Monday, 26 October 2015

Samples I've Used Up 028

 I've used up two travel sized Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water which I adore using to remove the bulk of my makeup off. I've finished up a pack of Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Facial Towelettes which I kept in my bag for times when I needed to freshen up. These were very moist to the touch and hydrating at the same time so I will definitely be repurchasing these! I've used up the travel sized versions of Charles Worthington Moisture Seal Shampoo + Conditioner which were very hydrating and helped keep my hair manageable and soft. I've finished up a travel sized Sensodyne Extra Fresh Toothpaste which lasted quite a while and will definitely consider purchasing in full size.

I've used up the travel sized versions of Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Shampoo + Conditioner which completely transformed my hair whilst away on holiday. It helped to hydrate my hair whilst reducing the appearance of any noticeable damage all whilst smelling bloody good! I will definitely think about buying these in the full size. I've finished up a travel sized Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor which I used most nights on holiday just to give my hair a treat after being in the sun all day. Long term readers will know that I swear by Aussie's 3MM's! I've used up the No7 Youthful Eye Serum which I use before I apply any eye cream and whilst I haven't noticed any groundbreaking results, I like to think that it's hydrating my under eye area more when combined with an eye cream. I've finished up two samples of Vichy Idealia Life Serum which I only got a few uses out of each sample tube which sadly wasn't enough to get behind the hype of the product. It did make my skin feel soft but apart from that, that's really it. Lastly, I've used up a vial of Juicy Couture Couture La La which smelt so good as it contains notes of mandarin and white floral which is definitely going on my to buy in full size list!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Lanzarote Haul

When on holiday, you have to take full advantage of the exchange rate and offers and do a little shopping which naturally I had to do! Where we were staying, there were a few Fund Grube stores which is essentially like Debenhams just not as big. At the time, they had slashed the prices over 1,500 beauty products which meant some serious savings were there to be had!

I took full advantage of this and decided that now would be he best time to get the Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2 which is specifically for dry combination skin. I've been reading a lot about their clarifying lotions and how they can either work wonders for your skin and wreck havoc. I personally don't take reviews for face value as everybodys skin is different so what may work for one person, may not necessarily work for the either so with that in mind, I'm keen to try it for myself. It's essentially an exfoliating toner that helps to remove dead skin to reveal brighter, more radiant skin. I'm really hoping that this works well for me as I do have high hopes for it. Next up is the Melvita Damask Rose Floral Water that has been on my wishlist for the longest time ever! This is a hydrating toner that you can either spritz directly on the skin or onto a cotton pad before sweeping it over the face. It's distilled from Damask Rose petals and is a astringent which will give you that tight feeling after applying without irritating the skin.

Anybody who has stepped foot in a department store will understand how pushy sales assistants are and the sales assistants in Fund Grubbe were no different, especially when it comes to making you buy fragrance! They were having some sort of special promotion on a new his and her fragrance which of course we had to smell and then somehow ended up buying. Its called Voulezvous Pour Femme by Chhabria which I believe has been exclusively for Fund Grubbe. The scent itself is rather hard to explain as I cannot find any information on it however it smells good and is one that lingers on the skin hours after spritzing.

I couldn't resist buying some makeup so I bought two eyeshadows from Collistar. The first being Kartell X Collistar Silk Effect Eyeshadow Trio in 70 Nudo Jelly which has a champagne colour, shimmer packed copper gold and a shimmer dark brown that looks beautiful together. The other being a Double Effect Eye Shadow that you can use both wet and dry in the shade 4 Beige Rosato which is a very shimmery gold bronze shade where the shimmer literally gets everywhere! Lastly, there was a promotion on at the till where you could get four travel sized face + body lotions for €5 which of course were too cute to pass up! They're made in the Canary Islands and all contain extracts of aloe vera.. The blue one is aloe vera, the pink one is aloe vera with moscheta rose oil, the green one is olive oil and the orange one is aloe vera with karite butter

Monday, 12 October 2015

Boots Haul 020

I'm sure we all have one of those shops where we could just spend a fortune in and surprisingly, that store for me is Boots. Boots is just one of those places where they have a good mixture of highend and drugstore with many bargains like the infamous 3 for 2 which all the beauty bloggers sure take advantage of! Which just so happens to be the main cause of this haul, I fell into Boots only needing a few repurchases and I ended up coming out with a lot more. 

The main repurchase for me is the Estee Lauder Light Black Primer which I use after curling my lashes to act as a primer. I a do a few coats before going in with my normal mascara to make my lashes appear longer and fuller. It's completely unnecessary but I like to think it does something for my short lashes. The next repurchase is of course naturally the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge which is my go to for applying foundation. I tend to stick to one sponge for two days worth of foundation hence why I end up with atleast three on the go. With one sponge lasting two months or so before throwing it out, I always like to have a few in backup to keep going between the 3 for 2 deals.

There's no denying that I love my highlighters so I picked up the Collection Speedy Highlighter which is pretty much identical to my beloved No7 Instant Radiance Highlighter just slightly darker in colour. I also picked up the Collection Contour Kit Highlight & Scuplt which on first glances, the highlighter looks to be packed with glitter which gladly doesn't translate on the skin. It's instead a beautiful champagne colour with the perfect bronzer for pale skinned beauties. I also picked up the Collection #BlushAndGlow which has the bronzer and highligher already in there with two shades of blush which in hindsight is rather pointless however it's ideal for travelling.

