Saturday, 31 May 2014

May Empties & Reviews

I love reading what all you bloggers use every month, so I thought I'd give it a go and hopefully provided some information about various products before you part with your money. Whilst doing this I discovered how much shower gel I actually use! Anyway I'll be doing a mini review on each product and if I would buy it again.

The products I got though this month are: 

1.Tigi Catwalk Honey & Oatmeal Shampoo & Conditioner 750ML
2. Vichy Normaderm Deep Cleansing Purifying Gel 200ML
3. St Ives Apricot Scrub Blemish Fighting 150ML
4. Palmolive Pampering Touch Coconut Shower Gel 250ML
5. Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia 50ML
6. Nivea Creme Coconut Shower Gel 250ML
7. Lacura Moisturising Face Wash 150ML
8. Next Loves Luxury Chocolate Body Scrub 30ML
9. Radox Coconut Kiss Shower Cream 250ML
10. Nivea Free Time Shower Cream 250ML
11. Original Source Shea Butter And Honey Shower gel 250ML
12. Imperial Leather Invigorating Mango And Juicy Papaya 250ML
13. Batiste Cherry Dry Shampoo 200ML
14. Garnier Simply Essentials 2 In 1 Makeup Remover 200ML
15. Dove Go Fresh Pomegranate Deodorant 50ML

1.Tigi Catwalk Honey & Oatmeal Shampoo & Conditioner 750ML: This product is designed to be colour safe and helps to protect hair from heat damage. I have been using this set for five months, Yes FIVE MONTHS everyday and I think that makes this set exceptional value for money. Its a nourishing formula made with acacia honey, wheat protein and vitamin e and it is really moisturising. The smell is what first drew my towards this product, my hairdresser recommended this brand as I have dry ends from heat styling. In hindsight I picked the wrong product, I have quite oily roots and with prolonged use I feel this product only added to the oil. Which is a real shame because I do love the scent. This would be ideal for dry and damaged hair that isn't prone to oil. I wouldn't buy this product again but only because it doesn't suit my hair type, I really need to learn to check the advice on the bottle before the scent.

2. Vichy Normaderm Deep Cleansing Purifying Gel 200ML: I recently wrote a review for the Vichy Normaderm line here, so I won't go into too much detail. This is a face wash that can be used daily for oil and acne prone skin. What I love about this gel is that it fights breakouts without drying the skin. A little pricey buy if used sparingly as advised can last a few weeks. I have already purchased this again and would recommend it if you have oily skin, as the results I've seen on my own skin have been pretty impressive.

3. St Ives Apricot Scrub Blemish Fighting 150ML: An apricot exfoliating scrub to help fight blemishes, blackheads and lift away oil. I have bought this product many times and I'm not sure why? As much as I like this product as a weekly exfoliation treat,  I haven't found it to help in anyway with blemishes. Maybe you need to use it everyday to see results but I find the beads in this product and little bit too big and worry about the damage it might do if used daily. I wouldn't be in a hurry to buy this again but might try using it three to four times a week to see if that does make a difference in the future.

4. Palmolive Pampering Touch Coconut Shower Gel 250ML:  Anything that has a coconut scent I will most likely be buying it. I am fan of soft scents and this shower gel delivers a fresh scent that leaves you feeling moisturised and clean. I would buy this again as the scent is lovely but not overpowering and for £1 I can't really complain.

5. Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia 50ML: I received this as a present last year, it is a really delicate floral scent and perfect for day wear. The fragrance contains notes of brown sugar, patchouli, frangipani, gardenia, pear and red berries. This without doubt a perfect spring perfume, a light subtle fragrance that is really soft and has berry overtones. I would buy this perfume again in the future but for now I am searching for the perfect vanilla based perfect for the summer.

