Tuesday, 31 May 2016

May Empties 2016 || Products I've Used Up

I've finished up the Boots Build Up Removal Shampoo which I use every Sunday without fail to remove any product build up that may have occured during a weeks worth of styling. I've used up the Provoke Touch Of Silver Brightening Shampoo that I use nearly every time I wash my hair in order to maintain my blonde and keep it looking fresh. I've finished up the Botanics 3 Minute Moisturising Hair Mask which did an okay job at conditioning my hair but it didn't really wow me. I've used up the L'Oreal Mythic Oil Hair Mask which did wow me at keeping my hair conditioned as I used it mainly as a conditioner instead of a hair mask. I've finished up the Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter which is one of my favourite body butters of all time as it just keeps my skin soft and hydrated for ages.

I've used up another Soap & Glory Clean On Me Shower Gel which long term readers will know that I use this to help achieve that silky soft feeling whilst shaving. I've finished up a Original Source Wild Cherry & Nettle Shower Gel which I absolutely loved using and am glad that I've got a few more in my stash. I've used up a Femfresh Daily Intimate Wash which all females should be using to clean those intimiate areas. I've finished up a Pretty Perfect Twist & Out Instant Nail Varnish Remover which is the only nail varnish remover I use to take off my nail varnish quickly and easily. I've used up the Boots Keep It Sweet Mango Jam Body Scrub which is a surprisingly good sugar scrub which costs barely anything!

I've finished up a Colgate Sensitive Pro Relief Toothpaste which does the job at keeping my sensitivity at bay. I've used up two No7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serums which I'm still noticing improvements with the more I use it. I've finished up a MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation which I really enjoyed wearing as I mixed it in with a radiant foundation to create the perfect full cover, radiant base. I've used up the Seventeen Stay Time Concealer which is one of my all time favourite concealers to use on both blemishes and under eyes. I've finished up the Magnifibres Brush On False Lashes which helped me achieve a fuller looking lash. I've used up three packs of the Ardell Demi Wispies which are fast becoming my favourite lashes ever! I've finished up the Avene Hydrating Serum which my skin literally drank up the second I applied it. I've used up a Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age Advanced Serum which I used before applying Hydraluron to make my moisturiser go that little bit further.

I've used up two Gold Collagen Hydrogel Masks which I applied immediately after using a clay based mask to rehydrate my skin and make it feel hydrated for longer. I've used up a Primark Dark Circle Reducer Eye Patches which helped temporarily with my dark circles although the results were short lived. I've used up various face masks from Montagne Jeunesse including the Black Seaweed Peel Off, two Passion Peel Off, Manuka Honey Peel Off, Anti Stress Peel Off and the Brazillian Mud Fabric; all of which I would use again. I've used up the Cattier Pink Clay Mask which my skin didn't like and it completely ruined a muslin cloth taking it off. I've used up a Tea Tree & Peppermint Deep Moisturising Foot Pack which felt hydrating for a short period of time.

I've finished up three packs of the Wilko Maxi Oval Cotton Pads which are the only cotton pads I use. I've used up a pack of the No7 Quick Thinking Wipes which I use for everything but removing my makeup. Lastly, I've finished up the Nicki Minaj Pink Friday EDP that smelt good but I won't be repurchasing as I have far too many fragrances for one person.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Beauty Box || May Birchbox 2016

Birchbox are definitely one of the better beauty box subscriptions out there as they routinely offer a good variety of products within each monthly box and they always have a theme for each month too! This month, Birchbox have been inspired by fantastic dreams so they've created a unique box design that you have to scratch away at the coating in order to reveal. And if you're ucky enough to have an extra special message on the top of the box then you've won a dream holiday which sadly I didn't win this time around ;) Let's delve into what Birchbox have delivered this month!

The first product that I spotted is the Spectrum Unicorn Tears Wonder Sponge (£4.99) which you had the option of choosing which colour you preferred - purple or pink. I personally wasn't fussed which colour I received as it really makes no difference. This is very much like the BeautyBlender in the sense that you have to dampen the sponge before using in order to create a flawless base. I still haven't got round to using any of my BeautyBlenders as I'm still obsessed with the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge but as soon as I throw out my current sponge, I'll definitely be trying the Spectrum one out.

Next up is one product that I was most excited about seeing which is the Ole Henriksen The Clean Truth Cleansing Cloths (£12) which are one of the most hyped up, expensive wipes I've come across! I personally don't use makeup wipes for removing makeup and instead use them for cleaning off foundation and the very occasional freshen up. I would personally never use these particular ones for removing makeup but instead I'll use them on days when I'm not at work just to freshen up my face.

