Thursday, 19 December 2013

Birchbox December 2013

This month is all about sparkling and shining according to Birchbox. This means the box includes products to help you sparkle at all the parties and nights out that happen over the festive season and quick fix products to help you shine throughout the month too. 

While the box doesn’t have that immediate “wow” factor, overall it is a good box and I can see everything getting some loving.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Belif Cosmetics

New skincare brands are always intriguing and an introduction to a brand without prejudice only adds to that.

I was given the chance to try a selection of products from the brand Belief. Belief is a sister company of the brand Napiers, who specialise in herbal formulas. Belief products are packed full of plant extracts and are meant to be ideal for use by those with sensitive skin.

Three products in particular grabbed my attention, the Hungarian Water Essence, the True Cream Moisturising Bomb and the First Aid Anti-Hangover Mask.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Birchbox November 2013

After what most would agree was an epic Birchbox in October, I expected something with the theme "Icons" to be the same.

But, sadly not. When I think icons, I expect that to be the products themselves rather than an iconic makeup artists.


Friday, 15 November 2013

Foreo Luna Mini Cleanser Review

As a BzzAgent I was very excited when I got the chance to test and review a new skin care tool, The Foreo Luna Mini.

The cleansing device using T-Sonic™ technology, essentially sonic pulsations, as "a radical new approach to cleansing that is both deeper and gentler at the same time”.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

First Impression: Elemis Cellular Recovery Capsules

There is something about tearing open a capsules every day, squeezing out the precious drops of oil and gently applying it to the skin that seems very indulgent.

There is a good reason for packaging a product this way, by keeping the product sealed no artificial preservatives are added and the purity is maintained.


Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Liz Earle Superskin Hand Serum

Considering that my hands are probably the most neglected body part after my feet, I was excited to hear that Liz Earle were extending the wonderful Superskin line to include a hand serum.

Yes, a serum, which I believe may be a first.

What makes a serum a serum is that all the ingredients are in a single phase, that is that they are dissolved in one another. So fun fact, Johnson and Johnson Baby Shampoo is actually a serum!

Sample session: L’Occitane Hand Cream

One of two skincare posts I decided to spoil you with today, with a focus on all things hands.

The first is a sample, that I very nearly gave away, from L’Occitane. I’ve tend to use body lotion on my hands immediately after a shower, but I like having samples such as these in my handbag for days while I am out and about, particularly now the weather is colder.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Bravura Volcanic Mud Cleanser

A look at another cleanser today, the Volcanic Mud Cleanser from Bravura, which is designed for deep pore cleansing and gentle daily exfoliation.

It’s a smooth and creamy mud cleanser with a very thick consistency and much more like what you would expect from a mask than a cleanser. It contains glycolic acid to gently shed dead skin cells and aloe vera and a natural oils to soothe the skin.

Monday, 11 November 2013

S5 Skincare

I’m back with another week of skincare and kicking it off with bumper review of a selection from the range S5 Skincare.

I recently shared my experience of home skin peels, one of the down sides, particularly if you love testing out new products, is that what you can use while testing is fairly limited. I wanted to test the peels fairly but I also didn't want to use anything that would potentially overload my skin, the most obvious example being other products that contain high concentrations of glycolic and other types of acid.

This is where S5 fit perfectly. Described as certified organic cosmeceuticals, the range has been designed to reverse the signs of problem and ageing skin that is a result of stress, plus it does this in a very gentle way.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Nude Perfect Cleansing Oil

I’m embarrassed to say that I received this cleansing oil at an event many months ago and have only recently got round to using it. Not because I didn’t want to try it but because the packaging is so pretty that I didn’t want to use it, something I am guilty of doing with a lot of products!


Thursday, 31 October 2013

My experience with Bravura Glycolic Peel (30%)

After hearing great things about Bravura and its home acid peel system I decided it was time to try it for myself.

As you know I have tried microdermabrasion before in an attempt to deal with acne and scarring. Peels are also meant to be great for acne, scarring and anti-ageing and in my experience salons typically suggest peels as an alternative to microdermabrasion for anyone whose skin is not suitable. 

Bravura is a British brand and that sell lactic and glycolic acid peels and other skincare products such as cleansers, masks and moisturisers. The peels work out significantly cheaper than salon treatments, which was the major appeal for me. 

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Quick review: Estelle & Thild Organic Lip Balm

Remember the very first Selfridges beauty box that everyone went a little crazy trying to get? Well I’m embarrassed to say that I was one of those people and this is a product from the box that I have only just got round to trying.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Bumble & Bumble Curl Conscious Range

I've never noticed the benefits of using a hair care range together until I used Bumble & Bumble's Curl Conscious products.

