Monday, 30 March 2015

March Empties || Products I've Used Up

I didn't use up all the Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo + Conditioner purely because they did nothing for my hair and felt very basic. On the hand, I did finish up the Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Mask which was absolutely brilliant and helped hydrate and nourish my hair! I used up the No7 Intensive Radiance Body Scrub which was very gritty and moisturising and definitely did the job. I finished up the No7 Intensive Body Butter which smelt utterly divine and helped nourish my skin for hours! I used up the Imperial Leather Day At The Spa Shower Gel which didn't disappoint on the lather front, smelt good and helped moisturise my skin.

I used up the No7 Hot Cloth Cleanser which despite smelling strongly of floral, it's a brilliant budget cleanser which I used both morning and night to cleanse my skin. I finished up a bottle of the L'Oreal Skin Perfection Micellar Water which removed base makeup very well albeit leaving my skin a little tight in areas. I used up the L'Oreal Gentle Eye Makeup Remover which removed all eye makeup including stubborn waterproof makeup! Will definitely be repurchasing this asap! I've finished up the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner which is extremely gentle on the skin and helps remove dead skin cells. I've used up another tube of La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+ which I use daily without fail as it helps with blemishes and scarring left over from blemishes. I've finshed up another tube of Hydraluron which acts as a magnet with your moisturiser and will forever be repurchased. I've used up a Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions All Over Clearing Treatment which at first, I sung its praises whereas now I stand on the fence as to whether it actually helps my skin or makes it worse.

I've used up two packs of the No7 Quick Thinking Wipes which will forever be repurchased as they're so good to have on hand when it comes to applying makeup. I've finished up the Cuticura Anti Bacterial Hand Gel in Passion Flower & Mango which smells good and helps sanitise my hands at the same time. I've used up another packet of my beloved Wilko Maxi Oval Cotton Pads which will forever be repurchased. I've finished up the Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer which is slightly yellow toned so I found it brilliant to use under my eyes after my foundation as it helped conceal the area whilst highlighting. I've used up the Max Factor Colour Corrector CC Stick in Blue which helps to correct the skin with any dullness which I personally use in the T-zone area as well as across my cheeks. Lastly, I've used up the Shakera Perfume which I've had for the longest time ever but was one of very few celebrity fragrances that I really liked the scent of.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

March Birchbox Review

For March, Birchbox have teamed up with Habitat to create this months theme Do Try This At Home which comes in a brightly coloued, uplifting box which I'll be no doubt be reusing for storage. Along with the usual samples/full size, it's jam packed with fab tips and ideas which are included in the inserts to help motivate you to some DIY; whether that's sprucing up a room in the house or doing a much needed home-pampering treat for yourself. Also included is an exclusive discount for Birchbox subscribers to receieve 20% off at Habitat which is extremely generous!

The first (and only) product that I was excited to get is a sample of Benefit Roller Lash (£19.50) which has only just launched in recent weeks. This claims to seperate, lift and curl lashes whilst holding them for 12 hours without the need of using eyelash curlers which I'll most definitely be putting to the test!

A sample that I was least excited about is the TanOrganic Self Tanning Oil (£24.99) which is described as being the worlds first ever tanning oil which claims to give a natural looking tan whilst also moisturising the skin. I'm actually not a fan of self tanning and would much rather pay for a spray tan so this won't be getting any use from me at the moment.

The last sample I received in this months Birchbox is a generous sized packet of Serenity Skincare Dead Sea Bath Salt (£9.50) which are supposedly to help in relieving skin disorders, stress, strains, muscle aches as well as a general body detox. I'm currently still making my way through some bath salts so I won't be putting these to the test any time soon I'm afraid but they certainly do sound good!

One of two lifestyle extras is a sample chapter from A Perfect Heritage by Penny Vincenzi (£7.99) which is said to be an epic tale of ambition, passion and ego with the beauty industry as its backdrop. I will most definitely be packing this in my bag for when I have a few spare minutes on my travels and if I enjoy it, I will be more than likely to purchase the paperbook. The last lifestyle extra in this months Birchbox is a little Birchbox & Habitat Exclusive Notebook which is the perfect size for jotting down any thoughts at a moments notice.

