Friday, 30 November 2012

November empties

After a few slow months I finally managed to make my way through a decent number of products for this empties post.
Alpha-H balancing cleanser —  I reviewed this earlier this week. I love it, it is gentle and cleanses my skin really well. As soon as I finish a few more cleansers  in my collection I will be repurchasing this.

Victoria Secret bombshell shower gel and moisturiser — I brought these as part of a set, which also contained a body spray. The scent is sweet and delicate and using it all together felt like a nice treat. The scent didn’t stick around for a long time though and the moisturiser, although nice to use, was not very hydrating. This was an impulse buy at the time but I don't think I will be heading back for any more.

Bad Girl Scandalous Curl cream —I really enjoyed using this, my curls formed nicely and the product didn't leave a sticky residue in my hair. I picked it up from Savers originally, but I think their stock is random and unfortunately I haven't found it since!

Bath and Body works shower gel — This is in the scent Japanese cherry blossom, which I love. Not much more to say than that!

Super Facialist daily brightening cleanser — I've reviewed this recently too, it is a nice cleanser to use, but it doesn't remove all makeup with one cleanse so it isn’t something I will be repurchasing.

Benefit Porefessional —  I already have another of these, which I purchased in a set. This does lessen the look of pores and one tube lasts a long time, making it good value for money.

Elf Brow Kit (medium) — I know this isn’t finished, but I have made a good dent in it and I feel it is time to go. I brought this from the US over two years ago for $3, which at the time worked out as £1.50! Although I have enjoyed using it, I recently picked up two new products that are a much better match for my brows (which I will share soon) and based on the price and how long I have had it, I don’t feel too guilty about throwing it away prematurely.

I'm planning on going through my collection next month and getting rid of makeup that is too old or just doesn't work for me anymore. I'm finding that I'm grabbing things I have neglected for a while and tried to use them, only to realise they were neglected for a reason! The main culprits are eyeliners, so it is time to have a clear out!

Do you ever have a clear out of your makeup store? Or do you like to use everything up even if you don't like it? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Rimmel exaggerate waterproof eye definer

First off I have to thank my best friend for introducing me to this eyeliner, her eyeliner is always perfectly defined, dark black and stays in place all day and her secret..........Rimmel exaggerate waterproof eye definer.
I've worn this on both my upper and lower lash line and it has lasted me a whole day at work (applying at 8am and arriving home after 6pm).
With other eyeliners, I tend to find that after a few hours the eyeliner has gathered in my tear duct or spread onto my lower lid, which isn't very attractive! Although it does fade in the waterline after a about four hours, I have taken to applying it in between my lower lashes, very lightly and this does not budge for the whole day. Being a waterproof eyeliner, you might expect that it is more difficult to remove at the end of the day, but I haven’t found this to be the case. I use eye makeup remover before and after washing my face and this removes everything.
The packaging is simple and effective. On one end you have the eyeliner, which can be twisted to be revealed and on the other is a smudge sponge. I use the sponge to either correct any mistakes or to smudge out the liner for a smokey look. There is also a sharpener attached to the end of the sponge, which needs to be pulled out to be revealed. I prefer to wear my eyeliner thin, so being able to sharpen the eyeliner is a really nice feature.

I had said in my 'what I will and won't spend my money on' blog post that I would be willing to pay almost anything for an eyeliner that does not budge from my waterline. The fact that this does just that and costs £3.99 is just a lovely bonus. This can be found in all the usual places, Boots, Superdrug and even supermarkets that have Rimmel counters and of course it is made even more affordable when there are bonus points or 3 for 2 deals happening.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Alpha-H skincare review

I posted a first impression of the Alpha-H liquid gold over three months ago. Having fully tested this and three other products in the Alpha-H range it is time for my final review.

Liquid gold 
I still love the liquid gold, the ease of working it into my routine every other evening means that I haven't skipped using it the way I might other more complicated treatments. I saw results immediately and I had hoped that with continued use my skin would improve further; however, after those initial two weeks use I can't say that the liquid gold has added anything. I did notice that with the change in the weather, using this every other night is too harsh and because my skin is already dry and this just adds to that.

Although it would have been nice for the liquid gold to show additional improvements to my skin. I am pleased with the result that it has produced. As an additional test, I stopped using the liquid gold for over two weeks and I found that my skin stayed clear, which is a great result. My plan now is to use liquid gold once or twice a week, or more frequently if I feel my skin is in need of TLC to maintain its condition.