Including a shampoo, conditioner, hair masque, curl reviver and two curl creams, together the products provide soft and beautifully defined curls. The entire curl range smells gorgeous. I can't pinpoint the scent exactly but it is sweet and fresh at the same time.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Simple Kind to Skin Plus

I must confess, before being invited to check out Simple’s newest selection of products I hadn’t used the brand for years. Not because they aren’t good, they are. I love the makeup remover and gentle cleansers, but as a skincare addict there is always another brand to try.

Simple have added a new range of products, Kind to Skin Plus, which includes Perfecting Beauty Balm, or BB Cream, and Illuminating Radiance Cream.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Birchbox October 2013 #BBXBUZZ

Birchbox really got it right with their Beauty Buzz box this month and this has now become my favourite box to date.

Beauty Buzz, or #BBXBUZZ, is the theme and is all about celebrating award-winning and celeb-favourite beauty samples. Everything in the box is new to me, which is exactly what I want but they are also products that I have heard raved about, as you would expect from a buzz box.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

My experience of Gold Collagen

I purchased Gold Collagen at the Vitality Show earlier this year and shortly after was invited to attend a one-month trial looking at how the product affected my collagen levels and the overall condition of my skin.

The scientist in me was curious and so I agreed and visited the offices in central London. After answering some basic questions and having a reading of my skin thickness and collagen levels I was sent home with a 10 day supply and asked to return after that.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Collection Cream Puff in Cotton Candy

I spied Grace from All That Slap wearing this lip colour and I knew I had to have it. I’ve wanted an everyday shade that isn’t a nude for a while and this seemed like the perfect choice, plus at £2.99 there was nothing to lose trying it.
Collection’s Cream Puffs are described as a moisturising, velvety soft, matte finish lip cream. There are four shades in total and Cotton Candy is the pink of the selection. A medium toned colour, it is a pink I think would suit light and medium skin tones. 

As the cream dries it sets to a matte finish. The wear time is pretty good, about 3 hours, but since it smells so sweet I have no problem with reapplying it frequently.

There is one negative though, my lips are always borderline dry and at first the cream feels very moisturising, but as it "sets" and as time goes on it starts to feel a dry and can highlight dryness.
Other than that this cream puff is a winner for me and I hope that Collection expands the shade selection. 

Collection can be found in Boots stores and can also be ordered from Boots online, here

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Benefit Christmas, all wrapped up in love!

I don't like to say the C-word so early in the year but needs must and I hope when you read this post you'll start to get excited about the season.

Benefit Cosmetics have launched what I think, and I know they think, are their best Christmas sets yet. Perfect for newbies and addicts alike there is a great range of products at a budget to suit everyone.
I had the pleasure of attending the launch of their Christmas sets in their new store in Carnaby Street, London. The store is amazing and is the flagship branch for their new blow-dry bar, it also offers waxing, tanning and shellac manicures. Added to that the salon and treatment area is tucked away from the rest of the store and there is access to a champagne bar and nibbles while you pamper.
I was lucky enough to be sent home with two of the 14 sets available this year, Primed for Lovin’ and Crescent Row.

Two of the gift sets this year are housed in storage tins that are also stackable. Primed for Lovin’ is the larger of the two tins and contains three full sized products, They're Real, High Beam and Porefessional as well as a mini ultra plush lip gloss in the shade Sugarbomb. The tin costs £44.50 and is great value considering that most of the items retail for around £23.
The Crescent Row Set contains four miniture fragrances, one of which is the newest addition to the collection, Noella. At £29.50, the price of one full size perfume, the set is great value for money.

Another set that caught my eye was Little Love Potions, which contains a selection of mini  bestsellers, ideal as an introduction to the brand or for anyone who likes to have minitures to keep in their handbag.
The set includes Porefessional,  It's Potent, High Beam, Posietint, Stay Don’t Stray, Watt’s Up, Bad Gal Lash, That Gal and Hoola lip gloss. This set retails at £29.50 and I’m sure I’ll be heading out to add this to my collection soon.

All the sets are available now and are limited edition. The most limited being the very exciting Countdown to Love Advent Calendar. There was a giant calendar displayed at the event, which I think every blogger stared at for a while thinking ‘I wish’.
Featuring 24 miniature Benefit goodies, the calendar will be available to buy on 2 November, no doubt only for that day, from Debenhams stores and select Benefit Boutiques. The Benefit ladies stressed that they were extremely limited edition and that some stores would only have 10 so I suggest if you want one to get that date in your diary for a trip to a store.

Finally if that wasn’t enough Benefit have two new products to showcase too, but for now I will leave you with an image to whet your appetite and I will be back with a full review soon.
Check out the website, here, and let me know, what is on your Benefit lust list?

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Quick review: Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer

I finished my much loved Urban Decay Primer Potion but luckily was gifted the Smashbox primer at an event.

