Thursday, 27 February 2014

February Empties

I've finally used up the Mandara Spa The Sensual Ritual Amber Heaven Exfoliating Sugar Scrub* which feels like its taken forever to use up as I received this almost a year ago at the #NottsBBMeet. This did smell very nice but it just wasn't gritty enough so I felt like I didn't exfoliate my skin properly with every use. I've finished up a bottle of my beloved Soap & Glory Clean On Me Shower Gel which I use as a shaving lotion. I find that this works really well as a shaving lotion and leaves my skin feeling soft after use - I will definitely continue to repurchase this! I've used up the Radox Berry Burst Shower Cream which smelt far too artificial for my liking but the amount of lather it created definitely made up for it. It wasn't a very "wow" product and I won't be repurchasing. I've used up another bottle of the Boots Build Up Removal Shampoo which helps to remove any product built up. I thoroughly enjoy using this and will continue to repurchase. I've also used up the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor which leaves my hair feeling soft and nourished. This is another product that I will continue repurchasing.

I've finished up a tube of the Neutrogena Visibly Clear Blackhead Eliminating Daily Scrub which although didn't really help with blackheads, it was still a good manual scrub to use and helped buff away any dead skin. I've used up the last dregs of my beloved Superdrug Vitamin E Hot Cloth Cleanser which I used as my morning cleanser. This helped to cleanse my skin as well as calm it down and I will definitely be repurchasing this whenever I'm having a bad skin week as I found that this helped. I've finally finished the Boots Glycerin & Rosewater Toner which although I didn't like the scent very much, I liked what it did for my skin as it both toned and moisturised my skin at the same time. I've finished up another bottle of the Lacura Aqua-Complete Multi Intensive Serum which has became such a staple in my skincare routine that I always have quite a few stashed away for whenever I run out. This is what I would call a cheaper, more watery based dupe of Hydraluron and is definitely one to check out before you splash out the cash for Hydraluron. I've finished up the Laidbare Spot The Difference Problem Skin Treatment Cream which I believe has definitely helped with any blemishes as it helped to target them and reduce any irritation/inflammation.

I've used up another bottle of the Colgate Plax Sensitive Mouthwash which is the only mouthwash I use. Although I get through it quite quickly, I don't mind paying out for it frequently as it protects my teeth, reduces sensitivity as well as leaves my mouth feeling fresh and clean. I've finished up a tube of Udderly Smooth Vitamin E Cream which I used mainly as a foot cream as it is a very thick consistency. This left my feet feeling very moisturised and I may consider repurchasing this when I'm in the States in May. I've finished up the Pretty Perfect Nail Drying Spray which I tried to use every time I painted my nails. This helped to cut down the drying time and made them dry to the touch within minutes of spraying. I've used up a mini of the Batiste Dry Shampoo in Original which I kept at Liams' for days when my hair felt a little limp and lifeless and this definitely did the trick. I've used up two bottles of Wilko Instant Hand Sanitizers which I have stashed almost everywhere. These are cheap as chips and do the job at sanitising my hands.

I've used up two packets of Lacura 3 in 1 Facial Cleansing Wipes which appear in every empties post which I use to remove foundation from my hands or to clean my vanity. These do the trick and are such a staple product that I will continue to repurchase. Another staple product that I've used up are two Skin Therapy Large Oval Cotton Wool Pads packs which are my favourite cotton wool pads to date. As they're cheap as chips and quite large, I find that I do go through them at a alarming rate but I only need to stock up on them every few months as I have so many stashed away. I've used up a Lacura Concealer Pen which I feel I didn't get to use as much as I would have liked to. The times when I did use it, I used it primarily under my eyes and to help conceal any blemishes which it did an okay job at. I've used up another concealer in the form of Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer which every blogger and their dog has used. It does a really good job at concealing any blemishes and I may repurchase this although I have found what I think is an even better concealer. The last item I've finished is the Nivea Essential Care Lipbalm which has been the only lipbalm I've used. It leaves my lips feeling really soft and moisturised and is the perfect base for applying lipstick over.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

No7 Stay Precise Felt Tip Eyeliner

As I've been switching up my makeup a little bit and branching out, I've been rocking liquid eyeliner on a daily basis and the one that I've been reaching for recently has been the No7 Stay Precise Felt Tip Eyeliner. It's packaged in a slick felt tip pen format with a thin, stiff nib which makes applying liquid liner a breeze even for a beginner like myself. As it's so fine, I find that I can get right into the lash line to widen and brighten the eyes and give the effect of fuller lashes.