Balancing Cleanser
The Alpha-H Balancing Cleanser is the best cleanser I have tried in a long time. It is non-greasy, gentle and barely scented. It cleanses without drying or irritating my skin and thoroughly removes both face and eye make-up, which has been my favourite feature. The cream is so gentle that I could rub it over my eyes and then wipe it all makeup away with a cotton pad before using a muslin cloth to cleanse the rest of my face. 
I have a few more cleansers that I need to try but as soon as they are done I will be turning back to is THAT good. QVC offer a twin pack for £30, which is the best value I have found.

Eye complex
Using eye products is where I fall down in my routine but I have started to notice that I am getting fine lines, which I know is a sign that I am too late, but I want to slow that down as much as I can. 
The eye complex is designed to deal with puffiness and dark circles rather than lines, but I have enjoyed using it and I do feel that the skin around my eyes is smoother. It has a gel texture, which absorbs into the skin quickly.

Age delay intensive night treatment cream
I have a confession here, I didn't read the packaging on this properly and had been using this as a day and night cream for my first couple of weeks of use. It is a thick cream but it sinks into the skin easily and doesn't leave a residue, which is probably why I didn't notice that it was specifically intended for use at night.

I hope that I am a little too young for a heavy duty anti-wrinkle cream and apart from my eyes I don't have any concerns about lines so it is hard for me to comment on this for its anti wrinkle properties. That being said prevention is better than a cure and since my skin is dry and this helps to keep my skin moisturised it is still a suitable night cream for me.

I would like to try out more of the Alpha-H range, in particular the serums. If you are aged 25 plus this is definitely a range I would keep in mind if you are starting to think about anti-ageing products. The liquid gold on the other hand I would recommend to anyone who wants to deal with pigmentation or acne scarring.

If you are interested in purchasing anything I would recommend QVC since it offers the best value for money as well as a 30-day money back guarantee, which means if you really don’t like the products you can send them back for a refund.


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Beauty bloggers headquarters: November task

I decided to start taking part in the monthly tasks from Beauty Bloggers Headquarters — a blog, which has been created to help out bloggers and act as a community to share experiences and tips.

The first task from the headquarters is to share the story of how we started our blog.

Beauty Blogger Headquarters

How long have you been blogging?
I will be celebrating my two year blog birthday in January! 

What/who inspired you to start blogging?
My start to blogging is quite complex! In my case it was a combination of different things all at one time. I suffered from bad skin and had a day when I decided enough was enough and that I needed to sort out my skin once and for all! As I did this I discovered makeup, something I had avoided using because I didn't want to irritate my skin, and after spending so much time reading beauty blogs and watching YouTube videos I decided I wanted to start one too.

Did you tell your family and friends about your blog? If so, what was their reaction? Are they supportive or "in the dark" about your blogging?
In the early days only my best friend and sister knew, eventually I started telling more friends and only told my family in the last month. My friends have always been very supportive and encouraging. As for family, I don’t think they really get it!

What goals or dreams did you have for your blog when you started? Have you accomplished them?
I didn’t set myself any targets and I never have. I always want to push myself and learn, so I like to try out different ideas for posts and just see what works and doesn’t, both by looking at stats and how much feedback I get.

If you could give your beginner-blogger-self one tip of advice, what would it be?
I'm not sure, maybe just to watch my spending!

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about being a blogger?
My favourite thing has been meeting so many amazing people I making some really good friends. I also love that as part of the process I have been developed a passion for photography, learnt about blog designs and HTML and improved my writing.

What does your blog name mean? How did you decide on it?
Being so insecure about my skin before I didn’t 'discover' makeup until a few years ago, so Discovering Beauty seemed to cover my new found love of makeup and my existing love of skincare.

If you are a blogger and would like to take part, head on over to the Beauty Blogger Headquarters page and add yourself to the list, also leave me a link to your post below so I can find out how you got started.


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Rimmel Kate Moss matte collection shade 107

I do love the Rimmel Kate Moss lipsticks, and even though I never planned to be lured in by the matte selection one shade drew me in……..107.
The lipstick is a beautiful deep, almost plum, red. Now this is very, very adventurous for me. Generally I don’t feel that red lipsticks suit me, and a matte finish is a usually a no-go. However, I love this.
The lipstick is creamy to apply and not as drying as you might expect. It is not quite matte but has a slight sheen. I wore this to a wedding and Sunday lunch, and it lasted through dinner and beyond, only fading slightly. After a few hours my lips did feel a little dry but not uncomfortable. However, at this point it is as if the lipstick has set and you end up with a stain, which is what makes the colour last as long as it does.
I generally apply this with a brush to get the right definition around the lip line and because I am terrible at ending up with lipstick on the rim of my mouth and the colour bleeding.