6. Nivea Creme Coconut Shower Gel 250ML: A smelling scent to the palmolive shower gel and just as good. I would say this formula delivers a bigger hit of coconut but still quite mellow and it is slightly more nourishing. I will definitely but purchasing this again.
7. Lacura Moisturising Face Wash 150ML: When I think of skincare Aldi is usually not on the top of my list, but this face wash was a surprise. I picked it up whilst doing some food shopping and thought why not it's only cheap. It is 100% soap free and has no harsh chemicals, it's formula is made using pro-vitamin B5, vitamin E and Bisabolol. I used this daily and I must say this really improved my dry areas on my face, it is moisturising and mild and leaves skin feeling wonderfully soft. I would buy this again and I am going to investigate other Lacura products.

8. Next Loves Luxury Chocolate Body Scrub 30ML: This came as part of a beauty package I received at Christmas. It is chocolate scented which I love and the grains are relatively small which I prefer in an scrub. As much as I enjoyed the scent I don't think it made much of a difference in the texture or appearance of my skin. I wouldn't recommend this as it hasn't made any difference to my skin and I think there are better scrubs out there for similar price points.

9. Radox Coconut Kiss Shower Cream 250ML: I love all the Radox fresh shower gels and this is no exception, The scent (as you can tell by now) is one of my favourites coconut. It is exotic coconut and milk and is really refreshing and leaves the scent on your skin for a good few hours after shower. It isn't particularly moisturising but it doesn't claim to be and I would buy this again for the scent alone.

10. Nivea Free Time Shower Cream 250ML: Same formula as the creme coconut one but this scent is aloe vera and star fruit. A subtle scent with a hit of summer fruit and leaves skin moisturised and clean. It is stimulating and perfect for the summer months ahead, recommended.

11. Original Source Shea Butter And Honey Shower gel 250ML: Original Source have the nicest scents in their products. It has a natural scent and is extremely moisturising for dry skin. All for the bargain price of £1, I would buy this again.

12. Imperial Leather Invigorating Mango And Juicy Papaya 250ML: As with most Imperial Leather products it produces a great lather with very little product. A gorgeous summer fruity fragrance of Mango and Papaya. I think I've said all I can say on the topic of shower gel but I would buy this again.

13. Batiste Cherry Dry Shampoo 200ML: A dry shampoo is every girls best friend on busy days. As I have oil prone hair I am trying to wash my hair every other day as I hope this will calm down the oil production and this has been a brilliant help for the in between days. I've never really found a scent of dry shampoo that I actually like as I find them all chalky but this one isn't to bad. The product does what it says on the bottle and I would purchase it again but maybe try out a different scent.

14. Garnier Simply Essentials 2 In 1 Makeup Remover 200ML:  This is my third bottle of this product, it removes makeup even waterproof makeup without rubbing or irritating the skin. It is enriched with plant extract and pro-vitamin B and the formula contains no perfume or alcohol. This is ideal for all skin types and removes all makeup without a trace. It is two separate liquids in one bottle. makeup removing oil and cleansing water. It is a very oily formula but it does lift makeup with ease and I have never had any problems with breakouts or irritation from this. I will be buying this again as it really easy to take off makeup before bed.

15. Dove Go Fresh Pomegranate Deodorant 50ML: Anti-perspirant deodorant with a pomegranate and lemon verbena scent. It claims to last up to 48 hours and as with all dove products contains moisturising ingredients. I love the scent and it dry relatively quick for a roll on, I have bought this again as it does the job and has a subtle scent.

Have you tried any of these products? What do you think?

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Thursday, 29 May 2014

Mini Body Shop Haul - Summer Essentials

As mentioned in a previous post, the body shop have a great deal on at the moment that I had to take advantage of. If you spend £40 it would only cost £20, effectively making all of this half price. I had a splurge on some much needed items and I bought a paddle hairbrush, vitamin E eye cream, blender blush, seaweed pore perfect exfoliator, peppermint foot lotion, a bath lily and a cocoa butter body scrub. With summer coming up I wanted to get some essentials to revitalise my skin, I think scrubs are perfect to ensure my skin is in great condition for warmer days. I'll be reviewing some of these products soon. If there is something you would like reviewed soon, please let me know in the comments.

