Thursday, 30 October 2014

October Empties

I've used up the VO5 Heat Protect Styling Spray which I used daily for when I straightened my hair. This done the job nicely, had a nice scent and will definitely be repurchasing soon. I've finished finish up the Herbal Essences Bee Strong Shampoo + Conditioner which were extremely basic and didn't do much for my hair - would not recommend! I've used up a can of Superdrug Dry Shampoo in Head In The Clouds which did an okay job on third day hair but the scent was a bit much. I've finished up another Aussie 3 Minute Miracle in Shine which I absolutely swear by as it makes my hair so much softer and shinier! I've also used up another Boots Build Up Removal Shampoo which I use every single Sunday to remove any product build up and will forever be repurchased.

I've used up another Garnier Simply Essentials Soothing 2-in-1 Makeup Remover which removes my makeup quickly and effortlessly. I will need to repurchase this ASAP! I've finished up another Superdrug Vitamin E Hot Cloth Cleanser which I thoroughly enjoyed using as it makes my skin soft and nourished - will be repurchased! I've finished up two Lush Toners; Tea Tree Water Toner Water and Breath Of Fresh Air Toner Water. The tea tree offering I felt did more for my skin in terms of active blemishes whereas the latter just helped to wake me up in the morning. I've finally used up the L'Oreal Triple Active Day Cream which I did like but I felt that it took forever to use up and the scent annoyed me at times. I've gone through another Lacura Aqua Complete Multi Intensive Serum which is a dupe for Hydraluron but just a fraction of the price. This really helps to keep my skin hydrated and will forever be repurchased.

I've used up a MAC Eyebrow Pencil in Lingering which I've been absolutely loving using as it's the perfect shade for my brows and it fills them in so naturally. I've finished up another Bourjois Healthy Mix Radiance Reveal Foundation which is what I use on a daily basis to mix in with other foundations as it helps give a more radiant look. I've used up the L'Oreal Lash Out Butterfly Mascara which I loved using in combination with the Physicans Formula Fake Out Mascara as it gave incredible volume and length whilst defining my lashes. I've finished up the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles which I loved using for my dark circles albeit I do find it a little unsanitary due to the sponge applicator.

I seem to be going through cotton wool pads like there's no tomorrow as I've used up four packs of the Wilko Maxi Oval Cotton Wool Pads which will forever be repurchased. I've finished up a pack of the No7 Quick Thinking Wipes which will also be forever repurchased and will be forever used for anything but removing makeup. I've finally used up the Sensodyne Extra Whitening Toothpaste which I felt did the job nicely and will be picking up again when I'm in the states. I've finished up the Soap & Glory The Breakfast Scrub which exfoliates the skin brilliantly but I'm getting a little sick of the scent. I've used up the Nivea Soft Moisturising Cream which I will be repurchasing ASAP as I loved how moisturising it was. I've used up two hand sanitisers this month; the Wilko Hand Sanitiser in Fruity and the Cuticura Anti Bacterial Hand Gel in Passion Flower & Mango which both did the job well. Lastly, I've finally used up the Organic Surge Lavendar Meadow Hand & Nail Cream which had a very soothing scent which made it the perfect hand cream to use before bed.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

October Birchbox Review

As most of you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I'm glad that Birchbox have jumped on the bandwagon with a feminine pink theme, filled with beautiful products as well as containing some really handy information on how to properly check yourself for early signs and symptoms. This isn't the first time that Birchbox have got involved with charities as just last month, they held a Coppafeel manithon to help raise money and awareness for Breast Cancer Research.

Usually Birchbox uses drawstring bags in their boxes which are great for travelling/storing products in however this month, they've used a pretty baby pink makeup bag to store all the other products in which is the perfect size for popping in your handbag. The first product that caugt my eye upon opening the makeup bag is the Shaveworks The Cool Fix (156ml, £11), which I received a 29ml sample. It's described as a genius cooling gel lotion which works to treat and prevent ingrown hairs, razor bumps and burns as well as redness after hair removal. You apply it generously to dry, clean skin and continue to use it both morning and night until the irritation disappears. I personally don't suffer with any problems after shaving but I'll definitely be keeping this on hand.