I'm going to jump straight into the thing I love most about this, and that's the colour. Rather than being translucent it has a nude/beige tone, which means I have been able to wear this alone as a way of evening out the colour of the skin around my eyes.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Messy side bun, curly hair up-do

I've always worn my hair loose because I feel it suits me better but I really love nothing more than to have it in a high bun or a pony tail and out of my face.

So I decided to play with more up-dos, trying to achieve a style that includes my curls, suits my face shape, makes me feel feminine and at the same time is out of my face!

Essentially this is a side messy bun look. After using the Toni and Guy waver to get defined waves, I put in a side parting and brought my hair to one side twisting it loosely into a bun and letting the hair fall naturally.

Some spin pins and hair pins later and I was done.
I was really pleased with the outcome. With a bit more care the look could be much for polished looking for a formal event and I think the addition of a flower or other hair accessory would also make the look that much more fun. 

What is your go to hairstyle, up or down?

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Birchbox September 2013

My Birchbox arrived late this month after it seemed I was forgotten with the initial dispatch. Birchbox did deal with it promptly though and my box arrived today.

I stayed away from any spoilers and had no idea what the theme was this month. That said having opened the box it wasn’t too clear, the magazine mentioned London Fashion Week so I’m going with that.

He Shi Express Liquid Tan

I dipped into the world of self-tanning earlier in the year and when the sun started shining I wanted my skin to have a little more colour as I dusted off my summer dresses.

I received He-Shi Express Liquid Tan after attending a blogger event and was advised that from the range of products this was the best for me since I’m a bit paranoid about streaky application.
The Express Liquid Tan is a self tanning bronzer, which can be used on the body and the face. The tan should be applied with the He-Shi Self Tanning Mitt, pouring the solution into the mitt and applying by wiping over the skin in circular motions.

Because it has a tinted formula, you can see exactly where you have applied and it prevents any streaks or patches from developing. It also means that you have a tan immediately, which then develops into a deeper colour over the next few hours — and I’m happy to say, no streaks! It is also worth noting that I didn’t exfoliate before applying the tan and I didn’t have any problems with too much colour building up at my knees, ankles etc as you might expect.

The colour that develops is very natural looking. You can build it up by applying a second layer immediately after the first or do it more slowly by reapplying the next day.
On the right you can see where the tan has been applied, leaving a light tint of colour
Apart from the easy application the drying time is very fast, two-minutes fast. I usually apply at night and I haven’t had any transfer of colour onto my clothes or my sheets.

The colour has lasted over 5 days and I plan on reapplying once a week just to maintain it and I will definitely be repurchasing when I do run out. It is hard to say how long a bottle will last, at the moment I am using it all over but in the winter I may only do my face and neck. I would advise that you only pour out a small amount of liquid at a time to avoid waste — it is quite easy for the liquid to pour straight off the mitt and onto the floor, so it’s best to do this over the sink.

The He-Shi Express Liquid Tan costs £20.00 for 150ml, but there are also smaller and larger bottle sizes too and all can be found on the He-Shi website.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Quick review: Bourjois Intuitive Liner

This product is my cat eye secret weapon.

No matter how much I have practiced I cannot achieve a good winged eyeliner. Apart from gradually filling in my entire lid attempting to make the lines an even thickness I also have the problem of having the flicks at completely different angles.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate

I spent this evening hearing all about the new offerings from Liz Earle (post to come) and was reminded how much I love the brand. If you ask me what one product you have to try you might be surprised to know that it's not Cleanse and Polish.
Excuse my packaging, as you can see it’s been loved!
As nice as it is there is a product that is an unsung hero in my opinion and that's Superskin Concentrate. Packed with Argan oil in the days before it became so popular, the concentrate also contains rosehip oil, neroli, lavender and chamomile essential oils and vitamin E.

I'm a huge fan of oils in general, and if you don't have one in your routine I highly recommend. SSC promises to soften dry or mature skin and balance combination or oily skin
My story with SSC goes like this...

At the height of my acne and scarring problem I was using lots of products aimed at oily skin that were drying out my skin and just making the problem worse.

I had a bottle of SSC from a set I purchased, from QVC of course, and for whatever reason I whipped out the little tube and slathered it all over my face and went to sleep.

The next morning my skin was soft, plump and glowing and my spots smaller and less red.

Since I use this as my bedtime treat and it is the only product that remains by my bedside. The smell is gorgeous, the blend of the oils results in a smoothing, calming scent that

At the event I learnt that the concentrate is actually very versatile, it can be added to moisturiser for a boost and cleanser too, used in the bath and under face masks.