I couldn't resist picking up the Collection Eyes Uncovered Nude Palette as the colours inside are right up my street! I also decided to get the Soap & Glory Supercat Liner as everyone and their nan raves about it and I wanted a change from my normal liquid liner. One product that I haven't had in what feels like forever is the Collection Lasting Perfect Concealer which is essentially like the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer but a fraction of the price. After seeing a friend rocking the Revlon Nail Varnish in Ace Of Spades, I too had to get on that bandwagon and I'm certainly not disappointed! It's a beautiful light black/dark grey that only takes one coat to be completely opaque. Lastly, I had to buy the Philips Tongue Cleaner purely because it was practically half price due to their price matching which I'll be popping up a review of in the next few weeks or so.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Superdrug Haul 006

Superdrug is one of those stores that I don't really go into much, purely because the staff in there aren't very helpful. The last time I went into one of their stores was back in May which feels like forever ago and even then I didn't buy a great deal. After seeing quite a few people hauling their own branded products, I decided that I better pop into my local one to see what products they had.
Before I even tried Liz Earle Cleanse + Polish, I was a loyal follower of the Vitamin E Hot Cloth Cleanser so of course I had to pick up two more! This is by far one of the better hot cloth cleansers I've tried as not only is the consistency very creamy and very luxurious but I actually feel like it works wonders for my dry/very dry skin. I also picked up their Naturally Radiant Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser which again, I have tried previously. This is a brightening version of the Vitamin E one just slightly smaller in size with a much different scent. I much prefer the Vitamin E one however this version is better suited for days when my skin is looking a little dull.

I've seen quite a few people raving about the Vitamin E Dual Phase Cleansing Oil recently so of course I had to pick one up. It's one of those products that you have to shake it up to combine the two layers to then use to cleanse the skin. You can use it to both remove makeup and to clease the skin however I think I'll give both a go before I decide which way is better suited for my skin. Lastly, I picked up the Gilette Venus Snap Razor as it's been on my radar for quite a while and it's perfect for when I'm travelling both abroad and around the country. It's basically a smaller version of the a normal size which still takes normal razor blades. 

Thursday, 8 October 2015

T K Maxx Haul 002

Hands up who agrees that T K Maxx can be very hit and miss especially when it comes down to their beauty products? I honestly don't know how people can come away with many big branded goods when my local store fails to keep even the cheapest of items tamper proof. I believe that all the good stuff stays up north whilst we get all the ruddy stuff down south! Now with that being said, I did find a few goodies on my most recept trip there which just so happened to be up north in Nottingham.

I've been lusting after GlamGlow for ages and despite owning a sample of it, it just hasn't satisfied my cravings so when I found the GlamGlow Hello Sexy Set which contains the Super Mud Clearing Treatment and Youth Mud Tingle Exfoliate Treatment all for £16.99 with a RRP of £43, I simply had to have it! Now I'm not entirely sure why but this particular set is targeted towards men when the products included are unisex however for the savings, I'm really not fussed.

My next purchase was more so an impulse buy than anything else however again, I could't resist it! It's the Glam Glow Bright Mud Eye Treatment which contains twelve single use capsules to instantly brighten the under eye area and help with dark circles, fine lines, fatigue, puffiness, plump up the area whilst hydrating it. Normally this would cost £35 however I paid £14.99 for it which is a little steep however I bet it's most definitely worth it!

Lastly, is my favourite purchase of them all and one that I've been lusting after for ages! If you remember the Illamasqua Speckled Collection from a few years ago then you will remember the nail varnishes that literally looked like a mini egg but in nail varnish form. When I saw the shade Fragile, a light speckled blue, I was literally estatic as this particular shade I've wanted for ages just I've been put off due to the price. However this only cost me £3.99 instead of £14.50 which is a great buy!

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Espa Haul 001

When this blog post goes up, I will actually be sunning myself in Lanzarote hence why this is the first of quite a few haul posts. I didn't intentionally plan this just however I was away with work for a course literally days before going away on holiday and one thing just lead to another and I came away with a rather heavy suitcase and a much lighter purse. On this said course, I was staying at The Village Hotel in Nottingham which I've been to previously and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. This time however I noticed that they were running a deal in the spa where you could get a fourty five minute facial for only £34 so of course naturally I booked myself in for one having never had a facial before. FYI Best thing ever!!

After fourty five minutes worth of my face being slathered with various oils and lotions, I couldn't believe how soft and hydrated my skin felt afterwards. It seriously felt incredible and I wish that I could have a facial every single day if only my purse allowed for that. I asked the therapist to write down all the products that she used on my face which lead to me purchasing only one product with two freebies. 

Long term readers will know that I'm a huge fan of cleansers so naturally I had to buy the ESPA Optimal Skin ProCleanser which is a tri-phase multifunctional gel cleanser that can also be used as an exfoliator and a facial mask. This by itself is £30 which for 100ml is rather steep however the spa had a deal on where you could buy both the cleanser and the Hydrating Floral Spafesh for £30 so of course it meant that I had to take them up on this offer as it basically meant I was getting the other product for free. As I was buying a product, I was also given the ESPA Beauty In The Bag Replenishing Skin Collection for Normal/Dry Sensitive which is made up of five travel sized products to continue the spa like feel at home with a how to facial routine guide. Despite not needing any more cleansers or toners, I simply couldn't resist such a good deal!