The next product to catch my eye is a fullsize Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Honey Nectar (4g, £8). I have enough lip balms to be getting on with although this particular addition from Pixi is most welcome especially because I haven't tried anything from the brand before. It;s packed with shea butter with a subtle nude-ish colour that thats both moisturising and hydrating on the lips. I received two sample satchets of Cattier Pink Clay Mask (100ml, £4.25) which is specifically for sensitive skin and helps to soothe and illuminate the skin. I've never tried anything from this brand before but I'm definitely intrigued in this face mask especially when it's pink.

The Lollipops Nail Lacquer in Voyage à Paris (£7) is a product that I'm least excited about upon seeing in this months box purely because it's yet another red nail varnish that will be getting passed onto a family friend. It appears to be one of those high shine formulas that is quick drying and doesn't chip easily. I've never tried anything fom KMS California before so I'm excited to see the Hair Play Playable Texture (200ml, £15.50) of which I received a generous 75ml sample. The unique formula helps build body and texture with repeated applications all without the stickiness or product buildup. I'm hoping that this lives up to its claims as I'll be putting it to test on my next night out.

The last product albeit a gimmicky lifestyle extra is a Birchbox Lipstick Pen (£2.50) which although it feels pretty cheap, it does look pretty darn cool. This will be going straight into my handbag as it's the perfect size. Overall, I thought this month was pretty good and I liked the variety included in this box. I'm hoping that next months box will be even better!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

October Love Me Beauty Box Review

Following on from last months box where I mentioned that they've repackaged/rebranded Love Me Beauty and are now copying Birchbox with the bags in the boxes, this month it would appear that they've finally rolled out the new packaging to everybody and not just to select individuals. I found that this month, there wasn't anything that I really wanted from the Boutique so I selected a few things just for the sake of choosing.

I added both the Lord & Berry Smudgeproof Waterproof Eyeliner in #720 Sand and the Lord & Berry Polish Eye Pencil in #5071 Mirror Black. I much prefer the formula of the latter as it's a lot more creamier and the colour appears a lot more intense. I'm not entirely sure why I chose these two items as I'm quite happy with my current black eye liner and I never stray far from it.

I've read a lot of reviews recently of the S5 Renew Serum so I thought I better try a sample of it for myself. I'm not suffering with any fine lines or wrinkles just yet but I like to think that starting to use products specifically aimed for anti-aging will be the key to preventing them. The last item I added to my basket was the Malin + Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser but on closer inspection, it appears to be a foaming gel which I'm not too sure I will actually use as we all know that any foaming cleansers can strip the skin, so I will have to do my research on this and see if that is the case. Love Me Beauty also added the Weleda Calendula Massage Oil to my box which I'm not entirely sure why - is it because I chose things I didn't necessarily want/like but chose them anyway for the sake of choosing? It is because I've been subscribed for a number of months and this is just to say thanks?

Overall, as much as I like Love Me Beauty, I have decided to cancel my subcription due to the lack of good products in the Boutique. I know that every beauty box has their good and bad months but it would appear that Love Me Beauty are having more bad than good especially now that you have to choose which products you want which goes against why I subscribed to them in the first place.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Samples I've Used Up 016

I've used up five samples of Lancome Visionnaire which will be featuring in every post like this from now on as I have quite a fair few samples of it. As much as I love what it does to my skin, the price puts me off it as it is quite expensive for what it is. I've finished up the Beauty Protector Protect & Shampoo and Protect & Conditioner which I used to wash my hair after swimming. I absolutely loved the scent of this duo as well as how soft it made my hair! I will definitely be purchasing these in full size once I've gone through all my shampoos and conditioners.