Do you have a summer skincare routine? What's on your essentials list?

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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Wednesday - Write Up - Review: The Body Shop Cosmetic Brushes

The body shop brushes are always my go to brand because I find that they are good quality, last ages and are great for building an even coverage. After looking at the various brushes I selected the following:

1. Foundation Brush
2. Face and Body Brush
3. Eyeshadow Brush
4. Lip/concealer Brush
5.Slanted Brush

The main reason I always go back to body shop brushes is the quality, the bristles are extremely soft and even after washing them a million times they always keep there shape. 

Foundation Brush: This brush works best with medium coverage foundations, one thing I have found whilst using this brush is that if you are applying your makeup in a rush it can create lines on your face. But I think that's got more to do with my application then the actual brush. It doesn't waste much product as it is relatively thin and can easily get into the under eye area for a even finish.

Face And Body Brush: I essentially use this only for blusher and bronzer, it has a big surface area and again doesn't waste much product. I have bought this brush countless times and I have never been disappointed by the finish. It is easy to use to build colour on cheeks and retains powder well. I love the size of it as it's made for body coverage 

Eyeshadow Brush: This is quite a big sized eyeshadow brush in my opinion and is ideal for creating block colour eyeshadow in a hurry, it creates a full coverage of shadow and is super soft for blending other colours on the lid.

Lip/Concealer Brush:  I have two of these in my brush collection, one for lip liner and one for concealer. I prefer this brush as a lip brush as it is small enough to draw an accurate lip line but also big enough to fill the whole lip without too much fuss. As a concealer brush I must say I prefer a sponge applicator. I find it easier to build coverage with a sponge, especially for redness or breakouts.

Slanted Brush: Perfect for brow application, the angle on this brush easily creates flawless eyebrow makeup. I use it with Benefit Brow zing to cover up gaps and fill out the brow. 

I've just ordered a blender brush from this collection and will post a review once it's arrived. At the moment the body shop are offering a £20 discount on a £40 spend, it was all too tempting so though I'd expand my brush collection. 

What are your favourite brushes? Do you have any recommendations? 

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Benefit Easy Does It Giveaway Prizes

I opened my inbox a few weeks ago to discover an e-mail from Megan at Benefit cosmetics telling me I had won the easy does it giveaway. I love Benefit products and naturally really wanted to try the new foundation. I won all of this by playing the balancing act game on their website and tweeting my score and as luck would have it, I was selected. I am really grateful to have the chance to try all of the amazing products and will be reviewing each one separately. The prizes I received are:

Three Bottles Of Big Easy
The Porefessional Primer
Sugarbomb Blusher Box
Hoola Bronzer Box
Rockateur Lipgloss
Benetint Lip And Cheek Stain
Gimme Brow Gel

I have the primer and mascara already but I haven't wrote a review from either of them yet. I love the quality of Benefit makeup and have been a big fan of them for years. I look forward to trying all of them out and will post the reviews soon.

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Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Stop Everything: Giorgio Armani Plans To Make Fast Fashion


Giorgio Armani plans to revamp his AX Armani exchange stores into a fast fashion brand, such as the likes of Topshop, Mango and River Island. One can only hope he will be selling fast fashion inspired by his own lines but make them more affordable for a high street venture. This is a smart move but I do wonder if he will be using only his own line for inspiration? And if so, that will surely affect the appeal of a luxury designer brand. It's a interesting venture and one that has never been done before by such a high profile designer. There are so many questions to ask but I am mostly excited about the possibly of strolling into Armani to pick up a garment that I can actually afford. Fingers crossed.

Are you excited at the possibly of being able to buy from a luxury brand at an affordable price?
Do you think this is a good idea?
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Monday, 26 May 2014

Moodboard Monday - Trend: High Street Culottes S/S14

Searching for the perfect pair of culottes is a chore in itself, they are either too wide, too tight or just plain unflattering. I gave up my search a few months ago until I recently stumbled upon these three. I do love the style of culottes, as I think it is an easy way to keep cool this summer whilst still looking chic. Once you have found the correct cut for your body type this item will easily become a wardrobe staple. So easy to style from day to night and they look amazing with high heels. My favourite pair is number 1. from Warehouse, definitely going to purchase them for summer.