Sunday, 4 October 2015

When Beauty Bloggers Go On Holiday..

This is meant to be seen as a tongue in cheek post and not to be taken at all seriously although I'm pretty sure we've done most of these when packing on holiday/going on holiday!

- Empty out drawers reserved for travel sized products that you've been saving for this trip all year long.

- Immediately rush into Boots/Superdrug and buy all the miniatures/travel sized products - hello 3 for 2!

-  Packing four different red lipsticks is totally necessary for all those dinners by the sea, drinking wine.

-  Taking three seperate SPFs for the different times of day.

-  Throwing in all the bronzed makeup to achieve the bronzed goddess look that we've wanted to try out all year.

- Spend all the time by the pool, in the shade.
- Packing an aftersun with a hint of tan just to deepen our natural skin colour as we didn't tan at all that day.

- Checking out what products are sold at Duty Free and instantly making a list as long as your arm of what to buy.

-  Buy all the swimwear to then return it all as you don't like any of it.

- The minute you land at the airport, you immediately buy a hat and wear it all week long.

- Eat like royalty whilst on holiday - cooked breakfast, lunch AND dinner!

- Realise how much cheaper said products are abroad and immediately want to to track down the stockist.

- Spend all day long in shops, swatching makeup whilst its 30+ degrees outside.

- Fake tan before you go on holiday as you'll only top it up and maintain it, right?

- Take the entire skincare routine plus face masks, hair masks as your skin will get dry due to aircon despite how much moisturiser you're slathering on every hour, on the hour.

- Paint your nails a bright, vibrant neon colour to enhance your tan.

Friday, 2 October 2015

September Favourites

September has been such a whirlwind month and one that I've spent mostly in a sleep deprived daze. I've been so busy with work, attending conferences and training and just generally preparing for Christmas that I can't remember what a lay in feels like. With that being said, I'm actually going away on holiday this Sunday for a week to Lanzarote with my other half for our first holiday abroad and I'm too excited at the prospect of just relaxing on a beach all week long! Before I get too carried away talking about my holiday, I better share what products I've been loving throughout the month.

I've been piling on the primer this month and the No7 Instant Illusions Airbrush Away Primer is the first step to creating a flawless, radiant base. It's a silicone come cream based texture that not only creates the appearance of flawless skin but adds a little radiance to the skin to make you appear more awake. Speaking of radiance, I've been applying the No7 Instant Radiance Highlighter like there's no tomorrow! I apply this both before foundation and after foundation to the tops of my cheekbones, on the bridge of my nose and under my brows to create this strobed effect that everybody seems to be following. Truthfully, I've been strobing ever since this badboy entered my life but hey ho.

If you thought that was enough highlighter, I've been dusting the Bourjois Java Rice Powder all over my face this month not just to set my makeup but rather to create the appearance of a glow from within. This powder doesn't create that dreaded disco ball effect when used with a really light hand but instead it creates a beautiful radiant glow that instantly makes you look like you've had a really good sleep. The brush that I tend to use with this is the Real Techniques Fan Brush that is from the Sculpting Set which picks up just the right product to dust all over the face. To coincide with a radiant base, I've been embracing coppery, taupe bronzed eyes so I've been using the MaxFactor Excess Shimmer in Copper to the lid which adds an instant wash of colour which you can either leave how it is or apply an eyeshadow over the top to enhance the colour.

Lastly, I've been using the Nails Inc Kensington Church Street Nail Varnish over every nail varnish I've used this past month to create a beautiful snow flake effect on my nails which looks both effortless and chic at the same time. I tend to layer this over darker nails to get the full effect but it also looks just as good over paler colours too.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Septemer Empties || Products I've Used Up

I've used the Boots Build Up Removal Shampoo which I use religiously every Sunday to remove any product build up that I may have built up during the week. It's really gentle on the hair whilst being effective too and for the price it certainly is a budget find gem! I've finished up the OGX Biotin & Collagen Shampoo + Conditioner which I didn't really get on with at all. The shampoo was absolutely fine however the conditioner was far too thick to use let alone get out of the bottle which is something that OGX need to address. I've used up the L'Oreal Fibrology Thickening Mask which I used whenever my hair needed a quick fix in terms of thickening up and hydrating and it certainly didn't disappoint! Another Sunday ritual product is the Dove Damage Solutions Intensive Repair Express Treatment Conditioner which I used as a hair mask to help hydrate and repair my hair after a weeks worth of heat styling which does the trick.