I think this shade is suitable for a wide range of skin tones, it is very complimentary on olive skin and I can imagine that pale and darker skins would be able to pull off a great dark lip look.

At £5.49 this is very reasonable but as always I would recommend buying when there is an offer happening and because it is Rimmel it can be found in all the usual places.


Saturday, 17 November 2012

Quick review: Waleda citrus deodorant

Another #LiveBloggers treat and the most unusual in my opinion — a natural deodorant in a spray bottle. I have tried natural deodorants before but they haven't quite cut in terms of protection on a daily basis, so I was very curious to try this out.

The deodorant, when first applied, smells heavily of citrus (as the name would suggest) but this settles quickly. I did find that it occasionally stung on application, especially when I used it immediately after a shower. This isn't uncomfortable and doesn't last, but it isn't something I expected from a deodorant! I’ve listed the ingredients below because I find it interesting that the main ingredient is alcohol and that probably explains the stinging.
Ingredients: Alcohol denat; water, lemon juice, oils of orange, lemon, glycerin. Nominal ethanol content 71%.

I am someone who gets overheated quite easily so I want something with strong protection and, unfortunately, this doesn't quite cut it for me. If I was having a chilled out day and not rushing around with my regular commute then it would work fine but for heavy duty protection this isn't enough.

I did like the spray on application, I felt that it was easier for me to determine when I had applied enough and this meant that I didn’t have a worry about when to continue getting dressed and white patches.

This is a lot pricier than traditional deodorants (£8.50 for 100ml bottle); however, you do get a lot of product for the money and I suspect that it will last a good few months if used every day.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Want to win a lippy?

On Monday I will be posting a review of the lipstick I am wearing in the picture below and I wanted to give you a chance to win one of your own………but you need to tell me what it is!
Before you click away I am providing a clue……you can see the lippy in the picture below! 
To enter all you need to do is head on over to my Facebook page, like the page and the picture and leave a comment with the name of the lipstick brand. The competition closes on Monday at 9pm (GMT) so go ahead and enter now!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Una Brennan Super Facialist daily brightening cleanser

Another #LiveBloggers goody review. This is the Una Brennan Super Facialist daily brightening cleanser (part of the firming regime), which I have been using for over a month.
This is a foaming cleanser, which I have been steering clear from based on the advice of Beauty Mouth after I attended her live clinic at 'The Only Way is Blogging’ earlier this year. That being said, the cleanser does feel nice to use, foams up well and isn't drying. The disappointing thing is that I didn't find that it removed all my makeup with one wash and after double cleansing — another no-no with a foaming cleanser according to Mrs Hirons — my skin did feel dry and tight. I have dry skin anyway, so this may not be an issue for anyone with normal or oily skin, but I would still recommend using a separate makeup remover first.

In terms of the scent, it is pleasant. I'm not going to lie, I have no idea what neroli smells like and the smell of this isn't something I'm guessing that's neroli.
The product says that the cleanser is meant to help to ensure skin is left more youthful-looking and contains antioxidants, a tightening polysaccharide and hyaluronic acid, which in combination, should cleanse, brighten and firm. In terms of the firming properties, I haven't noticed any difference in my skin, but I would want to try out all of the range together before making a comment. My skin has been in very good condition and looking clear and less congested recently and I do believe that this has helped to brighten and I am glad that I have noticed any changes for the worse since using it.

I hadn’t heard of this brand before #LiveBloggers and my first impression from the packaging was that it would be something pricy and difficult to get hold of, but it can be found in Boots for a reasonable £7.99. I am tempted to try out some other products in the range, such as the pre-cleansing oil, which I imagine will be an ideal product to use in combination with this cleanser.

Have you used anything from the range, if so, what do you recommend?

Monday, 12 November 2012

Quick review: Nail envy wraps

My holiday gave me the perfect opportunity to test some of the products that I received from #LiveBloggers. First up for review are Envy wraps bling from Elegant touch.