I haven't really been wearing a full face of makeup for just over a month now so I'm wondering if the addition of the Eyeko Black Magic Mascara (£18) will make me start wearing it again. I remember that this was the mascara to use when I first started blogging as it helps to truly lift and curl your lashes whilst being completely smudge proof. I like how it's not like traditional mascaras and is instead in a squeezy tube!

The next addition in this months box is the Philip Kingsley PK Prep Polishing Balm (£18.50) that helps to tame frizzy hair and transform it so that it looks sleek and glossy whilst always delivering a shot of ProVitamin B5 and Vitamin A to nourish your hair deep down. I've never tried a polishing balm before so I've got high hopes for this as I do suffer with frizzy hair especially the day after I've washed my hair as it's so soft and frizzy!

Whenever I get a blemish, it feels like it takes forever to go away and when it does it leaves a red scar that also takes forever to disappear so I'm rather excited to see a sample of Puriskin Resurfacing Cream (£13.99) in this months box. This is one of those does it all wonder products that helps battle dry skin, blemishes, scarring, stretch marks etc and it helps to soothe and calm the area. I'm truly hoping that helps with a few blemish scars that I have which no amount of rosehip oil seems to be helping with!

The last addition to the box is a sample of the Givenchy Live Irresistible Fragrance (£44+) which smells really fruity and floral and is perfect for the summer months! As much as fragrance samples annoy me, I truly am grateful for them as they're handy to have in my bag for when I want to quickly spritz myself on a night out. 

Saturday, 21 May 2016

How I Use Up Samples

Have you ever flicked through a beauty magazine and come across those one use wonder satchets of a shampoo and conditoner and just thrown it into the bin as you believe you'll never use them? What about when you've bought something from a beauty counter and they've thrown in a few samples that the sales assistant thought you would like to try? Well what if I was to tell you that those said samples could be the start of a great relationship as well as a brilliant way of trying lots of different products without having to splash out for them.

All my friends and family know that I love a good sample or three and I come home nearly every day with a few samples that the makeup girls think I would like and most of the time, they're right! Long term readers will have noticed that I have a Samples I've Used Up Post every single month just simply sharing what samples I've used up during that particular month.

I keep all my samples in two large jars and I routinely go through them and seperate them into what I want to use right now and what I want to use later on (in other terms, it goes straight back into the jar!) Now depending on what kind of sample it is whether it be makeup, skincare etc it'll go into a particular place until I'm ready to use it. If it is a rich moisturiser and my skin is feeling a little dry, it will find it's way into a acrylic lipstick holder on my skincare shelf ready for being used whereas if it's a micellar water and I already have a full size open, it'll go straight into a sample box in my skincare drawer. It may sound a little over the top but it's a little system that I've had in place and it truly works for me. As mentioned, I have a sample box my skincare drawer which is also the same case for my haircare drawer. In these half boxes is where I store all the samples that I want to use right now but not at that particular moment. I routinely go through it and see which samples I want to use and if there are any that I don't want to use then they go straight back into my sample jars for next time. 

By keeping the samples that I want to use right now in plain sight, this means that I'm using them up and going through them a lot quicker than if they were out of sight and therefore out of mind. Regardless of the fact if I have my full size ones open, if my skin is feeling dehydrated then I will use a sample of a rich moisturiser rather than using my full size light moistuiser. By sticking to this routine, I've come across products that I would have never tried before without having tried a sample of it before and I've fallen in love with some products that I've had to go out and buy the full size of it! This hasn't always been the case as there have been some occasions where I've wondered why I've used X product as it's made me break out etc. 

Do you use samples of products?

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Current Haircare Routine

If you were to ask me what my biggest concern was, I would most definitely reply by saying my hair. Don't get me wrong, my skin and weight are still concerns however those can be changed almost instantly by working out and using products specific to my concerns but with my hair, it's a working progress. I've dabbled around many colours going from brunette to bleach blonde to red and all the way back again. I've finally settled on a colour that I'm comfortable with which I cannot express my love for enough however it does require a lot of upkeep to keep it soft and manageable and not so dry so I've been reaching for a lot of products to do so.

