled with a majority of tiny particles of antique gold and a few flecks of iridescent glitter similar to those featured in 'Jack Frost', another varnish from Model's Own which this time is full of chunky, different shaped glitter with a range of green blue and gold hues running through it. And finally a relatively new release from a collaboration between Nails Inc and Alexa Chung packaged in the new bottles is 'Sequin'* polish - a black base filled with bright gold particles.

What are your favourite festive nail varnish picks? xxx

Sunday, 21 December 2014

November Favourites | 2014 |

Ideally this post would have been in video format due to the fact I have so many favourite products this month, but alas there has been no time in between unpacking the new house, preparing for Christmas and having a full time job. There has been a distinct lack of favourites posts on this blog for a while which is a shame as they are one of my favourite things to write about - who doesn't love harping on about their latest beauty obsession? Now I have a nice little list on my phone of what I've been loving, hopefully it will give you some ideas for Christmas presents for others (or yourself!)

001. Maybelline Brow Drama in 'Medium Brown': For someone who doesn't have much in the eyebrow department, I have really been enjoying this product since I bought it a few months ago. It's great for use on it's own on natural make up days or for using on top of pencil/powder when opting for a more polished look. The colour is a little dark and it can go a teeny bit crispy, so be sure to use sparingly. It is such a beauty bargain though and is now a staple in my every day beauty bag.

002. Real Techniques Beauty Blender: Since purchasing this I have used it every day without fail. My favourite use is for blending in my under eye concealer as it stops that area looking cakey or dry as well as minimising creasing. It looks really natural and means I haven't had to set my eye area either. It is a super cheap alternative to the Beauty Blender and is the best compared to the other ones I've tried.

003. Lush Mask of Magnaminty: The fresh face masks have always left me a little disappointed, but this mask in particular has always intrigued me with it's positive reviews. I must say, it is the best mask I have used from Lush and has actually made it into my all time favourite face masks! You get a large pot, which is freshly made but does not go off anywhere near as quick as the fresh masks and it really does work. I find this is great for both drawing out impurities as it dries quite hard but also for treating any active blemishes. In the morning after using this my spots have gone down considerably and my face feels refreshed, smooth and a lot clearer.

004. Rimmel Lip Products: This month I've discovered my love for Rimmel lipsticks. For some reason I never seem to reach for them that often even though they are such a good bargain with great formulas and amazing colour pay off. The deep pink called 'Lily Extase' is one I've had since the beginning of uni and I forgot how pretty the hue is as well as the lasting power. I've also been pairing 'Vintage Pink' which is a deep mauve and 'Black Tulip' lip liner which look so lovely together and make a long lasting but moistursing lip duo. The lip liners and Moisture Renew collection are some of my favourites from Rimmel and I will definitely be investing in some more colours.

005. Revlon Colour Stay Foundation in '110 Ivory' and Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation in '1C1 Shell 15' : As I mentioned my skin has been suffering as of late so to cover those imperfections and scarring I've been opting for heavier coverage foundations. I love that both of these last a full working day - considering I put my face on at 7am and it is still pretty much in tact by 7pm in the evening I'd say it has amazing wear time. Mixed with a little bit of liquid highlighter and buffed in well, these give flawless coverage without being cakey and heavy. Out of the two Double Wear is my favourite because the satin finish really does look like skin but Colour Stay is an amazing high street dupe if you are looking for something more affordable.

006. St Ives Invigorating Body Scrub*: When thinking about this brand I've never really considered their body products but this scrub has fast turned into one of my favourites. The pot is generously filled and it has just the right amount of abrasiveness while being cushioned with a soft and creamy formula. It leaves your skin feeling super smooth and soft without feeling raw.

007. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair: This serum is a staple in my nightly skin care routine which I use around 3-4 times a week. It is great at hydrating the skin, correcting pigmentation left from blemishes and  evening skin tone. I am careful not to use it every night as otherwise it can be a bit too heavy for me but used properly and the benefits are fantastic. I'm nearly at the end of this bottle now but it has lasted me ages and I will definitely be purchasing the new version when I have run out.

008. MaxFactor Masterpiece Transform Mascara in 'BLack': When it comes to mascara, MaxFactor just seem to own it! I didn't think my beloved 2000 calorie mascara could be rivaled but after trying the newest release from MaxFactor I must say it has turned into one of my favourites. After a few weeks of use I have found it tends to flake a little towards the end of the day and it doesn't give as much volume as 2000 calorie but it gives wonderfully long, black lashes that don't clump while giving a false lash effect.

009. Soap and Glory Lid Stuff Neutral Eyeshadow Quad: This little quad is such an underrated gem of the drugstore. For £10 you get amazingly pigmented and long lasting eye shadows, it is amazing for travel and you can get a variety of looks out of it. I've been using it for over a year now and have just never got round to doing a review. My favourite shade is 'Pink T', which is perfect for an every day eye and 'Aubersheen' looks amazing as an easy all over the lid smokey eye shade. The highlighter is also non chalky and perfect for day and night.


Tartan scarf from Miss Selfridge: perfect pattern and colour and really large and soft -  so cozy!
Fleur De Force vlogs: In particular I have been loving Fleur's vlogmas. She is so down to earth and I envy how much she can pack into one day!
Ru Paul's Drag Race: Ever since we got Netflix this has been such a guilty pleasure to watch when I'm getting ready in the morning. If you love ANTM then you will love this.
George Ezra: His album is so catchy and mellow, it has been on repeat on my Spotify this month.
Salted Caramel Tea: I'm not a fan of plain green tea but this novelty twist is delicious without being overpowering. If you are into herbal teas then you should give this a go!

What have you been loving recently? xxx


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