The wraps were easy enough to use. Unlike other wraps I have tried I needed to apply a coat of clear polish first before selecting the correct size and sticking them in place, filing off the excess and finishing with a top coat. The instructions also stated that using gentle heat from a hair-dryer would help the wraps to adhere, but I skipped this step and they seemed to work just fine.
As claimed, the wraps stayed in place for 5 days and then lasted beyond that, although there was some wear at the tips on around day 3, but this wasn't noticeable from afar.
Day 3
I eventually peeled the wraps off, but I did get some peeling of my nails underneath so I would recommend soaking your nails in warm water to loosen the wraps a bit before peeling or maybe a bit of polish remover.
Graffiti design wraps
The wraps cost £5.49 in Superdrug (although I have also found them in Savers for 99p) and contain 24 stickers, which means that if you are happy to cut some of the larger wraps to size you could easily get two wears out of one packet.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Instanbul Haul — Flormar and Golden Rose cosmetics

I couldn’t resist a spot of beauty shopping whilst in Istanbul. The city has a good selection of stores selling both high-end and high-street beauty, but I was on the look out for brands that I hadn’t heard of before and that weren’t available in the UK.
The first brand I spotted was Flormar, which reminded me a lot of Barry M with it's bright coloured store. They had a good selection of makeup, makeup brushes, nail polish and even hand/nail cream and perfume. I asked in store if the brand was Turkish, and was told yes, but the bag I left with and the website both say founded in Milan — go figure!
I lot of the eyeshadows and blushes were very shimmery and frankly I really shouldn’t be adding more of these to my collection. Instead I picked up a BB cream, which when I swatched in store I realised is actually nothing like a BB cream but may be a very nice tinted moisturiser, based on the consistency and feel of the product.
I also picked up three lip liners. Recently I have been wearing bolder lip colours, which could do with the additional lip definition. One thing that immediately impressed me about the lipliners is that I recognised names on the ingredients list, with the main ingredient listed as hydrogenated palm oil.
Another brand (which I believe is Turkish) was Golden Rose, which I found in pharmacies and convenience stores and therefore had a smaller product range. Again the products here all seemed to be very heavy on the shimmer. One thing I spotted, which I now regret not buying, was a baked eyeshadow set that could be used wet or dry. However, what I did pick up was the Terracotta stardust blush in the shade 03, again this is shimmery, but with a light hand I believe this will look very pretty.
Istanbul seemed to offer a lot of was homemade beauty, soaps in particular. I found a few individual shops selling homemade goods and there were also a few stalls in the spice and grand bazars.
The stalls listed the ingredients/scent use and the benefits that the ingredients were meant to have.  I however, based my choice on smell and chose Olive oil with cinnamon and fig. Both smell gorgeous and although generally I don't use soaps on my face, if I find that these aren't suitable I know I will be able to use them on my body. The soaps cost just over £1 each, which is a bargain compared to the cost of handmade and natural products in the UK.

I will of course do full reviews of the makeup products once I have had a chance to test them. I would love to know if you have heard of or tried either of these brands and what you thought.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Ciate mini mani month calendar

Having not had an advent calendar for years, this year I have treated myself to two!
First to arrive was the Ciate mini mani month calendar, which contains 24 mini bottles of Ciate polish, 4 of which are caviar beads!
The packaging on the box isn't particularly Christmas themed, which I would have expected, and makes the box suitable as a gift beyond the countdown to Christmas.
The back of the box lists all the colours contained, with the exception of 3 exclusive colours. Personally I would have preferred that all the colours were a surprise but I guess the there is still the surprise element in which colour you will get each day.

I purchased my box from QVC, for £31.20 plus postage. I think this is a great price, working out at less than £1.50 a bottle!

If you would like to see swatches of each of the polishes and discover what is behind each door I will be starting the mini mani month from 1st December!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

October empties

Just a quick post to share what I finished last month….
Sainsbury’s own brand baby shampoo — I use this to clean my make-up brushes. The bottle is huge and cost a mere 99p! It lasted me over 6 months and didn’t seem to do my brushes any harm so I will be picking up more of this.

Impulse very very pink body spray — I haven’t used impulse since my teenage years but this was a freebie with some purchases and I ended up carrying it around in my handbag for times when I needed to smell a bit fresher. The smell was actually very pleasant but I doubt I will be repurchasing.

Nalene artificial nail and polish remover — I didn’t like this at all, it was so drying to my fingers and nails and since I have been using it for over 6 months, now feels like a good time to get rid.

Quickies nail remover pads — these are so much nicer to use for polish removal and I have lost count of the number of times I have repurchased these. I found these at the £1 shop recently and Savers, which is a bonus!

Mememe Seventh Heaven — I have blogged about my love for this primer/moisturiser. I have a few more primers that I want to test and finish but as soon as I do I’m sure I will be on my repurchase list.

Bath and Body Works twilight woods body lotion — I love this! The smell of all Bath and Body Works products are all delicious, this has a delicate scent of jojoba and shea butter and absorbs quickly into the skin and does leave my skin feeling smooth and hydrated. So all I need to ask is, B&BW when are you coming to the UK?!

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