Despite the good variety within this months box, I'm disappointed with the products included in my box as well as the fact that I'm actually missing two samples (Philip Kingsley Elasticizer and Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris). This is the second time in a row that this has happened now which is making me question my subscription to their beauty box service. I do truly love Birchbox but I just wish that they would ensure that everybody recieves the correct number of samples.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

The Ultimate No7 Body Duo

Lots of people and their nans are addicted to Soap & Glory body care - myself included. However there are times when I want to use something different from their sickly sweet line up and instead use something from a different brand altogether. For those times, I like to use something from No7 and in particular, their Intensive Radiance Body Scrub and Intensive Body Butter.

The No7 Intensive Radiance Body Scrub (£10.50) is unlike any other body scub I've tried as it is rather gritty yet still moisturising on the skin. It's enriched with sweet almond body oil, argan oil and rosehip seeds which helps scrub off dead skin cells and leave the skin radiantly glowing and silky soft all day long. Unlike Soap & Glorys more traditional sweet scents, this actually smells fresh but in a comforting way.  

Just like with the body scrub, the No7 Intensive Body Butter (£13.50) smells exactly the same - comfortingly fresh and comes packaged in see through container which looks and feels more luxurious than other brand. It's enriched with shea butter, sweet almond oil and argan oil which will moisturise the skin and leave it feeling silky soft all day which is even suitable for the most sensitive of skins. Unlike other body butters that I've used in the past, this instantly moisturises my skin and leaves it soft to the touch within seconds of applying which is surprising as I'm known to apply a lot of body butter.

Overall these are quite literally the best products I've tried and when combined together, you have the ultimate body duo which I'm sure will rival its more expensive counterparts. No7 are forever handing out their infamous vouchers which will make it even cheaper if you do wish to try the two out for yourself.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Mask

Since becoming a fully fledged ombre, I've noticed that my hair can feel a little dry at times especially after a few days of heat styling so I like to treat my hair to a mid-week pamper session with a intensive hair mask. As I reserve the likes of Aussie 3MM for the weekends, I like to use the matching intensive conditioner to the current shampoo and conditioner that I'm using at the moment so recently, I've been reaching for the Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Mask.

The Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Mask (£4.79) is enriched with coconut extract to help nourish and hydrate dry, damaged hair. It comes housed in a generous 200ml blue tub with a screw cap lid which matches the products within the Hello Hydration range.

As my hair doesn't easily get weighed down from products, I like use a generous sized scoop of the product and run it all throughout my hair, concentrating it mainly from the mid-lengths down. I prefer to leave it in for as long as possible before washing it out as I like to believe that it will do more for my hair than leaving it in for the recommended five minutes. Once washed out, my hair instantly feels softer and healthier to the touch without a dry strand in sight! It leaves an unbeatable shine without much frizz once completely dry. This hair mask is the only product that has truly worked for me from the Hello Hydration range and is one that I may reconsider purchasing again in the future.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Samples I've Used Up 021

I've used up eight sample satches of the Lancome Visionnaire Serum which is quite a lot to get through in one month although I do empty out a few of these at a time into a sample pot in order to use. This really does help to even out my skin texture and I thoroughly love using it! I've used up a generous sized sample of the Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle Leave-in Conditioner which did a brilliant job at both detangling and nourishing my hair all whilst leaving my hair smelling so good! A purchase of the full size of this is definitely on the horizon!

I've finished up a sample of the No7 Skin Illuminator Radiance Boosting Beauty Fluid which I mixed in with both my primer and foundation to give a more radiant finish. This certainly did the trick and I will most definitely be purchasing in full size very soon! I've used up the Benefit It's Potent! Eye Cream which I got about two weeks worth of usage from which is impressive considering it's tiny size. I didn't notice much difference in my dark circles but it definitely kept my under eye area thoroughly hydrated so I may purchase it in full size once I've gone through a few more eye creams. Lastly, I've used up a sample of the No7 Lash Impact Mascara which is one mascara that I absolutely loved! It gives intense volume, length and definition without the spidery look and I've already purchased it in full size!

Friday, 20 March 2015

No7 Radiant Spheres Highlighter

My three main weaknesses when it's come to shopping for new makeup is makeup brushes, bronzers and highlighters. The latter being the one that I have a lot of already, all varying in different shades to formulas. Before Christmas, No7 came out with a limited edition highlighter and it was love at first swatch! 

The No7 Radiant Spheres Highlighter (£12) is a mix of three shades in one palette with an interesting sphere pattern to give a radiant, illuminated finish to the skin. For a more intense, shimmering finish you can simply sweep one of the three shades across the cheek and brow bones to finish any look.