I've used up a sample of Lancome Genifique which I use in the mornings after using Visionnaire the night before. I haven't noticed any differences in my skin after using this which may be down to the fact that it isn't targeted towards my skin type. I've used up a sample of Sk:n Neck Firming Cream which I try to remember to use as soon as I've finished my skincare routine. The cream is thick yet sinks into my skin almost instantly and I've noticed that my neck lines have faded very slightly. Lastly, I've finished up a sample of No7 Extreme Length Waterproof Mascara which I used to help build up my lashes as well as to seal them afterwards as it prevented transfering onto my eyelids. I absolutely love the brush on this and I will definitely be repuchasing in full size!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Lush Tea Tree Water Toner Water

It's no secret that I suffer with blemishes and I'm sure that like many people, you would try absolutely anything to get rid of them. After researching various products, I came across the Lush Tea Tree Water Toner Water which due to it's antibacterial, antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, it makes the perfect toner to use especially when suffering with a lot of blemishes. After using this for a number of months now, I thought I better share my two cents on it.

The Lush Tea Tree Water Toner Water (£4.25 for 100g/£7.95 for 250g) is one of Lush's more popular toners due to it containing tea tree which we all know is a natural blemish buster. It also contains grapefuit which whilst is rich in vitamins, it also acts as a light astringent on the skin whilst the added bonus of juniperberry helps keep the skin clean and clear. 

I mainly use this toner every evening after cleansing my face as the scent of it is rather soothing. I simply spritz it a few times across my face and go in with a cotton wool pad afterwards to remove any excess. I've noticed that since using this, any troublesome blemishes I have appear reduced after only a few days and I no longer seem to suffer with a lot of redness on my cheeks. If I were to only use this both morning and night then I would get greater results long term, however the beauty blogger within me likes to have a different toner both morning and night. If I'm ever in the market for a new toner then I will definitely be repurchasing this especially when I'm suffering with a lot of blemishes.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Physcians Formula Organic Wear Fake Out Mascara

Out of all the brands that are available over in the states, one that I was most excited about getting my mitts on were Physicians Formula as they're a brand that aren't easy to get ahold of the UK, despite them soon launching here. I picked up quite an array of products and one that I was most excited about trying is their Organic Wear Fake Out Mascara which I've heard so much about. After trialling it for a few months, I thought I would finally share my two cents about it.

The Physicians Formula Organic Wear Fake Out Mascara ($9.99/£6.29) is one of those mascaras that the ingredients are 100% of a natural origin of which 70% are completely organic. It is 100% free from harsh chemicals, parabens, synethic colours, fragrances and preservatives all whilst being cruelty free and having a recylable brush. The mascara itself  claims to give a natural false lash effect due to it containing natural fibers that helps amplify lash volume, length and curl with no irritation.

I've been using this mascara for the best part of five months and I must say this it is one of the best mascaras I've tried. I will first admit that I haven't noticed it making my lashes dramatically longer than normal and on closer inspection, I can't see any fibers at all which makes me question the mascaras claim. However what I have noticed is that this mascara works better combined with another mascara like the L'Oreal Lash Out Butterfly Mascara for example. When used by itself, it gives the lashes both volume and length but it doesn't necessarily curl them unless you've used eyelash curlers beforehand. When used with another mascara, it gives dramatic length and volume. The brush itself is a plastic wand which may not be to your liking if you prefer traditional mascara wands but the wand is where the magic lays, as it helps give your lashes a real boost in the volume stakes. It gets right into your lashes and helps lift them which it turn gives the appearance of false lashes. I can get about seven hours wearing time before it starts to flake off slightly which is how long I wear my makeup for roughly anyway.