I've used up the Liz Earle Orange Flower & Chamomile Cleanse & Polish which is just like the original but with a different scent. This particular scent has an acquired taste but does a brilliant job at cleansing the skin. I've finally finished the No7 Cleansing Oil which I've been trying to use up for the longest time ever! I used this primarily as a first cleanse to remove the bulk of my makeup and it did the job brilliantly although I often got it in my eyes due to using it to remove my eye makeup which irritated my eyes. I've used up the Garnier Simply Essentials 2-in-1 Makeup Remover which is a brilliant budget makeup remover as it removes all makeup almost instantly with one swipe. I will definitely continue to repurchase this! I've finished up another tube of Hydraluron which long term readers will know that I have a long term love affair with and will continue to repurchase and reuse. I've used up two bottles of Lacura Aqua Complete Multi Intensive Serum which is a much cheaper version of Hydraluron so essentially I only need to use one but when you combine the two together, you get even better results. I've finially finished the Avene Cleanance K Exfoliating Cream Gel which was a very potent cream that I would only appear if I had any active blemishes as it quite literally stung them to high heavens. This has since been discontinued and replaced with Cleanance K Expert which sadly is not the same.

I've used up two packs of the Wilko Maxi Oval Cotton Pads which will forever be the only cotton wool pads I use as they're absolutely brilliant for the price. I've finished up the No7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum which is still far too early to see groundbreaking results from but I know that with continued daily use, the early signs of fine lines around my eyes will disappear. Speaking of eyes, I've used up the No7 Youthful Eye Serum which you apply before your eyecream which many may deem as an unnecessary step however it truly does help to hydrate the under eye area more when teamed up with an eye cream. I've finished up the Revlon Photoready Skinlights Face Illuminator in 100 Bare Light which I mix in with my foundation to give a radiant, dewy finish which I will forever continue to use. I've used up the Clearasil Superfruits Refreshing Pads which are a good product to use if you're just starting off with acidic toners as these liquid soaked pads definitely pack quite the punch and are truly effective! Lastly, I've used up a EOS Lipbalm in Pomegranate Raspberry which is one of my favourite scents they do and I will forever continue using their lipbalms.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Samples I've Used Up 027

Does anybody else have a stockpile of samples or is it just me? Despite making a conscious effort to use them over full size products, it appears that I haven't made any sort of noticeable dent in the stash so I'm hoping that after my holiday next month, I'll have used up quite a fair few.

I've used up a travel sized Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water which I absolutely love using to remove my makeup as it literally takes it off within a few swipes. I've finished up the Origins Make A Difference Plus+ Rejuvenating Treatment Lotion which I used as a refreshing toner after using an exfoliating toner. Whilst I didn't really rate the scent much, I absolutely loved what it did to my skin which is good considering that I bought the full size of this back in May without even trying it out first.

I've used up a wee sample of the Benefit Roller Lash Mascara which truly helps to define and lengthen the lashes whilst creating the appearance of false lashes. As much as I love what this mascara does to my short lashes, I cannot justify the price of it especially when I have so many new mascaras to use. I've finished up a sample of the Agave Healing Oil which I applied to my hair after washing it to help nourish it and hydrate and boy did it do a brilliant job! It didn't feel greasy at all and made my hair feel incredibly soft so I will definitely be buying this in full size.

I've finished up the Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment which just like with the Agave offering, I applied it to my hair after washing it. This also helped to make my hair incredibly soft and gave it a unbeatable shine which I will most definitely have to buy in full size once I finish up my current hair oils. I've used up the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair which I use most evenings to help transform my skin overnight as it helps with any blemishes I may have and helps with any dryness.

I've used up three samples of Lancome Genefique which helps make my skin soft and helps make any serums I apply afterwards absorb a lot better. I wouldn't necessarily say that I would repurchase this as it is rather expensive for what it is however I have started using a dupe of this which works just as good. Lastly, I've finished up the Lancome Genefique Cream which is essentially a cream version of Genefique but is much more nourishing on the skin. I didn't notice any groundbreaking results from this as I only got three full face applications from this but it did help with my dry skin.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

The Only Electrical Toothbrush Worth Investing In!

I think that dental hygiene is one of those topics that isn't talked about enough on blogs which is funny because everybody including you and I brush our teeth twice a day amongst flossing, using mouthwash etc. I will admit that I didn't used to be a big fan of brushing my teeth whilst I was growing up as I would much rather spend those two minutes watching TV or playing on the computer than having to commit to cleaning my teeth. Nowdays, that's quite a different story and I enjoy nothing more than brushing my teeth however nerdy that sounds. I've tried various toothbrushes over the years ranging from the cheap manual toothbrushes that make your gums bleed to electrical toothbrushes which remove a lot more plaque for a lot less arm work! I'm rather lucky in my line of work as I'm given the opportunity to try all kinds of electrical devices so I was quite excited when I received the Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean Pink Toothbrush HX9361/67* (£249.99) which I've been using for the best part of three months now on a daily basis.

Firstly, I love how the Diamond Clean range comes in a variety of three colours (soon to be four!) where there is a colour to suit everyone or unless you're like me and instantly gravitate to the pink version of everything! Unlike some electrical toothbrushes that I've tried, this has to be the most comfortable one to hold with a sleek, modern look that wouldn't look out of place at the Apple store. Philips have really thought of everyone when it comes to the specifications of the product as you've got two different ways to charge it either with the charging glass; which is a more hygienic outlook on the traditional charging plug or through using the handy travel case that you can charge through USB. I much prefer the latter as you can store your toothbrush and up two heads in the case which is ideal for travelling. What makes the Philips Diamond Clean toothbrushes stand out amongst the likes of Oral B and Colgate is that one single charge will last for up to three weeks of brushing your teeth twice a day, for two minutes each time which is quite simply a life saver as with my previous electrical toothbrushes, I felt that I was forever charging them.