Have you purchased any culottes? Which pair are your favourite?

1. Warehouse Soft Pleat Culottes
2. New Look Blue Ditsy Floral Print Knee Length Culottes
3. Boohoo Kiya Midi Length Culotte Shorts

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Friday, 23 May 2014

Freebie: Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish

At the moment John Lewis are currently offering a Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish 50ml for free! This product is the most awarded cleanser in the UK and is suitable for all skin types . For any beauty lovers or if you just want to try something new this is a great opportunity.  All you have to do is fill out this form and wait for a e-mail voucher to be sent to you. Once you have received the voucher you can take it to a participating John Lewis Store to redeem your 50ml sample. It's as simple as that, no purchase necessary. As a extra bonus you also receive a personalised skincare consultation. The offer expires on the 28th May, so be quick. I'm going to pick mine up tomorrow.

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Monday, 19 May 2014

Moodboard Monday - Trend: Folk S/S14

Folk art is inspiring clothing in a big way this season, from tile prints to heavy embroidery it is going to be everywhere. I absolutely love pom poms and patchwork, especially for the warmer months ahead. I always find most summer clothing a little bit boring because it usually lacks any interesting textures, so I am completely on board with this trend. The colour palette are perfect for summer and it is a refreshing change from all of the pastel tones. Topshop are definitely in the lead with this trend on the high street, they have a huge range of folk inspired pieces and I am a huge fan of there understated prints.

What do you think of the folk trend? Will you be wearing it?

1.Topshop Strappy Tile Print Dress
2. Topshop Patchwork Clutch Bag
3. Asos Folk Town Leather Flat Sandals
4. Etsy Folk Flowers Polish Folk Art Motif Earrings
5. Etsy Polish Folklore Bangle
6. Asos MinkPink Folk Frenzy Printed Midi
7. Topshop Tile Print Flippy Skirt

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Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Wednesday Write-up - Review: Vichy Normaderm Range

I feel like I am forever trying to find a skincare routine that helps control excess oil and spot prone skin, it's really tricky to get the balance right with oil prone skin. I want something to tackle problem areas but also moisturize my dry areas. Especially since the weather is improving, as my skin can get easily dried out using typical spot fighting agents such as tea-tree and witch-hazel.  I discovered Vichy in a previous glossybox, (Vichy Idealia Life Serum) it wasn't a brand I had really come across before. After completing the skin care analysis on the Vichy website , I discovered this Normaderm range.

The Normaderm range is specifically made to tackle six signs of blemish-prone skin. It is suitable for all skin types including sensitive and acne prone skin. It tackles blemishes, pores, shine, oily skin, marks and uneven complexions. It has Vichy thermal spa water, salicylic and glycolic acid as well as being soap-free. After reading about the various products, I wanted to test one item before splurging on the whole range. I wanted to test if it really did work and I was a little septical that it would completely dry my skin out. So I went with the purifying gel as my first purchase.

Vichy Normaderm Deep Cleansing Purifying Gel

I have been using this everyday for the past few weeks and the change in my skin has been incredible. I have found I only need a very small amount of this product to cover my face and neck and it leaves my skin super soft and thoroughly clean. I noticed an improvement within days and wanted to try more products from this range. I couldn't believe I had finally found something that works well on my skin type.

Vichy Normaderm Purifying Pore-Tightening Lotion

After my skin began improving from the gel, I splashed out on a a few more products. My next product was the purifying pore-tightening lotion. The toner/lotion minimised my imperfections and tightened my pores. As with the gel, a little goes a long way making this slightly more affordable.  My skin is usually quite sensitive to toners but so far I've had no problem with this at all. It leaves your skin feeling clean and prepped for the next step without over-drying.