I'm hoping that when Physicans Formula do eventually launch properly here in the UK, that this mascara is included in their lineup as I expect that many people will be wanting to get their mitts on it as it truly is a brilliant mascara and I regret not picking up more of it.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

MAC Eyebrow Pencil in Lingering

If you were to ask a beauty blogger why they're late to something, I can guarantee that it will be one of two things; either struggling to perfect winged liner or making their eyebrows look somewhat reasonable. I've never truly bothered to fill in my eyebrows until I discovered that they were looking a little sparse so I've been trying out products to help make my eyebrows somewhat fuller. One product that I've recently repurchased is the MAC Eyebrow Pencil in Lingering which albeit is very expensive for how little product you get but it's one product that I seriously cannot live without.

The MAC Eyebrow Pencil in Lingering (£13.50) is essentially a self-propelling, selfsharpening, brow defining pencil that adds shape, colour and density all into one streamlined pencil shaped tool. The colour itself sits inbetween both a light and medium-ish brown which when used lightly, can define your brows completely but when used heavily, can fill in even the most sparse of gaps.

I purchased my first one of these back in June and didn't finish it completely until early October which for the amount you're getting and how often I used it, is money well spent in my eyes. I use this primarily to shape and define the very start of my eyebrows and to fill in the ends although when in rush, I will use this to completely fill in my eyebrows as the tip of this is so fine, it mimics hair perfectly. I'm pretty sure that there are better alternatives out there which last a lot longer but for the time being, I'm happy using MAC's Lingering.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

L'Oreal Triple Active Day Cream

It would appear that it takes me forever to finish up any facial moisturiser whether it be a day or night version as I would much rather make it last as long as possible to give it a true road test without skimping out on how much I apply. I've been using the L'Oreal Triple Active Day Moisturiser for Dry/Sensitive Skin for the past five or so months which I actually bought back before Christmas as a little present to myself which also contained the L'Oreal Skin Perfection Purifying Micellar Solution. As I'm almost nearing the end of my pot, I thought I better share my two cents on it.

The L'Oreal Triple Active Day Cream (£6.49) was created specifically to provide long lasting hydration for al skin types and in particular, dry/sensitive skin. It contains glycerin which helps to improve the skin's ability to retain moisture and maintain skin hydration. It's enriched with vitamin E and a UV filter which helps to protect the skin against everyday outside exposure. With the added additions of ceramide and vitamin B5, the formula helps to reinforce the skin's protective surface and helps leave it soft and nourished.

Unlike other facial moisturisers which I've used in the past, less is definitely more in this case as I've noticed that if I apply too much, it makes my makeup flake off which is not a attractive look. In terms of hydration, I would say that this does a pretty average job as my skin didn't feel any less hydrated whist using it which is probably because it's a slightly thick consistency which takes a little while for the skin to absorb. Whilst this didn't necessarily contain any SPF, it did leave a slight cast on any photos which is down to the UV filter which may be something to consider. Overall, this is a pretty average moisturiser which does exactly what it says. I wouldn't necessarily go out of my way to repurchase it as I have quite a few to be getting through at the moment but if you're in the market for one which doesn't break the bank then try the L'Oreal Triple Active Day Cream especially if you've got dry skin.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

No7 Eye Makeup Remover

Recently, I've found myself rocking eye makeup a lot more frequently which has resulted in using a lot more eye makeup remover to remove it all especially stubborn waterproof makeup. I'm not sure if I'm using too much but I've noticed that I'm going through my current eye makeup remover like there's no tomorrow so whilst I still have a little bit left, I thought I better review it. 

The eye makeup remover in question is the No7 Eye Makeup Remover (£8.50) which is a blue bi-phase solution that you have to shake up to combine the two liquids in order to use. It comes housed in No7's typical packaging - a sleek bottle with a sleeker screw top cap which is both recycable and easy on the eyes.