Unlike other electrical toothbrushes that may only have a few modes, the Philips Diamond Clean toothbrushes have FIVE modes which all vary in length of time as well as using a quadpacer which is an interval timer that beeps and briefly pauses, reminding you to brush all four sections of the mouth.. Clean is the standard brushing mode which is the ultimate option for plaque removal which lasts for two minutes; White helps remove surface stains for two minutes with an additional thirty seconds to both brighten and polish your front teeth; Polish is a quick one minute mode to brighten and polish your teeth; Gum Care has combined the clean mode with an additional minute to gently stimulate and massage the gums to improve gum health whilst the Sensitive mode is the extra gentle mode for sensitive teeth and gums.  Whilst I do have sensitive teeth, I do like to mix up my brushing by using three different modes; Sensitive followed by Polish for one minute, finishing up with White for one minute which means that I'm brushing my teeth altogether for four minutes. Four minutes may seem a little obsessive to most however I feel that this has truly worked for me in the long run especially thanks to it's 62,000 brush strokes per minute. Moving from a manual to an electrical or changing brands altogether can be a little scary at first when it comes to brushing your teeth however Philips have introduced an easy start feature that gently eases you into using an electrical toothbrush, gradually increasing the sonic power over the first fourteen brushings.

The Diamond Clean head comes as standard with all Diamond Clean toothbrushes which is a unique diamond shaped head that covers more surface area than other brush heads whilst giving you better brushing however you can opt to change it for any other head as they're all interchangeable with each other. I've currently got my eye on the new Adaptive Clean heads that have an enhanced adaptive brush head that helps reduce any brushing pressure which makes it more gentle for the gums which sound right up my street. As a side note, they all have reminder bristles on the heads which are blue to begin with but after three months worth of brushing, they slowly turn white indicating that you need to change it for a new one which is a genius way of keeping track. As you can see from my brush head, it's not as blue as it once was meaning that I've only got so much more brushing to go with this head before it needs replacing.

Whilst the price can put a lot of people off, including myself, I believe that it is definitely worth it in the long run as you only have one set of teeth to last you for life and you want to take the upmost care of them. It may seem like such a big cost at first but once you work out that it will last you easily three years if not more, it isn't such a huge cost spread out and is much more cost effective than a manual toothbrush. It's also quite often on offer at half price too which makes it even more worthwhile to invest in! Since switching over to Philips, I've  achieved a much whiter smile that has not only boosted my confidence immensly but I've found myself wanting to show it off which means that I'm now constantly smiling at both work and at home. I've even converted friends and family over to Philips and they've noticed such a huge difference in their smile too!

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Benefit Gimme Brow Review

Eyebrows are the beauty world's marmite - you either love 'em or hate 'em. The days of having perfectly preened eyebrows are long gone and it's either go unruly or go home! I personally prefer going against everyone and the world by having them looking at least half decent without making them look too overdrawn/filled in. I used to fill them in with a powder whereas nowadays I strictly stick to two products - MAC Eyebrow Pencil in Lingering and Benefit Gimme Brow.

I never thought I would say this but I simply cannot live without Benefit Gimme Brow (£18.50) as it truly has changed the way that I fill in my eyebrows. It's a brush-on fiber gel that adheres to the skin to create naturally thicker looking brows. The brush itself is tiny in size with a tapered edge that means that you can really work it into the brows, filling even the teenist of gaps without the worry of spreading too much product around the surrounding area. Unlike the more typical larger than life mascara spoolies that most brow gels feature, this fits my brow easily and I find that just a few coats is all that is needed to give the appearance of fuller looking brows.

It is essentially a light tinted gel that can be applied in layers repeatedly until you've achieved your desired look. It quite literally glides on with such ease and it dries quickly without looking overly crispy too. It's available in two shades; Light/Medium which is a light ash brown that is ideal for most dark blondes/light brunettes and Medium/Deep that is a cool toned medium brown that is suitable for most brunettes. I got matched up to Light/Medium which matches my brow colour perfectly which for tinted brow gels is practically unheard of! Whilst you are basically paying for a mascara specifically for your brows, I believe that it is most definitely worth it especially if you've got the lightest of brows or invisible eyebrows altogether where you struggle to make them look as natural as possible.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

August Favourites

Another month has passed us by and boy did it go quickly! Like most months, I spent it working and catching up on my sleep and I may or may not have bought my first christmas gift! For August, I stuck to what I know makeup wise with a few new additions that are fast becoming my all time favourite products, so let's see what I've been loving this month..

Just like in previous months, I've been going hard on the radiant front and making sure that both my skin and makeup is extra dewy and the only main product that I've been reaching for to achieve said radiance is the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water. I use this both before and after my makeup to not only create the perfect base but to set the whole look off too! Pictured above is my brand spanking second bottle of this which is only a matter of time until I start using as I'm going through my first bottle rather quickly!

Next up is a new addition to my makeup brush collection which is the Estee Lauder Blending Shadow Brush which makes blending out any smokey eye look a breeze thanks to its tapered shape and light, wooden handle. My beloved NARS Laguna Bronzer has seen a lot of love recently, so much so that I've started to hit pan on this bad boy! At first, I was sat on the fence about this bronzer but I've definitely warmed up to it and use it daily to both contour my cheeks and add some much needed colour. It's only a matter of time until this shatters completely and will need replacing but I'm hoping that won't happen until November time.