Vichy Normaderm Anti-Shine Anti-Humidity Fresh Hydrating Gel 

The fresh hydrating gel is amazing, after toning I use this to take away any shine before I apply my makeup. It left my skin moisturised and completely matte all day, even my tea zone! It also helped to keep my makeup in place throughout the day, even when it was really hot. I really like the feel of this gel, it is so light and refreshing, unlike heavy acne moisturisers.

Vichy Normaderm Night Chrono-Active Anti-Imperfection Care

The night moisturiser is much thicker than the hydrating gel but does a great job at combating redness and excess oil throughout the night. After using this for a few weeks, I have woken up each morning with a more balanced complexion and I have found it really hydrates my skin without causing excess shine.

Global anti-imperfection hydrating care

As with the hydrating gel this product is really amazing at mattifying your skin and I switch daily between the gel and this product. I would say the gel has an advantage as it feels lighter and fresher 
on my skin but this product fights spots and redness also. Both products have their pros, so I can't really decide which one is better for daily use. 

I would say that I have found whilst using this product that if you use too much of it, the cream rolls up into little white balls so it becomes a bit of a nightmare to put makeup over this. So I would personally prefer the gel because of this reason, especially if you are in a rush .

Overall, I have found this range does exactly as advertised; it fights oil/spots and helped improve my complexion and redness. The main thing I love about the range is that it doesn't leave your skin feeling dry as most acne ranges do. It doesn't make your skin feel stripped , tight or uncomfortable but instead leaves it feeling moisturised whilst providing a matte cover.  I would recommend this range if you suffer with  imperfections or oily skin, there are also other products from Normaderm range that I haven't tried out yet. 

One tiny con I would mention is that although this stuff is working amazingly on my skin the scent of the products is not the best. It isn't a overpowering strong smell but it just isn't what I would expect from a skincare range. With this being said though it is a tiny con and it wouldn't put me off buying this range again.

 Has anyone else tried this range? What did you think about it?

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Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Birchbox May 2014 - Harpers Bazaar

My Birchbox has arrived! I did my absolute best to avoid birchbox blog posts over the last few days, as I really like to keep what I receive in my box a complete surprise; it was worth the wait. I love the collaboration with Harpers Bazaar magazine, the box design is gorgeous and the booklet has some great photography in it as always. Right to the main bit, the products I received are listed below.

1. Aromatherapy Associates - Revive Morning Bath And Shower Oil
£39.00 Full Size

I have never heard of this brand before and after reading the packaging, I thought i'd try this out. It is a oil to be added to the bath or to be put on your body before showering to help you wake up in the morning. The scent is a blend of pink grapefruit, rosemary and juniper berry. I like the idea of this oil but after opening it I wasn't really taken with the scent. It's way too heavy and if anything it would put me back to sleep. I would say this scent is more for an oil burner, but
I guess thats just my opinion on fragrances. My personal preference for skin care is something light and refreshing especially in the morning, so unfortunately I won't be using this.

  2. They're Real Benefit Mascara
£19.50 Full Size

I already love this mascara and Benefit in general, so getting a mini mascara is perfect to put in my handbag or for my holidays. For anyone that hasn't tried this mascara, it is a perfect way to sample it. This mascara builds volume and length and it is long wearing, it's been a favourite of mine for a while.

3.Beauty Protector Protect And Shampoo, Protect And Conditioner 
£14.00 each 

I'm a huge fan of the Beauty Protector Oil and I can't wait to try the shampoo and conditioner out. I love the scent of the Beauty Protector products, I can't quite work out what scent it is but it's really sweet and stays on my hair all day. I hope it works as well as the oil but I think for what it is, it is a little bit on the expensive side at £14.00 a bottle for the full size.