After washing my hair and keeping it wrapped up in a hair turban for a couple of hours or so to dry as much as possible, I spritz the Salon Services Protein Spray quite liberally all over. This literally helps to nourish your hair either if it's wet or dry and add some much needed shine back into your hair. I then follow this up with the Bumble and Bumble Prep Primer which is filled with with vitamins that helps condition hair, smooth away any tangles and makes any additional styling products work better. I've been using this for well over a year and I can certainly vouch for it's last statement! Before brushing my hair, I then use the Ojon Revitalizing Mist which is essentially a beefed up version of the Bumble and Bumble product but just smells better and feels more conditioning in the hair. 

After brushing my hair with hair brush similar to the Tangle Teezer except with a handle, I use another conditioning product in the form of It's A 10 Miracle Leave-In Product which I tend to concentrate on my mid-lengths downwards. This helps with literally all hair concerns and as I use it quite generously, I seem to be going through it at an alarming rate! As my hair lacks in volume, I like to use an oil that helps creating volume so I've been trialling the Percy & Reed Smoothed, Sealed & Sensational Volumising No Oil Oil which I concentrate on mainly my roots to my mid-lengths. This specifically states to use a small amount of drops and working it way through your hair however I've been using a lot and I've noticed that the minute I work it through my hair, it instantly looks more volumised albeit short lived. As the ends of my hair are heavily bleached, I tend to apply an oil that is quite nourishing so at the moment I've been reaching for the Ojon Rare Blend Oil Total Hair Therapy that is one of those products that you need to shake up to combine the layers in order to use. If I'm honest, I really do not like this product as no matter how little I use, my hair feels greasy almost instantly after using yet I'm determined to use it up. If you have any tips of how to make this work then they'll be more appreciated!

As you can tell, I do use a lot of products in my hair but that is purely to keep my hair hydrated as it can feel dry rather easily due to the amount of bleach in my hair. I've been using these products for the best part of six months and they have been working wonders for my hair however once I have used up certain products, they won't be getting repurchased as I don't want my hair to get too used to a product for it to then stop working for me altogether.

What hair products do you reach for?

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Original Source Wild Cherry & Nettle Shower Gel

I've found myself becoming a little bit of a hoarder recently which I'm sure is a common trend among beauty bloggers. I tend to buy a lot of the same product when it's on offer so that I don't run out of it for quite a while thus saving me some money in the long run especially when I'm currently saving up to move out. However, I've recently found myself feeling inundated with shower gels as it appears that I've bought too many at once so as well as giving them to friends and family, I thought I better start reviewing the ones that I like the most which is why you've probably clicked over onto my blog.

The Original Source Wild Cherry & Nettle Shower Gel (£2.30) is one of those scents that I instantly grativated towards as it contains cherries and I LOVE the scent of cherries as well as it being a limited edition product too! It's actually one of those "as chosen by you" products as Original Source got 358,682 Facebook fans from around the globe to help choose this mysterious and tempting scent and I must admit, it's a brilliant choice! Also these are forever on offer at a £1 and have so many different scents to choose from!

Just like the rest of the Original Source Family, this smells really fresh and fruity without being too overpowering. It comes out in a really vibrant colour which lathers up really well. Despite it's vibrant purple colour, it doesn't stain the skin or bath! Unlike some shower gels that can linger on the skin hours after using, this particular scent doesn't as it just seems to blend in with your natural scent that we all seem to have. Long term readers will know that my other half uses a lot of shower gels and after giving him a few bottles of this particular one, he turned round to me and said that he didn't like the scent of it at all which means that there's more of it for me to use!

What is your favourite Original Source Shower Gel?

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Feel Unique Skincare Superstars

Considering the fact that this month is my birthday month and I haven't asked for anything in particular from my family, I've decided to do what I do best which is of course treat yo'self! As I have more than enough skincare for any normal person and a stash to rival even the likes of Caroline Hirons at times when I came across the Feel Unique Skincare Superstars Beauty Box, I instantly caved in and bought it! The box itself contains everything needed to give your skin some much needed TLC with some of the best complexion boosting products around and with a value of £87 at the bargain price of £30, you would be mad not to!

I'm a huge fan of La Roche Posay products and in particular the Effaclar Duo+ so with the box containing a decent sized sample of the Physiological Micellar Solution (£12) I was a very happy lady! It's essentially a micellar water to remove makeup and acts as your first cleanse however this particular one is suitable for even the most sensitive of complexions. The real test with this is if it can remove even waterproof makeup so if it does, I'm sold!

Next up is a full size Balance Me Radiance Face Oil (£30) which I've had on my list of products to try for the longest time! It's ideal for transforming dull, dehydrated skin into a radiant, dewy and glowing complexion which creating a perfectly even tone by calming areas prone to redness. I've been really getting back into my facial oils recently and have even started mixing them into my morning moisturiser to help make my skin appear more dewy so I'm excited to start giving this a go. This actually costs the same price as the box so everything else is just extra!