I will put my hands up and say that I only started using this last month as I was a little afraid to use it on my pale complexion despite it being love at first swatch. However I don't know what I was afraid of as it is the most beautiful golden shimmer highlighter ever which I actually don't own in my collection until I cracked open this beauty. It gives the most radiant finish which I prefer to use on the tops of my cheekbones for an intense highlighted finish as I believe it would give a disco ball finish if used all over the face as a setting powder. I will admit and say that it is a little glittery for my liking but one sweep is all that is needed. Unforunately as this is limited edition, I don't believe you can buy this anymore however some No7 counters may have some still in stock.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Botanics Ultra Calm Skin Relief Serum

I've always been a firm believer on piling on the moisture so I've always been mixing up my serums, piling on which ever serums take my fancy for the night. After a recent naughty splurge on skincare of which I picked up the Botanics Ultra Calm Skin Relief Serum, I decided to dig it out and start using it again especially as my skin hasn't been at it's most calmest.

The Botanics Ultra Calm Skin Relief Serum (£8.99) is proven to help reduce skin sensitivity in as little as two weeks due to its unique blend of marshmallow, liquorice and linden flower which helps reduce redness and sensitivity to leave the skin visibly calm and immediately comforted. Unlike most serums which come packaged in a normal pump dispenser bottle, this comes packaged in a tube where the dispenser is at the bottom meaning you can squeeze out any remains when it's coming to the end.

I will hold up my hand and say that when I first used this just over two years ago, I thought my skin had reacted to it so I immediately gave it away when it probably due to over exfoliating my skin which caused the reaction and not the serum. Fast forward to the present day and my skin is loving this serum! I use this immediately after using a chemical exfoliator and I find that it instantly soothes my skin and reduces any redness within seconds. It has helped with any active blemishes in reducing the redness and just generally soothing the area and within a day or two, the blemish is completely gone. This serum has quite literally transformed my skin which is quite a bold statement and I will most definitely be repurchasing it.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Look Fantastic March Beauty Box #LFBeautyBox

For a while now, I've been rather content with just having the one beauty box subscription as that particular box is one that is always surprising me and leaving me feeling happy that I got more than my moneys worth. A little over a week ago, a lot of people were giving the March #LFBeautyBox a lot of hype and saying that is was a must have box so naturally, I had to order one. Unlike other beauty boxes, this contains six products and is worth over £70 so lets delve straight in!

The first product that caught my eye is the brightly coloured pink The Wet Brush The Squirt which is a detangling brush that can be used on both wet and dry hair and on all different types of hair. I've already rather happy with my Michael Mercier Detangling Brush but I'm sure I'll find some use for this little pink guy. The next product that caught my eye is a deluxe sized sample of Bliss Fat Girl Slim which is a skin firming cream that claims to visibly diminish dimples with Qusome encapsulated caffeine molecules for quick and targeted results. I'm personally going to reserve this for nearer to the summer in particular my holiday in June to really put it to the test.

Next up is a full size NUDESTIX Magnetic Eye Color in Gilt which is a beautifully creamy goldy peach-ish shade. This alone is worth £24 so I'm surprised that Look Fantastic have included it in the box! I'll definitely be rocking this over the next few months in a gold smokey eye. I'm already inundated with lip balms so I was a little underwhelmed to see a Cowshed Lippy Cow Natural Lip Balm included in the box. This natural lipbalm is both paraben and sulphate free as well as being free from mineral oil and petrolatum. It contains a combination of essential oils to protect and soothe chapped lips as well as to intensely moisture them all with a subtle fruity scent.

Also included in the box is a deluxe sized sample of Nuxe Nuxellence Detox which is a detoxifying and youth revealing anti-aging night care that you apply at night which then recharges the skin by detoxifying skin cells and repairing mitochondrial DNA which come morning, the skin has a radiant glow. I will definitely be putting this to the test come winter as it definitely sounds right up my street! The last addition to the box is a travel size Lord & Berry Eyeliner in Black of which I already have a full size of. It's a rather standard, creamy black which for the price, there are most definitely cheaper alternatives to.

Overall, this box is definitely worth the money especially as it contains a mixture of deluxe sized samples and full size products, both drugstore and high end. I wouldn't necessarily commit to buying a box each month but definitely the occasional, one off ones like these especially when its good value for money!

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Imperial Leather Day At The Spa Shower Gel

I've always believed spending a lot on money on shower gel is pointless as it will do exactly the same thing as one which cost a lot less so I always make it a habit to buy a bottle or two of whichever shower gels are on offer. The latest shower gel that I've started using is the Imperial Leather Day At The Spa Shower Gel.