4. Soigne Nail Lacquer In Creme Au Berre (Full Size)
£11.00 Full Size 

I have never seen such extravagant packaging for a single nail varnish,  I thought it was a perfume sample when I first looked at the box. I'm excited to try this brand and to test out if it is as high quality as the packaging suggests. I'm always looking for a nail polish that doesn't chip off and I hope this brand is the answer. I love the creamy berry colour and it is perfect for spring, it also fits in with the pastel trend which is an added bonus. 

5. Liz Earle Beauty Co. Cleanse And Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser
£13.50 Full Size

I have wanted to try this out for a while, so i'm very pleased with this sample. It is a good size sample (30ml) and comes with a little booklet about how to use this product and a little bit of information about the company. It is to be applied all over the face as a cream and then rinsed away with the muslin cloth, after rinsing the cloth in hot water. I presume the hot cloth is to open the pores for a deep cleanse. This is probably my favourite item this month, as it is something I really wanted to try out. Overall I'm happy with the box, i'm surprised considering it was a collaboration that there wasn't anything a bit more exciting in the box and I didn't receive a lifestyle extra either. The range and quality of the products make up for it though and it comes with a promotion to subscribe to Harpers Bazaar for £1.00 a month! Which is a absolute bargain as the standard cover price is £4.20, so it's a 76% saving . I already can't wait for next month's box.

What did you think about this month's Birchbox? 

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Monday, 12 May 2014

Moodboard Monday - Trend: Tropical Print S/S14

Tropical prints are one of my favourite trends for the summer. I love the bright colours, pattern combinations and print designs. I think the prints look great when they are clashing, especially if the sun is shining. Above are my top picks of the tropical print on the high street at the moment. I absolutely love the Dune slipper shoes and the bright colour combination on the Topshop tube skirt. What are your favourite tropical print pieces?

All links are provided below.

1. Topshop Bright Leaf Printed Shirt
2. Warehouse Tropical Palm Print Cami
3. River Island Green Floral Print Cropped Shirt
4. Obey Backpack In Tropical Print
5. Dune Kozzie Tropical Print Slipper Shoe
6. Topshop Tika2 Tropical Skater
7.Topshop Tropical Print Tube Skirt
8. Asos Crop Top With Tropical Flamingo Print Co-ord

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Thursday, 8 May 2014

Review: Lee Stafford Oily Roots And Dry Ends

I've wanted to switch up my haircare routine for a while now and with the current 3 for 2 deal at Boots it was an ideal time to have a splurge.  I am guilty of completely over styling my hair by straightening, blow drying and colouring it way too much. It has left my hair quite dry at the bottom but also having build-up product left on my roots. 

I spotted the oily roots and dry ends range and thought it was ideal for my hair type. The main selling point for me of Lee Stafford products is the smell, it has a subtle shea butter scent and leaves your hair smelling lovely. It really reminds me of Thierry Mugler's Angel Perfume. I have used a couple of the styling products in this range beforehand and I was quite impressed with the result, so I thought i'd give this a try.

The instructions on the bottle suggests to wash your hair twice with this shampoo. The first time fights the dirt and the second time is to thoroughly clean your hair. My first impression of this shampoo is that it doesn't create as much lather as I would like it to but it did definitely leave my hair feeling squeaky clean. After this, I applied the conditioner and left it to soak into my hair for a few minutes. When I rinsed it out I did immediately notice a difference in my hair texture, It didn't feel weighed down or over nourished, which I was thrilled with. 

I then applied the mask on my hair and left this work for five minutes, as advised on the packaging. The mask claims to repair, build and fix hair; It also doubles as a hair growth treatment. I do have brittle hair from all the styling and the mask claims to improve hair loss and texture. The consistency is thinner than my previous mask (Umberto Giaanni beauty secrets moisture mask) but I am intrigued by the hair growth claim. Once my hair was dry, I did notice an overall improvement. The build up on my roots had gone and the bottom of hair felt moisturized without being greasy. I would recommend this product to anyone who has problems controlling oil on the roots of your hair without drying the ends out. Being a person who religiously has to wash my hair everyday this has been a miracle product and I will be purchasing this again.

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