The entire Superskin range is great, after the concentrate I would recommend the body cream, which is ideal now we are getting into the colder months because it is so hydrating. It has the same great smell as the concentrate and it soaks into the skin well without leaving a greasy feeling. It is a little on the pricy side for a body cream, £29.50 for 200ml, but you could just invest in the concentrate and add a few drops to your regular body cream for the boost.
The Superskin concentrate costs £40.50 for a 28ml bottle and £20 for the 10ml rollerball, which I own. Although the price seems high, I’ve had mine longer than I can remember and a little goes a long way so the value for money is there. What I love is that there is also a 2ml sample size available for £6 available from the Liz Earle website.

As always I would recommend heading to QVC for a real bargain with the prices. A lot of the time individual items are cheaper and sets have multiple products for the price of one.

Let me know what your unsung hero product is for Liz Earle or another brand. I would love to know what to try next!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Empties #1

As I mentioned in my ’sorting things out’ post, I will be reintroducing empties to document how I am getting on with reducing my stash.

These are empties from the last month or so, and I'm glad that I have a lot of makeup products, I think it will be standard to showcase a cleanser or two but makeup always takes that much longer.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Skincare Tag

I seem to have hit a bit of a blogging block, I have lots of posts nearly there, lots of plans and ideas but something is stopping me seeing them through.

I’ve always enjoyed a good tag post and although I wasn’t specifically tagged to do this I thought I would anyway to ease myself back into blogging regularly again.
Describe your skincare routine in 5 words.
Cleanse, treat, treat again, moisturise, protect.

What’s your skin type? 
This seems to be ever changing at the moment but I think I am transitioning from dry into a combination skin type.

What’s your favourite skincare product? 
Alpha H’s Liquid Gold, nothing has ever been so transforming.

Top Blemish Zapper? 
This has newly taken the top spot, but S5 Skincare’s Blemish Serum. It is gentle but really effective.

Face Wipes, yay or nay? 
A big Nay! They are only good in emergency situations or as a pre-first cleanse. Personally, if I have them around I get lazy, because they give you a false sense that you are cleansing your skin.

Toner, yay or nay? 
I think it depends on the toner. I really like toners that are benefiting the condition of your skin, toners don’t need to be about removing the last traces of makeup anymore, I believe we have good enough cleansers to do that. So if the toner is exfoliating or hydrating I say yay.

High-end skincare or high-end makeup? 
High-end skincare. Ultimately I want to be able to walk around make-up free and feel great about my skin, of course you probably could achieve this with high-street skincare products but as yet I haven’t found anything that works really well for me.

What’s the most unusual skincare product you’ve tried? 
Tough question! The product that springs to mind are Spot Dots, I used to get them in bulk at Tesco and they saved me in my teens, essentially they were little stickers soaked in salicylic acid, which you left on a spot overnight and by the morning they were gone. I've used similar products since but none have worked as well because at some point in the night they end up stuck somewhere other than your spot.

Tell us your top skincare tip 
Find a routine you enjoy, that way you'll get the best results.

I hope you have enjoyed this tag, feel free to respond with your answers and let me know if you do in the comments. 

Friday, 30 August 2013


Simple quality skincare is what Steamcream promises and that is exactly what it provides.

These little pots of lovely contain a thick yet light-weight moisturiser suitable for use on the face, body and hands. 

Before attending a PR event I had already been using Steamcream for over a fortnight. But the event showed me just how amazing and versatile the cream is and gave me a chance to see how the cream is made. Made in the Devon fresh each day, the process of making the cream is how I imagine cheese being made.

The cream is made from a steam process, which fuses the ingredients instantly, holding them together, and is what makes the cream more effective. The cream contains a mix of essential oils, cocoa butter and oatmeal along with other natural and sustainable ingredients, but it does contain some preservatives. 

As a moisturiser it does a great job of keeping my dry skin hydrated. The cream smells beautifully oaty and absorbs into the skin quickly, leaving no sticky residue.At the event I learnt that mixing the cream with foundation, sugar/sat or porridge oats can give you a tinted moisturiser, exfoliator or face mask. Because it is so versatile it is great to keep in your handbag or take on holiday as a space saver.

Alone it can also be used as a cleanser or makeup remover and as a hair mask and shaving cream. I have since tested it out as a makeup remover and while I wouldn't use it every day it would be a good option if you were in a fix. 

It wouldn't be a review without mentioning the tin containers. I love them! Streamcream are always releasing new, limited edition designs and although the tins can be recycled, the brand encourages people to reuse them. Personally I can on using mine as hairpin storage.
Each tin costs £12.95 and can be found in Topshop, John Lewis, Debenhams and some other department stores but if you keep an eye on the Steamcream website they tend to have offers to buy multiples making each tin greater value for money. How quickly you get through a tin is going to depend on how you use it, if you only used it as a facial moisturiser I would expect it to last over 3 months, which I think makes it great value for money.


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