At this current moment of time, I'm not wearing any nail varnish however when I have worn nail varnish, I've been reaching for Essie's Saltwater Happy which is a beautiful sand washed, pale denim blue shade that is a part of the new Summer 2015 collection. Whilst I'm pretty sure I own a colour similar if not identical to this, nothing beats the formula of Essie nail varnishes and I will continue to rock this throughout the Autumn months.

I've been slathering my lips religously in the EOS Lipbalm in Pomegranate Raspberry that I've been using for well over a year now! I adore the formulation of EOS lip balms and have quite a few dotted around the house and in various handbags as they are definitely my favourite lip balms which are finally now available in Boots! Lastly, I've been rocking my MAC Lipstick in Creme Cup all month that is a pale pink shade that suits all skin tones without being too bright and overpowering. I'm actually trying to use this up entirely so that I can start using my brand new backup of it so I'm hoping that I finish it up real soon!

Monday, 31 August 2015

August Empties || Products I've Used Up

I've used up the Soap & Glory Clean On Me Shower Gel that seems to feature in almost every empties post as I use it primarily as a shaving lotion as it not only does it help aid in getting a closer shave but it helps moisturise my skin at the same time. I've finished up the Sanctuary Cleansing Burst Body Wash which was an okay shower gel however I wouldn't rush out to repurchase as there are much cheaper ones out there which do the same job. I've finally used up the Dove Dry Shampoo which at first I didn't like but then I grew to love it. It helped make second, third or even fourth day hair a lot more manageable whilst smelling really pleasant. I've used up the Sanctuary Body Scrub which is far too gentle for my liking as I prefer something a lot more harsh but it still did an okay job. I've finished up another Femfresh Daily Intimate Wash which all women should be using for those intimate areas.

I've used up the VO5 Heat Protect Styling Spray which has to be one of the better heat protections I've used as distributes the product out nicely whilst smelling really good. I've finished up a Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic which I went through far too quickly as I've missed how good it truly is! It helps to soothe and tone the skin after cleansing and/or chemically exfoliating without making the skin feel dry. I've used up the Soap & Glory Drama Clean Micellar Water which felt like I went through rather quickly despite it doing a decent job at removing the bulk of my makeup. I've finished up yet another La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+ which is one of the only few serums that I use on a daily basis without fail. It helps to remove blemishes entirely whilst preventing new ones without irritating the skin. I've lost track as to how many tubes I've gone through of this now. I've used up a No7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum which again I use on a daily basis as it helps to prevent any signs of aging whilst hydrating the skin and making it feel silky soft. I've finished up yet another Hydraluron which is one beauty product that I cannot live without! This works as a magnet with your moisturiser to help hydrate the skin deep down and is another product that I cannot keep track as to how many I've gone through. I've used up a Colgate Sensitive Pro Relief + Whitening Toothpaste which is a brilliant budget toothpaste that not only helps with sensitivity but helps make teeth appear whiter too. I may repurchase this as soon as I've finished my current one.

I've used up two packs of the Wilko Maxi Oval Cotton Pads which are the only cotton pads I use as they're just the right size which fits my face without falling apart at the first sign of liquids. I've finished up the Pretty Twist & Out Instant Nail Varnish Remover which is basically a pot that has a sponge that has been soaked in nail varnish remover where you simply put your nail in and twist, until all the nail varnish is removed. It works brilliantly on all nail varnishes apart from glitters. I've used up a pack of the No7 Quick Thinking Wipes which I use for everything but taking off my makeup and will forever feature in these empties posts. I've finished up a MAC Eyebrow Pencil in Lingering which matches my brows perfectly and helps make them look fuller. Lastly, I've used up a Collection Fast Stroke Liquid Eyeliner which is one of the best liquid eyeliners I've used as it truly is black and doesn't budge.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Beauty Box || The Birchbox Beauty Junkies Box

Birchbox have definitely been upping the ante recently with their latest boxes which have been ranging from brilliant themed boxes to including cult beauty products. However for August, they've decided to go one step further and dedicate the box to all the beauty junkies out there and celebrate being a fully fledged beauty addict. It's jam packed with a variety of products ranging from makeup to bodycare with a few little extras thrown in for good measure. Without further ado, let's delve in and see what Birchbox are spoiling us with this month!

This month they're giving every subscriber not one but two makeup samples with the first being a Lord & Berry Blush in Lotus (£18) which is a neutral, rosy shade that is both stunning and flattering on the skin; whilst the other addition is a The Balm Bronzer in Desert (£15) which is pretty much almost identical to the cult favourite NARS Laguna in colour albeit containing a lot more shimmer that shows on the skin. Whilst the blush won't be getting a lot of love from me, I can guarantee that the bronzer will be getting used almost daily especially for heavier bronzed looks.

Next up is a generous sized Huygens Exfoliating Cream (£17.90) which is a cream based scrub containing nourishing sesame oil and anti-oxidant boosting green tea that uses rice powder particles to help smooth and slough away dead skin cells to reveal more radiant skin. As it is so gentle, you could easily get away with using it almost daily although for me, I think I'll stick to using a manual exfoliator twice a week. As it is one of the most cutest travel sized samples ever, I'll be reserving it for my next trip abroad!