Whilst I do love the application, the formula lets it down. I find that immediately after applying it, it looks jet black which lasts for only a few hours before fading into a greyish black colour and in some areas flaking off entirely. It's also not waterproof either which means that it would disappear completely if caught in a sudden down pour. I've noticed that even after a few weeks of opening, it has started to dry out despite storing it upside down, standing up which is a real shame as it means that it'll be featuring in my next empties post. Have you got any hints/tips to prolong the drying out process of a felt tip style eyeliner? 

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Radox Berry Burst Shower Cream

I was digging through my stash of bath products when I came across one of the Radox Shower Creams which I had picked up last year whilst it was on special offer. They're housed in the typical Radox packaging with flips lids and a squeeze dispense mechanism. There are three within the range - Coconut Kiss, Cherry Blast and Berry Burst which is what I ended up buying.

Berry Burst reminds me of a very artifical eton mess - a mish mash of summer berries with yogurt. Whilst the scent doesn't particularly wow me, I guess the amount of lather it creates adds up for it. I only need to dispense a small amount of this and it lathers up rather well which leaves the skin feeling smooth and cleansed. Whilst I wasn't overly impressed with this, it did the job and was cheap as chips and I would say that if you're looking for a budget shower gel then go for one of the Radox Shower Creams.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Garnier Fresh Essentials Eye Makeup Remover

As I am completely besotted with the Garnier Simply Essentials Soothing 2-in-1 Makeup Remover, I decided to pick up the Garnier Fresh Essentials Eye Makeup Remover that is enriched with grape extract. It's a gentle eye makeup remover that promises to remove even the most stubborn-ist waterproof mascara without irrtating the delicate eye contour area.

Now I'm not sure about you but I only wear waterproof mascara when its the summer so I cannot vouch for its removing waterproof mascara properties but it definitely does make removing mascara and liquid eyeliner a breeze. I simply soak a cotton wool pad or two and hold it against my eye for about twenty seconds or so before wiping away and I find that the majority of my eye makeup has been removed. I find that it doesn't irritate my eyes and it leaves them feeling clean and soothed. I would definitely recommend this if you're looking for a gentle eye makeup remover that removes eye makeup easily and effortlessly.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Dove Nourishing Oil Care Shampoo & Conditioner

When the Dove Nourishing Oil Care Shampoo and Conditioner were released back in Summer last year, I decided to buy the duo and its only been until now that I've started using them. The Dove Nourishing Oil Care Range has been created to be used by those who suffer from frizz, dry or rough hair which helps to smooth up to 100% roughness and helps to control frizz. The entire range is enriched with a blend of weightless nutri-oils and argan oil which has been designed to nourish the hair at a cellular level. It leaves the hair nourished and replinishes essential nutrients to help tame the hair and leave it smooth, shiny and full of movement. I've been using this duo for the past three weeks or so and it's definitely love.

For starters, this duo smells utterly amazing and if you're a fan of the Dove Nourishing Oil Care Leave-in Conditioning & Care Spray, it's got the exact same scent which is slightly more fruity than the usual creamy Dove scent. From the first use, my hair felt softer and had that clean shine that doesn't feel weighed down. I've noticed that I don't have quite as much hair fallout whilst using this duo and somehow, my hair looks so much better especially on second even third day hair. I wouldn't quite consider this duo holy grail status but it's definitely up there as one of my favorites which I will end up repurchasing for sure.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Soap & Glory Clean On Me Shower Gel

Said to be on of their most popular products from the Soap & Glory range, Clean On Me has their original sweet scent which contains an added bonus of a built in body lotion which comes housed in a massive 500ml bottle which should keep you going for a few months or so. A handful of this stuff lathers up beautifully, smells delightful and leaves your skin feeling squeaky clean without leaving it stripped and dry. Whilst most use this for its main purpose as a showerl gel, I opt to use it as a shaving lotion instead and I find that it leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth after shaving. Whilst it may be pricey to use as a shaving lotion, it does work out quite good cost per use and I find that one bottle lasts me for about five months or so.

What's your favourite product/s from Soap & Glory?