The Imperial Leather Day At The Spa Shower Gel (£2) comes housed in a see through, easy to squeeze bottle with a flip bottle lid which is not only convienent to see how much product you have left but it's very easy to dispense. As it contains extracts of shea butter and honeysuckle, it smells very exotic and thus extremely nourishing on the skin. Despite the formula being very nourishing, it doesn't disappoint on the lather front as it creates a decent amount of lather which once washed off, the scent lingers on the skin for a little while afterwards. This is definitely one of my favourite ones from the range and one that I will most probably be repurchasing again.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo & Conditioner

Just like with my skin, my hair has always felt slightly dry and I have to use quite a few products in order to keep it nourished and hydrated. Recently, I've been looking for a good shampoo and conditioner duo that will help keep my hair hydrated so I decided to try the Herbal Essences Hello Hydration range as it promises to keep hair moisturised and shiny.

The Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner (£3.99 each) are a duo that helps keep your hair hydrated and shiny with a moisturising formula of hawaiian coconut extract which is suitable for even the most driest, damamged of hairs.

I will admit and say that after the first use, my hair felt incredibly soft and nourished without a single dry feeling strand in sight! However this was very short lived as after the second use, my hair felt exactly the same - slightly dry yet soft to the touch. I'm not entirely sure where I went wrong as I didn't do anything different to my hair or use any different products between washes but yet it still didn't leave my hair how it was after the first use. I've actually stopped using this duo altogether in favour of something more nourishing with better results so this will feature in a monthly empties albeit being half full. With that being said, this could work absolute wonders for you so it might be worth giving it a go with an open mind.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Free No7 GWP

It would appear that I cannot resist buying No7 makeup especially when there is a gift with purchase involved! This has to be one of my favourite packaging of all the gift with purchases that they done previously as the colours of the box just scream out spring/summer time to me.

Included in their brightly coloured box is a sample size of the Lovely Lashes Mascara which I believe they are trying to promote more as this is the second time that it's been included in the free gift. This mascara aims to give the lashes natural, glossy volume whilst nourishing them with the added bonus of Argan Oil. Also included is a deluxe sized sample of the Instant Illusions Airbrush Away Primer which contains light reflecting particules designed to make the skin look younger and aim to put any fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone into a soft focus.

There is also a deluxe sized High Shine Lip Crayon of which you may Daydreamer or Delicate Pink - pictured above is Daydreamer which is a very pale, subtle pink with an intense shine. Lastly, is a little eyeshadow included which is the middle shade from the In The Navy Trio which ia a beautiful pale peach with gold shimmer running throughout.

If you're after one of these gifts then all you have to do is buy any two pieces of No7 makeup but be quick as I'm sure that these will fly off the shelves!

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Lacura Aqua-Complete Moisturiser

For those who have been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that I'm a long term avid user of the Lacura Aqua-Complete Serum which is essentially Hydraluron but for a fraction of the price. I completely adore that serum and I have repurchased it multiple times. Whilst restocking my stash of said serum, I noticed that they did a matching moisturiser which I couldn't resist but pick one up and try it out for myself.

The Lacura Aqua-Complete Moisturiser (£1.99) contains a hyaluronic acid complex and minerals which when used over time, promises to optimise the skin's moisture levels and provide rapid freshness with long lasting moisture. Skin will appear more radiant, plump and youthful all whilst protected from the sun with an added bonus of SPF6.

Just like with the matching serum, the moisturiser comes housed in a frosted glass pot with a screw cap lid which makes it look more expensive than what it actually is. Upon opening, you're greeted with a pale blue cream which is lightly scented yet feels light weight on the skin. I like to apply a 50p sized blob on my face and massage it in, concentrating on any areas which need it most and within just a few seconds of massaging it in, it's been completely absorbed. Since using this moisturiser for the best part of four months, my skin has been feeling and looking pretty plump and hydrated which despite using the cream only in the mornings, it's still pretty impressive. Overall this is a brilliant budget day cream which certainly does the job and doesn't break the bank!

Friday, 6 March 2015

Boots Haul 018

This haul quite literally breaks my main beauty resolution that I set myself at the start of the year and I have no real excuses for it apart from that I needed cheering up, there were too many good deals to resist and I had vouchers that needed using up. This is what I hope will be my last main splurge of the year (well until my 21st birthday at least!)