My first annoyance of this product is how well you have to shake it - you literally have to shake it like your life depends on it in order to combine and use the product as if you don't shake it enough, you wont be able to remove all the eye makeup which will result in more elbow grease and thus rubbing more at the delicate area. My second and last annoyance of the product is that when it comes to putting a bit on a cotton wool pad, you run the risk of pouring it everywhere is there isn't a plastic safety dispenser in it which perhaps is why I'm going through it way too quickly than I'd like. With that being said, I have to literally rub my eyes sore until all traces of my eye makeup have been removed which is rather painful. This is by far one of the worst eye makeup removers I've used and I urge you all to not purchase it.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Original Source Lime Shower Gel

I'm forever finding myself buying shower gels for Liam as he has a habit of using them as both a shower gel and a shampoo and squeezes out far too much for one use. I've tried many times to get him to use a seperate shampoo for his hair but to my dispair, he would much rather settle with a shower gel as apparently it makes his hair feel softer. So on a recent shopping trip, I found myself buying quite a few shower gels including a cheeky one for me which I technically didn't need in the form of Original Source Shower Gel in Lime which is forever on offer.

The Original Source Shower Gel in Lime (£2.30 normally when not on offer) is one of their more overpowering and enriching shower gels. As it smells like freshly sliced limes, it really wakes you up first in the morning with it's zingy, empowering scent. Just like with the rest of their lineup, the formula lathers up really well which leaves the skin feeling soft and clean. As the scent is quite string, I've found that this lingers on the skin for a while which may not be ideal if you prefer to apply a body lotion straight away after washing. As these are always forever on offer, I will definitely be repurchasing this as well as trying out a few new scents.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Herbal Essences Bee Strong Shampoo & Conditioner

It would appear that I have more beauty products in my stash than I do heads so I'm making a conscious effort to use up what I have in my stash before running out and replacing although that is easier said than done due to all the incredible deals that the shops have at the moment. One duo that I've had in said stash is the Herbal Essences Bee Strong Shampoo + Conditioner which I snapped up when it was first released last year and it's only taken me until now to start using it.

The Herbal Essences Bee Strong Shampoo and Conditioner (£3.99 each) are a duo that help strengthen your hair with its nourishing formula of honey and apricot extracts that helps combat your hair from any damage that you may cause especially when armed with a comb!

Since using this duo, I haven't really noticed a huge difference in my hair. Just like with most shampoos and conditioners, this makes my hair feel soft and nourished whilst easy to style and brush but there's nothing truly that makes this particular duo stand out, well, apart from it's honey-ish based scent but that's really it. Perhaps if I abused my hair with bleach again then maybe I'd see better results but I don't particularly fancy putting both myself and my hair through that again. Sorry Herbal Essences but this truly just a very basic shampoo and conditioner duo!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

L'Oreal Lash Out Butterfly Mascara

Whilst out in America, one thing that I stocked up on apart from eos lip balms are mascaras as they work out far more cheaper out there than what we pay here in the UK. With that being said, sometimes the US version has different packaging/different name altogether which is definitely the case with this as whilst it may be called the L'Oreal Lash Out Butterfly Mascara in the US, in the UK it's known as the L'Oreal False Lash Flutter Mascara.

The L'Oreal Lash Out Butterfly Mascara ($7.97/£10.99) is one of those mascaras that everybody was talking about when it was released back in the summer due to its unique double winged butterfly brush that gave the false lash effect without clumping your eyelashes. 

I'm almost coming up to the six month mark with this mascara which means that I will need to throw it out very soon although I'm not sure if I can as I am literally in love with this mascara. Due to its unique design of the brush, you can really extend your lashes and give it plenty of volume without any clumps. I like to use the different angles of the brush to get the full effect - using the longer butterfly edge to give length whilst using the sides to add definition which altogether gives a great impact. I have the normal formula which although its great, I have noticed that it can smudge slightly and wear off after a few hours wear so I think I will repurchase it in the waterproof formula once I've gone through a few more mascaras. If you're looking for a mascara that packs a punch then I urge you to try the L'Oreal Lash Out Butterfly Mascara as you won't regret it!