Saturday, 15 February 2014

No7 Stay Perfect Macara

The No7 Stay Perfect Mascara was the first mascara I bought after I stopped wearing eyelash extensions. It's one of those mascaras that is billed as being the perfect mascara as its smudge proof, flake proof, sweat proof, humidity proof and even tearproof. The mascara itself comes housed in a chic gold tube which eerily mimics YSL packaging just without the hefty pricetag. It has a plastic straight wand which means you can tilt it at any angle and it will still coat the lashes.

On first uses, I really did not get on with this mascara. I found that the formula was far too wear and it wasn't give my lashes any length and just left them looking rathy stumpy. That was until I received a sample of the No7 Extreme Length Extend Mascara and used it in conjuction with the Stay Perfect and I found that this was literally a match made in heaven. I found that the Extreme Length Extend literally extended my lashes and made them look longer whilst the Stay Perfect gave volume and definition. Whilst that duo was incredible, I've noticed that the space of a few weeks, the Stay Perfect Mascara dried out slightly which meant that it was perfect for using on my bottom lashes as it slightly defined them.

I find that this mascara definitely lives up to its claims and it is literally perfect. I found that it wouldn't budge at all on those days when work got to me or when I was running around everywhere and it even takes using two different makeup removers just to remove it. I would highly recommend this mascara for anybody that is looking for the perfect summer mascara as you won't be disappointed!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

A Hydraluron Dupe?


Update February 2016: This product has since been discontinued altogether but it can still be found on eBay for a much higher price!

I discovered Hydraluron around the time that Caroline Hirons made it the product to buy and after reading countless reviews, I was sucked into the hype yet I didn't actually splash out on it until December 2013. Between the time that it was made famous and the time that I bought it, I discovered the Lacura Aqua-Complete Multi Intensive Serum after reading a review on Hello Terri Lowes blog and thus rushed out to buy it.

Unlike Hydraluron, the Lacura Aqua-Complete Multi Intensive Serum comes housed in a frosted glass bottle with a pump action dispenser which distributes the perfect amount to cover your entire face/neck area. It comes out as a white, watery liquid that once massaged into the face, feels light weight which sinks into the skin instantly and you can proceed to apply your night time moisturiser on top. Whilst this may not contain the same ingredients, this does however contain glacier water, aloe vera, amino acid complex and of course hyaluronic acid. 

I've noticed that since using this for the past seven months, my face has looked a lot more hydrated and I don't suffer with overly dry skin anymore. Whilst I do think this product was responsible for quite a few bad breakouts when I first started using it, I stuck to it and my skin sorted it out. I find that makeup now applies better and doesn't start wearing away after only a few hours wear. I also don't have to use quite as much moisturiser to keep my skin hydrated which is a definite plus. Overall, I do much prefer this over Hydraluron purely because it doesn't leave my skin feeling tacky and instead leaves my skin feeling soft, smooth and ready for my moisturiser of choice. Whilst it may not be an exact dupe, I do think that this gives Hydraluron a good run for its money and if you don't fancy splashing out the cash for Hydraluron, it might be worth giving the Lacura Aqua-Complete Multi Intensive Serum a go.

Did you know that for the price of one tube of Hydraluron, you can buy Lacura-Aqua Complete Multi Intensive Serum seven times?

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Boots Glycerin & Rosewater Toner

On a quest to find a replacement of the Boots Botanics Pure Rosewater Toner (Which has since been discontinued and replaced with the Rosewater Toning Spritz) I found something similar in the form of Boots Traditional Skin Care Glycerin & Rosewater Toner. I've been using this every night for the past five months and as I'm now nearing the end of my bottle, I thought I would share my thoughts about it.

The Boots Glycerin & Rosewater Toner is a no fuss product that both tones and moisturises the skin. It's a light weight liquid that may feel slightly tacky on the skin after use which is down to its moisturising properties so it may be better suited to night time use only. I personally don't have any proplems with it feeling tacky on the skin as I apply my oils and serums once I've used this so the more hydration, the better I feel. Despite it smelling slightly artificial and old, this hasn't irritated my skin at all nor has it caused me to break out. It's definitely a nice budget toner if you're short on the pennies that certainly does the trick at toning your skin.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Samples I've Used Up 008

I received a sample of the No7 Extreme Length Extend as a GWP as I had bought two make up items from No7. I used this in conjuction with the No7 Stay Perfect Mascara and my eyelashes looked really long and full of volume. This coated each and every lash and literally extend them. I will definitely be buying this in full size once I've gotten through all my mascaras.