Seeing as our face is covered, Birchbox have thrown in a decent sized Rituals Fortune Scrub (£10) for our body that covers both body wash and body scrub together. It contains an uplifting formula that is packed with sweet orange and cedar wood to slough away dull looking skin to reveal fresh, brighter skin that smells absolutely divine. I adore body scrubs especially those that smell almost edible so this will be getting used up almost instantly!

I've only ever used one clarifying shampoo in my life which is extremely gentle so I'm a little wary of the Kebelo Clarifying Shampoo (£13.95) as I don't want it to strip my hair colour, especially after getting it at the exact colour I've wanted it for ages. A little research into it and it apparently promises to give your hair a massive detox from both product build up and styling stress to leaving your tresses feeling incredibly soft and purified. Whilst it truly does sound good, I don't want to be taking that risk so this will be getting passed onto a friend who will get more use out of it than me.

A few little extras thrown in are the Formula 10.0.6 Overnight Success Spot Minimizing Patches (£2.95) which are essentially 21 teeny single use patches that are packed with tea tree extract and grape seed that help to soothe blemish prone skin overnight so that in the morning it's visibly clearer. I'm both a little skeptical and intrigued at the same time as to if these will work and if they're as good as to what they say there are. Lastly are some emoji themed stickers that are exclusive to Birchbox that are so adorable, I don't want to use them!

What do you think of this months box?

Thursday, 27 August 2015

The Thicker & Fuller Hair Duo

For the longest time ever, I've been struggling with my hair when it comes to making it look fuller and thicker without having to resort to using hair extensions. Whilst I have had some success with the likes of L'Oreal Fibrology Shampoo + Conditioner that promises to make hair appear thicker with every use as well as using the Charles Worthington Volume & Bounce Texturising Spray for days when my hair is feeling flat and thin however they're both just not cutting it. Fast forward to my daily wandering amongst Boots and I discovered that OGX have released some new ranges including the Biotin & Collagen Shampoo + Conditioner.

The OGX Biotin & Collagen Shampoo + Conditioner (£6.99 each) is a high performance blend of Vitamin B7 Biotin that helps infuse nutrients into every strand of hair whilst the concoction of collagen and hydrolysed wheat protein helps create the appearance of thicker and fuller hair whilst making it healthier and adding some much needed dimension. 

Whilst I pretty much get on with all duos, this one I haven't had much luck with purely because of the conditioner. The shampoo itself is brilliant however the conditioner is far too thick to even get out of the bottle. It's literally a case of I have to use my teeth to dispense the product and even then it's far too thick to spread through my hair evenly. Although with that being said, it sure does a brilliant job at making my hair feel ultra soft and nourished whilst appearing more healthier than before. In terms of thickness, it does make my hair feel slightly thicker come morning but it is short lived as it disappears almost entirely the minute you apply heat. If they made the conditioner just a little bit lighter in consistency then they would definitely be onto a winner however for now, I think I'll stick to L'Oreal Fibrology as I know that it works well for me.

Has anyone else had this problem or similar?

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Samples I've Used Up 026

This month has seen me finally use up the last of my stash of the Lancome Visionnaire Serum which although I truly do love what it does for my skin, I just cannot justify spending £60 for a 30ml bottle which I know will barely last me a month. With that being said however,  I have found a dupe which I'm currently putting to the test which is only a fraction of the price so stay tuned for a review coming up within the next few weeks!

I've managed to use up not one, not two but three samples of Lancome Genefique which I use in the mornings after using Visionnaire the night before. Whilst I haven't noticed any ground breaking results with Genefique, I truly do like how soft it makes my skin and I believe that it helps my serums and moisturiser absorb a lot better. I have quite a few samples left of this until I think about buying it in full size however a quick google search brings up a dupe which I believe I already have in my stash, so we'll see how it compares.

I've finished up a sample of the No7 Youthful Eye Serum which I apply before applying any eye cream. Whilst this hasn't helped reduce the appearance of my obvious eye wrinkles which has been caused from lack of sleep, it does however make any eye cream I apply afterwards absorb a lot quicker and make the area feel incredibly soft and look hydrated! I've reviewed this in full which you can have a read about here.

I've used up a travel size CoLab Dry Shampoo in London which I kept in my bag for on the go. I much prefer this to Batiste because it doesn't leave the dreaded white cast which takes  a little while to get rid of entirely. I can definitely see myself repurchasing this once I've used up my current one. I was given a sample of the Estee Lauder Clear Difference Purifying Exfoliating Mask not too long ago which I managed to get two full face applications for it. Unlike some face masks, this contains tiny little particles which exfoliates the skin whilst you remove it. This helped make my skin feel incredibly soft and helped with any active blemishes reduce in appearance almost entirely the morning after. I will most definitely be buying this in full size in the next few months.

I haven't quite finished the Lord & Berry Eyeliner however because of it being a travel size  and thus sharpening it quite a lot, it has since run down a lot making it almost impossible to hold now. It's definitely one of the blackest pencil eyeliners I've come across however it doesn't quite beat the Rimmel Scandal Eyes. Lastly, I've used up a sample of Paco Rabanne Black XS L'Exces For Her which has to be one of their nicest smelling fragrances I've smelt! There's just something about it which smells so seductive and sophisticated which is making me want to buy it. 