Currently it's 3 for 2 across all skincare/bodycare so I decided to split up my shop into several seperate transactions purely to get the best deal possible as I don't care what anybody says, the till does not work out the best deal for you! I picked up the Avene Thermal Spring Water Spray mainly for my makeup sponges as I read somewhere that normal water can damage your sponges, the Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Buttercream as I wanted the matching body butter to the shower gel and body scrub which meant that I got the Soap & Glory The Ultimelt for free.

My next transaction consisted of Hydraluron which I know I have lots of these in my backup drawer but I had a £5 off voucher and I'm forever going through it! Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum as I wanted another serum to change up my skincare routine a little which meant that I got the Avene Cleanance Expert for free. My last transaction for skincare meant that I picked up the Sanctuary Radiance Exfoliator as I truly miss it in my life as well as two Botanics Ultra Calm Skin Relief Serums as I love the stuff which meant that I got one of them for free.

As the No7 vouchers have just started, I decided to pick up the No7 Shimmer Palette in Caramel which is No7's answer to the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks. I am forever swatching this palette whenever I walk past the No7 counter and as it adds such a radiant glow to the tops of my cheeks, I simply couldn't resist buying it there and then! As I'm currently going through a fake tanning phase which I'm sure won't last for long, I picked up the No7 Perfectly Bronzed Quick Dry Tinted Mousse in Medium/Dark which all my friends say is the bomb so I didn't need much persuading. The last item that I bought is the No7 Blusher Brush which I will be using to apply the No7 Shimmer Palette with as it applys it so beautifully and is the perfect shape.

Have you taken advantage of the 3 for 2 across all skincare or perhaps bought anything from No7 using their infamous vouchers?

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

L'Oreal Gentle Eye Makeup Remover

As I'm now wearing makeup on a daily basis, I need a good quality makeup remover to remove the bulk of it with a seperate eye makeup remover to remove all my eye makeup. The one that I've been reaching for recently is the L'Oreal Gentle Eye Makeup Remover which may just be the one..

The L'Oreal Gentle Eye Makeup Remover (£3.49) is a blue bi-phase liquid that you have to shake up in order to combine the two liquids. It is enriched with pro-vitamin to gently and effectively remove all traces of eye makeup. As it is so gentle, it is suitable for even the most sensitive of eyes as well as contact lens wearers.

Unlike previous eye makeup removers that I've used in the past, a little shake of the bottle is all that is needed to combine the two liquids together which stay combined for a little longer than most. As it has a cap lid, you can semi control how much to dispense onto a cotton wool pad which means that you won't be wasting quite as much as others. What I love about this particular eye makeup remover is just how well it removes my eye makeup - I like to soak a cotton wool pad before holding it against my eyes for a few seconds before sweeping it away and it will have almost removed all my eye makeup which is incredible! I wouldn't necessarily say that a little goes a long way with this as I do appear to be going through it rather quickly but as it does the job so well, I can't complain. Overall this is a brilliant budget eye makeup remover and is one that I will most definitely be repurchasing. 

Monday, 2 March 2015

February Favourites

Throughout February, I've found myself reaching more and more for Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation and using it on a regular basis. Many people claim that it is too cakey/full on for them but I personally find that once mixed in with a few other products, it is the perfect full coverage foundation for me! One of those said products is the No7 Skin Illuminator Radiance Boosting Beauty Fluid of which I have a deluxe sized sample of. It's the most beautiful, shimmery bronze fluid which is essentially like the Revlon Photoready Skinlight Face Illuminators just more shimmery. This helps make any foundation more dewy/radiant and it doesn't alter the colour at all. I'm really tempted to purchase this in full size!

One mascara that I've been truly loving throughout February is a sample of the No7 Lash Impact Mascara which helps give false lash effect lashes within a few coats. I actually prefer this mixed with another mascara as it gives incredible volume and definition and just makes the lashes look more fluttery but without the spidery look. Another makeup product that I've been loving which has been giving my pale face a little bit of colour ever since I've discovered it is the Lord & Berry Bronzer in Sienna which I've been using on a daily basis. It's literally the perfect bronzer for us pale faced beauties! It's one of those natural shades that you could sweep all over the face for a natural sunkissed look or apply heavily on the contours of the cheeks for a very chiselled look.

The last product that I've been loving throughout February is the Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask which I've been using more as a night time moisturiser than an overnight face mask purely because I love what it does for my skin. It helps keep my skin hydrated and plumped up without feeling heavy on the skin.