A sample that has frequented in many of these posts is The Face Shop The Smim Radiating Moisturising Cream. This is a very light weight moisturiser that leaves the skin feeling moisturised and looking radiant. I think the results of this moisturiser are better when used with Hydraluron as my face was left feeling and looking hydrated as well as a lot more brighter than before. I may consider buying this in full size at some point but for now, I'll stick with the moisturisers that I have.

I've used up my sample pot of the Estee Lauder Double Wear which I'm in the shade 1W1 Bone. I wouldn't say that it's as full coverage as everybody says it is but it definitely lasts on the skin for ages. I find that I can only use either the RT Buffing Brush or RT Expert Face Brush with this as it doesn't seem to agree with my other brushes. Despite that, this is literally the perfect winter foundation for me as it's a brilliant colour match and I've already bought this in the full size.

I've finished up a sample of the Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil which was literally a saviour for my dry skin. This is a light weight oil that can feel a little heavy if you apply too much. I apply this before bed, before other serums and my moisturiser and when I wake up in the morning, my skin looks slightly glowy and rehydrated. I will definitely be purchasing this in full size.

The last sample I've used up is the Soap & Glory Make Yourself Youthful Super Serum which sadly I didn't notice any results as I think with serums, you need more than just one satchet. It felt light weight on the skin and sunk in quickly but that's all that I can say. I will need a few more samples of this before I consider purchasing in full size. 

Friday, 7 February 2014

Nanshy Face Brush Set

Over the past few months, I've been getting more into my makeup brushes and have slowly been building up quite the collection. My all time favourite brand of brushes just has to be Real Techniques and my favourite brushes by them are the Buffing Brush and the Expert Face Brush, both of which are perfect for applying, blending and buffing in foundation. So when Liam asked me what I wanted for Christmas, it was definitely a no brainer and I asked for the Nanshy Face Brush Set which I just so happened to open up on Christmad Day.

The Nanshy Face Brush Set comprises of five full sized make up brushes, all of which can be used to apply various bases to your face in different ways. The handles are wooden, varnished and rather weighty but I've personally found them easy to hold and work with. All the bristles are synthetic which means that they're 100% cruelty-free and vegan friendly. What I like the most about these is just how soft they are! The bristles themselves are densely packed so they pick up product well. Whenever it comes to washing them, I do a double cleanse with both Johnson's Baby Shampoo and an anti-bacterial hand wash and I haven't had any shedding from the brushes.

Best for mineral blushes, loose powders and bronzers.

This is the only brush that I've used a handful of times and thus I cannot say what I use it primarily for. Whenever I have used it, the angle of the brush has been brilliant for contouring and sculpting the face whilst the flat top blends it all out beautifully.

Best for cream/liquid foundations and concealers.

This cleverly crafted pointed brush makes blending an ease especially in those difficult areas like in the corners of the eyes, around the nose and mouth. I like using this for my concealer under my eyes as the pointed yet rounded point is perfect for blending and buffing it in seamlessly.

Best for cream/liquid highlighters, bronzers and blushers.

This is just like the Round Buffer Brush except it's angled which makes applying cream and liquid products incredibly easy. I like using this with my Benefit High Beam as it blends it in so seamlessly. This would also be the perfect brush to use with cream bronzers to contour the face as the slight angle would make it easy for anybody just getting to grips with contouring.

Best for liquid/cream foundations.

The round, slightly domed shape of this brush makes applying any liquid/cream base products a dream as it buffs them into the skin creating a flawless finish. I personally prefer this for buffing in foundation around my nose as it helps prevent any cakiness from appearing.

Best for mineral/powder/liquid/cream foundations.

This is your typical kabuki style brush which is ever so similar to the Real Techniques Buffing Brush except it's slightly more dense. I expect that this would be the brush to use if you prefer mineral/powder foundations however I find it perfect for buffing it foundation particularly on my cheeks.  

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Blemish Busters

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo has been raved about left, right and centre for its blemish busting ways and truly so. It is unlike any other blemish buster in my eyes as it is quite frankly everything you could need in a blemish buster. It unclogs sebum-blocked pores and purifies them preventing future breakouts from appearing as well as reducing the size of existing blemishes, rids the skin of dead skin cells all whilst leaving the skin softer, clearer and in general improving the overall skin texture. The new Plus (+) version is just a improved version of the original but with the added bonus that it helps to heal red and dark marks after a breakout.