Friday, 21 August 2015

Summer Fragrance Picks 2015

Now that Summer is drawing to a close and that we are now edging our way closer to winter which means jumpers and boots, I thought I'd share what fragrances I've been spritzing myself daily with during Summer. As you can tell from the image above, all these fragrances are well loved!

The Beyonce Heat Wild Orchid (£26.50) is one of the newest additions to my stash and is one that I didn't hesitate a minute in buying! With notes of pomegranate, honeysuckle and butterfly orchid to name just a few, this makes for one enticing, mouth-watering fragrance that just smells so exotic and fierce at the same time. 

One fragrance that I've had for quite a while now is The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Body Mist (£7.50) that despite being a body mist, it sure packs a punch and lingers on the skin for hours! It's one of the more uplifting fragrances of the lot that instantly puts a smile on my face the minute I spray it. I tend to layer this with other fragrances that wear it by itself purely for the fact that it seems to go with every fragrance I own.

Next up is Vera Wang Pink Princess (£34) that is one of the more messier fragrances of my stash due to it's pink glitter bottle that just seems to get everywhere. With notes of pink grapefruit, raspberry sorbet and marshmallow, this makes for one sweet lively fragrance. This is one that I tend to wear with the pink grapefruit body mist as it help enhances the grapefruit scent which in turn makes the scent linger longer on the skin.

Out of all the fragrances above, Joop Miss Wild (£29.50) is by far one of my all time favourites despite not spritizing it as often as the others. This is essentially the female version of the mens just more floral with hints of vanilla and spicy pink berries. I prefer to wear this when the other half is wearing the mens version as we're basically matching.

Last but most certainly not least is Jimmy Choo Exotic 2014 (£36.61) which is the exact same scent as this years version just packaged differently. This is the most sweetest scent in the line up whilst being fruity at the same time. It contains notes of blackcurrant sorbet and pink grapefruit which again I tend to layer with The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Body Mist. Unlike most EDT's which don't linger around for long, this one you can still smell many hours after spritzing which just goes to show how much of punch this fragrance has. 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

A Real Techniques Offer You DONT Want To Miss!

It's not very often that I blog about offers however there is one offer in particular that has started today that you simply cannot miss! I'm sure we're all aware of the hysteria behind Real Techniques brushes and I'm pretty sure that we all own a fair few brushes from them. However until 25/08/15, the Core Collection Set is down to £10.99 instead of it's usual £21.99 which you simply cannot beat! 

I've had my set for just over three years now and they're still going strong albeit the black handles flaking a little but the bristles themselves are just as good as the day I first bought them. Whilst I will admit that I don't use the majority of the brushes in them quite as much as I once did, I couldn't resist buying another as a backup for when my current one needs replacing. I'm pretty sure that these will be flying off the shelves so you better be quick to grab yours!

Will you be rushing out to your local Boots to buy one?

Monday, 17 August 2015

Beauty Box || The Radiant Skin Edit

One of my biggest bug-bears with my skin is that I can create radiant looking skin with makeup however when it comes to wearing no makeup at all, my skin can look quite the opposite and be rather dull. One morning at work, a fellow blogger shared a link to her blogpost citing how incredible value the Feel Unique Radiant Skin Beauty Box was which instantly made me purchase it, especially after googling for a cheeky discount code too!

The only product that I've tried from the box is the Caudalie Beauty Elixir (30ml, worth £11.50) which stupidly I did not review at all despite it being such a cult product in the blogging world. It is essentially a facial spray that is packed full with natural waters and essential oils that smells both incredibly refreshing and instantly perks up the skin. I used to use this as my toner daily however with this travel size, I'm going to preserve it for when my skin is in need of a pick me up.

Next up is a product that I'm most excited about trying which is of course the REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial (75ml, worth £32) which is the quicker acting sister of the REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask just without the quite as dramatic results. I've never used this before but after reading up a few reviews, I'm rather excited to start using it! To use, you simply dampen your fingers and apply the mask whilst gently massaging it in as you apply it. Leave it for one minute so that the Vitamin C can do it's thing before rinsing it off.

Another addition to the box is the Glam Glow Youth Mud Exfoliating Mask (15g, worth £15) which despite being a rather small sample, it definitely packs a punch! This is another product that I haven't used before either however it is a cult product that I should have tried out sooner. It's a grainy feeling texture that you leave on the skin for up to ten minutes before removing it off which essentially manually exfoliates the skin whilst also chemically exfoliating the skin from having left the mask on. After removal, the skin instantly looks more clear and radiant. I'm truly hoping that I don't fall head over heels in love with this product as the price tag for it in full size.

Saving the best till last are the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads (x28, worth £12) which I've been debating about purchasing for the longest time ever! These act very similar to the Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial Pads which I've reviewed in full here albeit being slightly more travel friendly. Depending on your skin type, you can use these twice a day after cleansing to help gently exfoliate the skin which in turn will help make the skin appear more radiant. I'm literally so excited to start using these and I bet this will turn into a long love affair too!