I've never tried the This Works In Transit Camera Close Up (£30) and I've heard nothing but good things about it so I'm really happy to see that it was included in the box. It acts as a mask, moisturiser and primer all in one so it's the perfect product to take away on holiday with especially when it's a long haul flight! I'm hoping that my skin loves this as much as everybody raves about as I could easily see myself buying this in full size!

Another addition to the box is the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Night Spa (£26.50) which as the name suggests is a night time moisturiser. It's enriched with hyaluronic acid, aquabioryl and Vichy Thermal Spa Water which provides intense hydration for the skin that looks visibly nourished and radiant come morning. I absolutely love using thick, rich creams at night as my skin feels naturally dehydrated no matter how many different serums/oils/creams I use so I'm hoping that this works a treat.

I appear to have acquired a few sample sized products from Ole Henriksen recently so I was excited to see the Truth Sugar Glow Polishing Mask (£38) included in the box. This contains sugar and pomegranate seeds to refine skin texture with honey to nourish, soften and sooth the skin with rose hips and pumpkin extracts to help naturally brighten and boost radiance. I love anything that helps add radiance back into my skin so I cannot wait to start using this!

Saving the best till last is a full size REN Wake Wonderful Night Time Facial (£32) which is an overnight transforming treatment that leaves skin visibly brighter, refined, more luminous and even toned come morning. I've tried quite a few of these kind of products and have always seen great results from them so I have high hopes for this and I'm hoping that this works wonders for my skin.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Favourites || April 2016

April has been a crazy month for me with both work and personal life. It's been a mixture of happiness and sadness and it's made me reflect on my own life. I won't go into detail but towards the end of April, I lost someone very close to me and I haven't yet bounced back from it so I've pretty much been a makeup free emotional mess recently. Before we all start getting emotional and all, let's share what products I've been loving throughout April.

I've really been upping my skincare game and trying to be more consistent with what I'm using so I've been religiously applying the No7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum whenever I get the chance. I find that this is the perfect serum for me as it helps keep my skin hydrated whilst preventing any signs of ageing. I will definitely be trying out more of the No7 Serums and perhaps do a comparison at a later date.

Speaking of skincare, I've been breaking out terribly with blemishes which is down to not sleeping much and emotional eating so I've been using the La Roche Pose Effacer Duo+ to help combat them. This helps to not only keep pesky blemishes at bay but also helps to prevent future ones from appearing too. I've been upping my water intake over this past month so although my skin looks more plumped, I've still been relying on trusty Hydraluron to help keep my skin hydrated for longer. This acts like a magnet with your moisturiser to help moisturise your skin deep down and my skin absolutely loves this! 

For the times when I have worn makeup, I've been wearing the Bourjois Healthy Mix Radiance Reveal Foundation as this is a medium to full coverage foundation that can be built up that makes my skin appear more awake and radiant. Combined with my beloved No7 Skin Illuminator which gives a radiant look to the skin whilst still being natural and you've got yourself a match made in heaven! Speaking of No7, I've returned to using their Extreme Lash Extend Mascara that I've most definitely missed! This helps to seperate my lashes and define them whilst giving lots of length. It's quite literally one of my holy grail mascaras!

I've also returned to using the No7 Good Earth Eyeshadow Trio which contains the perfect mix of colours to take you from day to night. I tend to apply the middle shade all over the lid with the darker colour in the crease, very slightly smoking it out with the lighter shade as a brow highlighter. Whenever I wear this trio, I get lots of compliments as it just seems to go nicely with my natural eye colour. I've been suffering with dry lips as of late so I've been using various EOS Lip Balms which I have dotted around all over the place. These little spherical balms are ideal for dry, chapped lips as it contains shea butter, vitamin E and jojoba oil all packed in one handy shaped balm.

A complete miscellaneous favourite for me this month is literally one that I've only had for the last week and a half or so is the Apple Watch Sport 42mm Rose Gold with Stone Strap. Many people deem this as completely unnecessary and a waste of money which I completely agreed with at first however I want to say that it has completely changed my life. I'm definitely one of those people who is forever on their phone however since I bought this, I'm no longer checking my phone for messages/instagram/facebook as I get it all on the Apple Watch and if it's not directly aimed at myself, I simply dismiss it and carry on with whatever I'm doing. It's also been incredibly handy for work as well as I just have to look down at my watch to read messages instead of pulling out my phone every time I felt it go off.