To me, the Soap & Glory Dr Spot is dupe of the Origins Super Spot Remover just without the hefty pricetag and more product for your money. It contains Poreshrink-R (?), Salicylic Acid and Ginger which helps fight any stubborn spots immediately after application. I've noticed any pesky blemishes are reduced in appearance within a few hours which is incredible results. Whilst the packaging is all clean and swanky, it does have a habit of leaking without any pressure so be warned.

I'm sure that everybody is sick and tired of hearing that Sudocrem is perfect for breakouts which was made famous on TOWIE but I simply couldn't resist adding it in! Apply quite a thick layer all over any breakouts at night and come morning, they will look reduced in size and appearance. I don't do this every night as it can be quite drying but that can be overcomed with a moisturiser. This is also one that will last you a lifetime which makes cost per use very low!

Before I start applying any makeup, I like to apply the No7 Rapid Spot Rescue on any pesky blemishes that I have lingering on my skin and let it sink it and do it's magic. Just like the Soap & Glory Dr Spot, this also contains Salicylic Acid and gets to work immediately after application. Unlike some, this is non drying so it wont dry out the skin. Tip: Apply a small amount and rub it in over a large area to prevent it flaking off during the day.

The Laidbare Spot The Difference Problem Skin Treatment Cream was a T K Maxx find last year and has helped fight any spots ever since. Despite this being targeted to those with oily/combination skin, I find this works just as well for me and I prefer using this before my moisturiser. This contains extracts of Chrysanthemum (flowering plant) and Fennel which helps calm any irritation and reduces any lumps and bumps; Caffeine which is a known antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and Horse Chesnut Oil which helps care and soothe sensitive skin. This also has the added bonus of reducing shine.

What do you use to banish those blemishes?

Monday, 3 February 2014

No7 Pore Vacuum Mask

When Boots were handing out their most recent batch of No7 Voupons, I decided to buy the No7 Pore Vacuum Mask as it claims to give pores a much needed deep clean with the purifying clay that acts as a magnet to help open up the pores and draw out any blackhead causing dirt. Whilst I don't suffer too badly with blackheads, I do have some on my nose which don't seem to budge no matter what I use so I had high hopes for this mask. Sadly, I did not get on with this mask at all.

Firstly, this mask does state that it shouldn't be use on dry skin which may be my downfall but my skin felt relatively normal with no dry patches at the time. I applied this to cleansed, dry skin and applied a thick layer as instructed and left it to try for at least ten minutes. After the ten minutes were up, I proceeded to "peel" off the mask which started to bring tears to my eyes as I was actually ripping out facial hairs which I was not expecting at all. I decided to use a muslin cloth and wash off the remainder which did infact remove it all but I was left with a lovely red mark on my jawline which meant that I had a allergic reaction to it which has almost cleared up.

Whilst this is rather pricey for what it is, I do think that those with tougher skin as it were would have better results than I did. If my review has not put you off and you do decide to purchase this then I urge you to use this with caution

Saturday, 1 February 2014

January Favourites

The Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner has been perk up my rather dull skin as well as helping to exfoliate it. I use this primarily at night as I like to think that it does more for my skin than using it in the morning. I've noticed that this has made some improvement in my skin tone so I'm hoping that with continued use, the results will only get better. The La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo combined with Soap & Glory Dr. Spot have been helping keep any pesky breakouts at bay and have made quite the dream team. Any breakouts have reduced in appearance within a day and it's definitely down to this duo.

I've been having issues with scarring left over from spots throughout January so I've been religiously using the 17 Stay Time Concealer to help cover them up. I much prefer this over the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer as it covers up any scarring/blemishes a lot better and has a better shade range. I've been using the L'Oreal Lumi Magique Pure Light Primer as a base before I apply any foundation and I find that my skin looks more awake and dewy. This is also the perfect primer to use with the Estee Lauder Double Wear as it doesn't cake! Lastly, I've been coating my eyelashes with the No7 Fanomenal Lash Serum both day and night almost and I feel that this has made the biggest improvement with my lashes which I think is partially down to the application as it has a much wider brush thus coating my lashes more.