Monday, 6 October 2014

Lush Breath Of Fresh Air Toner Water

Toners are one of those products that many people say are an unneccesary step as they do absolutely nothing. I on the other hand believe that they do a lot for your skin and really hold your skincare routine in check especially when you're using exfoliating toners. As I use a extremely mild exfoliating toner on a daily basis, I needed something refreshing for my skin in the mornings to help wake me up so I decided to pick up Lush's Breath Of Fresh Air Toner Water.

The Lush Breath Of Fresh Air Toner Water (£4.25 for 100g/£7.95 for 250g) is one of Lush's more refreshing toner waters as it contains mineral-rich carrageenan seaweed extracts and rose absolute which helps to tone and balance the skin. The rose absolute will help reduce any redness whilst the added patchouli acts as a astringent on the skin and helps cool everything down.

I've been using this toner every morning for the past part of eight months which is a incredibly long time (and extremely good value for morning). I find that this really does help wake me up in the mornings especially when I'm feeling rather sluggish. I simply spritz it a few times across my face and go in with a cotton wool pad afterwards to remove any excess. I haven't noticed any long term benefits from using this apart from the fact that it does help slightly with any troublesome blemishes and reduces redness as well as feeling extremely refreshing on the skin. If I'm ever in the market for a new toner, I will definitely be picking this up as I will miss it's sea breeze scent in the mornings.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Nivea Soft Moisturising Cream

As I have far too many body products than I care to admit, I've been trying to make my way through my stash before I purchase anymore so that they don't go to waste. After finishing my previous body lotion, I decided to dig out the Nivea Soft Moisturising Cream which I purchased almost a year ago as it's in the limited edition Giles Deacon for LFW 2013 packaging which just goes to show how long I've had it for.

The Nivea Soft Moisturising Cream (£4.28) is one of those multi-use products that everybody should have in their stash as it can be used on the face, body and hands although I used it primarily on my body as I have a seperate face and hand cream.The improved formula contains jojoba oil and vitamin E which helps keep the skin moisturised for longer whilst leaving it incredibly soft.

I've been using this for the past few weeks and I must admit that this beats my beloved Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter hands down! It's a very light, creamy texture that once rubbed in, it's absorbed almost instantly so there isn't any of that awkward waiting for my body moisturiser to sink in dance that we all experience far too often that we'd care to admit. Once absorbed, the skin feels instantly softer and more hydrated than before which lasts for the rest of the day. A little goes a long way with this so I can easily see one tub lasting for just over a month depending on how often/much you use it. Overall, this is a moisturiser and one that I will definitely be repurchasing as soon as I've used up my stash. 

Thursday, 2 October 2014

September Favourites

As the nights are getting darker and a lot more cold, I've found myself suffering with extremely dry lips so I've been reaching for the EOS Medicated Tangerine Lip Balm on an almost hourly basis. As this is medicated, it feels slightly dried out when you're applying it but I assure you that it does do the trick. I've noticed that since using this, my dry lips have almost vanished completely and I don't suffer that dreaded burning sensation with it like you do with Carmex. 

Seeing as my role at work is changing and I'm now starting earlier, I've found myself needing more coverage especially on my dark circles and blemishes so I've been using the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Concealer and the Seventeen Stay Time Concealer whenever I apply my makeup. The Maybelline offering instantly highlights and conceals my dark circles whilst the Seventeen offering conceals all my scarring and blemishes. These two are fast becoming my favourite concealers of all time.

In order to inject some glow back into my stress ridden/lack of sleep face, I've been mixing the Revlon Photoready Skinlights Face Illuminator in Pink Light in with my foundation to create a dewy glow to my base. I much prefer mixing this in with my foundation rather than using it as a highlighter as the effect it gives is a lot more natural whilst creating the appearance of perfect skin. I know that I shouldn't be using Sudocrem on blemishes but I just can't help myself especially when any blemishes that I do pop this onto are reduced with size and redness come morning.